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Larry McCleary MD

Review © 2010 Nancy Appleton PhD & G.N. Jacobs

Do you know how to lose weight? Do you know how to create proper brain functioning? According to Feed Your Brain Lose Your Belly the answer is the same diet.

This book promotes a diet that pulls a 180-degree u-turn away from the high-carbohydrate low-protein and fat that we had been taught starting the in the 1960s. We were told that fat was bad for you, so we cut the fat only to find that people are fatter, more diabetic and unhealthier than ever.

Doctor McCleary approaches the question of proper diet from the point of view of a neurologist concerned about Alzheimer’s disease and mental function. At the same time that diabetes and other aspects of the Metabolic Syndrome (diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and weigh gain among others) increase with our sugary diet, so to do diseases that affect the mind like Alzheimer’s. He decided to research whether dietary changes would help the mind and then to see if these same changes would also help the waistline.

The diet that results from the research is very similar to the food plans promoted by Doctor Appleton in all of her works. We both like diets with vegetables, protein, gently cooked lipids (fats and oils) and whole fruit that limits sugar, excessive carbohydrates and many other features of our modern diet. Except for the fact that Doctor Appleton is out of her depth dealing with neurology, she could have written this book. It appears that everyone with a responsible health oriented food plan comes to the same general realization that – eat more vegetables and cook at home – is the path to health.

Dr. McClearly makes an important observation that being fat and diabetic and having cognitive problems are part of the same problem. We get fat because sugar and excessive carbohydrates are foods that induce the mind to rely on external energy sources, which are then stored as fat when there is too much in the system. We go nuts or get Alzheimer’s because the brain constantly wants glucose to function and in the high-carb diet sends out hungry signals that create more eating and diminish mental capacity.

The trick according to Dr. McCleary’s research is to eat the better diet that includes fat, protein and vegetables and fruit with lots of dietary fiber so that the body realigns itself so that more fat is burned than stored while avoiding the confusing signals that may cause us to eat too much. He uses insulin to explain the cycle of fat storage and blood sugar levels.

More sugar means more insulin to deal with the sugar, which also tells the body to store fat because high blood sugar means an external energy source is being used. Less sugar means that the body now can burn fat from internal sources to tide the person over between meals. This cycle is supposed to be balanced but stopped being so when our diet became more about carbohydrates separated from dietary fiber than protein and vegetables.

Once the explanation how the brain is affected by the foods we eat set in, Dr. McCleary provides fairly standard advice about how to lose weight that the reader may also glean from the saner programs developed for The Biggest Loser or any responsible food health book (take healthy snacks along, start small, plan for falling off the wagon, be positive and so on). And there are recipes, which seem to be a staple of food health books designed to give a few ideas how to actually go about changing the diet.

Doctor Appleton may have wished for a little more attention to allergies playing a part in health, but other than that she wholeheartedly recommends this book to anyone wanting more information about how the brain and body work together for health.


This review is also posted to http://smokinglizardbooks.wordpress.com


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Extra Crispy?

© 2010 Nancy Appleton PhD and G.N. Jacobs

The bird or ham turns brown fat dripping into the bottom of the pan. The family gathers to eat and give thanks and gifts, but how healthy are the various cooking methods anyway? Well, the answer depends on what you cook and how you cook it, because I’m sure this is the first time you heard of Advanced Glycated End Products (AGEs).

What is an AGE? AGEs were discovered by Louis Maillard in 1912. Simply put they are a class of chemical byproducts that result from the meeting of food and excessive heat. Protein and a sugar (usually glucose) combine under high heat to create the browning that we associate with cooking.[i] Or you could just eat too much sugar and maintain elevated blood sugar levels for too long. Excessive sugar helps to form AGEs in the body because the sugar has to go somewhere.

