Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

Naturopathic Fun Facts

Protecting Our Brain & Balancing Our Blood Sugar

In keeping with my current trend of protecting our bodies (from excess sugar villain), here's a study that shows how spicing up our life can help. 
Why not substitute the yummy flavor of cinnamon to your hot beverage to balance blood sugar, control inflammation, and potentially help your brain? Recent studies show that cinnamon by decrease early Aβ amyloid fibrils formation in Alzheimer's disease, the more risky memory blunter than the Aβ soluble oligomers.
Recent studies have shown inhibition of Aβ plaque formation in vitro and in vivo by compounds from natural sources [19]-[21]....
Cinnamon is widely used by humans, both as a spice and as a traditional medicine. It is, perhaps, one of the oldest herbal medicines, having been mentioned in the Bible (Exodus, Proverbs and Song of Songs) and in Chinese texts as long as 4,000 years ago [22]. 
..The unique healing abilities of cinnamon are due to various components such as cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol, in addition to a wide range of other volatile substances including safrole, coumarin and cinnamic acid esters [22]..
. Cinnamon has unique medicinal abilities such as blood sugar control [23], anti-oxidant [22], anti inflammatory [24] and anti-microbial activities [25]. 
..Here, we demonstrate the use of a natural substance based on aqueous cinnamon extract (CEppt) as an efficacious therapeutic agent that inhibits Aβ oligomer formation and ameliorates AD symptoms. In addition, we suggest the use of an efficacious platform for screening molecules as AD drugs using in vitro cell culture and in vivo AD fly and aggressive AD mouse model.
Source: Frydman-Marom A, Levin A, Farfara D, Benromano T, Scherzer-Attali R, et al. (2011) Orally Administrated Cinnamon Extract Reduces β-Amyloid Oligomerization and Corrects Cognitive Impairment in Alzheimer's Disease Animal Models. PLoS ONE 6(1): e16564. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016564

Alpha Lipoic Acid Could Help Weight loss

Another promising natural compound, alpha lipoid acid, was recently shown in a RCT, placebo study of 360 obese people to help assist in weight loss. I often use this substance, when indicated for my clients. It's weight loss effect is probably to its modulation of insulin on insulin sensitivity:

CONCLUSION:  Alpha-lipoic acid 1800 mg/d led to a modest weight loss in obese subjects. Alpha-lipoic acid may be considered as adjunctive therapy for obesity.
Source: Koh EH, Lee WJ, Lee SA,  Kim EH, Cho EH, Jeong E, Kim DW, Kim MS, Park JY, Park KG, Lee HJ, Lee IK, Lim S, Jang HC, Lee KH, Lee KU.Effects of alpha-lipoic Acid on body weight in obese subjects (abstract). Am J Med. 2011 Jan;124(1):85.e1-8. PMID: 21187189

To Lose Weight....Run....FAR Away From Marathons (Dr. Mercola)

You may think that a winner of a marathon is in top-peak condition. Not so. There have been reports of people dropping dead unexpectedly in marathons. (YIKES!)  The new wave of exercise is peak fitness, or interval training. This builds muscles and burns fats-- in less time. The reason...strict cardio training only works 1 out of 3 muscle types and too long and too severe cardio can damage the heart:
For example, two recent studies showed:
Heart damage after lifelong cardio: In a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers recruited a group of extremely fit older men. All of them were members of the 100 Marathon club, meaning athletes who had completed a minimum of 100 marathons. If running marathons provided cardiovascular benefit this would certainly be the group you would want to seriously examine. So what did they find?
..Heart scarring after elite cardio training: An animal study published in the journal Circulation was designed to mimic the strenuous daily exercise load of serious marathoners over the course of 10 years. All the rats had normal, healthy hearts at the outset of the study, but by the end most of them had developed "diffuse scarring and some structural changes, similar to the changes seen in the human endurance athletes."
A Better Way to Exercise?
Science now suggests that the best fitness regimen is actually one that mimics the movements of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, which included short bursts of high-intensity activities, but not long-distance running such as is required to complete a marathon. The idea behind "hunter-gatherer fitness" is to closely emulate the actions that ancient man took on a daily basis. This is what your body is hard-wired for, after all, and includes such attributes as:
•    A variety of exercises performed regularly (weight training, cardio, stretching, etc.)
•    Alternate difficult days with easier days
•    Interval training sessions performed once or twice a week
•    Weight training at least twice a week
•    Ample time for rest after physical exertion

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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...

Dr. Sarah Lobisco

SARAH LOBISCO, ND, is a graduate of the University of Bridgeport’s College of Naturopathic Medicine (UBCNM). She is licensed in Vermont as a naturopathic doctor and holds a Bachelor of Psychology from State University of New York at Geneseo. Dr. LoBisco speaks professionally on integrative medical topics, has several journal publications, and is a candidate for postdoctoral certification in functional medicine. She currently incorporates her training in holistic medical practices and conventional medicine through writing as well as through her position as Director of Clinical Education for a highly-esteemed nutraceutical and medical food company.*Dr. LoBisco’s recent blogs about living naturally in our complex world and on the applications of essential oils can be found at Her book, BreakFree Medicine, is set for release this year. *

*Currently, Dr. LoBisco is not seeing new clients or practicing naturopathic medicine with private consultation work. Although she holds a license in VT, her current role is to provide support for clinical education and technical support on natural products, exclusive of any medical or diagnostic consultations or services. Read more...