Get Moving – Or Else

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
October 29, 2018

 

Get Moving - Or Else

 

Your gut and your health are dependent on you moving your body. Even your dental health is indirectly affected by healthy exercise. Two recent medical articles are clear. If you want to get healthy and stay healthy, you need to move your body. If you don’t get moving, your health will suffer. So, get moving or else.

 

 

Study 1

This new study published on October 19, 2018[1] shows that a sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes, and heart disease combined. That is a powerful statement!

 

The researchers determined that the risk of death is 500% higher for those with a sedentary lifestyle compared to the top exercise performers in this study of 122,007 patients. Dr. Wael Jaber, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and senior author of this study, stated: “If you compare the risk of sitting versus the highest performing on the exercise test, the risk is about three times higher than smoking,”

 

 

Study 2

In another study published on October 3, 2018[2], the investigators found that endurance exercise improved the composition of the gut microbiome. The study looked at 17 women who were selected because they lived a sedentary lifestyle and were overweight. Following six weeks of training, the subjects’ gut bacteria were evaluated. The researchers found a decrease in potentially inflammatory bacteria and an increase in specific bacteria that are responsible for improved metabolism.

 

The health of the gut is critical for the health of the body. I discussed the importance of the gut in many of my past articles. I wrote a paper titled Big Bang Theory of Chronic Disease, which was published in-part in the March/April 2018 issue of Well Being Journal. In my article, I focused on the gut and its pivotal role in the development and prevention of chronic diseases.

 

So, what should you do if you want to be proactive?

 

 

Efficient Exercise

Start moving your body.

 

While exercise is a critical element for health, it needs to be efficient. Over-exercising and improper exercising can be as detrimental to health as a sedentary lifestyle. Efficient exercise produces maximum effects with minimum wasted effort or expense.

 

An efficient exercise program should consist of a combination of these movements:

  • Standing rather than sitting
  • Simple movement like walking daily
  • Aerobic activity like playing tennis or jogging a few times a week
  • Full-body weight training like squats, pushups, pull ups, and planks twice a week
  • A short but intensive anaerobic activity once every 7-10 days

 

Interestingly, here is a simple, daily routine that would go a long way in providing an efficient exercise program for the average person. It only takes 4 minutes. Incorporate this workout along with walking and standing (rather than sitting), and you will have a well-designed routine.

 

 

4-Minute Workout

Zach Bush, MD is a triple board-certified physician. His credentials include board-certification in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Hospice/Palliative care. He has perfected an intensive routine that requires no equipment and can be performed anywhere at any time. Dr. Bush calls his routine the 4-Minute Workout and can be performed several times a day.

 

One major benefit of this workout is that it stimulates the release of nitric oxide (NO). NO is stored in the endothelial cells of blood vessels and is released after performing this routine. Nitric oxide effectively:

  • Causes blood vessels to relax and dilate, lowering blood pressure
  • Stimulates and improves immune function
  • Decreases the viscosity of blood, reducing platelet aggregation and the potential for stroke or heart attack
  • Provides anabolic stimulus to increases lean body mass
  • Helps prevent gum disease[3]

 

You can find Dr. Zach Bush’s video demonstrating his simple routine on YouTube. Go to www.youtube.com and search for “Zach Bush MD 4 Minute Workout”. 

 

 

Bottom Line

It’s never too late to start an efficient exercise program, unless you are medically compromised. If you have medical concerns, be sure to pass this by your medical doctor before starting your exercise regimen.  

 

 

[1] Mandsager K, Harb S, Cremer P, Phelan D, Nissen SE, Jaber W. Association of Cardiorespiratory Fitness With Long-term Mortality Among Adults Undergoing Exercise Treadmill Testing. JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(6):e183605. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.3605

 

[2] Eveliina Munukka, Juha P. Ahtiainen, Pere Puigbó, Sirpa Jalkanen, Katja Pahkala, Anniina Keskitalo, Urho M. Kujala, Sami Pietilä, Maija Hollmén, Laura Elo, Pentti Huovinen, Giuseppe D’Auria, Satu Pekkala. Six-Week Endurance Exercise Alters Gut Metagenome That Is not Reflected in Systemic Metabolism in Over-weight Women. Frontiers in Microbiology, 2018; 9 DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02323

 

[3] Jockel-Schneider Y, Goßner SK, Petersen N, Stölzel P, Hägele F, Schweiggert RM, Haubitz I, Eigenthaler M, Carle R, Schlagenhauf U. Stimulation of the nitrate-nitrite-NO-metabolism by repeated lettuce juice consumption decreases gingival inflammation in periodontal recall patients: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Clin Periodontol. 2016 Jul;43(7):603-8. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12542. Epub 2016 May 10.

