Cardiovasular Disease & Diabetes: What is the connection?

The primary health concerns of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were infections diseases.  A shift in adverse health came about after the fortification and enrichment of foods.  Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke became the prevailing ailments.  These diseases continue to rise, some at alarming rates.  Let’s take a quick look between two prevalent diseases today: Heart Disease and Diabetes. I am going to especially look at the incidents in Nacogdoches County in the State of Texas.  [PDF of this post here]

Some quick stats:


Is this a sign of malfunction in the bodies of the population?

Maintaining a healthy status requires a homeostasis of the bodily systems. Having healthy levels of glucose in our blood is vital for proper balance. When we eat, signals are sent in our body to aid in the metabolizing of the food we just ate.  Insulin is secreted as a result of some of those signals.  It is the “key” which allows glucose to enter the cells.  Without proper signaling of insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells.  This results in glucose going to other parts of the body.  For our body to function properly it is important to keep glucose levels stable.

When our glucose levels are outside a healthy range it attaches to proteins resulting in diabetes-1724617_1920Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs).  Excessive AGEs leads to plaque forming in the blood vessels.  One consequence is an impairment of the endothelium which lines the blood vessels.  It is hindered in releasing nitric oxide into the blood stream.  With this compromised cardiovascular system, the body has a difficult time repairing daily wear and tear.  Thus an increase in inflammation.  Heart disease often ensues.

In fact…. Studies have shown an increased incidence of heart disease in the presence of diabetes! 

With a high prevalence of heart disease and diabetes there is a need to understand the role of a proper functioning body. In regards to diabetes and cardiovascular disease the role of glucose balance is of marked importance.  Maintaining proper levels eliminates an exacerbating risk factor for both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  A body which is in homeostasis is free of disease contrasted with a body where malfunction is present, disease emanates.

What can you do today to ensure a proper functioning body?

Begin practicing the 5 Pillars to Healthy Function!!!

Eat Quality Foods

Get Adequate Sleep

Be Active

Promote Healthy Digestion

Embrace Peace & a Spiritual Connection (Eliminate Stress)


Related Research:

A.G.E. Foundation. What are AGEs

CDC Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke TablesGeographic Area 2010-2012.

Davis, C., and E. Saltos. (May 1999) “Dietary Recommendations and How They Have Changed Over Time,” America’s Eating Habits: Changes and Consequences, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 750, USDA, ERS. Chapter 2.

Texas Department of State Health Services. (2012). 2012 Texas Heart Disease and Stroke

Fact Sheets, (2013). Diabetes Prevalence Among Adults BRFSS data Tables

Yamagishi, S-i., Nakamura, N., and Matsui, T. (2016) Glycation and cardiovascular disease in diabetes: A perspective on the concept of metabolic memory. J Diabetes, doi: 10.1111/1753-0407.12475.


Betrayal: Autoimmune Disease, what they aren’t telling you…

This is a great series that delves into looking at health conditions through a functional lens, looking at it from a functional perspective 😉

This is an 7 part series which you can sign up here to get the entire series:

How much glyphosate does your food have? Food Testing Results Database

All I can say is these results make my stomach churn….

Source: Food Testing Results

Food Testing Report (PDF) Food testing results and scientific evidence for concern…


Common sense

I recently updated the “nuts & bolts” page where I touch on how our bodies provide ‘medicine’ to heal.  There is a LOT more to put on that page but I wanted to start sharing since there is a wealth of information that I hope to put there…

Anyway, I was reviewing a webinar regarding the cardiovascular system and one more of those ‘stop in my track’ moments occurred.  Most of us have probably heard about the “bad cholesterol” and “plaque” build up.  For those who haven’t – LDL cholesterol is termed the bad guy. Too much of it and it will start sticking to the lining of your blood vessels causing plaque.  High blood sugar and high amount of abdominal fat stimulate the body to release plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) which promotes blood clotting and build up of plaque.

The “ah ha” moment was because I understand the wonderful function of LDL in our bodies – it is necessary for repair and damage.  For example, do you know what high blood sugar does to the body?  It is like glass or sand which makes abrasions along the cell wall. So when we see high LDL it is a sign that something is in need of repair.  In this example of high blood sugar, in essence our amazing body is protecting itself from ourselves!  The body gets a signal to go repair and protect the wall by forming the plaque.  Of course in the long run this is detrimental, but at least it provides us with the opportunity to make changes. ***

So often the focus is on lowering that LDL number rather than looking as to WHY is that number elevated?   Our bodies make most of the LDL that is measured in blood tests, it is making it for a reason! What is the reason it is making it??? Lowering the LDL doesn’t address the underlying malfunction in our body. Such as maybe its high blood sugar causing damage… Do you know how many diabetics are on statin drugs?  It’s alarming!

