The Coevolution of Man & Food – Nature Got It Right

Alzheimer’s Disease – Gerald J. Joseph – The HealthCoach Prevention Program   


Alzheimer’s disease is now the third leading cause of death in the United States, following only by cardiovascular disease and cancer [1]. There are approximately 5.2 million Americans with AD, but this estimate ignores the many young Americans destined to develop AD during their lifetimes: given the lifetime risk of approximately 15% when including all ApoE genotypes, as many as 45 million of the 318 million Americans now living may develop AD during their lifetimes if no prevention is instituted [2].

There is increasing urgency to develop effective prevention and treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as the aging population swells. Yet, our understanding remains limited for the elemental pathophysiological mechanisms of AD dementia that may be causal, compensatory, or epiphenomenal.

To this end, I hypothesis why AD exists from an evolutionary perspective which includes natural selection, co-evolution, adaptation, genetic drift, and other evolutionary forces. (In Part 2 I will describe the mechanism of action and how to successfully treat AD with diet, antioxidant/phytonutrient nutraceuticals and walking)

As baby boomers enter the vulnerable ages for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), biomedical research is in a race against time to prevent, stabilize, or cure the disease. Implicitly or explicitly, rational therapeutic discovery relies on understanding the root cause (s) as well as intermediate and proximate pathophysiological processes of disease.

Basic research on AD has historically focused on characterizing the signature pathological lesions, that is, amyloid-β (Aβ) neuritic plaques and paired helical filament tau (PHFtau) neurofibrillary tangles, and the precedent and consequent molecular, biochemical, and physical mechanisms that most likely link these disease lesions to the neurodegeneration and cognitive decline caused by AD. [3]

Viewing AD from an evolutionary perspective prompts a rethinking of the way we describe the relationship between the clinical dementia and the neuropathology by which we define the disease. By integrating the fields of phylogeny, life history theory, genetics, biochemistry, nutrition, exercise science and evolutionary medicine, a unified theory of AD can be developed and a protocol to prevent AD established. (TJP)

My hypotheses on the root cause (s) of AD centers on the consumption of the Western American diet (malnutrition), the lack of persistence exercise (walking) and the reduction of consuming plant-based foods high in antioxidants.

Over the past decade, neuroscientists have identified that physical activity stimulates both neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons) and optimizes functional connectivity within the human brain via neuro- plasticity.

High consumption of plant-based foods and regular aerobic exercise produce many neuroprotective benefits—and when both are combined, they are the most effective way to bulk up gray matter brain volume, elongate telomeres and improve the integrity of your brain’s white matter communication lines.

From an evolutionary neuroscience perspective, physical activity stresses brain function because of the cognitively demanding activity of constantly looking for foods which forced our ancestors to engaged in daily aerobic physical activity. In addition to traveling great distances daily, man co-evolved consuming high antioxidant fruits/berries and high omega 3 fatty acids rich foods from both vegetables, fungi, fruits and from the sea.

(The huntergatherers‘ daily energy expenditures for physical activity typically were at least 800 to 1200 kcal, 41 or about 3 to 5 times more than the average American adult today)

Simply put, our ancient genome has not had enough time to adapt to a non-daily aerobic activity lifestyle of our modern – get in your car, go buy groceries in a store – modern world.

Moreover, recently introduced foods such as grains, refined sugar, trans-fats, corn-fed altered animal, fowl, dairy proteins, alcohol and synthetic chemicals in processed food production further compromise our pre-designed constitution. The human body was designed very specifically to eat whole non-processed foods and to walk great distance daily.

By returning to this original design plan – and implementing a simpler ancestral hunter-gatherer diet which consists of ~70% of kilocalories that come from plant foods – whole fruits, root vegetables, Fungi, sea vegetables, land vegetables, bulbs, nuts and seeds, and ~30% of kilocalories of the annual diet from marine cold-water fish, eggs, and lean/low-fat grass-fed animal proteins like our ancestors did, we can improve the quality of our health and sustain our lifespan over a longer period of time. [11]

In conclusion, [s]cientists have discovered that exercise appears to build a brain that resists physical shrinkage and enhances cognitive flexibility. Exercise, the latest neuroscience suggests, does more to bolster thinking than thinking does. Daily exercise when combined with a high plant-based fatty acid -antioxidant rich diet, challenges the brain to respond by increasing its neuroplasticity, by increasing more myelin, and healthy synaptic connections. All of these essentials promote and improve better neural signaling which enhances cognitive function.

The HealthCoach Prevention Program (HCPP)

HealthCoach– is a multi-modal program consisting of dietnutraceuticals and walking designed to impact and enhance neurogenesis in three regions of the brain.These three regions of the brain, subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampus which is involved in regulating learning and memory, the subventricular zone (SVZ) and the Amygdala are measurable affected in Alzheimer’s disease syndromes.   

HealthCoach– targets these three regions though diet, nutraceuticals and walking to promote neurogenesis. (See Nutraceuticals – Super Greens – Antioxidant Berries)

Both anthropologists and nutritionists have long recognized that the diets of modern-day hunter-gatherers may represent a reference standard for modern human nutrition and a model for defense against certain diseases of affluence. [10]

HealthCoach – diet protects against oxidative stress which is an imbalance between production and accumulation of oxygen reactive species (ROS) in cells and tissues and the ability of a biological system to detoxify these reactive products. [12]

These phenomena are mainly initiated and enhanced by oxidative stress, a process referring to an imbalance between antioxidants and oxidants in favor of oxidants. Thus, tissues and organs, particularly the brain are affected by ROS due to its composition. The brain is largely composed of easily oxidizable lipids while featuring a high oxygen consumption rate.

Antioxidants are molecules that fight damage by free radicals, unstable molecules that can harm cellular structures. Antioxidants do this by giving electrons to the free radicals and neutralizing them.

Inflammation in the brain, in particular activation of microglia, has been increasingly associated with the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD), as well as several other neurodegenerative disorders.

Recent clinical research has demonstrated that berry fruits can prevent age-related neurodegenerative diseases and improve motor and cognitive functions. The berry fruits are also capable of modulating signaling pathways involved in inflammation, cell survival, neurotransmission and enhancing neuroplasticity.

The neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases are related to phytochemicals such as anthocyanin, caffeic acid, catechin, quercetin, kaempferol and tannin.

Numerous natural antioxidant/anti-inflammatory compounds found in plant food matrices, like fruits, especially berries (such as strawberry, bilberry, blackcurrant, blackberry, blueberry and mulberry) can offer neuroprotective effects.

Anthocyaninsare a type of flavonoid, are a family of powerful antioxidants that fight the effects of aging and oxidative stress. To date, more than 635 different anthocyanins have been identified.

Anthocyanins (from the Greek anthos for flower and kyanose for blue) are water-soluble polyphenols flavonoid compounds.

HealthCoach – diet, nutraceutical and walking program recognizes that sedentary individuals who increase their steps from 1,000 to 3,000 a day reduced their mortality risk by 12%; those who achieved 10,000 daily steps cut their risk by 46%.

HealthCoach – diet, nutraceutical and walking program recommends a gradual increase in daily steps to a minimum 5000 steps a day and optimally 10,000 steps a day.

Physical activity such as walking may preserve neuronal plasticity, increase synapse formation, and cause the release of hormonal factors that promote neurogenesis and neuronal function.

Decreased cerebrovascular blood flow and function are associated with lower cognitive functioning and increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Walking produces large pressure waves in the body that significantly increase blood flow to the brain.


Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid, a class of compounds with antioxidant effects. Found naturally in a number of foods, anthocyanins are the pigments that give red, purple, and blue plants their rich coloring.

Anthocyanins may have a protective role in plants against extreme temperatures. For example, tomato plants protect against cold stress with anthocyanins countering reactive oxygen species, leading to a lower rate of cell death in leaves.

In addition to acting as antioxidants and fighting free radicals, anthocyanins may offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.

Blueberries contain the following anthocyanins: malvidin 3-galactoside, delphinidin 3-galactoside, delphinidin 3-arabinoside, petunidin 3-galactoside, petunidin 3-arabinoside, malvidin 3-arabino-side, cyanidin 3-glucoside, cyanidin 3-galactoside, cyanidin 3-arabinoside, delphinidin 3-glucoside, malvidin 3-glucoside, peonidin 3-glucoside, peonidin 3-galactoside, peonidin 3-arabinoside, and peonidin 3-glucoside

Another large body of research from the Nurses’ Health Study I and II, which followed over 46,000 women from and 23,000 men for more than a decade, found evidence that the those with the highest intakes of anthocyanin (especially from blueberries and strawberries) had a significantly decreased risk for developing hypertension, myocardial infarction and/or having a heart attack compared to those with the lowest intake. This was true even after controlling for other factors like exercise level, family history and BMI.


Chronic food deficits affect about 792 million people in the world. Malnutrition directly or indirectly affects a variety of organ systems including the central nervous system (CNS). A number of nutritional conditions are included in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, such as protein–energy malnutrition, iodine deficiency, vitamin A deficiency, and iron deficiency anemia. Over 15% of the disability- adjusted life years (DALYs) lost globally are estimated to be from malnutrition.

Micronutrients is the term used for those essential nutrients that are needed in small amounts for human growth and functioning. They are essentially used as cofactors for enzymes engaged in various biochemical reactions. They comprise vitamins, fat-soluble as well as water-soluble, and trace elements (= minerals). Iron, vitamin A, zinc and iodine are most discussed today, but other important micronutrients are vitamin C and the vitamin B complex.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorder of insidious onset, characterized by the presence of predominantly motor symptomatology (bradykinesia, rest tremor, rigidity, and postural disturbances).

It is also associated with a diversity of non-motor symptoms, which, together with late-onset motor symptoms (such as postural instability and falls, freezing of gait, speech and swallowing difficulties), are presently one of the most difficult challenges the treating physician is faced with when dealing with patients with a long duration of the disease.

The “Western diet”, in particular a low fiber – high fat – high carbohydrate grain-based diet can lead to malnutrition and severe gut dysbiosis.

In contrast, a high plant-based diet that includes abundant whole fruits, vegetables, olive oil and oily fish are known for their anti-inflammatory effects – could prevent malnutrition and gut dysbiosis.

The human gut microbiota (GM) is vital for host nutrition, metabolism, pathogen resistance and immune functionand varies with diet, lifestyle and environment. The Hadza lifestyle therefore is thought to most closely resemble that of Paleolithic humans.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) affects predominately dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra.


Neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain is generally accepted to occur in two discrete regions: the hippocampus and olfactory bulb. In recent years, there have been reports that neurogenesis may also occur in other regions of the adult brain under normal conditions, such as the neocortex  and amygdala. Moreover, various brain insults have been shown to induce the production of new neurons in the striatum and cortex.

In part 2, I will outline how to transition to my Coevolutionary diet, nutraceutical and walking  program which will improve health outcomes.

Gerald J. Joseph HealthCoach


1. James BD, Leurgans SE, Hebert LE, Scherr PA, Yaffe K and Bennett DA. Contribution of Alzheimer disease to mortality in the United States. Neurology. 2014; 82:1045‐50.

2. Seshadri S, Drachman DA and Lippa CF. Apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele and the lifetime risk of Alzheimer’s disease. What physicians know, and what they should know. Arch Neurol. 1995; 52:1074‐79.

3. Some Evolutionary Perspectives on Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis and Pathology, Daniel J. Glassa and Steven E. Arnoldb, NCBI PMCID: PMC3646265NIHMSID: NIHMS466105PMID: 22137143

4. Bredesen DE. Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program. Aging (Albany NY). 2014; 6:707‐17. doi: 10.18632/aging.100690.

5. Kurakin A and Bredesen DE. Dynamic self‐guiding analysis of Alzheimer’s disease. Oncotarget. 2015; 6:14092‐14122. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.4221.

6. Galvan V, Gorostiza OF, Banwait S, Ataie M, Logvinova AV, Sitaraman S, Carlson E, Sagi SA, Chevallier N, Jin K, Greenberg DAand Bredesen DE. Reversal of Alzheimer’s‐like pathology and behavior in human APP transgenic mice by mutation of Asp664. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006; 103:7130‐35.

7. David A. Raichlen, Gene E. Alexander. Adaptive Capacity: An Evolutionary Neuroscience Model Linking Exercise, Cognition, and Brain Health. Trends in Neurosciences, 2017; 40 (7): 408 DOI: 10.1016/j.tins.2017.05.001

8. David A. Raichlen, Pradyumna K. Bharadwaj, Megan C. Fitzhugh, Kari A. Haws, Gabrielle-Ann Torre, Theodore P. Trouard, Gene E. Alexander. Differences in Resting State Functional Connectivity between Young Adult Endurance Athletes and Healthy Controls. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2016; 10 DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00610

9. Raichlen, D. A., Pontzer, H., Harris, J. A., Mabulla, A. Z. P., Marlowe, F. W., Josh Snodgrass, J., Eick, G., Colette Berbesque, J., Sancilio, A. and Wood, B. M. (2016), Physical activity patterns and biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk in hunter-gatherers. Am. J. Hum. Biol.. DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.22919

10. Coronary atherosclerosis in indigenous South American Tsimane: a cross-sectional cohort study

11. Gut Microbiome of the Hadza hunter-gatherers

12. Role of oxidative stress in Alzheimer’s disease,


Biodiversity and Health

Gerald J. Joseph, B.S., M.Ed. HealthCoach 

Getting a cold? Take some echinacea. Feeling stressed? Try a little ginseng. Worried and depressed? Perhaps some St. John’s wort will pick you up? According to Bob Stanley, the growth in popularity of these and hundreds of other herbal remedies in Europe and North America has created a multi-billion dollar industry over the past two decades — $27 billion in the US alone in 2001.

