Insulin is essential to staying alive; unfortunately, the vast majority of people have resistance to this essential hormone, speeding up the aging process and contributing to the development of degenerative diseases. Any meal high in grain and sugar carbs typically generates a rapid rise in blood glucose.
To compensate, your pancreas secretes more insulin into your bloodstream to lower your blood sugar. Insulin, however, is also very efficient at lowering blood sugar by turning it into fat. The more you secrete, the more fat your body will accumulate.
If you consistently consume a high-sugar, high-grain diet, your blood glucose level will be correspondingly high and over time your body becomes desensitized to insulin, requiring more and more of it to get the job done. Eventually, you become insulin resistant and prone to weight gain, and then full-blown diabetic.
Prediabetes1 is defined as an elevation in fasting blood glucose between 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) and 125 mg/dl. At 126 mg/dl on two separate occasions, it formally becomes Type 2 diabetes. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 84.1 million American adults — about 1 in 3 — are prediabetic,2,3 and most are unaware of this fact.
However, any fasting blood sugar regularly over 90 in my book suggests insulin resistance, and findings by the late Dr. Joseph Kraft — former chairman of the department of clinical pathology and nuclear medicine at Presence Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Chicago, and author of “Diabetes Epidemic and You: Should Everyone Be Tested?” — suggests a whopping 80% of Americans are insulin resistant, and that’s true even if your fasting glucose is normal.4,5
The good news is that insulin resistance is one of the easiest health problems to correct. Below I review eight of my top tips for optimizing and maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.
Tip No. 1 — Proper Meal Timing
Intermittent fasting or compression of your eating window is a powerful approach that facilitates weight loss and helps reduce your risk of chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes.
Intermittent fasting, i.e., the cycling of feast (feeding) and famine (fasting) mimics the eating habits of our ancestors and restores your body to a more natural state that allows a whole host of metabolic benefits to occur.6
With regard to insulin resistance, research shows intermittent fasting promotes insulin sensitivity and improves blood sugar management by increasing insulin-mediated glucose uptake rates.7
While there are a number of different intermittent fasting protocols, my preference is fasting daily for 18 hours and eating all meals within a six-hour window. If you’re new to the concept of intermittent fasting, consider starting by skipping breakfast and have your lunch and dinner within a six-hour timeframe, say 11 AM and 5 PM, making sure you stop eating three hours before going to bed.
The latter is important, as it helps protect your mitochondrial function. Recent research8,9 shows men who are at risk of Type 2 diabetes can improve their glucose control, thereby lowering that risk, simply by eating all their meals within a nine-hour timeframe — even if they do not implement any other dietary changes.
Research10,11 has also shown men who eat supper at least two hours before bedtime have a 26% lower risk of prostate cancer, and women have a 16% lower risk of breast cancer than those who eat dinner closer to bedtime. For more details on why late-night eating is so detrimental, see “Eating Early Dinner Aids Weight Loss and Lowers Cancer Risk.”
When you do eat, focus on healthy protein in moderate amounts and minimize net carbs like pasta and bread, exchanging them for healthy fats like butter, eggs, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and raw nuts. This will help shift you into fat burning mode.
On a related side note, when eating, relax and take your time! Research shows rushed eating, which typically occurs when you’re stressed, has a significant impact on your blood sugar level. When you become stressed your body also secretes cortisol and glucagon, both of which affect your blood sugar levels as well.12 You can learn more about this in “How Stress Can Affect Your Blood Sugar Level.”
As mentioned, while prediabetes13 is clinically defined as having a fasting blood sugar level between 100 and 125 mg/dl, I strongly believe any blood sugar over 90 mg/dl puts you in the danger zone for insulin resistance. Your blood sugar is measured through a glucose test, of which there are four types:
Fasting plasma glucose test — When you fast overnight and take your blood sample in the morning
Oral glucose tolerance test — Similar to the fasting blood sugar test, overnight fasting is required for this, and the person’s fasting blood sugar level is measured. Afterward, a sugary liquid is provided and the levels are then tested for the next two hours
Hemoglobin A1C test — This test checks the percentage of blood sugar attached to the hemoglobin and will indicate your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months
Random plasma glucose test — This makes use of a blood sample that is taken at a random time
You could also do 24-hour continuous glucose monitoring, which I’ve done in the past, although it’s pricey and probably not necessary for most people.
At the time, I used a Dexcom monitor, which involves inserting a sensor beneath your skin for a week, which takes continuous glucose readings every few minutes. It really helped me fine-tune and evaluate how different foods impacted my glucose levels, and helped me understand the importance of feast-famine cycling.
All of that said, for most people, a simple at-home glucose test,14 where you prick your finger and deposit a drop of blood onto a glucose testing strip, will do the job. Ideally, test yourself two to three times a day: first thing in the morning, before your first meal, and a couple of hours after your last meal.
Your blood glucose levels will vary throughout the day. According to conventional recommendations, if you are healthy and do not have diabetes, your fasting blood glucose upon waking should be below 100 mg/dL. I recommend aiming for a fasting (when you wake up) level below 90 mg/dL.
Before meal time, your glucose level should read between 70 to 99 mg/dL. After meals — or what’s called “postprandial” and is usually taken two hours after eating — the level should be below 140 mg/dL.
There are two measurements used for blood sugar levels. In the U.S., the measurement is in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). In the U.K. and Canada, the measurement for blood sugar is in millimoles/liter (mmol/L). To convert to mg/dL, multiply the amount by 18. For example, if a person in the U.K. says that their blood glucose result is 7 mmol/L, in the U.S. it’s read as 126 mg/dL.
Tip No. 3 — Monitor Your Blood Ketones
Another valuable test is the blood ketone test, which will tell you whether you’re in nutritional ketosis or not. I recommend starting your intermittent fasting routine and monitoring your blood ketones as you go along. The KetoCoachX monitor15 is currently one of the best and least expensive ketone monitors on the market.
You’re in nutritional ketosis once your blood ketone level is above 0.3 to 0.5 millimoles per liter (mmol/L).16 Ideally, perform the test first thing in the morning while still in a fasted state (i.e., before ingesting anything). Having a fasting ketone level above 1 mmol/L is a sign you’re in deep ketosis.
The partial fasting regimen described in “KetoFast” essentially mimics ancestral eating patterns, allowing your body to work optimally by allowing for periods of breakdown and cleanout, and periods of rebuilding and rejuvenation.
Tip No. 4 — Radically Limit Net Carbs Until You Are Metabolically Flexible
Along with intermittent fasting, you’ll also want to adopt a cyclical ketogenic diet, which involves radically limiting carbs (replacing them with healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein) until you’re close to or at your ideal weight. As with intermittent fasting, this will allow your body to start using fat as its primary fuel rather than carbohydrates.
Twenty grams of carbs a day is on the low end of what’s typically recommended to maintain nutritional ketosis, although some may be able to eat up to 50 grams a day and still maintain a ketogenic state.
The only way you’ll know how many total carbs, fiber and net carbs you eat is to keep a food diary. The simplest way of doing this is to use an online nutrition tracker. Also remember you need to measure your ketones to determine if and when you’re in nutritional ketosis.
One of the primary reasons you develop insulin resistance is because you’re eating too many net carbs (total carbs minus fiber), too much protein and too little healthy fat. For optimal health, your body must be able to burn fat for fuel, and this is an ability that is lost when you consume too many net carbs on a daily basis.
When your body is able to burn fat for fuel, your liver creates ketones (water-soluble fats) that not only improve your glucose metabolism18 but also burn far more efficiently than carbs, thus lowering inflammation by creating fewer damaging reactive oxygen species and secondary free radicals.
If your ketones are above 0.3 mmol/L, as described in the section above, you can start increasing the amount of healthy carbs back into your diet and start cyclical ketosis.
A key to making nutritional ketosis work is to replace the lost carbs with healthy fats, and knowing which fats are healthy and which ones are not is a crucial distinction here. Most people will need 60 to 85 percent of daily calories in the form of fat, but not all fats qualify.
Fats to steer clear of are industrially processed vegetable oils, found in most processed foods and restaurant foods. Polyunsaturated fat found in processed vegetable oils is not harmful in and of itself, but becomes so if and when you eat too much of it, and/or when the oils degrade, which occurs during refining, processing and heating (cooking).
For cooking, healthy alternatives include coconut oil, grass fed raw organic butter, organic ghee, lard, tallow and olive oil. For general eating, foods high in healthy fats include avocado, olives, coconut, raw nuts such as macadamia and pecans, seeds such as black sesame, cumin, pumpkin and hemp seeds, raw cacao butter and organic pastured egg yolks.
Dairy fats found in butter, cheese and yogurt have been shown to lower your diabetes risk specifically. MCT oil is another healthy fat — just be sure to avoid taking it during partial fasting days once you’ve started KetoFasting, as exogenous ketones will inhibit autophagy.
Tip No. 6 — Drink Plenty of Clean Pure Water
Next, be sure to drink plenty of clean, purified water. Organic black coffee (meaning no milk or sugar) and tea are other healthy choices. Steer clear of all sweetened beverages, including “diet” drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners and fruit juices.
As for how much water you need, your best bet is to use thirst and the color of your urine as a guide, along with frequency of urination.
Thirst — Simply using thirst as a guide to how much water you need to drink is a simple way to help ensure your individual needs are met, day by day
Color — If your urine is a deep, dark yellow, then you are likely not drinking enough water. Light straw-colored urine is typically a sign of sufficient water intake
Frequency of urination — If your urine is scant or if you haven’t urinated in many hours, that too is an indication that you’re not drinking enough. Based on the results from a few different studies, a healthy person urinates on average about seven or eight times a day
Tip No. 7 — Eat More Nuts and Seeds
In addition to being a good source of healthy fats, nuts and seeds are also an excellent source of magnesium, which many are deficient in. Lack of magnesium may raise your risk of insulin resistance as it plays an important role in carbohydrate and glucose metabolism. Magnesium helps your body metabolize carbs and glucose properly. As noted by Today’s Dietician:19
“Epidemiologic data20,21 suggest that for every 100 mg/day increase in dietary magnesium, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes decreases by approximately 15%. The few clinical studies22,23 showing efficacy in improving insulin sensitivity with magnesium supplementation have used doses between 300 and 365 mg/day.”
Some of the most magnesium-rich seeds include sunflower, black sesame, black cumin, pumpkin and chia seeds. Among these, black cumin (nigella sativa) deserves special mention, as studies have shown it can help prevent both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
In one study, black cumin improved glucose tolerance as efficiently as metformin.24 As a source of healthy fats, my preferences go to macadamias, pecans and walnuts, as they are high in fat while being lower in protein.
Tip No. 8 — Properly Prescribed Exercise
Last but not least, you need exercise, focusing more on strength/resistance training than cardio. Research25 published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found even a single session of moderate exercise can improve the way your body regulates glucose and reduces postprandial glucose spikes, and several studies have demonstrated the benefits of strength training for diabetes specifically.
Among them is a 2017 study,26 which found strength training lowered women’s risk of Type 2 diabetes by 30%. Adding aerobic exercise on top of it reduced the risk even further. Participants who performed at least 120 minutes of aerobic exercise per week, along with some form of strength training, had a 65% lower risk for Type 2 diabetes than those who did neither.
Research27 published in April 2019 found a link between muscular strength and Type 2 diabetes incidence. People with mid-level muscular strength, measured using leg and bench press tests, had a 32% lower risk of Type 2 diabetes compared to weaker cohorts, irrespective of cardiorespiratory fitness. No significant association between diabetes and upper level muscle strength was observed, however.
A third example of this kind of research was published in BioMed Research International in 2013.28 This review also investigated the mechanisms of how exercise lowers your risk of diabetes. One way by which strength training improves your glucose metabolism is by increasing glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) translocation in skeletal muscle.
GLUT4 translocation occurs as a result of muscle contraction,29 and is required for proper regulation of glucose uptake in your muscles. Strength training increases your insulin sensitivity, as lean muscle is highly sensitive to insulin,30 which helps restore metabolic flexibility.
By using insulin more efficiently, your body also ends up using more glucose, leaving less to circulate in your bloodstream — hence the improvements in glucose control.31,32 “Increased energy expenditure and excess postexercise oxygen consumption in response to resistance training may be other beneficial effects,” the review paper33 notes.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has also been shown to effectively reduce your risk for diabetes. In one such study,34 older overweight Type 2 diabetics improved their glucose regulation in just six HIIT sessions done over the course of two weeks.
Participants performed 10 bouts of 60-second cycling at 90 percent of their maximum heart rate, interspersed with 60 seconds of rest (total time spent exercising was one hour per week). Overall, the average 24-hour blood glucose concentration was reduced from 7.6 mmol/L (± 1.0) to 6.6 mmol/L (± 0.7) following the exercise.
According to the authors, “Our findings indicate that low-volume HIIT can rapidly improve glucose control and induce adaptations in skeletal muscle that are linked to improved metabolic health in patients with Type 2 diabetes.”
In the 1940s, the Green Revolution changed agricultural practices. The beginning of the Revolution is often attributed to Norman Borlaug who developed high-yield varieties of wheat enabling Mexico to produce more wheat than was needed by citizens in their country.1
Production of wheat and rice from high-yield varieties had dramatic success in Mexico and India, which on the surface appeared to solve food production issues. However, these new varieties were domesticated varieties bred to respond to fertilizers to increase the yield.2
The Green Revolution also reduced the number of species grown. For instance, before high-yield variety seed, there were 30,000 rice varieties grown in India.3 Now, there are 10. The homogeneity increased the susceptibility to pests and disease, which then drove the development of pesticides and insecticides.
Farmers unable to afford fertilizer and pesticide experience lower yields with new seed rather than the older strains that had adapted to local conditions, including water supply and pests.4 These changes led to many farmers planting only one crop year after year, also known as monoculture or monocropping.
This practice has led to poor soil biodiversity, unable to support healthy plant growth.5 As the soil structure and quality declines, farmers are forced to use more fertilizer, which contributes to further decline in soil quality and nutrient depletion.6 Monocropping also encourages the spread of pests and disease requiring pesticides for treatment, greatly contributing to groundwater and air pollution.
Rising Pollution From Factory Farms Impacts Local Environment
Years of monoculture farming and industrial livestock production has created rising air and water pollution problems, triggering large algae blooms,7 polluting groundwater supplies8,9 and deteriorating air quality.10
According to a report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG),11 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates there are 18,000 large confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) nationwide.12 These operations are a significant source of air pollutants. A lack of reliable methods for estimating emissions had prevented the EPA from determining statutory requirements.
In 2005, the EPA and the CAFO industry entered into an agreement in which the industry would fund an air emissions monitoring study. However, the OIG found13 that 11 years later the EPA still had not developed reliable emission estimation methods to determine if CAFO farms were complying with the Clean Air Act and other statutes.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,14 “the most pressing public health issue associated with CAFOs stem from the amount of manure they produce.” A variety of potential contaminants including pathogens, E. coli, growth hormones, antibiotics and additive chemicals are contained within the waste products.
Large CAFOs may produce more excrement waste than some U.S. cities. For instance, an 800,000-hog CAFO produces 1.6 million tons of manure each year, which is 1.5 times more waste than Philadelphia.15 According to the EPA,16 manure is a primary source of nitrogen and phosphorus runoff to surface and groundwater.
Pew Research Center17 points out an individual farm animal requires less feed and produces less manure, which may suggest a lower impact, yet industrial farming concentrates on producing the most protein in the least amount of time.
Both animals and their waste are concentrated and usually exceed the capacity of the land used, polluting the local environment and resulting in an increased health risk for those living nearby.18
Animal waste is stored in open pits, called “lagoons,”19 placing local environments in danger of pollution through leakage and overflow during storms.20 This happened after hurricane Florence to large areas of North Carolina.21
Life Cycle Study Shows Regenerative Farming Has Negative Effect on Pollution
North of Tallahassee, Florida, and on the far west side of Georgia lies White Oak Pastures, owned and operated by Will Harris. He is the largest private employer in the county and is known throughout the U.S. by health conscious consumers for the non-GMO grass fed beef he produces.22
After the release of a study earlier this year by Quantis,23 Will Harris’ legacy may be as the rancher who discovered how to use cows to heal the land. After collecting and evaluating data spanning two decades, the research team was so surprised they asked academics from other universities to confirm the methodology. As noted by lead author Jason Rowntree, Ph.D.:
“[B]ased on historical sampling, White Oak Pastures’ holistically managed fields went from 1 percent soil organic matter to 5 percent. Soil organic matter is a key indicator for soil health and among other factors, it influences soil aggregates and nutrient cycling.
Aggregate stability indicates how well the soil holds together under rainfall, providing greater resiliency to the landscape. In the case of White Oak Pastures, aggregate stability increased 4x.”
The results amazed the researchers who chose White Oak Pastures as it is one of few farms with a 25-year history of using holistically managed grazing and a long history of soil sampling. Since Harris acquired neighboring properties over the years, scientists were able to analyze different soil samples spanning 20 years.24
The study concluded conversion of annual crops to perennial pastures and holistic grazing effectively stored more carbon in the soil than the cows emitted during their lives. This result runs contrary to conventional wisdom about beef production. In fact, Harris’ farm has zero waste and operates on a “save more than you spend” carbon model.
The life cycle assessment data demonstrated the farm offsets at least 100% of the grass fed beef carbon emissions. Harris commented on the ecosystem he created on his farm leading to these results:25
“Our farm is creating more in terms of organic matter in the soil and microbial biodiversity than it is depleting. This shows that it is possible for humans to positively contribute to the environment through our food production system — using holistic management and planned grazing of livestock.”
The study found the net result of carbon emissions from the farm was 111% lower than conventional beef production and six times more carbon-efficient than the average production system per pound of cow.26
Air Pollution and Soil Erosion Are a Result of Monocropping
In addition to the contributions to groundwater and air pollution from CAFO farms, industrial monocropping increases air pollution and soil erosion. In a warning that has since come to fruition, Wendell Berry wrote, “If the present attitude continues, we may expect government policies that will encourage the destruction, by overuse, of farmland”27 and “the fertility of the soil will become a limited, unrenewable resource like coal or oil.”28
Scientists from the University of Sheffield’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures released a report at a United Nations conference in 2015, revealing 33% of the world’s land suitable for crops has been lost to erosion or pollution in the past 40 years.29
Mismanagement has reversed the natural process, turning farmland into a source of pollution as opposed to a sink. Large industrial agricultural concerns emit methane,30 nitrous oxide31 and carbon dioxide into the air, as well as nitrogen into the soil and surrounding waterways.
Reversing the process is not easy, but one farmer from New York, Ben Dobson, has been part of a worldwide “soil health revolution” focused on building organic matter in the soil.32
As a result, he enjoys healthier soil and his crops have thrived during erratic climate. Dobson commented that while the area had seen massive amounts of rainfall and more prolonged periods of drought in the recent years, his farm has not suffered more than a small drop in crop yield.33
Another farmer in New York, Klaas Martens has been using regenerative techniques for 20 years. He recalled in 2016 New York experienced one of the worst droughts in decades,34 and while neighboring farms had no crop yields, he had one of the best harvests that year.35
Cover Crops May Sink Carbon Dioxide Pollution Released From 22 Million Cars
Dobson took a journalist from Grist36 on a tour of his farm during an interview. He explained how succession planting the ground builds up carbon momentum in the land. On other farms, the opposite occurs as the soil is plowed and it unleashes carbon into the atmosphere.
