Daniel Andras

Summer’s Here, Sun’s Out, But What About Sunscreen?

You’ve heard this before a countless number of times: “Be sure to lather on the sunscreen when you go outside in the sun!” in order to prevent the risk of skin cancer. But is that really true? Do you need to PAINT your skin white with sunscreen in order to avoid the sun’s warm rays which are the #1 source for triggering the activation of Vitamin D in your body? Over the last few decades that we’ve been sternly warned that everyone should wear gobs of sunscreen on their skin when going in the sun, there has also been a MASSIVE decline in the populations’ internal Vitamin D stores. Not a good thing.

A new study from the Journal of American Osteopathic Association estimates that it is very possible that close to 1 BILLION people worldwide may fall into a “deficient” or “insufficient” Vitamin D category. Skin color does affect the amount of Vitamin D the human body will produce, but there are other factors that can severely decrease this critical nutrient. More and more people are unfortunately spending time indoors, at their workplace, in offices, at home, etc.  And on top of that, when people DO spend time outdoors, a certain percentage may be lathered with sunscreen, for fear of contracting skin cancer. Other factors that influence Vitamin D activation include diabetes (the kidneys are critical to the final step in activating the nutrient, so if they are damaged, Vitamin D stores will, also), gastrointestinal issues, Vitamin D-poor diets, etc.

One doesn’t need to spend hours on end in the blistering sun. That isn’t very wise. Obtaining at least 20-30 minutes of exposure to as much body surface area as possible (your arms and legs should do fine), several times a week should do the trick. After that, you have several options: put on a long sleeve shirt, a hat, or other protective clothing; find some shade; if you REALLY feel the need for some sunscreen, do a little research and find healthier alternatives to what is commonly sold in the market stores, as these often contain a lot of potentially very harmful and toxic ingredients which could also lead to skin cancer. Believe it or not, the skin is able to absorb a lot of things!

Bottom line, you want to protect your skin at the same time that you need your skin to be exposed to UV-B rays in order to produce Vitamin D (which is important in bone health, immune function; healthy, normal cell reproduction, warding off depression, etc.)…BUT! Always relying on sunscreen to protect you from the risk of skin cancer can be detrimental because a) it will block your skin’s ability to produce this fat-soluble vitamin, and b) sunscreen lotions may contain ingredients which can wreak havoc on the health of your skin and do exactly what it is intended to prevent, as well as mess with body’s hormones! More to come on better alternatives to sunscreens.

For Your Health,

Daniel Andras

Daniel AndrasSummer’s Here, Sun’s Out, But What About Sunscreen?
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Artificial Sweeteners – We Once Thought Were “Okay” But Recent Research Points in the Direction That They Are Not “Okay”

Research that has recently surfaced in 2017 is adding to the “arsenal” of nutritional information that Artificial Sweeteners (AS’s) may not be all that great for the human body, regardless of the fact that they may have zero calories. Among many other negative side effects, this recent research is showing that these AS’s may increase a person’s risk of STROKE and DEMENTIA (damage to the brain due to interrupted blood supply, and decreased mental capacity, such as memory loss, personality changes, impaired reasoning, respectively).

It seems that the scientific study did not show as strong of a risk when people consumed regular sugar or sugar-sweetened beverages…however, this is NOT to say that one can/should consume the same amount of sugar and expect great health! Sugar still provides a LOT of unnecessary calories that can be transformed into triglycerides (TG’s) and lead to weight gain. What the research article seems to be saying is that the risks are not the same between SUGAR and ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS… AS’s appear to be way more damaging and risky!

Artificial sweeteners include: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, sucralose, and many more.

Artificial sweeteners have also been shown to cause glucose intolerance in mice by altering gut microbiota, and are associated with dysbiosis and glucose intolerance in humans. In other words, glucose intolerance is a pre-diabetic state of HYPERglycemia which is associated with insulin resistance and may increase risk of becoming fully diabetic; altered gut microbiota / dysbiosis simply means there is an imbalance in the healthy bacteria that live inside the digestive tract, which are super important for the health of the body!

Take-away? Eliminate artificial sweeteners as much as possible from your diet, in the form of Splenda, diet soft drinks, pancake syrup, etc., and opt for natural sweeteners, in very small amounts, such as honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, or spices like cinnamon.

If you wish to read the scientific paper for yourself, it can be found at: http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/04/20/STROKEAHA.116.016027

For Your Health,

Daniel Andras, M.S., R.D., L.D.

Daniel AndrasArtificial Sweeteners – We Once Thought Were “Okay” But Recent Research Points in the Direction That They Are Not “Okay”
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Revisiting the “Low Sodium Will Prevent High Blood Pressure” Conventional Wisdom

Hello Folks,

Not giving the green light on excessive salt to flavor your food just yet, but once again, more evidence that lower-sodium diets *may not be effective* in reducing blood pressure. Was involved in a huge journal club project on this topic exactly three years ago during a dietetic internship which, then, supported the now-more recent findings… as we continue to shed light on the intricate workings of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc.

Some important pieces of information from the article:

“A new study that followed more than 2,600 men and women for 16 years found that consuming less sodium wasn’t associated with lower blood pressure.”

“We saw no evidence that a diet lower in sodium had any long-term beneficial effects on blood pressure. Our findings add to growing evidence that current recommendations for sodium intake may be misguided.” – Lynn L. Moore, DSc, associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine

“Over the next 16 years, the researchers found that the study participants who consumed less than 2,500 milligrams of sodium a day had higher blood pressure than participants who consumed higher amounts of sodium.”

What’s important to note is that there needs to be a balance of adequate levels of the other electrolytes present, especially POTASSIUM – “The researchers also found that people in the study who had higher intakes of potassium, calcium, and magnesium exhibited lower blood pressure over the long term.” POTASSIUM is a nutrient that a lot of people may be deficient in. Some good sources of potassium include coconut water, avocado, acorn squash, spinach, sweet potato, bananas, etc.

For Your Health,

Daniel Andras, M.S., R.D., L.D.

 

You can follow the link here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170425124909.htm

 

Daniel AndrasRevisiting the “Low Sodium Will Prevent High Blood Pressure” Conventional Wisdom
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