Tag Archives: Lipoic Acid Supreme by Designs for Health

Is Dietary Fat Where It’s At?

DietaryFatsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

 

 

What is considered good health? Good health can be defined as having normal blood glucose levels, normal blood pressure levels, normal body fat percentage and favorable cholesterol levels, all without medications. Taking medications to lower cholesterol or blood pressure levels or to control glucose levels does not mean we are healthy. According to Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of the book Reversing Disease with Food, “If you are on medications to control risk factors, you are already at risk. Your risk of having a heart attack is directly proportional to the number of medications you are taking. It’s not whether your blood pressure or cholesterol is controlled, it’s the number of medications you need to control it that determines your risk.”

Healthy people don’t require medications to keep their risk factors low. While necessary in some cases, medication is disease management not healthcare. Being well means removing or reversing disease risk factors with a healthy diet and lifestyle not masking them with medication. The most critical information we need to control our health and longevity is proper science-based nutrition. One major problem is the epidemic of misinformation that has led to the skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and the general poor health of the American population. The truth is that an unhealthy diet is responsible for most chronic diseases.

The good news is that chronic disease is not inevitable. Many people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease turn their health around with healthy lifestyle adjustments. Chronic disease can take many years to develop but the benefits of good nutrition can be seen within a short period of time, and eating well can quickly make an improved health difference. There is a growing awareness that we need to radically change our dietary patterns. But what does this mean exactly? For one thing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go on a weight loss diet, rather you might stop counting calories and start eating more unrefined fiber-rich plant foods and more high nutrient dense foods, especially healthy fats.

Since 1977, dietary guidelines have recommended limiting dietary fats and cholesterol to lower the rates of cardiovascular disease. The epidemic of misinformation surrounding dietary fats and dietary cholesterol has had a profound and deleterious effect on public health. To date, cardiovascular disease is still the number one cause of death in the U.S. And while there is still confusion and controversy over recommendations for a healthy diet, we now know that certain dietary fats should be cleared of all charges relating to heart disease causation. Along with protein and complex carbohydrates, dietary fat is an essential macronutrient that provides energy and supports brain health and bodily functions.

With the exception of the last 40 years, humans have always had diets that included nutrient dense dietary fats. It was misguided science that directed us to limit fat intake. The obesity epidemic began when we embraced the low fat diet and replaced fats with carbohydrates. So the new question is, “What if dietary fat doesn’t make you fat?” What if the real culprits behind the rise of chronic illnesses are sugar and refined carbohydrates? And what if you could eat more dietary fats while losing weight and improving your health? Today, good science and research tells us that healthy fats are an important part of a well-balanced diet.

The truth is, when you are looking to lose weight, calorie restricted diets do not lead to long term weight loss. Losing weight is not really about willpower. It’s about satiety and giving your body the nutrients it needs to function and perform optimally. Calorie restriction leads to hunger and a slower metabolism, and then even more caloric reduction to lose weight. The best way to lose weight and maintain weight loss is to lower your body weight set point to improve metabolism with less hunger. You can positively influence your fat cells by eliminating fast acting carbohydrates, replacing those calories with slow acting carbs, fats and protein, reducing stress, getting quality sleep and participating in an enjoyable physical activity to improve insulin sensitivity.

According to David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of Pediatric Endocrinology at Boston Children’s Hospital and author of the book Always Hungry, “Highly processed carbohydrates digest quickly into glucose, raise insulin levels and program the body to store excess weight. Reducing these foods and substituting healthy fats, such as avocados, coconut and olive oil, nuts and dark chocolate, along with natural complex carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, legumes and minimally processed grains, will lower insulin levels and reprogram fat cells for calorie release, not storage.” Dr. Ludwig contends that we should eat a largely plant based diet with small amounts of good quality grass fed or wild caught animal based protein along with a relatively high intake of healthy fats.

In conclusion, he states, “One human diet works for heart, brain and immune health. A diet that is low in refined carbs and sugar, high in fat and very high in prebiotic fiber reduces inflammation, caters to microbiome and immune functions and nurtures the gut.” Leading edge research shows we need to consume more fats and the USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee concurred. Higher fat diets have been shown to have a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia and a study reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that 500,000 persons eating the highest levels of saturated fats had no increased incidence of coronary artery events.

Food can be a powerful medicine, not only for reaching optimal weight but also for reducing disease risk factors. Diets lower in refined carbs and higher in fats have been shown to improve heart disease and stroke risk factors, decrease blood pressure, triglycerides, visceral obesity and abdominal circumference, decrease inflammation markers and raise HDL cholesterol, all without hunger and, best of all, without medications.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements for blood sugar support:

Dual-Source Chromium (7427-)Dual Source Chromium by Douglas Laboratories – This product supplies two highly bioavailable active forms of chromium in support of carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism and the maintenance of healthy blood sugar. Gluten, soy and dairy free.

 

Berberine SynergyBerberine Synergy™ by Designs for Health – This formula supplies a blend of high potency berberine and alpha lipoic acid in support of cardiovascualar and liver health and optimal blood sugar and insulin levels. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Glyco StressGlyco Stress by Biospec Nutritionals – This unique formula provides vitamins, minerals and botanicals to nutritionally support the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats and to promote healthy glucose levels.

 

Lipoic Acid SupremeLipoic Acid Supreme by Designs for Health – This combination formula supplies high-dose lipoic acid, taurine and biotin in support of blood sugar and insulin balance. Lipoic acid has been shown to be an essential nutrient for those with diabetes to optimize the function of insulin receptors. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.

 

PGX Daily SinglesPGX Daily Singles by Natural Factors – This extensively researched formula provides a proprietary blend of viscous soluble fibers in support of appetite control, weight loss and overall good health. Dairy, wheat and yeast free.

 

References:
Dr. David Ludwig clears up carbohydrate confusion. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2015/12/16/dr-david-ludwig-clears-up-carbohydrate-confusion/
Dr. Mark Hyman: 10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Fat to Get Thin. http://ecowatch.com/2016/01/02/mark-hyman-eat-fat-get-thin/
Aseem Malhotra: The idea that you can exercise your way out of obesity is a big fat lie. http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20150529-aseem-malhotra-forget-the-fitbit.-focus-on-lunch..ece
Sugar is now enemy number one in the western diet. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/11/sugar-is-enemy-number-one-now
How did we come to believe saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for us? http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/how-did-we-come-to-believe-saturated-fat-and-cholesterol-are-bad-for-us
Essential fatty acids and human brain. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20329590
 

Are You Insulin Resistant?

InsulinJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

 

Insulin resistance, also known as pre-diabetes, has now become a pervasive health concern. It is estimated that over 80 million Americans may have insulin resistance, largely the result of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. The human body regulates blood glucose levels to maintain the stability and balance that is necessary for bodily processes, including vital brain, liver and kidney function. Insulin resistance generally occurs with no noticeable symptoms, but it can silently damage your blood vessels, raise your risk of heart disease and stroke, and very often precedes the development of type 2 diabetes. Some may want to consider learning their own blood sugar levels in order to pre-empt a problem or take control of their health.

The pancreas plays an essential role in converting the food we eat into fuel for the cells by producing key digestive enzymes that aid in digesting fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Foods we consume are converted into sugar molecules or glucose, which circulate in the blood stream until taken up by muscle or fat cells to be stored and used for energy. Additionally, the pancreas secretes very important hormones including insulin, which acts to lower blood sugar, and glucagon, which acts to raise blood sugar. Insulin binds with insulin receptors within the cells, which then activate a series of enzymes to allow glucose transport into the cells. With insulin resistance, your body produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively, resulting in poor glucose absorption by the cells and a rise in blood glucose levels.

When cells do not respond properly to insulin, the demand for insulin increases, which results in higher insulin secretion to maintain normal glucose and lipid homeostasis. As the volume and frequency of insulin release causes receptor cells to become less sensitive, the resistance of cells to take in glucose continues to increase over time. When the pancreas can produce enough insulin to meet the increased demand, blood glucose levels might stay in the normal healthy range. Eventually however, the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to meet the demand. Without sufficient insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells and remains in the blood stream, steadily rising and increasing the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

Insulin resistance plays a major role in the development of metabolic syndrome, which may include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Insulin resistance can also be linked to fatty liver, type 2 diabetes and arteriosclerosis. You are more likely to develop insulin resistance if:

