E-Mail Edition  Volume 6   Number 2

Originally published Spring, 2009

Published by Piccadilly Books, Ltd., www.piccadillybooks.com.

Bruce Fife, N.D., Publisher, www.coconutresearchcenter.org

If you would like to

subscribe to the

Healthy Ways Newsletter

click here.



  • Ask Dr. Coconut

  • Trans Fats Are Out, but Is the Replacement Any Better?

  • Cholesterol Essential for Good Health

  • Cholesterol Dose Not Cause Heart Disease Study Says

  • Add Statins to the Water? Not so Fast

  • Coconut Tools

  • News Briefs




Ask Dr. CoconutTM

Dr. Bruce Fife a.k.a. "Dr. Coconut" answers your questions about coconut, diet, and nutrition.


When I eat coconut oil I get a burning sensation in the back of my throat. Why is that?


Some people experience a burning or irritating sensation in the back of their throats after consuming coconut oil or coconut milk. It is also referred to as a "catch" in the throat.

This burning sensation is produced by poor quality or rancid oil. Although coconut oil is more resistant to oxidation and rancidity than other dietary oils, poorly processed oils can go rancid in a relatively short time. Another indication of rancidity is a slight bitter or sour taste. If the oil has a sour taste or strong flavor it is likely going rancid. If it causes a "catch" in the back of the throat, that is another clear sign of rancidity.

Any brand of coconut oil can develop these characteristics depending on how old they are. A good quality coconut oil can last for three years. A poor quality oil may last only couple of months. You may purchase a bottle of coconut oil at the store that tastes fine when you first open it, but a month later its flavor may have soured.

As with all food products, some brands are better than others. A few notable brands, however, have a particular problem with rancidity. They generally are the brands that sell for the cheapest price. There is a reason for that. You get what you pay for.

Good quality virgin coconut oil has a pleasant, mild coconut flavor that most people find appealing. Often, I will have people tell me they tried using coconut oil but they didn't like it, or their family couldn't stand the taste. Almost invariably the brand of coconut oil they were using was the cheapest and, consequently, the least palatable. There are several brands of coconut oil that I have sampled that taste absolutely terrible. Yet, I see them sold at stores and on the Internet all the time. If you don't like the taste of one particular brand, try another. The quality of the available brands varies greatly.

A good quality coconut oil is resistant to oxidation and need not be stored in the refrigerator. You can keep it in your kitchen cabinet. Coconut oil has a high melting point. It becomes liquid at temperatures above 76 degrees F (24 C) and solid at lower temperatures. On the store shelf and in your pantry it can be in either a liquid or solid state depending the environmental temperature. There is no difference in the taste or quality of the oil in either solid or liquid form.










Trans Fats Are Out,
but Is the Replacement Any Better?

by the editors of Prevent Disease


It was inevitable that food manufacturers and the edible oil industry would find a substitute for trans fats, now that consumer backlash is forcing the issue.

After all, we're talking big business here. Over 90 percent of the money spent on food is spent on the processed stuff.

Now that the health dangers of trans fats have been clearly exposed, the food industry would do you a great favor by returning to the use of natural saturated fats for frying and in baked goods. But that would mean reversing their entirely unscientific, 50 year campaign to vilify saturated fats, and would bring an end to the enormously powerful edible oil industry.

Since that's not about to happen, it's time for a quick review of the bad news about trans fats, followed by an investigation into what seems to be a fast-growing substitute: interesterified fats.


Why Trans Fats Are Being Replaced in Processed Foods

Trans fats cause a host of health problems. Among the most serious, trans fats: 

  • Raise your LDL cholesterol levels and lower HDL ("good") cholesterol levels

  • Are believed to contribute to autoimmune disease, cancer, heart disease, fertility problems, and bone degeneration

  • Inhibit insulin receptors in your cell membranes and are the main cause of type 2 diabetes, characterized by high levels of insulin and glucose in your blood

The Trans Fat Replacement—Interesterified Fat

Interesterified fats have been an ingredient in foods in the U.S. since the 1950s. They were introduced in Europe even earlier—in the 1920s—and have been in widespread use there for the last 15 years as a substitute for partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats).

