It has now been 1 year since I was diagnosed with depression and have largely come out of it. I want to talk about what I did and what I currently do.
I was diagnosed with depression around June of 2018. Its hard to say if it was mild or severe as it was my first time with it. I was put on an antidepressant, Flunil, which is a class of drugs called an S.S.R.I., similar to Prozac in USA. Though it went great at first I very soon started having all the side effects possible for this drug. My mood was also not perfect : I became good at home but stopped caring about work !
WHAT I DISCOVERED :
The side effects got me going on research. What is an S.S.R.I. ?
Turns out these drugs helps increase the Serotonin level in my brain, where 10% of the body's Serotonin lies. However, with a lot of other research I also discovered that 90% of the body's Serotonin resides in the human gut. It is produced by eating certain types of foods. So I started eating these foods. I also stopped flunil and switched to a natural SSRI called St. John's Wort*.
WHAT I DO FOR DEPRESSION TODAY :
I feel really good. I don't take the St. John's wort everyday, but whenever I remember to. With all my intermittent fasting and other experiments I can't always take this with breakfast like I used to. However there is one thing I do take religiously - my probiotics. In particular - KEFIR
Turns out that Serotonin is made from a amino acid called Tryptophan. What has one of the highest concentrations of Tryptophan?
It is KEFIR, a probiotic drink with roots in Turkey and Central Asia. Though there is no scientific measure, as with all things natural, you just have to try. I take about 200ml everyday. I feel really good and I'd have to say that Kefir is a part of that. As with all probiotics it also boosts my immunity so I am wondering if I'll catch a cold this winter :)
RESEARCH PAPERS AND DISCLAIMERS :
I want to point out that this is cutting edge nutrition science. This is not yet accepted by mainstream doctors. There are research studies on this as of now and that's why this is called "cutting edge".
I am listing here some articles and research papers you might find interesting :
HOW YOUR BELLY COULD HEAL YOUR BRAIN - BBC Article
MICROBES HELP PRODUCE SEROTONIN IN GUT - Caltech
HOW TO INCREASE SEROTONIN IN THE HUMAN BRAIN WITHOUT DRUGS - Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
* St. JOHN'S WORT
Please note that the only negative about St. John's wort is that it has a lot of drug interactions. But since I am on no other drugs I went ahead and took it. In case you are on other drugs whether it be for diabetes or blood pressure or any other symptom then I would strongly advise you to be very very precautious.
You want to have minimal insulin resistance. Since insulin signals your body to store fat, you want your body to function with the least amount of insulin required.
This will help you stay thinner. It is many times more effective than exercising.
Here are ways to reduce insulin resistance in your body.
All of these steps have an amazing effect. We see this all the time through our advanced glucose monitoring chips. As people change their diet their glucose levels come down, within hours, and therefore their body needs less insulin. Less insulin means less insulin resistance.
The conventional weight-loss advice to eat fewer calories carries an estimated failure rate of 99.4%. For morbid obesity the failure rate is 99.9%
So what happened? Why does this fail? Are we not following the advice given ? Or is this advice wrong ?
One thing the calories-in vs calories out model assumes is that the basal metabolic rate stays constant. But a 40% decrease in calories can also be met with a 40% reduction in the basal metabolic rate. We are not like goldfish, that we cannot control how much we eat. Similarly, when we eat less, the body has many survival mechanisms; it won't keep burning the same amount of fuel. It will downregulate fuel burn, so that we may survive. Calories in - Calories out simply ignores this fundamental physiology of our inbuilt survival mechanism.
The thyroid, respiratory, circulatory, hepatic, renal, gastrointestinal, and adrenal systems are all closely regulated by hormones. Body weight and body fat are also strictly regulated by hormones, with multiple overlapping systems of body weight control. Body fat, one of the most important determinants of survival in the wild, is simply not left to the chances of what we put in our mouths.
So what controls body fat accumulation ?
Fat accumulation is not simply a problem of eating too much. It also is a problem of energy distribution. If energy is diverted to storing fat vs burning fat, we will accumulate fat. How is this controlled - hormones.
We cannot "decide" to feel less hungry, or to increase our metabolic rate. If we eat fewer calories our body will often decrease the metabolic rate. So if calories are not the main reason for weight gain, how can you reduce weight by eating less calories? The most important factor for controlling weight is controlling the hormonal signals we receive from the food, not the total number of calories.
