Are all protein sources equal for weight management?

By Stephen Daniells, 24-Jun-2011

Related topics: Research, Proteins, peptides, amino acids, Weight management

The scientific literature supports a role for high protein diets to boost a feeling of fullness and enhance weight loss, but the source of protein – animal or plant – does not seem to affect the potential benefits, says a new review.


A review of the literature found that, while there is evidence to support a role for high protein diets for enhancing satiety, energy burning, and fat loss, there is no clear evidence to indicate that there is a difference between plant and animal sources of protein.

Scientists from Laval University in Canada and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark present their findings in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases .

Growing waistline, growing market

With the World Health Organization estimating that by 2015, there will be more than 1.5 billion overweight consumers, incurring health costs beyond $117 billion per year in the US alone, the opportunities for a scientifically-substantiated weight management food product are impressive.

The market for food, beverage and supplement weight management products is already valued at $3.64bn (2009 figures) in the US, according to Euromonitor. In Western Europe, the market was worth $1.3bn in 2009.

“Multiple dietary strategies aiming at reducing body weight and preventing weight gain have been proposed and, in recent years, high-protein diets have attracted considerable attention as possible weight management aids. Intake of protein has been shown to favourably influence satiety, thermogenesis, energy efficiency and body composition, particularly during weight- reducing programs,” explained the scientists.

“Furthermore, a modest increase in dietary protein content has proven effective in preventing weight regain after a major weight loss in obese subjects, as demonstrated in the recent European multicenter trial Diogenes.

“However, little is known about the effect of protein quality on the regulation of energy balance,” they said.

Filling the gaps

In addressing this question scientists led by Copenhagen’s Arne Astrup set out to test their hypothesis that plant and animal proteins provide similar effect on body weight regulation.

Reviewing the literature they found that animal proteins, and in particular dairy proteins, are superior to plant proteins for building muscle, but the was “ no clear evidence to indicate whether there is a difference in the effect dependent on the source of the protein”, they said.

The scientists do note, however, that the evidence to date from intervention studies is “inconclusive […] and the literature is still incomplete”.


According to the American Food and Nutrition Board, the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for protein and AA for adults are 0.8 g of protein per kg of body weight. This is equivalent to about 56 grams for a 70 kg person.

There is no established upper limit.

Source: Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases
Published online ahead of print, doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2010.12.008
“Effect of proteins from different sources on body composition”
Authors: J-A. Gilbert, N.T. Bendsen, A. Tremblay, A. Astrup

A Breath of Fresh Air for Detecting Vitamin B12 Deficiency

ScienceDaily (June 26, 2011) — Researchers have developed a new test to detect the levels of vitamin B12 using your breath, allowing for a cheaper, faster, and simpler diagnosis that could help to avoid the potentially fatal symptoms of B12 deficiency.

In a study published today, 23 June 2011, in IOP Publishing’s Journal of Breath Research, researchers have developed a simple, non-invasive, low-cost breath test to more accurately measure vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a growing public health problem in which the most common tests — using blood serum levels — are limited in accuracy and sensitivity and are non-specific for vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in the functioning of the brain and nervous system whilst also being essential for the formation of red blood cells; however in low levels it can cause fatigue, clinical depression and memory loss as well as more detrimental and irreversible effects on the brain and nervous system.

Several reports have also linked B12 deficiency to pernicious anaemia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Moreover, vitamin B12 deficiency can often be asymptomatic; accentuating the need for a more accurate and reliable test.

The researchers, from the University of Florida at Gainesville and Metabolic Solutions, Inc. of Nashua, NH, acknowledged that vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in the breakdown of a common preservative in bakery products, called sodium propionate, into carbon dioxide.

As such, the researchers deemed it possible to administer propionate to subjects, which would be broken down with the aid of vitamin B12 in the body, and then measure the resultant carbon dioxide.

The amount of carbon dioxide exhaled would be proportional to the amount of vitamin B12 present in the subject’s body: individuals with a vitamin B12 deficiency would produce smaller amounts of carbon dioxide.

In order to differentiate this carbon dioxide from the normal amounts that we breathe out, the researchers labelled the administered propionate with a stable isotope of carbon, which would then be exhaled in the breath as labelled carbon dioxide.

The initial testing of the B12 breath test conducted measurements on subjects with chronic pancreatitis, Crohn’s disease, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, as well as patients over 65 — all of which are associated with a higher incidence of vitamin B12 deficiency.

After fasting and not smoking for 8 hours, the study subjects were orally administered 50 mg of propionate and then tested every 10 minutes for the first hour and every 15 minutes for the second hour, with the best diagnostic accuracy appearing to be the 10 and 20 minute intervals.

To ascertain the accuracy of the breath test, the obtained vitamin B12 levels were compared with several blood compounds that are currently used to ascertain vitamin B12 deficiency.

The authors concluded that the results from their study indicate that the vitamin B12 breath test is a non-invasive, sensitive, specific, and reproducible diagnostic test to detect vitamin B12 deficiency.

Lead author Dr. David Wagner said, “Initially, larger studies must be conducted including treatment of B12 deficient subjects showing resolution of the abnormal breath test results. If these results are positive, FDA approval with many study centres will need to be conducted.

“With adequate funding, the test could be approved in 3-5 years.”

So What The Hell do we Eat?

So What the Hell Do We eat?

Confusion amongst the ‘experts’

  Recently I was at a Health Conference in London called The Truth Matters. It was set up by a lady named Ann Knox  from Scotland who,  three and a half years ago was diagnosed with cancer. Her story is both tragic and a ray of sun shine. I hope to have Anne submit her story on here or maybe do a Q&A with her so I won’t go into her story now but needless to say Anne beat cancer through ‘alternative’ medicine against the advice of her doctor, and even after they wanted to section her!   Anne first set this conference up to bring together the people that helped her beat cancer so that the word could be spread to others. People need to know that they have a choice!

