Sunday, May 30, 2010

Interesterified Fat - A Fat Worse Than Trans Fat For The Next Generation

Interesterified fat is a new ingredient you're gonna start to see on your ingredient lists, and please watch out for it. Being someone who's often talking about nutrition, sports medicine and health I'm usually engrossed in a variety of conversations at parties and yesterday was no exception. A friend came to me with a box of graham crackers and asked me about some new fat she'd never seen before. I read the ingredient list and there it was, a fat I had never seen before either. So I wake up this morning and to my amazement still remembering the name of the fat I plug the name into Google and start to read. To me it started to seem like this was the food industries new replacement for hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oil. A new form of fat reportedly equally as bad as trans fat. But, without some science, the alarmists out there could just be paranoid. Further investigation was needed.

So I went to the internet source of all things research - PubMed. Pub Med has the synopsis of most registered scientific research journals and if there's been research done, you'll at least find an abstract on PubMed, enough to give you a good idea and a good reference or two to further your research.

A n d s o I d i d...

It seems public education & awareness of trans fats are pressuring industry so much they have to "stick and move" and try to find some other alternative to strategically keep their products on the shelf longer and preserve those higher profit margins. You see, the more a company has to rotate their products in/out of a grocery store because of expiration dates, the less profit they make on those items. Understandably, any business owner would want to do the same thing. But with trans fats, hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils and the new Interesterified Fat, they are doing it at the expense of your health.

To get an Interesterified Fat, they "hydrogenate the oils fully. The oils become fully saturated and there are no trans fats left. But fully hydrogenated oil is hard and inedible. So the smart aleck scientists mix it with liquid oils and put it through other chemical processes to create a semi-solid grease like margarine and vegetable shortening"(1)

According to an article in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism entitled Stearic acid-rich interesterified fat and trans-rich fat raise the LDL/HDL ratio and plasma glucose relative to palm olein in humans by Sundram K, Karupaiah T, Hayes KC.; both interesterified fat and trans fat from partial hydrogenation were found to raise LDL and lower HDL cholesterol(2).

This means, food scientists have found a brand new way to raise your bad fat, lower your good fat and give you a greater chance at having a heart attack or stroke at a younger age. Once again proving my point that science is hard pressed to improve on something mother nature made.

And...guess what??? That's not all the good news. Fasting plasma glucose levels tested at the end of each test fat period revealed a significantly high value after interesterified fat intake, even more than with the partially hydrogenated oil tested. This stuff raises the amount of glucose (sugar) streaming through your blood, something found in ALL of the humans subjects tested(2). This means your triglycerides go higher too.'re getting closer to that heart attack...

So the news is out. Let me restate it plainly and right from the research (with my comment in red).

1. Both interesterified fat and trans fat from partial hydrogenation were found to raise LDL and lower HDL cholesterol(2). This means it raises your bad cholesterol and lowers your good cholesterol.

Fasting plasma glucose levels tested at the end of each test fat period revealed a significantly high value after interesterified fat intake. This means this new interesterified fat increases the sugar levels in your blood.

So consider this a public health warning: Interesterified Fats are as bad and possibly worse than trans fats. Stay away from them. There are no safe levels of ingesting trans fats and I'm telling you there's no safe level of consuming interesterified fats.

Now, for the political types out there:

Being a businessman myself, I'm all for profits. I'm not going to hide that. I mean, why else would you be in business? But, being a physician, I have to fully explain to each patient all the possible side effects of my treatments. I actually have a form that has all of the possible side effects on it that the patient has to read, sign and date. Then, after than, some patients ask me about them and we have a conversation based on those possibilities as it pertains to their particular case. AND...I'm still in business. So why is it we have to have yet another way to deceive the public that an ingredient in the "food like substances" they are selling is is bad for us? Why wont the government (the people supposedly out to protect us) make industry fully and openly inform us so we can make an educated decision for ourselves and our families? If there's an ingredient in a company's product that is harmful to the public, it should have a warning label - period! Let the public decide after that. After all, this is one main factor that drives supply and demand and is an integral part of capitalism! Industry can't be industry with out the consumer. I challenge industry to openly and honestly inform us of the ingredient in their products...and in plain ole' simple language.