While the trend may be new, most of these “alternative medicines” are not as compared to your grandparent’s cures. Some are effective, some are not. Most, though not all, are at least harmless as recent research suggests, however, that plant-based medicines — phytomedicines — may be the key to improving health outcomes of some of the world’s most serious diseases.

In developing countries, traditional herbal remedies are far from a trend. Widely used for millennia, they continue to be the first line of health care for most of the population and growing in popularity in the USA.

What I am taking about are “phytomedicines.” These were the pharmacologists, who use the term to describe their research into plant-based medicine. The prefix “phyto” comes from the Greek word phyton, meaning plant.

A 20-year-old statistic from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that 80% of the world’s people rely on traditional medicines and traditional systems of medicine for day-to-day health care. And there is little to suggest that this has changed during the two decades in which the people of the North have been rediscovering herbal remedies. [1]

Looking to nature for medicine is nothing new – we have been doing it for tens of thousands of years and although modern pharmaceutical science has come a long way from those ancient roots, nature is and will always be an important source of useful compounds and inspiration.

Dismissing nature in this regard is a huge mistake as evolution is the greatest problem solver and the myriad compounds produced by the immense variety of species we share the planet with have been honed by three billion years of trial and error. However, with every bit of habitat that disappears under the plough or concrete we impoverish nature and deprive ourselves of potential medicines.

The preservation of biodiversity is perhaps the single most important building block for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. For many of these goals, the importance of preserving biodiversity is obvious, 1) Zero Hunger), 2) Climate Action), 3) Life below Water, and 4) Life on Land.

This argument holds true for the other global goals including, but not limited to, 1) Good Health, 2) Well-being, 3) Reducing Inequalities, 4) Responsible Consumption and Production. Preserving biodiversity in many landscapes and natural habitats free for people to enjoy and access both locally and worldwide, rather than only in museum collections and zoos is critical for understanding life, the workings of the biosphere and for developing methods to sustain the quality and longevity of human life. Of comparable importance, access to biodiversity as a living, evolving aspect of our planet has the potential to increase the public’s appreciation for these systems and processes.

The sustainable development of natural products will not be possible without taking biodiversity conservation into consideration. While plants are commonly used for medicinal purposes, new possibilities are emerging from organisms that are incredibly diverse biologically and chemically, but relatively understudied, such as arthropods and fungi, particularly in many countries deemed as ‘biodiversity hotspots’ [2]

We can be certain that we share the planet with an enormous variety of species. A very recent estimate of 1-6 billion species is certainly realistic when we take into account parasites, parasitoids and endosymbionts [3].

Human Disease & Biodiversity 

Collecting, curating, and disseminating knowledge on biodiversity as it relates to the treatment of human diseases will promote the conservation of bio- and molecular diversity and, simultaneously, create the international cooperation needed to safeguard well-being for all communities. [4-7]

A new approach is beginning to take hold around alternative medicines, organic food sources, plant-based nutrition and forcing the entire medical community to grapple with certain questions: How has the role of a doctor changed over the years? Are there better ways to treat the kinds of health problems that can usually only be managed, not cured? And how do you gather evidence on therapies that involve not only the body but also the mind?

The bigger problem is that most doctors aren’t well equipped to treat chronic disease as we have an acute-disease system for a chronic-disease population, an approach is to suppress and inhibit the manifestations of disease.

When it comes to thee suppression approach makes sense when you’re trying to solve a sudden flare-up—a high fever, a migraine, or a constriction of the airways during an asthma attack, conventional medicine seams to be working but, when it comes to addressing chronic disease syndromes like heart disease, type II diabetes and obesity, which develops over time, doctors still don’t understand exactly what causes it, what to do about it and how to track patient populations to see if they are improving.

In conclusion, it is crucial that governments, global organizations, and local stakeholders come together to agree on preservation of remaining hotspots of biodiversity through development of partnerships with the medical communities.

I believe that modern medical doctors and research scientists are a highly adaptable professions, with new studies constantly challenging the conventional wisdom, they will come around to the power and use of nature and organic foods sources as preventative tools for our planet and for human health.



1) Biodiversity, drug discovery, and the future of global health: Introducing the biodiversity to biomedicine consortium, a call to action.

Vidushi Neergheen-Bhujun, Almas Taj Awan, Yusuf Baran, Nils Bunnefeld, Kit Chan, Thomas Edison dela Cruz, Dilfuza Egamberdieva, Simon Elsässer, Mari–Vaughn V. Johnson, Shoji Komai,  Andrey L. Konevega, John H. Malone, Paul Mason, Rothsophal Nguon, Ross Piper, Uttam Babu Shrestha,  Milica Pešić, Alexander Kagansky

2) Blackwell M. The fungi: 1,2,3…5.1 million species. Am J Bot.2011;98:426–38. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1000298. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
3) Larsen BB, Miller EC, Rhodes MK, Wiens JJ. Inordinate fondness multiplied and redistributed: the number of species on earth and the new pie of life. Q Rev Biol.2017;92:229–65. doi: 10.1086/693564.[Cross Ref]
4) Newman DJ, Cragg GM. natural products as sources of new drugs from 1981 to 2014. J Nat Prod.2016;79:629–61. doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b01055. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
5) Harvey AL, Edrada-Ebel R, Quinn RJ. The re-emergence of natural products for drug discovery in the genomics era. Nat Rev Drug Discov.2015;14:111–29. doi: 10.1038/nrd4510. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
6) Patridge E, Gareiss P, Kinch MS, Hoyer D. An analysis of FDA-approved drugs: natural products and their derivatives. Drug Discov Today.2016;21:204–7. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2015.01.009. [PubMed][Cross Ref]
7) Carter GT. Natural products and Pharma 2011: Strategic changes spur new opportunities. Nat Prod Rep.2011;28:1783. doi: 10.1039/c1np00033k. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]


Post-Biotics May Help Shield Obese From Diabetes

Gerald J. Joseph, B.S. M.Ed Health Coach 

April 20, 2017
McMaster University
It was previously thought that bacteria only caused problems such as higher inflammation and higher blood glucose. But this is only half of the story. Now researchers have discovered that a specific component of bacteria actually lowers blood glucose and allows insulin to work better during obesit

You’ve heard of pre-biotics and pro-biotics, but now you’ll be hearing a lot more about post-biotics. Researchers at McMaster University have begun to identify how post-biotics, or the by-products of bacteria, lower blood glucose and allow insulin to work better.

Jonathan Schertzer, assistant professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences and senior author of a paper published by Cell Metabolism, explains it this way: “We know that gut bacteria, often called the microbiome, send inflammation signals that change how well insulin works to lower blood glucose.

“It was previously thought that bacteria only caused problems such as higher inflammation and higher blood glucose. But this is only half of the story. We discovered that a specific component of bacteria actually lowers blood glucose and allows insulin to work better during obesity.

“Understanding how different parts of bacteria control glucose could lead to new therapies that avoid some of the problems with pro-biotics or pre-biotics. We have found a “post-biotic” that lowers blood glucose during obesity.”

This work is important as more than half of Canadians are overweight or obese, which leads to higher levels of blood insulin and glucose. These features of prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes.

“But we haven’t understood what triggers elevated blood glucose,” said Schertzer. “This is significant because only some individuals with obesity develop prediabetes. Blood glucose is influenced by our genes, the food we eat, and the bacteria in our gut.”

His research team is working to develop new bacterial-based drugs to lower blood glucose and combat prediabetes before type 2 diabetes develops. At this time, they have had success in trials with mice with a drug currently used for osteosarcoma, a bone cancer.

In The End

Because the health of our gut is closely tied to many other bodily functions, prebiotics and probiotics together are important for battling inflammation and lowering overall disease risk.

Remember, that when it comes to supporting your microbiome and maintaining a healthy gut, keep your eye on the big picture. Eat a nutrient-dense high plant-food diet, limit or avoid processed foods, reduce grains, meat, fowl and dairy and consider other lifestyle changes that you can afford to make in order to better your health such as walking everyday and hydrating.


Gerald J. Joseph HealthCoach 

Journal Reference:

  1. Joseph F. Cavallari, Morgan D. Fullerton, Brittany M. Duggan, Kevin P. Foley, Emmanuel Denou, Brennan K. Smith, Eric M. Desjardins, Brandyn D. Henriksbo, Kalvin J. Kim, Brian R. Tuinema, Jennifer C. Stearns, David Prescott, Philip Rosenstiel, Brian K. Coombes, Gregory R. Steinberg, Jonathan D. Schertzer. Muramyl Dipeptide-Based Postbiotics Mitigate Obesity-Induced Insulin Resistance via IRF4Cell Metabolism, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.03.021


Gerald J. Joseph, B.S., M.Ed HealthCoach 

Plant-Based Diets, Do They Work?

There is compelling data from nutritional studies, population surveys, and interventional studies which support the effectiveness of a plant-based diet and aggressive lipid-lowering abilities to arrest, prevent, and selectively reverse heart disease.

In many of the most advanced countries in the world, who citizens have easy access to plentiful high fat animal based foods; ironically, it is this rich diet that produces atherosclerosis and can lead to a fatal heart disease, type II diabetes and obesity.

In the world’s poorer nations, many people subsist on a high plant-based diet and walk many miles daily, which is far healthier, then consuming a Western American diet especially in terms of heart disease. Dr. Esselstyn, MD findings are that plant-based diets, free of all animal products and vegetable fats can and do reverse cardiovascular disease including re-opening up narrowing arteries.

To stave off death by a few extra years, a vegetarian diet appears to be superior to a non-vegetarian one, according to results of a study of more than 73,000 people published today (June 3) in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The study, the largest of its kind, compared the longevity of meat eaters to that of four types of vegetarians: Vegans, who eat no animal products; lacto-ovo–vegetarians, who consume dairy products and eggs; pesco-vegetarians, who eat fish but rarely meat; and semi-vegetarians, who eat meat no more than once weekly.

The winners, in terms of cheating death the longest, were the Pesco-Vegetarians, followed by Vegans, and then the lacto-ovo-vegetarians. The vegetarian groups, on average, had a 12 percent lower risk of dying over the study period compared to meat eaters.

The study participants were all members of the Seventh-Day Adventist church.The researchers, led by Dr. Michael J. Orlich of Loma Linda University in California (a Seventh-Day Adventist institution), analyzed the diets of 73,308 Seventh-Day Adventists. Among the participants, 2,570 died within about six years of the initial data collection.

Those most likely to have died were the meat eaters. The Pesco-Vegetarians were 19 percent less likely to die over the study period than the meat eaters, and vegans were 15 percent less likely. Men benefited more than women from the vegetarian diet.

The strengths of the study were that it demonstrated that Vegan and other vegetarian diets are safe and that a range of vegetarian diets — from strict to somewhat lax — appears to be healthier than a diet dominated by processed foods and meats, according to Dr. Robert Baron of the University of California, San Francisco, who wrote an editorial accompanying the new findings in the journal.


(1) Resolving the Coronary Artery Disease Epidemic through Plant-Based Nutrition, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, Preventive Cardiology 2001; 4: 171-177


Gerald J. Joseph, B.S., M.Ed. HealthCoach 

The Blue Zones

Blue Zones are regions of the world where people live much longer than average. The term first appeared in the November 2005 National Geographic magazine cover story “The Secrets of a Long Life” by Dan Buettner.

The Island Where People Forget To Die, Ikaria Greece

Health researchers have long praised the Mediterranean diet for promoting mind, body health and preventing chronic diseases syndromes. The people on Ikaria, a small island in the Aegean Sea, are an example for the rest of the world to follow.

Ikaria Greece

The tradition of preparing foods in Ikaria Greece has a lot to do with the island’s longevity, and what sets it apart from other places in the region, it emphasizes potatoes, goat’s milk, honey, legumes such as garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, wild greens, some fruit and relatively small amounts of fish.

The Ikaria population has other foods like feta cheese, lemons and herbs like sage and marjoram that Ikarians use in their daily tea. What’s missing that we usually associate with Greece? Lamb.

The Ikarians do eat some goat meat, but not often, they consume large amounts of plant-based food which includes fiber, they are active and have a great social network of family.

The key to understanding the health benefits of the Ikaria diet is that the populations walks daily, they consume food from a mineral rich landscape and from animals that feed on the mineral rich grasses and they have a reason to live.

Okinawa Japan

The islands of Okinawa are unique in its isolation, beaches and great weather. Okinawa also happens to have one of the highest centenarian ratios in the world:

About 6.5 in 10,000 people live to 100 (compare that with 1.73 in 10,000 in the U.S.) Centenarians on Okinawa have lived through a lot of upheaval, so their dietary stories are more complicated than some of the other Blue Zones.

Many healthful Okinawan food traditions foundered mid-century as Western influence brought about changes in food habits especially after 1949 with the large influences of the Western American diet was introduced as service men from America began to live on the island.

