Archive for the ‘Genes’ Category

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Heart Disease Controlled Through Lifestyle, Not Genes

November 16, 2010
(Article first published as Study Shows Heart Disease Risk a Matter of Lifestyle, Not Genes on Technorati.)

Nearly one million Americans succumb to a form of heart disease every year, and millions more experience reduced quality of life and live in constant fear of a fatal cardiac event. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, as standard medical practice continues to prescribe ineffective pharmaceuticals and a low fat diet.

Unfortunately for the scores of people who follow this advice, the end result is always the same – slow progression of the disease and ultimately an early death. Researchers have now published the five most significant risk factors that will allow you to take control of this devastating disease, regardless of genetic predisposition.
Heart Disease Develops From Poor Lifestyle Choices
The results of two large studies conducted at Northwestern University both point to preventable lifestyle choices that promote heart disease, regardless of your genes. Alternative health experts have long known that factors including diet, weight and physical activity significantly impact the development of disease. Researchers have now demonstrated that strict adherence to five factors from an early age can lower or eliminate the risk of heart disease.
Five Lifestyle Factors You Can Control

The study results were presented to the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2010 meeting in Chicago. Researchers found that young adults who maintain a healthy lifestyle through mid-life did not exhibit the common high risk profile including high blood pressure, poor lipid profile and excess body weight. The risk factors indentified include “not smoking, low or no alcohol intake, weight control, physical activity and a healthy diet.”

 
Start Healthy Habits Early in Life
The study focused on individuals that were in compliance with the five risk factors from an early stage in their life. These individuals were found to reach middle age with a much better heart disease risk profile, regardless of family history and predisposition toward heart disease. Participants were followed for a period of 20 years, and those who were in compliance with all five risk factor were 60% less likely to develop heart disease, 37% for four factors and 30% for three.
Heart Disease is Not Inherited

The results of a second Northwestern University study demonstrates that our lifestyle actions are behind the initiation and proliferation of heart disease, and genetics play a very minor role in the process. Researchers tracked more than 16,000 individuals across 3 generations of families and concluded, “What you do and how you live is going to have a larger impact on whether you are in ideal cardiovascular health than your genes or how you were raised.” The poor habits that cause heart disease may be learned as they are passed from generation to generation, but they don’t pass to us through our genes.

Controlling the five lifestyle factors identified in this research should be a mission for every man, woman and child from an early age. Extensive information confirms that heart disease is not only preventable, but can also be reversed when all known risk factors are addressed.
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Understanding the Genetic Link to Weight Loss

October 25, 2010

(Article first published as Best Weight Loss Diet Determined by Genes? on Technorati.)

Genes May Determine Our Ability to Lose Weight

Genes May Determine Our Ability to Lose Weight

From an evolutionary perspective we are diverse, as many people can trace their lineage to different parts of the globe where their ancestors endured a distinct lifestyle, environment and diet. All of these factors play a part in determining the genetic makeup that we carry today. It’s not difficult to imagine that each of us has evolved to function optimally on a different type of diet based on the lives led by our ancestors over countless generations. Modern gene testing may provide answers as to which type of diet is best to help us achieve our weight loss goal.

Follow Your Genes to Weight Loss Success

Genetically Matched People Lost 5 Times More Weight

Genetically Matched People Lost 5 Times More Weight

The long standing question as to whether a low fat or low carbohydrate diet is best for weight loss may finally have been answered. The results of a study conducted at Stanford University show that dietary balance is important in the battle to lose weight. Two groups were placed on a calorie restricted diet consisting of either low fat or low carb foods, and DNA testing was performed to establish a compatibility profile. Researchers found that dieters eating a matched type diet were able to lose 13 pounds over the course of a year, compared with only 3 pounds for the mismatched group.

Genetic Destiny: Low Carb Diet

The results of this study are not without controversy, as some scientists argue that no test can determine the success of a weight loss strategy. To be certain, there are many factors that influence weight loss including diet, physical activity, lifestyle, stress, mindset and environment. And extensive research over the years has shown that a diet that excludes refined carbs is most likely to produce significant weight loss results, regardless of genetic composition. Protein and healthy fats are also important as they are more difficult to break down and increase resting metabolic rate.