So what is so bad about AGEs? Generally, the body evolved to eat food cooked slowly over a small open flame or raw compared to flash heating, microwaving, deep-frying and barbecuing. The AGEs that form, with these cooking methods, are toxic to the body and aren’t easily metabolized out of the body. When the body deals with foods that aren’t exactly like what it expects to find the immune system is called in to smash an invader. Our immune system can only do so much becoming exhausted further dragging down the removal process. Eventually, an allergy may form that may lead to disease. Unfortunately, AGEs taste great being sugar and protein jumbled together explaining why we like toast, ribs and blackened fish so much.

AGEs aren’t to be confused with glycoproteins, even though they share the same building blocks. A glycoprotein forms when glucose and proteins bind using the normal digestive enzymes with which we all come equipped. This process presupposes gently cooked food and moderate sugar intake from whole fruits and vegetables and very little (preferably none) refined sugar. Glycoproteins are part of how the body feeds itself. AGEs are something else entirely.

Not all cooking methods are created equal. Studies have shown that boiling, steaming, or any method involving water tends to limit greatly the number of AGEs that form. Turning down the heat and extending the cooking time can also create fewer AGEs than other methods. There are two different temperature ranges to be aware of: the heat labile point around 245° F and the much lower AGEs threshold between 120° F and 180° F. The heat labile point applies to fats and proteins that change chemically without the presence of sugar and has similar health risk as the AGEs discussed here.

Recently, studies have shown that green tea helps prevent formation of AGEs and many of the diseases they cause.[ii] We should also avoid processed foods. Food manufacturers increase the number of AGEs in food intentionally, either by adding sugar or by browning food elements. They are trading on the great taste of browned or caramelized food to sell more units. You are warned.


  • Turn down the heat and extend the cooking time
  • Stop eating sugar
  • Cook with water (boil, steam and poach) as much as possible
  • Green tea may prevent AGEs
  • Avoid processed foods which are likely to have sugar or browned food elements

AGEs have become a worry now in the modern era compared to more primitive times because of several factors, including excessive sugar consumption. We have said above that our high sugar usage can induce the body to make its own AGEs regardless of how the food was cooked. We have quoted figures previously that the average American eats at least 140 pounds of sugar per year.[iii] Along with the other ways sugar hurts us (insulin resistance, etc.) these AGEs that are very nearly indestructible once created and deposited in the body also help cause many diseases.

AGEs spur the release of cytokines, which are part of the inflammatory process. Cytokines collect in the joints of people with arthritis. Another interesting fact about AGEs and inflammation is that free radical production is nearly five times greater with glycated protein compared to regular protein.[iv] We discuss these issues in more detail in our book Stopping Inflammation.

We will list below a small sample of diseases and conditions that can be helped by limiting AGEs either by changing how we cook or cutting out the sugar.

This list is not inclusive, but is just enough for all of us to be mindful that how we cook our food is at least as important as what foods we eat. You’ll notice that we’ve said gently cooked versus raw. For many people the practice of cooking is so ingrained in human culture that eating raw food that we traditionally cook might cause a gag. In some cases, cooking is necessary for economic reasons like extending the shelf life of food. For example, toasting turns stale bread into toast, which tastes the same regardless of how fresh the bread was. Striking the balance between, killing off pathogens in poorly stored raw food and overcooking has always been delicate. Eating raw can help a person be healthier, but it can be a hard choice.

[i] Bjeldanes, L. “Effects of High Temperatures on Meats.” Food and Chemical Toxicology Apr 1985:23(12).

[ii] Rasheed, Z, et al. “Green Tea Polyphenol Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Inhibits Advanced Glycation End Product-Induced Expression of Tunor Necrosis Factor-Alpha and Matrix Metalloproteinase-13 in Human Chondrocytes.” Arthritis Res Ther. May 2009;11(3):R71

[iii] USDA “Food Consumption.” http://ers.usda.gov/publications/sb965/sb965f.pdf. Projected upon 1997 consumption Page 9.

[iv] Mullarkey, CJ., et al. “Free Radical Generation by Early Gycation Products: A Mechanism for Acceleration of Arthogenesis in Diabetes.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun Dec 31, 1990;173(3):932-939.

[v] Uribarri, J., et al. “Diet-Derived Advance Glycation End Products are Major Contributors to the Body’s AGE Pool and Induce Inflammation in Healthy Subjects.” Annals NY Acad Sci. 2005:461-466.

[vi] Semba, RD., et al. “Does Accumulation of Advanced Glycation End Products Contribute to the Aging Phenotype?” J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci Apr 2010;65A(9):963-975.

[vii] Birlouez-Aragon, I., et al. “A Diet Based on High-Heat-Treated Foods Promotes Risk Factors for Diabetes Mellitus and Cardiovascular Diseases.” Am J Clin Nutr May 2010;91(5):1220-1226.

[viii] Peppa, M., et al. “Glucose, Advanced Glycation End Products and Diabetes Complications: What is New and What Works.” Clin Diabetes. 2003;21:186-187.

[ix] Tabaton, M., et al. “Is Amyloid Beta-protein Glycated in Alzheimer’s Disease?” Neuroreport. 1997;8(4):907-909.

[x] Ishibashi, T., et al. “Advanced Glycation End Products in Age-related Macular Degeneration.” Arch Ophthalmol. Dec 1998;116(12):1629-1632.

[xi] Szymanska, U. and Boratynski, J. “Protein Glycation-Clinical and Chemical Aspects.” Postepy Hig Med Dosw. 1999;53(5):689-703.

[xii] MacLennan, A., “Identification of the Advanced Glycation End Product N-Epsilon-Carboxymethyllysine in the Synovial Tissue of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (ARD Online). Sept 12, 2002.

[xiii] Dominic, SC., at al. “Advanced Glycation End Products: a Nephrologist’s Perspective.” Am J Kidney Dis. 2000;35(3):365-380.



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Food Stamp Follies

© 2010 Nancy Appleton PhD

The Department of Agriculture has made some interesting distinctions about what is an eligible food on the food stamp program and what isn’t. The program prohibits use of the stamps for alcohol and tobacco products along with various non-food items like pet food, cleaning and household supplies. So far so good, that a program intended to make sure poor people have enough nutritious food to eat would bar the use of food stamps to buy what are essentially recreational chemicals with known health consequences.

The list of approved foods is absurd. Soda, ice cream, candy, and cookies are all considered to be food items and can be bought on the program. These foods all have Nutrition Facts labels classifying them as eligible foods. Energy drinks, which are mostly just sugar and caffeine, are an interesting case as the program allows the ones with Nutrition Facts labels into the program, but bars the ones with Supplement Facts Labels. This distinction also means that poor people can’t use food stamps to buy a multivitamin bottle.

I have spent many years lecturing and writing about sugar and its effect on health including increased obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Now that the mainstream science has caught up with the rest of us, you’d think the government would change the law to categorize these foods with alcohol and tobacco.

Unfortunately, this is the government and changing the law requires a lot of uphill effort. Do you know how to make sure that the research that clearly shows sugar is bad for you isn’t drowned out by bogus research paid for by sugar companies? Do you know how to be heard against the millions spent promoting sugar including campaign contributions?

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has proposed a local solution by requesting the Department of Agriculture approve the city as a test site for a two-year program that food stamps can’t be used to purchase these sugar-filled foods. Mayor Bloomberg cites scary statistics about how unhealthy people get drinking soda and sugary as a reason to go beyond Federal law governing the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. Apparently, one in eight New Yorkers has diabetes and 57-percent of adults and 40-percent of children are overweight or obese.

In San Francisco, the solution is far simpler. Mayor Gavin Newsome has ordered that vending machines on city property stop selling sodas and other sugary drinks. This is an easy solution that doesn’t require more than a signature on an order.

These are small steps that may help make people healthier, but I still want to see more effort put into public education. I want to see classes in schools about health and nutrition. Well, small steps are good for now.

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© 2010 Nancy Appleton, PhD and G.N. Jacobs


We have all read, seen or listened to some variation of Hansel & Gretel from the Brothers’ Grimm. A witch lives in a deep forest luring children with an edible house and sweet treats hoping to fatten them up for her cannibalistic urges. The children turn the tables as befits fairy tale heroes and get out alive.

Well, according to the newest research from Princeton University published officially in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior[i] and for the mass market in Science Daily[ii], Hansel and Gretel would be even fatter, slower and more lethargic eating today’s sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup because the weight gain from HFCS is far greater than ordinary sucrose. This would put the outcome of tricking the witch into her own oven in doubt.

HFCS is a corn derivative that typically has 55-percent fructose, 42-glucose and 3-percent other larger sugars. It is cheaper than sucrose in the United States where it is easier to grow corn than sugar cane or sugar beets. Sucrose is a naturally occurring blend of equally balanced fructose and glucose. HFCS replaced sucrose in the early 1970s and the rate of obesity as a population percentage has doubled from 15 to 33-percent since then according to CDC figures cited by Science Daily.

The researchers conducted two experiments. One compared male rats eating rat chow and HFCS water to similar rats eating rat chow and sucrose flavored water. The weight gain was described as “much more” for the rats eating the HFCS water. The really interesting fact about this study: the sucrose water was highly concentrated at levels similar to the few sodas sweetened with sucrose still in the US marketplace, but the HFCS water was half the concentration of the typical HFCS soda.

The second study lasting six months looked at high fructose corn syrup versus water. Here the rats ballooned up with 48-percent weight gains over rats just eating food and unsweetened water. The researchers described the high-fructose corn syrup rats as obese.

“These rats aren’t just getting fat; they’re demonstrating characteristics of obesity, including substantial increases in abdominal fat and circulating triglycerides,” researcher Miriam Bocarsly reported. “In humans, these same characteristics are known risk factors for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, cancer and diabetes.”

The researchers speculated on the reasons why HFCS might be more fattening than sucrose. Apparently, fructose molecules in sucrose are bound to glucose molecules and take longer to hit the bloodstream than the fructose in HFCS, which aren’t bound to anything. The researchers also mentioned that fructose seems to be processed in the liver into fat, while sucrose is metabolized by insulin from the pancreas and is more readily used as an energy source.

“Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” says psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese—every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”[iii]

The researchers cite previous research articles that show fructose affects hormones like leptin that work with insulin to control satiety, the feeling of being full. This excerpt from the abstract says it all – “The combined effects of lowered circulating leptin and insulin in individuals who consume diets that are high in dietary fructose could therefore increase the likelihood of weight gain and its associated metabolic sequelae. In addition, fructose, compared with glucose, is preferentially metabolized to lipid in the liver.”[iv]

Not feeling full induces more eating. In the meantime, we can imagine Hansel and Gretel being fed soda and other fructose-laden foods and winding up in the witch’s meat pie. End of story.

[i] Bocarsly, ME, et al. “High-fructose corn syrup causes characteristic of obesity in rats: Increased body weight, body fat and triglyceride levels.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.02.012

[ii] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322121115.htm viewed 3/30/2010

[iii] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322121115.htm viewed 3/30/2010

[iv] Elliott, SS, et al. “Fructose, weight gain, and the insulin resistance syndrome.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;76(5):911-22.

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© 2009 Nancy Appleton PhD and G.N. Jacobs


We are always asked about sweeteners since we really don’t like sugar. Our answer is always we give limited support to Stevia and nothing else. We tell people who are healthy and still can walk away from the hot fudge sundae that Stevia is much better for you than sugar, fructose, high fructose corn syrup and the whole list of sugar alcohols and products of “Better Living Through Chemistry” that appear as multicolored packets on the restaurant table. We tell sick or addicted people to break the active phase of their sugar addiction and heal awhile before switching to Stevia.

Stevia, a plant-extract originally from Central and South America has been used as a sweetener for several centuries. It has been described alternately as either 30 or 300 times as sweet as sugar. Stevia has slowly gained popularity as an alternative to sugar, even though it wasn’t marketed, until recently, in the U.S. as a sweetener, but a dietary supplement. We can thank the FDA for this bit of Orwellian Newspeak. A food or drug is either safe or it is not.

As of September 2009, the Food and Drug Administration has given support to two Stevia products, Truvia and Purevia, for use as a sweetener in sodas and other drinks. Approval of Stevia as a food sweetener is still pending, but once the camel’s nose is in the tent things will happen automatically. What changed for a government organization that used a 1985 study that described Stevia as a mutagenic agent in the liver (possibly carcinogenic)?

Apparently, Coca-Cola and other large manufacturers of drinks and sodas have twisted some arms of the regulators, because as more people grasp Sugar Bad, Stevia Good Big Soda needs to give the people soda that appears healthy to keep up sales. Trust a corporation to turn something potentially helpful in moderation into something you still shouldn’t consume.

We will point to the “Hard Facts About Soft Drinks” chapter in our latest book, Suicide by Sugar to inform the reader that no soda is safe to drink. The primary culprit after sugar: phosphoric acid. Putting that much phosphorus into your body does as much damage to the Calcium-Phosphorus ratio as we have always said from the beginning of Dr. Appleton’s career. We also described phosphoric acid as an industrial solvent possibly able to clean toilets and kill insects.

Once the soda and juice manufacturers get their products into the marketplace, eventually Truvia will also be stuffed into the rainbow of packets on the table at our favorite eateries. Presently, that rainbow includes White (sugar or sucrose), Blue (aspartame), Pink (saccharin) and Yellow (sucralose). For purely, aesthetic reasons may we suggest Green for Truvia?

However, we will caution readers against these packs because we suspect that the Stevia in the Truvia packs will be mixed with dextrose or maltodextrin as the first ingredient (largest amount) in each pack as is the case with the other colors in the bin. These are sugar derivatives that will adulterate whatever is good and useful about Stevia. Mixing good things with bad things only ruins the food value of the beneficial as we have said many times explaining why many people are allergic to wheat due to a lifetime association with sugar.

So what is so good about Stevia that we actually are cautiously optimistic about the eventual release of small bags of pure Stevia powder in the supermarket for use in baking, coffee, grapefruit and lemonade? Well, despite the ignominious beginning to Stevia as a sweetener, a study that had been described as being “able to classify distilled water as a mutagen” enough people have used the product that there are health studies that show benefits for many diseases.

A study published in 2000 gave stevioside (Stevia’s active ingredient) to 60 hypertension patients with a placebo group of 49. Results described as significant for reducing blood pressure supplemented similar animal studies.[i]

Stevia’s reputed limited effect on blood glucose naturally led to diabetes studies. A Denmark study took blood glucose readings from 12 type-2 diabetes patients before eating Stevia or cornstarch with their meals and a couple hours later. The Stevia group showed blood glucose levels at least 18-percent less than the starch group, leading to the possibility that diabetes patients have finally found the sweetener that will allow them to have their sweet cake and eat it too.[ii]

But, after the FDA has spent many years trying to keep Stevia out of the U.S. marketplace, we should ask if there are any side effects. A study conducted by the Burdock Group generally supports the safety of Stevia, finding no adverse effects in rats at the massive doses such studies use to determine carcinogenic or mutagen properties of foods.[iii]

And so we give Stevia qualified support because while almost no information has surfaced to say that this sweetener hurts people, we realize that the weak link in any health plan is the patient him or herself. Many of us are unlikely to moderate our consumption of Stevia because so far we just have to have ice cream, chocolate cake or soda. Too much of a good thing isn’t good. But, on the range of things that are sweet but not named sugar, Stevia is a great start.



[i] Chan, P, et al “A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study of the Effectiveness and Tolerability of Oral Stevioside in Human Hypertension” Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2000 September; 50(3): 215–220. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.2000.00260.x

[ii] Gregersen S, et al. “Antihyperglycemic Effects of  Stevioside in Type-2 Diabetic Subjects.” Metabolism 2004 Jan;53(1):73-76

[iii] Williams LD, Burdock GA “Genotoxicity Studies on a High-Purity Rebauside A Preparation.” Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Aug;47(8):1831-1836

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© 2009 Nancy Appleton PhD and G.N. Jacobs


Dr. Appleton has spent more than 35 years writing, lecturing and preaching, for a lack of a better word, this simple thought: our modern diet does more to harm us than bullets, car wrecks, falling from high places and possibly those scary viruses with names like Ebola Zaire combined will ever do. Mainstream medical opinion has not always been positive during that time. When she brought in Mr. Jacobs to manage the day to day aspects of her business, she admitted to being tired and despaired of why she couldn’t continue like one of her role models, Coco Chanel who ran her fashion and perfume empire well into her eighties.

“Coco Chanel was never beaten up by the medical establishment for thirty years,” Mr. Jacobs replied.

And now perhaps the wheel has turned. People begin to listen and we are still here spreading the word. The latest support comes from the backers of a new bill before the California Legislature concerning medical choices and informed consent. Assembly Bill 1478 is intended to provide accurate information about the risks and benefits to cardiac and diabetes patients in the State of California. The logic says that if people become aware that traditional therapies aren’t nearly as effective as diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes then people will opt out and try something with more hope of working. But, the patient needs to be informed.

Statistics cited by the bill’s backers are quite frightening:

  • Approximately, 44,800 bypass surgeries are performed per year in California.
  • Up to 5-percent die.
  • Nearly 80-percent experience cognitive difficulties afterwards.
  • Repeat bypass surgeries increase the fatal risk to between 15 and 20-percent.
  • Nearly 131,400 angioplasties performed every year with a 25-percent failure rate.
  • Costs to California: $48.36 billion per year or which $8.22 billion is paid directly by Medi-Cal.
  • Two million Californians have diabetes.
  • Diabetes costs California $36 billion per year of which $6.12 billon is paid by Medi-Cal.

The Authors of the bill listed Dr. Appleton’s book Lick the Sugar Habit as a primary “Must Read” sourcebook. But, perhaps the backers aren’t as aware of our continuing work in the nutrition field as we know more now.

We suspect that part of the problem is the medical approach of most doctors who have based much of their work on Louis Pasteur’s Germ Theories. In essence, doctors seek to whack disease with medicine instead of rooting out the causes. Dr. Appleton’s PhD thesis has been published, alternately titled The Curse of Louis Pasteur or Rethinking Pasteur’s Germ Theory.

The work continues in such works as Stopping Inflammation and Suicide by Sugar where further information about sugar and the related problem of inflammation are discussed in more detail. In Suicide by Sugar, the doctor discusses soft drinks and many other sugar-added drinks in detail. It may open your eyes.

Why is it important to include health choice and informed consent laws as part of the total healthcare plan for the country? Consider Congressman Mike Roger’s harsh comments on the cost of healthcare and healthcare reform.[i] While we won’t comment here about the Congressman’s apparent lack of concern for people who can’t pay for their own insurance, he does seem to understand that healthcare costs a lot of money.

Our position and that of the backers of AB 1478 is that prevention over allopathic intervention with drugs and surgery must be considered a viable treatment plan as part of overall healthcare reform. It will certainly reduce the costs of treatment and may make public option health insurance or whatever improvements come out of the political process cheaper to implement.

A home cooked meal of two hamburger patties, mashed potatoes, grilled onions and a salad compared to the same building block foods prepared differently and consumed at McDonalds probably represents at least 300-percent price differential in cost per meal. So does the price break at the register also represent a break when it comes to calculating healthcare costs? Dr. Appleton’s work certainly has always said so, but let’s hear from the supporters of AB 1478 and the position papers they used to justify this legislation.

Dr. Pamela Poppe, one of the experts tasked to defend AB 1478, presents many examples of the comparative ineffectiveness of many traditional treatments for many common diseases. A long-running study conducted by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn started with 24 patients in 1983, of which 18 were still on the program of a healthier diet in 2000, showed that the patients still on the program had no new cardiac events, while the six that left the program had 11, including one death.[ii]

Dr. Poppe continues to list examples for almost all of the main diseases that kill us and in many cases the results of the dietary approach are vastly superior to the drug and surgery approach. A 35-year study on multiple sclerosis patients found that over the time of the study a low-saturated fat diet prevented the disease progression to the tune of a 95-percent success rate.[iii] The traditional therapy shows that half of all patients are dead, in wheelchairs, or using walkers.[iv] Something is wrong.

These facts are but a small sample of how modern medicine hurts us more than helps us. We encourage you to venture to www.camedicalchoice.com for more information on health and the fight to include heart disease, diabetes and other diseases on the long list of things your doctor must tell you before starting treatment.

[i] http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=G44NCvNDLfc


[ii] Esselstyn, CB Jr. “Updating a 12-year Experience With Arrest and Reversal Therapy for Coronary Heart Disease (An Overdue Requiem for Palliative Cardiology)” The Am J of Cardiology 1999 August 1; 84:339-341

[iii] Swank, RL, Dugan BB “Effect of Low Saturated Fat Diet in Early and Late Cases of Multiple Sclerosis” Lancet 1990;336:37-39

[iv] Munari, L, et al. “Therapy With Glatiramer Acetate for Multiple Sclerosis.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004 (1):CD004678

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Sweet Suicide Promo Video

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© 2009 Nancy Appleton PhD and G.N. Jacobs

Authors of Suicide by Sugar



Perhaps, you’ve already read one of the many variations of recent statements on sugar from The American Heart Association? We at Nancy Appleton Books are very happy, so much so that we’ll take a moment to do the Snoopy Dance. On second thought, the dance looks stupid when real people do it.

So, what does the American Heart Association’s instructions that everyone should cut their added sugar intake by 70-percent mean beyond giving Doctor Appleton a moment where she gets to say I told you so sometime back in 1986? Well, that depends on your circumstances, because we think the Heart Association has picked a sugar threshold that is still well above what is best for optimal health, but also represents a vast improvement over how things are done now.

Data collected between 2001 and 2004 and cited in the statement put the average American’s sugar consumption at 22 teaspoons or 355 extra calories of sugar per day. Citing recent studies that generally link sugar to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, the association has decided that men on 2,200-calorie diets should cut their sugar intake to 9 teaspoons or 150 calories per day. Woman in similar actuarial brackets assumed to eat 1,800 calories per day are instructed to cut down to 6 teaspoons or 100 calories per day.

Just so you know, while these “official” recommendations may not be enough for some people to lose weight and become healthier, they do represent threats to the major producers of sugar in our modern diet. A soda manufacturer, for instance, will worry because the average cola tips the scale at 8-10 teaspoons or 130-150 calories. The heart association published statistics that break down our sugar usage to regular soda (33%), sugars and candy (16.1%), cakes, cookies and pie (12.9%), fruit drinks (9.7%), dairy desserts and milk products (8.6%) and other grain-based treats (5.8%).

Even with other categories of foods that deliver sugar to an unsuspecting populace not discussed in this breakdown, a reduction to 9 and 6 teaspoons respectively means many sugar producers may change their business model. We’ll discuss what the heart association left out in a later paragraph.

In her first book Lick the Sugar Habit, Dr. Appleton states that the human body needs only about 2 teaspoons of blood sugar (glucose) per day. Normal consumption of whole fruits, vegetables and grains will provide this amount of glucose without resort to any added sugar at all![i] So you see, 6 or 9 teaspoons of sugar versus 2 teaspoons still means that the heart association people have quite a ways to go before they get our full support.

We also have reason to wonder if the statement writers have based their sugar consumption numbers on statistics that underreport the real story. Statistics on sugar vary between reports depending on who is doing the test and how close they are to the U.S. Government, which until very recently thought nothing was wrong with sugar if you brushed your teeth. In 1989, the Berkley Wellness letter, estimated that sugar consumption in 1985 to be 133 pounds per year or 500 to 600 calories per day per person.[ii] We are already well above the numbers cited by the heart association statement written nearly twenty years later. We have in the years since raised yearly sugar consumption to well over 150 pounds per person per year.

One thing that we can completely agree on with the American Heart Association is the high degree to which soda delivers the most sugar to the most people. Their information says that soda represents a third of all sugar injected into the average diet. Our information may not exactly agree, but still says that we get too much sugar from soft drinks, lemonade, punch and whatever Tang is defined as. We devoted a whole chapter of Suicide by Sugar to soft drinks and other similar sugary drinks.

In 2005, the average American was estimated to drink 35.5 gallons of just regular soda, which when the other categories of sugary drinks are added in comes out to the equivalent of 637 cans of soda per person per year.[iii] We cited a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics made in 2004 that said that all members should advocate for the removal of all sugary drinks from schools. The primary reason was to prevent obesity in children and to make sure that sugar didn’t replace healthy nutrients in children’s diets.[iv]

The Heart Association has come out for sugar reductions and we applaud. But, we find it interesting that the bulk of the recommendations fall against the easy culprits in our sweet diets: soda, ice cream, cake, pie, but not some others that may in the long run be more useful. We understand about birthday parties and the social reasons we eat sugar, even though we assume many people will act like addicts and lose the ability to say “no more today.” But, shouldn’t sugar reductions fall against all sugar producers equally?

As of this writing, Mr. Jacobs holds a Heinz ketchup bottle in his hands with this ingredient list: tomato concentrate, distilled vinegar, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, salt, spice, onion powder, natural flavoring. He also pulled out a can of his generic brand chili where SUGAR and MODFIED CORN STARCH are listed together about in the middle of the list. So far, there is no call on the part of the Heart Association to question the sugar that is in regular processed food that doesn’t need to be there from the point of view of taste.

Mr. Jacobs admits to making compromises with some sugar-laden foods for convenience. He refuses to boil beans and simmer down meat and spices to make his own chili, a recipe that he was never taught, because he already spends too much time in the kitchen some days. He is trying to wean himself off of ketchup as a base for marinara sauce in favor of steamed tomatoes. He reports mixed results. But, these foods aren’t supposed to taste sweet; yet, we see sugar in all of its many names on the labels.

We would suggest to the Heart Association to take a look at the sugar in these processed foods and see if advocating for cans of chili without sugar added would help reduce sugar consumption without being so draconian about the obvious sugar sources. Yes, in a perfect world whole fruit with a tiny bit of cream for the lactose tolerant would replace the fudge sundae, but the short term comfort of these foods is very powerful.

Instead of denying the occasional fall off the wagon doesn’t it make more sense to start with foods that the sugar taste is practically overwhelmed by all the other spices as to be tasteless? Sugar is not a preservative and canned meat is vacuum-sealed, so preservation isn’t the reason for this practice. We hope it isn’t because sugar is addictive, another of our common rants.

Sugar upsets body chemistry and helps cause heart disease, diabetes, obesity and many other maladies. Doctor Appleton has said this for more than 30 years and we feel good that other health groups are now catching on. It is a good day.



[i] Appleton, N. Lick the Sugar Habit. (New York: Avery Penguin Putnam, 1988) Pg 13.

[ii] University of California, Berkley Wellness Letter 6, No. 3 December 1989, pp 4-5

[iii] U.S. Department of Agriculture “Food Availabilty: Custom Queries.” www.ers.usda.gov/Data/FoodConsumption/FoodAvailQueriable.aspx

[iv] Taras, H.L., et al. “Policy Statement” Pediatrics. Jan 2004; 113; 1: 152-154.

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© 2009 Nancy Appleton PhD and G.N. Jacobs



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.



[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



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.



[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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