Article Archive
  December 2010
    Take a Deep Breath!
  September 2008
    An Apple a Day
    Are Your Kids Overweight?
    Broccoli: God's Sunscreen
  August 2008
    Additional Cause of Diabetes Discovered
    White Meat or Dark Meat?
    Suicide Rates Increase after Bariatric Surgery
    Woman Lacking Sleep Prone to High Blood Pressure
    Why Our Kids Are Killing Themselves
    Why Do Teens Smoke?
    Cereal Killers: Synthetic Vitamins Aren’t Good Nutrition
    A Daily Diet Overhaul
    Water Power: Drink to Your Health
    Keep Calories off While on the Job
    Consider Meat a Condiment
    Yogurt's Benefits Better Before Brand Names
    Cranberries Fight Bladder Infections
    Arthritis: Which Supplements Work?
    Prozac and Paxil Less Effective than Advertised
    Scientists Discover Another Key to Insulin Resistence
    Mediterranean Diet Wards Off Asthma and Allergy
    Researchers Question Cholesterol Risk
     

 

December 31, 2010 | Archive
Take a Deep Breath!
   

Do you know what’s just as important to your health as eating good foods, drinking pure water and exercise? Breathing fresh air. Now that winter is upon us, it’s not always so easy to get outside and breathe fresh air. I still recommend that you try! However, if you are spending more time indoors than out, then take time to practice deep breathing.

Every cell in your body requires oxygen every second of the day. Oxygen is your cells’ number one nutrient. Proper oxygen delivery to every cell of your body is absolutely essential, which makes all body functions breathing related. Some experts believe oxygen deficiency is the single greatest cause of all disease. Deep breathing:
 
    Provides your cells with the oxygen they require to function well and stay healthy.
       
    Helps pulls the lymphatic fluid throughout your immune system. Cancer, infection, and diseases of every sort hate oxygen, so fight them off by taking a deep breath of fresh air.
       
    Enhances detoxification by increasing your body’s rate of toxic elimination by as much as fifteen times the normal rate.
   
    Combats stress. Try this: Breathe in for four seconds, and then hold it for four seconds. Breathe out slowly. You just relieved stress. You can do that anytime, anywhere.
   

 

Breathing fresh air leaves no room for smoking. If you’re a smoker, did you know that in just two years from the time you stop smoking, 80 percent of the negative changes in your lungs will disappear? And further down the road, almost all of smoking’s negative effects on your respiratory system will be gone. You can quit for about 79 cents. Buy a little squeeze bottle of lemon juice at the grocery store. Each and every time you crave a cigarette, put that little bottle in your mouth and give it a good squeeze. The shock will “reset” your system—literally. As your taste buds react to the lemon juice, you’ll forget all about your nicotine urge. It will also provide some negative conditioning. Kicking the nicotine habit will save you money and save your health, not to mention the health of those around you. Don't miss a day of taking your ItWorks Greens. Greens helps keep your body alkaline and an alkalized body increases the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. The result is greater oxygenation of your entire body for a healthier you.   Breathe deep and oxygenate!
Posted by Dr. Don @ 5:32 AM


September 11, 2008 | Archive

An Apple A Day...

   


You’ve heard the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, I don’t want you to keep me away, but even so I must share the benefits of apples with you. Apples are another one of those God-made foods that are storehouses of essential nutrients. The World’s Healthiest Foods Web site recently named the apple its “Food of the Week.”
 
 

Nutritional Value
One medium apple contains 15% of the daily value (DV) for dietary fiber, 13% DV for vitamin C and 9% DV for vitamin K. Apples are also especially rich in phytonutrients (plant nutrients), such as polyphenols. And since one medium apple has only 81 calories, apples are a nutritious low calorie addition to your Healthiest Way of Eating!

 
 

Health Benefits
Apples contain both insoluble and soluble fiber, which pack a double punch that can help reduce cholesterol levels and your risk of hardening of the arteries, heart attack, and stroke. A recent meta-analysis has found apples to be one of the small number of fruits and vegetables that contributed to the significant reduction in the risk of heart disease. Apples also contain quercitin a powerful phytonutrient antioxidant, which teams up with vitamin C to bolster the body's immune system.

 

 

Apples help clean your teeth, lower your cholesterol, detoxify your body, fight against viruses and aid digestion—one large apple satisfies 30% of your daily fiber requirements. Apples prevent constipation and, when grated and added to yogurt, can relieve diarrhea. Susan and I get even more out of apples because we eat the seeds, too.
Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:35 PM

September 11, 2008 | Archive

Are Your Kids Overweight?

   


Are your kids overweight? Then it’s time to overhaul your family’s lifestyle. A new study shows that by simply changing the foods your kids eat—and not worrying about portion sizes—will help them lose unhealthy fat.
 
 

Kids who eat lower-calorie meals won’t snack more later, as long as they are eating about the same amounts they are accustomed to.
… For four days over two weeks, researchers at Pennsylvania State University fed 26 children at a child-care center breakfast, lunch and snack, and gave them take-home dinners and snacks. The same menu was served each week, but one week the kids were given low-fat and low-sugar versions of the foods as well as more vegetables. The changes included 1 percent milk instead of whole, fruit served in juice instead of syrup, and pasta made with low-fat dairy and pureed vegetables.

The researchers wanted to know if the kids would naturally compensate for the reduced-calorie menus by eating extra amounts later in the day or the following day. But they didn’t. Instead, they ate about the same amount they had previously, consuming 400 fewer calories over the two days they were served the lower-calorie foods. “People tend to eat the same weight of food from day to day, and that’s what these kids did,” PennState nutritionist Barbara Rolls told the newspaper.
 

 

How else can you help your kids slim down? For starters, turn off the TV, hide the video gaming system on the top shelf of a dark closet and restrict computer time to homework use.

Second, totally eliminate fast food. Now you have given yourself the wonderful opportunity to eat foods made from scratch in your own kitchen. What a blessing! Keep it simple. After all, raw fruits and vegetables are easy to prepare and they are what you need most.
Take a closer look at the foods and beverages you regularly stock in your pantry. Deep-six the soda pop, white flour pastas and crackers, store-bought cookies and sweet treats, chips and additive-rich convenience foods. Donate it all to your neighborhood food pantry and get a new start.

For the perfect lifestyle change why not try FITworks! for the whole family. It’s easy, nutritious and you’ll have your very own Fit Coach to help you every step of the way.
Posted by Dr. Don @ 6:25 PM

September 11, 2008 | Archive

Broccoli: God's Sunscreen

   


The more I learn about commercial sunscreens, the more I want to warn my patients about the dangers of overusing them. For one, sunshine is good for you. Twenty minutes in the sun on a summer’s day provides you with all the Vitamin D you need. (If you have dark skin or clothes are covering most of your body, you’ll need more time than that.)

 
 

For another, concerns have been raised about these chemicals in sunscreens which are either carcinogenic or “hormone” benders: diethanolamine, triethanolamine (DEA, TEA), padimate-o, octyl dimethyl PABA, benzophenone, oxybenzone, homosalate, octyl-methoxycinnamate (octinoxate), salicylates and parabens.
Well, here’s some good news. Researchers have found that broccoli sprout extract can ward off UV rays. 
U.S. researchers find applying an extract of broccoli sprouts may help protect skin against the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation.

The study, published in Proceedings of the NationalAcademy
of Sciences, says the extract works inside cells by boosting the production of a network of protective enzymes that defend against ultraviolet radiation damage. The effect lasts for several days, even after the extract is no longer present on or in the skin.

 

 

Personally, I like wearing my broccoli on the inside. Susan, the kids and I love chomping on it raw so we get all the wonderful nutrients that God created. Meanwhile, even though summer is past, we’re still getting outdoors for fresh air and sunshine! I hope you are, too. It’s good for you!
If you and you’re family aren’t getting all the veggies that your body needs for optimal health, try our It’s Greens. It’s Greens helps to boost your immune system, alkalize your body and tastes great too.

Posted by Dr. Don @ 5:45 PM

August 24, 2008 | Archive

Additional Cause of Diabetes Discovered

   


You are fearfully and wonderfully made… so it’s no surprise that modern medical science is still discovering new secrets about how the body works-and how it becomes ill. In our boastfulness, man has restructured the God made natural foods created to nurture us. Man has filled the world with pollutants and toxins, which also find there way into our foods. And getting down to the issue at hand, as a nation, we have become addicted to sugar. Nutrition experts say that the average American child is addicted to sugar by 18 months of age.All of these factors lead to diabetes because all of these factors impact how our body’s microscopic cells relate to one another. This just in from the Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic and Columbia Medical College:

     
 

An explosion of new research is vastly changing scientists’ understanding of diabetes and giving new clues about how to attack it. The fifth leading killer of Americans, with 73,000 deaths a year, diabetes is a disease in which the body’s failure to regulate glucose, or blood sugar, can lead to serious and even fatal complications. Until very recently, the regulation of glucose - how much sugar is present in a person’s blood, how much is taken up by cells for fuel, and how much is released from energy stores - was regarded as a conversation between a few key players: the pancreas, the liver, muscle and fat.

   

 

Now, however, the party is proving to be much louder and more complex than anyone had shown before.

New research suggests that a hormone from the skeleton, of all places, may influence how the body handles sugar. Mounting evidence also demonstrates that signals from the immune system, the brain and the gut play critical roles in controlling glucose and lipid metabolism. (The findings are mainly relevant to Type 2 diabetes, the more common kind, which comes on in adulthood.)

So, while prescription medications, improved lifestyle choices and close monitoring can help those with diabetes achieve greater health, the key lies at the cellular level, within the very bones, where until this past year, scientists hadn’t even bothered to look.

How do you support cell health? By feeding your cells.
Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:38 PM

August 23, 2008 | Archive

White Meat or Dark Meat?

   


If you eat meat, I recommend you focus on poultry and fish. If you have chicken or turkey, which is better–the breast or the thigh? Well actually, all parts of the bird have their benefits.

White meat does have a lower fat content. It also provides glycogen, a polysaccharide that plays an important role in the glucose cycle.

Dark meat has more myoglobin, an amazing protein that helps deliver oxygen to muscle cells. By the way, removing the skin from that drumstick or thigh gets rid of most of the fat (as well as toxins the bird may have ingested on the farm.)

Dark meats tend to contain more zinc, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, vitamins B6 and B12, amino acids, iron than white meat. Chicken dark meat contain vitamins A, K, B6, B12, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, minerals as selenium, phosphorus and zinc.

Even the fats in most of the dark meats have healthy parts. They contain Omega-3, and Omega-6 fatty acids, and other ‘healthy’ fats.

It is the saturated fat content which lowers the true quality of dark meat. To reduce the saturated fat content of chicken dark meat, simply remove the skin.

     

 

By the way, removing the skin from your chicken also gets rid of most of the toxins the bird may have ingested on the farm. Which brings up another important point. Chickens and turkeys raised in cages on factory farms are feed antibiotics, growth hormones and other toxic feed components. These are also the bird that riase concerns about bird flu.
If possible, purchase free range poultry, raised on organic feeds without hormones, antibiotics. Because the free range birds also includes insects in their diet, their meat has more nutrients to offer as well. God knew what He was doing when he gave birds an appetite for bugs!

Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:24 PM

August 22, 2008 | Archive

Suicide Rates Increase after Bariatric Surgery

   


With all the emphasis on having slim, perfect bodies, diet gimmicks and drugs have become big money makers. More and more people are also undergoing bariatric surgery, a procedure that staples or uses bands to decrease the size of the stomach so the patient can’t eat as much food.People who are so overweight that their condition is life threatening can indeed benefit from this drastic measure. But obviously there is downside. A recent study showed that 7 out of every 100 people undergoing bariatric surgery commits suicide.

A review of thousands of patient records has turned up a previously unknown risk associated with a popular weight loss operation — suicide.
In bariatric surgery, the stomach is made smaller so as to speed weight loss. The risk of dying from bariatric surgery is about 1 ipercent, most studies show, and complications strike up to 40 percent of patients. In addition to being overweight, these patients often have health problems like diabetes and heart disease, so it’s no surprise they also have higher death rates from natural causes.

