Did you know that November is National Diabetes Month? This is extremely appropriate after Halloween and the sugar binging that usually accompanies it. While feasting on leftover candy, you might want to keep the following information in mind. After ingestion, sugar is not simply “burned off.” Even if you are fit and lean, sugar is harmful because it accelerates cellular aging. Sugar in the bloodstream attaches to proteins, creating something called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These end products render those proteins inactive, and are commonly used as a marker for aging. In fact, one of the hallmark diagnostic tests for chronically elevated blood sugar/ diabetes is HbA1C, which is an AGE of a hemoglobin molecule. Sugar profoundly alters hormone balance, especially over time, which can set off a cascade of metabolic dysfunction that further accelerates aging systemically, from the arteries to the liver and skin. The dangers of sugar extend beyond a few extra pounds – this ubiquitous substance (found in everything from salad dressings to condiments to your favorite desserts) – actually ages the body from the inside out.
high blood sugar,
advanced glycation end products
Also known as pantothenate or pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 is sometimes referred to as the “anti-stress” vitamin because it can reverse some biological damage caused by stress. Physical, emotional, and psychological stresses trigger the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol (a long-term stress hormone) and adrenaline (a short-term stress hormone). Chronic stress drives the production of too much of any of these hormones, which causes damage in the body long after the stress signal has ended. When vitamin B5 is present in adequate amounts, it is able to down-regulate the secretion of cortisol, and the body is able to recover. However, in a deficiency state, the adrenal glands are unable to cope. Under these circumstances, they cannot launch a healthy response against the multiple daily stressors that assail us, and the chronic (often unavoidable) stress eventually takes a physiological toll.
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The short answer is - both. Ask most women, and many will tell you that a mammogram is the most powerful tool when it comes to breast cancer prevention. Unfortunately, getting a mammogram is not truly preventive, although it is a very powerful tool for early diagnosis. In other words: mammograms do not prevent breast cancer from developing, even though these procedures facilitate early diagnosis that in turn allows providers to target the cancer in its earlier, more treatable stage. Prevention is dependent on healthy breast tissue, and to be healthy, the body’s detoxification pathways, which are dependent on several micronutrients, must perform optimally. Micronutrient deficiencies compromise this process, leaving the potential for rogue cells to flourish and become tumors. This is also true for other hormone-sensitive tissues (cervical, uterine, and ovarian). Prevention begins by providing the body with the necessary materials (micronutrients) in appropriate amounts to detoxify and repair cellular damage, daily.
breast cancer preventnion,
Why you should know about CoQ10 if you are taking a statin.
Most Americans have heard of statins, a group of drugs commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol levels. But many people are not familiar with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), the micronutrient that is known to be depleted by most people who take statins. In fact, the original patent for statins (AKA “HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors”) acknowledged this as early as 1990; however, this is still not widely known today. CoQ10 (AKA ubiquinone because it is so ubiquitous in the body) is a substance that creates energy, the most fundamental of all cell functions. Tissues with a high energy requirement – heart, liver and muscles – require CoQ10 to work. If these cells don’t have sufficient CoQ10, a person may eventually experience fatigue, muscular pains, or both.
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Triage Theory states that the body uses whatever nutrients are available to ensure that the most basic and pressing metabolic functions are fueled first; if a needed nutrient is not available, the body compromises long-term health to ensure short-term critical function. This is analogous to a triage situation in any emergency room: prioritizing a patient’s needs based on the severity of his or her situation/ condition. In the same way, our bodies naturally “triage” on a daily basis. Cells will sacrifice nutrients from non-survival functions for immediate physiological needs. For example, nutrients will be diverted from tissue repair to meet a more critical need such as fighting off an infection or secreting cortisol to deal with an imminent stressor. When an adequate supply of necessary nutrients is available to all cells, short-term and long-term health is preserved. However, when not enough of these nutrients are available – and this is often the case given the prevalence of a nutrient-poor diet, stress, and other lifestyle habits that impact nutrient intake and absorption - the stage for the development of chronic disease is set, negatively impacting long-term health.
- LINK TO ABSTRACT Plasma folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 and breast cancer risk in BRCA1- and BRCA2-mutation carriers: a prospective study.