The Latest Medical Discoveries

by Larry Stell

Cause of Disease

It is now known that most disease is caused by inflammation in the intestines (gut). To be healthy one has to have a healthy gut. The gut is also known as the second brain and it produces more melatonin than the brain in the head.

How to have a healthy Gut

The number one way to be healthy is to eat more healthy fats, more healthy vegetables and more healthy fruits. The foods that we eat should have a low to medium glycemic load. Examples of foods with a low glycemic load are: Avocado, Beans, Beets, Bone Broth, Broccoli, Carrots, most Fruit, Kale, Lentils, Lettuce, Mango, Spinach, and Sweet Potato. We need 5 servings per day. Examples of foods with a medium glycemic load are: Banana, Papaya, Pineapple and watermelon. Eat these items no more than once per day.
We should totally avoid foods with a high glycemic load. Examples are Baked Potato, Bread, Honey, Molasses, and Sugars of all kinds. Also eliminate all artificial sweeteners. Avoid all processed food.

Proper Nutrition

To have proper nutrition, we also need supplements. First choose a good quality Multiple Vitamin. Other important supplements are Curcumin (found in Turmeric), Green Tea, Fish Oil, Magnesium, Pro-Biotics, Vitamin D, Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2.

Spice Up Your Food

Here are the seven best spices to add to your food: Cinnamon, Garlic, Ginger, Hot Chili Peppers, Oregano (use the oil), Sage and Turmeric. They are all anti-oxidants, healthy and beneficial. Google each one to discover their many uses and benefits.

Joint Health

Here are the top seven joint pain remedies: Chondroitin Sulfate Sodium, DL-Phenylalanine, Glucosamine Sulfate Potassium, Hydrolyzed Collagen Type II, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), Trace Minerals (Active Crystal Concentrate) and White Willow Bark.

Most Common Causes of Inflammation

Most people suffer from one or more food intolerances. The most common foods are these: Corn, Dairy, Eggs, Gluten, Peanuts, Soy, Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners. Eliminate all of these for a week and see how you feel. Listen to your body, specifically your gut. You will probably lose some weight. After the first week, add one item back in for a week and see how you feel. If that item causes problems, then eliminate it from you diet. Go another week before you add in the second item. Test each food item this same way. Bear in mind that corn and soy are genetically modified and should be avoided.

All Meat should be grass-fed and free of anti-biotics. All fish should be wild-caught.
The best food is that which you grow yourself, organically. Next best are farmers markets. Third best are health food stores. Have a long, happy life!

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10 Tips to Help You Successfully Navigate the Grocery Store

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by Leanne Ely

A lifestyle of poor diet and lack of exercise kills about 400,000 Americans every year—that’s as many who have died from smoking, can you imagine?? And that’s only Americans—this number does not count the rest of the world that eats poorly and neglects to exercise! YIKES!

It’s a tough world out there and today’s grocery store is no exception. Here are some tips to navigate the grocery store successfully and buy the healthy foods you need and avoid the unhealthy ones that could kill you! Healthy foods don’t need to bankrupt you or make you spend untold hours in the kitchen. Here are some tips for getting healthy happening in your kitchen today:

grocery store-1

1)    Fast Food. Look for stuff that is fast and easy to make, like sweet potatoes (stab, bake, eat). Cheap eats, massively good for you and filling.

2)    Go Green. Baby spinach is fast-food friendly too. Not as cheap as sweet ‘taters, but worth the cost of admission! I like mine stir-fried (little bit of olive oil and lotsa garlic!) and in salads.

3)    Brown Rice. You can make a vat of this stuff (if you’re not eating Paleo that is), scoop into individual freezer bags and freeze for later use if time is of the essence. Having a box of quick cooking brown rice at home isn’t a bad idea either, but the long cooking stuff is much less expensive.

4)    Grown Your Own. Having a veggie garden is a lot easier than you think. Check out www.squarefootgardening.com for a plan for nearly everyone!

5)    Thirst Out. Water is about as economical as it can get. If you want clean and fresh water, check out different water purifiers and start pile driving the water. Cheaper than anything else you can drink!

6)    Seasonal Stuff. Buy in season (summer is the time to find cheap watermelon, not the middle of winter), buy locally when at all possible and buy organically if you can.

7)    Garlic and Onions. Very inexpensive and will ratchet up the flavor and potency of nearly anything you make, not to mention the antioxidant factors as well. Keep them on hand!

8)    Read Labels. And remember, if you have to spend 10 minutes deciphering a food’s label with unpronounceable chemical additives and you have no earthly idea what they are, your body doesn’t know what they are either. Not only that, but you’re going to pay for those expensive chemicals at the cash register and in your own health. Skip anything with fake colors, flavorings or “flavor enhancers”…they all ROB you of your health!

9)    Eat your veggies. Go heavy on the veggies.  In the summer, we have fresh tomato sauce on zucchini “pasta” with chopped fresh oregano. You can throw in a cooked chicken breast and you have a complete meal. I grow tomatoes, zucchini and oregano in my garden and the whole meal is divine!

10)    Beans, Beans. A healthy, yet frugal food, (skip this tip if you eat strictly Paleo) dried beans need to be soaked, cooked and then can be made into a multitude of cheap eats, from soups to chilis to salad.

Don’t become a statistic and please don’t think healthy food is out of your reach or budget! It’s not hard, it’s enjoyable and the cool thing about eating healthy, grown in the ground food is you always know what you’re eating—no labels necessary!

Enjoy!

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The Metabolic Theory of Cancer and the Key to Cancer Prevention and Recovery

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By Dr. Mercola

Each day, some 1,600 people die of cancer in the United States. That number goes up 10-fold, up to 21,000 if you include the global population.

While conventional medicine has little to offer outside the standard “cut, poison, burn” approach, new evidence suggests simple dietary modifications could effectively both treat and prevent the majority of these cancers.

Travis Christofferson is the author of a phenomenal book called “Tripping Over the Truth: The Return of the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Illuminates a New and Hopeful Path to a Cure.”

I read 150 books last year and this was one of the best. In my view, it’s required reading for anyone who has cancer or knows someone who has cancer. This book has inspired me to passionately review the medical literature on mitochondrial metabolism for a book that will be published next year.

The Return of the Metabolic Theory of Cancer

In this interview, Travis — who has a Pre-Medical undergraduate degree and a Master’s degree in Materials Engineering and Science — reviews some of the details covered in his book.

“I was doing a class on cancer theory and I stumbled on this book by Thomas N. Seyfried, Ph.D. called ‘Cancer as a Metabolic Disease,'” Travis says. “It was just an incredibly well-written book ….

It laid out this elegant argument for this non-genetic origin of cancer; the metabolic origin of cancer.

I was so stunned and taken aback by this, and that more people didn’t know about it, that I compiled a huge list of questions and actually flew out to see Tom in Boston … He answered all my questions, which really served to pique my interest more.”

Upon his return, Travis dove into the data from the Cancer Genome Atlas project, which started in 2006. It was the largest government project ever conceived to sequence the genomes of cancer cells. It involved 10,000 times the amount of genetic sequencing done by the Human Genome Project.

The goal was to ferret out mutations found within cancer cells. Once Travis began looking at all this data, he realized there was a lot of confusion even among the top ranking scientists as to what the data was really showing. It didn’t conform to their original expectations.

Travis thought the whole story really needed to be told, and hence his book, “Tripping Over the Truth” was born.

The Warburg Effect

Travis’ book highlights the pioneering work of Dr. Otto Warburg, MD, PhD, and those who followed in his footsteps.

Most students of natural health are familiar with Dr. Warburg’s name, as he won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1931 for his discovery that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells.

But they don’t know he was a personal friend of German physicists Albert Einstein and Max Planck, and was awarded a second Nobel Prize in 1944 but Hitler prevented him from going to Stockholm to pick it up. He is considered by most experts to be the greatest biochemist of the 20th century.

Dr. Warburg discovered that in the presence of oxygen, cancer cells overproduce lactic acid. This is known as The Warburg Effect. A cell can produce energy in two ways: aerobically, in the mitochondria, or anaerobically, in the cytoplasm, which generates lactic acid — a toxic byproduct.

The former is far more efficient, capable of generating 32 times more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) than anaerobic energy generation. Dr. Warburg concluded that the prime cause of cancer was reversion of energy generation from aerobic energy generation to anaerobic fermentation.

That, he said, was the prime cause of cancer until his death in 1970. One of his life goals was to discover the cure for cancer. Sadly, many, including myself, believe he did, but his theories were never accepted by conventional science despite his academic pedigree.

The Somatic Theory of Cancer

Yet despite winning a Nobel Prize, his ideas on cancer didn’t gain recognition by conventional medicine, which rejected and ridiculed them. His case was further sabotaged by the revolution in genetics that occurred once Watson and Crick discovered DNA. From that point on, all the attention went to genetics.

“1976 was when Harold Varmus and Michael Bishop won the Nobel Prize for finding viral oncogenes within the DNA of cancer cells … There was a viral theory that was competing with it — that viruses could cause cancer — but nobody knew how.

These guys found that the viral gene that was being inserted in the gene was just a copy of the gene we already had, but it was distorted.

So now this somatic theory was off to the races — the theory that cancer is just a distorted version of normal cellular division checkpoints; mutations in other words …

But then you get to 2006 and the Cancer Genome Atlas project, which was … to ferret out all the mutations thought to be causative for cancer. This was to be the final concluding effort to [end] cancer.

We would know every single detail, every aspect of how it operated. But once the sequencing started up and this data came out … it was much more random than people would have suspected.

If you have 10 people in the room with, say, pancreatic cancer and you sequence each of their tumors, what you’ll find is there are a couple of commonly mutated genes, but from one patient to the next, there not much of a pattern. It’s very random.

You’ll even find some cases with one single driving mutation. You cannot explain that through a genetic origin of cancer, through the somatic mutation theory. You’ll even find tumors with zero mutations.”

The evidence clearly showed that something other than mere gene mutation was at play, and this fact was not lost on the top scientists in the field. As noted by Travis, they’ve had to retool their gene theory to make it fit. One theory is called “dark matter.”

There’s something else driving cancer that we don’t know about. Shockingly, many of these scientists have never heard of either Seyfried’s work, or Dr. Warburg’s, both of whom have compiled compelling evidence showing an altogether different origin of cancer, namely mitochondrial damage followed by an epigenetic response.

To Make a Dent in Cancer Statistics, We Must Focus on Cancer Metabolism

If you are dying from cancer there is something seriously wrong, because the treatment is so radically simple, and Travis’ book clearly and carefully explains this process. Even James Watson, who got the Nobel Prize in ’54 for discovering the structure of DNA has turned his focus to the metabolic roots of cancer.

Watson was focused on targeted therapy and the somatic mutation theory of cancer, trying to target the protein derivatives of the mutations within the DNA. But the drugs developed based on this theory have all been very disappointing, despite the idea that this was the path to a cure.

It’s since become clear that this is not the case. There’s simply too much random diversity within the genes. There’s also the phenomenon of intra-heterogeneity, which is the difference in mutations from cell to cell within the same tumor.

James Watson noticed this and is claimed to have said: “[I]f we’re ever going to cure cancer, we’re clearly going to have to go back to the days of Otto Warburg and focus on the metabolism to make any real progress.” So even this genetic expert has made an abrupt shift in how he thinks we should approach cancer therapeutically.

“When you look at cancer metabolically, the whole paradigm of therapy has changed. You go from this targeted paradigm to all of a sudden you’re targeting the metabolism,” Travis says. “You’re trying to restore mitochondria function. You’re trying to increase mitochondrial numbers.

You can probably rescue some cells within a tumor and divert them back into living within the collective of the multicellular organism. They will revert to being normal. Some you can send over this tipping point. You can kill them through these various therapies metabolically. It’s an interesting time. The paradigm of cancer is being turned therapeutically and our understanding of it.”

Why Do Cancer Cells Revert to Anaerobic Energy Generation?

So why exactly do cancer cells revert from aerobic energy generation to anaerobic energy generation? Pete Pedersen, Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins took Dr. Warburg’s theory to the next level, morphologically determining that there’s a radically reduced number of mitochondria in cancer cells.

Typically there are several hundred to several thousand in each cell, comprising about one-third to 50 percent of the volume of the inside of each cell. These generate the ATP, the energy, of your cells. If you have a radical reduction of mitochondria, and the ones that are left are mostly dysfunctional, if they’re working at all, then you’ve got a problem.

These cancer cells have no choice but to revert to this primitive and inefficient metabolism. Healthy mitochondria send these epigenetic signals between themselves and the nucleus. This epigenetic signaling from the mitochondria is actually what’s responsible for initiating a significant percentage of the genetic damage that has been identified from the DNA sequencing project. As noted by Travis:

“There’s mitochondrial damage, that’s irrefutable. We look at cancer cells and the numbers are vastly reduced. When you isolate the mitochondria, you look at them and morphologically, they’re messed up. There are protein problems, lipid problems, and all kinds of structural abnormalities.

There’s always been this debate: Why is the cancer cell doing the Warburg Effect? Why is it reverting to anaerobic energy generation? Nobody really tied that to the terrible structure of the mitochondria. They didn’t have the tools to see the mitochondria, and now we do.

Tom Seyfried has done a great job of piecing together these events. This relationship between mitochondria and the nucleus is so important in biology … They constantly cross-talk, and mitochondrial health is correlated to the health of the entire organism. The dominant theory of aging explains that you age because your mitochondria age. They take the brunt of metabolism.

When you generate energy, you create free radicals. They’re constantly under stress. They get banged up and beat up, and you look at the antioxidants within mitochondria, there’s decline about 50 percent within age, with advanced age. “

Mitochondrial Function Determines Cancer Growth and Repression

To clarify even further, cancer cells burn glucose, an inherently “dirty” fuel as it generates far more reactive oxygen species (ROS) than fat and ketones. But in order to burn ketones, the cell must be healthy and normal. Cancer cells cannot burn fat, and this is the heart of successful cancer treatment, and why ketogenic diets appear to be so effective. They essentially starve the cancer, while nourishing healthy cells.

“The clincher with this theory is that once there’s enough mitochondrial damage — it’s called a retrograde response or epigenetic signal to the nucleus — once this happens, you start to see the genomic instability. You start to see the accumulation of mutations. So the whole crux of this theory is, which comes first?

The argument in the metabolic theory is that this mitochondrial damage happens first, and then you see the mutations. The mutations appeared [to be] the cause, but in fact they’re a downstream signal from the true cause. So you can see why researchers were led on this wild goose chase, trying to find what these mutations were and why they were important,” Travis says.

Seyfried has done a remarkable job of compiling supporting evidence for the metabolic theory of cancer. For example, he dug up so-called nuclear transfer studies, most of which date back to the 1980s. They were very simple, elegant experiments in which they took the nucleus of a cancer cell and put it into a normal cell with its nucleus removed. The cells are then grown in a petri dish, after which they’re injected into mice, to see what happens.

What they discovered was that when you take the nucleus of a cancer cell, put it in a normal cell, and put it in mice, nothinghappens. No cancers develop, and the cells revert back to normal. This despite the fact that you have just inserted cells that have all the driving mutations purported to cause cancer! So why don’t you get cancer?

At the time, all they could say was that something in the cytoplasm suppresses cancer. The experiment was then flipped, and when the nucleus of a normal cell was put into a cancer cell, which was then injected into mice, about 98 percent of the animals developed cancer. This is irrefutable evidence that something in the cytoplasm is not only repressing cancer, but is driving cancer too.

“When I interviewed the top guys in the field (I won’t say who they are) and asked them about these nuclear transfer experiments, they didn’t know about them, for one thing. When I explained it to them, they said, ‘Well, if those are true, they’re going to turn cancer biology on its head.’ But they just hadn’t been exposed to these data yet.

It’s incredible. [Seyfried] did an incredible job of compiling evidence that builds up. It’s almost like you’re building a case for a murder mystery. There’s just so much evidence here and there, and you connect all these dots, the nuclear transfer experiments provide so much compelling data. When you put it all together, it’s impossible to deny that this, if not the origin of cancer, it has to be explored further,” Travis says.

Novel Treatment Offers Tremendous Hope for Cancer Patients

Working with Pedersen at Johns Hopkins is a brilliant Korean biochemist, Young Ko, Ph.D. whom I predict will receive a Nobel Prize for her work. I believe she has the answer to a large number of intractable metastatic cancers.

What the two of them noticed was that when cancer cells overproduce lactic acid, they have to produce more pores, called monocarboxylic acid transfer phosphates, to let lactic acid out, or else the cancer cell will die from the inside out. Lactic acid is a very toxic substance. Travis recounts the chain of events that led to one of her most remarkable discoveries:

“Young’s sitting here, thinking, ‘Well, you know, this is a functional difference between a normal cell and a cancer cell. How can we exploit that?’ Pete was trying to do it through a sort of a backdoor method, from gene expression angle, and that wasn’t working.

She remembered this compound she had worked with while getting her Ph.D. from Washington, called 3-bromopyruvate (3bp). It’s a very interesting little molecule that looks like lactic acid, but it’s very reactive.

She started wondering, ‘What if we gave this drug and it could slip in that pore, that opening, that’s allowing lactic acid to get out?’ She tested it against the common chemotherapy drugs, cisplatin and so forth. She did the first test, and 3bp just blew them away. She’s like, ‘this can’t be right.’

She did the test a hundred times over because she just can’t believe her eyes. She continued to develop this drug. It went through animal models, and just blew everybody away. It melts tumors away. The preclinical data is incredible.

But then, Young got mired in this in-fighting at Johns Hopkins. It began with the Vice Dean of Research. They were arguing about grant applications, and this sort of devolved into this multi-year lawsuit that hung 3-bromopyruvate up. There were patent-fights over it.

That’s how it got derailed, otherwise it would have marched through clinical trials by now. It’s still pending. Young is working very hard. She does have offers on the table for clinical trials. It’s just a matter of getting it done.”

Efforts Underway to Bring 3BP Into Cancer Treatment Centers

As it happens, I’m currently in discussion with Ko to see if we can make this therapy available to the public. My best strategy to make it widely available is to have Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), who initially refused her request to take it on. I’m going to see if I can convince them that this is something they need to integrate into their program, or at least offer it as an option. Granted, 3-bromopyruvate (3BP) is not a magic pill. But it needs to be made available.

Naturally, the foundational aspect that must be addressed is the metabolic mitochondrial defect, which involves radically reducing the non-fiber carbohydrates in your diet, and increasing high quality fats to maybe 85 percent of your dietary calories, along with a moderate amount of high quality protein, as excessive protein can also trigger cancer growth.

That’s really the solution. If you don’t do that, 3BP probably will not work. However, I believe that if you’re on a ketogenic diet and you add 3BP, you can likely reverse just about any cancer. That’s my current impression. It may be flawed, and I will revise it as necessary, but everything I’ve seen points in that direction. Travis agrees, saying:

“Absolutely. It looks like the dietary therapies, like nutritional ketosis is a foundation of this therapeutic approach, because it does incredible things to the body where it differentiates between cancer cells and normal cells.

When you switch from glucose metabolism to ketone metabolism, you put energetic pressure on the cancer cells because they have to burn ketones in mitochondria, which is something they don’t have much of. They’re put under this energetic pressure, and they’re put under oxidative stress. Whereas the same time, normal cells are given better fuel, oxidative pressure is reversed, they generate more antioxidants, and so forth.

We’ve noticed that once you put people under this dietary state, everything becomes more effective, even traditional chemotherapy and radiation. At the same time, you’re mitigating side effects because healthy tissues are able to withstand the toxic payload from traditional chemotherapy. But the exciting thing is you add on these other metabolic therapies, their synergistic mechanisms overlap.”

Mitochondrial Function Is Critical for Health

We’re now starting to realize that mitochondrial dysfunction is at the core of virtually all diseases, and support for nutritional ketosis is growing by leaps and bounds. For over 80 years, it’s been the standard of care for intractable seizures in children. But now we’re also finding it can benefit a wide array of other diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, obesity, diabetes, heart failure, heart disease, and arthritis, just to name a few.

One of the basic reasons why it works so well is because it drives your inflammation down to almost nothing. I’m doing this myself. I just had my high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (HS-CRP) test done, and it was at 0.7, which is a healthy level. And when inflammation disappears, your body can heal.

It will also take the proverbial foot off the gas pedal of aging. Sadly, my guess is that over 99 percent of the population is not receiving the benefits of this approach simply because they either haven’t heard of it or don’t understand it.

My next book will explain how to tie this all together. There are so many lives at stake, and people are going to die prematurely if they don’t have access to this information. I’ve never been so driven before about cancer prevention — it’s like a whole new phase of life for me, because now I’m really beginning to understand what the answers are.

Jury’s Still Out on Ketogenic Diet for Body Builders and Strength Athletes

While the ketogenic diet appears to be very beneficial for most disease states, one thing it might not be excellent for is building really big muscles. For that you typically need more protein, which will cause gluconeogenesis, so you may not get the benefits of ketosis.

Some will argue this point though. Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D. who teaches Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida College of Medicine lives on a ketogenic diet and is phenomenally muscular and strong.

I interviewed him about the benefits of nutritional ketosis back in 2013. One of the ameliorating factors is that the ketogenic diet does have a branched-chain amino acid-sparing effect, because ketones have a very similar structure to the branched-chain amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine. These three are also the most important amino acids for building muscle. According to Travis:

“[D’Agostino] has done a study — I don’t think it’s published yet; it’s getting kicked around by a couple of journals — where they took resistant-trained athletes and put them on a normal Western diet, and a ketogenic diet, and then monitored them over a period of time. They found no decrease in muscle mass and no decrease in performance.

The interesting thing is, when you look at all those pathways, you’re right. It looks like that’s one thing it would inhibit. But it’s got this protein-sparing effect, because you burn fat. So it spares the protein tissue. I think the jury’s still out. It may be that if you want to get to an anabolic state and build muscle mass, you might still get by with a ketogenic diet.”

I think the next phase of the research is the signaling properties of the [ketone] molecules. Because we know as a fuel, they’re thermodynamically incredible. They’re so superior to glucose. They just burn cleaner, they’re more efficient, and there’s more energy there.

When you look at the ATP content of a cell burning a ketone body, the ratio of ATP to ADP is shifted in favor of ATP tremendously. The ratio of reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione is shifted in favor of the reduced form, which is the antioxidant form.

So as a fuel, it’s incredible what it does within the cell. Now as a signaling molecule, what it does to the architecture of the DNA and the expression of genes, that’s equally compelling. We’re going to sort that out slowly. But that’s where the new phase of the research is, because it tampers down all these anti-inflammatory effects.

It looks like it has a very similar effect to just a sustained caloric restriction. The jury is out on humans, but all evidence points to maybe not a huge increase in life span, but definitely a huge increase in health span. Like if you were predisposed to getting type 2 diabetes in mid-life, if you were in that state, you may never get it. If you want to live well for a long time, that’s what you’re after. That’s what it looks like the benefit will be.”

Interestingly, Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek,” is also a staunch advocate of the ketogenic diet after it reversed his Lyme disease.1 It had debilitated him to the point that he was essentially on sick leave for nine months. Virtually any chronic infection is likely to improve on this kind of diet. It will also radically improve your resistance to colds and flus.

Unpublished Research Confirms Sugar May Be Directly Responsible for Cancer Growth

In researching his book, Travis had long discussions with Ko about sugar, and its ability to promote cancer. Her research — much of it still unpublished — shows that simply giving too much sugar to a cell will provoke it to start exhibiting all the phenotypes of cancer.

So glucose by itself, at least within the model she was using, can start to shift cells toward cancer. It does this by upregulating the expression of a critically important enzyme called hexokinase II, which by itself, is responsible for the Warburg Effect.

It’s also largely responsible for the immortalization of the cancer cell, meaning it doesn’t allow the cancer cell to die as programmed. Hexokinase II inhibits apoptosis, or programmed cell death, thereby allowing the defunct cell to proliferate, when under normal circumstances it should have died and been eliminated from the system.

To tie back to what we discussed earlier, hexokinase II is the enzyme 3-bromopyruvate inhibits. By inhibiting hexokinase II, the lactic acid builds up and poisons the cancer cell to death from the inside.

More Information

I have never given away a book as much as I have given away Travis’ book, “Tripping Over the Truth: The Return of the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Illuminates a New and Hopeful Path to a Cure,” and if you or someone you know has cancer, I cannot stress its importance enough. Get yourself a copy, and read it.

If you end up being as convinced of the merits of this theory as I am, there are several really good resources out there that you can peruse to put these dietary recommendations into practice:

DietaryTherapies.com2 A resource provided by Miriam Kalamian, nutritionist who has worked with Seyfried since the very beginning, and has counseled many cancer patients about the ketogenic diet he recommends
“Keto Clarity” and Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb3 “Keto Clarity” by Jimmy Moore is another excellent book worth reading. While it doesn’t go into the theories behind it, it does provide a comprehensive overview of how to implement the ketogenic diet.

You can also find information on his Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Website

The Charlie Foundation for Ketogenic Therapies4 A resource for people seeking help for a diverse array of conditions, including epilepsy, migraines, depression, neurological disorders, and cancer
Single Cause, Single Cure Foundation Travis started the foundation, “Single Cause, Single Cure” together with Young Ko. Together, they’re working to find the best route to bring 3-bromopyruvate to the public
MetabolicOptimization.com5 He’s also started a blog with Dominic D’Agostino. called “Metabolic Optimization,” which in time will provide interviews with some of the scientists involved in ketogenic research

Sources and References

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Documentary ‘Synthetic Forests’ Covers the Enormous Risks of GE Trees

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By Dr. Mercola

If the biotech industry has its way, 184 million acres of native forests around the world will be bulldozed down and replaced with plantations of genetically engineered (GE) trees.

On these proposed GE tree plantations, there are essentially no other plants, insects, birds, or wildlife — just rows upon rows of cloned Frankentrees growing at accelerated rates on a crust of dead, lifeless soil above dwindling groundwater reserves.

Trees are being genetically engineered with unnatural characteristics, such as the ability to kill insects, tolerate colder temperatures, resist toxic chemicals, and grow faster — but these “advantages” come at an unacceptable price.

“Synthetic Forests” is a documentary exposing the truth about GE trees. In this short but hard-hitting film, leading scientists discuss the devastating and irreversible impacts of allowing GE trees into our global ecosystem.

Why Genetically Engineer Trees?

Industry wants to market designer trees with a variety of traits that will increase their income-generating capacity — at least over the short-term. Trees have varying degrees of commercial value, depending on their characteristics, as well as how quickly they can be harvested.

For example, some trees like the fast-growing Eucalyptus are being engineered to grow even faster.

In collusion with the paper industry, trees are being engineered to have lower lignin, as this natural polymer must be removed from wood pulp before the pulp can be made into paper, which is an expensive part of the process.

The problem is, lignin is what gives trees their structural integrity — it’s what allows trees to stand strong in wind and other harsh weather conditions, and to withstand diseases and damage from insect and animal browsing.

Low-lignin trees are weaker and less able to withstand these environmental stresses and do not optimally nourish important fungi once they are put back into the soil. Dead low-lignin trees also decompose faster, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere more quickly, which contributes to climate change.

The best thing for trees is to stop using them for paper. Paper doesn’t need to be made from wood pulp, because far more Earth-friendly materials exist, such as agricultural wastes, recycled material, hemp, tobacco, and even banana leaves.

Fruit trees are also being genetically altered so they can be marketed as “disease resistant.”

However, despite these marketing claims, many GE trees and other plants are actually weaker and more susceptible to disease than their natural counterparts and end up needing massive amounts of chemicals to remain viable, usually in the form of herbicides and pesticides.

Not only that, contamination of wild and organic fruit trees by GE genes has been devastating to nearby wild groves. For example, cross-contamination by GE papaya plantations has crushed Hawaii’s wild, organic papaya industry.1

Expert Says Genetic Engineering Is Based on ‘Lousy Science’

The problem with genetic engineering has to do with the fact that GE plants and animals are created using horizontal gene transfer (also called horizontal inheritance), as contrasted with natural reproduction, which involves vertical gene transfer.

Vertical gene transfer, or vertical inheritance, is the transmission of genes from the parent generation to offspring via sexual or asexual reproduction, i.e., breeding a male and female from one species.

By contrast, horizontal gene transfer involves injecting a gene from one species into a completely different species, which yields unexpected and often unpredictable results due to the wake of mutations it generates.

Proponents of genetic engineering assume they can apply the principles of vertical inheritance to horizontal inheritance. But according to award-winning scientist and geneticist David Suzuki, Ph.D. this assumption is flawed in just about every possible way and is “just lousy science.”

Genes don’t function in a vacuum — they act in the context of the entire genome. Whole sets of genes are turned on and off in order to arrive at a particular organism, and the entire orchestration is an activated genome.

When you change a genome, nature can respond in unpredictable ways. It’s a dangerous mistake to assume a gene’s traits are expressed properly, regardless of where they’re inserted. The safety of genetic engineering is only a hypothesis, and in science, hypotheses often end up being wrong.

The Spread of Seed and Pollen Is Uncontrollable

Genetically engineered trees are vastly different from other annual GE crops like corn and soybeans because trees can live for decades and even centuries in the wild. Once GE trees escape the confines of their plantation, they are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate.

Many tree species, such as pines and poplars, can spread their pollen and seeds over great distances. Pollen can blow hundreds or even thousands of miles, dusting native trees with GE pollen.

Consequently, the risks, regulation, and assessment needs of GE trees may be even greater than those of more seasonal crops like GE corn and soy. Disrupting forest ecosystems endangers the health of the entire planet.

Native forests have been called the “lungs of the Earth,” supporting food and wildlife habitats everywhere. Forests absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, filter water and release it back into the atmosphere, as well as building the soil.

With GE trees, contamination of native forests is both inevitable and irreversible. Many tree species regularly interbreed with similar species, and some are highly invasive, including Eucalyptus — a “bully” that’s spread out of control across California.

Once wild tree species are contaminated, GE trees could take over vast geographical areas, and there’s no do-over — you can recall a dangerous drug, but you can’t recall a dangerous tree until it is too late.

GE Trees May Be the ‘Greatest Threat to Forests Since the Chain Saw’

Genetically engineered trees threaten native forests, which are already endangered by mining, agriculture, pollution and other factors. When you lose a forest, you don’t just lose trees — you destroy an entire web of life.

Critical biodiversity is lost.

We don’t even know the extent of what we’re losing, as many species of plants, animals and insects have yet to be studied. This biodiversity may hold undiscovered cures for cancer and other diseases. Loss of native forests also has negative effects on indigenous communities and world climate.

The health effects of GE seeds and pollen introduce additional concerns. Birds eat the seeds, and we have no idea how they’ll be affected. People inhale the pollen — how will our immune systems react? No one knows because it hasn’t been studied. Entire Filipino villages have been stricken with a mysterious illness thought related to Bt-corn pollen, but an official investigation was never done.2

In addition to that, as noted in the film, only about 1 percent of sprayed herbicides and pesticides hit their target — the rest ends up in our food and water. Like GE food crops, GE trees are heavily reliant upon these chemicals. One half million pounds of toxic chemicals already rain down on the U.S. each year in rainwater — much of which is atrazine. Arial spraying of atrazine is used almost exclusively in forestry.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) advises physicians to warn patients about the potential health dangers of eating GMO food, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.

GE trees can only add to these risks. A list of the dangers of GE trees is summarized in the table below, which is by no means comprehensive, but it will at least give you a feel for the seriousness of this issue.

Loss of native forest ecosystems, loss of diversity Ground water contamination Increased fire danger (high oil Eucalyptus trees are like torches for wildfire)
Increased herbicide and pesticide use Excessive water use (GE Eucalyptus plantations have massive water requirements) Deforestation (monoculture plantations are NOT forests)
Damaged soils and decreased carbon sequestration Air pollution from burning wood pellets; burning wood produces super fine particulates that can bypass your body’s defenses Negative effects on indigenous people
Unknown health effects from inhaled GMO pollen Adverse health effects from aerial application of toxic chemicals Contamination of native gene pool
Loss of land, livelihood and export markets Thousands of mutations are typically created Bad science with unpredictable consequences

Is ArborGen the Next Monsanto?

The majority of research and development on GE trees has come from a company called ArborGen, the industrial “love child” from a tryst between Monsanto, International Paper, Westvaco, and Fletcher Forests.3 ArborGen is the largest US corporate proponent for GE trees and is hoping to follow Monsanto’s blueprint for commercializing GE crops. If GE trees are approved by the USDA, ArborGen is projected to grow 2,000 percent by 2017.4

A scientist from the Center for Food Safety recently exposed a secret letter from the USDA to ArborGen, dated August 2014. In it, the USDA made the unprecedented decision to allow ArborGen to pursue unregulated commercial cultivation of a loblolly pine genetically engineered for altered wood composition. The trees could be planted anywhere in the U.S. without public knowledge or access to information about them.

Loblolly pines are native across 14 states throughout the southeastern US and are grown in plantations around the world. Their pollen is known to travel for hundreds of miles. Groups from around the world are rising in protest, as this is the first GE tree to be legalized without any government or public oversight or risk assessment.

According to ecologist/biologist Rachel Smolker, Ph.D., of Biofuelwatch:5

“If these GE loblolly pines are released on a large scale in the U.S., there will be no way to stop them from cross contaminating native loblolly pines. This is deliberate, irreversible and completely irresponsible contamination of the environment with unknown and possibly devastating consequences.

Forest ecosystems are barely understood, and the introduction of trees with genes for modified wood characteristics could have all manner of negative impacts on soils, fungi, insects, wildlife, songbirds, and public health. And all this for short term commercial profit.”

In addition to loblolly pines, ArborGen is also seeking USDA approval for Eucalyptus trees engineered for cold tolerance. If granted, ArborGen plans to sell hundreds of millions of seedlings to be planted every year across the southeastern US, from Texas to South Carolina. They are also promoting development of a GE American Chestnut tree that’s resistant to blight, as well as many others.

The Global Campaign to STOP GE Trees

Genetically engineered tree plantations threaten to spoil native forests, displace local farmers and destroy sustainable economies. Pollen and seeds from GE trees are impossible to control, with potentially grim ecological consequences.

Self-sufficient communities will be forced to leave their land, adding to the growth of city slums.

Despite knowledge of these probable outcomes, the biotech industry, with the full backing of the U.S. government, is pushing GE trees forward with ever-increasing zeal.

Fortunately, there is some good news on the horizon. Organizations from all over the world, and all angles of interest, have banded together to form a global network opposing GE trees. The Campaign to STOP GE Trees includes more than 200 organizations in 49 countries. If you care about this issue, please visit their website and sign their petition to the USDA. But don’t stop there! Following are several more things you can do to help preserve our native forests:

  • Refrain from buying paper products made from trees/wood pulp; instead, buy recycled paper (toilet paper, tissue paper, writing paper, computer paper); Greenpeace and NRDC have handy downloadable guides for buying recycled, Earth-friendly paper products
  • Reuse and recycle the paper products you do use
  • Eliminate your need for toilet paper altogether by installing in a bidet
  • Say no to napkins, especially when you’re handed a stack of them; use cleaning cloths instead of paper towels
  • Cut back on printing; ask yourself if you really need to print a document; use both sides of a paper before tossing it; use old receipts for notes; reuse wrapping paper, or make your own from newsprint or magazines
  • Opt out of the yellow pages
  • Boycott the new GE apples (“Arctic apples”) and GE potatoes, which just passed FDA inspection.6 For more information on GE apples, read “Genetically Engineered Apples: Any Way You Slice It, a Rotten Idea.”7 Choose only produce that you know is organic, preferably grown near you. The Center for Food Safety has a free Shopping Guide to Avoiding GE Foods.

For further information, please visit:

What You Need to Know About GMOs

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or genetically “engineered” (GE) foods, are live organisms whose genetic components have been artificially manipulated in a laboratory setting through creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and even viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.

GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I’ve stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

The FDA cleared the way for GE (Genetically Engineered) Atlantic salmon to be farmed for human consumption. Thanks to added language in the federal spending bill, the product will require special labeling so at least consumers will have the ability to identify the GE salmon in stores. However, it’s imperative ALL GE foods be labeled, which is currently still being denied.

The FDA is threatening the existence of our food supply. We have to start taking action now. I urge you to share this article with friends and family. If we act together, we can make a difference and put an end to the absurdity.

QR Codes Are NOT an Adequate Substitute for Package Labels

The biotech industry is trying to push the QR code as an answer for consumer concerns about GE foods. QR stands for Quick Response, and the code can be scanned and read by smart phones and other QR readers.

The code brings you to a product website that provides further details about the product. The video below shows you why this is not an ideal solution. There’s nothing forcing companies to declare GMOs on their website. On the contrary, GE foods are allowed to be promoted as “natural,” which further adds to the confusion.

These so-called “Smart Labels” hardly improve access to information. Instead, by making finding the truth time-consuming and cumbersome, food makers can be assured that most Americans will remain ignorant about the presence of GMOs in their products. Besides, everyone has a right to know what’s in the food. You shouldn’t have to own a smartphone to obtain this information.

Non-GMO Food Resources by Country

If you are searching for non-GMO foods here is a list of trusted sites you can visit.

Sources and References

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5 Movements That Reveal Your Fitness Weaknesses

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By Dr. Mercola

Poor balance and coordination, weakness or inflexibility in your arms, hips and legs, poor posture, and lack of core strength — these are all factors resulting from inactivity that can lead to stumbling, falls, disability, declining health, and premature death.

Most people don’t realize that their physical fitness is on a downward slope until they have an accident, or find themselves unable to move around as they once did. At that point, while not impossible, it can certainly be far more difficult to make the proverbial U-turn.

Fortunately, there are some very simple tests that can give you an indication of where you currently stand.

As described in an earlier article, a simple sitting test may even predict your longevity. How well you can sit and rise from the floor is thought to indicate your risk of dying over the next six years or so.

Mobility and Health Are Linked

Simple movement tests like these are based on the idea that there’s a connection between mobility and health, and if you find yourself struggling to perform them, they may provide the incentive you need to get back in shape.

As noted in a recent Greatist article:1

“No matter if you’re an occasional gym-goer or a committed Crossfitter, there are a few moves everyone should be able to do with ease. They serve as a foundation, and chances are, you’re already doing a version of them every day without even knowing.

For example, tons of everyday movements are essentially a squat … Picking up something you dropped or lifting your pet off the ground are both good examples …”

Once movements such as squatting to pick something off the floor or walking up a flight of stairs become a challenge, your overall quality of life tends to dwindle, as lack of mobility begets more inactivity.

And, as noted in many previous articles, sitting is an independent risk factor for chronic disease and early death.

Assess Your Upper Body and Core Strength With a Push-Up

Having a strong core and upper body will allow you to maintain good posture, balance, and stability, and conduct everyday movements like reaching and bending more easily and safely.

Two exercises that can help you assess your core strength are the classicpush-up and the plank. In the video below, fitness trainer Darin Steen demonstrates the proper form for a push-up, as well as more advanced techniques to target different muscle groups.

The featured Greatist article2 also provides quick demos of each of the movements included in this article, as well as the most common mistakes made.

How to Perform a Push-Up, and What It Means If You Can’t

Here’s a summary of the basics of proper form:

  1. Start in high plank position. Your back and legs should be flat and straight, resting on your toes; your core engaged; your hands level with your chest, and arms fully extended. Pay careful attention and make sure you don’t drop your head forward; it needs to be in line with your back.
  2. Slowly and deliberately bend your arms at 90 degrees to drop your chest toward the floor, allowing your sternum to gently touch the ground.

Pause there, contracting your core for about 3 seconds, then push yourself back up. Your arms should be straight, without locking your elbows.

  1. Pay attention to the alignment of your elbows. The ideal angle from your sides is about 45 degrees. This allows you to effectively work your chest muscles and prevent injuries from overextension.
  2. Breathe in on the way down; breathe out on the way up, through your nose, not your mouth.

The inability to perform a proper push-up can indicate a couple of problem areas, depending on your weakness:

  • Inability to bend your elbows and lower your chest all the way down suggests you lack strength in your arms, shoulders, and chest.
  • Inability to maintain your back and legs in a rigid, flat position, thereby allowing either your hips or lower back to sag, suggests a weakness in your core and/or glutes.

Assess Your Core Strength With a Forearm Plank

Total video length: 8:11

To do a forearm plank, you hold your body (the trunk portion) off the ground, making sure to hold it in a straight line, balancing on your toes and elbows. While getting into the proper position is straightforward, holding it takes strength and endurance in your abs, back, and core.

A strong core will also help prevent back pains, and help you maintain strong continence.

In the video above, Jill Rodriguez demonstrates a number of plank variations. The one you’re going to focus on for this general core strength test is the basic intermediate forearm plank, demonstrated at 1:20. To engage your core, be sure to pull in your belly button. Your belly button is attached to your transverse abdominis, that inner sheath that holds your gut inside and gives your spine and vertebrae a nice, weight belt-tightening type of support.

So by pulling it in, you begin to contract that deep inner transverse abdominis muscle. You’ll want to maintain this position, keeping your back flat and in line with your neck, for anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. If you can hold it for at least two minutes, you’re off to a good start.

Lack of core strength is demonstrated by your hips coming out of alignment, either sagging downward or hiking upward in the form of an upside-down “V.” Being unable to hold a plank for about two minutes may also indicate that you’re carrying too much weight, and would benefit from shedding a few pounds.

Assess Your Hip Flexibility, Balance, and Leg Strength With a Squat

In the video above, Darin demonstrates safe squat techniques for beginner, intermediate and advanced. Here’s a summary of the basics:

  1. Stand with your feet just over shoulder width apart. Keep your back in a neutral position, and keep your knees centered over your feet.
  2. Slowly bend your knees, hips and ankles, lowering until you reach a 90-degree angle. Make sure your hips are kept in line over your knees, and your knees over your ankles.
  3. Return to starting position.
  4. Breathe in as you lower, breathe out as you return to starting position.

What does it mean if you cannot perform a proper squat?

  • The inability to bend your knees and ankles, thereby disallowing your hips to hinge all the way back, will result in a movement in which you end up raising up on your toes. This suggests tightness in your hip extensors and/or hamstrings, and you’d be wise to start working on improving your hip flexibility.
  • If your knees buckle inward upon lowering or raising yourself up, your hamstrings and glutes are the areas of weakness.

Assess Your Shoulder Strength and Range of Motion With a Dumbell Overhead Press

The standing dumbbell overhead press will assess your shoulder strength and range of motion. Research3 has found that standing during this exercise produces far greater muscle activation across the various muscles, compared to seated overhead presses. For example, compared to the seated dumbbell overhead press, the standing overhead press resulted in an:

  • 8 percent greater muscle activation of the front shoulder (anterior deltoid)
  • 24 percent greater muscle activation of the back shoulder (posterior deltoid)
  • 23 percent greater muscle activation of the biceps

To perform a proper dumbbell overhead press, stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding one dumbbell in each hand of a suitable weight. Avoid using weights that are excessively heavy, as this will simply degrade your form. You want to be able to do at least 8 to 12 repetitions for this exercise. Keeping your wrists turned inward, lift the weights to starting position, level with your shoulders.

Proper form during the beginning and end of this exercise is important, to take a look at the short video above for a demonstration. Press the weights up overhead, fully extending your arms before lowering the weights back down to your shoulders. Avoid jerking; the motion should be controlled and fluid.

  • The inability to extend your arms straight up overhead suggests a lack of range of motion in your shoulder girdle and weakness in your back muscles.
  • If you find you have to arch your back to raise the weights, you probably have weak core muscles, resulting in a lack of stability, or that your hip flexors are too tight, thereby preventing the proper alignment of your hips and knees.

Assess Your Balance and Coordination With a Forward Lunge

Stationary and walking lunges help build lower-body strength while improving balance, flexibility and stability in your hips. This is important for everyday movements such as being able to climb a flight of stairs. I like incorporating simple exercise movements into my everyday routine, outside of my regular workout, and lunges are easy to do when moving about from room to room for example.

I suggest doing about 30 throughout the day, whenever you’re up and moving around anyway. I usually do them when walking from my office to the kitchen several times a day. The only requirement really is to make sure your pants aren’t too tight.

The only difference between a walking lunge and a stationary forward lunge is that in the former, you’re propelling yourself forward, whereas in the latter you return to your starting position. Either one will serve as far as this test goes. To perform a stationary lunge:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, take a long step forward with your right foot. Your front heel should be flat on the floor.
  • Keeping your upper body straight, descend into lunge position by bringing your back (left) knee towards the floor. Stop just short of the knee touching the ground, with your front heel still flat on the floor. Ideally, both legs should be bent to 90 degrees, with your front knee positioned directly over your front foot.
  • Pause for one second and then push off from your right foot to return to standing. Repeat on the other side.

Weaknesses are revealed if you:

  • Don’t step far enough forward. This suggests a weakness in your glutes, and/or lack of flexibility in your hip flexors or hamstrings. Strengthening and increasing flexibility in these areas will allow you to step further forward and bend deeper.
  • Lean your chest too far forward. While a slight forward motion is natural, an excessive forward lean suggests a weakness in your glutes and core muscles. Be sure to engage your glutes and hamstrings when performing the movement, and avoid leaning forward.

In the video below, Darin demonstrates walking lunge with dumbbells, but you can certainly do them without the dumbbells when first starting out. Using weights will further build your lower-body strength though.

Functional Movement Is Part and Parcel of Health and Longevity

If you maintain good functional movement, balance, flexibility and coordination, there’s nothing stopping you from leading an active life well into old age. Declining quality of life, along with declining health, is an outgrowth of restricted mobility and subsequent inactivity. Once you stop moving, your body inevitably starts degenerating. The five simple movement tests reviewed above provide easy measures of where your weaknesses are, and what you need to work on.

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How Roundup Damages Your Mitochondria and Makes You Sick

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By Dr. Mercola

In the featured video, Jeffrey Smith interviews Dr. Alex Vasquez, M.D., Ph.D., author of about 100 papers and 15 scientific books, and Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., a Senior Research Scientist at MIT and author of about 200 papers, about the impact of glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup — on your mitochondria.

As noted by Jeffrey, this is a very important topic, as mitochondrial dysfunction is an underlying foundational element of most diseases.

Why the Health of Your Mitochondria Matters

As explained by Vasquez, in addition to producing most of your body’s energy in the form of ATP, your mitochondria also participate in many other processes, such as cellular signaling.

According to Vasquez, the data is “impressively clear” that those with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure have dysfunctional mitochondria.

Your mitochondria also play an important role in inflammation, and control apoptosis (cell death). These two roles make your mitochondria a player in diseases such as cancer, for example, as damaged cells fail to receive the message to self-destruct, and therefore continue their malignant growth.

Vasquez — who is an expert on inflammation — divides inflammation into three different forms, which exist on a continuum and overlap each other:

  1. Metabolic inflammation (conditions such as hypertension and diabetes)
  2. Allergic inflammation
  3. Autoimmune inflammation

Chronic, low-level inflammation, which tends to underlie most chronic health conditions, he describes as “metabolic disturbance with cellular injury.” While mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in virtually ALL disease, the following bears mentioning, as they’re among the most common:

Cancer   Heart disease Seizure Disorders
Asthma and allergies Autoimmune diseases Obesity
Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s Depression
Chronic fatigue syndrome Fibromyalgia Autism
Type 2 diabetes Metabolic syndrome Hypertension

How Glyphosate Damages Your Mitochondria

So how does glyphosate affect your mitochondria? Seneff speaks to this issue, noting that manganese appears to be involved. Glyphosate chelates manganese (plus many other minerals), which makes the plants deficient. In turn the animals or humans who eat the plants do not get enough either.

It’s worth explaining the chelation process a bit further. As Smith notes, glyphosate binds very strongly to micro minerals, and doesn’t let them go.

So even if there’s manganese in the plant you eat, your body cannot access and use it, because the glyphosate molecule holds it trapped within itself. Likewise the plant is prevented from taking up the mineral, even if it’s in the soil.

Your mitochondria require manganese to break down superoxide dismutase (SOD) and turn it into hydrogen peroxide, which is far less toxic, and eventually water. This is a very important process, as it protects your mitochondria from oxidative damage. Without manganese, this protection is lost.

Roundup Formulation Also Interferes With Energy Production

Roundup has also been found to interfere with ATP production by affecting your mitochondrial membranes. In this case, it’s actually the so-called “inert” solvents in Roundup that pose the greatest threat.

However, when you add the solvents and glyphosate together, the solvent makes the membrane more permeable, allowing the glyphosate to enter. Without the solvent, the damage may not be as great.

It’s worth repeating what Vasquez notes, which is that the research data is overwhelmingly consistent and clear on all of these points.

So the fact that there is even public debate about whether glyphosate or Roundup causes mitochondrial harm (and therefore harms health) means that people simply are not aware of the scientific literature.

Because from that perspective, there’s nothing to debate. According to both Seneff and Vasquez, the scientific literature is abundant, easily attainable online, clear, and very consistent.

If you don’t know where to start, here’s a review of some of the published research questioning the safety of glyphosate in terms of its effects on human and animal health, compiled by Alex Vasquez (containing 220 pages worth of research).

Another illuminating and heavily referenced 80-page report is “Banishing Glyphosate,” authored by Eva Sirinathsinghji, Ph.D. and Mae-Wan Ho, Ph.D. with cooperation from six other researchers, including Don Huber and Nancy Swanson.

“Why are we having a public debate on this when the data is so clear?,” Vasquez asks. A good question indeed, and the answer is that the industry has done a great job of confusing and misleading people about the actual content and strength of the available science.

Court Finds Fraud and Defamation Was Used to Discredit GMO Study

The case of Gilles-Eric Séralini is a perfect example of how the chemical technology industry tries to keep you in the dark — by whatever means necessary, moral, legal or not. His first-ever lifetime feeding study published in 2012 revealed numerous shocking problems in rats fed GMO corn, including massive tumors and early death.

Rats given glyphosate in their drinking water also developed tumors. The following year, the publisher retracted the studysaying it “did not meet scientific standards,” even though a long and careful investigation found no errors or misrepresentation of data.

Interestingly enough, in the time between the publication of the study and its retraction, the journal had created a new position — Associate Editor for Biotechnology; a position that was filled by a former Monsanto employee.

Séralini not only republished the study in another journal, he also took legal action, and at the end of last year, he won two court cases against some of those who tried to destroy his career and reputation. In the first case, Marianne magazine and a journalist by the name of Jean-Claude Jaillette — who accused Séralini of “scientific fraud in which the methodology served to reinforce pre-determined results” — were found guilty of public defamation.

In a second case, Marc Fellous, former chairman of the Biomolecular Engineering Commission of France, was indicted for forgery and the use of forgery in a libel trial.

According to Séralini’s Website:1

“The Biomolecular Engineering Commission has authorized many GM crops for consumption. The details of the case have not yet been publicly released but a source close to the case told GMWatch that Fellous had used or copied the signature of a scientist without his agreement to argue that Séralini and his co-researchers were wrong in their reassessment of Monsanto studies.”

Recent follow-up research2,3 by Séralini shows that long-term exposure to even ultra-low amounts of Roundup may cause tumors, along with liver and kidney damage in rats. In this study, the dose used was “environmentally relevant in terms of human, domesticated animals and wildlife levels of exposure,” prompting the authors to suggest Roundup may have significant health implications.

Concerns Over Glyphosate Have Turned Out to Be Valid

In recent years, concerns over the health effects of glyphosate have become quite pronounced, and last year the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), reclassified  glyphosate as a Class 2A “probable carcinogen.”4, 5,6

Monsanto recently filed a lawsuit against California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to keep glyphosate from being added to its list of known carcinogens,7 which require products to carry a special cancer warning.

Other research8,9,10,11 suggests the Roundup formulation boosts antibiotic resistance by turning on a specific set of genes in the bacterium. This primes it to become more readily resistant to antibiotics. Despite these and other concerns, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not test foods for glyphosate residues, as the chemical was assumed safe.

The chemical also wasn’t supposed to accumulate in the human body, but this too has been shown to be a false assumption.12

When Will USDA Test Food for Glyphosate Residues?

Last summer the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced U.S. regulators may start testing for glyphosate residues on food in the near future.13,14,15 However, the latest annual pesticide residue report still did not include glyphosate. Even if they did, current allowable limits may be set too far high to protect your health, so unless that’s revised as well, you may be lulled into a false sense of security. The EPA actually raised the allowable limits for glyphosate in food in 2013.

Limits for root and tuber vegetables (with the exception of sugar) were raised from 0.2 parts per million (ppm) to 6.0 ppm. Meanwhile, researchers have documented malformations in frog and chicken embryos starting at 2.03 ppm of glyphosate.16

The allowable limit in oilseed crops (except for canola and soy) was raised to 40 ppm, which is 100,000 times the amount needed to induce cancer in breast cells.17 To address the lack of testing, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) joined forces with the Feed the World Project last year, launching the world’s first glyphosate testing of urine, water, and breast milk for the general public.18,19,20,21

Roundup Ready Alfalfa Goes Wild — As Predicted

In related news, a recent USDA study22 shows that genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa — approved in late 2011 — has already gone wild, and is quickly spreading across the Western states. At the time of its approval, conventional alfalfa farmers were concerned that their conventional alfalfa would be contaminated through cross-pollination. Now their fears have turned into reality, and contamination has already cost them millions of dollars in lost revenue.

As noted by Eco Watch,23 the wild spread “exposes the failure of USDA’s “coexistence’ policy for GE and traditional crops.” There was never any doubt in my and many other people’s mind that this would happen, yet “I told you so” just doesn’t bring any satisfaction. When will our government let facts and common sense speak for themselves? Eco Watch also reports that:

“[T]he researchers also found clear evidence that the Roundup Ready gene was being spread by bees, which are known to cross-pollinate alfalfa populations separated by up to several miles. Their results suggested that ‘transgenic plants could spread transgenes to neighboring feral plants and potentially to neighboring non-GE fields.’

While they did not test this latter possibility, there is no doubt that non-GE alfalfa has in fact been transgenically contaminated — not just once, but on many occasions.”

Campbell’s Decimates Monsanto’s Argument Against Labeling

The fact that GE crops are heavily contaminated with Roundup is just one of many reasons to become aware of which foods contain GMOs and which don’t. Remember, Roundup Ready crops are designed to withstand the pesticide, and tolerance has forced farmers to increase the amount of pesticide sprayed on the crop. For this and other reasons, we need GE foods to be clearly labeled.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), of which Monsanto is a member, insists mandatory GMO labeling would result in higher food prices. It’s completely illogical, yet many have fallen for this stupid ruse. Now, Campbell Soup’s decision to voluntarily label their GMO products will finally decimate this argument and prove that added cost is a non-issue. As reported by Alternet24 on January 15:

“[T]he first question we asked … was, will you charge more for these products after you label them? In an email … company spokesman Tom Hushen wrote, ‘To be clear, there will be no price increase as a result of Vermont or national GMO labeling for Campbell products.’

Will Campbell’s have to absorb extra costs associated with labeling? Will profit margins on its GMO brands shrink? No, says Carmen Bain, a sociology professor at Iowa State University who studies GMO labeling. Bain told PoliticoPro’s Jenny Hopkinson, ‘Campbell has determined that the cost of labeling their products is negligible (and therefore won’t mean higher costs for consumers) and that it’s probably costlier for them not to get out in front of this thing.’”

What You Need to Know About GMOs

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are live organisms whose genetic components have been artificially manipulated in a laboratory setting through creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and even viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.

GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I’ve stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

The FDA cleared the way for GE (Genetically Engineered) Atlantic salmon to be farmed for human consumption. Thanks to added language in the federal spending bill, the product will require special labelling so at least consumers will have the ability to identify the GE salmon in stores. However, it’s imperative ALL GE foods be labeled, which is currently still being denied.

The FDA is threatening the existence of our food supply. We have to start taking action now. I urge you to share this article with friends and family. If we act together, we can make a difference and put an end to the absurdity.

QR Codes Are NOT an Adequate Substitute for Package Labels

The biotech industry is trying to push the QR code as an answer for consumer concerns about GE foods. QR stands for Quick Response, and the code can be scanned and read by smart phones and other QR readers.

The code brings you to a product website that provides further details about the product. The video below shows you why this is not an ideal solution. There’s nothing forcing companies to declare GMOs on their website. On the contrary, GE foods are allowed to be promoted as “natural,” which further adds to the confusion.

These so-called “Smart Labels” hardly improve access to information. Instead, by making finding the truth time consuming and cumbersome, food makers can be assured that most Americans will remain ignorant about the presence of GMOs in their products. Besides, everyone has a right to know what’s in the food. You shouldn’t have to own a smartphone to obtain this information.

Non-GMO Food Resources by Country

If you are searching for non-GMO foods here is a list of trusted sites you can visit.

Sources and References

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Why Low-Carb Diets May Be Ideal for Most People, Including Athletes

Source

 

By Dr. Mercola

Jeff Volek, Ph.D., and registered dietitian and professor in the Human Science Department at Ohio State University, has done enormous work in the field of high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets, investigating how it affects human health and athletic performance.

Volek has published many scientific articles as well as several books, including “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living,” and “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance.”

Both of these books were co-authored with Dr. Stephen Phinney, a physician and true pioneer in this field, who has studied low-carb diets even longer than Volek.

Starting out as a dietician, Volek was taught that low-fat diets were healthy and that saturated fats and cholesterol should be avoided. But in working with diabetics, he kept feeling that something was “off.” Why should diabetics eat so many carbs?

“In essence, it drove me to want to understand metabolism and nutrition at a much deeper level,” he says.

“I was also into self-experimentation … I was at the time into very low-fat diets, thinking that was how I would optimize my own health. But I decided to experiment with a very low-carb diet.”

Low-Carb Diets Can Benefit Athletes and Non-Athletes Alike

His experimentation began in the early ’90s and, to his great surprise, his low-carb experiment proved to be anything but harmful. This fueled his passion for understanding how humans respond to diets that are very low in carbohydrates, and led him to continue his education.

He has now spent the last 15 years conducting research in this area, and the outcomes from most experiments have been very encouraging.

“The science continues to point in the direction that there are a lot of applications for these diets for a large number of people.

We’re still sorting out a lot of the details, but clearly we need to change the way we feed Americans and the way we think about nutrition in order to reverse … obesity and diabetes.”

He’s also done research on low- and non-fiber carb diets and athletic performance, and here too results have proved quite positive — despite running counter to everything he was taught about diet and performance in school, and in most of the scientific literature as well.

“It’s been an interesting journey to say the least …The things I was reading, the things I was taught were not really based on a lot of science, and were a lot of half-truths and misinformation, which still persist today,”he notes.

Is Your Diet Driving Your Metabolism in the Right Direction?

Most of the food (fuel) people eat these days is moving their metabolism in the wrong direction. The Westernized diet constantly biases you toward using more nonfiber carbs for fuel.

Most Americans are primarily burning glucose as their primary fuel, which actually inhibits their body’s ability to access and burn body fat.

Healthy fat, meanwhile, is a far preferable sort of fuel, as it burns far more efficiently than carbs. As noted by Volek, humans evolved to primarily burn fat as fuel — not carbs — and yet that’s not how we’re feeding our bodies.

“As a result, we’re running into a lot of metabolic problems, because we’re constantly inhibiting our body’s ability to burn fuel that we evolved to burn,”he says.

We all have to eat; we need fuel to live. Without generating ATP you cannot survive at all. The question is how to do that efficiently, without generating harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can destroy your mitochondria and contribute to disease?

It’s all about keeping your mitochondria healthy, and low-carb, high-fat dietstend to do that far more effectively than high-carb, low-fat diets.

Healthy Fat Is a ‘Cleaner’ Burning Fuel

An indirect measurement included in one of Volek’s books shows that when people burn fat as their primary fuel, their respiratory quotient can go down as low as 0.7 as opposed to 1, which suggests they’re generating less carbon dioxide.

Regardless of the fuel your body burns, you’re going to generate carbon dioxide and water. But when you burn fat, you generate 30 percent less carbon dioxide, suggesting it’s a lot “cleaner” fuel.

“To use the term ‘clean,’ that’s kind of a provocative term, but I think it is an appropriate one because … there’s a lot of ‘exhaust’ associated with burning carbs for fuel … free radicals, reactive oxygen species … That contributes to the metabolic problems we’re seeing in this country.”

Also, the most efficient way to train your body to use fat for fuel is to remove some of the sugars and starches from your diet. According to Volek, that’s true for everyone, whether you’re an elite athlete or a sedentary diabetic.

In essence, the reason why low-carb diets work so well is because it helps you escape this non-fiber, carb-based metabolism that depends on insulin levels to drive blood sugar into cells and use carbs for fuel.

Volek also introduces another term: “carb intolerance” — a metabolic impairment that you suffer from if you’re insulin resistant or prediabetic. As noted by Volek:

“It really makes no sense if you’re carb intolerant to be consuming half your energy from nonfiber carbs, and to be trying to force your body to burn more carbs.”

Healthy Versus Harmful Fats

Most Americans consume harmful fats like processed vegetable oils, which will invariably make your health worse. So when we’re talking about dietary fats, we’re referring to natural, unprocessed fat, found in real foods such as seeds, nuts, butter, olives, avocado, or coconut oil.

Another good one is raw cacao — it’s a phenomenal source of healthy saturated fats and many beneficial polyphenols. Fats are critical for a number of health reasons. They contribute to the formation of cellular membranes, for example, and it’s really difficult to have good biological function with impaired cell membranes.

So, dietary fat serves two purposes: it serves as fuel; but it’s also a foundational structural component of your biology.

If you’re trying to lose weight, training your body to access your body fat is key, or else you cannot shed it. So if you’re overweight, you want to teach your body to burn excess fat, and then, once you’ve reached your maintenance weight, the majority of fat your body will be burning is that from dietary sources.

But how do you make this conversion — to allow your body to become adapted to burn fat as your primary fuel — starting with any excess body fat you already have?

How to Make the Conversion from Burning Sugar to Burning Fat

In short, the key is to restrict non-fiber carbohydrates. It’s important to make the distinction about which carbs we’re talking about here, as vegetables are “carbs” too, but fiber carbs will not push your metabolism in the wrong direction — only the non-fiber ones will (think sugars and anything that converts to sugar, such as soda, processed grains, pasta, bread and cookies, for example).

You calculate the dangerous non-fiber carbs by simply subtracting the grams of fiber from the grams of total carbohydrate in the food.

Another important point is this:

“Your body can burn both carbs and fat, but your body will burn carbs first. As long as you’re eating carbs, your body will try to burn those first. They’re like the bully cutting in line. You may just think of them as kind of a throw-away nutrient too, because your body cannot store high levels of carb.

You have to try to oxidize them and burn them first. But if you’re carb intolerant, which is highly prevalent in this country, you can’t burn carbs, by definition, very well.

Your body then only has one alternative, and that’s to convert the carbs you eat into fat. That happens to a greater extent to folks who are insulin resistant or carb intolerant. That really sets the stage for a lot of metabolic problems. Again coming back to how do you train the body to burn more fat; it all starts with removing the availability of carbohydrate because, as long as it’s there, it’s going to take precedence, and will simultaneously inhibit burning of fat.

These are very sensitive and exquisite mechanisms in place for this to work. You eat just a single meal of carbs and your fat-burning shuts down right away.

This is why a low- nonfiber carb diet works so well to shift fuel use over to fat. You restrict the amount of glucose and starches that you’re consuming, and your body naturally shifts over to preferring fat for fuel. It does take some time to adapt to that. Your cells have to shift over their machinery to handle the increased levels of fat and lipid-based fuels. It takes a matter of weeks to get that adaptation.

But once it’s there, they’re fairly robust adaptations that don’t just go away. This is why there is an adaptation period to a low-carb diet. It can be disrupted though if you reintroduce carbs. But a lot of the adaptations do remain.”

Finding Your Ideal Carb Level

According to Volek, a level of non-fiber carbs that allows you to enter into nutritional ketosis (a metabolic state associated with an increased production of ketones in your liver; it’s the biological reflection of being able to burn fat) is on average about 50 grams per day or less of digestible or absorbable carbohydrates. However, we all vary how we respond to the same food, so this is not an exact recommendation.

Some people can be in a full fat-burning state with full ketosis at a level of non-fiber carbs that’s higher than 50 grams; maybe 70 or 80 grams. Others, especially if you’re insulin resistant or have type 2 diabetes, may require less than 40 grams or even 30 grams per day.

Again, it bears repeating that when we say carbohydrates, we’re referring to non-fiber carbs only. If you look at the nutrition facts on a processed food package, it will list total carbs, and that’s not what we’re talking about. Don’t get confused about this or you’ll get really nervous. You do need carbs, but you need most all of them from vegetables.

By volume, vegetables are not very calorie-dense. You could have an 85 percent fat diet, and the volume of the fat would be one-tenth the volume of the vegetables you’re eating.

To find your personal carb limit, it’s important to actually measure your ketones, which can be done either through urine, breath, or blood. This will give you an objective measure of whether or not you’re truly in ketosis, rather than just counting the grams of carbohydrates you consume.

“That even varies within a person over time,” Volek says. “You may be able to tolerate more carbs when you’re in your 20s, but suddenly now you’re in middle age and the same level of carbs is resulting in a few extra inches on your waist, your blood sugars are creeping up, you now have prediabetes, or worse.

The appropriate level of carb for an individual is bit of a moving target, but it is a very important element to personalizing a diet, which I think is fundamental to this idea of personalized nutrition. It’s finding the appropriate level of carb for you at any given point in your lifespan that allows you to maintain health.”

Research has shown that ketosis is a very safe and a therapeutic metabolic state to be in, especially if you’re diabetic or suffering from carb intolerance. But there are people who are naturally very insulin sensitive and carb tolerant that don’t need to be in ketosis to thrive. So there’s certainly room for flexibility, depending on your individual situation.

Ketogenic Diet Can Benefit Many Chronic Health Problems

Beyond insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, there are a number of applications for a well-formulated ketogenic diet, including epileptic seizures, especially in kids who are unresponsive to drugs, and neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Cancer is another area where ketogenic diets show great promise.

“I think that is the next frontier of ketogenic diets,” Volek says. “There are multiple reasons why many cancers would benefit from a ketogenic diet, not just the decreased glucose availability influx (which many tumors depend on) but also the lower insulin response and less inflammation, as many tumors thrive in a pro-inflammatory environment.

There are multiple potential mechanisms by which a ketogenic diet would benefit, including epigenetic effects. We now know that the principal ketone body, beta hydroxybutyrate, is more than a metabolite. It’s more than just an alternative fuel for the brain.

It acts like a hormone or a potent signaling molecule that affects gene expression, including upregulating genes that are protective against oxidative stress and enhance the antioxidant status.

Our knowledge and perspective on ketosis is expanding almost daily. It’s all pointing toward positive health effects, which is quite interesting considering that for the last three or four decades, we’ve been demonizing ketones because we only associate it with ketoacidosis.”

Other benefits include the resistance to sugar and other food cravings, as you’re never that hungry once you’ve made the shift. Mental clarity is another great boon. According to Volek, the U.S. military is showing great interest in ketones for this reason — along with the fact that it boosts physical stamina and endurance.

Being an efficient fat burner may also predispose you to a longer life. Dr. Ron Rosedale told me many years ago that the single most important variable for controlling the aging process is the ratio of fat versus carbohydrate you burn. The more fat you burn, the slower you’re going to age in general. More recent research supports this notion.

How Ketogenic Diet May Promote Longevity and Increased Muscle Mass

Recent research has found about a dozen genes associated with longevity. The primary function of one of these genes is to cripple the degradation of branched-chain amino acids, such as leucine, which can be useful for building muscle mass. Interestingly, in one of his books, Volek mentions that ketones share a close structural similarity to these branched-chain amino acids, and seem to be preferentially metabolized.

In other words, ketones spare those branched-chain amino acids, leaving higher levels of them around, which promotes longevity and increased muscle mass.

“We learned a lot about ketogenesis from the classic work done by people in the ’60s studying starvation ketosis. One of the reasons why we can survive so long without food is we enter into ketosis, and ketosis spares protein breakdown. One of a more consistent effect we see in people on a ketogenic diet is that leucine levels go up in the blood, because they’re not being oxidized to the same level.

Ketones are sparing oxidation and breakdown of important structural proteins, and therefore their levels or concentrations in the blood increase and allow them to do other important signaling-type functions.

I do see a very positive interaction here with nutritional ketosis and protein metabolism in general in sparing of the branched-chain amino acids in particular, which are unique in that they are a preferential fuel, unlike other amino acids, which don’t really serve as a fuel substrate,” Volek explains.

The Importance of Eating Moderate Protein

There’s also a “sweet spot” regarding protein. You don’t want more protein than your body actually needs. As noted by Volek, this is an important point because there’s a common misconception that low non-fiber carb diets are high-protein diets. In reality, a ketogenic diet must actually be moderate in protein because excessive protein is anti-ketogenic.

On the other hand, you don’t want to consume too little protein, as this may push you into a negative nitrogen balance. As a general rule, I recommend eating one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass per day, which for most sedentary folks is 40 to 70 grams, but this may be higher for athletes and larger individuals.

The best approach is to measure ketosis to know you are not over-consuming protein.  For details on how to calculate this, please see my previous article, “The Very Real Risks of Consuming Too Much Protein.”

“It’s also important to maximize the quality of the protein,” Volek says. “I am a general proponent of high-quality protein sources [such as] whey protein. Most animal sources of protein maintain these essential amino acids [discussed above].

I do think, with the potentially unique characteristics of leucine and branched-chain amino acids, we may discover that it’s beneficial to include extra leucine even within a context of a ketogenic diet … Especially if you’re an athlete wanting to enhance lean body mass, there could be some benefit to specific use of leucine in particular after exercise or even before exercise …

I generally think including all three [is best]. Leucine is a potent stimulator of mTOR and protein synthesis in skeletal muscles. It’s one thing to turn on the machinery, but you still have to have the building blocks in order to build proteins. I do think it’s important that you have full complement of the essential amino acids to make sure that you have all the material there to take advantage of the signaling effect of leucine.”

Low-Carb Benefits for Athletes

The dogma in sports nutrition for the last four decades has been that in order to perform at a higher level and recover adequately, athletes need to consume high amounts of (non-vegetable) carbs before, during, and after exercise. However, in more recent years, the understanding of how low-carb diets can augment performance in certain athletes is starting to catch on.

It has certainly gained a great deal of traction in the ultra-endurance world, where athletes are exercising continuously for several hours.

“To be quite frank, they’re challenged from a fueling perspective,” Volek says, “because if they’re eating carbs, they’re inhibiting their ability to burn fat optimally. They’re putting themselves in a situation where they’re increasingly dependent on providing more carbs.

You can only store a limited amount of carbs in your body as glycogen, about 2,000 kilocalories, and if you’re exercising for more than a couple of hours, you’re burning through the majority of that stored carbohydrate.

That’s when an athlete hits the wall. We know that’s associated with obvious decrements in performance. How do you avoid that? You can carb-load. That’s been the traditional recommendation; to try to pack even more carbs into your muscles … but that will only delay exercise fatigue by a half hour or so. That doesn’t really solve the problem.

It actually exacerbates the problem in some ways. The alternative is to train your body to burn more fat. If you’re burning fat and sparing carbohydrates, you don’t hit the wall. That’s one of the most commonly perceived benefits of a low-carb diet for athletes.”

Athletes who adopt this strategy can become exceptionally good at burning fat. Even if they’re not eating calories during exercise, lean athletes have at least 20,000 to 30,000 kilocalories on their body in the form of adipose tissue that they can access during exercise. That’s more than enough to finish even a 100-mile race. So from a fueling perspective, it makes sense that you’d want to burn more fat as opposed to carbohydrate.

Ultra-endurance athletes who have switched to low-carb, high-fat diets are now winning races and, in some cases, setting new course records. They’re also experiencing other benefits, such as speedier recovery rates, improved metabolic health, and a leaner body composition.

More Information

Mounting evidence suggests low- non-fiber carb, high-fat diets may be the key that many people have been looking for, as it solves more than one problem. Not only does it help you shed excess body fat, it does so while simultaneously improving metabolism, boosting overall energy levels, and promoting optimal health and maximizing longevity in a number of different ways.

It can also help ward off neurological dysfunction, boost mental clarity, and improve athletic performance.

For those who struggle with insulin resistance or diabetes, it’s certainly one of the most efficient ways to reverse the condition. Even those suffering with more serious conditions, such as cancer, may reap significant benefits.

To learn more, I highly recommend picking up one or both of Volek’s books — “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living,” and “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance” — the latter of which is geared toward athletes in particular.

 

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The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days

A Book Review by Larry Stell

It is not often that I recommend a book. Today I am recommending two books! Both of these books are in my possession.  JJ Virgin has a membership website that contains all the information in these books as well as additional information, Videos, PDFs and more! I am already a member.  Consider joining.

JJ Virgin Web Site

 

If you want the latest research on what to eat and what not the eat then this book is for you.  It lists the seven foods that cause intolerance and inflammation.   Here they are:

  1. Corn
  2. Dairy
  3.  Eggs
  4. Gluten
  5. Peanuts
  6. Soy
  7. Sugar and sugar substitutes

The book claims that if you drop these seven foods for seven days you will lose 7 pounds! This is a 21-day program to discover which of the seven foods gives you a problem. Between the covers you will find recipes, case histories, medical information and much more!  I highly recommend this book.

Order this book!

If you want to know the dangers of sugar and sugar substitutes, I also recommend this book:

Order the Sugar Impact Diet

 

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For Optimal Health and Weight, Eat Real Food

Source

http://www.pbs.org/food/features/in-defense-of-food-recipes/

In Defense of Food

By Dr. Mercola

Michael Pollan’s PBS documentary “In Defense of Food” is based on Pollan’s book by the same name. The title may seem odd at first. What kind of defense might food be in need of?

According to Pollan, food must be defended for the simple reason that the majority of what people eat today is not actually real food: it’s “edible food-like substances” that have no counterpart in nature.

You don’t have to go very far back in history to get to a point where “what should I eat?” was a nonexistent question. Everyone knew what “food” was. They harvested food off trees, bushes and out of the ground, and they ate it, either raw or cooked in some fashion.

Our current confusion about what to eat is basically the result of forgetfulness. The food industry and nutritional science both stand to gain from this kind of confusion.

They keep trying to “help” you, yet for all their expert help, people have only gotten sicker. Neither of these industries has outsmarted or outperformed nature as of yet.

Pollan also argues that you cannot divorce yourself from the health of the food chain of which you are a part. Soil health, for example, is a crucial component as it affects the health of the food grown in it, so how and where food is grown is a factor to be taken into consideration.

A Healthy Diet Cannot Be Reduced to Individual Nutrients

The food industry has radically altered — or as Pollan says, destroyed — our diet; reducing “food” to a list of individual nutrients listed on a box. Some of these nutrients are said to be “good,” whereas others are said to be “bad.” And, which is which changes at regular intervals.

Advertising also plays a role, with all manner of junk food being presented as having some sort of benefit. The tendency to think about food in terms of nutrients is also fueled by the food industry’s practice of making health claims for specific nutrients added to or removed from their products.

As a result, confusion reigns when it comes to what foods should be on the plate. Pollan refers to this as “The American Paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become.”

The Key to Healthy Eating — Eat REAL Food

The success of the processed food industry has come at a tremendous price. As noted in the film, diet-related disease is at an all-time high, and people’s lives are at stake. But while many realize that their health problems are in fact related to their diet, they’re at a loss as to the changes that need to be made.

“We’re looking for dietary salvation,” Pollan says.

What is the answer to our problems? Many are convinced that eating healthy is a complicated equation requiring loads of nutritional data. But they’re wrong. As noted in the film, “You don’t have to be a scientist to know how to eat.”

It’s actually much simpler than you might think. Pollan offers the following seven-word guide to healthier eating: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I would specify that further by pointing out that what he’s talking about is REAL food, i.e. food as close to its natural state as possible.

Other practical advice offered throughout this program includes the following:

  • Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
  • Eat only foods that will eventually spoil or rot.
  • Treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food.

While Pollan focuses on the links between red meat and cardiovascular disease, I believe the most important points to remember when it comes to meat are:

    1. Eat only organic grass-fed and grass-finished meats, as conventional meats are qualitatively inferior.
    2. Limit your intake to around one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. While you need protein, most Americans are simply eating too much, and of a low quality.

Real Food Diets May Differ, but Most Are Healthy

Science actually confirms that a wide variety of diets can be healthy — provided they’re based on real food, as unadulterated foods contain all the nutrients your body needs, and in far more ideal ratios than nutritional scientists can guesstimate.

In the film, Pollan journeys across the world, looking at people’s diets and the results thereof. Repeatedly, he confirms this truth: Those who eat historically traditional diets are healthier and live longer.

This holds true for hunter-gatherers on the plains of Tanzania, Seventh Day Adventists in California who are primarily vegetarians, and the French, whose diet is still steeped in culture and tradition. The specific foods and ratios thereof may differ, yet they all reap the benefits of good health.

Another example is the Mediterranean diet, of which there are many variations. But the primary hallmark of all of them is again fresh, whole, minimally processed foods.

Vitamins and Other Nutrients Are Best Obtained From Real Food

Pollan also explores the trends of vitamin supplementation, showing that while vitamins are indeed good for you, the best way to obtain them is from real food. One of the primary reasons we have to supplement with vitamins in the first place is because they’ve been removed or destroyed during processing.

The other challenge is that industrial farming practices have radically diminished the minerals in most soils, which secondarily depletes the nutrient density of many foods. Take beef for example.

Beef raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) doesn’t have the omega-3 and CLA content of organically raised, grass-fed beef, because the animals are fed an unnatural diet of grains and other additives, including sugar (molasses) and artificial sweeteners.

Hence, many processed foods make bold health claims based on the vitamins added back in; some of which are more nonsensical than others. For example, Schlitz once advertised Vitamin D beer! Other examples include breakfast cereals boasting heart-healthy fiber and vitamins, despite the primary ingredient being sugar — one of the most health-harming substances on the planet.

Ditto for yogurt. While most commercial yogurts contain beneficial bacteria, they can also contain as much sugar as a can of soda, which effectively counteracts any good those microbes might do.

Moreover, commercial yogurts are almost always pasteurized, which kills off any and all bacteria. Select groups of bacteria are then added back in, but the end result is a far cry from traditionally cultured yogurt made from unpasteurized (raw) milk, in which the bacteria are allowed to multiply and thrive normally.

The Cornucopia Institute has evaluated 130 different commercial yogurt brands, scoring them based on information from ingredient labels, independent testing and, in the case of organic brands, the score brands achieved on Cornucopia’s organic dairy scorecard.

So before you buy another commercial yogurt, take a look at their Yogurt Buyers Guide, and remember, your healthiestoption is to buy yogurt made from raw milk from your local farmer or farmer’s market.

How Nutritional Guidelines Have Decimated Public Health

While nutritional guidelines have often been less than ideal, influenced as they are by various industries (such as the sugar and beef industry), perhaps one of the most serious flaws has been the recommendation to avoid dietary fats. It’s difficult to estimate just how many premature deaths have resulted from the low-fat diet recommendation, but my guess is that this is easily into the hundreds of millions.

Many studies have confirmed the disadvantage of low-fat diets. As just one example, a 2013 Spanish trial,1,2 which included nearly 7,450 volunteers between the ages of 55 and 80, was halted for ethical reasons after eight years, as the control group was deemed to be at a dangerous disadvantage.

The two intervention groups ate a Mediterranean-style diet — low in red meat, sugar, processed carbs, and junk food; and high in most everything else, including healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and seafood, supplemented with either 30 grams of nuts per day (15 grams walnuts, 7.5 grams almonds, and 7.5 grams hazelnuts), or 50 ml of virgin olive oil per day instead of nuts. The control group ate a low-fat diet.

There were no calorie restrictions for any of the groups, nor was physical activity promoted or required. Compliance with olive oil and nut consumption was tested via blood and urine analysis. The primary end point was a composite of myocardial infarction, stroke, and death from cardiovascular causes. Secondary end points were stroke, myocardial infarction, death from cardiovascular causes, and death from any cause.

Remarkably, in less than five years, the two intervention groups achieved a 30 percent relative risk reduction for cardiovascular disease, and stroke reduction was an impressive 49 percent. According to conventional wisdom, such benefits have been seen in the low-fat group, but the converse turned out to be true, and the study was stopped early to protect the health of the control group.

As a General Rule, Whole Foods Contain Healthy Fats

So for the last 60 years, people have been admonished to eat a low-fat diet to protect their heart health. Unsurprisingly, all this time, that dangerous recommendation has actually fueled the very problem it was said to treat — a sad testament to the dangers of following nutritional guidelines based on ideas about nutrients rather than real food. Low-fat foods exist in abundance in nature, and they’re called fruits and vegetables.

Other foods, such as olives, avocados, coconut oil, butter from raw milk, and beef, are high in fats, and that’s a good thing. Your body needs fat for energy, the production of hormones, nerve and brain function, vitamin conversion, mineral absorption, and a host of other biological processes. As a general rule, if the fat comes from real food, it’s “good.”

The real problem with dietary fat arises from the processing. Harmful trans fats, for example, are formed when vegetable oil hardens, a process called hydrogenation. Science has now confirmed that the health risks previously attributed to saturated fat are actually caused by trans fats, and this includes raising your LDL cholesterol, lowering HDL, clogging your arteries, and promoting heart disease and other serious health problems.

Fat Versus Sugar — Which Actually Causes Obesity?

Reducing fat in our diet has also increased obesity — another health problem the low-fat diet was said to solve — and the reason for this is because the food industry replaced the fat with sugar. The documentary “The Secrets of Sugar,” which you can view in my previous article, “Sugar Industry Secrets Exposed,” tells the story of how the food industry has known for decades about the links between a processed food diet and disease.

On a mission to change how the sugar industry operates, Colorado Community Care Dentist Cristin Kearns Couzens stumbled upon evidence that they were already worried about sugar’s role in heart disease as far back as the early 1970s.

She unearthed more than 1,500 pages of internal memos, letters, and reports, buried in the archives of now-defunct sugar companies, as well as in the recently released papers of deceased researchers and consultants who played key roles in the industry’s strategy.

The sugar industry was sweating the impending book, “Pure White and Deadly,” (1972) by British nutritionist John Yudkin, in which he presented decades of research pointing at dietary sugar — rather than fat — as the underlying factor in obesity anddiabetes.

The Sugar Association secretly funded a white paper called “Sugar in the Diet of Man” that claimed sugar was not only safe and healthy, but important. Not only did they fund it, but they made it appear to be an independent study.

The Sugar Association’s biggest apologist was Ancel Keys who, with industry funding, helped destroy Yudkin’s reputation by labeling him a quack. The smear campaign was a huge success, bringing sugar research to a screeching halt. Keys’ flawed research was also used as the basis for the low-fat recommendation.

Today, the research overwhelmingly supports Yudkin’s initial warnings about sugar being a primary culprit in obesity, diabetes, and related health problems, including cancer and heart disease — two primary killers of modern man.

The Links Between Your Gut Microbiome, Diet and Health

Pollan’s film also delves into some of the latest studies showing the role your gut bacteria play in your health, the importance of a plant-based diet, and how the Westernized diet has altered our gut microbiome in ways that beget poor health.

Fermented foods are important for gut health, but so is fiber. Soluble fibers, such as psyllium, are probiotics that help nourish beneficial bacteria. These beneficial bacteria assist with digestion and absorption of your food, and play a significant role in your immune function.

When it comes to fiber, the food industry and nutritional sciences have again done more harm than good by promoting grains as an ideal source. While this may have been true 100 years ago, agricultural practices and modern food processing techniques have made most grains less than beneficial.

For starters, many modern grains, including non-organic wheat, are contaminated with glyphosate, which is now recognized as a probable human carcinogen. Glyphosate has also been linked to celiac disease and other gut dysfunction, which is the exact converse of what you’re trying to achieve by adding fiber to your diet.

Secondly, most grain products on the market are highly processed, which further deteriorates their value. Instead, focus on eating more vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The following whole foods, for example, contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Psyllium seed husk, flax hemp, and chia seeds Berries Vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts
Root vegetables and tubers, including onions, sweet potatoes, and jicama Almonds Peas
Green beans Cauliflower Beans

Feed Your Children Real Food From Birth

It’s bad enough that most children are eating processed foods and junk food by the time they’re old enough to chew, along with excessive amounts of sugary beverages like sodas and fruit juices. What’s worse is that sugar addiction is in many cases promoted from day one.

There’s a big difference between breast milk and commercial baby formula — the latter sometimes containing concerning amounts of added sugars3,4 (beware that the amount of sugar is typically not listed on the label).

Sadly, many women do not have access to the truth about breastfeeding and have been misled by infant-formula marketing to believe they must spend thousands of dollars a year to provide the best nutrition for their babies. In reality (and barring any extreme exceptions such as certain transmittable diseases or drug use), breast milk is the best food for babies, period.

As noted by Pollan, the more we discover about breast milk, the more we realize that formula just isn’t as good as breast milk. For example, breast milk contains undigestible oligosaccharides — sugars unique to breast milk alone — that nourishhealthy bacteria in your baby’s gut.

Ideally, you’ll want to strive to breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first six months, at which point you can begin to supplement with solid foods and continue to breastfeed for a year or longer. But remember, even breastfeeding for as little as one month can impart great health benefits for both you and your baby.

The next best alternative to breast milk is to make a healthy homemade infant formula. There may be others, but here is onerecipe for homemade formula created by the Weston Price Foundation, which I believe is sound.

‘Eat Real Food, Mostly Plants’

Pollan covers a number of other topics in his film, including the impact of sugary beverages, which is a major source of calories for most Americans, including kids; New York City mayor Bloomberg’s attempts to limit soda sizes in restaurants; and Mexico’s national soda tax, which I discussed in a recent article.

There’s no doubt that cutting out sweetened beverages of all kinds, including fruit juices and artificially sweetened drinks, can go a long way toward warding off unwanted pounds, insulin and leptin resistance, and related diseases. Remember, when it comes to diet, eating healthy is really not such a complicated affair. It’s simply a matter of remembering to eat REAL FOOD. To recap the advice given by both Pollan and myself:

  • Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants
  • Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
  • Eat only foods that will eventually spoil or rot
  • Go easy on the meat, and eat only high quality grass-fed/grass-finished or pastured meats

Sources and References

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5 Movements That Reveal Your Fitness Weaknesses

Source

By Dr. Mercola

Poor balance and coordination, weakness or inflexibility in your arms, hips and legs, poor posture, and lack of core strength — these are all factors resulting from inactivity that can lead to stumbling, falls, disability, declining health, and premature death.

Most people don’t realize that their physical fitness is on a downward slope until they have an accident, or find themselves unable to move around as they once did. At that point, while not impossible, it can certainly be far more difficult to make the proverbial U-turn.

Fortunately, there are some very simple tests that can give you an indication of where you currently stand.

As described in an earlier article, a simple sitting test may even predict your longevity. How well you can sit and rise from the floor is thought to indicate your risk of dying over the next six years or so.

Mobility and Health Are Linked

Simple movement tests like these are based on the idea that there’s a connection between mobility and health, and if you find yourself struggling to perform them, they may provide the incentive you need to get back in shape.

As noted in a recent Greatist article:1

“No matter if you’re an occasional gym-goer or a committed Crossfitter, there are a few moves everyone should be able to do with ease. They serve as a foundation, and chances are, you’re already doing a version of them every day without even knowing.

For example, tons of everyday movements are essentially a squat … Picking up something you dropped or lifting your pet off the ground are both good examples …”

Once movements such as squatting to pick something off the floor or walking up a flight of stairs become a challenge, your overall quality of life tends to dwindle, as lack of mobility begets more inactivity. And, as noted in many previous articles, sitting is an independent risk factor for chronic disease and early death.

Assess Your Upper Body and Core Strength With a Push-Up

Having a strong core and upper body will allow you to maintain good posture, balance, and stability, and conduct everyday movements like reaching and bending more easily and safely.

Two exercises that can help you assess your core strength are the classicpush-up and the plank. In the video below, fitness trainer Darin Steen demonstrates the proper form for a push-up, as well as more advanced techniques to target different muscle groups.

The featured Greatist article2 also provides quick demos of each of the movements included in this article, as well as the most common mistakes made.

How to Perform a Push-Up, and What It Means If You Can’t

Total video length: 20:14

Here’s a summary of the basics of proper form:

  1. Start in high plank position. Your back and legs should be flat and straight, resting on your toes; your core engaged; your hands level with your chest, and arms fully extended. Pay careful attention and make sure you don’t drop your head forward; it needs to be in line with your back.
  2. Slowly and deliberately bend your arms at 90 degrees to drop your chest toward the floor, allowing your sternum to gently touch the ground.Pause there, contracting your core for about 3 seconds, then push yourself back up. Your arms should be straight, without locking your elbows.
  3. Pay attention to the alignment of your elbows. The ideal angle from your sides is about 45 degrees. This allows you to effectively work your chest muscles and prevent injuries from overextension.
  4. Breathe in on the way down; breathe out on the way up, through your nose, not your mouth.

The inability to perform a proper push-up can indicate a couple of problem areas, depending on your weakness:

  • Inability to bend your elbows and lower your chest all the way down suggests you lack strength in your arms, shoulders, and chest.
  • Inability to maintain your back and legs in a rigid, flat position, thereby allowing either your hips or lower back to sag, suggests a weakness in your core and/or glutes.

Assess Your Core Strength With a Forearm Plank

Total video length: 8:11

To do a forearm plank, you hold your body (the trunk portion) off the ground, making sure to hold it in a straight line, balancing on your toes and elbows. While getting into the proper position is straightforward, holding it takes strength and endurance in your abs, back, and core.

A strong core will also help prevent back pains, and help you maintain strong continence.

In the video above, Jill Rodriguez demonstrates a number of plank variations. The one you’re going to focus on for this general core strength test is the basic intermediate forearm plank, demonstrated at 1:20.

To engage your core, be sure to pull in your belly button. Your belly button is attached to your transverse abdominis, that inner sheath that holds your gut inside and gives your spine and vertebrae a nice, weight belt-tightening type of support.

So by pulling it in, you begin to contract that deep inner transverse abdominis muscle. You’ll want to maintain this position, keeping your back flat and in line with your neck, for anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. If you can hold it for at least two minutes, you’re off to a good start.

Lack of core strength is demonstrated by your hips coming out of alignment, either sagging downward or hiking upward in the form of an upside-down “V.” Being unable to hold a plank for about two minutes may also indicate that you’re carrying too much weight, and would benefit from shedding a few pounds.

Assess Your Hip Flexibility, Balance, and Leg Strength With a Squat

Total video length: 22:35

In the video above, Darin demonstrates safe squat techniques for beginner, intermediate and advanced. Here’s a summary of the basics:

  1. Stand with your feet just over shoulder width apart. Keep your back in a neutral position, and keep your knees centered over your feet.
  2. Slowly bend your knees, hips and ankles, lowering until you reach a 90-degree angle. Make sure your hips are kept in line over your knees, and your knees over your ankles.
  3. Return to starting position.
  4. Breathe in as you lower, breathe out as you return to starting position.

What does it mean if you cannot perform a proper squat?

  • The inability to bend your knees and ankles, thereby disallowing your hips to hinge all the way back, will result in a movement in which you end up raising up on your toes. This suggests tightness in your hip extensors and/or hamstrings, and you’d be wise to start working on improving your hip flexibility.
  • If your knees buckle inward upon lowering or raising yourself up, your hamstrings and glutes are the areas of weakness.

Assess Your Shoulder Strength and Range of Motion With a Dumbell Overhead Press

Total video length: 0:53

The standing dumbbell overhead press will assess your shoulder strength and range of motion. Research3 has found that standing during this exercise produces far greater muscle activation across the various muscles, compared to seated overhead presses. For example, compared to the seated dumbbell overhead press, the standing overhead press resulted in an:

  • 8 percent greater muscle activation of the front shoulder (anterior deltoid)
  • 24 percent greater muscle activation of the back shoulder (posterior deltoid)
  • 23 percent greater muscle activation of the biceps

To perform a proper dumbbell overhead press, stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding one dumbbell in each hand of a suitable weight. Avoid using weights that are excessively heavy, as this will simply degrade your form. You want to be able to do at least 8 to 12 repetitions for this exercise. Keeping your wrists turned inward, lift the weights to starting position, level with your shoulders.

Proper form during the beginning and end of this exercise is important, to take a look at the short video above for a demonstration. Press the weights up overhead, fully extending your arms before lowering the weights back down to your shoulders. Avoid jerking; the motion should be controlled and fluid.

  • The inability to extend your arms straight up overhead suggests a lack of range of motion in your shoulder girdle and weakness in your back muscles.
  • If you find you have to arch your back to raise the weights, you probably have weak core muscles, resulting in a lack of stability, or that your hip flexors are too tight, thereby preventing the proper alignment of your hips and knees.

Assess Your Balance and Coordination With a Forward Lunge

Stationary and walking lunges help build lower-body strength while improving balance, flexibility and stability in your hips. This is important for everyday movements such as being able to climb a flight of stairs. I like incorporating simple exercise movements into my everyday routine, outside of my regular workout, and lunges are easy to do when moving about from room to room for example.

I suggest doing about 30 throughout the day, whenever you’re up and moving around anyway. I usually do them when walking from my office to the kitchen several times a day. The only requirement really is to make sure your pants aren’t too tight.

The only difference between a walking lunge and a stationary forward lunge is that in the former, you’re propelling yourself forward, whereas in the latter you return to your starting position. Either one will serve as far as this test goes.

To perform a stationary lunge:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, take a long step forward with your right foot. Your front heel should be flat on the floor.
  • Keeping your upper body straight, descend into lunge position by bringing your back (left) knee towards the floor. Stop just short of the knee touching the ground, with your front heel still flat on the floor. Ideally, both legs should be bent to 90 degrees, with your front knee positioned directly over your front foot.
  • Pause for one second and then push off from your right foot to return to standing. Repeat on the other side.

Weaknesses are revealed if you:

  • Don’t step far enough forward. This suggests a weakness in your glutes, and/or lack of flexibility in your hip flexors or hamstrings. Strengthening and increasing flexibility in these areas will allow you to step further forward and bend deeper.
  • Lean your chest too far forward. While a slight forward motion is natural, an excessive forward lean suggests a weakness in your glutes and core muscles. Be sure to engage your glutes and hamstrings when performing the movement, and avoid leaning forward.

In the video below, Darin demonstrates walking lunge with dumbbells, but you can certainly do them without the dumbbells when first starting out. Using weights will further build your lower-body strength though.

Total video length: 4:11

Functional Movement Is Part and Parcel of Health and Longevity

If you maintain good functional movement, balance, flexibility and coordination, there’s nothing stopping you from leading an active life well into old age. Declining quality of life, along with declining health, is an outgrowth of restricted mobility and subsequent inactivity. Once you stop moving, your body inevitably starts degenerating. The five simple movement tests reviewed above provide easy measures of where your weaknesses are, and what you need to work on.

Sources and References

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