Harry Hucknall, a ten-year-old boy, died after hanging himself with a belt from his bunk bed. His father blames the death on Ritalin and Prozac, two drugs that the boy had been prescribed by a psychiatrist to cure his boisterous behavior and low spirits.
At the time of his death, the child had more drugs in his body than the normal level for adults suffering from the same problems.
According to the Daily Mail:
"... 661,000 prescriptions are dished out annually in Britain to treat childhood ADHD -- double the figure of five years ago. These medicines are being given to very young children -- one aged just 15 months ... despite official guidelines from the manufacturer and the fact that the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) prohibits their use for those under six."
In the New York Times article linked below, internist Danielle Ofri also talks about the effects of depression. Her childhood friend Michael killed himself during his sophomore year of college. And just two weeks before writing the article, she called one of her patients to reschedule an appointment, and was told that the patient had been found dead in his apartment, most likely a suicide.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds. Each year, about a million people worldwide take their own lives.
"It's not just one million lives, but millions of families, friends and neighbors left with thorns in their hearts, black holes that may scab over but will never disappear."
New research suggests that people who take antidepressant drugs are actually more likely to suffer relapses of depression. In fact, used over the long term, antidepressants may "do more harm than good."
The data indicates that the longer the period of drug administration, the more likely the patient will relapse. And experts say that 15 years' worth of data from clinical trials of antidepressants, much of it unpublished, shows that antidepressants are hardly better than placebos.
According to The Daily Beast:
"Questions about how well antidepressants work in the treatment of depression have been in the mix for several years; large-scale studies, like the influential STAR*D trials, have turned up lackluster results, showing antidepressants to be little more effective than placebos in combating mild to moderate cases of depression."
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
While first described as a suicide due to being bullied at school, it was later determined that the hanging death of 10-year-old Harry Hucknall was not a suicide at all. As YoungMinds reported, Coroner Ian Smith stated that:
"This was not suicide for one minute. I record that Harry died as a consequence of his own actions without understanding their true consequences ? Nobody expected this to happen or foresee it or even fear it may happen."
It can now only be speculated what may have triggered this young boy to take his own life, but the boy's father is blaming two mind-altering drugs the boy had been prescribed -- Prozac for depression and Ritalin for ADHD. The coroner also reportedly stated that the drugs' "influence could not be excluded" in the boy's death. And, according to Mail Online, an inquest was told the boy had more drugs in his body than would be considered a normal level for adults.
Non-Drug Treatment of ADHD
I would encourage you to review an article that I previously wrote that lists a wide variety of drug alternatives with virtually no side effects and a high likelihood of resolving the underlying issue.
What are the Consequences of Prescribing Psychiatric Drugs to Kids?
It is well known that these powerful medications may certainly interfere with the delicate and complex workings of your brain and personality. They have a great potential to cause a number of serious side effects ranging from somnolence and fatigue to violent behavior, hormone disruption and even suicide.
Yet, their use is growing at an alarming rate.
Take the ADHD drug Ritalin. U.S. pharmacists distribute five times more Ritalin than the rest of the world combined, according to Dr. Samuel Epstein's Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC). In all, 60 percent to 90 percent of U.S. kids with attention deficit disorders are prescribed this powerful drug, which amounts to 3 percent to 5 percent of U.S. children and teens on Ritalin.
By definition, Ritalin stimulates your central nervous system, leading to side effects such as:
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Increased body temperature
- Increased alertness
- Suppressed appetite
Research has also linked Ritalin with more severe health problems such as cancer as well as an increased probability of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Ritalin also has the same pharmacological profile as cocaine, yet its effects are even more potent. Using brain imaging, scientists have found that, in pill form, Ritalin occupies more of the neural transporters responsible for the "high" experienced by addicts than smoked or injected cocaine.
Unfortunately, diagnosing ADHD really comes down to a matter of opinion, as there is no physical test, like a brain scan, that can pinpoint the condition. There's only subjective evaluation, so it's easy for kids to be misdiagnosed.
As for antidepressants, which young Hucknall was also prescribed, they have been shown to CAUSE both suicidal and homicidal thoughts and behaviors. For example, seven of the last 12 school shootings were done by children who were either on antidepressants or going through withdrawal.
Why are Untested Psychiatric Drugs Being Prescribed to Kids?
Adding insult to injury, many commonly prescribed drugs, such as Prozac, Paxil, Ritalin, Zyprexa, Depakote and others are not approved for use in children, but they are widely prescribed nonetheless. Mental health issues, including unresolved emotional traumas, are one of the most significant factors contributing to disease. And psychiatry is the branch of medicine that should be best suited to address this wounding.
Unfortunately, psychiatry has long ago elected to follow a drug-based paradigm in their resolution of this wounding. This is not a new occurrence, but rather one that has been going on for years and seems to only be getting worse. It reminds me of one particularly poignant letter written by Dr. Loren Mosher, a board-certified psychiatrist who received his BA from Stanford University and M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1961, where he also subsequently took his psychiatric training.
In his letter, which is a resignation letter sent to the president of the American Psychiatric Association in 1998, Dr. Mosher stated:
"After nearly three decades as a member it is with a mixture of pleasure and disappointment that I submit this letter of resignation from the American Psychiatric Association. The major reason for this action is my belief that I am actually resigning from the American Psychopharmacological Association.
Luckily, the organization's true identity requires no change in the acronym. Unfortunately, APA reflects, and reinforces, in word and deed, our drug dependent society ? APA likes only those drugs from which it can derive a profit-directly or indirectly. This is not a group for me. At this point in history, in my view, psychiatry has been almost completely bought out by the drug companies.
The APA could not continue without the pharmaceutical company support of meetings, symposia, workshops, journal advertising, grand rounds luncheons, unrestricted educational grants etc. etc. Psychiatrists have become the minions of drug company promotions."
Sadly, it is often kids who suffer from this type of blatant conflict of interest, which continues to plague the psychiatric profession today. It's not just the drugs prescribed, but the diagnoses that are in question, particularly in children. Millions of children have been diagnosed with serious psychiatric disorders warranting drug treatment when the fact remains that most of the kids being given antidepressants and mind-altering drugs like Ritalin should simply not be taking them.
One Million People Die Every Year from this Treatable Disease
Mental health conditions like depression can indeed be serious. As the New York Times reported, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds, and each year about 1 million people take their own lives worldwide. But prescribing psychiatric drugs is NOT the long term solution, and in many cases can be worse than the disease.
When looking at the research literature, short-term trials show that antidepressants do NOT provide any clinically significant benefits for mild to moderate depression, compared to a placebo. As you know, all drugs have benefit-to-risk ratios, so if a drug is as effective as a placebo in relieving symptoms, it really doesn't make sense to use them as a first line of defense.
However, it gets worse.
Research into the long-term effects of antidepressants shows that patients are no longer really recuperating from their depressive episodes as was the general norm prior to the advent of modern antidepressants. The depression appears to be lifting faster, but patients tend to relapse more frequently, turning what ought to have been a passing phase into an increasingly chronic state of depression.
Do Antidepressants Make You Sad?
An analysis of research by Dr. Giovanni Fava, scheduled to be published in the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, revealed that the longer a person takes antidepressants the more likely they will relapse. This is particularly concerning considering that patients are being given the drugs as children, and could potentially be taking them for decades.
Long-term studies now indicate that of people with major depression, only about 15 percent that are treated with an antidepressant go into remission and stay well for a long period of time. The remaining 85 percent start having continuing relapses and become chronically depressed.
In addition, antidepressants known as SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) have been shown to increase your risk of developing bipolar depression, according to medical journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker. Anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of children who take an antidepressant for five years convert to bipolar illness!
This is a serious concern because once you're categorized as mentally ill, you're often treated with a potent cocktail of medications including antipsychotic medication. So it's a truly vicious cycle.
How to Get Your Child Off Drugs: Addressing the Underlying Causes of Mental Illness
If your child is suffering from an emotional or mental challenge, please seek help, but do so from someone who does not regard psychotropic drugs as a first line of defense. Unfortunately, this now means you may need to find someone outside of the conventional psychiatric medical community.
It will be very helpful if you first adjust your child's lifestyle to include these 10 steps to optimal health. These are the 10 basic steps that nearly everyone requires to stay healthy on both a physical and mental level, and often neglecting these factors can manifest as mental illness.
I strongly encourage you to also become familiar with the work of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who has a full-time medical practice in the United Kingdom where she treats children and adults with autism, learning disabilities, neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders, immune disorders, and digestive problems.
In this recent interview, she shared her insights about Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), which can make a child particularly prone to vaccine damage, and the GAPS Nutritional program -- a natural treatment for autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression and schizophrenia. Children use all of their sensory organs to collect information from their environment, which is then passed to the brain for processing. This is a fundamental part of learning.
