Do we need a photo album in our medicine cabinet? Love as our drug of choice

By | February 13th, 2018|Empowerment, In treatment, Lifestyle Medicine, Love, Meaning, Research|

In honor of Valentine’s day, let’s consider love as our drug of choice!  UCLA researchers have found that instead of bottles of painkillers, maybe we should be putting a photo or photo album in our bathroom medicine cabinet to help reduce pain. What? Can photos reduce pain? […]

Children’s night lights | What about their melatonin? | Fundamentals on Fridays

By | February 2nd, 2018|disease prevention, Empowerment, Fundamentals on Fridays, Immune system, Lifestyle Medicine, Research, Sleep, Stress reduction|

I frequently write about melatonin and its many impacts on our health and its importance for sleep. And maybe you are making some changes and sleeping better. But what about your children or grandchildren? Do they sleep with a light on or do you keep the door open and a hall light on? Are they scared of the dark? […]

The effect of Vitamin D levels on survival after colorectal (bowel) cancer

By | January 23rd, 2018|colon cancer, disease prevention, In remission, Just diagnosed, Just finished treatment, nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics, Research, vitamins and minerals|

Vitamin D deficiency is implicated in several common diseases, including cancer. Most cancer-related vitamin D studies focus on it’s potential in cancer prevention, but today we’ll look at the effect of vitamin D levels on recurrence of cancer – specifically colorectal cancer.  […]

Topical Melatonin cream for breast radiation dermatitis

By | January 9th, 2018|Breast cancer, In treatment, Just diagnosed, Research|

Many women who have breast-conserving surgery for breast cancer go on to have radiation treatment. One of the most common side effects of this radiation is dermatitis, causing pain, itchiness, discomfort, and blisters. A study has found that topical melatonin may prevent and reduce the severity of this dermatitis. […]

The importance of meal timing for our circadian rhythm and health

By | December 19th, 2017|Cancer prevention, disease prevention, Empowerment, Food, Lifestyle Medicine, Research|

Cues for our circadian rhythm come from our environment. The dominant cue is light and darkness. But another significant cue is the timing of eating.  Let’s find out more. […]

Therapeutic properties of Rosemary | Worth growing in your garden

By | November 28th, 2017|Food, Research, vitamins and minerals|

I encourage my clients to add fresh or dried herbs and spices to their meals every day. And not just once a day, but at every meal if they can. This may seem excessive, but herbs and spices have many great health benefits so it is worth doing. And if you think about it at every meal, you’ll easily get into the habit. Today we’ll look at therapeutic rosemary, a herb with many healing effects.  […]

Does it matter if you call food a meal or a snack?

By | November 14th, 2017|Empowerment, Food, Research|

An interesting study came out in October that compared whether calling a food a snack versus meal, and whether standing or sitting at a table to eat it had an impact on subsequent food intake. Let’s see what the researchers found. […]

Understanding the real mammogram numbers | What do the risk reduction statistics really mean?

By | October 27th, 2017|Breast cancer, Cancer prevention, disease prevention, Research|

October is breast cancer awareness month. We hear that having a regular mammogram cuts the risk of dying from breast cancer by as much as 20%.  Sounds like a good reason for getting screening. But what do those numbers really mean? […]

Melatonin & migraines | Tolerable, effective prevention

By | September 19th, 2017|disease prevention, Research, Sleep|

Migraine is a chronic, debilitating condition affecting 12-20% of the population worldwide. A research study recently compared using melatonin, amitriptyline or placebo for migraine prevention. The results are encouraging.  […]

Melatonin, Sleep Disturbances & IBS

By | September 12th, 2017|Research, Sleep|

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be very debilitating. Disturbed sleep is a common symptom associated with IBS so researchers are now investigating if improving melatonin levels can help IBS.  […]

Is there an increased risk of shingles after cancer?

By | August 29th, 2017|disease prevention, Immune system, Research|

A friend of mine who had cancer a couple of years ago just got shingles.  It piqued my interest into whether there was a link between cancer and shingles, as both conditions are associated with reduced immune function, and immune function may be further affected by cancer treatments.   […]

Nutritional Genomics | Why we need to know nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics

By | July 25th, 2017|Food, nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics, Research|

Nutrition research has traditionally focused on the assumption that all individuals have the same nutritional requirements, (although some distinction has been made for children and men vs. women). Nowadays, more and more researchers are studying nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics to see if, instead, we can create personalized nutrition for the individual.  Let’s see what this is all about. […]

What the human genome project tells us | Gene anatomy and switches

By | July 18th, 2017|nutrigenetics, Research|

The human genome project was completed in 2003. It was a huge collaborative project that yielded quite a few surprises. […]

Using stewed apples as a therapeutic food | Reduce inflammation and improve immunity

By | June 27th, 2017|disease prevention, Food, Immune system, In remission, In treatment, Recipes, Research|

My last few blog posts have all been about apples. Therapeutically, the most common way I recommend apples in my practice is as stewed apples. If you have been watching the BBC TV programme Doctor in the House, this might all sound very familiar as Dr. Chattergee uses this approach in episode 4 of series 2.  Let’s look at what beneficial effects eating stewed apples can have on the body. […]

An apple a day keeps the doctor away vs a statin a day keeps the doctor away

By | June 20th, 2017|disease prevention, Research|

Which would you prefer: An apple a day or a statin a day to keep the doctor away? Let’s look at this comparative proverb to see whether lifestyle changes are preferable to using pharmaceuticals for prevention…   […]

The importance of a positive connection between patient and provider

By | June 13th, 2017|In remission, In treatment, Just diagnosed, Just finished treatment, Lifestyle Medicine, Research|

Does the quality of the relationship between patient and doctor/healthcare practitioner really make a difference? We all want to feel listened to and have time with a doctor, but is there evidence that this connection actually impacts our health? […]

The best exercise for brains of older adults – walk, stretch or dance?