These fats are oils that have been chemically altered. They are hydrogenated and then rearranged on a molecular level.

Although technically not the same as partially hydrogenated oils, the unnatural manipulation of lipid molecules in interesterified fats raises similar health concerns to those caused by trans fats.


The Process of Interesterification

The interesterification process hardens fat, similar to the hydrogenation process, but without producing oils that contain trans fats. The end product, like trans fat, is less likely to go rancid and is stable enough to use to fry foods.

There are three ways to modify natural fat:

  • Fractionation

  • Hydrogenation (the process used in trans fat production)

  • Inter-ester-ification

Interesterification acts on compounds in oil known as esters. The process combines a natural vegetable oil with stearic acid and alkylinic catalysts. Either enzymes or chemicals are used to modify the molecular structure of the oil in order to make it perform like a fat. The end result is a fat rich in stearic acid.

Interesterification is similar to the process that creates trans fats. Like hydrogenation, which generates unnatural trans fats, interesterification also produces molecules that do not exist in nature.

The highly industrialized process of interesterification may result in a product that is trans-free, but that product will still contain chemical residues, hexanes, and other hazardous waste products full of free radicals that cause cell damage.


The Use of Interesterified Fat Is Already Raising Health Concerns

Studies show that interesterified fat raises your blood glucose and depresses insulin production. These conditions are common precursors to diabetes and can present an even more immediate danger if you already have the disease.

After only four weeks consuming these fats, study volunteers' blood glucose levels rose sharply—by 20 percent. This is a much worse result than is seen with trans fats.

Insulin levels dropped 10 percent on the trans fat diet used in the studies, and twice that on the interesterified fat diet. Study results conclude interesterified fat affects the production of insulin by your pancreas as opposed to the insulin receptors in your cell membranes.

Interesterified fat also reduces levels of good (HDL) cholesterol.


The Problem with All Processed Vegetable Oils

Natural vegetable oils that have been altered create problems for your body at the cellular level. These fats are no longer in their natural state, and your body doesn't know how to handle them. Your system will try to make use of them and in the process, these fats end up in cell membranes and other locations where they can wreak havoc with your health.

If you are male, the danger of these man-made fats is an increased risk of heart disease. In men, these unnatural oils trigger an immune response as they enter your artery walls. As your body attacks this unknown intruder, your arteries become inflamed, leading to a dangerous build-up of plaque.

If you are a woman, your body will react somewhat differently. Processed vegetable oils don't appear to trigger an immune response in the arteries of women. Rather, they get deeper into your body and into fatty tissues like those of the breast, increasing your cancer risk.

Finally, a problem with processed vegetable oils no matter your gender is the accumulation of the toxic byproducts of the catalysts used to change the oils from their natural state. These catalysts are created from metals like aluminum and nickel. They build up in your nervous system, are difficult to eliminate, and can lead to neurological problems and other health concerns.


How to Recognize Interesterified Fats in Your Food

You'll find interesterified fats in the same types of processed foods that use trans fats, products such as: 

margarine and shortening
fried foods like French fries and fried chicken
processed foods like cereal and waffles
salad dressings

Interesterified fat will likely NOT be on list of ingredients

If you're in the habit of reading product labels, you may or may not see the word "interesterified" fat among the list of ingredients, even if it's in there.

The FDA has ruled that food manufacturers can use terms like high stearate or stearic rich fats in place of "interesterified." To confuse things even further, if you see the terms fully hydrogenated vegetable oil, palm oil and/or palm kernel oil on labeling, the product may or may not contain interesterified fat.

And beware eating out, because while restaurants and their suppliers are touting removal of trans fats from the foods they serve, very little is being said about the fats that are replacing them.

The bottom line is that if a processed food label includes "vegetable oil" as an ingredient, you can be absolutely sure you're about to consume either interesterified fats or trans fats.

And if a processed food product is labeled "0% trans fats" or "no trans fats" but is made from vegetable oils, you can be certain it contains either interesterified fats or fully hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Foods that have been altered by an industrial process do not metabolize in your body the same way natural foods do, and eating them is an invitation to serious health problems.

It took the mainstream medical community and food manufacturers 30 years to determine and admit that trans fats are dangerous to your health. It could take another 30 years for the truth to come out about interesterified fats—or any other substitute fat that does not exist in nature.


Options to Consider

Fortunately avoiding these fats is relatively easy as they are in virtually all the foods that trans fats are, so by avoiding trans fat you will also avoid interesterified fats.

If you're like most Americans, your diet consists predominantly of processed food. And eating processed foods, especially those with a long shelf life, means you're consuming interesterified fats, trans fats, or some other type of man-made ingredient that your body was not designed to metabolize.

If you want to avoid dangerous fats of all kinds, your best bet is to eliminate processed foods from your diet. Focus on healthy whole foods instead of processed junk food. Use butter instead of margarines and vegetable oil spreads. Butter is a healthy whole food that has received an unwarranted bad rap. Use coconut oil for cooking. It is far superior to any other cooking oil and is loaded with health benefits.

Source: www.preventdisease.com






Cholesterol Essential for Good Health


Two new studies show that cholesterol protects against neurological dysfunction and reduces risk of cancer. Cholesterol has long been recognized as an essential element in our bodies. Every cell in your body contains cholesterol where it functions as an important structural building block and helps protect against destructive free radicals. It is required in order to make vitamin D and hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. Nerve cells have higher amounts of cholesterol, than other cells because nerve cells do not split and divide like other cells; therefore, they need the extra cholesterol to live longer. Yes, cholesterol helps our nerve tissues live longer.

Scientists have found that cholesterol is not just a structural element in nerve tissue but is needed for healthy nerve and brain function. A recent study1 has demonstrated that cholesterol is absolutely vital for proper nerve transmission.

This new discovery adds more troubling implications to the widespread use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.  Statins interfere with liver function and block its ability to make cholesterol. Less cholesterol in the blood means less is available for making and maintaining the health of cell membranes, reduces the body's ability to form vitamin D and essential hormones. It also interferes with the body's ability to maintain healthy nerve and brain tissues. This may explain why rates of depression, memory loss, and suicide are higher among statin users.

The new study adds a brand new explanation for nerve and muscle related problems from taking statins.  Researchers studied the structure of an important neurotransmitter receptor called the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.  Cholesterol is absolutely vital to this receptor working correctly and is part of the protein structure of this receptor.  Problems with this receptor's function drastically alter nerve transmission. This new discovery offers a new explanation as to why statins have so many devastating nerve and muscle side effects.

Research has shown that people taking cholesterol lowering drugs die more frequently from a variety of causes than those that don't take the drugs. While statin drugs have many side effects, some of the detrimental effects of using these drugs also come as a result of lowering the cholesterol. Even those who don't take statin drugs who have low blood cholesterol are at risk.

Another recent study2 has shown that low cholesterol levels increase the risk of developing cancer. Even low amounts of LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol which is believed to be the most problematic, increases risk. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that LDL level of 100 ml/dL or less for prevention and no more than 70 for high-risk patients. In the new study an LDL level of 107, which is above the AHA safety level, was associated with a 33 percent increased risk of cancer and death; an LDL level of 87 was associated with a 50 percent increased risk. As the LDL goes lower the risk keeps getting worse. The LDL levels set by the AHA were chosen arbitrarily by "experts" with direct financial ties to the statin industry. They knew full well that reaching their artificially low target levels for LDL would require larger doses of statin drugs, thus dramatically increasing sales (which has indeed happened).

The results of this new study were so alarming that the study authors challenged other researchers to examine their data for any possible errors and called for a statistical reanalysis of the data from all other existing cholesterol studies, using better statistical models that actually reflect true risk. The results of this new research led the authors to conclude "A low LDL cholesterol level is not necessarily associated with optimal clinical outcomes but is a predictor of cancer and death."

In the current study the ideal LDL cholesterol level was found to be 126. The researchers were able to identify a bell-shaped curve, in terms of a departure in either direction from this ideal number. LDL over 146 or less than 107 was associated with 33 percent increased risk of cancer. LDL over 164 or less than 87 was associated with a 50 percent increased risk. The risk keeps getting worse the higher or lower the number progresses away from the ideal of 126. LDL in the range of 108 — 145 had no statistically significant cancer risk, although being in the center of this range is clearly best.

There have been a number of studies in the past that link low cholesterol and cancer risk. However, these studies could not prove that the cancer was not already there prior to the start of the study — which has been the main argument used (besides statistical manipulation) by the statin industry to deny the association. In the new study this issue was taken into account by eliminating participants with less than 2.5 years follow-up after the start of the study, thus demonstrating that the results were not due to preexisting cancer.



1.  Biophysicists Create New Model For Protein-cholesterol Interactions In Brain And Muscle Tissue. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  October, 2008.


2. Xilin Yang PhD, WingYee So MBChB, Gary T.C. Ko MD, Ronald C.W. Ma MBChB, Alice P.S. Kong MBChB, Chun-Chung Chow MBBS, Peter C.Y. Tong PhD, Juliana C.N. Chan MD Independent associations between low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and cancer among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Canadian Medical Association Journal   2008;179(5):427-37.














Cholesterol Does Not Cause Heart Disease Study Says


The lipid hypothesis of heart disease which suggested that high blood cholesterol was the underlying cause of heart attacks and strokes was proposed over 45 years ago. In that time thousands of studies have been published trying to prove this theory correct. Yet, not one has been able to show a cause and effect relationship. Why the failure? Because cholesterol does not cause heart disease. What has been proven by all this research is that high blood cholesterol does not cause heart disease.

So why is there such a push for taking statins—the cholesterol-lowering drugs? The answer is simple—profit. Statins are among the biggest profit makers for drug companies, bringing in billions of dollars a year. Last year drug companies raked in over $20 billion from cholesterol-lowering drugs. These companies are not about to cut off this lucrative cash flow. For this reason, they very aggressively promote the belief that high blood cholesterol causes heart disease and the only way to fight it is by lowering cholesterol with drugs.

Money and power buy friends. The pharmaceutical industry has many friends in the medical community. The American Heart Association recently stated that if you want to avoid a heart attack, stop taking vitamins and switch to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs instead. (Matthew Herper and Robert Langreth, Eat your Statins, Forbes Nov. 16. 2008.)

Because of pressure from the pharmaceutical industry and the fear of losing advertising dollars, medical journals have been reluctant to publish articles opposing the interests of the drug companies. In recent years, however, many books and even medical journals have come out exposing the cholesterol myth. The most recent was published in the Scandinavian Cardiovascular Journal and authored by Dr. Paul Rosch of New York Medical College.

In his article he states, "The belief that coronary atherosclerosis is due to high cholesterol from increased saturated fat intake originated from experiments in herbivorous animals. It was reinforced by reports allegedly demonstrating this sequence of events in various populations but ignoring contradictory data. The idea has been perpetuated by powerful forces using similar tactics to preserve the profit and the reputations of those who promote this doctrine. Opponents find it difficult to publish their scientifically supported opinions. The advent of statins has further fuelled this fallacious lipid hypothesis, despite compelling evidence that their effect is not due to cholesterol lowering; serious side effects have been suppressed, and alleged benefits have been hyped. The adverse effects of the cholesterol campaign on health, quality of life, the economy, and medical research are inestimable. It is imperative that public health officials, physicians and patients are apprised of proof that it is misguided, malicious and malignant."1

High blood cholesterol may actually be good and may even protect against diseases such as infections and, believe it or not, heart disease, says Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD.2 Dr. Ravnskov documents his favorable stand on cholesterol in an article published in the QJM: An International Journal of Medicine published by Oxford University. To read the article go here.



