The December 12 issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) contains a study by Moman A Mohammad and several colleagues in Sweden who examined the risk of myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) in relation to various national holidays, sporting events along with the time of day.1https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k4811
This study has received significant press attention over the past few days because of one reported observation, the risk for heart attacks is highest on Christmas Eve. Given...Read more
In recent years an increasing emphasis has been placed on scientific studies that derive data from humans rather than from animals. This is in part because many people are uncomfortable with the image of cute little furry creatures being subjected to tortuous experiments (think Watership Down) and also because animal experiments may not predict human responses under similar conditions. Having a contrarian streak buried deep within my genome, I find myself paddling against this tide and often find myself unwilling to ignore animal trials, particularly when they seem to provide useful...Read more
Collagen has been a personal passion of mine since graduate school where my thesis tells the story of how collagen and elastin cross-links are affected by d-penicillamine, a remarkable amino acid.
Collagen has been around since metazoan times. Its structure is elegantly simple and simply elegant. Glycine-proline-Any amino acid is a base unit that, when repeated about 1,000 times, becomes one strand of collagen. Three strands wind together to make a single collagen molecule.
Collagen is a major part of the infrastructure of all mammals, fish, birds,...Read more
A new paper from researchers at Harvard University confirms earlier evidence that exercise is protective against prostate cancer mortality.
In this new study published in the October 2018 issue of European Urology, men who engaged most frequently in vigorous activities had a 30% lower risk of advanced prostate cancer, a 25% lower risk of developing advanced prostate cancer, and a 25% lower risk of dying from prostate cancer, compared to men who exercised the least. Data was gathered from 49,160 men aged 40-75 enrolled in the Professionals Follow-up Study who were tracked from 1986...Read more
When I ran a private naturopathic practice, my stomach churned more at the thought of promoting myself than at eating a Big Mac chased by a box of Twinkies and a 40-ounce Coke.* I dreaded networking events and public talks, terrified that I might appear pushy or salesy. The result? I was the town’s best-kept secret.
As I followed a winding career path into medical writing and content marketing, I learned what I never understood in those early years of private practice. The first step to serving the people who need you most is letting them know that you exist. There are hundreds—even...Read more
We recently had the great pleasure of baking an apple pie in a wood cook stove and sharing it with our good friend and colleague Julianne Forbes, ND, who lives and practices in Bridgton, Maine. We traveled to Maine to check on a log cabin owned by the Schor family and were obligated to spend a cozy week there making sure the fireplace and wood stove were working adequately.
It’s apple season in Maine and Julianne was kind enough to help us eat a pie I had baked and polite enough not to complain that the crust was a bit burnt on one side. It takes a little longer to preheat a wood...Read more
The Rise and Regulation of Natural Skincare Products
As consumers become more and more aware of harmful ingredients in their skincare products, many are turning to “healthier” and “safer” options that include labels such as “natural” and “organic.”1 The term “organic” used in skincare products is not defined by the FDA, and the term “natural” has no legal definition.1,2 Without clear definitions and guidelines, consumers are increasingly swayed by savvy marketing techniques and may think that natural products do not have side effects. While natural products...Read more
This Sunday evening marks the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It will be the start of 5779. We will take time as this year comes to a close to appreciate the good things in our lives and to extend heartfelt wishes that the next year brings goodness to all of you.
There are some foods specific to this holiday that are eaten for their symbolism; we eat pomegranates and apples that are dipped in honey. In particular we eat honey in the hope that the coming year will be sweet.
I am in the habit each year at this time of doing a review of the scientific literature to...Read more
The Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) is an interprofessional association of integrative clinicians who embrace a person-centered, team-based approach to health care. As part of their mission to engage a community of health professionals that embrace global health traditions in the context of evidence-informed, person-centered care, they have created the AIHM Fellowship Program, a 1000-hour hybrid program that combines online learning, retreats, and...Read more
The new study published in Cell (covered here in NMJ) by UCLA researchers who report a possible mechanism for the ketogenic diet’s benefit in reducing seizures may suggest some new ways to think about a number of things. The researchers, led by Elaine Hsiao, suggest that following the ketogenic diet quickly shifts populations of bacteria that comprise the gut biome in favor of...Read more