I have Type-2 Diabetes, HELP

Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

You have a problem. Type-2 diabetes is a silent killer and is wreaking havoc on your body. Along the way it will damage your body in ways that are often not reversible and, in the end, will trigger other conditions that could become lethal. What can you do about this?

There are many conditions within your body where a balance is maintained by hormones whose role is to maintain homeostasis (balance). Examples include the arginine / lysine balance, the cortisol / melatonin sleeping hormone balance, the Omega-3 / Omega-6 Polyunsaturated fat balance and your problem is the glucose / insulin balance. In your case the balance has become too heavy on the glucose end and too light on the insulin end. This is usually the result of your pancreas struggling to produce enough insulin to balance the level of dietary glucose arriving into your blood.

You have probably been heading for this failure, for many years as you became gradually more and more insulin resistant and therefor required higher and even higher levels of insulin from your pancreas, to control the incoming glucose. Your HbA1c level will have been rising and your pancreas ramped up its insulin production, but over time it lost the ability to produce the level that was asked of it.
Because your body can only tolerate a maximum of 1 teaspoon of sugar in the blood at any time, whenever you ate confectionary, starches, sweet food or carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, potatoes, beer, cola, bagels, oats, and cereals you pushed up the glucose level in your blood. This pushed up insulin even higher to force the storage of glucose into muscles, liver and adipose fat in order to try and bring this blood glucose level down to non-toxic levels.

There are 2 ways to address a balance problem, either you put more weight on the light end or you take some weight off the heavy end. A doctor may chose to try and reduce your weight of glucose by prescribing a drug like Metformin which inhibits your liver from making glucose, or may choose to put more weight on the light end of the balance by prescribing external insulin. Often the doctor will take a path that minimizes changes to your lifestyle. My understanding is that doctors are often concerned that patients will not adhere to lifestyle changes, so a prescription which alters that balance is possibly a simpler and more sure option.

Changes to your insulin / glucose balance are very serious for your body and getting this wrong can have serious consequences for your health. My father had a pancreas failure when I was only 12 which caused him to act very irrationally at times. His last day as a school teacher was the day he took an irrational “turn” and wouldn’t let the children in his class go home, much to the consternation of all the parents. Sadly, he died of complications from this problem some weeks later.

One of the problems with taking external insulin to restore the balance is that it can maintain a continuously high insulin level in your body which is very unhealthy. This approach also fails to improve your metabolic health which ultimately increases your risk of a more serious COVID19 reaction. The high insulin level can damage many of your organs, your eyes, and can ultimately lead to obesity, heart disease, blindness and even to limb amputation. Many people on external insulin gain unwanted weight.

An alternative approach to addressing this balance is a lifestyle change. This requires a high degree of commitment to ensure success, because failure to stick to the guidelines may mean sickness and a return to external insulin. By a lifestyle change, I mean that we regain the needed balance by significantly reducing the incoming dietary glucose level in food, so that a much smaller level of insulin is needed to manage it. In some cases, this will result in a significant reduction in medication, while in other cases there may be sufficient insulin production capability left in the pancreas for you to get off medication completely. In some cases, the reduction in medication can begin within a few days.

Adding more exercise can also assist as it burns up glucose from muscles which is then replaced by pulling glucose from your blood.

Don’t for a minute think that this type of change is a pipe dream. Doctors all over the world who have begun to understand low carb nutrition are achieving this type of change for their patients. Dr. David Unwin in UK is famous for this approach having been awarded 2016 Innovator of the Year by the UK NHS. In New Zealand Dr. Glen Davies of Taupo has now put 100 patients into remission and in the USA, Virta Health (www.virtahealth.com) is treating Type-2 diabetes patients virtually and putting many into remission all over North America.

If a lifestyle change with reduced medication seems right for you, then the first step is to discuss this with your doctor. As indicated previously, this is a serious change and you will need support particularly over the first 2 weeks as the changes to your diet start to impact your hormones. Should you find that your doctor is not willing to support you, then you may seriously want to look for an alternative doctor, because remaining on high levels of insulin has a particularly nasty outcome for many people and your doctor should not be making this type of life choice for you. Some doctors have not kept up to date with the changes in treatment for Type-2 diabetes and you need to be able to evaluate these better treatment options.

If you would like to help your doctor, maybe you could provide them with a copy of this document from low carb USA, https://www.lowcarbusa.org/clinical-guidelines/

For more information about the suggested lifestyle change and “Taking back your health” with diet as medicine, take a look at my blog page, www.takebackyrhealth.com. You will find there a link to my book on Amazon.

Whatever your decision, good luck with the outcome.
Kind Regards George Elder.

What is Metabolic Health?

In these days of COVID-19 we hear that people with poor metabolic health usually suffer a much worse outcome from getting infected with the virus. In 99% of the deaths in Italy from COVID-19, poor metabolic health was identified. Prateek Lohia, MD, MHA, assistant professor of internal medicine at Wayne State University, said. “Patients with metabolic syndrome had a 40% increase in all-cause mortality, 68% increase in the need for critical care services and a 90% increase in the need for mechanical ventilation compared to the patients without metabolic syndrome.”

But what is poor metabolic health?
If we look at crowd photos from the 1950’s and 1960’s, we are fascinated at the number of slim people. It can often be difficult to spot a person in the crowd who looks fat. The people look positively skinny in comparison with crowd photos taken these days. In most cases, that difference is metabolic syndrome, or poor metabolic health.

When a person has metabolic syndrome, a major indicator is excess fat around their middle. They might be called apple shaped, sometimes referred to in males, as having a beer belly. Often the major indication is a belly that hangs over the belt.
The excess fat accumulated around the center of a body is adipose fat, and it packs all around the body’s critical organs such as the heart, pancreas, stomach, liver etc. It can make bending over to tie shoelaces difficult, and can compress the lungs requiring more effort for breathing. To know if this is a concern for you, just take your waist measurement in the morning and compare it with your height. The waist measurement should be less than half your height measurement.
Not all people who have poor metabolic health are apple shaped. Some can be very thin and we refer to these people as TOFI’s. Thin outside, fat inside. They can still have excess adipose fat around their organs impacting their health.

What has happened to these people?
When their body has too much energy usually from eating excess carbohydrates, it could become toxic in the blood, so it has to go somewhere else. Their body converts this energy into a storable form and deposits it in the central area. This can be stored in the liver which can result in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) which over time, expands the liver putting more bulk into the central area and can eventually lead to cirrhosis or permanent scarring damage to the liver. Sometimes this excess energy is converted into Triglycerides (fat) and stored in the central area, increasing adipose fat around the organs, and pushing out the belly.
A major driver for this, is eating food that has too high energy but a low level of nutrients. It is common to think this is a result of a person just over eating, but it often comes from their body reacting to the type of food they are eating and continuing to send “hungry” messages. So, the wrong food can make you feel hungry, even if you have just eaten. For example, many processed foods and sweetened beverages are full of calories, have almost zero protein, but zero nutrition. If these are dominant in your diet, your body will keep you feeling hungry until you have satisfied your protein or nutrition requirements.

What are the health impacts of this condition?
This central adipose fat releases hormones such as leptin, some cytokines and others, to such an extent that it is now considered a major endocrine organ influencing a number of internal processes. These can help drive up obesity which is now known to increase cancer risk. The high glucose levels driving metabolic syndrome also increase insulin levels ultimately creating insulin resistance and this drives a wide range of diseases. Some examples of these diseases are Type 2 diabetes, PCOS, macular degeneration, kidney disease, liver diseases, heart disease, obesity and many other diseases that are only just being recognized as caused by insulin resistance.
Why is a person with metabolic syndrome more susceptible to a poor COVID-19 outcome? It seems that their immune system is compromised, that nutrition levels are lower, that these people have a delayed response by the immune system. Chronic inflammation seems to be a factor, as it is common in obese people. It seems that COVID-19 can create an excessive inflammatory response called a cytokine storm. This can cause severe lung damage and multi organ failure.

