Monthly Archives: May 2009

Jon Model (member, metabolism.com) Weighs in on the Hydroxycut Debate


Jon, who is a member of metabolism.com, offers his insight on the pro’s and con’s of using over-the-counter medications:

Jon writes:

It’s relatively clear Brian, that you are engaged in a battle of wit with those that are lacking any real “armamentarium”. Unfortunately with people like “Tom” and “John”, you have your classic anti-pharma/government conspiracist propaganda. In fact, all you have to do is just harken back to “john’s” statement to see frank hypocrisy. He mentions that it hasn’t been proven that hydroxycut has cause frank liver toxicity then refers to the dangers of mercury amalgams, well where the evidenced based argument proving their toxicity. While most pharmaceuticals have the potential for greater adverse effects than their comparative nutraceuticals, they also have far stronger potential for disease management/cure; that’s the clear double edge sword nature of pharmaceuticals. It’s relatively clear that nutraceuticals for the most part(besides a small handful like fish oil, etc) rely on the placebo effect at best, in addition to the ignorance, naivety, and the need for instantaneous gratification of humankind.

It’s sad to see people fight so strongly for the lack of regulation in the supplement market; ironic that people the food that comes to people’s table(which for the most part has relatively limited processing in comparison to supplement/nutraceuticals) is more regulated than the nutraceutical market.

It’s relatively clear Brian, that you are engaged in a battle of wit with those that are lacking any real “armamentarium”. Unfortunately with people like “Tom” and “John”, you have your classic anti-pharma/government conspiracist propaganda. In fact, all you have to do is just harken back to “john’s” statement to see frank hypocrisy. He mentions that it hasn’t been proven that hydroxycut has cause frank liver toxicity then refers to the dangers of mercury amalgams, well where the evidenced based argument proving their toxicity. While most pharmaceuticals have the potential for greater adverse effects than their comparative nutraceuticals, they also have far stronger potential for disease management/cure; that’s the clear double edge sword nature of pharmaceuticals. It’s relatively clear that nutraceuticals for the most part(besides a small handful like fish oil, etc) rely on the placebo effect at best, in addition to the ignorance, naivety, and the need for instantaneous gratification of humankind.

It’s sad to see people fight so strongly for the lack of regulation in the supplement market; ironic that people the food that comes to people’s table(which for the most part has relatively limited processing in comparison to supplement/nutraceuticals) is more regulated than the nutraceutical market.
papaanal@gmail.com
Jon Model

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Why we binge eat


Over eating and emotional eating is just another sign that you are in fact human.

knowing why is more than half the battle

knowing why is more than half the battle

You’ll see a lot of articles about how to fight the occasional eat-fest, in fact I dare you to find one woman’s or man’s magazine near the holidays and at the beginning of summer that doesn’t address this issue.

In these magazines, and even on weight loss forums all over the net, you’ll see suggestions with how to beat it: eat this food, don’t eat that food. Go for a walk, take a bath. But let’s be honest, if these things worked, we’d all be prunes from taking all of those bubble baths and ben and jerry’s would be out of business….well, okay, they’d have to at least sell the summer home in Buenos Aires.

So here’s some more practical advice on discovering your reasons for binging and how to heal from them:

There are only 2 possibilities for eating past hunger:

1) you’re not getting enough nutrients from the foods you eat.

If this is true, your cravings will be for very particular food groups and will often come with other health problems like light headedness, cranky moodswings, headaches, muscle cramps, etc.

For example, someone that does not get enough protein or is getting too much protein will crave sugary foods because both proteins and sugars will show up in your blood sugar insulin levels, keeping the right amount of proteins in your diet will keep sugar cravings at bay. If this is you, you may feel fatigued in your workouts, have irregular periods or feel sluggish.

People on over restrictive diets low on calories will crave carbohydrates and sugars because these are the sources more quickly turned into energy in the body.
If you know that you’re not eating well or are on a ___diet (fill the blank in with any one food item and you KNOW it’s a bad idea), this could be your reason. Do you feel hungry constantly, do you have trouble sleeping? These could be signs of imbalanced carbohydrates in your diet.

2)you’re not getting enough emotional outlets in your life.

