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Maria Augustyn

(Naturopath)

Maria Augustyn - BLOG

Blog

Annual check-ups can uncover some serious risk factors

Posted on March 4, 2014 at 1:29 AM Comments comments (0)
Annual Check-Ups 
Can Uncover Some Serious Risk Factors


Introduction
I would like to share this story with you to inspire you to take charge of your own health today.

A 41 year old male was referred by his Doctor as a recent medical checkup had revealed an abnormal blood profile. The Medical Practitioner told the patient that if he could not normalize his cholesterol levels in four months, the patient would have to start taking medications to lower his cholesterol. His total cholesterol was 6.6 mmol/L and LDL 5.0 mmol/L; and he had mildly elevated hsCRP. The patient weighed 95.5 k and was carrying excess fat, particularly around his waist. This combination of signs and symptoms clearly marked him as being in a very high risk category for cardiovascular disease. He also had a family history of cardiovascular disease and was under significant stress at work. At the time he was taking a multivitamin but no pharmaceutical drugs or other supplementation.

Prescription for Better Health
To reduce cardiovascular risk and improve long-term health, the holistic treatment plan included a high fibre, low glycaemic load, calorie-controlled diet, as well as aerobic and strength training exercise. The exercise regimen was prescribed to increase muscle mass, promote fat loss and support healthy cardiovascular function. The supplements listed below were also prescribed. The patient was highly motivated and was fully committed to his supplement regimen, nutritional plan and exercise routine.
  • Therapeutic doses of high quality clean fish oil (no mercury or pesticides) 
  • Bio Q10
  • Antioxidants
  • Natural-cholesterol-reducing tablets

Reducing Risk Factors in Just 10 Weeks…
In just ten weeks, this holistic treatment protocol yielded impressive clinical results. The patient's Medical Practitioner had never seen such significant results in such a short time-frame, which negated the need for cholesterol-lowering medications.

Real Clinical Results Come from Real Commitments to Change
This patient achieved substantial improvements in his cardiovascular and metabolic health parameters in just ten weeks, thanks to some simple recommendations and his great attitude, motivation and hard work. He was able to improve his cholesterol levels and reduce his cardiovascular risk profile significantly, without resorting to pharmaceutical interventions. It is common in clinical practice to see patients who have been given a relatively short period of time to normalize their cholesterol levels through non-pharmaceutical methods. Case studies such as this demonstrate that correct Nutrition and Natural Medicine can achieve great results even within these short time frames, helping reduce cardiovascular risk. This case study proves how appropriate Natural Medicine, together with diet and lifestyle choices, have the power to significantly change physiology and reduce the risk of chronic disease in patients.

 "Don't Wait to Get Sick 
to Get Better"
Maria Augustyn ND, BHSc, RMT

 

Autism could be prevented

Posted on February 13, 2014 at 6:51 AM Comments comments (0)
Bacteria in our gut and our brain's health

Many of you have completed or are undergoing a Detoxification Program.

The Integrated Detoxification Program is the most effective way of giving your body a thorough 'spring clean' and get you feeling fantastic again.
It helps you to remove toxin exposure through dietary and lifestyle changes; remove bad bacteria and waste from your digestive system; renew your digestive lining and the healthy bacteria that improves your digestive function; and releasing your body's toxins so they can be eliminated.
In general, by having a healthy microbiota in our intestine, we are more likely to have a more responsive and alert immune system that will protect us from many forms of nasty diseases.

The relationship between our gut flora and our mental health is becoming more obvious and is being promoted by many health authorities as the basic causation of many mental disorders…
 
…including autism.
 
It is very dramatic and disturbing learning that we could prevent autism and we are not doing it. It is possible to test and make sure that little infants are healthy in their gut. If they have an established gut flora, they are protected in order to receive the insult of vaccination.

By doing a simple urine test and sometimes a stool analysis test, we can determine if a baby has a well established intestinal microbiota.
 
It would be a urine test like the one you had after your first step in the Detoxification Program.  
Bad bacteria produce residues that show in our urine.
 
