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    Shedding Light on Eye Health
    By Dr. Dawn Siglain ND, LAc

    There has been quite a buzz about masks to cover our nose and mouth lately, but what about protection for our precious eyes?

    May is Healthy Vision Month, so let’s take some time to care for our dear eyes. Ever wonder how to get that sparkle in your eye? Our eyes radiate from our hearts and souls which exudes our vibe out to the world. Let’s send out good vibes!

    When it comes to eye health, preventative care is key. Naturopathic medicine treats the root cause of disease. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I have to uncover the cause of a patient’s discomfort.

    There are four cranial nerves involved with the wellness of our eyes. A cranial nerve disorder can affect vision, movement of the eye and sensation of the eye. Symptoms can include blindness, double vision, or paralysis of eye or eyelid (such as drooping of the upper eyelid which interferes with vision). The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain and there is a particularly important part of the eye that is located near the optic nerve that I’d like to bring to your attention. The retina is an extension of the brain. It’s a nerve layer lining the back portion of the eye which receives light to convert into neural signals and then creates impulses to communicate with the brain. This is how we can interpret images.

    The health of our retina is important as it directly correlates with brain functioning. Chronic conditions and poor habits take a toll on the health of our eyes. Making good choices early in life create beneficial habits. Healthy lifestyle choices really do matter. Nutrients for eye health include lutein, zeaxanthin, and carotenoids. Wearing good quality sunglasses year round are also proactive and especially to be considered for children. The lens of youngsters filter out less UV A & B rays which means the rays penetrate their retina easier and may lead to a chronic eye condition later in life.

    Once quarantine is lifted, consider getting your eyes checked. Comprehensive regular eye exams are encouraged by AOA ( American Optometric Association) and make sure you ask for retinal imaging as it can detect signs of neurodegenerative disease before cognitive impairment sets in. This is crucial as early intervention is key in slowing disease development with Alzheimers. Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCT-A) is a great tool in detecting ocular and systemic diseases early on. It’s non-invasive retinal imaging which can help to detect diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and arterial and vein occlusions.

    Protect your eyes all the time. Join Dr. Dawn’s webinar this Thursday 5/21 at 4 pm to learn more!


    Dr. Dawn's radio show interview with The Natural Nurse: Ellen Kamhi

    Tune in 90.3FM WHPC & iHeartRADIO:TODAY @ 3:30 pm & Mon Apr 15 @ 1:30 am & 3 pm

    Listen to Dr. Dawn's interview on 'Herbally Yours Radio Show' with Host: Ellen Kamhi, The Natural Nurse! Chatting about topics Dr. Dawn will be covering at the upcoming NAVEL expo / Science of Human Optimization Conference April 27 & 28. Learn why Dr. Dawn joined the field of naturopathic medicine, when raw food is good for you, food prep for optimal digestion, & the secret ingredient we all need in our food.


    HEART Solutions for Women - Dr. Mark Menolascino visits ISH NYC


    Dr. Mark Menolascino dropped by the NYC office yesterday with his new book HEART Solution for Women. Recommended read. As Dr. Peter said " ??this is one situation where women should not be treated equally as men. Research into #heartdisease has been #mencentric and this needs to change ."


    Hot Baths for Heart Health


    by Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc

    A hot bath feels nice, and may be just what your heart needs. A new article in the prestigious journal Nature looks at this old time naturopathic hydrotherapy.

    A Japanese study of 873 seniors showed that 5 hot baths a week, with an average temperature of 106 degree can help the heart. These men and women aged between 60 and 76 years and 164 of them were followed for 5 years. In that time, it was shown that those who took the baths had improved markers of artery plaque blockages (athersosclerosis) and bettercontrols of blood pressures within the body as well.



    ISH Newsletter 3-26-2017: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Supplement Quality, Tea for Weight loss video, Lotus Physical Therapy

    In This Issue:


    Half Day for Health and Detox - Saturday, April 1, 2017

    Mitochondrial Health for Nervous System and Mental Health

    Better Than A Statin? The Boston Heart Panel and Natural
    Remedies for Optimal Heart Health

    50 Ways to Love Your Liver


    Article - Naturopathic Medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Podcast - Supplements: Quality and Use for Mood Disorder

    Radio Interview - Natural Anxiety and Depression Treatments

    Video of Dr. Pina on Dr. Oz: How Tea Can Help You Lose Weight

    naturopathic legislation moving forward

    Meet Rachelle Bojer and Lotus Physical Therapy



    Career Spotlight: Dr. Robert Kachko

    Dr. Kachko was interviewed by the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges for a career spotlight to highlight the important work of a Naturopathic Physician and to inspire future NDs

    Read the interview here!


