Berberine is a naturally occurring plant alkaloid found in a number of medicinal herbs including barberry, goldenseal and oregon grape root. In China, a significant amount of money and time has been applied to investigating the potential of this phytochemical in managing a host of conditions and diseases. Diabetes and heart disease top the list of health concerns presently being evaluated. The findings of a current batch of studies may very well catapult berberine supplements into the bestseller category in China, the United States and beyond. Whether or not this turns out to be a positive development remains to be seen.
Tags: Liver, Metabolic Syndrome, PCOS
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diabetes, Nutritional Supplements | 11 Comments & Updates
New research from UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine reveals that daily consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) impairs learning and memory in rats. This finding has lead to a slew of headlines this past week with titles such as, “Sugar Makes You Stupid”. If accurate, this may come as a surprise to anyone who’s encountered one or more of the television commercials financed by the Corn Refiner’s Association. In the slickly produced ads, the prevailing sentiment is that HFCS affects the body in the same way as any other sugar source. In fact, there’s currently a push to rename HFCS to “corn sugar”.
Tags: Heart Health, Memory, Sugar
Posted in Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink | 4 Comments & Updates
It’s frothy. It’s green. It’s a type of tea, but decidedly different looking and tasting than most brews. It’s matcha! Whether you’ve tried it or not, you’ve probably seen matcha-based drinks being sold in coffee shops and health food stores from Los Angeles to Tokyo. The claim is that matcha is essentially an elevated form of green tea. But, is this assertion backed up by anything more than historical accounts and slick advertisements?
Tags: Flu, Green Tea, Insomnia, Matcha
Posted in Detoxification, Diabetes, Food and Drink | 7 Comments & Updates
If you’re a frequent traveler, you know how challenging it can be to remain on a healthy diet. Often times you don’t have control over what time you eat, where you eat or your dining companions. Changes in time zones, exposure to recirculated air on planes and the general stress of being in unfamiliar circumstances and locations add to the pressure many business travelers experience. In short, travel can contribute to the aging process and lower your defenses, unless you prepare a game plan ahead of time that will help you cope with the uncertainty of life on the road.
Tags: Blueberries, Fish Oil, Strawberries
Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 3 Comments & Updates
There’s an old adage that says to avoid foods that contain ingredients you can’t easily pronounce. The purest interpretation might lead one to steer clear of processed foods altogether. I’m fully supportive of this philosophy provided that it works for you. However, in my experience, most people eat at least some pre-packaged or refined foods. And, much to the chagrin of purists, sometimes hard to pronounce ingredients are actually quite good for you.
Tags: Constipation, Diabetes, Prebiotics
Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 4 Comments & Updates
Next week I’ll be taking my work on the road. More specifically, I’ll head down south to Mexico for a fact finding mission and informational exchange. One of the planned areas of discussion will focus on an edible cactus commonly known as nopal or nopales, as diabetes and prediabetic conditions (i.e. metabolic syndrome) are quickly reaching an epidemic level in Mexico. Nopales, when eaten as a part of one’s daily diet, may offer a valuable tool in turning the diabetes tide in Mexico and beyond.
Tags: Fiber, Inflammation, Metabolic Syndrome
Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 10 Comments & Updates
It’s unusual for a dietary supplement to have more than twenty studies to support its use, while at the same time being relatively unknown in most parts of the world. However, this is precisely the case for an obscure Japanese product known as fermented papaya preparation or FPP. In essence, this nutraceutical is an extract of the common papaya fruit that is fermented using edible yeast strains. The resulting product is a mildly sweet powder that is typically promoted as a nutritional aid for supporting healthy aging and immune function.
Tags: aging, Inflammation, Liver
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diabetes, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments & Updates
During a recent consultation, a client inquired about the relative differences between non-grape wines and traditional wines derived from grapes. This is a topic I’d previously examined myself. My reason for doing so, besides being an admitted red wine devotee, was my growing awareness of non-grape wines that I’d seen at various gourmet shops, health food stores and wine outlets. But, what really piqued my interest the most was the possibility that these alternative wines just might be healthier than their grape-based counterparts.
Tags: Berries, Pomegranate, Wine
Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 2 Comments & Updates
Health care consumers have greater access to information about drug safety than ever before. A recent edition of the Wall Street Journal illustrates this reality in a piece entitled, “Searching for Side Effects”. A few highlights from the article reveal that medications used to treat diseases including arthritis, diabetes and osteoporosis are associated with hundreds of thousands of adverse reactions. Point taken. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs can be hazardous to your health. But, what in the world are you supposed to do if you present symptoms that seem to require a pharmacological intervention? I suggest seeking out evidence-based alternatives and/or complementary therapies as the first step.
Tags: Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Smoking
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Diabetes | 7 Comments & Updates
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
Heavy metal exposure has become an increasingly relevant topic in the modern age. The air we breathe, the food we eat and even the homes we live in are potential contributors to unsafe levels of toxic minerals including cadmium, lead and mercury. Although this is undeniably true, there’s no sense worrying ourselves sick about it. A far more constructive approach is to look for ways to minimize heavy metal exposure, such as the use of air purifiers, safer building materials and water filtration. And, while we’re at it, perhaps we should add a little more garlic to our diets for good measure.
Tags: Garlic, Kidney Health, Liver
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diabetes, Heart Health | 14 Comments & Updates
The pressing issue of type 2 diabetes recently took on an unexpected spokesman: Paula Deen. Ever since the highly publicized announcement of her illness and related drug endorsement, a hailstorm of negative and positive reactions has made its way to all forms of media. Instead of adding yet another voice to the chorus, I’ve decided to share some breaking information for Ms. Deen and other type-2 diabetics that may improve their health care prospects.
Tags: Insulin, Metformin, Vitamin C
Posted in Diabetes, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 10 Comments & Updates
Peek inside the Healthy Fellow kitchen pantry and you’ll find an assortment of dried leaves and powders that are intended for brewing or mixing with hot water. And, now that Winter has finally taken hold, I’m putting them to use on a daily basis. But, my pantry selections aren’t just predicated upon preference and taste. I’m also factoring in the latest science about their relative health benefits.
Tags: Chocolate, Coffee, Green Tea
Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 2 Comments & Updates