Archive for August 2nd, 2006

Are You In A BAD MOOD?

August 2, 2006

Images_2 Unfortunately,it was a very busy week attending a convention in Madrid. More than 24 hours in the plane and while attneding the convention, all you do is listen to lectures, take a break to eat then listen again. So INACTIVITY was the name of the game!

Haven’t you noticed that the more inactive you are, the more moody you become…or the other way around: the more active you are,the better you feel? Here are some facts:

A recent study by the University of Texas published in December 2005 showed that a group of depressed individuals after walking the treadmill for 30minutes had an improvement in mood, developed more positive feeling and a good sense of well being with more vigor than the other group who were told to rest quietly. The study concluded that changes in mood are affected by physical activity.

So what my friends and I did was to find time to explore Madrid and neighboring areas ( see my photo album titled SPAIN) for a whole day of walking tour… and my weren’t we refreshed!

So the next time your day does not seem to be right… Stand Up and Walk…

Being In A Bad Mood…Is Another

 Reason to Exercise!

The Risks Of Sudden Weight Loss

August 2, 2006

2344790148.jpg Obesity is now considered a risk factor for developing gallstones.  But studies have shown that the wrong way of dieting can further increase ones risk to develop this disease. 

According to the National Institutes of Health in its latest bulletin:

“Weight-loss dieting increases the risk of developing gallstones. People who lose a large amount of weight quickly are at greater risk than those who lose weight more slowly. Rapid weight loss may also cause silent gallstones to become symptomatic. Studies have shown that people who lose more than 3 lbs per week may have a greater risk of developing gallstones than those who lose weight at slower rates.”

A rapid weight loss results in rapid weight re-gain.  Obesity is a lifestyle disease and therefore a change in “couch-potato” lifestyle is the sure way to winning our fight against obesity.

My recommendation: Slow Gradual weight loss and aim for at least 1 pound per week… It’s the most healthy way to lose weight!

Remember…theres’ no shortcut to weight loss…

It’s the Discipline That Counts!

Diet Tips to Lower Blood Pressure

August 2, 2006

2567559947.jpg DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension was developed by the National Institutes of Health to help lower blood pressure.  This diet has been proven to lower ones BP by as much as 14 mm Hg in as short as 2 weeks …not bad for a dietary intervention data.

So whats a DASH Diet Plan? Let’s review its components based on a 2000 calorie diet:

1. Grains: 7-8 servings. Whole grains are preferred because they contain more fiber. Wheat bread over regular bread; pasta made of wheat and brown rice are preferred choices. 

2.Fruits and Vegetables: 8-10 servings. These foods are packed with potassium and magnesium. while low in fat.  Magnesium deficiency is linked to high BP while high potassium can blunt the effect of sodium in raising BP thus intake of foods rich in both can have an impact in controlling ones BP.

3. Dairy: 2-3 servings.  The sources have to be low fat….and are rich sources of calcium. Calcium is important in BP regulation because any deficiency has been linked to high BP.

4. Meat: 2 servings or less. This can be a problem to meat lovers because this diet takes away the main focus of every meal and that is MEAT! For meat choices… avoid red meat and instead focus on chicken breast or fish…not fried but steamed, broiled or grilled.

5. Nuts and Beans: 4-5 servings. Almonds, kidney beans and lentils are excellent sources of potassium and magnesium. Soy beans as tofu are good sources of protein like meat and contains isoflavones shown to have health benefits.

Recently though a study showed that replacing some servings of carbohydartes with low fat protein and unsaturated fats like nuts, olive oil, fish and poultry lowered ones BP even more.

Lastly and very important is to cut back on sodium. Check my other post on practical tips to lower sodium in the diet. Likewise, to boosts the effect of DASH on BP is to incorporate physical activity.

The DASH diet may work not only for BP but also reduce ones risk for diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer. Thus in all likelihood…it’s a package deal worth trying…A Diet Focus on Grains Fruits and Vegetables!

Just Remember… in any lifestyle change…everyone slips…SO

Forgive Yourself in Moments You

Slip.. and Try Again!

Another Good News For Green Tea Lovers

August 2, 2006

Imagesgreeb Just received my Annals of Internal Medicine Journal- the official publication of the American College of Physicians and what intrigued me was the Japanese study looking at the positive relationship between drinking green tea or coffee and the risk of developing diabetes.

The study involved around 17,00 Japanese and were surveyed regarding their habit of drinking tea and the onset of diabetes. The study showed that:

People who were frequent drinkers of green tea (>6 cups per day) or coffee (>3 cups per day) were less likely to develop diabetes than those who drank less than 1 cup of these beverages per week. Higher total caffeine intake was also associated with lower risk for diabetes. These relationships were strongest in women and in overweight men. No association was found between black and oolong teas and reduced risk for diabetes.

It is then concluded that:

“People who drink more green tea, coffee, or total caffeinated beverages are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who drink none or very little of these beverages.

This study needs further verification but what this study entails for my patients is that…I will not stop those who are coffee or green tea drinkers but will stop short of recommending green tea or coffee to prevent diabetes until a full long term well made randomized study will be done.

For now…after a great exercise and a healthy meal…

Enjoy Your Green Tea or Coffee!

The Benefits of Eating Fish

August 2, 2006

3232863912.jpg Fish is everywhere and we know it’s healthy.  The tale about the health benefits of fish started when the green Eskimos who mainly eat fish were noted to have a lower risk of heart disease.  When analysis of their diet was done… their diet was rich in omega 3 fatty acid and less saturated fat. 

But what really makes eating fish healthy? Let me review with you some facts about fish and omega-3:

1.  Omega 3 has been shown to affect ones triglyceride level.  High triglycerides have been shown to affect ones risk to develop heart disease.

2.  Intake of Omega 3 from fish has been shown to also lower ones blood pressure.

3.  Ones risk to develop blood clots has been shown to decrease with omega 3.

4.  Fish is less in calories than meat! A similar size of fish and steak may give you similar amounts of protein but the fish will contain far less fat and calories than the steak.  So eating fish is a better choice for those who want to lose weight!

Likewise… in patients with history of heart disease, studies have shown that intake of omega 3 has been shown to reduce the risk to develop irregular heartbeat and sudden death.

Does it mean we can now go to malls and grab all the omega 3’s we can get?  Definitely not… because the omega 3’s available in the market are marketed as supplements and therefore not regulated in terms of quantities of omega 3 in them nor the purity and quality are assured.  Likewise, abuse of these supplements have resulted in excessive bleeding.

The American Heart Association recommends that to get the necessary quantities of omega 3’s naturally is to EAT FISH 2 to 3 x per week. An omega rich fish of approximately 3 ounces should provide us with the necessary omega 3’s we need.  These include: salmon and mackerel.  But to keep its health benefits…cook it grilled or broiled. Likewise eating fish also provides us with other nutrients like protein, magnesium, potassium and iron which our body also needs.

So the next time you crave for meat…

Think Healthy…Eat FISH!

Where Do You Keep Your Drugs?

August 2, 2006

Pl You may not have realized it but suddenly your medications seem to lose potency.  Your blood pressure seems to be a little higher…or your blood sugar seems to be erratic with fluctuations not seen before.  The least of all possibilities is loss of potency of medications.

In a recent survey done among patients… the most common area they keep their drugs is the worst … that is the bathroom where heat and moisture are common place.  We always neglect the fact that humidity factor is an important aspect that can hasten the deterioration of drug potency.  We seldom or never talk to our patients about storing medications in the proper place.

It is strongly recommended that we store medications away from heat, humidity and moisture… and store them in a cool dry place away from the sun and definitely out of reach of children.

Protect Drug Potency… Store

Them Properly!

An Update On Virgin Coconut Oil

August 2, 2006

Go to fullsize image Much have been said about virgin coconut oil… you read them on newspapers, you hear great testimonies about its health benefits on radios and TV!  But what really is this oil…and the truth behind the claims regarding the therapeutic value.  If you log on to Google… it will link you to 1,400,000 sites!!!

According to some websites…”the oil comes from coconut trees that are grown organic… rich in lauric acid.” Because of the process , apparently the oil contains no trans fatty acid. It further claims “Research shows that the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil boosts the body’s metabolism, raises body temperatures, and helps provide greater energy which can lead to weight loss.

What’s more interesting are the health related claims : oil to contain antifungal, antiviral including anti HIV and antimicrobial properties.  Likewise promoted to affect gastrointestinal problems, even as treatment for hypothyroidism and improves chronic fatigue syndrome. And the websites have lots of testimonials rather than true research oriented materials acceptable to the medical societies. 

Therefore the claims of this oil can’t be verified to warrant my recommendation with similar precautions to other herbal products being marketed as cure-all remedies.

Recently the US FDA posted in their web site demanding these coconut oil websites to stop their marketing practices of the products…

The therapeutic claims on your web site establish that the products are drugs because they are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. The marketing of these products with these claims violates the Act section 201 (g)(1)(B) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act ( 21 USC 321(g)(1)(b)) .

Furthermore, your products are not generally recognized as safe and effective for the above referenced conditions and therefore, the products are also “new drugs” under section 201(p) of the Act [21 U.S.C. 321(p)]

FDA approves a new drug on the basis of scientific data submitted by a drug sponsor to demonstrate that the drug is safe and effective. Your products are also misbranded within the meaning of section 502(f)(1) of the Act, in that the labeling for these drugs fails to bear adequate directions for use [21 U.S.C. 352(f)(1)].

Be more Vigilant…