Author Archive: nadiashaikh

Expiration dates on beauty products

An article published in the New York Times discusses marking beauty products with expiration dates. Many manufacturers are starting to create products with multiple ingredients to simplify the consumer’s beauty regimen.  Not all ingredients coexist well with each other. Also, many natural cosmetic lines utilize fewer preservatives.  The article advises consumers to use applicators to decrease the amount of bacteria and to store products in cool places avoiding hot and humidenvironments. How often do you throw away your beauty products? How do you think this information will impact consumers the frequency of buying beauty?


For more information see New York Times.

Exercise is associated with reducing brain shrinkage in patients 70 years or older.

A longitudinal observational study published in the journal Neurology associated exercise in the late 70s with the reduction of brain shrinking. Researchers at Edinburgh University concluded that physical activity was associated with less atrophy and white matter lesion. These findings suggest that exercise may be neuro protective and lead to a decrease in cognitive decline. How much exercise do you recommend to your patients on a daily basis? How do you think this information will affect the elderly population at risk of dementia?

For more information see Neurology.

Pediatricians report on organic foods in children

A clinical report published in the journal Pediatrics discusses the health and environmental advantages and disadvantages of organic foods. Itdefines the term “organic”, reviews food-labeling standards and farming practices, discusses environmental implications of conventional vs. organic techniques.  The reportstates that eating organic fruits and vegetables do not provide additional nutrition in comparison with the conventionally grown foods, butcontain fewer pesticides related to a variety of illnesses. The report recommends that parents should aim to provide their families a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. What are your thoughtsand recommendations on organic/local/sustainably grown foods?

For more information see Pediatrics.

Total and LDL cholesterol levels are higher after eating rye bread compared to wheat bread.

A randomized control trial, published in the Nutrition Journal, studied the effects of whole grain rye bread with refined wheat bread. The crossover design of the study implemented two 8 week intervention periods separated by an 8 week washout period during which the participants ate 20% of their daily energy intake as high fiber whole grain rye bread or refined white bread.  The study was done on thirty three post-menopausal women who had an elevated serum total cholesterol. The study results concluded that cholesterol levels were higher after rye bread intake rather than white bread. Whatare your thoughts about the findings? What type of bread products do you consume/recommend for healthierdiet?

For more information see Nutrition Journal.

Daily consumption of fruits and vegetables associated with happiness and psychological well-being

A cross-sectional study recently published in the journal Social
Indicators Research evaluated the consumption of fruits and vegetables
in 80,000 individuals in England and the association with
psychological well-being and happiness.  Researchers found that
individuals who consumed more fruits and vegetables daily had better
mental well-being, noticing a positive correlation between the two.
Have you found that you feel happier when you consume more fruits and

For more information see Social Indicators Research

Placement of goods at supermarkets may be a risk factor for obesity

A perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine states that not all food related decisions are consciously made. Food choices are automatic and may even be the opposite of what the person deciding would consciously prefer. Vendors pay a slotting fee in order for retail markets to guarantee their products to be placed in prime consumer locations. How do you think placement of goods impacts your grocery shopping trip?

For more information see NEJM.

Ginseng and bacopa may produce cognition enhancements similar to modafinil.

A review article published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology compared clinical trials of neurocognitive effects of modafinil, ginseng and bacopa.  The study concluded that the nutraceuticals (ginseng and bacopa) may produce cognition enhancing effects similar in magnitude to modafinil. Neurocognitive effects included thinking, learning, processing, or remembering information. Have you used a combination of ginseng and bacopa for cognitive improvement in your patients?What other plants do you recommend routinely?

For more information see PubMed

Low level prenatal mercury exposure is associated with a greater risk of ADHD – related behaviors

A recent population-based prospective cohort study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine evaluated exposure to mercury during pregnancy and the development of ADHD behavior in children. The study concluded that low level mercury is associated with a greater risk of ADHD related behaviors. Fish consumption during pregnancy was also concluded to be protective of these behaviors. This association was seen primarily in boys. How do you balance the benefit of fish consumption and potential dietary mercury exposure in your recommendations? What fish do you recommend to women during pregnancy?

For more information see JAMA

Vitamin D supplementation does not prevent the common cold

A randomized double-blind,placebo-controlled trial published JAMA evaluated the use of Vitamin D supplements for 18 months for the prevention of the common cold.   The study concluded that vitamin D supplementation did not reduce the number, duration or severity of upper respiratory tract infections.  The results did not change due to seasonal variation or baseline Vitamin D levels.  How do you protect yourself from the common cold?

For more information see JAMA

Eating cherries can reduce the risk of gout attacks

A recent study from Boston University found that eating two or three servings of cherries reduced the risk of gout attacks. Extra benefit was not seen with further consumption. Cherries have been suggested to be natural inhibitors of enzymes which cause inflammation. What foods do you currently recommend for your patients with gout?


For more information see ABC