Coconut oil health benefits….going mainstream, part 1 of 2

Thanks to a GSG reader for sending this New York Times article. A lot of the things I’ve been teaching for a long time are starting to go mainstream, about the power of coconut oil–which I believed only when I found a dozen miraculous health benefits of it for myself. This blog entry isn’t about me, but here’s one of my personal health benefits: I used to have circulation problems (cold hands and feet all winter) and that COMPLETELY disappeared when I started using coconut oil.

I read a case study by Dr. Mary Newport recently, about her husband, an accountant, who tragically began showing signs of Alzheimer’s in his early 50’s and was quite debilitated by age 58. Dr. Newport, a neonatologist, studied drug trials, including one drug in development called Ketasyn that leverages MCT, or medium chain triglycerides. That is a compound found in very few foods but abundantly in extra-virgin coconut oil.

Dr. Newport discusses many of the health benefits of MCT oil as documented in the scientific literature, including benefits for weight loss, epilepsy, cancerous tumors, and brain recovery after oxygen loss (newborns through adults). What these nutritional-deficit issues have in common is that cells can use compounds in coconut oil for fuel in the absence of carbohydrates. This makes it a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) disease.

She discusses the same thing I often say, that the liver metabolizes coconut oil not precisely like a fat, but more like a hybrid between a carb and a fat. Those who are insulin resistant may function much better with these medium-chain fatty acids in their diet in significant quantities.

(Dr. Newport is awaiting the testing and the approval for the DRUG using coconut oil’s MCT. On a logic level, I can’t comprehend why you’d want to synthesize a component of a real food, when the food itself is nourishing in ways that science may never be able to understand because of the complexity and interplay of so many synergistic factors in the whole food.)

Dr. Newport’s case study paper references 23 studies, including some on how infant formula attempts to mimic human breast milk. Breast milk is also high in medium chain triglycerides including the powerful immune support LAURIC ACID. This is a GSG theory, and you’re welcome to dispute it, but those isolates, in formula, are never going to be as good as the complete source they came packaged in, in the first place. (If so, God would have created the separate parts rather than the complete source.)

So then Dr. Newport reports on the “obvious marked improvement” of her husband’s cognitive functions. She shows his drawings of a clock, the day before starting coconut oil, two weeks after, and 37 days after. The first one is completely disorganized and resembles a clock in no way. A few small circles and four random numbers on the page. The second one has the lines in place and the numbers in the correct places. The third one is clear and organized.

Moreover, she documents the improvements in daily life as she observed her husband’s communication, gait, and ability to work and organize himself.

More tomorrow.

this is what it looks like when I’m sick

True confession: I got sick on Tuesday. I did yoga and worked out with my tennis team from 8-11 after waking up feeling a little weird and weak. I went home and took colloidal silver, with some powdered Vitamin C mixed in, every few hours. I texted my massage therapist Kortni, who fit me in and worked on my neck/lymphatic system.

In the afternoon I felt a little feverish, so I climbed in bed and slept for a couple of hours. Then I got up and worked at my computer and took care of my kids, feeling about 50%. I watched TV for the first time in a year and slept 8 hours that night (which is 2-3 hours more than normal). I took a big spoonful of my friend Charlene’s Anti-Plague formula before bed, which is raw apple cider vinegar and raw garlic and 8 immune-strengthening herbs. (It’s based on a Dr. Christopher’s formula which you can buy.)

Then I woke up feeling fine and normal the next morning, went to the gym and ran 4 miles.

In my 20’s, I used to get sick a dozen times every winter. I’d go into a dark depression because I couldn’t seem to get healthy. I believe this happened because of MANY rounds of strep throat and antibiotics when I was a child weakening my immune system. Finally when I was 28, I got strep for the last time. I’d been reading a lot, starting into better nutrition, and becoming less enamored of medicine. Also, I was pregnant. So I refused to take antibiotics, and instead took the herb GOLDENSEAL. The strep disappeared quickly and has never returned.

I’ve never had any respiratory problems or sinus infections or bladder or yeast infections, ever—since abandoning the S.A.D. and drug interventions.

So often I hear people say, “I never get sick” as evidence that they are very healthy. I’ve known a number of people who suddenly have Stage 3 cancer even though they rarely got viruses. My point is just that whether or not you’re susceptible to viruses is only ONE measure–not even necessarily the most important measure–of how your immune function or even your overall health is. There are many functions of immunity.

That said….I now get sick about one day, every year or two, and even then I’m totally functional. If that were the ONLY miracle that occurred from our switch to a whole foods, mostly plant-based diet 17 years ago, it would still be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

And, your body flushing out with clear, thin mucous when you get a cold or slight fever is a POSITIVE THING. It’s necessary and it builds those immune-function “muscles.” Suppressing a fever is unwise. Read Dr. Robert Mendelssohn (who was a pediatrician and wrote How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor) on how utterly rare an out-of-control fever is, and how helpful and necessary it is for the body in resolving the illness.

What ISN’T healthy is when that mucous becomes thick, yellow, green, and/or stagnant. Thick, acidic mucous sitting in your throat, sinuses, and lungs is a breeding ground for infection and cascading problems. Lots of alkaline water, lots of green food, living plant food, and extra REST, are the best enemies of that condition.

My daughter asks, “Why do we get sick?”

Dear Mom: “Why do we get colds? Why did I get this cold and you didn’t?”

Answer: (This question came from my 13 y.o. daughter, my most resistant healthy eater. I explained it to her and thought you might like the answer as well, highly simplified.)

“First of all, a mild cold with clear mucous is a helpful thing to get now and then (once or twice a year, even). It is your body flushing out toxins.

(When the mucous sticks around for a long time, settles in the lungs or elsewhere, and becomes thick, and yellow or green, THAT’S when you have a problem. That’s a highly acidic climate that is just begging for more viral or bacterial infections. That’s a perfect host for illness. How do you create that perfect climate for germs to take over? Take medications. Eat meat, dairy, refined flour and sugar, soda, coffee. Drink little water, get little sleep, fail to manage stress.)

Doctors believe that we die of things because germs are chasing us around, and finally they win and we die. The problem with this theory is that we have millions of harmful bacteria and viral and fungal “bugs” around us all the time. On the countertop, in our clothes, in the air, in our bodies. So why aren’t we always sick?

Because our immune system protects us. It fails us when we do not support it, or when we undermine it. Those with strong immune systems–and a healthy gastrointestinal tract where most of the bacteria populating it are good, supportive “germs”–do just fine. We might be exposed to swine flu, or strep, or meningitis, and the various systems in our immune support army just knock it out.

Those who make lifestyle choices to SUPPORT those complex, sensitive immune systems are more likely to avoid illness. Those who eat more colorful and especially GREEN raw, living plant foods are at least risk. Of course heredity, and inherent weaknesses, play a role. But the thing we can control in all of it is what we put in our mouth.

Now go drink a big glass of alkaline water please!”

Always use an antibiotic for strep and ear infections, right?

With winter coming up, I know many of you have kids who get strep or ear infections or any number of other illnesses we have come to think of as “normal.” When my family quit eating processed foods many years ago, we eliminated any need for asthma drugs and antibiotics.

In Europe, antibiotics are used to treat ear infections only when patients experience recurrent drainage or pain, because infections resolve themselves over 85 percent of the time. One study shows that 75 percent of childhood ear infections are caused by viruses. One study followed 168 children with ear infections where antibiotics were prescribed only if the child had a history of meningitis or subsequent serious infection, or if the illness involved a high fever or profound weakness. Antibiotics were recommended for only 6 percent of the children. No serious complications were observed in the others, who recovered fully. Another very large international study showed that antibiotics did not improve rate of recovery in ear infections in nine countries.

Mothers who breastfeed have the highest chance of avoiding the ear-infection cycle that many are in today–the best preventative measure you can take, according to multiple studies.

More than 75 percent of patients seeking help with sore throats are given antibiotics by their doctors, when only 10 percent are caused by bacteria (or 30 percent in children). Even half of those who test positive for strep are positive because they chronically carry the bacteria even though it doesn’t make them ill. (I am one of them. When I had my last baby, they tested for Strep A and came rushing into the room demanding I be put on a “preventive” antibiotic because I was positive–fortunately, the baby came out before they could try to inject me.)

Doctors provide antibiotic prescriptions often even though they know they are unnecessary, because patients want a prescription. You are more educated than that. The scare tactics of “you must take this antibiotic or your child may get scarlet fever” are highly overrated (these complications are very rare and even most bacterial infections resolve themselves thanks to the human immune system).

My mother put me on antibiotics every time I got strep as a child; consequently, I got strep every few months. I spent 15 years trying to recover my immune system from so many courses of antibiotics. The last time I got strep, 15 years ago, I refused to take antibiotics and used goldenseal instead (an herb that kills bad bacteria without killing good bacteria, and it can also be effective against viruses). The strep went away and I never got it again. (In combination with the herb, I was changing my diet at that time and becoming much less susceptible to infections and have never had one since.) None of my children has ever had strep. One of my children had chronic ear infections as a baby, but I never gave her antibiotics and used natural remedies instead, and I did have tubes put in her ears.

On the other hand, risks of antibiotic use are significant and should be considered as well. Joel Fuhrman in Disease-Proof Your Child quotes a large study published in JAMA showing that women who used antibiotics fairly frequently had twice the breast cancer risk compared to women who took no antibiotics (over a 17-year period). Other medical studies show that children getting multiple rounds of antibiotics early in life are more prone to asthma, hay fever, and eczema. Killing the beneficial bacteria in your gut as antibiotics do (they can’t discriminate between good and bad bacteria) also means you have little defense against the next virus or infection to come around.

