Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Next Battle for Supplements Has Begun

We fought long and hard in the early 1990's to push through DSHEA. This landmark legislation allowed consumers to make their own choice concerning what nutrients they wanted to put in their bodies.

Now, there are two pieces of legislation that threaten to derail DSHEA and put dietary supplements in the hands of Big Pharma. There are three tragic consequences that could come out of this development:
  1. You lose your right to choose what nutrients you put in your body. Instead, the choice will be made by federal regulators, Big Pharma, and your physician/pharmacist.
  2. Dietary supplements will become prohibitively expensive. Most supplement manufacturers will be priced out, leaving very few players (mostly the supplement divisions of Big Pharma companies), which will drive up costs immensely, similar to pharmaceuticals.
  3. When compared to medication, the safety record of dietary supplements has been close to perfect. When put in the hands of BigPharma, who's pharmaceuticals account for 80% of fatalities surveyed by the National Poison Control Center, who do you feel more safe with?
Folks, this has already happened in Europe, and if you have spoken to any of your friends there, people are irate. More to come on this. However, if you would like to let your congressmen/women know how you feel about this issue, click on the following:

NDI Draft Guidance

S.1310. The Dietary Supplement Labeling Act

Four surgeries to avoid

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our Doc's Weekly eBrief: Mind Body

I recently had a patient ask me if a treatment that I did on her; which was completely different than what I had done before, could have had an effect on her emotionally? I told her that yes it could and that she was not alone in informing me that she had an emotional reaction after an adjustment.

She was very excited to report being able to process certain issues more effectively than before. She worked through some deep emotional issues for the next few days and was feeling good about the decisions that she was making. She felt so happy she asked if we could do that same type of treatment again at her next visit.

What was so special about that visit is that I applied a gentle yet deep traction and rhythmic movement on her neck and low back while she was on her stomach. Normally her neck is very sore to the touch so I often would use my gentle adjusting instruments on that area. This time my intuition had other ideas so I followed my gut and worked on her with a deep yet gentle rhythmic traction.

The reason I am bringing this up is to explain how a limitation of movement can have an effect on our mind and emotions. This has been made clear for quite a while, as exercise has often been prescribed to people who suffer from depression. The movement that occurs during intense exercise helps the body release chemicals, including endorphins and that is why exercise is so effective.

Another way to reduce restrictions in motion is through Chiropractic; which focuses directly on areas of the spine that show signs of limited range of motion. The more motion, the more chemicals can be released, the more communication that can occur with the different nerve, arterial and lymph pathways to the brain and the rest of the body. So if you are feeling stuck in your life, consider getting unstuck through chiropractic.

In health and happiness,
Dr. Liselotte Schuster

Vitamin deficiency linked to child mental disorders

A new study shows that children with psychosis and other severe mental health disorders also have twice as much vitamin D deficiency as children who are mentally healthy. The study, presented to the American Psychiatric Association 2011 Annual Meeting showed that 21 percent of children with symptoms of severe psychiatric problems had vitamin D levels below what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. That is 50 percent more than children in a normal population, so based on our findings this means that 1 out of 5 kids with severe mental illness has low vitamin D levels. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (43 percent) was most common in children with psychotic disorders compared to other mental health disorders.

Cheapest way to reduce global mortality rates

Increasing serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is the "most cost-effective way to reduce global mortality rates", according to a new study in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In a paper assessing the likely impact on mortality rates of doubling serum vitamin D levels from 54 to 110 nmol/l in six regions of the world, researchers estimate that this would increase life expectancy by two years across all six regions. The predicted reduction in all-cause mortality rates ranges from 7.6 percent for African females to 17.3 percent for European females. The cost of vitamin D is very low and there are few adverse effects from oral intake and/or frequent moderate UVB irradiance with sufficient body surface area exposed.

Benefits of Garlic and Onions

Vegans may be at risk for low iodine

Some vegans may not be getting enough iodine in their diets, suggests a new study from Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. That finding is particularly relevant for women who are pregnant, researchers say, as that's a time when a mom's iodine levels are strained by her growing baby. Iodine, which is present in iodized salt, seafood, eggs, dairy, and some breads, is used by the thyroid gland to help regulate metabolism and development, especially in babies and young kids. Iodine deficiency during fetal and early-childhood development is a leading cause of brain impairments in much of the world. The American Thyroid Association recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women take a vitamin with iodine because low iodine can increase the risk of miscarriage and thyroid problems in moms, in addition to mental disabilities in babies. Researchers recruited vegetarians and vegans -- mostly women -- and tested their urine for concentrations of iodine. The average iodine level was 147 micrograms in vegetarians and 79 in vegans (considered below reference range).

What is in that glass of milk?

20 different chemicals found in a glass of milk.

How doctor's cancer cure was thwarted by FDA

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One reason why celiac is underdiagnosed

A new study has found that most patients undergoing biopsy of the small intestine do not have the recommended number of samples to diagnose celiac disease. The study, published in the July 2011 issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, analyzed a national database of biopsy specimens. More than 100,000 patients had a biopsy of the small intestine, but only 35 percent of them had at least four samples taken, the number recommended by professional guidelines.

Because celiac disease can affect the small intestine in a patchy distribution, just one or two biopsy samples could potentially miss the evidence of the disease. The investigators identified 132,352 individuals who underwent biopsy between 2006 and 2009, for a variety of medical indications, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, esophageal reflux, and anemia. Only 35 percent of this group had at least four specimens submitted, and the most common number of specimens submitted was two. But adhering to the recommendation of submitting at least four specimens more than doubled the diagnosis rate of celiac disease.

Even when physicians indicated that they were suspicious of celiac disease (e.g., when patients had positive celiac disease blood tests), fewer than 40 percent of patients had at least four specimens submitted; the diagnosis was increased sevenfold when the guidelines were followed. The process of increasing the number of specimens from two to four takes approximately one extra minute during endoscopy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Americans prefer organic over conventional

When given a choice, American consumers prefer to purchase organic foods, according to the Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll. Thomson Reuters and NPR developed the monthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues. In the latest survey in the series, 58 percent of Americans say they choose organic over conventionally produced foods when they have the opportunity, a number that spikes higher among both young and highly educated respondents. Sixty-three percent of respondents under the age of 35 prefer organic foods, as do 64 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree or more. Among those who prefer organic foods, 36 percent said they do so to support local farmer’s markets and 34 percent said they wanted to avoid exposure to toxins in non-organic foods.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Not all meat is created equal

Here is an informative report from Environmental Working Group with regards to choosing your meat wisely

2011 Meat Eaters Guide

How coffee, tea fights MRSA

New research in the Annals of Family Medicine says these beverages have antimicrobial properties and drinking hot tea or coffee is associated with a lower risk of carrying MRSA bacteria within the nasal passages. Nearly 2.5 million people have evidence of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) inside their noses. In the study, people who drank hot tea were 50% less likely to have MRSA in their nose, compared with people who did not drink hot tea. The same held for people who drank coffee vs. those who didn’t.

MRSA often causes illness when it comes into contact with an open skin wound. People with weakened immune systems are at higher than average risk of having an MRSA-related illness. Hospital-acquired MRSA accounts for many fatal MRSA infections, and these bugs tend to be resistant to many antibiotics.

Nuts' diabetic effect

Eating nuts every day could help control Type 2 diabetes and prevent its complications, according to new research published in the journal Diabetes Care. Consuming two ounces of mixed, unsalted, raw, or dry-roasted nuts daily as a replacement for carbohydrates proved effective at glycemic and serum lipid control for people with Type 2 diabetes. nuts have benefits for both blood glucose control and blood lipids and may be used as part of a strategy to improve

One group was given muffins, one was provided with a mixture of nuts including raw almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, and macadamias, and one group was given a mixture of muffins and nuts. Subjects receiving the nut-only supplement reported the greatest improvement in blood glucose control using the glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) test. The nut diet subjects also experienced a reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The subjects provided the muffin supplement or mixed muffin-and-nut supplement experienced no significant improvement in gylcemic control but those receiving the muffin-nut mixture also significantly lowered their serum LDL levels.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our Doc's Weekly eBrief: Headaches

Last week I talked about my recent attendance to a Chiropractic Teleconference by Dr. Karen Gardner Bagnell. During her lecture not only did she talk about back pain; which was the topic of last week’s e-brief, but she also talked about headaches that affect pregnant women and other patients as well.

According to Dr. Bagnell, the causes of many headaches including tension, sinus, and some types of migraines, can be traced to misalignment in the vertebrae of the neck. Headaches also are very common especially in the first trimester of pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Other causes of headaches can include: lack of sleep, low blood sugar, dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, clenching of the jaw and stress (too many changes). If pregnant women experience headaches during the third trimester, this tends to be related more to poor posture and tension from carrying extra weight. Be aware however, that headaches after 28 weeks may also be caused by pre-eclampsia, and some of the signs of that are high blood pressure and swollen ankles. This is serious and must be dealt with immediately.

So what can be done if one suffers from Tension Headaches? Chiropractic alignment of the neck along with massage, moist heat, chamomile tea (as long as one is not allergic to ragweed), using lavender essential oil (in moderation), a homeopathic remedy called Byronia alba and meditation all are recommended by Dr. Karen Gardner Bagnell. I would add acupuncture, cranial sacral therapy and to check for foods that may trigger headaches. Magnesium supplementation can be quite helpful too.

What can one do if one suffers from sinus Sinus Headaches? The second vertebrae in the neck should be checked by one’s chiropractor (as this nerve pathway effects the sinuses and inner ear). One can also massage the sinuses and should consider the use of a Neti Pot. I would add acupuncture and checking one’s diet to see if certain foods make the sinuses more congested. Outdoor allergies may also be the cause. Since foods, allergens and stress may be triggers for headaches, I also have used the biofeedback system of the BAX-3000 to help reduce the effects that foods, outdoor allergens and stress have on headaches.

