Risë Rafferty, RDN - Archives

Authority by Rise Rafferty

Authority

January 4, 2017 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

“Who of you respect authority?” questioned the professor to those of us sitting in her classroom. I immediately raised my hand. Awkwardly, I realized that mine was the only hand raised. I was surprised but unshaken in my response. I respect authority. It’s how my mama raised me. A good 20 plus years older than my peers, I attributed the difference in our reactions to our age discrepancy. Maybe my classmates were shy or did not understand why the question was asked. Maybe their respect for authority was lost due to a bad experience. On the other hand, maybe they were not taught what my mama taught me. For whatever reason, there was a lack of hands raised in the classroom that day. I believe it was but a microcosm of our society today.

Humanity has a right to question and to stand up to authority when it is in the wrong. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Tumeric—One Who Is Victorious Over Disease

Turmeric—One Who Is Victorious Over Disease

November 30, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Did you know that an estimated 80% of the world’s inhabitants rely on traditional therapies that have been used for thousands of years? Anciently, turmeric was used in places like China and India to aid digestion, improve liver function, treat arthritis pain, heartburn, stomach ulcers, inflammation, and cancer. Turmeric has been applied directly to the skin as a healing salve for eczema, small pox, shingles, and wounds. But does turmeric have actual medicinal legitimacy? Does it have any proven effects on specific disease processes? From the research that I have been exposed to, I would say turmeric is living up to one of its traditional Indian nicknames: one who is victorious over disease.

Turmeric is a shrub-like tropical plant that grows about three feet tall. It bears a lovely pink-hued flower, but it is the finger-like underground stems, or rhizomes, that are so highly valued. If not used fresh, the stems are boiled, dried, and ground into a deep orange-yellow spice. Turmeric, commonly used in curries and savory dishes, is …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

The Plantrician by Risë Rafferty

The Plantrician

November 2, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

You will not find this word in Webster’s dictionary, in a telephone book, or a listing of careers. The word plantrician was created to identify health care practitioners, such as physicians or clinicians, who are empowered with knowledge of the benefits of whole-food, plant-based nutrition.1 I recently had the privilege of attending the International Plantrician Project Convention. I spent four days being saturated with lectures, research, enthusiasm, chit-chat, and meals all focused on the power of the plant. Pioneer physicians in the field, researchers, authors, dietitians, farmers, and athletes presented and reaffirmed the efficacy of plant-based nutritional therapy for a variety of diseases and imbalances.

While this convention was not spiritual in nature, Scott Stoll, MD, co-founder of the Plantrician Project, walked around the convention hall daily, praying for God’s blessing and His Spirit to be present in the meetings. His keynote address included a description of God’s design for the original diet of man as found in the book of Genesis. Stoll’s philosophy emanates from his statement, “Physicians are …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Butyrate and the Bowel, Part 3 by Rise Rafferty

Butyrate and the Bowel, pt 3

October 5, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Crosstalk is a term that can pertain to telecommunications, when distinguishable signals leak from one connection to another. In electronics, crosstalk is a phenomenon by which a signal on one circuit or channel of a transmission system creates an effect on another circuit or channel. The term has been borrowed and used in reference to the human body when communication signals in one body system “leak out” and communicate to another seemingly unrelated body system. For example, science is suggesting that crosstalk exists between the bowel and the brain via butyrate.

We have been looking at the short-chain fatty acid butyrate the past couple months and have seen what a significant role it plays in bowel health, immune system function, obesity, and diabetes. “Indeed, it is clear that host energy metabolism and immune functions critically depend on butyrate as a potent regulator, highlighting butyrate as a key mediator of host-microbe crosstalk.”1 But even beyond this crosstalk between host and microbe, the suggestion that butyrate crosstalks with the brain has led …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Butyrate and the Bowel, pt 2 by Risë Rafferty

Butyrate and the Bowel, pt 2

August 31, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Last month we began understanding one of the ways the community of microbes residing within impacts the health of its host organ, the colon, as well as other facets of human health. This community is composed of many members in various concentrations or percentages. There are thousands of varieties/species, some of which science is still discovering. They could be likened to family clans; the McCalahans, the De Lucas, the Gonzalezs, the Takahashis, different and unique from each other, yet dwelling in one community. The strains of microbes that flourish in this community are in part determined by what they are fed.

We learned that certain strains of bacteria ferment carbohydrates that have been thus far indigestible in the digestive system. As the bacteria break these indigestible carbohydrates down, they produce short-chain fatty acids that are secreted into the colon, byproducts of the fermentation process. Butyrate is one of these short-chain fatty acid byproducts. We observed that butyrate has made headlines in medical journals as a result of the intriguing results …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Butyrate and the Bowel, pt 1 by Risë Rafferty

Butyrate and the Bowel, pt 1

August 3, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Modern man has a problem with his colon, the large intestine, one’s bowels, the gut, the last processing plant in the digestive tract. Yep, whether it’s diverticulosis, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, diarrhea, constipation, pain upon defecation, abdominal pain, straining, bloating, incomplete evacuation, blood in stools, sense of urgency, and so on, we’ve got problems. No doubt about it, our society is becoming increasingly aware of this important part of our anatomy and we probably all have a story to tell.

Housed within the large intestine are trillions of microbes that are referred to collectively as the microbiome, a community of various strains of bacteria, fungi, and yeasts that live and thrive in the dark, dank, recesses of our digestive tract. In their own fashion, microbes respire and digest to survive, producing byproducts that science is discovering have a potentially dramatic impact on how we feel, what we look like, our physical condition, how much energy we have, how occluded our arteries …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Overloaded by Risë Rafferty

Overloaded

June 29, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Skeletal muscle has this amazing ability to adapt to being overloaded. When weight bearing loads are repeatedly placed upon them, muscle responds by increasing in size and strength. Exercise is the most powerful stimuli for inducing reorganization of muscle cells. Genetics play a large role in muscle mass potential, as does diet and growth factors. These growth factors have become common terms in body building circles. They are advertised as having the ability to supersize muscles.

Growth factors are produced by the body and are very involved in muscle building. They work with each other to help bring about the desired goal: well-defined, larger muscles. One of these growth factors is a substance called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 stimulates growth. It has been found to promote bone growth in osteoporotic individuals, enhance the growth of children, and has been linked with preventing muscle wasting in the elderly.

Several tissues produce IGF-1. Muscles themselves produce it in response to resistance exercise. IGF-1 circulating in the blood is typically produced …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers