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Probiotics for Preventing the Sniffles: Preparing for Cold and Flu Season

August 25, 2014

by Dr. Anne Williams

The Japan Pediatric Society recently reported that twice daily supplementation with probiotics was able to “significantly lower risk of fever, cough,” runny nose and school absence in children 8-13 years of age.

Preventing the severity of viral infections such as the common cold can also prevent the likelihood of secondary infections such as sinusitis and middle ear infections.

In addition to the immune-boosting effects against viral infections, probiotics have also been found to reduce the incidence of allergic rhinitis or seasonal allergy symptoms in children.

Treating the digestive system is a common way to support the immune and respiratory system in Chinese medicine. Once again, we see ancient wisdom corroborated by modern research.

Dr. Anne Williams is a natural health expert who works with kids and adults to live life to its fullest, with energy and enthusiasm. Learn more about Dr. Williams here: here


Pediatr Int. 2012 Oct54(5):682-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-200X.2012.03647.x. Epub 2012 Jul 10.
Randomized controlled trial of probiotics to reduce common cold in schoolchildren.
Rerksuppaphol S1, Rerksuppaphol L.

Pediatr Res. 2007 Aug62(2):215-20.
A randomized prospective double blind controlled trial on effects of long-term consumption of fermented milk containing Lactobacillus casei in pre-school children with allergic asthma and/or rhinitis.
Giovannini M1, Agostoni C, Riva E, Salvini F, Ruscitto A, Zuccotti GV, Radaelli G Felicita Study Group.



Simple Steps for Back-To-School Preparation: Routine

August 20, 2014

Anne Williams, ND, LAc

Studies show that one of the best ways to support your children's academic performance and personal growth is with reliable structure. Especially by providing a consistent bedtime and mealtime. Poor grades in school and depression are strongly correlated with irregular patterns.

Children respond well to a routine that they can depend on in the face of the many changing factors in their school environment. All change results in stress on the body and the home environment is one place that can provide a sense of rest and repose. Restorative home time allows kids to have the energy to be more flexible in other situations.

Though complaints are frequent with bed and mealtime routines, remember that hindsight is usually 20/20 and your kids will most likely thank you, even if that thanks only comes years from now.

An added bonus for mom comes with bedtime routine. It appears that not only children benefit through improved sleep quality but mom’s mood improves as well.

Dr. Anne Williams is a natural health expert who works with kids and adults to live life to its fullest, with energy and enthusiasm. Learn more about Dr. Anne here: here

The Prince’s Trust Youth Index 2012.

Sleep. 2009 May32(5):599-606.
A nightly bedtime routine: impact on sleep in young children and maternal mood.
Mindell JA1, Telofski LS, Wiegand B, Kurtz ES.



Coffee Good or Bad? Dr. Peter Bongiorno interviewed by Natural Health Magazine


Is coffee good for you?

Does Dr. Peter drink coffee?

Find out by clicking below…




Robin Williams' Loss and Holistic Care for Depression

08.14.2014 on Psychology Today

"Why do I stand up here? Anybody?
I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way."
– Robin Williams as Mr. Keating in Dead Poets Society

Robin Williams' brilliance left us way too early. Here are some steps to help us consider a more holistic and integrative model to deal with severe depression.




Pregnancy Preparation

Research shows that a healthy pregnancy begins months prior to conception. It is in this pre-pregnancy time that a mom-to-be can begin healthy lifestyle choices. Especially important are improving the basics of health, such as diet, sleep, exercise and relaxation work, to help ensure a healthy start for the baby and a safe pregnancy for the mother.
Throughout the pregnancy it is important to maintain a healthy weight for your height and body type. Gentle exercise and a healthy diet will keep your body functioning at an optimal level. Nutrient-dense foods can help achieve this goal while avoiding excess weight gain, which would decrease the risk of blood sugar problems while pregnant, known as gestational diabetes.
Methylated folate may be the most important supplement needed for women of childbearing age. A minimum of 400 mcg per day is needed before and during pregnancy in order to prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. What most doctors do not even know is that common folic acid, the form found in most prenatal vitamins, may actually be useless to some woman who posses a defect in their MTHFR gene. This gene is needed to convert inactive folic acid to the active form, methylfolate. When the gene is defective, it can also lead to blood clots during pregnancy and miscarriages. A simple blood test can identify women with MTHFR defects. For all pre-pregnant, and pregnant women, excellent natural sources of the right folate forms include: beans, lentils, spinach, asparagus, and avocado.
For the best care be sure to speak to your doctor regarding a prenatal vitamin and healthy lifestyle habits.


"Recommendations." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Jan. 2012. Web. 12 July 2014.

Dr. Lynch, "Is MTHFR Affecting Your Pregnancy?" MTHFRNet. N.p., 24 May 2013. Web. 12 July 2014.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Siobhan Hanlon



Keep Cool in Summer with Cooling Foods and Spicy and Pungent Herbs

Summer is definitely here and with it, the heat and humidity. Many people find the heat very uncomfortable and even fatiguing. Chinese Medicine offers wonderful solutions on how to stay comfortable, no matter in the environment we may find ourselves.

In the tradition of Chinese Medicine, each season is associated with an element. Appropriately, summer is associated with the element of fire. This makes sense, for the chief environmental factor in summer is quite obviously heat. When in balance, some heat can be good for us, but for many, too much heat can accumulate in the body and contribute to many common maladies. For example, heat in the body can contribute to sleep difficulties, irritability, skin irritations, restlessness and a host of other discomforts.

Staying hydrated is the best way to stay cool during the summer. The bounty of fruits and vegetables available in summer is a great resource. Watermelons and cucumbers, in particular are very helpful. These stars of the summer fruit world are cooling in nature and have the added benefit of helping replenish body fluids.

Another climatic factor in summer is humidity. Humidity can make you feel heavy-headed, sluggish and promote water retention (swelling). Pungent herbs help move energy upward and outward to the periphery of the body. The pungent flavor opens the pores so the body can cool down. Cooling or neutral pungent foods like mint, turnips, radish and kohlrabi can help keep internal humidity at bay. Other great summer pungent selection are basil and dill.

Many people think spicy foods will make you hotter. In fact, the spicy stuff can actually cool you down. Spicier options like hot peppers, chilies and fresh ginger will help open the pores and allow us to perspire and release heat. This is a classic strategy for keeping a feeling of coolness. Remember, with these hotter choices a little can go a long way. Moderation is key.

Summer is a season of expansion, growth and outward activity. Engage with others. laugh, enjoy the bounty of nature, and play just for the heck of it. And to keep in balance with the heat and humidity remember your:

* cooling foods to keep heat at bay: watermelon, cucumber, celery,
tomato, leafy greens, kiwi, mung bean, mung bean sprout and zucchini

* spices to help release heat: hot peppers, chilies and fresh ginger

* pungent herbs for humidity and swelling: basil, dill, peppermint, turnips, radish and turnip and radish leaves, lemon and tangerine zest, kohlrabi and green tea

about the author: Cynthia Hewett LAc, Cert Herb brings her gentle blend of healing using Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, individualized Chinese Medicine formulas and Cranial sacral therapy. She practices at Inner Source Health in New York City. Click to learn more about Cynthia here



A Cold Splash - Hydrotherapy for Depression and Anxiety


Read Dr. Peter's blog on Psychology Today explaining how a good old shower and some naturopathic wisdom can help anxiety and depression.




ADHD an immune and gastrointestinal disease? Looking beyond the neurological.


A recent report in the journal European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, pointed to a more complex origin for attention-deficient hyperactivity disorder. The journal pointed out that children with ADHD commonly suffer from immune disorders, that the genes linked to ADHD affect the immune system and that higher levels of immune-mediated inflammation can lead to ADHD symptoms.

Children with ADHD are known to have a greater incidence of gastrointestinal upset and irregularity – independent of pharmacological treatment.

This research is an encouraging step toward widening the lens on childhood illness. Instead of a linear “1 pill to control 1 mechanism” approach, the human body can be seen more completely – as a dynamic complex organism.

Confirming the wisdom of holistic naturopathic approaches to illness and dysfunction, treating the whole person is truly treating the whole disease.

Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2014 Feb 4. [Epub ahead of print]
Nutrition, immunological mechanisms and dietary immunomodulation in ADHD.
Verlaet AA1, Noriega DB, Hermans N, Savelkoul HF.

Pediatrics. 2013 Nov132(5):e1210-5. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1580. Epub 2013 Oct 21.
Association of constipation and fecal incontinence with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
McKeown C1, Hisle-Gorman E, Eide M, Gorman GH, Nylund CM.

Dr. Anne Williams is a natural health expert who works with kids and adults to live life to its fullest, with energy and enthusiasm. Learn more about Dr. Anne here: here



What do Inner Source Health and Cleveland Clinic have in common?


We both care about the safety and efficacy of our Chinese herbal formulas.

Cleveland Clinic, a multi-specialty medical center, is the third largest hospital in the country. The hospital is a leading medical innovator integrating clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine, has added herbal medicine to their clinical practice alongside of conventional medicine.

Both Cleveland Clinic and InnerSource Health source our herbs from Crane Herbal Pharmacy. Crane is an independent distributor known for their leadership in the Chinese herbal industry. Only Crane Herb pharmacy compounds custom herbal prescriptions which comply with the FDA cGMP standards, FDA labeling requirements, allergen warnings and HIPPA. Crane uses KPC concentrated herb granules and they are the only Chinese herb manufacturer to meet the rigorous standards of all industrialized nations.

Click here to learn more about master herbalist and acupuncturist Cynthia Hewett LAc, Cert Herb: here



Naturopathic Care, Heart Disease and Healthcare Costs

May 2, 2014

A recent study found that naturopathic care not only reduced the 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease but also provided significant savings to both society and employers by reducing healthcare costs.

In a country where healthcare costs are the highest per capita in the world and almost twice that of the country in second place, a second glance at naturopathic primary care is more important than ever.

Voice your support for naturopathic doctors being licensed in NY state and keep up to date through the NYANP’s facebook page:

Dr. Anne Williams is a natural health expert who works with kids and adults to live life to its fullest, with energy and enthusiasm. Learn more about Dr. Anne here: here

References: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2014. “A naturopathic approach to the prevention of cardiovascular disease: cost effectiveness analysis of a pragmatic multi-worksite randomized clinical trial.”



The Magic Bullet for Aging? Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture

by Donna Nesteruk, LAc - 04-25-2014

What can acupuncture do to stop the aging process??

Click below to find out….




Fertility, Embryo Quality and Acupuncture

April 22, 2014

Studies have shown that both embryo (fertilized egg) quality and embryo transfer rates are significantly increased with the use of acupuncture before and on the day of transfer.

The study in reference to egg quality was done in a population of women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) – a constellation of symptoms that includes blood sugar dysregulation, polycystic ovaries, testosterone dominance and infertility.

Additional studies on acupuncture may shed some light as to the reason for this effect. Progesterone production, which is essential for implantation and maintenance of pregnancy can be upregulated through acupuncture treatment.

Dr. Anne Williams is a natural health expert who works with kids and adults to live life to its fullest, with energy and enthusiasm. Learn more about Dr. Anne here: here

Effects of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. June 2013 Acupuncture in medicine: journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society.
Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproductive therapy. April 2002 Fertility and sterility.



Three Years Later - is Fukushima Radiation Getting Into Your Food

How to protect yourself from nuclear fallout and other radiation


Fukushima and other environmental radiation poses a clear threat to health, as long term radiation exposure can mutate (change) the genetic code in our body, spurring various destructive cancers and inflammations.

But, it is not as cut and dry as you may think. Please read Dr. Peter's blog on Psychology Today, and learn what the threat is for you, and what you can do to protect yourself.

This is the expanded-full length article of one that appeared in New Living Magazine a few months prior.




Smoking and Depression: Chicken or Egg?

March 24, 2014

Smokers and healthcare providers sometimes feel hesitant about smoking cessation due cigarettes’ ability to stabilize mood in the short-term.

Studies show more often than not, however, that mood – including anxiety, depression and perceptive stress – improves after smoking cessation. And the improvement is comparable to the effect of antidepressant therapy.

This may be in part due to the hundreds of chemicals released into the lungs when a cigarette burns. According to the American Lung Association, cadmium, lead, benzene and formaldehyde are found in tobacco smoke. In addition to other compounds, these substances can significantly increase inflammation in the body, which is associated with poor mood.

The effects on mood were measured at minimum 7 weeks post-cessation, implying that with time, your body will do a better job regulating its mood that a Marlboro.

Dr. Anne Williams is a natural health expert who works with kids and adults to live life to its fullest, with energy and enthusiasm. Learn more about Dr. Anne here: here

British Medical Journal, Feb 2014 "Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis." Taylor G et al



Pau D'Arco and Heart Disease

March 21, 2014

Most commonly mentioned in reference to cancer, Pau D’Arco bark may also have some benefits for those with cardiovascular disease.

An animal study showed that the inner bark has an ability to inhibit platelets from sticking together and forming blood clots. During the 1970s, human trials conducted by the National Cancer Institute found the same effect.

Native to Central and South America, the Pau D’Arco tree is a beautiful plant that shows much promise for future research in the world of integrative cardiology.

Dr. Anne Williams is a natural health expert who works with kids and adults to live life to its fullest, with energy and enthusiasm. Learn more about Dr. Anne here: here



Happy Spring - LOVE LAUGH and Your LIVER for Best Spring Health

by Donna Nesteruk, LAc - 03-19-2014

Your liver and springtime: what is the connection in Chinese Medicine, and how can you use this for your best spring health?




Leaky Gut, Is It Real, and How Does It Affect Mood ?

Is Leaky Gut Real?

Published at NDNR 03-18-2014

Is leaky gut real, and how does it relate to mood disorder?

Click below to find out in this new article by Dr. Peter Bongiorno




Loving Your Heart With Cinnamon

March 4, 2014

Long-used in Chinese medicine for nourishing the heart, research has confirmed that cinnamon has the ability to help regulate blood pressure and lipids.

Some of the compounds in cinnamon have also been shown to be more effective than aspirin in keeping blood from clotting. (This is not a recommendation to stop taking your aspirin!)

Though the daily dose is small, the cumulative effect from daily use can support long-term heart health and help protect your body against diabetes as well.

Embrace your kitchen spice cabinet and sprinkle some cinnamon on fresh fruit for a heart-healthy snack!

Dr. Anne Williams is a natural health expert who works with kids and adults to live life to its fullest, with energy and enthusiasm. Learn more about Dr. Anne here: here



Wool: A Natural Flame-Retardant

February 25, 2014

by Dr. Anne Williams

Flame retardant clothing and bedding have become an important home safety measure to prevent against fires.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of flame retardants on the market, such as PBBs (a relative of PCBs) are known to bio-accumulate with toxic effects on the environment and possibly humans as well.

While talking to Rachel Button, manager of NYC’s the Clean Bedroom showroom (, I found out some exciting information.

Their mattresses, which have organic wool linings pass the “torch test.” An industrial torch, held to the mattress for 30 seconds, elicits no lasting flame in the 100% organic wool linings.

It is comforting to know that nature has us covered. We can breath and protect ourselves at the same time, using a renewable, natural resource.

Dr. Anne Williams is a natural health expert who works with kids and adults to live life to its fullest, with energy and enthusiasm. Learn more about Dr. Anne here: here



Where O Where is My Fresh Air?

by Anne Williams, ND, LAc

I jumped into a taxi the other day, only to be accosted by the nauseating smell of an “air freshener” pinned to the car’s air vent. I had a similar experience at a car garage, with steady puffs of perfume saturating my airspace.

It appears that we are moving back to the Middle Ages, when, instead of cleaning ourselves or our possessions, we are fragrancing away the smells.

It is not that I am opposed to the occasional mix of sweat, dirt and lilacs – I am more concerned about the chemicals I am inhaling.

One example, the commonplace candle, can burn vapors containing anything from lead to benzene, which at high levels or in smaller bodies (think kids) can lead to developmental problems and increased cancer risks.

When you combine that with the average amount of ventilation my or any New York apartment gets in the wintertime (close to zilch), the issue of testing and labeling grows more legitimate.

