Posts tagged with "diet"

Don’t Let Your Body Be A Bummer This Summer: 5 Tips To Detoxify

As summer winds down, some people who ditched their New Year’s weight-loss resolutions may re-dedicate themselves to looking good.

Even more important, though, is what we put in our bodies. What we eat and drink not only impacts how we look, but how we feel.

And to properly set the tone for the inner body and good overall health, it’s vital to get the bad stuff – toxins – out, and keep them out, says Dr. Suhyun An (www.drsuhyunan.com), an expert on regenerative medicine and co-author of Demystifying Stem Cells: A Real-Life Approach To Regenerative Medicine.

“People may want to look good, but being truly healthy on the inside is a year-round commitment,” Dr. An says. “And you need to start by detoxifying the body.

“Toxins can severely affect every part of the body. They’re in tons of every-day products.  Being aware of them and avoiding them are essential to good health.”

Dr. An provides five tips for cleaning out the toxins in your body:

Reduce the toxins you’re taking in. The first step to cleaning out toxins in your body is to cut back – or completely eliminate – things you put into your body that contain them. “When something is hard for the body to digest, it can slow down your metabolism and cause toxins to accumulate in your body,” Dr. An says. “Avoid these groups: red meat, gluten, refined sugar, processed food, alcohol, and caffeine.”

Be careful with household products. Household cleaners, soaps, and beauty products all can contain harmful toxins that are absorbed through the skin. “Choose these products carefully,” Dr. An says, “and always make sure you know what’s in them. There are many great natural cleaners and products that can help reduce the toxins your skin and body are exposed to.”

Drink plenty of water. “Water has a multitude of benefits for your body, skin, and organs,” she says. “Drinking enough water is extremely important in getting rid of toxins in the body. It helps boost metabolism and can literally flush out the harmful materials that have built up in your body.”

Add plenty of dietary fiber and antioxidants to your diet. Eating foods with plenty of fiber, such as organic fruits, vegetables and whole grains, will help your body move the toxins out. “Antioxidants help to fight free radicals and help to further remove harmful materials,” Dr. An says.

Sweat it out. Sweating is a very effective way for the body to get rid of toxins. “Achieving this through exercise also keeps your organs and systems working properly, which plays a key role in releasing toxins,” Dr. An says. “Aside from exercising, hopping into a sauna or hot bath can help, too.”

“Removing toxins is key to living a healthy life,” Dr. An says. “Just like many of us do in our homes by procrastinating and getting sloppy, our body stores junk. Get rid of it once and for all.”

About Dr. Suhyun An, DC, MSN, NP-C

Dr. Suhyun An (www.drsuhyunan.com) is the clinic director at Campbell Medical Group in Houston and an expert on regenerative medicine. She is co-author of Demystifying Stem Cells: A Real-Life Approach To Regenerative Medicine and travels the nation speaking on those topics. Dr. An received a BS in Biochemistry and Biophysical Science from the University of Houston, graduated cum laude from Parker College of Chiropractic, and got her master’s in nursing science from Samford University.

The app teaching anorexics to eat

More patients go into long-term remission by re-learning how to eat,
than through CBT or drugs

The Mandometer app connects to a weighing scale, and guides patients’ eating behavior by providing visual feedback. Redistributed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 from J Vis Exp. 2018; (135): 57432.

Swedish scientists say that eating disorders should be considered just that – eating disorders, rather than mental disorders. The proof, they say, is in the eating.

“Anorexic patients can learn to eat at a normal rate by adjusting food intake to feedback from a smartphone app,” says Per Södersten, Professor at the Karolinska Institute and lead author of an article in Frontiers in Neuroscience defending his pioneering method. “And in contrast to failing standard treatments, most regain a normal body weight, their health improves, and few relapse.”

The approach is based on the theory that slow eating and excessive physical exertion, both hallmarks of anorexia, are evolutionarily conserved responses to short food supply that can be triggered by dieting – and reversed by practicing normal eating.

