No more needles: Diabetics can now monitor blood sugar levels through tears or sweat with a new biosensor

Image: No more needles: Diabetics can now monitor blood sugar levels through tears or sweat with a new biosensor

(Natural News)
The first step in fighting back against diabetes is checking to see if a patient does indeed have it in the first place. In most cases, this is done through tracking a person’s glucose levels through their blood, which means going with the conventional prick method. This entails performing a slightly invasive and not-so-painless method of taking blood out of a patient’s body and then testing it for glucose levels afterwards. Now a team of scientists has discovered a method that could make the this particular practice obsolete.

In a new study that was published recently in the journal ACS Nano, a team of researchers reported that it has succeeded in developing an ultra-thin and flexible sensor that could be used as part of contact lenses or other types of wearable technology to enable real-time glucose tracking. Once incorporated into one or more types of wearables, this sensor could be used in the background and deliver all of the information needed to make a quick diagnosis possible.

Compared with regular methods of tracking blood glucose levels in patients, the methods enabled by this particular sensor are far less invasive, not to mention completely painless. It can be used to track glucose levels through a person’s tears if incorporated into a pair of “smart” contact lenses, or through a person’s sweat if it’s included in a wristband. Its existence could also allow health professionals to keep track of changes in glucose levels regularly throughout the entire day.

In order to succeed at developing their new nano-sensors, the researchers used nanoribbons of indium oxide, an enzyme glucose oxidase, a natural chitosan film, and single-walled carbon nanotubes. Any amount of glucose is said to be enough to trigger the enzyme, which ends up setting off a short chain of reactions that ultimately result in an electrical signal. This means that it can serve as a viable method of detecting glucose levels in solutions, particularly in blood samples that have been taken from patients.

In their testing, the researchers found that the device they made managed to detect a range of glucose concentrations from 10 nanomolar to one millimolar, which shows that it is sensitive enough to cover typical glucose levels in the average person’s saliva, sweat, or tears. Since it could be used on pretty much anyone whether they have diabetes or not, it could serve as an effective way of screening the presence of the disease in patients.

The researchers also tested the flexibility of the material they created by bending it. After bending the film for 100 times, they concluded that this didn’t noticeably affect its performance.

Researchers in South Korea separately found a way to build a similar device which they designed to function as a contact lens with a built-in LED notification light. It can alert the wearer to changes relating to their sugar levels by switching the light from on to off. Paired with other kinds of wearable sensors, it could serve as the perfect tool for tracking a patient’s sugar levels so that the patient could avoid major disease problems.

Apart from being able to detect glucose levels, the researchers said their sensors could also be used for other applications such as monitoring in the food and environmental factors. It will be interesting to see exactly what kind of solutions they can come up with, but the primary application which is intended to help diabetes patients definitely shows a lot of promise.

Check out other ways scientists are advancing the field of wearables in

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Ketone supplement drinks help diabetics control blood sugar, study finds

Image: Ketone supplement drinks help diabetics control blood sugar, study finds

(Natural News)
Here’s one scientifically-proven health benefit if you chug down a glass of that gross keto drink: The Daily Mail reported the results of a British-Canadian study where ketone supplements could help diabetics rein in their uncontrollable blood sugar levels.

The controversial ketogenic diet eschewed carbohydrate intake for proteins and fat. It has won loyal adherents among celebrities like Kim Kardashian who can tolerate the disgusting taste of a sardine smoothie.

Now, a joint study by researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Oxford University (Oxford) announced that keto supplements caused blood sugar levels to go down. Their findings suggested a keto diet might be able to regulate blood sugar spikes (the bane of any diabetic) and prevent the disease from emerging in the first place.

Their discovery coincided with those from another experiment where ketones were directly injected into the bloodstream. The blood sugar levels of test subjects went down following the ketone infusion. This is good news for diabetes patients who are at risk of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failures because their insulin-deficient systems cannot reduce their glucose levels fast enough.

According to diabetes specialists, the digestive system breaks carbohydrates down into glucose. This particular sugar molecule requires insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, in order to be further broken down into usable energy.

Happily for diabetics, ketogenic diets promote the consumption of proteins and healthy fats. It might seem counter-intuitive for a diabetic to eat lots of fat, given the links between the disease and obesity. (Related: Greens, legumes and unsaturated fats: How to reverse diabetes with food.)

Why do they call them keto diets?

Ketones are an alternative energy source to glucose. They’re the by-products of the liver breaking down fatty acids in the absence of carbohydrates. They lend their names to diets that encourage the exclusive consumption of food rich in fatty acids such as avocados, nuts, and salmon.

The UBC-Oxford research team investigated the effects of ketone-rich drinks on glucose levels. The researchers deliberately picked healthy and young subjects instead of diabetics because the latter suffered from various complications that would complicate the analysis. “If the same responses were seen in people with, or at risk for, type-2 diabetes, then it is possible that a ketone monoester supplement could be used to lower glucose levels and improve metabolic health,” explained Dr. Jonathan Little, the co-author of the study.

Under the auspices of their joint study, 20 participants undertook a 10-hour fast before consuming two servings of either a ketone supplement or a placebo. After 30 minutes, each volunteer underwent a standard glucose tolerance test by imbibing a sweet drink with 75 grams of sugar.

The researchers collected blood from each individual every 15 to 30 minutes for a two-and-a-half hour period after that. They analyzed the glucose, blood fat, and hormone levels in each sample. According to them, the participants who drank the ketone supplement enjoyed fewer blood sugar spikes compared to the ones who merely got a placebo.

Dr. Little said the results are very promising for the 3.5 million people in the United Kingdom who suffer from type-2 diabetes, not to mention the millions of other diabetics around the world.

The purest forms of ketones are called ketone monoesters. These compounds can be used much more quickly by the body.

The joint research team believed ketone monoesters can raise blood ketone levels even faster than normal ketones. They are developing a ketone monoester-based supplement that could deliver the benefits of a keto diet.

Adverse effects of the diet include impaired growth, which can be caused by a nutrient deficiency, as well as an increased risk of getting kidney stones.

Find out healthier ways to eat and live at

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Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer’s Strengthens

By Dr. Mercola

Alzheimer’s disease — for which conventional medicine believes there is no effective treatment or cure — currently affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans1 and prevalence is projected to triple by 2050.2,3 Within the next two decades, this severe and lethal form of dementia may affect as much as one-quarter of the U.S. population. Already, more than half a million Americans die from the disease each year, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer.4,5  

The good news is that lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise and sleep can have a significant impact on your risk. As previously noted by Dr. Richard Lipton6 of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where they study healthy aging, lifestyle changes “look more promising than the drug studies so far.” As with health in general, your diet plays a crucial role. Processed foods tend to be nearly devoid of healthy fat while being excessive in refined sugars, and this combination appears to be at the heart of the problem.

High-Sugar Diet Significantly Raises Your Risk of Dementia

One of the most striking studies7 on carbohydrates and brain health revealed that high-carb diets increase your risk of dementia by a whopping 89 percent, while high-fat diets lower it by 44 percent. According to the authors, “A dietary pattern with relatively high caloric intake from carbohydrates and low caloric intake from fat and proteins may increase the risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia in elderly persons.”

Studies also strongly suggest Alzheimer’s disease is intricately connected to insulin resistance;8 even mild elevation of blood sugar is associated with an elevated risk for dementia.9 Diabetes and heart disease10 are also known to elevate your risk, and both are rooted in insulin resistance.

This connection between high-sugar diets and Alzheimer’s was again highlighted in a longitudinal study published in the journal Diabetologia in January 2018.11 Nearly 5,190 individuals were followed over a decade, and the results showed that the higher an individual’s blood sugar, the faster their rate of cognitive decline.

Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics Have Higher Risk for Alzheimer’s

The connection between sugar and Alzheimer’s was first broached in 2005, when the disease was tentatively dubbed “Type 3 diabetes.” At that time researchers discovered that your brain produces insulin necessary for the survival of your brain cells.12 A toxic protein called ADDL removes insulin receptors from nerve cells, thereby rendering those neurons insulin resistant, and as ADDLs accumulate, your memory begins to deteriorate.

Curiously, while low insulin levels in your body are associated with improved health, the opposite appears to be true when it comes to the insulin produced in your brain. Reduced brain insulin actually contributes to the degeneration of brain cells, and studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer’s disease.

According to researchers,13 “These abnormalities do not correspond to Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, but reflect a different and more complex disease process that originates in the central nervous system.”

In 2016, researchers at John’s Hopkins department of biology discovered that nerve growth factor, a protein found in your nervous system that is involved in the growth of neurons, also triggers insulin release in your pancreas.14 So there appears to be a rather complex relationship between body insulin, brain insulin and brain function, and we’ve probably only begun to tease out all of these connections.

Case in point, even Type 1 diabetics are at increased risk for Alzheimer’s, even though their bodies don’t produce insulin at all. Melissa Schilling, a professor at New York University, investigated this paradox in 2016. As reported by The Atlantic:15

“Schilling posits this happens because of the insulin-degrading enzyme, a product of insulin that breaks down both insulin and amyloid proteins in the brain — the same proteins that clump up and lead to Alzheimer’s disease. People who don’t have enough insulin, like those whose bodies’ ability to produce insulin has been tapped out by diabetes, aren’t going to make enough of this enzyme to break up those brain clumps.

Meanwhile, in people who use insulin to treat their diabetes and end up with a surplus of insulin, most of this enzyme gets used up breaking that insulin down, leaving not enough enzyme to address those amyloid brain clumps. According to Schilling, this can happen even in people who don’t have diabetes yet — who are in a state known as ‘prediabetes.’”

Sugar Damages Brain Structure and Function

Research16 published in 2013 showed that sugar and other carbohydrates can disrupt your brain function even if you’re not diabetic or have any signs of dementia. Here, short- and long-term glucose markers were evaluated in healthy, nondiabetic, nondemented seniors. Memory tests and brain imaging were also used to assess brain function and the actual structure of their hippocampus.

The findings revealed that the higher the two blood glucose measures, the smaller the hippocampus, the more compromised its structure, and the worse the individual’s memory was. According to the authors, the structural changes in the hippocampus alone can partially account for the statistical link we see between glucose and memory, as your hippocampus is involved with the formation, organization and storage of memories.

The results suggest glucose directly contributes to atrophy of the hippocampus, which means that even if you’re not insulin resistant or diabetic, excess sugar can still hamper your memory. The authors suggest that “strategies aimed at lowering glucose levels even in the normal range may beneficially influence cognition in the older population.”

A similar study17 published in 2014 found that Type 2 diabetics lose more gray matter with age than expected, and this brain atrophy also helps explain why diabetics have a higher risk for dementia, and have earlier onset of dementia than nondiabetics.

As noted by Dr. Sam Gandy, director of the Center for Cognitive Health at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, these findings “suggest that chronic high levels of insulin and sugar may be directly toxic to brain cells” adding that “This would definitely be a potential cause of dementia.”18

Even Mild Insulin Resistance Speeds Cognitive Decline

A study19 published just last year also confirmed the link between insulin resistance and dementia, particularly among those with existing heart disease. Nearly 490 seniors were followed for two decades, and as in other studies, those with the highest levels of insulin resistance scored the worst on cognitive tests, especially tests for memory and executive function.

A take-home message here is that you don’t have to be a diabetic to be at increased risk. As noted by senior study author Dr. David Tanne, a faculty member of Tel Aviv University in Israel, “Even people with mild or moderate insulin resistance … are at increased risk over time … Exercising, maintaining a balanced and healthy diet and watching your weight will help you prevent insulin resistance and, as a result, protect your brain as you get older.”

Progress Made in the Development of a Blood Test for Alzheimer’s

In related news, researchers have announced great strides being made in the development of a blood test to detect Alzheimer’s.20 The test is designed to detect amyloid beta, the toxic protein known to accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. In a recent trial,21 the test was 90 percent accurate in detecting the disease in a pool of 370 participants.

At present, the only way to measure amyloid beta is by brain scan or a spinal tap, both of which are invasive and expensive, and can only detect the disease once it has sufficiently progressed. While promising, further trials must be done to confirm the diagnostic accuracy of the blood test before it can be released and used in medical practice.

One of the most comprehensive assessments of Alzheimer’s risk is Dr. Dale Bredesen’s ReCODE protocol, which evaluates 150 factors known to contribute to the disease. This protocol also identifies your disease subtype or combination of subtypes so that an effective treatment protocol can be devised.

You can learn more about this in “ReCODE: The Reversal of Cognitive Decline,” which is my interview with him. In his book, you will also find a list of suggested screening tests and the recommended ranges for each test, along with some of Bredesen’s treatment suggestions. The full protocol is described in Bredesen’s book, “The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline.”22

Turmeric May Lower Alzheimer’s Risk, Study Shows

Other recent developments include a study showing curcumin supplementation may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by improving memory and focus.23 The double-blind, placebo-controlled study, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry,24 included 40 adults between the ages of 50 and 90 who reported mild memory lapses. None had a diagnosis of dementia at the time of their enrollment. Participants randomly received either 90 milligrams of curcumin (Theracurmin supplement) twice a day for 18 months, or a placebo.

A standardized cognitive assessment was administered at the start of the study and at six-month intervals thereafter, and the level of curcumin in their blood was measured at the beginning and end of the study. Thirty of the participants also underwent positron emission tomography (PET) scans to assess their level of amyloid and tau deposits before and after treatment, both of which are strongly associated with Alzheimer’s risk.

Those who received curcumin saw significant improvements in memory and concentration, while the control group experienced no improvement. PET scans confirmed the treatment group had significantly less amyloid and tau buildup in areas of the brain that control memory, compared to controls. Overall, the curcumin group improved their memory by 28 percent over the year-and-a-half-long treatment period.

Curcumin has also been shown to increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF),25 and reduced levels of BDNF have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Yet another way curcumin may benefit your brain and lower your risk of dementia is by affecting pathways that help reverse insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia and other symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity.26

Preventive Strategies

According to Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist and author of “Grain Brain” and “Brain Maker,” anything that promotes insulin resistance will ultimately also raise your risk of Alzheimer’s. To this I would add that any strategy that enhances your mitochondrial function will lower your risk. Considering the lack of effective treatments, prevention really cannot be stressed strongly enough.

In 2014, Bredesen published a paper that demonstrates the power of lifestyle choices for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s. By leveraging 36 healthy lifestyle parameters, he was able to reverse Alzheimer’s in 9 out of 10 patients.

This included the use of exercise, ketogenic diet, optimizing vitamin D and other hormones, increasing sleep, meditation, detoxification and eliminating gluten and processed food. You can download Bredesen’s full-text case paper online, which details the full program.27 Following are some of the lifestyle strategies I believe to be the most helpful and important:  

Eat real food, ideally organic

Avoid processed foods of all kinds, as they contain a number of ingredients harmful to your brain, including refined sugar, processed fructose, grains (particularly gluten), vegetable oils, genetically engineered ingredients and pesticides. Ideally, keep your added sugar to a minimum and your total fructose below 25 grams per day, or as low as 15 grams per day if you already have insulin/leptin resistance or any related disorders.

Opting for organic produce will help you avoid synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Most will also benefit from a gluten-free diet, as gluten makes your gut more permeable, which allows proteins to get into your bloodstream where they sensitize your immune system and promote inflammation and autoimmunity, both of which play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s.

Replace refined carbs with healthy fats

Diet is paramount, and the beauty of following my optimized nutrition plan is that it helps prevent and treat virtually all chronic degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. It’s important to realize that your brain actually does not need carbs and sugars; healthy fats such as saturated animal fats and animal-based omega-3 are far more critical for optimal brain function.

A cyclical ketogenic diet has the double advantage of both improving your insulin sensitivity and lowering your Alzheimer’s risk. As noted by Perlmutter, lifestyle strategies such as a ketogenic diet can even offset the risk associated with genetic predisposition. (Estimates suggest genetics account for less than 5 percent of Alzheimer’s cases.

An estimated 75 million Americans have the single allele for ApoE4. Those who are ApoE4 positive have a 30 percent lifetime risk of developing the disease. Approximately 7 million have two copies of the gene, which puts them at a 50 percent lifetime risk. It’s unknown how many Americans have the TOMM40 gene or others that may affect your risk.)

When your body burns fat as its primary fuel, ketones are created, which not only burn very efficiently and are a superior fuel for your brain, but also generate fewer reactive oxygen species and less free radical damage. A ketone called beta hydroxybutyrate is also a major epigenetic player, stimulating beneficial changes in DNA expression, thereby reducing inflammation and increasing detoxification and antioxidant production.

I explain the ins and outs of implementing this kind of diet, and its many health benefits, in my new book “Fat for Fuel.” In it, I also explain why cycling through stages of feast and famine, opposed to continuously remaining in nutritional ketosis, is so important.

Pay close attention to the kinds of fats you eat — avoid all trans fats or hydrogenated fats that have been modified in such a way to extend their longevity on the grocery store shelf. This includes margarine, vegetable oils and various butter-like spreads.

Healthy fats to add to your diet include avocados, butter, organic pastured egg yolks, coconuts and coconut oil, grass fed meats and raw nuts such as pecans and macadamia. MCT oil is also a great source of ketone bodies.

Keep your fasting insulin levels below 3

Lowering your insulin will also help lower leptin levels which is another factor for Alzheimer’s. If your insulin is high, you’re likely consuming too much sugar and need to cut back.

Optimize your omega-3 level

Also make sure you’re getting enough animal-based omega-3 fats. High intake of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA help by preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, thereby slowing down its progression and lowering your risk of developing the disorder. Ideally, get an omega-3 index test done once a year to make sure you’re in a healthy range. Your omega-3 index should be above 8 percent and your omega 6-to-3 ratio between 0.5 and 3.0.

Optimize your gut flora

To do this, avoid processed foods, antibiotics and antibacterial products, fluoridated and chlorinated water, and be sure to eat traditionally fermented and cultured foods, along with a high-quality probiotic if needed. Dr. Steven Gundry does an excellent job of expanding on this in his new book “The Plant Paradox.”

Intermittently fast

Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool to jump-start your body into remembering how to burn fat and repair the insulin/leptin resistance that is a primary contributing factor for Alzheimer’s. Once you have worked your way up to where you’ve been doing 20-hour daily intermittent fasting for a month, are metabolically flexible and can burn fat as your primary fuel, you can progress to the far more powerful five-day water fasts.

Move regularly and consistently throughout the day

It’s been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized,28 thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Exercise also increases levels of the protein PGC-1 alpha. Research has shown that people with Alzheimer’s have less PGC-1 alpha in their brains and cells that contain more of the protein produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s.

Optimize your magnesium levels

Preliminary research strongly suggests a decrease in Alzheimer symptoms with increased levels of magnesium in the brain. Keep in mind that the only magnesium supplement that appears to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier is magnesium threonate.  

Optimize your vitamin D, ideally through sensible sun exposure

Sufficient vitamin D is imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s and, indeed, research shows people living in northern latitudes have higher rates of death from dementia and Alzheimer’s than those living in sunnier areas, suggesting vitamin D and/or sun exposure are important factors.29

If you are unable to get sufficient amounts of sun exposure, take daily supplemental vitamin D3 to reach and maintain a blood level of 60 to 80 ng/ml. That said, it’s important to recognize that sun exposure is important for reasons unrelated to vitamin D.

Your brain responds to the near-infrared light in sunlight in a process called photobiomodulation. Research shows near-infrared stimulation of the brain boosts cognition and reduces symptoms of Alzheimer’s, including more advanced stages of the disease.

Delivering near-infrared light to the compromised mitochondria synthesizes gene transcription factors that trigger cellular repair, and your brain is one of the most mitochondrial-dense organs in your body.

Avoid and eliminate mercury from your body

Dental amalgam fillings are one of the major sources of heavy metal toxicity, however you should be healthy prior to having them removed. Once you have adjusted to following the diet described in my optimized nutrition plan, you can follow the mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to have your amalgams removed.

Avoid and eliminate aluminum from your body

Common sources of aluminum include antiperspirants, nonstick cookware and vaccine adjuvants. For tips on how to detox aluminum, please see my article, “First Case Study to Show Direct Link between Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Toxicity.” There is some suggestion that certain mineral waters high in silicic acid may help your body eliminate aluminum.

Avoid flu vaccinations

Most flu vaccines contain both mercury and aluminum.

Avoid statins and anticholinergic drugs

Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain nighttime pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence and certain narcotic pain relievers.

Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, deplete your brain of coenzyme Q10, vitamin K2 and neurotransmitter precursors, and prevent adequate delivery of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble antioxidants to your brain by inhibiting the production of the indispensable carrier biomolecule known as low-density lipoprotein.

Limit your exposure to non-native electromagnetic fields (cellphones, Wi-Fi routers and modems)

Radiation from cellphones and other wireless technologies trigger excessive production of peroxynitrites,30 a highly damaging reactive nitrogen species. Increased peroxynitrites from cellphone exposure will damage your mitochondria, 31,32 and your brain is the most mitochondrial-dense organ in your body.

Increased peroxynitrite generation has also been associated with increased levels of systemic inflammation by triggering cytokine storms and autonomic hormonal dysfunction.

Optimize your sleep

Sleep is necessary for maintaining metabolic homeostasis in your brain. Without sufficient sleep, neuron degeneration sets in, and catching up on sleep during weekends will not prevent this damage.33,34,35 Sleep deprivation causes disruption of certain synaptic connections that can impair your brain’s ability for learning, memory formation and other cognitive functions. Poor sleep also accelerates the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.36

Most adults need seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Deep sleep is the most important, as this is when your brain’s glymphatic system performs its cleanout functions, eliminating toxic waste from your brain, including amyloid beta. For a comprehensive sleep guide, see “33 Secret’s to a Good Night’s Sleep.”

Challenge your mind daily

Mental stimulation, especially learning something new, such as learning to play an instrument or a new language, is associated with a decreased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

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How Sugar Harms Your Brain Health and Drives Alzheimer’s Epidemic


Alzheimer’s disease, a severe form of dementia, affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans, according to 2013 statistics.[1]


One in nine seniors over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s, and the disease is now thought to be the third leading cause of death in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.

A growing body of research suggests there’s a powerful connection between your diet and your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, via similar pathways that cause type 2 diabetes.

Contrary to popular belief, your brain does not require glucose, and actually functions better burning alternative fuels, especially ketones, which your body makes in response to digesting healthy fats.

According to some experts, such as Dr. Ron Rosedale, Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders may in large part be caused by the constant burning of glucose for fuel by your brain.

Alzheimer’s disease was tentatively dubbed “type 3 diabetes” in early 2005 when researchers discovered that in addition to your pancreas, your brainalsoproduces insulin, and this brain insulin is necessary for the survival of brain cells.

Sugar Damages Brain Structure and Function

In your brain, insulin helps with neuron glucose-uptake and the regulation of neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, which are crucial for memory and learning. This is why reducing the level of insulin in your brain impairs your cognition.

Research[2] has also shown that type 2 diabetics lose more brain volume with age than expected—particularly gray matter. This kind of brain atrophy is yet another contributing factor for dementia.

Studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer’s disease. But according to recent research published in the journalNeurology,[3] sugar and other carbohydrates can disrupt your brain function even if you’re not diabetic or have any signs of dementia.

To test their theory, they evaluated short- and long-term glucose markers in 141 healthy, non-diabetic, non-demented seniors. Memory tests and brain imaging were administered to assess their brain function and the actual structure of their hippocampus. As reported by Scientific American:[4]

“Higher levels on both glucose measures were associated with worse memory, as well as a smaller hippocampus and compromised hippocampal structure.

The researchers also found that the structural changes partially accounted for the statistical link between glucose and memory. According to study co-author Agnes Flöel, a neurologist at Charité, the results ‘provide further evidence that glucose might directly contribute to hippocampal atrophy.’”

The findings suggest that even if you’re not diabetic or insulin resistant (and about 80 percent of Americans fall into the latter category), sugar consumption can still disrupt your memory.

Long-term, it can contribute to the shrinking of your hippocampus, which is a hallmark symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. (Your hippocampus is involved with the formation, organization, and storage of memories.)

The authors of the study suggest that “strategies aimed at lowering glucose levels even in the normal range may beneficially influence cognition in the older population.”

‘Normal’ Blood Sugar Levels May Still Be High Enough to Cause Problems

Normally, a fasting blood sugar level between 100-125 mg/dl is diagnosed as a pre-diabetic state. A fasting blood sugar level of 90-100 is considered “normal.” But in addition to the featured research, other studies have also found that brain atrophy occurs even in this “normal” blood sugar range.

Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, MD insists that being very strict in limiting your consumption of sugar and non-vegetable carbs is one of THE most important steps you can take to prevent Alzheimer’s disease for this very reason.

He cites research from the Mayo Clinic, which found that diets rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89 percent increased risk for dementia. Meanwhile, high-fat diets are associated with a 44 percent reduced risk.

Download Interview Transcript

Sugar Lobby Threatens Organizations and Buries Science on Health Effects

Compelling research shows that your brain has great plasticity, which you control through your diet and lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, the American public has been grossly brainwashed by the sugar and processed food industries into believing that sugar is a perfectly reasonable “nutrient” that belongs in a healthy diet.

Without accurate information, it’s certainly more difficult to make health-affirming choices. Newsweek[5] recently ran an article revealing just how far the sugar industry will go to defend its market share:

“According to a new report[6] from the Center for Science and Democracy… industry groups representing companies that sell sweeteners, like the Sugar Association and the Corn Refiners Association… have poured millions of dollars into countering science that indicates negative health consequences of eating their products.

For example, when a University of Southern California study from 2013 found that the actual high fructose corn syrup content in sodas ‘varied significantly’ from the sugar content disclosed on soda labels, the Corn Refiners Association considered paying for its own counter research.

A consultant suggested that the counter research should only be published if the results aligned with their goal of disputing the USC study: ‘If for any reason the results confirm [the University of Southern California study], we can just bury the data,’ the consultant wrote, according to the report.”

According to the Center for Science report, the Sugar Association even threatened the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO had published a paper on sugar, recommending a 10 percent limit on added sugars, stating that added sugars “threaten the nutritional quality of diets.”

The Sugar Association shot off a letter to the director general, warning him that, unless WHO withdrew the study, the Sugar Association would persuade the US Congress to withdraw the WHO’s federal funding. The following year, when WHO published its global health strategy on diet and health, there was no mention of the offending sugar study.


The Sugar Lobby Deserves Blame for Fueling Chronic Disease Epidemics

Indeed, despite overwhelming evidence showing that sugar, and processed fructose in particular, is at the heart of our burgeoning obesity and chronic disease epidemics, the sugar lobby has been so successful in its efforts to thwart the impact of such evidence that there’s still no consensus among our regulatory agencies as to the “factual” dangers of sugar…

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data,[7] 13 percent of the average American’s diet is sugar. In the UK, a recently published report[8] by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommends limiting your added sugar intake to five percent, in order to avoid obesity and type 2 diabetes. They calculate this to be the equivalent of 25 grams of sugar (5-6 teaspoons) per day for women, and 35 grams (7-8 teaspoons) for men.

This matches my own recommendations for healthy, non-insulin resistant individuals—with one key difference. I recommend restricting sugar/fructose consumption to 25 grams from ALL sources, not just added sugar. This includes limiting your non-vegetable carbohydrates as well. Crazy enough, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition still recommends you get 50 percent of your daily energy intake in the form of starchy carbohydrates, which will undoubtedly and significantly raise your risk of insulin resistance. If you’re insulin/leptin resistant, diabetic, overweight, or have high blood pressure, heart disease, or cancer, I recommend restricting your sugar/fructose consumption to a maximum of 15 grams per day from all sources, until your insulin/leptin resistance has been resolved.

Dietary Guidelines for Maintaining Healthy Brain Function and Avoiding Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may also hold true for your brain. As you over-indulge on sugar and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of glucose and insulin that blunts its insulin signaling, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities, eventually causing permanent brain damage.

Additionally, when your liver is busy processing fructose (which your liver turns into fat), it severely hampers its ability to make cholesterol, an essential building block of your brain that is crucial for optimal brain function. Indeed, mounting evidence supports the notion that significantly reducing fructose consumption is a very important step for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Because of the very limited treatments, and no available cure as of yet, you’re really left with justone solid solution, and that is to prevent Alzheimer’s from happening to you in the first place. As explained by neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, Alzheimer’s is a disease predicated primarily on lifestyle choices; the two main culprits being excessive sugar and gluten consumption.

Another major factor is the development and increased consumption of genetically engineered (GE) grains, which are now pervasive in most processed foods sold in the US. The beauty of following my optimized nutrition plan is that it helps prevent and treat virtually ALL chronic degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. Dr. Perlmutter’s book, Grain Brain, also provides powerful arguments for eliminating grains from your diet, particularly if you want to protect the health of your brain. In terms of your diet, the following suggestions may be among the most important for Alzheimer’s prevention:

  • Avoid sugar and refined fructose. Ideally, you’ll want to keep your total sugar and fructose below 25 grams per day, or as low as 15 grams per day if you have insulin resistance or any related disorders. In one recent animal study, a junk food diet high in sugar resulted in impaired memory after just one week![9] Place recognition, specifically, was adversely affected.

