Milk – All you Ever Wanted to Know

This video answers all the questions you had about milk but didn’t know who to ask:

The very first, basic one : Should one drink milk?

If yes, should it be fat free? Low fat? Or Horrors! Full fat?

Should one add anything to milk?

I hope you enjoy.

Do you drink milk? Do you add various ‘doodh ki shakti’ products? Leave your comments below.


Should a Diabetic eat Fruit for Breakfast?

Is this your breakfast?

Over the last month and a half, an overwhelming majority of my patients have proudly proclaimed that they eat only fruit for breakfast. Somehow, it’s only at breakfast, and it’s only fruit, unadulterated with any proteins or fats. :) And none of them were able to answer coherently, whose recommendations they were following. Obviously, they had high blood sugars, which is why they were seeking help.

Fruit seems to have an exalted position in our nutritional psyche. Possibly because of its cost; the subconscious correlation being that expensive equals good.

Let’s take a look at the science on this subject.

  1. This article in the magazine ‘Scientific American’ explains that the fruit today is very different from the fruit that was available fifty years ago. Soil depletion has led to the mineral content of the fruit being reduced markedly, so the fruit ends up as a sugar bomb. This can cause a spike in blood sugars. This means that the supposed nutritional benefit, for which we are consuming the fruit, is really not available any more.
  2. Fruits contain a form of sugar known as fructose. Only the liver, and no other cell in the body, is able to use fructose. When we eat fruit, the fructose is sent directly to the liver, bypassing the systemic circulation. In the liver, Dr Jason Fung explains that after converting into glycogen, the excess fructose is converted into fat, leading to fatty liver and Insulin resistance. Excess fructose can contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome and increase uric acid levels.
  1. Recently, the PURE study, consisting of over 135,000 individuals from 18 countries (Dehghan et al., 2017) found that carbohydrate intake was associated with increased total mortality. Excessive intake of carbohydrates leads to high blood sugar levels. The cells ‘refuse to accept’ more than they need, so that the circulating level of sugar in the blood rises. In oversimplified terms, this is what leads to the high blood sugar levels in diabetes,

So should anyone with diabetes stay off all fruit?

No, a recent study in the British Medical Journal found that greater consumption of specific whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, is significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas greater consumption of fruit juice is associated with a higher risk.

So how do we make sense of all this?

The advice is to consume fruit in moderation. A small piece of low glycemic fruit a day, taken along with a fatty food such as nuts or peanut butter (unsweetened!) to slow the absorption, is probably a good idea. Blood sugar levels may need to be monitored to ensure that this is being tolerated well.

Berries and pomegranates have many health benefits.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away? We may need to rethink this.


We have been conditioned to believe that diabetes is a chronic, progressive condition which will stay with us and we have to resign ourselves to suffer its complications. This is what we are taught in medical college and our entire treatment focus is geared to suppressing the symptom of diabetes, the high blood sugar levels. But this does NOTHING to prevent the development of complications.

Using insulin to lower blood sugar levels might seem logical, and it even works to an extent, but the truth is that it does not affect the disease process in any way. In fact, insulin itself is obesogenic, ie, it aids in the deposition of fat and increases inflammation, which increases disease.

Diabetes occurs because of:


Blood sugar levels are high but the cells are already flush with sugar and ‘refuse’ to accept more. The body makes more insulin, ‘thinking’ that low insulin is why sugar levels are high. This extra insulin is ineffective in driving the sugar into the cells. Put in a very simple way, this is Insulin Resistance.

The way to reverse Insulin Resistance, thereby to allow the sugar to enter the cells, thereby to lower blood sugar levels, is to prevent insulin spikes. And this is easily done by restricting refined carbohydrate consumption.


Stress causes cortisol levels to rise, and because stress in our lives is chronic, the cortisol rise is also chronic. Cortisol was expected to rise in response to the ‘fight or flight’ response in cave dwellers faced with a sabre toothed tiger. The adrenalin secretion allowed our eyes to dilate so we could see better, our hearts to pump faster so more blood could reach the muscles so we could run faster, increased flow to the brain so we could think better, and so on. Short term response to an acute stressor. During this event, activities like digestion, reproduction, hormone secretion took a backseat as these are not urgent, and energy has to utilized for the urgent. No point digesting food id we’re going to be eaten by the tiger!

In recent times, stress has become chronic. Thus the imbalance in the body response has also become chronic.


The sedentary lifestyle we have all adopted, including our little children, increases the risk for developing Type II Diabetes. Men watching more than 40 hours a week of TV had thrice the risk as those watching for an hour.


The food we eat today is lacking in nutrition compared to the same foods eaten say, 50 years ago. This is because of soil depletion, modern farming methods, use of pesticides, not to mention adulteration and the growth of fast ‘foods’. It stands to reason that a cheese curl full of chemicals cannot be the nutritional equivalent of an organic fresh green vegetable. Chemicals block cell receptors in the body, blocking enzymatic reactions. If the cell cannot function optimally, the body cannot either.


A family history of diabetes may load the gun, but the trigger is pulled only when lifestyle and poor nutrition contribute.

So there’s always a way.

Diabetes is unique among the chronic illnesses in how completely patient behavior influences it, and therefore it can be completely reversed. And the patient can actually look forward to regaining health and vitality, without fear of complications, without the constant stress of monitoring food and activity.

PCOD – why it happens, what to do

PCOD  is an increasingly common condition in young women.

When I was a student – almost 40 years ago! – it was rare, seen in significantly overweight ( which was itself uncommon!) women in their 20’s and 30’s. Now we see it in young teens, most of them of normal weight or even thin! What went wrong?

There was a recent report that there are 10 million young ladies with PCOD in India.

PCOD, like any condition, occurs when genetics, lifestyle and nutrition come together to create either wellness or derangement leading to illness. It is very obvious that our lifestyles have changed pretty drastically over the last 40 years, and so have our eating habits. Is it a wonder then, that illness should follow?


What happens in PCOD

  1. Increased secretion of Luteinising Hormone by the pituitary leads to impaired maturation of ovarian follicles, so that no single follicle matures and the ovum is not released. This leads to anovulation and infertility.
  2. This also leads to male features like acne, hair loss and facial hair.
  3. There is Insulin Resistance leading to obesity.

If untreated, the high levels of male hormones lead to endothelial dysfunction and high insulin level causes sodium retention which in turn leads to high levels of the hormone angiotensin II. These increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, altered lipids and coronary artery disease.

The Insulin Resistance can lead further to Type II diabetes and obesity.

The altered features can lead to anxiety and depression, and social isolation.

When the patient does conceive, it may end in miscarriage in up to 40% of pregnancies.

The risk of developing endometrial cancer is 3 times higher than in a normal woman.


What can be done

All these years I have been advising conventional treatment, consisting of glucose-lowering medications like Metformin, even though there is no prospective randomized double-blind study supporting the use, and cycle regulating hormones like oral contraceptive pills and male hormone antagonists like cyproterone. None of these address the root cause, which is  metabolic disorder. Nor do they prevent progression of disease.

An integrative Medicine approach does address the underlying pathology.

  1. An anti-inflammatory diet which leads to weight loss. Focus on a variety of vegetables and a limited number of fruits. Maintain adequate intake of protein and good fats.
  2. Hormone Balancing using natural, bio-identical hormones, not synthetic chemicals which the body is unable to process safely.
  3. Exercise improves insulin sensitivity.
  4. Supplements such as chromium, vanadium, Vit D, which improve glucose metabolism.
  5. Saw palmetto reduces acne, facial hair and hair loss by reducing the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
  6. Antioxidants such as omega 3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and counter the effects of oxidative chemicals from pollution, pesticides, etc.
  7. Mindfulness, Stress Reduction, Meditation.


This approach can improve the quality of life and may restore normal cycles and fertility. Not to mention confidence and wellbeing.

I remember my patient AK, aged 25. She had never had regular cycles since menarche. She was not overweight but had significant facial hair and required regular maintenance. I suggested treatment and advised her to return in a couple of months. I warned her that the hair cycle is 6 months, so she should not expect instant results.

She returned in 3 weeks as she was going out of town. Her face was clean, which was unremarkable; I assumed she had recently taken care. But no, she hadn’t done anything! I was myself pleasantly surprised that she had not needed any care since starting the treatment advice.


A lifestyle approach is simple, safe and effective and can give lasting results.

