Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Exercise is one of the most important elements in preserving health and promoting wellness. What are some health benefits of exercise?

Exercise gives you a  boost of energy to keep you going all day. It increases your metabolism by burning fat and maintaining a healthy weight. Blood flow is increased within the body, perfusing not only the organs but improving the look and feel of your skin. Studies have shown that with moderate exercise about 4-5 times a week, you can reduce your LDL "bad"cholesterol and raise your HDL "good" cholesterol. Regular exercise increases muscle tone and improves endurance, so you tire less.

Exercise plays a large role in lowering the risk of chronic illness like heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, and cancer. With exercise, insulin resistance decreases, which can prevent diabetes. It can also decrease or normalize blood pressure by  decreasing the resistance within the arterial system. Exercise reduces the stress hormone levels, like cortisol, which can improve sleep by restoring normal body rhythms. It also promotes well being by promoting better circulation and hormonal stimulation which can enhance your sex life. And last but not least, exercise makes you feel happier, sexier, and more energetic. So get moving! (Mayo Clinic).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Beans are nutritional powerhouses. They offer disease fighting antioxidants, fighting off cancer. They contain soluble fiber, which promote a healthy digestive tract and lower both serum cholesterol & triglycerides. Beans are full of protein & complex carbohydrates, providing energy to the muscles and the brain. They provide potassium, calcium, vitamin A, phosphorus, iron & the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin & folate). Beans have a low glycemic index, which provides energy over a sustained period of time by being slowly released into the bloodstream.

Did you know that one cup of beans deliver the same amount of protein in lean beaf? Some more advantages, they do not contain any saturated fats & they're inexpensive! Eat more beans!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

#Hepatitis A

How important is it to get vaccinated with the Hepatitis A vaccine?

Hepatitis A disease occurs worldwide. The incidence in the United States has substantially decreased since vaccination was recommended. Studies have shown a 92% decline in Acute Hepatitis A since 1995 and 2007 since vaccine administration.

Hepatitis A is spread through the fecal-oral route. It is more prevalent is low socioeconomic areas where there is a lack of adequate sanitation and the practice of poor hygiene. In the United States, the most common reported risk factor was international travel, mainly to Mexico and Central/South America, but also to Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. Other risk factors include sexual and household contact with another person with Hepatitis A, homosexual activity with men, food or water-borne outbreaks, and daycares.

Hepatitis A is acute, self-limited, rarely leading to liver failure. The incubation period averages about 30 days. Symptoms include fatigue, malaise, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, fever, and right upper abdominal pain. Within a few days to one week, dark urine, light-colored stools, jaundice (yellowish hue to the skin), and itching is noted.

The diagnosis is made by detecting Hepatitis A virus antibodies in the blood. Treatment is supportive care, rarely does it require hospitalization. Recovery can take anywhere from 3-6 months. In more severe cases with liver failure, aggressive supportive care is required and transfer to a facility that is capable of liver transplantation.

To prevent the spread of disease, adhere to sanitary practices, such as handwashing (the virus can survive up to four hours on the fingertips), heat foods appropriately, avoid water and food from endemic areas, and consider vaccination. 

The Hepatitis A vaccine can be administered above 12 months of age. It is a 2 step vaccine, with a 6 month gap between the first and second doses. After just the first dose, immunity increases to 94-100% within 4 weeks of vaccination. Immunity can persist for up to 8 years. Consult your physician prior to vaccination if you have any acute illness, bleeding disorder, a current Hepatitis infection, a past allergic reaction to the vaccine, or an immunocompromised state. The vaccine is not safe for children under the age of 12 months.
(cdc and uptodate.com)

Monday, August 23, 2010


Summer days are ending and the Fall is soon approaching. Are you still sneezing and sniffling? You may be suffering from hay fever, or allergic rhinitis. At this time of year, the culprit is most commonly, ragweed. Maturing ragweed flowers release tiny grains of pollen, which mount an immune response with histamine flooding the bloodstream. Symptoms of ragweed allergy are not only sneezing and sniffling, but you can also have red, itchy, puffy eyes, itchy throat, hives and in severe cases this can progress to sinus infections and asthma attacks.

Ragweed plants are most commonly found in rural areas of the Eastern states and the Midwest, but are found throughout the U.S. The ragweed grains are so light, they float easily on gentle breezes, as far as 400 miles out to sea and 2 miles up in the atmosphere. Some recent studies have shown that rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels are extending the ragweed season. The season starts in August and continues through mid-October.

Some tips to reduce Ragweed exposure are to avoid being outdoors 10am-4pm, keep windows closed in the car and in your house, use HEPA filters, change your clothes after being outside for prolonged periods, and shower before going to bed. If symptoms set in, try a saline nasal irrigation or over the counter antihistamines, like claritin, zyrtec, or benedryl. If symptoms are severe, talk to your doctor about prescription medications, like singulair and nasal steroid sprays. (Medscape and FP Essentials).

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted disease in the United States. It is associated with genital warts and cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva, penis, and anus. Does HPV also play a role in Head and Neck cancer?

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is diagnosed in about half a million individuals worldwide each year. Risk factors include smoking, smokeless tobacco, and alcohol consumption. Research has shown that in a subgroup of HNSCCs (Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma), HPV plays a role. While other subtypes of head and neck cancers have been declining, the incidence of oropharynx cancer (cancer around the tonsils and the base of the tongue) have been increasing in the United States and Western Europe. There is accumulating research that this is due to Human papilloma virus (HPV).

It is well established that the transmission of genital HPV infections is associated with sexual contact, and its prevalence increases among individuals with multiple sexual partners. But now it is well recognized that infection with HPV by itself is associated with  OPSCC (oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer) in cases with our without history of excessive exposure to the traditional risk factors for HNSCC (head and neck squamous cell carcinoma), that is alcohol and tobacco. Case-control studies have suggested that HPV-related head and neck cancers, particularly tonsillar and base of the tongue cancers (OPSCC), are associated with a high number of oral and vaginal sex partners.

So what can you do? Get tested annually and before getting involved with any new partner, use condoms to decrease the risk further, and talk to your physician about the Gardasil vaccination.
(AAFP, American Journal of Family Physicians, & uptodate.com)

Saturday, August 21, 2010


How beneficial is soy? Soy derived from soy bean, contains a number of isoflavones, which are plant-derived estrogenic compounds; however the estrogenic potency of soy is much less than that of estradiol (a form of estrogen in the human body). Studies have shown that the oil from soybeans have the capability of lowering cholesterol in some individuals, potentially decreasing the risk of heart disease. The FDA has approved the use of soy protein, about 25 g/day in conjunction with a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease. 

Additionally, soy has been reported to inhibit bone resorption in postmenopausal women, decreasing the risk of osteoporosis (bone loss). It decreases LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increases HDL cholesterol. It has also been reported that soy may have some antitumor effects, which are not related to its estrogenic activity. 

If you are taking estrogen-containing medications or you have a current or history of estrogen-dependent tumors (including breast cancer), decreased thyroid function, or any gastrointestinal problem, consult your physician before use.   

Friday, August 20, 2010

#REM sleep

During REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep the brain and nervous system are more active than during either wakefulness or deep sleep; the brain is active, displaying fast alpha waves and theta waves, but the body remains relatively motionless, providing rest for the body's structures and systems. REM is restorative to the brain by allowing for the replenishment of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters, which are stored in the brain are used up during the day, and then they are replenished during REM sleep. Increasing the amount of REM sleep by adding enough time in bed to ensure adequate sleep cycles can help to refresh neurotransmitters, which in turn help you to improve performance, mood, and personal energy. REM sleep also improves learning, memory storage, and mental organization. Studies have shown that intense periods of learning and training in our lives are usually accompanied by an increase of REM sleep. The longer we sleep, the more cycles we complete and the longer time we spend in restorative REM sleep. So get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep! (Balancing Act- A Mind-Body-Spirit Approach for Optimal health, Marco De La Cruz, M.D.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

#trans fats

What are trans fats? Trans fats are a man-made saturated fat. They are made by taking hydrogen gas and forcing it into oil, so now the essential fatty acids, (or "healthy fat") is converted to a different form chemically, a new type of fatty acid, called a trans fat. Trans fats are found in crisco, margarine and many packaged and snack foods. The hydrogenated oil found in trans fats are more stable, prolonging shelf life of most packaged foods. Hydrogenated oil will not go rancid as quickly as untreated oil and it has a higher melting point, often used in frying and pastries.

Trans fatty acids work to increase LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, and they also decrease HDL cholesterol, which is "good" cholesterol. This means that the fats in hydrogenated oil are far more damaging than even saturated fats, which have already determined to be harmful. There is also evidence to suggest that trans fatty acids may bioaccumulate in the body, because the digestive system has difficulty figuring out what to do with them. As a result, a diet high in trans fats will result in weight gain. Studies have shown that consumption of hydrogenated oil has been linked with diabetes, coronary disease, and obesity.

You should limit the amount of natural saturated fats you eat, but completely avoid trans fats. Read the ingredients on food labels. If you see “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” oils, that means it has trans fats....so stay away! (American Academy of Family Physicians).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

#Healthy diet & nutrition

According to Dr. Maoshing Ni, the author of Secrets of Self-Healing, there are ten guidelines that can be followed to maintain a healthy diet & nutrition.

1. Eat Mindfully. Relax and slowly chew your food for optimal digestion. Chewing is a major part of digestion, and it starts in your mouth! Chew each bite of food twenty times and savor the flavor.

2. Take care with food preparation. The best way to prepare foods so that the nutrients stay intact or are minimally lost, are steaming, stir-frying in water, stewing and baking. The best utensils for cooking are glass, earthenware, enamel-coated, or stainless steel cookware. Avoid cooking in aluminum, copper, and Teflon-coated pans, these materials can leach into the food. Stay away from irradiated foods and avoid using a microwave oven for cooking whenever possible.

3. Favor whole foods. Foods should be eaten in their wholeness whenever possible. Search out organic foods to avoid the toxic chemical residues of commercially grown products. Wash nonorganic foods in salt water or with a vegetable and fruit wash to eliminate or neutralize the toxins. Avoid highly processed and refined foods which are stripped of critical nutrients.

4. Say no to genetically modified foods. Genetically modified plants have been genetically manipulated to make them grow more productive or more resistant to pests, or so that the food will contain higher amounts of a certain nutrient. Additionally, growth hormones are used to make a chicken lay more eggs or a cow to fatten up quickly. This is similar to an athlete taking steroids, where rapid growth is promoted, but there are side effects down the road.

5. Eat locally and in season. Your diet should follow the seasons, and you should eat what grows locally. Nature has a perfect plan for providing appropriate foods for each season.

6. Support your digestive system. Try to stay away from cold, icy foods and beverages. The sudden drop of temperature from cold foods can shock your digestive system and may cause gastric juice imbalance, decreased blood flow through your gut, and precipitate bowel spasm .Try to eat food at or above the ambient body temperature of 98.6 degrees.

7. Eat regular meals. Your body functions best when fed at regular intervals. Eat snacks between meals to keep your metabolism going. Eat smaller meals frequently, eat just enough to propel you for the next three hours so that you don't store more than half of a big meal as fat.

8. Eat to live. You have the power to choose what you put in your mouth. Your food choices should contribute to your health and well being.

9. Find sweetness in life. Large amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners are not only addictive, but they can negatively affect your behavior and personality, and overconsumption increases your risk for inflammation and degeneration. Rather than looking to food for sweetness, seek sweetness from your life by being kind to yourself, by forming meaningful relationships, and by being grateful for what you have.

10. Eat less, live longer. Enjoy your food, but eat a little at a time. When you overeat, you stress your digestive and other organ systems, and you consume precious energy and produce more waste products and toxins. Try to eat a minimum of 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day, depending on your age, gender, energy expenditure, and nutritional status.

Live Well!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

#muscle soreness

What causes muscle soreness after a vigorous workout? Muscle soreness after a strenuous workout, called delayed onset muscle soreness, occurs anywhere from 24-72 hours post workout. When you have a tough workout, the muscles undergo metabolism. In this process, lactic acid is released, causing irritation of the muscles and discomfort leading to soreness. Additionally, in the anabolic process, or the normal process of growth in the body, microscopic muscle damage contributes to soreness. Tearing and inflammation within the myofibrils, the contractile units of the muscle, activate the immune response by an influx of white blood cells, prostaglandins, and other nutrients to repair the muscle. The whole process can take days for muscle healing depending on the intensity of the workout.

So being sore is not a bad thing. Just remember that there must be microscopic damage to muscle fibers before there can be growth! (The physician and sports medicine).

Monday, August 16, 2010

#Influenza vaccine 2010-2011

What should you know about the 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine? The seasonal influenza vaccine contains 2 Influenza A virus subtypes and 1 influenza B virus strain. The U.S. 2010-2011 seasonal influenza vaccine will protect against an H3N2 virus (an A virus subtype that dominates in prevalence over H1N1 virus and influenza B),  Influenza B virus, and the second A subtype, will be the 2009 H1N1 virus ("swine flu"), which emerged last year to cause the first global pandemic in more than 40 years and resulted in substantial illness, hospitalizations and deaths.

The CDC is recommending that everyone 6 months and older get the vaccine as soon as it is available at physicians' offices or other facilities. The timing of the flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February and can occur as late as May. Get protected! (Centers for disease control & prevention).

Sunday, August 15, 2010


What are probiotics? How can probiotics help you? Probiotics are microorganisms with potential health benefits or "good bacteria". They may be used to prevent and treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea and acute infectious diarrhea. They may also be effective in relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and in treating atopic dermatitis (eczema) in children. Probiotics colonize our gastrointestinal tract. To maintain colonization, probiotics must be taken regularly for optimal health benefits.

Species commonly used include Lactobacillus sp., Bifidobacterium sp., Streptococcus thermophilus, and Saccharomyces boulardii. Typical dosages vary based on the product, but common dosages range from 5 to 10 billion colony-forming units (CFU) per day for children, and from 10 to 20 billion colony-forming units per day for adults. Significant adverse effects are rare, and there are no known interactions with medications.

If you are on antibiotics, taking probiotics can be helpful. For optimal health benefits, take probiotics regularly every day. Eat yogurt that contains live bacterial cultures daily, and take probiotic over the counter oral supplements or probiotics liquid preparations two to three times daily. They can be found at organic grocery stores, and most pharmacies.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

#Cardiovascular disease

How can you reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease with exercise? Research shows that regular aerobic activity and muscular strength training weekly can reduce your risks. Performing either 30 minutes/day for 5 days/week of moderate activity or 20 minutes/day for 3 days/week of vigorous activity or a combination with 2 days/week of strength training was required to improve effects of the cardiovascular system. Moderate exercise should make you feel slightly out of breathe, where you are still able to carry out a normal conversation, and feel a little worn out but not to the point where it's unbearable. Vigorous exercise should make you breath rapidly and sweat, you should feel like you are just at the point where you are pushing your boundaries without causing harm. Physical activity exerts favorable effects on the system by lowering blood pressure, triglyceride concentrations, and blood cholesterol concentrations (LDL, or "bad" cholesterol), and raising high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, or "good" cholesterol). It also has direct effects on the heart by enhancing blood supply to the blood vessels that supply the heart and organs. So get to it!

Friday, August 13, 2010

#Tanning Beds

Do Tanning Beds cause cancer? New research finds that regular use of tanning beds triples or even quadruples the risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. This study, the largest of its kind, examined whether indoor tanning caused skin cancer. The study found that compared to people that never used a tanning bed, indoor tanners had a 74% increased risk for melanoma. With non-melanoma type skin cancers, people that used tanning beds were 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell cancer and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell cancer.

Ultraviolet radiation is part of the electromagnetic light spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation has shorter wavelengths than visible light, making it invisible to the naked eye. UVA consists of long wavelengths and UVB has shorter wavelengths, both penetrate the atmosphere. UVC has the shortest wavelengths and are absorbed by the ozone layer, never reaching the earth.

Most of us are exposed to UVA throughout our lifetime. It accounts for 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the earth's surface. UVA may be less intense than UVB, but it has relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year, and can penetrate clouds and glass. UVA causes skin aging and wrinkling, and penetrates the skin deeper at the basal layer damaging the cells, which studies show contribute to and may even initiate skin cancers. Tanning beds, depending on whether they are high speed or high pressure, emit mainly UVA rays.

UVB, is the chief cause of skin reddening and and sunburn, damaging the skin's more superficial epidermal layer. It plays a key role in skin cancer but also contributes to tanning and photoaging. Its intensity varies by season, location and time of day, most significant from 10 am to 4 pm, April to October.

So what can we do to protect ourselves from UV radiation indoors and outdoors? Always seek the shade outdoors, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM. Since UVA penetrates glass, consider adding flat, tinted UV-protective film to windows. Bright or dark-colored, lustrous clothes reflect more UV radiation than do pastels and bleached cottons; and tightly woven, loose-fitting clothes provide more of a barrier between your skin and the sun. Broad-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses help shield the sensitive skin on your head, neck, and around the eyes. An SPF 15 sunscreen screens 93 percent of the sun’s UVB rays; SPF 30 protects against 97 percent; and SPF 50, 98 percent. The Skin Cancer Foundation maintains that SPFs of 15 or higher are necessary for adequate protection. Since both UVA and UVB are harmful, you need protection from both kinds of rays. Look for sunscreen with multi spectrum, broad spectrum or UVA/UVB protection on labels. Also according to newer data, avoid tanning beds.

Remember for vitamin D absorption, we only need about 15 minutes of sun exposure!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

#Allergy symptoms

Have your allergy symptoms gotten worse during the hot, humid summer days? Household humidity is an important consideration. If the humidity level in the house is too low, nasal passages will become irritated. A humidity level that is too high promotes dust mites and mold. The ideal relative humidity is between 35% and 50% . This can be accomplished in dry environments with use of a humidifier or vaporizer and in wet environments or during wet seasons with a dehumidifier. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers must be cleaned frequently to prevent the buildup of mold in the equipment. The best units are those with sensors that turn on and off to maintain the desired degree of humidity. FP Essentials.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

#Yin-Yang Diet

In Eastern Medicine, the Acid-Alkaline (or Acid-Base) Yin-Yang balance of the human body is critical for healthy functioning, and pH is a measurement of the acid to alkaline ratio. Human blood pH should be slightly alkaline, at about 7.3 to 7.4. A value above or below this range can lead to complications and disease.  Research shows that a prolonged acidic environment can give rise to inflammation and cancer and can lead to premature aging from free radical damage. So how do you find the balancing scale of Yin-Yang health? Dr. Maoshing Ni, the author of Secrets of Self-Healing, states that in a Yin-Yang diet, "it's best to favor alkaline (or Yin) foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, some whole grains, like millet, quinoa and amaranth and to eat a smaller proportion of acidic (or Yang) foods such as meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. Heavy meat eaters tend to be too acidic, and their bodies become overactive, while vegetarians tend toward being too alkaline, rendering their bodies underactive. A balanced diet is essential for functioning equilibrium and health is reflected in the middle zone, called the balanced optimal performance zone." (73, 74).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Do you trim your cuticles? If you trim or even push back your cuticles you are at risk of developing an infection around the skin of the nail, called a Paronychia. Paronychia is fairly common. It is caused by injury to the skin around the nail, such as biting off or picking a hangnail or trimming or pushing back a cuticle. If you develop any signs of redness, drainage or tenderness on the skin around the nail, seek medical care immediately. You may require antibiotics for a possible infection.

DrNiby: #Eggs

DrNiby: #Eggs


#Eggs, a superfood, not only are packed with #protein, but also #Vitamin D, which provides a positive effect on performance and strength, as well as, #Choline, a memory and muscle booster. Eat more eggs!