Thursday, October 3, 2013

Matt - Melbourne: 

Handsome Dave, how are you? Following you on just about most of your happenings and getting a lot from it all! Whats your view/thoughts on colloidal silver, astaxanthin & juicing vegetables - beets, carrot, celery, ginger, parsley - to ingest as the first thing upon waking in the morning daily?

The Paleo Model: 

Hey mate,

Interesting questions!

Firstly, I'd never heard much about colloidal silver but after a bit of a browse on the interwebs it seems the stuff is a bit of a scam.

Colloidal silver is a mineral - basically little flakes of silver suspended in liquid, which you take orally as a supplement. (Grandiose) health claims include immune support, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and even as a treatment for herpes, leprosy, HIV/AIDS and cancer. Wow! Where do I sign up? Does this mean I can throw away my snake oil?

Jokes aside a couple of the Paleo big-wigs have written about colloidal silver. Not only does it sound like the claimed health benefits have absolutely zero science backing them, there even appears to be some potential risks associated with taking it.

Silver is a mineral and, like iron, in excess in the body it will accumulate and form deposits in organs and tissues where it clearly doesn't belong. But unlike iron, silver is neither an essential mineral nor is it normally found in the body, so any amount of silver is "excessive". Accumulated silver can form a permanent bluish discolouration to the skin and gums. Nasty.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled the stuff not be safe or effective back in 1997... so you know it's bad.

From a logical perspective, considering that silver isn't essential for human health I'm pretty sure ingesting it is neither beneficial nor a good idea!
 Silver Tequila on the other hand...

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid (organic pigment) naturally found in algae. It is what gives salmon it's pink colour. Astaxanthin is a great antioxidant, but do you need to supplement it? Personally, I doubt it. Just eat some wild salmon once in a while and a good quality fish oil supplement and you should be sweet.

When it comes to supplementation I think you should only jump on the stuff that is proven solid by science and gives you the best bang for your buck.

Things like magnesium, fish oil and vitamin D (if deficient) are tried and tested supplements with little to no downside. They have a large benefit to cost ratio.

Other supplements, such as specific amino acid like L-arginine may sound great but if the benefits aren't well documented, you don't feel any better on them and the cost is relatively high then there is the potential for just making your urine really expensive! If in doubt, don't take it.

Ahhh Juicing... Contentious issue. I'm not a huge fan of juicing and don't personally drink juice. I'll have a green smoothie once in a while for a treat.

I don't think vegetable juice is inherently harmful or anything. You'll certainly get a fair whack of nutrients out of it. Many people in the health community swear by their green juices and green smoothies. Not all juice is created equal though. Juicing is different to blending (smoothies) and depending what vegetables (and if you use fruit) the final product can vary from 'quite healthy' to 'maybe a Coke would have been a healthier choice' [Joke].

My beef with juice is that it tends to spike insulin and blood sugar, which is definitely not what you want to do to your body first thing in the morning. When you take the fiber out of a fruit or vegetable you increase the glycemic load and the speed of digestion.

Beets are pretty high in fructose and carrots can be high glycemic when juiced due to their glucose content. I eat a lot of carrots but I'd never juice a whole bag of them. Might as well drink simple syrup! (OK not that bad but still not good).

If I were you I'd blend the veggies rather than juice them if possible. This way you get all the fiber and nutrients from the skin and pulp.

Also if you add a bit of fat this will help mitigate the insulin spike and also make the nutrients more readily absorbed.

You could try celery, spinach/kale, parsley, ginger, half an apple or some berries and a dash of coconut/MCT oil or coconut cream. You need a pretty epic blender to make it smooth! 
If you are really set on juice I'd go easy on the carrots and beets and focus on the greens. 

Thanks for the support.

"Eat Paleo. Train. Live Life."

[Image source:]



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