All posts in Nutrition

Zinc Testing – simple and easy

Zinc deficiency increases with age and is associated with increased levels of inflammation and immune system impairment. Inflammation is associated with a variety of chronic health problems, including heart disease, autoimmune disease and diabetes. Older people just don’t seem to take zinc up as well as a younger people.

Zinc is also involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism. It is a part of enzyme activity, plays a role in immune function, protein synthesis and wound healing. A steady intake of zinc is required as the body has no specialized zinc storage system. Zinc is essential to protect against oxidative stress and help repair DNA damage. In zinc deficiency, the body”s ability to repair genetic damage may be decreasing even as the amount of damage is going up.

The current RDA for zinc is 11 mg a day for men and 8 mg per day for women, with an upper limit set at 40 mg. The bottom line is it is really important to make sure you are getting enough zinc, especially if you are an older adult.

In office testing to see if you need zinc supplementation is easy. Ask me about it on your next visit.

Resource: Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry – study conducted at Oregon State University (OSU)



Garlic helps slow and even reverse heart disease

Research done at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, involved 72 patients with blockages of at least one major cardiac artery. Half of them were told to take an aged garlic supplement twice a day, the other half a placebo.

After a year, CAT scans showed that those given the garlic had reductions of plaque in their arteries. The ones who took the placebo only got worse.

“Our study demonstrated the benefit of this supplement on both plaque changes over time and preventing new plaque formation,” said the lead researcher, cardiologist Matthew Budoff, M.D.

One effect of garlic is to lower blood levels of homocysteine, a marker for heart disease.

The study recommends taking 1,200 mg of garlic a day, split between morning and evening doses. Or, you can eat garlic in natural form, but it’s harder to measure the amount of nutrients that will give you.



The fastest way to look like you’ve toned muscle is to lose some pounds of fat. That’s because the closer you come to removing the lard that covers your butt, abs and thighs, the more defined every muscle becomes, making you look buff all over.

I’ve spent a lot of time helping patients lose that “last 10 pounds of flab”.  Using nutrition and exercise training methods I have shaped the bodies of athletes at all levels.

I help patients slash body fat—some down to single digit percentages. I love to sculpt muscles to help reduce cellulite.

Calculate Your Calories

When it comes to calories, I have a simple rule: I need to know the number of calories you burn a day. I do this with my Total Health System device. Once I know that number I can target your calorie intake. I’ll have you eat for your target body weight. Let’s say you weigh 175 pounds but would like to tip the scales at 150. You’ll adopt the calorie intake of a 150-pound woman or man.

The formula: I’ll teach you which exercises to perform for 1 – 3 hours a week, that’s 15-45 minutes a day depending on your schedule. I’ll even figure out your weight loss target date and suggest how many calories you should consume daily. You can divide those calories into however many meals you want—three, four, five, or six—as long as you don’t eat beyond your daily limit. You will not be hungry!

Eat by the Numbers

Sure, you could just focus on calories. But by eating the right amounts of the right nutrients, you’ll speed your results without feeling like you’re on a diet.

Protein is the raw material for muscle growth. It also helps extinguish your appetite and aids in fat loss.

The formula:Eat 1 gram for every pound of your target body weight. If you want to weigh 150 pounds, you’ll eat 150 grams of protein. One gram of protein is about 4 calories. So to calculate the calories you’ll be eating from protein, multiply the number of grams by 4. In this case, that’s 600 calories.

The right dietary fat is good for your skin, brain, cell membranes, nervous system and helps replace bad fat, period. The right kind of fat may actually keep you from overeating because it makes you feel full. The end result: You stop eating sooner and stay satisfied longer.

The formula: Eat half a gram for every pound of your target body weight. If your goal is to weigh 150 pounds, that’d be 75 grams. And since 1 gram of fat has about 9 calories, that’s 675 calories from fat. This will be about 40 percent of your total calories.

I know carb-containing foods taste good. The right ones are rich in vitamins and minerals. So you don’t need to eliminate them altogether; you just need to make sure you don’t eat them in excess. I place a greater priority on protein and fat and leave the remainder of your calories for carbs.

The formula: Rather than calculating a formula here, I usually suggest a total of 75-100 grams of carbs for your allotted daily calories. Using the 150-pound example, that leaves you with 300 – 400 calories. This is the amount of calories you can eat from carbs. As protein does, carbs provide about 4 calories per gram. We can divide your carb calories by four to determine how many grams of carbs you can eat.


Weight Loss

I am a hands-on Doctor, teacher, and a writer. I am certified as a weight loss consultant, personal trainer (exercise specialist) & known for helping people with chronic pain.

I have experience on how to help you lose more weight than other people. It’s not a secret …

I know lots of people who go to Whole Foods, Costco, & Trader Joe’s that buy protein powder as part of a cleanse or there diet.  They don’t work as well as the one I recommend. The medical food protein powder I use has proven in clinical studies to make people lose more body fat weight than people who did NOT take this product. I know mine costs a little more but it’s reported in numerous professional journals to be better.

This means you lose fat pounds … but other people (on the exact same calories and
exercise as you) don’t lose nearly as many fat pounds (I don’t want you to lose precious lean  muscle).  My weight loss programs are drug-free and side-effect free.

This medical food powder I recommend is called UltraMeal and you can get the full details on how to order by clinking on the METAGENICS link on my home page.  




Fish Oil- Definitely YESSS!

I don’t care what you may have heard about taking fish oils in the media, I am definite about there positive health value. I find that the majority of my patients should take fish oil supplements.

Why Take Fish Oils

Three main reasons: 1) it benefits your brain 2)  it benefits your heart 3) it benefits your joints. Omega-3s play a role in protection against Alzheimer’s Disease, depression, and cancer; can help with acne, arthritis, psoriasis and other skin conditions; and can also help with inflammatory bowel disorders. It’s linked with improved brain function. The evidence FOR IT IS JUST TOO GOOD!

If you have a history of heart problems, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, arthritis, chronic pain, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, skin problems, or asthma, then you should probably supplement. If you’re concerned because you don’t eat more than two servings of fish a week, you should supplement. If you eat a lot of fish, don’t eat processed foods, and eat pastured animals and eggs, you may not need to supplement.

About Fish Oil Supplements

Like any oil you want it to be fresh and pure.  A good quality is about the type of fish, dosage, freshness, purity, and how natural it is. The best fish oils come from cold water fish. Look for oil that contains at least 60 percent Omega-3.

How Much to Take

The general consensus is that adults who don’t eat a lot of salmon, grass-fed beef, or other foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids and those who eat foods high in Omega 6 fatty acids (nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and factory-farmed meats) should aim to get between two and four grams of EPA/DHA per day.

Which Fish Oil Should I Take? I recommend fish oil from Metagenics. I also recommendtrying  Krill oil from Xymogen. Take either gel capsuleds or liquid (depending on your desire). I don’t get fish oil burps with these brands! Go to my home page and click on these brand links to order.


Which Vitamin E should I take?

Simple answer: d-alpha or  the full spectrum of tocopherols and tocotrienols.

I recommend the Metagenics E Complex-1:1™. It is a pure, unesterified vitamin E formula that features d-alpha tocopherol combined with a mixed tocopherol blend, achieving a one-to-one ratio of alpha to gamma tocopherols. This unique formula is designed to provide the antioxidant benefits that come from consuming a comprehensive family of tocopherols.

  • Vitamin E inhibits protein kinase C activity, which supports cellular health in several types, including smooth, muscle, platelets, and monocytes.*
  • Delivers an especially powerful blend of different tocopherols for a broader range of antioxidant protection against the ravages of free radicals.*
  • Provides balanced levels of gamma- and alpha-tocopherols that are more closely associated with consumption of vitamin E-rich foods.*
  • Provides gamma-tocopherol for unique antioxidant protection.*

Purchase at : and click on Metagenics


Depression helped by spice

In a placebo controlled clinical trial that tested curcumin vs. an antidepressant drug, curcumin worked just as well as Prozac. Curcumin matched the drug in alleviating moodiness, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, and other depressive symptoms.

Curcumin side effects: Zero.

Prozac side effects: Ever watch a drug commercial on TV!

In addition to the higher risk of dementia for drugs in this category, Prozac’s potential side effects include behavior changes, anxiety, agitation, hostility, hyperactivity, tremors, and insomnia. And — as with most antidepressants — depression may worsen.

A curcumin supplement is the way to go. I also recommend curcumin as a natural anti-inflammatory for my chronic low back pain patients.  In the depression study, 500 mg per day was enough to relieve anxiety, moodiness, and other depressive symptoms.

I recommend Xymogen’s Curcuplex tablets. Click the Xymogen link on the home page to order.

Sources: “Spice Extract Relieves Depression Effectively as Drugs: Study” Kathleen Walter, Nick Tate, Newsmax Health, 10/18/13


Strong Reasons to Take Multi-vitamins – Lower Breast Cancer Death

Published: Oct 10, 2013 | Updated: Oct 11, 2013 By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Postmenopausal breast cancer patients had a significantly lower risk of dying of the disease if they consumed multivitamins with minerals, an analysis of data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) showed.

Overall, use of multivitamins with minerals was associated with a 30% lower likelihood of breast cancer mortality in women who were already taking the vitamins at diagnosis. A matched analysis yielded a similar reduction in the hazard for fatal breast cancer.

“This large prospective study among U.S. older women showed a consistent association between multivitamin and mineral use and lower breast cancer mortality,” Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, PhD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and co-authors reported online in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. “Such suggestive evidence of benefit of multivitamin with minerals in the breast cancer setting is intriguing but should be followed up in future investigations.”



Vitamin D update

This meta-analysis supports a strong connection between low vitamin D and hypertension.

At the 2013 European Human Genetics conference in Paris, France, researchers discussed the largest study to ever examine a link between hypertension and vitamin D deficiency.  Dr. Vimal Karani Santhanakrishnan of the University College London said the results demonstrated “a significant link; for every 10% increase in 25(OH)D concentrations, there was a 8.1% decrease in the risk of developing hypertension.” The conclusion: “Our study strongly suggests that some cases of cardiovascular disease could be prevented through vitamin D supplements or food fortification.”

Santhanakrishnan, V. K. (2013, June). Genetic research clarifies link between hypertension and Vitamin D deficiency. Presented at 2013 European Human Genetics Conference, Paris, France.


Vitamin K update

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three Americans will develop diabetes by 2050, particularly type 2 diabetes. New research suggests vitamin K may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, perhaps by as much as 51%.

Vitamin K is found naturally in deep green foods like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, the less common Japanese fermented food natto is one of the best sources of this vitamin. A vitamin K deficiency is rare, according to The University of Maryland Medical center, because most people get enough from food and “in addition to being found in leafy green foods, the bacteria in your intestines can make vitamin K.”

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition printed a study from Spanish researchers who looked at data involving over 1,000 men and women around age 67. At the beginning of the study, no one had type 2 diabetes. At the conclusion of the study 131 people had developed it. Participants who developed type 2 diabetes had significantly less vitamin K at the beginning of the study. By deductive logic, researchers found that for every additional 100 mcg each participant had per day, his or her risk was decreased by 17%. Participants with the highest intake averaged a 51% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. “We conclude that dietary phylloquinone [a form of vitamin k] intake is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes,” they said.

University of Maryland Medical Center. (2013). Vitamin K. Retrieved June 26, 2013 from

Ibarrola-Jurado, N., Salas-Salvadó, J., Martínez-González, M.A., Bulló, M. (2012) Dietary Phylloquinone Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Elderly Subjects at High Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.033498