Dr. Pottenger was a medical doctor who studied the variation of health in cats that were given cooked and processed food and milk in comparison to cats given raw meat and milk. In his famous cat study. Dr. Pottenger demonstrated the rapid degeneration that occurred in cats over three generations of consuming cooked and processed meats and milk. The cats that were given raw unprocessed meat and unpasteurized non sweetened milk were proven to have healthier offspring for generations.
Dr. Pottengers father, who was also a medical doctor suspected that tuberculosis was linked to adrenal gland deficiencies. Dr. Pottenger sought to study the health effects that the high temperature cooking process has on food and the absorption of its intended nutrients. His curiosity let him to wonder if the cooking process rendered food nutritionally deficient causing degeneration.
The 10 year study indicated that cats who were fed cooked processed meat and milk exhibited low energy, dull fur, dental decay and gum assesses, lower body weight, and reproduction issues, among other health issues. Cats who were fed raw unprocessed meat and unpasteurized milk exhibited healthy fur, vibrant energy, agility, and coordination. Their offspring were well developed and healthy as well. Dr. Pottengers cat study is a glimpse into the long tern genetic effects of consuming over cooked processed foods have on current and future generations. Though the study has not been replicated, likely due to animal cruelty regulations, the implications are clear. Foods cooked at a high temperature and processed foods and pasteurized milk lack the nutritional content necessary for long term health and vitality.
FACING THE HISTORICAL FACTS
Obtaining current and historical information during an initial interview with a client is a necessary step in the healing process. Often times, the initial interview will shed light for the client to gain their own clarity (and learn more) about the root, cause, and/or solutions related to their condition.
Standard and comprehensive assessment questionnaires are useful for priming the client to think about their health in ways that they may not have focused on. The work completed by the client allows for the therapist to expand on the clients responses and to go into further depth towards understanding the clients complaints and strengths. One question that may be useful to ask a client at this stage is: “Were there any questions or responses that stood out for you? Basically, did you have “ah-ha” moments or realizations?”
I believe that individuals are often the holders of all of the answers that they need to heal. One of the ways that I seek to honor that is by asking clients “what their gut says “this” is all about?” and offer them enough time and support with tuning into their inner guidance system to listen for a response. Being curious and willing to learn about each client in this way allows therapists to better partner with their clients on their unique journey towards optimal health.
Why low fat & poor quality fat is detrimental to your health
A diet low in fat or high in rancid or hydrogenated fats is detrimental to the health of humans at the cellular level. Unfortunately, many Americans over consume hydrogenated fats in fast foods like hamburgers and french fries, and are inundated with misguided information and advertising that encourages a no fat/low fat diet. Over time, this has lead to the health epidemic of fatty acid deficiency that many Americans face today.
Fatty acid deficiency is a major factor in many health problems and diseases such as cardiovascular issues, immune issues, allergies, and depression to name a few. Ultimately, fatty acid deficiency is caused back the bodies’ inability to process and digest fat. Fat is an essential nutrient, however not all fat is good fat. Trans fats, hydrogenated fats, and partially hydrogenated fats are extremely toxic to the system. A diet low in fat or high in rancid or hydrogenated fats can lead to essential fatty acid deficiency and “typically, eating foods with higher amounts of these “junky” fats is linked to heart disease, stroke, and cancer” (E. Haas, Staying Healthy with Nutrition, pg. 397).
At the cellular level, which is the very basis of the human bodies make up, healthy fats are a necessary nutrient for proper cellular functioning. Fat acts as the building blocks for all cell membranes in the body and provides nourishment and energy so that cells can function optimally. Cellular functioning is important because collections of cells form tissues, which then form organs. If the very cells that make up the tissues that make up the organs are nutrient and energy deficient, the organs are also deficient and operate inefficiently.
An organ performs a specialized physiological function. An organ system is a group of specialized organs working together to achieve a specific function. When cells are deprived of the types of energy that healthy fat nutrients provide, the tissues and organs also operate inefficiently and ultimately lead to dysfunction and disease. This dysfunction is directly related to the absence of the nutrients required by the body to properly function and prevent disease.
Undigested fats assault the immune system
The goal of digestion is to reduce food to molecules so small that the nutrients can be absorbed and used by the cells. When fats are not properly digested, they can cause harm to the immune system by damaging the gut lining and seeping into the bloodstream.
As food containing fat makes its way through the digestive system from the mouth into the stomach, fat stimulate the liver to produce bile. The liver continuously produces and stores bile as fats enter the digestive system. Bile is what the liver makes to break down fats and what the gallbladder secrets to further break down fat for absorption in the small intestines. Healthy fats build thin bile, while unhealthy fats (trans-fats, hydrogenated fats, etc.) cause bile to become think and sludge slowly down the digestive tract, causing fats to remain partially undigested as they enter the small intestine.
If the gallbladder doesn't contract to release bile, or if the bile is so thick that it secretes too slowly to assist, the gallbladder fills up with bile and overtime loses its ability to contract because it gets stretched out and lazy. When the gallbladder is unable to release bile, any fat that remains in the small intestine can not be further broken down for absorption of the nutrients: fatty acids, diglycerides, and triglycerides. If large fat molecules arrive in the small intestine because bile is not released by the gallbladder to emulsify those fats into fatty acids, and if lipase from the pancreas can’t come in to break down the fats further, then fats enter the lymph and the blood undigested.
Instead of providing nourishment and energy as fat should, undigested fats damage the villi and microvilli in the small intestine. Over time the villi and microvilli get worn down, which leads to small holes that allow inappropriate materials to pass through the gut wall and leak into the blood stream and immune system. When the parasites and bacteria bad bugs take over, the immune system can then no longer tell the difference between the food as a nutrient or a virus, and treats it as a virus. This is how undigested fats cause an assault on the immune system.
Eating fat does NOT make you fat.
The popular misconception that “if you eat fat, you’ll get fat” has contributed dramatically to the rates of obesity and chronic disease in America over the past 50-years. Misguided information from non-objective researchers such as Dr. Ancel Keys, combined with media coverage that spreads this misinformation rampantly flooded the already sickened American population since the 1960’s. Fear of increased rates of heart attack, chronic disease, and obesity related to a diet high in fat, met with misguided nutritional recommendations posed as facts, has led the American public down a deep dark road to health despair.
Fats burn and speeds up metabolism, and burning fat is fastest method for losing weight. Fat also makes food taste good and remains in the stomach longer than other nutrients like carbohydrates and proteins, whereby providing longer lasting satiety and burning of energy. Processed foods that are low/no fat often contain excess sugar to make up for the taste lost from fat. Sugar and refined carbs are an addictive fast burning energy, which slows metabolism. A diet that lacks healthy fats will often be high in sugar and refined carbs to make up for the taste and energy missing from fat.
In more recent years older research has been reviewed and new studies have revealed that it is sugar and carbohydrates, not fat, that is directly related to obesity and chronic disease. Carbohydrates break down into sugar when eaten, and causes the blood sugar levels to spike. This spike, often provoked multiple times throughout the day does not allow blood sugar levels to fall and for fat reserves to be used for energy. Instead, fat remains stored for future use or goes rancid and leads to an assault on the immune system.
Big Food industries such as Nabisco and Kellogg have benefitted financially, as processed foods labeled as no/low fat were appealing to the fearful public taking heed to the medical professionals advise to avoid fat. It is no wonder that many of these industries have contributed financially to the research that misleads the American population to believe that fat, not sugar or carbohydrates, lead to obesity and other chronic diseases. This is how misguided knowledge is spread and adopted as truth.
Anti-inflammatory drugs block normal prostagland functioning.
Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, NSAIDS and steroids are commonly used to reduce pain and inflammation. These drugs work by blocking the process of prostaglandin function by inhibiting the conversion of essential fatty acids into prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins are hormone like substances that the body uses to control inflammation. There are three prostaglandins: PG1 and PG3 are anti-inflammatory and PG2 is inflammatory.
Though these anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce pain and inflammation by blocking the normal prostaglandin functions, they may prolong healing, as the body relies upon all three (PG1, PG3 are anti-inflammatory) prostaglandins to regulate the inflammation process. The body relies on PG1 and PG3 to bring inflammation back down, after PG2 has inflamed and begun to heal the area. These drugs bypass and block the process of PG2, as well as PG1 and PG3. Causing the loss of all of the important metabolic regulators and processes that the prostaglandins regulate and control.
Relationship between bone & pH levels
Minerals are stored in and released from the skeletal system (bones). Bones helps to buffer the pH level of the blood by storing and releasing calcium to and from the bloodstream, as it is needed to maintain vital blood pH levels. This both strengthens the bone and keeps you alive.
Calcium is stored or released in and out of the bone, and goes in between the bone and the blood tissue as the blood pH levels become too acidic or alkaline. This is a complicated process called calcium homeostasis, which requires the balance of multiple cofactors. When the blood pH level falls (becomes too acidic), calcium is released from bone and deposited into blood, and when the blood pH level rises (becomes too alkaline), calcium is deposited into bone from blood.
The Bone remodeling process strengthens the bone and keeps it strong over a lifetime, and keeps the blood pH level within the narrow (7.35-7.45) life demanding range to keep you alive for important physiological processes.
Distilled water isn't the best choice for everyone
Water depends on electrolytes for proper absorption. Electrolytes are minerals that become capable of conducting electricity when dissolved in water. Distilled water is great for detoxifying heavy metals but when it gets distilled, it loses all its minerals. The distillation process removes most minerals, organisms, and chemicals. However volatile chemicals that have a higher boiling point than water remain in distilled water.
“Therefore, when consumed, it attracts minerals (and toxins) to balance with the other body fluids. The regular consumption of distilled water, especially by someone who may already be slightly deficient, can cause mineral deficiencies. Fasting for long periods exclusively on distilled water to pull out toxins is not recommended because of the potential mineral depletions it can create.” (Staying Healthy With Nutrition pg. 22)
3 ways elevated cortisol disrupts Endocrine System balance
Cortisol is a hormone that is secreted by the adrenal gland in response to all types of stress, including: refined sugars and a high glycemic diet, coffee and other stimulants, alcohol, the morning commute, emotional stress, digestive compromises, nutritional weaknesses, disease and other pathologies. The body perceives and responds to all stressors in the same way, by secreting cortisol. The Endocrine System is a complex system of delicate, interconnected relationships. Elevated cortisol disrupts Endocrine System balance in many ways, here are three:
When cortisol is chronically elevated (due to multiple stressors over extended periods of time), the adrenals become fatigued, and struggle to keep up with cortisol production. This can lead to low DHEA, low progesterone and abnormal progesterone to estrogen ratio. The Adrenals have three basic hormonal functions: regulate blood sugar and inflammation; regulate mineral balance; and produce sex hormones.
Since all stressors require a response, the adrenals will squelch the necessary nutrients from other vital, but less emergent systems (like the Endocrine and Digestive Systems) to produce more and more cortisol. Stealing nutrients (such as fatty acids and amino acids) from these other systems leaves too few precursor nutrients to make hormones. This is known as Cortisol/Pregnenolone Stealing. Lack of digestion effects the livers ability to deactivate, break down, or remove hormones that are in excess or no longer functional.
Chronic elevated cortisol levels can effect the insulin receptors on the cells, and their ability to respond adequately to insulin. This overburdens the pancreas to produce more insulin, which leads to prolonged high insulin levels. This can lead to insulin resistance, which increases the sex hormones testosterone in women and increased estrogen in men.
An impaired digestive system can lead to an autoimmune disease
One in five people suffer from autoimmune diseases such as Celiac Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. These types of diseases arise from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. The immune system mistakes some part of the body as a pathogen and attacks its own cells as if a “non‐self.
Digestion is important for proper immune system function. 70-80% of the entire immune system resides in the gut. Proteins and microbes that were not disintegrated by hydrochloric acid in the stomach, enter the small intestine partially digested or undigested and damage the delicate intestinal lining.
Over time the damaged lining perforates and small holes allow inappropriately sized proteins and microbes to enter into the blood stream. This triggers an immune response to tend to the "invader", which was once known as a nutritious piece of food. This is called Leaky Gut, which contributes to allergies, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases. The immune system then develops a memory (antibodies) that trigger an immune response whenever that food is consumed again, which is how food allergies are developed. It is in this way that an impaired digestive system can lead to an autoimmune disease.
The common relationship between a low-fat diet and the increased production of insulin as it relates to cardiovascular health.
Inflammation is a major contributor to the most common forms of heart disease. Good fats are the best source of energy for the heart, and an appropriate mix of fatty acids is critical for the management of inflammation. Low-fat diets disrupt the body’s ability to produce prostaglandins, which manage the inflammatory process. Excess insulin also blocks the PG1 pathway for prostaglandin anti‐inflammatory production and damages the delicate lining of the heart arteries.
“Our body cells have limited capacity for taking in glucose, and excess intake creates a pro-inflammatory environment in the body. It alters the biochemistry in such a way that inflammation is encouraged and cannot be terminated.” “When we injured our endothelium, inflammation begins in the vascular wall, and because of hyperinsulinemia it cannot stop, leading to growth of atherosclerotic plaque, heart attach, or stroke.” (Put your heart in your mouth, N. Campbell-McBride, pg 55 )
It is vital to address proper digestion and elimination before initiating a detoxification protocol
A properly prepared nutrient dense diet that consists of water and a well balanced ratio of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates is necessary to support healthy digestion and overall health. If elimination pathways are not open, then toxins released during the detoxification process risk becoming dislodged from one part of the body and trapped when redistributed to other areas of the body.
If we are not digesting our food, then the primary elimination pathway of the colon is probably clogged/impaired/blocked and wont allow excretion of toxins and waste. If we are not digesting proteins, we cannot make the specific amino acids (such as Methionine which is necessary to run the Sulfation pathway) that are required for the phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification pathways that takes place in the liver.
If we are not digesting fats (by consuming unhealthy fats or by not consuming enough healthy fats), the liver cannot provide the river of free flowing bile where it dumps toxins. This can impair the bile and clog the lymphatic system, because the lymph can’t flow freely which clogs up the liver with fats that aren't moving. The liver is the body’s master transformation site responsible for cleaning and purifying the blood that nourishes the entire body.
By addressing the foundations of a nutrient dense properly prepared diet, digestion, blood sugar regulation, fatty acid balance, minerals/vitamins balance, and hydration, the elimination pathways and the organs that support elimination and detoxification are prepared to properly dislodge, neutralize and excrete toxic waste.
Adequate digestion is key to maintaining optimal levels of mental wellness.
Inadequate digestion deeply impacts the ability to absorb nutrients and develop neurotransmitters that lend to mental wellness. Neurotransmitters are various chemicals that support communication between the brain and entire nervous system. They require the digestion and absorption of adequate nutrients including: amino acids (Aspartic Acid, Asparagine, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, GABA, Glycine, Phenylalanine, Taurine, Tryptophan, Tyrosine), essential fatty acids, minerals in balance, vitamins (especially B6 and other B vitamins), and enzymes to form and develop. Shortages of these nutrients lead to anger, depression, hyperactivity, drug/alcohol cravings, and unpleasant moods.
There are 5 specific neurotransmitters in the brain that “help to create the “chemistry of emotion” and are responsible for the depth of moods, depression, anger management, problem resolution, and energy & activity levels.” These specific neurotransmitters are:
GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) - Loads the receptors required to activate a panic response and enhances the brain’s ability to calm itself.
Serotonin - A powerful vasoconstrictor and has involvement in perception processes.
Norepinephrine - Involved in mental energy and long-term memory
Endorphin - Has potent analgesic (pain-relieving) properties and mediates negative mood patterns
Dopamine - Facilitates critical brain functions. Responsible for fine motor control, pleasure, and sexual arousal.
Digestion of a nutrient dense diet is critical for the absorption of micronutrients, amino acids and essential fatty acids in the small intestine (where 80-90% of Serotonin is produced). Proper stomach pH is necessary for digestion of proteins that breakdown into the amino acids (which create neurotransmitters). The liver and gallbladder are necessary for the break down of fats into essential fatty acids (which create neurotransmitters), and fat-soluble vitamins. The liver along with the colon also is important for the removal of toxins and waste.
Digestion is a north to south process-it begins in the brain (which is made up primarily of fatty acids), and ends with the elimination of feces. When the body is provided the nutrients needed to function optimally, the ability to “digest” the world around you and enjoy mental wellness becomes stronger.
Adrenal Fatigue in African American Working Mamas
(Due to high stress demands, poor diet, and lifestyle choices)
Adrenal fatigue is one of the most common abnormal conditions of the adrenal gland. It usually results to inconsistencies in the hormone production functions of the adrenal glands. The human adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys hence the name ad (on top) renal (renal). The adrenal gland produces the two hormones produced by the body during stress situations, the famous fight or flight hormones.
The meals we eat, and also any snacks we take in bring about slight peaks or elevations in the levels of adrenal hormones our body produce. People whose lifestyle incorporates habits like: getting enough sleep, good relaxation and stress management techniques, proper hygiene and healthy dietary habits. While shunning unhealthy habits like tobacco smoking, abuse of substances and illicit drugs use. There’s no way for such people to be aware that they have adrenal organs as the organs are quietly and normally working in the background.
However, in contrast, for some other people who develop allergies to numerous kinds of food components because of over-sensitization. People that catch every flu that passes through the mostly overcrowded neighborhood, and for people that work round the clock with hectic and tedious job routines especially people doing menial jobs, having their energy leave them at around three hours from noon till the end of the day. Adrenal fatigue is likely on the way.
More so, it appears that there are several factors responsible for adrenal fatigue, the lifestyle conditions described in the previous paragraph results to prolonged stress reaction causing protracted stimulation and triggering of the adrenal glands by the trophic hormone ACTH leading to exhaustion of the adrenal glands.
Issues found in health and health care that leads to a shorter life span due systemic conditions like adrenal fatigue for black Americans start before birth. The average black baby enters the world under different circumstances than the average white baby, and the gap only grows between birth and death. This circumstances however, tends to continue throughout the lives of the average American.
Circumstances like overcrowding in residential neighborhoods, juggling through traffic for the demands of round the clock low-paying jobs and that of family, attending to the needs of the children mostly of school age, having one or two parents to carter and provide for, and others. These are the normal features that characterize the life of an average African-American mother and as a result of these, there’s hardly time to get enough sleep because of excessive caffeine intake to stay awake, to relax and engage in hobbies, to even plan healthy balanced meals and so they have to resort to junks and unhealthy foods, in fact, there’s hardly time for anything but responsibilities and as such stress levels build up on daily basis bringing about adrenal fatigue and other systemic complications of poor dietary and unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms:
Adrenal fatigue brings with it numerous symptoms affecting almost the whole body in general in ways that produce a runny or congested nose, reduced visual acuity, ringing sensation in the ears, a fullness sensation in the ears and a loss of hearing, a sore throat or tonsillitis, prolonged itching of the roof of the mouth and a protracted cough are usually common. Increase in heart rate or palpitations beating at about 85 to 100 times per minute in states of rest, feelings of congestion in the chest, breathing difficulties or asthma are also common symptoms.
Treatment of Adrenal Fatigue:
Efforts geared towards the management and treatment of adrenal fatigue consists of comprehensive sets of holistic approaches. For the sufferer to regain energy there’s need to pay attention to lifestyle and dietary habits so as to make modifications where necessary. Discover the normal stressful situations you encounter and discover how they can be avoided. Also, getting frequent breaks at work and maintaining good night sleeping patterns are part of the treatment plan.
Adrenal Fatigue in College Students of Color
Adrenal fatigue is a term used to refer to people whose body have been or are under a long duration of enormous stress. It is well known that when our body is subjected to stressful situations, the adrenal gland is triggered to produce the famous known fight or flight hormones which are the adrenaline and the noradrenaline in response to the causative factor of the stress. These hormones help the body respond to stress by way of moving away from the stress stimulus (flight) or confronting and dealing with the stress situation (fight).
The release of these hormones causes what we know as the adrenal surge which brings about actions like increased in heart rate, rise in blood pressure and pulse rates, dilation of the pupils and increased blood supply to the extremities. However, a continuous repetition of this process due to exposure to persisting stressful situations causes the adrenal glands to malfunction, thereby producing variable amounts of the hormones making the body to breakdown very frequently. Additionally, adrenal fatigue can make one feel increasingly hungry as energy in form of calories is forced back to the adipose tissues to be stored, persistent dropping of the blood pressure, heart and pulse rates.
On top of the lists of the major difficulties that accustom college students of color, especially in white dominated college institutions is the pressure that comes from the need to portray the entire race in a positive light by no other means but by excelling at every activities both academic, social or sports. Assumptions fueled by racial discriminations that college students of color weren’t admitted meritoriously is an insult that appears to be putting the average positive minded student on enormous pressure and stress to prove that the assertions are false. This is more often than not regarded as stereotype threat, and studies reveal that as a result, students of color experience stressful feelings of dejection and isolation from the shackles of negative stereotyping added to the pressure to perform well in the academic circles.
To make matters worse, because the concept of social inequality tends to keep students of color at the lower class, most of the colored students face situations of having to take up part time jobs which they attend to alongside studying hard to show themselves approved and to make both ends meet.
Adrenal Fatigue Diagnosis and Symptoms:
The condition adrenal fatigue is clinically diagnosed by extraction of saliva samples all through the day wherein the level of cortisol produced in the body is determined. When a person is under enormous stress or hardly gets enough sleep and the level of cortisol produced tends to be normal, then the implication is that adrenal fatigue is just setting in because the cortisol level in stress should be higher than normal.
Treatment of Adrenal Fatigue:
Efforts geared towards the management and treatment of adrenal fatigue consists of comprehensive sets of holistic approaches. For the sufferer to regain energy there’s need to pay attention to lifestyle and dietary habits so as to make modifications where necessary. Discover the normal stressful situations you encounter and discover how they can be avoided. Also, getting frequent breaks at work and maintaining good night sleeping patterns are part of the the treatment plan.