Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tart Cherries and Ibprophen

We ran across this article recently written by Lena H. Sun for the Washington Post. An interesting comparison is made between the anti inflammatory properties of ibuprofen and tart cherries. We are huge advocates of eating for your health. Read an to learn about how tart cherries could help you reduce your health. 

I wrenched my neck a few days ago and wondered whether there was something else I could take for the pain instead of ibuprofen. Based on what I’d read in magazines, I searched for the answer in my fridge, which happened to contain more than 40 pounds of tart cherries I had just picked.
Actually, a ton of research has found that these cherries are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help relieve inflammation, pain and damage to cells, organs and blood vessels. That’s probably why nearly 100 professional and collegiate sports teams in the United states have their athletes drinking the stuff, according to sports medicine experts.
And now is the season for this superfruit.
I use them to make the most fabulous pies, or so my co-workers say. Tart cherries are different from the sweet cherries typically sold in the supermarket. You’re not going to find fresh tart cherries in the grocery store, because they’re so perishable. But you can find tart cherry juice and dried tart cherries in stores and online. Depending on where you live, you can get fresh tart cherries at farmers’ markets. If you’re really lucky, you might even be able to get them at pick-your-own orchards.
“What we found is that this food is as good as ibuprofen in terms of pain reduction,” said Kerry Kuehl, a practicing internist and chief of health promotion and sports medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. “It worked as well as 600 to 800 milligrams of ibuprofen, post vigorous exercise.”
Kuehl and other Oregon University researchers found that runners who drank tart cherry juice before and the day of the Oregon Hood to Coast relay race — a 198-mile course that crosses two mountain ranges — had much less pain than runners who drank a fruit punch. (The amount of juice they drank each day was equivalent to eating about 90 to 100 tart cherries.)
Tart cherries are among the foods with the highest levels of anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants of any studied food, Kuehl said. Some foods are high in one or the other, but tart cherries are high in both.
All cherries contain these nutrients, including anthocyanins and flavonoids, but tart cherries have much higher amounts. Here’s what the research shows: Tart cherry juice has benefits for people suffering from arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia, a common chronic pain disorder.
Montmorency is the variety of tart cherry most commonly grown in the United States, and what scientists use in their research.
British cycling teams have been using tart cherry juice for years, and most athletes use a concentrate of cherry juice, says Malachy McHugh, director of research at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, based at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
In the United States, athletes use not-from-concentrate tart cherry juice, which has become increasingly popular with those playing contact sports, sports with multiple games in short periods of time and sports with long seasons and a lot of travel, said McHugh, who is a consultant for a tart cherry juice manufacturer and for the New York Rangers hockey team, one of the teams using the juice.
I ate a lot of tart cherries
— probably four big bowls
— for my neck pain and went to bed. I woke up the next morning and felt much better. I’ve been eating several handfuls a day.
By the way, they taste great. I’ve been baking pies too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

One Small Step for Transparency in Nutritional Labeling.

Great news! The House Committee on Agriculture has passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. The bill aimed at establishing federal uniform labeling standards for foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and also for GMO free foods is gaining momentum and gathering support. 

The House Committee of Agriculture is hearing accolades from Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Calling the committee's vote "further evidence of the growing support and momentum in Congress for this bill." And Claire Parker, spokeswoman for the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (CFSAF), who states, "Today’s committee approval of this legislation is a strong sign of the support for national food labeling legislation that gives consumers the information they want in a truthful, consistent manner." 

This is great news for all of us, consumers and producers, as we move forward. transparency is a must when it comes to our nutrition, health and well being. Bravo House AG Committee. Bravo. One step in the right direction lets keep this ball rolling. 

Stay posted and stay informed. For more news on NonGMOs and why they are so important check out the NonGMO Project

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Could Insects and Reptiles offer cures to our Human ailments?

