Insulite Labs
November 2004 

Welcome to the eighth edition of Viewpoints, our monthly e-newsletter.

Although it’s disconcerting to hear Christmas songs on the radio - while still trying to avoid leftover Halloween candy - the holiday season has begun in earnest. One doesn’t need to see red and green M&Ms displayed everywhere to know it’s that time of year.

It’s been reported that the average American gains 7-8 lbs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That statistic goes a long way in explaining why we are, at once, attracted to and fearful of the holidays and what they have come to represent in today’s world.

Why do ancient traditions of giving equate to long, stressful nights shopping at the mall? Does eating the entire tin of Grandma’s reindeer cookies bring joy to you, to me or to the world? And does the ensuing guilt we feel set the stage for peace on earth?

At Insulite Laboratories, we know that the holidays and stress are almost inseparable. And that this heady combination can lead to overindulgences and over compensations.

Let’s eat for sustenance in the company of friends and family. Let’s keep exercising in spite of late nights. Let’s remember why we’re celebrating. Let’s refuse to be seasonal statistics!

“The secret of success is
constancy of purpose.”

- English proverb

Reinforce your commitment to yourself.
You will get there!
Walking on the Beach


Intelligence Report
Obesity Increases
Breast Cancer Threat – High Carb Diets May Also Be a Risk Factor

Women in the U.S. who suffer from obesity are more likely to die of breast cancer than those of normal weight, according to a new study. And another recent report has raised concern about the link between breast cancer and a high carbohydrate diet.

Data on more than 2,000 patients with early stage breast cancer was studied by researchers at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Despite the cancer being detected early, they found obese patients were more likely to die from the disease. The research also showed that, if the patient was obese, breast cancer had a higher likelihood of spreading to other parts of the body.

In the study, 2,010 patients were surveyed, with 452 classed being of normal weight, 857 overweight and 701 obese. Both normal and overweight patients had a 92% five-year survival rate, but the figure fell to 88% for those suffering from obesity.

Lead researcher Penny Anderson said: “Our results show a statistically significant difference between obese women and the other groups. Because the prevalence of obesity increases with age, as does the risk of breast cancer, interventions that enhance weight control may have a substantial effect on breast cancer outcome.”

Separate research has discovered that breast cancer was more than twice as common in Mexican women who had a high carbohydrate intake as it was in those who limited carbs to roughly half of all calories they consumed.

It’s a matter of debate how applicable the results are to American women. Dr. Eduardo Lazcano-Ponce, one of the Mexican physicians who carried out the study, made the point that, while they also consumed soft drinks and bread, the main carbohydrates these women ate were corn-derived, including tortillas.

But corn isn’t fortified with folate and other nutrients as are many grains, cereals and other sources of carbohydrates eaten in the U.S. These nutrients might help prevent cancer, according to Sandra Schlicker, Executive Director of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition.

However, breast cancer rates in the U.S. are among the highest in the world, with almost 132 cases diagnosed per 100,000. The incidence is rising in Mexico and is currently estimated to be 38 cases per 100,000. Many Mexican women in America eat the same food as they do across the border.

The study, by the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica in Cuernavaca, Mexico, looked at how sugar and starch intake might affect the incidence of cancer. Researchers enrolled 475 women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer and a comparison group of 1,391 healthy females matched for age, weight, childbirth trends and other factors that affect the odds of getting the disease.

The women were split up into four categories based on how much of their total calories came from carbohydrates. Those in the top category received 62% or more of their calories from carbs and were 2.22 times more likely to develop breast cancer than women in the lowest category, whose carb intake was 52% or less of their diet. The study found that women who ate a lot of insoluble fiber, found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, had somewhat less risk of breast cancer. Fiber can modulate the absorption of carbohydrates.

Scientists think the risk of cancer may be increased by the way carbs rapidly raise levels of sugar or glucose in the blood. This process prompts a surge of insulin. The excess insulin causes cells to divide and leads to higher levels of the estrogen hormone in the blood. Both actions can result in cancer.



It probably won’t come as much of a surprise but Americans of both sexes and all ages are a lot heavier than they were 40 years ago.

According to newly-released findings of the 1992-2002 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey, the average American adult weighs about 25 lbs more than in the year when John F. Kennedy was elected President.

Men aged 20-74 averaged 191 lbs in 2002, up from 166.3 lbs in 1960. Women of the same age weighed an average of 164.3 lbs, an increase from 140.2 lbs in 1960.

