Thursday, March 17, 2011

The link between excess sugar and heart disease

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17 March 2011

UK Edition

Dear Reader,

How many times have you watched your teenage son or grandson wolf down a club sandwich bigger than his head and wash it down with a fizzy drink and thought to yourself, "These youngsters can eat just whatever they want"?

It's just common knowledge, right? Teenagers can eat any manner of horrifying foods, and they'll just burn it off. Of course, you relish telling them it will all catch up with them one day. "You won't be able to eat like this forever," you warn. "Just you watch."

Well — you're right.

But not just because their metabolism will slow down and they'll pack on the pounds...

In fact, even if they adopt healthy eating habits as they enter adulthood, the damage could already be done.

All the excess sugar you might think just melts off teenagers could set them up for serious heart problems later in life.

A new study appearing in the journal Circulation reports that teens who consume high levels of sugar in drinks and foods are more likely to have poor cholesterol and triglyceride profiles, which could lead to heart disease, as they get older.

Overweight or obese teenagers who took in the most added sugar showed signs of insulin resistance, which we all know is a diabetes-precursor.

Many teenagers get about 20 per cent of their calories in the form of sugar — that's 20 per cent that could be devoted to nutrients but instead is piling on the future problems (not to mention what it's doing to their bodies TODAY).

On average, teenagers aged 12 to 18 take in 119 grams of added sugars per day. Can't picture that? We're talking over 28 teaspoons, which adds up to 476 calories.

This is the first study to look at the link between added sugars and heart disease indicators in children, but I'm sure it won't be the last.

It's pretty clear that the habits we develop in childhood set the stage for our adult lifestyles. But this goes beyond the "once a junk-food-eater, always a junk-food-eater" line of thinking.

Of course, you're probably thinking of what happened the last time you tried to tell a teenager what to do. Chances are, it wasn't pretty. Still, this is advice that could save his life down the road. And maybe, just maybe, he'll thank you.

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Decoding C-reactive protein (CRP)

Q: At my last doctor's appointment, I was told I had an elevated CRP level. What exactly is CRP, and can I lower it naturally?

Dr. Jonathan V. Wright: CRP stands for C-reactive protein. It is a protein that circulates in the blood, especially when there is inflammation in the body, including inflammation of the coronary arteries. Doctors are finding that it is a far more accurate indicator of a future problem with heart disease than cholesterol levels alone.

The simplest way to lower the CRP level is to reduce inflammation in the body. The best way to accomplish this is to pay close attention to the ratio of essential fatty acids in the diet.

Here's a simple rule to remember: Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory and omega-3 fatty acids are anti- inflammatory. So the fatty acid ratio should be more 3s and less 6s. Unfortunately, the standard diet is much heavier on the omega-6s.

But you can reverse that with a few simple changes. Foods containing hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are the biggest offenders for loading up on omega-6s. Staying away from potato chips, corn chips, crackers, and cookies are a good start — but when you start reading the labels at the supermarket, you might find that even things you considered "healthy" also contain it. Also, most nut oils, like sunflower, peanut, and almond, are high in omega- 6s. Olive oil is the best choice.

Fish oil is the best way to increase your intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids. I recommend 1 tablespoon of cod liver oil and 1,500 milligrams of DHA daily. And remember, whenever you take any type of fatty acid, you need to take vitamin E as well (400 IU of vitamin E as mixed tocopherols). Vitamin E helps keep the fatty acids from breaking down too rapidly in the body.

Also worth noting, sometimes CRP can be elevated with other types of infection such as Chlamydia and helicobacteria. These can also inflame blood vessels. Make sure your doctor checks all possibilities thoroughly.
Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone's personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own doctor before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

Wishing you the best of health,

Andrew Miller
UK Editor
Nutrition and Healing

P.S. In the latest issue of Nutrition & Healing, Dr Jonathan V. Wright reveals how patent medicine can raise your risk of prostate cancer... and the test that could very well save your life. Also, learn how the new daily recommendation for vitamin D is off by THOUSANDS and how much you really should take... plus much, much more...

All new members who sign up will receive important updates like these in addition to receiving Dr. Wright's 7 Volume Library of Natural Healing.

Click here for full details.


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