Author Archives: Nicholas Rue

Why is Coconut Oil Good For You?

We have been brain-washed into believing that saturated fat is bad for us.  I have always had trouble with this idea because both of my sets of grandparents were dairy farmers whose diets were heavy in delicious saturated fats.  None of them had a weight problem, nor did any of their 15 children.  Indeed, my maternal grandmother never weighed more than 90 pounds soaking wet, even after a dozen or so children! She and my mother loved buttermilk (yuck), put heavy cream in everything, and slathered toast with homemade butter.  I can still remember the mouthwatering poached our eggs mom made by poaching them in butter and milk.Speaking of the milk that we drank growing up, it had to have the cream skimmed off the top.  This we used to make our own version of “ice cream”.  We lived between Kings Mills and Loveland, Ohio back then, close to Landen Farms.  (This was when it was still an actual farm, now it is a subdivision.)  My mother was no fan of the milkman and his homogenized/pasteurized dairy products!  So she drove to Landen for milk, eggs and butter several times a week. Old habits die hard.My grandparents are all gone.  Some died young, some reached old age, but none were overweight by today’s standards.  My mother is also gone.  She died very young of a rare form of lymphoma, but was also a normal weight all her life despite what would be considered today a diet very high in saturated fat.  Every once in a while when I put the unsweetened apple butter on my whole grain or pumpernickel toast,  I remember how mom used to butter her toast with regular full-fat butter, then put on a layer of peanut butter and then top it off with a liberal amount of apple butter! Scrumptious!Just one more walk down memory lane;  if you happened to catch the John F. Kennedy special that aired on HBO this winter, you may have noticed, as I did, how different everyone looked.  At first I thought they all looked like concentration camp victims because they seemed so thin.  Then I realized, they were all a normal weight and I’m just not accustomed to seeing so many people in one place that are a normal weight.  For example, I am sitting in the Barnes & Nobel bookstore in the Sycamore Center mall, which is north of Cincinnati, Ohio, a pretty typical Midwest city.  Of the 17 people within eyesight, 4 are a normal weight, and the rest range from overweight to morbidly obese.  What’s my point? I would be willing to bet that most of the people that I can see, whether or not they are overweight,  do not drink whole milk or eat real butter.  And I’m not even sure you can buy buttermilk anymore, so I’m almost positive they’re not drinking that. (Thank Goodness! Sorry mom.) I would also be willing to bet that at least a sizeable proportion of the overweight individuals I can see try to avoid saturated fats.  If I’m correct, it isn’t working.  So maybe saturated fats are not the problem.

It turns out that the best fat we could be eating is coconut fat and it is definitely a saturated fat.  I use it for all baked goods, popcorn (yum) and anything else I am frying.  I have also recently switched to whole organic butter and whole milk, to avoid MSG, both of which have saturated fat, with no adverse effects so far, although I don’t use a lot of either.  I actually haven’t ever completely avoided saturated fats, as too many of the foods I love are made with them, such as chocolate, goat or swiss cheese not to mention the occasional steak.  I do avoid trans fats and only eat beef, fowl and pork that are organic and free range.

So what really determines whether or not a fat is good for you?

We know that trans fat raises your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and that this increases your risk of heart disease. What you may not know is that it’s another man-made, or genetically modified substance that is added to our food, especially the foods we eat as snacks and breakfast foods to preserve the food’s shelf life. Some shortenings and margarines are very high in trans fat.

Until very recently, it was added to commercial baked goods, such as crackers, cookies and cakes, and many fried foods, such as doughnuts and french fries, without notice to the consumer.  Presently, it must be designated as part of the nutritional information on the package.  Our government has made it clear that these things have to be apparent to us so that we can avoid them, right? Not quite.  Food manufacturers can still secretly add them to any food and state on the package that the food is “trans fat free” as long as the amount is below .5% per serving.  How often do you eat one serving of a snack food?

I can’t help wondering how this negotiation went.

The FDA says,This stuff is really bad and causes terrible diseases that cost people their lives and ups the cost of health care.  Consumers have to be notified!”

And the food manufacturers say, “That’s not fair, it will cost us a fortune in terms of shorter shelf life. Our profits will go down.” And the FDA says,Oh, ok, you can put it in and not mention it, as long as it is below .5%.” Seriously?

Why Is Coconut Oil So Good For You? It’s a Saturated Fat, Right?

We’ve been told for the past 20 years that it is the saturation of the fat molecule that matters.  There are saturated fats, which we try to avoid, and the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that we try to include. But there is another less well-known system of classification that is based on the length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid.  In this system there are short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).

