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Previous studies have shown that reducing intake of omega-6 fatty acids and increasing consumption of omega-3 rich fish oil delay the development and progression of prostate cancer. However epidemiologic and observational studies have yielded mixed results. A recent study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research has found that men with prostate cancer consuming a low fat diet combined with fish oil supplements have a reduced risk of cancer recurrence.

The study included 48 prostate cancer patients assigned either a low-fat diet (15% Kcal from fat) supplemented with fish oil (LFFO), or a high-fat (40% Kcal from fat) western diet (Control). Researchers measured pro-inflammatory compounds in excised prostate cancer tissue and determined the cell cycle progression (CCP) score, which is used to predict cancer recurrence.

Analysis showed that in the LFFO group, there was a decline in the inflammatory marker 15(S)-HETE of 7.2%, but a rise of 24.7% in the control group. Other markers of inflammation (LTB4) were also significantly reduced in the LFFO group but not in the control group. The LFFO group had a significantly lower CCP score versus the control group.

This study found that cancer cell proliferation scores and other markers of inflammation were significantly lower in those who consumed the low-fat fish oil diet compared to men who followed a higher fat Western diet. These results provide strong support for longer term, prospective randomized trials evaluating a low-fat fish oil diet in men with prostate cancer.

Source: Colette Galet et al. Cancer Prev Res; Jan 2014; 7(1):97-104. DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0261.

Cereal fiber is associated with a host of health benefits.  Individuals consuming little fibres would benefit from increasing their dietary intake of whole grain foods high in fibre.

Cereals, also called grains, are grasses from which the seed is removed for consumption. Cereals commonly consumed are rice, wheat, maize, barley, rye, oats, millet and sorghum; of these, barley and rye contain the most fiber per gram of edible portion; rice and millet the least.  Numerous studies reveal the cardiovascular benefits of consuming cereal fiber through multiple mechanisms.  These benefits are likely achieved through multiple metabolic pathways: by reducing weight and waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), percent body fat; improving glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity; and lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Epidemiological evidence suggests that 3 g or more per day of β-glucan from oats or barley or 7 g or more per day of soluble fiber from psyllium can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.  14 g/day of inulin-type fructans, added to foods and beverages, may modestly decrease serum triacylglycerols. Consumption of whole grains confers not only the benefits of cereal fiber, but also those from a wide range of other protective compounds, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytosterols, unsaturated fatty acids, phytin, and lignans.

Recent estimates are that 36% of the U.S. population falls below the minimum recommended intake for grains and 99% falls below the recommendation for whole grains.  In addition, 90% of the U.S. population does not consume enough dietary fiber.  It is recommended that individuals consuming little cereal fiber should increase consumption of whole grains, as well as beans, peas and vegetables, fruits and other foods with naturally occurring fiber, to help increase fiber intake.  For those individuals adjusting to the texture and palatability of whole grains, turning to added-fiber products rich in β-glucan and psyllium may allow them to reach their fiber goals without increasing caloric intake.

Chuang S-chun et al; Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jul; 96(1):164-74.

By Jackie Khor

With the winter chills behind us and with longer hours of sunshine, it’s time to shake off those winter blues and get active. Getting out and getting active is a fabulous thing you can do for yourself – to soak up the fresh air, shake off the winter pounds and to strengthen your bones, joints and muscles.

While for a few of us, this may be as easy as tying up those jogger laces and sprinting out the door, it may not be that simple for many!

With a large population of women and men who struggle with bone health issues, it is not as easy as it sounds.  Bone health issues are a key deterrent and therefore it is important to start looking after your bone health at an earlier age rather than later. Some of the foremost bone health issues faced are: decrease in bone mass, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Some of the primary causes for decrease in bone mass among younger women are smoking and excessive alcohol use. Pregnancy and breast feeding can lower bone mass as well. Women undergo rapid bone loss after menopause when levels of the bone strengthening hormone oestrogen drop dramatically.

Young women and girls should concentrate on building strong bones, to reduce their risk of bone health issues such as thinning of bones and osteoporosis later in life.

The situation is quite similar for men, whose bone mass peaks around the age of 20 years. From there on, it is vital that men ensure they have sufficient intake of calcium and vitamin D to keep their bone health from deteriorating.

Osteoporosis is responsible for almost all the hip fractures in older people. The statistics are alarming! Every 5-6 minutes, someone is admitted to an Australian hospital with an osteoporotic fracture. This is expected to rise to every 3 – 4 minutes by the year 2021, as the population ages and the number of osteoporotic fractures increase.

Ensuring you consume enough calcium and Vitamin D commencing earlier in life, along with adequate exercise can reduce the incidence of bone health issues at a later age.



In a new analysis of 66 research studies, increased consumption of fiber and whole grains is related to a significant decrease in risk of several vascular diseases.

High fiber intakes, including whole grains, are generally recommended for prevention of cardiovascular diseases, but comprehensive and specific research on dosages in humans is relatively unknown.

A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition analyzed longitudinal studies investigating wholegrain and fiber intake in relation to the risk of type-2 diabetes (T2D), cardiovascular disease (CVD), weight gain and metabolic risk factors.

Researchers identified 45 prospective cohort studies and 21 randomized-controlled trials conducted between 1966 and February 2012. After examining whole-grain and fiber intakes, study characteristics and risk estimates from these studies it was determined that compared with those that never or rarely consumed whole grains, those consuming 48-80 grams/day (3-5 servings of whole grains/day) had a 26% lower risk of T2D, 21% lower risk of CVD, and were less likely to gain weight.

In analyzing the randomized-controlled trials, the researchers also found that groups with higher intake of whole-grains had lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and fasting glucose than those that ate less fiber and whole grains.

The results from this meta-analysis offer evidence to support the beneficial effects of whole-grain intake in the prevention of certain vascular diseases and on maintenance of cardiovascular health.  More research is needed to determine the specific mechanisms responsible for the effect of whole grains on metabolic intermediates which correlate to the preventive benefits of fiber and whole grain.

Eva Qing Ye et al; J. Nutr. 2012. 142(7):1304-1313.



17 March 2012

Fats are a necessary part of dietary energy supply.  However the quality of dietary fats, particularly long-chain Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), plays critical roles in physiological functions such as central nervous system (CNS) development and visual function in infants and children.  In addition, the effect of dietary fats on lipids metabolism at an earlier age may be associated with cardiovascular mobidity and mortality in later life.

In recent years, there has been growing researches in the quality of dietary fat intake in early life as a major determinant of growth and development in children as well as long-term health.  The selection of dietary fatty acid sources during the first years of life is now considered to be of critical importance.

Lipids are structural components of all tissues and are indispensable for the assembly of membranes and cell organelles. The brain, retina and other neural tissues are particularly rich in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).  For example, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of long-chain omega-3 PUFA, is a critical component of cell membranes, especially in the brain and the retina, and plays an important role in brain and visual function, due to its high content in cerebral cortex and retinal phospholipids.  DHA is considered conditionally essential during early development in childhood.

During the first 6 months of life, dietary total fat should contribute 40–60% of total energy to cover the energy needed for growth and the fat required for tissue deposition. From age 6 months to 3 years, fat intake requirements are reduced gradually to approximately 30–35% of energy depending on the physical activity of the child.  Many health organizations recommend that daily DHA intake should be between 0.2-0.5% of total fat intake for infants.  The daily Omega-3 intake for prevention of nutrition-related chronic disease should ideally fall within 1-2% of total energy intake for children over 2-yrs of age.

Vegetarian source of fats has virtually no long-chain PUFA unless algae are included in the diet.  Fish is the major source of the two important PUFAs – DHA and EPA.  Recent scientific evidence have shown that direct supply of DHA and EPA in the diet provides many health benefits including retinal and brain development and function during early childhood, cardiovascular health, inflammatory response, and allergy.  Balanced dietary intake of beneficial fats in childhood can influence risk of Cardio Vascular Diseases (CVD) later in life.

In summary, lifelong intakes of EPA and DHA are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, as well as optimal mental development, behaviour, and immune response. Since the dietary intakes of EPA and DHA among infants and children in many western and non-western countries are lower than desirable on a unit of body weight basis and as percent of total energy, it is prudent that parents take measures to ensure that their children obtain optimal levels of EPA and DHA through diet and supplementation where required.

R Uauy and AD. Dangour; Ann Nutr Metab 2009;55:76–96

Polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular Omega-3 DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), are essential nutrients structural and functional components of brain cell membranes. DHA, together with EPA, (eicosapentaenoic acid) plays important roles in the central nervous system, and are essential for normal brain functioning including attention and other neuropsychological skills.

In a large observational study, research scientists monitored 810 children from 5 to 12 years of age seeking medical help for ADHD, whom have been recommended by a physician to take  omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) supplementation in combination with zinc and magnesium over a period of at least 3 months. The objective of the study was to evaluate the nutritional effects of the PUFA-zinc-magnesium combination on symptoms of attention deficit, impulsivity, and hyperactivity as well as on emotional problems and sleep related parameters. Assessment was performed by internationally standardized evaluation scales, i.e. SNAP-IV and SDQ.

After 12 weeks of supplementation, most children showed a considerable reduction in symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity/impulsivity assessed by SNAP-IV.  Further, the assessment by SDQ revealed fewer emotional problems at the end of the study period compared to baseline and also sleeping disorders. Problems with falling asleep decreased during the 12 week nutritional therapy.

Due to the poor dietary patterns in industrialized western countries, with high amounts of processed food products containing mostly very low levels of long chained omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA), there is a discrepancy between desirable and actual intake of these important essential fatty acids in both adults and children. Results from this study suggest a low risk, favourable beneficial effect of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids supplementation combined with magnesium and zinc on attentional, behavioural, and emotional problems of children and adolescents.

Huss et al. Lipids in Health and Disease 2010, 9:105

Glucosamine (GS) is an amino monosaccharide and has been widely used as an alternative regimen for rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.  It has been suggested that GS exerts anti-inflammatory effect.  A recent study investigated the mechanism by which GS affects expression and activity of COX-2.

COX-2 (Cyclooxygenase-2) and its products, including PGE2, are involved in many inflammatory illnesses. NSAIDs that target COX-2 lessen major inflammatory symptoms such as fever and pain suggests COX-2’s role in inflammation. Thus, any compound that inhibits COX-2 has the potential to be clinically useful against inflammatory diseases.

In an in-vitro study, researchers evaluated the effects of different glucosamine salts (GS-HCl, GS sulfate) or a GS derivative (N-acetyl GS) and galactosamine HCl (Gal-HCl), on the expression of COX-2 and production of PGE2 in human cells.  The study found that, among GS salts or derivative tested, Glucosamien HCl specifically inhibits endogenous and cytokine-driven COX-2 expression at protein level via a mechanism associated with the down-regulation of COX-2 N-glycosylation and turnover.

The findings presented in this study may provide a potential explanation for the clinical effect of glucosamine supplements, particularly glucosamine HCl supplement, which are purported to have an anti-inflammatory activity.

Byeong-Churl Jang et al; Journal Of Biological Chemistry (2007); VOL 282(38):27622–27632

By Jackie Khor

20 September 2011

Whatever condition and disease you study, Vitamin D keeps coming up as a major factor. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays multiple roles in human health.

Vitamin D in calcium metabolism and bone health is well recognized but more recently, its role in cardiovascular health, immune function, glucose metabolism, and cell differentiation and proliferation have been defined.

It is well established that vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets in developing children but more current research has also linked vitamin D deficiency with osteoporosis, osteomalacia, impaired muscle function, infection, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and some cancers in adults. Thus, achieving optimal vitamin D status throughout life is essential to maintaining overall health.

Vitamin D is unique among other vitamins, in that very little is obtained through a normal diet. The principal source of circulating vitamin D is endogenous production in the skin following exposure to sunlight. Thus, factors that limit sun exposure and/or endogenous vitamin D synthesis greatly reduce circulating vitamin D concentrations. Some of these factors include geographic latitude, season of the year, melanin content of the skin, use of sunblock, lack of outdoor activity, age, and more. Any of these factors, among others, can lead to chronic vitamin D deficiency.

Deficiencies of vitamin D are common. It is currently estimated that more than 1 billion people worldwide and 30-to-40% of the population between 15 and 49 years of age in the United States suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Consensus is building that adequate circulating vitamin D concentrations should be greater than 30 ng/mL and optimally above 50 ng/mL (7-10). Because relatively small amounts of vitamin D are obtained through the diet and so many lifestyle factors reduce endogenous vitamin D synthesis, supplementation becomes an important avenue for achieving and maintaining optimal vitamin D status. It has been shown that 100 IU of vitamin D per day increases circulating concentrations of vitamin D by ~1 ng/mL (7-10). Thus, supplementation with advanced doses of vitamin D (2000-4000 IU/day) depending on lifestyle, are required to reverse vitamin D deficiency, boost vitamin D levels into the optimal range, and maintain them thereafter.

There are several forms of vitamin D including D1, D2 and D3. You want to take D3 (calciferol). Vitamin D3 is converted in our bodies to the active form which is dihydroxy vitamin D. Doctors and pharmaceutical corporations keep promoting dangerous, synthetic, expensive, prescription only analogs of vitamin D. These can be patented and not sold over the counter. It is important not to take too much D3 as it is oil soluble, toxic in excess, and can result in side effects. Since you can’t get any meaningful amounts in common foods, this is not a problem at all.

Remember how popular cod liver oil has been for decades now? This is really because of the vitamin D content. People often really do get dramatic results from simply taking a spoonful of cod liver oil. This is because they are getting the vitamin D they need so badly. Of course, taking a multivitamin of inexpensive 400 IU vitamin D supplement is a much more practical and tasty way to do this.

There are many reasons we suffer from so many diseases and conditions in the richest country in the world with the highest standard of living. One important and proven reason is lack of vitamin D in most people. Study after study shows people of all ages in most countries are deficient in vitamin D by blood analysis. This is especially true of the poor and the elderly. Along with your multiple vitamin just take an extra 400 IU capsule of inexpensive vitamin D when you’re not getting out in the sun regularly. No matter how well you eat you aren’t going to get any significant amount in your diet.

The science behind this is just overwhelming. People of all ages should take it. The international published science here is endless and growing. Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide epidemic.

Pass  The ButterPlease.

This is  interesting .  .. .

Margarine  was originally manufactured  to fatten  turkeys.  When it killed  the turkeys, the people who had put  all  the money into the research wanted a payback so  they put their  heads together to figure  out what to do with this product to get   their money back.

It  was a white substance with no food appeal   so they added the yellow colouring and  sold it to people to use in place of butter.   How do you like it?   They have come  out  with some clever new flavourings….

DO   YOU KNOW.. The  difference between margarine and butter?

Read  on to the end…gets very interesting!

Both   have the same amount of  calories.

Butter   is slightly higher in saturated  fats at 8   grams; compared    to 5  grams for margarine.

Eating margarine can increase  heart  disease in  women by 53% over   eating the same amount of butter,  according to a recent  Harvard   Medical Study.

Eating butter increases  the absorption of many other  nutrients in   other foods.

Butter has  many nutritional  benefits where margarine has  a few  and only   because  they are  added!

Butter  tastes  much better than  margarine and it can enhance the flavours of   other foods.

Butter  has  been around for centuries where margarine has  been around for less  than 100  years .

And  now, for Margarine..

Very  High in Trans fatty  acids.

Triples  risk of coronary heart  disease …

Increases   total cholesterol and LDL (this  is the bad cholesterol) and  lowers HDL  cholesterol, (the good  cholesterol)

Increases   the risk of cancers up to five  times..

Lowers   quality of breast  milk.

Decreases immune  response.

Decreases   insulin response.

And   here’s the most disturbing fact…. HERE  IS THE PART THAT  IS  VERY  INTERESTING!

Margarine  is  but ONE  MOLECULE away   from being PLASTIC… and  shares 27 ingredients  with PAINT

These  facts alone were enough to have me avoiding  margarine for life  and anything else that  is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is   added,  changing the molecular  structure of the  substance).

You   can try this  yourself:

Purchase   a tub of margarine and leave it open in  your garage or shaded  area.  Within a  couple of days you will notice a couple of  things:
*   no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies  will go near it  (that should tell you  something)
*   it does not rot or smell differently  because it has no nutritional  value ;  nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny   microorganisms will not a find a home to  grow.  Why?   Because  it is  nearly plastic .   Would you melt your Tupperware and   spread that  on your toast?

Share   This With Your Friends…..(If you want to  butter them   up’)!

Chinese  Proverb:
When  someone shares something of value with you and  you benefit from it,  you have a   moral obligation to share it with   others.


A recent study among Chinese women showed that those with the highest intakes of soy foods and soy isoflavones had a significantly lower risk of breast cancer.

Soy food consumption and breast cancer risk has been the focus of controversial recently.  A recent case-control study was conducted to assess the relationship between soy food intake and breast cancer risk according to the estrogen receptor (ER) and/or progesterone receptor (PR) status of breast cancer.

Participants included 438 Chinese women with primary breast cancer that were matched by age and residence (rural/urban) with 438 women free of cancer. Dietary intake was assessed by face-to-face interviews using a validated food frequency questionnaire.

Researchers observed a statistically significant inverse association between soy isoflavone and soy protein intake with breast cancer risk. The women in the group with the highest soy isoflavone intake had a 46% decreased cancer risk compared to the group with the lowest intake. Women in the group with the highest soy protein had a 38% reduced cancer risk compared to the lowest intake group. A preventive effect of soy food was found for all subtypes of ER and/or PR status of breast cancer. The inverse association was more evident among premenopausal women.

This study suggests that consumption of soy foods and soy isoflavones may reduce the risk of breast cancer, and that the protective effects of soy do not seem to differ by ER and PR breast cancer status.

Source: Zhang C et al. Cancer Sci. 2010 Feb;101(2):501-7

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