Fastrack Archives February 2013
Friday February 1, 2013
The Listen to Your Body Diet
Richard Kunin, MD is boarded in both psychiatry and neurology. He is also the founder and president of the Orthomolecular Health Medicine Society and one of the world's experts in cellular biochemistry that is anchored in nutrition.
In this video, Dr. Kunin explains his "Listen to Your Body Diet." He reviews the role of sugars and carbohydrates in cellular metabolism and correlates this with how you feel.
Monday February 4, 2013
Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Boost Brain Repair?
Researchers from Tel Aviv University published an article in PLoS ONE in January of 2013 on how hyperbaric oxygen treatment can resuscitate the dormant neurons around a stroke. This area around the stroke, or peri-infarction area may regain function decades after the stroke. The researchers correlated the effects of this treatment with CT and SPECT scans to identify the dead areas. It is very interesting that neuroplasticity is still possible even 20 years after a stroke.
It would be interesting to combine a number of therapies with hyperbaric oxygen such as infrared light, acupuncture, nutritional medicine, and neurofeedback.
Tuesday February 5, 2013
The Hip Resurfacing Scandal
According to an article in the NY Times in January of 2013, it appears that Johnson and Johnson, the manufacturer of the DePuy metal on metal hip resurfacing prosthesis, knowingly and willingly sold this product even though they had full knowledge that it was defective and would cause widespread disability, suffering, and even deaths. More that 10,000 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson and Johnson. Complications aside from premature failure of the joint include poisoning from cobalt that can lead to neuropathies, hypothyroidism, hypercoagulable blood, cardiomyopathy, possibly cancer, and death.
If convicted, as it looks like will be the case, this would be a civil offense, but in our opinion is also a criminal offense and should be prosecuted as such.
Dr. Len had a metal on metal joint resurfacing done in 2010 that led to most of these complications and he and Nurse Vicki tell the story of how he nearly died from the experience. You can read about his story by clicking here.
Wednesday February 6, 2013
Can Diet Treat ADD and ADHD?
A study published in the journal, Pediatrics, in January of 2013 concluded that adding essential fatty acids could treat children with ADD and ADHD. It went on to state that adopting a healthy dietary pattern that includes fish, vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains is a good idea because most kids with ADD and ADHD consume a diet high in fast foods, red meats, processed meat, potato chips, high-fat dairy, and soft drinks. They found it was unusual for a child to have these conditions if they consumed a healthy diet.
We have known for decades that essential fatty acid (EFA) metabolism is abnormal with kids who have ADD and ADHD. They actually consume as much EFAs as normal kids, but they cannot metabolize them into their downchain metabolites that include EPA, DHA, arachidonic acid, and gammalinolenic acid. It is possible to treat these kids with EFAs and lower symptoms along with the dyslexia, dyspraxia, and night blindness they so often suffer from. There is a product called Efalex that has the proper balance of these EFAs.
Thursday February 7, 2013
Preventive Medicine Saves Money but Early Detection May Not
Seventy five percent of health care spending is for preventable chronic diseases. If you can prevent these diseases from occurring, it stands to reason that it will cost far less to deal with them. However, there is massive confusion about what preventive medicine is. What it is not, is early detection.
Preventive medicine requires living a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise, adequate sleep, stress reduction, avoidance of toxic environmental exposures, managing weight and having a meaningful purpose in life. This is about personal empowerment through self-care and is achievable through education.
Early detection is often not cost effective and may lead to unnecessary expendatures, over-testing, worry, and overtreatment, and worse outcomes according to the United States Preventive Services Task Force.
Because health care has become a business first, and a service if possible, it is difficult to find the right balance of self-care and the use of our health care system for both early detection and treatment of health care conditions.
Friday February 8. 2013
Placebo is as effective as drugs to prevent migraines in kids
According to an article published in the January issue of the journal, Pediatrics, placebo is as effective as drugs in preventing migraine headaches in children. Only two drugs, Topamax and trazadone, worked better than placebo, and the very minimal benefits were not worth the risks from side effects.
The benefit of placebo was a reduction from six headaches per month to three. The two drugs reduced headaches by one additional headache per month. Drugs such as inderal (beta blocker) and Depakote were no better than placebo!
So why are doctors not prescribing placebos for migraine headaches in kids? Would it be more ethical to use dangerous treatments? Hardly!
There are many ways to deal with headaches in both kids and adults such as chiropractic, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, meditation, yoga, tai chi, qigong, massage, psychotherapy, orthopedic medicine, and photonic stimulation (infrared light therapy).
Dr. Len has used photonic stimulation to treat and prevent most all kinds of headaches very successfully. It has been unusual for him to not relieve a headache within 5 minutes (no not a misprint!) and to prevent further headaches using this plus other integrative strategies.
Monday February 11, 2013
Do Antioxidants Preserve Youth?
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and that helps us fight inflammation and disease. However, stimulation from free radicals also extends life by activating cellular repair genes! Antioxidants inhibit this response. Some antioxidants, such as beta carotene and retinol can actually shorten life in certain settings. A retrospective review of 68 studies showed that there was an increase in the rate of early death by 5%.
When free radical stress is increased in round worms their life expectancy up to nearly 60%. When these worms were fed antioxidants to neutralize these free radicals that increase in life expectancy disappeared. The amount of oxidative damage caused by the increased levels of free radicals had no bearing on how long they lived. An article in PLoS Biology in 2010 when worms were bred to overproduce superoxide free radicals, they did not develop high levels of oxidative damage and on the average lived 32% longer. Vitamin C prevented this increase in life span.
Is it a good idea to take antioxidants? The answer to this question lies in the situation. Antioxidants can be lifesaving by quenching free radicals, but they do not extend life, and they may shorten it...smile... Mother Nature is a bit too complex for our simple minds!
Tuesday February 12, 2013
Bioelectric Fingerprint of Cancer Cells
Can changing bioelectric signals halt tumor growth? Biologists at Tufts University discovered a bioelectric signal that identifies cells that are likely to become cancerous. And by altering the membrane charge can block the development of cancer! Tumor sites had a unique level of depolarized membrane voltage relative to surrounding tissue that can be recognized by their distinctive signal.
These scientists went on to show that by changing the bioelectric code and hyperpolarize tumor cells that they could suppress their abnormal growth.
Wednesday February 13, 2013
Marriage Reduces the Risk of a Heart Attack
According to an article in the January 2013 issue of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, being married reduces the risk of fatal and non-fatal heart attack by about 50% in both men and women and across all ages. They evaluated more than 15,000 acute coronary events over 10 years.
The reasons for this finding is not clear but could possibly be related to having a better support system, being happy, home cooking, better health habits, having someone to share with and care about...these are just ideas. What do you think?
Thursday February 14, 2013
MRIs Show MDs Can Feel Patients' Pain
Could it be that it is the relationship between the doctor and patient that does the healing rather than the drugs, surgeries, and technologies they rely on? You betcha! A study published in the January 2013 issue of Molecular Psychiatry showed that the same locations in the brain that light up when patients receive placebo therapies are similarly activated in the brains of MDs when they administer what they think are effective treatments.
Behavioral research suggests MD expectations have a profound effect on patients' clinical outcomes and have a strong basis in placebo. In this study researchers studied the fMRIs of MDs while they were giving treatment to patients that they believed would work.
Friday February 15, 2013
How to Treat Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is a repetitive stress injury that results from improper stroke technique and occurs in the lateral epicondyle for backhands and the medial epicondyle for the serve and forehand. All too often the joint is treated with a cortisone injection and physical therapy and the person is told to return to playing tennis when the pain is resolved. Unless proper stroke production is taught there's little reason to expect that this injury will recur.
A study published in JAMA in February of 2013 measured the effectiveness of cortisone injections and physical therapy over one year. They found that a single cortisone injection was associated with poorer outcomes after one year and higher recurrence rates than a placebo injection. Adding 8 weeks of physical therapy did not significantly improve the long term outcome. We know that cortisone has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect which is very effective in the short term, but we also know that it slows down the healing process substantially!
We use infrared light therapy because it just as effective as an anti-inflammatory agent and it also speeds up healing by about 50% according to NASA studies.
Monday February 18, 2013
Vitamin D Deficiency
There is a pandemic of vitamin D deficiency because we don't get the UVB rays from sunlight that are needed to make it ourselves. This leads to not only an increased risk of osteoporosis but also of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, several cancers, heart attacks, strokes, and seasonal affective disorder. Vitamin D replacement is necessary for most people. The immune effects of vitamin D are also reviewed.
Tuesday February 19, 2013
Do Vegetarians Really have a Lower Risk for Heart Disease?
The January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionposted an article claiming that vegetarians had 32% less heart disease than those eating meat and fish. The type of meat eaten was not disclosed. There are major differences between feed lot beef and grass fed beef or wild game that went unaddressed.
Of course it is misleading and generalizing to put all meats into the same category when there are major differences in each of them. So, the conclusion that vegetarians have a lower risk for heart disease may well be true for feed lot beef, but we need another study to evaluate both grass fed beef and wild game.
Wednesday February 20, 2013
Is melatonin effective cancer treatment?
Melatonin has a wide range of benefits in people with cancer. It is an immune booster (increases NK cells that fight cancer), inhibits angiogenesis, increases apoptosis, alleviates many of the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation thereapy, and is safe, affordable, and available.
Research from Cancer Treatment Centers of America shows that melatonin in a dosage from 10-40 mg per day increased the one year survival of state 4 cancers by 45%. The five year survival rate for stage four cancers using conventional therapies in the US is about 2%.
Melatonin has many other metabolic effects. To learn more about this click here.
Thursday February 21, 2013
High Calcium Intake Doubles Risk for Heart Disease
Calcium intake above 1400 mg per day is associated with doubling the risk of dying from a heart attack in both men and women. There are many studies showing that in women with osteoporosis who take large doses of calcium are at risk for both heart attacks and stroke.
Although it may be logical to try and replace the lost calcium in bone in osteoporosis by taking in large doses, it turns out that there's a tendency for bone to lost calcium in this setting and that adding large doses to our diet may force a little calcium into bone, it also forces it into our arteries leading to more arteriosclerosis.
Most osteoporosis is caused by deficiencies in more than calcium; vitamin D, vitamin K, and a wide range of minerals that include magnesium, boron, silica, copper, zinc, and others are a large part of the problem.