Health News #6: Glucose & Frustose, Fast Not Starve, Vitamin D & Prescription Drugs
Glucose & Frustose
Glucose and fructose stand out as the main contributors to ill health and the global overfat pandemic. These sugars are the two most commonly added to junk food and drinks such as soda.
Glucose has direct and powerful effect on insulin, which converts 40-50 percent of consumed sugar into stored fat and encourages body fat to be redeposited in the abdomen.
Fructose can affect health in different ways compared to glucose, in addition harm the liver and worsen cardiac health by raising triglycerides.
These sugars are consumed at very high levels globally as they are added to most packaged and junk foods.
Both glucose and fructose are also added to most packaged foods like tomato sauce, mayonnaise and yogurt. Added sugars, not fat, are the main reason people consume more calories. Together with its metabolic effects, including conversion of up to 50 percent into stored fat, sugar may be the primary contributor of the global overfat pandemic.
Overconsumption of fructose can cause the same health problems as excessive alcohol, including increased blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, insulin resistance, liver dysfunction, along with the most common one associated with glucose — increased body fat.
Unlike glucose, fructose is converted to fat in the liver. This raises blood levels of triglycerides leading to added fat deposits in the abdomen and muscles, even more than glucose. While fructose may not stimulate insulin like glucose, it can still lead to insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, and hyperinsulinemia.
Increased caloric intake associated with the overfat pandemic is significantly due to fructose calories in soft drinks. Sugar-sweetened beverages are usually high in fructose in the U.S.
Leptin is a hormone that reduces hunger, but fructose reduces leptin levels. So even though you just consumed a big beverage sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, you’re still hungry for more sugar. This is double-trouble, as fructose stimulates an area in the brain called the nucleus accumbens, which increases reward, ensuring a continued cycle called addiction.
The Big Sugar Conspiracy
Consuming table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup both contribute to the intake of fructose. The Big Sugar syndicate and junk-food industry have long known of the unique addictive features of fructose, and take advantage of it. It’s one way that fructose leads to weight gain when people eat it, they almost always eat more.
The Good News
The simple act of removing added fructose from your diet, like removing glucose, can bring about dramatic effects. This is best seen in Two Week Test results, where people lose significant weight and body fat, reduce triglycerides and cholesterol, lower blood pressure and improve brain function very quickly. READ MORE
Fast Not Starve
Fasting, in common definitions include complete fasting, a state of no food, only water. The duration varies, it can be short, moderate or long periods of time. Intermittent fasting is also a part of this model. It’s sometimes called “periodic starvation.” However children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with cardiac and metabolic conditions should avoid fasting.
Dangers of Fasting
During the fasting month of Ramadan, practicing Saudis develop severe disturbances in circadian rhythm, impairing sleeping, elevating the stress hormone cortisol, with increased chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. In another study it’s emphasized that fasting could cause adverse effects that include bodywide dysfunction and even malnutrition, particularly in older and frail subjects.
The notion of resting the gut from a prolonged fast may seem logical, it is often done at the expense of losing the gut’s most important nutrient: glutamine, the primary fuel to keep the gut working well. So shorter fasting for gut health makes sense, best done during the night.
Benefits of Fasting
Periodic fasting can cause a healthy decrease in blood glucose and insulin, improve immune function, and reduce excess body fat and weight. These are the keys to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes, among other chronic illness.
An important benefit of fasting is the increased levels of ketone bodies. This state of nutritional ketosis can be reached by eating healthy foods that reduce blood glucose and insulin — essentially obtaining all the great benefits, including ketosis, of fasting without the risks, and while maintaining nutrient balance. This is a type of “fasting” that everyone can do.
Use Food to Fast. Consider these two ways we can obtain fasting benefits while eating well and sleeping right:
1. Eliminate junk food and find your optimal level of natural carbohydrate foods. This will typically increase fat-burning, and raise ketone levels. Very low carbohydrate eating will further raise ketones to a state called nutritional ketosis.
2. The most effective food-free period is a daily 12-hour nighttime fast, when we sleep best. This can be done by finishing healthy eating in the early evening, then beginning the cycle again with a morning breakfast.
Avoiding food that causes significant negative impacts such as hunger, brain and body fatigue, poor physical performance is a step in the right direction. Eliminating these foods for an extended period of time — maybe even forever — can provide many of the health benefits of fasting without the possible negative consequences. READ MORE
Vitamin D and Prescription Drugs
Today many people regularly use over-the-counter and prescription drugs that reduce or cause deficiencies in vitamin D.
Adverse pharmaceutical side-effects from over-the-counter and prescription drugs are common. Many patients separately seek remedies to counter these often not knowing they are due to the drugs they currently take. One medication can also react with other drugs this includes dietary supplements and even foods. patients accumulate one prescription after another without thought of whether they are continually necessary. This can result is a condition known as polypharmacy — the simultaneous use of multiple drugs by a single patient.
The incidence of polypharmacy (five or more medications concomitantly used) and severe polypharmacy (10 or more medications) is very high.
In athletes, some studies show more than 60 percent self-medicate, with 30 percent taking a pre-race med, usually to reduce pain although some erroneously believe it helps performance.
It’s not always the “stronger” drugs — over-the-counter mediations can sometimes cause more serious reactions. The most commonly used drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin contribute significantly to adverse drug reactions among the population. Generally, the more drugs a person takes, the greater the risk of adverse reactions and drug interactions.
Which drugs can cause vitamin D deficiencies? It may be somewhat individual as studies are sometimes conflicting, but the answer is too many to list here. They range from antidepressants, oral antidiabetics and statins, to diuretics, antacids and laxatives. A simple blood test for vitamin D is the first step in determining your levels.
If in doubt it’s best to ask your doctor or pharmacist, especially if your vitamin D levels are low. Most important, however, is that if you are taking medication ask your doctor if all of them are necessary. READ MORE
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