Friday, September 30, 2011

7 laws of leanness

Could not have said it better ourselves!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Our Doc's Take: Let Pain Be Your Best Friend

Last night I attended a lecture by Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Chadwick Prodromos. This is the third lecture of his that I have attended with the room filled with other Chiropractors. He lectures regularly as one of Dr. Prodromos goals is to help bridge the gap between the two professions.

What has impressed me each time is his respect for the healing capabilities of the human body. Hence one of his quotes last night was “Let pain be your best friend”. He does not prescribe NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) due to the many negative side effects. He instead focuses on supplementing with glucosamine / chondroitin sulfate, stopping activities that cause pain, offering physical therapy in his office and he is a big advocate of chiropractic care as well. He does perform surgery and is world renowned yet he tries to avoid it if possible.

The quote “Let pain be your best friend” was in reference to the fact that we should embrace the millions of years of cellular and innate healing capabilities we have inside ourselves. Dr. Prodromos gave an example of when he sprained his ankle and it began to swell. There are chemicals in the fluid of the swollen ankle that are designed to help our tissues heal much more quickly. He did not use pain meds, he did not use ice to reduce the swelling, he did not walk on it or anything else that would have inhibited the body’s healing response. After the weekend he was back in his office hobbling a little bit yet by the end of the week his ankle was feeling great.

I think there are many ways we can look at letting pain be our best friend. The body is always talking to us and we can choose to honor the signs it gives us. We can choose not to mask the pain but let it be our guide. There are many ways we can live with less pain and also take the time that is necessary to let the body heal itself.

Dr. Liselotte Schuster
(847) 509-9067

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cantaloupe outbreak could be deadliest in a decade

Courtesy of Bloomberg News

As many as 14 people have died from possible listeria illnesses traced to Colorado cantaloupes -- a death toll that would make the outbreak the deadliest in more than a decade.

The Centers for Disease Control said last week that 55 illnesses and eight deaths were linked to the outbreak. Since then, state and local health departments in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming have reported six additional deaths that may be linked to the tainted fruit.

Listeria is more deadly than more well-known pathogens like salmonella and E. coli, though those outbreaks generally cause more illnesses. Twenty-one people died in an outbreak of listeria poisoning in 1998 traced to contaminated hot dogs and possibly deli meats.

Jensen Farms of Holly, Colo., recalled cantaloupes earlier this month linked to the illnesses.

Survey shows where consumers get their nutrition info

According to an American Dietetic Association survey, consumers typically learn about nutrition through television. Running a very close second was the internet. ADA experts warn that as the media diverges from traditional print to internet, it is crucial that consumers differentiate between a nutritionally sound website and a fraudulent one.

Steve - sad, but true. It is shocking how much time we spend dispelling myths spawned from TV and internet. The biggest problem with getting one's information this way is that it is "one-size-fits-all." Dr. Oz is not speaking to you as an individual. He is speaking as if every person watching has the same needs. Television and the internet are great resources for people who already understand their individual nutritional needs from seeing a professional. This way, they can keep up with new developments, warnings, and continue to achieve or maintain optimal health.

What do you think?

Consumer Reports and Cochrane: Probiotics Help

Probiotic pills ease irritable bowel syndrome and other stomach problems more effectively than yogurt with probiotics, a recent survey of Consumer Reports subscribers suggests. In the Consumer Reports survey, 1,019 people said they took probiotic supplements to ease their stomach problems and 1,121 people said they consumed yogurt probiotics. A third of the supplement users said the probiotic helped a lot, compared with 17 percent and 20 percent of those who consumed the yogurt for their IBS or another digestive disorder, respectively.

An study on probiotics and colds, published this month by the Cochrane Collaboration, looked at 10 previous studies including 3,451 children and adults age 40 and younger who took pills or consumed yogurt for more than a week. It concluded that people who took a probiotic experienced 12 percent fewer acute upper respiratory tract infections over the study periods than those who took a placebo. In addition, people who took probiotics were less likely to need antibiotics to treat bacterial complications of those infections.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Low B-12, high homocysteine reduces brain volume

Bonnie - this should not come as a surprise to our clients or readers of this blog.

Older people with low levels of vitamin B12 may be more prone to age-related memory declines and brain shrinkage. This finding, reported in Neurology, comes from researchers at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center. They found that older people with blood markers associated with vitamin B12 deficiency had the smallest brains and the lowest scores on tests measuring thinking, reasoning, and memory.

Though the new study doesn't prove that vitamin B12 deficiency caused those problems, older adults are more likely than younger people to have lower levels. As we get older, our stomachs produce less of the acid that breaks down the vitamin to make it available for absorption. Older people also take more drugs that inhibit absorption, such as metformin and reflux medication.

Earlier this month, a group from Oxford University reported that vitamin B-12 supplementation also appeared to slow cognitive declines in the same group of high-risk patients with early memory loss. by lower homocysteine levels. In the Rush study, researchers saw much more rapid declines in memory in people who were deficient in B12. Brain imaging confirmed that higher levels of homocysteine and methylmalonate were associated with smaller brain size. Tangney says it is too soon to recommend vitamin B12 supplementation as a strategy for slowing memory loss and brain shrinkage, even though the small U.K. study found that practice to be beneficial. Smith agrees, but adds

In conclusion, elderly people with early evidence of memory impairment should have their homocysteine level checked. If levels are high, medically supervised vitamin B supplementation may be appropriate.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Reflux meds more likely to induce C.Diff diarrhea

Hospitalized patients on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were three times as likely to develop diarrhea associated with Clostridium difficile (CDAD) than those who were not taking them, according to a study presented to Interscience Conference on Anti-Microbial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC). The incidence of CDAD has been increasing in many developed countries. The finding makes physiological sense. The stomach is a highly acidic place, something that serves as a major defense mechanism against pathogens. Lowering stomach acid lowers the barrier and permits CDAD more often.

Bonnie - how many more disastrous consequences do we need before we stop taking PPIs long-term?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bugs on the Menu.

Steve - a fascinating story in a recent issue of the New Yorker made a strong impression on me. I was unaware that 80% of the world consumes insects as part of their diet. I was also fascinated by how insects are starting to take hold in the United States. There is even a company, Entom Foods, headed by a University of Chicago student, trying to make protein filets out of insects. Could there be an insect protein revolution (entomophagy) on the way?
  • In the early 1940s, insects were considered exotic delicacies in the US. The fascination only lasted about 10 years.
  • Many cutting-edge chefs are currently incorporating insect protein into many of their signature dishes.
  • Fourth-fifths of the animal species on earth are insects.
  • Insects are cold-blooded so they convert food into meat much faster than warm blooded animals, which makes them a small foodprint compared to any other protein source, including plants.
  • Insects such as grasshoppers have four times as many micronutrients as our usual animal protein sources.
  • Because of genetic differences, there is much less risk of diseases jumping species.
  • Insects are natural recyclers because they can eat almost anything.
  • Insects also thrive in what we consider inhumane conditions.
  • Because of Westerner's psychological issues with eating insects, food manufacturers are coming up with creative ways to combat this: insect flour, change the names of the insects to something more appealing, pulling the head, eyes, and wings off the bug, making it into filets, etc.
  • Many humans, such as West Africans, eat insects to avoid protein deficiency sickness.
  • Insects likely to be the most popular: grasshoppers, worms.
  • We eat insects every day without knowing it. The FDA allows acceptable levels of bugs in our processed foods. They call it "aesthetic". A food is not considered contaminated until it has over 50 aphids, thrips, or mites per hundred grams.
  • We also eat insects in our fresh vegetables without knowing it.
Given the aforementioned, would you be open to incorporating insect protein into your diet? Please leave your comments below.

Mom's Diet Influences Baby's Allergies

A possible link between what a mother eats during pregnancy and the risk of her child developing allergies has been identified in Journal of Physiology. The research found that if a mother's diet contains a certain group of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) -- such as those found in fish, walnut oil or flaxseed -- the baby's gut develops differently. The PUFAs are thought to improve how gut immune cells respond to bacteria and foreign substances, making the baby less likely to suffer from allergies.

The team found that supplementing a mother's diet with n-3PUFA caused the newborn's gut to become more permeable. A more permeable gut enables bacteria and new substances to pass through the lining of the gut into the bloodstream more easily. These new substances then trigger the baby's immune response and the production of antibodies. The end result is that the baby's immune system may develop and mature faster -- leading to better immune function and less likelihood of suffering allergies.

Patients Want Healing Options in Primary Care

Patients and clinicians would like to see more healing options, including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), incorporated into primary care, according to a new study in Annals of Family Medicine. These findings suggest that integrating open discussion and referrals to additional healing options into primary care may be both feasible and desirable, especially for patients whose conditions are not responding to standard medical treatments (eg, chronic pain, irritable bowel disorder, chronic fatigue).

The findings are based on comments made by participants in 7 focus groups conducted by a large, integrated healthcare system in Washington State in October and November 2008. The patients all had had at least 1 primary care visit within the 12 months before participating in the focus group. The Institute of Medicine has identified the integration of CAM into conventional medicine as an area worthy of more research, and physicians and patients alike have expressed interest in learning more about it. Yet large healthcare organizations have been slow to include CAM into their primary care practices. Many patients use CAM but do not tell their physicians because they fear a negative reaction.

All 7 groups mentioned exercise, massage, nutrition, recreational activities and lifestyle change, spirituality and religion, and therapeutic activities. Other options endorsed by patients and clinicians alike, though not in all 7 groups, included acupuncture, meditation, support groups, and yoga.

Patients reported that their physicians' negative reactions or lack of openness to the idea were important barriers to their trying other healing options. Clinicians cited a lack of knowledge about the options and about practitioners to whom they could confidently refer patients as the major obstacles to incorporating these recommendations into their practices.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vitamin D intake not one-size-fits all, especially for Chicagoans

We have actually found local researchers who see the vitamin D issue the same way we do: vitamin D supplementation should not be one-size-fits-all.

