It is interesting how crossing The Pond has a way of distorting facts, especially where money is involved. One of the greatest examples of this phenomenon is Fructose. Here in the USA we are told there is nothing wrong with it. If a study is reported in the news about the toxic effects of processed sugars, a big IF since our media is controlled by the same corporations that peddle processed foods, push drugs and encourage excessive consumption of unneeded unhealthy products, said study is promptly denounced as pseudo science and/or flawed in its design. The media liberally quotes opposing studies put out by their employers, the Sugar Industry. Said studies are generated by paying researchers to find processed sugars pure and spotless. The goal is to confuse the public. For example, Coca Cola spent $118.6 million on “health research” in the past 5 years, including funding for a group criticized for downplaying the role of Sugar Sweetened Beverages in obesity.
Our cousins across the Pond seem to be more likely to see studies exposing processed sugars; they are invariably carried out by parties NOT taking money from the Sugar Industry. European medical journals often report that even their governments are involved on the suppression of the awful truth that refined sugars are addicting and extremely toxic. The latest report that should have been widely publicized in the USA came from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes: “How dangerous is fructose? The sad truth is that it is the monster behind practically all chronic diseases, especially elevated cholesterol, Fatty liver, and the epidemic of obesity.
In my 2010 book LICKING SWEET DEATH I wrote exactly that and more. I know, it sounds incredible. But, every week medical journals document how the Metabolic Syndrome or Insulin Resistance from refined foods leads to yet “another” disease. The one highlighted this month is BPH, Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, or old guys frequently getting up to pee in the middle of the night. Of, course, the number one health problem related to excessive sugars remains heart disease.
It is imperative that we address sugar addictions as the public health threat that it is. Sugar sweetened beverages are the most practical “single, modifiable component of diet that can impact preventable death/disability in adults in high-, middle-, and low-income countries, indicating an urgent need for strong global prevention programs.”
Hugo Rodier, MD
Many patients are having their Gall Bladder taken out. Yet, a significant number of them continue to have the gut problems that led to that surgery because the root issue was not addressed: Fatty Liver and insulin resistance, epidemic conditions from processed foods. No doubt some of those patients avoided serious life threatening complications by undergoing that procedure. But, the rest of them could have prevented and reversed the formation of Gall Bladder stones by improving their diets.
Other than eschewing the SAD, or Standard American Diet, they could have reduced the risk of Gall Bladder disease by having a cup or two of coffee a day. Not surprisingly, given that the metabolic syndrome is also at play here, avoiding prolonged sitting times and being more active reduce the incidence of Fatty Liver, which is how stones are formed. It appears that lifting weights (resistance exercise) releases more IRISIN from muscles than running (endurance exercise.)
Cutting edge research is focusing on the molecule Irisin produced in muscles. It seems that the more active our muscles are, the more Irisin we produce, which directly affects metabolism, or insulin resistance in the Liver. In other words, the more active we are the less insulin resistance and Fatty Liver issues we develop. As noted above, many other diseases are thus favorably impacted, especially in diabetic women with vascular issues.
Remember that Liver issues are intimately related to gut flora, or Microbiota issues. It is a mistake to attempt to improve Liver function until we have fixed gut issues. Doing so will also have a positive impact on cholesterol, for it is acted upon not only by the gut bacteria itself, but by our liver.
This newsletter has documented ad nauseum the importance of the gut when it comes to the absorption of B vitamins. They are also critical for liver function, but, you may not be getting enough of them if your gut is not in good health and you end up on the purple pill, which compromises the absorption of these vitamins. One of the B complex is Niacin, which is used to lower triglycerides, a form of lipids associated with insulin resistance and Fatty Liver. It has been reported that it may increase insulin resistance. This does not make sense to me. I feel other factors are not being accounted for. The following article supports this assertion:
“Niacin, through inhibiting hepatocyte DGAT2 and NADPH oxidase activity, attenuates hepatic fat accumulation and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production respectively. Decreased ROS production, at least in part, may have contributed to the inhibition of pro-inflammatory IL-8 levels. These mechanistic studies may be useful for the clinical development of niacin and niacin-related compounds for the treatment of NAFLD/NASH (FattyLiver) and its complications.