Is there anything that can be done?
Yes, there is and you can get results quite quickly. The really good news is that when you focus on this problem, the body seems to reduce the worst adipose fat level first. In just one week with a significantly reduced dietary glucose level, research has found that liver function can recover by as much as 30%. In just three weeks, the adipose tissue can begin to shrink and health markers can begin to improve.
For many people, the route to improved health involves heavily reducing dietary carbohydrates which lowers insulin, reduces sugars in the blood and switches the body to consume stored fat. When this is done, the first fat store that is targeted is the central area adipose fat. Great news.

A paleo diet can help and even a vegan diet may help. Grains, sugar sweetened drinks, HFCS, starchy vegetables and sugar must be eliminated. This means no corn, rice, potatoes, parsnips, almost no fruit and no flour or corn-based products like pasta, cereals, bread, pretzels, cakes buns etc. So very difficult but not impossible for a vegan to still get all their required nutrition.
A keto or low carbohydrate style diet is my easy way to do this because it mostly eliminates any feeling of hunger. Increase the level of meat, eggs, dairy, and eat lots of green vegetables every day. You are replacing most carbohydrates with additional protein, and fat. If the overall calories are kept just a little under daily requirements, then the body will begin to use stored fat to make up the energy shortfall. Intermittent fasting can also help.

Take a look at this report from Dr. Maryanne Demasi for more detailed medical information: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjebm-2020-111451
For more information, I invite you to download my e-book.George Elder, Author, “Take Back Your Health”, Available on Amazonwww.takebackyrhealth.com

I have moved…

Thank you for following my blog posts and I hope they are interesting for you even if my formatting is poor.

Due to my lack of experience maintaining a blog, I have moved and have also adopted my own domain to simplify the process and improve your experience.

If you are interested in continuing to read my scintillating blog posts, then I would love it if you would click HERE to go to the new domain and subscribe.


Thank you so much for taking the time to follow my postings.

Cholesterol revisited..

As a result of recent research the following picture of cholesterol and health risk is emerging.

Cholesterol is an oil and must be packaged within a complex particle called a lipoprotein, in order to enable it to be transported within, blood which is water based.

Cholesterol leaves the liver in a lipoprotein carrier known as VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) which is a relatively large particle usually containing cholesterol and triglycerides. As this carrier lipoprotein deposits cholesterol at each site around the body it shrinks, eventually becoming the size to be referred to as LDL.

When it has delivered its load of cholesterol, it returns to the liver and the process begins again. Cholesterol is critical for many functions in the body including functioning of your immune system, your nerves and your brain. Without it you will die.

The HDL lipoprotein carries unused cholesterol from body tissues back to the liver.

The surface of the LDL lipoprotein has a receptor protein known as Apo B-100 which is like a key and identifies the lipoprotein to each place it is required, plus to the liver on its return. If this receptor should become damaged in any way, then the particle is not recognized by any of the locations and it becomes an orphan particle.

There are a number of ways this receptor can be damaged with glycation being one of these and another is by oxidation. Excess sugar in the blood can drive glycation and oxidative stress caused by oxidized oils in the diet, can drive this oxidation of the LDL particle and receptor.

The oxidized LDL becomes an orphan and eventually arrives in the arterial wall.

Professor Vladimir Subbotin suggests that oxidized LDL cholesterol gets into your artery wall not from inside the artery, through the endothelial layer as usually proposed, but by being deposited there from the outside by the blood that supplies the artery walls. His argument is very compelling and if true, indicates a sequence whereby an offending factor causes the initial thickening of arterial walls in the intima, just behind the endothelial layer which then due to the thickness, calls
for an additional blood supply which is responded by blood vessels (vasa vasorum) growing into the intima layer from which time oxidized LDL particles can accumulate at that point.

A key driver for this view is that early stage oxidized LDL particle deposition occur at the intima / media junction rather than behind the endothelial layer and at these sites the blood vessels have already grown to supply the area with blood.

The damage in the artery walls then form plaques. It has now been found that higher levels of LDL can assist in regression of these plaques, whereas lower levels of LDL assist plaque progression. These plaques are the beginning of atherosclerosis (arterial blockages) eventually resulting in coronary artery disease.

Where do oxidized oils come from? The most prevalent source of oxidized oils is oxidized seed oils (PUFA) in the diet. It is near impossible for seed oils not to be oxidized and oxidative stress in the body has been consistently measured following vegetable oil consumption.

Saturated fats have a molecular structure that renders them very stable and unlikely to become oxidized, which means that they do not contribute to this oxidative stress.
We have a simple measure of oxidative stress which is the ratio of HDL to triglycerides in your blood. Triglyceride level divided by HDL level will produce a result which we want to see under 1.5 or better still close to 1.0.

Apparently research has identified that the Vegan diet will reduce HDL and raise Triglycerides which indicates an increase in oxidative stress on this diet. While researches often cite the reduction in LDL that this causes as good, it is now believed that while the overall LDL has decreased, the level of oxidized LDL has increased significantly.

So in summary, LDL itself is not a driver of atherosclerosis and may not deserve its label as bad cholesterol. Only oxidized LDL progresses the formation of plaques in arteries and this is primarily driven by consumption of oxidized oils with the most prevalent being being polyunsaturated seed oils, also known as vegetable oils.

Incidentally low cholesterol levels are correlated with higher rates of overall mortality (Not lower). Particularly in people over 60, higher cholesterol is more healthy. This is opposite to conventional advice. UK Dr. Zoe Harcombe PhD. has produced some great plots by gender, of mortality per 100,000 people vs cholesterol levels using WHO data from 192 countries, which clearly show this correlation.

George Elder, Author “Take Back Your Health”, Amazon $3.99.
Now at http://www.eldergeo.com

Have you done enough research to go VEGAN?

So you thought that becoming vegan was easy. You just stop eating anything animal based. Well then you may be in for a nasty shock soon.

To become a “healthy” vegan you need to take a close look at the nutrition in the food you are eating. Why? You just removed a whole category of food that was supplying a massive quantity of important nutrients to your body. You can cope for a while but your health will begin to gradually deteriorate otherwise.

What to do? Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

Protein. This is the master building material for your body. It builds hair, muscles, skin, connective tissue, blood, almost everything. Plant foods can provide protein, however except for some specific foods, the level is often very low and the type of protein is often not very bio-available to you. Children’s growth can slow or even stop if they don’t get enough protein. When planning meals you must calculate your daily protein needs at more than 0.8 grams for every 1 kilogram of body weight. For a 60 kg woman this is 60 x 0.8 = 48 grams of protein. If you are building muscle, pregnant or over 60 then increase this up to double the level. Your body can not store protein, so if you haven’t provided, it will usually take it from your muscles. Few plants supplying protein have the full range of essential amino acids required by your body. Without the full complement, even the amino acids supplied cannot be used. To overcome this, when planning meals, you must, match food with complementary amino acid profiles in order to ensure you are providing all 9 essential amino acids.

Carbohydrates. Many people who cut the animal foods, just replace these with more carbs. They become a “carbotarian”. Carbs supply energy, but too much energy forces your body to store the excess as body fat. Many carbs particularly processed whole grain foods like pasta, cookies, bread, and bagels and vegetable oils, have very low nutritional value, despite their high energy level. If your body is looking for nutrition it will keep you feeling hungry way after you have consumed your daily calories. These carbs will also create a massive sugar spike, forcing your body to release lots of insulin to get the sugar out of your blood and down to the normal level of about 1 teaspoon full. I recently saw a vegan snacking on a banana wrapped in a slice of bread, disaster, almost 10 teaspoons of sugar in one hit. The result is immediate fat gain.

