Is Male Menopause Real?

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Is Male Menopause Real? 

By Daniel D. Federman, M.D., and Geoffrey A. Walford, M.D.

Newsweek Jan. 15, 2007 issue – You’re a guy in your late 50s. You’ve just awakened and are looking at yourself in the bathroom mirror—as you do every morning. Only today you notice for the first time what must have been there for a while: the love handles, the once bulging pecs that now sort of sag. It gets you thinking. You realize that for some time you haven’t had as much energy as you used to, you don’t have as much interest in sex, there are times when you feel down and discouraged, and your friends tell you that you’re more irritable than you used to be. Is this just aging? Is it simply the inevitable price of your nutritionally rich and exercise-poor lifestyle? Or is it a medical condition—one for which there might be a treatment?

Are you entering “male menopause”? You’ve heard the phrase, but is there really such a thing?

Like women, men experience a drop in the levels of sex hormones as they age. But in men, the pace of these changes is quite different. In women, levels of the main female sex hormone, estrogen, remain high for most of their adult lives, and then, around the age of 50, plunge over the course of five years. The lower levels of estrogen cause the physical and psychological changes of menopause, including the most obvious one: the cessation of menstrual periods. When a woman has entered menopause, it’s not hard for her to tell.

With men, it’s much more gradual. Levels of a man’s main sex hormone, testosterone, begin to drop as early as the age of 30. Instead of plunging over a few years, the testosterone levels drop very slightly (about 1 percent) each year—for the rest of his life. This change is so gradual that many men may not notice any effects until several decades have gone by. Yet, by 50, 10 percent of all U.S. men have low levels of testosterone. By 70, more than half are testosterone deficient.

Do the progressively lower levels of testosterone cause symptoms in a man, the way lower levels of estrogen do in a woman? There is no doubt that they can, but it can be very hard to tell. Men with certain rare conditions that cause extremely low levels of testosterone develop a loss of muscle mass and bone strength, increased body fat, decreased energy, less interest in sex, erectile dysfunction, irritability and depression. In men with these rare conditions, testosterone-replacement therapy can improve their symptoms.

In the average man, however, linking testosterone levels to symptoms and predicting which men with low levels will benefit from treatment is tricky, for several reasons. First, there are many conditions that can cause the symptoms associated with testosterone deficiency. Alcohol abuse, thyroid and other hormonal disorders, liver and kidney disease, heart failure and chronic lung disease can all cause similar symptoms. Depression can cause many of these symptoms in men with perfectly normal levels of testosterone.

Second, some testosterone in the blood is “active” and other testosterone is inactive. It is low levels of active testosterone that cause symptoms of testosterone deficiency, yet doctors typically test just for “total” testosterone. Third, testosterone levels vary widely among men of the same age, including the majority of men without symptoms of testosterone deficiency. Fourth, testosterone levels fluctuate over the course of the day and vary widely among healthy men. For all those reasons, it’s difficult to determine what a “normal” level of testosterone is.

Perhaps most perplexing, men experience symptoms of testosterone deficiency at very different levels: some men with what appear to be low levels of active testosterone have no symptoms, and some men with what appear to be “normal” levels of active testosterone have symptoms that improve with testosterone therapy.

Despite these complexities, symptoms due to testosterone deficiency in men older than 50 definitely occur and can be diagnosed and treated. As many as 10 million U.S. men may be affected. As the baby-boomer generation ages over the next 25 years, this number is expected to rise significantly.

So what should you do if you have symptoms that could reflect a testosterone deficiency? If you are older than 50 and have symptoms, see your doctor. The doctor should first determine whether the symptoms may be caused by other conditions. If not, the doctor should measure blood levels of total testosterone. The tests should be done in the morning, when testosterone levels are the highest, and repeated at least once to ensure accuracy.

If your levels are greater than 400 nanograms per deciliter, you are not testosterone deficient, and the symptoms must have some other cause. If your total testosterone level is less than 200ng/dl, you are clearly deficient. If your levels are borderline—between 200ng/dl and 400ng/dl—you may be deficient; to be sure, you should have your active testosterone measured.

When can you benefit from testosterone therapy? If you have symptoms and extremely low levels of total or active testosterone, you will likely benefit. If you have borderline levels, however, the evidence is less clear: some studies show a benefit, others do not.

Is there a risk to testosterone treatments? In some patients, testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT) can cause or worsen sleep apnea. High levels of testosterone can raise the number of blood cells, increasing the risk of blood clots, heart attacks and stroke. The most significant concerns regarding TRT are potential effects on the prostate. Prostate growth and cancer are both testosterone-dependent. Increasing testosterone levels could theoretically lead to a greater incidence of enlarged prostates, also known as BPH, and to progression of prostate cancer. Although no short-term studies have shown an increased frequency of prostate cancer in men taking TRT, the long-term effects on the prostate are still unknown.

So, for many men with borderline levels of testosterone, the benefits and the risks of testosterone therapy are uncertain. Despite this, for the past 20 years many men have begun using testosterone supplements. In 2005, more than 2.3 million testosterone prescriptions were written—most of them for men between the ages of 50 and 65. Yet men older than 65 have a much greater likelihood of having significant testosterone deficiency. So it may be that testosterone supplements are being overused by men below 65 and underused by those over 65.

Many formulations of testosterone supplements are available today. In the United States, the most commonly used preparations are patches, gels and intramuscular injections. Patches and gels are easy to use and provide a constant, steady release of testosterone through the skin and into the blood. However, patches can cause skin irritation, and gels are slow to be absorbed and can leave a musty smell. Intramuscular injections have to be given in a health-care setting every two to four weeks, inconvenient for many men. Additionally, intramuscular preparations produce unnaturally high blood levels right after the injection, which over several weeks fall to unnaturally low levels. Indeed, some men experience a return of their symptoms before the next injection.

Testosterone pills were popular 20 years ago, and prompted the widespread use of testosterone supplements. However, they were found to cause liver damage and liver tumors, and were removed from the market. Since then, newer and safer testosterone pills have been developed and are available in Europe. Once appropriate safety tests have been done, it is likely that they will also become available in the United States. In addition, new hormones called selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs), which resemble testosterone but do not affect the prostate, are under development. Theoretically, these SARMs could offer the benefits of conventional testosterone therapy and significantly decrease the potential harmful side effects of the therapy.

If your doctor has prescribed testosterone treatment, the dose should be determined by symptom relief. In addition, your doctor should regularly measure your testosterone levels—to ensure that they do not become too high, increasing the risk of dangerous side effects. Finally, you should have regular physical examinations and blood tests to monitor for potential damage to the liver, blood and prostate. Additionally, you and your partner should watch for symptoms of sleep apnea: unusual snoring and daytime sleepiness, and periods of 10 seconds or longer during sleep when you do not take a breath. Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening side effect of TRT.

Whether you call it “male menopause” or not, some men do develop serious and bothersome symptoms from testosterone deficiency. Unfortunately, medical science knows much less about male menopause than about female menopause. With the growing interest in this problem, and the likelihood that testosterone pills will re-appear in the United States, that knowledge gap is likely to shrink. Now, if only our prostates would do the same.

Federman and Walford are members of the faculty of Harvard Medical School. For more information on male menopause and men’s health, go to health.harvard.edu/NEWSWEEK.

 

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Three Hidden Ways Wheat Makes You Fat

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Here is a great article on the effects wheat has on our bodies.  Even if you don’t suffer from any wheat/gluten allergies, this is still an informative article on what wheat does to your body.  Small dietary changes can have a huge impact on your health.  It may be hard at first, but your body will thank you.  As always, stay healthy!

Three Hidden Ways Wheat Makes You Fat

by: Dr. Mark Hyman, http://www.drhyman.com

Gluten free is hot these days. There are books and websites, restaurants with gluten free menus, and grocery stores with hundreds of new gluten free food products on the shelf.  Is this a fad, or a reflection of response to a real problem?

Yes, gluten is a real problem.  But the problem is not just gluten.  In fact, there are three major hidden reasons that wheat products, not just gluten (along with sugar in all its forms) is the major contributor to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, depression and so many other modern ills.

This is why there are now 30% more obese than undernourished in the world, and why globally chronic lifestyle and dietary driven disease kills more than twice as many people as infectious disease.  These non-communicable chronic diseases will cost our global economy $47 trillion over the next 20 years.

Sadly, this tsunami of chronic illness is increasingly caused by eating our beloved diet staple, bread, the staff of life, and all the wheat products hidden in everything from soups to vodka to lipstick to envelope adhesive.

The biggest problem is wheat, the major source of gluten in our diet.  But wheat weaves it misery through many mechanisms, not just the gluten!    The history of wheat parallels the history of chronic disease and obesity across the world.  Supermarkets today contain walls of wheat and corn disguised in literally hundreds of thousands of different food- like products, or FrankenFoods.  Each American now consumes about 55 pounds of wheat flour every year.

It is not just the amount but also the hidden components of wheat that drive weight gain and disease.  This is not the wheat your great-grandmother used to bake her bread.  It is FrankenWheat – a scientifically engineered food product developed in the last 50 years.

How Wheat (and Gluten) Triggers Weight Gain, Prediabetes, Diabetes and More

This new modern wheat may look like wheat, but it is different in three important ways that all drive obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and more.

  1. It contains a Super Starch – amylopectin A that is super fattening.
  2. It contains a form of Super Gluten that is super-inflammatory.
  3. It contains forms of a Super Drug that is super-addictive and makes you crave and eat more.

The Super Starch

The Bible says, “Give us this day our daily bread”.  Eating bread is nearly a religious commandment. But the Einkorn, heirloom, Biblical wheat of our ancestors is something modern humans never eat.

Instead, we eat dwarf wheat, the product of genetic manipulation and hybridization that created short, stubby, hardy, high yielding wheat plants with much higher amounts of starch and gluten and many more chromosomes coding for all sorts of new odd proteins.  The man who engineered this modern wheat won the Nobel Prize – it promised to feed millions of starving around the world.  Well, it has, and it has made them fat and sick.

The first major difference of this dwarf wheat is that it contains very high levels of a super starch called amylopectin A.  This is how we get big fluffy Wonder Bread and Cinnabons.

Here’s the downside.  Two slices of whole wheat bread now raise your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of table sugar.

There is no difference between whole wheat and white flour here.  The biggest perpetrated on the unsuspecting public is the inclusion of “whole grains” in many processed foods full of sugar and wheat giving the food a virtuous glow.  The best way to avoid foods that are bad for you is to stay away from foods with health claims on the label.  They are usually hiding something bad.

In people with diabetes, both white and whole grain bread raises blood sugar levels 70 to 120 mg/dl over starting levels.  We know that foods with a high glycemic index make people store belly fat, trigger hidden fires of inflammation in the body, and give you a fatty liver leading the whole cascade of obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes.  This problem now affects every other American and is the major driver of nearly all chronic disease and most our health care costs. Diabetes now sucks up one in three Medicare dollars.

The Super Gluten

Not only does this dwarf, FrankenWheat, contain the super starch, but it also contains super gluten which is much more likely to create inflammation in the body. And in addition to a host of inflammatory and chronic diseases caused by gluten, it causes obesity and diabetes.

Gluten is that sticky protein in wheat that holds bread together and makes it rise.  The old fourteen chromosome containing Einkorn wheat codes for the small number of gluten proteins and those that it does produce are the least likely to trigger celiac disease and inflammation. The new dwarf wheat contains twenty-eight or twice as many chromosomes and produces a large variety of gluten proteins, including the ones most likely to cause celiac disease.

Five Ways Gluten Makes You Sick and Fat

Gluten can trigger inflammation, obesity and chronic disease in five major ways.

  1. Full-blown celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that triggers body-wide inflammation triggering insulin resistance, which causes weight gain and diabetes, as well as over 55 conditions including autoimmune diseases, irritable bowel, reflux, cancer, depression, osteoporosis and more.
  2. Low-level inflammation reactions to gluten trigger the same problems even if you don’t have full-blown celiac disease but just have elevated antibodies (7% of the population or 21 million Americans).
  3. There is also striking new research showing that adverse immune reactions to gluten may result from problems in very different parts of the immune system than those implicated in celiac disease.  Most doctors dismiss gluten sensitivity if you don’t have a diagnosis of celiac disease, but this new research proves them wrong. Celiac disease results when the body creates antibodies against the wheat (adaptive immunity), but another kind of gluten sensitivity results from a generalized activated immune system (innate immunity).  This means that people can be gluten-sensitive without having celiac disease or gluten antibodies and still have inflammation and many other symptoms.
  4. A NON-gluten glycoprotein or lectin (combination of sugar and protein) in wheat called wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)(1)   found in highest concentrations in whole wheat increases whole body inflammation as well. This is not an autoimmune reaction but can be just as dangerous and cause heart attacks (2).
  5. Eating too much gluten free food (what I call gluten free junk food) like gluten free cookies, cakes and processed food.  Processed food has a high glycemic load.  Just because it is gluten free, doesn’t mean it is healthy. Gluten free cakes and cookies are still cakes and cookies!  Vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds and lean animal protein are all gluten free – stick with those.

Let’s look at this a little more closely.  Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and oats) can cause celiac disease, which triggers severe inflammation throughout the body and has been linked to autoimmune diseases, mood disorders, autism, schizophrenia, dementia, digestive disorders, nutritional deficiencies, diabetes, cancer, and more.

Celiac Disease: The First Problem

Celiac disease and gluten related problems has been increasing and now affects at least 21 million Americans and perhaps many millions more.  And 99% of people who have problems with gluten or wheat are NOT currently diagnosed.

Ninety eight percent of people with celiac have a genetic predisposition known as HLA DQ2 or DQ8, which occurs in 30% of the population.  But even though our genes haven’t changed, we have seen a dramatic increase in celiac disease in the last 50 years because of some environmental trigger.

In a recent study comparing blood samples taken 50 years ago from 10,000 young Air Force recruits to samples taken recently from 10,000 people, researchers found something quite remarkable. There has been a real 400 percent increase in celiac disease over the last 50 years (3).   And that’s just the full-blown disease affecting about 1 in 100 people, or about 3 million Americans. We used to think that this only was diagnosed in children with bloated bellies, weight loss and nutritional deficiencies.  But now we know it can be triggered (based on a genetic susceptibility) at any age and without ANY digestive symptoms.  The inflammation triggered by celiac disease can drive insulin resistance, weight gain and diabetes, just like any inflammatory trigger – and I have seen this over and over in my patients.

Gluten and Gut Inflammation: The Second Problem

But there are two ways other than celiac disease in which wheat appears to be a problem.

The second way gluten causes inflammation is through a low-grade autoimmune reaction to gluten. Your immune system creates low-level antibodies to gluten but doesn’t create full blown celiac disease.  In fact 7% of the population, 21 million, has these anti-gliadin antibodies.   These antibodies were also found in 18% of people with autism and 20% of those with schizophrenia.

A major study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, hidden gluten sensitivity (elevated antibodies without full blown celiac disease) was shown to increase risk of death by 35 to 75 percent, mostly by causing heart disease and cancer.(4)   Just by this mechanism alone over 20 million Americans are at risk for heart attack, obesity, cancer and death.

How does eating gluten cause inflammation, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer?

Most of the increased risk occurs when gluten triggers inflammation that spreads like a fire throughout your whole body.  It damages the gut lining. Then all the bugs and partially digested food particles inside your intestine get across the gut barrier and are exposed your immune system, 60% of which lies right under the surface of the one cell thick layer of cells lining your gut or small intestine.  If you spread out the lining of your gut it would equal the surface area of a tennis court.  Your immune system starts attacking these foreign proteins leading to systemic inflammation that then causes heart disease, dementia, cancer, diabetes and more.

Dr. Alessio Fasano, a celiac expert from the University of Maryland School of Medicine discovered a protein made in the intestine called “zonulin” that is increased by exposure to gluten (5).   Zonulin breaks up the tight junctions or cement between the intestinal cells that normally protect your immune system from bugs and foreign proteins in food leaking across the intestinal barrier. If you have a “leaky gut” you will get inflammation throughout your whole body and a whole list of symptoms and diseases.

Why is there an increase in disease from gluten in the last 50 years?

It is because, as I described earlier, the dwarf wheat grown in this country has changed the quality and type of gluten proteins in wheat, creating much higher gluten content and many more of the gluten proteins that cause celiac disease and autoimmune antibodies.

Combine that with the damage our guts have suffered from our diet, environment, lifestyle, and medication use, and you have the perfect storm for gluten intolerance. This super gluten crosses our leaky guts and gets exposed to our immune system. Our immune system reacts as if gluten was something foreign and sets off the fires of inflammation in an attempt to eliminate it. However, this inflammation is not selective, so it begins to attack our cells—leading to diabesity and other inflammatory diseases.

Damage to the gastrointestinal tract from overuse of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil or Aleve, and acid-blocking drugs like Prilosec or Nexium, combined with our low-fiber, high-sugar diet, leads to the development of celiac disease and gluten intolerance or sensitivity and the resultant inflammation. That is why elimination of gluten and food allergens or sensitivities can be a powerful way to prevent and reverse diabesity and so many other chronic diseases.

The Super Drug

Not only does wheat contain super starch and super gluten – making it super fattening and super inflammatory, but it also contains a super drug that makes you crazy, hungry and addicted.

When processed by your digestion, the proteins in wheat are converted into shorter proteins, “polypeptides”, called “exorphins”.  They are like the endorphins you get from a runner’s high and bind to the opioid receptors in the brain, making you high, and addicted just like a heroin addict.  These wheat polypeptides are absorbed into the bloodstream and get right across the blood brain barrier.  They are called “gluteomorphins” after “gluten” and “morphine”.

These super drugs can cause multiple problems including schizophrenia and autism. But they also cause addictive eating behavior including cravings and bingeing.  No one binges on broccoli, but they binge on cookies or cake.  Even more alarming is the fact that you can block these food cravings and addictive eating behaviors and reduce calorie intake by giving the same drug we use in the emergency room to block heroin or morphine in an overdose called naloxone.  Binge eaters ate nearly 30% less food when given this drug.

Bottom line: wheat is an addictive appetite stimulant.

How to Beat the Wheat, and Lose the Weight

First you should get tested to see if you have a more serious wheat or gluten problem.

If you meet any of these criteria then you should do a six-week 100% gluten free diet trial to see how you feel.  If you have 3 out of 5 criteria, you should be gluten free for life.

  1. You have symptoms of celiac (any digestive, allergic, autoimmune or inflammatory disease including diabesity).
  2. You get better on a gluten free diet.
  3. You have elevated antibodies to gluten (anti-gliadin, AGA, or tissue transglutaminase antibodies, TTG).
  4. You have a positive small intestinal biopsy.
  5. You have the genes that predispose you to gluten (HLA DQ2/8).

Second, for the rest of you who don’t have gluten antibodies or some variety of celiac, the super starch and the super drug, both of which make you fat and sick, can still affect you.  So go cold turkey for six weeks.  And keep a journal of how you feel.

The problems with wheat are real, scientifically validated and ever present.  Getting off wheat may not only make you feel better and lose weight, it could save your life.

My personal hope is that together we can create a national conversation about a real, practical solution for the prevention, treatment, and reversal of our obesity, diabetes and chronic disease epidemic.  Getting off wheat may just be an important step.

To learn more and to get a free sneak preview of The Blood Sugar Solution where I explain exactly how to avoid wheat and what to eat instead go to www.drhyman.com.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

References

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(1) Saja K, Chatterjee U, Chatterjee BP, Sudhakaran PR. Activation dependent expression of MMPs in peripheral blood mononuclear cells involves protein kinase  A. Mol Cell Biochem. 2007 Feb;296(1-2):185-92

(2) Dalla Pellegrina C, Perbellini O, Scupoli MT, Tomelleri C, Zanetti C, Zoccatelli G, Fusi M, Peruffo A, Rizzi C, Chignola R. Effects of wheat germ agglutinin on human gastrointestinal epithelium:  insights  experimental model of immune/epithelial cell interaction. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2009 Jun 1;237(2):146-53.

(3)  Rubio-Tapia A, Kyle RA, Kaplan EL, Johnson DR, Page W, Erdtmann F, Brantner TL, Kim WR, Phelps TK, Lahr BD, Zinsmeister AR, Melton LJ 3rd, Murray JA. Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):88-93

(4)  Ludvigsson JF, Montgomery SM, Ekbom A, Brandt L, Granath F. Small-intestinal histopathology and mortality risk in celiac disease. JAMA. 2009 Sep 16;302(11):1171-8.

(5) Fasano A. Physiological, pathological, and therapeutic implications of zonulin-mediated intestinal barrier modulation: living life on the edge of the wall. Am J Pathol. 2008 Nov;173(5):1243-52.

Health Benefits of Donating Blood

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Get out there and donate blood.  Not only will you be helping yourself, but you will be helping others as well.

 

Health Benefits of Donating Blood

Jul 19, 2011 | By Carly Schuna

 

There are a myriad of benefits to donating blood regularly. In addition to helping save lives, getting paid time off from work and enjoying free juice and snacks after donating, there are physical benefits to being a regular donor. If you donate blood several times a year, you are likely in better physical shape than those who do not, and you have a reduced risk for several severe diseases.

Get a Physical

Check up on your own health every time you donate blood. You’ll get a basic physical from a health care worker at the blood collection clinic, so you’ll be able to find out if your blood pressure, pulse, and other vital signs are healthy or not. The Mayo Clinic notes that healthy donors who meet donation requirements are eligible to give blood once every 56 days, so these people can potentially get a physical examination six times a year and completely free of charge.

Lower Iron Levels

Lower the iron levels in your body every time you give blood, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. According to CNN, high blood iron levels have the potential to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease because iron accelerates the oxidation process of cholesterol in the body, which damages arteries. Iron levels aren’t the only factor that plays a role in a person’s risk of heart disease, but there are certainly no downsides to lowering blood iron levels by donating blood regularly.

Reduce Cancer Risk

Give blood to help lower your risk of cancer. According to the Miller-Keystone Blood Center, consistent blood donation is associated with lowered risks for cancers including liver, lung, colon, stomach and throat cancers. Risk levels dropped in correlation with how often participants donated blood.

Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Improve your cardiovascular health overall by donating blood. Florida Blood Services reports that regular blood donors who donate regularly over years have an 88 percent lower risk of heart attacks and a 33 percent lower risk of any severe cardiovascular event, such as a stroke.

Replenish Blood

Help your body function more efficiently by allowing it to replenish your blood supply regularly. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center reports that when you donate blood, your body replaces the blood volume within 48 hours of donation, and all of the red blood cells you lose during donation are completely replaced within four to eight weeks. This process of replenishment can help your body stay healthy and work more efficiently and productively.

 

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/96891-health-benefits-donating-blood/#ixzz1odhFXeBx

What Really Causes Heart Disease

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Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease

Dr. Dwight Lundell
Prevent Disease

We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.

I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled “opinion makers.” Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.

The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.

It Is Not Working!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process,a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body? Well, smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.

While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.

How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?

Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.

When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.

What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.

While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.

Let’s get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6’s are essential -they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell — they must be in the correct balance with omega-3’s.

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.

Today’s mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.

One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.

Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.

The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.

Find Out More About Lipotropic Weight Loss

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MIC / Chromium / MethylB12  / L-Carnitine

Exclusive Weight Loss Combo Injectable from

Boston Testosterone Partners

 

 Summer is just around the corner and most people have forgotten their New Year’s resolutions. Check out some of the ways we can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

 

What Does Lipotropic Mean?

Lipotropic compounds are substances that help stimulate the breakdown of lipid (fat) during metabolism and, in this way, reduce the accumulation of excess fat in the liver and other tissues. Injections of carefully calibrated doses of natural lipotropic nutrients can optimize your ability to shed fat.

 

Lipotropic Injections Improve Weight Loss

Many substances have lipotropic properties. The most effective lipotropic agents for weight loss purposes are choline, inositol and methionine. Through their involvement in lipid (fat) metabolism, lipotropic agents help maintain a healthy liver. The liver plays a major role in human metabolism including aiding in the digestion, storage, and distribution of nutrients and the detoxification of metabolic poisons and waste products.

The liver produces and stores glycogen from excess carbohydrates, and later releases it when blood sugar levels fall too low. The liver synthesizes plasma proteins that carry oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues and plasma proteins that carry waste products back to the liver for detoxification. The liver also produces bile, a compound that emulsifies fat so that it can be broken down by digestive enzymes. A lipotropic nutrient is one that promotes or encourages the export of fat from the liver. Lipotropics are necessary for the maintenance of a healthy liver as well as burning the exported fat for additional energy. Without lipotropics such as choline and inositol, fats and bile can become trapped in the liver, causing severe problems such as cirrhosis and blocking fat metabolism. Choline is essential for fat metabolism. Choline functions as a methyl donor and it is required for proper liver function. Like inositol, choline is a lipotropic. Inositol exerts lipotropic effects as well. An “unofficial” member of the B vitamins, inositol has even been shown to relieve depression and panic attacks. Methionine, an essential amino acid, is the major lipotropic compound in humans. When estrogen levels are high, the body requires more methionine. Estrogens reduce bile flow through the liver and increase bile cholesterol levels. Methionine helps deactivate estrogens.

 

Vitamin B12

This vitamin is important to keep the brain and nervous system functioning normally and for the formation of red blood cells. By synthesizing and regulating DNA, B12 is involved in cellular metabolism. It also plays a vital role in fatty acid synthesis and energy production. Many medications, certain medical conditions, and the normal aging process can lead to a B12 deficiency.

 

Choline and Inositol

These chemicals are co-enzymes that are required for the proper metabolism of fats and have the ability to remove fat from the liver. Since brain and nerve cells have a protective covering made of fatty acids, choline and inositol are necessary for normal nerve and brain function.

Choline is a key agent in bile production, and bile emulsifies fats in foods you eat so they can be digested. Without choline, fats can become trapped in the liver, where they can block normal metabolic functions. Choline also helps to emulsify cholesterol so that it mixes with the blood and does not settle on the walls of the arteries.

Choline works in combination with inositol to metabolize fats and cholesterol. The body can produce choline, with the help of vitamin B12, folic acid (vitamin B9) and the amino acid known as methionine. However, the rate your body produces choline may not be adequate to meet daily metabolic needs, particularly during weight loss when a lot of body fat must be broken down. Studies show that diets deficient in choline often result in undesirable changes to liver, kidney and brain functions. For this reason, we often recommend choline injections to our weight loss patients.

Inositol is a member of the B-Complex vitamin group and is a lipotropic agent. It metabolizes fats and cholesterol and helps transport fats in the blood system. Thus, inositol can aid in the redistribution of body fat and can help to lower cholesterol levels by moving cholesterol to the liver where it can be excreted. A lack of inositol has been shown to result in an accumulation of triglycerides (a fat compound made of 3 fatty acids) in the liver.

 

Methionine

This chemical is an essential amino acid that participates in fat and protein metabolism. It has lipotropic properties similar to those produced by choline. Methionine is an essential amino acid because your body cannot produce it. It must be supplied by your diet. Your body uses methionine to make proteins and many other important substances. For example, your body requires an adequate supply of methionine to synthesize two other important amino acids cysteine and taurine. Methionine is also one of the nutrients required for the body to produce choline. Therefore, a deficiency of this amino acid will adversely affect fat metabolism by limiting choline production. Methionine levels also affect the amount of sulfur-containing compounds, such as glutathione, in the liver. Glutathione and other sulfur-containing peptides (small proteins) play a critical role in defending against toxic compounds. When higher levels of toxic compounds are present, more methionine is needed.

 

Lipocarn

L-Carnitine is an amino acid which is required for the transport and breakdown of body fat for the generation of metabolic energy.  Studies show that oral L-Carnitine supplementation can decrease fat mass, increase muscle mass, and reduce fatigue (UniversityofMaryland Medical Centre, 2002).  Like most nutritional supplements, a high dose is needed when taken orally to produce any efficacy since so little is absorbed during digestion.   When administered via injection, nutrients like L-Carnitine are absorbed almost 100%.   By following the 10-1 ratio of absorption in oral versus injected L-Carntine, our Lipo-C provides the equivalent of 2000mg of Carnitine per injection.

 

Methylcobalamin

Methylcobalamin is  a cobalamin used in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.  Methylcobalamin has been advocated to protect the cognitive function of patients suffering from depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, stroke, and ALS.  Supplementing with mehtylcobalamin while following a low calorie diet can increase alertness and energy, as well as supply the body with what it needs for healthy cellular growth and function.  Vegetarians especially benefit from methylcobalamin since this compound tends to be prevalent in meat proteins.  Also known as vitamin B12, Methylcobalamin is the most bio-available form which means it is readily absorbed and used by the body once injected.  Many over the counter B12 supplements consist of Cyanocobalamin, also a cobalamin, which must first convert to methylcobalamin within the liver for the body to have any use for it.

 

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