Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

Two Factors Contributing to Aging- Weight gain and Furctose & EMFs and Brain Health

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FUN FACTS:

Decrease Aging by Avoiding Fattening Fructose

We've heard of the dangers of fructose and how it's linked to everything from obesity to liver disease. How can such a sweet thing be so bad for us?  Dr. Mercola recently explained the biochemistry of this liver harming, appetite affecting, weight gaining substance:

Fructose Metabolism Basics

Anyone who still insists that "sugar is sugar" is way behind the times... There are in fact major differences in how your body processes different sugars, and it's important to understand that when you consume fructose, your body packs on pounds at a much higher rate than it does when you consume glucose. The following summary details the main metabolic differences between fructose and glucose to help you understand how fructose can wreak such havoc with your health, and why it's considerably worse for you than glucose:

  • After eating fructose, nearly all of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. But with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent.
  • Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is "burned up" immediately after you consume it. By contrast, fructose is primarily converted into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat.
  • The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.
  • Fructose is the most lipophilic carbohydrate. In other words, fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn FFAs into triglycerides. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose does not do this.
  • When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Fructose is essentially largely converted into fat!
  • The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which triggers your "fat switch," causing you to gain more weight.
  • Glucose does not do this, as it suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain's communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.

Good news, there are ways to handle your sweet tooth. Dr. Mercola offers more suggestions on:

How to Tame Your Sugar Cravings

As mentioned earlier, I recommend that you avoid as much sugar as possible. Do your best to keep your fructose consumption below 15-25 grams a day. This is especially important if you are overweight or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

Sugar is highly addictive, so cutting down can be a real challenge for some, especially if you're consuming very high amounts. If you're struggling with sugar addiction, I highly recommend trying an energy psychology technique called Turbo Tapping, which has helped many "soda addicts" kick their sweet habit. If you still want to use a sweetener occasionally, here's what I recommend in lieu of sugar:

  1. Use the sweet herb stevia.
  2. Use organic cane sugar in moderation.
  3. Use organic raw honey in moderation.
  4. Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners, which can damage your health even more quickly than fructose.
  5. Avoid agave syrup since it is a highly processed sap that is almost all fructose. Your blood sugar will spike just as it would if you were consuming regular sugar or HFCS. Agave's meteoric rise in popularity is due to a great marketing campaign, but any health benefits present in the original agave plant are processed out.

Source: Mercola, J. Avoid this Food to Help Slow Aging. February 22, 2012. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/22/how-sugar-accelerates-aging.aspx?e_cid=20120222_DNL_art_1


Reducing EMF Exposure

There's a great debate in medicine on exactly how EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies) affect our health. I wrote about this in a past blog on my website (see contact information). Below is another excerpt from Dr Mercola on his perspective on how modern technology is affecting our health:

It's worth remembering that the telecommunication industry is much larger than the medical industrial complex, and they have far more influence than the drug companies. They're also mirroring many of the same tactics as the tobacco industry to pedal their wares. This includes attempting to discredit researchers who publish unfavorable cell phone studies.

According to Camilla Rees, MBA of ElectromagneticHealth.org:

"We have seen a recent steep increase in disparagement of scientific research where the research demonstrates risks to public health from telecommunications technologies. It is very clear that in the name of "debate" certain parties are aggressively creating confusion and doubt about the biological and health risks, shamefully supporting the interests of the telecommunications industry."

There is already robust scientific evidence that cell phones and other wireless devices pose significant health risks to all of us, and especially to children and pregnant women. So while these findings are not being widely publicized as of yet, it makes sense to take action now to protect yourself and your children. You can help to minimize your exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices by heeding the following advice:

  • Children Should Always Avoid Using Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. Children are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults, because of their thinner skull bones.
  • Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call. If you're pregnant, avoiding or reducing your cell phone use may be especially important.
  • Use a Land Line at Home and at Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness. SKYPE offers a portable number via your computer that can plug into any Ethernet port while traveling.
  • Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them as often as you do. And most importantly, do not even consider having any electronic or wireless devices in the bedroom that will interfere with the quality of your sleep.If you must use a portable home phone, use the older kind that operates at 900 MHz. They are not safer during calls, but at least many of them do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made.Note the only way to truly be sure if there is an exposure from your cordless phone is to measure with an electrosmog meter, and it must be one that goes up to the frequency of your portable phone (so old meters won't help much). As many portable phones are 5.8 Gigahertz, we recommend you look for RF meters that go up to 8 Gigahertz, the highest range now available in a meter suitable for consumers.Alternatively you can be very careful with the base station placement as that causes the bulk of the problem since it transmits signals 24/7, even when you aren't talking. So if you can keep the base station at least three rooms away from where you spend most of your time, and especially your bedroom, they may not be as damaging to your health. Another option is to just simply turn the portable phone off, only using it when you specifically need the convenience of moving about while on a call.Ideally it would be helpful to turn off your base station every night before you go to bed.You can find RF meters as well as remediation supplies at www.emfsafetystore.com. But you can pretty much be sure your portable phone is a problem if the technology is DECT, or digitally enhanced cordless technology.
  • Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.
  • Also Seek to Avoid Carrying Your Phone on Your Body as that merely maximizes any potential exposure. Ideally put it in your purse or carrying bag. Placing a cell phone in a shirt pocket over the heart is asking for trouble, as is placing it in a man's pocket if he seeks to preserve his fertility.
  • Don't Assume One Cell Phone is Safer Than Another: There's no such thing as a "safe" cell phone.
  • Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When it is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area.
  • Respect Others Who are More Sensitive: Some people who have become sensitive can feel the effects of others' cell phones in the same room, even when it is on but not being used. If you are in a meeting, on public transportation, in a courtroom or other public places, such as a doctor's office, keep your cell phone turned off out of consideration for the 'second hand radiation' effects. Children are also more vulnerable, so please avoid using your cell phone near children.
  • If you are using the Pong case, which redirects the cell phone radiation away from the head and successfully lowers the SAR effect, realize that in redirecting the radiation away from your head this may be intensifying the radiation in another direction, perhaps toward the person next to you, or, if in your pocket, increasing radiation intensity toward your body. Caution is always advised in dealing with any radiation-emitting device. We recommend cell phones be kept 'Off' except for emergencies.
  • Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded -- and most of them are not -- the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain.Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded.The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.

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