Each of my summaries written below, takes an important medical article from a scientific journal, and translates it for you, the layperson. A particular topic is chosen if it has important information on weight loss, or fitness, or general health. I try to stick to the facts. It is up to you to translate that information into something that is relevant for you.

Do Low-Fat Diets Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes?

July 19th, 2010 2 comments

Most of you heard about the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), whether or not you realize it. If you are post-menopausal and stopped using your estrogen patches because of the increased risk of breast cancer, this is the group of women that provided the data. More than one study was done in the WHI. Besides the postmenopausal hormone trial, there was the calcium plus Vitamin D trial, and most importantly, there was the low-fat diet trial.

This particular slice of WHI followed 48, 000 women over the age of 50 from 1993 to 2005. Half were asked to follow a low-fat diet, and the other half were asked to follow their usual diet. So, how did the low-fat diet women fare over the long-haul? Read more…

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The Effect of a High-Fat Diet on Your Arteries

July 19th, 2010 No comments

Benefit of Low-Fat Over Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Endothelial Health in Obesity*

Low-carbohydrate diets (Atkins) work. People lose weight. Blood pressure improves. Cholesterol levels, especially triglycerides, come down. Sounds great, but is there any other information to the contrary? Read more…

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Weight Gain Is A Side Effect of Some Medications

July 19th, 2010 1 comment

How many medications are you on? Do any of those medications make you gain weight? If not outright weight gain, do any of those medications make it difficult to lose weight? You might be surprised at the following list Read more…

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Can Diet Soda Cause Diabetes?

June 27th, 2010 19 comments

My article here is a translation, for the layperson, of the medical article, “Soft Drink Consumption and Risk of Developing Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and the Metabolic Syndrome in Middle-Aged Adults in the Community” *

Although it may not make any sense, diet soda may contribute to the development of diabetes. This study did not look at diabetes specifically, but looked at “Metabolic Syndrome.” Some of you may remember Metabolic Syndrome as “Syndrome X”. The name was changed a few years ago.

Read more…

Soda (Including Diet Soda) Increases, but Cheese Reduces, The Risk of Diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome (Review of the Article: Dietary Intake and the Development of the Metabolic Syndrome: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Community Study *)

June 27th, 2010 9 comments

Both soda and diet soda are associated with the development of “Metabolic Syndrome”, which is a constellation of changes in our metabolism. It includes diabetes or pre-diabetes, as well as high blood pressure. The link to “read more” leads you to an analysis of a medical article, translated for the layperson.  Read more…

Can Someone Who Takes Coumadin (Warfarin) Still Eat Greens?

June 7th, 2010 2 comments

Someone taking Coumadin wanted to know why her INR was so different every time she had it checked at her doctor’s office. It is probably because she ate different amounts of green leafy vegetables from day-to-day, and week-to-week. The Vitamin K in green vegetables counteracts the effect of the medication. Green leafy vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, but doctors frequently tell their patients taking Coumadin to avoid greens.  That is one way to deal with the problem. Or, you can eat greens, but you need to take in the same amount of Vitamin K every day so that the dose of Coumadin can be adjusted.  Well, even people who love spinach will get tired of eating spinach every day. They might like to eat kale instead of spinach every once in a while!

It is not easy, but it is possible, to  eat the same amount of Vitamin K every day.  It just takes a bit of extra thought when you are preparing your meals. The USDA web site has a list of the Vitamin K content of foods, so that you can estimate the amount of greens you can eat from day to day, and still keep your Vitamin K intake level. This first link is sorted by Vitamin K content , and this second link is sorted alphabetically.

If you do choose to eats greens every day, take it seriously and be careful. There is a very, very good reason why you are on Coumadin, and it is simply not worth the risk if you cannot be consistent.

Can Yerbe Maté Tea Help People Lose Weight?

June 7th, 2010 2 comments

Yerbe maté is used in South America to make tea and soft drinks. Some believe it helps with weight loss. Is there any data? Read more…

Audio interview with Dr. Soran Khalsa on Vitamin D

May 17th, 2010 1 comment

For those of you interested in Vitamin D, there is an interview with a physician, Dr. Soran, who specializes in Integrative Medicine, and recently wrote a book called the Vitamin D Revolution.  You can listen to the interview on http://blog.VitaminDRevolution.com.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the audio buttons. The first few minutes of the show consists of another physician discussing the Influenza vaccine, then Dr. Soran (as he prefers to be called) begins. He discusses the risks of Vitamin D deficiency beyond osteoporosis (cancer, infections) but he also discusses how he supplements his deficient patients. It is well worth the time to listen.

Along those same lines, a scientific study* that looked at once-a-year high dose Vitamin D supplementation in older women was recently published.  The intervention group of the study received 500,000 international units of cholecalciferol (D3) once a year, and actually experienced more falls and fractures than the placebo group that received no supplementation.  The lesson to be learned is Vitamin D is important, but don’t take it all at once, once a year.

* Sanders, K. M., A.L. Stuart, E.J. Williamson, J. A. Simpson, M. A. Kotowicz, D. Young, G. C. Nicholson “Annual High-Dose Oral Vitamin D and Falls and Fractures in Older Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial” JAMA 2010;303(18):1815-1822

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Good reviews for “Skinny Is Overrated”

May 13th, 2010 No comments

Three, four, or maybe even five years ago, I started writing a book geared to my patients.  They didn’t want to be tortured with scientific information.  All they wanted was for me to tell them what to eat.  And thus, Skinny Is Overrated was born.  Writers never know how a book will fare, and neither did I. As a new writer without a publicity machine, reviews are critical for long term success.  There have been 4 positive reviews on Amazon, and now two more reviews on other sites, which you can read by clicking the links below.



These reviews were done by people who love to read, and post reviews,not for money, but for their love of books.

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Grapes, wine or Resveratrol for a Longer Life?

May 3rd, 2010 2 comments

Grapes, wine and resveratrol have received a lot of press, although wine to prevent heart attacks is old news. So, for a longer life, should you eat grapes, drink red wine, or buy resveratrol supplements at the health food store?

To answer this question, we need to backtrack a bit first. No one is sure whether it is the alcohol or the antioxidants in wine that protect our hearts. For a time, people believed it was the resveratrol in wine that accounted for the French Paradox: the paradox being that the French people eat a high-fat diet but don’t have high rates of heart disease.  But, not all wines are created equally: some have more resveratrol than others. Grape vines under stress (for example, when under attack by fungus) produce resveratrol. As such, wines from upstate New York have high levels of this antioxidant because of the cold, damp climate. Red wine has more resveratrol than white wine, because this antioxidant is found in the skin. Red wine is fermented with the skins, but white wine is not. But, whether red or white, from California or New York, there simply is not much resveratrol in wine.  So, should we buy resveratrol supplements at the health food store for a longer healthier, life? Read more…

This site provides scientific and information on health for the general public. By no means, is this site meant to render medical advice. Nothing can take the place of regular medical care from a competent professional. This is especially true if you are diabetic, or hypertensive, or overweight, or especially obese. True, diet and exercise help people live longer and healthier lives, but it is best to be safe. Make an appointment with your physician for a check-up.

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