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A New Direction


At 50, I quit smoking (for the 20th time), retired from my life long career in nursing/hospitals, and  immediately had started into menopause.

One of those items alone can throw a woman into obesity. I took on all 3.

And I gained almost 50 pounds.

obesity

When I had finally had enough, I started to research weight reduction. I bought a jump rope. I bought the book: Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution “the low carb approach that has helped millions lose weight and keep it off”.

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I  started to read that book.

He talked about carbohydrate as the culprit. Not fat. As a nurse working in a major cardiology hospital, we had believed the culprit for heart disease and obesity was fat intake. Dr. Atkins described the physiology of digestion and metabolism. He said that coronary artery disease had been almost unheard of before the beginning of the 20th century and diet consisted of lots of fat, even saturated fat. What happened then? Sugar. It became plentiful and CHEAP. Sugar, the simplest of carbohydrates. We eat way too much of it.

At any rate, he convinced me he was right. We started that diet. It worked!  I was losing! Fast at first. Then slower. Eventually I lost all 50 pounds.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Next, I wanted to tone up and get my body moving again.

I researched free weights. In my heart I’m a cheap skate. So no gym. Been there, done that when I worked at the hospital. I never got there consistently.

I searched for ‘how to’ books and found one I really liked. It had the research studies I loved that showed this would work. The book: Strong Women Stay Young by Miriam E. Nelson, PhD

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She described the studies she was involved with at Tuft University. Until the 1980’s it was believed that as people age, they normally lose muscle. Additionally, the exercise studied primarily was aerobic. For the first time researchers worked elderly volunteers in their sixties and seventies at higher intensity than ever done before.

The outcomes were astounding and shattered myths about aging. “Younger athletes trained with weights almost as heavy as their maximum because low intensity  workouts didn’t make them stronger. Why would older people be any different?”

In just 12 weeks the muscles these men worked on became 10-12% larger and a whopping 100-125% stronger!

Next they tried this approach on the frail elderly. They took the program to a nursing home. Six women and four men volunteered to work out with the researchers. Ages ranged from 86 to 96 years old. All of them had at least two serious chronic diseases, including heart diseases, diabetes and osteoporosis. Most relied on walkers or canes and several had leg muscles so weak they couldn’t rise from a chair without assistance from their arms. Three times a week, for eight weeks, they faithfully came to the exercise room and lifted their weights.

The results were published in JAMA in 1990 and were truly remarkable! In just eight weeks, these frail elderly men and women increased their strength by an average 175%. On a test of walking speed and balance, their scores rose by an average of 48%. Two participants discarded their canes.

They also found that strength training halts bone loss and even restores bone! It improves balance, helps prevent bone fractures from osteoporosis, energizes, trims and tightens bodies (ladies who worked out didn’t drop pounds, they lost inches.) The muscle mass increase helped control weight, the more muscle mass, the more calories they use, the higher the metabolism rate. Flexibility was much improved. These people never dreamed they could change so much for the better! They were revitalized!

In addition, they found that strength training reduces the risk of heart disease and adult onset diabetes, lifts depression, boosts self-esteem, eases sleep problems, relieves symptoms of both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, combats constipation and stress incontinence.

So, I read that book and began a strengthening program with free weights.

Also began walking on the treadmill (a gift from hubby for my birthday) every day! I did it when Judge Judy was on. Walked for an hour every day at 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

This was all back in 1995 and I took the strengthening and resistance training to my parents. We lifted those dumbbells 3 times a week without fail. I really think it had something do do with their longevity. Dad lived to be 89. Mom just died in September at 93.

These books are still available, though I know the resistance training book is out of print but can still be found at Amazon. Dr. Nelson provides basic exercises and tells you how to gauge the pounds you should use. Always, if the weight isn’t difficult to lift toward the end of your repetitions, it may be time to graduate to the next heavier weight.

During the past 8-10 years, I have stopped the consistent use of resistance training. I’ve also been unable to get on the treadmill with any routine.

A situation that will/must change as I take control of my own health!

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Increased risk of 11 types of cancer linked to being overweight, researchers warn


https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/28/increased-risk-of-11-types-of-cancer-linked-to-being-overweight-researchers-warn

 

Being overweight could increase the risk of a host of cancers, including those of the colon, breast, pancreas and ovary, researchers have warned following a wide review of more than 200 studies.

According to previous figures from two leading charities, almost three quarters of people are expected to be overweight by 2035, with 700,000 new cases of obesity-related cancer expected over the next 20 years.
Weight gain over adult life linked to greater digestive cancer risk, says study
Read more
The new study by an international team adds weight to the warning, revealing that there is currently strong evidence for a link between excess body fat and an increased risk of 11 cancers: colon, rectum, endometrium, breast, ovary, kidney, pancreas, gastric cardia, biliary tract system and certain cancers of the oesophagus and bone marrow.

“I think now the public and physicians really need to pay attention to obesity with respect to cancer,” said Marc Gunter, a co-author of the research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer. “Telling people to avoid being overweight not only reduces their risk of, say, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it also reduces their risk of many different cancers.”

Published in the British Medical Journal, the study examined evidence from 204 previously published studies which each looked at combined results from multiple pieces of research probing the link between body fat and the development of particular cancers.

Of the 95 studies which looked at obesity measures on a continuous scale such as body mass index, 12 were found to offer strong evidence of an association, encompassing a total of nine different cancers.

Analysis of these studies revealed that as BMI (weight divided by height squared) increased, so too did the risk of developing certain cancers. For men, for every 5kg/m2 increase in BMI, the risk of developing colorectal cancer rose by 9%, while among women forgoing HRT, the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer increased by 11%. The figures were even higher for cancer of the biliary tract system, with risk increasing by 56% for every 5kg/m2 increase in BMI.

The authors note the remaining 83 such studies were of mixed quality. While 18% were deemed “highly suggestive” of a link between excess body fat and cancer, 20% had only weak evidence while 25% had no evidence for a link.

When studies that looked at other measures of obesity were included in the analysis, the total number of cancers for which there was strong evidence of a link to body fat came to 11.

While the new study does not shed light on how excess body weight is linked to an increased risk of various cancers, a number of explanations have previously been proposed. “We know that if you are overweight it causes lots of disruption of hormonal and metabolic pathways,” said Gunter, noting that excess fat has been linked to higher oestrogen levels, higher insulin levels and increased inflammation – all of which can affect cell division.
Cancer rates set to increase six times faster in women than men
Read more
Dr Rachel Orritt, Cancer Research UK’s health information officer, said: “This research uses very strict criteria to evaluate the evidence and confirms that obesity increases the risk of cancer, linking many of the same cancer types that have been linked before.”

Being overweight, Orritt adds, is second only to smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer. “Whether it’s taking the stairs or switching to sugar-free versions of your favourite drinks, small changes can make a real difference, helping you keep a healthy weight and reducing your risk of cancer,” she said.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, added that awareness was key. “Less than half the population realise that being obese increases the risk of cancer and, with almost two-thirds of adults carrying excess weight, this is worrying,” she said.

Paul Aveyard, professor of behavioural Mmedicine at the University of Oxford, agreed that the study highlighted the need for society to take steps to reverse the rise of obesity. “It is one more reason for people to be concerned about the excess body weight that they carry,” he said. “This risk isn’t confined just to people who are really overweight. All of us who carry excess fat, and that is most of us in this country, are at some degree of risk.”

Strong muscles fight cancer!


http://colinchamp.com/muscles-fight-cancer/

From Colin Champ, MD’s blog:

Several years back a scientific article revealed that those of us with high “muscular strength” have a lower risk of becoming a victim to cancer – a 40% lower risk to be exact.1 After assessment of almost 9,000 men aged 20-82, scientists found that men with a stronger one-rep max on bench press and leg press have a 40% reduction in their risk of dying from cancer. They adjusted for body mass index (BMI), body fat, and cardiorespiratory fitness and the results still held strong (pun intended).2 In other words, there is something about simply being stronger that can lower our risk of getting cancer. Many felt as though there was something innately healthy about having more muscles, but another study associated weak hand grip strength with an increased risk of cancer, even regardless of muscle size.3 So is it all about strength or do muscles fight cancer?

Strength goes beyond lowering our risk of dying from cancer; it lowers our risk of dying from most major health issues. For instance, men exhibiting a lower vertical leap, less sit-ups, and decreased grip strength have a higher risk of dying period.4 Men and women with moderate and high bench press and sit-up scores have lower risks of death,5 while men with a higher 1-repetition bench and leg press apparently live longer (even when we account for other health issues, like cardiovascular disease, smoking, obesity, etc.).6

Muscles Fight Cancer – More Muscles = More Health?
The first thought that comes to mind is that more muscles means more strength, and both are a result of more exercise. Sure enough, when we take a close look through these studies, we do see that the strongest among us have less body fat, are in better shape, and have better “good” cholesterol values with lower blood sugar and triglycerides.1 This is not surprising.

However, in nearly all these “muscles fight cancer” studies, other health issues were adjusted for and the findings still held. In other words, these studies seem to suggest that strength is independently associated with a lower risk of cancer and a higher change of avoiding an untimely death, regardless of age, smoking, alcohol usage, or other health issues. But as we know, associations can only take us so far, before we must explore the mechanism that support these associations.

Muscles Fight Cancer – It’s the Muscles!
In the study above, the scientists found some intriguing results: the benefits of muscular strength overlap with cardiovascular fitness, but the benefits of muscular strength in decreasing the risk of cancer death work through different mechanisms.1 Perhaps the synergy exists, or in other words, having more muscle and strength is good, and exercising them is better.

For instance, we know that exercising our muscles leads to:

Improved insulin sensitivity (less insulin needed to remove sugar from our blood)
More sugar extracted from our blood by skeletal muscle and used for energy during exercise
Less cancer-promoting sugar and insulin floating around our blood
A decrease in the levels of hormones that, over a prolonged period, can lead to cancer. For instance, resistance training increases IGFBP-3, which binds to insulin-like growth factor (IGF), decreasing its ability to promote cancer (growth factors are normal within the human body, but too many can lead to excessive cellular growth, including cancer growth)7
Decreased inflammation (which when present, serves as a fertilizer for cancer)
Increased antioxidant defense, which helps fight potential cancer-causing free-radicals
Less inflammation-producing body fat
However, recent studies have changed much of our thinking when it comes to muscle. There are many organs in our body that respond to stimuli and secrete hormones, which serve as messages to direct remote parts of the body. We are recently starting to find some more unconventional organ-like structures in the body. For instance, it is now well-established that our adipose tissue works like an endocrine organ – albeit a bad one – secreting inflammatory hormones and an excess of potentially cancer-stimulating hormones.8 Take estrogen for example, which is a hormone that both men and women require to function normally. However, when supplied in higher than physiologically normal amounts from excess body fat, it can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer. When women lose theses additional pounds through dietary changes and exercise, estrogen levels decrease.9

Studies have now shown that fat is not the only recently discovered endocrine organ. Muscle may act similarly, though this time to the benefit of our health. The metabolic muscular organ within us secretes IL-6, an important cytokine that was once felt to be a bad guy that caused inflammation. Newer studies reveal that IL-6 has a healthy role and is actually a myokine, which is an endocrine hormone produced by muscle (myo = muscle) and released during contraction. In other words, while fat secretes harmful hormones, muscles squeeze out some healthy hormones during lifting.

You can read the rest at his site referenced above. He is a radiation oncologist and stays up on what’s new in cancer and ways we can fight this disease.

He gives us the Warburg effect from the early 1900’s. These things decrease cancer and its hold on us.:

Muscle contraction during exercise,16,17 with the more intense exercise resulting in increased expression of AMPK18
Carbohydrate restriction (with or without fasting and even in the face of an increase in calories)19
Intermittent fasting20

There is much on complex chemical processes in our bodies and how these all work together to make us healthy or sick. Good article on muscles making us fight cancer!!

Belly Fat may Drive the Inflammatory Processes Associated With Disease


https://source.wustl.edu/2007/03/belly-fat-may-drive-inflammatory-processes-associated-with-disease/

As scientists learn more about the key role of inflammation in diabetes, heart disease and other disorders, new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that fat in the belly may be an important promoter of that inflammation.

In this abdominal MRI scan, it is possible to see subcutaneous fat around the abdomen, surrounding
In this abdominal MRI scan, it is possible to see subcutaneous fat around the abdomen, surrounding abdominal muscles. Visceral fat is deeper inside the abdomen, surrounding internal organs.It is the visceral fat that secretes IL-6, strongly suggesting a mechanistic link to systemic inflammation.
Excess fat is known to be associated with disease, but now the researchers have confirmed that fat cells inside the abdomen are secreting molecules that increase inflammation. It’s the first evidence of a potential mechanistic link between abdominal fat and systemic inflammation.

