Stroke And Heart Attack Linked To Drinking This!

stroke and heart attack

The power of the brain and nervous system amazes me.  A system that controls literally every process and function in the body.  Therefore, I’m always interested in good research affecting the health and function of the nervous system.  Recently, I received an e-mail from a friend of mine in the US who is a practicing neurosurgeon.  The subject of the e-mail floored me. 

“Drinking two or more diet sodas a day linked to high risk of stroke and heart attack.” (1)

I needed to learn more.  So, I clicked on the link and pulled up the research studies they were referring to.  Why?  Because the media is NOTORIOUS for misrepresenting research and misleading the public just to increase viewership.  

stroke and heart attack

Are We Surprised?

Let me state that for many health professionals, the findings of this study aren’t a surprise.  I would even argue that the majority of us with an interest in nutrition are well aware of the dangers of consuming artificially sweetened beverages on a regular basis.  We know that previous research has already shown soft drinks (both diet and regular) to be associated with a number of health risks.  Stroke and dementia (2), diabetes (3), obesity (4), and metabolic syndrome (5) which is a precursor to heart disease are just a few. 

Click here to read more about how drinking diet soda increases your risk of stroke 3-fold.

What Did The Data Reveal?

Drinking two or more of any kind of soft drink increased the risk of stroke and heart attacks.  Early death in women over 50 years of age was also reported.  The study sample included over 81,000 people.  However, Only 5% of them actually consumed two or more diet soda beverages.  What is interesting about this study is that these findings were reported after they accounted for age, ethnicity, Body Mass Index, and blood pressure.  These women didn’t have a history of stroke, heart disease, or diabetes.  All confounding variables that lead to heart attacks and strokes. 

Also, they found that physical activity and diet were the same between people who drank two or more diet soft drinks and those who didn’t.  After controlling for all these factors, the study found the following;

  • Women who consumed 2+ diet drinks a day were 31% more likely to have a clot-based stroke
  • 29% more likely to have heart disease
  • 16% more likely to die from any cause than the women who either drank less or none at all

Whose Risks Were The Highest?

  1. Women aged 50-79.
  2. If you were African-American.
  3. If you had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30+.

Stroke and Dementia Risk, Linked to Artificial Sweeteners

What Do The Results Tell Us?

For one, switching to diet sodas and juices with artificial sweeteners is not necessarily a “healthier” option.  They are both bad.  These studies don’t tell us outright that consuming soft drinks causes strokes.  However, it is safe to say the results of these long-term studies definitely raise some alarms.  

Also, it tells us that in people with no previous diseases that predispose us to heart attacks and strokes, result the exact same.  It would be interesting to look at a study that shows how long people would need to drink diet sodas before their risks start to increase.

But what is it about artificial sweeteners that increases our risk?  I am unaware if a scientific consensus exists that demonstrates causality.  Likely more research needs to be conducted before we can establish a direct causal relationship.  One explanation for the increased risk associated with artificial sweeteners may be that they alter the bacteria in the gut.  It could disrupts the body’s ability to control glucose.  If the body can’t control glucose than this can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and even stroke. (6)

Click here for my TV segment discussing the important role our gut plays in the regulation of our immune system.  Also, for helpful ways to avoid sugar, click here to read Sugar – Are you singing the sugar blues?

I’m an advocate for people breaking lifestyle habits that are unlikely to contribute to their well-being.  We are learning by way of repeated studies demonstrating similar results.  Consuming high amounts of sugar or diet sodas is ultimately going to lead to poorer health.  So next time you’re faced with a choice for a drink, maybe opt for water with lemon instead.

References:

1. CNN – Drinking two or more diet sodas a day linked to high risk of stroke heart attacks

2. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

3. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

4. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – nutrition

5. 4. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – nutrients

6. TIME – Diet Sodas and Juices Are Linked to Higher Stroke Risk, Study Says

Ditch Soda Altogether, Diet or Not

Ditch the soda

Although the label on a diet soda may indicate that it is a healthier version of its full sugar counterpart, when you look at the studies on how diet soda impacts your health, you’ll be thinking twice before indulging again.

First things first…this post is not a debate as to which soda product to consume.

Regardless of the type of soda that you may be consuming, I want to be clear that consuming this product raises very significant health concerns.

Soda of any kind is highly acidic and can contribute to tooth decay as well as affect the pH of the body. Consuming a diet that is high in processed foods and beverages creates an acidic environment in the body, which creates imbalances in the body. To counteract the acidity of the body, calcium can be leached from bones and teeth to raise the pH closer to neutral. 

Living in a state of acidity also allows for diseases to form in the body including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, just to name a few.

This message is directed at those people that drink diet pop and truly believe that they are doing their body a service by not indulging in the more sugar-laden stuff. So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty on how drinking diet soda can specifically negatively effect your health and future wellbeing.

Tooth Decay

If you are concerned with keeping your pearly whites in good condition, then ditching your soda habits is imperative. The acidity from the pop eats away at the enamel and can cause tooth decay. Imagine how your teeth would hold up if submerged in battery acid. Well, the acidity of pop (pH of 2.5) isn’t far off from that of battery acid (pH of 1). Remember back to high school chemistry class that water is neutral with a pH of 7. With a pH of 2.5, there is no wonder that pop can wreak havoc on our body so quickly.

Cardiovascular Disease

As if there aren’t enough, lifestyle factors that can trigger the development of cardiovascular disease without a beverage that is marketed as “diet” and “sugar-free” to confuse consumers. Do yourself a favour and remove all sodas from your diet. The consumption of diet pop has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Weight issues

Like many “diet” products that don’t help you to lose weight magically, the same is true of diet soda. The artificial sugars in soda also trigger insulin to be released, much like regular pop does, and initiates fat storage in the body. The best options are to replace pop with water and herbal teas.

Kidney Damage

Think of your kidneys as a filter responsible for cleaning out unwanted substances and excess fluid in your body and releasing it as urine. Now imagine what happens to a filter when it is full of “junk.”

It is believed that the sweeteners (“junk”) used in diet pop cause kidney function to decline with regular consumption of diet pop.

Now that you have the lowdown on diet pop, steer clear of it and any other beverage masking itself as “diet” or “sugar-free.”

If I go to the Chiropractor, do I have to go forever?

Do you have to go to the Chiropractor forever?

Have you ever been adjusted? Or are you terrified of going to a chiropractor because they will make you go forever?

Here, we’re going to break down what chiropractic is, how it can help your body, why you would go in the first place and if there are any legitimate reasons for going ‘forever’.

Let’s start off by explaining what the whole point of chiropractic is.

Your nervous system consists of your brain and spinal cord, which is protected by the bones of your spine. All of the messages that your brain must send to the rest of your body travels through your central nervous system and out to every single cell, tissue and organ in your body to tell it how to function properly and how to heal.

If there are any bones in your spine that have shifted out of position, from injuries, car accidents, falls, sports, stress, sitting on the couch, leaning forward to look at your computer monitor, and any other daily activity that we participate in, the bones put pressure on your nervous system and the messages can’t reach their final destinations to have your body function and heal at 100%.

A chiropractor locates these interferences and adjusts the bones back into place.

So I have to ask you, for how long would you like your nervous system to be free of interference?

Long enough to get you out of pain?
Long enough to allow your body to heal from the flu?
Long enough to prevent cancer, a heart attack, digestive dysfunction?
Or long enough to keep you living a healthy, thriving life through your retirement years?

So you can go to the chiropractor for as long as you’d like to express optimal health. The choice is yours.

[I’m not sure about you, but I’d like my nervous system functioning at 100% forever, so I have a standing appointment with my chiropractor. And I go more often if I ever get sick or run down, to support my nervous system and allow it to help me heal more efficiently and much more quickly.]

But I also have to ask you, how long are you going to brush your teeth for? For as long as you’d like to keep your teeth, right?

You must care for your body or your body begins to degenerate. Your teeth will rot and fall out if you don’t brush them, floss them, visit your dental hygienist for a deep cleaning and get checked by your dentist.

Thankfully our teeth are visible and easily accessible for maintenance.

But our spines are hidden, both on the back side of our body so it’s a little bit ‘out of mind’ but also on the inside of our bodies, where we can’t actually see the bones. This is why it is so important to find a local chiropractor that you are comfortable with and trust, to care for your most important health asset.

Remember, your body can go weeks without eating, days without water, but it can not function for even 1 second without your nervous system. So take care of it… forever!!

‘Biggest Loser’ Host Bob Harper Suffers Heart Attack

Bob Harper has a heart attack

How is it possible for someone who is so fit, so in shape, and eats properly, to suffer a major heart attack?

That is what Bob Harper, celebrity trainer, has just experienced. He is known for his role on The Biggest Loser, as a trainer from 2004 to 2015 and is now the host.

Obviously, not knowing any of Bob’s medical history, it’s hard to say for sure. But a very significant factor for any health issues (for anyone) is how healthy the central nervous system is.

The central nervous system is an information super-highway that flows from your brain to the rest of your body as it is protected by the bones of the spine.

If any of these bones shift out of alignment, it puts pressure on your central nervous system, and your body cannot function and heal at 100%.

Bones shifted out of alignment are called subluxations.

Subluxations cause interference.

Interference causes health issues.

Your body can live for weeks without food, days without water, but not one second without your central nervous system. This is why your skin heals if you get cut, your bones repair themselves if there is a break, and why you recover from a cold or flu bug.

Your central nervous system controls every single function of your body, 100% of the time.

If there are interferences in your central nervous system, i.e. a spinal bone is out of alignment, putting pressure on the messages that are travelling through, it is impossible to be expressing 100% health.

If there are inferences on the nerves that run from your brain, through your central nervous system and out to your heart, your heart is not functioning at 100%.

So, over time, is your body getting sicker or healthier? Yes, it’s getting sicker.

And over time, are you building health or are you building disease? Yes, you’re building disease.

The problem is that often, the very first symptom of heart disease is a heart attack. The thing is, you can eat low saturated fats, exercise daily, meditate and control your stress and be the healthiest possible version of yourself as you can, but if you have subluxations in your central nervous system causing interference, you are simply unable to function and heal at 100%.

The same is true throughout your spine and for every single organ and function that your body does to keep you alive.

For example…
Again, if there are subluxations interfering with the messages that are reaching your digestive organs, it is impossible for them to function properly. This makes way for the development of irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, even Crohn’s and colitis.

These conditions may take the same length of time to develop as heart disease, but their symptoms tend to come on slowly, rather than the very first symptom being a full blown heart attack.

How do you remove subluxations and begin to express health?

Only a trained chiropractor is able to detect and correct subluxations. Having a subluxation-free spine is the foundation of living in a truly healthy body. Find a chiropractor in your area who can remove the subluxations in your spine and help you return to living a full, healthy life!

With Sources from:
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/Biggest-Loser-Host-Bob-Harper-Suffers-Heart-Attack–414878563.html

Could Your Boy Belly Cause a Heart Attack?

Could Your Boy Belly Cause a Heart Attack?

Do you carry extra weight around your abdominal area? Research is telling us that people of normal weight who have extra central body fat are at an elevated risk of dying of heart disease.

Central obesity it extra fat around your midsection, and there is an easy way to calculate if you may fall into this category.

1. Measure your waist at your belly button.
2. Measure your hips at the widest part of your buttocks.
3. Divide the first number by the second number.

For men, your waist-to-hip ratio should be no greater than 1.0 and for women it should be no greater than 0.9.

If your numbers are higher than the suggested ratio, there are simple changes that you can implement to reduce your ratio and improve your health.

The first thing that you need to do is to add more fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet. It’s very difficult to make a massive diet and lifestyle change all at once and be able to sustain it long term. So the most important thing you can do is eat more fruit and veggies and these foods will begin to crowd out the bad foods.

I also want you to moderate your meat intake. A serving of meat is the size of a card deck. Which does not mean 8 decks stacked on top of each other!! When was the last time you ate a steak that fit in your hand? I bet it’s been awhile.

Over the years, our portion sizes have grown and grown into rather ridiculous quantities of food. Our bodies don’t need that much food and literally can not digest that much protein in one sitting. This extra protein ends up being stored as fat and can contribute to central obesity, putting you at risk for heart disease.

Avoid fast food, processed food and packaged food.

Eat real food!! Learn to make a few delicious recipes that you enjoy. Check out our blog of recipe ideas here.

And of course, move your body more often. Add some gentle cardio to your routine, go for a power walk at lunch, hit the gym and sweat it out.

The very first sign of heart disease is erectile dysfunction. Your arteries and capillaries are very active and sensitive in that area, and can be the first to indicate that there is hardening of the arteries or plaque building up in your blood vessels.

Obviously not a topic that you want on your radar, but heading to the doctor for a prescription to help in this area is one of the worst things you can do. It puts added stress on your cardiovascular system and masks an important symptom that is telling you that your body is in distress.

This is the time to make healthy diet and lifestyle changes to let your body naturally heal and return to abundant health.

With Sources from:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/research-were-watching-belly-fat-boosts-risk-of-dying-of-heart-disease

Are You Still Consuming Dairy Products? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Be!

dairy milk

Are you a big fan of dairy milk?  Did you know that humans are the only species that drink milk past infancy?  Also, we are the only species to drink the milk of another animal – that grows to be 1500 pounds!!

If you are still drinking cow’s milk, it’s time to ask yourself two question.  Firstly, are you a calf?  Secondly, are you aiming to grow to 1500 pounds?

Dairy milk is specifically designed to nourish a baby cow.  It contains all of the nutrients necessary to grow a calf into a healthy, 1500 pound adult cow.  The same is true for human breast milk.  It is perfectly designed to nourish a developing infant.

Dairy milk contains proteins that are much larger than those in human breast milk.  As such, it is very difficult for humans to break it down effectively.  Because of this, our body identifies dairy milk as an invader in our system.  So in response, our bodies go into defensive mode.  Dairy sensitivities and allergies can then develop which can wreak havoc on your immune system long term.

Common Dairy Misconception: But If I Don’t Drink Milk, Where Will I Get My Calcium?

The dairy industry has done an excellent job marketing milk to “protect your bones”.  Assigning it as the go-to substance to fulfill your daily requirements for calcium.  Studies have reported higher contents of calcium circulating in the blood stream after drinking milk.  However, what these studies fail to illustrate is the source of where the calcium came from.

Milk creates a very acidic residue inside the body.  In order to maintain a healthy pH internally, it must be buffered immediately by an alkaline balance.  Your body’s response to this acidic effect (caused by ingesting milk) is to release calcium stored inside your bones.  This will buffer the acidic levels and bring them back to a safe reading.

So, yes.  After drinking milk, there is more calcium in your bloodstream.  However, this is only because your body had to release it from its own storage inside your bones.  For more information on bone health,  click here to read, “Calcium without Vitamin K2 is a Heart Breaker”.

So Where Will I Get My Calcium?

Where do cows get their calcium?  Greens!  It is much easier for your body to break down and assimilate nutrients from fruit and vegetables.  Especially compared to breaking down dense, heavy foods like meat and dairy products.  Include the following in your diet for great sources of calcium that your body can easily use.

broccoli
Broccoli
Bok Choy
Bok Choy
kale
Kale
lettuce
Lettuce
almonds
Almonds
hazelnuts
Hazelnuts
Figs
Figs

For some great ‘green’ recipes, click here to read, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day Recipes”.

Important Tip:

Focus on magnesium if you are worried about your bone health and calcium levels.  The majority of adults are deficient in magnesium.  As a result, serious health issues may develop.  Having excessive amounts of calcium in the body, while having a deficiency in magnesium, can lead to the following according to Dr. Mercola:

  • Heart disease
  • Problems with your heart muscle spasming
  • Sudden heart attack

Be sure you are getting enough magnesium.  Eat your green leafy veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, and avocados.

Further Reading

According to Harvard Medical School;

“You need magnesium for many tasks. It’s involved in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. Muscles need this mineral to contract; nerves need it to send and receive messages. It keeps your heart beating steadily and your immune system strong.”

For the full article, click here to read, “What you should know about magnesium”.

References:

http://www.dairymoos.com/how-much-do-cows-weight/
https://www.iofbonehealth.org/osteoporosis-musculoskeletal-disorders/osteoporosis/prevention/calcium/calcium-content-common-foods
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/03/magnesium-drinking-water.aspx
https://draxe.com/is-milk-hurting-or-helping-your-bones/