Do you worry about Alzheimer disease, AD? If you make it past 85 years of age the chances of getting this dreaded disease are fifty-fifty. Surely you would do anything to prevent it, would you not? Well, get off refined sugars! I amply documented the research on high sugar diets increasing the risk of AD in my book LICKING SWEET DEATH (www.amazon.com.) If that is not enough, the Journal Neurology just published yet another study on how our brain is more inflamed (plaques) when sugar and insulin are elevated. Instead of making these facts generally known, the health care system gives you drugs that at best have marginal benefits and significant side effects like “walletitis.”
Hugo Rodier, MD
1/3 of people will be diabetics by the year 2050
About 15 years ago I found very good studies warning us of the impending Pre Diabetes crisis in the USA. Accordingly, I began to screen my patients for it. Sure enough, most of the ones with circulatory problems and other chronic diseases were pre diabetics, especially if a family history was involved. The main lab that smoked these patients out was not (and still is not) the fasting sugar, but the Glycosylated Hemoglobin (sugar seeping into the Red Blood Cell due to high sugar levels in the bloodstream) and the 2 hour insulin level after a sugar challenge.
I began to spend most of my time trying to motivate patients to stop eating refined foods and supplement antioxidants like alpha lipoic acid from broccoli (it is a drug in Europe,) resveratrol from grapes (soon a drug in the USA,) omega oils and vitamin D. If the patient agreed to an even more aggressive approach, I started Metformin, the only oral diabetic drug that doesn’t have significant side effects (think of Avandia and heart attacks.) In my opinion Metformin is vastly superior to the others because it is the only one derived from an herb (Gallega officinalis); it has been used in Europe for hundreds of years with minimal side effects.
Sadly, insurance companies refused to cover patients for the lab tests and the Metformin. They didn’t object to the supplements since they didn’t cover them. They argued that “there is no proof that pre diabetes is a diagnosis and that Metformin should be reserved for outright diabetics.” They also argued that the Glycohemoglobin test was OK even when it when slightly above the diabetic range, 6.0 at the time; it is 6.5 now. Some argue that making this test more lenient is a mistake. I am one of them.)
Because of subpar screening, treatment and people’s addiction to refined sugars we are now in crisis mode. Fortunately, Montana is the first state to adopt a Pre diabetes screening program; it comprises an aggressive diet, 150 minutes of exercise per week and Metformin. And what makes one a pre diabetic? We have known for 15 years that Glycosylated level above 5.7 marks the beginning of a “Sweet Death.;” so does a 2 hour insulin level above 17 after a sugar challenge. Still, the most practical way to see if you are in trouble is to measure your waist; any man above 40 inches and any woman above 35 inches is a pre diabetic; this finding predicts a higher risk of cardiovascular death even when the BMI is normal
“World Congress on the Insulin Resistance Syndrome, 2009: Insulin resistance mechanisms, the brain, and insulin resistance in youth and in the polycystic ovary syndrome,”
“Environmental Factors Associated with Childhood Onset Type I Diabetes: an exploration of the hygiene and overload hypotheses,”
“Association Between Fine Particulate Matter and Diabetes Prevalence in the U.S.,”
“Maternally Transmitted and Food-Derived Glycotoxins: A factor preconditioning the young to diabetes?”
“Naltrexone, Bupropion Led to More Weight Loss,”
New York may ban sugary drinks from food stamp buys,
“ADHD in Young Adults Linked to Increased Obesity Risk,”
“Long-term Effects of a Lifestyle Intervention on Weight and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Four-Year Results of the Look AHEAD Trial,”
“Low-Carbohydrate Diets and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality;” a high vegetable protein diet is better than high animal protein/low carb diet.
“Cortisol Is Negatively Associated with Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Latino Youth,”
“Obesity, Diabetes, and Gut Microbiota: The hygiene hypothesis expanded?”
“Obesity in Early Adulthood as a Risk Factor for Psoriatic Arthritis,”
“Drinking caloric beverages increases the risk of adverse cardiometabolic outcomes in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study,”
“Bioactives in Blueberries Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Obese, Insulin-Resistant Men and Women,”
“Components of metabolic syndrome are independent predictors of mortality in patients with chronic liver disease: a population-based study,”
Wisdom trumps a high IQ any day
Being smart is good, as long as it does not lead to arrogance, elitism, excessive narrowing into a minutiae of details that obfuscates the big picture, and worse, lead to a detachment from integrative thinking and one’s emotions. A great example is the story portrayed in the Movie “Social Network.” Not that I am particularly smart; suffice it to say I belong to I.A., Intellectual Anonymous.
A good example of this common problem is the recent article in the October 2010 issue of the J. Scientific American, a “Revolution Postponed.” It tells us that “The Human Genome Project has failed so far to produce the medical miracles that scientists promised. Biologists are now divided over what, if anything, went wrong-and what needs to happen next.” Reading between the lines we see what did go wrong: the genome project has not resulted in the cash cow they expected. The promise of one drug per genetic problem has not materialized as budgeted.
I guess the authors of the study didn’t get the memo from TIME magazine; on its January 6th 2010 cover issue TIME highlighted the concept of EPIGENETICS, or the science that shows that genes may be modulated, altered, tailored, improved or worsened by the foods and environmental chemicals our genes are exposed to. For that matter, Scientific American also didn’t integrate the fact that the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine was given to doctors who showed that the telomere, the tale of the chromosome, is longer in people who have less chronic diseases, cancer, heart attacks and thereby live longer. Subsequent studies herein documented have shown that food and exercise lengthen the tail of the chromosome.
So, the genome project didn’t make those who financed it incredibly rich; but it did shed plenty of light on how low-tech little things, like the food we eat and working out, especially in a clean environment, are the pillars of health.. and wisdom.
Speaking of Wisdom in Health Care
Part of wisdom is to know when to shut up; I am just going to quote from an article, now:
“Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a 3000-year-old holistic system of medicine combining the use of herbs, acupuncture, dietary therapy, massage, and therapeutic exercise. TCM is largely based on the philosophical concept that the human body is a small universe with a set of complete and sophisticated interconnected systems, and that these systems usually work in harmony to maintain the healthy functions of the body.
TCM has a unique model of the body. Unlike the Western model, which divides the physical body into anatomical parts, the TCM model is more concerned with function. TCM divides the body into functional parts that happen to have the same names as the Western anatomical parts. For example, the TCM spleen is not a specific piece of flesh but an aspect of function related to transformation and transportation within the body and of the mental functions of thinking and studying.
There is still another major difference between TCM and Western medicine: TCM deals with the host and Western medicine deals with the disease. TCM establishes a diagnosis of the individual, rather than the disease, using a process called syndrome identification, whereby the practitioner makes a dynamic conceptualization of the individual’s situation and comes up with a pathophysiologic status (the type of disharmony) for the individual; this status is called zheng, or syndrome. The therapeutics used to restore the harmony within the host and between the host and the host’s environment are determined by the identified syndrome. The theory of TCM diagnosis and management has not been elucidated in Western scientific terms. However, if the TCM syndrome identification process works, there may be scientific reasons to explain it.”