Okinawans began eating fewer healthful staples like seaweed, turmeric and sweet potato and more rice, milk and meat. Still, Okinawans have nurtured the practice of eating something from the land and the sea every day which is a great strategy and lifestyle.

Among their favorite foods are bitter melons, tofu, garlic, brown rice, green tea and shitake mushrooms.

Sardinia, Italy

Located on a beautiful island in the middle of the Mediterrean, the ratio of centenarian men to women is one to one. That’s quite unusual, because in the rest of the world, it’s five women to every one man who live that long.

The sharp pecorino cheese made from the milk of grass-fed sheep in Sardinia, has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The Sardinians explain their exceptional longevity with their assets such as “clean air,” “locally produced wine,” or because they “make love every Sunday.”

But when you dig deeper, they found that pastoralism, or shepherding livestock from the mountains to the plains, was most highly correlated with reaching 100. So what are those ancient Sardinian shepherds eating? You guessed it: goat’s milk and sheep’s cheese — some 15 pounds of cheese per year, on average.

Also, a moderate amount of carbs to go with it, like flat bread, sourdough bread and barley. And to balance those two food groups out, Sardinian centenarians also eat plenty of fennel, fava beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, almonds, milk thistle tea and wine from Grenache grapes. Fish also makes up a part of the island diet.

Loma Linda, California

There’s a Blue Zone community in the U.S. and its located in Loma Linda California. Its members are Seventh-day Adventists who do not smoke, drink and dance and avoid TV, movies and other media distractions.

The Blue Zones research shows that adherents of the Adventist diet, which is mostly plant-based, have lowest rates of heart disease and diabetes in the U.S. and very low rates of obesity. They also follow a “biblical” diet focused on grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables, and drink only water. Some Seventh-day Adventists do eat small amounts of meat and fish.

Sugar is taboo, the community members are very much against sugar except natural sources like fruit, dates or figs.

Gary Fraser, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at Loma Linda University and an Adventist himself, has found in studies that Adventists who follow the religion’s teachings lived about 10 years longer than people who didn’t.

Another key insight? Pesco-vegetarians in the community, who ate a plant-based diet with up to one serving of fish a day, lived longer than vegan Adventists. Their top foods include avocados, salmon, nuts, beans, oatmeal, whole wheat bread and soy milk.

Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

The centenarian who live on the Costa rican Peninsula of Nicoya, eat lots of of rice and beans, garnished with cheese and cilantro, on corn tortillas, with an egg on top.

“The big secret of the Nicoyan diet was the ‘three sisters’ of Meso-American agriculture: beans, corn and squash.” Those three staples, plus papayas, yams, bananas and peach palms (a small Central American oval fruit high in vitamins A and C), are what fuel the region’s elders over the century.

The Gerald J. Joseph Nutrition Program

The Gerald J. Joseph Nutrition Program is a shift in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease syndromes, such as heart disease, type II diabetes and obesity.

My nutrition protocols are designed to reverse malnutrition which can be defined as the insufficient, excessive or imbalanced consumption of nutrients which can manifest in chronic disease disorders depending on which nutrients are lacking or consumed in excess.

My thesis centers on returning to a more primitive hunter-gather diet and a persistence exercise strategy which will achieve measurable improvements in health in a relatively short period of time.

By examining the very best parts of the evidence-based science around both the Plant-Based and Blue Zone diets, I have fused them into one nutrition program that is delicious, satiating, affordable, easy to prepare, fun to consume and produces substantial reduction in cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and obesity.

My objective is always to provide a scientific rational and guidelines to steer people away from the Western America diet which has been facilitated by what is call an “evolutionary clash and or a discordance. ”

Simple put, our ancient genome has not had the time to adapt with the nutritional qualities of recently introduced foods (grains, sugar, trans-fat, altered animal proteins) that may underlie many of the chronic diseases facing our global civilization where the Western American diet has been introduced.

By returning to a simpler ancestral hunter-gatherer diet, one high in plant based foods such as, vegetables, root vegetables, whole fruits, bulbs, legumes, raw nuts, seeds and moderate amounts of marine and animal proteins, very low in grains and dairy, and a few measured steps everyday, we can prevent and reverse most if not all manmade chronic disease syndromes.


[1] Estruch R, et al. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2013.

[2] Salas-Salvado J, et al. Effect of a Mediterranean Diet Supplemented With Nuts on Metabolic Syndrome Status. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2008.

[3] Montserrat F, et al. Effect of a Traditional Mediterranean Diet on Lipoprotein Oxidation. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2007.

[4] Salas-Salvado J, et al. Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes With the Mediterranean Diet: Results of the PREDIMED-Reus nutrition intervention randomized trial.Diabetes Care, 2011.

[5] Estruch R, et al. Effects of a Mediterranean-Style Diet on Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Annals of Internal medicine, 2006.

[6] Ferre GM, et al. Frequency of nut consumption and mortality risk in the PREDIMED nutrition intervention trial. BMC Medicine, 2013.

[7] De Lorgeril M, et al. Mediterranean Diet, Traditional Risk Factors, and the Rate of Cardiovascular Complications After Myocardial Infarction: Final Report of the Lyon Diet Heart Study. Circulation, 1999.

[8] Esposito K, et al. Effect of a Mediterranean-Style Diet on Endothelial Dysfunction and Markers of Vascular Inflammation in the Metabolic Syndrome. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2004.

[9] Shai I, et al. Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2008.

[10] Esposito K, et al. Effects of a Mediterranean-Style Diet on the Need for Antihyperglycemic Drug Therapy in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2009.




Gerald J. Joseph, B.S., M.Ed. HealthCoach 

There is allot of confusion about Cannabis and the health benefits from this remarkable plant species that co-evolved with man and has been used for thousands of years.

The connection between man and his search for drugs in nature dates from the far past, of which there is ample evidence from various sources, written documents, preserved monuments, and even original plant medicines.

Awareness of medicinal plants usage is a result of the many years of struggles against illnesses due to which man learned to pursue drugs in barks of trees, seeds, fruit bodies, and other parts of the plants.

The oldest written evidence of medicinal plants’ usage for preparation of drugs has been found on a Sumerian clay tablet from Nagpur, approximately 5000 years old. It comprised 12 recipes for drug preparation referring to over 250 various plants, some of them alkaloid such as poppy, henbane, and mandrake.

Both hemp and marijuana are part of the same Cannabis species of plants, they can be male, female, or both (hermaphrodite). Hemp is the non-psychoactive variety, (CBD), marijuana has psychoactive properties, (THC). (Marijuana is actually the slang name for Cannabis)

What are the differences between Indica and Sativa?

The two major types of Cannabis plants are Indica, and Sativa. Each strain has its own range of affects on the human body and mind including medicinal benefits.

