All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

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prevention

Preventive healthcare (preventive medicine or prophylaxis) consists of measures taken for disease prevention, as opposed to disease treatment. Just as health encompasses a variety of physical and mental states, so do disease and disability, which are affected by environmental factors, genetic predisposition, disease agents, and lifestyle choices. Health, disease, and disability are dynamic processes which begin before individuals realize they are affected. Disease prevention relies on anticipatory actions. 

Each year, millions of people die of preventable deaths. A 2004 study showed that about half of all deaths in the United States in 2000 were due to preventable behaviors and exposures. Leading causes included cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, unintentional injuries, diabetes, and certain infectious diseases. 400,000 people die each year in the United States due to poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle

  • Fruits and Vegetables May Protect Against Cancers

    In 1991, approximately 200 studies that examined the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and cancers of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, esophagus, oral cavity, stomach, bladder, pancreas, and ovary are reviewed.

    A statistically significant protective effect of fruit and vegetable consumption was found in 128 of 156 dietary studies. For most cancer sites, persons with low fruit and vegetable intake (at least the lower one‐fourth of the population) experience about twice the risk of cancer compared with those with high intake, even after control for potentially confounding factors.

    For lung cancer, significant protection was found in 24 of 25 studies after control for smoking in most instances. Fruits, in particular, were significantly protective in cancers of the esophagus, oral cavity, and larynx, for which 28 of 29 studies were significant. Strong evidence of a protective effect of fruit and vegetable consumption was seen in cancers of the pancreas and stomach (26 of 30 studies), as well as in colorectal and bladder cancers (23 of 38 studies). For cancers of the cervix, ovary, and endometrium, a significant protective effect was shown in 11 of 13 studies, and for breast cancer a protective effect was found to be strong and consistent in a meta analysis.

    It would appear that major public health benefits could be achieved by substantially increasing consumption of these foods.

  • Glycotoxins, Advanced Glycation, dAEG and Cooking

    Modern diets are largely heat-processed and as a result contain high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), also known as glycotoxins. Dietary advanced glycation end products (dAGEs) are known to contribute to increased oxidant stress and inflammation, which are linked to the recent epidemics of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

    Dry heat promotes new dAGE formation by 10-100 times above the uncooked state across food categories. Animal-derived foods that are high in fat and protein are generally rich in glycotoxins and prone to formation of new glycotoxins during cooking. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains (but also milk) contain relatively few glycotoxins, even after cooking.

    The formation of new glycotoxins during cooking was: 

    • prevented by the AGE inhibitory compound aminoguanidine
    • and significantly reducedby
      • cooking with moist heat,
      • using shorter cooking times,
      • cooking at lower temperatures,
      • and by use of acidic ingredients (such as lemon juice or vinegar).

    Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), are a diverse group of highly oxidant compounds with pathogenic significance in diabetes and in several other chronic diseases. Glycotoxins are created through a Maillard or browning reaction - it is a part of normal metabolism, but if excessively high levels of glycotoxins are reached in tissues and the circulation they can become pathogenic, which is related to their ability to promote oxidative stress and inflammation by binding with cell surface receptors or cross-linking with body proteins, altering their structure and function.

    Glycotoxins also exist in foods: they are naturally present in uncooked animal-derived foods, and cooking results in the formation of new AGEs: grilling, broiling, roasting, searing,and frying propagate and accelerate new AGE formation. Recent studies clearly show that dAGEs are absorbed and contribute significantly to the body’s AGE pool.

    Avoidance of dAGEs, glycotoxins in food, helps delay chronic diseases and aging in animals and possibly in human beings.

    Glycotoxins in the diet represent pathogenic compounds that have been linked to the induction and progression of many chronic diseases. High temperature and low moisture consistently and strongly drive their formation in foods. Comparatively brief heating time, low temperatures, high moisture, and/or pre-exposure to an acidified environment are effective strategies to limit new formation in food.

    A significantly reduced intake of dAGEs can be achieved by reducing intake of solid fats, fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and highly processed foods, and by increasing the consumption of legumes, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. 

    Low-AGE–generating cooking methods are 

    • poaching,
    • steaming,
    • stewing, 
    • boiling.

    For example, the high AGE content of broiled chicken (5,828 kU/100 g) can be significantly reduced to 1,124 kU/100 g when the same piece of meat is either boiled or stewed. 

    Future studies should continue to investigate the health effects of AGEs and refine recommendations for safe dietary intakes. However, current data support the need for a paradigm shift that acknowledges that how we prepare and process food may be equally important as nutrient composition.

  • Handwashing after Toilet and Handling Raw Meat

    Feces (poop) from people or animals is a source of germs like Salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus that cause diarrhea, and it can spread some respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease.

    These kinds of germs can get onto hands after people use the toilet or change a diaper, but also after handling raw meats that have invisible amounts of animal poop on them.

    One gram of human feces (~ the weight of a paper clip) can contain one trillion germs (1,000,000,000,000). Germs can also get onto hands if people touch any object that has germs on it because someone coughed or sneezed on it or was touched by some other contaminated object. When these germs get onto hands and are not washed off, they can be passed from person to person and make people sick.

    Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands and thus helps prevent infections because:

    • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without realizing it - germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them - germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks under certain conditions.
    • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred t objects like table tops or toys - and from there to other people.

    Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.

    Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy:

    • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 31%,
    • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%,
    • Reduces colds in the general population by 16-21%.
  • Why and How to Wash Hands with Soap

    Handwashing is thought to be effective for the prevention of transmission of diarrhoea pathogens. Failing to sufficiently wash one’s hands contributes to ~ 50% of all foodborne illness outbreaks. Bacteria of potential faecal origin (mostly Enterococcus and Enterobacter spp.) were found after no handwashing in 44% of samples. Handwashing with water alone reduced the presence of bacteria to 23%. Handwashing with plain soap and water reduced the presence of bacteria to 8%. The effect did not appear to depend on the bacteria species. Handwashing with non-antibacterial soap and water is more effective for the removal of bacteria of potential faecal origin from hands than handwashing with water alone.

    • Only 5% of people who used the bathroom washed their hands long enough to kill the germs that can cause infections (for only 6 seconds on average),
    • 33% did not use soap,
    • 10% did not wash their hands at all,
    • 50% of men used soap, compared with 78% of women.
    Washing hands under running water:
    1. Wet your hands with clean water, warm or cold, apply soap.
    2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
    3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds
    4. Rinse your hands well.
    5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
    When to wash hands: 
    • Before, during, and after preparing food.
    • Before eating food.
    • After using the toilet.
    • After touchinggarbage.
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
    • Before and after treating a cut or wound.
    • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet.
    • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste.
    • After handling pet food or pet treats.
  • Fruits and Vegetables against Specific Cancer Types

    Statistically significant protective effect of fruit and vegetable consumption was found in 128 of 156 dietary studies that examined the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and cancers of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, esophagus, oral cavity, stomach, bladder, pancreas, and ovary.

    For most cancer sites, persons with low fruit and vegetable intake (at least the lower one-fourth of the population) experience about twice the risk of cancer compared with those with high intake, even after control for potentially confounding factors:

    • For lung cancer, significant protection was found in 24 of 25 studies after control for smoking in most instances.
    • Fruits, in particular, were significantly protective in cancers of the esophagus, oral cavity, and larynx, for which 28 of 29 studies were significant.
    • Strong evidence of a protective effect of fruit and vegetable consumption was seen in cancers of the pancreas and stomach (26 of 30 studies), as well as in colorectal and bladder cancers (23 of 38 studies).
    • For cancers of the cervix, ovary, and endometrium, a significant protective effect was shown in 11 of 13 studies, and for breast cancer a protective effect was found to be strong and consistent in a meta analysis.

    It would appear that major public health benefits could be achieved by substantially increasing consumption of these foods.

  • Fruits and Vegetables for Cancer Prevention

    Diets rich in fruit and vegetables have been recommended for preventing cancer. 

    A significant reduction in the risks of cancers of the esophagus, lung, stomach, and colorectum associated with both fruit and vegetables.

    Breast cancer is associated with vegetables but not with fruit. The risk reduction is significant for cancers of thelung andbladder and only forfruit.

    Bladder cancer is associated with fruit but not with vegetables. 

  • Protection with Vegetarian and Vegan Diets

    Vegetarians, those who avoid meat, represent 5% of the US population, and vegans, additionally avoiding dairy and eggs, 2%.

    Vegetarian diets confer protection against

    • cardiovascular diseases,
    • cardiometabolic risk factors,
    • some cancers, 
    • total mortality.

    Compared to lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets, vegan diets seem to offer additional protection for

    • obesity,
    • hypertension,
    • type-2 diabetes, 
    • cardiovascular mortality.

    Males experience greater health benefits than females. 

  • Fruits Reduce Risk of Lung and Bladder Cancers

    Case-control studies overall support a significant reduction in the risks of cancers of the esophagus, lung, stomach, and colorectum associated with both fruit and vegetables.

    Breast cancer is associated with vegetables but not with fruit.

    Bladder cancer is associated with fruit but not with vegetables.

    The overall relative risk estimates from cohort studies suggest a protective effect of both fruit and vegetables for most cancer sites considered, but the risk reduction is significant only for cancers of the lung and bladder and only for fruit.

  • Calcium Intake and Bone Fracture Risk

    With the exception of calcium deficiency rickets in Nigeria, no satisfactory explanation has been found for the apparently low prevalence of osteoporosis in countries on low calcium intakes. On international comparisons on a larger scale, it is very difficult to separate genetic from environmental factors. Osteoporosis was largely a disease of affluent industrialized cultures. Hip fracture prevalence (and by implication osteoporosis) is consequently related to animal protein intake, but also, paradoxically, to calcium intake because of the strong correlation between calcium and protein intakes within and between societies. This could be explained if protein actually increased calcium requirement. 

    Fracture risk has recently been shown to be a function of protein intake in North American women. There is also suggestive evidence that hip fracture rates depend on protein intake, national income, and latitude. Vitamin D deficiency in hip fracture patients in the developed world was established. Such fractures can be successfully prevented with small doses of vitamin D and calcium. It is therefore possible that hip fracture rates may be related to protein intake, vitamin D status, or both.

  • Zinc for the Common Cold

    The common cold is often caused by the rhinovirus. It is one of the most widespread illnesses and is a leading cause of visits to the doctor and absence from school and work. Complications of the common cold include ear infection, sinusitis and exacerbations of reactive airway diseases. There is no proven treatment for the common cold.  Zinc appears to interfere with the replication of rhinoviruses.

    Zinc inhibits replication of the virus and has been tested in trials for treatment of the common cold. In 18 randomised controlled trials with 1781 participants of all age groups, zinc was compared with placebo (no zinc). Zinc (lozenges or syrup) reduces the average duration of the common cold in healthy people, when taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms. 

Albert Schweitzer

The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies. 

Protein Deficiency

Protein deficiency rarely occurs as an isolated condition. It usually accompanies a deficiency of dietary energy and other nutrients resulting from insufficient food intake.

Deficiency of this severity is very rare in the United States, except as a consequence of pathologic conditions.

The symptoms are most commonly seen in deprived children in poor countries:

  • stunting,
  • poor musculature,
  • edema,
  • thin and fragile hair,
  • skin lesions
  • hormonal imbalances.

Edema and loss of muscle mass and hair are the prominent signs in adults. 

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