Fighting the Flu and Norovirus

The norovirus is becoming as prevalent as the flu. They have similar symptoms but the norovirus is harder to avoid. See what experts say:

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16739631-norovirus-why-washing-your-hands-isnt-enough and http://www.cdc.gov/features/norovirus/

 Be proactive. There are so many simple things we can do to keep our immune system strong. Reread last month’s newsletter.

Lessening the sugar in our diet can be difficult but very effective in keeping our immune system working efficiently. Here is a newsletter article from Dr. Al Sears who explains just how High Fructose Corn Syrup can sabotage our health and weaken our immune system.

New High Fructose Brain Danger

Finally mainstream medicine is coming around to the idea that eating foods high in fructose can wreak havoc on your body.

A new study I just read in the Journal of the American Medical Association says eating a high-fructose diet makes you crave more food… but not in the way you already know about.

It’s one more piece of evidence that tells us corn producers are plain wrong when they tell you their “corn sugar” is perfectly healthy.

We already knew that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) messes with your hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin. HFCS makes you pump out too much of these appetite hormones to the point that they don’t work any longer. Your body thinks it needs to keep eating because it thinks you’re out of energy.

But the new JAMA study talks about a completely different way HFCS wreaks havoc on your body’s eating signals.

Eating glucose causes blood flow to the appetite and reward pathways in your brain to decrease. Your brain signals the rest of your body you’re happy and satiated.

But concentrated fructose has the opposite effect. After you eat it, blood flow to the reward center of your brain increases1. And you get hungrier instead, leading to unwanted fat gain without you even realizing it.

New evidence like this is why I insist on writing to you about this lab-created sweetener. And that’s besides all the other effects HFCS can have on you, like:

  • HFCS raises uric acid, which can give you gout and kidney stones see this website.
  • HFCS suppresses your immune system, almost stopping white blood cells from being able to destroy bacteria and viruses.2 This immune suppression starts about 30 minutes after you eat the sugar and can last for up to five hours.
  • Ingesting HFCS can give you higher triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.3
  • HFCS lowers levels of SOD, your body’s number one antioxidant powerhouse, by causing deficiencies of iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
  • HFCS can lead to liver damage not unlike the kind that afflicts alcoholics. Animals given a diet high in HFCS suffer severe cirrhosis of the liver—scarring, dead tissue, and poor liver function.
  • HFCS has such a diabetic effect that when mothers ingest too much, it can make babies in the womb pre-diabetic.4
  • HFCS reduces your stores of ATP, the molecule your muscles use for energy.5

Chemically produced corn syrup made from genetically modified corn is one of the best arguments I can think of for eating fresh whole foods – or as close as you can get these days.

Anything with cane sugar is going to be better than something with HFCS, but stay away from processed sugar whenever you can.

If you like to add sweetener to your food, try something I learned of while traveling in the mountains of Peru.

It’s a very interesting fruit-like vegetable called yacon. In Peru it’s called the “jewel of the Andes.” Ancient Incas used to eat the roots for endurance and to keep from getting thirsty.

Modern investigations of this traditional use have found that yacon is good for diabetics because it has fructooligosaccharides, a particular natural combination of sugar rings that human beings can’t digest. So it doesn’t affect blood sugar.

Another thing I like about yacon is that it has inulin, a prebiotic-like compound that helps you digest other foods and enhances immunity because it promotes beneficial bacteria in your intestines. 6

You can get yacon syrup at specialty health food stores, and it’s also available online from places like navitasnaturals.com, essentiallivingfoods.com, and sunfood.com.

It has an apple/caramel/honey flavor. I like to use it the same way you would honey or maple syrup. It tastes great in coffee or tea. But you can also try it as a salad dressing, or add it to your morning coffee or fresh juice.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

You are on the road to staying healthy this winter season.

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