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Posts Tagged ‘JD Moyer’

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To Protect Your Heart, You Need to Bleed

Friday, April 25th, 2014

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Photo courtesy of Gordonator.com via Creative Commons license

Today, we bring you another guest post (repost) from JD Moyer.

This post is about why you should let someone stick a needle in your arm, take your blood, and sell it (in exchange for a cup of juice and some cookies).

If you’re over thirty and male, or a post-menopausal woman, you should probably be donating blood every 2-4 months. If you’re not eligible to give blood (due to a recent tattoo, international travel, illness, needle use, medication, or being a gay man) then you should take steps to reduce your iron intake and absorption.

Why? Reducing iron stores in the body (though blood donation or reducing iron intake) is probably one of the easiest things you can do to sharply reduce your chance of heart attack, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes. Those three categories of disease account for over 50% of deaths in the U.S. (link to PDF, see page 5 for chart).

People prone to anemia probably shouldn’t give blood, but it’s worth noting that anemia can also be caused by B12 or copper deficiency. Usually doctors just prescribe iron supplements when anemia is diagnosed, which can result in iron overload if the cause of anemia isn’t iron deficiency.

If you’re a premenopausal non-smoking non-diabetic woman, you have a much reduced risk of heart diseaseprobably due to lower iron levels (though estrogen levels may also be a factor). But after women stop menstruating, heart disease becomes the leading health risk (women are especially prone to vascular dysfunction; blood flow decreases even when the major arteries are clear).

Donating blood on a regular basis (and thus reducing the amount of stored iron in your body) improves your health in three ways:

1) Reduces chance of heart attack, reduces hardening of the arteries

High serum iron levels immediately constrict blood vessels, reduce blood flow, and in the long term lead to hardening of the arteries. “Iron loading impairs endothelial function, mostly due to oxidative stress,” says Hidehiro Matsuoka, MD, PhD (lead researcher and chief of the Kurume University School of Medicine’s hypertension program).

Donating blood, even as infrequently as once or twice a year, reduces iron levels in the body (by as much as 250mg per donation), and markedly reduces the chance of heart attack.

 2) Reducing iron stores improves insulin sensitivity, thus reducing the chance of Type 2 diabetes

This post from Stephen Guyenet discusses the relationship between iron and insulin sensitivity in some detail.

This study looked at insulin resistance in Type 2 non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and found that iron reduction via phlebotomies (removing blood from the body) significantly improved insulin sensitivity.

This article from the American Diabetes Association discusses the glucose-iron relationship in depth, and reaches a similar conclusion. From the article:

Phlebotomy was followed by decreases in serum glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and apoprotein B (14), and by improvement in both β-cell secretion and peripheral insulin action in patients with type 2 diabetes (15). A significant impact of tissue iron excess on systemic effects of diabetes is suggested by recent reports in which iron appears to influence the development of diabetic nephropathy and vascular dysfunction.

Excess iron is a killer — get rid of it!

3) Reducing iron stores decreases cancer risk

This study followed up, years later, with patients who had undergone iron reduction therapy in order to improve vascular health, and found that the iron reduction group had significantly lower cancer risk and mortality.

This older but quite large study found an inverse relationship between iron levels and cancer risk, especially in men.

This study found that high iron stores are associated with a higher risk of death from cancer in postmenopausal women.

Hemochromatosis

I recently learned through 23andMe that I am heterozygous for the gene that causes hemochromatosis. If I had both copies of the mutated gene, I would have a very high chance of absorbing and retaining too much iron, resulting in serious health problems. According to this study, heterozygous carriers of this gene also tend to accumulate iron in the body as they age at a faster rate than the normal population (especially when the gene is inherited from the father). I inherited this particular gene from my mother (she also did the 23andMe test, so we can compare), but I am cautious with iron intake nonetheless.

