Children’s Health

Asthma Alternatives

May 9, 2011 Written by JP

Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that asthma rates are on the rise although pollution and second hand smoke exposure is declining. According to data collected in 2009, approximately 25 million Americans are now living with this inflammatory lung condition which causes coughing fits, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and wheezing. What’s more, no age or ethnic group is immune to this trend. However, those without medical insurance are more at risk because the typical price tag associated with conventional asthma treatment rings in at over $3,200 per person/year. This explains why roughly 40% of uninsured asthma patients report that they’re unable to buy the prescription medications needed to address their symptoms. (1) Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Children's Health, Nutritional Supplements | 23 Comments & Updates

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins Recipe

April 29, 2011 Written by JP

I was recently interviewed about the role of natural medicine in the context of health care spending. One question posed inquired about which remedies I thought should be integrated into modern medicine in order to save lives and money. My answer was a surprise to the interviewer. “I think nutritional experts should reach out to leaders of their respective communities and explain the importance of eating a nutrient-dense, whole food breakfast”. I went on to point out that five recent studies directly linked eating breakfast to: a) lower concentrations of lead in the blood; b) reduced likelihood of overweight and; c) improved cognitive functioning. The majority of this research focused on adolescents and young children. Imagine the financial ramifications of dramatically lowering obesity/overeating and the medical management thereof in the youth population alone. Now, add to the picture the academic and economic value to society if more children improved scholastic performance due to healthier nutrition and protection from lead toxicity. (1,2,3,4,5)
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Posted in Children's Health, Nutrition, Recipes | 6 Comments & Updates

Natural Products Expo West 2011 Part Two

March 23, 2011 Written by JP

In case you haven’t already noticed, the slogan for this website is “Your Natural Health Critic”. And while I tend to focus on the more positive developments in the field of integrative and natural medicine, at times it’s necessary to point out some troubling trends as well. This year’s Natural Products Expo West was an excellent opportunity to flex my critical thinking in precisely this arena. In a recent press release, Adam Anderson, a spokesman for the Anaheim-based trade show, commented that “While the economy recovers, the natural and organic industry continues to grow. 2010 metrics including attendance and hundreds of new product introductions at Expo West are proof positive of the strategic value surrounding in-person business events”. The introduction of new products to the marketplace is an opportunity to show how innovative the natural health community can be. However, more often than not, the products in question fall short of my expectations.
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Posted in Children's Health, Nutritional Supplements, Product Reviews | 2 Comments & Updates

Nutrition News You Can Use

February 18, 2011 Written by JP

Today‚Äôs 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 | 6 Comments & Updates

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 | 5 Comments & Updates

Tim Kunin Interview

December 10, 2010 Written by JP

The first thing I do each day when I sit in front of my computer is to visit a specific web site. Based on what you know of me, you might think that destination would have something to do with natural health. In a way, it does. But perhaps not quite the way you’d expect. My homepage is set to The Hunger Site. Recently, I had the opportunity to engage in a Q&A with Tim Kunin, the CEO of the GreaterGood Network. I hope that the information shared will inspire you to “click to give” like thousands of others do on a daily basis. Did I mention that taking part in this worthy endeavor won’t cost you anything at all?
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Posted in Children's Health, Interviews, Women's Health | No Comments;

Better Baby Food

December 9, 2010 Written by JP

This past weekend, I sat in a cozy hotel room in Paris watching the snow fall onto a picturesque street. I snapped a photo of this lovely moment to share with you. In one hand, I held cup of espresso and in the other a copy of USA Today. In it, an article written by the famed pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene captured my attention. The thrust of the piece was to persuade parents to discontinue using white rice cereal as a starter food for their babies. Who could disagree with that? As is often the case in medicine and nutrition, there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
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Posted in Children's Health, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 10 Comments & Updates

Best Of Vitamin Angels Interview

November 26, 2010 Written by JP

A few weeks ago, a reader named Vicky left me a comment that has stuck with me ever since. She wondered if there was a way for me to help poor people who don’t have Internet access or the resources necessary to implement much of the information I present on this site. Specifically, the post she was referring had to do with the Novel H1N1 Swine Flu virus. As I typed my response, I realized that even something as basic as a multivitamin was out reach for some of the most vulnerable populations in the world. It is at that point that I remembered the name of a charity that I have seen in natural health magazines and trade journals. The two words that came back to me were: Vitamin Angels.
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Posted in Children's Health, Interviews, Women's Health | 5 Comments & Updates

Cancer, Candy and Willpower

October 28, 2010 Written by JP

What do cancer, Halloween candy and willpower have in common? The connection they share may not be readily apparent. Cancer is generally thought of as a life threatening disease. Halloween candy is a once-a-year treat and tradition in which most children are permitted to indulge. Willpower is the fortitude we all hope to possess when we’re in the presence of temptation. To my mind, they’re all linked by one common thread: health. Without willpower you’re likely to consume excess amounts of sugar which is documented as supporting the growth of malignant cells. Do you think that’s too big a leap? See if you still think so after today’s column.
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Posted in Children's Health, Diet and Weight Loss, Mental Health | 6 Comments & Updates

Breastfeeding, Liver Health and Tinnitus News

October 20, 2010 Written by JP

Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you have too much to do in the time you have available? These days, that’s where I am. One way that I deal with such situations is to set up parameters for myself. I try to do it in a constructive manner which deflects the stress that often accompanies a typical time crunch. Instead of feeling as if I don’t have enough hours in the day, I think to myself: How can I do something different with the limited time I do have? What I usually come up with is a challenge. My challenge for today is to present three health promoting news items that are no longer than three sentences in length each – a sort of rapid fire version of my typical daily column.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Children's Health, Detoxification | 19 Comments & Updates

Patient’s Bill of Rights

September 24, 2010 Written by JP

If you’ve been following the news lately you probably know that the new Patient’s Bill of Rights has just gone into effect. There’s been plenty of analysis, controversy and debate about just what this means for our country and the future of health care. But what hasn’t been made clear enough is exactly how the enacted changes will affect the everyday health care decisions that insured consumers will make.
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Posted in Children's Health, Mental Health, Women's Health | 4 Comments & Updates

Antibiotics, Menopause and Corn Sugar

September 16, 2010 Written by JP

One of the dynamics in modern medicine that I hope will change in the near future is how patients and physicians interact. I’d love for most doctor’s appointments to begin with a question such as this: Doctor: “Do you have any information that you’d like to share with me before I begin my examination?” Patient: “I’ve done some research about my condition and I’ve printed out some specific details I’d like to discuss with you.” In order for this type of exchange to be successful a few common sense steps are necessary. The first is that physicians embrace the concept of patients being partners in their own health care decisions. But patients will need to do their part as well. It’s not fair or practical to deluge time-pressed doctors with piles of paper work. Instead, it’s best to be as concise as possible and reserve added details if they’re requested.
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Posted in Children's Health, Diet and Weight Loss, Women's Health | 3 Comments & Updates

Food Economics

August 19, 2010 Written by JP

There are certain trends that are very difficult to predict. Long term economic forecasts, technological prognostication and weather outlooks are notorious for making many analysts look the fool. However, select aspects of health care are considerably easier to estimate. An example is preventable disease. Far too many people are literally speeding up their own demise by the way they live their lives. Some of the hardest hit segments of this population are children and adults experiencing financial hardship. What is desperately needed is some meaningful form of intervention. Several recent messages on Twitter offer practical suggestions about how to reduce the economic burden and widespread damage associated with preventable health conditions.
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Posted in Children's Health, Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink | 4 Comments & Updates