Monthly Archives: April, 2013

More Evidence That Adding Nuts is a Healthy Choice

Researchers are exploring the benefits of consuming a small portion of nuts per day with a low-calorie diet. There have been some speculation as to whether or not nut intake would increase the risk of obesity. However, studies have shown that incorporating nuts in diets may help improve high blood pressure, diabetes and lower the risk of death. Researchers and physicians recommend only a handful of nuts a day is needed to provide optimal health benefits. What other high fat foods do you routinely recommend to your patients?

For additional information, please check Reuters. Image courtesy Wikipedia.

Black Tea Lowers the Rate of Blood Pressure Variation: A Randomized Controlled Trial

A recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports an association between black tea consumption and  high blood pressure reduction during the night. In this trial, 111 participants were studied and assigned to either consume 3 cups of black tea per day or flavonoid-free caffeine-matched beverage. Blood pressure readings along with other vital signs were monitored throughout the day. Results of the study conclude that compared to control group, the subjects that consumed black tea had significant reduction in their blood pressure. What beverages to you typically recommend to reduce blood pressure? What other lifestyle changes can patients consider to improve their cardiovascular health?


For additional information, please go to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Images courtesy of, Maren Caruso/GettyImages



Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Imported Cucumbers

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention made an announcement yesterday of a recent Salmonella outbreak possibly caused by infected cucumbers supplied by Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacán, Mexico and distributed by Tricar Sales, Inc. of Rio Rico, Arizona. 73 cases have been reported across 18 states and of these identified cases, 27% have lead to hospitalization with no reported deaths. The CDC is working with the Food and Drug Administration as well as local state officials to identify additional cases and bring awareness to communities. The CDC strongly encourages consumers to take precaution to minimize the risk associated with infected produce. Further information regarding food safety and Salmonella information can be found on the CDC’s main website. What precautions do you advise to patients when they purchase produce? How do you keep patients informed on new infectious disease outbreaks?

For additional information, please go to CNN

Food Poisoning: What You Need to Know

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 48 million people are effected by food poisoning each year. The CDC’s 2012 report card on food poisoning states that majority of these cases were caused by Campylobacter, which is commonly found in chickens and raw, unpasteurized milk. On Monday the Environmental Working Group published its latest version of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables highly prone to pesticides. The US Department of Agriculture, CDC, and other organizations have increased efforts to teach the public about food safety and stress awareness on proper food preparation and storage. How often do you educate patients about food safety and sustainability? What other resources are available to the public for food poisoning reports and information?

For additional information, please go to CNN

Mushrooms Can Provide as Much Vitamin D as Supplements

A new study published in Dermato-Endocrinology suggests that consuming mushrooms can be as effective as consuming vitamin D supplements. Researchers from Boston University Schoolof Medicine studied 30 healthy patients who were randomly assigned to take capsules of mushroom powder or vitaminD. At 12 weeks, therewas no statistical significant difference between serum concentrationsin two groups.How often do you eat mushrooms? What are your favorites? Are you familiar with their health benefits?

For additional information, please go to ScienceDaily

Popular Cinnamon Stunt Can Have Serious Lung Effects

The Cinnamon Challenge” is a rising trend, especially amongst teenagers, which may lead to serious life-altering consequences. The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published an article today regarding the dangerous effects of ingesting a spoonful of dry cinnamon powder. In 2011, U.S. poison control centers reported 51 cases related to the challenge and 122 calls linked to the “abuse and misuse” of cinnamon. As many teens flaunt their encounter with the spice on social media websites, physicians report that a growing number of individuals are admitted to the emergency department with inflamed or collapsed lungs. Ingesting dry cinnamon powder can lead to burn and irritation of the mucous membranes that line the digestive and respiratory tracts, eventually progressing to aspiration pneumonia. Physicians want to bring this issue to the public’s attention and limit the number of cases in the future. What are your thoughts on this rising trend?  Have you encountered any cases of the “cinnamon challenge”?

For additional information, please go to US News

Long-term effects of low-fat diets either low or high in protein on cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors

A study published in Nutrition Journal suggests that there is no association between low-fats diets and cardiovascular disease risk or diabetes risk. Fifteen randomized controlled trials were evaluated and there was no significant difference in results between the groups with either high-protein diets or low-protein diets. What are your thoughts? What are your recommendations?

For more information, please go to NutritionJournal

Drinking One Cup of Beetroot Juice Daily May Help Lower Blood Pressure

In the United States more than 70 million people are diagnosed with high blood pressure, a major risk factor to cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarctions and strokes. The American Heart Association (AHA) journal, Hypertension, published the results of a small trial which assessed the clinical effects of drinking one cup of beetroot juice a day. Each serving contains about 0.2g of nitrate, which promotes vasodilation and therefore reduces blood pressure. The study subjects drank 250mL of beetroot juice and were monitored over a 24 hour period. Results show that the subject’s blood pressure readings had decreased about 10mmHg. The AHA and USDA are trying to encourage the public to increase their daily intake of vegetables in order to incorporate healthy amounts of nitrate in their diets. What other vegetables and/or foods do you recommend for their ability to reduce blood pressure?

For more information, please go to American Heart Association

Vitamin D may reduce risk of uterine fibroids, according to NIH study

A study led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences researcher, Donna Baird, suggested that there is a negative association between Vitamin D and risk of uterine fibroids – 1,036 women were evaluated, women who had sufficient level of Vitamin D were about 30 percent less likely to develop fibroids. How often do you counsel women on their vitamin D intake? Do you have favorite brands/products?

For additional information, please go to National Institute of Health


Stem Cells to Relieve Low Back Pain?

In a new study presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine, researchers explore alternative treatment for lower back pain by harvesting and re-injecting the body’s own bone marrow into spinal discs. Twenty-four individuals were injected with their own bone marrow aspirate cellular concentrate (BMAC) and were assessed for clinical improvements. Results of the study were inconclusive as several subjects reported relief after a few months to a year while others reported no improvement at all. However, researchers are optimistic that this pilot study will encourage future controlled clinical trials to further explore the use of stem cells for lower back pain relief. What do you currently recommend to patients with lower back pain? What are your opinions on the use of stem cells for pain relief?

For additional information, please go to Health Day