Saturday, August 16, 2008

Artichokes, Doctors, and Special Opportunities!

Artichoke Extract Found to Lower Cholesterol Levels

Researchers at England’s University of Reading have published a study in which they found that an artichoke leaf extract can help reduce cholesterol levels. Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) has been used in Europe as a remedy for indigestion and gastrointestinal problems for many years. In this study 75 healthy volunteers were given either 1280 mg of an artichoke leaf extract (ALE) or a placebo.

The use of a placebo elevates the study to the highest benchmark for scientific studies- the double-blind placebo controlled trial.

After 10 weeks the study participant’s blood was evaluated for cholesterol levels. The researchers found that there was a modest, but statistically significant, reduction in blood cholesterol levels in those patients who had been taking the ALE.
This study is great because it demonstrates that yet another natural product has the ability to help reduce cholesterol levels in as little as two and half months. Bringing cholesterol levels down to healthy levels is extremely important. Several chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome have been associated with elevated levels of blood cholesterol. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are over 24 million Americans with cardiovascular disease. That number is pretty depressing, especially because heart disease is something that we do to ourselves.
For the most part heart disease is preventible. Adopting a lifestyle which incorporates healthy foods, stress reduction (which could also be termed “happiness elevation...”), and a reasonable amount of daily movement is really all it takes. Plus, one of the changes really is to start being happier and who isn’t for that?

Chances are, that if you are reading this naturopathic newsletter, then you’re no stranger to promoting health with lifestyle changes. Naturopathic doctors are the undisputed heavy weight champions of salubrious living. In addition to lifestyle changes such as exercising (30-45 min fives times a week), practicing happiness enhancement (yoga, gardening, meditation, reading, taking a walk), and dietary changes like eating more fiber (30-35 grams per day), limiting “bad fat” and grease intake (think trans fatty acids), and drinking enough water (1/2 body weight in ounces), there are a number of natural products which ND’s use to fight heart disease. Supplements such essential fatty acids, red rice yeast extract, gugul, niacin, essential fatty acids, and policosanol are all routinely used. Choosing the right supplement to take should be a decision based on each person’s individual needs.

So now, with the results of this study, we can add artichoke leaf extract to the list of those natural producs that can be used to fight heart disease. By making healthy everyday choices and taking the right supplements good health can be yours!

In Health,
Jake Psenka, ND

Two New Doctors Joining NFC!

This month we are proud to announce the addition of two fantastic doctors to the Naturopathic Family Care team. Dr. Shelley Crombach, DC, and Dr. Marianne Marchese, NMD will both begin seeing patients this month.

We’re all very excited to have these docs joining our practice. They both have many great skills and talents and are very nice people. You can read about each of the new docs on their NFC webpages by clicking the links below:

Dr. Shelley Crombach, DC
Dr. Marianne Marchese, NMD