Dr. Joe Ferrara PhD’s Blog

Where Your Health Matters

What You Should Know About the Swine Flu

Since it first emerged in April, the global swine flu epidemic has sickened more than 1 million Americans and killed about 500. It’s also spread around the world, infecting tens of thousands and killing nearly 2,000.

This summer, the virus has been surprisingly tenacious in the U.S., refusing to fade away as flu viruses usually do. And health officials predict a surge of cases this fall, perhaps very soon as schools reopen.

A White House report from an expert panel suggests that from 30 percent to half the population could catch swine flu during the course of this pandemic and that from 30,000 to 90,000 could die. So it is serious, but you can protect yourself with some valuable information.

So how worried should you be and how do you prepare? Here are 9 things you should know to be flu-savvy.

1. No cause for panic.

So far, swine flu isn’t much more threatening than regular seasonal flu.

During the few months of this new flu’s existence, hospitalizations and deaths from it seem to be lower than the average seen for seasonal flu, and the virus hasn’t dramatically mutated. That’s what health officials have observed in the Southern Hemisphere where flu season is now winding down.

Still, more people are susceptible to swine flu and U.S. health officials are worried because it hung in so firmly here during the summer — a time of year the flu usually goes away.

2. Virus tougher on some.

Swine flu is more of a threat to certain groups — children under 2, pregnant women, people with health problems like asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Teens and young adults are also more vulnerable to swine flu.

Ordinary, seasonal flu hits older people the hardest, but not swine flu. Scientists think older people may have some immunity from exposure years earlier to viruses similar to swine flu.

3. Wash your hands often and long.

Like seasonal flu, swine flu spreads through the coughs and sneezes of people who are sick. Emphasize to children that they should wash with soap and water long enough to finish singing the alphabet song, “Now I know my ABC’s…” Also use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

4. Get your shots early if you are in the at risk group.

Millions of swine flu shots should be available by October. If you are in one of the priority groups, try to get your shot as early as possible.

Check with your doctor or local or state health department about where to do this. Many children should be able to get vaccinated at school. Permission forms will be sent home in advance.

5. Immunity takes awhile.

Even those first in line for shots won’t have immunity until around Thanksgiving. But there is something you can take to naturally boost your immune system. Visit my probiotic website and learn just how important gut health is for your immunity. Click Here to learn more about the absolute best probiotic available anywhere.

You need to understand it’s likely to take two shots, given three weeks apart, to provide protection. And it takes a week or two after the last shot for the vaccine to take full effect. You can actually start to naturally boost your own immune system in a matter of days with The Perfect Probiotic.

The regular seasonal flu shot should be widely available in September. People over 50 are urged to be among the first to get that shot.

6. Vaccines are being tested.

Health officials presume the swine flu vaccine is safe and effective, but they’re testing it to make sure. Carefully weigh the risks. While many health agencies tout the safety of vaccines, I am not so convinced. If you are in a high risk group the risks might be worth it. But if you are not, I suggest a natural approach as mentioned earlier.

The federal government has begun studies in eight cities across the country to assess its effectiveness and figure out the best dose. Vaccine makers are doing their own tests as well. Be wary and cautious.

7. Help! Surrounded by swine flu.

If an outbreak of swine flu hits your area before you’re vaccinated, be extra cautious.

Stay away from public gathering places like malls, sports events and churches. Try to keep your distance from people in general. Keep washing those hands and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.

8. What if you get sick?

If you have other health problems or are pregnant and develop flu-like symptoms, call your doctor right away. You may be prescribed Tamiflu or Relenza. These drugs can reduce the severity of swine flu if taken right after symptoms start.

If you develop breathing problems (rapid breathing for kids), pain in your chest, constant vomiting or a fever that keeps rising, go to an emergency room.

Most people, though, should just stay home and rest. Cough into your elbow or shoulder. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks. Fluids and pain relievers like ibuprofen can help with achiness and fever. Always check with a doctor before giving children any medicines. Adult cold and flu remedies are not for them.