  The vast majority of fats and oils in our diets, 98% to 100%, whether they are saturated or unsaturated, or come from animals or plants,  composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Both the saturated and unsaturated fat found in meat, milk, eggs, and plants (including most all vegetable oils) are composed of LCFA.

While we have been led to believe that all saturated fatty acids are bad for us, the MCFA from the coconut, which is a saturated fat, has health benefits that rival those of fish oil, or omega-3 fats. In general, they do not raise cholesterol, but actually protect against heart disease.   They also help to lower the risk of both atherosclerosis and they can be a significant weight loss aid.

To read the history and learn of the many other benefits of the mighty coconut and it’s healing oil check out Coconut Secret  and the Coconut Research Center. For a somewhat biased, but interesting article on saturated fats in general see this article “The Truth About Saturated Fat” from T-Nation.

If you aren’t already confused enough about fat, let’s really get into it. Omega-3’s also come in short- and long-chain varieties. The short-chain form, which is alpha-linolenic acid, is found in flaxseed oil (53%), canola oil (11%), English walnuts (9%), and soybean oil (7%).  The long-chain, or marine omega-3’s are found mainly in fish and shellfish. Compared with their plant Omega 3 counterparts, the marine long chain Omega 3’s have two advantages; Firstly, they are highly unsaturated.  Secondly, they are excellent sources of low fat protein.  Bottom line, they are critical to our neurological well being.  Fish oil, when combined with exercise, is the only thing presently known to prevent Alzheimer’s.

So How Does it Work?

Long chain fatty acids (LCFA) found in plant and animal fat are not easily absorbed by the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and require pancreatic enzymes and bile salts to break them down so that they can be absorbed by the intestine. Next, the long chain fatty acids must go through a complicated process through which they are delivered to a variety of tissues, including adipose, cardiac and skeletal tissue, and are then transported to the liver, and are finally oxidized for energy use.  This is how all saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and cholesterol that consists of long chain fatty acids (almost all of your dietary fat) is transported throughout the body.

In contrast, medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are absorbed by the GI tract with ease, they do not require any pancreatic enzymes to break them down, which means less work for your pancreas. Next, medium chain fatty acids are transported through the blood stream, directly to the liver, where they go directly into mitochondria and are immediately oxidized for energy. Medium chain fatty acids from coconut oil do not get packaged into lipoproteins, and do not get transported to a variety of tissues and are not stored as body fat, they go directly to the liver and are metabolized for energy.

The bottom line is that medium chain fatty acids from coconut oil produces almost exclusively energy, whereas, long chain fatty acids found in all other dietary fats produce body fat (and some energy).

Coconut Oil Boosts Energy

Because the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are easily and rapidly transported into the mitochondria, unlike long chain fatty acids, they are immediately used for energy, which “heats up” the body and increases metabolism. Several animal studies and clinical studies have proven that ingestion of coconut oil increases metabolism and decreases body fat both in animal studies performed on mice, and humans. Rats that were fed a diet consisting of medium chain fatty acids had less subcutaneous fat, a visibly evident decrease in overall body fat, and increased metabolism and increased thermogenesis.[1]

The energy burst that is produced by medium chain fatty acids is also important for athletic endurance. In one study, researchers tested the physical endurance of mice that were fed medium chain fatty acids vs. those fed a diet high in long chain fatty acids for six weeks. The mice were subjected to a swimming endurance test, where they had to swim against a current, every other day. The mice that were fed medium chain fatty acids continually performed better then the others and displayed a much higher physical endurance.[2] These studies in mice provide us with evidence that medium chain fatty acids increase metabolism and promote the loss of fat while providing a burst of energy that increases physical endurance. Yes, this boost in energy means you feel less lethargic, and it can help you feel less tired as you perform daily activities.

Coconut Oil Decreases Body Fat

Numerous studies have shown that coconut oil clearly has an effect on men and women very analogous to what has been demonstrated in other mammalian animal models: it increases metabolism and decreases overall body fat. For example, healthy men and women were administered either medium chain fatty acids or long chain fatty acids in addition to a diet similar in fat, protein, and carbohydrates for 12 weeks. Throughout the 12 weeks, individuals that took medium chain fatty acids had significantly less body weight and, specifically, body fat[3].

It Gets Even Better!

Not only do you store less body fat, studies have shown that medium chain fatty acids also increase the oxidation of long chain fatty acids that are already in your body, tucked away in your love handles!  So not only does it prevent weight gain, it aids in weight loss.[4] Similar to the animal studies, medium chain fatty acids also boost energy production in humans by speeding up metabolism.[5] Finally, for those with cholesterol problems, this study found that people with high triglyceride levels who were given medium chain fatty acids for eight weeks had a 14.5%  decrease in their triglyceride levels! [6]

Bottom line: for those of you that have completely lost focus:

1.    Coconut oil, which is a medium chain fatty acid, is metabolized by a different process than long chain fatty acids, this process expedites use as energy instead of storage.

2.   Because the body has to preferentially burn the fat off, it ramps up the metabolism by increasing thermogenesis.

3.   This ramping up of the metabolism then proceeds to not only burn off coconut oil, but long chain fatty acids pre-existing the consumption of coconut oil.

4.   These effects have been demonstrated both in animal studies, and more importantly, human studies as well.

 


[1] (Lipids 22 (6): 442-444).
[2] (Journal of Nutrition 125 (3):531-9)
[3] (The Journal of Nutrition 131 (11): 2853-2859)
[4] (International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity 24 (9): 1158-1166)
[5] (Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental 38 (7): 641-648)

[6] (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 63 (7): 879-886).

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Is There Such Thing as a Healthy Sweetener?

Yes there is! Coconut Crystals and Coconut Nectar are the best tasting, safest, most nutritious way to sweeten up your life I have found yet. This is it, the mother load of nutrition and great taste! A company called “Coconut Secrets” makes them. Check them out: http://www.coconutsecret.com/index.html.

They also have a Coconut Nectar, Coconut Vinegar and Coconut Aminos (a substitute for “Bragg’s” Aminos which is loaded with MSG) that are all fantastic! Here are some recipes from their website. I tried the dressing, the marinade and the Gluten Free Brownies. Excellent! http://www.coconutsecret.com/recipies2.html.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

How and When Are Glutamic and Aspartic Acid Good For You?

Both are amino acids. In general amino acids are critical to life. They are the building blocks of proteins, which are nothing more than linear chains of amino acids. Twenty-two amino acids form the polypeptides that are known as the “essential” and “nonessential” amino acids.  The essential amino acids cannot be created from other compounds but must be taken in as food by humans.

Essential Nonessential
Isoleucine Alanine
Leucine Asparagine
Lysine Aspartic Acid
Methionine Cysteine*
Phenylalanine Glutamic Acid
Threonine Glutamine*
Tryptophan Glycine*
Valine Proline*
Selenocysteine*
Serine*
Tyrosine*
Arginine*
Histidine*
Ornithine*
Taurine*

 

Glutamic Acid, which is the most abundant amino acid in the body, provides many health benefits in it’s naturally occurring state including:

  • Increasing Protein synthesis which is needed for muscle development
  • Increasing nitrogen retention
  • Decreasing muscle breakdown
  • Enhancing immune functions

Protein also plays a critical role in metabolism, in that it helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.   This is particularly important for weight management, as erratic blood sugar levels can lead to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and Type II Diabetes.

Aspartate is a metabolite that participates in gluconeogenesis, a process that results in the generation of glucose (blood sugar) from non-carbohydrates. It is one of the two main mechanisms humans have for keeping blood sugar levels from dropping too low (hypoglycemia). Gluconeogenesis occurs during periods of fasting, starvation, low-carbohydrate dieting and/or intense exercise. At these times it is needed to restore blood sugar levels.

Like so many other health-promoting components of nature, when Glutamic and Aspartic Acids are genetically modified, by separating and isolating them from their natural state, and then subjecting them to various chemical and heating processes, they become toxic.  (For detailed information on this topic, read my other blog posts: Baby Formula: MSG, Excitatory Neurotoxins & HFCS!!!, Regulating Our Glutamate Intake, and An Intro to MSG: The Nutritional Truth. In this genetically modified form they become MSG and Aspartame or Splenda respectively.

Sources:

Peptide Guide – What are Amino Acids? Properties, Types, Benefits (http://www.peptideguide.com/amino-acids/)

The Medical Biochemistry Page – Gluconeogenesis: Synthesis of New Glucose (http://themedicalbiochemistrypage.org/gluconeogenesis.html

Livestrong – Glutamic Acid (http://www.livestrong.com/glutamic-acid/)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sweeteners, No Good News Here!

NutraSweet and Equal are two popular sweeteners on the market today. Both are made primarily of Aspartame. Aspartame is another very dangerous substance that you and your loved ones should think twice before consuming.  It is comprised of three ingredients:  It is 40% aspartic acid, which is an excitotoxin that stimulates the neurons of the brain to death, causing brain damage according to Dr. Russell Blaylock; It is 10% methyl ester, which eventually breaks down to formaldehyde and formic acid; (You remember Formaldehyde, that horrible smelling stuff from the biology lab that is used to preserve dead bodies?)  The remaining 50% is phenylalanine, which by itself, is a neurotoxin that lowers the seizure threshold, thereby increasing the likelihood of brain seizures.  Phenylalanine also depletes serotonin levels, which triggers severe psychiatric and behavioral problems. The break down of these chemicals into increasingly toxic substances is hastened with exposure to heat. Do the sniff test if you don’t believe it.  Let a can of diet soda get warm and smell it. It smells like Formaldehyde!

Wonder what happens when you put NutraSweet or Equal into your steaming hot coffee? How come you don’t taste the Formaldehyde? Probably because these sweeteners also have Maltodextrine, also known as MSG, or some other form of MSG, in them, which makes everything taste good. Splenda, while it doesn’t have Aspartame, does have Maltodextrine as an ingredient.  The main ingredient of Splenda, however, is Sucralose, kin to DDT, the extremely nasty insecticide. So don’t go there either!

Guess what happens when you put Aspartame and an MSG excitotoxin together?  They potentiate, or excite each other in such a way that they are even more toxic than if you added their individual toxic effects together.  This is a good thing to know about excitotoxins because their manufacturers often cop to the fact that they are present in very small quantities in our food supply. This actually isn’t true, but even if it were, what they fail to point out is that there are usually several different versions of them in the same product.  In addition, they are in 90 to 95% of all processed foods, including many organic and “all natural” foods, such that avoiding them is virtually impossible.  The upshot is that we ingest a lot of these excitotoxins, even when we are trying not to do so. So there may not be a lot of MSG per ingredient, but there are a lot of ingredients that are actually MSG masquerading as something as innocent as “citric acid.”  When you add them all together……it’s not good!

In an article entitled: Still drinking diet soda? Don’t be a fashion victim!

BY Tom Philpott

10 FEB 2011 1:51 PM

Mr. Philpott reports:

“In findings involving 2,564 people in the large, multi-ethnic Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), scientists said people who drank diet soda every day had a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events than those who reported no soda drinking.”

What do they mean by “vascular events”? They mean strokes. Sixty-one percent? That’s a lot!

(Follow this link for the article;  http://www.grist.org/article/2011-02-10-still-drinking-diet-soda-dont-be-a-fashion-victim-pepsi-strokes )

According Dr. Russell Blaylock the heart is also in jeopardy:

“ recent research has shown that the brain is not the only tissue 
having glutamate receptors. Numerous glutamate receptors have been found
 within the heart’s electrical conduction system, as well as heart muscle.
 When an excess of food-borne excitotoxins, such as MSG, hydrolyzed
 protein, soy protein isolate and concentrate, natural flavoring, sodium 
caseinate and aspartate from aspartame, are consumed, these glutamate
 receptors are over stimulated, producing cardiac arrhythmias.”

He goes on to report:

“High consumption of aspartame adds an additional cardiac muscle toxin, methanol. A number of studies have shown that consuming aspartame and MSG (and similar excitotoxins) together greatly magnifies the toxicity!”

So, strokes and heart attacks? What next?

Remember the Gulf War Syndrome? And all the poor kids that came back with their brains scrambled? Remember the methyl ester in Aspartame that eventually breaks down to formaldehyde in diet soft drinks? Guess what our troops are drinking? Diet pop! Lots of it, because trying to protect your country in the Persian Gulf is a thirsty business. It’s hot over there! But the pop they were drinking sat on pallets in 120-degree temperatures for weeks! Oh, and of course, the drinks were also in plastic bottles known for their propensity to off-gas as well when they got hot! They were basically drinking Formaldehyde, Brain Eating, Heart Attacking, Brain Stroking, but oh so refreshing soft drinks! This gives collateral damage a whole new meaning!

Do you know where your diet soft drink has been or how hot it has gotten? Do you know what’s in it?  Maybe you should.  Actually, you should stop drinking it and find something with low amounts of natural sweeteners to quench your thirst.

For a link on food additives broken down into levels of toxicity go here:

http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm

For a blog on healthy, safe foods and drinks stay tuned, we’re working on it.  If you’d like to contribute a food item, a grocery store, or an organic farmer’s co-operative, use the contact form on this site.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Diet Foods and Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain

So if sweeteners are so bad, why are so many people using them? Because they believe the alternative, weight gain, is worse. Think again: Research shows that people who use artificial sweeteners eat more than those that do not. We know that MSG, HFCS, and artificial sweeteners are all excitoxins, which means that they stimulate neurons to death. Excitoxins over-stimulate and damage the parts of the brain that regulate healthy eating behavior. In a study that included more than 18,000 people, researchers found that healthy adults who consumed at least one diet drink a day significantly increased their chances of gaining weight.

I find that my patients with the most intense food addictions consume diet soft drinks and diet gum in huge quantities. Many of them chew sugar free gum or drink diet soft drinks all day long. Some of them go through a pack of gum an hour while others have 5 to 10 cans of diet soft drinks a day and some do both. This is often a conscious decision to help them avoid eating. Of course, it doesn’t work. By evening, they are starving and usually end up overeating. For those with Bulimia, the intense hunger can trigger a binge/purge cycle. The research above would predict such an outcome. They are not experiencing normal hunger, they are voraciously hungry, psychologically and emotionally starving. This intense drive for food can take over their lives. They pass on social events, give up relationships and even put academic or career goals aside in the service of their nightly feeding ritual. At some point, they cannot wait until evening and that is when the addiction really becomes unmanageable.

“In a Purdue study, rats whose diets contained artificial sweeteners appeared to experience a physiological connection between sweet tastes and calories that drove them to overeat.”

The article goes on to say: “The information may come as a surprise to the 59 percent of Americans who consume diet soft drinks, making them the second-most-popular low-calorie, sugar-free products in the nation, according to a consumer survey from the Calorie Control Council, a nonprofit association that represents the low-calorie and reduced-fat food and beverage industry.”

(The Purdue’s researchers’ study, “A Pavlovian Approach to the Problem of Obesity,” appears in the July issue of International Journal of Obesity. Follow this link: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/html4ever/2004/040629.Swithers.research.html)

Most of these sweeteners also contain MSG, known for its propensity to destroy the body’s natural weight regulatory systems, as well as for its potential to increase the odds of heart attack and stroke. Is it worth it? Of course not! But this isn’t like smoking or drinking. You know when you light up or take that drink that you are putting a toxin into your body. And you know that it might be habit forming. But who would think that organic baby food, milk, or chicken broth would have a carcinogenic, neurotoxin in it? No one would knowingly eat toxic food additives while pregnant or feed them to their newborn baby, let alone have a steady diet of them for themselves and their families. But that is what’s happening. The result is that majority of us have unknowingly become addicted to these substances. For many, the problems are so severe, and the causes so obscure, that they suffer life-threatening medical and/or psychological consequences before seeking help. The saddest thing is that they blame themselves. Who else are they going to blame, none of the food producers take responsibility. There appears to be no accountability whatsoever. And where is the FDA? Isn’t its sole purpose to protect the consumer?

There is an epidemic of obesity in this and every other country that has become westernized and adopted our eating habits. A man in France went to jail for actively protesting against having a Micky D’s put up in his town. We have much to learn from the French! Other countries have not been so fortunate to have a brave man like this Frenchman. We are in the top ten fattest countries in the world. Of the other nine, eight are countries that import our food and have adopted our lifestyles. What more is there to say?

Want to help? We are presently putting together a list of grocery store chains as well as specific food brands that do not contain MSG or HFCS. Please help us. If you are an organization that produces food without these additives, please contact us at the address on my website. We will publish the information if it checks out. If you are a consumer and you find a brand or a specific food item, let us know! We can help each other.

Here is something else to try. Be an proactive consumer. I have been asking my local grocer every time I shop there for the past 5 years if they carry a particular item in an organic version. Whether it has anything to do with my efforts or not, the organic section at my Krogers is getting bigger all the time. In the past 6 months, I have started asking if they can help me find a box of cereal, or carton of milk, or a drink, for example, with no MSG and no HFCS. The saddest thing is that most of the time, they genuinely have no idea what to look for. They almost always tell me that all of their organic products are free of these substances! When I explain to them that this not so, and point out how many organic foods contain those substances, they find it hard to believe. I patiently explain how many different names the substances have, and whip out my list. I’m quite sure that they take me for a flake. But as often as not I end up leaving it behind at their request. I often see them looking at the list and shaking their heads. It’s overwhelming and a bit daunting to see how far we have to go, but it’s a start. Don’t be discouraged at the lack of information. Five years from now, most people will know much more about these things. Right now, my grocers run when they see me coming. One manager waves the list at me from across the store. I’m not sure if he is trying to look cooperative, or if he is trying to discourage me from approaching him again! I do anyway 🙂

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

17 Most Important Foods to Eat Organic

1. Baby Food. The very young are extraordinarily susceptible to pesticides. Here are some organic baby food brands, Earth’s Best, Tender Harvest, and Healthy Times, which are available for your baby’s safety and health. Or better yet, make your own baby food by cooking and pureeing organic produce. See “Make Your Own Baby Food”.

2. Strawberries. Enjoy them while they are in season from local organic farms or buy frozen organic strawberries from your local whole market.

3. Rice. Domestic rice has mega-doses of pesticides, and now, the chemicals companies are producing “pharm” rice a crop used to produce and store pharmaceuticals. Buy organic rice where you can find it! Store it in an airtight container. It stores very well.

4. Green and Red Bell Peppers. Super sources of Vitamin C, but wrought with pesticides if grown “conventionally”. Buy organic, or, better yet, grow your own. Seeds of Change has a plethora of organic seeds, and pepper plants prove to be a hardy bunch!

5. Got Milk? We hope not, at least, not from conventionally raised cows. Today’s commercial brands are loaded with antibiotics and growth hormones. Make sure your milk and other dairy is from organically-fed cows without the extra rBST, rBGH and antibiotics.

If you are feeding your child goat milk, and/or goat products, be aware that our science community has now genetically-mutated a goat to spin silk in her milk. See the New Scientist article.

6. Corn. Corn is typically not a scale tipper when it comes to pesticide residues. But, take into account that 75- 90% of all domestic corn has been genetically-modified, that the average American eats 11 pounds of it, that most cooking oils include corn oil, and that most everything is sweetened with corn syrup, and suddenly, buying organic corn and corn products, makes more than a little sense. Eat local organic corn in season and freeze some for later, or, leave some kernels to dry, and plant them in the spring.

7. Bananas. This tropical favorite has a short window of ripeness and a very long distance to market (quick, how many local banana farms does your town have?). All of which adds up to a lot of heavy chemical dousing along the way.

8. Green Beans. Over 60 different pesticides are used on green beans. Even beans used in baby food have been found to be contaminated.

9. Peaches. Nothing beats a peach. Until you realize that they often have the highest rates of illegally-applied pesticides. Isn’t that just peachy . . .

10. Apples. A decade after the dangers of Alar were exposed, apples are still soaked in pesticides. Put only organic apples in your pie.

11. Cherries. Cherries, so expensive, so rich, so fabulous, . . . so heavily doused in poison. Make sure that the cherries in your Cherries Jubilee or Bing Cherry Ice Creams are as clean and wonderful as they were meant to be.

12. Celery. Why would anyone think of spraying the heck out of that innocuous little stem vegetable?! But they do. Stay organic, the taste of organic celery will amaze you and make you a celery-nibbler once again.

13. Apricots and Grapes. Apricots, Peaches and Grapes, what would summer be without them? Less toxic! Keep conventionally grown fruits and veggies, and their pesticide residuals, out of your system or minimize them with a vegetable rinse, such as the one by Healthy Harvest.

14. Soybeans. If you are not yet a label-reader, it is time to start. Everything you buy, from bread to cookies to crackers to margarine to dry mixes, has some sort of soy product in it. Most soybean in the USA is genetically-modified. So, why the fuss over modified soy?

Monsanto, in an effort to increase the use (and profit potential) of Round-Up Ready, spliced the herbicide into soybean plant DNA. Two problems with this action.

1) No matter what you or I do, we can never wash RoundUp Ready herbicide off the soybean–ever. It is “permanently imbedded”.

2) It appears that soy increases production of estrogen. High estrogen levels facilitate the potential for contracting various cancers and for hastening puberty in young children. Although the jury is still out on whether soy consumption, in general, is beneficial, or whether only fermented soy should be consumed, never, we mean NEVER, consume foods laced with poisons.

15. Potatoes. Mashed potatoes are delicious and worth the calories, unless they’re laden with pesticides or have been genetically-modified.

When genetically modified, potatoes impair the immune system and shrink the brain, liver and heart.

So, mash a clean, real, organic potato and forgo the new-fangled monstrosity.

Got soft, green-sprouting organic potatoes? Don’t toss them,bury them!

16. Raisins. Concentrated little grapes, concentrated levels of pesticides.

17. Cucumbers. Ever wonder why this delicious crisp vegetable was loosing its appeal on your palate? Yep! The answer is, once again, pesticides. The answer to pesticides, is, once again, go organic, or grow your own.

Sources:

Kids Organics – Most Important Foods to Eat Organic (http://kidsorganics.com/10%20Most%20Important%20Foods%20to%20Eat%20Organic.htm)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Baby Formula: MSG, Excitatory Neurotoxins & HFCS!!!

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or Glutamic Acid is an excitatory neurotoxin, which significantly damages the brain, especially the brains of infants and children. Once the developing brain is damaged, it never recovers normal function. There has been a significant increase in neurological disturbances in children over the last several decades. For example, the rate of autism, a developmental disorder that affects communication and social skills, was around four or five cases per 10,000 early in this decade. In 2009, it was closer to 80 per 10,000.

MSG also contributes to the epidemic of obesity in children, and more recently infants, that is taking place currently. Other additives such as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and sugar substitutes such as NutraSweet and Splenda, potentiate the effects of MSG and vice versa. Thus when they are all present in a single food, they are even more damaging than they are separately. What isn’t well known is that these substances are often found in baby foods even infant formulas!

By 1972, according to Dr. Russell Blaylock, 262,000 metric tons of MSG were being added to foods. Today the amount is astronomically higher. However, it is impossible to know by how much, because it is virtually unregulated in the U.S. FDA. As a result, it is very difficult to avoid. It is in almost all packaged foods, even those that are “Organic!” In addition, it can be listed under so many different names, that even the most cautious consumer will find it difficult to avoid it. (Attached is a list of the more than 50 names used when MSG is listed as an ingredient.)

In preparing this blog article I was referencing a study done in Canada on infant formulas that are also sold in the US, and the amount of Aspartame and Glutamic Acid that are used in baby formula. It was appalling. Since the study came out in 2001, I decided I should do some field investigation to make sure that I wasn’t being an alarmist. I assumed that this problem has gotten much better over the past 10 years what with all of the publicity and awareness. How naïve!

The first can I picked up was Gerber’s Good Start. The first four ingredients are: Corn Maltodextrin (MSG), Vegetable Oil, Enzymatically Hydrolyzd Soy Protein Isolate (MSG) and Sucrose, which is a Chlorocarbon, and in the same family as DDT and PCBs! (See article on Sucrose) The rest of the ingredients (all 2% of them) were the vitamins and minerals that every baby needs!

The next one I picked up, was Similac Sensitive, billed as The number 1 Formula for Complete Soy Nutrition for infants. This one had: 39% HFCS, 14.7% Soy Protein Isolate (MSG,) 11.5% Safflower Oil, 9.8% Sucrose, (which was listed as Sugar with the Sucrose in parentheses) 8.4% Soy Oil, and 7.7% Coconut Oil. Again, the remaining 2% was chock full of vitamins and minerals!

Finally, for the sick baby, whose brain is at already at risk from dehydration, we have Pedialyte Oral Electrolyte Maintenance Powder which contains the following: Dextrose (MSG) Citric Acid (MSG,) Malic Acid (for muscle ache), Potasium Citrate (mineral salt used to improve muscle function), Sodium Chloride (Salt,) Sodium Citrate (MSG,) Artificial Flavor (MSG,) Sucralose (aka Splenda, which is Sucrose + Maltodextrine [MSG] and Dextrose [MSG],) Acesulfame (aka Aspartame or NutraSweet – another artificial sweetener known to be a neurological excitoxin,) Potassium (an electrolyte) and finally Red 40 (another neurotoxin and known allergen that can trigger headache, irritability and neurological symptoms).

Imagine the impact that such a combination of heavy-duty excitatory neurotoxins has on a sick baby! Pedialyte does recommend having doctor supervision when using this drink to rehydrate your infant! Ya think?

There are two sugar substitutes that are disguised in this elixir. Why would the manufacturer disguise these ingredients? Why do Splenda and NutraSweet let them get away with that? Because most of us do know better than to give our children sugar substitutes. And if we were aware, we would not knowingly do so. If the sugar substitutes are disguised, you know that the MSG and HFCS will be as well.

Ironically, these food additives have nothing to do with preserving food or protecting its integrity. They are all used to alter the taste of food in such a way as to increase the likelihood that you will buy it again. This approach to marketing gives customer loyality a whole new meaning!

My grandson had to take his antibiotic while on an overnight at my house and was telling me that he couldn’t wait to take it because it is bubble-gum flavored. I’ll bet! My son is cut from the same cloth as me and does not knowingly or willingly give the boys foods with HFCS or MSG. What do you do when this is the only form of the antibiotic available?

What you do is choose your battles. If you feel the need to give your children juice, invest in a juicer. Other wise, the foods that are relatively safe are organic foods that had a face or came out of the ground. Anything in a bottle, box, jar or cellophane is suspect!

Sources:
Examining the increased incidence of autism
Food Additive Excitotoxins and Degenerative Brain Disorders

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

HFCS: Ties to Obesity and Increased Mortality

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a clear liquid sugar product made from corn starch. It has a long shelf life and is relatively cheap to use, which is why it is so common in inexpensive foods like chips and soda. It has been tied to increased rates of obesity, which can lead to heart disease and cancer.

“When HFCS is ingested, it travels straight to the liver which turns the sugary liquid into fat, and unlike other carbohydrates HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin; which acts as a hunger quenching signal to the brain. So we get stuck in a vicious cycle, eating food that gets immediately stored as fat and never feeling full.” [Source: http://healthmad.com/nutrition/dangers-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup/#ixzz19GBfSKwl]

HFCS is temporally tied to obesity as well, for “the consumption of HFCS increased > 1000% between 1970 and 1990,” which corresponds to an increase in obesity. [Study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, http://www.ajcn.org/content/79/4/537.full?ijkey=3a74469113059287563c0dbc3f9b874276f46666]

Extensive studies show this correlation between HFCS and obesity, which can lead to further health problems and diseases. Take precaution to avoid foods that contain “high fructose corn syrup,” “fructose,” and “modified corn starch.” Reducing consumption of HFCS will improve mental and physical wellness, creating a more healthy and energetic lifestyle.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): A Guide for Foods to Avoid

MSG is used as a flavor enhancer and salt replacement, and does not commonly appear on food labels. Here are some foods to avoid:

“low sodium” items
soy protein concentrate
whey protein concentrate
stock and broth
milk powder
ranch dressing
gravy
dipping sauces
powder flavoring
flavored salty snack chips
corn syrup
vitamin enriched items

source: http://msgtruth.org/avoid.htm

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Regulating Our Glutamate Intake

The term “glutamate” refers to a number of forms of glutamic acid, an amino acid found naturally in many foods and in our bodies. It is a powerful excitatory neurotransmitter that is released by nerve cells in the brain. It is responsible for sending signals between nerve cells, and under normal conditions it plays an important role in learning and memory. There are two general ways, however, that glutamate can actually be damaging to nerve cells and the brain as a whole.

First, there can be too much glutamate around; abnormally high concentrations of glutamate can lead to overexcitation of the receiving nerve cell. Second, the receptors for glutamate on the receiving nerve cell can be oversensitive so that less glutamate molecules are necessary to excite that cell. People who are often oversensitive as so, are those diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, people with depression, Hypoglycemic patients, pregnant women, people with kidney problems, people who get migraine headaches, people with pre-existing vascular disease, and people with Congestive heart failure. Babies and children are also more sensitive to glutamate.

In these cases, cells activated by glutamate become overexcited. This overexcitation can lead to effects that can cause cell damage and/or death. For this reason, glutamate is referred to as an excitotoxin.

Food that contains high levels of glutamate like milk, eggs, meat cheese, peas, and mushrooms do not usually cause overexcitation to a person’s neurons because it consists of glutamate in its bound form. Glutamate in its bound form is slowly broken down with digestion so you’re delivering the amount in slower and smaller quantities. Glutamate never acts as an excitoxin in its bound form. What we as consumers must be watchful of is Glutamate in it’s free form. When we ingest glutamate in it’s free form, it doesn’t have to be broken off of a protein chain so it can be absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly and in higher doses.

Monosodium Glutamate, also known as MSG, is the most dangerous substance containing the highest concentration of glutamate in its free form. Glutamate in the form of MSG almost always acts as an excitoxin- especially to those who are sensitive to glutamate. This is why it is important to avoid MSG at all costs.
Despite the increased knowledge of the health complications MSG causes, thanks to the food industry, Americans are consuming 300 times the amount of Monosodium Glutamate than they did in 1950. Because MSG enhances the flavor of food so drastically (since it is almost completely made up of glutamates and glutamates excites the brain), this harmful chemical has filled the shelves of our local grocery stores, and is being poured into the food we eat at restaurants with no restraints from the FDA. A person must truly go out of their way to avoid this additive.

The most successful way I can tell you to avoid monosodium glutamate is to make the effort to buy organic certified foods. Certified “organic” foods by the USDA cannot legally contain monosodium glutamate. However, what organic foods can contain are ingredients like Yeast extracts, Maltodexrin, Autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, whey protein concentrate, monopotassium glutamate, and hydrolyzed protein products. All of these do contain substantial amounts of glutamates in its free form but nowhere near the concentration found in MSG. In some cases, when we ingest too much of these ingredients in our diet, they will act as an excitotoxin as well. Therefore, even when buying organic people must be careful in regulating the intake of foods with these substances on their label. Grocery Stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are both safe places to shop because none of their products may contain MSG. Other than shopping organic, read food labels and try to eat whole, unprocessed foods in order to regulate your glutamate intake!

Sources:

Russell Blaylock, MD (http://www.russellblaylockmd.com/)

Truth in Labeling (http://www.truthinlabeling.org)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’