Three causes that damage the blood vessel are blood sugar, LDL cholesterol and neutral fat.
Among these three causes, neutral fat is difficult to control with medication.
Neutral fat is the source of body fat. If neutral fat increases too much, it is stored as body fat.
The cause that increases neutral fat too much is over consumption of carbohydrate including sugar.
Carbohydrate is the source of our energy, but the quantity of the muscle decrease with age, the unused energy is left and becomes neutral fat in the blood stream. As a result of that, body fat increases, liver fat can be caused or the risk of cardiac infarction can rise.
The difficult point in neutral fat is that neutral fat is easy to store but is difficult to decrease.
How can we efficiently decrease neutral fat?
Many people in a town in Japan, where Jerusalem artichoke is eaten a lot, have lower neutral fat than the guideline (150 mg/dl).
Jerusalem artichoke is rich in inulin which is a type of water soluble dietary fiber.
Carbohydrate is usually absorbed from the small intestine and goes into the blood stream. Inulin goes into our body, gets mixed with water and becomes jelly-like state. Jelly-like inulin wraps around carbohydrate and the carbohydrate goes to the large intestine without being absorbed from the small intestine.
Inulin becomes feed of intestinal bacteria in the large intestine. On top of that, inulin doesn’t become feed of bad bacteria but becomes only feed of good bacteria. As a result of that, only good bacteria such as Bifidobacteria, Lactic acid bacteria increase in the intestine. Substances produced by good bacteria influence the liver, suppressing the synthesis of neutral fat in the liver.
What vegetables are rich in inulin except Jerusalem artichoke?
Inulin is one of nutrition that is difficult to extract, so the study of inulin has not proceeded very much all over the world.
In this experiment, the amount of inulin contained in 10 kinds of vegetables is measured.
Jerusalem artichoke that contains inulin most: 18 g (within 100 g)
1. Garlic: 12.5 g
2. Burdock: 5.4 g
3. Onion: 4.3 g
4. Asparagus: 2.5 g
5. Lotus root: 0.1 g
6. Kabocha squash: 0.1 g
7. Japanese mountain yam: 0.1 g
8. Shishito (sweet green pepper): 0 g
9. Eggplant: 0 g
10. Tomato: 0 g
A 47 years old woman whose neutral fat was 152 mg/dl (guide line: 150 mg/dl) and who liked alcohol and carbohydrates tried to take inulin 10 g per day from the vegetables containing a lot of inulin for 5 days without changing usual lifestyle. After the 5 days trial, her neutral fat decreased to 139 mg/ dl.
Miso is good for the blood vessel.
Miso soup seems like containing a lot of salt and not being good for the blood vessel, but the amount of salt contained in a cup of miso soup is only 1.4 grams on average.
Peptide contained in miso lowers blood pressure and protects the blood vessel.
In a study using a mouse with high blood pressure, the blood pressure of the mouse started going down 6 hours after extract of miso was injected to the mouse. It has turned out that peptide contained in miso inhibits the function of enzyme that elevates blood pressure.
Therefore, because the effect of peptide is stronger than the effect of salt, drinking miso soup doesn’t elevate blood pressure.
There is no relation between the consumption of miso and the elevation of blood pressure.
Red miso keeps blood vessels young
The substance of the color of red miso has the power to suppress the absorption of sugar.
The substance of the color of red miso called melanoidin suppresses the absorption of sugar in the intestine and slows down the elevation of blood sugar after meals.
The more aged the red miso is, the more melanoidin is contained and is more effective.
What ingredient for miso soup is effective to lower blood pressure?
That is Wakame.
Wakame is rich in potassium that excretes salt from the body with urine so wakame is expected to lower blood pressure.
If your blood pressure is high, adding Tofu as another ingredient is more effective because Tofu is made of soy beans and also contains soy peptide (Fig. 1).
When should miso be added to the soup?
5 minutes after shutting off the heat.
Miso is fermented food containing koji mold, lactic acid bacteria and a yeast fungus, but they will die if boiled. 5 minutes after shutting off the heat, the temperature of the soup becomes about 50 degrees C (122 degrees F). If you add miso at this timing, living bacteria can reach the intestine.
Even if you boil soup with miso, dead bacteria can be feed of intestinal bacteria.
In people aged 18 years or older hypertension (high blood pressure) is defined as a systolic or a diastolic blood pressure measurement consistently higher than an accepted normal value (this is above 129 or 139 mmHg systolic, 89 mmHg diastolic depending on the guideline).
Since high blood pressure causes various complications without noticing any symptoms, it is called a “silent killer”.
The major causes of high blood pressure
(1) Too much consumption of salt
When you take too much salt, salt concentration in the blood becomes too high, so water in the blood increase to dilute the concentration of salt. Increase of water causes higher pressure to the blood vessel, resulting in high blood pressure.
(2) Contraction of blood vessel
Drinking alcohol, smoking or bad life habits hardens and narrows the blood vessel, pressurizing the blood vessel.
Especially, in winter when the temperature is low, the blood vessel contracts, easily leading to high blood pressure. In winter, the temperature difference between inside and outside is quite extreme, so sudden rise and drop of blood pressure easily happens.
What is the Food to improve high blood pressure?
Effective nutrition for high blood pressure is
(1) Potassium which excrete salt from the body
Food rich in potassium (per 100 g):
Banana: 360 mg
Melon: 350 mg
“A Food” to introduce in this article: 770 mg
(2) Polyphenol which suppresses the contraction of the blood vessel and expands the blood vessel
Food rich in polyphenol (per 100 g)
Blueberry: 300 mg
Red wine: 230 mg
“A Food” to introduce in this article: 420 mg
The food which was discovered by the latest research (January 2018) as being effective for high blood pressure is Peanuts.
20 pieces of unsalted and roasted peanuts with skin a day are recommended because the thin red skin of peanuts contain a lot of polyphenol.
Pickled peanuts are more effective because vinegar contains acetic acid which improves blood flow and expands blood vessel.
When you pickle peanuts, any vinegar is fine, but apple cider vinegar is recommended because the taste becomes a little sweet (soak peanuts and vinegar in a sealed container and keep it in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days).
It has turned out that the strength of the immune system is directly related to the intestine.
To keep the immune system strong, it is important to keep the intestine young. To keep the intestine young, it is important to keep good bacteria more in the intestine than bad bacteria.
Yogurt contains a lot of good bacteria, especially Bifidobacteria. Bifidobacteria play a very important role in the intestine. Among good bacteria in the large intestine, 99.9 % are Bifidobacteria and 0.1 % are lactic acid bacteria.
According to a recent study in University of Chicago, Bifidobacteria are expected to be effective to suppress cancer. Bifidobacteria activate natural killer cells that attack cancer cells.
The number of good bacteria (Bifidobacteria) in the intestine decreases with age and becomes one hundredth at the age of 40s or 50s, compared to the childhood.
Q1. When is a good timing to eat yogurt to maximize the absorption of the nutrition?
(A) Before meals (B) After meals
A1. (B) After meals
Bifidobacteria easily die during the fasting state when there is a lot of stomach acid. On the other hand, after meals, stomach acid is neutralized by food and there is more possibility that Bifidobacteria reach the intestine. However, dead lactic acid bacteria and Bifidobacteria become the feed of good bacteria, eating yogurt after meals doesn’t end up in the garbage.
Q2. Which can activate Bifidobacteria more? (A) Eat after freezing yogurt (B) Eat after warming yogurt
A2. (B) Eat after warming yogurt
Bifidobacteria increase at about 40 degrees C (104 degrees F) because that is close to the temperature of the intestine. Hot Yogurt can be made when yogurt is warmed up in the microwave (500 W) for 40 seconds.