Yet like many, I love candles and spice and everything nice. Some great options for the like-minded include 100% beeswax candles, essential oil diffusers or when in a rush or in doubt, fresh air.

Dr. Anne Williams is a natural health expert who works with kids and adults to live life to its fullest, with energy and enthusiasm. Learn more about Dr. Anne here: here



Got to Drink Milk? Learn Your A1's and A2's for Best Health


Cow’s milk is a staple food in many homes. Unfortunately cow’s milk itself may be a silent, but potent factor in a number of illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory issues, gastrointestinal health, and mood disorders, as well as infant and children’s health problems.

Emerging research suggests the type of cow’s milk you drink may be a part of the issue.

Learn about which milk may be healthier… and that it is more than likely you are not drinking it




What’s a Phthalate and Why Does It Matter for Joe and Jane Jr.?

by Dr. Anne Williams, ND, LAc

Maybe you’ve been hearing the buzz about phthalates in your food, cosmetics and home care products. So what are they, exactly?

Phthalates are chemicals derived from naphthalene, the beloved mothball. They act as softeners or “plasticizers” in your basic plastic structure. Without such plasticizers, plastic (PVC, PE or PP) is actually quite hard and referred to as “hard plastic.”

How do phthalates affect us? It appears that children and infants may be at the greatest risk from phthalate exposure, especially during pregnancy.

Endocrine disruption, including endometriosis, fibroids, male infertility, pre-term birth, asthma, obesity and heart disease are among the conditions associated with greater exposure to phthalates.

What can we do? To start with, consider the old-fashioned glass, stainless steel and iron as your friendly alternatives to plasticware in the home, especially for storing food.



High Intake of Omega Three Polyunsaturated Fats Reduce Risk of Diabetes 33%

Fish oil - healthful again


A very recent journal article from the American Diabetes Association’s Journal Diabetes Care continues to expound on the multitude of fish oil benefits.

This article looked at over 2200 men from Finland, who were aged between 42 and 60. These men were all without diabetes when the research began. With an average follow up of almost 20 years, they found that the men who had highest levels of fish oils in the blood had a 33% decreased risk of moving on to type 2 diabetes. This intake included both dietary and supplemental fish oil.

Mercury Toxicity?

The research also suggested that mercury levels did not have a direct effect on diabetes, although past studies suggest there is a higher level of insulin resistance (insulin no longer having a potent effect in the body, requiring more than normal to be produced). Mercury is well known for playing a role in nervous system and cardiovascular disorders.

What About the Bad Press Fish Oil Has Received?

Even though the major media’s has attempted to sway the public insinuating that fish oil and fish oil supplementation is not healthy. This media hype flies in the face the vast majority of past and current research which show clear benefits using fish oil to both support, and prevent a number of conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. If you would like more information, please see Dr. Peter’s past article about fish oil and prostate cancer by clicking on the link below.

Reference article:
Virtanen JK, Mursu J, Voutilainen S, Uusitupa M, Tuomainen TP. Serum omega-3 polyunsaturated Fatty acids and risk of incident type 2 diabetes in men: the kuopio ischemic heart disease risk factor study. Diabetes Care. 2014 Jan37(1):189-96. doi: 10.2337/dc13-1504. Epub 2013 Sep 11.

Learn More About Fish Oil and Prostate Cancer



Insulin and High Blood Pressure?

by Anne Williams, ND, LAc

New research shows that high levels of insulin in the bloodstream may be an independent risk factor for developing high blood pressure. This occurs because insulin can damage small blood vessels, triggering a rise in blood pressure.

What does high insulin look like externally? More often than not, an “apple-shape” body type indicates insulin resistance and poor sugar control.

We know that diet, exercise and high stress strongly contribute to the development of blood sugar fluctuations.

If you have heart disease in your family, February, National Heart Month, is the perfect time to set new goals for your health and longevity.



Ashwaganda for Anxiety

Can the 'smell of a horse' stop you from getting anxious? Ashwaganda for anxiety.

PT blog by Dr. Peter Bongiorno - 1-8-2014

Ashwaganda (latin name: Withania somnifera) is an herbal medicine with a rich tradition. Its use dates back three millennia to the time the Ayurvedic practitioners in India began using it for people with anxiety, low energy, and the ravages of aging.

The word “ashwaganda” translates to “smell of horse” and has a dual meaning: one is that the herb itself does have that particular aromatic quality, and second, because traditional belief is that consumption can help it’s user gain a horse-like strength and vitality….





Emotions and the Season of Winter

by Donna L. Nesteruk, LAc


Winter started on December 21st – so we are about 2 weeks into what can seem like a long, cold season. What do you think about when you hear the word winter?

For us here in the northeast, it would be typical to think: “BRRR”, cold weather, “don’t fall on the ice”, less activity, shorter days, and more effort to feel motivated to get up and do. ……

To read the whole article, and learn the connection between the winter, kidneys and fear, please click below




Is There A Blood Sugar Monster Lurking Within You?

blood sugar balance is a key to best mood

11.14.2013 - Psychology Today Blog

Are you a blood sugar monster?

How does blood sugar affect you, and how can you help it?

Read Dr. Peter's blog by clicking below....




Emotions and the Season of Autumn

Donna L. Nesteruk, L. Ac.

As autumn has "fallen" upon us, I would like to continue discussing how emotions relate to our organ systems, this time with the fall season (If you missed the first article, please visit to read the first in this series, entitled "Emotional Balancing with Chinese Medicine").

In TCM (Tradition Chinese Medicine), it is beneficial to understand that the meridians (energy pathways in our body) connect with our body's organ systems. Each system has specific functions, which when out of balance, physically or emotionally, can create physical challenges (like pain or disease) or emotional imbalances (such as anxiety or depression).

Autumn and Your Digestion

The season of autumn is known as a time of harvesting - a time to collect and use that which we have cultivated on the earth. In Chinese medicine, the meridian system of the Spleen and Stomach is related to the Earth element, for it is the center and balancing point for our body. The seasons of late summer/early autumn corresponds to the Spleen (Yin) and Stomach (Yang) meridians.

When speaking about the Spleen/Stomach, we automatically think of digestion. And that is correct! One of the main functions of the Spleen/Stomach meridian is that of food digestion and nutrient absorption which is supplied to our blood and Qi (our vital energy). In a way, this is the system that gives each one of us the ability to 'harvest' our food.

When the Stomach/Spleen is Out of Balance

However, worry, pensiveness, obsessive thoughts or over-thinking...yes, even over-studying, negatively affect our emotional makeup, and ultimately affect the proper functioning of this meridian system. Very often when one suffers with these emotions, they are dissatisfied about their past and worry about the future, which consumes their present moment.

An imbalance of the Spleen/Stomach meridian may indeed be physically manifested by poor digestion, abdominal distention, loose stools, fatigue, lack of concentration, indecisiveness, bruising, or possibly bleeding disorders.

How You Can Help Your Stomach/Spleen?

Allow yourself five minutes in the morning to take three deep breaths. Deep breathing relaxes the nervous system, and brings circulation back to your digestive tract. The best way to deep breath is to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, feeling free to make any vocal sound to release any pent up emotions or energy. Doing this anytime during the day when feeling stressed or consumed by thoughts, will help you regroup and center yourself.

Sometimes a simple 'AHHHH' is all you need.

Also, acupuncture and the right Chinese herbal formulas can also help bring you back to the present moment and restore digestion, and help emotional balance

Try it...You'll like it! Living in the moment is revitalizing!

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."
~ Mother Teresa

Donna Nesteruk, LAc practices acupuncture in Huntington, New York at Inner Source Health in Long Island. She is a NCCAOM diplomat and is certified Acutonics instructor and practitioner. More about her can be found by visiting:



Interview with Dr. Peter about Naturopathic Medicine Week

Spreading the word about naturopathic medicine

October 7, 2013

Cathy Zeiss of Natural Health magazine interviews Dr. Peter Bongiorno about naturopathic medicine week and the role of naturopathic doctors in our health care system.

Click Here for Interview



Do Fish oils and Fish Really Cause Prostate Cancer?

Media Hype or Good Science?

08-04-2013: Dr. Peter Bongiorno's Psychology today blog

Does Fish Intake and Taking Fish Oil Supplements Cause Prostate Cancer?

Dr. Peter Bongiorno elegantly answers this question on Psychology Today - please click the link below to read it.




Emotional Balancing with Chinese Medicine

by Donna Nesteruk LAc


How can Chinese Medicine balance emotions? Donna Nesteruk LAc explains.

Click on the link below to learn how....

Click Here for PDF version of article



Black cohosh contamination causing liver problems – what can we learn?

Patients often ask me “is there really a difference between the herbs and vitamins you use in your practice, and the supplements I can get at Whole Foods or at the Vitamin Shoppe?”

My answer is: “yes, often there is.”

Federal laws regulating vitamins and supplements do not require that companies check their sources for quality, quantity or toxic contaminants. And generally, companies that sell vitamins and herbs do not test these for quality themselves they rely on the manufacturer of the supplement to do it, which is akin to allowing the fox protect the hen house.

Does Black Cohosh Really Cause Liver Damage?

Black cohosh is an herb well known for its help with hormonal balance in peri-menopausal and menopausal women. It is also helpful for mood disorders, especially depression.

A recent article from the American Botanical Council highlights some of the on-going problems within the natural products industry (1). In this article in particular, several reports claimed an association between black cohosh and liver damage.

When examined more thoroughly, it appears that the products implicated were made of other herbs in order to keep costs low. Poor quality control and false labeling is not new. It has happened before with other herbs like bilberry (used for diabetes and eye care), echinacea (used for immune support) and gingko (used for circulation support).

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

The best way to protect yourself is to be an active consumer and research the companies that you are using. Call their quality control departments and partner with us by letting companies know that you care.

At Inner Source Health, we would not give a patient a supplement we would not take ourselves. We screen companies based on their testing methods, their raw batch tests and their finished batch analyses. The vitamins we use are all independently tested and verified, both for content (making sure the right herbs and vitamins are in there) and quality (making sure that common toxins like heavy metals and pesticides are not).

Dr. Anne Williams is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at Inner Source health in New York City. She graduated from Bastyr University in Seattle, and is well-known for her work with skin health, children and chronic disease care. More about her can be found by visiting:


1 - American Botanical Council Press release: Herbal Quality Consortium Publishes Major Article on Black Cohosh Adulteration. May 28, 2013



Belly Breathing, Hot Flashes and Individuality

By Anne Williams, ND, LAc

A form of belly breathing, known as “paced breathing,” is now being studied for its effect on hot flashes. The journal Menopause, found a significant improvement from twice daily practice.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, a change in breathing pattern would be well suited to an individual who’s metal element (characterized as the lung) was weak, since metal is the source of water (which represents, among other things, the human reproductive system) in the five element cycle. For another person, whose elemental imbalance lay elsewhere, breathing techniques wouldn’t be indicated as a top priority.

The importance of individuality in treatment can be seen through conflicting research – a common source of frustration for the consumer. A month prior to the aforementioned study, the Journal of General Internal Medicine published its conclusion that a paced breathing intervention for hot flashes does not meet a clinically significant outcome. Since the trial designs were similar – how does one rectify the conflict in conclusions?

Part of the answer may be that this therapy was appropriate for some and not for others and suiting the treatment to the person as a whole and not just the symptoms is an integral part of success.

It is much more important to know what sort of patient has a disease than what sort of disease a patient has. – Sir William Osler

Carpenter JS, et al. Paced Respiration for Vasomotor and Other Menopausal Symptoms: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Aug.
Gilbert C. Clinical applications of breathing regulation. Beyond anxiety management. Behav Modif. 2003 Oct.
Mann E, et al. Cognitive behavioural treatment for women who have menopausal symptoms after breast cancer treatment (MENOS 1): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet Oncol. 2012 Mar.
Sood R, et al. Paced breathing compared with usual breathing for hot flashes. Menopause. 2012 Sep.
Yousaf O, et al. A randomised controlled trial of a cognitive behavioural intervention for men who have hot flushes following prostate cancer treatment (MANCAN): trial protocol. BMC Cancer. 2012 Jun.



Katie Couric Show with Dr. Pina - All Natural Sleep Aids



What is available from the natural dispensary that can help you get a good sleep?

Dr. Pina Loguidice is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and explains how many natural alternatives can be very effective natural alternatives.

Pleasant dreams!




Gua Sha - for pain, musclar tension, colds and more

Ancient chinese remedy for modern day issues

05-30-2103 by Cynthia Hewett LAc, Certified Herbalist

When we think about Chinese medicine, we usually think about acupuncture needles and herbs. Another wonderful tool and healing technique used in Chinese medicine is Gua Sha.

Gua Sha is performed by swiftly rubbing (called ‘Gua’ in Chinese medicine) the surface of lubricated skin with a round-edged, comb-like instrument in downward strokes. This action intentionally raises a small temporary rash (known in Chinese as ‘Sha,’ also known as petechiae/rash in Western terms) in the treated area. You will feel a rubbing and slight burning sensation, but it is not painful.

In Chinese medicine, pain and disease are said to be caused by stagnation or congestion of qi and blood. Gua Sha increases the movement of qi and blood and allows the body to restore its natural functioning.

What Conditions Can Gua Sha Help?

Gua Sha can help release unwanted neck and shoulder tension that comes with computer work and the busy-ness of our day (like running around and commuting). It is also prescribed for chronic muscle tightness from overuse or injury. It can be effectively used in the treatment of colds and coughs to relieve congestion and help increase the body’s immune response.

How Does Gua Sha Do This?

The secret of gua sha lies in how this treatment encourages the vigorous movement of blood to the surface of the body. When blood moves and circulation is enhanced, the body can help heal the area that needs to be healed. This is how gua sha helps the body’s own healing process.

Is there Scientific Research About Gua Sha?

In the last decade, Western studies have started to investigate how Gua Sha works. A study from 2007 confirms that Gua Sha increases the surface circulation of blood by 400% and that increased surface circulation continued at a significant level for 25 minutes following treatment. Each individual experienced a subjective decrease or complete resolution of pain [1]. A 2009 study showed that as enzymes are released to breakdown the petechiae (small broken blood vessels under the skin created by the Gua Sha treatment), an anti-inflammatory effect is created [2]. This helps explain why Gua Sha is useful in the treatment of colds and even allergy symptoms.

Other studies have looked at Gua Sha in the treatment of migraine [3], neck and lower back pain [4], chronic neck pain [5], and hepatitis [6]. Current studies have been small but warrant further investigation especially in understanding Gua Sha’s effects on the body’s immune process.

Gua Sha Conclusion

Gua Sha is a safe, non-invasive treatment that is usually applied to the back of the body or the limbs. The rash usually fades in 2-4 days and patients are advised to relax the day of treatment, avoiding working out, fasting or large meals and alcohol, to allow the body to repair.

1. Nielsen, A., Knoblauch, N., Dobos,G., Michalsen, A., Kaptchuk, T. (2007),The Effect of Gua Sha Treatment on the Microcirculation of Surface Tissue: A Pilot Study in Healthy Subjects. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 3: 456-466. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2007.06.001)

2. Kwong KK, Kloetzer L, Wong KK, Ren JQ, Kuo B, Jiang Y, Chen YI, Chan ST, Young GS, Wong ST. (2009), Bioluminescence imaging of heme oxygenase-1 upregulation in the Gua Sha procedure. J Vis Exp. 2009 (30): 1385. doi: 10.3791/1385.

3. Schwickert ME, Saha FJ, Braun M, Dobos GJ. Gua Sha for migraine in inpatient withdrawal therapy of headache due to medication overuse. Forsch Komplementmed. 2007 Oct14(5):297-300. doi:10.1159

4. Lauche R, Wübbeling K, Lüdtke R, Cramer H, Choi KE, Rampp T, Michalsen A, Langhorst J, Dobos GJ. Randomized controlled pilot study: pain intensity and pressure pain thresholds in patients with neck and low back pain before and after traditional East Asian "gua sha" therapy. Am. J. Chin. Med. 40, 905 (2012). DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X1250067X/000107731.

