Staying Mentally Fit and Healthy into Old Age with the Right Nutrition

Recent research suggests that the classic Western diet with its many industrially-processed, fatty foods causes an increasing number of depressive and anxiety disorders. Unhealthy eating promotes inflammatory processes in the body and may contribute to a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. A study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh with 247 participants showed that with a diet consisting mainly of tuna, salmon, olive oil, avocado and sweet potatoes, the participants showed far fewer depressive symptoms than the other group of test subjects, most of whom preferred industrially-processed foods.

More and more neuroscientists are recognizing the complex ways in which our food intake is related to brain health. A large number of studies have already been conducted and the list of foodstuffs that are supposed to be the right “food” for our brain is getting longer and longer – fish and the Omega 3 fatty acids, for example, are at the top of the list when it comes to preventing psychoses and depression. Lactic acid bacteria in fermented foods such as yogurt, pickles and sauerkraut appear to help alleviate anxiety and worry, while foods rich in antioxidants such as green tea and fruit can help keep dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay. One or two comparative studies are of course still required to clarify and supplement these findings. However, the most certain evidence to date is that the so-called Mediterranean diet of fruit, vegetables, fish, lean meat, olive oil and a glass of red wine every now and then is refreshment for the brain. In Western cuisine, on the other hand, frozen pizza, packaged soups and canned food are often on the table. According to a representative survey by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, 20% of German households cook their own meals “actually never” or “at most once a week” – and 47% of German men and 22% of German women eat meat every day, which the experts also regard as being problematic.

In a study published in 2015, scientists even found evidence that poor nutrition “shrinks” the brain. The psychiatrist Felice Jacka, together with colleagues from Deakin University and the University of Melbourne in Australia, analyzed data from a longitudinal Australian study on mental health. At the start of the study, the subjects were between 60 and 64 years old, gave detailed information about their eating habits and underwent a brain scan. Their brains were scanned again four years later, and the focus was on the hippo-campus – which is considered the center of our memory. We also know that the hippo-campus shrinks with increasing age. The study results clearly showed that the left hippo-campus had become much smaller in the test persons who preferred hamburgers, steaks, french fries and soft drinks and declined fruit and vegetables, compared to those of test persons of the same age group who mostly preferred Mediterranean food.
The researchers are still not quite sure exactly which mechanisms are behind these findings. According to science, inflammatory processes could be one of the triggering factors. A high sugar content diet in particular promotes metabolic changes and inflammation in the body and several studies have shown that these inflammatory processes play an important role in brain diseases.

Epidemiologist Martha Morris and her team at Rush University in Chicago established similar relationships between nutrition (Mediterranean and low-salt) and cognitive decline in old age. In the observational study, 960 older people were asked about their eating habits and their mental fitness was regularly checked. Five years later, participants who said they often ate vegetables, berries, nuts and olive oil and little fried, fast food and red meat were less frequently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In the mental test, they also scored as well as subjects who were 7.5 years younger, but who had eaten unhealthy food.

Conclusion: A healthy diet combined with exercise and mental activity can help keep the “grey matter” fit longer in old age.

Silvia Bürkle
Metabolic Balance

Source:
1.    Jacka, F.N. et al.: Western Diet is Associated with a Smaller Hippocampus: A Longitudinal Investigation. In: BMC Medicine 13,215, 2015
2.    Morris, M.C. et al.: MIND Diet Associated with Reduced Incidence of Alzheimers’s disease. In: Alzheimers’s & Dementia 11, P. 1007-1014, 2015
3.    Sarris, J. et al: Nutritional Medicine as Mainstream in Psychiatry. In: Lancet Psychiatry 2, P. 271-274, 2015

The Metabolic Balance® Secret of Success – Improved Quality of Life through Food!

Are you one of our many satisfied customers, who already feel great after a few weeks on the plan? What is the secret of success?

You know the answer: metabolic balance® uses natural foods and pays attention to a balanced ratio of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Therefore, the body is optimally supplied with all the important nutrients. Your intestines also benefit from the fact that we do not use sugars and preservatives. By combining the right foods for each individual and take breaks between meals, insulin levels are kept low. Thus, neither food cravings, nor the associated nervousness accrue. In addition, the natural urge to move is promoted, which helps to reduce stress symptoms quickly.

The result: A more balanced, happier attitude to life and an improved well-being can be achieved quickly by changing the diet. Stress and hectic are thus actively counteracted and the quality of life increases significantly.

Source: Wissenswertes von Metabolic Balance® Gesundheitsbrief Mai 2018

Intestinal Bacteria do not like Salt!

