Many of you know me as The Natural Pharmacist. I feel compelled to comment on an article just published in the October 11, 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) titled The Supplement Paradox: Negligible Benefits, Robust Consumption. Many people believe the healthcare system in America is dysfunctional. It really has very little to do with health. Its primary focus in treating the symptoms of disease. This recent JAMA article highlights part of the problem.Read more
The new understanding about the role that cancer stem cells play in both the initiation of cancer and cancer metastasis is an exciting scientific breakthrough in cancer therapy. Therapies that target cancer stem cells will revolutionize cancer therapy. In the first section of this article, I will discuss what cancer stem cells are, and the role they play in the initiation of cancer and the development of cancer metastasis (spreading). In the second section, I will discuss anti-inflammatory therapies that suppress cancer stem cell activity and allow the body to heal.Every type of tissue and organ contains a few stem cells. Stem cells are immature or undeveloped cells that normally remain dormant. However, when tissues are damaged, stem cells are activated and begin to produce new cells (called daughter cells) which can develop into whatever type of cell is needed. For example, if you get cut, local stem cells are activated, producing daughter cells which develop into new skin cells to heal the wound.Read more
Thomas Levy, MD, JD, is a writer I highly respect. His new book is Death by Calcium: Proof of the toxic effects of dairy and calcium supplements. Levy’s book is highly controversial because it contradicts what we have been told and led to believe about the importance of ingesting adequate calcium in the form of milk and dairy products and calcium supplements. However, Levy meticulously backs up the claims in his book with valid scientific references.Read more
In a previous blog post I recommended doing squats just before meals as a great exercise for weight loss. In this post, I am going to review studies which report that your leg strength is one of the most reliable predictors of your longevity and the quality of your life as you age. And, doing squats regularly is the BEST exercise to build your leg strength.
Squats: Building Leg Strength Reduces Risk of Dying: In one study, 81 elderly patients were followed for a…
The disaster known as Hurricane Harvey has prompted me to write this brief report. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director Brock Long stated, “Harvey is probably the worst disaster in Texas history.”
I wrote an article titled Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3: A New Era in Glutathione Therapy, which was published in the June 2017 issue of the Townsend Letter. In this article, I review the discovery of Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 which is a strain of probiotic bacteria that synthesizes glutathione. My article also reviews the following important features of glutathione: the body's most important antioxidant, its regulation of detoxification and its requirement in immune function. I also review studies which report that glutathione is a key biomarker of aging. In all animal models tested to date, increasing glutathione levels results in improved health and increased longevity or life extension. Increasing glutathione levels in one of the most important proactive steps you can take to improve your long-term health outcomes. The ability to effectively boost glutathione levels on a daily basis by taking Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 represents a revolution in medicine and healthcare.
Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 is available in products under the brand name Reg'Activ, which are marketed by Essential Formulas, Inc. and I am the Scientific Director at Essential Formulas. If your local vitamin or health food store does not currently carry the Reg'Activ products, call Essential Formulas at (800) 430-6180 for assistance.
Metformin (brand name Glucophage) is the most commonly prescribed drug in the world for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Because metformin effectively lowers both blood glucose and blood insulin levels, it also reduces the risk to many other chronic degenerative diseases. Consequently, in addition to its use in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, metformin is now becoming recognized as a therapy to slow down aging.
In 2016 the FDA made an unprecedented announcement when it approved a study to examine the effect of metformin on the biology of aging in humans. This study is titled Targeting Aging with Metformin, or the TAME study. This is the first time in history that the FDA has approved any human clinical trial with a goal of establishing a drug’s ability to protect against multiple diseases of aging. In previous studies with different species of animals, therapy with metformin has resulted in significant increases in lifespan., Many healthy people are now electing to take metformin for its ability to slow down aging processes and increase longevity. I want to explain how metformin works so you will understand why it produces so many additional health benefits beyond treating type 2 diabetes.Read more
People frequently ask me for recommendations on where to get current information on health topics. I finally decided to list some of my favorite resources for health-related continuing education and post it on my blog. However, I’m going to start by providing a little background about how I developed my passion for learning and teaching about health. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin/Madison in 1966 with a BS degree in pharmacy. Although I had gained a great deal of knowledge about biochemistry, physiology and medicine, I eventually found the practice of retail pharmacy to be quite repetitive, boring, and unsatisfying.
In 1979 I got introduced to yoga and it changed my life. Up until that time I consumed the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) and really didn’t know anything about health. Through yoga I met people who exercised regularly and ate healthfully. Yoga students also introduced me to health magazines, health newsletters and health-related books. I quickly developed an insatiable desire for health-related information.
My epiphany came when I realized that my degree in pharmacy gave me the ability to understand the science underlying all the new health-related information I was learning about. And ya know what….it just made sense. And, it continues to make sense. So, for the past 36+ years, I have been somewhere between passionately and neurotically pursuing a deeper and deeper understanding of all things related to health.
As my learning curve accelerated, I began teaching and write about health and natural therapies. In October 1999, I was named as one to the Top 50 Most Influential Pharmacists in America by American Druggist magazine for my educational work in natural medicine. I’ve written ten books and I am now producing online educational seminars. In 2016 I launched a 4.5 hour online seminar titled Natural Therapies for Depression & Anxiety. In Jan. 2017 I will launch Natural Therapies for ADD & ADHD.
In my Bio on my WEB site which is naturalpharmacist.net I state that one of my greatest attributes as a health educator is the fact that I am bilingual. The two languages I speak are English and Science. I am able to translate and discuss the scientific explanations for health-related topics in a way that is easily understandable to the general public.
Because many people ask me where they can get good information about health, I’ve decided to provide a list of my favorite sources of health-related continuing education resources.
The Townsend Letter is one of my most valued sources of continuing education. It is a monthly magazine/periodical on alternative medicine. Each issue addresses a specific health topic and authors from varying health backgrounds submit articles from their perspective. There are also a number of highly respected health educators who are regular monthly contributors.
This is a monthly magazine offered by the Life Extension Foundation (LEF). The magazine always contains in depth articles on cutting edge health topics. LEF is also a great source of high-quality nutritional supplements. If you join the Life Extension Foundation, which costs $75/year, you get a subscription to the Life Extension magazine and 25% discount on all LEF supplements. I have been a member of the LEF Medical Advisory Board for over 20 years.
Health & Healing by Julian Whitaker, MD. is the most widely read health newsletter in the world with over 500,000 subscribers. Although Health & Healing is more for the general public, I occasionally get some new information or insights from it.
Formerly written by Jonathan Wright, MD., Nutrition & Healing is now written by Glenn Rothfeld. It is aA good monthly newsletter for the general public but also counts many doctors among its subscribers.
Alternatives by David Williams is another good monthly newsletter for the general public. Dr. Williams is often years ahead of conventional medicine and his articles frequently discuss new ideas about natural healing therapies.
In the past several years I’ve become “addicted” to listening to health podcasts while driving. The hosts usually interview interesting guests who discuss their life’s work, and/or new health-related products and technologies. Here are some of my favorites (just Google them for more information:
High Intensity Health Radio hosted by Mike Mutzel.
Revolution Health Radio hosted by Chris Kresser
Health Quest Podcast hosted by Steve Lankford
I spend a great deal of my professional life attending and speaking at various health and medical conferences. These conferences, conventions and symposiums usually have a great line up of speakers on various health topics, technologies and/or new products. Also, most of these conferences have an exhibit hall where hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of companies have a booth presenting their products. Just walking the aisles in the exhibit halls and examining the companies and their products is a great educational experience. Here are some of the conferences I attend regularly:
Natural Products Expo West Expo West is held in March every year at the Anaheim Convention Center. This is the largest health show in the world. In 2015 there were over 70,000 attendees and 2,700 companies exhibiting their products.
Natural Products Expo East Expo East is held in Baltimore during September every year. Expo East is the east coast “cousin” to Expo West. In 2016 Expo East had 28,000 attendees and 1,450 companies exhibiting.
American Association of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M): A4M hosts their World Congress every year at the Venetian/Palazzo in LasVegas. The show is attended by thousands of medical professionals and hundreds of exhibiting companies. I’ll be speaking again at the A4M conference in December 2016.
International & American Association of Clinical Nutrition (IAACN): IAACN is nutrition organization that offers a certification program in nutrition (Certified Clinical Nutritionist or CCN). The 27th annual IAACN Symposium will be held in Dallas, TX on Oct. 11-13th. I was a founding member and have been on the Scientific Advisory Board for many years.
The American College of Nutrition (ACN): ACN was established in 1959. They have an annual conference in a different city every year. I attended my first ACN conference in 2017 which was held in San Diego November 9-11th. They had great speakers and I found ACN to be a strong vibrant organization. I plan to join ACN and become involved with organization.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM): I attended my first AAEM conference in 2016 and came away with a high level of respect for AAEM physicians. They have the deepest knowledge of biochemistry of any group of physicians I’ve ever met. The speakers were excellent and I admire the dedication these physicians have in working with patients with complex health problems such as Lyme’s disease, mold toxicity, multiple chemical sensitivity, etc.
The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM): ACAM is an association of integrative medicine physicians. They host an annual convention in Las Vegas each year. ACAM offers continuing medical education for physicians and they also provide a referral network of physicians who provide integrative medicine therapies.
Probiota Americas has partnered with the International Probiotics Association (IPA). These two organizations have teamed up to present one of the world’s best conferences that explores the scientific frontier of probiotics. I attended in 2015 and 2016 and I presented a Poster on Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 at the 2016 conference.
To health and happiness. Warm regards, Ross
In the first trial, I'm summarizing the results from a fabulous study conducted by scientists in Sweden which makes a powerful statement about how the benefits from intense exercise can reduce cancer risk.
The images on the left above show cancer and tumor growth in non-exercising subjects compared to dramatic reduction in tumor incidence and growth in subjects that engaged in intense exercise.
THE STUDY: Ten men were recruited for this study. The volunteers were instructed to perform 60 minutes of exercise on stationary bicycles at increasing levels of intensity. For the first 20 minutes, the men cycled at 60 rpm, which wast a median (range) work rate equal to approximately 50% of VO2-max. For the remaining 40 minutes, the exercise increased to a high-intensity rate that was equal to about 65% of VO2-max. The full title of this study is: The Effect of Acute Exercise on Prostate Cancer Cell Growth.Read more