Category Archives: Aging

Parkinson’s Disease risk decreased by Nicotine intake; Eat more potatoes, tomatoes, and Peppers!

Peppers, Eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes have nicotine, which seems to decrease the risk of Parkinson's Disease.
Peppers, Eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes have nicotine, which seems to decrease the risk of Parkinson’s Disease.

Nicotine from edible Solanaceae and risk of Parkinson disease

There have been found associations of cigarette smoking with a decrease in the occurrence of Parkinson’s Disease (PD):

Parkinson’s Disease Risks Associated with Cigarette Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Caffeine Intake

The abstract of this study is below in which smoking and coffee intake both currently decrease the risk of PD:

A reduced risk for Parkinson’s disease (PD) among cigarette smokers has been observed consistently during the past 30 years. Recent evidence suggests that caffeine may also be protective. Findings are presented regarding associations of PD with smoking, caffeine intake, and alcohol consumption from a case-control study conducted in western Washington State in 1992–2000. Incident PD cases (n = 210) and controls (n = 347), frequency matched on gender and age were identified from enrollees of the Group Health Cooperative health maintenance organization. Exposure data were obtained by in-person questionnaires. Ever having smoked cigarettes was associated with a reduced risk of PD (odds ratio (OR) = 0.5, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.4, 0.8). A stronger relation was found among current smokers (OR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.1, 0.7) than among ex-smokers (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4, 0.9), and there was an inverse gradient with pack-years smoked (trend p < 0.001). No associations were detected for coffee consumption or total caffeine intake or for alcohol consumption. However, reduced risks were observed for consumption of 2 cups/day or more of tea (OR = 0.4, 95% CI: 0.2, 0.9) and two or more cola drinks/day (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.3, 1.4). The associations for tea and cola drinks were not confounded by smoking or coffee consumption. Am J Epidemiol 2002;155:732–8.

But cigarette smoking is bad for your lungs, increasing cancer risks and emphysema among other things, so why would anyone want to smoke just to decrease PD risk? Is there another way to decrease PD risk and why do cigarettes work for PD?

