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Should the government help you lose weight July 12, 2012

Posted by viper42 in health.
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So a few weeks ago, Mayor Bloomberg of NYC proposed a ban of large sugary drinks greater than 16oz in size. This is his attempt at a response to the plague of obesity occurring right now. For those of you not familiar with what is happening in New York City….and I preface CITY here, the 5 boroughs currently outpace the rest of the state and even the national average in obesity rates and diabetes. The absolute worst is my home borough, the Bronx. The health statistics for these areas are very poor.

So based on this knowledge the Mayor is trying to make an impact on personal health by restricting the sale of large sugary drinks. It was recently discovered that drinking just one soda a day can increase your chances of being diabetic by a whopping 10%. Thats 1 can a day. If you have at least once parent with diabetes already, your chances are already high. Both parents….you have to be real careful. Soda would probably be off the list or recommended items for you.

So the question is this: does government, or should government be getting involved to this level to actually restrict you from buying something that in the long and even short term can hurt you and cost the system money?

My take: YES. Why? Simple…Society as a whole is becoming more lax in terms of health. As a result, it is driving medical costs through the roof. In case you have been living in a bubble, I am sure you have taken notice that health care and the cost of it is, well…MAJOR! Without stemming these costs and getting people to stay healthy we will collapse eventually. The system nor government can sustain such poor health. In other words…we cant keep paying for your poor lifestyle. Yes there are many other things you can argue to ban…but they probably wont rival the massive personal and financial toll it takes when you have to deal with diabetes and the countless issues related to obesity.

I applaud Mayor Bloomberg for at least trying to help the situation. Its not easy to take an unpopular stance. It will take more than this to make a difference that is meaningful. It will require more education, more access to quality food and better overall support to get this problem in check.

SO…what do you think?

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Is there a One size Fits All with Diet? February 18, 2012

Posted by viper42 in health.
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Right now the Unites States is seeing unprecedented challenges with not only the health care system but its health overall. Obesity is way too high and just about everybody has some desire to be healthier. So many decide that they are going to do something about it…but dont (a separate issue for another time) or they dont know what “diet” to choose. So with so many choices to choose from, is there just one right answer?

My answer (opinion), NO. For me, I opted to utilize a meal replacement system to offset caloric intake while trying to work out more. Some people opt for Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem….Others decide going totally organic…food only no supplements (Hard Core) is for them. I think ultimately, however you choose to go, so long as the plan is not detrimental to your person, can still give you what you need and has some credibility behind it…I say go for it.

There will always be nay sayers about a particular method….but then again…there is no one size fits all when it comes to your health and diet. But is an absolute need is a greater attention and understanding of what our bodies need and what we need to do to get it. We will destroy our own health care system if more and more of us continue this poor approach to health

CoQ 10? Whats the big deal? July 15, 2009

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Well, we hear so much about CoQ 10 and how its supposed to be this great thing. So whats all the hype about? Well, as it turns out, its a pretty amazing compound that, for people who can take it, it can give you that all to mysterious energy boost you need on a daily basis. However, there are some who should be careful with it.

What are some of the things thisj CoQ can so? Well, it helps to produce ATP which is essential to your body’s cells to produce energy for you. It boosts the immune system and even helps to improve the metabolism of your heart muscles. It has been shown to help enhance the pumping action of the heart. That could be of particular interest to those with Congestive heart failure. Of course, its use with this or anything else should be done with the advice of a doctor.

Is there anything that happens as a result of not having it or enough of it? Some research has shown that deficiencies in this can lead to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s Disease. Also, deficiency in it has been linked to lowered immune function, diabetes and obesity. Of course, I dont mean to suggest that this is a be all product that stops these things. However, adding an agent in your body that can at least help offset your chances is not a bad thing.

