Archive for February, 2011

Saw Palmetto Research

February 28, 2011 Written by JP

Italy is universally known for a great many things – it’s incredible beauty, romantic atmosphere, beloved cuisine and strong family ties. Researching phytomedicines that support prostate health generally doesn’t come to mind. Interestingly enough, that’s exactly what I discovered while investigating the current state of natural medicine in that country. Select herbal remedies which are currently considered ineffective or passe in the United States and elsewhere are still under review in this enchanting land sometimes referred to as Lo Stivale or The Boot.
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Posted in Men's Health, Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;

Supplement News You Can Use

February 25, 2011 Written by JP

The majority of positive research on nutritional supplements never makes the mainstream news. In fact, if you used the information presented in the most popular magazines, newspapers and television news programs exclusively, you’d probably have a relatively negative impression about the utility of non-prescriptive herbs, essential fatty acids and various other so-called “nutraceuticals”. The reality is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of relevant studies published each year in prestigious medical journals about dietary supplements that you probably should know about.
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Posted in Exercise, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 14 Comments

Best Of Artic Root Energy

February 24, 2011 Written by JP

The world is currently suffering from an energy crisis. I’m not talking about the lack of oil reserves or alternative energy sources, but rather the number of coffee shops that have sprouted up everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a good cup of coffee. In fact, drinking coffee is often a healthful practice. But utilizing a natural stimulant, such as caffeine, isn’t always appropriate or advisable. So what can you do if you frequently find yourself feeling “wiped out”? One option is to consider using an adaptogen.
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Posted in Exercise, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments

Breakfast Controversy

February 23, 2011 Written by JP

Every so often a news story is promoted that questions fundamental beliefs about good nutrition. I used the word “promoted” purposefully. If there’s a health related press release that is likely to be controversial or sensational, it generally moves to the front of the line for consideration. Take for example the recent publicity surrounding a study that supposedly found that eating a “big breakfast” increases daily caloric intake rather than lowering it. Previous inquiries have reported that starting the day off with a hearty breakfast is probably one of the best ways to ensure better subsequent food selection and a healthier weight. So the fact that one study refutes this widely held opinion can be big news.
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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 5 Comments

Best Of Theaflavins and Heart Health

February 22, 2011 Written by JP

As a big fan of movies, quotations from films are often in the forefront of my mind. One line of dialogue that’s made an indelible impression on me is from the 2005 box-office bomb, The Weather Man. In the film, the esteemed actor Michael Caine offers some prescient words of wisdom to his adult son, played by Nicolas Cage. “Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy. ‘Easy’ doesn’t enter into grown-up life”. That advice was given with regard to a failing marriage, but it I think it applies to almost every aspect of life and, quite specifically, to natural medicine.
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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health | No Comments;

Best Of Acupressure News and Reviews

February 21, 2011 Written by JP

Prospective consumers tend to categorize alternative and complementary therapies on a subconscious level. The fact of the matter is that some holistic techniques seem more reasonable than others. This is often a consequence of the culture and medical care to which we’ve been exposed throughout our lives. Human nature generally dictates that we gravitate to that which is familiar. With that in mind, allow me to suggest that esoteric healing techniques afford something rather profound to us all: an opportunity to expand our horizons and experience the world in a broader context.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Women's Health | 2 Comments

Nutrition News You Can Use

February 18, 2011 Written by JP

Today’s column deals with three distinct nutritional strategies that have the potential to dramatically change your life. Does that sound like the beginning of an over-the-top sales pitch? Maybe so. But the only thing I have to sell right here and now is free information that you can use, if you so choose, to help yourself and others to live more healthfully and peacefully. Whether or not you decide to apply this information will likely depend on how well I “sell” the concepts and your willingness to do what it takes to adopt them. That, in a nutshell, defines natural medicine. It works best when the information provided is accurate, non-manipulative and requires dedication from those who hope to benefit from it.
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Posted in Children's Health, Heart Health, Nutrition | 2 Comments

Best of NAC for Mental Health

February 17, 2011 Written by JP

A common theme found in naturopathic medicine is that a substance used for one purpose often ends up benefiting other seemingly unrelated conditions. When this occurs, scientists generally scramble to determine how in the world such a turn of events is even possible. There’s certainly a great deal of value in identifying the underlying mechanisms by which a “medicine” works. But if the body is viewed as a whole, rather than in isolated parts, then the concept of broad spectrum healing tends to make more sense. One example is a rather obscure supplement that reduces the ill effects of oxidants in the body while also promoting a healthier environment in the brain.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments

Best Of New Vitamin D News

February 16, 2011 Written by JP

There are many different writing styles. Some health reporters seek out a specific niche and stick to it. Others mine a more diverse topic base from which to select material. I tend to fall between the two camps. While researching, I allow the material that I come across in my daily life to dictate what I cover. At times this gives me the luxury of presenting a broad cross-section of information. But occasionally, what I discover prompts me to revisit select topics on a regular basis. Such is the case with research involving Vitamin D. Currently, there is a tremendous amount of scientific attention being paid to this humble “sunshine” hormone/nutrient. Some of the more dramatic data makes the evening news. Much of it does not. The latter category is the subject of my column today.

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Posted in Dental Health, Diabetes, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments

Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

February 15, 2011 Written by JP

It’s always helpful to have prepared foods on hand that help you deal with the specific challenges of your particular lifestyle. In our household, we sometimes find that we can’t have dinner until rather late at night because of business or social obligations. This can be a problematic for anyone hoping to adhere to a healthy diet. That is, unless you prepare ahead. Today’s recipe was borne out the desire to have something nutritious, delicious and light on hand that could be used as late night snack or supper.
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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Recipes | 5 Comments

Best of Nutrient Density

February 14, 2011 Written by JP

Recently I posted a link on Twitter about the benefits of drinking water on weight loss. One response I received essentially asked, “Doesn’t everyone know that drinking water helps you lose weight?”. Well, I suppose many people do. But this reader’s question may reflect similar thoughts you’ve had while reading my daily blogs. You may detect familiar ground in some of the issues I cover. In fact, at times I even point out that I’m updating a particular health issue. The reason I do this may not be entirely clear. Scientists generally like to re-test widely held beliefs in order to clarify and verify them. Even the most widely accepted concepts in medicine benefit from further investigation. The result of such inquiries often add to the knowledge base and allow for a more accurate application of the information in question.
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Posted in Food and Drink, Men's Health, Nutrition | 5 Comments

Questioning The Grapefruit Diet

February 11, 2011 Written by JP

In “Black Swan”, the Academy Award nominated film, there’s a scene where a ballet dancer, played by Natalie Portman, sits in front of a half grapefruit for breakfast. That grapefruit is a reminder of how dietary trends tend to stick around in one incarnation or another. In the 1970′s, The Grapefruit Diet was one of the most popular weight loss programs around. Some forty years later, you can still find articles, books and even nutritional supplements that feature grapefruit as some sort of weight loss wonder worker. Today’s column examines the actual research behind the weight loss claims involving this citrus fruit. Read more »


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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 1 Comment

Best of Music Therapy

February 10, 2011 Written by JP

Just because something seems simple doesn’t necessarily make it so. This is a stumbling block that I often see conventional scientists run into when discussing alternative or complementary therapies. How can everyday food possibly be as effective as a medication that’s taken millions of dollars and countless MDs and PhDs to create? Laughter is an enjoyable activity, but it can’t possibly improve cardiovascular health or survival in cancer patients. The very notion that supposedly un-serious activities such as artistic expression, listening to music or practicing generosity and kindness can alter one’s physiology is a difficult pill to swallow for many allopathically minded researchers.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Women's Health | 7 Comments

Best of Fishy Medicine

February 9, 2011 Written by JP

The way you perceive things can dramatically influence the results you find. I think many people accept this concept as true to some extent. But how many of us actually keep this philosophy in mind when applying it in practical terms? For example – when psychiatrists throughout the world prescribe a medication for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or clinical depression, most patients are inclined to believe that it will relieve their symptoms. However, would the same mindset hold true if a physician “prescribed” eating more fish or supplementing with fish oil for the same conditions? Setting aside the relative efficacy of the respective treatments, it’s important to understand that the way you think about any given therapy is likely to affect the outcome – for better or for worse.
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Posted in Children's Health, Detoxification, Mental Health | 3 Comments

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 | 2 Comments

Best Of Exercise for Pain Relief

February 7, 2011 Written by JP

The last thing anyone wants to do when in pain is exercise. Certain injuries require allowing the body time to recover. However, mental and physical discomfort shouldn’t always be used as an excuse to slow down. In fact, many times, the desire for bed rest may actually be counterproductive. This certainly appears to be the case with some very common, inflammatory conditions that affect both the body and the mind.
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Posted in General Health | 4 Comments