Fat. Despite what you may think, eating fat does not make you fat. It is excess carbohydrates that are converted to fat and pumped into your fat cells that make you fat. You need lots of “good” fat in your diet. Your brain is nearly 60% fat, your nerves are sheathed in fat, many hormones are constructed from fat, many vitamins are only fat soluble (A, D, E, K), human babies are born fat and use this fat to nourish their brain development. Without sufficient fat you get sick very quickly. One reason for this, fat is a major component of your immune system. It is now realized that low LDL cholesterol can be an indication of an immune system under stress. You will need to plan what you eat to make sure you are getting enough fat. Avocado, coconut and olive oils are excellent but industrial seed oils (vegetable oils) are very unhealthy and should be completely avoided because they overload the body with omega-6 and are very unstable. Did you know that breast milk is 48% saturated fat. Saturated fat is good for you.

Anti-nutrients. Many plant foods contain anti-nutrients, with the ability to lock out key vitamins and minerals from your diet by preventing your body from being able to absorb these. Carbs use up large amounts of magnesium to be digested. Phytic acid which is common in seeds such as wheat, prevents the absorption of minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese, and zinc by binding to them before your body can absorb them. Oxalates found in spinach and soy inhibit the absorption of calcium. Protease inhibitors in Soy inhibits the action of enzymes pepsin and trypsin which prevents them from breaking down protein for absorption. Vitamins B12, B6, B1, B2, niacin, and zinc are common deficiencies on a vegan diet.

There are a number of ways to reduce the impact of anti-nutrients, such as soaking, fermenting, cooking, sprouting with different methods working for different anti-nutrients. For example, Phytates (Phytic acid) in nuts, grains and seeds is heat resistant so sprouting works best to reduce this. If you eat a lot of corn then you must learn about the process of soaking and then cooking in an alkaline solution to make niacin available. To get the full value of any nutrient from a vegan diet, you must know all about this and apply it to each type of food you are eating.

The bottom line here is that to be a healthy vegan, you must plan your nutrition, what foods to eat and how to prepare them. If you thought it would help you lose fat, then you may be wrong. Due to the insulin spike from carbs plus other factors, many vegetarians gain fat while losing muscle mass. Vegan statistics often present well when compared with the general population, but of course these are heavily influenced by thousands of people who through lack of knowledge, interest or bad advice, eat a terrible diet full of sugar, junk processed food, low nutrition carbohydrates and industrial seed oils. At least a vegan thinks about their food.

George Elder. Author. “Take Back Your Health”. On Amazon, $3.99.
Now at http://www.eldergeo.com

Diet and Eye Health

In the human body there are some blood vessels that are very tiny, particularly in our extremities and in the brain, kidneys and the eyes. Some of these blood vessels are even smaller than the red blood cells (erythrocytes or RBC) that are circulating carrying oxygen to your whole body. So how do these areas get nourished with a regular supply of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide?

In order for the red blood cells to get into these areas, they must deform to squeeze through these tight spaces. After deforming and providing needed oxygen, they must reshape themselves back to continue on their journey through your blood vessels. This it seems is quite simple for healthy red blood cells and so long as they continue to do this, your extremities and particularly your eyes, brain and kidneys continue to be nourished and healthy.

Cholesterol is a major component of our cell walls and these cells have the ability to deform as required. However when we eat certain plant foods that have significant quantities of plant sterols (phytosterols), then this plant “cholesterol” can replace some of the natural animal “cholesterol” in our cell walls. It is this replacement of cholesterol by phytosterols that is touted by some food manufacturers as a positive mechanism to lower the overall level of cholesterol in your body.

But plant cell walls composed of plant sterols (phytosterols) have cell walls that are much stiffer and more rigid than animal cell walls. I guess this is not surprising as plants need this rigidly to give them strength and shape as they have no bone structure. We have discovered that red blood cells with high levels of phytosterols can not deform to the normal level and as a result may be unable to reach some of these tiny extremities and provide the necessary oxygen. The result could be macular degeneration and may also increase risk of stroke.

Research has now established that your LDL cholesterol level has almost zero impact on the risk of heart disease, so I have decided to avoid food with plant sterols. This includes Canola oils and some margarines. So what you eat is clearly important to your eye health and despite claims that these phytosterols are safe, not everyone agrees. I don’t wish to take the chance with my eyes or increase stroke risk.

When we have a continuous high level of blood sugar for long periods then an effect called glycation can occur in our blood. This is where the sugar molecules bind with fat or proteins creating what is known as Advanced Glycation End products (AGE’s). These AGE’s are linked to atherosclerosis and type-2 diabetes. This reaction is exactly the same as the reaction causing browning of food (maillard reaction) when it is cooked.

Damage by glycation can lead to stiffening of the collagen in your blood vessel walls, leading to higher blood pressure, especially in diabetes. It can also weaken the collagen in blood vessel walls, which may lead to micro- or macro-aneurysm; (localised enlarging of the blood vessel) this may cause strokes in the brain.

Research has identified that AGE’s can sensitise the eye lens to damage by photo-crosslinking and oxidation, leading to damage to eye proteins in the lens resulting in early macro degeneration of sight. This can apparently induce protein misfolding and triggers what is called the “unfolded protein response”, which is implicated in the death of retinal neurons and vascular cells in patients with diabetes. Autophagy apparently helps reverse this, but in people with high and constant insulin presence, autophagy is suppressed. Some researchers are now suggesting that this mechanism could be behind an increase in strokes and increase in macular degeneration.

Retinal eye disease is a common complication of diabetes. 90% of type 1 diabetics and over 60% of type 2 diabetics will suffer from this condition in the first twenty years of the disease’s progression. Twenty percent of type 2 diabetic patients are already affected by this at the time of their diagnosis

The natural dipeptide carnosine may assist. Carnosine which is found mainly in meat, not only inhibits the formation of AGEs, it can also protect normal proteins from the toxic effects of AGEs that have already formed. Carnosine is claimed to be the safest and most effective natural anti-glycating agent. Studies have shown that carnosine can stop protein damage from spreading to healthy proteins. It also found evidence that carnosine reacts with and removes the carbonyl groups in glycated proteins.

George Elder, Author, “Take Back Your Health”, Amazon $3.99.
Now at http://www.eldergeo.com

Blood test standards?

When the doctor has your blood tested, the results are compared with “Reference Ranges” (normal levels) for each test and then the doctor is advised by bolded results, asterisks, or comments linked to the results that fall outside this range.

For example if your HbA1c is 5.2% (33 mmol/mol) and the normal level is under 5.8%, (Under 40 mmol/mol) then all is good and sometimes the doctor will not even bother to tell you things are OK. No news is considered good news.

But an interesting question arises as to how is the reference range determined. We can’t ask your body, and everyone is a little unique with some people seemingly perfectly healthy with blood test results that would be very unhealthy for others. You probably know someone or heard of someone who was a regular smoker and lived to a ripe old age, while others are sickened by second hand smoke alone.

So in order to set a reference range, results of many people are viewed over time and a level is set based on actual test results for seemingly healthy people. It is usually set at the range that 95% of the tested people fall within. Each laboratory validates and sets their own reference ranges, due to slight differences in the testing, equipment, testing process, and differences in their test population. This must be why it is often noted that the “normal” level will vary by laboratory. Here is a statement from a laboratory: Adult reference Range values were established from wellness participants with an age mix similar to our patients.

But what is to happen if, over time, the general results move away from the reference range? Laboratories have little choice but to “adjust” the “reference range” to reflect the real results they are now seeing in their patients. With only 12% of USA adults now recording as metabolically healthy, what is happening to the reference ranges for our general testing? This should be a warning to us to be aware that “normal” may not be healthy. If your doctor is not astute about this shift in test results over time, the information you get (or don’t receive) to suggest that all is good because your results are within the references ranges may be rubbish.

To compound this problem, in many cases insurance will only authorize and cover the cost of tests where there is reasonable grounds to suspect a problem. The result is that the tests are therefore not representative of a healthy population, but are skewed towards unhealthy because only suspected unhealthy people are actually tested. If your results are in the “normal” window, they may actually be showing that you are sick.

This from the American Center for Disease Control (CDC). In 2009, the average waist size for women in USA was 37.4 inches, in 2019 it was 38.7 inches. Any reference range (normal) for USA women will have increased by about 1.3 inches, but “healthy” has not increased by 1.3 inches.

As an example of this, blood cholesterol reference ranges have been gradually declining, not because lower cholesterol is healthier, (it’s not, read about it in my book.) but because more and more people have been prescribed statins and this is gradually lowering the overall readings for cholesterol. Since we now know that higher cholesterol is correlated with lower overall death rates in people aged over 65, we have the strange situation where the doctor is seeing lower cholesterol as ideal only at lower and lower levels, while the patient would actually be healthier and have a more robust immune system with higher cholesterol levels.

So next time your doctor says that your tests have all come back “normal”, you may need to do your own research.

George Elder, Author, “Take Back Your Health”, Amazon $3.99.
Now at http://www.eldergeo.com

Vitamins and Minerals

Ever since the 1960s, when it was first argued that animal products could be bad for our health because they contain saturated fat, nutritionists have typically refrained from pointing out that meat contains all the amino acids necessary for life, all the essential fats, and twelve of the thirteen essential vitamins in surprisingly large quantities. It’s true nonetheless. Meat is a particularly concentrated source of vitamins A and E, and the entire complex of B vitamins. Vitamins B12 and D are found only in animal products (although we may get vitamin D from regular exposure to sunlight).

James E. Dowd M.D. in his book, “The vitamin D cure” (2008), highlights that the majority of people in USA, are deficient in vitamin D which he believes contributes to many health problems. He has case studies in which changing diets including reduction of refined grains and supplementing with vitamin D has provided huge benefits to his patients. He is particularly concerned to ensure that unborn babies and young children get sufficient vitamin D to set them up for a healthy adult life. We are seeing a resurgence of interest in this with the concern that lack of vitamin D contributes to worse outcomes for COVID-19. Recommendations from some sources are now to be taking up to 4000 iu per day.

Care must be taken with calcium supplements. Researchers have identified that when calcium is supplemented without vitamin D, the result can be an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease due to calcium build up in arteries. A better approach may be to take vitamin K2 instead which has been proven to reduce bone loss due to ageing and also assist in the removal of calcium from soft tissue. See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566462/

B vitamins supplementation is often required, particularly by vegans, and non-fortified nutritional yeast is one recommended source. Apparently this is not always recognized by GP’s, with people suffering from this taking years to have the problem identified.

Fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K can only be absorbed by the body if there is fat available in the diet, without this, the vitamins will just pass through the body. Supplements with these vitamins often state that they must be taken with food. The B vitamins and vitamin C are water soluble but any excess is unable to be stored by the body so must be included in the diet regularly.

It has been discovered recently that vitamin C needs are much lower in people who are “fat” burners, perhaps because there is vitamin C in meat fat. This may explain why people eating fresh meat with full fat have a low to zero requirement for vitamin C supplements to avoid scurvy. The traditional Inuit diet of nearly 100% meat and fat required no vitamin C supplementation to contain scurvy, despite a complete lack of fruit and vegetables.

Should you be worried about nitrates in bacon? The original study has been debunked. Check out http://bit.ly/DontFearBacon we have nitrites in our saliva and celery has lots of it. If a meat is cured with celery powder apparently it can claim to be nitrate free despite possibly having higher levels of nitrate than a standard product.

Two of the richest sources of nitrates (NO3), greater than in bacon, are beetroot juice and celery. It is also frequently found in water. This nitrate is converted by bacteria in saliva to nitrites (NO2) and goes on to help in production of nitric oxide known to reduce blood pressure by dilating small blood vessels in extremities. But don’t use mouthwash as this kills the bacteria that do the conversion. Heating nitrates to high heat can cause nitrosamines which may be harmful.

Another aspect of sun exposure that is less well known is that UVA sunlight exposure also promotes the generation of nitric oxide. Safe sun exposure, when your shadow is longer than you are tall, can enhance this, improving your health. A study in Scandinavia, of people with significant non-melanoma sun exposure showed they lived on average 10 years longer than people without this exposure.

My research has identified that vitamin K2 has an ability to metabolise calcium, assisting with the removal of calcium from blood vessel walls and redepositing it in bones. This vitamin has been referred to as “the most important anti-aging nutrient” and yet is deficient in the typical western diet. Bone health is dependent on vitamin K2, because osteocalcin (MGP), the bone building protein, requires activation by vitamin K2 in order to be able to put calcium back into bones. It would appear that without K2, calcium supplements may be of little value, but K2 supplements will help build bone from calcium available in the diet. Underperformance of this process leads to significant risk of elevated bone fracture. High levels of vitamin K2 have been identified in healthy aorta

European studies have shown:

20% reduced diabetes risk, A decreased cancer risk, 35% reduced prostate cancer risk.

Reduced muscle cramps, Ability to revive dead or dying nerve cells.

There is even a suggestion that it may assist in the undoing of Parkinson’s disease by reducing neuropathy.

Cardiac output volumes have been shown to improve significantly with 100-300 ug per day

13% volume increase at resting heart rates

23% volume increase at maximum heart rates

Rich animal sources of vitamin K2 include high-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows, egg yolks, as well as liver and other organ meats. Vitamin K2 is fat-soluble, which means low-fat and lean animal products don’t contain much of it. Don’t confuse vitamin K2 for vitamin K1 as K1 is a different vitamin, comes from leafy green vegetables and is important for blood coagulation but has no discernible benefit for heart health.

There is an uncertainty around vitamin K2. Is it K2-MK4, that helps or K2-MK7, or both? There are 2 schools of thought. MK4 has a very short half life in your body of about 3 hours while MK7 has a longer half life of about 72 hours. Some people have noted that MK4 is great for brain fog. Your body can make some MK4 from MK7 apparently. What should we believe, as you will find both camps fighting for supremacy at this time.

Potassium is critical for human health and although deficiency is uncommon, most people do not get enough. Most deficiencies are not caused by diet, but by diarrhoea or vomiting. Symptoms of deficiency include muscle cramps, muscle pain or irregular heart beat. Recommended daily consumption is quoted at 3,500 mg – 4,700 mg per day. Good sources from 100 grams of food include beet greens (909 mg), avocado (485 mg), cooked spinach (466 mg), and cooked salmon (414 mg).

Magnesium supplements are a must for those who want to protect their hearts according to Bowden & Sinatra (in “The Great Cholesterol Myth”). It is claimed that it will lower blood pressure, help control blood sugar, and relax the lining of blood vessels. Recommended supplementation is 400 mg / day.

CoQ10 is a vitamin like substance found in virtually every cell in the body with the greatest concentrations in the heart. When this level falls, so does general health. CoQ10 is used in the energy producing metabolic pathways of every cell, is a powerful anti-oxidant and without this our bodies cannot survive. An alarming side effect of Statin drugs is the severe depletion of CoQ10 because the process that the statin interferes with to reduce cholesterol, is part of the same mechanism that produces CoQ10.

Nick Lane in his very technical book about mitochondria, “Power sex and suicide” contends that antioxidants supplements have no measurable impact on health and ageing, despite all the marketing hype. He believes that athletes who consume huge amounts of oxygen compared with non-athletes do not generally age more quickly than the average person despite the additional oxygen.

George Elder, Author, “Take Back Your Health”, Amazon $3.99.
Now at http://www.eldergeo.com