   It is a great idea and I was excited to go to the event. I was particularly looking forward to hearing Brian Clement from the Hippocrates Institutes speak, along with a representative from the Gerson Institute and also Jason Vale from the UK (known for selling Juicers, juice bars etc) 

  Each speaker had one hour to talk and I thought this would be far long enough but in actual fact it was no where near long enough. Not allot you can do about that as the organisers would have to make it a week long conference if you were to give each person enough time to cover topics in-depth. The whole event was a little too ‘meatless’ and even anti-meat for my liking but I knew this would be the case. 

 The information was all good but a little contradictory and confusing. By the end of the day I heard many people saying “I am confused, who do we believe?”.  Many people went to the conference to be enlightened and I think many were. Still, some people left with more questions than answers. Allot of the information with regards to diet went against what most people believe a healthy diet is. That is one thing but the contradiction between some very experienced and educated people on stage really left some people wondering. I know Anne realised this and is working to have a kind of  ’round up’ at the end of the next Truth Matters conference. Check out the site

The confusion for some people started at the conference when up first was Brian Clements from the Hippocrates institute who boldly claimed that coffee enemas would give you cancer! Cottage cheese would give you cancer! Next up  a representative from the Gerson institute stepped on stage and explained how she beat her cancer by taking regular coffee enemas and went on to a maintenance diet of  cottage cheese……. This kind of confusion is rife in the diet/ fitness/ health/ holistic living industries and I think we need someone to address this (someone more educated than me) I am sure at the next conference of The Truth Matters someone will put all this into perspective, which will be great to help people.

 You only have to look Into the body building world to see how confusion is every where as some people advocate high fat, high protein and low to no carbohydrate diets, and compare that to vegans who say protein gives you cancer (most people quoting the China Study). Then take a look (or not) at the new vegan  film that was launched this year called ‘Fork Over Knives’ which tells how protein and fats, even the much loved olive oil will cause cancer. This goes against many peer reviewed studies as well as tons and tons of anecdotal evidence that suggests olive oil and the people that consume it tends to be health promoting! Propaganda in rife!

  The whole world is pumping Omega 3 fats from fish oils as almost a ‘cure all’ but then other people (Brian Clement to name just one) says Fish oils WILL cause cancer!!! Flax oil has been touted for years by hippies and herbalist (I study Herbalism so no insult intended here)  but then other groups and new research say that flax seed contains too many phyto-estrogens and goes rancid too fast and they say the omega 3 contained in flax seed is ALA (alpha Linolenic Acid) and does not always convert readily to DHA or EPA . The specific omega 3 components that we really need……….. If you feel like blowing your brains out or saying SOD IT! And popping out to KFC for a bucket of the kernels finest crispy coated chicken with that special mix of 11 secret herbs and spices, I can’t say I blame you. 

   If the ‘experts’ can’t agree and don’t have a clue then how are we supposed to??? 

    I think I will write a book, but for now let’s break some of this down into manageable chunks, dispel some myths and use some common sense to build what should be a safe and healthy diet. Remember this is only my opinion and you must always talk to your GP before starting a new eating programmed….. Also, please remember that I am NOT a trained, accredited clinical dietitian (So I probably know what I am talking about!)


 Where to Start

 Please remember that this is just my humble opinion. I believe you need to look at multiple factors which include the information available, look at what the ‘experts’ say and how they back up their information, look at history, and look at what is tried and tested. You also have to think about practicality and how people (or yourself) will stick with it. There is no point making a list and looking up negative effects of each food because you would not eat of drink anything! And all that stress of worry will probably kill you faster than the mercury fillings you have in your mouth!  

Ok, so the thing to look at is what is actually needed by the body. First up is water. Bla bla bla your thinking but the fact is it’s true. We are roughly 70 % water and without water we die relatively quickly. I won’t bang on about it here but I will just say, do a little research on UK Tap water, and its contents.  To summaries, here goes, Cancer causing pharmaceutical drugs, Female hormones, Fluoride, pesticides, nitrates, and many heavy metals (toxic). Just check out a Google search, its not good reading. Spring water is better, but the best type that is easily accessible is distilled. The only problem you may come up against is that some people say distilled water drains minerals from your body… it is debatable but rather that than all the crap in our tap water. Out side of that go for an Evian or similar type bottled water. It may not be perfect but it’s better than what flows from your tap!   Any way, you are about to build a good diet so you will be ok for all your vitamins and minerals. People may also mention the fact that distilled water comes in a plastic bottle and endo-toxins from the plastic have a negative health impact. This is true but they do not even compare when we against most tap water’s toxicity. 

   Ok, after water we have food, and when we break food down into categories, we can see that we need proteins fats and carbohydrates. 

   There are essential fatty acids (which make fats) and essential amino acids (which make protein) but there are no essential carbohydrates(as such) Saying that, when we take in the right kind of foods containing carbs, we normally get a boat load of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants as well as phytonutrients. So let’s not throw them away just yet.  

  Next up – Fats

  As I said before there are essential fats. Every one of your body’s 100 trillion cells (I can’t help hearing Jay Kordich every time I say or type that line) contains fat in its membrane. Also your brain is around  60+% fat. This should tell you that we need fat from our diet and you can see you should not be afraid of fat, you need fat to live!  There are many types of fat sources some better than others. We all know (or we all should know by now) Trans fats are nasty man-made things that we don’t want in our bodies and these are being faded out (finally) from our foods. Always check to make sure your products NEVER contain Hydrogenated oils (trans-fats). There is never a ‘safe amount’ of these fats, they are man made crap and serve no good in the human body and you have no reason to consume them, so enough said on that. 

