Fasting 2 Days a Week Can Help Obese People Keep Off the Weight with Modest Results, Study Finds

Fasting 2 Days a Week Can Help Obese People Keep Off the Weight with Modest Results, Study Finds

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
The 5:2 diet, a type of intermittent fasting, is no more effective than traditional approaches to weight loss, according to what researchers said was the first study of the regimen in a “real-life setting.”
However, the researchers found that the approach, which involves two days of heavily restricting calories (500 calories for women, 600 calories for men) and five days of sensible eating, was rated more highly by the obese people in the study because it was easy to follow.

“Here we’ve been able to provide the first results on the effectiveness of simple 5:2 diet advice in a real-life setting. We found that although the 5:2 diet wasn’t superior to traditional approaches in terms of weight loss, users preferred this approach as it was simpler and more attractive,” said Katie Myers Smith, a chartered health psychologist and senior research fellow at Queen Mary University of London, in a news statement. She was an author of the study that published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Doctors may want to consider including the 5:2 diet as part of their standard weight management advice to patients, she said.

The study involved 300 obese people in Tower Hamlets, an inner-city area of high deprivation in London. The participants either followed the 5:2 regimen or a more conventional approach to losing weight that stressed eating more vegetables and whole-grain foods, cutting out foods high in sugar and fat, eating smaller portions and exercise.

‘Modest’ results
The results of both approaches were very similar and “modest,” the study said.

At six months, those using the 5:2 diet had lost, on average, 1.8 kilograms (4 pounds) compared to 1.7 kilograms (3.7 pounds) on the standard diet advice. At 12 months, those figures were 1.9 kilograms (4.2 pounds) and 1.8 kilograms (4 pounds), respectively.

Some 18% of 5:2 dieters had lost at least 5% of their body weight after one year compared to 15% using the conventional approach.

Of the group following the 5:2 diet, half attended six group support sessions for the first six weeks after the initial information session. However, its impact of the group support diminished over time, the study found.

Participants were positive about the different weight loss approaches, but those on the 5:2 diet were more likely to recommend it to others and said they were more likely to continue with the approach.

The study was a randomized control trial, regarded as the most rigorous kind of research, and while the number of participants was larger than most previous studies of intermittent fasting, the authors said “some findings of borderline significance could have become clearer if the sample size was larger.” The people following the conventional weight loss guidance were also more likely to try other strategies such as Weight Watchers, Slimming World or other diets. This factor could have masked the effects, but it would not have been ethical or practical to stop participants trying alternative approaches, the study authors said.

Intermittent fasting
Some experts think that alternating between fasting and eating can improve cellular health by triggering metabolic switching.

In metabolic switching, cells use up their fuel stores and convert fat to energy — “flipping a switch” from fat storing to fat saving. Intermittent fasting can reduce blood pressure, aid in weight loss, and improve longevity, a review of past animal and human studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests.

The method is not appropriate for everyone, however, particularly pregnant women and those with medical conditions such as diabetes or eating disorders.


Contributor: Katie Hunt, CNN Health

The 9 Best Foods to Help Boost Testosterone

The 9 Best Foods to Help Boost Testosterone

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
Men have some specific needs when it comes to diet, and many studies suggest that eating the right foods can keep the prostate healthy and testosterone levels balanced. Get your guy to add these nine essentials into his clean-eating rotation.
Testosterone is an incredibly important hormone responsible for numerous functions. These include the development of reproductive tissues in men such as the testes and prostate, and is associated with sperm production levels. But while this may be the primary sex hormone in men, testosterone is not found exclusively in one sex over others.

This hormone promotes secondary sexual characteristics too, including muscle mass, bone mass and hair growth. In all people, testosterone impacts mental health and moods, can influence behavior and play a role in the prevention of osteoporosis. Therefore, it’s naturally a little scary to learn that with age, we begin to decrease our production of testosterone.

