Ran across this video today. It’s basic, but a good synopsis of the dangers of sugar. Check it out if you have a few minutes.
Well, you probably should. One of the biggest advocates of eliminating wheat from our diets is Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who wrote the book Wheat Belly. In his book, Davis outlines the many harmful effects of wheat; including its’ addictive-like qualities, high glycemic index, and ability to cause an inflammatory response. You may be thinking, ‘But people have been eating bread for centuries, why is it only now considered a problem?’ Answer: Hybridization.
The Hybridization of Wheat
In the 1950’s an effort was made to produce wheat is mass quantities. Scientists began cross-breeding wheat to make it hardier, shorter, and faster-growing. This work won Norman Borlaug, a US Plant scientist a Nobel Prize; but also introduced compounds to wheat that aren’t human friendly. Today’s wheat contains sodium azide, a known toxin; and also goes go through gamma irradiation during manufacturing. In addition, hybridized wheat contains proteins that aren’t found in either the parent or the plant. This new hybridized wheat was never tested before being released to the population, and thus many of the harmful effects are only now being discovered and investigated.
So what are the proteins that we can’t as humans digest? Gluten and gliadin. Gluten is a protein composite of gliadin and glutenin that appears in wheat and other grains. It’s what helps dough rise, keep it’s shape, and gives it a chewy texture. The problem is we don’t have enzymes to break it down. This can create an immunogenic response, triggering widespread inflammation throughout the body by the immune system; possibly leading to various autoimmune diseases including celiac, rheumatoid arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. And this holds true for people who don’t have celiac disease.
High Glycemic Index
Wheat also raises blood sugar. In fact, two slices of bread increases blood sugar more than a single candy bar! As Davis states, overdoing wheat can result in “deep visceral fat”, resulting in a big belly, or, as Davis has coined, a “wheat belly”. What’s the real problem with an increase in blood sugar? Foods with a high glycemic index raise blood sugar the quickest, causing a “sugar spike” (a surge then fall in blood-glucose). When you get a fast rush of sugar (glucose) in the blood, you get a huge release of insulin secreted from the pancreas. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscles and fat to take up glucose from the blood and convert it to glycogen for storage. What happens after a rush of sugar followed by a rush of insulin? Your blood sugar drops even faster after the insulin has picked it up, resulting in lethargy and a feeling of “hunger” triggered by your body’s low blood sugar. So when eating foods with a high glycemic index, you actually feel more hungry, more often.
Addicted to Wheat
Even with all this knowledge some people can’t seem to stop eating bread. Well, it appears there may be a physiologic reason for this. As Davis states and devotes a whole chapter to in his book, wheat can actually have addictive effects. Gliadin is believed to degrade into a morphine-like compound after eating. It crosses the blood brain barrier and attaches to opiate receptors. This actually creates an appetite for more wheat, giving it an addictive quality.
So, do you what to be addicted to a substance that causes weight gain, wide-spread inflammation throughout your body, sugar highs and lows creating periods of extreme fatigue, and possible intestinal irritability? As nutrition expert Mark Sisson noted, “Apart from maintaining social conventions in certain situations and obtaining cheap sugar calories, there is absolutely no reason to eat grains.”
Thank you to my many sources. Click below to see where I got my information, and to learn more.
Why You Should Probably Stop Eating Wheat by George Dvorsky
According to a recent survey by MarketTools Inc. for the dating website Match.com; the number one “must have” quality that both men and women look for in potential mates is nice teeth. USA Today reported the survey asked 5,500 unattached adults 21 and older what qualities they judge most in the opposite sex. What are the other qualities most judged?
Ten things on which men judge women most:
1. Teeth-58 percent.
2. Grammar-55 percent.
3. Hair-51 percent.
4. Clothes-45 percent.
5. Having/not having a tattoo-40 percent.
6. Nails/hands-37 percent.
7. Accent-19 percent.
8. Shoes-18 percent.
9. The car they drive-13 percent.
10. Electronic devices they carry-9 percent.
Ten things on which women judge men most:
1. Teeth-71 percent.
2. Grammar-69 percent.
3. Clothes-58 percent.
4. Hair-53 percent.
5. Nails/hands-52 percent.
6. Having/not having a tattoo-34 percent.
7. Shoes-29 percent.
8. The car they drive-24 percent.
9. Accent-22 percent.
10. Electronic devices they carry-10 percent.
Although this is just a survey and not a study executed with any scientific parameters – it does give a little insight into what men and women say they are actively looking for. When looking at the quality of one’s teeth, many think oral health is an insight into how well an individual takes care of themselves and their personal hygiene. In the United States a pretty white smile signifies charisma and success, and according to this survey, is more likely to land you a date.
Watch this video from Good Morning America to learn more
Video: What Men, Women Want In A Mate
USA Today Article
What Singles Want
I’m a Ted Talk junkie, and a couple of weeks ago a friend of mine directed me to one seriously amazing Ted Talk. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, gave a fascinating talk regarding the effects of “power posing” – standing in a posture of confidence. Through experimentation she found that standing in a posture of confidence for just two minutes, even when we don’t feel confident, increases testosterone levels and decreases cortisol levels. As Cuddy articulates, the hormone testosterone tends to ignite confidence in us, whereas cortisol increases stress (thus decreasing confidence).
She urged her listeners to adopt and integrate the phrase “fake it till you make it”. Cuddy even lent a personal, moving anecdote describing to her audience how she utilized this within her own life, and how overtime she did in fact “make it”.
Her talk is something that should be shared, as it could lead to betterment and an increased sense of confidence in the lives of many. Take 20 minutes to watch this and graciously pass it on. Share the science.
While reviewing the website www.knowyourteeth.com sponsored by the Academy of General Dentistry I came across an article highlighting oral health concerns dentists carry for their vegetarian patients. Many dentists ask their patients about their diet, and find those that are vegetarian tend to be very knowledgeable about nutrition. The concerns however, tend to be directed towards children on vegetarian diets that may be lacking essential nutrients, and with adults that also may be lacking essentials needed for proper tooth and gum health.
According to Dr. Ludwig Leibsohn, some vegetarians, particularly those who do not consume any food of animal origin, can experience deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12 or complete proteins. Studies show that by eating the right amount of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, they can get the nutrients they need. “An adult on a vegetarian diet for a prolonged period can be at increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease from a lack of vitamin D and calcium,” says Dr. Leibsohn. To reduce this problem, Dr. Leibsohn suggests that vegetarians seek counsel from a nutritionists and take a multi-vitamin daily.
Another concern for vegetarians is their potential lack of Vitamin D. Teeth can become more susceptible to decay and periodontal disease with a lack of Vitamin D. Although Vitamin D is produced with sun exposure, if one is out of the sun often and not consuming any in their diet there is a possibility of a deficiency. According to Dr. Leibsohn, adding vegetable margarines or soy milk to one’s diet will solve this problem.
In conclusion, it’s important to have an open line of communication as a patient with your dentist and any other doctor’s you see. If we have all the information, it allows us to better asses your health conditions as a whole and suggest any additional care needed.
Read the article for yourself here:
Dentists Should Advise Vegetarians on Good Oral Health
I’ve had many patients ask me how to decrease their risk for cavities. A simple way to avoid cavities is to chew sugarless gum for 15-20 minutes after eating a meal. How does this help?
After you eat food your pH level in your mouth drops, making your mouth a more acidic environment. This gives bacteria a better environment to thrive in. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating enhances salivary flow. The increase in salivary flow enhances the buffering capacity of saliva to bring the pH in the mouth back to neutral more quickly. In addition, findings have suggested that chewing sugar-free gum after eating promotes remineralization and inhibits demineralization of tooth structure. Several studies have shown that those that chew sugar free gum after eating have a significant reduction in number of caries (cavities) when compared to a control group.
There are two main types of sugar-substitutes used in sugar-free gum.
From a chemical standpoint they are both very similar and are classified as sugar alcohols. Sorbitol is less expensive for manufacturers, and thus tends to be more widely used. These two sugar alcohol’s can be separated by one important factor. Sorbitol is low-cariogenic vs xylitol which is non-cariogenic.
Low-cariogenic: this means that the item, in this case, sorbitol, has a low capacity to promote caries (cavities).
Non-cariogenic: something that is non-cariogenic actually inhibits caries formation, such as xylitol.
Both options would be a good option to replace regular gum, but in terms of caries prevention, a gum made with xylitol would be better.
Some xylitol-containing chewing gums for your caries prevention:
1. Spry Gum(this gum has the highest concentration, and thus most effective use of xylitol)
2. Emerald Forest Chewing Gum(this is also a good option)
4. Ice Breakers
*Although trident and ice breakers gum doesn’t offer as much xylitol as spry and emerald forest, they are easier to find at any drug store or grocery store and still should be incorporated as part of your caries prevention.
Chewing gum that has the American Dental Association seal of approval
1. Dentyne Ice Sugarless Gum
2. Stride Sugarless Gum
3. Trident sugar-free Gum
4. Wrigley’s Extra sugar-free Gum
5. Wrigley’s Orbit sugar-free Gum
*Although these contain the ADA seal, they do not necessarily all contain xylitol. Some of them contain sorbitol.
To reference a JADA article in 2006 titled, “The use of sorbitol- and xylitol-sweetened gum in caries control”:
‘The ability of chewing gum to aid in caries control comes from the chewing action itself—which stimulates saliva flow—and the noncariogenic sugar substitutes used as sweeteners. Sugared gum is cariogenic (meaning it causes caries aka cavities), so all gums used in caries-control regimens need to include a nonsugar sweetener. The rationale is that when sugar is plentiful in a person’s diet, cariogenic bacteria such as mutans streptococci thrive in plaque flora, but they can become suppressed when the person’s diet is low in sugars. Xylitol-sweetened chewing gums are being studied for their anticariogenic action—that is, whether they actively assist in remineralizing early carious lesions as opposed to playing just a neutral role.’
For more information click the following links:
Sorbitol vs Xylitol
The effects on chewing sugar free gum after meals on clinical caries
The use of sorbitol- and xylitol-sweetened chewing gum in caries control
Maintaining Mutans Streptococci Suppression
ADA’s List of Approved SF Gums
What does fluoride do?
According to the American Dental Association, fluoride benefits both children and adults. Here’s how:
Before teeth break through the gums, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages and dietary supplements strengthens tooth enamel making it stronger and more resistant to cavities. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit.
After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This is provides what is called a “topical” benefit.
In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth and helping to rebuild weakened tooth enamel.
How and where do we get fluoride?
Fluoride is naturally present in variable concentrations in ground water, ie water from a faucet or water generally used to cook with. A certain amount of fluoride does occur naturally in rivers etc. Bottled water, distilled, or deionized water generally does not contain fluoride.
In addition, fluoride is provided in most toothpastes, as well as some mouth rinses. This is a very important part of cavity prevention, so be sure fluoride is in the toothpaste that you use.
What is community water fluoridation?
Water fluoridation is the process of adding additional fluoride supplements to a community’s water source. Years ago, the government decided to add some fluoride to certain communities with naturally occurring low fluoride levels due to the high prevalence of cavities throughout the population. About 72% of the US is served by fluoridated water systems. Once fluoride was added to community’s water source, the cavities rate was significantly decreased. Simply by drinking tap water, people can decrease they risk of decay.
Not drinking tap water? If you’re an individual who only drinks bottled water, you may be at risk for not receiving an adequate amount of fluoride to decrease your risk of decay. Talk to your dentist about this. They may suggest fluoride supplements, or a change in toothpaste with an increased percent of fluoride concentration.
What puts you at risk for decay?
There are many things that can increase your rate of decay, or number of cavities.
1. Poor oral hygiene.
The number one cause for cavities is poor oral hygiene. This means those that don’t take good care of their teeth, ie proper brushing twice and day and flossing once a day.
Such as high intake of sugar or certain foods that lend itself to a better environment for bacteria to thrive within the mouth such as fruit, crackers, breads, potato chips. Also, eating many meals throughout the day increases your risk due to a change in the acid level of the mouth, which takes 30 minutes to stabilize after eating.
Soda, even diet soda, when consumed throughout the day can be very detrimental to teeth. As can any other beverages with high acidity or large quantities sugar. This includes fruit juices.
4. Medications that cause dry-mouth.
Bacteria tend to thrive in mouths with very little saliva.
5. Uncontrolled diabetes.
There are many factors that play into one’s risk for decay. For a thorough evaluation to be sure you’re not at high risk, visit your dentist.
Ways to receive additional fluoride.
Again, as noted from above, fluoride supplements are available. In addition, your dentist may want to occasionally treat your teeth with fluoride. This usually done with a fluoride gel, placed in trays that you sit with for under 5 minutes. In addition, there is also a fluoride varnish that can be placed onto your teeth which is meant to be brushed off the next day.
If you are at a higher risk for decay, your dentist may want to change your toothpaste to a higher concentration of fluoride such as Prevident 5000 or have you use additional products like MI Paste.
The ADA provides answers for your fluoride questions:
American Dental Associations Take on Fluoride