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Archive for July, 2009

© 2009 Nancy Appleton PhD and G.N. Jacobs

www.nancyappleton.com

http://nancyappletonbooks.wordpress.com

How does a non-surgical treatment for cataracts grab you? As we age, cataract-related eye problems will only become more numerous. Estimates published in 2003 said that 42-percent of all blindness cases worldwide are due to cataracts and that 28,000 new cases were reported daily. These estimates also said that 43-percent of ophthalmologist referrals for Medicare patients were for cataracts. In civilized countries, mainstream treatment says surgery, even though there is up to a 50-percent chance of a relapse within two years and up to a 2-percent chance of surgical complications. In the rest of the world without enough trained eye surgeons, treatment may only be a shrug. Apparently, we need a non-surgical treatment that may help prevent and reverse the formation of cataracts.

A cataract is an eye problem consisting of proteins that fail to respond to the body’s natural antioxidants to remove Free Radicals to deal with oxidative stress. The proteins turn brown and yellow in the lens and cloud up vision. This process occurs during glycation or glycosylation, which is the process of how excess sugar binds with protein. Sugar is supposed to bind with proteins using enzymes, but if the body gets too much sugar this process happens differently and many bad results follow from these Advanced Glycated End Products (AGE). Glycation and oxidative stress are paired stressors on the body and cataracts are one possible outcome.

So, if there are just enough reasons to avoid surgery how do we prevent cataracts? Of course, Dr. Appleton will find at least one study that directly says sugar helps cause cataracts. In a recent study conducted in Pakistan, the researchers found that higher fructose levels in the blood led to reduced antioxidants and created conditions that could predict cataract formation.[i]

However, even if a cataract patient stops with the sugar the condition can continue to get worse. What to do? Much research has centered on variations of the antioxidant L-carnosine in an eye drop solution. Eventually, trial and error settled on N-acetylcarnosine as being the best way to get the L-carnosine into the eye without it breaking down into histamines too soon, so that it can work to clear up the oxidative stress that clouds vision.[ii]

A 1-percent solution of NALC dropped into the eye at least twice a day fights with the Free Radicals in the lens by binding with the glycation products that would otherwise bind with various proteins in the lens. The makers of Con-C, one such NALC formula, report consistent results above 80-percent improvement for all classes of cataract patients, even those who had vision problems for more than 20 years all without side effects.[iii]

For most patients, it takes at least three months for the changes in the eyes to become noticeable as improved vision. Obviously, the reminder to consult a medical professional before starting any treatment applies here as well, but you now have some alternatives to discuss before you go under the knife. To be fair, Con-C shares the market with another similar formula called Brite Eyes. We presume an equal effectiveness.

www.nancyappleton.com

http://nancyappletonbooks.wordpress.com


[i] Gul, A. et al. “Role of fructose concentration on cataractogenesis in senile diabetic and non-diabetic patients.” Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2009 Jun;247(6):809-14. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

[ii] Babizhayev MA, et al. “N-Acetylcarnosine and histidyl-hydrazide are potent agents for multitargeted ophthalmic therapy of senile cataracts and diabetic ocular complications.” J Drug Target. 2009 Jan;17(1):36-63.

[iii] Babizhayev MA, et al. “N-Acetylcarnosine sustained drug delivery eye drops to control the signs of ageless vision: Glare sensitivity, cataract amelioration and quality of vision currently available treatment for the challenging 50,000-patient population.” Clin Interv Aging. 2009;4(1):31-50. Epub 2009 May 14.

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© 2009 Nancy Appleton PhD and G.N. Jacobs

www.nancyappleton.com

http://nancyappletonbooks.wordpress.com

Does sugar impair memory? According to rat studies conducted at Georgia State University, apparently so. Adult rats were given diets of either 0-percent or 60-percent fructose and ran through a water maze to test performance. The short version: the fructose impaired the rats’ ability to remember the location of the target platform.

First, all the rats were put into a maze sunk into a tank and set free to find a platform on which a lever or other device to get the rodents out of the water had been placed. Then, a few days later, the rats were put in the same maze only without the platform. The differences between the high fructose diet and the zero fructose diet were recorded.

“What we discovered is that the fructose diet doesn’t affect their ability to learn,” said Marise Parent, the head researcher. “But, they can’t seem to remember as well where the platform was when you take it away. They swam more randomly than rats fed a control diet.”[i]

The researchers didn’t find any effect on the first time trial and error learning process that enabled the rats to find the platform, just the ability to employ the abstract spatial memory that says, “the platform should be here based on yesterday’s results.” If a rat or person, for that matter, learns a task, but can’t prove they learned the task by reproducing it at some point in the future, is it really learning?

Other studies have indicated that sugar affects other aspects of the mind, which typically shows up in the classroom. The knowledge that bad diet and lower test scores have gone hand in hand has existed for some time.[ii] Some of the reasons why sugar consumption have an inverse relationship, sugar goes up and scores go down, may have to do with behavioral changes, which are also linked to sugar.

In our article 141 Reasons Why Sugar is Ruining Your Health, we have made statements that “sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, inability to concentrate and crankiness in children.”[iii] We also said flat out that “sugar can cause juvenile delinquency in children.”[iv]

Apparently, a child will suffer a variety of mental effects in a high-sugar environment that will feed each on other. Decreased memory retention leads to lower scores leads to acting out behavior and so the chicken and egg cycle continues until someone changes the diet.

Our recommendation at this point is some form of a whole food diet to arrest the mental decline with sugar and the modern diet. Allergies play a part in this process. It’s quite simple: stop hurting your mind and you too will find your way through the maze.

www.nancyappleton.com

http://nancyappletonbooks.wordpress.com


[i] Ross, AP, et. al. “A High Fructose Diet Impairs Spatial Memory in Male Rats” Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2009 Jun 12. [Epub ahead of print]

[ii] Fu M.L., et al. “Associatation Between Unhealthful Eating Patterns and Unfavorable Overall School Performance in Children.” J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107(11): 1935-1942.

[iii] Goldman, L et al. “Behavioral Effects of Sucrose on Preschool Children.” J Abnorm Child Psy. 1986; 14(4): 565-577.

[iv] Schauss, A. Diet, Crime and Delinquency. (Berkley, CA: Parker House, 1981).

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Nancy Appleton PhD and G.N. Jacobs

© 2009 Nancy Appleton Books

www.nancyappleton.com

http://nancyappletonbooks.wordpress.com

How many times did your mother tell you to eat up because kids living in a place you weren’t going to visit anyway were starving? How many times did you respond saying “why don’t you send this plate to Ethiopia?” Believe it or not, the child’s wish to not eat is sometimes more nutritionally appropriate than the mother’s position.

According to the results of a long-term rhesus monkey study from Wisconsin, modest reductions in daily calories can help primates live longer and healthier than on the normal diet. Over twenty years, the monkeys were divided into normal and reduced calorie diet groups. Apparently, 37-percent of the monkeys in the regular group had died of age-related conditions as opposed to 13-percent of the dieting group at the end of the study.

The researchers reduced the dieting monkeys’ calorie intake by 30-percent, but took steps to make sure that all necessary nutrients were still consumed. The calorie-cut monkeys didn’t just live longer they had approximately half the heart disease and cancerous tumors of the non-dieting group. Additionally, the rates of diabetes and brain atrophy, conditions associated with aging, were greatly reduced in the dieting group.[i]

We at Nancy Appleton Books applaud this research with both cheers and a “we told you so.” We have commented on food intake and other aspects of our diet making us fat, especially in our recent book Suicide by Sugar.

A sedentary lifestyle that goes from bed to work in front of a screen to entertainment in front of another screen and back to bed leads to lack of exercise, overeating and eating processed foods. The processed foods are high in sugars, especially fructose. Fructose has a way of making people feel still hungry[ii], which feeds a vicious cycle of eating more and more making people fat and unhealthy. Our position has always been to cut back on sugar and preservatives in favor of whole foods, which represents the kind of caloric reductions mentioned in the Wisconsin monkey study.

What the average person reading this article needs to know before applying a 30-percent daily calorie reduction to his or her life is what is in the monkey chow normally fed to the primates in captivity? Rhesus monkeys in the wild eat insects, fruit, worms, leaves and roots usually after exerting some energy to get the food. We have it directly from the Wisconsin researchers that the “animals ate a semi-purified, well-defined pelleted diet consisting of 15-percent protein (lactalbumin) 10-percent fat (corn oil) that also contains sucrose, corn starch, dextrin, cellulose and a vitamin and mineral mix. In addition each animal receives a piece of fresh fruit (~100 kcal) daily.”

At this point, we need to refer the reader to experiments conducted on cats by Francis Pottenger Jr. MD between 1932 and 1942 that show how the modern processed diet is in of itself a cause for alarm. Pottenger’s cats were given a diet of raw milk, cod liver and either raw meat or cooked meat. The cooked meat cats showed generations of abnormalities that left alone killed off the cat breeding after three generations and took four generations of a proper diet to heal in the cat offspring.[iii] While it is true that subsequent replication studies suggest a taurine deficiency more than cooking as the cause of the symptoms showed by Pottenger’s cats, which included heart disease, bad vision, lack of balance and wild variations in birth weight, there is some link between our diet and the symptoms we feel.[iv]

Pottenger’s cats apply to the monkey study in this way; the standard captive monkey diet already has a lot of fat, heart disease and other ailments built in. Making a 30-percent cut in this non-whole foods diet will help because a lot of sugar is being cut out and every little bit helps. More research is obviously needed to see if monkeys and humans would benefit as much from calorie reduction when they go on a diet of more whole foods than not, or if these primate studies just tell us to cut the sugar, excess carbohydrates, preservatives and other time bombs in our diet to achieve the same effect.

Another minor issue in applying the monkey study to our diet is the distressing fact that portion sizes in human meals keep increasing. Some food items, like chocolate chip cookies, increased 700-percent between 1982 and 2002.[v] We need to find out which year to use in setting an appropriate base meal size, because while any reduction from a high-calorie diet is an improvement it represents a false hope if the underlying average meal size continues to grow.

However, while there are holes left to fill concerning sugar and carbohydrates the first bit of research on overeating and longevity is in. Eating a little less without depriving yourself of nutrients will go a long way to extending your life and making you healthier. But, there are no magic pills for your health says Dr. David Finkelstein of the National Institute of Aging, a funding source for the Wisconsin study.

“Watch what you eat, keep your mind active, exercise and don’t get hit by a car,” Finkelstein says.

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[i] Coleman, RJ, Et. Al. “Caloric Restriction Delays Disease Onset and Mortality in Rhesus Monkeys” Science 325;(5937): 201-204.

[ii] Tannous, dit El Khoury D. et. al. “Variations in Postprandial Ghrelin Status Following Ingestion of High-Carbohydrate, High-Fat and High-Protein Meals in Males.” Annals of Nutritional Metabolism. 50(3): 260-9 Feb 2006.

[iii] Pottenger, F. M. Jr.  Pottenger’s Cats (1983, Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, La Mesa CA.).

[iv] Beyond Vegetarianism.  “Lesson of the Pottenger’s Cats

Experiment: Cats are not Humans.”  http://www.beyondveg.com/tu-j-l/raw-cooked/raw-cooked-1h.shtml. Viewed  July 10, 2009.

[v] American Journal of Public Health. Feb 2002;92(2):247.

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Nancy Appleton PhD and G.N. Jacobs

© 2009 Nancy Appleton Books

www.nancyappleton.com

http://nancyappletonbooks.wordpress.com

Doctors just love giving medical conditions fancy names with Latin roots to make us tremble when they give the diagnosis. Vulvodynia is one such word. Derived from vulva (a key part of the female anatomy) and dynamo (an active, irrepressible machine or energy source), the word translates to plain English as the poor woman has a lot of chronic pain down there.

The condition typically presents with stinging, burning and/or itching sensations that can really zap a woman’s sense of wellbeing. If men put great store in their virility and testosterone production (see article), then vulvodynia is one female equivalent that results in less sex, depression, low self-esteem and a general hit to quality of life from not exercising or riding bikes to avoid the pain. One estimate says that 14 million women in the U.S. and up to 16-percent worldwide have this condition, which is not contagious, nor is it related in any way to sexually transmitted disease.

Is there a cure or treatment? Mainstream medicine has been slow to come up with a definitive answer.  In 2006, a researcher at the University of Michigan wrote an article that gives an overview of the symptoms and many treatments available once a woman is diagnosed with vulvodynia.

One condition of the diagnosis requires that a woman have the pain without the usual suspect – Candida Albicans (yeast infection) – being present. Doctors poke and swab and find nothing under the microscope. So, the article meanders through discussions of nerve sensitivity, cognitive behavior therapy and pelvic floor muscles. However, there are some interesting tidbits for the holistic minded in that several key phrases common to Dr. Appleton’s work popped up: inflammation, immune system, allergies and diet.[i]

The first question to ask is did this researcher overlook Candida as a cause simply because it couldn’t be found on a microscope slide? Can the yeast infection change form and continue to cause pain in women after the topical ointment has killed off the infection, which typically is found on the surface?

Obviously, we’re asking the question like a lawyer, we already knew the answer to be yes. According to Marjorie Crandall, vulvodynia is caused in many cases by a Candida infection seeping through tissues and cell membranes. The infection becomes dormant in terms of growth, but continues to irritate causing pain.[ii]

So if Candida can cause vulvodynia, what causes Candida? Again we knew the answer: allergies and sugar. We will refer to our article 141 Reasons Why Sugar is Ruining Your Health – Sugar assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans.[iii]

Dr. Crandall suggests that the treatments and prevention regime for Candida is what is required for vulvodynia only switching out the topical antifungal creams for a systemic antifungal taken orally to make sure the patient gets the yeast that has entered her vulva and vagina. She also notes that allergies play a role in the development of symptoms saying, “Some women notice that their symptoms worsen 12 to 72 hours after eating certain foods.”[iv]

Other researchers have noted a high correlation between yeast and other symptoms of allergies meaning that people who have one seem to have the other. A study from Brazil showed that 71-percent of the Candida group also had allergic rhinitis (classical nasal allergy symptoms like runny nose and watery eyes).[v]

Most information about Candida says that prevention includes a diet free of sugar, alcohol, coffee and refined carbohydrates along with removing anything that can change the woman’s hormone balance like birth control pills and antibiotics.[vi] For women who specifically have vulvodynia as opposed to regular Candida on the surface, further dietary recommendations include going on the Low Oxalate Diet originally indicated for kidney stones.

Foods to avoid completely on the Low Oxalate Diet: spinach, rhubarb, beets, strawberries, nuts, chocolate, tea, coffee, cola and wheat bran.

Foods to limit: White corn grits, wheat germ, whole-wheat flour, berries, concord grapes, red currants, Damson plums, citrus peels, tangerines, fruity deserts, baked beans in tomato sauce, peanut butter, tofu, sweet potatoes, vegetable soup without vegetables, beans, dark leafy greens (swiss chard, endive, escarole, parsley), eggplant, leeks, summer squash and draft beer.

Your health care professional will have the last word on what you should remove from your diet to heal vulvodynia or kidney stones for that matter.

We have talked about sugar and allergies as seemingly separate causes of vulvodynia, but Dr. Appleton has always asserted that allergies are also the result of too much sugar in the diet. The very first statement in 141 Reasons is sugar can suppress the immune system.[vii] Sugar depletes minerals that make hormones work and said hormones are part of the immune system’s proper functioning. An allergy is merely a precursor response that can later develop into whatever disease comes next, because the immune system fights off the food allergy instead of the rapidly growing Candida.

Sugar causes everything and vulvodynia is but one more example.

www.nancyappleton.com

http://nancyappletonbooks.wordpress.com


[i] Reed, BD “Vulvodynia: Diagnosis and Management” Am Fam Physician 2006;73:1231-8, 1239.

[ii] Crandall, M “Allergic Predisposition and Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis” Journal of Advancement in Medicine, Spring 1991;4(1):21-38.

[iii] Crook, W. J. The Yeast Connection. (TN: Professional Books, 1984).

[iv] Crandall, M “Allergic Predisposition and Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis” Journal of Advancement in Medicine, Spring 1991;4(1):21-38.

[v] Moraes, PS “Recurrent Vaginal Candidiasis and Allergic rhinitis: A Common Association” Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1998 Aug;81(2):165-9.

[vi] http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/vaginal-yeast-infection#prevention viewed July 9, 2009

[vii] Sanchez, A, et al. “Role of Sugars in Human Neutrophilic Phagocytosis.” Am J Clin Nutr. Nov 1973; 261: 1180-1184.

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