Thankfully, not only are there medical treatments available to measure, balance and regulate hormone levels, but some foods can also play a role. If you’re suffering from serious hormonal imbalance issues, we don’t recommend relying on dietary solutions alone. However, it may be incredibly helpful to support your medical interventions with a few good-for-you foods. If you’re in need of a testosterone boost, speak to your doctor about supplementing your treatment with some of the clean eats listed here:

Pomegranate for Reduced PSA
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a blood marker for prostate cancer. Men whose PSA levels double in a short period of time have a higher risk of death from prostate cancer. But pomegranate appears to slow PSA increases. In a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, 1 cup of pomegranate juice per day significantly reduced PSA doubling time after surgery or radiation among men with prostate cancer. Studies show pomegranate extract can slow the growth of prostate cancer cells. It may also lead to apoptosis – or cell death – in cancer cells.

Magnesium-Rich Spinach
Spinach is rich in magnesium. This can lower the body’s levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that binds to free testosterone and makes it inactive. In a study published in the International Journal of Andrology, boosting magnesium intake resulted in a 24% increase in free-testosterone levels. Optimal magnesium status has also been linked with higher testosterone levels in observational and intervention studies. Other foods rich in magnesium include pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, Swiss chard, halibut and almonds.

Collard Greens for Lower Prostate Cancer Risk
Collard greens are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin K. This essential vitamin protects prostate health. In one study of over 11,000 men, high intake of vitamin K2 was linked to a 63% lower risk of prostate cancer.

Tuna for Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Tuna is high in omega-3 fats, which have powerful immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory effects and may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. (Though one study suggested omega-3 fats increased prostate cancer risk, that research has been largely discredited.) Eat tuna sandwiches with a slice of avocado, and you’ll increase your prostate protection: Avocados are rich in both vitamin E and lutein, a carotenoid antioxidant. Both the vitamin E and lutein in avocado have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Vitamin-D Loaded Mackerel for Increased Testosterone Levels
Mackerel, a fatty fish, is one of the best food sources of vitamin D. Studies have shown vitamin D can increase testosterone levels, often dramatically. In a study conducted at Medical University of Graz in Austria, people who spent more time in the sun showed increased levels of both vitamin D and testosterone. In a follow-up study, men who took vitamin D daily saw an average increase of testosterone levels by almost 25%. The sun is still the best source of vitamin D. But if you don’t get outside much – or don’t love fatty fish – you’ll find D in pork, beef liver, caviar and eggs.

Pumpkin Seeds for Improved Urinary Function
Pumpkin seeds can help prevent benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This is a common condition that enlarges the prostate gland and can cause problems with urination and, occasionally, sexual function. In several studies, pumpkin seed oil reduced symptoms of BPH, improved urinary function in men with overactive bladders and improved quality of life.

Oysters To Replenish Testosterone
Oysters are the number-one food source of zinc, which blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. Deficiencies are linked to low testosterone, and boosting zinc leads to a significant increase in testosterone levels. Zinc is especially important if you work out, since intense exercise can deplete testosterone. In a study published in Neuroendocrinology Letters, wrestlers who took zinc daily maintained testosterone levels after a month of high-intensity training. Other good sources include red meat, chicken, crab, lobster, beans and nuts.

Ginger for a Testosterone Boost
In addition to reducing inflammation, ginger may also increase testosterone levels and improve sexual function. In a controlled study conducted on men undergoing infertility treatment, published in the International Journal of Reproductive BioMedicine, researchers found that ginger helped decrease levels of sperm DNA fragmentation (lower levels are linked to improved fertility and less chance of miscarriage). Animal studies have found testosterone levels nearly doubled after ginger intake; as the amount of ginger increased, so did testosterone levels. However, further studies on humans are needed to verify the testosterone-doubling benefits.

Lycopene-Packed Tomatoes to Reduce Prostate Cancer
Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that’s been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Better than eating them raw, cook them with olive oil (as in pasta sauce). Research shows the absorption of lycopene is greatest when tomatoes are cooked with olive oil. And add some chopped broccoli to that sauce. In a study published in Cancer Research, researchers noted “the combination of tomato and broccoli was more effective at slowing tumor growth than either tomato or broccoli alone.”

