In spite of a high fat diet, the French have had a relatively low incidence of heart disease. Labeled the “French paradox”, there is compelling evidence that resveratrol, found in red wine and other foods, may lower the risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and even slow the aging process. Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes and is produced by a few plants as a defense against attacking bacteria or fungi. All trans resveratrol (as compared to all cis-resveratrol) is the preferred and more active form of this substance. Some research finds that resveratrol may actually affect the genes (Sirtuin 1) that slow the aging process, just like calorie restriction.
Regulate Blood Glucose, Slow Cancer Growth, Improve Exercise Capacity & More!
Resveratrol has demonstrated some activity at regulating blood glucose, preventing or slowing cancer growth, improving exercise capacity, and preventing the formation of plaques in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s disease. Resveratrol is a polyphenol, which is an important class of phytochemicals. Other foods that are rich in polyphenols that have demonstrated health benefits include green tea, dark chocolate, pomegranates, apples and berries. Use 100% frozen grape juice concentrate as a liquid base for pureed whole fruit and veggie drinks. Delicious and good for you.
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will involve the patient in the proper use of food, fresh air and exercise.” Thomas Edison
It is hard to believe that there can be malnutrition in this agriculturally abundant nation of ours–but there is. “Poor food choices” summarizes our dilemma at the dinner table. America is blessed to have enough food, but we are eating the wrong food and too much of it.
At the time of the Revolutionary War, 96% of Americans farmed while only 4% worked at other trades. Tractors and harvesting combines became part of an agricultural revolution that allowed the 2% of Americans who now farm to feed the rest of us.
We grow enough food in this country (quantity) to feed ourselves, to make half of us overweight, to throw away enough food to feed 50 million people daily, to ship food overseas as a major export, and to store enough food in government surplus bins to feed Americans for a year if all farmers quit today. With so much food available, how can Americans be malnourished?
The answer is: poor food choices. Americans choose their food based upon taste, cost, convenience, and psychological gratification–thus ignoring the main reason that we eat, which is to provide our body cells with the raw materials to grow, repair, and fuel our bodies. The most commonly eaten foods in America are white bread, coffee, and hot dogs. Based upon our food abundance, Americans could be the best nourished nation on record. But we are far from it.
Causes of Nutrient Deficiencies
There are many reasons for developing malnutrition:
- We don’t eat well due to poor food choices, loss of appetite, discomfort in the gastrointestinal region, or consuming nutritionally bankrupt “junk food”; many people just don’t get enough nutrients into their stomachs.
- We don’t absorb nutrients due to loss of digestive functions (including low hydrochloric acid or enzyme output), allergy, “leaky gut”, or intestinal infections, like yeast overgrowth.
- We don’t keep enough nutrients due to increased excretion or loss of nutrients because of diarrhea, vomiting, or drug interactions.
- We don’t get enough nutrients due to increased requirements caused by fever, disease, alcohol, or drug interactions.
Anyone who is confused about why we spend so much on medical care with such poor results in cancer treatment might glean some wisdom by reading what sells best in American grocery stores.
Overwhelming evidence from both government and independent scientific surveys shows that many Americans are low in their intake of a wide variety of nutrients:[i]
A, D, E, C, B-6, riboflavin, folacin, pantothenic acid
Calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, chromium, selenium; and possibly molybdenum and vanadium. With many common micronutrient deficiencies in the Western diet, it makes sense that a major study in Australia found that regular use of vitamin supplements was a protective factor against colon cancer.[ii]
Fiber, complex carbohydrates, plant protein, special fatty acids (EPA, GLA, ALA), clean water
Meanwhile, we also eat alarmingly high amounts of: fat, salt, sugar, cholesterol, alcohol, caffeine, food additives, and toxins.
This combination of too much of the wrong things along with not enough of the right things has created epidemic proportions of degenerative diseases in this country. The Surgeon General, Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control, National Academy of Sciences, American Medical Association, American Dietetic Association, and others agree that diet is a major contributor to our most common health problems.
The typical diet of the cancer patient is high in fat, while being low in fiber and vegetables–“meat, potatoes, and gravy” is what many of my patients lived on. Data collected by the United States Department of Agriculture from over 11,000 Americans showed that on any given day:
-41% did not eat any fruit
-82% did not eat cruciferous vegetables
-72% did not eat vitamin C-rich fruits or vegetables
-80% did not eat vitamin A-rich fruits or vegetables
-84% did not eat high fiber grain food, like bread or cereal[iii]
The human body is incredibly resilient, which sometimes works to our disadvantage. No one dies on the first cigarette inhaled, or the first drunken evening, or the first decade of unhealthy eating. We misconstrue the fact that we survived this ordeal to mean we can do it forever. Not so. Malnutrition can be as blatant as the starving babies in third world countries, but malnutrition can also be much more subtle.
|1) Preliminary||Reduction of tissue stores and depression of urinary excretion.|
|2) Biochemical||Reduction of enzyme activity due to insufficient coenzymes (vitamins). Urinary excretion at minimum levels.|
|3) Physiological||Behavioral effects, such as insomnia or somnolence. Irritability accompanied by loss of appetite and reduced body weight. Modified drug metabolism and reduced immune capabilities.|
|4) Clinical||Classical deficiency syndromes as recognized by the scientific pioneers in the developmental phases of nutrition science.|
|5) Terminal||Severe tissue pathology resulting in imminent death.|
PATIENT PROFILE: T.S. arrived on our hospital doorstep as a “medical emergency” in an ambulance. At age 53, he had been treated at a previous hospital for stage 4 lymphoma and failed therapy. Our team quickly realized that T.S. was dying from both cancer and malnutrition. Since he could not eat, we provided TPN (total parenteral nutrition) through his subclavian vein for a month, then got him on a good diet, then he was capable of tolerating our fractionated chemotherapy. Within 6 months, he was in complete remission. I saw him 7 years later and he was looking fabulous.
[i]. Quillin, P., HEALING NUTRIENTS, p.43, Vintage Books, NY, 1989
[ii]. Kune, GA, and Kune, S., Nutrition and Cancer, vol.9, p.1, 1987
[iii]. Patterson, BH, and Block, G., American Journal of Public Health, vol.78, p.282, Mar.1988