Have you had a Detoxification Program?

Does your baby have a healthy microbiota?

To ensure the health of your baby, please make sure that 
  • both parents are healthy before conception.
  • breast feed your baby.
  • the mother should have a good diet that includes fermented foods, and if possible to have a probiotic supplement.

Please share the news:
                            AUTISM...could be prevented!

   Maria Augustyn ND, BHSc, RMT
    04 1607 3366

 

Multiple Sclerosis Management

Posted on September 17, 2013 at 6:52 AM Comments comments (0)
How Holistic Treatment Can Help Manage Multiple Sclerosis
Multiplesclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). MS affects the myelin sheath that surrounds CNSneurons, causing gradual demyelination of neuronal axons throughout the brainand spinal cord. This demyelination results in impairment of motor, sensory andcognitive functions. There is no known cure for MS, but dietary andlifestyle changes, along with natural medicine, can help slow progression ofthe disease and ease symptoms, as this case demonstrates.
Figure One. Liveblood screening at baseline.
Treatmentplan
With all this information in hand, the following was recommended:
  • Dietary changes: Reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption, and follow the principles outlined in the Wellness and Healthy Ageing Program.
  • Lifestyle: The patient used alcohol to help her relax and sleep; to help change this pattern of behaviour, the patient was given some information on sleep hygiene and was advised to include relaxation exercises into her daily routine.
  • Supplements: The patient was prescribed the supplementation regimen outlined below:
Lipids and Tocotrienols for the Healthy of Cell Membranes and Cognition, Bacopa and Ginkgo, High Bioavailability Magnesium, High Potency B Complex, Liquid Zinc.
 
Clinical outcomes
Within six weeksof treatment, the patient's pain levels, memory and concentration had started to improve. Her pain had reduced which allowed her to start exercising regularly. She was also following the dietary principles outlined in the Wellness and Healthy Ageing Program and had reduced her caffeine and alcohol consumption.
After 12 weeks of treatment the patient was experiencing significantly less pain, fewer cramps, more energy and greatly improved cognitive function. Her sleep had also improved. Reassessment showed her zinc levels had improved and her live bloodscreening showed a marked reduction in inflammatory parameters (see FigureTwo).
 
Figure Two. Live blood screening after 12 weeks of treatment.
Casediscussion
MS most commonlyaffects young females living in temperate regions of the world. The condition appears to be multifactorial in origin, with genetic susceptibility, virali nfection and low vitamin D levels all implicated in the pathogenesis.The symptoms of MS are varied and unpredictable, depending on which part of the CNS is affected, and to what degree; new symptoms may occur as part of discrete“attacks” or may slowly accrue over time. Between attacks, symptoms may resolvecompletely, however permanent neurological problems often persist.The degree of impairment and the speed of disease progression may vary greatly between patients.
Currently,orthodox treatment of MS involves immune suppression and management of presenting symptoms. Natural medicines can be used alongside these orthodox treatments to help manage symptoms, address some of the underlying drivers of the condition and mitigate any side effects from medications, as was demonstrated in this case. Scientific and anecdotal evidence indicates that holistic nutritional, dietary and lifestyle interventions, such as those utilised here, may help slow the progression of this disease and help manage symptoms, helping to improve patients' quality of life.
What are you doing today to improve your health?
Make an appointment and start your journey into Wellbeing.
 
 
Please visit www.food2live.org
 

Alzheimer's vaccine

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)
 
Alzheimer’s vaccine
Spanish scientists’ trial  work
 
On September the 21 World Alzheimer’s day was aiming to raise awareness about the most common form of dementia.
Around 36 million people are affected by the disease worldwide, a number which is expected to rise to more than 115 million by 2050.
For now there is no cure but Spanish scientists, who have been working on a vaccine, say they could soon start clinical trials on humans.
Researcher, Javier Jorba said: “Our system reacts and generates what we call antibodies that pick up the beta-amynoid protein, which causes the illness, and destroys them.”
“We decided to take the step when we had something solid on the table.That’s the stage we’re at right now, but we don’t want to raise any false expectations”
While any kind of cure or prevention might be some way away, Alzheimer’s associations are hoping that the dedicated day will help to remove some of the stigma that surrounds the disease.
 euronews
 
Building a better brain.
Would you like to optimise your memory and cognitive function? Would you like to support your brain function?
 
Maintaining a healthy mind and active brain throughout our entire life is something we all want. Fortunately, it is something that we can all achieve.
 
Many people’s greatest fear is not death, but losing their mind.
 
Many of us fear losing our memory and our mental function. Tragically, a large number of us will experience this personally or through a close relative or partner. The incidence of dementia in the elderly is increasing rapidly due to a combination of increased stress, increased oxidative exposure and nutrient insufficiencies.
 
Brain health throughout life.
 
The health of the brain determines much of our experience of life, influencing our moods, our intelligence and our overall quality of life. Maintaining brain health throughout life should therefore be a top priority for all of us. You need to consider the constant changing requirements of your brain in order to achieve a life time of healthy mental function. In order to address all the challenges and changes your brain experiences throughout life, it is important to incorporate good dietary choices, key natural medicines and both physical and mentalexercise. This will help to promote a healthy brain and mind.
 
Six keys to a healthy brain:
 
1. Exercise and challenge your brain.
 
2. Nourish your brain through good nutrition.
 
3. Enjoy physical activity.
 
4. Stress management.
 
5. Sleep well.
 
6. Take natural supplements.
 
1.Strain the brain to train the brain.
The more you think, the smarter you become. Your brain is just like your body, the more you exercise it the more powerful it becomes. You can train your brain by choosing appealing and challenging leisure activities (e.g. crosswords, puzzles, learning a new language, etc) and by challenging yourself at work.
 
2. Eat your way to a better brain.
Take a healthy approach to your diet and lifestyle by eating the following each day:
 
• Protein rich foods.
 
• A minimum of 3 cups of fresh vegetables.
• Two pieces of fresh fruit.
 
• A handful of nuts and seeds.
 
• Two tablespoons of good oils.
 
• Drinking at least 8 glasses of water.
 
• Enjoy regular exercise and fun.
 
By following a healthy diet and lifestyle program you can provide key nutrients for healthy brain function.
 
3.Exercise builds better brain health.
Sustained participation in physical exercise well into old age has been shown to:
 
• Enhance learning and memory.
 
• Reduce age and disease related mental decline.
 
• Protect against age-related degeneration of crucial areas of the brain associated with higher cognitive function.
Not only does exercisehelp to reduce the risk factors for cognitive decline, such as cardiovascular risk, inflammation and energy metabolism, it also helps to enhance learning and memory.
 
4. When life becomes stressful, what do you do?
Do you relax, meditate and strive towards a healthy balance between work and leisure? Or do you keep pushing yourself and not give your body and brain a break? Many people put work and stress before their own health and wellbeing.
 
Ensuring that you take time out to relax is extremely important for brain health, because excessive stress can impair memory and brain function.
 
5. Are you counting sheep in order to sleep?
The most common reason people have difficulty getting to sleep is that they are unable to shut off the anxieties and worries of the day and are preparing for tomorrow’s problems. Sleep is important for repair of both body and mind. If you are having trouble sleeping, make an appointment today and find out what natural options you have for better sleep.
 
6.Nutrients to nourish the brain.
A multivitamin and mineral supplement is the best way to provide vital nutrients for brain function. Vitamins and minerals improve energy, support metabolism and nervous system function and promote better brain function.
 
Omega 3 essential fatty acids from fish oil are also extremely important for your brain. Studies have shown that DHA, one of the major components of fish oil, improves cognitive function.
 
This component has alsobeen shown to be very effective for protection against age-related mental decline. It is very important to use a clean fish oil, free from pesticides and/or mercury and that is produced in a manner respectful of our planet.
 
Finally, brain tissue is extremely vulnerable to damage by free radicals. Replenishing the brain with antioxidants is therefore a great idea to help reduce the damaging effects of oxidative stress and aid in the prevention of age-associated memory impairment. Great antioxidants to help support healthy brain function include resveratrol, vitamin C and vitamin E.
 
Make an appointment today and start a program to protect your brain and the health of your entire body.
 
 
Please ring 0416 07 3366
 

Drink water for your headache!

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 4:33 AM Comments comments (1)
 
You have a headache...just add water!
 
Patients with recurrent headaches should be advised to drink more water, a randomised trial concludes.
 
Although advice to drink an extra 1.5L per day did not cut actual numbers of headaches, it did significantly boost patients’ perceived quality of life and led many to feel their headaches improved.
And given the low risk associated with the approach, the researchers say all headache patients should try it, at least for a time.
 
The study involved 102 primary-care patients in the Netherlands who had experienced multiple headaches in the preceding month, and who were drinking less than 2.5L of fluid per day.
All were advised by their GP to reduce stress and sleep better, and directed to self-help materials if they wanted to know more.
Half of the participants were also advised to increase their daily water intake by 1.5L — ideally split into three portions of 0.5L, spread throughout the day.
 
After three months, patients in the water group were consuming an average of 842mL more water per day than before.
They also scored significantly higher on scales of quality of life and functioning — 47% met the study’s definition of “much improvement”, compared to just 25% of patients in the control group.
 
However there was no significant difference between groups in the number of days with moderate or severe headaches, or the number of days on which medications were used.
“Considering the observed positive subjective effects … we suspect that some headache patients do benefit from drinking more water,” said the researchers, whose study was published in Family Practice (online).
“However these findings need replication and better investigation in specific subpopulations.
“In the meantime, it seems reasonable to recommend headache patients to try this non-invasive intervention for a short period of time to see whether they experience improvement.”
Family Practice 2011
 
If your headaches persist, consider a Detoxification Program.
 
 

Age related liver disease: can you prevent it?

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)
TREATING A RISING EPIDEMIC:
AGE-RELATED LIVER DISEASE

Very often I encourage my patients to follow a "Liver Detoxification Program". WARNING:
It has 'serious' side effects: increased energy levels, improved immunity, less aches and pains, in one word: vitality.
The first time that you follow this program, it will take you from 6-8 weeks.
After that, if you have a healthy lifestyle, you will need to do it for only two weeks: "The Express Detox".
Here in this article you will find more reasons to consider having a Liver Detoxification once a year.
 
Make an appointment as soon as you finish reading this article. Phone (02) 96713867, or email [email protected].
 
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease, with the highest prevalence in those over 60 years.

NAFLD is hepatic steatosis associated with metabolic abnormalities such as central obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and dyslipidaemia. It is also governed by genetic background, sex, age, and environmental factors (food intake, level of physical activity).

The mildest form of NAFLD is simple steatosis, characterised by hepatic fat (triglyceride [TG]) accumulation alone.On the other end of the spectrum is a necroinflammatory fibrosing disorder called steatohepatitis.

The key implications of NAFLD are increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers such as colon cancer. There is increased standardised mortality, including deaths from decompensated cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Hepatic steatosis (defined as greater than 5.5% TG content) has been estimated at 31% overall, with significant ethnic variation - 45% in hispanics, 33% in whites, and 24% in blacks. The National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) identified the increasing contributing of NAFLD as the cause for chronic liver disease rising from 47% in the 1988-1994 cohort to 76% in the 2005 - 2008 cohort. Epidemiological data are consistent with the clinical observation that NAFLD is now the most common liver disorder seen in liver clinics of Western countries.

Advanced age is associated with disease severity and fibrosis progression; 39% in those aged 40 to 50 years, and to over 40% in those greater than 70 years. A relatively high proportion of individuals with progressive forms of NAFLD develop cirrhosis by the time there are in their 70s or beyond.
The prevalence and severity of NAFLD is also influenced by presence of metabolic risk factors, such as overweight/obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Because steatosis rearely illicit any symptoms, it is usually discovered from abnormal liver tests, a liver ultrasound or CT scan in people with normal liver enzymes.

