Most of us would be hard pressed to imagine what similarities the human body would have to a hard-shell clam. Scientists, however, know that aquatic invertebrate animals such as clams, oysters, and mussels have a bi-valve heart that functions very much like the human heart. Unlike humans, some clams live centuries. Now researchers are studying clams to see if they have something to teach us about heart health.
For years butter has received a bad rap.
Why is that exactly?
Part of the reason butter has been badmouthed is because it’s made primarily of fat. For years fat was demonized by the health authorities because many associated dietary fat with the accumulation of fat on the body and in the arteries.
You might have found yourself believing you should avoid butter because it’s made of fat.
Fortunately you can relax. You can (and should) enjoy butter.
But, there is one very, very important caveat to this statement.
Not every butter is equal.
So yes, enjoy butter. However, make sure it’s the right kind.
If you’re wondering which kind of butter is the best for you, the answer is grass-fed butter.
Butter that comes from cows who eat their natural diet of grass is far healthier than its conventional counterpart.
In fact, conventional butter, that which comes from grain/corn fed cows, it very problematic. Many illnesses can be associated with conventional butter, and the reason isn’t just because what’s in it…it’s also because of what’s not in it.
Which is why grass-fed butter shines so brightly.
Let’s explore the benefits of grass-fed butter and how it can help to improve your health.
First off grass-fed butter is loaded with important nutrients you can’t find in (the same amounts) conventional butter.
These nutrients include:
- Vitamin K2
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Saturated Fats
Here’s how these nutrients affect your health:
Saturated Fats: What’s been preached by health authorities about saturated fats is for the most part wrong. Saturated fats don’t cause heart disease, and in fact, healthy saturated fats (those found in grass-fed butter) are actually helpful in reversing heart disease.
Saturated fat helps to raise levels of HDL (the good) cholesterol. As HDL levels rise, the risk of developing heart disease actually falls.
Conversely saturated fat even helps to drive down LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is a “bad” cholesterol.
Then there’s Butyrate: Butyrate, or butyric acid is believed to be anti-inflammatory. Because it possesses these properties, it’s likely to help prevent heart disease. Evidence has firmly illustrated heart disease (along with many other illnesses) are actually caused by inflammation.
This means that the ingestion of butyric acid can work to prevent chronic illnesses like heart disease.
Vitamin K2: Vitamin K2 might be one of the most exciting “new discoveries” in recent years. While K2 has been around since the dawn of time, scientists really didn’t know much about it until recently. What they know about it now is life changing. K2 is important in the formation of healthy bones. Without it in your diet, your bones will grow weak and frail.
K2 works to help draw calcium out of the blood and into the bones. Startlingly enough, if it’s lacking in the diet, you will actually begin to accumulate calcium in the arteries, which could lead to an eventual heart attack.
K2 is found in great amounts in grass-fed butter.
And let’s not forget about CLA: CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid is a trans fat which is extremely healthy for both your heart as well as many other functions in the body.
Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple writes:
[CLA] has been linked to superior heart health, suppression of tumors, reduced belly fat (although in pigs, I’m not sure that’s what we’re after!), and greater fat loss in the obese and overweight – pops up in the flesh and dairy of the animal. As far as cows go, pasture feeding leads to dairy CLA levels 3-5 times that of grain-fed cattle
There’s every reason in the world to add CLA to your diet.
Lastly there’s the presence of Omega 3 Fatty Acids: These fats are anti-inflammatory as well. Omega 3s are the same fats found in salmon and fish oil. Omega 3s have been associated with better heart health, and are believed to be crucial for many other aspects of health.
Grass-fed butter’s fat profiles are consistently much higher in Omega 3s than their conventional counterparts.
The evidence collected forms a clear picture. To experience better health, grass-fed butter should make its way into your diet.
If this sounds good to you, ditch the normal butter and switch to grass fed today.
And while you’re at it, take one more minute to find out how a harmful plant food that causes heart attacks (even if you’re eating grass-fed butter).
Despite being that healthy grass-fed butter can only do so much to protect your heart.
One of the most common ailments Americans face is the risk of developing osteoporosis.
It’s far more common for women to develop this crippling maladay, but even men can succumb to it as they move on into their later years.
For years scientists advocated a steady intake of calcium to help increase bone density. But what they’ve found is that consuming calcium, either through diet or supplementation, has no real effect on improving bone density.
This has left scientists puzzled, and even worse, it’s also led to the untimely death of hundreds of thousands.
What researchers have discovered is the increase in calcium intake has had an unintended, and deadly consequence.
What often happens is calcium will move into the arteries, taking up residence there instead of in bones. This in turn has led to an increase in arterial calcification and along with it a rise in the number of heart attacks from too much calcium.
So what gives?
Why is it that calcium supplementation hasn’t helped to increase bone density?
People are deficient in the vitamin needed to help move calcium into the bones.
The vitamin in question is vitamin K2. And hardly any westerners have enough of it in their diet.
Why is this?
One has to do with a lack in dietary K2. K2 is typically found in pasture-raised animals and their byproducts (cheeses, eggs, etc). Because Americans have started to rely on more processed foods, and often times encounter food that’s part of the factory farming system, vitamin K2 exposure has decreased significantly.
Another problem is owing to an imbalance in gut bacteria.
Vitamin K2 is formed naturally in the body via bacterial absorption. Because so many people have unnatural gut flora levels, it means they also have a decreased level of K2 in the body.
So how does K2 work to help grow healthier bones?
As Kate Rheaume-Bleue explains in her book “The Calcium Paradox,”
Vitamin K2 works by activating a number of special proteins that move calcium around the body. Specifically, K2 activates a protein called osteocalcin, which attracts calcium into bones and teeth, where calcium is needed. K2 activates another protein called matrix gla protein (MGP), which sweeps calcium out of soft tissues like arteries and veins, where the mineral is unwanted and harmful.
When K2 is lacking, the proteins that depend on K2 remain inactive . The Calcium Paradox then gradually rears its ugly head with an insidious decline in bone mineral density and an even more treacherous hardening of the arteries. When K 2 is plentiful, bones remain strong and arteries remain clear.
Scientists have only recently uncovered this link.
The direction you should be headed then if you want to have stronger, healthier bones is to begin incorporating K2 into your diet.
While K2 can be derived from natural food sources, getting K2 from diet alone is an arduous and expensive task.
Fortunately it can be obtained inexpensively through supplementation. The recommended dose is 150 mcg. And it only needs to be taken once daily.
To get the most bang for your buck you should be taking K2 with a probiotic. That’s because a healthy gut is what will help you absorb the most K2 possible.
To find out more about probiotics CLICK HERE.
Even if you take a probiotic right now the odds are you’re not taking the right one.
CLICK HERE to Discover More About Your Gut Health
It is fairly common knowledge that our bodies need Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) to function properly. Now, scientists have discovered a new category of EFAs, a type of Omega-7 fats called palmitoleic acid, that may be the solution to the wide range of common diseases sweeping our society.
This newly discovered, monounsaturated Omega-7 fatty acid is so important that Harvard Medical School has applied for a patent on it.
Palmitoleic acid is reported to be a powerful defense against metabolic syndrome, which encompasses diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancers and other serious illnesses. They function in the body as molecules that signal and facilitate communication between fat and muscle tissue.
Because of this, they are classified as a unique “lipokine” – which is a hormone-like molecule that connects body tissues to promote optimal energy storage and utilization.
Just a miniscule amount of Omega-7 will have a profound effect on your body’s response to fat storage, utilization and energy intake. These three processes are imbalanced in metabolic syndrome. Omega-7 also stops the production of new fat molecules, particularly the kind that damage tissue and increase risk of cardiovascular disease.
Omega-7’s therapeutic effects are remarkably similar to those of common drugs used by people with symptoms of metabolic disease, like Lipitor, Actos, etc, but does so powerfully and cheaply, with no safety concerns.
Additionally, studies show that Omega-7 can not only lower inflammation by up to a whopping 73%, thus reducing cardiovascular risk, but it also lowers resistance to glucose and insulin, helping your body optimize blood sugar levels using its own naturally produced insulin.
It is ironic then that natural food sources of omega-7 palmitoleic acid also contain high levels of palmitic acid, which is a thick palm oil that raises risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular disasters. This can counteract the benefits of omega-7. So if you use an omega-7 supplement, it is important to make sure the palmitic acid content is less than 1%.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prostate cancer is now the most common cancer to inflict American men. Although the causes are unknown, many risk factors have been identified by doctors and researchers – including family history, age and obesity.
More recent research show undeniable links between prostate cancer and exposure to chemical and environmental toxins. Here are four things to be aware of you probably did not know has been firmly linked to incidences of prostate cancer.
Specifically, Biphesnol A (BPA). There have been quite a number of studies that prove that BPA exposure causes DHA damage and precancerous lesions to develop on the prostates of rats. Well known as an endocrine disrupter, BPA has even been shown to block cancer treatment in humans.
To protect yourself against exposure to BPA, consider switching to glass and stainless steel kitchenware and stop using so much plastic. Although not all plastic contains BPA, it is better to be safe. anything with the recycling code #7 probably does contain BPA and should be avoided. Also when eating canned food, look for cans that say they are BPA free, as manufacturers often use BPA to line the insides of the cans.
This should probably be a no brainer, but pesticides should just be a no no when it comes to choosing what you put in your body. There are many commonly used pesticides out there today – for example – malathion and carbaryl – that have been implicated in increasing risks of prostate cancer. Studies have show that the farmers who use these pesticides on their crops are at high risk for developing this cancer.
To avoid this, buy as much organic produce as you can afford, or better yet, grow your own.
3. Tobacco Usage
Tobacco leaves are known to contain high levels of cadmium – a heavy metal – and people who smoked increase their cadmium exposure by two times. In
lab studies, cadmium was shown to cause prostatic lesions in animals, and has been linked to higher risk of prostate cancer in humans.
What to do? Since tobacco usage is also linked to lung cancer and other diseases, it might be time to cut out the habit, and hopefully save yourself the grief of both lung and prostate cancers.
A recent study on men with metabolic syndrome published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that a natural compound that occurs in red wine could help battle osteoporosis.
The compound, resveratol, is part of a group of plant compounds known as polyphenols. Resveratol has anti-inflammatory properties that previous studies done on mice and rats suggested could protect against bone loss.
Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increase your risk for some of the most common diseases – heart disease, diabetes and stroke among others, and has been linked to bone loss due to inflammation.
In the study, the participants – 66 year old overweight men – were given either different doses of resveratol or a placebo for 16 weeks, and then their bone mineral density and signs of bone formation and resorption was analyzed.
At the end of the study, the men who received resveratol showed significant bone growth. The results indicated that the higher the dose of resveratol, the more benefits were shown.
Marie Juul Ornstrup, MD from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, one of the study’s authors said:
Our study is the first to reveals resveratol’s potential as an anti-osteoporosis drug in humans.
our findings suggest the compound stimulates bone forming cells within the body.
Other studies also suggest that resveratol is linked to other health benefits as well, such as protection for the heart, preventing blood clots by reducing bad cholesterol and cancer fighting qualities.
However, you should still moderate your consumption of red wine, as large quantities over time can cause damage in excess. While resveratol shows great promise for its health benefits, some other studies have shown that it may also reduce the positive benefits of exercise on the heart in older men. Eating plenty of red grapes when they are in season may be your best bet to reap the benefits of this compound that scientists have called the “miracle molecule”.
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