Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Following a healthy diet and lifestyle changes can help Eczema

HOW NUTRITION CAN HELP ECZEMA

There are three main objectives in the treatment of eczema: reducing inflammation, relieving itching of the skin, and moisturizing dry patches. As most alternative health practitioners know, certain dietary practices and various supplements can help to accomplish these objectives in many cases of eczema that seem to be resistant to standard medical treatment. The most evidence-based lifestyle, dietary and supplementation strategies shown to improve cases of eczema are as follows:

Dietary and Lifestyle Considerations: Avoid any known dietary or environmental irritants or allergens. Reduce the build-up of the polyunsaturated fat arachidonic acid within skin cells, as it is the direct building block of inflammatory prostaglandin hormones. To accomplish this, reduce the intake of the following foods: high-fat meat and dairy products; corn oil, sunflower seed oil, safflower seed oil, and mixed vegetable oils; alcohol, hydrogenated fats (e.g., margarine, commercial peanut butter, shortenings).

Replace the above foods with the following: chicken, turkey, fish, Cornish hen, 1 percent milk or yogurt, low-fat cheese (3 percent or less milk fat), olive oil, canola oil, or peanut oil (for salad dressings, to sauté vegetables or stir fry only).

Important Supplements: Omega-3 fats provide the building block for the production of prostaglandin hormones that reduce the inflammatory activity of skin cells. They also reduce the build-up of arachidonic acid in skin cells by blocking the enzyme that converts linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid to arachidonic acid. Examples of omega-3 fats of importance to skin health include EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). EPA is found in fish and fish oils, and ALA is found primarily in flaxseed oil. Clinical trials have shown that omega-3 fats can be effective in the treatment of eczema.

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) has also been shown to help in cases of eczema. Studies reveal that many patients with eczema lack the enzyme to convert linoleic acid to gamma-linolenic acid. As gamma-linolenic acid is the building block of an important anti-inflammatory prostaglandin hormone, supplementation with an oil that is high in gamma-linolenic acid, such as borage, black currant or evening primrose oil, has been shown to favorably affect cases of eczema.

A number of B vitamins (especially B6 and niacin) are necessary co-factors to speed up the enzymes that produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins in the skin. Vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and zinc are also required to support various enzymes within skin cells that promote the formation of prostaglandins, which reduce skin inflammatory conditions, including eczema. I recommend a high-potency multivitamin/mineral supplement that contains a B-50 complex along with boosted levels of antioxidants.

In many cases, once specific allergies have been ruled out, the medical profession is at a loss to provide eczema sufferers with any meaningful treatment options. For this subgroup of patients, specific dietary and supplementation practices outlined in this article can provide significant improvement of their condition in many cases. Your doctor can tell you more about the connection between diet and skin health.

 

December 2, 2011 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Barbecuing Meat Considered Unsafe for Consuption

IS BARBECUING A DUMB THING?

Grilling meat is an inherently dumb thing to do. Here’s why: Cooking animal flesh over a hot open flame triggers a series of chemical reactions that yield a meal loaded with carcinogens. Scientists have been warning us about this danger for two decades. Cancer-causing compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) can form, particularly when cooking animal flesh over high heat, which is common when barbequing. These chemicals – the same chemicals that are found in cigarette smoke – have been shown to cause cancer.

Is there a solution; a way to avoid filling your body with HCAs? Don’t grill your meat (or don’t eat meat at all, since research suggests grilling vegetables does not generate HCAs). The trouble with that “solution” is that we’ve been cooking dinner over open fires for two million years. Taking pleasure in grilling meat over a fire is so deeply ingrained in our blood that most people aren’t about to change.

That said, researchers studying the production of heterocyclic amines during the cooking process have discovered a number of “tricks” that may reduce the risks posed while barbequing, either by interfering with the creation of HCAs or inactivating them once they’re formed. For example, precooking a hamburger patty for two minutes in a microwave before barbequing reduces heterocyclic amines by a whopping 90 percent, according to research. Adding vitamin antioxidants to the meat or marinating it in antioxidant-rich spices before cooking appears to work almost as well.

When it comes to marinades, there are also important things to know. First, not just any marinade seems to work – old-style tomato-based barbecue sauces actually increase heterocyclic amine production, while marinades like teriyaki sauce reduce heterocyclic amines produced during cooking by half. Those packets of store-bought powder marinades that you add oil and vinegar to also seem to be surprisingly effective.

There is also another approach to reducing the harm caused by heterocyclic amines. A number of foods have been identified that neutralize heterocyclic amines in the intestine and prevent them from causing DNA damage. For example, several studies suggest that the Lactobacilli strains in yogurt do this, so serving yogurt on or with meat meals provides additional protection because it actually reduces the harmful effects of these chemicals.

The bottom line for anyone who wants to cook meat, whether chicken, beef, pork or anything else on the grill is simple – make sure to marinate all meats before cooking. When cooking ground beef, knead in herbs and/or vitamin E. Stick with skinless chicken if cooking poultry. Always accompany barbecued meat with a yogurt dish and a little alcohol, preferably stout ale; and use a yogurt salad dressing or even something as simple as frozen yogurt for dessert. And, remember that you can cook vegetables on the grill without the danger of heterocyclic amine formation – and increase the nutritional content of your meal at the same time. Talk to your doctor for more information.

June 17, 2011 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Coffee helps Athletic Performance and Recovery

Kona Coffee for sale in upstate New York

COFFEE – LIQUID ASSETS

   During our travels to the East Coast we saw many places that were selling Kona Coffee by the pound or by the unrefined, plantation, bag.

   Several studies suggest that drinking this “Black Gold” can help us dodge a stroke, certain cancers, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

   Why such a super drink you ask?  Scientist believe that the secret lies in the synergistic interaction between the powerful antioxidants and the caffeine in the coffee beans.  Several studies included in a 2008 report in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport have concluded that consuming caffeine before or during exercise helps us work harder and longer.

   Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant so it gives us runners a perception of using less effort during an endurance run.

   Is there a difference between using 100 percent Kona coffee or a blend from South America?  The difference only lies in ones taste buds and personal preference, as far as the benefits from drinking coffee go – caffeine is caffeine.

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Red Wine Sampling in upstate New York

Big Dog and Mrs Big Dog enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate NY

A truly fun part of our vacation to upstate New York was stopping by the wineries and sampling the many varieties available at a nominal cost.  My personal favorite – Red Knight – moderately priced and full bodied. 

Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and protecting against artery damage.

While the news about red wine might sound great if you enjoy a glass of red wine with your evening meal, doctors are wary of encouraging anyone to start drinking alcohol. That’s because too much alcohol can have many harmful effects on your body.

Still, doctors do agree that something in red wine appears to help your heart, though it’s unclear just exactly what that “something” is. Researchers think antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol, have promising heart-healthy benefits.

Wine tasting fun!Antioxidants aren't the only substances in red wine that look promising. The alcohol in red wine also appears to be heart healthy. Find out what's known — and not known — about red wine and its possible heart-health benefits.How is red wine heart healthy?Research studies on the heart-health benefits of red wine have reported mixed results. Some studies show that red wine seems to have even more heart-health benefits than other types of alcohol, while other studies show that red wine isn't any better than beer, white wine or liquor for heart health. There's still no clear evidence yet that red wine is superior to other forms of alcohol when it comes to possible heart-health benefits.Making a purchase at Fulkerson Winery

The studies supporting red wine suggest antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. These antioxidants come in two main forms: flavonoids and nonflavonoids.

  • Flavonoids. These antioxidants are found in a variety of foods, including oranges, grape juice, apples, onions, tea and cocoa. Other types of alcohol, such as white wine and beer, contain small amounts, too, but red wine has higher levels.
  • Nonflavonoids. These antioxidants found in red wine have recently been of particular interest because they appear to help prevent arteries from becoming clogged with fatty blockages. However, these studies mostly involved mice — not humans. Resveratrol is the nonflavonoid that’s received the most attention from researchers.

Guess what's in the bag?Resveratrol in red wineResveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces "bad" cholesterol and prevents blood clots.Most research on resveratrol has been conducted on animals, not people. Research in mice given resveratrol has indicated that the antioxidant might also help protect them from obesity and diabetes, both of which are strong risk factors for heart disease. However, those findings were reported only in mice, not in people. In addition, to get the same dose of resveratrol used in the mice studies, a person would have to consume 100 to 1,000 bottles of red wine a day.Some research shows that resveratrol could be linked to a reduced risk of inflammation and blood clotting, both of which can lead to heart disease. More research is needed before it's known whether resveratrol was the cause for the reduced risk.Some companies sell supplements containing resveratrol. However, not enough is known about resveratrol's effects to endorse resveratrol supplements. Research into the potential heart-health benefits of resveratrol is continuing.My favorite winery

July 4, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What is the Correct Way to Eat Fruit?

Dr. Stephen Mak tells us the right way to eat fruit

What’s the correct way to eat fruit?     

IT MEANS NOT EATING FRUIT AFTER A MEAL!   FRUIT SHOULD BE EATEN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.

Eating fruit like that plays a major role in detoxifying your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities…

FRUIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD.

Let’s say you eat two slices of bread, then a slice of fruit.   The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it’s prevented from doing so.

In the meantime, the whole meal rots and ferments, and turns to acid.   The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach, and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil.

Eat your fruit on an empty stomach, or before your meal!   You’ve heard people complain: Every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet, etc.   This will not happen if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach.   Fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas.   Hence, you bloat.

Graying hair, balding, nervous outburst, and dark circles under the eyes all of these will NOT happen if you eat fruit on an empty stomach.

There’s no such thing as some fruits, like orange and lemon are acidic, because all fruit becomes alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did research on this matter.   If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruit, you have the Secret of Beauty, Longevity, Health, Energy, Happiness and normal weight.

When you need to drink fruit juice drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT from the cans.   Don’t drink juice that has been heated.   Don’t eat cooked fruit; you don’t get the nutrients at all.   You get only the taste… Cooking destroys all of the vitamins.

Eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice.   If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it.   You can go on a 3-day fruit-fast to cleanse your body.   Eat fruit and drink fruit juice for just 3 days, and you will be surprised when your friends say how radiant you look!

KIWI:  Tiny but mighty, and a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber.   Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange

AN APPLE a day keeps the doctor away?   Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavinoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C, thereby helping to lower the risk of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.

STRAWBERRY:  Protective Fruit.   Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.

EATING 2 – 4 ORANGES:  An orange a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones, and reduce the risk of colon cancer.

WATERMELON:  Coolest thirst quencher.   Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system.   Also a key source of lycopene, the cancer-fighting oxidant.   Also found in watermelon: Vitamin C & Potassium.

GUAVA & PAPAYA:  Top awards for vitamin C.   They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content.   Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation.   Papaya is rich in carotene, good for your eyes.

April 1, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments