Monday, March 31, 2008

Glucomannan Noodles Control Blood Glucose

In the May 2008 issue of Men's Health magazine (pg. 42), Matt Goulding and his writers reported the beneficial recent research surrounding Shirataki noodles (rich in glucomannan) on health parameters.

Researchers from Thailand found that noodles enriched with just 1 gram of this highly soluble fiber significantly slowed the release of sugar into your bloodstream after you've eaten a carb-heavy meal.

The lead researcher, Dr Chearskul, explained that this effect leads to a more steady supply of nutrients into your bloodstream which prevents blood vessel damage and body fat gain.

A single serving of Shirataki noodles supplies 3 grams of glucomannan.

If you're not into noodles, then a better way to get your glucomannan is to just add it to foods you're already eating, like yogurt, oatmeal, protein shakes and healthy baking. Find the purest, economical, and most user-friendly source (no pill opening here) of glucomannan at

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Glucomannan used to treat Hyperthyroid

Recently, I was directed toward a study of glucomannan treatment for hyperthyroid (high thyroid hormones). A woman has asked me if this fiber (glucomannan), is used to treat hyperthyroid, will it have negative consequences if used in women with hypothyroid (low)?

The paper that I'm speaking of is this: "The Use of Konjac Glucomannan to Lower Serum Thyroid Hormones in Hyperthyroid" Azezli AD et al., Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 26(6), 663-8. 2007.

In this study the investigators explain that in persons with hyperthyrodism, there is often excessive circulating or peripherially stored thyroid hormone, which leads to continued symptomology, despite prescription drug treatment (such as antithyroid drugs). In these cases, bile acid sequestrants, such as cholestiramine, the same drug used to bind cholesterol in the gut and draw it out of the body to lower blood cholesterol levels, is also useful for blocking the gut-liver exchange of thyroid hormones and thus reducing blood cholesterol concentrations (and eleviation of symptoms).

With this in mind, these investigators looked at the use of glucomannan, the most viscous soluble dietary fiber found in nature, that is also used to lower blood choletserol, to lower blood thyroid levels in persons with excess thryoid found in the gut-liver circulation.

What they found was that in 48 patients with hyperthyroid disease, after two months, has significantly lower thyroid hormones (T3, T4, FT3, FT4) that persons who took a placebo.

Thus, the conclusion was that glucomannan can be used as a safe and effective natural adjunctive treatment (i.e., used along with oral thryoid-reducing meds), for hyperthyroid diseases.

Now, with this said, you might think that is has the potential to lower thyroid levels in euthryoid or hypothroid (normal or low) persons. But this is incorrect. The reasoning being, as explained above, in persons with hyperthryoidism, there is excess thyroid spilled out into the gut, but in normal and low thyroid cases, this does not occur. Thus, if you have normal to low thyroid levels, you are not at any risk of lowering your thyroid levels if you use glucomannan.

No matter who you are though, if you are on any medications, don't take them at the same time as glucomannan or any dietary fiber, as the fiber will bind the medication and draw it out of your gut during digestion.

So, go ahead an enjoy the benefits glucomannan for satiety and weight loss. To learn more about this fiber, visit, or read Women's Health Perfect Body Diet.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

How to lose your period

This is my top list of things I see women do that cause them to lose their periods for a long time. In working with clients and having gone through this myself, it's a nasty process, but it can be reversed:

1. Keep track of everything you eat and know exactely how many calories go into and out (exercise...) of your body each day.

2. Only eat a certain group of foods and become stressed if you can't eat what's on your list of accetable foods.

3. Lose body weight quickly.

4. Exercise for more than an hour everyday and become upset if you miss any workout.

5. Always look in the mirror and think you're fat and hideous.

6. Never go to parties in case there's "bad" food there.

7. Never eat out, or if you do, know exactely how many calories are in your food and then exercise it off later.

8. Think your body has to look like a supermodel's body.

9. Have a stressful job that makes you feel anxious all the time.

10. Don't enjoy relaxing with people you love.

11. Weigh yourself every day and become upset if the number does not drop every day or week.

12. Spend a lot of time on the internet reading diet articles and the journals of a figure competitor.

13. Spend a lot of time alone.

14. Eat only 100 calories over your RMR.

15. Avoid dietary fat or really limit it in your food intake.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Study questions low-dose lutein for eye health

By Stephen Daniells

07-Mar-2008 - Supplements of lutein and a range of antioxidants did not benefit the health of normal eyes, possibly highlighting the importance of doses, suggests new research from England.

Daily supplements of lutein (six milligrams), vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, and copper, had no effect on the visual function of 46 healthy participants, according to results of the new randomised controlled trial published in the journal Clinical Nutrition. The results suggest that low-dose lutein may not be enough to produce a beneficial effect on eye health, coming, as they do, hot on the heels of a study by researchers from the University of Georgia, Athens (USA) that reported that six months of supplementation with lutein (10 mg) could improve the health of normal eyes, particularly in relation to glare (Optometry and Vision Science, Feb. 2008, Vol. 85, pp. 82-88).

Talking to, lead author Hannah Bartlett from Aston University in Birmingham said that the most obvious explanation for the difference in results was the different doses used. "The fact that no effect was seen with a six milligram dose and that a positive effect was seen with 12 mg dose suggests that there may be a dose effect," said Bartlett. "

[There is also] the LAST study run by Stuart Richer that found a positive effect of 10 mg /day on people with age-related macular disease."Bartlett also indicated to this website that the glare sensitivity test used by the University of Georgia researchers could have been more sensitive, and capable of picking up smaller changes.

No benefits from low doses

Frank Eperjesi and Bartlett randomly assigned 21 of the volunteers to receive the lutein-antioxidant supplement, and 25 to placebo for nine months. The supplement contained 6 mg of lutein, 750 micrograms of vitamin A, 250 mg vitamin C, 34 mg vitamin E, 10 mg zinc, and 0.5 mg copper. The supplements were produced by Quest Vitamins.

Twenty-nine (15 from the placebo) of the subjects completed 18 months of supplementation. After nine or 18 months, Bartlett and Eperjesi found no statistically significant differences between the groups with respect to far and near visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and photostress recovery time. This led them to conclude: "There was no evidence of effect of 9 or 18 months of daily supplementation with a lutein-based nutritional supplement on visual function in this group of people with healthy eyes."

Seeing the bigger picture

Numerous studies have reported positive results that support the role of lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health, with the majority supporting their role against AMD, the leading cause of legal blindness for people over 55 years of age in the Western world, according to AMD Alliance International. The studies mentioned are relatively small. More definitive answers concerning lutein and eye health would be provided by the AREDS II trial, added Bartlett.

The trial aims to build in the positive results from the original AREDS study.The AREDS formula, the patent for which is held by Bausch and Lomb, comprises vitamins C and E, beta carotene, zinc and copper. AREDS2 will include the antioxidant carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, and the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.

Source: Clinical NutritionPublished online ahead of print 4 March 2008, doi:"A randomised controlled trial investigating the effect of lutein and antioxidant dietary supplementation on visual function in healthy eyes"Authors: H.E. Bartlett and F. Eperjesi

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Remark about Feingold Diet from Diet Overkill Post

Jane Hersey who is the national director of the Feingold Association in the US recently contacted me about the blog post "Diet Overkill" which stated this diet as one of the crazy diets on the market. Jane was not too pleased with this post, and, thinking that I wrote the article (which I did not, I just posted it), sent me this email below. I politely informed her that I didn't compose the article, but I would be happy to post her feedback. Please read her comments about Dr Feingold's diet and come to your own conclusions. She does have some very important points to make.

Email from Feb 28, 2008 from Jane Hersey:

Dear Ms. Forsythe,

You wrote:

The Fiengold diet: Dr. Benjamin Feingold created a diet free of chemicals believed to cause ADD and ADHD. This included not only food, but also certain drugs and hygiene items. Although this diet is not physically harmful, and can be helpful in some instances, it's generally not wise to adopt this regimen. Critics warn against teaching children that food can dictate performance and behavior, and depriving them of appropriate professional help from doctors.

Dr. Feingold, Chief of Allergy at the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, did not believe that some additives "cause" ADD and ADHD (or "hyperactivity" and "learning disabilities" as they were previously called).

What he found in his clinical work was that for some individuals who are especially sensitive, certain foods/synthetic food additives can "trigger" these symptoms. As all allergists know, a person can react adversely to even a common substance (cats, peanuts, pollen, shellfish, dairy). If a child has a serious reaction to peanuts it would be irresponsible for a parent to ignore it or fail to educate the child on this issue.

