Testosterone Replacement

November 15th, 2015

There are so many diverse opinions about testosterone that it would be hard for anyone, physician or layman, to see a clear picture.

What is well established is that testosterone:

  1. Improves athletic performance
  2. Increases muscle mass
  3. Raises bone density
  4. Increases libido
  5. Often improves erectile function
  6. Reduces abdominal fat
  7. Increases red blood cell production

What has been argued is the effect of testosterone on heart disease, stroke, and mortality. A recent study reveals a powerful effect of testosterone in preventing heart attacks, stroke and death. (Normalization of Testosterone is Associated with Reduced Incidence of Myocardial Infarction and Mortality in Men, European Heart J. Aug 6, 2015) Read the rest of this entry »

The Benefits of Vitamin C in Treating Infection

October 29th, 2015

I.V. DripA new study* validates the powerful effect of intravenous vitamin C in recovery from infection.

Dr. Fowler described his study in the October 2015 issue of the Townsend Letter, the major alternative medicine journal. Twenty-four patients, all critically ill with severe sepsis, were treated in the intensive care unit. Sepsis is a disseminated infection that travels through the blood stream, causing damage to heart, kidneys, liver, lung and brain, often resulting in death or permanent organ impairment.

Sixteen patients were given medium or high dose intravenous vitamin C, and 8 patients were given placebo. There was rapid correction of organ failure in the vitamin C-treated patients, more impressive in those who received higher doses. No correction occurred in patients who were given placebo.

Biomarkers of inflammation were also measured, including C-reactive protein and procalcitonin, and these declined significantly, only in the vitamin C-treated patients. Another marker, thrombomodulin, is released into the blood as an indicator of severe vascular injury. It rose in the patients on placebo, but not at all in patients on intravenous vitamin C.
Mortality was 62% in the patients on placebo, and 38% in vitamin C-treated patients.

Both human and animal studies have demonstrated benefits of vitamin C in treating infection. High levels of vitamin C in the blood cannot be achieved with oral doses alone, because there is a limit on how much can be absorbed from the GI tract. Intravenous vitamin C is safe, easy to administer, and can be given in high doses.

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Niacinamide Reduces Skin Cancer

September 27th, 2015

NiacinamideBasal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are by far the most common type of cancer. They are rarely lethal, but the surgery or radiation required to treat them can be deforming, painful, and expensive. More than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer yearly. Sun exposure is a primary risk factor, so people living in California are especially susceptible.

A recent Australian study, presented at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, revealed a 25% reduction in the incidence of basal and squamous cell cancers in patients taking niacinamide, 500 mg twice a day.

Niacinamide is a form of niacin, or vitamin B3, that does not cause itching or flushing of the skin. Benefits in skin cancer reduction were seen within the first 3 months of treatment. The benefit was lost when niacinamide was discontinued. In addition, niacinamide reduced the incidence of actinic keratosis, a precancerous lesion, by 15%.

If you have had skin cancer or actinic keratosis, are fair-skinned or spend a lot of time in the sun, consider taking niacinamide 500 mg twice a day, indefinitely. There are no side effects.

Allan Sosin, MD

The Power of Vitamin D and Leaky Gut

July 19th, 2015

Vitamin DCrohn’s disease is an inflammation of the intestine characterized by pain, bleeding, and ulcerations in the gut. Impaired gut permeability leads to the passage of bacteria, toxins, or other substances through the gut lining into deeper tissues, and throughout the body. This aggravates the inflammatory immune response. Increased gut permeability occurs before clinical relapse in Crohn’s disease.

Vitamin D supplementation has been demonstrated to maintain intestinal integrity, thus reducing leaky gut. Crohn’s disease patients were treated with vitamin D 2000 units daily for 3 months. They were found to have more intact gut linings than those treated with placebo. They also had reduced evidence of inflammation, measured by C reactive protein and antimicrobial proteins. (United European Gastroenterology Journal, 2015).

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Is Breakfast Important?

June 17th, 2015

And if yes, why and what should we eat for breakfast?

BreakfastAfter a whole night of fasting, breakfast serves as a means to supply “fuel” to the brain. Research show that daily breakfast eaters tended to gain less weight and have lower body mass index levels (an indicator of obesity risk) compared with those who had skipped breakfast. On the other hand people that skip breakfast are missing out on key nutrients, such as Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin A. Breakfast-skippers consume 40 percent more sweets, 55 percent more soft drinks, 45 percent fewer vegetables and 30 percent less fruit than people who eat breakfast.Children and teens who regularly have breakfast on a near-daily basis had 25% higher score in math, science and reading, meaning breakfast helps keep a clear and sharp brain at any age. Read the rest of this entry »

Antioxidants for Cataracts

April 23rd, 2015

GreensAntioxidants in the diet help to prevent cataracts. Thirty thousand women in Sweden were followed for an average of 7.7 years. The incidence of cataracts was compared with dietary antioxidant intake. (JAMA March 10, 2015 pp 1048-49) Women ingesting the highest dietary antioxidants had a significantly lower incidence of cataracts than those with the lowest antioxidant intake.

The main sources of antioxidants were fruits and vegetables, whole grains and coffee. Read the rest of this entry »

Hormones and The Brain

April 1st, 2015

BrainIn all the hullaballoo about hormone replacement therapy, not enough has been said about the profound effects of estrogen and testosterone on the brain. I think that if all the other benefits of hormone replacement were disregarded, the beneficial effects on brain function alone would justify prescribing them.

Women in menopause often develop depression, irritability, insomnia, memory loss, and a sort of cognitive disorientation. These symptoms can be severe, and psychiatric medications like sedatives and antidepressants are often inappropriately prescribed. Proper hormone therapy starts to improve these symptoms within two weeks.

Mental and emotional symptoms may persist long after other menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes and night sweats, have resolved. I recently saw a 65 year old woman who had been started on antidepressants years before to manage her depression. Her depression continued, and did not improve until she started hormone replacement therapy. A stronger hormone method completely resolved the depression and allowed her to discontinue antidepressant drugs. These were hormone pellets implanted under the skin of the buttocks. They maintain constant blood hormone levels for 3-4 months, without fluctuation, therefore provide stronger effects than creams, tablets, or patches.

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Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain and Diabetes

February 16th, 2015

diabetesArtificial sweeteners, because they contain no calories, are used in place of sugar to prevent weight gain and diabetes. Unfortunately, they do not provide the benefits attributed to them.

The major artificial sweeteners are Aspartame (Nutrasweet), Sucralose (Splenda), and Saccharin (Sweet “N Low). More than 6000 foods contain these products, and the number is rising. The list includes breads, cereals, sodas, canned products, chewing gum, candy, sauces, soups, jams, jellies, and dried fruits. Twenty percent of the U.S. population, from age 2 on up, consume a diet drink daily.

Nevertheless, weight gain, and resultant diabetes, continue to increase. One third of the population is obese, and 30 million people are diabetic. Read the rest of this entry »

Top Ten Super Foods

February 9th, 2015

FoodsThe CDC completed a cross sectional study looking at the nutrient density of powerhouse fruits and vegetables. Let’s look at the top 10 nutrient dense foods that we should be emphasizing on a daily basis.

Superfood List

  1. Watercress – This may surprise many as it is not always the first food selected in the produce aisle. However, it is now the unrivaled superfood champion. Gram for gram, this mild tasting green contains 4 times more beta-carotene than an apple and 238% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin K. It is also very rich in anticancer phytonutrients. If you are less familiar with watercress, start adding it to salads, wraps and vegetable juices.
  2. Chinese cabbage – CABG which is also called Knoff or celery cabbage. This is very rich in calcium and iron and as a member of the cruciferous vegetable family also is anti-inflammatory, reduces heart disease and cancer.
  3. Swiss Chard – This is another favorite leafy green that contains at least 13 different antioxidants and has been used to prevent type 2 diabetes
  4. Beet greens – This is another compelling reason to buy organic beets. The beet itself is high in bioflavonoids, antioxidants and an excellent food for detoxification and liver support. Now we are reminded of the nutritional content of the leafy green that is attached to the beet, that sometimes gets overlooked. This is a wonderful green to add to a stir fry or your vegetable juice. Read the rest of this entry »

Prostate Cancer – You Can Live With It

February 4th, 2015

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells that impair normal body functions, leading to disability or death. Most people, including doctors, believe that cancers should be cut out if possible. Some surgeries, such as removal of the breasts or ovaries, are performed even prior to a cancer diagnosis, with the assumption that cancer will otherwise occur.

Certain cancers, however, may linger in the body for years, never causing disability or death. Prostate cancer is one of these.

The chance of having cancer cells in the prostate increases with age. Put a percentage sign next to your age and you know the chance of having cancer within your prostate. So, a 70 year-old man has a 70% chance of cancer residing within his prostate. Most of these cancers are going nowhere. Prostate cancer is diagnosed in 200,000 men every year. Twenty-seven thousand men die yearly from prostate cancer, usually after at least 10 years of involvement. Thus, 90% of men with prostate cancer do not die from it.

PSA (prostate specific antigen) is a good screening blood test for prostate cancer. A level over 4 is abnormal, but does not mean cancer is present. PSA is also related to the size of the prostate, so a prostate gland that is twice normal in size, or more, will often cause the PSA to rise above normal. Inflammation of the prostate, usually from infection, may also raise the PSA. I have seen the PSA rise to 100 from infection alone, then fall to normal when the infection was treated.

Physical exam of the prostate via rectal exam is also informative. Prostate cancer may be felt as a nodule in the gland, or as hardening of the gland in one area.

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