5. Braun, M., Schwickert, M., Nielsen, A., Brunnhuber, S., Dobos, G., Musial, F., Lüdtke, R. and Michalsen, A. (2011), Effectiveness of Traditional Chinese “Gua Sha” Therapy in Patients with Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Pain Medicine, 12: 362–369. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01053.x

6. Chan ST, Yuen JW, Gohel MD, Chung CP, Wong HC, Kwong KK, (2011) Guasha-induced hepatoprotection in chronic active hepatitis B: A case study. Clinica Chimica Acta, Volume 412, Issues 17–18, 17 August 2011, Pages 1686-1688. doi:10.1016/j.cca.2011.05.009

Click Here for PDF version of article



Got Mucus?

Mucus is a very common symptom of seasonal allergies. Mucus is commonly created by the body as part of an inflammatory response to help clean out the upper respiratory system (nose, sinuses and upper throat area) of the allergens in the air.

Natural medicine treatments for allergies include trying to avoid allergens when possible (by staying indoors and using air filtration), staying well hydrated, cleaning out the upper respiratory tract with nasal rinses (neti pots are one type of rinse), and using natural supplements to calm the immune system and help it clean out the respiratory tract.


One supplement used in our clinic that is excellent to help clean out the upper airway system is N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC). NAC, a derivative of the naturally-occurring sulfur containing amino acid cysteine, is a well-known antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and natural mucolytic (which means it helps breaks mucus down).

Besides having a great effect on the respiratory tract to clean out, NAC is very good at protecting the liver too due to its ability to restore the master antioxidant glutathione. In fact, the most notable use for NAC in the conventional medical world has been its use in the hospital setting to prevent liver damage from acetaminophen (Tylenol) poisoning.

Naturopathic medicine often turns to NAC to shorten the duration of respiratory issues like sinus congestion and bronchitis because of its ability to clear mucus from the respiratory passages and prevent further exacerbations.

When we take in NAC as a supplement, it rapidly breaks down to cysteine. Cysteine is a direct precursor to glutathione. Glutathione is considered a “master antioxidant.” Glutathione’s powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties protect us against free radical damage (which is increased when we have colds and allergies) and it also boosts the immune system which results in a shortening of the duration of many respiratory illnesses.

As a mucolytic, NAC breaks down the viscosity (thickness) of mucus by cleaving the physical bonds that makes mucus sticky and hard to clear (1). When these bonds are broken, the thinning of the phlegm making it easier to expel from the body. In addition, NAC supports the immune system by inhibiting neutrophil activation and decreasing microbial attachment (2).

Several human studies have explored NAC’s effectiveness as therapeutic agent for conditions, which have excessive thickened mucus such as bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, pneumonia and sinusitis. One study concluded by stating: “NAC administration results in decreased expectoration difficulty, cough severity, and diaphragm fatigue.”(2)

These are pretty good results and shows that NAC can be extremely helpful when you would like relief for congestion associated with allergies or colds without using a drug with side effects.


1. Aitio, Mirja-Liisa. N-acetcylcysteine- passé-partout or much ado about nothing? Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2006 61(1): 5–15.
2. No authors listed. Alternative Medicine Review. 2000. 5 (5):467-471.

A post by Dr. Siobhan Bleakney



Thoughts on Blue Light and Sleep


By Anne Williams, ND, LAc

Of all the visible light wavelengths that contact our retinas, blue light appears to inhibit melatonin release the most potently. This exposure may be of benefit in the daytime by promoting alertness and supporting shifts in our circadian rhythm. However, at night, light exposure and in particular blue light could be disrupting our internal clocks.

Fluorescent light and light-emitting diodes (LED) typically provide a greater source of the blue spectrum than natural and incandescent light. This means that most of your lightbulbs and electronics have the potential to inhibit sleep onset – and can do so from short periods of exposure and for hours after exposure. The Harvard Health Letter recommends powering down bright screens as much as two to three hours before bed.

In the real world, this impact may not be as severe as in controlled settings with narrowband light exposure. However, the blue light effect may also be dependent on one’s genes and individual sensitivity will vary. Several studies, with small statistical power, showed a significant difference in serum melatonin levels after blue light exposure and also demonstrated that blue light provides a more powerful effect on sleep-wake cycles than the natural light people often awaken from at dawn.

The potential impacts of sleep deprivation and light exposure at night (e.g. nightwork) are numerous. Leptin and ghrelin concentrations, which modulate appetite to some degree, can vary in accordance with light exposure. Increased risks of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and depression can be found among night shift workers. Sleep deprivation can lead to impairments in cognitive function, immune suppression, and inflammation. Though blue light is only one factor in this equation, its presence seems to be increasing. For an interesting take on light pollution in general, its history and impact on environment, I recommend reading this fascinating article: “Missing the Dark: The Health Effects of Light Pollution” at

Ackermann K, et al. Diurnal rhythms in blood cell populations and the effect of acute sleep deprivation in healthy young men. Sleep. July 2012
Bara AC, Arber S. Working shifts and mental health—findings from the British Household Panel Survey (1995-2005). Scand J Work Environ Health October 2009
Chellappa SL, et al. Human melatonin and alerting response to blue-enriched light depend on a polymorphism in the clock gene PER3. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. March 2012
Chennaoui M, et al. Effect of one night of sleep loss on changes in tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) levels in healthy men. Cytokine. November 2011.
Figueiro MG, et al. Light Modulates Leptin and Ghrelin in Sleep-Restricted Adults. Inter J Endocr July 2012
Figueiro MG, et al. The impact of light from computer monitors on melatonin levels in college students. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2011
Gooley JJ, et al. Exposure to room light before bedtime suppresses melatonin onset and shortens melatonin duration in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab March 2011
Harvard Health Letter, May 2012, Blue Light Has a Dark Side, Accessed 11/22/12
Haus EL, et al. Shift work and cancer risk: Potential mechanistic roles of circadian disruption, light at night, and sleep deprivation. Sleep Med Rev. November 2012
Killgore WD. Effects of sleep deprivation on cognition. Prog Brain Res. 2010
Münch M, et al. Circadian and wake-dependent effects on the pupil light reflex in response to narrow-bandwidth light pulses. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci July 2012
Pan A, et al. Rotating night shift work and risk of type 2 diabetes: two prospective cohort studies in women. PLoS Med. December 2011
Pimenta AM, et al. Night-shift work and cardiovascular risk among employees of a public university. Rev Assoc Med Bras. April 2012
Vetter C, et al. Blue-enriched office light competes with natural light as a zeitgeber. Scand J Work Environ Health September 2011
Wang XS, et al. Shift work and chronic disease: the epidemiological evidence. Occup Med (Lond). March 2011
West KE, et al. Blue light from light-emitting diodes elicits a dose-dependent suppression of melatonin in humans. J Appl Physiol December 2010
Wood B, et al. Light level and duration of exposure determine the impact of self-luminous tablets on melatonin suppression. Applied Ergonomics March 2013

Blue Light and Sleep



Could vitamins and nutrition prevent the next Newtown shooting?

Dr. Peter's blog on Psychology Today


Can vitamins help prevent the next Newtown? Studies suggests good nutrition and the right vitamins may help stem violence and significantly help behavior in juvenile delinquency.

Read more on dr. Peter's Inner Source blog.

Click Here for Psychology Today blog?



Glycemic Load and Acne

A Post by Anne Williams, ND, LAc

monday, January 14, 2013

In its article “Facing Facts About Acne,” the FDA says that “acne is not caused by diet” since to date, no research has proven a direct link. The food link was presented as a myth, with the implication being that diet should not be given much attention.

Certainly, food is not the whole story. But a lack of evidence about its role is not proof for the conclusion that it plays no role at all.

A lack of evidence typically serves as a call for further, better-designed research with larger studies, which is in fact just what the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and Clinics in Dermatology recommend. In 2010, they reported a “lack of randomized controlled trials in the literature” and that “unfortunately, after reviewing the existing data, there are no answers but there are definitely more questions.”

One example that has been more recently supported by research, are the roles of insulin and a meal’s glycemic load. Glycemic load can be roughly defined as the rise in blood sugar after a given meal. Insulin sensitivity refers to your cell’s ability to recognize and respond to insulin, which rises in response to increased blood sugar. Insulin resistance can occur when insulin rises too often and in too great a quantity. In short, what the research has found is that in addition to other effects, insulin resistance and meals with a high glycemic load may be risk factors for acne.

Both Chinese and naturopathic medicine have long recognized the role of diet, exercise, stress and sleep in the development of acne. I would also maintain that more often than not, these traditions have refrained from making simplistic causal associations between these factors and the disease itself – rather, they have compiled a wholistic pattern of lifestyle modifications that together, rather than apart, can significantly improve the health of one’s skin.

Though the picture is complex, diet clearly plays a role for some people and it’s a great place to start. As Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”


Bowe WP, et al. Diet and acne. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Jul.
Davidovici BB, et al. The role of diet in acne: facts and controversies. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jan-Feb.
Del Prete M, et al. Insulin resistance and acne: a new risk factor for men? Endocrine. 2012 Dec.
Epstein SS. Unlabeled milk from cows treated with biosynthetic growth hormones: a case of regulatory abdication. Int J Health Serv. 1996
FDA Consumer Updates: Facing Facts About Acne. Accessed 12/4/12.
Ismail NH, et al. High glycemic load diet, milk and ice cream consumption are related to acne vulgaris in Malaysian young adults: a case control study. BMC Dermatol. 2012 Aug.
Jung JY, et al. The influence of dietary patterns on acne vulgaris in Koreans. Eur J Dermatol. 2010 Nov-Dec.
Kwon HH, et al. Clinical and histological effect of a low glycaemic load diet in treatment of acne vulgaris in Korean patients: a randomized, controlled trial. Acta Derm Venerol. 2012 May.
Melnik BC. The role of transcription factor FoxO1 in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris and the mode of isotretinoin action. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Oct.
Saleh BO. Role of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I in hyperandrogenism and the severity of acne vulgaris in young males. Saudi Med J. 2012 Nov.
Veith WB, et al. The association of acne vulgaris with diet. Cutis. 2011 Aug.
Wei B, et al. The epidemiology of adolescent acne in North East China. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Aug.



Serenity Santa - How to Keep the E.R. Out of the Xmas Holiday

Ho ho hospital


The holidays can be a fun time... but can also be a health hazard.

Learn some easy steps Dr. Peter recommends to keep this holiday Merry and your vitals in good working order.




Dr. Peter Bongiorno interview on Five to Thrive Live!

Recorded Monday, Sept. 17th 2012 at 8PM

Learn about natural recommendations for depression. Dr. Peter Bongiorno will be interviewed on the acclaimed W4CS Five to Thrive Live! radio.

During this interview Dr. Peter will discuss:
- the varying experiences of depression
- what the underlying causes of depressive illness and low mood
- how to start the process of healing depression naturally
- how to work with medications and eventually wean off medications safely using natural therapies
- his newest book: "How Come They're Happy and I'm Not?",

Listen to Interview



Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

by drs. Pina LoGiudice, Siobhan Bleakney and Peter Bongiorno


Learn how coconut oil can help you with:

- weight loss

- cholesterol

- skin

- aging

and more

Click Here to READ this ARTICLE



Listen Up: Natural Treatments for ADHD

by Dr. Siobhan Bleakney


Please click below to learn about:

- the conventional treatments for ADHD

- the natural treatments for ADHD

Click Here to Read Article



Depression's An Allergy? Use Rheumatoid Drugs...

dr. peter's post on psychology today


Does it make sense to give a rheumatoid arthritis drug to treat depression?

Will research ever get beyond justifying more drugs to help figure out how to help depression?

Please read Dr. Peter's new post in Psychology Today.




Losing the Sugar War with George McGovern - and the bitter pill you need to change it

Are you on track to a 100% sugar diet?


Americans are consuming between 100 and 150% pound of sugar a year!

We are consuming more than ever.

Read Dr. Peter's blog on Psychology Today, and learn what bitter pill you need to swallow to safeguard your health.




Creatine: Can It Help Your Antidepressant Drug Work Better?

Muscle builder turned mood booster?


Creatine is known for making muscly men and women by improving performance when they work out. Did you know it might also boost the mind, and make an antidepressant drug work for the first time?

Click below to read more.....

Click Here for Psychology Today article



Recipe: Dr. Pina's EASY and TASTY lemon quinoa

try a rice alternative today

October 3, 2012

Need a new grain in your life?

Try quinoa - it is a lower carb grain with no gluten that is easy to cook (faster than rice) and tastes great. AND, it has plenty of protein.

Click her for RECIPE



Depression, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Pain: Shared Neurobiological Pathways and Treatment

published in The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients

October 1, 2012

Read Dr. Peter's new article which researches and explains how depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and chronic pain all have shared underlying mechanisms.

Dr. Peter Bongiorno explains how this information can help us understand how to treat each patient effectively using natural medicines.

Click Here to Read Article



What If ALL Politicians were Naturopathic Doctors?

Doc Gunther passes away at 92

Imagine if ALL politicians were naturopaths?

Connecticut's longest serving legislator's was a naturopathic physician. He just passed away at 92 (see link below to learn more). Wouldn't it be interesting if all politicians were also naturopathic doctors.

Naturopathic doctors (ND's) try to look at the underlying cause of illness. In political roles, ND's would look to treat the underlying causes of war, poverty, and of course, disease. If every politician was an ND, a few things would probably happen:

Organic could be mandatory.

Education could replace misunderstanding.

Pollutants could be banned.

Health care could actually be changed for the better.

The White House would probably get painted green at some point.

New York might even get licensed for naturopathic doctors.

What else would happen if all politicians were naturopaths?




Seasonal Allergies? What You Can Do Naturally to Help

by Dr. Siobhan Bleakney


Sneezing, watery and itchy red eyes? Puffiness?

Sounds like seasonal allergies.

While medications can get rid of symptoms, they do not address underlying causes that can help you balance your body to be less reactive.

Please read Dr. Siobhan Bleakney's article about what natural remedies can help, and have been shown to be as effective at symptom control, without the side effects.

Click HERE to read ARTICLE



Are Statin Cholesterol Medications Bringing You Down? (and causing depression?)

dr. peter bongiorno blogs in Psychology Today?


Cholesterol medications are the most profitable medications of all time.

But, are they helping the problem and what are they doing to your mood?

Find out in this blog on Psychology Today... click below to read article.




Can Natural Medicine Help Cancer Treatment and Prevention?

Dr. Peter Bongiorno interviewed


Can natural medicine really offer anything to patients dealing with cancer, or wanting to prevent first-time disease or recurrence?

Listen to Dr. Peter Bongiorno, as he shares his thoughts about how natural medicine can serve to help guide, support, and change the experience of cancer care.

Click Here To Listen to Dr. Peter Bongiorno Discuss Natural Medicine for Cancer



Acutonics - What is it, and how can it help you heal?

Acutonics is a healing system using tuning forks to help balance the body's energy.

It has an amazing capacity to shift the body's energy, and help remove blockages to healing.

Learn more about this truly amazing system of medicine and how Donna Nesteruk, LAc is one of the top acutonics therapists in the Northeast.

Click Here to Learn More About Acutonics



Turmeric (Curcumin) and Diabetes Prevention

Spice to ward of Diabetes


Turmeric (also known as curcumin) is well known as a potent, natural anti-inflammatory. It has been study as an anti-cancer agent both used as a part of a strong prevention and treatment program, as well as given high marks for use with certain types of chemotherapy.

With 1 out of 4 people in New York diabetic, and 1 in 8 prediabetic, a collaboration between researchers in Thailand and New York looked at the benefit of using turmeric in 240 people who were prediabetic population for 9 months.

They found that the patients who took about 1500mg of turmeric’s curcuminoids per day in divided doses had significantly lower diabetes rates. Sixteen percent of the people who did not take the turmeric were diagnosed with diabetes, while none of the people who took turmeric were diagnosed. It is possible that a longer study might have produced even better results.

Interestingly, it also seemed like the turmeric helped the pancreatic Beta cells (the cells that put out insulin) work better, and in a more balanced way.

Since one study by ConsumerLabs suggested that most store bought turmeric supplements only have about one-fifth of the said amount on the label, it is important to purchase a high grade supplement. At Inner Source Health, we use a special, highly absorbable form of turmeric that is bound to phosphatidylcholine for greatest absorption.

