Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

August 2011 Archives

By Sarah A  LoBisco, ND

IT'S BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Pull up your laptop, grab your chamomile tea, click on your classical music, and enjoy my summaries on some of the biggest headlines in health from August! You can get the full summary here.



According to Dr. Fryhofer of Medscape:

As many as 10% of patients on statin therapy suffer muscle-related adverse effects. There are several proposed statin-induced mechanisms:

  • Decreases in cholesterol content of skeletal muscle membranes making them unstable and thus more prone to injury;
  • Depletion of coenzyme Q10 with subsequent deleterious effects on mitochondrial function; and
  • Reduced bioavailability of isoprenoids (farnesyl pyrophosphate and geranyl pyrophosphate), which can lead to cell death in vitro.[9]

Risk is highest for women, older patients, patients on high statin doses, people with a family history of statin intolerance, and patients on multiple medications.

Genetics can also play a role, as well as which statin:

A recent study showed carriers of the SLCO1B1 gene polymorphism had increased risk for muscle-related statin adverse effects. The greatest risk was seen in patients on simvastatin, whereas the risk for patients on pravastatin was almost negligible.[11]

Bringing us to highlight number one:

Simvastatin 80mg: FDA Warning (Medscape)

In early June 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a drug safety communication on the 80-mg dose of simvastatin because of an increased risk for muscle toxicity. Medscape interviewed Amy Egan, MD, MPH, Deputy Director for Safety in the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products at the FDA, regarding these warnings and their impact. Doctors are encouraged to use different brands, not dose past 40mg and consider it's interactions with other medications.


Sandra A. Fryhofer, MD. Switching From Simvastatin 80 mg: How to Shop for Statins: The Simvastatin Saga: Review of the FDA Drug Safety Warnings. Medscape Today. Accessed August 17, 2011.

Michael O'Riordan. FDA Restricts Use of Simvastatin 80 mg. Medscape Today. Posted: 06/08/2011



In my July Top Reads, I gave references to how statins could contribute to diabetes. (YICKS: achy muscles and blood sugar problems).

This month, a study demonstrated how diet can affect diabetes, actually, reverse it!

Reversing Diabetes 2 with Diet (diabetologia)

Conclusions/interpretation: Normalisation of both beta cell function and hepatic insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes was achieved by dietary energy restriction alone. This was associated with decreased pancreatic and liver triacylglycerol stores. The abnormalities underlying type 2 diabetes are reversible by reducing dietary energy intake



I'll refer to an older and wiser mentor to many:

You don't need supplements if you eat a healthy diet? True or false? (Dr. Hyman)

It is true ONLY if you work and live outside, breathe only fresh unpolluted air, drink only pure, clean water, sleep nine hours a night, move your body every day, and are free from chronic stressors and exposures to environmental toxins. Then you don't need vitamins.

Today, even with our "enriched food," more than 92 percent of Americans are deficient in one or more vitamins. That doesn't mean they are receiving less than the amount they need to get for optimal health. That means they receive less than the MINIMUM amount necessary to prevent deficiency diseases. In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers found that 6 percent of those tested had serious vitamin C deficiency and 30 percent were borderline low. A USDA survey showed that 37 percent of Americans don't get enough vitamin C, 70 percent not enough vitamin E, almost 75 percent don't get enough zinc, and 40 percent don't get enough iron. I would say that 100 percent of us don't have enough of the basic nutrients to create optimal health or give ourselves a metabolic tune up.

Read more on TOP READS on the value of supplementing! J



TWO (2) things:

A reference on the link between the use of GERD Medications and Cancer

Relieve GERD, Get Cancer (Arch Surg)

CONCLUSIONS: Medically treated patients with mild or absent GERD symptoms have significantly higher odds of adenocarcinogenesis compared with medically treated patients with severe GERD symptoms. This finding may explain the failure of the current screening paradigm in which the threshold for primary endoscopic examination is based on symptom severity.


A few links below under WHAT'S HAPPENIN'" to my responses on Dr. Oz's Sharecare relating to GERD.




1.    NEXT HEALTH FORUM: OCTOBER 6th at 6:15pm

Join me and a community of like-minded individuals in an interactive and engaging discussion about the latest topics and issues in integrative, alternative, conventional, and natural medicine. Find out more here.



Follow my latest answers and blogs as a featured expert on Dr. Oz's Sharecare relating to:

·         What you should know about PPIs before taking them.

·         What to do if your prescriptions aren't working.



Click the link on my homepage to learn about new strategies to increase supportive and preventative care for women. (Issued from the Institute of Medicine).



As usual, I'm always adding new resources to my homepage, so you all have a one stop shop of referrals. Here are some highlights:

  Organic Consumers

·         Organic Trade Association (OTA)

·         Personal Care Products-Don't Put that on Your Face

·         Produce: How Dirty is Yours?

·         Soy Summary 2


·         Do Vaccines Work?(The Atlantic)

·         Flu Vaccine Pros and Cons

·         Gardasil and Menctra

·         Hepatitis B Vaccine Side Effects Study


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Do you find it as intriguing as I do that the number one cause of deaths in our country , heart disease, is linked to social isolation while the rise in diseases that create social interaction obstacles, such as Alzheimer's and Autism, are becoming more predominant?  Society is changing how we interact, not just through technology and smart phones, but by the environmental and lifestyle choices it presents to mediate our decisions to stay connected, and hence, affect our health.

I do not wish to downplay the importance of diet, genetics, and environmental factors. I'll get to that later. Let me ask you this though: Is the solution to our chronic disease patterns truly a pill to block cholesterol or acetylcholine, or to give our children stimulants, antidepressants, and antipsychotics? Furthermore, on another note, is it truly related to just one environmental factor? Let's consider the difference here in correlation and causation.





Vaccination Resources

Autism Links

Gluten Free Society




On her latest Hayhouse Radio Show, Dr. Northrup, discusses how to be an empowered patient. Follow the Hayhouse link on my homepage and find Elizabeth Cohen's book on my recommended reading list






Information compiled by Elizabeth Hammond (EODR, Essential Science Publishing)


Essential oils can improve thinking by carrying oxygen to the brain and stimulating brain centers. Fragrances have the power to affect mood, emotions, and our impressions of the people and places around us. Scents can be comforting, enticing, exciting, or depressing and unpleasant. The sense of smell has the ability to cleanse and heal the brain improving mental focus and productivity.


Therapeutic-grade essential oils can be an invaluable for cleansing toxins and heavy metals, such as aluminum, that lodge in the brain and contribute to memory loss and Alzheimer's.


Therapeutic-grade essential oils also trigger areas in the brain (e.g., the amygdala) that relate to the emotions - the parts of the brain that store trauma and pleasure, as well as memory. This is why essential oil therapy assists the release of fears and outdated belief systems. It also explains why smelling the same oil while studying and then while taking an exam helps with recall of information.

Essential oils can improve thinking by carrying oxygen to the brain and stimulating brain centers.


Fragrances have the power to affect mood, emotions, and our impressions of the people and places around us. Scents can be comforting, enticing, exciting, or depressing and unpleasant. The sense of smell has the ability to cleanse and heal the brain improving mental focus and productivity.


Therapeutic-grade essential oils can be an invaluable for cleansing toxins and heavy metals, such as aluminum, that lodge in the brain and contribute to memory loss and Alzheimer's. Therapeutic-grade essential oils also trigger areas in the brain (e.g., the amygdala) that relate to the emotions - the parts of the brain that store trauma and pleasure, as well as memory. This is why essential oil therapy assists the release of fears and outdated belief systems. It also explains why smelling the same oil while studying and then while taking an exam helps with recall of information.



Here's a sneak peak:




CONCLUSIONS--Consumption of green leafy vegetables and fruit was associated with a lower hazard of diabetes, whereas consumption of fruit juices may be associated with an increased hazard among women.


(Remember, fruit juice is high in fructose, a sweetener that breaks down to fat in the body, even more than sugar!)




From the presses:  

Naturopathic Doctor & Functional Medicine Practitioner, Sarah LoBisco, will be hosting her 4th Integrative Health Forum this October.  Dr. LoBisco's vision is to continue to build a supportive and interactive community for health conscious individuals who are interested in integrative and natural medicine.


She views her role as a mediator and as a sounding board for feedback, from a Naturopathic and Functional Medicine perceptive. Dr. LoBisco's forum will continue the theme of open discussion. With her integrative approach and enthusiasm to provide the best possible care for each individual, Dr. LoBisco hopes to spread the Naturopathic Philosophy of treating the whole person with her forum series. "One needs to feel supported and be part of community to not just be absent of disease, but to thrive," she says.




Follow my latest answers and blogs as a featured expert on Dr. Oz's Sharecare




Read about the new strategies of preventative health care for women on my homepage.





The greatest risk of administering to your own face is that your work is visible and your skin can be damaged with improper care.

crackle face.jpg

I. Inflammation: Friend or Foe??

Find out in my latest blog.

Here's an excerpt:

In a previous blog, I discussed the process of inflammation, how it contributes to disease processes, and various natural methods on how to turn it down naturally. I also discussed how inflammation in one area of the body affects distant areas. Specifically, how inflammation in the digestive track leaks into the body and settles in joints, organs, and the brain.  However, let me caution you before you start shouting curse words at inflammation. It is not the bad guy it's marketed to be. As a Naturopathic and functional medical practitioner, I have to consider the purpose and cause of symptoms, including inflammation.  

The key point of this article is to show that although inflammation is suffering from a bad rap as the cause of all the modern woes, it's not a good idea to completely shut it down. Politics aside, in the body, moderation is truly the key, especially with quenching out the fire of inflammation.

Inflammation does serve a purpose; it is the body's action response when there is an invader or trauma to the system.


II. What about Pain Management?

I thought the article in Dr. Northrup's latest newsletter was fantastic as far as looking at the various features of pain, verses just inflammation.

Chronic Pain in Women--And What You Can Do ( Vijay Vad, M.D.)

According to a report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in late June, more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. The IOM, a committee tasked by Congress, determined that the cost of chronic pain is approximately $600 billion a year, when you account for doctor visits, medicine, sick pay, and so forth. Back pain is the most common form of chronic pain. Here is another staggering statistic: Over 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their life. Chronic back pain accounts for about half of the people on long-term disability in our country.

Women are susceptible to back pain or exacerbation of back pain at different times in their life.

  • During adolescence, girls typically have less muscle mass than boys and, therefore, less shock absorbing abilities. Girls who do gymnastics are at risk for fractures in the spine, called spondylolysis. Overtraining therefore must be avoided.
  • Having less muscle mass also puts girls and young women who participate in sports such as lacrosse and soccer at risk for disc bulges. When you play these sports, it puts an uneven load on the spine. This can cause shear stresses (too much movement of the discs, forward and sideways), which can lead to a tear or bulge in the disc--resulting in pain when twisting or sitting for a long time.
  • The hormonal fluctuation around the time of your period can cause a phenomenon called pain sensitization, a temporary spike in chronic pain. This is particularly true for chronic discogenic pain (pain from disc bulges, tears, or deterioration).
  • During pregnancy, hormones seem to magically protect the disc from herniating. In the past fourteen years, I have only seen one disc herniation in hundreds of pregnant patients. However, women are at high risk for a disc injury a few months after delivering their child, when the pregnancy hormones have dwindled. It's very common for a woman to suffer from her first disc injury around six months after delivery. Therefore trying to stay fit after delivering the child is essential.
  • Low estrogen at menopause increases your risk of osteoporosis. If osteoporosis occurs in the spine, it can cause compression fractures in the back. These are often treatable, and the pain usually resolves relatively quickly. One of the best ways to prevent a compression fracture is by walking thirty minutes daily.
  • The combination of decreasing estrogen levels and a sluggish thyroid (hypothyroid), also common around menopause, can cause cartilage loss. Since the cartilage cushions your joints and protects the bones from rubbing against one another, the loss of cartilage can lead to arthritis in the spine leading to a condition called spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis presents as increased pain with walking or standing.

Northrup, C. Chronic Pain in Women--And What You Can Do. by Vijay Vad, M.D. August 2011 E-Newsletter.

Dr. Northrup. Pain's Deeper Meaning. Accessed August 2, 2011.

III. New Links on my webpage (including fluoride updates)

Now give me your feedback....

Is inflammation your friend or foe?


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1. My latest Blog is posted!

Learn More about the Mind-Mood-Food-Weight Connection 

Here's an excerpt:

I wrote in a previous blog how the brain can become addicted to food, just like any other substance. Recent evidence is that food is not just about nutrients or calories, but about programming our body for health. In his recent article, Dr. Hyman explains the connection:

Food literally talks to our genes. Food is not just a source of calories, it is also a source of INFORMATION.

The key is to send the right information to your genes by eating whole, real, food -- mostly plants. Specific nutrients or plant compounds bind to receptors in cells, translating messages from the foods we eat or vitamins we take in into instructions that are carried out by our cells through their effect on our DNA.

One study looked at the connection between mood, health, and nutrients. The authors found that fish oil reduced anxiety and also suppressed inflammation in the body. This makes sense considering that fatty acids are vital components involved in brain functioning, neurotransmitter signaling, and controlling inflammatory processes.

2. Natural Medicine Tool Kit Highlighted

In my clinic, I recommend the use of therapeutic essential oils to ease the effects of acute conditions. I also suggest various emotional blends to support the mind-body connection of each individual 

For those who wish to learn more, a new AUDIO FILE is now available through August which reviews the properties and uses of various essential oils:

Listen  here to "E7 for Beginners and Experts" (38 minutes)
By: Doug Corrigan and Karen Boren

Some highlights:

Oils have a variety of uses. Therapeutic, Grade A essential oils help to bring the body back into balance, are easy to use (topical and internal applications), and help emotional well-being. For example, lemon and citrus oils can be used for anxiety and are also helpful for digestive and liver health.

Peppermint oil is antispasmodic, helps to relieve gas (Carminative), is anti-inflammatory, nerve supporting, and modulates peristalsis.

Purification neutralizes all stings and toxins of critters.

Learn more about the science of essential oils here.

If you wish to learn more about the uses of essential oils, you may contact Terry Quigley, an independent consultant and the distributor I refer to. You can sign up for Terry's newsletter at:

Here is an excerpt from a recent newsletter:

Did you know that Lemon oil has many traditional uses?

Lemon has antiseptic-like properties and contains compounds that have been studied for their effects on immune function. According Jean Valnet, M.D., the vaporized essence of lemon can kill meningococcus bacteria in 15 minutes, typhoid bacilli in one hour, Staphylococcus aureus in two hours, and Pneumococcus bacteria within three hours. Even a 0.2% solution of lemon oil can kill diphtheria bacteria in 20 minutes and inactivate tuberculosis bacteria. Lemon oil has been widely used in skin care to cleanse skin and reduce wrinkles. It promotes clarity of thought and purpose, as well as health, healing, physical energy, and purification. Its fragrance is invigorating, enhancing, and warming. Lemon has been shown to have antidepressant effects in research done by Komori, et al.,1995. It may also help brighten a pale, dull complexion by removing the dead skin cells. It serves as an effective insect repellent and works well in removing gum, wood stain, oil, and grease spots.

3. ****New Links on my website include:

In the Resource section: Problems with mold and remediation efforts, air purifier links

In the Vaccination Resource section: Vaccination updates

4. The Run For Naturopathic Medicine- Get involved in Spreading the Word J

Mission Statement: To educate and empower Americans about natural health care options to prevent disease, find and treat the cause of illness, and revitalize the nation's health.

Weeks one and two of The Run are in the bag.  Despite 95 degree + weather and RV challenges, the running team is truly Moving Natural Medicine Forward and so far bringing options in health care to towns from San Francisco to Winnemucca.  Thanks to Carl Hangee Bauer in San Francisco, Karyn Wagner with ITI, Tara Levy in Lafayette and the doctors at Marin Natural Medicine Clinic, Dr. Todd Maderis and Dr. Sally Lamont, we enjoyed a successful first leg of our journey with lots of celebrations along the way.

You can read more at the Run
blog and donate to the cause at or follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

Now share your thoughts....

How does your mood affect your food choices?

What are your experiences with essential oils? 


Trade Secrets from the Heart of New York State Licensed Aesthetician, Reisa Mehlman

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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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