Dr Dingle's Blog / weight loss
The reason I call it the blood pressure smoothie is all of the ingredients have been shown in many scientific studies to reduce blood pressure. By no way is this meant to replace advice from you GP but you can share it with them and see if they are interested in preventing the problem rather than just treating it with pharmaceuticals. Remember also that I am not a GP I am just the guy who does all the research which is why I have a PhD.
4 ingredients in order of importance
Almonds (soaked for at least 8 hours)
Filtered re-mineralised ionized water.
Extras for taste and minerals
Start by grinding the linseed and the almond in the smoothie maker.
Add the beetroot and the filtered water to make up to the constituency you need.
If you want to make it a bit sweeter add some ripe banana, dates or coconut water (and coconut meat if you have the whole coconut) as they are rich in Potassium (and other minerals) which is essential for muscle relaxation and tastes great. But wait till the banana is ripe for the best taste. You can also cold green tea instead of water to add to the antioxidant mix.
The properties that make this smoothie such a potent blood pressure mix is all of the ingredients have excellent antioxidant properties, rich in minerals and other nutrients liked with lowering blood pressure in scientific studies.
High blood pressure or hypertension is having a blood pressure reading of above of around 90mm Hg on 140mm Hg. Hypertension itself is not a disease but a condition or as an indicator of ‘increased risk’ of cardiovascular disease. Patients who are hypertensive have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke due to the direct correlation between the two. Hypertension also contributes significantly to the increased risk of kidney failure and other chronic illness.
In healthy people the cells of blood vessels produce the substance called nitric oxide (NO) which instructs smooth muscles surrounding arteries to relax. If they cant relax they stay rigid and you end up with high blood pressure. The NO is produced in a single layer of cells that line the inside of the arteries called the endothelium. If this tissue is damaged in the case of too much pressure, oxidation or through other means it stops producing NO and blood pressure rises.
Many of the beneficial actions of nutrition on lowering blood pressure results both directly and indirectly through improving endothelial tissue and NO production and release from this tissue. Two major pathways to increase NO are increase the rates of nitrates in the diet, the building block for NO, and L-Arginine which stimulate the enzyme to manufacture NO. Endothelial-derived NO also inhibits platelet adhesion, activation, secretion, and aggregation and promotes platelet disaggregation so you are less likely to have a stroke. A third mechanism that is absolutely critical is to protect and repair the endothelium, remember it is only one cell thick and very susceptible to damage. Vitamin C and antioxidants are essential for this part.
Diets high in dietary nitrate such as beetroot are associated with reduced blood pressure increased exercise performance as a result of vasodilation (expansion) of the blood vessels and a decreased incidence in cardiovascular disease. 100-200mg of beetroot per day has been shown to produce immediate effects of lowering blood pressure by around 15 mm of Hg. Beetroot is also rich in vitamins, phytochemicals and contains large amounts of iron and folic acid Mg, Na and Ca. Apart from the nitrates the major bioactive molecules in beet are polyphenols, flavonoids, betalains, therapeutic enzymes, ascorbic acid, and dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA). So they not only provide the ingredients for NO production but also help in repair and protection of the endothelium.
Almonds have one of the highest sources of L-Arginine (most nuts have lots of L-Arginine so you can substitute the almonds if you want) which stimulates NO synthesis. Studies of almonds have shown reductions of 5-6 mm of blood pressure. It is important to soak the almonds as they (all nuts and seeds) have enzyme-inhibiting factors in them which stop them from germinating until they have enough water. These enzyme inhibitors also stop the absorption of some nutrients, particularly minerals. When you soak the nuts many of the nutrients also become more available for digestion.
Flaxseed is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, L Arginine (about 20% less than almonds), lignans, antioxidants and fiber that together probably provide benefits to patients with cardiovascular disease. Studies on consuming 30g of flaxseed have been shown to reduce blood pressure by up to 15 mm Hg.The great thing about this smoothie is that you can add just about anything else you want to it and it will make it even tastier and better for you.
