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holidays-xmas

Surviving the Holiday Season

The hardest time of year for weight management is from Halloween until Valentine’s Day – temptations are everywhere from home to the workplace and everywhere else you go, people wear more clothes and are more covered up because of the weather, and people tend to exercise less because they are stressed, exhausted, it is cold, and they have very little time. Here are some tips to manage weight during the holiday season:

Plan ahead

  • Eat something before you go out so that you are not inclined to eat everything or anything in sight.
  • Stock your home, office, and/or car with healthy snacks such as fruit in your home, almonds in your office, and a nutrition bar in your car.
  • Plan on making healthy choices for your meals such as mustard instead of mayonnaise or light Italian rather than ranch dressing.

Manage stress

  • Make a list of stress relieving activities that do not include food or eating such as getting a massage, exercising, listening to music, or talking on the phone.

Party responsibly

  • If you are attending a pot-luck party, bring something healthy so you know there will be at least one healthy choice at the party.
  • Eat small portions of your favorite sweets at parties.
  • Try to fill your plate with mostly fruits and veggies at parties.
  • If you want to try new dishes, only take a taster size portion so that you are not tempted to eat more than you should. Then go back and get more of what you like if you are still hungry.
  • Drink a glass of water after each glass of soda or alcoholic beverage in order to cut beverage calories in half.
  • Focus on socializing with other guests rather than eating the food available.

Keep moving

  • If you know you will not have time to exercise, try to fit other small activities into your day such as parking farther away, taking the stairs, and putting the shopping cart away instead of putting it to the side.
  • If you have a stationary bicycle or a treadmill that you haven’t used for a while, take it out and put it in front of the TV, so you can watch TV when you work out.
  • Take a walk alone or with your spouse, kids, or other family and friends after dinner.

Kristy Richardson is a dietitian and exercise physiologist, specializing in sports nutrition and weight management, She is the founder of OC Nutrition and also works as a nutrition professor at Fullerton College.

References

Cleveland Clinic. (2009). 8 Steps to Surviving the Holiday Weight Gain. Retrieved December 22, 2009 from: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/holidayeating12_01.aspx

Zamora, Dulce. (2007). Holiday weight management; Surviving the Feasting Season. Retrieved December 22, 2009 from: http://www.medicinenet.com/holiday_weight_management/article.html

chalkboard-gut-health-digestive-system

Got Good Guts?

Everyone in the functional medicine world has heard about the importance of a balanced microbiome for overall health.  But how does an imbalance create disease?  There are multiple answers to that question.  Join Dr. Fresco for a deeper look at the ways in which pathogenic microorganisms can contribute to illness, including; microbial shift disease, lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and biofilms.

Gratefully, there are highly effective, yet safe therapeutics that can restore microbial balance and health.

To learn more, join Dr. Fresco for her free upcoming webinar on this topic, From Fatigued to Fit: Improving Gut Health with Botanical Medicine. Dr. Fresco will discuss the use of botanical formula, Biocidin, to deal with those “unfriendly residents” while safely correcting the intestinal ecology.  All while preserving the entire body’s ecosystem.

What Will Listeners Learn During Dr. Fresco’s Presentation?

  1. What is microbial shift disease and why it is critical to look at the health of the entire GI tract, starting with the mouth.
  2. Is it SIBO or SIFO?  Broad-spectrum botanicals can address both.
  3. How effective are Bio-Botanical Research products without diet modifications when addressing SIBO?
  4. What are biofilms and how they contribute to drug and antibiotic resistance.
  5. Understand the systemic effects of LPS and how symptoms can manifest in the body.
  6. The overlooked link between oral and gut health and how to properly support the oral microbiome.
  7. Case studies successfully addressing microbial dysbiosis.
  8. Leave with simple, clinically effective, botanical solutions that the whole family can use.

What is Bio-Botanical Research?

Bio-Botanical Research Inc., formulators of Biocidin®, has been providing professional-grade, botanical nutritional support formulations that target both acute and chronic intestinal dysbiosis and systemic infections for more than 30 years. The curated line of 10 products is especially valued for its ability to selectively address difficult biofilm encapsulated infections seen in C. difficile, Candida, SIBO, IBD, UTI, sinusitis, and periodontal disease, among many others.

What is Biocidin®?

The flagship formula, Biocidin®, is a combination of 17 botanicals, used from head to toe and infant to elderly. Biocidin® has been revered by leading practitioners, and for good reason.—Its ease of use and versatility as a broad-spectrum agent to address multiple microbial imbalances simultaneously, including pathogenic biofilms, makes it unique.  Best of all, research is confirming what healthcare providers have seen in practice for years; the Biocidin® formula is able to effectively address dysbiosis while protecting and supporting the proper balance of beneficial organisms.

Product Quality and Manufacturing

All botanicals are of the highest USP grade quality, tested for purity, and come with certificates of analysis. No synthetic fillers, additives, gluten, dairy, artificial flavors, or colorings are used. Independent laboratories are used to test for effectiveness, and  all products are tested in clinical usage by physicians before adding to the product line.

How to Learn More

Healthcare professionals interested in Biocidin®, can set up a professional account to receive access to on-going educational resources, including free personalized training on products and protocols.

Patients are encouraged to work with a functional medicine practitioner.  You can read more about the products at www.biocidin.com.


Rachel Fresco, L.Ac., Ph.D. is founder and CEO of Bio-Botanical Research, located adjacent to Silicon Valley on the Monterey Bay. Her company has been delivering innovative botanical formulas to health care professionals since 1989. Her focus in product development has been addressing concerns relating to GI health, Lyme disease, Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as oral care and systemic infections. The flagship formula Biocidin®. is recommended by noted authors, clinics and laboratories worldwide.

Dr. Fresco lectures at medical conferences both in the US and internationally, in addition to appearing on many podcasts and online summits relating to health and wellness. She “walks the talk” empowering and inspiring others to lead healthy and organic lifestyles, and modeling a new paradigm of corporate culture.

DNA-puzzle

The Evolution of Truly Personalized Medicine: Epigenetics, Food, and Fitness

Most would not argue that there is ongoing transition in how our healthcare is being delivered. This article will examine some of these transitions as a result of breakthroughs in technology, as well as how genetic information, exercise, and diet will play an increasingly greater role.

When medical science was first getting its start, a more holistic philosophy was taken on how to treat illness and maintain health. Hippocrates is often deemed the father of modern medicine, and even today the allopathic physicians (M.D.s) take the Hippocratic Oath – to do no harm to their patients. Hippocrates knew, even in 400 B.C., that the best healer of the body is the body itself. For the most part, the best treatment is to create a strong body and get out of the way. Five guiding principles used in his philosophy for treatment include:

  1. Walking is man’s best medicine.
  2. Know what person the disease has, rather than what disease the person has.
  3. Let food be thy medicine.
  4. Everything in moderation.
  5. To do nothing is also a good remedy.

The second and fifth principles emphasize the power of knowing the individual and getting out of the way! The first and third principles show the power of exercise and food for healthy living. Even the genius, Thomas Edison, realized that a health maintenance organization (HMO) approach was the best method of healthcare both practically and financially. His quote, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease,” is evidence that a holistic, preventative approach is what he advocated. He is also quoted, “…you can’t improve on nature.”

One size does not fit all

Personalized medicine is now on the forefront and it utilizes the genetic and epigenetic data of a person to guide medicines and treatment plans. Cancer drugs have probably harnessed this advantage to the greatest extent, thus far. Former President Jimmy Carter received Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for his brain cancer and it boosted his immune system and beat the cancer. While most of America (71%), still doesn’t even know about personalized medicine, those who were familiar with it did not know it would yield better results with fewer side effects. The different directions of personalized medicine are still being realized, but the field of pharmacogenetics is the first to really jump on the bandwagon of highly effective, precision-based treatment.

The reasons some drugs work for some people and not for others, or why side effects occur in some individuals and not others, is due to individual variability in metabolism. Why are some people lactose tolerant, or some can drink alcohol with no problem, and others have severe issues? It is usually because of enzyme differences, which are under the control of our genes. Interestingly, our enzyme genes can often be turned on or off by “inducible sequences” known as promoters or suppressors of operons, respectively. These “switches” can be repressed or induced depending on our environmental stimuli. Thus, we actually have some control over our gene expression, and this field is known as epigenetics.

Knowing what gene variants someone possess or not will guide the personalized medicine physician on which drug to use or not. By knowing allergic reactions in advance or which medicines may have side effects will help physicians to not make a bad situation worse. Unfortunately, the cost of personalized medicine drugs is much higher than alternative treatments. There is still a lot of exploration to be done on all the various applications of this technology, but the bottom line is that understanding individual variations and enabling the body to do what it is designed to do is a very good thing! Companies like Toolbox Genomics is one of many companies that use your genetic information to then tell you what foods and supplements to eat or avoid, and which exercises may help you the most, and ones that you may not respond to so well. The reason physicians do an intake on family history, or run various tests is to collect information that will guide their treatment. A genetic test on certain gene variants is simply taking this a step further.

How does exercise and diet apply to our epigenetics?

Did you know that exercise is highly beneficial to not only help with fighting cancer once it is already present, but also to never getting it? Physical exercise or movement in general will shift the epigenetics so that genes that suppress tumors are increased, and genes that cause cancer (oncogenes) are decreased. It does this by changing the amount of certain reactions called methylations. Things go wrong when there is too much or too few methylation reactions. Exercise has been shown to reduce or even reverse the epigenetic mutations that often result in tumorigenesis or tumor production. Exercise has also been shown to reduce genetic factors associated with aging like telomere length.

The fields of proteomics and metabolomics as well as pharmacogenomics, are all emerging because of the knowledge on how our genetics affects proteins, metabolism, and reactions to drugs, respectively. The field of nutrigenomics is rapidly expanding, and several companies are capitalizing on studying the relationship of how our genes affect how we process and utilize foods, as well as how food can affect our genes. Vitamins A and D, certain fatty acids, especially medium and short chain, some sterols (derived from cholesterol) and zinc have been shown to directly influence gene transcription. In direct effects include how diet affects gut bacteria, which in turn influences gene expression. Soon when nutritional recommendations are given, it will likely be “for this individual.”

The future of medicine will be taking our genetic information to a whole new level. Soon “smart” watches, clothes, hats, and other common devices will collect information that can benefit our health in many ways as the way healthcare is delivered continually evolves.

This article was featured in MedFit Professional Magazine summer 2019 issue.

Subscribe to MedFit Professional Magazine to read more great content like this!


Dr. Mark P. Kelly has been involved with the health and fitness field for more than 30 years. He has been a research scientist for universities and many infomercial projects. He has spoken nationally and internationally on a wide variety of topics and currently speaks on the use of exercise for clinical purposes and exercise’s impact on the brain. Mark is a teacher in colleges and universities in Orange County, CA., where Principle-Centered Health- Corporate Wellness & Safety operates.

Dementia Brain Problems

Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Differences and Prevention Methods

Laymen (and even medical professionals) still often have difficulty recognizing dementia, as opposed to Alzheimer’s disease.

And while the symptoms and even some of the prevention methods may be similar, we need to find a better way to distinguish between the two if we are to provide the best level of care to patients.

Let’s explore some of the traits of each, and examine how we can prevent them:

Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s disease: differences and similarities

Dementia is an umbrella term used to denote a decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. As opposed to Alzheimer’s, it is not a specific disease.

What do we know about Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease, where plaques containing beta-amyloid form in the brain, causing cell damage and complex changes. This damage results in dementia symptoms that will get worse as time goes on. It is also one of the most common causes of dementia. Dementia can also be caused by Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

While it most often occurs in patients over the age of 60, early-onset Alzheimer’s can begin to show symptoms after the age of 30, typically in patients with a family history of the disease. It is believed these cases account for around 5% of the total number of patients with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the US, and possibly third as a cause of death in the elderly.

One of the most typical early signs of Alzheimer’s is trouble retaining recent information, as the disease tends to affect the part of the cerebrum that is associated with learning first.

Other symptoms, in no particular order of severity and manifestation, include:

  • Impaired reasoning and judgment: leads to poor decision-making and can bring the patient in harm’s way
  • Impaired visuospatial abilities, caused by eyesight problems: leads to the inability to recognize people and objects
  • Impaired use of language: including speaking, writing, and reading
  • Changes in behavior and personality

The main challenge we face in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is understanding its underlying causes. While we know it is caused by changes and damage to brain cells, the cause of these changes remains unknown to this day.

What do we know about dementia?

Patients suffering from dementia have trouble keeping track of time and space. They become repetitive, their judgment is impaired and they often forget to eat, bathe, and perform the simplest tasks.

The early warning signs of dementia include, but are not limited to:

  • Mood swings
  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion
  • Apathy
  • Repetitiveness
  • Impaired sense of orientation
  • Delusions
  • Impaired speech
  • Impaired focus and organizational skills
  • Impaired memory, especially day-to-day retention

Dementia patients are mostly unaware of their symptoms, and their loved ones are the ones to notice they’re losing their keys, mixing up dates, and forgetting to take the trash out.

There are several types of dementia we have been able to identify:

  • Vascular dementia: caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies: caused by a build-up of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the cortex.
  • Frontotemporal dementia: caused by the loss of nerve cells in the front and side areas of the brain.
  • Mixed dementia: resulting from several different causes

Dementia can also be caused by brain tumors, HIV, Niemann-Pick disease type C, progressive supranuclear palsy, and other diseases or conditions.

To sum it up: dementia, as a cluster of symptoms, and Alzheimer’s, as a specific disease (and the leading cause of dementia), naturally share the same symptoms.

Treatment

The treatment of dementia will depend on its underlying cause. When caused by Alzheimer’s, there is no cure for it, and there is no treatment that can stop its progression. There are treatments that will combat some of the lesser or more severe symptoms, but we haven’t yet found a way to reverse or pause the ongoing damage.

This fact alone is the cause of much despair among the families of patients suffering from any form of dementia.

There are signs that the early detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s can improve patient quality of life. And when that’s all that’s left in the absence of a cure, it becomes even more imperative we do our best to prevent this disease.

Prevention methods

Evidence has been found that the risk factors that cause heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes may also contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s.

However, there is no sufficient evidence to provide any substantial proof as of yet. The prevention methods recommended for dementia and Alzheimer’s focus on improving overall health and exercising your brain.

Some of the courses we can advise our patients include:

  • Balanced diet. As opposed to the umbrella term the web tends to use, let’s focus more on tailoring diets to individuals. What works well for one patient will not work for another, and encouraging intuitive eating and adapting one’s diet to your own lifestyle and needs should come more into focus.

Naturally, this diet should focus on eating 80% of the foods that are actually good for us, and getting most of our nutrition from fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, as opposed to fast food choices and high-sugar options. Cutting down on caffeine and alcohol intake can also prove beneficial.

  • Movement is one of the keys to preventing any disease, and encouraging at least three 30-minute sessions per week should be imperative. As diets, exercise regimes should be tailored to a patient’s needs and preferences. Instead of being made a chore, regular exercise should be an enjoyment and a clear avenue to improved overall health.
  • We tend to overlook sleep as one of the equal members of the health trifecta. Teaching sleep techniques should become more widespread, as the pace of modern living continues to speed up.
  • Stress-relief. Undoubtedly one of the top contributing factors to any disease, stress takes a toll on our bodies in a way we don’t even fully understand. While eliminating it will be impossible, and while it may even be beneficial in small doses, removing stress as a detrimental factor should be the focus of any preventative course of action. Whether this is achieved by yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness practices, exercise, reading, journaling, or any other method, should be up to the individual.
  • Brain training. It is also recommended to keep your brain working and engaged by reading, solving puzzles, and trying to teach it to think in new ways. Improving the neural connections in our brains will help prevent the degeneration of cells that lead to dementia.
  • Finally, let me advocate an unconventional remedy – smiling. It has been proven that smiling and the feeling of joy can be beneficial in patient recovery, and it can also serve as a great prevention method. While the science is still vague on how connected happy hormones and chemicals are with the reduced risk of degenerative brain disease, we can try anything in our power to diminish our risk factors.

Conclusion

Alongside heart disease and cancer, Alzheimer’s and dementia remain the most explored and discussed diseases of our time. We may not see a cure for any of them in our lifetime, and that’s all the more reason to remain vigilant in trying to prevent them. A large part of these prevention efforts entails exploring different avenues in achieving a healthier body and mind, as this remains the only course available to us at the time.


Sarah Kaminski earned her bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences. Due to her parent’s declining health, she decided to become their full-time caregiver. Now, she takes care of her loved ones and writes about the things she learned along the way. Sarah is a life enjoyer, positivity seeker, and a curiosity enthusiast. She is passionate about an eco-friendly lifestyle and adores her cats. She is an avid reader who loves to travel when time allows. 

References:

  1. (2019, October 23). Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet – National Institute on Aging. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet
  2. (2013, July 22). Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical and Research Update … – Hindawi. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jar/2013/207178/
  3. (2014, May 22). Number of Alzheimer’s deaths found to be underreported. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/number-alzheimers-deaths-found-be-underreported
  4.  (2017, October 4). What Causes Dementia? | BrightFocus Foundation. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://www.brightfocus.org/alzheimers/article/what-causes-dementia
  5.  (2019, March 21). Early Detection & Treatment of Alzheimer’s Can Improve Life …. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://www.bayalarmmedical.com/medical-alert-blog/early-detection-treatment-of-alzheimers-disease-can-improve-quality-of-life/
  6.  (2002, June 20). Physical Activity Fundamental To Preventing Disease | ASPE. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/physical-activity-fundamental-preventing-disease
  7. (2014, November 14). Stress and Disease – Conditions that May Be Caused … – AARP. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2014/stress-and-disease.html
  8. (n.d.). Don’t Worry and Be Positive: What helps the most in … – NCBI. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2729270/