Dr. Lipman’s Wellness News Roundup (Oct. 7)

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.

FDA: Glyphosate Residues Found in Baby Food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found traces of glyphosate in many oat products — including baby cereal. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, the most heavily used herbicide in the world. Last year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” “There is not a single example of IARC being wrong, showing something is a probable carcinogen and then later it is proven not to be,” says IARC chairman Aaron Bair. (EcoWatch)

This Is Your Brain on Sugar

Sugar may alter the control mechanisms in the brain. That’s the working theory of University of Michigan molecular biologist Monica Dus, who think sugar changes the brain in such a way that it no longer tracks how many calories the body is ingesting — which leads to both overeating and obesity. “Perhaps it has nothing to do with will, and a lot to do with biochemistry,” Dus says.  (NPR)

‘Breast Microbiome’ May Impact Cancer Risk

We’ve all heard about the gut microbiome, but it turns out that breast tissue has its own microbiome — and it may increase or decrease the risk of breast cancer, according to a new study in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Specifically, researchers found that women with breast cancer had higher levels of Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus, and Bacillus bacteria, while women without cancer had higher levels of Lactococcus and Streptococcus bacteria. “What we’re not sure of yet is whether certain bacteria are found near breast tumors because they cause breast cancer or because they just thrive in the tumor environment,” says immunologist Delphine Lee, who was not involved in the study. (Scientific American)

‘Big Fat Fix’ Documentary

“Lifestyle changes do no harm and only do good. We don’t learn any of this in medical school.” So says cardiologist Aseem Malhotra in this wide-ranging interview about health and nutrition. Malhotra’s new film, “Big Fat Fix,” challenges the idea that fat is behind the rise in chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease. “We have been wrong in declaring saturated fat the most important dietary factor driving cardiovascular disease,” he says. “We have neglected sugar, and sugar is the major problem.”  (Medscape) (more…)

Posted by on Oct 07, 2016 | 0 Comments

4 Tips to Detox Your Pregnancy

By Sophia Ruan Gushee

While pregnant with each of my three children, I tried to eat well, exercise, and rest. I took my health even more seriously because I knew my choices affected not just me but also my developing baby. However, I had no idea that toxic exposures from consumer products could also influence health.

Since World War II, more than 84,000 chemicals have been introduced into American commerce, most of which have not been adequately studied for safety. That’s a huge problem because in recent decades, scientific studies have found that chronic exposures to low doses of chemicals found in everyday products can have adverse health effects. The list of potential health effects is long and varied and includes everything from cancer and reproductive issues to neurotoxicity and obesity.

Vulnerability to these chemicals varies not just among adults and children but also among individuals. Timing of exposure is also important: If exposed during certain stages of development — such as the prenatal and postnatal periods, puberty, and menopause — the health effects are potentially more serious.

Specifically, scientists are learning that exposure to a class of chemicals known as obesogens during the prenatal period can disrupt the endocrine system and contribute to obesity, which is associated with many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Minimizing unnecessary exposure to these chemicals, which are found in many everyday products, is important for everyone, but it is especially key for pregnant women.

Below are tips to reduce your exposure to obesogens. If you are pregnant, incorporating these four tips will be an invaluable investment in your child’s lifelong health.

1. Avoid Plastic Food and Beverage Containers

Plastics are made with a number of chemical ingredients, including BPA and phthalates, that threaten our health and development and have been linked to obesity. In 2016, a study found that prenatal exposure to BPA was positively correlated with higher body mass indexes in children. BPS, a typical replacement chemical in “BPA-free” products, has also been linked to obesity. Also, a recent study of phthalates found positive associations between maternal exposure and childhood obesity.

For most people, it is challenging to avoid all plastics. But, we can cut down on our exposure by nixing plastic food and beverages containers. Chemicals are more likely to leach from plastics when exposed to extreme heat or cold, or if the plastics are scuffed and damaged. Safer food storage materials include glass and stainless steel containers.