1.  Rosch P.J. Cholesterol does not cause coronary heart disease in contrast to stress. Scand Cardiovasc J 2008; 42:244-249.
2. Ravnskov, U. High cholesterol may protect against infections and atherosclerosis. Q J Med 2003;96:927-934.










Add Statins to the Water? Not So Fast


 Sixty million Americans are currently taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Statins are the biggest-selling drugs in the world. But it's apparently not enough to give them to people with heart problems. Now drug companies and doctors want healthy people to start taking them too.

Recently, a new study by Harvard researchers reported how healthy 50-year-old men and 60-year-old women could benefit from taking Crestor, a statin, even if they didn't have high cholesterol. The people they studied had high levels of C-reactive protein, or CRP, which is a marker for inflammation. The study showed that risk for major heart problems was cut by about 50 percent among the statin users.

Heart attack risk cut by 50 percent! That's incredible! This study apparently has proven what no other study has been able to do for decades—that cholesterol-lowering drugs actually do prevent heart attacks. Since nearly half of all deaths are heart related, everyone should be taking statins whether they are at risk of heart disease or not, just to be safe. That is the message the drug companies, and the doctors on their payroll, are trying to send us.

It is no surprise that the Harvard study was funded by the makers of the statin drug Crestor. But like many industry-sponsored drug studies, this study focused on something called "relative risk," which compares differences between study groups. Relative risk has the effect of exaggerating (i.e., lying about) a drug's benefits. What does a 50 percent reduction in heart risk mean? It means that just 1 out of 120 statin users was helped by the drug by reducing cardiovascular events (of course, it doesn't take into account the dozens of others who were harmed by the drug and died of cancer, Alzheimer's, liver failure, diabetes, or suicide).

These results were by all measures incredibly small (some would even say insignificant). It is interesting that the study was designed to go for five years, but was suddenly shortened to only two. If the results were so good, then why didn't they continue the study and get stronger evidence to prove the value of the drug? Perhaps the researchers were concerned that if the study went longer it would erase the very marginally "good" results they had achieved and the detrimental consequences of the drug would begin to show up. Perhaps they felt it was better to cut the study early and take whatever positive results they had now, rather than risk losing it all with a longer trial. After all, no other study has given such promising results.

Judging from the headlines after the study was released, you might think that doctors and government officials are about ready to put statins in our drinking water or fortify breakfast cereal with it so everyone can benefit. That way millions of healthy people could benefit from taking statins even if they don't have high cholesterol.

Although many doctors hailed the study as a major breakthrough, a closer look at the research suggests that statins (like Crestor, from AstraZeneca, and Lipitor, from Pfizer) are far from magic pills. For healthy people the potential benefit remains questionable.

This study, called Jupiter, is sure to fuel interest in a blood test for "C-reactive protein" or CRP. The test, which can cost $20 to $50, measures inflammation. Studies have shown that patients with high CRP are at higher risk for heart attack, even if they have normal cholesterol.

The researchers sought out men 50 and older and women 60 and older who had elevated CRP but not high cholesterol. The goal was to determine whether statins could improve their health.

But of nearly 90,000 people who were screened, only 17,802 were selected. That means 80 percent of the recruits were excluded for a variety of reasons — another inflammatory condition like arthritis, medication use, high blood pressure, family history of cancer, or anything that might make the outcome look better. They ended up with a very select group of individuals who don't really represent the general population.

Dr. Nieca Goldberg, director of the women's heart program at New York University Langone Medical Center, agrees, "If you extrapolate that, it means there are not all that many people exactly like those who were studied...I can see a lot of people will be wanting a CRP test," she went on. "My greatest concern is that there will be many people who don't fit the criteria of the study, but based on this they will get blood tests and statin therapy."

And because of the way the Jupiter results were reported, many healthy people are likely to get an exaggerated view of statins' benefits. While the investigators reported an impressive-sounding 50 percent reduction in the risk of serious heart problems among the statin users, in reality everyone in the study had a low risk to begin with.

