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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Category Archives: Supplementation

Information on supplementation.

Arthritis and Fiber

I just read an interesting article about fiber and arthritis?  Did you know that a study of more than 1200 adults found that those who consumed the most fiber had a significant reduction in their risk of knee arthritis. The top 25% of fiber consumers had a 61% lower risk of osteoarthritis of the knees, than those at the bottom levels of fiber intake.  It also showed that eating fiber earlier in life had even more positive effects on arthritis later in life.  The authors concluded that there may be two reasons: 1) a reduction of inflammation which causes pain and 2) helping maintain a healthier weight which puts less stress on the joints and bones.  Either way, seems like a good reason to eat more fiber…!!

Muscle Cramps and Hydration !!

Have you ever had a cramp in a muscle?  Chances are you have.  The most common reason is generally due to lack of hydration.  Many people just do not drink enough water.  Also another reason for cramps is an imbalance of electrolytes in your system.  Usually the culprits are calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium and often vitamin B.  Sometimes an easy fix for this is to try a sport drink (low carb) that contains these electrolytes.  It is an inexpensive fix for cramps. Avoid caffeinated drinks if you have recurrent cramps.  Massage and stretching are also good for post cramp issues but continue to hydrate all day long.  Drink fluids more often (every 15 minutes) if you are working out.  You might not know this, but many people with chronic headaches can also help themselves by hydrating more often.  Hope this helps!!

Flu Prevention

Did you know, in this region, the norovirus has ran rampant at several schools and recently caused the closing of a local high school?  The controversy around flu vaccines will always be prevalent however in an article in our local paper, a physician said “truth be told”, the flu shot rarely prevents the flu.  However, there are some herbs and foods that can help combat the risk of catching the flu.  For instance glycyrrhiza lepidota (licorice plant), helps the body stimulate anti-virus compounds and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can raise blood pressure, so if you take BP meds, consult your doc. Red Korean ginseng helps reduce the symptoms and duration of upper respiratory infections however it too can increase blood pressure. Cranberries and elderberries are directly toxic to the influenza virus and can be used without contraindication. Echinacea  tea is often used to fight flu symptoms, as it can enhance the immune system with its anti-viral properties.  If you are allergic to ragweed you may want to avoid this. Just a couple things you can do to fight back during the cold and flu season and don’t forget the usual Vitamins C, D and zinc!!

Fish Oil is good for you….again!!

I’ve talked about the benefits of fish oils countless times but now a new study shows another possible benefit.  Did you know a study showed that women taking fish oil during the last three months of pregnancy had children who were less likely to develop chronic wheezing problems, such as asthma by age 5, compared to placebo.  Though the researchers do not know the reason, they suggest that there is a reduction in the inflammation which can reduce airways passages. There were also fewer cases of bronchitis, pneumonia, and other infection with those in the fish oil group.  Though more studies should be performed to verify these findings, this study goes along with many other studies that tout the benefits of the Omega-3 fatty acids!!

Fish Oil & Heart Risks

WOW…did the holidays sneak up on this year or what?  Now that the cholesterol laden season has finally passed, I wanted to give you some more good news about fish oil and heart health.  A recent study found more evidence that omega-3 oils reduce heart problems. Those that took omega-3 fish oils had an 18% less risk of having a heart problem.  Even those who were already at risk for developing heart problems seemed to benefit from fish oil.  Remember that bad lifestyle factors such as smoking, poor diet choices and no exercise all help increase the risk of cardiovascular events. For the New Year, analyze your eating habits, back off on some bad vices and increase your exercise, even a little bit, and add fish oil to your diet…!!

Stress & Acupuncture

Christmas always brings out the best or worst in people depending on if Santa has you on the naughty or nice list.  Of course trying to be nice all year can be difficult and stressful.  Did you know that acupuncture is great for stress?  There are specific acupuncture points for patients that can help reduce the feeling of anxiety and stress associated with the holidays or those incidents in life that affect us. Also certain supplements are good at helping reduce stress symptoms such as B-complex, Valerian root, melatonin, magnesium and lemon balm among the many that are effective. Finally, laughing and smiling also seem to be good stress relievers.  Don’t you just love the joyful sounds of children laughing during any occasion? Hopefully, your holiday season will be filled with love, laughter, fun, thankfulness and significantly less stress!

Probiotics…are they right for you?

Many people with digestive issues use probiotics for gut health.  Probiotics are generally safe to use and effective for some but they are not always effective for others.  Research is very skewed in this area because there really isn’t much quality research on this topic.  Using probiotics is kind of a buyer-beware situation because they have various effects from person to person.  One legitimate study showed that those kids who drank a probiotic milk had fewer colds and flu like infections compared to the control group however there was no major effect on gastrointestinal infections or diarrhea. The quick bottom line is that, if you try them and they work for you, keep using them as they are safe.  However, if you have never tried probiotics and have the money to spend, it would be worth a shot….as they are safe to use and may work wonders for you!!

Zinc and Cold Protection

Wow!! Goodbye summer, hello fall…!  Obviously the colder weather will soon be upon us and along with that is the increased risk of catching a cold.  A recent review of some nutritional studies has connected zinc with reducing the severity of colds.  In fact, zinc lozenges containing 75 mg or more of zinc acetate, has been associated with reducing the number of days experiencing cold symptoms from 7 to 4.  It also was shown to prove effective regardless of cold severity.  One thing to know, is to find zinc lozenges without citric acid because citric acid can reduce the ability to absorb zinc.  I personally take 30 milligrams of zinc daily, year round and can honestly say it helps protects me from catching a cold.  Also remember my blog on consuming more spinach which also is considered a super-nutrient food that would be great for the cold and flu season also.

Nutrition, Pain and Anxiety

Many of my patients have issues related to anxiety or depression due to pain or from relative nutritional deficiencies.  Neurotransmitters, (serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine and nor-epinephrine) are almost always a problem with these disorders, as well as fibromyalgia, migraine headaches and a host of other chronic disease states.  Amino acids in specific dosages and blends can improve the nutritional state of these individuals and improve their health and function because they are the building blocks for the neurotransmitters.  Medications can deplete they very neurotransmitters that are needed for the health of the person using them.  Do not try to balance neurotransmitter issues on your own because using one amino acid by itself will deplete a different amino acid, thus creating a worse nutritional state and prolonging the disease state. I have helped many patients with their nutritional issues, and utilizing amino acids properly, works wonders for so many patients!

Disease risk and reducing fat!

Practical Solutions

Disease risk and reducing ectopic fat isn’t always easy or well known.  Last time I discussed how the location of lipid tissue (ectopic fat) in the body can increase the risk of disease. That is, it is not so much how much fat you have, the danger may lie in where it is located.  So, how do we deal with it and reduce our risks?

Diet

First, when it comes to reducing the risk of cardiometabolic disease, diet is key, however it must be sustainable. Meaning it must be incorporated as a way of life.  Recent research indicates that eating three meals daily: with breakfast as the biggest calorie source, may be better than several smaller meals daily, due to alterations in insulin production. Also consider and identify any food sensitivities that need to be eliminated.

Exercise

Exercising with high intensity interval training is a great way to burn fat as fuel .  When lifting weights, it is good to lift heavier weights, utilizing less repetitions to failure. For example instead of 12-15 reps with a light weight, perform 10-12 reps, with the last rep to failure.  This will help increase muscle mass which will then increase your metabolic rate. Try to move after a meal, walking etc., Use the new activity trackers to keep record and shoot for 10,000 steps daily.

Lifestyle

Sleep and sleep patterns are important to reduce disease risk as poor sleep patterns are associated with both weight gain and metabolic syndrome.  Studies have shown that those with 5 or fewer hours of sleep on a continual basis, gain weight compared to those who sleep longer (7-9 hours).  Controlling stress is another factor in improving health.  Stress increases cortisol production which then has great impact on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.

Nutrition:

These nutraceuticals are more recommended for reducing the risk of disease by providing healthy metabolic processes rather than losing weight. Berberine is good for supporting healthy insulin and blood sugar levels. An appropriate dosage are up to 500 mg, three times daily.  Melatonin supports healthy sleep, is associated with fat loss and helps maintain a proper circadian cycle. Fish oil supports healthy signaling mechanisms associated with metabolic syndrome.  It can help reduce the risk of incidence of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and support healthy insulin signaling. Curcumin helps support healthy insulin response s well as healthy glucose and lipid profiles.  MCT oil helps suppress the accumulation of body fat in men and women.  Talk  to your physician about taking any supplement if you are on medications of any type.

I hope this provides some reasonable information on how to reduce your risk of disease!!