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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(8) Stefano GB, Liu Y, Goligorsky MS. Cannabinoid receptors are coupled to nitric oxide release in invertebrate immunocytes, microglia, and human monocytes. J Biol Chem. 1996;271:19238–19242.[PubMed]

(9) Devane WA, Hanus L, Breuer A, et al. Isolation and structure of a brain constituent that binds to the cannabinoid receptor. Science. 1992;258:1946–1949. [PubMed]

(10) Mechoulam R, Ben-Shabat S, Hanus L, et al. Identification of an endogenous 2-monoglyceride, present in canine gut, that binds to cannabinoid receptors. Biochem Pharmacol. 1995;50:83–90. [PubMed]

(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,

(13) E. J. Middleton, “Effect of plant flavonoids on immune and inflammatory cell function,” Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol. 439, pp. 175–182, 1998.

(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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(6) Caspersen CJ, Thomas GD, Boseman LA, et al. Aging, diabetes, and the public health system in the United States. Am J Public Health. 2012;102:1482–1497. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

(7) Herman WH. The economic costs of diabetes: is it time for a new treatment paradigm? Diabetes Care. 2013;36:775–776. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

(8) Centers for disease control and prevention. Leading causes of death in the United States. [accessed November 29, 2016].

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

(10) Bellik Y, Boukraâ L, Alzahrani HA, et al. Molecular mechanism underlying anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activities of phytochemicals: an update. Molecules. 2012 Dec 27;18(1):322–53. DOI: [PubMed]

(11) Phytochemicals: the cancer fighters in the foods we eat [Internet] Washington, DC: American Institute for Cancer Research; 2013. Apr 10, [cited 2015 Apr 17]. Available from:

(12) Schmitz H, Chevaux K. Defining the role of dietary phytochemicals in modulating human immune function. In: Gershwin ME, German JB, Keen CL, editors. Nutrition and immunology: principles and practice. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press Inc; 2000. pp. 107–19.

(13) Taku K, Melby MK, Nishi N, Omori T, Kurzer MS. Soy isoflavones for osteoporosis: an evidence-based approach. Maturitas. 2011 Dec;70(4):333–8. DOI: [PubMed]

(14) Wei P, Liu M, Chen Y, Chen DC. Systematic review of soy isoflavone supplements on osteoporosis in women. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2012 Mar;5(3):243–8. DOI: [PubMed]

(15) Basu HN, Del Vecchio AJ, Filder F, Orthoeter FT. Nutritional and potential disease prevention properties of carotenoids. J Am Oil Chem Soc. 2001 Jul;78(7):665–75. DOI:


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,


Weight Loss Success Linked to Telehealth Coaching, mHealth Devices.

A new study finds that a TeleHealth platform offering one-on-one coaching and an mHealth App connected to wireless devices can lead to “significant” reductions in weight and body mass and an increase in activity for those struggling with obesity.

As reported in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, a 12-week weight loss program that included weekly video visits with a healthcoach and an mHealth App linked to a Bluetooth-enabled wireless scale, blood pressure monitor and accelerometer resulted in clinically significant weight-loss for almost 70 percent of the participants.

By contrast, a control group with access to the same wireless devices but not weekly telehealth coaching sessions saw only 8 percent of participants losing a significant amount of weight, and there was a “significant difference” in both body weight-loss and percent body weigh-loss between the two groups.

Gerald J. Joseph International, LLC

Imagine you could go about your day and all the while a device you wear on your wrist or the phone you are holding, is sending data to your personal HealthCoach to help you make better dietary and physical activity decisions, decisions that can help you to be the best, healthiest version of yourself.

The Gerald J. Joseph HealthCoach Program does exactly that.

The Gerald J. Joseph HealthCoach Program uses an all-in-one HealthCoach App that stores a user’s data, and sends biometric information from a wearable device for real-time assessment and allows a HealthCoach to monitor a client’s progress and give real-time feedback. Using this app, a HealthCoach can improve clients’ health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs for client and provider alike.

HealthCoach App

The App is rich in communications abilities. It allows a client to upload health-related files (HIPPA compliant), and also provides links for educational video content and secure messaging.

The App can be programmed to track basic information like steps per day, weight (loss or gain), blood sugar, sleep, and hydration as well as a host of other cohorts. On the simplest level, tracking only steps and weight, the App can be used by Health Coaches to help clients with weight loss, Type II Diabetes, program compliance, and basic fitness levels.

