Saturday, May 26, 2018

Regular Exercise Prevents Tooth Loss

Research conducted at the Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine, and published in the Journal of Periodontology, found the prevalence of periodontitis, a gum infection that causes the loss of teeth, was reduced by 29% among adults who exercise regularly!

Periodontitis is the main cause of tooth loss.   23% of adults, age 65 and older suffer from periodontitus.   30% of Americans, age 65 and older no longer have any natural teeth.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Exercise and Sleep in Older Americans

Findings from a Stanford University Medical School Study may come as no suprise:  older and middle-age people reported sleeping better when they added regular exercise to their routine.   After 16 weeks in a moderate intensity exercise program, subjects were able to fall asleep about 15 minutes earlier and sleep about 45 minutes longer at night.

The link between aerobic exercise and sleep may seem obvious, but until this study, there has been very little controlled research to support this conventional wisdom.    They they are only 20% of the population, older Americans recieve almost half of the medications prescribe to aid sleep.

The potential side effects of these drugs - confusion, falls, extended drowsiness, agitation, and interactions with other medications - can be especially problematic for this group.    Until this study, there were few attempts to identify effective non-drug approaches ot treating mild to moderate sleep disorders.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Many Health Benefits of Cilantro

Cilantro aka Coriander aka Chinese Parsley is an annual herb, and all parts of the plant are edible.  Cilantro is used in cuisines all over the world.  It is a tasty addition to soups, salads, and other dishes.  Cilantro has many health benefits.


Cilantro is a rich source of antioxidant compounds that protect cells from damage from the many free radicals that are produced daily in all the cells of the body.    It contains a significant amount of quercetin which has many benefits (see this blogpost for more information on quercetin and its many benefits: )

Chelates Heavy Metals

Heavy metals are not referring to a type of rock music!   Heavy metals include arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, lead and mercury and they are HIGHLY toxic.   They are directly linked to heart disease, cancer, hormonal imbalance, neurological conditions, infertility and much more.    Cilantro binds these metals and facilitates their removal from the body so regular intake ramps up the bodies detoxification of these toxins which every person is exposed to at some level!

Unfortunately, many medicines such as vaccines and antibiotics contain significant quantities of these metals, and they are in our environment due to pollution..

Lower Anxiety and Improved Sleep

Cilantro helps calm nerves and is shown to improve sleep through its natural and safe sedative effects.   A Indian Study showed that high intake of Cilantro produced the same anti-anxiety effects as Valium without all the side effects or addiction potential!

Controls Blood Sugar

Cilantro has been shown to lower blood sugar levels safely, and a study showed that cilantro helps support liver function and balance blood sugar in diabetes.   Chop cilantro leaves and stems and add to salads, salsa and smoothies to lower your blood sugar.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

In the same study mentioned above about diabetes – researchers found that cilantro lowers cholesterol and triglycerides.   Cilantro also helps lower blood pressure.

 Protection from Food Poisoning

Cilantro has antibacterial properties help protect against both food and water based diseases including food poisoning, dysentery, salmonella, cholera, and listeria.   This is the reason it was used initially because before modern times and refrigeration preventing illness from food and water was extremely important and people learned that spices and herbs could prevent illness.   This is why cuisine from warmer climates tends to be spicier since there was no way to prevent bacterial contamination prior to refrigeration.

Urinary Tract Infection

Cilantro’s antibacterial compounds specifically target bacteria that commonly cause urinary tract infections.    If you soak 1 and ½ teaspoons of dried cilantro seeds overnight in 2 cups of water then strain and drink or add to smoothies – it will help relieve the discomfort of a urinary tract infection and accelerate recovery.

Digestive Discomfort

Cilantro has been used for thousands of years to effectively teat nausea, gas and bloating, relieve indigestion and heart burn, and ease digestive cramps.    Cilantro helps increase digestive enzymes that breakdown foods.     Cilantro also makes spicy dishes more tolerable and helps prevent heartburn.   

Try adding a touch of chopped cilantro to these dishes.

Improved Hormonal Balance

Cilantro helps to regulat proper endocrine gland function, and the hormones that regulate menstrual cycles in woman.     Together with its ability to reduce bloating and cramps this makes cilantro a great choice for woman with menstrual discomfort.

Skin Health

Cilantro contains natural anti-histamines and internal and external use can help calm skin irritations that are commonly caused by the immune system overreacting to allergens.     In these cases chop finely and mix with coconut oil and apply to the skin while also taking it internally.

Side Effects and Contraindications

Individuals who are allergic to fennel, dill, aniseed, caraway or other similar herbs can have an allergic reaction to cilantro and should avoid it.  In rare cases these reactions can be severe.     Individuals with asthma or bronchitis should be very careful using dried, ground coriander because it can cause irritation in the bronchial arteries.

Genetic Taste Response to Cilantro

For all its benefits, cilantro contains aldehydes that provide a highly pungent odor that some people find highly disagreeable.    This is thought to be caused by a genetic variation and is just one of many examples that each person is different.   So if you do not like it – don’t eat it!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Does Whey Protein Decrease Testosterone?

On the surface this statement seems implausible, but there is research showing that protein intake immediately before or after a workout can reduce the increase in testosterone that occurs after when you train with high intensity.

There are also studies that showed that high protein diets lower resting levels of testosterone, while other studies have shown that protein intake can increase the availability of testosterone.

These seeming contradictory studies may be explained by a theory that protein could cause an increase in total testosterone while also lowering circulating levels of testosterone.  The theory postulates that protein intake increases the sensitivity of testosterone receptors on cells so that the increased testosterone is being pulled into the cells which decreases circulating levels of testosterone!

A 2008 study showed an increase in the production of testosterone receptors within exercised muscles in response to whey protein supplementation done at 1 hour and 48 hours post-exercise.  More receptors mean more testosterone is taken up by the cells!

The 2008 study results were supported by a 2015 study using rats which showed that whey protein supplementation immediately after “training” resulted in a 90.5% increase in intracellular testosterone.   Rats were forced to exercise vigorously and then given 500 milligrams of whey protein (this is equivalent to 19 grams of whey protein in a human which is a typical post-exercise dose).

Given that many other studies have shown increases in muscle growth with whey protein intake post strength training it is pretty safe to assume that whey protein intake after strength training will improve muscle growth and recovery.