Posts filed under ‘Health Advice’

Wave Good-Bye to the Microwave

Are you still using the “radiation oven”? Even FDA warns that you shouldn’t stand directly in front of your microwave while it’s heating your food. Some say just stay four feet away from it while it’s in use – especially children since they absorb radiation more easily than adults. But if big and little people have to step away from it, then what impact does it have on your food?

The article, Effects of Microwave Ovens ( highlights conclusions of Swiss, Russian and German scientific clinical studies. Their bottom line is that we can no longer ignore the effects of microwaved food. It’s not just that nutrients of all microwaved food are reduced or altered so that the human body gets little or no benefit, or that the human body absorbs altered compounds that cannot be broken down. It’s also that it is dangerous to your health. Some of their findings are below.

Continually Eating Microwaved Foods Causes:

1. Long term, permanent brain damage by “shorting out” electrical impulses
      in the brain, polarizing or de-magnetizing the brain tissue;
2. A shut down or alteration in male and female hormone production;
3. An increase in cancerous cells in your blood;
4. Cancerous growths and tumors in the stomach & intestine;
      (This may explain the rapidly increased rate of colon cancer in America.); and
5. Loss of memory, concentration, emotional instability, and
      a decrease of intelligence.

In addition the MICROWAVED PLASTIC WRAP often placed over foods HAS 10,000 TIMES FDA LIMITS OF CARCINOGENS!

A study by a high school student, Claire Nelson (with help from a Dr. John Wilkes of the National Center for Toxicological Research) focused on the effect of microwave radiation on plastic wrapped food. The result? A carcinogen called Di(ehtylhexyl) adepate or DEHA for short, which is found in plastic wrap, migrated into the oil at between 200 parts and 500 parts per million. The FDA standard is 0.05 parts per billion, according to the article. PLUS xenoestrogen, which is linked to low sperm counts in men and breast cancer in women, also migrated into the oil.*

Time for alternative options!   See next week’s post for recommended alternatives to microwave use.

*(See “Carcinogens –At 10,000 Times FDA Limits” Options, May 2000. Published by People Against Cancer, 515-972-4444) or go to


July 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm Leave a comment

Stomach Acid Drugs Cause Increased Risk of Death From Infection

Do you know someone on Prilosec or Prevacid?                                                                                                                                   A recent study at the Naval Medical Center Sand Diego showed…

that out of the 23 patients who died in their facility from a bacterial infection known as C. difficile, 19 were prescribed acid suppressing drugs (Prilosec, Prevacid, etc.) within 90 days prior to their hospital stay. The study concluded that patients who had recently taken prescription acid suppressants were almost 5 times more likely to die from their C. difficile infection than those who had not taken the drugs.

How do you protect your digestive tract from bacteria and parasites?
Are you really absorbing the minerals you get in foods or supplements?
Are you at risk for Osteoporosis?

Stomach acids help protect the body from foreign invaders that get into the digestive tract such as bacteria, parasites, etc. The acid burns them up. Without stomach acids, you have little protection. Stomach acids are also important for mineral absorption, including calcium which is necessary to prevent osteoporosis. Therefore, people on antacid drugs are at increased risk of osteoporosis.

Do you take Tums?
Some doctors are recommending Tums because it reduces stomach acids and it contains calcium. However, the calcium is in the form of calcium carbonate, which is poorly absorbed by the body. Calcium carbonate is the main ingredient found in rocks, like limestone. That’s the equivalent of chewing on the sidewalk or on a piece of chalk in order to meet your calcium requirements.

Clostridium difficile and antibiotics can be counteracted…
C. difficile seems to be at an all time high in hospitals. Don’t expect to rely on alcohol based hand sanitizers, because C. difficile is resistant to it. It won’t touch it! The spores for this bacterium are found on surfaces in a room. When you touch the surface and get the spores on your hands, they can then find their way into your mouth and eventually into your digestive tract. If you are taking antibiotics, it may compound the problem, because the antibiotics can kill off the good bacteria in the bowel which counteract the C. difficile.

Natural Remedies recommended…
There are many natural methods and products that can control stomach acids and eliminate bacteria and other foreign invaders, including C. difficile. If you, or someone you know, suffer from stomach acid reflux, call our office for an appointment so we may identify the right protocol to restore your digestive system and your overall health (954) 565-4440.

