Posts Tagged ‘Vitamin D’

Better Nursing Homes

August 28, 2012 Written by JP

Improving the quality of care that seniors receive in nursing homes is a passion of mine. In my experience, I’ve found that the most practical way of accomplishing this goal is by forming a strategic partnership between the nursing home staff, residents (and their families) and treating physicians. Evidence-based solutions form the common link between each of the three integral parts of the aforementioned team.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments

Holistic Fall Prevention

July 27, 2012 Written by JP

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 30% of adults over the age 65 experience a fall each year. Not only are falls the leading cause of injury related deaths in seniors, but they’re also the most prevalent cause of hospital admissions due to physical trauma. Thankfully, there’s quite a lot that can be done to prevent falls. And, as with most health care and safety issues, a combination of conventional and holistic strategies is likely to yield the best results.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Exercise | No Comments;

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 | 8 Comments

Vitamin D Heart Controversy

January 13, 2012 Written by JP

A recent publication in the American Journal of Cardiology called into question the safety of high dose Vitamin D supplementation. In the paper, researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine investigated a proposed link between Vitamin D levels and an inflammatory protein (CRP) which is considered a risk factor for heart disease. Their conclusions report that levels of D below 21 ng/ml are associated with higher CRP or C-reactive protein. This determination came as no surprise. However, participants with Vitamin D concentrations significantly above 21 ng/ml also demonstrated elevated or undesirable CRP readings. The lead author of the piece, Dr. Muhammad Amer, stated that “Clearly vitamin D is important for your heart health, especially if you have low blood levels of vitamin D. It reduces cardiovascular inflammation and atherosclerosis, and may reduce mortality, but it appears that at some point it can be too much of a good thing.”

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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments

Prenatal Nutrition News

November 28, 2011 Written by JP

A recent study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine supports the notion that prenatal nutritional counseling can significantly improve the health of mothers and newborns alike. In the highlighted research, a group of 53 pregnant women took part in a “pragmatic nutrition awareness program”. An equal number of expectant mothers acted as a control group and proceeded without any specific guidance about their unique dietary needs. On average, those receiving nutritional counseling gave birth to babies with a higher birth weight and experienced lower incidence of pregnancy-related complications. But, what exactly constitutes a healthy diet during pregnancy? Of late, several scientific publications have offered specific advice beyond the basic tenants of avoiding “junk food” and taking a prenatal multivitamin.

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Posted in Children's Health, Nutrition, Women's Health | No Comments;

Proactive Aging

October 5, 2011 Written by JP

Circumstances and genetics undoubtedly affect many of the changes associated with growing older. But, there are countless ways to interfere with the so-called “normal” aging process. Here are several practical steps you can take to kick start this type of anti-aging momentum.

A new study in the journal Menopause reports that supplementing with a natural, soy derivative known as S-equol (10 – 30 mg/day) can safely reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles in postmenopausal women. Researchers in Paris, France recently revealed that seniors who learn new skills such as contemporary dance can improve “flexible attention” – a form of cognitive processing that typically declines with age. In Canada, a new trial confirms prior evidence showing that the mind-body practice of Tai Chi improves “balance, gait and fear of falling” in adults over the age of 65. Aspirin is commonly prescribed to middle-aged patients in the hope of preventing cardiovascular events. Unfortunately, emerging evidence from the Netherlands and UK explains that frequent aspirin use may also be associated with a higher risk of early and “wet” age-related macular degeneration or AMD.

Select supplements, including a beverage containing a mixture of B-vitamins and herbal extracts (cat’s claw, grape extract, green tea and quercetin), exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity and ameliorated a number of mental and physical complaints in a group of active seniors. According to the August 2011 edition of the Journal of Medicinal Food, a low dosage of rosemary, the culinary herb, is capable of boosting “speed of memory” in men and women with an average age of 75. However, it’s interesting to note that higher dosages of the herb (up to 6,000 mg/day) had a deleterious affect on cognitive functioning. More is not always better. Many elderly patients supplement with Vitamin D, but still find that their blood tests indicate low serum 25 (OH)D levels. A possible solution to this vexing problem comes courtesy of scientists at Tufts University. A current experiment conducted at their Human Nutrition Research Center of Aging demonstrated that diets rich in monounsaturated fats (avocados, nuts, olive oil) assist elderly bodies in establishing optimal Vitamin D status. Interestingly, diets rich in polyunsaturated fats (fish, flaxseeds, walnuts) reduced the effectiveness of D3 supplements in this same study population. The type of research in today’s column is being published in the medical literature on a regular basis. By visiting this site and others like it, you can take steps to age in a more proactive manner and increase the likelihood of growing older more gracefully and healthfully.

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – The Effects of Natural S-Equol Supplementation on Skin Aging (link)

Study 2 - Practice of Contemporary Dance Improves Cognitive Flexibility (link)

Study 3 - The Effect of Supervised Tai Chi Intervention Compared to (link)

Study 4 - Associations Between Aspirin Use and Aging Macula Disorder (link)

Study 5 - A Multi-Nutrient Supplement Reduced Markers of Inflammation (link)

Study 6 - Short-Term Study on the Effects of Rosemary on Cognitive Function (link)

Study 7 - Type of Dietary Fat Is Associated with the 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 (link)

Some Nutritional Supplements Can Decrease Age-Related Inflammation

Source: Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:90 (link)


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;

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

Aging Well News

June 17, 2011 Written by JP

I’ve used the term “anti-aging” before, but I’ve never been entirely comfortable with it. To me, there’s something slightly strange about the concept. After all, I’m not opposed to the process of growing older. In fact, one of my greatest hopes is to live a long and rich life with Mrs. Healthy Fellow and those we love. This steadfast desire remains constant despite my implicit knowledge that our bodies and minds will change as time goes by. But in health and all things, not all change is created equal. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Men's Health, Women's Health | No Comments;

Health News Old and New

May 27, 2011 Written by JP

Medical research usually comes in one of two forms. There’s the common sense variety of information that reports seemingly obvious findings that most people already know. Then there’s the revelatory type, which reports new insights or unique ways of looking at old data. On the face of it, the revelations may appear to be the more important of the two. But a good reminder can have a great, if not greater impact on your health than new scientific discoveries. After all, both new and old research is only beneficial if we’re consciously aware of it and put it to good use. Read more »


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

Urinary Incontinence Alternatives

April 3, 2011 Written by JP

Many of the decisions we make in life are based on estimates and statistical probability. In health care, this means factoring in hereditary influences and general population figures to “guesstimate” the odds of developing virtually any conceivable medical condition or disease. Age must also be introduced into the equation. As we grow older, the incidence of various conditions such as arthritis, prostatic enlargement and urinary incontinence increase substantially. In previous columns, I’ve addressed several natural strategies that may minimize the risk and reduce the symptoms of arthritis and an enlarged prostate. Today’s focus is on three little-known techniques that may discourage the likelihood of age-related incontinence and limit the symptomatic impact of incontinence if it’s already established.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Women's Health | 4 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

Arthritis, Gossip and Vitamin D News

October 14, 2010 Written by JP

Life expectancy is slowly but surely rising in the US and many industrialized countries. This is a welcome trend that we all hope will continue. But with advancing age, so too comes an elevated risk of degenerative and progressive health conditions including arthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis and more. So while scientists strive to find new ways of keeping us here longer, we must do our part to figure out how to improve the quality of this additional time.
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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health | 2 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;

Holistic Tweets

July 8, 2010 Written by JP

Long before the advent of alarm clocks, the Sun served as mankind’s lone wake-up call. Conversely, when the dark hours of night rolled around it was an obvious reminder to rest and allow the body to recover from the active day that preceded. This was the logical pattern that served countless generations well, but that has largely been abandoned in modern times. While it’s impractical to try and reclaim this traditional sleep-wake cycle, it may be wise to inch closer to it in ways that fit our schedules. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health | 6 Comments

Good Doctors

May 28, 2010 Written by JP

I recently had two positive experiences while visiting a couple of allopathic physicians. The first occurred when my wife and I went in for our yearly physical, convenient because we both see the same doctor. After a thorough, “old school” examination he proclaimed, “You guys don’t really need me. You already know all the right things to do and you’re doing them”. That’s a bit of an overstatement, but it’s a clear example of his approach to medicine. This is a physician who doesn’t like to waste money or time – his or ours. A couple of weeks later we made a surprise visit to the emergency room. My wife took a nasty fall and hit her head on a steel beam. Needless to say, we fully expected that a CT scan would be required to rule out a concussion or worse. But once again, the doctor we saw opted for a more conservative approach. He explained that he prefers to use CT scans only when forced to by the presence of certain critical symptoms. He simply does not like to expose the brain to large doses of unnecessary radiation. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diabetes, Nutrition | 4 Comments

Natural Mood Boosters

May 19, 2010 Written by JP

According to the National Institute of Mental Health almost 10% of the US adult population is living with a mood disorder. Approximately 15,000 million of these men and women carry the diagnosis of major depressive disorder. An additional 3 million adults are dealing with a milder form of chronic depression referred to as dysthymic disorder. (1) Read more »


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Posted in Mental Health | 4 Comments