Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

Dr. Sarah: October 2011 Archives

Time for tricks, treats, and good, healthy eats!

Dr. Sarah LoBisco

It's time to prepare for two great events in one great month---Halloween and Dr. Sarah's Top Reads.

In this Blog:

1.    Naturopathic Philosophy Highlight Fun Facts: Features in October 2011 Top Reads:

a.       Your Leaky Gut is Making You Fat!

b.      A Plea for Bone Health

2.    Healthy Halloween Treat Alternatives

3.    Radio For Your Body-Mind-Soul:

Core Balance for Women's Health
Marcelle Pick
October 25, 2011 An Energetic Heart is Key to Overall Wellness
Join Marcelle Pick, NP and Functional Medical Practitioner, as she discusses the mind-body-science of heart coherence with Dr. Deborah Rozman.

4.    Book of the week: The HeartMath Solution: The Institute for HeartMath's Revolutionary Program for Engaging the Power of the Heart's Intelligence

5.    Don't miss out:

a.       Read the rest of my latest Blog on the Top Health Stories of October 2011

b.      Check out my latest answer and more on Dr. Oz's Sharecare: How does Naturopathic Medicine view Autism?

c.       View the Updated Link Resources on my homepage

    Recommended Reading Lists

    Vaccine information


Highlights from the latest and greatest news of October 2011.

A Leaky Gut is making you fat!

Your gastrointestinal tract is not just about digestion and assimilation (and pesky gas from an occasional "no-no"), but rather, it's the major mediator in immunity, mood, and inflammation. Today, the importance of the gut's integrity for overall wellness is finally getting the attention it deserves-by headlining in some of the most well known health-oriented newsletters. This is very exciting for Naturopathic and Functional Medical Doctors who have been droning on about this concept for years their patients.

Below, I've highlighted an abstract that reports on the connection of inflammation in the gut leading to higher visceral fat in rodent and human models. This makes sense, considering it's your gut microbiota that modulates important inflammatory messengers and that inflammation affects assimilation and healthy weight.

Increased visceral fat, as opposed to subcutaneous/gluteal, most strongly relates to key metabolic dysfunctions including insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, and inflammation. Mesenteric fat hypertrophy in patients with Crohn's disease and in experimental rodent models of gut inflammation suggest that impaired gut barrier function with increased leakage of gut-derived antigens may drive visceral lipid deposition. The aim of this study was to determine whether increased intestinal permeability is associated with visceral adiposity in healthy humans. Normal to overweight female subjects were recruited from a population-based cohort. Intestinal permeability was assessed using the ratio of urinary excretion of orally ingested sucralose to mannitol (S/M). In study 1 (n = 67), we found a positive correlation between waist circumference and S/M excretion within a time frame of urine collection consistent with permeability of the lower gastrointestinal tract (6-9 hours post-ingestion; P = 0.022). These results were followed up in study 2 (n = 55) in which we used computed tomography and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry to measure visceral and subcutaneous fat areas of the abdomen, liver fat content, and total body fat of the same women. The S/M ratio from the 6-12 h urine sample correlated with visceral fat area (P = 0.0003) and liver fat content (P = 0.004), but not with subcutaneous or total body fat. This novel finding of an association between intestinal permeability and visceral adiposity and liver fat content in healthy humans suggests that impaired gut barrier function should be further explored as a possible mediator of excess visceral fat accumulation and metabolic dysfunction. PMID:21852815

Source: Your Leaky Gut is Making you Fat! (Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Aug 18. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.251. [Epub ahead of print])

My plea for bone health:

Did you know Sweden has the highest intake of calcium from dairy products yet earns the highest rating for osteoporosis!! Bone is a metabolically active organ. It plays an important role in maintaining electrolyte balance, structural stability, and blood cell formation. Keeping it healthy and strong is not just about supplementing with calcium, which can lead to calcifications in the soft tissue. Rather, bone health is related to balancing the protein, collagen, and mineral matrix in a healthy, nutritional ratio.

Here's an excerpt as to why calcium isn't the key to maintaining bone health:

There are just three aspects of bone health toward which our small, furry friends have contributed data recently:

    * Development of brittle bones in the aged is not just a matter of bone mineral loss, but is also caused by over-mineralization of, and loss of, the matrix of bone collagen and protein that forms the "living" part of bones.
    * Adequate protein is essential for maintaining bone strength in the elderly.
    * Mechanical loading (exercise) builds bone strength, even in the aged.

Source: Brown, S. Kudos to the Mighty Mouse-Bone Health Hero! Betterbones blog.

To view more exciting headlines, click here.

Happy, Healthy Halloween for Kids!? Why?

A few weeks ago, I discussed the importance of what we give our children and the long-term impact on their health:

The fact is that the daily decisions of what we put in our children's mouth and body are affecting them, not just in the long term, but even more acutely. Youth are being diagnosed with diseases commonly associated with adulthood at a higher frequency today than in the past. One study, reported by WebMD, even showed over a 30% increase in strokes among teenagers and young adults:

It's not that our society is intentionally trying to damage our children's bodies and brains with high sugary snacks, soda pop, and other processed chemicals. The fact is, we are bombarded with advertising and marketing ploys that lure us into believing that we deserve these "treats" based on our everyday hectic lives. However, do we really deserve the long term side effects on our health?

Recently, Dr. Mercola discussed the upsetting trends of food marketing to our children.  The disturbing facts are:

·         Food and beverage companies spend $2 billion a year promoting unhealthy foods to your kids

·         The fast-food industry spends more than $5 million every DAY marketing unhealthy foods to children

·         Nearly 40 percent of children's diets come from added sugars and unhealthy fats

·         95 percent of kids' foods marketed as healthy contain added sugar

·         The researchers concluded what you probably already suspect: kids who were exposed to junk food, soda and fast food, via advertising and also because their parents fed them these foods, learned to recognize and prefer these foods over healthier choices. This does have an impact on their health, as nutrients from quality foods are critical in helping your child reach his or her fullest potential!

·         One study from British researchers revealed that kids who ate a predominantly processed food diet at age 3 had lower IQ scores at age 8.5. For each measured increase in processed foods, participants had a 1.67-point decrease in IQ.

·         As you might suspect, the opposite also held true, with those eating healthier diets experiencing higher IQ levels. For each measured increase in dietary score, which meant the child was eating more fruits and vegetables for instance, there was a 1.2-point increase in IQ.

So, what's the solution? One is to read the above link on how to implement changes, and then click on the Mercola link to show your support for our youth's health and to say no to junk food marketing.

Healthy Halloween Treats

So, what's a busy parent to do during this scary time of year and with our everyday frankenfoods. Thankfully, Nourishing Kids can be as easy as a click. I stumbled on the website Nourishing Thoughts when looking for a good base for healthy children recipes for my patients. Here are some Naturopathic tips for the below:

++Replace sugar with xylitol, butter with ghee, and flour to gluten free if necessary or organic

Halloween Recipes for Kids- Kids Cooking Fun for Autumn

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe -National Geographic Kids

Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe - NW Kids

Apple Wrap Dessert Picture Recipe - Kids Cooking Activities

Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe- Nourish Interactive Healthy Makeovers

Rainbow Fruit Sticks -Today I Ate a Rainbow

Kale Chips Recipe - Weelicious

Click here to download a PDF of healthy Halloween Subsitutes


Mercola, J. Stop Junk Food Marketing to Children. October 24, 2011.

Nourishing Thoughts. Parents Scoop on Family Nutrition. Healthy Halloween Recipes for Kids.

Radio for the BODY-MIND-Soul:

Core Balance for Women's Health

Marcelle Pick
October 25, 2011 An Energetic Heart is Key to Overall Wellness
Dr. Deborah Rozman. of HeartMath talks with Marcelle about the role your heart plays in reducing stress and enhancing performance, productivity and the quality of your life and work. She will explain the science of coherence and how emotional and mental energy can be transformed to benefit wellbeing. Deborah is an author and coauthor of more than a dozen books, including HeartMath's Transforming series. She is also a key media spokesperson on the role of the heart in performance, wellness and personal growth.

Highlighted Book of the week:

The HeartMath Solution: The Institute for HeartMath's Revolutionary Program for Engaging the Power of the Heart's Intelligence

Doc Chidre and Howard Martin provide science and techniques that explore why becoming coherent with your heart manifests in lowered stress, better hormonal balance, and a happier, healthier life.

Read my summary on the heart-brain and the hormonal and immune boosting powers of the heart.


In this Newsletter:

1.     Naturopathic Philosophy Highlight Fun Facts: Food as Medicine: Eating the Rainbow, How to Scare People with Vitamins

2.      Check out my answers and blog on Dr. Oz's Sharecare.

3.      Updated Link Resources on my homepage

4.      Radio For Your Body-Mind-Soul:

·         Body/Mind Dr. Northrup discusses the How to Get UNSTUCK from depression with Dr. Gordon.

