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Diabetic Shares Why He Quit ‘The Ketogenic Diet’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A ketogenic diet might not be as safe and effective in the long term as a balanced whole foods diet, and fasting is a more hazard-free way of promoting fat-burning ketosis in the body.

  • Reflect On:

    Many people are adopting the ketogenic diet for various reasons, completely cutting or drastically reducing their carb intake. But is this safe in all cases?

The ketogenic diet is becoming quite popular. However, many people are promoting it without acknowledging the fact that it might not be safe for everybody. I’m specifically referring to a diet that’s high in fat and low in carbs. Don’t get me wrong, these types of diets are proving to be great interventions for people with cancer, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative disorders. While there is no doubt that this type of diet might be quite an effective health intervention for some, that’s not true for all health issues, and we still have a long way to go with regards to the research to get the full picture.

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I’ve written multiple articles about the benefits of ketones (what your blood produces when your body switches from burning glucose to burning fat). However it must be noted that promoting this fat burning state long term by only consuming fat, and no carbs, can in certain cases have negative health consequences.

I’ve always been a supporter of  the body producing ketones by going into fat-burning mode. If we are constantly eating, especially carbs, we’re always going to be burning glucose and never really deplete those reserves so we can start burning our fat, much of which is the main cause of a variety of diseases.

Fasting

The difference here is that I’ve promoted fasting as a way to reap the benefits of ketones instead of a low fat, high carb diet. If one fasts a couple times a month for a few days, your body will go into ketosis and experience autophagy. You can completely regenerate your immune system, repair damaged DNA, and even kill cancer when you practice fasting. This does not mean you should eat high fats and no carbs when you break your fasts, you should simply eat a healthy diet full of whole foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables–at least that’s what I believe based on my research.

Fasting (which produces ketones) is what is showing huge promise for cancer patients, as well as people who suffer from diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Combining fasting here and there, or even intermittent fasting here and there with a plant-based whole foods diet, which includes carbs, is extremely healthy. The prolonged state of ketosis might be necessary for cancer patients, but again, there are still a lot of questions unanswered.

Carbs are not the enemy, and this has been shown by multiple studies. A keto diet may cause short term weight loss, obviously (fasting would do the same thing, it’s the same as a keto diet without having to constantly eat high fats and no carbs). However, this may come at a serious price. A 2010 review found that low-carb, animal-based diets increased cardiovascular death by 14%, cancer death by 28%, & all-cause mortality by 23%- trends confirmed in other large studies.

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Animal Proteins The Problem?

This however might not be due to not eating carbs, but simply from the protein found in animal products. Dr. Colin Campbell, is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and an American biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long term health. Through his “China study” and other work, he found that over-consumption of animal protein actually “turned on cancer.”  Protein from plants, however, had the opposite effect.

That being said, as mentioned earlier, the ketogenic diet may be used for treatment of various diseases. For example, a study titled “The Ketogenic Diet & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic Metastatic Cancer” explains how it’s already known that the ketogenic diet elevates blood ketones and has been shown to slow cancer progression in both animals and humans. The study also revealed that the ketogenic diet “significantly decreased blood glucose, slowed tumor growth, and increased mean survival time by 56.8 percent in mice with systemic metastatic cancer.”

Just to re-iterate, fasting has the same effect on tumor growth. So why utilize a ketogenic diet when one can utilize fasting instead which also elevates blood ketone levels and slows/kills the progression of cancer? Something to think about. Is it really that healthy to prolong a state of ketosis for so long and completely deprive your body of the nutrients found in many whole foods and plant foods?

Keto diet research is in its infancy, focusing on short-term blood results & body weight – not actual rates of disease or death. And some findings are concerning. LDL cholesterol levels tend to rise (or at best, stay the same) on keto diets. An overwhelming wealth of research shows that the higher the LDL, the higher the risk of cardiovascular disease.

 A keto diet is low in refined grains & added sugar, which is great. But it also can be low in phytonutrients, antioxidants, & fiber, all of which have profound benefits, and it forbids some of the most powerfully health-promoting foods on earth – whole grains, legumes, & many fruits. To me, that’s just not good medicine. – Michelle McMacken, internal medicine physician

The truth is, you can still be on a ‘ketogenic diet’ and eat a whole foods plant based diet. If you throw in fasting periods you are going to get the benefits of burning your fat stores and producing blood ketones anyway. There is no reason to go so strict as to deprive your body of carbohydrates unless you are using it as an intervention for a specific disease, and those interventions still have a lot of science and examination to go.

