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    What is THE answer?
    engineerguy posted:
    Hi jc,

    In the recent Vegetable tread, you said "I think the answer has to lie elsewhere...." [not especially vegetables or olive oil, perhaps grapes, etc>

    As always, you pose a very interesting question. What is THE key to health?

    Following a mostly whole plant based program, which is the key to health, of the following list:

    Lots of veggies, antioxidants, phytochemicals, low calorie, alkaline metabolism, low glycemic index, high fiber, vitamin D adequacy, Omega 3 adequacy, frequent meals or infrequent meals, lots of sleep, aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, stress reduction, meditation, alcohol or no alcohol, fruit, beans, nuts and seeds, whole grains, love and support. Deficiencies due to individual variation, corrected. Be very lean. What did I miss?

    And avoiding the bad stuff: White flour, processed foods, sugar, salt, oil, excess dairy, meat, fish, poultry, additives, preservatives, pesticides, stress, sedentary lifestyle, food allergies. Don't be overweight. What did I miss?

    So, if one thing is THE key to health, then all the other things on the list do not matter? Hmmmm they all matter.

    We are all individuals. For someone who has a particular need, they will not be healthy until that need is found. One man who weighted 600 pounds, was found to have an exceedingly low testosterone level. Only after that was cured, then he was successful dieting to recover health. Many people have anemia because they absorb iron poorly. These people will not be well until they have an iron supplement. Please note that iron supplements are harmful for most people, because any iron supplement will cause excess iron for most people, which is very harmful.

    I had a very low vitamin D blood level, 16 (normal is 35 to 55), discovered at age 60. At that time, my bone density in the hip, was at the bottom of osteopenia, almost to osterporosis, after running 4 miles a day, 7 days a week, for 2 years, in the sunlight at noon, and taking 400 IU of vitamin D daily. At age 60 I corrected my vitamin D deficiency with 3000IU of vitamin D3 daily, so now my blood level is 35. A year later I changed from 6 meals a day, to 3 meals a day. 4 months after that, I noticed that my severe lactose intolerance of 30 years, had gone away. Also my occasional very painful dry mouth at night, had gone away. So my stomach started making lactase, after 30 years. And my saliva glands started working very well again. Was that due to fixing my vitamin D deficiency, or changing from 6 to 3 meals daily, or both? No way to know.

    My point is that all the efforts for healthy lifestyle, are important. For some people, some specific effort is miraculous.

    One 16 year old girl had horrible juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. For her, carefully eliminating all dairy products, had a miraculous effect. Others are not affected the same way.

    Just my thoughts.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    heretk responded:
    Re: Was that due to fixing my vitamin D deficiency, or changing from 6 to 3 meals daily, or both? No way to know.

    Interesting. My guess is that your body is in s state of mild ketosis in between the meals that are long spaced-out, which is very beneficial and partially mitigates some bad effects of a vegan. diet. Vitamin D3 was probably helpful too but I would also recommend to take it with vitamin A. Vegans are often found deficient in both D3 and A because of poor synthesis of those vitamins under plant based nutrition. For example, vitamin D is synthesized in the skin out of cholesterol. If you are cholesterol deficient then chances are you are also vit D deficient no matter how much time do you spend in the sun. Vitamin A is on the other hand synergistic with D so if you taking large doses of one you should also take the other. I would also recommend adding K2 which is essential for bone health (and teeth, it also reduces arteriosclerosis).


    engineerguy replied to heretk's response:
    Hi Heretic,

    People would go into ketosis after glycogen is depleted, between meals. We want to eat, when the glycogen is depleted, since ketosis does start then, and that means utilizing protein from our muscles. We can tell when glycogen is depleted, as a throat based hunger sensation starts.

    Yes, we agree entirely about vitamin K2. You can see more about K2's benefits in the link (1). To your credit K2 is found in meat, but not veggies. And Dr. Fuhrman recognizes the benefits of K2, as do you, so Dr. Fuhrman adds K2 to his milti-vitamin. Centrum Silver, by the way, offers the less effective (and less expensive) vitamin K.

    Re: " Vitamin A is on the other hand synergistic with D so if you taking large doses of one you should also take the other."

    Here is the difference between theories and results. The theoretical expanation you mention, sounds reasonable. But our understanding of the human body is not perfect, so we always have to verify if the theory leads to a correct conclusion. The dangers of vitamin A supplementation is discussed in the next paragraph.

    While you are looking at the link (1), why don't you check out the dangers of vitamin A. Part of the discussion of vitamin A: "In humans, excess vitamin A is potentially a problem, even in ranges not normally considered toxic.13 One study found that subjects with a vitamin A intake in the range of 1.5 mg had double the hip fracture rate of those with an intake in that range of .5 mg.14 For every 1 mg increase in vitamin A consumption, hip fracture rate increased by 68%. Vitamin A supplementation has also been associated with a 16% increase in all-cause mortality.8 "

    In animal studies, large doses of vitamin A cause spontaneous bone fractures.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy

    jc3737 responded:
    I believe there is something about the MCDougall/Fuhrman diets that works.Its not just that its vegan because as we all know vegan can also be unhealthy if its white flour and sugar based.

    The point I was making about the Med diet.....if it is the fruits and vegetables that account for its success then a little should help and each degree of increase should be healthier and healthier.This is not the case as many studies have shown....adding various amounts of vegetables does nothing to aid health.....but if you go all the way to the "whole package" of the Fuhrman/McDougall diets with all the things they eliminate, you get success.But along the continuum there should be ever increasing health Heretic said it should be dose dependent.That suggests what you eliminate may be the key since the whole package does work.But the Med diet does not involve the whole I suggest it could be the olive oil or grapes/wine or the sunlight or some other factor.....but it doe not appear to be the partial package of adding some degree of fruits and vegetables to ones diet.

    I think you are right about the need for vit D3 supplement if you test low....but i have seen studies that indicate possible trouble if you take too much....1000IU is all I take and I would limit myself to 2000.
    heretk replied to engineerguy's response:

    Thanks for the link, I will look at it later.

    Yes large doses of vitamin A are toxic, for that reason, example a bear liver should never be eaten. But Chris Masterjohn wrote a very interesting article were he is stating that the vitamin A toxicity studies were applying A on its own, which is somewhat skewed.
    Vitamin A toxicity seems to be largely mitigated if it is taken together with D3. The same, according to him applies in reverse, that is D3 toxicity in large doses is mitigated by A.

    Re: since ketosis does start then, and that means utilizing protein from our muscles.

    No, a short-term ketosis in this case means that your body switches over from glycogen to using your body fat.

    This happens not after your glycogene store is depleted but way before that - when your insulin level goes sufficiently down! It is automatic and triggered by low insulin.

    Muscles are spared unless you are in ketosis for a very long time, that is when your body needs protein. Incidentally, on a high carbohydrate diet your body needs to continously produce enzymes necessary for digesting plant based food. Those enzymes are build out of aminoacids, thus more protein is needed!

    That's right - on a high carbohydrate diet more protein should be consumed than on a high fat low carb diet. It is one of the paradoxes which begins making sense when one reads more about biochemistry.

    Best regards,

    engineerguy replied to heretk's response:
    Hi Heretic,

    Hmmmm. Seems that I gave the wrong link. This will work better. Sorry about that.

    Re: "Yes large doses of vitamin A are toxic..."

    Reading the (correct) link, above, it shows that a dose similar to an ordinary multi-vitamin, caused a doubling of hip fracture, and 16% increase in all-cause mortality. This is for vitamin A from retinyl palmatate and retinyl acetate. Of course, vitamin A from plant sources, a wide range of carotenes, is very healthful.

    Re: " But Chris Masterjohn wrote a very interesting article were he is stating that the vitamin A toxicity studies were applying A on its own,..."

    These studies in the link are mostly for doses similar to ordinary multi-vitamins. Pretty scary.

    I wrote:
    Re: since ketosis does start then, and that means utilizing protein from our muscles.
    You answered:
    "No, a short-term ketosis in this case means that your body switches over from glycogen to using your body fat. "

    HEY!! GUESS WHAT!! You are RIGHT! Thanks, Heretic for correcting me. In fasting, after about 3 days, the metabolism switches to ketosis, and indeed it is protein sparing. Before ketosis switches in, the body is burning more protein.

    So, as we practice longer times between meals, or exercise more, the body develops the capacity to store more glycogen. I said earlier "People would go into ketosis after glycogen is depleted, between meals. " That was incorrect. After glycogen is depleted, the body uses gluconeogenesis, to get calories from protein. We want to avoid that, as it consumes muscles, but it is not ketosis - thanks again for the correction.

    So how do we avoid consuming our own muscles, if we eat 2 meals a day, or extend the time between meals and avoid snacks? Again, the body develops the ability to store more glycogen in response to exercise, and extending time between meals. Now, I'm going to sound like a nut, but this is amazing and true, at least for most people. After practicing this, on the Fuhrman program, there is an entirely new sense of hunger. Hunger is no longer uncomfortable. I feel growling of the stomach very slightly, and light headed very slightly. Hunger is a throat feeling, similar to thirst. And food tastes GREAT!

    I have done a 36 hour fast 25 times, usually after a binge, but nnot always. I'll eat Friday night, and eat again Sunday morning. The hunger is not uncomfortable. A fast is boring, because you don't have much energy, and food would be nice. They say after 3 days hunger goes away. I've never done longer than 36 hours.

    So, when we feel the "true" hunger, a throat feeling, our body is telling us that our glycogen is depleted, and we now we want to eat, to conserve our muscles.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    engineerguy replied to jc3737's response:
    Hi jc,

    Here's an old post I entered about olive oil.

    Hi folks,

    Thanks, jc, for the post.

    An excellent resource: Dr. Esselstyn's book "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease".

    Chapter 10 is on heart healthy oils, and the data that they aren't. Here's a sampling:

    He covers the Mediterranean Diet, studied by the Lyon Diet Heart Study, with heart patients(1). The Mediterranean diet folks had 50 to 70% fewer cardiac events than the standard medical care group. Very impressive. But, after the 4 year study, 25% of the Mediterrannean diet group had either died or had a new cardiovascular event. Esselstyn says, "I feel these are wretched results for a nonmalignant disease."

    Compare those results with Esselstyn's results with the worst heart patients, of 20 years with no events (one, with extensive heart damage before the study, died after 8 years). No comparison what-so-ever.

    He covers Dr. Rudel's work with Green Monkeys, chosen because they are most similar to humans in terms of atherosclerosis. He compared monkeys fed monounsaturated fat to saturated fat. The monounsaturated fat lowered LDL, and raised HDL, just like in humans. But at the end of 5 years, autopsy showed the two groups of monkeys had the same amount of atherosclerosis (2). Same results with rodents.

    Dr. Vogel showed that olive oil reduces dilation in the brachial artery tourniquet test. That is, it reduces the flexibility of the endothelial cells.

    Reverend William Valentine lost 50 pounds after bypass surgery in 1990, and carefully followed a plant based diet of whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit, and stopped his angina. Then, 14 years later, he started getting angina again, even at rest. He called Dr. Esselstyn for advice. Dr. Esselstyn was stumped as to how to improve Valentine's diet. Dr. Esselstyn asked him to once more carefully go over absolutely everything he was eating, leaving out nothing. Reverend Valentine was adding heart healthy olive oil to his salads each lunch and dinner. "Eureka!" Dr. Esselstyn told him to eliminate the olive oil. After 7 weeks, the angina went away.

    So we have a study which shows that olive has MUFA which might do something which might affect something which might improve heart health, IF our theories are accurate. On the other hand, we have studies and experience that heart patients worsen or die eating olive oil. It's a close call which to go with.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy

    (1) Michel de Lorgeril, Circulation, February 16, 1999: "Mediterranean Diet, Traidional Risk Factors, and the Rate of Cardiovascular Complications after Myocardial Infarction: Final Report to the Lyon Diet Heart Study."

    (2) Lawrence Rudel, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, December 1995: "Compared with Dietary Monounsaturated and Saturated Fat, Polyunsaturated Fat Protects African Green Monkeys from Coronary Artery Arteriosclerosis."
    engineerguy replied to engineerguy's response:
    Hi jc,

    Re: " Heretic said it should be dose dependent."

    There are studies showing that more cruciferous veggies reduces cancer, in a dose dependent fashion. Cruciferous veggies are much more effective at cancer reduction, than the average veggie. References are in Fuhrman literature. Recent studies have also shows mushrooms and onions to be very effective.

    Re: "I think you are right about the need for vit D3 supplement if you test low....but i have seen studies that indicate possible trouble if you take too much....1000IU is all I take and I would limit myself to 2000."

    Get a blood test, the next time you get a cholesterol test. Most people need about 2000 IU. A few need no supplement. A few need much more. Most experts agree that 2000 IU is safe for everyone. Yes, at some excess, vitamin D is very toxic. But the blood level tells us what the proper level is. Those that are harmed by a given dose of D, will have an excessive blood level. Some few people actually need 10,000 or even 20,000 IU to have a normal blood level. We are all individuals.

    This is an amazing study:

    Excluding cancers from the first year of the study, which may have been present but yet undiagnosed, 1100 IU vitamin C supplement reduced cancer by 77%. The study was under-powered. The study was set up to measure bone density, and the study did not have enough people to study cancer incidence accurately. So the results were statistically confident to the 97% level, just barely more than 95%.

    "In multiple logistic regression models, both treatment and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations were significant, independent predictors of cancer risk."

    This sentence means: The group taking 1100Iu of vitamin D had less cancer than the groups not taking vitamin D.
    Also, very significantly, after taking into account whether the person was taking 1100 IU of D or not, the blood level was an additional, independent predictor. If taking 1100IU predicted pretty well what the vitamin D blood level was, then the blood level would not be an independent predictor of cancer risk. Some people did not increase their blood D level very much, when taking 1100IU, and they had more cancer than people who had a higher blood D level. And those not taking a supplement, who naturally had higer D, had less cancer. Pretty amazing.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    jc3737 replied to engineerguy's response:
    CONCLUSIONS: Over a mean of 8.1 years, a dietary intervention that reduced total fat intake and increased intakes of vegetables, fruits, and grains did not significantly reduce the risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD in postmenopausal women and achieved only modest effects on CVD risk factors, suggesting that more focused diet and lifestyle interventions may be needed to improve risk factors and reduce CVD risk.

    There have been several other studies that have come to the same conclusion as this one.Simply adding some vegetables is not the answer.(but the whole package does work)

    Despite the flaws in the study we have still not explained why the vegetables did not help.With all the nutrients in them they should have helped(at least some).That leaves open the possibility that another factor other than diet may be at work in the Med area.

    But we do agree that the whole package works as we see from the studies of Dr F,Dr E, Dr McD etc.

    But it does suggest that what you eliminate form the diet is very very important.The Med diet does not eliminate fat or oils or even pastry but it still shows some degree of success....but this study suggests it's an unknown factor and not just the vegetables....maybe the French paradox...lots of fat without lots of heart disease....the wine???the grapes???
    engineerguy replied to jc3737's response:
    Hi jc,

    Re: "Despite the flaws in the study we have still not explained why the vegetables did not help.With all the nutrients in them they should have helped(at least some)."

    But the studies did show that a little increase in vegetables did help a little bit.

    Back to my original post in the start of the post. You seem to be looking for THE single answer. I don't think there is any single answer.

    Even adding all the vegetables I eat, which might be the same amount that you eat, if we didn't do all (or most of) the other things also, and cut out all the other bad stuff also, we would not do nearly as well. Increasing any single good thing, or cutting out any single bad thing, is not THE answer, in my opinion.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    jc3737 replied to engineerguy's response:
    I was trying to convey the answer was in adopting the "Whole Package",and that just the nutrients in the vegetables did not explain the benefits.
    engineerguy replied to jc3737's response:
    oooohhhhh.... never mind. LOL
    anon615 replied to jc3737's response:
    So far as I know that study was a waste of money. It was supposed to be 22 per cent fat which is not really the low fat that McDougall and Esselstyn would recommend and in the end the amount of fat they were eating was the same in the subjects and the control group.

    jc3737 replied to anon615's response:
    You are saying the same thing I takes the whole package..."moderation kills" as Dr Mc often says.

    but if its something in the veges then ANY little bit added should show benefits and what this study and many others show is that just adding vegetables is not of benefit....but why not...i don't know but the success of the Med diet can not be from added vegetables since adding vegetables does not show benefits.

    i know the studies are mixed on the benefits of adding veges but even those few that show benefits show only very minor how to explain the apparent successes of the med diet????
    anon615 replied to jc3737's response:
    something I never saw discussed--My husband was traveling in Greece and said the food was fantastic. He said he never new how good peaches could taste until he ate some in Greece. One might consider that fruit and vegies in season,grown in an ideal climate, just picked at the height of ripeness might have lots more nutrition (not to mention taste) than what we are used to--
    food picked unripe, artificially ripened and transported hundreds of miles from where it was grown. And we worry about a bit of olive oil.


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