But a review of nearly 17,000 weight-loss surgeries performed in Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2004 has yielded a surprising finding. Of the 440 deaths in the group, 16 were due to suicide or drug overdose, according to the University of Pittsburgh researchers who reviewed the data. Based on the suicide rate in the general population, no more than three suicides should have occurred in the group, the study authors say. More troubling is the fact that another 14 of the drug overdoses that were reported likely include some suicides, suggesting that the real suicide rate was even higher. “There is a substantial excess of suicide deaths, even excluding those listed only as drug overdose,’’ the researchers noted.

In August, The New England Journal of Medicine reported a review of nearly 10,000 bariatric surgery patients by Utah researchers, who compared them to a control group of obese people who had applied for a state driver’s license. Although the surgery patients had a 50 percent lower risk of dying from disease compared to obese people who hadn’t undergone surgery, their risk of dying in an accident or suicide was 11.1 per 10,000 people — that’s 58 percent higher than the 6.4 per 10,000 rate in the obese group. The study suggested the suicide risk was twice as high for surgery patients than for those who had not had surgery, but the finding wasn’t statistically meaningful.

Nobody knows why bariatric surgery patients appear to be at higher risk for killing themselves. Some research shows a link between obesity and depression, so the typical surgery patient may already be at higher risk for depression and suicide before the operation. It’s possible that depressive symptoms may worsen in patients who have unrealistic expectations about the results of surgery or who struggle not to regain weight after the procedure.

     

 

The world holds up unrealistic standards and makes false promises of happiness. No matter what size, shape or age you are, the only true happiness has a spiritual source and I believe that source is the Lord Jesus Christ. Achieving your ideal weight is a physically healthy thing to do for yourself, but it is no guarantee that all your problems will go away. Or that people will love you more—or that you will start loving yourself. The Lord created you as a beautiful and lovable being—no matter what you look like on the outside. His love is unconditional. And He loves you.

What about losing weight? You can achieve ideal weight by following biblical principles of health and nutrition, by eating the right amounts of the foods God created for your health along with sensible exercise.
Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:48 PM

August 21, 2008 | Archive

Women Lacking Sleep
Prone to High Blood Pressure

   


Are you a woman with high blood pressure? Then I have another question for you. Do you get enough sleep? Adult human beings were designed to live optimally with at least eight good hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. If you’re getting less than that, your blood pressure could rise. People who rob themselves of sleep also put themselves at risk for a whole slew of disease conditions and ill health.

Women who regularly get fewer than 7 hours of sleep each night may have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, a new study suggests.

British researchers found that among more than 10,000 adults who were followed for five years, women who routinely slept for 6 hours or less were more likely than their well-rested counterparts to develop high blood pressure.

Compared with women who said they typically got 7 hours of sleep a night, those who logged in 6 hours were 42 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure, while those who routinely slept no more than 5 hours had a 31 percent higher risk.

There was, however, no clear relationship between amount of sleep and blood pressure among men, the study authors report in the journal Hypertension.

The findings suggest there may be a “gender-specific” relationship between sleep deprivation and high blood pressure, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Francesco P. Cappuccio of Warwick Medical School in Coventry. The exact reason for the finding is unknown.

A number of studies have linked poor sleep quality to an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Much of this research has focused on people with the breathing disorder sleep apnea, but some evidence suggests that sleep deprivation, in the absence of any overt sleep disorder, also takes a health toll.

…Experts speculate that sleep deprivation may contribute to high blood pressure by keeping the nervous system in a state of hyperactivity, which in turn affects systems throughout the body — including the heart and blood vessels.

SOURCE: Hypertension, October 2007.

Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:35 PM

August 20, 2008 | Archive

Why Our Kids Are Killing Themselves

   


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a troubling report in September. The number of U.S. children committing suicide has increased dramatically. The numbers include statistics for children as young as age ten. Many more girls are committing suicide than ever before.

     
 

“This is the biggest annual increase that we’ve seen in 15 years. We don’t yet know if this is a short-lived increase or if it’s the beginning of a trend,” said Dr. Ileana Arias, director of Cocks National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Either way, it’s a harsh reminder that suicide and suicide attempts are affecting too many youth and young adults. We need to make sure suicide prevention efforts are continuous and reaching children and young adults.”

   

 

A number of factors in a young person’s life can contribute to suicide: bullying at school, abuse or turmoil in the home, alcohol or drug use. The use of drugs commonly prescribed for ADHD can also lead to suicide. Here are two sad cases from the Web site, ritalindeath.com:

12-Year-Old Adrian David Wade was born on November 09, 1991. 115 days after taking Strattera, with no signs he committed suicide on October 23, 2004.

15-year-Old Leanne M. Bessner . . . was prescribed Concerta about 2 months ago. She committed suicide on Sunday October 9th. She was a beautiful, smart, popular, 15 year old girl.

While having a healthy relationship with the Lord does help our mental health as well, suicide can even take its toll among believers with a real spiritual connection. We are not called to judge, we are called to love. And called to act.

If your child or another young person the Lord has placed in your life shows any signs of suicidal behavior, in addition to holding them up in prayer, do what you can to get them professional help, now. What are the signs of suicidal behavior?

 
 
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and regular activities
  • Violent actions, rebellious behavior or running away.
  • Neglect of personal appearance
  • Personality changes
  • Persistent boredom
  • Physical complaints
 
  “It is important for parents, health care professionals, and educators to recognize the warning signs of suicide in youth,” said Dr. Keri Lubell, lead author of the CDC study. “Parents and other caring adults should look for changes in youth such as talking about taking one’s life, feeling sad or hopeless about the future.”
Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:24 PM

August 19, 2008 | Archive

Why Do Teens Smoke?

   


Why are so many of today’s teens lighting up? The common answer, of course, is peer pressure, the need to fit in. But where do all these peers get the idea? From the big tobacco companies, like Philip Morris. Cigarettes aren’t just big business, they are huge business. As is the way of this world world, money trumps good health every time.

Even though tobacco companies can’t sell their poison on TV, they work hard to reach the youth market in a number of ways. Print ads, billboards and event sponsorship are all carefully targeted towards young buyers. In addition, big tobacco works hard at making product placement happen. Ever wonder why the majority of movie and TV heroes smoke? They are paid to.

Instead of tackling the smoking problems at its source—big money pushing it on our kids—a new approach has been suggested. “Experts” are recommending a two-cigarette plan that would market low-nicotine cigarettes to teens so they won’t get physically addicted to the habit. Then, when their peers are no longer exerting that pressure, they will be able to quit and live happily un-addicted ever after.

David G. Adams proposed this idea. He admits he works as a lawyer for big tobacco—and formerly worked for the FDA. Now that’s something to think about!

When it comes to the health of our children, two cigarettes may be better than one. Young smokers who begin their habit with nicotine-laden cigarettes need a cigarette that will not leave them to later fight the ravages of addiction.

Experts tell us that teenagers often begin smoking to copy their peers and others whom they see smoking. As adults, however, they continue smoking largely because of the addictive qualities of nicotine. (Ninety percent of smokers regret having begun smoking and most make efforts to stop.) This means that in the absence of addictive levels of nicotine in their cigarettes, most young smokers would ultimately quit.

A two-cigarette strategy would prohibit young smokers from buying addictive cigarettes. The tobacco industry is capable of producing cigarettes that are virtually free of nicotine, and regulators could develop clear standards for non-addictive cigarettes. (Disclosure: My law firm represents tobacco companies, but I have recused (sic) myself from that work.)

The age to purchase addictive cigarettes might be set at 21. Better yet, sales of addictive cigarettes could be restricted to individuals born 19 or more years before the two-cigarette strategy was put into effect. Under this approach, 18-year-olds who start smoking non-addictive cigarettes would be prohibited from switching to addictive cigarettes even after they turned 21. In addition, a higher federal excise tax on addictive cigarettes than on non-addictive cigarettes would create a financial incentive for smokers of all ages, including scofflaw adolescents, to select non-addictive cigarettes.

Granted, a two-cigarette policy would not be a panacea. It would not end smoking, it would not give us safer cigarettes, and it would not undo the addiction that grips the current generation of smokers.

How can you keep the teens you care about from taking up this disgusting, unhealthy habit? Well, for one, keep those communication lines open. When you watch a movie or a TV show, explain to them how Big Tobacco is trying to get them to start smoking by having the cool characters smoke. Bring home some magazines and talk about how the ads are trying to make smoking seem cool. Share what smoking will do their health—start with bad breath and poor athletic performance since they probably aren’t too worried about death, yet.

Keeping communication lines open about all aspects of their lives will also help them resist peer pressure. Give them a push towards the right friends at school and church. Be the house where the young people are welcome to hang out.

Be sure to hold your young people up in prayer. It’s a tough world out there—don’t let them walk it without the Lord on their side.

Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:28 PM

August 18, 2008 | Archive

Cereal Killers: Synthetic Vitamins
Aren’t Good Nutrition

   


It never ceases to amaze me how the food industry puts a healthy spin on processed foods that are devoid of nutrients and full of artificial ingredients. The New York Times came out with an article based on such a spin, “The Missing Ingredients in Organic Cereals.” This story leads readers to believe that highly chemicalized, nutrient-stripped cereals like Frosted Flakes and Apple Jacks have more nutritional value because the manufacturers add a shot of synthetic vitamins and cheap minerals. The story doesn’t mention that these vitamins probably wash right out of the body because they are synthetic and not easily absorbed.

Take a look at Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes reduced-sugar cereal. A serving provides 25 percent of the recommended daily intake of seven essential nutrients, including iron, folic acid and other B vitamins. It also provides 10 percent of the recommended intake for vitamins A, C and D.

Now look at its organic equivalent: EnviroKidz Organic Amazon Frosted Flakes. The only ingredients are organic cornmeal, organic evaporated cane juice and sea salt. A serving gives kids only 2 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin A and iron, according to the label.
So what if organic cereals doesn’t offer this fake vitamin stew? Most do offer the nutrition of whole grains along with the absence of toxic chemicals. I’d much rather provide my children the vitamins they need through fresh fruits and vegetables! Susan and I do make sure they eat a good, easily absorbed multivitamin/mineral supplement as a back up.

A word to the wise: be a wise consumer of organic products! Read labels and ask your local health food stores which manufacturers you can trust. Since WalMart and other grocery giants have jumped on the bandwagon, organic standards have suffered. New USDA labeling standards allow many additives that true organic manufacturers would not foist on the health-conscious public.

Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:46 PM

August 17, 2008 | Archive

A Daily Diet Overhaul

   


If you’ve been around Dr. Don Health for long, you’ve know how much importance I place on good nutrition, nutrition derived from plenty of fiber-rich vegetables and fruits, which also provide you phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. I also stress that you include healthy fats like those you’ll find in salmon, cold water fish like salmon, olive oil, raw nuts and seeds. And don’t forget to include protein from lean poultry, free-range eggs and dairy (Raw is best!) But you may ask, “Dr. Don, how do I translate this list of foods into three meals a day and snacks? Well here’s how.

Build health with a healthy breakfast. As your body wakes back up after a good night’s sleep, you need perk up those glucose levels that fell off during slumber. If you don’t get your glucose on the right track first ting, your whole day can be a struggle—and, if you don’t get it, glucose levels fall. This affects your entire body but particularly your brain. In a hurry? Blend up a yogurt and frozen fruit smoothie. Using frozen strawberries or blueberries gives the smoothie an ice cream taste that even grouchy teenagers appreciate.

If you have a couple minutes, whip up an omelet. Start by sautéing some of those fresh vegetables from your crisper drawer in a little olive oil. Summer squash, spinach, tomatoes, onion, peppers, Swiss chard and mushrooms all make healthy omelet fillings. Remove to fill the omelet or scramble it all together. Top with a low fat cheese and you have a five-star breakfast. Other good breakfast ideas include made-from-scratch organic oatmeal, grapefruit halves, orange juice (not from concentrate) or whole-wheat toast topped with natural nut butter.