What people are saying


I am a consultant radiologist and an Associate Professor at one of the medical colleges in Mumbai. My 67 year old mother had been on anti-diabetic medications for 15 years. Despite strict control of blood sugar she used to suffer from few unexplained issues. Most troublesome of all were recurrent skin infections in the form of furuncles appearing in clusters over the trunk and lower extremities which required antibiotic therapy or incision & drainage. This continued to occur despite proper skin care and measures to eradicate nasal Staphylococci. She also used to get frequent upper respiratory infections.
Another symptom was hunger pangs which would sometimes make her so restless that she would grab whatever was available at hand.
Over a period of years she started developing neuropathic symptoms like tingling, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, which is known to occur with long standing diabetes. Sometimes there used to experience sudden calf muscle cramps at night so severe as to wake her up from sleep.
Sleep and bowel habits were irregular and overall despite optimal glycemic control and medications to address various symptoms, her quality of life was far from satisfactory.
When we read about Dr.Lily Kiswani’s new form of treatment and her credentials in a magazine, my mother was hopeful and eager. In our first consultation, Dr.Lily explained that the fundamental problem in diabetes is hyperinsulinemia which develops due to insulin resistance at the cellular level over a period of time. It is possible to reverse insulin resistance and cure Type 2 diabetes. After doing the prescribed tests, we had an exhaustive five hour session where she explained the measures to be taken to address the various health issues. She advised that my mother stop all her medications and monitor the blood sugars. Two days after stopping the medications blood sugar shot up, during the second week it started decreasing and after one month it had come back to normal levels. We have been checking the sugars and HbA1c levels every month and they have been normal consistently. Insulin levels which were 8 times high before treatment is normalizing. The painful skin infections have not occurred in the past one year, there has even been relief from some of the nerve related symptoms. I later discovered that the painful muscle cramps were a side effect of one of the drugs she was taking earlier.
I am amazed by the simplicity and holistic approach of integrative medicine. Integrative medicine is not the same as naturopathy. It is entirely based on modern medical principles and can successfully cure a variety of problems other than diabetes. I sincerely wish that many more people will benefit by this advance in modern medicine.



This is what Plaha Inderpal Singh had to say about his health:

God Bless You
6 months back, my sugar levels were 270+ Also on BP medication for more than 30 years. On antacids, ever since I can remember And then – Dr LILY KISWANI came into my life ! Today at age 67, my sugar levels & BP are normal Finally – NO DRUGS, NO MEDICINES !


Here’s another happy patient:

I had a great experience with Dr Lily kiswani. I was very curious about how the integrated medicine would work. Had tried a lot of medication when my legs would constantly hurt after a particular viral fever. My treatment just went into spiral. Every medicine gave me some new complication. That’s when I decided to meet Dr Lily. Went in extremely skeptical. She is amazing. Not just a Dr, she is a great friend as well. After the first session itself I felt tons of baggage is off my shoulder. Progressively I forgot why did I go to her the first time. She has not only healed me, has taught me to listen to my body as well. So grateful. Hope she is able to help many more like me and bring their joy back. 😊

Indu Ramani.

Why India is the Diabetes capital of the world

India holds the dubious claim of ‘Diabetes Capital’ of the world. Is this claim because of the high absolute numbers as a result of our high population numbers, or is it that we as Indians are more prone to develop the disease?

Let us take a look at the numbers. After all, numbers don’t lie.

The global incidence of diabetes is 8.5%  – WHO 2014

According to an Indian Council of Medical Research study over the years 2008-11, in Tamil Nadu, the prevalence of diabetes in urban areas (13.7%) is almost double the rate found in rural areas (7.8%). In Jharkhand, the prevalence of diabetes in urban area is four fold higher than rural areas (urban: 13.5% vs. rural: 3%, In Chandigarh, the prevalence of diabetes in urban is higher than the rates in rural areas (urban: 14.2% vs. rural: 8.3%, In Maharashtra also, the prevalence of diabetes in urban is higher than the rates in rural areas (urban: 10.9% vs. rural: 6.5%, p<0.001) In Chandigarh, the prevalence of diabetes, both in urban and rural areas was higher than in other three regions, viz., Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.


Incidence of Diabetes in India in Urban and Rural populations.

Most importantly, during the period 1971–2000, studies  from different parts of India reported a 10-fold increase in the incidence of diabetes in urban India (from 1.2% in 1971 to 12.1% in 2000).

This is a very serious concern. Let us try to understand the reasons why this could be happening. If we can identify causes, we are in a position to address solutions.

1  Vegetarianism

India hosts more vegetarians than the rest of the world put together. A 2006 survey by The Hindu newspaper found that 40% of the population comprises vegetarians.  Compare this with global statistics: Australia leading the rest at 11.2% and most other countries coming in at 2 – 5%.

How is a dietary preference relevant? What matters is the amount of protein consumed as a proportion of total dietary intake.



Dietary protein consumption per person.


In my personal experience as a doctor of Integrative Medicine, analyzing diets regularly, I find that the figure of 56g/day  of protein intake for Indians is highly optimistic; I come across figures like 20 – 40 g/day routinely. This includes ‘non vegetarians’ who do consume some meat. Most Indians do not eat meat daily – there are various abstinence days in the week, and certainly the number of people consuming meat thrice a day is very small indeed.

The reason for this is as much economic as religious. Protein is expensive and in a country where, for a lot of people, a single meal is hard to come by, protein is not a priority.

Now let us examine another graph predicting diabetes rates in the year 2035.



The number of Africans with diabetes is expected to double by 2035, the IDF says. In India an increase of 150% is expected and in Europe the figure is 32%.

Now one more chart depicting carbohydrate consumption as a percentage of total dietary intake.



The countries with darker shade are the ones with highest carbohydrate consumption.

When we look at the three graphs above, we see a clear correlation – the countries with highest carbohydrate intake are also the countries with lowest protein intake and are also the countries with highest diabetes prevalence.

Importantly, what does this tell us? While this is a correlation and not necessarily a causation, the trend is clear. A relative excess of carbohydrate intake, combined with a low protein intake, is associated with the development of diabetes.  Knowing this we can easily take steps to correct the imbalance by lowering the carbohydrate intake and simultaneously increasing the protein intake.


  1. Sedentary habits

The first graph above clearly illustrates how diabetes is more prevalent in urban areas. We presume that in rural areas the level of physical activity is higher, even if it is forced. But it has positive side effects!

Learning: Get up and move!! The best way to track activity is to install a pedometer app, which should be easy as nearly everyone has a smartphone nowadays. And aim for 10,000 steps daily.

  1. Fast food

Double income households means that the old paradigm of women at home, tending to the ‘choolah’, is fast dying out. With that we see the rise of time saving devices like fast food. Although the term is fast ‘food’, the product barely qualifies a food and is sorely lacking in nutrition. It stands to reason that we cannot expect to stay healthy while at the same time eating junk.

  1. Healthcare expenditure


Clear correlation again. Economic compulsion certainly drives our food choices and health outcomes.


But we are not helpless. We can start moving, taking daily steps. Just a simple walk is enough, an expensive gym membership is not essential. We can maintain a food diary and ensure we take an adequate protein intake.  I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that supplementation is inevitable for vegetarians,. And eat clean, healthy food at home.

Consult an Integrative medicine specialist near you for an individualized recommendation.

Diabetes is preventable. And reversible.

Could your Laundry Detergent be Making you Sick?

I used to love the smell of fresh laundry. But I had no idea that this “fresh scent” was really just a toxic mixture of chemicals contaminated with carcinogens, neurotoxins, and allergens. Pretty horrifying, huh?!?


If you thought the food industry was corrupt, let me tell you that it is downright shocking and disgusting what companies who make household products can get away with. The chemical industry designs laundry detergent with their profit margin in mind and is not looking out for you (or your health).

Although all those brightly colored bottles of laundry detergent have been sold for decades, these are some of the most harmful products that you can buy. The most popular brands are loaded with toxic petrochemicals, phosphates, formaldehyde, chlorine, synthetic dyes and fragrances that are linked to health issues. Clearly we need to spread the word because these products are still flying off the shelves!

Think about how often you are exposed to your laundry detergent… while loading the washing machine, folding your laundry, the clothes resting on your bare skin all day long, the sheets and pillow cases that you sleep on for roughly 8 hours every night… you are constantly exposed to the chemicals in your detergent, so it’s best to know what’s in it!

The problem is, most detergents don’t come with a list of ingredients. So you have no idea what chemicals you are dumping on your clothes every day – and if you ask me that is just crazy. It really comes down to finding a brand that you can trust that has the integrity to produce products without all those harmful chemicals!

