Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cheese vs. Cheese Food
What's the Difference?
Once again, looking at nutrition we start with my Mom, Diana.
 
Going shopping as a kid, my Mom always stopped us from buying Cheese Food, Cheese Food Product, Cheese Food Snack and Pastuerized Process Cheese Food (PPCF) along with any other deviants from "Cheese." So, what's the difference?

 
According to the Sargento Company website cheese is 100% cheese and cheese food or PPCF is something with a minimum of 51% cheese as an ingredient. Ouch.
Thus the name Kraft Singles on the package above. At least the PPCF is clearly noted after the word American on the label.

 
 

The Sargento website goes on to say that the following steps are how Processed Pasteurized Cheese Food/PPCF is created:


 
1. The process starts with a minimum of 51% real cheese.
2. This is ground down and may be mixed with any of the following items including artificial coloring, flavoring, other dairy ingredients, water, salt and mold inhibitors.
3. The mixture is heated to at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 seconds.

4. While heating, emulsifiers and acidifiers may be added.
5. The final product, with a minimum of 51% real cheese, is individually wrapped in plastic creating the Pasteurized Process Cheese Food (PPCF) found in the dairy department of your local supermarket.
 
"White American" what?
Pasteurized Process Cheese Product according to the small print on the side of the front label!
 
Now I am not saying the PPCF and similarly named items don't taste good, aren't less expensive sometimes, aren't easier to separate slices or don't have some nutritional value. I do think we should look over the ingredients list when purchasing. Or, as my Mom would say, "no, we can't buy that. It's not real cheese."
 
 
Here is the list of ingredients in Kraft Singles according to the Huffington Post along with some editorial comments by me in blue ink:
  • Cheddar cheese (milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes)
  • Whey (by-product of the production of cheese. It is what's left when the cheese curdles are strained)
  • Water
  • Protein concentrate (what is that exactly?)
  • Milk
  • Sodium citrate (more salt)
  • Calcium phosphate (according to Rodale Organic Life, and researcher Janeen Leon, high calcium phosphate levels are associated with higher mortality and kidney disease rates, heart disease, weakened bones and decreased Vitamon D activity.)
  • Milkfat
  • Gelatin
  • Salt (more salt)
  • Sodium phosphate (more salt and see the problems listed above with calcium phosphate)
  • Lactic acid as a preservative (Does lactic acid sound familiar? It's the waste product from muscles that causes leg cramps)
  • Annatto and paprika extract (used for color and only small amounts but these two items actually have some mild nutritional value)
  • Enzymes
  • Vitamin A palmitate (hey, a little nutrition added!)
  • Cheese culture
  • Vitamin D3  (hey, some more nutrition added!)

  • I would like to add at this point that when deciding on which cheese to eat often opt for the harder cheeses. Why?
    1. They have generally have required more enzymatic reaction to create  so in essence they are "pre-digested" making them more easily digested when eaten and therefore often produce less gastric upset.
    2. They are often  made in smaller batches with less "chemicals" and additives.
    3. They are less often artificially softened.
    The nerves of the spine help regulate
    digestion and elimination
    4. We have a lot of new patients come to the office saying they can not tolerate dairy. The Chiropractic adjustment often helps their digestion which in combination with picking less artificially produced cheeses and decreasing amounts and frequency of eating dairy allows the person to return to eating dairy if they choose.
    5. There is debate over the nutritional necessity of eating dairy:
       Pro- source of calcium, potassium, Vitamin B-12 and helps regulate phosphorous in the boday, source of protein and fat.
       Con-sometimes hard to digest, not highly absorbable form of calcium in milk, common allergies and intolerances to milk, weight gain association.
    Not sure what is best for you? Contact me here on the BLOG or call for a free 15 minute phone consultation.
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

    A study of 100 volunteers showed improved brain function in 4 tested areas including greater "brain relaxation" after a Chiropractic adjustment as measured by EEG!
     
    Is it no wonder that kids perform better in school and their parents credit their Chiropractic adjustments?
     
    Research presnted at Sherman College of Chiropractic Symposium

    Saturday, February 18, 2017

     
     

    How Many Bones In A Giraffe's Neck?

    When my daughter was four years old we were visiting the San Diego Zoo. I was holding my daughter in my arms as we looked up at the giraffes. A docent (volunteer) tour guide came by with a small group on a tour and stood next to us. The tour guide explained to the group that a human has 7 bones in the neck. She asked how many bones do they think might be in a giraffe's neck? Without hesitating my daughter promptly answered the question correctly "seven!" The docent was shocked as no one apparently ever gets the answer correct and usual guesses ranged in the twenties, thirties and beyond. It helps to be the Chiropractor's daughter in this challenge, I guess.

    The question is why are there always 7 bones in the neck of mammals?
    The functioning of the neck is so critical to life that if one is born with 6 or 8 cervical bones they will surely not live! Infact, of all the mammals, only the super slow moving slouth can live if they are born with 6 or 8 cervical bones!

     
    Heart rate, respiration, digestion, blood pressure and just about any function you can think of in the body is regulated, controlled and influenced by the cervical spine, our neck!



    Saturday, February 4, 2017

    Sharing an interesting illustration....Hope you enjoy, Dr. Andy



    Monday, January 30, 2017

    Low Thyroid Undiagnosed?

    Low Thyroid Undiagnosed?
     
    I am sharing this interesting article by Dr. Raphael Kellman. While I believe there are also natural ways to enhance thyroid function, besides pharmaceuticals, Dr. Kellman has presentented an excellent article on the diagnosis of low thyroid and how it may often be missed as a proper diagnosis. (And how are you going to fix something if you don't even know that there is a problem?) I hope this helps many people who are suffering needlessly to find answers to their health care. I am including his contact info. If you would like to contact me about any natural approaches to thyroid dysfunction please use the comment box below or call my office at 973-625-2600 for a free 15 minute phone or in office consultation. 
    Wishing you great health, Dr. Andy Smith
     
    This originally appeared on-line in the Huffington Post. Here is the original post if you prefer:
     
    Dr. Raphael Kellman Author of The Microbiome Diet and the founder of the Kellman Center for Integrative and Functional Medicine.
    All too often the routine blood tests fail to detect a significant percentage of low thyroid cases. Frequently sick patients are told their labs are normal, with values falling within reference ranges, yet they are suffering. Symptoms can be debilitating and may include depression, anxiety, unexplained weight gain, severe fatigue, hair loss, brain fog, constipation and sleep issues. Women often have menstrual cycle irregularities and trouble getting or staying pregnant. I see it every day. It’s unfortunately common and estimated that half of all thyroid disorders may be undiagnosed, leaving patients to suffer without treatment options.
    The lab range used for routine testing has been a controversial topic in medicine in recent years. There is much debate and arguing as to what the actual range should be and what normal is. I began to examine this issue in the ‘90s in response to seeing literally hundreds of patients with thyroid-type symptoms and all with normal test results.
    First some background: The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck just under the voice box. It produces hormones T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine) responsible for driving energy production and metabolism in every cell in the body. Having the right amount is critical to good health and imbalances can manifest in many different ways depending on which tissue is affected.
    Most doctors today diagnose thyroid disorders by doing a simple blood test to check levels of TSH. Some also include levels of T3 or T4. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is released by a gland in the brain called the pituitary. As the name suggests, this is the way your brain talks to the thyroid to stimulate output. More gets released when thyroid function is low and not producing enough T4 and T3 to regulate the body. A high level of TSH is the brain’s way of saying, “hey thyroid, you need to work a little harder.” A TSH value that’s higher than the lab range means function is very low and needs a push-sometimes in the form of medication.
    Seems straightforward, but what level is considered high enough to treat?
    Some doctors are still using the old standard and consider a TSH level over 5 mlU/L worthy of treatment. This isn’t accurate, according to research. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinology currently recommends treatment for anyone over 4.1. Interestingly, back in 2002 they made a statement recommending a limit of 3mlU/L. The National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry however, has recommended beginning treatment at 2.5.
    A study from 2005 concluded that the accepted reference range of 4.5mlU/L was too high and no longer valid due to A) increased sensitivity of testing assays and B) contamination of those ranges by including people with various levels of thyroid dysfunction who actually increased the average TSH level (1).
    Why is all of this important? Inconsistencies and changes in reference ranges can be the difference between sick patients getting help or being told they are fine and denied treatment.
    On a deeper level, Andersen et al studied this issue and found a huge difference between the population and individual reference ranges. A test result falling within the normal lab reference limit is not necessarily normal or optimal for the person being tested (2). I treat people, not their lab results. As clinicians we have a duty to practice personalized medicine based on the specific needs of each individual.
    More problems with standard testing...
    Thyroid hormone resistance cannot be detected on routine tests. Studies point out that levels of thyroid hormone can test normal in blood but may actually be low in the tissues that so desperately need it. Patients with reflux and Alzheimer’s were found to have lower levels of T3 in esophagus and brain tissue than normal controls. Both groups tested normal on routine blood tests.
    For some patients with hypothyroidism, the TSH levels may not rise in the blood. I see this frequently too. The TSH will be perfectly normal or even low due to a variety of mechanisms. Routine tests then will be unable to detect it.
    Thyroid panels are too limited. A more comprehensive test would include looking beyond TSH to total T3 and T4, free T3 and T4, Reverse T3, and antibody levels commonly found with Hashimoto’s disease (the most common cause of low thyroid function). I use an expanded panel plus a highly specialized test called the TRH stimulation test.
    TRH — Shining a light on undiagnosed low thyroid.
    For almost 20 years, I have relied on a much more sensitive test called the TRH stimulation. This is a three-step challenge similar to a cardiac stress or glucose tolerance test. Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone is a natural compound normally made in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus. In this test, a small amount is injected into the patient, triggering the pituitary to release its stored TSH on command. Even if the TSH level is normally low in the blood, it will be quite high within the pituitary gland itself in cases of underactive thyroid. Upon stimulation, TSH will surge into the blood causing levels to rise to easily detectable levels. Because of this, I am able to pick up on cases of hypothyroidism at the onset of symptoms, sometimes years before the TSH reflects the disease.
    There was a time when all doctors used the TRH. As medicine made advances and assays became more sensitive, the TSH replaced it becoming the widely accepted way to diagnose thyroid disorders. Doctors embraced the ease of doing one simple blood draw and lowered costs. The TSH does work to diagnose a large number of people every year, but it misses too many leaving them needlessly suffering.
    Shortly after this change in testing methods took place, I noticed a huge rise in unexplained chronic fatigue cases. There was an epidemic in patients complaining of thyroid-like symptoms-all with normal lab results according to TSH levels. So back in the ‘90s I began working to find a way to bring back the TRH test. It wasn’t easy but the results were amazing. So many of those with unexplained pain, symptoms and chronic fatigue actually turned out to have very treatable hypothyroidism.
    Patients are more than a collection of lab numbers! Strictly relying on routine tests without careful consideration to how they feel doesn’t serve them. It’s about digging deeper, looking for function through provocation and shuffling things around in order to get to the truth and corroborate what patients already know. Who you are, how you feel, your lifestyle and comprehensive testing make up the whole and weave together to form the blueprint for treatment and the road to recovery. The art of medicine is just as important as the science.
    Sources:
    1) Wartofsky L, Dickey RA, The evidence for a narrower thyrotropin reference range is compelling. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Sep;90(9):5483-8.
    2) Andersen Stig, Michael Klaus, et al, Narrow Individual Variations in Serum T4 and T3 in the Normal Subjects: A Clue to the Understanding of Subclinical Thyroid Disease. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 87(3):1068-1072

    Monday, January 9, 2017

    Can Chiropractic Care Help Anxiety & Depression?

    Can Chiropractic Care

    Help Anxiety & Depression?

      

     
    A study published in the 2013 Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research supports
    Chiropractic care improving stress symptoms. Chiropractor, author and JUCCR study researcher Dr. Larry Arbeitman said "Four of the five study completers expressed satisfaction with the outcome and that they would recommend similar care to others with anxiety or depression...participants also reported a decrease in muscle tension and pain and an increase in mental clarity and physical energy." While this study was a small group and the particiants only received 12 adjustments with only one vertebrae adjusted per adjustment this study does support the empirical evidence and experience of a large number of Chiropractors that patients under Chiropractic care handle stress better, feel better and most importantly perform life's daily activites better.

    Want to discuss if Chiropractic may help you? Please feel free to call my office at 973-625-2600 and ask for a complimentary 5 minute phone consultation. I'll call you back at your convenience (after or before my office hours) and answer any questions you have.

    And yes, Chiropractic is appropriate for children with these disorders. Thank you to my patients for again voting me as one of New Jersey Magazine's 2016 Favorite Kids Docs.

    Source: American Chiropractic Association, Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research

    Monday, December 19, 2016

    Increase Energy and Decrease Inflammation in Minutes A Day (and at very low cost!)
     
    25 years ago when I was an intern at the New York Chiropractic College Outpatient Clinic in Levittown, Long Island I would read the latest medical research and tell my patients that in 25 years I believed their doctors would more and more treat their diseases not by looking at their symptoms or diagnosis as much as looking to lower inflammation in their body. This, of course, made great sense to me as I was trained as a Chiropractor to look to the cause of the problem and not just at eliminating symptoms. That focus on cause correction plus the research showing that heart disease and so many other problems in the body were created or at least exacerbated by inflammation made the conclusion a no-brainer. My observation that research often seemed to take 25 years to "get into the field" made me excited for the day that patient care would improve by leaps and bounds as people's troubles would be cared for in a much more effective, speedy and intelligent way. Unfortunately, the truth is I'm still talking about the future of medicine 25 years later without much change in the medical approach. Please understand I am not taking a shot at medicine but rather hoping for a better future for mankind and allowing all of those wonderful and talented minds that enter medicine to better take care of their patients.
     
    First we must relize that stress, inflammation and acid levels in our body are NOT synonymous but ARE very much related.
     
     
    Physical, emotional and chemical stress all eventually create acid and inflammation. Oddly, acid can lead to inflammation and stress while inflammation can lead to acid and stress so they all tend to make each other worse.
     
     
     
    We can try to lower stress but we also need to figure out ways to better deal with stress, inflammation and acid and the havoc these 3 create in our body.
     
     
    One might be tempted to take an anti-inflammatory medication but these medicines are generally not recommended for long-term use due to side-effects and long-term use could disrupt immunity and tissue repair as the white blood cell function is curtailed by the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. (White blood cells help us to fight infection. The inflammatory process also helps remove damaged tissue so that our body can repair itself by replacing the damaged tissue with healthier cells.)
     
     
     
    What can you do today? Scroll Down.
     
    After trying to lower stress and decrease actions that cause inflammation we are still often in trouble. The good news is that since stress, inflammation and acidity levels are related, lowering one can help lower all three and while it may be difficult to lower many types of stress and inflammation directly it is relatively simple and inexpensive to reduce acidity levels in the body on a daily basis. How? Eat foods that decrease acid levels.
     
    Less Acid is also called Increased Alkalinity.
     
    Can you squeeze a lemon?
    One of the least expensive and simplest foods to prepare that decreases acid in the body is fresh lemon juice squeezed into water. Drink on an empty stomach. Wait at least 20 minutes to eat your meal. Seems odd, I understand, to add the acid of a lemon to get less acidic. This works when taken without food and preferably on an empty stomach. We drink the lemon water and apparently the brain senses the increased acidity and signals the kidneys to remove acid from the blood leaving the body with less acid aka more alkaline. (This apparently is the mechanism for apple cider vinegar, also. Doesn't taste as good but feel free to do a shot of ACV instead of the lemon water if you choose.)
     
    Try this daily for a month and let me know if you feel more energy, less achiness and pain, enjoy better sleep, feel stronger immunity and maybe even take off a pound or two.
     
    Want more ideas on decreasing acid, inflammation and stress? See Part II of this series.