2. Try to Pick Organic Veggies and Fruits

Linked to cancer and other adverse health effects, pesticides may also contribute to childhood obesity. Prenatal exposures to certain pesticides, such as hexachlorobenzene (HCB), triflumizole (TFZ), and tributyltin (TBT), have been linked to obesity in children. Some studies have shown that the effects could be transgenerational too. In other words, when a pregnant mother is exposed, then both her child and grandchildren could be affected.

To reduce unnecessary pesticide exposures, focus on eating organic fruits and vegetables. If you cannot eat 100% organic, then turn to the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. They are updated yearly, and rank which produce tend to have higher levels of detected pesticides (and should therefore be purchased organic), and which produces are “cleaner” in their conventional forms. (more…)

Posted by on Oct 06, 2016 | 0 Comments

The Be Well Recipe: Curried Lamb and Root Vegetable Stew

Photo credit: Betsy Nelson

Lamb is a staple in many global cuisines, but it’s only recently that many Americans have started to venture beyond the world of lamb chops.

Like grass-fed beef, grass-fed lamb is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but lamb also contains much higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). As many studies have shown, CLA is anti-inflammatory and has been linked to improved blood sugar regulation and reduced body fat.

Ready to expand your palate? Here is a nourishing and comforting lamb stew to make this fall.

Curried Lamb and Root Vegetable Stew

Use a combination of your favorite brightly colored root vegetables for this wonderfully spiced lamb stew. Be sure to look for a curry powder blend that has no added sugar — or make your own to keep on hand!

Makes 2 servings:

  • 8 oz. grass-fed lamb stew meat, cubed
  • 1 T. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 T. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cups assorted root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, celery root, rutabaga, turnip or radish
  • 8 oz. chicken or beef broth
  • 2 cups collard, kale, or Swiss chard greens, torn or cut into pieces, stems removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Toss the stew meat with the curry powder and cinnamon. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir in the onion and ginger, and then add the lamb meat and brown on all sides.

Add the root vegetables, and sauté for another 10 minutes to coat well with the spices from the lamb. Add the broth and stir to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.

When the broth comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour, until the lamb and vegetables are tender.

Stir in the greens, and cover and cook for another five minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Posted by on Oct 05, 2016 | 0 Comments

‘Erin Brockovich’ Chemical in Tap Water of More Than 200 Million Americans

Tap Water
Written by Bill Walker and David Andrews
Reprinted with permission from Environmental Working Group

Drinking water supplies for two-thirds of Americans are contaminated with the carcinogenic chemical made notorious by the film “Erin Brockovich,” which was based on the real-life poisoning of tap water in a California desert town.

But there are no national regulations for the compound — and the chemical industry is trying to keep it that way.

Today, EWG released an analysis of more than 60,000 tap water tests conducted nationwide, finding that chromium-6, or hexavalent chromium, is in the tap water of more than 218 million Americans. (Use EWG’s interactive map to see the level of chromium-6 in your water supply, as reported by the EPA from tests by local water utilities.)

That’s two-thirds of the U.S. being served water with chromium-6 at, or above, the level that California state scientists consider safe. The California public health goal allows a chromium-6 level expected to cause no more than one case of cancer in 1 million people who drink it for lifetime.

Though far more permissive than its public health goal, California is the only state that has set an enforceable legal limit for chromium-6 in drinking water. Federal chromium regulations, set in 1991, do not specifically address chromium-6 and do not consider current science showing that drinking water contaminated with the chemical can cause cancer. (more…)

Posted by on Oct 04, 2016 | 0 Comments

Choosing a High-Quality Olive Oil

olive oil
By Dr. Frank Lipman

We all know that extra-virgin olive oil is good for us. The delicious staple of the Mediterranean diet is loaded with healthy fats that help reduce our risk of chronic diseases — a big reason why U.S. consumption has tripled in the last 25 years.