Another thing allergists know is that if you suspect you may be sensitive to a particular thing you can test this out by temporarily removing it and observe any changes. If there is no difference once the item is removed then you can add it back. But if there is a significant improvement when you take it away, then you have a good idea that the substance might be triggering problems. You can run a challenge if you wish, where you once again eat a particular food, and see if the problems return. This is the basis of the time-honored elimination diet.

If there are many potential offenders, it can seem overwhelming; what the Feingold program does is provide a systematic way a person can run such a test.

Actually, most of the items we suggest removing are not really foods at all; they are additives synthesized from petroleum. I'm sure you've seen "yellow #5" on ingredient labels. What is not disclosed on the label is that this food dye is created from crude oil. In fact most of the yellow dye now in use originates in petroleum refineries in China.

Because tartrazine (yellow #5) has long been recognized as a problem for sensitive individuals, the Food and Drug Administration originally mandated that manufacturers list it by name on ingredient labels. Linked to aspirin sensitivity, it is the number one dye allergists name as problematic for their patients.

A look at the medical journal articles on this dye will show that it has been found to cause many problems:
damage to the immune system, reproductive damage, behavior problems, headaches, asthma, hives and nerve damage. (See or

Since it's quite easy to find foods of every kind that do not contain dyes and other petrochemicals, the question should not be "Why should I avoid giving my child this chemical?" but rather it should be "Why should any parent feed this to their child?"

A growing number of professionals in Great Britain are asking this very question. Their awareness comes as a result of the recent study from the University of Southampton that showed a modest dose of food dyes and one preservative resulted in ADHD behaviors in the general population, not just children with a diagnosis.

As for our children becoming neurotic about what they the 33 years I have been involved in this work I have never heard of this happening. My family began the Feingold diet in 1975 and my 5 year-old daughter didn't even know she was on a "special diet." When a family uses the Feingold program the parents take care of the grocery shopping and meal preparation, not the children. All my daughter saw was that she continued to enjoy the same type of food she always had, including treats.

Once it became obvious that a single gum ball made her wild and out of control, as did a bright pink Slurpee, etc. then it was time to teach her why and show her how to handle occasions when other people offered her food with these chemicals. When she learned that the additives we eliminate came from the same source as gasoline, it was a no-brainer...she quickly decided that stuff is gross. She didn't like eating petrol and didn't like acting crazy; it was empowering for her to be able to make good choices.

We show families how to run the initial test to determine if certain things are triggering problems. Once a child is established on the program parents are encouraged to let the child decide if he wants to eat or avoid those problematic chemicals/foods. (Of course, the child's age and the severity of any reaction are major factors.) It's not unusual for a child to occasionally go off his diet, and we even suggest strategies for planned cheats. But if the child makes this choice he lives with the consequences. This is just good parenting.

The parents we help don't spend much time "teaching children that foods can dictate performance and behavior" as you write. We teach the families how to find the mac & cheese mix without the dye and the cookies without the fake flavoring. But these are bright kids and it doesn't take them long to figure out for themselves that every time they eat the lollipop from the teacher they have a really bad day and when they eat the lollipop from Mom they don't.

But perhaps the most damaging thing you have written about the Feingold diet is to say that we would ever "deprive them of appropriate professional help from doctors." We do not do this, nor have we ever done it!
Most families who contact us have been to many professionals and have not found help; typically they consider us a "last resort." Other families come to us because they are referred to us by their doctor.

We may be seeing more referrals now that the American Academy of Pediatrics has just written that our diet is an appropriate treatment.

But why would you think that it's an "either-or" situation. Whether or not a child sees a professional, he still has to eat. Why not feed him healthy food?

You quite accurately refer to our program as a popular diet. Hmmm, I wonder why. Perhaps it's because it has helped so many families for so many years. I don't know if you have ever been involved with a non-profit volunteer organization. In order for a volunteer organization to form, let alone continue for 33 years, it requires a "payoff" in the form of success and satisfaction. Would you spend 33 years of your life donating your time and effort for something that was damaging, unwise or unsuccessful? Neither would I.

Jane Hersey
National Director
Feingold Association the US

PS If you are anywhere near San Ramon, CA, at the end of March, one of our members whose background and credentials appear to be very similar to yours, will be presenting a seminar about the Feingold diet at the California Association of School Counselors' annual conference. Many of our members are professionals in the fields of: teaching, nursing, medicine, counseling, dietetics, chemistry, etc.