A short time between eating your last meal and sleep can increase your risk of breast and prostate cancer.
Another study shows that the stress around you increases your risk of putting on weight, increases your risk of diabetes2 and reducing the stress helps with weight loss. The stress this time was living in a poorer environment. But many studies have shown multiple forms of stress works the same way.
Persistently elevated cortisol levels have been closely tied to weight gain, increased abdominal fat, and other aspects of metabolic syndrome, a collection of things that includes obesity and pre-diabetes.
When cortisol is released in response to stress, it signals the body to shift energy production into overdrive. It’s a signal for organs and various tissues in the body to accelerate production of glucose, the sugar that fuels our muscles, by breaking down carbohydrates and protein. As part of its role in freeing up energy, chronic exposure to cortisol also increases cravings for high-sugar, high-fat foods, and increases the body’s resistance to insulin, the hormone that signals the body’s cells to absorb sugar.
In support of this in mice, stress increases cravings for energy-dense foods; in people, comfort- or stress-eating is a familiar phenomenon.
in addition consistent exposure to cortisol may re-wire the brain, for example, shrinking the pre-frontal cortex and bulking up the amygdala. Over time cortisol can increase the risk for depression and mental illness.
Your gut microbiome has an astonishing ability to keep you healthy or ill. The list of diseases that we know of that are linked to the intestinal microbiota grows every day and these diseases are usually complex in terms of both how the disease develops and complications. Having the right balance of good microorganisms in our gut and good gut health is not only essential for good digestion but also in the prevention of or reversing chronic diseases, including.
Poor gut health has been linked with a long list of illnesses including
Asthma and Allergies
Cancers (especially digestive cancers, i.e. bowel and colon and brain tumours)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease including SIBO, Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis
Cardio vascular disease
High blood pressure
Depression, Anxiety and Stress
Skin health and ageing
Eczema, Dermatitis and Psoriasis
Immune system function including susceptibility and tolerance to viruses and bacterial infections like cold and flu.
Colic, Constipation and Diarrhea
Celiac disease and Gluten and lactose intolerance
The list goes on. For example, even in the area of mental illness we have conditions such as
Depression, Anxiety and Stress
ADHD & Autism
Focus and memory
Learning, mental productivity and cognitive decline. As well as controlling some of our needs and desires i.e. food cravings and appetite, our relationships and our social interactions.
These are all impacted by gut health. Because of the role of inflammation, oxidation nutrition and the many functions of the gut microbiome there is not a health condition that is not influenced by the gut microbiome either directly or indirectly.
Because of the multiple functions of the microbiota dysbiosis can manifest as many and multiple health conditions often termed comormidity or multi morbidity. It is not one disease it manifests as many. For example, large studies have shown the multi-morbidity of eczema, rhinitis, and asthma. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients will also frequently suffer from rheumatologic manifestations, liver multimorbidities and lung, namely chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchial asthma, bronchitis and other chronic respiratory disorders in the adult population, gallbladder disease, heart disease and associated morbidity and mortality, anxiety, stress and depression, as well as arthritis, psoriasis, and pericarditis. In one study of 47325 patients they reported 20 different immune mediate diseases associated with IBD including some of those mentioned above and celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
This evidence strongly shows any health condition will have many layers of disease occurring throughout the body at any one time that are related but not connected at the time of diagnosis.
Arguable the biggest health problem facing us today is gut health rivaling the current obesity crisis and tobacco smoking in its impact on our health. Every health condition is linked to gut health and gut healing either directly or indirectly through inflammation and oxidation. Historically every culture understood this and were involved in extensive practices of gut healing and even our own up until 60 or so years ago. The first thing health practitioners throughout history would do is to start to fix the gut.
