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Alcohol, Apples and Approval

March 25, 2010 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

It’s Thursday once again and that means it’s Twitter time. This week I’m going to highlight a whole new group of gurus and health authorities that caught my eye over the past several days. In this week’s line-up is “America’s doctor”, Dr. Mehmet Oz; the grandaddy of alt-med integration, Dr. Andrew Weil; the nutritionist, therapist and trainer to the stars, Dr. Jonny Bowden; my local newpaper’s very own health column and finally Mr. Excuses Begone! himself, Dr. Wayne Dyer.

I really love to see big time, celebrity doctors actually take a moment or two out of their busy days to answer questions from random followers on Twitter. It’s the small things that can reaffirm your faith in humanity after all. Recently Dr. Mehmet Oz answered a young lady’s question about how to naturally satisfy hunger. Dr. Oz mentioned that he eats a “handful of walnuts every few hours”. I’m happy to report that this strategy is also supported by scientific research. A study published in the November 2009 edition of the journal Obesity found that adding walnuts to the breakfast of 20 men and women resulted in a greater level of satiety and sense of fullness. In that 4 day experiment, the benefits first became evident by day 3. This suggests the regular walnut consumption may be the most effective means of administration. (1,2,3)

Dr. Andrew Weil is one of the most influential members of the integrative health movement. This Harvard trained MD recently mentioned a Danish study on Twitter that focused on the beneficial effects of eating apples on intestinal flora. Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark discovered that feeding rats a diet rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber found in apples, lead to larger populations of healthful bacteria in their digestive systems. In addition to positive bacterial changes, the scientists also noted increased concentrations of a chemical known as butyrate which may help support the integrity of the intestinal walls and discourage malignancies. (4,5,6,7)

Dr. Jonny Bowden is a really interesting figure in the field of low-carb, whole food nutrition and beyond. He’s got a master’s degree in counseling and psychology, a PhD in nutrition and six national certifications in exercise and personal training. This past week he tweeted about his love of the “incredible edible egg”. Dr. Bowden accurately points out that: a) the cholesterol contained in eggs has a minimal effect on cholesterol levels in the human body; b) much of the fat contained in egg yolks is the monounsaturated variety – much like that found in olive oil; c) eggs are loaded with healthful antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin (carotenoids) and essential nutrients including choline, folic acid and Vitamin D; d) eating eggs for breakfast can lower overall caloric intake for the day and thereby assist with weight management and; e) most studies have not found a negative correlation between egg consumption and cardiovascular risk. The one caveat that Dr. Jonny mentions is to avoid scrambled eggs such as those found in open buffets. The combination of the scrambling process and long periods of exposure to air and oxygen may damage the cholesterol and fat in eggs and render them decidedly unhealthy. Food for thought. (8,9)

APE (Apple Polyphenol Extract) Protects the Stomach
Source: Gut. 2005 February; 54(2): 193–200. (link)

I’m happy to report that my local (online) paper recently posted a message on Twitter that I can wholeheartedly endorse. Shari Roan of the LA Times posted a piece on March 22nd about the benefits of regularly drinking alcohol in small to moderate quantities. She cites three current studies that essentially come to pretty similar conclusions about the impact of drinking on cardiovascular and overall health – a little bit of alcohol is health promoting, but larger quantities are not as beneficial and can actually lead to a higher risk of all-cause mortality and decreased quality of life. (10,11,12,13,14)

If you’ve ever lied awake in bed late at night and turned on your local PBS station, then you’ve almost certainly seen at least one of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s motivational presentations. Dr. Dyer is one of the most popular gurus in the self help community. He also tweets. Here are a few of his pearls of wisdom of late: “The elevator to success is out of order today. You are going to have to take the stairway, one step at a time.” “Needing approval is like saying, ‘your view of me is more important than my own opinion of myself’.” “You are what you choose today, not what you’ve chosen before.” I know very well that some of you may be seriously contemplating these quotes while others are probably laughing out loud. Either outcome is a good one! Until next week … (15,16)

Be well!


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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition

10 Comments & Updates to “Alcohol, Apples and Approval”

  1. Nina K. Says:

    Good Morning, JP 🙂

    i read that walnuts are one of the few nuts that contain melatonin. So maybe it would be good to eat them in the evening? Do you have an idea what melatonin does for our health (despite good sleep)?

    ot: its spring 🙂 warm and sunny…. 🙂

    Nina K.

  2. Low Carb Daily ~ Angie Says:

    Awesome article, JP!

    Another reason to eat eggs for breakfast.. 🙂

  3. Affiliate Program Says:

    Nice blog. Really appreciate all the info that has put to your blog. Keep it up

    To NIna K.
    melatonin has been show to be relatively effective for helping:

    * Ease withdrawal from benzodiazepine for individuals who have become dependent on those drugs.
    * Individuals who are trying to stop smoking.
    * Prevent cluster headaches in individuals who suffer from this type of headaches.
    * Protect against ultraviolet light and sunburn.

  4. Nina K. Says:

    @Affiliate Program,

    thank you so much 🙂 very interesting.

    I wish all a very nice weekend 🙂 !

    Nina K.

  5. JP Says:

    Good day, Nina! 🙂

    Sorry for the delay in my reply.

    Melatonin’s reach is vast. It’s being investigated in conditions ranging from cancer to GERD to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) to tinnitus. That’s just for starters!





    You’re quite correct (as usual) about walnuts containing melatonin. Perhaps they’d make an ideal evening or late night snack. Add a few cherries to the mix and you’ll have even more melatonin to aid with sleep! 🙂

    Melatonin in walnuts


    Lucky for us, they’re both delicious foods!

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend too! Enjoy the warmer weather!

    Be well!


  6. JP Says:

    Thank you, Angie! 🙂


    Be well!


  7. JP Says:

    Thank you, AP!

    I appreciate your kind words and the information you shared.

    Be well!


  8. Nina K. Says:

    Good Morning, JP 🙂

    thank you very much. Wish you both a very wonderful weekend, enjoy it 🙂

    … i’m excited looking for next weeks posts 😉

    Nina K.

  9. JP Says:

    Thank you, Nina! 🙂

    I hope you had a fantastic weekend.

    Be well!


  10. JP Says:

    Update 05/29/05:


    Nutrients. 2015 May 26;7(6):3959-3998.

    Apples and Cardiovascular Health-Is the Gut Microbiota a Core Consideration?

    There is now considerable scientific evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can improve human health and protect against chronic diseases. However, it is not clear whether different fruits and vegetables have distinct beneficial effects. Apples are among the most frequently consumed fruits and a rich source of polyphenols and fiber. A major proportion of the bioactive components in apples, including the high molecular weight polyphenols, escape absorption in the upper gastrointestinal tract and reach the large intestine relatively intact. There, they can be converted by the colonic microbiota to bioavailable and biologically active compounds with systemic effects, in addition to modulating microbial composition. Epidemiological studies have identified associations between frequent apple consumption and reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Human and animal intervention studies demonstrate beneficial effects on lipid metabolism, vascular function and inflammation but only a few studies have attempted to link these mechanistically with the gut microbiota. This review will focus on the reciprocal interaction between apple components and the gut microbiota, the potential link to cardiovascular health and the possible mechanisms of action.

    Be well!


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