    Plastics Increase Risk for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

    11-9-2015 - posted on

    Can plastics increase the risk of diseases like diabetes and heart disease?

    Yes, it can...

    Learn some steps to stop plastic from playing with your health.

    posted on



    It's a Gut Feeling: The Road to a Healthy Heart May Start in the Intestines

    See the latest article from Dr. Kachko on the role of gut bacteria on cardiovascular health.

    Find the article here!


    The Power of Love to Mend a Broken Heart

    Check out my article on on the importance of love and a positive mental attitude for optimal cardiovascular health. February is American Heart Month, and with Valentine's Day just around the corner, this idea is especially important. Remember, first and foremost we must grow to love ourselves!

    Read the article here:

    More about Dr. Kachko here


    The Road To A Healthy Heart: What the latest research shows

    Some of you may be aware that I’ve teamed up with a great company, Remedy Partners, to formulate cost effective and clinically useful recommendations for patients they manage. Our goal is to provide cutting edge research on natural approaches to health for patients who have been recently discharged from the hospital to help them get well and stay well in a sustainable way. Every once in a while I’ll share with the InnerSource Health community some of what the latest studies are showing.

    The following are some general guidelines on cardiovascular health, specifically as it relates to those with Heart Failure.

    ***Note: It is important that you do not undertake any of the below recommendations without the consent of your physician. In addition, please note that these recommendations are not individualized for you, and your physician will work with you to optimize your individual care plan.


    The Mediterranean diet has shown a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular related factors including lipid levels, insulin resistance, hypertension, and obesity. This is a mostly plant-based diet which is high in fiber, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. There is particular emphasis on monounsaturated fats including olive oil and foods high in EPA/DHA Omega 3s, mostly from fish. Some specific suggestions include:

    Whole Grains: Carbohydrates should be eaten only in the complex form (as opposed to “simple” carbs). Examples are whole oats, Brown rice, millet, buckwheat, barley, quinoa, amaranth, whole wheat, spelt, kamut, teff.

    Vegetables can be consumed in an unlimited amount, with special attention paid to dark leafy green vegetables. Strive to consume abundant amounts of dark leafy green vegetables, and at least one type of orange, yellow, and red vegetable/fruit per day.

    Protein: Fish is consumed regularly (daily), and poultry/eggs are consumed in moderate amounts. Fish: Salmon, cod, trout, tuna, mackerel, ahi, etc. Limit consumption of tuna to 1-2 times per week due to mercury content. Fresh salmon is an especially good source of healthy oil called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Limit consumption of red meat to several times per month. In addition, limit intake of saturated fat to 5% of daily calories.

    Oils: Olive oil is the principal source of fat, and can be added to salads. Aim to consume expeller pressed or cold pressed organic Extra Virgin Olive in its raw form. For cooking purposes, regular olive oil should be used because it has a higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil.

    Additional dietary recommendations:
    • Aim to limit salt intake to 1800mg/day
    • Discuss how much water you should be consuming with your physician
    • Avoid alcohol and non-prescription drugs


    CoQ10: this is an essential nutrient for the health of your heart muscle, as it plays a vital role in energy production in your mitochondria. It is also a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger.

    Taurine: This amino acid helps to protect the heart and to improve the symptoms related to heart failure.

    Propionyl-L-carnitine: This nutrient is cardioprotective, vasodilatory, lipid lowering, and improves energy production of the heart.

    Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha): This herb relaxes blood vessels, increases the strength of the heart muscle, and controls heart rate.


    Make sure that you have undergone an evaluation by your cardiologist regarding your exercise program. Once you have been cleared for exercise, you should aim to exercise 3-5 times per week for at least 30 minutes. Make sure that you warm up for 5-10 minutes before exercising, followed by 20 minutes of exercise, and ending with 5-10 minutes of a cool down. Walking for 40 minutes per day also has benefits for your heart and overall health.

    Stress Reduction:

    Consider adding meditation or other forms of relaxation to your daily routine to minimize stress. Meditation is the practice of contemplation or reflection in a relaxing environment with focus on deep breathing. Research has shown that meditation programs may reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and reduce heart attack risk.

    Click here to find out more about Dr. Kachko


    Chinese Herbs, Facial Rejuvenation and Anti-Aging, Cold Splash for Anxiety and Depression, ADHD, Heart Disease

    Issue 56 - July 2014

    What do Inner Source Health and Cleveland Clinic have in common? - by Cynthia Hewett LAc

    Facial Rejuvenation and the Anti-aging Process - by Donna Nesteruk LAc

    A Cold Splash in the Shower - How Can It Help Anxiety and Depression? - by Dr. Peter Bongiorno

    ADHD as An Immune and Digestive Disease? - by Dr. Anne Williams

    Naturopathic Care, Heart Disease and Health Care Costs - by Dr. Anne Williams

    Dr. Pina Interviewed by Bastyr University About Representing Natural Medicine in the Media


    Naturopathic Care, Heart Disease and Healthcare Costs

    May 2, 2014

    A recent study found that naturopathic care not only reduced the 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease but also provided significant savings to both society and employers by reducing healthcare costs.

    In a country where healthcare costs are the highest per capita in the world and almost twice that of the country in second place, a second glance at naturopathic primary care is more important than ever.

    Voice your support for naturopathic doctors being licensed in NY state and keep up to date through the NYANP’s facebook page:

    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. Anne here: here

    References: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2014. “A naturopathic approach to the prevention of cardiovascular disease: cost effectiveness analysis of a pragmatic multi-worksite randomized clinical trial.”


    Liver and Spring Health, Leaky Gut and Mood, Pina on Dr. Oz again, Free Events

    Issue # 54 - April 11, 2014

    April 2014 Healthletter at a glance:

    - Dr. Pina shoots a new Dr. Oz show
    - Leaky Gut and Mood
    - Pau D'Arco and Heart Health

    - Facial Rejuvenation
    - Heart Health
    - Breast Cancer
    - Low Back Pain

    - Cruciferous Vegetables Inflammation Reducer
    - obesity and carbs



    Pau D'Arco and Heart Disease

    March 21, 2014

    Most commonly mentioned in reference to cancer, Pau D’Arco bark may also have some benefits for those with cardiovascular disease.

    An animal study showed that the inner bark has an ability to inhibit platelets from sticking together and forming blood clots. During the 1970s, human trials conducted by the National Cancer Institute found the same effect.

    Native to Central and South America, the Pau D’Arco tree is a beautiful plant that shows much promise for future research in the world of integrative cardiology.

    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. Anne here: here


    Loving Your Heart With Cinnamon

    March 4, 2014

    Long-used in Chinese medicine for nourishing the heart, research has confirmed that cinnamon has the ability to help regulate blood pressure and lipids.

    Some of the compounds in cinnamon have also been shown to be more effective than aspirin in keeping blood from clotting. (This is not a recommendation to stop taking your aspirin!)

    Though the daily dose is small, the cumulative effect from daily use can support long-term heart health and help protect your body against diabetes as well.

    Embrace your kitchen spice cabinet and sprinkle some cinnamon on fresh fruit for a heart-healthy snack!

    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. Anne here: here


    What’s a Phthalate and Why Does It Matter for Joe and Jane Jr.?

    by Dr. Anne Williams, ND, LAc

    Maybe you’ve been hearing the buzz about phthalates in your food, cosmetics and home care products. So what are they, exactly?

    Phthalates are chemicals derived from naphthalene, the beloved mothball. They act as softeners or “plasticizers” in your basic plastic structure. Without such plasticizers, plastic (PVC, PE or PP) is actually quite hard and referred to as “hard plastic.”

    How do phthalates affect us? It appears that children and infants may be at the greatest risk from phthalate exposure, especially during pregnancy.

    Endocrine disruption, including endometriosis, fibroids, male infertility, pre-term birth, asthma, obesity and heart disease are among the conditions associated with greater exposure to phthalates.

    What can we do? To start with, consider the old-fashioned glass, stainless steel and iron as your friendly alternatives to plasticware in the home, especially for storing food.