We read this article written by Honor Whiteman, for Medical News Today and had to share. Spiders repairing nerve damage? Scorpions treating heart problems? Reptiles helping to manage diabetes? It all sounds like something from a SyFy movie. Could it all be true? Find out more in the details below. 
The Common housefly
Researchers have identified genes in houseflies that make them immune to the pathogens they carry - a finding that could open the door to treatments for human illnesses.
Mary Astell - a 17th century English philosopher - once said: "None of God's creatures absolutely consider'd are in their own nature contemptible; the meanest fly, the poorest insect has its use and vertue." And it seems this may be true in relation to the medical world.
Take the common housefly. They feed on decaying organic matter - such as garbage and feces - and as a result, carry over 100 potentially life-threatening pathogens that can be transmitted to humans. Based on this information, it is no wonder many of us take the opportunity to swat the little pests when they come into close range.
But you may be surprised to learn that the common housefly could actually help scientists learn more about human illnesses. In a study published in the journalGenome Biology in October 2014, Dr. Jeff Scott and colleagues from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, revealed how they sequenced the genome of the housefly using DNA from six female flies.
Comparing the DNA of the housefly with that of the fruit fly - which shares almost 60% of human genes - the team identified genes that make houseflies immune to the pathogens they carry, potentially bringing us closer to new treatments for human illnesses.
"The housefly genome provides a rich resource for enabling work on innovative methods of insect control, for understanding the mechanisms of insecticide resistance, genetic adaptation to high pathogen loads, host parasitoid interactions, and for exploring the basic biology of this important pest," the authors explained.
And this discovery is only the tip of the iceberg; there are many more equally as unpleasant critters that may offer benefits for human health.

Spiders: relieving pain and repairing nerve damage

Many of you are likely to be cringing at the sight of the word "spider." Millions of us hate the eight-legged monstrosities, running away at the speed of light when one randomly appears from under the sofa. But whatever your thoughts about these arachnids, there is no doubt they are amazing creatures.
There are believed to be at least 40,000 species of spiders worldwide, residing on every continent except Antarctica.
Though all spiders have the ability to bite, only around a dozen can cause harm to humans with their toxic venom. Black Widows, Brown Recluse spiders and Hobo spiders are some of the venomous spiders found in the US. A bite from one of these can cause symptoms such as fever, itching or rash, nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure and breathing difficulties. Only very rarely can a spider bite lead to death.
Researchers have identified compounds in spider venom that could help treat chronic pain.
But while spider venom can cause human harm, it may also aid human health. Earlier this month, Medical News Today reported on a study conducted by researchers from The University of Queensland in Australia, who claimed to have identified compounds in spider venom that could help treat chronic pain in humans.
From screening the venoms of 205 species of spider, they discovered that 40% of venoms contained at least one compound that has the ability to block a pathway involved in chronic pain in humans, called Nav1.7. One particular compound that showed promise - called Hd1a - was identified in a species of spider called Haplopelma doriae - a member of the tarantula family.
Study leader Prof. Glenn King believes the findings may lead to more effective treatments for the millions of people worldwide who suffer from chronic pain. "Untapping this natural source of new medicines brings a distinct hope of accelerating the development of a new class of painkillers that can help people who suffer from chronic pain that cannot be treated with current treatment options," he adds.
And it is not only spiders' venom that could aid progress in human medicine. Spider silk - the protein fiber that the creatures use to make their webs - may be useful for treating nerve damage in humans, according to a 2011 study by researchers from Hannover Medical School in Germany.
Spider silk is an extremely durable fiber, with one study claiming it is five times stronger than steel. The Hannover researchers believe its high durability makes spider silk a promising candidate for reconstructive nerve surgery, with the technique already proving successful in animal models.