“And its complications,” one of them being the compromised processing of cholesterol in the Liver, especially Triglycerides, which no pharmaceutical agent addresses very well.
Another issue we cannot over emphasize is the problems associated with the present paradigm of blaming fats for a lot of cardiovascular problems. As noted above, it is the liver and the gut that determine how functional your cholesterol is, which is critical for the maintenance of cell membranes, especially neurons, for making hormones and for patching up leaky, or permeable arteries. Take a look at this article:
“Saturated fats are not associated with all cause mortality, CVD, CHD, ischemic stroke, or type 2 diabetes, but the evidence is heterogeneous with methodological limitations. Trans fats are associated with all cause mortality, total CHD, and CHD mortality, probably because of higher levels of intake of industrial trans fats than ruminant trans fats.”
The highlighted portion means that fats in and of themselves, created by Mother Nature, are fine, and, as noted above, needed for many functions in our body. It is the industrialization and processing of foods in general and fats in particular that create health problems. Still, it is advisable to limit animal fats for many reasons already stated. Remember, plant-based diets are the best. If you cannot be a vegetarian try to eat mostly lean meats. Eggs are fine, by the way.
An apology to Chiropractors
When I was in High School in Nampa, Idaho I saw my nephews running around with balloons up their nose. My then-sister-in-law, an ardent anti-doctor, had taken them to a Chiropractor for ear infections, who prescribed the balloons to open up the Eustachian tubes. The good doctor told her that their malfunction leads to pooling of lubricating fluids in the Middle Ear. Said fluids, in a warm, dark environment lead to bacterial overgrowth.
All that makes a lot of sense now, but, at the time, it did not. So, like everyone else in the family, and I am sure the neighborhood, and the whole country for that matter, I laughed and condescendingly shook my head. Ignorance is a B…..
I put the matter entirely out of my mind, even when I later learned in Medical School, that, indeed, it is Eustachian tube dysfunction from allergies to foods and environment that trigger ear infections. I had to laugh at my own ignorance and reaction in High School when I recently saw an article in a good medical journal validating the Chiropractor’s therapy. Read for yourself:
“Nasal balloon shows promise for otitis media with effusion,” BMJ 2015;351:h4081
Tip: get your kids off dairy products; that will solve ½ of ear infections.
- Associated Press, September 23rd 2015 ↑
- “How sugar spun its web of influence,” British Medical Journal Cover issue 14th February 2015 ↑
- European Assoc for the Study of Diabetes, October 2015 ↑
- British J. Urology International, Online publication September 22nd 2015 ↑
- “Acute Hyperglycemia Impairs Vascular Function in Healthy and Cardiometabolic Diseased Subjects: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” J. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2015;35:2060 ↑
- “Estimated Global, Regional, and National Disease Burdens Related to Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in 2010,” J. Circulation 2015;132:639 ↑
- “Coffee Consumption and the Risk of Gallstone Disease,” J. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2015;42(6):637 ↑
- “Relationship of sitting time and physical activity with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,” J Hepatology Epub Sep 14 2015 ↑
- “ Resistance exercise induces a greater irisin response than endurance exercise ,” Journal Clinical and Experimental Metabolism September 2015 Volume 64, Issue 9, p104 ↑
- Journal Clinical and Experimental Metabolism September 2015 Volume 64, Issue 9, Pages 937 ↑
- “Irisin-encoding gene (FNDC5) variant is associated with changes in blood pressure and lipid profile in type 2 diabetic women but not in men,” Journal Clinical and Experimental Metabolism September 2015 Volume 64, Issue 9, Pages 952 ↑
- “Intestinal Microbiota, Lipids, and the Pathogenesis of Intestinal Failure–Associated Liver Disease,” J. Pediatrics 2015 volume 167, Issue 3, Pages 519–526 ↑
- “Niacin inhibits fat accumulation, oxidative stress, and inflammatory cytokine IL-8 in cultured hepatocytes: Impact on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,” Journal Clinical and Experimental Metabolism 2015 Volume 64, Issue 9, Pages 982–990 ↑
- “Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies,” BMJ 2015;351:h3978 ↑