Only 1.8 percent of the subjects who took a placebo had a major cardiovascular problem during the study period. Among statin users, 0.9 percent did. In other words, the absolute risk of a serious cardiovascular problem (as opposed to the relative risk) was reduced by less than one percentage point!

"Absolute differences in risk are more clinically important than relative reductions in risk in deciding whether to recommend drug therapy," The New England Journal of Medicine noted in an editorial accompanying a report on the study.

An important indicator of the usefulness of a drug is the "number needed to treat," a measure of how many people need to take a pill for just one person to be helped. There is disagreement about what Jupiter showed. The New England Journal editorial concluded that treating 120 people for about two years might help 1 person. Extrapolating these measly results to five years (the length of time the study was originally planned to last), the study's authors concluded that just 25 healthy people would need to take a statin to prevent one serious heart problem.

As a result, some doctors are now saying they will start testing for CRP and will offer statin therapy to patients whose levels are high regardless of any other risk factors. "This was definitely a pretty stunning result," said Dr. Steven E. Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. "I, for one, will be checking CRP in more patients. If it's elevated, we will be treating them." Consequently, millions of healthy people could be put on statins. The pharmaceutical companies are ecstatic with anticipation of increased sales growth.

There was one worrisome trend did emerge in the study that is of concern to doctors. In the statin group, 3 percent of the people developed diabetes during the study period, compared with 2.4 percent in the placebo group. In other words, about 50 more people in the statin group developed diabetes than the placebo group.

Moreover, because the study was stopped early (the researchers claim so those in the placebo group could begin taking statins for their presumed heart benefits), it did not yield much insight into the drugs' long-term safety. Nor is it clear that the early benefit shown in the statin group would have held up over a longer period or whether other risks might have emerged.



Article adapted from "A Call for Caution in the Rush to Statins" by Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times.




Coconut Tools

Have you ever purchased a fresh coconut from the grocery store, brought it home, and tried to open and eat it? If so, you know that opening a coconut and extracting the meat and water can be a challenging task. For some it seems almost impossible. For others it takes a pair of gloves, a hammer, nail, chisel, hacksaw, and perhaps even a few power tools to accomplish the job.

You might wonder how on earth villagers in the tropics accomplish the task? These people are very skilled in the art of dehusking and opening coconuts. It takes them only minutes to complete the job. Their primary tool is a standard machete. They hold the coconut in one hand and slap it sharply with the machete. Amazingly few fingers are lost in the process. The coconut splits into two evenly sliced halves ready to enjoy. A little extra work is needed to extract the meat from the shell, but all-in-all the task is completed in a short amount of time.

Those of us who don't live in the tropics and have not grown up cracking coconuts with machetes (and still have all our fingers) don't have a clue how to go about the process.





Don't fear. If you have the right tools you can open a coconut and be enjoying sliced or shredded coconut within minutes. The secret is having the right tools available.

The machete is the standard coconut tool, but you can do without it. A relatively new invention called the Cocosplit can take the place of the machete and relieve all worry about losing any body parts. You simply stick the coconut under the blade of the Cocosplit, hit the top with a hammer, and the coconut parts evenly in half.




At this stage you have two options. You can either cut the coconut out in strips or shred it. Another ingenious tool is the coconut knife. It almost looks like an oversized butter knife, but has one edge that is sharp and conveniently cuts the meat off the shell. (For the more adventurous types, the coconut knife can also double as a small machete and crack open the shell as well.)



If you prefer shredded coconut, you can use a standard hand scraper like the one pictured here.




With this tool you manually scrap the meat off the shell. If you prefer an easier method, you can use a rotary scraper.





 The rotary scraper can also be powered by electricity, kind of like a power drill for the easiest coconut extraction. The power drill method is similar to those used by commercial operations.


To learn more about coconut tools and to view a video demonstrating their use, go to the Cocosplit website at http://www.cocosplit.com/purchase.html.





News Briefs


Lead Found in Lipsticks



The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reported that 61% of the 33 brand-name lipsticks they tested were found to contain detectable levels of lead.  Although the FDA has not set a limit for lead in lipstick, finding such trace amounts that are most certainly digested through the mouth is reason for concern.  One-third of the lipsticks tested contained a level of lead that exceeds allowable amounts by the FDA for candy.  The group is calling for FDA regulation as well as for cosmetic companies to reevaluate their ingredients and production process to ensure lead-free products.  Exposure to lead can cause learning, language, and behavioral issues, especially in children.  Lead exposure has also been linked to infertility and chance of miscarriage.  While all lipsticks tested were within established FDA regulations for their ingredients, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has stated that any exposure to lead can lead to harmful reactions and measures should be taken to eliminate lead from all cosmetics, especially lipstick and other products easily absorbed and ingested.

Source: "Lipsticks Contain Lead, Consumer Group Says," by Karen Jacobs.    





Regular Supplement Users Grow


According to an online survey conducted by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), 68% of American adults take some kind of dietary supplement. This number has risen from 66% over the previous year.  Further, the number of adults who take a supplement daily leapt from 46% to 52%.  Of those who take a dietary supplement, 80% responded that they feel confident that what they are taking is safe, of high quality, and truly effective.  Judy Blatman, VP of communications for CRN, explained, "this is the third year that we've conducted this survey online and it's interesting to start to see the consistent trends building."


Source: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN)





Vitamins & Minerals Effect Diabetic Neuropathy


Mark L. Gostine, M.D., founder of Michigan Pain Consultants, PC, one of the nation's leading full-service pain management practices, and Lawrence Pawl, M.D., a recognized oncologist, released the results of a study revealing diabetes neuropathy (a peripheral nerve disorder caused by diabetes) is accelerated with low consumption of essential vitamins and minerals.

The goal of their study was to better understand how to more effectively manage pain and other complications associated with diabetic neuropathy, and overall showing that it's not what you eat but what you don't eat that can hurt you. During the six-month long study, patients were asked to rate eight parameters using a modification of the Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale where pain is rated on a scale from 1 to 10. The patients who participated in the study reported an average rating of 6.59 for "burning pain in hands and feet" before taking the combination of micro-nutrients and a 2.44 rating after 12 weeks, a 63 percent decrease.


Source: Neuropathy Solutions




Ripe Is Best


Don't toss apples or pears if they look a little tired. As these fruits ripen, their health-protective antioxidants increase. Austrian scientists found that ripe fruit loses chlorophyll in a process similar to that which causes leaves to turn color in the fall. When a fruit's chlorophyll breaks down, it's replaced by powerful antioxidants. Eating ripe fruits can provide the same protective benefits that the antioxidants give to the plants.

Source: Fruit Antioxidants Develop with Ripeness. foodnavigator.com






Don't Be D-ficient!


The scientific community has weighed in—vitamin D's recommended daily intake of 400 IU should be raised. Researchers from King's College, London, report that higher vitamin D concentrations may slow down aging and related diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Women with higher D levels were more likely to have longer telomeres (parts of chromosomes that shorten with age). Leukocyte telomere length is a predictor of age-related disease and decreases with inflammation. Lead researcher Brent Richards, MD, says, "These results demonstrate for the first time that people who have higher levels of vitamin D may age more slowly." The Council for Responsible Nutrition reports that the tolerable upper intake level (UL) could be raised to 10,000 IU (250 micrograms) a day. Nutritional supplementation can increase your D but the best source is from sunlight. Sunlight reacts with cholesterol in your skin to form vitamin D.

Source: "Higher Serum Vitamin D Concentrations Are Associated with Longer Leukocyte Telomere Length in Women" by J. B. Richards, et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.




Do you have friends who would like this newsletter? If so, please feel free to share this newsletter with them.


If this newsletter was forwarded to you by a friend and you would like to subscribe, click here.


Copyright © 2009,  Bruce Fife. All rights reserved.