  • The study at the top of the page (ANN NEUROL 2013;74:472–477) helps demonstrate the possibility that nicotine is neuro-protective among all the millions of compounds found in cigarette smoke.
  • Nicotine is derived from nicotiana spp. of solanaceae species which includes capsicum and solanum species whose edible fruits and tubers include peppers, eggplants, potatoes, and tomatoes. All of these have nicotine in them. In peppers, there is approximately 102 micrograms/kg, while tomatoes have 43 mcg/kg of nicotine. A potato has ~19 mcg/kg of nicotine. Since we consume more tomatoes and potatoes than peppers, they make up most of the nicotine consumption in people.
  • It is noted that nicotine stimulates alpha4beta2 (a4B2) receptors in the brain which protect dopaminergic neurons by binding the receptors. This may be how PD is prevented.
  • In the study, 490 people with PD were assessed for vegetable intake, in particular peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. It  was found that PD frequency was inversely related to solanaceae intake but not other vegetables, in particular peppers. Weighted for those with the most nicotine intake,  those with the highest nicotine consumption had the lowest frequency of PD. There were 644 controls in this study.
  • After calculating risks, pepper consumption 2-4 times a week was associated with a 30% reduction in PD risk in people who did not smoke.
  • The food impact was highest in non-smokers since the nicotine content in food is so much lower than the intake of nicotine in active smokers.
  • There was an inverse association of PD in consumption of tomatoes (Fall PA, Fredrikson M, Axelson O, et al. Nutritional and occupational factors influencing the risk of Parkinson’s disease: a casecontrol study in southeastern Sweden. Mov Disord 1999;14:28–37) , potatoes ( Hellenbrand W, Seidler A, Boeing H, et al. Diet and Parkinson’s disease. I: A possible role for the past intake of specific foods and food groups. Results from a self-administered food-frequency questionnaire in a case-control study. (Neurology 1996;47: 636–643) and a Mediterranean Diet with tomatoes ( The Association between Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Parkinson’s Disease ) [ Abstract: The most consistent data support the association between higher consumption of dairy products and increased PD risk. More recently, a prospective analysis of two large cohorts, the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) and the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), revealed an association between PD risk and dietary patterns as assessed by the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) and the alternate Mediterranean Diet Score. The Mediterranean diet (MeDi) has received attention in recent years because of growing evidence associating MeDi with lower risk for AD, cardiovascular disease, several forms of cancer, and overall mortality.The MeDi is characterized by high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and cereals; high intake of unsaturated fatty acids (mostly in the form of olive oil) compared to saturated fatty acids; a moderately high intake of fish; a low to-moderate intake of dairy products, meat and poultry; and a regular but moderate consumption of ethanol, primarily in the form of wine and generally during meals. This study suggests that lower adherence to MeDi is associated with PD status. The association persisted after adjustment for multiple potential confounders. The fact that among PD participants, lower adherence was associated with earlier PD age-at-onset further suggests a possible dose-response effect. The relation between MeDi adherence and PD status was not driven by any individual category of the diet but rather the whole pattern. Previous studies have indicated that environmental factors play a major role in PD; however, most nutritional studies in PD have shown conflicting results. Possible explanation for the conflicting data is that most studies have focused on single nutrients, e.g. vitamins C or E,7,  rather than on dietary patterns. Indeed, the largest prospective study of dietary patterns identified a Mediterranean-like diet as protective of PD both in males (HPFS) and females (NHS). Assessing dietary patterns may be more informative than assessing specific nutrients separately. First, this approach is more consistent with individuals’ eating habits, and second, it takes into account interactions among nutrients. This approach has been successful in AD and in non-neurological diseases.The mechanism by which MeDi may be protective in neurodegenerative disorders is largely unknown. Mechanisms that have been hypothesized in the AD literature, include oxidative stress and inflammation. Indeed, oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of PD.  Complex phenols and other substances including vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoid may serve as antioxidants,  and are found in high concentrations in the typical components of the MeDi. Inflammation has also been implicated in the pathogenesis of PD, and anti-inflammatory non-steroidal medications may be associated with a lower risk for PD. Adherence to the MeDi may attenuate inflammation. In addition, MeDi adherence may be protective because of lower consumption of compounds which are associated with higher PD risk. We and others have shown an association between animal fat consumption and PD,  and the association between higher dairy intake and PD was previously reported.]
  • There are still unknowns in this study – i.e relative to smoking, diet is a modest contributor of nicotine. Biological effects of Solanaceae nicotine has not been established but substantial a4B2 nicotine receptors are occupied without active smoking in patients who take in solanaceae products.As compared to smoking, smokers with just a puff get enough nicotine to occupy a third of the receptors for more than three hours. It is also unknown if french fries, salsa, sauces, or fried potatoes give a similar nicotine effect as the original vegetable.
  • There may be other neuroprotective chemicals in these vegetables such as Anatabine, which is antiinflammatory and has less toxicity. Anatabine Ameliorates Experimental Autoimmune thyroiditis << Key components: Tobacco smoking has numerous detrimental effects on human health, but it has also been associated with a few apparent salutary actions, including the amelioration of autoimmune (Hashimoto) thyroiditis and ulcerative colitis. Smokers in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were found to have lower prevalence of thyroperoxidase and/or thyroglobulin antibodies than nonsmokers (1). This protective effect of smoking was confirmed in two additional cross-sectional studies, one from the Amsterdam autoimmune thyroid disease cohort (2) and the other from the Danish population (3), as well as in a 5-yr prospective study also based on the Amsterdam autoimmune thyroid disease cohort (4). In the prospective study, cigarette smoking women who had one or more relative with documented thyroid autoimmunity but no thyroid dysfunction or autoantibodies at study entry showed lower odds of developing thyroperoxidase and/or thyroglobulin antibodies (4). Similarly in ulcerative colitis, smoking has been shown to decrease flares (5), hospitalizations (6), and a need for oral glucocorticoids (7) so that low-dose smoking resumption has been successfully used in ex-smokers with refractory disease (8). The mechanisms underlying this influence of tobacco smoking on some autoimmune diseases have been related to the effects of tobacco components on the immune system (9). There are numerous (4000) components in tobacco, including alkaloids (such as nicotine and anatabine), gases (e.g. carbon monoxide), and carcinogens (e.g. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, aldehydes, free radicals, and solvents), and of them nicotine is known to possess antiinflammatory properties (10). Nicotine acts via binding to the nicotinic receptor, a pentameric ion channel (mainly for sodium and calcium) formed by the arrangement of 16 different subunits in hetero- or homomeric conformations (11). The receptor is classically expressed in the peripheral (all preganglionic fibers and neuromuscular synapses) and central nervous system, but more recently it has been described in cells of the immune system, including CD4 T lymphocytes, dendritic cells, and macrophages (12). Indeed, the 7-homopentameric nicotinic receptor has emerged as a novel therapeutic target for diseases with an inflammatory pathogenesis (13). Nicotine has been used successfully in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in which it reduced disease severity, shifting the autoimmune profile from pathogenic Th1 and Th17 responses to protective Th2 responses (14). Nicotine, however, cannot be used in humans because it is addictive and toxic and has a short 3-h plasma half-life. Consequently, we reasoned that other alkaloids of tobacco could share similar antiinflammatory properties but have a more favorable pharmacological profile. The minor tobacco alkaloid anatabine is nonaddictive and nontoxic at therapeutic doses and has a longer 8-hr half-life. Furthermore, anatabine has been recently shown to inhibit nuclear factor-B (NF-B) activation and reduce neuroinflammation in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease (15). In the present study, we therefore tested the antiinflammatory properties of anatabine in a mouse model of experimental autoimmune thyroiditis.  Anatabine is an alkaloid with a structure similar to nicotine, found in tobacco and other solanaceous plantsas tomatoes, potatoes, green pepper, and eggplant. Its lack of addictive potential or any demonstrated toxicity. Given the structure similarity with nicotine, we postulated that anatabine initiates its effects by binding to the nicotine receptor and modulating the cholinergic control of inflammation (10, 24). The nicotinic receptor that has been clearly associated with antiinflammatory responses is the 7-homopentamer, classically found on neural cells but also on immune cells (12). Activation of the 7-nicotinic receptor present in lymphocytes, dendritic cells, and macrophages has been shown to suppress nuclear translocation of NF-B and transcription of high mobility group box 1, ultimately decreasing danger signals that initiate inflammation (25). Consistent with this mechanism, Paris and colleagues demonstrated that anatabine suppresses in a dose-dependent manner the transcription of NF-B induced by tumor necrosis factor- (15). However, anatabine suppressed the thyroidal expression of IL-18 and IL-1R2. IL-18, a member of the IL-1 family, is produced by activated macrophages and stimulates production of interferon- from T cells and natural killer cells (26), overall acting as a proinflammatory stimulus. IL-18 has been shown to increase during thyroid inflammation both in vitro (27) and in vivo (28) ]
  • Capsinoids in peppers and capsaicinoids in spicy peppers may activat TRPV1 (Transient Receptor Potential Cation Channel subfamily vanilloid member 1) in the midbrain dopaminergic neurons. This seems to e protective. Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid Subtype 1 Mediates Cell Death of Mesencephalic Dopaminergic Neurons In Vivo and In Vitro and Somatostatin prevents lipopolysaccharide‑induced neurodegenration
  • Major nutritional issues in the management of Parkinson’s disease

Summary: To safely decrease your risk of Parkinson’s disease, increase your peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant intake. They have nicotine that when consumed, is protective of dopaminergic receptors of your brain and seem to decrease the risk of PD.

Diet and Parkinson’s disease I A possiblerole for intake of specific foods and food groups

Systematic review and meta-analysis of hydrocarbon exposure and the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Metals and Neuronal Metal Binding Proteins Implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease.

Outdoor work and risk for Parkinson’s disease

Inverse associations of outdoor activity and vitamin D intake with the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Iron and Oxidative Stress in Parkinson’s Disease An Observational Study of Injury Biomarkers

Can Tea Consumption be a Safe and Effective Therapy Against Diabetes Mellitus-Induced Neurodegeneration

Parkinson’s disease no milk today

Parkinson’s Disease Risks Associated with Cigarette Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Caffeine Intake n

Ferritin levels in the cerebrospinal fluid predict Alzheimer’s disease outcomes and are regulated by APOE

HFE gene variants, iron, and lipids a novel connection in Alzheimer’s disease.

