Food as Medicine, the Power of Spicing Up Foods and Eating Broccoli, Women’s Health Screening Updates, Vitamin D, Supplement, & Medication News

Welcome to this month’s edition of top headlines in holistic health, wellness, nutrition, and (functional, naturopathic, conventional, and integrative) medicine!

First Things First-A Simple Solution to the Toxic Scare

With all the recent scary headlines about what a toxic world we live in, I wanted to highlight a simple way people can protect themselves and their bodies- with their mouth!

Here’s a highlight on a favorite vegetable of mine.

Broccoli to the (Detoxifying) Rescue!

photo 2 (3)








It turns out mom was right about broccoli being good for us! This is not just because it’s packed full of vitamins and minerals, it’s also a powerful vegetable for cleansing.

A recent 12-week randomized study aimed to determine if daily consumption of a 600ml broccoli-sprout derived beverage would protect residents in a very airborne polluted area in China. The study included 291 participants and measured exposure to air pollution particles associated with lung cancer and cardiopulmonary diseases. Specifically, changes in urinary excretion of the mercapturic acids of the pollutants, benzene, acrolein, and crotonaldehyde, were measured before and during the trial to see if broccoli would assist with removing them from the body.

The study authors determined that broccoli sprouts did in fact support removal and stated that it might be a “frugal” way to attenuate the risk of airborne exposures. The purposed mechanism was its glucosionlate content which generates sulforaphane, an inducer of the powerful antioxidant, glutathione and other protective enzymes. (1)

Here’s one example of how a healthy and yummy food can protect one from harmful exposures. This is especially true if you choose organic varieties. By eating organic produce, you will ensure that pesticides and herbicides aren’t diverting the benefits of their detoxifying power away from cleansing your beautiful livers and bodies!

Ok, now onto the latest news in nutrition, nutrigenomics, health, naturopathic and functional medicine, and more!

Here’s the summary of what you’ll learn:


  1. Quinoa- is it okay for celiacs?
  2. A link to the power of spices
  3. Why watermelon has health uses that trump its being a supplier of spitting-seeds
  4. How coffee may be used for boosting athletic performance
  5. Junk food nation ramifications
  6. Vitamin D updates
  7. Fish oil and brain health- another study


  1. Updates in mammography and pelvic screenings for women
  2. How air pollution hurts the brain and how scientists are trying to get the message out
  3. New research on schizophrenia’s link to autoimunity
  4. How your electronic device could be making you break out in a rash
  5. Much More!


  1. How NSAIDs are linked to cardiovascular risk in women
  2. The link between cardiovascular disease and stimulant use in children
  3. Statins’ role on the quality of men’s sperm




Is Quinoa Okay for Celiacs?

Some data suggests that quinoa prolamins can stimulate innate and adaptive immune responses in celiac patients. In a trial of 19 treated celiac patients who consumed 50 g of quinoa every day for 6 weeks found normal gastrointestinal parameters and their blood tests remained within normal ranges. Furthermore, several lipid markers decreased slightly such as cholesterol. This provided preliminary evidence of a small trial that quinoa may be beneficial to some celiac patients.

My caveat: Cross-reactivity of some foods (corn, rice, oats, quinoa etc.) can be common with celiac disease, so continue to monitor symptoms with your open-minded and caring doc if you consume this ancient grain. You may also want to request immunological and neurological cross-sensitivity tests if they are available in your state. (2)

The Power of Spices & Herbs

Click here to learn how:

  • Ginger helps with migraines and PMS
  • Cinnamon oil is used for food poisoning
  • How garlic can help warts!

The Many Uses of Watermelon

If you thought watermelons were made simply to supply seeds for spitting at pesky family gatherings, think again! According to a post on watermelon’s prowess by health maverick, Dr. Mercola:

  • Watermelon contains more of the antioxidant lycopene than fresh tomatoes; one cup of watermelon has 1.5 times the lycopene as a raw tomato
  • L-citrulline, an amino acid in watermelon, seems to protect against muscle pain
  • Watermelon rind is edible and actually contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the pink flesh; citrulline is converted to arginine in your kidneys, which is important for heart and immune system health
  • New research showed citrulline and arginine supplements derived from watermelon extract lead to significant improvements in blood pressure and cardiac stress in obese study participants (9, 10)
  • Watermelon contains cucurbitacin E, or tripterpenoid, which blocks the activity of the pain and inflammation-causing enzyme cyclooxygenase — the same enzyme blocked by COX-2 inhibitor drugs (9)

Supplemental Updates:

Pycgnogenol for Meniere’s disease

In a trial of 120 patients, 150 mg of pcynogenol was given to 55 of the sufferers of spontaneous vertigo, positional vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus, pressure in the ear, and unsteady gait in addition to 52 controls managed with the best available management (BM).

According to the findings: Symptoms of Meniere’s disease, flow at cochlear level and tinnitus improved in Pycnogenol subjects in comparison with best management. (11, 12)

Vitamin D Updates at a Glance

1. Vitamin D and Calcium Improves Markers in Gestational Diabetes in small trial (51 participants) (14)

2. Vitamin D Equation to Estimate Vitamin D Needs

In an observational cross-racial trial, it was estimated that the average amount of vitamin D to correct deficiencies of this vitamin is much higher than the current recommendation. Here’s the equation for you math whizzes:

The following equation predicts the dose of vitamin D needed (in international units per day) to affect a given change in serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D: Dose = [(8.52 – Desired change in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level) + (0.074 × Age) – (0.20 × BMI) + (1.74 × Albumin concentration) – (0.62 × Starting serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration)]/(-0.002). © Copyright 2014 by the American Board of Family Medicine. (15) Ouch, I’m not good at math!

 A Cup a Day May Boost Play -Coffee for Athletic Performance?

In a small study, coffee consumed before a workout improved microcirculation, pain reduction, endurance, muscle preservation, and memory. However, coffee after a workout was thought to inhibit recuperation. (16-18)

My thought: If you are sensitive to caffeine, meaning you can’t drink it past 3pm if you want to catch ZZZs, you may have an inability to metabolize it. This can be a clue that your liver and circulatory system may due better without it, think SNPs.

Junk Food Nation Ramifications

A new study looks at the western diet and “reviews the impacts and mechanisms of harm for our over-indulgence in sugar, salt, and fat, as well as the data outlining the impacts of artificial sweeteners, gluten, and genetically modified foods; attention is given to revealing where the literature on the immune impacts of macronutrients is limited to either animal or in vitro models versus where human trials exist.”

The review also looks at how our diet impacts our gut microbiome and how dietary choices “can be encoded into our gut, our genes, and are passed to our offspring.” (19)

Fish Oil for Brain Health

Another study comparing 229 cognitively normal individuals, 397 mild cognitively impaired, and 193 patients with Alzheimer’s was done to investigate whether the use of fish oil supplements (FOSs) had an impact on brain function. The results were positive. The authors reported that FOS usewas associated with significantly lower mean cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale and higher Mini-Mental State Examination scores among those with normal cognition. Associations between FOS use and the outcomes were observed only in APOE ?4–negative participants. FOS use during the study was also associated with less atrophy in one or more brain regions of interest.”




Confusion in Mammography and Breast Cancer Risk

Decoding the benefits and risks of mammography is tough with all these new studies. One study found that while mammograms decreased a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer by 19 percent, the same percentage of the cancers found and treated was not fatal and women were over treated. Another study reported mammography screening to significantly increase rates of breast cancer. (22)

The video below is Dr. Gilbert Welch’s summary. He is co-author of Effect of Three Decades of Screening Mammography on Breast-Cancer Incidence, published in the most prestigious medical journal in the world, the New England Journal of Medicine


Screening Pelvic Exam Debated and Updated Recommendations

More controversy on women’s health screenings, Medscape reports:

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has issued new clinical guidelines recommending against screening pelvic examination in asymptomatic, nonpregnant, adult women. The college describes the recommendation as strong, with moderate-quality evidence…

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also has reservations about the ACP clinical guidelines. In a press release, ACOG states that it stands by its current guidelines for well-women visits, which includes pelvic examinations. The college believes the choice to perform pelvic examinations is one that should be made on the basis of a woman’s individual needs, requests, and preferences. (26, 27)

Air Pollution Related to Cognitive Health

A cross-sectional study of 78 subjects demonstrated older adults living in areas with high concentrations of air pollution had higher error rates on cognitive tests than those in cleaner environments. (28)

My thoughts: Diffuse essential oils, eat broccoli and organic foods, and take your fish oil. 🙂

Dear Administrator McCarthy, Please Ban Toxin, from Scientists:

A letter from Scientists to the EPA states concerns for toxins role in negative health outcomes, the correspondence starts as follows:

We the undersigned scientists, medical professionals, and researchers are writing to urge the

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency not to register a double herbicide mix of 2,4 D and glyphosate (the “Enlist Duo TM” weed killer) for farm field spraying in combination with a new breed of genetically engineered corn and soybeans. (29)

New Research in Schizophrenia

Mobileabc reported on a link between schizophrenia and autoimmune disease:

Researchers compared 37,000 DNA samples of people with schizophrenia with more than 100,000 control samples, and have linked the disorder to tissue previously associated with auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. (30)

Other News Flashes in Health:

  • Acupuncture Helps Hot Flashes in analysis of 12 studies with 869 participants. (31)
  • New Tool Uses Fitness to Predict Risk in heart disease (32)
  • Standing Meetings More Productive-In students working in rooms without chairs, group arousal was increased. In groups at meetings, standing increased sharing of ideas and information. (33).
  • Got a Rash? It Could Be Your IPad…Seems like the nickel in some IPads could cause a rash in some people sensitive to the metal. So, it may be best to cover up that portable device. (34)
  • Gut Cells May Be Coaxed to Make Insulin for People With Type 1 Diabetes in New Study-By turning off a particular gene, Columbia scientists were able to convert gut cells into cells that make insulin. (35)



FDA Approves New Inhaled Insulin (Afrezza) for Diabetes- not a substitute for long-acting insulin (36)

Sad Stats-Opioid Related Deaths in US- According to Medscape Medical News:

  • Forty-six individuals die every day in the United States from an overdose of prescription painkillers, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Healthcare providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers in 2012….
  • Ten of the highest prescribing states for painkillers are in the South; Alabama, Tennessee, and West Virginia had the most painkiller prescriptions per person. (37)

Two California Counties and Chicago to sue Drug Company for Contributing to Opioid Addiction- a lawsuit was filed against five drug companies that manufacture OxyContin for contributing to an epidemic of drug abuse (38)

Cardiovascular Risk for Kids on ADHD Drugs

Another article in Medscape reported on a June 23rd publication inthe Journal of Child and Adolescent Pscyhopharmacology:

The use of psychostimulants in children and adolescents is associated with nearly twice the risk for a cardiovascular event compared with nonuse of the drugs, and the risk is even higher when the drugs are used for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), new research suggests. (39)

Cardiovascular Risk for NSAIDs in WHI

For postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) included 160, 801 participants. The abstract concludes, “Regular use of selective cox-2 inhibitors and nonselective NSAIDs with cox-2>cox-1 inhibition showed a modestly increased hazard for cardiovascular events. Nonselective agents with cox-1>cox-2 inhibition were not associated with increased cardiovascular risk.” doi:10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.113.000800 (40)

Other Drug Updates Include:

  • Whooping Cough Still Present in 1/5th of 279 School Children Vaccinated (41-42)
  • Anesthetic Linked to Brain Changes in Mice (43)
  • Antipsychotics Increase Visits Emergency Department (ED)- A CDC commentary reports: Using data from reviews of the medical records of all ED visits made in 2009, 2010, and 2011 at 63 randomly selected US hospitals, we estimated that adverse events from antipsychotics cause more than 20,000 visits to EDs each year. (44)
  • Antibiotics Needlessly Given to Hospice Patients- Healthday reports, “About 21 percent of patients who go directly from hospitals to hospice care for the terminally ill leave the hospital with an antibiotic prescription, even though more than one-quarter didn’t have an infection while in the hospital, the researchers found.” (47)


Now, I’d like to hear from you….

