All posts in Blog

What’s wrong with sitting?

I typically see:
tight hip flexors, hamstrings, calves
tightness through the external hip rotators, leading to restriction in hip joint range
limitation of lumbar spine extension
stiff thoracic spine
protracted and elevated scapulas with weak lower trapezius and serratus anterior
tight and weak posterior rotator cuff
poked chin posture with associated weak deep neck flexors and overactive upper trapezius, levator scapula and rhomboid muscles.

Prolonged sitting has also been linked to hamstring strains. The lumbar spine stiffness associated with sitting leads to altered neural input into the posterior thigh, the theory goes. This can manifest as increased muscle tone of the hamstrings, which will alter the length-tension relationship and increase the risk of strain.

Hunched postures cause thoracic spine stiffness, shoulder imbalance and winged scapulas.

Each of my clients is encouraged to correct their posture, perform a daily flexibility program and take a look at the ergonomics of their work-stations to help them regain the alignment and muscle balances that are essential for them to achieve their best health.

More

Varicose Viens & Vitamin K

Varicose veins are caused by a variety of factors: genetic inclination, standing occupations, obesity, or multiple pregnancies.

In a 2007 study from France’s University of Nantes, researchers examined 36 healthy male subjects and 50 male subjects with varicose veins. They found a link between varicosis and inactivity of a protein called matrix GLA protein (MGP). And because MGP is properly activated only when vitamin K levels are adequate, researchers theorize that sufficient intake of the vitamin may play a role in the prevention of varicose veins.

The importance of vitamin K intake for circulatory health is already well known. Dr. Tucker recommends 5 to 15 mg of vitamin K per day – considerably higher than the recommended daily allowance.

More

Thyroid Supplements

One of the best known natural hypothyroid treatments is called Armour thyroid. This is desiccated thyroid from an animal and provides the complete range of thyroid hormones. Research shows that the thyroid hormone T3 is more active than T4 – in fact, it is roughly four times as strong as T4. In the body, all T4 hormones must be converted into T3 in order to control metabolism. Many patients do not have the enzymatic capability to make that conversion.

Synthroid, the most common drug prescribed for thyroid patients is T4.
Recently, the FDA has taken steps that would seem to signal the end of desiccated thyroid products like Armour. It appears that the FDA has asked several companies that produce natural desiccated thyroid to submit a new drug application for their products. Of course, these applications require research that costs millions of dollars. So the companies basically have no choice but to take their products off the market.

Many of my patients ask me if I offer a natural supplement for thyroid patients. I recommend T-150 made by XYMOGEN 1-800-647-6100

More

Better Healthy Food Choices

EGGS: The protein found in eggs has the highest “biological value” of protein — a measure of how well it supports your body’s protein need — of any food. In other words, the protein in eggs is more effective at building muscle than protein from other sources, even milk and beef. Eggs also contain vitamin B12, which is necessary for fat breakdown. Even during all those years eggs were considered bad for you, I never saw it that way. Eating an egg or two a day will not raise your cholesterol levels.

BERRIES: Berries carry powerful levels of antioxidants: all-purpose compounds that help your body fight heart disease and cancer. The berries’ flavonoids may also help your eyesight, balance, coordination, and short-term memory. During the summer months plan on eating a cup of raspberries or blueberries a day. One cup has about 6 grams of fiber and more than half of your daily requirement of vitamin C.

ALMONDS: Almonds are one of the best sources of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E — the form that’s best absorbed by your body. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that can help prevent free-radical damage. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those men who consumed the most vitamin E — from food sources, not supplements — had a 67 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease than those eating the least vitamin E. Almonds are a great snack after a workout.

BEANS & LEGUMES: Pick whichever you like – Black, lima, pinto, navy. They are good protein, fiber and iorn sources, and low in fat. When people think of fiber they forget to think of beans as a great source.

Researchers in Australia, Indonesia, and Sweden studied the diets of 400 elderly men and women, and found that those who ate the most leafy green vegetables and beans had the fewest wrinkles.

SPINACH & OTHER GREEN VEGES: These foods have high nutrient content — especially vitamins A, C, and K; folate; beta-carotene; minerals including calcium and magnesium; fiber; and antioxidants. They have antioxidants and fiber that helps fill you up without loading you up with calories.
Snack on more vegetables – period!

DAIRY: Unless you are allergic to dairy, I am all for yogurt, cheeses, and other dairy products. Whey protein powder in the UltraMeal shakes is one of my favorites for weight loss. Three or more servings of dairy per day can reduce your risk of heart disease by 31 percent.

OATMEAL: I wouldn’t suggest everyday for breakfast. Don’t forget oatmeal can be a good pre-workout snack, or at night to avoid a late-night binge. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, meaning that it attracts fluid and stays in your stomach longer than insoluble fiber (like vegetables). Soluble fiber is thought to reduce blood cholesterol by binding with digestive acids made from cholesterol and sending them out of your body.

Studies show that oatmeal sustains your blood sugar levels longer than many other foods, which keeps your insulin levels stable and ensures you won’t be hungry for the few hours that follow.

TURKEY: Turkey breast is one of the leanest meats you’ll pick, and it packs nearly one-third of your daily requirements of niacin and vitamin B6. Dark meat, if you prefer, has lots of zinc and iron.

PEANUT BUTTER: I know it’s high in calories but it has heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. For guys that means it can increase your body’s production of testosterone, which can help your muscles grow and your fat melt.
Avoid “classic” peanut butters such as Jif and Skippy – they have added sugar and trans fats. Purchase all-natural butters with one ingredient: peanuts.

OLIVE OIL: It contains monounsaturated fat – these prevent muscle breakdown by lowering levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Buy the extra-virgin variety whenever possible; it has a higher level of free-radical-fighting vitamin E.

EXTRA PROTEIN POWDER: I add BioPureProtein from Metagenics to my protein smoothie shakes. In conjunction with my UltraMeal powder (Metagenics) or FitFood (Xymogen), it is a total meal replacement. I’ll say it again, the most powerful fat-burning meal is high in protein and low in carbs. The UltraMeal powder and the BioPureProtein shakes are high-quality protein that contains essential amino acids that build muscle and burn fat. It’s simple, it has the highest amount of protein for the fewest number of calories.

More

Long-Term Metformin Treatment Linked to Vitamin B12 Deficiency

May 2010 — In type 2 diabetes, long-term metformin treatment is linked to vitamin B12 deficiency, according to the results of a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial reported Online First May 20 in the BMJ.

”Metformin is considered a cornerstone in the treatment of diabetes and is the most frequently prescribed first line therapy for individuals with type 2 diabetes,” write Jolien de Jager, from the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues. “Metformin does, however, induce vitamin B-12 malabsorption, which may increase the risk of developing vitamin B-12 deficiency — a clinically important and treatable condition.”

“Long term treatment with metformin increases the risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency, which results in raised homocysteine concentrations,” the study authors write. “Vitamin B-12 deficiency is preventable; therefore, our findings suggest that regular measurement of vitamin B-12 concentrations during long term metformin treatment should be strongly considered.”

Dr. Tucker’s comments: Dietary counseling should be considered with every person on Metformin. I know eating a low-sugar diet can be difficult. A new formula called Glucorest contains touchi extract which has been shown to blunt the glycemic response and supports healthy glucose and triglyceride metabolism – without reported adverse effects. Order Glucorest from the Metagenics link.

BMJ. Published online May 20, 2010.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=20488910&dopt=Abstract

More

Weight Loss Tips

A big part of my private practice is helping people lose fat. Here are 3 nutrition principles that will serve you well throughout your fat loss journey. I suggest that you pick one from the list to start out with, master that one and then move on to the next ones.
If you are a client you know that I recommend eating a healthy Mediterranean Diet or The Paleo Diet. Both are low sugar, high fiber, with foods such as lean protein (beef, chicken, fish, eggs and whey protein), vegetables (technicolor plates), fruits (strawberries, blueberries, etc.), nuts (almonds, cashews and walnuts) and very little whole grains (oatmeal and multigrain bread). I usually up everyone’s protein & fat intakes.
1) Eat Breakfast Every Day.
Studies have consistently shown that making breakfast a daily habit will help you lose weight and keep it off. People skip breakfast thinking they’re cutting calories, but by mid-morning and lunch, that person is starved. Breakfast skippers replace calories during the day with mindless nibbling, binging at lunch and dinner. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Eating breakfast also jump starts your metabolism for the day. When you don’t eat breakfast, you’re actually fasting for 15 to 20 hours, so you’re not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight. If you don’t have time for breakfast, make a delicious protein shake using UltraMeal from Metagenics (see link).
2) Eat a little something every 2-3 hours that you are awake.
Basically you’re going to eat whenever you are truly hungry. Hunger is the best indication of when you need to nourish your body and will help control over eating and not eating enough. Aim to eat only when you are truly hungry and stop eating when you are satisfied. This generally works out to 3 larger meals alternating with 2-3 smaller snacks throughout the day. This will help keep you full and satisfied and will reduce the likelihood of binge eating at the end of the day. This is one of the best principles you can follow to blast fat and build lean muscle.

3) Unless you are on the 28 Day Cleanse, for one meal a week, eat your favorite foods.
You shouldn’t be deprived of your favorite foods. This is a reward meal. A reward for eating healthy the entire week. So pick one meal per week to eat anything you want. Pasta, ice-cream, chocolate, wine….anything goes at this meal.

The 28 Day Cleanse has been most helpful with clients who complain of fatigue, recurrent gastrointestinal problems (especially diarrhea), food intolerance or sensitivity, chemical or environmental sensitivities, chronic headache, and muscle or joint pain of unknown origin.

More

Prostate Health

Here are 10 foods that can significantly cut a man’s risk of prostate cancer:

Tomatoes: Red tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Studies show that antioxidants protect against prostate cancer.

Green Tea: Study after study shows the benefit of drinking green tea for general good health. Green tea is protective against prostate cancer. Try to brew up at least two cups per day.

Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, & cauliflower help protect against prostate cancer. Others include kale, and mustard greens. Just three or more servings per week may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 50 percent. Try to include at least one of these vege’s per day in your meals.

Garlic: Recent studies suggest it cuts the risk of prostate cancer tumors by over half. That’s possibly because it contains selenium. Selenium is an essential antioxidant that fights cancer and may cut prostate cancer risk by 50 percent.

Brazil Nuts: Another great source of selenium. A daily handful of Brazil nuts offers enough selenium to lower your risk by 50 percent.

Fish: Contains Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin E and selenium. These three taken together should be part of a prostate cancer prevention program. Best sources: Sardines, tuna, and salmon.

Flaxseeds: These are a rich source of vitamin E. Research conducted on mice shows that flaxseeds may slow the spread of prostate cancer. I like to put Flaxseeds in my protein shakes – UltraMeal powder by Metagenics or FitFood powder by Xymogen).

Pomegranate Juice: Pomegranate juice also slows the growth of prostate cancer, according to research on mice.

Scallions: One study showed that eating just a tenth of an ounce of scallions each day reduces the risk of prostate cancer by 70 percent.

Saw palmetto also boosts prostate health. Saw palmetto alleviates the symptoms of prostate gland enlargement. The herbal extract is the initial treatment for urinary tract problems in several European countries.

If you need added support and want to take a supplement in conjunction with a healthy diet, I recommend Prostate FLO by Xymogen (1-800-647-6100). This is a comprehensive prostate support formula. Its primary mode of action involves maintaining healthy testosterone metabolism.

More

Daily Ginger Consumption Found To Ease Muscle Pain

For centuries, ginger root has been used as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments such as colds and upset stomachs. But now, researchers at the University of Georgia have found that daily ginger consumption also reduces muscle pain caused by exercise.

Ginger has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects and decrease pain. Cooking with ginger is one way to increase your intake. Another way to benefit from the pain-relieving effects is to make a shake with UltraInflamX 360.

UltraInflamX® Plus 360° is a medical food made by Metagenics formulated to provide specialized nutritional support—including reduced iso-alpha acids (RIAA, from hops), L-glutamine, and easily digestible rice protein. UltraInflamX includes ginger and rosemary. It also provides turmeric extract, which has been shown in research to inhibit the activities of a wide variety of enzymes, cytokines, eicosanoids, and reactive species implicated in pain and inflammation.

Another recommendation to help decrease pain is to increase EPA-DHA consumption (Omega 3 fish oils). I recommend EPA-DHA 720 by Metagneics.

More

Triglycerides and heart disease link

Triglyerides are blood fats and are different from cholesterol. Cambridge University researchers looked at the role of triglycerides, which is produced in the liver and derived from foods such as meat and dairy products.

They did an analysis of 350,000 people from 101 previous studies and found those with higher levels of the blood fat were more likely to have heart disease.

The Lancet medical journal reported that the analysis centred on a specific gene which is known to influence the levels of triglycerides. Those with the variation in the gene which boosted triglyceride levels had an 18% greater risk of heart disease than those that did not.

The findings suggest the blood fat could be causing heart disease in some way. I’ve been saying for years that lowering triglyceride levels is more important than reducing cholesterol in reducing the risk of heart disease.

My advice is to make simple lifestyle changes; continue to eat a Paleo-Mediterranean diet; make the transition to a healthy, whole food diet; exercise; stop smoking; replace problem meals with a healthy protein shake (use UltraMeal Plus medical food from Metagenics). These are still the best ways to tackle your heart disease risk.

Most places you look these days are saying the TG/HDL ratio is the most important test of blood lipids, and should be under 2.0, or preferably under 1.0. Beyond that there is CRP, and a bunch of different, more expensive tests: http://www.bhlinc.com/clin_test.php http://www.atherotech.com/ http://www.atherotech.com/content/files/pdfs/vap_report_sample.pdf http://www.your-story.org/spectracell-laboratories-now-offers-hs-omega-3-indexr-161378/ http://www.spectracell.com/lpp

More