Monday, December 27, 2010

The Real Fountain of Youth:The Advances in Longevity, Aging, and Improved Life

For eons myths spoke of a fountain that promised youth and immortality to whomever's lips were able to find its source. What most of us didn't realize is that this "story" has more science behind it than we imagined.New studies looking at aging believe that aging is tied to quality and quantity of life directly. New studies out of Harvard/MIT point out that improved metabolism via caloric restriction in your diet is key to longevity and to better aging, reduction in stress and chronic disease. Rat studies proved that 2 central genes in Aging called SIRT1/SIRT2 which control enzymes can determine how long you live.But other nutritional factors such as NAD a nicotinamide nutrient effects these genes, too. Other direct effects on aging include Polyphenols, specifically Resveratrol. This antioxidant is found in grapes and processed in wine. Other notable polyphenols are in Green Tea. Researchers are looking at the antibiotic Ramycin and how it inhibits enzymes TOR-kinase to increase longevity.
The latest discovery is looking at the special terminal ends of DNA molecules called Telomers. The longer one's Telome the longer one seems to live. But, the longer Telomer is associated with less chronic disease and the cells live longer.
Another area that appears to be promising is with growth hormone, but there seemed to be concern about synthetic or bovine growth hormone a genetically modified organism (GMO) that brought about controversy about its potential health side effects. The fact is that growth hormone is in itself a natural occuring product that is necessary and made by the human organism. As we age , growth hormone severely dwindles. This phase of life has been called "Somato-Pause" unlike other hormones decreases found in menopause with estrogen, Somato-pause is the lack of growth hormone.Human growth hormone/hGH , however, has shown some promising potential.But , where it shows greatest promise is not with injecting it or "supplement growth hormone", but rather in enhancing instrinsic release factors and other activities that naturally can raise your own levels of Gh/growth hormone.
As GH diminishes we see more gray hair, higher body fat,decreased libido, cardiovascular disease, thinning of skin, reduced lean muscle mass, increased cholesterol,depression, moodiness, dehydration and osteoporosis.
What are the positive effects of GH? Improved lean muscle mass, decrease in body fat, reduces wrinkles, increases energy, restores hair, increases libido, improves liver and pancreas function, normalizes blood pressure, improved heart function, improved bone growth, and improved cognitive function as well as mood.
There are several natural and nutrient factors that can improve your GH/growth hormone output.Estrogen, testosterone,ornithine, arginine,niacin,VitaminB5, Vitamin B6, alpha keto-glutarate, glutamine, tyrosine,Gamma Amino Butyric acid(GABA) fasting and exercise are factors that enhance GH.Other regulators of GH secretion are minerals such as Zinc,calcium, magnesium, and postassium.Your blood PH and the neruotransmitter acetylcholine/ACH and L-Dopa have influences on GH.Even better sleep patterns improves growth hormone secretion.
It seems that longevity can be improved without a doubt even if only by 50% by the latest scientific research regarding SIRT1 & 2 . But what real advancementS have we made when long life comes without improved quality of life? It will be a combination of these things mentioned here to get the most of your body's potential to live longer and to live better. Youth is still to a degree "just a number" and may be related to how you feel, how much you eat,what you eat, how active you are, what minerals and amino acids you take,and if you get adequate sleep. Until then there are no "magic bullets" and at last glance no fountains of youth except your own well of potential.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Apparent Direct Link of Cancer With Industrialization

There has been many different ideas and theories over the years about how and why does cancer occur in our society. Before the Industrial age it was rarely either seen or recognized as most of society saw a shorter lifespan or were fraught with many epidemics that wiped out populations. Cancer only became more recognized as we became more industrial, more urban and as populations grew. With new industries and therefore new exposures both in the environment and to our households newer changes began popping up .What did the mass introduction and commercialization of tobacco fumes, car exhaust and 8 hour work days in a factory do to change the human organisms way of life ? How did preservation of foods with high salt, high nitrites,or the introduction of MSG, aspartame, EDTA, Sucralose, Saccharin, high fructose corn syrup and Red dye No.5, artificial food coloring and other preservation methods of food do to contribute to changes not in our life and health? Does it mean that it is acceptable that we live longer , but just with more ailments?

Scientist as early as the 1930's such as Otto Warburg began to look at imbalanced metabolism. Since the body is constantly trying to acquire energy to perform functions, it would seem stressors on metabolism cause cells to change.Warburg, a Noble Laureate, posed that when our cells go from combusting basic nutrients in the presence of oxygen to a non-oxygen(non-aerobic) state of acquiring energy, we change our blood chemistry.Blood becomes more acidic. Therefore , by making the PH of blood more Alkaline which now has become widely accepted in nutrition science circles as a means to better health. Our body creates acids like lactate and pyruvate, but at very minimal amounts without there being adequate oxygen; while in the face of Oxygen a very high output of energy is created. Lactic acid may be the culprit because it makes the body work that much harder. Other more ineffective and highly toxic acids can also be put into the blood when there is lack of adequate oxygenation. Acids such as Keto-Acids/Acetone are fatty acids that become the subsrate of energy. What this means is how we exercise physically , handle stress,and what we eat can have quantitative and qualitative effects on cellular life.

Today we are seeing how the oxidation of fats play a critical role in causing a disease state. The oxidation of cholesterol , particularly LDL, creates the scarring on the blood vessels setting up for atherosclerosis in the arteries and later heart attack and other forms of vascular disease. The oxidation and perioxidation of oygen leads to the creation of "free radicals" that cause mutations in the DNA of cells, premature aging and chronic disease. The emissions of combusting fuel is similar to that of a car's engine. Our cells work like engines and put out numerous potentially toxic by-products. Antioxidants act as ways to release these potentially threatening caustic agents.

Today stress plays a key role in our mental and physical health by reducing resistance. Stress hormones such as cortisol is a counter-regulatory hormone which can dump more sugar into the blood this is very bad for setting up the pre-diabetic state or type 2 diabetes ,but it also has an immuno-suppressive effect so that you are more susceptible to infections and other disease. The salt and water retention it causes raises blood pressure. Stress hormones like adrenalin can really raise your blood pressure and cause the heart to beat faster and harder. The shear forces of high blood force on blood vessels may set up for athersclerosis and greater difficulty for the heart to pump.
How do we make sense out of the rapid rise of chronic illness in an amazingly highly technologically advanced civilization where we've conquered space, travel the world within hours and split the atom? How is it with the scientific data proving this link of disease to industry that we are still utilizing pesticides, herbicides, insecticides,fungicides, genetically modified foods, bGH, estrogen, antiobiotics, high fructose corn syrup, saccharin, sucarlose, artificial dyes , food coloring ,irradiation microwaved,with trans fats. Cooked foods are full of acrilimide, PAHs(para-aminohydrocarbons), and HCAs(Heterocyclic Amines). Our Sea Food is now effected by VOCs,PAHs, and Mercury .Even our water has acceptable levels of run off from manufacturing plants , raw sewage, old drugs, and flouride. Non-ionized radiation from cell telephone lines presents another problem to our health as well.

As we advance with further technology, human life becomes more exposed to the result of that which we create. It's probably less important to guess which of these theories of cancer are happening more likely than the other, however, it is time the individual themselves attacks the problem from a cellular level. This can be done by antioxidants to fight the damage done by oxygen free radicals,vitamins refortify the body's defense, hydration with water allows for better blood flow while giving ions to function on a cellular level. Minerals participate in all catalytic or biochemical reactions and are necessary for metabolism. Enzymes are helping us from the moment we digest our foods to carrying or converting particles to more effective products. These can be obtained by eating more raw vegetables,fruits or an organic diet.

While molecular medicine and procedure oriented medicine seeks more bio-medical technology to treat problems created inadvertently by our industries, perhaps we need to seriously re-evaluate the advantages a more simple agrarian diet our pre-industrial ancestors benefited from a greener "way of living". We must look at how to appreciate and "incorporate" their quality of life.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Natural Alternatives that compete with oral hypoglycemics

Nature has been revealing to the organic system for millenia how to keep the storage and utilization of fuels in times of feast or famine. This evolution of calorie use is probably what influenced some of our genetics enough to have made some of us susceptible to diabetes in one form or another. As many as 20 million Americans may be diabetic , but there are millions who go undiagnosed and many many more who may develop diabetes due to pregnancy in gestational diabetes, or from over-eating particularly high carbohydrate meals,and others may become diabetic from medications that can effect metabolism such as steroids. In a statement in fall of 2010 the CDC last predicted that by 2050 perhaps 50 % of the nation would be diabetic. This is rather shocking news that has wider healthcare spending implications. There also seems to be a direct correlation to diabetes(particularly type 2) and obesity growth. Diabetes can be treated by either oral hypglycemic agents or insulin of some form. However, they too are fraught with problems. Most recently Avandia was recognized for being involved with cardiovascular problems. Many people misuse, mis-time, or mis-dose their insulin.
We are now discovering why the CDC may have made its prediction as we are seeing a grey area of pre-diabetes or hyperglycemia occur in our population. The higher caloric content with especially carbohydrates is causing the body's cells to become overstressed. The evolutionary mechanism to handle so many calories if they can not be burned fast enough or effectively enough is to store it. Thats where adipose comes in and fat accumulation in numerous places occurs.
But, now nature has brought several ways that we might approach poor sugar metabolism in our bodies. The FDA has even endorsed an essential mineral called Chromium Picolinate which seems to stabilize sugar absorption rates as well as help bio-metabolism by improving bio-composition. A plant called Gynema grown in many South American countries is showing similar types of properties as well and is showing that it too can be of benefit in regualating blood sugar. The latest natural product appearing to be of a surprise and shocker to many is cinnamon.A study conducted by the Federal Hospital in Las Vegas showed that an amount as much as 1000 milligrams of powdered bark cinnamon given to subjects improved blood sugar by reducing it significantly.

Color to Calories adds healthy Nutrition

We are noticing through nature that certain colors of natural foods contain certain nutritional value that are very beneficial. I think nature is trying to tell us something that science has been missing until most recently. Nutritionist, medical scientist and herbslogist have noticed that the color spectrum of certain foods do make an impact in our daily diets:

Green foods such as spinach, lettuce, green peas , collard greens and avocado contain phytochemicals such as lutein and indole that can protect against cancer and poor vision.

Orange and yellow foods have bioflavonoids and carotenoids. We see this in sweet potatoes, tangerine , grapefruit, and carrots. These bio-nutrients are rich sources that can help reduce cancer, support vision and fortify immunity.

Berries come in all sizes, shapes and multiple colors too. The anthocyanin and phenolics in blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, plums and grapes are known to help reduce risk of cancers and heart disease.

Even white or tanned foods such as onions, garlic, scallions, leeks, pears, cauliflower and bananas contain allicin a phytochemical.These foods are known for lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and augment immunity to fight off infection.

So, start noticing color and use this as a guide to help you determine what type of color your calories will be today!

Mayo Clinic Goes Alternative

Have you gone to your local bookstore lately? One of the most fascinating finds is a magazine/journal called Mayo Clinic Guide to Alternative Medicine. It is a novel and curious way how "mainstream" medicine is finding itself more into a world of health that was considered suspect at best just 10 years ago. But, nowadays, prestigous institutes such as Mayo Clinic and even the National Institutes of Health have divisions that are studying herbals, vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and minerals. This is a major milestone. But, don't get too overly excited as one "outdated" school of thought tries to "adopt" another much older one. It may prove tricky to the consumer to see just how altruistic this move may be as major drug companies are seeing the real financial benefit also of not only making medications , but supplements as well.But, there are some interesting things I see that Mayo's is doing and we should recognize what some of their findings are concluding because they do appear to validate what herbalist, herbalogist, botanist, Alternative, Naturopathic, and Homeopathic practitioners have been stating:

1) Massage therapy can reduce post operative pain.
2)Ambience therapy with natural sounds of nature seems to effect the speed of recovery after surgery.
3)Paced breathing which is a form of regulated breathing often seen by gurus seems to help reduce stress, anxiety and even hot flashes. Mayo Clinic offers it as an alternative to breast cancer survivors who can not take estrogen treatment.
4)Ginseng is showing positive research data that it can reduce cancer related fatigue
5)Ginko relieves "chemo brain" a phenomenom associated with cognitive slowing due to chemotherapy from the oxidative stress it has on cells
6)Mangosteen acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in cardio-vascular procedures such as post electro-cardioverstion of atrial fibrillation.

These are things typically supported in the world of "Alternative" Medicine and have been known for years, but now seems to have Mayo's and the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine(OCCAM) at the NIH look into these effects is evolutionary. Are we witnessing a slow progressive shift in the paradigm of medicine. I think so. These are amazing times where on one end of the spectrum genetric therapy biomedical tech is proceeding rapidly ahead , but we always seem to find ourselves "coming back home to nature" .

Friday, July 16, 2010

"Soya-a" Wanna Be Healthy: The Real Soy Protein

Perhaps one of the most promising foods to be brought on to the "green and super foods" scene is soy or soy protein. Soy is ubiquitous and comes from the soy bean a legume known to be useful for many things . The Chinese perhaps are historically known to have used soy be centuries. But, unlike typical soy products we use today , they "fermented" soy as a consumable good in all products. But, what are the health benefits of soy based proteins in the foods we consume today?

Soy is thought to reduce breast cancer, prostate cnacer and menopausal problems and perhaps even bone health. The NCI(National Cancer Institute) has look at both chemo-preventive and cancer protective soy compounds called isoflavones,specifically.

The USDA and University of Saint Louis published that Asian males have a 50% less of a risk of prostate cancer due to a soy product , genistein , an isoflavone.

Soy protein is reported to reduce the "bad cholesterol" called LDL. The FDA in 1999 claimed that 25 grams of soy protein in a person's daily diet can help reduce heart disease. An American Heart Association study stated that replacement of animal protein with soy protein would do the same thing.

Soy has an Omega 3 oil called Alanine(ALA). ALA can reduce heart disease by 20 percent and reduces saturated fats while increasing lean protein .

Isoflavones such as phyto-estrogens that are a "competitive estrogen-like" compound that inhibits natural estrogen in menopausal symptoms. It is this product that reduces hot flashes by 50% according to the National Institutes of Health in Japan and University of Minnesota.

But, is the soy foods we are consuming the preferred "fermented" soy that was stated in the Chou Dynasty in China used in Tempeh, Natto, Miso and soy sauce and Tofu?

Fermentation Process:
The puree of the cooked soy beans percipitates of calcium sulfate and magnesium sulfate.This offers a healthier benefit of soy to take out negative toxins or Anti-nutrients that can ALSO exist in certain soys that do not meet this safety process.

What are some of these toxins that can be in unfermented soy?

1)Enzymes that block the amino acid Trypsin
2)Gastric distress
3)Reduction of protein digestion
4)Pancreatic problems, potentially cancer
5)Hemaglutinin which is a clot factor causing red blood cells to clump
6)Growth depressant compounds
7)Phytic Acid which can block calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc utilization
8)Genestein and Diadezem which are inhibitors of thyroid hormone(T3/T4) create goiter

Always look for Fermented sources of soy perticularly in baby formula. Read labels looking for the nitrosamines or nitrites in soy foods.

Soy is a terrific alternative potentially for food sources causing many of the chronic illnesses from dietary sources. Be aware and question if the source is "fermented".

Much of the benefits of soy protein are potentially a boon to changing lifestyles into becoming healthier. Be aware of genetically modification as another potential threat to soy food sources. Much of the "proven" benifits are still being studied , but appear to be hopeful , it is the "fermented" process that still becomes the primary caution about receiving its benefits without the threat of toxins inherent in soy protein not protected.

Learn more about a healthy lifestyle at

Dr. Marcus Wells is a previous Clinical Associate at the National Institutes of Health at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute(NIH/NHLBI). He has served in the US Health & Human Services, US Public Health Service,and US Commissioned Corp.Dr. Wells also holds a Master's in Public Health from Emory University.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Berry Berry Healthy

Many berries are noted by both conventional and nutritional health scientist to contain numerous health benefits. These small delicious morsels that we've put in oatmeal, loved in our jams, marmalades, and ice creams pack serious Nano-Nutrition.

For example just one cup of strawberries has numerous Nano-Nutrition such as calcium needed for strong bones, Mangesium also needed for bones, folate which helps production of red blood cells to fight anemias,along with 100 mg of vitamin C a powerful antioxidant.

One cup of blue berries has vitamin C and Vitamin E which is an even more potent antioxidant than vitamin C as well as 4-9 grams of fiber.

Cranberries have special antioxidants called polyphenols. It works well to help reduce premature aging ans is good for urinary tract illnesses.

Raspberries has Niacin needed to protect against Pellegra.

Blackberries have manganese needed for bone metabolism.

Goji Berry is the most nutrient dense food which has more vitamin C than orange juice; it also more beta-carotene than carrots and has more iron than a steak, wow! That's quite a berry!!! Goji berries help with liver, kidney and eyes diseases, but also fights against fatigue and boosts growth hormone in the body naturally.

Goji protects your cell's DNA from oxygen free radicals also to help it's destruction and improves the fight against cancer. As an extra bonus Goji helps boosts libido by improving testosterone.

Acai berries are made from the palm tree and they are related to the dark berries like blueberries and cranberries that have the dark pigment anthrocyanin.

Berries are healthy because many contain phytonutrients called phyto-chemicals. These include caretenoids, betacarotene, lutin,lycopene(great for prostatic problems), zecxathin and flavonoids.

Berries can be used to make smoothies in the blender. Add low fat and low cal ice cream , yogurt, gelato or ice pop to them and watch the kids light up. Berries are great to put in cereal such as oatmeal or your own favorite to ad flavor,taste as well as reduce the amount of processed sugar.

Berries go well with fruit salads and with green salads like kiwi or strawberry with avocados.

