Eat Right Archives - Synergy Chiropractic

Cholesterol is not your enemy

Cholesterol gets such a bad rap.

It’s thought of as one of the worst possible diagnoses. “You have high cholesterol” is not something that anyone wants to hear.  Why? It’s commonly associated with heart disease and cardiac arrest.

But is cholesterol really that bad?

What is cholesterol and what does it do in the body?

Cholesterol is a waxy molecule found in all of the cell membranes of the body. One of its principle functions in the the cell wall is to add structure but it also assists in providing fluidity in cold temperatures. Cholesterol is also the main ‘backbone’ of all stress hormones and naturally made steroid hormones in the body like the adrenal gland hormones cortisol and aldosterone as well as the sex hormones progesterone, estrogens, and testosterone, and their derivatives.

Of course, as it is commonly discussed, It circulates in the blood stream and assists in wound clotting. It also functions in moving nourishment into the cell and plays a major role in cell signaling and nerve conduction. Another job of cholesterol is to act as the precursor molecule in several biochemical pathways such as the synthesis of Vitamin D and most recently it has been discovered to act as an antioxidant.

It is really a very important molecule in our bodies!

Good versus Bad Cholesterol

High density lipoproteins (HDL) are considered “good”. Low density lipoproteins ( LDL) are considered “bad”

It is a myth to say that one is GOOD and one is BAD. There is no such thing as good or bad cholesterol. ONLY cholesterol. The truth is that both are vital in functions for different reasons.

LDL’s
Moves cholesterol out from liver to:
* Aid in repair process of old damaged cells
* Make hormones when demand is high
* Necessary to make new cells in the body

HDL’s
* Transport cholesterol back to liver to be recycled
* More “economical” than making new cholesterol

The fact is that cholesterol moves around body through the blood stream. LDL’s can vary in size and small ones can get stuck in-between gap cells of the arteries. Here there is a chance that the stagnant cholesterol can oxidize which leads to inflammation and signals to the brain to release more cholesterol into the blood stream. This in turn can lead to more potentially getting stuck causing placing in the arteries. Not good.

So what determines LDL size?

YOUR LIFESTYLE!

Pharmaceutical companies tell us cholesterol is bad, causes heart disease, death and should be controlled at all costs.

But what does the medical scientific literature show us?

More harm than help?

* Over 225,000 new statin users per year
* They found that for every 10,000 women being treated with statins, there were only 271 fewer cases of heart disease.
* And yet, at the same time, the statin drugs caused 74 cases of liver damage, 23 cases of acute kidney failure, 39 cases of extreme muscle weakness and 307 cases of cataracts.
* Statindrugs, in other words, helped 271 people but harmed 443 people.

That’s 2.7% helped. 4.4% harmed

Unintended effects of statins in men and women in England and Wales: population based cohort study using the Q-Research database

Julia Hippisley-Cox, Carol Coupland BMJ 340:doi:10.1136/bmj.c2197 (Published 20 May 2010)

* A critical review of thirteen clinical trials, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reveals some startling facts about statins:
* Statin drugs save zero lives.
* Statins are utterly useless as prevention.
* Even in people with high cholesterol, statinsdon’t reduce the risk of death one iota.
* There has never been a single study that demonstrated statinsextend life for women.

Lipitor
* According to Lipitor”s own Web site, Lipitor is clinically proven to lower bad cholesterol 39-60 percent, depending on the dose. Sounds fairly effective, right?
* Pfizer says Lipitor reduces heart attacks by 36 percent. But there is an asterisk. And when you follow the asterisk, you find the following in much smaller type:
* “That means in a large clinical study, 3% of patients taking a sugar pill or placebo had a heart attack compared to 2% of patients taking Lipitor.”
* for every 100 people who took the drug over 3.3 years, three people on placebos, and two people on Lipitor, had heart attacks. That means that taking Lipitor resulted in just one fewer heart attack per 100 people.
* One hundred people have to take Lipitor for more than three years to prevent one heart attack.
www.pfizer.com

Some evidence for statin drugs

Some evidence that they help with those who have had previous cardiac events. Although it is believed that there is some anti-inflammatory mechanism at work – NOT because the cholesterol levels shrank!

Over 65? Male? 1%

(Lancet) Popular cholesterol drugs like Crestor and Lipitor are responsible for increasing user risk of developing diabetes.

The report analyzed 13 different studies about statin drugs, one of which showed a 25 percent increased risk in developing diabetes in those who take AstraZeneca’s Crestor. That company funded study and others were aggregated together to arrive at the 9 percent statistic for the entire pool of statin drugs. Over 90,000 patients were evaluated in the various studies.

According to David Preiss, lead researcher of the Lancet study, the benefits gained from taking statin drugs far outweigh their risks. For every 1,000 patients that take a statin drug for a year, one of them develops diabetes while five other avoid heart attack and death. He believes such a statistic validates the safety and effectiveness of statindrugs.

Inflammation
Harvard researchers have discovered that a high blood level of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, is more predictive of heart disease than cholesterol.

Potential Dangers of Cholesterol Medications
1. Liver Damage
2. Neuropathy
3. Severe joint pain – ligament and tendon ruptures
4. Muscle wasting/atrophy
5. Heart failure
6. Cholesterol is a powerful antioxidant and protects us against aging and cancer
7. Depression
8. Stop the production of CoQ10

Fire Analogy

If your house was on fire, who would you call? The Fire Department! – Right?
The fire department is well equipped to put out a fire. Their main tools are axes and fire hoses. If they get there in time, they will arrive, smash down your door, soak all of your belongings and put out the fire. Makes sense right? And we should be thankful!

After the fire is out and you need to re-build your house, who do you call? The fire department? Remember, they only have axes and fire hoses – tools that are designed to put out fires.

We need to call the carpenters, the painters, the drywallers – trades that are equipped to help get your home beautiful and back in order. Wouldn’t it be silly if a painter showed up to a fire with a paint brush and a hammer? Of course it would.

So let’s take this analogy and apply it to you or me. If your house is on fire, we need people who can help with tools that get us through the crisis. We need to put the ‘fire’. In this case your body is the house and the fire department is the practitioner who has the best means from an evidence based perspective to deal with the crisis. After the ‘fire’ is out, we need the ‘home improvement’ crew back on the job to maintain and restore the ‘house’ back to working functional order.
In my opinion, there is a time and place for medicine and there is a time and place for chiropractic, nutrition, massage, acupuncture etc.

Let’s take a look at WHY your body starts the process of moving more cholesterol in to the blood stream in the first place. In order to understand this, we need to understand some basic physiology of what our bodies do when we are stressed. The figure below is what happens when we encounter stress – of any kind at any time.


In the event of an attack or the need to run away from danger (fight or flight), your body assembles its forces to protect you. This is NORMAL. Chronic lifestyle stress (poor diet, lack of exercise, sitting in front of a computer for hours a day, lack of sunshine, deadlines etc) all cause our bodies to go into a state of fight or flight. The body is doing what it is supposed to for a short time but because of the chronic stress, it does so for a long time. This is not healthy.

Essentially, our stress creates the ‘disease’ of HIGH cholesterol. (PS – it also creates diabetes, depression, bone loss, muscle wasting and much more).

The ’solution’?

Medication is one way to lower cholesterol.

More harm than help?
* Over 225,000 new statin users per year.
* They found that for every 10,000 women being treated with statins, there were only 271 fewer cases of heart disease.
* And yet, at the same time, the statin drugs caused 74 cases of liver damage, 23 cases of acute kidney failure, 39 cases of extreme muscle weakness and 307 cases of cataracts.
* Statindrugs, in other words, helped 271 people but harmed 443 people.

That’s 2.7% helped. 4.4% harmed

Unintended effects of statins in men and women in England and Wales: population based cohort study using the QResearchdatabase Julia Hippisley-Cox, Carol Coupland BMJ 340:doi:10.1136/bmj.c2197 (Published 20 May 2010)
* A critical review of thirteen clinical trials, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reveals some startling facts about statins:
* Statindrugs save zero lives.
* Statins are utterly useless as prevention.
* Even in people with high cholesterol, statinsdon’t reduce the risk of death one iota.
* There has never been a single study that demonstrated statinsextend life for women.

Lipitor
* According to Lipitor”s own Web site, Lipitor is clinically proven to lower bad cholesterol 39-60 percent, depending on the dose. Sounds fairly effective, right?
* Pfizer says Lipitor reduces heart attacks by 36 percent. But there is an asterisk. And when you follow the asterisk, you find the following in much smaller type:
* “That means in a large clinical study, 3% of patients taking a sugar pill or placebo had a heart attack compared to 2% of patients taking Lipitor.”
* for every 100 people who took the drug over 3.3 years, three people on placebos, and two people on Lipitor, had heart attacks. That means that taking Lipitor resulted in just one fewer heart attack per 100 people.
* One hundred people have to take Lipitor for more than three years to prevent one heart attack.
* www.pfizer.com

Some evidence for statin drugs
* Some evidence that they help with those who have had previous cardiac events. Although it is believed that there is some anti-inflammatory mechanism at work – NOT because the cholesterol levels shrank!
* Over 65? Male? 1%
(Lancet) Popular cholesterol drugs like Crestor and Lipitor are responsible for increasing user risk of developing diabetes.

The report analyzed 13 different studies about statindrugs, one of which showed a 25 percent increased risk in developing diabetes in those who take AstraZeneca’s Crestor. That company funded study and others were aggregated together to arrive at the 9 percent statistic for the entire pool of statin drugs. Over 90,000 patients were evaluated in the various studies.

According to David Preiss, lead researcher of the Lancet study, the benefits gained from taking statindrugs far outweigh their risks. For every 1,000 patients that take a statindrug for a year, one of them develops diabetes while five other avoid heart attack and death. He believes such a statistic validates the safety and effectiveness of statin drugs.

Dangers of Cholesterol Medications
1. Liver Damage
2. Neuropathy
3. Severe joint pain – ligament and tendon ruptures
4. Muscle wasting/atrophy
5. Heart failure
6. Cholesterol is a powerful antioxidant and protects us against aging and cancer
7. Depression
8. Stop the production of CoQ10 – the molecule that protects your heart from inflammation!

Other side effects

So what are some ways to help lower your cholesterol naturally?

7 steps to lower your cholesterol naturally
1. Eat a healthy cholesterol lowering diet.
2. Do regular healthy physical activity.
3. Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
4. Eliminate sweets and refined foods.
5. Cut out caffeine and alcohol – drink water.
6. Don’t smoke or use tobacco in any form
7. Practice good healthy stress management.

Essentially – remove the stressors in your life and your body will have a chance to return back to a normal functioning level versus a state of chronic stress.

Here are some other solutions
Ensure that you are getting omega 3 free fatty acids. Fish oil (2-8 g/day) is a great option. Through your diet, you also want to ensure that you get folic acid, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, CoQ10, niacin, and plant sterols.

How important are natural solutions?

* A study has shown that fish oils are more effective than the statin drug Lipitor in positively affecting the levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in obese and insulin-resistant men. HDL cholesterol protects against atherosclerosis by removing excess cholesterol from arterial cells, and low HDL levels can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly for those who are obese or insulin resistant.
* In the six-week study, fish oils and Lipitor were given to 48 men, both separately and combined. Fish oil and Lipitor together greatly lowered plasma triacylglycerols and raised HDL cholesterol levels.
* But only fish oil also influenced HDL cholesterol by altering the production and catabolism rates of HDL apolipoproteins (catabolism is the breakdown of complex molecules metabolically into simpler ones). Lipitor did not increase this effect when combined with the fish oils, and did not produce a similar effect on its own.
* American Journal of Clinical NutritionJuly 2006; 84(1): 37-43

The best way to care for your self is to avoid a crisis in the first place. By taking care of yourself in mind, body and soul, you will ensure the best opportunity to live a happy, healthy, full life!

Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE.  After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas.  He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario.  A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.

The Switch Witch is coming!

It’s All Hallows Eve.

Growing up in Calgary, I got used to wearing my snowsuit over my costume. I mean, seriously, it’s a tough go when you are a fancy robot, with your Cougar boots and a winter jacket on!

snowsuit

It’s a Canadian thing…you wouldn’t understand

As a kid I pounded the streets in search of those wrapped treats. I would eat so much for months. usually by Christmas, my mom would throw out the last rejected bits that I wouldn’t touch. (Tootsie rolls are gross!…sorry not sorry.)

And like clockwork, every year I was sick as a kid. I had bronchitis 5-6 times per year and chronic sinus infections all winter long. I took so many antibiotics as a kid that my teeth turned yellow.  True Story.

My own kids – they’ve never taken an antibiotic. Never. They’ve never needed one. Do they get sick? Sure they do! But they process it very quickly and it’s over.

The same story year after year

Yesterday I was talking with a mom in my family practice. Her kids were so excited about Halloween. As parents, we love that our kids show such excitement and wonder about something like Halloween. As a stick in the mud parent/family chiropractor, I shudder at what all those treats are doing to our kids’ immune systems.

School starts and the kids are outside less. The sun is out less and less each day as fall approaches. We start with more of the comfort foods and less of the fresh foods. Kids are packed together in the schools and the boogers are everywhere.

Then comes Thanksgiving and lots of over eating and late nights. Fall begins and we are shut indoors more and more. Halloween comes and the kids fill up on candy. The sugar causes a depression in the immune system and the kids express more and more tacky colds and flus. This continues through November and then Christmas comes. More late nights, treats all day and by now the grandparents and families are swapping their viruses like a group of teens swapping selfies at the mall.

January and February are here and the family “can’t seem to shake this cold”. It recycles and the story continues until spring when we get outside again and soak up some vitamin D again.

STOP THE MADNESS

As parents, we need to keep our heads up at all times. I first learned of the Switch Witch a few years ago. On Halloween Night, the kids take a bit of their candy and keep it. The majority of it is left out for the Switch Witch who comes and leaves a toy or sporting good for them.

The kids get the fun of getting dressed up, going out for Halloween and enjoying some candy.  But we keep them well instead of letting them get unwell.

So – is the Switch Witch coming to see you this year?

Want some direction on how to keep you and your family healthy this winter and beyond?

Join us November 7 at 6:30PM for our EAT BY DESIGN seminar.

Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE.  After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas.  He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario.  A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.

 

Is the ‘keto’ diet right for you?

If you have a sweet tooth, you know it can be difficult to avoid sugary foods like pastries, candy, or even soda. Which sugary food is your weakness?

Researchers have proven that sugar is a key contributor to weight gain. But how?

Well, sugar is made up of two molecules: glucose and fructose. Glucose is what your body uses for energy. Fructose, on the other hand, is a molecule that your liver turns to fat and is a key contributor to weight gain and disease.

When you eat carbohydrates/sugar, it causes your blood glucose to rise, which can be toxic if it is in large amounts. So your body produces insulin to get the glucose out of your blood and into the cells to be used for energy. Over time, when your body is chronically and your body can actually build a resistance to insulin which means that your pancreas works harder to create the same balance. When the resistance to insulin reaches a critical point, it can result in type II diabetes. But first, your body begins storing an overabundance of fat in your fat cells. The worst part? Not only do you start “gaining weight” but your body has a tough time getting the energy out of the fat cells, which means your brain thinks you are hungry, and you eat even more. What a vicious cycle!

  • Excess sugar can lead to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain.
  • Eating sugary foods can result in your body storing away more fat.
  • Sugar can trick your brain into thinking it’s still hungry (even after you’ve eaten a full meal).

Enter the Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic diet is a very strict and significant cutting out of carbohydrates and replaces them with higher amounts of fat and protein. Ketogenic diets have been shown to reverse type II diabetes, changed the lives of those with epilepsy and shows great results for those with Alzheimer’s. The effects of massive reductions in blood sugar have huge implications in all sorts of other health conditions. Some of these conditions are greatly helped by reductions in blood sugar levels:

  • cholesterol
  • triglycerides
  • metabolic syndrome
  • stroke
  • cardiovascular disease
  • syndrome X
  • brain injuries
  • PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • acne

By drastically reducing the carbohydrate intake, the body reduces its production of insulin. Body fat is then highly mobilized for energy production (yay fat burning!). But the key players here are another less well known fuel source – KETONES.

What are KETONES?

What are ketone bodies?

Ketones are a metabolite that the brain and body can use as an efficient energy fuel source. Ketones are a type of fuel produced by the liver. Getting the liver to produce ketones is challenging unless you are able to cut out carbs almost entirely. It may take a few days to actually get into ketosis and you have to watch the quantity of protein you are eating as well.

So how do you follow the keto diet?

Ketogenic diets rely on a large intake of fat. Eating fat at every meal is essential. In a typical 2000 calorie per day diet, one might strive for 165 grams of fat, 75 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbohydrates.

OK, OK – stay with me. Eating quality fats is advantageous for many reasons. Once vilified for its supposed negative effects on cardiovascular disease, fats are not all equal. In the ketogenic diet, saturated fats (lard, coconut, palm, butter and cocoa butter) are consumed in high quantities. Unsaturated fats like almonds, walnuts, avocados are all great too. Trans fats like hydrogenated oils are definitely out. These are the ones highly connected with inflammation and disease.

Carbohydrate source like low glycemic vegetables like leafy greens (spinach, chard, etc), broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, asparagus, pepper, garlic, etc are amazing choices. Fruit is allowed but restricted to low glycemic types like berries and only in small amounts.

Risks associated with Ketogenic Diets

There are some inherent risks with the diet that require you to pay attention to.

Liver and Kidney problems. By consuming large amounts of fat and protein, any existing liver or kidney problems may worsen.

Constipation. Cutting out lots of fibrous foods can shut down your digestion. It’s important to maintain good electrolyte levels. Consider adding salt to drinking water to avoid problems.

Mental Health. Cutting out carbs can can cause ‘fuzzy’ brain and mood swings. While these typically only occur at the beginning, many people report higher levels of mental clarity once they achieve ketosis.

Nutrient Deficiency. Maintaining adequate nutrient intake is paramount to human health. Consuming large levels of a variety of vegetables is critical to maintaining proper nutritional mineral and vitamin levels.

Where do you go from here?

Staying fit and healthy can be challenging, but we’re here for you. How you choose to eat is one of the most important aspects of living a healthy life. When you make good choices about how you eat, how you move, and how you think – you are set up for a healthy life.

Dropping the Winter Weight

If you are looking to lose a few extra pounds this month, you are not alone. Many of our patients are working towards a similar goal.

How you move, eat, and think every day will determine your success. All three are part of maintaining an active lifestyle.
So where does Chiropractic fit in?

Unfortunately, no Chiropractic technique takes off 10 pounds with each adjustment; but people just like you have been able to maintain a healthy weight by adding Chiropractic care into their active lifestyle.

Research has suggested that periodic Chiropractic care can help evaluate, detect and treat emerging problems. So, by reducing injuries, you will be able to stay active and keep your exercise routine on track.

Also, many people report reduced stress after getting adjusted. This makes sense because research studies have shown reduced muscle tension in the body after an adjustment.

And finally, we firmly believe that healthy food choices make a significant impact on your body’s ability to be well and stay well. Eating healthy whole foods and sometimes even using select supplements can give your body the fuel it needs to get through the day.

Join us for our Weight Loss Workshop March 26, 2019 at 6:15PM.

Click here to Register!

Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and RogersTV.He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.

Sugar is Fuel for Allergies

Seasonal allergies- the runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing- are never fun. You may not realize the foods you eat can make your allergies worse. Certain foods can contribute to overstimulation of your immune system, activating your allergies.  Small amounts of pollen on your fruits and vegetables can initiate an allergic reaction. So be sure to thoroughly wash your produce before eating to reduce the amount of pollen and bacteria present on their outer layers. But, perhaps the worst trigger for allergies is good ol’ fashioned refined sugar. So, contrary to popular opinion, your allergies do NOT have a sweet tooth!

Why it Matters:

Refined sugar causes inflammation and stresses your immune system. When your immune system is stressed, your allergies get worse. Talk about a catch 22! When you are suffering from a runny nose, itchy eyes and constant sneezing it is enticing to reach for a cookie or pastry. But that cookie may put you in a downward spiral of worsening allergies. Refined sugar raises your insulin levels and then causes your blood sugar to plummet. The spike in blood sugar is stressful to your body and can severely impact your immune systems’ ability to fight off allergens appropriately. And a stressed immune system is never able to function at its highest level.

– Refined sugar causes inflammation in your body and can crash your blood sugar levels

– Sugary foods put stress on your body and immune system

– Reducing refined sugar in your diet can help reduce your seasonal allergies

Next Steps:

Avoiding excess refined sugar is a great way to reduce your allergies. The next time you feel your allergies coming on, recognize it’s a body signal that your immune system is stressed out. Try avoiding sugary snacks for a few days and give your body a chance to get well. Also, if you know someone who has been suffering from allergies and has “tried everything” to get well, share this paper with them and invite them to our monthly workshop. This information may help them feel better than ever this spring!

Science Source: 7 Foods That Can Help Fight Seasonal Allergies. Prevention 2017.

Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.