<![CDATA[BeingWellAgingWell - Blog]]>Fri, 22 Jan 2016 00:32:10 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[High flavor, Low Omega 6]]>Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:07:18 GMThttp://www.beingwellagingwell.com/blog/high-flavor-low-omega-6
I am often asked what we eat.  Tonight the menu was:
-Slow cooked grass fed beef brisket with organic sweet potato, onion, carrot, celery, and mushrooms
-Riced organic cauliflower sauteed in avocado oil and grass fed butter, tumeric, sea salt, and pepper
-1 ounce each of 71% Peruvian chocolate bar, free trade organic
-organic mocha with espresso French roast coffee, unsweetened coconut milk, half teaspoon of organic maple syrup, and chocolate powder

<![CDATA[Fat for Skin Health--Rub It on or Eat It?]]>Fri, 20 Jun 2014 14:28:41 GMThttp://www.beingwellagingwell.com/blog/fat-for-skin-health-rub-it-on-or-eat-itPicture
Sharon asked me if the oils that we apply to our bodies in lotions, conditioners, and shampoos make a difference for skin health.  The evidence is that you can eat oils or apply them to your skin.  Oils that we rub on skin also get absorbed into our bodies.  Whether eaten or rubbed on, they become part of our cell walls.  The effect is most obvious on the skin where they are applied. 

Evening primrose

Topical application works.

Studies show that oils are absorbed into the body both by skin application and by mouth.

What do these oils do?

Oils that we apply to our skin are mostly plant based fatty acids, most notable are omega 3’s, omega 6’s, and omega 9’s.  They are all involved in healing and protection of our skin and other parts of our bodies.  Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids, EFA's.  Our bodies cannot make them.  They work best if they are present in a proper ratio, not too much, not too little, just right.

Omega 3 and Protection from Skin Aging.

Ultra violet light causes an inflammatory response in skin. UV can be from the sun or a tanning bed. Smoking or other toxins can cause inflammation as well.  An omega 3, EPA, reduces it  by suppressing some of the enzymes that react to toxic stimuli. These enzymes can break down collagen.  When skin is injured, there is a 3 step healing process of inflammation, tissue formation, and tissue remodeling.  The inflammation should be shut down right after it has served it’s purpose of recognizing the injury. Shutting down inflammation is also a key role of EPA.  Without enough EPA, the inflammation lingers and the remaining tissue formation and remodeling are compromised. This protective effect works best in the presence of nutrients such as vitamin C that act as antioxidants, protecting the delicate omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids are necessary but fragile.  EPA is abundant in cold water fish but can also be manufactured in your body from plant omega 3's, albeit inefficiently.  If you are a vegetarian or don't like fish, eat plenty of flax oil and other high omega 3 sources.  Grass fed butter and meat can be a modest source as well.

Omega 6 and Protection from Infection

On the other hand, omega 6 (linoleic acid) is needed for protection, allowing for an inflammatory response to signal the body's healing system.  Without enough, skin is more vulnerable to infection.  Skin barrier recovery requires omega 6 high oils.  High GLA omega 6 oils such as borage or evening primrose are especially useful for sensitive or chronically irritated skin since GLA has antioxidant properties.  Omega 6 is abundant in the food supply and requires no special effort.  It would make sense to rub it on damaged, irritated skin.

Omega 9

Omega 9 (oleic acid) has been shown to accelerate wound closure.  Omega 9 competes with omega 3 and omega 6 in metabolism and besides, your body can manufacture it.  Little or no need to supplement with omega 9.  A proper balance is the most desirable situation.  It would be safer to consume or apply a variety of oils rather than focusing on one.  Cooking only with a high oleic  oil, while healthy in moderation, may shift the balance.

The best ratio for your body.

No more than 4 parts omega 6 and at least 1 part omega 3.   Excessive omega 9 is unwise too but a lesser concern.  This should apply to food or lotion.  The diet in North America tends to be heavily loaded with omega 6 and short of omega 3.  Ratios of more than 30 to 1 omega 6 to omega 3 are common.  Not surprising, because omega 3 will shorten the shelf life of products because it readily oxidizes and becomes rancid.


<![CDATA[Butter Coffee!!]]>Tue, 10 Jun 2014 18:03:41 GMThttp://www.beingwellagingwell.com/blog/butter-coffeePicture
Butter coffee!? exclaimed Lhalung, my Tibetan friend.  Tibetans have drunk butter tea for eons.  The Sherpas claim that it allows them to carry loads up Mt. Everest.
This “new” thing makes Lhalung smile.  Drinking butter coffee runs counter to nutrition advice that dates back to the 1950’s.  The science is now telling us the opposite.  Saturated fats are good and carbohydrates need to be curbed.   The reports are perhaps not surprising, that people feel focused, energetic, and sated after a cup of butter coffee.  They even lose weight!  What is the recipe?


