The Truth about Antidepressants

The Truth about Antidepressants
Dr. Jimmy Steger

Seems like most Americans these days have bought into the lie that taking some form of pill can solve any and all emotional or mental issues. If only it were that easy! And every time I try to give people a good dose of the truth, they point to one pharmaceutical study or another that tries to prove me wrong.  Well at least some of them, well check this out.

According to new research from Stephen Wisniewski, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, antidepressants are only effective in a small percentage of patients with a narrow range of psychological disorders. Patients with multiple issues — which can be as many as 60 percent of the psychiatric patients in the U.S. — may not be getting any benefit at all from antidepressants.

How’s that for depressing news? It gets worse. This new study showed how big pharmaceutical companies may pump up the efficacy results of the drug trials for their antidepressants.

Wisniewski’s team examined data compiled in a massive, government-funded review of more than 40 psychiatric facilities. This study, known as the “Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression” (“STAR*D” for short), is a picture of nearly the entire population of depression patients in the U.S.

Researchers compared STAR*D patients to a group of subjects for a standard antidepressant drug trial conducted by a pharmaceutical manufacturer (the trials that the FDA commonly reviews as part of the approval process for new medications).

As it turns out, the parameters for joining a typical antidepressant drug trial were so narrow that just 22 percent of the patients in the STAR*D survey would qualify to be part of the trial.

This means that the pharmaceutical companies tests its antidepressants using patients who fall within a very small range of depressive symptoms… and then markets these same drugs to EVERY depression patient in the country.

Wisniewski said that “current efficacy trials suggest a more optimistic outcome than is likely in practice.” Let’s cut to the chase here. What he’s really saying is that Big Pharma is gaming the system to get new SSRIs approved by the FDA.

Of course he’s too afraid to come right out and say that. Instead, he said that he doesn’t intend his new study to be a smoking gun that proves the pharmaceutical industry is intentionally taking problematic patients out of the testing mix to get better efficacy results. He might not have “intended” it, but that’s exactly what he did. And it’s about time.

“If the population in a [clinical] trial were more representative, it would come at a cost,” Wisniewski says. “That’s why trials to determine efficacy are done on a relatively homogeneous population.”

Well, he’s right about one thing — experimenting with drugs does come at a cost. Either it’ll cost the deep-pocketed drug companies a few bucks, or it’ll cost you your health.

So which one would you choose? How about God’s Medicine, which is all natural and will not harm you, that is the one for me.

Until next time,  Stay Healthy!
 
Dr. Jimmy Steger    

Allergy vs. Intolerance

Allergy vs. Intolerance
Dr. Jimmy Steger

The most common and best understood type of allergy is a reaction in which the body’s immune system overreacts to a food and mistakenly produces antibodies (called IgE) to the food.

This can cause reactions, sometimes severe, that affect the skin, breathing, gut and heart.

Intolerance is an adverse reaction to a food that does not involve the immune system. Symptoms are generally less severe, and can include headaches, gut problems and worsening of skin conditions such as eczema. Intolerance is much less likely to be life-threatening than a true allergy.

What is an allergy?

According to the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and allergy (ASCIA) education resources website, the word “allergy” is frequently overused and misused to include any irritating or uncomfortable symptoms after eating.

Strictly speaking the term should only be used for the symptoms which develop after eating certain foods as part of the immune response.

In an allergic reaction, the body’s immune system mistakenly believes the food is harmful and tries to protect itself. In doing so it overreacts and produces, for example, harmful antibodies to fight the food “allergens”.

In turn, these special antibodies (called IgE) make the body produce histamines and other chemicals, causing reactions that affect the skin, breathing, gut and heart.

IgE antibodies can also “cross react “with other allergens. For example, someone with a latex allergy may also react after eating a banana, kiwi fruit or avocado.  Up to 50 per cent of people who react to one tree nut (including almonds, brazil nuts, Cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts) will react to other tree nuts.

A recently recognized form of food allergy is the “oral allergy syndrome”, where a person experiences a cross reaction between pollens and fresh fruit and vegetables.

This “cross-reactivity” is also the reason why some adults with a predisposition to other allergies suddenly develop a food allergy.

For example, a person with a birch pollen allergy can suddenly became allergic to apple or kiwi fruit allergens.

More adults prone to allergies are developing cross reactions after they are overexposed to certain foods (such as acquiring wheat allergies after working in a bakery).

What are the most common food allergies?

Allergies are mostly triggered by nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, wheat and soybeans.

Adults are more likely to be allergic to fish, shellfish and nuts, with children suffering more from allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts.  Reactions to seeds and fruits are also becoming more common.

There are also cultural differences in allergy patterns, In Japan, rice allergy is common. In the Middle East and Australia, sesame allergy is on the rise.

We know the treatment for ceeliac disease is a gluten-free diet for life. Although people with celiac disease produce antibodies the allergic process is different from that seen in most other allergic reactions.

In celiac disease, gluten reacts with the small intestine, and activates the immune system to attack the delicate lining of the bowel.

The normally rippled lining of the intestine becomes damaged and inflamed, and forms the characteristic flat appearance of celiac disease.

The surface area, which enables the absorption of nutrients and minerals from food, is seriously depleted, leading to gastrointestinal and malabsorptive symptoms.

Common Intolerances

Almost any food can cause an intolerance, but the repeat offenders are;

OFFENDER:
Lactose
FOUND IN:
Milk and milk products. Yoghurts have little lactose and hard cheeses have none.

OFFENDER:
salicylates
FOUND IN:
Natural food chemicals found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables such as cauliflower, eggplant, broccoli, tomato, apple, orange, and pineapple. Also found in nuts, spices and aspirin.

OFFENDER:
Amines
FOUND IN:
Histamines and histamine-like chemicals produced during fermentation, and the ageing and ripening of foods. Found in wine, processed meats, hard cheese, tomato paste, chocolate, and many fruits and vegetables.

OFFENDER:
Glutamate
FOUND IN:
An amino acid found naturally in all protein foods such as cheese, processed meats and milk. MSG (additive621) is a type of glutamate, and natural glutamates are also found in Soy Sauce, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, grapes, plums and many others foods

I certainly hope this helps you understand a little bit more about allergies and food intolerances in order to help you or one of your family members a more pleasant and healthier life.

Until next time,  Stay Healthy!
 
Dr. Jimmy Steger    

Absorption of Nutrients

Absorption of Nutrients
Dr. Jimmy Steger

The small intestine is a tubular structure within the abdominal cavity that carries the food in continuation with the stomach up to the colon from where the large intestine carries it to the rectum and out of the body via the anus. The main function of this organ is to aid in digestion.

How big is the small intestine?

As a person grows the small intestine increases 20 times in length from about 200 cm in a newborn to almost 6 m in an adult. The length of the small intestine is approximated by three times the length of the infant, or height of the child or adult.

The duodenum is about 25 cm (10 inches) long; the jejunum is about 2.5 m (8 feet) long and the ileum is about 3.6 m (12 feet) long.

Anatomy of the small intestine

The small intestine begins with the duodenum. The duodenum begins at the duodenal bulb and goes around the head of the pancreas and ends as it returns to the peritoneal cavity at the ligament of Treitz. The peritoneal cavity is a thin membrane cavity that covers the organs within the abdomen with some exceptions.

The remainder of the small intestine is suspended within the peritoneal cavity by a thin, broad-based mesentery that is attached to the posterior abdominal wall. This allows free movement of the small intestine within the abdominal cavity.

After the duodenum comes the next 40% of the mobile small intestine called the jejunum. The remaining 60% is the ileum.

The jejunum occupies the left upper portion of the abdomen while the ileum is positioned in the right side and upper part of the pelvis.

The inner walls of the small intestine show mucosal folds. These are called the plicae circulares. The plicae are more numerous in the early jejunum and reduce in numbers in the later part and are completely absent in the ileum.

Absorption takes place via primary cell type of the epithelial layer. Goblet cells, located throughout the epithelial layer, secrete mucus that helps protect the epithelial layer from digestion.

Enteroendocrine cells secrete hormones into blood vessels that penetrate each villus. Paneth cells, located in the epithelial layer facing the intestinal crypts, secrete lysozyme, an enzyme that destroys bacteria. An inner core of lamina propria (connective tissues) contains blood capillaries and small lymphatic capillaries called lacteals.

The submucosa under the mucosa contains Brunner’s (duodenal) glands, found only in the submucosa of the duodenum. It secretes an alkaline mucus that neutralizes the gastric acid in the incoming chyme.

Aggregates of lymphoid follicles are scattered throughout the small intestine but are found in highest concentration within the ileum, where they are designated Peyer’s patches. These are more prominent among children and infants. The small intestine ends at the ileocecal valve that leads it to the colon. The ileocecal valve provides a barrier to the back flow of the colonic contents into the small intestine.

The wall of the small intestine and colon is composed of four layers: mucosa (or mucous membrane), submucosa, muscularis (or muscularis propria), and adventitia (or serosa).

Functions of the small intestine

The small intestine is the part of the intestines where 90% of the digestion and absorption of food occurs, the other 10% taking place in the stomach and large intestine. The main function of the small intestine is absorption of nutrients and minerals from food.

Digestion involves two distinct parts. The first is mechanical digestion by chewing, grinding, churning and mixing that takes place in the mouth and the stomach. The second part of digestion is the chemical digestion that uses enzymes, bile acids etc. in order to break down food material into a form that can then be absorbed, then assimilated into the tissues of the body. Chemical digestion occurs in the small intestine (and, to a lesser extent, also in some other part of the gastrointestinal tract.

Digestion of proteins

Proteins, peptides and amino acids are acted upon by enzymes such as trypsin and chymotrypsin, secreted by the pancreas. This breaks them down to smaller peptides. Chemical breakdown begins in the stomach and continues until the large intestine.

Digestion of lipids

Enzymes, like lipases secreted from the pancreas, act on fats and lipids in diet. This breaks the triglycerides into free fatty acids and monoglycerides. It is helped by bile salts secreted by the liver and the gall bladder. The lipase is soluble in water but the fatty triglycerides are not. The bile salts hold the triglycerides in the watery environment until the lipase can break them into the smaller parts that can enter the intestinal villi for absorption.

Digestion of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are broken down to simple sugars and monosaccharides like glucose. Pancreatic amylase breaks down some carbohydrates to oligosaccharides as well. Some carbohydrates and fibers pass undigested to the large intestine where they may, depending on their type, be broken-down by intestinal bacteria.

Absorption in the small intestines

Once broken down the nutrients are absorbed by the inner walls of the small intestine into the blood stream. The nutrients are rendered small enough so that they may pass, or “be transported”, across the epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract. The nutrients are absorbed by processes of simple/passive diffusion, facilitated diffusion, primary active transport, or secondary active transport.

The small intestine is good for absorption since it has a large inner surface area. This is formed due to the plicae circulares which project many tiny finger-like structures of tissue called villi. The individual epithelial cells also have finger-like projections, which are called known as microvilli.

For transport, nutrients commonly rely upon:

  • Lipids – undergo passive or simple diffusion
  • Short-chain fatty acids – diffusion
  • Amino acids – primary active transport
  • Glucose – secondary active transport
  • Fructose – facilitated diffusion
  • Other absorbed substances in the small intestines include:

Water

Most of the water in ingested food and beverages is absorbed by osmosis. 

Approximately 80% is absorbed by the small intestine, 10% by the large intestine and the remaining 10% excreted in the faeces.

Electrolytes

Of these sodium is absorbed by diffusion and active transport. Chloride (Cl-) is absorbed passively along with sodium or actively transported. Iodine (I-) and  Nitrate (NO3-) can passively follow Na+ ions or are absorbed actively. Calcium ions (Ca2+) are absorbed actively in a process stimulated by calcitriol (active form of Vitamin D). Iron ions (Fe2+ and Fe3+), Potassium ions (K+), Magnesium ions (Mg2+) and Phospate ions (PO43-) are absorbed by active transport mechanisms.

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins including fat soluble ones (Vitamins A, D, E and K) are absorbed together with dietary fats. Water soluble vitamins like vitamins B and C are absorbed by diffusion. Vitamin B12 combined with intrinsic factor (from the stomach) is absorbed by active transport.

Of these iron is absorbed in the duodenum, most are absorbed in the jejunum and Vitamin B12 and bile salts are absorbed in the later part of the ileum.

Disorders of the small intestine

Some of the disorders of the small intestine include:

  • Obstruction of the small intestine. This may occur due to external pressure, masses in the lumen (foreign bodies, bezoar, gallstones), paralytic ileus, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, Carcinoid, Meckel’s Diverticulum, Gastric dumping syndrome, inguinal hernia, intussuseption, mesenteric ischemia etc.
  • Infections including Giardiasis, Ascariasis, Tropical sprue, Tape worm infestation etc.
  • Small intestine cancer
    Until next time,  Stay Healthy!
     
    Dr. Jimmy Steger    

Prevention of Arthritis

Prevention of Arthritis

 Dr. Jimmy Steger

How can we prevent arthritis, and if we have arthritis, how can we heal it?  First of all, let’s look at some of the causes of arthritis.   People eat denatured foods that have been canned, preserved, packaged, and nuked by the microwave; there are no vitamins and minerals left in them.  The joints need minerals in order to stay lubricated and healthy.  The joints are lined with a substance called lymph fluid.  The lymph fluid is the same fluid that makes up our tears when we cry.  Have you ever tasted your tears?  They are very salty.  Organic sodium is necessary to keep the lymph healthy.  Organic sodium helps to hold calcium in the bone.  When calcium comes out of the bone, crystals form in the joints causing pain, inflammation and swelling.  Soon the joints become enlarged and hardened. 

Some people think they need to eat a lot of salt, especially after reading this article. However, this is far from the truth.  Table salt (sodium chloride) dries up the lymph fluid in the body.  This salt is much different from natural, organic sodium.  Table salt is made from salt rocks and is mined from the earth and it is impossible for the body to absorb.  Some people use sea salt in place of table salt.  Most sea salt does come from the sea, however, it has been heated to high temperatures and all the minerals are destroyed.  In order to get natural, organic sodium into the body we must get it from plants or from goat whey, or goat’s milk.  Plants stretch their roots far into the earth and absorb the salt that is there and transmute it into a form that we can absorb correctly.  Goats eat these plants

and the organic sodium goes into their milk.  Goat whey is the clear fluid that is in the milk.  It is separated from the milk solids during the cheese making process and is very rich in organic sodium.  I personally prescribe putting all my arthritis patients on goat milk or goat whey to help dissolve the arthritic crystals and help to be absorbed by the bone.  However, they should also consider a good diet change in order to allow this process to work in conjunction with extra glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM.

The organic sodium in goat whey also helps to relieve inflammation in the joints.  Goat mineral whey can be taken in either a powder form or an encapsulated form.  The first cause of arthritis is neglecting to consume the foods we need that are high in organic sodium, and organic minerals.  The second cause is consuming foods that actually drain the body of the calcium, sodium minerals, and B vitamins that are already there in the first place.  Some of the foods that do this are: Coffee, table salt, refined sugar, American tea, sodas, chocolate, and nutra-sweet.  In order to process these unnatural foods the body has to use up its reserves of calcium, sodium, vitamins and minerals and these unnatural foods have no nutrients to give back to the body.  In time, the body becomes deficient in these nutrients.

The third cause of arthritis is long-term stress.  Stress causes the body to burn up nutrients very rapidly and if one is not eating properly to replace these nutrients, arthritis can occur.  B vitamins in the body and organic sodium are the first elements to be used up under stress.  Without natural sodium in the body inflammation takes place. Without B vitamin the nervous system and the adrenal glands become weak.  Stress weakens the adrenal glands so they are no longer able to create normal amounts of cortisol. A lack of cortisol also causes inflammation.  When people go to their regular doctor for arthritis they usually receive cortisone and it may reduce their symptoms for a while.  However, if they don’t change their diet or lifestyle and continue taking the cortisone, they can and will have very bad side effects.

To prevent arthritis or to help it heal, one needs organic sodium and all the B vitamins in the form of a B complex.  Foods high in sodium are: Celery, dark green leafy vegetables, dandelion greens, beet tops, okra, and strawberries, along with goat whey.  Foods high in B vitamins are brown rice, brown rice syrup, rice bran, oats, brews yeast, almonds and alfalfa.  Alfalfa tablets are high in B vitamins and minerals.  They are also high in chlorophyll that cleanses the blood and liver and fiber that cleanses the bowls.  Because of all the wonderful nutrients in alfalfa tablets, they have been known to help arthritis tremendously.  Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM all help to support the joints and build healthy connective tissue as well.  White willow bark, aloe vera juice, and tumeric also help to relieve inflammation and pain.  Hyaluronic acid is a new player on the scene and is very important to overall joint health and beauty as well. Remember if you or someone you know has arthritis, nutrition and a good supplement program is the only way to get your health back.

Until next time,  Stay Healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger    

Chemical Food Additives

Chemical Food Additives
 Dr. Jimmy Steger  

This alphabetical listing of the most common food additives includes what they’re used for, some of the foods in which they’re found, and our assessment of their safety.

Acesulfame Potassium. (Everyone should avoid) – Artificial sweetener: Chewing gum, diet soda, no-sugar added baked goods and desserts, tabletop sweetener (Sunett).

Poorly done safety tests in the 1970s suggested that acesulfame potassium may cause cancer. The Food and Drug Administration has refused to require better studies. Acesulfame Potassium is often used with sucralose.

Alginate, Propylene Glycol Alginate. (Cut Out) – Foam stabilizers, thickening agents: Beer, candy, cheese, ice cream, yogurt. They’re made from seaweed (kelp).

Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E). (Safe) – Antioxidant, nutrient: Oils. Small amounts are added to oils to keep them from going rancid and to other foods to pump up the vitamin E.

Artificial and Natural Flavoring. (Certain people should avoid.) – Breakfast cereal, candy, soda, many other foods. Most of the hundreds of chemicals used to mimic natural flavors also occur in nature are probably safe. But flavorings are often used in junk foods to mask the absence of natural ingredients (fruit, for example). Flavorings may include additives like MSG or HVP, to which some people are sensitive.

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Erythorbic Acid. (Safe) – Antioxidant, color stabilizer, nutrient: Cereal, cured meat, fruit drinks. It helps maintain the red color of ham, bacon, and other cured foods and it inhibits the formation of cancer-promoting nitrosamines (see Sodium Nitrate). Vitamin C is also used to pump up the vitamin content of foods like “fruit” drinks. Sodium ascorbate is a form of ascorbic acid that dissolves easily. Erythorbic acid is chemically similar to ascorbic acid, but it isn’t a vitamin.

Aspartame (NutraSweet). (Everyone should avoid) – Artificial sweetener: Frozen desserts, diet soda, tabletop sweetener (Equal). Disturbing new Italian research in animals indicate that long term consumption may increase the risk of leukemia, lymphoma, and breast cancer. Although some people report dizziness, hallucinations, or headaches after drinking diet soda, only one of the controlled studies that looked for a link found one (to headaches). People with the rare disease PKU (phyenylketonuria) need to avoid aspartame.

Beta-Carotene. (Safe) – Coloring, nutrient: Coffee creamer, margarine, butter, candy. It’s an orange pigment that the body converts to vitamin A.

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) (Caution) – Clouding agent, emulsifier: Soft drinks. It’s occasionally used to keep flavor oils in suspension and give a cloudy appearance to citrus-flavored soft drinks. Small residues of BVO remain in body fat, but it’s unclear whether they pose any risk.

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) (Caution) – Antioxidant: Cereal packages, chewing gum, oil, potato chips. It retards rancidity in fats, oils, and foods that contain oil. According to the federal government’s National Toxicology Program, it is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” based on animal studies.

Caffeine (Cut Out) – Flavoring, stimulant: Added to soft drinks and water.  Occurs naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate.  It improves alertness and endurance, especially for the sleep-deprived but can also interfere with sound sleep and make you jittery.  If you have these symptoms, consider cutting back.  Caffeine is mildly addictive; it causes headaches, irritability, or sleepiness when you go too long without it.  High doses (more than 200mg a day) may increase the risk of miscarriage or rare birth defects.  Avoid caffeine if you are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant.

Calcium Propionate, Sodium Propionate. (Safe) – Preservative: Bread, cake, pies, rolls.  Calcium propionate prevents the growth of mold on bread and rolls. The calcium is a nutrient and the propionate is safe.  Since calcium interferes with leavening agents, sodium propionate, which is also safe, is used in pies and in cake.

Calcium (or Sodium) Stearoyl Lactylate or Sodium Stearoyl Fumarate. (Safe) – Dough conditioner, whipping agent: Artificial whipped cream, bread dough, cake filling, processed egg whites.  They strengthen bread dough so it can be used in commercial bread-making machinery.  They help produce a more uniform grain and greater bread volume. And they act as a whipping agent in dried, liquid, or frozen egg whites and artificial whipped cream.

Carrageenan. (Safe) – Stabilizing and thickening agent: Chocolate milk, Cottage cheese, ice cream, infant formula, jelly.  It comes from seaweed. Large amount have damaged the colons of test animals, though the small amounts in foods are safe.

Casein, Sodium Caseinate. (Avoid) – Casein is the principal protein in milk. Since it’s used in some “non-dairy” and “vegetarian” foods, people who are allergic to milk need to read labels carefully. The is primary ingredient in most glues to make it sticky.

Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate. (Safe) – Citric acid is used as a tart flavoring and an antioxidant. Sodium citrate is a buffer that controls the acidity of gelatin desserts, jams, ice creams, candies, and other foods.

Cochineal or Carmine. (Certain people should avoid) – Cochineal extract is a red coloring made from the dried and pulverized bodies of insects. Carmine is a more purified coloring made from cochineal. Both have caused rare allergic reactions that range from hives to life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

Corn Syrup. (Cut Back) – Corn syrup – which consists mostly of dextrose—is a sweet, thin liquid made by treating cornstarch with acids or enzymes. It is sometimes dried and used as corn syrup solids in coffee creamers and other dry foods. It has no nutritional value other than calories, it promotes tooth decay, and it’s used mainly in foods with little nutritional value.

Dextrose (Glucose, Corn Syrup). (Cut Back) – When added to foods as a sweetener, it means empty calories and tooth decay.

EDTA. (Safe) – Modern food-manufacturing technology leaves trace amounts of metal in food (from metal rollers, blenders, and containers). EDTA (ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid) chelates the metals—that is, it traps impurities that would otherwise make oils rancid and break down artificial colors.

