Saturday, December 11, 2010

Radio Show Notes3: Alternative Medicine? Eat Worms.

This is an amazing story that gets to the heart of our warped and skewed Culture of Health. 

(please share this story with anyone who is weirded out by worms!!)
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Join in the conversation today on the show: 

My show notes are below, but basically this man was given treatment for having ulcers in his colon, with bleeding stools(!!). The treatment made him worse, actually, and he was facing having to spend the rest of his life with his colon running to a bag outside of his body!!


Needless to say, he chose a different option and started investigating on his own. His solution took him to Thailand, he got well, and got to keep his colon attached to his anus where it belongs. 

Despite this, the medical community was expressed their indignant harrumphing that he went "off-grid" to find a solution that worked. Okay, it involved feces, and eating worms. Weird, yes. Nasty, way yes. But this man solved his own problems by doing his own research. Sometimes you have to be your own doctor. 

Several scientific studies have posted that Accutane is a possible trigger of Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative colitis in some individuals. 

One day in 2004, a 29-year-old man with a terrible stomach problem stepped off a plane from the United States in Thailand. He wasn't there for the sights, or the food, or the beaches. He had traveled thousands of miles for worms -- parasitic worms whose eggs he intended to swallow by the thousands.

"You'll be on your own," the man remembers the doctor telling him.

Indeed, he was on his own, standing in the office of a Thai doctor, asking her to pick the worm eggs out of an 11-year-old girl's stool.

The man -- who wants to protect his privacy, and be referred to only as "the patient" -- was 28 when he started having bloody bowel movements. Soon, he was having 10 to 15 bloody bowel movements a day.

Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, nothing helped except high doses of steroids, which because of severe side effects, he could take only for limited periods of time. Soon, the patient became so sick he had to quit his job.

His gastroenterologist wanted to admit him to the hospital for an intravenous round of cyclosporine, a potentially helpful yet dangerous medicine that depresses the body's immune system and can increase the risk for getting cancer later in life.

If the cyclosporine didn't work -- and there was a 50 percent chance it wouldn't -- the doctor said his last hope was to remove his colon entirely, an extreme measure that would cause him to have to have a colostomy bagattached to him for the rest of his life to collect his stool.

He contacted parasitologists, gastroenterologists, and all the docs who could help him, and they all turned him down – not because they didn’t think it would work!! They did it because of liability!!

He contacted researchers in various developing countries to ask if they could help him get his hands on some eggs. The researcher in Thailand was particularly helpful, and he got on a plane to visit with her.

After he arrived, the doctor in Thailand extracted roundworm eggs from the stool of an 11-year-old infected girl. She gave the trichuris trichiura eggs to the patient, but he now faced another hurdle. The eggs needed to be cleaned in case the girl had hepatitis or some other infectious disease, and the eggs needed to mature for them to be helpful. It was up to him to clean the eggs and grow them in a process called "embryonation."

"There wasn't much guidance on how to do it, since most people are trying to destroy these worms, not grow them," he says.

But he managed to do it and ingested first a dose of 500 eggs and then another of 1,000. The worms could live in his intestinal track for many years.

Three months later he had fewer bloody bowel movements, and soon, none at all. His bowel movements were normal. He felt fine.

From time to time, when his ulcerative colitis would flare up again, he'd extract eggs from his own stool, and clean, embryonate and ingest them. Again, his symptoms would go away.

Colonoscopy showed no presence of ulcers when the worms were present, and no presence of worms, when the ulcers were there.

Charges of irresponsibility
Hanauer, chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at the University of Chicago, warned against making too many conclusions from one man's positive experience with worms.

He says New York University was "irresponsible" for putting out a press release about the study, and criticized media outlets such as CNN for reporting on it.

"It's ridiculous and incredibly inappropriate," he says. "You're driving people to go on the internet and buy these worms, and these are potentially pathogenic organisms. These eggs can invade the systems of people who are immune suppressed and cause infections."

