Stress can cause poor health and make you look exhausted and haggard. Stress is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, poor immune function, premature aging, high blood pressure, obesity and even diabetes. Exactly how stress brings about the early onset of age-related disease is not entirely clear. Many believe that stress increases the rate of aging within the cells themselves.
Cellular aging is associated with oxidative stress, lowered telomerase activity, and shorter telomere lengths. These factors affect the longevity of your body’s cells.
Telomeres are the caps or ends of chromosomes which provide protection and help give stability to the chromosomes. Telomeres are composed of terminal sequences of TTAGGG DNA base units at the ends of all chromosomes that signify the end of chromosomal information. At conception there are approximately 2,500 TTAGGG sequences as “end caps” to chromosomal data.
Telomers are a target of oxidative damage and become damaged and shortened due to the action of free radicals.
Psychological stress itself seems to accelerate the shortening of telomeres. In one study 58 mothers were studied. 19 of the mothers had a healthy child while 39 mothers cared for a chronically ill child. The research found that (adjusted for the age of the mother) the more years of caregiving, the shorter the mother’s telemores, the lower the telomerase activity and the more oxidative stress the mothers experienced. Continue reading →
Almost no one in America is getting all the nutrients they need for a healthy life. Neither elite athletes nor sedentary people are supplying enough nutrients to their bodies to restore or maintain their health.
Deficiencies of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals can can cause DNA damage just like excessive doses of radiation. These deficiencies cause single and double-strand breaks and oxidative lesions that are similar to the DNA damage of radiation. This damage can lead to numerous diseases.
Around 80% of young people and more than two-thirds of adults are not getting the recommended nutrients from real fruits and vegetables. The 25% of people eating the fewest fruits and vegetables have nearly twice the cancer rate as the 25% of the population consuming the most fruits and vegetables.
Unhealthy commodities (including ultra-processed foods, soft drinks, tobacco and alcohol) are important risk factors for many chronic noncommunicable diseases. 60 to 65% of all deaths globally are caused by noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and diabetes. This amounts to 34.5 million of 52.8 million total deaths (in 2010).
The World Health Organization indicates that 80% of heart disease, strokes, and type 2 diabetes could be prevented by eliminating the major risk factors including tobacco, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use.
Death is not the only consequence of using unhealthy commodities. Noncommunicable diseases impose years of reduced functionality or disability on people around the world. There is growing evidence from research studies linking the rates of consumption of unhealthy commodities with many debilitating noncommunicable diseases (especially obesity).
Photo by colros
In one comprehensive study, those who consumed the most ultraprocessed food had the highest BMIs, were most likely to be smokers, watched more TV and had the highest fat and lowest protein and fiber intake. They consumed the most fast food, fried foods, ate processed meats, consumed the fewest vegetables, and drank sugar-sweetened beverages. This shows an integration of behaviors that lead to disease, disability, and death.
Unhealthy Commodities Produce Profits
Companies that produce unhealthy commodities are businesses that strive to make higher and higher profits. Their aim is to make products that have low production costs, a long shelf-life, taste good, and a high retail value. These characteristics make for higher profits. Soft drink and tobacco producers are among the most profitable market sectors. It is estimated that the profit Coco-Cola’s rakes in amounts to a quarter of the retail price for their products.
Long shelf-life typically requires high levels of processing. This normally means the removal of nutrients to produce what are often called “food like substances.” Highly processed products (called ultra-processed) are made from substances such as oils, fats, flours, starches, various forms of sugar, salt, and cheaper parts of meat. They typically have a high glycemic load (producing spikes in blood sugar), are low in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, and low in both micronutrients and phytochemicals.
In a study of food products purchases by Americans, more than 80% of calories were from ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat products. Especially for ready-to-eat products, they exceeded the Dietary Guidelines for Americans limits for saturated fat, sugar and sodium. Such products include frozen pizza, pasta dishes, nuggets, crisps, cereal, energy bars, sugary drinks, and various snack products.
Over 50 percent of U.S. diet made up of “ultra-processed” foods
Most such products are manufactured, packaged attractively, and advertised by large international conglomerates. They are typically intensely palatable, not perishable, and ready to eat. These products are readily available, priced competitively, and are are aggressively marketed with media advertising and product placements. This gives manufactured food products multiple advantages over most raw ingredients that require time and effort to obtain and prepare and often spoil if not used quickly. Continue reading →
Have we known that carbohydrate restriction fights cancer for nearly 100 years? One of the defining characteristics of cancer cells is the inefficient metabolism of glucose to lactate even in the presence of oxygen. This aerobic glycloysis (the breakdown of glucose by enzymes without oxygen) is known as the Warburg effect and has been known since the 1920s. Yet, little has been done to utilize this fact in helping to prevent or treat cancer.
The National Cancer Institute predicts that “in 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the disease.”
In spite of all the cancer research, the number of people getting cancer in on the increase.
New Cancers in the United States
Shouldn’t we limit the primary nutrient of cancer cells as a means of fighting cancer?
Sugar is a Key Nutrient for Cancer Cells
Your body typically processes glucose (a sugar from carbohydrates) in two ways. Each way produces ATP molecules (adenosine 5′-triphosphate, the energy source for all cells of the body). Continue reading →
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