Sunday, November 21, 2010

Natural Alternatives that compete with oral hypoglycemics

Nature has been revealing to the organic system for millenia how to keep the storage and utilization of fuels in times of feast or famine. This evolution of calorie use is probably what influenced some of our genetics enough to have made some of us susceptible to diabetes in one form or another. As many as 20 million Americans may be diabetic , but there are millions who go undiagnosed and many many more who may develop diabetes due to pregnancy in gestational diabetes, or from over-eating particularly high carbohydrate meals,and others may become diabetic from medications that can effect metabolism such as steroids. In a statement in fall of 2010 the CDC last predicted that by 2050 perhaps 50 % of the nation would be diabetic. This is rather shocking news that has wider healthcare spending implications. There also seems to be a direct correlation to diabetes(particularly type 2) and obesity growth. Diabetes can be treated by either oral hypglycemic agents or insulin of some form. However, they too are fraught with problems. Most recently Avandia was recognized for being involved with cardiovascular problems. Many people misuse, mis-time, or mis-dose their insulin.
We are now discovering why the CDC may have made its prediction as we are seeing a grey area of pre-diabetes or hyperglycemia occur in our population. The higher caloric content with especially carbohydrates is causing the body's cells to become overstressed. The evolutionary mechanism to handle so many calories if they can not be burned fast enough or effectively enough is to store it. Thats where adipose comes in and fat accumulation in numerous places occurs.
But, now nature has brought several ways that we might approach poor sugar metabolism in our bodies. The FDA has even endorsed an essential mineral called Chromium Picolinate which seems to stabilize sugar absorption rates as well as help bio-metabolism by improving bio-composition. A plant called Gynema grown in many South American countries is showing similar types of properties as well and is showing that it too can be of benefit in regualating blood sugar. The latest natural product appearing to be of a surprise and shocker to many is cinnamon.A study conducted by the Federal Hospital in Las Vegas showed that an amount as much as 1000 milligrams of powdered bark cinnamon given to subjects improved blood sugar by reducing it significantly.

Color to Calories adds healthy Nutrition

We are noticing through nature that certain colors of natural foods contain certain nutritional value that are very beneficial. I think nature is trying to tell us something that science has been missing until most recently. Nutritionist, medical scientist and herbslogist have noticed that the color spectrum of certain foods do make an impact in our daily diets:

Green foods such as spinach, lettuce, green peas , collard greens and avocado contain phytochemicals such as lutein and indole that can protect against cancer and poor vision.

Orange and yellow foods have bioflavonoids and carotenoids. We see this in sweet potatoes, tangerine , grapefruit, and carrots. These bio-nutrients are rich sources that can help reduce cancer, support vision and fortify immunity.

Berries come in all sizes, shapes and multiple colors too. The anthocyanin and phenolics in blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, plums and grapes are known to help reduce risk of cancers and heart disease.

Even white or tanned foods such as onions, garlic, scallions, leeks, pears, cauliflower and bananas contain allicin a phytochemical.These foods are known for lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and augment immunity to fight off infection.

So, start noticing color and use this as a guide to help you determine what type of color your calories will be today!

Mayo Clinic Goes Alternative

Have you gone to your local bookstore lately? One of the most fascinating finds is a magazine/journal called Mayo Clinic Guide to Alternative Medicine. It is a novel and curious way how "mainstream" medicine is finding itself more into a world of health that was considered suspect at best just 10 years ago. But, nowadays, prestigous institutes such as Mayo Clinic and even the National Institutes of Health have divisions that are studying herbals, vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and minerals. This is a major milestone. But, don't get too overly excited as one "outdated" school of thought tries to "adopt" another much older one. It may prove tricky to the consumer to see just how altruistic this move may be as major drug companies are seeing the real financial benefit also of not only making medications , but supplements as well.But, there are some interesting things I see that Mayo's is doing and we should recognize what some of their findings are concluding because they do appear to validate what herbalist, herbalogist, botanist, Alternative, Naturopathic, and Homeopathic practitioners have been stating:

1) Massage therapy can reduce post operative pain.
2)Ambience therapy with natural sounds of nature seems to effect the speed of recovery after surgery.
3)Paced breathing which is a form of regulated breathing often seen by gurus seems to help reduce stress, anxiety and even hot flashes. Mayo Clinic offers it as an alternative to breast cancer survivors who can not take estrogen treatment.
4)Ginseng is showing positive research data that it can reduce cancer related fatigue
5)Ginko relieves "chemo brain" a phenomenom associated with cognitive slowing due to chemotherapy from the oxidative stress it has on cells
6)Mangosteen acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in cardio-vascular procedures such as post electro-cardioverstion of atrial fibrillation.

These are things typically supported in the world of "Alternative" Medicine and have been known for years, but now seems to have Mayo's and the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine(OCCAM) at the NIH look into these effects is evolutionary. Are we witnessing a slow progressive shift in the paradigm of medicine. I think so. These are amazing times where on one end of the spectrum genetric therapy biomedical tech is proceeding rapidly ahead , but we always seem to find ourselves "coming back home to nature" .