Dr. Mark Mattson,  Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging and  professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, explains what fasting does to the brain in this great TED talk. Not once does he mention a high fat ketogenic diet, he is only referring to fasting. Here’s a great quote from that talk:

Why is it that the normal diet is three meals a day plus snacks? It isn’t that it’s the healthiest eating pattern, now that’s my opinion but I think there is a lot of evidence to support that. There are a lot of pressures to have that eating pattern, there’s a lot of money involved. The food industry — are they going to make money from skipping breakfast like I did today? No, they’re going to lose money. If people fast, the food industry loses money. What about the pharmaceutical industries? What if people do some intermittent fasting, exercise periodically and are very healthy, is the pharmaceutical industry going to make any money on healthy people?

Recent Study

If we take a look at a recent study from 2014, published in the journal Trends In Molecular Medicineit outlines and confirms what several studies before it have already done:

  • Caloric restriction (diet high in nutrients but low in calories) and its mimetics (CR) improve lifespan and reduce cancer incidence
  • CR and CR mimetics sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy
  • CR and CR mimetics combined with chemotherapy enhance anticancer immune responses

According to the study:

Caloric restriction (CR) is currently the most robust environmental intervention known to increase healthy life and prolong lifespan in several models, from yeast to mice. Although the protective effect of CR on the incidence of cancer is well established, its impact on tumor cell responses to chemotherapeutic treatment is currently being investigated. Interestingly, the molecular mechanisms required to extend lifespan upon reduced food intake are being evaluated, and these mechanisms may offer new opportunities for therapeutic intervention. In addition, new findings suggest a beneficial effect of CR in enhancing the efficiency of tumor cell killing by chemotherapeutic drugs and inducing an anticancer immune response.

None of these studies mention adopting a ketogenic diet.

That being said, in 2010, a case report was conducted on a 65-year-old woman who had a brain tumor causing numerous neurological deficits. In addition to standard care, she was put on a ketogenic diet. After two months, she experienced a complete remission of her tumor, yet when the diet was suspended, the tumor returned. We’ve also seen similar results on cancer growth with just pure fasting.

My way is to just eat healthy, and do a little fasting if you want to experience the health benefits of ketosis. You can eat a plant-based whole foods diet and still deplete your glucose reserves with intermittent fasting if you are looking to lose weight.

Man Shares Why He Quit

I came across this post via Forks Over Knives (a great resource), and while it’s just onme perspective, I thought it was important to share because the best knowledge comes from experience.

Keep in mind I have written about fasting as a tool to manage and even reverse diabetes. You can read that here.

Exercise physiologist and diabetes educator Drew Harrisberg has been amazed at the improvements to his health within a month of going from keto to plant-based. We’ll continue to check in with Drew throughout his WFPB journey, so stay tuned here for updates.

If you’re reading this story in the hope of seeing drastic before and after photos, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. However, if I could wear my body inside-out, I think you’d find my transformation pretty damn impressive (if I say so myself)! My story is about how a drastic change in my nutritional approach—going from keto to plant-based—allowed me to regain control of my insulin and blood sugar levels and, ultimately, to thrive again.

Health-Conscious History

I’ll start by introducing myself. My name is Drew Harrisberg. I’m an exercise physiologist, diabetes educator, sport scientist, and most importantly, I’m a happy and healthy guy thriving with type 1 diabetes. I’ve not only accepted living with it; I’ve learned to love it and manage it so that it doesn’t manage me.

The diagnosis came unexpectedly when I was 22 years old. It was a moment that changed my life forever. I remember making a conscious decision that I would become an expert in managing my disease and that I would share everything I discovered with the world. So the journey began. I went back to university and completed my second degree to add to my exercise physiology title, this time in diabetes education and management.

Since being diagnosed with diabetes, my life has been one big self-experiment. The cool thing is, I’ve been the subject and the lead scientist. I’ve made countless mistakes and discovered just as many solutions.

My first nutritional triumph came very soon after my diagnosis, when I transitioned from the conventional food pyramid to a mostly plant-based, low carb (50-150 grams per day), Paleo approach. About 70 percent of my diet consisted of low-carb, non-starchy vegetables; nuts; and seeds. Animal foods (meat, fish, eggs, and dairy) made up only about 30 percent of my diet, but I had some animal products with every meal. I ate very minimal fruit (just berries) and almost no grains, legumes, or nightshades. I followed this way of eating for the first seven years of my diabetes journey, and it did help me to achieve some great results: My insulin requirements dropped significantly, my blood sugar levels were tightly controlled, and some physical ailments, such as chronic sinusitis and shin splints, disappeared and never came back. My overall health improved.

Recently, my desire for personal development led me down an entirely different road. All the buzz about the ketogenic diet had me interested, so I decided to try it out in the hope that I could further reduce my insulin requirements and achieve even better blood sugar control.

One Step Forward, 10 Steps Back

Initially, that’s exactly what happened. After two months on a ketogenic diet, I was lean, fit, had great focus and concentration, could go long hours without eating, had stable blood sugar levels, and had lower insulin requirements. At this point, it seemed like keto was a magic bullet, and I was a huge proponent of this way of eating. But after two months, everything took a horrible turn for the worse. I became the most insulin resistant I have ever been. I lost all metabolic flexibility. Sure, I was a very efficient fat- and ketone-burner, but it was at the expense of the ability to tolerate any glucose whatsoever. Not only could I no longer eat the smallest amount of carbs without a massive blood sugar spike but also I was resistant to the insulin that was meant to bring my levels back into the normal range. It would have been easy to blame my high blood sugar levels on the tiny amounts of carbs I was eating, but that would have been a mistake. Here’s why: Even if I didn’t eat anything and my liver dumped glucose into my bloodstream, I couldn’t fix my high blood sugar levels, because I was resistant to the insulin that I was injecting. It felt like I was on my way to developing type 2 diabetes (type 1 is more than enough, thank you). It was a very frightening reality and a huge wake-up call.

I came to an eye-opening realization: The ketogenic diet is a short-term, Band-Aid solution. By removing carbs from the diet, you’re simply removing a trigger that leads to symptoms (hyperglycemia) without addressing the actual cause. Then when you add carbs back in, your body can’t tolerate them, which makes it seem like carbs are “bad” for you, but really they’re the victim of something else. After spending hours and hours down a rabbit hole of research, it turns out that high amounts of intramyocellular fat accumulation cause the cell to become dysfunctional, leading to insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance. I’ve seen numerous keto advocates demonizing carbs because they personally can’t tolerate them. Once again, it may seem like the banana caused your blood sugar to go up, but what it really did was trigger a symptom that was caused by a much deeper problem. After becoming aware that the large amounts of saturated fat I was eating (from eggs, chicken, meat, and full-fat dairy, and coconut oil) was making me insulin resistant, I knew I had to make a change.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

Having made the connection between poor health outcomes and saturated fats, I was hesitant to return to a Paleo diet. I realized that perhaps when I’d previously done well on Paleo, I was just “getting away with it” because of the healthy plant foods that I was eating. Were my positive results on Paleo due to the 30 percent of my diet that was animal products or the 70 percent that was plants? I suspected it was the latter. The only way to truly find out was to start a strictly plant-based approach and track the changes.

So, I decided to embark on a journey to see if removing those foods altogether and eating more carb-rich plant foods would reverse the metabolic damage I had caused. I immediately embarked on a strictly whole-food-plant-based journey.

I dropped my fat intake from 75 percent of daily energy to less than 20 percent. I removed all animal foods and oils. Rather, I focused on getting healthy fats from avocados, nuts, and seeds. I also added whole grains and legumes back into my diet (both of which I hadn’t eaten in nearly seven years since following a paleo approach) and an abundance of all types of fruit. Within 48 hours my insulin sensitivity started to return to normal. Within 1 week my carbohydrate intake was the highest it had been since being diagnosed with diabetes, and my insulin intake was reducing day by day.

As I write this story, I’ve been strictly plant-based for 30 days and the results have been astonishing. I’ve achieved my best ever insulin-to-carb ratio, and it feels like I’ve regained control of my health. What started as a plant-based journey toward personal development and health has turned into something so much bigger. The positive impact I’m having on myself, the people around me, the environment, and animals gives me so much fulfillment and joy. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me over the long-term.

The Takeaway

Interesting discoveries and findings are often turned into fads. It’s important to really do the research, and listen to what your body needs. Everybody has different requirements, and at the end of the day, completely eliminating carbs from your diet doesn’t seem to be the healthiest choice. Fasting, on the other hand, if done correctly, has shown no adverse health effects and nothing but benefits for the body.

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Awareness

Cancer is Now the Leading Cause of Death

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Cancer has surpassed heart disease as the No. 1 cause of death in high-income countries, highlighting the urgent need to change the way this disease is prevented and treated.

  • Reflect On:

    Rather than being a random result of DNA mutations, it's possible that cancer could have much deeper roots that would be better targeted with natural therapies than toxicity.

This article was written by the Greenmedinfo Research Group, originally published by Greenmedinfo.com. Published here with permission. 

Cancer has dethroned heart disease to earn the nefarious title of leading cause of death in high-income and certain middle-income countries.[i] While heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death globally among adults aged 35 to 70, in high-income countries, which included Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Canada and Sweden, cancer caused twice as many deaths as heart disease.[ii]

Some middle-income countries, which included the Philippines, Iran, South Africa, Colombia, China, Brazil, Malaysia, Turkey, Poland, Argentina and Chile, also saw cancer become the leading cause of death.

While the U.S. was not included in the new analysis, research published in 2018 suggested, “the United States is in the midst of an epidemiologic transition in the leading cause of death,” moving from heart disease to cancer.[iii]

That study, too, found that cancer was quickly outpacing heart disease as the top killer, with high-income counties transitioning first. In fact, while only 21% of U.S. counties had cancer as the leading cause of death in 2003, this rose to 41% in 2015.

“The shift to cancer as the leading cause of death was greatest in the highest-income counties,” the researchers explained,[iv] echoing the current study, which also cited “a transition in the predominant causes of deaths in middle-age” in high-income countries.[v]

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“The world is witnessing a new epidemiologic transition among the different categories of noncommunicable diseases, with CVD [cardiovascular disease] no longer the leading cause of death in HIC [high-income countries],” lead author Dr. Gilles Dagenais, professor emeritus, Laval University, Quebec, Canada, said in a statement.[vi]

Why is Cancer a Top Killer?

The study suggested cancer is rising to the top because heart disease is better treated in high-income countries, saving more lives from heart disease and paving the way for cancer deaths to flourish. But perhaps a better question is why cancer continues to kill so many.

Even globally, cancer still comes in as the second leading cause of death behind heart disease, responsible for 26% of deaths worldwide.[vii] In the U.S., Americans have a 1 in 3 risk of developing cancer at some point in their lifetimes, along with a 1 in 5 risk of dying from the disease.[viii]

In early 2019, it was announced that cancer death rates in the U.S. declined 27% since 1991,[ix] a statistic that makes it seem as though we’re winning the “war on cancer.” But most of these declines can be attributed to reductions in smoking — and perhaps a limited measure of increased early detection and treatment — and are not a sign that conventional medicine’s model of surgerychemotherapy and/or radiation to treat cancer is, on the whole, working.

While death rates from certain cancer have declined, others have increased. Overall, cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2016 were similar to those in 1930[x] — despite all the “advances” in detection and treatment.

Changing the Way We Think About Cancer

It’s becoming increasingly clear that in order to conquer cancer, it’s necessary to change the way we think about it. Cancer is found in virtually all animals, suggesting it has evolutionary significance.[xi] It’s possible that cancer is an ancient survival program unmasked — even a process the body undergoes in order to survive nutrient deprivation and exposure to toxins.

Rather than being the result of an accumulation of DNA mutations that create rogue cells that multiply out of control, cancer could be cells that have flipped an epigenetic switch into survival mode in the form of a tumor. In the journal Physical Biology, researchers theorized:[xii]

“[C]ancer is an atavistic [primitive] condition that occurs when genetic or epigenetic malfunction unlocks an ancient ‘toolkit’ of pre-existing adaptations, re-establishing the dominance of an earlier layer of genes that controlled loose-knit colonies of only partially differentiated cells, similar to tumors.”

If this is true, it makes sense that conventional cancer treatments aimed to poison or “kill” the cancerous cells may only make the problem worse by creating an even more toxic environment, which could trigger the cancer to reach back into its “ancient toolkit” to find additional means of survival.

This explanation may be overly simplistic, as there are many factors that contribute to cancer, but there is evidence to suggest that natural substances and therapies that support the body’s overall health can be useful in the fight against cancer.