Of course, for people who want to stave off diabetes, it is still just as important to eat low glycemic load foods, and exercise. While more longer term studies are needed to fully define the benefit of turmeric for diabetes prevention, given its other healthy benefits and no known toxicity, it is a likely good addition to a healthy diabetes prevention program.


Chuengsamarn S, Rattanamongkolgul S, Luechapudiporn R, Phisalaphong C, Jirawatnotai S. Curcumin Extract for Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2012 Jul 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Click Here for Journal Article



Ayurveda - the science of life

What is your dosha?


Since we posted information about our new associate and Eastern medicine expert Vishal Verma, MSA, LAc, many of you have asked more about what is Ayurvedic medicine is, and how it can help our modern-day problems. So we thought we would take the time to discuss Ayurveda.

Please click below to learn more about Ayurveda.

Click Here to Learn More About Ayurveda



Why Go Grass Fed? - Cause ''Natural Meats' Aren't Enough for Your Health

06-13-2012 Psychology Today Blog by Dr. Peter Bongiorno

So, we want to eat healthier, and we buy our 'natural meats'.... although a step in the right direction, why isn't this really better? Find out by clicking below...

Click Here and Moo



Can You Follow Your Dreams and Make It in the Material World?

Psychology Today blog by Dr. Peter


Can You Follow Your Dreams and 'Make It' in This World?

Is following your heart really worthless or can you do what you love and still earn a living?

Click on the link below to think more about it.....

Click Here for Post




Week of June 3, 2012


Right now we have a chance to evolve the health care in New York State.

Please help us by clicking below to learn what easy quick steps you can do.

Click Here for Easy Instructions



Stress and Violence Shorten Your Genes, and Your Life: the telomere story

Does environment cause your genes to turn up disease?


Childhood stress and violence exposure will contribute to getting disease earlier in adult life, according to a new, and important study. Published in the May 2012 issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers from Duke University worked with 236 children (about half boys and half girls) that were born in 1994 through 1995. To evaluate disease risk, they looked at the length of these children’s telomeres at 5 and 10 years of age.

Telomeres are like little caps at the ends of our genes. These caps can be thought of as little gene protectors that erode as we age. When telomeres get too short, our genes (which are the instructions our cells have to create healthy reactions in our body) can get damaged. This damage contributes extensively to disease. We already know that poor food choices, not exercising, smoking, low vitamin D levels, radiation, and diseases like diabetes all correlate with shortening, or erosion of telomeres.

Telomeres can be measured in kids quite easily by using a non-invasive test where cells are gently swabbed from the inside of the cheek. Children who were exposed to two or more violent experiences had significantly more erosion of these telomeres. Violent exposures could be frequent bullying, physical mistreatment by an adult, or exposure to domestic violence. Children with more erosion of telomeres are likely to be much more susceptible to heart disease, memory problems and many others common maladies.

Can Telomeres Get Longer?

But there is good news too: good nutrition, exercise and relaxation work may in fact lengthen telomeres. A 2008 pilot study by Dean Ornish and his colleagues found that eating healthy food and making lifestyle changes which lowered psychological stress and balanced blood fats (lipids) correlated with lengthening of the telomeres.

Doesn’t This Study Tell Me What I Already Know?

In a way, this research does tell us what we already know: that living healthily is good for our bodies and helps ward off disease, and that unhealthy and stressful circumstances can bring on disease sooner. The reason why this is useful inforamtion is because it tells us more about how exactly these things can help or hurt us, and should give us more motivation to make healthful changes.

Knowing more about why disease happens gives each of more knowledge about our choices. While conventional medical wisdom still applies the axiom “it’s your genes, there is nothing you can do” the truth is about 70% of our genetic information is controllable through diet, lifestyle, not smoking and environmental exposures. These genes, called ‘luxury genes’ are affected by epigenetic controls, meaning meaning circumstances above the genes that will decide whether the ‘volume’ of particular genes will get turned on or off, or how loud – think of a volume control on your stereo. Telomeres are one of these volume controls.

When I explain this idea to patients, I often find a sense of new empowerment emerges – knowledge is power, and the more information one has about how their own body works, the more likely each of us are going to take more action.

Telomeres and Television?

My October 6, 2011 PT blog discussed the role of television on the brain, and how TV watching can also increase rates of disease. It is likely increased violent TV exposure in kids may have the same negative effect on telomeres in kids as does real-life exposure.

So, with this new study we are reminded that environmental circumstances play a strong role in how our genes will affect our ability to stay healthy. This may be a good time to look at the food, environmental and lifestyle exposures in our kids’ lives and think about possible positive and negative effects of other common everyday occurrences on telomeres. Any others you can think of?

Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc practices in New York, and authored Healing Depression: Integrated Naturopathic and Conventional Therapies His new book How Come They’re Happy and I’m Not? will be out in the fall of 2012. He can be reached by visiting


Shalev I, Moffitt TE et al. Exposure to violence during childhood is associated with telomere erosion from 5 to 10 years of age: a longitudinal study. Molecular Psychiatry , 24 April 2012, doi:10.1038/mp.2012.32

Ornish D, Lin J et al. Increased telomerase activity and comprehensive lifestyle changes: a pilot study. Lancet Oncol. 2008 Nov9(11):1048-57. Epub 2008 Sep 15.



Natural seasonal allergy remedy as good as Zyrtec, with less side effects: Butterbur

Learn how nature can help you feel better


One source of stress and dismay right now for many patients in our clinic is seasonal allergies. While this can be a mild irritation for some people, for many, it will cause great anxiety, fatigue, low mood and inability to function. Learn how butterbur can naturally help ease symptoms without the side effects of drugs, and learn what natural remedies can keep you feeling your best...

Click Here to Read Article on Butterbur for Allergy



Can Rosemary Make Me Smarter?

memory and brain enhancement through herbolgy


We love when modern research catches up with age-old wisdom. In medical school, many of us naturopathic students used to bring essential oil of rosemary to both study groups and to tests, and we did find benefit to helping memory.

In a study from the United Kingdom of 20 healthy volunteers, participants were given mathematical and visual tasks. The study showed that after volunteers were exposed to the aroma of rosemary, levels of 1,8-cineole increased in their blood. The compound 1,8-cineole is a chemical classified as a terpenoid, and is a known anti-inflammatory and nociceptive (pain relieving) compound.

The authors of this study showed for the first time improved performance, greater speed and accuracy outcomes.

Doctor's prescription? - take a whiff as needed to stay smarter.


Moss et al. Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. Published online before print February 24, 2012.

Santos FA, Rao VS. Antiinflammatory and antinociceptive effects of 1,8-cineole a terpenoid oxide present in many plant essential oils. Phytother Res. 2000 Jun14(4):240-4.

Click here for reference



wrestling with wrist pain? some natural answers for carpal tunnel syndrome


Carpal tunnel can be caused by a number of different factors.

Most people who suffer from carpal have issues with repetitive motion: typically, we see patients who type at a computer: graphic designers, movie editors, etc. may be prone. In these cases, it is a key to keep the proper ergonomic form, meaning the way a person sits and holds their body can help stave off carpal tunnel.

What can help carpal tunnel heal? Water, B vitamins, fish oil and anti-inflammatory herbs can be quite helpful, and will have little or no side effects (unlike conventional over the counter anti-inflammatories, which kill about 36,000 people a year). Anti-inflammatory diet choices such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish is very helpful to lower the body's immune reactiveness, which will contribute to pain. Sleep is important for repair. Sometimes, using a soft brace during physical stressors can help limit progression of the problem, but should not be used 24 hours a day, but instead only when support is most needed.

In the patients we have worked with, we have found in about 30% of cases, the issue is actually not in the wrist area, but in the shoulder. So checking into tight shoulders and nerve impingement closer to the spine can be important.

And finally, no matter what the factors that may cause it, we will use acupuncture and wrist adjustment/alignment techniques to help it feel better and heal faster. In many cases, even long term chronic pain, natural medicines have a lot to offer to heal carpal tunnel syndrome.



Aging Miracles in a Bottle

Drs. Pina and Peter's Article for the Dr. Oz website


Read about what Dr. Pina will be talking about on the Dr. Oz Show on January 26th, 2011 on FOX (channel 5 in New York) at 4PM.

Click Here to Read Article



Doorways Make Me Forget?


Ever walk through a doorway, and have no idea what you came in the room for? Apparently, it is not just you.

It seems some astute researchers from the University of Notre Dame noticed many people have this issue, and decided to look into it further.

Working with college students (college students love to do research ), the researchers had them passing from room to room, while giving them tests to find out how their memory was affected. What they found was our brain compartmentalizes information based in part on the environment you are in to create a memory framework.

Click Here for More info from the University of Notre Dame



Natural Remedies for Depression: St. John's wort, SAMe, 5-HTP and Saffron

dr. peter and pina's article for the Dr. Oz Website


Please read Dr. Peter and Dr. PIna's article to supplement Dr. Pina's latest appearance on the Dr. Oz show: Monday, December 4, 2011 at 4PM (EST).

Dr. Pina explained the basics of naturopathic care for depression, and highlighted a few wonderful herbal or nutrient choices to help:

- St. John's wort

- Saffron

- 5-HTP

- SAMe

Please click below to read the article.

Click HERE for Article



SLEEP: Better than the flu vaccine?

reprint from 2009 blog


What drug can improve your immune system 300%? Well, no one drug we know of, but it has been shown that people who get 7 hours of sleep or more a night will improve their immune status 3 fold over those who get less.

A study from the Archives of Internal medicine evaluated 153 people, and exposed them to a cold virus via nose drops. What was found was those who had less than 7 hours of sleep were three times as likely to catch the virus and get sick than those who had more than 8 hours of sleep1. Other studies have also shown inadequate sleep lowers natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight cancer 2.

I had the enjoyment of attending my 17 month old daughter's music class today. A number of mothers there were talking about their worries for getting the various flu shots, for doctors did not have them. One woman was planning on visiting all the pharmacies in town to see who might schedule her in to receive shots for herself and child. No one discussed getting enough sleep though. If there was a vaccine or drug that had these same results, this would take top space in all media outlets. And yet, this information about sleep is practically unheard of. I do not believe there is any research that tells us the swine flu vaccine is as protective as sleep, and yet people are clamoring for their shot when they should think about clamoring to get to bed on time. Buona notte ('good night' in Italian).

For more information about steps to fight the flu, please click link below

written and (c) by: Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc and Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc of


1. Sheldon Cohen, William J. Doyle, Cuneyt M. Alper, Denise Janicki-Deverts, Ronald B. Turner, Sleep Habits and Susceptibility to the Common Cold Arch Intern Med. 2009169(1):62-67.

2. M Irwin, A Mascovich, JC Gillin, R Willoughby, J Pike and TL Smith Partial sleep deprivation reduces natural killer cell activity in humans Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol 56, Issue 6 493-498

Click here for FLU article



Your Unhappy Brain on TV

10.06.2011 -Dr. Peter's Psychology today blog

TS Eliot said that 'the remarkable thing about television is that it permits several million people to laugh at the same joke and still feel lonely.' Research has shown the watching TV is short term fun and a long term problem.

Click below to learn what the research says about our friend the television and how it affects our mental and physical health.

Click here to read the full article



how to find happiness?:

Lose your cows


"One day the Buddha was sitting in the forest with some monks. They had just finished their lunch and were about to begin a discussion when a farmer approached them. The farmer said, “Venerable monks, did you see my cows come by? I have a dozen cows, and they all ran away. On top of that, I have five acres of sesame plants, and this year the insects ate them all up. I think I’m going to kill myself. It isn’t possible to live like this.”
The Buddha felt strong compassion toward the farmer. He said, “My friend, I’m sorry, we didn’t see your cows come this way.” When the farmer had gone, the Buddha turned to his monks and said, “my friends, do you know why you are happy? Because you have no cows to lose.”
I would like to say the same thing to you. My friends, if you have some cows, you have to identify them. You think they are essential to your happiness, but if you practice deep looking, you will understand that it is these very cows that have brought about your unhappiness. The secret of happiness is being able to let go of your cows. You should call your cows by their true names.
- Thich Nhat Hanh in his essay: Healing Pain and Dressing Wounds found in the book Dr. Peter is reading with some of his patients: In the Face of Fear – Buddhist Wisdom for Challenging Times.



Folic Acid - the better equalizer

Dr. Peter's Psychology Today BlogPost


Can a simple B vitamin jump start depression healing better than piling on another medication?...

Click to article here



Dr. Oz Interviews Dr. Pina about natural antibiotics

JUNE 10th, 2011 @ 4PM EST on FOX

Announcement for airing of Dr. Pina on “The Dr. Oz Show" was made today.

“I want you to write down what we are talking about today, you have a world expert teaching us, “ said Dr. Oz to a full studio audience, referring to Dr. LoGiudice.

The medical research team at the Dr. Oz show chose Dr. Pina LoGiudice, naturopathic physician and acupuncturist, for her expertise in natural medicine. The subject of the 6-minute piece was botanical medicines as natural antibiotics. Dr. LoGiudice discussed the effective and safe home use of manuka honey, goldenseal, Oregon grape, and andrographis for infectious conditions such as wound care, upper respiratory infections and urinary tract infections.

A viewing party will take place for the airing at the Viana Hotel and Spa at 3998 Brush Hollow Road Westbury, NY.

click here for Press Release



Dr. Oz hosts Dr. Pina about natural antibiotics
Dr. Pina appears as 'world expert'

May 20, 2011

May 20, 2011 – New York City, NY

At 43 Rockefeller center in New York City, Dr. Pina LoGiudice was interviewed this morning on the national hit show “The Dr. Oz Show.”

Click here for Press Release



Male hot flashes? Acupuncture works for prostate cancer care..

April 25, 2011

by dr. peter bongiorno and dr. pina logiudice

Acupuncture is a well-known treatment for female hot flashes in menopausal women. Did you know that men who are undergoing prostate cancer treatment may also find themselves battling hot flashes as well? Hormonal medications designed to block testosterone cause hot flashes in about 60% of the men who take them.

One small study suggests that acupuncture can help. In this study, 14 men who were suffering hot flashes were given half hour sessions of acupuncture twice a week for four weeks. The benefit at two weeks averaged around a 70% improvement, and by six weeks the improvement was 90%. Even after 8 months, the improvement was still around 80%, which is pretty remarkable.

Although this was a small study, the results are quite strong. Previous research, and our clinical experience have shown acupuncture to be a safe and effective adjunct for patients using chemotherapy to reduce side effects, decrease nausea, and increase both mood and quality life.

Ashamalla H, Jiang ML, Guirguis A, Peluso F, Ashamalla M. Acupuncture for the alleviation of hot flashes in men treated with androgen ablation therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 Apr 179(5):1358-63.

click for reference here



“Obesogens” Really, pollution and toxins make me fat?
by dr. peter and dr. pina

April 12, 2011

For the longest time, medicine thought weight gain was simply a process of too many calories in (by eating too much) and not burning enough calories via exercise. Then, more thoughtful research added stress as a factor for not being able to lose weight due to slowing of metabolic function. Even though calories in, exercise, and stress are all still very important factors in the battle of the bulge, fascinating new research is coming out which we think is exciting: studies are showing us how toxic compounds in our environment can also make you and keep you fat.

Known as ‘obesogens’, these are chemicals not natural to your body. Because the body cannot easily get rid of them, they dirsrupt the normal control and growth of fat cells and energy. These chemicals, some known as ‘endocrine disruptors’ will also mess around with the body’s ability to regulate its hormones. Chemicals included are dioxins, phtalates, Bisphenol A and PCB’s, and POPs (persistent organic pollutants), but there are many more.

What your mom ate and was exposed to may have set your fat cells early on: it has been shown that obesity is programmed early in life - when you were in the womb. While in the womb, exposure to chemicals can play a role by changing how the genes that form fat can be turned on to produce more cells – this event can cause a life-long struggle to keep to a healthy weight. This challenge can be made worse when a SAD (Standard American Diet) food regime is followed, and exercise is skipped.

So what can you do? Well, we have seen many patients do well to change their body by not only changing their foods and exercising, but by also encouraging their body to get rid of these ‘obesogen’ chemicals. A good detoxification regimen designed for the individual can be very helpful to lose weight with greater success than simply dieting can do, even if the number of calories are not different. In fact, a good detoxification program does not even carry the concern about how many calories are being consumed – which means that as long as it is the right detoxifying foods, you can eat as much as you feel necessary, and still get the weight loss effect you desire.

