Nutrition Research Update: 2019

Photo: Grateful thanks to Sara Dubler on Unsplash.

Not many of our readers realize that Dr. Connie and I not only work hard to stay informed about the latest findings in nutrition research in order to help our patients. We’re also big-time foodies!

Our relationship with food is split down the middle. To prepare for counseling our patients, we read respected journals on food and nutrition. And as foodies we subscribe to a number of excellent food magazines (check the ad-free milk street). We also conduct personal research during yearly international trips to countries known for their gastronomic delights: Spain (three times), Turkey (twice), Greece, Japan, France…etc.

Marcel Hernandez, ND

This year, we hope the U.S. government will allow us to travel to  Cuba, not only to savor the yummy Creole cuisine but to visit with Dr. Marcel’s family whom he hasn’t seen in more than 20 years.

Now let’s switch back to the research side and see what the folks in the white coats are finding out about our food.

Organic milk is better for you than non-organic milk

A study published by the Washington State University Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources found that organic milk contains more heart-healthy fatty acids than regular milk.

Another study, of drug residues in organic and conventional milk, found that the majority of samples of conventional, non-organic milk tested positive for chronic low levels of certain pesticides, illegal antibiotics, and growth hormones. The organic samples either tested much lower, or contained none of the harmful substances.

Fish oil: one of the very best additions to your diet

Why do we recommend fish oil supplementation to almost every patient we see? Because extensive research has demonstrated its benefits for preventing and treating serious diseases such as multiple sclerosis, prostate cancer, post-partum depression, mental health disorders, poor memory, inflammatory conditions, heart disease, and more. (See a Medical News Today report.)

Mercury and fish – which to eat, which to avoid?

Mercury toxicity is sinister, since the symptoms may only appear years after you’ve had regular minimal to moderate exposure. Worse, when the symptoms appear, the brain and nervous system are the organs most affected.

The symptoms may include nervousness, exaggerated changes in mood or affect (emotional lability), insomnia, headaches, muscle twitch, tremors, decreased cognitive function, loss of coordination, and more.

Most mercury in our environment is a byproduct of industrialization. Unfortunately for those of us who love our seafood, the greatest concentrations of mercury are found in fish. However, there’s no need to avoid all fish, since certain types sequester more mercury than others. If you’d like to learn more, here’s an article that explains which fish are considered safer, and the types to avoid.

Nutrition and insomnia – the new findings

Poor sleep is one of the most common complaints we hear from our patients, along with fatigue and low energy.

A June 2019 news release on findings by the American Society for Nutrition suggests that insomnia may be caused, in part, by a deficiency of critical nutrients. Check the press release for details.

The heart disease epidemic – almost entirely preventable?

Many Americans eat animal flesh three times a day. In this country grilling has been turned into an art form. Despite countless studies advocating the benefits of a low-meat, high-fiber diet, your menu choices, once you leave the West Coast or the Northeast may be limited to iceberg lettuce salads and canned succotash.

A recent study at Tufts University found that roughly a million deaths per year from cardiovascular disease can be directly attributed to not eating enough fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin D: what’s the big hullabaloo?

Every single cancer patient I’ve ever treated has had abysmally low serum levels of Vitamin D.

Getting sufficient Vitamin D is important for a variety of reasons. It’s not just critical for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Current research suggests that vitamin D may protect against a range of conditions that include cancer, heart disease, type 1 diabetes, immune system deficiencies, cognitive impairment, and more.

If you’re reading this and you’ve never had your Vitamin D serum levels checked, it’s important to do so. At Pacific Naturopathic, we can help you determine the correct dosing levels to achieve and maintain a safe and protective serum level. (Follow this link to a WebMD report on the need for Vitamin D.)

For information about the services we offer at Pacific Naturopathic, please give us a call at 650-961-1660, or use the convenient Contact Form to get in touch. Thank you!