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  • November 2010 Health Letter - Issue 20

  • Should Pregnant Moms Avoid Peanuts?
    Milk, Egg and Blood Type Risk Factors?
  • Have a Headache?
  • Eczema can be relieved by acupuncture


    Sense & Sensitivity

    8.2.16: Dr. Kachko was interviewed about food sensitivity

    Dr. Kachko was interviewed by Natural Practitioner Magazine on the impact of food allergy and sensitivity on overall health:

    "Additives and preservatives can certainly create intolerances. For example, said Robert Kachko ND, LAc of InnerSource Health, New York, people of all ages are beginning to react negatively to added hormones and elevated casein content of conventional dairy products. “We see this very often in children who are hyperactive or suffer from chronic ear infections, eczema, asthma etc., in addition to allergies. Some of the most common food additives which can serve as allergens include sulfites, aspartame, parabens, tartrazine, benzoates, nitrates/nitrites and BHT/BHA.”

    Photo credit: Natural Practitioner Magazine

    Read the article here!



    "Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has the historically unique distinction of being the only common chronic disease with no known prevention or cure. This proposition becomes increasingly ominous when considering the rising tide of Alzheimer’s expected to impact North America and the rest of the world in the next several decades. In the United States, 5.3 million people currently have AD (making up 75-80% of all dementia cases), and that number is expected to climb to a medically and economically unsustainable 13.8 million people by 2050.1

    The idea that AD is recalcitrant to all interventions is grounded in a belief that has been largely disproven within the last decade – that the nervous system is static and categorically unchangeable. The large cost and consistency of failed drug trials over the last several decades leads us to 1 central conclusion: Alzheimer’s disease is a multifactorial phenomenon which develops over several decades prior to the onset of symptoms and is, in large part, a result of lifestyle."

    Read the rest of the article here!


    Reality Check: Healthy (Real) Food is Rarely the Enemy

    For Food Allergy Action Month, Dr. Kachko provides context on the current food intolerance/allergy craze


    More about Dr. Robert Kachko: here

    Read the article here!


    Probiotics for Preventing the Sniffles: Preparing for Cold and Flu Season

    August 25, 2014

    by Dr. Anne Williams

    The Japan Pediatric Society recently reported that twice daily supplementation with probiotics was able to “significantly lower risk of fever, cough,” runny nose and school absence in children 8-13 years of age.

    Preventing the severity of viral infections such as the common cold can also prevent the likelihood of secondary infections such as sinusitis and middle ear infections.

    In addition to the immune-boosting effects against viral infections, probiotics have also been found to reduce the incidence of allergic rhinitis or seasonal allergy symptoms in children.

    Treating the digestive system is a common way to support the immune and respiratory system in Chinese medicine. Once again, we see ancient wisdom corroborated by modern research.

    Dr. Anne Williams is a natural health expert who works with kids and adults to live life to its fullest, with energy and enthusiasm. Learn more about Dr. Williams here: here


    Pediatr Int. 2012 Oct54(5):682-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-200X.2012.03647.x. Epub 2012 Jul 10.
    Randomized controlled trial of probiotics to reduce common cold in schoolchildren.
    Rerksuppaphol S1, Rerksuppaphol L.

    Pediatr Res. 2007 Aug62(2):215-20.
    A randomized prospective double blind controlled trial on effects of long-term consumption of fermented milk containing Lactobacillus casei in pre-school children with allergic asthma and/or rhinitis.
    Giovannini M1, Agostoni C, Riva E, Salvini F, Ruscitto A, Zuccotti GV, Radaelli G Felicita Study Group.


    Gua Sha - for pain, musclar tension, colds and more

    Ancient chinese remedy for modern day issues

    05-30-2103 by Cynthia Hewett LAc, Certified Herbalist

    When we think about Chinese medicine, we usually think about acupuncture needles and herbs. Another wonderful tool and healing technique used in Chinese medicine is Gua Sha.

    Gua Sha is performed by swiftly rubbing (called ‘Gua’ in Chinese medicine) the surface of lubricated skin with a round-edged, comb-like instrument in downward strokes. This action intentionally raises a small temporary rash (known in Chinese as ‘Sha,’ also known as petechiae/rash in Western terms) in the treated area. You will feel a rubbing and slight burning sensation, but it is not painful.

    In Chinese medicine, pain and disease are said to be caused by stagnation or congestion of qi and blood. Gua Sha increases the movement of qi and blood and allows the body to restore its natural functioning.

    What Conditions Can Gua Sha Help?

    Gua Sha can help release unwanted neck and shoulder tension that comes with computer work and the busy-ness of our day (like running around and commuting). It is also prescribed for chronic muscle tightness from overuse or injury. It can be effectively used in the treatment of colds and coughs to relieve congestion and help increase the body’s immune response.

    How Does Gua Sha Do This?

    The secret of gua sha lies in how this treatment encourages the vigorous movement of blood to the surface of the body. When blood moves and circulation is enhanced, the body can help heal the area that needs to be healed. This is how gua sha helps the body’s own healing process.

    Is there Scientific Research About Gua Sha?

    In the last decade, Western studies have started to investigate how Gua Sha works. A study from 2007 confirms that Gua Sha increases the surface circulation of blood by 400% and that increased surface circulation continued at a significant level for 25 minutes following treatment. Each individual experienced a subjective decrease or complete resolution of pain [1]. A 2009 study showed that as enzymes are released to breakdown the petechiae (small broken blood vessels under the skin created by the Gua Sha treatment), an anti-inflammatory effect is created [2]. This helps explain why Gua Sha is useful in the treatment of colds and even allergy symptoms.

    Other studies have looked at Gua Sha in the treatment of migraine [3], neck and lower back pain [4], chronic neck pain [5], and hepatitis [6]. Current studies have been small but warrant further investigation especially in understanding Gua Sha’s effects on the body’s immune process.

    Gua Sha Conclusion

    Gua Sha is a safe, non-invasive treatment that is usually applied to the back of the body or the limbs. The rash usually fades in 2-4 days and patients are advised to relax the day of treatment, avoiding working out, fasting or large meals and alcohol, to allow the body to repair.

    1. Nielsen, A., Knoblauch, N., Dobos,G., Michalsen, A., Kaptchuk, T. (2007),The Effect of Gua Sha Treatment on the Microcirculation of Surface Tissue: A Pilot Study in Healthy Subjects. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 3: 456-466. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2007.06.001)

    2. Kwong KK, Kloetzer L, Wong KK, Ren JQ, Kuo B, Jiang Y, Chen YI, Chan ST, Young GS, Wong ST. (2009), Bioluminescence imaging of heme oxygenase-1 upregulation in the Gua Sha procedure. J Vis Exp. 2009 (30): 1385. doi: 10.3791/1385.

    3. Schwickert ME, Saha FJ, Braun M, Dobos GJ. Gua Sha for migraine in inpatient withdrawal therapy of headache due to medication overuse. Forsch Komplementmed. 2007 Oct14(5):297-300. doi:10.1159

    4. Lauche R, Wübbeling K, Lüdtke R, Cramer H, Choi KE, Rampp T, Michalsen A, Langhorst J, Dobos GJ. Randomized controlled pilot study: pain intensity and pressure pain thresholds in patients with neck and low back pain before and after traditional East Asian "gua sha" therapy. Am. J. Chin. Med. 40, 905 (2012). DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X1250067X/000107731.

    5. Braun, M., Schwickert, M., Nielsen, A., Brunnhuber, S., Dobos, G., Musial, F., Lüdtke, R. and Michalsen, A. (2011), Effectiveness of Traditional Chinese “Gua Sha” Therapy in Patients with Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Pain Medicine, 12: 362–369. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01053.x

    6. Chan ST, Yuen JW, Gohel MD, Chung CP, Wong HC, Kwong KK, (2011) Guasha-induced hepatoprotection in chronic active hepatitis B: A case study. Clinica Chimica Acta, Volume 412, Issues 17–18, 17 August 2011, Pages 1686-1688. doi:10.1016/j.cca.2011.05.009

    Click Here for PDF version of article


    Depression's An Allergy? Use Rheumatoid Drugs...

    dr. peter's post on psychology today


    Does it make sense to give a rheumatoid arthritis drug to treat depression?

    Will research ever get beyond justifying more drugs to help figure out how to help depression?

    Please read Dr. Peter's new post in Psychology Today.



    Butterbur for Seasonal Allergies - Dr. Peter Bongiorno quoted in the Vegetarian Times April-May Issue

    Find out how Butterbur can help you

    April 2012

    Dr. Peter is quoted in the Vegetarian Times where he discussed the benefits of using the natural plant Butterbur for seasonal allergy.

    Please also see our blog ( for a full research article by Dr. Peter and Dr. Pina on the subject.

    Click Here for Article


    Natural seasonal allergy remedy as good as Zyrtec, with less side effects: Butterbur

    Learn how nature can help you feel better


    One source of stress and dismay right now for many patients in our clinic is seasonal allergies. While this can be a mild irritation for some people, for many, it will cause great anxiety, fatigue, low mood and inability to function. Learn how butterbur can naturally help ease symptoms without the side effects of drugs, and learn what natural remedies can keep you feeling your best...

    Click Here to Read Article on Butterbur for Allergy


    November 2010 Health Letter - Issue 20

    In this issue:
    - Pregnancy and Peanut Allergy
    - Calcium Supplementation and Heart Risk
    - a Bongiorno Production
    - patient spotlight: ulcerative colitis
    - holiday party: december 11th

    Click here to read entire newsletter.


    Should Pregnant Moms Avoid Peanuts?

    Milk, Egg and Blood Type Risk Factors?

    November 4, 2010

    It is becoming more apparent that the pregnancy environment plays a strong role in the health of the future adult. About 1% of the population reports allergy to peanuts and other tree nuts.

    A study in this month's Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology conducted at Mount Sinai in New York looked at 503 infants. According to blood tests, it was found that the babies whose mothers ate a greater number of peanut products during pregnancy were more likely to test positive for peanut allergies showing as allergic factors found in the blood. Of note, it is not clear whether these children will definitely develop allergy. Most of the children had not actually ingested peanuts at the time of the blood test.

    What is particularly interesting in this study is that all had likely milk or egg allergies or significant eczema, which are risk factors for peanut allergy. From a naturopathic standpoint, we see that many young patients do indeed have cow’s milk, egg and even gluten allergies - all of which can increase inflammatory cells in the body, thus causing increased susceptibility to an exaggerated reaction to peanut. In our experience, removing offending foods like cow’s milk and gluten can often lower the child’s reactiveness to other foods like peanut. Typically, this avoidance is followed by using herbs and nutrients to heal the intestines and lower the inflammation response.

    Additionally, it would have been useful if the researchers had checked the peanut reaction by stratifying (organizing) the data by patient blood type. According to the blood type diet theory, patients who are type O or B may be more reactive to peanut proteins. It is possible that this subset of children may require greater surveillance for allergic reactions.

    Sicherer, S. The J Allergy Clin Imm 2010 125 (6): 1322-1326 ( )
    Sicherer, S. The J Allergy Clin Imm 2010 in press (

    click here for reference


    Have a Headache?
    Pop A Pill and Increase Stroke Risk (even in a healthy person) or, try something natural.....


    The advertisement shown says 'less time awake.' They may mean 'less time alive.'

    It seems a harmless part of American life: you have a headache or pain, you pop an 'Advil' or other pain killer. Research is now showing us that is not a good idea for short term use of these type of drugs increases short in healthy people. This increased risk ranged from about 30% with ibuprofen and naproxen to 86% with diclofenac. The association was 'dose dependent', which means the more a person took the higher the risk. The increased risk of stroke reaching 90% with doses of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) over 200 mg and 100% with diclofenac doses over 100 mg. It has already been shown that these medications increase heart disease in the long term. This is probably why these medications are more often only by prescription in other countries. Naproxen, which is a prescription medication everywhere except the United States was not associated with increased cardiovascular risk, but is known to cause liver problems, and requires monitoring of liver enzymes if used for a few weeks.

    Dr Gunnar Gislason presented this study information at last week's European Society of Cardiology 2010 Congress. He said: "If half the population takes these drugs, even on an occasional basis, then this could be responsible for a 50% to 100% increase in stroke risk. It is an enormous effect." He also lamented that "it is very hard to change the habits of doctors. They have been using these drugs for decades without thinking about cardiovascular side effects."

    Luckily, there are numerous natural modalities to work with pain: acupuncture, hydrotherapy, water intake, food allergy work, getting enough sleep, naturally lowering inflammation in the body, exercise, manipulative work, stretching, mind-body work, muscle relaxation, hormonal balance, inflammation reducing herbs and nutrients, etc....

    ref: Fosbøl EL, Folke F, Jacobsen S, et al. Cause-specific CV risk associated with NSAIDs among healthy individuals. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes 2010 3:395-405.

    Click here for reference


    Eczema can be relieved by acupuncture

    Date: Jan. 5, 2010

    Eczema can be relieved by acupuncture, according to a German study in 30 people. Acupuncture seems to calm the feeling of itchiness after allergen exposure. When patient were exposed a second time, there were decreases in the flare up reactions.

    This study used three conditions: one where had their skin exposed to either pollen or dust-mite allergens, where patients received points used in Chinese medicine to lower allergic reaction. The second was placebo points, not correlated to Chinese medicine, and the third was a control, which received no acupuncture.

    Reference: Pfab et. al. Allergy 2009.