Berries are great alternatives from traditional desserts and can be made with a fundue such as chocolate or strawberry syrups.

In 2013 news from the University of Michigan (Mitchell Seymour) shows that cherries contain a chemical that can reduce inflammation and could be implicated in reducing auto-immune disease. Inflammation is also the premise in which arthritis and cancer may be caused. Inflammation is also one of the underlying problems of heart attacks where platelets release inflammatory chemicals.Getting your kids to enjoy a variety of blends of fruit as a healthy alternative to conventional desserts is a great idea to reduce high fructose corn, HFCS(HFCS causes obesity, overweight, liver disease,diabetes in kids) syrup in their diet and adds great colors and taste to their palate as well. By starting children early to appreciate berries may be considered an early anti-cancer, anti-auto-immune disease and cardio-vascular disease dietary regimen.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Family Health Values

Perhaps the typical American family is going to have to look at today's healthcare issue with different lenses and adjust it's vision on what should be our focus.The future of healthcare is going to see the responsibility of health on individuals and the benefits of prevention are going to be given to those individuals and organizations who think and do better on how to reduce or prevent healthcare cost from going way up! The economics of "cost valulation" is what the managed care industry and public economists are utilizing to pre-determine your "cost" (or risk)to this type of system. At best a "pay as you go" system is about the most stable assurance of health where pre-existing conditions can limit a insurance company in selecting you.In other words: Take care of your body!

Today, airline industries are not just charging extra if you carry heavier luggage , but are charging you more if your body's weight is high for their plane's limitation. Some have demanded those who are at a certain BMI(body mass index) purchase a 2nd seat in advance or risk being bumped off their flight. Municipalities are looking at the concept of extending a "sin tax" to those who over eat and whose weight issues cause the healthcare system to go up in cost for acute and chronic care disease. Ethicist are debating whether it is considered child abuse for parents to allow their kids to become obese or overweight and legal experts are debating if they can be punished by serving time!

Before it get's this far we can do something about this. It begins with developing a culture of wellness with health being focused on the family. Much like the old idea of "family values" that were popular before, a "new contract with America" may have to be created beginning with health of the family. Because we all need health and if the majority of the nation is creeping to a greater than 75% risk to heart disease, cancer and diabetes due to obesity we are teetering on what would be seen in any other scenario as a national security matter!

It begins with teaching your children how to develop better attitudes about food and exercise. Developing these healthier relationships about foods and activity will develop a higher value of these habits when they are exemplified by the parent. Parents participating in activity produce kids who exercise. Walking with your child, playing tennis, swimming are rock climbing are ways to turn a "boring" concept into something exciting.

With foods try carobe over chocolate, try natural fruit juices in the blender over sodas, try "crazy" sandwiches like peanut butter and bananas , make smoothies from organic fruits, try ice pops whether than chocolate ice cream, use trail mix rather than candy bars, make a kiwi avocado sandwich as well. Getting kids to like soy, whey and casein at a earlier age are healthier alternatives than meats. However, white meats may be a better transition choice than red meats.

How you prepare food at home will be how most of us will cook on our own from home. So if you fry food mostly, guess what, your kids will most likely too. If your kids punish with food at the dinner table by witholding favorite foods and rewarding with an equally unhealthy food ,you've done twice as bad. You can rest more assured (though not always 100 %) that in devloping autonomy in your child by boosting their esteem with food choices when you are not with them at school, the mall or the movies they will be better off.

Dr.Marcus Wells is a past clinical Associate at the National Institutes of Health in the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute.Dr. Wells has served in the US Health and Human Services, US Public Health Service, and the US Commissioned Corp. Dr. Wells also holds a Master's in Public Health from Emory University

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hospital Acquired Infection and Health Worker Causes of Incidents

Lately there has been a lot of scare about MRSA, methicillin resistant staphylococcus acquired by bed riden hospital patients and the elderly in nursing care facilities.These and other types of infections acquired in clinical settings are called Nosocomial Infections. There are several that contribute to hospital setting morbidity and mortality annually.

Some 2.5 million infections in hospitals occur in this setting. It is actually considered the 4th largest killer in the U.S after AIDS, cancer and accidents. This problem may actually be costing the US taxpayer some 30 $billion dollars annually. Studies indicate that one in twenty patients gets infected in the hospital.

Why has this persisted in the era of greatest medical findings and technolgy, drug therapy? Bio-medical scientist and clinical pharmacologist believe that in the era previously, so many antiobiotics may have been given as a "knee-jerk" response to every cough, cold, or sneeze and that over several generations the "bugs" (bacteria, viruses) have out smarted some of antiobiotics by creating in their own DNA codes to resist them.

How health workers handle sanitation is another area. Do doctors and others wash their hands after seeing one patient and going to the next room? do spills on clothing, ties or lab jackets transmit the "bug" room to room? Are the air flows in rooms with communicable disase functioning such in a TB ward? Are colonoscopes, brochoscopes, and other surgical equipment autoclaved and if so at the correct temperature?

Another curiosity are Iatrogenic Effects". These are health worker induced(normally accidental) occurences that cause morbidity and mortality. Dosing of drugs is perhaps one of the biggest areas that is of concern. Writing correct medical records for change of shift is another. This is a vulnerable time where important lab that is in transit may be missed.

Usually at the beginning of July in teaching hospitals new Interns fresh out of medical school ready to "take on the world" and invade the ERs of America get started. There is a wide range of teaching competencies from medical school to medical school. While some schools teach very hands on some prefer being more academic but less hands on. They all get to blend in a residency program together.During this time morbidity and mortality rates do go up. those who were once Interns now hold down even more repsonsibility by becoming a Supervising resident who is now in charge of 2 or 3 or more interns. This can be a heavy responsibility.things do get misplaced.

The Journal of the American Medical Association has regularly attributed very conservativelly an annual mortality of 300,000 due to Iatrogenic causes. But ,other observers report it as high as 700,000.

It may be the "practice of medicine" which is to heal the sick that may have more benefit in prevention and sanitation as a major method of treatment. Physicians are not to blame, but rather poorly designed logistics that could help double check what is going on better . The president's campaign to put medical records online especially prescirptions will help pave the way for other measures to come, but much more needs to be done to prevent both Nosocomial Infections and Iatrogenic Effects.

Dr. Marcus Wells is a previous Clinical Associate at the NIH at the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute. He has served with the US Health & Human Serives, US Public Health Service and the US Commissioned Corp. Dr. Wells also holds a Master's degree from Emory University.

Tricky Food Labels

Should we be reading and trusting our food labels more often? How many times do you go to your grocery store and actually read the labels to see how much fat grams,total calories, cholesterol, sugar and additives the company has put inside. Even after it took a while to get the FDA to make this a mandate , many of us are still whimscally ignoring labels. But, that just may be what the food industry is hoping for.

In a morning talk show on NBC several prepared "diet meals" were investigated for their calorie amount and determine whether it was consistent with the actual amount in them by having them checked by a nutritionist.

Healthy Choice(HC), Lean Cuisine(LC),and Smart One(S1) were the primary meals that were focused on. What was found was shocking. First of all the GMA Grocery Manufacturing Association doesn't find it a problem for food makers to have great disparity in the amount of calories labelled on a box and the actual amounts inside them.The head of the GMA felt is was irrelevant essentially to the customer and that wide ranges of calories was OK.

If that wasn't enough that government agent that "protects" the citizens with discrepancies , the FDA, actually allows food companies to have a discepancy in calorie labels up to 20%!

First the good news. There were some meals that had less calories than that which was stated on the food lable.

Examples of this were :

1)HC Roast Beef Merlot it was actually 17% lower in fat calories than it's fat label

2)LC Primavera was 19% fewer calories than it's food label

3)LC Rose Marie actually had 60 % less fat than its package label

But, now for the bad news:

1)S.1. Shrimp Marino had 10 % more calories than its label

2) HC Lobster Cheese Ravioli had 17 % more fat than its label

3)LC Primavera was also higher in calories

4) S.1. sweet and sour chicken actually was 11 % more in total calories but , get this, it had 350 %(percent) more fat

Susan Roberts, a nutritionist at Tufts gave her opinion about this practice and felt that this may be the cause of how"sneaky" calories get into our diet and cause overweight and obesity and also when many of us are thinking our "diet" meal is helping us lose weight, it actually may be causing you to gain weight!

Latest studies show today that less calories particularly fat and that from red meat can extend both quality and the length of life by preventing heart disease, and cancer. Higher fiber diets in oats, bran, green leafy vegetables and fruits can combat cancer and diabetes.

Tomatoes have lycopene that helps men protect the prostate. Pomengranate and Grape Extract have antioxidants that can help fight against chronic disease and premature aging.Almonds and fish with more omega oil are considered smart foods that help the brain.Broccoli helps with reducing bladder cancer, watermelon helps lower blood pressure, papaya helps fight gall bladder disease because of it's high amount of vitamin C. Fermented soy may help fight against breast cancer and bone loss.

These choices along with exercise by simply walking can help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Dr. Marcus Wells is a previous NIH Clinical Associate at the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute. Dr. Wells served in the US Health & Human Services, US Public Health Service, US Commissioned Corp and holds a Master's degree from Emory University.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

5 Steps That Might Save Your Healthcare

We've been hearing about it and CNN did an excellent report on it. The rising rate of healthcare in the USA has gotten extremely out-of-control. Ok, we've heard about the $27,000 single dose of a drug, the $200 pill. The special report revealed one family's tragic battle with cancer then facing a $4300 bill for a four day hospital stay. The list of expenses included items as low as $100,000 for treatment of stroke/year to $125,000 for heart disease/year, to $175,000 for year's in-house treatment for Alzheimer's .

Americans with healthcare concerns have now started to combine their vacations by including surgeries in other countries to reduce the burden of healthcare costs.

These top diseases mentioned earlier in the list are either all preventable or their burden of load to overall expense could be lowered by a Total Healthcare Package(THP). The THP is not too different in principal than a health insurances' total comprehensive care program , but goes further by blending it with the practitioners idea of Wholistic Care. It means that practitioners refrain from sub-compartementalizing their view of medicine and accept the realization that "a person's health is still within the same body"! This is what was not mentioned in the 2010 healthcare legislation. This 2nd portion is the "practical" application.

What this means is that health isn't based on "degrees of sickness" anymore , but rather ranges of wellness through making health not merely a part of your lifestyle but a part of your total life, sun up to sun down.

It means that Fitness, Nutritional Support(Nutritional Supplements), Prevention Education, Behavior Motivation, Wellness have to be utilized in unisom. The special area of Nutritional Supplements is gravely under-utilized and has been highly made suspect even when it was born out of two highly respected disciplines, medical biochemistry and botany.These 5 key points must be somehow a part of a persons home life, leisure life, work hours, and those times in- between.

These key 5 points are essential to reducing and preventing chronic and acute disease and their costs. Numerous public health statistics as well as clinical trials have shown overwhelmingly that changes and modifications of one's eating, activity, self-imagery, being informed and more aware of health can enact reduced healthcare costs based on a person becoming more responsible for his or her own health.

But, how does a country of over 300,000,000 effect this change in lifestyle as almost like a single unit. It can not be done easily or quickly, but it can be done reasonably. Why do I say that? Because the National Institutes of Health( N.I.H) intramurally and extramurally as well as the CDC, HHS(Health & Human Services), PHS(Public Health Service), World Health Organization, several colleges and universities, Wall Street(insurance companies) , Madison Avenue(advertising agencies) and several food and drug corporations have already done the research to prove that THP could work and are constantly sampling the population in real time to show it's daily effects.

If a consensus is met on standards of "wellness" stemming from these 5 key points of THP ; it could reduce healthcare cost directly and indirectly by reducing "The Mother of All Diseases", obesity! The real fight is fought at the belt line ; where the primary line of defense has to be placed.

We started this blog taking a look at the reported costs of "treating" disease. The real question auditors , acturaries and cost valuators need to be asking is "what is the cost of implementing prevention"!

Learn more about the 5 points of THP at

Dr. Marcus Wells MD, MPH is a past Clinical Associate at the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute. He served in the HHS(Health &Human Services), the PHS(Public Health Services), and the Commissioned Corp. Dr. Wells also holds a Master's in Public Health from Emory University.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Boning Up" with Supplements

Many of us already do not get the adequate amount of RDA of nutritional supplements even when food is made available to us. Either from under-nutrition or poor nutritional sources.Because of this and other multiple causes , poor bone health is recurrent in our country. We use the musculo-skeletal system to perform in all activities we participate in. Muscles attached to bones to help you walk or lift something from those muscles in the heart and gut are affected. Bones are needed to keep us centered with gravity and keep our internal organs in place and protect us from harmful impacts we encounter. Cartilage in ligaments, joints and are also articulate to this system.

But, what helps maintain strong bones , cartilage, joints and muscles? We've all been told to drink plenty of milk and eat lots of cheese when we were growing up. In those days the pastuerization process was all that was needed to keep the diary supply healthy. Unfortunately the fats and sometimes sugars as well as genetic modification, antibiotics and growth hormones introduced into diary products have become an issue to one's health. So, what are other healthier choices we can still select or consider selecting to maintain strong bones today?

According to the American Association of Orthopeodic Surgeons(AAOS) more than 27 million Americans have osteoarthritis, a sort of wear and tear destruction of cartilage with pain and aches in the bones and joints.

Ground substance that is made up of chondroitin sulfate(CS) and glucosamine(GA) help build up cartilage and make up a matrix for bone to be made as well. These two substance are made in the human body and are necessary for bone production. As the matrix or ground substance is worn down before repair, osteoarthritis can occur. Inflammation, bone spicules, and a compromised blood supply may lead to pain and swelling.

But scientific studies are looking seriously how these two necessary substances , CS and GA can also be utilized as supplements . Anecdotally , it looks like the things that nature makes "does make a difference" and knows best. The nationally acclaimed GAIT study(Glucosamine/Chrondoitin Intervention Trial) revealed significant relief from pain with these two supplements were used. They also proved they were at least as effective as ibuprofen (NSAID).

Another natural product which is produced from a sulfur source such as the antioxidant glutathione is MSM . When MSM, GA, CS are taken in combination wonderful results occur. It would appear they are as effective as the COX2 and NSAID drugs !

But, the most abundant mineral in the human body , calcium is still very important as well in building strong bones. It helps in muscle and blood vessel contraction. Be aware , however , that some foods do leach out calcium that have high amounts of oxalic acid like spinach and collard greens. Other foods such as those containing phytic acids in grains can reduce the absorption of calcium. High protein diets that are high in red meat concentration can increase the excretion of calcium as well.

Phosphorous is another element that is very essential in playing a role in buidling strong bones and teeth. Along with calcium several other elements such as boron and magnesium help build up bone and teeth.

Soy is partiucularly unique because it contains several products in it that protect and stengthen bone. Soy has isoflavones that are so strong that they are nearly equivalent to the drug ipriflavone in treating women in Europe with osteoporosis. The

Osteoporosis , due to poor mineral deposits in bone for post-menopausal women of European decent is especially problematic. Those with low melanin deposits in the dermis may be threatened by this problem as well , however, to a lesser extent. This makes them more prone to fractures with minor falls.

Estrogen helps maintain bone support for women when still in the period of time while still menstruating. However at menopause, that protection begins to fail. As a result women have taken to using synthetic estrogens and progesterone which are noted to be implicated in not only heart disease , but cancer and blood clots! Phystoestrogens found in soy may be a healthy alternative!

A pharmaceutical alternative was the drug Fosomax. unforutnately a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that in a longterm study(5 years) with over 14,000 women ; 662 still obtained hip fractures. What does this mean. The "jury" is still out , but doctors are asking their patients who take the drug to take a "durg holiday" from the drug.

Exercise builds strong bones and has to become a daily part of a person's regimen as well as foods that contain calcium. Alternatives to lacto-proteins(diary products) such as soy , tempeh, tofu, edamame , and sardines, have to be taken more seriously.

But, what happens when you do have aches and pains from wear and tear disease? Do you have to be relegated to only COX2 inhibitors or NSAIDs? These drugs have gained greater scrutiny as drug alerts have been issued on some. Even a NSAID can have effects on the gut to cause ulcers, bleeding and kidney effects.

Keep your kidneys functioning be aware that calcium metabolism and the activation of vitamin D, the vitamin that gives strength to bone and maturation is tied critically to the kidneys and your skin. The parathyroid gland which secretes Parathormone and the C follicular cells of that gland which secrete Calcitonin are also important to keep in check.

Know , that there is an ingredient in cayenne pepper called capcaicin that seems to reduce joint aches and pains as well as pain on top of the skin . amazingly studies are showing that it helps reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol and the stickiness of platelets that cause clot formation. The world reknown medical journal The Lancet has spoken to this critically.

The Ancient Indian Auyrvedic remedies are another alternative source to look at and after over 5000 years may be showing promise here in the west as well.

To Learn more about how to maintain your health and keep a healthy lifestyle go to the web

Dr. Marcus Wells is a previous Clinical Associate at the National Institutes of Health at the National Heart , Lung & Blood Institute(NIH/NHLBI). Dr. Wells served in the Health and Human Services(HHS), the Public Health Service(PHS), and Commissioned Corp. Dr. Wells holds a Master's in Public Health from Emory University.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Super Foods to the Rescue

As food prices continue to rise, as obesity continues to grow and more of us are seeking healthier foods for our daily lifestyles , more buzz is being generated about "super foods". "Super foods" is the term being assigned to certain foods that benefit us by helping to reduce the risk of chronic illneses associated with poor eating habits, overweight, obesity and a weak immunity system.

Before microwaving, irradiation, estrogen injection, growth hormones, insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, genetic modification, aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, nitrosamines, acrilamide, Poly-Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Heterocyclic Amines, artificial flavoring,artificial dyes, artificial dyes, artificial sweetners, and trans fats were in our food supply, foods were home grown naturally.

The foods fortified our diets without the necessity for supplementing any extra source unless one obtained the lack of a substance like scurvy as a sailor on the high seas or Pellegra from lack of vitamin B1 or thyroid disease from not getting iodine. But, in general we ate organic from the garden or farm grown items that didn't need "high performance" or artificial coloring. Matter of fact those were exactly what we are now calling the "Super Foods" of today!

The food list itself of the "super foods" that have been selected are not any more different today , but rather how we grow them and how we cook them. Over-cooking or overheating foods may leach out important Nano-Nutrition or denature the natural quality of the proteins. Burning foods , particularly red meat, out right may create toxins called free oxygen radicals to develop which are carcinogenic. Not only that , but the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has several studies showing how America's favorite cooking past time, grilling, is creating other carcinogens to develop called Poly-Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Heterocyclic Amines.


Today there has been a false sense of security developed that one diet type fits all people. That simply isn't true. Metabolic scientist such as biochemist, physiologist, nutritionist and fitness experts know that tailoring ones fuel sources is key to balancing your metabolism.

Ask yourself do you put the same types of fuels in a Volkswagen bug, a big Mac truck or a Ferrari. Do we give the same fuels for a diabetic, a professional athlete or someone who is a grandmother. The answer is pretty self-evident that "one size doesn't fit all".

Diets in and of themselves are not bad, it is the concept that they evoke about being universal and that anyone on any one particular diet can eat the same as somebody else. The word "diet" is a four-letter word if it is not used properly or correctly and denotes a "bad terminology". We need to understand "nutritional support" , nutritional guidance, nutritional education , nutritional metabolism and perhaps the most lacking is understanding the importance of "Nano-Nutrition".


Why are green leafy vegetables so great? Why are carrots important? What is it that citrus products have that makes them so vital to our health if not our very survival? What is it in grapes that are so essential to daily living. The answer to all of them is because these rich food sources contain Nano-Nutrition , the real "Super Foods" in our diets. If these foods come from a wholesome source and are organic then cooked and prepared properly we almost assure 100% healthier outcomes.

Nano-Nutrition are the vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, enzymes and herbals that nature has supplied us with after thousands of years of adapting on the planet to give the human organism metabolic balance with his/her environment(internal and external).

We are seeing how antioxidants have anti-cancer fighting abilities and may help premature aging. Vitamins can supply anti-cancer fighting effects as well as immune protection and help us from developing metabolic illnesses. Enzymes help in the antimicrobial world as well as help catalyze billions of chemical reactions just going on in one of several billion of our cells!


Berries such as grapes, cherries, strawberries, and blue berries supply strong anti-oxidants along with pomengranates, and citrus products.

Soy, tomatoes, oatmeal and fiber possess anti-cancer powers as well , particularly against prostate , breast and colonic cancers.

Nuts such as almonds supply rich healthier omega 3 oils as well as fish. These not only help lower cholesterol overall, but studies are looking at how fat from fish such as the omega oils may help the brain. The brain is mostly made up of fat. Cognitive function and memory can be enhanced by it.

Even dark chocolate(cocao) has several healthy aspects such as flavonols that act as anti-oxidants.


Powerful Antioxidants that science is looking at as a anticancer fighter include:

Vitamin C

Vitamin E

Grape Seed Extract



Super Oxide Dismutase

Co-Enzyme Q(Co-Q-10)




Saw Palmetto

Nano-Nutrition For Brain Function:

Omega 3 Oil


Vitamin B12

Ginko Biloba

Nano-Nutrition to Enhance Cellular Metabolism







Nano-Nutrition that Stabilizes Blood Sugar


Chromium Picolinate

Nano-Nutrition to Enhance Burning Fat(thermogenic effect)



Green Tea

Nano-Nutrition that Controls Appetite:



Red Meat Alternatives




Branch Chain Amino Acids


Fat Alternatives


Olive Oil(Monosaturated fats)

Omega 3 Oil(Fish, almonds)

Omega 6 Oil

Flax seed



Sunflower Oil

Natural Fat Lowerering Nano-Nutrition



Cardio-specific Nano-Nutrition



Saw Palmetto

Vitamin C

Co-Enzyme Q

Select the best brand of Nano-Nutrition available. Dr. Wells recommends Thermogenix products at . Most of the Nano-Nutrition mentioned in this article are used in Thermogenix products from only reputable laboratories that are GMP approved by the FDA.

Dr. Wells is a past Clinical Associate from the National Institutes of Health at the National Heart Lung & Blood Intitute(NIH/NIHLBI). Dr. Wells served in the Health and Human Services(HHS), Public Health Service(PHS), and Commissioned Corp. Dr Wells also holds a Master's degree in Pulic Health from Emory University.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pepsi Challenge ReChallenge: Redux

This week Pepsi Co. , the owners of soft drinks like Pepsi issued a new "challenge" to itself and others like it by announcing it would not only be limiting its soft drink in schools during school hours but made a watershed decision by removing its soft drinks totally within or near educational institutions. This has surprisingly pushed the envelope that much further for Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper to do the same. This comes on the heels of food maker Kraft Foods that has stated it will remove the fat content calorically of its products by at least 10%! Could a "culture of wellness" actually be around the corner? One can only hope, but don't get too overly excited,though!

We know from studies that high school boys consume approximately 72 pounds of sugar a year from diet drinks alone from drinking "just" 2 cans of soda a day! The operative word here is "sugar". Although soft drink companies have agreed to limit "sugar" has anyone bothered to see whats on the back of a can of a soft drink? One might consider having to have a college degree in biochemistry to interpret the rather ambiguous word "sugar" after reading it.

Sugar, we typically think of as an energy component the body needs or it will die. Most of us would be right to think that on face value. But, this type of sugar we very often typically think of glucose comes in various forms from natural foods stuffs that the cell breaks down from proteins, fats and carbohydrates. When one says sugar we are also talking about other classifications of it from simple sugars like other monosaccharides including trioses, tetroses, pentoses, and hexoses. Then there is good ole' table sugar called sucrose and other diasaccharides found in honey, maltose and diary products. Will the soft drink companies deny that these too are "sugars" and not just glucose or dextrose it's alter ego often used today as an ingredient? If not will they consider substituting with them?

What about other oligosaccharides and polysaccharides? Will soft drink companies either bait-and-switch us just with other types of carbohydrates that are also sugars , but aren't considered such as much? Most of us are thinking that sugar is just glucose or table sugar and that anything else is just a "zero calorie" product that has no potential harmful effects-not so quick!

We haven't heard the last of it because the approval of other "sugar alternatives" exist that are some 600- 800 times sweeter than sugar! Recently we have seen how aspartame has come into vogue in numerous artificial sweetners. Studies are now indicating that neurological disorders from brain cancers, seizures and behavior related problems and metabolic disorders like PKU may be related to this sweetner which is in numerous soft drinks.

Sucralose which is big in sweetners like Splenda also are making a splash. Sucralose was found accidentally when chemist were trying to make an insecticide through there chlorine and acetylation process. Chlorine is a known carcinogen! Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than table sugar, 3 times sweeter than saccharin and 2 times sweeter than aspartame.

Today Sucralose is mixed with several other artificial sweetners such as aspartame and acesulfane K. These combinations of sweetners can cause weight gain, insomnia, sexual dysfunctions, increase rate of cancer, Lupus, and diabetes.

Today we are all up in an uproar about "sugar" such as glucose(dextrose) and sucrose(table sugar) when the real culprit may be actually HFCS(high fructose corn syrup). This "sugar" is known to be the primary cause today of pediatric obesity, overweight, diabetes, liver disease and high blood pressure. Because of it, pediatric authorities are asking parents to be aware of its uses in soft drinks, snacks, cereals and especially after school and Saturday morning childrens' top list of foods. A whole new generation of diseased livers will enter the healthcare system just in time for healthcare reform to kick in(whenever it does)! The situation is critical now.

Reading the back of soda and food labels has become cumbersome and we are not use to doing it when we go grocery shopping. The kids are tugging on us and we have just come back from the commute. Everyone is hungry and the drive back home to prepare to make "little Johnny and Jenny" a processed balone, mayo, chips and soda is all you can do to please them and have some peace and quiet.

But, shouldn't we be asking why "little Johnny and Jenny" can't sit still and are squirming so much all day ? Why are we seeing more diagnosis today of Attention Defecit(ADD/ADHD) or hyperactivity? Is it purely coincidence?

Before we go singing the praises of any company that's bottom line is driven by the profit margin of sugar and who is about to "remove" " subistitute" or just replace its products in another locals ; let's re-examine what may be merely sugary "semantics" what is lingusitically "mombo jombo and jibber jabber". Let's separate food fact from food fat. We need to individually read more labels do more searches on maltodextrin, saccharin, aspartame, sucarlose and HFCS! What is that stuff anyway? If the food companies and soft drink companies don't consider these as "sugars" also , then what then is a sugar and what can they put in as a non-sugar "sugar" subsititute? What about the artificial food dyes, coloring and artificial flavoring? Can a "sugar shell game" that is used to sweeten up our lives be doing something else more harmful?

Perhaps using natural sweet from nature in fruits as additives in everything we like is a place to start from with our desserts, beverages, cereals and snacks. The more natural and organic the source the better.Don't go shopping hungry all the time and if the kids go with you for shopping, pre-plan with a shopping list. Let them be a part of making the list creation and reward them with fruits more often. Consider Carob, soy, fruit bars and fruit smoothies. Make up "out-of-the world" snacks like organic peanut butter banana sandwiches. The kids will think you are the coolest mom or dad with something "outta sight" like that! The American Dental Association has now endorsed xylitol as a sweet alternative to "sugar" mainly because of the dental issues involved. But, a much more promising alternative may be the natural organic sweetner from the leaves of plants from the Amazon called Stevia.

As more products will no doubt be introduced as "sugar" to the market, what is a sugar or a "sugar" will need to be looked at more. Your guess is as good as your health! Try asking the questions and reading the labels more. If that's not enough write to the food companies and ask specifically. If the makers won't tell you , then you must "make" them!

Learn more about eating healthier and considering healthier sweet choices in life at

Dr. Marcus Wells, MD, MPH is a previous Clinical Associate from the National Institutes of Health at the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute(NIH/NHLBI). He has served in the Health & Human Services(HHS), Public Health Service(PHS) and Commissioned Corp. Dr. Wells holds a master's degree in Public Health from Emory University.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Obese Pets Often Follow Their Owners Lifestyle

In the whole realm of our lifestyle is the important realm of our pets health.Today we have the enigma of obese and overweight pets affecting the quality of their lives. In the last few decades not only have human beings gotten "bigger" , pets are also increasing in size. It seems that there's more to it than just the puppy chow that's being fed to obese pets of obese and overweight pet owners. It is almost as if they reflect the very essence of their owners in what they eat, how they consume higher numbers of calories and do less and less activity!

It is now reported by pet and veterinarian authorities (Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, Chow Hounds, and ) that approximately 51.5% of cats and dogs in the USA are either obese or overweight! The pets , again just like their owners, are presenting with several chronic illnesses that ratchet up the cost of veterinarian healthcare just as human obesity raises the cost of healthcare.

Some of these diseases that pets are developing seem to be related to their obesity and overweight status similarly to the ones caused by human obesity such as: type 2 and type 1 diabetes, respiratory diseases like asthma, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases , arthritis, lowered immunity, skin and hair problems as well as digestive diseases.


Pets and pet owners both have to get in shape together. Just like with humans, pets need a regimen based on wellness, prevention, fitness, nutritional support and nutritional supplements. Most pet owners of obese pets do not and will not realize or recognize their pets as obese or overweight and will persist in over-feeding them with numerous snacks chocked full of dangerous harmful calories. It is snacks that are raising the level of obesity more today , anywhere from 50 calories or more in bacon snacks, cheese snacks and others add extra "carbs" and fat to the pets diet.

This doesn't mean you have to stop giving your "smart" , obedient and faithful friend snacks, but experts say that treats shouldn't be more than about 10% of the total calories daily in their diet. A ten pound cat doesn't need more than about 300 calories a day and a 40 pound dog needs no more than 1000 calories a day.


It would be nutritionally advisable to give pets crunchy veggies like baby carrots, cucumbers or celery. Liver Biscotti is another one. Prevention comes in with avoiding peach pits, apple seeds, onions, and left over steak even. One must try to give your pets meats that have had the fat trimmed off of it. Try adding more veggies, non-fat yogurt or egg white to their diet. Low fat or no fat cheese is another alternative to consider. Read the labels and look out for fillers like corn as a prime ingredient , also. Remeber that many pet foods have many artificial fillers that are absolutely useless for your pet! Avoid chocolate, avocados and sweetners. Cat owners pay attention to tuna snack caloric intake especially!


Pet authorities recommend lamb ears and cow ears along with dried beef liver, fresher meats and veggies. Avoid the artificially processed foods altogether. Even chow you mix at home with chicken and brown rice, egg white and vegetables are probably better more often than not than what you get in some stores.


Many of our pets are not getting adequate activity . If you are not working out , chances are your pet isn't either. A simple walk will do. But, some pets will run for a thrown ball, a ball or yarn and even a frisbee, too! Some animals like to swim, good luck with your cat , though! Go to a park that also includes a pet park or course where they can "workout" with you. Build the relationship with your animal and build its confidence up with activity as it gets into shape with you.


Veterinarians and pet authorities are recommending your pets to be given supplements such as multi-vitamins and antioxidants just like for you!


Sometimes animals can get stressed out just like their owners and require a pet nutritionist or psychologist to re-direct and get back on track again. Animals reflect their owners in more ways than one. Watching and learning their behaviors and their weight may tell us more about ourselves than we imagine.

Learn more on how you can improve your lifestyle more to include your pets at

Dr. Marcus Wells, MD, MPH is a previous Clinical Associate from the National Institutes of Health at the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute(NIH/NHLBI). Dr. Wells holds a master's degree in Public Health from Emory University and has served in the Health & Human Services(HHS), Public Health Service(PHS) , and Commissioned Corp.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The New Science of Bacteria Related Obesity, Cancer, Oral Hygeine, Heart Disease

It seems more often what we put into our mouths is having a much greater effect on us much than just its caloric value. We now know about the effects of high fat and high carbohydrate have but, rarely understand the connection that having extremely poor dentition has in causing heart disease! Medical science has long understood that bacteria could come from teeth that are poorly cared for. In extreme cases these bacteria seed to the heart causing "vegetations" that are septic. This extreme case is called Bacterial Endocarditis. But, now dental researchers are alarmed at how pericoronitis, gingivitis, cavities and missing teeth are perhaps are a much greater indicator for heart disease than even the fibrinogen clot level, low HDL(good cholesterol) or even a high triglyceride. An important study published in the journal Circulation in 2004 by Harvard School of Public Health and Boston University School of Dentistry researchers revealed this.


We all practically know about brushing our teeth and tongue, flossing and using a good mouth wash. But, did you know that there are natural approaches that can augment the safety of your dental health? Naturapaths published in 2009 that folic acid, vitaminc c, bioflavanoids, Co-Enzyme Q-10, and hyaluronic acid help reduce the inflammation in your gums and for the bleeding. These come in liquid forms.

Herbal remedies such as Neem, Chamomile, Echinacea and Myrrh may also help. Studies on natural use of products have been published in the British Journal of Medicine

in 2009.


Again when we think of obesity we think of overeating and lack of exercise , but researchers at Emory University in Atlanta have recently seen that the normal gut flora can lack a protein called TLR5. The lack of this protein doesn't allow control of the flora's pathogenic potential in some cases , so they flourish This is believed to cause an inflammatory reaction that causes the increased population to compete with insulin. If insulin can not send signals to help sugar to be absorbed weight gain can occur. Not only weight gain but the Metabolic Syndrome(Cardio-Metabolic Syndrome , Syndrome-X) .

The Metabolic Syndrome is the quintessential definition of the "Un-Healthy Lifestyles Syndrome" that includes high triglycerides, high cholesterol, high blood glucose, high blood pressure and obesity. The lack in the TLR5 can not control the "gut bug" population and more competition for insulin receptors occur.The bacteria may cause a sort of inflammatory response so that insulins ability is blunted.


Scientist have known that 2 types of obesity exists . Hypertrophic or the large size of an adipose fat cell and hyperplastic , the high number of adipose fat cells. There is now known that certain chemical factors called cytokines can cause an immuno-inflammatory resposne believed to be due to bacteria. The inflammation causes the fat cells to increase in their number and obesity tends to occur.


Today medical science is looking at the very deadly connection between bacteria, inflammation and cancer. Instestinal cancers may be related to the inflammation caused by bacteria. This is not that of pathogenic bacteria , but rather by the normal gut flora! There are possible pre-cancerous states due to inflammation in the gut such as Chron's Disease, Colitis, and Adenomatous Polyposis.

"Knock-out" research of G protein research shows that there are certain mutagenic models for this to happen. Also there are stressors that put us at greater risks. These include oxygen free radicals, pro-inflammatory bacteria and bacterial antigens(foreign material).

What happens is that a series of changes on our gut wall begins to occur such as inflammation, disorganized changes with ulceratin and even abcesses. Very inflammatory mutagenic tumor causing factors like TNF will be released. We are seeing normal flora such as numerous Lactobacilli strains in this as well as others. These reactions are now believed to be causing colon cancer and hepatic cancer as well.


Are there alternatives to only being relegated to immuno-suppressive therapy like steroids, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporines and methotrexate and others. Empahtically yes! But, it starts with designing a healthy lifestyle by beginning with prevention.


Prevention of chronic disease is the idea of effecting a regimen including regular exercise, eating higher amounts of green leafy vegetables, fruits, fiber, drinking more water, meditating, and in reducing the use of toxic household items.


Reducing exposure to certain toxins. This means genetically modified foods, estrogen treated food, growth hormone injected foods, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, HCAs/PAHs in grilled meats, MSG, Aspartame, Saccharin, Acrilamide in french fries, trans fats, saturated fats, burnt crisped foods, super salted foods, Nitrosamines, Smoked foods, food coloring, food dyes, artificial food flavors, irradiated foods, fast foods and microwaved foods


Start by noting how many calories, servings of food, cups of items you eat containing fat and carbohydrates. Have already designated workout days. Find a space to meditate, try to avoid traffic, take the stairs over the elevator, always floss teeth and get your 8 hours of sleep.


There is no doubt medical science sees that disease is started at the cellular level which also means treatment, cure and healing all are also at this level, too. It means that these methods of cooking are not always helping us get all we need to fight disease. Nano-Nutrition which are organic based supplements( ) are how we can fight potential threats at the cellular level such as toxins that can produce these diseases.

Try to Re-supplement your cellular metabolism with powerful antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Super Oxide Dismutase, Glutathione, Grape seed extract, Pomengranate extract, Resveratrol, Lycopene, Soy, Flavonols, Retinoids, and Caretinoids.

Consider more Super Foods in your diet such as dark chocolate, carobe, blueberries, strawberries, and cherries with antioxidants. Almonds have healthy oils along with Salmon. Load up on more fiber such as oatmeal as well.


Consider oils that can reduce cholesterol , LDL, and triglyceride such as omega 3 and omega 6 oil. Try Flax or Flax seed oil as well as Safflower. Black Currant is another possibility. Instead of butter and margarine go with Beconol more often.


Reduce the amounts of red meats you consume and go with more chicken and fish. If you already do that consider now adding soy, whey and casein.

Also consider probiotic enzymes that help promote natural gut flora. Antibiotics tend to destroy the natural protective gut flora making it possible for pathogens to flourish and further reduce our own immunity.

Dr. Marcus Wells, MD, MPH is a previous Clinical Associate from the National Institutes of Health at the National Heart , Lung, & Blood Institute where he worked with principal researchers of Syndrome-X. He holds a Master's in Public Health from Emory University . He has also served in the Health & Human Services(HHS), Public Health Service (PHS) and Commissioned Corp.

Learn more on healthier choices and supplements for a healthier lifestyle at

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pushing the Envelope of the "Vanity Syndrome" for Extreme Weight Loss

In the last part of the last century and certainly lingering in the 21st century is a new social and cultural syndrome that poses a grave health threat to us. It's called the "Vanity Syndrome". Dr. Marcus Wells( ) has termed it becaue of a type of narcissism that has somehow invaded our habits and behaviors daily and diverted our real health focus. It has spoiled us and become heavily influenced by a media campaign that tells us to dislike ourselves for "who" we are to become somthing that isn't "what" we are!

No body shape is perfect but the media industry has hammered that into our heads that not being "perfect" is not acceptable so much that we have started believing it. It begins with the several hours of television, radio , bill board and inernet ads that bombard us with images that influence our subconcious.

We are "programmed" to fit into and look a certain way and if not we are to be considered somehow less desirable, inadequate, incompetent and yes even unhealthy by some standards.

Beauty has been redefined by the media and Ad industry as a measure of their ideal standard and it has created a "Vanity Syndrome" for some who have felt that they have to obtain this ideal ( fabricated) standard at all or any cost literally , even at the expense of their own lives.

On Monday March 8th ABC Nightline ran a story about the rising rate of liposuction in the United States. Years ago this was a surgical procedure reserved only for skilled and qualified plastic surgeons to perform. Now, virtually "any" MD from any general or other specialized field can take a few hours couse on the weekend to learn how to do it.

"Lipo" makes over $10 Billion dollars a year in revenue and now it is not only being performed at inpatient hospital ORs, but outpatient clinics as well as commercial spas.

The risk of liposuction to the general public is usually under-publicized and realized. Going "under the knife" with "lipo" can sometimes involve heavy anesthesia such as lidocaine and propofol. Being unconcious presents always a concern as well as bleeding. Heart rates, breathing rates, blood gases, and body hemodynamics most always be properly monitored!

Today we are seeing quick weight loss programs that do not stress fitness, nutritional support, wellness, and prevention. We have seen how extremely very low calorie diets and liquid protein diets have caused problems with dehydration, loss of minerals and cardiac complications. At one time wrapping up in tight non-breathable material to workout in was acceptable. Super weight loss drugs like phertermine and fenfluramine posed a health concern as well as high dose Ephedra(Mahuang).

It's almost possible to lose weight with virtually anything today. However, the question we should be asking ourselves is are we also getting proper nutritional support, drinking adequate water, getting in leisure exercise, learning prevention , wellnes and in a nutshell making a healthier lifestyle choice. Anything that radically changes your lifestyle or is only usable for 2-3 months can not be considered a lifestyle change.

Today we have run into several "side effects" of the "Vanity Syndrome". We judge people harder who are obese and overweight by putting certain stereotypes on them. This isolates them further from participating in the socializiation process and causes them to develop depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bulimia, anorexia, and body dysmorphia. As children inparticular are ostracized by judgemental parents or cruel peers we see skewed eating patterns develop. Overeating is not so simply explained as we were once led to believe. Foods can be addictive and eating can become a compulsion based on a chemical imbalance we have with serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain. Unfortunately some have felt that drugs called serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and selective serotonin inhibitors(SRI/SSRI) are the best way to treat this problem. The problem is that these same drugs actually can cause suicide, anxiety and depression.

Today we recognize the real possiblity of local, state and even federal government imposing taxes on obese and overweight people as a type of "sin tax" , even foods that have higher calories and fats also may become more taxed. Parents who let their children become fat may become penalized or even criminalized in the system. Airlines have already begun to charge extra or demand that those over a certain weight purchase an extra seat or be faced with being "kicked off " the flight!

If the public can not "measure up" to the media's ideal standards of beauty, what is the community to do? Do people with moderate obesity or overweight continue with liposuction and go on crash diets? The answer goes back to making something a part of your lifestyle. We can make a culture of wellness by defining acceptable and reasonable health standards.But, the "nexus" of this paradigm shift will have to be for health agencies like the HHS, FDA, USDA, restaurant and grocery industry as well as media and Hollywood "engineers" to create a campaign that will back up an extraordinary platform of prevention, wellness and fitness. The healthcare professionals would have to change their focus from sub-compartamentlized medicine to holistic-preventive-ocmplemtary-integrated health. This means using supplements and alternatives to help in the fight for physical health and for the fiscal budget.

The ultimate responsibility will be our own in this battle that is waged against an unhealthy lifestyle. If the cost of health ends up costing our own lives, then we must focus on "changing" our lifestyle and the image we see ourselves as. This means becoming more self aware when we are gaining weight, becoming sedentary, not drinking enough water, not getting nutrients or exposed to household and environmental toxins.

Dr. Marcus Wells, MD, MPH is a previous clinical associate at the National Institutes of Health in the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute(NIH/NHLBI). He has served in the Health and Human Services(HHS), Public Health Service(PHS) and Commssioned Corp.

Learn more on natural and preventive ways to a healthier lifestyle at

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Relationship of Maternal Health, Obesity and Diabetes

Today ABC News reported on the new World Health Organization(WHO) report that the United States ranks 33rd in the world on maternal health in childbirth. The W.H.O. had already given the United States a 37th ranking in total health of nations in the world last year.

Studies are showing that there is a rise in maternity morbidity and mortality rates with women especially with C-sections and other procedure related births especially within the first 42 days after delivery.

The W.H.O. reports that the deaths are related to women who appear to be stationary or sedentary immediately for prolonged periods, after having a C-section, and tend to be obese! A medical occurence known as a thromo-embolic event is the most likely culprit for causing this phenomenom in happening.

Thrombo-embolic events are blood clots usually due to blood pooling in large veins or some arteries after an individual stays stationary for some significant period of time. The pooling of blood allows platelets and blood cells more time to adhere . Clots that form in this manner are called thrombi. Thrombi can occur in the low pressure vessels such as the lower leg , abdomen and right side of the heart.

When pressure abruptly rises from someone standing or having a valsalva manuever( straining from the waist) the "clot" can break off and travel to higher pressure areas such as the left side of the heart or to the brain where strokes happen. When this occurs an embolus has occured.

Recent studies indicate now that about one in every five maternal deaths is in women who have diabetes, asthma and complications of their delivery as a result of C-sections. C sections are even more dangerous because they offer the woman more risk of infection as well. A woman with a history of a C-section and even worse multiple C-sections has an even greater risk of maternal morbidity and mortality.

Obesity has become the "Mother of All Chronic Illnesses" including maternal diseases. The risk of complications in pregnancy increase in women who are already overweight or obese at the time of pregnancy , but the risk of non-obese women who become obese in the middle of pregnancy rises higher as well. The risk is not only to the mother who now is a candidate of gestational diabetes and it's complications with out well controlled sugar; the risk also falls on the fetus who now is at risk of becoming obese, diabetic and gestationally much larger. Larger babies are more difficult to deliver and are at risk for complications during pregnancy and delivery. Women with gestational diabetes seem to have more fluid in the placenta(amnionitic fluid) a condtion called polyhydraminos.

Also note that obesity is associated with numerous pulmonary diseases including asthma other obstructive disease, restrictive lung disease, sleep apnea, and the Pickwickian Syndrome.

Many of the women who are susceptible to blood clots are women who are on estrogen medication or who smoke. The combined affect is very detrimental . Women who are diabetics also are at risk, but those who have poorly controlled sugar are particularly vulnerable.

There are some clotting factor disorders that need to be looked at. Clotting factors are made in the liver and are dependent upon Vitamins D, A, K, and E, Christmas factor and Von Willenbrand factor as well as Clotting factor VII and VIII must be tested for as well as anyone who has higher platelets and red blood cells than normal(polycythemia vera). Check your family history and be aware that bleeding can be a complication with clotting and always tell your physician before labor if you are on any drugs , particularly aspirin like!

If you are obese or overweight continue a lifestyle program of nutritional support and exercise while pregnant until told not to do so. Keep your cholesterol and blood sugar in its normal limits. chart your baby's weight gain as you take on more weight, watch your hunger craves and document which foods may make you hungrier or those that you crave more often and chart when you eat them and their caloric amount. Report patterns to your nutritionist.

If you smoke try stopping and realize you may need a non-pharmaceutical means to quit so no cross over of drugs affects your baby!

Becoming sedentary after an invasive procedure is a risk for the thrombo-embolic event to occur. Ask your doctor for pulsatile or jobe hose stockings while being hospitalized. Sometimes wiggling the toes help. When a person can tolerate it , physical therapy in-house can perform some passive exercises for you.

Your medical staff should be aware of your clotting factors and bleeding times and PT/PTT as well as your liver function ; if they are not you should ask what they are!

Try to avoid having induced labor or C-sections as much as possible and always use prevention.

Dr. Marcus Wells, MD, MPH is a past clinical associate at the National Institutes of Health at the National Heart , Lung & Blood Institute(NIH/NHLBI) and has a Master's in Public Health from Emory University. He has also worked at the Health and Human Services(HHS), Public Health Service(PHS), and Commissioned Corp.

Learn more about prevention of obesity and developing a healthier lifestyle at

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Natural Green Health" lifestyle may become way to "culture of wellness"

Last week Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN( a fellow Emory graduate) showcased the expensive cost of a surgery room suite in a typical hospital. Today , chief medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen of CNN discussed several cheap items in hospitals and clinics that are marked up by thousands of times driving the cost to patients, insurance premiums and healthcare costs in general.

Here are some of the items she presented on CNN:
Tooth brushes for $1000

One Tylenol tablet for $140

Disposable latex gloves for $53.00 a pair

One alcohol square swab( 1 x 1 inch) for $23

There has been incidents where a patient had come in ER at one hospital and only utilized one IV bag, but was "co-incidentally" charged for using 41 intravenous bags rounding out at a cost of $4182

We are now seeing this "wasteful" spending becoming commonplace in healthcare environments daily. This is not practicing defensive medicine , but "wasteful" spending adding up to a cost of some $1,000,000,000,000, 000, thats One Trillion Dollars!

While policy makers are still hammering out the cost of the healthcare system , how are health practitioners and more importantly you going to put the "health" back into healthcare?

More and more alternatives that are not only effective , but cost- effective are being sought by both practitioners and patients that are addressing this issue naturally.

Today we are seeing that the majority of our tax dollars are going for treating the biggest diseases that cost the most in healthcare which are all related to obesity and overweight. Enter the "paradigm shift" in delivery of healthcare in the USA.

Because obesity is the cause or co-morbid creator of heart disease(cardivascular disease such as high blood pressure, stroke, angina, heart attack), cancers(breast, prostate, colon),Diabetes, Arthritis, Polycystic ovarian disease, infertility in males and females, immuno-suppression, Pulmonary diseases(asthma, restrictive disease, sleep apnea, pickwickian syndrome), Body dysmorphia, Depression, and eating disorders along with gout, high cholesterol and poorly controlled blood sugar. It is time we use sound logistics and tactics to attack this problem of a poor lifestyle.

A more cost effective type of health can be delivered focusing on prevention , fitness, sound nutritional support, and Nano-Nutrition(supplements, herbs, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and enzymes).

If obesity is "The Mother of All Diseases" a Prevention Program can help eradicate our poor Lifestyle Culture into of Wellness.

Supplements are a fraction of the cost that pharmaceuticals do and in long term regular uses with diet and fitness may help prevent many illnesses we seem to be overpaying for.

Eating more of a Mediterranean style diet along with garlic, onions, and a a Ayurvedic product called Guggul may help lower cholesterol along with eating more marine sea foods. Utilizing more monosaturated fats like olive oil is healthier as well. Omega 3 and 6 oils which have proven to help lower cholesterol. Alternative oils such as flax, flax seed , and safflower are also benefiting those who are seeking to lower body and blood fats like adipose, triglyceride and cholesterol. Try switching from saturated fats and margarine to Benecol!

Other Super Foods that can become part of your dietary regimen to fight chronic illnesses because of their vitamins and antioxidant power include:

Berries(cherries, strawberries, blue berries) Almond and nuts, avocado, salmon, dark chocolate that have flavonols, oatmeal, oat bran and fiber.

To combat heart disease the uses of more antioxidants in green, red, orange and yellow vegetables and fruit along with nuts such as almonds will help promote a more natural dietary approach . But, for those of us who don't get it all this way there are supplements that have antioxidants that combat or prevent heart diseases.

Avoiding  Homocysteine in red meats in particular are important because these have become two of the greatest risk factors along with family history, diabetes, high triglycerides and high cholesterol. One must try to lose weight or maintain a weight control method as well through dietary and exercise modification.

Keeping your platelets less sticky by understanding that that blood Fibrinogen levels which is related to clot formation and another factor called CRP (which measures inflammation a oxidation and immune response to clots and plaque production ) can help you determine risk of having a heart attack.

Improving your cardio-pulmonary reserve is improved with aerobic style exercises such as jogging, swimming, skiing, basketball, tennis, and or Pilates are helpful.

Try adding Super Antioxidants to reduce inflammation and the oxidation process that produce oxygen free radicals in the arteries such as: Selenium, Co-Enzyme Q 10, NADH, NADPH, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Glutathione, Super Oxide, Dismutase, Grape Seed Extract, Resveratrol, Pomengranate extract, Hawthone and Acai.

Besides continuing your exercise and nutritional food regimen you might want to consider Fermented soy, temph, casein and whey more often in your diet. Soy has phytoestrogens that help in the fight of preventing breast cancer and may be good for men to prevent prostatic cancer. More fiber to help the transit time of your larger intestines is recommended as well. For men with health concerns about their prostate consider trying more Saw Palmetto which helps enlargement and Lycopene a powerful tomato antioxidant that stops dangerous forms of testosterone in being formed.

Two major problems in the battle on obesity and type 2 diabetes are the high concentration of sugar particularly by high fructose corn syrup(HFCS) which is seen more in sodas, snacks, cereals and childrens food items. We are seeing a rise in more Type 2 diabetes in kids along with fatty liver(liver dysfunction), obesity, overweight condition, high blood pressure and heart disease. Much of this is due to the higher amounts of sugar by HFCS in the diet along with high amounts of table sugar, snacks, candies and soda kids are eating.

There is hope today for those with blood sugars out of control. The mineral Chromium Picolinate and herbal Gynemma seem to help stabilize blood sugar so the "crash & burn" we get from immediate sugar ingestion isn't as hard hitting. Insulin sensitivity may improve with these two products along with regualar exercise. Body composition as far as the fat to lean muscle mass ratio may also improve as well.

Our society is seeing more food addictions occur to carbohydrates especially and the brain chemistry leads us to a neuochemical call serotonin which may be causing this. Hoodia, the famous South African plant seems to have a natural mechanism that specifically controls these "carb craves" , while HCA(Garcinia Cambogia) is more for generalized appetite control as it builds up more lean muscle mass and improving metabolsim.

The American Dental Association has endorsed Xylitol as a healthy alternative to table and simple sugars. But, another alternative making as much an impact is Stevia, another South American herb that is changing how we eat by being sweeter than sugar and not causing hyperglycemia, tooth decay or diabetes.

Learn more about how you can convert your diet and exercise program into a more natural regimen to combat chronic illness such as heart disease, cancers and diabetes at

Dr. Marcus Wells, MD, MPH is a past Clinical Associate at the National Institutes of Health at the National Heart , Lung & Blood Institutute(NIH/NHLBI) and has a Master's in Public Health from Emory University as well as worked for the HHS(Health and Human Services, Public Health Service and Commissioned Corp)