Kids, Health, and Vitamin D

If there were any easy way for tens of millions of people to reduce their risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression, osteoporosis and many other chronic diseases, shouldn’t that be in the headlines?

Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered exactly that. In a large survey of the vitamin D status of children aged 1 to 21, they found that 7 out of 10 were deficient.

Did you know that if women maintain optimal vitamin D levels, their risk of breast cancer is cut in half? Did you know that maintaining optimal vitamin D levels also cuts the risk of colon cancer in half? In fact, getting this one single nutrient up to optimal levels would save untold lives and tens of billions of dollars annually in health care costs.

At Nature Cures Clinic we take this seriously. It’s why we test vitamin D levels on virtually every patient we see, and we make sure people get enough to get these protective effects. Continue reading “Kids, Health, and Vitamin D”

Naturopathic Views on the Heart, Brain and Vessels

Listen to Hearts, Brains and Vessels Podcast

In this podcast, Nature Cures Clinic founder, Dr. Greg Eckel and colleagues discuss diseases that surround the blood vessels.  The second and third leading causes of death are diseases that are directly connected to the health of the blood vessels.  They explain what can cause damage to these vessels and specific ways that a person can put their body into a state of health that will prevent it from being susceptible to these diseases.

CRP, Diet, and Drugs

Conventional medicine has long used cholesterol levels to determine heart disease risk. Millions and millions of people are prescribed one of the statin drugs (Lipitor, Lovastatin, etc) only because their cholesterol measures over 200. Statins are also said to have anti-inflammatory effects as well, and so are being heralded as wonder drugs for those with heart disease.

However, over the past few years medical researchers have found that another lab marker, called C-reactive protein (CRP) is more predictive of heart disease risk than cholesterol. CRP levels indicate the amount of inflammation happening in the arteries, and heart disease is much more likely in those whose level of inflammation is elevated. Continue reading “CRP, Diet, and Drugs”

Hormone Replacement Therapy and Strokes

Millions and millions of women who had been on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for years got some unfortunate news a few years ago: HRT leads to an increase risk of some serious health problems. While the vast majority of menopausal woman had been put on HRT to prevent everything from osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease and even dementia, a few bombshell studies came out which refuted the claim that HRT protects against these at all.

The hormones used in hormone replacement therapy are derived from animal sources, most commonly horses. Premarin, the most common replacement estrogen prescribed, is derived from PREgnant MARe urINe. This is the type of estrogen that has been studied and now found to be unsafe. In fact, a review of 28 clinical trials involving nearly 40,000 women on HRT confirmed the finding: HRT use raises risk of strokes by almost 30%, and the severity of stoke is increased as well.

It is unknown why HRT leads to this increase in strokes. But consider the following: women naturally produce three kinds of estrogen, each in different amounts. Each type of estrogen that is produced has a very different level of activity in the body, so the ratio of these types is very important for overall hormone balance. Continue reading “Hormone Replacement Therapy and Strokes”

Preventing Heart Disease

A recent study conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine discovered something truly astounding. If a patient had at least one risk factor for developing heart disease – the largest and preventable cause of death in the country – less than 45% received diet counseling and less than 30% received exercise advice during a visit to their physician.

Every year around 1 million Americans die of heart disease. Tragically, this disease is among the most preventable of all causes of death. Diet, exercise and lifestyle factors such as smoking are the largest contributors to the development of this condition, which is now the largest killer of women as well as men. Continue reading “Preventing Heart Disease”

Monthly Menses: A Window Into a Woman’s Health

When women of menstruating age experience irregular and/or painful periods, they are very commonly prescribed birth control pills (BCP). The high doses of estrogen found in BCP, taken on a specific schedule, will force a woman’s body to menstruate at a specific time of the month. Those taking BCP usually also experience less pain prior to their period.

However, a recent scientific conference held at the New York Academy of Sciences emphasized the importance of the menstrual cycle for overall health. As stated by Paula Hillard, M.D., professor of obstetrics & gynecology and pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine “The menstrual cycle is a window into the general health and well-being of women, and not just a reproductive event.”

She went on to say, “It [the menstrual cycle] can indicate the status of bone health, heart disease, and ovarian failure, as well as long-term fertility.” Continue reading “Monthly Menses: A Window Into a Woman’s Health”

Antibiotics and Heart Disease

Several months ago it was discovered that lifetime consumption of antibiotics by women increased the overall risk of developing breast cancer. Now a team of researchers at Vanderbuilt University School of Medicine have found yet another very significant reason to be cautious with antibiotic use.

After studying nearly 1500 people, they found that consumption of the common antibiotic erythromycin doubled the risk of suffering a fatal heart attack. Even more strikingly, when erythromycin was taken in combination with any of several other common medications, the risk of dying from a heart attack increased fivefold.

One of the drugs that caused the deadly combination with erythromycin is verapamil, commonly prescribed to treat everything from high blood pressure to migraines, panic attacks and depression. Continue reading “Antibiotics and Heart Disease”