Contributor: Lisa Turner-CleanEatingMag.com

Are Hair Dyes Safe? Health Worries are Increasing Interest in the Go-Gray Style Trend.

Are Hair Dyes Safe? Health Worries are Increasing Interest in the Go-Gray Style Trend.

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
When Keanu Reeves walked into a Los Angeles gala holding hands with artist Alexandra Grant, fans applauded the 55-year-old actor for choosing an “age appropriate” romantic partner. Most striking about Grant, 46, was her steel-gray hair.

Grant is among a growing throng of women who are naturally fading to gray. More than 350,000 women have posted Instagram photos using the #grannyhair hashtag. Between 2017 and 2018, Pinterest saw a significant jump in the search term “going gray.”

“With influential people like Billie Eilish dyeing their hair gray, people of all ages are incorporating the look, and many who are naturally gray are no longer trying to cover it up,” Swasti Sarna, Pinterest’s insights manager, told The Washington Post.

Gray’s the new blonde, or black, style writers began declaring five years ago. Last year, L’Oreal Paris and Vogue crowned silver the hair color of the year. In addition to teenage musician Eilish, celebrities from Lady Gaga to Jennifer Lawrence have walked the red carpet in silver dos.

Ironically, while young women spend as much as $1,000 to bleach and color their hair titanium, blue steel, smoky gray and gunmetal, older women continue to feel compelled to cover up their silvers.

At the same time, longtime slaves to hair color are ditching the dye.

In Facebook groups called Gray and Proud, Going Gorgeously Gray and Silver Revolution, tens of thousands of women share photos and tips on how to quit color and avoid looking like a raccoon. They ask if revealing their true color would mean losing their sex appeal, their credibility at work, their clients,

their jobs? New research adds another question. Is there a risk of harm from the chemicals?

A study published last month in the International Journal of Cancer reported that African American women who colored their hair with permanent dye every five to eight weeks were 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than women who didn’t color. No cause and effect was established, and all of the women in the study had a family history of breast cancer.

For white women, the numbers were less striking but still elevated. Those who dyed their hair every five to eight weeks were 8 percent more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, researchers found.

Researchers and breast cancer specialists were circumspect about the findings.

“I have to say I’m not overwhelmingly convinced. This isn’t a slam dunk by any means,” said Laura Esserman, a breast surgeon who directs the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the University of California at San Francisco. She was not involved with the study. “It’s worth looking into. But this is a very small effect.”

Researchers followed 46,709 women between the ages of 35 and 74 over an average of eight years. All participants had at least one sister who had been diagnosed with breast cancer but none had been diagnosed themselves when they enrolled in the study. The majority, 55 percent, reported using permanent hair dye.

During the course of the study, 2,794 African American and white women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Black women who colored their hair with permanent dye at any point in the year before joining the study were 45 percent more likely to be diagnosed, while white women were 7 percent more likely.

To put the numbers in context, study co-author Alexandra White estimated the heightened risk as five additional cases of breast cancer for every 100 black women and one additional case of breast cancer for every 100 white women.

Breast cancer rates generally are similar for black and white women. But black women tend to be diagnosed with more aggressive forms of the disease, and it is more likely to kill them.

White, an epidemiologist who heads the National Institutes of Environmental Health and Cancer Epidemiology Group, described the new findings as “concerning” but far from definitive.

“We wouldn’t make any recommendations off these findings,” she said. “We need more evidence.”

“It’s not as clear as smoking and lung cancer,” said Doris Browne, a medical oncologist and a former president of the National Medical Association. Two of her six sisters had breast cancer, and she participated as a subject in the study.

She sees the results as a warning. “But I can’t say if you dye your hair and are African American, you are going to get breast cancer. It heightens our awareness, but we still need more data before we can say to women that it may increase breast cancer risk,” she said.

“Hair dye is just all chemicals,” said Stephanie Bernik, chief of breast surgery at Mount Sinai West in New York. “You’ve got to think something’s not good for you. We know some of these chemicals are carcinogenic.”

Yet Bernik, who was not involved with the study, and Esserman both said the findings had not persuaded them to counsel their patients on hair-dye use unless they asked.