He says he knows he took a risk by ingesting the eggs from a young girl in Thailand, but for him it was a better option than treatment with drugs that have potentially dangerous side effects, or the removal of his colon.
"Sometimes you really do have to take matters into your own hands," he says.

 For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Radio Show Notes2: Healthiest Breakfast on Earth w Video in Dr Clower's kitchen

Here are my show notes for the program RIGHT NOW (12/11/10, noon EST). Breakfast!! Is it the most important meal of the day? Should you eat it? And how about some examples of some healthy breakfast, eh??

(please share this video with anyone who eats breakfast!!) Bookmark and Share 

AUDIO location: 
VIDEO location:

In this video, I show you what a healthy breakfast is, and give the answer to these question from my own kitchen. 

Looking forward to your thoughts. 

 For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Radio Show Notes1: Top Ten Signs of Good Health

How would you know if you're healthy? These signs can offer you guidance, and have nothing to do with data you might get from a physician.  

(please share this with someone who needs to know they're healthy)
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(I'm talking about these in the first 20 minutes of the show today)

VIDEO location:
Don't get me wrong, you need to get data from your physician. But you also need to look at yourself, your behavior, and how you feel. 
Trust yourself. Listen to your body and mind. Develop this skill of listening to your own body. Only then can you own your own health. 

The Top Ten Signs of Good Health 
1.                     Persistent sense of humor.
Happiness pushes your body toward health. Humor is a drug that works. 
2.                     Chronic positive expectations; tendency to frame events in a constructive light.
People who live to be very old, and remain healthy in the process, consistently state that they have always had a positive outlook. In many ways, we do create our own reality.  
3.                     Episodic outbreaks of joyful, happy experiences.
This is a reflection of an internal demeanor. Like #2 above, this not only reflects health, but also helps produce health in your body. It may be something that comes naturally for you, or it may be something that you have to practice, like a dance. 
4.                     Sense of spiritual involvement.
This is not about "religion", but doesn't exclude it. It is about an internal sense that you are connected with something outside of yourself; something larger than yourself -- whether that is a deity, or nature, or whatever. 
5.                     Tendency to adapt well to changing conditions.
If you can adapt to a life that seems to change at breakneck speed, then the stresses we face will be less likely to "get to you". If that is the case, then you will not succumb to the chronic illnesses that are generated by chronic stress. 
6.                     Rapid response to and recovery from stress and repeated challenges.
Similar to #5 above, if you can do this you are a person who can take stressful circumstances and let it roll off your back -- rather than letting it seep into your heart and mind. THAT is a healthy person. 
7.                     Increased appetite for physical activity.
Doing nothing leads to doing nothing. Moving creates the ability to move. The people who are healthiest are those who are moving to something that "moves them"; to something that they enjoy. Thus, they want to move more, so they can move more, so they want to move more ... and so on. 
8.                     Tendency to identify and communicate feelings.
This is such a critical life skill. Without this, a bottled up hurt or misunderstanding, can fester into full-on resentment. This is a sore on the soul that you have to open to the light and air. And you do that by taking the time to understand it, and speak about it to those who love you. 
9.                     Repeated episodes of gratitude and generosity.
The more you give, the more you get. This has nothing to do with your wallet, and everything to do with the fact that we are social animals. When you pet a pet, when you help someone, when you do something that represents kindness for kindness' sake, you benefit. This doesn't reflect good health, but supports it. 

10.                  Continuing presence of support network.
Isolation kills. With rare exceptions, loneliness can manifest itself as an internalized stressor. When surrounded by friends and family, you will be more likely to head off these stresses and live a healthy life.   

 For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Does Fish Oil Help Your Brain: See this Video!

This video from CNN reports on the latest research on the linkage between fish oil pills and brain health.

(don't forget to share this video with someone with a bad memory) 
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Hey, here's a trivia question!! What is the BEST source of fish oil? Hmmm ... FISH!!

Remember the rule: "pills are for sick people." Get your nutrients from your food.

 For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Radio Program Contents For Saturday (Noon EST)

This week we're featuring The Doors music!! 

Just how is one supposed to link together Jim Morrison's own little brand of CRAZY with our content for this week --  eating worm eggs for colitis, strategies for raising smarter kids, and the Food Safety Bill?? 
(please share this with anyone who likes The Doors!!) Bookmark and Share

Oh!! I'll also give you the Healthiest Breakfast on Earth!! 

As usual, I will pub my show notes here through the show itself, as well. Here are the link locations for watching and listening.  

AUDIO location: 

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Don't buy "learning tapes". Buy a bike.

You're going to laugh. Get ready ... when I was a kid, I actually rode a unicycle from my house to the school, through Junior High School. 

(please pass this article to parents, and whiny kids who would rather sit than move) 
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I know, I know, it confirms every sneaking suspicion about me!! I guess that's why I love this research finding: 

Girls who walk or bike to school instead of getting a ride perform better in tests of verbal and math skills, according to a new study of teens. 
And the longer the commute, the higher the test scores, regardless of how much exercise girls got outside of school.

This is an easy solution, and it has nothing to do with walking to school. It has everything to do with giving the teen brain exactly what it needs -- physical stimulation with simple, regular, daily movement. 
When you move your bottom through space, it increases blood flow to the brain. What does the butt-to-brain connection mean? It results in better concentration, better memory (and WHAT do teens need more than that??), and other key factors associated with learning.
Earlier this year, a large study of urban teens suggested those who exercise more outside of school do better on cognitive tests.

You can get them some cool learning apps for their handheld electronics and their couch-planting games, but it's not helping their brains, their attention, or their lives. 

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Daily Aspirin. A Good Idea?

Aspirin is actually an amazing thing. Okay, it increases your risk of stomach bleeding [nice!], but otherwise it is an amazing thing. 

(please share this with someone who is concerned about preventing cancer)
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Here's what they did
In a study of eight different trials involving 25,570 patients, researchers found that cancer deaths among those who took aspirin in doses as low as 75 milligrams a day were 21 percent lower during the studies and 34 percent lower after five years.
Pretty impressive 
However, you can get similar results with a glass of a cup of coffee in the morning (colon cancer prevention), a glass of wine at dinner (heart disease prevention), and eating real food [a la the Mediterranean diet] reduction of risk of ALL MORTALITY by 50%.  
And if you try the above, it typically doesn't induce internal bleeding. Just sayin'. 
Back to the study
Peter Rothwell of Britain's Oxford University said that healthy people could start taking a small 75 mg dose of aspirin every day from the age of about 40 or 45 and continue doing so until they reached around 70 to 75, when the risk of the aspirin causing stomach bleeding rises.
Aspirin, originally developed by Bayer, is a cheap over-the-counter drug used for pain and to reduce fever.
In Rothwell's study, published in The Lancet, researchers found the 20-year risk of death was reduced by about 10 percent for prostate cancer, 30 percent for lung cancer, 40 percent for colorectal or bowel cancer and 60 percent for oesophageal cancer in those taking aspirin.

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

"Fabuless." Is It Stupendous, or just Stupid?

Fabuless is a vegetable-oil emulsion. You're supposed to drink it.  No kidding! That gives me the gag reflex, just thinking about it. 

(please share this article with any who are tempted by stupid diet tricks) Bookmark and Share

I can only imagine that a person would take this product either 
1) because you're a part of a study and they paid you to do it because you're a graduate student who doesn't have 2 nickels to rub together; 
2) because you just don't know what else to do and the ad you read had skinny, smiling people on it; or 
3) because you basically just do random things and don't really mind drinking a vegetable-oil emulsion. Eww.  

Here's the study that the diet product maker funded

Their researchers recruited 43 overweight women to participate. The average age of the women was 47.9 and their average BMI at the start of the study was 28.25 kg/m2.
After a six week calorie-controlled weight loss program the women were randomly assigned to receive a single meal replacement plan with a Fabuless supplement, or the meal plan plus a dairy control (cream with equal level of fat) for a further 12 weeks.
Results showed that women in the Fabuless group lost an average of 0.9 percent more body fat mass, compared with the control group. Less than 1%. Of course, the product makers hail this as a wonderful breakthrough ... I'm not convinced, and don't see myself drinking oil-water any time soon. 

Fabuless may promote body fat loss under weight loss conditions: Study

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Should you eat protein before exercise, or after?

The answer is ... after. That said, it wasn't clear from this article (read it for yourself, below) why it was better to take a protein shake after exercise. 

(please share this with the exercise nut in your family!!)
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For example, the study has a number of limitations. Besides its small size, it did not look at actual muscle mass changes over time -- but only short-term changes in participants' muscle-fiber proteins after the protein drink. 

Basically, researchers had two groups of men exercise, then took plugs of muscles out of their thigh [ow!] before and after exercise, with and without protein drinks. There was more protein available in the muscles of the group that had taken the protein drink. Will that translate into larger muscles or long term changes? It's not clear from this study. 

What is interesting, though?  
I liked it that, when they compared how young people and older people's body's responded to exercise, they found no difference. In other words, you don't HAVE to lose muscle mass as you get older. You just have to get on an exercise bike, drink a protein shake, and let a researcher take a plug out of your leg muscle [just kidding]. 

Actually, you just have to keep moving. 

Should you eat protein before exercise, or after? | Reuters
For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Oh No, Earlier Puberty in Boys Too?

Is this an interesting study? I'm not so sure. 

The title gets your attention, for sure, because we've known for a while now that our girls are going through puberty at earlier and earlier ages. But boys too??

(please share this article with parents of young boys) 
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Here's what they did
Researchers compared a population of 6,200 Bulgarian boys with a similar population study that was done in the 1970's. "We have provided a table for height, weight, testicular volume and penile length and circumference of boys aged 0 to 19 years," says Dr. Fnu Deepinder of Cedars Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles.
Yes, I know what you're thinking. The exact time of puberty may be a single event for girls ... first menstruation ... but it's more squashy for boys. You have to let that little problem slide. Nevertheless, they compared all these measurements of Bulgarian genitalia with similar Bulgarian measurements 35 years ago. [who DOES this penile research?]  
Anyway, Dr Deepinder reports (in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine) that both penises and testicles developed much earlier in current-day boys than in years past. So, it's not just girls who are developing more, faster, and hitting puberty sooner. 
But what can you make of this study? 
I'm not sure, and neither are the study authors. They lob the (honestly, lame) suggestion that their results could be due to genetic, environmental, nutritional and educational factors. Really? No kidding. So what they're saying is that it could be -- and I'm just guessing here -- that it could be anything! Genes, environment, education, society: not much left, eh? The only possibility they left out was abduction by space aliens. So yes, docs, if I had to go WAY out on a limb, I'd say that it just might be one of those. 
Another interpretation of their research is that overall health has simply improved in Bulgaria since the 1970s. All people grow larger (all over their bodies) when they're consistently fed better food, and they don't waller in squalor. 
In other words, their results may just be a big, interesting artifact. 

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Are Married men, nicer men? This study answers that question.

