Vinegar is very healthy. You can google lots of health benefits from it. It contributes to an alkaline metabolism, interestingly. It is a strong acid, but the Krebs cycle converts it to alkaline, as the acidity goes into CO2.
One problem with vinegar. For years, I used vinegar as a salad dressing. I got several cavities that seemed different than any I had previously. I had pits in the teeth, instead of a little spots where the dentist's pick would find the tooth soft.
Some people have issues with orange juice being acid enough to cause cavities. vinegar absolutely can cause cavities if the tooth is soaked in vinegar, in an experiment. I believe I had several cavities due to vinegar. So, vinegar is great as an ingredient in a recipe, but not straight undiluted.
A Scientific American article said that fluoride has the strongest benefit to the teeth, when the fluoride and saliva mix, and bathe the teeth.
If you get prescription fluoride toothpaste, which is generic $8 for about 1 oz, the instructions are to brush thoroughly, spit thoroughly, and do not eat or drink for 30 minutes. Interestingly, this high strength prescription fluoride toothpaste has only 4 times as much fluoride as regular toothpaste.
If you get ACT fluoride mouthwash, the instructions are to rinse with the mouthwash thoroughly, spit thoroughly, and do not eat or drink for 30 minutes.
So, each time we brush our teeth, brush thoroughly. spit thoroughly. Do not rinse with water. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes. This has helped greatly, to eliminate cavities.
Where did fluoride come from? Dentists in some Colorado mining towns, noticed that nobody had cavities. After some research, it was found that the town water supply naturally has 12 ppm fluoride. The fluoride tended to mineralize the tooth enamel, similar to calcium, but the fluoride was more resistant to cavities. The only side effect was fluoridosis, where some children had white lines or yellow blotches in their teeth. No elevated cancer or any other problem has been associated with these towns with 12 ppm natural fluoride water.
I recommended that we spit thoroughly after brushing, but not rinse with water. Is this safe? We do not want to significantly elevate the fluoride we drink. Note that most towns have fluoride drinking water, which has 1 ppm fluoride. So I did some calculations. I checked Colgate regular toothpaste, which lists 0.15% w/v fluoride. (0.76% sodium monofluoride.) The toothpaste nozzle is 8mm dia. Roughly 1 inch of toothpaste has the fluoride of 8 glasses of water (8 oz, 1 ppm fluoride). Try an experiment. Rinse with water. Then put a tiny spot of toothpaste on your brush, perhaps less than 1mm length pushed from the tube. Brushing makes lots of "suds". You can spit out a great deal of suds. Most of it is spit out. Yet 1 inch of toothpaste would be equal to the fluoride in 8 glasses of wafer. So, my recommendation would be a small increase in fluoride consumed, compared to normal fluoridated water supply.
(This is an issue where I disagree with Dr. Fuhrman. Dr. Fuhrman says we don't know enough about Fluoride. Fluoride greatly reduces cavities, and if we swallow a small amount, compared to drinking 8 glasses of water daily, at 1 ppm, we are safe.)
Glad to see the lively conversation and improvements in health.
I saw the reference on Persian walnut oil and triglycerides.
Re: "Many of the plant based doctors like John McDougall, Dr Barnard, and Dr Esselstyn think all oils are harmful to our health, but Joel Fuhrman says there is no scientific evidence to suggest plant based fats are harmful."
With all due respect, a clarification. Joel Fuhrman is in complete agreement that vegetable oils are harmful. Walnuts are good; walnut oil is bad.
How much stuff is in flaxseed that is not in flaxseed oil? If we eat flaxseed without grinding it, it passes right through. The tough seed wall protects the flaxseed oil from oxidizing going rancid. If we have flaxseed oil, we do not get everything else that was in the flaxseed, and the oil is starting to go rancid immediately. Randomized double blind studies suggest that flaxseed is beneficial for breast and prostate cancer. (1) (2) Flaxseed oil is not.
Many studies have shown that vegetable oils similar to olive oil, increase HDL, but, for green monkeys that signed their little informed concent forms, the increased HDL did not translate to reduced athersclerosis upon atopsy. The atherosclerosis with vegetable oils was equal to that of saturated fat.
In my opinion, you are likely better off with 17% increased triglycerides and no walnut oil. Eat some assorted nuts and seeds, max 1 oz if weight is a concern (for those reading).
For myself, after 5 years of eating 0 to 6 oz animal products total per week, I was making mistakes at work. I decided to try 500mg Taurine in the morning, and 500mg before my workout. I believe my memory has improved, and workouts have improved. The brain has lots of taurine in it, as do muscles. Taurine is not one of the 8 essential amino acids (proteins). That means the body can make taurine from the 8 essential amino acids. Either I don't make it as well as other people, or I need more. At any rate, $20 buys 6 months worth of Taurine, and I am very pleased with it.
For those who would say that needing Taurine means my diet is deficient, I would mention that Red Bull also contains 1000 mg of Taurine, and most people that dring Red Bull, eat lots of meat. Just saying.
The brain also contains lots of DHA, an omega-3 fat. We can make DHA from ALA, available in plants. But we all vary greatly in how well we convert ALA to DHA. I take 1 fish oil capsule daily.
Other deficiencies sometimes occur. Dr. Fuhrman has seen Zinc, Selenium, Iodine and others. That is why he makes his multivitamin, which also excludes harmful supplements. So, I take his multi.
I take vitamin D, Fuhrman's multi, fish oil and taurine. But at 67 years old, my blood pressure is 100/60, cholesterol is 150 to 160. Both of these were borderline when I was 60.
I believe Dr. Fuhrman has the best response to the individual patient's needs.
Oh, I was curious as to your choice to take walnut oil, to see the affect on triglycerides. I am thinking of the difference between walnuts and walnut oil.
In my opinion, overall you are doing very well. But we all realize that my opinion is not what actually counts.
Notice that the HR values (Hazard Ratio) are much higher than the aHR values (multifactorially adjusted HRs). As an example, suppose one group with high triglycerides has twice as many heart attacks, compared to the lowest triglyceride group. This means the MI HR (Myocardial Infarction Hazard Ratio) = 2. But the people with higher triglycerides also tend to other elevated risk factors, like higher cholesterol, weight, blood pressure, LDL, C reactive protein, etc etc. Using statistical methods to try to see the affect of triglycerides, after accounting for the other factors, statisticians get an adjusted Hazard Ratio (aHR) for triglycerides alone. In one example in the abstract, a HR of 2.1 had an aHR of 1.3, which is much lower.
Of course, increased statistical adjustments for other factors, reduces the statistical power of the study. In other words, if they had millions of people in the study, they would have great statistical strength, and the conclusions would be better supported. In this study, generally the trend P value was < .001. This means that the P (Probability) that overall trend is actually random, that triglycerides really had no affect on health, was less than 1 in 1000.
What I am suggesting is that your other risk factors are excellent. Your triglycerides are not very high. In my opinion, your overall risk profile is very good.
Your efforts to prevent GERD, are very important. As I recall, you have found by trial and error that potatoes give you no problem. We all suspect that the emphasis on the high glycemic index potato is the cause of the mildly elevated triglycerides.
As a suggestion, you could try eating a salad before meals, to eliminate GERD.
Another idea to ensure drinking adequate water with a meal. For some reason, I can get a feeling that may or may not be heartburn after a meal, and a glass of water fixes it up. An apple might be associated with this issue, for me.
You tried Beano, with no benefit. The package says to take 2-3 tablets. Have you tried 4 Beano tablets, to see if that helps? When I was lactose intolerant, the package said take 1-2 tablets. That did nothing for me, since I apparently made no lactase at all. 3 tablets worked for me if I had a very small amount of lactose, say one slice of white bread with whey. But 4 tablets were wonderful, and allowed me to eat 3 deserts within about 5 or 10 minutes. (Gluttony, anyone?) The pill has to be taken with the first bite of the food.
16 months after I took vitamin D to cure my vitamin D deficiency, and also changed from 6 meals a day to 3 meals a day, I was amazed to see that I was no longer lactose intolerant. At all. For the last 6 years now, I am not lactose intolerant, after carrying the lactase pills for almost 30 years. And yes, I am certain that I was severely lactose intolerant, after 30 years, certainly over a thousand times, having painful diahrrea when I mistakenly ate something with lactose, without taking the pills.
I recall that you have verified that your vitamin D is good, with a blood test. Great.
You could try 2 or 3 meals a day, without snacks. This might have been a factor in my reversal from lactose intolerance.
How do you feel overall? Do I recall correctly that you do not feel like you are thriving? That is a clue that something is wrong, just as you have been suspecting, if I recall correctly.
Dr. Fuhrman occasionally has patients that do not thrive on the vegan diet. He gives them blood tests to check for deficiencies, and taurine sometimes comes up as deficient. Dr. Fuhrman suggested 1000 mg of taurine a day for those folks, and most of them would then thrive. A very few needed to eat an oz of meat daily, to thrive.
Not giving antibiotics in the daily feed of factory farm animals, means several things.
1) The factory farm where the antibiotic free animals are raised, are no longer antibiotic resistant bacteria breeding houses. The CDC is very concerned about antibiotic resistant bacteria, which are created by factory farms (some superbugs have been genetically traced to factory farms) and over-prescribing antibiotics to people. Not over-prescribing antibiotics to people, is serious business. For example, during a cholera epidemic, the standard medical protocol for cholera treatment, is NOT to prescribe antibiotics for the first week. Most light cases resolve themselves. The fear is that an antibiotic resistant strain of cholera could develop, which would be very bad.
2) The bacteria on the animal is much less likely to be antibiotic resistant. I am not sure what an organic chicken is, but you read that 80% of them have salmonella (which is better than 100% on ordinary factory farmed chicken). So maybe less likely to have salmonella, but still quite likely. Still have to have great care for hygiene, while cooking.
3) The factory farm has to have a bit better conditions for the animal. A bit less living bathed in the feces of the other animals. Better feed. Otherwise, the death rate from disease, will be too high. Maybe the quality of the meat will be a bit better?
I noticed that my local supermarket carries antibiotic free chicken. I didn't check the price difference. Of course, most of the meat is the fabulous factory farm variety.
I have been a life-long Republican, but I am ashamed of my party for siding with the factory farms, illogically voting down the bills each year or 2, that would prohibit antibiotic in the feed in the factory farms.
We, as consumers, have to spread the word, to promote antibiotic free animals. Big business is essential to our high standard of living, but their interests are not necessarily our interests.
This is an amazing article on bacterial contamination from chicken, especially. This is also a strong argument to stop the insane feeding of antibiotics daily to billions of animals in the USA. How could you better breed superbugs, you know, the flesh eating bugs that are antibiotic resistant?
I was on vacation, plus way too many hours at work. I felt badly that I did not get a chance to check my personal email, or this board, for the last 2 weeks. I was very curious to see what happened, and whether your GERD is caused by a reduction of stomach enzymes.
Re:"As we age and stomach acid is diminished we start to have issues with GERD."
Millions of people take Nexium, Prilosec, etc, to reduce stomach acid and prevent heartburn. Could you clarify whether there is a contradiction between this observation, and your statement? I am equating heartburn with GERD. In your experience, is that valid?
Re: "Some compound the problem by taking digestive enzymes which can result in the body shutting down its natural production."
Are you concerned that taking Beano as an experiment, to see if Beano prevents your GERD, will reduce your natural stomach enzymes?
That certainly was not my experience. I became severely lactose intolerant at the age of 32. I certainly never took lactase enzyme (Dairy Ease, Lactaid, etc) while I was becoming lactose intolerant, because I did not know I was becoming lactose intolerant. All I knew was that I was having frequent and severe stomach aches and painful cramps and diarrhea, for no apparent reason at all. I was eating dairy products daily, as I had for my entire life. I finally made the connection that dairy products were causing my problems.
A few months later, a friend mentioned I could try Dairy Ease. The recommended dose is 2 or 3 pills. 2 pills did nothing for me. But if I took 4 pills, with the first bite of dairy, I could eat all the dairy I wanted for 5 to 10 minutes, with no problems. If I was at a dinner, where small servings arrived with time in between, that would require 4 pills for each serving. So, I would stockpile the food, so I could take one batch of pills, and then gobble all the food.
Like most of us on this board, I did not want to be dependent upon pills. For the next 28 years, I took the lactase enzyme pills zero, once or twice a week, when I wanted to eat cheese, deserts, etc. I have never heard of a lactose intolerant person even sensitive to white bread with whey, like I was.
Getting back to your point about taking digestive enzymes shutting down natural production, I became severely lactose intolerant while never taking enzymes, and my lactose intolerance reversed, while taking those enzymes zero, once or twice a week. I don't think there was any connection, in my case.
My interest in seeing if Beano prevents your GERD, is not to suggest that you take Beano for the rest of your life. If Beano helps you, I could share what my educated best guess is, as to why my lactase production came back, to my great surprise.