Other recent studies also have reported increased risk for breast cancer, as well as bladder cancer, in women who dyed their hair. Although the American Cancer Society says the research is not definitive, it also points out that the U.S. National Toxicology Program has classified some chemicals used in hair dye as “reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens.”

Some doctors advise women not to color their hair while pregnant, or at least not during the critical first trimester, according to the American Cancer Society.

White and her team found little to no increase in breast cancer risk in women who colored their hair with anything except permanent dye. But women who reported applying semi-permanent color to their friends’ or relatives’ hair at home experienced an elevated risk of breast cancer.

Permanent dye causes lasting changes to the hair shaft and stays in the hair until it grows out. Temporary dye washes out after a shampoo or two, while semi-permanent tends to hold for up to 10 shampoos.

Researchers did not ask women whether they had their hair dyed in a salon or at home. They only asked if participants dyed other people’s hair nonprofessionally. So the question remains whether black women could be more vulnerable because they are more likely than white women to color their hair at home.

Bernik suggested that women concerned about hair dye and breast cancer risk have a professional stylist color their hair with semi-permanent dye.

“If it’s done at home, you’re wearing gloves that are probably not necessarily the greatest,” she said. “The person who’s doing it nonprofessionally is getting it all over. It’s all about exposure and absorption.”

Even professionals struggle to follow manufacturer guidelines while handling dye, said Whitney Murphy, a hairstylist who advises other stylists about chemical safety and owns the Parlor Seattle.

“No one’s really taking the chemical safety part seriously,” Murphy said. She blames the chemicals in hair products for her own breathing problems, migraines and rashes and believes stylists need higher quality protective gear than what they use.

“Beauty professionals are overexposed and underprotected from harsh chemicals,” said Janette Robinson Flint, executive director of Black Women for Wellness, a Los Angeles nonprofit group.

Congress has charged the Food and Drug Administration with regulating the safety of cosmetics, including hair dye. But the FDA does not approve every ingredient and generally leaves the responsibility for product safety to manufacturers. Companies are allowed to omit chemicals from product labels if they are fragrances and if they consider them a secret ingredient in the product formula.

“Just because something is on the shelf does not make it safe,” warned Tamarra James-Todd, an epidemiologist and professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“Chemicals are not like people, but that’s the way they’re treated,” said Jayne Matthews, co-owner of Edo Salon in Oakland, Calif. “They’re innocent until proven guilty.”

James-Todd, who was not involved in the study, researches the effect of hair products on black women’s health. She says that research should be done into products African American women may use daily, such as shampoos, conditioners, oils and styling products.

“We have to think about the full pattern of exposure people have,” she said.

The lack of clarity leaves some women in a quandary. Ingrid DeMoss, an African American relocation director for a luxury real estate company outside of Dallas, covers her grays with dye every six weeks.

“That is a must,” said DeMoss, who declined to state her age. “I work with relocating people in a high-end luxury brand. I have to have a corporate or professional look.”

Her mother, who is 72 and plans to go to her grave with her gray covered, has been treated for breast cancer. Consequently, DeMoss said the new study cranked up her own anxiety.

“I definitely have been thinking about it because I would rather be healthy and live than look great and die,” she said.

On the other hand, she can’t imagine walking into her office with gray hair, even though she knows attitudes are changing. Her older sister, Traci DeMoss Byerly, has scored modeling gigs with her mostly salt with a little pepper Afro and wrote a book titled “Unapologetically Gray.”

Her hair started turning when she was 18, said Byerly, who is 52 and lives in Fort Worth. “People said, ‘You really should dye your hair; you’re too young for that.’ Guys would say, ‘You’re so beautiful, but you should do something about your hair.’ ”

Then one day she looked in the mirror and said to herself: “This is me. If a man cannot appreciate me in my natural state now, he never will.”

“I began to picture my gray hair as my tiara,” she said.

Regina Berenato Tell, 52, found her first gray hair at 19 and zealously covered it from 25 through 50. Then, rather than break a date with her hairdresser, she missed her best friend’s birthday party. That is when she realized she could no longer stand the thought of being stuck in a salon chair every three weeks.

Tell, who works as a stenographer on Capitol Hill, said letting the dye grow out hasn’t led to the ageism some professional middle-aged women fear.

“As a matter of fact,” she said, “I think people take me more seriously now.”


Contributor: Ronnie Cohen, WashingtonPost.com

Stress is a Part of Life. Burnout Doesn’t Have to Be

Stress is a Part of Life. Burnout Doesn't Have to Be

Claremont Colonic Clinic Newsletter
Record numbers of Americans have quit their jobs this year. More than 40% of workers are reportedly thinking about doing the same. After 18 months of societal turmoil, workers are burnt out.
“The last year and a half has had a huge effect on burnout, stress, depression around the world, really, and so we’re not the same,” said Jeanie Chang, a North Carolina-based licensed marriage and family therapist. “This is a changed world, a changed workplace.”

While the concept existed before the pandemic — the World Health Organization recognized workplace burnout as a legitimate medical diagnosis in 2019 — research has found it has soared in the era of face masks, social distancing, and working from home.

‘No one is immune’

As millions of workers are discovering, burnout can happen to anyone. “No one’s immune,” said Chang.

Burnout can come from not feeling valued at work, like being overlooked for a promotion, Chang adds. It can develop from being overworked, not having clear boundaries, and be compounded with pressures at home, especially for parents and caregivers. It might even stem from indirect trauma, like emotionally fraught stories in the news.

In her practice, Chang said she often sees the toll of microaggressions and emotional labor burning out clients of color.

“Marginalized communities are more affected,” Chang said, “because their narratives are not always validated.”

Culture can also influence burnout. Having grown up in a culture reluctant to address mental health, Chang unsuccessfully tried to ignore the stresses of her fast-paced journalism job in her early 20s. “You can love what you do but go into burnout because you’re not managing your stress effectively,” said Chang. She ultimately had to leave the industry.

During a particularly stressful time, Chang ignored a medical issue that ultimately resulted in hearing loss. She warns neglecting mental health concerns can lead to physical health issues as well.

During a particularly stressful time, Chang ignored a medical issue that ultimately resulted in hearing loss. She warns neglecting mental health concerns can lead to physical health issues as well.

Stress vs. burnout

While stress is an everyday part of the human experience, burnout doesn’t have to be, Chang said. It’s normal for stress to leave you feeling overwhelmed. But that emotional response is a key differentiator, she said.

“Burnout looks very different than stress,” said Chang. “It’s where you’re disillusioned, underwhelmed, and the term is ‘blunted,’ where you’re emotionally just flat. Nothing really fazes you anymore.”

You may lose interest in the things you used to enjoy. Daily functioning may suffer. You might find yourself questioning everything. Others might recognize changes in your personality.

Burnout can look like or occur alongside depression, so Chang believes it’s important to seek professional help if you notice warning signs.

Not one-size-fits-all

Left unchecked, burnout can wreak havoc on the body. A 2020 study links burnout with atrial fibrillation, the leading cause of stroke in the United States. Chang said she suffered sinus infections and pneumonia for months after her own experiences with burnout.

That’s why catching burnout early — or preventing it outright — is so important. But Chang cautions there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to individual recovery. While some workers may need a temporary break from their job, others might need to leave their role or switch industries.

“Burnout can take years to get to. And then burnout could just as quickly go away when you pivot once. But then also it could take years to get through,” Chang said, noting it took her several months. “It’s different for everybody.”

Managing daily stress

It’s crucial to learn to manage your stress on a daily basis, said Chang. The first step is validating how you are feeling and why. Learning to spot your triggers and boundaries will help you gain a sense of control.

Also think about the things that get you “excited in life” and try to make them a daily habit. For Chang, it’s watching K-dramas (Korean TV shows), going on walks, spending time with her family and playing with her mini goldendoodle puppy. She credits those activities with preventing burnout after a particularly hectic time earlier this year.

“You can build your own resilience daily,” said Chang. “We all have resilience. We need to work hard to build it. And that’s the process of preventing burnout.”


Contributor: Julia M. Chan, CNN Health