Monthly Archives: January, 2013

PepsiCo is Removing Brominated Vegetable Oil from Gatorade



PepsiCo has announced that they will no longer be adding brominated vegetable oil (BVO) to its Gatorade drinks.  This begs the question, what is BVO? It is a man-made chemical that forms when vegetable oil is bonded to the element bromine.  When citrus flavors that are oily by nature are placed into water-based solutions (such as soft drinks) they float to the top, but bromine is heavy and stops oil from floating.  BVO allows the drink to be more uniform.  High levels of BVO over long-period of time can be toxic to the body.   What beverages do you generally recommend to stay hydrated?


For additional information, please visit WebMD.  “Image courtesy of “[healingdream]/



Relationship between timing of food and weight loss

A new study published in the International Journal of Obesity, Timing of food intake predicts weight loss effectiveness, evaluates the relationship between meal time and weight-loss. The authors followed 420 patients in Spain during a 20-week period where lunch is the biggest meal of the day. Participants were grouped into early eaters who ate lunch before 3 pm and late eaters who ate lunch after 3 pm. The study showed early eaters lost 25% more weight than late eaters. The authors concluded the timing of the largest meal affects the success of weight-loss regimens. When discussing nutrition habits how often do you stress meal times?

For more information, visit CNN.


Does the Body Mass Index need fixing?


The body mass index (BMI) was created 150 years ago in order to analyze weights of people grouped by their different heights.  In order to calculate BMI you take your weight in kilograms and divide it by your height in meters squared.  The BMI has been criticized due to its inability to  tell the difference between someone’s body fat and muscle.  Nick Trefethen, a mathematician and Professor of numerical Analysis at Oxford University is one of the BMI critics who developed a new formula to calculate an individual’s BMI which is 1.3 x weight divided by height to the power of 2.5.  Visit the site to calculate both your old and new BMI.  What do you feel is the most accurate way to determine if an individual is “overweight”?  Do you feel that the old method of calculating BMI is outdated?

For additional information, please visit BBC. “Image courtesy of [farconville]/”

National Tea Month – The Benefits of Tea

ID-100132249In honor of national tea month, U.S News reveals the naked truth about tea. A nutrition consultant, Bonnie Taub-Dix talks about health benefits and a variety of flavor found in teas – from lowering the risk of certain cancers, boosting immunity, improving blood flow, increase energy to improve bone strength. She also provides the reader with FDA warnings related to some herb teas.  How often do you recommend your patients teas instead of capsules or other liquid preparations?  How do you typically encourage patients to drink more teas? For additional information, please visit U.S News. “Image courtesy of [Dusky]/”

Headaches and Complementary Health Approaches

ID-100132296Many Americans today suffer from pain; one of the most common types of pain is headaches. Different complementary medicines are being studied to treat the different types of headaches. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) evaluated the different studies and its findings. The article suggests acupuncture, relaxation training, biofeedback, tai chi, cognitive-behavioral therapy, riboflavin and coenzyme Q10 are the most useful complementary therapy. What complementary therapies for headaches do you suggest in your practice? For additional information, please visit NCCAM. “Image courtesy of [Dusky]/”

Faux pas! Food fraud on the rise.

ID-10090192A new study by the U.S Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) found 800 new accounts of food fraud. The USP describes food fraud in the study as “the fraudulent addition of non-authentic substances or removal or replacement of authentic substances without the purchaser’s knowledge for economic gain to the seller.”  The new study established the most frequently fraudulent products are milk, coffee, saffron, honey, and spices committed by manufactures. With food fraud on the rise, what are your thoughts and recommendations? For additional information, please visit CNN. “ Image courtesy of [Suwit Ritjaroon]/”

Filling forms at the doctor’s office just got fun

ID-10037834At Georgetown University Hospital  a current method of collecting data from patients is a laborious 75 question form.  The director of biomedical informatics, Subha Madhavan, is collaborating with the hospital clinics to create an iPad app that will make the intake process less of a hassle for the patients.  The app, called Tonic Health, uses colorful graphics and interactive features to assist patients with imputing their information.  Tonic Health is also user friendly, skipping sections that do not need to be filled out and offering educational pop-ups with medical terminology.  With the explosion of health-related apps, which ones have you downloaded recently?


For additional information please visit CNN.  Photo courtesy of “[Salvatore Vuono]/

Melamine tableware may leach chemical: study



In a recent study adult participants were asked to eat hot soup out of melamine bowls, a chemical in plastic that was previously associated with fatalities in Chinese infants. The adult participants did not exhibit any adverse effects despite melamine’s presence in their urine.  It is not clear if there are any long term health effects associated with utilization of plastic made with melamine. How much do you know about toxic ingredients present in your cookware?


For additional info please visit Reuters.  “Image courtesy of “[Carlos Porto]/

New York hospital corporation introduces performance related pay for 3500 physicians


This past Saturday in New York City it was announced that a new program would be implemented in their public hospitals which would offer physician employees performance based bonus pay. This $59m program rewards physicians for acts such as improvement in patient satisfaction, reduction in readmission rates, ER triage times, and average hospital length of stay.  How do you think that incentives to health care providers will enhance the?  How else could that money have been spent to improve health care?

For additional information, please visit BMJ.  “Image courtesy of “[photostock]/

Some With Autism Diagnosis Can Overcome Symptoms, Study Finds.

A new study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry has shown that some children diagnosis with autism may outgrow their symptoms. Researchers suggest that there is no way to predict which individuals diagnosed with autism will recover, but the new findings may change the understanding and treatment of autism. What are your thoughts about this study? What dietary and lifestyle changes do you currently recommend in the treatment of autism in your practice? For additional information, please visit NY Times.