How To Prevent and Reverse Chronic Disease
There are six specific reasons why chronic disease develops in our bodies. They are as follows:
- Nutrition – Deficiencies in key nutrients can create biochemical imbalances that often lead to cells becoming diseased.
- Exercise – The lack of sufficient exercise can allow toxins to build up, the cardiovascular system to weaken and insulin receptors to loose their sensitivity. This can contribute to many chronic disease conditions.
- Stress – Ongoing stress can cause depletion of vitamin B, the stiffening of cells and digestive problems. Stress has been implicated in over 80% of chronic illnesses. This can include long-term childhood issues.
- Toxins – Toxins come in many forms, including alcohol, tobacco, pesticides and radiation. Toxins often create free radicals, which damage our cells by stealing an electron. This has been identified as one of the leading causes of many diseases.
- Genes – Faulty genes cause about 20% of all diseases, and yet, genes are predispositions, which can actually be improved with good nutrition and other positive factors.
- Sleep- Without sufficient quality sleep the body and the brain cannot be sustained in a healthy condition. Most repairs, detoxification and balancing occurs during the sleep cycle.
A sixth factor contributing to chronic disease is the use of flawed diagnostic tools. Many current tests for the risk of disease provide insufficient warning because it is either the wrong information, or it is too late to allow a disease to be prevented. Better testing is one of the most significant things we can do to stop the current increase in chronic disease. (Sixty years ago, 10% of adults were chronically ill, now 60% are chronically ill).
Cholesterol is not the cause of clogged arteries. Cholesterol is present in arterial plague because it came to repair damage done by free radicals. Cholesterol is useful to cell membrane formation and the making of Vitamin D. People with high levels of cholesterol actually live longer than people with low levels of cholesterol.
The Best Tests
There are several factors that should be tested in order to determine the potential risk for heart disease. These include:
- C-reactive protein – To measure inflammation levels.
- Homocysteine – To measure deficiencies in Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and folic acid.
- Triglycerides – To measure the level of fatty acids and alcohol in the body.
- Insulin –To measure the presence of excess sugar in the body since insulin is produced when sugar is eaten or released by the liver.
- Cholesterol – To measure the ratio of HDL to LDL and the small particle LDL, which contributes to plaque.
The Best Nutrition
Dean Ornish, M.D. has achieved the best success rate for preventing and reversing heart disease with a vegetarian diet. Walter Willett, M.D., PhD. has shown the need for healthy fats in the famous nurses study (Omega 3). A diet of whole natural foods is best, including lean Omega 3 rich protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and small amounts of whole grains, such as millet, quinoa and brown rice.
The Best Supplements
Over 20 nutritional supplements have been scientifically proven to help prevent and reverse heart disease. The most popular supplements include:
– L-carnitine – Vitamin E
– Co Enzyme Q10 – Calcium
– Vitamin C – Magnesium
– Vitamin B Complex – Selenium
– Vitamin D3 – Fish Oil
– Beta-carotene – Garlic
There is an excellent product available that is a blend of policosanol, hawthorne berry, garlic, grapeseed extract, N-acetylcysteine, alpha lipoic acid, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Magnesium, selenium, L-arginine, L-carnitine and B Vitamins. This formula reduced triglycerides by 30 per cent while increasing HDL cholesterol by 11 per cent. It is even more effective on people with low HDL cholesterol, increasing HDL cholesterol by 23 per cent and reducing triglycerides by 40 per cent.
Other Key Factors
Good scientific evidence exists for the use of aerobic exercise to help arteries gain flexibility and strength. Also, insulin receptors become more efficient, helping the heart to get energy. Stress management is also important with the use of yoga, meditation and deep breathing.
Only 5-10% of women have a strong genetic predisposition to breast cancer due to the BRCA gene influence. Therefore, about 90% of breast cancer is preventable with changes in lifestyle and better diagnostic tools. Breast cancer often starts in the late 20’s of a women’s life, but is not diagnosed until they reach their 40’s or 50’s. By then, the cancer is so advanced that invasive, often life threatening treatments are the only options.
The Best Tests
There are several diagnostic tools women can use to identify breast cells that are moving towards cancer. They are as follows:
- Thermography – This test can detect problematic breast cells 8-10 years before mammography. It can see through young, dense breast tissue, fatty tissue and even breast implants. It uses no radiation, is not painful, is 95% accurate and doctors can use diet, detoxification, stress reduction and plant-based hormones to correct problematic cells.
- Hormone Test – This is a saliva test for hormones that can identify imbalances that can then be corrected with safe plant-based hormones.
- Vitamin D3 Test – This can identify deficiencies that can then be corrected with safe and effective supplements. At 4000 – 5000 iu of vitamin D3/day, breast cancer risk is reduced by 77%.
The Best Nutrition
Scientific studies have shown that the best foods to prevent breast cancer are fish, vegetables (especially kale, cabbage, garlic, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower), nuts, legumes, fruits and whole grains, except for wheat. The worst foods are meat, dairy, sugar, refined flour and alcohol.
The Best Supplements
Several nutritional supplements have been shown in scientific studies to help prevent breast cancer, as well as improve recovery if breast cancer is detected and treated.
– Vitamin D3 – Green tea extract
– Vitamin B complex – Vitamin E
– Digestive enzymes – Co Enzyme Q10
– Melatonin – Selenium
– Vitamin C – Curcumin
– Indole 3 carbinol – Water soluble vitamin A
Yes, Vitamin D3 can help prevent breast cancer!!!
Dr. Cedric Garland of UC San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center has just published a paper saying that the risk of breast cancer could be cut by 50 percent if people had vitamin D serum levels – this is a blood level of how much vitamin D you’ve got – somewhere about 40 to 50 nanograms per milliliter. Dr. Garland, is well respected, and has researched vitamin D and cancer for 30 years. More and more research is beginning to show that vitamin D has a very real impact on cancer rates, including the study described below, which found it may reduce cancer risk by up to 77 percent:
“[A] randomized trial… published in 2007 by Joan Lappe out of Creighton University… had a group of about 1,100 post-menopausal women who started out with no cancer (plus a control group)… One group got [oral] vitamin D [and calcium] and the other got a placebo. At the end of four years, there was a 77 percent difference in cancer incidence between those that had the vitamin D and calcium versus the placebo.3 So something is working.”
Other Key Factors
Smoking and alcohol consumption should be avoided. Being overweight increases the risk for breast cancer, as does the lack of sufficient daily exercise. Stress reduction is always recommended and young women should be careful about the use of chemical based birth control. Pesticides and radiation should also be avoided, as breast cells are more vulnerable than other cells in the body.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the US and is now affecting people of all ages. One third of Type 2 diabetics are teenagers whereas forty years ago most cases involved people over the age of 40. Children born after the year 2000 have a 35 to 49% risk of being diabetic and the two primary reasons are poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. Diabetes causes heart disease, blindness, amputations and cancer, as well as many other illnesses.
The Best Tests
The current tests for Type 2 diabetes are woefully inadequate since they often identify risk 5 to 7 years after diabetes has actually started. There are much better tests than total glucose or AIC.
- Glucose tolerance test – This is a test of how quickly the pancreas can make insulin and insulin receptors can absorb insulin and glucose. A person is given 75 mg of glucose and then tested every 30 minutes for 3 hours. The rate of return to “normal” insulin and glucose levels determines the level of risk for diabetes.
- Insulin Tests – Fasting insulin levels are a better test for diabetes risk also because insulin levels will go up before fasting glucose levels will.
- AIC – The AIC test is also a helpful test because it provides a good picture of glucose levels over the past 30 – 90 days.
The Best Nutrition
Everyone would benefit from eating a diabetes prevention diet because it is the healthiest way to eat. Avoiding food high in glucose or sugar is the obvious starting point but the preferred eating guidelines go far beyond this. Here is a list of foods that should be avoided; seriously avoided.
– Processed sugar – High fructose corn syrup
– Processed flour – Wheat
– Potatoes – Fruit juices
– Soft drinks – Artificial sweeteners
– All starches – Animal and trans fats
– Molasses and honey – Maple syrup
– Baked goods – Processed soy products
This leaves a fairly short, but extremely healthy list of foods from which to make your diabetes prevention diet.
- Protein foods, such as fish, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, whey powder, rice milk, almond milk, sea greens and grains, such as millet, brown rice, quinoa and spelt.
- Vegetables and beans (7-9 helpings a day).
- Fruits (1-2 helpings a day).
Eat a glycemic load equal to 5g per meal and 40g maximum per day. Also, ensure fiber levels are at 40g per day.
The Best Supplements
There are over 30 nutritional supplements that have been scientifically proven to help balance blood sugar and/or assist the body in the processing of sugar. Some of the more significant supplements include:
– Chromium – Fiber
– Vanadium – Alpha lipoic acid
– Magnesium – L-carnitine
– Vitamin C – Mulberry extract
– Vitamin E – Gymnema sylvestre
– Biotin – Berberine
– Omega 3 fats – Vitamin B
Getting sugar into the cell:
The role of magnesium, berberine and exercise
- For diabetes it is important to understand how parts of the cell function. Insulin receptors sit on the membrane of the cell and wait for glucose and insulin to arrive. Then a magnesium molecule transports them into the cell. Insulin receptors multiply and become more sensitive with more exercise.
- Acidic foods such as meat, dairy, sugar and processed foods make insulin receptors less sensitive, while foods like vegetables make them more alkaline and thus more sensitive.
- Inside the cell there is a Glut-4 molecule, which picks up the glucose from the inside of the membrane and transports it to the mitochondria where it combines with oxygen to make energy. Berberine increases the effectiveness of both the Glut-4 molecule and the insulin receptors on the cell. Magnesium and Diabetes | This Mineral Could Halt DiabetesMagnesium and DiabetesDuring the study, researchers looked both at magnesium intake and diabetes risk in 4,497 people aged 18 to 30 years old. None of the participants were found to be diabetic in the study’s outset. Within a 20-year follow-up period, 330 of the subjects developed diabetes.The final results of this study could explain why consumption of whole grain products, which are elevated in magnesium, is connected with lower diabetes risk. Although whole grain products can be a common source of magnesium, there are numerous other sources of magnesium to take into consideration.The reasons as to why an increased intake of magnesium may lower the risk for developing type 2 diabetes vary among medical experts, but according to the National Institutes of Health, Magnesium plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism. It may influence the release and activity of insulin, the hormone that helps command blood glucose (sugar) levels.
- Greens such as spinach are fantastic sources, due to the fact that the middle of the chlorophyll molecule (which provides vegetables their color) contains magnesium. Some legumes (beans and peas), seeds and nuts, and whole, unrefined grains are also good sources of magnesium.
- Individuals with the highest magnesium intake were 47 percent less likely to develop diabetes than others with the lowest intakes (average of 100 milligrams of magnesium per 1,000 calories).
- A study led by Dr. Ka from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found a surprising relationship between magnesium and type 2 diabetes.
Other Key Factors
Exercise is probably as important as nutrition in the prevention and reversal of Type 2 diabetes. Exercise stimulates the insulin receptors on our cells, causing them to multiply and become more efficient. Aerobic and resistance exercise of 30-60 minutes a day is needed. Not smoking or consuming alcohol are also vitally important, since smoking constricts circulation and alcohol is just another form of sugar.
Depression and other emotional challenges have reached alarming levels, and the use of prescription medications to treat these conditions is one of our biggest health care expenses. Depression alone costs employers over $40 billion per year. Depression medications are not very effective for many people, and yet, natural solutions have achieved excellent results in clinical trails and in practice.
The Best Tests
There are a variety of symptoms-based tests to determine if someone is suffering from depression, anxiety or some other emotional condition. The most common of these symptoms include:
– Mood swings – Loss of concentration
– Difficulty sleeping – Impaired judgment
– Memory loss – Poor problem solving
– Agitation – Confusion
– Feeling fatigued – Craving sweets or alcohol
These symptoms can be associated with many other health challenges, so be careful in accepting a diagnosis from a doctor who does not also check for deficiencies using the following tests:
- ALCAT Test – This is a test for food sensitivities to determine if foods may be causing some emotional reactions.
- Homocysteine – This measures the levels of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acid, which are vital nutrients for the production of neurotransmitters needed by the brain.
- Glucose Tolerance Test – This test will determine if the pancreas and insulin receptors are capable of processing sugar efficiently.
- Serotonin and Dopamine Levels – These neurotransmitters are crucial to the maintenance of a stable and healthy mood.
- Vitamin D3 Test – Deficiency in vitamin D3 has been linked to many cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- Brain Food Check – This test in Patrick Holford’s book Optimum Nutrition for the Mind, can help evaluate if someone is getting sufficient nutritional support in five key categories of nutrition. (Glucose, Fats, Phospholipids, Amino Acids, Vitamins and Minerals).
Any physician who does not use these nutritional and biochemical tests is probably not qualified to make an objective and scientific analysis of a person’s mental and emotional health.
How the Brain Works
The Brain Needs Five Different Types of Food or Nutrients
- Glucose – Provides fuel for the brain (complex carbs best).
- Essential Fats – Lubricant for the brain and builds neurotransmitters (Omega 3-6) (Cold water fish best).
- Phospholipids – Memory molecules (Choline from organ meats, fish and eggs).
- Amino Acids – Raw material for neurotransmitters and message material sent between neurotransmitters (fish, 2-legged meat, plants).
- Nutrients – Biochemical processes and antioxidant protection (vegetables and fruits best for key vitamins and minerals).NOTE: “Most mental health problems can be solved, or at least considerably relieved, with the right nutrition, together with the right psychological support and guidance.” Patrick Holford in “Optimum Nutrition for the Mind.”
- Note: A very high number of people with depression have been shown to be deficient in amino acids, omega 3 fats, magnesium and vitamin B. These are some of the essential nutrients needed to make neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which are responsible to the control of our mood or level of happiness.
The Best Nutrition
There have been hundreds of scientific studies clearly proving that some foods are good for the brain, while others are not. The following is a brief list of both types of foods:
Good for the Brain
– Chicken and Turkey – Avocados
– Salmon and Sardines – Berries
– Nuts and Seeds – Free range eggs
– Whole grains (not wheat) – Beans/legumes
– Olive oil and coconut oil – Green tea
– Sea greens – Turmeric
– Green leafy vegetables – Fruit
Bad for the Brain
– Aspartame – Dried fruit
– Caffeine – Canned foods
– Soft drinks – Sweets/desserts
– Red meat – Fried foods
– Dairy products – Alcohol
– Processed foods – High fructose corn syrup
– Hydrogenated fat – Irradiated or GMO foods
The Best Supplements
There are dozens of nutritional supplements that have been scientifically proven to help in the prevention and reversal of depression and other emotional disorders. The following is a list of some of the supplements most frequently recommended by doctors who are treating patients with depression:
– Omega 3 fats – Magnesium
– Amino acids – Calcium
– Vitamin B complex – Zinc
– Vitamin C – Folic acid
– Vitamin E – Alpha lipoic acid
– Vitamin D3 – Acetyl L-carnitine
– N-acetyl cysteine – Coenzyme Q10
– Tryptophan (5 HTP) – GABA
– SAM-e – Inositol
– L-Theanine – L-glutamine
Omega-3 fatty acids banish depression: Research
Thursday, April 18, 2013 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer-A number of clinical trials have supported the effectiveness omega-3 supplementation as a way to alleviate depression symptoms, particularly in patients who have not responded to treatment with antidepressant drugs.
One such study was conducted by researchers from the University of Pavia, Italy, and published in the Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging in 2011. In a double-blind experiment, researchers randomly assigned 46 depressed women between the ages of 66 and 95 to take a supplement consisting of either omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids or a placebo. The omega-3 supplement consisted of 1.67 g per day of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 0.83 g per day of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
After two months, women who had been taking omega-3s showed significant improvements on measures of depression and mental and physical health status; no such improvement was seen in the placebo group.
“The supplementation of omega-3 LCPUFA in elderly female patients reduces the occurrence of depressive symptoms, improves phospholipids fatty acids profile and health-related quality of life,”
Other Key Factors
Exercise and sound sleep are essential for the maintenance of good mood. Stress management is also a key consideration. Many doctors also recommend tests to determine the presence of heavy metals and other toxins. If present, then a good detoxification program is very important. Making sure the digestive system is working properly is also crucial since many nutrients are produced there, including serotonin (more is made in the gut than in the brain.)
The Stages of Disease and Protocols for Other Chronic Diseases
The Five Stages of Cellular Deterioration
- Stressed – The first response to free radical damage and/or nutritional deficiency is for the cell to become stressed as it tries to compensate for the problem present.
- Weakened – The hyperactive cell eventually becomes exhausted and weakened, which further inhibits its ability to function and protect itself.
- Dysfunctional – The cell eventually loses its ability to perform its assigned duties, which means the body begins to produce recognizable biometric signals such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar.
- Mutated – As the degree of dysfunction advances, the cell is vulnerable to DNA mutation. The nucleus is not adequately protected, which leads to the production of inferior replacement cells.
- Diseased – As the DNA becomes more damaged in more cells, the probability of disease increases. Organs may begin to shut down or gradually fail, as is the case with stroke, heart attack, asthma attack, depression, Crohn’s disease, cancer or any one of the many chronic diseases.
- There are natural medicine protocols for most chronic diseases. Below are a few more examples where the scientific evidence is superior to the protocols used by conventional medicine.
- High blood pressure
The science behind all of these, and other similar natural medicine protocols, can be found in the following books:
- The Natural Pharmacy, by Alan Gaby, M.D.
- The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, by Joseph Pizzorno, M.D. and Michael Murray, N.D.
- Disease Prevention and Treatment; Scientific Protocols That Integrate Mainstream and Alternative Medicine, from Life Extension Foundation.
These books contain over 15,000 scientific references from reputable clinical trials and have been reported in many of the most well-known peer reviewed medical journals.
The following strategy is recommended for improving employee health and reducing the cost of health care in the workplace:
- Corporate Culture – Evaluate your corporate culture and make it compatible for making the necessary improvements to ensure the success of your wellness program.
- Wellness Plan – Evaluate your wellness plan and program using an advanced evaluation tool and make a quality plan.
- Financial Commitment – Ensure that your wellness program is properly funded with a commitment of at least $100 per employee per year.
- The Wellness Team – Hire a competent wellness co-coordinator and recruit and train employees to be wellness champions/advocates.
- Health Risk Assessment – Use the most advanced health tests and assessments no matter what the cost is. They will pay for themselves at least ten times over. Some examples are:
- Glucose challenge or tolerance test
- C-reactive protein test
- Acid-alkaline urine test
- Homocysteine test
- Test for levels of vitamin D3
- Symptom analysis test to determine vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Thermography for early detection of potential cancer cells and other illnesses.
- Advanced Educational Programs – All wellness educators are not created equal. Ensure that they are all well versed in Natural Medicine and using the principles of evidence-based medicine and advanced adult education.
- Disease Reversal – Make certain that your education and incentive programs are focused on the reversal of chronic disease and not just the management or treatment of these diseases.
- Incentives – Make sure your incentives for employees to become healthier are based on the best practices available, such as:
- Health Savings Accounts with an employer contribution of $1000 to $2000 per year.
- A high deductible plan with employees able to pay down their deductible based on how healthy they become.
- A reduced co-pay program based on doctors recommending reading material for employees to become healthier and co-pay reductions if employees are able to pass an online test.
- Lower premiums by up to 30% for employees who can prove, through health tests that they are in excellent health.
- Coaching – Provides quality coaching services to help employees overcome the barriers and issues they will encounter as they try to make difficult lifestyle changes.
- Health Improvement Tracking System – Use online surveys, point systems and computer software to help track personal employee health status, as well as small group and overall organizational health improvements. This will allow you to calculate ROI and negotiate lower premiums with health insurers.
Prepared July 3, 2013 by:
Charles K. Bens , Ph.D.
Healthy at Work, Sarasota, Florida