Consider yourself informed and warned.

'nuff said

Dr. T


2. Stearic acid-rich interesterified fat and trans-rich fat raise the LDL/HDL ratio and plasma glucose relative to palm olein in humans; Sundram K, Karupaiah T, Hayes KC. Nutrition & Metabolism 2007, 4:3 (15 January 2007)

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He is 1 of 230 chiropractic sports injury specialists in the United States and practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Critical Examination Of Blood Type Diets

This is one of the most popular questions I get when I discuss nutrition and health. What do I think about "blood type diets". My answer is that it sounded interesting but I don't know if the science behind it is sound. Turns out, I was right. Blood type diets work for 44-62% of the people but for all the wrong reasons. When he ends up recommending to 44-62% of his readers is a paleo-diet. Unfortunately, his reasoning is all wrong because hot got his blood types wrong according to evolutionary science. Dr. Loren Cordain PhD explains it all as he examines this popular diet theory...

Enjoy the explanation.....

Dr. T

A Critical Examination Of Blood Type Diets

- by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor

The History And Characterization Of Blood Type Diets

Blood type diets were first popularized by Peter D’Adamo, a naturopathic physician, in his best selling 1996 book, Eat Right 4 Your Type1. The inspiration for Dr. D’Adamo’s book came from subjective clinical impressions of his father, James D’Adamo; also a naturopathic physician who first proposed this concept in his book, One Man’s Food is Someone Else’s Poison 16 years earlier in 19802. As a member of Bastyr College’s first graduating class of naturopathic physicians in 1982, Peter became interested in attempting to validate his father’s subjective and personal observations from reviews of the scientific and medical literature – thus the fundamental reason for Peter writing his hugely successful diet book.

The underlying premise for Peter’s dietary ideas is that ABO blood type is the most important issue in determining healthful diets. He advocates separate diets for people with one of the four most common blood types (A, B, O or AB), and has further subdivided his dietary recommendations into three arbitrary ancestral categories: "African, Caucasian and Asian." Hence 12 subgroups (4 blood types x 3 ancestral categories) exist – each with differing dietary recommendations. Each blood type diet includes 16 food groups which are divided into three categories: 1) highly beneficial, 2) neutral and 3) avoid. For each of the 12 subgroups differing recommendations exist for the three food categories. If these nutritional recommendations sound somewhat complex to you, I had to re-read them about a dozen times to get the drift myself. Although I don’t want to get ahead of the game, for the observant reader, you may be curious to know how Dr. D’Adamo dreamed up this complex dietary system and if a long trail of experimental human clinical trials exist to support Peter’s recommendations? I, too, had to ask myself these same questions.

Before we get into the science or lack thereof of the blood type diet, I’ve got to flesh out a few more of the underlying concepts. Dr. D'Adamo believes that blood group O ("O for Old") was the earliest human blood type and that all humans at one time maintained this blood group before the subsequent evolutionary appearance of blood types A, B and AB (reference 1, pp. 6-13). Accordingly, Peter believes that people with the O blood type had ancestors who were skillful hunters and whose diets were high in meat and animal proteins. For modern people with the O blood type he advocates a high meat, low carbohydrate "hunter" diet, with virtually no wheat, few grains or legumes and limited dairy products. Do these dietary recommendations ring a bell for you, or sound vaguely familiar? Keep this thought in mind, as it may well explain the lasting popularity of Peter’s first book.

Peter now goes on to explain to us that blood group A ("A is for Agrarian") "appeared somewhere in Asia or the Middle East between 25,000 and 15,000 B.C." . . . and "allowed them to better tolerate and absorb cultivated grains and other agricultural products" (reference 1, p. 8). For type A’s, Dr. D’Adamo recommends a mainly vegetarian diet - the diet that he personally follows. However, more importantly he recommends that blood type A’s also avoid wheat and dairy (do these recommendations also sound familiar?) and replace meats with some "highly beneficial" fish and seafood – Hmm, lots of fresh fruits and veggies for type A’s, little wheat or dairy and fish instead of meat? Keep these recommendations in mind.

Peter next tells us that blood type B, "developed sometime between 10,000 and 15,000 B.C. in the area of the Himalayan highlands – now part of present-day Pakistan and India (reference 1, p. 10). Peter suggests that type B’s have evolved the most varied diet and can include both meats and dairy in their daily menu, but again should avoid wheat. Before we move on to the final blood type (AB) it should be noted that Dr. D’Adamo generally eschews highly processed foods (chips, pastries, candy, ice cream, snack food, fast food, etc.) for all blood groups – once again, does this not sound like another familiar dietary suggestion?

From Peter’s diagram on page 6 of his book, he indicates that blood type AB appeared first in humans sometime between 500 B.C. and 900 A.D. He characterizes "AB is for Modern" and states "Until ten or twelve centuries ago, there was no Type AB blood." (reference 1, p. 13). Peter indicates that AB’s are a conglomeration of type A and type B blood types, and consequently their diets should reflect a mixture of the recommendations he makes for these blood groups. AB’s are therefore advised to eat meats, seafood and dairy, and to once again avoid wheat.

The Reality And The Science Of Blood Type Diets

The reality of Dr. D’Adamo’s book, Eat Right 4 Your Type, is that it has overwhelmingly become one of the sustained, best selling diet books of the past two decades, and continues to sell well on Amazon and other retail outlets – 14 years after its initial release in 1996. Unfortunately, as I will shortly demonstrate, Dr. D’Adamo’s explanations for the health-promoting effects of his diet have little or nothing to do with ABO blood groups. His claims about the origins of human blood types and the dietary selective pressures which elicited the four common blood types are completely incorrect and have no basis in the current scientific literature. By critically examining the faulty concepts and evidence underlying this book, it becomes almost comical how Peter’s series of errors, incorrect assumptions and conclusions actually ended up with dietary recommendations that may have therapeutic value for about 60% or more of the world’s population. The paradoxical nature of this book (bad science, pretty good dietary recommendations) helps to explain its lasting commercial success.

Actual Origins of Human Blood Types

Peter’s suggestion that O is the original human blood type is incorrect. Studies in humans, chimpanzees and bonobos (a specific type of chimpanzee) show that alleles (different versions of genes) coding for the A blood type was actually the most ancient version of the ABO blood group, and was shared prior to the evolutionary split between chimpanzees and hominids five to six million years ago3-5. Hence, Peter’s suggestion that blood type A appeared 15,000 to 25,000 years B.C. in response to dietary changes brought about by the new foods (i.e. grains) of the agricultural revolution is not only incorrect, but off base by about five million years. Now, let’s play a little game of logic and apply the correct data to Peter’s reasoning that "the original ancestral human blood type should be eating a high protein meat based diet." Since type A is the actual ancestral human blood type (rather than O), if we use Peter’s logic then he - himself a type A - should not be following a vegetarian diet, but rather a high protein meat based diet. These kinds of games of logic - although fun to play - more importantly underscore the fundamental and incorrect assumptions upon which Peter’s book is based.

The next blood type that appeared in the human lineage was B - which split from A - about 3.5 million years ago3-5, not the recent 10,000 to 15,000 years B.C. origin that Peter has proposed. The O blood type split from A about 2.5 million years ago3-5 and consequently does not represent the oldest blood type as claimed by Peter. The only fact that Peter correctly deduced about the origin of human blood types was that AB was the youngest, but once again he completely missed the correct date, as it was actually about 260,000 years ago3 - not the mere 1,500 years ago that he has proposed.

So Peter has got all of his blood group origins messed up, his dates wrong, and the evolutionary splits incorrect. Why does this matter and how does it affect his dietary theories? To begin with, even if we were to believe in Peter’s underlying assumptions that diets should be prescribed upon blood types, he would have to completely revamp his original recommendations. Type A’s should be eating a high protein, meat-based diet rather than the vegetarian fare he suggests. But what about type O’s? With the correct evolutionary information, should they now be eating a vegetarian menu? And what about type B’s and type AB’s – what should they now be eating? Most telling of the logical failings of Peter’s blood type diet is the observation that all four of the major blood types had evolved almost 250,000 years before the coming of the Agricultural Revolution 10,000 years ago. Yet Peter would have us convinced that three of the four major blood groups only came into existence slightly before or after the Agricultural Revolution, and as a direct result from dietary selective pressures wrought by Neolithic food introductions.

So, why has Peter’s book become one of the best selling diet books in the past two decades? Because it works – but only for about 44-62% of the people who adopt it. Remember that for blood type O, Peter advocates a high meat, low carbohydrate "hunter" diet; with virtually no wheat, few grains or legumes and limited dairy products. If we look at the frequencies of the four major blood types for the entire world population, blood type O is by far the most frequently occurring version. It is found in 62% of all the world’s people, followed by A (21%), B (16%) and AB (1-3%)6. In the United States, the four blood type frequencies are O (44%), A (42%), B (10%) and AB (4%)7. So you can see that Peter has essentially advocated a diet similar to the Paleo Diet for between 44 and 62% of his readers. Quite simply, Peter’s diet works for about 44 to 62% of the people who adopt it – not because of their blood type, but because it emulates the same diet that natural selection has designed for us all.


1. D'Adamo, P. with Whitney, C. Eat Right 4 your Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer & Achieving Your Ideal Weight. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1996.
2. D’Adamo, J. One man's food--is someone else's poison. R. Marek Publisher, 1980.
3. Calafell F, Roubinet F, Ramírez-Soriano A, Saitou N, Bertranpetit J, Blancher A. Evolutionary dynamics of the human ABO gene. Hum Genet. 2008 Sep;124(2):123-35.
4. Saitou N, Yamamoto F. Evolution of primate ABO blood group genes and their homologous genes. Mol Biol Evol. 1997 Apr;14(4):399-411.
5. Lalueza-Fox C, Gigli E, de la Rasilla M, Fortea J, Rosas A, Bertranpetit J, Krause J. Genetic characterization of the ABO blood group in Neandertals. BMC Evol Biol. 2008 Dec 24;8:342.
6. Mourant AE, Kopec AC, Domaniewska-Sobczak K. The Distribution of the Human Blood Groups and other Polymorphisms. Oxford University Press, London, 1976, p. 6.
7. Stanford School of Medicine, Blood Center

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Beef: The Real Truth

So Beef is Beef right? I think not. Here's a great quick read on the basics. Don't let "them" tell you beef isn't good for you. It's the type of beef you eat that determines its true health value. Click on the link below and learn the truth....Eat Wild.

Eat Wild - Basics

'nuff said

Dr. T

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why '0' Trans Fats On the Label Doesn't Mean '0' In The Food

This is the stuff that really pisses me off… I go into the cupboard to get a box of taco shells because it’s “Taco Night” at my house and take out this box of “Whole Grain” taco shells. There’s even a little emphasis panel pointing out all of the whole grain goodness in the taco shells and specifically says “0 trans fats” with a check mark next to it (see back panel picture below). But because I’m just so un-trusting of the big food manufacturers I have to read the actual ingredient list and there, in the list were the trans fats…Using their alter-ego “Partially Hydrogenated (in this case) Soybean Oil”.

But the box clearly says “0 trans fats” you say… could “they” put trans fats in the food????

That’s because those wonderfully trustworthy people in Washington DC we call our government , allows anything below .50 grams of trans fats per serving to be labeled ‘0 trans fats’. So that literally means the food you eat that is labeled “0 trans fats” could have .49 grams per serving. In this case, 2 taco shells is 1 serving. Most every Mexican restaurant I’ve ever been to sells tacos in 3’s. Typically a real serving of tacos is 3. So that means you’ve exceeded the threshold for trans fats and are now above .50grams; but there one more problem. There’s no level of trans fat intake that is safe.

In 2002 a panel of experts from the National Academy of Sciences concluded that the only safe intake of trans fat is ‘zero.’ (click here & read it for yourself)

Let me re-state and emphasize that THERE IS NO SAFE LEVEL OF TRANS-FATS.