 Here are some sources to get your fats  from: Small Oily fishy like sardines, Omega 3 eggs, Butter from organically raised, grass fed cows, milk or cream from the same animals, although some people have to be very careful with milk as even Raw, grass fed dairy can cause gut irritation and allergies.  Avocado’s, Avocado oil on salads, olives and olive oil, nuts, although not too much as they are high in omega 6 and not omega 3 and this adds to the already one sided imbalance of omega 6 to 3 ratio (we should have something like a 1/1 or 2/1 ratio of omega 6 to 3 ) Today the average persons diet supplies too much omega 6 fat and not enough omega 3 fat at about 15 or 20 to 1  ratio in favour of omega 6 which is causing major health problems.  This out of balance ratio causes excess inflammation in the body and can be harmful. Coconut oil is another good fat to be used; macadamia nut oil can be used too. Walnut oil contains the omega 3 fats ALA but if used it should never be used for cooking as omega 3 fatty acids go rancid easily. In fact use cold pressed walnut oil and keep it in the fridge and use it fairly soon after opening it.  

 Stay away from soy, canola (rapeseed),vegetable oil’s, grape seed oil, margarine’s and spreads. None of them are any good. Fat from grass fed cows; goat, sheep etc will contain good fats and fat-soluble antioxidants. If you can find pork that has been raised on apples and natural food stuff then go ahead and indulge but this is normally hard to find and expensive. If you cannot afford organic, then buy lean meats and cut off any fat on the meat. Fat is where excess hormones and toxins are stored most and if you’re avoiding gluten you may have a reaction when eating animals fed on wheat / gluten or stuffed with corn. NEVER cook with polyunsaturated oils!


So What Do We Eat?


 Good Fat to eat

 Small oily fish, Avocado, Butter from organic grass fed cows, meat from organic grass fed cows (and other animals), coconut oil, Omega 3 eggs, olive oil (extra Virgin),  walnut oil keep refrigerated as this can go rancid easy) and macadamia nut oil for salads, some nuts and seeds (not too many) are all good sources of fats If you stick to the above list your cells will be healthy, flexible and will work efficiently allowing nutrients in and toxins out of the cell. Your hormones will love you for it too.

Good Fats to Cook with

 (Remember to cook as a rule on a low heat for longer and never burn/brown the foods)

 Olive Oil, Coconut oil, Lard from organic animals, Ghee’s and butter from organic grass fed animals, Macadamia nut oil are the better oils too cook with as they can withstand heat to a decent degree before they become damaged and cause problems in the body. 

Fats to avoid cooking with 

 Omega 6 containing oils (most vegetable oils) , margarine, all high omega 3 containing oils such as walnut oil and Rapeseed oils etc. as these are highly unstable and will turn from a health promoting fat to a toxic poison once heated so never use omega 3 or omega 6 containing oils to cook with  


Next up Protein Sources

Protein is made up of smaller particles called amino acids which most people know these days. Some of these amino acids are known as essential amino acids. There are eight essential amino acidsThey are called essential because we need them to stay alive and we cannot produce them ourselves within the body so we need to consume them regularly in our diet. The remaining 12 amino acids or the non-essential amino acids can be synthesized the human body from the essential eight.

 Vegetables fruits nuts and beans contain amino acids but not in large amounts and they do not always contain the full eight essential amino acids and for this reason they are known as ‘incomplete’ proteins which need to be mixed together e.g. rice and beans to get the full eight essential amino acids in one meal. These sources will keep you alive, this is proven throughout the world where large populations are vegetarian, but they will not allow you to thrive. 

  Meat, fish and eggs are your be source of proteins in my opinion as beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables etc often contain anti nutrients. These anti nutrients are just that, they are the plants natural defense system to stop them being eaten into extinction by draining your vitamin and mineral reserves in the processing of them in the body, as well as directly effecting the cells that line your intestinal tract with specialised proteins called lectins. There are ways to neutralise some of these anti nutrients and lectins but not always 100%. I recommend (for non vegetarian and Vegans) clean raised organic grass fed beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, bison, as well as fish, small oily type plus some wild caught salmon and omega 3 eggs. These sources of protein contain all of the eight essential amino acids in abundance(as well as most if not all of the non-essential amino’s) and have been proven time and time again to be the best building blocks for muscle, bones a and for just about every other structure in your body.

   Please remember this if nothing else: Food QUALITY is the most important thing.  A steak from a healthy cow that has feed on grass its whole life and not been force fed grains, and corn and has therefore never had to be constantly given anti biotic and hormones, will have a very different effect when eaten, on your body’s physiology than a cheap piece of meat from a commercial farm that has been feed grains, corn, and therefore needed to be given anti biotic to keep them alive and hormones to make them grow faster for more profit for the farmer. These two meats will be worlds apart. A South African friend of mine recently told me that anyone in his country that lives hands on and does hunting for their food will tell you that a stressed animal is a poisonous animal. Think of that. He doesn’t know the biochemical sequence of events that happens when an animal is stressed, it comes purely from experience. So what happens when you eat a sick animal that has been fed food it was not designed to eat such as grains and corn, and then fed drugs to keep it alive and hormones to make it grow? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the answer.

 If you are a dairy drinker then this can also be a good source of protein but dairy is a hotly debated topic. As a rule I would suggest dairy should not be a foundation food group for protein for most people. The clean meats and eggs and fish are better with less controversy and potentially less harmful. As we are building a solid diet here I will leave dairy out for now as a main stay but you can add it later if you like.  I would suggest you only consume dairy from grass fed organic cows and goats, and consume it in its raw state. That means unpasteurized. It can be hard to find but it’s the only dairy worth consuming. You should also take notice of how you feel after you consume dairy having eliminated it from your diet for at least two weeks. After the elimination period you will reintroduce dairy and take notice so see if you start having any recurrence old ailments, or any type of reaction like mucus build up or maybe gut irritation.


