Blood Sugar Support

Keeping your blood sugar numbers in the healthy range is more important than ever. Learn the latest developments in natural blood sugar support on the NorthStar blog on blood sugar support.

  1. STOP prediabetes from turning into diabetes in 2 easy steps!

    Make no mistake about it…

    They WANT you to get sick. They WANT you to have diabetes.

    And most of all… they WANT you to NEED their meds for the rest of your life!

    If you think that’s a wild conspiracy theory, I’ve got news for you, my friend.

    There’s a new study out right now that exposes the mainstream’s true agenda

    And that’s to feed you drugs until the day you reach the grave.

    But today, I’m going to write a NEW agenda…

    One that ends with you living a full, healthy life WITHOUT meds… WITHOUT diabetes… and WITHOUT effort!

    There’s just one catch, especially if you have prediabetes.

    You need to start right now.

    The disease-blocking protocol that will END diabetes

    A recent report claims older folks with prediabetes should stop stressing the condition and treat it like that pesky kid back in grammar school.

    Ignore it… and it’ll go away.

    It claims just 13% of older patients with prediabetes go on to develop the disease -- with or without ANY kind of treatment.

    Yep, keep the donuts flowing, it doesn’t matter, it’s pretty much a lottery… where the “jackpot” is a lifetime of disease.

    But that’s just plain BUNK…

    Because there’s a little detail hidden deep inside the study that shows it’s NOT a lottery… and it’s NOT just a matter of luck.

    Folks who stayed obese were more likely to develop diabetes… while folks who lost weight didn’t.

    Those pound-shedding folks also had a LOWER risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

    But it’s in the mainstream’s interest to make you THINK it’s up to fate.

    See, if you listen to them… if you IGNORE prediabetes and just HOPE it goes away without DOING anything to protect yourself… you WILL develop diabetes (and a whole lot worse).

    And then you’ll need treatment and meds.

    You’re not healthy… but you sure are PROFITABLE!

    I’ve got 2 steps you can take right now that can ensure you get the only payoff that matters – a.k.a. your health!

    1. Switch to a low-carb diet. If you commit to this, you won’t even need step 2, it’s that effective (especially if you’re not yet a full-blown diabetic). You know how this works… quit the sugar and refined carbs. And if you need something sweet, have a piece of fruit. Not juice, just whole fruit.
    2. Try natural therapies to help bring blood sugar under control. Chromium, berberine, Gymnema sylvestre and perhaps a little vanadium will all work wonders.

    That way, you’ll NEVER develop diabetes… or any of that other nasty business, for that matter.

    In Your Corner,

    Dr. Allan Spreen

  2. Get PERFECT blood sugar… without risky meds

    REALLY????

    THIS is what passes for PROGRESS at the FDA?

    A few years back, the agency screwed up big time by allowing a dangerous drug for diabetes onto the market with little true testing.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Well, obviously, EVERYTHING went wrong…

    But leave it to the screwballs in the mainstream to see this as a positive.

    They’re actually CELEBRATING it!

    A recent report in MedPage Today calls this – I kid you not – “The Most Wonderful Mistake the FDA Ever Made.”

    If you ask me, the most “wonderful” mistake is NO mistake at all!

    And I’ve got a FOOL-PROOF way to control your blood sugar… no screw-ups necessary!

    NEVER make a mistake with your blood sugar

    This all starts with the fiasco involving the diabetes drug rosiglitazone, a.k.a. Avandia.

    I’m sure you remember it.

    That’s the drug behind a big scare in 2007 when a study linked it to major heart risk.

    That study was done AFTER it was on the market and WHILE it was being taken daily by patients across the country.

    Crazy, right?

    The studies since then have been upside down and inside out.

    It DOES cause heart problems. No, wait, it DOESN’T. Hold on… yes it does! Wait again… NOPE!

    The FDA eventually concluded the med is “safe,” and that’s the “wonderful” mistake…

    The feds now demand more testingas a result of the fiasco -- and by the way, it turns out the drug is safer than lollipops after all.

    But not even an open half-licked lollipop found candy-side down in the gutter is as bad as this med.

    Heck, if anything, this “wonderful” mistake only proves how screwed-up the system STILL is.

    See, the “newer” study that “proved” the drug was safe wasn’t a NEW study… and didn’t really prove ANYTHING.

    It was an older study that had been unblinded – in other words, everyone knew who was on the drug and the placebo, even the patients.

    Once that happened, a leading cardiac expert said, “the integrity of the trial was destroyed.”

    Yes. This is what MedPage Today is celebrating as “the most wonderful mistake.”

    Sounds to me like a pretty HORRIBLE one.

    It’s a mistake you don’t have to make.

    You don’t have to trust the feds to tell you what’s safe and what’s not. Clearly, they’ve got NO CLUE.

    I can think of three better ways to control blood sugar right off the top of my head:

    1. chromium: Ideally, take chromium GTF.
    2. Gymnema sylvestreTry 400-800 mg per day.
    3. cinnamon: Look for a water-based extract.
    4. berberine: A typical dosage is 1,000 to 1,500 mg daily.

    Add those to a diet in which you’ve eliminated refined and processed flour products, and you’ll quickly regain control over blood sugar… without having to worry about the FDA checking its own work.

  3. What Midnight Hunger Has to Do With Your Blood Sugar

    hunger midnightIt’s the middle of the night, and instead of being sound asleep, you’re standing in front of the refrigerator consumed by midnight hunger pangs. If it only happens once in a while, that could be about a particularly active day or a smaller dinner than usual. But if it’s happening several times a week, midnight hunger may have something to do with low blood sugar. Continue reading →
  4. Benefits of Going Vegan: Could It Improve Your Blood Sugar?

    going vegan benefitsWhen it comes to improving blood sugar, you know it all – the expensive medications, the diligent calorie counting, the strenuous exercise, the unrelenting stress. Then there’s the being prepared for the blood sugar spikes, as well as the times your blood sugar plummets. Sure, you’re in control of your blood sugar…more or less…but it’s certainly no easy task. What if it didn’t have to be? What if simply going vegan could improve your blood sugar? But if it were that easy, surely you would’ve heard about it, right? Not necessarily. But it’s true – one of the many benefits of going vegan may be improving your blood sugar numbers. Continue reading →
  5. How to Naturally Avoid Blood Sugar Spikes

    spikes blood sugarYou know when you’re blood sugar has spiked. The fatigue, thirst, blurry vision, and foggy brain are all dead giveaways. Not to mention that nervous feeling you sometimes get. Even if you don’t experience all of them, you probably recognize some of them. These symptoms are not the only reason you need to avoid blood sugar spikes. As aggravating as they can be, the long-term implications of high blood sugar are far worse. High blood sugar can increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and more. But there’s good news – it is possible to avoid blood sugar spikes naturally, so that you can stay healthy and in control for a long time to come. Continue reading →
  6. What Artificial Sweeteners Do to Your Blood Sugar

    Blood Sugar Artificial SweetenersFor years you’ve been taught that if you’re worried about your blood sugar, artificial sweeteners are a safe, tasty alternative to sugar. And not just for blood sugar – artificial sweeteners are supposed to be helpful for weight loss and achieving overall health, too. Even if they weren’t good for you, they were supposed to be neutral when it comes to achieving or maintaining good health. Unfortunately, new studies are indicating that what you’ve always been taught, may not be so accurate after all. Continue reading →
  7. Foods for Diabetics to avoid and What You Should Eat Instead

    Foods for Diabetics to AvoidWhile being diagnosed with diabetes probably means you will have to change your diet, it doesn't mean you have to stop enjoying food! In fact, foods diabetics should eat are no different from the foods included in any healthy diet. The key is to make smart, healthy choices, and watch your portions. Like anything else, it’ll take some practice. But once you know what foods to avoid – and what foods you can eat – you’ll be healthier and still enjoying every bite. Continue reading →
  8. Pistachios may reduce diabetes risk

    A nutty way to drop diabetes risk If you've been following my advice, you’re already reaching for super-healthy almonds and walnuts at snack time. These superfoods in hardshell jackets have been proven in study after study to help fight cancer, lower blood pressure, and drive down blood sugar. Well I’m happy to report there’s another tasty nut you can add to your healthy snack list. A new Spanish study has found that regularly eating delicious pistachios may help reduce your diabetes risk. Continue reading →
  9. The sunshine vitamin may help reduce blood sugar and weight

    We already knew vitamin D was a superstar, but June sure was a banner month for the sunshine vitamin. Besides being linked to better blood pressure control and dropping your risk of an early death, new research finds that D could turn out to be the key to lowering your blood sugar AND your weight. It turns out that the sunshine vitamin treatments act on the brain to improve both weight and blood glucose control in the overweight, according to an animal study presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society in Chicago. Continue reading →
  10. Will Afreeza have you “inhaling cancer”?

    It looks like MannKind Corporation might have a shiny new superstar on its hands. The drug company’s new darling, inhalable diabetes drug Afrezza, certainly looks like a blockbuster waiting to happen. It’s got it all, a novel new delivery system (“Look Ma, no needles!”), 25 million potential customers in the United States alone, and—best of all—a brand spanking new “APPROVED”stamp courtesy of the folks over at the Food and Drug Administration. You might even say Afrezza’s future’s so bright MannKind has got to wear shades. Continue reading →
  11. Health benefits of almonds: The perfect snack food?

    If you’re a regular reader of the Guide to Good Health you know I’m a firm believer in the power of nuts (being a health nut myself!). These delicious nutrition-packed wonders can do everything from boosting your energy levels to helping head off heart problems and fight cancer. In fact, according to one study, just 30 grams of nuts a day (a modest handful) could significantly reduce your stroke risk. A half a cup of mixed nuts a day drove down the blood sugar and cholesterol levels in a group of type-2 diabetics. And the vitamin E found in many nuts may help slash your risk of deadly pancreatic cancer. Now, a stack of new research on the health benefits of almonds—presented at the American Society of Nutrition Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting in San Diego late last month—points to almonds as a way to help ward off obesity, metabolic issues, and heart problems.

    Better blood sugar with almonds

    A study of over 24,800 adults found that people who eat almonds tend to make better diet choices and have better overall health than non-almond eaters. And in a crossover, randomized clinical trial on the health benefits of almonds, overweight pregnant women who snacked on 2 ounces of almonds felt fuller… and as a result had a reduced appetite. In another analysis on the health benefits of almonds performed at Purdue University, researchers showed that people who eat 1.5 ounces of dry-roasted, lightly-salted almonds daily have better appetite control and healthier blood sugar levels, as well as higher vitamin E and monounsaturated healthy fat intake, than those who skip the healthy snack. But it gets even better with some real world results. The daily almond eaters, who were all at risk for type 2 diabetes, were also able to maintain healthy weight levels despite the fact that they had increased their calorie intake by 250 extra calories a day! And in yet another study, 52 adults with high cholesterol were able to reduce belly fat and slash their risk of heart and metabolic problems just by eating a modest serving (1.5 ounces) of almonds every day.
  12. Are you a victim of Syndrome X?

    The names sound so very mysterious. Metabolic Syndrome. Insulin Resistance. CHAOS. Or...my favorite...Syndrome X. But what do they really mean? If you're confused about the answer to that question you're certainly not alone. Not by a long shot. In fact, not a week goes by when I don't get asked that question by someone. It seems the mainstream media has done an excellent job of spreading the ominous sounding terms. But not such a great job when it comes to informing people about what they actually mean. (Why am I not surprised?) The good news is they're all really just different names for the same thing. Or, to be more accurate, they're different names for the same group of things. So to stay informed you only need to learn one definition.

    Nailing down the syndrome

    To put it simply Syndrome X is a combination of health factors that when they occur together are an indicator of your overall metabolic health. If you're over 60 your chances of having Syndrome X are greater than 50 percent. And according to an already outdated statistic at least 47 million United States residents have the syndrome and that number is on the rise. If you're carrying extra weight around the middle and have at least two of the following then you're already among them.
    • elevated triglycerides (equal to or higher than 150mg/dL)
    • low HDL cholesterol (for men that's under 40 mg/dL and for women it's under 50 mg/dL)
    • elevated blood pressure (equal to or higher than 130/85 mmHg)
    • elevated fasting blood sugar (equal to or higher than 100 mg/dL)
    Ok, so you have Syndrome X. Now what?

    Maintaining normal numbers

    Obviously, the same things that are important for maintaining optimal health apply here. Kicking high sugar and high carb foods to the curb, increasing the amount of fresh whole foods in your diet, and getting up and moving (preferably outdoors so you can get a good dose of the health benefits of - vitamin D). But what if you're already doing these things and Syndrome X is still stubbornly sticking around? Well then you might need to take things up a notch with supplements. In the past I've already told you about magnesium, chromium, and vitamin D-3. And they all should absolutely continue to be an integral part of your healthy heart and blood sugar plan. But there's another nutrient that I haven't told you about before that emerging research is pointing to as a real powerhouse when it comes to...well...keeping your numbers normal. I know, I know...yawn. "Normal" doesn't sound all that exciting at first does it? But let me explain. Think about it. Normal really is what it's all about. After all, your goal is to stomp down those pesky rising numbers, chase them back into the middle of the normal zone, and then keep them there. And while magnesium, chromium and D-3 are helping to support those normal, healthy blood sugar levels berberine (Berberis aristata) root could be just the extra oomph you need to support your normal, healthy cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood pressure levels. In fact, in one study, subjects who were taking 1g of berberine a day saw improvements in their total cholesterol, triglycerides, and in LDL cholesterol. And they also saw an improvement in systolic blood pressure. Not bad for a simple root!

    Help your numbers take the fast track to "normal" with this cutting edge formula

    There are other studies hinting at berberine's ability to support healthy lipid levels...plus a few interesting ones on blood sugar...and I'm sure we will see more long-term research completed in the months ahead. (Let's just hope Big Pharma keeps their patent-happy paws off it!) But frankly, with promising results like these I can assure you that I will not be waiting on recommending berberine...right along with magnesium, chromium, and vitamin D-3...to anyone who asks me for advice about their blood sugar problems. I'd like you to be able to try it too, and that's why I've worked with the team at NorthStar Nutritionals to create what I feel is hands down the best blood sugar support supplement you can get for your money...SugarSol. Combining my must have's for fighting Syndrome X, this powerful cutting-edge blend of nutrients supports normal blood pressure, balanced blood sugars, and healthy triglyceride levels. I invite you to give it a try today or learn more about how SugarSol shores up your metabolic health and helps you keep those numbers right where you want them...in the normal zone. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
  13. Mainstream press misses link between diabetes drug Actos and cancer

    I hate to say I told you so. But every time I come down tough on drugs, it turns out they really deserve it. Take for example, the diabetes drug Actos. A few weeks back, I slammed Actos, despite new research (covered in TIME and The New York Times) that it decreases your risk of developing diabetes. Turns out, I should have come down harder on that darned drug. In fact, this week researchers published a report that found an association between Actos and a certain form of cancer. Plus, this isn‘t the first study to uncover a link between Actos and increased cancer risk. I‘ll give you all the grisly details in a moment. But first, let‘s back up a few months...

    Proof that mainstream reporters eat whatever‘s fed to them

    A month ago, Actos sounded like a wonder drug. Everywhere you looked the mainstream press kept repeating the same statistic...men and women with pre- diabetes who took Actos lowered their risk of developing full-blown diabetes by 72 percent. Sounds impressive, right? Actos may prevent diabetes! But remember the key flaw I told you about (and the mainstream press conveniently omitted)? The study was exceptionally small. In the end, we‘re talking talking about a total difference of 35 people! Considering that 300 million pre-diabetics live in the U.S., how could any doctor give Actos to just one of them based on such slim evidence? And here‘s the icing on the cake... Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Actos, actually conducted this shaky study. In my book, it was purely a PR scheme to boost sales. Actos‘s patent expired in January of this year. But Takeda Pharmaceuticals struck a deal to delay entry of generic versions of the drug until August 2012. Was this their last-ditch effort to boost sales before the generics hit the market? Or maybe... Was it their last-ditch effort to boost sales before something far worse hit the fan...?