Bees: helping to fight antibiotic resistance and treat HIV

Compared with spiders, we tend to have a higher tolerance for bees. Though they seem incapable of finding their way back out of an open window they just flew through - making us do a lot of curtain-flapping and arm-waving - they are responsible for producing one of the nation's most-loved foods: honey.
But according to scientists, these insects are capable of so much more. In 2013, MNT reported on a study published inAntiviral Therapy, in which researchers revealed how a toxin found in bee venom - melittin - has the potential to destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The investigators, from the Washington University School of Medicine, explained that melittin is able to make holes in the protective, double-layered membrane that surrounds the HIV virus. Delivering high levels of the toxin to the virus via nanoparticles could be an effective way to kill it.
Study author Dr. Joshua L. Hood believes these findings could lead to the creation of a vaginal gel to halt HIV transmission. "Our hope is that in places where HIV is running rampant, people could use this gel as a preventive measure to stop the initial infection," he explained.
A more recent study published in September 2014 claims bees may also be useful for creating a new class of antibiotics. Researchers from the Lund University in Sweden discovered lactic acid bacteria in fresh honey found in the stomachs of bees that has antimicrobial properties.
The team found that the bacteria is effective against a number of drug-resistant pathogens responsible for potentially life-threatening infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistantEnterococcus (VRE).
At a time when existing antibiotics are increasingly failing to work against such infections, the researchers say their findings suggest a viable alternative.

Scorpions: helping to treat heart problems

Like spiders, scorpions are creepy but fascinating. There are around 90 species of scorpions living in the US, most likely to be found in rocky and sandy areas.
A scorpion
While a scorpion's venom can cause heart problems, researchers have found it could also treat them.
All scorpions are venomous, though only 25-30 species possess a venom that is toxic enough to cause severe illness in humans.
A person who is unlucky enough to be stung by one of these more deadly species may experience difficulty breathing, muscle spasms, high blood pressure, a rise or reduction in heart rate and irregular heartbeat. But while their venom can cause heart problems, you may be surprised to learn that it could also treat them.
2011 study by researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health found that compounds in the venom of the African Emperor scorpion, or Pandinus imperator, may be effective for the treatment of heart failure.
The researchers found that the compounds, called calcins, activate the release of calcium in human heart cells, allowing better heart muscle contraction - something that is limited in patients with heart failure.
Another study published in 2010 identified a compound in the venom of the Central American bark scorpion - a species commonly kept as a pet - that could stop heart bypasses from failing.
The study researchers - from the University of Leeds in the UK - explain that the compound, called margatoxin, could prevent neointimal hyperplasia following heart bypass surgery - a common complication that causes blood vessel blockage. Margatoxin works by blocking a potassium ion channel called Kv1.3, which is involved in neointimal hyperplasia.
"These results look promising, but we won't know if this approach will benefit patients undergoing bypass surgery until more research is undertaken in patients to establish its long-term efficacy and safety," commented Prof. Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation. 

Frogs: aiding the fight against cancer

Of all the creatures featured in this Spotlight, frogs are probably one of the least feared, but they are certainly one of the most interesting. They have the ability to jump more than 20 times their body length, and some species - such as the Budgett's frog - have camouflage capabilities.
There are more than 6,000 species of frogs worldwide, of which 90 reside in the US. While many species of frog are venomous, very few cause harm to humans. In fact, some species of frog could aid humans in the fight against cancer.
In 2011, MNT reported on a study by researchers from Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland that revealed thediscovery of two proteins in the skin of the Waxy Monkey Frog and the Giant Firebellied Toad that can disrupt angiogenesis, or new blood vessel growth.
The researchers explain that cancer tumors develop their own blood supply, fueling themselves with oxygen and nutrients to help them grow. A protein that can switch off blood vessel growth means tumors would be unable to fuel themselves, meaning they would stop growing. "Stopping the blood vessels from growing will make the tumor less likely to spread and may eventually kill it. This has the potential to transform cancer from a terminal illness into a chronic condition," says study author Prof. Chris Shaw.
On the other hand, Prof. Shaw says such a protein could be used to activate blood vessel growth, which could treat a number of conditions in which rapid blood vessel repair is required, such as blood vessel damage following stroke.

Reptiles: helping to manage and treat diabetes

Some of you may not have heard of the Gila monster. Found in southwestern US and northwestern Mexico, it is the only venomous lizard in the US, and one of only a few venomous lizards worldwide. Rest easy, though; a bite from this beast is not fatal to healthy adults. But its saliva could be a lifesaver.
In 2007, a study by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine revealed how exenatide - a synthetic form of a compound found in the saliva of the Gila monster, called exendin-4 - may help people with diabetes control their condition and lose weight.
A Gila monster
A synthetic form of a compound found in the saliva of the Gila monster - called exendin-4 - may help people with diabetes control their condition and lose weight.
The compound works by causing the pancreas to produce more insulin when blood sugar is too high. In the study, 46% of patients who were given exenatide in combination with diabetes drug metformin had good control of their blood sugar, compared with only 13% of control participants.
"The Gila monster only eats three or four times a year, and a compound produced in its salivary glands called exendin-4 may help them digest these meals very slowly over time. That is an advantageous quality when translated into controlling diabetes," commented Dr. Michael Trautmann of pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly - who helped develop the drug.
The Gila monster is not the only reptile that could help treat diabetes. A 2012 study published in Nature Communications found toxins in snake venom that could be beneficial for the condition, and they could even help treat high blood pressure and cancer.
The team analyzed gene sequences from the Burmese python and garter snake to reach their findings. They found that - although the venoms of these snakes can be harmful to humans - the toxins in them can be changed into harmless molecules that could make effective drugs.
"The venom gland of snakes appears to be a melting pot for evolving new functions for molecules, some of which are retained in venom for killing prey, while others go on to serve new functions in other tissues in the body," said lead author Dr. Nicholas Casewell, from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK.
It seems that what Mary Astell said is not far from the truth; even "the meanest fly" or "the poorest insect" has its uses.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

High Energy Breakfast - Type 2 Diabetes

I read a great article this morning proving the importance of a high energy breakfast for people with Type 2 Diabetes... Read on for more information about how to help control your blood sugar levels. 

High-energy breakfast with low-energy dinner helps control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes

A new study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that, in people with type 2 diabetes, those who consume a high energy breakfast and a low energy dinner have better blood sugar control than those who eat a low energy breakfast and a high energy dinner. Thus adjusting diet in this fashion could help optimise metabolic control and prevent complications of type 2 diabetes. The authors of the study include Professor Daniela Jakubowicz and Professor Julio Wainstein, Wolfson Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Israel, Professor Bo Ahren, Lund University, Sweden and Professor Oren Froy Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
Previous work by this group has shown that high energy breakfast with low energy dinner (the B diet) reduced post-meal blood glucose spikes (post-prandial glycaemia) in obese non-diabetic individuals, when compared with a low energy breakfast and high energy dinner diet (the D diet). This new randomised study included 18 individuals (eight men, 10 women), with type 2 diabetes of less than 10 years duration, an age range 30-70 years, body mass index (BMI) 22-35 kg/m2, and treated with metformin and/or dietary advice (eight patients with diet alone and 10 with diet and metformin). Patients were randomised to either the B diet or the D diet daily for 1 week. The B diet contained 2946 kilojoule (kj) breakfast, 2523 kj lunch, and 858kj dinner. The D diet contained the same total energy but arranged differently: 858 kj breakfast, 2523 kj lunch, and 2946 kj dinner. The larger of the two meals included milk, tuna, a granola bar, scrambled egg, yoghurt and cereal, while the smaller meal contained sliced turkey breast, mozzarella, salad and coffee.
Breakfast was taken at 0800H AM, lunch at 1300H PM, and dinner at 1900H PM. Patients consumed their diets at home for 6 days before the sampling day. On the 7th day (sampling day), each group consumed their assigned meal plan in the clinic, and blood samples were collected just before breakfast (0 min) and at 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 min after eating commenced. Blood sampling was repeated at the same time points after lunch and dinner. Post-meal levels of glucose were measured in each participant, as well as levels of insulin, c-peptide (a component of insulin), and glucagon-like-peptide 1 hormone (GLP-1 and also known as incretin: an indicator of glucose metaobilsm that stimulates insulin release). Two weeks later, patients were crossed over to the other diet plan, and the tests repeated.
The results showed that post-meal glucose levels were 20% lower and levels of insulin, C-peptide and GLP-1 were 20% higher in participants on the B diet compared with the D diet. Despite the diets containing the same total energy and same calories during lunch, lunch in the B diet resulted in lower blood glucose (by 21-25%) and higher insulin (by 23%) compared with the lunch in the D diet.
"These observations suggest that a change in meal timing influences the overall daily rhythm of post-meal insulin and incretin and results in a substantial reduction in the daily post-meal glucose levels," says Professor Froy. "A person's meal timing schedule may be a crucial factor in the improvement of glucose balance and prevention of complications in type 2 diabetes and lends further support to the role of the circadian system in metabolic regulation."
Professor Jakubowicz adds: "The mechanism of better glucose tolerance after high-energy breakfast than after an identical dinner may be in part the result of clock regulation that triggers higher beta cell responsiveness and insulin secretion in the morning, and both a lower rate of breakdown of insulin by the liver and the increase in insulin-mediated muscle glucose uptake in the morning. Thus, recommending a higher energy load at breakfast, when beta cell responsiveness and insulin-mediated muscle glucose uptake are at optimal levels, seems an adequate strategy to decrease post-meal glucose spikes in patients with type 2 diabetes."
She concludes: "High energy intake at breakfast is associated with significant reduction in overall post-meal glucose levels in diabetic patients over the entire day. This dietary adjustment may have a therapeutic advantage for the achievement of optimal metabolic control and may have the potential for being preventive for cardiovascular and other complications of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetologia. "High-energy breakfast with low-energy dinner helps control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2015. <>.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