Vegetarians and Vegans Protein

 For people not eating meat or fish eat omega 3 eggs and for people not eating eggs or meat and fish then you will have to be creative.  Look toward sprouted seeds and nuts. You will need to work hard and combine your food sources intelligently to make sure you get a good combination of amino acids. Try juicing dark greens by the pint, and use non dairy bacteria to help ferment your soaked/sprouted seeds and nuts to help break down the proteins into more usable forms that your body will utilize easier. It won’t be easy to make sure you get your full quota of protein and resulting amino acids in the right quantities and ratios but it is doable!


 Carbohydrates sources.

 People will tell you that there are no essential carbohydrates. When broken down all carbohydrates become glucose in the body. If you didn’t eat another sugar in your life you would survive as your body has more than one way to get glucose. In the absence of dietary carbs your body can convert amino acids into glucose in a process call gluconeogenesis. It can also use fatty acids as fuel.

 The thing is, your brain and central nervous system prefers glucose as its source of fuel.  Also, when we are talking about natural, organic foods, we often get many nutrients, phyto nutrients, minerals and vitamins and even enzymes (raw foods) from carb sources. I have to stress that when I say that I am talking about vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and not pizza, white bread, doughnuts etc!

 As I have mentioned before nuts, seeds, beans and legumes all come with their own problems. They often contain a good amount of fiber with their sugar which make them a low GI or low GL food (as long as you don’t eat too many in one go) but they also contain potentially damaging proteins like lectins  and anti nutrient phytates that causes your body to loose vitamins and minerals when you eat these foods. For this reason I leave nuts, seeds, beans and legumes out for now as a ‘staple’ or foundation food.

 So what carb source does every variety of nutritionists agree are good… that’s right, green veggies. Amongst this group there is tons of variety. Eat your broccoli, green beans, kale, collard, cabbage, spinach, watercress, cucumber, celery etc we can also add all fibrous veggies and unless you have sensitivity you can include plants from the knight shade family. These include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and (sweet and hot) egg plants. (Google for a full list) Knight shade plants contain alkaloids that can be poison to humans and some people have reactions to them. Many people with arthritis stop eating knight shade plants and find pain to be relieved. If you have no negative side effects then go ahead.

 Enjoy some fruit but don’t over do it as the sugars in fruits can be detrimental to health, although putting it into perspective, you are probably better off eating five apples that drinking a bottle of coke, or even shop bought apple juice!  Just don’t over do it as I have seen people unable to loose fat due to fruit consumption.  Dried fruit should be a treat and not part of your main crab source.


 Putting it all together

So there you go some good sources of protein, fats and carbs that should form the foundation or the ‘core’ of your diet. Anything other than foods listed should not be staples and should be had infrequently. Once you are healthy and lean we find most people can get away with an 80/20 style diet. Meaning stick to eating the core foods and doing everything right for 80% of the time and let loose the other 20%.

    This of course varies and some people seem to be able to get away with something more like 60/40 or 50/50 where as other seem to have to stick to a 90/10 ratio but 80/20 will probably do well for most people and don’t forget that even though someone seems to eat crap, never exercise, drinks too much and smokes and still seems ok in their 40’s….. It all crumbles pretty fast at some point so don’t believe what you think you are seeing!

 Below I will list the food types that are good for each macro-nutrient for convenience. This is not a complete list so use your initiative if you have access to vegetables that are not listed you can swap them in, like for like but don’t go swapping out some broccoli and swapping in some KFC.

 Remember all meat I refer to should be organic grass fed or natural diet fed.


Protein Sources: beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, bison, as well as fish, (small oily type plus some wild caught salmon) and omega 3 eggs.

Fats : Small oily fish, Avocado, Butter from organic grass fed cows, meat from organic grass fed cows (and other animals), coconut oil, Omega 3 eggs, olive oil (extra Virgin),  walnut oil and macadamia nut oil for salads, use lard, ghee, 

Cook With: butter, Coconut oil, Macadamia nut oil, Olive oil, Lard, Ghee

Carbohydrates:   Green vegetables masses of choice), fibrous vegetables like cauliflower, some sweet potatoes or Yams (not too many) plus salad items like Romaine lettuce, cucumber, celery, spring onions, garlic.

 Don’t believe what you hear you don’t NEED grains or legumes in your diet; in fact there is growing evidence that most if not all of us would be better off removing them completely from every one’s diet. The same with pasteurised milk from sick cows. You don’t need this to build bones, in fact inorganic calcium also known as bio-unavailable calcium from pasteurised milk can cause the body many problems including gut irritation and allergies which cause inflammation and can create an ‘acid’ based environment which will lead to leeching of calcium from the bones. Also dangerous calcium deposits can accumulate from inorganic sources of calcium.

 All in all if you stick to the above foods 80% of the time (100% if you’re sick or overweight, until you get to where you wish to be health wise) you should do well. Below are some final thoughts for do’s and don’t to help you on your way.


Buy certified organic vegetables and fruits if you can afford them. If you can’t and I mean REALLY can’t (and for most people it’s a case of they don’t want to as they say they can’t afford organic foods but them go out and spend £4 a pint all night long Thursday to Sunday, prioritise is what I am trying to say) If you can’t afford the organic stuff grow your own, and when you do buy stuff from the local supermarket bring it home, wash it through and then put it in the sink in salty water, for half an hour, or use food grad hydrogen peroxide, or grapefruit seed extract, or vinegar. After half an hour rinse through well again. This might not be 100% effective but it should get rid of allot of the crap that get sprayed onto our foods.

 Buy organic grass fed beef. Again if you can’t afford this then it is probably better to stick to leaner cuts or leaner meats all together as most of the toxins from meats will be stored in the fat content. Also add lots of herbs and spices as they all have various health promoting benefits that will help your body fight and clear toxins from your system.

Juice. Green Veg mostly. Use celery, cucumber, courgette as a base and add plenty of spinach, kale, cabbage, water cress, parsley, etc and add the odd lemon and lime. This will do your body wonders but I have found this can turn out fairly expensive. Also add some ginger, turmeric and garlic with the occasional inch of cayenne pepper if you are man enough!

Drink herbal teas. Make them yourself, nice and strong, put 1 to 2 oz of herb in a large jar and fill with boiling water. Leave over night. Mix the herbs up a bit, have rosemary, thyme, green tea, sage etc the combinations are endless and by mixing them up you get all different health benefits.

Enjoy the odd treat other wise what’s the point of living, but if it causes any distress internally, you will have to make a choice if the cost / benefit is worth it.

Drink clean water from distilled or spring sources or invest in a home filter system (good ones can cost quite a bit)

Get plenty of sun as many people are vitamin D deficient and this is your best way to get vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to directly affect around 5% of your genes! That is a big involvement so it is easy to see why a deficiency of vit D can be detrimental.

Get 8 to 10 hours of quality sleep every night. This is a large subject but we are getting more and more information all the time about how important sleep is.  I read this for years but never made the effort to sleep well but it is MASSIVELY important! So start using the sky + function and get to bed!

Get enough Fat and Protein as these two macro nutrients are what we are constructed of and we need them regular. Put down that jam on toast, sugar loaded, insulin spiking breakfast and have some eggs instead!



Eat refined sugars, flours or any other refined food.

Consumes ANY Hydrogenated fats and oils. These are nothing more than toxins that you will be consuming.

Cook with any oils containing polyunsaturated fats. Again these are particularly toxic when heated.

Rely on Dairy for your main protein or calcium needs. Dark leafy greens are best for your minerals and meat / eggs for your protein.

Get involved with fad diets or gimmicky shake replacement meal type diets.

Drink tap water if at all possible. There are lots of nasty things in there, and although you won’t drop down dead within seconds of drinking it, there is growing evidence that tap water is detrimental to health and this can be seen world wide over a period of time.

 Train 7 days a week and try to get by on 3 hours of sleep a night. At some point your body will falter and you will really know about it!

Drink and tell yourself it’s healthy. Drink if you must but never to excess and don’t convince yourself that you have to open your third bottle of wine for the resveratrol content!  We all know that you just want the buzz!

Drink fruit juice from cartons and tell yourself it’s healthy! It’s not, it’s a glass of sugar water!

Green tea polyphenols shown to prevent fatal autoimmune diseases

NaturalNews) The Chinese have known the healing power of green tea for generations. Many believe that the unprocessed tea leaves can help to prevent or even cure many chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer and dementia. Volumes of scientific evidence now provide compelling proof that the active polyphenol found in green tea (EGCG) has the power to increase the number of regulatory immune support T-cells. T-cells play a crucial role in the suppression of autoimmune diseases including the condition ALS (Lou Gehrig`s disease). Research published in the journal Immunology Letters demonstrates that regular consumption of green tea can help your innate immune system to operate at peak efficiency to fight invading pathogens.

Autoimmune diseases occur as the result of an imbalance in the immune system that results in the body mounting an attack against itself. Immune T-cells are critical in providing a defensive shield that can protect against cancer proliferation and a host of diseases where the body recognizes healthy cells and organs as foreign. T-cells also help to control systemic inflammation and can dampen the inappropriate response to normal cells seen in autoimmune conditions.

Scientists conducting this study found that EGCG found in green tea was responsible for a significantly higher number and frequency of regulatory T-cells found in the spleen and lymph nodes, helping to control the immune response. They found that EGCG did not directly affect the genetic DNA, but it did influence gene expression that determines how the genetic material is switched on or off as a response to food consumption. Epigenetic regulation is a rapidly emerging science that explains the extensive health benefits seen with a natural diet.

Emily Ho, associate professor and research author from the Oregon State University Department of Nutrition, commented with reference to EGCG: “This appears to be a natural, plant-derived compound that can affect the number of regulatory T-cells, and in the process improve immune function.” Researchers found a dual role for green tea polyphenols include boosting T-cell production and fighting cellular inflammation. Both mechanisms are critical in fighting conditions exacerbated by chronic inflammation such as cancer and heart disease as well as autoimmune disorders.

Studies that involve regular consumption of naturally occurring foods and extracts are rapidly mounting to explain the importance of the foods we eat on our genetic health. Genes are expressed immediately following each meal and directly influence the progression of disease and the prevention of most chronic conditions.

Researchers conducting this study concluded “Epigenetic regulation can be potentially exploited in generating suppressive regulatory T cells for therapeutic purposes, and is of significant clinical importance for the suppression of autoimmune diseases.” Although this study did not publish the dietary equivalent of green tea used to achieve their results, similar studies have recommended consuming 2 to 4 cups of green tea daily or 500 mg of a standardized EGCG extract for optimal health benefits.

Article References:………

Find out why castor oil should be in your medicine cabinet

NaturalNews) Castor oil has been ignored by modern medicine despite a centuries old history of medicinal uses. Many regard castor oil as a toxin. Nevertheless, it has been used as a laxative or purging cleanse and parasite remover for years. Castor oil packs applied externally can go beyond skin care to affect internal organs beneath epidermal application as well.


Throughout the 20th Century, there has only been a serious adverse effect from castor oil posted in medical records. However, toxicity concerns are reasonable. It comes from the castor bean, which contains a highly toxic compound called ricin. Ricin can be fatal, but it’s usually eliminated with the cold press and filtering process used for medicinal castor oil.

This is similar to oleander or mistletoe. Both are toxic in their basic raw forms, but the extracts have been used to successfully cure cancer. Medicinal castor oil’s filtering with the cold press process eliminates all or almost all of the ricin. Castor oil created by extraction is rather toxic and usually used for industrial purposes.