Obesity is a hormonal imbalance, not a caloric one. As we see in diabetes, when we prescribe insulin we usually see weight gain. The no.1 side effect of the drug prednisoneis weight gain. Anti-biotics cause weight gain (and why they are used in animal meat production).
Thus, obesity is a hormonal imbalance, not a caloric one. Thus, type 2 diabetes can also be called a disease of insulin imbalance rather than caloric imbalance.
This blog post is part of my series looking at Dr Jason Fung. A leading nephrologist and author who is changing how we look at diabetes.
We've all grown up eating cookies and Marie biscuits. Do you want to know what are bad ingredients for health how to avoid them?
Lets begin with the fact that I was SHOCKED! when I read the ingredients list. So many of the things which are bad or are banned in other countries were found on the ingredients list. When we look at childhood obesity and diabetes at younger ages I am sure these have a big part to play.
I reviewed a few popular brands : Oreo's, Nestle, xxxxxxx and these are brands that are very popular with our kids and looked very appealing. They are sold very often near schools and our kids have no idea what's in them !
Here are the ingredients which shocked me :
Here are brief reasons why they are considered bad :
Guys these are MY OPINIONS. Lets keep it as that.
How can you avoid this? Buy from a local baker. Chances are they don't know where to buy Palmolein oil, edible vegetable oil or invert sugar. Generally will cut back on a lot if not all of these very poor and cheap cousins of real food.
American Diabetes Association's highest award is the Banting Medal.
"HYPERINSULINEMIA is the ROOT CAUSE of insulin resistance, OBESITY and DIABETES". was The Banting Medal Winner of 2011, Dr. Barbara Corkey.
So this is why you need to understand HyperInsulinemia - if you have obesity or diabetes
As I have explained earlier when we get too much exposure to insulin we get insulin resistance
Now, as we develop insulin resistance the body needs more insulin to do the same job. This insulin resistance leads the body to start producing more and more insulin. This is medically referred to as being "hyper". So when the body is producing too much insulin is it hyper-insulin-emia.
However with this condition we will wake up with a higher fasting insulin. And when we eat food we will go even higher because of resistance. All of this will increase even more insulin resistance. So Insulin Resistance leads to HyperInsulinemia leads to greater Insulin Resistance and the cycle repeats itself.
Since insulin also tells the liver to store fat it also means that the body will keep storing more and more fat. This process is called De Novo Lipogenesis (De Novo means new, Lipo means fat and Genesis means creation). The hormonal approach to obesity says that it is this increased levels of insulin and also having insulin in our body for far longer means that we are in fat storing mode for longer, and it keeps getting longer and longer fat storage periods as our insulin levels go up.
Find this hard to believe?Look on this picture of a Type 1 diabetic without insulin.
Type 1 diabetics used to be super skinny. One of the reasons is without insulin they are unable to store fat.
The other way to see it is that very often, as people take more insulin, they gain weight. They are surely not eating more if the doctor has just prescribed taking insulin. They are gaining weight because the body is storing more away as fat.
To stop storing fat in your body you must also look at reducing the insulin resistance in your body which in turn will lower & eliminate hyperinsulinemia.
To See Dr Corkey's talk on this click this link.
Have you heard of Insulin Resistance ? I am not sure if you and your doctor have discussed insulin resistance but it is critical to both obesity and diabetes..
INSULIN RESISTANCE IS WHEN YOUR BODY HAS DEVELOPED A RESISTANCE TO INSULIN. IT NEEDS MORE INSULIN TO DO THE SAME JOB
How do we get insulin resistance ?
Through Exposure. Exposure to anything creates resistance. Let me explain with some examples :
This is how life works. Exposure creates resistance. When people get exposed to too much insulin, they develop insulin resistance.
Reducing Insulin Resistance brings incredible changes within days and we see this every time with the Cure My Diabetes program. The effect is so dramatic that in heavy insulin users we can reduce insulin dosage by 50% - 80% within 5 days!
Why does Insulin resistance matter ?
Insulin resistance will lead to a vicious cycle in your body which will drive up obesity and create more insulin resistance. This leads to a condition called hyper insulinemia.
Even with Same Height, Weight, Age some people are more at risk than others.
Lets understand Central Obesity and how it goes beyond just BMI for health risks. Firstly lets start with a video with a client of mine who got close to death, without having a high BMI and under 50 years of age.
Is someone a TOFI - Thin on the Outside, Fat on the Inside
When most of the fat is carried around the mid section - it is defined as Central Obesity. This increased fat, and increased waist circumference is a far superior predictor of Type II diabetes. This fat, the fat in central obesity is also called visceral fat. Visceral fat is the fat inside and around abdominal organs like the kidneys, pancreas and kidneys.
Even a 5 g reduction in visceral fat around the pancreas can improve its functioning, only 5 grams ! Central Obesity is very highly correlated to metabolic problems - including higher cardiac risk and progression of Type 2 diabetes. This fat is found inside and around the organs. So another examaple of this is having fatty liver, specially NASH - Non alcoholic fatty liver.
The other type of fat, the fat under the skin is known as subcutaneous fat. As mentioned in the bestselling book "The Diabetes Code", Dr.Fung also mentions that "surgical removal, via liposuction, of almost 10kg of subcutaneous fat brought no significant metabolic benefits whatsoever, which suggest that subcutaneous fat plays little role in the development of type 2 diabetes."
How can you measure your central obesity level ? That's a simple test : The WASIT TO HEIGHT RATIO.
It is calculated by comparing waist circumference to height. This ratio is far more predictive of years of life lost than the traditional BMI index. Ideally, your waist circumference should be less than half your height. So if you are 170 cm, your waist should be less than 85 cm.
Are you having increased central obesity. Curious to learn more? If so message us on or Facebook page. click here
Longevity is different than Chronic Disease & Lifestyle management in the sense that it doesn't look at how to treat any chronic disease. Longevity science looks at how to extend the human lifespan and have all the diseases start later, or not at all.
The argument from Longevity science is this :
A woman of age 20 has a chance of breast cancer of 1 in 2000. A women of age 70 has a chance of breast cancer of 1 in 24. That's an increase by a factor of 100. Therefore, if aging is the central risk factor for all major diseases, it's much smarter to intervene on aging itself than to try to prevent and treat diseases one by one !
So here are 2 key points from my Longevity research -
The Two Things Most Important To Live Long with the Absence of Disease and a High Quality of Health.
YOU ARE NOT ONLY WHAT YOU EAT, BUT, WHAT YOU ATE
So be mindful of things you consume.
For our food subscribers : Cure My Diabetes diet already incorporates both the elements - glycemic control and cellular inflammation. Your sugars stay stable naturally and since we don't use oil and only nuts the fats that you get are super healthy. Our diet should also help you live longer and with absence of disease based on the above two factors. Good food doesn't remove specific diseases, it affects the whole body and all diseases.
Stay Tuned for more updates on Longevity because I am really enjoying learning about this science.
If you want to watch the video where I learnt all this here is the link :
Yesterday I was speaking to a Doctor who was talking about “hitting the gym” to go lose some weight.
I want to update you on my research on gymming for weight loss.
In my research diet is 95% and gym is 5% for achieving overall health.
Why ? Well one simple answer is let’s study the BLUE ZONES - the 5 areas of our planet where living beyond 100 is more common than anywhere else. These include Okinawa in Japan, and Sardinia in Italy.
What do all five of the blue zones have in common? There is no emphasis on gymming. Rather they tend to stay active in a moderate way throughout the day. No weights, No cardio.
More importantly they all eat healthy.
I read a lot of books and all of them say that diet is 90-95%. In one book, The Obesity Code, the author says Food is like Batman, whereas exercise is like Robin. Doesn’t matter what Robin does until Batman shows up!
If you’re looking to lose weight or live longer I want you to keep in mind that it’s the diet, not the gym.
We’ve seen people lose kilos and kilos of weight without exercise only by changing their diet.
I have my own body transform in the last 5 months.
I thought this is relevant. We all want to lose weight. I just want to ensure you’ve also got Batman with you and not just Robin.
Do Exercise, yes it is really really good for you, but if you want to lose weight - focus on your diet.
Stress can lead to weight gain. This is something we have often wondered about. Cortisol is a hormone released by stress, and cortisol causes weight gain.
This hormone is higher in the morning so busting stress in the morning is a great way to reduce cortisol levels and its belly growing effects. Here are 3 simple ways.
Junior Gupta is the founder & Chief Research Officer of Cure My Diabetes. He has spent over 8 years of research of food, nutrition and diseases.