Until recently the positive effects of the gut microbiome on our digestive system and health has been severely under rated. Wisdom of Chinese doctors from centuries ago, who somehow knew that the intestines were not merely a digestive organ, but the centre of health and wellbeing. Hippocrates was recorded as saying that all illness begins in the gut. Throughout history from the Egyptians till around 80 years ago medicine and the bowels were frequently mentioned in the same sentence and good health revolved around gut health.
Even today the nomadic Maasai tribes in Africa attribute most illnesses to the effect of “pollutants” that block or inhibit digestion. In these communities the plants are used to cure diseases served mainly as strong purgatives and emetics; they "cleanse" the body and digestive system from polluting substances.
With thousands of studies released each year the gut is known to play a major role in many health conditions including mental health issues, cardiovascular disease, allergies and asthma, autoimmune diseases, some cancers and even diabetes and weight gain. Many of these conditions which are now reaching epidemic proportions have been linked to a dysfunctional gut. Studies have shown a strong link between mental health issues including depression and what is called the gut brain axis. We also know the gut is the centre of our immune system and is strongly influenced by the gut microbiome. As a result the gut has a strong link with allergies and asthma. Peanut allergies for example are not caused by peanuts they are brought about by a dysfunctional gut microbiome.
Antibiotics and many gut medications used for controlling acid reflux have been shown to be devastating to gut health a healthy gut microbiome, as well as many of the chemicals we use around the homes and even the personal care products we apply to our skin. Even our activities either promote gut health and gut healing or harm it. Stress sends messages to the opportunistic (bad) microorganisms in the gut to tell them to start to take over from the good ones. Exercise promotes gut health and healing while no exercise or too much exercise does the exact opposite.
Fortunately, in animal studies we know that many of these conditions can be improved and even reversed if the gut microbiome is repaired. 50% of Parkinson’s Disease has been directly linked with poor gut health while improving the gut microbiome has been shown to dramatically improve symptoms.
The research also shows that while probiotics can be useful in gut healing, repairing the gut microbiome requires an understanding of what encourages a healthy gut microbiome in our diet and lifestyle as well as what causes a dysfunctional microbiome. We now know that all the healthy foods we eat, the vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and fruit all feed the gut microbiome which then feeds us and looks after our health. All the studies on healthy diets from the Mediterranean to the original Japanese or the low inflammatory diet (DII) benefit us because they work through the gut to promote gut health and subsequently our health.
Irritable or Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects an estimated 14.1% of the US population and 11% of the global population. IBS is characterized by chronic abdominal pain, gas, cramping, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. More than one-half of all patients with IBS suffer from depression or anxiety. Missed work, social interactions, and travel are among the top stressors for these individuals. Many studies have shown a compromised gut microbiome to be associated with IBS.
In this study a 53-y-old Caucasian patient had signs of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS; gas/bloating, gastroesophageal reflux), fatigue, and sleep disturbances. He also noted a history of chronic sinusitis, seasonal allergies, multiple chemical sensitivities, and right knee pain (3 surgeries).
Over the course of 6 mo, the patient was treated using an elimination diet, lifestyle modifications, botanicals, and dietary supplements to address the underlying cause of issues. His symptoms decreased and quality of life increased, resulting in the resolution of his IBS symptoms, improved sleep, and increased energy levels.
This case illustrates the usefulness of diet and lifestyle changes to improve and eliminate chronic gut issues.
Here is a quote from the patient
Patient Perspective. “I feel better than ever—even better than in my 20s. I went into this process with a high desire to feel better since my gut symptoms and fatigue began to impact everything I enjoy in life—golf, cycling, and the outdoors, but I was a little hesitant knowing it would involve so many changes. I thought it would be a difficult process, but it really wasn’t once I established my lifestyle, diet, and supplement routines. The hardest part of treatment was going 100% gluten free. Had I known I would feel this good, I would’ve done this long ago. Finding the root causes and making lasting lifestyle changes are the key to health. Working with a knowledgeable practitioner makes all the difference!”
What colour is your plate?
Plate colour has been shown to alter the amount of food consumption due to its environmental effect on food intake. This study was a crossover study conducted with 54 female participants aged 18–30 years of normal weight. The results showed that plate colour exerted a significant effect on food intake during the test days. The average total energy intake with red and black plates were around 1113.19 kcal and was almost 20% higher than with white plates (945.72 kcal). There were no differences between red and black plates.
Another study found that individuals drank and ate less from red labelled cups and red plates than from blue labelled cups and blue and white plates, while another study showed reduced consumption of popcorn and chocolate chips when the foods were served on red plates.
But it is not just the colour of the plate. Other studies have shown colour to have a significant impact on food consumption including the colour of the of the plate, packaging, and of the surrounding environment.
Other factors, such as the presence of other people, location, portion size and time of consumption, appear to affect food intake and food choice.
So choose who you eat with, where you eat and the colours around you carefully.
Impact of three different plate colours on short-term satiety and energy intake: a randomized controlled trial
If I came home sick from anywhere as a child my mums first question was always, “have you been to the toilet?” I didn’t realize the significance of this until much later and I don’t think my mother even realized what she fully meant. Except that our poo is one of the best and of course the simplest signs of our inner health and therefore our outer health as well. Our poo (feces) can tell a lot about our health and is made up primarily of microorganisms, fibre other undigested materials and water. Living bacteria represent 80% of fecal dry weight. The regularity and frequency also tells you a lot about your internal operating system and the likelihood of you suffering chronic illness. Well, before it may even be diagnosed by modern medical systems. Luckily I learnt this lesson well. Around 2009 I was called over to see my mother as the doctors thought she was dying. When I arrived she was in a delirious state and getting worse. She hadn’t been to the toilet for 10 days in hospital and we were all worried about her. I went into town brought a vegetable smoothie and carried it back to the hospital. I was able to mix in some “super probiotics” (1 trillion) into her smoothie and later which she sipped through the day. The following day, less than 24 hours she had regained her composure. We repeated this twice a day for the week and she walked out of hospital. At this stage the nurses had cottoned on to what we were doing and were asking questions but did not want to take it past that.
Until recently the positive effects of the gut microbiome on our digestive system and health has been severely under rated. Wisdom of Chinese doctors from centuries ago, who somehow knew that the intestines were not merely a digestive organ, but the centre of health and well being. Hippocrates was recoded as saying that all illness begins in the gut. Throughout history from the Egyptians till around 80 years ago medicine and the bowels were frequently mentioned in the same sentence.
Even today the nomadic Maasai tribes in Africa attribute most illnesses to the effect of “pollutants” that block or inhibit digestion. In these communities the plants are used to cure diseases served mainly as strong purgatives and emetics; they "cleanse" the body and digestive system from polluting substances. While studies of the great apes show they self-medication to control intestinal parasite infections and gut problems across Africa. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) for example, swallow the leaves of certain plant species whole, without chewing to aid expulsion of certain parasites. Swallowing rough or bristly leaves increases gut motility causing expulsion of adult worms, which disrupts the nematode’s life cycle and likely reduces worm burdens.
 Bussmann et al., 2006.
 MCLennan and Huffman, 2012.
 Huffman and Caton, 2001.
Dr Dingle's WA. Gut Healing Tour
Perth May 9
Bunbury May 29
Busselton May 31
Albany June 6
The link between chronic inflammation and cancer has long been recognised since the 19th century when German pathologist Rudolph Virchow first hypothesized that the origin of cancer was at sites of chronic inflammation. Now it seems that modern science has caught up with the observations of the 19th century.
Dr. Otto Warburg discovered that cancer cannot thrive in an alkaline medium and the interstitial fluid of tumours has shown pH values of less than 6.0, 0.2–0.6 units lower than mean pH of normal tissues (very acidic). In fact, as a result of only partial metabolism of glucose, a major byproduct of cancers is even higher acidic levels and a requirement for a lot more glucose than other cells. Cancers do this by dumping extra acid in the surrounding tissue and increasing specialty sugar transporters (GLUT1 and GLUT3), and altering insulin levels to get more glucose into the cells.
Cancers occurs at sites of chronic inflammation. In 2005 Prof. Houghton and her colleagues found that an infection with Helicobacter felis (a bacterium related to infectious Helicobacter pylori in humans), which causes a large amount of inflammation and oxidation, leads to an influx of bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMDCs), as the body tries to repair the injury caused by the infection. Researchers were able to show that this transformation of BMDCs is the event that actually sparks malignant tumours of the stomach. They showed that bone marrow-derived stem cells attempt to participate in repair but, under conditions of inflammation and oxidation, are unable to behave normally and instead progress toward becoming cancerous cells themselves.
BMDCs have many cancer-like properties, including: the capacity for unlimited growth and the ability to avoid apoptosis (programmed cell death) signals. These properties give them a significant growth advantage, making them difficult to control once they have mutated.
In 2010, more pieces of the puzzle came together when researchers reported they could definitively show that inflammation in the breast is key to the development and progression of breast cancer. In an earlier study, women with high levels of two markers of inflammation—C-reactive protein and serum amyloid A—were two to three times more likely to die early or have their cancer return than women with lower levels.
Now there is a large body of evidence that chronic inflammation is involved in all stages of cancer development. Inflammation affects the microenvironment of the cancer; it increases malignant growth may alter blood flow processes; and the cancer’s response to remedial substances and hormones. Animal testing provides strong evidence that chronic inflammation contributes to the promotion of cancer and through suppression of the immune system it allows the outgrowth and proliferation of malignant cells.
"Overcoming Illness" the book
A large amount of evidence has shown a high intake of tree nuts is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), mortality from type 2 diabetes (T2DM), and all-cause mortality.
In this study after 4 weeks on a pecan-rich diet the researchers saw beneficial changes in serum insulin, insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and beta cell function (HOMA-β) as well as cardiometabolic disease. That is a significant reduction in the risk of diabetes2, heart attacks and stroke.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a leading cause of death worldwide, and is primarly caused by inflammation and oxidation. Within the past few decades, there has also been a dramatic increase in diet-related chronic diseases related to CVD risk, i.e., diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, in both industrialized and developing nations. The problem is only getting worse even though we spend more money on pharmaceuticals and the medical system than ever before. Increased production of reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress, and inflammation, are the leading causes of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), arterial hypertension, and dyslipidemia.
A growing body of evidence has shown that a high intake of nuts (all types) is associated with a reduced risk of CVD development, all-cause mortality, and mortality from diabetes. Indeed, a nut-containing diet also contributes to weight control and weight loss despite the large number of calories.
Bioactive compounds present in nuts, include essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals, have all been shown to reduce inflammation, improving vascular reactivity as well as fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity, and by lowering oxidative stress. Numerous studies have now shown that consumption of nuts is effective in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Other studies have shown frequent nut consumption is associated with lower concentrations of inflammation (CRP, IL-6) and some endothelial (the artery lining) markers in clinical trials. In a study of 5,013 participants, a greater intake of nuts was associated with lower amounts of inflammatory biomarkers. Subjects with nut intake of five or more times per week had a 20% nearly 20% reduction in inflammation compared to those who never or almost never consumed nuts. Pistachio nuts, for example, reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Pistachio kernels have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties at lower doses than reported previously and decreased inflammation (TNF-α and IL-1β) in a dose-dependent way. That is, the more the participants consumed, the lower the inflammation.
EAT MORE NUTS
But not peanuts and cashews
For much more information on how to reverse diabetes and cardiovascular disease (and all chronic illness) “Overcoming Illness” our latest book is a must read.
A Pecan-Rich Diet Improves Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Diane L. McKay 1,*, Misha Eliasziw 2, C. Y. Oliver Chen 1 and Jeffrey B. Blumberg 1http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/3/339/htm