What was your favorite health and wellness article this month? How are you going to use the information to empower you to feel healthier and live a more vital life?

Post your response and comments and share the wealth of news!


Essential Oil Highlight:

water drop






Lavender for calming stress, helping the heart, and soothing mamma and babe

Ahh, the calming scent of lavender….

If all this news and updates is stressing you out, check out this links on how lavender modulates cortisol, improves circulation, and calms mom and babies at bath time.

1. Lavender improves circulation and decreases cortisol

2. Lavender at little ones bath time calms mamma and baby


Sources & References
(1) Egner, C, et al. Rapid and Sustainable Detoxication of Airborne Pollutants by Broccoli Sprout Beverage: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial in China. Cancer Prevention Research. (online June 9, 2014) doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-14-0103.
(2) Am J Gastroenterol. 2014 Feb;109(2):270-8. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2013.431.
(3) ISRN Obstet Gynecol. 2014 ;2014:792708. Epub 2014 May 4. PMID: 24944825
(4) Maghbooli M, et al. Phytother Res (abstract). 2014; 28(3): 412.
(5) Goldman, R. Forget the ‘Triptans, Treat Migraines Gingerly. Holistic UpShots. Monday, 21 July 2014.
(6) Medical Xpress. Preventing foodborne illness, naturally—with cinnamon. July 17, 2014.
(7) Inhibitory effect of Cinnamomum cassia oil on non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli. Food Control. December 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2014.05.050
(8) Ji, S.Garlic Cures 100% of Warts In Clinical Study. GreenMedInfo. July 2, 2014.
(9) Mercola, J. 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Watermelon. July 21, 2014.
(10) Figueroa A1, Wong A2, Kalfon R2. Effects of watermelon supplementation on aortic hemodynamic responses to the cold pressor test in obese hypertensive adults. Am J Hypertens. 2014 Jul;27(7):899-906. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpt295. Epub 2014 Feb 26.
(11) Adams, C. Pine Bark Extract Treats Meniere’s Disease. July 17, 2014.
(12) Luzzi R, Belcaro G, Hu S, Dugall M, Hosoi M, Cacchio M, Ippolito E, Corsi M. Improvement in symptoms and cochlear flow with pycnogenol in patients with Meniere’s disease and tinnitus. Minerva Med. 2014 Jun;105(3):245-54.
(13) Enseleit F, Sudano I, Périat D, Winnik S, Wolfrum M, Flammer AJ, Fröhlich GM, Kaiser P, Hirt A, Haile SR, Krasniqi N, Matter CM, Uhlenhut K, Högger P, Neidhart M, Lüscher TF, Ruschitzka F, Noll G. Effects of Pycnogenol on endothelial function in patients with stable coronary artery disease: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Eur Heart J. 2012 Jul;33(13):1589-97. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehr482
(14) Effects of calcium–vitamin D co-supplementation on glycaemic control, inflammation and oxidative stress in gestational diabetes: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Diabetologia. June 2014.
(15) Singh G1, Bonham AJ2. A predictive equation to guide vitamin d replacement dose in patients. Am Board Fam Med. 2014 Jul-Aug;27(4):495-509. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2014.04.130306.
(16) Mercola, J. 6 Reasons to Drink Coffee Before Your Workout. July 11, 2014.
( 17) Ingestion of a Moderately-High Caffeine Dose Before Exercise Increases Post-Exercise Energy Expenditure. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2014 Jun 5. [Epub ahead of print]
(18) 5 Reasons to Drink Coffee Before Your Workout. June 19, 2014.
(19) Myles, IA. Fast food fever: reviewing the impacts of the Western diet on immunity. Nutr J. 2014 Jun 17;13:61. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-61. PMID:24939238 PMCID: PMC4074336
(20) Daiello, L Association of fish oil supplement use with preservation of brain volume and cognitive function. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. June 20, 2014.
(21) AFP/Relaxnews. Fish Oil Benefits Could Extend To Helping Prevent Dementia. Huff Post Health News. huffingtonpost. ca. 07/17/201
(22) Mercola, J. New Research Suggests Benefits of Mammography May Be Overstated While Risks Are Underestimated. July 7, 2014.
(23) Twenty five year follow-up for breast cancer incidence and mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study: randomised screening trial. BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 11 February 2014)
(24) A Systematic Assessment of Benefits and Risks to Guide Breast Cancer Screening Decisions. JAMA. 2014;311(13):1327-1335. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.1398.
(25) Effect of Three Decades of Screening Mammography on Breast-Cancer Incidence. N Engl J Med 2012; 367:1998-2005. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1206809
(26) Pullen, L. Value of Screening Pelvic Exam for Women Debated. Medscape Medical News. July 02, 2014.
(27) Ann Intern Med. 2014;161(1):67-72. doi:10.7326/M14-0701
(28) Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Cognitive Function Among U.S. Older Adults. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2014 Jun 6. pii: gbu064. [Epub ahead of print]
(29) Letter to EPA Leading Scientists Tell EPA to Ban Agent Orange GMO Crops June 30, 2014.
(30) Smail, S. New schizophrenia research hailed as major step towards understanding the psychiatric disorder. au. July 22, 2014.
(31) Chiu, Hsiao-Yean, et al. Effects of acupuncture on menopause-related symptoms and quality of life in women on natural menopause: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Menopause. July 7, 2014. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000260Chiu
(32) Wood, S. New Tool Includes Fitness for Predicting CV Risk Long Term. Heartwire: Medscape. July 1, 2014.
(33) Mercola, J. Standing Meetings May Improve Group Productivity. July 04, 2014.
(34) Tanner, L. Got a rash? iPad, other devices might be the cause. The Associated Press. July 14, 2014.
(35) Gut Cells May Be Coaxed to Make Insulin for People With Type 1 Diabetes. June 30, 2014.
(36) Tucker, M. FDA Approves Inhaled Insulin Afrezza for Diabetes. FDA Approvals > Medscape Medical News. June 27, 2014.
(37) Brooks, M. Grim Stats for Opioid-Related Deaths, Prescribing in US. Medscape Medical News > Psychiatry. July 02, 2014.
(38) Mercola, J. As Painkiller Addiction and Overdoses Continue to Rise, Pharmaceutical Companies Are Sued for Inciting Epidemic. July 17, 2014.
(39) Melville, N. ADHD Meds May Double Cardiovascular Event Risk in Kids. Medscape Medical News > Psychiatry. July 02, 2014
(40) Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Women: Results From the Women’s Health Initiative. Published online before print July 8, 2014.
(41) Whooping cough in school age children presenting with persistent cough in UK primary care after introduction of the preschool pertussis booster vaccination: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2014 Jun 24;348:g3668. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g3668.
(42) Mercola, J. Almost 20% of Fully Vaccinated Children with Persistent Cough “Have Whooping Cough”. July 8, 2014.
(43) Zhang Y, Shao H, Dong Y, Swain CA, Yu B, Xia W, Xie Z. Chronic treatment with anesthetic propofol attenuates ?-amyloid protein levels in brain tissues of aged mice. Transl Neurodegener. 2014 Apr 11;3(1):8. doi: 10.1186/2047-9158-3-8.
(44) Hampton, Lee. Antipsychotics: Adverse Events That Send Patients to the ED. Medscape: CDC Expert Commentary. July 10, 2014.
(45) Ji, S. Do Cholesterol Drugs Have Men By Their Gonads? GreenMedInfo. July 15, 2014.
(46) Hanae Pons-Rejraji. Evaluation of atorvastatin efficacy and toxicity on spermatozoa, accessory glands and gonadal hormones of healthy men: a pilot prospective clinical trial. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2014 Jul 12 ;12(1):65. Epub 2014 Jul 12. PMID: 25016482
(47) Health Day. Antibiotics Often Prescribed Needlessly for Terminally Ill, Study Finds. July 17, 2014.

Images courtesy of istockphotos:

Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic, Grade A essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been AFNOR and ISO standardized. There is no quality control in the United States and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin.
This information is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness.