Posts tagged ‘inflammation’

TYPE 2 DIABETES & VITAMIN K

(from – in part – NaturalHealth365,  Lori Alton, staff writer, 12/19/2019)

According to a 2018 report from the CDC, the current number of American adults living with Type 2 Diabetes (D2) stands at over 30 million. I have repeatedly warned against the dangers of low-fat diets, which inevitably lead to high carbs to improve taste and palatability. So, the 30 million number is not surprising, but why is it so important?

Well, we know that D2, a potentially life-threatening condition, can have devastating consequences that include nerve damage, kidney damage, retinopathy, Alzheimer’s disease and a much greater risk of heart disease. {N.B. cardiovascular disease is what kills diabetics; and current medical prescriptions do nothing to alter this outcome. Dr. R}

Yet, we know (based on science) that supplementation with an underappreciated vitamin – vitamin K – can drastically reduce the risk of developing D2. And, if you already have D2, it can help regulate your blood sugar levels.

In recent years, researchers have uncovered vitamin K’s role in proper bloo clotting and the mineralization of bones; as well as its ability to prevent arterial calcification (plaque). {Please see my article re arterial health.} What is not well known, however, is vitamin K’s important role in glucose metabolism.

Insulin is an important hormone produced in the pancreas that helps cells absorb glucose from carbs, thereby reducing blood sugar and providing the cells with glucose for energy. The trouble begins when the body becomes resistant to insulin or fails to make enough. Insulin resistance can, in turn, lead to high blood sugar and the eventual onset of D2. Insulin resistance and D2 are brought about by environmental and lifestyle factors: such as, overweight, obesity, a diet high in carbs and sugar, extreme stress and a lack of exercise.

Unlike type 1 diabetes, which results from autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas, D2 is preventable. It’s important to note that 90% of that 30 million persons statistic are Type 2 diabetics. Obviously, this is a growing problem in the U.S. since the incidence of D2 continues to soar.

Clearly, an urgent need exists for natural, non-toxic interventions against D2. I have a program that is very effective; if you would like a personalized program please call and make a consultation appointment (626-303-3162). In this article, I am going to highlight recent studies that reveal that vitamin K is one aspect of this program.

In 2016 a study published in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition researchers found that subjects who increased their dietary vitamin K intake reduced their diabetes risk by a whopping 51%. The team even discovered a precise formula for measuring the reduction: a 17% less risk of D2 for every additional 100 mcgm of vitamin K a day. This is the reason I have switched many of my clients to vitamin D3 with K. If you want to add vitamin K to your regimen, please let me know. I have several choices for you.

Multiple follow-up studies involving hundreds of adult participants have demonstrated that vitamin K supplementation, at amounts ranging from 500 mcgm to 1,000 mcgm a day, significantly increased beneficial insulin sensitivity and reduced insulin levels – often within four weeks.

If high levels of vitamin K acted against D2, could low levels of the nutrient be linked with the disease? This was the question researchers set out to answer in a 2018 study published in Journal of Nutrition and Biochemistry. The answer was clear. The study found that people with D2 had blood levels of vitamin K that were 2.7 times lower than those of a control group of non-diabetic patients of the same age.

Furthermore, in an influential Dutch study, researchers gave 214 post-menopausal women either 180 mcgm a day either 180 mcgm a day of vitamin K2 or a placebo for 3 years. (Important note: there are two forms of vitamin K: K1 from plant foods and K2 from animal products. Both are beneficial, but K2 has been shown to be the more effective of the two.) The study showed that supplementary vitamin K2 activated Gla proteins, which are important in bone and mineral metabolism. The participants in this study taking vitamin K2 who showed the largest increase in Gla protein activity also experienced significant reductions in harmful abdominal fat. This group also had substantial reductions in body mass index (BMI), waist and hip circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio when compared to the placebo group. These benefits translate to a lowered risk of developing metabolic syndrome and D2.

Other benefits of vitamin K include:

  1. Boosting levels of adiponectin, a beneficial hormone that helps regulate the metabolism of sugars.
  2. Reducing the activity of nuclear factor kappa B, a primary driver of inflammation.

The latest medical research is beginning to show that vitamin K fights diabetes through multiple mechanisms. In an extensive overview of studies published last year in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, the authors credited vitamin K2 with improving insulin sensitivity through its anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering properties.

You can increase your dietary intake of vitamin K with cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens, including broccoli, cabbage, spinach and kale. Unfortunately, the grocery-store practice of constantly spraying their produce with water decreases the efficacy of this strategy. Vitamin K is also found in meat, dairy products and fermented foods. Good examples are grass-fed beef liver, organic chicken breast, yogurt and raw cheese. Interestingly, your body produces small amounts of vitamin K, courtesy of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome. The National Institutes of Health currently recommends 120 mcgm of vitamin K for men and 90 mcgm for women.

I you have already been diagnosed with D2, vitamin K can still help control blood sugar levels. In addition to helping regulate glucose, vitamin K is believed to help prevent cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.

On caveat: if you are on a blood thinner, please work with a doctor to check your clotting time before adding additional vitamin K. You can still eat dark green veggies, which are consider rich in vitamin K.

If you want a personalized nutrition program, either to avoid D2 or manage it if you already have it, be sure to make an appointment for a telephone consultation so that we can get you on a good program.

 

January 21, 2020 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

Protect Yourself From Unproven and Dangerous Medical Therapies (Part 1)

I have been reading an outstanding book entitled, Rethinking Aging, Growing Old and Living Well in An Overtreated Society, by Nortin M. Hadler, M.D. While he is very medical in his approach and doesn’t have much knowledge regarding natural therapies, his warnings about medical care are very on-point.

The second chapter of his book, “The Golden Years,” is an indictment of many of the most commonly prescribed medical interventions. I will touch on some of the highlights in this brief article:

  1. Aging is a normal part of the life cycle and it comes with its own challenges. Not every symptom of aging needs to be labeled a “disease” requiring medical intervention. This is a direct contradiction of our pharmaceutical, profit-driven “health care” industry.
  2. “The . . . assertion – that one is more likely to promote physical health by attention to social cohesiveness than by attention to human biology – is counterintuitive. . . [F]or every darkening shadow there are diagnostic tests, screenings for risk, and treatments galore. . . .America’s elderly swallow the prescribed remedies, often many simultaneously, to bring their laboratory numbers to heel. America’s elderly are hell bent to be normal. . . It’s all so sad. They are on a fool’s errand.” [p. 13]
  3. The obesity “epidemic” has no basis in scientific fact, and is in fact a political construct. There are many studies that indicate that there is no difference in life expectancy between “normal” BMI and “obese” individuals. In fact, the risk of death was 13% lower for overweight elderly people than for those of normal weight. [p. 15] However, there is a huge financial incentive for the pharmaceutical companies and weight loss industry to bury these findings.
  4. You have undoubtedly seen the Crestor commercials about how wonderful it is for reducing cReactive Protein (cRP). However, the touted benefit is not as great as you are led to believe. The abstract of the research paper in the New England Journal of Medicine announced a 56% reduction in adverse outcomes. Sounds impressive, yes? However, that’s not even close to the truth. The outcome of the study was that, after 2 years, about 2% of the 18,000 subjects had suffered any of the cardiovascular adverse events. Of those on Crestor, 1.6% were stricken; while 2.8% of the control group (not taking Crestor) were affected. This is a difference of 1.2%. At this point, it gets complicated due to the structure of the study. To summarize the data, the “composite outcome” is 0.77 on Crestor and 1.36 without Crestor. This is the 56% reduction that’s being touted. What it actually means is that 400 well people would have to take Crestor for a year to spare one a nonfatal heart attack, and about 600 to spare one a stroke. There is no evidence there is any life-saving benefit. So, the relative reduction of 56% turns out to be an absolute reduction of 0.59%. [pp.29-30]

I side with Dr. Hadler who said, “I am unwilling to let anyone test my cholesterol until I see unequivocal data that taking a statin yields meaningful benefit for me.” [p.27]

  1. Hadler then addresses antihypertensive therapy for diabetics, specifically Actos & Avandia. He discusses at length the conflict of interest and financial incentives of both the researchers and the pharmaceutical houses to “prove” the efficacy of these substances. The data actually suggested that “[these drugs] were associated with an increase in the incidence of serious cardiovascular complications, including heart failure, heart attacks and death.” [p.37] The drugs were outlawed in the European Union; our FDA only saw fit to place a warning label on the packaging insert.
  2. Part of his discussion regarding diabetes highlights the fact that current diabetic therapies, including insulin and oral hypoglycemics, are ineffective in preventing any of the adverse effects of diabetes. Please, read that sentence again. Does that make you wonder what is going on? According to a respected medical publication, A H R Q News and Numbers (issue no. 288, July 25, 2009), purchases of cholesterol and diabetes prescription drugs by elderly Medicare beneficiaries reached nearly $19 billion in 2007 – approximately 1/4th of the $82 billion spent for medications for the elderly. [p. 35]

My personal experience with diabetes has convinced me that the important criterion that medical treatment completely ignores is the health of the micro-circulatory system. I have had Type II diabetes for more than 15 years, yet I have no circulatory pathology. My retinal fields are perfectly healthy and there is not a sign of atherosclerosis, based upon an exam I had just last week. I attribute this to my aggressive supplement program that prevents arterial plaque and lowers inflammation. I also have a protocol to improve microcirculation. This is incredibly important both to your vascular tree and to your kidneys – two areas that develop pathology with diabetes. I would be glad to share my insights with you if you care to make an appointment.

The next section of Dr. Hadler’s book deals with how badly the medical therapies mismanage coronary artery disease via antihypertensive meds, surgical interventions and stents. I will cover these in my next installment of my newsletter. If you don’t want to wait, you can always look for Dr. Hadler’s book on amazon.com. One word of warning, it is very heavy going.

September 8, 2016 at 3:51 pm Leave a comment

Dangers of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Having just attended a weekend seminar on injury, pain and inflammation, this seemed like a good time to refresh the information regarding the adverse effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications  (NSAIDS). You may remember that in 2004, only 5 years after its approval by the FDA, Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market due to between 88,000 and 140,000 cases of serious heart disease due to the drug. It also increased the risk of stroke significantly.

However, Vioxx is not the only NSAID with serious side effects. Many drugs that are commonly used to control arthritis pain have a serious downside.  Some of the more common medications include aspirin, ibuprofen (marketed as both Advil and Motrin) and naproxen.

The side effects are actually life threatening; each year 103,000 people are hospitalized for the side effects of NSAIDS and 16,500 of them die. (1999 figures, which are higher now)

These side effects include: indigestion, leaky gut syndrome, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney damage, cardiovascular effects, liver effects, blockage of fracture repair and degradation of joint cartilage due to the inability of the body to synthesize new cartilage. NSAIDs destroy vitamin C, an essential component of cartilage repair and decrease the availability of sulfates in the body, which prevents the synthesis of a key component of cartilage — GAGs (aka glycosaminoglycans, formerly called mucopolysaccharides). And, severe reactions can often occur without any warning.

The good news is that there are alternatives to taking these dangerous drugs. These include essential fatty acids in the right balance, quercetin, resveratrol, boswellia, magnesium and zinc, which are co-factors to essential fatty acid pathways.

I have a variety of products in my pharmacopia to combat inflammation. To find out which one is best for you, schedule an appointment so that I may test your response to the different options.

January 28, 2015 at 6:19 pm Leave a comment


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