Best Diet For Health

80% Raw Diet Shown to Fuel Weight Loss

80% Raw Diet Shown to Fuel Weight Loss

Another critical factor to consider is which type of diet is most healthy. The standard low fat diet prescribed by the medical profession is notoriously high in carbohydrates and deficient in Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats that are necessary for heart and brain health. High carb foods cause blood sugar rushes that raise oxidative stress and free radical production. This leads to metabolic syndrome, diabetes and accelerated aging. A diet consisting of 80% raw vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds and only 20% cooked foods provides the necessary nutrients and enzymes needed to promote health and fight disease.

The idea of genetic testing to determine who may benefit most from different foods in an effort to encourage weight loss is an interesting concept that requires more research before it can used to reliably predict success. Everybody is coded with a different genetic build and some people may be able to better metabolize carbs, fats and protein based on evolved heritage. The fact remains that the vast majority of people will achieve optimal health and successful weight loss by following a whole diet that includes plenty of foods eaten in their natural state.

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Is There a Genetic Link to Weight Loss Success?

October 25, 2010

(Article first published as Best Weight Loss Diet Determined by Genes? on Technorati.)

From an evolutionary perspective we are diverse, as many people can trace their lineage to different parts of the globe where their ancestors endured a distinct lifestyle, environment and diet. All of these factors play a part in determining the genetic makeup that we carry today. It’s not difficult to imagine that each of us has evolved to function optimally on a different type of diet based on the lives led by our ancestors over countless generations. Modern gene testing may provide answers as to which type of diet is best to help us achieve our weight loss goal.

Follow Your Genes to Weight Loss Success

The long standing question as to whether a low fat or low carbohydrate diet is best for weight loss may finally have been answered. The results of a study conducted at Stanford University show that dietary balance is important in the battle to lose weight. Two groups were placed on a calorie restricted diet consisting of either low fat or low carb foods, and DNA testing was performed to establish a compatibility profile. Researchers found that dieters eating a matched type diet were able to lose 13 pounds over the course of a year, compared with only 3 pounds for the mismatched group.

Genetic Destiny: Low Carb Diet
The results of this study are not without controversy, as some scientists argue that no test can determine the success of a weight loss strategy. To be certain, there are many factors that influence weight loss including diet, physical activity, lifestyle, stress, mindset and environment. And extensive research over the years has shown that a diet that excludes refined carbs is most likely to produce significant weight loss results, regardless of genetic composition. Protein and healthy fats are also important as they are more difficult to break down and increase resting metabolic rate.
Best Diet For Health

Another critical factor to consider is which type of diet is most healthy. The standard low fat diet prescribed by the medical profession is notoriously high in carbohydrates and deficient in Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats that are necessary for heart and brain health. High carb foods cause blood sugar rushes that raise oxidative stress and free radical production. This leads to metabolic syndrome, diabetes and accelerated aging. A diet consisting of 80% raw vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds and only 20% cooked foods provides the necessary nutrients and enzymes needed to promote health and fight disease.

The idea of genetic testing to determine who may benefit most from different foods in an effort to encourage weight loss is an interesting concept that requires more research before it can used to reliably predict success. Everybody is coded with a different genetic build and some people may be able to better metabolize carbs, fats and protein based on evolved heritage. The fact remains that the vast majority of people will achieve optimal health and successful weight loss by following a whole diet that includes plenty of foods eaten in their natural state.
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Natural Diet and Lifestyle Reverse the Effects of Aging

October 11, 2010

(Article first published as Reverse the Effects of Aging with Natural Diet and Lifestyle on Technorati.)

Signs of Aging Can Be Reversed with Diet and Lifestyle Changes

Signs of Aging Can Be Reversed with Diet and Lifestyle Changes

Medical researchers have made great strides over the past decade toward understanding the intricate process we know as aging. In an article published in U.S. News and World Report, nutritionist Dr. Jonny Bowden identifies the four main causes of aging in the human body as free radicals, inflammation, glycation and stress.

While DNA and genetics play a minor role, poor diet and lifestyle directly contribute to the leading causes of mortality, coronary artery disease, cancer, stroke, and dementia. Fortunately we can steer our destiny toward optimal health even after years of dietary and lifestyle abuse by addressing each identified aging factor.

Neutralizing the Effects of Free Radicals

Free Radicals Cause Disease by Damaging DNA

Free Radicals Cause Disease by Damaging DNA

Free radicals are unstable electrons produced during the normal course of metabolism, causing damage to the delicate cell nucleus and mitochondria. Free radicals can wreak havoc with DNA, altering its structure and causing mutations during cell replication. While free radicals are unavoidable, there are a number of changes you can make to offset the dangerous effects.

Consuming a natural food diet packed with organically grown fresh vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and seeds is the best way to combat free radicals. These foods are loaded with antioxidants which act to neutralize the free radicals before they penetrate our cells. Choose from a wide variety of brightly colored vegetables to benefit from an assortment of antioxidants.

Damping Systemic Inflammation

Mediterranean Diet Lowers Inflammation

Mediterranean Diet Lowers Inflammation


Heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease are all linked with inflammation, a condition where the body’s immune system begins to target healthy cells and tissue for attack. In an effort to stabilize inflammation, the body releases hormones such as cortisol and raises the core temperature in an effort to combat this invisible invader.

Following a Mediterranean-style diet of whole grains, olive oil, fatty fish, vegetables, and minimally cooked meats has been shown to dramatically lower the effects of inflammation. It’s important to limit refined carbohydrates and sugar with this diet, as these cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar and lead to insulin resistance that are known to promote inflammation.

Prevent Damaging Glycation

Sugar mixes with proteins in our body to create non-functional structures call advanced glycation end products (AGE’s) which accelerate the aging process. AGE’s enter our body either pre-formed from over cooked, browned foods or as a result of chemical reactions in the blood. Regardless of how they form, AGE’s result in cellular damage and cause disease.

You can fight the effects of glycation with a two-step approach. Steam vegetables instead of stir frying and avoid grilling or blackening foods. Limit or eliminate sugar in your diet to prevent the cross-links which bind proteins and fats, making useless molecular garbage which inhibits normal cellular function.

Lower Your Stress Level

Continual stress forces the release of stress hormones in the body which help us cope under pressure. Stress which remains unresolved leads to excess cortisol circulating throughout the body, and is linked with shrinking of the hippocampus and accumulation of belly fat. Combat stress by identifying and removing the root cause, and try practicing meditation or yoga which are known to reduce stress. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night to further lower stress hormone production.

Alternative health practitioners have come to understand that aging is a disease that is accelerated by poor diet and lifestyle. Each of the identified factors which promote poor health and disease are preventable by following a natural diet of fresh vegetables, healthy uncooked fats, nuts, seeds and protein sources. The body has an amazing capacity to reverse the aging process caused by decades of dietary abuse by following the path to life extending, natural health.

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Reverse Aging with Diet and Lifestyle Changes

October 11, 2010

(Article first published as Reverse the Effects of Aging with Natural Diet and Lifestyle on Technorati.)

Medical researchers have made great strides over the past decade toward understanding the intricate process we know as aging. In an article published in U.S. News and World Report, nutritionist Dr. Jonny Bowden identifies the four main causes of aging in the human body as free radicals, inflammation, glycation and stress.

While DNA and genetics play a minor role, poor diet and lifestyle directly contribute to the leading causes of mortality, coronary artery disease, cancer, stroke, and dementia. Fortunately we can steer our destiny toward optimal health even after years of dietary and lifestyle abuse by addressing each identified aging factor.
Neutralizing the Effects of Free Radicals

Free radicals are unstable electrons produced during the normal course of metabolism, causing damage to the delicate cell nucleus and mitochondria. Free radicals can wreak havoc with DNA, altering its structure and causing mutations during cell replication. While free radicals are unavoidable, there are a number of changes you can make to offset the dangerous effects.

Consuming a natural food diet packed with organically grown fresh vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and seeds is the best way to combat free radicals. These foods are loaded with antioxidants which act to neutralize the free radicals before they penetrate our cells. Choose from a wide variety of brightly colored vegetables to benefit from an assortment of antioxidants.
Damping Systemic Inflammation

Heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease are all linked with inflammation, a condition where the body’s immune system begins to target healthy cells and tissue for attack. In an effort to stabilize inflammation, the body releases hormones such as cortisol and raises the core temperature in an effort to combat this invisible invader.

Following a Mediterranean-style diet of whole grains, olive oil, fatty fish, vegetables, and minimally cooked meats has been shown to dramatically lower the effects of inflammation. It’s important to limit refined carbohydrates and sugar with this diet, as these cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar and lead to insulin resistance that are known to promote inflammation.
Prevent Damaging Glycation
Sugar mixes with proteins in our body to create non-functional structures call advanced glycation end products (AGE’s) which accelerate the aging process. AGE’s enter our body either pre-formed from over cooked, browned foods or as a result of chemical reactions in the blood. Regardless of how they form, AGE’s result in cellular damage and cause disease.
You can fight the effects of glycation with a two-step approach. Steam vegetables instead of stir frying and avoid grilling or blackening foods. Limit or eliminate sugar in your diet to prevent the cross-links which bind proteins and fats, making useless molecular garbage which inhibits normal cellular function.
Lower Your Stress Level
Continual stress forces the release of stress hormones in the body which help us cope under pressure. Stress which remains unresolved leads to excess cortisol circulating throughout the body, and is linked with shrinking of the hippocampus and accumulation of belly fat. Combat stress by identifying and removing the root cause, and try practicing meditation or yoga which are known to reduce stress. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night to further lower stress hormone production.
Alternative health practitioners have come to understand that aging is a disease that is accelerated by poor diet and lifestyle. Each of the identified factors which promote poor health and disease are preventable by following a natural diet of fresh vegetables, healthy uncooked fats, nuts, seeds and protein sources. The body has an amazing capacity to reverse the aging process caused by decades of dietary abuse by following the path to life extending, natural health.
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Using Diet and Exercise to Motivate Weight Loss

October 7, 2010

(Article first published as Using Diet and Exercise to Control Body Fat on Technorati.)

Diet Controls Fat Placement on the Body

Diet Controls Fat Placement on the Body

The food we eat provides the building blocks required for cellular construction as well as all metabolic and chemical reactions which our body performs to function in good health. In the same fashion, our diet and level of physical activity directly influence our hormones that determine if fat is stored or burned as fuel. Medical researchers now understand that where fat is stored in the body can determine risk of disease and how we can alter our diet to promote natural weight loss.

Fat Placement is a Risk Factor

Fat Stored on the Thighs Promotes Health

Fat Stored on the Thighs Promotes Health

Until recently, medical science has viewed our white fat cells as nothing more than an inert storage facility for extra calories. Research has debunked that theory by demonstrating that our fat is a viable organ within our body which is metabolically active, secreting and reacting to chemical messengers which influence our health and weight loss abilities.

The results of a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show that the risk of metabolic disorder is heightened when fat is stored in the abdomen and significantly lowered when fat grows on the thighs or lower parts of the body. Interestingly the study authors found that abdominal fat grows by increasing the size of existing fat cells whereas fat cells multiply in number on the thighs and lower body. Abdominal fat is more dangerous to your health because the cells are stretched beyond their normal capacity, leading to metabolic dysfunction.

Using Food Balance to Control Fat Placement

Fortunately we can control where fat is placed on the body in several ways. The food we eat has a significant impact on fat storage and metabolism as we can choose both the quantity of food eaten as well as the nutritional composition of our diet. A diet high in refined carbohydrates which quickly break down into glucose and raise blood sugar causes excessive triglycerides in the blood. These blood fats must be cleared quickly after each meal and are converted to fat for storage on the belly.

Include Protein and Fat with Each Meal

Include a Protein and Fat Source with Each Meal

Include a Protein and Fat Source with Each Meal

The first step to controlling how and where fat is stored is to cut back or eliminate carbohydrate foods which trigger a rapid rise in blood sugar. All processed carbohydrates and sugar laden foods will initiate the cycle which results in abdominal fat storage. Substitute protein and fats from healthy nuts, seeds and minimally cooked meats. These foods don’t convert to glucose quickly and are much less likely to spike blood sugar and convert to fat.

Exercise Helps to Burn Fat as Fuel

Exercise is essential to good health, as it provides a catalyst to burn excess calories so they aren’t available to be stored as fat. When you exercise regularly, the body is conditioned to burn calories for fuel so they don’t end up as a source of body fat. Some amount of fat is essential to our health, and exercise encourages the formation of brown fat which is dissimilar to white belly fat because it promotes fat metabolism through a process known as thermogenesis.

The type of foods we eat provide metabolic cues to instruct our body how and where to store body fat. Eliminating junk carbohydrates and replacing them with lean protein and monounsaturated fat sources will blunt blood sugar swings and encourage fat metabolism. Exercise is necessary to provide the catalyst for caloric utilization which encourages ideal health and natural weight loss success.

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Natural Nutrients Influence Genes, Assist Weight Loss

October 6, 2010

(Article first published as Natural Supplements That Fuel Weight Loss by Switching Obesity Genes on Technorati.)

Genes That Predispose to Obesity Found

Genes That Predispose to Obesity Found

Our genes are continually in a state of flux and are regulated or switched by our food, physical activity and the environment in which we live. All of these factors play a part in how our metabolism is directed to burn calories as fuel or store them in our fat reserves.

To an extent we may inherit a predisposition to store calories as fat more quickly than others, but research with identical twins provides evidence that our destiny is not set in stone. Identical twins share the same DNA yet often will display very different body weight depending on external influences, stress, and diet. We are able to influence our own weight despite a genetic predisposition which encourages overweight or obesity.

Controlling Your Genes to Achieve Weight Loss

Genes Can Be Influenced by Diet

Genes Can Be Influenced by Diet

DNA is the building block of life and our genes play a critical key role in determining our health and how we store weight as well. According to information from a study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, as many as 13 individual genetic alterations have been identified which predispose an individual to obesity from early childhood. These changes don’t actually alter the DNA sequence itself, but act to switch gene patterns on or off depending on external influences.

Environmental and Household Toxins Directly Influence DNA

While food has a significant influence on gene regulation, the environment can also weigh heavily on how our genes are switched toward weight gain or loss. Household chemicals, toxins and even personal hygiene products and cosmetics infiltrate our body through contact with the skin and exert a negative influence on our DNA. Fortunately, in addition to healthy diet there are several powerful nutritional supplements which have been shown to regulate the switching activity of our genes toward natural weight loss.

Supplement with Vitamin C

Vitamin C Shown to Regulate Genes To Release Stored Fat

Vitamin C Shown to Regulate Genes To Release Stored Fat

Everybody knows that a small amount of Vitamin C is required to prevent rickets, but few people understand the essential role this vitamin plays to stabilize blood glucose and metabolism. As blood sugar control begins to deteriorate with increasing body weight and poor diet, our Vitamin C reserves are reduced.

Information published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition demonstrates that individuals with sufficient Vitamin C burn 30% more fat when exercising than those with the lowest levels. Vitamin C is a catalyst which is needed by the body to burn fat and works by influencing our DNA at the genetic level. Many people are deficient in Vitamin C and need to supplement to reach optimal blood levels.

Pour a Cup of Green Tea

Green tea increases metabolism and promotes fat oxidation by influencing the genes which control our sympathetic nervous system. This means that we burn more calories when at rest, an important feat when trying to lose weight. This doesn’t mean that we should eat more to compensate, but it can provide a significant boost to dieters who may have reached a plateau or just need some additional help burning away extra fat.

Nutritional researchers have been able to reach a deeper understanding about how our diet, environment and essential nutrients impact DNA since the advent of genetic mapping over a decade ago. We now understand that our genes are continually being changed and that we have much more control over the deck of genetic cards we’ve been dealt. Natural supplements have been shown to boost fat metabolism and provide necessary support for weight loss management.