Let’s do lunch. Unless your kids’ school is one of the few in the nation serving nutritious whole foods for lunch, pack your kids up right with peanut butter, sliced grilled chicken or cheese sandwiches. When you can, sneak leaf lettuce, romaine, sprouts or green pepper slices on the sandwich. Include some organic fruit, raw veggie slices and a little bag of walnuts or sunflower seeds. Fill their juice bottle with pure, filtered water. Leave the junk food out. Kids tend to eat the junk first and throw away the good stuff when you’re not there to supervise.

While you’re at it, pack the same lunch for yourself. Even if you’re going to be at home during the day! If you want to cut calories, fix your sandwich on a leaf of lettuce instead of on bread. If you find yourself doing the fast-food thing during your workday, opt for salads or soups and skip the high calorie, chemical laden dressings.

Keep dinner to a minimum. A lot of us have a family tradition of feasting at dinnertime. Trouble is, by the end of the day, your body does not need a glut of food. If you insist in the traditional meat and potatoes, cut your portions in half. Mom might be relieved if dinner can consist of easier to prepare, healthier options like a main dish salad or a home made soup simmered for flavor the night before. Top either off with a serving of 100% whole grain bread and fruit for dessert.

Snacks are about nutrition, too. Snack on fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, cheese cubes or peanut butter and whole grain crackers. Ditch potato chips and dip for tortilla chips with cheese and salsa. Put the kibosh on soda pop. Brew some delicious refrigerator tea and ramp up the flavor with fruit juice.

As you eat your way through every day, remember God gave you healthy foods to nourish you body and maintain your health. Eating well honors him with every bite!

Posted by Dr. Don @ 6:52 PM

August 16, 2008 | Archive

Water Power: Drink to Your Health

   


If you’re familiar with Dr. Don’s Ten Keys for Health, you know your body needs eight to ten glasses of pure water every day to maintain healthy function. Unfortunately, many of us simply do not drink enough water-especially when you consider milk, soda pop, juice, coffee and most teas do not count! (The exception is unsweetened green tea).

Now, researchers are telling us that reusing plastic water bottles is not a good idea. If you’re a parent like me, this leaves you in a fix. Nothing’s easier or less expensive than filling up those empty water bottles again and again-and if the kids lose them, it’s no big deal. Here’s the latest from the researchers:

     
 

. . . most plastics are stamped with a number from 1 to 7 at the bottom - these numbers are used to indicate how to recycle or dispose of the plastic.

The type of plastic bottle that typically holds water, soda and juice is made from polyethylene terephthalate, a petroleum-based material also known as PET that is labeled No. 1.

The trouble with reusing those plastic bottles is that each time they are washed and refilled they become a little more scratched and crinkly, which can lead them to degrade. That can cause a trace metal called antimony to leach out, said Frederick S. vom Saal, a professor of biology at the University of Missouri who has studied plastics for years.

“We have to assume that along with that metal, others are almost certainly leaching out as well, but we don’t know what they are and we don’t know what to look for because manufacturers won’t tell us what else is in the bottles,” Professor vom Saal said.

. . . a chemical called phthalates, which can interfere with male hormones, poses a danger from such water bottles.
Perhaps more worrisome is that because the bottles - with their small openings - are harder to wash out than the wide-mouth hiking and sports bottles, they can house bacteria. . .

But perhaps a better alternative - in terms of health and the environment - is to use the hard No. 7 plastic bottles made with polycarbonate plastic . . .

Environmental groups and some scientists have raised concern that such plastic can leach bisphenol A, an endocrine-disrupting chemical . . . (that) could cause behavioral and neurological problems in developing fetuses and young children. “There is a very high level of concern about the potential harm caused by bisphenol A in animals,” he said, including potential for diabetes, cancer and obesity. “The prediction by this panel is that we can expect similar harm in people.”

   

 

What are your options?

 
 
  • If you do reuse bottles, only reuse them once or twice. Don’t freeze or microwave them as this causes the plastic to degrade faster.
  • Look for plastic bottles marked No. 2 (high-density polyethylene) or No. 5 (polypropylene). Even with these, avoid the microwave and dishwasher.
  • Use a glass or stainless steel water bottle. The downside? Glass breaks and stainless bottles are expensive.
 
 

One last warning from Professor vom Saal: never heat anything in any type of plastic in the microwave.

Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:17 PM

August 16, 2008 | Archive

Keep Calories Off While On the Job

   


If you’re trying to lose weight, do you find it easier or harder to stick to your eating goals at work? I think most of us find it a little more difficult. It’s a lot easier to drive past the donut shop than to walk past the donuts on the break room table. If you haven’t had the foresight to pack a healthy lunch, hunger and a heavy work load make fast food a tempting solution.

Here are some stories other people have shared about their experience of dieting at work.

     
 

Steve Madden, 44, is editor in chief of Bicycling and Mountain Bike magazines at Rodale in Emmaus, Pa. People assume that the editor of magazines relating to health and fitness is going to be perfectly healthy and fit. Someone who meets me at a work event will look at me and say, “I thought you’d be. …” “A little skinnier?” I say. And he’ll say, “Well, yeah.” People are always telling me I need to lose weight. Right now I weigh 198 pounds and am 5-foot-10, which is big for a serious cyclist. I’d like to weigh 180-something.

It’s the life space I’m in. I have a long commute and three young children who keep me busy. I eat late at night, and I love wine. I have a terrible sweet tooth, too.

It’s a constant struggle to lose weight, even though I rode 4,451 miles last year. It seems to be something in my physiology. It’s something you’re born with. Lance Armstrong chose his parents wisely.

Kathy Burkleo, 59, is a customer service representative at Logos Bible Software in Bellingham, Wash.Last June my doctor told me I had high blood pressure and had to lose weight. I decided to start the South Beach diet. I didn’t say anything to anyone at work initially. As of mid-January, I had lost 49 pounds.

We have a corporate culture of food. Someone brings in doughnuts about three days a week. . . The company buys lunch for us a lot, and often it’s pizza. When I first started losing weight, I just ate the topping and my salad from home. The last time we had it, I ate an entire slice. But I paid for it: I plateaued for a couple of days.

. . . Some co-workers ask how I did it, as if there’s an easy answer. They have to want to lose weight. One morning, a guy in his 20s had eight doughnuts. He said he would never gain weight. I told him that someday it would catch up to him. Then I ate my apple slices and a couple of almonds and string cheese.