Because of government rules and regulations they’ve allowed these companies to boost their product’s shelf life by adding a little trans fats. Boosting shelf life increases profitability and that’s the bottom line. Your health-their profits. For years they fought the labeling of this stuff at all. So I’m here to ring the bells and play the part of Paul Revere for you…




Take a look at the pictures I’ve provided. See how deceptive the advertising on the box is and then plainly see the Trans-Fats / Partially Hydrogenated Oils on the ingredient list.

I know It’s deceptive…..after all, this box made it into my house. Luckily it found it’s way to the garbage before it could damage my family.

Today, go through all of the things you feed to your children(and yourself). Mos packaged foods and baked foods have trans fats in them. For every product that says 0-trans fats but has partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil on the ingredient list, write down .49. When you’re finished, add them up and see just how many grams of heart attacks & strokes you’re feeding to your children. Because to the body, this stuff is like plastic. It sticks around, damages your arteries and when enough damage accumulates, well, let’s just hope you’re local emergency room can save you. Just as you consume little by little of this stuff, it damages you little by little....There's no escaping it. It's poison, not food.

‘nuff said

Dr. T

PS, just to make my political views clear... I believe in capitalism and truly feel every company has the right to make a profit. However, I would like to see the REAL TRUTH in advertising so I can make a truly informed decision about what I purchase for myself and my family. If you are a company that has to hide behind government regulations to mis-inform the public with your product labeling practices, then you deserve to go out of business because you are simply lying to us.

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Why Doctors Hate Chiropractors: Is Chiropractic Care a Visionary Form of Health-Care Reform?

Robert A. Hayden, DC, PhD
American Chiropractic Association

May 18, 2010

If you’ve ever complained of a terrifically sore neck or lingering back pain, I’ll bet someone suggested that you see a chiropractor. I visit my chiropractor when my recurrent neck pain flares up (as in, when I spend too many hours in front of my computer for too many days in a row), and I know lots of other people who see chiropractors, too. Now research is affirming the efficacy of chiropractic care for a number of conditions, and this trend may be further stoked by changes brought about by health-care reform.

For many complaints, including such varied and seemingly unrelated ones as headaches and digestive distress as well as back and neck problems, chiropractic care can often provide safe, effective and fast-working treatment -- and (unusual for natural therapies) most insurance plans cover it. However, many mainstream medical doctors aren’t fans. Their reasons aren’t always clear but seem to lie somewhere on the spectrum between being worried that chiropractic care is not safe and feeling threatened that good chiropractors may take away many of their patients.

The Time is Right

In a glass-is-half-full kind of way, today’s troubled health-care environment actually presents an opportunity for chiropractors to gain some long overdue respect -- at least that’s a hope that’s currently afloat in the chiropractic community, I heard from Robert A. Hayden, DC, PhD, spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association. A critical-care nurse for 20 years before becoming a chiropractor himself, Dr. Hayden explained that the nation’s ongoing and pressing concern about health-care costs and treatment efficacy is a good backdrop against which to understand the many ways chiropractic care can help patients.

Why are doctors skeptical? Dr. Hayden told me that one of his regular patients is an orthopedic surgeon -- but another orthopedist in his community won’t accept patient referrals from Dr. Hayden, and a nearby hospital won’t perform MRI scans for his patients. He believes this lack of acceptance is fueled by the very fact that chiropractic does not involve drugs and can be an effective alternative to hospitalization and surgery, which makes it attractive to both patients and the bean counters of health-care costs. The fact that Medicare now covers some chiropractic services enhances its credibility but also adds weight to worries that this natural, less invasive and less expensive alternative will divert health-care dollars away from medical doctors and hospitals.

What Will It Take?

Key to the growing acceptance of chiropractic care is evidence-based research demonstrating that it is safe, clinically effective and cost-efficient. In the latest such effort, funded by The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, Dr. Niteesh Choudry and colleagues reviewed existing literature on the efficacy of chiropractic. Their conclusion is that it works as well as or better than conventional modalities, including exercise programs, drug regimens and surgical intervention, for treating many forms of low back and neck pain, two of the most common medical complaints. Numerous other studies also support the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for spine and neck issues in particular. For instance, a 2002 study of patients with nonspecific neck pain found that pain was reduced and function improved for 68.3% after seven weeks of chiropractic care, while the success rate for those in the care of general practitioners was only 36%. The patients of chiropractors missed work less frequently and needed less pain medication.

