Author Archive: melismorgan

Vitamin C supplements tied to men’s kidney stones


A new study from Sweden supports a suspected theory that men who are prone to kidney stones should be cautious with their vitamin C supplementation.  In the current study men who took 1000 mg vitamin C were at a higher risk of kidney stone formation compared to those men who did not. With that being said, vitamin C is stillan essential nutrient.  What vitamin C rich foods do you incorporate into your diet?

For more information please visit Reuters.  “Image courtesy of [piyaphantawong]/”


Stressful childhood linked to heart risk in later life

 ID-10062109A recent study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that children who are more likely to stress at the age of 7 were more apt to have cardiovascular disease later in life. This was especially prevalent in the females they studied.  The good news is that children who are better at paying attention and staying focused have reduced heart risk when they got older.  This study illustrates that stress management plays a big role on the overall health.  How do you deal with stress in your life?  What therapies do you suggest in your practice patients who are stressed?

For additional information, please visit BBC.  “Image courtesy of “[David Castillo ]/



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]/



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]/”

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]/

‘Robogut’ Makes Synthetic Poop To Treat Stubborn Infections


Artificial feces is a concept explored in treating people with a life threatening gastrointestinal infection Clostridium difficile. This synthetic stool, created in a Robogut, consists of 33 different types of bacteria. The stool is referred to as RePOOPulate, and the idea is that all the healthy bacteria is transplanted into a patient which then wipes out the bad bacteria.  These fecal transplantations are not FDA approved.  What do you think of this concept?  What natural products do you recommend to your patients to maintain their gut health?

For additional information please visit NPR.  Photo courtesy of “[Ohmega1982]/


Young Adults Are Swapping Soda for Coffee


A new survey from the NPD group which tracks the American publics’ eating and drinking trends, found that young adults (18-24 years old) are in increasing numbers consuming coffee rather than soda to get their energy buzz.  Although coffee has health benefits, it can be disruptive to one’s sleep cycles.  When did you become aware of the negative aspects of soda consumption?  Has your coffee consumption been affecting your sleeping pattern?

For additional information, please visit NPR. “Image courtesy of [creativedoxfoto]/”


Boston declares health emergency amid U.S flu outbreak


On January 9th the mayor of Boston declared a public health emergency due to the rising number of flu incidents.  This number is 10 times higher than last season’s report and has caused a strain on the number of hospital spaces available.  Other states are also trying to cope with rising numbers of patients coming to hospitals.  People who are feeling flu-like symptoms are strongly urged to stay home by public health officials.  What natural products do you recommend to your patients to prevent/treat flu?

For additional information, please visit Reuters.  “Image courtesy of “[David Castillo Dominici]/