Headaches can be quite debilitating so the more drug free remedies that one can use, especially during pregnancy, the better.

In health and happiness,
Dr. Liselotte Schuster

Fluoride once again under fire

A new study from the journal Neurologia reveals that chronic exposure to, and ingestion of, the synthetic fluoride chemicals added to water supplies can cause serious brain and neurological damage. Confirming several others recently published, the study further exposes the lunacy of deliberately adding toxic chemicals to the water supply in the name of saving teeth.

Fluoride chemicals, which are derived from the waste emitted by the aluminum and phosphate mining industries, cross directly into the brain where they lodge themselves and cause disease. They also enter the thyroid and pineal glands and disrupt proper hormone production, which leads to various other illnesses. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently lowered its fluoridation recommendations following the release of studies showing that fluoride harms children.

Lower the harmful effects of salt by doing this

A Center for Disease Control study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine focused on the effects of diets high in salt and low in potassium for 15 years study of more than 12,000 people. By the end of the study period, 2,270 of the study participants had died; 825 of these deaths were from heart disease and 433 were from blood clots and strokes. They found that people who had a high salt intake and a low potassium intake were most at risk. People who ate a diet high in sodium and low in potassium had a 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause, and about twice the risk of death -- or a 200 percent increase -- from a heart attack.

You can increase your level of potassium by adding more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, changing to a potassium iodide salt blend, drinking coconut water, or taking a potassium supplement (only under the supervision of a physician).

Male infertility causes

A number of lifestyle choices, environmental factors and chance events can sabotage sperm: an adolescent groin injury, cigarette smoking, heavy drinking, intense cycling and even using a laptop directly on the lap. Since men contribute to infertility at least half the time, couples investigating why they can't conceive should start with a simple sperm count. About 70% of male infertility is treatable, and in about 25% of cases, it could have been avoided with greater awareness of the lifestyle choices that can harm sperm.

Smoking cigarettes, heavy alcohol drinking and using marijuana, cocaine and opioid painkillers can all lower the level of testosterone needed to make sperm or otherwise cut their quantity and quality. Commonly prescribed medications for high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach acid, gout, inflammatory bowel disease, enlarged prostates and baldness are indicated.

Men trying to conceive should avoid hot baths, hot tubs and tight pants, since heating the testicles by even a few degrees can hamper or stop sperm production. Resting a laptop on the lap can raise temperatures in the scrotum as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit in an hour. Intense cycling, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases, groin injury, pesticides, and industrial agents round out the most common infertility causes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teenagers can be starved of essential vitamins and minerals

A typical teenager probably thinks nothing of a diet packed with pizza, sweets and sugary drinks. But by that age what they eat is already taking a severe toll on their health, research shows.Millions of teenagers are dangerously low in key vitamins and minerals, experts have warned – with girls faring worst. An appetite for junk food is feeding a ‘ticking timebomb’ of disease and ill health. Researchers in journal Complete Nutrition found teenagers of both sexes were among the biggest guzzlers of salt, alcohol and sugar-laden soft drinks. At the same time, they shun fruit, vegetables and oily fish.

Almost half of teenage girls are dangerously low in iron, magnesium and selenium. Iron, found in red meat, liver, beans, nuts and green leafy vegetables, is vital for the production of healthy red blood cells and helps keeps memory and attention sharp. Magnesium helps keep bones strong, while selenium keeps the immune system healthy. One in ten girls is dangerously low in calcium, putting them at risk of brittle bones and falls and fractures in old age. And one in six is severely short of iodine, a mineral key to brain development in the womb.

Teenage boys are also a concern, with one in ten lacking in zinc, which is key to the production of sperm, the healing of wounds and the recovery of muscles after exercise. The researchers believe teenagers’ diets are particularly bad because they are starting to feed themselves for the first time, often skip meals and many are starting to experiment with cigarettes, which cut appetite.

In addition, many girls will be on spurious diets which advise cutting out certain foods to keep them slim or their skin glowing. The diet quality of teenagers and young adults is fundamentally important. During this life-phase, dietary requirements may be high due to rapid physical and mental development. Unfortunately, this is often hampered by social factors, body image concerns and the fact that many young people “live for the minute”, being unaware of how current diets can affect later health. To many young people, middle age and the risk of chronic disease impacting on their life may seem far off. But the foundations of conditions such as cardiovascular disease are laid in childhood.

While diabetes balloons, here's a simple preventive

The number of adults with diabetes worldwide has more than doubled since 1980 to 347 million, a far larger number than previously thought and one that suggests costs of treating the disease will also balloon. In a study published in the The Lancet, an international team of researchers working with The World Health Organization found that rates of diabetes have either risen or at best remained the same in virtually all parts of the world in the past 30 years.