    Researchers link Actos to cancer

    The FDA tries to keep tabs on all prescription and OTC drugs once they hit the market. So when you take a drug, even a drug like Tylenol, and have a bad reaction, you‘re supposed to report it to the FDA. Similarly, when you go to see your doctor and talk about your bad reaction to a drug, your doc should report it to the FDA. The FDA keeps track of all these "adverse reactions" -- no matter how small -- in a massive database. This is called the FDA‘s Adverse Event Reporting Program. The FDA compiles and publishes the data annually. But in the case of Actos... A group of Italian researchers analyzed all the adverse events reported to the FDA between 2004 and 2009 for 15 diabetes drugs on the market, including Actos and metformin. When they analyzed the reporting odds ratio (ROR), they found a "definite risk" linking Actos and bladder cancer. The risk of bladder cancer and the other diabetes drugs was "much weaker." The researchers aren‘t sure why Actos may increase your risk of developing bladder cancer. But they think it may have to do with certain receptor cells in your body. You see, Actos works by opening receptor cells so they will become more responsive to insulin. But this may also encourage them to turn cancerous. Now here‘s what troubles even more...

    Actos may be linked to even more problems

    The FDA‘s Adverse Event Reporting System isn‘t perfect. (I know. It‘s shocking, right?) You see, it‘s completely voluntary. It stands to reason there could be more cases of bladder cancer that we don‘t know about. For example, say Joe Smith from Indiana began taking Actos in 2004 for diabetes. Then, out of the blue, he got bladder cancer in 2008. Maybe his doctor never thought to connect Actos to his bladder cancer. None of this business about bladder cancer had hit the press yet. Now, let‘s say Joe is one of the lucky ones and went on to survive bladder cancer. He‘s no longer in treatment. Now we know about the cancer link. But his doctor never reported it to the FDA back in 2008 because back then, no one did. Hopefully, this new study will start to spread some awareness. Just don‘t count on the FDA to move quickly. They have known about the possible link between Actos and bladder cancer for at least a year. In fact, last year the FDA began to take a closer look at Actos after receiving early results from a long-term study by Takeda Pharmaceuticals. That study showed patients with the longest exposure (or highest cumulative dose) to Actos had in increased risk of developing bladder cancer. It will be interesting to see if TIME or The New York Times follows up on their Actos report, won‘t it? (I‘m not holding my breath. Before sending this week‘s GUIDE TO GOOD HEALTH off to my editor, I ran a quick Google search. At that point, The NYT still hadn‘t run anything about the new data linking Actos to bladder cancer. That‘s a full three days after the research hit the newswire. I‘m betting they just let it slip on by.) Well, maybe TIME Magazine will run something in its next issue. After all, the mainstream press is our last unbiased bastion of truth. (Yeah right.)
  14. TIME misses key flaw in bogus drug study encouraging Actos for diabetes

    Last month, The New York Times and TIME magazine both ran articles that reported on new research for a diabetes drug called Actos (pioglitazone). According to the new research, men and women with elevated blood sugar levels who took Actos were less likely to develop diabetes than a placebo group. You can make the case that the reporters wrote balanced arguments. In fact, both reporters raised concerns about giving a diabetes drug to patients without full-blown diabetes. Plus, both reporters warned you about the drug‘s very serious side effects. But there‘s one major problem with both articles: They fail to point out a key flaw in the new research. In fact, the results of this study are so shaky, TIME and The NYT had no business giving it any ink. (You‘ll learn exactly why the results are so shaky in a moment, I promise!) But first, I want to point out something about Big Pharma... The new Actos research reflects Big Pharma‘s new marketing strategy. Don‘t just take our drugs to treat disease. Take them before you develop the disease too! Unfortunately, the national news media seems all too willing to take this strategy seriously. But, in my book, it‘s all about boosting sales. Here‘s what they don‘t tell you... Actos‘s patent expired in January of this year. But Takeda Pharmaceuticals -- the company that makes Actos -- struck a deal to delay entry of generic versions of the drug until August 2012. So, this is the company‘s last-ditch effort to boost sales over the next 12 months. Get men and women who don‘t have diabetes to take a diabetes drug. What a novel idea! Is it any surprise, then, that Takeda Pharmaceuticals partially funded this bogus study? Yep. Who didn‘t see that coming from a mile away? The good news is there are lots of ways to prevent diabetes without resorting to a drug like Actos. In fact, a new study proved that even small amounts of one key mineral could lower your blood sugar by nearly 10 percent. I‘ll tell you all about that study in a moment, but first let‘s look at the details of the latest Actos research... Study raises red flags from the start U.S. researchers gave Actos to 602 men and women with pre-diabetes for two years. (To be clear, these folks did not have full-blown diabetes, just elevated blood sugar levels.) During that time, 7.6 percent of the volunteers who took a placebo developed diabetes. By comparison, only 2.1 percent of volunteers who took Actos developed diabetes. According to TIME and The NYT, this means volunteers who took Actos reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 72 percent. Sounds great, right? The lead researcher for the study called these results "astounding." Well, not so fast Dr. Ralph A. DeFronzo. Let‘s look at the results from your study using the raw data. Here‘s what really happened in your "astounding" study... Of the 602 men and women who started the study, 10 patients who took Actos developed diabetes. On the other hand, 45 patients who took the placebo developed diabetes. So...we‘re talking about a total difference of 35 people! Just 35 people. Talk about ignoring the big fat elephant in the room. Did the reporters omit this information because it lessens the argument? I can‘t be sure but what I do know is that the mainstream press needs to take a long hard look at the study data. There are 300 million pre-diabetics living in the U.S. alone. Should we really even consider giving this drug to any of them based on the results that 35 fewer people developed diabetes? In my opinion: No. I don‘t care how much The NYT and TIME warned their readers about weight gain and fluid retention. When you leave out a key piece of information like that, you‘ve really dropped the ball. And that‘s not all... Actos linked to heart risk and bladder cancer Many people consider Actos a safer alternative to other diabetes drugs, but it‘s not. Here‘s why... It belongs to the same class of drugs as Avandia. As you‘ll recall, the FDA greatly restricts the use of Avandia because it may increase your heart attack risk. So, how about Actos? Could it increase heart attack risk too? Of course, it could. In fact, a 2010 study found that Actos caused as many heart problems as Avandia. Plus, the FDA is investigating a link between Actos and bladder cancer. I suspect they will find the longer you take Actos, the greater your risk. Now, I promised you some good news in this whole mess. And here it is: there are non-drug solutions to getting your blood sugar under control... Tackle diabetes naturally First off, there‘s diet and exercise. As I mentioned earlier, this can cut your diabetes risk by 58 percent. Plus, a new study found that magnesium might help too. For this study, researchers divided 52 men and women with diabetes into two groups. One group got 365 mg of magnesium per day for six months. The other group got a placebo. Overall, the magnesium group improved in two out of three tests for insulin sensitivity. Plus, their blood sugar levels after fasting improved by about seven percent. Though this study is small in scope, researchers point to large-scale meta-analysis that confirms their results. In that analysis, researchers found that men and women lowered their diabetes risk by 15 percent with each 100 mg of magnesium taken. So, just think...taking 300 mg magnesium each day could lower your risk by 45 percent. Not too shabby. If you want to learn more about how to lower your diabetes risk without drugs, go back and look at my Guide to Good Health from 8-12-10. In this report, you‘ll find three important steps you can take to improve your blood sugar control.
  15. Vitamin D conspiracy leads straight to Big Pharma

    You've probably heard about the bad rap vitamin D has been getting lately. The argument goes something like this...the vitamin D crisis isn't as bad as we thought. You probably don't need as much of it as we thought. But it's a free country. So go ahead and take 400 IU of it per day, if you want. That's more than enough. Just don't go over 4,000 IU per day. "High doses" like that can increase your risk for "harm." These new guidelines come from the U.S. Institute of Medicine (or IOM), a powerful non-profit agency that advises the nation of matters of health. But here's the problem: Their report is pure propaganda. In fact, I believe these low doses of vitamin D are a deliberate attempt to keep the American public needing more drugs until the day they die. (I'll admit,that sounds a tad paranoid. But I'll explain why my paranoia is well-founded in a moment.) First, let's look at the three major problems with the IOM research.

    Leave it to the IOM to redefine "majority"

    First off, the IOM report states that the "majority" of adults living in the U.S. get enough vitamin D...and that's just nonsense. As you'll recall, last week I told you about a major CDC study that found almost 80 percent of Americans don't get enough vitamin D. Plus, another major study published late last year by researchers from the University of Tennessee came up with similar results. In fact, this time researchers found that 87 percent of the general population is mildly to severely deficient in vitamin D. Even the most conservative estimates put vitamin D deficiencies at about 50 percent of the population. So how the IOM can confidently claim the "majority" of Americans get enough vitamin D, I have no idea!

    Spend a minute in the sun each day

    The IOM report also states that "North Americans need on average 400 International Units (IUs) of vitamin D per day. People age 71 and older may require as much as 800 IUs per day because of potential changes in people's bodies as they age." Again, this is pure nonsense. But before I go any further, here's a quick biochemistry primer... The IOM says you only need 400 IU of vitamin D. But they actually mean 400 IU of vitamin D3 (or cholecalciferol). Your skin makes this natural form of vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. In fact, spending just 30 minutes in the sun without sunscreen, your skin will produce anywhere from 10,000 IU to 50,000 IU of D3! Plus, you can also take D3 as a supplement. Next... Vitamin D3 passes through your liver and it turns into a pre-hormone called 25-hydroxycholecalciferol. This is abbreviated as 25(OH)D. When you get a vitamin D blood test, we really want to see how much 25(OH)D is in your blood. We measure 25(OH)D in nanomoles per liter or nmol/l. Now, stick with me, because here's where it gets interesting... According to the IOM report, taking just 400 IU of vitamin D3 per day will give 97 percent of us a blood serum level of 50 nmol/l. And that level will protect us from fractures. Sounds okay, I guess. But let me put this another way to show you just how silly the IOM recommendation really is... Let's assume that your body makes 10,000 IU of D3 for every 30 minutes spent in the sun without sunscreen. (Most experts say you make at least twice that much...but let's not get picky.) So, how long does it take for your body to make 400 IU of D3? Hurray! Just 1.2 minutes in the sun! That's all you need to keep your bones strong. Is it me, or does that just sound wrong? Well, here's the good news. It isn't just me. It is wrong. And there's some solid scientific proof to back me up...

    IOM gets their numbers wrong

    Two major meta-analysis' from 2009 found that 50 nmol/l of 25(OH)D in your blood isn't enough to protect you from a fracture or a fall. In fact, 28 separate studies found that 50 nmol/l isn't enough! Plus, the International Osteoporosis Foundation recommends men and women have 75 nmol/l of 25(OH)D. This is what it takes to protect you from accidental falls and fractures. Lastly, numerous studies over the years show that the more 25(0H)D in your blood, the greater your bone density. But to get up to those higher levels of 25(OH)D, you need more D3. Plus, here's another interesting twist. The authors of the IOM report most likely knew about all this research...they just chose to ignore it. You see, before publishing the new vitamin D guidelines, the IOM board consulted with Dr. Walter Willet. The board even thanked Dr. Willet at the end of their report. So who's Dr. Willet? He's a vitamin D expert and Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard. He also co-wrote one of the 2009 reports on vitamin D I mentioned earlier. The IOM, however, ignored his findings. But don't feel bad, Dr. Willet. Yours isn't the only research the IOM ignored...

    IOM report ignores research on vitamin D and disease

    Remember how I told you the IOM said 400 IU of D3 is enough to protect you against osteoporosis? Well, what about everything else...like cancer and heart disease? In a press conference, IOM chair Dr. Catherine Ross said "We could not find solid evidence that consuming more [vitamin D] would protect the public from chronic disease ranging from cancer to diabetes to improved immune function." And with that simple statement, Dr. Ross lost all credibility. Here are some of the best studies linking vitamin D and major diseases: Breast cancer: Women with vitamin D blood serum levels less than 50 nmol/mL are eight times more likely to develop an aggressive form of breast cancer. Colon cancer: Men and women with the highest vitamin D levels cut their colon cancer risk by 40 percent. Heart Disease & Stroke: Men and women with low vitamin D double their heart attack or stroke risk. Cognitive decline: Older women with low vitamin D are twice as likely to suffer cognitive impairment. Diabetes: A whopping 91 percent of diabetics have low levels of vitamin D in their blood. Plus, the less vitamin D in their blood, the greater their blood sugar problems. And I'm just scratching the surface here! If you want to look at all the scientific data on vitamin D, the Vitamin D Council is a good place to start. They list the studies by disease, so you can see the all scientific data Dr. Catherine Ross and her colleagues missed. In closing, there's one last reason why the IOM report has the pungent smell of propaganda...

    There's a rat in the house

    Glenville Jones, PhD is one of the authors of the IOM report. He's a scientist and also the co-inventor of drug made by a company called Cytochroma. This drug is still in development....but what condition will they treat with their top-secret drug? You got it. Vitamin D deficiencies! (I'm not making this stuff up. You can see the patent for yourself at the U.S. Patent Office website.) Dr. Jones also sits on the scientific advisory board of a drug company called Receptor Therapeutics. These guys also made a synthetic vitamin D treatment for cancer...in fact THREE synthetic vitamin D treatments for cancer. (Drug companies use synthetic vitamin D because they can patent it and make a huge profit. You can't patent natural vitamin D.) Well, isn't that so thoughtful... You don't need to take vitamin D. But if you do happen to get cancer...guess who plans to have a vitamin D drug you can take? Here's the bottom line for you: Ignore anything published by the IOM. Take up to 5,000 IU of natural vitamin D3 each day. And avoid anything made by Cytochroma and Receptor Therapeutics. Want more facts about vitamin D? Look back at all the Guide to Good Health reports by following this link. In the search box, type "vitamin D" and you'll find 40 articles.
  16. Embrace the benefits of cinnamon: The world’s oldest spice

    Holiday spice slashes blood sugar in just 12 weeks

    If you‘re diabetic, there‘s one simple change you can make to your routine -- yes, even during the holidays -- to improve your blood sugar control: Eat more cinnamon.

    That alone could make the difference in how well you manage your blood sugar. In fact, a recent study published in the journal Diabetic Medicine found that cinnamon significantly improves blood sugar in just 12 weeks...plus, it even improves blood pressure in diabetics who take it every day!

    World‘s oldest spice has many health benefits

    I‘ve written before about the benefits of cinnamon. It is one of the oldest spices known to man and has been used medicinally for thousands of years. In fact, cinnamon contains powerful polyphenols, which have been shown to:

    • Boost brain function
    • Thwart infections
    • Zap bacteria
    • Speed healing
    • Relieve menstrual pain
    • Improve circulation
    • Soothe gastrointestinal discomfort
    Cinnamon is also beneficial to anyone at risk for heart disease or stroke...and that covers just about everyone! Cinnamon contains oils that naturally thin the blood. In fact, these compounds prevent platelets from clumping together in your arteries, so unwanted blood clots don‘t tend to form. Cinnamon also contains compounds that effectively reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and slash triglycerides.

    Lastly, cinnamon is widely regarded -- even among conventional docs -- for its role in regulating blood sugar. First off, cinnamon slows down how quickly your stomach empties after eating a meal.

    This means that -- even if you‘ve eaten a meal with a high-glycemic load -- not all of the sugar gets dumped into your blood stream at once. Instead, the sugar enters your blood a little bit at a time. This gives your body adequate time to respond and produce insulin.

    Cinnamon also re-activates your body‘s worn-out insulin receptors. It also blocks the enzyme that damaged these insulin receptors in the first place.

    A surprisingly small amount is all it takes

    For the most recent study, researchers recruited 58 men and women with diabetes and randomly divided them into two groups. One group received about ¼ a teaspoon of cinnamon each day for 12 weeks. To be more specific, they took 2 grams of cinnamomum cassia, the common variety cinnamon found on your grocery store shelf. But they took it as a capsule. The other group received a placebo.

    After the 12 weeks, the blood sugar levels of those taking the cinnamon fell eight percent. Plus, their systolic blood pressure came down about 3 ½ points and their diastolic number fell about 5 points.

    Not too shabby for something as simple as adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to your morning oatmeal or even your coffee.

    The placebo group didn‘t fair nearly as well. In fact, they didn‘t see any blood pressure improvements during the course of the study. In addition, their blood sugar actually rose 8 ½ percent over the 12 weeks!

    The USDA has even jumped on the cinnamon bandwagon!

    Last July government scientists found that diabetics who took cinnamon for just 40 days:
    • Lowered their fasting blood glucose levels by 18 to 29 percent
    • Slashed triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent
    • And cut total cholesterol 12 to 26 percent
    And that was just by taking ¼ to ½ of a teaspoon of cinnamon each day. When study participants stopped taking the cinnamon, all their improvements disappeared.

    Get control of your blood sugar this holiday

    Now, I realize that December isn‘t the month most of us choose to make major health overhauls. But you can do this: Sprinkle cinnamon on your apples, oatmeal, yogurt or coffee.

    Strive to get at least ¼ a teaspoon each day if you‘re prone to blood sugar issues. Then, by January, you may want to have your blood work checked to see if your levels have improved.

    There‘s nothing special to know about buying good cinnamon. Any variety off your grocer‘s shelf will do the trick. Though, I‘d go for "organic" cinnamon if it were available.

    Keep it in a sealed glass container in your cabinet. Ground cinnamon will stay fresh this way for about six months, and cinnamon sticks will last about a year. You can extend cinnamon‘s shelf life by keeping it in the refrigerator.

    To check for freshness, smell the cinnamon. It should smell sweet. If it doesn‘t smell sweet, throw it out. It‘s time has come to an end.
  17. Green leafy vegetables may decrease type-2 diabetes risk

    If you like spinach salad, I've got good news. Eating spinach (or any other type of green leafy vegetable) decreases the likelihood that you'll develop blood sugar problems down the road. That's according to a new study from the UK. Researchers analyzed data from six different previously published studies involving more than 200,000 men and women. They found that type-2 diabetes isn't tied exclusively to sugar intake. In fact, participants with the greatest intake of green leafy vegetables cut their type-2 diabetes risk by about 15 percent. According to Melanie Davies, the study's lead researcher, "The results support the growing body of evidence that lifestyle modification is an important factor in the prevention of type 2 diabetes." Gee, ya' think? Well, Dr. Davies may be a little slow coming to the table. But at least it's another solid study reaffirming what we've always known: What you eat affects your health. So just keep doing what you're doing. Eat something green and leafy every day. Stay away from the sweet stuff. And your blood sugar won't ever become an issue.
  18. Resveratrol benefits… could it be the “fountain of youth”?

    I'm a research junkie. I'll admit it. So I just about jumped out of my seat when I read that someone had finally tested resveratrol--the antioxidant superstar found in red wine and grapes--on actual human beings! Yes, nutritionists have known about resveratrol for decades. It helps tame inflammation and prevent oxidative stress. This is significant because unchecked inflammation and oxidative stress can lead to heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer. Even the mainstream press picked up on resveratrol a few years back when scientists proved it could extend the lifespan of mice by 20 percent! They dubbed it the "fountain of youth." But until last month, there was one giant problem with this antioxidant phenom: Zero clinical proof actually existed that it works on humans. (And I mean, ZERO.) There was plenty of data showing that it can increase the lifespan of roundworms, fruit flies, mice, and yeast. But nothing on humans...until last month. Will the antioxidant superstar work on humans? You may be wondering, why all the fuss? If resveratrol is found in red wine...doesn't everyone know that drinking a glass of red wine is good for your health? And yes, that's true. But this study digs much deeper. In fact, it's the first- ever study showing why resveratrol may be a legit "fountain of youth" for humans after all. Specifically, scientists from the University of Buffalo wanted to see if resveratrol could decrease inflammation and oxidative stress in healthy men and women. So the scientists recruited 20 healthy men and women and took samples of their blood. Then, they split the participants into two groups. One group received 40 mg of resveratrol each day for six weeks. And the other group received a placebo. And here's what they found...

    Anti-aging extract scores off the charts!

    Resveratrol performed just as we all had hoped. First off, it blocked the formation of free radicals (reactive oxygen species or ROS). These harmful, unstable molecules cause damage to healthy cells. Over time, widespread free radical damage can harm your DNA and lead to a disease like cancer. But the participants who took resveratrol for six weeks significantly lowered their ROS levels. Secondly, the resveratrol group also lowered their TNF levels. TNF (or tumor necrosis factor) is a harmful protein that creates inflammation throughout the body. A few weeks ago, we talked about this harmful protein and the role it plays in rheumatoid arthritis. But TNF doesn't just harm rheumatoid arthritis patients. It causes widespread inflammation that can affect your blood vessels, your organs, your skin, and even your brain. It also messes with your body's insulin production. In fact, endocrinologists believe that lowering TNF levels will improve insulin resistance in diabetics.

    Small study, big impact

    Now, unfortunately this study is terribly small in scope with just 20 participants. Nevertheless, I think that it will have a big impact in the years to come. First off, it proves that resveratrol can help control inflammation in humans. And that's huge! Inflammation is the underlying, biological cause of so many different uncured diseases -- from rheumatoid arthritis to Alzheimer's disease. Plus, it just builds more momentum for this superstar antioxidant. It will be interesting to see if one day scientists prove that resveratrol can extend your lifespan, as they proved with mice a few years back. So if you're not already taking something with resveratrol, now's definitely the time start! (Especially if you're over 50 or have an inflammatory disease.) And yes, you'll find resveratrol in red wine and grapes. But you'd have to drink gallons of wine (or eat bushels of grapes) to get 100 mg of resveratrol. That's the amount you'll find in any quality resveratrol supplement. Most of these are derived from the Japanese knotweed herb. So take action now to keep feeling and looking young.
  19. Natural ways to lower blood sugar without dangerous drugs

    How much does a heart attack cost? Five hundred thousand dollars? A million dollars? Two million? Truth is, it doesn't really matter. GlaxoSmithKline will pay it. And they'll pay it willingly a thousand times over just to keep you taking their diabetes drug Avandia. That's because even after the billions spent on lawsuits, damage control, and cover-ups, Avandia is still worth it for them. It makes a profit. Yes, Avandia appears to raise your heart attack risk. (And yes GSK knew about it and tried hard to cover it up).But you do have other options. And I'm not talking about taking one of those "safe" Avandia-replacement drugs advertised just about everywhere these days. I'm talking about non-drug options. Safe, effective options for diabetes patients Without a doubt, you can lower your blood sugar without taking drugs. But it's not a quick, easy fix. It will take commitment. But I promise you; it's worth all the effort. You'll safely lower your blood sugar and you'll probably lower your risk of heart attack as well (instead of raise it, like Avandia does). Here's where you've got to start:

    STEP 1: Get off the sugar. And that includes throwing out any refined and processed flour products, such as white bread, rice, cookies, pancakes etc. The good news is that complex carbs such as 100 percent whole wheat, de-hulled barley, bran, and oats are all okay. Pasta is fine as long as it's made from spinach, artichoke, brown rice, or 100 percent whole wheat. It's heavy, so try angel hair pasta and don't serve as much. You won't need it.

    STEP 2: Fortify your overall health by taking a good multi vitamin that contains at least 25 mg of B3. I'd also double up on vitamin C to help detoxify your system. Go for 1,000 mg three to four times a day. If you start to experience diarrhea, back off by 1,000 mg increments.

    STEP 3: Then, I'd start looking at some natural ways to lower your blood sugar. First off, I'd think about adding chromium to your daily regimen. Go for either chromium picolinate, or preferably chromium GTF (Glucose Tolerance Factor). This trace mineral helps to support your body's overall metabolism. It also helps to balance blood sugar levels and convert glucose into energy.

    I'd also considering adding to the mix 400 to 800 mg of the Indian herb Gymnema Sylvestre (GS). It too helps support healthy blood sugar levels and glucose metabolism. Plus, some research suggests that GS even repairs special cells in the pancreas called beta cells. These cells are vital because they produce insulin and help control how much sugar gets dumped into your blood. But in diabetics, up to 80 percent of their beta cells aren't working. (In type-1 diabetes, none of their beta cells work.) In fact, these little cells are so critical to your health, scientists are even investigating ways to replace damaged beta cells in diabetics. Scientists from India actually just wrapped up the first-ever human trial using Gymnema Sylvestre with diabetics. It was a small trial using a patented version of GS, but the results look promising. After just 60 days of taking 500 mg of GS, 10 out 11 patients significantly lowered their fasting blood sugar levels. The patients also increased their insulin and c-peptide levels. If you are dealing with full-blown diabetes, I'd also suggest looking into taking small doses of vanadium (or vanadyl sulfate). This mineral has been shown in limited studies to improve how diabetics process sugar. But there's also some concern that high amounts of vanadium (far higher than 5 mg) may cause harmful oxidative stress in the body. So the question becomes: How much can you safely take? Unfortunately, there's no standard protocol here. So I'd only try vanadium under the careful guidance of a qualified naturopath. Safely lower blood sugar by 20 percent Cinnamon is another powerful, yet safe blood-sugar solution. Sprinkle it on apples, oatmeal, whole-wheat pancakes, or yogurt. This tasty spice improves how your body processes sugar. In fact, in one recent study, cinnamon significantly lowered blood sugar among diabetics. For the study, U.S. researchers divided diabetics into two groups. One group received one, three, or six grams cinnamon each day. The other group received a placebo. And the results--after just 40 days – were astounding! All three groups taking cinnamon made big improvements all around. They lowered their fasting blood glucose levels by 18 to 29 percent, slashed triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent, and cut total cholesterol 12 to 26 percent. So even taking just ¼ to ½ teaspoonfuls each day made quite a difference. But it's important to keep it going because when the patients stopped taking the spice, their blood sugar levels rebounded. Not surprisingly, the patients who received the placebo didn't experience any improvements in the markers of their disease. But be careful what you wish for... There's no doubt in my mind that if you follow this regimen, along with a little exercise, your blood sugar will come down. But just be careful. These natural efforts can be so effective that you MUST seek the guidance of a good naturopath or enlightened physician. In fact, it's possible to push your blood sugar down so far that you become hypoglycemic. So it's important that your doctor monitors your medications very closely and lowers them as your diet and supplements take effect.

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