Tag Archives: Alcohol

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Ultra-Processed foods and Noncommunicable Diseases

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

Leaky Gut Syndrome – Intestinal Epithelial Hyperpermeability

Leaky gut syndrome refers to a set of symptoms that are associated with a “leaky gut.” What we often call “leaky gut” is more scientifically labelled as “intestinal epithelial hyperpermeability,” “intestinal tight junction malfunction” or even “compromised intestinal barrier function” by the medical community.

The gut is supposed to allow absorption of water, small ions and nutrients into our blood system (the gate function). It is also supposed to prevent other material in your gut from entering the blood stream (the fence function).

The barrier consists of a single layer of cells (intestinal epithelial lining) and the secretions of those cells. The cells are bound together by “tight junction” proteins. But, when this barrier become damaged, the undigested food as well as potentially toxic microbes and microbial products can enter the blood stream.

Why is Leaky Gut Important?

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Diet in Addition to Alcohol Consumption May Play Important Role in Liver Problems

Nutrition is more important than we think. Not only does good nutrition help your body perform optimally, but it may also reduce the effects of an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle.

In this study of mice breed to consume large amounts of alcohol, mice were given alcohol and an artificial sugar, maltodextrin. A group given water in addition to alcohol consumed more alcohol than those given alcohol alone. Yet the mice that consumed more alcohol had less liver damage.

A new study finds that mice bred to consume high amounts of alcohol, but controlled by diet, did not necessarily develop the most severe liver injuries, suggesting that diet may pay an important role in liver injury development.
Nutrition Research News — ScienceDaily

Alcohol Consumption and Diet in Humans

alcohol photoThis study with mice reflects what is observed in human alcoholics. A study by Marsano and McClain found that “malnutrition is relatively modest in alcoholic patients without alcoholic liver disease, the rate of malnutrition is virtually 100% in patients with alcoholic hepatitis and/or alcoholic cirrhosis.”

Another study by Dr. Charles S. Lieber tells us that many alcoholics are undernourished. He cites two major reasons for this:

  • Alcoholics do not consume enough nutrients, or
  • Alcohol metabolism prevents nutrients from being digested, absorbed and used

In either case, the alcoholic is often deficient in protein and vitamins. Vitamin A deficiency contributes to liver disease and other alcohol related illnesses.

While the alcoholic’s chronic diseases such as fatty liver disease can be life threatening, with changes, they can be reversed.

Fatty Liver Disease: Natural Fatty Liver Remedies

If the fat in your liver makes up 5–10 percent of the organ’s weight, then you are diagnosed with fatty liver disease. One of the hardest-working organs in the body, the liver works tirelessly to detoxify our blood, to produce the bile needed to digest fat, to break down hormones and to store essential vitamins, minerals and iron. That is why it’s so important to take care of our livers.

For people with fatty liver disease, the handling of fat by liver cells is disturbed. Increased amounts of fat are removed from the blood and produced by liver cells, and not enough is disposed of or exported by the cells. As a result of this, fat accumulates in the liver. There is an imbalance between the uptake of fat and its oxidation and export.

In this video, Dr. Axe shares how to heal a fatty liver by removing certain foods from your diet, consuming more cleansing foods and taking care of your mental and emotional health.

Learn more about liver health here.
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