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Posts for: February, 2012

By rgberger50
February 28, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
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You’ve probably heard computer people use the term “GIGO.”  That’s "Garbage in Garbage out," or thinking a little more on the positive side,  "Good in Good out!"

Well Dr. Stephen G Chaney shows us how this can relate to what we eat.  The title of this week's Tip is "We Grow What We Eat".  I think you will enjoy it!

No, this is not about each of us starting a backyard garden and literally growing what we eat - although that would probably be a good idea for most of us.

I'm actually talking about the bacteria that we "grow" in our intestine.

Most of you probably already know about the concept of "good" and "bad" intestinal bacteria.

Evidence suggests that the "bad" intestinal bacteria and yeast can compromise our immune system.

There is also evidence that they can create a "leaky gut" (you can think of this as knocking holes in our intestinal wall that allow partially digested foods to enter the circulation where they can trigger inflammation and auto-immune responses).

And they appear to convert the foods that we eat into cancer causing chemicals which can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

The list goes on and on...

The "good bacteria" are thought to crowd out the "bad" bacteria and prevent many of the problems they cause.

For years we have thought of "bad" bacteria and yeast as originating from undercooked or poorly washed foods that we eat and the "good" bacteria as originating from foods like yogurt and probiotic supplements.

But most of us have not thought that the kinds of foods we choose to eat on a daily basis can affect the kinds of bacteria we "grow" in our intestine - until now.

You've heard for years that "We are what we eat". Well it now appears that we also "grow what we eat".

I'm referring to a recent study by G. D. Wu et al (Science, 334: 105-108, 2011).

Previous studies have shown that people from all over the world tend to have one of two distinct populations in their intestines - Bacteroides or Prevotella. [Don't let the specialized scientific terminology scare you.  These are just the names given to two distinctive populations of intestinal bacteria].

What this study showed was that people who habitually consumed high-fat/low-fiber diets (diets containing predominantly animal protein and saturated fats) tended to have the Bacteroides bacteria in their intestine, while people who habitually consumed low-fat/high-fiber diets (diets that are primarily plant based and are high in carbohydrate and low in meat and dairy) tended to have the Prevotella bacteria in their intestine.

And surprisingly this appears to be independent of sex, weight and nationality.

At this point in time we don't know the health benefits and risks associated with a Bacteroides versus a Prevotella grouping of intestinal bacteria.

However, now that do we know that we "grow what we eat" there are numerous studies ongoing to define the benefits and risks associated with each type of bacterial population.

Stay tuned! I'll keep you updated as more information becomes available.

To Your Health! 

Dr. Stephen G Chaney


By rgberger50
February 21, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Today I had a patient come in for a cleaning that has trouble scheduling her appointments due to very frequent and severe outbreaks of Cold Sores.  Luckily for most people with cold sores, this is very unusual, but can happen in some people.  This made me think that it would be good to let you know more about Cold Sores and their background.

What are cold sores?

Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. The skin around the blisters is often red, swollen, and sore. The blisters may break open, leak a clear fluid, and then scab over after a few days. They usually heal in several days to 2 weeks.

What causes cold sores?

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both virus types can cause sores around the mouth (herpes labialis) and on the genitals (genital herpes).

The herpes simplex virus usually enters the body through a break in the skin around or inside the mouth. It is usually spread when a person touches a cold sore or touches infected fluid-such as from sharing eating utensils or razors, kissing an infected person, or touching that person's saliva. A parent who has a cold sore often spreads the infection to his or her child in this way. Cold sores can also be spread to other areas of the body.

What are the symptoms?

The first symptoms of cold sores may include pain around your mouth and on your lips, a fever, a sore throat, or swollen glands in your neck or other parts of the body. Small children sometimes drool before cold sores appear. After the blisters appear, the cold sores usually break open, leak a clear fluid, and then crust over and disappear after several days to 2 weeks. For some people, cold sores can be very painful.

Some people have the virus but don't get cold sores. They have no symptoms.

How are cold sores diagnosed?

Your doctor can tell if you have cold sores by asking you questions to find out whether you have come into contact with the virus and by examining you. You probably won't need any tests.

How are cold sores treated?

Cold sores will usually start to heal on their own within a few days. But if they cause pain or make you feel embarrassed, they can be treated. Treatment may include skin creams, ointments, or sometimes pills. Treatment may get rid of the cold sores only 1 to 2 days faster, but it can also help ease painful blisters or other uncomfortable symptoms.

The herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores cannot be cured. After you get infected, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life. If you get cold sores often, treatment can reduce the number of cold sores you get and how severe they are.

How can you prevent cold sores?

There are some things you can do to keep from getting the herpes simplex virus.

  • Avoid coming into contact with infected body fluids, such as kissing an infected person.
  • Avoid sharing eating utensils, drinking cups, or other items that a person with a cold sore may have used.

After you have been infected with the virus, there is no sure way to prevent more cold sores. But there are some things you can do to reduce your number of outbreaks and prevent spreading the virus.

  • Avoid the things that trigger your cold sores, such as stress and colds or the flu.
  • Always use lip balm and sunscreen on your face. Too much sunlight can cause cold sores to flare.
  • Avoid sharing towels, razors, silverware, toothbrushes, or other objects that a person with a cold sore may have used.
  • When you have a cold sore, make sure to wash your hands often, and try not to touch your sore. This can help keep you from spreading the virus to your eyes or genital area or to other people.

Now I'd like to hear from you . . .

If you have Cold Sores and have found a treatment that helps please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To your good health,

Robert G. Berger D.D.S.

Anything that doesn't occur naturally in a particular food is considered an additive. Many of these substances occur naturally in one food but become additives when used in the manufacture of another food. You might find sodium propionate in the list of ingredients in a loaf of bread, but if you buy Swiss cheese, you'll be eating ten times as much sodium propionate. It won't be listed on the label, because it is a natural component of the cheese.

Why are additives put in food?

They have a variety of functions. Additives are used to replace nutrients lost in processing (for example, all white flour must have thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folate put in to replace what is lost when the wheat germ is removed), or to add nutrients (i.e., vitamins in breakfast cereals). Some additives are used as preservatives to retard spoilage, such as BHA and BHT, or antioxidants that keep fat from turning rancid. Others are used to improve the texture or consistency by making the product thicker, smoother, or more free-flowing, or to keep ingredients from separating. Flavorings and colorings are considered additives, whether they are the relatively benign spices, salt and pepper, or the ominous-sounding "artificial flavors", dyes and bleaches.

Should you try to avoid additives?

Not unless you have identified a specific allergy or sensitivity. Many people believe they are sensitive to MSG, and you can avoid it if you wish. Most additives are used in such small amounts that they have no significance in your diet unless you consume huge quantities of a single food.

You should be more concerned about what's taken out of your food than what's added in. "Enriched" means vitamins, minerals, other nutrients and fiber were  removed during processing, and what is added back may be only a small part of what was taken away. When fiber is removed, you are the loser. Extracted oils give you lots of calories and little of the nutrients that were in the original plants.

If your diet consists primarily of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, you don't give food processors the chance to remove the good parts that nature provides and you won't need to worry about what's added behind your back.

Think first…then eat SMART!

Now I'd like to hear from you . . .

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To your good health,

Robert G. Berger D.D.S.

Sorry to those of you that saw this post yesterday.  The entire blog didn't come through.  Please visit it now!

Dr. Mark Hyman has given us 10 “goof proof rules” for getting healthy, losing weight and feeling great!  Please read this and feel free to leave comments to let me know what you think.

Everyday you have to navigate a toxic nutritional landscape. You have to hunt and gather in a food desert.  You have to survive the American supermarket and dodge the dangers of industrial food.   The good news is that if you follow ten simple rules you can eat safely for life.

Think of them as shortcuts or tricks to use when shopping or eating. If you just do these things and nothing else, you will automatically be eating real, fresh food that will prevent, treat and even reverse most of the chronic diseases that drain our energy, stress our families and deplete our economy.   You don’t even have to understand anything about nutrition.  Just follow these goof proof rules for getting healthy, losing weight and feeling great.

  1. Ideally have only food without labels in your kitchen or foods that don’t come in a box, a package, or a can. There are labeled foods that are great, like sardines, artichoke hearts, or roasted red peppers, but you have to be very smart in reading the labels.   There are two things to look for: the ingredient list and the nutrition facts.  Check out my special report on “How to Read Labels” for more information.
    Where is the primary ingredient on the list? If the real food is at the end of the list and the sugar or salt is at the beginning, beware. The most abundant ingredient is listed first and the others are listed in descending order by weight. Be conscious, too, of ingredients that may not be on the list; some ingredients may be exempt from labels. This is often true if the food is in a very small package, if it has been prepared in the store, or if it has been made by a small manufacturer. Beware of these foods.
  2. If a food has a label it should have fewer than five ingredients. If it has more than five ingredients, throw it out. Also beware of food with health claims on the label. They are usually bad for you – think ”sports beverages.”  I recently saw a bag of deep-fried potato chips with the health claims “gluten-free, organic, no artificial ingredients, no sugar” and with fewer than 5 ingredients listed.  Sounds great, right?  But remember, cola is 100 percent fat-free and that doesn’t make it a health food.
  3.  If sugar (by any name, including organic cane juice, honey, agave, maple syrup, cane syrup, or molasses) is on the label, throw it out. There may be up to 33 teaspoons of sugar in the average bottle of ketchup. Same goes for white rice and white flour, which act just like sugar in the body.  If you have diabesity – the spectrum of metabolic imbalances starting with just a little belly fat, leading all the way to diabetes— you can’t easily handle any flour, even whole-grain. Throw it out.
  4. Throw out any food with high-fructose corn syrup on the label. It is a super sweet liquid sugar that takes no energy for the body to process. Some high-fructose corn syrup also contains mercury as a by-product of the manufacturing process. Many liquid calories, such as sodas, juices, and “sports” drinks, contain this metabolic poison. It always signals low quality or processed food.
  5. Throw out any food with the word hydrogenated on the label. This is an indicator of trans fats, vegetable oils converted through a chemical process into margarine or shortening. They are good for keeping cookies on the shelf for long periods of time without going stale, but these fats have been proven to cause heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. New York City and most European counties have banned trans fats, and you should, too.
  6. Throw out any highly refined cooking oils such as corn, soy, etc. (I will explain which oils to buy in Week 1 of the program in my book The Blood Sugar Solution). Also avoid toxic fats and fried foods.
  7. Throw out any food with ingredients you can’t recognize, pronounce, or that are in Latin.
  8. Throw out any foods with preservatives, additives, coloring or dyes, “natural flavorings,” or flavor enhancers such as MSG (monosodium glutamate).
  9. Throw out food with artificial sweeteners of all kinds  (aspartame, Splenda, sucralose, and sugar alcohols—any word that ends with “ol” like xylitol, sorbitol). They make you hungrier, slow your metabolism, give you bad gas, and make you store belly fat.
  10. If it came from the earth or a farmer’s field, not a food chemist’s lab, it’s safe to eat. As Michael Pollan says, if it was grown on a plant, not made in a plant, then you can keep it in your kitchen. If it is something your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food, throw it out (like a “lunchable” or go-gurt”).  Stay away from “food-like substances.”

That’s it – just ten simple goof proof rules for staying healthy for life. It is a simple recipe for staying out of trouble and automatically leads you to a real, whole foods diet.  And the side effect will be weight loss, energy, reduction in the need for medication and saving our nation from the tsunami of chronic disease and Pharmageddon!

When you make these simple choices you will not only improve your health, and your family’s health, but you will create a “wellness spring” that will shift the demand in the marketplace.  You will not only take back your health, but also help America take back its health.  You vote three times a day with your fork and it impacts our health, how we grow food, energy consumption, climate change and environmental degradation.   You have more power than you think.  Use it!

My personal hope is that together we can create a national conversation about a real, practical solution for the prevention, treatment, and reversal of our obesity, diabetes and chronic diseaseepidemic.

To learn more and to get a free sneak preview of The Blood Sugar Solution go to www.drhyman.com.

Now I’d like to hear from you …

What are your rules for eating heathy for life?

How have you transformed your health with food?

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To your good health,

Robert G. Berger D.D.S.