February 4, 2017

Eggs Are Nutritious for You

Now that eggs have regained their place in nutrition, people are asking questions about eggs. While people know that eggs are healthy, they are asking just how healthy.

Eggs are very healthy and an excellent source of high quality, complete protein. Getting enough protein is very important for building bones and muscle, as well as maintaining good overall health. How much protein can you expect to get from eggs?

For this answer, you need to know the size of the egg and sometimes how the hens that laid them were fed. Often the average egg size is given, which is not always to best answer, but the average egg contains about 6 to 7 grams of protein.

The protein content does depend on the size of the egg. Here’s how much protein different sizes of eggs contain:
  • Small egg (38 grams): 4.9 grams of protein
  • Medium egg (44 grams): 5.7 grams of protein
  • Large egg (50 grams): 6.5 grams of protein
  • Extra-large egg (56 grams): 7.3 grams of protein
  • Jumbo egg (63 grams): 8.2 grams of protein

To put these numbers in perspective, the average sedentary man needs about 56 grams of protein per day, and the average sedentary woman needs about 46 grams.

Now let’s look at the protein content of different parts of the egg. People often think that protein is only found in the egg whites, since they consist of little other than proteins.

The egg yolks are known to be where almost all the nutrients and fat are found.
However, in addition to these nutrients, the yolk also contains up to about half of the protein content of the egg. In a large egg that contains about 7 grams of protein, 3 grams will be coming from the yolk and 4 grams from the white. Therefore, eating the entire egg, not just the white, is the way to get the most protein and nutrients.

Does Cooking Affect the Quality of the Protein? The high-quality protein abundant in eggs contains all nine essential amino acids in the right ratios.
However, how much of that protein the body can actually use seems to depend on how they are prepared.

Eating eggs raw seems to provide the least amount of protein. One study looked at how much protein was absorbed from cooked versus raw eggs. It found that participants absorbed 90% of the protein from cooked eggs, compared to only 50% of the protein from raw eggs.

Another study provided healthy individuals with a meal that contained either cooked or raw egg protein. It found that 94% of the cooked egg protein was absorbed, compared to only 74% of the raw egg protein.

This means that cooking eggs helps the protein become more digestible and more accessible to the body. In addition, eating raw eggs carries a risk of bacterial contamination and food poisoning.

Eggs are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods you can eat. They are relatively low in calories, with one large hard-boiled egg containing only about 77 calories.

Despite being low in calories, they are a balanced source of almost every nutrient you need. One such nutrient is choline, which many people are lacking in their diet. Choline is important for many processes in the body. In fact, a lack of it may affect brain and heart health, and has been linked to an increased risk of neural tube defects during pregnancy.

Aside from their nutrient content, eggs have also been linked with numerous health benefits, including benefits related to weight loss and weight maintenance.

Eggs have been shown to promote feelings of fullness, which can help prevent you from eating too much at a time. This effect is especially noticeable when people eat eggs for breakfast.

Eating eggs for breakfast has been shown to cause people to eat significantly less for the next 24 hours than other types of breakfasts, without actively restricting calories.

In one study, men who ate eggs for breakfast ate up to 470 fewer calories at lunch and dinner buffets than when they ate cereal or croissant-based breakfasts. In addition to all of this, eggs are cheap and very easy to prepare.

The information you need to know includes:
An average-sized egg contains about 6–7 grams of protein. To enable your body to use as much of that as possible, it is recommended to eat eggs cooked rather than raw.

Aside from their impressive protein content, eggs are low in calories, high in nutrients and especially weight loss friendly.

February 3, 2017

Lowering High Triglycerides – Part 2

Continued from yesterday's blog.

The types of carbohydrates in the diet can also contribute to triglyceride levels. Foods high in simple sugars, especially refined fructose, are known to raise triglyceride levels.

Drinks make a large contribution to overall carbohydrate intake. Fruit drinks, soft drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages are some of the main sources for added sugars in the diet. Added sugars should be avoided to help reduce triglyceride levels.

Added sugar comes in many forms, including: white sugar, brown sugar, honey, cane juice or cane syrup, corn sweetener or corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, fructose, dextrose, maltose, lactose, sucrose, syrups, such as maple, agave, and molasses.

Taking steps to avoid drinks containing added sugars could greatly reduce overall calories. Every 4 grams of sugar is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar. The recommended daily maximum sugar intake for women is 24 grams (6 teaspoons) or 36 grams (9 teaspoons) for men.