Which came first: the diet or the anorexia?

Attempts to treat anorexia as a mental illness have largely failed, claim the authors.

“The standard treatment worldwide, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), targets cognitive processes thought to maintain the disorder,” explains Södersten. “The rate of remission from eating disorders is at most 25% one year after CBT, with unknown outcomes in the long-term. Psychoactive drugs have proven even less effective.”

Instead, they say, we need to flip our perspective: to target eating behaviors that maintain dysfunctional cognitive processes.

“This new perspective is not so new: nearly 40 years ago, it was realized that the conspicuous high physical activity of anorexia is a normal, evolutionarily conserved response – i.e., foraging for food when it is in short supply – that can be triggered dietary restriction.

“In striking similarity to human anorexics, rats and mice given food only once a day begin to increase their running activity and decrease their food intake further to the point at which they lose a great deal of body weight and can eventually die.”

More recently, the theory has been elaborated and validated by studies of brain function.

“We find that chemical signaling in the starved brain supports the search for food, rather than eating itself,” reports Södersten.

How to eat

To prove that the evolutionary perspective works in practice, Södersten and his team have put their money where their (patient’s) mouth is. Their private clinics – which reinvest 100% of profits into research and development – are now the largest provider of eating disorders services in Sweden.

“We first proposed teaching anorexics to eat back in 1996. At the time, it was thought that this was misplaced and even dangerous; today, no-one can treat patients with eating disorders in the Region of Stockholm without a program for restoring their eating behavior.”

At the Mandometer clinics, the control of eating behavior is outsourced to a machine that provides feedback on how quickly to eat.

“Subjects eat food from a plate that sits on a scale connected to their smartphone. The scale records the weight loss of the plate during the meal, and via an app creates a curve of food intake, meal duration and rate of eating,” explains Södersten. “At regular intervals, a rating scale appears on the screen and the subject is asked to rate their feeling of fullness.”

“A reference curve for eating rate and a reference curve for the feeling of fullness are also displayed on the screen of the smartphone. The subject can thus adapt their own curves in real time to the reference curves, which are based on eating behavior recorded in healthy controls.”

Through this feedback, patients learn to visualize what normal portions of food look like and how to eat at a normal rate.

Satisfying results

The method has now been used to treat over 1500 patients to remission by practicing eating.

“The rate of remission is 75% in on average one year of treatment, the rate of relapse is 10% over five years of follow-up and no patient has died.”

This appears to be a vast improvement compared to the current best standard treatment of CBT. All the more so, considering that overall Södersten’s patients started off sicker than average.

“The difference in outcome is so big that, according to our medical statistician, a randomized control trial [RCT] is now redundant. Nevertheless, we invite a head-to-head RCT by independent researchers – so far, there are no takers.”

Why Whole Grain?

Whole grain can contribute to health by changing intestinal serotonin production

Adults consuming whole grain rye have lower plasma serotonin levels than people eating low-fibre wheat bread, according to a recent study by the University of Eastern Finland and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). In the study, the consumption of cereal fibre from rye or wheat was also found to reduce serotonin levels in the colon of mice. In light of the results, the health benefits of whole grain cereals may be linked, at least in part, to the alteration of serotonin production in the intestines, where the majority of the body’s serotonin is produced. The results of were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The consumption of whole grain cereals has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. There may be effects on bioactive compounds contained in whole grains, phytochemicals and fibres from which different metabolites are produced by intestinal bacteria.

The new study explored how the consumption of wholegrain rye modulates concentrations of different metabolites in the bloodstream. The study employed untargeted metabolite profiling, also known as metabolomics, which can simultaneously detect numerous metabolites, including those previously unknown.

For the first four weeks of the study, the participants ate 6 to 10 slices a day of low-fibre wheat bread, and then another four weeks the same amount of wholegrain rye bread or wheat bread supplemented with rye fibre. Otherwise, they didn’t change their diet. At the end of both periods, they gave blood samples, which were analysed by a combination of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Their plasma metabolite profiles between the different diet periods were then compared.


The consumption of wholegrain rye led to, among other things, significantly lower serotonin concentrations when compared to consumption of low-fibre wheat bread. The researchers also tested in mice whether the addition of cereal fibre to the diet changes serotonin production in the intestine. The diet of the mice was supplemented for nine weeks with rye bran, wheat bran or cellulose flour. The mice receiving rye or wheat bran had significantly lower serotonin in their colon. For additional information on supplements and how they can modify diets go to website


Serotonin is best known as a neurotransmitter in the brain. However, serotonin produced by the intestines remains separated from the brain, serving various peripheral functions including modulation of gut’s motility. Increased blood serotonin has also been associated with high blood glucose levels.

“Whole grain, on the other hand, is known to reduce the risk of diabetes, and on the basis of these new results, the effect could at least partly be due to a decrease in serotonin levels,” says Academy Research Fellow Kati Hanhineva from the University of Eastern Finland.

The researchers are also interested in the association of serotonin with colorectal cancer.
“Some recent studies have found cancer patients to have higher plasma serotonin levels than healthy controls,” Scientist Pekka Keski-Rahkonen from IARC adds.

The consumption of wholegrain rye bread was also associated with lower plasma concentrations of taurine, glycerophosphocholine and two endogenous glycerophospholipids. In addition, the researchers identified 15 rye phytochemicals whose levels in the bloodstream increased with the consumption of rye fibre.

 

10 Ways to Monitor Your Drinking this Cinco de Mayo

1. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Savor your meal before you start drinking an alcoholic beverage.

2. Do not overeat and Sip your drink. Enjoy your beverage.

3. Avoid binging. The definition of binging is 5 drinks or more in less than 4-5 hours.

4. Keep your consumption of drinks as low as possible – not more than 3 drinks for a man and 2 for a woman.

5. Alcoholic beverages are similar in alcohol content. One beer is equivalent to a glass of wine or a shot of liquor.

6. Find a driver. Don’t drive after drinking. It is hard to judge your blood alcohol level and its effects on your cognitive ability and reflexes.

7. If you are a diabetic or hypertensive, suffering from a heart or liver condition, take your daily medications, and check with your doctor to avoid alcohol interactions with your medications.

8. If you are going to use Tylenol, don’t exceed more than 3 grams in one day. Be aware that a lot of headache medicines or pain killers contain acetaminophen (Tylenol), so avoid accidental overdosing.

9. Don’t mix alcohol with other recreational drugs.

10. Space your beverages to allow your body the ability to metabolize what you ingested and avoid intoxication.

Savor, Sip and Space

Curated by Dr. Tarek Hassanein of Southern California Liver Centers

7 Tips to Increase Effectiveness of Your Workout

Workouts can do a lot more than just improve your physical fitness, it builds your confidence, keeps stress and anxiety at bay, extends life expectancy and keeps you happy. If you spend hours at the gym for same reasons but are not satisfied with the result, then you have to bring in a few changes. Otherwise sooner or later you are bound to give up. Few practices can increase the effectiveness of your workout and make it a fun activity. Take notes, put your shoes on and get started.

  1. Always Warm Up First

Never ever skip warm up sessions. If you think just doing heavy workout is enough to achieve physical fitness, then you are wrong. When you do warm up sets, you are conditioning your body for all the intense activities that are to follow. Warming up increases your speed and endurance, gives you flexibility and is very crucial to prevent injuries, which are very common during gym sessions.

  1. Short and Intense Workout

Spending three hours in the gym would not yield result if all you do is few minutes of cycling, take half an hour break, then a few crunches and a juice break. When working out, focus on quality, not quantity. Thirty to forty minutes of intense workout is enough for the day. But make sure in that time you are doing everything from push-ups to squats to crunches to weightlifting. Time is not an excuse now.

  1. Supplements

Even after a proper diet, your workout sessions can make you feel drained for the rest of the day. And that’s where supplements come in. Supplements like multivitamins, whey protein powder, creatine, and even caffeine is emerging as an effective supplement for workout. If you’re into taste then checkout best tasting protein powders 2019.

  1. Golden Rule – Proper Diet

It has been stressed enough that a balanced diet is the key to living healthy and longer. All the workout would be of no use if you end up munching on burgers, pizzas, donuts and sipping coke every day. Your body needs fuel to keep up with your energy requirements during and after workouts. Design and follow a balanced diet and take a good intake of protein and carbs. Drink water regularly and switch from coke to natural juice.

  1. Workout Partner

If going to the gym seems like an ordeal to you and you end up skipping gym days too often then get a workout partner. It can be your better half, any friend, family member or even a colleague. When you have a companion to accompany you, train with you, talk about the common topic and share progress with, you are most likely to stay motivated for longer duration ensuring continuity.

  1. Let the Music Play

Many researches show that music enhances your durability during workout sessions. High beat motivating music gives you an adrenaline rush and gives you mental strength to do that one more set. It also motivates you and distracts your mind from recognizing body pain from exertion. Design your own playlist of songs that activates your mind and body and makes you want to move. You’ll see the difference.

  1. Keep Track

How will you progress if you don’t remember the last milestone that you achieved? If you want to do better than yesterday, then it’s important to know what exactly you did yesterday so start keeping track of your workout sessions from the beginning. Note down the days, session time, break time and all the numbers. This way you can actually see if you made any progress or not. If not, time to increase those numbers.

If you’re into exercising and working out, then you are already in the right direction my friend. You choose to live better every day when you choose to work out every day so keep the spirit high and earn your good health.

James Templeton, I Used to Have Cancer

James Templeton has lived the past 33+ years cancer-free following a stage 4 Melanoma diagnosis. In his new book, I Used to Have Cancer, James chronicles how he created a miracle mindset and a change in lifestyle and diet to overcome his devastating diagnosis – and how he’s now working to inspire others to have hope, even in the face of a terrible disease.

James shares with his readers his own powerful daily routine, including the positive habits, regimens, and recipes he uses to remain healthy day-after-day. He is the also the founder of the Templeton Wellness Foundation, where he regularly chats with and interviews cancer patients, sharing their stories and inspiring others to adapt a lifestyle and mindset that can inspire hope and make all the difference.

Here he offers following healthy lifestyle tips and recipes:

  • Take Your Body To The Cleaners
    It’s so important to sweat every day – whether that’s hopping into a sauna or through physical activity. By sweating, the body can rid itself of toxic wastes and make it easier for the immune system to work its magic.
    Daily detox drinks, like superfood smoothies with powdered greens including chlorella and dandelion team, and seasonal herbal GI cleanses that clear out mold and bacteria are also very important when cleansing the body of unwanted toxins.
  • The East-Meets-West Diet
    Food that’s rich in probiotics, like miso, tempeh and sauerkraut, combined with plenty of leafy, plant-based veggies, like brussel sprouts, are crucial for flooding the system with immune-boosting phytonutrients.
    Phytonutrients may help prevent disease and can keep your body working properly.
  • Super Supplements
    Certain vitamins, amino acids and plant extracts can help the body build up natural defenses and are easy to include in a daily regimen.
    While everyone knows about the power of Vitamin C when fighting a cold, some other important immune-building supplements include proline, lysine, and green tea extract.
  • Make Time For Yourself!
    There is no hidden secret to James’ success – He assures everyone that it’s simply so important to practice the everyday commitment to basic common-sense health rules.
    The body needs a full 8-hours of sleep, lots of purifying water, a diet rich in probiotics and phytonutrients, relaxation, and to practice gratitude and forgiveness every day.

About James Templeton

By all standards of success, James Templeton seemed to have it all. He was a highly successful businessman, had a beautiful wife and daughter, and, only in his early thirties, had his whole life in front of him. To avoid the same fate as his father and grandfather, who both died of heart attacks at a young age, James became an avid runner―a passion that he believed helped him stay fit and healthy. Imagine his shock when, during a routine physical, his doctor noticed a mole on his body that turned out to be a melanoma―a dangerous form of skin cancer. The mole was removed immediately and James, who was diligent in his follow-up exams, appeared to be cancer-free―but only for a short while. When the cancer reappeared and had spread, on the advice of his doctor, James followed the conventional medical protocol, which included surgery and chemotherapy. He was also involved in a clinical trial. When he learned that the treatments weren’t working, James was obviously devastated. He had reached a new low point in his life, and as he lay in the hospital bed, he prayed fervently for help. As if by some miracle, help came to James in the form of three different visitors who would change the course of his life―and help direct him on a path back to health.

About I Used to Have Cancer

I Used to Have Cancer is James Templeton’s memoir―an inspiring look back at his unique journey in overcoming stage 4 melanoma. James takes you with him on a trip crisscrossing America, during which he shares the various natural approaches he followed to battle his cancer―from diet and supplements to meditation and lifestyle adjustments. As his journey continued, you will see first-hand how James’ definition of success changed from making money to seeing the next sunrise. And how he continues finding success by reaching out to others to share the lessons he has learned.
While this book largely focuses on the various methods James used to overcome his own cancer, it is also an inspiring story of not giving up when all other avenues of conventional medicine fail. It is about taking control of your life and finding a way back from the brink of death. It is about being able to tell your friends, “I used to have cancer.”

Risks of an Animal Protein Diet

Diet rich in animal protein is associated with a greater risk of death

A diet rich in animal protein and meat in particular is not good for the health, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland finds, providing further backing for earlier research evidence. Men who favored animal protein over plant-based protein in their diet had a greater risk of death in a 20-year follow-up than men whose diet was more balanced in terms of their sources of protein. The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Men whose primary sources of protein were animal-based had a 23% higher risk of death during the follow-up than men who had the most balanced ratio of animal and plant-based protein in their diet. A high intake of meat in particular seemed to associate with adverse effects: men eating a diet rich in meat, i.e. more than 200 grams per day, had a 23% greater risk of death during the follow-up than men whose intake of meat was less than 100 grams per day. The men participating in the study mainly ate red meat. Most nutrition recommendations nowadays limit the intake of red and processed meats. In Finland, for example, the recommended maximum intake is 500 grams per week.

The study also found that a high overall intake of dietary protein was associated with a greater risk of death in men who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer at the onset of the study. A similar association was not found in men without these diseases. The findings highlight the need to investigate the health effects of protein intake especially in people who have a pre-existing chronic medical condition. The mean age of the men participating in the study was 53 years at the onset, and diets clearly lacking in protein were not typical among the study population.

“However, these findings should not be generalized to older people who are at a greater risk of malnutrition and whose intake of protein often remains below the recommended amount,” PhD Student Heli Virtanen from the University of Eastern Finland points out.

Earlier studies have suggested that a high intake of animal protein, and especially the consumption of processed meats such as sausages and cold cuts, is associated with an increased risk of death. However, the big picture relating to the health effects of protein and different protein sources remains unclear.

The study is based on the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) that analyzed the dietary habits of approximately 2,600 Finnish men aged between 42 and 60 at the onset of the study in 1984-1989. The researchers studied the mortality of this study population in an average follow-up of 20 years by analyzing registers provided by Statistics Finland. The analyses focused on the associations of dietary protein and protein sources with mortality during the follow-up, and other lifestyle factors and dietary habits were extensively controlled for, including the fact that those eating plenty of plant-based protein followed a healthier diet.

No Cardio Weight Loss

By Beachbody Super Trainer and creator of LIIFT4 | Joel Freeman

Yup, it’s true, “cardio is hardio.” I, for one, abhor the idea of spending hours on a treadmill or elliptical, which can torch a bunch of calories while you’re doing them, but which really don’t create a sustained, post-workout burn. But what if there was a way to get a days-long calorie burn that helped optimized fat loss—sound good? It’s possible!

If you want to lose fat (and weight), then you need to train with weights! It’s THAT simple, and the reason is that the recovery process from weightlifting is usually longer and more intensive—and thus requires more energy (and calorie burning!)—than from steady state cardio. Plus, muscle is more “metabolically active” than fat, so the more you gain from lifting weights, the more calories you’ll burn all day long.

Oh, you don’t want to look like a bodybuilder and have big, “bulky” muscles? Well that’s fine, because it’s not going to happen for most people, especially women. Studies show that while women can enjoy similar strength increases as men from weightlifting, they typically don’t see similar increases in muscle size. In short, they get all of the strength without the bulk. It’s a win-win. Most men will never reach bodybuilder status, either; it takes years of intense, focused training to get to that point. But guys, you can still build plenty of head-turning muscle with the right program.

So how do you get started? Find a trainer or streaming workout program that motivates you, and start LIGHT! If you are newer to lifting weights, you want to be sure to learn the proper mechanics (AKA form) before you start lifting heavy. The better your form is, the more effective your training will be, the faster you’ll reach your goals, and the fewer injuries you’ll have along the way. Easing into your training will also minimize the soreness that often comes with starting a new program (or switching up an existing one). But don’t let soreness deter you! Stretch, rest, hydrate, eat healthfully, and you’ll recover quickly and optimize your results. You can do it!

2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

Members of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Announced

Scientific Experts Will Review Scientific Evidence on Key Nutrition Topics To Inform Development of New Guidelines

To ensure America’s dietary guidance reflects the latest science, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar today announced the appointment of 20 nationally recognized scientists to serve on the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The independent advisory committee will review scientific evidence on topics and questions identified by the departments and will provide a report on their findings to the secretaries. Their review, along with public and agency comments, will help inform USDA and HHS’ development of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs).

“USDA is committed to ensuring everything we do is data-driven and based in scientific facts, which is why this expert committee’s work in objectively evaluating the science is of the utmost importance to the departments and to this process,” said Secretary Perdue. “The committee will evaluate existing research and develop a report objectively, with an open mind.”

“The scientists we selected to serve on the committee are national leaders in the areas of nutrition and health,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “HHS, USDA, and all Americans will benefit from the collective experience and expertise of the committee, which will conduct a rigorous examination of the scientific evidence on several diet-related health outcomes, including the prevention of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, which are three of the leading causes of death in the United States.”

The list of members appointed to the expert committee can be found here.

The committee’s work will kick off at a public meeting to be announced in the coming weeks. The committee will review scientific evidence on specific nutrition and health related topics and scientific questions that, for the first time, reflect both public comments and federal agency input. Throughout their deliberations, the public and other stakeholders will be encouraged to provide comments and feedback.

“In our continuing commitment to transparency and customer service, we invite the American public to engage in this process,” said Secretary Perdue. “We want to hear from everyone and all viewpoints. I encourage everyone with an interest to attend public meetings and to send comments through the Federal Register once the committee begins their work.”

The next edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans will continue to focus on dietary patterns of what Americans eat and drink as a whole, on average and over time, to help prevent disease and keep people healthy. Additionally, the review process will take a life-stage approach and will, for the first time, include pregnant women and children from birth to 24 months as mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are updated every five years and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition programs and policies, providing food-based recommendations to help prevent diet-related chronic diseases and promote overall health.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) works to reduce food insecurity and promote nutritious diets among the American people. The agency administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage America’s agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provides science-based nutrition recommendations and serves as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy. For information and links, go to DietaryGuidelines.gov.

The HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) provides leadership for disease prevention and health promotion initiatives on behalf of the HHS Secretary and as part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. ODPHP co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans with USDA and leads the development of Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. ODPHP also leads the Healthy People initiative, which sets evidence-based, 10-year national goals and objectives for improving the health of all Americans.

Green Dentistry

5 Reasons Green Dentistry Is Gaining Popularity

For a growing number of patients, a trip to the dentist isn’t what it used to be – and that’s how they want it.

Rather than just a routine “drill-and-fill” for a cavity, they may receive a head massage,  meditative advice and diet suggestions that would seem more befitting a gastroenterologist. What they won’t receive are traditional amalgam fillings – about 50 percent of which are composed of mercury, which has been associated with numerous health issues and is considered an environmental hazard.

This emerging branch of dentistry – which dental professionals say is largely patient-driven – is called “holistic” or “holistic biological.” Holistic dentists believe that poor oral health leads to poor physical health. They perform traditional procedures but consider the whole body – diet, lifestyle, emotional health – when treating teeth. They also focus on using what they consider to be safer materials.

“It’s the opposite of common dental culture, which is simply ‘drill and fill,’ ” says Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS, author of Age With Style: Your Guide To A Youthful Smile & Healthy Living. “Holistic dentistry is looking at and addressing the underlying causes for gum disease and cavities; for example, is it your diet, hormonal changes, or acid reflux?

“For many years in the dental profession, it was assumed that your oral health had only a tangential effect on your overall health. We now know better.”

Dr. Patel provides five reasons holistic dentistry is trending up as a treatment approach by patients:

  • Focus on the whole body and root cause. Holistic dentistry looks beyond symptoms to find root causes for dental issues while expanding methods of preventive care. “It’s a deeper look at a patient that offers them numerous benefits when considering diet and lifestyle and how it all connects with oral health,” Dr. Patel says.
  • Minimally-invasive treatments. “The focus is on helping patients avoid unnecessary, painful and drawn-out procedures that can hurt overall well-being,” Dr. Patel says. “That doesn’t mean sacrificing high-tech treatments for disease. Laser treatments for gum disease and cleaning are one example of minimally-invasive. The latter does a great job of destroying bacteria that are the biggest danger to your oral health. Air abrasion and ozone therapy are effective other effective minimally-invasive procedures.
  • Biocompatible and non-toxic materials. Holistic dentists will remove amalgam (mercury) fillings and favor dental appliances made from more natural substances. “A traditional approach to dentistry often uses mercury fillings or crowns and other harmful materials when treating dental issues,” Dr. Patel says. “Research has shown all kinds of health problems related to mercury, from thyroid issues to Alzheimer’s. Holistic dentistry will use non-toxic resins and materials fully compatible with the body.”
  • Alternatives to root canals. Dr. Patel says holistic dentists are more likely to look at alternatives, such as herbs, laser therapy, or extractions. A key reason: “Research shows unless root canals are completely sterilized and cleaned of all bacteria, the bacteria can get in the bloodstream can cause chronic health complications,” Dr. Patel says.
  • Balances cosmetics and function. “Missing, damaged, or crooked teeth can make you feel self-conscious and affect your quality of life,” Dr. Patel notes. “Holistic care takes a balanced approach to both form and function when developing a dental care plan. For example, if you’re worried about stained teeth, they’ll guide you first to healthy foods that alleviate the problem.”

“Holistic dentistry is committed to making sure you’re comfortable, making your teeth last a lifetime, and using the most natural materials available,” Dr. Patel says.

About Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS

Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS operates a practice called Green Dentistry in San Francisco and is the author of Age With Style: Your Guide To A Youthful Smile & Healthy Living. A graduate of the University of California’s School of Dentistry, she is a leader in the movement to bring environmental sanity and well-being into the dental world. Dr. Patel focuses on helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health.