What is TAK1 and why is it important to inhibit its potentially destructive pathway?

TAK1 is an enzyme and signaling molecule in humans encoded by the MAP3K7 gene (a mitogen-activated protein).  TAK1 regulates cellular death through various pathways.  As we have discussed before, programmed cell death is a normal, physiologic process intended to help remove damaged cells.  However, unattended cell death is the direct pathway for human disease.  TAK1 contains binding proteins that are responsible for cell viability and tissue balance in a variety of organs. 

TAK1 is a key molecular component that can readily determine of the fate of our body’s cells.  TAK1 has been typically considered pro-survival, however, recent studies have determined that various factors could cause it to induce cell death.  Scientifically speaking, studies are exploring the ability to inhibit TAK1 as a therapeutic approach to killing off rogue cancer cells and stopping chronic inflammatory response.

Continue reading “What is TAK1 and why is it important to inhibit its potentially destructive pathway?”

Uric Acid Metabolism and the Effects of Fructose

Sugar intake has risen dramatically over the last century which seems to correlate closely with the rise in obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.  Simple sugars include both glucose and fructose.  While glucose is generally utilized by the body for energy production, fructose is known to produce high amounts of harmful substances.  Added sugars to our food sources mostly stem from fructose, and fructose metabolism can cause some pretty significant damage.  Fructose can actually deplete our energy sources, cause death to our cells, stimulate fat making enzymes, and produce excess uric acid. Studies on rats have shown fructose intake to instigate all markers of metabolic syndrome – increased waistline, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, lipid abnormalities, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.    These studies have also shown high fructose intake to stimulate free radicals, weaken the arteries, create a fatty liver, and cause kidney damage. Continue reading “Uric Acid Metabolism and the Effects of Fructose”

Is the Keto diet safe for Gout Sufferers?

Contrary to popular belief, the Keto diet is not protein focused. Rather, this diet focuses on a high fat and low carb diet to shock the body into ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process where the body is able to focus on burning fat with carbs mostly out of the picture. The body doesn’t have to work hard trying to burn the carbohydrates for energy, therefore, blood sugar is lowered and fat burning becomes the main focus.

Is this good for the Gout sufferer? Continue reading “Is the Keto diet safe for Gout Sufferers?”

Gout, Arthritis, Inflammation: The relation to the diet

This may be one of the most complex areas to understand, and we are gaining new knowledge all the time. For far too long we have remained focused on certain food triggers rather than the source and the reasoning behind our reaction. Food selection is very important. The larger, and often overlooked, picture would be the lack of pH balance to each meal, general unhealthy food choices for far too long, high-heat cooking methods, and an overabundance of processed and now genetically modified selections in the typical diet.

Questions to consider:

  • Is red meat the enemy OR is it the grain fed caged source vs. grass fed and free to roam source?
  • Is the inflammatory inducing acid of the protein the problem OR are we not providing enough alkaline food sources in the same meal to buffer the acids and still benefit from the good it has to offer?
  • What is the true source behind the body’s inflammatory reaction?

You will continue to find conflicting information on what is considered to be a ‘healthy diet,’ rendering you helpless in making concrete decisions on your approach for change.

Here is what we do know:

Continue reading “Gout, Arthritis, Inflammation: The relation to the diet”

INFLAMMATION: WHEN A GOOD THING GOES BAD

Inflammation is a natural, thriving mechanism of the immune system. Acute inflammatory response is a way to fire at and ward off disease and infection, as well as to fuel cellular regeneration. We all require a healthy measure of inflammation in order to survive. What happens when the body feels as though it is constantly under an attack of some sort? What if the inflammatory response persists and you are plagued with an incessant slow burning fire inside of you? This is precisely when a good thing, goes bad.

The body is amazingly resilient, but relies solely upon communication between the major systems within the body (the endocrine, digestive, respiratory/cardiovascular, and the central nervous system) in order to function and heal properly. When chronic inflammation is present, these systems can no longer communicate, and disease is

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What is CRP and what does it have to do with your health?

What is CRP?

CRP stands for C-reactive protein.  This protein is produced by the liver in response to elements released from certain white blood cells known as macrophages; as well as elements released from fat cells (adipocytes.)  CRP levels rise in the presence of inflammation and take on a role to bind with chemical compounds that are released on the surface of a dying or dead cell.  This process is part of an immune system response to enhance the ability of antibodies and bacteria/pathogen eating cells (phagocytic cells) to eliminate damaged cells from the body.  Certain chronic inflammatory conditions cause the release of IL-6 (interleukin-6) that trigger the release of CRP.  IL-6 is a type of immune protein in the family of cytokines that can act as both an anti-inflammatory and a pro-inflammatory. As discussed in previous blog posts, inflammation is a normal body process necessary for our body’s response to fight infection and injury.  It is a natural part of our immune system’s ability to send white blood cells and other chemical compounds to a trouble area of the body in an effort to help it heal.  However, in the presence of chronic conditions such as Arthritis, Colitis, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Gout, Heart Disease, Asthma, Diabetes, and more – the constant “fire” of inflammation can be disastrous, even deadly. Continue reading “What is CRP and what does it have to do with your health?”

Fructose and Uric Acid Metabolism

Sugar intake has risen dramatically over the last century which seems to correlate closely with the rise in obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.  Simple sugars include both glucose and fructose.  While glucose is generally utilized by the body for energy production, fructose is known to produce high amounts of harmful substances.  Added sugars to our food sources mostly stem from fructose, and fructose metabolism can cause some pretty significant damage.  Fructose can actually deplete our energy sources, cause death to our cells, stimulate fat making enzymes, and produce excess uric acid.

Studies on rats have shown fructose intake to instigate all markers of metabolic syndrome – increased waistline, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, lipid abnormalities, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.    These studies have also shown high fructose intake to stimulate free radicals, weaken the arteries, create a fatty liver, and cause kidney damage.  Continue reading “Fructose and Uric Acid Metabolism”

Gout and Cancer Connection?

Gout and Cancer Connection?

Is there a connection between Gout and Cancer?  Gout is a common inflammatory disease with incidences largely increasing with each passing year and affecting younger and younger age groups  more than ever before.  Acute arthritis and hyperuricemia stems from purine metabolism dysfunction, causing urate crystals to deposit into the tissue leading to kidney stones, soft tissue growths, urate nephropathy and/or arthritis.  Epidemiological studies have been conducted to estimate the potential association between Gout and Cancer risks.  These studies have displayed a preeminent role of Gout in carcinogenesis.

Cellular death and higher turnover rates can bring about hyperuricemia and the formation of tumors (tumorigenesis.)  Even though strong evidence exists to show the connection between high serum uric acid levels and an independent increased risk of cancer, the subject remains disputable. Continue reading “Gout and Cancer Connection?”

Does Exercise Help Reduce Inflammation?

Regular physical activity can offer us a multitude of health benefits.  Recent studies show just 20 minutes a day can produce anti-inflammatory effects, adding to the already lengthy list of how fitness can support our bodies.  That’s right!  In addition to reducing heart disease, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of Diabetes type 2, reducing the risk of cancer, improving metabolism and weight loss, strengthening the heart, muscles, and bones — regular exercise can also reduce inflammation and your chances of suffering from other inflammatory conditions.

Twenty minutes a day is all it takes.  Researchers believe that Continue reading “Does Exercise Help Reduce Inflammation?”

The Danger of Artificial Sweeteners

Just how bad are fake sugars for you?  Let’s just start by making you aware that saccharin was discovered over 150 years ago by a chemist working with coal tar.  Coal tar — you know, a well-known carcinogenic material.  Studies dating back to the 1970’s concluded that saccharin was linked to bladder cancer in laboratory rats.  If that isn’t evidence enough……  Yet, a gazillion conflicting studies later and we still have an issue that remains under intense debate.  Saccharin is sold under brand names such as Sweet and Low®, Sweet Twin®, and Necta Sweet®.

In 2013, The European Food Safety Administration deemed aspartame “safe” at current usage and exposure levels, going as far as to say it won’t cause cancer.  However, the Center for Science in the Public Interest denounced this review stating it was a complete “whitewash” of the truth. Continue reading “The Danger of Artificial Sweeteners”