Clinicians need to consider early interventions to optimise the management of modifiable metabolic risk factors, like glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia, each of which could also contribute to disease progression in NAFLD.

For all patients with NAFLD, the cornerstone to management remains correction of modifiable risk factors. Exercise and dietary restriction can be very effective in carefully selected patients and should be used in a multidisciplinary approach, involving physiotherapists, dieticians, and occupational therapists to overcome potential physical limitations in older patients, such as osteoarthritis or decreasing mobility from other causes.
 
Source: Mechanisms and implications of age-related changes in the liver: nonalcoholic Fatty liver disease in the elderly. Gan L, Chitturi S, Farrell GC. Curr Gerontol Geriatr Res. 2011;2011:831536. Epub 2011 Sep 12

Pollution and your heart's health

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 6:57 PM Comments comments (1)
A CLEAR LINK:
AIR POLLUTION AND HEART DISEASE 

Environmental toxicants such as dioxins, PCBs, and pesticides can pose a risk for cardiovascular disease.

For the first time a link has been demonstrated between atherosclerosis and levels of long-lived organic environmental toxicants in the blood. 

The study, carried out by researchers at Uppsala University, was published this week in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes, are the most common cause of death in industrialised countries, and the most important underlying cause of these diseases is atherosclerosis. Unbalanced blood fats, diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure are traditionally recognised risk factors for atherosclerosis.

Previous studies have also reported possible links between cardiovascular disease and high levels of persistent (long-lived and hard-to-degrade) organic environmental toxicants, such as dioxins, PCBs, and pesticides. These compounds are fat-soluble and can therefore accumulate in vessel walls. However, no earlier studies have investigated possible links between exposure to these compounds and atherosclerosis.

The current study measured the circulating levels of the above group of compounds in about 1,000 Swedes living in Uppsala. Atherosclerosis in the carotid artery was also measured using ultrasound.
The findings show a clear connection between increasing levels of environmental toxicants and atherosclerosis, even after taking into consideration the traditional risk factors. There was also a link to tangible signs of fat accumulation in vessel walls.

"These findings indicate that long-lived organic environmental toxicants may be involved in the occurrence of atherosclerosis and thereby lead to future death from cardiovascular diseases," says Lars Lind, professor at the Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University.

"In Sweden, and in many countries in the world, many of these substances are forbidden today, but since they are so long-lived they're still out there in our environment. We ingest these environmental toxicants with the food we eat, and since they are stored in our bodies, the levels grow higher the older we get," says Monica Lind, Associate Professor in Environmental Medicine at Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The researchers will continue to study how these compounds affect atherosclerosis in experimental models. In addition they will monitor the individuals included in their study to determine whether a direct connection exists between exposure to these substances and the occurrence of heart attacks and strokes in humans.

Funding: The study was funded in part by the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Research Council Formas. 

Source: P Monica Lind, Bert van Bavel, Samira Salihovic, Lars Lind. Circulating Levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and Carotid Atherosclerosis in the Elderly. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011

Brain shaped by bacteria in the gut

Posted on June 4, 2011 at 12:39 AM Comments comments (0)
The Neuroscience of the Gut
 
Strange but true: the brain is shaped by bacteria in the digestive tract

People may advise you to listen to your gut instincts: now research suggests that your gut may have more impact on your thoughts than you ever realised. Scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Genome Institute of Singapore led by Sven Pettersson recently reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that normal gut flora, the bacteria that inhabit our intestines, have a significant impact on brain development and subsequent adult behaviour.

We human beings may think of ourselves as a highly evolved species of conscious individuals, but we are all far less human than most of us appreciate. Scientists have long recognized that the bacterial cells inhabiting our skin and gut outnumber human cells by ten-to-one. Indeed, Princeton University scientist Bonnie Bassler compared the approximately 30,000 human genes found in the average human to the more than 3 million bacterial genes inhabiting us, concluding that we are at most one percent human. We are only beginning to understand the sort of impact our bacterial passengers have on our daily lives.

