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  • “Obesogens” Really, pollution and toxins make me fat?
  • Exercise to Prevent Colon Cancer
    moving your body shown to move cancer out
  • Holiday Eating Strategy: Morning Exercise for Best Health
  • Calcium Supplements Linked to Heart Attacks
    10-16-2010
  • scary salmon
    genetically modified salmon declared 'safe' by the FDA
  • Can Fat Affect Your Intelligence?
    7-4-2010
  • Studies Show New Yorkers Are Stressed - Natural Medicine Can Help
  • A-H1N1 or Swine Flu



  •  


    Happy Hormones for Mental Health - Slide Presentation by Dr. Peter Bongiorno at A4M in Nashville

    September 29, 2018

    How do hormones relate to mental health? Dr. Peter Bongiorno explained this relationship in this presentation.

    In this lunchtime lecture, he discussed the different forms of estrogen and how these can affect neurotransmitters, how estrogen and progesterone relate to each other, and how testosterone, DHEA, melatonin, prolatctin, oxytocin and other hormonal molecules will affect the brain and mental health. He also spent time reviewing the importance of adrenal and thyroid function, and how these can relate to the other hormones in the body.

    Dr. Peter stressed the importance of sleep, lifestyle, foods, and stress reduction are crucial to obtaining and maintaining hormonal balance.

    Please note this particular presentation was sponsored by Douglas Laboratories, so there are slides that include specific products Dr. Peter uses in his practice to help achieve hormonal balance with his patients. He formulated two of their products: Mood Systems Balance and Neurotransmitter Balance, which are used by physicians throughout the country and world to support ideal mood in patients.
    More about these products here and here

    CLICK HERE FOR SLIDE PRESENTATION

     


    What to Eat for Your Thyroid - part 4 of 5

    09.25.2017

    Naturopath Dr. Pina LoGiudice presents the symptoms of a sluggish thyroid and a sample eating plan to boost your thyroid hormone levels.

    CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO ON DR. OZ WEBSITE

     


    Natural Treatment for Anxiety and Depression, Part 2

    November 22, 2016

    Dr. Ronald Hoffman, a leader in the integrative health care field since the 1980's, interviews Dr. Peter Bongiorno, author of "Put Anxiety Behind You: The Complete Drug-Free Program." What's the difference between fear and anxiety? What physiological reactions occur in the body when you're anxious? Is there a diet connection? What role does exercise play in ameliorating anxiety? Can acupuncture help mood? What key supplements combat anxiety? Are hormones involved? Is there ever a place for drug therapy?

    This is the second part of the interview.

    CLICK HERE TO LISTEN IN TO PART 2 of 2

     


    Natural Treatment for Anxiety and Depression, Part 1

    November 22, 2016

    Dr. Ronald Hoffman, a leader in the integrative health care field since the 1980's, interviews Dr. Peter Bongiorno, author of "Put Anxiety Behind You: The Complete Drug-Free Program." What's the difference between fear and anxiety? What physiological reactions occur in the body when you're anxious? Is there a diet connection? What role does exercise play in ameliorating anxiety? Can acupuncture help mood? What key supplements combat anxiety? Are hormones involved? Is there ever a place for drug therapy?

    CLICK HERE TO LISTEN IN

     


    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!

     


    The Eyes Have it

    Dr. Kachko was interviewed by Natural Practitioner Magazine

    Dr. Kachko was recently interviewed by Natural Practitioner Magazine for their segment on eye health. If you have concerns about keeping your eyes healthy as you age, make sure to schedule a wellness visit!

    ...Dr. Kachko agreed, noting that the increased number of devise usage (multiple devices) keeps us more connected than ever and always “on.” Therefore, eyes rarely get a break. “This is especially dangerous when device usage is right before bed or first thing in the morning when our eyes haven’t yet adjusted to light. It’s important for our eyes to take in just the right amount of light, which is why our pupils constrict when entering a bright room. Having these devices around all of the time, very close to our faces, is a big risk. Especially because the main light emitted is blue on the wavelength spectrum, which increases the activity of active beta brain waves and reduces our own production of melatonin, the essential sleep hormone.”...

    Read the rest of the article here!

     


    The Role of Meditation in Optimal Immune Function

    Two exciting studies discussed


    Supporting optimal immune function is always a central goal of mine as a Naturopathic Doctor. Here's a summary of two research studies (1,2) linking the role of meditation (which has a myriad of other benefits) to optimal immune function and reduction of stress hormones.

    The role of mucosal immunity is crucial in the prevention of sepsis via protection from exposure to opportunistic bacteria. 35 Chinese undergraduate students were taught Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT), which includes body relaxation, breathing adjustment, mental imagery, and mindfulness training. The aim of the therapy is to induce a state of restful alertness with improved awareness of body and breathing. The study group practiced IBMT for 4 weeks while the control group practiced a body-centered relaxation technique only. Salivary secretory IgA levels were shown to be increased in the IBMT group, with strong correlations to improved mucosal immune response. Another study assessed the role of Pranic Meditation on phagocyte function, where it was shown in 29 healthy individuals that more than 980 minutes of meditation (including 3-hour weekly training and 20 minute daily session at home) over the course of 10 weeks increases in phagocytosis and monocyte production of hydrogen peroxide along with reductions in plasma levels of corticotrophin.

    1. Yaxin Fan, Yi-Yuan Tang, Yinghua Ma, and Michael I. Posner. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2010, 16(2): 151-155. doi:10.1089/acm.2009.0234.
    2. César A. Fernandes, Yanna K.M. Nóbrega, and C. Eduardo Tosta. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. August 2012, 18(8): 761-768. doi:10.1089/acm.2010.0718.

    For more about Dr. Kachko click here

     


    Glycemic Load and Acne

    A Post by Anne Williams, ND, LAc

    monday, January 14, 2013

    In its article “Facing Facts About Acne,” the FDA says that “acne is not caused by diet” since to date, no research has proven a direct link. The food link was presented as a myth, with the implication being that diet should not be given much attention.

    Certainly, food is not the whole story. But a lack of evidence about its role is not proof for the conclusion that it plays no role at all.

    A lack of evidence typically serves as a call for further, better-designed research with larger studies, which is in fact just what the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and Clinics in Dermatology recommend. In 2010, they reported a “lack of randomized controlled trials in the literature” and that “unfortunately, after reviewing the existing data, there are no answers but there are definitely more questions.”

    One example that has been more recently supported by research, are the roles of insulin and a meal’s glycemic load. Glycemic load can be roughly defined as the rise in blood sugar after a given meal. Insulin sensitivity refers to your cell’s ability to recognize and respond to insulin, which rises in response to increased blood sugar. Insulin resistance can occur when insulin rises too often and in too great a quantity. In short, what the research has found is that in addition to other effects, insulin resistance and meals with a high glycemic load may be risk factors for acne.

    Both Chinese and naturopathic medicine have long recognized the role of diet, exercise, stress and sleep in the development of acne. I would also maintain that more often than not, these traditions have refrained from making simplistic causal associations between these factors and the disease itself – rather, they have compiled a wholistic pattern of lifestyle modifications that together, rather than apart, can significantly improve the health of one’s skin.

    Though the picture is complex, diet clearly plays a role for some people and it’s a great place to start. As Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”

    References:

    Bowe WP, et al. Diet and acne. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Jul.
    Davidovici BB, et al. The role of diet in acne: facts and controversies. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jan-Feb.
    Del Prete M, et al. Insulin resistance and acne: a new risk factor for men? Endocrine. 2012 Dec.
    Epstein SS. Unlabeled milk from cows treated with biosynthetic growth hormones: a case of regulatory abdication. Int J Health Serv. 1996
    FDA Consumer Updates: Facing Facts About Acne. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm174521.htm Accessed 12/4/12.
    Ismail NH, et al. High glycemic load diet, milk and ice cream consumption are related to acne vulgaris in Malaysian young adults: a case control study. BMC Dermatol. 2012 Aug.
    Jung JY, et al. The influence of dietary patterns on acne vulgaris in Koreans. Eur J Dermatol. 2010 Nov-Dec.
    Kwon HH, et al. Clinical and histological effect of a low glycaemic load diet in treatment of acne vulgaris in Korean patients: a randomized, controlled trial. Acta Derm Venerol. 2012 May.
    Melnik BC. The role of transcription factor FoxO1 in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris and the mode of isotretinoin action. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Oct.
    Saleh BO. Role of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I in hyperandrogenism and the severity of acne vulgaris in young males. Saudi Med J. 2012 Nov.
    Veith WB, et al. The association of acne vulgaris with diet. Cutis. 2011 Aug.
    Wei B, et al. The epidemiology of adolescent acne in North East China. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Aug.

     


    FLU: Natural Remedies That Work

    reprint from 2009 blog

    1 - Observe the recommendations to WASH HANDS thoroughly. Use warm water.

    2 - DO NOT TOUCH FACE and NOSE to avoid spreading virus to your mouth, eyes or respiratory system.

    3 - Take your FISH OIL – fish oil is known to balance an over-inflammed immune system, and may be helpful to lower the overall cytokine cascade. Cod liver oil may be the best choice for it has extra D and A. Vitamin A helps protect respiratory passages and is anti-viral itself.

    4 - VITAMIN D, VITAMIN C, ZINC – may be useful. According to Johnathan Wright MD, vitamin C and D may be a more potent anti-viral choice than even medications. Zinc is an anti-viral mineral that has inhibited viral replication in research.

    5 - STRESS REDUCTION helps to lower our stress hormones and balance our immune function to help properly deal with any virus.

    6 - Get plenty of SLEEP – sleep is another important immune balancer which has been shown, when 7 hour or more, to help fight virus by 300% over people who do not get 7hours of sleep

    7 - AVOID SUGAR – which can lower your immunity and allow easier catching of any virus.

    8 - Consider regular NASAL WASHES – if the virus is typically transmitted into the upper respiratory tract, clearing that area may help lower the load that enters our system.

    9 - AVOID INFLAMMATORY FOODS – foods like milk and dairy, wheat for some people, and any food you know you are sensitive too. Excess inflammation in your body may contribute to more of an inflammatory cascade than is healthy.

    10 - EAT ANTI VIRAL FOODS: garlic, onions, berries, green tea.

    11 - There are a few ANTI-VIRAL HERBS worth considering. Licorice, PauD’Arco and Lemon Balm. These have a history of being helpful with flu and colds. There is no research using these in this swine flu period in place of conventional medications and we are not suggesting forgoing conventional medicines.

    12 - EXERCISE – helps move your lymph tissue and blood in your body, which is needed to keep your immune surveillance at its best.

    From a naturopathic perspective, we may need to address the underlying causes of these viral illnesses.

     


    “Obesogens” Really, pollution and toxins make me fat?
    by dr. peter and dr. pina

    April 12, 2011

    For the longest time, medicine thought weight gain was simply a process of too many calories in (by eating too much) and not burning enough calories via exercise. Then, more thoughtful research added stress as a factor for not being able to lose weight due to slowing of metabolic function. Even though calories in, exercise, and stress are all still very important factors in the battle of the bulge, fascinating new research is coming out which we think is exciting: studies are showing us how toxic compounds in our environment can also make you and keep you fat.

    Known as ‘obesogens’, these are chemicals not natural to your body. Because the body cannot easily get rid of them, they dirsrupt the normal control and growth of fat cells and energy. These chemicals, some known as ‘endocrine disruptors’ will also mess around with the body’s ability to regulate its hormones. Chemicals included are dioxins, phtalates, Bisphenol A and PCB’s, and POPs (persistent organic pollutants), but there are many more.

    What your mom ate and was exposed to may have set your fat cells early on: it has been shown that obesity is programmed early in life - when you were in the womb. While in the womb, exposure to chemicals can play a role by changing how the genes that form fat can be turned on to produce more cells – this event can cause a life-long struggle to keep to a healthy weight. This challenge can be made worse when a SAD (Standard American Diet) food regime is followed, and exercise is skipped.

    So what can you do? Well, we have seen many patients do well to change their body by not only changing their foods and exercising, but by also encouraging their body to get rid of these ‘obesogen’ chemicals. A good detoxification regimen designed for the individual can be very helpful to lose weight with greater success than simply dieting can do, even if the number of calories are not different. In fact, a good detoxification program does not even carry the concern about how many calories are being consumed – which means that as long as it is the right detoxifying foods, you can eat as much as you feel necessary, and still get the weight loss effect you desire.

    Obesogens are a fairly new concept – more research is needed. But we can learn from the idea and use this information to stave off obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and more.

    References:

    Dirinck E, Jorens PG, Covaci A, Geens T, Roosens L, Neels H, Mertens I, Van Gaal L. Obesity and persistent organic pollutants: possible obesogenic effect of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Apr19(4):709-14. Epub 2010 Jun 17. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20559302


    Janesick A, Blumberg B. Endocrine disrupting chemicals and the developmental programming of adipogenesis and obesity. Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today. 2011 Mar93(1):34-50. doi: 10.1002/bdrc.20197.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21425440

    click here for pubmed reference

     


    Exercise to Prevent Colon Cancer

    moving your body shown to move cancer out

    march 21, 2011

    This month’s British Journal of Cancer looked at about a quarter million people in over 20 studies and found a 16% decreased polyp risk, and a 30% decrease risk of forming cancerous polyps. It is likely that exercise helps by lowering blood sugar, which lowers the hormone insulin. Insulin drives inflammatory processes which can help promote polyp formation. Exercise may also help balance immune function and thus help fight cancer.

    Other studies by the same research group had already shown exercise’s ability to cut colon cancer risk by one fourth. This group recommends at least a half hour of active exercise every day. The Amercian Cancer society strongly recommends 45 to 60 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.

    Additionally, other studies have already found the benefits of caloric restriction and fiber intake to decrease cancer incidence.

    In our lectures, we invariably discuss the importance of exercise no matter what the condition. One slide we use shows a cartoon of a doctor talking to a patient, with the quote: “which fits your busy schedule better? Exercising one hour a day, or being dead 24 hours a day?” Although this a bit harsh, it underscores an important point about the connection between exercise, and a healthy life and is a question, in a gentle way, each practitioner needs to ask his or her patient

    reference: Wolin KY, Yan Y, Colditz GA. Physical activity and risk of colon adenoma: a meta-analysis. Br J Cancer. 2011 Mar 1104(5):882-5. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

    click here for reference

     


    Holiday Eating Strategy: Morning Exercise for Best Health
    why go out and freeze for that early morning jog?

    best weight loss benefits in the AM. 12.20.2010

    Research is showing us that even though anytime is a good time to exercise, we probably get the best benefits by going out in the early morning, before we eat.

    An Australian study of 28 men showed that those who exercised before eating breakfast had no weight gain compared to those who ate before exercise.

    Insulin is a hormone used to bring blood sugar lower by placing glucose molecules from the blood to go into the cells. Insulin is usually lowest in the morning, for there is a greater span of time where we have not eaten anything from the night before. Besides moving insulin into our cells, insulin is very good at helping our body pack away fat - so the lower your insulin is, the greater the weight loss effect. If you exercise in a lower insulin state (like the early morning), you will have a better weight loss effect by burning fat, instead of the carbohydrates from the food recently eaten.

    A strategy of early morning outdoor exercise in the cold may also help kick up thyroid function - the thyroid increases your metabolic rate to keep you warm, and will also help the calories burn as a result.

    As a note: with good gear that helps the body dry fast and keep warmth close to the body, only the first few minutes are actually cold. After that - it really is not too bad - we promise.

    (pictured: early morning run to the Northern Coast of Long Island)

    click here for NY Times article

     


    Calcium Supplements Linked to Heart Attacks

    10-16-2010

    A no brainer right? You are at risk for osteoporosis - so, you should take calcium? Well, it seems calcium is one of the major contributors to atherosclerotic plaque - the plaque that blocks up the arteries around the heart. Interestingly, conventional medicine prescribes statin medications to lower cholesterol levels, but does not do anything in regards to calcium deposits.

    Alone, calcium itself does not actually prevent or treat osteoporosis. To accomplish this, it is important to use a naturopathic approach that includes changing the diet, strengthening digestion to absorption nutrition, increasing resistance exercise like gardening and weights work, and using a synergy of minerals like magnesium with some calcium (in a high quality form like citrate or malate) and boron, silica and horsetail, and of course checking vitamin D levels. There is also a genetic test that helps to see if a patient has a genetic predisposition to vitamin D imbalance and osteoporosis, and there are urine tests that help decide how much calcium a person is losing from the bone.

    Now, some research is suggesting that calcium supplements not only provide no benefit, but that they can even be harmful, increasing the risk of heart attacks by nearly a third. As expected, these results, do not apply to calcium ingested in food, which is beneficial. As a note, most of these studies were with patients using calcium carbonate, a very inexpensive version of calcium supplementation. And these studies did not use vitamin D, and important nutrient/hormone that helps move calcium into bone, and is also protective of the heart in other ways

    Two studies are supporting this thought: one from 2006 and one in 2008. One study from the University of Auckland in New Zealand and his colleagues combined results from 11 randomized controlled trials of calcium supplements without vitamin D involving more than 12,000 patients. The British Medical Journal reported that there was a 31% increase in the risk of heart attack and smaller, non-significant increases in the risk of stroke and death. While equal numbers of women received calcium or placebo, 143 of those who received calcium suffered a heart attack, compared to 111 who received a placebo.

    The risk increase is small, but given all the women taking poor quality high dose supplementation, this may be a problem.

