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The Truth about Vitamin D and Sun Exposure

Vitamin D and strong bones

This is the vitamin we have all heard of in relation to strong bones. It is actually a hormone, made from cholesterol. Vitamin D is made in the skin upon exposure to ultraviolet light (UVB rays). Vitamin D deficiency is becoming rife in our society, and it has been linked to numerous other medical problems.

From the skin where it is formed, Vitamin D travels to the liver, where it is converted to a ‘storage’ form. When vitamin D is needed, some of the stored form is transported to the kidneys, where it is converted by an enzyme to a ‘supercharged’ form known as 1,25 D, which is 1000 times more active.

If the diet is high in animal protein, the converting enzyme cannot function effectively and the process of producing 1,25 D is adversely affected. Likewise, those with high levels of stress might be inadvertently affecting their vitamin D levels due to high levels of cortisol, which reduces vitamin D absorption.

Vitamin D is essential for calcium and phosphorus absorption in the gut and its deposition into the bones. If calcium consumption is too high (such as with overuse of chalk-based supplements) it lowers the activity of the kidney converting enzyme, and the levels of 1,25 D fall, indicating that high calcium diets are not necessarily better for us.

Raw plant diets and Vitamin D

About 90% of our vitamin D supplies come from sun exposure, not food. However, certain mushrooms have been shown to have relatively good levels and are used in supplementation regimes. The humble stinging nettle gives a good supply, so put some gloves on and pick some fresh nettles to go in your daily green juice. You may hear that the only food source of vitamin D is from animal products. This is not actually the case – we just have to be a bit more resourceful in where we look. In fact, an interesting study indicated that people following a living-foods, uncooked plant-based diet absorbed and maintained higher levels of vitamin D.

There exists considerable controversy about sun exposure. How many times have we heard that we have to wear at least factor 15 sunblock before we consider venturing outside, even in the UK in winter? We seem to have become so consumed with the fear of malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, that many of us get insufficient sun exposure to stimulate adequate vitamin D production.

Vitamin D deficiency

It is estimated that half the population of the UK is deficient in vitamin D in the winter, with as many as one in six being classified as severely deficient. Those more at risk are the dark skinned who live too far away from the equator, women who use a traditional religious dress which prevents any exposure of their skin to the sun, and anyone who lives at latitudes greater than 40 degrees north or south of the equator.

Additionally, those living in a polluted environment will have less exposure to UVB, since air pollution blocks some of the UVB rays reaching us. Older people also seem to have a lower rate of production of vitamin D in the skin when exposed to sunlight.

Use some common sense. Do not go out in the sun at midday at the equator and stay there for three hours; build up gradually. After a long winter, expose slowly, for a few minutes a day, if you have very pale skin. Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm as a general rule. But do expose!

Sunblock and Vitamin D production

Regarding sunblock, avoid chemical sunblocks, since the skin will absorb practically everything you put onto it. Personally I never use sunblock unless I am up a mountain (altitude increases your ‘dose’ of UVB rays), and I am well known for my love of being out in the sun. My favourite form of protection is close-woven cotton clothes, as recommended by the Vitamin D Council.

A final word of warning regarding sun exposure supplying you with adequate vitamin D is that if you shower within 12 hours of the sun exposure, you wash off the oils in the skin that are being converted. New studies even indicate that it could be up to 48 hours before the vitamin D has been absorbed, and most people would certainly have showered by then. The advice therefore would be to go out in the sun early in the day, and not shower until the following morning.

I recommend that anyone concerned about their vitamin D levels, and whether they should be supplementing, get tested for 1,25 D. I advise against indiscriminate supplementation with vitamin D, particularly if you have regular sun exposure. When you take vitamin D, the body creates more vitamin K2-dependent proteins that move calcium around in the body. Without vitamin K2, those proteins remain inactivated, so their benefits are unrealised. This is why, when supplementing, I recommend supplements that contain 1,25 D and K2 together, for the best health benefits. Taken together, these two nutrients keep the calcium in your bones and improve heart health by preventing the arteries and other soft tissues from becoming calcified.

For more information on raw plant diets and natural ways to support your health read Max Tuck’s books Love Your Bones and The Whole Body Solution, and follow @MaxTuck on twitter.

This extract is taken from Love Your Bones, the essential guide to ending osteoporosis and building a healthy skeleton available as ebook and paperback.

Further Reading:

15 Health Benefits of Vitamin D, According to Science (+15 Best Vitamin D Foods)

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Prevent, reverse and treat diabetes and its precursor: metabolic syndrome

Most people with diabetes or metabolic syndrome conditions regard them as inevitable evils and agree to take the medicine – or inject the insulin – when the time comes. But it need not be that way. Sustainable medicine expert Dr Myhill explains in her new book steps anyone can take not only to prevent the onset of the disease, but to actually reverse and treat diabetes, and the condition that underlies it: metabolic syndrome.

Self help to prevent and treat diabetes

As Dr Myhill writes: ‘All medical therapies should start with diet. Modern Western diets are driving our modern epidemics of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia; this process is called metabolic syndrome. In Prevent and Cure Diabetes: Delicious Diets, Not Dangerous Drugs I explain in detail why and how we have arrived at a situation where the real weapons of mass destruction can be found in our kitchens. Importantly, the book describes the vital steps every one of us can make to reverse the situation so that life can be lived to its full potential.’

To celebrate Dr Sarah Myhill’s latest book we want to share some of the key things you can do to help yourself prevent onset and treat diabetes. Looking after our own bodies is not just a cost effective and sustainable approach to health care, but a responsibility we have to ourselves and our loved ones. After all,

‘Prevention is better than cure.’

– Desiderius Erasmus (1466–1536)

  1. Keep your gut healthy and reduce the carbohydrate load from the gut by

    • eating a low glycaemic index (GI) diet;
    • avoiding a sugar rush;
    • including more fat in the diet;
    • eating more vegetable fibre.
  2. Improve your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar by

    • only eating carbohydrates at one meal a day (and no snacking) and going without starchy carbs for one day a week;
    • exercising;
    • taking nutritional supplements for essential micronutrients that are deficient in the diet.
    • avoiding particular prescription drugs that induce insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
    • detoxify the body from the outside too with regular hot showers, sauna-ing and/or Epsom salt baths.
  3. Ensure your thyroid and adrenal glands are healthy and functioning well.

  4. Prevent inflammation by doing all the above, ensuring good quality sleep, exercise, sunshine, and love and laughter.

  5. Adopt strategies that encourage fat burning, which is highly protective against too low blood sugar levels.

For more from Dr Myhill visit her website and read the first chapter for free before ordering your copy of Prevent and Cure Diabetes: Delicious Diets, Not Dangerous Drugs available in paperback and ebook.

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Longer GP visits will save the NHS money

Both the British Medical Association and Glasgow researchers have reinforced the Society of Medical NLP’s claims that longer sessions for patients visiting a GP will save the NHS money.

In Magic in Practice (London:Hammersmith), the authors, Garner Thomson and Khalid Khan, point out that patients who were allowed to express their “uninterrupted story” to a doctor who was trained to address the context of the complaint as well as the content would dramatically reduce the number of visits required to resolve the issue.

Four GP practices in Glasgow offered  patients with complex chronic conditions (of the kind specifically addressed by Medical NLP) consultations lasting 30 minutes or more. Not only was the condition diagnosed, but personal problems were dealt with and care plan devised and suitable goals negotiated with the patient – similar to the “Ko Mei” format of Medical NLP.

The result was a measurable drop in “negative wellbeing” and a significant increase in quality of life.

The results are published here in the journal BMC Medicine.

The BMA has also called for the rigid 10-minute timetables to be replaced with a more a flexible system enabling doctors to spend more time with patients with more complex needs.

To learn more about Medical NLP read Magic In Practice: Introducing Medical NLP by Garner Thomson with Dr Khalid Khan, and let us know what you think about saving the NHS @HHealthBooks on twitter.

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5 Unexpected Health Benefits of Lemons

Our latest release, Nature Cures, is full of amazing alternative remedies for many of the common ailments that cause us malaise in this modern age. Many natural foods have unexpected healing properties and surprising applications around the house, as author Nat H Hawes shares in her research on lemons.

What few people know about lemons (citrus limonum) is that they were originally developed as a cross between the lime and the citron. They are thought to have originated in China or India, having been cultivated in these regions for about 2,500 years. Although acidic, lemons can act as an anti-acid for digestive problems and as a liver tonic. They have antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. They also work to cleanse the blood, lymph glands and kidneys, and act as a natural diuretic.

Traditionally, lemon peel oil has been used to discourage intestinal parasites, while the vitamin C-rich juice and rind can increase bone mineral density. The abundance of phytochemical antioxidants and dietary fibre, both soluble and insoluble, is helpful in reducing the risk for cancers and many chronic diseases. Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer properties which slow the growth of tumours. Lemons can help to treat and protect against acne, anxiety, arthritis, bacterial infections, constipation and fungal infections, amongst other ailments.

When lemon juice is added to green or herbal teas it can increase the beneficial properties tenfold. It is recommended that the juice of at least half a lemon is consumed every day (including the rind and the pith) in teas and on brown rice, fish or salad dishes, to gain the health benefits they possess. Lemons are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C and K, but it is important to remember to add lemon juice after cooking so that the vitamin content is not destroyed. They are also rich in calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.

5 Unexpected Ways to Use Lemons for Health and Wellbeing:

  1. Helping to stop bleeding
  2. Rebalancing greasy skin (as an essential oil)
  3. Treating a verruca
  4. Mosquito repellent (a slice or two of lemon in a bowl of water next to the bed can deter mosquitos during the night)
  5. Cleaning dishcloths (the antibacterial properties of lemon juice can keep dishcloths clean, instead of using bleach, if soaked in a bowl of water and lemon juice overnight)

For more natural health remedies buy Nature Cures: The A-Z of Ailments and Natural Foods from £14.99 and follow @NatureCuresAll on twitter.

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Give the gift of health this Mother’s Day

We love our mums. They spend all year looking after us, but how often do we go the extra mile to make them feel special? What better time than Mother’s Day to show our mums we care about them, and what better way of showing them than giving the gift of health. Our books help all kinds of people look after their own health and happiness, so we’ve put together our Top 3 Health Books for Mums…and we’re offering a 16% discount with code ‘HEALTHY16’.

Top 3 Health Books for Mums this Mother’s Day

Love Your Bones 9781781610718

 

Love Your Bones by Max Tuck from £4.99

Millions of women and increasing numbers of men worldwide are suffering the pain and debility associated with osteoporosis. For the 1 in 3 women over age 65 already affected by the disease, the cost in both financial and personal terms is astronomical. In this thought-provoking book, Max Tuck shows not only how we can prevent bone loss but also how we can rebuild bone density, giving detailed guidance on how to do this, including essential specific exercises. Based on proven science, the latest technological developments, a passion for nutritious food and her long experience as a Health Educator and Veterinary Surgeon, Max’’s comprehensive action plan will enable you to slash your fracture risk and improve your health, even into advanced age. With an easy to follow and entertaining writing style, she provides new hope and inspiration for a stronger and more vibrant future.

 

 

Nature Cures 9781781610398Nature Cures by Nat H Hawes from £14.99

Nat Hawes has spent more than 10 years researching and compiling this fascinating compendium of foods and their health-giving-properties. Her sources range from a lifetime of experience travelling abroad to research via libraries and university websites and include a vast range of scientific papers which she has analysed and summarised in everyday language. She reviews both the health problems that can be helped by nutritional interventions and the healing properties of the full spectrum of natural (as opposed to processed) foods and drinks. The book complements and is supported by Nat’s internationally popular website  www.naturecures.co.uk, which has been re-launched for the publication of Nature Cures and has received more than one million hits, and counting.

 

 

The Mediterranean ZoneThe Mediterranean Zone by Dr Barry Sears from £3.50

In The Mediterranean Zone, Dr Barry Sears, founder of The Zone Diet, shows you how to eat a delicious and sustainable diet that will: Stop weight gain and strip away ‘toxic’ fat; Free you from inflammation and hormonal chaos; Reverse diabetes and protect you from Alzheimer’s; Lighten your mood as well as your body; Allow you to break out of the diet-and-exercise trap for good! Incorporating the principles of the Zone diet and the fundamental benefits of the much-loved Mediterranean diet, the Mediterranean Zone offers an easy-to-follow guide to eating and living better, based on the latest scientific research.

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to enter coupon code HEALTHY16 at checkout for 16% off all last minute Mother’s Day orders!

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Dr Myhill’s book Sustainable Medicine reviewed

Sustainable Medicine by Dr Myhill

We’re very pleased to be able to share this review of Sustainable Medicine by Dr Myhill, sent in by retired NHS GP and former President of the British Society for Ecological Medicine Dr Sybil Birtwhistle:

“This is a practical book explaining how the body works, not the anatomy, but the invisible biochemicals which are keeping us alive and well. In spite of modern medicine, sometimes because of it, too many people, including young ones, are just not very well these days and really serious illnesses are more and more common at all ages. It is these not absolutely new but much more frequent illnesses, such as allergies, cancers, heart diseases and chronic fatigue that respond to the techniques described here. Thanks to modern medicine we are living longer but mostly not better. By understanding the mechanisms described here it is possible to begin to change our environment, including our diets, in such a way that we could be much healthier.

“This is explained carefully and clearly with lots of links and references for more detail. Even patients who initially knew next to nothing about this should be able to understand enough about the possibilities for staying well, or making their discomforts go away, rather than having to suppress their symptoms with drugs for ever. If only more patients could understand how much of our own behaviour is responsible for our ill health some of the current problems for the NHS would surely diminish.

“The book is written mainly for patients but I suggest doctors look first at the case histories in Chapter 5. They will surely be impressed by such outcomes and I hope some will want to learn how to do it.”

Sybil Birtwistle

 

Preview the first chapter for free and buy Sustainable Medicine by Dr Myhill as ebook or paperback from £4.50.

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Eat, drink and be merry: a recipe for…health?

The enforced closeness of the holiday season can have an all-too-familiar downside. Some of the most wrenching fall-outs among nearest and dearest tend to occur over Christmas and the New Year.

But, before you think about escaping the mandatory get-togethers and making yourself permanently unavailable to family and friends, think about this – they may just be keeping you alive.

This is the opinion of the authors of a paradigm-shifting new book on the importance of closeness and communication to human health and wellbeing. According to Garner Thomson and Khalid Khan, authors of Magic in Practice – Introducing Medical NLP, the Art and Science of Language in Healing and Health, a strong connection with both family and friends is a better predictor of health and longevity than doing all the ‘right’ things, such as quitting smoking, eating your five a day, and getting plenty of sleep.

They point to a landmark study, started in the 1940s, and still the subject of intensive research.

Scientists were intrigued by strikingly low rates of myocardial infarction reported from the little Pennsylvanian town of Roseto, where they expected to find a fit, tobacco- and alcohol-free community enjoying all the benefits of clean-living. When they arrived, they found as many smokers, drinkers and couch potatoes as in the rest of the country, where heart disease was on the rise.

The difference between Roseto and other similar towns, the researchers discovered, was a particularly cohesive social structure.

“The inhabitants of the little town were unique in the experience of the scientists who were drawn there,” says Garner Thomson. “They could be described as ‘barn-raisers’ – which is to say if someone’s barn burned down, everybody in the town turned out to rebuild it. Somehow, the closeness Rosetans enjoyed inoculated them against cardiac and other problems

“Clearly this premise had to be tested – and time was the only true test. The scientists reasoned that if the society changed, became less cohesive and more like its neighbouring towns and cities, the effect would eventually disappear.

“Sadly, as the community became steadily more ‘Americanised’, this proved to be true.”

The 50-year longitudinal study, published in 1992, categorically established that social support and connectedness had provided a powerfully salutogenic (health-promoting) effect on the heart.[1]

Nor was this a random fluctuation affecting a small, isolated community, the authors say.

A number of studies have since confirmed that host resistance to a wide range of illnesses is affected by the social context in which you live and the support you feel you receive. A recent study of 2,264 women diagnosed with breast cancer concluded that those without strong social bonds were up to 61% more likely to die within three years of diagnosis.

According to Dr Candyce Kroenke, lead researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Research Centre, California, the risk of death equals well-established risk factors, including smoking and alcohol consumption, and exceeds the influence of other risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity.[2]

At least two major studies have suggested that loneliness can double the risk of elderly people developing Alzheimer-like diseases.

“What is particularly interesting about these studies is the suggestion that it is feelings of loneliness, rather than social isolation itself, that may cause the corrosive effects of dementia and other problems,” Thomson says. [3],[4]

Key factors in social integration have been identified as having someone to confide in, help with financial issues and offer practical support, such as baby-sitting, when you need it, and with whom you can discuss problems and share solutions.[5] “These are what we call ‘3 am friends,” says Thomson, “people we can call for support at any hour, no matter how early, and know they will always have time for us.”

So, before you decide to celebrate the holiday season away from Aunty Elsie and Uncle Edward, think very carefully about the possible consequences. Some of the other established benefits of social support and connectedness include: extended lifespan (double that of people with low social ties)[6]; improved recovery from heart attack (three times better for those with high social ties)[7]; reduced progression from HIV to Aids [8] and, even protection from the common cold.[9]

Magic in Practice – Introducing Medical NLP, the Art and Science of Language in Healing and Health is available as paperback or eBook from £6.99. Enter coupon code Xmas15 at checkout for a 15% discount on your basket.

 

 

 

[1] Egolf B, Lasker J, Wolf S, Potvin L (1992) The Roseto effect: a 50-year comparison of mortality rates. American Journal of Public Health 82 (8): 1089–92.
[2] Kaiser Permanente, news release, Nov. 9, 2012.

[3] Wilson RS et.al. (2007) Loneliness and Risk of Alzheimer Disease. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 64(2): 234-240.

[4][4] Holwerda TJ et al. (2012) Feelings of loneliness, but not social isolation, predict dementia onset: results from the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly (AMSTEL). J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23232034.

[5] Anderson NB, Anderson PE (2003) Emotional Longevity. New York: Viking Penguin.

[6] House JS, Robbins C, Metzner HL (1982) The association of social relationships and activities with mortality: prospective evidence from the Tecumseh Community Health Study. American Journal of Epidemiology 116: 123–40.

[7] Berkman LF, Leo-Summers L, Horwitz RI (1992) Emotional support and survival following myocardial infarction: a prospective, population-based study of the elderly. Annals of Internal Medicine 117: 1003–9.

[8] Leserman J et al (2000) Impact of stressful life events, depression, social support, coping and cortisol. American Journal of Psychiatry 157: 1221–28.

[9] Cohen S et al (1997) Social ties and susceptibility to the common cold. Journal of the American Medical Association 277: 1940–4.

 

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Healthy Christmas ideas from The Zone Diet

Dr Barry Sears’ latest book, The Mediterranean Zone, is packed full of recipes, meal ideas and healthy eating habits that combine the Mediterranean style diet with the principles of the Zone Diet. No matter what time of year, following the simple trick of balancing lean protein and colourful carbohydrates can help reduce inflammation in the body. This not only helps you achieve hormonal balance and maintain a healthy weight but improves immune function and helps ward off many common diseases, such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

zone-diet-plateBy staying in ‘the zone’ you needn’t worry so much about restricting food or counting calories – and if you do give in to starchy carbohydrates or sugary treats, you’re only a few hours away from getting back into the healthy, anti-inflammatory zone. Never is temptation more difficult to resist than over the Christmas period, so here are some tasty foods you can enjoy over the festive season and stay ‘in the zone’!

Buffet Table
Choose several items from each category. Garnish your dishes with pomegranate seeds, cranberries and sprigs of rosemary for a festive, holiday look. Holly and poinsettias are toxic plants. It’s best to keep them off the table, especially when children are around.

 

Meats, fish, eggs
Deli style turkey
Lean deli-style ham or prosciutto
Poached wild-caught salmon, served cold
Smoked salmon
Smoked trout
Sardines (packed in water)
Herring (avoid those with added fats and sweeteners)
Shrimp cocktail platter garnished with lemon wedges
Tuna salad: Canned water-packed tuna, drained and mixed with some olive oil and capers
Egg whites filed with hummus (discard yolks)

Vegetables and Salads
Crudites; colorful peppers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and cherry tomatoes, served with a dip of plain yogurt with garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, pepper and herbs mixed in.
Fennel salad: Toss 2 heads raw fennel thinly sliced, 1 chopped green apple and two chopped stalks celery with a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, 1 minced clove garlic and salt and pepper
Cherry tomatoes, halved and tossed with a little olive oil, torn basil and cracked pepper
Antipasto platter of roasted red and yellow peppers, a variety of olives, marinated mushrooms, pepperoncini, artichoke hearts, marinated asparagus spears, cherry peppers and bite-sized ovals of fresh mozzarella (avoid items packed in oil)
Caprese salad: Slices of fresh mozzarella and flavourful tomatoes layered overlapping on a platter and topped with torn basil and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

Condiments
One bottle each of extra-virgin olive oil and white balsamic vinegar with spouts appropriate for drizzling
Peppercorns in a grinder
Crumbled reduced-fat feta
Hummus
Dijon mustard

Drinks
Still water
Sparkling water, plain or a variety with fruit-flavored essences added (avoid sweetened water)
Water with thinly sliced lemon served in a drink dispenser
Red wine
White wine
Lemon and lime wedges
Ice bucket filled with spring-water ice cubes

Dessert Table
Fresh pears cut in thick wedges, served with reduced-fat fresh goat cheese
Assorted varieties of grapes paired with several-reduced fat cheeses
Oversized strawberries served with the green tops on raw or roasted almonds, marcona almonds, spiced or curried almonds, macadamia nuts and cashews (avoid those with added fats and sweeteners)
An assortment of herbal teas — ginger, peppermint and chamomile are good choices, also the candy-cane green teas
Baked custard — If desired, serve raspberries or sliced strawberries alongside as a topping.

Baked Custard
Makes 8, 1-block servings of balanced protein, carbohydrate and fat. Serve warm or cold.

Ingredients

2 whole eggs
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups 2% milk
A few dashes of ground nutmeg

Optional, you can substitute 4 egg whites for the two whole eggs, giving a total of 8 egg whites in the whole recipe.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325F/160C.

2. In a large mixing bowl using a whisk vigorously beat together the eggs, agave syrup and vanilla.
3. Whisk the milk into the egg mixture.
4. Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish.
5. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.
6. Bake at 325 in a pan of hot water for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the custard comes out clean.

For more information on the Zone Diet and the health benefits of anti-inflammatory food buy The Mediterranean Zone, available now as paperback or ebook.

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Zone Diet goes Mediterranean

The Zone Diet: Eating for a longer, leaner, healthier life

The Mediterranean Zone represents the final part of Dr. Sears’ trilogy on anti-inflammation nutrition that started with his first book, The Zone, written in 1995. The Zone Diet is for anyone looking to take control of his or her life. It is germane to weight loss, managing chronic disease, or improving athletic performance. All three areas are ultimately controlled by the ability to reduce inflammation. The Mediterranean Zone provides the final part of his dietary roadmap to a longer and better life, as described by The Zone Diet.

The newest book on the Zone Diet: The Mediterranean Zone by Dr Barry SearsThe focus of The Mediterranean Zone is on the emerging role of polyphenols in both improving human health and slowing the aging process. Polyphenols are the chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their color. We now know that at higher levels they are critical for controlling gene expression, especially those genes involved in the synthesis of anti-oxidative enzymes, controlling inflammation, and activating anti-aging defense mechanisms as well as controlling the microbes in our gut.

Why is it more important to eat omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6?

Whereas omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. However, you need a balance to maintain a stable inflammatory response. Ideally the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the diet should be about 2:1. Today in the developed world it is closer to 20:1. That’s why our diets have become more pro-inflammatory.

The reason that an individual stops any diet is because they are always hungry and tired. This is not the case following the dietary guidelines in The Mediterranean Zone, or in any Zone Diet. By stabilizing blood sugar, balancing hormonal levels, and reducing inflammation you are never tired or hungry between meals. The benefit of that freedom from hunger and fatigue is that you will also live a longer and better life.