Can your prescription drugs be an issue? Although there are no documented reactions noted, the drugs themselves have side effects that can be offset by use of this vitamin. For those on cancer treatment with doxirubicin, known to be cardiotoxic, this can lessen the toxic effects of it. For those using cholesterol lowering medications, the action of these drugs actually lowers the amount of CoQ in your body. Supplementing it can return energy levels back to your body. The one area that always warrants caution and is not recommended is in pregnancy.

Use after 4-8 weeks is when you can see a noticeable difference. So, if have issues with energy as a result of prescription drugs, conditions or just general lack of energy, looking into a quality supplement of CoQ 10 would be a great choice.

Helpful Bacteria??? June 3, 2009

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Ok, I must be nuts right?  How can bacteria be helpful?  I hear all the news about bacterial resistance, super bugs, new antibiotics to kill them etc.  So how in the world could they be helpful?   You would be surprised.

According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, many more studies are being done on bacteria.  The thought being that more insight to how bacteria work, and even why there presence, helps alleviate infection.  How can bacteria do this?  I’ll show a few examples.

If you have taken antibiotics before, I am sure you were told one the side effects most people get is diarrhea  (ewwwww).  Well, the reason for this is simple.  The antibiotic is killing bacteria in the gut.  The problem, those are NOT the bacteria we are targeting.  So what happens is that the bacteria that were once kept in check just because something was there, can now grow.  The issue is, they were not supposed to.  So more of the stuff you dont need is present and creates a rather…unpleasant problem.

Example 2.  What the dirtiest place on the body?  NO, its what you think.  Its your mouth.  There are more colonies of bacteria in your mouth than anywhere else.  So, why dont you get infections galore every day?  Hmmm, that is why the studies are happening.

So that you know, bacteria have already helped us.  There are some therapies today that work because we use the “tools’ in the bacteria as a factory to produce helpful medicine or reactions in the body.  Funny, that is exactly how viruses work.  But thats another story.

According to the article, researchers are now checking on a way to use a variant of a bacteria called C. difficile.  As a pharmacist I can tell, the regular one is NASTY.  It is already in you but held in check, Take antibiotics for a while…you will see this bacteria in full effect.  It can be a dangerous bug to have uncontrolled.  So why the variant?  By altering the bacteria, it is hoped to combat and even destroy its cousins to avoid this NASTY effects.  HEY wait a minute…NO antibiotics!!!  Just use an existing bacteria to help….THATS CRAZY!!!  Isnt living in this age so interesting?

There is one other thing mentioned here.  Apparently there is some link to H. pylori and asthma.  H.Pylori just a few years ago was found to be the cause of stomach ulcers.  So for those that have had one, that is why the antiobiotcs were given.  This bug is HARD to kill.  Think of it, a bacteria that LIKES to live in ACID and NO AIR.  They would do well in NY. Well, there is some link though that shows it can help alleviate a person from developing asthma.  The research is to new so only time will tell.

Well, the whole point here was to show how medicine is shifitng its views to alternatives…helpful bacteria.  Nutraceuticals are in the picture as well.  As health care costs rise, we become more ill, these concepts will continue to grow in demand and popularity.

Green Tea Extract for weight loss May 29, 2009

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Many of us have heard of Green Tea.  We all know it is a very healthy substance.  But how many of you know that using the extract can help you lose weight?  Some feel this to be true because the caffeine in the tea can give you a boost and you feel energized to do more.  Well, after research was done, it was found that caffeine itself did not have fat burning effects on its own.  So, how could this fact be true?  

The answer is not known.  However, Green Tea Extract exerts some other effect on the body that increases the body’s overall fat burning process.  That means, the more energy your body puts out, the more calories you burn and hence the weight loss.  Now the weight loss occurs mostly in the day.  That would mean your best chance to lose more weight is to do your physical exercises in the morning.  I know, its difficult these days to do. 

One word of caution though. Those who have a hyperactive thyroid or are taking Thyroid medications to increase metabolism due to a slow thyroid, this extract to cause an issue.  A hyperactive throid gland means you bodies is overproducing hormone and your metabolism is faster than normal.  Those with a slow thyroid, under-produce and have slower metabolisms.  The Thyroid medication helps to speed that up to normal.  So this extract to interfere one way or another.  Be sure to consult your doctor first about this.  

So, if using the extract can help you lose weight, consider its use in conjunction with other vitamins like B-12 or B-complex.  Vitamins that also work within the body to increase energy.  Putting those together could make for one great mix of vitamins and could help you if you are actively working out and dieting.  So the next time you purchase a Vitamin supplement, check to see if the this combination is present.  it could help yield great dividends.

Retirement an Issue, Ok just live longer!! May 26, 2009

Posted by viper42 in Business/Health.
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Here is a story that is very telling of todays economic mentality and just how fragile the financial picture is for most.  According to a Forbes article in the March 09 special issue, it was suggested that living longer could allow us to PUSH back the retirement age!  WHAT??!!  For some in these tough times, that has become a reality because most dont have a source of residual income or their nest egg was wiped out.  Here is where it gets interesting.  

There is actually science present that is being worked on to do it!!  No this is not Star Trek and you are not in the Twilight Zone.  It is known, and states in the article, that living past 100 is largely genetics.  The gene responsible for this is known as well…SIRT-1.  It apparently “removes intracellular junk” in your body.  (Hmmm, more on that soon).  The goal is to try and artificially create an SIRT-1 activator to use in humans to extend our lives!!  WOW. Now the reason for this again, is to delay retirement and hence not put such a strain on the system.  So is this really happening?  You bet it is!  The pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith Kline is now working on this after purchasing the company working on it for 720 million dollars.  

So lets look at this.  People increasingly dont have the money to survive retirement.  Social Security is clearly dead.  Does the answer TRULY lie in manipulating our genes to achieve financial security??  That is SCARY.  Well, for now, people are grasping onto the right concepts.  That is better education about food, vitamins, antioxidants, weight loss etc.  Hey I said I would get back to that “intracellular junk.”  Well, vitamins and foods rich in antioxidants can reduce that also.  The way I see it, gene or no genes, the one thing that must happen in the 70, 80 or 90 years you live is finding options for yourself that provide residual income.  The reality is, we may be able to live longer, but if we don’t make the choices, its just a longer time to look back at lost time or opportunity. Start taking better care of ourselves and finances, and make the MOST of the time NATURALLY given to us.

Who Am I May 26, 2009

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Hello to all!!  I am happy to be here.  As you can see this is my first post.  Just want to introduce myself.  My name is David Medina.  I am a full time, licensed, Pharmacist here in NY.  I have been practicing for 11 years now.  I have done the whole store thing.  I have done home IV therapy, nursing homes and now specialize in Hospice care.  In my 11 years, I have seen enough to know the medical system is tough here in the United States.  I see many who are ill.  Unfortunately, many stay ill for 1 or both of the following reasons: 1) They don’t have the money or coverage 2) They don’t posses the knowledge.  It is very hard as a person who wants to help others see people remain ill because their medications cost so much.  However, if we here in the United States could start increasing our knowledge of the body, perhaps we can lead happier and fuller lives.  That movement is well on its way already. 

Therein lies my purpose in being here.  I plan to devote this blog to matters of health and wellness, and money/business topics.  This medium is great for this.  As a pharmacist my biggest frustration, felt by many in fact, is that our system wants us to provide a high quality of care through information.  Yet the system has made it so difficult to stay in business, it has become more about volume than quality.  Now there may be exceptions, but this is largely the truth.  Therefore, I will now use the knowledge I have and am obtaining through my own efforts to help others on my own terms.  You will get to know me…if you choose of course.  It is my mission to bring value to the people that read this.  I hope to encourage dialogue and perhaps to start the wheels of change for some.  I am at YOUR servce.