July 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

Lost Z’s Not Easily Recouped

Lost Z’s Not Easily Recouped                                                               

Many individuals believe they can adapt to chronic sleep loss or that recovery requires only a single extended night’s sleep.  Yet, a recent study (see Uncovering Residual Effects of Chronic Sleep Loss on Human Performance published in the Science Translational Medicine January 2010), showed that sleep recovery is actually harder than we thought. 

 The study examined the effects of “sleep deficit” — the cumulative amount of lost sleep due to poor sleep habits, sickness, awakenings, etc., over three weeks of alternating staying awake for 33 hours and sleeping for 10 hours – – the equivalent of 5.6 hours per night.  

 According to the lead author of the study, Daniel A. Cohen, M.D.:

  • The brain literally keeps track of how long we’ve been asleep and awake — for weeks.
  • An extended nights’ sleep (10 hours in the study) can restore your performance from chronic sleep loss to normal during the first several hours of wakefulness, but you will peter out very quickly after that.   .
  • Those who pull an all-nighter after 2-3 weeks of chronic sleep loss will have reaction times comparable to those who are legally drunk within 18 hours of being awake.  
  • Circadian rhythms may make you think you are managing the effects of sleep loss better than you are because for most people, melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy is lowest between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. 
  • Of particular concern to researches was that the circadian low or some call it the circadian “night”, when the sleep producing melatonin is the highest, (roughly between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.) magnified the effects of sleep loss, markedly slowing down reaction time – an important consideration for those with overnight jobs.
  • It could take up to two of weeks of a normal sleep schedule before someone overcomes a long-term sleep deficit.  

The Sleep Foundation says that sleep needs vary depending on lifestyle factors such as health, work schedules and stress, but they offer the following “sleep needs spectrum” below.

How Much Sleep Do You Need? *                                            

Newborns  (0 – 2 months) 12 to 18 hours
Infants  (3 -11 months) 14 to 15 hours
Toddlers (1 – 3 years) 12 to 14 hours
Preschoolers  (3 – 5 years) 11 to 13 hours
School-age children (5 – 10 years) 10 to 11 hours
Teens  (10 – 17 years) 8.5 to 9.25 hours
Adults (18 years and over) 7 to 9 hours



*Source: National Sleep Foundation


Erin O’Donnel, Fortifying Winks: Lost Sleep is Hard to Find, Harvard Magazine, July/August 2010.

Daniel A. Cohen, Wei Wang, James K. Wyatt, Richard E. Kronauer, Derk-Jan Dijk, Charles A. Czeisler, and Elizabeth B. Klerman, Uncovering Residual Effects of Chronic Sleep Loss on Human Performance , Science Translational Medicine 2, 14ra3 (2010).

The National Sleep Foundation

July 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow                                                                            

If you are losing more hair than usual, don’t neglect to think thyroid. The thyroid gland hormone is critical in cell division at the hair follicle. Cell division at the hair follicle affects both the initiation and rate of hair growth and hair loss. ¹

Plus an overactive or underactive thyroid can lead to dry, brittle and slower growing hair.  This is because it may produce less sebum from the sweat glands in the scalp.  Less sebum also puts people more at risk of fungal infections of the hair follicles.   In severe thyroid imbalances, hair loss can even spread over the scalp and cause the loss of the outside third of the eyebrows.¹

A simple blood test panel of the thyroid hormone levels will identify if there is a chemical evidence of a hormone imbalance.  In addition to the blood test, Dr. Bernstein recommends the hair health check at the Advanced Wellness Center, using the Digital Response Technique (DRT).  This will give you a broader, more complete diagnosis of the root cause for the imbalance.

You’ll want to know if unhealthy hair strands or hair loss may be a reflection of any other factors such as estrogen deficiency, toxins or genetics in which the presence of an isoform of testosterone in the follicles prompts normal hair cycling to cease 2.   A lack of key nutrients, such as protein, iron, and essential fatty acids (found in fish oil supplements and wild salmon for example), will also impact just how strong and vibrant your hair is.  A deficiency in protein in particular, will force the body to conserve it (protein is the building block of all the body’s cells, including the hair) by shutting down hair growth.3    Also, stress can significantly deplete your B vitamins and reduce the   growth rate of your hair, and cause hair loss.

