A Free Wellness Newsletter for The Friends and Patients of:
Total Health Wellness Center & Dr. Frank Gomez, Chiropractic Physician
Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor.” ~ Robert Frost
Important information if you eat foods with artificial sweeteners such as
aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose…
Evidence from a recent study suggests consuming the maximum acceptable daily intake of artificial sweeteners may negatively affect gut bacteria, potentially causing glucose intolerance within a short period of time.
Also this month:
No one wants to be overweight or have any of the health problems associated with it such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoarthritis, and cancer, just to name a few. And, nearly everyone’s ears perk up if they hear someone offering simple and easy “short-cut secrets” to lose extra weight so they can look and feel great.
That’s why the weight-loss industry is BIG BUSINESS. Estimates put the value of the weight-loss industry at 60.5 BILLION (with a “B”) in 2013 with expectation that it will continue to grow for many years to come.
One of the biggest “breakthroughs” in the diet industry was the invention of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. There has been quite a bit of debate as to the safety and effectiveness of these products for weight loss. According the research published in Nature, “Non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) are among the most widely used food additives worldwide, regularly consumed by lean and obese individuals alike. NAS consumption is considered safe and beneficial owing to their low caloric content, yet supporting scientific data remain sparse and controversial.”
Artificial sweeteners are often referred to as non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS). NAS are synthetic substitutes for sugar that can be up to 20,000 times sweeter than their natural counterpart.
The biggest selling point for these NAS is that they aren’t considered to contain calories. Holding all other variables constant, logic assumes that digesting fewer calories leads to weight loss.
But because some of the research regarding NAS is conflicting, the Weizmann Institute conducted a series of experiments on both mice and humans to try to get to the bottom of all this once and for all.
To start, they added the maximum acceptable intake for humans of NAS (as defined by the FDA) to the water of laboratory mice. The artificial sweeteners used in the study were aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose.
Results: “After 11 weeks, mice consuming NAS showed significant glucose intolerance as compared to control mice consuming only water or water with added glucose. They also repeated the experiments with different breeds of mice and found the same thing.”
The researchers theorized that artificial sweeteners have a negative effect on good gut bacteria, which may be the cause of the glucose intolerance they observed. They checked the gut bacteria population in the mice, and the results indicated their theory was correct.
Next, the researchers gathered data on 381 humans to see if their results were the similar.
“They found an association between self-reported NAS consumption and glucose intolerance and also differences in gut microbiome profiles between those consuming lots of NAS and those that did not consume them.”
In other words, for the NAS the researchers tested, it appears they have the same result on humans as they did on mice in their initial studies.
The American Heart Association (AHA) and American Diabetes Association (ADA) have given a cautious nod to the use of artificial sweeteners in place of sugar to combat obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes, all risk factors for heart disease. (You can read the full statement here.)
“While they are not magic bullets, smart use of non-nutritive sweeteners could help you reduce added sugars in your diet, therefore lowering the number of calories you eat. Reducing calories could help you attain and maintain a healthy body weight, and thereby lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes,” said Dr. Christopher Gardner, an associate professor of medicine at Stanford University in California, in a press release accompanying the scientific statement.
As with everything, there’s more to the artificial sweetener story than their effect on weight. To learn more about them, I spoke with Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity and weight-loss specialist at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital. He has a keen interest in products designed to help people lose weight at keep it off. And what he has learned about artificial sweeteners worries him.
The FDA has approved five artificial sweeteners: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. It has also approved one natural low-calorie sweetener, stevia. How the human body and brain respond to these sweeteners is very complex.
One concern is that people who use artificial sweeteners may replace the lost calories through other sources, possibly offsetting weight loss or health benefits, says Dr. Ludwig. This can happen because we like to fool ourselves: “I’m drinking diet soda, so it’s okay to have cake.” The AHA and ADA also added this caveat to their recommendation.
It’s also possible that these products change the way we taste food. “Non-nutritive sweeteners are far more potent than table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. A miniscule amount produces a sweet taste comparable to that of sugar, without comparable calories. Overstimulation of sugar receptors from frequent use of these hyper-intense sweeteners may limit tolerance for more complex tastes,” explains Dr. Ludwig. That means people who routinely use artificial sweeteners may start to find less intensely sweet foods, such as fruit, less appealing and unsweet foods, such as vegetables, downright unpalatable.
In other words, use of artificial sweeteners can make you shun healthy, filling, and highly nutritious foods while consuming more artificially flavored foods with less nutritional value.
