Coach Alicia Fong

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Health tip for week June 6th

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Be aware that high fructose corn syrup will be renamed to “corn sugar”.

The new name “corn sugar” was submitted to the federal government for permission to be used in food labels by the Corn Refiners Association. They have leverage with the government and it is most likely to be approved so look forward to the new label. Don’t mistaken by thinking it’s different. It’s the same and is very bad for you.

What is exactly high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)?

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a man-made sweetener that is found in a wide range of processed foods, from ketchup and cereals to crackers and salad dressings. It also sweetens just about all of the (regular) soda Americans drink. HFCS used in foods is between 50 to 55 percent fructose—so chemically, it’s virtually identical to table sugar (sucrose), which is 50 percent fructose. Metabolic studies suggest our bodies break down and use HFCS and sucrose the same way.

Why is it bad for you?

Research has shown that “high-fructose corn syrup” goes directly to the liver, releasing enzymes that instruct the body to then store fat! This may elevate triglyceride (fat in blood) levels and elevate cholesterol levels. This fake fructose may slow fat burning and cause weight gain. Other research indicates that it does not stimulate insulin production, which usually creates a sense of being full. Therefore, people may eat more than they should. Indications also are that the important chromium levels are lowered by this sweetener which may then contribute to type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a contributor too.

HFCS is easy to transport in tanker trucks. It isn’t susceptible to freezer burn, as is sugar. It has a long shelf life and keeps foods from becoming dry. It gives bread and baked products a wonderful color. It’s also cheaper than white sugar, partly because of generous federal subsidies and trade policies that encourage farmers to grow more corn. Fast food chains add it to their products because it is cheaper. It’s in the sauces, in the condiments, in the breadings, in the buns and in the drinks. It is the commercially preferred artificial sweetener by mist food manufacturers.

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June 6, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week May 23rd

Having sugar management issues?

I know how hard it is to stop eating sweets especially when you have cravings.  I have the same issue.  I wanted to get lean and I knew cutting sweets (desserts, chocolate, fruits and most protein bars) was a big step toward losing fat.  But it was so hard to stop when all I could think was chocolate.  One supplement that has helped me in the past is Alpha-lipoic acid.  After a week of taking this, my cravings stopped and I was able to stop eating sweets and my body got leaner.  Alpha-lipoic acid has many other benefits which I will discuss below, but first let me give you a definition and end this blog with a suggestion of which form of alpha-lipoic acid is best to take.

  • What is Alpha-lipoic acid?

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that is made by the body and is found in every cell, where it helps turn glucose into energy. Antioxidants are substances that attack “free radicals,” waste products created when the body turns food into energy. Free radicals cause harmful chemical reactions that can damage cells in the body, making it harder for the body to fight off infections. They also damage organs and tissues.

Unlike other antioxidants, which work only in water (such as vitamin C) or fatty tissues (such as vitamin E), alpha-lipoic acid is both fat- and water-soluble. That means it can work throughout the body. In addition, antioxidants are depleted as they attack free radicals, but evidence suggests alpha-lipoic acid may help regenerate these other antioxidants and make them active again.

 In the cells of the body, alpha-lipoic acid is converted into dihydrolipoic acid. Alpha-lipoic acid is not the same as alpha linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that may help heart health.

  • What are the benefits?

Insulin

ALA has an insulin like effect. It does not take the place of insulin, only mimics it. ALA has been shown to increase glucose uptake by mimicking insulin.

Individuals that display limitations in moderating blood sugar concentrations often have a serious problem with glycation caused by higher than normal levels of blood sugar due to low insulin production or insulin resistance. Glycation happens when blood sugar reacts quickly and spontaneously with proteins to form damaging cross-linking. This cross-linking causes severe tissue damage and leads to kidney ailments, plaque build-up in the arteries, and retinopathy. Lipoic acid curtails glycation and enhances the transfer of blood sugar into the cells by stimulating insulin activity

Diabetes

Alpha-lipoic acid can lower blood sugar levels, and its ability to kill free radicals may help reduce pain, burning, itching, tingling, and numbness in people who have nerve damage caused by diabetes (called peripheral neuropathy). Alpha-lipoic acid has been used for years for this purpose in Europe, and at least one study found that intravenous (IV) doses of alpha-lipoic acid helped reduce symptoms. However, the evidence indicating that taking alpha-lipoic acid orally will help is weaker. Most studies have been small and poorly designed. One 2006 study did show benefit from taking alpha-lipoic acid for diabetic neuropathy compared to placebo.

Taking alpha-lipoic acid does appear to help another diabetes-related condition called autonomic neuropathy, which affects the nerves supplying the heart. One study found that 73 people with autonomic neuropathy improved when taking 800 mg of alpha-lipoic acid orally compared to placebo.

 Liver Disease

Alpha-lipoic acid has been proposed as a treatment for alcohol-related liver disease, but so far there is no evidence that it works. Alpha-lipoic acid has been administered by IV along with silymarin to treat people who have eaten the poisonous mushroom Amanita, which causes liver damage.

Brain Function and Stroke

Because alpha-lipoic acid can pass easily into the brain, it has protective effects on brain and nerve tissue. Scientists are investigating it as a potential treatment for stroke and other brain disorders involving free radical damage. Animals treated with alpha-lipoic acid, for example, suffered less brain damage and had a four times greater survival rate after a stroke than animals who did not receive this supplement. More research is needed to understand whether this benefit applies to people as well.

Immune system

There’s even been quite a bit of research showing it can restore T cell function. T cells are a type of white blood cells that are of key importance to your immune system, and are at the core of adaptive immunity, the system that tailors your body’s immune response to specific pathogens.

  • Which form is better to intake?

Studies have shown that the naturally-occurring R(+) form is significantly more effective that the synthetic S(-) form. Dr. Peter Rouse suggests “Professional Complementary Health Formulas” brand.  This is a high-quality brand, only-doctors brand.  AF Performance is selling this brand and this product online.  And it is on sale for the next few weeks.   If you are interested in buying it, click on the picture.

Thanks for reading my blog and I apologize to all of my readers for not writing sooner.

R+ Alpha-lipoic Acid

May 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment