Archive for the 'Nutrition' Category

An over-the-counter Amino Acid is Found to Lower Blood Pressure

A research study performed at my alma mater.


The 7 meta-analyses that were included in this umbrella review reported significant positive benefits for reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive adults by 2.2 to 5.4 mm Hg and 2.7 to 3.1 mm Hg, respectively, reducing diastolic blood pressure in pregnant women with gestational hypertension by 4.9 mm Hg, and reducing the length of stay in the hospital for surgical patients; in addition, 2 of the 3 meta-analyses indicated a 40% reduction in the incidence of hospital-acquired infections. However, these positive results should be considered with caution because statistically significant heterogeneity was observed in 5 of the 7 meta-analyses.


Some evidence appears to support the benefit of l-arginine supplementation for reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive adults and reducing the incidence of hospital-acquired infections and the length of stay in the hospital for surgical patients. Given the limitations of the included studies, interpretations should be made with caution.

On Coffee and Espresso Drinking and Brewing

Espresso is less deleterious to drink than coffee. It’s brewing process which requires a higher temperature, shorter time while under high pressure extracts fewer of the toxins other forms of making coffee produce. Additionally, freshly ground beans for any coffee making process decreases the oxidation of the good components of the bean, namely minerals and antioxidants, which increases its beneficial nutritional content and flavor. The time of day one drinks either type of brew is important, as well. When our normally-occurring (diurnal, sleep-wake cycle) hormonal late-morning to early afternoon drop (11 am – 2 pm) in cortisol first occurs, this is the best time to consume. I have been drinking espresso, not coffee, grinding beans right before brewing and adhering to this drinking schedule daily for several years. I recommend it to those who drink coffee regularly. However, the nervous system stimulation that caffeine provides should not be abused. I believe, one should drink no more than one cup of coffee a day regardless of the brewing process.
I recommend you open the link and read of the benefits coffee provide.

Eye-strain Supplements

We have come to understand that there are two standard distances for testing our vision, near and far, which are commonly associate with reading and driving.  These two distances alone are not sufficient when considering good vision function and eye health.  Between ‘near-vision and ‘far-vision’ add (computer) screen-distance and television-distance.   I recommend when one feels eye-strain frequently change one’s gaze by looking away form the screen through a window to outside the building, apply a drop of eye-lubricant at night and take a natural food supplement bilberry or lutein (my preference).  Respectively, they promote circulation to and within the eye and help to filter light.

The Best Powdered Protein

WNATI recommend a very high quality powdered-protein brand; Jarrow Unflavored Whey Protein.  Try it in cereal milk or oat meal.  A high-protein breakfast is vital for good nutrition in addition to a quality daily-food-supplement (one-a-day type) from either: Twin Labs, Schiff or Solgar.  A few more supplements are recommended, as well, like a joint compound with chondriotin sulfate and glucose amine, which are derived from shark cartilage, and time-released vitamin C and vitamin A.

NerveFix Supplement Comments

A patient recently inquired about a product for nerve pain: NerveFix. I recommend none and here’s why.

My attraction to holistic health care methods was, initially, to nutrition. After studying it extensively by having to have to take a battery of courses from biochemistry to intermediary metabolism to clinical nutrition, then realizing that there are so many variations with the retail products …sold AND none are regulated other than those with a “Standard Processing” (for herbs, mostly) designation, it is hard to assess what ingredients products have let alone their effectiveness.

The formula below is mostly homeopathic with the balance a variety of herbs, food extracts and minerals. Each have little or no documented effectiveness on the nervous system other than Chamomile and choline which are the only ones I have prescribed. Chamomile, like valerian root, is a very mild central nervous system depressant and choline helps replenish acetyl choline (a nervous system neurotransmitter). I suggest Twins Labs’ Super Choline.

I suggested to this patient, after determining there should be no harm in taking the formula, that since it is mostly homeopathic and seemingly very mild it be taken for the first two weeks in a larger dosage than that which the manufacturer suggests, and always with meals.

Reduced range-of-motion in the shoulder with numbness in the arm, does not warrant the use of a formula that advertises reducing nerve pain! In fact, one would need a formula that stimulates, not suppress, nerve supply. In this particular case, diminished range-of-motion in the shoulder is mostly an orthopedic not neurologic condition and could benefit from a ‘joint compound-like’ supplement which has glucose amine and condroitin sulfate which is derived from shark cartilage. I suggest Twin Labs’ Joint Fuel.

Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Aconitum napellus 6X, 12X, 30X, Belladonna 3X, 6X, 12X, 30X, Cantharis vesicatoria 6X, 12X, 30X, Ferrum phosphoricum 6x, 12x, Hypericum perforatum 3X, 6X, Kali phosphoricum 6X, 12X, Magnesium phosphoricum 8X, 12X, Phosphorus 6X, 12X, 30X, Spigelia anthelmia 3X, 6X, 12X, 30X.

Other Ingredients: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Anise, Benfotiamine, Betaine HCL, Chamomile, Choline (bitartrate), Deer Antler Velvet, Evening Primrose Oil, Gelatin, Glycerin, Inositol, Magnesium Stearate, Methyl Cobalamin, N-acetyl cysteine, Passion Flower, Pyridoxine HCL, Silica, Titanium Dioxide (natural mineral capsule color).

Recommended Food Supplement Companies

Solgar, Schiff, Thompson and Twin Labs are recommended food supplement companies.  Their quality of ingredients, mixtures (formulations) and, just as important, portions are superior to most other brands.

Here are a few ways and examples of how one can determine if a supplement is good or not.

The source from where the vitamins and minerals are derived is listed in parenthesis right next to the particular ingredient in the table of contents.  Ideally, a recognizable food name NOT a chemical name should be seen.  With cheaper brands of vitamin C, for example, “(ascorbic acid)” appears next to its quantity, not a natural food source like Acerola berries or Rose Hips. Although ascorbic acid is the isolated chemical component of vitamin C it is never found in nature this way.   If ascorbic acid is listed as its source the other naturally occurring components should also be seen elsewhere in the formula.  They are rutin, asperitin and bioflavonoids.  Additionally, ‘Time-released’ or ‘Sustain-released’ vitamin C is best because it slows its, otherwise, fast absorption.  This prevents burdening the kidneys with excess quantities at one time which results in the vitamin C being pushed into the bladder as a form of waste in the urine.

Well-formulated vitamin, mineral and herb tablets should include other naturally occurring components, as well, so assimilation is optimal and there is little stress to the digestive tract.  An example of a good ‘multi’ (daily food supplement, or one-a-day type tablet) is one with LOW quantities of the B-complex vitamins and in varied quantities.  Poor ‘multis’ include high and equal quantities of the B-complex vitamins to try to convince potential buyers that it is a ‘stress-tab’ (the B vitamins were known at one time to reduce stress – not so, now!) in addition to being a good all-around daily supplement.  The portions for B1, B2 and the like should NOT be the same, because in food they are varied.

Another example is vitamin A.  Good-quality vitamin A supplements are derived from (as seen in the contents chart in parenthesis) beta-carotene or fish oil.

Read more about nutrition at section of  I welcome your comments.

The Dangers of Grilling Meat

Cooking animal flesh over a hot open flame triggers a series of chemical reactions that yield a meal loaded with carcinogens.  Scientists have been warning us about this danger for two decades.  Cancer-causing compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) can form,  particularly when cooking animal flesh over high heat, which is common when  barbequing. These chemicals – the same chemicals that are found in cigarette  smoke – have been shown to cause cancer.

Is there a solution; a way to avoid filling your body with HCAs? Don’t grill  your meat (or don’t eat meat at all, since research suggests grilling vegetables  does not generate HCAs). The trouble with that “solution” is that we’ve been
cooking dinner over open fires for two million years. Taking pleasure in  grilling meat over a fire is so deeply ingrained in our blood that most people  aren’t about to change.

That said, researchers studying the production of heterocyclic amines during  the cooking process have discovered a number of “tricks” that may reduce the  risks posed while barbequing, either by interfering with the creation of HCAs or  inactivating them once they’re formed. For example, precooking a hamburger patty  for two minutes in a microwave before barbequing reduces heterocyclic amines by  a whopping 90 percent, according to research. Adding vitamin antioxidants to the meat or marinating it  in antioxidant-rich spices before cooking appears to work almost as well. When it comes to marinades, there are also important things to know. First,  not just any marinade seems to work – old-style tomato-based barbecue sauces  actually increase heterocyclic amine production, while marinades like teriyaki  sauce reduce heterocyclic amines produced during cooking by half. Those packets  of store-bought powder marinades that you add oil and vinegar to also seem to be  surprisingly effective.

There is also another approach to reducing the harm caused by heterocyclic  amines. A number of foods have been identified that neutralize heterocyclic  amines in the intestine and prevent them from causing DNA damage. For example,
several studies suggest that the Lactobacilli strains in yogurt do  this, so serving yogurt on or with meat meals provides additional protection  because it actually reduces the harmful effects of these chemicals. The bottom line for anyone who wants to cook meat, whether chicken, beef,  pork or anything else on the grill is simple – make sure to marinate all meats  before cooking. When cooking ground beef, knead in herbs and/or vitamin E. Stick  with skinless chicken if cooking poultry. Always accompany barbecued meat with a  yogurt dish and a little alcohol, preferably stout ale; and use a yogurt salad  dressing or even something as simple as frozen yogurt for dessert. And, remember  that you can cook vegetables on the grill without the danger of  heterocyclic amine formation – and increase the nutritional content of your meal  at the same time.

The Truth About Taking Vitamins

Although countless research articles have been published and nearly everyone has consumed vitamin products at some point during their lives, there are still quite a few misconceptions regarding vitamins, particularly vitamins in supplemental form. Here are a few of the common myths and truths about vitamins so you can make more informed decisions when it comes to your health.

Myth: The more vitamins you take, the healthier you’ll be.

Truth: We’ve been convinced, primarily through media-fostered misinformation, that mega-doses of vitamins are necessary for health. However, research has shown just the opposite is true. Since most supplements are colloidal (large molecule), synthetic, and contain inorganic elements, binders and fillers, most of the health benefits are lost or cannot be utilized properly.

Myth: If you take a daily multivitamin, you don’t need to worry about what you eat.

Truth: Vitamins cannot function without the energy generated from complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean sources of protein. Therefore, it is important to consume a variety of foods that supply energy and vitamins naturally. If deficiencies exist, additional supplements in the right form and combination can compensate for these deficiencies.

Myth: If you take vitamins regularly, you don’t need to exercise.

This is an excerpt from my monthly free newsletter which you can register for at the “Free Newsletter” link at

Water – Essential for Life and Health

Warm weather causes increased perspiration which requires the ingestion of more fluids, none of which is as beneficial as water. The replenishment of electrolytes, small substances found in fluids essential in preventing dehydration, is just as important. Gatorade is the most recognized and one of the best electrolyte replenishment drinks, and if you ever tasted it it has a light sweet flavor.
Likewise, natural fruit juices (excluding orange and other citrus products, because of their acidity and low-nutrient contents) do just as well as Gatorade for most of us as our needs are not that great. Intense activities, which result in large amounts of perspiration, require Gatorade or a homemade mixture of two-thirds water and one-third fruit juice. At room temperature it is easiest to digest and least irritating for the esophagus and stomach. Also, one should not drink right after or before submersing in water.

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I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Electrolyte and Water Consumption

Electrolytes — Necessary Liquid Nutrients
Have you ever felt lightheaded or dizzy after enjoying the hot sun and then subsequently bloated after consuming large quantities of your favorite cold drink? Does it occur at the worst time — family cook-outs, friends’ parties, sporting events? The following tips may make your “fun in the sun” more enjoyable.
Long periods of perspiration deplete your body of fluids and electrolytes causing temporary mild dehydration. Electrolytes are small nutrients that are easily absorbed, but quickly depleted during perspiration. One should replenish electrolytes, which consist of mostly potassium and glucose, with a high quality sport drink such as Gatoraide or, better yet, a natural fruit juice mixed equally with water. Important as it is, water by itself contains no electrolytes and will not provide complete relief. We drink it excessively in an attempt to replace electrolytes, when it possess none, leaving us feeling bloated. Drink it slowly, at room temperature when the body cools and perspiration stops. Never drink when out of breath.
Water — For Life and Disease Prevention…

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