However, in children with Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), the toxicity flowing from their gut throughout their bodies and into their brains, clogs the brain with toxicity, preventing it from performing its normal function and process sensory information.
GAPS may manifest as a conglomerate of symptoms that can fit the diagnosis of either autism, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD) without hyperactivity, dyslexia, dyspraxia, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, just to name a few possibilities.
In summary, the protocol consists of three elements:
- Diet?the GAPS diet consists of easily digestible foods that are dense in nutrition, including fermented foods. According to Dr. Campbell:
?On average, people adhere to the diet a couple of years. It takes two years to drive out the pathogenic flora, to reestablish normal flora in the gut, to heal and seal the damaged gut lining in these people and turn the gut back to being a major source of nourishment for the person instead of being a source of toxicity.?
- Food supplements, including probiotics and vitamins D and A in the form of cod liver oil, although sun exposure is also an important part for GAPS patients, for proper vitamin D production.
- Detoxification?The GAPS nutritional protocol will naturally clear out most toxins. Dr. Campbell does not use any kind of drugs or chemicals to remove toxins as it can be too drastic for some, and can produce damaging side effects. Instead she recommends juicing as a gentle but effective way of removing toxic build-up, as well as baths with Epsom salt, sea salt, seaweed powder, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda.
Dr. Campbell discusses many additional and priceless details relating to this protocol, so please, set aside some time to listen to the interview in its entirety. Again, you can also find more natural tips for treating ADHD and ADHD-like symptoms in this past article, as well as natural tips for resolving depression here.
My New Warning: Avoid THESE Medical Treatments Whenever Possible
Why are Drug Companies Targeting Your Children as Customers?
Whole food -- that is to say, unprocessed and unrefined food -- has the reputation of being expensive. But there are many ways to add whole food to your diet while sticking to your budget. Seattle PI suggests a few:
- Buy seasonal: Fruits and vegetables are both cheaper and tastier when purchased in season.
- Use the bulk bins: You won't pay for packaging, labeling and advertising.
- Grow your own: A sunny yard or even a window box can add cheap, fresh food to your plate.
- Use your freezer: Stock up and freeze when whole food is on sale.
- Reduce waste: Don't let leftovers go to waste.
To read more about their suggestions, you can click on the link below.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Purchasing healthy whole foods to feed your family is one of the best investments you can make. The nutrients wholesome food provides will allow your family members to maintain their good health, and even in some cases heal from disease, and this is a gift that is truly priceless.
So while you may be able to get a hamburger for $1 at a fast-food drive through ? and this may seem like a budget-savvy option ? that money is being essentially wasted because the food is doing absolutely nothing beneficial for your health. You're better off spending that dollar on a pound of string beans or zucchini, or putting it toward a pound of grass-fed meat, than you are throwing it away on processed junk food.
Still, readers have regularly posted that one of the leading obstacles to achieving health is having too limited a budget to maintain a healthy lifestyle ... so I want to share some practical tips you can use to help you save money on groceries and still get healthy food.
First, Trim Your Food Waste
Seattle PI has listed five starter tips above, which are well worth noting, but I want to expand on #5: reducing food waste. Any food you purchase and throw away is, quite literally, akin to throwing your money in the trash. This is actually a major problem, as one-third of the food produced in the world is lost or wasted, according to a new report commissioned by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. This massive number equates to 1.3 billion tons of food annually.
In 2008, the New York Times featured a graphic that shows one U.S. family's share of food waste for one month, which is really eye opening. Using statistics from a 1995 federal study that found over 96 billion edible pounds of food were wasted by U.S. retailers, food service businesses and consumers that year, they figured that a family of four throws out about 122 pounds of food each month.
This adds up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year wasted, which is why it's so important to be sure your family is eating all of the food you purchase.
The solution to waste is NOT to load up on more processed or canned foods simply because you can store them until the end of time. Their extreme shelf life comes at a high price, as they are often loaded with chemical preservatives. Remember, the fresher your foods are to start with, the longer they'll be safe to eat, so choose small amounts of the freshest foods you can find and eat them as soon as possible.
Recently I detailed more tips to prevent food waste in your home. For instance, if you have a refrigerator drawer full of veggies that are starting to wilt, making vegetable juice is an easy, and incredibly nutritious, way to use them up.
Should You Bother Buying Organic?
Once you've nixed food waste, the next step is to learn how to stretch your food budget to the max without sacrificing quality. One of the simplest ways to do this is to prioritize your spending on higher priced foods, such as organics (these tend to be pricier than conventionally grown foods, but this is not always the case). If you're on a tight budget but want to improve your diet by shopping organic, animal products like meat, raw dairy, poultry and eggs is the place to start.
Since animal products tend to bioaccumulate toxins from their pesticide-laced feed, concentrating them to far higher concentrations than are typically present in vegetables, I strongly recommend you buy only organically raised animal foods.
When it comes to produce, if you can't find the best of both worlds, which is locally grown organics, then buying fresh, vibrant locally grown conventional produce may actually be better than wilted organics. However, it can be tricky, since some conventionally grown produce simply LOOKS fresher due to all the chemicals they've been treated with. Perhaps your best bet, if you can't find locally grown organics, is to opt for USDA certified organic, but not imported organic, over the conventionally grown variety.
For more specifics, here are 10 organic foods that are worth the money.
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
When planning out a healthy, price-conscious grocery list, be sure you are not throwing money away on processed foods. These tend to be among the most costly items in the grocery store, and they are virtually always close to worthless for your health, as they consist mainly of fillers and additives, and very few actual nutrients.
A classic example of this is breakfast cereal, most of which are very expensive yet frightfully high in sugar, and any nutrients they boast are in the form of suboptimal synthetic additives, or worse.
For example, iron-fortified cereals can contain actual iron filings, which is a far cry from the bioavailable iron you get from iron-rich vegetables like spinach. If you haven't seen this eye-opening demonstration of what's really in that fortified breakfast cereal, take a look now?you'll probably never buy another box of cereal again, and rightfully so.
So ditch the old processed standbys and instead set your grocery radar on finding the foods that will give you the most "health bang for your buck." With a little creative use of your dollar, you can enjoy nutrient-packed food choices that are around $1 per serving, such as:
- Cage-free organic eggs
- Raw organic milk
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Coconut milk
15 Cost-Saving Grocery Tips
When it comes to the price of food, it's extremely important to remember that a food cannot be judged by its sticker price alone. Believe me, a diet consisting of daily $1.99 hamburgers and other fast foods, while appearing to be frugal, is far from it when you consider what these foods are doing?or not doing?to your health.
With that in mind, here are 15 tips that are the best of the best to get high-quality food on a limited budget:
- Choose local foods over organic foods. Often, locally grown foods are raised according to organic standards at a more affordable price.
- If all that's available or affordable is fresh, conventionally grown produce, buy it, wash it well at home, and eat it.
- Look for local farms, farmer's markets and food coops offering raw dairy products, eggs, produce, and grass-fed meat. This will allow you to cut out the middleman and save money. Buying in large quantities, such as a side of grass-fed beef, can also save you money in the long run as long as you have room to freeze it (and you consume it before it goes bad).
- Skip ready-made meals and prepared or pre-cut foods, which can cost up to double the amount as the unprepared versions.
- Plan your meals ahead of time (including cooking large batches and freezing some for later) so you don't splurge on expensive, unhealthy fast-food at the last minute.
- Pass on processed junk foods like potato chips, soda, cookies, candy, and other snacks. These are a complete waste of money, even if they're "organic."
- Buy plenty of fresh veggies, they're usually less expensive than canned versions (just make sure you use them before they go bad).
- Only buy what you need. Keep track of what's in your pantry so you don't double-up on foods unnecessarily.
- Clip coupons and use them when you can (but don't buy something unhealthy just because it's on sale).
- Watch the register when you check out of the grocery store. They often ring up wrong prices, at your expense.
- Shop with a calculator so you can determine if it's really a better deal to buy something in bulk or in a larger size.
- Watch weekly specials, and be aware of what's really a good price. You can often find organic produce on sale for less than conventional produce if you know what prices to watch for.
- If you have the space, consider starting your own vegetable garden. When factoring in startup and maintenance costs, a well-maintained food garden yields a $500 average return each year compared to the market price of produce, according to the National Gardening Association (NGA). So there is a definite financial incentive there.
- Remember this rule of thumb: Fresh food is always better than frozen, but frozen is better than canned.
- Make the most of your food purchases by focusing on those that are right for your nutritional type. The nutritional typing assessment is now absolutely free, and will give you an idea of which foods you should eat for optimal health and nutrition.
14 Ways to Save Money on Groceries
How To Save on Groceries ... By Growing Your Own
In 1911, the bread which made up 40 percent of the diet of the impoverished people of Britain was blamed for widespread poor health. Modern nutritional science confirms the accuracy of this assessment.
Refined white flour contains almost no natural minerals and vitamins. In particular, vitamin B deficiency from poor diet resulted in a range of illnesses that the Victorians called 'wasting diseases'. And white flour at the time was usually laced with alum, which made bad flour look whiter.
According to the Daily Mail:
"[In modern times], the Real Bread Campaign, a non-profit pressure group, claims that bread has actually gotten worse since 1911 in terms of secret adulterants -- enzymes that do not have to be declared on labels -- still being smuggled into it. Today, despite the modern fashion for healthy eating, 'nutritionally empty' white bread accounts for more than 50 percent of what we buy."
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
It's truly astounding?100 years ago, low-quality bread made up about 40 percent of the average Briton's diet (and the situation was likely similar in the US as well), and today, even lower quality bread makes up nearly 50 percent of the average diet!
Back in 1911, white bread was identified as a primary culprit for the declining health of the British population, which led to a massive campaign to revert back to more wholesome bread. At the time, wholegrain bread was considered a sign of poverty, so people from all levels of society sought after white, refined flour bread.
The campaign spearheaded by The Daily Mail was eventually successful. But it didn't last long... White bread was actually banned during World War II in the UK, and as a result, Britons were said to be in better health by 1947 after subsisting on limited rations of wholegrain breads for eight years.
However, at the end of the war, white bread was rendered legal once again, and today, more than 60 years later, our grocery shelves are stocked with breads and grain-products that are of even lower quality than 100 years ago... And, as in 1911, white processed bread is a major contributor to rampant obesity and poor health.
Do You Know the Chemicals Lurking in Your Bread?
As illustrated in The Daily Mail, the quality of bread has gotten far worse rather than better over the years. Back in 1911, salt, cheap fats, alum, lime powder, and bleaching constituted "bad" bread. Today, there's a whole new breed of health-harming ingredients to contend with in your typical store-bought bread, including:
|Processed salt||High fructose corn syrup||Trans fats (hydrogenated oils)|
|Soy||Treatment agents (oxidant chemicals)||Reducing agents|
|Emulsifiers||Preservatives||Enzymes (typically from fungi or bacteria)|
Many of these ingredients are hidden, as they're not required to be listed on the label. I've written numerous articles on many of these ingredients. For more information, simply follow the links provided. But hidden and potentially harmful ingredients aren't the only problem with modern bread. Today we have such things as Wonder Bread, and it's a wonder that anyone even considers it to be "bread" in the first place...
Refined Foods are Devoid of Nutrients
It's important to realize that when food is refined, vital nutrients are destroyed. In some cases it's questionable whether what remains is even fit to be considered food... at least if the term "food" implies something of nutritional value. In terms of bread, once you remove the most nutritious part of the grain, it essentially becomes a form of sugar.
Consider what gets lost in the refining process:
|Half of the beneficial unsaturated fatty acids||50 percent of the calcium||80 percent of the iron||50-80 percent of the B vitamins|
|Virtually all of the vitamin E||70 percent of the phosphorus||98 percent of the magnesium||And many more nutrients are destroyed -- simply too many to list.|
How Processed Grains Can Deteriorate Your Health
The end result of the excessive consumption of white bread and other processed forms of grain products can be seen all around you in the form of:
|Allergies and asthma||Gluten intolerance and Celiac disease||Vitamin deficiencies and related health problems|
Vitamin B deficiencies in particular contribute to a wide range of illnesses, and vitamin B deficiencies are pervasive around the world. For example, an estimated 25 percent of American adults are deficient in B12.
We've also seen an extraordinary rise in digestive illnesses, such as gluten intolerance and Celiac disease, and modern industrial baking methods are likely a major contributor to these widespread problems. The rise in asthma and allergies may also be related to our modern food processing and manufacturing practices. For example, one of the enzymes commonly used in modern bread making is amylase, which is known to cause asthma.
Many also forget that most commercial wheat production is, unfortunately, a "study in pesticide application," beginning with the seeds being treated with fungicide. Once they become wheat, they are sprayed with hormones and pesticides. Even the bins in which the harvested wheat is stored have been coated with insecticides. These chemicals all contribute to increasing the average person's toxic load, which is a contributing factor to virtually every possible disease imaginable. I can't think of any illness that is not made worse by frequent toxic exposure, such as what we get through conventionally-grown foods and unfiltered water.