    Heart Month - Insulin and High Blood Pressure

    Issue 52 - Febraury 7, 2014

    In this Issue:

    - Insulin and Diabetes

    - Fish Oil Prevents Diabetes by 33%

    new research:
    - Wet wipes to blame for your baby's rash?
    - Vitamin D in seniors is associated with fewer falls
    - Melatonin for weight loss?

    new events galore:
    - 02.05.14 Cardiovascular Disease and Natural Health
    - 02.08.14 Dr. Siobhan lecturing at the Strength For Life Wellness Cancer Retreat.
    - 02/12/14 Our Gastrointestinal Health: It's a Gut Feeling.
    - 02/14-16th Naturopathic Medicine for Mood Disorder with Cancer
    - 2/20/14 Food and Your Genetics
    - 2/28/14 - Harmony with springtime for Best Health



    High Intake of Omega Three Polyunsaturated Fats Reduce Risk of Diabetes 33%

    Fish oil - healthful again


    A very recent journal article from the American Diabetes Association’s Journal Diabetes Care continues to expound on the multitude of fish oil benefits.

    This article looked at over 2200 men from Finland, who were aged between 42 and 60. These men were all without diabetes when the research began. With an average follow up of almost 20 years, they found that the men who had highest levels of fish oils in the blood had a 33% decreased risk of moving on to type 2 diabetes. This intake included both dietary and supplemental fish oil.

    Mercury Toxicity?

    The research also suggested that mercury levels did not have a direct effect on diabetes, although past studies suggest there is a higher level of insulin resistance (insulin no longer having a potent effect in the body, requiring more than normal to be produced). Mercury is well known for playing a role in nervous system and cardiovascular disorders.

    What About the Bad Press Fish Oil Has Received?

    Even though the major media’s has attempted to sway the public insinuating that fish oil and fish oil supplementation is not healthy. This media hype flies in the face the vast majority of past and current research which show clear benefits using fish oil to both support, and prevent a number of conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. If you would like more information, please see Dr. Peter’s past article about fish oil and prostate cancer by clicking on the link below.

    Reference article:
    Virtanen JK, Mursu J, Voutilainen S, Uusitupa M, Tuomainen TP. Serum omega-3 polyunsaturated Fatty acids and risk of incident type 2 diabetes in men: the kuopio ischemic heart disease risk factor study. Diabetes Care. 2014 Jan37(1):189-96. doi: 10.2337/dc13-1504. Epub 2013 Sep 11.

    Learn More About Fish Oil and Prostate Cancer


    Insulin and High Blood Pressure?

    by Anne Williams, ND, LAc

    New research shows that high levels of insulin in the bloodstream may be an independent risk factor for developing high blood pressure. This occurs because insulin can damage small blood vessels, triggering a rise in blood pressure.

    What does high insulin look like externally? More often than not, an “apple-shape” body type indicates insulin resistance and poor sugar control.

    We know that diet, exercise and high stress strongly contribute to the development of blood sugar fluctuations.

    If you have heart disease in your family, February, National Heart Month, is the perfect time to set new goals for your health and longevity.


    Healthletter 1-2014: child's immune health, emotions and winter, ashwaganda for anxiety

    Issue 51 - January 9, 2014

    Healthletter Issue 51 - January 9, 2014

    child's immune health
    emotions and winter
    ashwaganda for anxiety

    Photoalbum of Drs. Pina and Peter at Barron's Financial Advisor Summit

    New Research in:
    - Depression and Zinc
    - Alzheimers' and Vitamin E
    - Heart Disease and the Mediterranean Diet



    Beet Benefits for Blood Pressure- Dr. Pina on the Dr. Oz Show

    Beets for Blood Pressure and Best Stamina


    How can beets help your cardiovascular system?

    Find out as Dr. Pina LoGiudice teaches Dr. Oz about the heart benefits of the beet in her 15th appearance on the Dr. Oz show.

    Click Here to Watch the Video


    Science Is Starting to Catch Up to Naturopathic Wisdome

    we are finally learning what Aunt Lillie already knew


    My hearty and hale 92 year-old Aunt Lillie remains the healthful life of the party. In fact, a few weeks ago, she led the sing along for my parents’ 55th anniversary. When I was a kid, I remember her telling us to eat our broccoli and eat plenty of fish. She also warned us to stay away from margarine - she made it a point to say: ‘as long as I’m alive, only BUTTER will be eaten in this house!”

    As a kid, I did like fish, but never really gravitated towards green vegetables. I also had no problem slathering margarine all over a piece of Wonder bread.

    Today, as a naturopathic physician, I realize it was not only just Aunt Lillie who appreciated the benefits of healthy foods at a time when it was not very fashionable. During my childhood and adolescent years (of the 60’s through the 1980’s), while I was eating at Burger King anytime I had the chance, there was a subculture of ‘health fanatic’ naturopathic physicians who believed that whole and organic food were vitally important to health. They were also persecuted for telling people not to take wonder drugs, for the body can heal with natural means. People like Dr. John Bastyr (for whom my naturopathic medical school Bastyr University in Seattle is named after) held this thoughtful space and carried natural medicine, virtually by themselves, until the rest of society could catch up....


    Click Here for Article


    Thoughts on Blue Light and Sleep


    By Anne Williams, ND, LAc

    Of all the visible light wavelengths that contact our retinas, blue light appears to inhibit melatonin release the most potently. This exposure may be of benefit in the daytime by promoting alertness and supporting shifts in our circadian rhythm. However, at night, light exposure and in particular blue light could be disrupting our internal clocks.

    Fluorescent light and light-emitting diodes (LED) typically provide a greater source of the blue spectrum than natural and incandescent light. This means that most of your lightbulbs and electronics have the potential to inhibit sleep onset – and can do so from short periods of exposure and for hours after exposure. The Harvard Health Letter recommends powering down bright screens as much as two to three hours before bed.

    In the real world, this impact may not be as severe as in controlled settings with narrowband light exposure. However, the blue light effect may also be dependent on one’s genes and individual sensitivity will vary. Several studies, with small statistical power, showed a significant difference in serum melatonin levels after blue light exposure and also demonstrated that blue light provides a more powerful effect on sleep-wake cycles than the natural light people often awaken from at dawn.

    The potential impacts of sleep deprivation and light exposure at night (e.g. nightwork) are numerous. Leptin and ghrelin concentrations, which modulate appetite to some degree, can vary in accordance with light exposure. Increased risks of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and depression can be found among night shift workers. Sleep deprivation can lead to impairments in cognitive function, immune suppression, and inflammation. Though blue light is only one factor in this equation, its presence seems to be increasing. For an interesting take on light pollution in general, its history and impact on environment, I recommend reading this fascinating article: “Missing the Dark: The Health Effects of Light Pollution” at

    Ackermann K, et al. Diurnal rhythms in blood cell populations and the effect of acute sleep deprivation in healthy young men. Sleep. July 2012
    Bara AC, Arber S. Working shifts and mental health—findings from the British Household Panel Survey (1995-2005). Scand J Work Environ Health October 2009
    Chellappa SL, et al. Human melatonin and alerting response to blue-enriched light depend on a polymorphism in the clock gene PER3. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. March 2012
    Chennaoui M, et al. Effect of one night of sleep loss on changes in tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) levels in healthy men. Cytokine. November 2011.
    Figueiro MG, et al. Light Modulates Leptin and Ghrelin in Sleep-Restricted Adults. Inter J Endocr July 2012
    Figueiro MG, et al. The impact of light from computer monitors on melatonin levels in college students. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2011
    Gooley JJ, et al. Exposure to room light before bedtime suppresses melatonin onset and shortens melatonin duration in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab March 2011
    Harvard Health Letter, May 2012, Blue Light Has a Dark Side, Accessed 11/22/12
    Haus EL, et al. Shift work and cancer risk: Potential mechanistic roles of circadian disruption, light at night, and sleep deprivation. Sleep Med Rev. November 2012
    Killgore WD. Effects of sleep deprivation on cognition. Prog Brain Res. 2010
    Münch M, et al. Circadian and wake-dependent effects on the pupil light reflex in response to narrow-bandwidth light pulses. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci July 2012
    Pan A, et al. Rotating night shift work and risk of type 2 diabetes: two prospective cohort studies in women. PLoS Med. December 2011
    Pimenta AM, et al. Night-shift work and cardiovascular risk among employees of a public university. Rev Assoc Med Bras. April 2012
    Vetter C, et al. Blue-enriched office light competes with natural light as a zeitgeber. Scand J Work Environ Health September 2011
    Wang XS, et al. Shift work and chronic disease: the epidemiological evidence. Occup Med (Lond). March 2011
    West KE, et al. Blue light from light-emitting diodes elicits a dose-dependent suppression of melatonin in humans. J Appl Physiol December 2010
    Wood B, et al. Light level and duration of exposure determine the impact of self-luminous tablets on melatonin suppression. Applied Ergonomics March 2013

    Blue Light and Sleep


    Can You Follow Your Dreams and Make It in the Material World?

    Psychology Today blog by Dr. Peter


    Can You Follow Your Dreams and 'Make It' in This World?

    Is following your heart really worthless or can you do what you love and still earn a living?

    Click on the link below to think more about it.....

    Click Here for Post


    Stress and Violence Shorten Your Genes, and Your Life: the telomere story

    Does environment cause your genes to turn up disease?


    Childhood stress and violence exposure will contribute to getting disease earlier in adult life, according to a new, and important study. Published in the May 2012 issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers from Duke University worked with 236 children (about half boys and half girls) that were born in 1994 through 1995. To evaluate disease risk, they looked at the length of these children’s telomeres at 5 and 10 years of age.

    Telomeres are like little caps at the ends of our genes. These caps can be thought of as little gene protectors that erode as we age. When telomeres get too short, our genes (which are the instructions our cells have to create healthy reactions in our body) can get damaged. This damage contributes extensively to disease. We already know that poor food choices, not exercising, smoking, low vitamin D levels, radiation, and diseases like diabetes all correlate with shortening, or erosion of telomeres.

    Telomeres can be measured in kids quite easily by using a non-invasive test where cells are gently swabbed from the inside of the cheek. Children who were exposed to two or more violent experiences had significantly more erosion of these telomeres. Violent exposures could be frequent bullying, physical mistreatment by an adult, or exposure to domestic violence. Children with more erosion of telomeres are likely to be much more susceptible to heart disease, memory problems and many others common maladies.

    Can Telomeres Get Longer?

    But there is good news too: good nutrition, exercise and relaxation work may in fact lengthen telomeres. A 2008 pilot study by Dean Ornish and his colleagues found that eating healthy food and making lifestyle changes which lowered psychological stress and balanced blood fats (lipids) correlated with lengthening of the telomeres.

    Doesn’t This Study Tell Me What I Already Know?

    In a way, this research does tell us what we already know: that living healthily is good for our bodies and helps ward off disease, and that unhealthy and stressful circumstances can bring on disease sooner. The reason why this is useful inforamtion is because it tells us more about how exactly these things can help or hurt us, and should give us more motivation to make healthful changes.

    Knowing more about why disease happens gives each of more knowledge about our choices. While conventional medical wisdom still applies the axiom “it’s your genes, there is nothing you can do” the truth is about 70% of our genetic information is controllable through diet, lifestyle, not smoking and environmental exposures. These genes, called ‘luxury genes’ are affected by epigenetic controls, meaning meaning circumstances above the genes that will decide whether the ‘volume’ of particular genes will get turned on or off, or how loud – think of a volume control on your stereo. Telomeres are one of these volume controls.

    When I explain this idea to patients, I often find a sense of new empowerment emerges – knowledge is power, and the more information one has about how their own body works, the more likely each of us are going to take more action.

    Telomeres and Television?

    My October 6, 2011 PT blog discussed the role of television on the brain, and how TV watching can also increase rates of disease. It is likely increased violent TV exposure in kids may have the same negative effect on telomeres in kids as does real-life exposure.

    So, with this new study we are reminded that environmental circumstances play a strong role in how our genes will affect our ability to stay healthy. This may be a good time to look at the food, environmental and lifestyle exposures in our kids’ lives and think about possible positive and negative effects of other common everyday occurrences on telomeres. Any others you can think of?

    Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc practices in New York, and authored Healing Depression: Integrated Naturopathic and Conventional Therapies His new book How Come They’re Happy and I’m Not? will be out in the fall of 2012. He can be reached by visiting


    Shalev I, Moffitt TE et al. Exposure to violence during childhood is associated with telomere erosion from 5 to 10 years of age: a longitudinal study. Molecular Psychiatry , 24 April 2012, doi:10.1038/mp.2012.32

    Ornish D, Lin J et al. Increased telomerase activity and comprehensive lifestyle changes: a pilot study. Lancet Oncol. 2008 Nov9(11):1048-57. Epub 2008 Sep 15.