Modulating Iron Levels Via Diet

Iron is an essential nutrient, and many people don’t get enough. If you are a growing child, a menstruating woman, or have digestive issues that reduce iron absorption, you might need to boost your iron levels in order to feel energetic. You can do this by:

  • eating iron-rich animal foods like beef, chicken liver, oysters, clams, and mussels (all very good sources of heme iron which is easily absorbed and utilized)
  • eat iron-rich plant foods like beans, tofu, and pumpkin seeds (all good sources of non-heme iron)
  • eat iron-rich foods with vitamin-C rich foods, or a vitamin C supplement, which increases iron absorption (taking vitamin C with each meal can tripletotal iron absorption)
  • taking iron supplements (non-heme iron), which most includes multivitamin-mineral supplements and many breakfast cereals
  • cooking with cast iron, especially if the recipe includes an acidic ingredient (like tomato sauce, wine, or lemon juice)
  • consume beverages high in tannins (like coffee and tea) in between meals instead of with meals; tannins reduce iron absorption
  • don’t consume calcium supplements or calcium-rich foods (like dairy products) with iron-rich foods; calcium also reduces iron absorption
  • don’t consume foods rich in phytates (most grains and legumes, especially oats) with iron-rich foods

If you want to reduce iron absorption, follow the opposite advice. Avoiding iron supplementation is especially important. I wouldn’t recommend drinking coffee and tea with every meal, or trying to eat a lot of phytate-rich foods, as you could end up reducing absorption of other nutrients that  you do need.

Heart Health Summary

I’ve written before about how to prevent heart disease, highlighting the importance of sunlight and not smoking.

But what’s most important, in terms of lifestyle changes? The idea that saturated fat and cholesterol intake lead to heart disease has been largely discredited, but that doesn’t mean diet isn’t important.

Genetics may protect some individuals against specific risks factors (everyone knows someone with a grandmother who smoked like a chimney and live to be 100). But it may be possible to group lifestyle factors into “very important” and “somewhat important” (in terms of protecting against heart disease). Here’s my attempt:

Very Important Lifestyle Factors to Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

  • don’t smoke, avoid extreme air pollution
  • prevent iron overload (oxidation) and sodium overload (high blood pressure)
  • get regular sunshine (convert nitrates in skin to nitric oxide)
  • avoid too much sitting, move around every day
  • control weight (especially abdominal and visceral fat) by limiting total carbohydrate (especially refined and high glycemic foods)

Somewhat Important Lifestyle Factors to Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

  • exercise vigorously several times a week
  • reduce chronic stress (acute/brief stress is not harmful)
  • eat well (low processed/refined foods, high nutrient, fresh food)
  • take helpful supplements (vitamin K2, magnesium, fish oil, coenzyme Q10)

I could be wrong, but that’s my best guess. A multi-vitamin and jogging a few times a week isn’t going to protect your heart if you’re overweight, you sit a lot, you smoke, and you don’t get sunlight on your skin on a regular basis.

On the other hand, simple lifestyle changes like getting more sun exposure, converting to a standing desk, giving blood regularly, or losing a spare tire mightmitigate other risk factors. If you do all of those things, you’re probably in good shape even if you don’t exercise vigorously and eat perfectly.

Another benefit of giving blood is that it feels pretty good. You’re probably saving a life every time you donate! And it’s weird, but kind of amazing, to think of your blood circulating in another person’s body. We are all connected, but the blood donor and receiver more than others.

Good health to you — may you live long and prosper!

 

How Do You Prevent Heart Disease? (Vitamin D might not help, but there’s plenty you can do)

Monday, January 28th, 2013
Today we feature a new article from, JD Moyer of the blog Systems for Living Well: Recently one of my favorite bloggers, Ferrett Steinmetz, had some chest pain, and as a precautionary measure went to the ER to get checked out. His initial tests came back normal, but the chest pain continued, and his blood work showed abnormal results. Ferrett had experienced a heart attack, and was immediately scheduled for surgery.

It got me thinking about heart disease.

Heart disease is incredibly common. It’s the leading cause of death in the United States.

So what can we do to prevent it?

 

For years the medical establishment told us that eating a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet was the best thing we could do to prevent heart disease. Even my last doctor tried to peddle this advice. I changed doctors.

Cardiologists who have been paying attention to the research now associate heart disease with factors like lack of exercise, diets high in refined carbohydrates, poor blood sugar control, inflammation, and sedentary lifestyle (lots of sitting — see infographic below). Dietary cholesterol doesn’t matter so much, and a moderate intake of saturated fat is probably not harmful (though monosaturated fats like olive oil may be preferable). Healthy fats (butter from grass-fed cows, olive oil, coconut oil, fatty fish) are a more “heart-healthy” source of fuel than grain products (even whole grains).

Bill Davis (author of Track Your Plaque and Wheat Belly) is one such forward-thinking cardiologist. Davis recommends a wheat-free, no refined vegetable oil (corn/sunflower/soy/canola), low-carbohydrate diet, as well as certain supplements (which he also sells) including vitamin D, fish oil, niacin, and coenzyme Q10. He also recommends foods such as olive oil, garlic, and tea (all associated with lower heart disease). Is he peddling products? Sure … but his approach is still leagues ahead of the conventional wisdom on heart disease.

Ferrett had to undergo triple bypass surgery. Thankfully, he survived, and is now recovering at home.

 

Cholesterol and Genetics

23andMe.com tracks fifteen SNP’s that are related to an increased or decreased risk of coronary heart disease (if you have a 23andMe account you can click here to see your heart disease risk profile).

The most significant SNP is rs3798220 (snpedia/23andMe). People carrying the C allele produce higher levels of lipoprotein(a), and have more than a twofold increased risk of heart disease. I feel fortunate to carry TT, but C carriers get a compliment from Dr. Davis. He calls them the “perfect carnivores” in this post, and claims this variant is more resistant to dehydration, tropical disease, and is more likely to be intelligent (I’m not sure what Davis is basing these claims on, but they’re interesting).

AG or GG at rs10455872 is also associated with higher Lp(a) levels and increased risk of coronary heart disease. 23andMe users can see their genotype for this SNP here.

Heart disease risk for rs3798220-C carriers can be somewhat mitigated by low-dose aspirin therapy, at least in women. Estrogen HRT also lowers lipoprotein-a/Lp(a) levels. Among Bantu fishermen, higher fish intake was also associated with lower Lp(a).

Why are elevated Lp(a) levels associated with coronary heart disease? Lp(a) is similar to low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is more likely to stick to arterial walls and clog them up (while the big HDL molecules bounce around harmlessly).

 

Environmental Risk Factors

In addition to genetic risk, these environmental risk factors are pretty well established. Unlike diet, there is little controversy around these risk factors for coronary heart disease:

We’re stuck with our genes, but these factors are avoidable. Don’t buy a house next to a freeway. If you smoke, making quitting a priority (if you’re under 40, the damage may be largely reversible). And get a standing desk (or convert — I added eight 12″ dowels to my IKEA desk — now it’s a standing desk).

 

Dietary Fat and Cholesterol

For decades, both fat intake and lipid cholesterol levels were associated with heart disease, but neither has been shown to be causative. The most famous high-fat diet correlation turned out to be Ancel Keys cherry-picking data for one of his presentations (though Keys may have been unfairly maligned by the paleo community, as this post explains).

What about cholesterol? As of 2010, the U.S. government was still recommending that we consume no more than 300mg of cholesterol a day (2 eggs contain about 370mg), even though a large body of research has failed to find any connection between dietary cholesterol and coronary heart disease. We’ll see if the 2015 guidelines update this recommendation.

Chris Kesser has written a number of articles debunking the idea that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat cause heart disease. I recommend his site.

Still, certain types of lipid cholesterol measurements are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, specifically LDL-P (low-density-lipoprotein particle number). We don’t want large numbers of tiny cholesterol particles floating about in our bloodstreams — they tend to clog up the works.

What raises LDL levels? While Lp(a) levels (discussed above) are related primarily to genetics, LDL levels are highly influenced by diet. High carbohydrate/high sugar diets seem to be the main culprit.

 

Cholesterol, Vitamin D, Sunlight, and Nitric Oxide

Some researchers believe that high cholesterol levels are merely a biomarker for coronary heart disease risk, and don’t cause heart disease at all. Chris Masterjohn explains how cholesterol is converted to vitamin D, and that sunlight is necessary for this process. So high lipid cholesterol might simply indicate that you aren’t getting enough sun, and that your vitamin D levels are too low. Low vitamin D levels are associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease.

So all we have to do is take supplemental vitamin D, and we should reduce our risk of heart disease, right?

 

Not so fast.

 

In terms of heart disease, blood levels of vitamin D may be a red herring biomarker, just like high cholesterol levels.

Dermatologist Richard Weller has done some fascinating research in this area. He found that people from northern latitudes with less sun exposure generally experience more heart disease. Even after controlling for smoking, diet, and socioeconomic factors, people from sunnier areas experience markedly less heart disease.

Weller discovered that the skin stores large amounts of nitrates and nitrites, which are converted to nitric oxide by exposure to sunlight. Nitric oxide released into the bloodstream lowers blood pressure and dilates (relaxes and opens) blood vessels. Weller showed that this effect was not related to vitamin D levels; the amount and intensity of sunlight (about 30 minutes of sun in Edinburgh, during the summer) was not sufficient to raise vitamin D levels. But it was enough to convert skin nitrates and nitrites into nitric oxide, and lower blood pressure.

It’s not that vitamin D isn’t good for you. We know vitamin D increases calcium absorption, prevent rickets, and reduces the risk of many cancers (especially colon cancer). But in terms of heart disease, low vitamin D may just be a biomarker for low sun exposure, and therefore low plasma nitric oxide levels.

How does nitric oxide prevent heart disease? In addition to lowering blood pressure, nitric oxide inhibits the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein, which is a known risk factor for heart disease.

What about skin cancer risk? Weller, a dermatologist, points out that heart disease is a much bigger killer than skin cancer (by a factor of 100). And thirty minutes of Scottish sunlight is probably not going to cause much skin damage.

I live in the Bay Area and we get plenty of sun, but I’m rarely in it. My calves are British-schoolboy white. Moving forward, that’s going to change. According to Weller, even ten minutes of California winter sunshine is enough to activate nitric oxide (NO) release. I won’t be sporting a tan anytime soon, but I might be moving into a light beige.

 

Other Ways To Raise Nitric Oxide Levels

What if sunlight exposure isn’t an option, either due to latitude or lifestyle?

There are other ways to boost nitric oxide. The primary one is exercise, which has shown to be heart-protective.

Dark chocolate also boosts NO levels and reduces blood pressure.

So does red wine.

 

So there are options to boost nitric oxide levels. And more than heart health is at stake; adequate NO levels are vital for sexual response in both men and women.

 

What About Supplements and Medications?

Which supplements and medications have the best evidence for protecting against heart disease?

Niacin has a decent track record, though a large trial by Merck combining statins and niacin showed no benefit. Personally I can’t tolerate large doses of niacin — the flush response is too much, and it messes with my digestion. Niacin may be especially effective for rs3798220-C carriers who produce higher levels of Lp(a), but low-dose aspirin is also effective.

Statins are often prescribed, but show no benefit for people who don’t already have coronary heart disease. Low-dose daily aspirin is just as (or more) effective, and much cheaper. Both statins and low-dose aspirin can have serious side effects, including internal bleeding and increased risk of macular degeneration for the latter.

Coenzyme Q-10 may be heart protective, and can help lower blood pressure. Oily fish like salmon is a good source, but since levels decrease with age, those of us over 40 might consider taking supplemental CoQ10. Statins tend to lower levels of coenzyme Q-10, and supplemental CoQ10 may protect against some of the side effects of statins.

Of all the supplements I have considered, vitamin K2 (found in fermented foods, aged cheeses, poultry liver, and grass-fed dairy products) seems to be the most promising in terms of actually preventing coronary heart disease. This study found an inverse relationships between dietary vitamin K2 and heart disease in older women.

I eat most of those foods, and recently I also started taking 50mcg of vitamin K2 (the Mk-7 form, derived from nattō) several times a week (I’ve tried actually eating nattō, but I can’t stand the taste).

Vitamin K2 controls where calcium goes in the body via modulation of the hormone osteocalcin. How exactly does this process work? Here’s a excerpt from this article.

The possible role of vitamin K2 in preventing coronary plaque development has emerged from observations of its effects on several bone proteins, whose main function is to keep calcium where it belongs in the body.

Osteocalcin is a calcium-regulating protein that is controlled by vitamin K2. When vitamin K is present, osteocalcin normally undergoes a process called carboxylation, which binds osteocalcin to the mineral portion of bone. However, in vitamin K2 deficiency, osteocalcin cannot perform this function, resulting in unrestrained calcium resorption (removal) from bone tissue that leads to osteoporosis.

The opposite situation seems to occur in the arteries. Calcium is deposited because another protein called matrix GLA-protein, which is a calcification inhibitor and is also K2-controlled, cannot undergo the process of carboxylation in a vitamin K-deficient state. Because only carboxylated matrix GLA-protein inhibits calcification, undercarboxylated matrix GLA-protein has been found to occur in unusually high concentration at the edge of calcified and atherosclerotic plaques, suggesting it plays an active role in depositing calcium in plaque.4 Impairment of the function of osteocalcin and matrix GLA-protein due to incomplete carboxy-lation results in an increased risk for developing osteoporosis and vascular calcification, respectively.

So if you want your arteries to remain uncalcified, you should absolutely make sure you are consuming enough vitamin K2.

What about fish oil? Consuming fatty fish multiple times a week is clearly associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease, but it’s less clear if supplemental fish oil is beneficial. I do both, but use a lower dose of fish oil (only 2-3g on most days).

Linus Pauling hypothesized that arterial plaque is only created in the absence of adequate vitamin C levels. Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute make a strong case for raising the RDA to 200mg a day (high enough not only to prevent scurvy, but to reduce mortality from a wide range of diseases). Other research has shown that vitamin C supplementation lowers levels of C-reactive protein (CRP is a biomarker of inflammation that is linked to heart disease). Population studies in the 1990′s found that vitamin C supplementation is associated with increased longevity, specifically from reduced cardiovascular disease. I’ve taken vitamin C for decades (though I no longer megadose, as very large doses of vitamin C can reduce copper absorption).

 

Summary

Heart disease is the biggest killer in the United States, and most other developed countries. We can reduce our risk by doing the following:

  • - reduce sitting (get a standing desk and limit TV couch time)
  • - exercise daily (long walks and taking the stairs count)
  • - get some sun on your skin daily (but don’t burn)
  • - eat dark chocolate and drink red wine
  • - eat a low-grain, low refined vegetable oil, low-sugar diet (not necessarily low-carb; some foods containing carbohydrates like whole fruit and properly cooked beans probably have more benefits than drawbacks)
  • - eat “good fats” including olive oil, butter from grass-fed cows, coconut oil
  • - get enough dietary vitamin K2, and consider supplementing up to 100mcg/day
  • - eat oily wild-caught fish multiple times a week (canned salmon is a less expensive source)
  • - eat green leafy vegetables to supply nitrates for NO production
  • - consume at least 200mg of vitamin C a day from food and supplements
  • - have impeccable dental hygiene; periodontal disease is strongly linked to heart disease (brush and floss daily and thoroughly, don’t eat sticky carbs and acidic juice, chew xylitol gum, consume fat soluble vitamins [D, K2, A], and see a dentist on a regular basis — I’ll do a detailed post on this topic in the coming months)

Did I miss anything? May you all live long and prosper!

 

 

What Your Doctor Is Not Thinking About (Dragging Medical Professionals Into the Modern Era)

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Today we feature a new article from, JD Moyer of the blog Systems for Living Well:

The other day I came across this alarming video of what it’s like to drive in Poland. My first thought after watching the clip was “What’s the Toxoplasmosis gondii infection rate in Poland?” T. gondii is a brain parasite easily acquired from eating undercooked meat, or contact with cats, and is associated with a six-fold increase in traffic accidents (this association has been replicated a number of times, in different countries). Well, I looked it up, and found that the latent infection rate in 2003 was around 41% (at least among pregnant women). That’s quite high — in the U.S. the infection rate is only about 11%.

 

Is there anything to my hypothesis that terrible driving in Poland is related to the relatively high T. gondii infection rate? Probably not. The accident fatality rate in Poland is relatively high for a modern industrialized country. But France has a very low accident fatality rate, and a much higher rate of T. gondii infection. So while T. gondii might be a contributing factor, it’s probably not the most important variable.

I’m fascinated by latent/chronic biological infections, and how they affect human health and behavior. T. gondii in particular is linked to changes in personality, and even schizophrenia.

What’s shocking to me, as shocking as the driving in Poland video above, is that so few medical professionals are considering latent infections as part of their diagnostic process. The research is here, and so are the diagnostic tests. So why aren’t medical professionals taking advantage of them?

The Future Is Here, It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed -William Gibson

The above quote definitely applies to the medical profession. How many general practitioners are doing the following?

 

  • a detailed dietary questionnaire (cost: $0, benefits: insights into common subclinical nutritional deficiencies, including vitamins C, D, B12, K2, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and chromium, as well as information re: macronutrients — is the patient eating enough protein and omega-3 fatty acids? or consuming too much fructose/sucrose/alcohol?)
  • a personal genetic profile (cost: $200, benefits: insights into disease risk for common health problems, and precise genotype information re: less common genetic conditions)
  •  antibody testing for a full range of common viral infections (HSV1, HSV2, CMV, HPV, etc.) (cost: a few hundred dollars, benefits: insight into diseases that are linked to multi-decade viral infections, including heart disease, dementia, many types of cancer, etc.)
  • an enterotype panel

I’m hoping that in ten years or so, the above practices will be commonplace. Spit in a tube, piss in a cup, prick your finger, and twenty minutes later get a full genome analysis, a full spectrum nutrient level analysis, a metal and chemical toxicity report (lead, mercury, bisophenol-A, etc.), an extremely wide antibody report (for hundreds or thousand of viruses), a complete bacterial panel (blood, gut, and mouth), testing for protozoan parasites like T. gondii, etc.

