If you decided to play Russian roulette, you would make sure there's just one bullet in the gun. Wouldn't you? Only a fool or someone with a death wish would load the gun with three or four bullets before putting it their head and pulling the trigger.
Several new landmark studies into the causes and progression of cancer suggest that is exactly what we are doing everyday. I have been saying for years, it does not come down to bad genes, bad luck, or bad circumstances, it's bad choices. The studies are revealing between 70 and 90 percent of cancers are the direct result of things we choose to do: the food we eat, what we smoke or how much alcohol we drink.
The researchers, from Stoney Brook University Cancer Center in New York, ran four computer models, which included health profiles and population information. In EVERY case, the information pointed to a similar result: cancer has very little to do with bad genes.
Dr. Yusuf Hannun, the lead researcher sums it up like this: "It's like a revolver. Intrinsic risk is one bullet, and if we are playing Russian roulette then maybe one in six will get cancer - that's the intrinsic bad luck. Now, what a smoker has done is add two or three more bullets to that revolver. And then he pulls the trigger."
But it's not just smoking, as two other important studies have revealed. It's SUGAR! Eating processed foods, cakes and drinking sugary colas adds yet more bullets to the barrel, just as the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Otto Warburg observed over 80 years ago.
***Sugar can encourage the start of cancer, and then feed the cancer cells and help them grow and spread.
In another study, women with breast cancer were more likely to die of the disease if they also had high levels of insulin. This is because their cancer had grown and spread - and insulin is what helped make that happen. If you have heard me speak or read other of my articles you know that I preach "Insulin is the Devil!" You must lower your insulin! What was even more interesting was that NONE of the women in the study had type 2 diabetes.
To add more fuel to the sugar fire, a further study concluded that sugar in your blood provides the pathway that helps cancer cells grow and spread.
As part of doctor, chemist and Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine in 1931 Otto Warburg's research, he discovered cancer cells are anaerobic - they don't need oxygen - but instead use fermented sugar as an energy source.
Despite this work, the medical industry - and particularly the cancer industry still fails to recognize the true cause of cancer. And, despite compelling evidence, the nay-sayers remain entrenched as ever, claiming that such information and talk is scaremongering and overly simplistic. This thinking is most likely behind hospitals, like KU cancer hospital in my area, giving cakes, sweets, juice and other refined sugar to cancer patients after chemo and diabetic patients after insulin while they are in the hospital.
Blood sugar related diseases (all diseases) and cancers are so prevalent in our society and ever increasing, and the issues and complications from these health problems have become so widespread, why are we playing Russian roulette with people?
It is, after all, the sugar, stupid.
Dedicated to your health,
Dr. Don Sharnowski
There are common foods we hear about that are considered healthy. The food machine has said these foods are healthy for so long we now believe this to be true. They have formed what Wayne Dyer has called "mental viruses or mental memes" in our minds and thought processes. However, upon further inspection some of these so called "healthy foods" are wreaking havoc on our bodies and our brains.
1) Tomatoes - Tomatoes contain something called "Lectins" these are plant proteins that act just like gluten and gliadin in grains and wheat. As Dr. Steven Gundry states "not all plants like to be eaten." These lectins lead to leaky gut due to stomach penetration. Tomatoes also contain Solanines. These are neurotoxins that damage your brain and are very dangerous and some people are very sensitive to them. Tomatoes are part of the "night shade" family along with green peppers (and all the other colors), peppers such as cayenne, white potatoes, and eggplant. Theses foods were only introduced into our diet about 200 years ago.
2) Beans - Beans have very high amounts of lectins as well. Did you know 20% of all food poisonings come from undercooked beans? Yes! Beans are so lethal that 5 raw kidney beans will kill a person by coagulating (thickening) your blood. Not to mention they are a carbohydrate that is very high in starch which gets immediately converted to sugar and stored as fat.
3) Cashews - This is actually a member of the tuber family (potato) but fits in the category with beans and lectins. Are you are kind of getting the idea these "lectin" things aren't such a good idea? What to eat instead of cashews? Try walnuts, pecans, macadamia, Brazil nuts, pistachios, and sometimes almonds. See my blog post on almonds!
