Medical Assistant

Top 3 Supplements Vital for Health


Supplementing vitamins and minerals is not a substitute for quality food and exercise and synthetic vitamins and minerals are not as effective or readily absorbed by the body, but this author feels that today’s food doesn’t have the same nutritional value as it did 50 years ago. These supplements are critical to health and well being:

Vitamin D3 is not a vitamin and is actually a hormone that is used by the body by playing a crucial role in the body’s immune function all the way to developing bone strength. The winter months are important to supplement but 15-20 minutes of sunlight exposure in shorts and a t-shirt is enough to get your daily amount. 1000 IUs is a great start.

Omega 3′s are anti-inflammatory fats essential to the body, meaning we cannot produce them.  Our society is battling systemic inflammation from eating the standard American diet which means the foods we eat have sky rocketing amounts of Omega 6, which is inflammatory. The best way to get recommended Omega 3 is with high quality fish oil or you can eat fresh Atlantic salmon twice a week. IU’s are between 500-4000mg of EPA and DHA; the higher the number of mg, the more intense the support to your body.

Probiotics literally means for life. Some 80% of the immune system is housed in your gut, so probiotics are a must. Sauerkraut, Greek yogurt or a high quality supplement helps.

Healthy Eating Myths: How Many Have You Fallen For?


Coconut oil is a cure-all? Not exactly.


If your nutrition sources are primarily websites, blogs or social media, much of what you’re reading may be misleading, inaccurate and potentially even harmful to your health. Here are four popular Internet-driven nutrition myths you can stop believing now.

Myth: Coconut Oil is a Cure-All
Fact: Coconut oil is the latest miracle food. If you believe popular wellness websites, it’s good for just about everything – from making your teeth whiter, skin more luminous and hair shinier to boosting your brain and bone health and treatment for yeast infections. However, according to the Food and Drug Administration, which recently sent a stern warning to a marketer of coconut oil over the brand’s misleading and unsubstantiated health and nutrition claims, coconut oil isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

According to registered dietitian Sonya Angelone, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Coconut oil’s health benefits are often credited to the medium-chain triglycerides it provides.” However, coconut oil actually contains very little – about 10 to 15 percent of all of its fat is the beneficial short-chain MCTs that contain no more than 10 carbon molecules, Angelone adds. While the major saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid (a 12-carbon molecule), there is insufficient published scientific evidence to suggest lauric acid provides any meaningful health benefits.

Coconut oil is more than 90 percent saturated fat. Butter, a distant second, is about 65 percent saturated fat. And like all fats, it’s also high in calories, weighing in at 120 calories per tablespoon. Using coconut oil when cooking Thai dishes and others recipes that call for the tropical oil won’t harm your health, but adding coconut oil to your diet probably won’t improve it, either.

Read about some more facts through this link.

, U.S. News & World Report



People with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. Although ADHD can’t be cured, it can be successfully managed and some symptoms may improve as the child ages.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a new clinical practice guideline that provides evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Here are the recommendations for the diagnosis and evaluation of ADHD based on the guidelines:

  • The primary care clinician should provide initiate an evaluation for ADHD for any child 4 through 18 years of age who shows presents with academic or behavioral problems and symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity.
  • To make a diagnosis of ADHD, the primary care clinician should determine that diagnostic criteria have been met based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth edition. Making a diagnosis includes documenting that the child is impaired in more than 1 major setting. The primary care clinician should include reports from parents or guardians, teachers, and/or other school and mental health clinicians involved in the child’s care. The primary care clinician should also rule out any other possible cause.
  • When evaluating a child for ADHD, the primary care clinician should assess whether other conditions are present that might coexist with ADHD, including emotional or behavioral, developmental, and physical conditions. The primary care clinician should recognize ADHD as a chronic condition and, therefore, consider children and adolescents with ADHD as children and youth with special health care needs. Care for such children and youth should follow the principles of the chronic care model and the medical home.

CDC website


What the new dietary guidelines mean to you

If you are confused about what foods to eat and what to avoid to maintain a healthy lifestyle, don’t worry. You are not alone. Remember the old food pyramid? It’s time to rethink we what we put on our plate and in our bodies.Woman holding bag of vegetables for vegetarian diet

The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently released a 571-page reportthat offers a new take on some previously thought nutritional data. The report is the primary body of literature that guides all recommendations on how Americans should eat and is targeted to those making nutritional policy in the U.S.

Dr. Hensrud says the report shows a continued emphasis on plant-based diets and less meat consumption. He stresses the guidelines change as new information and research becomes available, calling guidelines evolutionary, not revolutionary.

Guidelines recommendations include:

  • Increase plant-based diet
  • Consume less red and processed meat
  • An egg a day is okay
  • Less sugar consumption
  • Coffee and caffeine may have health benefits

Dr. Hensrud recommends the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid which emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains along with lean protein from a variety of sources and a limit on sweets and salt.

The fats of life


Monosaturated are prevalent in olive, canola and safflower oils; olives; nut butters; almonds, peanuts; avocados; dark chocolate. They reduce levels of the bad kind of LDL cholesterol, help increase good HDL cholesterol and get rid of plaque build up in arteries, especially when they are substituted for saturate fats. Enjoy, but if watching you weight be mindful of overconsuming calories.

Polyunsaturated are of two types:

1. omega-3 fatty acids which e prevalent in fatty fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, canola oil. These prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol an triglycerides and may also decrease the risk of diabetes. Make these foods the bulk of your daily 20 to 35% of calories from fat.

2. omega-6 fatty acids are prevalent in vegetable oils, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, some processed foods. Small amounts rime the body to attack invaders. Some of each of these fatty acids are thought to be linked to a lowered risk for CVD. Get these from whole foods.

Saturated fats are prevalent in mat, cream, butter, cheese and coconut oil. They may not be bad for your heart, but don’t enhance your diet either. Plus they are often eaten with carbohydrates which in large portions may increase your weight and risk for disease. Limit to 10% of total caloric intake.

Trans fats are prevalent in packaged cookies, chips, crackers, pastries, some microwave popcorns. They raise harmful cholesterol and lower the good kind. Indulge only occasionally.

January 2015

What’s the big fat deal?


5 myths about fat- debunked

Low-fat diets are the best for losing weight: eating fat won’t make you fat unless you eat too much of it. Fats are helpful for weight loss because at 9 calories per gram they help you stay fuller longer.

A daily fish-oil supplement will ward off heart problems: there is no scientific evidence that this is true. The benefit of these supplements depend on your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from dietary sources, including fatty fish and plants. If you’re already eating two 3.5 ounce servings of fish a week, whether you have heart disease or not- supplements will provide no additional benefit.

Cooking spray is calorie-free: It’s close to calorie-free if you stick with a single serving, meaning a spritz that lasts one-quarter of a second or less, which hardly coats your pan. Another consideration; even if the label boasts a good for you fat such a olive oil or coconut oil, the product may rely on other types of oils and flavorings as filler.

Saturated fats are OK now: There is no evidence that saturated fats are linked to heart disease. This doesn’t mean you should increase your intake because the evidence doesn’t say these are helpful either. Several studies suggest that eating red meat whether it is lean or a fattier cut boosts levels of a strain of gut bacteria that promotes hardening of the arteries.

’0 gram trans fat’ on the label means the product is free of trans fats: not always FDA allows products with as much as 0.5 gram of trans fat per serving to be labeled ’0 grams trans fat’, which can add up.




by Kimberly Goad January 2015

Your Metabolism Tune – Up Plan

Skip the 6 AM workout and sleep in instead. Resting metabolic rate is lowest when you are resting and drops about 15% overnight, reaching its slowest point in the early morning. By sleeping at night you charge up your metabolism to make the most of the daylight hours.

Get your exercise in through short bursts throughout the day. Long, strenuous workouts burns calories but as soon as you finish one, your thrifty metabolism will bring those expended calories right back, in case you need them later. So break your exercise into smaller, more frequent periods of activity. This will increase your active metabolism without causing a spike in appetite. You may also maximize a metabolic effect known as the after-burn. If you do one big workout a day, the after-burn is once and done. But if you do 3 or 4 10-minute workouts throughout your day, you kick-start that after-burn every time. You’ll also build lean muscle mass, which when you are active can burn as much as 20 times the calories as fat.

Except on days you splurge you’ll need o up the ante on that day’s regimen. The suggestion is to add 45-minutes more exercise when eating 75% more than normal.

Put protein on almost every plate because digesting proteins requires more energy than any other type of calorie. Because it could be harmful to health to eat a diet that’s 35 to 40 percent protein; you should consume a happy medium: consuming fat, carbohydrates, and lean protein with most meals. Your body metabolizes each micronutrient differently (carbohydrates are the easiest to digest, fat requires slightly more work) Eat all three together and your metabolism will chug along optimally.

Go easy on fried foods and sweets. Your metabolism gets in to a habit of storing high-carb and high-fat foods as extra fat. Enzymes block the usual process of converting fat and carbohydrate calories into fuel and instead store more and more of them inn to fat.

Don’t forget to snack; it’s not good for long waits between meals which can trigger that thrifty metabolic instinct.

Swap diet soda for seltzer. For every diet soda you drink on a daily basis, your risk of becoming overweight within the next decade may increase by 65%.  Diet soda may blunt you body’s ability to process sugar, and that in turn throws of your metabolism.

February 2015

Metabolism: A Crash Course


Three types: 1. basal or resting metabolism called the basal metabolic rate of BMR is the energy needed to keep the heart pumping and the lungs inflating, brain functioning … Basal metabolism accounts for 60 to 75% of your body’s total energy expenditure. Each person’s basal metabolism has slightly different caloric needs.

Age- basal metabolism is fasted in infancy and puberty. Once we start growing, it gradually declines. By the time you retire, you should be eating about one-third less over the course of the day than you did at age 20 to maintain the same weight.

2. active metabolism is dictated by how much you move. This accounts for 10 to 30 percent of your total daily expenditure of calories. 3. diet induced thermogenesis are the calories your body burns by consuming and digesting food. For every 1,000 calories you eat, as many as 100 of them are burned off within the next five to seven hours just through this process. Diet-induced thermogenesis accounts for 8 to 15 percent of your total calories burned.

Women’s BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – 4.7 x (age in years)

This formula estimates the minimum number of calories a woman needs to keep her body working when doing nothing. The average woman has a BMR of about 1500 calories a day. If lower than that, metabolism may  be on te sluggish side. If you have a lot of lean muscle, your BMR is probably higher than the formula’s result.

February 2015

Hidden Hazards of Cold Medications



OTC cold meds can relieve that stuffy nose and scratchy throat, but sometimes they do more harm than good.

Acetaminophen and liver damage: If you use this for arthritis pain, take a tablet to quell a headache and add a combination of cold medication for sniffles, you have gone well over the maximum safe daily dose of 3,000 to 4,000 milligrams which can lead to toxicity and liver damage. Initial symptoms including nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and loss of appetite are often vague and may mimic those of a cold. Later symptoms include dark urine and pain on he upper right side of the body.

Ibuprofen, ulcers, kidney problems: NSAIDS relieve body aches, head aches and fever. It may cause a sever allergic reaction especially to those allergic to aspirin, and can cause peptic ulcers and kidney damage with chronic use.  Ibuprofen may also increase risk for a heart attack or stroke, especially if you already have heart disease,  high blood pressure, smoke or have diabetes or use it long term. Report bloody or black, tarry stools immediately, if you experience a change in the frequency of urination or have problems walking, with vision or speech.

Decongestant, high blood pressure: These relieve nasal congestion by reducing swelling and constricting blood vessels in the nose, allowing you to breathe easier. Thy can also cause blood pressure to spike and interfere with the effectiveness of medications that control blood pressure. Decongestant nasal sprays cause fewer side effects but you can not use them more than recommended time due to a rebound effect. If you experience shortness of breath, irregular or slow heart rate or unusual nervousness,  seek medical help immediately.

Antihistamines and falls: Short-acting antihistamines block the production of the compound histamine and can relieve symptoms of a runny, itchy nose. The effect last four hours and make people sleepy. Sleepiness can be a problem for folks that get up during the night impairing coordination, reaction time and impact judgment which increases the risk for falls. Longer acting antihistamines are generally taken once a day and don’t usually cause drowsiness.

Combination meds, heart problems: recent research has indicated that OTC cold remedies that combine acetaminophen which the decongestant phenylephrine can bring on serious side effects, including irregular heartbeat,  dangerously high blood pressure and tremors.

Nissa Simon January-February 2015


Brain Protector

"TANGLES HIGH" by ADEAR: "Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, a service of the National Institute on Aging." - Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

A drug approved to treat leukemia might help remove damaged tau protein in the brain, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Healthy tau helps deliver nutrients and other essential supplies but an collapse into tangles. New research shows that the cancer drug can help clean our tangles and plaque. The drug is also under study to combat Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.

January-February 2015 bulletin