Groundbreaking Green Smoothie Research . . . be a part of it

I want you guys to be thinking about something.

In about two days, I will have an interactive  questionnaire posted on GSG.   Be thinking about what the changes are you have experienced as a result of drinking GS regularly.   The questionnaire will automatically generate tabulations for me to use as research, to be published in The Green Smoothie Rx (or The Green Smoothie Diet . . . depending on the day,  based on my  conversations with the publisher).   (Any opinions on that, the title controversy?)

Be thinking about whether you’ve evangelized, teaching others about this easy, 10-minute step to get 1000% more raw plant food in the daily diet than most Americans are getting.

Be thinking about your chronic conditions or diseases that may have improved as a result of drinking GS.   I cannot and will not make claims about the curative effects, but I can certainly report testimonials and reports from my research.

Thus far, the only GS research out there is Boutenko’s Roseburg Study of only 30 people for 30 days!   I hope to get 1,000 responses (which will be less than 1/3 of my mailing list), so be prepared to be part of this.   At the end of the questionnaire, you’re asked to optionally write a GS testimonial, which will be published with part or all of your name, whatever you choose to give.   (You’re also asked optionally for a 12 Steps to Whole Foods testimonial.)

I am ESPECIALLY INTERESTED in the testimonials of mothers of children!   (But, everyone’s input is highly encouraged and valued.)   I want only those who have been drinking at least a pint, at least three times  a week, for at least a month.

Watch for an upcoming blog and be thinking about even the minor things you may not have noticed since you started drinking kale, collards, and chard after a lifetime of “greens deprivation.”   Thanks in advance for participating!

what enzymes do to make food digestible . . . part 4

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:   How can enzymes and eating raw food be so important when stomach acid would kill any enzymes that came with the food anyway?

Good one.   Some people think that the low pH of the stomach stops salivary and any other food or supplemental enzymes from working.   A number of experiments Howell writes about show this is not so.   Some enzymes are shown to work actively at two different pH ranges.   Another study shows that salivary and supplemental enzymes were re-activated in the alkaline duodenum and lower in the intestine after going through the stomach.   Hydrochloric acid in the stomach is not as strong as once thought to be and when used in in vitro experiments (outside the body).   A Journal of Nutrition-published study at Northwestern showed 51 percent of amylase from malted barley was intact when passed into the intestine.

Enzymes manufactured by the pancreas of a person or animal are sensitive to pH because they aren’t adapted to anything outside the restrictive confines of the body.   But, microbial-derived dietary supplement enzymes are very adaptive, since fungus grows in a variety of places and conditions.   These enzymes survive the acidity of the lower stomach.   These plant-based sources are the digestive enzyme supplements I prefer (more on that later).

As with so many other things in the human body, we’ve been provided with the ideal environment to digest food.   Problems occur when we alter our food instead of giving our body the kind of nutrition we were designed to digest easily, that people used to eat for thousands of years.

Dr. Howell says that we’re born with a finite ability to produce endogenous enzymes, and by middle age, most of that ability is gone.   (And he said this 25 years ago, before the modern diet worsened.   Some experts make even more dire projections, that Westerners are burning out enzyme capacity by age 35.)   The answer, of course, is to eat as much raw food as possible, and as little cooked or processed food as possible.

Tomorrow, raw meat and dairy.   After that, I’ll address whether you should take a digestive enzyme.

what enzymes do to make food digestible . . . part 3

We don’t think of our stomach as being two-chambered, but Howell goes to lengths to document all the experts and studies (including Gray’s Anatomy) saying that it does, in fact, have two distinct parts.   And in the upper stomach, or “food enzyme stomach,” gastric juices are not released, and peristalsis is not yet churning the food.   Most nutritionists don’t know this.   But that’s where the digestive enzymes inherent in raw foods do their work for about 30-60 minutes before the lower stomach opens and stomach acid must begin to work.   If the food is cooked, it sits there doing nothing, with any bacteria you swallowed with it getting a foothold.   Or, the predigestion that can take place there only with raw food makes the draw on the body’s supply much less when that food continues on through the digestive tract.

 

Think of a snake, for instance, who eats a rat.   That rat is so large that it can’t enter the snake’s stomach for some time to be broken down by stomach acids, until the natural enzymes that came inside the rat break it down.   The healthy ancient meat eaters of various cultures ate not just meat and dairy products, but fermented products–foods that are broken down into component parts by live food enzymes.   Some bizarre examples are Eskimos who eat the contents of a caribou’s stomach (and a number of other putrefied foods) as a “salad,” and Indians of the Amazon River basin, who chew boiled yucca, spit it into jars, and let it ferment with the amylase enzyme in saliva.   This food is their main nourishment, with the average person drinking a gallon a day!

 

Because of the terrible draw on our enzyme processes when we don’t supply exogenous food enzymes, all metabolic activity is affected.   Consequently we have dental cavities, baldness, thinning hair, and breaking nails, allergies, acne, headaches, constipation, cancer, energy problems, and so many more diseases.   Animals in the wild simply don’t have the hundreds (thousands?) of diseases that modern man does as a result of destroying the enzymes in our food.   Even the “healthy” among us tend to have many of the smaller ailments that no animal eating raw food in the wild has.   Dr. Howell says that the idea that “nature cures” we’re all familiar with can refer only to metabolic enzyme activity, because “there is no other mechanism in the body to cure anything.”

 

In 1943, Northwestern University established the Law of Adaptive Secretion of Digestive Enzymes through experiments on rats.   Dozens of other research teams later strengthened this law’s premise with similar findings.   Researchers studied the amount of digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas.   What researchers found was that an organism values its enzymes highly: it will make no more than are needed for the job.   So, if raw food containing exogenous enzymes are provided, the body has to manufacture very little, leaving its resources and energy well allocated to metabolic processes.

Many studies from the first half of the 1900’s prove that when an animal eats lots of starch, amylase is primarily produced.   A meat-eating animal is found to produce mostly protease.   A whale’s stomach has no amylase in it, because a whale eats no carbohydrate.   And people? When we bring in lots of exogenous enzymes in our food, our body produces very little, leaving those capacities free for other metabolic work.   Scientists missed knowing this, and Medicine and even Nutrition, as disciplines, have misunderstood or ignored these discoveries.   By and large, those charged with guiding us to good health have ignored the critical factor of helping us avoid enzyme burnout.

 

Just like people have enlarged livers or enlarged hearts when those organs are heavily taxed, the pancreas becomes enlarged when a body is fed lots of enzyme-free (cooked or processed) food.   Lab mice eating a cooked, enzyme-free food have a pancreas two to three times heavier than wild mice eating a raw-food natural enzyme diet.

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 8 of 12

Today stats about where foodborne bacteria E. coli, campylobacter, and salmonella come from, and irradiation consequences.   And which foods you should be most concerned about.   (Each of these stats/quotes has a corresponding source in Robbins’ The Food Revolution.)

 

The deadly E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria has occasionally been found in sprouts and raw apple juice.   The vast majority of E. coli has been found in: GROUND BEEF

 

Tom Billy, administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, estimates how many cases of beef contain E. coli: 50 percent of U.S. cattle carcasses

 

Reuters News Service quote: “A report by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture estimates that 89 percent of U.S. beef ground into patties contains traces of the deadly E. coli strain.”

 

Leading cause of kidney failures in U.S./Canadian children: Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, 85 percent of cases caused by E. coli

 

Estimate of how many E. coli cases are actually reported: 2% (William Keene, epidemiologist)

 

Salmonella has been caused by tomatoes, mustard cress, bean sprouts, cantaloupe and watermelon.   Far more cases have been caused by: EGGS AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS

 

Americans sickened by Salmonella-tainted eggs in the U.S., annually: 650,000+

 

Americans killed by eating Salmonella-tainted eggs in the U.S., annually: 600

 

Salmonella cases in U.S. versus Sweden: 1 in 200, compared to 1 in 10,000 (you’ll know why later in a blog about the way animals are raised/processed)

 

Campylobacter is occasionally detected on vegetables.   It’s widespread in: CHICKENS

 

American turkeys sufficiently contaminated with Campylobacter to cause illness: 90 percent (side note: if you don’t get sick, thank your immune system, which incidentally is nourished with antioxidant-rich plant foods)

 

Number of hens screened for Campylobacter by Univ. of Wisconsin researchers: 2,300

Number that were NOT infected with Campylobacter: 8

 

Cause of Milwaukee’s cryptosporidium outbreak in ’93 that sickened 400,000 and killed over 100: dairy manure

 

Campylobacter kills more Americans every year than E. coli and is increasing more rapidly, according to CDC numbers.   The poultry industry does not dispute that most chicken sold in the U.S. is contaminated.

 

Quote by former USDA microbiologist Gerald Kuester of today’s processed chicken: “(The) final product is no different than if you stuck it in the toilet and ate it.”

 

Evidence of that: Univ. of Arizona found higher levels of coliform bacteria in the American kitchen than on the toilet rim because of “a bonus on the animal foods people bring into their kitchens.   The bathroom is cleaner because people are not washing their chickens in the toilet” (Nicols Fox, foodborne disease authority).

 

Listeria has been found on cabbage grown in fields fertilized with listeria-infected animals.   Far more often it’s found in: SOFT CHEESES AND PROCESSED MEATS

 

The U.S. government’s answer to microbial contamination: irradiation (no long-term studies have been done)

 

Consequences of irradiation: Vita A, B-1, C, K, and E are destroyed, and new and potentially carcinogenic chemical compounds are  created (also mutant bacteria and viruses are a possibility)

“the plural of anecdote is not data” . . . part 4 of 4

Third, is the study reliable?   This is the second basic research standard, and it means is the research repeatable with consistent results? Reliability is one of the best things about Colin Campbell’s The China Study, the largest nutrition study in history, which will be referenced throughout this book.   Dr. Campbell’s animal research showing the benefits of a low-animal-protein diet were duplicated by other researchers, using various animals, all over the world.   The results were very consistent.

 

Finally, have a basic understanding of and consider carefully a few other things before placing much stock in what you read.   Is the study longitudinal (covering a long period of time)?   If none of 500 subjects got cancer in three years, that’s much less compelling than if none of them got cancer in 30 years, like in the Framingham study, the Harvard Nurses’ study,  or the Oxford-Cornell (China Study) Project.

 

Was the study double-blinded, which means that neither the researcher nor the subject knew which of multiple therapies the person was receiving?   Was it placebo-controlled, meaning that some subjects received a placebo (sugar tablet) instead of the supplement or drug?   Was the research published in peer-reviewed journals (often but not always ensuring more scientific analysis)?   How big was the sample size?   Bigger is better, and although case studies (with only a few subjects) are interesting, without further research, you shouldn’t bet the farm on findings of those kinds.

The more you read and study, the more confidence you can have that the very important decisions you make about how to fuel your body are sound.   12 Steps to Whole Foods undertakes to synthesize the research and best practices from around the world, leading to dietary practice that is simple and achievable and customizable for your personal dietary needs–a direct route to optimal health.

“the plural of anecdote is not data” . . . part 3 of 4

This is an excerpt from the intro of 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

 

Advances in the field of nutrition are taking place faster than ever in history.   For example, just this decade, the “master hormone” leptin has been discovered, which governs the other hormones.   New data calls into question the popular counsel of the past decade to eat 4-6 small meals daily: leptin research suggests that we should eat three meals daily and allow our bodies much rest from digestion.   In just 2004, a class of glyconutrients (sugars) have been found to have powerful healing properties, which disputes a decade of anti-carb “experts.”   Many people become frustrated by all the new information and competing voices telling us what to eat, what not to eat, and why.   So that you don’t give up and “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” I have a bit of common-sense advice that super-simplifies the essence of a statistics class.

 

The main way to push through the inevitable cognitive dissonance is to read and learn all you can:  12 Steps to Whole Foods  is a good start, and you may also consider the reading list on www.greensmoothiegirl.com (I am adding to it shortly). When you encounter contradictions, consider several things.

 

First, what is the funding behind the research?   You don’t have to become paranoid to examine whether research was undertaken to objectively examine an issue, or to promote an agenda.   It’s simply a part of being a savvy consumer of information in an age when we are all bombarded with thousands of voices.

 

For instance, if a study tells you that drinking wine daily prevents heart disease, use your critical thinking skills.   Why did researchers study wine instead of grape juice–or better yet, grapes?   Before you go out and stock up on a year’s supply of wine, ascertain if you can who paid for the study.   Was it the wine growers of Sonoma Valley?   Often studies in the modern age are funded, second-level, by an industry wanting to promote a product (often one that is under fire), even if the legitimate-sounding researchers named in the media, such as a university, are not directly linked to a motive.   When that is the case, researchers know they are to publish whatever they can that is favorable to a product or industry, and publish nothing they find that is unfavorable.

 

Second, is the study valid?   This is the highest standard in statistics and research, and it means does the study measure what it purports to measure?   This seems simple enough, but it is in fact a difficult thing for researchers to achieve.   If wine drinkers have much less cancer than beer drinkers, wine must be preventing cancer, right?   Not necessarily.   Maybe wine drinkers are a higher socioeconomic class than beer drinkers, in the aggregate, and beer drinkers also eat more fast food and smoke at higher rates.

 

Third, in tomorrow’s post.