Archive for June, 2011

Artificial Sweetener Research

June 29, 2011 Written by JP

At this very moment in laboratories throughout the world there are scientists creating and/or isolating chemicals that the human body will hopefully perceive as sugar. The ultimate goal is to manufacture white crystalline powders that are free of aftertaste, calories and harmful side affects. By achieving this objective, billions upon billions of dollars would be assured. What’s more, consumers, including diabetics, would finally be able to enjoy desserts and sweets of all kinds without fear of health related consequences. Many regulatory agencies in the US and abroad believe such products are already available. They carry names such as NutraSweet, Splenda and Sweet ‘N’ Low. But not all consumer advocacy groups and medical experts agree with this position. Taste issues aside, some of these synthetic sweeteners may not be as safe as they claim.
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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 21 Comments & Updates

National HIV Testing Day

June 27, 2011 Written by JP

Free HIV testing is being offered throughout the United States today in commemoration of National HIV Testing Day. AIDS and HIV aren’t in the news as often as they used to be, but they’re still highly relevant health threats that directly affect an estimated 30,000,000 or more people worldwide. New data presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers another stark reminder that AIDS and HIV are pressing issues that require ongoing attention. According to figures collected between October 2007 to September 2010, a total of 2,786,730 HIV tests were funded by the US government. Of those, 29,503 tests confirmed HIV+ results. A startling 62% of those who tested positive were completely unaware they had the illness. Other statistics indicate that up to 40% of those with HIV aren’t diagnosed at all until the virus has progressed to AIDS – a process which can take upwards of 10 years. This is a tragedy that must end and is within our grasp. (1,2,3)
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Men's Health, Women's Health | 21 Comments & Updates

Natural Sunscreen Options

June 24, 2011 Written by JP

This past Tuesday marked the official start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, otherwise known as the summer solstice. Among other things, this means that you’ll likely encounter seemingly endless ads for sunblocks and sunscreens on billboards, magazines and television. The advisability of using sunscreen is a topic of debate due to questionable efficacy and ingredients and sunblock’s ability to reduce natural Vitamin D synthesis. This lack of consensus confuses many. But there’s also good that can come of it. Cosmetic companies are continually trying to find safer agents that genuinely protect against the photo-aging effects of UV radiation. In some instances, this journey leads them down a natural path. Herb and legume extracts ranging from Ginkgo biloba to soy isoflavones now commonly appear on the labels of topical formulas with additional sun protecting components. In fact, some of these “holistic” ingredients are often used as selling points in the aforementioned advertisements. But something you’re unlikely to find in most ads is any mention of the role that nutrition can play in keeping your skin safe from the sun. (1,2,3,4,5)
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 19 Comments & Updates

Travel Nutrition

June 22, 2011 Written by JP

New York City is rightly considered one of the culinary capitals of the world. Top chefs from every conceivable background set up shop in NYC to show off their most creative and revolutionary gastronomic concepts. This is great news for visiting epicureans, but a potential disaster for anyone trying to adhere to a healthy diet. I fall squarely into both camps. I’m an admitted foodie that insists upon nutrient density. What to do?
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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | No Comments;

Mind Pharmacy

June 20, 2011 Written by JP

A very useful concept to embrace is that there is a veritable pharmacy inside your head. Stocked on its shelves are healing substances that can be much more powerful and safer than anything a pharmacist can prescribe. What’s more, there’s no need to worry about ingesting potentially dangerous chemicals because every “drug” on supply is 100% natural and specific to your physiology. This fact is most clearly evidenced in double blind, placebo controlled experiments. In such studies, both patients and researchers are unaware of who is receiving the “real” medicine and who’s being given an inert substance or placebo. What inevitably happens, to a varying extent, is that a significant percentage of those given the inert substance demonstrate favorable effects. This so-called “placebo effect” is an example of the mind’s pharmacy at work. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Mental Health | 21 Comments & Updates

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 | 8 Comments & Updates

Zocor Alternative

June 15, 2011 Written by JP

One principle of integrative and naturopathic medicine is that every client, patient and student is a unique individual with different desires, needs and points of view. In my line of work, this sometimes presents itself in the form of a client who is seeking a specific result but only willing to approach it in a limited way. I’ve learned that the best way to manage this situation, as challenging as it may be, is to find a way to provide truthful information that falls within the parameters of what they are willing to do. By doing so, they often become more receptive to my suggestions down the line. The recent headlines about Zocor, a popular cholesterol medication, provide a good illustration of what I mean.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Mental Health | 4 Comments & Updates

Healthy Sweet Tea

June 13, 2011 Written by JP

How do you take your tea? I typically drink it straight up – no added lemon, milk or sugar. But, I realize that I’m the exception to the rule. I was reminded of this the other night while driving past an ubiquitous fast food chain that features a product called “sweet tea”. The name pretty much says it all. Add copious amounts of sugar to tea while it’s hot and then allow it to cool. The resulting beverage is no longer bitter, but this transformation comes at a price. The tea itself has been sweetened to such a degree that it is almost certainly devoid of any health benefits. In fact, drinking conventional sweet tea isn’t much different than drinking a can of soda pop.
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Posted in Food and Drink, Recipes | 4 Comments & Updates

Breast Cancer Decisions

June 10, 2011 Written by JP

Being informed can minimize the understandable fear associated with a diagnosis of breast cancer. The right information takes you from a place of perceived powerlessness and the unknown to a state where you can make conscious decisions and actively participate in your own healing. This process can be facilitated in a profound way by doctors and nurses who embrace this philosophy and remain open-minded to the use of alternative and complementary approaches. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Women's Health | 14 Comments & Updates

Dental Health Matters

June 8, 2011 Written by JP

Diseased gums and decaying teeth spell trouble far beyond the quality of a smile. Within the oral cavity lies the potential to influence everything from cardiovascular disease and diabetes to the risk of potentially life threatening infections. Good to remember if you ever wonder whether it’s truly necessary to brush and floss twice daily. Read more »

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Posted in Dental Health, Diabetes, Heart Health | 27 Comments & Updates

Shirataki Alfredo Recipe

June 6, 2011 Written by JP

I can’t tell you how long I’ve put off experimenting with this recipe. As a low carbohydrate aficionado, I’ve been aware of shirataki noodles for many years. But the thought of replacing traditional pasta with a fiber based, gelatinous yam flour seemed decidedly unappealing from the get-go. In the past I’ve used vegetables such as spaghetti squash as a delicious replacement for pasta. I had no problem with that swap because I rationalized that it was, at least, a nutritious substitution. However, there’s a big difference between a mild, nutty squash and glucomannan, an exotic form of fiber, that essentially has no taste of its own. Read more »

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Posted in Diabetes, Nutrition, Recipes | 4 Comments & Updates

E. Coli Outbreak News

June 3, 2011 Written by JP

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 »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Children's Health, General Health | 10 Comments & Updates

USDA Dinner Plate

June 1, 2011 Written by JP

Tomorrow will mark the release of a new educational tool created by the U.S.D.A. that is intended to shape the way Americans eat. A “dinner plate” will be used to illustrate the recommended intake of various food groups instead of using the previous graphic – a “food pyramid”. The exact details of what will be served on the plate have yet to be made public. But clues provided by administration insiders highlight the expected guidelines that are to come. Read more »

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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 3 Comments & Updates