Sunday, January 18, 2009

Recent Research Update

Lots of interesting studies have come out recently, and some are particularly applicable to the stuff I'm always talking about! Broccoli for instance, as many of you know, is my favorite superfood. It is the most intense "negative fat food" (meaning the more you eat, the leaner you get), it is the most nutrient dense and micro nutrient balanced food on the planet, and it is relatively cheap.

I also talk about its effects on fighting illness, disease, and even cancer! I have been affirmed once again in this claim by scientists in this month's Journal of Carcinogenesis. Dr. Wilson and Dr. Jordan found a compound called "isothiocyanates" that contain a compound called "sulforaphane" which targets and attacks cancer cells with more aggression than any drug available. Broccoli has the highest amount of these compounds. Hail broccoli!

Researchers found that people who eat rapidly are three times more likely to be overweight than those who take their time at meals (like the Europeans do). This is one of the reasons Americans are so overweight when compared to other countries. [Maruyama, K. et al., BMJ 2008 Oct 21;337:a2002.]

Rapid eating is often an established pattern that can be difficult to break. The best way to break this pattern is to change your surroundings. If you normally eat while watching TV, make sure it is off and sit at the table with no distractions. You can also change your posture to cut your consumption. Make sure you are sitting up straight and you will be surprised at how the increased attentiveness will make you feel fuller sooner and slow you down as well!

The March issue of Alternative Medicine Review confirmed that taking a vitamin D3 supplement significantly reduces mortality from all causes. This strong statement puts an exclamation point to the necessity of keeping your levels high - especially during the winter months for those in northern latitudes who can't get enough sunshine for their skin to produce adequate amounts.

Vitamin C has been found to protect against age-related wrinkles and even reverse them! Guess what food has even more vitamin C than any fruit? Yep, good old broccoli! Chock another one up for my fav! [Cosgrove, M. C., Franco, O. H., Granger, S. P., Murray, P. G., Mayes, A. E., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007 Oct;86(4):1225-1231.]

A recent article by Dr. Al Sears pointed out that Vitamin K has been overlooked by medicine for a hundred years. This neglected vitamin may have the power to prevent heart disease and eliminate the pain from stiff, swollen joints. All these years doctors thought it was only good as a blood thickener, but a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that it fights inflammation.1

Inflammation wreaks havoc throughout your body. It’s a direct cause of heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, even Alzheimer’s. Vitamin K can help prevent—and sometimes even reverse—many of these conditions.

A study from the Journal of Nutrition linked dietary intake of vitamin K to reduced risk of coronary heart disease.2 The study also found vitamin K reduces the calcification of your arteries. That’s the damage that occurs when calcium deposits harden and build up.

Specifically, vitamin K lowers inflammation by reducing levels of Interleukin-6 (IL-6). When you age, your IL-6 levels increase naturally. This increased level creates significant amounts of inflammation in your body.

IL-6 is one of the main culprits behind Alzheimer’s and arthritis. One study found those with high levels of IL-6 had a 200% greater risk of developing a disability such as arthritis.3

Vitamin K also prevents brittle bones and teeth. It helps a Gla protein known as osteocalcin regulate calcium. Without vitamin K, osteocalcins become “undercarboxylated,” meaning they can’t hold on to the calcium. As a result, the calcium in your body leaves your bones and teeth, making them weak and porous.4 It’s so effective; doctors in Japan use vitamin K to treat osteoporosis.5

What’s more, vitamin K is an amazing anti-oxidant. It destroys free radicals floating in your body at a level on par with CoQ10 and Vitamin E.6

Guess what food has ultra - high levels of vitamin K? Yep, chock up yet another one for broccoli!

1.Shea, K, Et al., “Vitamin K and Vitamin D Status: Associations with Inflammatory Markers in the Framingham Offspring Study” American Journal of Epidemiology 2008 167(3):313-320
2. Geleijnse JM, Vermeer C, Grobbee DE, et al. Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. J Nutr. Nov 2004;134(11):3100-3105.
3. Ferrucci L, et al. 1999. Serum IL-6 level and the development of disability in older persons. J Am Geriatr Soc 47:639-46.
4. Knapen MHK, et al. 1989. The effect of vitamin K supplementation on circulating osteocalcin (bone Gla protein) and urinary calcium excretion. Ann Internal Med 111:1001-5.
5. Sugiyama, T, “Possible Involvements of Vitamin K in Bone Quality,” Editor’s Correspondence, Archives of Internal Medicine Vol 167 Number 1 January 2008
6. Vitamin K Report, Life Extension Magazine, February 2000,

For a great broccoli recipe click this link and scroll halfway down the page to "Broiled Broccoli":

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