However, medicinal castor oil should never be used by pregnant women. There is a risk of induced abortion. For others, even if traces of ricin contamination slip into a bottle of cold pressed castor oil, it would take a very large amount of consumption to create an adverse effect. This is highly improbable because -

It’s a Bit Yucky

Cold pressed castor oil is a thick, yellowish clear oil. By itself, it’s yucky. But one doesn’t drink much to get results. As a laxative, a teaspoon or so works well taken before bed for morning constipation relief. It can be taken a few days in succession with even slightly higher doses without creating an addictive dependency or side effects. Though effective, the results are milder than pharmaceutical laxatives or Epsom salt solutions.

An Ayurvedic medicine castor oil purge consists of mixing two ounces of castor oil with the same amount of fresh orange juice and of taking it first thing in the morning. After 15 to 30 minutes, start sipping hot water as you would tea. Drink up to three or four cups every 15 minutes. Then allow the flushing to occur if it hasn’t started already.

Eat very lightly the rest of that day, no fried or fatty foods. This is an intense flush that creates bile and can often eliminate parasites, even tapeworms. It can be done once a month or every two months.

External Applications

Edgar Cayce, the famous early 20th Century psychic healer, advocated castor oil packs. He recommended stacking three or four white linens large enough to cover the epidermal area above the organ of concern, liver, intestines, kidneys, etc. Then soak the linens with warm castor oil and place the compress over the area of concern. Cover with a sheet of plastic to keep it warm and stable.

Castor oil can be used topically for skin problems ranging from fungal toenails to acne. Castor oil is anti-fungal and anti-viral. So there are a plethora of skin issues that can be addressed, with some perseverance, using castor oil.

One woman reported success with castor oil for her shingles. No other applications gave her the same amount of relief. Another person told of daily applications to a cyst on his shoulder. The cyst disappeared in a month.

Cold pressed castor oil is an inexpensive useful remedy to keep around your home for a variety of applications. And it has a very long shelf life.

Sources for more information include:

Edgar Cayce castor oil pack remedies (application details)…………

Toxicity report on castor oil from the USA National Institute of Health (1992) (= NIH pub 92-3131)……

Exercise Training Program Improves Outcomes in ‘Grinch Syndrome’ Patients

ScienceDaily (June 20, 2011) — An exercise training program worked better than a commonly used beta blocker, significantly improving — even curing — patients with a debilitating heart syndrome, according to research published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) — called “The Grinch Syndrome” because most patients have a heart that’s “two sizes too small” — affects about 500,000 Americans, primarily young women.

POTS is characterized by a rapid increase in heartbeat of more than 30 beats per minute or a heart rate that exceeds 120 beats per minute when patients change from lying down to standing within 10 minutes. The heart rate is high with palpitations, but the stroke volume (the volume of blood pumped from the heart with each beat) and blood volume are low.

Symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, inability to stand for prolonged periods of time (chronic orthostatic intolerance) and occasionally fainting. POTS may be life-altering and may cause substantial disability that interferes with daily living. In the United States, women who are afflicted with POTS range in age from adolescence to about 50.

In the small study, 18 Caucasian women (average age 27) and one man completed the double-blind drug trial. They were randomized to receive either the beta blocker propranolol or a placebo for four weeks followed by three months of exercise training. There were 15 age-matched healthy controls, 14 women and one man.

In analyzing quality of life, researchers found:

  • All patients completing exercise training showed improvement in physical function scores.
  • Nearly all patients completing the exercise program (95 percent) showed improvement in social function scores.
  • All patients completing exercise training showed improvement in heart rate responses. Ten (53 percent) of 19 patients were “cured” of POTS — that is, their change in heart rate with standing no longer met criteria for the syndrome.
  • Aldosterone-to-renin ratio (the regulation of sodium balance, fluid volume and blood pressure) increased among those in the exercise program. This ratio is low in POTS patients, and it remained low after the beta blocker treatment. Aldosterone-to-renin plays a critical role in how the body handles changes to blood circulation during prolonged standing.

In an analysis conducted prior to beginning the exercise regimen, researchers found the group receiving beta blockers showed no change in social function scores and very few patients improved physical function scores.

“The exercise training program is a resounding success in the treatment of POTS,” said Benjamin Levine, M.D., senior study author and director at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas.

“The unique component is to start training in a recumbent (semi-reclining) position, which is important to those who can’t tolerant standing. This strategy avoids the upright position that produces symptoms. We don’t even let patients stand up to exercise for one or even two months,” said Levine who is also professor of medicine and cardiology and distinguished professorship in exercise science at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. “However, to maintain the benefits these patients will need to incorporate the training program into their everyday lives indefinitely.”

Typical recumbent or sitting exercises include cycling with a recumbent bike, rowing and swimming. The exercise training progressively increases in intensity, duration and frequency. Training begins with 30- to 45-minute sessions, two to four times per week. By training’s end, patients are exercising five to six hours per week and encouraged to exercise upright.

“Exercise training is superior to the beta blocker in restoring upright blood circulation, improving kidney function and dramatically improving quality of life,” said Qi Fu, M.D., Ph.D., study first-author and assistant professor of internal medicine and cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Researchers are conducting a similar study in a community setting outside the constraints of a controlled clinical trial. They also have initiated a POTS registry that includes detailed instructions for physicians to conduct the exercise training program.

Other co-authors are: Tiffany B. VanGundy, M.S.; Shigeki Shibata, M.D., Ph.D.; Richard J. Auchus, M.D.; and Gordon H. Williams, M.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Institutes of Health, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute and the Clinical and Translational Research Center funded the study.

ANH slams NHS supplements report

Post a commentBy Shane Starling, 20-Jun-2011

Related topics: Health claims, Omega-3, Botanicals, Industry, Antioxidants, carotenoids, Minerals, Nutritional lipids and oils, Phytochemicals, plant extracts, Vitamins & premixes

The Alliance for Natural Health Europe (ANH-EU) has slammed a recent UK National Health Service (NHS) report which questioned the effectiveness of most food supplements as the statement of an increasingly politically motivated body.