For years, scientists have been aware of a relationship between disease risk and excess belly fat. “Apple-shaped” people, who carry fat in the abdomen, have a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and other problems than “pear-shaped” people, who tend to store fat in the hips and thighs. Too much abdominal fat is associated with a defect in the body’s response to insulin. During medical exams, some physicians measure waist circumference to identify patients at increased risk for these problems.

Not just any belly fat will cause inflammation, however. Back in 2004, Washington University investigators found that removing abdominal fat with liposuction did not provide the metabolic benefits normally associated with similar amounts of fat loss induced by dieting or exercising.

Samuel Klein
Samuel Klein
“Despite removing large amounts of subcutaneous fat from beneath the skin — about 20 percent of a person’s total body fat mass — there were no beneficial medical effects,” says Samuel Klein, M.D., the Danforth Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Science and the senior investigator on both studies. “These results demonstrated that decreasing fat mass by surgery, which removes billions of fat cells, does not provide the metabolic benefits seen when fat mass is reduced by lowering calorie intake, which shrinks the size of fat cells and decreases the amount of fat inside the abdomen and other tissues.”

In this new study, researchers looked instead at visceral fat — the fat that surrounds the organs in the gut. Unlike subcutaneous fat, visceral fat is not easy to remove surgically because it is very close to the intestines and other internal organs. Since they couldn’t just take out the fat, the research team decided to analyze the blood that ran through it to determine whether visceral fat was involved in inflammation or whether, like subcutaneous fat, it was merely a marker of potential problems.

Reporting in the journal Diabetes, the research team says visceral fat likely contributes to increases in systemic inflammation and insulin resistance. They sampled blood from the portal vein in obese patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery and found that visceral fat in the abdomen was secreting high levels of an important inflammatory molecule called interleukin-6 (IL-6) into portal vein blood.

Luigi Fontana
Luigi Fontana
“The portal vein is filled with blood that drains visceral fat,” says first author Luigi Fontana, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis and an investigator at the Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy. “Portal vein blood had levels of IL-6 that were 50 percent higher than blood from the periphery.”

Increased IL-6 levels in the portal vein correlated with concentrations of an inflammatory substance called C-reactive protein (CRP) in the body. High CRP levels are related to inflammation, and chronic inflammation is associated with insulin resistance, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis, among other things.

“These data support the notion that visceral fat produces inflammatory cytokines that contribute to insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease,” says Klein.

Klein, Fontana and J. Christopher Eagon, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, looked at blood samples from 25 patients. All were extremely obese, and all were undergoing gastric bypass surgery. They took blood from the portal vein and from the radial artery in the arm and found differences in levels of IL-6 between the samples.

Fontana believes the findings help explain how visceral fat can lead to inflammation, insulin resistance and other metabolic problems. And he says by contributing to inflammation, visceral fat cells in the abdomen may be doing even more than that.

“Many years ago, atherosclerosis was thought to be related to lipids and to the excessive deposit of cholesterol in the arteries,” Fontana says. “Nowadays, it’s clear that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. There also is evidence that inflammation plays a role in cancer, and there is even evidence that it plays a role in aging. Someday we may learn that visceral fat is involved in those things, too.”

Fontana L, Eagon JC, Trujillo ME, Scherer PE, Klein S. Visceral fat adipokine secretion is associated with systemic inflammation in obese humans. Diabetes, published online Feb. 7, 2007.

This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Washington University School of Medicine’s full-time and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Keto Pizza! It. Is. Great!


Keto Pizza-easy and good!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 8 oz blocks of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • Pepperoni, mushrooms and/or whatever toppings you love on your pizza

Directions

Set oven at 425 degrees F.

Shred each of the 2 blocks of mozzarella cheese, keeping each in a separate bowl.

Brown the 1 lb of ground beef. Mix 8 oz of the cheese with the ground beef.

Spread the ground beef-cheese mixture over the bottom of a cake pan or pie pan. 5″x5″ or a similar size.

Pour the 8 oz can of tomato sauce over the ground beef and cheese mixture. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the top.

Place your favorite pizza toppings. We love lots of pepperoni, and mushrooms.

Then spread the other bowl of shredded mozzarella cheese over the top.

Place in 425 degree F oven for 20 minutes.

Take out. Let sit 5 minutes. Cut into serving sizes. Makes 4 large servings.

Enjoy!

Macro nutrition in each serving:

Calories 488, Carbohydrates 6 gm, Fat 34 gm, Protein 38 gm