Are You Taking a Weight Loss Supplement?

Runner crossing a metal bridge at sunrise during morning traininIn a quest to stay or get slimmer, many people will take a weight loss supplement.

Do you really know what you are taking? What if I told you that one of the substances could me a close cousin to amphetamines?

Take a look at the ingredient list of a weight loss supplement like Jet Fuel t300, a weight loss supplement easily found on Amazon or in places like the Vitamin Shop. If you read the ingredients list you will see lots of really big words. Two of the words you may see are Acacia Rigidula.

More than a year ago, the FDA concluded that products labeled as having Acacia Rigidula, a perennial shrub found in south Texas and Mexico, instead contained a synthetic chemical cousin to amphetamines called BMPEA.

Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and lead author on this study states, “Acacia Rigidula is code in the industry for a potent synthetic stimulant, they are using the name as a cover.”

BMPEA has not been studied in humans, however, in dogs and cats it has been shown to raise blood pressure and heart rates. The World Anti Doping Agency classifies it as a doping agent due to its close relation to amphetamines.

Amphetamine use has been shown to trigger stroke, heart attack or even death according to Dr. Cohen.

While the American government has not taken formal action yet, Britain and Canada have both spoken out about the product, with the Canadian government recalling products like Jet Fuel Superburn.

If you have any questions about supplements you are taking please feel free to contact us and we will work with you to look at all the ingredients.

Mediterranean Diet and Aging

VegetablesHave you heard of the Mediterranean diet?

If not, please allow me to give a quick synopsis.

The Mediterranean diet consists of eating mostly fruits, vegetable, poultry, whole grains and select fats. If you picture the typical food pyramid, red meats and sweets are at the top, meaning you should limit those. The base of the pyramid is fruits, veggies, whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices. The base of the pyramid represents what you should eat the most.

Red wine is also allowed in small amounts, 5oz for women and 10oz for men, per day.

A common misconception in the Mediterranean diet is that bread is not allowed. That is not true. Whole grain bread eaten either plain or dipped in olive oil is definitely included.

Now how does this link to aging?

In a study that followed 4,600 women, women who stuck more closely to a Mediterranean diet were found to have longer telomeres. Telomeres are a biomarker of aging found at the end of each chromosome in the body. Think plastic tip on shoelaces.

The longer the telomere, the longer the longevity. Shorter telomeres are associated with chronic age related diseases and early death.

Are the researchers on to something? Only time will tell, however, there is no doubt that a healthier diet will leave you feeling better.

An Acid That You Want to Know About

Palmitoleic Acid could become a household word in the near future. Why you ask? Please let me explain.

In a small study at Ohio State, 16 adults, all of whom had metabolic syndrome, were fed the exact same diets, which changed every 3 weeks for a total of 18 weeks. The diet started with 47 grams of carbs and 84 grams of saturated fat each day and ended with 346 grams of carbs and 32 grams of saturated fat.

The diets included a consistent 130 grams of protein and added up to 2500 calories per day.

346 carbs is significant as this is what a typical American eats per day.

Average weight loss during the study was 22 pounds…not too shabby!

Where does Palmitoleic acid (PA) come in? Interestingly, as the participants were transitioned from a high saturated fat to a high carbo diet, the PA increased.

Increased PA levels in the blood have been linked to obesity and put people at a higher risk for inflammation and if you have been hanging around with me long enough, you know that I think inflammation is one of the biggest things we should be aware of.

High PA levels are also linked to diabetes, heart disease and prostate cancer, amongst other things.

Jeff Volek, a professor at Ohio State, states, “People believe ‘you are what you eat,’ but in reality, you are what you save from what you eat. The point is you don’t necessarily save the saturated fat that you eat. And the primary regulator of what you save in terms of fat is the carbohydrate in your diet. Since more than half of Americans show some signs of carb intolerance, it makes more sense to focus on carb restriction than fat restriction.”

While this study is small, it certainly puts out some food for thought (see what I did there!!!) about the relationship between carbs and weight gain.

 

 

 

Dr. Oz

What is your opinion on Dr. Oz? Do you even know who he is?

Quick history lesson. Dr. Oz is a personable cardiothoracic surgeon that first appeared on TV in 2004 on the Oprah Winfrey show. He was an almost instant hit and today has his own show that is watched by lots of people.

In case you have not been keeping up with Dr. Oz news (and honestly why would you?), he recently found himself in front of a group of Senators that were taking him to task for his language when promoting weight loss items. Check out the video.

 

 

The gist of the video is Dr. Oz went to Congress to ask for help in slowing down the scam artists that were misconstruing his words in order to sell bogus products. What ended up happening is Dr. Oz got called on the carpet for all of his flowery language in supporting products that are suspect at best.

At the end of the day, there are no super duper secret formulas and pills when it comes to your health. Drink plenty of water, eat clean and get plenty of exercise will go a long way towards getting and keeping you healthy.

When someone is pitching you that they have the greatest immune boosting, fat burning, energy increasing product, do your homework and look at it with a very skeptical eye.

 

Grilling with Beer

GrillingNot too many things say spring and summer more than grilling outdoors.

Unfortunately for the meat eaters, grilling at a high temperature is actually bad for you due to the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the meat you are grilling.

What are PAHs and what does this have to do with beer? Excellent question.

When grilling meat at a high temperature these PAHs can form. High levels of PAH consumption has been linked to colorectal cancer.

Where beer comes in is as a marinade. Scientists found that marinating meat for four hours in a pilsner or dark beer can cut PAHs by more than half, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Even Non-Alcoholic beer cuts PAH formation by 25%!

If you are looking for a beer marinaded steak recipe click here.

Another Nail in the Soda Coffin

20 oz soda sugar content
20 oz soda sugar content

As anyone that has come into my office in the last few years will attest, I am a nut for making sure you are drinking enough water.

Water to your body, is like oil to your car engine. It makes everything run much more smoothly.

With that said, the opposite of water in terms of health benefits is soda. Soda is evil! Empty calories that wreak havoc with your body.

Diet soda you say? Take a look at the chemicals they put in diet soda to make it taste even remotely drinkable. UGH!

In the most recent version of JAMA Internal Medicine lead author Quanhe Yang states “A higher percentage of calories from added sugar is associated with significantly increased risk of CVD mortality.” CVD is short for Cardiovascular Disease.

The researchers analyzed national health and diet surveys between 1988 and 2010 of more than 30,000 Americans with an average age of 44. They found the fatal heart risk became elevated once added sugar intake surpassed 15 per cent of total calories.

15%!!! That’s not a lot of sugar, when you consider how pervasive sugar is in prepared foods and especially soda.

Ever wonder how much sugar is really in something? Take the number of grams of sugar on a package and divide by four to get the number of teaspoons.

Let’s look at a couple of popular products and see what the sugar content really looks like.

  • Average Soda…20 oz. bottle…65 grams…thats 16 teaspoons of sugar!
  • A small slice of pie with a small bit of ice cream…39 grams…almost 10 teaspoons of sugar
  • BBQ Sauce…13 grams… over 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 Mrs. Field’s chocolate chip cookie (and let’s be honest does anyone eat just one?)…18 grams…4.5 teaspoons of sugar

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams a day or six teaspoons of sugar for women (five per cent of a 2,000-calorie a day diet) and 38 grams or nine teaspoons a day for men (7.5 per cent of daily calories).

As a chiropractor, I see a variety of different things that damage peoples spines. Excess weight due to high sugar intake is at the very top of the list. Please be more diligent in looking at labels.

If you need any help with this, please feel free to call or email us. We are here to help!

 

 

Let’s NOT Go to Long John Silver’s

Are you thinking of heading over to Long John Silver’s for a “Big Catch” meal?

Don’t.

I understand that a business is there to serve the needs of it’s customers but this is ridiculous.

The “Big Catch” is a combination platter of fried fish, onion rings, and hush puppies. Now look, we know no one is ever going to mistake this for health food, however, this is extreme, even for fast food.

The calorie count is 1,320…not awful, however when you dive into the details, it gets a little scary.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the “Big Catch” has a jaw dropping 33 grams of trans fats!!! This is more trans fat than you should eat in forever…never mind one meal.

To round out the excellence there were 19 grams of saturated fat, just about a day’s worth and 3,700 mg of Sodium, about two days worth.

Plenty of foods are high in saturated fat and sodium, however, I have never, ever seen a meal that has 33 grams of trans fat. For those of you that just discovered the internet, trans fat has been considered public enemy #1 in the food arena for some time. In a nutshell trans fats lower your good cholesterol and raise your bad cholesterol. Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke are all linked to trans fat consumption. Those are bad things.

Walter C. Willett, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in a press release. “It might have been defensible to use hydrogenated oil in the 1980s, before trans fat’s harmfulness was discovered, but no longer. It is outrageous that Long John Silver’s foods are still loaded with artificial trans fat and that the FDA still permits it in foods.”

This brings us to a slippery slope. Where do we draw the line? Who draws the line? Personally, I see no reason to keep using hydrogenated oils that lead to these high trans fat meals. These oils are used because they are cheaper. While one may save a little now, what is the price on the public in terms of medical care for strokes, diabetes and heart disease.

It is time to outlaw partially hydrogenated oil. It serves absolutely no good and it’s time has run it’s course.

 

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Fast Food Posting Calories

McDonalds

Admit it, you have eaten at a fast food restaurant in the last year or so. Were you proud of it? Probably not, however, when the kids are starving and you are driving right by, it happens.

In 2008 the state of New York passed a law that stating that chain restaurants must post calorie counts on their menus and in 2011 the US passed a law stating that any restaurant with more than 20 locations must post calorie counts on their menu.

The case that New York made for this law was two fold. The first was that people are fatter not skinnier. It is estimated that over 35% of adults are obese with related costs upwards of $147 billion. The second case was that the nutrition information  was not readily available and people were unaware.

Imagine peoples surprise when they saw the Big Mac was 550 calories and the 12oz milk shake was 530!!!

See there is the problem.  Everyone knows that the Big Mac is caloric dense…does everyone know that the milkshake is as bad?  Most I asked didn’t.

Like the Blueberry muffins from Starbucks…that will cost you 370 calories including 14 grams of fat with 6 of them being saturated. While we are at it, throw in 320mg of sodium a whopping 14% of the daily allowance, from one muffin!!!

Combine that muffin with a Grande Spice Pumpkin Latte and you now have a “meal” that has 750 calories 27 grams of fat with 14 grams of saturated fat. All from coffee and a muffin.

Last example…let’s say you are going to Wendys and you decide you will get a salad in order to eat “healthy”.  Have you ever looked into one of those salads?  How does an apple pecan grilled chicken salad sound…pretty healthy no?

Try this on for size…570 calories with 27 grams of fat including 8 grams of saturated fat.  Oh, by the way, don’t even think about not getting the grilled chicken…the fried chicken option adds 150 calories and 11.5 grams of fat!

Most medical professionals agree that somewhere around 2500 calories is good for men and 2000 calories is good for women.  When you are using up 750 of those calories on a cup of coffee and a muffin, you need to be super careful on how you go about eating the rest of your day.

Hopefully posting these calorie counts will help people make smarter decisions when it comes to these foods.

While it is very rare that I hear people say we need more government in their life, this is a perfect case where Government is doing a great job.

Are you Taking Heartburn Medication?

Have you ever heard of a proton pump inhibitor?  No, it is not from Star Trek!!!

Proton pump inhibitors are commonly prescribed medications that suppress acid in the stomach.  Many people know this as heartburn or reflux.  Taking these medications appears to be associated with fractures in postmenopausal women and bacterial infections in many patients.

113.4 million prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors are filled each year, making this class of drugs, at $13.9 billion in sales, the third highest seller in the United States.  $13.9 BILLION!!!! for hearburn medications!  We are all in the wrong line of work.

These medications are used to treat inflammation of the esophagus, reflux, ulcers and several other conditions, but evidence suggests that 53-69% of proton pump inhibitor prescriptions are for inappropriate indications.

Postmenopausal women, aged 50-79, were followed over eight years with findings of increased risk of spine, forearm and wrist fractures.  There was also a huge increase, 74%, of contracting a nasty infection from Clostridium difficile.  According to the Mayo clinic, there has been a huge increase in C-diff cases in the last few years.

Any co-incidence, given how much of these meds people are taking now?

There used to be a commercial on TV for a heartburn medication in which a group of guys were sitting around a campfire.  Each one was telling the other what they could eat and as long as they took the medication there would be no heartburn.  One gentleman stated that he used to pour the chili right into the tortilla chip bag and as long as he took the super drug he would be fine.

Trust me when I tell you this, if you are poring chili right into the bag and eating it, the last thing you need to worry about is the side effects of heartburn meds!

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