In 2017, the EPA37 found total carbon emissions from agriculture accounted for 9% of all gas released. Instead, Dobson uses plants with a robust root system to help break up clay and store carbon further in the soil where it eventually becomes humus, a stable form of organic matter.38
He plans to plant as many trees as possible as their extensive root system contains nutrients before they may escape into groundwater, thus improving water quality. A study released in Science Advances shows cover cropping, practiced by Dobson and Harris, could mitigate 103 million metric tons of carbon pollution in the air,39 equivalent to the annual emissions of around 22 million cars.40
Dobson describes regenerative farming, of which cover cropping is one strategy, as a means of managing an ecosystem to support agriculture and livestock, as opposed to producing monocrops or a single livestock species. The process is organic, as it works with a natural process that has been successful for centuries before fertilizers, pesticides and chemicals were introduced.
“The idea is that we’re managing complex systems and letting some things, such as advanced biological systems, evolve by not disrupting them. As a farmer, my challenge is: How do I farm well within a cycle?”
Policies Encourage Rising Farm Pollution
Unfortunately, governmental policies are supporting pollution. Despite the fact many of the practices of traditional industrial farming harm the environment through the release of multiple pollutants, many agricultural policies continue to support this form of farming. For instance, although industrial farming contributes to water pollution, the operations receive exemptions under the Clean Water Act:41
“You do not generally need a permit under Section 404 if your discharges of dredged or fill material are associated with normal farming, ranching, or silviculture activities such as plowing, cultivating, minor drainage, and harvesting for the production of food, fiber, and forest products or upland soil and water conservation practices.
This exemption pertains to ‘normal farming’ and harvesting activities that are part of an established, ongoing farming or forestry operation.”
In an interview with Grist,42 Peter Lehner, lawyer at Earthjustice,43 pointed out New York land owners are eligible to receive a tax deduction based on the size of their operation and income without meeting any environmental requirements.44
New York State Assembly member Didi Barrett has a different idea of how to protect farmers in New York and at the same time support healthy soil. Barrett supported a two-year pilot project to test different farming methods in a way designed to protect soil health and fight environmental pollution.45
Her idea is to incentivize sustainable farming practices. The current pilot program involves experimenting with different techniques on farms in Dutchess County to determine if the proposed farming practices could be feasibly scaled to the rest of the state. This follows a study in 2017 investigating financial incentives to support regenerative farming practices.46
Regenerative Farming Makes Healthier Farms
Regenerative farming reduces soil erosion and topsoil destruction47 while improving fertility and biodiversity.48 The process helps protect water sources and diminishes water demand,49 thus reducing the need for irrigation. However, water is not the only resource being decimated by pollution.
Regenerative farming also reduces air pollution, particulate pollution and animal waste. What’s more, one study50 showed organic farmers earn 22% to 35% more than their industrial counterparts51 and, as Dobson and Martens attest in their interview, during times of drought or excessive rainfall their crop yield has not fluctuated significantly.52
To be part of the pollution solution, seek out local farmers using regenerative strategies to build the health of their farm and reduce local pollution. Local cooperatives enable the purchase of eggs, meat and produce produced organically and regeneratively. In an interview I did with Harris, he noted that no farmer sets out to destroy the land or hurt animals on purpose.
He thinks most believe they are doing the right thing: They’re growing the best crops and managing their livestock well. But what does animal welfare really encompass? According to Harris, this term really needs to cover more than the most obvious essentials.53
“[G]ood animal welfare used to mean you don’t intentionally inflict pain and discomfort on the animal. You keep them fed. You keep them safe. You don’t hurt them. And all of us believed that was good animal welfare, and most people still believe that.
To us, now, that is no longer sufficient. For me and my family and my employees, good animal welfare means it is incumbent upon us as herdsmen to create an environment in which the animals can express instinctive behavior.
Cows were born to roam and graze. Chickens were born to scratch and peck. Hogs were born to root and wallow. Those are instinctive behaviors. If they’re deprived of that aptitude, that is poor animal welfare.
If you have a cow on a feedlot, a hog in a gestation crate, a chicken in a battery cage, they’re safe, they’re reasonably comfortable, but they can’t express instinctive behavior.
It’s like putting your child in a closet and saying, ‘This is great. I keep the temperature at 72 degrees. I leave the light on. He’ll never break his leg playing football. He’ll never be abducted. He’ll never be run over by a bus … That may seem like great child rearing — except it’s not.”
It’s well-known that breastfed babies tend to be healthier than babies given a bottle filled with formula, especially in their first year of life, and the benefits are numerous. What’s more, the longer a baby is breastfed, the more far-reaching the health effects are throughout their lives.
The developing field of stem cell biology is being used by scientists to differentiate the types of cells derived from breast milk. While there are innumerable studies on the advantages mothers offer their children when they choose to breastfeed, one discovery in the last decade concerns the millions of immune cells known as innate lymphoid cells, or ILCs. According to a JAMA Pediatrics study published in 2018:
“Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), a new class of lineage-negative lymphoid cells, are key to intestinal microbiome and the adaptive immunity of the infant. Innate lymphoid cells have been classically divided into 3 subgroups of ILC1s, ILC2s, and ILC3s, based on their cytokine secretion and transcription factor profiles.”1
For the above research, scientists conducted extensive cell analysis on fresh milk from four lactating women and found that ILCs can influence not just babies’ immune systems, but fight inflammation and improve tissue health.
ILCs may protect breastfeeding moms from getting an infection from their babies and possibly enable a change in the content of the breast milk to help the baby get over such an infection, as well. Further, scientists say some immune cells, such as leucocytes, which are white blood cells that fight infection, increase in breast milk in response to infections in babies.2
Breast Milk Differs Depending on Mother’s Weight
Another recent study shows that the breast milk from normal weight mothers is different from that of overweight mothers.3 In addition, variations in small molecule metabolites found in breast milk could increase the risk factors for childhood obesity. The study, from Joslin Diabetes Center, was quite telling:
“The aim was to identify the molecular features of breast milk according to the mother’s weight status (normal versus overweight/obese) and then to determine if any differences predicted excess weight in the first months of the infant’s life.
At one month of age, 10 metabolites were found that differentiated overweight/obese mothers from lean mothers. Of those, four were identified as nucleotide derivatives and three were identified as complex carbohydrates called oligosaccharides, which may alter the gut microbiota.
At six months of age, the analysis revealed that 20 metabolites differed in overweight versus lean women. Additionally, milk adenine in obese mothers was associated with greater weight gain in infants.”4
New Research: Breast Milk and Progress in Stem Cell Biology
The journal Human Cell published a study in April 2019 that involved researchers from Russia and one from the U.K. It noted that studies continue to provide information about “purification, propagation and differentiation of certain types of progenitor cells from breast milk,”5 the possible fate of those cells and the fact that they exhibit many properties typical of stem cells.
Much more than mere nutrition is bequeathed to babies who are breastfed. They’re also supplied with specially balanced essential nutrients and “functionally distinct bioactive components”6 crucial to the health and well-being of newborns and older babies. One important aspect is that breastfeeding lowers their risk and susceptibility of infection.7
Breastfeeding also supplies infants with a complex combination of nutrients directly from their mothers’ immune cells, while at the same time supporting, regulating and adapting the babies’ own immune systems. Cells that are essential to health pass through their gastrointestinal tracts and colonize in optimal numbers in their spleens, livers and lymph nodes.8 Additionally:
“Communication between breast milk components and their natural host, the infant, which create a symbiotic commensal relationship, have allowed some researchers to suggest that the breast milk is a live system and could even be considered an organ.”9
Breast milk has extraordinary influences on the health of infants who receive it as a steady diet. One of the most dramatic is the rapid cell response while they’re being fed. However, every aspect of how each baby’s immediate needs is fulfilled is presently unknown. One study suggests human breast milk could be considered a probiotic food.10 Another study shows that:
“(Human) milk has the consistent function of providing nourishment, protection, and developmental programming to the young, with short- and long-term effects. Among its components that confer these functions, breast milk contains maternal cells, from leukocytes to epithelial cells of various developmental stages that include stem cells, progenitor cells, lactocytes, and myoepithelial cells.”11
Leukocytes are part of your body’s immune system that help fight infection and disease. Epithelial tissue, which covers all the exposed surfaces of the body, helps protect against many harmful factors, including pathogens.12
Unique Properties of Breast Milk-Derived Stem Cells
An Australian study shows that stem cells from breast milk have abnormally low potential for becoming tumorigenic, and their ability to form teratomas — a type of germ cell tumor that can comprise several different types of tissue, such as bone, hair and muscle — is small.13 The study concludes:
“These findings provide evidence that breast milk represents a novel and noninvasive source of patient-specific stem cells with multilineage potential and establish a method for expansion of these cells in culture.
They also highlight the potential of these cells to be used as novel models to understand adult stem cell plasticity and breast cancer, with potential use in bioengineering and tissue regeneration.”14
A Canadian study reported in 2017 that breastfeeding prevents necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a devastating disease affecting mostly premature infants when their intestinal walls are “invaded by bacteria, which cause local infection and inflammation that can ultimately destroy the wall of the bowel.”15
However, the study further shows that exosomes (the cellular components or vesicles on the outside of a cell) purified from breast milk are able to promote intestinal epithelial cell growth, such as the viability, proliferation and activity of stem cells in infants even when they are formula feeding.16
The study concludes, “These findings provide insight into the mechanism of action of breast milk in the intestines. Exosome administration is a promising prevention method for infants at risk of developing NEC when breastfeeding is not tolerated.”
History of Breastfeeding (or Not) and the Sobering Results
Breastfeeding is acknowledged as an indispensable part of childbirth, or was until alternatives to breastfeeding began, reportedly as early as 2000 BC, and more so when infant formula was invented. Alternatives for the health-optimal practice of breastfeeding have taken several avenues, including wet nursing, use of cow’s milk and formula use, according to a report, “A History of Infant Feeding,” which states:
“In the 1920s, scientists also began developing nonmilk-based formulas for infants allergic to cow’s milk. The first nonmilk formula was based on soy flour and became available to the public in 1929. Like the first formulas introduced in the late 19th century, soy formula lacked vital nutrients, particularly vitamins. Eventually, the problem was resolved with vitamin fortification.
As formulas evolved and research supported their efficacy, manufacturers began to advertise directly to physicians … By the 1940s and 1950s, physicians and consumers regarded the use of formula as a well-known, popular, and safe substitute for breast milk. Consequently, breastfeeding experienced a steady decline until the 1970s.”17
In the 1970s, breastfeeding was promoted again, according to the report, but in 1988, the formula industry started marketing directly to the public, which again resulted in a decrease in breastfeeding across the U.S. Later studies revealed positive outcomes for breastfed babies — and negatives for formula-fed babies — in three specific areas:
Atopy — The condition was characterized as hypersensitivity or an allergic reaction such as eczema, asthma and allergic reactions to food,18 with “asthma exacerbations accounting for 50% of all emergency hospital visits,”19 which “significantly reduces the quality of life in young children.”20
Diabetes mellitus — “Short duration of breastfeeding and an early introduction of cow’s milk may trigger pancreatic beta-cell autoimmunity, resulting in Type 1 diabetes.”21,22 Breastfeeding may also reduce childhood obesity, helping to prevent Type 2 diabetes.23
Childhood obesity — Breastfeeding reduced obesity, while obesity in formula-fed infants was far more prevalent.24 Additionally, infants breastfed over a longer period of time, such as several months, were found to have the lowest risk of being overweight as an adolescent.25
The serious consequences and illnesses seen today in the U.S. are a result of the decreasing number of breastfed babies in the 21st century. The history study concluded that breastfeeding is best:
“Research suggests that breastfeeding prevents adverse health conditions, whereas formula-feeding is linked with their development. This evidence confirms breastfeeding is still the best source of infant nutrition and the safest method of infant feeding.”26
ILCs: ‘Like a Central Command With No Soldiers’
There are several types of ILCs residing in the tissues of babies as they develop, but they appear “stationary and inactive, waiting for a developed immune system to communicate with,” says Babak Baban, an immunologist in the oral biology department at the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta.27
The cells remain “upstream” in readiness to initiate and advance an immune response when needed, he adds. “Until then, these cells are like a central command in each tissue with no soldiers.”
However, rather than ILCs attacking pathogens directly, they send cytokines to tell the most abundant immune cells, called macrophages, to handle it.28 According to Science Daily, which summarized the JAMA article (which is behind a pay wall):
“Macrophages, which literally means ‘big eaters,’ are the largest of the white blood cells and much-better studied than ILCs. They are known for their ability to envelop unwanted items like bacteria, viruses and dead body tissue, and can also help incite or calm inflammation.”29
Of the three main types of ILCs transferred to babies through breast milk, scientists say type 1 is most prevalent. This ILC survives in the infant’s gut for at least several days and not only protects against harmful bacteria, but helps form the basis for its own protective immune system.
‘The Moment You’re Born, You Start to Build a Microbiome’
According to Jack Yu, chief of pediatric plastic surgery at MCG, their research, which included mouse studies, found that ILCs begin helping to build your microbiome from the moment you’re born. Baban, the study’s corresponding author, adds that ILC3 specifically “helps form the protective mucosal layer for the gut and respond to the microbiome when it does develop.”30
Furthermore, Baban says breastfed babies have other frontline protection from immunoglobulin G, the most common antibody in our circulation, and the only one that transfers through the placenta to the baby.31
A breastfeeding advocate, Dr. Jatinder Bhatia also noted that rather than formula, donor breast milk is used in the neonatal unit of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia when mother’s milk is not available.
1 Which of the following has been proven to be an essential component of a healthy ecosystem that regenerates land and promotes healthy soils?
Laboratory-grown meat made from cell cultures
Plant-based meat substitutes
Concentrated animal feeding operations
Holistic livestock management
Holistic livestock management has been shown to be an essential component of regenerative farming and the creation of healthy soils. Learn more.
2 Recent research shows glyphosate has multigenerational effects even at half of the no-observed-adverse-effect-level established by the European Food Safety Authority. Which of the following health problems are among the multigenerational effects triggered by glyphosate exposure during pregnancy?
Diseases of the prostate, testes, ovaries and breasts
Recent research shows glyphosate has multigenerational effects. Pregnant rats exposed to half of the no-observed-adverse-effect-level of glyphosate established by the European Food Safety Authority between the eighth and 14th day of gestation had offspring with higher rates of birth defects, obesity and diseases of the kidneys, prostate, testes, ovaries and mammary glands (breasts). Learn more.
Underweight and problems related to inadequate weight gain
Dwarfism and gigantism
3 The following artificial sweetener has been shown to have no adverse effect on your gut microbiome:
All artificial sweeteners currently marketed have been shown to adversely affect the gut microbiome
Research published in October 2018 showed all currently approved artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, neotame, advantame and acesulfame potassium-k) disrupt the gut microbiome, in part by damaging the bacteria’s DNA, and in part by interfering with their normal activities. Learn more.
4 Which of the following statements about cholesterol is correct?
Cholesterol is a dangerous substance that should be kept as low as possible throughout life
Cholesterol endangers cellular health by breaking down cellular membranes
Cholesterol is necessary for the production of cell membranes and is vital for healthy neurological function
Cholesterol is found in your bloodstream and cells, and is necessary for the production of cell membranes. Cholesterol also plays an important role in the formation of memories and is vital for healthy neurological function. Higher cholesterol levels are associated with better brain health while low cholesterol levels have been shown to increase your risk of depression and suicide. Learn more.
Cholesterol has never been shown to have any detrimental effects and should be as high as possible regardless of other factors
5 Which of the following is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world?
Jackfruit can grow to enormous sizes, measuring between 4 and 24 inches in length and 10 to 30 inches in diameter, and can weigh between 10 and 100 pounds, making it the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. Learn more.
6 The following is an oft-ignored factor that contributes to the development of neuropsychiatric problems, including Alzheimer’s:
Exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation from cellphones, cellphone towers, Wi-Fi routers and modems, baby monitors and “smart” devices of all kinds
EMFs have clear neuropsychiatric effects, triggering everything from foggy thinking and headaches to learning disabilities and Alzheimer’s. The rollout of 5G is bound to worsen such effects. Learn more.
Spending too much time outdoors
Excessive exercise, especially high-intensity exercise
Insufficient water intake
7 Functional genetics analysis provides information about which of the following?
Your entire genome or the sum total of your DNA and your risk for developing a particular disease
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genes, which may be indicative of impaired enzyme function
Functional genetics looks for genetic defects (SNPs) that might be responsible for your disease pattern and provides nutritional intervention recommendations to restore homeostasis. NutriGenetic Research Institute is devoted to functional genomic testing, helping people understand the results, and how to apply it to improve their health. Learn more.
Four Q posts came out this afternoon, as I was talking with another Light-type-worker. These point to a very important period of time where “stuff” will be coming out. We’ll see where this goes… One MOAB at a time.
 “May 12 2019 19:10:40 (EST) BOOM WEEK AHEAD.
Treason doesn’t pay well in the end.
 “You are witnessing the collapse of the largest pre-planned and coordinated propaganda event in modern day history.
3332 Q!!mG7VJxZNCIID: c616d2 No.6482574
BOOM WEEK AHEAD.
Treason doesn’t pay well in the end.
3333 Q!!mG7VJxZNCIID: c616d2 No.6482617 https://twitter.com/RepDougCollins
Q 3334 Q!!mG7VJxZNCIID: dfeded No.6482810
Attempts by Dems, FAKE NEWS, and those ‘guilty of TREASON’ to shape the public narrative [prior to] by providing FALSEHOODS will FAIL.
TRUTH TO LIGHT.
NO SLEEP IN DC.
I was talking with someone yesterday about this, and how they’ve gone through periods of seeing Light-worker-type people connecting with “doom and gloom” kinds of reports.
“The economy is going to crash”. “The Solar Flash is going to wipe you out. “Move here (or there) to avoid this tsunami or that asteroid that will hit or that solar event radiation that will wipe out anyone without a DUPE (deep underground protection environment)”. Etc., etc., etc. My question is, “Have we been ‘DUPEd’?”
I’m not here to figure out what exactly is going to happen here or there or when or whatever. There may be a solar whatever, there may not. In the end, it doesn’t matter to me.
The only thing that matters is to be in touch with and follow the Guidance of my own Higher Inner Self. I do not care what David Wilcock, Corey Goode, James Gilliland, David Icke, so and so here, so and so there, says or writes about any of it. I will not enter into a “fear contract” with any of that.
I choose to stay, one moment at a time, in the Light, and in a “nose up” attitude as I move through each “one moment at a time”. That is all.
If a “fear thing” comes up along the path, I recognize it, and release it. And move on.
I am not a “doom and gloom” being, and never will be.
I will be Guided to be wherever I need to be, one moment at a time, no matter what planetary scenario plays out.