Monthly Archives: September, 2012

Eating cherries can reduce the risk of gout attacks

A recent study from Boston University found that eating two or three servings of cherries reduced the risk of gout attacks. Extra benefit was not seen with further consumption. Cherries have been suggested to be natural inhibitors of enzymes which cause inflammation. What foods do you currently recommend for your patients with gout?


For more information see ABC


Using smart phones as a healthcare aid

Smart phones are being used as an aid to diagnosing mind and body conditions. Many health care professionals are encouraging the use of these apps to track disease activity.  However, some patients are using smart phones as a health care professional replacement. How do you feel about the use of smart phones for these activities?

For more information see CNN

DRINK trial concludes drinking artificially sweetened beverages reduces weight gain in normal weight children

The NEJM recently published a clinical trial that concluded that replacement of sugar containing   beverages with a sugar free, artificially sweetened beverage significantly reduced weight gain and body fat gain in healthy children. Observational studies in the past haveassociated artificial sweeteners with weight gain. In addition, the journal has also published other papers regarding weight and soft drinks. What are your thoughts about artificially sweetened beverages? Do you feel comfortable recommending them to parents?

For more information please see abstract in NEJM.

Use of antibiotics in children associated with increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

A retrospective cohort study evaluated 1,072,426 subjects who had received antibiotics and had 2 years of follow-up data available.  Seven hundred forty-eight children developed IBD and although an increased risk was seen throughout childhood, with the highest risk was in children exposed to antibiotics prior to their first birthday.  In addition, subsequent antibiotic courses increased the IBD risk by 6%.  How do you discuss the antibiotic therapies with parents?
For additional information, please see the abstract in journal Pediatrics.

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Higher BPA Levels are Linked to Obesity

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the relationship between bisphenol A (BPA) and obesity in nearly 3,000 children. Researchers found that a larger percentage of children with higher BPA levels were obese compared to those with lower BPA levels. However, this study only found a link and there are several theories that could explain these results. Thus, more research needs to be conducted to confirm BPA’s relationship to obesity.  Have you started the conversation with your patients about protecting yourself from BPA and similar toxic substances?


For more information, visit Columbus Dispatch.

FDA Looks for Answers on Arsenic in Rice

The Food and Drug Administration analyzed over 1,000 rice products to determine if warnings need to be issued based on the levels of arsenic found. Although the FDA has been monitoring arsenic levels in rice for over 20 years, researchers now found a new way to   measure and differentiate between the levels of toxic and less toxic forms of arsenic. This preliminary investigation encourages consumers to eat a wide variety of grains to potentially minimize toxic arsenic levels. What grains do you consume or recommend to your patients as an alternative?

For more information, visit FDA.

Tainted Tap Water Sickens 1.1 Million Each Year

Two new studies discovered that pathogens may creep into public water pipes. When viruses get into public systems (like tap water), there is a 30% increased risk for people to become infected with stomach bugs. In addition, that means 20% of stomach illness cases may be due to contaminated water. What measures do you take to make sure your drinking water is safe?

For more information, visit WebMD.

Health Panel Approves Restriction on Sale of Large Sugary Drinks

Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, has once again succeeded in introducing new public health policies. In an effort to reduce the country’s increasing obesity rate, the New York City Board of Health approved a ban on sale of sodas and sugary drinks in container larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, street carts and movie theaters on Thursday September 13th. This policy is a first of its kind in the country, but the spokesman for New Yorkers Beverage Choice opposes the decision and adds that this restricts the consumers freedom of choice. What are your thoughts about this policy? What measures can be taken to reduce obesity in this country?


For more information, visit New York Times.


Acupuncture may help with chronic pain

A new systematic review published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, analyzed data from close to 18,000 patients with various types of chronic pain. Researchers found that patients who had undergone acupuncture were in less pain than those who had”sham” acupuncture treatment (a control method for acupuncture in which needles were improperly placed) or did not get any treatment at all. Many conventional clinicians are skeptical about acupuncture treatments believing it is simply a placebo effect.  Based on the results of this meta-analysis, the difference between true acupuncture and sham technique is relatively modest, but statistically significant. What are your thoughts on acupuncture? Have you found any other modalities that help your patients with chronic pain?

For more information, visit Archives of Internal Medicine

Are you giving up your fish oil?

A meta-analysis published today in JAMA evaluated whether omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation reduced the risk for major cardiovascular events (all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke). The study pooled data from 20 previously conducted studies between 1989 and 2012 which included over 68,000 patients.  Based on the findings of this study, the use of omega-3 acid supplementation did not lower the risk of cardiovascular events.   To read the abstract, please visit JAMA.

This meta-analysis started a general discussion in the media about uselessness of fish oil.  To learn about many beneficial uses and research related to omega-3 fatty acids take a look at  What are your thoughts?






What are your thoughts on recommending supplements vs. dietary modifications?Are you aware there is a difference in the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in wild caught versus farm raised fish?