Top 10 Food Additives to Avoid and Their Health Implications


by Laurentine ten Bosch, Producer – ‘Food Matters

Food additives have been used for centuries to enhance the appearance and flavor of food and prolong shelf life. But do these food additives really “add” any value to your food?

Food additives find their way into our foods to help ease processing, packaging and storage. But how do we know what food additives is in that box of macaroni and cheese and why does it have such a long shelf life?

A typical American household spends about 90 percent of their food budget on processed foods, and are in doing so exposed to a plethora of artificial food additives, many of which can cause dire consequences to your health.

Some food additives are worse than others. Here’s a list of the top food additives to avoid:

1. Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame, (E951) more popularly known as Nutrasweet and Equal, is found in foods labeled “diet” or “sugar free”. Aspartame is believed to be carcinogenic and accounts for more reports of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined. Aspartame is not your friend. Aspartame is a neurotoxin and carcinogen. Known to erode intelligence and affect short-term memory, the components of this toxic sweetener may lead to a wide variety of ailments including brain tumor, diseases like lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue, emotional disorders like depression and anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion, migraines and seizures. Acesulfame-K, a relatively new artificial sweetener found in baking goods, gum and gelatin, has not been thoroughly tested and has been linked to kidney tumors. Read more about the dangers of Aspartame here.

Found in: diet or sugar free sodas, diet coke, coke zero, jello (and over gelatins), desserts, sugar free gum, drink mixes, baking goods, table top sweeteners, cereal, breathmints, pudding, kool-aid, ice tea, chewable vitamins, toothpaste

2. High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a highly-refined artificial sweetener which has become the number one source of calories in America. It is found in almost all processed foods. HFCS packs on the pounds faster than any other ingredient, increases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, and contributes to the development of diabetes and tissue damage, among other harmful effects.

Found in: most processed foods, breads, candy, flavored yogurts, salad dressings, canned vegetables, cereals

3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG / E621)

MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and many restaurant foods. MSG is known as an excitotoxin, a substance which overexcites cells to the point of damage or death. Studies show that regular consumption of MSG may result in adverse side effects which include depression, disorientation, eye damage, fatigue, headaches, and obesity. MSG effects the neurological pathways of the brain and disengaged the “I’m full” function which explains the effects of weight gain.

Found in: Chinese food (Chinese Restaurant Syndrome ) many snacks, chips, cookies, seasonings, most Campbell Soup products, frozen dinners, lunch meats

4. Trans Fat

Trans fat is used to enhance and extend the shelf life of food products and is among the most dangerous substances that you can consume. Found in deep-fried fast foods and certain processed foods made with margarine or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats are formed by a process called hydrogenation. Numerous studies show that trans fat increases LDL cholesterol levels while decreasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, increases the risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes, and contributes to increased inflammation, diabetes and other health problems. Oils and fat are now forbidden on the Danish market if they contain trans fatty acids exceeding 2 per cent, a move that effectively bans partially hydrogenated oils.

Found in: margarine, chips and crackers, baked goods, fast foods

5. Common Food Dyes

Studies show that artificial colorings which are found in soda, fruit juices and salad dressings, may contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Animal studies have linked other food colorings to cancer. Watch out for these ones:

Blue #1 and Blue #2 (E133)

Banned in Norway, Finland and France. May cause chromosomal damage

Found in: candy, cereal, soft drinks, sports drinks and pet foods

Red dye # 3 (also Red #40 – a more current dye) (E124)

Banned in 1990 after 8 years of debate from use in many foods and cosmetics. This dye continues to be on the market until supplies run out! Has been proven to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals, may also interfere with brain-nerve transmission

Found in: fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, bakery products and more!

Yellow #6 (E110) and Yellow Tartrazine (E102)

Banned in Norway and Sweden. Increases the number of kidney and adrenal gland tumors in laboratory animals, may cause chromosomal damage.

Found in: American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy and carbonated beverages, lemonade and more!

6. Sodium Sulfite (E221)

Preservative used in wine-making and other processed foods. According to the FDA, approximately one in 100 people is sensitive to sulfites in food. The majority of these individuals are asthmatic, suggesting a link between asthma and sulfites. Individuals who are sulfite sensitive may experience headaches, breathing problems, and rashes. In severe cases, sulfites can actually cause death by closing down the airway altogether, leading to cardiac arrest.

Found in: Wine and dried fruit

7. Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is used as a preservative, coloring and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. This ingredient, which sounds harmless, is actually highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. There, it forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds that enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc with a number of internal organs: the liver and pancreas in particular. Sodium nitrite is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient, and the USDA actually tried to ban this additive in the 1970’s but was vetoed by food manufacturers who complained they had no alternative for preserving packaged meat products. Why does the industry still use it? Simple: this chemical just happens to turn meats bright red. It’s actually a color fixer, and it makes old, dead meats appear fresh and vibrant.

Found in: hotdogs, bacon, ham, luncheon meat, cured meats, corned beef, smoked fish or any other type of processed meat

8. BHA and BHT (E320)

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. This common preservative keeps foods from changing color, changing flavor or becoming rancid. Effects the neurological system of the brain, alters behavior and has potential to cause cancer. BHA and BHT are oxidants which form cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.

Found in: Potato chips, gum, cereal, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, shortening, candy, jello

9. Sulfur Dioxide (E220)

Sulfur additives are toxic and in the United States of America, the Federal Drugs Administration have prohibited their use on raw fruit and vegetables. Adverse reactions include: bronchial problems particularly in those prone to asthma, hypotension (low blood pressure), flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock. It also destroys vitamins B1 and E. Not recommended for consumption by children. The International Labour Organization says to avoid E220 if you suffer from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or cardiovascular disease.

Found in: beer, soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, wine, vinegar, and potato products.

10. Potassium Bromate

An additive used to increase volume in some white flour, breads, and rolls, potassium bromate is known to cause cancer in animals. Even small amounts in bread can create problems for humans.

Found in: breads

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Shrinking Brains and ‘Silent Strokes’ Studied

December 30th, 2011

New findings in Alzheimer’s disease support longstanding notions of what doctors have preached for years. The studies look at associations, not causes, but they further scientists’ pursuit of preventing the fatal brain disease.

It’s no secret that a healthy diet high in omega-3 fatty acids and rich in vitamins found in fruits and vegetables is good for your overall health and longevity.

In a study released this week in the journal Neurology, scientists associate these fish-rich diets and foods with high levels of vitamins B, C, D, and E nutrients with increased cognitive performance and decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, or “brain shrinkage.”

People who consume diets high in trans fats, primarily found in fast foods, fried and frozen foods, were more likely to have brain shrinkage and lower scores on the thinking and memory tests than people with diets low in trans fats, the study found.

This is the first study using nutrient biomarkers in the blood to look at the effect of diet on memory, thinking skills and brain volume, researchers said. Similar diet studies in the past primarily depended on participants’ memory recall and questionnaires.

“These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet,” said study author Gene Bowman, assistant professor of neurology at the Oregon Health and Science University, in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers say diet is just one of many factors that must be taken into consideration when talking about memory loss. People have different genetic tendencies for disease risk, therefore more multigenerational and multicultural studies need to be conducted.

“The assumption is that when you lead a healthy lifestyle, which includes proper nutrition, exercise, and social engagement, you’re maximizing your chance of reduced cardiovascular risk factors, which then maximize your opportunities for delaying Alzheimer’s or dementia,” said Maria Carrillo, senior director of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Whether that translates into delaying Alzheimer’s, we actually don’t know,” added Carrillo.

In a different study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, new research links “silent strokes,” or small spots of dead brain cells, to memory loss in the elderly.

The study found silent strokes in roughly one out of four older adults. The affected adults scored somewhat worse on memory tests than those without silent strokes.

Researchers found this was true whether or not people had a small hippocampus, which is the main memory center of the brain.

“Given that conditions like Alzheimer’s disease are defined mainly by memory problems, our results may lead to further insight into what causes symptoms and the development of new interventions for prevention,” study author Adam M. Brickman said in a statement. Brickman works for the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It is the only cause of death in the top 10 in America without a way to prevent, cure, or even slow its progression.

“Since silent strokes and the volume of the hippocampus appeared to be associated with memory loss separately in our study, our results also support stroke prevention as a means for staving off memory problems,” said Brickman.

The study will be published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology next week.

CNN’s Azadeh Ansari wrote this article as part of the MetLife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellowship, a project of New America Media and the Gerontological Society of America.

  Post by: Azadeh Ansari – CNN

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NOTE:  AIM BarleyLife and AIMega can enhance your  health balance by providing the vitamins and omegas necessary for well rounded, and cell-utilized nutrition. The Omega 3, 6 and 9’s in AIMega are provided by healthy flaxseed oils and not potentially dangerous fish oils.

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Could parasites be making you fat and feeling tired?

From: AIM Article Archives, Jan 2007

COULD IT BE PARASITES?

     Recently one of our employees at AIM’s US corporate office brought in a women’s magazine with an article about how parasites can make you fat. She had looked up the cost to order the suggested program and shared the cost with us. I told her that in AIM’ s product line, there are products that are very effective at removing parasites for a fraction of the cost of the program that was offered in the article, and left it at that.
     Although we don’t think of ourselves as parasite hosts, millions of North Americans are infected with some kind of parasite. There are more than 130 different species of parasites that can be lurking in our food, water, air, and soil.
     Most of us don’t see how we could have parasites but they can reach us from the foods we eat, through water systems, daycare centers, pets, farm animals, and each other.
      Many of us do not recognize the signs and symptoms of a parasite infestation because they can occur weeks or even years after the initial contact, and because a parasitic infestation often mimics other similar conditions. You may be part of the parasite epidemic if:
      • Constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating come and go for no apparent reason.
      • You have developed allergic-like reactions and don’t know why.
      • You cannot gain or lose weight no matter what you do.
      • You feel tired, anxious, and depressed and don’t know why.
      • You have joint or muscle pain and don’t know why.
      • You have immune dysfunction, including reoccurring yeast infections and colds.
      • You have trouble sleeping and grind your teeth. 

 To have the best results, avoid simple carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar during this 30-90 day cleansing period. Plan your meals around fresh fruits, raw and steamed vegetables, high-fiber grain products, cultured dairy products, and good sources of protein.
      Most importantly, you must drink 8-10 glasses of water daily. Squeezing the juice from a fresh lemon in a few of your waters is refreshing and has added benefits.
      AIM BarleyLife® helps maintain a healthy immune system. It contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, protein, enzymes,  phytochemicals  and chlorophyll to help maintain whole body health.
      AIM Herbal Fiberblend® contains herbs that are known to have anti-parasitical properties. Fiber can greatly improve the effectiveness of a parasite treatment plan since it helps remove the pest’s eggs from the body before they can colonize.

      AIM Para 90® combines several time-tested herbs with cleansing properties plus bromelain, a digestive enzyme to provide a very effective anti-parasitic formula. (No Canadian rights.)
     

