Monthly Archives: November, 2013

Herbal supplement shows promise for joint health

A study published in Nutrition Journal compared the use of a joint supplement with placebo in 100 men and women (aged 50-75) for relief from joint issues. All subjects agreed to avoid using NSAIDs and were given either the joint supplement Instaflex TM (containing glucosamine sulfate, methylsufonlylmethane (MSM), white willow bark extract, ginger root concentrate, boswella serrata extract, turmeric root extract, cayenne, and hyaluronic acid) or placebo for 8 weeks. The results favored the joint supplement showing significant improvements in joint paint severity, stiffness and physical function with improvement being the greatest for those experiencing knee pain. How often do your patients ask about supplements for joint health?

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Choosing Wisely in Headache Medicine

A recent publication from the journal Headache Society lists 5 of low value care options in medicine to treat migraines. What methods have you found to be helpful in preventing the onset of a migraine? What natural products do you typically recommend for prophylaxis and treatment?

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Ways to deal with holiday stress

With Thanksgiving being only a few days away, and other holidays approaching, the need to cook, entertain and shop for holiday gifts can be stressful. US News Health & Wellness shares some helpful tips to manage holiday stress:

  • Plan ahead and start early. Starting early can lead to efficient use of time, especially if there are lots to prepare.
  • Always eat breakfast. Breakfast can be very important because it can keep your energy level high throughout the day.
  • Ask others for help. This method will allow for the cooking and setting-up to occur faster, and lower one’s stress.
  • Get enough sleep. Every person needs to rest, and a good night’s sleep is always rejuvenating.

How do you manage your stress during the holidays?

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Pregnant smokers may quit with exercise

A study published in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors this month presents new insight into the baby brain of pregnant mothers. It has been thought that pregnant women would have a harder time quitting smoking due to their increased metabolism which may intensify triggers and withdrawal symptoms. This study set out to see if 20 minutes of mild-to-moderate intensity exercise would reduce the desire to smoke and withdrawal symptoms amongst pregnant women. Women included in the study were on average 25 years old, in their second trimester of pregnancy and smoked more than 5 cigarettes per day. They reported clear reductions in their desire to smoke post exercise as well as improvements in mood in relation to withdrawal symptoms. How do you counsel pregnant women attempting to quit smoking?

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Eating nuts linked to fewer deaths

A study published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at the lifespan of many nut-eaters. By observing around 120,000 men and women who regularly consumed nuts over 30 years, they hoped to evaluate the effect of nut consumption in relation to mortality. It was seen that eating nuts was associated with lower levels of cholesterol, insulin resistance, inflammation, hypertension and even colon cancer. The results also showed lowered death rates from heart disease and cancer. The study did not look at how nuts were prepared (salted, roasted, raw) before consumption but it would be wiser to chose options lower in sugar and salt. What are your thoughts on these new findings? Do you believe this research strengthens your current recommendations of switching  from a bag of chips to a handful of nuts?

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To treat or not to treat?

The CDC has posted new guidelines on limiting antibiotic use in children. The increase in antibiotic resistance is not news yet it seems that overuse of antibiotics continues. This report emphasizes the need for us to distinguish between viral and bacterial infections since taking antibiotics during a viral infection can worsen the problem. It is clear that we need to get better at developing strategies for prevention and enduring symptoms of infections in order to limit our use of antibiotics. What recommendations do you provide to the parents of your pediatric patients to limit their antibiotic use and stay healthy during this season?

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Focus on food not just vitamins

A panel of experts who assess current scientific evidence for preventative medications focused on vitamins and other dietary supplements in their recent review. According to the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF), there is unclear evidence when taking nutrients (as vitamins or supplements) to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and/or cancer. The report also advises against taking beta-carotene and vitamin E for the prevention of these two conditions due to lack of evidence. Instead, the panel suggests that a well-balanced diet would be more beneficial for the body, helping it to absorb nutrients in their most natural form. What are your thoughts on these recent recommendations? How do you counsel your patients to achieve this well-balanced diet?  For more information, click here

Overweight Adolescents and Life Events in Childhood

Obesity is a known problem in the United States, but what can we do to prevent it? A recently published study reviewed the relationship between negative stressors and the risk of obesity in children. The study included mothers of obese children who completed surveys of events that occurred to their child at age 4, 9, and 11. These events were then categorized into family health and well-being, parental work, school, or financial stability, emotional aspects of relationships, and family structure, routine, and caregiving. The results showed that high exposure to negative stressors increased the risk of obesity in children 15 years old by 47%.  What stress reliever works best for you?

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Physical Activity and Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Prospective Study from the Nurses’ Health Study Cohorts

A recently published prospective cohort set out to determine if there was an association between physical activity and the risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  The survey was mailed periodically assessing participants’ physical activity which was later categorized accordingly. If at any time, a participant reported symptoms of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC), the study required a confirmation of the diagnosis by blinded gastroenterologists. The results of the study showed that physical activity decreased the risk of Crohn’s disease, but not UC. How do you motivate yourself and your patients to move?

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Can ‘Good’ Cholesterol Protect Against MS?

HDL, aka “good” cholesterol, contains a protein known as ApoA1 that has shown to prevent inflammation in the body. In Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the immune system attacks neural cells of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve which can lead to inflammation. A recent study showed that patients with MS actually have lower concentrations of this protein in their body. It was shown that ApoA1 protein was reduced by 25% in patients with relapsing-remitting MS, 50% in secondary progressive MS, and 75% in primary progressive MS. Although this concept is still in its preliminary phase, it has potential to become a recognized treatment therapy in the future. What dietary and lifestyle changes have you utilized and found successful in your patients with Multiple Sclerosis?

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