9. No swine flu from barbecue.

You can’t catch swine flu from pork — or poultry either (even though it recently turned up in turkeys in Chile). Swine flu is not spread by handling meat, whether it’s raw or cooked.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

September 5, 2009 Posted by | Flu Protection | Leave a comment

Drugs Are Not the Answer for Good Health

Did you hear of the recent $2.3 billion dollar fine Pfizer agreed to pay for unlawful prescription drug promotions?  News like this catches my attention. Everyday, I am amazed that so many people actually believe that drugs will improve their health. Sure, many drugs help, but most are not necessary if you take the responsibility to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Too many Americans ignore their health by eating the wrong foods, getting no exercise, smoking, sleep too little, and eat way too much sugar. You see, being healthy is not as hard as it seems if you make small lifestyle changes and build on them.

For example, one of the best ways to eat is to follow the Mediterranean Diet. Nearly all of the major health organizations around the world support this diet. But it’s not really a diet, but a way of life. Plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, pastas and whole grains, small amounts of meat. As someone who has helped thousands of people lose weight and improve their health, I support the Mediterranean Diet. It’s my personal eating plan.

As the healthcare debate rages on, and people take sides, millions of people are hopelessly clinging to the notion that prescription drugs available through their health care plan will make them healthy. No way. In fact, every major health organization around the world tells us that the best way to get healthy and stay healthy, is lifestyle modifications. The data is there for you if you are willing to do the research.

As a healthcare practioner, researcher, author and lecturer, it is safe to say I am passionate about people’s health. Not one day goes by that I do not think about the health problems we are facing as a nation. As the debate rages in Congress about what to do for healthcare, I want to jump up and say, I know what to do, but we all know how far that will go. So rather, than fight an uphill battle, I put my efforts towards things we can do, right now that could change your life forever. The only real answer for having great health is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. There is no magic bullet, or pill you can take that will even come close to adapting a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle can truly help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure, reduce inflammation, or just about any other chronic health problem facing us today. In fact, it said that all 10 of the top health conditions we face could be improved significantly with lifestyle changes.

Unhealthy lifestyles are an underlying cause of many chronic—yet preventable—health problems. National health organizations are recommending that people integrate lifestyle changes as the requisite therapy for many conditions, such as overweight, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, insulin resistance, and many other conditions. In many cases, lifestyle changes including diet and exercise can be more effective than drugs. In fact, almost every credible health organization says the only way to address the nation’s health problems is through lifestyle changes. I am talking about the National Institutes of Health, the Center for Disease Control, the American Heart Association, the Cancer Society and many others. Don’t just take my word…listen to the leading organizations too. We all have the same goal in mind; help Americans take control of their health.

Lifestyle changes are recommended as the “first line of therapy” for treating chronic illness or reducing the risk of other serious health conditions, such as:

  • Over weight/Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Lifestyle choices are also the key to addressing other health concerns and symptoms, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Low sex drive
  • Stress-related symptoms
  • Poor memory or lack of mental clarity
  • And many others

Many of these health problems can be treated or even reversed by adopting a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle starts with knowledge-the knowledge to make informed decisions that influence your health every day.

I urge all of you to make a conscious effort to improve your health by simply changing your approach. Eat healthy foods, get some exercise (30 minutes of walking per day will do it) and have a positive attitude. Do these simple things and you could change your life.

Wising You Good Health,

Dr. Joe

September 3, 2009 Posted by | General Posts | Leave a comment

Boost Your Flu Fighting Ability Naturally

With swine flu outbreaks creating what U.S. health officials Sunday called a public health emergency, so what you can do to be safe. One thing you can do is to make sure your own immune system is strong and ready to fight, and the best way I know is to use The Perfect Probiotic

Since 75% of the human body’s immune function is derived from the gut, it makes sense to strengthen your body’s natural defensive mechanisms. The Perfect Probiotic™ is no ordinary probiotic. With proprietary mineral ligands and synbiotics, The Perfect Probiotic™ implants in the intestinal linings staying longer to do their job. In addition, The Perfect Probiotic™ activators help the probiotics make more chemistry beneficial to the body. So as you shop for a probiotic, please keep in mind that a great probiotic is more than strains and the number of CFU’s (colony forming units).

Now let’s take a look at the flu virus and how to protect ourselves.

The flu virus is most commonly spread in liquid droplets made airborne by coughing or sneezing. Symptoms – such as fever, body ache, extreme fatigue, sore throat, and dry cough – begin showing in adults one to four days after being infected. The new strain of swine flu is spreading from human to human, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t yet know how contagious it is. Bird flu, which has in recent years concerned scientists, has been slow to transmit between humans.

A study in 2006 showed that modern travel could contribute to spreading a flu pandemic across the United States in as little as three months. An adult can begin spreading the flu virus one day before and three to seven days after symptoms show, and children can remain contagious even longer. Some infected individuals show no symptoms, yet they can still spread the virus to others.

Among the best preventative measures you can take, according to the CDC:

• Wash hands with soap or alcohol-based sanitizers;

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth;

• Avoid contact with sick people;

• and wear a face mask if you are around infected people.

For the elderly and the young, flu vaccines can be crucial, but they only work when designed for a specific flu strain.

Year-round problem

Many people think of the flu as a winter disease since incidence typically peaks from December to March. It’s actually a year-round problem. But people tend to stay indoors more in the winter, making person-to-person transmission of influenza, which is caused by a virus, easier, said Jennifer Morcone, a spokeswoman for the CDC. Further, a study in 2007 revealed that the influenza virus thrives on cold temperatures and low relative humidity, allowing them to remain virulent longer in the air or on surfaces after being sneezed out of an infected person.

Each year anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu. Anyone can contract it, but children, the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions are more likely to experience complications, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections. However, the swine flu currently sweeping through Mexico and the United States has proven more problematic among healthy young adults.

The flu can also worsen chronic health problems: asthmatics are more likely to have asthma attacks and people with chronic congestive heart failure may have their condition worsen. On average, 36,000 people in the United States die from influenza and related complications each year, according to the CDC. More than 200,000 are admitted to hospitals for treatment. A pandemic in 1918 killed more than 20 million people worldwide.

The flu is sometimes confused with the common cold, and for good reason. Both are respiratory illnesses brought on by viruses. They share many of the same symptoms, and it is nearly impossible to make the distinction based on the variety of symptoms alone. Flu symptoms, however, are generally more intense, especially fever and fatigue, and can lead to dangerous complications.

Viral roots

Influenza is a virus – a pack of protein and DNA that lacks the capacity to self-reproduce. So it infects a cell, hijacks the inner machinery and uses it to reproduce. The virus reproduces until there are so many copies that the cell bursts and the virus spills out, spreading to other healthy cells. There are three types of influenza viruses: A, B, and C. Swine flu (H1N1) and the much hyped avian flu(H5N1) are both Type A.

Type A: Infects people, pigs, birds, horses, seals, whales, and other animals. Wild birds are natural hosts. Divided into subtypes based on two surface proteins – hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). There are 15 HA and 9 NA subtypes, and these can be combined in various ways. Currently, the three most common subtypes in general human circulation are H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2. These can cause epidemics – defined as a high incidence of disease in an area or population – and also a widespread geographic or global disease called a pandemic.

Type B: Normally occurs only in humans. No subtypes. Known to cause human epidemics, but not pandemics.

Type C: Only causes mild respiratory illness in humans, and is not included in flu vaccines. Not capable of epidemic or pandemic spread. Types A and B are further characterized into genetic variants called “strains.”

New strains are constantly evolving and take the place of older ones. While your body may have built up resistance against one strain, it may not be able to fend off its replacement.

Remember, the human body has a built in defense system, but as mentioned earlier, if you are very young, elderly, or in poor health to begin with, you should take extra precautions. Since my approach to health is natural and preventive, I suggest that you take The Perfect Probiotic™ on a daily basis to boost your body’s own immune function.

Wishing You Good Health,

Dr. Joe

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Flu Protection | Leave a comment

Can You Fight Bacteria with Bacteria? Study Says Yes.

Almost everyday I am coming across more research that demonstrates the importance of a healthy intestinal tract, and specifically the importance of probiotics. Those of you who read my blog or take The Perfect Probiotic know I emphasize the importance of good bacteria to our general health. It seems so hard to believe that taking a high quality probiotic everyday can make a difference in our health, yet the research is clear as to the benefits. Here is yet another study that I read which demonstrates the value of probiotics in as part of our health regimen.

Visit my website to learn more about the importance and benefit of high quality probiotics. http://www.theperfectprobiotic.com. As you will read, The Perfect Probiotics contains strains of bacteria proven to improve your immune system. The Perfect Probiotic is a clinical strength probiotic that can make a big difference to your health, and is safe for children too.

Wishing You the Best of Health,

Dr. Joe

A new study published in the February 2009 issue of the journal Vaccine found that daily probiotic supplements can boost immune health and prevent a variety of infections in children.

Probiotic supplements contain “friendly” bacteria that are similar to the beneficial microorganisms found in your gut. Maintaining a healthy level of good bacteria plays a crucial role in digestive health and immune system function.

For the study, researchers from three universities in Taiwan recruited 1,062 children under the age of 5. Each child was randomly assigned to one of four groups.

The first group received no supplement and acted as a control. The second received a daily probiotic supplement of L. casei rhamnosus bacteria (200 million units). The third received L. rhamnosus bacteria (10 billion units) and the fourth group received a supplement containing 12 different bacteria strains.

Bacterial infections were reduced by almost 200% in the L. casei rhamnosus and L. rhamnosus groups (compared to the control) but no infection reduction was observed in the multiple strain group.

In the multiple strain group short term gastrointestinal diseases were reduced by 42% and long term gastrointestinal diseases were reduced by 44% compared to the control.

Finally, viral infections were reduced by 18% in the L. casei rhamnosus compared to the control group.

This study suggests that probiotic supplementation may be particularly important for children who are exposed to a variety of infectious diseases and bacteria, especially once they begin school.

Probiotics have increased in popularity lately, probably because of the growing body of research exposing their many benefits. These friendly bacteria have been shown repeatedly to support immune and digestive health, combat disease causing bad bacteria and even prevent bad breath.

 

April 6, 2009 Posted by | Probiotics | Leave a comment

Probiotics ‘May Stop Pneumonia’

Probiotics ‘May Stop Pneumonia’

I recently read an interesting article regarding the use of probiotics as an aid in combating pneumonia. Imagine putting a naturally occurring and necessary element of the human body to work against disease. 

Those of you who follow by blog, or are a client know that I use probiotics with most everyone. Why? Because they do the body good, have no negative side effects and can be used by children and adults.

Once you realize the importance of a healthy gut, lined with beneficial bacteria, you will be glad you started on the path to good health. This simple, yet powerful strategy was the reason I launched www.theperfectprobiotic.com. Please visit my site and learn more about the healing power of probiotics.

Below is more information from the article I read.

Wishing you good health,

Dr. Joe

 

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/11/06 00:00:37 GMT

 

Probiotics could be used to protect critically ill patients from developing pneumonia, according to scientists.

The friendly bacteria can block the colonization by dangerous bugs of the airways of ventilated patients, the Swedish study concluded.

The probiotic solution performed just as well as normal antiseptics used to keep pneumonia-causing bacteria at bay, the journal Critical Care reported.

Being more natural it could pose fewer side effects, the authors said.

Friendly Bugs

The probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum is normally present in saliva and is also commonly found in fermented products like pickles and sauerkraut.

Although rare, some patients are allergic to the antiseptics normally used to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia, namely chlorhexidine. There is also a very small risk of the pneumonia-causing bacteria developing chlorhexidine resistance.

Pneumonia is a common complication in patients on breathing machines and occurs when harmful bacteria from the mouth, throat or breathing tube are inhaled into the lungs.

“ This is a plausible idea. But we need much larger trials that focus on clinical outcomes to prove it is an effective and affordable treatment ” Bob Marsterton of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Swabbing the mouth with chlorhexidine is widely recommended to reduce the risk ventilator-associated pneumonia in critically ill patients requiring mechanical ventilation.

Bengt Klarin and colleagues at the University Hospital in Lund, Sweden, compared the probiotic treatment with chlorhexidine in 50 critically ill patients.

Microbiological testing revealed both treatments appeared to be equally effective at preventing potentially harmful bacteria from flourishing in the mouth and throat.

In addition, a probiotic that adheres to mouth lining will be able to work around the clock, unlike antiseptics, which wear off after a few hours, say the authors.

The scientists said bigger studies were now needed to investigate the feasibility of using probiotics in this setting. Bob Marsterton, chair of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy’s working party on hospital-acquired pneumonia, said: “This is a plausible idea. But we need much larger trials that focus on clinical outcomes to prove it is an effective and affordable treatment.” He said chlorhexidine highly effective, affordable and readily available.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/7708895.stm

 

 

March 26, 2009 Posted by | General Posts | Leave a comment

Probiotics for Weight Loss Surgery Patients

As Gastric By Pass surgery (including lap band) increases in popularity, it is important to know and understand the importance of proper gut flora. Let me share with you a personal story.

My sister underwent gastric bypass surgery. The surgery itself was a success, and a few weeks of being sore, she felt pretty good and she did lose a significant amount of weight.

My sister has had to learn how to eat in a new way, especially in light of the fact that she has a much smaller stomach and the transit time for digestion has been altered. She knows that eating certain foods would be hard if not impossible after her surgery, but she didn’t expect that eating anything would give her trouble. Every time she ate she felt nauseated, weak, and often had diarrhea. This is actually normal for those who have had gastric bypass surgery.
 
While the challenges my sister has experienced are risk factors for anyone undergoing gastric bypass, not everyone experiences these problems. Or, at least, not to the severity that my sister did. But, knowing the digestive issues that can result post-surgery, I suggested she use a good quality probiotic, such as the one available at www.theperfectprobiotic.com. It was not long before her digestive health dramatically improved, and she started to fell more like her old self.

There have been numerous studies about the benefits of probiotics (in supplement form) given to gastric bypass patients before surgery and at different points post-surgery. A control group did not take the supplements. Digestion improvements were noted at all stages for those who took the probiotics. 

However, researchers were surprised to find another “pro” from the probiotics. All patients who took the probiotic supplements lost more weight than those who didn’t. In fact, the probiotic group lost 70% of their excess weight, where the control group lost 66%.

While eating yogurt could also be beneficial for gastric bypass patients, yogurt can’t give the high amounts of probiotics that were in the test supplements. But the knowledge about the efficacy of the supplements could mean advances in weight loss surgery — including combination therapies of less invasive surgeries and probiotic supplements.

For a little more about the added benefit of increased weight loss from taking probiotics, please read my earlier post on the increased metabolism and weight loss from proper gut flora.

If you visit my website, www.theperfectprobiotic.com you will learn a great deal as to the importance of probiotics and good health.

Wishing You Good Health,

Dr. Joe

 

March 18, 2009 Posted by | Bypass Surgery and Probiotics | Leave a comment

The Simple Power of Probiotics

One of the best functional supplements you can take for digestive health is probiotics.

What digestive health has, that many other purported vitamins and supplements do not, is a near-instantaneous health effect. Consumers with digestive health issues draw real benefits from probiotic and prebiotic products that, if consumed at the right doses, generally deliver on their functional promise.

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, 95m people in the US suffer from digestive problems. Some 60m are thought to suffer from heartburn, and 50m from irritable bowel syndrome. In addition, it is estimated that around 20m people suffer from stomach ulcers.

Gut health products have a very real benefit on these conditions. Immunity benefits are clinically backed also.

The other key ingredients in gut health are prebiotics – typically fiber-based ingredients that function as starter cultures for the development of healthy bacteria within the gut.

An International Food Information Council survey found 77 per cent of people are actively trying to add fiber to their diets even as US Department of Agriculture figures show only one fifth of Americans get enough fiber in their diet.

Both sides of the Atlantic

Products aimed at gut health have traditionally been much more popular in Europe than North America, but this is changing as Americans embrace the idea of boosting gut health in order to live healthy lives.

Europe still leads the way in terms of probiotic use, but North America is catching up fast, due in part to the remarkable awareness probiotics are receiving in the news.

Statistics obtained from Mintel today show there have been 171 digestive health product launches in North America in 2008, compared to 133 in 2007. In 2006 there were 59 debuts, 19 in 2005 and only one in 2003. You will be happy to know that The Perfect Probiotic™ has been available even before most people have heard the word probiotics. You can order the world’s best probiotic at www.theperfectprobiotic.com

Digestive health is crucial to good health. In fact, I firmly believe that it is nearly impossible to have great overall health if you your gut bacteria is in a state of imbalance.

Some way to go

Despite the optimism there is still some way to go for the category – one study in the US found only 15 percent of American adults were familiar with probiotics. A couple of years ago only five per cent of Americans knew what probiotics were. Those of you who are clients and customers know that I am big believer in the power of probiotics and I hope you try the power of probiotics yourself.

Wishing You the Best of Health,

Dr. Joe

 

 

 

March 8, 2009 Posted by | Probiotics | Leave a comment

Consumers Look to Health and Wellness in Recession

Focusing on health and wellness and building brand awareness are the most successful strategies for weathering the global economic storm, according to a Frost and Sullivan analyst. Food industry research analyst Christopher Shanahan said that consumers are increasingly focused on ways to avoid becoming ill due to the economic downturn. He said: “There is a growing interest in health and wellness products. … He added that this trend could also be given a boost by President Obama’s pledge to focus on preventative healthcare.

Those of you who read my blog know that I am always preaching prevention. You also know that I tout the use of a great probiotic as the single best supplement you can take for good health. It makes sense if you think about it…70% of our immune system is in our gut. If you visit my website www.theperfectprobiotic.com, the headline says it all.

Over the years, my clients kept asking me, “what is the one thing I should take for good health?” Do yourself a favor and visit my site and order the best probiotic available and you will benefit greatly during these stressful times.

“Not in a recession” Having good health is never in a recession.

In fact, it is times like this when we need to guard of health even more than usual. The simple reason is stress. When our bodies are under stress lots of negative chemical reactions occur, ultimately destroying our gut health. I know it’s hard to believe that our gut health plays such an important role in our health, and even more surprising to learn that stress kills the good bacteria in our gut which we need for a strong immune system. I realize that money can be tight and the thought of spending money on supplements may seem unimportant, but during times like now, it is even more important. If your health takes a dive, it adds even more stress to a stressful time. Please heed this advise and it will make a difference to your health and life.

Other strategies to maintain your health

Increase Consumption of Veggies and Whole Foods (preferable organically grown)For most people, eating whole, natural foods, is almost unnatural! Humans are designed to benefit from eating their foods in the form that nature made them, complete with fibers, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. A diet consisting of fifty percent vegetables is ideal. A combination of raw and cooked vegetables is preferable with raw foods making up at least one third of the veggies (if tolerated well).

The typical North American consumes 150 pounds (70 kg) of food additives and 120 pounds (55kg) of sugar every year. Food additives affect the body in many undesirable ways by interacting with coenzymes and disrupting the communication between neurotransmitters as well as just bogging down the immune system with toxic chemicals. Sugar in itself is known to have a profound negative effect on our immunity.

Spiritual and Emotional Health. Mind/Body medicine is quickly coming to the forefront of mainstream medical studies as our Western scientists learn that the well-being of the spirit has as much of a role in healing as the biochemical and structural integrity of the body.

Sleep and Rest. The daily regeneration and repair functions of our immune systems are highly dependent upon adequate rest and sleep. The greater the repair work required, the greater our needs for sleep.

Keep Your Body ‘Clean’ From the Inside Out. The accumulation of all the chemicals in our environment is often referred to as a chemical soup in our bodies, or as our toxic load. Everybody has a different tolerance to this build up. These days we are exposed to chemicals through the air, our skin and our diet. Our immune system is not just sitting idle during this onslaught of toxins; it is diligently laboring to detoxify our bodies. The more detoxifying work we demand of our body, the more distracted our immune system is from the important task of preventing disease.

Consumption of Healing Oils and the Reduction of Toxic Oils. The quality of the oils in our diet can have far-reaching effects upon the level of our overall immunity and our resistance to disease. This is because every cell in our body is surrounded by a membrane that is largely made up of fat. This membrane is responsible for controlling what stays in the cell, what goes out of the cell, how it reproduces and how it interacts with other cells in the body. Cold expeller pressed, polyunsaturated oils like flax, walnut, sesame, borage, sunflower, and hemp can often be found in the refrigerator case at your local health food store. Olive oil and canola oil are somewhat more stable than the other unsaturated oils and do not as easily become damaged. This is because their monounsaturated make-up is a bit sturdier than the structure of the polyunsaturated oils.

Drink Clean Water. Every fluid in our body including blood, lymph, digestive secretions, extra cellular fluid and the mucous that lubricates our mucous membranes is made up of mostly water. Sixty to seventy percent of the adult human body is water. Both city tap water and most well water is contaminated with hundreds of different chemicals, many of which are hormone mimickers and carcinogens. It is difficult for our bodily fluids to fulfill some of their most basic tasks related to the elimination of waste materials and the maintenance in our internal systems using ‘dirty water’

Get Outside. Sunlight exposure and time spent in nature support the healing processes. We require at least fifteen minutes of direct, unshielded sunshine per day – preferably combined with fresh air. Exposure through the eyes stimulates the pineal gland, which in turn stimulates subsequent immune activity and the release of hormones crucial to our mental/emotional health.

Fulfill your Purpose in This World. Living as an example of what we believe in most deeply will support our emotional and spiritual health. When we become the change we wish to see in this world, and make a difference where we can in our lives, we can feel more at peace with those things we cannot change. (“Be the changes you wish to see in this world”…Ghandi). By changing and becoming an example, we can change our little world, and as the ripple effects from the choices we make spread (i.e. from the power of a good example, the education of others and the power of consumer demand), we can help to change the world at-large. Living for a cause helps to fulfill the highest human need for self-actualization – that of finding a sense of purpose in our lives.

It is my sincerest wish for all you to enjoy a happy, healthy and fruitful life. Please take your health seriously and you will benefit greatly during these stressful times.

Warm Wishes, Dr. Joe

www.theperfectprobiotic.com

March 5, 2009 Posted by | Recession and Health | Leave a comment

Children Benefit From Probiotics…

Probiotics Are a Perfect Fit for Children

By Joe Ferrara PhD

Children and infant probiotics products are booming as parents connect with the healthy bacteria’s immune system boosting benefits, according to market researcher, Euromonitor.

“Probiotics are the ideal functional ingredient for baby and child-targeted products,” said Euromonitor analyst, Ewa Hudson. “Not only do probiotic bacteria appear to be completely safe in any dosage, but the health benefits ascribed to them also tackle some of the key health issues affecting small people – digestive problems, frequent infections, colds, ‘childhood allergies’ and other immune system-related issues.”

Little Tummies Need Probiotics Too

Most probiotics are marketed for enhancing digestion, nutrient absorption, the immune system and out-competing harmful bacteria. “Lactobacillus can help to keep little tummies healthy”. Hudson suggested probiotics could become standard in children’s daily regimen, especially as additional health benefits were researched and documented and began to register with parents and care givers.

While there remains much to be learned about the way in which probiotics function, research indicates they could be beneficial to children’s “leaky” digestive tracts until the age of seven, a problem associated with the onset of eczema and certain food allergies.

Evidence also suggests that because probiotics feed on milk sugar lactose, they can assist in alleviating lactose intolerance. Rising Caesarean section rates (up to a quarter in some countries) meant newborns were being deprived of “vaginal lactic acid bacteria on their way through the birth canal”. When reduced breast feeding levels are added to the equation problems such as diarrhea, constipation, colic, and allergies arise and strengthen the probiotic argument.

Probiotics also assist the uptake of other nutrients such as vitamin K, an essential nutrient that babies are naturally deficient in and which can cause internal bleeding and even death. It is for this reason vitamin K injections are administered to newborns in many countries. “Probiotics have also been shown to increase the absorption of minerals from the gut, such as calcium, iron and magnesium. This could make probiotic products very attractive to consumers in emerging economies, where nutritional deficiencies are a major parental concern,” Hudson observed.

Probiotics Are Safe and Effective

The evidence continues to mount as to the importance of friendly bacteria for good health as well as safety. For many of you, adding a high quality probiotic such as “The Perfect Probiotic” available at www.theperfectprobiotic.com to your daily routine can make a positive impact on your health. To me, the single most important nutritional product you can take for good health is a probiotic.

February 26, 2009 Posted by | Probiotics | Leave a comment

Is Too Much of A Good Thing Bad for You? Maybe…

Are We Too Reliant on the  Use of Antibiotics?

One of the unintended consequences of antibiotic use is something we do not talk about; antibiotic diarrhea. Other problems associated with antibiotic use are frequent bowel movements, itching around the anus, nausea, vomiting and severe abdominal cramps. In fact, just yesterday, a parent of one mf my daughters classmates (an RN no less) was complaining of these very symptoms after starting a course of antibiotics for a sinus infection.

Over use and reliance on “broad-spectrum” antibiotics such as aureomycin, terramycin, Chloromycetin may have undesirable side effects. Using these antibiotics wisely against an infection for which they are known to be effective is obviously a good thing, But if prescribed unwisely against virus” diseases in which they are not likely to be of any use is detrimental to one of our best defenses, good gut bacteria.  Use of antibiotics kill off many of the bacteria normally found in a healthy intestinal tract. In so doing, they disturb the balance of nature and allow the gut to become a breeding ground for yeastlike fungi, especially one called Monilla (or Candida) albicans.

Too often, doctors give antibiotics to victims of virus infections, in the vain hope that they may do some immediate good, and to ward off a later infection by the bacteria moving in on weakened tissues.

The Food & Drug Administration’s Barbara Moulton warned a fortnight ago that this is bad on two grounds: 1) there is evidence that some beneficial bacteria destroy harmful viruses, so they should be given every chance, not wiped out by antibiotics; 2) by no means every viral disease carries the danger of secondary bacterial infection. Antibiotics, she insisted, may actually delay recovery in cases of the common cold, influenza, polio mumps and herpangina (a kind of sore throat). So they should be used only where there is a clear and positive need for them.

With all that we now know and the increasing body of evidence, maintaining a healthy gut is imperative to having a healthy immune system. I am an obvious proponent of probiotics and suggest that everyone consider the daily use of a good high quality probiotic. In fact, I have a website that sells such a probiotic, www.theperfectprobiotic.com. Please visit the site and learn how daily use of a probiotic can make a difference to your health.

Wishing You the Best of Health,

Dr. Joe

 

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Over Use of Antibiotics | Leave a comment