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10 posts from December 2011

December 23, 2011

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox and Healthy, Radiant Skin

BlogGDQACQ. How can Green Detox support healthy, radiant skin?

A. There are several mechanisms by which Green Detox can support healthy, radiant skin. As with many of the benefits of sea vegetables, one mechanism may begin in the gastrointestinal tract by supporting a healthy intestinal bacterial composition.

Somewhat surprisingly, intestinal bacteria can play a major role in skin health. As an example, acne and other skin conditions are often treated with oral antibiotics which alter the bacterial population of the intestines. Interestingly, alternative medicine practitioners often associate acne with impaired liver function, which, as we have seen, is one consequence of a preponderance of pathogenic intestinal bacteria (note: sea vegetables and/or chlorophyll are not antibiotics per se – they may merely support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines at the expense of pathogenic bacteria).

Seaweeds also contain unique antioxidant polyphenols. In their natural environment, marine polyphenols protect seaweeds against the harmful effects of UV radiation and pollution. These substances, when consumed, may also be able to protect our skin from the same harmful stresses.

In addition, the unique polysaccharides found in seaweeds may inhibit enzymes involved in the aging of skin. As a frame of reference, oral nutritional supplements and anti–aging topical cosmetics containing the structural component of skin and connective tissue, hyaluronan/hyaluronic, acid have become increasingly popular recently. Components of Wakame seaweed (Undaria Pinnatifida), have been shown to inhibit hyaluronidase – the enzyme which breaks down hyaluronan:

Study Link – Hyaluronidase–Inhibiting Polysaccharide Isolated and Purified from Hot Water Extract of Sporophyll of Undaria pinnatifida.

Also, Green Detox contains an aqueous extract of Fucus vesiculosus known as Maritech® Synergy. Maritech® Synergy is a source of powerfully protective antioxidants, and also contains a standardized amount of fucoidan – a polysaccharide from brown seaweed known to support immune function and healthy cell growth and repair*. Similarly to Wakame, Maritech® Synergy has been shown to inhibit the enzymes which break down the structural components of skin, collagen and elastin.

Green DetoxJPGIt has often been noted that people in Asian cultures enjoy youthful, radiant, and wrinkle–free skin well into advanced age. The reason may be more than just genetic – judging by the existing research, it's likely that regular seaweed consumption offers useful protection against signs of skin aging, including wrinkles, blemishes and age spots.

As, the role of nutrition in skin health has become increasingly recognized, research in the field has led to the creation of various "beauty–from–within" products, or "nutricosmetics" – nutritional supplements which, unlike traditional cosmetics and beauty aids, are taken orally. Green Detox is a perfect example of such a product.

Find a retailer for Green Detox and other Integrated Supplements Products

Related Posts:

Green Detox Q & A - What is Green Detox?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Fucoidan?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Chlorella?

Green Detox Q & A - Benefits

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Detox Supplements

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Greens Supplements

Green Detox Q & A - Are "Toxins" a Real Threat?

Green Detox Q & A - Food-Based Toxins

Green Detox Q & A - Digestive Health and Intestinal Detoxification

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox and Weight Loss

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox and Hormonal Health

 

FamilyShot2013




December 20, 2011

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox and Hormonal Health

BlogGDQAC Q. How can Green Detox support hormonal health?

A. Research has shown that Japanese women have longer menstrual cycles and lower serum estrogen levels than Western women. Not coincidentally, Japanese women are known to have among the lowest rates of hormone–related breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers in the world. It's reasonable to wonder if a seaweed–rich diet may be one reason why.

Recent preliminary research has shown that the brown seaweed, Fucus vesiculosus, may be able to reduce the body's burden of the potent estrogen 17–ß estradiol, while increasing levels of the protective hormone, progesterone, in pre–menopausal women:

Study Link – The effect of Fucus vesiculosus, an edible brown seaweed, upon menstrual cycle length and hormonal status in three pre–menopausal women: a case report.

Study Link – The anti–estrogenic effects of the brown seaweed, Fucus vesiculosus: implications in prevention of estrogen–dependent cancers.

Animal studies have shown similar findings:

Study Link – Brown Kelp Modulates Endocrine Hormones in Female Sprague–Dawley Rats and in Human Luteinized Granulosa Cells.

At this time, researchers aren't certain as to exactly how seaweeds exert their effects on hormonal health. Some have proposed that seaweed's ability to alter cholesterol levels may be responsible (steroid hormones are produced from cholesterol, so less available cholesterol could alter hormone synthesis).

It's more likely, however, that seaweed's effect on gastrointestinal/liver function is responsible. We've already seen how some seaweeds can reduce the production of enzymes which interfere with hormonal detoxification. Additionally, pathogenic bacteria in the intestines presents a chronic burden upon the liver (elements from these bacteria are continually absorbed across the intestinal barrier and into portal circulation where the liver detoxifies them before they can enter general circulation).

Many substances which alter the bacterial population of the intestines are well–known to alter hormonal metabolism by the liver. Antibiotics, for example (which take a large burden off of the liver by killing pathogenic intestinal bacteria), are well–known to interfere with the action of birth–control pills. In the absence of pathogenic intestinal bacteria, the liver is far more capable of detoxifying (thus rendering inactive) such exogenous hormones. With the unique prebiotic and bowel–cleansing elements found in seaweed, there's reason to believe that such foods can aid in the natural detoxification endogenous hormones as well. It seems clear that more research into this aspect of seaweeds and sea vegetables is needed.

Q. What about men? Can Green Detox improve men's hormonal health as well?

A. It seems likely that it can. Excess endogenous and exogenous (i.e., environmental) estrogens pose a risk to men's health as well as women's. If seaweeds can aid in the detoxification of estrogens indirectly by their bowel cleansing, and liver–sparing effects, men would be likely to benefit as well as women.

It's entirely possible that components in sea vegetables may even provide unique benefits for bodybuilding and muscle growth. Intense exercise is well known to tax the immune system, and it's not just steroid–using bodybuilders with compromised liver function – intense exercise, itself, can tax the liver as well.

All livestock farmers know that the use of antibiotics not only reduces incidence of infection, but also results in enhanced growth and feed efficiency in animals (i.e., the animal's growth is enhanced on relatively less food intake). In recent years, however, the livestock industry has been under increased pressure to minimize or eliminate the use of traditional antibiotics, as these drugs may lead to the development of antibiotic–resistant bacteria – a potential danger to both humans and animals. Though not antimicrobial per se, various seaweeds have begun to be investigated as immunomodulating and growth–promoting feed additives:

Study Link – Alternatives to Conventional Antimicrobials in Swine Diets.

Empirically, farmers have often noted that the nutritional benefits of seaweed are greater than would be imagined from the nutritional composition of the seaweed itself. This may be because the unique fibers in seaweed create a bacterial environment in the intestines which facilitates the absorption and utilization of nutrients.

Green DetoxJPGAgricultural studies have also found that conception rates of cattle are often increased markedly when bulls are given seaweed as part of their rations. Researchers conducting these studies found that bulls exhibited a "very high" increase in the number of live sperm, as well as a "much greater" durability of semen when fed seaweed.

Additionally, it's interesting to note that in Caribbean folk medicine, seaweed–containing mixtures have been used as aphrodisiacs to enhance virility.

Due to brown seaweed's ability to support so many aspects of health and detoxification, these unique foods may be able to support healthy hormonal levels in men and women alike.

Find a retailer for Green Detox and other Integrated Supplements Products

Related Posts:

Green Detox Q & A - What is Green Detox?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Fucoidan?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Chlorella?

Green Detox Q & A - Benefits

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Detox Supplements

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Greens Supplements

Green Detox Q & A - Are "Toxins" a Real Threat?

Green Detox Q & A - Food-Based Toxins

Green Detox Q & A - Digestive Health and Intestinal Detoxification

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox and Weight Loss

 

FamilyShot2013




December 16, 2011

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox and Weight Loss

BlogGDQAC Q. Can Green Detox help with weight loss?

A. There are several reasons why Green Detox may be particularly helpful with weight loss. Most obviously, Green Detox is a concentrated source of nutrients. During periods of caloric restriction and increased energy expenditure (i.e., exercise), concentrated sources of nutrients can supply for the body's micronutrient needs without supplying additional calories.

As it contains sea vegetables, Green Detox is a particularly rich source of iodine and other trace minerals. Iodine is a necessary nutrient for proper thyroid function and healthy metabolism*, but the detoxifying properties of Green Detox may also play a role in supporting proper thyroid function, metabolism, and weight loss*.

Many environmental chemicals happen to be fat–soluble, and are largely stored in our bodies' adipose (fatty) tissue. Because adipose tissue is relatively metabolically inactive, storage of metabolism–disrupting toxins in fat cells may be our bodies' way of protecting valuable metabolic machinery from disruption via these toxins. And, because of their ubiquity and resistance to degredation, it's safe to say that nearly every man, woman, and child in the industrialized world has some degree of toxic burden from these environmental chemicals.

Studies have found that weight loss (i.e., losing bodyfat) causes large amounts of these stored pesticides and other fat–soluble environmental toxins to be released from storage in adipose tissue and into the bloodstream where they can then do great damage:

Study Link – Body weight loss increases plasma and adipose tissue concentrations of potentially toxic pollutants in obese individuals.

Quote from the above study:

Organochlorine pollutants were found in every subject and all 19 compounds detected had their plasma concentration increased following treatment (mean body weight loss 9.5 kg), 15 of which were statistically significant... Body weight loss increases plasma and subcutaneous adipose tissue concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs in obese subjects. These results raise concerns about an undesired and potentially harmful side effect of weight loss in some obese patients who seem to be at greater risk of health problems than leaner subjects since they show higher organochlorine body burden. 

Where the weight loss they experience is often so dramatic, people who have undergone bariatric weight loss surgery are at particular risk of harm from fat–soluble toxins stored in adipose tissue:

Study Link – Increased Plasma Levels of Toxic Pollutants Accompanying Weight Loss Induced by Hypocaloric Diet or by Bariatric Surgery.

Quote from the above study:

This weight loss yielded significant increases in total plasma organochlorine concentration (increase of 23.8% for obese and 51.8% for morbidly obese individuals). For morbidly obese individuals, the weight loss at 1 year after surgery (46.3%) yielded a 388.2% increase in total plasma organochlorine concentration. 

The thyroid gland (and the cellular function of thyroid hormone) is particularly inhibited by organochlorines and related chemicals. If these chemicals flood the bloodstream during weight loss, it's easy to see how this toxic burden could impair the metabolism, and may quickly bring weight loss to a screeching halt. Studies have found that this does, indeed, happen during periods of weight loss:

Study Link – Associations between Weight Loss–Induced Changes in Plasma Organochlorine Concentrations, Serum T3 Concentration, and Resting Metabolic Rate.

Quote from the above study:

Organochlorine compounds are released from body fat into the bloodstream during weight loss. Because these compounds may impair thyroid status, which is implicated in the control of resting metabolic rate (RMR), the aim of this study was to determine if the augmentation in plasma organochlorine concentrations might be associated with the decrease in serum T3 concentration and RMR observed in response to body weight loss... In conclusion, organochlorines released in plasma during weight loss are associated with the documented decrease in serum T3 concentration and RMR. 

It's well–known that those who diet often reach a "plateau" where metabolism slows down and weight loss stops regardless of dieting efforts. It has often been thought that reduced caloric intake is solely responsible for this metabolic slowdown, but the above research provides strong evidence that it may be the toxic burden released during fat loss which is also largely responsible.

To ensure that the fat–burning machinery of the metabolism continues to run smoothly, dieting and exercise efforts should always be accompanied by practices – such as supplementation with Green Detox – which facilitate the body's detoxification of organochlorines and other fat–soluble toxins.*

Yet another way in which Green Detox may be able to support weight loss is by supporting beneficial bacterial populations in the intestines. Emerging research gives reason to believe that the bacterial composition of the intestines has far–reaching effects on overall health.

Generally speaking, dietary fiber is composed of indigestible starch from plant foods. It's well–known that fiber can support digestive health and regularity, but until recently, even scientists themselves hadn't realized that dietary fiber is capable of impacting literally every aspect of health.

Dietary fibers are composed of different types of sugars with widely varying molecular arrangements. While all dietary fiber is indigestible to humans, different types of fiber act as fuel sources to "feed" and support the growth of different species of bacteria in the intestines.

Fibers which support the growth of certain strains of beneficial bacteria in the intestines have been dubbed prebiotics, and have been the subject of intensive study in recent years. Seaweeds happen to contain unique prebiotic fibers and polysaccharides not found in any land–based plant food:

Study Link – Prebiotics from Marine Macroalgae for Human and Animal Health Applications.

A healthy bacterial environment in the intestines has been linked to a reduced risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome, appetite reduction, and even positive changes in mood–related symptoms. As the research unfolds, it's becoming clear that dietary fiber is far more than just the "roughage" that sweeps out our insides.

Green DetoxJPGStudies have found a fascinating relationship between intestinal bacterial populations and obesity. Certain types of intestinal bacteria – found in obese individuals, but not in their lean counterparts – may be particularly efficient at extracting food calories and facilitating their storage in adipose tissue. In addition, intestinal bacteria uniquely associated with obesity may trigger the systemic inflammation and fatty liver associated with elevated blood lipids and metabolic syndrome:

Study Link – Gut Microbiota and Its Possible Relationship With Obesity.

Quote from the above study:

...the gut bacterial flora of obese mice and humans include fewer Bacteroidetes and correspondingly more Firmicutes than that of their lean counterparts, suggesting that differences in caloric extraction of ingested food substances may be due to the composition of the gut microbiota. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide derived from the intestinal microbiota may act as a triggering factor linking inflammation to high–fat diet–induced metabolic syndrome... Existing evidence warrants further investigation of the microbial ecology of the human gut and points to modification of the gut microbiota as one means to treat people who are overweight or obese. 

People in seaweed–eating cultures have been found to harbor a unique intestinal microbiota which evolved to feed on the polysaccharides in seaweed:

Study Link – Transfer of carbohydrate–active enzymes from marine bacteria to Japanese gut microbiota.

It's likely no coincidence, therefore, that cultures consuming seaweeds as major dietary staples (Asian cultures, for example) are often known for their health, longevity and relative freedom from obesity and related disorders.

 

Find a retailer for Green Detox and other Integrated Supplements Products

Related Posts:

Green Detox Q & A - What is Green Detox?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Fucoidan?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Chlorella?

Green Detox Q & A - Benefits

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Detox Supplements

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Greens Supplements

Green Detox Q & A - Are "Toxins" a Real Threat?

Green Detox Q & A - Food-Based Toxins

Green Detox Q & A - Digestive Health and Intestinal Detoxification

 

FamilyShot2013




December 14, 2011

Green Detox Q & A - Digestive Health and Intestinal Detoxification

BlogGDQAC Q. How can Green Detox support digestive health and intestinal detoxification?

A. Green Detox can support digestive health and intestinal detoxification in several ways. As noted previously, the prebiotic effect of seaweed polysaccharides may alter the bacterial composition of the intestines to one more supportive of health. More specifically, pathogenic intestinal bacteria produce enzymes which convert procarcinogens into carcinogens within the gastrointestinal tract. As an example, many substances, including hormones and hormone–like chemicals, are conjugated to glucoronic acid for excretion from the body. Pathogenic intestinal bacteria, however, produce the enzyme, ß–glucoronidase, which is able to break apart glucoronic acid cojugates, thus "re–toxifying" the chemical which would otherwise be excreted from the body.

Pathogenic intestinal bacteria also produce azoreductases – enzymes which may convert azo dyes (e.g, artificial food colorings) into carcinogenic substances, and nitro– and nitrate reductases – enzymes which have been implicated in gastrointestinal cancer.

Polysaccharides from seaweeds, like other prebiotics, have been shown to shift the population of intestinal microbiota towards more beneficial species, thus reducing the production of these enzymes:

Study Link – Effect of edible seaweeds (Undaria pinnatifida and Porphyra ternera) on the metabolic activities of intestinal microflora in rats.

Quote from the above study:

Adaptation to diets containing Nori or Wakame was associated with changes in microbial activity that involved a decrease on reductive and hydrolytic enzymatic activities implicated in the conversion of procarcinogens into carcinogens. The combination of the effect on the gut flora and a more rapid transit of feces would be expected to reduce exposure to potential carcinogens and may have health implications for human nutrition. 

The process of digestion itself often produces toxic substances. Vegetarians often note that meat, for example, can putrefy and become toxic within the gastrointestinal tract. The existing research lends support to this contention, although the optimal solution may not be to avoid meat entirely, but rather to consume meats with the fibers and chlorophyll needed to neutralize the toxins which are derived from it.

The components of brown seaweed, laminaran and alginate, have been shown to reduce the production of such putrefactive compounds of digestion including, indole, p–cresol, and sulfide:

Study Link – Inhibitory effects of laminaran and low molecular alginate against the putrefactive compounds produced by intestinal microflora in vitro and in rats.

Quote from the above study:

In the case of rats fed diet containing 2% (w/w) laminaran or low molecular alginate, the fermentation pattern agreed with that of the in vitro experiment. Laminaran suppressed indole, p–cresole and sulfide, significantly. These putrefactive compounds, in rats fed low molecular alginate, also tended to be lower. These results suggest that the fermentation of laminaran by intestinal bacteria suppresses the putative risk markers for colon cancer. 

Emerging research also suggests that some naturally–occurring food–based chemicals, called lectins, may irritate the gastrointestinal tract by attaching to sugars found in the cellular structure of the intestinal lining (these cellular sugars are different than the sugars commonly used by the body for energy). By binding to these sugars, lectins may interfere with proper cellular communication, and may also trigger inflammation which may manifest as gastrointestinal distress.

It's probably no coincidence that some of the foods which are most apt to cause digestive problems – such as wheat (gluten), beans, and legumes – also contain high amounts of particularly irritating lectins:

Study Link – The carbohydrate–binding specificity of pea and lentil lectins. Fucose is an important determinant.

Study Link – The lectin properties of gluten as the basis of the pathomechanism of gluten–sensitive enteropathy.

Interestingly, however, the same cellular sugar molecules to which lectins bind can also be found in some foods. Seaweeds such as Fucus vesiculosus and Undaria pinnatifada, for example, are known to contain such sugars including fucose and mannose.

Traditional cultures often used seaweeds as folk remedies for digestive disturbances, and modern researchers have proposed that the consumption of the unique sugars in seaweeds may act as a "decoy" for the attachment of harmful food–based lectins. In other words, lectins may bind to the sugars found in seaweeds instead of these same sugars located on the cells of the intestinal lining. It's important to note, also, that the health–damaging effects of lectins may not be limited to the gastrointestinal system – as they damage the structural integrity of the intestinal barrier, lectins are capable of entering general circulation where they may attach to other tissues (e.g., connective tissue, elements of the nervous system, bladder tissue, etc.). This partly explains why seaweeds may have such far–reaching benefits for disorders involving systemic inflammation and immune dysfunction*.

In addition, the ingredients in Green Detox are among nature's richest sources of the natural detoxifier, chlorophyll. We've already seen how chlorophyll may play a role in neutralizing the cytotoxic damage produced by heterocyclic amines in meat. In addition to the possible presence of heterocyclic amines, the iron–containing pigment, haem, in red meat has been associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. One proposed reason is the degradation of haem to cytotoxic compounds in the gastrointestinal tract.

The consumption of vegetables, on the other hand, has been associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer – and it's likely that chlorophyll plays an important role. Animal studies have found that chlorophyll is able to prevent the toxic effects of haem in the colon:

Study Link – Green vegetables, red meat and colon cancer: chlorophyll prevents the cytotoxic and hyperproliferative effects of haem in rat colon.

Population–based studies in humans seem to support this detoxifying role of chlorophyll as well:

Study Link – Heme and Chlorophyll Intake and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in the Netherlands Cohort Study.

Quote from the above study:

Our data suggest an elevated risk of colon cancer in men with increasing intake of heme iron and decreasing intake of chlorophyll. 

Green DetoxJPGChlorophyll may also support healthy cell growth and repair.* Numerous studies have found chlorophyll to stimulate wound healing:

Study Link – Chlorophyll and wound healing; experimental and clinical study.

In the intestines, chlorophyll thus has the potential to protect the delicate intestinal lining.

As an interesting aside relating to intestinal detoxification, chlorophyll is also a well–known internal deodorant, and is widely used to control odors in those with incontinence and colostomies:

Study Link – Deodorization of colostomies with chlorophyll.

Find a retailer for Green Detox and other Integrated Supplements Products

Related Posts:

Green Detox Q & A - What is Green Detox?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Fucoidan?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Chlorella?

Green Detox Q & A - Benefits

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Detox Supplements

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Greens Supplements

Green Detox Q & A - Are "Toxins" a Real Threat?

Green Detox Q & A - Food-Based Toxins

 

FamilyShot2013




December 12, 2011

Green Detox Q & A - Food-Based Toxins

Blog_Icon_GreenDetoxQ. In addition to environmental chemicals, what sort of toxicity is associated with the foods we eat?

A. In addition to exogenous environmental toxins (e.g., pesticide residue, antibiotic residue, etc.), toxic substances can also be produced via cooking methods, as well as internally due to the inefficient digestion of foods. As examples, altered protein structures from meats cooked at high temperatures are known to contain potentially harmful substances called heterocyclic amines (HCAs), and starch–based foods cooked at high temperatures are known to contain a similarly harmful substance, acrylamide. As we shall see, even food–based nutrients such as iron pose a toxicity risk in some situations.

In the broadest sense, it could be said that almost all foods pose some toxicity risk. If we tried to completely avoid food–based toxins, the result would be a near–starvation diet – obviously not a valid solution. It's important to remember as well, that unlike modern agricultural chemicals, food–based toxins are nothing new to our food supply. Our primitive ancestors, for example, likely cooked meats over an open flame, without succumbing to the modern diet–related disorders often associated with such practices.

For this reason, rather than attempting to engineer an overly restrictive and unbalanced diet to avoid food–based toxins, it makes more sense to investigate protective elements which can counter–balance them. Fruits and vegetables, for example, provide numerous protective elements against these toxins, but most people would admit to rarely consuming these foods sufficiently. This is just one reason that our modern burden of food–based toxins may be greater than ever before.

Where food–based toxins do much of their damage in the intestines, it's probably no coincidence that colon cancer is one of the most characteristic diseases of the industrialized world. The intestinal damage caused by food–based toxins may explain why so many detoxifying protocols and supplements place such an emphasis on the use of laxatives. Merely stimulating bowel movements, however, doesn't meaningfully address the problem. The first step in neutralizing toxins produced by cooking and inefficient digestion involves altering the bacterial population of the intestines to one which fosters healthy and complete digestion of foods. Various dietary fibers and polysaccharides have this effect as they act as a selective growth medium for "beneficial" intestinal bacteria.

Green DetoxJPGAdditionally, the green plant pigment, chlorophyll (and related chemicals), may also offer protection against many food–based and intestinally–derived toxins. Research has found, for example, that the administration of cruciferous vegetables, chlorophyll, and yogurt (a source of beneficial bacteria) helped to neutralize mutagenic DNA damage to colorectal cells caused by heterocyclic amines (HCAs) in cooked meat:

Study Link – Inhibition of Fried Meat–Induced Colorectal DNA Damage and Altered Systemic Genotoxicity in Humans by Crucifera, Chlorophyllin, and Yogurt.

Quote from the above study:

...the inhibitor diet decreased nearly twofold the DNA damage in target colorectal cells. 

Ultimately, the real solution to body detoxification begins with ensuring proper digestion, thus reducing the production of food–based and intestinally–derived toxins.

Find a retailer for Green Detox and other Integrated Supplements Products

Related Posts:

Green Detox Q & A - What is Green Detox?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Fucoidan?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Chlorella?

Green Detox Q & A - Benefits

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Detox Supplements

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Greens Supplements

Green Detox Q & A - Are "Toxins" a Real Threat?

 

December 09, 2011

Green Detox Q & A - Are "Toxins" a Real Threat?

BlogGDQAC Q. Is there credible evidence that chronic low-level exposure to "toxins" is actually disrupting our metabolism and health?

A. It's certainly true that the vague term "toxins" is often used as a scare tactic to market supplements of questionable efficacy. As we've seen, most so–called "detoxifying" supplements contain little more than herbal laxatives, which simply aren't long–term solutions to reducing the body's toxic burden.

But, evidence does suggest that our modern environment and diet is exposing us to historically–unprecedented levels of toxic exposure.

For simplicity's sake, it's helpful to conceptualize toxins in two main categories:

• Environmental chemicals

• Food–based toxins (including those produced either as a function of cooking/processing or internally as a function of inefficient digestion).

Objective measures of the body's burden of environmental chemicals can be gleaned from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals published in 2009:

Report Link – Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals

The researchers conducting the above report tested for the presence of various environmental chemicals in blood and urine from a random sample of participants taking part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Particularly widespread exposure to the following chemicals was noted:

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers – fire retardants used in various manufactured products, which accumulate in the environment and in human fat tissue. One polybrominated diphenyl ether, BDE–47, was found in the serum of nearly every subject tested.

Bisphenol A (BPA) – a component of epoxy resins and polycarbonates used to make lightweight plastics. BPA may cause hormonal disruption and reproductive toxicity. More than 90% of the urine samples tested by the CDC contained BPA.

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) – A perfluorinated chemical associated with the manufacture of non–stick coatings for cookware, food packaging, stain–resistant carpets, and carpet–cleaning solutions, was found in the serum of nearly all subjects tested. The potential toxicity of this chemical is subject of ongoing research.

Perchlorate – a chemical which is both naturally–occurring and man–made. Its industrial uses include the manufacture of explosives, flares, and rocket fuel. High–level exposure to perchlorate is known to impair thyroid function, and the consequences of chronic, low–level exposure are currently under intense investigation. All participants tested exhibited measurable levels of perchlorate in their urine.

Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium – Heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, and cadmium are naturally–occurring, but modern industrial usage of these metals may lead to unprecedented levels of exposure. Research is ongoing, but it's currently unknown what level of bodily exposure to these metals can be deemed safe.

Numerous studies show that sea vegetables may possess the unique ability to help rid the body of such harmful environmental chemicals. Animal studies have shown Chlorella possesses the ability to aid in the detoxification of the carcinogenic insecticide, chlordecone; the environmental pollutant, dioxin; and the heavy metals, cadmium and lead:

Study Link – Detoxification of Chlordecone Poisoned Rats with Chlorella and Chlorella Derived Sporopollenin."

Study Link – Chlorophyll derived from Chlorella inhibits dioxin absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and accelerates dioxin excretion in rats.

Study Link – Effect of Chlorella intake on Cadmium metabolism in rats.

Study Link – Protective effects of Chlorella vulgaris in lead–exposed mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes.

Similarly, various seaweeds have been shown to aid in the detoxification of chemicals such as dioxin a well as offering protection against radioactive elements:

Study Link – The role of marine plants on radiation protection.

Study Link – Seaweed accelerates the excretion of dioxin stored in rats.

Green DetoxJPGAs the above study illustrates, sea vegetables are even able to increase the excretion of environmental chemicals which have been stored in the body. These chemicals are continually complexed with bile and are excreted into the intestines. A significant portion of the toxins in bile, however, aren't eliminated, but reabsorbed into the body via a process known as enterohepatic circulation. Nutritional strategies for detoxification often act, in large part, by preventing the re–uptake of bile–borne toxins:

Study Link – Enterohepatic circulation of organochlorine compounds: a site for nutritional intervention.

Sea vegetables, for example, contain several substances (e.g., chlorophyll, dietary fibers, alginate) uniquely suited to prevent the absorption and re–absorption of toxins from the gastrointestinal tract. Taken regularly, the ingredients in Green Detox may be able to steadily reduce the body's burden of toxic substances.*

Find a retailer for Green Detox and other Integrated Supplements Products

Related Posts:

Green Detox Q & A - What is Green Detox?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Fucoidan?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Chlorella?

Green Detox Q & A - Benefits

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Detox Supplements

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Greens Supplements

 

FamilyShot2013




December 07, 2011

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other "Greens" Supplements

BlogGDQAC Q. How is Green Detox different from other "greens" supplements?

A. "Greens" products are concentrated sources of whole–food nutrition – often targeted towards people who don't consume the recommended 3 to 5 servings of vegetables each day. These nutritional supplements contain a wide array of concentrated vegetables, grasses, herbs, seeds, and other components. Often, however, it seems that the makers of greens products place too much emphasis on including dozens of different ingredients – even if the dose and type of ingredients they use stand little chance of offering any health benefit. More importantly, many greens formulas contain ingredients which simply aren't optimal nutrition for humans.

For example, the following ingredients commonly found in greens formulas, are ones which we feel are best avoided:

Grasses (e.g., wheat grass, barley grass)

While cereal grasses such as wheat grass and barley grass are concentrated sources of nutrients, humans may not possess the optimal digestive system to extract these nutrients. Some greens products address this by using powders made from cereal grass juices which may be easier to digest. But, even still, we feel that cracked–cell chlorella is a far better choice for a greens formula than any cereal grass. Not only is chlorella a more concentrated source of nutrients and chlorophyll than cereal grasses, but processes which crack the chlorella cell wall allow nutrients to be accessed by the human digestive system while still offering the unique detoxicative benefits of chlorella's unique dietary fiber.

Seeds/Legumes (e.g., flax seeds, flax seed meal, hemp seeds, chia seeds et al.)

While seeds contain nutrients necessary for germination, they also contain substances which are mildly, but meaningfully, toxic. As a defense mechanism, seeds are specifically designed to resist destruction by the digestive systems of foraging animals. These defenses include not only a fibrous outer shell which is resistant to digestion, but numerous anti–nutrients and digestion–inhibiting substances inside the seed as well (e.g., phytates, trypsin inhibitors, amylase inhibitors, cyanogenic glycosides, tannins and phytoestrogens). Even polyunsaturated fatty acids in seeds can be counted among these anti–nutrients, as these lipids inhibit digestion (especially when rancid – as would be a likely occurrence in any greens product). Ultimately, some of nature's most potent food–based toxins and anti–nutrients are found in seeds, making their inclusion in nutritional products ill–advised.

Vegetables which contain anti–nutrients

In addition to important vitamins and minerals, many vegetables contain anti–nutrients – substances which can inhibit digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Spinach, for example is nutrient–dense, but also contains oxalic acid which may impair mineral absorption and digestion. Vegetables of the brassica family (e.g., cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale) contain goitrogens which are known to inhibit thyroid function. Alfalfa sprouts contain canavanine, analog of the amino acid, arginine, which has been associated with hemolytic anemia and immune dysfunction:

Study Link – Effects of L–canavanine on T cells may explain the induction of systemic lupus erythematosus by alfalfa.

Traditional cooking methods often served to maximize the nutritional content of vegetables, while minimizing such anti–nutritional factors. However, the effects of consuming dried, concentrated versions of these vegetables (and the anti–nutrients they contain) - as would be found in greens formulas – are simply unknown. Depending upon the formulation, some greens formulas may expose users to far greater risk of toxicity than the consumption of food vegetables.

Green DetoxJPGNot only are sea vegetables likely to be far more concentrated sources of nutrition than land–based vegetables, sea vegetables are also likely to contain far fewer anti–nutrients than land–based vegetables as well. In addition, certain sea vegetables contain health–promoting substances (e.g., fucoidan) which are simply non–existent in land–based vegetables. Sea vegetables are also almost completely absent from the diet of people in the U.S. and many parts of the industrialized Western world. All of these factors make carefully–selected sea vegetables uniquely suited for use in dietary supplements.

Find a retailer for Green Detox and other Integrated Supplements Products

Related Posts:

Green Detox Q & A - What is Green Detox?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Fucoidan?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Chlorella?

Green Detox Q & A - Benefits

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Detox Supplements

 

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December 05, 2011

Green Detox Q & A - Green Detox Versus Other Detox Supplements

BlogGDQAC Q. How is Green Detox different from other detox supplements?

A. Many supplements marketed for body detoxification contain harsh laxative herbs such as cascara sagrada or senna as their main ingredients. Though supporting healthy digestive function and elimination are important for detoxification, the use of harsh laxative herbs is not the best way to accomplish this. Because of their potential to cause side effects and dependency, these herbs should not be taken for extended periods of time, if at all. In fact, rather than being detoxifying, herbs such as cascara sagrada pose a toxicity risk all their own:

Study Link – Botanical Dietary Supplements Gone Bad.

Quote from the above study:

The chronic use of Cascara sagrada involves several risks. Besides cramp like pains in the gastrointestinal tract, chronic use disturbs the electrolyte balance, especially potassium deficiency, causing a circulus vitiosus and a dependency on purgative dietary supplements. In addition, several studies reported genotoxic and mutagenic effects in vitro and in vivo for emodin and its derivatives causing them to be classified as prospective carcinogens. Cascara sagrada products are still advertised as slimming or detoxification products; however, considering the potential side effects after chronic use, the intake of this herb for these indications should be restrained. 

Other detox supplements often contain mixtures of herbal components such as milk thistle, red clover, or green tea extract. But, though many of the ingredients in these herbal mixtures may have some therapeutic value for some people in some situations, there's little reason to believe that these haphazard mixtures of herbs will truly support the body's detoxification mechanisms in the long–term.

Many supposedly "detoxifying" herbs may transiently stimulate liver function, or the activity of detoxifying enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract – but they also have the potential to do harm with continued use. Red clover, for example, contains potent phytoestrogens – substances that could ultimately add to the body's toxic/estrogenic burden when consumed regularly or in excess. Similarly, high intakes of green tea extracts have also been shown to cause liver damage:

Study Link – Hepatotoxicity from green tea: a review of the literature and two unpublished cases.

Quote from the above study:

Our analysis of the published case reports suggests a causal association between green tea and liver damage. The hepatotoxicity is probably due to (–)–epigallocatechin gallate or its metabolites which, under particular conditions related to the patient's metabolism, can induce oxidative stress in the liver. 

Green DetoxJPGBut Green Detox is different – it doesn't contain harsh laxatives or herbs which tax detoxification pathways. The cleansing properties of green detox are much gentler, and are largely attributable to two factors:

• Unique dietary fibers and polysaccharides uniquely found in chlorella and seaweeds.

• Particularly high concentrations of the detoxifying green pigment, chlorophyll.

Dietary fibers and chlorophyll are essential for proper body detoxification, and sea vegetables are among the most concentrated sources of these substances. With the unique nutrition they offer, it's no wonder that sea vegetables/seaweeds have been staples in the diet of various cultures for centuries. As a whole–food nutritional supplement which concentrates the nutritional value of such foods, Green Detox is ideal for everyday use.

Find a retailer for Green Detox and other Integrated Supplements Products

Related Posts:

Green Detox Q & A - What is Green Detox?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Fucoidan?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Chlorella?

Green Detox Q & A - Benefits

 

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December 03, 2011

A Diet For Long-Term Weight Control and Optimal Health Part 7 - Healthy Intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

HeaderPic201201Popular health and nutrition articles often posit the essential omega–6 and omega–3 fatty acids simplistically as the "good fats."  Rarely, however, is any mention given to the actual amounts and ratios of these lipids required for good health.  As we've seen in previous editions of the Integrated Supplements Newsletter, a gross excess of the omega–6 essential fatty acid, linoleic acid in the modern diet may be a major contributing factor to obesity and related chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.  For all practical purposes, therefore, it's clear that linoleic acid is anything but a "good fat."