An UPDATE on Serious Oats

We just wanted to break through the regular health and nutrition posts to give you an update on where Serious Oats is today and when our anticipated launch date will be.

Its been a long journey for Serious Oats. A journey that has gained us strength, nutritional value, knowledge and momentum. What we thought would take six months has taken three times as long. 

So here is where we are now. The over all consensus is - 'Delish!' Serious Oats is impressing folks across the country. We are currently working with a Food Scientist to perfect our products mouth feel and flavor.  Our nutritional numbers are holding strong. 
20g of Protein, 10g of fiber and Low Glycemic Load! 

Our goal is to be in production later this year with a product that is 

Until than, stay tuned and help us spread the word!

Thank you for your support!
Dr. Scharper

For more information on Serious Oats visit our website:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Oatmeal - And its health benefits.

In my daily search for health news, I came across this gem at MNT, highlighting the health benefits of Oats. I wanted to repost for your benefit here. Read on to see just how good oatmeal is for your daily nutrition.
Nutritional breakdown of oats

Dietary fiber - oats are rich in a specific type of fiber called beta-glucan. This particular type of fiber is known to help lower levels of bad cholesterol. One cup of oats contains 16.5 grams of fiber, which is roughly half of a person's recommended daily intake of fiber.12

Minerals - oats contain manganese, selenium, phosphorus, fiber, magnesium, and zinc. Oats are also rich in carotenoids, tocols (Vitamin E), flavonoids and avenanthramides - a class of polyphenols.
The health benefits of oats

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration claims that oats, as part of an overall heart healthy diet, could lower the risk of heart disease. The potential health benefits of oats include: reducing the risk of coronary artery disease, lowering levels of cholesterol, and reducing one's risk of colorectal cancer.

Oats may reduce the risk of coronary artery disease

A study titled "Oats at 10 Years", published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, found that eating foods rich in whole-oat sources of soluble fiber (oats, oat bran, and oat flour) may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.3

The Editor of the journal, Dr. James M. Rippe, said:

"This is an extremely important study. It tracked the value of oat-based products and showed the correlation between consumption and a healthier lifestyle. It is an outstanding benchmark."

Oats may help lower the risk of colorectal cancer

Researchers in Britain and the Netherlands pooled published evidence that covered nearly 2 million people to evaluate whether a high fiber diet (mainly from whole grains and cereals like oats) is linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer.

The study found that for every additional 10g of fiber in someone's diet there is a 10% reduction in their risk of developing colorectal cancer.4

Oats may help lower blood pressure

An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that a diet which includes plenty of whole-grains (such as oats or wholemeal bread) is just as effective as taking anti-hypertensive medication in lowering blood pressure.5