Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by Dr. T. Colin Campbell - Book Review

This summer spawned the publication of Dr. T. Colin Campbell's latest book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition. This was a follow up to his bestseller The China Study  which took the nutrition world by storm back in 2005 and continues to be a leading seller today. Today I provide a book review on Whole.

Both The China Study and Whole paint a picture (and very intriguing one at that) of the health and nutrition world as it's come to exist today. While The China Study gives more of the intricate details of the individual studies relating to health and nutrition, Whole focuses on the bigger picture of how it all fits together within our current "system". Dr. Campbell lays out how a reductionist approach to nutrition, health, and medicine functions within our current system, and, more importantly, why the system operates the way it does.

Whole is comprised of three main parts followed by Dr. Campbell's engaging thoughts in Part IV on how we should move forward if we wish to turn around the current disease-care system we've come to know today.

Whole - Part I - Enslaved by The System

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.
Part I of Whole plants a seed in readers to think differently. It reveals a wholistic approach towards our healthcare system as we move forward. The present-day strategies of using pills, procedures, and/or surgeries to combat the epidemic of chronic disease is, for all intensive purposes, not working. Instead, Dr. Campbell enlightens us on the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based (WFPB) diet in our quest to end the epidemic of sickness and suffering.

Part I goes on to detail Dr. Campbell's background of how he grew up on a dairy farm and then made his subsequent entrance into the scientific world as a leading nutritional biochemist looking to rid the world of hunger and malnourishment. The details of his upbringing provide a very telling story with a surprising twist of fate.

Chapter 1 - The Modern-Day Health-Care Myth
Chapter 2 - The Whole Truth
Chapter 3 - My Heretical Path

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Maximize Those Nutrients!

by guest blogger Jody Perrecone

The American Cancer Institute for Cancer Research conducted an analysis of over 7,000 scientific studies on food, nutrition, and physical activity as it relates to cancer.  Amazingly what they found was diet and nutrition are responsible for up to 40% of all cancers.

Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals that fight cancer cells.  Here are some methods of cooking that will retain the highest amount of these cancer fighting compounds.

1)  Tomatoes have a cancer fighting antioxidant called lycopene.  Cooking tomatoes will increase our body’s absorption of lycopene.

2) Chopping garlic and onions releases the compound allicin, which boosts our immune system - important in fighting cancer. Let chopped onions and garlic sit 5-10 minutes before using to maximize the effects of the allicin.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fish Oil Reviews - The Evidence Behind Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements

Like many individuals, my day starts with an eagerly awaited trip to the kitchen after a quick hop in the shower. By this time, the alarm clock haze has finally worn off long enough to realize the neurotic taste buds in my mouth are going crazy. They need their morning bowl of cinnamon oatmeal with mixed berries or else!

In the past, I'd always follow breakfast with a handful of vitamins and some fish oil supplements before heading out the door. I was off to fill prescriptions and make the world a healthier place! As a pharmacist, I dispense pills and educate others on all the benefits they have to offer, including a few over-the-counter supplements. Fish oil is one of these supplements. In school I learned that pills equal health. Pharmacists dispense pills. Therefore, pharmacists dispense health.

Since I am the expert on pills, I deem it my responsibility to keep up with the scientific literature behind all of these pills as best I can. After all, medicine is a constantly changing environment and if you snooze you lose (and so do your patients). Today I present you with the evidence behind fish oil supplements, known widely for benefiting cardiovascular health and many other chronic diseases, or so they say.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Oyster Mushrooms Help Fight Disease

by guest blogger Jody Perrecone

Oyster mushrooms are a mild tasting mushroom that grows on the trunks of trees.  This, along with many other mushroom varieties, have many healthy antioxidants that may help to reduce the risk of cancer, improve blood cholesterol, and boost the immune system [1].

Oyster mushrooms contain complex carbohydrates called polysaccharides that stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. They can up-regulate (turn on) the genes which stop tumors from growing and support tumor regression [2].

Eating oyster mushrooms can lower cholesterol, reduce triglycerides, and have antioxidant properties that fight oxidized LDL. Unique to the oyster mushroom is the lowering cholesterol molecule lovastatin [3], which inhibits the production of cholesterol.  In a study published in the “Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology” in 2003, rats with high and normal cholesterol were fed oyster mushrooms.  Total cholesterol was reduced 28%, LDL (bad cholesterol) by 55%, triglycerides by 34% and HDL (good cholesterol) increased 21%.