Similar confusion currently surrounds the omega–3 fatty acids.  As a delicate balance exists between omega–6 and omega–3 fatty acids, studies have begun to find that the ratio of the two in the diet may be an important factor in mediating inflammation and the development of chronic disease.  The excess of omega–6 linoleic acid in our modern diet has led many researchers and product marketers to advocate increased intakes of the omega–3 fatty acids to balance the ratio of the two classes of lipids.  As omega–3 fatty acids have garnered a steadily–increasing amount of mainstream acceptance, numerous sources of omega–3 fatty acids have been aggressively marketed in recent years, including fish oil, flax oil (and flaxseeds), krill oil, hemp oil, and many others.

But, with omega–3 supplements, we again find that the recommendations of the supplement marketers leave much to be desired.  Many people currently consuming omega–3 fatty acid supplements aren't emulating the fatty acid intakes of healthy cultures, and are instead unwittingly consuming fatty acid intakes with no historical precedent, and with no scientific backing.  The dangers of excess omega–3 consumption have now become a very real concern for millions of people who have been influenced by the widespread advice of health authorities and product sellers.

What's desperately needed is rational perspective on the amounts and ratios of fatty acids which are likely to offer protection against metabolic disruption and chronic disease.  As it turns out, the optimal dose of omega–3 fatty acids is far lower than is often implied by supplement marketers.  Supplements of omega–3 fatty acids are almost never advisable, and, in fact, common supplemental doses of omega–3 fatty acids are likely to be harmful when consumed over extended periods of time. 

An excess of omega–3 fatty acids has been shown to result in profound suppression of the immune system which may lead to increased incidence of infection in the short term, and possibly the development of autoimmune disorders and even cancer in the longer–term.  In addition, the tendency of fragile omega–3 fatty acids to spontaneously (i.e., non–enzymatically) oxidize is partly responsible for their potential toxicity.  Oxidized metabolites of omega–3 fatty acids may cause widespread metabolic disruption as they impair metabolism on a fundamental cellular level.  Inhibition of thyroid function, weight gain, accelerated skin aging, digestive disturbances, mood disorders, joint disorders, and liver damage are just a few of the potential detriments of omega–3 excess. 

As is so often the case in the marketing of nutritional supplements, the potential benefits of omega–3 fatty acids have been wildly overstated, while little to no mention has been made of the potential risks.

A Brief Overview of Essential Fatty Acid Metabolism

Omega–6 linoleic acid and omega–3 alpha–linolenic acid are considered essential to human nutrition.  These essential fatty acids (and the fatty acids derived from them) are involved in metabolic cascades which produce various inflammatory (and anti–inflammatory) chemicals.  Linoleic acid is metabolized largely into the inflammatory mediator, arachidonic acid, while alpha–linolenic acid is (ideally) metabolized largely into the anti–inflammatory long–chain omega–3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA.

The term: "essential," however, can be a bit misleading when used to describe nutrients like the essential fatty acids.  First off, linoleic and alpha–linolenic acids are merely parent chemicals for fatty acids which can easily be consumed through food.  Meats, eggs, and dairy, for example, are well–known sources of arachidonic acid, while seafood is the richest source of EPA and DHA.  Consuming these "ready–made" fatty acid metabolites is likely to significantly reduce the requirements for their parent chemicals.  In addition, an outright deficiency of either essential fatty acid is nearly impossible to achieve on any whole–food diet.  Only in laboratory and hospital settings have such deficiencies manifested, owing to poorly–constructed artificial diets. 

But, though outright essential–fatty–acid deficiency is rare, imbalances between the omega–6 and omega–3 fatty acids are common.  

The metabolism of omega–6 linoleic acid into arachadonic acid, and omega–3 alpha–linolenic acid into the long–chain omega–3s (e.g., EPA and DHA), both require some of the same metabolic enzymes.  This is why, as we've seen in previous Integrated Supplements Newsletters, an excess of omega–6 linoleic acid in the modern diet can dramatically interfere with the production of long–chain omega–3s, and their incorporation into tissues.

The efficient incorporation of long–chain omega–3 fatty acids (e.g., DHA) into tissues is thought to be required for the health benefits of omega–3s to manifest.  The question then becomes: how do we ensure that omega–3s are metabolized safely and efficiently so as to optimize tissue levels of long–chain omega–3s?  Consuming additional alpha–linolenic acid (e.g., plant–based omega–3 sources such as oils from soybeans, canola, flax, hemp, chia, et al.) doesn't seem to be the answer – especially if the diet contains excess linoleic acid.  Alpha–linolenic acid simply doesn't seem to be metabolized into the long–chain omega–3s efficiently in the presence of linoleic acid:

Study Link – Can adults adequately convert alpha–linolenic acid (18:3n–3) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n–3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n–3)?

Quote from the above study:

The use of ALA labelled with radioisotopes suggested that with a background diet high in saturated fat conversion to long–chain metabolites is approximately 6% for EPA and 3.8% for DHA. With a diet rich in n–6 PUFA, conversion is reduced by 40 to 50%.

Knowing this, it probably makes sense to consume some long–chain omega–3s from seafood, but consuming significant (supplemental) amounts of additional long–chain omega–3s from fish/marine oils, is a practice which should be questioned.  The long–chain omega–3s are very chemically fragile, and are well–documented to undergo spontaneous oxidation in the body when consumed in excess.  Worse yet, adding fish oils (and the like) to a diet high in linoleic acid will only increase overall polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake to one likely to cause widespread oxidative damage over time.

This is why we've previously advocated that the linoleic acid content of the diet (and overall PUFA intake) be kept low (~2% of calories).  Not only does a low linoleic acid intake facilitate the incorporation of long–chain omega–3s into tissue, but low overall levels of PUFA make oxidative damage of PUFA less likely (with low linoleic acid intake, only trace amounts of omega–3 fatty acids are needed to optimize tissue levels of long–chain omega–3s, so lipid peroxidation is not a major concern).

Healthy Intakes of Omega–3 and Omega–6 Fatty Acids

Where overt essential fatty acid deficiency is rare, the recommendations of public health authorities for essential–fatty–acids are geared towards achieving optimal tissue levels resulting in reduced risk of chronic disease.  Many researchers have noted a correlation between the level of long–chain (e.g., EPA, DHA) omega–3 fatty acids in tissue, and protection from various chronic and/or degenerative disorders.  Achieving healthy tissue levels of omega–3, however, is only partly determined by dietary omega–3 intake.  Because the metabolism of the two classes of fatty acids is so intertwined, a healthy intake of omega–3 fatty acids simply cannot be derived without also looking at the background level of omega–6 fats in the diet. 

Studies have found that when the level of omega–6 fats in the diet is low, the level of omega–3s needed to ensure healthy tissue omega–3 levels is low as well.  When the level of omega–6 fats in the diet is high (as it is in the United States and many other industrialized countries), the level of omega–3s needed to ensure healthy tissue levels of omega–3s is commensurately high.

Along these lines, researchers have calculated the dietary levels of long–chain omega–3s which would be needed to ensure what they believe to be healthy tissue levels of these fatty acids.  In countries with low linoleic acid intake, healthy omega–3 intakes would be miniscule.  In the Philippines, for example, where a mere 0.8% of calories come from linoleic acid, a paltry 278 milligrams of long–chain omega–3s per day would be sufficient to achieve what were deemed to be healthy omega–3 tissue levels.

By contrast, in the United States, where 7% to 9% of dietary calories come from linoleic acid, 3,667 milligrams of long–chain omega–3s would be necessary to achieve healthy tissue levels:

Study Link – Healthy intakes of n–3 and n–6 fatty acids: estimations considering worldwide diversity.

Quote from the above study:

n–3 LCFA intakes needed to meet a tissue target representative of Japan (60% n–3 in LCFA) ranged from 278 mg/d (Philippines, with intakes of 0.8% of energy as linoleate, 0.08% of energy as a–linolenate, and 0.06% of energy as arachidonic acid) to 3667 mg/d (United States, with 8.91% of energy as linoleate, 1.06% of energy as a– linolenate, and 0.08% of energy as arachidonic acid).

The safety of such high doses of EPA and DHA is questionable, however.  Even the US FDA has stated that the combined dose of EPA and DHA from supplements should not exceed 3 grams (3,000 mg) per day.

Importantly, the researchers of the above study noted that the long chain omega–3 content needed to ensure healthy tissue levels in Americans could be reduced to one–tenth of this dose if intake of linoleic acid was lowered.  Clearly, then, the ideal answer is to lower linoleic acid intakes – not to dramatically increase intakes of EPA and DHA:

Quote from the above study:

This allowance for n–3 LCFAs can likely be reduced to one–tenth of that amount by consuming fewer n–6 fats.

Again, this fact is significant, as the omega–6 and, to a greater extent omega–3 fatty acids are chemically fragile.  Consuming high amounts of both could lead to various forms of metabolic disruption including immune dysfunction, premature aging (most visibly premature aging of the skin), digestive and gastrointestinal disturbances, bleeding disorders, reduced blood sugar control, depression, and even cancer.  The potential for these long–term effects indicates that there's more to essential fatty acid nutrition than just achieving tissue omega–3 levels which happen to correspond to those of healthy cultures.  Those advocating omega–3 supplementation often fail to make any mention of the importance of lowering the omega–6 (especially linoleic acid) content of the diet to avoid an overall excess of PUFA consumption.

Which Diet Should We Emulate?

The researchers conducting the above study used Japanese tissue levels of long–chain omega–3s as the benchmark for healthy intakes.  They found that the Japanese intake of long–chain omega–3s (~750 mg per day combined of EPA and DHA) would offer 98% of the worldwide population protection against numerous diet–related diseases.  But even the Japanese diet may be less–than–optimal when it comes to fatty acid intake.  Though the health benefits of the Japanese diet are largely attributed to the regular intake of seafood rich in long–chain omega–3s, researchers have provided convincing evidence that the linoleic acid content of the Japanese diet (though significantly lower than that of the American diet) may still be too high for optimal health.

To improve the health of the Japanese population, The Japan Society for Lipid Nutrition has recently recommended that linoleic acid intake be reduced.  The authors of the scholarly article below go so far as to state that the widely–touted benefits of omega–3 fatty acids can be alternately interpreted as illustrative of the effects of linoleic acid excess – a fact which is often conveniently ignored by the sellers of omega–3 supplements:

Article Link – The Japan Society for Lipid Nutrition recommends to reduce the intake of linoleic acid. A review and critique of the scientific evidence.

Quote from the above study:

There are quite a few mechanisms of action of omega–3 fatty acids, but the competition between the omega–6 and omega–3 fatty acids at steps of elongation, desaturation, esterification into phospholipids, their release, conversion to eicosanoids (lipid mediators) and at their receptors is the major theme that explains why omega–3 fatty acids are necessary for the prevention of CHD [coronary heart disease] and other chronic diseases.  Accepting the usefulness of omega–3 fatty acids is nearly equal to admitting the risk of excessive LA [linoleic acid] intake.

The authors go on to say that, for those who eat fish regularly (as the Japanese generally do) a healthy intake of linoleic acid may be below 3% of calories.  The authors found no evidence to recommend that the Japanese increase their omega–3 consumption.

For all intents and purposes, therefore, the Japanese intake of long–chain omega–3 fatty acids (~ 750 mg per day) likely represents the upper limit of what healthy cultures have been shown to consume.  Even this amount, however, may be higher than is optimal.  Because of the metabolic instability of omega–3s, there's clearly a limit on how many can be consumed without doing harm.  The few cultures consuming higher amounts of long–chain omega–3s than the Japanese simply don't seem to experience additional health benefits as a result.  Likely because of their high intake of omega–3 lipids, Inuit cultures, for example, are known to exhibit bleeding disorders, and premature signs of aging:

Study Link – The bleeding tendency in Greenland Eskimos.

And in controlled trials incorporating omega–3 rich fish oils, higher omega–3 doses generally compromise the beneficial effects instead of enhancing them.

Mediterranean–style diets have been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and reduced rates of all–cause mortality.  Though the omega–3 content of the Mediterranean diet may be higher than that of the standard American diet, it may be their low level of linoleic acid which is a more important health–promoting factor.

The Lyon Diet Heart Study – one of the most successful studies ever conducted on the association between diet and cardiovascular disease – found that the reduction in linoleic acid was an essential part of the Mediterranean diet's success:

Study Link – Dietary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease The Lyon Diet Heart Study.

Quote from the above study:

...only the trials that also lowered intake of n–6 PUFAs and increased n–3 fatty acids successfully lowered cardiovascular and all–cause mortality in the experimental cohort.

The fact that the Lyon Diet Heart Study employed the use of parent alpha–linolenic acid from canola oil (and not long–chain omega–3s as would be found in fish oil) is further evidence that excess linoleic acid is likely to be a more important contributor to diet–related disease than the amount or type of omega–3s.

In all likelihood, those seeking to prevent diet–related disorders by altering their fatty acid intake will be well served to reduce their linoleic acid intake to below 2% of daily calories.  With this low linoleic acid intake, optimal intakes of EPA and DHA will likely be significantly lower than the average intake in Japan.  But, as the majority of the industrialized world is likely to consume excess linoleic acid, the formal omega–3 recommendations of several countries, as well as the World Health Organization and North Atlantic Treaty Organization may therefore be slightly high.  These organizations generally recommend between 300 mg and 500 mg of total EPA and DHA per day.  This amount is roughly in line with the American Heart Association's recommendation to consume 1 to 2 fish meals per week. 

Although 300 mg – 500 mg of EPA and DHA may be slightly higher than optimal on a diet low in linoleic acid, this intake is still reasonable and, in all likelihood, safe.  Many of those who take omega–3 supplements, however, may be consuming far greater (and potentially unsafe) amounts of omega–3 fatty acids.  It's not entirely uncommon to find fish oils and related sources of omega–3s recommended in doses of multiple teaspoons per day – doses which not a shred of long–term scientific evidence actually supports.  A single teaspoon (or 5 capsules) of standard fish oil for example, will contain approximately 1300 mg of combined EPA and DHA – an amount almost twice that of the average Japanese intake per day.  Add to this the EPA and DHA in the diet, and many supplement takers are sure to be consuming problematic amounts of long–chain omega–3s.

Alpha–Linolenic Acid – What Omega–3 Deficiency?

In addition, those consuming plant–based sources of omega–3 alpha–linolenic acid (e.g., flax oil, hemp oil) may not only be consuming a relatively inefficient source of omega–3, but may also be adding to their burden of linoleic acid as these plant–based sources invariably contain significant amounts of it.

As such, reviews of the literature have found the health benefits of omega–3 alpha–linolenic acid to be inconsistent at best – likely because many variables exist which may interfere with the proper conversion of alpha–linolenic acid into the long–chain omega–3s:

Study Link – n–3 Fatty acids from fish or fish oil supplements, but not alpha–linolenic acid, benefit cardiovascular outcomes in primary– and secondary prevention studies: a systematic review.

Quote from the above study:

Evidence suggests that increased consumption of n–3 FAs from fish or fish–oil supplements, but not of a–linolenic acid, reduces the rates of all–cause mortality, cardiac and sudden death, and possibly stroke.

Those who attribute modern diet–related disorders to an omega–3 deficiency should carefully investigate the changes in the omega–3 content of the American diet throughout the 20th Century.  Largely due to increases in the consumption of soybean and canola oil, the omega–3 content of the American diet actually increased significantly between 1909 and 1999.   Depending upon the type of calculations used, the omega–3 alpha–linolenic acid content of the diet during this time increased from 0.39% to up to 0.72% of calories:

Study Link – Changes in consumption of omega–3 and omega–6 fatty acids in the United States during the 20th century.

The above study notes, however, that the concomitant increase in linoleic acid consumption during this time has served to interfere with the metabolism and incorporation of omega–3 fatty acids in tissues:

Quote from the above study:

The estimated per capita consumption of soybean oil increased >1000–fold from 1909 to 1999. The availability of linoleic acid (LA) increased from 2.79% to 7.21% of energy... The apparent increased consumption of LA, which was primarily from soybean oil, has likely decreased tissue concentrations of EPA and DHA during the 20th century.

Sellers of plant–based omega–3 supplements such as flax oil and hemp oil should address the question: If adding alpha–linolenic acid to the diet were beneficial in correcting modern diet–related disorders, why did these disorders become epidemic during the time when the American public did just that?  The only honest stance, of course, is that we don't need more omega–3 alpha–linolenic acid in our diet – we simply need to dramatically reduce the diet's level of omega–6 linoleic acid.  This simple solution is hard to come by, however, as there's no money to be made by telling people what to avoid. 

From the research that exists, we yet again find reason to believe that an excess of linoleic acid is the primary lipid–related contributor to modern chronic diseases.  It's unlikely, therefore, that omega–3 fatty acids will function optimally unless linoleic acid levels are lowered.  Simply adding omega–3 fatty acids to the diet is a far–riskier practice than many people imagine, and in the next Integrated Supplements Newsletter, we'll examine some of the potential problems that may arise from the consumption of supplemental doses of omega–3 fatty acids.

Articles In This Series:

A Diet For Long-Term Weight Control and Optimal Health:

Part 1- Sugars And Carbohydrates From An Addiction Perspective

Part 2 - The True Role of Sugar in Weight Gain, Diabetes, and Metabolic Syndrome

Part 3 - In Defense of Fruit

Part 4 - Fatty Acid Intake In Industrial Versus Traditional Diets

Part 5 - The Role of Modern Fats in Heart Disease, Cancer, and Obesity

Part 6 - Essential Fatty Acids and Metabolic Disruption

 

About Us: At Integrated Supplements, our goal is to bring you the wellness information and products you need to live your life to the fullest. We are dedicated to producing the highest–quality, all–natural nutritional supplements; and to educating the world on the health promoting power of proper nutrition. You can find out more by visiting: www.IntegratedSupplements.com

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. No Integrated Supplements product is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

December 02, 2011

Green Detox Q & A - Benefits

BlogGDQACQ. Who can benefit from Green Detox?

A. Nearly everyone can benefit from the unique nutrition found in Green Detox.**

In the simplest sense, a person eating the standard American diet could think of Green Detox as a concentrated source of some of the nutrition he or she may be missing by not regularly eating the recommended 3–5 serving of vegetables each day. On a gram–for–gram basis, for example, the single–celled algae, chlorella (an ingredient in Green Detox) contains approximately 24 times as much riboflavin, 4 times as much magnesium, and 20 times as much detoxifying chlorophyll as spinach.

Such concentrated sources of nutrition can be an important addition to our diet. Though more convenient and plentiful than ever before, food in the industrialized Western world often suffers from a lack of important nutrients. Modern farming practices can steadily deplete the soil of minerals, and the processing which modern food undergoes often serves to reduce its nutritional content even further. It has been well–documented that vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers are often woefully lacking in many modern–day foods.

The industrialized world may also expose us to unprecedented levels of agricultural and environmental pollutants. Chemicals from pesticides, plastics, cosmetics, clothing, cleaning products, and the air we breathe are known to steadily accumulate in our body, and may weaken our body's defenses against disease.

Along these lines, Green Detox is far more than just a concentrated source of nutrients – even people who eat a healthy diet and take supplements can still benefit from the unique immune–supporting* and detoxifying nutrients sea vegetables have to offer. For example, the unique polysaccharide from brown seaweed, called fucoidan, is currently being studied for its ability to foster a healthy immune response*, and its ability to aid in proper cell growth and repair*. The polysaccharide, alginate, found in brown seaweeds such as bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus), is known to aid in the absorption and removal of heavy metals and radioactive elements from the body*. Similarly, chlorophyll and unique fibers found in Chlorella and Wakame seaweed may be able to rid the body of environmental chemicals such as dioxin and PCBs. These unique detoxifying benefits simply don't occur to the same degree with any common land–based vegetable.

So, whether a person is looking to add a concentrated source of nutrition to a sub–optimal diet, or a person is looking to maximize the health and detoxicative benefits of an already healthy diet, Green Detox is of value to both.

** Green Detox should not be taken by those with hyperthyroidism or sensitivity to iodine. Green Detox should not be taken by those who are pregnant or nursing. Those taking blood–thinning medications should consult a physician before use.

Q. What Could a person notice from taking Green Detox?

A. As a concentrated source of unique nutrients, Green Detox may offer benefits for all aspects of health. Some of the more noticeable benefits may include:

Green DetoxJPG• Clear radiant skin with reduced wrinkles, age spots, or blemishes.*

• Improved digestion and elimination.*

• Improved metabolism.*

• An increased sense of energy and vitality.*

Although these benefits may be noticed relatively quickly, those taking Green Detox as an aid to detoxification should note that meaningful body detoxification will take time. A long-term commitment to a healthy, pure diet, exercise, and intelligent supplementation is essential for maximal benefit


Find a retailer for Green Detox and other Integrated Supplements Products

Related Posts:

Green Detox Q & A - What is Green Detox?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Fucoidan?

Green Detox Q & A - What is Chlorella?

 

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