Diet and Parkinson’s disease I A possiblerole for intake of specific foods and food groups

Vitamin D and Sunlight Exposure in Newly-Diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease.

parkinsons and solanaceum

Dietary fats, cholesterol and iron as risk factors for Parkinson’s disease


Telomeres: You will age faster if you sit around! Telomere length shortens the more sedentary you are – Insane Medicine

  • A great research article in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, marked below, demonstrates the importance of decreasing our sedentary activities. In the study, they determined that telomere length is shortened by sedentary behaviors, measured in the form of leisure-based screen time. Short telomeres is associated with stress, inflammation,  and a variety of cardiometabolic diseases! Short telomeres are an established characteristic of aging. You want to have a successful aging strategy, hence you want to keep your telomeres long! 🙂
  • The measurement of leukocyte telomere length (LTL)  is a method to determine future health, and short LTL is associated with morbidity and mortality independent of age. In the study, 6405 people ages 20-84 were assessed for leisure time screen-based sedentary behavior, namely television, video games and computer use, and a LTL assay was performed on the participants to determine the length of their telomeres over a certain period of time. It was found that for every hour increase in screen based time, the individual had a 7% increased risk of being in the lowest tertile of telomere length. In other words, the more screen based time that was spent, the greater the chance your telomeres were short enough to put you at the bottom of the study group in regards to telomere length.  Hence you have a higher risk of an early illness or death!
  • Physical activity is associated with greater telomere length up to a certain point.
  • The core findings of people with LTL values that were in the bottom group (short telomeres) was that they were more sedentary, engaged in little moderate to vigorous physical activity, had high CRP levels (inflammation marker), had a higher BMI (fatter), and more likely to have diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease.  The chance of a person falling into this category, again increased by 7% for each hour of screen based  leisure time that they spent.
  • Leukocyte telomere shortening is a marker of cellular aging and also is associated with increased morbidity (high blood pressure/diabetes) and mortality. When LTL become critically shortened, the leukocytes secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines and hence increase the CRP ( a marker of inflammation). Thus being sedentary results in inflammation and modulates your metabolic risk in the wrong direction.  In other words, you age faster!!!
  • The key point: Stay active physically and spend less time on Facebook!!
  • Leisure-Time Screen-Based Sedentary Behavior and Leukocyte Telomere Length: Implications for a New Leisure-Time Screen-Based Sedentary Behavior Mechanism –  Paul Loprinzi

Leisure-Time Screen-Based Sedentary Behavior and Leukocyte Telomere Length: Implications for a New Leisure-Time Screen-Based Sedentary Behavior Mechanism


Other interesting abstracts:

Bey, L. and Hamilton, M.T. Suppression of skeletal muscle lipoprotein lipase activity during physical inactivity: a molecular reason to maintain daily low-intensity activity. J Physiol. 2003; 551: 673–682

Suppression of skeletal muscle lipoprotein lipase activity during physical inactivity: a molecular reason to maintain daily low-intensity activity  Bottom line of article:  Inactivity caused a local reduction of plasma [3H]triglyceride uptake into muscle and a decrease in high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration. Treadmill walking raised LPL activity approximately 8-fold (P < 0.01) within 4 h after inactivity The striking sensitivity of muscle LPL to inactivity and low-intensity contractile activity may provide one piece of the puzzle for why inactivity is a risk factor for metabolic diseases and why even non-vigorous activity provides marked protection against disorders involving poor lipid metabolism.

Tremblay, M.S., Colley, R.C., Saunders, T.J., Healy, G.N., and Owen, N. Physiological and health implications of a sedentary lifestyle. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2010; 35: 725–740  Sedentarism, active lifestyle and sport: impact on health and obesity prevention

The benefits of regular physical activity have been known since ancient Greek. But in the last Century the scientific knowledge around this topic has progressed enormously, starting with the early studies of JN Morris and RS Paffenberger, who demonstrated that physical activity at work reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease and mortality. In the Harvard alumni study, the lowest risk was associated with a weekly output of 1000 to 2000 kcal performing vigorous activities. Further studies in all age groups have supported these findings and have added that even moderate levels of physical activity provide considerable benefits to health, including lower prevalence of overweight and obesity at all ages. Metabolic fat oxidation rate is highest at exercise intensities between 45 and 65% of VO2max. This means that people must be active regularly and force physiological mechanisms at certain intensities. All this body of evidence has contributed to current WHO physical activity recommendations of 150 min/week of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in adults and elderly, and 60 min/day of MVPA in children and adolescents, with additional strength training, apart from adopting an active lifestyle. In the last 50 years, occupational physical activity has been reduced for about 120 kcal/day, and sedentarism has emerged as an additional risk factor to physical inactivity. Even if less than 60 min of TV time in adults have been related to lower average BMI, there is still a need for research to determine the appropriate dose of exercise in combination with sedentary behaviours and other activities in the context of our modern lifestyle in order to prevent obesity at all ages. As public health measures have failed to stop the obesity epidemic in the last 3 decades, there is clearly a need to change the paradigm. The inclusion of sport scientists, physical education teachers and other professionals in the multidisciplinary team which should be responsible for drawing the road map to prevent the increase of the obesity epidemic effectively is a “must” from our point of view.


Physical inactivity as the culprit of metabolic inflexibility: evidence from bed-rest studies

Bergouignan, A., Rudwill, F., Simon, C., and Blanc, S. Physical inactivity as the culprit of metabolic inflexibility: evidence from bed-rest studies. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2011; 111: 1201–1210


The following sequence of events can be hypothesized to explain the physical inactivity-induced metabolic alterations and thus metabolic inflexibility (Fig. 4). The physical inactivity induced by bed rest leads to insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, requiring a hyperinsulinemic response to properly dispose of glucose in daily postprandial conditions, whereas adipose tissue displays an appropriate response. At the same time, muscle fiber type shifts toward fast-twitch glycolytic fibers, and muscle increases glucose uptake and oxidation through insulin-independent pathways. This in turn inhibits fatty acid oxidation and ultimately uptake. During meal ingestion, hyperlipemia occurs due to a decreased plasma clearance of dietary fat. This increases the flux of dietary lipids to organs and results in ectopic fat storage with consequences on insulin sensitivity. The liver displays susceptibility to hyperinsulinemia and increased lipid synthesis and storage that overcomes rate of oxidations. Hepatic steatosis will likely ensue. With a reduced oxidative capacity, the liver will then contribute to an increased rate of atherogenic lipid products (VLDL) in which the contributions of FFA coming from the diet and neolipogenesis to the total VLDL-triglycerides will increase, feed-forwarding hyperlipemia and ectopic fat storage. Concomitantly, the steatotic liver will become insulin resistant and unable to suppress hepatic glucose production, which leads to increased gluconeogenesis and feed-forward worsening of hyperinsulinemia.Inactivity and metabolic inflexibilityHypothetical metabolic alterations cascade induced by bed rest that can explain how physical inactivity induces metabolic inflexibility. VLDL, very-low-density lipoprotein; NAFLD, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; DAG, diacylglycerol.

Physical activity predicts metabolic flexibility. For an equivalent food quotient, metabolically flexible subjects will greatly increase carbohydrate oxidation after the consumption of a meal despite a low increase in plasma insulin concentration. A metabolically inflexible individual, i.e., a person who also displays an insulin resistance, will display a low increase in carbohydrate oxidation despite an marked elevation in insulin secretion.

Weischer, M., Bojesen, S.E., Cawthon, R.M., Freiberg, J.J., Tybjӕrg-Hansen, A., and Nordestgaard, B.G. Short telomere length, myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, and early death. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol.2012; 32: 822–829

Short Telomere Length, Myocardial Infarction, Ischemic Heart Disease, and Early Death  -> Findings: Short telomere length is associated with only modestly increased risk of myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, and early death.

Leucocyte telomere length and risk of cardiovascular disease: systematic review and meta-analysis BMJ 2014;349:g4227 Available observational data show an inverse association between leucocyte telomere length and risk of coronary heart disease independent of conventional vascular risk factors. The association with cerebrovascular disease is less certain.

Chronic inflammation induces telomere dysfunction and accelerates ageing in mice  Our results show that chronic inflammation aggravates telomere dysfunction and cell senescence, decreases regenerative potential in multiple tissues and accelerates ageing of mice. Anti-inflammatory or antioxidant treatment, specifically COX-2 inhibition, rescued telomere dysfunction, cell senescence and tissue regenerative potential, indicating that chronic inflammation may accelerate ageing at least partially in a cell-autonomous manner via COX-2-dependent hyper-production of ROS.

Cawthon, R.M. Telomere measurement by quantitative PCR. Nucleic Acids Res. 2002; 30: e47   Telomere measurement by quantitative PCR



Insane Medicine – Blood Markers for Alzheimer’s Disease

  • A recent paper listed below studied the presence of autolysosomal proteins (from nerve tissue exosomes) in the blood stream and found a very high correlation with the eventual appearance of Alzheimer’s disease some ten years before it is detectable clinically.
  • Cathepsin D, LAMP-1 (lysosome-associated membrane protein 1), and ubiquitinylated protein were higher in patients who developed Alzheimer’s disease whereas Heat-Shock protein 70 was lower.
  • These markers confirm neuronal lysozomal dysfunction years in advance of Alzheimers and these markers may be used as biomarkers of disease.
  • Altered lysosomal proteins in neural-derived plasma exosomes in preclinical Alzheimer disease
  • Neurology. 2015 Jun 10.

Insane Medicine – Cardiac Rehabilitation will save your life

Cardiac rehab and healthy eating save lives
Cardiac rehab and healthy eating save lives!

eat healthy

  • Have you had a heart attack? Then why aren’t you in cardiac rehab if your doctor says it’s okay?
  • Those who are involved in cardiac rehab have a 47 % decrease in heart attack risk over the next two years! Also, those who participate have fewer hospital admissions and live longer.
  • Cardiac rehab is an option post-heart attack, as well as for those with arrhythmias and heart failure. It is associated with decreased mortality and prolonged survival.
  • Cardiac Rehab is coached by trained professionals who teach you how to appropriately exercise based on your capabilities and prescription. This improves your functional status.
  • It also involves nutritional counseling, teaching the patient to eat a low fat and sodium diet to help manage cholesterol levels and blood pressure. This allows you to maintain a healthy weight.
  • cardiac rehab also helps you maintain a regimen. More important, one must take their prescribed medications for optimal outcomes. Compliance leads to success. Education about medications that are important is a key  factor.
  • Cardiac rehab also educates one to avoid unhealthy habits, such as smoking and maintaining diet. likewise, the mental aspect of a post-cardiac condition is crucial in maximizing outcomes. Depression and other mental disorders must be fully addressed and treated.
  • Exercise creates stronger muscles and improved cardiovascular fitness that improves ones emotional state as well. Cardiac rehab must be continued in the home environment for maximal impact.
  • The journal BMJ showed that even a little bit of exercise provides noticeable benefits of health. the goal is 150 minutes of exercise per week, but even small amounts of physical activity may decrease the mortality risk.
  • Exercise helps with depression and boosts your natural endorphins that make you feel better, resulting in increased energy levels. Exercise allows you to take control of your life and is a mood enhancer that gives you an overall sense of well-being.
  • Depression and anxiety can be blunted by such exercise programs, especially when they are maintained at home as well. Meditation and behavior modification are key components to creating a healthy lifestyle. People who are depressed and feel hopeless have a higher rate of dying from their cardiac disease. exercise at least 30 minutes a day, working your way up to that amount even if you don’t have the internal motivation to do so.

Insane Medicine – Acid in our bodies is a problem – Metabolic acidosis (MA)

Acid is not good
Acid is not good

acid house acid mushroom

  • Our bodies are always in a battle with too much ACID. I discussed this briefly before and am revisiting this topic again because of the metabolic impact metabolic acidosis (MA)  has on our bodies (that is, too much acid)
  • In the process of digesting meats and animal proteins, our body produces acids as well as internal processes that contribute to high acid levels. Our body uses bicarbonate and other  mechanisms to neutralize the excess acid.
  • Metabolic acidosis (MA) affects every system in our body. MA at a chronic level activates bone resorption and can increase the rick of osteoporosis. Treatment of MA can decrease this risk when it is present. Skeletal strength is impaired by MA because the body cannibalizes it’s own muscle to help neutralize the extra acid. Likewise, MA will impair insulin release and insulin receptor functioning. This results in glucose intolerance and diabetes. MA will also cause the progression of kidney failure and impair the functioning of thyroid hormones and it’s receptors.
  • We see metabolic acidosis in 1 out of 30 patients with normal  kidney function. the number affected increases as kidney function declines.
  • BMC Nephrol, 2013 Jan 9;14:4 : Use of bicarbonate to normalize MA can prevent progression of chronic kidney disease. How much bicarbonate and what type of bicarbonate is used? Sodium bicarbonate, in amounts starting at 1300 mg twice a day to get the serum bicarbonate levels to 24 mg/dl. Baking soda has 850 mg of sodium bicarbonate in a teaspoon.
  • Sodium bicarbonate intake does not worsen high blood pressure because the sodium load resulting from the sodium bicarbonate cannot be reabsorbed in the kidney through the usual NACL cotransporter.
  • The body normally excretes extra acid loads produced in the body in the form of ammonia, which is produced from glutamine (an amino acid) When metabolic acidosis is present, the body quickly runs out of glutamine from its usual sources and gets extra glutamine from muscle breakdown. The glutamine then goes to the kidney to be broken into ammonia which absorbs the extra acid.  So metabolic acidosis leads to increased muscle breakdown and weakness.
  • Diet affects the production of acid, especially with the consumption of animal proteins, which results in a lot of acid production in the body. This speeds UP the loss of kidney function in predisposed individuals. It has been shown that fruits and vegetables create little acid production in the body and a vegan diet as such decreases the rate of kidney function decline in patients with kidney failure.


Here is the summary:

  1. Treatment of metabolic acidosis, when the serum bicarbonate level is below 20 mmol/L, using sodium bicarbonate at doses of 1300 mg twice a day to increase serum bicarbonate to 24 mmol/L has positive impacts in multiple fronts as below.
  2. Increased bone density results from treatment of MA, thus decreased fractures and falling.
  3. There is better glucose control by treating MA due to better insulin sensitivity and insulin receptor responsiveness.
  4. Treatment of metabolic acidosis decreases the progression towards kidney failure in susceptible individuals with chronic kidney disease.
  5. Treatment of MA results in better muscle strength and muscle mass.
  6. Eat more fruits and vegetables to decrease your intake of acids.
  7. Have your doctor asses your blood for low bicarbonate (Less than 20 mmol/L)
  8. Consult your doctor prior to initiating any medical regimen as discussed.

Insane Medicine – Sedentary Behavior is a disease!

Keep active
Keep active
  • Study after study documents the same finding: Regular physical activity at ANY age plays the major role in maintenance of brain functioning and health. Even if you have been inactive for years, you can benefit by slowly initiating a physical activity program.
  • Sedentary behavior is the enemy. When you exercise, you must  also decrease sedentary behavior throughout the day as well to obtain maximum benefit.
  • Sedentary behavior causes damage to the brain’s structure and per a study in PLOS ONE (9/2014), age-related changes in the brain were more prominent in the hippocampus region (memory-making center of the brain) in patients who were sedentary. Sedentary behavior ROTS your brain!
  • Brain plasticity, the brain’s ability to make new connections in response to it’s environment, is improved with physical activity and exercise. What results is better memory and decision-making skills. This can decrease brain atrophy. On CT scans of the brain, many elderly patients demonstrate shrunken brains, much of which can be reduced by physical activity. Additional benefits of brain-preservation outside of better memory and attention is a positive effect on mood and stress. Physical activity can lower blood pressure, control blood sugar, and reduce obesity, all of which negatively impacts brain functioning.
  • What type of exercises should one do? Aerobic exercises, resistance exercises, and gross motor activities. Again, aerobic activities of 30 minutes a day for 5 out of 7 days a week are an excellent goal. Consider jogging, swimming, tennis, dancing, stair climbing, and bicycling for aerobic activities. Build up your muscles with resistance training such as sit ups, weight lifting, and leg raises. The goal is at least three sessions a week to increase muscle tone and strength, which also helps with balance.  Consider Yoga and Tai Chi to help with movement, balance, and flexibility. Balance and strength are very important to decrease falling risks. In fact, there are numerous studies documenting the positive benefit of Tai Chi on decreasing the rate of falling in elderly people.
  • Between exercising sessions, don’t just sit around – KEEP MOVING! Non-exercise physical activity, such as gardening, laundry, dish washing, and climbing the stairs can add to physical and brain health. These activities help maintain mobility  (American Journal of Preventive Medicine). This type of activity complements the other exercise components. This type of activity can reduce heart attack risk and stroke risk by improving weight as well as lipid levels.

Insane Medicine – Even older people should watch their diet

Successful aging requires continued effort for the best outcome. Do you want to live to one hundred and be bed-bound or live to one hundred and be active? Successfully aging people need to consider healthful behaviors to maintain their independence and health. Conditions that affect people over sixty can be modified and lessened by nutritional strategies:

  1. Cardiovascular diseaseHigh blood pressure, cholesterol/triglycerides, and obesity are modifiable by diet and medication. Weight control allows for better mobility, less pain, and fewer heart attacks. Obesity is associated with sleep apnea, as well, which reduces quality of life because it makes you fatigued in the day time and generally weak.
  2. Cerebrovascular Disease: Such as strokes and dementia are impacted by high blood pressure and diet. First off, quit smoking to decrease your risk of dementia and stroke. Decrease your sodium intake to decrease your blood pressure (1500 mg of sodium a day is about right for an average diet.) Use herbs and spices to flavor your foods. Foods such as cold cuts, cheeses, breads, pizza, pasta dishes, snack foods, and soups have higher levels of sodium, so beware. Consider following the DASH diet:  and 
  3. Diabetes Control: Diabetes affects everything from your eyes to your kidneys. There is a four-fold increased risk of death from heart disease or stroke if you are diabetic. Take your medicines, track your hemoglobin A1C (sugar control measure) and eat  food with a low glycemic index. Eat food with less fat and avoid high-sugar content items, but include more vegetables and whole grains to maintain glucose control. It takes a lot of effort if you are diabetic, so don’t let diabetes take your life one leg at a time!
  4. Cancer: Get your recommended screening examinations. Also, maintain a healthy weight since obese people have higher risks of cancer!
  5. Chronic Kidney Disease: Another disease modifiable by diet control – CKD risk is increased if you have hypertension, diabetes, obesity, or cardiovascular disease. A healthy diet and physical activity will maintain your weight and blood pressure, minimizing aging’s impact on your kidneys!


  • Eat bright colored vegetables (carrots, brocolli) and deep colored fruits (berries) for phytochemical, healthy support.
  • Chose whole, enriched, fortified grains and cereals, i.e. whole wheat bread.
  • Chose low and non-fat dairy products: Yogurt and low-lactose milk
  • Use herbs and spices to add flavors to meals
  • Lots of fluids: no sodas
  • Exercise

Insane Medicine – Lowering Dementia Risk


Research is demonstrating that treating multiple risk factors for dementia results in better outcomes than treating each factor individually. Risk factors include:

  1. Poor nutrition
  2. obesity’smoking
  3. physical inactivity
  4. cardiovascular risks
  5. depression
  6. social isolation
  7. lack of mental stimulation

Strategies to help deal with these risks have been shown to help improve cognitive performance. Just treating single variables such as high blood pressure or lack of exercise has less effect than hitting multiple factors at once. A study in Lancet Neurology (August 2014) revealed that one-third of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) cases are attributable to modifiable factors and thus AD may be reduced in prevalence by improved education , treatment of depression, and management of vascular risk factors such as physical inactivity, smoking, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.

  • Get regular exercise: this reduces stress, improves blood flow to the brain, strengthens connection of neurons in the brain, improves medical health and balance, thus reducing falls. The goal is 30 minutes of aerobic activity five times a week (walking, dancing, biking as examples) and strength training twice a week.
  • Challenge your brain: Demanding brain activities utilizing different aspects of your intellect help protect against cognitive decline, making your mind more efficient and able to focus. So expose yourself to new ideas and challenges mentally, so that you can maintain your memory skills and concentration abilities. Things like cross-word puzzles, checkers or cards help build up your brain as do math problems. Research shows that staying intellectually engaged may prevent AD. These types of brain challenges add to your cognitive reserve. Social interaction also plays a role in preventing cognitive decline. It has been found that those who play more games or puzzles were more likely to perform better on test of memory, learning, and information processing. They also have greater brain volume in areas associated with memory. Mental workouts enhance brain blood flow and promote cell growth, stronger neuron connections, and keep the brain efficient. It makes the brain less sensitive to trauma such as drugs, stroke, or disease. The internet has resources to help:  or  or  or  or   So consider crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, word searches, math problems, an brainteasers to exercise your mind!
  • Treat mental illness, especially depression: Sadness, hopelessness, and lack of energy may signal depression. Depression is associated with a high risk of cognitive decline. See your doctor to help get treatment.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Eat complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid sodas, sweets, and excess sugars. Protein is essential for growth and cell maintenance, so consider lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, low fat dairy,  nuts, and beans. Chose healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseed oil, fish, and nuts. Monounsaturated fats are also healthful and is present in olive and canola oils. Polyunsaturated fats from corn, safflower, and sunflower seeds are fine as well. Avoid trans-fats. Remember to include your micronutrients and phytochemicals (found in plant sources).
  • Treat cardiovascular risks: Stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active, treat high blood pressure and diabetes, take your prescribed medications.

Avoid Trans-fats in your diet. It is found in many junk foods, especially fast foods, processed foods, baked goods, margarine, and other sources. These products and trans-fats perform about 10% worse on cognitive tests than those who consumed minimal amounts. Trans-fats promote oxidative stress and damage the memory center of the brain, the hippocampus.

Magnesium is essential for brain functioning. It is found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and hard water. Magnesium helps in energy production, needed especially in the brain. It helps in the formation and release of neurotransmitters as well as functioning of connections in the brain (synapses) to process new information. Studies in Molecular Brain (September 2014) demonstrated that magnesium L-threonate (MgT) supplementation prevented memory decline and prevented synapse loss in mice prone to AD. It also reduced the deposition of beta-amyloid protein in the brain (a cause of AD) Risk factors for magnesium depletion include chronic alcoholism, diabetes, excessive coffee intake, inflammatory bowel disease such as Chrone’s disease, diuretic intake, liver and kidney disease,  and excessive soda and salt intake.The RDA is 400 mg a day –  This link points to sources of magnesium for your diet. Foods included are Almonds, spinach, cashews, peanuts, shredded wheat cereal, soy milk, black beans, whole wheat bread, avocado, baked potato, brown rice, plain yogurt, and others.

This sounds dumb but avoid head injury – it has been shown that older adults who have a head injury are at higher risk of dementia, especially over the age of 65. The main reason for these injuries are falls, many of which are preventable and may be due to deconditioning and weakness from lack of exercise. Remember that exercise increases strength and balance.

Remember to not be anxious over your health – don’t become a hypochondriac. Maintain your health through proper eating, exercise, risk management of cardiovascular problems (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking cessation), taking your prescribed medications, and regular physician check-ups will maximize your health. Don’t get preoccupied with health matters and fears of disease such that they interfere with your daily activities and enjoyments in life. Keep yourself busy and distracted by learning new tasks and volunteering. Consider meditation, relaxing your body and mind, concentrating on the present moment. Exercise your body to reduce stress and reduce your anxiety. This will build your physical strength and increase your feelings of well-being. Keep your head up with positive feeling and be grateful for the good things in your life and those things you can control. Don’t stress out!!




Insane Medicine – Running beats walking in older adults!

Insane Medicine - Running beats walking in older adults
Insane Medicine – Running beats walking in older adults.
  • Research has indicated that running may lead to better outcomes in older adults. A study by Orteg JD et al in PLoS One (2014;9:e113471) compared walking and running in older adults.  Basic tasks begin to deteriorate in older adults, including the basic ability to walk. The economy (metabolic expenses) of walking get worse as one ages due to muscular inefficiency and the firing of antagonistic muscle groups in older muscle. This increases the risk of falling, and also increases the difficulty of basic transferring of weight from one point to another as well as maintaining balance.
  • In other studies, it has been found that older runners have a similar running economy as younger runners do. This new study in PLoS One demonstrates that older runners have more efficient energy use when they walk as compared to non-runners at the same age. In fact, the gross metabolic cost of transport was about 10 % less in runners at any walking speed.
  • Older walkers walkers are not able to stop the deterioration in the metabolic cost of walking because they have the same metabolic cost of transport as older sedentary adults.  All exercise is not the same for all people!
  • Key Point: There are benefits to a regular running practice in older adults in regards to longevity and overall health. In fact, older adults who run at least 30 minutes three times a week have less metabolic cost for walking than individuals of the same age group who exercise by walking only! Thus running improves your metabolic efficiency and prevents age-related declines in walking efficiency!
  • Intense training in older adults increases muscular efficiency and stops antagonistic muscle firing.
  • CDC recommendation for physical activity link:
  • Government recommendation for physical activity:   and

Insane Medicine – Dietary Review!

I wanted to generalize some overall health information in this particular blog and incorporate items that are important for increasing successful strategies for aging and maintaining your health.

  • Remember that circulation is important in your body because it provides energy and sustains life in the various tissues. Regular exercise is a way to keep your body maximally conditioned. Your circulation delvers oxygen and nutrients to your body and at the same time allows toxins to be removed as it passes through the liver, kidney, and lymph systems. So be certain to keep moving and exercise to maximize your health.
  • Eat more plant foods. As a result of doing this, you take in less fat and will increase your fiber intake. This allows more protecting antioxidants to be incorporated into your body. Ingesting more fiber allows for better waste removal, and less fat intake results in a decreased tendency for your blood to thicken and clot, thus decreasing cardiovascular risk. The large amount of protecting agents in plant-based diets results in less inflammation in the body and less cellular damage.
  • Choose plant foods with strong flavors and with bright colors. Have a healthy fat focus in your diet. Chose your beverages you drink wisely, in other words, stop drinking sodas! Try your best to allow your stomach to be empty  and have ‘hunger pains’ for at least two thirty minute periods each day.
  • Remember that the body evolved in a world where salt, sugar, and fat were scarce and are like addictive drugs. Be careful to avoid choosing processed foods when possible and not adding salt and sugar to your meals. Avoid sodas ( which are high in sugar content)! Even noncaloric beverages may be increasing our desire for sweet food and spurring increasing rates of obesity.
  • Fructose in our foods has been a source of increasing weight gain in our society. Fructose and glucose (both sugars) have a differential effect on the brain. Glucose will reduce activation of brain regions that are involved in appetite, motivation, and reward and will increase our sense of satiety and decrease our food seeking behavior. Fructose does not do this. It is sweet, but it makes us want more! Corn sweeteners (fructose) have correlated with rising obesity.
  • Plant-based foods give us phytochemicals which act as protectors. Plant-based foods give smell, taste, and fragrance to our diet. They have an antioxidant effect. Kale, cabbage, broccoli, and  arugula have a sulfur based mustard taste that increase detoxification enzymes in the body. You should get 5-9 servings of colorful, flavorful vegetables in your diet each day – five servings for smaller people and at least nine servings if you are a big person. How much is a serving for vegetables? One-half cup cut up is equal to a serving, in general, for vegetables (for raw spinach, a whole cup is equal to a serving)
  • So again – look for colorful vegetables, as they have higher levels of phytochemicals in them, For example, zucchini has a green outside but mostly colorless interior, and therefore is a poorer choice of a vegetable. Instead, go for the carrots, spinach, broccoli, and yellow squash as options, since they have more color to them and therefore more protective phytonutrients! You will find higher levels of Vitamin A in deep orange vegetables such as carrots. The carotenoids and retinol in these vegetables impart the orange coloring and give the protective qualities of these vegetables.  Cruciferous vegetables have a big, strong flavor with sulfur components. They have powerful antioxidants in them and include arugula, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kholorabi, radish, rutabaga, and turnips. Citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C, which helps fight infection. They also have an antihistamine/anti-allergic effect as well as anti-oxidant effect, which protects cell membranes and DNA in the body from oxidative damage. Vitamin C is important in the production of collagen component of connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments.
  • Eating up to nine servings a day of vegetables was associated with 24% less obesity in one study. Why? Because you eat less of other fatty foods.
  • Fiber rich foods  are very important in the diet. Vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains are all rich sources of protective nutrients and phytochemicals and have a lower glycemic load as well. Eating foods with high fiber content results in less obesity since people who consume high-fiber foods feel more full. Likewise, higher fiber meals cause increase transit through the gut and decrease carcinogen exposure. This results in less colon cancer risk! Soluble fiber decreases cholesterol levels while fibrous food will increase the amount of protective gut bacteria.
  • We will be discussing the gut biome over time in this blog. Your gut has a population of bacteria that live and thrive but also help us maintain homeostasis. Alterations in the gut biome (bacterial population) can result in inflammation and disease. Immune compromise can occur if the gut biome is altered or destroyed. It turns out that soluble fiber is a food source for these necessary gut bacteria to remain healthy, and hence us as well.
  • We need 25 grams of fiber every day. A rule of thumb is one gets 2 grams of fiber per vegetable/fruit serving, so 5 servings of vegetables equals 10 gm of fiber.
  • Whole grains are a good source of fiber. One slice of whole grain bread is equal to a serving. A cup of cooked oatmeal is considered a serving. A thought for increasing fiber content is to use wheat berries, which cook like brown rice. Adding sunflowers to them can make a nutritious bundle.
    Wheat berries cook like brown rice and taste great when mixed with sunflower seeds!
    Wheat berries cook like brown rice and taste great when mixed with sunflower seeds!

    Cooked beans, peas , and lentils have 6 gm of fiber per half-cup of cooked item. They are excellent sources of fiber.

    Consider adding mung beans, which are bean sprouts that cook like lentils, in a dish with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and placing it over pasta.
    Consider adding mung beans, which are bean sprouts that cook like lentils, in a dish with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and placing it over pasta.


  • Always be certain that you check to see if a bread item is whole grain. Check the ingredient list. You want whole, sprouted, or malted wheat or whole grain on the label. Beware if it says wheat flour, for that is the same as white flour.
  • Put as many vegetables on your salad as possible. Lettuce has very little fiber.
  • Be certain to take in 5-10 grams a day of soluble fiber out of the 25-35 grams of fiber that is needed. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol levels and feeds the healthy gut bacteria to support our immune system. An orange (medium) has 3-5 grams of soluble fiber, while a half cup of beans has 3-5 grams. Two tablespoons of ground flaxseed has 1.5 grams of soluble fiber. Flaxseed can be ground into flaxmeal.
  • Of note, a high fiber diet provides a low glycemic load, which is great for diabetics, but particle size of the fiber source is important. For example, old fashioned or scottish oats are best for fiber sources, whereas smaller particle sized grain products lose the fiber benefits. It turns out the glycemic index is higher in small-particles of grains (they get absorbed easier).
  • Higher glycemic-load foods are associated with chronic diseases. As people absorb more carbohydrates and gain weight, their insulin level increases in response, which promotes increased fat storage, thereby leading to the need for more insulin to control blood  sugar. This results in diabetes over time. Also cancer is more common in obese individuals as insulin-like growth factor (IL-GF) drives cancer growth. IL-GF is involved in glucose metabolism. A diet with a low glycemic load would include non-starchy vegetables except potatoes. Whole grains are high in glycemic load and make diabetes more difficult to contol. Pasta, rice, potato, and virus have high glycemic loads and are not as healthy. Fruit has high fiber content and a LOW glycemic index. High fat foods also have lower glycemic load. So aim for foods with lower glycemic indices as they allow for better body sugar control.
  • Fats affect inflammation in the body. High body fat content, especially abdominal fat,  is linked to cancer risk, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and autoimmune disorders. In an anti-inflammatory diet, one wants to avoid excess fat.  Decrease your fatty food intake, especially fried foods and fast foods. Decrease your dressings and mayonnaise on your foods. Decrease the amount of sweets in your diet, especially cookies and cake. Eat more fish and seafood (not fried) at least 2-3 times a week, except for farmed salmon, which should be eaten only once a month. Avoid sweetened beverages and limit foods with sweeteners. Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.
    Beans are good!
    Beans are good!


    Use extra virgin olive oil to toss in your vegetable or salad to allow easier coating of the leaves with your favorite dressing. By doing that, you will use less dressing and spread it out evenly!
    Use extra virgin olive oil to toss in your vegetable or salad to allow easier coating of the leaves with your favorite dressing. By doing that, you will use less dressing and spread it out evenly! Less dressing=Less fat!


  • Fat balance is important in your diet. Avoid the pro inflammatory fats, such as omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) such as corn, cottonseed, soy, safflower, and sunflower oils, which are high in omega-6 oils. decrease your meat intake and decrease fish intake that are fed these products such as farm-grown salmon! Omega-3 PUFA are anti-inflammatory. and are present in flaxseed oil. Also, pasture-fed livestock (‘grass-fed’) have less omega-6 fatty acid in them. Avoid livestock that are fed grain or corn at any time, since that increases the amount of proinflammatoy PUFA in them. ‘Grass finished’ livestock means that the livestock ate grass until they are butchered. Choose grass-fed products only!
  • Some fat-health guidelines include avoiding fat soluble contaminants by eating food items lower on the food chain, such as smaller animals (fish) and avoiding farmed salmon. Eat only organic products. Avoid saturated fats, present in processed foods and dairy products or red meat. Avoid rancid fats by limiting aged cheese and meat (deli meat) in your diet. Chose healthy fats, which increase satiety and help absorb fat soluble vitamins. Healthy fats include avocados, olive oil, sardines, nuts, seeds, and olives.  Larger animals have more time to get contaminants in them. Chicken and sardines, which are lower on the food chain, live short lives. low in the food chain, and accumulate less toxins. Don’t eat fats that are solid at room temperature,. Avoid processed foods and meats (deli meats)
  • Rancid fats add oxidative stress to your body.Increase your monounsaturated fat intake such as avocado and olive oil, which are heart-healthy.  It was found that people who eat less saturated fat and more monounsaturated fats in their diet have better cognitive performance and verbal memory over time!
  • Osteoporosis prevention: Increase the following: exercise, calcium intake, vitamin D, protein and potassium . They all help build healthy bones! Protein is needed to build the bony matrix. Avoid caffeine (>300 mg a day) and avoid smoking and excessive sodium intake. Avoid being too thin. These factors all impact bone health in negative ways. Excessive sodium in the diet causes the kidneys to waste calcium in the urine. Be certain to get 1200 mg of calcium a day in the diet. For example, 1 or 2% no-fat milk has 300 mg of calcium per cup, while yogurt has 250 mg in 6 ounces. Please note that not all tofu has enough calcium in it, so check the labels. Also, corn tortillas (traditional mad with lime) has calcium in it ( fiver per day provides a lot of calcium)
  • Calcium bioavailability in the diet depends on the source of the calcium. There is calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium malate, calcium phosphate, calcium gluconate, and calcium lactate. Tums has calcium carbonate in it and excessive use can decrease digestive enzymes and increase bloating gas production as a result, so avoid excessive tums. Avoid calcium from dolomite, bonemeal, and oyster shells (they have lead contaminants in them). Calcium mixed with Vitamin D and magnesium is an excellent supplement for bone health, especially as a 2:1 ratio (calcium 500mg/magnesium 250 mg). People absorb calcium better in small quantities through the day rather than a single large bolus. Be aware that calcium interacts with many medications and interferes with absorption of some medications, such as tetracyclines, biphosphonates, aspirin, and others. Some medications deplete calcium, such as aluminum antacids, steroids, anticonvulsannts, which deplete calcium supplies in the body. Calcium mixed with thiazide diuretics can lead to high, toxic blood levels of calcium in some people. Of note, a study recently suggested that calcium supplements may increase the risk of heart disease in some people by depositing in the coronary vessels. This appears to be not true.
  • Vitamin D is also an important component to bone health and body health. Deficiency in this vitamin has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune disorders, stroke, and musculoskeletal decline, among other things. Optimally, blood levels should be 30-80 ng/ml. The RDA for vitamin D in people aged 50-71 is 400 IU/day and for those over 70, the RDA is 600 IU/day. You can take up to 4000 IU/day safely per some sources. Vitamin D3 is the most active form of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is neccessary for optimal calcium and magnesium absorption in the gut. Our western style diet results in a high acid intake that leaches our bones. Chronic low grade acidosis in the body with our acidic diet, leads to bone derangement, especially in people with poor kidney function.
  • The shift to eating a better acid-base balanced diet can be made by including more plat foods in your diet (they are rich in alkaline materials). Consider this to boost bone health.
  • The recommended intake of protein is .4-.6 gm of protein per pound of weight. The average protein intake should be 55-100 gm per day. Protein content is high in beans, peas, and lentils (7 gm in a half cup) and high in poultry, fich, and lean meat (7 gm in 10 oz meat). Consider eating nuts and seeds for protein supplementation ( 7 gm in  1/4 cup, especially pumpkin seeds, which have 18 gms!)