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Post Info TOPIC: Fats and fibre


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March 07, 2008

Fast Food Likely to Accelerate Hepatitis C

According to new research from Sweden, grabbing a quick burger and fries is just as harmful to the liver as drinking alcohol. Since liver damage carries a graver risk to those living with Hepatitis C, eating low-fat meals is more important to this population than ever.

by Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.

New research from Sweden confirms that eating fast food can cause substantial liver damage. Luckily, the liver is one of our few organs capable of regenerating new, healthy cells. Thus, the injury inflicted from occasionally ordering dinner from a drive-through window can be reversed with a focused effort. Unfortunately, those battling Hepatitis C have a diminished ability to regenerate new liver cells and therefore have a harder time reversing liver damage. This means that the liver cell death incurred from eating the high-fat meals typical of fast food restaurants may be more detrimental to those already living with a chronic liver disease such as Hepatitis C.

The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease in the United States. Accounting for about 15 percent of acute viral hepatitis, 60 to 70 percent of chronic hepatitis and up to 50 percent of cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and liver cancer, experts estimate that 4.1 million Americans are currently infected with HCV. While many more people live with HCV than die from it, the distinguishing factor between the two is learning how to prevent incurring further liver damage.

The HCV Disadvantage
The progression of liver disease is marked by a greater proportion of liver cell death than the creation of new, healthy liver cells. Due to a buildup of localized scar tissue, the following cascade of events demonstrates why those with HCV are prone to a worsening of their condition:

1. The Hepatitis C virus infects and kills liver cells.

2. In response to liver cell death, the body initiates an immune response, which causes inflammation.

3. In an attempt to limit the spread of infection, the immune system lays down collagen fibers between liver cells. These fibers are the building blocks of scar tissue.

4. Normally, as an infection or injury resolves, the collagen matrix enclosing the injury is dissolved and allows the tissue to return to normal. However, this web of collagen in people with chronic HCV grows more rapidly than it can dissolve.

5. As more collagen accumulates, the resulting scar tissue restricts living liver cells from access to nutrients and oxygen-rich blood.

6. The restricted access to blood causes even more quarantined liver cells to die. As such, HCV progressively scars the liver.

Since people living with HCV have this consistent battle being waged in their liver, they are more vulnerable to toxins that could damage this organ.

The Danger of Fast Food
Many things we breathe, ingest, swallow or otherwise absorb into our bodies pose a threat to the liver. A universally acknowledged cause of chronic liver disease, drinking alcohol is one of the most obvious ways to poison a liver. While most people might not categorize their lunch as toxic, millions of Americans are damaging their liver by eating fast food. A small Swedish study published in the February 2008 edition of the journal Gut found that even a brief fast-food binge combined with too little exercise can induce liver damage.

In this study, 18 slim, healthy participants stuck to a fast food diet, mostly consuming of hamburger meals from popular chains twice a day for four weeks while refraining from exercise. At the end of the experiment, participants not only gained an average of 16 pounds, but blood tests also showed evidence that those eating fast food incurred liver damage.

In the Swedish study, those gorging on fast food meals showed a dramatic increase in alanine aminotransferases (ALT) levels over a very short period of time. An enzyme produced in liver cells, ALT leaks into the bloodstream as liver cells are damaged. A result of liver cell damage, ALT elevations can be caused by any liver disease, hepatic inflammation or toxin.

Previous research has shown that a diet high in fat and calories, the hallmark of greasy, fast food, puts people at greater risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and heart failure. However, this Swedish study shows that doubling caloric intake without adding exercise also puts hepatic health in jeopardy. When excessive calories and fat overloads the livers ability to filter the blood, fat builds up in the liver cells and leads to liver damage. Considering that a majority of the study participants developed pathological ALT levels within just one week after eating fast food, this negative impact can occur relatively quickly.

Most people with HCV are aware that drinking alcohol causes liver cell death and can accelerate the severity of their liver disease. However, now their physicians must relay that alcohol is not the only thing they must navigate away from. Since eating a large quantity of high-fat foods (even for a short time period) while refraining from physical activity can damage the liver, people with HCV must avoid this combination. Since harboring the Hepatitis C virus makes recovery from liver damage a great challenge, hepatologists across the globe will be putting greater emphasis on sticking to a healthy, low-fat diet and adhering to an active lifestyle.


References:

http://abcnews.go.com, Fast Food: The Fast Track to Organ Damage, Radha Chitale, ABC News Internet Ventures, February 2008.

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov, Chronic Hepatitis C: Chronic Disease Management, National Digestive Clearinghouse, 2008.

Diseases International http://en.wikipedia.org, Super Size Me, Wikimedia Foundatin Inc., 2008.

Kechagias, S, et al., Fast food based hyper-alimentation can induce rapid and profound elevation of serum alanine aminotransferase in healthy subjects, Gut, February 2008.

www.medpagetoday.com, Fast-Food Bender Can Convert to Liver Damage Swiftly, MedPage Today LLC, 2008.



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Just getting on with living. Life is worth living no matter what.
Life isn't like a box of chocolates . it's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your butt tomorrow

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That's a brilliant article CG.
I found it really interesting, there's a lot of stuff in there that's well worth checking back for. Thanks.

