Your Road to Wellness

Bloodsugar

Why is it important to know the immediate effects of your meals?

Posted by on 12:00 pm Bloodsugar, Calories, Eating, Fat, General Health, HDL, Omega-3, fish oil, Tissue Recovery Blog, Wellness | 0 comments

When you have your yearly medical checkup, your doctor usually runs a blood test to see how your biochemistry is when you are in a fasted state.  You should have the blood drawn in the morning before you eat anything.

While this gives both your doctor and you an idea about your health status and certain health risks, is it the most accurate way to collect information to see how well you are doing?

It is certainly a good to have those data, but think about it: we are not in a fasting state during the day. Most people eat several times during the day and may even snack between their meals.

There are several important factors to take into account when it comes to the more immediate after-effect of the meals we eat. We will look specifically at cholesterol here, which is interesting because a new study related to cholesterol and egg consumption was just published.

Let’s, however, look at another paper first.

The authors found the following.

Diet is not just about fasting cholesterol; it is mainly about the after-meal effects of cholesterol, saturated fats, oxidative stress and inflammation (Spence JD, et.al., 2010).  Focusing on fasting cholesterol obscures three key issues:

  • Dietary cholesterol increases the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to oxidation
  • increases the after-meal effect of excess fat
  • increases the adverse effects of dietary saturated fat

Oxidized LDL is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

These researchers also said dietary cholesterol, including egg yolks, is harmful to the arteries.

Now, let’s look at the more recent study.

29 615 participants were followed for an average of 17.5 years (Zhong VW, et al., 2019).  This is what the researchers concluded.

Among US adults, higher consumption of dietary cholesterol or eggs was significantly associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in a dose-response manner.

References

Spence JD, Jenkins DJ, Davignon J.Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: not for patients at risk of vascular disease.Can J Cardiol. 2010 Nov;26(9):e336-9.

Zhong VW, Van Horn L, Cornelis MC, Wilkins JT, Ning H, Carnethon MR, Greenland P, Mentz RJ, Tucker KL, Zhao L, Norwood AF, Lloyd-Jones DM, Allen NB.Associations of Dietary Cholesterol or Egg Consumption With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality. JAMA. 2019 Mar 19;321(11):1081-1095.

 

 

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What damage can high blood sugar and oxidative stress cause?

Posted by on 10:33 am Blood Pressure, Bloodsugar, Energy, General Health, Glucose, Health, Stress, Supplements, Wellness | 0 comments

It is common knowledge that having high blood sugar levels is damaging to our health, but in what way is it harmful to us?  

Having high blood glucose levels causes oxidation of glucose and a reaction causing glycation of proteins.  These reactions cause tissue damage and create a lot of free radicals. This also decreases the activity of superoxide dismutase–which is the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.  This decrease in antioxidant activity again will increase the oxidative stress in a seemingly endless cycle.

This oxidation and glycation reaction chain has shown to alter the mitochondria–which are the energy-producing entities of the cell–and has shown to be involved in a variety of diseases (Edeas, et. al., 2009).  The damaged mitochondria will produce less ATP (energy) than a normal mitochondria. Additionally, the damaged mitochondria cannot use glucose or lipids in a normal way. This means that a person with high blood sugar is unable to produce as much energy as they should.  

So what can be done to offset the production of these advanced glycation-end products?  The researchers of this study show that curcumin could suppress the advanced glycation-end products and also stimulate the synthesis of glutathione (Stefanska, 2012).

It is also important to eat food with a high nutrient content and low glycemic index, but you can take curcumin to help reduce damage from higher glucose levels. Just be sure that the curcumin you take is well absorbed since regular curcumin is not.  

Taking S-Acetyl Glutathione is also an excellent way to get protection from the negative effects of elevated blood glucose, it works really well.   Taking regular glutathione is not effective since it is oxidised in the stomach and not very bioavailable. Don’t waste your money.

References

Edeas, M, et al. “Maillard Reaction, Mitochondria and Oxidative Stress: Potential Role of Antioxidants.” Pathologie Biologie, Academic Press, 23 Dec. 2009, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0369811409001898.

Stefanska, B. “Curcumin Ameliorates Hepatic Fibrosis in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – Insights into Its Mechanisms of Action.” Addiction & Health, British Journal of Pharmacology , Aug. 2012, europepmc.org/articles/PMC3448887.

 

 

 

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Your blood glucose level affects the health of your blood vessels.

Posted by on 9:49 am Bloodsugar, Diet, Diseases, Eating, General Health, Glucose, The Learn to Eat Plan, Wellness | 0 comments

Everybody agrees that to be able to function well and live a long life, we need good blood circulation. This necessitates a healthy vascular system.

Your vascular system is especially important for your heart, brain, and the rest of your body because the blood delivers nutrients and oxygen. Without a supply of nutrients, the tissue will degenerate. So what can you do to keep your vascular system healthy?

Books can be written on that topic, but here is a simple strategy you can implement that can make a big difference.

First, since most of us eat several meals daily and the after effect of a meal can have a pronounced effect on your blood vessels, think about how the meal will affect your blood glucose level.

The reason you should be concerned with this is that high glucose levels after a meal and insulin resistance cause damage to the endothelium–the inner layer of the blood vessel wall (Shi Y, Vanhoutte PM, 2017).

Endothelial dysfunction is characterized by decreased release of nitric oxide, increased oxidative stress, increased production of inflammatory factors, and impaired endothelial repair.

This is one of the reasons you can end up with atherosclerosis and reduced blood circulation.

Since one of the reasons for endothelial function can be that the blood glucose level after a meal is too high, many are now recommending low carbohydrate meals. This is done as an attempt to lower the blood glucose.

This, however, may not be the the best strategy.

Research to date suggests that diets that are low in carbohydrates may negatively impact vascular endothelial function (Jovanovski E, et.al., 2015).

It appears that it is more favourable to maintain the carbohydrate intake and instead use low glycemic index foods. This generates more benefits for the vascular system.

An easy way to do that is to add some beans or lentils to the meal and reduce the amount of a higher glycemic index item.

References

Shi Y, Vanhoutte PM.Macro- and microvascular endothelial dysfunction in diabetes.J Diabetes. 2017 May;9(5):434-449.

Jovanovski E, Zurbau A, Vuksan V, Carbohydrates and endothelial function: is a low-carbohydrate diet or a low-glycemic index diet favourable for vascular health?Clin Nutr Res. 2015 Apr;4(2):69-75.

 

 

 

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Based on the most effective scientific strategies, this program was created to help
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Green Tea Provides many Benefits, but you Need to Know this Before you Drink it.

Posted by on 8:56 am Bloodsugar, Cholesterol, General Health | 0 comments

The antioxidants called catechins in green tea is the main reason for the many benefits green tea provides.

It is very important to be insulin sensitive and have good glucose control because elevated blood glucose levels and insulin resistance cause inflammation and damage tissue.

When 17 studies were reviewed which included 1133 participants, the researchers found that green tea consumption significantly reduced fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (Hb A1c) (Liu K, et.al., 2013). Subgroup analysis also found that green tea significantly reduced fasting insulin.

 

As you get more insulin sensitive, you don’t need as much insulin to transfer the blood glucose into the cells. As blood levels of insulin go down, you will also start to use more fat for energy.
The following study investigated green tea extract in capsule form instead of drinking green tea. (Bogdanski P, et.al., 2012).The participants were obese, had high blood pressure and took either a capsule of 379 mg of green tea extract or a placebo capsule for 3 months. This was the results.

 

 

 

Total cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides decreased, while HDL (high-density lipoprotein) increased in the treatment group, but not in the placebo group. The group taking the green tea extract also had a significant decrease in diastolic and systolic blood pressure as well as a significant decrease in TNF-alpha and CRP, both inflammatory markers. Glucose, insulin and insulin resistance also improved.

 

This is all very good, but you need to be careful when you buy green tea.

 

 

When black, green, white and oolong tea sold in tea bags were steeped for 3-4 minutes and the tea tested, this is what was found (Schwalfenberg G, et.al., 2013).

73% of teas brewed for 3 minutes and 83% brewed for 15 minutes had lead levels considered unsafe for consumption during pregnancy and lactation. Aluminum levels were above recommended guidelines in 20% of the brewed teas. 

 

No mercury was found at detectable levels in any of the brewed samples.

Tea can possibly also be contaminated with pesticides.

You need to be sure that the tea you buy is of high quality and not grown in contaminated soil. This is something to keep in mind when you buy green tea extract also.

 

 

References

Bogdanski P, Suliburska J, Szulinska M, Stepien M, Pupek-Musialik D, Jablecka A. Green tea extract reduces blood pressure, inflammatory biomarkers, and oxidative stress and improves parameters associated with insulin resistance in obese, hypertensive patients. Nutr Res. 2012 Jun;32(6):421-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.05.007.

Liu K, Zhou R, Wang B, Chen K, Shi LY, Zhu JD, Mi MT. Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;98(2):340-8.

Schwalfenberg G, Genuis SJ, Rodushkin I.The benefits and risks of consuming brewed tea: beware of toxic element contamination. J Toxicol. 2013;2013:370460.

 

 

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Your Blood Glucose Level after You Eat can Affect Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease.

Posted by on 11:19 am Bloodsugar, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Eating, General Health, Glucose, Health, Heart disease | 0 comments

Your blood glucose level after you eat can affect your risk for cardiovascular disease. Several studies show a correlation between blood glucose levels and what happens to your arteries. The most common ways to evaluate the blood glucose metabolism is to measure fasting blood glucose and Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Hemoglobin A1c is usually used to monitor long-term glucose control, 2-3 months.

Image result for blood glucoseMore and more research is, however, documenting the importance of also knowing what the blood glucose level is after a meal, and that is not checked routinely.

In the following study, the participants were divided into 4 groups based on coronary angiography (Sasso FC, et.al., 2004). One group had no significant stenosis (calcification), the other groups had documented disease in 1 and up to 3 vessels. Several tests were performed to evaluate the glucose metabolism, including the glucose and insulin levels after eating.

For patients with a so-called normal glucose tolerance, it was interesting that the most important test correlating with cardiovascular risk was the glucose level after eating, and the next was Hemoglobin A1c.

In patients with coronary artery disease the researchers showed that even with normal Hemoglobin A1c levels, the participants with an abnormal glucose tolerance test (glucose after a meal) had greater progression of coronary artery lesions (Wang H, et.al., 2014).

It was not even a difference in risk between patients with an impaired glucose tolerance and patients who had type 2 diabetes. This shows that you don’t have to have progressed to having diabetes to have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Researchers have found that there is a linear relationship between the risk of cardiovascular death and the 2-hour glucose tolerance test (Leiter LA, et.al., 2005).

Image result for cardiovascular disease and glucose level

The 2 -hour glucose tolerance test measures the blood glucose level 2 hours after a test drink has been ingested.

These researchers found increased mortality at an oral 2-hour glucose tolerance test of approximately 90 mg/dl which is well below the level of what type 2 diabetes patients have.

Research is showing us that what we used to think of as normal and good test results are not good enough. That’s probably why we see a lot of people dying from a cardiovascular disease with laboratory values in the normal range.

References
Leiter LA, Ceriello A, Davidson JA, Hanefeld M, Monnier L, Owens DR, Tajima N, Tuomilehto J ; International Prandial Glucose Regulation Study Group. Clin Ther. 2005;27 Suppl B:S42-56.

Sasso FC, Carbonara O, Nasti R, Campana B, Marfella R, Torella M, Nappi G, Torella R, Cozzolino D, Glucose metabolism and coronary heart disease in patients with normal glucose tolerance. JAMA. 2004 Apr 21;291(15):1857-63.

Wang H, Tang Z, Li X, Hu B, Feng B. Angiographic evaluation of the effects of glucose metabolic status on progression of coronary artery lesions in patients with coronary artery disease. J Diabetes. 2014 Nov;6(6):541-6.

 

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3 Important Benefits of Flax Seeds

Posted by on 12:26 pm Anti-Aging, Anti-aging, Antioxidents, Blood Pressure, Bloodsugar, Body fat, Bone density, bone loss, Diabetes, Flaxseeds, General Health, General Health, Glucose, Green tea, Happiness, HDL, HDL Level, Health, Health Risk | 0 comments

 

One of the impressive health benefits of flax seeds is the ability to decrease blood pressure (Rodriguez-Leyva D, et.al., 2013).

In a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, 30 g of flax seeds daily for 6 months reduced the systolic blood pressure of 10 mm Hg and the diastolic blood pressure with 7 mm Hg.

 This is as good as some blood pressure medications, and instead of side-effects, you get even additional benefits.

13 g of flax seeds daily has shown to decrease blood glucose and insulin and improve insulin sensitivity in obese individuals with pre-diabetes (Hutchins AM, et.al., 2013).

Flax seeds can also lower cholesterol. 

In just 7 days a drink made of flax seeds lowered total cholesterol by 12% and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) 15% (Kristensen M, et.al., 2012).

Even if many people are not aware of these health benefits, it’s been known for a long time that flax seeds can reduce total cholesterol, LDL and decrease the blood glucose after a meal (Cunnane SC, et.al., 1993).

 

It is very important to keep the blood glucose in a good range even after a meal, it is not enough to only have good fasting blood glucose.

I recommend grinding 2 tablespoons of flax seeds in a coffee grinder and put them in a glass with water, stir it and drink it thick. You can of course also sprinkle it on food, like a salad if you prefer.

 

References

Cunnane, S. C., Ganguli, S., Menard, C., Liede, A. C., Hamadeh, M. J., Chen, Z. Y., … & Jenkins, D. J. (1993). High α-linolenic acid flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum): some nutritional properties in humansBritish Journal of Nutrition69(2), 443-453.

Hutchins, A. M., Brown, B. D., Cunnane, S. C., Domitrovich, S. G., Adams, E. R., & Bobowiec, C. E. (2013). Daily flaxseed consumption improves glycemic control in obese men and women with pre-diabetes: a randomized study. Nutrition research33(5), 367-375.

Kristensen, M., Jensen, M. G., Aarestrup, J., Petersen, K. E., Søndergaard, L., Mikkelsen, M. S., & Astrup, A. (2012). Flaxseed dietary fibers lower cholesterol and increase fecal fat excretion, but the magnitude of the effect depends on food typeNutrition & Metabolism9(1), 8.

Rodriguez-Leyva, D., Weighell, W., Edel, A. L., LaVallee, R., Dibrov, E., Pinneker, R., … & Pierce, G. N. (2013). Potent Antihypertensive Action of Dietary Flaxseed in Hypertensive PatientsNovelty and Significance. Hypertension62(6), 1081-1089.