Dr. Lipman’s Wellness News Roundup (Oct. 21)

Wellness News

By the Be Well Team

Every day, we scour the Web looking for compelling wellness stories that provide the information — and inspiration — you need to make good choices. Here are this week’s must-read wellness articles.

Worked to Death?

Need another reason to find meaningful work? A new study from researchers at Indiana University finds that having a high-stress job with little decision-making power is more likely to lead to health issues — and even an early death — compared to a high-stress job that involves flexibility and judgement. “You can avoid the negative health consequences if you allow [employees] to set their own goals, set their own schedules, prioritize their decision-making and the like,” says lead author Erik Gonzalez-Mulé. (Medical Daily)

For Weight Loss, Step Away from the Diet Soda

Water beats diet soda when it comes to weight loss. That’s the word according to a new study which put about 80 overweight women with Type 2 diabetes on the same meal plan except half of the women drank diet soda while the other half drank water. The results? Not only did the water drinkers lose more weight, but they had better fasting insulin and postprandial glucose levels. (The New York Times)

The High Cost of Toxic Chemicals

Health problems linked to everyday chemicals lead to about $340 billion in treatment costs and decreased productivity, according to a new study published in The Lancet. Many experts have called for better regulation of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which are used in plastic bottles, cosmetics, detergents, and even furniture. “Adults and children in the U.S. carry more industrial chemicals in their bodies than their European counterparts simply due to differences in chemical policies,” says Joseph Allen, a public health researcher at Harvard University who wasn’t involved in the study. “In the U.S. our chemical policy largely follows the approach of our legal system – ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ This is appropriate for criminal justice policy but has disastrous consequences for health when used for chemical policy.” (Reuters)

6 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism

Metabolism a little sluggish? You might be making one of these six lifestyle mistakes: skimping on calories, not eating enough high-quality protein, being too sedentary, not getting enough sleep, drinking too many sugary beverages, and not doing enough resistance training. (EcoWatch)

Treat Acne — From the Inside Out

When it comes to treating acne, what you eat may be more powerful than any cream or ointment. “I’ve had a lot of patients who get their acne under control just by changing their diet,” Dr. Daniel J. Aires, a researcher and dermatologist at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, tells the Times. Specifically, Aires says, people with acne should eats lots and lots of colorful veggies, stay away from sugar and starchy foods, and, if they eat dairy, eat only full-fat versions. “Milk has a lot of growth factors in it which, in general, may be promoting acne,” Aires says. “My guess is that those get more concentrated when you take out the fat.” (The New York Times)

Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

Heal Your Body Through Fasting:
An Interview with Dr. Jason Fung

Intermittent Fasting
By the Be Well Team

Fasting is not about starving yourself. So says Dr. Jason Fung, who just wrote a new book, The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting, about the therapeutic benefits of short-term fasting.

Fasting allows the body to shed weight, says Dr. Fung, because it can help prevent the development of insulin resistance. In fact, Dr. Fung has put more than 1,000 of his own patients on a fasting protocol to deal with health issues, including Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

“In most cases, fasting has allowed us to reverse these patients with Type 2 diabetes,” Fung tells us. “We have taken hundreds of people off diabetes medications, insulin, and high blood pressure medications.

“More than that, we allow patients to take control of their own health. Rather than simply going to the doctor to get yet another medication, we take them off and show people how to manage their metabolic problems with diet and lifestyle.”

In this interview with Be Well, Dr. Fung breaks down the health benefits of short-term fasting and offers some tips to get started. Most importantly, he reminds us not to fear fasting: “Our bodies are equipped to handle it. The lions do it. The tigers do it. The bears do it. And the humans should do it, too.”

Why is when you eat as important as what you eat?

Most conventional diets only consider the total caloric value of their foods. However, weight gain is not the result of excess calories, but hormonal effects of the food that instruct our bodies to gain weight. The primary hormone involved is insulin.

One of the mechanisms by which insulin stays elevated is the phenomenon of insulin resistance. Persistent high levels of insulin causes insulin resistance, which is important because this leads in turn to higher insulin levels, which then drive obesity.

Periods of very low insulin, as can be achieved with fasting, will prevent the development of insulin resistance and help with weight loss efforts in the long term.

Studies directly comparing daily caloric restriction with intermittent fasting show similar weight loss, but much improved insulin levels and insulin sensitivity with intermittent fasting despite equal weekly caloric intakes. (more…)

Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

The Workout: Kettlebells 2.0

Written by Jen Sinkler, PCC, RKC-II
Reprinted with permission from Experience Life

Swing ’em, snatch ’em, or clean ’em. Kettlebells are popular in bootcamps and strength-training classes worldwide. And rightly so: They build your chain of posterior muscles — your back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves — while also burning fat, enhancing body awareness, and improving core stability.

Many of us, though, stick to the same kettlebell movements and are missing out on a host of unsung benefits. “When it comes to getting ­started, the basics are excellent, but what truly transforms someone’s strength is thinking a step or two outside of the proverbial box,” says John Wolf, an expert in unconventional training methodologies — kettlebells, sandbags, club swinging, and mace training, to name a few — who over­sees fitness education and program­­ming at Onnit Academy Gym in Austin, Texas.

Working with kettlebells is, by virtue of throwing around a ballistic weight, a dynamic form of exercise.

It’s all too easy, though, to stay within the sagittal plane (with front-to-back motions), while neglecting side-to-side and rotational moves. Incorporating multiplanar kettlebell exercises challenges your body in new and important ways, improving not only strength and conditioning, but also mobility and range of motion.

“When you start to explore how else your body can function, you develop a more diverse movement palette and increase the ranges of motion you can move safely within; you become more physically resilient,” says Wolf, who designed this workout.

Mixing up your training also engages your mind because you have to pay attention. If you can swing in your sleep, you might find that you zone out doing the exercise or get bored more easily than you used to.

Changing the movement by swinging side to side instead of front to back may be the trick to reengage your attention and interest. By recruiting your muscles and your brain simultaneously, these next-gen kettlebell moves (or any new-to-you exercises, for that matter) can manifest major neuroplastic changes, including sharper thinking and increased creativity, both in and out of the gym.

This workout is designed to be accessible for all, even those new to kettlebell training. As with any new practice, start slow and use a light weight. Assess how your body responds to each movement, advancing in small increments each session.

Approach this workout with a mindset of purposeful exploration rather than a focus on maximizing effort or number of repetitions.

“We all express ourselves through our movement whether we do so consciously or not. As we develop greater proficiency with our bodies, we reap the rewards both mentally and emotionally,” says Wolf. “If we move in new ways, we think in new ways.”

The Workout

Perform each of the four drills in a circuit format for four rounds with a 3/3/3 tempo: Use a three-second lifting phase, a three-second isometric hold, and then a three-second lowering phase. Rest for one minute between rounds. (more…)

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

How to Take Care of Your Skin in the Fall

skin care
By Deborah Burnes

Fall: The leaves start to change and the air grows crisp. It’s a transitional time when we begin hunkering down, preparing for winter and the holiday season. So what does this have to do with your skin? As your body’s largest organ, it’s wholly receptive to even the subtlest of shifts.

While the blistering cold doesn’t usually hit until December or January, fall’s coolness can affect your skin in a variety of ways. If you live in a location where the summer humidity fades into aridity, you’ll want to watch out for dermal dryness. Even though it’s not hot outside, it’s just as crucial to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.

Autumn days are often chilly and can lead to chapped lips and cheeks. Think about switching your moisturizer to something more substantial to preempt parched skin. And make sure you have a good lip balm on hand, avoiding petroleum-based ones. Instead, look for products with ingredients that actually nourish and protect your lips, like Shea butter.

The changing climate also affects we wear in these different conditions. As the weather turns cooler and brisker, we start bundling up in hats, scarves, sweaters, tights, and other garments. If not washed or sanitized, hats and scarves can be culprits of fall blemish breakouts. Even when properly cleaned, they can still cause irritations and yeast-related rashes from perspiration. Materials matter, too. Wearing warmer, heavier fabrics that aren’t as breathable can cause us to perspire, leading to body blemishes as well as rashes.

Seasonal dietary changes can also play a big role in our skin health. Fall holidays are often cause for more parties and gatherings. Some of the fall food pitfalls are pies, sugary cocktails, and candy. Many traditional ingredients, including sugar, wheat, and dairy, can be detrimental to the skin because they are pro-inflammatory.

Fall harvest provides an abundance of wholesome options. Opt for leafy greens, like kale or chard, or some seasonal squash, like butternut or acorn. All of these are anti-inflammatory, full of detoxing fiber, and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Your skin will thank you!

To help you maintain a beautiful glow this fall and holiday season, try these healthy and delectable skin-loving recipes:

Fall Mocktail

A refreshing alcohol-free beverage that everyone will love.


  • 6 oz. carbonated water
  • Juice from ½ of a tangerine
  • 2 tsp. unsweetened cranberry juice


Stir together the carbonated water and tangerine juice in a tall, thin glass. Add the cranberry juice. Finish with a decorative slice of tangerine on the rim or in the glass. (A fun addition is “REALLY BIG ice,” as we call it in my house. There are tons of molds available online or in stores. Try freezing them with a few real cranberries and/or tangerine rind inside for an oh-so-festive beverage.) (more…)

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

How To Treat a Sinus Infection Before It Starts

sinus infection
By Dr. Frank Lipman

When you’re in the throes of a bad cold or deep into allergy season, all of that mucus production can be massively irritating. But, believe it or not, mucus has an actual purpose — beyond simply driving you nuts.

All that goo is basically a giant moat of glue that’s protecting your nasal castle. Not only does mucus help keep nasal tissue moist and supple, but it also acts as a sticky barrier that can trap and disarm viruses and bacteria before they get too far into the body.

However, when your sinuses are inflamed, the normal flow of mucus gets backed up, which leads to that ‘plugged up’ feeling. So, how do you keep your sinuses clear without a pharmaceutical assist? Try these simple, healthy, and natural alternatives:

Keep Your Nose Clean

Dust, pollen, mold, fungi, pollution, cigarette smoke, and all matter of microscopic particles flying through the air can land in your nasal passages, irritating them and stimulating mucus production, blocking sinuses and leading to infection. While it’s virtually impossible to avoid all those irritants, you can keep them from gaining the upper hand by regularly rinsing the troublemakers away, every day or every other day.

There are several ways to go about it, so you can pick and choose the technique that’s most comfortable for you:

  • The neti pot is an ancient Ayurvedic tool with which you pour a sterile water (never tap water!) and saline solution through your nasal passages, using gravity to help rinse out irritants. Click here for a tutorial.
  • Squeeze bottles or syringe bulbs are another way to irrigate the nasal passages. Both mechanisms use a sterile water and saline solution, in effect ‘shooting’ the solution into nasal passages with a bit more pressure.
  • Saline aerosol sprays are more convenient, if not quite as effective as the neti pot. The pre-mixed cans of sterile water and saline are good for frequent travelers who need to be able to irrigate anywhere, anytime.

Tune Up Your Gut

If you find yourself plagued by frequent sinus infections and seem to catch just about every cold that blows through your office, your immune system may be compromised. When immunity is weak, it’s easy for pathogens to march in, take up residence, and trigger a sinus infection (or some other illness).

So what’s your gut got to do with it? Well, it’s home to roughly 70 percent of your immune system, so making sure it’s in top form will likely cut down the number of colds, flus, and infections you’ll catch. The easiest way to supercharge your immune system is to rebuild and strengthen it with a healthy and diverse diet that’s full of immunity-boosting nutrients and probiotics. (To really get your gut and immune system humming, I recommend starting the rebuilding process with a two-week elimination diet like our Be Well Cleanse. It will purge allergens from the diet, get digestion back on track, and get gut function up to optimal levels.) For more ideas on how to supercharge your immune system, check out our list of immunity-boosting foods and nutrients. (more…)

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 | 1 Comments

Dr. Lipman’s Wellness News Roundup (Oct. 14)

wellness news
By the Be Well Team

Every day, we scour the Web looking for compelling wellness stories that provide the information — and inspiration — you need to make good choices. Here are this week’s must-read wellness articles.

Big Soda Funded Almost 100 Health Groups

The Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo sponsored 96 medical and health organizations, which might have influenced the health groups’ stance on nutritional policy, according to a new paper published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. “We were surprised to see that many of these health groups taking Big Soda money were silent on public policies to reduce soda consumption, such as soda taxes,” says co-author Dr. Michael Siegel, professor of community health sciences in the Boston University School of Public Health. “Clearly, the soda companies are using sponsorship of medical and health organizations to promote their public image, mute the support of these organizations for policies like soda taxes that would decrease soda consumption, and in the long run, to increase soda consumption,” he said. (CNN)

Lower Back Pain? Yoga as Good as Physical Therapy — and Cheaper Too

Weekly yoga classes are as effective as physical therapy (PT) in reducing chronic lower back pain, according to a new study presented at the annual meeting at the American Academy of Pain Management. Bonus: Yoga is way more cost-effective. “There are yoga classes that cost $10 or $15 a week,” says Dr. Robert Bonakdar of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, adding that yoga “can be transitioned into a home practice.” (Medscape)

Omega-3 Levels in Farmed Salmon Have Plummeted

Levels of omega-3 fatty acids in farmed salmon have halved in the past five years, according to researchers at Stirling University in Scotland. Stirling researcher Dr. Matthew Sprague says the British government might have to change its nutritional advice: “At the moment, they are advising to eat two portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily. But the advice of one portion of oily fish really should now be two portions at least.” (BBC) (more…)

Posted by on Oct 14, 2016 | 1 Comments

9 Non-Edible Uses for Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil
By Sheila Eldred

Quick: What can soothe sunburns, add gloss to your furniture, clean your teeth — and make the best-ever popcorn?

You may already be familiar with the superhero qualities that coconut oil has in the kitchen, but if you’re trying to reduce your toxic load, consider keeping a jar (or three) on hand for inedible uses as well.

“It’s a cost-effective and all-natural way to care for the skin,” says Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic, and clinical nutritionist. In addition to being much less expensive than over-the-counter beauty products, Axe says, coconut oil “packs a ton of health benefits” even when not being directly consumed.

Coconut oil is better at penetrating the skin than most skin-care products, Axe says, because of its low molecular weight. That means you don’t have to ingest it to reap the benefits of the fatty acids that reduce inflammation. Coconut oil has been shown to improve chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, the same properties that make it a great pick for sunburn relief, he says.

“Our skin is our largest organ, and it’s also quite porous, which is why it’s important to avoid products that contain harmful ingredients and can have a negative impact on health,” Axe says.

There are health concerns associated with many common cleaning and beauty products, especially since we tend to use them on a daily basis, notes Nneka Leiba, deputy director of research at Environmental Working Group.

“One single product may not be definitively to blame for a health issue,” Leiba says. “But if you’re a woman, years of applying 168 unique chemicals to your body a day, on average, may indeed affect your health.”

Here are nine ways to reap the benefits of coconut oil while avoiding worrisome ingredients:

Heal a Cold Sore

“The disinfectant and antimicrobial properties of the capric, caprylic, and lauric acids in coconut oil make it a great natural treatment for cold sores,” Axe explains. “Just dab a bit on the sore to speed healing, alleviate pain, and reduce the risk of scarring or discoloration.”

Use As Your Go-to Hair Care Product

In addition to detangling hair, coconut oil can fight dandruff and even prevent or treat lice infections, Axe says. (more…)

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

Acupressure Points for DIY Health

By Sandra Sanchez

Acupressure is form of manual medicine based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture meridian points. In TCM, we believe that Qi energy flows through our body via the meridian lines. If this energy becomes excess, deficient, or stagnant in our body then disease can occur.

In acupressure, we use our hand instead of needles to place deep firm pressure on the points. Acupressure can help relieve a variety of symptoms, and you can repeat as often as you like.

Here are some of the most common symptoms my patients experience — as well as the pressure points I use to help them:


Pressure point: Large Intestine 4 (Hegu)

Location: Place your thumb and index finger together. At highest point of the bulge of the muscle and at the end of the crest is LI4.

Notes: This point is used for many conditions related to the head, including nosebleeds, nasal congestion, and tooth pain. Women who are pregnant should not use this point as it can induce labor.


Pressure point: Pericardium 6 (Nei Guan)

Location: Two finger breadths below the wrist on the inner forearm between the two tendons.

Notes: This point is also used for motion sickness and upset stomach.


Pressure points: Large Intestine 20 (Ying Xiang), Stomach 2 (Sibai), and Bladder 2 (Zanzhu)

Location: LI 20: In the midpoint of the nasal groove; ST 2: As the eyes are looking forward in line with the pupil, in the depression of the infraorbital foramen; BL 2: On the medial end of the eyebrow

Notes: This point is also used for sinus pain.

Lower Back Pain

Pressure point: Lung 10 (Yuji)

Location: LI 20: On the palm side of the thumb, midpoint of shaft.

Notes: I also use this point for back spasm.


Pressure point: GV 24.5 (Yin Tang)

Location: At the midpoint between the eyebrows.

Notes: Also used for frontal headaches, sinus issues, and nosebleeds.

Sandra Sanchez, who is on staff at Dr. Frank Lipman’s Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, is a licensed massage therapist, Active Release Technique practitioner, and acupuncturist.

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 | 0 Comments

All About Antinutrients

Written by Rachel Warren, MS, RDN – Illustration by Stuart Bradford
Reprinted with permission from Experience Life

If grains give you gas and beans make you bloat, you’re not alone. Many people experience uncomfortable digestive symp­toms, including gas, swelling, cramping, and pain, after eating legumes, grains, beans, and many seeds and nuts. The common denominator? These foods are all relatively high in natural compounds called antinutrients.

As the name suggests, antinutrients can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. They may also cause damage to the intestinal lining and trigger an inflammatory response elsewhere in the body.

With this in mind, you may be inclined to give up the offending foods altogether. After all, abstaining from antinutrient-laden fare is a cornerstone of many elimination diets, which are designed to help people identify nutritional triggers for sensitivities, allergies, or digestive ailments. Some people suffering from seemingly unrelated symptoms — migraines, joint pain, or asthma, for instance — experience a reduction in symptoms when they steer clear of these foods.

Avoiding antinutrients is also part of the popular paleo philosophy, which eschews relatively modern (think post­­agricultural revolution) foods such as dairy, sugar, refined oils — and cultivated legumes and grains.

But there’s more to antinutrients than their malevolent name and digestive crimes suggest. Think of antinutrients as the unexpected hero of the ancestral-diets world: oft-misunderstood villains that may play a greater role in our well-being than they’re given credit for.

Learning more about antinutrients, including how to work with them, can offer much-needed relief and allow you to enjoy a wider variety of foods.

The Good With the Bad

The first step toward establishing a better relationship with grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts is to see them in their evolutionary context.

“Every living thing has a defense mechanism,” says Diane Sanfilippo, certified holistic-nutrition consultant and author of Practical Paleo.

For animals, it’s the ability to fight or flee. Plants, however, can’t run away or put up their dukes. Some plants have thorns or hard outer shells that help protect them from being eaten; others guard themselves via antinutrient compounds that are difficult for animals — including humans — to digest.

Antinutrients behave in different ways in the human body. Some bind up important minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc, interfering with the body’s ability to use them. Others have been found to cause gut inflammation and irritate the digestive lining, says Maggie Ward, MS, RDN, LDN, nutrition director of the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Mass.

But antinutrients also offer some important health benefits. (more…)

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

3 Weight-Loss Rules to Rethink

By Dr. Frank Lipman

Every day new patients arrive at my office with a variety of health issues that need to be addressed — and weight problems are close to the top of the list. One of the things that always surprises me is the durability of the weight-loss myths that so many of us were raised on. Here are three of the most common weight-loss myths out there — and why they’re wrong!

MYTH # 1: But doc, my momma always told me — it’s all about counting calories.

THE REALITY: Your momma was wrong.

No disrespect to your mom, but the idea of counting calories as the path to weight-loss nirvana is a pretty outdated one. If you’re depending on the calculator to save you, you’re barking up the wrong tree — and probably also carrying around extra weight.

Granted, some people seem to find the sense of control they get from calorie counting helpful, but for most of us it’s an invitation to become neurotic about numbers and lose sight of the health-supporting power of actual food. To put it simply, counting calories is a great way to suck the joy out of eating and savoring good food.

On the other hand, if you ditch processed foods and sugar and simply focus on eating real, fresh whole foods, including nutrient-rich veggies and well-sourced animal protein, there’s no need to count calories! With nutrients, fiber, healthy fats, and protein to keep your belly full and blood sugar on an even keel, you’re simply not going to surpass your daily caloric max by, say, gorging on veggies — unless of course you’re drowning ‘em in must-avoid bottled dressings that are loaded with sugar, bad fats, and additives.

BOTTOM LINE: Quit counting calories and focus on the quality of the food on your plate in order to start shifting weight. More fresh, whole foods equals less weight over time (not overnight!).

MYTH # 2: To lose weight, exercise, exercise, exercise!

THE REALITY: Exercise delivers tremendous benefits, but weight loss isn’t necessarily one of them.

Perhaps it’s a vestige of our Puritanical past (or memories of Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda still dancing in our heads), but most of us are still convinced that exercising to the point of near-exhaustion is the key to weight loss. While exercise is a critical part of health and wellness and has untold number of benefits, the idea of burning calories via exercise is still stuck in the same calories-in-calories-out mentality. And, over time, depriving our bodies of calories can slow down our metabolism — which will cause us to gain weight.

Chronic overexercising can also elevate our body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol, which can make weight loss difficult. Instead, it’s important to exercise smarter in order to balance our hormones — yoga and interval training are great.

BOTTOM LINE: All this does not mean that exercise isn’t good for you. Regular exercise is fantastic for so many things, including strengthening your heart, maintaining healthy blood pressure, boosting mood, and balancing hormones. So, keep moving! Just don’t overdo it. (more…)

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 | 4 Comments