Do you now what statin drugs do?  Statins are prescription pills which are very effective at lowering levels of LDL.  Guess what the most common side effect is?  Muscle pain.   Is this surprising??  It shouldn’t be, after all when we take away a necessary repair mechanism from our body what is going to happen? Stuff is gonna start showing the wear and tear.  Not just in our blood vessels, but our entire body!  It is no wonder there is an increase in heart attacks despite the effectiveness of statins lowering LDL.

Common sense tells us things could go very, very wrong!  Fortunately, there are more and more who have decided to take a look at health from a different perspective, one that looks at how the body is supposed to function.  Getting clues from how the body reacts to an adverse environment, letting our body be the guide. Pinpointing the reason behind why the body took evasive action. This kind of digging gets me super excited about health!  Totally lights a fire for me to pursue healthy choices and be in harmony with what my body is telling me!  Am I the only one who feels this way?

Well, gonna get back to the webinar, maybe I’ll get me some veggies to snack on 🙂

{***I added some clarification to my original post as it may not have been clear I was referring to high blood sugar as just an example of damage to our bodies}

Folic Acid Awareness Week 2015: Want Awareness? Here You Go

Been doing some research for my training and came across this information which I couldn’t wait to pass along. There are many illnesses on the rise.  In conjunction with that, we are finding more incidences of the altering of our food behind the reason the disease or illness took hold.

To complicate things, there are a lot of conflicting studies which make it difficult to get to the bottom of what is really going on.  Fortunately,  Dr. Ben Lynch has a burning passion to help educate others so you will find his site packed with a LOT of information…

For instance: Did you know Folic Acid is not found in nature?  What do you know about Folate?  Do you know the gene which is responsible for the final processing of Folate?   Before we delve into Folate, here is a post on Folic Acid that is quite informative on the processes affected by this synthetic food additive… {And incase you are wondering, Folate is completely natural}

Folic Acid Awareness Week 2015: Want Awareness? Here You Go

“Optimizing the health of unborn children is my passion. I am pleased to state that January is named National Birth Defects Prevention Month by the National Birth Defects Prevention Network and the CDC. This month is broken down into four parts with each part focusing on a key component of birth defect prevention. While I […]

Source: Folic Acid Awareness Week 2015: Want Awareness? Here You Go

GMO pt 2 – Connecting the dots- BT Corn

This is a follow up from my previous post regarding GMO trends.

How many know what BT corn is?  I have heard of GMO corn and I know it is modified to include insect repellent but beyond that didn’t really know the particulars. Well, fortunately my dinner was hours ago because the search results make my stomach turn…

From Monsanto’s site: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a bacterium that occurs naturally in the soil and produces proteins that kill certain insects.

Ok, so we have this stuff called BT, that belongs IN dirt, which is now IN corn which the insects eat – then what happens?

University of Califonia San Diego describes it this way:  Bt has to be eaten to cause mortality. The Bt toxin dissolve in the high pH insect gut and become active. The toxins then attack the gut cells of the insect, punching holes in the lining. The Bt spores spills out of the gut and germinate in the insect causing death within a couple days.

Are you thinking what I am thinking?  What happens to all of this BT that is IN the corn which the insects DON’T eat?  You know – the trailer loads upon trailer loads the farmers harvest… Does it magically disappear out of the corn?  And, isn’t there a fundamental flaw in the logic – the bugs have to EAT the corn for it to work.

What about the mentioning of “high” pH – makes me ponder if that is another clue.  Questions such as: If an insect has low pH does BT not affect them? How does sugar and SAD {standard American diet} affect our stomach pH?  Does it make it more acidic than what it was designed for?  Is BT safe for us IF our stomach pH is at the proper level?  What happens if our pH in our stomach becomes unbalanced?

I read further on the UCSD site and they stated BT is safe in mammals with no adverse effects… Really? That is very reassuring, but you know something just doesn’t seem right about that. Let me go visit Pubmed and see what research turns up there…

Effect of genetically modified corn on the jejunal mucosa of adult male albino rat.

It could be concluded that consumption of GM-corn profoundly alters the jejunal histological structure. [2nd part of small intestine – tissue, especially microscopic]

Marwa A.A. Ibrahim, MD,Ebtsam F. Okasha

Histology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Egypt
Received 1 May 2016, Revised 3 September 2016, Accepted 6 October 2016, Available online 18 October 2016

This one isn’t on corn – but it is the BT cotton…

Occupational hazards and health cost of women cotton pickers in Pakistani Punjab.

Cotton pickers working in Bt cotton fields are found to have less occupational health hazards compared to those working in non-Bt cotton fields. Thus generating awareness among cotton pickers for adopting precautionary measures during harvesting and the use of Bt cotton seed can result in a decline in the ill-effects of cotton picking.

Khuda BakhshEmail author, Naeem Ahmad, M. Asif Kamran, Sarfraz Hassan, Qasir Abbas, Rashed Saeed and M. Sadiq Hashmi
BMC Public HealthBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted 201616:961
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3635-3
© The Author(s). 2016 Received: 6 November 2015 Accepted: 4 September 2016 Published: 13 September 2016

How interesting when folks were educated about the HAZARDS they showed less illnesses… Sigh.

What are your thoughts about this one?

Edible Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified Rice T1C-1 for Sprague Dawley Rats through Horizontal Gene Transfer, Allergenicity and Intestinal Microbiota.

Cluster analysis of DGGE profiles revealed significant individual differences in the rats’ intestinal microbiota.

Kai Zhao, Fangfang Ren, Fangting Han, Qiwen Liu, Guogan Wu, Yan Xu, Jian Zhang, Xiao Wu, Jinbin Wang, Peng Li, Wei Shi, Hong Zhu, Jianjun Lv, Xiao Zhao, Xueming Tang
Published: October 5, 2016

So…. what do you conclude from all of this?  What else should we search out to see about other connections?  Does the  Microbiome   post shed any light?

Top 5 GMO foods
Top 5 GMO foods

{I hesitate to include the next link because this is just too ‘trendy’ of a site for my style but there is some great information that goes even deeper into the BT corn issue by Dr. Mercola }

Would love your feedback!

GMO Trends 1996-2016

Another exciting day! Got my login credentials for the online portion of my training… Watching first webinar now… and some fabulous information on genetically modified foods… Especially this chart on planted crops in last 10 years is rather interesting!  Do the trends remind you of anything?

What else has trends with similar growth rates?  Will be interesting to see other data and any correlations… {see GMO’s pt 2 – connecting the dots & BT corn}

source USDA


the Functional Perspective – What is that?

This is a great question!

Simply put, when we take a functional perspective we continually ask ourselves how is the body supposed to function?  Then we find ways to support and encourage that function.

A quick search on gives the following top 3 definitions for functional:

  • 1. of or relating to a function or functions:
  • 2. capable of operating or functioning:
  • 3. having or serving a utilitarian purpose; capable of serving the purpose for which it was designed:

When one takes a functional approach they transform from a symptom management of health challenges to restoration of function – they look at the problem from a different perspective.  They are looking to restore the body to operation in a manner for which it was designed.  To find a solution for malfunctioning they look at the reasons why, or what, triggered the malfunction. Then they look at what changes need to be made to achieve restoration.

For instance with my son and his diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes.  In the process of examining our management options we ask many questions.  We are trying to put pieces of the puzzle together. Connect the dots.  Such as:

  • What causes the ‘honeymoon’ period?
  • How does the pancreas stop working then start working again?
  • Which processes are involved in the triggering of insulin to be released in the body?
  • Does this food support the body in eliciting an insulin response?
  • How are we supporting the leptin or ghrelin responses?
  • What processes are triggered during the sun converting vitamin D?
  • What does my son’s cholesterol panel look like?  Will that give us a clue to what ‘health road’ we were on?
  • What role does the bouts with eczema over the last two years fit in to where we are health-wise today?
  • The severe infant re-flux as an infant, was that a clue we missed?
  • Are all carbs the same?  Are different metabolic processes triggered due to various types carbs?
  • Is this activity disrupting or supporting circadian rhythms?
  • The list grows and grows…

In other areas it would be like one looking upstream to see why the water stopped flowing.  Or looking at the root system, soil and water to see why has this plant stopped thriving.  An arborist looks at the historical environmental factors to see why this tree has a disease.  Ironically a functional perspective is used in nearly every other industry.

We wouldn’t keep going to a mechanic who only treated our misfiring car with fuel additives.  We expect him to find the reason why it is not working and restore our vehicle to the original operation for which the vehicle was designed.   Just as we would be quite upset if went to a tire dealer because we kept getting flats and all their solution was use of a flat fixing additive. We would expect them to find the reason it is going flat and restore the tire to fully operational condition.  Driving around with a nail and just adding air or some other filler does not address the problem – it’s symptom management.

Should you have any questions, comments or would like to share your thoughts – I love hearing from you and welcome discussions!!  In January 2017 I will have finished my certification course and will begin offering heath coaching consultations. In the meantime my resource section contains links to many of the places I go as I search for ways to transform and achieve restoration.

Endogenous Opioid System

I really had no plans on writing a post for today’s daily prompt.  In an attempt to get a few thoughts jotted down for later posts I came across another video by Dr. Lustig on the mantra “a calorie is a calorie“.  He always has very interesting tidbits so put the video on and was listening to it in the background while I worked on this and that.  And wouldn’t you know it once again I am stopped dead in my tracks!

Exhale. Rewind to make sure I heard it right.

Pause. Sit and stare at the screen.

Deep breath. Sigh.

So, how many of you know what the endogenous opioid system is?  For those of you who are unsure, or maybe you need a refreshing this research article seems to explain it in easy to understand terms:

The endogenous opioid system and clinical pain management.

  • The endogenous opioid system is one of the most studied innate pain-relieving systems. This system consists of widely scattered neurons that produce three opioids: beta-endorphin, the met- and leu-enkephalins, and the dynorphins. These opioids act as neurotransmitters and neuromodulators at three major classes of receptors, termed mu, delta, and kappa, and produce analgesia. Like their endogenous counterparts, the opioid drugs, or opiates, act at these same receptors to produce both analgesia and undesirable side effects.

[AACN Clin Issues. 2005 Jul-Sep;16(3):291-301.  Holden JE1, Jeong Y, Forrest JM. 1Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois 60612-7350, USA.

Now for the chilling, and rather disturbing news.  We tap into this “system” in infants by the use of sugar. Sucrose  – specifically.  The product is called Sweet-Ease™

  • What is Sweet-Ease™? Sweet-Ease™ is a 24% sucrose oral solution used to decrease pain during painful or stressful procedures. Research has shown significant decreases in crying, grimacing, heart rate{emphasis added} and pain relief following the administration of sucrose prior to painful/stressful procedures.Sweet-Ease™ is intended for oral use only. There is no evidence of benefit when administered through NG tube.  {Source:}

Did you catch that last sentence?  No benefit when administered through the tube – the reactions start in the oral cavity.  WOW!

So we use sugar because it acts like an opiate drug.  Sigh, I really wish something encouraging inspired me to post on the daily prompt: Artificial

Although, I am encouraged that I now know this and once again have learned more about the great sugar deception. Just hit me, no wonder sugar is addicting!

1969, formula & intestinal bacteria – What is the connection?

Do you have any idea what those three things have in common?

  • The year 1969
  • Infant Formula
  • Intestinal Bacteria

One of the first activities in my training is to research the history of our country’s National Food Guide.  So I visited the historical collection link from the USDA and ran a search for food guide.  I came across this one from 1969 and started scanning through it when this excerpt caught my attention:

Despite improvements in infant formulae, breast feeding is still strongly recommended. One explanation of the reason infants thrive better on human milk is that it promotes the growth of favorable intestinal bacteria which stop the growth of less desirable ones

A Food Guide for the Ages from baby to gramps; Author(s):Lewis, H.Subject(s):human nutrition , food science , family and consumer scienceFormat:p. 294-303.Language:EnglishYear:1969Series:Yearbook of agriculture

So I stop in my tracks staring at that last sentence. Shake my head. Exhale. So for more than 40 years we have known the importance of bacteria and their role yet when one looks at modern healthcare many are considered outcasts for thinking there is any correlation between the flora in our digestive system and the implications of a lack of the “good guys”.

Granted there is a movement which promotes the truth of the matter and I am thankful it is a growing movement.  What disturbs me though is how we have gone from bad to worse to downright… well I will let you fill in that blank.

How we can ignore the fact that formula does not promote a healthy environment is mind boggling. Why it is even remotely considered “safe” for infants to ingest something which deters their health is beyond me.  Once again I am reminded of John Yudkins work regarding sugar and the history behind high-fructose-corn-syrup as a staple in American food-like products.  So when I read that for nearly half a decade that we have known the adverse affects combined with nearly 60% of infants have had formula within 3 months of birth and by 6 months the figure reaches nearly 82%, I am in astonishment!

(CDC: Breastfeeding Report Card 2014) page 4 – two columns on the right

Now those are the averages – some states fair better and some fair worse.  It is very disturbing though if we know formula does not promote a healthy digestive system that pediatricians, nutritionists, doctors – all healthcare providers for that matter – are not adamant about doing everything possible to speak about the dangers of formula.

In thinking back at the birth of my children I recall getting a “mothers gift basket” at the hospital which contained various infant products. Formula was one of the products in that bag of samples along with a plethora of formula coupons that seemed to outnumber all the other products combined.

My children were in the NICU, one for seven days.  Very, and I mean very, few of those infants were on their mothers milk, instead they were fed formula of some kind.  My youngest child, that was in the NICU for a week, was almost exclusively breast-fed.  The only reason for not being exclusive is the staff did not adhere to my decision of exclusive breastfeeding and while I was waiting for the anesthesia to wear off after giving birth, they fed my child what they wanted, not what was best for my child.

Fast forward six months and my child was receiving formula as I searched for ways to help his sudden halting of gaining weight… One experience that I hope to blog about soon.

It is that mentality of acceptance that disrupting the digestive system is fine and dandy as to why we have epidemics left and right of childhood diseases.  Is there science to back up that claim?  That is a pretty powerful statement, I will admit!

If our premise is the Department of Ag made their claims with science to back it up and their conclusion that formula does not promote a healthy environment then how about we take a moment to examine the implications of a disrupted digestive system.  What is the logical outcome if we compromise our first wall of defense?

It is a building block – if the building materials are compromised what kind of a building are we going to have?  If we put bad gas in our vehicles what is going to happen? If we use spoiled ingredients in a recipe what is going to be the outcome?  So why would we expect anything different when we compromise the integrity of our digestive system?

I have binders, upon binders of studies that I have printed off in the last two years attempting to get to the root cause of my oldest child’s disease of Type 1 Diabetes. [We have zero family history of it]  There is a plethora of scientific evidence of many factors which play a role in the onset or in the continuation of this disease, and just as many as to factors that play a role in reversing it.

For instance:

2009 University Texas Southwestern – UNGER LEPTIN reverses Type 1

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Oct 5;107(40):17391-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1008025107. Epub 2010 Sep 20.


Thioredoxin Interacting Protein: Redox Dependent and Independent Regulatory Mechanisms

ANTIOXIDANTS & REDOX SIGNALING Volume 16, Number 6, 2012

ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
DOI: 10.1089/ars.2011.4137
Oded N. Spindel,1,2 Cameron World,1 and Bradford C. Berk1,2

…Recent Advances: Studies of the Hcb-19 mouse, TXNIP nonsense mutated mouse, demonstrate redox-mediated roles in lipid and glucose metabolism, cardiac function, inflammation, and carcinogenesis…


The list can go on and on –  Guess what the common factor is in all of them? I’ll give you a hint, its the research I reference in my post ‘Microbiome‘.  Eventually they lead to the digestive system and signaling that happens in the digestive process. Profound!  Although the more I think about it, not really.   I would strongly encourage you to visit Pubmed and do a search for a disease and another term to find links…. Such as  Cancer & Gut Flora where you would most likely find this in the top of the search results:

Breast Cancer. 2016 Oct 5. [Epub ahead of print]
Gastrointestinal microbiome and breast cancer: correlations, mechanisms and potential clinical implications.

Gastrointestinal microbiome plays as a symbiont which provides protection effect against invading pathogens, aids in the immune system development, nutrient reclamation and absorption as well as molecule breakdown.

Science seems to have the presupposition that our digestive system is the first line of defense – notice it aids the development of the immune system, not the other way around.  If it is compromised everything that follows will have a weak link.

They knew this in the 60’s and we know it today – so why my friends do we intentionally disrupt not only our own system but our children’s developing line of defense?

I know why I did – ignorance, peer pressure, medical expert pressure and fear.  Would love to hear your story!

Oh… to complete my project I had to locate the oldest guide… thus far I have found one from 1946