As a general rule, you’ll want to keep your fasting insulin levels below 3, and this is indirectly related to fructose, as it will clearly lead to insulin resistance. However, other sugars (sucrose is 50 percent fructose by weight), grains, and lack of exercise are also important factors. Lowering insulin will also help lower leptin levels which is another factor for Alzheimer’s.

  • Avoid gluten and casein (primarily wheat and pasteurized dairy, but not dairy fat, such as butter). Research shows that your blood-brain barrier, the barrier that keeps things out of your brain where they don’t belong, is negatively affected by gluten. Gluten also makes your gut more permeable, which allows proteins to get into your bloodstream, where they don’t belong. That then sensitizes your immune system and promotes inflammation and autoimmunity, both of which play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s.
  • Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate, such as the one described in my nutrition plan. Vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate, and we should all eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day. Avoid supplements like folic acid, which is the inferior synthetic version of folate.
  • Increase consumption of all healthful fats, including animal-based omega-3.Beneficial health-promoting fats that your brain needs for optimal function include organic butter from raw milk, clarified butter called ghee, organic grass fed raw butter, olives, organic virgin olive oil and coconut oil, nuts like pecans and macadamia, free-range eggs, wild Alaskan salmon, and avocado.

Contrary to popular belief, the ideal fuel for your brain is not glucose but ketones. Ketones are what your body produces when it converts fat (as opposed to glucose) into energy. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil are a great source of ketone bodies, because coconut oil is about 66 percent MCTs. In 2010, I published Dr. Mary Newport’s theory that coconut oil might offer profound benefits in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. She has since launched one of the first clinical trials of its kind to test this theory.

Also make sure you’re getting enough animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. (I recommend avoiding most fish because, although fish is naturally high in omega-3, most fish are now severely contaminated with mercury.) High intake of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA help by preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder.

  • Optimize your gut flora by regularly eating fermented foods or taking a high-potency and high-quality probiotic supplement
  • Eat blueberries. Wild blueberries, which have high anthocyanin and antioxidant content, are known to guard against Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

Other Helpful Dietary Tips and Valuable Supplements

Another helpful tip is to reduce your overall calorie consumption, and/or intermittently fast. As mentioned above, ketones are mobilized when you replace carbs with coconut oil and other sources of healthy fats. A one-day fast can help your body to “reset” itself, and start to burn fat instead of sugar. As part of a healthy lifestyle, I prefer an intermittent fasting schedule that simply calls for limiting your eating to a narrower window of time each day. By restricting your eating to a 6-8 hour window, you effectively fast 16-18 hours each day. To learn more about intermittent fasting, please see this previous article.

Also be aware that when it comes to cholesterol levels and Alzheimer’s, lower is NOT better. Quite the contrary. According to Dr. Perlmutter, research shows that elderly individuals with thelowest cholesterol levels have the highest risk for Alzheimer’s. They also have the highest risk for dying. As he says, the war on cholesterol is fundamentally inappropriate and harmful.

Finally, there’s a short list of supplement recommendations worth noting for their specific benefits in preventing and treating dementia. So, although your fundamental strategy for preventing dementia should involve a comprehensive lifestyle approach, you may want to take special note of the following natural dietary agents. These four natural foods/supplements have good science behind them, in terms of preventing age-related cognitive changes:

  1. Gingko biloba: Many scientific studies have found that Ginkgo biloba has positive effects for dementia. A 1997 study from JAMA showed clear evidence that Ginkgo improves cognitive performance and social functioning for those suffering from dementia. Another 2006 study found Ginkgo as effective as the dementia drug Aricept (donepezil) for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer’s type dementia. A 2010 meta-analysis also found Ginkgo biloba to be effective for a variety of types of dementia.
  2. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA): ALA has been shown to help stabilize cognitive functions among Alzheimer’s patients and may slow the progression of the disease.
  3. Vitamin B12: A small Finnish study published in the journal Neurology[10] found thatpeople who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s in their later years. For each unit increase in the marker of vitamin B12 the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was reduced by two percent. Remember sublingual methylcobalamin may be your best bet here.

Lifestyle Strategies That Can Help Ward off Alzheimer’s Disease

Lifestyle choices such as getting regular sun exposure and exercise, along with avoiding toxins, are also important factors when it comes to maintaining optimal brain health. Here are several of my lifestyle suggestions:

  • Optimize your vitamin D levels with safe sun exposure. Strong links between low levels of vitamin D in Alzheimer’s patients and poor outcomes on cognitive tests have been revealed. Researchers believe that optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important chemicals in your brain and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of the glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health.

Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Sufficient vitamin D is imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation that is also associated with Alzheimer’s.

  • Exercise regularly. It’s been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized,[11] thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Exercise also increases levels of the protein PGC-1alpha. Research has also shown that people with Alzheimer’s have less PGC-1alpha in their brains[12] and cells that contain more of the protein produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s. I would strongly recommend reviewing the Peak Fitness Technique for my specific recommendations.
  • Avoid and eliminate mercury from your body. Dental amalgam fillings, which are 50 percent mercury by weight, are one of the major sources of heavy metal toxicity. However, you should be healthy prior to having them removed. Once you have adjusted to following the diet described in my optimized nutrition plan, you can follow the mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to have your amalgams removed.
  • Avoid aluminum, such as antiperspirants, non-stick cookware, vaccine adjuvants, etc.
  • Avoid flu vaccinations as most contain both mercury and aluminum, well-known neurotoxic and immunotoxic agents.
  • Avoid anticholinergics and statin drugs. Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain nighttime pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers.

Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, deplete your brain of coenzyme Q10 and neurotransmitter precursors, and prevent adequate delivery of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble antioxidants to your brain by inhibiting the production of the indispensable carrier biomolecule known as low-density lipoprotein.

  • Challenge your mind daily. Mental stimulation, especially learning something new, such as learning to play an instrument or a new language, is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Article References

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

[1] Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures (PDF)

[2] WebMD April 29, 2014

[3] Neurology November 12, 2013: 81(20); 1746-1752

[4] Scientific American June 12, 2014

[5] Newsweek June 27, 2014

[6] Center for Science and Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists

[7] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NCHS Data Brief #122, May 2013 (PDF)

[8] Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (PDF)

[9] December 30, 2013

[10] Neurology October 19, 2010: 75(16); 1402-3

[11] Journal of Neuroscience, April 27, 2005: 25(17); 4217-4221

[12] Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2011: 25(1); 151-62

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Scientists Have Made Biodegradable Plastic From Sugar & Carbon Dioxide

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We are producing and consuming plastic at an exponential rate, and at this point we are producing more plastic than ever before. The big problem with plastic is that it does not break down, in fact, according to GreenPeace – every piece of plastic that has ever been created still exists somewhere on the planet. That’s an alarming statistic, especially when you consider every plastic bottle, bag, wrapper, toothbrush, etc. By 2050 our oceans might contain more plastic than fish, and 80% of our tap water may contain microplastics if we don’t do something to change our current habits.

Fortunately, this problem is garnering a lot of attention and there are many initiatives designed to cut back, limit, and provide alternatives to our plastic consumption. The New Plastics Economy, for example, is aiming to reverse this problem by encouraging the plastics industry to design reusable plastic products. Others are looking to change the very nature of plastic altogether, and are searching for more  alternatives.

Have We Found A Solution?

Scientists from the Centre of Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) at the University of Bath have now successfully created a plastic that does not use harmful chemicals during production, which creates pollution. This new method is completely biodegradable, and  it’s made from sugar and carbon dioxide – nothing more. CO2 is added to naturally occurring sugar from thymidine at very low pressures at room temperature.

This process creates a polycarbonate, which is a tough type of plastic that can make beverage containers, lenses for glasses, DVD’s, CD’s (in case anyone still uses those things 😉 ) and scratch resistant screens for cell phones. Typically, polycarbonates are made from petroleum and the chemicals that come from it. These plastics DO NOT biodegrade and we have been producing and consuming them at an alarming rate since the invention of plastics derived from fossil fuels in 1907.

It wasn’t until WW1 that plastics began being produced, plastic changed many aspects of our lives and even though it seems shocking to us now, it seems no one really thought about the potential long term effects of this exponential plastic production, where it would all end up and whether or not it would harm our environment.

Biodegradable Plastics Do Exist

Unlike the petroleum-based polycarbonates we’ve been using for decade, the plastics created by the team at the University of Bath can break down naturally. We have seen a few other examples of biodegradable plastics, but these attempts have been harshly criticized. As pointed out by the UN Environment Programmes chief scientist, Jacqueline McGlade, they were only a “false solution” because many of these alternatives would only biodegrade at temperatures of 50C. This isn’t exactly a common temperature in most  parts of the world.

The plastic created by the scientists from the University of Bath do not need high temperatures to degrade. Instead, they can  be completely degraded back into sugar and CO2 just by the enzymes which are found naturally in the bacteria located within the soil.

Another plus to this new plastic is that it is completely void of any and all toxic chemicals, so the production does not create any pollution. Also, most polycarbonates contain bisophenol-A, which you might know by the name  of ‘BPA,’ it’s a known toxin and hormone disruptor that’s often used in drink and food containers. At certain temperatures, these toxins can also leak into our foods that we store in them.

What About Other Biodegradable Plastics Made From Sugar?

There have been other attempts, and successful ones in terms of their ability to biodegrade, but the problem with these is that the manufacturing process contains the use of a highly toxic chemical called phosgene. Phosgene was actually used as a weapon of chemical warfare during World War 1 and was responsible for 85% of the deaths caused by gas attacks.

According to the scientists of this newly developed plastic from the University of Bath,

“Our process uses carbon dioxide instead of the highly toxic chemical phosgene, and produces a plastic that is free from BPA,” said Dr Antoine Buchard, Whorrod Research Fellow at the University of Bath’s Department of Chemistry.

“So not only is the plastic safer, but the manufacture process is cleaner too.”

By selecting thymidine as the sugar used to create the biodegradable plastic, the university’s scientists may also have found a medical application for it.

“Thymidine is one of the units that makes up DNA,” said Georgina Gregory, a PhD student and lead author of the research paper.

“Because it is already present in the body, it means this plastic will be bio-compatible and can be used safely for tissue engineering applications.”

This Is Great News, But What Can We Do Now?

It is amazing to see that safer, cleaner, environmentally friendly alternatives are becoming available, but the fact of the matter is that they are not yet in widespread use and as consumers we must take responsibility for our actions and be the change we wish to see. Vote with your dollar! 

There are many ways you can reduce your plastic consumption, here are just a few examples,

  • Use a reusable water bottle
  • Opt for no straw when at a restaurant
  • Bring your own containers if ordering take out
  • Say no to a lid at your coffee spot or bring your own reusable mug
  • Use glass containers for storage of leftover food
  • Try using alternatives to saran wrap
  • Buy in bulk, using reusable bags
  • Bring reusable bags to the grocery store
  • Don’t purchase products packed in a ton of plastic
  • Buy products that are made to last
  • Simply stop consuming products that come in plastic i.e. Coca Cola
  • Make your own personal care and cleaning products

There are so many ways that we can easily incorporate these changes into our daily lives and find ways to cut down on the amount of waste we are producing. If we don’t do this now, it is possible that it will be too late. It is up to each and every one of us to take responsibility, learn from our mistakes and be the change we wish to see. Do you want to be a part of the solution or a part of the problem? The choice is yours.

Much Love

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Sweet distraction: The sugar industry has been hiding evidence of its health effects for nearly 50 years, researchers discover

Image: Sweet distraction: The sugar industry has been hiding evidence of its health effects for nearly 50 years, researchers discover

(Natural News)
It’s something everyone knows, but not everyone is willing to talk about it: Sugar kills. Consumers know it, although many prefer not to believe it so they can keep eating their favorite candies and cakes. Doctors know it, but not all of them tell their patients, whether it’s for self-serving reasons or just part of the general lack of focus on nutrition many doctors exhibit. Pharmaceutical companies know it, but they, too, are happy to keep quiet about it as they collect their diabetes drug profits. Most of all, however, the sugar industry knows it – and it’s something they’ve been covering up for half a century.

A paper that was recently published in the PLOS Biology journal revealed how the sugar industry has long known and suppressed information showing the dangers of sucrose. The researchers from the University of California at San Francisco found the evidence in a review of internal sugar industry documents.

They found that the Sugar Research Foundation funded research in animals to evaluate the effects that sucrose has on cardiovascular health back in the 1960s. Once the evidence showed a link between sucrose and bladder cancer and heart disease, they abruptly stopped the project and conveniently decided not to publish the results.

In a past analysis, the researchers discovered that the Sugar Research Foundation secretly funded a review article dismissing the evidence linking sugar consumption with coronary heart disease in 1967. That review said that gut microbes were the reason rats who consumed sugar had higher levels of cholesterol than those who ate starch and said the effects were not the same in humans.

The researchers have now discovered that a year later, the Sugar Research Foundation, which had by then become known as the International Sugar Research Foundation (ISRF), carried out a study of rats known as Project 259 in which the nutritional effects of bacterial organisms in intestines when consuming sugar versus starch were measured.

That study, which was carried out by University of Birmingham researchers, suggested that the bacteria in the gut helps to mediate the adverse cardiovascular effects of sugar, and it also pointed to a higher risk of bladder cancer. This means that ISRF knew that consuming sugar could cause bladder cancer. What did they do with this potentially life-saving knowledge? They pulled funding for Project 259 and didn’t publish any of the findings.

Subsequent studies affected by suppressed information

This has had a ripple effect and skewed subsequent studies. For example, when scientists debated whether sugar had the ability to raise triglycerides relative to starch in the late 1960s, the evidence from Project 259 would have backed the notion that it could. That debate and others about the link between sugar and cancer still rage on, with the Sugar Association claiming that “no credible link between ingested sugars and cancer has been established” as recently as last year.

Long-standing tradition of manipulating research

Study co-author Stanton Glantz said: “The kind of manipulation of research is similar [to] what the tobacco industry does. This kind of behavior calls into question sugar industry-funded studies as a reliable source of information for public policy making.”

Unfortunately, as the researchers point out, it’s just one of many pieces of proof that industries manipulate science to serve their own commercial interests, and it’s a practice that is unlikely to stop any time soon. Whether we’re talking about cigarettes, vaccines, antidepressants, pesticides, or something as basic as sugar, those who stand to profit from something will always do their best to make it seem like a product that helps instead of harms despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

Sources include:



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How Sugar Literally Destroys Your Health And Makes You Stupid

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Sugar, primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is the largest source of calories in the United States today. While its mass appeal is vastly rooted in cultures worldwide, its health impacts are severe and often overlooked by the majority.

In his book The Sugar Fix, Dr. Richard Johnson reveals that about 50% of Americans consume as much as half a pound, more than 225 grams, of sugar per day. This statistic is the furthest thing from sweet.

While it’s no secret that sugar is a major player in the obesity, heart disease, and type II diabetes epidemics, most would be shocked to discover that sugar literally makes you dumber as well.

From Our Gut to Our Brain

In his article “Eating Sugar Makes You Stupid,” Dr. Mercola discusses a number of studies pointing to the degenerative effects of sugar on the brain.

One of these studies, published in the journal Neuroscience, showed how a high-sugar diet led to changes in gut bacteria in mice that in turn caused a significant loss of cognitive flexibility, which is a measure of your brain’s ability to adapt to changing situations.

After four weeks of consuming excess amounts of sugar, the mice performed poorly on a variety of tests related to mental and physical function when compared to mice fed a normal diet,” Mercola wrote. 

Kathy Magnusson, a professor in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute, said in an Oregon State University news release:

It’s increasingly clear that our gut bacteria, or microbiota, can communicate with the human brain… Bacteria can release compounds that act as neurotransmitters, stimulate sensory nerves or the immune system, and affect a wide range of biological functions…

We’re not sure just what messages are being sent, but we are tracking down the pathways and the effects.

The findings from the study only further substantiate the growing list of evidence showing the cognitive defects of sugar consumption.

Insulin Resistance and the Brain

In 2012, a team of researchers examined the effects of HFCS on rats’ brains, soon to discover that rats who had been fed a diet high in HFCS faced cognitive impairment and struggled to remember their way out of mazes.

“Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier,” Mercola wrote. 

Furthermore, the fructose-fed rats showed signs of resistance to insulin, a hormone that controls your blood sugar and synaptic function in the brain. Because insulin is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier, it can trigger neurological processes important for learning and memory.

Consuming large amounts of fructose may block insulin’s ability to regulate how your brain cells store and use sugar for the energy needed to fuel thoughts and emotions.”

What Happened When Rats Were Fed Omega-3 Fats With Sugar

In the same study, a second group of rats was given Omega-3 fats in the form of flaxseed oil and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in addition to the high-fructose diet. After six weeks, this group of rats was able to navigate the maze better and faster than the rats in the non-DHA group.

The researchers concluded that DHA is protective against fructose’s harmful effects on your brain.

DHA is essential for synaptic function — it helps your brain cells transmit signals to one another, which is the mechanism that makes learning and memory possible.

Unfortunately, your body can’t produce all the DHA it needs, so it must be incorporated into your diet through wild-caught seafood or a supplement like krill oil. Many Americans are seriously deficient in Omega-3 fats, which means they may be especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of excess fructose.

Elevated Blood Sugar Levels Can Be Linked to Memory Loss

Mercola also stresses that even if you don’t have type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes suggestive of insulin resistance, higher blood sugar levels appear to have a negative influence on cognition regardless.

One study found that those with higher blood sugar levels scored lower on memory tests.

For each 7-mmol/mol increase in HbA1c (a measure of blood glucose), participants recalled two fewer words on memory tests. Those with higher blood sugar levels also had lower volume of the hippocampus, a brain region linked to memory.

How Insulin Sensitivity Relates to the Development of Dementia


Consumption of any grain, sugar, or starch leads to a rise in blood sugar. To help regulate your blood sugar levels, your pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream, which lowers glucose levels.

However, the downside to insulin is that it converts sugar into fat, which in turn can lead to weight gain over time.

If elevated blood sugar levels become your norm, your body eventually requires more and more insulin to be released in order to get the job done. This is when you’ve become insulin resistant, the precursor to type II diabetes.

As you overindulge on sugar and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of insulin and eventually shuts down its insulin signalling, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities and eventually causing permanent brain damage, among other health issues.

In early 2005, researchers tentatively dubbed Alzheimer’s disease as “type 3 diabetes” after recognizing that in addition to your pancreas, your brain also produces insulin, and this brain insulin is necessary for brain cell survival.

Studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer’s disease.

Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter insists that, for this very reason, strictly limiting your consumption of sugar and non-vegetable carbs is one of the most important steps you can take toward prevent Alzheimer’s disease. He cites research from the Mayo Clinic which found that diets rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89% increased risk for dementia.

Destroying the Gut Destroys the Brain

Your gut, which is teeming with microbial life, also communicates with your brain, via what’s known as the “gut-brain axis.” Embedded in the wall of your gut is your enteric nervous system (ENS), which works both independently of and in conjunction with the brain in your head.

This communication between your “two brains” runs both ways and is the pathway by which foods affect your mood. It’s why anxiety can make you stick to your stomach, for example. However, this gut-brain connection is about far more than just comfort food or butterflies in your stomach. According to Scientific American“The gut-brain axis seems to be bidirectional—the brain acts on gastrointestinal and immune functions that help to shape the gut’s microbial makeup, and gut microbes make neuroactive compounds, including neurotransmitters and metabolites that also act on the brain.”

Therefore, improving your gut microbiome inherently improves your brain function.

Helpful Tips

Obviously keeping your sugar levels below 25 grams per day is ideal in decreasing your chances of dementia or other cognitive defects. For diabetics, pre-diabetics, people who are overweight, or people with high cholesterol or high blood pressure, Dr. Mercola recommends keeping sugar intake to below 15 grams per day.

Consuming naturally fermented foods will also help correct gut microbiome, which in turns help regulate your nervous system and overall health. Naturally fermented foods include sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and kefir.

Lastly, taking a daily probioitic is also a surefire way to correct gut bacteria levels more efficiently than through food.

What are your thoughts on the gut-brain connection? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!


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Have You Got A Sweet Tooth? 5 Clear Signs You’re Eating Too much Sugar

By Fattima Mahdi Truth Theory

The sweet crystalline carbohydrate seems to be everywhere and in everything, so even if you are trying to steer clear, chances are you’re eating more sugar than you think. It is important to note that anyone can have high blood sugar levels – not just diabetics. You could be doing harm to your nerves, blood vessels and organs and not know until it’s too late. If you want to prevent worrying symptoms, it is important that you are able to spot the signs and take preventive measures.


If you eat breakfast or lunch that is packed with sugar, you might end up feeling fatigued in the afternoon. Your body will be unable to store and absorb glucose properly and so your cells won’t receive the fuel they need. Having a balanced diet will prevent your blood sugar from going from a sugary high to a lethargic low.

Constant Hunger

If you’re eating foods high in sugar, glucose will be unable to enter cells, which in turn prevents the body from receiving energy. As a result, your body will ask for food again and again.

Weight Loss

High glucose levels can lead to weight loss. Firstly, a high sugar intake will force you to urinate more frequently, which will result in a low fluid level in the whole body and thus you will lose weight. In addition, if the insulin level is insufficient for glucose metabolism then the body will switch to fat burning.

Dry Skin

Excessive urination dehydrates the body and as a result it can lead to dry skin. High blood sugar levels can also disrupt sweat glands and can in turn affect the skin-water balance resulting in dryness.

Inability To Concentrate

High blood sugar levels prevent glucose from entering the brain cells, as a result your brain will find it difficult to receive energy. This has a negative impact on your ability to make decisions, as well as the speed at which you think.

Read more: This Is What Advertising Would Look Like If Corporations Actually Told The Truth

Image Copyright: lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo

I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here

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Sugar, carbs and cancer – It’s all connected


In August of 2016, the New England Journal of Medicine published a striking report on cancer and body fat: Thirteen separate cancers can now be linked to being overweight or obese, among them a number of the most common and deadly cancers of all – colon, thyroid, ovarian, uterine, pancreatic and (in postmenopausal women) breast cancer.

Earlier this month, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added more detail: Approximately 631,000 Americans were diagnosed with a body fat-related cancer in 2014, accounting for 40% of all cancers diagnosed that year.

Increasingly, it seems not only that we are losing the war on cancer, but that we are losing it to what we eat and drink.

These new findings, while important, only tell us so much. The studies reflect whether someone is overweight upon being diagnosed with cancer, but they don’t show that the excess weight is responsible for the cancer. They are best understood as a warning sign that something about what or how much we eat is intimately linked to cancer. But what?

When insulin rises to abnormally high levels and remains elevated, it can promote the growth of tumors directly and indirectly.

The possibility that much of our cancer burden can be traced to diet isn’t a new idea. In 1937, Frederick Hoffman, an actuary for the Prudential Life Insurance Co., devoted more than 700 pages to a review of all the medical thinking on the topic at the time. But with little in the way of evidence, Hoffman could only guess at which of the many theories might be correct. If we’ve made little progress since then in pinpointing specific foods that cause cancer, it’s in large part because nutrition studies aren’t well-suited to cracking the problem.

A cancer typically arises over years, or decades, making the type of study that might definitively establish cause and effect – an experiment in which people are randomly assigned to different diets – nearly impossible to carry out. The next-best option – observational studies that track what a specific group of individuals eats and which members of the group are later diagnosed with cancer – tends to generate as much confusion as knowledge. One day we read that a study has linked eating meat to cancer; a month later, a new headline declares the exact opposite.

And yet researchers have made progress in understanding the diet-cancer connection. The advances have emerged in the somewhat esoteric field of cancer metabolism, which investigates how cancer cells turn the nutrients we consume into fuel and building blocks for new cancer cells.

Largely ignored in the last decades of the 20th century, cancer metabolism has undergone a revival as researchers have come to appreciate that some of the most well-known cancer-causing genes, long feared for their role in allowing cancer cells to proliferate without restraint, have another, arguably even more fundamental role: allowing cancer cells to “eat” without restraint. This research may yield a blockbuster cancer treatment, but in the meantime it can provide us with something just as crucial – knowledge about how to prevent the disease in the first place.

Lewis Cantley, the director of the cancer center at Weill Cornell Medicine, has been at the forefront of the cancer metabolism revival. Cantley’s best explanation for the obesity-cancer connection is that both conditions are also linked to elevated levels of the hormone insulin. His research has revealed how insulin drives cells to grow and take up glucose (blood sugar) by activating a series of genes, a pathway that has been implicated in most human cancers.

The problem isn’t the presence of insulin in our blood. We all need insulin to live. But when insulin rises to abnormally high levels and remains elevated (a condition known as insulin resistance, common in obesity), it can promote the growth of tumors directly and indirectly. Too much insulin and many of our tissues are bombarded with more growth signals and more fuel than they would ever see under normal metabolic conditions. And because elevated insulin directs our bodies to store fat, it can also be linked to the various ways the fat tissue itself is thought to contribute to cancer.

Having recognized the risks of excess insulin-signaling, Cantley and other metabolism researchers are following the science to its logical conclusion: The danger may not be simply eating too much, as is commonly thought, but rather eating too much of the specific foods most likely to lead to elevated insulin levels – easily digestible carbohydrates in general, and sugar in particular.

This is not to say that all cancers are caused by too much insulin or that we should never eat sugar again. Michael Pollak, a metabolism researcher and director of cancer prevention at McGill University in Canada, says that the best approach to sugar is to think of it like a spice – something to occasionally sprinkle on foods, as opposed to an ingredient in nearly every meal and too many drinks.

Nutrition is an inherently messy science. But recent advances in cancer metabolism research are sending us an increasingly clear message about our diet. Winning the war on cancer may depend upon whether we’re ready to hear it.

Sam Apple teaches science journalism at the University of Pennsylvania. He is working on a book about cancer metabolism. @samuelapple

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Natural Way to Control Sugar in the Blood: All It Takes Is One Boiled Egg

We determine our overall health with our eating and lifestyle habits. But the modern environment has become toxic, raising our risk of various diseases, and the busy lifestyle we have doesn’t allow having a healthy diet all the time, and this needs to change right now!

When we see the results of our routine checks, we are often shocked by the high or low levels of things like blood sugar, all of which are caused by a significant eating disorder. We aren’t even aware of these “silent killers” which can cause irreparable damages in our organism.

But the luck is on your side, as we offer an incredible and quick solution for your high blood sugar.

You will need an egg and vinegar. First, boil the egg somewhere in the afternoon, and after peeling it pierce it couple of times using a fork. Then, place it in a container and pour vinegar over the egg, and let it stay overnight. The next morning, consume the egg in combination with a glass of warm water. Do this for several days, and then check your blood sugar to compare the levels before and after the egg treatment. You will notice that your blood sugar levels will be way lower than before. This procedure is definitely worth trying it and sharing it with others.

Eggs are inexpensive and jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats. One medium egg contains 63 calories, 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat — most of which are heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Their protein and fat content, along with their lack of carbohydrates, makes eggs an excellent choice if you’re watching your blood sugar levels. Enjoy this versatile food for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but consume egg yolks in moderation if your cholesterol is high.

Glycemic Index Numbers

The glycemic index ranks how much a food increases your blood sugar in comparison to glucose, a sugar. Foods ranked 55 or less are low-glycemic-index foods. Medium-glycemic-index foods are 56 to 69 and high-glycemic foods are 70 and above. The higher the glycemic index of a food, the faster it increases your blood sugar levels. Low-glycemic-index foods have little to no impact on blood sugar levels. Eggs do not have a glycemic index value because they contain less than 1 gram of carbohydrate and therefore do not influence your blood sugar levels.

Improve Your Blood Sugar

An egg for breakfast may lower your blood sugar levels for the rest of the morning and improve overall blood sugar levels. A study published in “Nutrition Research” in 2010 gave men an egg breakfast for one week and a bagel breakfast for one week. Their blood was drawn to measure glucose, insulin and appetite hormones for the following three hours. When participants had the egg breakfast, their blood sugar and insulin were lower compared to when they consumed the bagel breakfast. In a 2010 study in the “British Journal of Nutrition,” people with diabetes showed improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels when they consumed eggs as opposed to other animal protein.


Stay Full Longer

The 6 grams of protein in one medium egg is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids, or protein building blocks, in the proportions your body needs. The protein keeps you feeling full and helps reduce your overall caloric intake for the day. The aforementioned study in “Nutrition Research” also showed that when subjects had an egg for breakfast, their appetite hormones were lower and they consumed fewer calories throughout the day. Subjects were hungrier and not as satiated after eating the bagel breakfast. By consuming fewer calories, you can keep your weight in check and reduce your risk for type-2 diabetes. The American Council on Exercise recommends consuming egg whites if you’re trying to lose weight because they are high in nutrients and low in calories.

Recommendations and Considerations

Egg yolks contain 213 milligrams of cholesterol. The American Heart Association allows an egg per day for healthy adults with no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day. According to Harvard School of Public Health, eat no more than 3 egg yolks per week if you have heart disease or diabetes. Opt for egg whites instead, which contain no cholesterol. Store eggs in a refrigerator for three to five weeks, and store hard-boiled eggs for no more than a week. Leftover egg whites and yolks should be eaten within four days. Avoid eating raw eggs. Although the risk is minimal, some eggs are contaminated with salmonella.


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