8 ounces of strong, very fresh (not rancid), low toxin coffee (organic)
1 ounce of grass fed butter (Kerrygold from Costco is a good choice)
1 ounce of very clean coconut oil (organic in a glass container)
a pinch of stevia if you like it sweet
no carbohydrates but eat some protein if you wish
(you may want to try a teaspoon of butter and coconut if you want to work your way up)

Moderate caffeine consumption (2 to 3 cups of brewed coffee per day) can be good for the brain, associated with preventing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.  Fresh coffee is also full of antioxidants like no other food item.  

Coconut oil contains approximately 50% lauric acid.  It boosts HDL, boosts the immune system, .  The medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s), fats can act like carbohydrates, metabolize directly in the liver and give twice the energy per gram.  Just don’t have carbohydrates available for your body and it will use fat.

Grass-fed butter, as well as having cancer fighting antioxidants, is full of good cholesterol (yes, it is OK to eat cholesterol), an excellent omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, vitamin K2, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that helps burn body fat.  Avoid grain fed butter because the nutrients are not nearly as beneficial.  

If you try this, let me know how you feel.


<![CDATA[Food and Neutrons]]>Sat, 07 Jun 2014 16:04:35 GMThttp://www.beingwellagingwell.com/blog/food-and-neutronsPicture
Yesterday, I presented my nutrition workshop to the COORS dental study club of Clark County Washington.  "Aging Well, Healing Well, Being Well"
I did a similar, full day workshop in Juneau in April.  These workshops have been amazing, the participants and I laughing together and sharing our wonder about science and physiology. I have to give credit to my wife, Sharon, for asking questions to which I didn't have answers. That started this research.  A lot of answers are out there if you are willing to carefully read.  It has been a lot funnier,  more surprising, and much more ironic  than I ever expected.  Thank you, Dr. Christine Moleski of Juneau and Dr. Eugene Sakai of Vancouver for inviting me.  I also took a group of parents and students on a field trip to the nuclear reactor at Reed College in Portland this past week.  It was the last event this year for my science class, "Hot Topics in Science", a class about the science of everything for people ages 10 and up.  The image seemed fitting for the week.  (Amazon has a version on a T-shirt and Father's day is coming up.  Hmmm...)


<![CDATA[Shocking Deletion of Wheat Comment]]>Mon, 18 Nov 2013 19:11:36 GMThttp://www.beingwellagingwell.com/blog/shocking-deletion-of-wheat-commentPicture
Cleveland Clinic Recommends Whole Wheat


I commented on this Cleveland Clinic news item a few hours ago.  The article recommended whole wheat as healthy.  There were many comments regarding celiac disease, sprouted bread, Ezekiel bread, etc.  And it is true that research shows that whole grain is healthier than refined grain.  (of course the quiestion, "Is no grain healthier than whole grain?", is rarely asked).  I commented that wheat could have a starch content as high as 80% or more and whole wheat was more glycemic than table sugar.  In a second short comment I mentioned that the purpose in sprouting was to break down phytates which are bad anti nutrients.  Both comments where removed.  I am shocked.  The above is true.  Just check nutritional data sites.  Read about phytates.  Just those comments were made and no other editorial or judgmental content.  Does this shock anyone else that my comments were deleted?

Dr. Dave

<![CDATA[Marijuana and Omega 6]]>Sat, 12 Oct 2013 16:51:37 GMThttp://www.beingwellagingwell.com/blog/marijuana-and-omega-6Picture
Omega-6 vegetable oils are not low tech production oils like the simple pressing olives into olive oil (primarily omega-9) or churning cream into butter (grass fed being 1:1 omega 3 to omega 6).  Mostly they are produced by large industrial concerns that did not exist 100 years ago.

While a very small amount of omega-6 fats are necessary for health ( there is as much as 40 or even 60 times too much in the American diet), these vegetable oils contribute to overproduction of neuromodulatory lipids called endocannabinoids that are responsible for signaling hunger to the brain.

Endocannabinoids attach to cannabinoid receptors in our brains and body.  Using more familiar language, these marijuana receptors are in all humans. Yes, we have on average 2,000,000 or them.  Marijuana is famous for giving people the “munchies”.  You can consider omega-6 vegetable oils the marijuana of fatty acids.

Have you wondered why it is an act of will to stop eating corn, soy, or sunflower oil laden snacks?

Have you wondered why your organic salad with organic omega 6 oil leaves you hungry later?  And you can’t resist overeating?

Try an experiment.  Eat food made with grass fed butter, coconut oil, palm oil, or grass fed beef fat (tallow) and see if they leave you hungry later.


<![CDATA[Wheat bad?   Part 7          Summary and Action.]]>Sun, 28 Apr 2013 17:50:04 GMThttp://www.beingwellagingwell.com/blog/wheat-bad-part-7-summary-and-actionPicture

Science Says...

1. Gluten protein triggers many disease processes.
2. Gliadin protein breaks down to opium like compounds that stimulate hunger and craving.
3. Wheat germ agglutinin contains a lectin that can damage intestines.
4. Amylopectin A is the complex carbohydrate wheat responsible for the very high insulin response.
5. Omega 6 is proportionally high and that promotes inflammation.
6. Consumption of wheat promotes visceral fat that is associated with diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation.  Inflammation is the underlying process to nearly all disease.

"Think, think, think. "  -- Winnie the Pooh

This is a powerfully destructive combination.  Even if you aren’t sensitive to gluten.

What do I do?

What does this mean for me and my family?  We don’t eat wheat or wheat products since August of 2010.  We avoid most grain. Rice is our most common compromise and that is much less than ever before.  We eat some “gluten free” products but we have come to realize that those products are full of carbohydrates we don’t need.  They can make us fat and unhealthy too.  We have gotten much thinner and feel better without dieting or changing our exercise habits.  We didn't feel bad before, we just feel better now.

What do you do? 

That is up to you.  I like to teach, not to preach.

For additional information I recommend Wheat Belly, by William Davis, MD,
The Diabetes Solution by Richard Bernstein, MD and The Perfect Health Diet by
Paul Jaminet, Ph.D.  and Shou-Ching Shih Jaminet, Ph.D.  All have good  bibiliographies for reference to research materials.  I recommend reading the papers, source material, but most people just can’t do that.  The above authors have distilled the science into something more understandable.


Photo by Dave Carsten

<![CDATA[Wheat Bad?  Part 6]]>Sat, 27 Apr 2013 16:52:30 GMThttp://www.beingwellagingwell.com/blog/wheat-bad-part-6Picture

Wheat Inflammation

Inflammation can be mediated by food.  As I have stated in previous posts, there is a competition between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, omega 3 being anti-inflammatory and omega 6 being pro-inflammatory. As you might guess, wheat has excessive omega 6. One ounce of wheat germ contains nearly 1500 mg of omega 6 and only 200 mg of omega 3. 

Visceral Fat

Wheat consumption also promotes visceral fat.  That would be fat surrounding the liver, pancreas, kidneys, and so called “love handles” around the abdomen.  This particular fat releases pro-inflammatory compounds.


Photo by Dave Carsten

<![CDATA[Wheat Bad? Part 5]]>Sat, 27 Apr 2013 16:14:12 GMThttp://www.beingwellagingwell.com/blog/wheat-bad-part-5Picture

Gluten Sensitivity

Not everyone that is sensitive to wheat is sensitive to gluten.  Not everyone gets the intestinal damage related to a celiac disease diagnosis.  A recent Italian study showed that  of the people that were sensitive but non-celiac, 56.4% were sensitive to gliadin.  And 43.6% were sensitive to something else in wheat. 

Neurological Damage

In my own practice, intestinal problems were not the only problems.  Neurological damage such as multiple sclerosis (my patient), peripheral neuropathy, and movement disorders can be results.  There was a study that showed that 57% of people with unexplained neurologic impairment were positive for antibodies to gliadin versus only 5% with neurologic impairment of known origin.  Not causal proof but certainly raises suspicions.


I can also say from experience with my patients and from the scientific literature, many skin conditions can be caused or at least exacerbated by wheat consumption. Itchy, ugly, inflamed skin from eating toast??  I also am very disturbed by the correlation of wheat consumption and diabetes type II and the fact that children with type I diabetes are ten to twenty times more likely to develop celiac disease.


Photo by Dave Carsten

<![CDATA[Wheat Bad? Part 4]]>Fri, 26 Apr 2013 05:22:54 GMThttp://www.beingwellagingwell.com/blog/wheat-bad-part-4Picture

Celiac Disease

The first description of celiac disease, wheat hypersensitivity, was recorded in 100 AD by the Greek physician Aretaeus and many others from that time forward. That disease would have been due to spelt, emmer, or kamut.  There is ample evidence that consumption of wheat had health effects on people such as the ice mummy, Ötzi.  He died more than 5000 years ago. Many papers have been written regarding his ill health and his diet.

How many people are sick?

We know that approximately 1% of people have celiac disease (not all are diagnosed) and 5 to 6 % have overt wheat sensitivity.  It is estimated that perhaps 50% of people have some level of sensitivity. The sensitivity crosses over to related grasses such as barley and rye.  That does not consider the insulin stimulation, the effects of gliadin on opiate receptors, or the effects of wheat germ lectin on the intestines.  We do know that as we step back in time to earlier versions of wheat, the health consequences fade.  But what is better?  Whole wheat, old wheat, or no wheat?


Photo by Dave (the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.)