Dr. Oz’s Alternative Health All-Stars

February 8, 2011

Today The Dr. Oz Show was titled ‘Alternative Health All-Stars’. This seems to be a side of medicine that Dr. Oz is getting more and more interested in. He said they will be showing us the holistic approach to healing, touting the benefits of foods and supplements for your body. Dr. Oz said he brought the three experts together because they share a common thread, which is that they are always looking into the future. The experts on today’s show were: Dr. Arthur Agatston, Cardiologist, and author of The South Beach Diet; Dr. Christiane Northrup, OB/GYN, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom; and Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Dermatologist, nutritionist, and creator of the Perricone skin care line.

Dr. Arthur Agatston created the famous South Beath Diet. His diet is high in fiber, rich in vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains, and good fats. Years ago he decided to challenge the Heart Association diet. He said guidelines always lag behind science, by about 5-10 years. He said the Heart Association diet and his diet are really the same now. Agatston said heart disease is the #1 killer in the U.S. today, which is unnecessary since it is preventable. So much of chronic disease is from inflammation, oxidation that is effecting all of our organs. We are in a sense rusting. He said the key to good health is a 3-prong diet: good fats (like olive oil, canola oil, Omega-3s), good carbs (whole grains), and lean proteins. He said the worst fats are saturated fats, in particular the trans-fats (which are found in baked goods). He said good fats are inflammation fighters because when there is inflammation in arteries, they get sticky and clotty. Good fats lubricate arteries and reverse that. Everything flows through. Good fats and good carbs (like whole grains, walnuts, flaxseed oil, Omega-3s) are good for lowering triglycerides – the fatty particles in blood. Dr. Oz said the #1 cause of aging is high blood pressure. Agatston said whole grains, fresh vegetables – the more colorful the better, and low-fat yogurts – all have huge benefits in this area.

Dr. Christiane Northrup forever changed the way we view, and treat, women’s health. She said you cannot treat a woman in the pelvis, without understanding what’s going on with her emotionally. She said one’s thought and beliefs, feeds down to one’s ovaries and uterus. Northrup believes in the mind-body connection. She studied the macrobiotic diet, and saw the amazing impact diet had on people’s health – she had never seen in her conventional training. When she opened her practice, she incorporated healthy eating. She said medicine is a reflection of the culture. It is up to us to change it. The biggest mistake doctors make, is they don’t understand that what’s going on in a woman’s body, is a reflection of what’s going on in her life. As soon as they grasp that, treatment plans will change to reflect things like diet changes and meditation. Too many doctors look at the body in a mechanical way. They just want to look under the hood and fix what’s wrong with the car. Northrup wants women to know that a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates increases insulin, and increased insulin = increased blood sugar. This wreaks havoc with your hormones, regardless of your age. Anything that decreases stress hormones (diet, exercise, meditation), will balance hormones automatically. Dr. Oz then talked about estrogen, since it is the hormone that defines women. It is extremely volatile, and is blamed for a lot of other diseases. Northrup said too much estrogen, not balanced by progesterone, acts as a growth hormone in the cell and causes abnormal cellular growth (estrogen dominance). She said body fat produces estrogen, so that’s why it has become such an issue, because so many Americans are overweight or obese now. She said the best way for women to regulate their hormone levels is to pay attention. For example, when you PMS, what really happens is that things that are important to you in life, come to the surface and hit you between the eyes. If you pay attention to what triggers the tears or the outburst, then you know what to treat. On a side note, she said for people who need hormone therapy, you MUST use a bio-identical kind. Synthetic versions, that are man-made (so they can be patented), will never match the naturally occurring hormone. Synthetics do something different in the brain.

Dr. Nicholas Perricone realized the transforming power of antioxidants in our food. He was the first physician to point out to the public that things we eat, can change the way we look. He believes what you eat affects your health. He thinks we can reverse the aging process. Perricone’s groundbreaking research showed how antioxidants can fight inflammation, which is what is at the base of aging and age-related diseases. He said the biggest contribution he has made to medicine is the fact that we are what we eat. He feels the skin is a perfect barometer of our inner health. He has never seen beautiful, radiant skin, on an unhealthy patient. Even acne clears up from good diet, because acne is an inflammatory disease, just like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Perricone said his latest research surrounds nutrigenomics – which describes how the foods we eat interact with our genes. It means we can suppress disease, and improve health. We can take control of our health. We are not stuck with our genetic inheritance. He said the best things to eat are fresh fruits and vegetables, cold water fish (They have healthy fats in them. That’s how they keep moving in cold water. The oil doesn’t freeze over.), stay away from sugars and starches. You want to put something directly on your skin that is an anti-inflammatory. Perricone recommends products that contain DMAE, which is a topical anti-inflammatory. He said water cress is good for fighting cancer. It contains an element (sulforaphane) that up-regulates the good genes, detoxifies your body, makes the skin beautiful, and decreases your risk of every form of cancer. He recommends eating whole foods over supplements, because as physicians they isolate one little chemical, when there are hundreds of other things that work synergistically to make it more effective. (*I actually read about this somewhere recently. That when you get your vitamins and minerals from food, it is much more beneficial than taking supplements. It’s not just the vitamin that you need to get the value – you also need all the other components in foods, that work together to give your body the true benefit.)

Dr. Oz wrapped up the show by sharing alternative health secrets:

  • Adding lemon to tea is good for a sore throat – fiction. He said the lemon is actually a problem because it is acidic, which can often irritate a sore throat further. You can use it for the flu, but not a sore throat. Try honey, (or agave!) instead.
  • Chia seeds are effective for weight loss – fiction. Dr. Oz said they have a great Omega-3 fatty content, but a big trial was done recently that showed it doesn’t do much for weight loss.
  • Garlic can treat foot fungus – fact. Garlic has a compound in it that can fight off fungus. It has a lot of antifungal nutrients in it. You can rub it directly on your toes.

Here is the link to the episode: (http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/alternative-health-all-stars-part-1). For more on Dr. Agatston, Dr. Northrup, and Dr. Perricone, visit their respective websites: (http://www.southbeachdiet.com/sbd/publicsite/about-dr-agatston.aspx) (www.drnorthrup.com) (www.perriconemd.com)

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