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  • Supplementation with vitamins reduce breast cancer risk by 30%
    12-4-2010
  • Calcium Supplements Linked to Heart Attacks
    10-16-2010
  • Vitamin D and Depression
  • Here's Comes the Sun
    Sunlight and Vit D Prevents Cancer
  • Studies Show New Yorkers Are Stressed - Natural Medicine Can Help
  • A-H1N1 or Swine Flu



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    Announcing Replenish Intravenous therapy at Inner Source Health

    March 26, 2016 - Huntington, NY

    Replenish, holistic providers of nutritive intravenous therapies will be joining Inner Source and working out of the Huntington office at 11 Stewart Avenue, Huntington, NY 11024. There, Replenish will be offering intravenous therapies for immune and health support.

    About Replenish:

    Replenish (http://www.replenishealth.com) is a holistic team whose mission is to enhance one’s quality of life and overall appearance by combining wellness and integrative therapies with the utmost personalized care. Therapies are administered by registered nurses under the direct supervision of Dr. Robert J. Aquino. This medical team has extensive expertise in administering all types of customized intravenous nutrient therapy. The medical includes the wonderful energies and expertise of Nicoletta Rasizzi, RN, Jeanine Aquino, Practice Manager, Karyn Galletta-Brodala, RN & Reiki Master, and Mary Beth Knape, Concierge & Yoga Coordinator.

    Dr. Pina LoGiudice commented, “we are thrilled with having Replenish with us at our Huntington location. For our patients who benefit from intravenous therapies will now be able to have these healthy, immune-supporting treatments right in our facility. Even more, the people of Replenish are just the nicest people.”

    Intravenous i.v. therapy is a valuable way to help the body quickly obtain nutrients (vitamins, anti-oxidants), especially when the digestive tract is not optimally functioning and absorbing, or when the person is not eating enough nutrient-dense foods. Intravenous therapies have been used to support the immune system, cardiovascular health, and much more.


    For more information: 631.421.1848 or email info@innersourcehealth.com

    CLICK HERE for PRESS RELEASE

     


    Multiple Vitamin For Anxiety?

    05.15.2015

    Can a multiple vitamin help you calm down and relax?

    Find out in doctor Peter's blog on Psychology Today

    CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE ON PSYCHOLOGY TODAY

     


    Tips for Avoiding the Common Cold


    Scared of catching a cold? Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself healthy this winter.

    Supplement with vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to decreased immune function and increased risk of upper respiratory infections. Taken daily with a meal, vitamin D will keep you healthy and can prevent those winter blues.

    Boost your immune system with healthy bugs. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in our gut and help to keep the immune system balanced, fight infection and decrease the time needed to recover from a cold. Probiotics work in several ways to protect us. They help us to digest food, produce substances to protect our gut lining from invading bacteria, and help to outnumber the bad bacteria so they cannot proliferate and make us sick. Taking a probiotic supplement and eating fermented foods ensures that we get many different kinds of beneficial bacteria.

    Avoid foods that deplete the immune system like sugar, alcohol and processed foods. These foods have been shown to increase inflammation in the body. As inflammation increases immune function decreases. Certain spices like turmeric, rosemary, garlic, oregano, ginger, among others have been shown to decrease inflammation and increase immune function. Adding these spices to our everyday cooking can give our immune system a little extra help. Mushrooms have medicinal properties that have been shown to increase the body’s natural immune system. Adding mushrooms like, shiitake or maitake, to soups and stews is an easy way to boost immunity. Increasing colorful veggies and fruit provides nutrients the body needs to fight off colds.

    Taking a multivitamin daily will make sure your body is getting the essential nutrients it needs to function properly.

    For your body to run efficiently you must stay hydrated. Dehydration leads to dry and cracked mucus membranes, which are our first line of defense against bacteria entering our body. Be sure to drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Adding fresh squeezed lemon, cucumber or some crushed berries will make this task easier to accomplish. Bone broths are packed with nutrients, taste great and also help to keep us hydrated. Herbal teas are another tasty, nutritious way to add to hydration status.

    Always wash your hands. This is pretty much common sense and I'm sure you’ve heard it before but it can really help decrease your risk of catching a cold. When we touch surfaces that other people have touched we can pick up their germs. These germs can enter our body through our mucus membranes. Simply using soap and water before touching your face and especially before eating can help to prevent the spread of germs.

    Other helpful tips include exercising regularly, going to bed before midnight and decreasing stress.

    To learn more about Dr. Hanlon please call 631-421-1848 to schedule a free 10 minute consult.



    http://innersourcehealth.com/Siobhan.aspx

     


    Pregnancy Preparation

    Research shows that a healthy pregnancy begins months prior to conception. It is in this pre-pregnancy time that a mom-to-be can begin healthy lifestyle choices. Especially important are improving the basics of health, such as diet, sleep, exercise and relaxation work, to help ensure a healthy start for the baby and a safe pregnancy for the mother.
    Throughout the pregnancy it is important to maintain a healthy weight for your height and body type. Gentle exercise and a healthy diet will keep your body functioning at an optimal level. Nutrient-dense foods can help achieve this goal while avoiding excess weight gain, which would decrease the risk of blood sugar problems while pregnant, known as gestational diabetes.
    Methylated folate may be the most important supplement needed for women of childbearing age. A minimum of 400 mcg per day is needed before and during pregnancy in order to prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. What most doctors do not even know is that common folic acid, the form found in most prenatal vitamins, may actually be useless to some woman who posses a defect in their MTHFR gene. This gene is needed to convert inactive folic acid to the active form, methylfolate. When the gene is defective, it can also lead to blood clots during pregnancy and miscarriages. A simple blood test can identify women with MTHFR defects. For all pre-pregnant, and pregnant women, excellent natural sources of the right folate forms include: beans, lentils, spinach, asparagus, and avocado.
    For the best care be sure to speak to your doctor regarding a prenatal vitamin and healthy lifestyle habits.


    References:

    "Recommendations." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Jan. 2012. Web. 12 July 2014.

    Dr. Lynch, "Is MTHFR Affecting Your Pregnancy?" MTHFRNet. N.p., 24 May 2013. Web. 12 July 2014.

    Click here to learn more about Dr. Siobhan Hanlon

     


    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

    CLICK HERE FOR FULL NEWSLETTER

     


    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

    CLICK HERE FOR NEWSLETTER

     


    Black cohosh contamination causing liver problems – what can we learn?


    Patients often ask me “is there really a difference between the herbs and vitamins you use in your practice, and the supplements I can get at Whole Foods or at the Vitamin Shoppe?”

    My answer is: “yes, often there is.”

    Federal laws regulating vitamins and supplements do not require that companies check their sources for quality, quantity or toxic contaminants. And generally, companies that sell vitamins and herbs do not test these for quality themselves they rely on the manufacturer of the supplement to do it, which is akin to allowing the fox protect the hen house.

    Does Black Cohosh Really Cause Liver Damage?

    Black cohosh is an herb well known for its help with hormonal balance in peri-menopausal and menopausal women. It is also helpful for mood disorders, especially depression.

    A recent article from the American Botanical Council highlights some of the on-going problems within the natural products industry (1). In this article in particular, several reports claimed an association between black cohosh and liver damage.

    When examined more thoroughly, it appears that the products implicated were made of other herbs in order to keep costs low. Poor quality control and false labeling is not new. It has happened before with other herbs like bilberry (used for diabetes and eye care), echinacea (used for immune support) and gingko (used for circulation support).

    What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

    The best way to protect yourself is to be an active consumer and research the companies that you are using. Call their quality control departments and partner with us by letting companies know that you care.

    At Inner Source Health, we would not give a patient a supplement we would not take ourselves. We screen companies based on their testing methods, their raw batch tests and their finished batch analyses. The vitamins we use are all independently tested and verified, both for content (making sure the right herbs and vitamins are in there) and quality (making sure that common toxins like heavy metals and pesticides are not).


    Dr. Anne Williams is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at Inner Source health in New York City. She graduated from Bastyr University in Seattle, and is well-known for her work with skin health, children and chronic disease care. More about her can be found by visiting: http://www.innersourcehealth.com/anne-williams.aspx

    References:

    1 - American Botanical Council Press release: Herbal Quality Consortium Publishes Major Article on Black Cohosh Adulteration. May 28, 2013
    http://cms.herbalgram.org/press/2013/ADU_Black_Cohosh_PR.html

     


    Could vitamins and nutrition prevent the next Newtown shooting?

    Dr. Peter's blog on Psychology Today

    03.05.2013

    Can vitamins help prevent the next Newtown? Studies suggests good nutrition and the right vitamins may help stem violence and significantly help behavior in juvenile delinquency.

    Read more on dr. Peter's Inner Source blog.

    Click Here for Psychology Today blog?

     


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

    Does environment cause your genes to turn up disease?

    4.26.2012

    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 InnerSourceHealth.com.

    References:

    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.

     


    wrestling with wrist pain? some natural answers for carpal tunnel syndrome

    02-02-2012

    Carpal tunnel can be caused by a number of different factors.

    Most people who suffer from carpal have issues with repetitive motion: typically, we see patients who type at a computer: graphic designers, movie editors, etc. may be prone. In these cases, it is a key to keep the proper ergonomic form, meaning the way a person sits and holds their body can help stave off carpal tunnel.

    What can help carpal tunnel heal? Water, B vitamins, fish oil and anti-inflammatory herbs can be quite helpful, and will have little or no side effects (unlike conventional over the counter anti-inflammatories, which kill about 36,000 people a year). Anti-inflammatory diet choices such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish is very helpful to lower the body's immune reactiveness, which will contribute to pain. Sleep is important for repair. Sometimes, using a soft brace during physical stressors can help limit progression of the problem, but should not be used 24 hours a day, but instead only when support is most needed.

    In the patients we have worked with, we have found in about 30% of cases, the issue is actually not in the wrist area, but in the shoulder. So checking into tight shoulders and nerve impingement closer to the spine can be important.

    And finally, no matter what the factors that may cause it, we will use acupuncture and wrist adjustment/alignment techniques to help it feel better and heal faster. In many cases, even long term chronic pain, natural medicines have a lot to offer to heal carpal tunnel syndrome.

     


    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.

     


    Folic Acid - the better equalizer

    Dr. Peter's Psychology Today BlogPost

    6-27-11

    Can a simple B vitamin jump start depression healing better than piling on another medication?...

    Click to article here

     


    Supplementation with vitamins reduce breast cancer risk by 30%

    12-4-2010

    A study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting in April 2010 suggests that vitamins and calcium supplements appear to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Researchers from Puerto Rico shared a study of over 700 patients showed that increasing age, family history of breast cancer, and lack of breast feeding history will all increase risk. The lead author of the study emphasized that the beneficial effect of the vitamins occur over time (meaning it is important to consistently take them over time) and megadoses of vitamins are not needed.

    The lead author Jaime Matta, Ph.D., professor in the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico, suggests that the vitamins help keep the DNA stable, so there is less chance of mutation (changes in the genes that can cause cancer to develop).

    "We're not talking about mega doses of these vitamins and calcium supplements, so this is one way to definitely reduce risk."


    Reference:
    American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010, Washington, D.C., April 17-21, 2010. ?

     


    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

     


    Vitamin D and Depression

    vitamin D for mood

    June 2010 - written by Dr. Peter Bongiorno

    Dr. Peter publishes a peer-reviewed research analysis summarizing studies of vitamin D and its implications in depression and mood disorder. Published by Protocol's Professional Educator.

    click here to read

     


    Here's Comes the Sun

    Sunlight and Vit D Prevents Cancer

    March 18, 2010

    Nature provides us with what we need to keep our bodies healthy. Along with fresh water, exercise, sleep and good food, adequate sunlight is an important part of nature to help keep our circadian rhythms in healthy motion, as well as help convert vitamin D in our skin.

    One study from the National Cancer Institute in 2002 showed that ovarian and prostate cancers occurred less in people who get regular sun. And people who received regular sun as a part of their work day have even greater reductions in breast and colon cancer too (1). The only group that had increased cancer rates was in non-melanoma skin cancer – so people at higher risk for skin cancer may need to limit exposure.

    One of the reasons sunlight may be helpful is due to the increased levels of vitamin D in our bodies from sunlight. Very recent and encouraging animal research even shows that tumors can start to disappear when injected with vitamin D (2). Other studies have shown deficiencies in vitamin D will contribute to breast cancer (3) and colo-rectal cancer (4). It seems when there is not enough vitamin D around, the cancer cells keep a signal going that allows them to grow further. Furthermore, the immune tends to remain more balanced with adequate vitamin D, which may be a reason it is helpful in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.

    To allow nature to heal, remember to go out and get regular sunlight – a reasonable amount is 15 minutes every morning during non-peak hours. Those at higher risk for skin cancer should speak with their doctors first.

    1. Freedman DM, Dosemeci M, McGlynn K. Sunlight and mortality from breast, ovarian, colon, prostate, and non-melanoma skin cancer: a composite death certificate based case-control study. Occup Environ Med. 2002 Apr59(4):257-62.

    2. Clarke S. In Tests, Vitamin D Shrinks Breast Cancer Cells. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/study-vitamin-d-kills-cancer-cells/story?id=9904415 accessed March 18, 2010.

    3. Li Laine O. et al. Vitamin D Deficiency Promotes Human Breast Cancer Growth in a Murine Model of Bone Metastasis. Cancer Research 70, 1835, March 1, 2010. Published Online First February 16, 2010

    4. Bischoff-Ferrari H. Health effects of vitamin D. Dermatol Ther. 2010 Jan23(1):23-30.

     


    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.