Obesogens are a fairly new concept – more research is needed. But we can learn from the idea and use this information to stave off obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and more.


Dirinck E, Jorens PG, Covaci A, Geens T, Roosens L, Neels H, Mertens I, Van Gaal L. Obesity and persistent organic pollutants: possible obesogenic effect of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Apr19(4):709-14. Epub 2010 Jun 17.

Janesick A, Blumberg B. Endocrine disrupting chemicals and the developmental programming of adipogenesis and obesity. Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today. 2011 Mar93(1):34-50. doi: 10.1002/bdrc.20197.

click here for pubmed reference



Exercise to Prevent Colon Cancer

moving your body shown to move cancer out

march 21, 2011

This month’s British Journal of Cancer looked at about a quarter million people in over 20 studies and found a 16% decreased polyp risk, and a 30% decrease risk of forming cancerous polyps. It is likely that exercise helps by lowering blood sugar, which lowers the hormone insulin. Insulin drives inflammatory processes which can help promote polyp formation. Exercise may also help balance immune function and thus help fight cancer.

Other studies by the same research group had already shown exercise’s ability to cut colon cancer risk by one fourth. This group recommends at least a half hour of active exercise every day. The Amercian Cancer society strongly recommends 45 to 60 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.

Additionally, other studies have already found the benefits of caloric restriction and fiber intake to decrease cancer incidence.

In our lectures, we invariably discuss the importance of exercise no matter what the condition. One slide we use shows a cartoon of a doctor talking to a patient, with the quote: “which fits your busy schedule better? Exercising one hour a day, or being dead 24 hours a day?” Although this a bit harsh, it underscores an important point about the connection between exercise, and a healthy life and is a question, in a gentle way, each practitioner needs to ask his or her patient

reference: Wolin KY, Yan Y, Colditz GA. Physical activity and risk of colon adenoma: a meta-analysis. Br J Cancer. 2011 Mar 1104(5):882-5. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

click here for reference



Holiday Eating Strategy: Morning Exercise for Best Health
why go out and freeze for that early morning jog?

best weight loss benefits in the AM. 12.20.2010

Research is showing us that even though anytime is a good time to exercise, we probably get the best benefits by going out in the early morning, before we eat.

An Australian study of 28 men showed that those who exercised before eating breakfast had no weight gain compared to those who ate before exercise.

Insulin is a hormone used to bring blood sugar lower by placing glucose molecules from the blood to go into the cells. Insulin is usually lowest in the morning, for there is a greater span of time where we have not eaten anything from the night before. Besides moving insulin into our cells, insulin is very good at helping our body pack away fat - so the lower your insulin is, the greater the weight loss effect. If you exercise in a lower insulin state (like the early morning), you will have a better weight loss effect by burning fat, instead of the carbohydrates from the food recently eaten.

A strategy of early morning outdoor exercise in the cold may also help kick up thyroid function - the thyroid increases your metabolic rate to keep you warm, and will also help the calories burn as a result.

As a note: with good gear that helps the body dry fast and keep warmth close to the body, only the first few minutes are actually cold. After that - it really is not too bad - we promise.

(pictured: early morning run to the Northern Coast of Long Island)

click here for NY Times article



Supplementation with vitamins reduce breast cancer risk by 30%


A study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting in April 2010 suggests that vitamins and calcium supplements appear to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Researchers from Puerto Rico shared a study of over 700 patients showed that increasing age, family history of breast cancer, and lack of breast feeding history will all increase risk. The lead author of the study emphasized that the beneficial effect of the vitamins occur over time (meaning it is important to consistently take them over time) and megadoses of vitamins are not needed.

The lead author Jaime Matta, Ph.D., professor in the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico, suggests that the vitamins help keep the DNA stable, so there is less chance of mutation (changes in the genes that can cause cancer to develop).

"We're not talking about mega doses of these vitamins and calcium supplements, so this is one way to definitely reduce risk."

American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010, Washington, D.C., April 17-21, 2010. ?



What's Up Doc? Carrots Improve Your Health.
Eating well continues to prove itself.


A new study of over 15,000 adults from the United States found that those people with higher levels of alpha-carotene had 30 to 40% lower risk of death, including death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Past studies have already shown that orange-yellow and dark green vegetables are protective against lung cancer, the number one type of cancer deaths.
Alpha-carotenes are thought to block the damaging effects of both oxygen and free radicals on our body tissues and DNA genetic material.

It is believed that fruits and vegetables, which have a-carotenoids could be an excellent strategy to reduce the odds of premature death. Interestingly, past studies of patients taking B-carotene supplements had not shown a benefit.



Should Pregnant Moms Avoid Peanuts?

Milk, Egg and Blood Type Risk Factors?

November 4, 2010

It is becoming more apparent that the pregnancy environment plays a strong role in the health of the future adult. About 1% of the population reports allergy to peanuts and other tree nuts.

A study in this month's Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology conducted at Mount Sinai in New York looked at 503 infants. According to blood tests, it was found that the babies whose mothers ate a greater number of peanut products during pregnancy were more likely to test positive for peanut allergies showing as allergic factors found in the blood. Of note, it is not clear whether these children will definitely develop allergy. Most of the children had not actually ingested peanuts at the time of the blood test.

What is particularly interesting in this study is that all had likely milk or egg allergies or significant eczema, which are risk factors for peanut allergy. From a naturopathic standpoint, we see that many young patients do indeed have cow’s milk, egg and even gluten allergies - all of which can increase inflammatory cells in the body, thus causing increased susceptibility to an exaggerated reaction to peanut. In our experience, removing offending foods like cow’s milk and gluten can often lower the child’s reactiveness to other foods like peanut. Typically, this avoidance is followed by using herbs and nutrients to heal the intestines and lower the inflammation response.

Additionally, it would have been useful if the researchers had checked the peanut reaction by stratifying (organizing) the data by patient blood type. According to the blood type diet theory, patients who are type O or B may be more reactive to peanut proteins. It is possible that this subset of children may require greater surveillance for allergic reactions.

Sicherer, S. The J Allergy Clin Imm 2010 125 (6): 1322-1326 ( )
Sicherer, S. The J Allergy Clin Imm 2010 in press (

click here for reference



What did Shakespeare know about health??
Heart health advice from "the Winter's Tale"


According to Shakespeare: “A merry heart goes all the day, Your sad (heart) tires in a mile.” (The Winter’s Tale. ACT IV Scene 3 ). Here the bard is connecting an unhappy spirit (and likely stress) with poor cardiovascular health.

click here for plot summary



Calcium Supplements Linked to Heart Attacks


A no brainer right? You are at risk for osteoporosis - so, you should take calcium? Well, it seems calcium is one of the major contributors to atherosclerotic plaque - the plaque that blocks up the arteries around the heart. Interestingly, conventional medicine prescribes statin medications to lower cholesterol levels, but does not do anything in regards to calcium deposits.

Alone, calcium itself does not actually prevent or treat osteoporosis. To accomplish this, it is important to use a naturopathic approach that includes changing the diet, strengthening digestion to absorption nutrition, increasing resistance exercise like gardening and weights work, and using a synergy of minerals like magnesium with some calcium (in a high quality form like citrate or malate) and boron, silica and horsetail, and of course checking vitamin D levels. There is also a genetic test that helps to see if a patient has a genetic predisposition to vitamin D imbalance and osteoporosis, and there are urine tests that help decide how much calcium a person is losing from the bone.

Now, some research is suggesting that calcium supplements not only provide no benefit, but that they can even be harmful, increasing the risk of heart attacks by nearly a third. As expected, these results, do not apply to calcium ingested in food, which is beneficial. As a note, most of these studies were with patients using calcium carbonate, a very inexpensive version of calcium supplementation. And these studies did not use vitamin D, and important nutrient/hormone that helps move calcium into bone, and is also protective of the heart in other ways

Two studies are supporting this thought: one from 2006 and one in 2008. One study from the University of Auckland in New Zealand and his colleagues combined results from 11 randomized controlled trials of calcium supplements without vitamin D involving more than 12,000 patients. The British Medical Journal reported that there was a 31% increase in the risk of heart attack and smaller, non-significant increases in the risk of stroke and death. While equal numbers of women received calcium or placebo, 143 of those who received calcium suffered a heart attack, compared to 111 who received a placebo.

The risk increase is small, but given all the women taking poor quality high dose supplementation, this may be a problem.

Unfortunately, the cardiologist who authored the study recommends no supplementation be used unless drugs are being used to treat. Apparently, he has not read the plethora of information linking osteoporotic drugs to increased fracture rates in other parts of the body, osteonecrosis of the hip and jaw, and esophageal changes that can become cancerous.

BMJ 2010 341:c3691 doi: 10.1136/bmj.c3691 (Published 29 July 2010)

click here for reference



dr. peter's 'latte factor' goes up
Long Island Starbucks with first Clover Machine

october 1, 2010

Peter's latte factor has increased: a Clover Coffee Machine has now been sighted in Starbucks in Huntington. The only one in Long Island. To rationalize, coffee has been shown in research to help prevent bile tract cancer, liver cancer, prevent heart attacks after fatty meals, increases good cholesterol (see Sept 2010 newsletter) and may prevent diabetes in pre-diabetics. If you are not an anxious person or prone to insomnia, we recommend a Clover machine coffee. For those you not familiar with the Clover machine, it is an $11,000 hunk of metal that grinds beans and brews in one gentle fell swoop - and makes a delicious cup of joe. If you prefer not to go to Starbucks, there are a few places in Manhattan that also have these wonderful feats of javan (we made that word up) technology.

FYI: the 'latte factor' refers to a book by David Bach, who teaches people in the Smart Couples Finish Rich series how to save money by not spending on daily items like a non-home made coffee.



Have a Headache?
Pop A Pill and Increase Stroke Risk (even in a healthy person) or, try something natural.....


The advertisement shown says 'less time awake.' They may mean 'less time alive.'

It seems a harmless part of American life: you have a headache or pain, you pop an 'Advil' or other pain killer. Research is now showing us that is not a good idea for short term use of these type of drugs increases short in healthy people. This increased risk ranged from about 30% with ibuprofen and naproxen to 86% with diclofenac. The association was 'dose dependent', which means the more a person took the higher the risk. The increased risk of stroke reaching 90% with doses of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) over 200 mg and 100% with diclofenac doses over 100 mg. It has already been shown that these medications increase heart disease in the long term. This is probably why these medications are more often only by prescription in other countries. Naproxen, which is a prescription medication everywhere except the United States was not associated with increased cardiovascular risk, but is known to cause liver problems, and requires monitoring of liver enzymes if used for a few weeks.

Dr Gunnar Gislason presented this study information at last week's European Society of Cardiology 2010 Congress. He said: "If half the population takes these drugs, even on an occasional basis, then this could be responsible for a 50% to 100% increase in stroke risk. It is an enormous effect." He also lamented that "it is very hard to change the habits of doctors. They have been using these drugs for decades without thinking about cardiovascular side effects."

Luckily, there are numerous natural modalities to work with pain: acupuncture, hydrotherapy, water intake, food allergy work, getting enough sleep, naturally lowering inflammation in the body, exercise, manipulative work, stretching, mind-body work, muscle relaxation, hormonal balance, inflammation reducing herbs and nutrients, etc....

ref: Fosbøl EL, Folke F, Jacobsen S, et al. Cause-specific CV risk associated with NSAIDs among healthy individuals. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes 2010 3:395-405.

Click here for reference



scary salmon

genetically modified salmon declared 'safe' by the FDA

September 5, 2010

Yikes. The FDA just announced that genetically modified salmon that can grow to market size on average of 17 months instead of 30 months time is safe. They based this on research on a few dozen fish given to them by the AquaBounty Technologies company, the company who has been trying for years to get this approved. This fish produces a growth hormone gene unnaturally by allowing it to turn and stay on year round. The fish also have higher levels of insulin-like growth factor, a molecule that can push cancer growth. It looks like these genetically altered fish will be on our shelves, likely unlabeled, in 2 to 3 years - another reason to call your congressperson and federal senator now. Picture of normal and genetically altered salmon - both salmon are the same age (Barrett & Mackay Photography).

visit NY Times for article



The Ultimate in Public Health: Stopping Nuclear War
65th anniversary of nuclear bombing in Japan

August 6, 2010

Although natural medicine is important in all our lives, the threat of nuclear remains more over-arching than ever before. Two-hundred and twenty THOUSAND people perished with merely two relatively small atomic bombs 65 years ago. The technology and bombing capacity from both nations, as well as driven individuals, today is catastrophically immeasurable.

Please read the following paragraphs, which are is reprinted from Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). If you believe in true health and healing and prevention of sickness and death, consider learning more about PSR and even supporting their efforts ( ):

- - In the waning days of World War II, the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. The city was devastated almost instantly and an estimated 140,000 people were killed or died within months. Three days later, America detonated a second bomb over Nagasaki. Another 80,000 men, women and children lost their lives. Many died from injuries or the combined effects of flash burns, trauma and radiation burns, compounded by illness, malnutrition and radiation sickness. Others continue to suffer from leukemia and solid cancers attributed to their exposure to radiation.

The anniversary of that devastating day is a time to recommit ourselves to a world free of nuclear weapons. PSR Chapters across the country are hosting events commemorating the anniversary and using this historic opportunity to educate lawmakers and the public about why a world without these weapons is safer and more secure.

PSR Click Here



St. John's wort: Good for the Heart?

St. John's wort beats anti-depressants and helps Plavix work even better in patients with heart problems.


Known for its ability to stave off depression, it is not well known that the psychiatric-geared St. John’s wort (Latin name Hypericum perforatum) may be gaining ground in the field of cardiology. It has shown itself to work well to beat depression in patients with heart patients with less negative side effects on the heart. It also helps Plavix work in patients who did not do well on Plavix alone.
For patients with pre-existing conductive heart dysfunction or elderly patients, high-dose hypericum extract has found to be safer with regard to cardiac function than tricyclic antidepressants (such as Elavil, Imipramine, and Amitrpytiline). Some researchers are thinking that St. John’s wort may be indicated as a first line therapy for cardiac patients with depression.

Two new studies also suggest it may help patients lower the dose of platelet inhibitor Plavix, and help it work in the 20% of patients for whom it would normally not work. A studies using the platelet inhibitor clopidogrel found that 2 out of 10 patients using clopidogrel are poor responders, but in these patients 300mg of hypericum for two weeks found an increase of platelet inhibition of 20%. A previous study using 300 t.i.d had an increase of 36%. Furthermore, no negative change was seen in patients on statin medications. Hypericum may be a good choice in poor responders, or to help lower the dose necessary in normal responders who are having side effects.

“I think we can do this better with St. John’s wort,” - according to researcher WC Lau of Johns Hopkins.

- Czekalla J, Gastpar M, Hubner WD, Jager D. The effect of hypericum extract on cardiac conduction as seen in the electrocardiogram compared to that of imipramine. Pharmacopsychiatry. 199730 Suppl 2:86-8.
- Lau WC, Gurbel PA. Annual Scientific Session Of The American College Of Cardiology. May 2010. Elsevier global medical news, accessed on July 7, 2010.

click for reference



Marriage: best for health?
July 11, 2010

Overall, it seems marriage helps a person live longer. But interestingly, the research is somewhat mixed and seems to suggest marriage is better for the man, than for the woman. Possibly, it is thought this could be because men may engage in more risky behavior as a single person than a woman would.

According to one 2006 study sampling over 66,000 people, the death rate for people who were unmarried was significantly higher than it was for those who were married and living with their spouses.

But, much research suggests that generally, men may live longer when married - although, some studies have shown that married men tend to gain weight, which will have a negative impact on health.

Age disparity makes a difference: for women, for best results it may be helpful to marry a man of exactly her same age for an older husband shortens her life, and a younger one even more so. While marrying a younger woman tends to increase life expectancy for a man, women marrying a partner seven to nine years younger increase their mortality risk by 20 percent (in the United States, on average a groom is 2.3 years older than his bride). Also, by the time divorced men reach age 50, they can expect their health to deteriorate much faster than the health of those who are married.