  • You are overweight or obese
  • Are physically inactive
  • Are over 40 years of age
  • Have poor nutrition
  • Have a close family member who has diabetes
  • Have had gestational diabetes
  • Have a history of metabolic syndrome or polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Have certain hereditary factors that may negatively affect insulin receptors, glucose transporters or signaling proteins

If you are diagnosed with insulin resistance, consider it a warning. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can improve, reverse or prevent the onset and progression of insulin resistance.   Altering the diet by reducing or eliminating refined carbohydrates and added sugars can improve the cells’ sensitivity to insulin and decrease the amount of insulin released by the pancreas.   Additionally, weight loss and aerobic activity can increase the rate of glucose uptake by the muscle cells. Losing weight and exercising regularly are two of the best ways to improve and maintain your health. Improving your insulin sensitivity gives you more control over your current and future health by reducing the risks of developing chronic but largely preventable age related diseases.

Fasting blood sugar levels under 100 mg/dL are considered normal. Levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL may indicate pre-diabetes, and levels 126 mg/dL or above are diagnostic for type 2 diabetes.

Products that aid in blood sugar balance include:

Berberine-500 (SF800)
 
Berberine-500 (SF800) by Thorne Research – This versatile botanical compound contains 1 g of berberine extract per serving in support of glucose metabolism, healthy lipid levels, insulin sensitivity and cardiac support plus additional health benefits. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.
 
Chromium (picolinate) 500 mcg
 
Chromium (Picolinate) 500 mcg by Pure Encapsulations – This highly bioavailable form of chromium promotes healthy glucose and lipid metabolism and may aid in reducing the risk of insulin resistance. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.
 
 
Ultra Glucose Control Starter Kit ChocolateUltra Glucose Control by Metagenics – Formulated for the nutritional management of sustained glucose and insulin responses, this product delivers a ratio-balanced combination of slow-release complex carbohydrates, high quality pea and rice proteins, monounsaturated fats and branch chain amino acids. Non-GMO formula. Available in Chocolate and Vanilla flavors.
 
 
Lipoic Acid Supreme
 
Lipoic Acid Supreme by Designs for Health – This product contains biotin, taurine and alpha lipoic acid in support of blood sugar and insulin balance. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.
 
 
 
 
References:
Insulin Resistance.  http://www.emedicinehealth.com/insulin_resistance/article_em.htm
The Pancreas and Its Functions.  http://pancreasmd.org/education_home.html
What is Insulin Resistance.  http://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/insulin-resistance-symptoms#Overview1
Insulin Resistance Syndrome.  http://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0315/p1159.html
Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes.  http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/insulinresistance/
 

Beware of Night Eating Syndrome

night_eatingJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

 

Night Eating Syndrome (NES) or late night overeating is usually not a result of hunger and is generally associated with those who are overweight or obese. Midnight munching is often linked to habit, boredom or fatigue, but others who may be struggling from stress, depression or hormonal imbalances are very likely to overeat in the evenings, even when hunger is satisfied at dinner. Habitually eating throughout the evening or waking at night to eat again can wreak havoc on any weight loss or weight maintenance plan. Those with NES tend to eat unhealthy high calorie, nutritionally devoid foods, including salty snacks, ice cream and sugary desserts, that not only lead to weight gain but also to chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome or elevated blood pressure.  

While there is plenty of advice such as simply resolving not to eat after dinner, finding distractions, or keeping junk food out of the house, the underlying reasons for NES may be cause for concern. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, night eaters are more likely to have an addiction problem and tend to suffer from a distinct form of depression which is more pronounced during the evening. Night eating can also be a result of daytime stress or a response to restricted caloric intake during the day. According to Mark Hyman, M.D., NES often involves a disruption in the production of hormones that regulate sleep, appetite and mood and more specifically the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

Hormonal imbalance can lead to cravings for excessive amounts of unhealthy foods. An understanding of appetite regulating hormone triggers can aid in balancing these hormones and result in reducing or eliminating food cravings. What are these hormones and how can you help to regulate them?

  • Insulin – After a meal, this all important hormone is released into the bloodstream by the pancreas to aid the cells in absorbing glucose for energy production. Insulin helps to balance blood sugar levels to keep them within normal range. Excess weight can lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Ghrelin – Produced in the stomach, this fast acting hormone regulates appetite and stimulates the brain to let you know when you are hungry. When your stomach is empty, ghrelin levels rise, and after you have eaten, ghrelin levels fall.
  • Leptin – When levels of this hormone rise, your brain gets the signal you have had enough to eat. Along with other hormones, leptin helps to regulate metabolism and energy balance. A person can become leptin resistant when exposed to too much leptin, turning off the message signaling to stop eating and start burning fat.  
  • Peptide YY – Released by the small intestine in response to eating, PYY binds with receptors in the brain, resulting in decreased appetite and a feeling of fullness.
  • Cortisol – Known as the stress hormone, cortisol increases when stressed, resulting in increased hunger, insulin release and higher levels of blood sugar.

To stop cravings and end night time binging, all of these hormones must be in balance. Studies show that people with NES generally skip breakfast, don’t eat enough during the day and then are driven by hunger to compulsively overeat in the evening. They often wake during the night and are likely to indulge in carb-rich snacks even though they are not at all hungry. This extra snacking often results in an extra 500 calories eaten each day. That’s a lot of unnecessary calories for people trying to manage their weight. If you rarely feel hungry in the morning, you overeat in the evening after your evening meal, you wake during the night and are unable to go back to sleep without eating something and you are often feeling sad, anxious, stressed or depressed, you are a likely candidate for establishing a regular eating pattern and managing moods and stress.

In order to lose or maintain a healthy weight, the following steps may help you to balance your hormones, stop food cravings and break the habit of late night eating:

Eat during the day and don’t skip meals to save up calories for night time. Most people with NES are not hungry in the morning, but breakfast is particularly important. Have protein and healthy fat at every meal and include lots of veggies. Regular healthy meals will help keep your blood sugar in balance all day.

Find a way to relax and reduce your stress. Even simple breathing exercises can help to reset hormones and balance brain chemistry. High levels of cortisol are associated with weight gain, especially in the abdomen. Exercise is one of the best methods for reducing stress and has the added benefit of burning calories to aid weight loss.

Make sleep a priority. Sleep loss is directly related to weight gain. With chronic sleep deprivation, cortisol levels and inflammation markers rise as ghrelin production increases, stimulating appetite, and PYY, the hormone that makes you feel satiated, decreases.

Supplement to help balance blood sugar and insulin to reduce cravings. According to Dr. Hyman, be sure you have adequate levels of vitamin D, which helps to regulate hormones. Chromium, lipoic acid, omega-3 fats and N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) all help to reduce cravings. Add high fiber to your diet in the form of PGX, a glucomannan and seaweed supplement that helps to cut cravings, helps to prevent insulin spikes, increases PYY secretion and helps to balance all the hormones.

PGX Daily Granules Fiber Unflavored
 
PGX Daily by Bioclinic Naturals – This high fiber supplement safely supports weight loss, helps ease food cravings and improves insulin sensitivity. Gluten and dairy free.
 
 
 NAC 600 mg
NAC 600 mg by Pure Encapsulations – This amino acid supplement provides powerful antioxidant support, aids heavy metal detoxification, supports immune and respiratory health and may improve insulin and blood sugar levels. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.
 
 
Stabilized R-Lipoic Acid Supreme
Lipoic Acid Supreme by Designs for Health – This blend contains high-dose lipoic acid, biotin and taurine in support of blood sugar and insulin balance. Lipoic acid is an essential nutrient for optimizing insulin receptor function. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.
 
 
 
Cinnamon with Chromium Picolinate
 
Cinnamon with Chromium Picolinate by Physiologics – This synergistic blend with highly absorbable chromium supports sugar and fat metabolism and helps maintain a healthy metabolism of other dietary nutrients. Gluten, soy and dairy free formula.
 
 
 
References:
 
Insulin Resistance. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/insulinresistance/
 
Leptin Resistance May Block The “Full Message” and Lead to Obesity.  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/217958.php
 
Peptide YY.  http://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/peptide_yy.aspx
 
Night Eating Syndrome.  http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/eating_disorders/night-time-binge-eating-disorder.htm
 
Stress and Weight Gain. http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=53304&page=2
 
Are You a Midnight Muncher? http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56681