A “newly discovered chemical” in food called Apigenin ( a type of flavonoid that is high in celery and chamomile) has been demonstrated in lab tests to be “cytotoxic” (cell killing) to Pancreatic and G.I. tract Cancer cells.  The scientists have suggested that Apigenin has a potential protective role against these extremely aggressive forms of Cancer.  After 45yrs of studying health, I am glad to see that health professionals and the scientific community are analyzing foods and their “chemistry” as opposed to only trying to make “chemicals” that have a beneficial affect on our health. It’s my opinion, in the future we will see more “newly discovered chemicals” in our food and how they benefit and protect us.

Remember…”Food is Medicine and Medicine is you Food….”we are what we eat”!!!


Good news…..medical science has added “new evidence” that BERRIES are good for you!  Those of you who were kind enough to attend the health class series dealing with the Immune System became aware of the research that  supports:  “food is our medicine and medicine can be our food”! The latest in the journal  “Phytother Res. 2016; 30(8): 1265-86” Pharmacology and Health Benefits of Anthocyanins (the ‘blue’ of blueberries)  reports the biological effects as: “antimicrobial” (germ fighting), “cell-protective” (antioxidant), “antitumor”, “lipid-lowering” (cholesterol effecting), “neuroprotective” (brain aging protection). Just as our grandparents would say: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”… now science has added another food to keep our bodies strong and resistive to disease. Can’t wait to learn what else they “discover” in our food because there are more than  10,000 food based chemicals identified so far …. I guess “they” will be real busy figuring out all of what that means!! So, add 1-2 cups of mixed berries to your 2-4 servings of fruit per day.


For those of us watching the Olympic athletes compete to be their best, we get a chance to see how far one will push themselves to accomplish this.  Many competitors train excessively and make great sacrifices to achieve their quest for greatness.  It is not surprising that many of the participants look to a variety of approaches to treat and manage their strains, sprains, and injuries.  We have seen them wearing supportive “taping” techniques (kinesio taping) popularized in the previous Summer Olympics by the USA Beach Volley Ball team.  Now the “newest” example of specialized procedures to help has been observed with Michael Phelps, the USA swimming champion, exhibiting those “mysterious perfectly round” bruises!  He is using a method called “cupping” to treat Acupoints more commonly called Myofascial Trigger Points in Western Medicine terminology.  Many folks have heard of “Acupuncture” but are not aware that there are multiple ways to address “Acupoints/Trigger points” without “puncturing” them.  Pressure has been and still is the most popular, beneficial and least risky approach to treat them.  Needling (Acupuncture), Scraping (Gua sha is the Asian term; IASTM and/or Graston are the Western terms) and Cupping techniques were developed as additional ways to stimulate the “points”.  Today we have a better understanding of these areas of the body that include muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia, skin, and periosteum (tissue that covers the bone) and how they have a huge influence on how we feel and function.  Most of us are not “gifted athletes” competing on the world stage but we are all working and playing hard in our daily lives…. either pushing ourselves hard, doing the same thing over and over again at our jobs, or just not taking care of ourselves the way we should.  Myofascial (Acupoints) treatment should be part of your health care for maximum health and function.


One of my patients (who is an official member of the “seasoned citizens” club) posed a common question- “I am 75+ years old but I feel (and everyday tell myself) that I am 45+ years old.  I am always active with my family, my Church and my favorite hobby-Golf.  But I have noticed that my skin is thinning, bruising easier, and just looking older than I feel…Why and is there anything I can do??”

Well, first off this individual is starting their day off the “right” way with positive and prayerful affirmations for their Mind. Secondly, each one of us has a specific gene makeup that is passed down from our parents that directly influences our health in all aspects. It is what we do during our lifetime that we can control that either minimizes or maximizes these genetic predispositions. The skin is called the integumentary system and is an organ system consisting of the skin, hair, nails, and exocrine glands. The skin is only a few millimeters thick yet is by far the largest organ in the body. Under what we see in the mirror is a fiber mesh work of collagen and elastin–type’s proteins that keep skin firm. As we age, this fiber network weakens and skin sags. In addition, it thins because it loses fat. Some of this “aging” is related to our genetic code. But no matter what kind of skin one has inherited, you can keep the skin you have looking young by taking action!

The outside elements-sun, wind, cold, etc. greatly stress this incredible “organ” so protecting it would be the first line of defense to slow the process. And as with every other part of our body, what we nourish it with also has a tremendous influence.  At this time, medical science has affirmed that adding flax seed and fish oil to the diet has improved the overall health of skin by enriching from the inside out (‘British Journal of Nutrition’ Sept. 2008; Ray Sahelian, M.D.). Hydration was also noted for skin health-eight 8oz. glasses of water each day (just like we all have heard a ‘thousand’ times before!). Japanese researchers have shown the antioxidants (a sub category of 40,000+ phytonutrients in food) found in edible seaweed, algae, chlorella, spirulina, etc. protect the skin from damage done by ultraviolet B (UVB) light. Tomatoes provide an important chemical-Lycopene- that also is an antioxidant that has been linked to protecting the skin. In addition, it was discovered that more of this antioxidant becomes available with cooking. The list continues with a variety of vegetables and fruits (carrot, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, green leafy veggies, apricot, watermelon, all berries, etc.). Olive oil, Coconut oil, Almonds, Walnuts, and Brazil nuts all contain essential types of fats, “EFA’s”, that keep the skin supple. Topical applications of some these oils, in particular coconut and almond oil, are very popular. Many companies now add “antioxidants” (vitamin C, A, and others) to their skin formulas with all types of ‘celebrity’ endorsements and ‘clinical’ testing to promote these products. It is my opinion, we should put as much emphasis on “what we put in our body” as well as “what we put on our body”.  And lastly, there are more than 40 muscles that contribute to our facial expressions, so remember to “exercise” your face not just your body muscles.


Everything with getting one’s health back and staying healthy boils down to Risk vs. Benefits.  For example, patients will ask…”if I add more veggies/fruits to my diet won’t I be getting more chemicals into me …and that’s bad. Right?”  Well the ‘knee jerk’ response would be- Yes, but there was an interesting finding in “Food and Chemical Toxicology Journal (2012 Dec; 50(12):4421-7) as well as the Journal of Nutrition, (2005; 135 (11):2639-2643). The authors observed by adding 1 extra serving of vegetables and fruits to our diets that 20,000 cancer cases per year could be prevented as opposed to just 10 cases of cancer per year being caused by increased pesticide intake.  Now don’t get me wrong… chemical ingestion is a problem in the American diet.  This is evident by the fact (also verified by one of my patients who works in the chemical food business) that other countries do not allow many of these “chemicals” into their food supplies. This is a “home grown” problem for the U.S… So, look at labels of “processed” foods but have peace of mind that just adding 1 extra serving of plant based foods has a greater Benefit when compared to its Risk!


Acid-suppressing drugs called proton pump inhibitors or PPIs are considered so safe that they can now be purchased over the counter as Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec. House brands include esomeprazole, lansoprazole and omeprazole. But two new studies presented at the annual conference for doctors treating kidney problems indicate that regular use of such medications can increase the likelihood of developing chronic kidney disease. In one study of 10,000 individuals, those taking a PPI were 20 to 50 percent more likely to develop chronic kidney disease over fifteen years. The other study included more than 240,000 people for 17 years. They, too, were more susceptible to chronic kidney disease if they were taking a PPI. (ASN Kidney Week, Nov. 3-8, 2015)……today digestive disturbances plague Americans more than ever before! WHY??…not an easy answer but part of the the solution is the realization that we need to accept the following responsibility: what we eat, how we prepare and or modify what we eat, when we eat it and how much we eat has a tremendous influence  on “how we feel”…..answers to these issues sometimes is a “bitter pill to swallow” because many of us eat based on convenience rather than a way of nourishing ourselves…keep a food diary of  your daily food intake and play ” Sherlock Holmes” to uncover possible food situations that accentuate your symptoms…and if you feel the need for a “Dr. Watson” input,  we are always available for you.


Vascular headaches have long troubled many people, and if you have never had one, you should consider yourself fortunate.  Whether it is once in your life or each week, one migraine is one too many.  Many people subsist in fear of the potential triggers and factors that can bring on a migraine, struggling to try and understand what is happening, why their head hurts so badly.

The questions are why do the vascular mechanisms that supply the brain become abnormal, and then what can be done about it.  The standard of care in the health community seems to focus only on symptom suppressing pain management, which, even at best, is merely a mild palliative in the real management of this malady.  In nutritional practice using foundational measures to bring about balanced body physiology, a great deal of success has been achieved in learning about the underlying cause and supporting the body to prevent headaches from ever developing.

First, let’s review what we know about migraines from experience:  A prodromal phase precedes the pounding pain characterized by hallucinations, visual disturbances with halo effects around objects, photophobia (light sensitivity), impaired thinking and nausea.  A secondary phase follows, characterized by severe pain and pounding, more severe photophobia, and nausea.  In fact, the migraine usually abates after finally throwing up.  This resolution to normal following vomiting may be the greatest insight into the causative mechanisms at work.

There are two stages leading to migraine, both characterized by profound changes in the vascular (blood) supply to the brain.  The first stage (prodromal), is experienced because of an initial vascular constriction or starvation, creating secondary localized hypoxia (loss of oxygen), and this is why the brain hallucinates without the necessary blood/oxygen for proper function.  Then the vasculature, apparently fatigued by the effort of constriction, seems to lose its tone and simply dilate, sagging into the surrounding structures and creating the pounding pressure that is so crippling.  Most drug therapies seek to interrupt this vascular phenomenon.  In fact, in the past, certain drugs called ergotamines, were employed, even though they potentially compromised circulation to the heart at the same time.  Even now very little is offered except to attempt to interrupt the vascular dilation, which, while it provides essential relief, is not a correction to the cause of the condition, and it also costs the person a few days of being mildly drugged.

It seems that the questions that need to be asked are:  Why does this vascular phenomenon occur, and what sets it off?

We will deal with these questions in the next installment in this continuing series on migraine……………