The Common Cold

The Common Cold
Dr. Jimmy Steger

There is a connection between stress and susceptibility to the common cold. Lifestyle, in general, can have an effect on the immune system. Alcohol consumption, smoking and even skipping breakfast can make you more susceptible to colds and the flu, according to the Economic and Social Research Council (research released March 2002).
    A research study preformed at the School of Psychology at Cardiff University involved nearly 500 students. The subjects were asked to present themselves within six to 96 hours of contacting an upper respiratory infection. More of the 188 subjects who caught colds were likely to be drinkers or smokers than those who stayed healthy. Stress also seemed to increase the chance of illness.
    A second study, involving 100 participants, was preformed. It related illness to dietary habits. The subjects kept a diary for 10 weeks; in it they recorded any problems with memory and attention and any illness. Subjects who had more than one illness during the study were less likely to eat breakfast and more likely to drink alcohol. Those who developed more than one illness also tended to have negative, stressful events over the proceeding year.
    According to Professor Andrew Smith, author of the studies, the studies demonstrate the effect of upper respiratory infections on performance and mood. They also show that health habits and behavior may be related to the tendency to get colds or the flu. “Further research on the impact of minor illnesses in industry and education is now needed’ says Professor Smith, Awareness of the effects of performing whilst ill should also be increased and possible counter measures considered”.

The Flu and Vitamin D

    According to research appearing in the British journal, Epidemiology and Infection (2006 Dec; 134(6):1129-40), there may be a connection between the flu and vitamin D deficiency. The article cites R Edgar Hope-Simpson, who noticed the seasonality of influenza epidemics, and the possible relation to solar radiation.
The researchers propose that the seasonal connection between vitamin D and the flu may be vitamin D. Flu season is during the winter, and vitamin D deficiency is common in the winter—due to the lack of solar radiation. Solar radiation triggers vitamin D production in the skin. Ultra violet radiation (found in sunlight) reduces the incidence of viral infections. Cod liver oil, a source of vitamin D, reduces the incidence of viral infections. Treating children with vitamin D reduced the incidence of respiratory infections. Activated vitamin D is a steroid hormone that has an effect on immunity. It reduces inflammatory chemicals (cytokines) and increases the effectiveness of certain white blood cells. it stimulates potent antimicrobial  peptides found in white blood cells ad in the cells lining the respiratory tract.

Heath Care In America Could Be Better

    According o a report released in September, 2006 by the Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, American health care only scored 66 points out of a possible 100 and lagged far behind the rest of the industrialized world. American health care received low grades on efficiency, access to care and in outcomes.
    The United States spends about 15% of it GDP (gross domestic product) on health care, compared to 10% of the GDP spent by most other industrialized nations. Insurance administrative costs in the U.S. were more than three times the rate in countries with integrated payment systems. Nearly one-third of Americans under the age of 65 have trouble paying their medical bills. Unfortunately, the increased spending does not result in better care. The US rated 15th out of 19 nations with regard to preventable deaths. It is estimated that 115 per 100,000 people who would have survived if timely and appropriate medical care was administered. France scored highest in this category, with only 75 deaths per 100,000.
    The US ranks last in infant mortality, with 7 deaths per 1,000 births. The top three countries have 2.7 deaths per 1,000 births—less than half our number. We are at the bottom of the list in life expectancy. American children miss more school for illness than the children from the other industrialized nations. Fewer than half of American adults receive the recommended screening tests appropriate for their age and sex. Preventable hospital admissions for chronically ill patients (e.g.; those with asthma or diabetes) were twice as high compared to the nations at the top of the list. The rate of readmission of Medicare patients ranges from 14-22%.

Sub Optimal Vitamin Intake Linked To Disease

    According to an article appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2002; 287(23)3127-9), many of us may need to be taking vitamin supplements. This article acknowledges that while extreme deficiency syndromes (like pellagra and beriberi) are rare in Western society, sub optimal intake of certain nutrients is a risk factor for disease. The article states that deficiencies of folic, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 increase the risk for heart disease. These deficiencies also increase the risk for breast and colon cancers, as well as for neural tube defect (a common birth defect) in developing fetuses. Deficiencies of antioxidants, like vitamins A, C and E are also linked to a number of diseases. The article acknowledges that the diets of countless Americans are not getting enough of many of these nutrients and sees the wisdom of supplementation.

Where Did Those Super Bugs Come From?

    According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (June 19, 2002; 287:3096-3102, 3103-3109, 3133-3135), fewer doctors are prescribing antibiotics to children and teens than in 1990. This is an attempt to halt the rise in antibiotic resistant infections. Overuse of antibiotics in the past has created antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
    Doctors gave only 30 million prescriptions for antibiotics between 1999 and 2000 to children under the age of 15. Between 1989 and 1990 the same age group was given 45 million antibiotic prescriptions. This is according to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention in Atlanta. The number of office visits was the same for the two periods of time.
    The authors of the JAMA article believe that the reduction in the number of antibiotic prescriptions was due to awareness that giving unnecessary antibiotics help to create bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. The article’s findings were formed from surveys conducted from 1989 to 1990, and then later from 1999 to 2000. The physicians reported on their use pf antibiotics in as many as 13,600 office visits with patients under the age of 15.

Nutrition and Lung Disease

    Research published in Epidemiologic Reviews (2001; 23(2): 268-87) indicates that antioxidants vitamins, like vitamin E and vitamin C may protect against the development of lung disease. Oxidation from free radicals (chemicals that have an electron that reacts easily) can be liked to damage done by chemical “bullets”. That spare electron is analogous to a bullet. Antioxidant nutrients act like chemical bullet-proof vests that protect the cell from oxidation. Antioxidants could also play a protective role in gene-environment interactions in complex lung diseases like childhood asthma.
    The authors did a review of the medical literature and found studies that indicated vitamin C supplementation improved lung function of COPD patients (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—emphysema and bronchitis). Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables may improve asthma symptoms in children. The researchers point out that fruits and vegetables contain many antioxidant components. Vitamin C is only one of those components, so it is hard to identify a single constituent that is most beneficial. While the researchers point out the protective effects of antioxidants on short-term lung function, they stop short of stating that long-term supplementation can slow the progression of lung diseases. They do, however, recommend antioxidant supplementation to patients who have high levels of oxidative stress (smokers, people who live where there is a lot of air pollution, etc.).
I suggest to all my patients use my pro-vitamin-multi-mineral formula along with  6,000mg. of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), mixed with bio-flavonoids. I also suggest to compliment this with a complete wheat germ product 3 times daily with their meals.  
If you truly want to be healthy, give up the junk food and add a few good supplements to your diet and watch the difference in your health.  Feeling is believing,  Let’s get healthy for life.

Until next time, Stay Healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger

Are We Treating Cancer, But Killing The Patient?

ARE WE TREATING CANCER, BUT KILLING THE PATIENT?              
Dr. Jimmy Steger

Don’t we live in a crazy toxic world! It’s unbelievable some of the things that intelligent human beings get up to, destroying their own kind in the name of “medicine!” Read the following paragraph to understand what I mean:

The consultant oncologist picks up the phone angrily and calls his oncologist colleague who has been treating the patient sitting in front of him, “stop all chemotherapy immediately,” he says, “you have completely destroyed her liver which is pretty much irrecoverable!” This is exactly how this patient, who I was seeing for support using natural medicine, told me the story. She has received over 20 courses of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, plus countless surgeries, for a breast cancer that metastasized to the bones. Only God knows what her destiny will be!

The other oncologist treating her was quite prepared to continue bombarding her with more chemotherapy and radiation, without even thinking of the detrimental effects and side effects. The cancer was the enemy and this is what we shall attack, irrelevant whether we kill the patient. “The tumor shrunk, but we lost the patient” is something that is often heard in cancer circles.

To my mind, the logic stinks and should be carefully reviewed by all who say that they treat cancer. I think it is time to talk a little about cancer treatments for two reasons – first, it has reached pandemic proportions and many families are afflicted with the trauma of this disease, and second, because so many people are dying, even though they are being treated with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.

If you are being diagnosed with cancer, invariable you will be told to undergo surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy, etc. These seem to be the only so-called “proven” paths to take. Most people believe that all medical treatments are solidly grounded in science, and that in order to be made available to patients, such treatments must be unequivocally proven to be effective by rigorous clinical trials. This is simply not true!

But are there other paths that the cancer patient can take, while still under the care of their oncologist? The problem with any other natural treatment is that it is seen with suspicion by most medical doctors, often saying that they are unproven and therefore cannot be used. Dr. David Brownstein, in the forward of the book: Avoiding Breast Cancer wrote: “The pharmaceutical companies want us to believe that a cure for cancer will be found by a “magic-bullet” drug. This will never occur.”

WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE OF CHEMOTHERAPY?
It’s probably time to examine the success rate of chemotherapy that has been used for so many decades. What is the success rate of chemotherapy as used by oncologists?

An important paper has been published in the journal Clinical Oncology addresses exactly this question. This meta-analysis, entitled “The Contribution of Cytotoxic Chemotherapy to 5-year Survival in Adult Malignancies” set out to accurately quantify and assess the actual benefit conferred by chemotherapy in the treatment of adults with the commonest types of cancer.

All three of the paper’s authors are oncologists. Lead author Associate Professor Greame Morgan is a radiation oncologist at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney; Professor Robyn Ward is a medical oncologist at University of New South Wales/St. Vincent’s Hospital. The third author, Dr. Michael Barton, is a radiation oncologist and a member of the Collaboration for Cancer Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Liverpool Health Service, Sydney. Prof. Ward is also a member of the Therapeutic Goods Authority of the Australian Federal Department of Health and Aging, the official body that advises the Australian government on the suitability and efficacy of drugs to be listed on the national Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS)- roughly the equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Their meticulous study was based on an analysis of the results of all the randomized, controlled clinical trials (RCTs) performed in Australia and the US that reported a statistically significant increase in 5-year survival due to the use of chemotherapy in adult malignancies. Survival data were drawn from the Australian cancer registries and the US National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry spanning the period January 2004.

Wherever data were uncertain, the authors deliberately erred on the side of over-estimating the benefit of chemotherapy.

Even so, the study concluded that overall, chemotherapy contributes just over 2 percent to improved survival in cancer patients!

Yet, despite the mounting evidence of chemotherapy’s lack of effectiveness in prolonging survival, oncologists continue to present chemotherapy as a rational and promising approach to cancer treatment.

“Some practitioners still remain optimistic that cytotoxic chemotherapy will significantly improve cancer survival,” the authors wrote in their introduction. “However, despite the use of new and expensive single and combination drugs to improve response rates…there has been little impact from the use of newer regimens” (Morgan 2005).

The Australian authors continued:”…in lung cancer, the median survival has increased by only 2 months [during the past 20 years, ed.] and an overall survival benefit of less than 5 percent has been achieved in the adjuvant treatment of breast, colon, head, and neck cancers.”

Basically, the authors found that the contribution of chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was:

•    2.3 percent in Australia
•    2.1 percent in the USA

They emphasize that, for reasons explained in detail for the study, these figure’s, “should be regarded as the upper limit of effectiveness”(i.e. they are an optimistic rather than a pessimistic estimate).

A Further Significant Study
Another cancer researcher obtained similar results about 25 years ago, back in the eighties. A German epidemiologist from the Heidelberg/Mannheim Tumor Clinic, Dr. Ulrich Abel has done a comprehensive review and analysis of every major study and clinical trial of chemotherapy ever done. To make certain that he had reviewed everything ever published on chemotherapy, Abel sent letters to over 350 medical centers around the world asking them to send him anything they had published on the subject. Abel researched thousands of articles: it is unlikely that anyone in the world knows more about chemotherapy than he.
The analysis took him several years, but the results are astounding: Abel found that the overall worldwide success rate of chemotherapy was “appalling,” only 3%, because there was simply no scientific evidence available anywhere that chemotherapy can “extend in any appreciable way the lives of patients suffering from the most common organic cancers.”

SUCCESS OF CHEMOTHERAPY ONLY THREE PERCENT!
In fact, he found similar figures to the Australian oncologists- 3% – yes that is three percent! Abel emphasizes that chemotherapy rarely can improve the quality of life. He describes chemotherapy as “a scientific wasteland” and states that at least 80 percent of chemotherapy administered throughout the world is worthless, and is akin to the “emperor’s new clothes”- neither doctor nor patient is willing to give up on chemotherapy even though there is no scientific evidence that it works!

HOW WILL YOU TREAT YOUR CANCER DOCTOR?
In 1986, McGill Cancer Center scientists sent a questionnaire to 118 doctors who treated non-small-cell lung cancer. More than three quarters of them recruited patients and carried out trials of toxic drugs for lung cancer. They were asked to imagine that they themselves had cancer, and were asked which of six current trials they themselves would choose. Of the 79 respondents, 64 (81%) said they would not consent to be in a trial containing cisplatin, a common chemotherapy drug. Fifty-eight of 74 % of the oncologists found all the trials using any type of chemotherapy unacceptable. What reasons did they give? Basically, they quoted the ineffectiveness of chemotherapy and its unacceptable degree of toxicity.

Until next time, Stay Healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger

10 Foods That Help Reverse Diabetes

10 Foods That Help Reverse Diabetes
Dr. Jimmy Steger

Diabetes can be a fatal condition, especially if not controlled. Diabetics face a risk of suffering from conditions like heart disease, stroke, cataracts, and others. If one is not careful with their diet, they can die as a result of a stroke.
Being diabetic does not mean that it is the end of the road for you. You can reverse diabetes by eating a diet that helps to reduce blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and taking the right nutrients to help to heal the pancreas.
HERE ARE 10 FOODS TO INCORPORATE IN YOUR DIET TO HELP REVERSE DIABETES.

1. ALMONDS
Almonds are the King of Nuts and have been in existence since ancient times and are one of the main diets in the Mediterranean diet that is heart-healthy. Almonds are filled with vitamin E as well as monounsaturated fats that assist in lowering heart disease risk. These healthy fats assist in lowering LDL cholesterol when used to replace trans or saturated fats in the diet.
A quarter-cup of almonds has more protein than an egg. They also have magnesium, which aids in boosting dopamine that regulates moods and prevents depression.
Additionally, almonds also have calcium, riboflavin, and fiber. Due to their content of fiber, it can help in improving tummy issues, such as diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome, while boosting absorption of calcium.  Remember for best overall absorption; always soak your nuts and seeds for 10 hours pre-eating.
Research shows that consuming one serving of a handful of nuts four times per week can aid you to reverse the diabetes. A study discovered that including two 1-ounce servings of almonds every day in the diet helped participants have better intake of primary nutrients that assisted them to minimize their intake of dietary detractors such as cholesterol, sugars, trans fats, and excessive sodium.

2. WALNUTS
Walnuts are my second favorite and will help with preventing inflammation, diabetes, and heart disease. Research indicates that eating 8-11 walnuts per day minimizes overall cholesterol by up to four percent.
Walnuts are rich in omega-3s, which are essential in reducing the risk of diabetes, cancer, depression, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The recommended daily intake is 200 calories or a handful of walnuts.
They can be consumed as a snack or incorporated into recipes. You can enjoy a nutty flavor and delightful crunch by including chopped walnuts to any dish.
Walnuts are full of tryptophan, which is an amino acid that is required by your body to create serotonin, a feel-good chemical. They are digested gradually, which helps to stabilize your mood and can aid in tolerating stress. They also have ellagic acid that reduces artery-forming plaque.

3. FATTY FISH
Fatty fish consists of one of the healthiest foods. Mackerel, anchovies, salmon, herring, and sardines are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are beneficial to the health of your heart. Consuming these fats regularly assists to reverse the diabetes, which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.
EPA and DHA aids in protecting the cells lining your blood vessels, minimize inflammation markers, and boost the functioning of your arteries after eating. Studies show that persons who consume fatty fish regularly face a lower likelihood of heart failure and have a lower risk of dying from heart disease.
In a study, older participants who ate fatty fish 5-7 days a week for two months had massive reductions in inflammatory markers and triglycerides. Fish also offer high-quality protein that assists you in feeling full and boosting your metabolic rate.

4. GREENS
Leafy green veggies are low in calories and packed with plenty of nutrients. They have low levels of digestible carbs that increase your levels of blood sugar. That’s why they can help you to reverse diabetes.
Kale, spinach, and other leafy greens are ideal sources of many vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C. In a particular study, increasing the intake of vitamin C minimized inflammatory markers and levels of blood sugar in participants with high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, leafy greens are perfect sources of antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein. These antioxidants safeguard your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common complications of diabetes.

5. OLIVE OIL
Extra-virgin oil is very advantageous for the health of your heart. It has oleic acid, a kind of monounsaturated fat that has been proven to boost HDL and triglycerides, which are present in unhealthy levels in diabetics.
It also improves satiety hormone GLP-1. According to a study of various types of fats, the risk of heart disease was only reduced by olive oil.
Olive oil also has antioxidants referred to as polyphenols. They minimize inflammation, reduce blood pressure, prevent the damage of LDL cholesterol through oxidation, and safeguard the cells lining the blood vessels.
Extra-virgin oil is usually not refined and has numerous antioxidants and other nutrients that make it healthy. Make sure to pick this oil from a source that is reputable, because many olive oils are combined with cheaper oils such as soy and corn.

6. TURMERIC
Turmeric is a spice that when used to cook meals can offer numerous benefits to your health. It has an active ingredient called curcumin that lowers levels of blood sugar and inflammation while minimizing the risk of heart disease.
Moreover, curcumin seems to benefit the health of kidneys in diabetics. This is crucial since kidney disease is common in diabetics.
Unluckily, curcumin is not properly absorbed on its own. Therefore, ensure you consume it with piperine, a compound found in black pepper to improve absorption by up to 2,000 percent.

7. CHIA SEEDS
Chia seeds can help diabetics to reverse the diabetes. They are very rich in fiber, but poor in digestible carbs. Eleven out of twelve grams of carbs present in one ounce of these seeds are fiber, which fails to increase blood sugar.
The viscous fiber present in chia seeds can aid in lowering levels of blood sugar by reducing the speed of food movement in the digestive system. The seeds help in achieving a healthy weight due to the fiber that reduces hunger and increases satiety.
Additionally, fiber minimizes the intake of calories absorbed from other foods present in the same meal. Also, studies have shown the ability of chia seeds to reduce inflammatory markers and blood pressure.

8. EGGS
Eggs offer numerous benefits for your health. They are great for increasing satiety for hours. Also, regular consumption of eggs can minimize the risk of getting heart disease in many ways.
Eggs reduce inflammation, increase the levels of good HDL cholesterol, change the shape and size of bad LDL cholesterol, and improve the sensitivity of insulin. In a study, diabetics ate two eggs every day as part of a diet high in protein. They experienced improvements in blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Moreover, eggs are great sources of zeaxanthin and lutein antioxidants, which safeguard eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. These eye diseases are common conditions in diabetics. Remember to consume whole eggs since many of these nutrients are present in the egg yolk.  Egg yolks should be drank and the whites should be cooked.

9. CINNAMON
Cinnamon is a sweet spice that has robust antioxidant activity. According to research, cinnamon can reduce levels of blood sugar and boost the sensitivity of insulin.
To reverse diabetes, you need to measure hemoglobin A1c, which shows your average level of blood sugar over 2-3 months. In a particular study, diabetic patients who took the spice for three months experienced more than twice reduction in hemoglobin A1c than those who were given standard care.
Research also shows that cinnamon can decrease triglyceride and cholesterol levels. However, restrict your consumption of cassia cinnamon, the kind present in the majority of grocery stores, to one teaspoon daily.
It has coumarin, which is associated with health issues at higher doses. But true cinnamon, also called Ceylon, has lower coumarin.

10. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar has numerous health benefits. Although it has been created from apples, its sugar has been fermented into acetic acid, and the final product has less than one gram of carbs per one tablespoon.
Studies have shown the ability of apple cider vinegar to boost the sensitivity of insulin and lower levels of fasting blood sugar. It could also minimize blood sugar response by up to 20 percent when consumed with foods rich in carbs.
In a particular study, diabetics had a six percent decrease in fasting blood sugar after consuming two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar prior to sleeping. This food could also slow the emptying of the stomach and boost satiety.
But this could be an issue in people who suffer from gastroparesis, a condition characterized by delayed emptying of the tummy, which is common in diabetics. Incorporate apple cider vinegar into your meals by mixing a glass of water with one teaspoon of the liquid daily as a start. Then increase the intake up to two tablespoons daily.  Incorporating these foods into your daily diet will help you tremendously however the real key is always in the minerals which is key to it all.  We will discuss this in later articles.
Until next time, Stay healthy !

Dr. Jimmy Steger

7 Signs You May Be Unhealthy

7 Signs you may be Unhealthy
Dr. Jimmy Steger

The human body is an amazing thing and it has the ability to send instant signals to the brain letting you know something may be wrong.  Some people go through life not paying attention to detail of their bodies and this is important. Let’s look at a few things that you may be overlooking today that could potentially lead to some real health problems further down the road.

1.    Skin
The quality of your skin is a sure-fire way to get a reading on your overall level of health. Of course, some people struggle with skin issues like acne and are otherwise perfectly fine — but skin quality can clue you in to some bigger problems. A poor diet can really impact your skin quality, and if you’re noticing blemishes like stretch marks? That should tell you that something is wrong.  Diet is first and foremost, the colon is second and should be looked at.
2.    Sleep Issues
Whether it be that you’re eating the wrong foods, ingesting too much caffeine late in the day, or not expelling enough energy during the day, not being able to sleep presents an issue — which cascades into further issues. I get all my patients off coffee and tea and get their diet straightened up and this can usually be fixed fairly easily as long as medicines are not the issue.
3.    Bathroom Issues
Yep, we’re getting down and dirty. Take note of the color of your urine, and even how frequently you’re going No. 2 — those could both provide important insight into the state of your overall health. Since you’re going to ask, your urine should be a pale yellow color — and hopefully odorless. As for your bowel movement frequency, there’s a wide range. However if you’re going regularly, meaning two times per day, you’re probably fine. And don’t ignore the grimy details during
4.    Chapped Lips
If your lips are constantly chapped, and you find that you can’t live without lip balm, that’s your body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. Specifically, your lip condition is an indicator of your vitamin levels. If your lips are chapped, you may be vitamin strapped — so diversify your diet, and get the nutrients you need.
5.    Bad Nails
If the condition of your lips wasn’t a solid enough indicator, your finger and toe nails can also give you a heads-up if you’re unhealthy. You’re going to want to be on the lookout for ridges, discoloration, and bumps — all of which should be red flags. Your nails can tell you a lot about your overall state of health, so if something is strange, don’t ignore it.

6.    Cold Hands and Feet
Yes, there could be environmental factors at play, but if you’re consistently finding that your extremities are ice cold, it can be a sign of cardiovascular problems. Cold hands or feet might mean that you’re having circulation issues, and that your body isn’t getting blood where it needs to go. If this is a chronic issue, have it checked out.
7.    Forgetting Memory
It’s becoming quite clear that our cognitive ability and brain health are closely tied to our physical condition. That means that obesity and elevated levels of body fat can have a significant impact on our ability to think and reason. It’s kind of scary, but also a very promising area of research. So, if you can’t formulate a potent thought, it may be a sign that it’s time to drop some weight.  Remember flabby thighs equals a flabby brain, get in the gym and train that body for better overall health.
Until next time, Stay healthy !

Dr. Jimmy Steger

The Truth about Antidepressants

The Truth about Antidepressants
Dr. Jimmy Steger

Seems like most Americans these days have bought into the lie that taking some form of pill can solve any and all emotional or mental issues. If only it were that easy! And every time I try to give people a good dose of the truth, they point to one pharmaceutical study or another that tries to prove me wrong.  Well at least some of them, well check this out.

According to new research from Stephen Wisniewski, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, antidepressants are only effective in a small percentage of patients with a narrow range of psychological disorders. Patients with multiple issues — which can be as many as 60 percent of the psychiatric patients in the U.S. — may not be getting any benefit at all from antidepressants.

How’s that for depressing news? It gets worse. This new study showed how big pharmaceutical companies may pump up the efficacy results of the drug trials for their antidepressants.

Wisniewski’s team examined data compiled in a massive, government-funded review of more than 40 psychiatric facilities. This study, known as the “Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression” (“STAR*D” for short), is a picture of nearly the entire population of depression patients in the U.S.

Researchers compared STAR*D patients to a group of subjects for a standard antidepressant drug trial conducted by a pharmaceutical manufacturer (the trials that the FDA commonly reviews as part of the approval process for new medications).

As it turns out, the parameters for joining a typical antidepressant drug trial were so narrow that just 22 percent of the patients in the STAR*D survey would qualify to be part of the trial.

This means that the pharmaceutical companies tests its antidepressants using patients who fall within a very small range of depressive symptoms… and then markets these same drugs to EVERY depression patient in the country.

Wisniewski said that “current efficacy trials suggest a more optimistic outcome than is likely in practice.” Let’s cut to the chase here. What he’s really saying is that Big Pharma is gaming the system to get new SSRIs approved by the FDA.

Of course he’s too afraid to come right out and say that. Instead, he said that he doesn’t intend his new study to be a smoking gun that proves the pharmaceutical industry is intentionally taking problematic patients out of the testing mix to get better efficacy results. He might not have “intended” it, but that’s exactly what he did. And it’s about time.

“If the population in a [clinical] trial were more representative, it would come at a cost,” Wisniewski says. “That’s why trials to determine efficacy are done on a relatively homogeneous population.”

Well, he’s right about one thing — experimenting with drugs does come at a cost. Either it’ll cost the deep-pocketed drug companies a few bucks, or it’ll cost you your health.

So which one would you choose? How about God’s Medicine, which is all natural and will not harm you, that is the one for me.

Until next time,  Stay Healthy!
 
Dr. Jimmy Steger    

Allergy vs. Intolerance

Allergy vs. Intolerance
Dr. Jimmy Steger

The most common and best understood type of allergy is a reaction in which the body’s immune system overreacts to a food and mistakenly produces antibodies (called IgE) to the food.

This can cause reactions, sometimes severe, that affect the skin, breathing, gut and heart.

Intolerance is an adverse reaction to a food that does not involve the immune system. Symptoms are generally less severe, and can include headaches, gut problems and worsening of skin conditions such as eczema. Intolerance is much less likely to be life-threatening than a true allergy.

What is an allergy?

According to the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and allergy (ASCIA) education resources website, the word “allergy” is frequently overused and misused to include any irritating or uncomfortable symptoms after eating.

Strictly speaking the term should only be used for the symptoms which develop after eating certain foods as part of the immune response.

In an allergic reaction, the body’s immune system mistakenly believes the food is harmful and tries to protect itself. In doing so it overreacts and produces, for example, harmful antibodies to fight the food “allergens”.

In turn, these special antibodies (called IgE) make the body produce histamines and other chemicals, causing reactions that affect the skin, breathing, gut and heart.

IgE antibodies can also “cross react “with other allergens. For example, someone with a latex allergy may also react after eating a banana, kiwi fruit or avocado.  Up to 50 per cent of people who react to one tree nut (including almonds, brazil nuts, Cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts) will react to other tree nuts.

A recently recognized form of food allergy is the “oral allergy syndrome”, where a person experiences a cross reaction between pollens and fresh fruit and vegetables.

This “cross-reactivity” is also the reason why some adults with a predisposition to other allergies suddenly develop a food allergy.

For example, a person with a birch pollen allergy can suddenly became allergic to apple or kiwi fruit allergens.

More adults prone to allergies are developing cross reactions after they are overexposed to certain foods (such as acquiring wheat allergies after working in a bakery).

What are the most common food allergies?

Allergies are mostly triggered by nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, wheat and soybeans.

Adults are more likely to be allergic to fish, shellfish and nuts, with children suffering more from allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts.  Reactions to seeds and fruits are also becoming more common.

There are also cultural differences in allergy patterns, In Japan, rice allergy is common. In the Middle East and Australia, sesame allergy is on the rise.

We know the treatment for ceeliac disease is a gluten-free diet for life. Although people with celiac disease produce antibodies the allergic process is different from that seen in most other allergic reactions.

In celiac disease, gluten reacts with the small intestine, and activates the immune system to attack the delicate lining of the bowel.

The normally rippled lining of the intestine becomes damaged and inflamed, and forms the characteristic flat appearance of celiac disease.

The surface area, which enables the absorption of nutrients and minerals from food, is seriously depleted, leading to gastrointestinal and malabsorptive symptoms.

Common Intolerances

Almost any food can cause an intolerance, but the repeat offenders are;

OFFENDER:
Lactose
FOUND IN:
Milk and milk products. Yoghurts have little lactose and hard cheeses have none.

OFFENDER:
salicylates
FOUND IN:
Natural food chemicals found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables such as cauliflower, eggplant, broccoli, tomato, apple, orange, and pineapple. Also found in nuts, spices and aspirin.

OFFENDER:
Amines
FOUND IN:
Histamines and histamine-like chemicals produced during fermentation, and the ageing and ripening of foods. Found in wine, processed meats, hard cheese, tomato paste, chocolate, and many fruits and vegetables.

OFFENDER:
Glutamate
FOUND IN:
An amino acid found naturally in all protein foods such as cheese, processed meats and milk. MSG (additive621) is a type of glutamate, and natural glutamates are also found in Soy Sauce, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, grapes, plums and many others foods

I certainly hope this helps you understand a little bit more about allergies and food intolerances in order to help you or one of your family members a more pleasant and healthier life.

Until next time,  Stay Healthy!
 
Dr. Jimmy Steger    

Absorption of Nutrients

Absorption of Nutrients
Dr. Jimmy Steger

The small intestine is a tubular structure within the abdominal cavity that carries the food in continuation with the stomach up to the colon from where the large intestine carries it to the rectum and out of the body via the anus. The main function of this organ is to aid in digestion.

How big is the small intestine?

As a person grows the small intestine increases 20 times in length from about 200 cm in a newborn to almost 6 m in an adult. The length of the small intestine is approximated by three times the length of the infant, or height of the child or adult.

The duodenum is about 25 cm (10 inches) long; the jejunum is about 2.5 m (8 feet) long and the ileum is about 3.6 m (12 feet) long.

Anatomy of the small intestine

The small intestine begins with the duodenum. The duodenum begins at the duodenal bulb and goes around the head of the pancreas and ends as it returns to the peritoneal cavity at the ligament of Treitz. The peritoneal cavity is a thin membrane cavity that covers the organs within the abdomen with some exceptions.

The remainder of the small intestine is suspended within the peritoneal cavity by a thin, broad-based mesentery that is attached to the posterior abdominal wall. This allows free movement of the small intestine within the abdominal cavity.

After the duodenum comes the next 40% of the mobile small intestine called the jejunum. The remaining 60% is the ileum.

The jejunum occupies the left upper portion of the abdomen while the ileum is positioned in the right side and upper part of the pelvis.

The inner walls of the small intestine show mucosal folds. These are called the plicae circulares. The plicae are more numerous in the early jejunum and reduce in numbers in the later part and are completely absent in the ileum.

Absorption takes place via primary cell type of the epithelial layer. Goblet cells, located throughout the epithelial layer, secrete mucus that helps protect the epithelial layer from digestion.

Enteroendocrine cells secrete hormones into blood vessels that penetrate each villus. Paneth cells, located in the epithelial layer facing the intestinal crypts, secrete lysozyme, an enzyme that destroys bacteria. An inner core of lamina propria (connective tissues) contains blood capillaries and small lymphatic capillaries called lacteals.

The submucosa under the mucosa contains Brunner’s (duodenal) glands, found only in the submucosa of the duodenum. It secretes an alkaline mucus that neutralizes the gastric acid in the incoming chyme.

Aggregates of lymphoid follicles are scattered throughout the small intestine but are found in highest concentration within the ileum, where they are designated Peyer’s patches. These are more prominent among children and infants. The small intestine ends at the ileocecal valve that leads it to the colon. The ileocecal valve provides a barrier to the back flow of the colonic contents into the small intestine.

The wall of the small intestine and colon is composed of four layers: mucosa (or mucous membrane), submucosa, muscularis (or muscularis propria), and adventitia (or serosa).

Functions of the small intestine

The small intestine is the part of the intestines where 90% of the digestion and absorption of food occurs, the other 10% taking place in the stomach and large intestine. The main function of the small intestine is absorption of nutrients and minerals from food.

Digestion involves two distinct parts. The first is mechanical digestion by chewing, grinding, churning and mixing that takes place in the mouth and the stomach. The second part of digestion is the chemical digestion that uses enzymes, bile acids etc. in order to break down food material into a form that can then be absorbed, then assimilated into the tissues of the body. Chemical digestion occurs in the small intestine (and, to a lesser extent, also in some other part of the gastrointestinal tract.

Digestion of proteins

Proteins, peptides and amino acids are acted upon by enzymes such as trypsin and chymotrypsin, secreted by the pancreas. This breaks them down to smaller peptides. Chemical breakdown begins in the stomach and continues until the large intestine.

Digestion of lipids

Enzymes, like lipases secreted from the pancreas, act on fats and lipids in diet. This breaks the triglycerides into free fatty acids and monoglycerides. It is helped by bile salts secreted by the liver and the gall bladder. The lipase is soluble in water but the fatty triglycerides are not. The bile salts hold the triglycerides in the watery environment until the lipase can break them into the smaller parts that can enter the intestinal villi for absorption.

Digestion of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are broken down to simple sugars and monosaccharides like glucose. Pancreatic amylase breaks down some carbohydrates to oligosaccharides as well. Some carbohydrates and fibers pass undigested to the large intestine where they may, depending on their type, be broken-down by intestinal bacteria.

Absorption in the small intestines

Once broken down the nutrients are absorbed by the inner walls of the small intestine into the blood stream. The nutrients are rendered small enough so that they may pass, or “be transported”, across the epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract. The nutrients are absorbed by processes of simple/passive diffusion, facilitated diffusion, primary active transport, or secondary active transport.

The small intestine is good for absorption since it has a large inner surface area. This is formed due to the plicae circulares which project many tiny finger-like structures of tissue called villi. The individual epithelial cells also have finger-like projections, which are called known as microvilli.

For transport, nutrients commonly rely upon:

  • Lipids – undergo passive or simple diffusion
  • Short-chain fatty acids – diffusion
  • Amino acids – primary active transport
  • Glucose – secondary active transport
  • Fructose – facilitated diffusion
  • Other absorbed substances in the small intestines include:

Water

Most of the water in ingested food and beverages is absorbed by osmosis. 

Approximately 80% is absorbed by the small intestine, 10% by the large intestine and the remaining 10% excreted in the faeces.

Electrolytes

Of these sodium is absorbed by diffusion and active transport. Chloride (Cl-) is absorbed passively along with sodium or actively transported. Iodine (I-) and  Nitrate (NO3-) can passively follow Na+ ions or are absorbed actively. Calcium ions (Ca2+) are absorbed actively in a process stimulated by calcitriol (active form of Vitamin D). Iron ions (Fe2+ and Fe3+), Potassium ions (K+), Magnesium ions (Mg2+) and Phospate ions (PO43-) are absorbed by active transport mechanisms.

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins including fat soluble ones (Vitamins A, D, E and K) are absorbed together with dietary fats. Water soluble vitamins like vitamins B and C are absorbed by diffusion. Vitamin B12 combined with intrinsic factor (from the stomach) is absorbed by active transport.

Of these iron is absorbed in the duodenum, most are absorbed in the jejunum and Vitamin B12 and bile salts are absorbed in the later part of the ileum.

Disorders of the small intestine

Some of the disorders of the small intestine include:

  • Obstruction of the small intestine. This may occur due to external pressure, masses in the lumen (foreign bodies, bezoar, gallstones), paralytic ileus, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, Carcinoid, Meckel’s Diverticulum, Gastric dumping syndrome, inguinal hernia, intussuseption, mesenteric ischemia etc.
  • Infections including Giardiasis, Ascariasis, Tropical sprue, Tape worm infestation etc.
  • Small intestine cancer
    Until next time,  Stay Healthy!
     
    Dr. Jimmy Steger    

Prevention of Arthritis

Prevention of Arthritis

 Dr. Jimmy Steger

How can we prevent arthritis, and if we have arthritis, how can we heal it?  First of all, let’s look at some of the causes of arthritis.   People eat denatured foods that have been canned, preserved, packaged, and nuked by the microwave; there are no vitamins and minerals left in them.  The joints need minerals in order to stay lubricated and healthy.  The joints are lined with a substance called lymph fluid.  The lymph fluid is the same fluid that makes up our tears when we cry.  Have you ever tasted your tears?  They are very salty.  Organic sodium is necessary to keep the lymph healthy.  Organic sodium helps to hold calcium in the bone.  When calcium comes out of the bone, crystals form in the joints causing pain, inflammation and swelling.  Soon the joints become enlarged and hardened. 

Some people think they need to eat a lot of salt, especially after reading this article. However, this is far from the truth.  Table salt (sodium chloride) dries up the lymph fluid in the body.  This salt is much different from natural, organic sodium.  Table salt is made from salt rocks and is mined from the earth and it is impossible for the body to absorb.  Some people use sea salt in place of table salt.  Most sea salt does come from the sea, however, it has been heated to high temperatures and all the minerals are destroyed.  In order to get natural, organic sodium into the body we must get it from plants or from goat whey, or goat’s milk.  Plants stretch their roots far into the earth and absorb the salt that is there and transmute it into a form that we can absorb correctly.  Goats eat these plants

and the organic sodium goes into their milk.  Goat whey is the clear fluid that is in the milk.  It is separated from the milk solids during the cheese making process and is very rich in organic sodium.  I personally prescribe putting all my arthritis patients on goat milk or goat whey to help dissolve the arthritic crystals and help to be absorbed by the bone.  However, they should also consider a good diet change in order to allow this process to work in conjunction with extra glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM.

The organic sodium in goat whey also helps to relieve inflammation in the joints.  Goat mineral whey can be taken in either a powder form or an encapsulated form.  The first cause of arthritis is neglecting to consume the foods we need that are high in organic sodium, and organic minerals.  The second cause is consuming foods that actually drain the body of the calcium, sodium minerals, and B vitamins that are already there in the first place.  Some of the foods that do this are: Coffee, table salt, refined sugar, American tea, sodas, chocolate, and nutra-sweet.  In order to process these unnatural foods the body has to use up its reserves of calcium, sodium, vitamins and minerals and these unnatural foods have no nutrients to give back to the body.  In time, the body becomes deficient in these nutrients.

The third cause of arthritis is long-term stress.  Stress causes the body to burn up nutrients very rapidly and if one is not eating properly to replace these nutrients, arthritis can occur.  B vitamins in the body and organic sodium are the first elements to be used up under stress.  Without natural sodium in the body inflammation takes place. Without B vitamin the nervous system and the adrenal glands become weak.  Stress weakens the adrenal glands so they are no longer able to create normal amounts of cortisol. A lack of cortisol also causes inflammation.  When people go to their regular doctor for arthritis they usually receive cortisone and it may reduce their symptoms for a while.  However, if they don’t change their diet or lifestyle and continue taking the cortisone, they can and will have very bad side effects.

To prevent arthritis or to help it heal, one needs organic sodium and all the B vitamins in the form of a B complex.  Foods high in sodium are: Celery, dark green leafy vegetables, dandelion greens, beet tops, okra, and strawberries, along with goat whey.  Foods high in B vitamins are brown rice, brown rice syrup, rice bran, oats, brews yeast, almonds and alfalfa.  Alfalfa tablets are high in B vitamins and minerals.  They are also high in chlorophyll that cleanses the blood and liver and fiber that cleanses the bowls.  Because of all the wonderful nutrients in alfalfa tablets, they have been known to help arthritis tremendously.  Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM all help to support the joints and build healthy connective tissue as well.  White willow bark, aloe vera juice, and tumeric also help to relieve inflammation and pain.  Hyaluronic acid is a new player on the scene and is very important to overall joint health and beauty as well. Remember if you or someone you know has arthritis, nutrition and a good supplement program is the only way to get your health back.

Until next time,  Stay Healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger    

Chemical Food Additives

Chemical Food Additives
 Dr. Jimmy Steger  

This alphabetical listing of the most common food additives includes what they’re used for, some of the foods in which they’re found, and our assessment of their safety.

Acesulfame Potassium. (Everyone should avoid) – Artificial sweetener: Chewing gum, diet soda, no-sugar added baked goods and desserts, tabletop sweetener (Sunett).

Poorly done safety tests in the 1970s suggested that acesulfame potassium may cause cancer. The Food and Drug Administration has refused to require better studies. Acesulfame Potassium is often used with sucralose.

Alginate, Propylene Glycol Alginate. (Cut Out) – Foam stabilizers, thickening agents: Beer, candy, cheese, ice cream, yogurt. They’re made from seaweed (kelp).

Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E). (Safe) – Antioxidant, nutrient: Oils. Small amounts are added to oils to keep them from going rancid and to other foods to pump up the vitamin E.

Artificial and Natural Flavoring. (Certain people should avoid.) – Breakfast cereal, candy, soda, many other foods. Most of the hundreds of chemicals used to mimic natural flavors also occur in nature are probably safe. But flavorings are often used in junk foods to mask the absence of natural ingredients (fruit, for example). Flavorings may include additives like MSG or HVP, to which some people are sensitive.

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Erythorbic Acid. (Safe) – Antioxidant, color stabilizer, nutrient: Cereal, cured meat, fruit drinks. It helps maintain the red color of ham, bacon, and other cured foods and it inhibits the formation of cancer-promoting nitrosamines (see Sodium Nitrate). Vitamin C is also used to pump up the vitamin content of foods like “fruit” drinks. Sodium ascorbate is a form of ascorbic acid that dissolves easily. Erythorbic acid is chemically similar to ascorbic acid, but it isn’t a vitamin.

Aspartame (NutraSweet). (Everyone should avoid) – Artificial sweetener: Frozen desserts, diet soda, tabletop sweetener (Equal). Disturbing new Italian research in animals indicate that long term consumption may increase the risk of leukemia, lymphoma, and breast cancer. Although some people report dizziness, hallucinations, or headaches after drinking diet soda, only one of the controlled studies that looked for a link found one (to headaches). People with the rare disease PKU (phyenylketonuria) need to avoid aspartame.

Beta-Carotene. (Safe) – Coloring, nutrient: Coffee creamer, margarine, butter, candy. It’s an orange pigment that the body converts to vitamin A.

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) (Caution) – Clouding agent, emulsifier: Soft drinks. It’s occasionally used to keep flavor oils in suspension and give a cloudy appearance to citrus-flavored soft drinks. Small residues of BVO remain in body fat, but it’s unclear whether they pose any risk.

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) (Caution) – Antioxidant: Cereal packages, chewing gum, oil, potato chips. It retards rancidity in fats, oils, and foods that contain oil. According to the federal government’s National Toxicology Program, it is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” based on animal studies.

Caffeine (Cut Out) – Flavoring, stimulant: Added to soft drinks and water.  Occurs naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate.  It improves alertness and endurance, especially for the sleep-deprived but can also interfere with sound sleep and make you jittery.  If you have these symptoms, consider cutting back.  Caffeine is mildly addictive; it causes headaches, irritability, or sleepiness when you go too long without it.  High doses (more than 200mg a day) may increase the risk of miscarriage or rare birth defects.  Avoid caffeine if you are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant.

Calcium Propionate, Sodium Propionate. (Safe) – Preservative: Bread, cake, pies, rolls.  Calcium propionate prevents the growth of mold on bread and rolls. The calcium is a nutrient and the propionate is safe.  Since calcium interferes with leavening agents, sodium propionate, which is also safe, is used in pies and in cake.

Calcium (or Sodium) Stearoyl Lactylate or Sodium Stearoyl Fumarate. (Safe) – Dough conditioner, whipping agent: Artificial whipped cream, bread dough, cake filling, processed egg whites.  They strengthen bread dough so it can be used in commercial bread-making machinery.  They help produce a more uniform grain and greater bread volume. And they act as a whipping agent in dried, liquid, or frozen egg whites and artificial whipped cream.

Carrageenan. (Safe) – Stabilizing and thickening agent: Chocolate milk, Cottage cheese, ice cream, infant formula, jelly.  It comes from seaweed. Large amount have damaged the colons of test animals, though the small amounts in foods are safe.

Casein, Sodium Caseinate. (Avoid) – Casein is the principal protein in milk. Since it’s used in some “non-dairy” and “vegetarian” foods, people who are allergic to milk need to read labels carefully. The is primary ingredient in most glues to make it sticky.

Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate. (Safe) – Citric acid is used as a tart flavoring and an antioxidant. Sodium citrate is a buffer that controls the acidity of gelatin desserts, jams, ice creams, candies, and other foods.

Cochineal or Carmine. (Certain people should avoid) – Cochineal extract is a red coloring made from the dried and pulverized bodies of insects. Carmine is a more purified coloring made from cochineal. Both have caused rare allergic reactions that range from hives to life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

Corn Syrup. (Cut Back) – Corn syrup – which consists mostly of dextrose—is a sweet, thin liquid made by treating cornstarch with acids or enzymes. It is sometimes dried and used as corn syrup solids in coffee creamers and other dry foods. It has no nutritional value other than calories, it promotes tooth decay, and it’s used mainly in foods with little nutritional value.

Dextrose (Glucose, Corn Syrup). (Cut Back) – When added to foods as a sweetener, it means empty calories and tooth decay.

EDTA. (Safe) – Modern food-manufacturing technology leaves trace amounts of metal in food (from metal rollers, blenders, and containers). EDTA (ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid) chelates the metals—that is, it traps impurities that would otherwise make oils rancid and break down artificial colors.

Ferrous Gluconate. (Safe) – it’s used to generate a uniform jet-black color in olives and as a source of iron in foods.

Fructose. (Cut Back) – Pure fructose is used as a sweetener in a small number of foods. Modest amounts consumed on a regular basis may raise the risk of heart disease by increasing blood triglyceride levels. They may also contribute to obesity because fructose affects hormones that regulate weight and may not curb appetite as much as an equal amount of glucose or sucrose.

Fumaric Acid. (Safe) – It adds tartness and acidity. To help it dissolve faster in cold water, it’s often mixed with dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS), an additive that appears to be safe.

Gelatin. (Safe) – it’s a protein obtained from animal hides and bones that has less nutritional value than other proteins.

Glycerin (Glycerol). (Safe) – It’s a natural component of fat molecules. The body uses it for calories or to make more-complex molecules.

Gums (Arabic, Furcelleran, Ghatti, Guar, Karaya, Locust Bean, Tragacanth, Xanthan). (Safe, Certain people should avoid) – Gums are derived from natural sources (bushes, trees, seaweed, bacteria). Through poorly tested, they’re probably safe. In rare instances, tragacanth has caused severe allergic reactions.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). (Cut Back) – This mixture of two sugars (it’s about half fructose, half glucose) has largely replaced table sugar (sucrose) in soft drinks and many other foods because it’s cheaper. Despite the urban myth, it’s not worse for you than sucrose. Like other sugars, it promotes obesity, tooth decay, and–in people with high triglycerides—heart disease.

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP). (Certain people should avoid) – it consist of plant protein (usually from soybeans) that has been chemically broken down into it’s amino acid components. HVP brings out the natural flavor of food. It contains MSG. And large amounts may cause reactions in sensitive people (see MSG).

Inulin. (Safe) – It’s a naturally occurring soluble fiber. Inulin doesn’t raise blood sugar levels, so it may help people diabetes. It also stimulates the growth of friendly bacteria in the large intestine.

Invert Sugar. (Cut Back) – This 50-50 mixture of two sugars (dextrose and fructose) is sweeter and dissolves better than sucrose (table sugar). It’s nothing but empty calories and it contributes to tooth decay.

Lactic Acid. (Safe) – It inhibits spoilage in Spanish olives, balances the acidity in cheese, and adds tartness to frozen desserts, carbonated fruit-flavored sodas, and other foods.

Lactose. (Certain people should avoid) – Lactose (milk sugar) is nature’s way of delivering calories to infant mammals. It’s one-sixth as sweet as table sugar and is added to foods as a slightly sweet source of carbohydrates. Some adults have trouble digesting large amounts of lactose.

Lecithin. (Safe) – it occurs naturally in soybean oil and eggs. It keeps oil and water from separating, retards rancidity, reduces spattering, and helps make cake fluffier.

Maltitol, Mannitol. (Cut back) – Like other sugar alcohols (sorbitol, xylitol), maltitol and mannitol are not well absorbed by the body, so they have fewer calories than table sugar. And they don’t promote tooth decay. Large amounts (above 20 to 30grams) may have a laxative effect.

Maltodextrin. (Safe) – It’s made from starch. Some maltodextrins are easily digested and absorbed, while others are chemically processed so that they are “resistant”–they can’t be broken down by digestive enzymes. That makes them an isolated fiber. These resistant maltodextrins may help lower blood sugar levels, but don’t prevent constipation.

Mono- and Diglycerides. (Safe) – they make bread softer, margarine more stable, and caramel less sticky. They also prevent the oil in peanut butter from separating.

MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). (Avoid) – MSG is the sodium salt of a common amino acid, glutamic acid. It brings out the flavor of foods. In the 1960s, researchers discovered that large amounts fed to infant mice destroyed brain cells. Careful studies have shown that a small number of people are sensitive to large doses of MSG. Reactions include headache, nausea, weakness, and burning sensations in the back of the neck and the forearms. Other ingredients, like natural flavoring and hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), also contain glutamate.

Mycoprotein. (Avoid) – it’s made from processed mold (fungus) and is fashioned into imitation meat. A small percentage of people are sensitive to it. Reactions include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and, less often, hives and potentially fatal anaphylactic reactions. The FDA has refused to ban the use of mycoprotein or to require foods to bear a warning label about adverse reactions.

Neotame. (Avoid) – Artificial sweetener: Diet soda, other diet food. It’s chemically related to aspartame, but is used at much lower levels. It’s also more stable (unlike aspartame, it can be used in baked foods). Neotame does not appear to be a problem for people with PKU (phenylketonuria).

Oat fiber, wheat fiber. (Safe) Isolated fiber: Cereal, crackers, bread, and muffins. When a food ingredient contains the word “fiber,” it’s code for an isolated fiber. “Wheat fiber” and “oat hull fiber” are insoluble fibers, which may help prevent constipation but don’t lower blood cholesterol or blood sugar. “Oat fiber” can either be soluble or insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber may lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar but doesn’t prevent constipation.

Olestra (Olean). (Everyone should avoid) – fat substitute: Lay’s light chips, Pringles light chips. It’s a synthetic fat that isn’t absorbed as it passes through the digestive system, so it has no calories. It can cause severe and incapacitating diarrhea, loose stools, abdominal cramps, and flatulence.

Oligofructose. (Safe) – Sweetener, bulking agent, and emulsifier, prebiotic: Frozen desserts, cookies, energy and granola bars. It’s either synthesized from sucrose or extracted from chicory root. Like insulin and other soluble fibers, oligofructose is digested by bacteria in the large intestine, but not by human enzymes, and provides only about half the calories of fructose or other sugars. Oligofructose promotes the growth of beneficial bifidus bacteria.

Partially Hydrogenated Oil. (Everyone should avoid) – Fat: Baked goods, fried restaurant foods, icing, microwave popcorn, piecrust, shortening, stick margarine. Vegetable oil can be made into a semisolid shortening or margarine by chemically adding hydrogen. The process creates transfats, which raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol, making them worse for you heart than saturated fat.

Phosphates, Phosphoric Acid. (Safe) – Acidulant, buffer, cleaning agent, color stabilizer, emulsifier, nutrient: Baked goods, breakfast cereal, cheese, cured meat, dehydrated potatoes, powdered food, soda. While excessive consumption of phosphates may contribute to osteoporosis, only a small fraction of the phosphates in the diet comes from additives.

Phytosterols or Phytostanols. (Safe) – Cholesterol-lowerers: Margarine (Benecol, take control), added to some orange juices and breads. Plant sterols (or stanols) are found naturally in many nuts, seeds vegetable oils, fruits, vegetables, and other foods. High doses can reduce the absorption of cholesterol from food, which can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 10 to 15 percent. They may also slightly reduce the absorption of carotenoids.

Polydextrose. (Cut Back) – Bulking agent: Reduced-calorie salad dressing, baked goods, candies, pudding, frozen desserts. Polydextrose is made by combining dextrose (corn sugar) with the sugar alcohol sorbitol. The result is a slightly sweet, reduced calorie-bulking agent. The FDA requires labels of foods that would likely provide more than 15 grams of polydextrose to carry a mild warning: “Sensitive individuals may experience a laxative effect from excessive consumption of this product.”

Polysorbate 60. (Safe) – Emulsifier: Baked goods, frozen desserts, imitation cream. Polysorbate 60 and its close relatives, polysorbate 65 and polysorbate 80, work like mono- and diglycerides. They keep baked goods from going stale, keep dill oil(a flavoring) dissolved in bottles dill pickles, help coffee creamers dissolve, and prevent oil from separating in artificial whipped cream.

Potassium Bromate. (Everyone should avoid) – Dough strengthener: white flower. Most bromate rapidly breaks down to form innocuous bromides. However, bromate itself causes cancer in animals, and the tiny amounts that may remain in bread pose a small risk. Bromate was banned in the United Kingdom in 1989 and it isn’t used in California (probably because foods made with it would have to carry a cancer warning).

Propyl Gallate. (Everyone should avoid) – Antioxidant, preservative: Chewing gum, chicken soup base, meat potato sticks, oil. It helps prevent fats and oils from spoiling and is often used together with BHA and BHT. The best animal studies hinted that it might cause cancer.

Quinine. (Caution)(Certain people should avoid) – Flavoring: Bitter lemon, Quinine water, tonic water. Quinine has been poorly tested as a food additive, and there’s a slight chance that it causes birth defects, so pregnant women should avoid it.

Saccharin. (Everyone should avoid) – Artificial sweetener: No-sugar added foods, tabletop sweetener (Sweet’N Low). Animal studies have shown that it can cause cancer of the bladder, uterus, ovaries, skin, and other organs.  It also appears to increase the potency of other cancer-causing chemicals. A National Cancer Institute study found that heavy-saccharin users had higher rates of bladder cancer than people who used smaller amounts.

Salt (Sodium Chloride). (Avoid) – Flavoring, preservative: Most processed foods. It’s probably the single most harmful substance in the food supply. In most people, a diet high in sodium increases blood pressure, which raises heart disease risk.

Sodium Benzoate, Benzoic Acid. (Certain people should avoid) – It appears to be safe, though sensitive people may experience hives, asthma, or other allergic reactions. Sodium benzoate may also exacerbate hyperactivity in some children. When sodium benzoate is used in acidic beverages that also contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C), the two can form small amounts of benzene, which causes leukemia and other cancers. Under threat of a lawsuit, the leading soft-drink makers recently re-formulated their beverages—typically fruit-flavored drinks—to prevent the reaction.

Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). (Safe) – Among other things, it keeps sugar from crystallizing.

Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Nitrite. (Everyone should avoid) – Sodium nitrite stabilizes the red color in cured meat and adds flavor. Without it, hot dogs and bacon would look gray. It also helps prevent the growth of bacteria that cause botulism. Adding nitrite to food can create small amounts of potent cancer causing chemicals called nitrosamines, particularly in fried bacon. Companies now add ascorbic acid or erthorbic acid to bacon to keep nitrosamines from forming. While nitrate and nitrite introduce only a small cancer risk, they’re still worth avoiding.

Sorbic Acid, Potassium Sorbate. (Safe) – Sorbic acid occurs naturally in many plants.

Sorbitan Monostearate (Safe) – like mono- and diglycerides and polysorbates, it keeps oil and water from separating. In chocolate candy, it prevents the discoloration that normally occurs when the candy is warmed up and then cooled.

Sorbitol. (Cut Back) – it’s a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in fruits and is a close relative of sugar, though it’s half as sweet. Because bacteria don’t metabolize sorbitol well, it’s used in no-sugar-added chewing gum, which doesn’t cause tooth decay. Some diabetics use sorbitol-sweetened foods because it’s absorbed slowly and doesn’t cause blood sugar to increase rapidly. Moderate amounts of sorbitol may have strong laxative effect, but otherwise it’s safe.

Starch, Modified Starch. (Safe) – It’s used in many foods as a thickening agent and to keep solids suspended. Chemists can “modify” it with certain chemicals to make it dissolve in cold water. Starch and modified starches sometimes replace nutritious ingredients like fruit. One preliminary study indicated that modified starches can cause diarrhea in infants.

Stevia. (Safe) – Small amounts are safe. High doses of fed to rats reduced sperm production and increased cell proliferation in their testicles, which could cause infertility or other problems. Stevia can only be sold in the United States as a dietary supplement, but several companies are reportedly developing a stevia-derived sweetener and plan to seek approval from the FDA to use it in foods.

Sucralose. (Avoid) – unlike aspartame, sucralose can be used in baked foods. It appears to be the safest artificial sweetener, however I do not recommend this to anyone.

Sugar (Sucrose). (Avoid) – Sucrose (table sugar) occurs naturally in fruit, sugar cane, and sugar beets. Sugar, corn syrup, and other refined sweeteners make up about 15 percent of the average person’s diet, but provide no vitamin, minerals, fiber, or protein. Sugar molecules feed cancer and also shrinks the thymus gland. Not good!

Sulfites (Sodium Bisulfite, Sulfur Dioxide). (Certain people should avoid) – Sulfiting agents prevent discoloration (in dried fruit, some fresh shrimp, and some dried, fried, or frozen potatoes) and bacterial growth (in wine). They also destroy vitamin B-1. Sulfites can cause severe reactions in sensitive people, especially those with asthma.

Thiamin Mononitrate. (Safe) – It’s perfectly safe.

Vanillin, Ethyl Vanillin. (Safe) – Vanilla flavoring is derived from a bean, but vanillin, the major flavor component of vanilla, s cheaper to produce in a factory. A derivative, ethyl vanillin, comes closer to matching the taste of real vanilla.

Xylitol. (Cut Back) – like other sugar alcohols (maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol), xylitol is not well absorbed by the body, so it has fewer calories than table sugar. And it doesn’t promote tooth decay. Large amounts may have a laxative effect.

Quick Reference Shopping Guide 

Safe                                                            
Alginate

Alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Beta-Carotene

Calcium propionate

Calcium stearoyl lactylate

Carrageenan

Citric Acid

 
Eliminate
Corn syrup

Dextrose (corn sugar, glucose)

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

Invert sugar

Maltitol

Mannitol

Polydextrose

Salt (sodium chloride)

Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate

EDTA

Ethyl vanillin

Ferrous gluconate

Fumaric acid

Fructose

Gelatin

Glycerin (glycerol)

Gums (Arabic, furcelleran, ghatti, guar, karaya, locust bean, xanthan)

Inulin

Lactic acid

Lecithin

Maltodextrin

Modified starch

Mono- and diglycerides

Neotame

Oat fiber

Oligofructose

Phosphates

Phosphoric acid

Phytostanols

Phytosterols

Polysorbate 60, 65, 80

Potassium sorbate

Sodium ascorbate

Sodium carboxymethyl-cellulose

Sodium citrate

Sodium propionate

Sodium stearoyl fumarate

Sodium stearoyl lactylate

Sorbic acid

Sorbitan monostearate

Sorbitol

Starch

Stevia

Thiamin mononitrate

Vanillin

Wheat fiber

Xylitol

Until next time, stay healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger

 
Artificial colorings (Citrus Red 2, Red 40)

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)

Quinine

Artificial colorings (Yellow 5)

Artificial and natural flavoring

Caffeine

Casein

Cochineal

Gums (tragacanth)

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)

Lactose

MSG (monosodium glutamate)

Mycoprotein (Quorn)

Quinine

Sodium benzoate

Sodium caseinate

Sulfites (sodium bisulfite, sulfur dioxide)

Proplene glycol alginate

Acesulfame potassium

Artificial colorings (Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 3, Yellow 6)

Aspartame (NutraSweet)

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)

Olestra (Olean)

Partially hydrogenated oil

Potassium bromate

Propyl gallate

Saccharin

Sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite

Sucralose

Sugar

Eyesight – Vision

 Eyesight – Vision

Dr. Jimmy Steger

Each of us comes equipped with an amazing pair of optical wonders. Even the Hubble telescope, which looks far out into distant galaxies, pales in comparison to the technology of the eye.

For many, vision fails as they get older. But despite what you may have been led to believe, this is not an inevitable part of aging.

Whether it’s the result of macular degeneration, cataracts, or glaucoma, vision loss is usually the result of not having enough “dye in your eye.” This “dye” not only helps you interpret the world around you, it also contains vitally important antioxidants that protect visual anatomy.

Just as there are many different colors of crayons, there are different types of eye dyes. These pigments fall into a chemical category known as xanthophylls – and cannot be preserved without proper nutrition.

You must get xanthophylls from your diet. Fortunately, food sources of xanthophylls are easy to find. Just load up on grass fed eggs, kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, corn, garden peas, Brussels sprouts, and liver. Minerals and keeping the body in an alkaline state is of utmost importance for overall health of the eyes.

Until next time, Stay Healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger