J Clin Endocrinol Metab

A study from Copenhagen has shown a 53% increased risk of getting diabetes and taking antibiotics. For years, antibiotics have been over prescribed and we are not only seeing resistance to current antibiotics but there are not a lot of new antibiotics in the pipeline.. Most outpatient infections that we see in the office are caused by viruses which will resolve on their own. Even some common bacterial infections, like sinusitis and ear infections do not require antibiotics. Antibiotics do have side effects and can adversely affect the bacteria microbiome in the intestines.

“Martin J Blaser, MD, the Muriel and George Singer Professor of Medicine, professor of microbiology, and director of the Human Microbiome Program at New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, called this an “important paper” and a “very well-conducted large-scale study” that provides further evidence of the importance of gut microbiota in human health and disease”

When you come in to see us (or any doctor, for that matter) try not to get upset when we do not prescribe antibiotics for your cold.



British Medical Journal

Researchers at McMaster University have shown that saturated fats do not appear to be linked to a greater risk of heart disease. Saturated fats are in products like butter, milk, meat, salmon, eggs and chocolate.  On the other hand, it has been known for years that trans fats are associated with a greater risk of death and heart disease, Trans fats are found in hydrogenated oils, margarine and many snack foods and packaged baked goods.

Even though saturated fats may not be as unhealthy as we once thought, gram for gram fats still contain over twice as many calories as carbs and proteins and their use should still be limited.

As I’ve written about in the past, you can’t go wrong with a diet consisting of whole grains, fruits, nuts, beans and vegetables. Just try to limit animal sources of protein, especially beef.



Abnormalities in the bacteria in the gut has now been linked to obesity, high triglycerides and low HDL (good cholesterol). Since lipid lowering medications and antibiotics can affect the  gut microbiome, patients on these types of medications were excluded from this study. Using new sequencing technology, the researchers found that healthy lipid levels were associated with increased microbial diversity, and 34 microbial taxonomies associated with BMI and blood lipids were identified. Since the microbiome is affected by diet and drugs,  an individual’s microbiome may modulate diet and drug pharmacokinetics and as such is considered a key element in designing personalized medicine and precision medicine.

More research needs to be done, but it is clear to me, from reading multiple articles from varied sources that this will play an important role in our health in the future.

I am recommending probiotics for everyone but we should be aware that not all probiotics are equal and there are no standard formulations.


Studies were recently done to see if eating fruits and vegetables really prolonged life. Included in these categories were also nuts and beans. According to the American Journal of Nutrition, people who ate 5 servings/day actually increased their lifespan by 3 years. Extending their research, they showed that, over time, those who ate 4 servings daily lost 1 month, 3 servings lost 3 months, 2 servings lost 7 month,  those who only ate their fruits and veggies lost 1 ½ years and those who did not eat any servings lost 2 years off their lifespan.

Most of the subjects were in their 50’s and 60’s. However, there was a group of women in their 70’s who added 5 years just by eating 5 servings daily (compared to the cohorts who did not eat healthy).


Tests from Consumers Reports show that beef cooked under 160 degrees (rare, medium rare) can make you sick. At least 28% of Americans eat undercooked meat. All meat contains bacteria, including chicken, pork and turkey but these meats are rarely undercooked. Ground beef appears to be much more tainted then steaks. The problem with ground beef is that bacteria gets inside of the meat during processing as opposed to steaks where the bacteria remain on the surface-So when cooked, the outside gets hot enough to kill the bugs whereas in ground beef, bacteria remain alive on the inside if not cooked long enough. Another problem is that your burger may not be 100% beef, but rather from multiple animals of different species.

Consumer Reports bought 458 pounds of ground beef and found deadly bacteria in every sample!

Most of the beef in the US is processed by just 4 companies, so if the food gets contaminates, large outbreaks could occur.

There are 3 take home messages”

1.       Consider all beef to be contaminated

2.       Only  eat meat that is 160 degrees internally (at least medium)

3.       Try to buy grass fed organic meat if possible since these appear to be healthier to eat.



Americans consume 22 teaspoons of sugar daily (6-9 tsp/day is recommended by the American Heart Association.)

Try to understand how much sugar you are ingesting by learning to read food labels.

Dextrose, glucose, sucrose, fruit-juice concentrate, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, beet sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and evaporated cane juice are other words that still “mean sugar”.

Some studies indicate that artificial sweeteners are no better than sugar and might even be worse–although I am still not convinced at this time.

Most people are aware of the obvious foods with a lot of sugar but some other foods are not quite so obvious.

Packages foods like yogurt, cereal and canned goods use sugar as a flavor enhancer.

Juices, sports drinks and alcohol are loaded with sugar. Even coffee can contain too much sugar which negates the health benefits of coffee.

Condiments like salad dressings, ketchup, jams and barbecue sauces are loaded with sugar. (And might even contain more sugar than your whole meal!)




Indoor and outdoor pollutants can lead to acute respiratory infections, heart disease and skin problems. It is thought that pollutants compromise the immune system, which is further compromised if you have deficiencies of certain micronutrients.

From a scientific point of view, this is what occurs: Airborne pollution leads to increased pulmonary intake of reactive oxygen species (ROS). When we inhale, particulate matter (PM) enters the respiratory (lung) system, causing coughing and sneezing. The finest particulate matter, PM2.5, travels all the way to the alveoli and causes local and systematic harm, including increased oxidative stress and increased inflammation. In addition, there is evidence of specific mechanisms whereby PM2.5, traffic-related or combustion-related air pollution exposure can affect the cardiovascular system.

Micronutrient intake is important with regard to the sensitivity of an individual to air pollution ; it affects the composition and quantity of antioxidants in the respiratory tract lining fluid (RTLF) of the lungs. The older you are, the more likely it is that you could have a micronutrient deficiency, which is probably the reason elderly people are 2-10 times more likely to die of an infection than younger people.



Vitamin A is important for innate, cell-mediated immunity and antibody response. Retinoic acid in particular imprints protective T-cells and B-cells into intestinal tissues.

Vitamin D, in the active form of 1,25(OH)2D3, is a potent immunomodulator. In addition, it enhances innate immunity by increasing the differentiation of monocytes into macrophages.

Vitamin E is a key, fat-soluble antioxidant capable of protecting cell membranes from oxidative damage. It also enhances T-cell-mediated functions. Vitamin E is an integral component of the alveolar surface of the lung and directly affects lung function.

Vitamin C is a key, water-soluble antioxidant which helps maintain the redox balance inside cells. It also helps regenerate vitamin E as well as stimulating the transit of neutrophils and monocytes. Vitamin C is particularly important inside the lungs to help counter the presence of inhaled oxidative substances.

Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid modulate immune function by means of nucleic acid and protein biosynthesis.

Selenium has an important role in redox regulation via glutathione peroxidases by removing excess ROS. Zinc, iron, and copper are critical components of enzymes which are required for the correct functioning of immune cells.


Intracellular micronutrients can be tested by a simple blood test that we draw in the office. If you would like to be checked, call our office. 941-747-2090




A recent study on healthy eating in women showed a 75% decrease in the risk of getting breast cancer. Consuming deep fried foods actually increased the risk by a factor of 8!  Other cancers associated with deep fried foods include: pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, oral and throat cancers, esophageal cancer, and cancer of the larynx. Diets characterized by higher consumption or foods like legumes, cooked greens, cabbage, sweet potatoes and cornbread may reduce the severity of breast cancer. Men who ate deep fried foods showed a greater risk of getting prostate cancer, including more aggressive forms.

So why is deep frying bad for us? First of all it increases oxidative stress and damage to the cells in the body. The more the oil is reused, the more oxidative damage to the body. (Hint: If you are going to order fries, do so earlier in the day as most fast food restaurants reuse the oil over and over. Carcinogens like heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons form when the meat of chicken and fish are deep fried. Acrylamide is a carcinogen formed from frying vegetables and has been associated with endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, and esophageal cancer.

(Another problem with deep fried foods is that flour and batter are very fattening and are associated with both diabetes and obesity.)

Researchers urge that if you do fry, the cooking temperature should be as low as possible and the cooking time should be as short as possible.




Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is a very common medical condition. Sometimes it can be caused by a loss of hearing or as a side effect to medications like high dose aspirin. There are no good treatments for this and most of the time you just have to learn to live with it.

I frequently ask patients to let me know if they ever come across any supplements that may help and I’m still waiting to hear from them. That said, a couple of studies have shown that Pycnogenol may increase blood flow to the inner ear and reduce symptoms. Melatonin may also help but it probably just works by helping people to sleep. Some people recommend Zinc and Vitamin B12 but these two supplements have never clinically been shown to reduce symptoms. Likewise, Ginkgo biloba, CoQ10 and Lipo-Flavonoid are three supplements often touted, but do not work.

Unfortunately, there are no proven medical treatments for tinnitus.



A recent study looked at eye pressure in glaucoma patients using glucosamine supplements. They discovered that eye pressure went up when taking glucosamine and dropped back down when it was stopped.

There are also many medications that should be avoided in glaucoma patients. If you are taking glucosamine for arthritis and have glaucoma, you might want to discuss this with your eye doctor.


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