Speculations for better health with marriage include increased sexual relations and better social support, which has been shown to help the immune system. One analysis in the British Medical Journal in 1997, showed that in a study of 918 men, those who had sex two or more times per week had a mortality risk less than half what it was for those who had sex less than once a month.

1- Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
2- Lee A. Lillard and Constantijn W.A. Panis, "Marital Status and Mortality: The Role of Health," Demography, 33(3):313-327, 1996.
3- Kaplan RM and Kronick RG. September 2006 issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
4- Schoenborn. The National Center for Health Statistics. 2004.
5- Smith et al. Sex and death: are they related? Findings from the Caerphilly cohort study BMJ 1997315:1641-1644



Can Fat Affect Your Intelligence?


Homer, watch those doughnuts (doh!), for a significant inverse association was found between abdominal obesity and total volume of the brain in a computed tomography (CT scan) study of 733 people called the Framingham Offspring cohort published in the Annals of Neurology. The visceral fat (fat around and built up in the organs) is most associated with a smaller brain.

It is postulated that caloric excess increases insulin (the hormone responsible for putting sugar in the cells from the blood), which is a strong factor in depositing body fat. Increases in visceral fat around the organs increase inflammation in the body, which can cause neuronal loss in the brain.

So what’s wrong with having a smaller brain full of inflammation? These factors are associated with a higher risk of dementia, mood disorders, and a host of other cognitive problems. by Drs. Bongiorno and LoGiudice -

reference: Jefferson et al. Inflammatory biomarkers are associated with total brain volume: the Framingham Heart Study. reference: Jefferson et al. Neurology. 200768:1032-1038.

click here for original research



Human Genome Project – and the Necessity of Naturopathy
june 22, 2010

by drs. peter and pina

About 14 years ago, while researchers at the National Institutes of Health, we attended a lecture about the progress of the human genome project given by the head of the project, the famous medical scientist, Dr. Francis Collins. To a roomful of top researchers from all over the world, Dr. Collins explained that the project was originally slated to be completed by 2001, but actually will be completed about a year or so ahead of schedule due to the wonderful advanced technology of the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machines, a machine that can copy DNA.

He continued on to explain all the researchers and scientists present in this renown room of learning how this project would revolutionize medicine: chronic diseases would be understood at a much higher level, and drugs would be specifically designed to deal with the genetic problems unearthed.

Fast forward to a 2010 article published last week in the New York Times entitled “A Decade Later, Genetic Map Yields Few New Cures.” As a civilization, we are no closer to any cures, even with the work completed.

Why would this be? The project completed ahead of schedule and has all the information for which we have been searching. Now medicine and science can create the map of the human genome and compare healthy people maps to those with disease. We did learn that we an astonishingly small compared of genes, and these compare with those of lower animals like the laboratory roundworm and fruit fly. “The barely visible roundworm needs 20,000 genes that make proteins, the working parts of cells, whereas humans, apparently so much higher on the evolutionary scale, seem to have only 21,000 protein-coding genes.” So much for being supposedly more evolved.

Well, it is really about epigenetics. Epigenetics is the study of gene expression (like the presence of disease) caused by factors other than the hard wired DNA sequence. What we are learning from the human genome projecxt is there are too many differences in the DNA from person to person (called variants), and these variants do not necessarily correlate to people having clinical disease because how we turn genes on and off are just as important as what genes we have and do not have. For example, when trying to predict heart disease researchers collected 101 genetic variants that had been statistically linked to heart disease. But the variants turned out to have no value in forecasting disease among 19,000 women who had been followed for 12 years. The old-fashioned method of taking a family history still turned out to be a better guide than using the technology of the genome project.

This is because there are many interactions between genes and environment. About 30% of genes are household genes – and these cannot really change much. Another words, one can personally work on stress and change foods as much as possible, but will still likely keep the same eye color one already has. However, about 70% of genes are changeable to various extents, depending on what we eat, our stressors, our external toxins, nutrient intake, etc… These lifestyle choices will turn up or down the volume of a gene not unlike how you can turn the volume control on a radio speaker.

These epigenetic controls are a reasonable argument for the need of naturopathic medicine and holistic care in the age of technology. Naturopathic medicine helps a patient outline all of these factors in detail, and helps each patient learn what he or she can do to mitigate disease and augment health. Food is information, and different foods send different signals to the body. For example, studies on brassica family foods (like broccoli or bok choy) have shown one cup of these ingested just once can help shut off potential oncogenes (cancer causing genes) for up to one month in colon cells.

This innate wisdom found in the interaction of nature, lifestyle and our bodies is where our research dollars should go next. Unfortunately, you cannot patent broccoli and grow rich on it, but it should still be studied.

click here to read NY Times article



Drs. P Join Organic Local Community Supported Agriculture

good food grows local


There are more vegetables in the fridge right now than we can cook. This week’s harvest includes all organic versions of rhurbarb, radishes, green lettuce, spinach, some peppery argula, and much more.

With our daughter Sophia and friends Dr. Chenel and his midwife wife Joelle, were shown around by Maggie wood the acres of organic wonder. The carrots were just starting out, the

The benefits of an organic CSA?
- less energy (oil and gas) used to ship
- no preservatives, pesticides
- supportive of local agriculture

We also should mention how healthy the gastrointestinal movements have been as well. ?

pictured: dr. pina and sophia. See more pictures on InnerSource Facebook

Please check out the Golden Earthworm for more information about this CSA.



Naturopathic Docs in NY


Thanks to your efforts the naturopathic medicine bill is up for a committee vote on Thurs, June 3rd! Two things are now crucial for us right now. We need your help. by Wednesday, June 2st:

1- Please email: we need you to contact your specific NY assembly member by Wednesday and tell him or her to support a vote on the bill. Click here: to do this.

2- call as many of the following Assemblymembers (below) and let them know:
- "I strongly support Assembly bill 1370"
- "I support the bill to allow naturopathic doctors to be excellent natural medicine and preventive primary care doctors in NY state"
- "I support licensing ND's for the best safety of the public"
- "New York has been very slow to adopt health systems that 16 other states enjoy, like Connecticut who has licensed ND's since 1922. I want this changed."

Assmblymembers:James D. Conte (Long Island) 518-455-5732
Amy Paulin (Westchester): 518-455-5585
Charles Lavine (Long Island): 518-455-5456
Steve Englebright (Long Island): 518-455-4804
Barbara Lifton (Cortland & Tompkins Counties): 518-455-5444
Albert Stirpe (Onondaga County): 518-455-4505
Jack Quinn (Erie County): 518-455-4462
Inez D. Barron 518-455-5912
Nelson L. Castro 518-455-5511
Michael J. Fitzpatrick 518-455-5021
Richard N. Gottfried 518-455-4941
Ellen Jaffee 518-455-5118
William Magee 518-455-4807
Joel M. Miller 518-455-5725
Joseph D. Morelle 518-455-5373
Audrey I. Pheffer 518-455-4292
Mike Spano 518-455-3662
Lou Tobacco 518-455-4495

The greatest opposition to naturopathic licensing is the Medical Society of the State of New York, who prefer not to see naturopathic doctors use natural medicines in New York State, and is using its powerful lobby and stall tactics to stop the natural medicine effort in New York.

YOUR HELP IS CRUCIAL and we thoroughly appreciate your continued help.
This may not be the last battle - this committee vote will hopefully pave the way for final positive Assembly vote soon. We will keep you updated.

thank you, thank you, thank you - drs. pina and peter

Click here to change healthcare in NY State



Children's Medicine and Money

Biased expert supports medication with suicide risk

May 23, 2010

A few years back, it was reported that antidepressants could cause increase risk of suicide in teens. As a result, prescription rates decreased 18% to 20% in children
when the FDA added a warning to the medication. This spurred debate and an influential published report from a concerned psychiatry expert that the FDA warning may actually produce 'more harm than good.' Interestingly, last year, a congressional investigation convicted this same author of “failing to report a third of the income he received from companies whose drugs he was evaluating.” This is clearly a case of unfortunate bias, which may not be in the best interest of the children with depression. Antidepressant medications are known to be of help in adults with severe depression, but are not better than placebo in mild to moderate cases. Dr. Peter is publishing a book in a month called Healing Depression - this book will be the most complete book in the field of natural medicines for depressive illness. Stay tuned for more about it.

1- Nemeroff CB, Kalali A, Keller MB, Charney DS, Lenderts SE, Cascade EF, Stephenson H, Schatzberg AF (2007). Impact of publicity concerning pediatric
suicidality data on physician practice patterns in the United States. Arch Gen
Psychiatry 64:466-472
2- Roy-Byrne P Antidepressants in Pediatric Patients: Benefits Might Outweigh Risks Journal Watch Psychiatry April 17, 2007
3- Denise Gellene, Thomas H. Maugh II Los Angeles Times October 04, 2008
4- Selvi B. Williams, MD, MPH, Elizabeth A. O’Connor, PhD, Michelle Eder, PhD, Evelyn P. Whitlock, MD, MPH Screening for Child and Adolescent Depression in
Primary Care Settings: A Systematic Evidence Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force Pediatrics 2009123:e716–e735



YUM: Chocolate for Your Heart

Almost 40% reduction in heart attack or stroke were achieved by those who eat around 7.5 grams of chocolate a day versus those who ate little or no chocolate. Flavanones are the componenet that seem to help our vessels by releasing nitric oxide, which lowers blood pressure and improves platelet (clotting cell) function.

The authors of this large observational study of 19,357 people, aged between 35 and 65, remind us to continue to watch our weight if we add the chocolate: "be aware that 100 g of dark chocolate contains roughly 500 calories. As such, you may want to subtract an equivalent amount of calories, by cutting back on other foods, to avoid weight gain."

It is best to eat dark chocolate (we like 85%) with lowest sugar and dairy content.

Reference: Buijsse, B, Weikert C, Drogan D et al. Chocolate consumption in relation to blood pressure and risk of CV disease in German adults. Eur Heart J 2010



Wanna to Keep Your Knees?

be a Manhattanite

April 30, 2010

A Darthmouth national study shows that NY City residents are least likely to get a knee replacement, likely because the extra walking keeps them from becoming obese. Only four Manhattan Medicare patients out of 1,000 had knee replacements. In comparision, the highest number of replacements were in Lincoln, Nebraska where 15.7 patients per 1,000 had to replace their knee. Congratulations NY City!

Pictured: knee anatomy from Grays' Anatomy.

Ref: Fisher E, Bell JE, Tomek I, Esty A and Goodman D. Trends and Regional Variation in Hip, Knee and Shoulder Replacement. In: A Dartmouth Atlas Surgery Report Published: Apr 15, 2010

Read original article here



Drs. P visit the land of the grass fed and free range...

April 11, 2010

Litchfield, CT - although we really stay away from cow's milk products, it was a treat to visit a dairy farm in Litchfield, CT. Thanks to Dr. Peter's brother Joseph, we visited a working dairy farm and met the farmer and his wife, and two kids. How wonderful to see cows roaming free eating grass, and free range chickens walking amongst us, then going to their hen-house producing their eggs. Actually, the only reason they are in their hen-house is to protect them at night from other animals that may want to eat them. Sophia loved chasing the chickens, but she was a little scared of Bruno the cow (pictured right). Please visit our facebook site for more pictures.

more pictures



Statins for Everyone and Off Shore Drilling: What Do These Have In Common?

I read the news today oh – boy.

April 10, 2010

The March 31st NY Times had two side by headlines ('Plan To Widen Use of Statins' and 'Obama to Open Offshore Areas'). One discussed the interest in using Crestor, a cholesterol lowering drug on healthy populations. The other discussed government plans to open off-shore drilling to tap into more oil resources.

It struck me that both of these prospects begged the important question we were repeatedly taught to consider in naturopathic school: ‘what is the underlying cause, and can we treat that?’ Well, when it comes to cardiovascular disease, there are multiple places we can interject much more effectively: stress modification, exercise, dietary changes, and nutrients. All these can be used to modify the inflammation in the vessels and the improve the health of the intimal lining (the lining on the inside of the blood vessel). Why not focus on these before employing preventive medication that covers up symptoms (in this case, a lab test value), and has known side effects of rhabdomylsis and depletion of CoQ10, which is paradoxically known to be a problem for the heart. By the way, the article also explained that the drug company claims using the meds will cut the risk of heart attack in half. That sounds like a strong effect, yes? Well actually, when you look at the numbers about 500 people would have to take Crestor for the possibility of one person to actually avoid a ‘usually survivable heart attack’ and that the effect of Crestor was according to the article ‘statistically significant but not clinically significant.’ So, if you want to be treated like a statistic but with actually an only 1/500 chance of effect, then the drug is the way to go.

Like using a drug to lower a lab number to make us feel healthy, off shore drilling also is a method to cover of the symptoms, by increasing our barrels of oil to make us feel more secure. Again, why not treat the underlying cause – in this case our overuse of energy (the United States and China are the greatest offenders), and our inability to use our technology to create fuels out of renewable sources ( solar and wind power).

Is our future one of more oil consumption and statin popping to cover up an eventual demise, or one where we work on the problems head on, using clean energy, clean foods lifestyle changes that correct the causes of our dis-ease?

Risk Seen In Wider Use of Statins




March 28, 2010

Some people seem to think soy can cause cancer. The fact is soy contains ‘phytoestrogens’. These are plant chemicals that act like a very weak estrogen molecule (which is how tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug, works as well). These weak estrogens actually block the more aggressive, cancer-causing estrogens – as such, they lower the effect of cancer-causing estrogens. Additionally, soy isoflavones also help shut off genes that can cause cancer by acting as a methylator. Methylators help donate molecular groups which can lock up cancer genes so they are not expressed.

One nested case-controlled study from 2008 looked at over 24,000 Japanese women and found that those with the highest soy isoflavone level had the lowest cancer rates. Breast cancer in Western countries is much higher than Asia – where isoflavone levels is about 0.5% of that in the Asian countries. When consumed in very large amounts, soy may block thyroid, inhibit mineral absorption, or even become allergenic, but eaten in reasonable amounts, this is not typical.

reference: Iwasaki M, Inoue M, Otani T, Sasazuki S, Kurahashi N, Miura T, Yamamoto S, Tsugane S Plasma isoflavone level and subsequent risk of breast cancer among Japanese women: a nested case-control study from the Japan Public Health Center-based prospective study group. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Apr 126(10):1677-83. Epub 2008 Mar 3.



Here's Comes the Sun

Sunlight and Vit D Prevents Cancer

March 18, 2010

Nature provides us with what we need to keep our bodies healthy. Along with fresh water, exercise, sleep and good food, adequate sunlight is an important part of nature to help keep our circadian rhythms in healthy motion, as well as help convert vitamin D in our skin.

One study from the National Cancer Institute in 2002 showed that ovarian and prostate cancers occurred less in people who get regular sun. And people who received regular sun as a part of their work day have even greater reductions in breast and colon cancer too (1). The only group that had increased cancer rates was in non-melanoma skin cancer – so people at higher risk for skin cancer may need to limit exposure.

One of the reasons sunlight may be helpful is due to the increased levels of vitamin D in our bodies from sunlight. Very recent and encouraging animal research even shows that tumors can start to disappear when injected with vitamin D (2). Other studies have shown deficiencies in vitamin D will contribute to breast cancer (3) and colo-rectal cancer (4). It seems when there is not enough vitamin D around, the cancer cells keep a signal going that allows them to grow further. Furthermore, the immune tends to remain more balanced with adequate vitamin D, which may be a reason it is helpful in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.

To allow nature to heal, remember to go out and get regular sunlight – a reasonable amount is 15 minutes every morning during non-peak hours. Those at higher risk for skin cancer should speak with their doctors first.

1. Freedman DM, Dosemeci M, McGlynn K. Sunlight and mortality from breast, ovarian, colon, prostate, and non-melanoma skin cancer: a composite death certificate based case-control study. Occup Environ Med. 2002 Apr59(4):257-62.

2. Clarke S. In Tests, Vitamin D Shrinks Breast Cancer Cells. accessed March 18, 2010.

3. Li Laine O. et al. Vitamin D Deficiency Promotes Human Breast Cancer Growth in a Murine Model of Bone Metastasis. Cancer Research 70, 1835, March 1, 2010. Published Online First February 16, 2010

4. Bischoff-Ferrari H. Health effects of vitamin D. Dermatol Ther. 2010 Jan23(1):23-30.



Supreme Court Blocks Ban on Corporate Giving

effect on healthcare? 1-25-2010

by Dr. Peter

In a 5 - 4 decision, the Supreme Court decided that the government is not allowed to limit how much a corporation can give a candidate for an election run. This is a disaster for us all.

Naturopathic medicine's tenet is to work on the underlying cause. If you would like to consider a major underlying cause of health care problems (United States is 37th - somewhere near Slovenia in terms of quality of care according to the World Health Organization), poverty, corporate greed, and pretty much every other ill of our potenitally wonderfully beneficient capitalist society, this is it.

This ruling means that the wealthiest will now, easily, and legally, have the most influence - period. Large insurance companies, drug companies and the AMA will solely run healthcare. I have learned in working on licensing of naturopathic medicine in New York State, that money is a key for moving any kind of legislation through. Without money, you cannot 'contribute' to political action committees and candidate funds. If you cannot contribute you do not deserve a legislator's attention. Despite this, a few rare, caring New York legislators actually support causes they believe in - and think naturopathic medicine would be best for the people. It seems the majority though, only care about who else already supports it, and how much in terms of contribution can you give.

My Mom always had a harsh saying: "Money talks and garbage walks." I always found this a bit cynical - but this ruling has made this a true statement in the United States of America.

Click here for NY Times article



Eczema can be relieved by acupuncture

Date: Jan. 5, 2010

Eczema can be relieved by acupuncture, according to a German study in 30 people. Acupuncture seems to calm the feeling of itchiness after allergen exposure. When patient were exposed a second time, there were decreases in the flare up reactions.

This study used three conditions: one where had their skin exposed to either pollen or dust-mite allergens, where patients received points used in Chinese medicine to lower allergic reaction. The second was placebo points, not correlated to Chinese medicine, and the third was a control, which received no acupuncture.

Reference: Pfab et. al. Allergy 2009.



Vaccine Advisors Have Conflict of Interest

December 19, 2009

by Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc

The NY Times reported yesterday that the majority of "experts" on advisory Centers for Disease Control (CDC) panels for the flu and cervical cancer turn out to have conflicts of interest that likely swayed their choice of recommending vaccines for the nation. While the flu itself remains front page news, and more people are getting vaccinated, this article appeared far back on page A28. Similarly, millions of young women are being encouraged to have the cervical cancer vaccine.

According to the NY Times: "As numerous medicines have been pulled from the market in recent years, worries have grown that experts may be recommending medical products — even ones they know to be unsafe — in part because manufacturers are paying them. "

reference: Harriss G. Advisors on Vaccines Often Have Conflicts. NY Times. December 17, 2009



Working Moms Undiagnosed for Depression

December 5, 2009

by Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc and Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc

An evaluation of national data on 2,130 mothers revealed that working mothers with depression were less likely to receive adequate treatment, possibly because excessive work hours do not allow time for proper care. It seems working mothers are greater risk for more difficulty from depression, for more than 65 percent of U.S. mothers with depression don"t receive adequate treatment, a new study has found. Even more, Black, Hispanic and other minority mothers are least likely to receive adequate treatment. Moms with health insurance are three times more likely to receive adequate treatment. Depression in mothers can have a major impact on the entire family, especially on the health and well-being of their children, the researchers noted. Treating depression in mothers can improve the long-term health of their families. Mothers with depression have children with higher incidences of a number of diseases, including asthma and psychological illness.

Commentary: Given this information, it seems crucial that the workplace becomes a place where working moms can have access to proper diagnostic techniques and integrative health solutions. Oftentimes, discussion of the condition with an empathic ear can be a part of the healing. Furthermore, there are numerous natural remedies that are very useful to help moms feel better while lifestyle and environmental changes are sought.

Note: Dr. Peter Bongiorno’s book: Naturopathic Treatments for Depression will be released in January of 2010 (CCNM Press).
Reference: Litzelman et al. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research e-publication ahead of print (November 2009)



Meditation Lowers Heart Attack Risk

Highest Risk Group of African Americans find benefit

November 21, 2009

by Dr. Peter Bongiorno and Dr. Pina LoGiudice

In most cases of naturopathic care, stress reduction techniques are a central part of helping the body to heal itself. In our practice, we find for virtually any condition, stress reduction modalities such as meditation, yoga, exercise, and acupuncture will help patients get healthier faster, decrease their dependence on medications, and sustain any gains. Heart disease is the number killer in the United States. One recent study announced at the most recent American Heart Association gives credence to this approach. A major study of stress reduction with the Transcendental Meditation program was associated with 43% reduction in risk for all cause mortality, myocardial infarction and stroke in a high-risk sample of African Americans. A selected stress reduction approach may be useful in the secondary prevention of atherosclerotic CVD. The subjects were 201 African American participants (half male and half female) with documented coronary artery disease. Subjects performed either Transcendental Meditation or another program called "health education control." Regular care was continued in all subjects. After 5 years of follow-up, the heart attack risk in the meditation patients was 43% reduced. Systolic blood pressure (the top number) decreased by mean of 5.1 mm Hg. Also, there were reductions in psychosocial stress in a high stress subgroup. There were no significant changes in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) or Body Mass Index. It was concluded that stress reduction with the Transcendental Meditation program was associated with 43% reduction in risk for all cause mortality, myocardial infarction and stroke in a high-risk sample of African Americans. A selected stress reduction approach may be useful in the secondary prevention of atherosclerotic CVD. It is likely that even greater benefits would be achieved in lower risk individuals. Also, greater benefits would probably result in those doing other lifestyle changes like exercise, the Mediterranean Diet, and proper nutrients. It is hard to know if other methods are equally as effective. If you are not including some kind of relaxation program as part of your health regimen, this is a great time to start. ref: Schneider R et al. Effects of Stress Reduction on Clinical Events in African Americans With Coronary Heart Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Abstract 1177: Circulation. 2009;120:S461



Studies Show New Yorkers Are Stressed - Natural Medicine Can Help

Date: November 5, 2009

Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc

Almost half of New York residents say they are in less than very good health, according to a national study. “At every education level and in every racial or ethnic group, adults in New York are not as healthy as they could be,” the study concluded. New Yorkers rank 31st out of 50 states.

The study suggested that stress and anxiety may be a major factor in the low health. Many New Yorkers spend more energy and time trying to balance their finances by working more, and spending less time in leisure activities and with family. “Stress can trigger the body to release hormones and other substances that over time can damage immune defenses and vital organs,” the researchers said. “This ‘toxic’ and chronic stress can age people and lead to serious illness, including cardiovascular disease.” Another study shows New York State residents to be the third most neurotic according to scientists who study 'geographic personalities.'

Natural medicine has many methods of offering safe and effective anxiety relief that can help New Yorkers avoid medications like Xanax and Paxil. Exercise has been shown to decrease stress levels and help mood, as well as many medications. Strategies such as increased water, whole foods, and meditation can change a person’s physiology to lower stress hormones. Specific nutrients such as vitamin B6, niacinamide, tryptophan and theanine can work on the same mechanisms as the medications, but with a lower side effect profile. Passion flower, St. John’s wort and Kava kava have hundreds years of historical use to calm and center.

Dr. Bongiorno practices is Manhattan and Long Island, and recently authored Depression: Natural Medicine Treatments for publication in January of 2010 (CCNM Press).


Susan Egerter, Paula Braveman, M.D., M.P.H., Catherine Cubbin, Ph.D., Mercedes Dekker, M.P.H., Tabashir Sadegh-Nobari, M.P.H., Jane An, M.H.S., Rebecca Grossman-Kahn, B.A. Reaching America’s Health Potential: A State-by-State Look at Adult Health. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission 2009. accessed 10-15-09

Rentfrow, Gosling and Potter. "Freedome in the 50 States: a study on the geography of personality", 2009

Prousky J. Anxiety: An Orthomolecular Approach. CCNM Press 2006.



SLEEP: better than the flu vaccine?

Date: Monday, October 5, 2009

What drug can improve your immune system 300%? Well, no one drug we know of, but it has been shown that people who get 7 hours of sleep or more a night will improve their immune status 3 fold over those who get less.

A study from the Archives of Internal medicine evaluated 153 people, and exposed them to a cold virus via nose drops. What was found was those who had less than 7 hours of sleep were three times as likely to catch the virus and get sick than those who had more than 8 hours of sleep1. Other studies have also shown inadequate sleep lowers natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight cancer 2.

I had the enjoyment of attending my 17 month old daughter's music class today. A number of mothers there were talking about their worries for getting the various flu shots, for doctors did not have them. One woman was planning on visiting all the pharmacies in town to see who might schedule her in to receive shots for herself and child. No one discussed getting enough sleep though. If there was a vaccine or drug that had these same results, this would take top space in all media outlets. And yet, this information about sleep is practically unheard of. I do not believe there is any research that tells us the swine flu vaccine is as protective as sleep, and yet people are clamoring for their shot when they should think about clamoring to get to bed on time. Buona notte ('good night' in Italian).

1Sheldon Cohen, William J. Doyle, Cuneyt M. Alper, Denise Janicki-Deverts, Ronald B. Turner, Sleep Habits and Susceptibility to the Common Cold Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(1):62-67.
2M Irwin, A Mascovich, JC Gillin, R Willoughby, J Pike and TL Smith Partial sleep deprivation reduces natural killer cell activity in humans Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol 56, Issue 6 493-498



"I Don't Sweat"

September 6, 2009

A number of patients we have spoken with claim: 'well, I just don't sweat'. This may be true if you are canine, for dogs do not have sweat glands, and must pant and keep their mouth open for regulation of temperature. There are certain human conditions that can cause lack of sweating: medications such as anti-psychotics or calcium channel blockers, significant nerve damage, or a rare disease called hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. The rest of us should be sweating it out. If you exercise, and believe you still do not sweat, you may not be exercising hard enough yet - or possibly you are dehydrated, so your body is conserving its water.

The truth is, many of us do not sweat enough. Only 3 in 10 adults get the recommended amount of physical activity. We live and work in temperature controlled environments all day, then ride in trains, cars and buses with more air conditioning. Typically, we 'don't sweat' because we are not given the chance. There are very few methods humans can use to get rid of chemicals from the body: pooping, peeing, exhaling, and sweating it out. In us humans, sweat glands are known mostly to help regulate temperature by bringing warm moisture to the surface of the skin, which causes cooling as the water evaporates. But the secondary role as detoxifier is not a minor role. Known as the 'third kidney' your skin has over 2.6 million tiny pores that can help clear as much as 30% of bodily wastes through perspiring. Sweat is composed mostly water, but also has urea (a breakdown product of proteins the kidneys also discard), and trace metals and minerals.

Although experts believe sweating is mostly for temperature regulation, it has been shown that trace toxins do appear in sweat glands. Some evidence does suggest that the ability to sweat and excrete toxins like mercury will increase with repeated use of exercise or sauna. It see that hot wet steam saunas are more effective than dry saunas. Steam saunas create beads of moisture which adhere and coat the skin almost instantaneously. These prevent the body from losing heat through the process of evaporation. This may accelerate the detoxification and healing processes which take place within the body when body temperature rises. More studies on this are needed.

To help get the sweating going, consider starting an exercise routine if you do not currently have one. If you are not sweating during this routine, consider increasing the intensity of your workout: this could mean increasing your pace or possibly increasing the angle of incline of your cardio machine. Sometimes, working with a trainer will also help you safely find inspiration for perspiration. For those who have an exercise routine, consider adding a steam sauna for increased detoxification effect. Yoga enthusiasts may try bikram yoga, a yoga practiced in a 105 degree temperature for 90 minutes.

In Chinese medicine, sweat does contain qi (pronounced "chee") energy – so if someone is already expecially weak, extra sweating through exercise and saunas can deplete a person and make them even weaker. Accordingly, one needs to adjust any effort to sweat with their current health status.

Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (Healthy People 2010)
Ely J. Well Mind Association Special Report - March 1994. Heavy Metal Detox: Sweating Dry Saunas - A Comparison. Dry Sauna vs Steam Sauna. Accessed Sept. 6, 2009
International Hyperhydrosis Society. No Sweat? It’s Not Always a Dream Come True. November 2006. accessed on September 6, 2009
Mosher HH. Simultaineous Study of the Constituents of Perspiration and Urine. November 16, 1932
Woolston C. You sweat, but toxins likely stay. The halthy skeptic. Los Angeles Times, Jan 2008



High Blood Pressure in Kids from TV and Computers

August 8, 2009

by Dr. Pina LoGiudice

TV and computer screen time has been linked to high blood pressure in youngsters. Recent evidence shows that children who watch television for 1.5hrs to 5.5hours of televsion a day shows that even if a children is trim and active, they will still have higher blood pressure. A study of 111 children from age 3 to age 8 showed that the increased blood pressure wasn’t associated with the sedentary behavior overall, but specifically linked to increased TV viewing. Two possible reasons are because children tend to snack unhealthy foods while watching TV, or because they watch material that is stressful or represent overactivity for their minds and reduce the ability to keep an increased metabolism. One other possibility is because it cuts into sleep time, which is needed for a host of healthy body processes. Surprisingly, the Amercian Academy of Pediatrics recommend children watch no more than 2 hours of 'high quality' television a day. In light of this information, this recommendation needs to be lowered.

Invented in 1929, television was first introduced to the public at a World's Fair in 1939. The first licenses issued were for commercial stations - this fact tells us that the motivation for TV was to be a vehicle for selling advertising for goods and services while providing entertainment. In the early 1960s, the first educational stations (later Public Broadcasting) began offering programs with the aim to educate and enrich people's lives. Regarding computers, in 1953, the UNIVAC was the first commercial computer and was able to pick presidential winners. In 1983, Apple introduced the first home computer.

Although these inventions can enrich our lives, this study emphasizes how they can also disrupt normal physiology. It is important limit TV to the minimum possible, and keep computer use in balance with other, more natural and healthful activities. from the blog at

references: "the history of televsion" accessed August 8, 2009 Eisenmann J. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. August 2009



Chronic Disease Helped with Common Kitchen Item

Date: July 16, 2009

Daily supplementation with common sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) slows the progression rate of renal failure to end-stage renal disease and improves nutritional status among patients with chronic kidney disease. According to a recent study of 134 patients using 600 mg of oral sodium bicarbonate tablets, the patients taking the baking soda had lowered need for drugs and felt better using this simple and common kitchen ingredient.

It is possible the balancing of patient"s blood to become less acidotic (acidic) may be the reason for the benefit.

Although intake of sodium was higher for the sodium bicarbonate patients versus the control group, there was no increased blood pressure. For best safety, patients with kidney disease should speak to their medical doctors or nephrologists before changing their regimen of foods or adding supplements.

reference: DeBristo-Ashurst, American Society of Nephrology, published July 16, 2009



Why eat your broccoli?

Cruciferous Vegetables as Cancer Prevention

June 24, 2009

Consumption of cruciferous (also known as Brassica vegetables) of 4.5 servings a month help protect smokers against lung cancer. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy. In the United States, an estimated 26.2 million men (23.5 percent) and 20.9 million women (18.1 percent) are smokers. These people are at higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of smoking lung cancer. And overall, at least 4.5 million American teens are addicted users of cigarettes. Findings were presented at the Seventh Annual American Association for Cancer Research International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, in November 2008 which shown that the risk of developing lung cancer was reduced by 22% to 50% among smokers who consumed at least 4.5 servings of raw cruciferous vegetables a month, compared with those who consumed less than 2.5 servings per month. An intake of fruits and total vegetables showed an even stronger association among never smokers, whereas significant inverse associations with cruciferous vegetable consumption were only observed among smokers and former smokers. Previous research also demonstrated that the intake of raw cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower, was associated with a reduced risk for bladder cancer. There are many healthful components to cruciferous vegetables. Indole 3-carbinols have been shown to be cancer protective, and intake of soluble and insoluble fiber may also have benefit. Cruciferous vegetables are also unique in that they are rich sources of sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates. The name comes from their four-petaled flowers, which look like a crucifer, or cross. Of course, the best protection is to avoid smoking completely. For those working on the process, the addition of cruciferous vegetable may add an important protection. Although not studied, it is likely these vegetables may also protect those exposed to second hand smoke as well.

references: Nelson R. AACR FCPR 2008: Cruciferous Vegetables Reduce Lung Cancer Risk in Smokers Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008;17:938-944 Seventh Annual American Association for Cancer Research International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research



Ginger Effective for Chemo Induced Nausea

Grandma was right when she recommended ginger for an upset stomach" - a 5-14-09 NY Times Article states

A randomized clinical trial has confirmed what many people suspect — that ginger can decrease nausea caused by chemotherapy. The effect goes beyond that provided by standard anti-vomiting drugs.