Look, we’re emotional beings. We eat for hunger, yes, but we also eat because we’re stressed, tired, lonely, bored, celebrating. And we’re not the only ones. I’ve watched my cat eat until she puked (and then eat the puke, and then puke the puked food and eat it again) because she was lonely, so why should we expect more from ourselves? Okay, fine, don’t eat what you’ve puked.

If you know this is why you over eat, I ask you to think of one question: What feeling am I seeking when I eat too much?

This one question will get you a lot more than you may think. If you eat until you feel happy, what happened today or earlier that made you UNhappy? If you eat until you feel calm, what made you irritated? Generally, emotional eating form their own kind of food groups:

Crunchy salty foods = aggravation, irritation.

Sweet, soft doughy,creamy foods = sadness, need for consolation.

Soft, salty foods = boredom, loneliness.

Fatty, fried foods = feeling spacy, ungrounded, unsure.

Now of course there’s no science book that’s going to break down these parallels in what you eat, when and why. You could be ready to punch your boss in the face and reach for ice cream, not chips, but hey, don’t you want someone to console you after you punch him?

In the end, if you can start with knowing why YOU eat too much, that’s more than half the battle.

So I’m not saying the next time you go shopping to distract yourself from the Dorito aisle because it’s “bad”, but just think, what do I want to feel after I eat this? and see if that changes anything.

Kimberly, counselor since 1998 and founder of www.RedAppleYoga.com, holds a Masters in Health & Healing as a Certified Nutritional Counselor, a Masters in Education and is an internationally trained advanced  Yoga and Yoga Therapy instructor that has worked and studied in New York, Spain and in Southern India. Her practice is based in New York City. She believes in showing her clients how to combine time-tested ancient theories with modern knowledge to get the best benefits from both worlds.

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Part 2. Another Troubled Year for Endocrinologists


For several years the leaders of the endocrine community have been advocating “tight” control of blood sugars in diabetics particularly for hospitalized patients. For hospitalized diabetics, tight control means keeping the blood sugar in the normal “non-diabetic” range 24 hours, seven days a week. For diabetics not in hospital the goal is a glycohemoglobin A1c level of less than 6%, which is considered the dividing line between diabetic and normal blood sugars.

For hospitalized diabetic patients with an enormous range of illnesses, stresses, diets and requirements for diagnostic procedures, instituting tight control requires a special nurse for each patient and creates a logistical nightmare for the hospital. The call for tight glucose control in hospitalized patients was founded on a few small studies with questionable study design. The movement among the academic community for tight control had gone so far that a special credentialing committee and curriculum was being organized to create a super-subspecialty of endocrinologists who would manage this new brand of in-hospital diabetes care. This would give physicians with this new credential a virtual monopoly on in-hospital diabetes care. The focus on creating this monopoly seemed to me a more powerful incentive than to address the need to create a valid new super-subspecialty.

The science behind the call for this degree of blood sugar control for diabetics, particularly of hospitalized patients, was flimsy at best. It defied the common knowledge that it takes over 10 years to see physical evidence of high blood sugars on body organs. In addition, clinicians with years of experience treating diabetes in hospitalized patients had seen first that non-ideal blood sugars rarely had any clinical impact on their patients out-comes. In an editorial last year, I had called upon the endocrine community to give up their quest to formalize diabetes care around unrealistic demands for tight glycemic control http://www.metabolism.com/2008/05/25/a-year-of-stumbles-for-diabetes-care-in-the-us-part-ii/

Fortunately, recent major studies have proven that not only does this rigorous degree of tight control not benefit hospitalized and non-hospitalized diabetics but the mortality (death) and complication rates were even higher for tight control patients. Most notably the NIH recently called for the end of the ACCORD study which examined the response to “tight” glycemic control of out-patient diabetics with high risk of heart disease and stroke. The ACCORD study was ended early when it became clear that “tight” glycemic control resulted in a worse outcome for diabetics than conventional glucose control. As far as studies of diabetics in the intensive care unit, back as far as 2003 a UK study revealed worse outcomes with tight control. Hopefully putting an end to the quest for this seemingly ill conceived goal are the results of the NICE-SUGAR study just published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing increased death rates for diabetics receiving tight glycemic control in the intensive care unit.

[This information is not intended as medical advice. For recommendations for treatment always seek the advice of your own physician. Please refer to the disclaimer at metabolism.com for policies governing the use of all posts on this site.]