Ferrous Gluconate. (Safe) – it’s used to generate a uniform jet-black color in olives and as a source of iron in foods.

Fructose. (Cut Back) – Pure fructose is used as a sweetener in a small number of foods. Modest amounts consumed on a regular basis may raise the risk of heart disease by increasing blood triglyceride levels. They may also contribute to obesity because fructose affects hormones that regulate weight and may not curb appetite as much as an equal amount of glucose or sucrose.

Fumaric Acid. (Safe) – It adds tartness and acidity. To help it dissolve faster in cold water, it’s often mixed with dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS), an additive that appears to be safe.

Gelatin. (Safe) – it’s a protein obtained from animal hides and bones that has less nutritional value than other proteins.

Glycerin (Glycerol). (Safe) – It’s a natural component of fat molecules. The body uses it for calories or to make more-complex molecules.

Gums (Arabic, Furcelleran, Ghatti, Guar, Karaya, Locust Bean, Tragacanth, Xanthan). (Safe, Certain people should avoid) – Gums are derived from natural sources (bushes, trees, seaweed, bacteria). Through poorly tested, they’re probably safe. In rare instances, tragacanth has caused severe allergic reactions.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). (Cut Back) – This mixture of two sugars (it’s about half fructose, half glucose) has largely replaced table sugar (sucrose) in soft drinks and many other foods because it’s cheaper. Despite the urban myth, it’s not worse for you than sucrose. Like other sugars, it promotes obesity, tooth decay, and–in people with high triglycerides—heart disease.

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP). (Certain people should avoid) – it consist of plant protein (usually from soybeans) that has been chemically broken down into it’s amino acid components. HVP brings out the natural flavor of food. It contains MSG. And large amounts may cause reactions in sensitive people (see MSG).

Inulin. (Safe) – It’s a naturally occurring soluble fiber. Inulin doesn’t raise blood sugar levels, so it may help people diabetes. It also stimulates the growth of friendly bacteria in the large intestine.

Invert Sugar. (Cut Back) – This 50-50 mixture of two sugars (dextrose and fructose) is sweeter and dissolves better than sucrose (table sugar). It’s nothing but empty calories and it contributes to tooth decay.

Lactic Acid. (Safe) – It inhibits spoilage in Spanish olives, balances the acidity in cheese, and adds tartness to frozen desserts, carbonated fruit-flavored sodas, and other foods.

Lactose. (Certain people should avoid) – Lactose (milk sugar) is nature’s way of delivering calories to infant mammals. It’s one-sixth as sweet as table sugar and is added to foods as a slightly sweet source of carbohydrates. Some adults have trouble digesting large amounts of lactose.

Lecithin. (Safe) – it occurs naturally in soybean oil and eggs. It keeps oil and water from separating, retards rancidity, reduces spattering, and helps make cake fluffier.

Maltitol, Mannitol. (Cut back) – Like other sugar alcohols (sorbitol, xylitol), maltitol and mannitol are not well absorbed by the body, so they have fewer calories than table sugar. And they don’t promote tooth decay. Large amounts (above 20 to 30grams) may have a laxative effect.

Maltodextrin. (Safe) – It’s made from starch. Some maltodextrins are easily digested and absorbed, while others are chemically processed so that they are “resistant”–they can’t be broken down by digestive enzymes. That makes them an isolated fiber. These resistant maltodextrins may help lower blood sugar levels, but don’t prevent constipation.

Mono- and Diglycerides. (Safe) – they make bread softer, margarine more stable, and caramel less sticky. They also prevent the oil in peanut butter from separating.

MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). (Avoid) – MSG is the sodium salt of a common amino acid, glutamic acid. It brings out the flavor of foods. In the 1960s, researchers discovered that large amounts fed to infant mice destroyed brain cells. Careful studies have shown that a small number of people are sensitive to large doses of MSG. Reactions include headache, nausea, weakness, and burning sensations in the back of the neck and the forearms. Other ingredients, like natural flavoring and hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), also contain glutamate.

Mycoprotein. (Avoid) – it’s made from processed mold (fungus) and is fashioned into imitation meat. A small percentage of people are sensitive to it. Reactions include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and, less often, hives and potentially fatal anaphylactic reactions. The FDA has refused to ban the use of mycoprotein or to require foods to bear a warning label about adverse reactions.

Neotame. (Avoid) – Artificial sweetener: Diet soda, other diet food. It’s chemically related to aspartame, but is used at much lower levels. It’s also more stable (unlike aspartame, it can be used in baked foods). Neotame does not appear to be a problem for people with PKU (phenylketonuria).

Oat fiber, wheat fiber. (Safe) Isolated fiber: Cereal, crackers, bread, and muffins. When a food ingredient contains the word “fiber,” it’s code for an isolated fiber. “Wheat fiber” and “oat hull fiber” are insoluble fibers, which may help prevent constipation but don’t lower blood cholesterol or blood sugar. “Oat fiber” can either be soluble or insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber may lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar but doesn’t prevent constipation.

Olestra (Olean). (Everyone should avoid) – fat substitute: Lay’s light chips, Pringles light chips. It’s a synthetic fat that isn’t absorbed as it passes through the digestive system, so it has no calories. It can cause severe and incapacitating diarrhea, loose stools, abdominal cramps, and flatulence.

Oligofructose. (Safe) – Sweetener, bulking agent, and emulsifier, prebiotic: Frozen desserts, cookies, energy and granola bars. It’s either synthesized from sucrose or extracted from chicory root. Like insulin and other soluble fibers, oligofructose is digested by bacteria in the large intestine, but not by human enzymes, and provides only about half the calories of fructose or other sugars. Oligofructose promotes the growth of beneficial bifidus bacteria.

Partially Hydrogenated Oil. (Everyone should avoid) – Fat: Baked goods, fried restaurant foods, icing, microwave popcorn, piecrust, shortening, stick margarine. Vegetable oil can be made into a semisolid shortening or margarine by chemically adding hydrogen. The process creates transfats, which raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol, making them worse for you heart than saturated fat.

Phosphates, Phosphoric Acid. (Safe) – Acidulant, buffer, cleaning agent, color stabilizer, emulsifier, nutrient: Baked goods, breakfast cereal, cheese, cured meat, dehydrated potatoes, powdered food, soda. While excessive consumption of phosphates may contribute to osteoporosis, only a small fraction of the phosphates in the diet comes from additives.

Phytosterols or Phytostanols. (Safe) – Cholesterol-lowerers: Margarine (Benecol, take control), added to some orange juices and breads. Plant sterols (or stanols) are found naturally in many nuts, seeds vegetable oils, fruits, vegetables, and other foods. High doses can reduce the absorption of cholesterol from food, which can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 10 to 15 percent. They may also slightly reduce the absorption of carotenoids.

Polydextrose. (Cut Back) – Bulking agent: Reduced-calorie salad dressing, baked goods, candies, pudding, frozen desserts. Polydextrose is made by combining dextrose (corn sugar) with the sugar alcohol sorbitol. The result is a slightly sweet, reduced calorie-bulking agent. The FDA requires labels of foods that would likely provide more than 15 grams of polydextrose to carry a mild warning: “Sensitive individuals may experience a laxative effect from excessive consumption of this product.”

Polysorbate 60. (Safe) – Emulsifier: Baked goods, frozen desserts, imitation cream. Polysorbate 60 and its close relatives, polysorbate 65 and polysorbate 80, work like mono- and diglycerides. They keep baked goods from going stale, keep dill oil(a flavoring) dissolved in bottles dill pickles, help coffee creamers dissolve, and prevent oil from separating in artificial whipped cream.

Potassium Bromate. (Everyone should avoid) – Dough strengthener: white flower. Most bromate rapidly breaks down to form innocuous bromides. However, bromate itself causes cancer in animals, and the tiny amounts that may remain in bread pose a small risk. Bromate was banned in the United Kingdom in 1989 and it isn’t used in California (probably because foods made with it would have to carry a cancer warning).

Propyl Gallate. (Everyone should avoid) – Antioxidant, preservative: Chewing gum, chicken soup base, meat potato sticks, oil. It helps prevent fats and oils from spoiling and is often used together with BHA and BHT. The best animal studies hinted that it might cause cancer.

Quinine. (Caution)(Certain people should avoid) – Flavoring: Bitter lemon, Quinine water, tonic water. Quinine has been poorly tested as a food additive, and there’s a slight chance that it causes birth defects, so pregnant women should avoid it.

Saccharin. (Everyone should avoid) – Artificial sweetener: No-sugar added foods, tabletop sweetener (Sweet’N Low). Animal studies have shown that it can cause cancer of the bladder, uterus, ovaries, skin, and other organs.  It also appears to increase the potency of other cancer-causing chemicals. A National Cancer Institute study found that heavy-saccharin users had higher rates of bladder cancer than people who used smaller amounts.

Salt (Sodium Chloride). (Avoid) – Flavoring, preservative: Most processed foods. It’s probably the single most harmful substance in the food supply. In most people, a diet high in sodium increases blood pressure, which raises heart disease risk.

Sodium Benzoate, Benzoic Acid. (Certain people should avoid) – It appears to be safe, though sensitive people may experience hives, asthma, or other allergic reactions. Sodium benzoate may also exacerbate hyperactivity in some children. When sodium benzoate is used in acidic beverages that also contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C), the two can form small amounts of benzene, which causes leukemia and other cancers. Under threat of a lawsuit, the leading soft-drink makers recently re-formulated their beverages—typically fruit-flavored drinks—to prevent the reaction.

Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). (Safe) – Among other things, it keeps sugar from crystallizing.

Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Nitrite. (Everyone should avoid) – Sodium nitrite stabilizes the red color in cured meat and adds flavor. Without it, hot dogs and bacon would look gray. It also helps prevent the growth of bacteria that cause botulism. Adding nitrite to food can create small amounts of potent cancer causing chemicals called nitrosamines, particularly in fried bacon. Companies now add ascorbic acid or erthorbic acid to bacon to keep nitrosamines from forming. While nitrate and nitrite introduce only a small cancer risk, they’re still worth avoiding.

Sorbic Acid, Potassium Sorbate. (Safe) – Sorbic acid occurs naturally in many plants.

Sorbitan Monostearate (Safe) – like mono- and diglycerides and polysorbates, it keeps oil and water from separating. In chocolate candy, it prevents the discoloration that normally occurs when the candy is warmed up and then cooled.

Sorbitol. (Cut Back) – it’s a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in fruits and is a close relative of sugar, though it’s half as sweet. Because bacteria don’t metabolize sorbitol well, it’s used in no-sugar-added chewing gum, which doesn’t cause tooth decay. Some diabetics use sorbitol-sweetened foods because it’s absorbed slowly and doesn’t cause blood sugar to increase rapidly. Moderate amounts of sorbitol may have strong laxative effect, but otherwise it’s safe.

Starch, Modified Starch. (Safe) – It’s used in many foods as a thickening agent and to keep solids suspended. Chemists can “modify” it with certain chemicals to make it dissolve in cold water. Starch and modified starches sometimes replace nutritious ingredients like fruit. One preliminary study indicated that modified starches can cause diarrhea in infants.

Stevia. (Safe) – Small amounts are safe. High doses of fed to rats reduced sperm production and increased cell proliferation in their testicles, which could cause infertility or other problems. Stevia can only be sold in the United States as a dietary supplement, but several companies are reportedly developing a stevia-derived sweetener and plan to seek approval from the FDA to use it in foods.

Sucralose. (Avoid) – unlike aspartame, sucralose can be used in baked foods. It appears to be the safest artificial sweetener, however I do not recommend this to anyone.

Sugar (Sucrose). (Avoid) – Sucrose (table sugar) occurs naturally in fruit, sugar cane, and sugar beets. Sugar, corn syrup, and other refined sweeteners make up about 15 percent of the average person’s diet, but provide no vitamin, minerals, fiber, or protein. Sugar molecules feed cancer and also shrinks the thymus gland. Not good!

Sulfites (Sodium Bisulfite, Sulfur Dioxide). (Certain people should avoid) – Sulfiting agents prevent discoloration (in dried fruit, some fresh shrimp, and some dried, fried, or frozen potatoes) and bacterial growth (in wine). They also destroy vitamin B-1. Sulfites can cause severe reactions in sensitive people, especially those with asthma.

Thiamin Mononitrate. (Safe) – It’s perfectly safe.

Vanillin, Ethyl Vanillin. (Safe) – Vanilla flavoring is derived from a bean, but vanillin, the major flavor component of vanilla, s cheaper to produce in a factory. A derivative, ethyl vanillin, comes closer to matching the taste of real vanilla.

Xylitol. (Cut Back) – like other sugar alcohols (maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol), xylitol is not well absorbed by the body, so it has fewer calories than table sugar. And it doesn’t promote tooth decay. Large amounts may have a laxative effect.

Quick Reference Shopping Guide 

Safe                                                            
Alginate

Alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Beta-Carotene

Calcium propionate

Calcium stearoyl lactylate

Carrageenan

Citric Acid

 
Eliminate
Corn syrup

Dextrose (corn sugar, glucose)

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

Invert sugar

Maltitol

Mannitol

Polydextrose

Salt (sodium chloride)

Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate

EDTA

Ethyl vanillin

Ferrous gluconate

Fumaric acid

Fructose

Gelatin

Glycerin (glycerol)

Gums (Arabic, furcelleran, ghatti, guar, karaya, locust bean, xanthan)

Inulin

Lactic acid

Lecithin

Maltodextrin

Modified starch

Mono- and diglycerides

Neotame

Oat fiber

Oligofructose

Phosphates

Phosphoric acid

Phytostanols

Phytosterols

Polysorbate 60, 65, 80

Potassium sorbate

Sodium ascorbate

Sodium carboxymethyl-cellulose

Sodium citrate

Sodium propionate

Sodium stearoyl fumarate

Sodium stearoyl lactylate

Sorbic acid

Sorbitan monostearate

Sorbitol

Starch

Stevia

Thiamin mononitrate

Vanillin

Wheat fiber

Xylitol

Until next time, stay healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger

 
Artificial colorings (Citrus Red 2, Red 40)

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)

Quinine

Artificial colorings (Yellow 5)

Artificial and natural flavoring

Caffeine

Casein

Cochineal

Gums (tragacanth)

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)

Lactose

MSG (monosodium glutamate)

Mycoprotein (Quorn)

Quinine

Sodium benzoate

Sodium caseinate

Sulfites (sodium bisulfite, sulfur dioxide)

Proplene glycol alginate

Acesulfame potassium

Artificial colorings (Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 3, Yellow 6)

Aspartame (NutraSweet)

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)

Olestra (Olean)

Partially hydrogenated oil

Potassium bromate

Propyl gallate

Saccharin

Sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite

Sucralose

Sugar

Eyesight – Vision

 Eyesight – Vision

Dr. Jimmy Steger

Each of us comes equipped with an amazing pair of optical wonders. Even the Hubble telescope, which looks far out into distant galaxies, pales in comparison to the technology of the eye.

For many, vision fails as they get older. But despite what you may have been led to believe, this is not an inevitable part of aging.

Whether it’s the result of macular degeneration, cataracts, or glaucoma, vision loss is usually the result of not having enough “dye in your eye.” This “dye” not only helps you interpret the world around you, it also contains vitally important antioxidants that protect visual anatomy.

Just as there are many different colors of crayons, there are different types of eye dyes. These pigments fall into a chemical category known as xanthophylls – and cannot be preserved without proper nutrition.

You must get xanthophylls from your diet. Fortunately, food sources of xanthophylls are easy to find. Just load up on grass fed eggs, kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, corn, garden peas, Brussels sprouts, and liver. Minerals and keeping the body in an alkaline state is of utmost importance for overall health of the eyes.

Until next time, Stay Healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger

Foods That Age the Brain

Foods That Age the Brain

Dr. Jimmy Steger

A healthy diet is about more than keeping yourself fit and free of heart disease, wrinkles and impotence (yes, all are related to food!). It’s about preserving your memory too;  Oh and by the way don’t forget that.

For instance, eating high amounts of saturated fat — more than four grams in an hour — can raise the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood, which can stick to your arteries, and, even worse, turn on inflammatory genes that result in those wrinkles, poor orgasm quality, and you got it, that gunk in your brain that makes your memory be less than it is now.

The same arterial plaque buildup from this saturated fat – I like to call it a food felon — that leads to heart disease is a major culprit for vascular dementia — when the brain neurons become inflamed or don’t get enough oxygen and blood flow. Inflammation and lack of oxygen (resulting from that glazed donut or soda pop) result in accelerated memory loss.  Stay away from this junk, get involved in pumping iron on a regular basis, have a good diet in hand and stick with it.

Poor food choices cause poor cognitive functioning: The eight southern states in America that make up the “Stroke Belt” also have higher incidences of obesity and greater chance of dementia. Of course, many factors are at play when it comes to developing dementia, but lifestyle factors like a high saturated fat diet (from four-legged animal fat, two-legged animal skin, palm and coconut oil), coupled with little physical activity, are certainly big contributors to memory problems as well as heart attacks, stroke, premature wrinkles and even delayed orgasm, yes!

A recent study of healthy adults and adults with mild cognitive impairment tested out the effects of two diets. One was the “high diet,” which was high in saturated fat (at least 25 percent of the diet) and simple carbohydrates (glycemic index greater than 70). The other was a “low diet,” which was low in saturated fat (less than 7 percent of the diet) with a fewer simple carbs (glycemic index less than 55).

Not surprisingly, the low (low in the food felons) diet improved or made the levels of three important markers of health better for you.

Firstly, this diet was associated with decreased plasma lipids. Secondly, the low diet was linked with lower insulin levels. Current research is looking at an optimal insulin dose to help cognitive functioning in people with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

Lastly, the low in food felons diet lowered CSF F2-isoprostane concentrations, which is a fancy way of saying it lessened the biomarkers of free radical injury, a signal of oxidative damage to, or damaging inflammation in, your central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).

What does this all mean for the bigger picture? After just one month of the low saturated fat/low carbs diet, “visual memory” improved for healthy adults and adults with cognitive impairment. This was a small study of 49 subjects, but the implications have big promise for your enjoyment of life and brain functioning!

Starting today, what can you do?  Look out for the five food felons, which are guaranteed to age your brain and body. We like to kick the felons totally out, but truth be told, the felons don’t have to be exiled from your diet — they just have to be put under very close watch,  real close,

Here’s a quick review of how they can age you, so stay away from these;

  1. Trans Fat – Ok out for “partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.” Tran’s fat alters metabolic processes and hardens your arteries. How much to have?  NONE
  2. Saturated Fat – Leads to the buildup of fatty tissue on the inner linings of your arteries and turns on inflammatory genes. How much to have? No more than 2 grams per hour.
  3. Refined Sugar – Excess sugar causes the proteins in your body to function improperly, aging your arterial system and weakens the immune system tremendously.  How much to have? In my book, NONE
  4. Syrups – All syrups. Not just that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) — the man-made sugar that does the same things as sugar — all syrups, like all added sugars increase the risk of dysfunctional proteins, obesity and metabolic syndrome. Be wary of maple and malt syrups, as well. How much to have? Stay away!
  5. Whole Grains – Whole grains contain a lot of fiber, which helps preventing arterial aging. How much to have?  I suggest a combination of simple carbohydrates and complex carbs with 100 percent whole grain, go ahead, use a combination of both daily just don’t indulge in too much wheat flour, NOT good! 

 Until next time, Stay Healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger

Acid-Alkali Balance

Acid-Alkali Balance

Dr. Jimmy Steger

The acidity and alkalinity levels within our bodies are measured by the Potential of Hydrogen (PH) scale. The pH level of 7.0 is considered to be neutral; any levels below 7.0 are considered to be acidic and unhealthy and above 7.0 are considered to be alkaline. Because the human body is naturally acidic, due to faulty diet, it’s important we strive to keep our systems at 7.2 -7.4.  Perfect blood ph is 7.365 and if it moves by as much as 1/100th of a percent, we die.  If you are wondering what your current levels are, there is a self-test that can be done in order to achieve these results on your own. All you have to do is purchase litmus paper from any health food store and place saliva or urine on the paper to watch it change color. The paper you bought will indicate what the colors mean.  I personally like to check it through saliva, because it is easier and faster.

Acidosis is a common condition in which the fluids within the body become overly acidic over time from eating incorrectly. This is not healthy and not where you want your body to be.  Some of the symptoms you might see with this condition include insomnia, water retention, migraine headaches, arthritis, low blood pressure, constipation, difficulty swallowing, bumps on the roof of your mouth and the tongue. This is just a short list of the many different symptoms that can be experienced when acidosis has taken place. As you can imagine with so many different symptoms to consider it can be hard for a doctor to proper diagnose this condition in the early stages.

There are two different classifications when it comes to acidosis, which are respiratory and metabolic. Respiratory acidosis can be the direct result of existing conditions such as asthma or bronchitis. Basically this form of acidosis is the interruption of control of the acid levels within our bodies or consequently the depletion of alkaline. When this occurs the lungs become unable to remove carbon dioxide from the airways and respiratory acidosis is the result.

On the other hand, metabolic acidosis occurs when there is a chemical disturbance within the body, which changes the levels of acid and alkali. There are many different actions and conditions, which can create this type of acidosis such as conditions like diabetes, kidney failure and the over use of medications such as aspirin. These conditions and disorders directly contribute to the depletion of the alkali, which is needed for proper balance. There are many different natural treatments, which can be utilized in order to keep your acid levels strong but not so strong that they deplete the alkali.

  • Coenzyme A is a natural supplement, which helps to promote the strength of the immune system and eliminate toxins from the body.
  • Kelp can be taken in dosages of 1,000-1,500 mg and helps reduce the amount of acid located within the body.
  • Phosphorus is an essential mineral, which aids in the transformation of food into energy.
  • Potassium can help aid when it comes to the PH levels of the blood and can be taken several times a day in a supplement form.

As you can see each of these natural supplements can do their part to help make sure that your pH balances are always correct and therefore you are decreasing your risk of many different conditions, which can arise when your acid and alkali levels are out of order.

Directly on the other hand there is a condition called alkalosis, which of course is the condition where the body has too high levels of alkali. This condition is far less common than that of acidosis but it still does occur today. Alkalosis produces what is known as over excitation of the nervous system and the peripheral nerves are affected first. Some of the symptoms for this condition may be classified as being highly nervous, sore muscles, seizures, hypertension, edema, chronic indigestion, vomiting, thick blood and thickening of the skin. This is just a short list of examples to allow you to see what some of the symptoms may be.

The symptoms of alkalosis are far more unique and serious and therefore easier for physicians to single out today. The most common cause of alkalosis is an over intake of alkaline based drugs such as sodium bicarbonate, which is used in the treatment for ulcers. It can also be the result of a poor diet, which is very common in our society today, regular vomiting, high cholesterol and osteoarthritis.

Now that you have the understanding of what can happen when your pH levels are out of order it is important to understand how to keep them in order through your diet. The basic rule is to consume 80% of alkaline forming foods and 20% of acidic forming foods and drinks through your everyday diet. Some acid forming foods include:

  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Meat (Beef , Pork)
  • Milk
  • Foods with added sugar also refined sugar
  • Olives
  • Pasta
  • Poultry
  • Soft Drinks

On the other hand the alkaline forming foods include:

  • Corn
  • Fresh Fruits
  • Mushrooms (not recommended)
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Fresh Vegetables
  • Soy Products (not recommended)
  • Avocados
  • Sprouts

As you can see there are many ways for you to keep your levels balanced while still enjoying the foods that you like. Not many people pay attention to this unique form of health but when you are feeling ill and don’t know why your pH levels may be imbalanced, now you have the knowledge to take the appropriate actions to rectify this situation. Pay attention to the foods you consume within a day and you will begin to see where you are going wrong and what you can do to alter your levels for excellent health.  Remember the phrase, Alkali or Die.

Until next time, Stay Healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger

Bodybuilding Nutrition

Bodybuilding Nutrition

So you wanna be a Bodybuilder?  I have young kids and teens come into my gym all the time and tell me they want to be a bodybuilder and look like that guy on the wall.  That guy they are referring to happens to be the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger, by all accounts the greatest bodybuilder of our time.  So I start to explain some of the things they will need to do in order to start their journey down this long and very dedicated life of eating right and training like theres no tomorrow for many years and you can start to see them change their tune, in most cases very quickly.  Some have what it takes, however very few, really have the desire and dedication to really put that kind of effort into it. You see it takes alot more than just working out in the gym 4 or 5 days a week and eating alot of protein. Most people really don’t understand what a professional bodybuilder must go through 24/7 to develop the type of physique it takes to make it to this level.  Unlike other profressional athletes who play a particular sport for competition for 4 months out ot the year and practice in the off season some as well to prepare for the season.  The professional bodybuilder eats, sleeps and trains 12 months out of the year for their sport, and when a competition comes within 12 -16 weeks out, then they really buckle down and tighten their diet up and start doing alot of extra cardio work to start to really lean out. this is no joke and the training must be serious, no playing around and taking breaks.

 Nutrition, is the single most important part of bodybuilding and you really have to be willing to change your lifestyle around this sport.  So ask yourself, are you ready to give up all your junk food and eat, oatmeal, rice, beans, salads, fish, chicken, sweet potatos and fruit with water for however long it takes to get that kind of physique?  Well most people aren’t, so there you go and if don’t think you can do it, then the chances are very slim, you can.  You gotta have that kind of determination to do whatever it takes to get those big biceps and smokin quads.  It’s work and alot of it.  In all fairness, you can eat alot more good quaility foods than what I said above and you really should expand that quite a bit, I am simply giving you a mind frame of what it takes mentally to be one of these rare breeds.  Now the real kicker is this, for all you young kids and teens that are not totally aware of this sport, and most of you are not, by any means.  Let me say this, 99 percent of the professional bodybuilders did not get there by training like a mad man and eating great 12 months out of the year for many years.  They had some good genetics and  they had a little extra help,  it’s called STEROIDS or the juice.  Do not get caught up in this dangerous and very short lived life of looking potentially awesome just for some twenty-five dollar trophy and the chance of one day possibly turning pro.  I know I wanted to be a Pro-Bodybuilder and be one of those guys when I was 13 also and so I trained smart, ate right, and did everything I knew and studied the science of bodybuilding and nutrition like no one else.  I went to CA to train with these pros at 17,  went to school there and found out there amazing secret to getting so HUGE.  STEROIDS was the answer and I couldn’t beleive these guys were sticking a needle in their rear ends and swallowing these little blue pills and blowing up like a ballon.  That was the ticket.  But it wasn’t the ticket for me.  After studing and living there, I quickly decided I would train right, eat right and just be the very best I could be Naturally!

So what’s really involved here if you want to look great and develop your physique the very best you can?  Let’s start with Nutrition and the right way to do this.   Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and this is the key factor in rebuilding your muscles after you tear them down in the gym.  You should consume around 30 to 60 grams of protein every three hours of the days times six.  That’s right, you wiill need to eat 6 small meals per day every day like clock work.  Carbs should be eaten wilth each protein meal and you should consume around 25-100 grams per meal depending on your physique, and what you are trying to acheive.  More carbs for getting bigger and putting on mass and less carbs for leaning out.  Remember this,  do not cut your carbs below 20 grams per three hours.  Why?  because the brain needs 20 grams of carbs just to function at peak levels.  When you cut your carbs below this mark, you will start to forget things, get headaches, get dizzy, foggy brain and many other things.  You may get lean or shreadded, (bodybuilder talk) but you will also start to loose valuble muscle size.  The muscles needs carbs for fuel and this is extremely important part of a bodybuilders diet.  Fats are important also and this is where alot of people mess up also. Consume around 30-60 grams of non-saturated fats per day in the source of olive oils, almonds, walnuts, and other organic grain products.  Fats, like carbs should be eaten in small amounts with each meal.

Bodybuilding supplements should be are a very important part of any ones diet and are much needed by all people.  There are certain supplements one can take to help speed up the process of building additional mass to ones physique.  Here is my list of the top bodybuidling supplements to take reagardless of whether you are trying to be the next Mr. Olympia or just want to be the best you can be Naturally.  

Whey Protein Isolate

Research shows that whey-protein isolates increase the amount of glutathione in body tissues. Glutathione is a peptide (an amino acid derivative) that helps support the body’s immune system, placing whey protein at the top of the list for immuno-enhancing potential. This is one of whey’s main functional properties.

Whey protein contains the highest concentration (23% to 25%) of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) of any single protein source. This BCAA content is important because BCAA’s are an integral part of muscle development and are the first amino’s sacrificed.

Another functional property of whey is its ability to enhance natural glutathione production within the body. Glutathione is the body’s most powerful naturally occurring antioxidant and also plays a role in immune-system support.

Whey-protein isolates contain quadra-peptides (short protein chains containing four amino acids), which have been shown to have pain-killing effects. This is another powerful functional property that may help decrease muscle soreness following intense weight training.

Due to its excellent amino acid profile, solubility, and digestibility, whey has a high biological value (BV). Basically, BV is a measure of how well a protein is used by the body. One of the more interesting functional properties of whey protein is its reported ability to stimulate IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) production. 22 IGF-1 is structurally and functionally similar to insulin and enhances protein synthesis (i.e., muscle growth).

 Whey proteins provide unique health benefits, such as fighting infections and perhaps even fighting cancer. Recent studies have shown a regression in some cancerous tumors when patients consumed 30 grams of whey protein powder a day. Whey protein appears to play a direct role in bone growth. Studies show it may increase bone strength and bone protein, such as collagen.

Creatine

There are multiple studies which have evaluated the ergogenic value of creatine supplementation in various exercise tasks.  In these studies, short-term (5 to 7 days) and/or extended (7 to 54 days) creatine supplementation (20 to 25 grams per day for 5 to 7 days and 2 to 25 grams per day thereafter) was reported to not only increase one-repetition maximum lifting strength but improve vertical jump performance, increase work performed during sets of maximal-effort muscle contractions, enhance single effort and repetitive sprint performance in sprints lasting 6 to 30 seconds, improve high-intensity exercise performance in events lasting 90 to 300 seconds, and increase maximal exercise capacity.  The science surrounding the efficacy of creatine supplementation for enhancing many types of athletic performance is virtually indisputable, and it once again rates as one of the best bodybuilding supplements ever.

 Nitric Oxide

Despite the claims of some in the sports supplement industry, there exists solid scientific evidence to suggest the efficacy of Nitric Oxide products. The following was written in May 1996 in a document prepared for the Royal Society and Association of British Science Writers:

“Summary research papers continue to flood the scientific journals and insights into the biological activity and potential clinical uses of nitric oxide (NO): a gas controlling a seemingly limitless range of functions in the body. Each revelation adds to nitric oxide’s already lengthy resume in controlling the circulation of the blood, regulating activities of the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach and other organs.”  Since the above was written in 1996, Nitric Oxide containing products have continued to be touted by those in the medical profession, as well as by athletes looking to add muscle size and strength

The above quotation states that Nitric Oxide controls the circulation of blood, and transmits messages between nerve cells.  The fact that nitric oxide increases blood flow should make it of interest to bodybuilders, as increased blood flow will serve to deliver more nutrients to muscles, thus helping muscles become larger when subject to stress. Nitric oxide also affects the endocrine system. It affects the release of gonadotroptin releasing hormone, as well as the release of adrenaline from the adrenal medulla.  So who needs Nitric Oxide?  Everyone because nitric oxide is needed to carry out key physiological processes within the body. From a bodybuilder’s perspective, nitric oxide supplementation may prove useful in increasing growth due to increases in blood flow to certain areas of the body. Signs of deficiency include physical weakness and extreme fatigue. Most “nitric oxide” supplements contain the amino acid Arginine-alpha-keto-glutarate. BSN’s NO-Xplode is my recommended choice, as it contains a good amount of Arginine-alpha-keto-glutarate, as well as other growth-enhancing peptides and nutrients.

Glutamine

L-Glutamine is considered the foremost amino acid for increasing cell volumization and thereby muscle growth. Cell volumization is the process of increasing cellular hydration. This increase in hydration (and the resultant increased cellular volume), recent studies have shown, is directly correlative to a powerful, positive anabolic signal for further muscle growth.

According to Dr. Dieter Häussinger—one of the world’s foremost authorities in the science of cell volumization—“It seems that cell swelling (or volumizing) acts like an ‘anabolic signal,’”—thus stimulating the muscle cell to grow in response to stress, such as weight-training exercise. In addition to its anabolic properties, when cells are swollen with water, this inhibits the breakdown of protein, glycogen and glucose (which are needed for muscular energy).  Conversely, according to Dr. Häussinger, cell dehydration (shrinkage) directly stimulates catabolism. This can literally “eat away” at hard-earned muscle tissue and spell doom for those wishing to maximize muscle growth. Interestingly, muscle cell volumization may in part offer an explanation to the previously observed potent growth-promoting effects of certain nutrients, such as protein.  For example, amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, have long been known to be essential for stimulating muscle growth. Newer research shows that certain amino acids serve as what Dr. Häussinger calls “intracellular osmolytes,” which basically means they draw water into the cell. This, in turn, triggers that “anabolic signal” Dr. Häussinger talked about earlier that somehow fires up the muscle-building machinery of the cell.

Of all amino acids examined for cellular volumization effects, glutamine appears to be one of the most important. In fact, according to Dr. Häussinger, the relationship between glutamine and cellular hydration may be fundamental to protein synthesis. In a study published in the European Journal of Biochemistry, Dr. Häussinger and colleagues discovered that cell volume can be increased by as much as 12 percent within two minutes of glutamine infusion and remain at their increased volumes for as long as glutamine is present. In other words, as long as glutamine content remains high within the muscle cell, cell volumization and anabolic processes also remain elevated.   However, research has confirmed that once glutamine is depleted from the muscle, the cells lose water rapidly and that unenviable “muscle-wasting” state sets in.

Carthamus Tinctorius

C9-T11 has soared up the charts with its impressive clinical research results, glowing customer reviews, and testimonials from Champion athletes, including football players, boxers, and MMA fighters.  Scientists from Norway’s Medstat Research Center have recently discovered a rare extract from an African plant called Carthamus tinctorius. The scientific name for this nutrient is Cis-9-Trans-11 (C9-T11 for short), and recent clinical tests are now showing this nutrient possesses remarkable muscle-building benefits.  Clinical tests show subjects taking C9-T11 gained 700% more muscle in just 7 weeks. In my 28 years of reviewing clinical research, no other muscle-building supplement has facilitated such a large increase in muscle mass within such a short period of time.  After interviewing many customers, as well as reviewing the clinical research studies, this product is the runaway #1 muscle-building recommendation for 2010.

So there we have it, these supplements listed will elevate you’re training to new heights and if you’re not on these presently, then it’s time you get with it.  Remember the three things you have to have in order to be a great bodybuilder are Superior Nutrition, Smart Training, and adequate rest every night.  Without these, your hope of having the greatest physique you can build is beinggreatly  impaired.  So what do you say we get with it now, quit procrastinating, go to the gym and be the best you can be, Naturally!

Until next time, stay healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger

Are You Breaking Down?

Are You Breaking Down?
What we eat is so important for nourishing the brain, nervous system and entire body. When our brains and nervous systems are fed foods they need, we will be stronger physically as well as emotionally. The brain and nervous system are physical structures that have physical needs. When they are not receiving proper nutrients, we become tired or even depressed. To heal ourselves emotionally, physically and spiritually, we must change our thoughts to be more positive. We should change our foods to those of the highest quality if we want to feed our brain, nervous system, bones, muscles, skin, internal organs and entire body to the best of our abilities. Many people think they are eating nutritious foods, however, after their first consultation at our office, they quickly find out just how far off they really are. Few people eat whole nourishing foods with a nutritional food plan that will ensure variety in their daily diet. If we eat the same junk foods that are bio-chemically unbalanced day after day, our bodies are going to be vitamin and mineral deficient. This will make a person ill and this is where disease starts to take over the body. It has been my experience, after 25 years working in the health field, that when a person gets the proper nutrients from a variety of different whole organic foods, exercises daily, thinks positive and lives a harmonious life, their body will grow strong and healthy. Our bodies have a great capacity to heal when given the correct environment and bio-chemical elements they need. Mother Nature provides us with so many nourishing fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. Most people do not understand what it takes to supply the proper fiber, vitamins, minerals and enzymes to their body on a daily basis. I recommend the following nutritional guide to be followed daily, 6 vegetables, 2 fruits, 1 starch and 1 protein. Sixty percent of our foods should be eaten raw, to ensure that we get enough fiber and living enzymes that are so valuable for digestion. We should never heat oils, this changes the chemical matrix within the oils and causes them to be harmful to our bodies. Cold pressed oils are better used, without heating, occasionally in salads. Cook foods in stainless steel, low-heat cooking utensils. Never fry foods. Always use fresh, pure, whole organic foods. The five nutritional sins that cause health problems if they eat them daily or weekly are: sugar, salt, fat, milk and wheat. When used on a regular basis these items can cause an overload to our systems and create catarrh, mucus, and even allergies. The more harmful things are: alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and caffeine. And don’t be fooled by those so called decaffeinated products. All those products labeled decaff still have 20 to 50 milligrams of caffeine and is very harmful to the heart and central nervous system because it robs the body of vital nutrients. If you want to be healthy, these things must be omitted entirely.

Until next time, Stay Healthy!

Dr. Jimmy Steger