 

 

If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my email alert list here.

Buy My Book

Crazy-Good Living

6 Things To Do for Health & Longevity

     Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS          September 27, 2015

 

evolution rHealth and longevity cannot be reduced to only 6 things to do – or can they?

 

Actually, research has demonstrated that the following six actions can and will lead to a healthier you and will improve the quality of your years going forward. My personal goal is to live a quality life with no degenerative, chronic diseases, and then just go quietly in the night with no fuss.

 

Each of these six endeavors should become your personal goals:

 

 

1. Eat nutrient-dense foods and get rid of the junk.

 

In this paper published in July 2015, nutrient-dense foods were shown to be beneficial for health and longevity. (Here)

 

You know my position on a Paleo-type (or anti-inflammatory) diet. It is a nutrient-dense way of eating. Peer-reviewed papers have proven not only the ability of a Paleo-type way of eating to improve health but also to be satiating. (Here)  There are many variations of a Paleo-type diet, but all agree – remove junk foods entirely and emphasize nutrient-dense foods.

 

The junk foods include:

  • Sugars that are added to any food
  • Grains
  • All processed foods
  • Liquid oils that are primarily Omega-6 fatty acids (such as soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil)

 

The nutrient-dense foods include:

  • Pastured and wild caught animal products from nose to tail with all their healthy fats
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits in moderation

 

 

2. Understand hunger from within

 

Eat when you are hungry. Humans do not need to eat 3 meals a day with in-between snacks. On the contrary, our bodies perform better when there are episodes of fasting. Intermittent fasting has been reported to improve health and longevity. (Here, Here)

 

When you are eating a meal, think about each forkful of food you put into your mouth. Are you still hungry? If not, then stop eating. Your goal is to eat until you are satisfied and the hunger is no longer present. Your goal is not to eat until you are stuffed or until every morsel of food on your plate has been consumed.

 

 

3. Exercise efficiently

 

Exercise stimulates healthy bodily chemistries. Research has shown that the most efficient exercise is in the form of high intensity interval training. (Here, Here, Here). But also, research has shown that non-exercise movement like walking is critical for health. The phenomenon is called NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). (Here, Here, Here). As a matter of fact, other forms of intense exercise will not replace the importance of daily non-exercise activities.

 

 

4. Reduce stress

 

Your body is designed to deal with acute, intermittent stress. It is not designed to deal with chronic, unrelenting stress. (Here).

 

Stress takes the form of chemical insults like environmental toxins, physical insults like over exercise or an accident, psychological insults like abusive relationships or worry. Chronic stress breaks down the gut, leads to systemic inflammation, and damages organ systems. (Here). Stress also affects the mouth. (Here).

 

 

5. Sleep restoratively

 

You body rebuilds and reenergizes itself while asleep. (Here)  The human body was designed to respond to a circadian rhythm. When the sun sets, your body is ready to sleep; when the sun rises, your body is ready to awaken. Most adults benefit from at least 7-8 hours of sleep commencing between 9-11 PM. The ideal sleeping environment should be a dark and cool room.

 

 

6. Get sun

 

Sun stimulates the skin to produce Vitamin D3 from cholesterol in your skin. (Here)  Vitamin D is critical for every cell in the body to function properly. Most of us require 5-15 minutes a day of sun exposure, 2-3 days a week without sunscreen and with 70-80% of the body exposed to the vital UVB rays.

 

 

My Final Thoughts

 

There you have them – six things to do for health and longevity. The science is there, but the science will not make you healthier.  Only your motivation to implement the science into personal actions will improve your health and extend your longevity.

How I Changed My Life

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     October 1, 2014  


 
 
     
 

evolution r

My story is interesting because I could have died.
 
You would think that a healthcare professional like myself would have learned everything that was necessary to be personally healthy. But, not true. Medical and dental professionals have a paltry amount of nutritional training – and no training in the importance of primal nutrition and lifestyle.
 
My story begins in December 2006:
 
I had been in practice for 32 years. I was treating my body as well as I thought was appropriate. I ate low fat, high fiber foods including grains, skim milk, fish, and meat. I didn’t like non-starchy veggies, but I thought I was doing just fine. I exercised aerobically 4-5 days a week for about 40 minutes a day. One of my loves was to snack on popcorn, which I believed supplied me with healthy fiber.
 
Then, in December 2006 I had a life-changing event. My daughter (who was staying with me and my wife while her family was transitioning to Portland, OR from Charleston, SC,) was sitting on our living room floor while I was standing with my laptop in my hands. All of a sudden I felt a shock travelling from the computer up my arm. I dropped the computer on my sofa, and my daughter exclaimed, “What’s wrong?” I said that I just got a shock from my computer. Her response was, “Dad, don’t be so melodramatic.” A week later, I had a stroke.
 
The stroke must have occurred while I was sleeping. When I woke up, my grandson was at our house, and I attempted to ask him if he wanted to go out for breakfast. But, the words could not come out. I was unable to speak. I felt fine, but I couldn’t speak. My wife, who is a nurse, realized what was happening, and drove me to the hospital. I was lucky.
 
My doctors explained that the “shock” that I thought was from my computer was actually a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack). Many people who have a stroke will experience a TIA days or weeks before the stroke as a warning sign of an impending crisis. I was not aware of such a warning sign, so I paid no attention to it.
 
While in the hospital for a week, my cardiologist and internist put me on three types of blood pressure meds, a cholesterol med, and an acid reflux med. My vascular surgeon put me on 81mg aspirin and Plavix. Their medical advice was for me to take these meds for the rest of my life. Within three weeks, I was able to speak normally. I returned to work after six weeks.
 
After my stroke in 2006, I knew that I needed to get educated about good nutrition. So, I began my reeducation. For the next 6 years, I actively pursued my needed education in nutrition. I thought I was doing well.
 
In April 2013, I enrolled in a 5-day nutrition course that changed my life. I was excited because I believed that this was going to be the program I had searched for to confirm what I was doing currently was correct. I hoped to learn a few new things to hone my skills and update the knowledge that I already acquired. This program wasn’t about basic nutrition as I had been learning; it was about primal nutrition – the foods and lifestyles that allowed our species to thrive for 2.5 million years. What I learned in those informative and enlightening five days did change my life. I learned that almost everything I was doing was wrong. That blew me away!
 
Among other things, I learned that most processed foods were making us sick. I learned that modern grains of any type were one of the worst things I could put in my body. I learned that healthy fats were essential, and anything that was processed to be low-fat or no-fat was unhealthy. I learned that all the fruit I was eating contributed way too much sugar to my body, and leafy greens and other multicolored veggies were required at every meal. I also learned that exercise needed to be efficient, sleep needed to be restorative, various stresses on my body needed to be reduced, and that sitting most of the day was almost as bad as smoking. Wow!
 
So, I traveled back to my home in Charleston, SC and informed my wife of what I learned. She was not happy. But, she allowed me to make a 30-day test of my new fangled ideas. We removed all the processed foods, grain products, and sugar aliases from our pantry and fridge, which added up to 7 grocery bags that I took to my local Food Bank. We joined our local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program to obtain locally grown, organic veggies weekly. The foods we started eating consisted of grass fed beef and wild caught fish; all kinds of shellfish; free range chicken, liver, and eggs; all kinds of vegetables raw and cooked; some deeply colored fruits and occasionally nuts and seeds that we soaked overnight.
 
At that time, my meds were still the same. My HDL was 48, my triglycerides were 120, and my resting blood pressure was 137/87 even with three blood pressure meds. I weighed 184 pounds. My physicians’ advice was, “Continue to take your meds.” Unfortunately, my physicians were ignorant of the science of primal nutrition and lifestyle, as I believe most physicians are.
 
Today, I am still practicing periodontics, and I plan to continue treating my patients for the foreseeable future. As I am writing this, my resting blood pressure is 119/72, and my pulse rate is 54. My HDL is 76, and my triglycerides are 112. I weigh 154 pounds.
 
It has been stated that it takes one month of repairing a nutritionally damaged body for every year of the manifestation of a disease. I am still a work in progress; I have much farther to go to regain optimal health. I am patient, but I am diligent and motivated. I can’t believe the way I used to live was slowly destroying me. I can never return to the way it used to be. I am a changed person, and I want to spread the word.
 
The doctors, whom I depended on in 2006 while I was having a stroke, were exceptional. They saved my life, but I had to learn how to get healthy on my own. I only learned what was going on in my body after I learned about evolution and how our ancestors thrived.
 
Why didn’t my physicians help me understand why I had a stroke, and how I should improve my lifestyle to get healthy? Why didn’t my physicians explain how I should wean off my meds over time? The science is there, but most of the medical profession hasn’t gotten the message.
 
While making a change in my life, I also am making a change in my patients’ lives. In June of 2014, I received the designation of Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, which helped me understand why and how diseases start at the cellular level. In September, I received the Certified Primal Blueprint Expert designation, which brought the concepts of primal nutrition and primal lifestyle into a cohesive game plan to incorporate with my active periodontal treatment. I teach all my periodontal patients the importance of primal nutrition and primal lifestyle. When you enable each cell in the body to function properly by giving it what it needs – which is nutrient-dense real foods and exercise and sleep and reduction in all types of stresses – each cell will help all other cells to thrive. Your gut will become healthier; your overall body will become healthier; and your mouth will become healthier.
 
I’ve reenergized my life and reengineered my professional career. I offer the knowledge that I have learned to all my patients and to all who want to listen.
 

If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my email alert list here.

What Skeletons Can Teach Us

evolution rI remember going to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC as a child. My favorite exhibits were the dinosaurs. I was in awe with the age of these beasts. Skeletons told a fascinating story to me as a child.
 
Today, skeletons still tell the story.
 
Human evolution dates back about 2.5 million years. During that period of time, our bodies slowly adapted to our environment and the foods that were available to us for nutrition. Our bodies developed a method of using nutrients for our growth and survival. It took 2.5 million years for our cells and organs to slowly evolve.
 
Human skeletal remains recently have been discovered in Spain dating back about 400,000 years. Today, DNA testing can actually look at dental remains and determine what types of bacteria existed in the mouths of these people. We now can determine how healthy our evolutionary ancestors were. Science is amazing!
 
The DNA taken from teeth of skeletons dating about 20,000 to 10,000 years ago showed bacteria that were not virulent. In other words, our primal ancestors rarely demonstrated tooth decay or gum disease. Then, from about 10,000 years ago (when grains were introduced into our diets) until about 150 years ago, the DNA became unhealthy, and decay and gum disease began to become the norm. Then, 150 years ago (when flour and sugar became a staple of our diets) the bacteria went crazy causing lots of decay and gum disease.
 
What was happening was the good gut bacteria that our species developed during 2.5 million years of evolution slowly began to change to unhealthy types because of the insult from these unnatural foods. Unfriendly bacteria began to breakdown our intestinal cells. Food particles and bacteria that were never supposed to leak into our blood system began invading our bodies. Today, our bodies have not had time to evolve to compensate for these rapid insults. Degenerative diseases that were never part of the human experience began to emerge.
 
Today, genetically modified foods that never have been tested over time in humans also have negatively affected our gut bacteria. In addition, toxic additives in processed foods have been accumulating in our bodies contributing to our problems. We are living longer with decreasing quality of life. Unhealthy gut bacteria and associated gut disorders have been implicated in cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, ADHD in children, gastrointestinal diseases, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and on and on. And, our mouths are paying the price.
 
So what can we do today to get ourselves back in shape? We need to look at evolution and how our bodies were designed to function and thrive. We must work in concert with the needs of our bodies.
 
From a dental standpoint, brushing and flossing are important, but healthy food choices and friendly gut bacteria are more important. We should eat the foods that give us nutrition and not destroy our bodily systems. We need to repopulate our gut bacteria with friendly types that can ward off disease and maintain a healthy intestinal environment.
 
We also need to occasionally exercise our muscles hard, to sleep 7-8 hours a night, and to deal with life’s stresses more effectively. But, that is another discussion for another time.