Antibiotic overuse is a danger to public health, and especially dangerous for pregnant women

 The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is warning the public that antibiotic overuse has the potential to cripple the entire modern medical system.1

Despite public awareness campaigns about responsible use of antibiotics, antibiotics continue to be prescribed for colds, flu, sinusitis and bronchitis. Medical authorities continually warn doctors that antibiotics should NOT be prescribed for routine bronchitis and sinusitis. The scientific studies show that they do not improve outcome.  These are infections that, except in rare instances, are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Plus, these infections resolve by strengthening the immune system with excellent nutrition, not weakening it and creating more serious future infections that can develop as a result of antibiotic use

As inappropriate use of antibiotics continues, more and more resistant microbes will spread, and antibiotics will consequently become less effective. Drug-resistant bacteria emerge from mutations – microbes are constantly mutating, and these mutations eventually cause resistance to antibiotics.

Drug-resistant infections kill about 19,000 people each year in the U.S., and are a significant cost to the healthcare system.1 Drug-resistant bacteria have the potential to compromise our ability to perform procedures for which antibiotics are crucial.

"If this wave of antibiotic resistance gets over us, we will not be able to do organ transplants, hip replacements, cancer chemotherapy, intensive care and neonatal care for premature babies."

- Dominique Monnet, ECDC scientific advice unit1

The dangers of antibiotic overuse extend further than infection alone – all drugs have side effects, and antibiotics are especially toxic, and their side-effects are significant. . Antibiotics kill bacteria indiscriminately – therefore they disrupt our microbial balance, killing the beneficial flora that aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients and keep other microbes at bay. Children who are prescribed more antibiotics in the first year of life are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma and allergies during childhood.3  Antibiotic use has even been linked to a higher incidence of breast cancer.4   

Antibiotics are one of the most common medications taken by pregnant women, and a new study has made connections between antibiotics use during pregnancy and incidence of birth defects. Sulfonamides and nitrofurantoins were each associated with several birth defects – women who took these classes of antibiotics while pregnant were 2-4 times as likely to give birth to a baby with a heart defect. The more commonly used penicillins, eythromycins, and cephalosporins were each associated with at least one birth defect.2  

Antibiotics are not harmless medications and should be reserved for severe (and carefully documented) bacterial infections - infections that would seriously threaten the health of the patient if left untreated. We have powerful immune systems which, when supported by excellent nutrition, will clear the more moderate infections without help from drugs. 

 

References:

  1. http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE5A927820091110
  2. Crider KS et al. Antibacterial medication use during pregnancy and risk of birth defects: National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009 Nov;163(11):978-85.
  3. Foliaki S et al. Antibiotic use in infancy and symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in children 6 and 7 years old: International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood Phase III. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Nov;124(5):982-9.
  4. Velicer CM et al. Antibiotic Use in Relation to the Risk of Breast Cancer. JAMA. 2004;291:827-835.

 

Carol is down 77 lbs in less than four months!

before and after pics of an obese female 

Tell us about yourself and the events that led up to making the commitment to get your health back.

My name is Carol and I’m almost 59-years-old; mother to five, and grandmother to three.  I had been a yo-yo dieter for most of my adult life.  I would lose 30 lbs and then soon after gain more back.  Food was always a comfort and escape for me.  I didn’t need to be hungry to eat as long as the food was tasty.

Last summer I had reached a point where being on my feet for more than an hour meant lots of pain and discomfort for the rest of the day and into the next.  My skin felt bruised when touched.  I had to plan activities around how much walking was involved, and I was becoming more and more homebound.

 

How did you learn about nutritarian eating? 

Emily Boller lives in my hometown and I was inspired by her transformation; however, I thought nutritarian eating would be too hard for me.  In July, I read Eat to Live and believed it was the answer to my health problems.  I finally got desperate enough to attend a library talk that Emily facilitated, which motivated me to make the commitment to change.  Soon afterwards I joined the member center of drfuhrman.com and read Eat for Health.  That book set taught me more valuable information about reversing disease through excellent nutrition and being in control of my health destiny. 

The rest is history . . . .   on July 22, 2009 I weighed 345 lbs and my waist was 55”.  Now, less than four months later, November 15, 2009, I weigh 268 lbs with a 48”waist.  That’s a loss of 77 lbs so far!

 

How do you feel now?

First of all, the weight is coming off easily!  I feel better now than I have in years.  Being on my feet is no longer a problem, and it doesn’t hurt to be touched anymore.  I sleep better and have lots more energy.

Food always meant comfort to me.  Whether I was hungry or not, I’d eat a lot. Now I eat only when hungry, and I’ve discovered how enjoyable natural foods can taste.  I enjoy life again because food no longer controls me.    