4) Grain - You might think it would be the gluten, but not necessarily! Did you know that gluten is not 1 thing but a combination of things called glutenins and gliadins? These make up gluten! Again, it is those pesky lectins. Particularly in brown bread, it is worse than white bread when it comes to lectins. This is one of the fake health foods that makes you crave sugar and sweets - Brown Bread! I know it sounds contrary to everything you have been told or taught, but brown bread is no better for you, and in some cases it is worse for you, than white bread.
These are just a few of the top fake health foods we, as Americans, consume the most. These four foods are some of the "biggest inflammation sources" we have in our diet.
And, as you know by now, inflammation is the cause of every disease!
Remember, just because it says health food, low-carb, low-fat, keto approved, or any of the other marketing slogans the food industry uses to get you to buy their products, the media machine professes the benefits of some food as healthy, doesn't mean we should be eating it.
In fact, it should be a big loud message that says "stay away"!
Have a great day and vibrant health,
Dr. Don Sharnowski
SODIUM IS ESSENTIAL TO LIFE!
I was surprised and very pleased the other day. For the first time a relative of mine saw one of my posts and sent me a message seeking more information because she was concerned about a particular topic. Sodium! My first reaction was "What the heck is happening?" Then after just a minute I thought "This is awesome!" For one, someone actually reads my posts and secondly, a family member reached out to ask for more information. I couldn't feel more proud.
So, to say the least, I am humbled and truly appreciate you would seek out my professional opinion. After all, this is why I am in this business. Thank you Aunt Missy!
Sodium is so important, in fact, that humans have a specific sensor on the tongue that can detect salt. Thousands of years ago, when the diet of humans was potassium-rich and sodium-poor, this sensor for salt was a crucial survival tool. Nature, in her infinite wisdom, devised a way to help humans (as well as animals) seek out salty foods so they could be assured of receiving adequate sodium from their diets.
This point is extremely important since sodium is crucial for maintaining the health of every cell in the human body. It lives in the spaces between the cells and potassium exists mainly inside of the cell. These two minerals need to be in constant balance so nutrients and waste can get in and out of the cells.
Sodium plays so many important roles in our body from producing hydrochloric acid in our stomach in order to digest protein, proper never function and muscle contraction. The heart, as you may know, is our hardest-working muscle. Finally, sodium is required to maintain electrolyte balance.
Sodium plays so many critical roles, it is clear if we had no sodium, we would cease to exist. It is important to have absorbable sodium from foods to maintain health, but too consuming too much of the wrong kinds of sodium is harmful. Sodium is often misunderstood by the public.
Most of us already know that excessive "bad" salt consumption contributes to high blood pressure, but did you know it is also associated with strokes, calcium deficiency, weight gain, and stomach cancer. However, reducing sodium too much can be just as harmful. Too little can cause spasms, poor heart rhythms, increased risk of heart attack, and sudden death.
Understanding the role sodium plays in the body and the difference between the "good" and "bad" sources of sodium will help you get the salt out of your diet while you still meet your sodium needs.
According to The Sodium Counter, the average American's salt intake is 2-3 tsps. per day. This provides 4,000 to 6,000 milligrams of sodium a day. This may not seem like a lot but it is double the FDA's maximum recommended daily quantity of 2,400 milligrams.
No other mammal eats this much salt and no other mammal has the health problems we do. High blood pressure, for example, was never seen in animals until introducing large amounts of salt into animal's diets.
We unknowingly absorb excessive salt not only from the food we consume, but also from an unexpected source, the salt-softened water we bathe in. Even the American Heart Association warns that salt-softened water can cause elevated sodium levels. Sodium is very efficiently absorbed through the skin every time we take a shower or a bath or wash clothe in softened water. This has become a common culprit of excess sodium.
There are two parts to this sodium problem First, from the food and water we consume and secondly, the highly refined nature of common table salt. Our bodies can usually tolerate some excess sodium if it is a naturally occurring form that we can use or excrete. Commercial table salt is the furthest thing from the ideal. Refined table salt, natural sea salt or rock salt is stripped of more than 60 trace minerals and essential micro-nutrients.
Not only is the commercial salt stripped of all it's minerals, besides sodium and chloride, it is heated to such high temperatures it changes it's chemical structure! Then, it is chemically cleaned and bleached and treated to keep it from mixing with water in the container. Unfortunately, the chemicals perform the same function in the human body!!! So, refined salt does not dissolve and combine with water, instead it builds up in the body and leaves deposits in organs and tissues, causing severe health problems.
The most common anti-caking agents used are both sources of aluminum, a toxic metal that has strong ties to Alzheimer's disease. Ok....to make things worse, the aluminum leaves a bitter taste in salt, so manufacturers add SUGAR (dextrose) to hide the taste of the aluminum. Are you kidding me?
So, considering the salt we use is so mineral unbalanced, the anti-caking agents prevent the salt from doing some of its most important jobs, or the chemicals and sugar that are added to it, table salt should be avoided at all costs because, it is without a doubt hazardous to your health.
Contrary to popular belief, getting the salt out of your diet isn't as simple as not using table salt. In fact, throwing away your salt shaker will barely make a dent in your sodium intake because the salt you add at the table is minimal compared to the salt hidden in the processed foods we eat every day.
Salt is added so routinely and wrecklessly by food manufacturers that it is almost impossible to escape. From salted snack foods like chips, pretzels and roasted party nuts to basics like soups and breads, salt is in there. It's even hidden in cereals and instant pudding.
Become a label reader. Read the number of sodium milligrams listed on the label. Focus on low-sodium foods that have 140 milligrams of less of sodium per serving. If you need additional sodium in your diet, add extra salt at the table.
There are alternatives to commercial table salt. Unrefined sea salt and RealSalt are both very good salts the body can use for all the important functions sodium plays. You can get a small salt shaker from RealSalt to take when you dine out or travel.
Learning where salt is normally found and how to do without it requires a multi-dimensional approach.
I highly recommend a book by Ann Louise Gittleman "Get The Salt Out: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Salt Out of Any Diet"
With vibrant health,
Dr. Don Sharnowski
This may come as a surprise, but if you are buying raw almonds grown in the United States, they are NOT actually raw! Even if they are labeled "raw." I know, hard to believe right?
People have been asking me about this a lot lately, so I thought we would discuss this unbelievable topic. Most people, well I should say everyone, I have talked to is unaware of this fact. Raw Almonds are a popular and a favorite healthy snack and people ask me all the time if they can have them either as just a healthy option or if they can have them while they are on some sort of healing journey.
Well consider this.....
Effective September 2007, the USDA ordered all almond growers to "sterilize", or treat, almonds in one of several ways. 1) heat them using steam, 2) irradiate them using an ionization process that is very controversial, 3) roast or blanch them, and my favorite, 4) treat them with propylene oxide (PPO).
PPO is a known carcinogen, and most countries, include the EU, have banned imported nuts treated with PPO. To go even further, this chemical is so nasty and harmful it has even been banned by both the National Hot Rod and American Motorcycle Racing Associations, where it has been used as a fuel additive before they said it was too dangerous.
This new rule created some very deceptive labeling. Almonds that have undergone chemical treatments or heating for pasteurization are still labeled "raw." I bet you as a consumer who purchase "raw" almonds think that those almonds are natural and unprocessed. Even better, there will be NO label requirement to specify what kind of pasteurization treatment was used among the many approved methods or combinations thereof. [in case you are interested here is the source]
So, in fact almonds can be steamed, irradiated, or treated with chemicals, and still be labeled as raw!
This is not the first time there has been a battle over nuts. The FDA sent a Warning Letter to a nut processor and distributor because the company dared to list some of the health benefits of walnuts on its website. The FDA said that the walnuts were being "promoted as drugs because these products are intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease." In other words, if you say food is healthy and may help protect against heart disease, or ease arthritis or inflammation, your words have magically changed that food into a drug, and that's illegal!
There are a couple ways around this to make sure you are purchasing truly raw almonds. One is to buy directly from the farmer. You can do this either at a farmer's market or online.
In the past there have been multiple suppliers online. However, I can only find a couple at this time.
Blue Mountain Organics - you can find truly raw nuts from Italy on this site
You can also buy almonds that were grown outside the USA. Even though I do not support Whole Foods, they do carry true raw Italian almonds. Check your local store and if they don't have them, ask the store manager to start carrying them.
***If you do buy raw almonds grown in the USA, stick to organic types to avoid the chemical pasteurization process. These are usually cheaper than truly raw almonds.
In your best health,
Dr. Don Sharnowski
No to long ago The Wall Street Journal ran an article called "Sugar Substitute Chases The Holy Grail". It stated that more consumers are cutting back on sugar - but refuse to give up sweetness. Companies are experimenting with stevia, monk fruit, and other plants to find an "inexpensive", natural, zero-calorie sweetener without a bitter aftertaste. Sounds perfect huh?
Fernando Martins a partner in Bain & Co., who specializes in agriculture, food and sustainability says "The Holy Grail is the sugar taste. They are getting better; they are not there yet."
Most sweeteners on the market whether they are artificial like aspartame, or natural, like stevia-leaf extract are "small molecules," which essentially pass through the body after being digested by the liver and kidneys. Other people are looking into another source of sweetness: plant based proteins.
A company called Amai Proteins says they have created several "designer" proteins that are several thousand times as sweet as sugar, mostly free of aftertaste, sustainably and affordably grown in a lab, and healthy to digest. Seems like kind of a contradiction to me. Grown in a lab and healthy to digest. Hmmmm.
This company changes the sequence of amino acids in the proteins to fix problems related to yield, stability and taste. Then the company uses fermentation to grow the proteins in a lab, avoiding the cost and supply-chain headaches of growing crops. About 2 milligrams of the resulting white powder can replace a teaspoon of sugar, says biochemist Ilan Samish.
This seems like it is the future of everything, biochemical manipulation of our food sources to satisfy our unquenchable desire for sweetness. And, at the same time, eliminating the farming and actual growing of crops and food.
The answer is simple. If we just eliminate the processed sugar in our diet and allow our bodies to regain the natural balance of tastes in our natural foods, the chemical, lab grown concoctions will not be needed.
Not to mention the unforeseen and unintended consequences that come with them.
Increasingly, doctors and researchers at the forefront of medicine and functional health are finding that most, it not all, of the major degenerative conditions of old age - heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease - all have a common cause, and it's not the inevitable outcome of old age or mechanical problems or "wear and tear", as commonly proposed, as though the body were a piece of worn-out machinery.
The cause of all these diseases is purely chronic, low-grade INFLAMMATION.
According to Stanford University professor of immunology and rheumatology William Robinson this association first came to light with arthritis. The studies he carried out showed that osteoarthritic joint tissues contain larger than usual numbers of inflammatory cells. These, he found, were the central driver of the progression of this disease and escalates the attack against the joint itself.
With heart disease, even conservative groups like the American Heart Association (AMA) now acknowledge the devastating role of inflammation. Studies have shown that men with the highest levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in their blood - a major marker of inflammation - are more than twice as likely to have the condition.
There is new evidence by Dr. Patrick Kingsley, a British integrative doctor, that after treating thousands of diabetic patients he discovered that inflammation was the common culprit.
Ordinarily, inflammation is not a bad thing. Some of the signs are heat, swelling, redness and pain. this is an attempt by the body's immune system to heal an injury, insult, allergy or infection by increasing the flow of healing nutrients to flush away harmful pathogens and invaders.
However, when it has to do with degenerative conditions, inflammation is a healing response that has gotten out of control. Chronic conditions such as joint pain, heart disease and diabetes are an inflammatory warning sign that the body is struggling to maintain health in the face of an overwhelming assault of some sort of stressor.
In the case of diabetes, usually some food-provoked inflammation that not only inhibits normal healing, but also contributes to the cycle of a continually worsening situation.
Dr. John Mansfield, author of Arthritis: The Allergy Connection, after successfully treating thousands of arthritis patients, maintains that most forms of arthritis are "environmentally induced" by an intolerance to certain foods or environmental chemicals, and that 90% of patients can be improved or fully cured just by making certain lifestyle changes.
