Archive for July, 2010

Natural Leg Cramp Relief

July 30, 2010 Written by JP

On July 8, 2010 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the use of quinine (Qualaquin) for night time leg cramps. The basis for the alert were reports of “serious and life-threatening blood-related reactions, including serious bleeding due to severe lowering of blood cells (platelets) and a condition known as hemolytic-uremic syndrome/thrombocytopenic purpura which, in some cases, may result in permanent kidney damage”. In actuality, Qualaquin has only been FDA-approved for the treatment of malaria. However, it is frequently used “off-label” to reduce the incidence and severity of nocturnal leg cramps. The reason for this is pretty straight forward: quinine improves cramping symptoms in many patients. But the issue of potential toxicity must also be taken into account. Fortunately, there are several dietary supplements that may offer a safer way to achieve a cramp-free night’s sleep. (1)
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutritional Supplements | 8 Comments

Medical Myths and Smoothies

July 29, 2010 Written by JP

Today’s edition of Twitter Thursday focuses of three topics that I think can positively impact your health care. In the first segment I’ll continue my quest to dispel the myth that eggs are an unhealthy food because of their cholesterol and saturated fat content. The middle segment will bring to light an emerging theory that some cases of appendicitis may not require surgical intervention. Lastly, I’ll add my two cents to a popular list of the “12 Best Smoothie Ingredients”. By the time you’re done reading today’s column, I hope you’ll take away a few ideas and insights about how to better serve your own wellness and beyond.
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Posted in Diabetes, Exercise, Heart Health | 9 Comments

Dr. Richard Feinman Interview Part Two

July 28, 2010 Written by JP

This is the second part of my interview with the founder and president of the Nutrition and Metabolism Society, Dr. Richard Feinman. Apart from the information presented, I hope you’ll take note of a theme that he continually comes back to: concerns and/or opinions do not equal evidence. This is true whether they’re stated by celebrities, doctors, family or neighbors. In order to truly understand the value of any diet or health practice, we must first evaluate the evidence behind it. What’s more, any reasonable health authority should be willing to back his or her point of view with a solid scientific foundation. Dr. Feinman is an excellent example of this. He handles my inquiries head on with the confidence that he has science on his side.
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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Interviews, Nutrition | 5 Comments

Summer Ceviche Recipe

July 27, 2010 Written by JP

The long hot days of summer have finally arrived. You want something delicious and nutritious to eat, but you don’t want to fire up the stove or the oven. What to do? Why not “cook” without cooking at all? Before you jump to the conclusion that I’m suffering from heat stroke, let me explain. There’s a form of food preparation that utilizes fruit acids to cook/denature proteins found in select foods such as fish. The pickling process involved yields a dish known worldwide as ceviche. This is a valuable addition to any cooking repertoire because it’s easy to prepare and allows for a fresh way to enjoy more health promoting seafood. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes | 4 Comments

Educate Your Doctor

July 26, 2010 Written by JP

The quality of modern health care is frequently in the news. Health care professionals, insurance companies and politicians all have their own ideas about how patients can better be served for less money. There’s all this talk about reforming health care and yet very few of the “deal makers” actually consult patients like you and me. Am I right? Well, I for one have a strong sense about what I’d like to see change. On the top of my list is the need for a greater variety of treatment options. There are some obstacles to that but, surprisingly, the most significant among them have nothing to do with money. My Healthy Monday tip of the week is to educate your doctor about the value of alternative and complementary remedies. Read more »


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Posted in Children's Health, Diabetes, Mental Health | No Comments;

Saffron Research

July 23, 2010 Written by JP

Foods and natural remedies are frequently classified according to their most prominent features. Echinacea flowers and roots are generally thought of as immune boosters. Ginkgo biloba leaves are widely regarded as memory enhancers. And saffron stigmas are associated with the deep red color they impart to countless Eurasian dishes. Of the three examples, saffron is probably the least familiar in terms of medicinal potential. However, that is likely to change thanks to recent studies that are beginning to reveal new talents for this ancient spice. Read more »


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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 7 Comments

Brain Detoxification

July 22, 2010 Written by JP

Nobody wants to waste time or money on quackery. On the other hand, we’ve all heard anecdotes about people who have made dramatic recoveries under the care of holistic healers. The question then becomes: How exactly does one navigate through this uncertain terrain? The first step is to get a referral from someone you respect. But even with that assurance, you’ll still need to practice something I call “inquisitive optimism”. This requires maintaining a hopeful attitude while at the same time asking plenty of questions. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Nutrition | 11 Comments

Dr. Richard Feinman Interview Part One

July 21, 2010 Written by JP

If you’re a frequent visitor to my site you know that I place a high value on presenting responsible information that is evidence-based. You won’t find much in the way of hyperbolic health claims or tabloid style rhetoric here. That sort of reporting is not productive and rarely brings about meaningful change. The same holds true in the fields of higher education and medical research. I believe that Dr. Richard Feinman exemplifies the type of philosophy and attitude that will eventually revolutionize the world of biochemistry and nutrition. I’m proud to announce that over the next several weeks I’ll be presenting some of his insights on the role that low carbohydrate diets can play in transforming modern health care.
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Posted in Interviews, Nutrition | 6 Comments

Chilled Roasted Pepper Soup Recipe

July 20, 2010 Written by JP

When I was a little boy there was one particular food that I simply couldn’t stand. I think most kids have at least one gastronomical nemesis. The odd thing about mine was that it was made up of ingredients that I actually enjoyed in other dishes. For instance, I loved lasagna, pasta marinara and pizza. And ketchup? Fuggedaboutit. I put it on just about everything. But tomato soup was an entirely different story. I could sit at the dinner table for hours upon hours with tears in my eyes and still never finish a bowl. Read more »


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Posted in Nutrition, Recipes | 8 Comments

Natural Pain Relievers

July 19, 2010 Written by JP

There are few things in life that are more difficult than being in constant pain or seeing someone you love in the same predicament. Chronic pain related conditions are notoriously difficult to manage in the long term without accompanying side effects from the treatments themselves. But what can one do? You either live with the pain and forego conventional therapies or you take the best pharmacological and surgical advice your doctors have to offer. The latter is what most people settle on and it’s completely understandable. However, there are also natural pain relieving options available. My Healthy Monday tip is that patients and physicians consider adding alternative and complementary techniques to their list of viable interventions.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health | 9 Comments

Acai Controversy

July 16, 2010 Written by JP

Much of the potential and risk associated with the natural health industry involves the issue of responsibility. Who is responsible for ensuring the efficacy and safety of natural remedies? In terms of oversight, consumers must rely on watchdogs within the natural health industry itself and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, many people feel let down by this agency. That’s why we consumers need to get involved in the process. I think the best way is to become informed about the actual research behind these products rather than the glossy marketing and superficial propaganda put out by detractors and proponents alike. Read more »


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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 3 Comments

Natural Health Resources

July 15, 2010 Written by JP

What is the one thing that attracts and repels people and situations into your life? To my mind, it’s how you view the world. It’s absolutely vital to understand how you really feel about the important issues of life. But from that point on, the decisions you make become even more interesting. Will you choose to surround yourself with people and places that wholeheartedly agree with your outlook? Or, will you invite in other points of view that challenge your philosophical notions? From my perspective, the latter and more difficult of the two options is probably the better way to go. Maybe that’s why I like Twitter so much. Read more »


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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition | 9 Comments

Hot Flashes, Influenza and Weight Loss Updates

July 14, 2010 Written by JP

There is an enormous gap between what we know and don’t know in the field of alternative and complementary medicine. Countless questions remain unanswered simply because there isn’t enough financing and resources to test in a scientific manner. That’s why it’s vitally important to put to use every last study that has been conducted. Because even the slightest of experiments can yield important clues that help bridge the knowledge gap. Read more »


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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Women's Health | No Comments;

Lemon Blueberry Muffin Recipe

July 13, 2010 Written by JP

Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day. It directly follows a period of fasting and sets the nutritional foundation for the waking hours to come. The tricky part is how to make the most of breakfast while still being mindful of practical considerations such as getting to school or work on time. In my experience, the key to overcoming this commonly cited hurdle is to prepare food in advance. But not just any food will do. A strategic mix of macronutrients is what your body thirsts for first in the morning. Today’s recipe delivers just that and a whole lot more. Read more »


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Posted in Detoxification, Food and Drink, Recipes | 8 Comments

Aromatherapy News

July 12, 2010 Written by JP

The key to feeling more energetic and peaceful may be right in front of your face. Before you go crazy trying to figure it out – take a deep breath. Part of the solution is just breathing deeply. Now combine that action with essential oils derived from flowers and fruit rinds and you have a powerful natural remedy known as aromatherapy. My Healthy Monday tip of the week is to inhale your way to a better state of mind. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Mental Health | 1 Comment

Soy Guide for Women

July 9, 2010 Written by JP

I’m not sure how I feel about the concept of meaningful coincidences or synchronicity. But that doesn’t stop me from assigning significance to patterns that seem to crop up for whatever reason. In the past few weeks several people that I know have expressed a concern about the estrogenic properties of soy foods and supplements. I’ve covered this issue in previous columns, but thought this might be a good time to report on the most recent evidence available on this controversial topic. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink, Women's Health | 10 Comments