You may have heard of the LAP-BAND® System. It is basically an inflatable (with water) band placed around the opening to the stomach. It reduces the amount of food the stomach can hold and makes you feel full faster. It’s approved by the FDA for those who are roughly 100 pounds overweight. However, a recent FDA advisory panel voted 8 to 1 to make the procedure available for those with a much less severe weight problem.

The exact criteria used to determine whether or not a less overweight person would qualify for the surgery are complicated, but a fair estimate would include those who weigh only an extra 65 pounds. The FDA doesn’t always accept the recommendations of an advisory panel but it does more often than not. If the FDA accepts this advice, roughly 27 million adults will be eligible for the LAP-BAND System.

One study found that the majority of the 149 participants lost 33 percent of their excess weight in the first year after Lap-Band surgery, but critics are warning that allowing 27 million adults to get this surgery would be a mistake. Why?

It has not been tested on anyone outside the current approval limitations.

Long-term European studies show an increase in complications and failure rates over time. In fact, even a 2007 study funded by Allergan (the makers of the Lap-Band) found that up to 76 percent of patients developed complications over the first three years. The complications included leakage and infection along the Lap-Band, frequent vomiting, an inability to swallow, erosion of the Lap-Band and slippage or failure.

Weight loss tends to peak at two years.

Studies show the procedure has a 50 percent failure rate.

In November 2010, Allergan recalled 152,000 bands because of a defect.

Although many insurance companies cover the cost of the initial Lap-Band surgery, they often do not cover the surgery to get it taken out. Either the patient has to pay, or it will come out of taxpayers’ pockets.

Ironically, and perhaps most importantly, it would be hard for anyone to not lose weight following the dietary and exercise guidelines recommended to accompany Lap-Band surgery.

One of the people giving a testimonial on the Lap-Band site states that she tried every diet going and nothing worked until the Lap-Band. Aside from making it impossible to not cut down on portion size, the recommendations on follow-up for the surgery include no junk food, no sugar, lots of protein, lots of exercise, and so on. Did the person try that? It’s more likely they didn’t because, really, there’s virtually no way you could avoid losing significant weight if you did that. You may have a medical condition that prevents success, but that condition would not get addressed by the Lap-Band.

All in all, getting on the right diet and exercise program, and addressing any health issues that are preventing you from losing weight, may be a better way to go than gastric surgery.


Women’s Enews,,0

Enhanced by Zemanta


A Dentist and her Dental assistant
Image via Wikipedia

A recent scientific study confirms that dental sealants used on millions of school children are releasing the potentially dangerous chemical bisphenol A (BPA), the resin used in many kinds of plastics, including some water bottles and metal food can liners.

A growing library of evidence strongly suggests that BPA has harmful health effects, including heart disease and certain cancers, and abnormal brain development in children.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, cautions that dental sealants, which are brushed onto teeth to smooth them out and reduce decay, as well as some plastic-based white fillings, do contain precursors for BPA which become BPA after coming in contact with saliva.

BPA-related compounds — such as bis-DMA — leech into the saliva, where they are converted to pure BPA, and can be found up to three hours after the filling was placed, according to the authors.

Although the amount of BPA absorbed and the duration of systemic BPA absorption was not clear from the available data, the study did show that scrubbing and rinsing sealants and fillings immediately after they are applied removes 88 to 95 percent of the compounds that can become BPA, reducing whatever risk there might be.

Nevertheless, Dr. Abby Fleisch of Children‘s Hospital Boston, who led the research, advises caution: “We would recommend avoiding sealants during pregnancy.”

BPA is classified as an endocrine disruptor because of its estrogen-like effects on the body. Such chemicals may cause health problems, but most of the direct evidence regarding BPA comes from animal studies, not human studies.

The study authors were unable to recommend BPA-free brands of dental sealants and composites. Manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients in their products, making such choices impossible for dentists and patients.

Manufacturers continue to use compounds that have not been studied for human safety, such as triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA) and urethane dimethacrylate (UDMA), which may or may not pose other risks. The FDA and other government agencies responsible for our health and safety continue to ignore the situation.

In fact, there are tens of thousands of chemicals commonly used in products of every kind and description that have never been tested.

In light of the uncertainties and lack of scientific studies, thoughtful people, particularly parents, might best rely on good old-fashioned frequent brushing to maintain oral health.

SOURCE: Pediatrics, Sept. 2010,

Enhanced by Zemanta


:Original raster version: :Image:Food and Drug...
Image via Wikipedia

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be increasing its push for more research into antibiotics, says FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, because of escalating antibiotic resistance among many, if not most, bacteria that cause infectious disease in humans.

Use of antibiotics is widespread for common colds and ear infections in children, and they are added to chicken and livestock feed which are then consumed by people. The results are whole new populations of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that do not respond to even the most modern antibiotics, turning formerly ordinary infections into life-threatening diseases.

Also, because antibiotics are destructive to the immune system, taking them year after year has weakened the defenses we have to fight these illness and diseases on our own.

Research and development of new drugs is low, and the range of new antibiotics is limited. “We no longer have effective ways to treat serious infectious disease. Clearly we must encourage more judicious use of these important drugs,” Dr. Hamburg said.

The commissioner said that the agency has increased its internal discussions about the antibiotic resistance problem, and is talking to consumer health groups and the food industry about regulations regarding the use of antibiotics in animal feed and new guidelines on the use of antibiotics for patients. The FDA will increase its collaboration with outside groups in academia and government-industry health organizations next year, she said.

Experts have been warning for years that we are heading into a “post-antibiotic world” when antibiotics will no longer work. The World Health Organization calls antibiotic resistance one of the three greatest threats to human health.

Because of the improper use of antibiotics, strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics are now killing hospitals patients around the world. If efforts to combat the problem are not launched now, even more infections that are still curable will make a dangerous comeback. Just like 100 years ago, and thousands of years before that, doctors will be unable to treat a host of common infections.

Here are a couple of relevant ideas:

While the scientists are trying to come up with new antibiotics, we can help avoid illness by maximizing our immune system health and bodily defenses ourselves. A balanced diet of healthy organic foods and regular exercise, along with high-quality vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, can go a long way to healing and to prolonging health.

Regular Chiropractic treatment also helps fend off illness by maintaining positive spinal alignment, ensuring proper nerve communications with the entire body, restore proper blood flow and encourage the body to heal naturally and improve overall function.

Want more information? Check out our website at

Enhanced by Zemanta

Use Care When Supplementing with Fish Oil

There’s a tremendous amount of confusion about omega-3 oils and removing the confusion is the purpose of this post.

Fish Oil really started the omega-3 market and is an amazing supplement, and the research on the benefits of animal-based omega-3 fats (DHA and EPA) show it to be outstanding.

Fish oils are typically extracted from menhaden, sardines, and herring; fish that are generally not consumed by the average person. These types of fish are indeed very high in EPA and DHA, and the health benefits of these fats are well established.

Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fat

In fact, most of the health benefits associated with omega-3 fats are linked to animal-based omega-3 fats like EPA and DHA, not plant-based omega-3 fats like ALA.

Even the US FDA, which denies most nutritional claims, acknowledges the cardiovascular benefits of animal based omega-3 fats:

  • Antiarrhythmic: counteracting or preventing cardiac arrhythmia
  • Antithrombotic: tending to prevent thrombosis (a blood clot within a blood vessel)
  • Antiatherosclerotic: preventing fatty deposits and fibrosis of the inner layer of your arteries from forming
  • Anti-inflammatory: counteracting inflammation (heat, pain, swelling, etc.)
  • Improves endothelial function: a major factor in promoting the growth of new blood vessels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers triglyceride concentrations

Researchers are also attributing a number of other health benefits to omega-3 fat, including:

Unfortunately, the majority of people who take supplemental omega-3 to protect and improve their health are taking the wrong fish oil.

I say unfortunately, because as you will find out, at least 25 percent and maybe even as much as half of the fish oil on the market are damaged products that can do more harm than good…

Why Any Fish Oil Isn’t Your Ideal Choice for Omega-3s

Yes, despite all the established health benefits of animal-based omega-3 fats, any fish oil is actually NOT the ideal source of these fats.

The primary drawback with fish oil is the problem with oxidation, which can occur at any point during the processing, or after you open the bottle. Dr. Moerck explains:

“There are a number of ways in which fish oil can be processed. One is by just simply squeezing the fish — in some cases with cod liver oil to actually remove the livers from the cod — and then remove the oil from those by classical mechanical techniques.

In some cases, to get the last few ounces of oil out of the fish, they use solvents, or they use fish oil as a solvent by taking fish oil that’s already been processed, using it as an extraction method to get more fish oil out.

Every time fish oil is subjected to contact with oxygen, however, it starts going rancid. It starts oxidizing.”

Omega-3 Fats are Incredibly Fragile

Omega-3 fats are extremely fragile and are VERY easily damaged by oxygen. This is true for ALL omega-3 sources, whether animal-based or plant-based.

This is where Nutri-West’s oil stands out.

The processing, the bottle, the purification process are all first rate.

Typical Fish Oils Contain Higher Amounts of Contamination

Another primary concern that is not widely recognized is that many of the fish oils on the market are contaminated with relatively large amounts of metals and toxic chemicals. And not just heavy metals. In fact, toxins like mercury are typically screened for, at least in higher quality brands.

But there are other contaminations that are more unlikely to be identified or removed.

Some of the most common contaminants found in fish, aside from mercury, include:

  • PCBs
  • Dioxin
  • PDEs
  • PCP’s
  • Radioactive substances like strontium
  • Toxic metals such as cadmium, lead, chromium and arsenic

If you’ve been in or around my practice for any length of time you know that I’m a huge supporter and user of Nutri-West’s fish oil and co-factors.

And some of the specific reasons for Nutri-West are:

  • Nutri-West manufacturing is run and governed under the rules of the Federal GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice Act) and is inspected at regular intervals by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • The Wyoming FDA uses the Nutri-West GMP book as the standard for the Wyoming FDA Good Manufacturing Practice Manual.
  • Nutri-West has a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with ultra-modern processing and manufacturing equipment.

If I can be of additional assistance regarding fish oil contact my office at (702) 565-7474 or go to

Enhanced by Zemanta