Bifidobacteria in yogurt likes dietary fibers so if you eat yogurt with fruits that are rich in dietary fibers, Bifidobacteria can be more active.
Sleep debt or sleep deficit is the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep. A large sleep debt may lead to mental or physical fatigue.
It is said that proper sleep time is 7 hours. In a study, when sleeping 6 hours for 2 weeks, the level of their brain became as low as they stayed up all night for 2 days.
Getting enough sleep elevates the strength of the immune system and activates the body cells, maintaining the health.
Sleep debt causes weakening of the immune system, lowering of the metabolism and accumulation of waste matters.
People who sleep less than 6 hours have about 1.6 times more risk of dementia, about 1.7 times more risk of diabetes, and about 1.4 times more risk of prostate cancer for men and about 1.7 times more risk of breast cancer for women, compared to people who sleep 7 hours.
Sleep time can’t be stored. It doesn’t compensate that people who don’t get enough sleep weekday try to get more sleep during the weekend.
Actually, there are people who sleep only 6 hours but don’t have sleep debt. On the contrary, there are people who sleep 8 hours but have sleep debt. Sleep debt is dangerous because it accumulates without knowing.
Let’s check sleep debt
How many clauses fit into you?
Even if one clause fits into you, you can have sleep debt.
What food is good to decrease sleep debt?
To decrease sleep debt, it is necessary to improve the quality of sleep.
The key nutrition to improve the quality of sleep is GABA.
GABA is a type of amino acid which suppresses the excitement of the brain and relaxes the mind. GABA has instant effect, so taking GABA after dinner or right before going to bed has potential to lead to good sleep.
Amount of GABA (per 100 g) of the foods rich in GABA are:
Tomato: 62 mg
Potato: 35 mg
Eggplant: 20 mg
But a food contains 89 mg of GABA and in an experiment, when the food was eaten during dinner, the sleep-onset time became shorter and the depth of sleep became deeper.
The food which improve the quality of sleep is Kimchi (Korean pickle).
You can get kimchi everywhere, but Kimchi containing lactic acid is recommended.
Proper amount of GABA per day is about 100 mg. a small bowl of Kimchi should be eaten at dinner.
GABA is not broken by the heat, so you can heat up Kimchi to prepare any dishes.
I carved a small Buddha statue called Jizo-Bosatsu.
The height of this statue is about 3.5 inches.
Now the small Buddha statue is surrounded by a lot of Origami in my office.
I hope that the small Buddha also prays the patients visiting my clinic will get better.
The following is a part of my book, How to treat yourself at without medication.
2.8 Kidney Energy
I would like to talk about Kidney energy.
The Kidney energy is Water and is the strongest Yin within the 5 energies.
So the Kidney is easily influenced by the cold.
The other organ which also has Water energy is the Bladder.
As you know, these two organs (Kidney and Bladder) are related to the function of urination.
If I broaden the range, these organs control all the water in the body.
So if our body is becoming cold, the kidney and bladder try to excrete extra water in order to keep our body warm.
When Kidney energy becomes weak, we retain water under the skin, called edema. This is because we are unable to excrete water through urination very well.
Kidney energy is not only excreting water but also cleansing water.
Only about 5% of the water is excreted as urination. The other 95% is cleansed and filtrated through the kidneys and is circulated again throughout our body.
When Kidney energy becomes weak, the water is not cleansed properly. This leads to cloudy water.
Cloudy water doesn’t flow smoothly and tends to accumulate, causing cataracts, Meniere’s disease, Hypertension, gout, etc.
Kidney energy controls the bones.
The weakness of Kidney energy causes the weakness and degeneration of bones such as osteoporosis and degeneration of the knee joints.
On the contrary, it may also produce stones in our body such as Kidney stones or urinary stones.
Kidney is weakened by the cold, so the cold causes various disorders.
The main cause of miscarriages and infertility is the weakness of Kidney energy due to an internal cold condition within the body.
Cold feet and hot flashes appear when the lower body gets cold and heat in the upper body cannot come down. This is due to weakness of Kidney energy.
Now I will tell you how to strengthen Kidney energy.
First, chew your food well.
Chewing well produces saliva.
Saliva is a very important substance to strengthen Kidney energy.
Aging makes Kidney energy weak, therefore a lot of elderly people need something to drink when they have meals because they don’t have enough saliva.
Next is food.
People who have kidney diseases and high blood pressure are told not to take salt.
But what they must not take is salt which is made chemically, called sodium chloride.
Taking natural sea salt which contains a lot of minerals, especially potassium, strengthens your Kidney.
Taking good salt is important because good salt gets rid of the old salt remaining in our body, causing various diseases.
The ingredients which strengthen Kidney energy are beans, sea vegetables and root vegetables.
Among beans, black beans and red beans are very good.
Also if you can eat Natto, which is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans, that is very effective.
Kelp and Hijiki are good among sea vegetables.
All root vegetables are good, but burdock is especially good.
Lastly, is life style.
Kidney is weak during the cold weather or within cold environments, therefore it is important to keep your body warm.
Try to avoid drinking cold beverages or staying in a cold place for a long period of time.
Especially pregnant women should try to warm their lower body and abdomen.
Also, standing for a long time tasks the bones which are controlled by Kidney energy, so it is important to lie down and rest your body.
The patient is a woman with the age of 70s.
She has been in our clinic for other health issues regularly, this day she complains that her left lower leg started hurting while she was sleeping. The painful area is mainly outside of her left lower leg, midway between the ankle and the knee.
When I checked tender points with pressure, the tender points were located along Gallbladder and Stomach energy pathways on her left lower leg.
I gave her whole body treatment described in Individual Acupuncture Treatment and the treatment to remove the tender points by using Gallbladder and Stomach acupuncture points located on her left foot. The number of the tender points on her left lower leg gradually decreased, and after 5th treatment, the pain in her left lower leg disappeared and didn’t come back.
All the treatments were done by touching and tapping with round-tip needles
She also complained about pain in buttocks, which was radiating to the thigh in the second treatment.
In every treatment, I removed tender points on her buttocks in addition to her left lower leg by using distal acupuncture points on the head, lower back and feet.
During the course of treatments, the pain in her lower leg sometimes disappeared and sometimes reappeared, but the number of tender points along Stomach and Gallbladder energy pathway and in the buttocks gradually decreased, and after 5the treatment, she didn’t complain about the pain in her left leg.
Our body and mental state are controlled by five organs' energy which are balancing each other.
Once one of the five organs' energy becomes too weak or too strong, diseases are developed.
The following is a part of my book, How to treat yourself at without medication.
2.3 Five Organs’ Energy
In Oriental medicine, it is thought that the body is made up of the energy of 5 organ systems.
Those five organ systems are Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lung and Kidney.
These organ systems correspond to the same organs in Western medicine, but they are not exactly the same. Anyway, when there is imbalance within the 5 systems, our overall energy is out of balance and we get sick.
For example, when Liver energy becomes weak, we may have dizziness, muscle cramps, etc. When Lung energy becomes weak, we may have cough, constipation, etc.
We get sick not only because of the weakness of an organ’s energy, but also because of its stagnation. For example, when we are in a condition of Heart energy stagnation, we may experience heart palpitations or hot flashes, a characteristic symptom of a menopausal disorder.
In an acupuncture treatment, we are able to discover such imbalances within energy, pour in energy where it is weak, and flush out energy where it is blocked. Maybe you wonder why we ask about bowel movements or sleeping condition when you visit us for shoulder pain since there does not seem to be any connection, but this information is important in discovering which organ’s energy is in trouble.
Let’s see the characteristics of each organ’s energy from the next section.
This Blog is for a memo of my clinical realizations, information about health I have learned recently and update information.