Archive for June, 2012
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 & Updates
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 | 7 Comments & Updates
One of the veteran products available at many health food stores is barley leaf juice powder. As its name implies, this is a dehydrated extract taken from young barley grass or “leaves”. Think of it as a close relative of wheat grass, an even more popular “super food”. Typically, barley leaf supplements are sold in a pale green, powdered from that boast names such as “Green Magma” or “Just Barley”. The labels of these products imply numerous health benefits, including detoxifying effects, immune system enhancement and increased energy. And, since these products have been around for decades and have amassed a large following of admirers, you might assume that there’s plenty of research to back them up. Surprisingly, this is not the case.
Tags: Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Vitamin K
Posted in Detoxification, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 3 Comments & Updates
Acupuncture is a healing modality that has the potential to further the cause of integrative medicine, a form of care that combines alternative/complementary practices with allopathic or conventional treatment. For one thing, there’s an enormous amount of scientific research that has been and is being conducted on acupuncture. In addition, acupuncture is widely accepted as very safe and unlikely to conflict with allopathic treatment when applied by a knowledgeable practitioner. Finally, acupuncture is rarely advocated as a sole therapeutic option. Medications, physical therapy and even surgery can be used as adjuncts. All of these points tend to facilitate a greatly likelihood of acceptance and/or cooperation among physicians who aren’t generally holistically minded.
Tags: Acupuncture, Depression, Skin Care
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Mental Health | 11 Comments & Updates
Pomegranate juice has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. In September 2010, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against POM Wonderful LLC, a leading manufacturer of pomegranate extract and juice. In May 2012, an initial decision was announced which stated that some of the claims made in POM advertisements were deceptive in nature and/or overreaching. The order, put forth by Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell, specifically took note of representations that pomegranate extract and juice were capable of preventing, reducing or treating erectile dysfunction, heart disease and prostate cancer.
Tags: Antioxidants, Exercise, Kidney Health
Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 17 Comments & Updates
One of my favorite, summer snacks is fresh jicama. It’s got everything you can possibly hope for in a healthy, low carb treat. Jicama is crunchy, refreshing and is kissed with just the right note of sweetness. This under appreciated root vegetable, which is also known as Mexican turnip or yam bean, is a noteworthy source of dietary fiber, potassium and Vitamin C. And, since it’s largely comprised of water, jicama is also an excellent way to stay hydrated as the thermostat rises. As a bonus, a generous, one cup serving of jicama contributes less than 50 calories to your daily tab.
Tags: Almonds, Garlic, Yogurt
Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 4 Comments & Updates
Nothing says ‘summer’ quite like lounging around the pool in a swimsuit and flip flops. But, if you’re one of the millions of people with toenail fungus, wearing sandals may be something you dread. Fungal infections of the toenail (onychomycosis) affect an estimated 6 to 8% of the adult population. And, although they rarely present a serious health risk, it’s still an unsightly reminder that an infection has taken hold. Worse still, conventional treatments for this largely cosmetic condition often carry the risk of serious side effects including liver damage. Thankfully, both allopathic and alternative healers have some non-pharamacological options worth considering.
Tags: Grapefruit, Propolis, Tea Tree Oil
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Detoxification, General Health | 2 Comments & Updates
For better or for worse, bariatric or weight loss surgery has been become a mainstay in modern medicine. Obesity and related health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, are on the rise and more and more physicians are recommending gastric bypass as a last ditch solution. Given this reality, I’ve researched this topic thoroughly with the knowledge that I’d likely be working with quite a few bariatric clients as part of my consultation service. Today, I’d like to share some of findings I’ve encountered along the way.
Tags: Diabetes, Hair, Whey Protein
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments & Updates
Every so often, a product hits the market that has the potential to genuinely improve both health and quality of life. The newly introduced, “Carb Zero Bread” by Julian Bakery is a rare example of precisely that – a true innovation in the baked goods sector. In the past, there really wasn’t a good option for individuals who were seeking both gluten-free and low carb breads. You can find a few low carb breads that contain gluten. There are also many carb laden, gluten-free breads available in specialty shops. But, a combination of the two? Until recently, that didn’t exist.
Tags: Fiber, Gluten, Low Carb
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 16 Comments & Updates
The fact that I embrace science as a means of validating natural remedies occasionally puts me at odds with strict holistic advocates. In a recent encounter, I was accused of aligning myself with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – an organization which, by most accounts, has a contentious relationship with the natural health community. My response was that if I were affiliated with the FDA, prescriptions for statin medications (used to lower cholesterol) would become obsolete and avocados would be stocked in pharmacies throughout the land.
Tags: Diabetes, Heart Health, Olive Oil
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Memory, Nutrition | 10 Comments & Updates
The term “low carbohydrate diet” conjures up certain stereotypes in the minds of many patients and physicians alike. A common misconception about this controversial way of eating is that it is inevitably rich in dairy and meat, and severely lacking in fruits and vegetables. Another myth about low carbing is that it raises various cardiovascular risk factors. But, perhaps the most prevalent mistaken notion about carbohydrate restriction is that it is damaging to the kidneys. All of these assertions have been summarily rebutted in the scientific literature in recent years. Still, not everyone is aware.
Tags: Kidney Health, Low Carb, Potassium
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 9 Comments & Updates
When news outlets cover the current state of health care and weight, an image of a heavy-set person with a particularly large midsection is often featured. Due to recent changes in diet and exercise patterns, abdominal obesity has become increasingly common in the population at large. No longer does the term “beer belly” primarily apply to those who are problem drinkers. Nor does youth protect against it, as evidenced by higher rates of central obesity and metabolic syndrome frequently found in adolescents.
Tags: Body Fat, Fiber, Metabolic Syndrome
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 5 Comments & Updates