If you regularly eat garbanzo beans or hummus, lamb, lentils, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds or tahini you’re well on your way to following my latest prescription. All of these foods are stellar sources of zinc, an essential trace mineral. For all of those who don’t eat zinc-rich foods on a daily basis, I highly recommend a daily multivitamin providing at least 100% of the RDA of most minerals including zinc. In fact, since zinc is both essential to health maintenance and safe when taken in conservative amounts, I recommend multivitamins to just about everyone. Now, you may think that I’m focusing on zinc because of its widely known benefits to the immune system. After all, zinc lozenges are probably the most popular natural cold aids currently on the market. While true, there’s so much more to zinc than just that.
Tags: Alzheimer's, Breast Cancer, Diabetes
Posted in Children's Health, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 20 Comments & Updates
The so-called “common cold” usually comes and goes in an expected, generic manner. You’re congested for a few days, you sneeze and your throat aches for a week tops. In most cases, it’s not a big deal and requires little or no medical intervention. But, for some, a lingering cough can stick around long after the cold exits stage right. There are several reasons why this typically occurs including bacterial infections, chronic irritation of the airways and/or overuse of nasal decongestant sprays – more than three days.
Tags: Chocolate, Coffee, Honey
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Children's Health, Nutritional Supplements | 11 Comments & Updates
The common cold is back with a vengeance this year, at least in my neck of the woods. And, while “it” never really goes away, the common cold certainly becomes more prevalent during the winter months and is as dependable as clockwork or rush hour traffic. Researchers are continually on the lookout for natural and safe ways of managing and preventing symptoms associated with upper respiratory infections (URIs). As a result, each year there are more and more holistic and integrative options to consider if you hope to avoid the seemingly inevitable coughing, runny nose and sneezing that comes with the season.
Tags: Cold, Garlic, Probiotics
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Children's Health, Nutritional Supplements | 11 Comments & Updates
Walk down the supplement isles of most health food stores and pharmacies and you’ll undoubtedly see bottles that are seemingly filled with enticing candies. These days, calcium, fish oil, multivitamins and other dietary aids are often being sold in the form of chocolates, gummy bears and even jelly beans. Some of these products are 100% natural – after all, corn syrup and glucose are natural. Others are loaded with the same types of artificial ingredients you’d expect to find in conventional candy. The one common denominator is the attempt to popularize supplement use in segments of the population that don’t normally buy them.
Tags: Calcium, CoQ10, Inulin
Posted in Children's Health, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;
In last week’s interview with Jonny Bowden, the good doctor mentioned L-carnitine as a noteworthy supplement that benefits heart health. A recent review in the journal Current Drug Metabolism concurs and describes several mechanisms that make this so. Among them, the authors cite carnitine’s ability to transport “fatty acids into the mitochondrial matrix, thus allowing the cells to break down fat and get energy from stored fat reserves”. They go on to report that carnitine reduces oxidative stress and may, therefore, be a helpful adjunct in conditions including angina, heart failure and even overweight. But, this “endogenous molecule” has plenty to offer beyond the confines of the cardiovascular system.
Tags: asthma, Carnitine, Liver
Posted in Children's Health, Diabetes, Nutritional Supplements | 6 Comments & Updates
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.
Tags: Anemia, Pregnancy, Vitamin D
Posted in Children's Health, Nutrition, Women's Health | 12 Comments & Updates
The “heart health” sections of most health foods stores are flush with supplements containing coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a naturally occurring compound found in small quantities in fish and organ meats. There’s good justification for this strategic product placement. In fact, the most current studies using CoQ10 in patients with cardiovascular disease have turned up very positive findings. In particular, improvements in endothelial function, oxidative status and physical performance in those with coronary artery disease and chronic heart failure have been noted. But, there’s much more to the CoQ10 story than just that. Because this coenzyme possesses antioxidant properties and the ability to support cellular energy, it also has applications in other areas ranging from aging skin to migraine headaches.
Tags: Fibromyalgia, Migraine, Skin Care
Posted in Children's Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 25 Comments & Updates
The current issue of The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal, features a meta-analysis assessing the efficacy of influenza vaccines. The review evaluated 14 observational studies and 17 randomized controlled trials. The conclusions of the summary brought forth several key findings. Among them, the researchers noted that the effectiveness of the vaccines was not consistent across all age groups and varied from season to season. For instance, live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIV) were found most protective among young children aged 6 months to 7 years. On the other hand, the authors commented that, “Evidence for protection in adults aged 65 or older is lacking”. Ultimately, a call for new and improved vaccines is trumpeted as a necessity in order to reduce “influenza-related morbidity and mortality”.
Tags: Flu, Green Tea, Probiotics
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Children's Health, Nutritional Supplements | 5 Comments & Updates
When I search for new topics in medical databases and journals, I frequently stumble upon a promising item or more about black, green or white tea. This is the latest batch of gems I’ve discovered about Camellia sinensis.
Read more »
Tags: Cancer, Flu, Green Tea
Posted in Children's Health, Food and Drink, Men's Health | 8 Comments & Updates
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is a commendable thing to do. Getting sick because you do seems just plain wrong. But it does happen on rare occasions and it should serve as a reminder that we’re not the only organisms running the show. A microscopic bacterium known as Escherichia coli is naturally present in our intestines and in some of the food we eat. In most cases, it doesn’t cause a problem. It’s kind of like background noise that is below a level of detection. However, every once in a while a particularly virulent strain of E. coli drops by to wreak havoc. Read more »
Tags: Cranberries, Fiber, Probiotics
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Children's Health, General Health | 10 Comments & Updates
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 »
Tags: Autism, Sarcopenia, Vitamin D
Posted in Children's Health, Diet and Weight Loss, Exercise | 3 Comments & Updates
Think of all the pregnancies that take place during the course of a given year. Thankfully, most are relatively free of serious complications. But, about 5% to 8% of all expectant mothers must contend with a condition known as preeclampsia (PE) that threatens both woman and child. Preeclampsia is characterized by a dangerous rise in blood pressure that occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy. Some of the possible symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision with the appearance of auras and spots, and swelling in the eyes, face and hands or edema. According to the Preeclampsia Foundation this contributes approximately seven billion dollars a year in US health care spending alone. Worldwide, it may account for as many as 76,000 deaths annually. (1,2,3) Read more »
Tags: Arginine, High Blood Pressure, Pregnancy
Posted in Children's Health, Nutrition, Women's Health | 16 Comments & Updates
There’s a fine line between being informed about the dangers in the environment and being paranoid about every move you make. An imbalance in this perspective could lead one not to exercise because there’s pollution in the air, avoid fruits and vegetables because they contain pesticide residues and even to become a recluse for fear of germs spread through casual contact with other human beings. Clearly, a balance needs to be struck. Read more »
Tags: Antioxidants, BPA, Phytoestrogens
Posted in Children's Health, Detoxification, Women's Health | 7 Comments & Updates