·         Mind/Soul Michael Neil discuss Accidental Success and another way to unstick from the mind chatter

5.      Book of the week: Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey out of Depression

·         Dr. James Gordon's book portrays his clinical and personal experience with clinical depression and provides a holistic model on how to get one's life back.

6.      A New Functional Test For Heart Health Status--in your own home!

7.   My Latest Blog on Low Cholesterol & Brain Function

Bonus Reads:

More information on Food as Medicine (Dr. Hyman)

Dr. Hyman explains using your fork to eat the rainbow:

Red Group

(tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon)

These contain the carotenoid lycopene, which helps rid the body of free radicals that damage genes. Lycopene seems to protect against prostate cancer as well as heart and lung disease. Processed juices contain a lot of the beneficial ingredients. One glass of tomato juice gives you 50 percent of the recommended lycopene.

Yellow/Green Group

(spinach greens, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, yellow corn, green peas, avocado, honeydew melon)

These are sources of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These are believed to reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Lutein is a yellow-green substance that concentrates in the back of your eye. It may also reduce atherosclerosis.

Orange Group

(carrots, mangos, apricots, cantaloupes, pumpkin, acorn squash, winter squash, sweet potatoes)

These contain alpha carotene, which protects against cancer. They also contain beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. It protects the skin against free-radical damage and helps repair damaged DNA. Beta-carotene is also good for night vision. It's important to note that these beneficial nutrients can be received from other foods, too. For instance, vitamins found in dairy products and meat. But it's not as beneficial because you get high calories and fat along with it.

Orange/Yellow Group

(pineapple, orange juice, oranges, tangerines, peaches, papayas, nectarines)

These contain beta cryptothanxin, which helps cells in the body communicate and may help prevent heart disease. In addition, a single orange contains 170 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C. It's interesting to note that the skin of an orange is high in a protective fat that has been found to kill cancer cells in humans and animals, which highlights the fact that two-thirds of all drugs come from the plant world.

Red/Purple Group

(beets, eggplant, purple grapes, red wine, grape juice, prunes, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, red apples)

These are loaded with powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins believed to protect against heart disease by preventing blood clots. They may also delay the aging of cells in the body. There is some evidence they may help delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Green Group

(broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage or bok choi, kale)

These contain the chemicals sulforaphane and isocyanate and they also contain indoles, all of which help ward off cancer by inhibiting carcinogens. It's a fact that ten percent of the population - like George Bush Sr. - doesn't like broccoli. But it is important in diets because of the beneficial chemicals it contains.

White/Green Group

(leeks, scallions, garlic, onions, celery, pears, white wine, endive, chives)

The onion family contains allicin, which has anti-tumor properties. Other foods in this group contain antioxidant flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol.

Hyman, M. Eat Your Medicine: Food as Pharmacology. October 15, 2011.

Scaring People with Vitamins. (

(OMNS, Oct 20, 2011) Recent much trumpeted anti-vitamin news is the product of pharmaceutical company payouts. No, this is not one of "those" conspiracy theories. Here's how it's done:

1) Cash to study authors. Many of the authors of a recent negative vitamin E paper (1) have received substantial income from the pharmaceutical industry. The names are available in the last page of the paper (1556) in the "Conflict of Interest" section. You will not see them in the brief summary at the JAMA website. A number of the study authors have received money from pharmaceutical companies, including Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, AstraZeneca, Abbott, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Amgen, Firmagon, and Novartis.

2) Advertising revenue. Many popular magazines and almost all major medical journals receive income from the pharmaceutical industry. The only question is, how much? Pick up a copy of the publication and count the pharmaceutical ads. The more space sold, the more revenue for the publication. If you try to find their advertisement revenue, you'll see that they don't disclose it. So, just count the Pharma ads. Look in them all: Readers Digest , JAMA, Newsweek, Time, AARP Today, NEJM, Archives of Pediatrics. Even Prevention magazine. Practically any major periodical.

3) Rigged trials. Yes, it is true and yes it is provable. In a recent editorial, we explained how trials of new drugs are often rigged at . Studies of the health benefits of vitamins and essential nutrients also appear to be rigged. This can be easily done by using low doses to guarantee a negative result, and by biasing the interpretation to show a statistical increase in risk.

4) Bias in what is published, or rejected for publication. The largest and most popular medical journals receive very large income from pharmaceutical advertising. Peer-reviewed research indicates that this influences what they print, and even what study authors conclude from their data. .

5) Censorship of what is indexed and available to doctors and the public. Public tax money pays for censorship in the largest public medical library on the planet: the US National Library of Medicine (MEDLINE/PubMed). See also:

Don't Believe It?

How well were these pro-vitamin, anti-drug studies covered in the mass media?

  • A Harvard study showed a 27% reduction in AIDS deaths among patients given vitamin supplements. (2)
  • There have been no deaths from vitamins in 27 years.
  • Antibiotics cause 700,000 emergency room visits per year, just in the US. (3)
  • Modern drug-and-cut medicine is at least the third leading cause of death in the USA. Some estimates place medicine as the number one cause of death. (4)
  • Over 1.5 million Americans are injured every year by drug errors in hospitals, doctors' offices, and nursing homes. If in a hospital, a patient can expect at least one medication error every single day. (5)
  • More than 100,000 patients die every year, just in the US, from drugs properly prescribed and taken as directed. (6)

Andrew Saul. How to Make People Believe Any Anti-Vitamin Scare. October 20, 2011. This article may be reprinted free of charge provided 1) that there is clear attribution to the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and 2) that both the OMNS free subscription link and also the OMNS archive link are included.

New Functional Test for Measuring Blood Lipids:

Vitalchoice just introduced a new blood test to measure heart risk. It looks like a promising test that patients can do on their own and be guided by a practitioner. Read more here.

NEW! Omega-3 Blood Test. Our Vital Omega 3 and 6 HUFA Test Provides the Most accurate measures of omega-related heart risk and guides diet choices. October 11, 2011.,b1h0JlRD

Excerpt from Cholesterol to the Rescue:

You Really are a Fat Head! (And that's good!)

Approximately 25% of your cholesterol is located in your brain and your retina is approximately 60%. In fact, Low Density Lipoprotein (the "bad cholesterol") is actually a transport mechanism to the eyes and omega fatty acids have been shown in various studies to assist in neurotransmission and neurotransmitter production in the brain.

What happens when the body's brain and eye's don't get the necessary precursor, cholesterol, to function? Read on for an eye and brain changing blog.....

In This Blog:

1. Naturopathic Philosophy Highlight Fun Fact: How Stress and Thinking Affects Your Health

2. Radio For Your Body-Mind-Soul:

a. Body/Mind Dr. Northrup discusses the body's connection to the change of seasons

b. Soul Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles with Gabrielle Bernstein. Diane Ray interview Gabrielle on her road from NY party girl to enlightened teacher

3. Book of the week: Women's Body's Women's Wisdom

4. What's Up with Mold? Check out my answer and more on Dr. Oz's Sharecare.

5. Be sure to read my latest Blog: Trick or Treat? GMOs: Foods which are scary every day! and accessUpdated Link Resources on my homepage

Body-Mind or Mind-Body?
Excerpted Highlights of my weeks newsletters:

How does Stress impact our health? Dr. Hyman reports:

Just consider these facts:

95 percent of all illness is caused or worsened by stress. Low socioeconomic status is associated with poorer health outcomes and higher risk of death from all causes. This is not because of poor health habits, but because of feelings of powerlessness and loss of control. Internalized racism and stress are associated with high amounts of belly fat.
Stress hormones damage the hippocampus -- the memory center in the brain -- causing memory loss and dementia.
In a study of people who volunteered to have cold viruses injected into their noses, only people with a high level of perceived stress got colds. Women with metastatic breast cancer survived twice as long if they were part of a support group.
Belonging to a group -- a religious group, a bowling club, a quilting group -- reduces risk of death from all causes and increases longevity, despite health habits.
In a study of doctors, those who scored high on hostility questionnaires had a higher risk of heart attacks than those who smoked, were overweight, had high blood pressure, or didn't exercise. So, if you don't think the mind has the power to influence your body, think again.
Source: Hyman, M. Stress Tips: Calm Your Brain, Heal Your Body. October 8, 2011.

Furthermore, you can be healthier, if you think you are...

According to a report in Science Daily:

People who rate their health as poor or fair appear to be significantly more likely to develop dementia later in life, according to a study published in the October 5, 2011, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"Having people rate their own health may be a simple tool for doctors to determine a person's risk of dementia, especially for people with no symptoms or memory problems," said study author Christophe Tzourio, MD, PhD, director of the Inserm unit 708 Neuroepidemiology at the University of Bordeaux 2 in France

Source: Think You're in Poor Health? It Could Increase Your Odds of Dementia. ScienceDaily (Oct. 6, 2011).

Body-Soul Filled Listening


October 13, 2011 The Rally of Autumn
Ever notice how the flies come into the house just as the weather turns colder? Nature has a rally of energy before quieting down for the winter. Where do your energies require a rally? Tune in as Dr. Northrup teaches you how to harness the energy of this season.


October 10, 2011 Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self Love and Miracles with Gabrielle Bernstein
How does a New York City publicist and party girl turn into a go-to guide for the next generation? Gabrielle Bernstein tells you how she transformed her life and offers her wisdom on how you too can overcome fear, change your perceptions, and create a life you're psyched to wake up for!
Archive shows available for free one week post air date.

Book of the week:

Women's Body's Women's Wisdom

In lieu of October being Breast Health Month, Dr. Northrup's Women's Body Women's Wisdom provides a go to text on the body-mind-soul connection of all things related to being a women.
View my latest blog on GMOs and check my site for updated resource links.

My latest blog on Some Tips to Releasing toxic, Stubborn Weight is now available online!

In this Blog:

1.       Naturopathic Philosophy Highlight Fun Fact: Breast Cancer Month or Breast Health Month-Dr. Christiane Northrup Explains

2.       Launch of Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson's new Book, Create an Exceptional Life!

3.       Updated Link Resources on my homepage

4.      Radio For Your Body-Mind-Soul:

a.       Marcelle Pick Discusses Slow Burn Weight Loss

b.       Dr. Northrup Discusses How to Prevent Breast Problems

5.       Dr. Oz's Sharecare

Naturopathic Fun Fact:

Breast Health Month (Dr. Northrup)

When thinking about what to write you this month, I knew I wanted to remind you about thermography. It's a technology that picks up thermal changes in breast tissue. These thermal changes are the precursors for breast tissue anomalies that can become cancerous. Unlike a mammogram, a thermogram--a breast exam using thermography--isn't invasive. No one touches or flattens your breasts, and there is absolutely no radiation exposure. Since I've written about thermography extensively on my Web site, I strongly encourage you to read Best Breast Test and A Tale of Two Exams and become familiar with my favorite breast test.

One of the reasons I like thermography is it often gives you time to change your habits and improve the health of your breast tissue. That's because thermography can find potential problems years before a mammogram can detect cancerous cells. This shifts the focus from curing to preventing.

And, what does Dr. Northrup, leading holistic and integrative OBGYN in the USA suggest for breast health?

Among opening up to receiving, not wearing a bra to bed, supplements, respecting yourself, and exercising, Dr. Northrup explains a final and important emotional aspect to consider:

Finally, give yourself the gift of forgiveness. Imagine that your Higher Power, or spiritual self, is standing right in front of you. And she is the very embodiment of love and compassion. She reaches out, touches your head, and says, "I now forgive you for all the times you ate too much ice cream, got angry with your children, or didn't clean up. I forgive you for not keeping a promise to yourself or someone else. I forgive you for being human and for not being able to make everyone happy. I forgive you for ever doubting your worth. I forgive you for having needs and for needing other people to love you. I forgive you for trying to hide your pain behind a brave and stoic face."

What is Early Detection?

The most promising aspect of thermography is its ability to spot anomalies years before mammography. Using the same ten-year study data,2 researcher Dr. Getson adds, "Since thermal imaging detects changes at the cellular level, studies suggest that this test can detect activity eight to ten years before any other test. This makes it unique in that it affords us the opportunity to view changes before the actual formation of the tumor. Studies have shown that by the time a tumor has grown to sufficient size to be detectable by physical examination or mammography, it has in fact been growing for about seven years achieving more than twenty-five doublings of the malignant cell colony. At 90 days there are two cells, at one year there are 16 cells, and at five years there are 1,048,576 cells--an amount that is still undetectable by a mammogram. (At 8 years, there are almost 4 billion cells.)"

Want on to listen to Radio For Your Soul

Create an Exceptional Life


This month is Louise Hay's 85th birthday. Louise Hay founded HayHouse publishing and was the pioneer in the mind-body -thought medicine movement. She is a breast cancer survivor.

In her latest release, with Cheryl Richardson, Louise and Cheryl discuss simple tools on how to "create an exceptional life!"

Radio for Your Body-Mind-Soul


October 5, 201: Weigh it Out: Myths, Facts and Fiction about Maintaining a Healthy Weight.
Getting tired of all the contradicting advice on how to lose weight and keep it off? Tune in as Marcelle talks about the plethora of confusing information out there about weight loss! You've heard it all too!

October 6, 2011 How to Prevent Breast Problems
For the past three decades, mammography has been the gold standard for breast cancer screening. Unfortunately, mammograms require radiation and pick up too many cases of DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). There's a better way. Join Dr. Northrup and her guest, Dr. Philip Getson, to learn how to create true breast health with thermography!

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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 upcoming position in the spring of 2015 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...