heart flipThis month has flown! It started with my fantastic training on immune health in Arizona and continued with mid-month’s loving holiday to honor American Heart Month. Now, as February comes to a close, I am excited to share with all my beautiful readers my compilation of its top wellness new articles.

There have been so many amazing breakthroughs and headlines to choice from. I have compiled what I think you will find most helpful to empower your health and wellness education. As always, the headlines and their summaries are provided for your easy-reading. In this way, you have time to boost your heart and immune health by bonding with your loved ones. Of course, if you are intrigued for more information, the links to the full article are also provided.

You may notice that some of the biggest splashes, such as the power of fish oil for rejuvenating the brain, aren’t included below. Take heart (pun-intended), I have saved these articles for a separate blog on the topic. So, stay on the lookout. (If you want a taster, I posted some of the links on my BreakFree Medicine Facebook Page).

Enjoy and my heart-felt appreciation goes to you all for all you do!

Before you read on, here are some additional learning opportunities:

1. My essential oils teleseminars– The next live teleseminar will by March 6th.  I’ll be interviewing Terry Quigley, MS, on Incorporating the Everyday Oils into Your Daily Life. I think I finally have gotten the technical kinks out.

The 1/27/14 previous teleseminar recording is also available.

2. Essential oils gatherings:
Sherry Saben, RN will be hosting introductory meeting in Weedsport, NY area every month.

Terry Quigley, MS will also be providing monthly gatherings at Healing Garden in Rexford, NY.

3. My latest post on Saratoga.com continues with some top news highlighting cancer prevention including one with a favorite essential oil.

4. My upcoming release of my book, BreakFree Medicine: A Systematic and Integrated Guide to Balancing Your Body. BreakFree Medicine offers you the opportunity to have in one place all the general information I’ve compiled on this website together with some of the wellness knowledge I offer my clients at a typical visit.

And now, the top holistic health headlines!



stethoscopeDirect Access to Labs Available for Patients, New Ruling

On February 4th, Medscape reported, “A final ruling issued February 3 by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will give patients direct access to their laboratory results instead of having to get them through a doctor’s office.”  

Some medical organizations are concerned that having lab availability without the guidance of a practitioner could have consequences. These include misinterpretation of results and unnecessary fear or confusion.

Frellick, M. New Ruling Means Patients Can Access Their Own Lab Results. Medscape Medical News. February 04, 2014

Who are the Top Wellness Whistleblowers?

The top three include the following: Jeffrey Bland, PhD, “the father of functional medicine”, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss, the first doctor to recognize the importance of hand-washing, and Gary Null, advocate of alternative medicine and natural healing. You read the full list at greenmedinfo.com below.

Maskell, J. Who are the Wellness Whistleblowers. GreenMedInfo.com. February 3, 2014.

A Makeover in Food Labels

AP released this news at the end of January:

After 20 years, the nutrition facts label on the back of food packages is getting a makeover. Knowledge about nutrition has evolved since the early 1990s, and the Food and Drug Administration says the labels need to reflect that.

The estimate release date and what these new labels will entail have not been reported.

Jalonick, MC. FDA Says Nutrition Facts Label Will Get a Makeover. Associated Press.  January 24, 2014.

Where the Emotions Are in Our Body

A recent experiment indicated that emotions tend to reside in areas consistent from one person to the next. The experiment asked volunteers to think of 14 predetermined emotions and used a new imaging technology to trace where the emotions manifest.

Mercola, J. Imaging Technology Finally Reveals How Emotions Manifest in Your Body. mercola.com. January 30, 2014.

The Power of Slowing Down Your Meal

Slowing down your speed of food intake can decrease overeating and increase nutrient absorption.

Mercola, J. Studies Show Eating More Slowly Benefits Your Health and Waistline. mercola.com. February 4, 2014.

Glyphosate-Bad News Study for Roundup Ready Crops

Glyphosphate and glyphosate formulations were found to be toxic when exposed to liver cell lines.

Chaufan, G, Coalova, I, & Molina, MD. Glyphosate Commercial Formulation Causes Cytotoxicity, Oxidative Effects, and Apoptosis on Human Cells: Differences With its Active Ingredient. Int J Toxicol. January 16, 2014. PMID:24434723

Mercola, J. New Research Fuels Roundup Weedkiller Toxicity Concerns. mercola.com.February 04, 2014

Meditation-Why Try It?

A great article to read on why you might want to try meditation if you think your alone with the challenges of “taming the mind.”

Wycoff, A. I Tried It-Meditation. Chopra Newsletter: February 2014. Chopra.com. February 9, 2014.



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Krill Oil for Lipid Lowering Effects

Researchers tested the effect of krill oil supplementation on 300 male and female subjects with borderline high to high fasting triglyceride levels. It was a double-blind, randomized, multi-center, placebo-trial with five treatment groups: placebo (olive oil) or 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 g/day of krill oil. The study found statistically significant reductions in triglyceride levels without elevations in LDL cholesterol in the krill oil users. It is a promising study that needs further verification due to the measurements used and variability of the lipid measures.

Berge, K, Musa-Veloso, K, Harwood, M, Hoem, N, & Burri, L. Krill oil supplementation lowers serum triglycerides without increasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in adults with borderline high or high triglyceride levels. Nutr Res. 2014 Feb;34(2):126-33. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2013.12.003.

Certain Probiotics Related to Weight Loss

According to a recent study, certain probiotics could help women lose weight and maintain optimal weight. 125 overweight men and women were recruited for the trial. After a 12-week weight loss diet and 12-week maintenance diet, the probiotic group had almost twice the weight loss, experienced a drop in the appetite-regulating hormone leptin, and a positive change in microbial composition in their gut.

Université Laval. Certain probiotics could help women lose weight, study finds. Science Daily. January 28, 2014.

Sanchez, M, et al. Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women (abstract). British Journal of Nutrition: Behaviour, Appetite, and Obesity. December 3, 2013; (1-13). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114513003875

Kimchi’s Beneficial Effects

Kimchi is manufactured by fermenting vegetables with probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB). This vegetable probiotic food has similar health benefits as yogurt or a dairy probiotic food. However, the addition of vegetables can have an additive effect. Some health benefits include supporting optimal weight, raising antioxidant levels, lowering cholesterol levels, and supporting skin and brain health.

ParkKun-Young, JeongJi-Kang, LeeYoung-Eun, and DailyJames W.III. Health Benefits of Kimchi (Korean Fermented Vegetables) as a Probiotic FoodJournal of Medicinal Food. January 2014, 17(1): 6-20. doi:10.1089/jmf.2013.3083.

Green Tea’s Potential to Boost Brain Power

A new study in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications demonstrated that green tea may have benefits in assisting with prevention of ‘incurable’ neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease.

Ji, S. Green Tea May Have Brain Healing Properties. greenmedinfo.com. February 12, 2014.

Gundimedaa, U, et al. Green tea catechins potentiate the neuritogenic action of brain-derived neurotrophic factor: Role of 67-kDa laminin receptor and hydrogen peroxide. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (abstract). February 2014.        http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.01.166

Berries Help Rodents Maintain Slimness

Lingonberries were shown to fully or partially prevent the weight gain induced by a high-fat diet. Blackcurrants and bilberries had similar properties but a smaller effect.

Heyman, L, Axling, U, Blanco, N, Sterner, O, Holm, C, & Berger, K. Evaluation of Beneficial Metabolic Effects of Berries in High-Fat Fed C57BL/6J Mice. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2014 (2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/403041

Headaches and Chewing Gum

A study of fourteen healthy subjects indicated that a single intake of monosodium glutamate (MSG) may contribute to headaches and increased muscle sensitivity of the face.

Akiko Shimada, Brian E Cairns, Nynne Vad, Kathrine Ulriksen, Anne Marie Lynge Pedersen, Peter Svensson, Lene Baad-Hansen. Headache and mechanical sensitization of human pericranial muscles after repeated intake of monosodium glutamate (MSG). J Headache Pain. 2013 Dec ;14(1):2. Epub 2013 Jan 24. PMID: 23565943

The Power of Birch on the Skin Healing

Scientists from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Freiburg helped to explain the molecular mechanism behind the wound-healing effect of this tree bark extract.

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Birch helps wounds heals faster. ScienceDaily.. January 27, 2014.

Sandra Ebeling, Katrin Naumann, Simone Pollok, Tina Wardecki, Sabine Vidal-y-Sy, Juliana M. Nascimento, Melanie Boerries, Gudula Schmidt, Johanna M. Brandner, Irmgard Merfort. From a Traditional Medicinal Plant to a Rational Drug: Understanding the Clinically Proven Wound Healing Efficacy of Birch Bark Extract. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (1): e86147 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086147

Probiotics Help IBS in Study

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-control trial of 49 irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers demonstrated the beneficial impact of  an intervention of a multispecies probiotics (a mixture of Bifidobacterium longum, B. bifidum, B. lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, and Streptococcus thermophilus ) on relieving various IBS symptoms.

Jun Sik Yoon, JS, et al. Effect of Multispecies Probiotics on Irritable Bowel Syndrome :A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014;29(1):52-59.

Gluten Free Diet Helps Parkinson Patients in Study

A report published in the Journal of Neurology demonstrated that celiac disease can often manifest with only neurological symptoms and that a gluten free diet may help with  alleviating parkinsonian symptoms.

Ji, S. Dramatic Recovery In Parkinson’s Patient with Gluten Free Diet .greenmedinfo.com. February 8, 2014.

Di Lazzaro V, Capone F, Cammarota G, Di Giuda D, Ranieri F. Dramatic improvement of parkinsonian symptoms after gluten-free diet introduction in a patient with silent celiac disease. J Neurol. 2014 Feb;261(2):443-5. doi: 10.1007/s00415-014-7245-7. Epub 2014 Jan 25.


LabsBeta Blocker Controversy

Dr. Mercola recently summarized that the guidelines for beta-blocker use in non-cardiac surgery patients may have been wrong, contributing to 800,000 deaths in five years. Controversy exists around these findings.

Mercola, J. Beta-Blockers Killed 800,000 in 5 Years—“Good Medicine” or Mass Murder?mercola.com. January 29, 2014.

Original Sources:

Husten, L. Medicine Or Mass Murder? Guideline Based on Discredited Research May Have Caused 800,000 Deaths In Europe Over The Last 5 Years. Forbes. January 15, 2014.

Poldermans, D & Deveraux, PJ. The experts debate: Perioperative beta-blockade for noncardiac surgery—proven safe or not? Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. November 2009; 76 (4): S84-S92. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.76.s4.14

OTC Acne Products on FDA Watch List

According to Medscape Medical news, “The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed over-the-counter (OTC) acne products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or both on its latest quarterly list of products to monitor because of potential signals of hypersensitivity and anaphylactic reactions, the agency announced this week.”

Lowes, R. OTC Acne Products Make FDA Watch List. Medscape Medical News: News Alerts. January 29, 2014.

Top 100 Drugs of 2013

The number one spot of prescribed drugs of 2013 went to levothyroxine (synthyroid), a hypothyroid drug. It was followed by rosuvastatin (Crestor), esomprazole (Nexium), and duloxetine (Cymbalta). The highest sales in drugs, $6.5 billion, went to ariprazole (Abilify), an antipsychotic.

Brooks, M. Top 100 Selling Drugs of 2013. Medscape Medical News. January 30, 2014.

The E-cigarette Debate

E-cigarettes aren’t standardized and recent research shows that they contain toxins, including propylene glycol, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and tobacco-specific nitrosamines. Although these substances are found in lower concentrations than regular cigarettes, long-term exposure could cause similar adverse effects.

Cinciripin, P & De La Garza II, R. E-Cigarettes: Time to Regulate? Medscape Pulmonary Medicine. February 6, 2014.

Some Common Drugs Have a Potential to Increase Risk of Cancer

In a review of 74 meta-analysis articles addressing the association of commonly used medications with cancer risk, overall, 51 articles found no statistically significant differences, 13 found some decreased cancer risk, and 11 found some increased risk. Further analysis is needed to determine significance of drug use on cancer risk and increase confidence in these findings.

Ioannidis, JPA, Zhou, Y, Chang, CQ, Schully, SD, Khoury, J, & freedman, AN. Potential Increased Risk of Cancer From Commonly Used Medications: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses. Medscape-Annals of Oncology:Ann Oncol. 2014;25(1):16-23.

Get the Flu and Get $3,000

According to the Associated Press, researchers are paying people to get the flu. “It may sound bizarre, but the rare type of research is a step in the quest for better flu vaccines. It turns out that how the body fends off influenza remains something of a mystery.”

“Vaccines are working, but we could do better,” said Dr. Matthew Memoli of the National Institutes of Health, who is leading the study that aims to infect up to 100 adults over the next year.

AP. Volunteers infected with flu for $3,000 in gov’t research program. CBS News. January 27,2014.

Slim Chances for Weight Loss Drugs

The two most recently introduced new agents for weight loss, lorcaserin ( Belviq, Eisai) and phentermine-topiramate ( Qysmia, Vivus), are concerning practitioners due to the cardiovascular and psychiatric/neurologic side effects with the drugs.

Nainggolan, L. New Obesity Drugs Provide ‘Slim Pickings,’ Say 2 Experts. Medscape Medical News. February 19, 2014