    Unfortunately, the cardiologist who authored the study recommends no supplementation be used unless drugs are being used to treat. Apparently, he has not read the plethora of information linking osteoporotic drugs to increased fracture rates in other parts of the body, osteonecrosis of the hip and jaw, and esophageal changes that can become cancerous.

    BMJ 2010 341:c3691 doi: 10.1136/bmj.c3691 (Published 29 July 2010)

    click here for reference

     


    scary salmon

    genetically modified salmon declared 'safe' by the FDA

    September 5, 2010

    Yikes. The FDA just announced that genetically modified salmon that can grow to market size on average of 17 months instead of 30 months time is safe. They based this on research on a few dozen fish given to them by the AquaBounty Technologies company, the company who has been trying for years to get this approved. This fish produces a growth hormone gene unnaturally by allowing it to turn and stay on year round. The fish also have higher levels of insulin-like growth factor, a molecule that can push cancer growth. It looks like these genetically altered fish will be on our shelves, likely unlabeled, in 2 to 3 years - another reason to call your congressperson and federal senator now. Picture of normal and genetically altered salmon - both salmon are the same age (Barrett & Mackay Photography).

    visit NY Times for article

     


    Can Fat Affect Your Intelligence?

    7-4-2010

    Homer, watch those doughnuts (doh!), for a significant inverse association was found between abdominal obesity and total volume of the brain in a computed tomography (CT scan) study of 733 people called the Framingham Offspring cohort published in the Annals of Neurology. The visceral fat (fat around and built up in the organs) is most associated with a smaller brain.

    It is postulated that caloric excess increases insulin (the hormone responsible for putting sugar in the cells from the blood), which is a strong factor in depositing body fat. Increases in visceral fat around the organs increase inflammation in the body, which can cause neuronal loss in the brain.

    So what’s wrong with having a smaller brain full of inflammation? These factors are associated with a higher risk of dementia, mood disorders, and a host of other cognitive problems. by Drs. Bongiorno and LoGiudice - www.InnerSourceHealth.com.

    reference: Jefferson et al. Inflammatory biomarkers are associated with total brain volume: the Framingham Heart Study. reference: Jefferson et al. Neurology. 200768:1032-1038.

    click here for original research

     


    Studies Show New Yorkers Are Stressed - Natural Medicine Can Help

    Date: November 5, 2009

    Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc

    Almost half of New York residents say they are in less than very good health, according to a national study. “At every education level and in every racial or ethnic group, adults in New York are not as healthy as they could be,” the study concluded. New Yorkers rank 31st out of 50 states.

    The study suggested that stress and anxiety may be a major factor in the low health. Many New Yorkers spend more energy and time trying to balance their finances by working more, and spending less time in leisure activities and with family. “Stress can trigger the body to release hormones and other substances that over time can damage immune defenses and vital organs,” the researchers said. “This ‘toxic’ and chronic stress can age people and lead to serious illness, including cardiovascular disease.” Another study shows New York State residents to be the third most neurotic according to scientists who study 'geographic personalities.'

    Natural medicine has many methods of offering safe and effective anxiety relief that can help New Yorkers avoid medications like Xanax and Paxil. Exercise has been shown to decrease stress levels and help mood, as well as many medications. Strategies such as increased water, whole foods, and meditation can change a person’s physiology to lower stress hormones. Specific nutrients such as vitamin B6, niacinamide, tryptophan and theanine can work on the same mechanisms as the medications, but with a lower side effect profile. Passion flower, St. John’s wort and Kava kava have hundreds years of historical use to calm and center.

    Dr. Bongiorno practices is Manhattan and Long Island, and recently authored Depression: Natural Medicine Treatments for publication in January of 2010 (CCNM Press).

    References:

    Susan Egerter, Paula Braveman, M.D., M.P.H., Catherine Cubbin, Ph.D., Mercedes Dekker, M.P.H., Tabashir Sadegh-Nobari, M.P.H., Jane An, M.H.S., Rebecca Grossman-Kahn, B.A. Reaching America’s Health Potential: A State-by-State Look at Adult Health. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission 2009. www.commissiononhealth.org accessed 10-15-09

    Rentfrow, Gosling and Potter. "Freedome in the 50 States: a study on the geography of personality", 2009

    Prousky J. Anxiety: An Orthomolecular Approach. CCNM Press 2006.

     


    A-H1N1 or Swine Flu

    Thursday, April 30, 2009 7am

    Thoughts, Natural Approaches, Underlying Causes

    Many patients have been asking us about this swine flu also known as Mexican Flu. The fact of the matter is that information is low, and unfortunately, media hype is high. This type A-H1N1 virus seems to be a combination of a pig, human and bird virus. As of this writing, there are 51 confirmed flu cases in New York State and 91 in the US, and 12 countries in total. Please remember as testing continues, the numbers will increase. To keep things in perspective, it should be remembered that in any given year, about 40,000 people in the US die from the common flu. This number has been consistent for many years. But, although worrisome and these are profoundly unfortunate deaths, we do not consider the common flu a pandemic. It is also important to note that even thought the World Health Organization states that 'pandemic is imminent', this description refers to the pattern of spread, not the severity of the virus. Thankfully, all cases of the H1N1 in the US seem to be relatively mild. The possibly worrisome piece about this particular flu is that in Mexico, it seemed to kill healthy young people. Normally, flu illness tends to kill people with lowered immune function, especially the elderly and very young. With this flu, it seems the immune reaction, known as a cytokine cascade - cytokines are molecules of the immune system components responsible for raising inflammation - causes lung swelling and damage which can cause death. Some doctors report that distinguishing this flu from others are difficult, but diarrhea and vomiting may occur in the swine flu. So, from a natural perspective what can we do? Unfortunately, there is very little direct information or research about using natural medicines to fight viral illnesses like this. Here are a few thoughts about this.

    1 - STAY INFORMED - the CDC regarding local outbreaks in order to avoid these when possible. The H1N1 outbreak in our area is mild, and right now we have no reason to think it will become more virulent, but it is still good to avoid exposure it when possible. Try to not over-inform to the point that you are stressed - see point number 6. If you are not sure about symptoms you have, see a physician who can decide if treatment may be warranted. The World Health Organization website is: http://www.who.int/en/ and the CDC website is: http://www.cdc.gov/

    2 - Observe the recommendations to WASH HANDS thoroughly. Use warm water.

    3 - DO NOT TOUCH FACE and NOSE to avoid spreading virus to your mouth, eyes or respiratory system.

    4 - Take your FISH OIL – fish oil is known to balance an over-inflammed immune system, and may be helpful to lower the overall cytokine cascade. Cod liver oil may be the best choice for it has extra D and A. Vitamin A helps protect respiratory passages and is anti-viral itself.

    5 - VITAMIN D, VITAMIN C, ZINC – may be useful. According to Johnathan Wright MD, vitamin C and D may be a more potent anti-viral choice than even medications. Zinc is an anti-viral mineral that has inhibited viral replication in research.

    6 - STRESS REDUCTION helps to lower our stress hormones and balance our immune function to help properly deal with any virus.

    7 - Get plenty of SLEEP – sleep is another important immune balancer.

    8 - AVOID SUGAR – which can lower your immunity and allow easier catching of any virus.

    9 - Consider regular NASAL WASHES – if the virus is typically transmitted into the upper respiratory tract, clearing that area may help lower the load that enters our system.

    10 - AVOID INFLAMMATORY FOODS – foods like milk and dairy, wheat for some people, and any food you know you are sensitive too. Excess inflammation in your body may contribute to more of an inflammatory cascade than is healthy.

    11 - EAT ANTI VIRAL FOODS: garlic, onions, berries, green tea.

    12 - There are a few ANTI-VIRAL HERBS worth considering. Licorice, PauD’Arco and Lemon Balm. These have a history of being helpful with flu and colds. There is no research using these in this swine flu period in place of conventional medications and we are not suggesting forgoing conventional medicines.

    14 - EXERCISE – helps move your lymph tissue and blood in your body, which is needed to keep your immune surveillance at its best.

    15 - Consider N95 masks if you need to go to a hospital or place with people who have the virus. The CDC has instructions for homemade mask at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol12no06/05-1468.htm#Figure. It is uncertain how well masks protect us, but a simple barrier like a mask may lower load that enters the nose and mouth.

    From a naturopathic perspective, we may need to address the underlying causes of these viral illnesses. Some people believe it is really media hype that scares people not the actual illness, others think close-quarter farming practices have spurred avian and swine flu issues to become problematic and need closer monitoring, while others more suspecting people believe it is government hype used to spur pharmaceutical company contracts for anti-viral drugs and vaccine programs. Even more, some people suggest that these strains are actually man-made biologic weapon agents. There are certainly many theories, and some information to support each of these. Our hope is the authorities are looking for the best interest of the public and will begin to focus on possible underlying issues once this crisis has passed.