But, how do you pick the right bottle — especially when faced with a supermarket aisle packed with seemingly more kinds of olive oil than stars in the sky? Add to that no shortage of producers putting out subpar oils and wrapping them in pretty packages, and it can get overwhelming fast.

“Most oils sold in the United States are fake,” notes Larry Olmsted, author of the recent book Real Food, Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do About It.

So what’s a buyer to do? Arm yourself with knowledge! Olive oil is a bit like wine — it helps to know something about it before you buy a bottle.

Below are a few pointers to help guide you when you arrive at the olive oil aisle. Happy eating!

Know What ‘Extra Virgin’ Really Means

Most people know to look for “extra virgin” on the label even if they don’t know what it means. “Extra virgin” refers to the way the oil was extracted (it has nothing to do with the morality of the olives!). With EVOO, extraction is usually a mechanical pressing, versus other types which use chemical solvents to extract the juice. EVOO is not a guarantee of purity or quality although the designation does generally mean a fresher, higher-quality oil. That, in turn, means more of those fabulous polyphenols that are so good for overall health.

Check the Expiration Date

Like anything edible, olive oil comes with an expiration date, so shoot for the freshest EVOO possible (if there’s a harvest date listed, even better). Avoid buying EVOO that’s more than a year old and shop in places where the stock keeps moving – high turnover is a good thing. However, it’s important to consider the expiration date more of a general guide than a freshness guarantee, as olive oil easily goes bad with exposure to heat, air, and light — and there’s no way for consumers to know how their oil has been treated in transit. (And, don’t be fooled by labels with phrases like “cold pressed,” “pure,” and “light,” — they sound impressive but are virtually meaningless marketing catchphrases.)

Look at the Container

Be sure to only buy EVOO that is bottled in dark-colored glass — never plastic — to keep light and BPAs out of your oil. (more…)

Posted by on Oct 03, 2016 | 1 Comments

Dr. Lipman’s Wellness News Roundup (Sept. 30)

Wellness News

Photo by Larry Jackson, used with permission from Holistic Life Foundation.

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.

What Happens When You Replace Detention with Meditation? Good Things.

Instead of punishing kids with detention or a trip to the principal’s office, an elementary school in Maryland is teaching children to meditate with the help of the non-profit Holistic Life Foundation (HLF). “We’ve had parents tell us, ‘I came home the other day stressed out, and my daughter said, “Hey, Mom, you need to sit down. I need to teach you how to breathe,’” says HLF co-founder Andres Gonzalez. (Upworthy)

Revolving Door Between FDA and Big Pharma

More than half of FDA medical reviewers who reviewed cancer drugs between 2001 and 2010 ultimately went on to work for the biopharmaceutical industry, according to a new study published in the journal BMJ. “I think it’s astonishingly high,” said senior study author Dr. Vinay Prasad. “When you are talking about cancer drugs, with high toxicity and sometimes small benefit, it’s a place where judgment really matters.” (STAT)

Happy Spouse, Healthy Life

If your spouse is happy, you’re more likely to be in good health. That’s the upshot of a new study from Michigan State University that studied about 2,000 older married couples over six years. “Participants with happy partners were significantly more likely to report better health, experience less physical impairment, and to exercise more frequently than participants with unhappy partners,” the study noted, “even accounting for the impact of their own happiness and other life circumstances.” (Time)

Ibuprofen Linked to Heart Failure

People who regularly use painkillers have an increased risk of heart failure, according to a new study published in the journal BMJ. Specifically, people who use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen (think: Advil) and naproxen (think: Aleve), have a 19 percent higher risk of being hospitalized for heart failure. (Time)

Eat Less, Move More? Not So Fast

Why are so many Americans obese? Because they are relying on outdated weight-loss advice — namely, reduce calories and increase exercise — according to Dr. Jason Fung. We need to understand that obesity is a hormonal imbalance — not a caloric imbalance — and eat in a way that supports our hormones, notes Fung. “This includes adjusting  what we eat, but also when we eat. Reducing dietary sugars, and refined carbohydrates helps to reduce insulin levels, as does adding fiber, vinegar and fermented foods to the diet,” he adds. (Fox News)

Solitude Is the Key to True Restfulness

Solo activities are the most restful — even for extroverts — according to a new study carried out by the BBC. In a survey filled out by 18,000 people, reading was cited as the most restful activity, followed by being in nature, being alone, listening to music, and “doing nothing in particular.” (Quartz)

Drug Side Effects Are Vastly Underreported

About two-thirds of harmful drug effects are left out of published studies, according to a recent paper published in the journal PLOS Medicine.“There is strong evidence that much of the information on adverse events remains unpublished and that the number and range of adverse events is higher in unpublished than in published versions of the same study,” the study authors wrote. (Wired)

Cities Consider Health Effects of LED Lights

Some cities are taking a closer look at their high-intensity LED streetlights after the American Medical Association warned in June that the blue light emitted by the LED lights can disturb sleep and increase the risk of chronic illness. Some people advocate for no LED lights, while Matt Coogan, the city planner for Gloucester, Massachusetts, is planning on installing less-intense LED lights. “I didn’t want to get 10 or 15 years down the road and find out we had exposed our people to a health risk,” Coogan said. (The Washington Post)


Posted by on Sep 30, 2016 | 1 Comments

Q & A with Dr. Amy Myers about The Thyroid Connection

Thyroid Connection
By Be Well Team

A whopping 27 million Americans suffer from thyroid dysfunction — and many don’t even know it — says functional-medicine doc Amy Myers, MD.

In her new book, The Thyroid Connection: Why You Feel Tired, Brain-Fogged, and Overweight — and How to Get Your Life Back, Myers outlines a 28-day plan to reverse thyroid dysfunction, including Hashimoto’s disease, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism.

Even though millions of people suffer from thyroid disorders, says Myers, conventional medicine continues to miss the boat. We wanted to talk to her about why that is — and how to actually get a correct diagnosis and reverse thyroid dysfunction. Here’s what she had to say:

What are the various symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, and why do millions of people suffer from symptoms of thyroid dysfunction without even knowing it?

There are actually a huge range of thyroid dysfunction symptoms because your thyroid affects all of your metabolic processes.

If your thyroid is underactive and you are hypothyroid, then everything slows down, leading to fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, infertility, anxiety, and hormonal imbalances.

If your thyroid is overactive and you are hyperthyroid, then everything speeds up, which can cause symptoms such as weight loss, tremors, anxiety, panic attacks, loose stool, and insomnia.

Because these symptoms are so vague and your doctor typically only talks to you for 15 minutes or less, they’re often written off as symptoms of aging or stress.

There’s also a big problem with doctors not checking your thyroid if you’re not a woman in the age range where most thyroid dysfunction is diagnosed or if you’re a man. Then, if your doctor does check your thyroid levels, they’re using reference ranges that are far too broad and looking for “normal” instead of optimal levels.

Why do more women experience it than men?

The truth is that we don’t know 100 percent yet. We suspect that because women usually develop thyroid or autoimmune issues (or often both) during pregnancy or menopause, that it’s related to hormones. (more…)

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

Here’s a Meditation Exercise from Gabby Bernstein’s New Book

Gabby Bernstein
By Be Well Health Coach Amanda Carney

“Energy flows where intention goes.” So says New York Times best-selling author and self-proclaimed “spirit junkie” Gabby Bernstein.

Bernstein’s new book, The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith (Hay House), aims to help people transform their anxieties into a sense of purpose.

“Fear creates resistance in our energy,” Bernstein notes. “When we are stuck in fear, that resistance blocks us from the natural support of love that is available to us all the time. Throughout the book I refer to this loving support as the energy of the Universe. When we block the energy of the Universe we feel stuck, depressed, sick, weak and alone. When you read the book, the lessons within it will help.”

The book is filled with stories, lessons, and meditation exercises that Bernstein says will guide readers to release resistance and reconnect with happiness, security, and clear direction.

Here is one of Bernstein’s meditation exercises, aimed at helping people create visions of the world they want to see:

A Course in Miracles says, “The mind is very powerful, and never loses its creative force. It never sleeps. Every instant it is creating. It is hard to recognize that thought and belief combine into a power surge that can literally move mountains.”

We must learn to train our mind to create with love rather than with fear. This exercise is a great practice for you to begin awakening to the power of your own creations. (more…)

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

The Be Well Recipe: Kale and Shiitake Mushroom Sauté

shiitake mushrooms
(Photo: Betsy Nelson)

In the world of plant-based foods, the mushroom is a nutritional superhero.

Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, mushrooms are powerful immunity boosters with several anti-cancer properties.

They also taste deliciously earthy and are a great way to add a meaty texture to dishes.

Here’s an easy Cleanse-friendly dish that pairs mushrooms with kale, lots of garlic, and a splash of apple cider vinegar.

We used shiitake mushrooms because we love the flavor and the powerful health benefits, but feel free to swap in other mushrooms, including oyster, portobello, cremini, or even plain old white-button mushrooms.

Kale and Shiitake Mushroom Sauté

Mushrooms add an earthy, soulful flavor to this one-pot dish. Looking for something more hearty? Simply add cooked fish, roasted chicken, or other protein to the finished dish.

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 oz. shiitake mushrooms, about 1½-2 cups
  • 1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, leaves torn into pieces (about 6 cups loosely packed)
  • ¼-1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 T. coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Mix the garlic and olive oil together in a small bowl and set aside. Discard the stems from the mushrooms, and quarter the mushroom caps.

Heat a heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat, and strain the reserved olive oil into the pan, saving the garlic to add later. Add the mushrooms to the pan, and sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the reserved garlic, kale, black pepper, rosemary, coconut aminos, and apple cider vinegar.

Give it a stir and then cover the pan for a couple of minutes to allow the kale to steam. Remove the lid, stir, and serve.

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 | 1 Comments

9 Tips to Sleep Better When You Travel

Sleep Tips
By Dr. Frank Lipman

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it can be challenging to fall asleep in hotel room, no matter how lovely and accommodating. Even if you’re usually a good sleeper, simply crossing time zones can throw off your sleep cycle.

To help you rest easier, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite tips to help you sleep away from home. Sweet dreams!

Set Yourself Up for Success

Some people can sleep through just about any noise imaginable. Others? Not so much. If you fall into the latter camp, ask the front desk for a room on a higher floor and far away from elevators, vending and ice machines, and outdoor patios. And don’t forget your earplugs!

Eat Earlier in the Evening

You’ll sleep better if your belly isn’t digesting dinner all night, so try to eat at least three to four hours before you plan to turn in. Stuck with a late-night dinner reservation? Remember to eat simply, choosing lighter, easy-to-digest foods that won’t make you (or your belly) toss and turn all night.

Skip the Nightcap

An after-dinner drink in the lounge is a sociable way to decompress from the day, but if sleeping well is a concern, trade the bubbly for a cup of soothing chamomile, mint, or valerian tea.

Create an “Electronic Sundown”

An hour or two before going to bed, turn off the television, and shut down your laptop, tablet, and phone. The light emitted by electronics will make your brain think it’s daytime, and achieving deep, restorative sleep will be difficult.

Get Steamed (In a Good Way!)

A hot bath, shower, or stint in the hotel hot tub an hour or so before bed is a fantastic way to prep for sleep. A bit of tub time will help relax muscles and lightly boost body temperature, which in turn promotes falling asleep faster. A sauna will offer similar sleep-promoting benefits, so if there’s one in your hotel, indulge! (more…)

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 | 0 Comments