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Nutrition Talk / Stabilizing Oil
« Last post by deborahb092 on April 12, 2015, 04:09:57 PM »
I recently attended a cooking class and the chef explained he "stabilizes" olive oil by adding in canola oil at a ratio of 20:80 (so, mostly canola.) I understand that "low and slow" are typically the best ways to cook, but let's face it some recipes and techniques require a higher cooking temp. My question: is there any research that stabilizing olive oil by mixing it with a high smoke point oil really works and if so, is there a better alternative than canola oil which also won't compete with the flavor? Grape seed perhaps?

Thanks for any insight!
Nutrition Talk / Re: Best on the go snack options?
« Last post by sarahd529 on April 11, 2015, 09:46:12 PM »
A favorite of mine is combining sprouted seeds (pumpkin, watermelon or sunflower) with dried cherries and raw cacao nibs. I keep a sealed container of these at my desk at work... a handful gives a tasty boost during the afternoon slump.

I also like to make a batch of these on Sunday evenings:

You can add pretty much whatever you want to them, vary the type of milk or cheese used... I've also subbed plain yogurt for the sour cream. They keep well in the refrigerator and are great for on the go breakfasts/snacks at room temperature.
Nutrition Talk / Mesquite powder
« Last post by michellee510 on April 11, 2015, 10:00:18 AM »
Hi! Does anyone have nutritional information on raw mesquite powder or possibly any research based facts about it? Thanks - Michelle
Nutrition Talk / Re: ox bile,enzymes, and gallbladder removal
« Last post by James on April 11, 2015, 04:19:37 AM »
From what I read, our body's enzyme production is slowed but not shut down when we supplement with enzymes (, and function is restored when we stop taking them, if we're capable of producing them in the first place. James, do you have a source for your conflicting information? It would be very helpful.

Atrophy is a slow, not sudden process. The longer the body's system is being substituted for the more that system can shut down.  As an example a person may start out with a low dose thyroid medication.  After a period of time the dosage has to be increased since the thyroid is partially shut down by the medication.  In more time the thyroid shuts down even further requiring the medication dosage to be further increased.  This can continue until the thyroid has atrophied as far as it can.  If the person is SLOWLY weaned off the medication the thyroid can slowly be forced to work again. The same applies to supplemental enzymes.

Also, bile doesn't appear to be mostly lecithin. According to this Medscape article (, and others I reviewed, phospholipids, mainly phosphatidylcholine (lecithin), make up only about 3% of bile. Again, if you can provide your source(s), that would be very helpful.

I should have been more clear on my post.  Bile is almost exclusively water.  What I was referring to in my post were the active, emulsifying components of the bile.

Phosphatidylcholine is only one of various phospholipids that make up lecithin along with phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidic acid.  And there are still other compounds that make up lecithin.  These are glycolipids and sphingolipids, triglycerides, sterols, fatty acids and carbohydrates.

And of course, not everyone is capable of producing adequate amounts of enzymes. This can be especially problematic as people age. It seems that ensuring absorption of nutrients, especially in the face of reduced endogenous production, is always a good idea.

There is some speculation that enzyme levels do decline with age.  But so does stomach acid, which is essential for the proper function of the digestive enzyme pepsin among other various functions.

Another issue I have with supplemental enzymes is that they often contain enzymes that increase blood sugar levels, which can be bad for a lot of the elderly who can be more prone to diabetes to begin with.  In addition, these supplements sometimes contain cellulase and hemicellulase that digest fibers. This also not only adds to the glucose load on the body but also starves out the flora that are so important for our health for various reasons.

If people really want to increase their enzyme levels and they still have their gallbladders then I recommend they look in to digestive bitters instead.  Bitters not only increase enzyme output but also stomach acid output.  And unlike many digestive enzyme supplements bitters do not provide enzymes not naturally produced by the body.
Slight threadjack on the progesterone cream issue:
I found progesterone cream extremely helpful when I finally used it as a last result for perimenopausal issues. I avoided it for years for many of the reasons that James mentioned. I tried many other remedies. I used oral progesterone but it had zero effect. As a last resort  I used progesterone cream and it brought amazing relief to my issues and nothing bad happened. I regret that I was so influenced by the negative portrayal of progesterone cream I heard at various functional medicine seminars that I did not try it sooner. I could have saved myself a great deal of discomfort.

We are all individuals and respond differently to remedies. What might be inappropriate for one person is a godsend to another.

Many people consider their pharmaceutical drugs, including progesterone creams, as godsends.  This does not mean they are safe though.

And yes, ALL progesterone creams on the market are pharmaceutical drugs.  There are NO natural progesterone creams despite their often misleading claims of being natural.  Every progesterone cream on the market is synthesized in a lab from plant sterols.

Some people will try to claim that because it starts out from natural plant sterols that it is therefore natural.  That is like saying because petroleum plastics are made from naturally occurring oil that they are therefore "natural".

Another pet peeve of mine is the fact that the side effects of progesterone are rarely ever discussed.  Side effects of progesterone dominance include cancer, weight gain, depression, hyperaggression, water retention, decreased libido, inhibited sensitivity and decreased ability to orgasm, and acne.

If people are going to use pharmaceutical drugs they really should familiarize themselves with potential side effects to determine if the benefits really outweigh the risks.
I wanted to clarify some points made by James with some referenced information, which he'll hopefully provide more of in the future.

He's correct about the phytoestrogen content of flaxseeds versus soy. Here's a study with a very nice chart that details how much phytoestrogen, and what types, a long list of foods contains: ( Remember that people tend to eat just a couple of tablespoons of flaxseed, while some people, especially vegans, may eat many ounces per day of soy.

It also has to be kept in mind that fermenting or cooking both reduce phytoestrogen levels.  Soy products are frequently fermented and/or cooked before ingestion.

We not only don't advocate relying mainly on one food source for any macro- or micronutrient need; and we DO recommend fermented soy foods instead of non-fermented; but high doses of soy isoflavones, as supplements or protein isolates, isn't recommended and doesn't appear to have much effect on breast cancer rates, unless you're Asian (

There are other studies showing the anti-cancer effects of phytoestrogens. Such as these:

It also has to be kept in mind that soy IS NOT the only dietary source of phytoestrogens for Japanese women.  As I pointed out earlier all plants contain some level of phytoestrogens.  The Japanese also consume other plants that can contain high levels of phytoestrogens including seaweeds and kudzu.

In addition, plant isolates do not always have the same effect as whole plants, which makes a lot of research questionable.  For example, if I wanted to prove that alfalfa was a potent blood thinner I could isolate the potent blood thinning coumarins from the alfalfa while leaving behind blood clotting factors in the alfalfa such as vitamin K.  If I wanted to "prove" coffee or tea were sedatives instead of stimulants I could simply isolate the sedative compounds from the fleshy of the coffee seed or from the tea leaf.  This is a common way research on herbs is often manipulated.

Another factor that has to be considered is that regardless of the source of hormones or the type of hormones the body can regulate the levels in most cases provided the detoxification methods of the body are in proper working order.  In the case of hormone balance this would mean liver function as well as methylation in the body and flora levels in particular.

I also looked at a couple of studies of fluoride content in green tea. Looks like you'd have to drink an awful lot of green or black tea every day (about 2 liters) to be affected by the fluoride, and cheap tea at that. Better quality teas are made from younger leaves, and it's the older leaves that have more fluoride. Here's one of the studies describing that: And, as James mentioned, ensuring adequate iodine intake will ameliorate the effects fluoride, and of cruciferous vegetables too, all of which inhibit iodine intake yet are otherwise nutrient-rich and extremely beneficial.

There is more to this.  First of all young tea leaves are used to make white tea.  Older leaves are used to make green, oolong and black teas. 

The fluoride content of the tea though is also going to be highly dependent on the actual fluoride content of the soil itself.  Certain areas where the tea bush (Camellia sinensis) is grown such as China has a higher fluoride content in the soil than in other areas such as Japan.

Also keep in mind that fluoride is a cumulative toxin.

Overall, I prefer to limit my intake of green and black teas and prefer to stick to other herbal teas such as rooibos, nettle leaf and jiaogulan.

As for hormones in animals, dairy is far more problematic than the flesh or organs. I looked at several studies, all of which found lower than expected hormone levels in meats, even those raised utilizing extra hormones! To sum it all up, this article from Chris Kresser does a nice job:

Dairy does tend to have a higher fat content, which hormones have an affinity for.  Meats are more variable in fat content.  The whole point though was that a lot of people erroneously think that just because the meat or dairy is from an organically grown animal that the meat or dairy is therefore hormone free.

Let's remember to be careful not to vilify whole foods. It can make us afraid to eat.

If people knew even half of what was really in their food they probably would want to stop eating.  But there are a lot of foods that really erroneously get a bad rap such as soy and canola because of propaganda that gets spread around.  Yet we rarely hear the facts such as the goitrogenic effects of many raw vegetables, the beneficial effects of phytates in grains or acids in many fruits and vegetables................
Nutrition Talk / Re: Ingesting essential oils
« Last post by James on April 10, 2015, 06:32:15 PM »
Essential oils are used as flavoring and thus ingested all the time.  What people need to really keep in mind is primarily that some oils are relatively safe when ingested while others can be highly toxic.  For example, citrus oils and mint oils are frequently used for flavoring foods and drinks like teas.  But ingesting something like tansy or worrmwood essential oils would be toxic.
Nutrition News & Research / ACTION needed to protect Homeopathic medicine
« Last post by Marlina E on April 10, 2015, 12:09:15 PM »
Please take the time to send in your comments to the FDA. A sample letter is available for patients under "Patients and Public" and doctors under "Doctors" together with a link for submission to the FDA at the Healthy Future web page:

FDA announcement
Nutrition Talk / Re: ApoE Gene Diet and Dietary Fats
« Last post by Nori on April 09, 2015, 02:54:20 PM »
I share the same APoE pattern and find the RD dietary suggestions are not good ones, at least for me. First, Alzheimer's is also known as Diabetes Type 3, which means one really must focus more on proteins and fats to fill up and keep blood sugar stable.  Secondly, Mary Newport, MD has shown how medium chain triglycerides (2 tbsp or 252 kcal daily) can improve brain function by giving it the preferred fuel.  She has a few You Tube videos about this.  Third, RDs are all too familiar with the SAD and perhaps make the low fat recommendations because of the VERY POOR quality fats most people eat.  In that case, of course reducing THOSE fats makes absolute sense. 

Despite my getting the very same advice, I plan to continue to manage my blood sugar, metabolism,  and mental faculties with a healthy dose of healthy fats daily (currently >50% of my total calories). 

Nutrition Talk / ApoE Gene Diet and Dietary Fats
« Last post by joannej481 on April 09, 2015, 02:36:06 PM »
I recently had genetic testing which determined that I have the ApoE3/4 gene.  I was told by the RD that I need to reduce dietary fats to 20% in order to avoid cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's.  Does anyone have any experience with the ApoE gene diet?  Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
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