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Nature’s Hydroxycut


another secret from nature

another secret from nature

Yes you read it right, hydroxycitric acid (HCA, or “hydroxycut” used in many diet formulas that are otherwise dangerous to the body, bad bad bad) has a natural safe original source:

the Hibiscus Flower!

Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is effective in weightloss because it helps to stop the conversion of carbs in food to body fat. It fights appetite and encourages weight loss  not by increasing your energy, but by limiting how much we convert the carbs we eat. HCA is not a good idea on low carb dieting (which is a crap idea anyhow) but it does help weight loss when used with a healthy program of general calorie restriction reducing consumption of carbs, protein, and fats equally.

Hibiscus tea affects how we absorb fats and carbohydrates because it contains phaseolamin, a powerful enzyme inhibitor that blocks amylase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down fats and carbohydrates.  This enzyme inhibitor acts in the same way as the drugstore-pill versions, but remains in its natural, unadulterated form and is much safer and more beneficial for the body than laboratory-produced concoctions. (This can be said for almost all things, if it comes in nature, why make it in a lab?) By the way, the same form of amylase inhibitors is present in kidney beans and other hard-to-digest legumes, so eat your beans! ;-)

In addition to blocking the absorption of sugars, this traditional tea has cleansing and anti-bloating properties, helping the body rid of excess fluids and therefore further contributing to weight loss, especially in premenstrual and menopausal women. It’s especially good for women as it balances our Yin (female) and Yang (male) energies when our hormones are changing.

Hibiscus tea is caffeine-free and has a high vitamin C content, it has a bright red color and a tart cranberry-like flavor, it’s like natures Kool-aide but way way better for you.  Hibiscus tea is also known to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. In folk medicine, they are used to prevent and treat heart and liver diseases. I dare you to get those benefits out of a crappy diet pill or kiddie drink!

You can find dried loose flowers in most nature stores, and some brands even market hibiscus tea bags. It’s inexpensive (no more than $20 per pound here in NY, and a full pound will last eaons) and can also be added to loose green or black tea for an added flavor.

HOW TO MAKE IT:

Steep 3-4 dried flowers  in about 16oz of freshly boiled water for 5 minutes. It’s so great in the summer as a refreshing afternoon drink, but to use it medicinally for cholesterol or weight loss management, I suggest you have 3 cups a day, 1 hour after each meal.

Kimberly, counselor since 1998 and founder of www.RedAppleYoga.com, holds a Masters in Health & Healing as a Certified Nutritional Counselor, a Masters in Education and is an internationally trained advanced  Yoga and Yoga Therapy instructor that has worked and studied in New York, Spain and in Southern India. Her practice is based in New York City. She believes in showing her clients how to combine time-tested ancient theories with modern knowledge to get the best benefits from both worlds.

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2009 Another Troubled Year for Endocrinologists


Doctors who treat diabetes and thyroid disease (endocrinologists) are no strangers to unpredictable and unpleasant developments in their field of medicine. In a recent blog I pointed out a number of set-backs encountered in Endocrinology in 2008 http://www.metabolism.com/2008/02/29/a-year-of-stumbles-for-diabetes-care-in-the-us-part-1/ . In today’s blog I begin with part one of three on the latest stumbles in 2009 in this branch of medicine.

1. National Organization of Endocrinologists Attacks Use of Armour Thyroid. The national organization representing endocrinologists (American Academy of Clinical Endocrinologists) officially declared that the use of Armour Thyroid (dessicated thyroid tissue, “natural” thyroid replacement) was not recommended for treating hypothyroidism. The AACE based their decision on claims that preparation Armour thyroid was not well standardized and that the “t3” content of Armour might make it dangerous.

My own opinion is that for decades the makers of synthetic “t4” have financed the careers of endocrine leaders in the field of thyroid research. Eventually all teaching in the endocrine community in the U.S. has been homogenized into one mindset that only synthetic “t4” is a valid treatment for thyroid hormone replacement. Recent events have caused the makers of brand t4 to become more defensive. This is a result of insurance companies forcing an acceleration of the use of generic “t4” preparations by their members. To reinforce their position, the brand leaders of synthetic t4 chose this year to essentially wipe out any competition from the Armour thyroid advocates. To underscore the seriousness of the denunciation of Armour thyroid by the AACE, Medicare announced that Armour Thyroid was no longer to be a medication covered by the federal program.

