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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Watching Dr Oz 12/15/11: The Power of Prevention – Flu, Heart Attack, Food Poisoning; Supplements for Holiday Stress, 30-Second Tips to Unclog Arteries, Mediterranean Superfoods

The Dr. Oz Show
Air date: December 15, 2011
Prevention Power Hour

  • Tips to help manage top holiday health hazards
  • Manage holiday stress with these supplements
  • Support arteries with 30-second tips
  • Mediterranean superfoods for the diseases people fear most

The holiday season is filled with family, food, parties, and presents and all that hustle and bustle to get it all done causes stress, stress, stress. High stress, financial stress, cold temperatures, and gather with people who present challenges combine to contribute to increased health risks. Today, Dr. Oz takes viewers through the biggest stressors, common ills and most feared diseases that often rear their ugly heads just when we need them the least – the holiday season.


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Holiday Health Hazard #1 – The Flu
Chills, aches, fatigue! Uh oh! It's the flu! Each year people die globally from the flu. The peak flu season begins now. Winter dry air and cold temperatures all the flu virus to stay air born longer.

Dr. David Katz, Contributing Editor to Prevention Magazine and founder of Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, shared with Dr. Oz that seven cases of a new strain of flu is causing concern within the medical community. The swine flu and the human flu have combined and mutated into a new strain of the flu named H3N2. Identified cases have, so far, been confined to the North East of the U.S. Dr. Katz explained that unfamiliar viruses are harder to treat and is sharing three prevention tips to support your immune system during this stress time of the year.

Flu Prevention #1: Super Charge Flu Shot
Dr. Katz recommends exercising the muscle where the flu shot is administered, the deltoids and shoulder area to increase blood flow and create an inflammatory response that will help you deal with flu shot better. He suggested using a jug of liquid laundry detergent to work the muscle until you feel the burn.

[Sounds a little cooky to me but I guess it couldn't hurt and you'll be contributing to your overall exercise time for the day.]

Flu Prevention #2 - North American Ginseng
Studies show taking North America Ginseng can prevent the cold and flu like viruses that thrive this time of year. Dr. Katz recommends taking 200mg of North American Ginseng from December through March to support the reduction in occurrence of upper respiratory viruses.

Flu Prevention #3 - Double Your Vitamin D
Dr. Oz explains that the normal daily recommended amount of Vitamin D is 1000iu. Naturally, Vitamin D comes from the sun but with exposure reduced during the winter months [combined with viruses full of pluck] now is the time to double up on Vitamin D to, according to Dr. Katz, 2000iu daily. Dr. Katz explains that most of his patients tested for Vitamin D levels are found to be deficient. For children, he recommends to adjust the does and to look online for dosing guidance.

[Nutritional information on a supplement is based on about a 150 pound adult. Parents could use that information to determine an appropriate amount for their children or look to the children's vitamin section for a Vitamin D labeled for children. Your doctor and pharmacist are also good resources for dosing amounts.

Vitamin D is a fantastic supporter of the immune system and particularly the innate immune system – the part of the immune system that revs up when the body is exposed to a new germ.

[Vitamin D is a popular topic here on WatchingDrOz and in the health world in general. Here's a link to all the posts on WatchingDrOz that mention Vitamin D for your reading enjoyment.]

Holiday Health Hazard #2 – Heart Attack
Dr. Oz shared a surprising statistic that the number one day for heart related deaths is Christmas, the second is the day after Christmas, and the third is New Year's. Stress, changes in routine and cold weather all contribute to increased risks and occurrence of heart attacks and don't forget all those rich foods and relatives [that may not bring as much cheer as those on commercials].

Really, cold temperatures contribute to heart attacks. For every two degree drop in temperature, explains Dr. Oz, 200 more people have a heart attack. The cold temperatures cause blood to thicken and get stuck in the heart.

Heart Attack Prevention #1 – Heart Attack Prevention Cocktail
Fill a shot glass half full with pure cranberry juice and fill the other half with flax seed oil. Top off with four drops of liquid stevia and you've got a drink to relax blood vessels. Drink this cocktail in the morning and it will be in your system all day long. Dr. Oz also suggests taking two aspirin at night to prevent the thickening of the blood.

[Pure cranberry juice is simply that, pure cranberry without any added sugar. Stevia will provide sweetness and contributes to the blood vessel relaxation.

[Daily aspirin has multiple side effects. Talk to your doctor to determine if daily aspirin is appropriate for you. Read more about the dangers of daily aspirin on a previous WatchingDrOz post.]

Heart Attack Prevention #2 - Parsley
Parsley helps to balance out salt intake, which can often increase during the holidays. Dr. Oz says that for 30 minutes after a meal containing lots of salt, artery function is impaired. When eating a salty meal, Dr. Oz recommends to add 10 sprigs, or two teaspoons parsley to repair the bad things that salt can do to the body.

