I hope our beautiful summer finds you continuing to make the most of it, and you're getting outside frequently. In fact, the summer spirit of health and vitality in our community feels very much like the spirit of "my kind of generation", the Baby Boomers.
A recent article in healthnews.com reported on a study of the Baby Boom generation. It noted that the baby boom generation continues to demand more out of life while maintaining a youthful outlook that defies growing old, represented by their belief that "you are as young as you feel"! They went on to point out that the baby boomer generation engages in more exercise and eats healthier, in addition to drinking and smoking less than their parents did, which has gone a long way to preserve health and prolong stamina for this generation of positive thinkers. The findings of the study suggest that even after reaching advanced years, baby boomers are determined to hold on to their youth, because they have a lot of living to do.
I am proud to say that the vast majority of our patients represent this viewpoint, and when it comes to health that's a good thing. Go Boomers!
Introducing Dr. Mark Carnaghe
I am excited to announce that an old friend and colleague, Dr. Mark Carnaghe, is joining our clinic! I have known Dr. Carnaghe for over 10 years now and we worked together when he was fresh out of school. He is a people friendly, patient focused doc, who is enthusiastic, talented and committed to improving the health of others.
Some of you may have met Dr. Carnaghe already, as he's in the clinic for weekly adjustments and to focus on his own health. Dr. Carnaghe has a wife, Amy, and son, Eli, both of whom I am sure you'll see at the clinic also.
Dr. Carnaghe will begin at Santa Barbara Wellness for Life August 1st! Additionally, this will mean we have more options for all our patients in case one of us is out of the office and you or your loved ones need care. When you see "the new guy" at the clinic, please say hi to Dr. Carnaghe and introduce yourself.
Last Chance for Brain Sustain Special
Our introductory price for Brain Sustain ($72.50 vs. normal retail of $79.95) is supposed to end at the end of July. However, due to my late newsletter reminder, I am extending that until the end of next week, Aug. 5th.
Some recent reports from patients have included; increased energy, thinking more clearly, more emotional stability, improved ability to study, significantly decreased depression and increased resistance to stress! I personally am aware of my brain being even sharper than usual, and remembering things I would not expect to remember.
The Gauchos Are a Comin'!
Three weeks from this Sat., Aug. 20th, will be the pre-season game between UCSB and Westmont. The 2011 Season promises to be a great year for the Gauchos, with a very talented team and quite possibly the most potent offense we have ever had. Be ready for Goals!!!!
I am also excited as this year we Greg Curry back, as an assistant coach. I knew Greg well when he was a captain of our team. He was a key player in our Championship Season and will both be an important contribution to our future success and a very successful soccer coach for many years to come.
More on the Gauchos as their successful season develops, including some ticket giveaways for our patients.
Salt: The Confusion and Clarity
Recently there have been a rash of headlines regarding salt and it's effects on health, most specifically heart disease. When you read the list below you will see that, as with many health issues and their related "research", this is a complicated and complex arena that can easily create confusion.
Big Benefits Are Seen From Eating Less Salt
Putting Down the Salt Shaker May Not Help Your Heart
Cutting salt 'reduces risk of premature death'
Eating less salt doesn't cut heart risks
Study Finds Sodium-Potassium Ratio Strongly Tied to Mortality and CV Disease
Yikes, what is a person to do!? Most Americans have believed for many years that eating too much salt is a bad thing relative to their risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. However, for those looking at this closely (myself included), this idea has always seemed very questionable and way too general.
To help understand the source of this confusion, I've summarized two different studies that differ in their approaches to research, as well as their outcomes.
In one report this past January, scientists writing for The New England Journal of Medicine concluded that lowering the amount of salt people eat by even a small amount could reduce cases of heart disease, stroke and heart attacks as much as reductions in smoking, obesity and cholesterol levels! Many experts felt this conclusion was extreme at best.
One of the authors stated that if everyone consumed half a teaspoon less salt per day, there would be between 54,000 and 99,000 fewer heart attacks each year and between 44,000 and 92,000 fewer deaths, according to the study.
That study involved a "computerized model" that analyzed previous studies to estimate the benefits of salt reduction on lowering blood pressure and the lowered blood pressure's effect on decreasing heart disease, stroke and heart attacks. This is a very indirect method and not specific to the actual effects salt has on individuals.
Then this past May, in an article in the Journal of the American Medical Assoc.(JAMA), researchers tracked 3,700 Europeans by measuring their salt consumption through urine samples at the start of the studies. The participants were split into three groups; those with high, average and low salt intakes.
None of the participants had heart disease at the outset, and two thirds had normal blood pressure. They were followed for an average of 8 years, during which researchers determined how many of them were diagnosed with heart disease, and in a smaller group, how many got high blood pressure.
The chance of getting heart and blood vessel diseases did not differ in the three groups. However, participants with the "lowest salt intake" had the highest rate of death from heart disease during the follow up (4 percent), and people who ate the most salt had the lowest (less than 1 percent).
Across all three salt-intake groups, about one in four study participants who started out with normal blood pressure were diagnosed with high blood pressure during follow up.
Reducing salt may still be a good idea for people who already have high blood pressure or who have had heart problems in the past, the author added, but the study found no evidence that dietary salt causes those conditions to arise and there might also be some adverse effects when lowering salt.
Let me bring some light to this subject. First, the likely reason more people died who ate less salt is that it has been shown that people with Cardiomyopathy, or "weak hearts", are at greater danger of dying if they don't get enough salt. This clarifies a key point that almost all research misses; we are all individual and what is good for one is not necessarily good for the other. I have patients who I strongly encourage to increase their salt consumption. Most commonly they are patients with low blood pressure, or patients who have a tendency to get dehydrated. Also athletes who work out hard and sweat a fair bit.
Now, the real issue with too much salt is, very specifically, too many Americans eating too much "processed food". When eating at home and cooking with natural foods, not processed foods, it is rare to get high amounts of salt unless someone is very heavy handed with the saltshaker. However, in fast food and store bought processed foods, the levels of salt are extremely high. Unfortunately many Americans live off of this kind of food.
Additionally, most Americans do not get enough potassium, which is a mineral that has the opposite effect of sodium. Of course we find high amounts of potassium in natures' foods, especially vegetables and fruits. If humans are eating lots of natural food, adding salt is often an important health benefit, which is one of the reasons salt has been an important commodity for thousands of years. The least processed the salt, the richer it is in other minerals. This is why some are not so white, and can even be pink, as is my favorite salt, Himalayan Salt.
The take home messages are: 1. Research can be dangerous to your health. 2. Eat real foods as much as possible, then you will not have to worry about getting too much salt, but possibly too little, and if you are concerned about not getting enough, just check with me. 3. The world of health has become very "confusing", one needs a strong background in the principles and history of nutrition to make sense of it, toward that end please always check with me on questionable issues or products, so I can keep you safe and well.
Our August Newsletter will include the latest immune protocols and refrigerator page as well as an announcement about our first ever Cold and Flu Season Class for Patients.
Quotes of the Month
"I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific."
"Nothing in the world can take the
place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."