Posts Tagged ‘metabolism’

Food scepticism/lack of knowledge

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

You want to live to 120 – well eat wheatgrass and algae for health, beauty, happiness and old age. Some time it was all juices. New food sages are appearing all the time! Is food a fashion industry?

Is food science evolving at all? It should be possible to arrive at some consensus about what constitutes healthy food.

Low-carb regimes have some followers, fruit and veggies are good – but are high-carb – food is processed, GM, with antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, other chemicals, additives of many kinds, taste enhancers, colorings etc. are added. The earth is devoid of most nutrients so we get less and less nutrients in ordinary  food. The solution seems to be eating raw, untreated, ecological, plant-based food. Illnesses will disappear, weight be OK, allergies go away.

Some of this may be true.

We know that food matters – lots of foods are said to have have excellent properties in preventing illnesses. But few scientists are prepared to name what a particular food can do: good foods are berries, varieties of cabbage and green tea is OK, plant oils can be had and so on. And the rest of the foods – what about them?

And eating food must also feel good!

The body’s metabolism is the mechanism that controls the processes in the body. We eat basically carbohydrates, proteins and fats that are converted in our body to produce energy for use and build up of the body. Enzymes and hormones do this. Vitamins and minerals are needed to facilitate these processes.

  • Anabolism is the constructive metabolism building cells and new tissue, stores energy, builds complex molecules of carbohydrates, proteins and fats
  • Catabolism is the mechanism that breaks down large molecules to free energy, removes waste

The process of metabolism is balancing these processes: building and using, removing.

Basal metabolic rate BMR is given, but can be changed by how you live: eating, exercise, psychology, lifestyle, medication.

The metabolism is said to involve about 500 substances from foods, about 16 of which are essential. A varied diet should therefore be possible, making you able to eat healthy and at the same time what you like.

It must be possible to say with some degree of certainty what is good and benefits metabolism. Or is the complexity such that we all must be left to our own devices?

This is not satisfactory! Can we prolong our lives by “advanced” eating? Science must get better and communicate better. Can we combine all these factors?

The chemistry of the body

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Biochemistry is the study of the chemistry of the functions of the body: cells, organs and systems. Bad health has many forms and sickness or lack of wellness points to an imbalance in this biochemistry. We need to check these imbalances and correct them through biochemical testing uncovering nutritional deficiencies, toxic levels, intolerances and allergies. With information at hand we can design a personal dietary and supplement program to achieve a healthy condition.

Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that occur in living organisms to maintain life. About 500 substances are involved in the working of the metabolism, about 20 of which are essential or “must-have”. There is at present no basic agreement as to what amounts of these substances each of us need.

The expression healthy food is used by all without closer definition.

Tests can determine your condition and be made the basis for a “good” diet and lifestyle. There are many  therapies available, but there seems to be little agreement among nutritional practitioners about basic practizes.

It should be possible to agree that removing the cause of a disease or weak function is important, so that the body if possible can heal or improve itself. There are many known health consequences of nutritional depletion, e.g. lack of magnesium hinders a birth, making a cesarean neccessary. Lack of vitamin C…….etc.

The concept of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDI) – why is it not more actively used by us? Do we have them for all we need and are they correct ? Must we supplement what we are not fed through our diet? Can we live with deficiencies or must we supplement? What are the vital components?

The alarm bells are ringing: we are getting more and more diabetes2, more and more cancers – the reason must surely have something to do with western lifestyle?

Some say you can get all the vitamins and minerals you need from a healthy diet. Will somebody please tell us all what a correct diet is and make sure it can be bought in the shops?

Iron, calcium, selenium, zinc, magnesium, calcium etc…… almost 500 “stuffs” are there to be had!