Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

July 2011 Archives


·         July Top Reads

·         New Links & Resources

·         Calendar of Events

·         New Website Look

·         The Power of Antioxidants!



Be the first to view highlights, in a reader friendly summary, of what I find the most pertinent in:

·      Medical and Holistic Medicine

·      Newsletter Highlights in nutrition, medicine, and wellness from various sources

·      Conventional Medicine Updates

·         Drug Updates that may affect you and your loved ones

I did the work to summarize everything this month, including the most relevant Mercola articles,  and it's all on one blog page!

Click here to read about the latest on Nutritional medicine, Health, and Drug Updates.


To the Right of my webpage, I'm always adding new resources for my patients and physicians

This month's new links include:

·         What Air Purifiers to Consider for mold (I would like to add that diffusing YLEO THIEVES is a must!)

·         Looking to be grossed out?

o   How about clicking on the link to what was found in Conventional Milk...Not Yum!

·         I've added a Category for my published journal articles

·         Don't forget to review information about:

o   Cosmetic Safety Database

o   Vaccine Resources

o   CSA Organic Food Links

o   And More....

3. Check out My CALENDER OF EVENTS....


4. UPDATED LOOK ON MY HOMEPAGE  that includes:








By Sarah A LoBisco, ND


July Top Reads has a few themes:

·         Statin Therapy is linked to Blood Sugar Issues

·         Antioxidants are really, really, cool!

For you, and only you, I've included some additional abstracts and information on antioxidants.

Remember how I wrote about the power of antioxidants in a previous post?

Well, this month, antioxidant information came to me by the truckloads. Scientists are not immune to the summer effects of proving why those yummy in season berries are so good for us! So, grab your green tea, put on your affirmation CD in the background, and pull up your laptop to learn more......

1. Dr. Mercola on Antioxidant Summary:


Carotenoids are the compounds in your foods that give them that vibrant cornucopia of color, from green vegetables to red beets, to the spectacular yellows and oranges of your bell peppers.

There are more than 700 naturally occurring carotenoids, but most people are familiar with only a few. Many carotenoids are easily obtainable through a healthy diet rich in fresh organic produce, however one exception is astaxanthin, a little-known carotenoid believed to be the most potent antioxidant nature has to offer. Astaxanthin is difficult to get from dietary sources alone, but is worth learning more about due to its beneficial effects on human health.

Lycopene, another antioxidant carotenoid, gives tomatoes their red color, and works by fighting damaging free radicals in your body. It has also shown cancer-fighting potential, particularly for prostate cancer.


Flavonoids are natural chemicals found in plants, fruits and vegetables. They're actually the largest group of several thousand compounds belonging to the antioxidant-rich polyphenol family.

Flavonoids are further broken down into subclasses that you have likely heard of such as anthocyanins, flavonols, flavones, flavanones and flavanols. These terms, along with flavonoid and polyphenols (also called phytochemicals), are often used interchangeably in the literature, but they're broken into these different groups because they have varying chemical structures.

While all flavonoids are antioxidants, some have stronger antioxidant properties than others, depending on their chemical structure. Flavonoids are present in most all vegetables, including onions, broccoli and greens, as well as fruits such as apples, grapes and berries.

Mercola, J. What Common Foods May Kill Multi-Drug Resistant Cancers? July 22, 2011.


2. Strawberries contain an antioxidant, fisetin, which is a flavonoid that protects the nerve cells and kidneys.

Read more here: Strawberries Help Neural Growth, Decrease Inflammation, Prevent Kidney Damage, and More (Dr. Amen)


3.  The Obesity & Antioxidant Connection (Phytotherapy Research)

Summary: Antioxidants helped lipid markers via liver pathways and could aid in obesity

These results suggest that RGTC suppressed HFD-induced obesity, hyperlipidemia and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, suggesting that RGTC supplementation might be a promising adjuvant therapy for the treatment of these metabolic disorders.

Kang, J. S., Lee, W. K., Yoon, W. K., Kim, N., Park, S.-K., Park, H. K., Ly, S. Y., Han, S.-B., Yun, J., Lee, C. W., Lee, K., Lee, K. H., Park, S.-K. and Kim, H. M. (2011), A Combination of Grape Extract, Green Tea Extract and l-Carnitine Improves High-fat Diet-induced Obesity, Hyperlipidemia and Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Mice. Phytotherapy Research, 25: n/a. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3476


4. Grape Seed Extract Helped Energy Metabolism in Cells and Muscles via Nutrigenomics!

Acute Administration of Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract Modulates Energetic Metabolism in Skeletal Muscle and BAT Mitochondria (J Agric. Food Chem) J. Agric. Food Chem., 2011, 59 (8), pp 4279-4287 DOI: 10.1021/jf200322x


5. CoQ10 Can Aid in Reducing LDL cholesterol

Ubiquinol-induced gene expression signatures are translated into altered parameters of erythropoiesis and reduced low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in humans. (IUBMB Life) IUBMB Life, 63: 42-48. doi: 10.1002/iub.413


6. Antioxidants Can Aid in Macular Degeneration

Results from the AREDS showed that high levels of antioxidants and zinc significantly reduce the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and its associated vision loss. These same nutrients had no significant effect on the development or progression of cataract.

National Eye Institute. Age-Related Eye Disease Study--Results.


7.  Alpha Lipoic Acid May Delay or Slow Alzheimer 's disease.

Oxidative stress and neuronal energy depletion are characteristic hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. It has been hypothesized that, because of this, pro-energetic and antioxidant drugs such as alpha-lipoic acid might delay the onset or slow down the progression of the disease.

Mercola, J. This Antioxidant Dramatically Inhibits Alzheimer's Disease Progression July 23, 2011.

My latest blog has just been posted on using probiotics for overall health. I've spoken of the gut-brain connection before, and this blog really summarizes the main points of what an optimal balance of gut bacteria will do for overall health.

Here's an excerpt:

What has been well understood by Naturopathic Physicians for years is now becoming common knowledge, as this ancient wisdom is being explored and verified by modern science. Today, what seemed like a (excuse the expression) detour downstream is becoming not only somewhat accepted by conventional doctors, but borderline trendy by stars and weight loss gurus.

Why so much attention to the gastrointestinal tract?

The GI tract is home to over 70% of your immune system (GALT) and the major site of your neurotransmitter production (ENS)! In other words, your belly is a powerful force in modulating inflammation and mood. With a current focus on calming inflammation for weight loss, it's no wonder that our society is paying so much attention to the little buggy bacteria that live in our colon. Recently, studies have verified this gut-inflammatory-obesity link to the balance of gut micobiota.

According to nutritionist, Claire Whitman, the balance of microbes in our gut influences fat cell signaling processes and energy metabolism: was also shown that gut microflora influence expression of fasting-induced adipocyte factor (FIAF). This compound is a form of angiopoietin protein that serves as a major inhibitor of lipoprotein lipase (LPL). Alterations in FIAF levels directly affect activity of LPL and therefore, blood lipids and the storage of calories as fat. These findings suggest that GI microflora may not only inhibit energy metabolism at the absorption level but also influence endogenous pathways that modulate storage and utilization of macronutrients. Gut microfloar-FIAF(angiopoietin protein) inhibits LPL lipase-LPL and blood lipid storage

The fact that our gut plays a role in our metabolism has also been confirmed by finding different ratios of bacteria species in obese and diabetic adults in comparision to healthy individuals.

Shifting the focus of weight loss to overall health, Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O. and Natasha Trenev explain some of the many other benefits we acquire by homing beneficial probiotic bacteria in our gut.

Good microflora has the following roles:

    • They manufacture B-vitamins, such as biotin, niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid.
    • They act as anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer) factors, with powerful anti-tumour potentials.
    • They act as 'watchdogs' by keeping an eye on, and effectively controlling, the spread of undesirable microorganisms (by altering the acidity of the region they inhabit and/or producing specific antibiotic substances, as well as by depriving rival unfriendly bacteria of their nutrients). ... lactobacilli is"Candida albicans," now implicated in many health problems in people who are malnourished or whose immune systems are depleted.
    • They effectively help to control high cholesterol levels, thereby affording us protection from the cardiovascular damage which excessive levels of this nevertheless important substance can create.
    • They sometimes act to relieve the symptoms of anxiety

Read more here...

And, as promised...extra bonus reads of research abstracts for my Scientific Saratogians:

...But, before you do that..we're less than a week away to the Integrated Health Forum!

Abstracts for Review:



We examined the role of microorganisms in the degradation of the organophosphorus (OP) insecticide chlorpyrifos (CP) during kimchi fermentation. During the fermentation of kimchi, 30 mg L(-1) of CP was added and its stability assayed during fermentation. CP was degraded rapidly until day 3 (83.3%) and degraded completely by day 9. Four CP-degrading lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were isolated from kimchi fermentation in the presence of 200 mg L(-1) CP and were identified as Leuconostoc mesenteroides WCP907, Lactobacillus brevis WCP902, Lactobacillus plantarum WCP931, and Lactobacillus sakei WCP904. CP could be utilized by these four strains as the sole source of carbon and phosphorus. Coumaphos (CM), diazinon (DZ), parathion (PT), and methylparathion (MPT) were also degraded by WCP907, WCP902, WCP931, and WCP904 when provided as sole sources of carbon and phosphorus.

PMID: 19199784


ABSTRACT: Over 70 years have passed since dermatologists John H. Stokes and Donald M. Pillsbury first proposed a gastrointestinal mechanism for the overlap between depression, anxiety and skin conditions such as acne. Stokes and Pillsbury hypothesized that emotional states might alter the normal intestinal microflora, increase intestinal permeability and contribute to systemic inflammation. Among the remedies advocated by Stokes and Pillsbury were Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures. Many aspects of this gut-brain-skin unifying theory have recently been validated. The ability of the gut microbiota and oral probiotics to influence systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, glycemic control, tissue lipid content and even mood itself, may have important implications in acne. The intestinal microflora may also provide a twist to the developing diet and acne research. Here we provide a historical perspective to the contemporary investigations and clinical implications of the gut-brain-skin connection in acne.

PMID: 21281494


Background: There is increasing interest in the gut-brain axis and the role intestinal microbiota may play in communication between these two systems. Acquisition of intestinal microbiota in the immediate postnatal period has a defining impact on the development and function of the gastrointestinal, immune, neuroendocrine and metabolic systems. For example, the presence of gut microbiota regulates the set point for hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity.

Methods: We investigated basal behavior of adult germ-free (GF), Swiss Webster female mice in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and compared this to conventionally reared specific pathogen free (SPF) mice. Additionally, we measured brain mRNA expression of genes implicated in anxiety and stress-reactivity.

Key Results Germ-free mice, compared to SPF mice, exhibited basal behavior in the EPM that can be interpreted as anxiolytic. Altered GF behavior was accompanied by a decrease in the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit NR2B mRNA expression in the central amygdala, increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression and decreased serotonin receptor 1A (5HT1A) expression in the dentate granule layer of the hippocampus.

Conclusions & Inferences: We conclude that the presence or absence of conventional intestinal microbiota influences the development of behavior, and is accompanied by neurochemical changes in the brain.

doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2010.01620.x


What are your experiences and thoughts on good bugs?

Comment below.

I just posted an article on how to filter through all the conflicting advice on dietary recommendations by the experts! 

The blog also addressed the issue of gluten free....

Here's an expert:

What type of diet is best for any individual has little to do with calorie counting and perfect proportion control. Optimal choices in nutrition have more to do with individual lifestyle patterns, biochemical and genetic differences, blood type, ethnicity, current health status, and other physiological issues that will make certain foods hum in one person and honker out in another.

This is because food affects our biology, not just by causing weight gain or weight loss, but by modifying our blood sugar, hormones, neurotransmitters, and brain health. The phytochemicals present in foods have the capacity to act as medicine or poison.

Dr. Amen highlights this concept of different foods for different people by his focus on different brain types....

Now, that being said, there is one trend that makes sense to me. I'm not a big fan of generalizations, but there are some classes of foods I generally recommend to avoid or eat minimally to most of my patients. I believe the common sensitivities to these foods are more a result of overproduction and resultant processing manipulation than the actual food itself. One such food class is gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oats).

Unfortunately, the sensitivity to wheat and gluten is one which is becoming more and more prevalent. Most of my patients show at least elevated antibodies to gluten when we run a blood panel. According to Dr. Northrup, one of the reasons why so many people are so sensitive to gluten today, is because wheat bread has been manufactured to be 10x the amount of protein content than if produced in its natural state. This is in order to increase the fluff, market value, and taste of bread. Our body just isn't set up to digest that kind of protein profile. (It's even been suggested that in Europe, where GMOs and mass devaluing of grains is less prevalent, there is less grain sensitivity).


The continuation thoughts... just for my dedicated readers:

Additional articles of interest:

Unfortunately, sprouted wheat is not a good alternative.

Dr. Mercola summarized the problems with this lectin in his article which also discussed the negative immune (autoimmunity, cytotoxicity), inflammatory, digestive, brain (excitotoxicity and neurotoxicity) , heart, and endocrine (thyroid) effects of this wheat gliadin antibody (WGA):

Interestingly enough, the highest amounts of WGA is found in whole wheat, including its sprouted form, which is touted as being the most healthful form of all...  Aside from high amounts of WGA, wheat also contains a number of other potentially health-harming components, including:

Gliadin (an alcohol soluble protein component)

Gliadomorpin (exorphins, or group of opioid peptides that form during digestion of the gluten protein)

Enzyme inhibitors

Rye and barley are also members of the WGA family; however, Dr. Mercola also provided proof that the potato and tomato may contain similar reactive lectins, specifically chitin lectins that cause similar reactions as wheat. Here's an example of what's best for the individual!

The Sweetness of Sugar...

According to an article in Psychology Today, sugar can have similar effects on the body as gluten:

First, sugar actually suppresses activity of a key growth hormone in the brain called BDNF. This hormone promotes the health and maintenance of neurons in the brain, and it plays a vital role in memory function by triggering the growth of new connections between neurons. BDNF levels are critically low in both depression and schizophrenia, which explains why both syndromes often lead to shrinkage of key brain regions over time (yes, chronic depression actually leads to brain damage). There's also evidence from animal models that low BDNF can trigger depression.

Second, sugar consumption triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in the body that promote chronic inflammation. Now, under certain circumstances (like when your body needs to heal a bug bite), a little inflammation can be a good thing, since it can increase immune activity and blood flow to a wound. But in the long term, inflammation is a big problem. It disrupts the normal functioning of the immune system, and wreaks havoc on the brain.

Inflammation is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even some forms of cancer . . . it's also linked to a greater risk of depression and schizophrenia. And again, eating refined sugar triggers inflammation. So does eating heavily processed molecular cousins like 'high fructose corn syrup'.


This blog is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Quinn

My latest blog discusses natural ways to protect yourself from an aging brain and aging skin!

Once you've read that and we're all thinking and looking good, keep that emotional health happy by using essential oils, they cross the blood brain barrier and oxygenate your brain for better focus. They also assist in modulating inflammation and oxidative damage of the whole body. Furthermore, they keep summer pests away! Read on...

How to Protect Your Precious Organs without Toxins? Try Cinnamon!

Many have heard of the potential toxicity of insect repellents. It makes sense, if pesticides are made to kill via the affecting the nervous system of bugs, they are probably not so healthy for our brains as well. In fact, some side effects from DEET include nausea, vomiting, and nervous system disorders. In a Eurekalert article from 2004, researchers found a healthy, environmentally friendly alternative, Cinnamon essential oil. (This probably comes to know surprise for those YLEO junkies!)  According to the article:

Cinnamon oil shows promise as a great-smelling, environmentally friendly pesticide, with the ability to kill mosquito larvae, according to a new study published in the July 14 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The researchers also expect that cinnamon oil could be a good mosquito repellant, though they have not yet tested it against adult mosquitoes...

Chang and his coworkers tested eleven compounds in cinnamon leaf oil for their ability to kill emerging larvae of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. "Four compounds -- cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, eugenol and anethole -- exhibited the strongest activity against A. aegypti in 24 hours of testing," Chang says.

Larvicidal activity is judged with a measurement called LC50. "The LC50 value is the concentration that kills 50 percent of mosquito larvae in 24 hours," Chang explains. Lower LC50 translates into higher activity, because it takes a lower concentration to kill larvae in the same amount of time. All four compounds had LC50 values of less than 50 parts per million (ppm), with cinnamaldehyde showing the strongest activity at an LC50 of 29 ppm.

Furthermore, cinnamon has been shown to be helpful in balancing blood sugar and calming inflammation-two more skin and brain health factors!'

If you want to learn more about essential oils, contact my affiliated support staff and empower yourself on building a natural, non-toxic medicine chest!

Now, I'd like to hear from you....

What is your experience of using natural products for brain, skin, and body health??

Leave a Comment

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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