Nearly 1,000 Natural Substances Have Anti-Cancer Potential

GreenMedInfo has a database of 986 substances that have been researched as potential cancer prevention and treatment strategies. There are undoubtedly many more out there that have yet to be discovered. At the top of the list is curcumin, the active ingredient in the curry spice turmeric, which targets cancer stem cells while leaving normal stem cells unharmed.[xiii]

Another top contender is vitamin D, which you can get for free from adequate sun exposure. Higher vitamin D levels are not only known to lower your cancer risk but also to improve outcomes if you’ve already been diagnosed.[xiv] Fiberresveratrolsulforaphane and vitamin E — all substances you can get from your diet — also show anti-cancer promise, as does coffee, perhaps because it improves the body’s ability to efficiently repair DNA damage.[xv]

So if there was one silver lining to the news that cancer is now the leading cause of death in some countries, it would be that it’s a condition that has many promising natural avenues for prevention and treatment. Current conventional cancer treatments are failing, but that doesn’t mean cancer is unstoppable — it means it’s time to broaden our research into and usage of traditional therapies.

Many natural substances, like noni leaf,[xvi] have even been shown to work better than chemotherapy, highlighting why, if we’re going to win the war against cancer, we’re going to need to do it with nature on our side.

For more on how to naturally fight Cancer, visit the GreenMedInfo database on the subject.

Originally published: 2019-09-14

Article Updated: 2019-11-05

References

[i] The Lancet September 3, 2019

[ii] CNN September 3, 2019

[iii] Annals of Internal Medicine December 18, 2018

[iv] Annals of Internal Medicine December 18, 2018

[v] The Lancet September 3, 2019

[vi] Medscape September 3, 2019

[vii] Medscape September 3, 2019

[viii] American Cancer Society, Lifetime Risk of Developing or Dying From Cancer

[ix] CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians January 8, 2019

[x] CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians January 8, 2019

[xi] Front. Oncol., 10 January 2019

[xii] Physical Biology February 7, 2011

[xiii] Anticancer Res. 2015 Feb ;35(2):599-614.

[xiv] Br J Cancer. 2017 Mar 16. Epub 2017 Mar 16.

[xv] J Nutrigenet Nutrigenomics. 2015 ;8(4-6):174-84.

[xvi] Mol Cell Biochem. 2016 Apr 22. Epub 2016 Apr 22.


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Awareness

Man Fasts For 382 Days Straight & Loses 276 Pounds

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Angus Barbieri, a man who, in June of 1965, began a fast under medical supervision for exactly 382 days. He remained completely healthy for the duration of the fast.

  • Reflect On:

    Today, it's firmly established in scientific literature that fasting can have tremendous benefits, if done correctly. It can also be used to treat a variety of diseases. Perhaps it's not emphasized because you can't make money off of not eating?

A study published in the Post Graduate Medical Journal in 1972 brought more attention to a gentleman by the name of Angus Barbieri, a man who, in June of 1965, began a fast under medical supervision for exactly 382 days and, at the time the study was published, had since maintained his ordinary weight. In his case, “prolonged fasting had no ill effects.” Barbieri’s weight decreased from 456 to 180 pounds during the fast.

This isn’t the only example that’s available in the literature, it’s similar to an earlier patient prior to Barbieri who reduced his weight from 432 to 235 pounds during 350 days of intermittent fasting (Stewart, Fleming & Robertson, 1966). Researchers have also fasted patients for 256 days (Collison, 1967, 1971), 249 and 236 days (Thomson et al., 1966) as well as  210 days (Garnett et al., 1969; Runcie & Thomson, 1970), all of which are cited in the 1972 study.

Since the publication of this time, there are many documented examples of prolonged fasting done by highly obese people. Here’s one recent example of a man who fasted for 50 straight days, while being medically supervised and tested the whole time.

When you fast, your body switches from burning glucose, to burning fat. Fasting lowers insulin levels which allows the body to access its fat stores for energy. When you eat, food is converted into glucose and that’s what we usually burn. This is why fasting has become a therapeutic intervention for many people with type two diabetes, and more doctors, like Dr. Jason Fung, a Toronto Based nephrologist, are having great success with utilizing fasting as an appropriate and necessary health intervention. Fung has many great articles regarding the science of fasting, you can access them here if you’re interested in learning more. This article references some of the leading scientists in the field so you can learn more by looking them up as well.

The graph below depicts what happens to your protein while fasting. Interesting isn’t it? People often believe that if you fast, you will experience a tremendous amount of muscle loss during fasting, but that’s simply not true. This graph is from Kevin Hall, from the NIH in the book “Comparative Physiology of Fasting, Starvation, and Food Limitation.”

“It seems that there are always concerns about loss of muscle mass during fasting. I never get away from this question. No matter how many times I answer it, somebody always asks, “Doesn’t fasting burn your muscle?” Let me say straight up, NO.”  – source Dr. Jason Fung

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But what about Angus Barbieri? Obviously we’re not saying long term fasts for this long are healthy, obviously for many people they will probably be unhealthy and unsafe unless medically supervised. In  the 1972 study doctors measured a number of concentrations within the body. For example, plasma potassium concentrations over the first four months decreased systematically. As a result, they provided a very small daily dose that increased his potassium level. After another 10 weeks, no potassium was given, and from there on in until the end of the fast, plasma potassium levels remained normal. Cholesterol concentrations also remained around 230 mg/ 100 ml until 300 days of fasting, but increased to 370 mg/100 ml during refeeding.

Plasma magnesium levels decreased over the first few weeks of the fast but then went up and stabilized. This is interesting to note as there is nothing going into the body, yet levels still stabilized after the initial decrease.

Normal plasma magnesium concentrations, despite magnesium ‘depletion’ in muscle tissue, have been described (Drenick et al., 1969) during short-term fasting (1-3 months). The only other relevant report is a remark (Runcie & Thomson, 1970) that one patient who fasted 71 days had a normal plasma magnesium level of 2-2 mEq/l at the time when she developed latent tetany. The decrease in the plasma magnesium concentration of our patient was systematic and persistent.

Furthermore:

The excretion of sodium, potassium, calcium and inorganic phosphate decreased to low levels throughout the first 100 days, but thereafter the excretion of all four urinary constituents, as well as of magnesium, began to increase. During the subsequent 200 days sodium excretion, previously between 2 and 20 mEq daily, reached over 80 mEq/24 hr, potassium excretion increased to 30-40 mEq daily and calcium excretion increased from 10-30 mg/24 hr to 250- 280 mg/24 hr. Magnesium excretion (which was not measured during the first 100 days) reached 10 mEq/ 24 hr between Days 200-300. Phosphate excretion, which had decreased to under 200 mg/24 hr, also increased to around 800 mg/24 hr, even exceeding 1000 mg/24 hr on occasion. Peak excretions of all these constituents were seen around Day 300, after which there was a marginal decrease, but excretion remained high.

Obviously, this is an extreme fast and such fasts have only been tested on people of tremendous obesity, and it shows that people with a high body fat percentage have the ability to fast longer simply because their body has more stores to pull from.

The study concluded in 1972 that:

We have found, like Munro and colleagues (1970), that prolonged supervised therapeutic starvation of the obese patient can be a safe therapy, which is also effective if the ideal weight is reached. There is, however, likely to be occasionally a risk in some individuals, attributable to failures in different aspects of the adaptative response to fasting. Until the characteristics of these variations in response are identified, and shown to be capable of detection in their prodromal stages, extended starvation therapy must be used cautiously. In our view, unless unusual hypokalaemia is seen, potassium supplements are not mandatory. Xanthine oxidase inhibitors (or uricosuric agents) are not always necessary and could even be potentially harmful (British Medical Journal, 1971) perhaps particularly in the long-term fasting situation.

It’s almost 2020, and the literature, studies and research that’s been published since 1972 is vast. We’ve learned a lot more about it and if done correctly it can be extremely beneficial. Shot term fasting  presents minimal to no health risks, and so does long term fasting that lasts more than 24 hours, that is unless a person already has an underlying condition. That being said, it’s not easy to start. Most people are used to eating three meals plus snacks every single day, therefore they are never adapted to burning their fat stores, something that appears the human body was meant to do.