One inexpensive way to stop the diabetes trend may be to boost higher levels of vitamin D in the blood. According to new research presented at the July 2011 American Diabetes Association 71st Scientific Sessions, vitamin D levels appear to be associated with a reduced risk for incident diabetes among people at high risk for the disease. Participants with vitamin D levels in the highest tertile had the lowest risk for developing diabetes, compared with those with vitamin D levels in the lowest tertile.

Medication Alert

Steve - we will now release important medication updates every four to six weeks that we feel are important to our clients.

Actos (Pioglitazone) and Bladder Cancer
Diabetes Care June 2011
Drug regulators in Germany and France have ordered doctors to stop prescribing the type 2 diabetes drug pioglitazone (Actos) following a French study suggesting a heightened risk of bladder cancer. But the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the FDA, and their Japanese counterpart have withheld action pending additional review of the data. A U.S. study published earlier this year restricted to patients taking the drug for at least two years, showed a significantly increased risk.

Anticholinergics and Cognitive Impairment, Death
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society June 2011
Medications with anticholinergic activity, which include many drugs frequently taken by older adults, cause cognitive impairment. The research is also the first to identify a possible link between these drugs -- which include over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids and incontinence treatments -- and risk of death. Over-the-counter products containing diphenhydramine, sold under various brand names such as Benadryl®, Dramamine®, Excedrin PM®, Nytol®, Sominex®, Tylenol PM®, and Unisom®, have anticolinergic activity. Other anticholinergic drugs, such as Paxil®, Detrol®, Demerol® and Elavil® are available by prescription. Medications with anticholinergic effects are used for many diseases including hypertension and congestive heart failure.

Antipsychotics for Children and Weight, Insulin Resistance; Heart Warning for Adults
Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology June 2011
Antipsychotic-naive children who receive these medications for the first time experience rapid cardiometabolic changes — including increased adiposity and insulin resistance — just weeks after use of these drugs is initiated.

Seroquel and extended-release Seroquel XR “should be avoided” in combination with at least 12 other medicines linked to a heart arrhythmia that can cause sudden cardiac arrest.

Asthma (Glucocorticoids) and Osteoporosis
The New England Journal of Medicine, July 2011
Glucocorticoid therapy is the most common cause of secondary osteoporosis and the leading iatrogenic cause of the disease. Often, the presenting manifestation is fracture, which occurs in 30 to 50% of patients receiving long-term glucocorticoid therapy.

Avodart, Propecia, Proscar and Prostate Cancer
Food and Drug Administration June 2011
The FDA has issued a warning of an increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer with the 5-alpha reductase inhibitors finasteride (Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart) currently approved to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy. The agency has updated the Warnings and Precautions section of labels for the class of drugs -- which includes branded products Propecia and Jalyn under which finasteride and dutasteride are marketed for other indications -- to reflect the increased risk.

Contraceptives and Bone Mineral Density
Expert Reviews of Obstetric Gynecology June 2011
The long-acting progestogen injectable contraceptives depot medroxyprogesterone acetate and norethisterone enanthate have been found to adversely affect bone mineral density in adult premenopausal women and adolescents. The effect of combined oral contraceptives on bone mineral density is variable, with no effect reported in premenopausal women; however, growing evidence suggests that low-dose combined oral contraceptives may be detrimental to bone mineral density in adolescents and young women. Concerns regarding bone loss in depot medroxyprogesterone acetate users resulted in a US FDA black-box warning for this method. No restriction has been placed on the use of other progestogen-only or combined oral contraceptive methods.

Flu Shot
European regulators have recommended restricting the use of GlaxoSmithKline's pandemic flu vaccine Pandemrix because of a potential risk of narcolepsy in children or adolescents.

Multaq for Artrial Fibrillation
The F.D.A. cautioned against using Multaq for a long-term form of atrial fibrillation because a study showed twice as many deaths in patients taking the drug as those who did not.

British Medical Journal July 2011
Use of non-aspirin NSAIDs was associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter. Compared with non-users, the association was strongest for new users, with a 40-70% increase. The study thus adds evidence that atrial fibrillation or flutter needs to be added to the cardiovascular risks to be considered when prescribing NSAIDs.

Statins and Cerebral Hemorrhage, Diabetes, Eye Problems
Archives of Neurology June 2011
Statins are in widespread use for strokes. Findings from a recent study suggests that statin use may be associated with increased risk for intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Statin therapy was predicted to increase the baseline annual probability of recurrence of lobar ICH from approximately 14% to approximately 22%. For survivors of deep ICH, avoiding statin therapy for both primary and secondary prevention also was associated with better outcomes.

Journal of the American Medical Association June 2011
High-dose statin therapy raises the risk of diabetes onset compared with more modest use. An intensive statin regimen of 80-mg simvastatin (Zocor) or atorvastatin (Lipitor) was associated with a 12% increased diabetes incidence compared with moderate 10-to-20-mg doses of the same drugs, or 40 mg pravastatin (Pravachol). These findings followed close on the heels of an FDA warning about risk of myopathy with high-dose simvastatin use, cautioning that the 80-mg dose should only be used in patients already on it for at least a year without signs of muscle injury.

American Journal of Medicine June 2011
Researchers found 256 cases of statin-induced eye problems due to muscle weakness in medical reports.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dietary counseling essential for pregnant women

To explore the effect of maternal dietary intervention on infant essential fatty acid (FA) status, researchers conducted a prospective, single-blind, randomized nutrition intervention study. At the first trimester of pregnancy, 90 women from families with a history of allergy were randomized either to receive intensive dietary counseling to modify dietary intake according to current recommendations or as controls. Infants’ cord and 1-mo isolated serum phospholipid FA were identified and quantified. The findings suggest a better supply of essential FA, particularly important during the period of rapid development, in infants whose mothers received dietary counseling. The results thus highlight the importance of maternal diet for child health, calling for dietary counseling for pregnant women in primary health care. Journal Nutrition, July 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

25 Ways to Shed Weight Organically

Keep a Food Journal to assure your meals/snacks/drinks are clean and balanced. Evaluate your journal on Sunday evening and make adjustments if needed. If you have a menu plan we created for you, follow it. Otherwise, create your own weekly menus for enhanced adherence.

Clean Out Your Pantry (and fridge/freezer) -
Remove any "no-no's," as well as products that do not appear in your meal plan. Ideally, your pantry should not be stuffed to the gills with snacks foods and processed carbs. By then end of each week, your refrigerator should be nearly empty because you consumed copious amounts of fresh produce and lean protein. Your freezer should be stocked with leftovers you can easily defrost for meals, frozen fruits and veggies, and lean protein.

Get Support -
Whether from us (meeting with Bonnie or NCI Well Connect), a friend, family member, coworker, or online support group, there is strength in numbers. Staying connected greatly enhances adherence to optimal wellness habits.

Eat Breakfast -
Not the standard American fare. Treat it like any other daily balanced meal (lean protein must be included). Including fruits and veggies at breakfast is great way to more easily meet your daily servings.

Limit Your Beverages to Unsweetened Water, Tea, and Coffee -
Taking away sweetened hot beverages, sodas, juices, and any other caloric beverages will immediately reduce your caloric load. Of course, aritifically sweetened beverages are not recommended (stevia is only approved sweetener for daily use).

Do a Short, Smart Detox -
Cleansing with a safe, smart detoxification protocol for three days to two weeks reduces your gastrointestinal tract and liver's workload, allowing them to more easily excrete built-up toxicity. Also note that as you eliminate fat mass, you reduce toxicity. An overabundance of fat cells are often created to house excess toxins that the body cannot remove. We recommend our Smart Detox 2-Week or Smart Cleanse (for vegans) Action Plans. They are available for free by email as part of your NCI Well Connect subscription.

Exercise With a Workout Buddy -
Find someone who has similar goals as you do, and a similar workout plan. When you know someone's counting on you to show up, it's so much easier to stay motivated and attend each workout session.

Moderate Your Mental Makeup -
Getting in the right frame of mind is extremely important for shedding weight. Simple meditation or visualization techniques in the morning and evening allow your brain to defragment, regenerate, and focus on task.

Sleep -
7 hours minimum. Your brain, most importantly, and other vital organs, need to rest and rejuvenate while adhering to a satisfactory circadian rhythm.

Smart Snack -
If you snack, mid-morning and mid-afternoon are the best times. Small, but balanced serving sizes are ideal. If carbohydrates are involved, a protein and/or healthy fat must accompany. Do not consume a caloric drink at this time. Stick with water, sparkling water, or unsweetened tea or coffee.

Smarten Up Your Cravings -
Many of us have trouble managing our cravings, much less eliminating them altogether. Finding smart ways to deal with cravings is key. For instance, when a craving comes on: take a walk; grab a handful of nuts and chew slowly; have a cup of tea or coffee (add stevia if desired). Acknowledging the craving and address it in a positive fashion. If you have a evening craving, don't be afraid to grab that handful of nuts. It is much preferred to gorging on a sweet/junk food. Following the previous ten steps in this series should automatically help you as well.

Smart Food Swaps -
Instead of counting calories, swap foods that contain unnecessary calories in exchange for less caloric foods. For example, instead of mayonnaise, use mustard. Instead of sour cream, use reduced fat greek style yogurt. Instead of drinking original soy/rice/alternative milk, opt for unsweetened (add stevia if desired).

Good Fats Are Welcome -
Do not give in to the fear of fat. Getting the right type of fats actually encourage healthy metabolism and can spur the shedding of weight. One should aspire to a proper balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids of 3:1. Saturated fats in moderate amounts are also essential. Trans fats that mainly come from processed foods are not acceptable.

Get Rid of the Scale -
Weighing yourself is never a good indication of your true weight (especially If you are at a plateau). The scale cannot tell you if you lost muscle or fat.

Shop Smart -
There are two very simple things to remember. First, pick a day and time during the week where you are the least stressed. That way, you will be less inclined to splurge on foods that you use to ameliorate stress. Many clients say they like to shop on Sunday for this very reason. Second, make a detailed list of what you need and do not deviate from it. Impulse purchase are much easier when you do not have a shopping list.

