April 2019 ExtraCare Newsletter

April 2019 ExtraCare Newsletter


April 2019
ExtraCare Newsletter


What a welcome change in the weather we have this month. Sunshine and warm temperatures have me dreaming of summer and contemplating squeezing myself into the dreaded bathing suit! If you’re thinking about shedding those winter pounds then you definitely want to read my article on the potential harmful effects of the keto diet. I also share with you my recent farmer’s market discovery, bee pollen.

My son Clayton and I shared a rewarding experience last month when we flew to Baja with Aeromedicos to volunteer in a medical clinic in Adolfo López Mateos. Below is a photo of Clayton, who worked in the pharmacy, using his Spanish and dispensing MY prescriptions!

Are Ketogenic Diets Bad for You?


Many of my friends and family members are following keto diets.  “Going keto” is touted as the track to relatively quick and easy weight loss, mental focus and energy. Dr. Atkins was the first to introduce the concept of ketosis to the general public in the early 70’s. Since then, many variations on the theme of ketosis have emerged but the general concept is the same: By restricting your daily carbohydrate intake, your body turns to fat burning for energy, leaving the byproduct ketones behind.

Most ketogenic diets suggest restricting carbohydrate intake to between 20-40% of daily caloric intake.  This leaves 60-80% of your calories from fat and protein. There is often no restriction on the amount or type of fat consumed (saturated vs unsaturated) or protein (animal vs. plant) but there are significant restrictions in fruit and grain consumption; foods which tend to be higher in carbohydrates. The problem with this type of eating in the long term is that it can lead to vitamin deficiencies, liver and kidney problems and mood disorders (the brain requires sugar from healthy carbohydrates to function properly).

Many articles have been published on the subject of ketosis since Dr. Atkins first introduced the concept to us, some pro and some con. Last August, the Lancet published an article on the subject that should help put this controversy to rest. Researchers first prospectively followed over 150,000 US adults for over 25 years. There were over 40,000 deaths in all and they found a U-shaped association between the percentage of energy consumed from carbohydrates and mortality. A percentage of 50–55% energy from carbohydrate was associated with the lowest risk of mortality.

U-shaped association between percentages of energy from carbohydrate
and all-cause mortality in the ARIC cohort


Researchers then combined their data with data for carbohydrate intake reported from seven multinational prospective studies in a meta-analysis. They found that both low carbohydrate consumption (<40%) and high carbohydrate consumption (>70%) conferred greater mortality risk than did moderate intake, which was also showed a U-shaped association.

Lastly, researchers assessed whether the substitution of animal or plant sources of fat and protein for carbohydrate affected mortality. They found that mortality increased when carbohydrates were exchanged for animal-derived fat or protein and mortality decreased when the substitutions were plant-based.

In summary, it appears that the old adage “everything in moderation” again holds true when it comes to dietary recommendations. My recommendation is to try to follow a diet containing 50-55% carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, with proteins and fats derived mainly from plants.

Click the link below to read the full article:
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(18)30135-X/fulltext

Bee Pollen


I spotted this jar of bee pollen at the farmers market a few weeks ago and after chatting with the bee keepers for some time, decided to give it a try. My curiosity piqued, I quickly got on the internet to learn more about this fascinating product and I have been talking it up to my friends ever since.

First of all, what exactly is bee pollen?

Bee pollen is the collected pollen from plant anthers mixed with a small dose of bee saliva. The bees place it in baskets which are situated on the tibia of their hind legs and transport it to the hive. Special devices called pollen traps are used to collect the pollen baskets. The bees must force their way through the traps causing them to lose a part of their pollen basket which falls into a special containers for collection.

What is in bee pollen?

Pollen is rich in biologically active substances including proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids and fatty acids, phenolic compounds, enzymes, coenzymes and vitamins.

Pollen contains 23% proteins including 10% essential amino acids. It contains 30% digestible carbohydrates and 25% sugars, mainly fructose and glucose. Five percent of bee pollen is made up of lipids which includes essential fatty acids. Bee pollen also contains phenolic compounds such as flavonoids, leukotrienes and catechins as well as vitamins including the fat soluble vitamins A, E, D and the water soluble B vitamins and vitamin C.

What is bee pollen good for?

This is what excites me most. It turns out that bee pollen is good for all sorts of things, at least in animals…

According to a 2015 article published in the online Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, bee pollen has been shown in animal studies to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, inhibit the formation of atherosclerosis and mimic anti platelet properties of aspirin.  Animal studies have also shown significant liver detoxifying properties with bee pollen as well as anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.  Bee pollen was also shown to improve mood in rabbits (not quite sure how that was measured).

In humans, bee pollen has been used to reduce symptoms of prostatitis, reduce allergy symptoms and improve wound healing when used topically.

Whatever it is, for me it seems to be working. After a few days of regular use I was hooked. I sprinkle it on my salads or mix a tablespoon in my yogurt in the morning. I feel like it gives me energy. Maybe it’s all in my head, but as a truly natural supplement, I see no harm in continuing it.
September 6, 2019 Uncategorized
Jeneva Escalera
About Jeneva Escalera