Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

May 2011 Archives

Sometimes, it's tough knowing so much about the effects of food on health. As I write this blog, the ice cream truck passes by with its enchanting music as the children shout and jingle change running toward this Pied Piper. I remember as a little girl how I looked forward to the summer tasty treats of ice cream and snow cones. You probably recall in my recent post (and hope to forget) all the negative effects of sugar and sugar substitutes on the body. What intrigued me recently was its link to not only weight gain and diabetes, but cancer.

What happens when the body is taking in excessive sugar? It responds by pumping out more insulin. More insulin means the body has the potential to become resistant to it, setting one up for blood sugar imbalances, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cancer.

According to Dr. Hyman, the following are effects of insulin:

• Now we recognize insulin as a major switching station, or control hormone, for many processes. It is a major storage hormone -- fat storage, that is.

• Insulin acts on your brain to increase appetite, specifically an appetite for sugar. Try as you might, as long as your insulin levels are high you will fight a losing battle for weight loss.

• It increases LDL cholesterol, lowers HDL cholesterol, raises triglycerides, and increases your blood pressure. Insulin resistance causes 50% of all reported cases of high blood pressure.

• It makes your blood sticky and more likely to clot, leading to heart attacks and strokes.

• It stimulates the growth of cancer cells.

• It increases inflammation and oxidative stress and ages your brain.

• It even increases homocysteine because sugar consumption decreases vitamin B6 and folic acid.

• Insulin also causes sex hormone problems and can lead to infertility, hair growth where you don't want to grow it, hair loss where you don't want to lose it, acne, low testosterone in men, and more. It also leads to mood disturbances.

A 2003 journal abstract discussed the implications of high insulin on health and cancer:

Obesity has recently been linked to mortality from the majority of cancers. The insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system may partly explain this effect. The metabolic syndrome, associated with hyperinsulinemia, may modulate this effect. Recent evidence supports the role of insulin and IGF-1 as important growth factors, acting through the tyrosine kinase growth factor cascade in enhancing tumor cell proliferation. In addition, the metabolic syndrome associated with a chronic inflammatory state and accompanying cytokine abnormalities may also contribute to tumor progression. Growing links between insulin and the etiology as well as prognosis in colon, prostate, pancreatic, and, particularly, breast cancer are reviewed. Of particular concern is the evidence that elevated IGF-1 may interfere with cancer therapy, adversely affecting prognosis. The role of insulin is of concern because of the increasing levels of obesity and the associated metabolic syndrome. Weight gain, through typical Western diet; limited levels of activity; and, more recently, stress-related changes in neuroendocrine function may lead to insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. The opportunity for a multidisciplinary approach involving nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction in an integrative setting may be crucial to limiting the insulin-resistant state and improving cancer outcomes. PMID: 14713323

Some alternative treatments have made use of the biochemistry of insulin on cell growth through techniques, such as insulin potentiation therapy (IPT). According to Sloan-Kettering:

IPT is a treatment strategy that utilizes the physiological activities of insulin. It is based on the theory that insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) play an important role in the cell cycle. IGF has been shown to affect the proliferation, adhesion and migration of normal as well as cancerous cells (2). Certain IGF receptors are found to be overexpressed in many forms of cancer, therefore, cancer cells may be selectively more sensitive than normal cells to IGF (1) (7). IGF receptors can be activated by exogenous insulin. Insulin is also believed to increase the permeability of cell membranes, leading to the increase in intracellular concentration and cytotoxic effect of anticancer drugs. Proponents argue that insulin synergistically enhances the efficacy of anticancer drug so that a reduced dose can be used with similar cytotoxic effects (5) (6). The mechanism of IGF receptor's role in cancer treatment appears to be more complex. At least one study has demonstrated the inhibition of IGF receptors can also increase the effects of anticancer drugs (3).

Now, I just want to say something before I continue on. A healthy, strong, body should be able to handle anything in moderation. Furthermore, as the body becomes healthier, it actually craves sugar and other harmful foods less and less. The problem today, is that food is big business. Companies know just how to add the right amount of additives and ratios of fat, sugar, and tasty chemicals to trick a brain into wanting more and more. This leads to excessive consumption, cravings, and very evident health ramifications as our obesity epidemic soars.

According to Dr. Hyman:

We are consuming HFCS and sugar in pharmacologic quantities never before experienced in human history -- 140 pounds a year vs. 20 teaspoons a year 10,000 years ago.
High fructose corn syrup is always found in very poor quality foods that are nutritionally vacuous and filled with all sorts of other disease promoting compounds, fats, salt, chemicals and even mercury.

So, what's the solution? Never to eat sugar again? Maybe. But, some can't or won't do this.

Maybe the solution lies in moderation. In our fast paced society, the issue may resolve if we allowed time to slow down and spend time together. This means real meals and real food. Family dinners used to be important. Today, they've been replaced by our overloaded schedules, and the food that used to nourish us is replaced with fast foods and dinner on the run. This is affecting our health in more than one way.

According to study done in Child Development:

Family mealtimes have the potential to promote healthy child development. This observational study of 200 family mealtimes examined the relation between child health in a group of children (ages 5 to 12) with persistent asthma and 3 dimensions of mealtime interaction: Action, Behavior Control, and Communication. Percent time spent in Action and Positive Communication varied by asthma severity, child quality of life, and sociodemographic variables. Positive communication during mealtimes predicted child quality of life. Significant interactions between demographic variables and behavior control suggested that higher levels of behavior control affected child quality of life in the context of lower maternal education. Guidance is offered for practitioners and policy makers toward promoting healthy family mealtimes as a public health priority.

Recently, Dr. Northrup interviewed Sandi Richard on how to make family dinners fun, fast, and doable for busy moms. Sandi practices moderation over perfection, making family dinners easier and less overwhelming. The take home point is that not that sugar will kill you, but that it can, if you let it. The point is to get your body healthy so you can make healthy choices so it won't.


Albertina Torsoli. Insulin Users Have 50% Higher Cancer Risk; Causes Are Unclear, Study Says. April 24, 2010.
Boyd DB. Insulin and cancer. Integr Cancer Ther. 2003 Dec;2(4):315-29. PMID: 14713323

Hyman, M. Are your hormones making you miserable? May 2010.

Hyman, M. 5 Reasons why high fructose corn syrup will kill you.

Fiese, B. H., Winter, M. A. and Botti, J. C. (2011), The ABCs of Family Mealtimes: Observational Lessons for Promoting Healthy Outcomes for Children With Persistent Asthma. Child Development, 82: 133-145. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01545.x

Dr. Mercola. Cancer Breakthrough. May 21, 2011.

Northrup, C. May 19, 2011. HayHouse Radio. Hay house radio:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Insulin Potentiation Therapy.

In his latest article, Dr. Mercola discussed the use of local honey as a treatment for seasonal allergies. According to Dr. Mercola:

Asthma is a growing problem, both for children and adults. In the last two decades, the incidence of asthma has increased by more than 300 percent, and it now affects about 20 million Americans.

Locally produced honey is believed by many to be a viable alternative treatment, despite the lack of scientific evidence of its effectiveness. However, before throwing the idea out as being bogus due to this lack, it's worth noting that precious few studies have ever been done on local honey as an asthma remedy. And lack of evidence is not to be equated with evidence of lack of efficacy.

I had to conduct extensive searches just to find the references I will provide later in this article. There is however, a rather large body of anecdotal evidence--people who have tried it with great success. And anecdotal evidence can be just as important when considering a treatment. For example, many drugs are prescribed off label, not because there have been extensive studies done showing beneficial results, but because "word spreads" that a certain drug "appears to provide benefit" for health problems unrelated to its approved use.

It's true that few studies exist on the use of honey for allergies; however, Dr. Mercola has a point. In Integrative and Naturopathic Medicine experience and clinical results are also important considerations. Waiting for evidence-based medicine in real life issues can sometimes not be the optimal solution for assisting others with health goals.

Still, even though it's a natural source, are we still chasing the panacea? Various studies have linked skin, digestive, immune, hormonal imbalances, and respiratory issues with fungal overgrowth. In fact, according to a recent slideshow in medscape:

Fungi, or molds, are a major source of indoor allergens, particularly the Altemaria and Aspergillus species. Fungi reproduce asexually via budding and sexually through spores (hyphae and spores shown). It is the spores that serve as the major allergen. In children with allergies, two thirds have increased fungal levels in their homes. Allergic rhinitis is the most common symptom. Efforts to reduce indoor fungal levels involve decreasing indoor humidity to less than 50%, cleaning surfaces with a weak bleach solution, air purification with HEPA filters, and removing an offending source. Injection immunotherapy is an accepted treatment option for anaphylactic allergy to environmental allergens.

So, what's the solution? The detective doc in me has to find the cause of those annoying sniffles. It's not just a matter of a supplement soup. I've found that most allergies are truly a result of a "gut gone wrong." This can be due to food sensitivities, environmental exposure, oxidative stress, or nutritional deficiencies, among other causes.

The gastrointestinal system is home to 80% of your immune system and is vital for neurotransmitter formation. When the critters that live in there get imbalanced, not only can fungus and candida spread, but the absorption of food and nutrients goes array, inflammation excels, and symptoms from allergies to arthritis can ensue.

Most allergy medications modulate the histamine and inflammation response, so why not calm down naturally? I find that a healthy diet, taking care of indoor mold issues, and providing immune support helps a great deal. In my clinic I use supplements such as probiotics, and taking natural anti-inflammatories such as bromelin, nettle, and quercetin to tone down inflammation. Essential oils such as RC and Raven can also be very helpful to buzz away allergies.

What are your thoughts? I'd like to hear from you....

Do you use honey to wipe out allergies?

Comment below...



Mercola, J. Fresh Evidence...May 27, 2011.

Medscape. Allergic Reactions from Simple to Severe Slideshow. WebMD.

Knoops, Kim. Mediterranean Diet, Lifestyle Factors, and 10-Year Mortality in Elderly European Men and Women: The HALE Project. JAMA. 2004;292(12):1433-1439. doi: 10.1001/jama.292.12.1433

Robert J. Hedya, MD, DFAPA. The War Within: The immune system, infections, inflammation, and mood disorders. Presented at the The 16th International Symposium on Functional Medicine™. The Institute for Functional Medicine™Hollywood, Florida.  May 2009. Accessed at, Talks By Topic, January 2011.

Ducrotte',P. Irritable bowel syndrome: from the gut to the brain-gut. (abstract) Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 2009 Aug-Sep;33(8-9):703-12. PMID: 19682813

Iwan M. et al. Transport of micro-opioid receptor agonists and antagonist peptides across Caco-2 monolayer. (abstract) Peptides. 2008 Jun;29(6):1042-7. Epub 2008 Feb 6. PMID: 18355944

Maes M, Kubera M, Leunis JC. The gut-brain barrier in major depression: intestinal mucosal dysfunction with an increased translocation of LPS from gram negative enterobacteria (leaky gut) plays a role in the inflammatory pathophysiology of depression. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2008 Feb;29(1):117-24. PMID: 18283240

Inflammation & Mood Disorders: Aristo Vojdani, Ph.D., M.Sc., M.T. The Mucosal Barrier Function Test. Functional Medicine teleseminar experts 2009 (Sept) Sponsor: BioHealth Diagnostic.

Gareau MG, Silva MA, Perdue MH. Pathophysiological mechanisms of stress-induced intestinal damage. (abstract) Curr Mol Med. 2008 Jun;8(4):274-81. PMID: 18537635

Last week, I posted on the heart and radiation protective effects of antioxidants. Many of you have been asking me, "what exactly are antioxidants?" Antioxidants are nutrients or phytochemicals present in nature that help protect your body in a variety of ways, specifically, they can reduce the amount of free radical to your cells.

Dr. Mercola explains about how antioxidants effect our biochemistry below:

Free radicals can be broken down into five types.The first four types come from oxygen atoms and are called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), but the fifth type derives from nitrogen:

1. Superoxide ion (O): An oxygen molecule with an extra electron that can damage mitochondria, DNA and other molecules.

2. Hydroxyl radical (OH): A highly reactive molecule formed by the reduction of an oxygen molecule, capable of damaging almost any organic molecule in its vicinity, including carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and DNA. OH cannot be eliminated by an enzymatic reaction.

3. Singlet oxygen: Formed by your immune system, singlet oxygen causes oxidation of your LDL.

4. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2): Not a free radical itself, but easily converts to free radicals like OH, which then do the damage. Hydrogen peroxide is neutralized by peroxidase (an enzymatic antioxidant).

5. Reactive Nitrogen Species (RNS) (NO): Nitric acid is the most important RNS.

These various free radical species can damage DNA in different ways.
They can disrupt duplication of DNA, interfere with DNA maintenance, break open the molecule or alter the structure by reacting with the DNA bases. Cancer, atherosclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's disease, and cataracts are examples of diseases thought to result from free radical damage.

Antioxidants can be categorized into two types:

1. Non-enzymatic antioxidants work by interrupting free radical chain reactions. For example, having vitamin E around may interrupt a chain of free radical activity after only five reactions, instead of its snowballing into 100 reactions. Non-enzymatic antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, plant polyphenols, carotenoids and glutathione (GSH). Glutathione has been called the "master antioxidant" and is found in every single cell of your body, maximizing the activity of all the other antioxidants.

2. Enzymatic antioxidants work by breaking down and removing free radicals. In general, these antioxidant enzymes flush out dangerous oxidative products by converting them into hydrogen peroxide, then into water, in a multi-step process that requires a number of trace metal cofactors (copper, zinc, manganese and iron). You can't supplement these enzymatic antioxidants orally--they must be produced in your body.

Most antioxidants found in foods and supplements are of the non-enzymatic type. They boost your enzymatic antioxidant defense system by doing a "first sweep," disarming the free radicals, which helps prevent depletion of your enzymatic antioxidants.

Still, antioxidants can do more than protect our body from harm, they can also help us thrive and reproduce. Here's an example from Vitasearch on how selenium and vitamin E assist in fertility:

Summary# 48585:In a study involving 690 infertile men (mean age: 28.5 years) with idiopathic asthenoteratospermia, presenting with male factor infertility for at least 1 year, daily supplementation with selenium (200 microg/d) in combination with vitamin E (400 IU) for a period of at least 100 days was found to be associated with significant total improvements in sperm motility, morphology, or both (in 52.6% of cases), and spontaneous pregnancy (10.8% of cases), as compared to no treatment. After 14 weeks of treatment, only 36.6% of subjects were found to have no response to treatment. The authors conclude, "Supplemental Se and vitamin E may improve semen quality and have beneficial and protective effects, especially on sperm motility. We advocate their use for the treatment of idiopathic male infertility diagnosed with asthenoteratospermia or asthenospermia in semen analysis."

Another benefit of the nutrient and antioxidant selenium could be its ability to protect fish eaters from the damaging effects of mercury. In fact, one study showed that those children eating the largest amounts of seafood had better brain scores, regardless of higher levels of mercury and PCBs.

Brain gains in Fish oil not blunted by relatively high levels of mercury at birth (Vitalchoice)

Importantly, as the US-Canada team reported, even the presence of relatively high levels of mercury and PCBs in babies' cord blood didn't blunt the size of the memory benefits seen 10 to 13 years later: "DHA-related effects [benefits] were observed regardless of seafood-contaminant amounts." (Boucher O et al. 2011)

The Inuit kids' cord blood mercury levels were 20 times higher than those seen in southern Quebec which would be similar to the average U.S. baby's cord blood mercury levels. And levels of PCBs in the Inuit babies' cord blood were three times higher than in southern Quebec and the U.S. The high mercury and PCB levels flow from the fact that the Inuit eat a great deal of seafood and marine mammal (whale/seal) meat. On average, the children in the study ate about one marine mammal meal and 1.5 fish meals per week, which was about one-half the large amount consumed by Inuit women during pregnancy.
In short, the varying - but almost entirely positive - outcomes of studies that examine the impact of seafood on child development are explained by the interactions between selenium and mercury in people's bodies. As long as the body has enough "available" selenium (i.e., not bound to mercury), it suffers no harm from even relatively high levels of mercury. Almost all ocean fish contain substantially more selenium than mercury. (Fresh water fish can be very high in mercury and very low in selenium, depending on where they are caught. Consult local advisories on lake and river fish....And don't forget, fish oil has the potent anti-inflammatory effect, one study shows it may be enough to modulate an immune response from vaccination reactions. Specifically, in a study on mice, those mice feed highest levels of omega fatty acids had a better balance between the body's two immune systems, innate and acquired immunity.

And, as a side note on fish oils, another great study showed the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil may aid in preventing negative vaccination reactions:

Omega 3 Fish Oils May Prevent Vaccination Reactions (J of Clinical Nutrition)

PUFA are precursor molecules for eicosanoids such as leukotrienes and prostaglandins and may influence immune function through other mechanisms involving membranes, cell signaling, and gene expression. Immune-modulating properties of diets containing different oils [sunflower oil, rich in linoleic acid; linseed oil, rich in α-linolenic acid; salmon oil, rich in marine (n-3) PUFA; and beef tallow, rich in SFA] were investigated in an influenza-vaccination model, in which the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response was studied in C57BL/6 mice, and an ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitization model for experimental allergy in BALB/c mice.

Therefore, treat the body's terrain by feeding it well and practicing healthy lifestyle choices. These include a healthy diet with antioxidants and fish. A health model soley based on just removing or eradicating what's bad, detoxying out the chemicals, or manipulating biochemistry is missing the whole picture. Health is not just the absence of disease but contributes to how we thrive and flourish in our life, not just survive.

Don't forget to read all of Top Reads, especially the highlights on sweet buds and sugar substitutes. Other topics include UTI resistance to antibiotics, magnesium's effects on genes, how bacteria in your gut may be making you fat, and eating right for your allergy type!

The Integrative Forum was a good start to what I hope to be the continuation of a collaboration of a variety of health care providers with the public.
I hope to get various speakers in the future. This Saturday, we let the discussion take us to our current medical system, holistic models, detoxification, and empowering food recipes.

To stay updated on the latest events and blogs, make sure you subscribe on my blog homepage.

An Update on Radiation Effects: The Power of Antioxidants

There continues to be confusion about the after effects of the tragedy in Japan. In my recent blog, I review the concern over radiation and the power of antioxidants in protecting the body from it. I also give other suggestions on coping with this and other life stressors.

Here's an excerpt:

In this blog, I hope to remind everyone that the most potent and protective thing we can do for ourselves is to keep ourselves healthy from the inside out. If the main focus is all about killing the bugs, eradicating the tumors, beating the diseases, and isolating ourselves from harm, we create a feed forward cycle of stress with its detrimental bodily effects.

In all this drama and hype, the internal healing power of nature is often overlooked. I do believe that when you give the body what it needs balance and healing result. Therefore the answers lie in educating ourselves on simple, safe, generalized, and individualized solutions. Panicking and isolating ourselves into little bubbles doesn't empower us or put much faith in the universal design. We need to focus on building up from the inside, not on becoming weaker with fear and creating larger barriers.

Vitamn D Thoughts: What Most Don't Consider

Many of you are aware how I feel about "the panacea" and new supplement cure-alls. A recent journal abstract highlighted this viewpoint with the vitamin superstar, vitamin D:

Conclusion: D3 is approximately 87% more potent in raising and maintaining serum 25(OH)D concentrations and produces 2- to 3-fold greater storage of vitamin D than does equimolar D2. For neither was there evidence of sequestration in fat, as had been postulated for doses in this range. Given its greater potency and lower cost, D3 should be the preferred treatment option when correcting vitamin D deficiency.

It's not that the study found evidence to support the use of D3 over D2 that I found interesting; most of us know that by now. What intrigued me was that another major point, often overlooked. This study measured and discussed the storage of D3 in fat, a factor that isn't commonly adjusted for when monitoring this vitamin.

I do believe that most of the population are likely deficient in vitamin D due to poor conversion of it in the liver and kidneys. This is from these organs being on overload from detoxifying environmental stressors and medications. Furthermore, those on statins will need to supplement, as these medications prevents the conversion of cholesterol to vitamin D3. Therefore, it's true that most people will benefit from supplementing with Vitamin D.

Still, I'd like to propose some questions for you. Are we over supplementing? And, what will be the downstream effect of using a vitamin like a drug--just treating the numbers on the labs and not the person? Why not look for the cause first of low Vitamin D3 and then adjust and supplement as needed? Let's also consider that our form of measurement might not be as accurate as we believe. Some things to ponder.


Heany, R. et al. Vitamin D3 is more potent than D2 in humans (abstract). J Clin Endocrinol Metab, Vol. 96 (3): 447-452

Press Release:

Accredited and Licensed Naturopathic Doctor and Functional Medicine Practitioner to host series on Holistic Medicine for the public.

REXFORD, NY-Naturopathic Doctor & Functional Medicine Practitioner, Sarah LoBisco, will be hosting the first class of her "Integrative Health Topics Forum" on Saturday, May 14th, from 1:30pm-2:30pm at the Healing Garden, 21 Garnsey Street, in Rexford, NY. This class will provide a place for the public to discuss holistic health information in an interactive, supportive, question and answer format. Admission is free.

According to Dr. LoBisco, "Lectures are a great way to learn information, but sometimes people only attend a lecture hoping to get a specific question answered. I wanted to provide an opportunity for people who have these burning, unanswered, questions to come together." Dr. LoBisco's vision for the series is to build a community of support for people to come together in a relaxed, respectful, and fun atmosphere.

The topic to be discussed on May 14th is "Staying Healthy in a Chemical World." "Every day we are exposed to a chemical soup just by breathing and living in our modern world. In fact, there are approximately 100,000 chemicals used in commercial industry today with about 25% of them being reported as hazardous to human health. I hope to offer some clarification on safe ways for everyone to support the body with these added everyday stressors and provide clarification on when it's best to consult a professional," Dr. LoBisco states.

With her holistic approach and enthusiasm to provide the best possible care for each individual, Dr. LoBisco hopes that this series will provide an additive effect to holistic health outside her office. "Integrative medicine is truly about doing what's best for the patient. A viewpoint in Naturopathic Medicine is to treat the whole person. One needs to feel supported and be part of community to not just be absent of disease, but to thrive".

To reserve a space in the class or for more information, please contact Dr. LoBisco's office at 518-339-4788 or email her at Dr. LoBisco also offers an array of information through her blogs and resource links at, and She is also a featured expert at All are welcome to attend her event.

This week's blog highlights the the tast of sweet. As spring FINALLY reaches Saratoga, the taste of sweetness comes with it.

Here's an excerpt:

Contrary to popular perception, splenda is not a wise or safe natural alternative. Did you know this sweetener could be affecting your medication! One study showed how splenda reduced beneficial microflora in the gut and increased fecal pH, while also affecting the bioavailability of drugs.

Evidence indicates that a 12-wk administration of Splenda exerted numerous adverse effects, including (1) reduction in beneficial fecal microflora, (2) increased fecal pH, and (3) enhanced expression levels of P-gp, CYP3A4, and CYP2D1, which are known to limit the bioavailability of orally administered drugs. PMID: 18800291

Just Say No to Aspartame (Dr. Mercola)

Aside from very large and obvious tumors, Victoria also observed a wide range of other adverse effects in her aspartame-fed rats, including:

Neurological effects: difficulty walking, falling over


Torticollis (also known as wryneck: neck stiffness associated with muscle spasms, resulting in tilting your head to one side)

Symptoms of cerebral palsy

Eye disorders: infected eyes, bleeding, blindness, bulging eyes

Skin disorders: lesions, thinning and yellowing of fur


Interestingly, she also found evidence suggesting genetic damage.

Sucralose, a non-caloric sweetener, can affect the guts' hormonal signaling response. This sweetener was found to suppress glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 secretion and peptide YY (PYY). This affects insulin secretion and appetite control, and could explain why these sweeteners may cause long term weight gain. (GLP-1 is a hormone targeted by diabetic drugs to lower blood glucose levels)

Conclusions: At this dose, oral ingestion of sucralose does not increase plasma GLP-1 or PYY concentrations and hence, does not reduce appetite in healthy subjects. Oral stimulation with sucralose had no effect on GLP-1, insulin or appetite. PMID: 21245879


Dr. Mercola summarizes how processed foods with hydrogenated oils that contain fructose cause various health issues.

As described in Taube's brilliant New York Times article, a calorie from glucose, such a potato or bread, is vastly different from a calorie from sugar (which is a 50/50 mix of glucose and fructose, or in the case of high fructose corn syrup, a 45/55 mix.) This is because they are metabolized differently, and hence affect your body in different ways.

As I've explained before, fructose (whether from regular sugar of HFCS) is metabolized primarily by your liver, whereas glucose is metabolized in every cell of your body. Making matters worse, when you consume fructose in liquid form, such as soda, the effect is not only sped up but also magnified.

Your liver converts the majority of this fructose into FAT.

Additionally, since all sugars raise your insulin levels, you eventually end up with insulin resistance. In response, your pancreas starts releasing higher amounts of insulin in an effort to curb your rising blood sugar levels. Eventually, your pancreas loses the battle; your blood sugar levels keep rising, and you end up with full-blown diabetes.

You've now also laid the groundwork for hypertension, heart disease, and cancer, just to name a few.

Additionally, sugar/fructose:

Leads to insulin resistance, which is not only an underlying factor of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but also many cancers.

Researchers from the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer have reported that those who are obese and/or diabetic are at greater risk of cancer.

Tricks your body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism, as it turns off your body's appetite-control system.

Fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the "hunger hormone") and doesn't stimulate leptin (the "satiety hormone"), which together result in your eating more and developing insulin resistance.

Fructose rapidly leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity ("beer belly"), decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure--i.e., classic metabolic syndrome.

Fructose metabolism is very similar to ethanol metabolism, which has a multitude of toxic effects, including NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). It's alcohol without the buzz.

What about Sugar?? Well, it's more of a non-food that robs your body of minerals and causes you to crave more and more as it packs on pounds from its addictive stimulation on dopamine receptors. Remember my newsletter on food addiction?

I also discuss "How to Enjoy Food in an Addictive Food Society?"

As a Naturopathic Doctor, I know that food is a source of pleasure, enjoyment, entertainment, and can effect emotions. Some people can become addictive or dependent on foods or substances due to the fact that food can and dose have biological effects, as Dr. Hyman highlighted.

In treatment plans, I even use particular diets and food plans for treating various conditions, such as toxicity, yeast, and hormonal imbalances. Still, it's important to remember that the emotional connection of making things "good" or "bad" have a negative effect on the body, due to its effects on stress biochemistry. It's important to have compassion for yourself.

Read more here.

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Reisa Mehlman

As a New York State Licensed Aesthetician, New York State Licensed Nail Specialist, and the Director of Living Well Healing Arts Center & Spa, Reisa combines her love of spa services and healing arts to achieve optimum skin and nail health, create greater overall wellness and bring forth our optimal, individual beauty.

"I believe that the day spa should be an instant getaway; a place that is quiet without being stuffy, relaxed, elegant and yet entirely comfy. You should feel warm and welcome, surrounded by people who care about you and what they are doing. This is the environment we strive to create at Living Well Healing Arts Center & Spa. Here, you are never just the "next" number; we allow ample time for your services, offer a flexible schedule and can be reached after hours. After all, to me, spa craft is not really a business, it's a lifestyle." Read more...

About Dr. Sarah Lobisco

Dr. LoBisco has been in holistic healthcare for over 10 years. She became interested in holistic medicine when she was able to heal two herniated discs through nutrition, yoga, supplementation, and chiropractic. She has mentored with holistic practices throughout New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. In addition to her Naturopathic and Functional Medical training, Dr. LoBisco has extensive training in a variety of healing modalities, including therapeutic essential oils, nutraceuticals, herbs, whole food supplements, nutritional medicine, and mind-body therapies. She is a graduate of the accredited, four year post-graduate program in Naturopathic Medicine at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. This program includes clinical rotations and a demanding scientific curriculum in integrating conventional and natural medicine. Dr. LoBisco holds her license from the state of Vermont.

Dr. LoBisco has completed her postdoctoral training as a certified functional medicine practitioner. She is also certified in Applied Kinesiology and holds a BA in psychology from SUNY Geneseo. She has contributed as an item writer for the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE)and has several articles that have been published in the Naturopathic Doctor News and Review Digest (NDNR) and the Townsend Letter, both physician- based journals. Dr. LoBisco is also a hired speaker on integrative medical topics for medical professionals.

Dr. LoBisco currently incorporates her training in holistic medical practices and conventional medicine through writing, researching, private practice, and through her independent contracting work for companies regarding supplements, nutraceuticals, essential oils, and medical foods. She has a small, private wellness consultation practice through telephone and Skype. Dr. LoBisco also enjoys continuing to educate and empower her readers through her blogs and social media. Her new book, BreakFree Medicine, is now available on Amazon and through Barnes & Noble. Please inquire here for more specific information.

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