Nikki xx

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Acceptable Daily Fat Intake and Fiber
"What is recommended daily intake of EFAs" (Essential Fatty Acids)? "The average American daily requirement of EFAs" is about 20 grams. An amazing 99% of people are deficient in EFAs. "Nutrition and daily fat intake" is as important in our diets as vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and water. The most common foods where EFAs are found are in fish, olive oil, olives and avocados. If you are not in the habit of eating these foods daily, you can obtain your EFAs from flax seed. Grind 2 tablespoons of whole flax seed and then mix it in hot herbal tea, juice, soymilk, yogurt, hot or cold cereal, soups, stews, pasta or sprinkle on salads. The body can only utilize about 10 grams per serving, so you will need to get it in your diet twice a day to meet your "daily requirement of EFAs". 2 tablespoons of whole flax seed will provide approximately 10 grams of EFASs, 13 grams of fibre and 14 grams of protein. Double these numbers and you have the daily intake for fibre, fats, and proteinfor a 90 lb person. Daily intake for fibre and fats are universal for adults but protein needs are calculated by multiplying 0.36 grams of needed protein per pound of body weight. The benefits of the "daily recommended fat intake" of EFAs in the diet are truly astounding. 60% of our brains and nervous systems are made up these fats, so feed the machine and get smarter! EFAs are also necessary in the formation and proper functioning of the nervous system, therefore we see great benefits for pregnant women and in people with multiple sclerosis, behavioural problems such as attention deficit disorder, depression, bipolar disorders, and for reducing pain in the inflammatory responses of, allergies, asthma, arthritis and eczema. Nothing will lower blood pressure quicker than flax seed because of the rejuvenating affect it has on the arteries. The EFAs give arteries its elasticity. Getting the "acceptable daily fat intake" in your system will reduce the bad fats (saturated fats, trans-fatty acids or partially hydrogenated fats) by as much as 25% and triglycerides by up to 65%. For those of you interested in what the trans fat daily intake limit" is(Trans fats are found in margarines) the answer is ZERO! Trans fats cause significant and serious lowering of HDL (good) cholesterol and a significant and serious increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol, makes the arteries more rigid, causes major clogging of arteries, causes insulin resistance, causes or contributes to type 2 diabetes, and causes or contributes to other serious health problems. Your heart runs on fat. So your heart loves nothing better than clean, high energy EFAs to burn for energy to keep it healthy and strong. The "average daily American intake of dietary fibre" is 5 grams per day. So "how many grams of fiber is the recommended daily intake?" 25 to 30 grams of daily fibre is necessary for normal bowel function. Using 2 tablespoons of flax twice per day meets this requirement. The results are life changing for many, and for some, they get to find out for the first time in their lives what normal bowel function really means. Most Americans carry in their large intestines, on average, 10 pounds of excess faecal mater, which carries in itself dangerous health risks due to its toxicity. The fibre in flax is a natural bowel regulator and corrects many chronic bowel problems weather its for loose stools, constipation, or in maintaining the natural flora of the intestinal tract. Flax fibre is used for soothing irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, diverticulitis and the cleaning of the bile system, which eliminates accumulated fat toxins from the blood. Flax also contains 100xs the concentration of lignans than its closest competitor found in fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and fruits, a substance known to protect us from colon cancer by binding to cancer causing agents and then transporting them out of the body. Flax is one of only a few foods that contain indol-3-carbinol, which helps to regulate and balance female hormone levels and relieve symptoms of menopause and menstrual cramps. It also has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Can this stuff get any better? One of the least known properties of EFAs is its ability to balance blood sugar levels. The more you use the more normal blood sugar becomes. Ground flax seed is also used in weight management programs due to the ability of its fiber to absorb water and swell in the stomach. By taking it 30 minutes before a meal, one does not eat as much because one is all ready full. And it has a nutty flavour. I have not met anyone who does not like the taste of flax seed. In conclusion flax seed not only provides us with our "recommended daily intake of EFAs" and "average daily American intake of dietary fibre", it is also a great tasting super-food that provides 14 grams of protein per serving and is easy to prepare. Along with providing us with our "daily intake for fibre, fats and protein" it contains many health benefits from regulating bowel function, protecting us from cancer, to balancing hormones and blood sugars and only costs between $1 and $2 dollars a pound. If taken twice a day as suggested you would use about 2 pounds per month and only cost between $2 and $4 per month. The key to health is simple, Get the good in and then get and keep the bad out. And flax seed is nothing but good!By Dr. Guy WilsonOMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDSAlpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) or (LNA) Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)BENEFITS: Heart, vessel disease, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, makes prostaglandin, blood pressure, blood clotting, nerve transmission, pain, inflammatory and allergic responses, Alzheimer's (90% of brain is DHA), asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, depression, diabetes, eczema, Huntingtons disease, lupus, migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, obesity, psoriasis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis Flaxseed has 100 times more lignans (protects against cancer) than any other food. DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: Depression, fatigue, dry/itchy skin, brittle hair and nails, inability to concentrate, joint pain, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, constipation RDA: 4-10 grams ALA, 2 tbls flaxseed = 5-10 g UPPER LIMIT PER DAY: Not Determined. The body can absorb 10 grams per meal. FOOD SOURCES: Flax seeds (highest source ALA), Flax oil (linseed oil), pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, soybeans and some dark green leafy vegetables Highest source EPA and DHA, salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, trout Anti-inflammatory prostaglandin EPA and DHA can be made by the body from the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Only a small amount of the ALA is converted to EPA and DHA. DEPLETING FACTORS: Saturated fat and partially hydrogenated fats, Heat, cooking above 160 degrees WHO GETS LESS THAN RDA: 99% of U.S.OMEGA 6 FATTY ACID (Linoleic Acid (LA) BENEFITS: Blocks inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, endometriosis, fibrocystic breasts, eczema, dandruff, psoriasis, acne, diabetic neuropathy, dry hair, diarrhoea, varicose veins, underweight, weak nails, gallstones DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: Not Determined RDA: Not Determined TOXCICITY: Excess intake of Omega 6s can cause increased water retention, raised blood pressure, blood clotting, inflammation FOOD SOURCES: Safflower oil (the richest source), other oils (sunflower, corn, sesame), hemp, pumpkin, soybean, walnut, wheat germ, evening primrose, black currant, borage DEPLETING FACTORS: Cooking heat above 160 degrees WHO GETS LESS THAN RDA: Not Determined Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids are best consumed in a ratio of about 3:1 (three Omega 6s for one Omega 3). Most Western diets range between 10-30 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids which is not good for health.




The statements herein on the #1 CHOICE Vitamins website represent the opinions of the author and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals. Copyright Skylark Enterprises. Grangeville, ID



__________________
Just getting on with living. Life is worth living no matter what.
Life isn't like a box of chocolates . it's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your butt tomorrow

http://ceegeesreflections.blogspot.com/

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