“Why is it that the normal diet is three meals a day plus snacks? It isn’t that it’s the healthiest eating pattern, now that’s my opinion but I think there is a lot of evidence to support that. There are a lot of pressures to have that eating pattern, there’s a lot of money involved. The food industry — are they going to make money from skipping breakfast like I did today? No, they’re going to lose money. If people fast, the food industry loses money. What about the pharmaceutical industries? What if people do some intermittent fasting, exercise periodically and are very healthy, is the pharmaceutical industry going to make any money on healthy people?” – Mark Mattson (source)

Fasting has also been shown to be effective as a therapeutic intervention for cancer. Fasting protects healthy cells while ‘starving’ cancer cells, it’s now being used as an intervention that’s being combined with chemotherapy. Fasting has also been shown to greatly reduce the risk of age related diseases like Parkinson’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Mark Mattson, one of the foremost researchers of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying multiple neurodegenerative disorders has shown through his work that fasting can have a tremendous effect on the brain, and can even reverse the symptoms of multiple neurodegenerative disorders. You can watch his interesting TED talk here.  Scientists have also discovered strong evidence that fasting is a natural intervention for triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an entire organ or system.

Fasting has actually long been known to have an effect on the brain. Children who suffer from epileptic seizures have fewer of them when placed on caloric restriction or fasts. It is believed that fasting helps kick-start protective measures that help counteract the overexcited signals that epileptic brains often exhibit.  (source)

The list goes on and is quite long. At the end of the day if you do your research, fasting, under proper medical supervision, can have tremendous health benefits that go far beyond what’s mentioned in the paragraph above. Every single study that has looked at fasting as a therapeutic intervention for several diseases has shown nothing but positive benefits. Even studies conducted regarding caloric restriction, something completely different than fasting, have shown promising results in all animal models.

According to a review of fasting literature conducted in 2003, “Calorie restriction (CR) extends life span and retards age-related chronic diseases in a variety of species, including rats, mice, fish, flies, worms, and yeast. The mechanism or mechanisms through which this occurs are unclear.” Since this study was published, a great amount of research has been conducted from many researchers, and the mechanisms are being discovered and have become more clear. If you want to further your research, apart from the names listed above, Dr. Valter Longo and his research is another great place to start.

The body has a tremendous amount of storage, and it hangs on to what it needs during a fast, and uses up ‘bad’ things, repairs damaged cells, and more. When you fast and deplete all your glycogen, your body is going to start using fat for energy, it’s going to use damaged cells for energy, it’s basically going to use all of the bad things first, before it gets to the good thing…Your body will not burn protein, as protein is not a fuel source while fasting.

I bring this up because it’s interesting to see what the body loses and hangs on to during a fast.

The Takeaway

The truth about fasting is that it’s not dangerous at all. Intermittent fasting and short term fasting can be done by just about anybody. From what we’ve seen with regards to prolonged fasting, it’s also not very dangerous when it comes to obese people doing it under medically supervised conditions. Theoretically, based on the science alone, any relatively healthy human being should be able to do a prolonged fast without any harmful consequences.

Obviously, prolonged fasts that are not medically supervised can be very detrimental. We are obviously not recommending this and you must do a lot of research and talk to your doctor if you’re interested in fasting, before trying it. For starters, a little bit of intermittent fasting here and there is a no brainer, and not dangerous at all if you have no underlying health conditions, but everybody’s body is different.

Fasting is making a lot of noise, and has been making a lot of noise within the health community, but it’s still not appropriately taught and used by the mainstream medical industry. Why is this so? The answer is simple, you can’t make money off of fasting.

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Alternative News

America’s Largest Milk Producer Files For Bankruptcy – Cow’s Milk Is Inhumane & Unhealthy

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Image by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dean foods, the largest milk producer in the United States has filed for bankruptcy.

  • Reflect On:

    Independent media and activists around the world do have the ability to make change, and this is one of many examples. The world is waking up, even in the face of massive censorship of information. We are more powerful than we know.

Dean Foods, the largest milk company in the United States has recently filed for bankruptcy. The reason? Because Americans, and people all of the world for that matter, are not drinking as much cow’s milk as they used to. Brands that seem to be growing and having success are the ones who are now offering dairy free options.  Oat milk, for example, saw U.S. sales rise 636% to more than $52 million over the past year, according to Nielsen data. Sales of cow’s milk dropped 2.4% in that same time frame.

Chief Executive Officer, Eric Beringause stated: “We continue to be impacted by a challenging operating environment marked by continuing declines in consumer milk consumption.” He’s right, the demand for cow’s milk has dropped nearly 50 percent since 1975.

So, why are people doing this? Well, it’s happening for a number of reasons. First of all, the industry is full of animal cruelty. Cow’s are forcefully impregnated so they can produce milk, and their babies are taken from them for beef so the milk can be drained from the cow so humans can drink it. This causes tremendous heartache. Cows are living in poor conditions where they constantly suffer both emotionally and physically. Furthermore, they can often be abused by workers, but the conditions they live in on factory farms is already seen as abusive to many.

Not only are we starting to become aware that our milk-drinking habit is one of the most cruel industries that exists on Earth,  we are realizing waking up to the fact that 80 percent of the Amazon rainforest destruction is the result of grazing animals for meat and dairy production. It’s one of the main sources of environmental degradation and pollution on our planet. It is destroying our Earth, and the waste is polluting our environment and waterways at an alarming rate. 90 percent of soy used, which is also creating massive amounts of deforestation, is used for animal feed, not humans. So, animal product consumption is clearly the biggest factor when it comes to deforestation and environmental degradation, yet there doesn’t seem to be enough emphasis put on it like there is for C02. Why?

When it comes to the health aspects, I remember being in shock when I came to the realization that we were the only animal on the planet who drank the milk of another animal. Furthermore, we are the only species on the planet that drinks milk after weaning.

There are multiple studies showing that drinking milk from a cow leads to an increased mortality rate and actually makes bones more prone to fracturing, not less. One example would be this giant study from researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden. How ironic is this given the fact that milk has always been marketed to humans as necessary from strong bone health?  Calcium is available in high quantities in a number of planet, how come we weren’t marketed with that?

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One thing milk protein does is trigger metabolic acidosis. This happens when the body produces too much acid and becomes very acidic, which can be caused by multiple things, including the absorption of casein found in animal protein. Casein makes up almost 90 percent of the protein in a cow’s milk. When the body experiences this type of acidosis, it actually forces the body to compensate by leaching calcium from the bones to help neutralize the increased acidity. This became known to me through the work of Dr. Colin Campbell, an American biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long term health. He is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. Scholars like Campbell are vital to the world, because they are among the few who actually examine and study nutrition and health, something that our modern day medical industry completely ignores. You can watch a video of him explaining, here.

Dr. Campbell also discovered that animal protein (casein) can accelerate and “turn on” cancer, while plant based protein has the opposite effect. You can read more about that and which him explain in this article.

If we look at all other animals who don’t consume the milk of another animal or after weaning, it is because they do not have the enzymes to break down the sugar found in milk. We are no different, and this explains why in some ethnic populations around the world, lactose intolerance is present in 90 percent of the population. A staggering 70 percent of the world’s population has some degree of lactose intolerance.

Humans actually never had this enzyme, and to digest the sugar in cow’s milk, we had to develop the LTC gene, which was acquired by mutation. This is the lactase gene, which allows us to process lactose as adults. Clearly, we are not doing what is natural and in accordance with our bodies. I first came across this information from Katherine S. Pollard, a PhD at the University of California, San Francisco, in this lecture.

That being said, some people might have evolved and developed on cows milk just fine, which is why this information may not apply to everybody but overall, it definitely appears we are doing something unnatural.

More doctors are waking up, The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) recently submitted a citizen petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change labeling on cheese to include a cancer warning.

The petition states:

High-fat dairy products, such as cheese, are associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. Components in dairy such as insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and other growth hormones may be among the reasons for the increased risk for cancer.

To ensure that Americans understand the potential significant risks, and resulting long-term costs, of consuming dairy cheese products, the FDA should ensure that the notice above is prominently placed on product packaging and labeling for all dairy cheese products.

The list goes on and on, what’s presented in this article is simply a tidbit with regards to why big milk is going out of business. People are waking up.

When it comes to health and cruelty, it’s not just dairy, it’s also meat-eating as well. It’s very in-humane, not all that healthy, and is also destroying our planet.

You can read this article for more information about that: Another Study Suggests That Human Beings Are Not Designed To Eat Meat

The Takeaway

It’s great to see the dairy industry forcing to transition, although there is still a long way to go, it’s quite clear through the efforts of various forms of activism around the world that more people are becoming more empathetic, compassionate, and caring about our treatment of animals and the planet. These are qualities our world certainly needs more of. In conjunction with  the massive amount of animal cruelty that’s being exposed, awareness with regards to the health and environmental consequences of consuming dairy are also skyrocketing.

We are more powerful than we know, and at any time, if we come together, we can change the game big time.

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