Can It Cause Stroke?

One very specific concern voiced by many medical doctors is that chiropractic neck manipulation has the potential to cause stroke, or -- if done improperly -- even death. The basis for this is a fairly rare and often undiagnosed condition in which the vertebral arteries in the neck are weakened, possibly by high levels of homocysteine. The fear is that in a vulnerable patient, twisting or stretching those arteries during a chiropractic manipulation could cause them to rupture.

To investigate whether this is a real danger, researchers at the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) studied vertebral arteries from several recently deceased people and found that it would take nine times the force of a typical chiropractic adjustment to damage these arteries and mobilize plaque. In fact, according to Dr. Hayden, normal head and neck movement present a greater risk than chiropractic manipulation for the kind of weak arteries that are of concern. By that measure, it’s risky to have your hair washed in one of those beauty parlor sinks where you have to lean way back (there’s even a name for this one, "the beauty parlor stroke"), play sports or even to turn your head to complete a turn while driving.

The condition that puts people at risk for this problem is very rare, Dr. Hayden said, noting that the statistics don’t support the level of concern being expressed. He pointed out that chiropractic is so low-risk that practitioners’ malpractice insurance costs only about one-tenth what an MD has to pay -- around $1,300, on average, compared with $10,000 to $20,000 for general physicians.

The Trend Is Good...

Meanwhile though, patients are voting with their feet -- so maybe doctors should try to learn more about chiropractic care rather than stand in the way of progress. The number of chiropractic patients in this country doubled in the two decades from 1982 to 2002, and an estimated 10% of Americans have seen a chiropractor in the past year.

As for me, well, when my neck hurts, I visit my chiropractor... and I feel better. If you’re interested in exploring this form of alternative medical care, you can go to to find an experienced, licensed practitioner in your area.

Written By:
Robert A. Hayden, DC, PhD

American Chiropractic Association

May 18, 2010

Special from Bottom Line's Daily Health News

Robert A. Hayden, DC, PhD, founder and director of Iris City Chiropractic Center, PC, Griffin, Georgia, and spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association.

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Get Rid Of That Beer Belly Gut With Simple Abdominal Crunches & Sit Ups!!!

Miami Beach Sports Chiropractor - Dr. Todd Narson
Yeah right-Sorry, it ain't gonna happen! I was in the gym this morning and it's always the same thing. The brand new gym member comes in, towel around their neck, gut is leading the way by about 2 feet and they go straight to the abdominal crunch machine. Let's please take a moment and dispel the myth, spot reducing only works for Board Certified Plastic Surgeons doing liposuction! It doesn't work with exercising in the gym.

If your diet has consisted of refined foods, pasta, breads (I don't care what type of bread), food & drinks with added sugar, starchy foods & fast foods for, let's say the past 5-10-15-20 years and you are tipping the scales, please don't come to the gym, jump on the abdominal crunch machine and thing in 2 weeks you will be sporting an 8-pack. (By the way, it's an 8-pack, not a 6-pack, 8 pack is your rectus abdominus, a 6-pack is your beer).

If you truly want that 8-pack or at least want to drop enough weight where you can once again double check your gender, then you need to do a few things consistently and set a long term goal.

(1) Change your diet. Eat real food. Veggies, fruit (primarily berries) and clean-lean-natural meats the serving size of which should be about the size and thickness of the palm of your hand.

(2) Exercise. At the very least, do a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day. It's a start and before you know it, you will want to increase your exercise naturally. Maybe bicycling, going to the gym or even hiring a personal trainer to guide you. Plan your workouts so you go to the gym already knowing what you're gonna do. Most people wander around and see what machine looks good. Personally, I like to work agonist/antagonists that act on a specific joint or joints with a short (less than a minute) rest in between. I start and finish with the stair-master doing 1-minute intervals. I break up my weights so that I do strength training, power training, aerobic capacity training (muscular endurance).

(3) Preparation. If you think ahead and prepare your foods for the up and coming few days, it's easier to make good decisions and stick to your plan.

(4) Mind-set. It always helps to stay focused on your goal. for me, I have a friend who is a hypnotist and I go to him specifically to help me with mental exercises and hypnotherapy to help me stay focused on the task at hand, reduce stress, maintain my good eating habits and so forth. Often a hypnotist will have CDs that you could download onto your iPod for daily use.

So to the new member, I'm glad you're in the gym. Welcome. Now, plan, focus and go for it.

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

'nuff said


Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blackberry Thumb

Blackberry thumb is an irritation of the opponsnes & adductor pollicis muscles and tendons at through the large pad at the base of the thumb. It is a rapidly growing condition as more people use thumb-operated gadgets such as Blackberries, iPhones, Nintendo, X-Box and PS Gaming systems.

Symptoms of Blackberry thumb

  • Pain: At the base of the thumb which may continue even when the thumb is not being used
  • Ache: In the thumb web space or base of thumb joint
  • Muscle tension: In the web space between the thumb and index finger

What causes Blackberry thumb?

The muscles and tendons of the thumb are quite strong but are not designed for the type of intense-repetitive activity associated with many of today's handheld communication devices. Muscle fatigue, excessive muscle tension & repetitive mis-use can cause pain, irritation & inflammation of the muscles & tendons resulting in pain with use and when the condition worsens, pain at rest. Basically, this condition is a tendonitis. If not corrected and resolved, it can turn into a long term chronic tendonosis.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest: Stop doing what makes it hurt. This important phase allows the body to start healing.
  • Ice: Applying an ice compresses helps to reduce inflammation, reduces the hypersensitivity of the associated nerves causing a reduction in pain. When applying ice, always apply a thin towel layer like a handkerchief on the skin first to protect the skin from an ice burn. In this area, 10-12 minutes of ice, 2-4 times per day should suffice, however check with your DC, MD, DO, ATC or PT for your specific needs.
  • Gentle stretching and massage: Reducing muscle tension will improve flexibility and resolve the achy sensation. Less muscle tension means less force on the tendons and less chance of developing tendonitis.
  • Balancing of muscle strength: Strengthening weak muscles and loosening tight muscles is crucial to achieving full recovery.
  • Commitment: It will take repetitive applications over the course of several days or several weeks for this condition to resolve. The more you continue to use your blackberry, the longer it will take to resolve. If it doesn’t resolve, go se your local sports chiropractor, athletic trainer or musculoskeletal medicine specialist such as an orthopedist or physiatrist.
  • CHRONIC CASES are best treated with a combination of the above along with Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization(IASTM).

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What To Do About Those Old "Aches & Pains" That Keep Coming Back To Haunt

Graston Technique, FAKTR-PM, SASTM, AYSTM I’m sure you remember falling off your bike as a kid. Maybe a little accident on the monkey bars or on the ball field. A bump on the head, a bruised knee, a pulled groin or strained hamstring or maybe a sprained ankle or a sore shoulder from a multitude of childhood horsing & playing around. You went home, mom or dad put on a cold compress and the next day or the day after you’re up and running around again like nothing ever happened.

Ahhhh; but something did happen. Your little bump, bruise, strain or sprain started a little process. Yes it’s your body’s natural healing process but its how we ignore the process that presents the problem. Mom or dad puts an ice pack (if you were lucky) or a heating pad on it for a day or two and then off to the races you go. It doesn’t really matter if you go to a doctor or therapist for treatment of your injury, it will heal on its own regardless. But that doesn’t mean it will heel properly or optimally. That’s where we (the doctors, trainers & therapists) come in.

So, you have some contusion (deep muscle bruise) or strained a muscle that now needs to be fixed. The healing process starts by removing the damaged tissues then when that’s done, it starts bring in the new materials to start rebuilding. Inflammation happens, hopefully it subsides on its own, typically it doesn’t. So you put on some ice, take some over the counter pain killer and you feel fine again. Trust me on this, you’re not fine. You can ignore the pain, the slight change in function and get on with your little life. But the healing process ensues. Eventually, the damaged tissue heals with scar tissue and you’re all patched up. Now, here in lies the problem.

Scar tissue isn’t as good as the original tissue. Just look at any old cut on your arms or hand, or that spot where you skinned your knees as a kid and you can easily see it. Scar tissue has a haphazard matrix of fibers whereas the original tissues matrix is organized. It’s organized based on the specific function of the tissue for both strength and resiliency. Have you ever seen a car that had bad body work done on it? It’s just like that. Most scar tissues (adhesions) are simply a bad “patch job”. If you’re lucky enough to realize what’s going on in the beginning, applying ice compresses, doing light stretching and very light resistance exercise can help scar tissue heal optimally. If you just brushed it off, took a few over the counter pain killers and ignored it, (like most of us); as you get to your mid 30s or 40s all of a sudden you start getting these aches and pain out of nowhere. Then you are forced to deal with it as that once childhood bump, bruise or strain, comes back to Haunt You.

The problem lies in the transition area between the scar tissue and “normal” tissue. It’s a zone of weakness that is prone to re-injury. It’s not that neat organized “normal” flexible tissue you used to have prior to that old injury, and it’s not that thick inflexible scar. It’s the transition somewhere in-between. And it’s weaker!

So, how do you get rid of it?

In the past, we never realized that scar tissue and adhesions from old injuries were such a problem. The conditions were attributed to “old age” (what I call a cop-out), arthritis or the doctor would say something like “you probably twisted yourself in your sleep” or something the like. The approach was typically physical therapy, ice compresses, or heat compresses or stretching or massage, joint mobilization, adjustments to the joints etc. Which, are all good treatments, but never really addressed the primary problem. Now, through a lot of trial and error and some published research, reducing scar tissue and adhesions from old injuries seems to be solving many of the problems people have been told they simply have to “live with”.

Once scar tissues have formed they are pretty darn durable. Which is usually as good thing. But many scars attach to more than just the injured part and therein lies the problem. Muscles, ligaments, connective tissue, fascia etc are all layered on top of one another and they slide & glide on top of each other. When one tissue gets injured, the “stuff” that becomes a scar to heal the area solidified while attaching to a bunch of different tissues in the area bonding them together. But they weren’t made to work together like that, they should work independently. This causes restriction and pain and sometimes it could take years for it to develop as the scars become more mature as the years pass. (Think about lifting your pants leg up while it sticks to your sock or stocking with static cling; or taking a band-aid off a cut while the little white pad sticks to the scab)

You can’t massage them away, some more aggressive stretching works in some cases but is mostly temporary. Typical therapies just never really did the trick. However, over the past 8-10 years a new technology has emerged that directly addresses scar tissues and adhesions at their source. With high density stainless steel soft tissue mobilization tools, doctors and athletic trainers using Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization(IASTM) have been able to detect both superficial and deep scars and adhesions, reduce and remove them and in combination with post IASTM treatment protocols, finally get rid of this nemesis that plagues us as we get older. I have great successes with rotator cuff problems, post surgical knees, chronic hip pain after hip replacement surgery, low back pain, TMJ disorders, neck pain deep contusions, ankle sprains, plantar fascitis just to name a few.

The IASTM technique has been wildly successful to the point where most Athletic Trainers for the NBA, NHL, NFL & MLB have become certified and use the techniques to treat their pro athletes. Sports medicine physicians, therapists and athletic trainers around the world are all learning this stuff now. Back in 2006, I had the privilege to travel to Cartegena Colombia to treat world class athletes along with some of my colleagues at the 2006 Central American & All Caribean Games; and after only a few days, those of us certified in IASTM techniques were getting a huge following amongst the athletes, their team physicians & trainers. Those physicians who weren’t certified, all inquired about signing up for the certification program. That's how powerful this is. Trust me, physicians are a skeptical bunch.

So, if your joints are starting to ache and you feel like you too are suffering from “old age”, maybe try a new approach. If you are an athlete and you feel things aren’t just right, maybe not like they use to be, then seek out a physician, therapist or trainer certified in IASTM and put those childhood bumps, strains and bruises back in the past where they belong.

More info on where to get IASTM instruments and education; click here

Healthfully yours


Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.