Holiday Health Hazard #3 – Food Poisoning
Each year, 76 million people will come down with food poisoning and 5,000 will die from it. Be it listeria, e. coli, or staff food poisoning is no picnic. Margot Gilman, Executive Editor of Prevention Magazine shares two tips to help prevent bacteria from ruining the holidays.

Ms. Gilman explains that the sheer volume of food provides a lot of opportunity for food to touch and contaminate each other. Many people bring food as gifts during the holiday and may not be considering food temperatures and time when traveling. Buffet stations can be ripe for bacteria infiltration by leaving food out longer than recommended by the USDA – one hour for cold foods and two hours for warm foods.

Food Poisoning Prevention #1 – Disposable Thermometer
When cooking meat, what do you do with the thermometer after checking meat and the meat is not yet thoroughly cooked? Most people set the thermometer on the counter to reuse after a little more cooking time. Once that thermometer has touched undercooked food it has been contaminated with bacteria. Setting the thermometer on the counter and sticking it back in the meat simply puts in more bacteria.

A disposable thermometer is the go-to tool for professional chefs and are available to us home-chefs. T-Stick Disposable Thermometers are color coded by meat type and can quickly tell you when food is ready, or not. Toss it in the trash after one use to reduce bacteria exposure and food poisoning risks.

[Or you could wash the thermometer after each use but, honestly, how many people think of that?]

Dr. Oz reminded viewers that poultry should be cooked to 165°F and 145°F for meat.

Food Poisoning Prevention #2 - Three Inch Leftover Limit
How do you put food away after a meal, after a holiday meal? Pile food deep in the container, right? Wrong. Ms. Gilman explains that the warmth remaining in the food doesn't the food to cool fast in the refrigerator. She also encourages viewers to use several smaller containers instead of few large containers to provide more cold air to circulate. Putting containers in the back of the refrigerator, where it is typically colder, will provide faster cooling.

Supplements to Survive Holiday Stress

Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, of the Atlantic Center for Holistic & Integrative Medicine, says that during the holidays our nutrition can be depleted, cortisol levels can rise, and hormones can get out of whack. Holiday shopping and the bills that follow topped with the idea of having to buy more and the rising costs of cross off the wish list and we are stress out when it comes to spreading cheer.

One audience member shared that staying within her budget each holiday is a big challenge and each year her gift-giving to-do list grows to include the mail carrier, trash collector and teachers.

[Personally, I'm all for spreading cheer but if it causes stress and bankruptcy, it's just not worth it. It's great to give all the teachers a gift but some years it may not be realistic and that's OK. Perhaps a nice card with kind words about the support they have provided your kids or the joy that came from something really fun that they taught your kids.

I've heard from a couple of friends who are teachers that they get tired of the gift-for-the-sake-of-giving. How many #1 Teacher Coffee Cups can one person stand? Look at the Goodwill and you'll see a large variety of “teacher” gifts on display.

If you have the deep need to give something, maybe bake a batch of pumpkin bread and give each teacher a small loaf, or cookies, or homemade hot cocoa mix, or spiced pecans. If these gifts will break the bank, take the year off from teacher gifts, mail carrier gifts and trash collector gifts. Right here, right now, I give you permission.]

Holiday Stress Support #1: Phosphatidylserine
Phosphatidylserine is a phospho lipid that supports dopamine production, the feel good hormone. Dr. Bhatia recommends taking phosphatidylserine at 100mg 2 to 3 times a day but, she warns not if you're allergic to soy or on blood thinners.

Holiday Stress Support #2: Jujube
Obsessing over the holiday? Gifts? Meal shopping and preparation? Relatives?

The supplement Jujube [not a candy at the movies], a Chinese herb, comes from both the fruit and seed of the plant. Dr. Bhatia says it looks like a date and tastes like an apple. She says that Jujube can help to reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels giving a sound night of sleep that can allow for calm and a better reaction when confronted with holiday stressors. Dr. Bhatia recommends taking 250mg of Jujube an hour before bed. Average cost is around $7.00 at stores and online.

Holiday Stress Support #3: Theanine
Do the holiday's bring a warm, fuzzy, and frazzled feeling? When that frazzled feeling comes on, Dr. Bhatia suggests theanine as an anti-anxiety remedy. Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in green and black tea, increases mental function, supports dopamine and Gaba production in the body. Dr. Bhatia recommends taking 200mg of theanine daily. Average cost is around $12.00.