If not treated, thyroid imbalances can progress to more serious symptoms.  However, once the underlying cause is diagnosed, thyroid imbalances are generally treatable and result in the resolution of symptoms.

The sooner you get to the bottom of the hair loss, the better.  It’s the new hair growth, that will tell the real story, so it will be several months before you can tell how well your strategy is working.



¹ The Hair Foundation, Hair Loss and Hypothyroidism by Lisa Lambert, 1/19/09

2 The Hair Foundation, Hair Science: How and why Hair Grows, James L. Breeling, 1/14/2008

3 MSN, Health and Fitness, What Your Hair is Telling You About Your Health?, Sally Wadyka

Associated Content, LifeStyle, More About Hair Growth, Emelyn Lucinda, 7/26/10

July 29, 2010 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

Mercury Higher in Ocean Fish Then in Freshwater Fish

Mercury Higher in Ocean Fish Than in Freshwater Fish           

While it is true that freshwater concentrations of mercury are far greater than in ocean water, eating salt water / ocean fish poses a greater health threat to humans, according to a new Duke University study*.  

 It turns out that in freshwater, sunlight can more easily disintegrate the methylmercury which latches onto decayed plants and animal matter.   But in saltwater the methylmercury remains tightly bonded to the chloride.   In this form it is ingested and accumulates in the tissues of marine life, making sea water and ocean fish more toxic than fresh water fish.     

 So what’s the big deal? Fish and shellfish have a natural tendency to store methylmercury in their organs, which makes them the leading source of mercury ingestion for humans. Some say contaminants found in fish can last years in the human body – hence a warning to women of child bearing age.  A potent neurotoxin, methylmercury can cause kidney problems, neurological disorders, and even death, says Heileen Hsu-Kim, PhD, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering. 

 Methylmercury is particularly harmful to children because their brains and nervous systems are still growing.  Cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language and fine-motor and visual spatial skills can be affected.  In light of this fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified four fish (shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish – the list should be longer) which are not safe for children or women who may become pregnant, are pregnant or are nursing. 

 Nine fish the Environmental Defense Fund finds unsafe for anyone (as of 4/13/09):


           Bass, striped (wild)

            Bluefish, Croaker (white)

            eel (American)

            Eel (European)


            Sturgeon, wild (imported)


Close behind on the list are:

            Mackerel, king

            Tuna, bluefin




 Dr. Hsu-Kim believes scientists and policymakers should focus on the effects of mercury in oceans instead of freshwater.  (Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration make no distinction.)   The Global Biogeochem Cycles journal published a study which would also support this direction, having found increases of methylmercury in the Pacific Ocean.

 Are there any mercury-free fish left?   While eating seafood is our main source of exposure to methylmercury, it is also our best source of omega 3’s.  Even though most contaminant levels are on the rise, we can still make informed decisions.  Generally speaking, the smaller the fish, the less mercury it has. There are several guides to fish consumption choices to which the Advanced Wellness Center would add its recommendation to stay away from the bottom feeders regardless of mercury levels.    Shellfish tend to harbor parasitic organisms which also negatively affect the human body.  Until the Hsu- Kim study, wild atlantic salmon and sardines were thought to be amongst the best fish to eat.    You decide.  

 Guides to Fish Consumption:

Green Guide Fish Picks

Environmental Defense Fund Seafood Selector Health Alerts (

EPA Fish Advisories (has links to seafood advisories specific to your area).


Duke University News & Communications, June 22, 2010

Organic Authority June 30th, 2010 – Barbara Feiner

EPA & FDA Fish Advisories

Mother Nature Network, Is There Such a Thing as Mercury-Free Fish? 12/2008

¹ Sunderland E. M., Krabbenhoft, D. P., Moreau, J. W., Strode, S. A. & Landing, W. M., Global Biogeochem Cycles (a journal of the American Geophysical Union) doi:10.1029/2008GB003425 (2009).

July 23, 2010 at 1:26 pm 1 comment


When molecules of the chemicals that get added to plastics during manufacturing get into our bodies, it is not a good thing. Some of these chemicals, called phthalates, are environmental contaminants that can mimic estrogen.    Getting too much of these estrogen mimicking molecules disrupt the endocrine system and have been associated with breast and prostate cancer, early puberty, miscarriage and low sperm count*.   It was researchers fromTufts Medical School who first discovered the plastic-cancer link when the plastic leached into the researchers’ test tubes and cancer multiplied like crazy.  

If you are going to use plastics to store your food remember – the higher the recycling number in the triangle on the bottom of the plastic, the more toxic and volatile the chemical in the plastic.

As your plastic containers wear out it is best to transition to containers made from what they call “inert” materials.  (It’s also more earth friendly).  The best of these is glass, followed closely by porcelain, ceramic and stainless steel.  In the meantime:

 1.         Only store “non-liquid” foods, like washed raw veggies, in plastics and only in those plastics with the recycling # 1 & 2 in the triangle on the bottom of the container.

            (Plastics with numbers 3, 6 or 7 have a chemical called BPA (Bisphenol A), are the most dangerous and should be avoided at all cost.)  

2.         Store all other food in heat resistant glass, porcelain, ceramic or stainless steel containers.  (Remember to fill glass containers only about ¾ full if you are storing liquid items like spaghetti.  Otherwise the glass receptacle could crack as the liquid expands in the freezer).   

 3.         Stop microwaving your food in plastics (especially pre-packaged frozen meals)!  It releases the plastic chemicals into your food.  You shouldn’t use microwaves at all, but if you must, transfer the meal to a porcelain, ceramic, or glass container first.  If this receptacle has a plastic lid, leave it off and cover it with a plate.

 As long as we’re talking about plastics:

 4.         Consider glass baby bottles rather than the polycarbonate plastic ones.  Researchers heated 19 different brand name baby bottles to 175 degrees F  (80 degrees C)  and everyone of them leached bisphenol A.* (See Time Health & Science article Are Plastic Baby Bottles Harmful? February 8, 2008).

 5.         Don’t put a straw or plastic stirrer into a hot beverage!  You are basically extracting the properties of the straw into the liquid.

 6.         It is best to use stainless steel cooking utensils.  If you are going to cook with plastic utensils, be sure you follow the manufacturers’ directions. 

 7.         It is best not to use (certainly not re-use) Styrofoam containers.   They will live longer than you do and weigh less with each use because they leach chemicals into your food.   Use sturdy paper cups, etc., in their stead.


*,8599,1711398,00.html#ixzz0tsgUR2nK – Plastic Food Containers

Natural Healing, summer 2010

Johns Hopkins Medicine, Health Alerts, Healthy Living After 50, June 2010, Interview with Dr. Rolf Halden

July 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm Leave a comment

Electrolyte Smarts

Next time you sip a cool drink after sweating a lot in the heat; ask yourself if it has electrolytes.  

Electrolytes are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells.   The main electrolytes in the blood are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate and carbonate.   

Most commonly problems occur when the level of sodium, potassium or calcium is off.  Sodium is the major positive ion in fluid outside of the cells.  When you perspire, you lose a lot of salt.  Having a low sodium level can cause confusion, drowsiness, muscle weakness, and seizures.   On the other hand, when you don’t drink enough fluids and there is too much salt, it can result in swelling and blood pressure to rise.

Keeping electrolytes balanced is especially important for people who are athletes, work outdoors, perspire a lot, lie in the sun or even work in the garden.  They can be critical for older people who are more likely to develop electrolyte imbalances because as the body ages, the kidneys function less well and due to the use of certain drugs.  When children or infants vomit or have diarrhea, they also lose electrolytes.  These electrolytes and the fluids must be replaced to prevent dehydration and seizures.   

While many sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them, they are typically loaded with sugar.  Please do not give these sugary sports drinks to a sick child!  It is much healthier to add a couple of drops of pure electrolytes to the recommended amount of water, usually 8 ounces.   One such product is ConcenTrace made by Trace Minerals Research, a naturally occurring, liquid trace element and food supplement which contains a full spectrum of trace and ultra-trace elements in ionic form (available at the Advanced Wellness Center).

 Be electrolyte smart and keep some on hand to maintain healthy cell communication.

July 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm Leave a comment

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