I use colloidal silver, oregano oil, and lots of alkaline water. I’ve never had to go to antibiotics. I much prefer methods of fighting infection that work WITH the immune system rather than against it.

the raw food diet and swine flu

I hope you’re undertaking a raw food diet while it’s in season?This is the time of year your body wants to cleanse.If you do, you have much lower risk of getting ill this winter, because you’ll be going into that higher-risk time much cleaner and stronger.And that’s important as we face Round 2 of the swine flu possibly this fall.

My friend and tenant, Jean, who lives in my basement and with whom I spend a lot of time, had the swine flu and is still recovering two weeks later.She had to cancel an airline trip, she missed a lot of work, and she coughed for two hours every night.My 15-year old son had it, too.For him (a daily green smoothie drinker), it lasted two days, and besides fever and chills at night, he was up doing his summer school work during the day and rafted the Provo River with us the third day.(We used no drugs to treat his illness.We did use Vitamin C, and colloidal silver.)

My children have been in California for a week with their father and his fiancé, at the family reunion.My other three children were exposed to swine flu and I’m not there with my remedies.I can’t even reach them, as they are camping in the mountains.If I didn’t know that before they went to the reunion (where the traditional Standard American Diet will prevail), they had excellent nutrition, I’d be panicked.Every single time they go to their dad’s family reunions, they puke their guts up because they’re not used to eating like that. When your body says, “NO THANKS!” it’s not a sign of weakness–it’s a sign of strength! I’ll keep you posted on whether or not that happened this time.

I have told you before that eating a clean diet and drinking lots of alkaline water is the best prevention for the swine flu.It’s not that you can’t possibly catch any virus.It’s that your immune system isn’t constantly fighting and weakened by toxic fuel, so it’ll be much more likely to serve you well when you need it.

Are you considering a higher commitment to a raw food diet?Now’s the time!

extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 1 of 7]

Many health food nuts like me have a mental list of ingredients they know are nutritional powerhouses, and we want to get them in our diet but often fail to do so, because we don’t know how or don’t fit it into the day’s menu. Green smoothies are the perfect way to do that–just toss some stuff in! Be adventurous. Use those exotic, high-impact nutrition items if you can afford them. If not, please don’t worry about it–you’re getting tons of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes from the simple greens and fruit combinations. Smoothies don’t have to contain expensive, exotic ingredients. But not all of the “other ingredients” discussed in this section are expensive.

Kelp and dulse

If you don’t mind the seaweedy taste of sea vegetables like kelp and dulse, use those high-impact foods in your blender. Just a little bit is enough, and they are more thyroid nourishing than any other food. So if you are hypothyroid (as about 25 percent of women are in America, many of them undiagnosed), consider getting one or both of these foods in your daily diet. Green smoothies are an easy way to do that. Those who suffer with low energy and slow metabolism often have low thyroid problems. (And diagnosing it can be difficult, involving full-panel blood testing done by a hormone clinic, examining the interplay of several different variables.) Taking a thyroid hormone causes disease risk and can burn out the thyroid even more over time, especially the synthetic drugs such as Synthroid and Cytomel. Sea vegetables nourish and support the thyroid rather than sort of jab and poke it to perform.

Flax oil

If you don’t know how to get flax oil in your diet, minerals from greens are absorbed better when eaten with some fats, so putting flax oil in your green smoothie is a great idea. You’ll never even notice it, used in this form. A tablespoon daily is a good dosage for an adult to avoid inflammatory ailments, and protect healthy cell membranes needed to keep toxic elements out but allow nutrients in. Flax oil has wide-ranging benefits uncovered in research in the past decade involving the immune, circulatory, reproductive, cardiovascular, and nervous system. It’s rich in essential fatty acids, including the rather rare omega-6 and omega-9 nutrients that your body cannot manufacture itself and must receive from outside sources.

Using flax oil, you can avoid taking fish oil with all its attendant risks (fish being tainted with mercury and other pollutants). Flax has more lignans by 80 times than the next-highest food, which cut your risk of breast and colon cancers dramatically. Research connects it to reduction of PMS symptoms, improvement in multiple sclerosis treatment, reduction in allergies and arthritis and diabetes, as well as eczema, asthsma, and loss of eyesight. It increases fat burning and allows you to recover from sprains and muscle fatigue more quickly.

You should never heat flax oil, which damages its nutritional properties, and you must purchase it refrigerated and use it very fresh, as it becomes rancid in only a month or two. This is one of the more expensive ingredients you can add to smoothies. If you prefer, you can grind a small amount of flaxseed instead. This is inexpensive, but the whole seed is mucilaginous, thereby making your smoothie thicker and bulkier, so if you add ground flaxseed instead of oil, you may want to add more water to compensate. Use freshly ground flaxseed, as it oxidizes and becomes rancid quickly once ground. You can use your BlendTec Total Blender, or a small $10 electric coffee grinder from any store like Target or Walmart.

If you add interesting things to your GS, let us know! I’ll be posting more of my additions over the next 6 days.