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Have You Heard of HBOT?

Have you heard of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)? If not it’s about time you do.

After my blog discussion these last two weeks on FMT (https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/human-hosts-transplants-promote-health-12/,https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/human-hosts-transplants-promote-health-22/, I cannot possibly think of another more appropriate topic to talk about this week.

HBOT is a not so new medical therapy.  British physician Nathaniel Henshaw created an oxygen chamber in 1662. Yet clinical use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy did not really start until the mid 1800s. In the early 1930s, the military developed and tested hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) for purposes specifically in the area of deep sea diving and aeronautics. And of course we cannot forget the most famous HBOT user, Michael Jackson. Do you remember the picture above from 1986?

Today HBOT is approved by the FDA for the treatment of 14 medical conditions.

  1. Air embolism
  2. Gas embolism
  3. Acute traumatic ischemia
  4. Burns
  5. Carbon monoxide poisoning
  6. Smoke inhalation
  7. Diabetic foot ulcers
  8. Exceptional blood loss
  9. Decompression sickness
  10. Gas gangrene
  11. Necrotizing infections
  12. Severe anemia
  13. Skin grafts and flaps
  14. Wound healing

But there are more “off label” uses for HBOT. “Off-label” means the prescription medication or medical treatment is being used in a manner that is not FDA approved. Off-label prescribing by physicians is legal and very common. More than one in five outpatient prescriptions written in the U.S. are for off-label therapies, http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/off-label-drug-use-what-you-need-to-know#1.

HOW HBOT WORKS

A patient breathes in 100% oxygen, normally we breathe in 21% oxygen, while resting in a pressure chamber. The atmospheric pressure is kept up to three times (3 ATA) the norm (1 ATA is normal, ATA is one atmosphere absolute, the average atmospheric pressure exerted at sea level, or 14.7 psi.). This helps to “super saturate” the body’s tissues as the oxygen dissolves in the blood at a 10-15 times a greater rate than normal.

Body tissues that are saturated in oxygen with HBOT help heal damaged external skin conditions and wounds and internal tissues that may have been deprived of oxygen as well. HBOT helps restore blood supply to tissues and aids in developing new networks of capillaries. “Re-oxygenation”, its’ direct influence on genes, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499900/, and its anti inflammatory actions are reasons HBOT is therapeutically successful and may prove to be safer than many conventional medications that have the potential to pose bodily harm. 

HBOT OFF-LABEL USES

  • ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lyme Disease
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Migraines
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sports injuries
  • Strokes

Internationally HBOT is used to treat even more conditions.

My particular interest in HBOT is in its ability to act as an anti-aging tool. Personally, I get an oxygen facial once a month. If I could bathe my whole body in an oxygen chamber instead of just my face, I would do it.

We typically think of food supplying energy from fats, protein and carbohydrates. Vitamins and minerals are catalysts to the process. Oxygen is also converted to energy via cellular metabolism, so to reemphasize it works on the cellular level.

Like water, oxygen is necessary for life. As you breathe, the lungs filter the air and blood carries oxygen to every tissue, every organ and every cell in your body for life.

However oxygen also has the potential to negatively affect health when free radicals are produced and are out of control (ionized oxygen). HBOT can aid in neutralizing ionized oxygen bringing back balance to unstable elemental oxygen.

Based on the role oxygen plays on cellular life, body tissues, hormones, the brain, DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is a molecule that contains the genetic instructions an organism needs to develop, live and reproduce.) and, like protein, its involvement in growth and repair are important anti-aging processes), HBOT would seem to be an optimal anti-aging tool that works on both the inside (preventing mental decline and promoting cellular re-oxygenation) and protecting the body’s largest organ on the outside (your skin).

Now you know a little more about a very big player, HBOT, in health and wellness. Explore the benefits of oxygen therapy. It is likely a much safer option than the conventional alternative.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2017 in health, Oxygen, Uncategorized

 

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High Carbohydrate Diet linked to Acne and Psoriasis

Image result for acne

You may understand the mechanism behind eating lower carbohydrates weight loss, diabetes and heart disease. Carbohydrates directly raises blood sugar and triggers a hormonal cascade that influences appetite, mood, fat storage and many health risk factors.  Current research implications suggests that skin conditions, like acne and psoriasis, are linked to metabolic health conditions and also call for a low carbohydrate meal plan for treatment.

It is interesting that recent published studies correlate skin conditions with diet and genetics. For example, Psoriasis is linked to diseases of carbohydrate metabolism such as diabetes and cardiometabolic conditions via immuno-inflammatory pathways, diet and other environmental factors, i.e. exercise, tobacco exposure… in this paper:

Gelfland JM. Psoriasis, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, and Obesity: Weighing the Evidence. JAMA Dermatology,  2016.

It is a cross-sectional, population-based study of about 34,000 Danish twins aged 20 to 71 years of age completed a questionnaire relating to psoriasis, diagnoses of type 2 diabetes and BMI.

The correlation was so strong, the author proposed, ” The weight of evidence linking psoriasis to cardiometabolic disease continues to increase, tipping the scale toward changing clinical practice in dermatology. Dermatologists’ may well need to screen for these conditions or offer some lifestyle counseling.”

A commentary by Bodo C. Melnik concurs. His paper entitled, ” Diet in Acne: Further Evidence for the Role of Nutrient Signaling in Acne Pathogenesis” is published in Acta Dermato Venereologica, http://www.medicaljournals.se/acta/content/?doi=10.2340/00015555-1358,  discusses two randomized controlled acne studies.

Melnik states,  “Acne is absent in populations consuming paleolithic diets that are void of refined sugars, grains, milk and dairy products.”  He discusses a randomized controlled study, by Smith et al., showing that high glycemic diets increase the intensity of acne and sebum production; and also explains the evidence of another acne study showing a low glycemic load diet reduced the size of sebaceous glands, decreased inflammation, and diminished the expression of pro-inflammatory interleukin-8 and sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 (SREBP-1), the key transcription factor of lipid biosynthesis, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22678562.

There is a direct connection with diet and acne through nutrient signaling. Acne outbreak occurs with high glycemic load and increased insulin ( IGF-1) and leucine (found in dairy products) levels.

Melnik  maintains Gelfand’s position and says, “Acne should be considered a disease of civilization, like obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer induced by Western diet. Early dietary counseling of teenage acne patients is thus a great opportunity for dermatology, which will not only help to improve acne but may reduce the long-term adverse effects of the Western diet and on more serious (genetic mTORC1-driven) diseases of civilization.”

Despite government guidelines and many expert opinions, mounting evidence continues to build towards eating foods that reduce inflammation (coconut and omega 3 foods) and maintain a normal glycemic load to circumvent insulin spikes (fats, protein, nuts/seeds, low glycemic non starchy salad vegetables). Eating balanced meals that are healthy and inline with lowering carbohydrates is the best way to treat and prevent skin conditions and many illnesses that plague us.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2016 in acne, psoriasis, wellness

 

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Yin and Yang for the Health of It

Yin and Yang is an ancient Chinese concept that emphasizes the notion that each body function works in harmony and not in isolation. With western medicine physicians specialize in specific areas like the heart or the feet or the brain.

Most people in the U.S. focus on keeping calories and fat low or hone in on one particular aspect of how food affects your health; for example, eating fish will help prevent a heart attack. While this is one way to approach optimal health, my philosophy expands on this to include more of an oriental medicine, yin and yang approach in the sense that balancing other foods with the fish will help build superior heart health and provide added nutrients for the rest of your body.

Here’s what I might consider if someone were concerned about heart health: I might start with considering fish consumption for additional omega three and then add to the nutrients provided by the fish such as an avocado (folic acid) or spinach (iron) that you might eat with your fish to help expand on the nourishment you feed your heart making it a more powerful meal. More powerful because you:

1. bathe your heart in ALL the nutrients it needs not just one

2. get the added benefits of nutrients that affect other areas of your health, for example folic acid is also important for brain health and iron helps transport oxygen to your cells increasing energy levels

Realizing that all foods contribute to a variety of nutrients to get your body in gear and function properly means that you should eat as much of a variety of foods, spices, herbs…as possible in order to maintain good health.

Don’t get stuck in a food rut. Eating a serving of “heart healthy” cereal everyday may help to cut calories but it does not fill your need for omega three, folic acid or any other nutrient that you are not eating because:

1. you are being boring and eating the same thing each day

2. you think focusing on calories only is going to bring you closer to good health

3. you are now eating too much of the nutrients in cereal not any nutrients from other foods

Focus on your Yin and Yang!

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2011 in wellness

 

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Sitting On The Low Carb Fence: A Comparison of Low Fat & Low Carb Diets

I am thrilled to share some exciting news. Nutrition in Clinical Practice just published a diet review paper that I co-authored, http://ncp.sagepub.com/content/26/3/300, entitled “Low-Carbohydrate Diet Review : Shifting the Paradigm”.  This paper brings attention to the results of both low-fat and low carb diet studies and compares their safety and effectiveness.

When comparing the results of low-fat and low carb diets, low -carbohydrate diets performed, as well as, or better than low-fat diets with regard to:

1. weight loss

2. cholesterol

3. blood sugar and insulin response

4. blood pressure

5. other markers for cardiovascular risk

These results were true for healthy participants and those who had metabolic and other health-related disorders.

Lowering carbohydrate consumption has been shown to support metabolic and hormonal balance and increase feelings of satiety.

There is more than enough research on low-carbohydrate diets to make it a viable option for practitioners to utilize to help patients and clients address weight and health goals without having to turn to risky medications and surgery.

Despite this, the government did not include any of these low carbohydrate studies prior to making their recommendations to the public in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans . REALLY?! Yeah, it’s true. Check this out,  The Metabolism Society has an article appearing in the journal, Nutrition, “calling the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to task for failing to consider recent scientific evidence in support of low carbohydrate diets,”  http://www.nmsociety.org/Default.aspx.

 It is time to embrace low-carbohydrate diets as a viable option to aid in reversing diabetes mellitus, risk factors for heart disease, and the epidemic of obesity.

Would greatly appreciate any feedback on this topic. Thank you!

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Holiday Expectations Vs. Holiday Spirit

Merry x-mas and happy holidays!

My big question this holiday season is, “What are your expectations?” This is a loaded question. Use caution before you answer.

What are your expectations for your family, your job, the holidays?  Why do I ask this? Because expectations can mess with your mood and your happiness. Your feelings can interfere with weight goals and health.

If you think your holiday will be picture perfect, you know just like on T.V. , the food, the people, the gifts….think again. Your expectations can be a huge factor for your sanity, wellness and of course your weight.

Be well, keep things in perspective, stick with good eating habits during the holidays, bring down your expectations for others and increase your holiday spirit.

Remember the lyrics to a couple of songs sung by Bob Marley, “Don´t Worry Be Happy”and “Don’t Worry About A Thing, ‘Cause Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be Alright.”

Visit these links, www.metrolyrics.com/dont-worry-be-happy-lyrics-bob-marley.html and www.elyrics.net/read/b/bob-marley-lyrics/three-little-birds-lyrics.html, to download these songs on to your cell and think of me when your expectations start getting the best of you.

No matter what’s going on, these songs will make you feel good inside so spread the holiday spirit and most of all enjoy life!

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Food Guidelines: Steven Malanga Gets It

It’s funny how you can feel so alone while living in a low carb world. Yeah sure, you can reach out to folks like Johnny Bowden, Jimmy Moore, Sean Croxton and a handful of others but on a day to day basis you are likely to battle your family, friends and healthcare experts.

Federal guidelines and recommendations set by medical and nutritional associations fail to take current research into account when updating dietary guidelines. Steven Malanga who writes for the post has this to say, http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/feds_food_fog_1Sn8sLmkw7dv8wl47bqQKL      .

I think he is absolutely right.

The Metabolism Society (an organization dedicated to the incorporation of biochemical metabolism to problems of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease) also believes that the therapeutic potential of low-carbohydrate diets for the treatment of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease is under-investigated and under-utilized.  You can read their opinion of the USDA public hearing for the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee  http://www.nmsociety.org/.

What’s your opinion?

 

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Bethany Frankel vs. Valerie Berkowitz (part II)

I want all the hungry women who have gained more weight than Bethany Frankel did when she was pregnant to know that it’s not the end of the world. You can lose the excess weight but it may just take a little longer. Yes, when it comes to weight loss, we all want to lose more weight faster but if you can get over this attitude it will be a much easier journey.

Here’s my story:

I’m having my 4th and last child in 2 days! I have a lot of weight to lose, there is no disputing this. I’ll try to post a picture (I’m not the most technical tool in the shed so my picture posting is limited). I am not someone who has 30 pounds to lose and is complaining about how fat my butt looks.  My butt, belly and everything else is huge. Some people barely recognize me.

Why? How does this happen to a nutritionist, who is in pretty good shape? Quite frankly, I’m just not sure of the underlying reason, yet it’s likely due to hormones. Just after 4 weeks of being pregnant, my body demanded eating every couple of hours. Celery sticks did not work. I had to eat at least ½ a sandwich as a snack between meals to feel full. I could not tolerate water but wanted milk or juice (of course I diluted the juice with water). So without binging on high calorie, high fat foods (like cake cookies and ice cream) my calorie level rose quickly. I was nauseous if tried to cut the calories my body craved. I was so sick I could not get to the gym.

So my calorie level increased my activity level dropped and my weight skyrocketed.  Would I call this binging, well maybe but it certainly was not willful. If I have to gain so much weight, I would like to blame it on the enjoyment of sinful pleasures like Haagen Dazs and cheesecake (like Bethany explains) but I can’t. Through much of my first and second trimester, I struggled with a mix of internal hunger and insanity.

Here’s just a little peek of my pregnancy experience.  Let me just preface this by saying I am typically someone who does not crave or think that much about food. I can work through lunch without getting hungry. Yet, while pregnant and after eating all day (3 small meals and snacks), I fall asleep by 8-9 pm.  Sometime between midnight and 3 AM I wake-up hungry. I sit in bed trying to watch TV or read anything to ignore my body. After an hour or so I lose the battle. The nausea starts and within the half hour I get sick only to be alleviated by eating. Once I have eaten something, cottage cheese and fruit or a hard boiled egg, I fall back to sleep around 6 AM.

And Bethany, I love you and have enjoyed watching your growing success but before making these general statements please realize that there are a large (no pun intended) group of women, just like me, who need positive reinforcement because their weight gain during pregnancy was not similar to your experience.

I’d like to hear from anyone who has had similar experiences. But I will blog from, time to time, about what I do to shed the excess weight.

 

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