Average weight increased the most for older men and younger women, with males aged 60-74 rising from 159 lbs in 1960 to 192 lbs in 2002. Females aged 20-29 went up from 128 lbs to 157 lbs.

Children are heavier, too. Kids aged 6-11 weighed an average of 74 lbs in 2002, up from 65 lbs in 1963. Boys aged 12-17 went from 125 lbs in 1966 to 141 lbs in 2002, while girls of the same age were up from 118 lbs in 1966 to 130 lbs in 2002.

The survey is considered the gold standard for assessing the weight of Americans. It is the first government study to look back over four decades to compare the size of U.S. citizens then and now. Researchers measured the height and weight of almost 9,000 contemporary men and women and more than 8,000 young people aged 2 to 19.

Previous findings from this survey revealed that about 65% of Americans are either overweight or obese. About 16% of children are overweight and another 15% are at risk of going the same way.

Experts predict that the increasing girth of the nation will result in an explosion of obesity-related ailments like Diabetes, heart disease, cancer and arthritis.

The survey also found that adults of both sexes are about an inch taller than in 1960, with women aged 20-74 now averaging 5 ft 4 in in 2002 and men now 5 ft 9 ½ in. The extra height only accounts for a small portion of the increase in weight.


“Over one-half of our population weighs more than what is healthy.”

Dr. Mary Shackelton's ViewIn this day and age when convenience is all-important, we have become a nation where reliance on processed foods is highly emphasized. Processed foods tend to have more calories, less fiber and fewer nutrients. Additionally, the fact that these foods are not found in their "whole" state is leading a generation of people away from eating from the source.

Over one-half of our population weighs more than what is healthy and the rise in lifestyle-related diseases is directly related to this. We need encouragement from our health care leaders, we need role modeling for our younger generations and we need to pay attention to what we are eating, when, where - and why.

A recent edition of National Geographic documents that a soda purchased at the movie theater 20 years ago was 16 oz. Today, you cannot even purchase a soda of that size at a movie theater; instead they range from 20-64 oz. This is just one small example of how we are a "super sized" nation.

The situation is reflected in recent comments by Louis Aronne, President-elect of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity who said: "Just telling people to go on a diet is not going to work. One of the great ironies is that obesity is still looked upon as a cosmetic issue and nothing could be further than the truth."

We hope that you are inspired by Insulite Laboratories' mission which is to help you heal your Insulin Resistance and the health consequences associated with this condition. We are here to help you succeed in your mission to lose weight and regain your health.

Dr. Mary Shackelton, MPH ND, is the Medical Director of Insulite Laboratories.

  Glass of Milk
Myth: A vegetarian or vegan lifestyle means you are sure to lose weight and be healthier.

Vegetarian and vegan eating habits have to be planned just as carefully as non-vegetarian diets to ensure they are nutritious.

It’s true that vegetarian and vegan diets can be healthy because they are often lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, while, at the same time, higher in fiber. But vegetarians and vegans have to make sure they eat a good quantity and variety of plant foods over the course of a day to get enough protein. Those with the most protein include lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds and peas. Also recommended are tempeh and miso, which are made from soybeans and are low in calories and fat.

By choosing carefully, vegetarians and vegans can get the recommended daily amount of all the key nutrients. Fruits and vegetables are very important because they are the main source of nutrients in these particular diets.

Vegetarians refuse to eat meat but some will get nutrition from animal products like eggs and dairy produce. Vegans, on the other hand, will not eat any animal products. It’s especially important for them to find other sources of nutrient-dense foods. The following are good alternative sources:

tomato juice, tofu, cashews, rice, lentils and garbanzo beans (chick peas).

fortified soymilk and orange juice, tofu, kale and broccoli.

Vitamin D:
fortified soymilk and cereals; a small amount of sunlight is a healthy source, too.

Vitamin B12:
tempeh, miso, fortified soymilk and cereals.

whole grains (especially the germ and bran of the grain) nuts, tofu, leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach and cabbage and root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, celery and radishes.

Dr Mary Shackelton - Medical Director for Insulite Laboratories

Q. How do insulin and glucose affect atherosclerosis?

A. Insulin Resistance causes elevated and unbalanced levels of insulin and glucose in the bloodstream which can lead to Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X), a cluster disorder that substantially increases the danger of developing cardiovascular disease. Individuals who have elevated insulin and glucose levels for a few years are at risk of developing atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by increased levels of a blood cholesterol called triglycerides (TG) made by the liver. This increase in TG causes a build-up of “plaque” on the artery walls. The individual plaques are sparse at first, but, over time, can sometimes cover the entire circumference of severely affected arteries.

As the plaques increase in size, they can eventually close off the flow of blood. In smaller or medium-sized arteries, these plaques impede blood flow to organs. In large arteries, they can cause clot formation leading to the rupture of the vessel or thrombosis.

Click here to read about Insulin Resistance and a System that can treat this condition.

If you are suffering from some of the many symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, I truly believe we can help you. I know from first hand experience with my patients how distressing the effects of this condition can be, ranging from heartbreaking infertility and irregular periods to unsightly facial hair and even an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

Insulin Resistance is the underlying factor in excessive weight gain and obesity, and the root cause of PCOS. My work in the public sector has brought me face to face with the spiraling problems of obesity, which was recently re-defined as a medical condition by the U.S. Government. In my clinical practice, I have become increasingly involved in addressing my patients’ weight loss concerns and hormone imbalances, which led directly to my research in the fields of Insulin Resistance and PCOS.

On behalf of Insulite Laboratories, I am pleased to advise you that the Insulite PCOS System will be available in December. Please check our web site for further information,
or email me at


Dr. Mary Shackelton, MPH ND
Medical Director, Insulite Laboratories

“In my first six to eight weeks on the Insulite System, I noticed a couple of exciting things: my digestion improved and my body began processing, or burning, my food more effectively. This contributed to my overall sense of well being.
Thanks Insulite.”

- Michael Higgins
  Boulder, CO

Hunger isn’t the only reason why some people eat. Feelings of unhappiness can often trigger unhealthy eating habits in both adults and children. This happens because emotions are closely connected with stress levels resulting from busy lifestyles and family situations.

It is estimated that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions. Often, it’s of the junk or “comfort” variety, in response to such feelings as depression, boredom, loneliness and anxiety. Many people eat simply “to fill the void”. Overeating and unwanted weight gain may also be attributed to emotions like frustration, relationship problems and fatigue. Eating can become a habit which prevents us from learning how to resolve emotional distress.

As well as being spurred by these unhappy feelings, emotional eating can take other forms:
  • Social: The company of other people can lead to our being encouraged to eat more. We eat to fit in or because of feelings of inadequacy around other people. Food can also be a comfort after an angry argument.

  • Situational: Some of us eat because the opportunity is there, like passing a bakery or seeing a restaurant. Certain activities like sports events, watching TV and going to the movies are also often associated with eating.

  • Self-awareness: Feelings of low self-esteem, including lack of will power and little confidence in our abilities or physical appearance, can result in emotional eating.

  • Physiological: For some, pain from ailments like a headache or a bad tooth can be a reason to eat.
Support is EssentialThe first step to conquering this issue is to identify what triggers your emotional eating. Keep a diary handy and write down what and when you eat, as well as any factors such as stress that have compelled you.

Next, develop alternatives to eating. Gradually change your habits, so that if you start to reach for food, you automatically do something different like taking a walk, playing music, calling a friend, reading a book or doing any other pleasurable or necessary activity until the urge to eat passes.

Sometimes, new activities may not be enough to compensate for the emotional stress that causes you to eat. In some cases, relaxation exercises, like meditation, have shown to be effective.

If you’re ready, perhaps you will consider joining a support group or attending individual or group counseling. These options, which address underlying emotional issues and help to resolve them, can also teach you to respond and cope in more effective and healthier ways.

Whatever form works best for you, remember that support is essential to any lifestyle transition. Research has shown that life changes are more effective when support plays a part.

And, to increase the chances of maintaining your new healthy habits, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back from time to time. We tend to repeat behavior that has been positively reinforced… get a massage, buy that item you’ve been wanting or take a vacation. Reward yourself for all your efforts in embracing a healthy way of life.
Start Today!
“Conditions are never just right. People who delay action until all factors are favorable do nothing.”
  - William Feather
Start today. The time for improving your life is now.


Keep your arms toned.Keep your arms toned – especially in winter. The back of the arm is difficult to keep toned and taut and we may forget about this area of the body when it's not "on display"! It’s a place where women typically store fat, but all is certainly not lost. Underneath that drooping area is a triceps muscle that will respond fairly quickly to exercise.

Always start off with a light weight to get comfortable with the motion. Try using a can of soup and do this while making dinner. Keep your elbow stationary while performing the following exercises to focus on the triceps. Remember to seek a fitness instructor's advice if you are in any doubt about the suitability of these exercises. Go slowly and gently at all times and stop immediately if you feel any discomfort.

In the first exercise, lie on the floor with your knees bent and hold a weight in your right hand. Raise your arm straight up and place your left hand on your right triceps for balance – it will also help you feel the muscle. Slowly bend your right arm 90 degrees across your chest, taking care not to bend your wrist. Pause before lifting your arm. Repeat using the weight with the other arm.

Stand for the next exercise and place your feet shoulder-width apart, with knees and hips slightly bent and abdominals contracted. Hold a weight in each hand, next to your thighs with palms facing in. Keeping the arms straight, slowly raise your arms behind you as high as they will comfortably go and rotate your wrist to face the ceiling. Pause before returning to the starting position. Sit on a chair for support and raise one arm at a time if that works best for you.

Try two sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise. Take 3 seconds to lift, followed by a 1 second pause and 3 seconds to lower. The weight is too heavy if you can’t do 8 repetitions. It’s too light when you can do 12 easily. You should allow 30-60 seconds between each set. Try 2-3 sessions per week, with 1 day of rest in between and build up to 2-3 sessions every other day.

Wash your hands often.Flu shots are in short supply this winter and priority is being given to those who are particularly vulnerable. But it’s by no means inevitable that you will catch the flu if you can’t get a shot. Here are some tips to increase your chances of avoiding colds and flu:

Wash your hands regularly. Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact, as when someone with the flu sneezes onto their hands and then picks up a telephone or types at a keyboard. Germs can live for hours - even weeks – and infect the next person who touches the object. Place pump-action bottles of hand sanitizer throughout your home and workplace and carry the small bottles. Also, rubbing your hands very hard for a minute can break up most cold germs.

Try not to touch your face. Cold and flu viruses enter our bodies through the eyes, nose or mouth. It’s the main way children catch colds and pass them on to their parents.

Don’t cover your sneezes or coughs with your hand. Use a tissue and throw it away immediately. If you don’t have a chance to grab one, turn your head away from people and cough or sneeze into the air. Even if it’s cold outside, try to get plenty of fresh air to avoid becoming dried out by central heating and being cooped up in dry, germ-laden rooms with other people.

Drink plenty of fluids and eat yogurt. Water flushes your system and washes out the poisons as it rehydrates you. Low fat yogurt has been shown to reduce susceptibility to colds by 25%. Researchers think bacteria in yogurt may stimulate the immune system to combat viruses.

Cut alcohol consumption and don’t smoke. Heavy drinking can wreck the liver, the body’s primary filtering system, which means germs of all kinds won’t exit as fast. Smokers get more frequent and severe colds.

Take a sauna and do aerobic exercise regularly. A German study showed that people who steamed twice a week get half as many colds as those who didn’t. The reason may be that in a sauna you inhale air above 80 degrees, a temperature too hot for cold and flu viruses to survive. Aerobic exercise helps the body’s natural virus-killing cells by pumping large quantities of blood and making you breathe faster and sweat.

Relax. If you can teach yourself to relax, you can activate your immune system on demand by increasing your bloodstream levels of interleukins – leaders in the immune system response against cold and flu viruses. Close your eyes and try to focus on a pleasant or calming image for 10-30 minutes.

Cut back on caffeine because it creates stress internally and this weakens the body’s efforts to fight viruses.

Eat plenty of garlic. Try a tea made with garlic and ginger or garlic capsules.

Take the best multivitamin you can find. Zinc is a particularly important vitamin for fighting flu and sunflower seeds are a good natural source. But don’t eat too many – around 90 milligrams a day is the right amount. Vitamin C is also good for warding off colds, but, again, not too much. Talk to a health care professional or a nutritionist about appropriate doses.

Try natural Echinacea, a native North American herb that is one of the most popular immune system boosters on the market. Echinacea stimulates phagocytosis, a process that enables the immune system to engulf and destroy bacterial or viral matter. Studies suggest flu-like symptoms clear faster with Echinacea, which is available in many forms including liquid root extracts, tea and dried and powered root in tablets and capsules. To treat colds, flu and upper respiratory ailments, take high doses for maximum effect as soon as you notice symptoms. Product potency varies, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Only use Echinacea for 2 weeks because it is no longer effective after that. You can resume taking it after a week’s lay-off.

Be Well!

Insulite Laboratories is Here for You
You are well on the way to achieving your desired weight loss goal and the healthy lifestyle you deserve.

Remember that persistence is crucial.

We at Insulite Laboratories are committed to your success and your well being. We're here to help you.

Please contact us with any questions or to order the Insulite System at

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this newsletter is for the sole purpose of being informative. This information is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment, take any medication, supplements or other nutritional support, or for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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