Why isn’t this happening already?

Gibson didn’t anticipate cheap genome sequencing.

In some cases cost is prohibitive. While a genome SNP test has come down to $200, micronutrient testing like the kind Spectracell offers is still quite expensive. I suspect that we’re on the cusp of (or in the midst of) a rapid advance in portable diagnostic technology, so testing costs may change quickly. It remains to be seen how quickly HMO’s will take advantage of the new technologies as they come online.

Another reason is that your doctor isn’t necessarily thinking along these lines, because when she was in medical school, you couldn’t get an accurate micronutrient panel, or a genome analysis, or an enterotype panel. These tests just weren’t available.

Educate Yourself, Test Yourself, Take Preventative Measure

It’s irritating to me that the medical profession hasn’t caught up with medical research and diagnostic technology. For most people, it’s probably worth taking the following diagnostic and preventive measures:

  1. If you can afford it, get a full micronutrient profile from Spectracell or another reputable vendor. I’m putting this at the top of my list because I haven’t actually done it yet (but I’m going to). At the very least, get a vitamin D test. If your levels are suboptimal, you’ll probably need to supplement, and also consider vitamin A and K2 levels.
  2. Get your genome analyzed, from 23andMe or a similar service. Find out what your risks are. One way to think about it is that reading your genome is like reading your death sentence. Another way to think about it is that reading your genome will give you possible clues into improving your quality of life, and possibly extending your life for a decade or more if you take the appropriate preventative measures.

What about prevention? Some measures are common sense. Others, like implementing a general viral suppression protocol, perhaps less so.

  1. Diet – get most gluten, casein, fructose, and refined vegetable oil (canola, corn, soy) out of the diet to drastically reduce your risk of IBS, autoimmune diseases, heart problems, and diabetes. Eat nutrient dense whole foods, mostly those available during the paleolithic era (for which we are genetically best-adapted to). This would include seafood, grass-fed meat, eggs from free-roaming birds, vegetables, low-sugar fruits, and nuts/seeds. For the research, please see Mark Sisson’s site.
  2. Reduce your carcinogen/toxin load (lead, mercury, bisphenol-A, air pollution, tobacco, hard alcohol, narcotics) to reduce risk of cancer, reproductive, and neurological problems.
  3. Ramp-up autophagy (clean out cellular debris) with both intense exercise and intermittent fasting. This will help ward off cancer, dementia, and suppress chronic viral and parasitic infections (which we all have after age 2 or so, unless we live in a bubble).
  4. Consume chemicals that kill cancer cells and interfere with viral replication. A short list would include curcumin (turmeric/yellow curry), garlic, resveratrol/grapeseed extract/red wine, and coconut oil. The links all go to research or articles about research.
  5. Reduce artificial light in the evenings to encourage natural sleep patterns. My post about giving up artificial light for a month has seen a spike in traffic since this recent BBC article (I was also on The Doctors about a month ago discussing the experiment).

I think the clinical research is there to back up all these claims. But are you going to get any of this advice from your doctor? Probably not. Your doctor is going to tell you to eat a low fat diet, but won’t distinguish good fats (olive oil, coconut oil, fats from grass-fed meats and wild fish) from bad fats (refined vegetable oil, fats from grain-fed animals). He will probably not mention vitamin D, vitamin K2, or the beneficial effects of polyphenols and flavonols. Your doctor is going to ask about your family history, but he’s not going to recommend that you actually look at your genome. Sugar and carbohydrate consumption won’t be mentioned unless you already have diabetes. Viral infections won’t be identified unless they have very specific symptoms (like chicken pox or cold sores), and no recommendations will be made to suppress chronic viral infection to prevent cancer or dementia twenty or forty years later.

I’m not against going to the doctor, or taking medical advice from someone who is better educated and informed than myself. But we should push our medical professionals. We should drag them (even if they protest, kicking and screaming) into the modern era.

The future is here … please help spread it around.

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