Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Poison in Our Food—BPA

There have been over 1000 studies on biphenol A(BPA). All the studies sponsored by industry say that it is safe. 90% of the non-industry studies show that it is toxic. BPA makes food packaging more attractive, especially clear plastic bottles and the lining of canned foods. BPA is an estrogen-like compound that has been linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, heart disease and allergies. The FDA is concerned but cannot regulate BPA because it is on the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) list. Avoid it whenever you can. See MotherEarthNews.com (click here) and Google BPA researcher Frederick vom Saal.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Prevention of Memory Loss with Diet

Dr. Cyrus A. Raji of the University of Pittsburgh reported at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America on the ongoing results of the Cardiovascular Health Study—Cognition Study, which has been going on for 20 years. Patients who consumed baked or broiled fish at least once a week had larger brains on MRIs and a reduced incidence of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, presumably due to increased levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Dr. Joseph Hickey, a neurologist from North Carolina who is also my friend, has noted memory problems and dementia in patients who have even borderline elevations of fasting blood sugars as well as minimal accumulations of toxic metals, such as lead, mercury and aluminum. An integrative physician can best help you implement a plan to save your brain. Dr. Raji(click here) and Dr. Hickey for more information and contact International College of Integrative Medicine(click here) to find an integrative physician near you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Violent Video Games Harmful to Men’s Brains

At the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, functional MRI evidence was presented that frequent use of violent video games resulted in reduced activity in regions of the brain associated with attention, inhibition, and monitoring of emotions. The study was performed by Dr. Vincent P. Mathews at Indiana University. Fortunately, the changes in brain activity resolved over a 2-week period after the use of the violent games was stopped. Previous studies have shown a connection between violent video games and increased aggression. See Family Practice News (click here), January 2012 issue, p. 31.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Acne Rosacea Responds to Treating Intestinal Overgrowth but There is a Better Way

A small study by Salix Pharmaceuticals, makers of rifaximin showed that their drug corrects intestinal overgrowth in patients with Rosacea, which in turn results in clinical improvement. They did not mention that the use of long-term antibiotics requires concurrent probiotics to prevent increased activity of yeast. In my experience, several treatments for Rosacea with a Smoothbeam laser give great results without the risk of side effects. My patients prefer the laser. Other treatments often yield mediocre results. rifaximin(click here) and Smoothbeam laser for Acne Rosacea (click here).

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Finally, a Gastroenterologist Relates Food to Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Dr. William D. Chey of the University of Michigan GI Laboratory confirmed the work of Dr. Peter Gibson of Australia which showed significant improvements in patients with IBS that went on a low sugar diet. The work was presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, where it was also noted that the worldwide incidence of IBS is increasing substantially. Those of us in integrative medicine have been treating IBS successfully for many years by correcting imbalances in yeast and good bacteria (dysbiosis) and identifying food allergies. Corrections in diet are just part of the overall treatment program. See Family Practice News(click here,subscription needed) January 2012 issue, p. 29.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Warnings about High-dose Vitamin D are Misguided

A recent study presented at the American Heart Association noted that patients with consistently high blood levels of Vitamin D (>100 ng/dl) had a 2.5 fold increase in the incidence of atrial fibrillation. What escaped the headlines is that even with the high blood levels, the incidence of atrial fib was only 0.2%, which is 2 patients out of 1000. I certainly agree with the idea that patients taking a high dose over time should have their blood tested occasionally, but we should not be afraid of taking high doses when the benefits so greatly outweigh the risks. See the January 2012 issue of Family Practice News (click here-subscription needed), p. 28.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Different Statin Drugs Battle to a Draw

The SATURN study compared the results of maximum doses of the two most popular statin drugs, Crestor and Lipitor. Even though it is more expensive and supposedly more powerful, Crestor failed to work any better at reducing the volume of the plaque over a two-year period. LDL was effectively reduced by both drugs, but the volume of the plaque shrank only 1% for both. There was no evidence that such a small amount of plaque reduction will result in more plaque stability or a reduction in coronary events. Earlier studies have shown that natural statins like red yeast have similar benefits and fewer side effects. The biggest advantage for Crestor appears to be greater profits for AstraZeneca, the company that markets Crestor. See January 2012 issue of Family Practice News,(click here) p. 25.