As I was mentioning in my previous blog “The World Summit” there are too many controversies in the naturopathic world and scientists are the same victims.
For example, the new wave has been testing that cholesterol is not more a risk marker of cardiovascular disease, and there have been numbers of summits and webinars in regard of, diets proposal, and variety of natural protocols, but there are still doubts around this subject.
The American Heart Association new guide lines tests that cholesterol is still a marker for cardiovascular risk, and high values mainly of LDL need to be under control. Statins, of course, besides life style modification, diet and exercise are the main recommendations for this, but we do know at this time how much damaging statins can be to our health, especially if there are chronic conditions.
Yet the naturopathic recommendations can be sometime difficult to follow because of high doses of a supplement suggested, for example as a substitute of statin, high doses of niacin, vitamin B3, are one of the options, but niacin in high doses can have other side effects, as flushing of skin and discoloration, and not simply this I believe in high doses.
Obviously, there are many other elements on the market for managing cholesterol and cardiovascular health: omega3 fatty acids, the most important, and with the variety of function they have for our health besides the circulatory support, polyphenols and flavonoids as major antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, or as suggested from Dr. Michael Murray to reduce the atherosclerotic lesions: lycopene (the pigment in tomatoes), lutein, important for eye sight too, selenium, very important for reducing the level of thyroid antibodies, vitamin E, C, CoQ10, fruit and vegetables, of course, red wine, nuts and seeds.
A product sold on the counter, “Cholest Off” ,made by Nature Made is based on sterols and stanols. Plant sterols are lecithin emulsified present in products as Minute Maid and rice drinks, while pant sterols are margarines, other products may include green tea, bergamot, berberine, this one also good to balance blood sugar levels and not simply, and ginger as well, garlic is another one, and panthetine, or vitamin B5 also helps to reduce cholesterol levels, fibers, of course as oat bran or psyllium, and barley, as recommended from the Mayo Clinic, as much as detoxifiers like sulfur vegetables as cruciferous and artichokes and dandelion .
Both sterols than stanols resemble cholesterol molecules preventing it to be absorbed into the blood stream and clogging the arteries, this way cholesterols is instead washed out.
Phytoestrogens are also included in some products for lowering cholesterol, these are compounds found in plants and foods like whole grain, leaf greens, beans, soy, garlic, and flax seed, and that resemble the effects of estrogens. Most known are isoflavones like genistein in soy, normally used to treat menopause and post-menopausal symptoms, and to lower cholesterol as well.
But the theories in regard are discordant, some studies show that they have beneficial effects on breast cancer, others just the opposite, and because they are endocrine disruptors, they may cause negative effects on health in general, more than everything it looks like that the phytoestrogens in soy are a risk for developing or aggravating hypothyroidism, from PUB MED studies, as much as they can reduce insulin resistance, CRP, and blood pressure. What to believe?
There are a lot more products on the market and mainly based on healthy fatty acids and these variety of elements and natural compounds.
I just found out about a new product for cardiovascular health by Dr. Mark Stengler, and which looks very good for the combination of elements, in addition to come from a trusted source.
As always there is to look at the risks and the benefits. The cholesterol dilemma, though, still remains for me and I really do not know whom to listen if the American Heart Association and what I already knew from time and believed, or the new theories in regard for cholesterol is a “ Salubrious” molecule and key antioxidant for protection from oxidative damage, as Dr. David Perlmutter defines, along with the other properties that we know about such as an important structural compound of the cell wall.
There is so much online support today, so much free and available to the knowledge of everyone, in addition to the newly discovers of day by day of simple elements from real foods.
The same traditional medicine totally agrees with this type of choice to the point of making as a prescription for general health and any type of conditions to eat fresh and organic fruit and vegetables.
The American Cancer Society recommends healthy life style, diet and exercise and smoking cessation from time, and day by day there are testimonials of healing from cancer also thanks to the adjuvants and supplemental therapies and holistic support.
The benefits are what they are, and therefore we cannot deny the importance and the reason of the explosion of the functional medicine.
But we can all be overwhelmed sometime and frustrated from decisions for our health, and provider to listen, or scientist to follow and to trust more than another.
The other controversial still under discussion is around the grains; I thought to be an assessed fact that grains and mainly gluten because of the gliadin, toxic lectin, were to a void, especially in people with autoimmune disease, but latest founds are talking differently, and here I am feeling really confused, happy, but confused!
It looks like that gluten-free products are filled instead of many other dangerous elements for the scientist are suggesting to avoid these, but they all not agree on which grains are the best.
Eluding people with allergies, intolerances or sensitivity, even more celiac, at this point we can all eat pasta and bread, wheat should be better, so as recommended from the Mediterranean diet.
Harvest grains, oat and spelt, amaranth, millet, brown rice and so on were supposed to be the healthiest choices. They still are? The Ketogenic diet, the most recommended today, it looks like, and mainly for brain health since carbs seem to be the major risk for developing degenerative brain disease and inflammation, does not include grains at all, but this does not look ideal for people with high cholesterol.
While I am writing, one of the doctors I follow, Dr. Tom O’Brian, autoimmune and gluten sensitivity expert, active speaker and researcher is going to hold another international conference on gluten, celiac, sensitivity and autoimmunity in India.
All these scientists are totally against the gluten, and those that keep recommended to avoid, even if not celiac or allergic.
I really do not like this, I am Italian grown up on gluten and not allergic or intolerant, but I understand that long term can cause leaky gut and from here intolerance and autoimmune disorders, and arthritis mainly besides the neurodegenerative diseases.
Tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplants are considered nightshades, and which means that they have lectins that damage tissues and cause of potential autoimmune process, for it is better to avoid, but they also have important flavonoids and polyphenols, mainly the tomatoes.
How can we avoid tomatoes? Dr. Steven Gundry to solve the problem suggests, as many Italians do, to boiling to get rid of the seeds, here where the lectins are, and as a defense system they have developed with time to protect from the attack of predators, as suggested from same Dr. Gundry.
Nightshades are all avoiding foods for blood type A, Dr Peter D’Adamo Blood Type Diet; never liked that, but at the start I was doing big efforts and trying to avoid the best I could, and I have to say, every time I have been trying to follow this diet, I was always feeling better.
Being adjusted to the Mediterranean diet since I was born, I am letting go myself lately more into this again; in addition, this is also suggested from the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.
But there are restrictions anyway with the Mediterranean diet in regard of grains, normally this diet suggests to eat whole grains and in small quantities, even more Dr. Mark Stengler, naturopath and oncologist, empathizes this diet a lot as well as Dr. Michael Murray, but they both warn in regard of grains being these carbs and so not appropriate especially for cancer since the sugars are the worse enemies and food for cancer cells, but, it looks like a problem in general.
Still the grains, not matter, no way!
But for many as myself and especially with Thyroid issues grains are indispensable.
One more confusion has been arising lately, or at least for me with chondroitin sulfate, very important element for joint support and- as I was mentioning in my previous blogs- important donor of sulfates for the healing of the tight junctions of the intestinal wall; it looks like from some studies to be a cancer promoting. Not sure about this new found, I would like to investigate more.
I think that this is all for now.
Thank you for reading!