Sugar Shortage -
If you heeded one of our first suggestions, cleaning out your pantry, you should have a "sugar shortage." Limiting exposure to sugar in your house lowers the number of hours sugar can tempt you. If you need to have sugar on-hand for baking, keep it to the bare minimum. If your family is not avoiding sugar, make a deal with them to keep any sugar-laden foods in one area where you know to stay away. We do not consider dark chocolate (over 70% cocoa content) a sugar-laden food. A great first step to achieving sugar shortage was also one of our earlier recommendations: consume only unsweetened drinks and do not sweeten your coffee and tea.

Green Your Environment -
Excess environmental exposure to toxins can accelerate weight gain and impede the loss of fat mass. The body protects itself by creating fat cells to encapsulate the toxins. Start removing potential toxins in your home, your car, and whatever you can at your workplace.

Tackle the Television -
This is not exactly a revelation. Most of us watch too much television. While we are not the TV police, we suggest making the most of your time when you are watching. For instance, watch part of your show standing up. Do some jumping jacks. Walk or run in place. Basically, do something active so you are not sedentary for long periods of time. Or better yet, cut some of your TV time in lieu of exercise.

Take an Active Vacation -
Instead of a vacation that revolves what restaurants and cuisines you immerse yourself in, choose a vacation that includes a lot of walking, or if possible, more rigorous physical activity such as bicycling, hiking, climbing, or skiing. If this is not an option, make sure that wherever you vacation, make physical activity a priority.

Eat Without Distractions -
Researchers had volunteers eat a meal while playing computer solitaire and others eat the same meal in the same amount of time while undistracted. They told the subjects it was a test of the effect of food on memory, but actually they were testing how full people felt after a meal, how much they ate at a "taste test" 30 minutes later, and how successfully they could recall exactly what they ate. Not only were distracted eaters worse at remembering what they had eaten, but they felt significantly less full just after lunch, even after the researchers controlled for height and weight. And at the taste-test session a half-hour later, they ate about twice as many cookies as those who had lunch without playing games. American Journal Clinical Nutrition, January 2011

Choose Resistant Starch Carbohydrates -
Some carbs can actually help you shed weight. Specific types of carbs known as "resistant starch carbs" do not get absorbed in the small intestines. Any digestion that takes place is slow, which in turn results in a slow but steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. Consuming resistant starches make you feel full much longer as well. Sources of resistant starch carbs include: sweet potatoes, beans, brown rice pasta, artichokes, yams, manioc/cassava, and quinoa.

Turn Down the Heat During Winter -
You may have seen this Obesity Review study in the news recently. Increased time spent indoors, widespread access to central heating, and increased expectations of thermal comfort all contribute to restricting the range of temperatures we experience in daily life and reduce the time our bodies spend under mild thermal stress -- meaning we're burning less energy. This could have an impact on energy balance, and ultimately have an impact on body weight and obesity. Try to keep the thermostat around 70 during the day, then turn down to 66 or 67 while sleeping.

There Are No "Quick-Fixes" -
Many programs focused on shedding weight only work for the short-term, according to a study in International Journal of Obesity. Researchers found that along with continued dietary counseling to help subjects keep weight off long-term, a 'junk food tax' and better nutrition labeling would be effective for long-term weight loss.

Try a New Cardio Class -
If there's one aspect people have a hard time sticking with, it's cardio. To prevent cardio boredom and eventually dropout, try a new fitness class with a friend, a home DVD or video workout for Wii or Microsoft Kinnect. Whether it's power yoga, kickboxing, or Tai Chi for older persons, it'll get your metabolism going and the fresh approach helps you enjoy your workout sessions.

Be Supportive to Yourself Every Step of the Way -
Whether you lose one pound of fifty, you must get in the mindset that you are making yourself a healthier person regardless. Applying these 25 suggestions makes attaining your goal for optimal wellness palpable. Shedding weight is just a byproduct of this. After implementing these techniques and practicing them over and over, you will become more comfortable with this lifestyle for the long-term. Go get em!

Vitamin D reduces mortality by 6 percent

A study in the July issue of Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews analyzed the influence of different forms of vitamin D on mortality. In the 50 trials that provided data for their analyses a total of 94,148 participants were randomly assigned to either vitamin D or no treatment or a placebo. The mean age of participants was 74 years. The mean proportion of women was 79%. The median duration of vitamin D administration was two years. The findings suggested that vitamin D3 reduces mortality by about 6%, which corresponds to 200 participants that need to be treated over a median of two years to save one additional life. Another supplemental form of vitamin D, vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), as well as the active forms of vitamin D (alfacalcidol and calcitriol) had no significant effect on mortality. In conclusion, they found evidence that vitamin D3 decreases mortality in predominantly elderly women.

Bonnie - for the cost of pennies per day, reducing mortality by 6 percent is a pretty good deal. Of course, this does not take into account the other myriad benefits vitamin D provides.
For example, four months of vitamin D3 supplementation reduced risk factors for type 2 diabetes by improving the function of insulin-producing cells in pre-diabetic subjects by 15-30%, according to a new study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Please make special note that they only found evidence with vitamin D3, not the synthetic form vitamin D2.

Example of how consumers can influence Big Food

Second to packaging, the color of a beverage is the first thing consumers notice when eyeing drink options sitting on a store shelf. Whether the vibrant yellow hue of a lemonade or the dark brown of a cola, color can add to a beverage’s visual appeal. But developing the exact right shade can be tricky as the colors need to work with all of the other ingredients and remain stable in the finished product.

Caramel color continues to be the most widely consumed food coloring ingredient in the world, as it’s primarily used in soft drinks. As the demand for organic ingredients grows, D. D. Williamson last year developed an acid-proof, certified organic caramel color for the North American market.

Demand for natural colors is currently outpacing growth for synthetic colors, prompted in large part by consumers’ increasing interest in all-natural ingredients and “clean” labels. The world market for natural colors increased by almost 35 percent between 2005 and 2009. Everything indicates that the current trend of converting from synthetic to natural colors in the global food industry will continue. The European Union enforced stricter labeling laws for synthetic colors on the heels of a study that found that certain synthetic colors could aggravate hyperactivity in children. In March, in the United States, the FDA Food Advisory Committee looked into the issue of artificial colors, namely the FD&C colors, such as FD&C Red #40 and FD&C Yellow #5, and concluded that research did not show a link between hyperactivity in children and consumption of synthetic colors, but also agreed further research needed to be done.

Bonnie - as we have said many times, one of the most influential ways you can impact your health is how you spend your dollars. If demand for artificial ingredients continues to wane, Big Food must adjust or risk losing Big Money!

It has never been more important to exercise you dollar rights. For example, the Campbell Soup company has just announced that they will be adding back sodium to their Select Harvest soups, stating that "good health does not sell." What a cop out. Whole Foods and hundreds of other healthy food producers beg to differ.

EPA/DHA affect macular degeneration, inflammation

Researchers examined whether high eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acid intakes modify associations of obesity with chronic disease risk biomarkers in Yup’ik Eskimos. Associations of Body Mass Index with triglycerides, glucose, insulin, C-reactive protein (CRP) and leptin differed significantly by RBC EPA and DHA. For subjects with low EPA and DHA, increases in triglycerides (61%) and CRP (35%) concentrations were found and associated with a BMI increase from 25 to 35. Subjects with high EPA and DHA lowered these markers. In this population, high EPA and DHA was associated with lower dyslipidemia and low-grade systemic inflammation among overweight and obese persons. This may help inform recommendations for omega-3 fatty acid intakes in the reduction of obesity-related disease risk.

Harvard researchers found increased fish intake in women who were free of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) significantly reduced risk of AMD over a 10-year period of intake. The findings appeared in the July issue of Archives of Ophthalmalogy. In 38,022 female health professionals who were free of AMD diagnosis at baseline, those with the intake for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) had a lower relative risk of AMD by consuming one or more servings of fish per week. The researchers concluded that regular consumption of DHA, EPA and fish is associated with a significantly decreased risk of incident AMD and may be of benefit in primary prevention of AMD.

Body’s Power Stations Affect Aging

Researchers have revealed novel mechanisms in mitochondria that have implications for cancer as well as many other age-related diseases such as Parkinson's disease, heart disease and hypertension.

In mammals, all cells have two distinct genomes, which include all of an organism's hereditary information. One set exists in the nucleus while the other exists in mitochondria, the energy generators of the cell. Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a study found that two DNA modifications act like a genetic on/off switch in a process known as DNA methylation. The presence of these DNA modifications leads the researchers to believe that a system of gene control similar to what occurs in the nucleus is present in mitochondria, functioning to ensure the correct levels of proteins needed for proper energy generation.

"In diseases such as cancer, epigenetic control is lost," says researchers. "Genes that should be switched on are switched off and vice versa, leading to uncontrolled growth. Our research indicates that errors in gene expression could be unfolding in mitochondria, possibly contributing to loss of mitochondrial function typical of cancer and a host of other age-related diseases." The researchers are currently working to force into mitochondria more of the enzyme responsible for forming the silencing mark, and to identify enzymes responsible for removing it.

More on Mitochondria, Aging
Mitochondria are the body's energy producers, the power stations inside our cells. Researchers have now identified a group of mitochondrial proteins, that could delay the onset of age-related diseases and increase lifespan. In a study published in the journal Molecular Cell, the group of MTC proteins, which are normally needed for mitochondrial protein synthesis, also have other functions that influence genome stability and the cell's capacity to remove damaged and harmful proteins. They then gain increased significance for the stabilization of the genome and for combating protein damage, which leads to increased lifespan. The MTC-dependent regulation of the rate of aging uses the same signalling pathways that are activated in calorie restriction -- something that extends the lifespan of many different organisms, including yeasts, mice and primates. At the moment this is only preliminary research, but the role of the MTC proteins in the aging process is a fascinating process to be further explored.

Steve - why have we posted both of these studies?
  1. To show how incredibly important mitochondria is to an optimally functioning individual.
  2. For those with under-performing mitochondria, the most heavily researched enzyme to assist with optimally performing mitochondria is Co-EnzymeQ10 (CoQ10). Whether CoQ10 can actually assist with silencing negative expression in genes involved with diseases such as cancer has not been substantiated. However, CoQ10 has been linked to cancer prevention as well as myriad other diseases. Hopefully the researchers are examining CoQ10 as part of the solution.

    Whether for therapeutic or preventive purposes, CoQ10 is a crucial supplement to include in our arsenal.

Improve childhood eating habits? It may be up to Dad.

According to a study in the July issue of Journal of the American Dietetic Association, parental dietary intake, lifestyle behavior, and parenting style influence a child's weight status. Few studies have examined associations between parent–child dietary intake, or specific father–child associations. This study examined associations between father–child dietary intakes of fruit, vegetables, and selected energy-dense nutrient-poor foods. The study consisted of overweight fathers with dietary intakes of fathers and children assessed using validated food frequency questionnaires, with mothers reporting their child's food intake.

Fathers' median daily fruit and vegetable intakes were 0.9 and 2.2 servings/day, respectively, whereas children consumed 2.1 fruit and 2.9 vegetable servings/day. Moderately-strong positive correlations were found between father–child fruit intakes, cookies, and potato chips. Children's intakes of fruit and some energy-dense nutrient-poor foods but were related to their father's intakes. The targeting of fathers should be tested in experimental studies as a potential strategy to improve child and family eating habits.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our Doc's Weekly eBrief: Back Pain

I recently attended a Chiropractic Teleconference by Dr. Karen Gardner Bagnell, a Chiropractic Physician with a family practice whose patients include adults, children, babies and pregnant women. During her lecture she went into great detail about the types of back pain that she encounters when working with pregnant women. Keep in mind however that these same back pain ailments affect other patients as well, not just pregnant women.

According to Dr. Bagnell the two most common neurological complaints she sees in her office that cause back pain are:

1. Meralgia Paresthetica (pain in the upper outer leg/thigh)

2. Sciatica (low back pain, leg pain, buttock pain and even foot pain)

Meralgia Paresthetica is when one has pain or numbness on the upper, outer leg and this is very different from having sciatica; which can be pain or numbness of the back, buttock, back of the leg, calf and foot. Therefore, it is important to be very specific and point to the exact area where the pain is located during the history and exam in order to get the proper diagnosis and care. When there is pain or numbness in the upper, outer leg region with Meralgia Parestheitca, this can indicate compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. This nerve passes beneath the inguinal ligament; which is found near the groin. The chiropractic method of treating this compressed nerve is different from treating a compressed sciatic nerve.

When it comes to Sciatica there are a few areas that need to be assessed to see where the sciatic nerve is being compressed. This could be due to a deficiency in motion of the vertebrae in the low back, it could also be due to a bulging disc, stenosis or one of the muscles in the buttock may be compressing the sciatic nerve. By evaluating these different areas, the chiropractor can make sure to work on the correct regions to relieve the sciatic pain. With pregnant women these two different nerves get compressed due to the posture changes, the ligaments getting looser, the belly growing, sleep habits changing or there may be an old injury that is flaring up.

Hopefully this information helps one understand the most common reasons for back pain, if indeed it is due to a compressed nerve. In my opinion, however, no one, including pregnant women should be told to just live with the pain. The proper Chiropractic alignment in conjunction with exercise, applying cold and or hot packs, rubbing on essential oils, arnica and other linaments as well as taking natural muscle relaxants and anti-iflammatory all offer a method of care that allows for using the least amount of medication possible to relieve pain, especially during pregnancy.

In health and happiness,

Dr. Liselotte Schuster

Diet soda inudces weight gain

The perception that diet soft drinks are a benign alternative to highly sweetened beverages might be dangerously wrong, according to the results of a study reported here at the American Diabetes Association 71st Scientific Sessions. In the study presented, researchers examined the effect of the long-term consumption of diet soft drinks by a population of individuals 65 to 74 years of age. At baseline, measures of height, weight, and waist circumference were recorded, as was diet soft drink intake. Three additional exams of the study subjects were conducted over an average follow-up of just over 3.5 years (the study was conducted over a 9-year period). When the results of these observations were compared with those from subjects who did not drink diet soft drinks, the differences were striking.

Overall, consumers of diet soft drinks experienced a 70% greater increase in waist circumference than nonconsumers. Further, among elderly drinkers of 2 or more diet soft drinks per day, mean increases in waist circumference were 5 times greater than those recorded for nonconsumers. These results suggest that amidst the national drive to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks, policies that promote the consumption of diet soft drinks may have unintended deleterious effects.