Dr. Kingsley discovered similar results when treating diabetes. His own casebook and experience confirm that what causes high glycemic reactions in diabetics is not simply large doses of sugar, but "individualized idiosyncratic reactions to a food." This is very interesting because it confirms that diabetes is very unique to the individual and there is not a cookie cutter approach to diabetes or any other chronic inflammatory situation.
The solution is to find the source of inflammation - it is usually one or more foods or food groups - and people are often able to drastically lower their need for insulin. This is exactly the path we follow at Sharnowski Center for Functional Health. Find the root cause of the problem, or inflammation and eliminate that stressor. That, in conjunction with the appropriate nutrient application, simple lifestyle modifications and sometimes, the right exercise or movement program for you will assure you a great outcome.
For my first official blog post I have offered you the seemingly impossible: a simple means of locating the source of your inflammation and, consequently, your condition. With just a little effort and persistence you can transform your health and you may perform your own small miracle and drastically reduce your insulin or drugs.
When you think if inflammation it is usually considered a bad thing. Take a fever for instance, it has a bad rap. Or, swelling around a splinter in your finger, a runny nose, watery eyes, and even joint pain.
The function of inflammation is to signal there is tissue damage and trigger the local and systemic (body) factors to initiate the appropriate defense and repair process. That is very important to understand - the appropriate defense and repair process! Inflammation, then, is a very good thing.
However, inflammation is a primitive response and is usually excessive in magnitude for it's function in soft tissue injury. A good example is a sprained ankle. A few years ago, I had a young lady patient in the clinic who played volleyball at a Division 1 school and had tried out for the US National Team. She came to my office after turning her ankle and both her and her parents were very concerned. The playoffs were coming up and her ankle was 5 times it's normal size. It looked terrible! The bodies inflammatory response was so excessive it made it look, and feel, much worse than what it was.
After a relatively short time (10 days) of addressing the inflammation by giving the proper anti-inflammatory agents and enzymes, at the right time and in the correct combination, we returned her to full range of motion and pain less function so she could return to competition.
Another example is a fever. Fevers are generally a good thing because the bodies immune system is sounding the alarm and your defenses are coming to the rescue to, here it is again, begin the defend and repair process. Think twice about trying to reduce a fever too quickly, it is the bodies natural defense to solve and inflammation problem. I usually load people up on a special Calcium Lactate, which is the most easily absorbed calcium there is and a non-saturated fatty acid. Fever and inflammation is a calcium deficiency.
As I stated earlier, inflammation is a primitive response usually excessive in magnitude for its function in soft tissue issues. Excessive inflammation produces pain, spasm, and edema (swelling) and it may delay healing and lead to chronic adverse tissue changes if not mediated.
Prolonged, extended, or chronic edema tells your body to deposit something called "fibrinogen" into the tissue spaces. This thickens tissues, creates tissue adhesions or scarring, and decreases normal blood flow. Untreated this may take many months to resolve.
Take a look at the graph at the top of this blog and look at all the situations that are attributed to chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a good thing in healing the body and getting the appropriate nutrients to the needed areas, but chronic inflammation is the root cause to just about every disease and health compromising state there is.
Do yourself a favor and resolve your chronic inflammation issues as soon as possible. Feel free to call my office, or email, with your questions and we can get you on the right track to get rid of your devastating chronic inflammation.
This is my first blog post and I want to start it off by starting at the beginning. We are just a few weeks into the new year and I am sure everyone has their goals in place, or are finalizing them! One of my biggest goals, for a long while now, has been to start this blog full of interesting, informative, and entertaining material.
I will blog about things I like or think are important and I will write about currents events and hot topics. I want to incorporate guest bloggers as well so be on the look out for great information from other contributors. Also, I would like to post things you are interested in as well so, if you have any idea on topics shoot me your ideas.
Thank you so much for coming on this journey with me.
Well, I guess I can mark off another goal on my New Year "to do" list! Let's go!
Dr. Don Sharnowski is a functional medicine practitioner, lecturer, teacher, sought after speaker, and founder of Sharnowski Center for Functional Health in Overland Park, Kansas. His practice is a functional nutrition based practice that utilizes many forms of testing techniques and treatment options.