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Mr. J. Juke Gives Advice to “High Metabolism/Too Skinny”


Jester Juke is a young man with a lot to say to those who can’t gain weight. Perhaps geared more to the male side of the problem he offers some very specific recommendations. See if you agree with him

Mr. Juke writes:

“Hi I’m Bob and I’m an alcoholic” lol
So I’m 18, 6′0″, 177lbs, 15% body fat. I’ve been weight training for a 19 months and have a message for all you other “high metabolism” and “ectomorphic” guys looking for muscle bulk who in times of doubt come to sites like this.
1. Eat/Drink
Muscle has to come from somewhere. We can’t expect all that matter to just magically “poof” from training. Muscle fibers are torn and need to be repaired with proper nutrition or else they’ll just merge into the same mass again. Stay away from funk food! Eat 3 healthy meals and 3 healthy snacks everyday. You should incorporate your healthy smart diet around Protein (fish, yogurt, nuts, chicken, soy, milk, eggs, protein shakes), Carbs (pasta, fruit juice, rice, oats, bread, potatoes) and Fats/Oils (fish oil, olive oil, whole milk, red meat).
2. Train Hard
You need to tear those muscles before they can repair themselves. BUT there are two different kinds of repairs after spending time in the gym. When you feel tired and achy yet you know you can pull off more sets, thats called muscle fatigue. That’s for endurance and toning, not muscle building. When you push that “heavy” weight till you literally can’t budge, this is called muscle failure. Work towards muscle failure not muscle torture. ;p
3. Go Natural
Please don’t turn to steroids. Drugs are bad, mkay?
4. Patience is Key
Bodybuilding is a lot like being a gardner. You can water and watch your sprouts all you want, but growth takes time. Don’t beat yourself up for not seeing results the next morning. Not even steroid users get those results. Be patient. Weightlifting is a lifestyle, not a fad.

Posted by Jester Juke

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NEW! Featured consultation:


Metabolism.com is pleased to provide our members with access to experts who can provide individualized assistance.

Kimberly Russel holds a Masters in Health & Healing as a Certified Nutritional Counselor, a Masters in Education and is an experienced Yoga and Yoga Therapy instructor at the advanced and international level. She has studied the major nutritional theories from East to West and believes that each person benefits from a little bit of everything in a proportion that is unique to the individual.  Click here to read more about Kim’s consultation.

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KC offers advice on metabolism and smoking


KC has a lot of experience to share about how stopping smoking effects metabolism. (KC also has a lot of Bingo experience but don’t ask me how I know.) GPepper Editor-in -Chief

KC writes:

I’m a long-time (25+ years) smoker who has quit and re-started many times. My opinion’s based on my own experience, talking to friends who have quit, plus years of reading umpteen books, journals, websites, etc. Smoking obviously screws with your metabolism – but no one is sure exactly how. Expect to gain up to 10 pounds within the first 6 months after quitting. Gaining more than 10 pounds in that time probably indicates overeating. It takes your body about 1 year to re-adjust its metabolism. Accept the idea that you will likely gain a few short-term pounds after you quit; consider it a “symptom of recovery.” 10 pounds is not that big of a deal, though it certainly grabs your attention. After 1 year, your weight will slowly return to normal if you keep exercising and eating right. Managing the weight gets harder as you get older, so start NOW. Having said all that, I know people who have quit smoking and never gained an ounce, so hope for the best. Stay strong everyone, stay motivated, and Good Luck!!!

bingobastard@yahoo.com
KC

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Cardamom, small spice with huge benefits


Did you know that Cardamom, that secret spice in many Indian and Mediterranean dishes is nature’s Ricola and Pepto bismal all in one?

small pods with huge potential

small pods with huge potential

Ever taste the earthy vanilla undertones in Chai or that gloopy Indian milk dessert and wonder what that special flavor is? Most likely it’s cardamom. In the traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda,

cardamom seeds are also used as lozenges to suck on after meals to help digestion. I’ve tried it, its a little minty, sorty like licorice but pleasant.

Indian medicine says that the acid from teas and coffee and spicy foods irritate the intestines, leading to an increase of gassy gassiness that make the other foods we eat (namely milk, cheese, wheat) more difficult to digest. Cardamom in your diet can help the body to better digest all the other possibly irritating foods we eat because they are natural carminatives which reduce gas. I recently learned that the word “carminative” comes from the latin word that means to “card” as in carding wool…so it helps to remove gas from the intestinal wall as you would remove knots from wool. See, didn’t you always want to know that? ;-)

Cardamom is also used in the Middle east as an additional flavor to ground coffee, making coffee brewed with these little pods less acidic on the body and actually helps regulate how we absorb the caffeine. You’ll still get the buzz without the possible gas or irritated stomach. And besides, it can make any coffee, especially bargain brand coffee taste like something that rhymes with Barbucks.

If you want to try it out, buy the bottled powder stuff and use it with cinnamon…over toast, oatmeal, in a cookie recipe, even in tea with milk and cheat your way to better digestion.


Best Benefits of Cardamom:

  • Detox the body of caffeine
  • Cleanses kidneys and bladder
  • Stimulates digestion and reduces gas
  • Improves circulation to lungs, helping asthma and bronchitis
  • Cures bad breath, even the official “halitosis” bad breath
Kimberly, counselor since 1998 and founder of www.RedAppleYoga.com, holds a Masters in Health & Healing as a Certified Nutritional Counselor, a Masters in Education and is an internationally trained advanced  Yoga and Yoga Therapy instructor that has worked and studied in New York, Spain and in Southern India. Her practice is based in New York City. She believes in showing her clients how to combine time-tested ancient theories with modern knowledge to get the best benefits from both worlds.

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So I quit smoking. Now what?


Quitting smoking is one of the best decisions people can make in their life. In my practice I use hypnosis to help people quitting and it is always effective when there is a commitment not only to quit but to achieve goals in various areas of your life that are incompatible with smoking. It is helpful to write your goals on a piece of paper and post it on your bathroom wall, or in your office where you will always see it. After you quit it is important to track
your progress so you can feel getting closer to some of these goals. This way you are encouraged to keep on track and find even more resources to help you achieving your goals.

As any recreational drugs or alcohol, smoking cigarettes harms the liver, digestive system, cardiovascular system and many other body functions. From the Chinese medical point of view nicotine is a very hot substance which enters smoker’s blood through the lungs and dries up capillaries, veins, and arteries.

After you quit smoking it is preferable to maintain the positive attitude towards new healthier life ahead of you. Time after time I see people who quit and have absolutely no withdrawal symptoms and no body weight changes. It proves the point that mind and body successfully work together when you make a strong decision to improve your health. However, because smoking affects body functions, gaining extra weight afterwards can happen for some people – and the good news that there is something you can do about it besides maintaining your exercise routine and counting calories.

There are a few tips of how to deal with the quitting smoking aftermath:

1. Every morning immediately after waking up drink a glass of water (room temperature) with squeezed 1/2 lemon. It will help to detoxify the liver. It will make your liver happy, as according to Chinese medicine “liver likes sour taste”, and it will gladly perform its daily functions.

2. Consider gentle intestinal and/or liver cleanse. It might help you with potential food cravings and shedding these seven pounds of waste stored in intestines. Consult with your doctor or alternative medicine practitioner first.

3. Check out in your area for the ear acupuncture detoxification treatments (NADA). It involves relaxing in the chair with hair-thin acupuncture needles inserted in specific points on your ears. It is one of the best and proven techniques to detoxify and rebuild your body after years of smoking or any drug / alcohol addiction. It is helping your liver, lungs, kidneys, heart, and nervous system to recover. And yes, it is painless – needles are tiny.

4. Hang out with non-smoking friends more often.

5. Start juicing! Have a fresh squeezed juice instead of a snack.

6. Talk to your nutritionist or alternative medicine practitioner about amino acids. It might be beneficial for you to take some specific amino acid supplements for a period of time.

There are so much more in life you can do as a non-smoker with your lungs full of fresh clean air, with your hair and clothes smelling fresh, and free to control your own health. And the best news is that in only a few years your body will complete restoring all the systems affected by that old habit.

So… please sit down, take a deep breath and make a decision to live.

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