Marcelo Aller, 34, is national athletics account manager at Polar in Lake Success, N.Y.We manufacture and sell heart rate monitors and other physical fitness performance products. Before I started this job two and a half years ago, I was always active. . . Now I’m in front of a PC much of the day, or I visit schools and talk to students. I can’t always get to a health club.

. . . I’m 5-foot-8 and weigh 218, and I want to lose 25 pounds. . . Sometimes it’s more difficult to regain a hard body; my metabolism has changed with age.

I have a degree in physical education, so I know about the human body. My problem is not eating regularly. If I don’t eat every three to four hours, I don’t get my metabolism going and I have a tendency to overeat later in the day.

I think everyone has that problem. I try to eat a balanced diet of protein, carbs and fats. I also limit starches and eat complex grains instead of simple grains. But I need to be better about serving size.

   

 

Each of these people has shared valuable information. Madden’s problem seems to be sweets and portion size. If I were him, I’d try to get to the bottom of the sweet cravings-is a nutrient deficiency spurring his cravings? To limit portions, the easy way is to not put too much food on your plate to begin with. When eating out, cut the portion in half from the get-go and resolve to take it home in a doggy bag. At home, leave the serving bowls on the counter, not on the table. I’d also tell him that it’s not about genetics, its about chemistry. By eating whole, nutrient rich foods, he could master the metabolism problem he thinks he inherited.
Burkleo’s strategy is right on. She plans ahead, beings healthy food with her to work and limits herself when indulging in office food. You see, by allowing yourself to enjoy a little bit of that tempting food, you can enjoy it and move on-rather than obsess and overeat it when you just can’t hold out any longer.

What can we learn from Aller? Well, yes, metabolism does slow with age so, even if your daily habits change, make sure to make time to move. Regular exercise can help prevent diabetes, heart disease, injuries due to falls and even mental illness.

 
 

Keep calories off while on the job:

 
 
  • Walk or exercise during breaks or lunch.
  • Take the stairs, not the elevator.
  • Limit caffeine, avoid regular and diet pop.
  • Plan ahead! Bring healthy foods with you so you don’t have to rely on fast food.
Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:49 PM

August 15, 2008 | Archive

Consider Meat a Condiment

   


Are you a vegetarian? If you are, you have a leg up on good health. We’re not vegetarians. But Susan and I do feed our family more fruits and vegetables than anything else. When we do eat meat, we consider it a condiment-we eat just a little, usually fish or chicken. God designed our marvelous human bodies to run on fruits, vegetables, whole grains–and a little bit of meat. The Standard American Diet (SAD) includes much more meat than we really need. Plus, most the meat we eat is chock full of antibiotics, hormones and preservatives–and is red meat, bad for your heart.Recent scientific observations give us even more reason to reduce the amount of meat in our diets:

     
 

Global demand for meat has multiplied in recent years, encouraged by growing affluence and nourished by the proliferation of huge, confined animal feeding operations. These assembly-line meat factories consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soy and other grains, a dependency that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world’s tropical rain forests.

Because the stomachs of cattle are meant to digest grass, not grain, cattle raised industrially thrive only in the sense that they gain weight quickly. This diet made it possible to remove cattle from their natural environment and encourage the efficiency of mass confinement and slaughter. But it causes enough health problems that administration of antibiotics is routine, so much so that it can result in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threaten the usefulness of medicines that treat people.

Those grain-fed animals, in turn, are contributing to health problems among the world’s wealthier citizens - heart disease, some types of cancer, diabetes. The argument that meat provides useful protein makes sense, if the quantities are small. But the “you gotta eat meat” claim collapses at American levels. Even if the amount of meat we eat weren’t harmful, it’s way more than enough.
Animal welfare may not yet be a major concern, but as the horrors of raising meat in confinement become known, more animal lovers may start to react. And would the world not be a better place were some of the grain we use to grow meat directed instead to feed our fellow human beings?

If price spikes don’t change eating habits, perhaps the combination of deforestation, pollution, climate change, starvation, heart disease and animal cruelty will gradually encourage the simple daily act of eating more plants and fewer animals.

Posted by Dr. Don @ 6:59 PM

August 14, 2008 | Archive

Yogurt’s Benefits Better Before Brand Names

   


I’m all for healthy eating. While I believe that Americans overeat dairy products, nonfat, plain organic yogurt does have its benefits, namely the active cultures that can help restore balance to your body’s probiotic population. What does that mean in plain talk? As milk becomes yogurt, certain good bacteria begin growing in it.

These good bacteria are welcome guests in your intestinal tract and throughout your body. They help keep nasty yeast and fungus organisms in check. Because the antibiotics you’re prescribed or eat in meats and dairy products kill off these helpful little critters, probiotics can help you by bringing more of them back on board.

Well, Dannon has made a big splash with DanActive and Dannon Activia yogurts-both advertising their probiotic ingredients. So what’s the response? Lawyers have filed a class action suit to sue them.

     
 

One of the hottest food marketing trends these days involves adding live bacteria to dairy products as a way to boost health.Dannon claims Activia can help regulate your digestive system.

Now lawyers have filed a class-action lawsuit against yogurt maker Dannon, one of the biggest sellers of “probiotic” yogurts, saying the claims of a health benefit dupe consumers. The company’s Activia and DanActive line of yogurt products contain live bacteria and claim to help regulate digestion and boost the immune system. The suit, filed in United States District Court in California, seeks redress for consumers who purchased the yogurt products based on what it says are “bogus claims.”“Deceptive advertising has enabled Dannon to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ordinary yogurt at inflated prices to responsible, health- conscious consumers,” said Los Angeles attorney Timothy G. Blood, of the firm Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins.

In response, Dannon issued a statement saying it “stands by the claims of its products and the clinical studies which support them.”
“All of Dannon’s claims for Activia and DanActive are completely supported by peer-reviewed science and are in accordance with all laws and regulations,” said the statement. “Dannon’s advertising has always been and will continue to be absolutely truthful, and Dannon will vigorously challenge this lawsuit.”

Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that, in sufficient amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. A growing body of research links probiotics to relief of digestive tract complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome, yeast infections, and diarrhea that results from certain illnesses. The idea behind probiotics is to increase the amount of beneficial bacteria in people’s intestinal tracts as a way to aid digestion, boost the body’s natural defenses and fight off harmful bacteria that can cause health problems.

Although the scientific evidence shows that probiotics really can help, questions remain about how well that research translates into the real world, where some marketers may add untested amounts of the bacteria to various foods. While there are thousands of different probiotics, only a handful have been tested in clinical trials and been shown to deliver specific health benefits when eaten regularly. Most probiotic products can be found in the dairy case or as dietary supplements.

   

 

Well, real, plain, organic yogurt brands have provided probitioc benefits ever since the first yogurt curdled in some farmer’s cow barn. Brand name grocery store yogurts, for the most part, have taken a pretty healthy food and made into a junk food by adding sweeteners, artificial flavors, colors and thickeners and processing away the probiotics. Dannon has seen to reintroduce probiotics, albeit artificially. Too bad that DanActive and Activia are still chock full of these artificial nasties. I suggest that if you’re going to buy yogurt, get it at your local healthfood store or at least read the label and make sure you’re getting just good old fashioned, probiotic-full yogurt not a bunch of flavorings, food dyes and high fructose corn syrup.

Still, it seems to me these lawyers could do more good suing the meat and dairy industries for putting antibiotics in the food supply that cause our health problems, including MRSA.

Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:38 PM

August 13, 2008 | Archive

Cranberries Fight Bladder Infections

   


For years I have advised women with bladder infections to consider cranberries. I bet all of you out there who have ever had a bladder infection or urinary tract infection have been told to use this common home remedy. Well, lo and behold, the medical world finally has its proof.

     
 

ScienceDaily (Jan. 23, 2008) - Evidence supports drinking cranberry juice — a familiar home remedy — to treat urinary tract infection (UTI), according to a new review from Scotland.

“UTIs can be distressing, and people often take a self-care approach rather than seeking professional advice,” said Ruth Jepson, a senior research fellow at the University of Stirling, who led the review. “It is a common problem that a great deal of health care time and resources are spent on.”

A diagnosis of a urinary tract infection refers to a presence of a large amount of bacteria in the urine that can cause pain during urination and can lead to more severe infections of the bladder and kidneys.
The aim of the systematic review was to determine whether taking cranberries is an effective way to prevent urinary tract infections.
. . .

People have used cranberries, especially cranberry juice, for decades to prevent and treat UTIs. The fruit contains organic substances, such as quinic acid and citric acid, which act as antibacterial agents to help eliminate bacteria from the bladder.
   

 

Why does this study make me excited? Well, the Lord has a remedy for everything-remedies that have been around thousands of years longer than modern medical science. It’s great to see scientists confirming this fact. It also gives me greater boldness in sharing His other natural remedies with my patients.

If you are prone to UTIs (bladder infections), include cranberries in your diet. Remember that neither sugar nor artificial sweeteners are good for bladder health. Brewing a cup of unsweetened cranberry tea or eating homemade cranberry relish sweetened with grated apple rather than sugar may be a good alternative to the highly sweetened cranberry juices on the grocery store shelf.

Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:43 PM

August 12, 2008 | Archive

Arthritis: Which Supplements Work?

   


When it comes to arthritis pain, it makes a lot more sense to identify and correct your nutritional deficiencies in the hope of healing rather than mask your symptoms with dangerous pain relievers.
Supplements can be an effective way to boost your nutrition, but be careful to choose those that really work.

     
 

Arthritis sufferers are routinely targeted by the $20 billion supplement industry, which has introduced more than 800 purported remedies for arthritis in recent years.With so many different products promising relief, it’s tough to know which are worth trying. This month, American Family Physician, a medical journal, offers some guidance. A new review article sifts through the research to determine which supplements really work.The review article’s top pick - glucosamine sulfate - is typically derived from crustacean shells. Unlike many products sold by the supplement industry, this one has been widely studied. . . .

The findings have been inconsistent, however, likely because of varying formulations and study methods…

“The evidence supports the use of glucosamine sulfate for modestly reducing osteoarthritis symptoms and possibly slowing disease progression,” the authors write. “However, there isn’t enough evidence to recommend the use of other glucosamine formulations.”
The evidence for another popular supplement, chondroitin, is inconsistent, as well. . .

Another promising supplement reviewed in the study is SAMe, which stands for S-adenosylmethionine. In one recent study, SAMe was compared with the anti-inflammatory drug Celebrex. During the first month of treatment, Celebrex users did better; after two months of use, the authors note, there was no difference in pain relief between the two agents.

The report also covers the research on MSM, devil’s claw, turmeric and ginger, but concludes there isn’t enough evidence to support their use.

   

 

Are you suferring with joint pain? For starters, change up to a healthy diet based on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains and fish. Cut back on dairy, eggs and red meat. Avoid hydrogenated oils, sugar, caffeine and refined flour. Organic foods are best for people with arthritis because they not add additional toxic stress to an already stressed system; they have more of the nutrients that can help keep your arthritis pain at bay. Make sure your diet is rich in essential fatty acids (EFA) found in omega-3 and omega-6 oils, for example salmon and flaxseed oil.

Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:32 PM

August 10, 2008 | Archive

Prozac and Paxil Less Effective than Advertised

   


A shocking revelation made public by the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that while drug companies publicize 94% of studies that say their drugs have positive effects, only 14% of negative studies are made public.This is the case with their profitable anti-depressants, Prozac and Paxil. Seeing as both of these drugs have such terrible potential dangerous side effects, this news concerns me even more.

     
 

The makers of antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil never published the results of about a third of the drug trials that they conducted to win government approval, misleading doctors and consumers about the drugs’ true effectiveness, a new analysis has found.

In published trials, about 60 percent of people taking the drugs report significant relief from depression, compared with roughly 40 percent of those on placebo pills. But when the less positive, unpublished trials are included, the advantage shrinks: the drugs outperform placebos, but by a modest margin, concludes the new report, which appears Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Previous research had found a similar bias toward reporting positive results for a variety of medications; and many researchers have questioned the reported effectiveness of antidepressants. But the new analysis, reviewing data from 74 trials involving 12 drugs, is the most thorough to date. And it documents a large difference: while 94 percent of the positive studies found their way into print, just 14 percent of those with disappointing or uncertain results did.

 
 

In another revelation, a leading pharmaceutical company,  Amgen, was found to have violated patients’ private records so they could sell them Enbrel, a drug for psoriasis.

 

 

…sales representatives were told to find doctors willing to search through patient records to find patients with psoriasis, or to let the Amgen representatives find candidates in the same way.

The doctors would then be asked to write to the patients suggesting Enbrel, though Amgen employees might do the work and pay for the postage, he said. Mr. Engelman also said Amgen representatives would sometimes call or write to insurance companies, posing as a member of the doctor’s staff, to try to arrange reimbursement.
 
 

I am sharing this news with you because I want you to be aware that the big pharmaceutical companies are motivated by profits, not your health. I am not saying that prescription medicines should not be used-but do use them with great care. Educate yourself on their true benefits and make a list of possible side effects.

Depression is a very real and debilitative disorder. Professional help along with carefully prescribed medicines may be the best route for you today. In addition, take steps to improve your good health and healthy outlook by eating only God-made foods, drinking plenty of pure water and making exercise a priority.

Make sure that none of your other medications have depression as a side effect. If situations in your life are the cause of your depression, ask the Lord for help in overcoming or freeing your self from them. Prayer and attention to your spiritual life can also be a key to better mental health.

Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:35 PM

August 9, 2008 | Archive

Scientists Discover Another Key
to Insulin Resistance

   


Do you know what insulin resistance is? Insulin resistance occurs when the insulin your body manufactures can no longer metabolize sugar as energy. As a result, you gain hard-to-lose weight on your stomach and buttocks, lose your pep and energy and put yourself at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

     
 

Obesity is a worldwide health problem directly linked to several diseases such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Resistin is a cysteine-rich hormone mainly secreted by adipose tissues and may form a biochemical link between obesity and type 2 diabetes.

It has been reported insulin inhibits resistin mRNA level in 3T3-L1, which does not support a role for resistin in insulin resistance. Does resistin play a role in insulin resistance? Is insulin the major regulator of resistin?
A research team led by Dr. Guo Xi-Rong studied the resistin action in vitro and resistin secretion. In addition to this, diet-induced obese rats were used to study the relationship between insulin, resistin and insulin resistance. 

Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:47 PM

August 8, 2008 | Archive

Mediterranean Diet Wards Off Asthma And Allergy

   


It seems like I have been harping on the relationship of foods to allergies and asthma for decades-and during that time all the medical world has done is come out with more drugs to treat allergy and asthma symptoms. Allergies are serious business. They not only cause runny noses and watery eyes, they impact your quality of life. Kids with allergies get a real bad rap. They fall behind in their studies (hay fever is the number one cause of missed school days). If they have a constant runny nose, their peers may call them “gross,” tease them and exclude them from play.
For adults, allergies are expensive business. Even if you have good health insurance, the trips to the doctor, medications and lost work hours can really add up. In addition, allergies often lead to asthma, and asthma can be deadly.

     
 

This new study proves that eating good, God-made foods can reduce your risks of allergy and asthma. Mother-to-be who ate more vegetables, fish and legumes-and used olive oil as their dietary fat-gave birth to children who were less likely to develop allergies or asthma. Mums to be who eat a Mediterranean diet while pregnant could help stave off the risks of asthma and allergy in their children, suggests new research.

The findings are based on 468 mother and child pairs, who were tracked from pregnancy up to 6.5 years after the birth.

What the mothers ate during pregnancy and what their children were eating by the time they were 6 years old were assessed using food frequency questionnaires.. . .
Those who closely followed the traditional Mediterranean diet were significantly more likely to have children free of asthmatic symptoms and allergies than those who ate a low quality Mediterranean diet.

Consumption of vegetables more than eight times a week, fish more than three times a week, and legumes more than once a week, seemed to be particularly protective.

On the other hand, consumption of red meat more than three to four times a week seemed to increase the risks.

Posted by Dr. Don @ 7:48 PM

August 6, 2008 | Archive

Researchers Question Cholesterol Risk

   


If you’ve monitored the role that big pharmaceutical companies have played in the nation’s high cholesterol crisis, you know why so many people are taking drugs for high cholesterol. As the number of prescription drugs prescribed for high cholesterol has increased, the numbers that are used to diagnose high cholesterol have decreased. In other words, what was considered a healthy cholesterol levels a decade ago is now considered dangerously high.

As a result, a  larger percentage of people are on these drugs. Well guess what-these drugs not only have a huge list of potential side effects, prominent doctors and researchers are questioning heir value in fighting cholesterol.

     
 

For decades, the theory that lowering cholesterol is always beneficial has been a core principle of cardiology. It has been accepted by doctors and used by drug makers to win quick approval for new medicines to reduce cholesterol.But now some prominent cardiologists say the results of two recent clinical trials have raised serious questions about that theory - and the value of two widely used cholesterol-lowering medicines, Zetia and its sister drug, Vytorin. Other new cholesterol-fighting drugs, including one that Merck hopes to begin selling this year, may also require closer scrutiny, they say. “The idea that you’re just going to lower LDL and people are going to get better, that’s too simplistic, much too simplistic,” said Dr. Eric J. Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, Calif. LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is the so-called bad cholesterol, in contrast to high-density lipoprotein, or HDL.For patients and drug companies, the stakes are enormous. Led by best sellers like Lipitor from Pfizer, cholesterol-lowering medicines, taken by tens of millions of patients daily, are the largest drug category worldwide, with annual sales of $40 billion.

 
 

Before you start on a prescription to lower your cholesterol, make sure you understand the side effects posed by the specific medication prescribed. Get a second opinion to make sure your cholesterol levels do indeed warrant medication. And, monitor the effects the drug has-on your cholesterol levels and your overall health.
Meanwhile, make a habit of eating God-made foods, getting some good old fashioned exercise and including prayer in your day. Those might have even better result than the toxic drugs your doctor wants to sell you.

Posted by Dr. Don @ 6:48 PM

 

 
         


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