Whereas old time mills ground flour slowly, today's mills are designed for mass-production, using high-temperature, high-speed steel rollers. Next, it's hit with another chemical insult--a chlorine gas bath (chlorine oxide). This serves as a whitener, as well as an "aging" agent. Flour used to be aged with time, improving the gluten and thus improving the baking quality. Treating it with chlorine instantly produces similar qualities in the flour (with a disturbing lack of concern about adding another dose of chemicals to your food).
The resulting white flour is nearly all starch, and now contains a small fraction of the nutrients of the original grain. Additionally, the chemical treatments on the grain results in the formation of a byproduct, alloxan?a poison used in the medical research industry to induce diabetes in healthy mice. Alloxan causes diabetes by spinning up enormous amounts of free radicals in pancreatic beta cells, thus destroying them. Beta cells are the primary cell type in areas of your pancreas called islets of Langerhans, and they produce insulin; so if those are destroyed, you develop diabetes.
Given the raging epidemic of diabetes and other chronic diseases in this country, it may be unwise to be complacent about a toxin such as this in your bread, even if it is present in small amounts...
Why a High-Carb Diet Can be Disastrous to Your Health
Overconsumption of carbs is the primary driving factor for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, the dietary establishment has unwisely been extolling the virtues of carbohydrates while warning you to avoid fats. But anyone who bought into the high-carb, low-fat dietary recommendations has likely struggled with their weight and health, wondering what they're doing wrong?
The truth of the matter is that a diet high in grain carbs (as opposed to vegetables) and low in fat may be dangerous to your health, and if you want to shed excess weight and improve your health, the converse diet is what you're looking for!
Why are high-carb diets so bad?
In a nutshell, overeating carbohydrate foods can prevent a higher percentage of fats from being used for energy, and lead to an increase in fat storage. It also raises your insulin levels, which in short order can cause insulin resistance, followed by diabetes. Insulin resistance is also at the heart of virtually every disease known to man.
Contrary to popular belief, eating fat does NOT make you fat?carbohydrates, such as sugar and grains, do. Your body has a limited capacity to store excess carbohydrates, but it can easily convert those excess carbohydrates into excess body fat. Any carbohydrates not immediately used by your body are stored in the form of glycogen (a long string of glucose molecules linked together). Your body has two storage sites for glycogen: your liver and your muscles. Once the glycogen levels are filled in both your liver and muscles, excess carbohydrates are converted into fat and stored in your adipose, that is, fatty, tissue.
So, although carbohydrates are fat-free, excess carbohydrates end up as excess fat.
But that's not the worst of it. Any meal or snack high in carbohydrates will also generate a rapid rise in blood glucose. To adjust for this rapid rise, your pancreas secretes insulin into your bloodstream, which then lowers the levels of blood glucose. The problem is that insulin is essentially a storage hormone, evolved to put aside excess carbohydrate calories in the form of fat in case of future famine. So the insulin that's stimulated by excess carbohydrates aggressively promotes the accumulation of body fat!
Too Much Wheat or Grain Converts Into Fat
In other words, when you eat too much bread, pasta, and any other grain products, you're essentially sending a hormonal message, via insulin, to your body that says "store fat."
Additionally, increased insulin levels also:
- Make it virtually impossible for you to use your own stored body fat for energy
- Suppress two important hormones: glucagon and growth hormone. Glucagon promotes the burning of fat and sugar. Growth hormone is used for muscle development and building new muscle mass.
- Increases hunger: As blood sugar increases following a carbohydrate meal, insulin rises with the eventual result of lower blood sugar. This results in hunger, often only a couple of hours (or less) after the meal.
So, all in all, the excess carbohydrates in your diet not only make you fat, they make sure you stay fat. Cravings, usually for sweets, are frequently part of this cycle, leading you to resort to snacking, often on more carbohydrates. Not eating can make you feel ravenous shaky, moody and ready to "crash." If the problem is chronic, you never get rid of that extra stored fat, and your energy and overall health is adversely affected.
Below is a list of some of the most common complaints of people with insulin resistance (IR). Many of these symptoms may occur immediately following a meal of carbohydrates; others may be chronic:
|Fatigue. Some are tired just in the morning or afternoon; others are exhausted all day.||Brain fogginess. The inability to concentrate is the most evident symptom. Loss of creativity, poor memory, failing or poor grades in school often accompany insulin resistance, as do various forms of "learning disabilities."||Hypoglycemia. Feeling jittery, agitated and moody is common in IR, with an almost immediate relief once food is eaten. Dizziness is also common, as is the craving for sweets, chocolate or caffeine.|
|Intestinal bloating. Most intestinal gas is produced from dietary carbohydrates. Sometimes the intestinal distress can become quite severe, resulting in a diagnosis of "colitis" or "ileitis."||Sleepiness. Many people with IR get sleepy immediately after meals containing more than 20-30 percent carbohydrates. This is typically a pasta meal, or even a meat meal that includes bread or potatoes and a sweet dessert.||Increased fat storage and weight. In many people, the most evident sign is a large abdomen, or belly fat.|
|Increased triglycerides. High triglycerides in the blood are often seen in overweight persons. But even those who are not too fat may have stores of fat in their arteries as a result of IR. These triglycerides are the direct result of carbohydrates from the diet being converted by insulin.||Increased blood pressure. It is well known that most people with hypertension have too much insulin and are IR. It is often possible to show a direct relationship between the level of insulin and the level of blood pressure: as insulin levels elevate, so does blood pressure.||Depression. Carbohydrates are a natural "downer," and it's not uncommon to see many depressed persons also having IR. Carbohydrates do this by changing your brain chemistry?they increase serotonin, which produces a depressing or sleepy feeling. (This is a significant consideration for those trying to learn, whether at school, home or work.)|
Does this sound like you?
One of the Fastest Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Health
The best suggestion for anyone wanting to shed excess fat and improve health is to moderate and normalize your insulin response by limiting (ideally, eliminating) your intake of refined sugars and fructose, and limiting all other carbohydrate intake as much as possible. (Proteins and fats generally do not produce much insulin.)
With the stress of insulin resistance eliminated, your body can finally be able to correct many of its own problems, and this is also why I keep reminding you that the underlying factor of most disease states that MUST be addressed is insulin resistance. Once you've normalized your insulin levels, your body actually has a phenomenal capacity for self-healing.
The Critical Role of Wheat in Human Disease
The Little-Known Secrets about Bleached Flour...
A number of studies have shown that the reduced form of Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) may be more effective than the oxidized form (ubiquinone).
One such study showed that ubiquinol had significant decelerating effects on aging problems in middle-aged mice. The mice were given either ubiquinol for ubiquinone 6 or 14 months, then the conditions of their livers, hearts, brains and kidneys were examined.
According to the study, as reported by Green Med Info:
"Stringent evaluation of the resulting data revealed that [ubiquinol] has a stronger impact on gene expression than [ubiquinone], primarily due to differences in the bioavailability. Indeed, [ubiquinol] supplementation was more effective ... to increase levels of CoQ(10) in the liver".
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is the fifth most popular supplement in the United States, taken by about 53 percent of Americans, according to a 2010 survey by ConsumerLab.com. This is a good thing as one in every four Americans over 45 is taking a statin and every single one of these individuals needs to be taking CoQ10.
No doubt it's become popular for a reason -- CoQ10 is actually used by every cell in your body. In fact, it is so important for your body's daily functions that it is also known as "ubiquinone" because it's 'ubiquitous' in the human body.
What you may not know, however, is that to benefit from the form of the nutrient needed to produce cellular energy and help you reduce the typical signs of aging, your body must convert the ubiquinone to the reduced form of Coenzyme Q10, ubiquinol -- and research is showing that this reduced form may actually be superior for your health in a number of ways. Ubiquinol is actually a FAR more effective form of CoQ10?I personally take one a day as it has far-ranging health benefits.
If You're Over 25, the Reduced Form of CoQ10 May be Better for You
If you're under 25 years old your body is capable of converting CoQ10 from the oxidized to the reduced form. However, if you're older, your body becomes more and more challenged to convert the oxidized CoQ10 to ubiquinol. Aside from aging, numerous other factors can also impact this conversion process, including:
|Increased metabolic demand||Oxidative stress||Insufficient dietary CoQ10 intake|
|Deficiency of factors required for biosynthesis and ubiquinol conversion||Potential effects from illness and disease||Age-related changes in your genes|
If you're over 40, I would highly recommend taking the reduced form of coenzyme Q10 because it's far more effectively absorbed by your body. Some reports say your CoQ10 level decline becomes apparent as early as your 20's, however, so I generally recommend it from age 25 and beyond. If you're younger than 25, your body should absorb regular CoQ10 just fine.
An Important Message if You Take Statin Drugs
If you take statin drugs to lower cholesterol, making sure you take ubiquinol is even more important. These drugs work by reducing an enzyme in your liver, which not only reduces the production of cholesterol, but it also reduces the production of coenzyme Q10. When you lower the production of CoQ10, you increase your risk of a variety of different health problems.
Premature aging is one primary side effect of having too little CoQ10 because this essential vitamin recycles other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E.
CoQ10 deficiency also accelerates DNA damage, and because CoQ10 is beneficial to heart health and muscle function this depletion leads to fatigue, muscle weakness, soreness and eventually heart failure. Therefore, it is absolutely vital to supplement with CoQ10 if you're taking a statin drug.
It's also important to supplement right from the start. According to Dr. Duane Graveline, a family doctor with 23 years experience and a former astronaut, once the mitochondrial damage and mutations are formed they cannot be reversed?no matter how much CoQ10 you take. So early intervention is key. Dr. Graveline goes into further detail of how CoQ10 offers protection against mitochondrial DNA damage in this interview, so for more information, please listen to it in its entirety.
As for dosage, Dr. Graveline makes the following recommendation:
- If you have symptoms of statin damage such as muscle pain, take anywhere from 200 to 500 mg
- If you just want to use it preventively, 200 mg or less should be sufficient
In my view it is medical malpractice to prescribe a statin drug without recommending one take CoQ10, or better yet ubiquinol. Unfortunately, many doctors fail to inform their patients of this fact.
Research Highlights Ubiquinol's Superior Benefits
As I said, a reduced form of Coenzyme Q10 called ubiquinol is one of the few supplements I consider highly beneficial for most adults, as it allows you to become less dependent on your body to convert ubiquinone to ubiquinol. Remember, in the plasma of healthy humans, more than 90 percent of CoQ10 exists in the reduced form.
With ubiquinol you can absorb CoQ10 that's already in the active state your body needs, which translates into proven health benefits. For instance, an animal study found that the reduced form of CoQ10 (ubiquinol) may be more effective at slowing down aging than the oxidized form (ubiquinone). Other studies have also shown distinct differences between the reduced form and oxidized form on markers of cholesterol metabolism and reducing oxidative stress.
Why CoQ10 and Reduced CoQ10 are So Important
CoQ10 is required for your cells to produce energy, and is an integral part of helping cells take fat and other substances and convert them into usable energy. CoQ10 can also help protect your body from free radical damage. Free radicals are oxygen atoms deficient in electrons that become highly reactive. This in turn causes potential damage to your tissues and DNA.
It is because of its powerful antioxidant protection that CoQ10 is often recommended for a wide variety of heart-related conditions, such as heart attack, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, which require extra protection from free radical damage.
CoQ10 has actually been the subject of thousands of research studies, and may:
|Help you produce more energy for your cells||Reduce the risk of fatty liver in people with obesity||Boost your heart health|
|Act as an antioxidant to protect you from free radicals||Help you reduce the signs of normal aging||Help you maintain blood pressure levels within the normal range|
|Provide a boost to your immune system||Support your nervous system|
There's also evidence that CoQ10/ubiquinol is beneficial for Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, and even cancer, and that large doses may be justified in those cases.
In addition, CoQ10 is believed to play an important role in preventing premature aging in general by preventing telomere shortening, which can slow or potentially even reverse the aging process. This is just one of the additional benefits of CoQ10, and one of the reasons why I take ubiquinol daily even though I've never been on a statin drug.
Tips for Finding High-Quality Ubiquinol
CoQ10 is found in certain types of food, including fish, organ meats (such as liver, kidney and heart), and the germs of whole grains. However, food concentrations are not well documented, so it is difficult to determine how much of this nutrient you can get from food alone, and it may be difficult to achieve therapeutic levels from dietary sources.
Fortunately, there are no reported side effects of CoQ10 supplementation, and I have not heard of anyone overdosing on it. The only drawback is cost. However, if you're taking ubiquinol, here's some cost-saving information for you. There is a patent on ubiquinol so every brand has to purchase it from the same company, so if you decide to use it pick a company that you trust.
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The price of gas is high, but there are ways to get better mileage. Yahoo Autos suggests a number of gas-saving driving tactics you might not have thought of. Here are a few:
Coast to a Stop:
Brakes are wasteful -- they take the gasoline-generated kinetic energy of your car and turn it into waste heat. Slowly coasting to a red light is actually much more fuel efficient.
Close the Windows and Use A/C at High Speeds:
Aerodynamic drag rises exponentially with speed