Choose brands which are eco-friendly, bio-degradable, natural and safe.

From Food Babe.

How Inflammation Causes Disease, and What We Can Do About It

Consider the simple pimple, sunburn or mosquito bite. Minor events such as these produce inflammation. So do larger events like a sprained or broken ankle. Experts now believe chronic inflammation in the body may be linked to various forms of cancer as well as other major diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and heart conditions.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is your immune system’s natural response to an injury, like a pulled muscle, or to germs, allergens, a chemical irritant, and other threats. Your immune system reacts by releasing white blood cells and chemicals into the bloodstream that infiltrate your tissues, causing those indicators of inflammation most of us are familiar with: redness, heat, swelling, and pain.

These symptoms are created by the activity of immune cells working to break down injured and dying tissues so that new, healthy ones can replace them. This is a normal and healthy response – our bodies need to remain ready to repel an invasion or severe injury with aggressive pro-inflammatory responses such as clotting, fever, or swelling.  Too often, however, inflammation becomes a chronic condition, and, in this state, we leave ourselves more vulnerable to cancer occurrence and recurrence.

Factors that influence inflammation

A number of lifestyle factors play a role in contributing to chronic inflammation. Diet is one of its most important modulators, with foods having either “pro-inflammatory” or anti-inflammatory” properties. Not surprisingly, packaged foods that are processed with a high sugar content, as well as trans fats, are among the most potent of pro-inflammatory foods.  And the type of fat you eat just might play the biggest role of all in determining levels of systemic inflammation.

Oxidative stress

Your body constantly interacts with oxygen as you breathe and your cells produce energy. Free radicals are unstable, highly reactive molecules that lose an electron as a result of this activity. Since electrons come in pairs, when molecules lose an electron they “steal” electrons from other molecules. These molecules then “steal” electrons from other molecules, starting a dangerous chain reaction called free radical damage. In large amounts free radicals damage cells indiscriminately.

If you’re body isn’t able to stop the free radical chain reaction, oxidative stress follows, causing damage to cells, cell membranes, tissues and organs.. In an attempt to repair such damages, the body calls for an immune response which in turn initiates inflammation.   Chronic inflammation can itself lead to free-radical generation. Therefore, one way to keep inflammation and oxidative stress under control is to eat a diet rich in antioxidants.  8-12 vegetable servings a day, with the occasional fruit, should do the trick.

Weight and Blood Sugar

Keeping your weight in check is crucial for preventing inflammation, as well as conditions associated with it and obesity, such as heart disease and diabetes. Research indicates that visceral fat (the fat located deep in the abdominal area) is more metabolically active than other types of fat, secreting large amounts of inflammatory cytokines.  The good news?  Maintaining a healthy weight greatly reduces and in some cases even eliminates inflammation.

The hormone insulin itself is an inflammatory agent.  So, the lower you can keep your fasting glucose and insulin levels, the less you will have to worry about them as a source of unwanted inflammation.

Stress and Sleep Deprivation

Both stress and sleep deprivation can lead to inflammation through the elevation of the hormone cortisol. (Eliaz. 2009) Chronic stress, Dr. Eliaz explains, leads to the overproduction of cortisol, the body’s most abundant stress hormone.  This rise disrupts normal hormonal function, raising blood sugar levels and contributing to the inflammatory cascade.

Excessive exercise

Everyone feels better with regular exercise. It can improve physical fitness, enhance overall well-being, and may also strengthen the immune system.  It’s tempting to be impatient and ignore our bodies’ protests, when we are trying to reach a physical goal.  But, be careful!  When combined with inadequate rest and other stresses, over exercise, sometimes called over-training syndrome, can lead to an impaired immune system and inflammation. When sufficient rest is allowed, pro-inflammatory cytokines can facilitate the healing process. That’s why we often feel better resting after a long bike ride. And why it’s best to alternate periods of exercise with periods of healing, recuperative rest.


Assessing Your Status

Other than some obvious signs―puffy gums, sore joints, chronic stuffiness―how can you tell if your inflammation levels are higher than they should be?   Several tests can be useful here.