 

Success tips you’d like to share with others in the journey to health?

  • I purchase bags of dried beans and make a large pot of bean or vegetable soup on the weekend to last the next week.
  • I buy lots of frozen vegetables and fruits to have on hand.
  • I make smoothies and great tasting salads. 
  • I don’t let eating away from home worry me like it used to when I was yo-yo dieting. I make wise choices; no longer feeling defeated like I did for years.

 

Is there a final thought that you would like to share with anyone who is discouraged or has given up hope?

 Just do it! 

Start however you can. It may sound overwhelming at the beginning, but in all reality, nutritarian eating is the easiest way to lose weight and feel great at the same time. It will change your life!

 

Congratulations Carol!  We are cheering for you as you continue on the journey of getting your health back! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving table setting 

                                                                                         

I took the above picture as I was preparing our Thanksgiving noon meal today.  I bought the Pilgrim statues years ago at a garage sale.  Arranged with candles, artificial leaves, squash and apples, it makes one of my favorite holiday centerpieces.  My immediate family (minus my oldest daughter who lives out east and will be home for Christmas) will be gathering with my extended family later this evening at my Aunt’s house to catch up on the happenings of everyone.

I started a new Thanksgiving tradition for myself early this morning.  I ran a 4 mile run, appropriately named the “Galloping Gobbler”, with my oldest son.  Three of my children, at various times, have run in this race for several Thanksgivings now, and it has been my goal for a long time to be able to join them someday. 

Well, today was that someday.

 

                                                  

Words are inadequate to express how wonderful it feels to have health back. 

It was a tough course with hills that I hadn’t trained for, but wanted to give it a shot anyway.  As I was approaching the finish line, and the bystanders were cheering, it felt so good to be able to stretch out my legs and run.  Two years ago, when I was obese, I couldn’t even jog to catch a fly away ball in our backyard. 

If you are sitting on the fence of indecision, I encourage you to give nutritarian eating your all. 

To be free from food addiction and get health back is something you will never regret.

Ever.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  

Healthy Apple Crisp and Sweet Potato Pie

 

 picture of apples

Hot and Healthy Apple Crisp

The following recipe is from the Member Center of www.drfuhrman.com   A member commented that this crisp smells wonderful while baking in the oven.  Enjoy!

 

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees.)

8 apples, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup date sugar

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup raisins

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup Goji berries, soaked (optional)

Sprinkle apples with lemon juice & toss.  Mix rest of ingredients together then combine with apples and mix thoroughly.  Pour into an 8" X 11" baking dish and bake for 45 minutes.  Makes 8 servings.

Note:  If using Goji berries make sure to soak them for an hour ahead of time in just enough water to cover.  Drain before adding the berries to the mixture.  The Goji berries not only add color to this crisp but, more importantly, they add a nutritional antioxidant boost!

                                       

                              Painting of Pilgrimans and Indians at first Thanksgiving

Sweet Potato Pie 

The following recipe is from Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times Newsletter; Issue 3, November 2002The pineapple gives it a delightful Hawaiian twist.  Happy and healthy Thanksgiving baking!  

 

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees.)

4-6 sweet potatoes (organic are sweeter)

1 1/2 cups orange juice

Canned sliced pineapple (unsweetened)

Bake sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for 90 minutes or until soft.  Let cool.  Peel off skin and mash in a food processor or Vita Mix with sufficient orange juice to reach desired consistency.  Spread mixture into a pan.  Cover with pineapple slices.

Bake for 1/2 hour.

Makes 4 servings.

 

image credits:  google.com

High fat intake - especially saturated fat - is associated with macular degeneration

 

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans over 60 years of age. This disease involves cell death in the macula of the eye, which has a high density of cone cells and is responsible for central vision.1 

A recent study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology2 investigated the relationship between fat intake and the presence of intermediate AMD 4-7 years later in over 1700 women, and found that some fats may benefit eye health while others may be damaging.

Total fat.Women aged 50-75 who consumed the highest proportion of calories from fat (43%) had the greatest risk of AMD – 70% higher odds than those with the lowest proportion of calories from fat (21%). As the authors stated,

"High-fat diets might be a marker for diets that are poor in many micronutrients that could protect against age-related macular degeneration.”3

They then looked further into the associations between specific types of dietary fat and AMD.

Saturated fats are detrimental when it comes to heart disease and cancer, so these results are no surprise - saturated fats showed the greatest association with AMD – 60% increased odds of AMD in women who consumed the greatest amounts. Monounsaturated fats, which are present in nuts, seeds, and avocados, were associated with a lower prevalence of the disease.

The associations between polyunsaturated fats and AMD are more difficult to interpret – the authors reported that both omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids were associated with a two-fold risk of AMD. But don’t overreact and throw away your walnuts and flaxseeds - the intakes of omega-3 and -6 in this study were highly correlated to one another, making it difficult to discern the effects of one from the other. Also, a 12-year study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last month found that people at high risk for AMD were less likely to develop the disease if they had a greater intake of omega-3 fats.4 The authors of the current study hypothesized that excessive omega-6 fatty acid intake may influence AMD by promoting inflammation that can contribute to retinal damage. Vegetable oils, processed foods, and animal products contain high levels of omega-6 fats – with that in mind, the authors also stress that the associations that they found likely do not represent effects of only the types of fat, but the cumulative effects of the all the compounds in the foods that contain each type of fat.3

The evidence is overwhelming that a Nutritarian diet-style, with raw seeds and nuts as the major fat source, and the high exposure to phytochemicals and carotenoids is the healthiest way to eat. Can you imagine all the personal medical tragedies that could be prevented?   It would sure put a lot of drug companies and doctors out of business.

 

References:

1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/maculardegeneration.html

2. Parekh N et al. Association Between Dietary Fat Intake and Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS). An Ancillary Study of the Women's Health Initiative. Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127(11):1483-1493.

3. http://www.medpagetoday.com/Ophthalmology/GeneralOphthalmology/16950

4. Sangiovanni JP et al. {omega}-3 Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and 12-y incidence of neovascular age-related macular degeneration and central geographic atrophy: a prospective cohort study from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Oct 7. [Epub ahead of print]

 

A Little Fuhrman Tale

Most of us were sitting at the dinner table but we had a bigger crowd than usual, my sister and her two children, as well as my mother were there, visiting from Florida. Joel was standing up (not unusual--he usually eats that way) and we were all eating except Hailey, my four-year-old niece and she was complaining that she was hungry. Haily doesn't eat too many real foods.  When offered, it is always, (without even tasting it) "I don't like that". Lots of talk was going on so I really didn't think Joel heard her, but he did. He took out a bag of blanched almonds and told Hailey she couldn't have any because he needed them all for his strength and to be smart. He just was going on and on about if she ate them, there would not be enough for him to be so strong and he needs them for his work.  .

He started to go into a very dramatic routine about how our son, Sean (eight-years-old and Hailey's idol) loved slivered almonds (something Sean and I didn't know) and that Sean was going to get very strong from eating them, but that she couldn't have any because both him and Sean must have enough.  Well Joel was really playing it up for a good 5 minutes and we were all getting a kick from it except Hailey.  She didn't budge in saying she was hungry or showing any interest in the almonds. Sean however was very affected by his daddy's words about getting strong and he started eating the slivered almonds like never before. So, we all had a good laugh about Sean and kept eating. Hailey was given something else to eat.

What makes this story remarkable is that a full 10 minutes after Joel's performance ended, Hailey started eating the slivered almonds like nobody's business. We adults had gone on, continued our conversations and forgot about the recent attempt Joel made to get Hailey to try a new healthy food. We were completely amazed that Joel's antic worked. Hailey couldn't put enough almonds into her mouth and thoroughly enjoyed them. We all stopped, looked and were astounded.  We thought there was no way he could get this picky eater to eat something new. 

I'm not saying that a parent has to always outwit the child to get them to try something new, but in this case, and in our experience with our four children it certainly works. No arguments occur and we get our way (how often does that happen?)

 

 

Tags:

Stop Abuse

                                                                                    a pair of hands with stop abuse written on them

Soon we’ll be facing holiday traditions that are based upon feasting: turkey, dressing, gravy, candied yams, yeast rolls, butter, jam, pumpkin, apple and pecan pies, cranberry sauce, glazed ham, eggnog, cheese balls, crackers, cookies, candy, fruit cakes, nut breads, fudge, confectionary treats, peppermint ice cream, pancakes, waffles, sausages, bacon; just to name a few.

As a culture, I think its time we seriously evaluate our traditions. 

If a tradition abuses the body, why participate in it?

If a tradition promotes disease, why do it?

 

                                                modern day norman rockwell like painting of thanksgiving

                                                                  image credit:  google.com

 morals: 

  • accepted rules and standards of human behavior (Wikipedia)
  • pertaining to the distinction between right and wrong (Dictionary.com)

 As a nation, perhaps it’s time we raise our morals and stop abuse. 

Will you be promoting food abuse this holiday season; or stopping it?

Let's dialogue.  What are your plans to eat for health during the holidays?

Sodium and artificial sweeteners linked to decline in kidney function

 

Two studies presented at the American Society for Nephrology’s annual meeting earlier this month are beginning to build data on the links between diet and kidney disease. The researchers used data from the Nurses’ Health Study to correlate intake of sodium and sweetened beverages with kidney function in 3,000 women over an 11-year period.

In the first study, the authors found that higher dietary sodium intake was associated with a greater decline in kidney function over that 11-year time frame.  Excessive sodium intake is already well-known to promote hypertension and consequently heart disease, and now we have one more reason to avoid it.

In the second study, women who drank two or more servings per day of artificially sweetened soda doubled their odds of kidney function decline.

Sure, we save a few calories drinking a diet soda, but does that really help us? Scientific studies have linked artificial sweeteners and/or diet soda to weight gain, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

As a society, we disregard these possible dangers to the detriment of our health. We have grown accustomed to the intense saltiness of restaurant meals and processed foods, and the intense artificial sweetness of aspartame, acesulfame K, and sucralose. By cutting these harmful substances out of our diets, we can begin to enjoy the more subtle flavors of natural whole foods, and benefit our kidneys in the process.

 

Reference:

American Society of Nephrology (2009, November 2). Diets High In Sodium And Artificially Sweetened Soda Linked To Kidney Function Decline. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 17, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091101132543.htm

 

Glucosamine supplements fail to improve knee osteoarthritis

A previous meta-analysis of clinical trials had suggested that the benefits of glucosamine supplements were exaggerated, and noted that most of the studies had been carried out by manufacturers of the supplements.1

Now, a recent study called “Joints on Glucosamine,” presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology has concluded that glucosamine has no beneficial effects on osteoarthritis of the knee. The 201 participants, given either glucosamine or placebo, were subject to MRI at baseline and after 6 months to structurally assess arthritic conditions. The odds of worsening of the cartilage were the same in the control and treatment groups, indicating that glucosamine did not slow the damage to the cartilage.2

In a news story covering this study, Eric Matteson, MD, chair of rheumatology and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, commented:

"We do know that glucosamine therapy does not appear to be harmful, but there is no evidence it is helpful."3

In October, in a review of the literature on glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, the Center for Science in the Public Interest reported that the evidence for each of these supplements (and combined glucosamine and chondroitin) were inconclusive.4 They also note that for arthritis symptoms, the placebo effect is particularly strong – the author of the article, David Schardt states:

“Studies show that a sugar pill relieves arthritis pain in up to 60% of patients.”

This fact highlights the importance of the results of this new study – the scientists quantified cartilage damage via MRI, rather than relying on the subjects’ reports of knee pain.

Like so many other diseases, the best way to prevent and treat osteoarthritis is to remove the cause. A recent meta-analysis of 85 studies on the risk factors for osteoarthritis found that being overweight posed the greatest risk.5 For most of us, reaching and then maintaining a healthy weight with nutritional excellence is the best protection against osteoarthritis.

 

References:

1. McAlindon TE et al. Glucosamine and chondroitin for treatment of osteoarthritis: a systematic quality assessment and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2000 Mar 15;283(11):1469-75.

2. http://acr.confex.com/acr/2009/webprogram/Paper15123.html

3. http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/ACR/16561

4. Schardt, David. “Do arthritis supplements work? Don’t bet your joints on it.” Center for Science in the Public Interest: Nutrition Action Healthletter, October 2009

5. Blagojevic M et al. Risk factors for onset of osteoarthritis of the knee in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2009 Sep 2. [Epub ahead of print]

 

Help! I'm a People Pleaser

person standing in ocean waves

         Flickr  image credit:   Manky M.  

                                                                  

Are you currently engulfed in the sea of pleasing everyone but yourself?

Do you help your children and/or others reach their fullest potential, but neglect your own goals?

Are you afraid to “rock the boat” and say, “No” to others to the extent that you don’t take care of yourself?

Would you like to eat healthier, but are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings by rejecting their food?  Are you going along with the crowd at the expense of killing yourself? 

A people pleaser is concerned with the expectations of others and trying to fit in, even if it means compromising personal goals to do so.  Pleasing everyone is emotional dysfunction, and is usually on the side of evil, not goodness.  Trying to please others, even if what they are promoting is hurtful, is a deadly snare.  Gang members can torture and kill people trying to please their peer group.     

Don’t meet the expectations and demands of others if they are unrealistic and disease promoting.  Love means having the best affect on others, not acting in a way to be viewed more favorably.  The latter is weakness and self-love.     

If you are a habitual people pleaser it will take courage to change the dysfunction.  Saying no without feeling guilty can be difficult, but for optimal health, you must change damaging behaviors.

Standing up for yourself and doing what is right, not necessarily what is popular or what is promoted by your peers is the best gift that you can give to others!

Let’s dialogue.  In what practical way(s) do you need to change to be emotionally and physically healthy?  (Feel free to use a nickname if you wish to remain anonymous.)  

Dr. Fuhrman Appears on E! Entertainment Television

Alanis Morissette has transformed her health using Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live program.  Two weeks ago, her weight loss success was reported in People Magazine. 

Now, her journey to excellent health has been featured on "E! Original Countdowns: 15 Remarkable Celebrity Body Bouncebacks."  Dr. Fuhrman was interviewed and appears on the show - he comments that Alanis was drawn to the focus of his diet-style on disease prevention (rather than only weight-loss) and that this will be instrumental in her continued success.

The show aired Wednesday night - you can view the segment below, and read a transcript here.

 

 

Future airings of the show are as follows:


Sat.  Nov. 14: 2-4 pm

Sun.  Nov. 15: 5-7 pm

Thurs. Nov. 19: 8-10 pm

Fri.   Nov. 20: 3-5 pm

Sun.  Nov. 22: 12 midnight - 2 am

Sun.  Nov. 22: 7-9 pm

Processed foods, low-carb diets linked to depression

 


Three recent studies document that consumption of processed foods increase odds of depression, and not only that, but those high protein, high fat diets (high in animal products) are also linked with more depression. The diet to protect against depression – that is simple, a high nutrient, plant-based diet outlined in my books, Eat for Health and Eat to Live

In one study, middle-aged subjects were categorized by their dietary patterns based on how much “whole” or “processed” food they consumed. The high processed foods group was characterized by high intake of sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products. Five years later, the researchers evaluated how many of the subjects had reported depression symptoms.

Subjects who ate the most whole foods had the lowest odds of depression, and those who ate the most processed foods had the highest odds of depression – 60% increased odds compared to those who ate the least amount of processed foods.1

Another study compared the effects of low-fat plant-based diet and low-carbohydrate animal-product-rich diet on mood in overweight women. Although both groups lost similar amounts of weight over one year, measures of mental health and mood only improved in the low-fat group. The low-carb dieters eating more fat and animal products had higher depression scores. The authors also cited previous human studies in which high protein, low-carbohydrate diets have resulted in cognitive impairment.2

A third study measured scores of depression before and after removing meat, poultry, and fish from subjects normally eating a typical American diet. Indicators of depression significantly decreased after removing all the animal products and shifting to a plant-based diet for 2 weeks. 3

Nutrition is crucial for regulating mood – high oxidative stress in the brain and low levels of several micronutrients have also been linked to depression.4  

These studies are a reminder that what we eat affects not only our physical health but our mental health as well. Combine great diet with light therapy, exercise, sufficient Vitamin D and the right fatty acid balance for the brain, and you have my protocol to beat depression

 

References:

1. Akbaraly TN et al. Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age. Br J Psychiatry. 2009 Nov;195(5):408-13.

2. Brinkworth et al. Long-term Effects of a Very Low-Carbohydrate Diet

and a Low-Fat Diet on Mood and Cognitive Function. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(20):1873-1880

3. Beezhold BL et al. Preliminary evidence that vegetarian diet improves mood. American Public Health Association 2009 National Meeting, Abstract 206464. 

4. Leung BM, Kaplan BJ. Perinatal depression: prevalence, risks, and the nutrition link--a review of the literature. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Sep;109(9):1566-75.

 

The Amazing Healing Power of Real Nutrient Rich Food

 

Dr. Fuhrman and Bruce

Dr. Fuhrman and Bruce

 

Bruce suffered a massive and catastrophic spinal cord injury while 'boogie boarding' with his son in July 2006. He was attacked by a sea lion or a large shark, possibly a Mako shark or a white shark, going after the sea lion. He nearly drowned and was only saved because his 13-year-old son pulled him from the water. Other people on the beach helped to resuscitate Bruce while he lay motionless on the beach with no pulse and no breath for several minutes. The accident rendered Bruce a quadriplegic

Suffering catastrophic injuries, Bruce was in intensive care for 30 days and then spent over 3 months in Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado for intensive rehabilitation.

Bruce’s family was devastated. Fortunately, they knew of Dr. Fuhrman. “While at Craig Hospital, my family contacted Dr. Fuhrman and told him I was being fed canned "nutrients" through a tube that went directly into my stomach. They asked Dr. Fuhrman to help devise a way that I could eat real food. Dr. Fuhrman worked closely with the hospital dietitian. The hospital was very cooperative, and in fact was eager to see what effect eating real food would have on my recovery. Dr. Fuhrman prescribed a diet of numerous fruits and vegetables and seeds and berries.”

Luckily, a local Whole Foods Market in Denver, CO, which specializes in superior organic foods, worked with Dr. Fuhrman and the hospital’s dietitians to supply the food prescribed by Dr. Fuhrman and blend the ingredients in a VitaMix blender. A tube was used to insert the food directly into the injured man’s stomach.

“Almost immediately after I began to eat the real food prescribed by Dr. Fuhrman, my infections were completely healed. I started feeling better and was able to breathe without the ventilator. After a few weeks of having the real food injected into my stomach, I learned to swallow again and was able to begin eating whole foods by mouth.”

Today, Bruce continues to follow Dr. Fuhrman’s diet. “I am happy to say that despite my devastating injury and the long road, I have been traveling towards recovery, I have not been sick for a single day and have been able to focus on the difficult task of learning to walk again. I am very grateful to Dr. Fuhrman for taking the time to help me recover and for having such a profound impact on my path to recovery.” says a grateful Bruce.

 

Nutritarian Eating Costs Too Much?

image of vials of insulin
image credit: Emily Boller

  • In my town lentils cost 92 cents/lb.  Combined with no-salt tomato puree, garlic, onions and spices, an entire pot of lentil stew can be made for a fraction of the cost of spaghetti and meatballs, frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, or beef and noodles.
  • Ripe bananas can be purchased for 29 cents/lb.  They can be frozen and made into delicious and healthful ice cream desserts.  I make ice cream for my family for less than ten dollars a month.  Compare that to two quarts of high fat, high sugar, chemical laden ice cream that lasts a family a couple of days (or one stress-relief binge!)  


     
  • At monthly sales I stock up on bags of frozen vegetables: 10 bags for $10.  Compare that to two bags of frozen fries for ten bucks. 
  • A pound of romaine lettuce is cheaper than a pound of shredded cheese.
  • A large bag of fresh carrots costs the same as a bag of chips.
  • A bag of oranges is comparable in cost to a package of disease promoting cookies.
  • Oatmeal is a fraction of the price of processed cereal. 
  • Gardening saves even more on bountiful supplies of high nutrient foods.

Add the astronomical costs of doctor visits, insurance co-pays, hospitalizations, missed work, and popular medications used to manage cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes: Prinivil, Zocor, Lipitor, Atenolol and Metformin . . . . . eating for health costs more than eating for disease? 

Don’t believe the lie.

As the old adage goes, “Pay the grocer or pay the doctor.”

I’d rather pay food bills any day!   

Do you have a money saving tip that supports eating for health?  If so, we’d love to hear from you!

Vitamin D protects against death from heart disease and stroke

The evidence connecting Vitamin D deficiency with chronic disease continues to mount. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to osteoporosis, multiple cancers, musculoskeletal diseases, thyroid disease, depression, and Type II diabetes. This is especially troublesome since several studies have found that most Americans are Vitamin D deficient.

Now, a long-term study has examined the connection between blood Vitamin D levels and death from cardiovascular disease – and the results were dramatic:

Serum Vitamin D levels were measured at the beginning of the study, and subjects were followed for 26 years. The researches found that those individuals with the highest blood levels of Vitamin D were 24% less likely to die from any cardiovascular disease, and 52% less likely to die from stroke.1

This new data supports results from the Framingham Heart Study, in which subjects were followed for 5 years – even after 5 years, those with low blood levels of vitamin D had a 60% greater risk of heart disease.2

How might Vitamin D affect cardiovascular health? Vitamin D localizes to most tissues and cells in the human body and is involved in several vital processes – to name a few - insulin production, immune cell function, inflammation, and heart contractility. Vitamin D deficiency could possibly lead to a pro-inflammatory environment, which would promote cardiovascular disease.3

How can you get adequate Vitamin D? Food sources of Vitamin D are scarce, and it is almost impossible for your body to produce sufficient Vitamin D from a safe amount of sun exposure, especially if you work indoors and don’t live in the tropics. So a Vitamin D supplement is your best bet. Remember – the standard dose of Vitamin D found in most multivitamins is not enough to assure adequate blood Vitamin D levels. In order to support all of Vitamin D’s important actions in the body, additional supplementation is necessary. Be cautious of Vitamin D supplements geared toward bone health – they may also contain excessive amounts of calcium, which can result in poor absorption of other minerals. Read more about calcium, vitamin D and bone health.

 

References:

1. Kilkkinen A et al. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Oct 15;170(8):1032-9. Epub 2009 Sep 17. Vitamin D status and the risk of cardiovascular disease death.

2. Wang TJ. Circulation. 2008 Jan 29;117(4):503-11. Epub 2008 Jan 7. Vitamin D deficiency and risk of cardiovascular disease.

3. Holick MF. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6 Suppl):1678S-88S. Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease.

 

Excess body fat responsible for over 100,000 cancer cases per year

 

(Image credit: Tobyotter @Flickr)

The American Institute for Cancer Research is currently holding their annual conference on Food, Nutrition, Physical Acitity, and Cancer in Washington D.C. Yesterday AICR held a news conference and announced new estimates based on the work of their researchers - that excess body fat is responsible for 100,500 cancer cases in the U.S. each year. 

 

100,500 – this equates to:

49% of endometrial cancers

35% of esophageal cancers

24% of kidney cancers

21% of gallbladder cancers

17% of breast cancers

9% of colorectal cancers

ALL preventable!

 

Also in this news conference, AICR expressed their concerns about the lack of public awareness about the link between obesity and cancer.

Scientists suggest that this link between obesity and cancer is due to excess fat increasing levels of sex steroids and other hormones that promote cancer growth. Also the reduced immune function and elevated oxidative stress associated with excess body fat may contribute to the initiation of cancer by damaging DNA.

AICR presented additional data showing that overweight and obesity also decrease rates of survival in those already diagnosed with cancer.

Overall, the message is that maintaining a healthy weight with nutritional excellence and exercise will dramatically (even more dramatically than previously thought) reduce your risk of cancer.

 

Reference: http://www.aicr.org/site/News2/153571380?abbr=pr_&page=NewsArticle&id=17333&news_iv_ctrl=1102

 

Delicious Guilt-Free Pumpkin Pie with Oat Crust

Here in the United States we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving in less than three weeks.  I thought it would be fun to share a recipe for pumpkin pie from the vast selection of nutritarian recipes that are posted on the members’ center of www.DrFuhrman.com  Enjoy!   

image of slice of pumpkin pie  

Serves 8

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

 

OAT PIE CRUST

1 cup quick oats (not instant)

1/4 cup ground almonds

1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons water

 

PIE FILLING

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin

1/2 cup date sugar*

1/2 cup raisins

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 10-ounce pkg soft tofu

 

CASHEW CREAM

1 1/3 cups raw cashews

3/4 cup vanilla soy milk

2/3 cup dates

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Pie Crust:  Mix oats, almonds and flour.  Blend oil and water together with a wire whisk. Add to dry ingredients and mix until it holds together.  You may need to add a little more water.  Spray 9-inch pie dish lightly with cooking spray and press the crust to thinly cover the bottom and sides of the pie dish.

Pie Filling:  In a blender combine the pumpkin and date sugar.*  Add raisins, spices, arrowroot powder, and tofu.  (Some like more spices; individual preference.)  Blend until smooth.  Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for 15 minutes then lower heat to 350 degrees.  Cover crust with strips of aluminum foil to prevent burning, and bake for an additional 60 minutes.

While pie is in the oven make the Cashew Cream.  Blend all ingredients together in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender.

Serve slightly warm or cold with a dollop of Cashew Cream.

Note:  The pie filling will firm up as it cools. 

 * A member commented that she used dates in the pie filling instead of date sugar and liked it better.  She baked the pie for 75 minutes at 350 degrees; 15 of those minutes with the crust uncovered, and 60 minutes with the crust covered.  (Tip:  Cover crust by using a square of aluminum foil with a large hole cut out in the middle, leaving most of the pie uncovered.)  According to her, the texture and appearance came out great! 

Breast cancer and prostate cancer: Early detection saves lives?

If breast and prostate cancer were detected early, via mammograms and PSA tests, treatment could begin earlier, and lives would be saved – right?

Wrong, according to a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association that examined incidence and mortality rates for breast and prostate cancer over the past 20 years.1

Why? The authors think that we are in a state of “overdiagnosis” – that many slow-growing, non-threatening tumors are being detected and treated; at the same time, the more dangerous and aggressive cancers may be missed because they can grow and become lethal in the time interval between screenings, and by then treatment will not work. Overall, the mortality rates of breast and prostate cancer have not decreased significantly in the past 20 years.

Still, are there sound reasons to skip these screenings altogether? You decide…

Mammograms: Following detection of a tumor, 80% of biopsies are negative, and the risk of false positives is very high in women under 50.2 This equates to thousands and thousands of unnecessary surgical procedures are performed on women after they have had a suspicious mammogram result. In a recent review, it was estimated that for every 2000 women screened, one will benefit, more than 200 will have a false positive result, and 10 healthy women will be treated unnecessarily.3 And those women who are treated for cancers earn many chemotherapy-related deaths counterbalancing any life-span enhancements in those treated.4 PSA tests: About 70% of men who have elevated PSA levels do not actually have cancer.1 And the side effects of the associated treatments include bowel, urinary, and sexual dysfunction.5 Additionally, a 9-year study in Sweden showed that men who had undergone endocrine treatment for prostate cancer were at a 20-30% increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and death from myocardial infarction.6 

With both of these tests, detection of low-risk cancers also causes much undue emotional trauma to patients and their families.


 

(image credit: Samat Jain @Flickr)

The American Cancer Society now advises:

“There are some cancers for which we don’t currently recommend screening, such as prostate cancer, because the benefits are unclear or unproven.”7 

The authors of the JAMA article offer strategies for the scientific and medical communities: to find specific biomarkers that can differentiate high-risk from low-risk cancers, and to target high-risk individuals with preventive treatments.

I offer a strategy to you: Be proactive – reduce your risk of breast and prostate cancer. Practice prevention by maintaining a healthy weight and eating an anti-cancer diet - a high-nutrient diet rich in protective phytochemicals from cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, and berries, and minimizing or eliminating browned foods, animal products, and refined flour and sugar. Taking sufficient Vitamin D is also important. You can read more about the strong connections between diet and cancer in my article “Eat for Health – the Anti-Cancer Diet."

 

References:

1. Esserman L, Shieh Y, Thompson I. JAMA. 2009 Oct 21;302(15):1685-92. Rethinking screening for breast cancer and prostate cancer.

2. Wright CJ, Mueller CB. Screening mammography and public health policy: the need for perspective. Lancet 1995;346(8966(:29-32.

3. Gøtzsche PC, Nielsen M. Screening for breast cancer with mammography. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Oct 7;(4):CD001877.

4. Rock E, De Michele. A Nutritional approaches to late toxicities of adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer survivors. J Nutr 2003 Nov;133(11 Suppl 1):3785S-3793S.  

5. Albertsen PC, Hanley JA, Fine J. 20-year outcomes following conservative management of clinically localized prostate cancer. JAMA 2005;293 (17):2095-2101

6. M. Van Hemelrijck et al. 1BA Increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality following endocrine treatment for prostate cancer: an analysis in 30,642 men in PCBaSe Sweden. EJC Supplements - September 2009 (Vol. 7, Issue 3, Page 1, DOI: 10.1016/S1359-6349(09)72024-5)

7.http://www.cancer.org/docroot/MED/content/MED_2_1x_A_Special_Message_from_CEO_John_Seffrin_PhD_on_Cancer_Screening.asp)

 

Success Tips

before and after pic of Emily Boller

What would life be like

if we had no courage to attempt anything?

-Vincent van Gogh

Someone recently wrote on my facebook wall, “When you started (referring to nutritarian eating), what was most helpful?”

I began the journey to get my health back on July 10, 2008.  At that time, what helped me the most was taking the prior month of June to thoroughly study and assimilate Dr. Fuhrman’s book, Eat to Live.  (Eat for Health was not available yet.)  

Now, fifteen months and plenty of battle scars later; plus observing many who have successfully overcome food addiction and made it to their weight loss goal and restored good health, my resounding response to everyone is, “Members’ center, members’ center, members’ center!”

I got free from food addiction and have successfully maintained excellent health because of the ongoing support of Dr. Fuhrman on “Ask the Doctor”.  The hurdles of life have been overwhelming at times, and Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional and health guidance has helped me navigate the many obstacles that I’ve faced:

  • advice during the hospitalization of a child
  • guidance in overcoming food addiction, including several relapses
  • practical instruction during a weight loss plateau
  • advice concerning a major surgery
  • navigating pain relief, bloating and continual weight loss after that surgery
  • pain management after a serious bike wreck
  • and a myriad of other bumps in the road

He gave straightforward and helpful answers that I couldn’t have received elsewhere.

Now I encourage everyone who is serious about living in optimal health to get involved in the members’ center of drfuhrman.com:

  • read the tutorials
  • listen to the teleconferences
  • participate in the member forums, phone chats and Ask the Doctor
  • share recipes, success tips, struggles and victories with other members

Dr. Fuhrman’s books and the members’ center are so much cheaper than medications, diabetic supplies, surgeries, frequent visits to doctors’ offices, rise in insurance premiums, weight loss meetings, and missed work due to illness. The investment will maximize and extend the quality and productivity of life for years to come!