AIM FloraFood® contains friendly bacteria that helps balance intestinal pH and restore and promote healthy and beneficial flora, contribute to the destruction of mold, viruses, and parasites, and alleviate gas.
     

AIM Composure® (optional) helps to calm the body, including the digestive system. (Canada has a different formula.) 

     • Pumpkin seeds – Found in AIM Herbal Fiberblend®.
     • Garlic – Found in AIM Bear Paw Garlic® and AIM PrepZymes®. Garlic contains Allicin, a natural sulfur compound that kills GI tract invaders.
     • Citrus – Found in AIM BarleyLife® Xtra.
     • Carrots – AIM Just Carrots® contains immune-boosting carotenoids that can boost the activity of parasite-fighting white blood cells. One half-pound of carrots is equal to one tablespoon of AIM Just Carrots®.
NOTE: Consult a health practitioner if you have ulcers, colitis, have had a colostomy, or have severe health problems before using AIM’s Para 90®. Not all AIM products recommended are available in all countries. For more detailed information on these or any AIM products, please see individual product data sheets and AIM’s detoxification data sheet. 

All articles and information are for educational purposes only. They are  not to be regarded or relied upon as medical advice.  The articles and  information have not been evaluated by the FDA. AIM products are not intended to cure, treat, heal, mitigate, or prevent a disease or illness. Results may vary per person. Consult your  health practitioner if you have health problems.

Copyright © AIM International, Inc. Used with permission

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Natural Supplements to help Irritable Bowel Syndrome

From: AIM Article Archives

February 2011


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common digestive disorder seen by physicians.  For reasons unknown, IBS is most common in women between the ages of twenty and thirty, and it occurs five to six times more often among people of Jewish ancestry than among people of other ethnic backgrounds.  This disorder is also sometimes called intestinal neurosis, mucous colitis, spastic colitis, or spastic colon.

In IBS, the normally rhythmic muscular contractions of the digestive tract become irregular and uncoordinated.  This interferes with the normal movement of food and waste material, and leads to the accumulation of mucus and toxins in the intestine.  This accumulated material sets up a partial obstruction of the digestive tract, trapping gas and stools, which in turn causes bloating, distention, and constipation.  IBS may affect the entire gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth through the colon.

Symptoms of IBS may include diarrhea alternating with constipation, lasting for six months or more; intermittent abdominal tenderness; bloating and abdominal distention; gas; nausea and vomiting; and loss of appetite, anorexia, and intolerances to certain foods.  Pain is often triggered by eating, and may be relieved by a bowel movement.  Because of the pain, diarrhea, nausea, and sometimes severe headaches and even vomiting, a person with IBS may dread eating.  Whether or not an individual with IBS eats normally, malnutrition may result, as nutrients often are not absorbed properly.  As a result, people with IBS require as much as 30% more protein than normal, as well as an increased intake of minerals and trace elements, which can quickly be depleted by diarrhea.  Although the physical cause of IBS is not known, predisposing factors may include a low-fiber diet, emotional stress, and the use of laxatives.  People with IBS are often “bowel conscious” – they are more sensitive than other people to motion and sensations within the digestive tract.

Many other diseases can be related to IBS, including candidiasis, colon cancer, diabetes mellitus, gallbladder disease, malabsorption disorders, pancreatic insufficiency, ulcers, and the parasitic infections amebiasis and giardiasis.  Over 100 different disorders may be linked to the systemic effects of IBS.  Diagnosis of IBS requires ruling out disorders that can cause similar symptoms, such as Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, lactose intolerance, and ulcerative colitis.  A physician may recommend one or more of a variety of procedures to do this, including barium enema, colonoscopy, and rectal biopsy, sigmoidoscopy, and stool examination to check for the presence of bacteria, blood, and/or parasites.

IBS is painful, but not serious and most people who have it can lead active, productive lives if they change their diets, get regular exercise, and replace needed nutrients.

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Eat a high-fiber diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables, plus whole grains (especially brown rice) and legumes.
  • Use supplemental fiber (Herbal Fiberblend!)  Psyllium powder regulates bowel movements and should be used daily.  Also use oat bran and ground flaxseeds daily, on an alternating basis.
  • Avoid animal fats, butter, all carbonated beverages, coffee and all other substances containing caffeine, candy, chocolate, all dairy products, fried foods, ice cream, all junk foods, the additives mannitol and sorbitol, margarine, nuts, orange & grapefruit juices, pastries, all processed foods, seeds, spicy foods, sugar, sugar-free chewing gum, and wheat bran and wheat products.  These foods encourage the secretion of mucus by the membranes and prevent the uptake of nutrients.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco; these irritate the linings of the stomach and colon.
  • When an intestinal upset occurs, switch to a bland diet.  Put vegetables and non-acidic fruits through a food processor or blender.  If you are on a soft diet, take come type of fiber and a protein supplement.  (Herbal Fiberblend & Pro Peas)
  • For excessive gas and bloating that lingers, take some Florafood – this will replace the “friendly” bacteria very quickly and resolve the problem.  Exercise, such as stretching exercises, swimming, or walking, is also important.
  • Check to see if you have food allergies; they are important factors in this disorder.  Eliminating allergenic foods from the diet relieves symptoms in many cases.
  • Chew your food well.  Do not overeat or eat in a hurry.
  • Practice deep breathing exercises.  Shallow breathing reduces the oxygen available for proper bowel function.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.  Do not wear anything that is tight around the waist.
  • Do not eat right before going to bed.  Wait one or two hours after eating before lying down.
  • Test your pH as significant acidosis may occur with IBS.  You can buy AIM’s pH Tester and test your urine first thing in the morning.  If you are very acidic, increase your alkaline forming foods in your diet until balance is restored (BarleyLife/ Garden Trio).