The App helps individual Health Coaches communicate with their clients, and it is scalable. A single HealthCoach can oversee the progress of 100-150 clients, and we anticipate scaling the program to accommodate any number of clients. The software also allows for a supervisor to monitor the progress of the Health Coaches, and to help guide them to best assist their clients.


Telehealth is one of the fastest growing segments of the healthcare industry – the American Medical Association reports that 70 percent of all healthcare visits could have been done virtually.

Gerald J. Joseph International, LLC has developed a cloud-based HealthCoach program aimed at reducing employers’ overall medical spending, reducing accidents, improving productivity, and improving return-to-work outcomes by engaging employees with a digital HealthCoach App based wellness program to improve health outcomes.

The Gerald J. Joseph HealthCoach Program shifts the focus onto the success of the employee active participation in improving nutrition, mobility and perception of their improved health.

The Gerald J. Joseph HealthCoach Program uses a validated “Motivational Interviewing” (MI) tool to assess the fidelity of wellness, disease management or care management services for evidence-based health coaching best practices.


As your “HealthCoach“, I communicate with you via text, email and phone 24/7 to help you achieve the benefits of a well-designed diet and exercise program. I answer questions, I interface with your medical doctor, I provide wellness insights, I empower you, help you evaluate lab results, and help you steer toward the outcome you have stated when you began working with me.

Most of my adult life has been spent in the pursuit of knowledge to help people live better, more fulfilling disease free lives, through proper evidence-based nutrition and exercise.

Gerald J. Joseph, B.S., M.Ed. 


Does processing vegetables & salad greens hold their nutrients and does processing of produce affect its nutrient content?

Farm to Fork?

After fruits and vegetables have been harvested, they continue to live, ‘breathe, and respire’ and have a limited shelf life.

This process consumes oxygen and produces carbon dioxide and water vapour.

The key to keeping products fresh for as long as possible is to reduce the respiration rate without harming the quality of the product – its taste, texture and appearance.

In general, the rate of respiration can be reduced by keeping the temperature low, having lower levels of oxygen in the packaging atmosphere and increased levels of carbon dioxide.

Nutrients in fruits and vegetables start to break down after harvest very rapidly. This loss of nutrients can be minimized by proper storage or processing. Fresh fruits and vegetables are picked, packed, and distributed to stores very quickly so that you get the freshest items available.

Storing fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator will prolong their shelf life and slow down the spoilage process, the tomato is my exception to maximize taste.

The three natural destroyers of vitamins in fruits and vegetables are heat, light, and oxygen. However, cooking and storing methods can help retain or destroy nutrients.

Here’s how:

Limit storage time. Fresh is always best when it comes to taste and nutrition.

Store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator to slow spoilage. However, tomatoes are my exception. Their flavor is destroyed in the refrigerator. Hold them at room temperature. If you want to store produce items for a longer time, consider freezing them.

Raw is my first choice, cook minimally is an option like using steam to briefly cook vegetables until just crisp-tender. For example, asparagus and broccoli should retain their glorious bright green color when streamed.

Water-soluble nutrients are destroyed with prolonged cooking time. If you do cook vegetables in water, those nutrients will leach into the cooking liquid, so try to use the cooking liquids in soups.

Avoid slicing vegetables too far in advance. When we slice into a vegetable or fruit, we expose the cut surfaces to heat, light, and oxygen — they are nutrient destroyers. Better to wait to slice foods until we are ready to cook and eat them.

According to Mario G. Ferruzzi, a professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University, there are many variables including processing that will affect the nutrient content of food, but it may really depend on the nature of the product, the type and extent of processing and the actual nutrient we are talking about.

I am asked this question all the time, whats the difference between just picked farm fresh vegetables and bagged greens (pre-washed), frozen greens and canned vegetables?

First lets begin with the fact that Americans typically eat only one-third of the recommended daily intake (three servings instead of nine) of fruits and vegetables, and one of the root causes of chronic disease syndrome (lack of plant-based minerals) along with inactivity.

When looking at just farm fresh, bagged, frozen and canned vegetables, canned vegetables tend to lose a lot of nutrients during the preservation process (notable exceptions include tomatoes and pumpkin), frozen vegetables may be even more healthful than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets, says Gene Lester, Ph.D., a plant physiologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Weslaco, Texas.

Why? Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when—as a general rule—they are most nutrient-packed.

But what about bagged greens?

Washing and Chopping

Bagged greens are often pre-washed but washing intended to clean produce, can also damage plant tissues and expose them to oxygen dissolved in the washing water. This can cause a loss of vitamins that are water-soluble and sensitive to oxygen, such as vitamin C and the B vitamin folate.

All greens are washed to a certain extent, whether we’re talking about a fresh bunch of spinach right off the farm or the bagged version, but a triple-washed bagged spinach can create surface damage, provide opportunities for leeching or even facilitate oxidation reactions, all of which impact quality.

The first step of freezing vegetables is to blanch them in hot water or steam to kill bacteria and arrest the action of food-degrading enzymes—causes some water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C and the B vitamins to break down or leach out, the subsequent flash-freeze locks the vegetables in a relatively nutrient-rich state.

In general, minerals such as iron and calcium are largely stable in the plant. Losses may occur when heat is applied (as in the process of canning), but not as much through typical washing. Vitamins tend to be more sensitive to light, heat and oxygen. Beta-carotene, for example, is not very stable in the presence of oxygen or light,

On the other hand, fruits and vegetables destined to be shipped to the fresh-produce aisles around the country typically are picked before they are ripe, which gives them less time to develop a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals.

Outward signs of ripening may still occur, but these vegetables will never have the same nutritive value as if they had been allowed to fully ripen on the vine.

In addition, during the long haul from farm to fork, fresh fruits and vegetables are exposed to lots of heat and light, which degrade some nutrients, especially delicate vitamins like C and the B vitamin thiamin.

Bagging greens often involves a process known as modified atmosphere packaging. The amount of oxygen that typically exists in the atmosphere is reduced in the bag, replaced with an inert gas such as nitrogen.

In essence, less oxygen is available to react with nutrients which according to Professor Ferruzzi helps with the retention of color and the most oxidatively sensitive nutrients, like vitamin C, folate and beta carotene.


When vegetables are in-season, buy them fresh and ripe. “Off-season,” frozen vegetables will give you a high concentration of nutrients and are not as bad as people might say but today, you can get farm fresh vegetable delivered for every corner of the world.

If you think about it, for example, fresh lettuce or fresh spinach that’s picked and harvested … it might be washed and bundled … and it’s exposed to oxygen, light and moisture, and it’s getting sprayed with water to stay cold and fresh, and there’s significant nutrient loss occurring day by day.

With packaged greens, you may lose a little more up front during the initial processing, but depending on how they are packaged, you have the potential to control the rate of quality and nutritional declines when veggies are stored.

The same can be said for frozen veggies, which are initially blanched to inactivate enzymes that would otherwise break down nutrients and then frozen to stop bacterial spoilage, versus the natural degradation and rotting that occurs in fresh produce.

When you compare fresh string beans in a store vs. frozen, frozen will be almost always be higher in nutrient content, because they were picked and processed at the highest point of quality and then frozen to preserve them, according to Professor Ferruzzi. .

I recommend you choose farm fresh seasonal vegetables native to your state, county or country first, packages marked with a USDA “U.S. Fancy” shield, which designates produce of the best size, shape and color; vegetables of this standard also tend to be more nutrient-rich than the lower grades “U.S. No. 1” or “U.S. No. 2.”

Eat them soon after purchase when farm fresh: over many months, nutrients in frozen vegetables do inevitably degrade. Finally eat raw first, steam is a great option, not microwaved, rather than boil your produce to minimize the loss of water-soluble vitamins.

Canned vegetables are your last choice because the majority of canned vegetables tend to be higher in sodium since salt is often used as a preservative, but as I stated, Americans typically only eat only one-third of the recommended daily intake (three servings instead of nine) of fruits and vegetables so in the end, its about consuming more plant-based food especially for young children.

Finally, people tend to eat the same foods over and over again and purchase the same brands over and over again.

I recommend to rate the foods you eat, you have unlimited plat-based food to choose from, think about trying new fruits and vegetable that you have never eaten as they all have unique vitamin and mineral profiles that your body needs.

In the end, there is one final question to ask, are ‘organic’ vegetables better then non-organic vegetables? Stay tuned to my blogs and Ill answer that question .

One Day, One Meal, One Step At A Time!



(1) Lisa Drayer, MA, RD,

(2) Dr. Mario Ferruzzi, ProfessorFood Science and NutritionDepartment of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science,

(3) Healthy Lifestyle Nutrition and Healthy Eating, Mayo Clinic,

(4) Vitamin retention in eight fruits and vegetables: a comparison of refrigerated and frozen storage, Bouzari A1, Holstege D, Barrett DM,


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

Fasting Improves Your Brain Function

New research has indicated that fasting can significantly reduce the effects of aging on the brain. It has been known that bouts of intermittent fasting have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the entire body. Leading scientists now believe that intermittent fasting is one of the key strategies for maximizing brain function.

Researchers at the National Institute of Aging in Baltimore have reviewed the literature and performed studies to indicate the positive effects of fasting on overall brain health. Professor Mark Mattson, who the head of the Institute’s laboratory of NeuroSciences, made it clear that these benefits were not just related to calorie restriction but instead to intentional periods of intermittent fasting (1)

Major Phases:

Building and Cleansing:

Eating stimulates the body to go into building phase where we are anabolic in nature and store both nutrients and toxins. This phase is essential for building new cells and tissues and store nutrients for times of scarcity. This building phase of physiology is predominately led by the hormone insulin.

Fasting for more than 6 hours begins the cleansing phase. The cleansing phase is catabolic in nature in that it tears down old damaged cells. This process turns on brain autophagy, or “self-eating,” in where the cells recycle waste material, regulate waste products and repair themselves.

These genetic repair mechanisms are turned on through the release of human growth hormone (HGH). Intermittent fasting is one of the most powerful ways to reduce inflammation, boost immunity and enhancing tissue healing (2, 3, 4).

This is one of the reasons why many people feel nauseated when they have infections. This innate mechanism is the body’s way of influencing us to fast so it can produce the right environment to boost natural immunity.

Fasting Boosts Human Growth Hormone:

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is known to create physiological changes in metabolism to favor fat burning and protein sparing. The proteins and amino acids are utilized to improve brain and neuron processing. They also repair tissue collagen which improves the functionality and strength of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones.

HGH also improves skin function, reduces wrinkles & heals cuts and burns faster (5, 6, 7, 8). Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute found that men, who had fasted for 24 hours, had a 2000% increase in circulating HGH. Women who were tested had a 1300% increase in HGH (9).

The researchers found that the fasting individuals had significantly reduced their triglycerides, boosted their HDL cholesterol and stabilized their blood sugar.The Dance Between Insulin and HGH:HGH and insulin are opposites in function.

HGH is focused on tissue repair, efficient fuel usage and anti-inflammatory immune activity (10). Insulin is designed for energy storage, cellular division and pro-inflammatory immune activity (11). Insulin is the dominant player in this game. When conditions demand an insulin release (carbohydrate intake), HGH is inhibited (12, 13).

Additionally, too much protein or fat may not stimulate insulin but they will inhibit HGH release. Studies have indicated that the disruption of neuronal autophagy results in accelerated neurodegenerative states throughout the brain (14).

Elevated circulating levels of insulin reduce the amount of neuronal autophagy and cause metabolic problems as well as accelerated degenerative states (15). Bouts of intermittent fasting are essential for the brain to clean itself up and drive new neurons and communication lines for optimal function (16).

Fasting and Exercise:

The cleansing phase also acts like a slinky that is being spring-loaded for when the body moves into the building stage. It provides a sort of pre-load that allows the body to adapt in an incredible manner when it goes into the building phase. This enhances the neuronal connections and improves brain function.

Experts believe the intermittent fasting puts the brain cells under mild stress that is similar to the effects of exercise on muscle cells. The stress causes them to adapt and get more energy efficient (17). The body recovers from intense exercise through both the building and cleansing phases.

Brain-Derived NeuroTrophic Factor:

Brain-Derived NeuroTrophic Factor (BDNF) levels govern the formation of new neurons and the development of synapses and various lines of communication within the brain. Higher levels of BDNF lead to healthier neurons and better communication processes between these neurological cells (18).

Low levels of BDNF are linked to dementia, Alzheimer’s, memory loss and other brain processing problems (19). Intermittent fasting from 16 -18 hours has been shown to boost HGH levels by 50-100% and fasting up to 36 hours has been shown to boost BDNF levels by up 400% (1).

Research has shown that bouts of fasting have a great anti-inflammatory effect on the entire body (20, 21, 22). Sufferers from asthma have shown great results as have preliminary reports on individuals with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (23). Mattson and colleagues are preparing to study more details about the impact of fasting on the brain using MRI technology and other testing.

Best Strategies For Fasting:

The best way to begin fasting is by giving your body 12 hours between dinner and breakfast every single day. This allows 4 hours to complete digestion and 8 hours for the liver to complete its detoxification cycle. After this is a standard part of lifestyle, try taking one day a week and extending the fast to 16-18 hours.

Eventually, you may choose to do a full 24 hour fast each week. During the Fasting Period it is great to drink cleansing beverages such as fermented drinks, herbal teas, water with infused superfood extracts, water with lemon or apple cider vinegar, etc.

These enhance the cleansing process by providing anti-oxidants and micronutrients that enhance healing while not interacting with insulin or HGH levels.

Precautionary Step Before Fasting:

Before one begins a lifestyle of intermittent fasting they should first remove as much sugar and grains from their diet as possible. This will create better blood sugar balance and help regulate insulin and the stress hormone cortisol.

The diet should be built around good fats, anti-oxidant rich plant-based foods, non-altered protein, good fat and fiber. It can take three to seven days to stabilize blood sugar and stress hormones before intermittent fasting would be advised. Once the body is properly trained, most people are able to easily do a 16-18 hour fast everyday.

The easiest way to do this is by missing breakfast to extend the overnight fast. Have a light lunch or mid-afternoon snack and then a large dinner. For many, they feel so great doing this that they choose to never go back to eating any differently.

Mental health struggles like Alzheimer’s are slow, silent killers sapping us of energy and happiness. Whether challenged by depression, anxiety, stress, addiction or another manifestation, every single person is impacted and affected–you, your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers–either directly or indirectly every single day.


In The End

The Gerald J. Joseph HealthCoach Prevention Program (HCPP) is a shift in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease syndromes Heart Disease, Type II Diabetes, Obesity and Cognitive Loss Disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease which is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important functions.

The key to preventing chronic disease syndromes, and age related cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia lie in our understanding of 2 key factors, 1) malnutrition, 2) lack of physical activity –

The HCPP central thesis is that the human diet has changed far too quickly for our genes to keep up. As a result, both Neolithic and modern day humans developed metabolic syndromes, conditions such as elevated blood pressure, blood sugar (HbA1c), weight gain (obesity), high cholesterol levels (lipids) and cognitive loss (beta amyloid 42) as a result of the consuming the highly processed, meat centric Western American diet and because humans have become sedentary creatures by no longer engaging in daily physical activity. (walking with gate speed.)

People in almost every region of the world could benefit from rebalancing their diets to eat optimal amounts of various foods and nutrients, according to the Global Burden of Disease study tracking trends in consumption of 15 dietary factors from 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries.

The study estimates that one in five deaths globally — equivalent to 11 million deaths — are associated with poor diet, and diet contributes to a range of chronic diseases in people around the world. In 2017, more deaths were caused by diets with too low amounts of foods such as whole fruit, vegetables, root vegetables, nuts, seeds and deep sea water fish (omega-3 fats) then by diets with high levels of foods like trans fats, sugary drinks, and high levels of red and processed meats.

In addition, evidence has clearly establishes that lack of physical activity affects almost every cell, organ, and system in the body causing sedentary dysfunction and accelerated death.

The massive dysfunction caused by living a sedentary lifestyle means that just as food and reproduction remain as requirements for long-term continued human existence, physical activity is also a requirement to maximize health span and lifespan.

The only valid scientific therapeutic approach to completely counter sedentary dysfunction is primary prevention with physical activity itself.


1. Martin B, Mattson MP, Maudsley S. Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting: two potential diets for successful brain aging. Ageing Res Rev. 2006 Aug;5(3):332-53. PMID: 16899414

2. Dirks-Naylor AJ, Kouzi SA, Yang S, Tran NT, Bero JD, Mabolo R, Phan DT, Whitt SD, Taylor HN. Can short-term fasting protect against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity? World J Biol Chem. 2014 Aug 26;5(3):269-74. PMID: 25225594

3. Michalsen A, Li C. Fasting therapy for treating and preventing disease – current state of evidence. Forsch Komplementmed. 2013;20(6):444-53. PMID: 24434759

4. Michalsen A. Prolonged fasting as a method of mood enhancement in chronic pain syndromes: a review of clinical evidence and mechanisms. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2010 Apr;14(2):80-7. PMID: 20425196

5. Ho KY, Veldhuis JD, Johnson ML, Furlanetto R, Evans WS, Alberti KG, Thorner MO. Fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man. J Clin Invest. 1988 Apr;81(4):968-75. PMID: 3127426

6. Vendelbo MH, Jørgensen JO, Pedersen SB, Gormsen LC, Lund S, Schmitz O, Jessen N, Møller N. Exercise and fasting activate growth hormone-dependent myocellular signal transducer and activator of transcription-5b phosphorylation and insulin-like growth factor-I messenger ribonucleic acid expression in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Sep;95(9):E64-8. PMID: 20534752

7. Yamamoto M, Iguchi G, Fukuoka H, Suda K, Bando H, Takahashi M, Nishizawa H, Seino S, Takahashi Y. SIRT1 regulates adaptive response of the growth hormone–insulin-like growth factor-I axis under fasting conditions in liver. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Sep 10;110(37):14948-53. PMID: 23980167

8. Farzad Hayati, Mohsen Maleki, Maryam Pourmohammad, Kamran Sardari, Mehrdad Mohri Amir Afkhami. Influence of Short-term, Repeated Fasting on the Skin Wound Healing of Female Mice. Link Here

9. Anderson JL, Carlquist JF, Roberts WL, Horne BD, May HT, Schwarz EL, Pasquali M, Nielson R, Kushnir MM, Rockwood AL, Bair TL, Muhlestein JB; Intermountain Heart Collaborative Study Group. Asymmetric dimethylarginine, cortisol/cortisone ratio, and C-peptide: markers for diabetes and cardiovascular risk? Am Heart J. 2007 Jan;153(1):67-73. PMID: 17174641

10. Growth Horomone Wikipedia Link Here

11. Insulin Wikipedia Link Here

12. Lanzi R, Luzi L, Caumo A, Andreotti AC, Manzoni MF, Malighetti ME, Sereni LP, Pontiroli AE. Elevated insulin levels contribute to the reduced growth hormone (GH) response to GH-releasing hormone in obese subjects. Metabolism. 1999 Sep;48(9):1152-6. PMID: 10484056

13. Ji S, Guan R, Frank SJ, Messina JL. Insulin inhibits growth hormone signaling via the growth hormone receptor/JAK2/STAT5B pathway. J Biol Chem. 1999 May 7;274(19):13434-42. PMID: 10224108

14. Jin H Son, Jung Hee Shim, Kyung-Hee Kim, Ji-Young Ha and Ji Young Han. Neuronal autophagy and neurodegenerative diseases. Experimental & Molecular Medicine.

15. Young JE, Martinez RA, La Spada AR. Nutrient deprivation induces neuronal autophagy and implicates reduced insulin signaling in neuroprotective autophagy activation. J Biol Chem. 2009 Jan 23;284(4):2363-73. PMID: 19017649

16. Alirezaei M, Kemball CC, Flynn CT, Wood MR, Whitton JL, Kiosses WB. Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy. Autophagy. 2010 Aug;6(6):702-10. PMID: 20534972

17. Mattson MP. Challenging oneself intermittently to improve health. Dose Response. 2014 Oct 20;12(4):600-

18. PMID: 2555296018. Li L, Wang Z, Zuo Z. Chronic intermittent fasting improves cognitive functions and brain structures in mice. PLoS One. 2013 Jun 3;8(6):e66069. PMID: 23755298

19. Diniz BS, Teixeira AL. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and Alzheimer’s disease: physiopathology and beyond. Neuromolecular Med. 2011 Dec;13(4):217-

20. PMID: 2189804520. Levenson CW, Rich NJ. Eat less, live longer? New insights into the role of caloric restriction in the brain. Nutr Rev. 2007 Sep;65(9):412-5.

21. PMID: 1795820821. Gillette-Guyonnet S, Vellas B. Caloric restriction and brain function. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008 Nov;11(6):686-92.

22. PMID: 1882757122. Fontán-Lozano A, López-Lluch G, Delgado-García JM, Navas P, Carrión AM. Molecular bases of caloric restriction regulation of neuronal synaptic plasticity. Mol Neurobiol. 2008 Oct;38(2):167-77.

23. PMID: 1875900923. Longo VD, Mattson MP. Fasting: molecular mechanisms and clinical applications. Cell Metab. 2014 Feb 4;19(2):181-92. PMID: 24440038