Artificial sweeteners may play another trick, too. Research suggests that they may prevent us from associating sweetness with caloric intake. As a result, we may crave more sweets, tend to choose sweet food over nutritious food, and gain weight. Participants in the San Antonio Heart Study who drank more than 21 diet drinks per week were twice as likely to become overweight or obese as people who didn’t drink diet soda.
But you say you can give up diet drinks whenever you want? Don’t be so sure. Animal studies suggest that artificial sweeteners may be addictive. In studies of rats who were exposed to cocaine, then given a choice between intravenous cocaine or oral saccharine, most chose saccharin.
Whether non-nutritive sweeteners are safe depends on your definition of safe. Studies leading to FDA approval have ruled out cancer risk, for the most part. However, those studies were done using far smaller amounts of diet soda than the 24 ounces a day consumed by many people who drink diet soda. We really don’t know what effect large amounts of these chemicals will have over many years.
And there are other health concerns beside cancer. In the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, daily consumption of diet drinks was associated with a 36% greater risk for metabolic syndrome and a 67% increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Aren’t these diseases that artificial sweeteners may help prevent in the first place?
Maybe sugar isn’t too bad after all. It’s all in how it’s packaged.
“Sugar-containing foods in their natural form, whole fruit, for example, tend to be highly nutritious—nutrient-dense, high in fiber, and low in glycemic load. On the other hand, refined, concentrated sugar consumed in large amounts rapidly increases blood glucose and insulin levels, increases triglycerides, inflammatory mediators and oxygen radicals, and with them, the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses,” Dr. Ludwig explains.
I think I’ll have a glass of water and an apple.
Here is the conclusion reached by the researchers in the study published in Nature: “Collectively, our results link NAS consumption, dysbiosis and metabolic abnormalities, thereby calling for a reassessment of massive NAS usage.”
As with all research, one study is not a definitive answer, and more research must be done. But, people who are consuming large quantities of these artificial sweeteners might want to re-think this habit.
Cell Phones with Cameras
That Detect Cancer?
It seems like science fiction, but some researchers say it will be a reality in the near future.
How? It’s because Mother Nature can already “see” cancer and recently, scientists figured out how she does it.
This is pretty amazing. The Mantis Shrimp is known as one of the most ferocious predators –pound-per-pound — in the ocean. What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in its toughness and incredible power.
But what is even more amazing are the eyes of the Mantis Shrimp. According to researchers in Australia, the Mantis shrimp has a very unique pair of “compound eyes.”
As reported in ScienceAlert: “This type of eye is superbly tuned to detect polarised light – a type of light that reflects differently off different types of tissue, including cancerous or healthy tissue.”
New Technology Can Mimic
the Mantis Shrimp’s Eye!
According to Dr. Justin Marshall of the Queensland Brain Institute, “The camera that we’ve developed in close collaboration with [United States] and [United Kingdom] scientists shoots video and could provide immediate feedback on detecting cancer and monitoring the activity of exposed nerve cells.
“It converts the invisible messages into colours that our visual system is comfortable with.”
Dr. Marshall also added, “Nature has [developed] elegant and efficient design principles, so we are combining the mantis shrimp’s millions of years of evolution – nature’s engineering – with our relatively few years of work with the technology.”
The possibilities for this are almost endless and can be life-saving. Theoretically, such cameras can be included in cell phones that could be used to scan the body and detect cancer. It is well-known that surviving many forms of cancer is directly related to how early it’s detected and appropriate treatment is commenced.
This would be an extremely valuable early detection system that could save an unimaginable amount of lives.
Don’t forget, if you ever have any questions or concerns about your health, talk to us. Contact us with your questions. We’re here to help and don’t enjoy anything more than participating in providing you natural pain relief.
(Names And Details May Have Been Changed To Protect Privacy)
The Pampanga Project
From the Phillipines to NYC… How an Amazing Hairstylist Spreads Hope with Every Haircut…
“We never know how far reaching something we may think, say, or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.” Those were the words B.J. Palmer (1882-1961), known as the “developer” of chiropractic and the son of its founder, D.D. Palmer.
But, who B.J. Palmer was is not nearly as important as the relevancy his words have for the incredible story you are about to discover. This story brings that powerful statement to life and demonstrates exactly how powerful the seemingly insignificant things you do each and every day can change the lives of countless people in the future. It’s amazing how much power and impact the actions of a single human being can have on thousands or even millions of people.
Here is the story…
The scene is almost surreal. A young man is kneeling down cutting the hair of a woman in the middle of the sidewalk in Manhattan. At first glance, this seems strange. Upon closer examination, things are even more odd than expected.
You see, the man doing the hair cutting is Mark Bustos. Mark is a 30-year-old hair stylist who works in New York City. Mark is quite talented, and his hair cuts start at $150. But who would pay $150 or more to get their hair cut in the middle of the sidewalk?
Probably no one. On this day, Mark is cutting the hair of a homeless woman for free. And this is not an unusual day. Mark does this all the time, and his selfless actions have started an international movement.
Most pass right by the homeless without even looking at them or try to scurry by them as quickly as possible. To the contrary, Mark seeks out homeless people and asks them if he can do something nice for them, if he can give them a great hair cut and make them feel awesome.
What’s incredible is that Mark’s acts of kindness started in a small town in his parent’s homeland of the Philippines. In 2012, Mark and his girlfriend (a hair color specialist) rented a small barber shop in Magalang, Pampanga to start his project by giving away free haircuts to children who could not afford them.
This was the birth of the Pampanga project, and since that time, Mark has given free haircuts in New York City, Los Angeles, California, Jamaica, and Cost Rica.
Here’s what Mark said when interviewed in The Philippine Star, “The experience is always different, yet very similar. No matter what part of the world you are in, everybody loves the feeling of having a haircut. It is a universally known luxury that every demographic and walk of life can appreciate.”
The real story here is not the haircut itself. The real story here is that Mark cares. In a sea of people rushing by the homeless and not so much as giving them a glance, Mark stops and shows them some humanity. He shows them compassion. He gives them hope and love no haircut alone could ever give. Mark happens to be a very skilled hair stylist, but the magic is in the act itself and the kind words he shares.
The real lesson is that you do not need Mark’s hair cutting skills to make a difference in the world. In fact, you do not need any special skills at all. The only thing you need is empathy and the willingness to show people you care.
We love helping our patients and their friends and relatives through their tough times and
getting them feeling better! We are here to help you stay feeling better and looking younger!
Don’t be a stranger. You really can afford Chiropractic care! Don’t wait until you can no longer move!
Did You Know?…
Four Plants with Health Benefits!
Cranberry: While current research doesn’t support the notion that drinking cranberry juice will cure a urinary tract infection (UTI), it has shown that regularly consuming cranberries does indeed help prevent UTIs. Researchers have observed that daily consumption of cranberries “significantly reduced” the incidence of UTIs over the course of a twelve-month study involving 150 women.
Pomegranate: While it won’t replace toothpaste anytime soon, there is evidence that shows that an extract from pomegranate has antibacterial properties that can help control dental plaque bacteria in the mouth.
Purple Passion Flower: An extract from purple passion flower may help those suffering from uncomfortable, or even debilitating, anxiety. In a four-week study that compared the extract to both a standard pharmaceutical treatment and placebo, researchers observed no significant difference between the extract and drug in reducing anxiety, except that participants who took the extract were less likely to report job performance issues when compared with those who received the medication.
Echinacea: Recent studies indicate that those who took a daily echinacea supplement were about half as likely to get a cold when exposed to rhinovirus. If you do happen to get sick, at least one meta-analysis has concluded that echinacea can reduce the length of your cold by 1.4 days.
Tip Of The Month
Is Multi-Tasking Bad for Your Brain?
If you are a proud multi-tasker and think you are more productive because of your “gift” for multi-tasking, what you are about to discover may be a rude awakening for you. Here is why: A recent study conducted at Stanford University found that multi-taskers are LESS productive than those who do one thing at time and multi-tasking might ever harm your brain.
According to Forbes, “Research conducted at Stanford University found that multi-tasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers also found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.”
But what about those people who have a special skill for multi-tasking? Glad you asked. The study compared two groups: those who multi-task a lot and think multi-tasking makes them more productive and those who prefer to do one thing at a time until that one thing is completed. Results: People who claimed to be more productive when multi-tasking were actually worse at multi-tasking than people who usually do one task at a time until completion. Also from Forbes, “The frequent multi-taskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another.” The reason for these results seems to be because the brain functions best when focusing on one thing at a time. When time is split between two or more things, performance is decreased for all tasks involved.
But it gets even worse… There is evidence multi-tasking actually lowers your IQ! According to the Forbes article: “A study at the University of London found that participants who multi-tasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they’d expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night.” Not only that, the evidence suggests the damage done by multi-tasking may be permanent. MRI scans of people who are high multi-taskers found that areas of the brain responsible for empathy and cognitive and emotional control were less dense. If you want to be more productive and maybe even smarter, then stop multi-tasking and do one task at a time until completion.
Remember, we’re always here to help your body heal
and maintain the pain free body you deserve.
This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.
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This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all healthcare concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.
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Total Health Wellness Center: Dr. Frank Gomez, Chiropractic Physician
4844 Sunrise Highway, Sayville NY 11782
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