Vitamin D recommendations should vary because risk for vitamin D deficiency varies widely. A study conducted in Chicago looked at 25 hydroxyvitamin D levels in 492 men age 40 to 79 who lived in Chicago, Illinois. They found that 93% of African-American men and 69.7% of European-American men were vitamin D-deficient, with 25(OH)D levels of less than 30 ng/mL. "This study shows that across the board, vitamin D recommendations just won’t work for everybody," according to Adam B. Murphy, MD, MBA, clinical instructor in the Department of Urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, said in a statement. He reported on the study at the Fourth American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities (SCHD).

"I think the IOM's [Institute of Medicine's] recent recommendation is a complete farce," exclaimed one researcher, Rick Kittles, PhD, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The IOM recommended raising the recommended dietary allowance from 400 to 600 IU of vitamin D for people aged 1 to 70. But many more criteria need to be taken into account when devising vitamin D recommendations, he said, including skin tone, occupation, geographic location, and weight. Having a blanket recommendation of 600 IU doesn’t make sense, he stated.

Here are several new studies having to do with vitamin D:

ACL Knee Surgery
Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine study identified that low vitamin D (below 30 ng/ml) appears to hinder strength recovery after anterior cruciate ligament surgery and during inflammatory insult.

Children with severe therapy-resistant asthma (STRA) may have poorer lung function and worse symptoms compared to children with moderate asthma, due to lower levels of vitamin D in their blood, according to researchers in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Lower levels may cause structural changes in the airway muscles, making breathing more difficult.

Vitamin-D deficiency increases risk of muscle injuries in athletes. Researchers looked at 89 football players from a single NFL team and conducted lab tests of vitamin D levels in the spring of 2010. The mean age of the players was 25. The team gave the researchers data to allow them to determine which players had lost time because of muscle injuries. The results showed that 27 players had deficient levels, and 45 more had levels consistent with insufficiency. Only 17 players had levels within normal limits. Sixteen players had suffered a muscle injury—and the mean vitamin-D level of the injured players was 19.9 nh/mL, a deficient value.

Breast Cancer
A recent study in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment has found that taking high doses of vitamin D can help relieve the joint and muscle pain caused by taking aromatase inhibitor drugs for breast cancer. Compared to women taking a placebo, those given the 50,000 IU weekly dose of vitamin D2 experienced less overall pain and discomfort.

Colon Cancer
A lack of vitamin D increases the aggressiveness of colon cancer. Researchers in journal PLOS One have confirmed the pivotal role of vitamin D, specifically its receptor (VDR), in slowing down the action of a key protein in the carcinogenic transformation process of colon cancer cells. Beta-catenin, which is normally found in intestinal epithelial cells where it facilitates their cohesion, builds up in large quantities in other areas of the cells when the tumor transformation begins. As a result of these changes, the protein is retained in the cell nucleus, where it facilitates the carcinogenic process, and this is the point at which vitamin D intervenes.

Vitamin D deficiency was significantly more frequent among patients with
ANA-positive systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) compared with those with ANA-negative SLE. Hence, vitamin D deficiency is associated with certain immune abnormalities in SLE, suggesting that vitamin D plays an important role in autoantibody production and SLE pathogenesis. Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, September 2011

Researchers writing in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research report that even a high supplementation amount in healthy pregnant women was safe and effective in raising circulating vitamin D to a level thought to be optimal. The study also found no adverse effects of vitamin D supplementation, in women or their newborns. The research team, studied healthy expectant mothers
between 12 and 16 weeks into gestation to discover how varying dosages of daily supplements could safely sustain a circulating vitamin D level of at least 32 nanograms per milliliter. One group received 400 IU of vitamin D3 per day, the second group received 2,000 IU per day and the third received 4,000 IU daily. The team found that women who received the highest level of supplementation were more likely to achieve and sustain the desired level of circulating levels of vitamin D throughout their pregnancy. Moreover, the researchers found that pregnant women who received lower levels of vitamin D supplementation did not attain the threshold circulating level of the vitamin.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Med Diet, once again, shines for heart disease risk

Apolipoprotein (Apo)B, ApoA-I, and their ratio could predict coronary heart disease (CHD) risk more accurately than conventional lipid measurements. The researchers' aim in this Atherosclerosis study was to assess the effect of a traditional Mediterranean diet (TMD) on apolipoproteins. High-cardiovascular risk subjects, aged 55–80 years, were assigned to a low-fat diet, or TMDs (TMD + virgin olive oil (VOO), or TMD + nuts, received nutritional education and either free VOO or nuts.

Both TMDs promoted beneficial changes on classical cardiovascular risk factors. ApoA-I increased, and ApoB and ApoB/ApoA-I ratio decreased after TMD + VOO, the changes promoting a lower cardiometabolic risk. Changes in TMD + VOO versus low-fat diet were significant for ApoB, ApoA-I, and ApoB/ApoA-I ratio, respectively. Individuals at high-cardiovascular risk who improved their diet toward a TMD pattern rich in virgin olive oil, reduced their Apo B and ApoB/ApoA-I ratio and improved ApoA-I concentrations.

In an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, researchers examine the effects of meals enriched in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) or saturated fatty acids (SFAs) on lipid, glucose, and insulin concentrations and the extent of β cell function and insulin sensitivity in subjects with high fasting triglyceride concentrations.

High-fat meals significantly increased postprandial concentrations of triglycerides, nonesterified fatty acids, and insulin and β cell function. These effects were significantly attenuated with MUFAs relative to SFAs. Hence, MUFAs buffered β cell hyperactivity and insulin intolerance relative to SFAs in subjects with high fasting triglyceride concentrations, conceivably providing cardiovascular benefits to persons at risk by limiting lipid and insulin excursions and optimize glycemic control.

Type 3 Diabetes

Individuals with diabetes have a much greater chance of developing dementia, according to journal Neurology. Researchers found that people with diabetes have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, such as vascular dementia. Even after other risk factors for dementia were taken into consideration, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking, the trend was still material.

The study followed the health progress of 1,017 individuals at least 60 years of age for 11 years. During this period, 232 of them developed dementia. It was found that those with diabetes had double the risk of developing dementia compared to those with normal blood glucose levels. In addition, the study found that people with pre-diabetes had a higher risk of developing dementia. And even those who were not pre-diabetic, but whose blood sugar levels remained high two hours after a meal, also had a higher dementia risk. The researchers note that their findings raise the need to consider diabetes, now a common and rapidly increasing disease, as a potential risk factor for dementia.

Steve - this is why, for a while now, integrative healthcare practitioners have termed cognitive decline as Type 3 Diabetes. Blood sugar imbalance is integrally linked with the brain's cognitive abilities. Unfortunately, as a recent Lancet study pointed out, aggressively treating the diabetic condition after the fact does little to stem the cognitive-lowering tide. Prevention is the key.

In addition, there is exciting data emerging from a choline (B-vitamin) precursor entitled Citicoline
for mood, memory, depression, SAD, overall feeling of well-being, impact craving, and addiction. We have begun to recommend this safe, natural substance for our clients.

Citicoline Research Podcast

Monday, September 19, 2011

Magnesium deficiency linked to osteoporosis

A magnesium deficiency reduces the absorption and metabolism of calcium and prevents the proper amount of calcium being directed toward building stronger bones.

According to Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, magnesium expert and medical director of the nonprofit Nutritional Magnesium
Association, the effectiveness and benefits of calcium with respect to bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis
are greatly impaired in the absence of adequate levels of magnesium in the body.

“Magnesium keeps calcium dissolved in the blood. Without the proper balance of magnesium to calcium, about a 1:1
ratio, calcium ends up depositing in your kidneys and can create kidney stones in your coronary arteries resulting in
clogged arteries, and in joint cartilage, rather than in your bones where you need it most. The more calcium you take
without the balancing effect of magnesium, the more symptoms of magnesium deficiency and calcium excess you are
liable to experience,” said Dean.

It is important to note that osteoporosis begins in the teen years. Girls achieve 42 percent of their total body bone mass between the ages of 12 and 18, and yet according to Dr. Rodger H. Murphree II, DC, CNS, adolescent girls consume only 14 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for calcium, 31 percent of vitamin A and only 18 percent of the RDA for magnesium.

There are several culprits that are causing most women, both young and old, to have a magnesium deficiency. The typical Western diet is depleted of minerals due to modern farming practices and food processing procedures, and this fact greatly contributes to the general deficiency in magnesium. An additional reason can be attributed to soft drink consumption, which can leach vital minerals, including magnesium, out of the body.

In a recent Harvard study, researchers examined the relationship between the soda-drinking habits, activity levels, and
history of bone fractures of 460 adolescent girls and found that ninth- and 10thgrade girls who drink soda have three to
five times the risk of bone fractures compared with those who do not drink carbonated drinks.

In an April 2011 study published in the journal Biological Trace Element Research, the magnesium intake in healthy young adults and its relation to bone quality was evaluated. A total of 484 healthy young women in their early 20s were enrolled into the study, which found that “improving dietary intake of magnesium may positively impact bone quality in this population.” “Magnesium is a vital nutrient that works synergistically with both calcium and vitamin D,” said Dean. “Adequate levels of magnesium in the body are essential for the absorption and metabolism not only of vitamin D, but of calcium, because magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form so that it can help calcium absorption. Magnesium also stimulates a particular hormone, calcitonin, which helps to preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones, impacting the possibility of osteoporosis, some forms of arthritis and kidney stones.”

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ahere to Wellness or Pay More for Insurance: What a Novel Idea

This is the mantra of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to city workers. Now only if we can do the same for every other taxpayer funded insurance program. Agree or disagree?,0,3843783.story

FDA to be commended for calling out the HFCS ruse

Courtesy of AP

The Food and Drug Administration has cautioned the corn industry over its ongoing use of the term "corn sugar" to describe high fructose corn syrup, asking them to stop using the proposed new name before it has received regulatory approval, The Associated Press has learned. The Corn Refiners Association wants to use "corn sugar" as an alternative name for the widely used liquid sweetener currently labeled as high fructose corn syrup on most sodas and packaged foods. They're attempting an image makeover after some scientists linked the product to obesity, diabetes and other health problems; some food companies now tout products that don't contain the ingredient.

Though it could take another year before the FDA rules on the request made last September to change the name, the Corn Refiners Association has for months been using "corn sugar" on television commercials and at least two websites: and A series of high-profile television, online and print advertisements tell consumers that "sugar is sugar" and that corn sugar is natural and safe, provided it's consumed in moderation.

In a July 12 letter obtained by the AP, Barbara Schneeman, an FDA director, wrote to the Corn Refiners Association to say she was concerned with the trade group using the terms high fructose corn syrup and "corn sugar" interchangeably. "We request that you re-examine your websites and modify statements that use the term 'corn sugar' as a synonym for (high fructose corn syrup)," Schneeman wrote. As of Thursday, two months after the letter was sent, none of that wording had been changed. Audrae Erickson, spokeswoman for the Corn Refiners Association, said in an email to the AP that the group is currently reviewing its materials and will make changes if necessary. "We do not believe that anyone could be confused or believe that the statements regarding 'corn sugar' on the websites refer to anything other than high fructose corn syrup," Erickson wrote.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Harvard's different (but much better) take on MyPlate

Arnica starting to get its due

One of our favorite topical treatments for any kind of muscle-related pain from the last 15 years, arnica gel, is getting national media coverage.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nutritional Deficiencies Enhances Severity of Autism

The relationship between relative metabolic disturbances and developmental disorders is an emerging research focus. A study from the August issue of Nutrition and Metabolism compares the nutritional and metabolic status of children with autism with that of neurotypical children and investigates the possible association of autism severity with biomarkers.

Neither group had taken any vitamin/mineral supplements in the two months prior to sample collection. Study measurements included: vitamins, biomarkers of vitamin status, minerals, plasma amino acids, plasma glutathione, and biomarkers of oxidative stress, methylation, sulfation and energy production.

Many significant differences were observed in the autism group compared to the neurotypical group, including low levels of biotin (B-vitamin), glutathione (promotes detoxification), SAM (S-adenyl-methionine), uridine (amino acid), ATP (mitochondrial precursor), NADH (mitochondrial precursor), sulfate, and tryptophan (brain neurotransmitter); and high levels of oxidative stress markers and glutamate (exacerbated by excitotoxins like monosodium glutamate MSG). The study also replicated previous findings of very low lithium in children with ASD.

Overall, it appears that children with autism do have many abnormalities in their nutritional and metabolic status. The underlying causal relationships of these abnormalities are not yet well understood. An important issue in the clinical care of ASD children is that biomarkers for oxidative stress, methylation, sulfation were very abnormal, suggesting that those other biomarkers can be important guides for treatment. The regression analysis also found that some vitamins, minerals, amino acids are significantly associated with variations in the severity of autism, with vitamins being especially important. The researchers hypothesize that support for these nutritional and metabolic problems by increasing nutrient intake may reduce the symptoms and co-morbidities that are associated with autism. These nutritional and metabolic dysfunctions may be related to the etiology of autism.

How 2.8 million worldwide cancers deaths can be prevented

Around 2.8 million cases of cancer worldwide are preventable, and are largely linked to diet, physical activity, and weight, according to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). "The policy of simply relying on identifying and treating these cases when they occur is simply not a sustainable solution" in any country, said Martin Wiseman, FRCP, FRCPath, project director at WCRF International. "We need to focus on preventing disease in the first place, so that we have the resources to detect and treat the cases that do occur." "That's how high the stakes are," he explained. "If we continue down the same path and do nothing more — with people being less and less physically active and relying more and more on highly processed and energy-dense foods, the problem is only going to get worse."

Coming up with new solutions is not the main problem, Dr. Wiseman emphasized. "The problem is having the world implement what we already know."

On September 19 and 20, the United Nations (UN) will hold the historic Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which aims to raise the profile of NCDs and mobilize the international community to take action to reduce the global burden of NCDs. The summit will focus on the 4 most prominent NCDs: cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. "Globally, 2 of every 4 deaths are caused by NCDs," said Kate Allen, PhD, director of science and communications at WCRF International, during the press conference. "NCDs are a serious problem in all regions of the world, and affect high-, middle-, and low-income countries." "Taken together," she continued, "these 4 diseases exact an enormous global health toll and have a similarly massive death toll. They are one of the biggest health challenges that the world faces today." Unless something changes, Dr. Allen added, "the direction that all of these diseases is taking is up."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

One of many reasons why we love Metagenics

When they test fish oil, they go the extra mile.

Metagenics tests peroxide AND anisidine levels. As oil starts to rancidify, peroxide levels go up. However, after time they decline so if a product is tested after they go down, it wouldn’t show. There is another marker - anisidine – that is a byproduct of oxygenation that will show if an oil has ever been rancid. Metagenics tests both. If a company tests, they usually only test peroxide levels which is incomplete.

How eating fat can save your life

A client forwarded this to us:

Do you want to stop childhood obesity?

From Environmental Working Group

"I'm sure you do - but food companies don't. They spend billions on advertising targeting children - $1.6 billion in 2006 alone - and now they're objecting to voluntary government guidelines for marketing food to children.

Major food companies are lobbying the government to withdraw the guidelines completely and instead use the industry's own definition of "responsible advertising." The message couldn't be clearer: they don't care if their products hurt kids. They care about the bottom line. So we joined forces with the Center for Science in the Public Interest to take on the food industry and tell its chief executive officers to stop the attacks and start helping our children. We need you to stand with us today to make sure they get the message loud and clear.

Click here to stand with EWG today in demanding that the CEOs of 13 manufacturers use their resources to market healthier food to our children, not to lobby to protect the unhealthy status quo.

Because of the alarming rates of childhood obesity, in 2009, Congress instructed the Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, and Department of Agriculture to form an Interagency Working Group to look into child-targeted advertising and recommend standards for marketing food to children under 18.

Fast Food wants in on food stamps

According to a recent report in USA Today, Louisville, Ky. based Yum! Brands, which owns Taco Bell, KFC, Long John Silver restaurant, and Pizza Hut, is lobbying the federal government to permit SNAP enrollees to use food stamps at their restaurants. And they claim doing so will help prevent hunger.

But many in opposition are decrying the proposition as ridiculous, and a blatant misuse of public funds in support of junk foods rather than health foods.

"It's preposterous that a company like Yum! Brands would even be considered for inclusion in a program meant for supplemental nutrition," said Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

If the federal government ends up granting the fast food industry inclusion in the food stamps program, it will essentially be funneling taxpayer money into a system that promotes both abuse of the system and ill health. After all, fast food is laden with toxic chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and contains little to no nutritional value.

And if participation in the food stamp program continues to rise -- which is expected, based on a continually plummeting economy -- the end result will essentially be a government-run system of food distribution in which most Americans have no choice but to eat the garbage peddled by their local fast food joints.

Ex-vegan author says vegetarianism will not save the world

Excerpts from the interview:

"The second reason is that I didn’t want a whole new group of idealistic young people to destroy their health. A vegetarian diet — and especially a vegan diet — does not provide for the long-term maintenance and repair of the human body. So vegetarians are on drawdown of their biological reserves.

Eventually, the rubber hits the road. There is a whole generation of us here who believed in it and tried it until we did permanent damage to our bodies. It was all for nothing. It’s pointless suffering. And I want to stop the young ones from doing the same thing."

Friday, September 09, 2011

Omega-3 supps reduce ADHD symptoms

Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid may decrease symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. In an evaluation of 699 total children with ADHD, investigators found that those who received omega-3 supplements had a "small but significant" improvement in symptom severity compared with those who were given placebo. The relative efficacy of this treatment was modest compared with currently available pharmacotherapies for ADHD. Because of its relatively benign side-effect profile, omega-3 supplements may be a reasonable add-on to traditional interventions or an option for families who do not want other psychopharmacologic treatments.

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can alter central nervous system cell membrane fluidity and phospholipid composition. Fish oil-derived EPA/DHA, not plant based ALA, was effective in this study. Journal of American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, August 2011

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Huh? Half of US Adults Will Be Obese by 2030

Half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2030 if current trends continue. About one in three adults in the U.S. are obese today. With those numbers will likely come higher rates of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and some types of cancer. This statistic highlighted a special obesity edition of the The Lancet.

Here is one way we can guarantee that half of US adults will be obese, maybe even before 2030:

Half of Americans drink a soda or sugary beverage each day - and some are downing a lot. One in 20 people drinks the equivalent of more than four cans of soda each day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the figures in a report said to be the government's first to offer national statistics for both adults and kids.
  • About half the population drinks a sugared beverage each day.
  • Males consume more than females, with teenage boys leading the pack. On average, males ages 12 through 19 drink the equivalent of nearly two cans of soda each day.
  • Poor people drink more than the more affluent. Low-income adults got about 9 percent of their daily calories from sugary beverages; for high-income adults it was just over 4 percent.
  • Blacks get more of their calories from sweetened beverages than other racial and ethnic groups.
  • More than half of the drinks are consumed at home. Less than 1 percent are bought at schools or day-care centers.
Diet sodas, sweetened teas, flavored milks and 100 percent fruit juice did not count.

Marine, not plant EPA/DHA, effective for heart disease prevention

According to a study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish (EPA/DHA) may be helpful to women in reducing the risk of heart disease by 38%. Omega-3 fatty acids from plant sources (ALA), however, are of no assistance. The reason this outcome was found is because ALA must be converted to EPA and DHA. Given the fact that the conversion rate is low to start with, at least 25% of the human population cannot convert ALA to EPA/DHA. Vegetarians and vegans should especially take note of this finding.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Lack of microbe exposure at early age increases allergy risk

Changes in the human microbiome have been suggested as a risk factor for a number of lifestyle-related disorders, such as atopic diseases, possibly through a modifying influence on immune maturation in infancy. Researchers explore the association between neonatal fecal flora and the development of atopic disorders until age 6 years, hypothesizing that the diversity of the intestinal microbiota influences disease development.

The results of the
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology study found that reduced bacterial diversity of the infant's intestinal flora was associated with increased risk of allergic sensitization, allergic rhinitis, and peripheral blood eosinophilia, but not asthma or atopic dermatitis, in the first 6 years of life. These results support the general hypothesis that an imbalance in the intestinal microbiome is influencing the development of lifestyle-related disorders, such as allergic disease.

Path to lower colorectal cancer risk

People who eat plenty of folate had a lower risk of colon and rectal cancers in a new study that examined the effects of folic acid fortification in the United States. In addition, the study did not find any extra cancer-related danger at very high levels of folate -- as some researchers have worried -- over close to a decade. Researchers were able to calculate how much folate they got on a typical day before and after fortification started. For the next ten years or so, they tracked cancer registries to see which participants were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. They found a total of about 7,200 cases in their original sample, including about 6,500 that were diagnosed after the start of the fortification program. People who ate the highest amount of folate each day (at least 900 micrograms post-fortification) were 30 percent less likely to get colorectal cancer than those who got less than 200 micrograms each day, the researchers reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Vitamin D
Both higher vitamin D intake and higher blood levels of the vitamin's active form are linked to lower risk of colon and rectal cancers. In studies that included more than 10,000 people, colon cancer risk was as much as 33 percent lower in subjects with the highest blood levels of vitamin D compared to those with the lowest levels, researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Those with the highest intake of vitamin D through supplements and food had 12 percent lower risk than those with the lowest intakes. It is believed that up to 58 percent of U.S. adults and adolescents may have vitamin D deficiency.

F.D.A. to Review Safety of Popular Bone Drugs

Your kid a picky eater? Try eating at home.

Eating together as a family may encourage children to be more open to trying new types of food. Researchers from Loughborough University and members of the British Psychological Society, observed over 75 families during mealtimes to determine the factors linked with the development of fussy eating behavior among children. The results showed that friendly interaction between mother and child instead of coercive strategies, like pressure and physical prompting, may encourage young children to try different foods. These findings are the first stage of a longitudinal study. The children involved will be re-visited next year to see how different feeding practices impact on their eating behavior. The dietary habits and eating behaviors of young children are a top priority amongst governing bodies, healthcare professionals and parents alike. As many as one in four parents express concern about their child's eating during routine pediatric checkups. Child feeding problems are an important concern which can create a great deal of stress and anxiety for families.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

CoQ10 lowers cholesterol: study

Coenzyme Q10 given to 53 healthy young males at 150 mg per day for two weeks led to a 4.8-fold increase in coQ10 levels in the blood and a significant 12.7 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol, according to journal IUBMB Life. The scientists concluded that coQ10 induces characteristic gene expression patterns, which are translated into reduced LDL cholesterol levels and altered parameters of [red blood cell production or] erythropoiesis in humans.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Cold & Flu Prevention

Optimize your immune system by adhering to the following:

  • Limit refined sugar and excess carbohydrate consumption - sugar depresses the immune system.
    Be extra vigilant in avoiding any food intolerances or allergies
Supplemental Nutrients (ask us which combination is best for you):
  • Vitamin D3
    Dose depends on your vitamin D3 serum level.
  • Andrographis
    Great to have on hand when you feel something coming on; has demonstrated significant activity in fighting common cold, flu, and upper respiratory infections.
  • Zinc
    Zinc has always been an immune-boosting stalwart; topical fights sore throats at the source.
  • Cod Liver Oil
    Most bioavailable vitamin D source; while integrally linked to every aspect of immune system activity, it is widely known that vitamin D stores drop in the fall and winter due to little sun exposure.
  • Vitamin C with Quercetin
    Vitamin C has long been known for its immune-boosting capabilities; finding a low acid (such as Ester-C) and corn-free (sago palm) source is ideal; combining it with Quercetin, a bioflavanoid which has antiinflammatory properties and has recently been found to reduce respiratory infections, makes them a potent one-two punch.
  • Monolaurin
    A component of human breast milk that provides immunity for newborns is also found in the ester of coconut; suggested use daily as an antiviral preventative.
  • Nutribiotic (Grapefruit Seed Extract)
    Bioflavanoid that has potent antimicrobial and antifungal properties; suggested daily as a bacterial preventative.
  • Probiotics
    It is well-known that harmonious gut flora balance is the key to a healthy immune system.
    Probiotics encompass a large heterogenous group of bacteria that are normal inhabitants of the human gastrointestinal tract.

    A study that evaluated the prophylactic effect of probiotics in healthy adults who took probiotics daily for at least 3 months documented a significant reduction in days with cold symptoms and in the severity of symptoms and fever.

    In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of children who were 3-5 years of age, participants who received either L acidophilus NCFM or L acidophilus NCFM in combination with B animalis subspecies lactis Bi-07 (vs placebo) twice daily for 6 months showed significant reductions in the incidence and duration of fever, cough, and rhinorrhea. Antibiotic use was also reduced by more than 65% and absences from daycare were reduced by approximately 30% compared with children receiving placebo.

    In a study of formula-fed infants whose diets were supplemented with L rhamnosus GG and B lactis Bb-12 or placebo from ages 2 months through 12 months, there was a significant reduction in the incidence of acute otitis media, recurrent respiratory infections, and antibiotic use among those receiving the probiotics.

  • Proper Sleep
    Your body needs down time in order to be able to fight the rigors of the modern daily lifestyle.
  • Manage Stress
    Stress depresses the immune system.
  • Proper Hygiene
    Refrain from touching your eyes, nostrils, ear canals, and mouth with unwashed hands; this allows pathogens to bypass the strongest immune deterrent: dermal tissue.
  • Infrared Sauna Therapy (more information)
    Great way to detox deep from within the dermal tissue.
  • Exercise
    One of the best immune-boosters. However, this takes dedication because it always gets harder to exercise when it gets cold!
Medication and Diagnostic Tests accessed through NCI Well Connect subscription.

Tennis star bings attention to Sjogren's

Bonnie - if you have or know of anyone with Sjogren's and would up-to-date information about the disease, one of our clients has put together a Chicago patient seminar on October 15th with the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation. Please go to for details.

Tennis star Venus Williams has withdrawn from the U.S. Open because she has been diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can lead to dry eyes, dry mouth and painful joint problems.

Sjogren's (pronounced "show-grins") is caused when white blood cells, the body's natural defenders against foreign invaders, start attacking the body's moisture-producing glands as well. This often leaves the mouth parched and the eyes scratchy, as if full of sand. The disease also causes joint pain and swelling, according to the Mayo Clinic.

In rarer, more extreme forms, Sjogren's can damage nerves and kidneys too. It's often associated with other painful autoimmune disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Nine out of ten patients are women, and most patients develop symptoms after age 40.

Certain antibodies are associated with Sjogren's, but it seems to need a trigger, like a viral or bacterial infection, for the immune system to go awry. Once set off, the system can't really be fixed -- but certain steps can be taken to mitigate the symptoms for the vast majority of patients.

Dad presence enhances child behavior, intellect

Fathers who actively engage in raising their children can help make their offspring smarter and better behaved, according to new research in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science. The long-term study examined how fathers can positively influence the development of their kids through hands-on parenting. Compared with other children with absentee dads, kids whose fathers were active parents in early and middle childhood had fewer behavior problems and higher intellectual abilities as they grew older -- even among socio-economically at-risk families. Regardless of whether fathers lived with their children, their ability to set appropriate limits and structure their children's behavior positively influenced problem-solving and decreased emotional problems, such as sadness, social withdrawal and anxiety.

The study found girls to be most affected by absentee dads, although the researchers caution that paternal absence can foster other problems such as lack of support or discipline.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Estrogen omnipresent in foodstuffs

Food is a main source of exposure to endocrine active compounds, many of which have been linked to adverse health effects. Phytoestrogens, especially from soy, are the major dietary source of estrogenicity. However, foodstuffs contain a variety of estrogen-like compounds that might not be detected analytically.To assess the total estrogenic activity of foodstuff, researchers analyzed 18 food samples and five milk-based infant formulas. The estrogenicity in soy-free products was far lower. Researchers detected significant estrogenic activity in three infant formulas. Soy lecithin was also found to be strongly estrogenic. Hence, dietary estrogens are omnipresent and not limited to soy-based food. While the dietary exposure to estrogenic activity is lower than previously estimated, the results demonstrate that many food types are a source of unidentified estrogen-like compounds still awaiting toxicological evaluation. American Journal Preventive Medicine, September 2011

Vitamin C for asthmatic children

Depending on the age of asthmatic children, on their exposure to molds or dampness in their bedroom, and on the severity of their asthma, vitamin C has greater or smaller beneficial effect against asthma, according to a study published in the journal Clinical and Translational Allergy.

The effect of vitamin C on the forced expiratory volume per one second (FEV1) was modified by age and exposure to molds or dampness. In the younger children aged 7.0 to 8.2 years with no exposure to molds or dampness, vitamin C administration increased the FEV1 level by 37%. In the older children aged 8.3 to 10 years with exposure to molds or dampness in their bedroom more than one year before the study, vitamin C increased the FEV1 level by only 21%. The effect of vitamin C on the asthma symptoms was modified by age and the severity of asthma symptoms. In the younger children aged 7.0 to 8.2 years with mild asthma symptoms, the benefit of vitamin C was greatest. In the older children aged 8.3 to 10 years who had severe asthma symptoms, the benefit of vitamin C was smallest.