“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” TM
We know human’s should be able to have MUCH longer life-spans than we do achieve, so what’s missing?! Answering this question is imperative for diabetics as diabetes can already carve away 15 years off your life, if you don’t get it stabilzed and / or reversed, soon enough. Many seniors lose the game as they age, surrendering needlessly to diabetes.
In last week’s post and this one, we are seeing that the newly released USDA Senior Food Pyramid still is too succinct a graphic to tell us all we need to know, even though it has made progress. Here I am going to begin to fill in some of the other remaining “blanks” in your senior nutrition needs agenda, and then it is up to you!
If you are a care-giver or advocate for an elder relative, then please pay special attention for Elders DO have special-needs, and family meals are not always what they need, as their appetities are small, and nutrition needs are often unfulfilled – due sometimes to these smaller appetites, and other times to a Senior’s differing needs for a nutrient, than the younger family members’ requirements.
This information is from my diabetes diet plan and largely originated in the research from the respected hallowed halls of the famed Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/olderadultnut.html and from the also well regarded http://www.whfoods.com/nutrientstoc.php and www.nutritiondata.com Bear in mind that these sources are not specifically targeted to diabetics.
And you can read Part 1 of this series at:
In this post, we are going to learn about a group of “FABULOUS B’s”!
Stress-fighting B Vitamins become imperative for Seniors, and especially diabetic seniors, as I believe Elders lead much more stressful lives than in decades past, with less familial and social safety-nets in industrialized societies and more potent isolation than we might imagine. So here are the first of the B-complex dietary recommendations.
BIOTIN - Biotin aids your body to:
___ make efficient use of blood sugar
___ make the necessary and proper amount of fat needed by each cell
___ continue a healthy supply of energy in your nerve cells.
Raw egg white prevents its absorption; check meringue recipes as well as classically-made mayonnaise recipes, caesar salad dressings etc. as they may have raw egg white (hiking in incomplete separation of white and yolk) in these recipes which often use raw yolks. I do not recommend using raw eggs at all.
Biotin is an expensive ingredient to use, so few supplements ever include much of it. You may have to just buy it separately. If you know your Senior’s intake is not sufficient, most supplements will give at least 30 mcg (micrograms) and no toxicity occurred at daily doses of 60 mcg.
According to Linus Pauling Institute (LPI), seniors do not have an automatic biological need for more than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of biotin, but as I said, social and financial stresses may up their need for some additional percentage of B’s. You have to assess your individual need.
Deficiency symptons such as: skin-related problems, pain on physical exertion and muscle cramping, seizures, lack of co-ordination or good muscle tone or hair loss may indicate need for more biotin.
Although it is tolerant of exposure to light, oxygen and heat, acidic environments denature Biotin and imbalanced flora in the gut cause reduction in any self-made Biotin! So, if you are “acidic” in pH, (as Dr. Robert O. Young, PhD would state diabetics always are), chances are you need to pay attention. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) also works with Biotin, so you need to be sure your Senior’s levels of it are adequate.
As an aside, for family members who are thinking about pregnancy, up to 50% of pregnant women are (or become) deficient in Biotin, and it results in much increased potential for birth defects in the baby.
Excellent sources of Biotin include: carrot, chard, romaine lettuce and tomatoes.
Very good sources include: almonds, cabbage, cauliflower, chicken eggs and onions.
Good sources includes cow’s and goat’s milk, halibut, oats, raspberries, strawberries and walnuts.
PANTOTHENIC ACID – Vitamin B5:
This B Vitamin helps turn fats and carbohydrates into the energy you must have to live. It also aids your adrenal glands as they help you to deal with stress. Along with Biotin, B5 helps each of your cells get the healthy fat it needs, internally. Seniors may not need extra according to LPI — normal minimum RDA requirement is 5mg daily. However, as we need excellent digestion to release B5 from food, it is possible that many Seniors do not do this process well and need to look at how to best supply it beyond food.