Both species of plants can produce psychotropic affects and both plants can effect humans differently, one evolved from a cold mountainous climate, Indica, and one, Sativa, from hot equatorial zones.

Modern Hybrid strains combine the effects of Indica’s and Sativa’s strains and are becoming very popular especially as designer Cannabis.

Cannabis is divided into two stains, Indica, and Sativa, with Hemp being a variety of the Sativa strain used mostly for industrial uses.

Hemp is a variety of the Sativa plant species which looks similar to Cannabis Indica and Sativa plants, with the hemp plant growing much taller and higher in CBD content than THC.

The hemp plant is raised for the production of hemp fibre, oil, seeds, and non-psychotropic (CBD) compounds, while its sister, (Cannabis Indica/Sativa) know as Marijuana, is a short branch variety prized as the more abundant source of the psychoactive substance called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient of marijuana that has psychotropic affects.

Both Cannabis Hemp and Marijuana plants contain cannabinoids that have beneficial affects on human physiology and health.

Each strain of Cannabis has its own aroma and effect on human physiology. This unique signature is not only the result of cannabinoids, which are organic compounds found in Cannabis plants which include CBD hemp, and THC Marijuana, but also due to lesser known molecules called flavonoids, terpenes, and chlorophyll.

Some strains of Cannabis can offer a wide variety of effects on the body and mind like stimulating energy, reducing inflammation, sedation, euphoria, increase hunger, a natural painkiller, and or some provide a bit of all of the above.

But it’s not only the cannabinoids that are responsible for these different effects – lesser known molecules known as flavonoids and terpenoids play a huge role in the overall aroma and effect of a strain.

Many companies are now producing isolated CBD products which do not use the whole-plant and I personally do not believe provide the same health befits vs. using the whole organic plant with terpenes, and flavonoids.

The Cannabis plant is a very complex plant which produces well over 220 compounds that we have found to date. About 85 of those are cannabinoids, and another 120 are so called terpenes and some 20 are flavonoids.


1) Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that are being researched to verify the claims that they can provide relief to an array of symptoms including pain, nausea, anxiety, and inflammation.

Cannabinoids mimic compounds our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, (lipid-based neurotransmitters) design to stabilize health through a complex communication system mediated between cells called the Endocannabinoid System.

Cannabinoids bind to receptor sites throughout our brain (receptors called CB-1) and body (CB-2). Different cannabinoids have different effects depending on which receptors they bind to. For example, THC binds to receptors in the brain whereas CBD (cannabinol) has a strong affinity for CB-2 receptors located throughout the body. Depending on a Cannabis product’s cannabinoid profile, different types of relief and effects are achievable.

The most important point to understand is that man co-evolved with the Cannabis plant which accounts for all the receptors found through-out our bodies that the plant compounds stimulate.


2) Terpenes are a large and diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants, some insects such as termites or swallow tail butterflies, which produce and emit terpenes.

Terpenes have a strong odor and may protect the plants that produce them by deterring herbivores and by repelling predators and parasites of herbivores.

Through-out history man has used traditional terpene-containing plant oil to treat various diseases without knowing the exact functions or the mechanisms of action of the individual bioactive compounds.

Today people and using both CBD Hemp and TCH Marijuana without really knowing how these compounds work, how much and how often to consume, and how to make lifestyle changes that will help improve health in combination with these bio-active medicinal compounds.

Simple stated, man co-evolved with foods like the plant, many plant species have been cultivated for thousands and thousands of years which if you think about it, here we are in 2018 talking about the Cannabis plant, this remarkable plant that can’t move but has somehow been able to be cultivated all around the world – it must be very valuable to mankind to keep using it for thousands of years.


3) Flavonoids are found in fruits and vegetables and are the main dietary sources for humans, along with tea and wine.

Many flavonoids are shown to have antioxidant activities, free-radical scavenging capacity, coronary heart disease prevention, and anticancer activity, and some flavonoids exhibit potential for anti-human immunodeficiency virus functions.

Flavonoids compounds found in plants have antioxidant powers that may provide important health benefits and when consumed and can reduced risk of a variety of diseases.

Flavonoids, and antioxidants may protect the body’s cells from environmental contaminants and according to the Cleveland Clinic, may decrease LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, decreasing the risk for heart disease.

In 1930 a new substance was isolated from oranges believed to be a member of a new class of vitamins and was designated as vitamin P. With further research it became clear that this substance was a BioFlavonoid (Rutin) and today, more than 4000 varieties of Flavonoids have been identified.


4) Chlorophyll is my favorite biological compound and is the green pigment found in cyanobacteria and the chloroplasts of algae and plants. Chlorophyll is an extremely important biomolecule critical in photosynthesis, which allows plants to absorb energy from light and extremely healthy for the human body to consume.

When you combine cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and chlorophyll into one plant, you have a super-plant which is extremely healthy to consume for the human body and mind.

In my blog, “The Evolution of the Endocannabinoid System,” scientists discovered that our bodies’ created our own “cannabis-like molecules” — within our endocannabinoid system.

One of the reasons that the cannabis plant is so healthy for you is that many health related problems start with low-levels of inflammation through-out the body and responsible for many disease processes, ranging from osteoarthritis and cardiovascular disease, to digestive and neurodegenerative disorders.

Both CBD Hemp and THC Marijuana effect in a positive way inflammation which many scientists believe is at the root cause of many of the common signs of aging, from diminished brain and heart function to painful joints, and low energy levels.

A more scientific explanation; Cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory agents that exert their effects through induction of apoptosis, inhibition of cell proliferation, suppression of cytokine production, induction of T-regulatory cells and It is becoming increasingly clear that cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands play a crucial role in the regulation of the immune system.

The Apple, and the Cannabis plant have many things in common. If you read my last blog post, Can An Apple A Day Can Keep The Doctor Away ?”  I reference how healthy it is to consume plant-based foods, and how the phytochemical make up of most plants are uniquely beneficial to human consumption. I also discuss how the lack of consuming plant-based whole foods like, fruits, vegetables, root vegetables, bulbs, legumes, nuts, and seeds, in association with the lack of activity, can increase a host of chronic disease syndromes like, heart disease, type II diabetes, and obesity. (Fungi, mushrooms are neither plant or animal)


Today man is developing new Hybrid Cannabis plants designed to affect the mind and body in positive ways. Think about Hybrids like difference breeds of dogs, wines or beer hops.

Hybrids are a mix of the two main classes of Cannabis, Indica and Sativa. And unlike alcohol were the affects are consistent, Cannabis has a wide range of effects on the human body and mind. For example Indica strains will relax you, reduce stress, and a Sativa strain can uplift you, and energize your thoughts. Almost all Cannabis strains today are Hybrids with unlimited potential healing properties.

The Future

The future of the Cannabis industry could be designer Cannabis; blends using molecular science to produce specific medicinal and psychoactive effects. But I am afraid that these new companies and scientists are missing one single point, how can a science compete with billions of years of evolution from using the whole plant?

We will never genetically of synthetically improve upon nature, try as we may, just like the Apple’s perfection, who would want to eat a synthetic Apple? So too with the Cannabis plant, consuming the whole-plant grown organically with all the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and packed with chlorophyll in tact is your best choice to maximize the bioactivity of both CBD and THC.

An Apple day and and some CBD-THC may just keep the doctor away? 


(1) Cannabinoids As Novel Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Prakash Nagarkatti, Rupal Pandey, Sadiye Amcaoglu Rieder, Venkatesh L Hegde, and Mitzi Nagarkatti, NCBI,

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(11) Sugiura T, Kondo S, Sukagawa A, et al. 2-arachidonoylglycerol: a possible endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligand in brain. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995;215:89–97. [PubMed]

(12) Terpenes from Forests and Human Health, NCBI,

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(14) Chemistry and Biological Activities of Flavonoids: An Overview, Shashank Kumar, Abhay K. Pandey, Department of Biochemistry, University of Allahabad, Allahabad 211002, India,


Gerald J. Joseph B.S., M.Ed. HealthCoach 

Turns out it might not be the fat and cholesterol in red meat that most harm your heart. It could be how bacteria in your gut interact with the food.

Researchers are still trying figure out how something in the gut can affect your heart?

It turns out that microbes in the gut produce molecules that end up in the bloodstream that can affect heart heath.

Such busy microbes may account for much of the individual variation in heart health.

Large-scale genetic studies suggest hereditary factors can account for only about 15 percent of cardiovascular risk, meaning environmental causes account for the rest, said cardiologist Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.


For more than 15 million years, human beings have co-evolved with thousands of microbial species that take up residence in the lowermost part of the intestine, earning their keep by helping us digest food components that we are unable to break down by ourselves, chiefly dietary fiber; manufacturing vitamins and other health-enhancing molecules; training our immune system and fostering the maturation of cells in our gut; and guarding our intestinal turf against the intrusion of all-too-eager competing microbial species including pathogens.

The advent of agriculture about 12,500 to 15,000 years ago has radically altered the human diet. In the past century alone, the typical person’s lifestyle has undergone further vast alterations including labor-saving devices,’ encouragement of a sedentary existence, the introduction of antibiotics and of birth by cesarean section, and the gradual supplanting of fiber-filled whole fruits, raw nuts, root vegetables, legumes and vegetables by increasingly processed and fiber-free foods.

Rebalancing and maintaining bacterial ratios in the gastrointestinal tract is the first step necessary towards improving health.


The human body is home to 100 trillion microbial cells, more than ten times the amount of human cells, and most of these microbes reside in the gastrointestinal tract. In a normally functioning gut, food is broken down by acidic and enzymatic secretions by both the human and gut microbiota and further metabolized into substances that affect a person’s physical and mental health, which affects their ability to work productively.

These wonderful microbes also create an array of vitamins, neurotransmitters, and short chain fatty acids for fueling intestinal cells and improving mineral absorption in the GI tract, which helps to improve heart health.

Simple put, our ancient genome has not had the time to adapt with the nutritional qualities of recently introduced foods (grains, sugar, trans-fat, alter animal proteins) that may underlie many of the chronic diseases facing our global civilization where the Western American diet has been introduced.

By returning to a simpler ancestral hunter-gatherer diet, one high in plant based food fats, root vegetables, whole fruits, raw nuts, seeds and moderate amounts of marine and animal proteins, low in grains, dairy, and a few measured steps everyday, we can prevent and reverse most if not all manmade chronic disease syndromes such as health disease, type II diabetes and obesity.

The key to great heart health starts and stops with the health of the microbiome, the gut.

So stay tuned for more about gut health and how to improve your microbiota (a community of microorganisms) by consuming more plant-based foods high in pre-biotics and fiber.

Achieving and maintaining a balanced GI microbiota is the first step in producing great heart health.


(1) Gut Bacteria Hold Clues To Heart Health, AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS,

(2) How Gut Bacteria May Help Curb Your Heart Disease, Cleveland Clinic,

(3) Torgan, C. (2013). Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Involves Gut Microbes. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved March 1, 2015, from


(5) Newby, P., Maras, J., Bakun, P., & Muller, D. (2007). Intake of whole grains, refined grains, and cereal fiber measured with 7-d diet records and associations with risk factors for chronic disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

(6) Perlmutter, D., & Loberg, K. (n.d.). Grain brain: The surprising truth about wheat, carbs, and sugar–your brain’s silent killers.

(7) Amano A, Kuboniwa M, Nakagawa I, Akiyama S, Morisaki I, Hamada S. Prevalence of specific genotypes of Porphyromonas gingivalis fimA and periodontal health status. J Dent Res. 2000;79:1664–8. [PubMed]

(8) Marteau, P. (2009). Bacterial flora in inflammatory bowel disease. Digestive Diseases, 27:99–103.

(9) Tamboli, C. P., Neut, C., Desreumaux, P., & Colombel, J. F. (2004). Dysbiosis in inflammatory bowel disease. Gut, 53(1):1–4.

(10) Torgan, C. (2013). Red meat-heart disease link involves gut microbes. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved March 1, 2015, from


Can An Apple A Day Keep The Doctor Away?

The use of natural agents as medicinal treatments has a long history. The Greek physician Hippocrates (circa 400 BCE) was one of the earliest proponents of nutritional healing. His favorite remedies were apples, dates, and barley mush.

With the prevalence of type 2 diabetes rising worldwide, especially in older adults, people are looking at diet and lifestyle, particularly plant-based diets as an effective tool for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity prevention and management.

Plant-based diets are eating patterns that emphasize non-GMO whole food legumes, minimum whole grains, vegetables, root vegetables, bulbs, fruits, nuts, and seeds and discourage most if not or all animal/fowl/diary products.

The modern pharmaceutical industry is based on synthetic chemistry with a historical connection between plants, food and medicines.

The growing costs of discovering new chemical entity-based drugs through high throughput screening methods may yet again reconnect man with plants and human health at a new level of technological sophistication as witnessed by the growing demand for Cannabis based phytocannabinoid products.

Multi-component botanical therapeutics that comprise functional foods, dietary supplements and botanical drugs hold several advantages over conventional drugs that may earn them a more prominent place in the medicine of the future.

Whole plant-based foods products can deliver mixtures of multi-functional molecules with potentiating and synergistic effects at a reasonable cost and with fewer regulatory constraints.

Whole foods like my favorite the Apple, is well suited for long-term disease prevention in an era of genetic testing and increased life expectancy and I do not recall anyone being sued for recommending the Apple.

Apples don’t only keep the doctor away, they can provide a wealth of varying health benefits—from weight loss to heavy metal chelation. They are able to do this, in part, because of the various beneficial compounds within the fruit.

Apples don’t only keep the doctor away, they can provide a wealth of varying health benefits—from weight loss to heavy metal chelation. They are able to do this, in part, because of the various beneficial compounds within the fruit.

There is a general consensus that the elements of a whole-food, plant-based diet—are highly beneficial for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Equally important, plant-based diets address the bigger picture for patients with diabetes by simultaneously treating cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, and its risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, hyper-lipidemia, and inflammation.

The advantages of a plant-based diet which includes my benchmark Apple, also extends to reduction in risk of cancer, the second leading cause of death in the United States; the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends eating mostly foods of plant origin, avoiding all processed meats and sugary drinks, limiting intake of red meats, dairy, grains, energy dense foods, salt, and alcohol for cancer prevention.

I have long recommended the consumption of a hight plant-based diet and now the health benefits of such a diet are exploding in popularity, and many advantages have been well documented over the past several decades and published in The National Center for Biotechnology Information.

What is wonderful to see today is there a broad expansion of the research database supporting the myriad benefits of plant-based diets, but also, healthcare practitioners are seeing awe-inspiring results with their patients across multiple unique subspecialties.

My conclusion is that there are infinite advantages to the vast array of nutrients found in plant-based foods like my Apple such as phytochemicals and fibers which are the two categories of nutrients that are possibly the most health promoting and disease fighting.

Plants like my Apple are the only source of these nutrients; they are completely absent in animals. Plants contain thousands of phytochemicals, such as carotenoids, glucosinolates, and flavonoids, which perform a multitude of beneficial functions, including:

-anti-oxidation, neutralizing free radicals, anti-inflammation, cancer activity reduction via several mechanisms, including inhibiting tumor growth, detoxifying carcinogens, retarding cell growth, and preventing cancer formation, immunity enhancement, protection against certain diseases, such as osteoporosis, CVD, macular degeneration, and cataracts, and optimization of serum cholesterol just to name a few things plants like the Apple can do to help improve health outcomes.

So can an Apple a day keep the doctor away, it sure looks like a great possibility.

Gerald J. Joseph, B.S., M.Ed.  


Gerald J. Joseph International, LLC


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(9) Plant-Based Diets: A Physician’s Guide,

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The Evolution of the Endocannabinoid System

What is the endocannabinoid system and what does it do?

One of the first things I would like my readers to know about the endocannabinoid system is that this system is present before birth through-out the whole body and tissues and that our bodies are making cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids all the time.

The discovery of our bodies’ own “cannabis-like molecules” and associated receptors and metabolic machinery—collectively called the endocannabinoid system—enabled investigations into the physiological relevance for the system and provided the field with evidence of a critical function for this endogenous signaling pathway in health and disease.

Many health related problems start with low-level inflammation through-out the body and responsible for many disease processes, ranging from osteoarthritis and cardiovascular disease, to digestive disorders and neurodegeneration.

The bioactive molecules, known as cannabinoids, found in plants of the Cannabis species, have been shown to possess powerful anti-inflammatory attributes, and research into their mechanisms of action, efficacy, and tolerability are well underway.


Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most prominent cannabinoids found in Cannabis, the plant genus that includes both hemp and marijuana.

While there are over 110 different cannabinoids so far identified in cannabis by scientists, CBD and THC are by far the most extensively studied and best understood.

I am not suggesting that CBD or THC should replace modern medicines and or that they are a cure for any disease, what I want to convey is that through-out the history of mankind, man has used medicinal plants as medicine and to this day, mankind still does in an effort to improve health outcomes.

CBD and THC are both found throughout the seeds, stalks, and flowers of both hemp and marijuana. The two exist in cannabis plants in a wide range of proportions. However, while THC is most plentiful in cannabis marijuana, cannabis CBD is present in higher quantities in hemp.

Hemp’s chemical makeup, on the other hand, is dominated by CBD. By definition, hemp’s THC content is no more than 0.3 percent, nearly 10 times less than the least potent strain of marijuana. Instead, hemp naturally has more CBD vs. THC, making it an ideal source of CBD from cannabis.


In part II, I will cover the The “History” of medicinal plants and the connection between man and his search for drugs in nature which dates from the far past of which there is ample evidence from various sources, written documents, preserved monuments, and even original plant medicines that this amazing plant has been used to improve health outcomes since Paleolithic humankind.

Gerald J. Joseph, B.S., M.Ed. 


0. Endocannabinoids in the Gut, Nicholas V. DiPatrizio, NCBI,

1. NCBI, Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs, Prakash Nagarkatti, Rupal Pandey, Sadiye Amcaoglu Rieder, Venkatesh L Hegde, and Mitzi Nagarkatti,

2. Pacher, P.; Bátkai, S; Kunos, G (2006). “The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy”. Pharmacological Reviews. 58 (3): 389–462. doi:10.1124/pr.58.3.2. PMC 2241751 . PMID 1696894.

3. Anandamide (AEA): The Bliss Molecule Is The Human Version Of THC,

4. Lambert, Didier M.; Fowler, Christopher J. (2005). “The Endocannabinoid System: Drug Targets, Lead Compounds, and Potential Therapeutic Applications”. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 48 (16): 5059–87. doi:10.1021/jm058183t. PMID 16078824.

5. Pertwee, Roger, ed. (2005). Cannabinoids. Springer-Verlag. p. 2. ISBN 3-540-22565-X.

6. Bulletin on Narcotics – 1962 Issue 3 – 004″. UNODC (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime). 1962-01-01. Retrieved 2014-01-15.

7. Aizpurua-Olaizola, Oier; Soydaner, Umut; Öztürk, Ekin; Schibano, Daniele; Simsir, Yilmaz; Navarro, Patricia; Etxebarria, Nestor; Usobiaga, Aresatz (2016-02-02). “Evolution of the Cannabinoid and Terpene Content during the Growth ofCannabis sativaPlants from Different Chemotypes”. Journal of Natural Products. 79 (2): 324–331. doi:10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00949. PMID 26836472.

8. The Phylogenetic Distribution and Evolutionary Origins of Endocannabinoid Signalling, M. R. ElphickM. Egertová,

9. Xiao L. Tan, Ju L. Chen, Giovanni Benelli, Nicolas Desneux, Xue Q. Yang, Tong X. Liu and Feng Ge, Pre-infestation of Tomato Plants by Aphids Modulates Transmission-Acquisition Relationship among Whiteflies, Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV) and Plants, Frontiers in Plant Science, 8Crossref

10. The Building Blocks of Life May Have Come From Outer Space, Ker Than, SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE,