Why You Should Think Twice Before Using Antibacterial Soap and Such...

Just yesterday, the FDA reported that there are "valid concerns" for TRICLOSAN.

First BPA, now TRI....what? Triclosan is registered by the EPA as a pesticide. It was first developed as a surgical scrub for medical professionals. It's an antibacterial chemical found in liquid soaps, hand sanitizers, dishwashing liquids, shaving gels, socks, workout clothes, and toys. Yes it's practically everywhere. The CDC says that it's even found in the urine of 75% of the US population!

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Ten Things to Fight Allergies Naturally

I've already written about allergies last year: Springtime Allergies. Well, it's that time of year, so I'm going to do it again.

I love Spring -- birds chirping and building nests, flowers peeping, sandals on, sunlight later... But for many it's not always so pleasant: itchy/watery eyes, sneezing, and a stuffy nose.
 

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What's the Deal with Coffee?

Is it good for you? Is it bad for you?

The health claims for coffee include: lowers gout risk, anti-cancer properties, diabetes prevention, protection against Parkinson's disease (for men), reduced risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. Some of these positive effects don't seem related to its caffeine content, rather to its high antioxidant content (dark berries would be a better choice). There needs to be more research regarding these claims and whether coffee consumption is more beneficial than perhaps...a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables -- because aren't there better antioxidant options out there?

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Rule 49 - Eat slowly.

I'm guilty of this and I know most of you are too: inhaling our food.

Digestion starts in the mouth. Mastication (chewing) helps to increase the surface area, so that enzymes in saliva (alpha-amylase and lingual lipase) can start to break down starch (carbohydrate) and fat. The more you chew, the easier it is for your digestive system:

  • less stress is placed on the esophagus with smaller portions vs big chunks
  • stimulates hydrochloric acid production in the stomach
  • allows food to move more easily from the stomach to the small intestine
  • stimulates secretion of digestive enzymes & bicarbonate from the pancreas into the small intestine -- all needed for healthy digestion and eventually absorption
  • maintains a healthy probiotic population in your colon
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Rule 40 - Be the kind of person who takes supplements - then skip the supplements.

Michael Pollan mentions a great topic here that I'd like to elaborate on. I often get asked my opinion about supplements. Most recently, a patient of mine forwarded me this article - The Vita Myth: Do supplements really do any good?

The article is a bit harsh, but I agree with most of it. First off, one-a-days are useless. When I have somebody take a multivitamin, it's usually 6-8 pills a day, which turns most people off. Seriously, how do you think they can pack all those vitamins and minerals into one pill? For me, the best vitamins are from real food.

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