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Sugar is Addictive to Many People

You have heard of a sugar high. Sugar can act on the same brain receptors as do alcohol and most drugs. It makes you feel good by stimulating your brain to release endorphins or serotonin. Sugar has other characteristics of an addictive substance. Some people can’t think of living without it and get withdrawal symptoms if they try. They seem to need more and more to feel good.

It’s no wonder that many Americans have developed type II diabetes because of their addiction, especially to sweet liquids. In my book I tell of several types of treatment. Julia Ross, who used to run an addiction clinic for illegal drugs, gives patients high doses of certain amino acids to take away their cravings for sugar. Dr. Rivas uses a combination of supplements and amino acids but says that carbohydrate addicts should avoid these foods the rest of their lives. Dr. Schwarzbein, who had been a sugar addict herself, says to eat more protein as well as avoiding sugar. Proteins contain tryptophan that can be changed into serotonin and into melatonin for restful sleep. She says to avoid stimulants like caffeine. Artificial sweeteners can increase cravings for sweets so diet sodas are out.

In a recent article, Dr. Jeffrey Rossman, adviser to the Rodale Institute has 10 steps to get rid of a sugar addiction. He suggests carrots, cherry tomatoes, and some fruits for a little sweetness that won’t raise your insulin. He says if stress causes you to consume sweets, try alternative activities. Always get enough sleep, exercise and sunlight.

I wonder if the patients who had been on the drug Avandia that has caused heart attacks could be given high doses of certain amino acids and also try anti-stress techniques. Dr. Dean Ornish uses yoga, group therapy and meditation to prevent heart attacks in patients who already have some arterial plaque. Type II diabetes might be reversed with life style changes. Treat its causal addiction so you don’t need dangerous pills.

Many Risk Factors in Cardiovascular Disease

A recent article in the journal “Circulation”talks about persons in the Framingham study begun in 1948. If men have more than 2 risk factors by age 50 they had a 69% chance of a heart attack. Women had a 50% chance. Those with only one factor had 5% and 8% chances respectively.

Factors include high blood pressure and diabetes but the head of the study has always implied that cholesterol levels were most important, even though a third of fatal heart attacks were in men with normal or low cholesterol.

William Faloon in the Sept. 2010 issue of “Life Extension” says there are 17 risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These can be measured by blood tests. He says that diet and high potency supplements can counteract these factors. You don’t have to take possibly dangerous drugs or have surgery to prevent possible heart attacks.

I see that several risk factors are interrelated. High blood glucose and high insulin are present in adult onset diabetes. High LDL-cholesterol especially when oxidized can clog arteries. Fifty years ago, the doctors Shutes found that vitamin E could prevent the oxidation that makes cholesterol sticky.

Many scientists now agree that elevated C-Reactive Protein is the best indicator of the risk of a heart attack. It shows that inflammation is present in the body. It might indicate micro-injuries in blood vessel walls. Since the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA in fish oils help the immune system and block inflammation, eating fish can help prevent heart disease.

An independent risk factor is high levels of homocysteine as shown by Dr. McCully. This can be corrected by folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12.

Newer research shows the importance of vitamin D and vitamin K to prevent deposits of calcium in blood vessel walls when micro-injuries are being patched with cholesterol. Use of sun-screens prevents your skin making vitamin D and no longer drinking vitamin D rich whole milk cuts out that source. Hardly anyone now eats organ meats that are a rich source of vitamin K. Most Americans now need supplements.

Note that vitamin D is made by the body from cholesterol Cholesterol is also the starting molecule for sex hormones and adrenal hormones. Cholesterol is a major component of brain tissue and is in all cell membranes. It is necessary for life.  LDL-cholesterol is dangerous only when made in excess by your liver from high-fructose corn syrup. A heart-healthy diet would eliminate soft drinks not egg yolks.

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Use Fat in Moderation

Most people get fat from eating too much sugar or easily digested carbohydrates, and often eat very little fat or none at all.
I say eating fat keeps you from getting hungry and snacking on carbs to relieve hunger pangs.
Eating fat thus keeps you satisfied. My eating organic cheddar cheese at breakfast prevents hunger for many hours. I don’t crave carbohydrates.
However, if you eat too much fat,and don’t exercise, that fat can indeed become body fat.
One young man took me too seriously and ate way too much butter. He now has a layer of belly fat. At least it is mostly outside the abdominal wall and isn’t the dangerous kind crowding the organs of digestion.
Be moderate and realize that any food in excess can become body fat.

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