I don’t know about you, but I haven’t come across many doctors that prescribe a daily glass of blended fruits and vegetables as a way of reducing cardiovascular risk. Take a daily aspirin? Sure. Pop a statin medication to lower cholesterol? That’s pretty commonplace. But, placing diet and lifestyle at the forefront of care is a concept that has not yet been warmly embraced in conventional medicine. In order to change this counterproductive paradigm, I believe a minimum of two steps ought to be taken. First, the work of responsible, innovative physicians such as Dr. Sinatra needs to be shared with the unconverted whether family, friends or your health care team. And, perhaps as importantly, patients need to actively seek out and support integrative healers both financially and otherwise. As with most industries, money and public perception drives change.
Tags: Carnitine, CoQ10, Recipes
Posted in Heart Health, Interviews, Mental Health | 6 Comments
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is by far the leading health risk in the United States and beyond. It affects men and women in almost equal proportions and pays little attention to ethnicity. In fact, African Americans, Asian or Pacific Islanders and Caucasians register very similar vascular mortality rates. What’s more, the most recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention place a hefty price tag of over $100 billion/year for health care services, lost productivity and medications relating to CHD. While these figures are undoubtedly grim, it’s helpful to have frequent reminders that heart disease is largely preventable. For over forty years, Dr. Stephen Sinatra, has been investigating and reporting on this very topic.
Tags: Agave, Calcium, Cholesterol
Posted in Heart Health, Interviews, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments
The integration of natural medicine and rigorous science is becoming increasingly evident in the current medical landscape. Dr. Eric Ding exemplifies the philosophical shift that is presently underway. For starters, he has allopathic credentials that are beyond reproach: graduating Johns Hopkins University with Honors in Public Health and Phi Beta Kappa, then going on to become the youngest student at Harvard to complete a dual doctoral program in epidemiology and nutrition. Dr. Ding is now a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and Women’s Hospital, and is also the director and founder of the non-profit Campaign for Cancer Prevention.
Tags: Antioxidants, Chocolate, Cocoa
Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Interviews | 5 Comments
Those living with chronic pain frequently turn to over-the-counter NSAIDs or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs for acute or long term symptom management. As expected, this approach generally makes day to day living more tolerable. However, there can be steep consequences to pay for the temporary relief these medications provide. Adverse reactions ranging from compromised bone healing to damage to the gastrointestinal tract have been attributed to regular NSAID use. In fact, the concern about the side effect profiles of NSAIDs is so profound that drug companies themselves are scrambling to find ways to minimize the downsides of this popular class of drugs. Some pharmaceutical manufacturers are even going so far as to combine NSAIDs with natural agents (dietary fiber, lactoferrin and probiotics) that may allow for these synthetic antiinflammatory agents to work in a safer manner.
Tags: Inflammation, Massage, Pain
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Interviews | No Comments;
The November-December edition of the journal Pain Research and Management describes a sad state of affairs that many patients and physicians are frustratingly aware of: “Despite many recent advances in the past 40 years in the understanding of pain mechanisms, and in pain diagnosis and management, considerable gaps in knowledge remain, with chronic pain present in epidemic proportions in most countries.” An underutilized resource known as trigger point therapy may very well help fill some of these noted gaps. And, there’s nobody better to address this potential avenue of healing and recovery than Valerie DeLaune, LAc.
Tags: Acupuncture, Inflammation, Pain
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Interviews | 6 Comments
There’s a lot more to cardiovascular health than just blindly following your doctor’s instructions about what to eat and what medications to take. In order to receive the highest quality of care, you need to ask informed questions and stay up-to-date on the latest scientific data – just in case your physicians are behind the times. A prime example of this recently made the news. A meta-analysis in the current edition of The Lancet recommends that blood pressure be taken using both arms rather than just one. The reason is explained in the authors’ concluding statement: “A difference in SBP (systolic blood pressure) of 10 mm Hg or more, or of 15 mm Hg or more, between arms might help to identify patients who need further vascular assessment. A difference of 15 mm Hg or more could be a useful indicator of risk of vascular disease and death.”
Tags: Chocolate, CoQ10, Meditation
Posted in Heart Health, Interviews, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments
Today not only marks the first day of February, but also the beginning of American Heart Month. I can’t think of a better way to address the important topic of cardiovascular health than to present a recent Q&A session with one of the leading figures in exercise and nutrition: Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS.
Tags: Cholesterol, Coconut, Low Carb
Posted in Heart Health, Interviews, Nutrition | 6 Comments
What I personally look for in a physician, regardless of their specialty, is someone who is an expert in their field, but who also acknowledges and understands the importance of holism. Historical wisdom and recent scientific discoveries make it abundantly clear that it no longer makes much sense to treat symptoms in isolation. These days, physicians need to consider individual dietary, lifestyle and psychological factors in addition to biomarkers and other test results when evaluating a patient’s true health status. Dr. Larry McCleary is an example of a brain specialist who has fully embraced this concept by searching throughout the body for clues that may enhance wellness. Read more »
Tags: Brain, Coconut, Vitamin D
Posted in Diabetes, Interviews, Memory | 1 Comment
The term “brain food” is bandied about in magazines, podcasts and television exposés seemingly on a daily basis. Foods such as blueberries, fish and green leafy vegetables are often singled out as supporting neurological health. But, the same is also true of granola bars, low fat diets and even whole grain bread. In short, there are broad and sometimes differing views about what exactly constitutes good choices with respect to brain functioning and wellness. So who better to clear up this confusion than Dr. Larry McCleary? If you aren’t already familiar with the good neurosurgeon, you should know that he brings to the table not only an impressive curriculum vitae, but also a track record of giving back to the community. Read more »
Tags: Brain, Memory, Metabolic Syndrome
Posted in Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss, Interviews | 4 Comments
One of the reasons I chose the Internet as my primary mode of communication is that it allows me to continually and publicly update my points of views without much lag time. If a new study is published that contradicts or modifies my opinion about a health topic, I can spread the word about the breaking data almost immediately. The same is not true of books, magazine articles or print newsletters. This reality often leaves me wondering what some of the finest minds in integrative medicine think about current headlines that don’t make it into their finished work. Fortunately, on occasion, I’m able to follow up with some of the health experts I respect the most and ask some of the questions that have been left unaddressed.
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Tags: Fish Oil, Fruits, Vegetables
Posted in Diabetes, Heart Health, Interviews | No Comments;
As luck would have it, one of the biggest snow storms in recent history coincided with our stay in Paris in December 2010. On one particularly frigid and icy afternoon, we stopped into a gastro pub located only a few blocks away from our hotel. It was just too cold to walk much further! There, Mrs. Healthy Fellow and I enjoyed a steaming bowl of cream of cauliflower soup and a dozen escargot gently cooked in garlic-parsley butter. During our meal, a lady seated at the table next to us politely commented on our food selection. She mentioned that she wished she could indulge in similar cuisine. However the diet she was on didn’t allow it. The dietary regimen in question, The Dukan Diet, is perhaps the most popular weight loss program currently making the rounds in France. My hope is that one day soon a similar scenario will unfold with someone telling me, “I’m on the Zest for Life diet”. Read more »
Tags: Cancer, Mediterranean Diet, Wine
Posted in Food and Drink, Interviews, Nutrition | 1 Comment
Mrs. Healthy Fellow and I recently went on a business trip to France. While there we visited as many historical sites as time and weather would permit. One of the most memorable destinations was the lively Organic Farmer’s Market in Paris. If you’d like to take a visual tour of the Marche Biologique Raspail, click on the following links (a, b, c, d, e). We also had the pleasure of visiting several natural food stores and restaurants that showcased healthy, local cuisine. During our travels we became aware of a unique advocate of just the sort of foods we enjoyed while in “The City of Lights” and the countryside. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Conner Middelmann Whitney.
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Tags: Cancer, Mediterranean Diet, Recipes
Posted in Interviews, Nutrition, Women's Health | 5 Comments
The first thing I do each day when I sit in front of my computer is to visit a specific web site. Based on what you know of me, you might think that destination would have something to do with natural health. In a way, it does. But perhaps not quite the way you’d expect. My homepage is set to The Hunger Site. Recently, I had the opportunity to engage in a Q&A with Tim Kunin, the CEO of the GreaterGood Network. I hope that the information shared will inspire you to “click to give” like thousands of others do on a daily basis. Did I mention that taking part in this worthy endeavor won’t cost you anything at all?
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Tags: Charity, Hunger, Volunteering
Posted in Children's Health, Interviews, Women's Health | No Comments;
Today I’m proud to present the conclusion of my interview with Dr. Barry Sears. After I posted the initial segment of the Q&A, I received some comments and emails inquiring about my opinion of the data and theories that Dr. Sears presented. I’m always happy to offer my perspective even when it differs from the views of my guests. I firmly believe that agreement is less important than an open and respectful exchange of ideas. That’s precisely the type of environment I hope to foster here. The one constant that I can promise you is that I’ll only present information from experts that I think have something valuable to share. By all accounts, Dr. Sears has contributed a great deal of insight and research to what’s currently known about the role that hormones and inflammation play in diabetes, obesity and beyond. You and I may not decide to adopt every recommendation he makes. But I for one will seriously consider what he has to say and incorporate his suggestions when they seem applicable to my goals.
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Tags: Fish Oil, Inflammation, Saturated Fat
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Interviews, Nutrition | No Comments;
A few weeks ago, a reader named Vicky left me a comment that has stuck with me ever since. She wondered if there was a way for me to help poor people who don’t have Internet access or the resources necessary to implement much of the information I present on this site. Specifically, the post she was referring had to do with the Novel H1N1 Swine Flu virus. As I typed my response, I realized that even something as basic as a multivitamin was out reach for some of the most vulnerable populations in the world. It is at that point that I remembered the name of a charity that I have seen in natural health magazines and trade journals. The two words that came back to me were: Vitamin Angels.
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Tags: Charity, Nutrition, Vitamins
Posted in Children's Health, Interviews, Women's Health | 4 Comments
Dr. Barry Sears is the highly acclaimed author and creator of The Zone Diet. If you were at all tuned in to the world of health and nutrition in the mid-to-late 90′s you’ve almost certainly heard about and/or experimented with his unique dietary recommendations that calls for a specific ratio of carbohydrates, fat and protein. Since then, Dr. Sears has gone on to research and report on novel ways to address disease and obesity by countering “silent inflammation”. His bestselling books, The Anti-Aging Zone, The Omega Rx Zone and Toxic Fat, all reflect the latest medical findings and practical ways for the average person to modify health risks via natural means. Recently, Dr. Sears took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some of my questions. This is part one of my two-part interview with Dr. Barry Sears.
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Tags: Low Carb, Protein, Saturated Fat
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Interviews, Nutrition | 4 Comments