Also, many diabetics have numbness, tingling and / or burning sensations in their feet. This can be a symptom of too little B5. Even though it is found in many foods, which is an indication of Nature’s view that it is important, there are few really strong sources. So you must supplement (especially if you have a small appetite) and please, also eat a varied diet.
Other signs of B5 deficiency are fatigue, weakness and / or listlessness.
Many of the best sources of Panthothenic Acid are problematical in my opinion.
___ One of the good ones is calves liver, but it is expensive and organic calves liver is not readily found. As this is the organ assigned the herculean job of detoxifying any body, it is important to use organic, young sources, if at all.
___ An excellent B5 source is the common brown “Crimini” mushroom found in markets, but Dr. Robert O. Young, PhD, a renowed microbiologist and originator of the pH Miracle, says we should NOT use fungi (including mushrooms) at all. He says they are opportunistic life-forms, like yeast is, and both of which have their own agenda to implement it IN OUR BODIES! And don’t think that these “plucked” forms don’t still have life-energy, as they are entirely different “life-forms” than we usually relate to as “living” beings.
___ Sunflower seeds, cauliflower and broccoli can all affect thyroid function, and if you already are overweight, you should get your gland checked before using them, even moderately.
___ Most of the corn in the USA is already Frankenfood GMO or is made so by pollen floating on the wind from Genetically-Modified-Organism corn.
The page at www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=87 gives a great synopsis of the myriad of ways that B5 morphs in your body doing many different steps giving you healthy cell structure and cellular energy. It’s worth reading in detail and is reasonably written for non-scientists. But the take-away for me is that I have read that research has shown that the diabetic’s mitochondria (cellular furnaces where all your energy is made) are much smaller! (That’s documented in one of my articles here, not sure which one.) So, if diabetics’ mitochondria are smaller, I would think we need to help them even more with Vitamin B5 and the nutrients to make more mitochondria, as well as have them work optimally.
Pantothenic Acid works best internally when your body is able to combine it with sulfur to make CoEnzyme A (known as CoA). So that makes fresh onions a very useful source of both nutrients (and fresh, raw garlic is also a great sulfur source).
As CoA form, B5 has a crucial and pivotal role in transporting and metabolizing (releasing) the energy from carbohydrates (i.e. sugars and starches) and from fats. CoA has another job — creating vital cellular fats — which requires multiple-stage, back-and-forth chemistry using B5.
B5 also provides acetyl groups to acetylate certain cellular proteins to protect them from disbandment and destruction. The acetylation process paves the way for a protein to become a hormone, and B5 is an important player in how adrenal hormones are made to deal with a stressful life.
I do not know if B5 plays a role in this same hormone-building process for insulin, but by making adrenal hormones, which in turn do impact release of insulin, B5 is important to diabetics.
Vitamins B1 and B3 are needed, along with B5 to alleviate burning-foot syndrome. Generally, for B5 to operate well, levels of Biotin, B12, Folate from green veggies, and Vitamin C are needed.
The cysteamine form of B5 where the Panthothenic Acid is already bonded to a sulfur molecule may be the best bet as a B5 supplement for older people, to insure that step has occurred rather than hoping it will happen in their body.
Adequate amounts of B5 are needed to help cure or alleviate:
___ adrenal insufficiency
___ burning-foot syndrome
___ CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) and generalized “fatigue”
___ high blood fat levels (hyperlipidemia) (high triglycerides)
___ osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
Pantothenic acid is definitely unstable when we try to process food — whether by cooking, freezing or canning. Losses of 50% – 70% are not uncommon, so you need to get as many fresh, raw sources as possible.
SOURCES: In addition to the problematical sources listed above, good rather than excellent sources are, in alphabetical order:
chard, chives, collard greens, eggs, grapefruit, hickory nuts, kanpyo gourd strips (in sushi sometimes), ancho and pasilla peppers, sesame seed tahini (ground seeds), SMOKED: red, wild sock-eye salmon and DRIED wild chum salmon, spirulina, strawberries, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, turnip greens, black walnuts, winter squash and yoghurt.
fair amounts are also found in:
apricot, avocado, broccoli, buffalo, chestnuts, cooked eggs, endive, gingko nuts, hazelnuts, leeks, peas, radish sprouts, shallots, sprouted beans, sweet potato, snow peas, wild raw silver, chum, chinook and red sockeye salmon, dried whey
FOLIC ACID (FOLATE, FOLACIN):
Folic Acid is mostly found in green leafy veggies and a major reason why these vegetables are so valuable as food. All primates concentrate their food-search for leafy greens including: 1) the elusive, almost-hounded-to-extinction Bonobo, the gracile chimpanzee *a surprise in our group of “FABULOUS B’s!”. Bonobos are the last, most recent group of primates science discovered (only 70 years ago), and they are the closest primate to humans (their DNA is even better than the common chimp’s ) AND 2) Human gatherers and urban dwellers also need copious amounts of gathered greens, so these Paleo-Diet veggies are a foundational and tasty food in my diabetes diet plan.
Folic Acid is an important B Complex Vitamin responsible for helping our bodies make internal skin linings and also red blood cells which carry oxygen deep inside us to provide the environment for cellular energy production.
It also aids actual blood circulation by reducing homocysteine, which triggers dangerous clotting. And, Folic Acid is vitally importantly for diabetics, as Folic Acid reduces homocysteine, a major cause of inflammation in tissues, organs and circulatory system, leading to much of the illness associated with diabetes and heart disease and neurological concerns in all populations.
Like many B’s, Folate helps your brain and nerves, bones and joints, as well as protecting dopamine-capacity to fight-off Parkinson’s disease and synthesizing the neurotransmitters to run your nervous system properly.
More Folate foods are indicated when women are pregnant (to protect the baby from birth defects)and when people have the symptoms: insomnia, muscle fatigue, mental and general fatigue, depression, forgetfulness and irritability, restless leg syndrome, periodontal disease, cleft palate, vitiglio (loss of skin pigment) and some cancers and when their lab tests show an acidic pH or high C-Reactive Protein or high homocysteine levels.
Folic Acid is one of the most complex vitamins – both in structure and in its internal chemical action in your body. It has 3 components: PABA, Glutamic Acid and Pteridine. Enzymes in your gut must alter the Folate in the foods you eat in order to make it bio-available to you, and even in an optimally-efficient gut, only 50% of Folic Acid can be utilized. So, for Seniors, who may have digestive issues, this conversion could be problematical, and this is why we need to pay attention.
Additionally, for Folic Acid to work its magic on homocysteine, it needs adequate amounts of Vitamin B12 (also often needed by Seniors) and also Vitamin B6. Using this trio can diffuse homocysteine time-bomb and turn it into useful products for your body, instead.
Vitamins B1, B2 and B3 and amino acids glycine and serine (from protein foods) are needed to recycle Folate, so their levels must be adequate to do so. If you do not take in enough protein, then the protein binding factor needed to absorb Folate in your intestines will be problematical. Seniors on fixed incomes (and starving students!) may fill their belly, but unless you are vegetarian, animal protein sources are becoming increasingly expensive, so malnutrition easily happens.
Excessive alcohol use, smoking and coffee drinking all contribute to depletion and deficiency of Folic Acid. Many prescription drugs affect levels of Folate negatively. These include birth control drugs, many cholesterol lowering drugs, Metformin for diabetic treatment, many anti-inflammatories, some diuretics and some antibiotics. So, really discuss this with your physician and pharmacist!
Adequate amounts of Folic Acid will prevent problems listed above and aid the following: alcohol rehab, hardening of arteries, cervical anomolies, Crohn’s disease, glycogen storage disease 1, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), ovarian and uterine tumors, non-senile dementia, schizophrenia and myelopathy.
The suggestion is to eat at least 5 of these higher sources a day for a dosage of 400 – 600 mcg (micrograms). Problems have been seen at doses of 1000 – 2000 mcg when the source is the synthetic folate found in supplements. In supplements, Folinic Acid is a preferred form.
Natural Folate from animal sources is generally stable if cooked, but plant foods are best raw, as at least 50% – 70% of the folate is lost if cooked.
In alphabetical order – excellent sources are: asparagus, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, organic calves liver (problematical as indicated in B5 paragraph above), lentils, sprouted lentils, mustard greens, parsley, romaine lettuce (best, over all), spinach, turnip greens.
Very good sources include: arrowroot, beets, Brussels sprouts, black-eye peas, black beans, edamame (freshly steamed young soybeans), endive, garbanzo beans, kelp, onions, papaya, pinto beans, squash, string beans, wakame seaweed.
Good sources: artichokes, arugula, Chinese broccoli, chives, cucumber, fennel, okra, radish (use its greens), radish sprouts, red bell pepper, spirulina, taro leaves, tomato.
I’ll include more nutrients after the opening week of the Olympics, and next time is a surprise.
* ABOUT BONOBOS. Morris Goodman, at Wayne State University in Michigan, and other scientists say that Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are SO close to human DNA and skills that we should seriously consider giving Bonobos human-rights status – especially seeing they have been hunted to near-extinction, for their meat, as we speak! They suggest that we are really Pan sapiens or that we should re-categorize Bonobos as the only other living Homo species, becoming Homo paniscus if we decide to keep our Homo sapiens label.
The more aggressive Common chimpanzees are Pan troglodytes, and are not candidates, except for being included in the Primate Rights Declaration which also allows gorillas, orang-utans and some smaller primates. The Spanish Parliament recently adopted the Primate Rights Declaration. Hopefully other countries will soon follow. Get your country involved.
Bonobos are the only primates which have a matriarchial society, and with this group-female leadership structure, it is a peaceful one where co-operation rules and trouble is diffused by pleasurable sex or close cuddling and / or feasting communally by sharing of food. Sounds good, doesn’t it!
These primates are often bipedal, traveling and working upright, and have also proven themselves to be excellent, forward-thinking, tool users. Bonobos have successfully passed the psychological “mirror-tests” for self-awareness! They are being taught to communicate with humans, excellently, in some labs already.
See some of the research at: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12856714 and other links at Reference section below.
In 1996, authors Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson wrote:
“Chimpanzees and Bonobos both evolved from the same ancestor that gave rise to humans, and yet the Bonobo is one of the most peaceful, unaggressive species of mammals living on the earth today. They have evolved ways to reduce violence that permeate their entire society. They show us that the evolutionary dance of violence is not inexorable“.
Because of Humans, there are only 10,000 Bonobos left in the wild, at most — maybe far fewer.
They have been ravaged in their sole, war-torn habitat in Congo, as well as being regularly hunted as bush-meat. And, only a few are in “captivity” (which is also a totally unsuitable solution!). The Hope is that the world will help to provide them with a totally-protected Reserve and educate the Humans nearby to prevent their slaughter. You can help!
If we were down to the last 10,000 Humans, we’d expect something drastic to be done to help us, Homo sapiens — so why is Homo paniscus any less valuable? It’s no different!
Please learn more about what you can do to save Bonobos! Apart from being a sovereign species, they give us a valuable window into the past that may reflect a lot of Ourself and help us to see new possibilities for our own societal development. www.greatapeproject.org/declaration.php www.greatapeproject.org/help.php www.bonobo.org and links in Reference below.
Best to all — Em
P.S. To read more of the Total Archive, please click on the Titles Tab on the upper Navigation Bar. Enjoy and Learn!
Change: New York Times 4-08
Modern, Obese David statue: www.arthurdavany.com via DrMercola.com
Bonobo with sugar-cane: www.4apes.com
Bonobo portrait – www.bonobo.org
(c)2008 Em http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
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