Dr. Oz says that all these stress supplements are well researched. Dr. Bhatia explained that they can be taken together but at different times. She says that phosphatidylserine can be taken in the morning, theanine can be taken any time of day, and Jujube is best at bed time.

30-Second Kitchen Fixes to Unclog Arteries

Dr. Oz showed an animation of what happens in the body when arteries get clogged. The heat becomes thicker with high blood pressure. Yellow streaks form in the blood vessels by plaque build up. Overtime the plaque grows blocking blood flow and increasing the risk of stroke and reducing circulation throughout the body including the organs.

30-Second Fix #1 - Blood Flowing Smoothie (Circulation Smoothie on
Add ½ cup of pomegranate juice, ½ banana, ½ yogurt, and 5 strawberries to a blender to create, what Dr. Oz calls, a punching bag against heart disease. Antioxidants in this drink help to clear up oxidants gathered the day before.

30-Second Fix #2 - Spice Up Your Veggies
Use oregano and dark cocoa powder to your veggies to increase their heart supporting abilities.

Add oregano to green beans to support the lowering of the bad LDL cholesterol and supports the raising of good HDL cholesterol.

Add dark cocoa power to butter squash for a sweet tooth satisfying dish. Flavonoids in dark cocoa are supportive of health blood pressure levels and, according to Dr. Oz, can prevent blood clots.

30-Second Fix #3 - Mulled Wine
Simmer red wine with cinnamon sticks and cloves. Red wine relaxes the blood vessels, cinnamon supports blood sugar, and cloves relax the heart. This makes for a festive holiday drink, or to make any day a festive day, and support your cardiovascular system at the same time.

New Superfood for Diseases You Fear Most

Dr. Oz says that an olive in your martini glass or on a salad may help to prevent heart disease and cancer. Olives are at the core the Mediterranean diet. Dr. Russell Greenfield, an integrative medicine specialist visited Dr. Oz today to share information on the health benefits of olives.

There are so many different olives, how do you know which is the best?
Dr. Greenfield explained that each olive is processed differently with are so many types, don't worry about which is best or worst simply eat a variety.

Superfood for Heart Disease - Olive Leaf Extract
To prevent heart disease, Dr. Greenfield recommends taking olive leaf extract which has been studied in animals and humans and shows signs of being able to lower heart disease and reduce stroke risks. In the liquid form, Dr. Greenfield recommends taking 500ml twice daily and in the pill form 500mg once a day to start then increase to twice a day once tolerance has been established.

Superfood for Breast Cancer – Olive Oil
Olive oil contains high levels of healthy oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid that may prevent expression of a specific gene that is responsible for breast cancer. Dr. Greenfield recommends 2 – 4 tablespoons of olive oil daily. When buying olive oil look on the label for “extra virgin” and “cold pressed”.

Colors of the oil may differ by product. A taste test can be the best indicator of the oil's quality. A high quality olive oil will give a peppery taste in the back of throat which indicates an added benefit of more anti-inflammatory activity in the oil.

Superfood for Colon Cancer – Kalamata Olives
From, a phenol found in high concentrations in Kalamata olives, may help prevent DNA damage and abnormal cell growth. Other olive oil phenols may play a role in helping to prevent colon cancer, either by impacting the production of irritant bile acids in the gut or by a direct protective effect on the lining of the large intestine. In addition, a compound found in the skin of olives, called maslinic acid, may promote the programmed death of colon cancer cells.

Dr. Greenfield says that each olive contains 2mg of cancer fighting nutrition.

What's In Dr. Oz's Bag?

Dr. Oz keeps his doctors bag with him everywhere he goes. Inside his bag are items support everyday health concerns.

What snack do I keep in my bag to prevent hunger? Pumpkin seeds or granola?
Pumpkin seeds contain healthy protein [for blood sugar support and satiety (feeling full)] and magnesium for bones strong. In some parts of the country, pumpkin seeds are called papitas. Granola contains sugar which Dr. Oz wants to reduce. Dr. Oz says that he can take pumpkin seeds through the airport and they have not been taken away, granola might be taken during security screening.

What do I keep in my bag to fight bad breath? A disposable toothbrush or peppermint?
A disposable toothbrush removes plaque from the teeth to promote better breath. Peppermint has sugar which, again, Dr. Oz wants to reduce. The disposable toothbrush does not require water and can be used quickly and easily.

What do I keep in my bag to protect myself from the sun? Baseball hat or sunglasses?
Sunglasses protect the eyes from UV radiation damage. Dr. Oz encourages viewers to use them 12 months of year. A hat great to protect the hair but it does not protect from reflective rays bouncing off the sidewalk and snow. Make sure the glasses block 99% of both UV-A and UV-B sun rays.

Place your vote for this week's quiz
and return on Saturday for the answer.

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