C-Reactive Protein

C-Reactive Protein is a simple blood test that measures levels of C-reactive protein (CRP),  a powerful inflammatory marker. If the results are elevated, above 1.0, then it’s time to take action to bring levels down. You might want to keep running that test on a three-month interval. If you don’t have cancer but have risk factors, you may want to run the test on an annual basis as part of your regular physical exam.


An important contributor to blood clotting, fibrinogen levels rise in reaction to inflammation.  For this reason, if inflammation levels are high, it may be wise to check fibrinogen levels as well.  The Life Extension Foundation ( advises that optimal fibrinogen levels should range between 215 and 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood.  Bringing levels into normal range has the added benefit of keeping the blood flowing more smoothly, making it more difficult for metastases to develop.

Food sensitivity panel

If your inflammatory markers remain stubbornly high, consider the possibility of food allergies or sensitivities. Common allergens like casein (from dairy) and gluten (from wheat) are known to spark an inflammatory cascade in sensitive individuals. Keep in mind that as we age, foods that may not have bothered us before, like dairy and wheat, may trigger chronic low-grade inflammation.  Even seemingly innocuous foods, when eaten repeatedly, can cause a food sensitivity to develop. If you think you might have a food sensitivity, we recommend going on an elimination diet for two weeks to see how you feel.

How to Lower your inflammation levels

  1. Change your oil

The type of fat that you eat is possibly the most important dietary factor affecting the level of inflammation in your body.   There is a world of difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats.

Fats stimulate a variety of chain reactions in your body.  Picture a run of dominoes.  When you push on the first one in line, the rest topple.  Inserting unstable or unhealthy fats into the system will eventually cause the system to collapse in the same way.

When you consider that every cell in your body is surrounded by a lipid (fat) layer that is just the right constituency to let all necessary nutrients in while allowing all the critical waste material to pass out, you can see that altering the composition of that cell membrane is risky business.  Yet, that’s exactly what unhealthy fats do.  They will “gunk up” your cell membranes and, what’s more, they initiate a domino effect that ends with a host of pro-inflammatory ecosinoids (molecules composed of fatty acids) running rampant.

Trans fats are among the worst offenders (Mozaffarian, et al. 2004)  Although they exist nowhere in nature, they line supermarket shelves in large quantities in the form of snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, and vegetable shortening.   Trans fats also create free radicals that damage healthy cells and trigger inflammation.  Hundreds of studies like the one above have now confirmed the link between trans fats and inflammation.

  1. Essential fatty acids

EFAs, or essential fatty acids, are fats that the body can’t live without, and must get from food sources.  Omega-6 fatty acids start the fire of inflammation and omega-3 fatty acids put it out. Whereas our ancestors are believed to have eaten about twice as much Omega 6 fat as Omega 3 fat, many experts believe we now eat 10 to 30 times more Omega 6 fats than Omega 3 fats.  The result is an unbalanced inflammation response.

An ideal balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats would help keep inflammation under control.  Omega 3 fats act as natural anti-inflammatory drugs without the side effects. Incorporate more Omega 3 fats into your diet by adding wild salmon, halibut, sardines and occasional tuna; and by eating lots of flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts.  Salmon is a particularly rich  source of EPA and DHA, the two potent omega-3 fatty acids that douse inflammation. Add a fish oil supplement to your regimen. These are helpful in avoiding cancer.

Remember to keep your oils tightly covered in a colored glass bottle Exposure to air, light and heat oxidizes oils, rendering them rancid, and rancid oils are known to cause inflammation.

What about olive oil?

Olive oil belongs to a family of fatty acids called the Omega 9s, which provides great anti-inflammatory value.  For this and all of its other wonderful health benefits, we highly recommend the regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil.  Like other precious oils, be sure to store in a dark container.

  1. Lower your glycemic load

Refined sugar and other foods with high glycemic values elevate insulin levels and put the immune system on high alert. High insulin levels stimulate the release of pro-inflammatory compounds. A 2005 study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who ate high-fiber diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains had lower levels of C-reactive protein than women whose diets consisted of primarily refined grains. (Esmaillzadeh, et al. 2006)

Yet another reason to avoid sugar and refined flour products.

  1. Flood yourselves with antioxidants

As we discussed earlier in the chapter, free radical damage is an unavoidable side effect of being alive.  But, you can mount a strong defence against the oxidative stress and inflammation caused by free radicals by keeping your antioxidant intake high.  By eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, you’ll boost your antioxidant capacity in these ways:

  • You’ll support the main antioxidant enzymes that the body produces internally – glutathione, superoxide dismutase and catalase .
  • You’ll get plenty of antioxidant vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (Vitamin A, C, E, selenium, carotenoids, bioflavonoids) from the colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds you eat.

Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant, appears most prominently in the skins of red grapes.  Scientists have noted that it exerts a variety of anti-cancer effects.  Bill Sardi, resveratrol expert and author of You Don’t Have to Be Afraid of Cancer Anymore, recommends 30-50 mg. as a preventative dose, and 300 mg. or higher for those with an active tumor.

  1. Don’t forget these key nutrients


Magnesium is good for so many things and inflammation is no exception.  Remember your food sources of magnesium: nuts, beans, artichokes and most green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D can not only enhance immunity and cell differentiation, it can also help activate the p53 tumor suppressor gene.

It is critical to include Vitamin K2 along with Vitamin D to avoid hypercalcemia and potential arterial calcification.

  1. Monitor food allergies and sensitivities

Any time you eat a food that your body has an allergy or sensitivity to, your body views the food as a foreign invader and mounts an immune/inflammatory response. To identify and treat the allergy, an Elimination Diet removes the most highly allergenic foods from the diet. Sensitivity issues can include bloating, diarrhea, constipation, itching, mental fogginess, and cravings for that particular food.  The foods typically removed from the diet are dairy, eggs, gluten (wheat, barley, rye, and spelt), soy, corn, red meat, peanuts, nuts, citrus, and shellfish.  These foods are avoided for approximately 21 days. At the end of the 21 day period foods are added back in, one at a time, every 3-5 days while noting the potential return of any symptoms.

  1. Spice up your life

Widely used in Eastern cuisine to flavor most foods and used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, scientists now recognize its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory active ingredient:   curcumin.    Research in the last 50 years has repeatedly shown curcumin’s ability to suppress the COX-2 and LOX enzymes and to inhibit metastasis, or tumor spread. (Aggarwal, et al. 2006) (Bachmeier, et al. 2008)

In a mouse study of breast cancer, 68% of the mice that received curcumin showed no or very few lung metastases,.  The animals that did not receive curcumin were not so fortunate.  83% showed extensive metastases.  (Bachmeier, et al. 2007)

Curcumin has shown such power as an anti-inflammatory, anti-metastatic, and apoptosis-inducing agent, that it’s been the subject of several clinical trials at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Not bad for a kitchen spice!

Curcumin is found in turmeric – haldi. So is it enough to add haldi to your food? Sadly, no. Pure turmeric powder has a curcumin concentration, averaging 3.14% by weight.

Boswellia and Ginger are powerful natural anti-inflammatory food ingredients.

  1. Exercise

Exercise does more than help you maintain a healthy weight. While activity throughout a person’s lifetime is important, activity at any age can help lower cancer risk. A 2002 study from the Emory School of Medicine found that people ages 40 and older who exercised four to 21 times a month experienced decreased or lower levels of C-reactive protein. (Abramson and Vaccarino. 2002)

  1. Bringing down elevated fibrinogen

Omega 3 oils found in flax and chia seeds, walnuts, salmon, anchovy and halibut, will not only help to lower elevated cr-p levels, they exert a mildly thinning effect on the blood, bringing down elevated fibrinogen levels.  Since “thicker” blood helps cancer to proliferate, some former cancer patients use nattokinase, an enzyme extracted from a fermented Asian soy dish called natto, to keep fibrinogen levels at a moderate level.  Garlic, Vitamin C and the enzyme bromelain are also helpful in this regard.


  1.  Monitor your levels of inflammation by asking your doctor to check your blood levels of c-reactive protein and fibrinogen.  Thermography is also available in some communities to examine inflammation patterns in the breasts.
  2. Change your oil to keep inflammation levels under control.  Choose monounsaturated oils such as olive oil (extra virgin) for cold or low heat use and coconut oil for higher heat use.  Avoid Omega 6 “supermarket” oils, especially the “big four” genetically modified ones: corn, soy, canola and cottonseed.  Eat wild fatty fish, flax or chia seeds, and/or take a fish oil supplement regularly.
  3. Keep glucose and insulin levels under control, as they are both highly inflammatory.
  4. Be alert for food allergies and sensitivities as a cause of systemic inflammation, and test for these, if suspicious.
  5. Use culinary herbs and spices liberally in your cooking, as virtually all herbs and spices have anti-inflammatory effects,  particularly turmeric, ginger and boswellia.
  6. Get sufficient rest and exercise in moderation.
  7. Have a nice day!


From Helayne Waldman This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here”

How gut health can affect heart health

Your gut health can determine how healthy your heart is!

Butyrate is a fatty acid that’s important for protecting the gut from inflammatory and autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and colon cancer. It’s the most important source of energy for endothelial cell – the cells lining your blood vessels. It’s a type of short chain fatty acid (SCFA) and has also been shown to prevent infiltration of immune cells from the bloodstream into fat tissue.


Butyrate is super important for health and nutrition practitioners to focus on with patients and clients, especially when working with people who are suffering from autoimmune issues and struggling to maintain optimal weight.


A healthy microbiome is critical to healthy levels of butyrate. Gut bugs make butyrate by fermenting certain types of fiber.


According to research posted in the Endocrinology section of the Nature Review, people with type 1 Diabetes are deficient in butyrate-producing bacteria in their gut plus butyrate improves insulin sensitivity.


So it’s clear that butyrate is linked to gut health, protection from cancer, autoimmune disease, obesity, and diabetes.


So, how can we optimize butyrate levels, in our clients and in ourselves?


Butyrate contributes to a healthy, happy microbiome and thus a healthy, happy gut.  Gut health is related to whole body health.  Thus balancing butyrate can lead to world peace because it leads to happy, healthy people.  And healthy happy people don’t fight.


So, here are 4 things you can do to optimize butyrate levels:


1-    Use oral butyrate supplements – A recent study in Alimentary pharmacology and therapeutics found that 4 grams per day for 8 weeks improved symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.

2-    Eat butyrate containing foods – The highest concentration of butyrate is found in butter and other dairy products.

3-    Balance gut flora – Ensure the flora which produce the SCFAs, in particular butyrate, are the dominant ones.

4-    Eat the fiber that butyrate love – Particularly powerful is resistant starch, found in seeds, legumes, whole grains, cold potatoes, unripe bananas, and just about any vegetable.  Of course the diet needs to be customized to the person, and not all forms of resistant starch will be indicated based on other factors such as glycemic control, presence of bacteria in small intestine (SIBO) and food sensitivities.

Food is always key.

Adapted from Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo

Protein requirement chart

Protein is an essential component of a healthy balanced diet. When aiming for weight loss, for those are very active, for women who may be pregnant or lactating, the requirement is higher, often considerably higher.

It is very challenging to meet the need through a vegetarian diet, though, and supplementation may be the only answer. How do you know if you need supplementation?

Check out the chart below to see how much protein you should be eating each day. If you don’t see your weight, just use this formula to calculate your daily protein: Your weight in kilograms, multiplied by 0.8 (not very active), 1.3 (active or pregnant), or 1.8 (extremely active), depending on how much exercise you get.

Weight (kg)

Protein per day (not very active) Protein per day (active or pregnant) Protein per day (extremely active)
45.5 36.4 g 59.2 g 81.9 g
47.7 38.2 g 62 g 85.9 g
50 40 g 65 g 90 g
52.3 41.8 g 68 g 94.1 g
54.5 43.6 g 70.9 g 98.1 g
56.8 45.4 g 73.8 g 102.2 g
59.1 47.3 g 76.8 g 106.4 g
61.4 49.1 g 79.8 g 110.5 g
63.6 50.9 g 82.7 g 114.5 g
65.9 52.7 g 85.7 g 118.6 g
68.2 54.7 g 88.7 g 122.8 g
70.5 56.4 g 91.7 g 126.9 g
72.7 58.2 g 94.5 g 130.8 g
75 60 g 97.5 g 135 g

Based on these numbers, do you get enough protein per day? If not, consider supplementing with a high quality supplement. Your body will thank you.

To calculate – not estimate – how much protein you’re actually getting, it helps to use a food diary such as MyFitnessPal. It is only when we have accurate numbers about intake, can we take remedial measures.

So stay informed and stay healthy.