 

CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Eating the correct diet, using supplemental fiber, and drinking plenty of quality water are very important in controlling IBS.  Early recognition of the disease, good nutrition, and a positive outlook help minimize complications.
  • Certain foods irritate the wall of the intestinal tract.  Lactose (milk sugar) is a common culprit, as are all dairy products.
  • IBS should not be confused with the more serious bowel disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  These are also inflammatory bowel diseases but, unlike IBS, they result in demonstrable lesions in the digestive tract.  Crohn’s disease affects the entire length and thickness of the wall of the large and/or small intestine; ulcerative colitis affects the lining of the large intestine, the last five to seven feet of the digestive tract.
  • People with IBS should receive regular physical examinations.  This disorder has been linked to a higher than normal incidence of colon cancer and diverticulitis.
  • If IBS causes chronic diarrhea, electrolyte and trace mineral deficiencies are likely (Peak Endurance to the rescue!)
  • Certain drugs can aggravate the malabsorption problems often present with IBS.  These include antibiotics, corticosteroids, cholestyramine, and sulfasalazine, among others.  These drugs increase the need for nutritional supplements.
  • Research and testing have found not only that breathing exercises can control IBS, but that people who practice stress management have fewer and less severe attacks.  Stress management also relieves symptoms.  (Composure for stress – very important in IBS patients!)
  • The symptoms of IBS are similar to those of many other disorders, including cancer.  If dietary modification and natural remedies yield no relief, it is wise to consult a physician to rule out some other underlying problem. 

AIM PRODUCTS FOR IBS:

  1. Herbal Fiberblend – use as prescribed, for every year struggling with digestive trouble, stay on HFB for a month, e.g. 10 years trouble, at least 10 – 12 months consistently every day!
  2. Composure – excellent supplement to help with stress management, as well as that the herbs are feeding/aiding the adrenal glands.  To be taken daily, whether client thinks they need it or not; consistent use will aid greatly in general wellbeing & managing of daily stress.
  3. Florafood – you cannot be without this product.  The bacteria balance in the colon & digestive tract is directly responsible for your health.  Please take 1-2 capsules daily.  If a severe attack is experienced, up your intake of Florafood to 6 a day until relief is experienced for 5 days, before cutting back down to a daily maintenance dosage.
  4. BarleyLife & LeafGreens – this is foundational food for your body, especially when you are battling with IBS.  The LeafGreens is high in protein, and your body struggles with protein absorption when you have IBS.  The BarleyLife & LeafGreens are high in all the minerals & vitamins, your body will be fed at cellular level & best of all, it gives your digestive system a rest from digestion!!  Win-Win all the way!!!!
  5. ProPeas – a most wonderful vegetable protein supplement.  Use as suggested on the container.  Helps assist the body with protein absorption as well.
  6. Cell Wellness Restorer – a daily soak in the bathtub with this product is just what the doctor should order.  It replaces the magnesium through your skin, helps you to relax, and aids in a good night’s rest.  When you are struggling with IBS, you are always tense, waiting for the next painful spasm.  CWR is a wonderful aid to help relax, so that when you sleep, the body can recover, restore, & rejuvenate properly.

Once the IBS is under control, I would strongly suggest the client do a parasite-cleanse, using AIM’s Para90.  Parasites are dangerous, and they cause more harm than most in the medical fraternity acknowledge.  You have nothing to loose, just parasites!!  I would also recommend a course of Herbal Release to aid the lymph in cleansing the blood, thereby assisting the liver, which will in turn assist the digestive system to get healthy & strong. 

Get your digestive system strong, clean, & healthy, and you will experience abundant life on a whole new level.

Ananda Russ, Royal Emerald Director

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Greens and their Role in Cancer Prevention

FROM:  AIM Article Archive, April 2011

 By Lezaan Vermeulen – AIM Nutritionist

 Cancer, the malignant growth or tumor that results from uncontrolled and abnormal cell division, ranks just below cardiovascular disease in the United States as a leading cause of death. Today cancers prognosis is far brighter than it has been in the past and the identification of the risk factors, innovative therapies and new detection techniques offer people encouragement and hope.

According to the American Dietetic Association, a review published Journal refers to the types of fruit or vegetables that largely often appear to be protective against cancer are raw vegetables, followed by green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, allium vegetables, carrots, and tomatoes.

How leafy green vegetables might prevent cancer

One reason why the debate among scientists about vegetables and cancer risk continues: no means of explaining possible cancer prevention has yet been found.  One study showed that people who added more leafy green vegetables to their diet have a lesser amount of risky DNA and when DNA is less risky it has less methylation in certain genes. The proposed model works in the following way:

·        More vegetables → Less DNA Methylation → Lower Risk of Lung Cancer

According to studies an opposite model can also be expressed

  • Less Vegetables → More DNA Methylation → Higher Risk of Lung Cancer

The significance of methylation

 The addition of a simple four atom molecule to a substance is known to be methylation, and in this case it would be a gene in a person’s DNA.  Thus a gene changes how it works when it is methylated; therefore an association occurs between “higher” methylation and an increased risk of cancer.  It appears that the methylation interferes with the control of normal cell division, hence allowing some cells to grow wildly and the result is cancer. 

Potentially reduced lung cancer risk

In a study which used over 1,000 subjects and sputum was coughed up from deep inside their lungs, these samples contained a number of lung tissue cells.  In eight key genes the lung cells were analyzed for methylation, specific genes were selected since they were known to have been associated with the risk of cancer. Smokers and ex-smokers were chosen as subjects because they are of higher risk of lung cancer.  Researchers specifically looked at the subjects’ diets; they found that those who ate more leafy green vegetables were at a lower risk of developing cancer.  It also showed that the risk decrease in subjects who took multivitamins.

Vegetables may be epigenetic

 According to experts they believe there are two major causes of cancer.  Firstly genetic, which is a change in one or more genes in the DNA; this usually occurs through damage or mutation.  Secondly epigenetic, this refers to a factor outside the genes that changes the normal control of a gene or genes, therefore making them function differently.

A well known substance in vegetables, a photochemical, might be epigenetic.  Epigenetic changes are gradual, accumulation may occur until there are sufficient changes to overcome the normal control mechanisms of the cells.  It might be possible to stop these changes before it reaches the dangerous stage, when caught in time.

The vegetable – cancer controversy

 While studies have shown that an association exists between vegetable consumption and less cancer risk, others have not.  The famous ATBC study, showed an elevation in lung cancer risk in smokers who consumed supplementation of beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A).

More than 29,000 male smokers participated in this clinical trial; they were randomly assigned to take supplementation of beta carotene, vitamin E, both or the placebo.  ATBC researchers reported that after the average follow-up period of six years, the

participants who took the supplements had a 16 percent higher incidence of lung cancer than among those who took a placebo.  The death rate from all the causes was 8 percent higher in those participants who received beta-carotene supplementation.

Phytochemicals do prevent against cancer (in this case in non-smokers), but like the ATBC study it clearly shows that individuals who smokes does not really make a big difference in prevention but definitely in progression.

Phytochemicals and cancer prevention. What are phytochemicals (also known as phytonutrients)?

Phytochemicals are found in plants and acts as a chemical defense, protecting plants against bacteria, fungi and viruses.  The consumption of large amounts of brightly colour fruits and vegetables (blue, green, orange, purple, red, yellow and white), beans, and whole grains/cereals, containing phytochemicals could reduce the developing of diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and hypertension.  The function of phytochemicals varies by the type and colour of the fruit and vegetables, while they also function as nutrient protectors or antioxidants, preventing the formation of carcinogens (cancer causing agents).

A phytochemical – indoles-, are found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard greens, etc. (also known as cruciferous vegetables).  They contain active agents and sulphur that destroys cancer-causing chemicals.  Indoles could stimulate enzymes in women that produce estrogen not that effective and detoxify toxins in food, therefore protecting against the development of breast cancer.

Lignans are found in fatty fish, flaxseed, walnuts and whole grain products. It is suggested that they also block hormones that can cause the spreading of cancer, such as prostaglandins and estrogen.  Parsley contains polyacetylene which destroys a powerful cancer-causer benzopyrene.  Rosemary, a well known herb, is graced with quinines, a biological antioxidant that is non-enzymatic and is reported to obstruct carcinogens and co-carcinogens.  Sterols are found in the skin of a cucumber and is said to lower cholesterol and in licorice, triterpenoids slows the growth of fast growing cells, such as cancer cells.

Lutein is found in leafy green vegetables.  Cataracts and macular degeneration might be prevented by lutein, as well as breast cancer and reducing the risk of heart disease.  Research showed that lutein also helps in the prevention of colon and skin cancer.

A number of 83,234 healthy women participated in a long-term study and evaluated the association between carotenoid intake and breast cancer.  The intake of food and supplements containing lutein and zeaxanthin might reduce the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women, according to researchers.  A strong association occurred among women with a higher risk of breast cancer, as established by a family history of the disease, as well as through vegetable consumption (drinking at least one alcoholic beverage per day).  Another study of 540 women indicated that an increased risk of breast cancer was found in women with very low intakes of lutein, due to the lack of supplementation or a poor diet.

The most dangerous type of skin cancer is known as malignant melanoma, and there is a rapid increase in its prevalence.  Sun exposure and having a fair complexion that burns easily is a crucial risk factor.  According to one of the largest case-controlled studies, an association was reported between diet and melanoma and found that a high intake of fruit and vegetables (containing lutein), reduces the risk of melanoma drastically.  There is also believed that xanthopyll carotenoid protects the skin against sun damage through the prevention of melanoma.  Xanthophylls provides protection on tissue level, rather than plasma level, hence eating lutein-containing foods wont necessarily be protective on the day of sun exposure, but daily consumption of lutein rich foods will be beneficial.

  • In artichokes and green tea polyphenob are found, this phytochemical may also offer some protection from cancer.  Data from Case Western Reserve University suggests that green tea contains an important chemopreventive effect against all of the stages of carcinogenesis; and it also may be helpful against inflammatory reactions that are associated with exposure to solar radiation and chemical tumour-promoters.

Dark green leafy vegetables are listed under the “Foods that fight cancer” in accordance with The American Institute for cancer research:

Chicory, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard are great sources of folate, fibre and carotenoids such as flavonoids and saponins, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin.

According to AICR’s second expert report Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: carotenoids found in food possibly protects against the risk of cancer of the mouth, larynx and pharynx.

Researchers found that carotenoids found in food seem to prevent cancer by functioning as antioxidants, basically scouring possibly dangerous free radicals from the body before they cause any harmful effects.  Laboratory research discovered that carotenoids in dark leafy green vegetables can decrease the growth of certain types of cancer cells, including those in the breast, lung, skin and stomach. 

Foods containing folate, according to The Second Expert Report, noted that it lowers the risk of pancreatic cancer and foods rich in dietary fibre most likely decreases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. 

Much research has been done on fruits and vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables) containing vitamins, provitamins, dietary minerals, fibre and a variety of phytochemicals, which have been claimed to have antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties etc.  Research has shown that all of these significant factors play an important role in cancer prevention, decreasing the risk in developing cancer.

By eating many fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes and also reducing the intake of saturated and trans fats, people obtain the best possible nutrition at the smallest possible risk.  Maintaining a healthy weight through regular physical activity and a healthy diet is also beneficial.

Fix your diet first, then take supplements

AIM offers products such as AIM BarleyLife and LeafGreens that are rich in amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, chlorophyll, folic acid, live enzymes, containing minimal fibre as well.  When your diet does not meet all the daily needs for a healthy functioning body, these products can be considered to achieve whole body health.  AIM BarleyLife and LeafGreens could be taken at the same time; these two products are complementary and will ensure that your daily needs are met.  Just remember to eat vegetables every day as well.

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TOP 3 HERBS FOR CHOLESTEROL MANAGEMENT

 It is no surprising if you have high cholesterol levels in the blood. It could happen even with the people with good health. However, in case of the high cholesterol levels, it is good to take come corrective steps to thwart the problem. You need to take some important herbs for the management of cholesterol.

To manage your cholesterol with the help of some herbs or medications with zero side effects is called the cholesterol management. It is good to follow the cholesterol management pattern in an appropriate manner. This will give you freedom from various heart ailments. It is therefore advised to eat the low fat diets irrespective of them containing the saturated fat or the total fat.

The cholesterol management can be done with the help of the herb called the garlic bulb. The garlic has the tremendous healing properties and is used to treat a host of diseases. The garlic has a high content of the organosulphur substances which are also found in the cauliflower, onion and broccoli. The sulfur concentration in garlic is four times higher than other vegetables. This sulfur lowers the serum cholesterol levels or the LDL and increases the HDL or the good cholesterol.

The sulfur has the property to reduce the effect of clots in the vascular system thus reducing the formation of plaques in blood vessels and the arteries. This leads to the prevention of cardiac arrests or strokes. The other prime advantage of the garlic is that it provides an effective and healthy blood circulation. Among other herbs one needs to eat to reduce the levels of cholesterol, is the alpha herb.

According to the research, the Saponons in the alfalfa seeds reduce the plaque formation. These seeds attack the LDL cholesterol levels and remove it from the blood and mingle them with the HDL. This is a good development for the human body as far as the cholesterol levels are concerned.

 

The third one is the capsicum fruit which is very beneficial to reduce the LDL levels.  

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FOODS TO REDUCE LDL CHOLESTEROL

 According to the National Cholesterol Education Program, about 25 percent of the U.S. population has mild hypercholestrolemia, or elevated LDL levels. LDL cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, is also known as the bad cholesterol in our bodies. LDL cholesterol promotes the formation of atherosclerotic plaque within artery walls, giving rise to cardiovascular disease. Thirty percent of cholesterol comes from what we eat; the body manufactures the other 70 percent. Dietary factors that help to reduce LDL cholesterol include foods low in cholesterol and low in saturated and trans fats, and foods high in soluble fiber, soy protein, omega-3 fatty acids and plant sterols.

Ground Flax

Flax is a source of many nutrients, including fiber and omega-3 fats. Alpha-linolenic acid, the omega-3 fat in flax, and the soluble fiber content both help to lower cholesterol levels. Flaxseeds come in brown and golden varieties, and are equally nutritious. Occasionally, brown flaxseeds contain a slightly higher omega-3 content. When you eat whole flaxseeds, you obtain only the insoluble fiber benefit from the seed. Therefore, you should consume ground flaxseeds, so that you can benefit from both the soluble fiber and the fatty acid content and hence the cholesterol-lowering capabilities.

Heart-Healthy Oils

Nonhydrogenated margarine, i.e. soft margarine, is the best spread for lowering LDL levels. Margarine made from olive, canola, soybean or flaxseed are the best choices due to the higher content of omega-3 fat. Margarines fortified with plant sterols are even a notch better. According to Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol by as much as 10 percent when consumed in small amounts daily as part of a nutritious diet. Try 2 tsp. of plant sterol margarines such as Becel Pro.activ to help reduce cholesterol by 40 percent. To add even more omega-3 to your diet, eat nuts and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, char and trout more often.

 Legumes

Legumes include beans, peas, nuts and lentils and are full of soluble fiber. Dietitians of Canada state that intakes of 7 to 10 g of soluble fiber daily can lower LDL cholesterol by about 7 percent. Pinto beans and green peas each contain 2 g of soluble fiber in a half cup cooked serving.

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FOODS THAT HELP LOWER CHOLESTEROL

There are several foods that help lower high cholesterol. A diet consisting of these food items help a person lower blood cholesterol naturally without any side effects. Apart from eating these foods that help to lower cholesterol, it is also necessary to make lifestyle changes and exercise.

Following are some of the foods that should be included in a diet. These foods are not just tasty, but also healthy and have been the subject of intensive research during recent times.

  • Oatmeal and oat bran: Oatmeal contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Besides oatmeal, brussels sprouts,  kidney beans, fruit and flaxseed are just a few examples of foods that contain fiber. Soluble and insoluble fiber helps to reduce the rate at which carbohydrates are converted into glucose and improve the functioning of the intestinal tract.

    * Plant stanols and sterols: Recent studies have shown that intake of food items such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains and nuts assist in reducing the absorption of dietary cholesterol and lowering of LDL cholesterol.

    * Fish: A recent study has proved that fatty fish such as mackerel, herring and salmon are high in  omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Omega 3 fatty acids are effective in reducing triglycerides and build up of arterial plaque.  The American Heart Association also recommends eating fatty fish at least two times a week in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease CVD.
     
    * Soy protein: Soy protein foods such as soybeans, tofu and soy milk are also very effective in reducing your total cholesterol and bad cholesterol (LDL). You can use these types of foods to replace foods that are rich in saturated fats.

    These foods not only help to reduce cholesterol, they are tasty as well as nutritious. It is  not always necessary that something that is good for you, need not taste well. 

 FOODS THAT BOOST HDL – THE GOOD CHOLESTEROL

 You might not have fully thought about it all this while but eating the right type of food can also increase the level of HDL, the good cholesterol, in your blood. All you need to do is to eliminate a few things while munching the rest in a usual manner. But most of all, do eat the following:

Nuts: Quite surprisingly this, and other food groups, would be made up of a lot of fats. However, this fat would be either monosaturated fat or polyunsaturated fat. Both of them are good for health. Nuts are an example of the two. They are full of monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats. This type of fat is quite healthy in nature and can help increase the level of HDL-Cholesterol in the blood.

Fish: Fishes are an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids, another type of healthy fat which helps increase the level of HDL-Cholesterol in the body. Most fishes can be consumed to increase HDL levels in the blood. However, stay away from the real fatty ones.

Olives: Olives are excellent source of monosaturated fats, fats which are easier to breakdown and which, like others, increase the level of HDL Cholesterol in the blood. Olives can be consumed either in the fruit form or in the form of olive oil.

Monosaturated Oils: Oils such as Canola oil are good source of monosaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Hence, they are good for improvement of HDL-Cholesterol levels in the blood.

Foods rich in Vitamin B: Vitamin B has been considered to be highly effective in increasing the level of HDL-Cholesterol in the blood. Though it is easily available in drugstores (without prescription) it is best to have it in the natural form, extracted by our body from Vitamin B rich foods. This would also lay to rest any possibilities of an overdose of Vitamin B, which usually is the case when it is taken in the pill form.

Alcohol: In a way, alcohol can be treated as a food as well, albeit a modified type of food. A 12 ounce serving of beer or 5 ounce of wine, when taken on a regular basis, can help improve the level of HDL-Cholesterol in the blood. However, do not exceed this limit or take it as a way to legitimize alcohol consumption. Drink but do not binge.

Lean Meat: Lean meat can also help you improve the level of HDL Cholesterol in your blood.

SOME FOODS YOU HAVE TO AVOIDE TO

Red Meat: Red meat is considered a harbinger of bad cholesterol. Hence, avoid it at all costs.

Eggs: If you love an omelette or fried eggs, then know that you are inviting trouble. Egg yolk contains a lot of cholesterol, which means trouble in the long run.

Cheese: Cheese is something which you should stay away from as it contains a lot of cholesterol. A higher amount of cholesterol in the blood would result in lowering down of HDL-Cholesterol. Hence, avoid it.

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Will Eating Coconut Oil Raise My Cholesterol?

 This is the most often asked question I receive regarding coconut oil. This is a legitimate concern because we have been conditioned to believe that all saturated fats raise cholesterol. Since coconut oil contains a high amount of saturated fat, it would stand to reason that it, too, would raise cholesterol.

The truth is, eating coconut oil will improve your cholesterol values and reduce your risk of heart disease. Many people, however, have expressed concern after having their blood cholesterol checked and finding that their total cholesterol has increased since they began using coconut oil. If coconut oil reduces risk of heart disease, why did their cholesterol levels rise?

I have found that people’s response varies when they start using coconut oil. In some people total cholesterol decreases, while in others it increases. But in either case, their HDL (good) cholesterol always increases. The rise in total cholesterol that some people experience is due mostly to an increase in good cholesterol. Their cholesterol ratio (total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol) improves, thus reducing their risk of heart disease.

It is an established fact that the cholesterol ratio is a far more accurate indicator of heart disease risk than total cholesterol. Total cholesterol, in fact, is misleading and is a poor risk indicator because it lumps together both LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol. Total cholesterol gives you no indication of how much is good and how much is bad. You can have high total cholesterol, but if a large percentage of it is made up of HDL, then your risk is low.

The lower the cholesterol ratio the better. A cholesterol ratio of 5.0 mg/dl is considered average risk. Above this value is high risk and below is less than average risk. A ratio of 3.2 mg/dl or less is considered optimal or the lowest risk.

If you have a total cholesterol value of 240 mg/dl, this would be considered high. You would be told that you are at high risk for heart disease. Your doctor would tell you to reduce your saturated fat intake and have you take cholesterol-lowering drugs. However, if your HDL value was 75 mg/dl, your cholesterol ratio would be 3.2 mg/dl. This value is in the optimal range and you would have the lowest risk. Since the cholesterol ratio is a far more accurate indicator of heart disease risk, even though your total cholesterol may be high, your actual risk is very low.

Just the opposite can also happen. If a person has a total cholesterol reading of 178 mg/dl, that would be considered ideal and believed to indicate low risk. If, however, his HDL was only 35 mg/dl, his cholesterol ratio would be 5.1 mg/dl, which is in the high risk category! This explains why so many people who die of heart disease have normal or below normal total cholesterol levels and why many people with high total cholesterol levels, live long lives without experiencing heart problems.

When people ask me about their cholesterol values, I tell them to ignore total cholesterol and look at their cholesterol ratio. In every case, the cholesterol ratio improves when they start using coconut oil and their risk of heart disease drops.

Here is an actual case. A woman had a family history of high cholesterol. Family members had total cholesterol readings in excess of 400 mg/dl. After adding coconut oil into her diet, her total cholesterol rose from 336 to 376 mg/dl. Ordinarily this is considered very high. However, her HDL (good) cholesterol nearly doubled from 65 to 120 mg/dl. Her cholesterol ratio dropped from a high risk value of 5.2 mg/dl to a low risk value of 3.1 mg/dl, which is in the optimal range. Although she had a very high total cholesterol reading, her true risk was very low. Her blood pressure was optimal at 110/60.

Studies have consistently shown that coconut oil increases HDL and improves the cholesterol ratio. While coconut oil does not reduce total cholesterol as effectively as polyunsaturated oils do, it has a greater effect on HDL. When HDL and cholesterol ratio values are evaluated, coconut oil reduces risk of heart disease more than soybean, canola, safflower, or any other vegetable oil typically recommended as “heart healthy.” Interestingly, most vegetable oils increase the cholesterol ratio, thus increasing the risk of heart disease. Coconut oil is definitely the best oil you can use to protect yourself from heart disease.

Healthy Ways Newsletter Email edition Volume 2 Number 1

Dr. Bruce Fife Published by Piccadilly Books, Ltd., www.piccadillybooks.com

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Don’t let brain cells die without a fight!

From: AIM Article Archives
November 2008

Alzheimer’s disease is now the most common form of dementia, a term that refers to the loss of memory and other intellectual abilities.

Alzheimer’s occurs as a result of dying brain cells. As we age, the brain, along with the rest of our body, changes, and we can often experience occasional forgetfulness or slowed thinking. For a person with Alzheimer’s, tiny mistakes intensify into serious memory loss, confusion, and brain damage.

Two possible causes of damage to brain function are plaques and tangles. Plaques, which contain a protein called beta-amyloid, are found between nerve cells; tangles, a form of the protein tau, reside inside dying cells. Together, plaques and tangles can disrupt the communication from cell to cell and damage the nerve network.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there have been several treatment options that have taken ground across the country.

Perhaps the most popular supplement for brain function is Ginkgo biloba, which is found in AIM GinkgoSense™. Ginkgo biloba has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which would allow it to protect and regulate the important brain cells that become susceptible to Alzheimer’s.

GinkgoSense offers 120 mg of the Ginkgo extract in each capsule, yet it is far from the only brain-aiding supplement found in the product.

GinkgoSense also contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an essential fatty acid and the building block of human brain tissue. Sixty percent of the brain is fat, and DHA is the most abundant fat in the brain. DHA’s most important role might be its hand in the communication between the brain and nervous system. Like many brain components, DHA decreases and breaks down with age, so replenishing our bodies’ natural supply becomes more important as we get older.

In addition to Ginkgo biloba and DHA fatty acids, GinkgoSense also combines bilberry, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Together, the ingredients can help increase brain function, improve circulation, and blood flow. Janet Breitkreutz

Increasing cardiovascular health and the circulation of blood throughout the body could certainly make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s. As Janet stated in her testimony, the benefits of an improved blood supply are good for the whole body, including the brain.

As such, coenzyme Q10 could be an important supplement for those concerned about Alzheimer’s disease. CoQ10, also called ubiquinone, is a vital antioxidant that the body uses for increased oxygenation of cells and the generation of energy. Peak EnduranceIts role in the process of normal cell reactions relates to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s primary source of energy and the key component of AIM Peak Endurance®. CoQ10 is present in cell membranes where the conversion process of food to energy occurs.

Research shows that CoQ10 might also be an important factor in reducing the buildup of plaque in the brain. Since some plaque deposits result from an abundance of brain cell damage from oxidative stress, CoQ10 might be able to lessen the effect thanks to its protection against oxidation.

CoQ10’s role in building cells, creating energy, and cardio health makes it a valuable resource for those interested in dealing with Alzheimer’s. AIM Cellsparc 360® contains 60 mg of CoQ10 in each capsule, and thanks to its formulation with tocotrienols and fish oil, Cellsparc 360 is a health product like no other on the market.Wendell Wamboldt

Omega fatty acids have been credited with a lot of health benefits, everything from lowering blood pressure, improving skin, and enhancing anti-inflammatory response. They also may be a key to brain health.

Omega-3 fatty acids might be effective for strengthening nerve cells, an area that is often where the breakdown in Alzheimer’s occurs. Researchers found that omega-3s improve the growth of bridges between cells, which can help create a strong bond in the brain. This bond would play a part in improving the brain’s capacity to store, process, and retrieve information.

AIMegaAIMega® contains omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids derived from flax, sesame, olive, and sunflower oils. Fatty acids, like the DHA in GinkgoSense, help improve brain function, maintain healthy cells, and protect against cardiovascular disease – all of which could make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

With so many different theories on what might be the cause of Alzheimer’s, there is just as much variety with theories on how to prevent or decrease its symptoms. One way is to reduce the prevalence of free radicals in the body, especially as it relates to the passing of blood to the brain and cells in the brain.

ProancynolThis may be why people have been turning to grape seed extract for Alzheimer’s help. Grape seed extract is one of the most effective supplements for fighting free radicals in the body. It is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to remain in the body for three full days, working to clean our system and fight off free radical damage. Even better, grape seed extract is more powerful than both vitamins C and E.

Grape seed extract can be found in AIM Proancynol® 2000, which combines the extract with green tea, N-acetylcysteine, alpha-lipolic acid, selenium, rosemary, and lycopene. Using a synergistic formula, Proancynol 2000 makes sure you get the most out of each ingredient thanks to the unique way that the nutrients work together and complement one another.

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