Wonder why you have high blood pressure? The reason may surprise you!

    No doubt you know that high blood pressure is creating a global health crisis. But, until relatively recently, infectious diseases were a bigger annual killer. Today, ‘non-communicable diseases’ have become more deadly, and most are associated with ‘modifiable causes’, including being overweight and obesity.  Processed foods and a boatload of sugar in everything, fried foods […]

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    Valentine’s Day: What’s on your aphrodisiac menu for February 14?

    When did Valentine’s Day become all about food?  Isn’t it a celebration of love? Well…not really! The origin of Valentine’s day is attributed to an early Christian martyr named Valentine, who, after Emperor Claudius II had banned marriages, was executed for performing the ceremonies in secret. But, we enjoy Valentine’s Day, February 14 as a […]

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    When suppressing a cough is a bad idea

    A recent discussion on an expat social media website had me worrying.  One expat asked where they could find a certain cough suppressant for a chronic cough that had lasted a “few weeks.” Another expat recommended honey and herbs. I added my two cents and said that honey, while it could be soothing, is not […]

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    Drink to your health? Healthy or hype?

    As a registered dietitian, I occasionally receive unsolicited emails from advertisers, including one recent offer of a free sample of a popular nutritional shake.  I clicked on the offer: Nutrition Made Simple. BOOST® Simply Complete™ 9 ingredients + 25 Vitamins and Minerals  10 g Protein. Two flavors, vanilla bean and dark chocolate. Oh boy. My B.S. […]

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    Traditional and modern medicine — respect for the potency of plants

    The history of modern medicine is grounded in plants. Over thousands of years, medicines have been identified and extracted from botanicals. Some familiar ones include basic aspirin, penicillin, morphine and more. Most of the world’s population have used or use some type of herbal supplement.  The use of herbal medicines, phytonutrients or nutraceuticals is expanding […]

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    Traditional and modern medicine: A peaceful coexistence? Part I

    Modern medicine is rooted in plants. Dating back thousands of years examples of important medicines extracted from botanicals include reserpine, morphine, penicillin, and vinca alkaloid anti-cancer drugs. Wikipedia.com defines herbalism (also known as herbology or herbal medicine) as “the use of plants for medicinal purposes.” Herbology’s scope includes fungal and bee products, minerals, shells, and […]

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    Did you make a New Year’s resolution? How about ‘eat less sugar!’

    Sugar is a very hot topic of late. Some experts say sugar is singularly responsible for the world obesity crises, but others say it’s only one factor. How much do you know about sugar? Take this quick quiz to see. Click on the “Answer” following the choices. The white sugar we know as table sugar […]

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    Misinformed consent? Caveat emptor!

    Why are some people so susceptible to quackery? I was thinking about this recently, when I spied a social media query from a local expat looking for a “natural healer” or “someone in alternative health” who had “some type of machine” that would test her. I thought, “Test her for what? Is she ill? Does […]

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    ¡No se sienten tanto! (Don’t sit so much!)

    You can’t undo the negative health effects from sitting, even if you go to the gym for an hour daily. Some research shows that regardless of how much physical activity someone gets, if they sit too long, they increase the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. According to a recent study […]

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    What’s normal? Blood pressure, blood glucose, body temperature

    Have you ever wondered how 98.6° Fahrenheit or 37° centigrade became “normal” body temperature? In the 1850’s, a German physician named Carl Wunderlich collected data on 25,000 patients, taking their temperature multiple times. Wunderlich was the first to show how the body temperature fluctuates naturally throughout the day and night, and he was the first […]

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