Vitamin D and Dementia

March 28, 2012 Written by JP

Part of my responsibility as a medical researcher and natural health consultant is to present breaking information that your doctors may not be aware of and/or ready to share with you. Mainstream medicine is notorious for not advocating certain important health practices until they’re widely accepted by the institutions that govern it. On the other hand, holistic practitioners often veer to the opposite end of the spectrum and assign too much importance to theories that are only backed by preliminary evidence. Today’s blog features an evidence-based snapshot of a trend I’ve been seeing over the past few years. I believe the data contained herein will eventually be accepted by the alternative and conventional medical camps. But, you don’t have to wait until the Journal of the American Medical Association or some other pillar of modern medicine gives its seal of approval to enact the forthcoming research.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Memory, Nutritional Supplements | 17 Comments & Updates

Diabetes Dementia Connection

November 16, 2011 Written by JP

A recent article appearing in the Los Angeles Times draws attention to an emerging health crisis that is currently underreported. “Looking at the Link Between Diabetes and Dementia” focuses on the growing consensus among researchers that elevated blood sugar likely plays a pivotal role in the development of dementia. One of the more shocking statistics mentioned is that an estimated 10% of all dementia cases may be attributable to diabetes. But, hope can be found in the words of Dr. Debra Cherry, one of the specialists featured in the piece – “What is good for the reduction of diabetes risk is also good for reduction of the risk of cognitive impairment”.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diabetes, Memory | 7 Comments & Updates

Low and Slow Cooking

October 12, 2011 Written by JP

The term “Advanced Glycation End product” or AGE isn’t exactly well known. Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine aim to change that and with good reason. To the uninitiated, AGEs are toxic byproducts that are linked to numerous health threats ranging from cardiovascular disease to diabetes. They’re formed during the cooking and processing of various foods using high heat. Within the body, AGEs can also be produced – especially in the context of diets rich in carbohydrates.

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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Memory | 3 Comments & Updates

Medical Marijuana

September 12, 2011 Written by JP

The July-August edition of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine addresses one of the more contentious medical, political and societal issues of our time: medical marijuana. The review provides a balanced perspective about the pros and cons of cannabis use in modern medicine. It not only describes scientific evidence pertaining to legal and illegal cannabis, but also points out issues that require more clarification and future study including: the addictive potential of the “drug”, optimal delivery methods and quality control issues involving natural and synthetic contaminants. My own investigation into the medicinal use of marijuana uncovered some promising and troubling findings. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Memory, Mental Health | 18 Comments & Updates

Dr. Larry McCleary Interview Part Two

July 25, 2011 Written by JP

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 »

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Posted in Diabetes, Interviews, Memory | 1 Comment

Sage Medicine

April 27, 2011 Written by JP

Figures just released by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics report that over 94 million prescriptions for Zocor (simvastatin), a cholesterol-lowering medication, were written in 2010. Crestor and Lipitor, two other statin drugs used to reduce lipids, registered sales of $3.8 and $7.2 billion respectively last year. Salvia officinalis or sage is unlikely to pose much competition to these powerhouse medications. However, a select group of integrative and naturopathic physicians are taking note that this common culinary herb may have much to offer as an alternative and/or complementary treatment option. (1) Read more »

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Posted in Heart Health, Memory, Nutritional Supplements | 9 Comments & Updates

Quality of Aging

April 22, 2011 Written by JP

Throughout history there have been many wise and witty sayings about growing older. Here are a few of my favorites: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain; “Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” Benjamin Franklin; “The minute a man ceases to grow, no matter what his years, that minute he begins to be old.” William James. Some of the changes that occur with advancing age cannot be avoided entirely. But I believe there’s such a thing as “quality of aging” as well as “quality of life”. What’s more, we can all affect the manner and pace by which our bodies reflect our biological years. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Memory | 20 Comments & Updates

Ginkgo and Milk Thistle News

February 8, 2011 Written by JP

Being an informed consumer almost always results in greater satisfaction. This applies when you’re shopping for a car, electronics, a new home and, without a doubt, medical care. In the realm of modern health care if you simply accept all of the information presented by so-called experts, you’ll often miss out on opportunities that you won’t even know exist. Two herbs that are frequently criticized in the popular press are Ginkgo biloba and Silybum marianum or milk thistle. On many occasions they’re described as ineffective and/or unproven at best and potentially dangerous at worst. However, what’s often left out of the picture is the actual data that supports their use and offers clues about their relative safety.
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Posted in Memory, Men's Health, Nutritional Supplements | 15 Comments & Updates

Mushroom Makeover

November 1, 2010 Written by JP

When I’m asked to speak about natural medicine there’s an expectation that I’ll discuss something that’s out of the ordinary. It’s not enough for me to detail the merits of eating a whole food diet, exercising regularly or sleep hygiene. There’s got to be a “hook”. In this way, my current profession is similar to my prior one as a motion picture screenwriter. Many films stick to a familiar formula – they begin with a dramatic opening sequence that demands your attention and draws you into the story that is to follow. A health presentation entitled, “Magic Mushrooms” makes a bigger impression than a lecture about “Promoting Wellness with Fruits and Vegetables”. The reality is that there’s nothing especially magical about mushrooms apart from the fact that they may improve a variety of disease states. That’s why my Healthy Monday tip of the week is to include more mushrooms in your daily diet.
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Posted in Food and Drink, Memory, Nutrition | 19 Comments & Updates

Real Alternatives

September 2, 2010 Written by JP

On any given day, countless patients make the decision to visit a health care professional who practices alternative medicine. Sometimes they do so as an adjunct to the care they’re already receiving from a conventionally trained physician. In other instances, they simply want something different. Hence the term “alternative medicine”. But not every alternative is created equally nor does it need to be administered or monitored exclusively by a holistic physician.
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Posted in Diabetes, Heart Health, Memory | 9 Comments & Updates

Twitter Therapy

June 24, 2010 Written by JP

The topic of this week’s Twitter Thursday is the interplay between the body and mind. There is an erroneous perception out there that we have body related health issues and brain related health issues – the physiological and the psychological. However, an increasing body of research suggests that how we care for our body has both positive and negative consequences on many aspects of mental health and vice versa. Read more »

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Posted in Memory, Mental Health, Women's Health | No Comments;

Coconut Dessert Recipes

June 22, 2010 Written by JP

My wife and I had the pleasure of celebrating Father’s Day with my parents and sister this past weekend. It may come as no surprise, but the topic of health almost always pops up whenever we get together. The unfortunate reality is that some of the stories we discuss are rather sobering. For instance, my mother mentioned an old friend of the family who is now in her late 90′s. Apparently she’s lost much of her appetite so that her nutritional outlook isn’t very promising. This is particularly troubling because getting adequate nutrition is all the more important for seniors. This exchange with my mom inspired the following two recipes. Read more »

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Posted in Food and Drink, Memory, Recipes | 8 Comments & Updates

Twitter Treasures

June 17, 2010 Written by JP

Some health news practically begs to be told. This past week I received two emails and one Twitter message about a possible connection between higher HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of cancer. So my first item of business today is to review that data which comes courtesy of my favorite naturopathic physician in Oregon, Dr. Orna Izakson. Our second stop on this Twitter Thursday examines a proposed link between a specific type of fat and improved brain function in older dogs. That gem is brought to us by Dr. Michael Eades, a leading authority on living a healthy low-carb lifestyle. Last, but not least, there’s a new superfood recipe straight from the test kitchen of Dr. Jonny Bowden – the natural health guru to Hollywood and beyond. Read more »

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Posted in Memory, Nutrition | 2 Comments & Updates

Berry Season

June 14, 2010 Written by JP

Summertime is berry-time. This year, several encouraging studies have accompanied the seasonal influx of these succulent fruits. My Healthy Monday tip of the week is to include more fresh and frozen berries in your diet in the hope of reducing the risk of blood sugar and cardiovascular danger (metabolic syndrome), liver dysfunction, poor cognition and various forms of cancer. Read more »

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Posted in Food and Drink, Memory, Nutrition | 19 Comments & Updates

Improved Sleep and Testosterone Levels

May 20, 2010 Written by JP

The key to being a great patient being a meticulous detective. How long do you spend at a typical doctor’s appointment? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? An hour if you’re lucky? Now compare that to the number of waking hours you spend with yourself. The fact of the matter is that you know infinitely more about yourself than any physician can ever know. If you pay close attention to what’s going on with your body, mind and surroundings you can be a tremendous resource in assisting your health care team to determine what’s right and what’s wrong with you. Read more »

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Posted in Food and Drink, Memory, Men's Health | 13 Comments & Updates

Twitter Thursday Highlights

May 13, 2010 Written by JP

This past weekend I was discussing meditation with my dad. For years I’ve been trying to get him to meditate without much success. The thing about my father is that he’s great about taking supplements and pretty on-the-ball about diet and exercise. But when it comes to mind-body practices, I’ve yet to successfully convert him. I hope that today’s column will be the incentive he needs to finally take the leap and begin some form of stress relieving therapy. My wish for today is that you’ll all be able to take something of value from what I write here and apply it to your life. That could mean adopting a meditative practice, eating grass-fed instead of conventional meat or spending a little more time in the kitchen preparing simple recipes that support your health care goals. Read more »

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Posted in Memory, Mental Health, Recipes | 2 Comments & Updates