Okay, the Tiger Woods pic shows that there ARE exceptions to every rule (except the rule that "there are exceptions to every rule").  
But by "nicer", I don't mean just chasing women around at the neighborhood HOOTER'S; I mean the lack of antisocial personality traits, such as criminal behavior, lying, aggression, and lack of remorse.  
(please share this with women who want men to be nicer) Bookmark and Share

But here's the chicken-and-the-egg question
What's the cause and what's the effect? Are nicer men just more likely to GET married? Or is it that, once they are married and, in women's words, "trained", that they BECOME nicer?  
The answer: 
A little bit of both, according to the study author Dr. S. Alexandra Burt at Michigan State University. Married men "are just not as antisocial to begin with," she said. "And when they get married, they get even less antisocial. So both things are going on."
In their study, they followed 289 pairs of male twins for 12 years, between the ages of 17 and 29. More than half of the twins were identical, meaning they shared all the same genes and childhood environment.
The authors found that men who eventually married -- about 60 percent of them -- showed less antisocial behavior at ages 17 and 20, suggesting that nicer men are more likely to be marriage-worthy in the first place. 
However, among these identical twins in which one was married and one wasn't, the married twin had fewer antisocial behaviors after the union than the unmarried twin. Same genes, same environment; but the married twin behaved better. These findings indicate that marriage helped weed out those bad behaviors.
"Not everyone is equally likely to enter the institution of marriage," King said. "But those that do enter into it get some benefit from it."

Married men are nicer, and here's why | Reuters

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Judge: "Destroy Your Beets". A Beet Bru-Ha-Ha

Did you know this? 

Genetically Modified Beets account for 95 percent of all those grown in the US, according to USDA figures. Beet sugar provides about half of the TOTAL US sugar supply. 

We're all eating Franken-Food ... we just don't know it because the Gov agencies don't require the food companies to let us know. 

(please forward this article to someone who needs to know more about GM stuff) 
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Ei yi yi. In any case, Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco ordered that genetically modified (GM) sugar beets planted in September should be destroyed. These Franken-Beets are GM to resist Roundup Ready herbicide. So you can bathe these plants in a chemical soup whose sole purpose is to kill plant life on Earth, and they won't die!! 

Judge White ruled that the USDA had illegally allowed the planting of the beets. Monsanto was SUPPOSED to complete an environmental impact assessment before going ahead with their ABC (Alien Beet Crop). Monsanto just didn't do it, so the judge came back and told them to dig up their "plants". 

Judge White described the case in this way: “The legality of Defendants’ conduct does not even appear to be a close question. It appears clear that Defendants and Intervenor-Defendants were merely seeking to avoid the impact of the Court’s prior order.”   

By the way, Monsanto is currently the ONLY supplier of GM sugar beets. 

Monsanto to appeal court-ordered destruction of GM sugar beets

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Crash dieting can create binge eating

Bad things can be caused by the best of intentions. When you want to lose weight, and you go at it with gusto, with everything you have, you can often be working against your own efforts!! 
This study in the Journal Neuroscience shows that crash dieting is taken by your body to be a stressor. What does THAT do? It can increase the levels of stress hormones in your blood ... and the bottom line is that it can lead you to binge-eat in response. 
(please share this with anyone you fear might be susceptible to deprivation dieting) Bookmark and Share   
I know ... yes, I hear you ... there are a lot of moving parts here, and just because you go on a draconian, deprivation diet, doesn't meant you are destined to become bulimic or anorexic.
 But it certainly doesn't help. Plus, it can make it more likely that you or someone you love will fall into that trap. Those are just the outcomes of the data of this brain study.  
So what's the alternative? Be at peace with the fact that you are a work in progress and your trip from "bad health" into "better health" is NOT going to be instant -- no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you punish yourself, and especially no matter what the ads say. 
Plan on taking your time, and doing it right. You can't start at the end ... you have to start right where you are. Besides, if your efforts are going to last a lifetime, you have to live a lifestyle that leads to optimal health -- deprivation dieting, by definition, is not sustainable in the long term.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

TV Interview: Healthy Holiday Foods

This week on KDKA-TV, I talk about the Reds and the Greens of the holiday season -- what's healthy, what's not, and why!!

Sorry I couldn't put the video here, but REAL Player is having an obstinant Teen-Moment and won't load to my Blogger Account. Arg!!

Here is the link to my FB page where the video is: 

(please share this with someone who thinks red and green icing is its own food group!!)
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 For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

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