The ANH-EU said the NHS report titled, ‘Supplements: who needs them?’ A special report’ aligned the UK government body with, “the European Union (EU) view of food supplements: a ‘reform’ that has not been trumpeted by anyone within or outside government.”

“Researched and written by Bazian Ltd. – a company with significant links to stories covered in the past by ANH-Intl – the report is a tissue of half-truths, distortions and omissions that seeks to condition the UK public to accept the effects of several strands of EU legislation as being ‘evidence based’,” ANH-EU said.

The NHS report investigates vitamin and mineral supplements along with herbs and other specialty products like omega-3s and states: “The claims the media makes [about supplements] aren’t always supported by the underlying research…”

It goes on to observe that, ”The European Food Safety Authority has looked at the science behind the health claims of thousands of different supplements [and]…it has turned down roughly 80% of these claims…”.


ANH-EU takes the report to task in reference to a Cochrane Library review of antioxidants.

“Vitamins A and E and beta-carotene…may even increase the risk of death,” the report says of the Cochrane conclusions.

But ANH-EU observed: This was merely another look at existing data that rejected many studies, compared studies that were not really comparable and looked exclusively at synthetic forms of vitamins: the forms produced by pharma companies.”

“ANH-Intl has dealt extensively with this blatant anti-vitamin bad science propaganda before, but it’s depressing in the extreme to see the NHS adopt it so unquestioningly and present it to the public as scientific evidence against antioxidant vitamins.”

It added: For example, the report found no space for an earlier review by Fairfield and Fletcher that supported supplementation as a means of preventing chronic illnesses. Any objective look at vitamin science would have to include Dr Bruce Ames’ triage theory, which strongly supports the importance of supplementation to redress moderate deficiencies in micronutrients. Crucially, it is a powerful argument against setting maximum permitted levels (MPLs) of vitamins and minerals in food supplements, as mandated by the FSD.”

The ANH-EU questioned the credibility of report author Bazian Ltd in condemning the report and the motivations behind it.

“…at a time when chronic diseases are on the rise, the report twists science to give a completely false picture of the uselessness of food supplementation – one of the key strategies that could help to reverse the trend. In doing so, the NHS hires a company with a proven track record of ignoring scientific objectivity and public responsibility in its pursuit of both profit, and a craven desire to please its paymasters.

The public are treated like idiots at every turn, worthy neither of respect nor the information they need to maintain good health.”

HFMA response

Previously, the UK Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) had rejected the report’s backing of ‘regular diets’ in pointing to UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) statistics that showed only 13% of men and 15% of women aged 19 to 64 ate the government-recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

“In an ideal world, our diet would provide us with all the vitamins and minerals that our body needs,” said HFMA executive director Graham Keen.

He added: “One must remember that the natural health industry and HFMA members already operate in one of the toughest regulatory environments in the world. A high level of consumer protection is already ensured by the UK’s regulatory and enforcement agencies, including the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) which protects consumers from misleading claims, the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which regulates medicinal claims, and Trading Standards which carries out local enforcement.”

European and international trade groups backed the position of their UK counterparts.


Discoveries in Mitochondria Open New Field of Cancer Research

ScienceDaily (June 20, 2011) — Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center have revealed novel mechanisms in mitochondria that have implications for cancer as well as many other age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and hypertension. This discovery has pioneered the formation of a whole new field within epigenetics research ripe with possibilities of developing future gene therapies to treat cancer and age-associated diseases.

Shirley M. Taylor, Ph.D., researcher at VCU Massey Cancer Center and associate professor in the VCU Department of Microbiology and Immunology at VCU School of Medicine, was a graduate student when her research helped establish the field of epigenetics (epigenetics refers to the process that controls which genes get expressed in the nucleus of a cell, ultimately determining that cell’s biological characteristics). Now decades later, Taylor and her colleagues have further expanded the field of epigenetics into a new area of research they created by discovering enzymes in mitochondria that were previously known to exist only in nuclei.

In mammals, all cells have two distinct genomes, which include all of an organism’s hereditary information. One set exists in the nucleus while the other exists in the mitochondrion, the energy generator of the cell.

Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Taylor’s study found two DNA modifications in the mitochondrial genome: methylated cytosine, known to function in the nucleus by “silencing” the expression of certain genes; and hydroxymethyl cytosine, which removes the silencing mark imposed by the cytosine methylation.

Together, these modifications act like a genetic on/off switch in a process known as DNA methylation. Taylor’s team also showed that the enzyme responsible for DNA methylation was present in mammalian mitochondria. The presence of these DNA modifications leads the researchers to believe that a system of gene control similar to what occurs in the nucleus is present in mitochondria, functioning to ensure the correct levels of proteins needed for proper energy generation.

“In diseases such as cancer, epigenetic control is lost,” says Taylor. “Genes that should be switched on are switched off and vice versa, leading to uncontrolled growth. Our research indicates that errors in gene expression could be unfolding in mitochondria, possibly contributing to loss of mitochondrial function typical of cancer and a host of other age-related diseases.”

Taylor’s team is currently working to force into mitochondria more of the enzyme responsible for forming the silencing mark, and to identify enzymes responsible for removing it. This should allow the researchers to observe whether these marks impact mitochondrial ability to generate energy. The researchers are also comparing the amount of DNA methylation in diseased cells versus healthy cells to determine whether mitochondrial gene expression plays a role in various diseases.

“Many diseases that afflict the elderly seem to have defects in mitochondrial function,” says Taylor. “We are working to determine whether epigenetic control is a factor contributing to these defects. If so, drugs known to impact gene expression in the nucleus may be useful in reversing damage caused by improper gene expression in mitochondria.”