Instead of drinks that contain high levels of added sugars, people can opt for low calorie drinks, such as water or tea. On a warm day, instead of reaching for a soft drink, a splash of 100 percent fruit juice to a glass of sparkling water is a better option.

Alcohol also has a direct effect on triglyceride levels in some people. In people with high triglyceride levels, refraining from drinking alcohol is a helpful step to reducing triglycerides.

People should work directly with their healthcare provider to gradually make any changes to the diet, and be certain there are no complications with any medicines they are taking.

Physical activity also plays an important role in reducing triglyceride levels. Burning calories ensures that more triglycerides from within the body are being used up.

Any exercise is beneficial, but the effects of exercise will vary based on initial triglyceride levels, the amount of exercise, and the level of intensity of the exercise. A 30-minute walk each day is a great way to begin, as is engaging in low-stress activities, such as cycling or swimming.

The AHA recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, 5 days a week.

If the triglyceride levels in the body are too high, the risk of certain diseases and disorders is also increased. According to a study posted to the Lancet Diabetes Endocrinology, high triglyceride levels play a role in cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis.

This can happen because high triglyceride levels in the blood can cause a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque is a combination of cholesterol, triglyceride fats, calcium, cellular waste, and fibrin, which is the material the body uses for clotting.

Plaque buildup increases the risk of heart diseases, as the buildup blocks the normal flow of blood in the arteries. Plaque may also break off, and the sudden clot formed can cause a stroke or heart attack. Triglycerides and cholesterol levels make up two of the most important things to monitor for a healthy heart.
There is also an increased risk of damage to the pancreas if the levels of triglycerides get too high.

The most common causes of high triglyceride levels relate to diet and metabolism. A study posted to Nutrients listed the most common contributing factors of high triglyceride levels. These include: family genes, obesity, high-calorie diet, high-fat diet, alcohol consumption, diabetes (mainly type 2), renal diseases such as uremia, pregnancy, some medications, such as oral estrogen, corticosteroids, antiretroviral drugs, and tamoxifen, among others

Statistically, some groups of people are more at risk for high triglyceride levels than others. These groups include:
  • People who have developed heart disease before the age of 50
  • Women, especially pregnant women or women taking estrogen
  • People who are obese
  • Mexican-American men
  • Native Americans

February 2, 2017

Lowering High Triglycerides – Part 1

Triglycerides are the most common fat in the human body. Whether from animal or plant sources, most of the foods people eat can have an impact on the levels of triglycerides in the blood.

There are many different types of fats, from polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil to the saturated fats found in red meat. They all contribute to triglyceride levels in the body, but they do so in different ways.

When a person eats more calories than their body needs, the body stores these extra calories in the form of triglyceride fats. Then later, when the body needs more energy, it consumes these fats instead of needing more calories.

Triglycerides are important for health, but high levels of triglycerides in the body can lead to conditions such as heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. Taking steps to lower triglyceride levels and reduce other risk factors can decrease a person's chances of developing heart disease.

It is important to understand triglyceride levels in order to adjust them. The normal range for triglyceride levels is considered to be less than 150 milligrams per deciliter.

At-risk levels are anywhere from 150-199 milligrams per deciliter, and high triglyceride levels range from 200-499 milligrams per deciliter. Anything above 500 milligrams per deciliter is considered very high.

There are many ways to reduce triglyceride levels safely. These can depend on the reasons why triglyceride levels are high in the first place. If an individual regularly consumes more calories than the body can burn, it will result in an excess of triglycerides in the body. One way to lower triglyceride levels in the blood is to reduce the overall number of calories ingested every day.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), there is evidence that a 5-10 percent weight loss can decrease triglyceride levels by 20 percent. The decrease in triglycerides is directly related with losing weight.

In order to lower triglyceride levels, an individual must watch what they eat and adopt a nutrient-rich diet. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds is a great way to increase the nutrients consumed, while also reducing calories.

A diet that is good for the heart and the blood also includes reducing the amount of sodium, refined grains, added sugars, and what are known as solid fats in the diet. Solid fats come from meat, full-fat dairy products, and some tropical oils, such as coconut and palm oil. These foods contain trans fats and saturated fats.

Trans fats and saturated fats raise triglyceride levels, so people should try to replace them wherever possible. Unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), actually lower triglyceride levels.

Omega-3 fats found in cod liver oil, cold-water fish, such as salmon and sardines, and flaxseeds are great ways to add PUFAs to a diet. For example, instead of a steak or hamburger, which are high in saturated fats, people can opt for a filet of salmon or a tuna sandwich. Animal products, such as lean meats, skinned poultry, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and seafood are also good options.

Individuals should limit their total carbohydrate intake to below 60 percent of their recommended daily calorie allowance. Diets with a carbohydrate intake above 60 percent are associated with a rise in triglyceride levels.

Ways to avoid carbohydrates include, for example, choosing lean burgers wrapped in lettuce instead of a high-carb bun. For dessert, opting for fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries instead of sugary baked goods can reduce sugar cravings while also lowering overall carb intake.

Continue in the next blog.

February 1, 2017

When Will Drugs Work?

Many drugs don't work and we are learning every day about more that are ineffective or don't work.

Studies on the effectiveness of the drug industry’s biggest sellers are frankly shocking, according to researchers. We—as individual consumers and as taxpayers—are apparently wasting money on expensive drugs that don’t work. In addition, the side effects are often disastrous.

Every day, millions of people are taking medications that will not help them,” says Nicholas J. Schork, director of human biology at the J. Craig Venter Institute and a professor at UC–San Diego. His article in the journal Nature provides hard data about the effectiveness of the top moneymakers for Big Pharma—and the scorecard is not good. Unfortunately, it affirms what many in the natural health community have been saying for years.

Of the top ten blockbuster drugs, the most effective ones work for only one in four patients. Crestor (a statin) is effective for only one in eighteen patients, and Nexium (an acid blocker) helps only one in twenty-five. That’s a failure rate of 96%! These drugs individually generate between $4 and $8 billion dollars per year, which leads to the inevitable conclusion that patients are wasting mind-boggling sums of money on drugs that simply don’t work.

Adding insult to injury, not only do these drugs fail completely most of the time, they also create a host of terrible side effects, many of which have been discussed in previous articles (see here for statins and here for acid blockers). These side effects lead to even higher healthcare costs, because now the side effects must be treated as well—usually with more drugs, which have more side effects!

Let’s break this down. Drugs that don’t work and often harm consumers’ health are hugely profitable. Who is responsible for this absurd drug system? The US Food and Drug Administration, of course. How much more evidence do we need before our nation realizes that the FDA is in urgent need of reform?

One in four Americans over the age of forty-five takes a statin—yet, as Dr. Schork cites in his article, these drugs work for as few as one in fifty people!

Since 2005, FDA-approved drugs, vaccines, and medical devices have killed more than 786,000 people, as detailed on our FDA Death Meter page. Does that look like a drug approval system that works?

The FDA must be reshaped and reformed so it sees the public, not the drug companies, as its boss. If not, thousands more will continue to suffer the consequences.

January 31, 2017

'Experts' Speaking Out Again about Statins

I expected this promotion from “experts” after my last blog because they must be short of funds and needed to blast the public about the need for statins. The questions they raised as being an unproven link between statins and diabetes is a reach. This is because the link between statins and diabetes is on solid ground and proven.

I need to question the titles given these “experts” by the author and if they are truly world-renowned researchers. It seems a little over the top and obvious that they are doing this to refill their coffers. By claiming that there is an unproven link between statins and type 2 diabetes, they have left themselves open to others that have shown in studies a 2 to 25 percent link. The “experts” only will consider a very high dose of statins as having a potential link if even then.

Charles H. Hennekens, M.D, Dr.P.H., the first Sir Richard Doll professor and senior academic advisor to the dean, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU; Bettina Teng, BA, a recent pre-med honors graduate of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at FAU; and Marc A. Pfeffer, M.D., Ph.D., the Dzau professor of medicine at HMS, emphasize to clinicians that the risk of diabetes, even if real, pales in comparison to the benefits of statins in both the treatment and primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes.

By over emphasizing the benefits of statins, they describe something that is very difficult to prove and happens to a less than 25 percent of people taking statins.

"The totality of evidence clearly indicates that the more widespread and appropriate utilization of statins, as adjuncts, not alternatives to therapeutic lifestyle changes, will yield net benefits in the treatment and primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes, including among high, medium and low risk patients unwilling or unable to adopt therapeutic lifestyle changes," said Hennekens.

In the accompanying editorial, Joseph S. Alpert, M.D., editor-in-chief and a renowned cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Arizona School of Medicine, reinforces these important and timely clinical and public health challenges in treatment and primary prevention.

"There is no threshold for low density lipoprotein cholesterol below which there are no net benefits of statins either in the treatment or primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes," said Alpert.

The authors and editorialist express grave concerns that there will be many needless premature deaths as well as preventable heart attacks and strokes if patients who would clearly benefit from statins are not prescribed the drug, refuse to take the drug, or stop using the drug because of ill-advised adverse publicity about benefits and risks, which may include misplaced concerns about the possible but unproven small risk of diabetes.

"These public health issues are especially alarming in primary prevention, particularly among women, for whom cardiovascular disease also is the leading cause of death, and for whom there is even more under-utilization of statins than for men," said Hennekens.

If you believe these “experts,” I would urge you to read my two blogs from January 24 and January 25 and go to Dr. Malcolm Kendrick's blog. Using his search for his blogs, below the two books listed in the right column and below the follow his blog, type in the word statins and bring up a list of his blogs about statins. Be sure to read this blog about the death of Dr. Duane Graveline for some still denied serious side effects.

January 30, 2017

Advantage of Taking Blood Pressure Meds at Night

Researchers say sleeping blood pressure (BP) may be novel target for diabetes prevention. According to new research, taking hypertension medication before bed rather than in the morning not only lowers nighttime blood pressure but also protects against new-onset diabetes.

Lead researcher, Ramón Hermida, PhD, of the University of Vigo, Spain stated that sleeping BP — but not daytime or 48-hour ambulatory BP — was found to be a significant predictor of new-onset diabetes and may be a novel target for prevention.

Medications that block the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), such as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and ACE inhibitors, had the strongest antidiabetic effect. “Activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and consequent elevations of angiotensin II and aldosterone contributes to increased hepatic glucose release and decreased insulin sensitivity,” the investigators wrote. They added that the RAAS follows a circadian rhythm, becoming active during sleep.

Accordingly, in addition to BP-lowering, RAAS blockade might also serve as an effective strategy to control impaired glucose and insulin tolerance.

The prospective study included more than 2,000 hypertensive patients enrolled in the Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring for Prediction of Cardiovascular Events (MAPEC) study. Their average age was 53, and they were roughly half men and half women. Participants were randomized to a bedtime group that took the entire daily dose of one or more of their hypertension medications before bed, and a daytime group that took all their hypertension medications upon waking.

Blood pressure was assessed annually in both groups by daytime clinic measurement and by 48-hour ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) monitoring. Blinded investigators assessed the development of new-onset diabetes. During a median follow-up of 5.9 years, 171 study participants developed diabetes. Incidence of new-onset diabetes was significantly lower in the bedtime group (4.8%) versus the daytime group (12%) (P less than 0.001).

After adjusting for factors, including fasting glucose, waist circumference, and chronic kidney disease, the investigators found the bedtime group was 57% less likely to develop diabetes (P less than 0.001).

The daytime BP measured in the clinic or by ambulatory monitoring did not predict new-onset diabetes.

The research team concluded that “lowering asleep BP, a novel therapeutic target requiring ABP evaluation, could be a significant method for reducing new-onset diabetes risk.”

In summary, ambulatory BP monitoring is needed not only for proper diagnosis of hypertension and quantification of cardiovascular risk, but also, within this context, for evaluation of the individual’s risk of developing diabetes, rendering ambulatory BP a cost-effective technique that should be recommended in all adults.

In conclusion, changing the time of ingestion of hypertension medications, a zero-cost intervention, has been shown to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and, be in keeping with the new findings.

This study reinforces the importance of taking hypertension medication at night, particularly drugs that have an anti-renin effect — ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists.

It is a known fact that dosing at night is preferable for many drugs, in particular drugs that modulate the RAAS. Hypertension specialists know this. But the average person in the field may not be aware of this.

January 29, 2017

Red Yeast Rice Has Statin Benefits and Risks

The study's authors note that statins are prescribed under medical control, and blood tests are periodically performed so that statin use can be stopped as soon as abnormal results are identified. On the contrary, red yeast rice (RYR) is used as self-prescription, without medical advice and monitoring, so patients risk experiencing toxic effects that may go unnoticed.

RYR is contained in dietary supplements that are often used by patients with high cholesterol, and it is often proposed as an alternative therapy in those who experience side effects from statins. A new study found that it is not a good choice for statin-intolerant patients: RYR was linked with muscle and liver injury, which can also occur with statin use.

The beneficial effects of RYR are ascribed to monacolins, which are chemically related to statins.

"The proportion of serious reports (27%), the relatively rapid time to onset and the lack of concomitant drugs and/or predisposing medications in several cases warrants regulatory consideration and call for: 1) continuous monitoring of "natural" dietary supplements safety through spontaneous reports; 2) appropriate information to clinicians and consumers, who should timely submit suspect reports to regulatory Agencies," wrote the authors of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study.

This study tool place in Italy.