Ask Dr. John

Should I take supplements if my budget is tight?

SupplementsSo many people are struggling financially and in attempt to save costs they stop taking supplements or switch to generic/mass brands. Products like your everyday multi are garbage! They are a complete WASTE of money. If the budget is extremely tight, it is better to take lower doses of high end products than think you are saving money on store brands. Think of this: The most expensive supplements are ones that do nothing for you, not the ones that help you keep a healthy brain and body.

 

What is your opinion about Quick Weight-loss and Weight Watcher Programs?

Both have come a long way in the past few years. They have moved towards recognizing that Carbs are not all the same. Whole Veggies, meats, whole fruits are the way to go. A Paleolithic diet is the best thing so using a system including that is perfectly fine. Don’t buy their supplements and Food Packages products though! They are very low quality and a waste of money. There are much higher quality options available.

Can I take my vitamins once per day?

Unfortunately while it is convenient, the answer is NO. Some vitamins like fish oil or vitamin D can be taken once, as they have long half lives (don’t break down quickly) and could even be taken further apart. However things like Folic Acid, Lipoic Acid, B-12 etc.. burn up quickly or are excreted. This is why it is best to take your B vitamins etc at least 2x/day and multi’s usually best 1 cap 3x/day. This is assuming you are taking a high quality vitamin like Thorne’s Basic series.

Is Vitamin D really that big of a deal?

Yes, Yes and Yes! Vitamin D has been linked to helping blood sugar, hormone balancing, bone strength, autoimmune conditions, allergies, and more… In fact I am coming to realize most people should take a separate Vitamin D. But D is not all equal. Most prescription D’s are Vit D2 ergocalciferol which is not desirable. Vitamin D3 cholecalciferol is the one you want. I primarily use 3 brands in the office. Important to note: You can get too much Vitamin D, it needs to be tested every so often to determine how sensitive you are and learn your proper dose.

Should I buy orthodics?

It depends. If you have reasonably good feet, getting your feet and arches balanced through PAK treatments is all you should need. However bad genetic feet and people who spend their days on hard surfaces (ex: retail positions) probably do benefit from wearing orthodics in those shoes. DON’T get hard plastic orthodics. Orthodics should have some flex for 90% of people. I like custom made foot levelers over most brands since I can get them at significant savings for you (typically 50-65% off retail)

How much should I walk?

Various sources say 10,000 steps a day is optimal. This equates to around 4-5 miles per day. Since most people walk just under 20 minutes per mile, a good place to start is to try and walk for 1 hour total per day NOT including your normal daily activities. You will feel better. Get the family out morning or night for a daily stroll.

My doctor wants to prescribe me fish oil, should I take it?

Lovaza is a prescription pharmaceutical fish oil! DON’T take it. Natural fish oil can be gotten in close concentration without having been synthetically altered with unknown consequences. Natural fish oil is MUCH cheaper too!’

Are whole food supplements better than other ones?

– This is tricky to answer. Good quality whole food is always a great way to get your nutrition. However “whole food” supplements are usually just whole food based and then contain synthetics and other fillers. It comes down to the specifics in them and the price. Taking a high quality supplement with food seems to be the best way to go. Research seems to show that blended products get the best results too. A true whole food product would be something like Greens first.

Should I buy Organic? – December 2010

 

This information came from Mercola.com online newsletter:

Of the 43 different fruit and vegetable categories tested by the Environmental Working Group and included in their Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce, these 12 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organic:

Buying Organic

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes

In contrast, these foods were found to have the lowest residual pesticide load, making them the safest bet among conventionally grown vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet corn (frozen)
  • Avocado
  • Onion

Profit and Loss – February 2012

 

Thoughts of Empowerment for 2012: This is such a powerful and simple concept I felt it needed to be the focus for the beginning of 2012 newsletters. The analogy of a PnL with your health.

We all know the importance of a profit and loss statement. The majority of people need a budget, case being financially that we need to make more money than we spend otherwise we fail financially. Well, consider this same reality for your health. How is your diet? Do you eat foods that make your body healthier compared to the foods that kill you? Do you take supplements that help you function better compared to drugs that fool your brain into thinking you are healthy? (I’m not saying all drugs are bad in that statement of course). How about your body?

4Do you do healthy exercise like walking and getting outdoors more than your sitting on the couch or in front of a computer? Does your laptop and Smartphone posture happen more often than healthy posture activities? Are you stressed? What are you doing to enhance your soul and spirit? Or have you been ignoring that while focused on basic needs. Another powerful concept I re-learned recently: Money is a temporary motivator. If you want to be healthy and happy you need positive focus and goals. Passion and missions do more for your life than a money guided goal ever will.

I hope this simple concept is as empowering to you as it was to me. We are the only ones who can really call BS on ourselves. Here are some easy first steps if you recognize you may have faltered for a while:

Diet: Eat healthy 9/10 meals per week. Guaranteed you will feel and function better.

Exercise: Get out and walk! So many people focus on weights and heavy activity. Heart, Brain health comes from simple walking or light activity. Get outside and walk for 30 minutes each day and you will make huge changes.

Spirituality: What are you doing for your spirit? Meditate, Pray, go to church, do yoga, do something that helps you focus on the amazing reality that you exist in this moment in this reality.

Overall: Get help! People can be their own worst blockages. Talk to others, come get a visit, get other people involved in helping you get on track.

Plastic Bottles and Containers – March 2011

Plastic BottlesThe most common are #1 and designed for one time use. They leach Xenoestrogens which is linked to cancer and other hormonal disfucntions. #7 while they typically look nice, also do this. Especially when exposed to heat and sunlight. #2, #4 and #5 are your best for reuse; but again, don’t let your water, etc sit long or in a warm atmosphere. If you buy water that has that funky taste. Pour it out!

#1 –>polyethlyene terephthalate #2 –>high-density polyethylene #3 –>PVC polyvinyl chloride #4 –>low-density polyethylene
#5 –> polypropylene #6 –>polystyrene / expanded #7 –> resins or multi-materials


Hydration and Water – January 2011

HydrationWalk into any store nowadays and you will see all sorts of water types and products. There is tons of information around the internet if you want more information but here are some important tidbits.

  1. Bottled Water: – Can be just bottled tap water! – If it has sat in heat will leach very bad estrogen type compounds into the water. – Most are just filtered spring water from local sources. – Many expensive name brands do not release specifics of the bottle source. -When purchased in this form can cost 1800% more than its cost (WAY more than your gasoline)! Nestle was recently ranked one of the top, most consistent and full disclosure mass brands.
  2. Best water for home: Your best quality and long term bang-for-the-buck is reverse osmosis systems. You can find them for ~$150 undercounter versions in many discount stores. They typically last well beyond the recommended exchange times if you are on a municipal water system. Minimally use a faucet or pitcher filter.
  3. Bath time: The Chlorine in water that is very bad for us, evaporates in relatively low temperatures. So what are you breathing when you shower? Chlorine Gas! (Much worse in reality than drinking it). If you have never tried a shower filter you will be amazed at the difference you notice afterwards. While less convenient, I recommend END stage filtration like a shower filter rather than a whole house system, since there is an argument for wanting the chlorine in the pipes themselves to avoid bacteria.