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Dr. D'Adamo has been utilizing a device called BIM-4 to monitor the progress and efforts of his patients to build a healthier body composition. BIM-4 is the abbreviation for a tool called a Bioimpedance Machine (version 4) and it is used to gather information on several biomarkers of a healthy metabolism.
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis is not a new technology. In fact, it has been used in research since 1940. In essence, the concept of bioelectrical impedance is used to describe the measurement of electrical current changes across limbs, organs and other body sites. Without getting into the "why" or "how" of the workings of the machine, this device allows us to quickly gather extremely useful information regarding a client's body composition (amount of body fat, amount of muscle tissue and the ratio between these two) and body fluid dynamics/distribution.
Let's take a moment to discuss the difference between "weight" and "body composition". We routinely hear people refer to their weight and their desire to lose weight. Unfortunately, this is a very unspecific goal. A more appropriate goal would usually be to lose fat. What is the difference you might ask? Body weight consists of other components besides fat. These include muscle tissue, bone weight, and water primarily.
Clearly losing weight in your bones would not be a healthy goal. We are all familiar with osteoporosis and the need to sustain thick strong bones, so we are probably in agreement that this is not the type of weight we would like to lose.
Similarly, if we were to look at all of the advantageous functions muscle tissue contributes to on behalf of our health (including being the primary furnace to burn fat) we would be in agreement that losing muscle tissue would not be a good form of weight loss either. In fact, we find that health suffers not so much from too much weight, but from too much body fat and too little muscle. As such, it is much more important to know the amount of muscle mass you have rather than to solely focus on your weight.
We actually have water weight both inside and outside of our cells. In a healthy state, there is a tendency to maintain greater quantities of fluid inside your cells. The opposite of this would be edema or fluid build-up outside of your cells, which is obviously not reflective of perfect health.
So, with respect to water weight, it is fine (in fact desirable) to lose or lower the water outside of your cells (extracellular fluid) while it is not such a good thing to have the amount of fluid inside (intracellular) your cells decrease.
The BIM-4 gives an estimation of intracellular and extracellular water, as well as the ratio between the two. The best way to think of the intracellular water is as a measurement of the internal environment. A higher reading of intracellular water generally indicates a happy and healthy internal cell environment. Factors like compliance to your blood type diet, detoxification, appropriate exercise, and stress management will usually move this number in a positive direction over time.
Extracellular water is the flip side of intracellular water and is a measurement of the fluid outside of your cells. In a state of great health, this number should be less than the intracellular value. Factors like eating avoid foods, sedentary lifestyle habits, high amounts of cellular toxicity, and high stress tend to drive this number higher.
If you are seeking to improve aspects of your intracellular/extracellular water parameters, in addition to following the lifestyle activities mentioned above, you might also consider supplementing your diet with dandelion leaf (Taraxacum officinale).
Historically, Taraxacum was used in Europe to treat fevers, boils, eye problems, diarrhea, fluid retention, liver congestion, heartburn, and various skin problems. In most other parts of the world, dandelion has been used primarily as a tonic for the liver. Taraxacum has also been used historically as a food. The leaves can be added to salad greens, or utilized as a steamed vegetable or tea. The root can serve as a coffee substitute and the flowers can be used to make dandelion wine or schnapps.
Taraxacum has significantly different physiological activity depending upon which part of the plant is used. The root is classified as a liver tonic and has been shown to enhance aspects of liver performance. The leaf, on the other hand, is considered to be more specific for the kidneys.
In animals, Taraxacum leaf has been shown to have diuretic activity, stimulating the loss of excess water and promoting weight loss. Much of the weight loss activity is thought to be a result of the elimination of excess extracellular water. Taraxacum was shown to have diuretic activity comparable to furosemide (Lasix). However, since Taraxacum is also a rich source of potassium, capable of replacing potassium lost through diuresis, it is not associated with the side effects of furosemide, such as hepatic coma and circulatory collapse. In other words, Taraxacum is considered to be extremely safe.
In the experiments, the dosage of Taraxacum leaf given to the animals was 8 ml/kg of body weight daily of an aqueous fluid extract. This dose produced a 30% loss of body weight in mice and rats in a 30-day period, with much of the weight loss attributed to the loss of excess amounts of extracellular water.
To put this dose in perspective, this would be approximately equivalent to drinking about 3/4 of a quart of a dandelion leaf water extract (think of this as a very strong tea) daily. Another option for consuming dandelion leaf is supplementation with a freeze-dried extract of the leaves. Since freeze-drying preserves and stabilizes the active ingredients in the plant, and since removing all of the water weight from the plant substantially decreases the weight of the material, a little of the freeze-dried leaf goes a long way. A dose of 2 capsules daily for the first week (to make sure the dietary supplement is agreeing with you) is a good starting point for adding this nutritious plant into your diet. After this initial week, it is fine to increase the amount you consume to two capsules twice or three times daily. Dandelion (both root and leaf) is considered safe even in very high quantities and is perfect dietary additions to enhance your body's natural self-cleaning processes.
Dandelion (Taraxacum) Order Page
1. Racz-Kotilla E, Racz G, Solomon A. The action of Taraxacum officinale extracts on the body weight and diuresis of laboratory animals. Planta Med 1974;26:212-217.
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