Author Archive: sabbyv1989

Why Whole Foods decided to label genetically modified foods.

The FDA claims that there is no difference between organic and genetically modified foods, however, public health activists have questioned the long-term effects of GMOs. Walter Robb, the Texas-based chain’s co-chief executive, stated that he believes customers have a right to know what they are buying and Whole Foods has always supported this. He also mentions that every store selling food in the US is most likely selling some GMOs due to the prevalence of them as well as the  lack of labeling laws. In the past, companies have argued that GMO labeling would lead to an increase in grocery bills and frivolous law suits. What is your opinion on the labeling of GMOs?

For more information, please visit MercuryNews.

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Using downward dogs to treat depression

A recent study published in the journal, Frontiers in Psychiatry compared over 100 studies to see how efficacious yoga is for different psychiatric disorders including depression, schizophrenia, and ADHD. The evidence suggests that yoga can be beneficial for sleeping problems, ADHD, depression, and schizophrenia, where yoga could be offered to patients as another useful, low-cost alternative. What other non-pharmacologic options do you suggest to your patients with mental health concerns?

For more information, please visit CNN.


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Salty Diet May Help Trigger Multiple Sclerosis

Recent animal studies suggest that salt consumption may contribute to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. David Hafler, a professor of neurology and immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine, based on his research in rats concluded that a high-salt diet may increase the number of an infection-fighting cells associated with increased inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Mice eating the salty diet developed a severe form of multiple sclerosis. What are your current dietary recommendations to patients with autoimmune diseases?

For more information, please visit WebMD.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Lead to Healthier Babies

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that pregnant women who take DHA supplementation have babies that are of greater weight, longer gestation periods, and fewer early births. During the last half of their pregnancy, 154 women were randomly assigned to receive DHA 600mg daily and 147 women were assigned to take a placebo daily. Only 0.6 percent of the women in the DHA group gave birth at 34 weeks’ gestation or less, while 5 percent of women in the placebo group gave birth at 34 weeks’ gestation or less. What benefits of omega-3 supplementation do you discuss with your patients?



For more information, visit NYtimes.

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More iron linked to reduced risk of severe PMS

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who take greater than 20mg of iron per day reduced their chances of getting PMS by 30 to 40 percent compared to women who did not. This study followed about 3,000 U.S. nurses between the ages of 25 and 42 years old over 10 years. The diets of women who did develop PMS versus those who did not were analyzed based on food questionnaires. The current recommendations state to consume at least 18mg of iron per day and authors conclude that getting the recommended amount of iron per day can reduce the risk of getting PMS. What do you recommend to your patients to reduce their risk of PMS?


For more information, visit Reuters.

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Eliminating Chemicals In Foods Proves Difficult

BPA and phthalates are chemicals in plastics and can have many deleterious health effects. BPA can cause hyperactivity and aggression in children and heart disease/diabetes in adults. Phthalates can reduce male fertility and increase asthma risk in children. A recent study published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology observed 10 families for five days. Half of these families received catered meals containing fresh, local ingredients not packaged or prepared in plastics and the other half received a handout explaining how to successfully avoid phthalates/BPA in their diet. Instead of seeing a reduction in levels of BPA and phthalates, everyone in the catered group (except for 1person) had an increase in phthalate/BPA levels.  The group that received instructions continued to have steady levels of BPA/phthalates throughout the study. Surprised researchers believe that other sources of BPA and phthalates (dairy, spices, other) may be responsible for their findings in the first group. What steps do you take to avoid harmful phthalates and BPA?

For more information, please visit WebMD.

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Bad Sleep “Dramatically” Alters Body

Many problems such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and altered brain function have already been linked to sleep deprivation. A University of Surrey researchers analyzed the blood of 26 people after they had 10 hours of sleep each night for a week versus less than 6 hours of sleep per night for another week. They saw that the activity of more than 700 genes were altered by the change of sleep producing negative effects on inflammation and immune system. How often do you discuss optimal sleep and sleep hygiene with your patients?


For more information, please visit the BBC website.

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CDC reports adults cut back fast food, but U.S. kids still eat too much fat

Researchers report that from 2007 to 2010, 11 percent of adult total calories were obtained from fast food, compared to 13% from 2003 to 2006. Young black adults (aged 20-39) however consumed 21% of their calories from fast food compared to white and Hispanics in the same age group who consumed 15% from these foods. Although children are eating less overall calories compared to previous years, their intake of saturated fat is still high (11-12% between 2009-2010) while U.S. guidelines recommend less than 10% of total calories from saturated fat. What tips do you offer your patients to help them establish healthy eating habits?

For more information, please visit the Reuters website.


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Probiotic Supplements May Help Lowering Cholesterol

Probiotics are mainly known to benefit the digestive tract, but may also have a potential new advantage- cholesterol lowering. A 9-week, randomized trial conducted at McGill University evaluated 127 patients with high cholesterol. Half of these patients received a probiotic supplement twice a day and the other half took a placebo. Total cholesterol levels of those who took the probiotic dropped by 9% and their LDL cholesterol levels by 12%. However, one must keep in mind that this study was financed by a company that produces probiotics. What conditions do you routinely take/recommend probiotics for?

For more information, go to the NY times.

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Do You Have Great “Sexpectations” for Valentine’s Day?

A recent survey conducted by sex and relationship researcher Kristen Mark and her colleagues revealed that 85% of 2000 men and women, ages 18-70, felt that sex plays a big role during Valentine’s Day.  Half claimed that they would be upset if they did not have sex on this day, with two-thirds of the group surveyed being in long-term relationships. A little less than half claimed they would engage in sexual activity simply because it is Valentine’s Day. Does this holiday bring up more discussion from your patients on the topic of sexual health?



To see original article, please visit CNN.

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