Taylor collaborated on this study with Richard G. Moran, Ph.D., associate director for basic research at VCU Massey Cancer Center and professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at VCU School of Medicine. Other collaborators include doctoral students Lisa S. Shock, Prashant V. Thakkar and Erica J. Peterson from the VCU Department of Microbiology and Immunology. The study was partially funded by the National Cancer Institute and by a pilot project award from Massey.

Quell the hothouse flames of inflammation

NaturalNews) In a nation obsessed with youthfulness, it is perplexing to find such a large percentage of the population needlessly succumbing to chronic inflammation – a condition known to age the body prematurely. Although willing to spend a great deal of money to artificially and temporarily mask the signs of aging, many seem reluctant to make substantive changes necessary to quell the flames within. These flames can affect all organ systems of the body. In truth, a few simple dietary and lifestyle changes could seriously slow down the biological clock.

The bigger question is this: Why are we all so inflamed?

The surprising thing about inflammation is that it is at the core of virtually every disease. In fact, if you were to look to medical journals in just about any medical specialty you would find numerous articles citing inflammation as the root cause of disease. However, instead of creating patients in need of prescription drugs that too often simply mask, but do nothing to cure, the cause of inflammation, shouldn’t we be looking for the latter?

Inflammation is absolutely critical to survival. Yet it is not meant to burn unchecked. If you suffer from chronic inflammation, your body is sending you a message that you have not yet eliminated the cause of its pain. Inflammation is not an evil interloper needlessly afflicting you with pain, but rather a faithful friend trying to properly warn you that your house is not in order. If you improve your health by finding and eliminating the trigger of inflammation, you are much more likely to see the disease symptom disappear.

Unfortunately, the broader picture of health has grown grotesque under the tutelage of a Western lifestyle, which has turned sedentary, and a diet comprised mainly of processed foods. The American people, even the very young, are like children who are experiencing life on a teeter totter with a 10 ton stone affixed to the opposite side. There is no balance in their lives. Yet, balance is exactly what is needed.

Four steps to help reduce inflammation.

1. Increase consumption of polyphenols. Dark skinned vegetables and fruit are a rich source of polyphenols. These foods have powerful anti-inflammatory capabilities as well as the ability to regulate energy metabolism.

2. Consume healthy oils rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Opt for oils such as extra-virgin olive oil; include fish from pristine waters; and consume flax and hemp seeds. For situations of chronic inflammation, supplementing with a quality fish oil is helpful. These steps will help balance your Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio, thus reducing inflammation.

3. Decrease consumption of red meat and consume more vegetable protein. The high iron content of red meat acts as a catalyst for free radical production in the body.

4. Exercise. Exercise is a very important factor in reducing inflammation. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, depression, and mental decline. It has also been proven to be effective against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as several forms of cancer.

A cynic might believe drug companies rule the medical profession and merely wish to market a plethora of anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medications rather than to address the core issue of inflammation. Billions can be made because of the collective ignorance of a nation made up largely of unquestioning and trusting patients. The road to health, however, may be far simpler – and cheaper. Heed the warning signs of inflammation in their earliest stages by listening to your body. And then try eliminating the cause of inflammation/disease before medications ever become necessary.


Learn more:

Lutein may protect eyes from effects of strong light: Study

Post a commentBy Stephen Daniells, 17-Jun-2011

Related topics: Research, Antioxidants, carotenoids, Eye health

The eye health benefits of lutein supplements may extend to protection against the damaging effects of strong light, suggest new findings from a Japanese study with mice.


According to new findings published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry , lutein may protect the DNA of photoreceptive cells in the retina from the harmful effects of strong light.

Japanese researchers also report that visual impairment produced by strong light exposure was attenuated in mice fed supplements of lutein.

Lutein and its market

Lutein, a nutrient found in various foods including green leafy vegetables and egg yolk, has a ten-year history in the dietary supplement market as a nutrient to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the over 50s.

The US is by far the most developed market for eye health products, partly due to a greater acceptance of dietary supplements, and partly due to higher levels of awareness, according to data from Frost & Sullivan.

Frost & Sullivan placed the US eye health ingredients market at $138m in 2008, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3 per cent from 2008 to 2015. The European market was valued at $43.4m in 2007 with a CAGR of 10.5 per cent from 2007 to 2014.

New data

For the new study the researchers divided mice into two groups: One group was fed normal chow and the second group had their chow supplemented with 0.1 percent lutein (provided by Wakasa Seikatsu Co., Ltd., Japan). Animals were fed the diets for 10 days before being exposed to light.

Results showed that lutein supplementation was associated with a reduction in a range of detrimental effects associated with light exposure, including visual impairment, and a thinning of the layer of photoreceptor cells.

In addition, the researchers note that a marker of DNA damage was up-regulated in the normal chow-fed animals, but this was suppressed in the lutein fed animals.

“Therefore, lutein induced […] DNA repair, which could suppress DNA damage and photoreceptor cell apoptosis.

“Lutein reduced light-induced oxidative stress in the retina, which might contribute to promote DNA repair. The lutein-supplemented diet attenuated light-induced visual impairment by protecting the photoreceptor cells’ DNA,” they said.

Looking beyond the eyes

“Although lutein has been applied as a dietary supplement for chronic diseases, such as AMD, it may have a chance to be involved as a preventive medicine for acute diseases in the future,” wrote the authors.

“Moreover, elucidating the molecular mechanism of lutein’s effect on light-induced photoreceptor cell apoptosis might also be helpful for analyzing lutein’s effect on the photodamage in other organs.

“In the skin, lutein is believed to protect against edema and hyperplasia after UV exposure. The present study will help understand its molecular mechanism,” the concluded.

Source: Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2011.01.006
“Biological role of lutein in the light-induced retinal degeneration”
Authors: Mariko Sasaki, Kenya Yuki, Toshihide Kurihara, Seiji Miyake, Kosuke Noda, Saori Kobayashi, Susumu Ishida, Kazuo Tsubota, Yoko Ozawa