Thursday, March 12, 2020

Potential Natural Options for Prevention and Treatment of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

My Integrative and Functional Medicine training has helped me to consider ways to naturally boost our immune system and fight infections. My family and I use most of these strategies to prevent the flu each year, however, there are several specific concerns and recommendations that I will cover that are specific for this virus.

In the case of this novel coronavirus, there are several goals.

First, to boost our immune system in general. Second, to help prevent the virus entering cells and replicating if an infection occurs (this is the way many antiviral pharmaceutical medications work). Third, to try to prevent something called a “cytokine storm” which is an inflammatory response that may be so excessive that this it can be deadly.

Before I get into what we are doing as a family to protect ourselves, I think it is important to emphasize that there is no direct evidence that any of the the things we are doing might be helpful. This is a new virus and so we can only surmise what might be helpful based on previous experience with other respiratory viruses. Also, please understand that while most of the things we are trying are benign, some of them have the potential for side effects. Therefore, I recommend you consult your physician(s) to discuss whether these ideas are safe for you to also consider undertaking.

Here is the protocol that my family and I are now following in response to this virus.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Dangers of Volatile Organic Compounds

Recently I bought a bathrobe from a major department store. I found that the bathrobe had an odd chemical smell when I put it on at home. I tried washing it... twice. I tried putting it outside in the sun, multiple times. And yet, it still stinks. The bathrobe has some kind of fabric coating that feels slippery to the touch. The fumes coming off of it while I wear it irritate my eyes and throat. I believe that the robe is “off-gassing” (reacting with the air and giving off) volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can cause a wide variety of health problems from asthma to cancer. Needless to say, I am returning the robe.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Understanding and preventing tooth decay

Tooth decay is widespread.  One out of five children has tooth decay, yet it is 100% preventable and cavities can even heal, if they are addressed early enough.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria, which are passed from person to person.  We acquire them from our parents and loved ones, even as infants.  These bacteria enjoy eating simple carbohydrates (sugar) and they then excrete their toxins in the form of lactic acid.  Lactic acid then can sit on the teeth and demineralizes them which puts a hole in your tooth.  We call this kind of tooth damage a cavity. Left unattended or untreated the damage can extend deeper into the tooth. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Nutrition and Tooth Decay


Did you know tooth decay is a (relatively) recent problem for mankind?  Until the advent of farming approximately 12,000 years ago, cavities were rare in our ancestors. With the addition of grains to the diet, the bacteria in our mouths began to change. The bacteria, once benign, started evolving.  Thus, tooth decay was “born.”  As more food processing developed people started eating flour, breads, sugar, and processed foods. This encouraged the oral bacteria to become even more aggressive and destructive. 
A researcher from the turn of the 20th century, a dentist named Weston Price, was a man well ahead of his time.  He and his wife traveled to many points on the globe, exploring the mouths and diets of people living in isolated tribes or communities.  These people had not had exposure to the processed foods, flour or sugars that were the main diet staples of the then current “modern” societies.  Dr. Price photographed and documented the many big, beautiful, healthy smiles of these indigenous people. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Food and Dieting Myths - Healthy weight loss

In trying to maintain a healthy weight I needed to unlearn many of the myths surrounding food and dieting.


I used to believe that the number of calories I ate were the key to weight gain. I believed the myth that calories in and calories out accounted for all weight changes. This was very frustrating for me because I just couldn’t seem to eat small enough portions to lose weight. Also, eating these small portions left me very hungry and unsatisfied.

Eventually a doctor I consulted recommended a low carbohydrate diet and suddenly I started to shed my excess weight without difficulty. What I came to learn is that contrary to popular belief, calories are NOT the only thing you need to concern yourself with when it comes to losing weight. Research over the last 20 years has made remarkable progress in understanding adipose tissue (body fat cells) and how we gain and lose weight. Calories have very little to do with this process. Some calories (carbohydrates and sugar) can turn straight to excess body fat and some simply cannot.