Moreover, these bacteria have been implicated in the development of neurological and behavioural disorders. For example, gut bacteria may have an influence on the body’s use of vitamin B6, which in turn has profound effects on the health of nerve and muscle cells. They modulate immune tolerance and, because of this, they may have an influence on autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. They have been shown to influence anxiety-related behaviour, although there is controversy regarding whether gut bacteria exacerbate or ameliorate stress related anxiety responses. In autism and other pervasive developmental disorders, there are reports that the specific bacterial species present in the gut are altered and that gastrointestinal problems exacerbate behavioral symptoms. A newly developed biochemical test for autism is based, in part, upon the end products of bacterial metabolism.

But this new study is the first to extensively evaluate the influence of gut bacteria on the biochemistry and development of the brain. The scientists raised mice lacking normal gut microflora, then compared their behaviour, brain chemistry and brain development to mice having normal gut bacteria. The microbe-free animals were more active and, in specific behavioural tests, were less anxious than microbe-colonized mice. In one test of anxiety, animals were given the choice of staying in the relative safety of a dark box, or of venturing into a lighted box. Bacteria-free animals spent significantly more time in the light box than their bacterially colonised littermates. Similarly, in another test of anxiety, animals were given the choice of venturing out on an elevated and unprotected bar to explore their environment, or remain in the relative safety of a similar bar protected by enclosing walls. Once again, the microbe-free animals proved themselves bolder than their colonized kin.

Pettersson’s team next asked whether the influence of gut microbes on the brain was reversible and, since the gut is colonised by microbes soon after birth, whether there was evidence that gut microbes influenced the development of the brain. They found that colonising an adult germ-free animal with normal gut bacteria had no effect on their behaviour. However, if germ free animals were colonised early in life, these effects could be reversed. This suggests that there is a critical period in the development of the brain when the bacteria are influential.

Consistent with these behavioural findings, two genes implicated in anxiety -- nerve growth factor-inducible clone A (NGF1-A) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) -- were found to be down-regulated in multiple brain regions in the germ-free animals. These changes in behaviour were also accompanied by changes in the levels of several neurotransmitters, chemicals which are responsible for signal transmission between nerve cells. The neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline were elevated in a specific region of the brain, the striatum, which is associated with the planning and coordination of movement and which is activated by novel stimuli, while there were there were no such effects on neurotransmitters in other brain regions, such as those involved in memory (the hippocampus) or executive function (the frontal cortex).

When Pettersson’s team performed a comprehensive gene expression analysis of five different brain regions, they found nearly 40 genes that were affected by the presence of gut bacteria. Not only were these primitive microbes able to influence signaling between nerve cells while sequestered far away in the gut, they had the astonishing ability to influence whether brain cells turn on or off specific genes.

How, then, do these single-celled intestinal denizens exert their influence on a complex multicellular organ such as the brain? Although the answer is unclear, there are several possibilities: the Vagus nerve, for example, connects the gut to the brain, and it’s known that infection with the Salmonella bacteria stimulates the expression of certain genes in the brain, which is blocked when the Vagus nerve is severed. This nerve may be stimulated as well by normal gut microbes, and serve as the link between them and the brain. Alternatively, those microbes may modulate the release of chemical signals by the gut into the bloodstream which ultimately reach the brain. These gut microbes, for example, are known to modulate stress hormones which may in turn influence the expression of genes in the brain.

Regardless of how these intestinal “guests” exert their influence, these studies suggest that brain-directed behaviours, which influence the manner in which animals interact with the external world, may be deeply influenced by that animal’s relationship with the microbial organisms living in its gut. And the discovery that gut bacteria exert their influence on the brain within a discrete developmental stage may have important implications for developmental brain disorders.

Heijtz RD, Wang S, Anuar F, Qian Y, Björkholm B, Samuelsson A, Hibberd ML, Forssberg H, Pettersson S. Normal gut microbiota modulates brain development and behaviour. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb 15;108(7):3047-52. Epub 2011 Jan 31

Low Cholesterol may cause depression

Posted on June 2, 2011 at 11:13 PM Comments comments (0)
Are Cholesterol-Lowering Drug Regimens Causing Depression?
 
Low cholesterol is a risk factor for depression, according to integrative psychiatrist James Greenblatt, MD, of Waltham, MA. Speaking at the recent iMosaic conference, Dr. Greenblatt said there are 11 studies showing strong correlations between low total cholesterol and increased depression and suicidality.

The brain is the most cholesterol-rich organ, and cholesterol is a building block for many important hormones. This doesn’t mean that high cholesterol levels are healthy, but neither are levels that are too low. Dr. Greenblatt contends that America’s statin-mania is a key contributor to the epidemic of depression.

He’s seen patients in whom serious depression resolved simply by reducing statins and allowing cholesterol to rise up. "I sometimes go against cardiologists, but you’re not helping anyone if you increase risk of suicide while trying to prevent a heart attack"
Panaxea
 
About cholesterol (blood fats) 
 
Blood fats include triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. When levels of these fats are abnormal or disturbed patients are at risk of atherosclerosis, hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke and a number of other disorders.
The most common types of blood fat disorders that patients can present with (either alone or in combination) are:
 
High LDL: low-density lipoproteins (LDL’s) transport cholesterol and triglycerides away from cells and tissues that produce cholesterol (e.g., liver), towards cells and tissues which are taking up cholesterol and triglycerides (e.g., peripheral tissues, muscles, nerves, etc). When too much LDL cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up on the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. Together with other substances LDL can form plaques, thick, hard deposits that can clog those arteries. This is why cholesterol inside LDL lipoproteins is called bad cholesterol. The risk of having a heart attack or stroke rises directly as a person's LDL cholesterol level increases.
 
Low HDL: high-density lipoproteins (HDL’s) carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it's excreted via the hepatobiliary excretion route. HDL also removes excess cholesterol from plaques in arteries, thus slowing the progress of cardiovascular disease. This is why HDL cholesterol is known as the "good" cholesterol. Low HDL cholesterol levels increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.
 
High triglycerides: triglycerides are fats that contain a glycerol molecule attached to three fatty acids. These fats come from foods and are also made endogenously by the liver. The fat stored in the body is predominantly made from triglycerides. LDL carries triglycerides from the liver into the peripheral tissues and deposits it there; HDL carries it from the peripheries back to the liver for excretion. For this reason, hypertriglyceridaemia is commonly associated with high LDL and low HDL levels. High blood triglyceride levels are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
 
Symptoms & Signs
High cholesterol levels may cause few, if any, symptoms. Diagnosis is usually made through blood tests. Severe symptoms may include:
Fat deposits that form growths that look like yellow plaques  in the tendons and skin.
Extremely high levels of triglycerides may cause enlargement of the liver and spleen, and pancreatitis, such as severe abdominal pain.
Can also cause symptoms of cardiovascular disease such as angina and hypertension.
 
Aetiology / Risk Factors
Major causative factors and risk factors that can contribute to dyslipidaemia (blood fat disorders) include:
Obesity
Diet rich in cholesterol, saturated fat and trans-fatty acids
Excess calories in diet, particularly sugar and refined carbohydrates
Low fibre diet
Sedentary lifestyle
Stress
Smoking cigarettes
Hypothyroidism
Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Obstructive liver disease
Acute hepatitis
Acute and chronic alcohol abuse
Poorly controlled diabetes and/or insulin resistance
Overactive pituitary gland
Nephrotic syndrome and/or kidney failure
Porphyria
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Multiple myeloma
Lymphoma
Medications (e.g., oestrogens, oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, beta blockers, anabolic steroids and isotretinoin)
 
Diet and Lifestyle
Dietary and lifestyle guidelines that may assist in the management of dyslipidaemia include the following:
Weight reduction where appropriate is essential. A Ketogenic Diet is a safe fat loss program that burns fat quickly, helps to lower blood triglycerides and increase beneficial HDL levels.
Maintaining dietary fibre is an important part of dietary management of dyslipidaemia. Water soluble fibres, taken with adequate water, swell in the stomach to create a sensation of fullness which helps reduce appetite. They also help prevent cholesterol absorption from the gut and promote ease of elimination.
Diets should also include soy protein because it reduces total cholesterol when combined with a low-fat diet.
Dietary intake of foods high in antioxidants is important as an inverse association has been found between dietary antioxidants and risk of CVD – vitamin E appears to be of particular value.
Omega-3 fatty acids (particularly DHA) from cold-water fish may be beneficial for lowering elevated triglyceride levels.
Permanent change in the amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol consumed is also required.
The Mediterranean Diet has been found to be beneficial in managing dyslipidaemia. This is comprised of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil and garlic. This diet is high in monounsaturated fatty acids and has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol plasma levels and reduce susceptibility to LDL oxidation.
Lifestyle modifications that are beneficial include increased physical activity, stress reduction and smoking cessation (tobacco use lowers HDL cholesterol).
 
Helpful Programs
 
Integrated Detoxification
A comprehensive integrated detoxification program involving both gut repair and liver regeneration may assist in the management and prevention of dyslipidaemia by improving overall hepatic function, and reducing the inflammatory stimuli of toxicity, dysbiosis and poor diet.
 
Professional Weight Management Program
A carbohydrate-controlled, Ketogenic fat loss program is an essential approach for those with severe insulin resistance, who will usually also be overweight or obese.
Reducing dietary glycaemic load will reduce insulin release and help patients lose fat, particularly visceral adipose tissue, thus helping to minimise the risk of many chronic illnesses.
 
Wellness Lifestyle Program
This program is for those of relatively normal weight (i.e. fat percentage) and activity. This approach is designed to maintain a healthy body composition and insulin sensitivity by utilising an anti-inflammatory diet, stress management and regular exercise, all associated with optimum health and longevity.
 

Blueberries may inhibit obesity

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (1)
Blueberrin
May Inhibit Development of Fat Cells
 
The benefits of blueberry consumption have been demonstrated in several nutrition studies, more specifically the cardio-protective benefits derived from their high polyphenol content. Blueberries have shown potential to have a positive effect on everything from ageing to metabolic syndrome. Recently, a researcher from Texas Woman’s University (TWU) in Denton, TX, examined whether blueberries could play a role in reducing one of the world’s greatest health challenges: obesity.

Shiwani Moghe, MS, a graduate student at TWU, decided to evaluate whether blueberry polyphenols, Blueberrin play a role in adipocyte differentiation, the process in which a relatively
 
unspecialised cell acquires specialised features of an adipocyte, an animal connective tissue cell specialised for the synthesis and storage of fat. Plant polyphenols have been shown to fight adipogenesis, which is the development of fat cells, and induce lipolysis, which is the breakdown of lipids/fat. Moghe will present her research at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting for the American Society for Nutrition on Sunday, April 10, at 12:45 pm.
“I wanted to see if using blueberry polyphenols could inhibit obesity at a molecular stage,”  said Moghe. The study was performed in tissue cultures taken from mice.
The polyphenols showed a dose-dependent suppression of adipocyte differentiation. The lipid content in the control group was significantly higher than the content of the tissue given three doses of blueberry polyphenols. The highest dose of blueberry polyphenols yielded a 73% decrease in lipids; the lowest dose showed a 27% decrease.

“We still need to test this dose in humans, to make sure there are no adverse effects, and to see if the doses are as effective. This is a burgeoning area of research. Determining the best dose for humans will be important,” said Moghe. “The promise is there for blueberries to help reduce adipose tissue from forming in the body.”

These preliminary results contribute more items to the laundry list of benefits related to blueberries, which have already been shown to mitigate health conditions like cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

Experimental Biology Conference 2011 Washington DC
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