I am sure almost all of you have heard of fiber but may not be sure exactly what it is. The most common definition is that fiber is essentially a starch (found in plants, beans, legumes) that cannot be digested by the enzymes in our small colon (1). We cannot break down fiber. Japan has a more encompassing definition, labeling fiber as all indigestible materials regardless of whether they are carbohydrate, fat or protein (1). Now that you know what fiber is I will tell you about the amazing effects fiber has on disease prevention and colon health. Let’s first discuss the two types of dietary fiber found in plants: soluble and insoluble fiber.
Although drinking water in the United States is treated with chemicals to kill bacteria and viruses, reaching complete sterilization of the water is impossible. Instead the government sets safe limits for each virus and bacteria, meaning that an amount of contamination at or below the limit is unlikely to result in any sickness or harm to the individual. How this limit is determined is complex and will not be discussed here.
Dean Ornish is a medical doctor who advocates using nutrition to treat heart disease. He has published many books detailing his heart studies including his 2008 book called The Spectrum. Ornish headed many studies but I will highlight a few because I do not want to make the blog too long. All of his studies had participants change diet and engage in exercise and stress management so it is hard to prove which of these three caused all of the positive health effects. Diet likely plays the largest role as people that continue eating a western diet but exercise and engage in stress management still have very high rates of heart disease.
There is a considerable amount of debate surrounding energy drinks. Many people believe that they are bad for you and even dangerous. But what about Coca Cola, one of the first energy drinks ever created. As a matter of fact, there was controversy around Coca Cola when it was first released back in late 1800’s. In 1911 US agents seized 40 kegs and 20 barrels of Coca-Cola syrup in Tennessee because they thought the caffeine in it to be a public health hazard (1). After some time Coca-Cola reduced the amount of caffeine which was enough to satisfy the agents.