Author Archive: dunjastankovic

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.

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.


Marijuana use associated with testicular cancer

A population-based case-control study found that male patients who used marijuana had twice the risk of developing testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) compared to men who never used marijuana. Although the exact mechanism of this association is not fully explained, it is postulated that germ cell function may be influenced by cannabinoids. Do you believe this is enough evidence to persuade against use of marijuana?


For more information, please visit Cancer.

Second Large Study Shows Ginkgo biloba Ineffective for Alzheimer’s Disease

A new study published in the journal Lancet Neurology reports that Ginkgo biloba does not protect patients from Alzheimer’s disease. This 5 year study conducted in France,  included close to 3000 patients assigned to either Ginkgo biloba or placebo.  A similar percentage in each group was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  Although bleeding is one of the severe adverse effects associated with this plant, the incidence of bleeding and cardiovascular events did not differ. How often do you treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease? What are your typical recommendations?

For more information, visit Lancet Neurology.


Stanford University compares organic and non-organic food

A new study coming from Stanford University was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.  Researchers looked at over 200 studies and saw no significant difference in nutritional content between organic and non-organic foods. However, organic food contained 30% less pesticides than non-organic food. There are critics suggesting that the study would have seen significant results if the correct statistical analysis was utilized. Are you familiar with the new dirty dozen (12 foods to eat organic)? Do you recommend them to your patients?


For more information, visit BBC News.


Chocolate may lower men’s stroke risk

A new Swedish study published in the Journal of Neurology, suggests that eating chocolate may lower the risk of stroke by 17% in men. Chocolate contains antioxidant properties which could reduce blood pressure, increase “good” (HDL) cholesterol, and improve blood vessel function. The participants who ate more chocolate in this study were better educated and led a healthier lifestyle than their peers. Therefore, researchers could not conclude that risk of stroke reduction was solely due to chocolate consumption.  What are the warning signs of stroke that patients should be aware of?

For more information, visit CNN News.

Less chronic disease in store for fit 50-year-olds

A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that middle aged people have a lower risk of developing chronic diseases if they are more fit. It was previously believed that the chronic diseases was inevitable and were just delayed by maintaining a healthier lifestyle, but the results of the study showed that the rate of chronic diseases were significantly reduced in both males and females. A healthy lifestyle does not only mean exercising, but it also includes a healthy diet, not smoking, limiting alcohol use, having blood pressure and cholesterol levels within normal limits. What are the challenges that middle aged adults face that prevent them from living a healthy lifestyle and how can you encourage make the needed change?


For more information, visit Archives of Internal Medicine.

Coconut water is an excellent sports drink ― for light exercise

Coconut water is an excellent sports drink ― for light exercise
A new analysis of coconut water was reported during the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).  Many people are aware that coconut water is a good source of electrolytes.  The American diet consists of high amount of sodium and not enough potassium.  Drinking coconut water can restore the balance, by replenishing much needed potassium lost from exercise and necessary for recovery and muscle cramp reduction. What other foods/drinks do you consume that provide body with electrolytes and help to recover after exercising?

For additional information please visit American Chemical Society.

Cereal bars: Healthy image a myth

Many of us eat cereal bars as snacks.  A consumer report study by “Which?” analyzed 30 cereal bars and found that large number of contain at least 30% of sugar (20% of daily recommended allowance) and fat (included saturated fat). It is important to read and understand the nutritional information of products we consume. What are your favorite snacks?  How often do you change your choice of snack based on the nutritional label?

For additional information please visit BBC News Health.

Computer Exercises Can Help Reduce Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Billions of people worldwide will be affected with Alzheimer’s disease. Harvard Medical School professor, Alvaro Pascual-Leone is investigating NeuroAD Medical Device, now being used at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to treat Alzheimer patients. This device stimulates brain electromagnetically and is combined with cognitive training on a computer screen to activate certain brain connections.  It might be more effective than medications we have today. What interventions (lifestyle changes, supplementation, and more) have you found to be effective to help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease?

For additional information, please click here.