Patients taking ginger before chemotherapy found a 45% reduction in nausea and discomfort. This studies shows the benefit, and safety of using ginger with chemotherapy and anti-nausea medications.

According to the study"s author, Dr. Julie L. Ryan of the University of Rochester, the best results corresponded to a quarter to a half teaspoon of ground ginger, she said. She added that either the ginger that comes in spice bottles or the ginger capsules sold in health food stores would probably work.

The results will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which begins May 29 in Orlando, Fla.

The trial, financed by the National Cancer Institute, involved 644 patients, mostly women with breast cancer, who were undergoing chemotherapy at 23 oncology practices in the United States.

All patients also took a standard anti-vomiting drug on each day of chemotherapy. They also took specially made capsules containing either extracts of ginger root or a placebo for six days, starting three days before each round of chemotherapy.

They then rated the severity of their nausea four times a day. Those taking the ginger had a reduction of about 45 percent in severity compared with a previous round of chemotherapy in which they did not take the ginger. Those on the placebo had almost no change.

According to, the mechanism underlying ginger"s purported antiemetic activity is unknown, but there is speculation of a direct effect on the gastrointestinal tract, and one involving the central nervous system cannot be ruled out either since several of ginger"s components antagonize serotonin type 3 receptors. In vitro studies (cell studies) suggest that ginger may produce its anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting arachidonic acid metabolism in both the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways.



A-h1n1, Swine Flu update

getting better all the time

May 2, 2009: 11:01AM

Most happily, it seems like the flu that gained a lot of media and press earlier this week seems to be a bit weaker in its media and viral punch. Today"s New York Times reports the outbreak in Mexico may be considerably smaller than originally feared. According to Dr. Javier Torres, head of the infectious disease unit in Mexico the number of those exposed and infected has gone up, and the number of fatal cases has gone down. According to experts at the CDC, it seems this virus does not have the qualities of other, more deadly strains. All the pandemic viruses of the last century — the 1918, 1957 and 1968 flus — had a mutation in the gene coding for a protein known as PB1-F2 that is thought to make a virus more lethal. This mutation is not in the new Ah1n1 strain. Dr. Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said the death of a 23-month-old Mexican child in Texas did not mean that the outbreak was extraordinarily dangerous. Every year we see between 75 and 150 children die of flu, most of whom were previously healthy. More than likely, these so-called previously healthy children had some other health issues to begin with. Of course, we should take seriously precautions to stay healthy - see April 30th blog for specific information. Since it is a new strain, it may be worth being extra cautious in the event that the strain"s virulence changes, which according to history does not seem likely.



A-H1N1 or Swine Flu

Thursday, April 30, 2009 7am

Thoughts, Natural Approaches, Underlying Causes

Many patients have been asking us about this swine flu also known as Mexican Flu. The fact of the matter is that information is low, and unfortunately, media hype is high. This type A-H1N1 virus seems to be a combination of a pig, human and bird virus. As of this writing, there are 51 confirmed flu cases in New York State and 91 in the US, and 12 countries in total. Please remember as testing continues, the numbers will increase. To keep things in perspective, it should be remembered that in any given year, about 40,000 people in the US die from the common flu. This number has been consistent for many years. But, although worrisome and these are profoundly unfortunate deaths, we do not consider the common flu a pandemic. It is also important to note that even thought the World Health Organization states that 'pandemic is imminent', this description refers to the pattern of spread, not the severity of the virus. Thankfully, all cases of the H1N1 in the US seem to be relatively mild. The possibly worrisome piece about this particular flu is that in Mexico, it seemed to kill healthy young people. Normally, flu illness tends to kill people with lowered immune function, especially the elderly and very young. With this flu, it seems the immune reaction, known as a cytokine cascade - cytokines are molecules of the immune system components responsible for raising inflammation - causes lung swelling and damage which can cause death. Some doctors report that distinguishing this flu from others are difficult, but diarrhea and vomiting may occur in the swine flu. So, from a natural perspective what can we do? Unfortunately, there is very little direct information or research about using natural medicines to fight viral illnesses like this. Here are a few thoughts about this.

1 - STAY INFORMED - the CDC regarding local outbreaks in order to avoid these when possible. The H1N1 outbreak in our area is mild, and right now we have no reason to think it will become more virulent, but it is still good to avoid exposure it when possible. Try to not over-inform to the point that you are stressed - see point number 6. If you are not sure about symptoms you have, see a physician who can decide if treatment may be warranted. The World Health Organization website is: and the CDC website is:

2 - Observe the recommendations to WASH HANDS thoroughly. Use warm water.

3 - DO NOT TOUCH FACE and NOSE to avoid spreading virus to your mouth, eyes or respiratory system.

4 - Take your FISH OIL – fish oil is known to balance an over-inflammed immune system, and may be helpful to lower the overall cytokine cascade. Cod liver oil may be the best choice for it has extra D and A. Vitamin A helps protect respiratory passages and is anti-viral itself.

5 - VITAMIN D, VITAMIN C, ZINC – may be useful. According to Johnathan Wright MD, vitamin C and D may be a more potent anti-viral choice than even medications. Zinc is an anti-viral mineral that has inhibited viral replication in research.

6 - STRESS REDUCTION helps to lower our stress hormones and balance our immune function to help properly deal with any virus.

7 - Get plenty of SLEEP – sleep is another important immune balancer.

8 - AVOID SUGAR – which can lower your immunity and allow easier catching of any virus.

9 - Consider regular NASAL WASHES – if the virus is typically transmitted into the upper respiratory tract, clearing that area may help lower the load that enters our system.

10 - AVOID INFLAMMATORY FOODS – foods like milk and dairy, wheat for some people, and any food you know you are sensitive too. Excess inflammation in your body may contribute to more of an inflammatory cascade than is healthy.

11 - EAT ANTI VIRAL FOODS: garlic, onions, berries, green tea.

12 - There are a few ANTI-VIRAL HERBS worth considering. Licorice, PauD’Arco and Lemon Balm. These have a history of being helpful with flu and colds. There is no research using these in this swine flu period in place of conventional medications and we are not suggesting forgoing conventional medicines.

14 - EXERCISE – helps move your lymph tissue and blood in your body, which is needed to keep your immune surveillance at its best.

15 - Consider N95 masks if you need to go to a hospital or place with people who have the virus. The CDC has instructions for homemade mask at: It is uncertain how well masks protect us, but a simple barrier like a mask may lower load that enters the nose and mouth.

From a naturopathic perspective, we may need to address the underlying causes of these viral illnesses. Some people believe it is really media hype that scares people not the actual illness, others think close-quarter farming practices have spurred avian and swine flu issues to become problematic and need closer monitoring, while others more suspecting people believe it is government hype used to spur pharmaceutical company contracts for anti-viral drugs and vaccine programs. Even more, some people suggest that these strains are actually man-made biologic weapon agents. There are certainly many theories, and some information to support each of these. Our hope is the authorities are looking for the best interest of the public and will begin to focus on possible underlying issues once this crisis has passed.




Huntington, Long Island

March 2009

A peaceful space to sip tea, heal and balance with filtered air and water, and a surrounding built with eco-carpeting and eco-paints. This clinic will use 100 percent recycled paper and bio-cleaning supplies and reclaimed materials as much as possible. We anticipate the opening in mid-March 2009, and will have an official opening house on May 8th and 9th, with a lecture on the Naturopathic Pillars of Health by Dr. Pina on Saturday, May 9th. Click below for specific times and details. Please come by to say hi or bring a friend. The address is: 11 Stewart Avenue, Huntington, NY 11743.

To learn more about the Open House, click here



Acupuncture Bailout?

Follow Your Bliss

Clearly, one of the cities hit hardest by the financial crisis is New York and its environs. Many of you have found the solace of meditation, acupuncture and natural medicines more useful than ever. For most people, the feelings of anxiety, fear and sleeplessness are nothing more than our body telling us that something is unbalanced, and it is strongly encouraging to us to change something. The pharmaceutical path suggests the use of Xanax, Lexapro, Ambien and or Wellbutrin. However, this condition of stress and anxiety is really not a deficiency of these medications. It has been said that people with great wisdom take difficult times as an opportunity to learn to create and even better future. We have witnessed many cases where our patients have used this time of hardship to ask themselves: Am I doing what makes me happy? A philosopher named Joseph Campbell who has compared many world civilizations over his lifetime, suggests to us that the way to lower our anxiety is to realize who we really are by following our bliss. One simple way to start that process of following your bliss is by doing some breathing and meditation work everyday. The Chinese use qi gong. Breathing even for 5 minutes a day, you can start to clear your mind in order to be more open to the opportunities and beauty that is around us. Also, acupuncture points actually have spiritual associations and can help balance our mind and body to follow our dreams. One point near the wrist is called Shen Men also known as Heart 7. This point helps calm our spirit. The Gallbladder meridian is known to help a person muster the courage to make decisions and create goals, and the Liver meridian can help people actually make the plan to fulfill these decisions. Similarly, certain herbal remedies can help these issues from an internal standpoint. For instance, Passiflora Incarnata stands for passion incarnate, and has been used in western herbal traditions to help a person find their true passion. In our practice, we have seen qi gong or meditation, and acupuncture to be more useful than ever in this time of stress and spiritual revolution. These can help you balance as you look for and follow the bliss that is in your life.reference: Bill Moyers and the Power of Myth, Interviews with Joseph Campbell, DVD by Mystic Fire, circa 1986.



Sept 22, 2008: Acupuncture Offers Relief for Breast Cancer Patients

More studies are coming out showing the benefits of using acupuncture adjunctively to treat the side effects of breast cancer medication such as hot flashes, nausea, and lymphedema swelling due to removal of lymph nodes. Although acupuncture may not be known to directly stop cancer growth, it is very helpful for patients going through conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Using fine needles inserted into the body acupuncture , or even pressure on certain points acupressure more and more studies are showing how this ancient method of treatment is helping more and more women. Some of these studies are listed below. One study presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology this week studied acupuncture specifically in 47 women using anti-estrogen therapies such as Arimidex and Tamoxifen. These drugs are known to cause side effects of hot flashes, for which many women are treated with Effexor, an anti-depressant. The acupuncture worked equally as well as the medication Effexor to curb hot flashes and the acupuncture group also had more energy, less side effects and some had increased sex drive. This is certainly similar to the results we see in our practice for women using medications, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. Instead of using more drugs to balance side effects of the treatments, acupuncture is a wonderful adjunct that is virtually side effect free, and helps balance the spirit, as well as the body. References: American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology annual meeting, 2008, Boston, MA. He JP, Friedrich M, Ertan AK, Muller K, Schmidt W. Pain-relief and movement improvement by acupuncture after ablation and axillary lymphadenectomy in patients with mammary cancer. Clin Exp Obst Gynecol. 1999 26 2 :81-84. NIH Consensus Statement: Acupuncture. National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director. 1997 15 5 :1-34. Shen J, Wenger N, Glaspy J et al. Electroacupuncture for control of myeloablative chemotherapy-induced emesis. JAMA. 2000 284 21 :2755-2761 Towlerton G, Filshie J, O"Brien M, Duncan A. Acupuncture in the control of vasomotor symptoms caused by tamoxifen. Palliat Med . 1999 13 5 :445.



Aug. 2008: Screening for Prostate Cancer in Older Men Not Recommended

a blunder in thinking

- a more gentle toolbox

As recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, doctors are now urged not to screen for prostate cancer in older men via serum prostate specific antigen PSA for it has been ascertained that for older men, of a still undetermined age, subsequent treatment for prostate cancer may do more harm than good. And now, a study out of Europe is underway to help determine if it is detrimnetal to screen and treat younger men. I do appreciate this attempt by conventional medicine to study itself a little more objectively, and I applaud what appears to be unbiased candor in releasing this information. I do also think there are two important points for the public here. Firstly, this underscores a critical notion: that standard diagnosis and treatment for this second leading cause of men"s cancer has actually never been studied for effectiveness. We need to wonder how many other standard treatments like this are also not effective and possibly harmful. Right now, we do not know, and it is up to the individual patient to ask his or her doctor, whether a particular recommended testing series or treatment plan has truly been shown to work, or whether it is merely standard protocol without actual proof, as has been this treatment of prostate cancer for elderly. Having worked with a number of older men and offering natural support during chemotherapy treatment, I have seen first-hand the ravages of these chemotherapeutic regimens. Knowing that many of these cancers are exquisitely slow moving, it often never made sense to give these harsh chemicals. Einstein has said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and achieving different results. A second point from an naturopathic perspective suggests to me that it would be more beneficial to keep the screening blood test, and only stop the conventional treatment of many of these cases. This is my thought - if we keep screening men, then we have a non-invasive opportunity to know whether there is greater prostate risk. In this case, we would know to use natural remedies more aggressively . Natural remedies such as garlic, lycopenes, flax meal, saw palmetto, inflammatory herbs, beta-sitosterols, hydrotherapy baths, acupuncture, etc..., which have been shown by research to help decrease prostate cancer progression, and increase prostate health. The conventional world would now prefer to give up screenings altogether for in the conventional world, positive findings only lead to harmful treatments. The naturopathic toolbox is quite a bit gentler. I submit that the screening is still a good non-invasive way to help your natural doctor provide more substantial care if necessary. - health, Dr. Peter



Over-Medicated Kids: how much is too much

Dr. Pina interviewed in Long Island Press

April 2008

Numbers of prescription medications for kids have skyrocketed. Read April Jimenez s informative article about the causes of this, and possible solutions. Experts are interviewed. Dr. Pina s comments start at the end of page three.

Click here to read article



Help License NDs

Tues, March 18, 2008 in Albany

14 states have licensed ND s. Help make NY next. Licensed states include CT, Washington DC, and Vermont. Come join New York state naturopathic doctors, including Dr. Bongiorno - and speak to your legislators to help make licensing happen! We will set up appointments and go with you to speak to your legislator in Albany. If you are a patient of Dr. Peter or Dr. Pina, or just want to support the effort, let us know, and we will set up an appointment with your legislators. It is a fun day to learn about the legislative process and met your politicians in person. Help license NY for naturopathic medicine, and change the course of health care here in New York State and the country. Contact Dr. Bongiorno for more information at



Pediatric Nutrition

Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 10 am to 1PM

Natural Gourmet School - New York City

Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc will be discussing the reasons why nutrition and natural medicine is greatly needed and desirable for best pediatric care. She will cover issues like the rising incidence of obesity, ADD, diabetes, neurodevelopmental disorders, etc… and what parents should know about how to safely use natural therapies in kids. This is definitely a great class for any parent or guardian who wants to know how to best support the health of a child. Contact the Natural Gourmet School at 212-645-5170 or to sign up or for more details.



The Doctors P Talk to the Nation

Hallmark Channel, November 14, 2007 - 7AM

Healthy Aging and Naturopathic Principles

Dr. Pina and I discussed healthy aging techniques on New Morning with Timberly Williams. There are many wonderful choices in natural medicine to not only stave off disease and old age , but more importantly, these choices can help each person feel better at any age. Besides discussing aging, Pina elaborated on the similarities and differences among naturopathic, allopathic and osteopathic doctors. Since this is a national broadcast, our hope is that it will bring the ideas and spirit of naturopathic medicine to a greater audience that will learn this is a choice we all have in our healthcare. With naturopathic medicine and the vital force each one of us possesses, there is healing that can take place that may not always be apparent with conventional views of medicine. health, Dr. Peter

Click here to view the Hallmark Schedule