Veganism – What’s The History Say About Humans Going Vegan?

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Diets are to die for right? The great debate seems never ending when it comes to optimal food and caloric intake.

Today, we would like to challenge and create a unique perspective on the world of veganism and dieting. By connecting a few key elements and mixing the right recipes, you will find the best “diet” (which is really a way of living) suitable to you and your needs, no matter how specific or generalized.

We have begun to analyze each major diet that is in the mainstream and retro-throwbacks from the past (picture Mediterranean and Paleo), we believe through connection and communication will we form the right tribal communities who all help one another live in the best conditions, dis-ease free.

But for now, the topic of the day is veganism foods, recipes, and resources:

Veganism Diet

Veganism is a diet and lifestyle that eliminates the use and consumption of animal products. Unlike other diets, veganism is really more of a lifestyle because the use of animal products in daily life – such as in clothing is forbidden.

Veganism sounds extreme to many and it is one of the most polarizing modern lifestyles. Since American children are largely brought up eating meat and drinking milk, the switch to veganism can be very drastic and difficult to deal with. Still, there are a few benefits to veganism and it deserves a second thought if you’ve quickly written it off.

History of Veganism

The term “vegan” was coined in 1944, although the idea behind veganism dates back centuries. There are several historical documents from India and the eastern Mediterranean according to a piece in Time Magazine written by Claire Suddath.

Veganism’s less extreme cousin vegetarianism does appear more often than veganism. Followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, all promoted vegetarianism although the movement never gained much movement for a variety of reasons.

Today, veganism has a somewhat negative social stigma associated to the name, likely due to the “hipster” and “vegan extremists” which tend to annoy the general public. If you can look past this though, veganism does have its’ own merits, much like many other popular diets.

The Ethical Side to Veganism

Interest in veganism often develops from an ethical side. Various groups like PETA actively share propaganda, information, and content about the mistreatment of animals at America’s factory farms, and although PETA is no saint, their propaganda seems to create an emotional response from the general public.

This is the greatest debate between vegans and the rest of the public. Most people agree that animals are not treated ethically at large farms, but most people disagree whether animals deserve to be treated ethically.

Besides animal treatment, many vegans also look at the environmental impact of large factory farms. Large farms create a staggering amount of greenhouses gases and waste material, and these farms may have a small impact on global climate change.

Some reports claim that these farms are a driving force behind virtually every category of environmental damage, although these claims have gone unsubstantiated. Still, its’ clear that these farms do have a major environmental impact – especially in the local area.

The Health Benefits of Veganism

In reality, the best reason to consider veganism is its’ apparent health benefits. In the documentary “Forks Over Knives”, patients taking medicine for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, are asked to start a plant-based diet for eight weeks and to wean themselves off of their medicine completely. In most cases, patients saw a significant improvement in their condition.

Although people think that the only way to get several nutrients like protein and calcium is through meat and dairy products, this is actually not true. Even worse, American rates as one of the highest consumers of milk, yet it also has the highest bone-breaking osteoporosis victims.

The China Cornell Oxford Project

According to a 20-year long project known as the “China Cornell Oxford Project”, the diets of over 16,000 Chinese families were observed. Researchers found that families that consumed more high quality, plant-based foods had a significantly lower risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

The study found that various other diseases like autoimmune disorders and brain diseases were also linked to the consumption of meat products.

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that consuming a plant-based diet is far superior to consuming a meat-based diet. Although veganism is given a bad reputation, there are some real benefits to following the vegan lifestyle. Although it may be difficult to follow at first, the benefits will far exceed the obstacles to switching to a vegan lifestyle.


What’s The Supporting Science Behind Pure Forskolin Extract Supplementation?

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What Does Science Really Say About Forskolin Supplements?

Forskolin is one of the most misunderstood dietary supplements in the world today.

If you listen to TV doctors like Dr. Oz, then forskolin was handcrafted by the gods and can cure you of everything from diabetes to obesity.

If you listen to real science, then the story is different.

Today, we’re providing a science-based review of everything you need to know about forskolin supplements.

What is Forskolin?

Forskolin is a chemical compound found in the roots of a plant called the Coleus forskohlii plant, also known as the Indian Coleus plant.

The Indian Coleus plant is a type of herb. The chemical compound forskolin is extracted from the roots of that herb.

When you look at product packaging for forskolin supplements, you’ll see the terms Coleus forskohlii and forskolin used interchangeably.

Today, you can find forskolin extract supplements in virtually any health food store. Dr. Oz singlehandedly created a multimillion dollar forskolin supplement industry when he stumbled upon one small study (we’ll talk about that study below).

Typically, if you see a health supplement on the shelf with a label starting with “Fors”, then it’s a forskolin-based supplement.

History of Forskolin

Forskolin’s history is not well-known. The root extract was used in ancient Indian (Ayurvedic) medicine for hundreds of years.

Like most Ayurvedic treatments, forskolin wasn’t used to treat any specific illness: it was instead used to improve “general health and wellness”.

There is, however, some evidence that forskolin was used to treat certain specific conditions, including cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous system disorders.

How Does Forskolin Work?

Forskolin is thought to work by raising levels of cyclic AMP (cAMP) by activating the enzyme adenylyl cyclase.

Why is raising cAMP levels important? cAMP plays a critical role in cell communications in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland axis, which thereby increase the feedback control of hormones.

When cAMP levels are raised, the body produces more of a specific enzyme called hormone sensitive lipase (and adenosine). This unique enzyme tells the body to burn fat.

At the same time, forskolin is also thought to work by stimulating the release of thyroid hormones, helping to burn fat and calories (see more about the interactions here).

If you don’t have a science degree, then here’s the basic version: forskolin signals your body to start producing more enzymes that burn fat. This, in turn, is thought to burn fat.

That sounds good, right? Read on to see if these results have ever been replicated.

Benefits of Forskolin (According to Dr. Oz)

Forskolin was famously called “lightning in a bottle” by Dr. Oz, who extensively praised the chemical compound for its “remarkable” weight loss properties. He called forskolin a “miracle flower to fight fat”. Although, as many websites clearly state, it is on the “pure forskolin” root extract that carries any real benefit.

As evidence for that claim, Dr. Oz brought a weight loss “expert” on the show who claimed that forskolin had single-handedly doubled weight loss results for her clients. That expert said that forskolin worked because “if your metabolism is sleeping, forskolin is gonna wake it up.”

Nevertheless, that weight loss expert stopped short of calling forskolin a miracle weight loss cure. She claimed it works well to complement an existing healthy diet and exercise routine.

Somewhere in between, there lies the truth about forskolin. Below, you’ll discover what science has to say about the unique herbal compound.

Benefits of Forskolin (According to Science)

Many people are surprised to learn that there have only been two studies on forskolin involving human beings over the years. That’s right: two studies. All of the wild claims made by Dr. Oz and his team are based on two studies (in fact, Dr. Oz only ever references one study when he’s talking about the benefits of forskolin.

2005 Study Shows Forskolin Does Not Lead to Weight Loss

The first major study on forskolin was a small preliminary study that involved just 30 men (15 obese men and 15 overweight men). The study lasted for 12 weeks and was published in Obesity Research in August, 2005.

For this study, participants took a forskolin extract supplement called ForsLean. That formula contains 10% forskohlii. Participants in the forskolin group took 500mg of ForsLean every day (separated into two doses).

Over the course of the randomized, placebo-controlled double blind trial of forskolin, researchers determined that the forskolin group “showed favorable changes in body composition”, including significant decreases in body fat percentage and fat mass. There were no significant changes in bone mass and lean body mass.

The forskolin group also raised its free testosterone levels. However, this is where the study gets weird and controversial: the ForsLean group had higher testosterone levels at the start of the study than the placebo group. This means that forskolin probably didn’t raise testosterone levels. It also throws the other results from the study into question.

If you glance over the results above, then you may think that everything is good and forskolin is a proven weight loss supplement. But if you read the results carefully, you’ll realize something: participants in this study did not lose weight!

Yes, participants changed their body composition, which is likely good for their overall health in the long run. But it’s extremely misleading for Dr. Oz and others to claim that forskolin is a miracle weight loss cure because of this study (which only involved 30 men anyway).

2005 Study Examines Forskolin’s Effects on 23 Women

A follow-up study was published later in 2005 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

That double-blind, randomized study involved 23 females. These women were instructed to take ForsLean or a placebo two times per day for 12 weeks. The ForsLean group took the same 500mg daily dosage as the men in the study above.