Welcome to the Zone!

The Mediterranean Zone is available now or for more information on Dr Sears visit www.drsears.com.

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Sustainable Medicine: the path to a patient-centred future

I have worked with Sarah Myhill for over 15 years, both as a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patient and also academically. As such, I have witnessed the crystallisation of the ideas that led to the concept and writing of Sustainable Medicine from both sides of the fence. These ideas were applied to me personally and I also saw them develop in my role as editor of Sarah’s writings, and also of her website – http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Main_Page

Sustainable Medicine: swinging the pendulum back in favour of the patient

Sustainable Medicine follows a logical path, with the ultimate goal of empowering readers to take charge of their own health. This empowerment will not only help to heal diseases already present in readers, but also, and equally crucially, will lay down a route map for the healthy to remain healthy. It is for everyone.

Sustainable Medicine by Dr Sarah Myhill
Sustainable Medicine by Dr Sarah Myhill

The starting point of this journey was the realisation that 21st Century Medicine is not working for the benefit of the patient. So much of modern medicine is driven by vested financial interests that the patient is almost completely forgotten in this process. The patient, the one who knows their body, and the one who is suffering from the symptoms and diseases, is often ignored or, at best, side-lined or even patronised, in the diagnosis and treatment of their disease. Worse than this, modern medicine is not “sustainable”, either for society or the patient, because the use of powerful symptom suppressing drugs often escalates the disease process, rather than reversing it.

Sustainable Medicine has the simply stated objective of swinging the pendulum back in favour of the patient and away from those vested interests.

Sarah Myhill is an inquisitive person. As a patient, you notice this the very first time you speak with her or meet her. She is not like other doctors; there is a genuine desire to know you, and your life, and where you have worked and lived, and so on. In short, Sarah wants to know the ‘whole’ you; she is not a “Symptom List” doctor, by which I mean a physician who asks for your symptoms and then “replies” with a prescription pad. Put crudely, by knowing you better, Sarah can treat you better, although this underplays her most endearing quality; she likes her patients and treats them as equals.

This innate inquisitiveness naturally led Sarah always to ask the question ‘why?’ and in the practice of medicine this question is translated into a quest to find the root causes of disease and symptoms.

This is where Sarah’s 30 years of clinical experience made its mark known and also where the “logical path” was laid down.

First, Sustainable Medicine discusses symptoms, not as something to be immediately squashed with powerful prescription drugs, but rather as signposts as to what may be going wrong. Symptoms are the early warning system of the body that all is not right.

The next step along this logical path is an exposition of what mechanisms may be causing these symptoms and how one can identify which particular mechanisms are at play in this patient. The identification of these mechanisms is achieved by tests and clinical signs and symptoms.

At this point along the logical path, the reader will have identified their symptoms and also isolated the mechanisms causing those symptoms. The next step is to lay out the “tools of the trade”, that is the interventions, that can be put in place to treat those mechanisms as identified. These interventions are “sustainable” in that they reverse, not escalate, disease processes.

The logical path is now complete:

Symptoms => Mechanisms of disease => Sustainable Treatments (“tools of the trade”) to treat and reverse these Mechanisms

By way of example, Sustainable Medicine then looks at very many individual diseases, identifies the underlying mechanisms of these diseases and then applies the “tools of the trade” required to reverse these disease processes. To further illustrate this logical path, Sarah concludes with some case studies of her own patients, ranging from diseases such as chronic lymphatic leukaemia to inflammatory arthritis to CFS.

Sustainable Medicine was launched at a Biocare Advanced Education Day on 13 July 2015, where Sarah detailed her views on the mechanisms and sustainable treatments as applied to CFS, as well as discussing the critical roles played by inflammation and immune system issues in many modern diseases.

Craig Robinson, Editor, Sustainable Medicine.

 

Read the first chapter of Sustainable Medicine for free here or order your copy. Want to tell us what you think of the book? Leave a review on Amazon, and if you have any questions you can contact Craig and other followers of Dr Myhill’s protocol for CFS in the Facebook group.