By | May 9th, 2017|Lifestyle Medicine, Movement, Research|

As we age, the white matter in the brain begins to degenerate leading to a decline in cognitive function, such as processing speed and memory decline. We all know that physical activity and exercise is beneficial, but can exercise help our white matter and brain function too? […]

Metastatic Breast Cancer Project | Speeding up research by sharing your tumor samples

By | May 2nd, 2017|Breast cancer, Empowerment, Research|

The metastatic breast cancer (mBC) project offers a new approach to cancer research. It connects researchers directly with patients. Patients share their tumor samples and clinical information to create a huge database of genomic and molecular information, to help accelerate important research discoveries. Participating is a way to help yourself and others. Find out more. […]

Cow and goat milk estrogen levels | Does it matter?

By | April 25th, 2017|Breast cancer, Food, prostate cancer, Research|

Elevated estrogen metabolites in the body are seen to be associated with certain cancers, including prostate, ovarian, and breast cancers.  One potential dietary source of these metabolites that is commonly consumed is milk. Let’s look at how cow and goat milk vary in their estrogen levels.   […]

WISDOM study | Helping redefine Breast Cancer screening for the future

By | March 28th, 2017|Breast cancer, Research|

A new study, the Wisdom Study, is currently recruiting women to figure out the best approach to Breast Cancer (BC) screening and how to improve it. Let’s find out more about it.  […]

The importance of relationships | The gift of full attention

By | February 14th, 2017|Love, Meaning, Research|

Happy Valentine’s Day! A day to celebrate love. And it is worth celebrating – whether or not you subscribe to the Hallmark holiday. […]

Storm in a coffee cup | Should we be drinking coffee?

By | February 7th, 2017|Food, Research, Sleep, Stress reduction, Sugar|

Coffee is probably the most popular beverage in the world. This is despite its history of negative research. So was that all a storm in a coffee cup? Should we or shouldn’t we drink our cup of coffee? […]

Websites to check | zerobreastcancer.org

By | January 17th, 2017|Breast cancer, Community, Lifestyle Medicine, Research, Sleep, Stress reduction, website review|

Zero Breast Cancer (Zerobreastcancer.org), or ZBC, is a non-profit organization based in Marin County, California. Both Kathie and I write a book review blog post for them once a month. But we haven't spoken much about them on our own blog...so [...]

Websites to check | mytavin.com

By | December 2nd, 2016|Research, Uncategorized|

I recently came across a website that is baby-simple to navigate, serves up focused results, and is a fabulous resource – especially if you’re taking any kind of medication. The site is mytavin.com (to pronounce it, think vitamin (said the American way), but swap the m and v). The site came into being after its author, Dr. Jeffrey Gladd MD, learned of drug-induced vitamin and mineral deficiency. […]

Melatonin’s anti-estrogenic effects | Melatonin and cancer

By | November 22nd, 2016|Breast cancer, Research, Sleep|

We’ve looked at some studies that showed significant effects of melatonin on cancer and quality of life, but how does melatonin  achieve this? There are several different mechanisms, but today we will focus on just one: melatonin’s anti-estrogenic effects. This might be important for breast cancer (BC) and other hormonal imbalances.  […]

Chronobiology |Timing matters for melatonin & chemotherapy

By | November 15th, 2016|chemotherapy, Lifestyle Medicine, Research|

We’ve seen in previous blog posts that melatonin can have anti-cancer effects. But when should we give melatonin? Should it just be at night or can we give it during the day? Does timing matter? If so, should we consider the timing of other treatments too? […]

Websites to check | ewg.org

By | November 11th, 2016|Research, Uncategorized|

Information! It’s everywhere, and is one of the few things that isn’t in danger of going extinct in the 21st century. Every day, we’re subjected to a constant stream of information, some of it good, some of it not so good. How do you tell the difference? Here’s a site that can remove some of the guesswork… […]

Websites to check | Nutritionfacts.org

By | November 4th, 2016|Food, Lifestyle Medicine, Research|

If you haven’t come across Dr Michael Greger and his videos on health and nutrition – you should check out his website Nutritionfacts http://nutritionfacts.org/. […]

The Blue Zones Solution | Book review

By | November 1st, 2016|Book review, Community, Food, Lifestyle Medicine, Love, Meaning, Movement, Play, Research, Sleep, Stress reduction|

The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner from National Geographic was one of my favorite health books from last year. It’s inspiring subtitle is “Eating and living like the world’s healthiest people”  Dan’s research reveals how the world’s longest-lived people actually live their lives. It’s all about adding life to years, not just years to life.  […]

Melatonin for palliative care | Melatonin & cancer

By | October 25th, 2016|Breast cancer, chemotherapy, colon cancer, Immune system, prostate cancer, Research, Sleep|

Melatonin is seen to have anti-cancer effects, as we saw in last week’s blog post.  In addition to those benefits, it may also have other effects which could be useful in palliative care of cancer patients, when there are no other treatment options.  […]

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