Salt flavors your food nicely – but at the same time it also provides valuable minerals and plays an important role in regulating the water balance in the human organism. Sodium chloride, a component of salt, is also needed for the nervous system, digestion and bone formation – but you should use it sparingly. It has long been known that an excess of table salt in foosalt-1778597_1920d can cause high blood pressure – but what very few of us know is that the course of multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease, can also be negatively influenced by salt.
The normal daily requirement is two to three grams, but this is often exceeded, since most people not only use salt to season their food, they also consume it in many salty processed products.
A team of researchers led by Dominik Müller at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin investigated the effect of high salt consumption on the intestinal flora. The composition of the intestinal flora is becoming more and more important in a wide range of diseases – and is increasingly becoming the focus of research.
The intestinal mucosa is the main habitat of the immune cells, which produce a large army of antibodies, neurotransmitters and defense & scavenger cells to protect the body from foreign substances. Earlier studies have shown that too much table salt in food increases the number of immune cells called “Th17 helper cells”. These cells then produce increased levels of the Interleukin-17 messenger substance, which triggers inflammatory reactions in the blood vessels. Blood pressure increases, and the development of autoimmune diseases can be stimulated as a result.

In the Berlin study, the research team investigated the extent to which the intestinal flora changes due to excessive salt consumption. For two weeks, mice were given 0.3 grams of table salt every day with their food. Examination of the feces samples for the composition of the bacterial species showed that the number of some bacterial species was reduced and that some of them had disappeared completely from the digestive tract – the intestinal bacteria of the genus Lactobacillus, for example, could no longer be detected after 14 days of increased salt intake.

So, to what extent is this result transferable to humans? In a pilot study with twelve healthy men, the researchers tested the composition of bacteria in the digestive tract. The men were given six grams of table salt for 14 days in addition to their normal food. They consumed an average of 12-14 grams of table salt per day. The intestinal bacteria of the genus Lactobacillus also reacted in the test persons – and could not be detected at the end of the test.

Another interesting result of the study was that significantly fewer Th17 helper cells were formed in mice that had been fed a salt-rich diet and probiotic lactobacilli – and their blood pressure also decreased. It is not clear whether lactobacilli, which are mainly found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt and cheese, have an effect like that of the probiotic lactobacilli that were added to the food – particularly since the researchers cannot rule out the possibility that there are other salt-sensitive bacterial species that have an important influence on health.

Further studies are necessary to shed more light on this – and the results of these studies may enable us to counteract autoimmune diseases with an individually-adapted probiotic therapy. This is something to look forward to!

Silvia Bürkle
Metabolic Balance

Easter Eggs & and the issue with Cholesterol

The Easter Eggs – cooked and colorfully dyed, now before Easter you can find hard boiled eggs in the stores! They are traditionally part of Easter and should symbolize fertility and new life.easter-eggs-3213085_1280

Not only at Easter, the egg is booming: on average, Germans eat 210 eggs per year, according to the Federal Statistics Office. In the U.S. statista reports 274 eggs per capita consumption. This is no wonder, because eggs can be used to prepare and refine numerous dishes. But the rumor persists that eggs are unhealthy. Cholesterol is the name of the villain to whom the eggs owe their bad reputation and is said to be partly responsible for atherosclerosis, stroke and heart attack. Although eggs are one of the high-cholesterol foods, fortunately this is not the only ingredient that eggs have. In addition to high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals, the egg yolk also contains lecithin (phosphatidylcholine), which largely blocks the absorption of cholesterol into the body – as has been confirmed in various studies. Therefore, you can enjoy your Easter eggs!

Did you know why boiled eggs sometimes have a green border around the yolk?
This is because protein compounds of the yolk release the micronutrient iron by cooking too long. At the same time, hydrogen sulfide forms in the egg white. Iron and hydrogen sulfide combine to form iron sulfide with its blue-green coloration, and creates a blue-green border around the yolk, which, however, is completely harmless.

Source: Wissenswertes von Metabolic Balance® Gesundheitsbrief Maerz 2018

Heartburn and Drugs for Acid-Related Disorders

Many of us are more or less familiar with heartburn. Spicy-hot food, sweets, alcohol, coffee, eating at a late hour or being overweight are just some of the reasons we may get heartburn. And to get rid of these unpleasant symptoms, more often than not we reach for acid reducers or antacids. In Germany, one in every eight individuals take antacids, of which Omeprazole, Pantoprazole or Lansoprazole are some examples. In the U.S. Milk of Magnesia, Maalox, Pepto-Bismol, Tums and many more are known OTC acid reducing drugs. They’re fast-acting and allow us to enjoy everything we eat and drink without suffering the consequences. Yet those OTC-meds are not as harmless as they are frequently portrayed – especially if taken over a long period.tums-1528834_1920

Antacids, otherwise known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, block an enzyme referred to as a “proton pump”, which is found in the parietal cells of the stomach lining. Stomach acid is produced in the parietal cells and then transported into the stomach with the aid of the proton pump. If the proton pump is blocked, very little or no acid is transported into the stomach. It is this mechanism that relieves heartburn sufferers.

Unfortunately, it also has hidden risks, especially if acid blockers are taken frequently and regularly. Because stomach acid also acts as a disinfectant, killing bacteria that you eat with your food. If little or no stomach acid is produced, the bacteria are able to migrate into the intestines unobstructed and modify the composition of the gut bacteria – for the worse.
Another point is that protein is also digested in the stomach. Low stomach acid levels raise the pH of the stomach, with the result that proteins are only partially broken down. Large protein molecules then enter the gut, some of which are unable to enter the bloodstream and start to rot. Some of the large protein particles are absorbed through the gut lining, but are considered as foreign bodies, which can result in allergies.
The modified pH of the stomach also makes it more difficult to absorb minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, and in the long run contributes to a large deficit of vital nutrients which may result in symptoms such as exhaustion, fatigue, cramps, dizziness, and much more.
The parietal cells are not only responsible for producing stomach acid; they are also required for the production of what is known as the “intrinsic factor”. The intrinsic factor facilitates the absorption of vitamin B12. When absent, vitamin B12 deficiency is the inevitable result.

Heartburn can often be managed with a few simple changes to your eating habits and lifestyle – without any kind of medication. Experts recommend losing weight if you are overweight, restrict alcohol and coffee consumption, and eating less fried and spicy food. Instead, try including more steamed vegetables, potatoes and millet in your diet. Also, prefer non-carbonated water, herbal tea or diluted vegetable juices to quench your thirst.

Quick fixes for heartburn
– Medicinal clay or zeolite
– Soaked ground flaxseed or psyllium husks
– Potato juice
– Chew a few almonds or hazelnuts, mixing them well in your mouth with saliva, then swallow this pulp in small portions.

Silvia Bürkle
Medical Advisory Body, Metabolic Balance.

Our Health and Immune System in Winter Times

IMG_6114The human immune system is a central component of the body’s defenses, protecting the body from invading bacteria and viruses. But not only the immune system must be supported, also the skin has an increased need for care. Cold and dry heating air remove moisture from the skin. It narrows the skin vessels, the production of sebum is reduced and the formation of the central skin barrier is shut down. As a result of this combination, the skin becomes uncomfortably dry, brittle and cracked. In order that the skin does not suffer and it radiates vitality even in the cold season, a combination of external and internal care is a “must”. Dry skin can be prevented with the help of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are abundant in sea fish and cold pressed vegetable oils such as flax seed oil and rapeseed oil (oil colza). It is also important that the fluid reservoirs are filled up and we are hydrated. Even if in winter the feeling of thirst is something sparse, we must drink enough. It is recommended to drink plenty of herbal teas, ginger water and mineral water.

In addition to the above mentioned cold-season-care, we should also ensure that the body is sufficiently supplied with vitamins. The vitamins A, C and E fight together against the cell-damaging free radicals, strengthen and support the connective tissue, prevent the skin from becoming chapped and dry. Vitamin B5 (panthothenic acid) is the vitamin that can bind moisture and give the skin a radiant complexion. Vitamin B3 enhances skin protection and relieves redness.

An ideal vitamin supplier for the cold season is cabbage, which is available harvest-fresh even in cold regions in the winter. Looking at the typical vitamin-rich winter vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and kale the first frost on the fields even enhances its taste. But beetroot, Teltower turnip, turnip, salsify and parsnip are also rich in vitamins and minerals.

A vitamin-rich diet, regular exercise, plenty of drinking, sufficient sleep and sauna visits ensure that you can enjoy the cold season with all its most beautiful sides and your skin survives the winter unscathed.

source: metabolic balance® Gesundheitsbrief February 2018

Cold and Flu Season in Full Swing

As always at this time of year, many are effected by cold viruses and the flu. Most of us rely on the power of nature to combat the unpopular symptoms of infection. For example, thyme is an effective mucus remover, plants-2682058_1920 has the ability to strengthen the body’s defenses and sea buckthorn is a true vitamin power packs: they are rich in vitamin C, but also in B12, E and beta-carotene. To choose natural preference instead of chemical agents is good, especially for colds, but you should consider some details when self-medicating:

  • Medicinal plants are suitable for the prevention of mild ailments and for the early treatment of a recent illness.
  • In case of unclear cause of discomfort or unclear symptoms you should always consult a doctor.
  • If the symptoms do not improve after three days of self-treatment or your condition worsens, you should definitely consult a doctor.
  • For chronic conditions, you should always discuss self-treatment with your physician.

In any case eating healthy and drinking lots of water will help you improve and recover the fastest.

Take care of yourself and be well!

Happy New Year!

One of the great things about the New Year is, that it allows each of us a chance for a new start. It gives us a chance to mindfully reflect on the past year’s successes and failures and to set a new course for self-improvement, focusing on what is truly important.

Here are 20 positive tips to help 2018-1you leap boldly from 2017 into the new year 2018
http://www.jongordon.com/positivetip/…/2018_PositiveTips.pdf

We here at metabolic balance® wish you a very happy, successful healthy and love filled 2018!

Picture Source: YourStory.com