After 4, 8, and 12 weeks, the women were analyzed based on their body composition, body weight, and blood samples.

After 12 weeks of daily ForsLean supplementation, researchers concluded that ForsLean “does not appear to promote weight loss but may help mitigate weight gain in overweight females” compared to the placebo

Women had no significant differences in body mass, fat mass, or fat free mass. The only real difference was that subjects in the ForsLean group “tended to report less fatigue…hunger…and fullness.”

ForsLean also had no significant effects on metabolic markers, blood lipids, muscle and liver enzymes, electrolytes, red blood cells, white blood cells, hormones, heart rate, blood pressure, or side effects.

In other words, ForsLean basically did the exact same thing as the placebo in this study aside from minor changes in fatigue and hunger.

The above two studies are the only two human studies performed on forskolin thus far.

2014 Study Examines Forskolin’s Effects on Diabetic Rats

Researchers in 2014 decided to examine the weight loss effects of forskolin, this time by using diabetic rats. Results of that study were published in Biotechnic & Histochemistry.

Researchers used 50 female albino Wistar rats that were assigned randomly into five different groups, including:

Group 1) Control group

Group 2) High fat diet group

Group 3) High fat diet plus forskolin group

Group 4) High fat diet plus rolipram group

Group 5) High fat diet plus rolipram plus forskolin group

After 10 weeks, “the animals were sacrificed” (seriously, that’s how the study words it) and the rats were examined.

Researchers discovered that free fatty acid levels were higher in groups 3, 4, and 5 than in group 2. Weight grain in group 5 was also “significantly less” than in groups 3 and 4. Researchers concluded that “both forskolin and rolipram stimulated lipolysis and inhibited body weight increase by increasing cAMP levels….combination therapy using the two agents may be more effective in preventing diet induced obesity than either agent alone.”

Once again, this study was performed on rats.

Forskolin Side Effects

The studies above show mixed results for forskolin. Some participants experienced minor changes in body mass, but few participants ever lost significant amounts of weight.

Nevertheless, the studies all agreed on one thing: forskolin isn’t associated with many dangerous side effects.

In the above studies, participants took forskolin for 12 weeks (3 months) with no reported side effects. In other words, the compound appears safe for healthy people to take.

Nevertheless, you should not assume forskolin is safe if you have a pre-existing medical condition or if you are currently taking medication. The website claims that forskolin may interact with medications that target the P450 enzyme system. If you mention that enzyme system to your doctor or pharmacist, then they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about.

Conclusion: Does Forskolin Improve your Health or Help You Lose Weight?

Based on the three major studies listed above, forskolin is associated with the following benefits:

-Forskolin raises levels of cAMP in the body, which can raise levels of a hormone sensitive lipase, which is an enzyme associated with fat burning.

-In one study, forskolin improved body composition. In another study involving the exact same dosage and forskolin formula, participants did not improve body composition. Participants did not lose weight in either study.

-Forskolin has not been linked to weight loss in any studies on humans. In the study on rats linked above, forskolin showed that it could reduce your body’s tendency to store fat when eating a high fat diet (although these effects were relatively minor compared to other treatments used in the study).

Other than that, forskolin has not demonstrated any significant effects in its studies performed thus far. In most studies, forskolin appears to have very similar effects to a placebo – which isn’t good news for Dr. Oz and others who call forskolin a “miracle” obesity cure.


Mediterranean Diet – Is It The Best Diet To Try? Do All The Benefits Add Up?

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Tribal Connections is all about bringing the historical values of humans and foods into a proper place and understanding as a whole. We take the time to research and inform you on various diets, foods, supplements, health conditions and healing protocols.

Today we have a very special, prized, nearly looked-up-to diet around the world, the infamous Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean Diet – Is It For You?

The Mediterranean diet is a popular plant-based diet inspired by Greece, Spain, and Italy.

The diet primarily recommends eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with very generous portions of extra-virgin olive oil as well.

The strong antioxidant properties of olive oil may help reduce skin inflammation, and may play a role in decreasing the risk for heart disease.

Realistically, the Mediterranean diet isn’t intended for weight loss (and is much different than the Paleo diet) – it’s more of a lifestyle change than a prescribed weight loss diet. It may also be easier to follow though because its’ guidelines can be easily adapted based on your personal preferences.

Best Mediterranean Recipes and Meal Plans

The Mediterranean uses very simple diet guidelines based on the dietary and exercise habits of people living in Greece, Italy, France, and other places along the Mediterranean Coast.

Unlike typical diets, there are no suggestions for caloric intake or portion control. The diet primarily encourages those who follow it to eat foods like:

  • — Whole fruits and vegetables
  • — Nuts, seeds, beans, legumes
  • — Fish and poultry
  • — Extra-virgin olive oil

Sweets and desserts are even allowed, which makes it easier to avoid feeling deprived. In fact, its’ encouraged to eat a single serving of a dessert at a celebratory event, and a glass of wine is encouraged as well. In fact, a glass of wine with almost every meal is still a common custom in Mediterranean countries.

The fact that the Mediterranean Diet is so focused on plant foods is why it is considered one of the most success diet lifestyles. Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet may even prevent depression and stroke, and may help protect your brain from dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other similar diseases like breast cancer.

Clinical Studies

Although the Mediterranean Diet is not a weight loss diet, it still may lead to weight loss. Researchers studied the weight of 300 obese patients over a two-year period. Weight loss results from a low-fat diet, a restricted calorie diet, and a Mediterranean diet were observed.

The Mediterranean group lost about 10 pounds on average from when they started where as the low-fat group only dropped 3 pounds. Nobody was asked to exercise or change any other of their lifestyle habits, so the 10 pound drop was seen as significant.

Another study with metabolic syndrome patients at an Italian university hospital found some incredible results once patients were instructed to follow the Mediterranean diet. In two years, eating a Mediterranean style diet helped twice as many patients eliminate the symptoms of metabolic syndrome as those who ate a “healthy” diet.

In a 2013 review published in the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers noted that participants eating the Mediterranean diet experienced a lower number of cardiac events during their trial than a control group. Their results supported the notion that the type and quality of food eaten affects both weight control and overall health more than the caloric intake. Also New England Journal of Medicine revealed the positive effects of primary prevention of cardiovascular disease as well.

Lifestyle Changes

The Mediterranean diet isn’t just a diet though – it’s a lifestyle.

There may not be any rules about how much food you should eat, but you will get better results if you include two or three hours of moderate exercise each week. Choose activities that raise your heart rate, make you breathe harder, and activities that you actually enjoy.

In addition, research has shown that people living in the Mediterranean area who lived long and healthy loves were not the people sitting at desks all day. Instead, they were the people working in the fields, orchards, or vineyards, and they hiked, balked, or walked to get market supplies and produce.

One of the best aspects to the Mediterranean diet is that it is sustainable. People often find low-fat or low carb diets too difficult to follow for a length of time, but the Mediterranean diet is different.

This diet plan allows carbohydrates from quality sources, and there is no requirement to eliminate any food group, which is why the Mediterranean diet has long-term saying power.

If you’re looking to truly improve your health and want a plant-based diet that still has tasteful food, then the Mediterranean diet may be right for you.

Why the paleo diet is trending

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paleo-trendThe Paleo diet is barbaric, tribal and trendy. But why?

Researchers at Tribal Connections parsed the web to see why the caveman phenomenon is so sexy:

After examining the data collected from the different forums, it was obvious that there were certain trends among Paleo advocates and the reasons as to why the public would adopt a lifestyle of living like a caveman.

The most popular response that people gave for following the Paleo diet was because of athletic or fitness related endeavors. 78% of those who responded that they were following the Paleo diet because of these reasons were males between 18-39 years old. The second most popular reason that people gave for joining the Paleo movement was disease related. Either they were suffering from a certain disease that required a restrictive diet, or they had a fear of succumbing to one of the many diet related illnesses that a Standard American Diet has been shown to foster.

Within this category, the gender distribution was not as skewed towards men, but although a number of women expressed concerns for maladies such as gluten and dairy intolerance, the majority remained male.

Other reasons for abiding by the Paleo diet that were encountered during this study included aspirations for general weight loss, seeing others succeed and wanting to attain the same results, and even pregnancy. A full list of the reasons given for following the diet and how the data for this paper was coded can be found in the appendix.

The way that the diet was discussed among participants in the forums yielded some intriguing results. As mentioned in the Data and Methods section, I was looking for discussion outside the realm of strictly diet. What I found was a discussion of a multitude of topics being discussed in depth that were not to be found in the dietetic literature. 12 users commented on the importance of minimizing exposure to blue light waves (coming from TV, computer, or cell phones) after the sun set, which one claimed “affects melatonin secretion” (Mark’s Daily Apple).

At least one post from each different site stressed the consequences of succumbing to the perils of modern technology. There were a variety of different discussions about what kinds of exercises were being practiced among those that mentioned fitness as the primary reason for living like a caveman. 15 people were resolute in their effort to wear only minimalist shoes to mimic the bare footedness of our ancestors. One thread discussed how “our mechanics are not adapted to the supportive shoes of the modern age” and the only way to develop proper ankle stability and leg strength is to “go barefoot” to “avoid atrophy of leg and ankle muscles” (1). Read More

A reseached-back guide to paleo

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paleoFor at least 90% of human history, Homo sapiens lived in small nomadic groups that subsisted on hunter-gatherer diets comprised of wild-caught flora and fauna.

While many modern sources regard the hunter-gatherer lifestyle as utterly defunct, the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunter-Gatherer claims that “hunting and gathering was humanity’s first and most successful adaptation” (Cambridge 1999).

Notwithstanding its incredible efficacy, our Paleolithic ancestors forwent their lifestyle of foraging about 10,000 years ago when the advent of agriculture encouraged them to transition to one based primarily on husbandry and settlement. This “Neolithic Revolution” resulted in a transformation from mobile bands to sedentary societies and enabled large groups of people to coalesce and produce highly accessible food surpluses to support a rapidly increasing population.

Since its beginnings, the cultivation of grain has dominated the global production of food and has played a major role in the diet of most of the world’s population. It is interesting to note, however, that many health officials and historians alike have noticed a strong correlation between the introduction of grains in the human diet and the emergence of chronic diet related disease, which appear to be almost nonexistent in pre-agricultural times.

Bearing this correlation in mind, it is not surprising that recent years have seen increasing support (see: trending) among some scientific authorities for a diet mimicking that of our ancestors during the times when these diseases were rare. Many supporters of such a lifestyle argue that natural, unprocessed foods promote optimal expression of the human genome and have the ability to eradicate the chronic illnesses that run rampant in the modern age. Based on the dietary suggestions presented by these scientific radicals, there has been an influx of enthusiasts who admonish our contemporary grain-based diet in favor of reverting back to Paleolithic habits in an attempt to realign our genes with how they were originally evolved and adapted. Read More

Welcome World

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Tribal Connections is back our beloved digital friends, fans, and followers.

For, what once was has shifted completely new directions going from concentrated Native Health resources and information to a world-wide all for one historic health project to serve all of humanity and present them with simple solutions that can help anyone live a higher quality of life.

The Internet portal has changed the game and battlefield in which the mayhem of marketing materials bombards us daily with ads, messages, logos and subliminal symbols.

Our chief aim is to help you focus on figuring out this friendly battle against the bulge of all health-related issues and complexities. Through the pursuit of passion driven, purpose oriented content we play to provide the best web-based health resources, news and community you can find online.

Stay tuned for the updated version of Tribal Connections coming soon – we will be restoring all Native Health content as well so our respected and growing readership base can see the timeline of how it all transpired.

Here is a list of what you will see in the old, and below a list of what’s new to the Tribal scene.

  • About The Project
  • eHealth Info & Resources
    • Cancer
    • Diabetes
    • Environmental Health
    • Heart Disease
    • Injury Prevention
    • Mental Health
    • Substance Abuse
    • Traditional Healing
    • Tribal
    • Other Health Topics
  • Education and Training
    • Higher Education
    • Professional Organizations
    • Research Programs
    • Training
    • Tribal Libraries / Museums
    • Tutorials
  • Grants and Funding
  • Government Resources
    • Federal
    • State
    • Tribal
  • Health News
  • Technology Resources
    • Audio/Video
    • Telehealth/Telemedicine

Just wait our Tribe is going to grow very fast from here!