Not a day goes by without feature news stories about food and its impact on health. The message that we can reduce our chances of developing diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, and other diseases by maintaining a healthy weight, decreasing fat and calories in our diet, eating fruits and vegetables, getting fit is becoming a familiar one.
According to Engr. Freires, “Sugar is the source of our energy. Without it, we will die. So per se, it is not bad. What is bad is when it is transformed into organic acids, and pulls down the blood pH (acidosis). High buffer strength of the blood due to SOBBA prevents this.” Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism. Simple sugars, amino acid, and fatty acids are used by the body or converted by the liver into sugar (glucose), the preferred fuel the body burns for energy. For cells to use this form of sugar, insulin – a hormone that is produced by the pancreas – must “unlock” the cells to allow glucose to enter. Normally the pancreas produces the right amount of insulin to accommodate the amount of sugar that is in the blood. If there is not enough insulin, excess glucose builds up in the blood, and the resulting condition is called hyperglycemia.
Some of the long term complications of diabetes are: a.) Eye disease – in the absence of good glucose control, eye disease develops in nearly everyone with diabetes; b.) Kidney failure – a person with diabetes is 20 times more likely to develop kidney failure; c.) Nerve damage – occurs in 30 to 40 percent of people with diabetes. Nerve damage can cause numbness and tingling, pain, insensitivity to pain and temperature, and extreme sensitivity to touch; d.) Cardiovascular disease – Chronic high blood sugar is associated with narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. It is also associated with increased blood levels of triglycerides (a type of blood fat) and decreased levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Basic principles to control diabetes
Persons with diabetes can live a full life by following a few basic principles to control their disease. Diabetes can be managed with at-home blood glucose tests, healthy nutrition habits, weight control, routine exercise, and medications (if needed).
The most important step is to learn to control the blood sugar value, which means maintaining it as near to normal as possible or in the goal range determined by your physician. Vigilant control of blood sugar levels may dramatically reduce the risk of eye, kidney, and nerve damage. This also lowers the risk of heart attack, stroke, and limb amputation, in addition to promoting a more desirable level of blood lipids.
Eng. Freires stated that arthritis is caused by high uric acid. SOBBA can help neutralize this in our body. The word “osteoporosis” literally means “porous bones.” With osteoporosis, bones become weak and brittle, so brittle that even mild stress, such as bending over to pick up a book, pushing a vacuum cleaner, or coughing, can cause a fracture. A full cycle of bone remodeling takes two to three months. When you are young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and bone mass increases. Peak bone mass is reached in you mid 30’s. With aging, bone remodeling continues, but people lose slightly more than they gain. Men can also have osteoporosis. By an advanced age, women have lost between 35 and 50 percent of their bone mass, and men have lost 20 to 35 percent.
Despite the gloomy statistics, osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of aging. With identification of the major causes of the disease and their risk factors, osteoporosis can be detected early and treated. Moreover, greater understanding of the role of nutrients and hormones and new and continually emerging medications are raising hopes for prevention of the disease.
Assessing personal chances of getting osteoporosis
How do you assess your personal chances for getting osteoporosis? Listed below are several risk factors that should be considered and evaluated: a.) Sex – one’s sex is the most significant indicator of risk. Fractures from osteoporosis are about twice as common in women as in men. Women build lesser bones than men by early adulthood. Women generally consume less calcium than men. Prolonged calcium deficiency is a risk. Moreover, studies have documented a tendency for low calcium intake among adolescent girls – a time at which calcium is especially needed for bone development; b.) Family history – having a mother or sister with the disease may increase your risk; c.) Race – whites are greatest risk, followed by Hispanics and Asians. African-Americans have the lowest risk. Whites have a higher risk because they generally attain a lower peak bone mass than the others; d.) Age – the older an individual, the higher is the risk for osteoporosis; e.) Small body frame – In general, the smaller the body frame is, the thinner the bone; f.) Lifestyle – smoking increases bone loss, perhaps by decreasing the amount of estrogen the body makes and reducing the absorption of calcium in the intestine. In addition, women smokers tend to enter menopause earlier than non-smokers, a significant risk factor in itself. Consumption of too much caffeine or alcohol can lead to bone loss. A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor. Weight bearing physical activity strengthens bones. Adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D are critical for building peak bone mass in younger years and for slowing bone loss in later years.
Cancer is caused by factors that are external (chemicals, radiation, viruses and diet), and internal (hormones, immune and metabolic conditions, and inherited generic alterations). Some of these factors are unavoidable, others are not. According to Engr. Freires, some types of cancers like leukemia (cancer of the blood) “is due to acidity (acidosis), where its pH is very much less than 7.4. Contributory is low oxygen. Low pH is equivalent to low dissolved oxygen resulting to low production of hemoglobin and probably its molecular structure is defective. Bringing its pH to 7.4 using SOBBA in the drinking water normalizes its quantity and quality control.
Dietary guidelines to reduce risk of cancer
Nutrition can influence any of the steps involved in the development of cancer. Appropriate food choices can be powerful tools in reducing risk and even defensive shields in preventing cancer. The American Cancer Society offers these four guidelines to reduce cancer risk: a.) Choose most of foods you eat from plant sources; b.) Limit your intake of high-fat foods, particularly from animal sources; c.) Be physically active – achieve and maintain a healthful weight; d.) Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages, if you drink at all.
Many scientific studies have shown that increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains reduces the risk for cancers of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts and for lung cancer. Plant foods contain beneficial vitamins, minerals, fibers, and hundreds of other cancer-protective substances. Because the positive effects from these components may derive from the whole foods in which they are found, experts recommend food over supplements.
Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables may help to prevent cancer. These are nutrients that seem to offer the body some protection against oxidation – damage done to tissue in the course of normal cellular function, which may contribute to the effects of aging and to increased cancer risk. Various antioxidant nutrients including vitamin C. Vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids may provide the body with some defense against cancer. Researchers are studying the protective role of antioxidants.
Grains provide vitamins and minerals, such as folate, calcium, and selenium, which may also protect against cancer. Whole grains (wild rice, brown rice) are preferable to refined grains because they have more fiber and an abundance of certain vitamins and minerals. Beans and legumes are also good sources of nutrients that have cancer-protective qualities.
Although more research is needed to clarify the specific roles of these food components, there is still ample evidence of support eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and six to 11 servings of grains (with an emphasis on whole grains).
Need for continuous research to ensure a long, healthy life
In the 8th edition Nutrition and Diet Therapy, Roth and Townsend reiterate the “buffer system” factor of the body fluid. The body has buffer systems that regulate hydrogen ion content in body fluids. Such a system is a mixture of a weak acid and a strong base that reacts to protect the nature of the solution in which it exists. A mixture of carbonic acid and sodium bicarbonate forms the body’s main buffer system. SOBBA helps promote this condition. The healthy person eating a balanced diet does not normally have to think about acid-base balance.
As more research is done, the link between diet and risk of developing diseases such as heart disease or cancer is becoming clearer and clearer. We are beginning to understand the dietary and lifestyle factor that are most likely to ensure a long and healthy life. The good news is that we can incorporate these factors into our lives without sacrificing taste or giving up the foods we enjoy, by discovering and eating tastier, nutritious fruits, vegetables and whole grains.