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New York dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer explains the latest research linking sleep to the health of your mind, body, and spirit.

Turn off electronics at least one hour before bed; the blue light that emanates from cell phones, TVs, and computers can interfere with restful sleep.

Getting enough rest at night is essential for just about every single process that occurs in the body, specifically:

1) Sleep keeps your brain sharp. Sleep is critical for normal functioning of the brain, says research from Oxford University. According to the Oxford sleep scientists, sleep serves as the “brain’s housekeeper”, helping to restore and repair the brain. Poor sleep over time, they found, causes brain shrinkage—and problems with reasoning, planning, memory, and problem solving.

2) Sleep makes you happier. Not getting enough sleep can affect your mood, making you tenser, more nervous, and more irritable[ii].

3) Sleep keeps you at a healthy weight. There are numerous studies done on the effects of the lack of sleep on weight. One study found that losing just 30 minutes of sleep per night can cause you to gain weight and affect both insulin resistance and your metabolism (slowing it down)[iii].

4) Sleep helps you live longer. Researchers at University of California, San Diego, found that women who got five hours or less of sleep a night didn’t live as long as women who got, on average, 6.5 to 7.5 hours of sleep a night[iv]. Keep in mind that every body is different; what may work for some [e.g. 5 hours a night] won’t work for others.

5) Sleep helps curb inflammation. Inflammation has been linked to everything from heart disease to premature aging.

Studies show that lack of sleep—specifically, six or fewer hours a night—triggers high blood levels of inflammatory proteins.

6) Sleep helps you perform better physically. A Stanford University study found that college basketball players who slept at least 10 hours a night for five to seven weeks ran faster, improved shooting accuracy, and improved overall game performance[v]. 

7) Sleep reduces stress. Get enough sleep and whatever is triggering your anxiety just won’t seem that insurmountable anymore. Sleeping gives the body a chance to relax and rest without being overwhelmed by worry.

8) Sleep boosts the immune system. Getting adequate amounts of sleep keeps the immune system functioning properly. In one study, published in the journal Sleep, those people who averaged between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night were sick less often[vi].

9) Sleep keeps you safe. Not getting enough sleep, and the drowsiness that occurs as a result, has been found to impair driving performance even more than alcohol[vii]. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car off-the-road crashes[viii]. If you’re tired, don’t get behind the wheel—or pull over when it’s safe to do so, so you can take a break.

Wishing you many nights of restful, quality sleep!

 

Dr. Debbie
 

RESOURCES:

“Poor Quality Sleep May Be Linked to a Shrinking Brain,” Tara Haelle, HealthDay, September 3, 2014; http://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-aging-news-10/poor-quality-sleep-may-be-linked-to-shrinking-brain-691359.html

[ii] “Fatigue and Mood Correlates of Sleep Length in Three Age-Social Groups: School Children, Students, and Employees,” H. Oginska and J. Pokorski, Chronobiology International, 2006, 26(6), 1317-28; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17190716

[iii] “Losing 30 Minutes of Sleep Per Day May Promote Weight Gain and Adversely Affect Blood Sugar Control,” Newswise.com, March 5, 2015; http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/630723/?sc=mwhn

[iv] “Women's Study Finds Longevity Means Getting Just Enough Sleep,” Scott LaFee, UC San Diego News Center, September 30, 2010; http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/health/09-30sleep.asp

[v] “Snooze You Win? It’s True for Achieving Hoop Dreams, Says Study,” Stanford Medicine News Center, June 30, 2011; http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2011/07/snooze-you-win-its-true-for-achieving-hoop-dreams-says-study.html

[vi] “ Healthy Sleep Duration Linked to Less Sick Time From Work,” ScienceDaily, September 3, 2014; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140903163633.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_health+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Health+News%29

[vii] “White Paper: Consequences of Drowsy Driving,” National Sleep Foundation; http://sleepfoundation.org/white-paper-consequences-drowsy-driving

[viii] “Drowsy Driving and Automobile Crashes,” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/drowsy_driving1/Drowsy.html

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New York dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer shares 10 simple tweaks guys can make to overhaul their health.

You don’t always need dumbbells or barbells to build strength—and stronger bones. Body weight exercises like pushups are super effective too.

June is National Men’s Health Month—but every month is a good time for guys to take care of themselves.

Here are some simple ways for men to make a big difference in their health:

1) Eat fresh, not processed. Use this simple philosophy to guide your everyday eating—and you’ll feel better, have more energy, and will probably even lose weight, too. What this means: choose fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, healthy fats like olive oil and avocado, and nuts and seeds—on a regular basis—over processed foods like chips and cookies (which pack a lot of sodium, calories, and/or sugar). These fresh foods contain key health-promoting nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, key vitamins like vitamins C and E, and more.

2) Limit the steaks (and other red meat) you eat. No one’s saying you’ve got to become a vegetarian, but limit your red meat to about two servings per week. Studies have shown that eating a lot of red meat—particularly grilled meat—is associated with a higher risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

3) Eat small meals often. Eating every 2 to 3 hours will help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steadier. It’s also less taxing on the digestive system—and creates fewer free radicals in the body. It’s also a good idea to be mindful and chew your food slowly; eating this way is less stressful and can help with digestion.

4) Drink plenty of water. It’s a great way to flush out internal toxins and hydrate your skin from the inside out.

5) Be sure to get enough probiotics. These healthy bacteria—found in some yogurt and fermented foods like sauerkraut—help keep your gut healthy. A healthy gut has been linked to a stronger immune system, better digestion, healthier skin, and even lower risk of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

6) Go ahead, drink that coffee—without guilt. Study after study shows that drinking coffee is actually good for you, in moderation. One reason: it’s chockfull of health-promoting antioxidants. Coffee has been linked to a lowered risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, deteriorating eyesight, and even erectile dysfunction.

7) Take time to meditate. Learning how to manage stress is key to keeping your immune system healthy—and warding off chronic diseases. Even if you just meditate for five to 10 minutes at night before bed, you’ll notice that you’re more clear-headed and less stressed during the day—and you’ll probably sleep better at night, too.

8) Get moving. Daily exercise—be it a walk around the block with your dog or a high-powered run (or session at the gym)—is critical for reducing stress, protecting your heart, reducing your risk of chronic diseases, and keeping your weight stable. Weight-bearing exercise can also strengthen your bones, warding off osteoporosis (which isn’t just a concern for women).

9) Visualize the life you want. Visualization—picturing the life you want down to the most minute detail, including how it looks, feels, and even smells—has been shown in research to help lower blood pressure, improve insomnia, reduce anxiety and depression, help Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and help control asthma. So take a few minutes away from the daily grind to let your mind wander a bit!

10) Shut off your Smartphone at least an hour before bed. Also, power down your computer, the TV, and any electronic devices (including e-readers). Studies show that the blue light that emanates from these devices interferes with the brain’s production of melatonin at night, which is the key hormone that makes us sleepy. Try this trick at night and you may find yourself falling asleep faster—and staying asleep longer.

Stay healthy—and live the life you’ve always wanted!

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0 comment(s) | Healthy Living, | Healthy Skin, | Skin Aging

New York dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer talks about why exercise is important for healthy, radiant skin.

When exercising outdoors, be sure to use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays.

Exercise boosts circulation, sending blood—and with it oxygen and key nutrients—to all cells in the body, including the skin cells. This boost in nutrient-rich blood flow gives us a healthy, radiant, post-workout glow.

Exercise also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from skin cells (and all working cells), helping to flush them out of the system.

But researchers from McMaster University in Ontario also found that regular exercise can actually keep the skin young—and may even help to reverse skin aging.

What they found is fascinating: those volunteers who exercised at least 3 hours a week (of moderate or vigorous physical activity) had skin that was much younger looking—when looked at under a microscope—and much closer to that of 20- and 30-year-olds.

One thing is for sure: regular exercise is great for the body—inside and out!

So go ahead and get moving just a little bit every day. You'll feel better and your skin will be healthier, more youthful looking, and definitely more radiant.

Stay fit, and you'll stay beautiful!

 

 

RESOURCES:

“Younger Skin Through Exercise,” Gretchen Reynolds, nytimes.com, April 16, 2014; http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/younger-skin-through-exercise/?_r=0

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New York dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer explains why an imbalance of bacteria in the gut often triggers skin problems like acne and psoriasis—and other health problems.

If you have a healthy gut, you probably also have a strong immune system—and a healthy body (including radiant, glowing skin).

Our bodies are pretty active petri dishes: there’s a mix of good and bad bacteria living inside each of us from our skin to our intestines. (Some estimates indicate that for each cell in our body—and there are many—there are 10 microbial, or bacterial, cells [1]. That means there could be trillions of bacteria inside our bodies.) It’s no wonder the body with all these microorganisms is often referred to as “the human microbiome”. (In fact, it’s been estimated that the human body is composed of 10% of human cells and 90% of bacteria[ii].)

Nowhere is this more evident than in the gut. Bacteria line the intestines and help you digest food. During this process of digestion, they make essential vitamins, send signals to the immune system, and create small molecules that can help your brain function properly.

Researchers have determined that adding healthy bacteria into our bodies—through diet or supplements—can help reduce gas and bloating and increase regularity. Healthy gut bacteria can also help treat or prevent something called metabolic syndrome—a combination of risk factors that increase a person’s chances of getting cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke.[iii] (People with metabolic syndrome are twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as the general population, according to the National Institutes of Health.)

"A healthy gut is also key to a healthy immune system. In fact, 70 to 80 percent of our immune tissue is located in the digestive system!"

But also, experts indicate that people with certain diseases often have a very different mix of bacteria in their intestines compared to healthier people[iv]. (Some bacteria can help strengthen the immune system[v] and even prevent obesity[vi] while others can promote inflammation.) And what’s more, it’s not one particular type of bacteria that makes a difference; it’s a diversity of bacteria that’s turning out to create a more healthful balance in the body.[vii]

> Benefits of Fermented Foods Cultures worldwide have been taking in healthy bacteria—or living organisms—for hundreds, if not thousands, of years typically through fermented local foods. (Fermentation helped preserve foods years ago, but many local cultures also made the link between these fermented foods and better health.) Here’s a sampling of some of the indigenous foods different cultures ate (and, in some cases, still eat today):

During the Roman era, people consumed sauerkraut (essentially pickled cabbage); in ancient India, it was common to enjoy lassi, a pre-dinner sour-milk-based yogurt drink that’s rich in healthy bacteria; in Bulgaria, people regularly drank fermented milk and kefir (also popular today); Ukrainians consumed healthy bacteria from raw yogurt, sauerkraut, and buttermilk (a fermented dairy product); and Asian cultures regularly ate pickled cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash, and carrots. All these foods are rich in local microorganisms that help balance out the gut.

"Some studies show that eating fermented foods, like sauerkraut (which is cabbage fermented with salt), actually helps prevent disease." 

In studies of Polish women, researchers found that those who ate lots of sauerkraut had lower rates of breast cancer than those who didn't eat it (or ate much less of it) [x].

> Importance of Local Foods But just as early Mediterranean cultures taught us about the importance of a local, plant-based diet, these cultures have something to teach us about the importance of eating local foods. Some experts are now saying that local foods contain a diverse community of local microorganisms that are good for your particular digestion—and your gut overall—helping reduce gas and bloating and increasing regularity. The theory: each region has certain bacteria indigenous to the region and to the people in that region and can help these people stay healthy.

This idea of a healthy gut goes way beyond probiotics (which means “for life”), which are healthy bacteria—or live microorganisms—like lactobacillus, Streptococcus thermaphilus, and bifidobacterium that are often found in yogurt, kefir, some types of cheeses, and in many supplements. These probiotics have helped many people regulate their digestive system by creating a better balance of healthy bacteria in the gut (also called “intestinal flora”).

The health of our skin also reflects this internal environment of our gut—as well as the balance of bacteria on our skin. We’re quick to blame bacteria for causing problems like acne, but what many don’t realize is we need a healthy balance of bacteria on the skin, too, for healthy, problem-free skin.

"Skin disorders like acne, rosacea, and psoriasis have been linked with gut problems (including food allergies and leaky gut syndrome)." 

This may be why research shows that probiotics may help treat atopic dermatitis[viii], a type of eczema where the skin is super sensitive and is dry, scaly, and itchy.

The right balance of bacteria on the skin, too, contributes to the defense mechanisms of the skin (aka proper immune system functioning). That’s why an imbalance on the skin—as in the gut—can contribute to conditions like atopic dermatitis, too[ix].

There’s definitely something to this idea that bacteria—particularly local bacteria from the areas in which we live—is helpful to our health! So if you need even more reason to eat local, or add fermented foods to your daily diet, this is just one more, compelling reason. 

Happy, healthy eating!

 

 

 

Resources:

[1] “What is Your Gut Telling You,” Sonya Collins, WebMd.Com, August 20, 2014; http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/news/20140820/your-gut-bacteria

[ii] “The Role of the Skin Microbiome in Health and Disease,” Rodrigo Barros, MD Magazine, February 22, 2015; http://www.hcplive.com/conferences/aaaai-2015/The-Role-of-the-Skin-Microbiome-in-Health-and-Disease?e5=Email_md5&utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=HCPLive&utm_campaign=Trending%20News%202/22/15

[iii] “Metabolic Syndrome May Be Prevented By Healthy Gut Bacteria,” David McNamee, Medical News Today, November 24, 2014; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/285962.php; Intestinal Epithelial Cell Toll-like Receptor 5 Regulates the Intestinal Microbiota to Prevent Low-Grade Inflammation and Metabolic Syndrome in Mice,” Benoit Chassaing, Ruth E. Ley, Andrew T. Getwirtz, Gastroenterology, 2014, 147(6), 1363; http://www.pubfacts.com/detail/25172014/Intestinal-Epithelial-cell-Toll-like-Receptor-5-Regulates-the-Intestinal-Microbiota-to-Prevent-Low-g

[iv] “5 Claims About Probiotics and Good Gut Health,” Houston Methodist, July 22, 2013; http://www.newswise.com/articles/5-claims-about-probiotics-and-good-gut-health

[v] “Gut Bacteria in Health and Disease,” Eamonn M. Quigley, Gastroenterology & Hepatology, September 2013, 9(9): 560-569; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3983973/

[vi] “When Obesity is an Inherited Trait, Maybe Gut Bacteria is the Link,” Melissa Healy, LA Times, November 6, 2014; http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-obesity-genes-gut-bacteria-20141106-story.html; “Human Genetics Shape the Gut Microbiome,” Julia K. Goodrich, Jillian L. Waters, Angela C. Poole, et al., Cell, November 6, 2014, 159(4), 789-799; http://www.cell.com/cell/abstract/S0092-8674(14)01241-0

[vii] “How Bacteria in Our Bodies Protect Our Health,” Jennifer Ackerman, Scientific American, 306(6); http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ultimate-social-network-bacteria-protects-health/

[viii] “Probiotic ‘Promising’ to Prevent and Treat Atopic Dermatitis,” Kate Johnson, Medscape Multispecialty Medical News, November 9, 2014; http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/834650

[ix] “The Role of the Skin Microbiome in Health and Disease,” Rodrigo Barros, MD Magazine, February 22, 2015; http://www.hcplive.com/conferences/aaaai-2015/The-Role-of-the-Skin-Microbiome-in-Health-and- Disease?e5=Email_md5&utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=HCPLive&utm_campaign=Trending%20News%202/22/15

[x] “Sauerkraut, Uncooked, May Prevent Cancer,” Well Being Journal; https://www.wellbeingjournal.com/sauerkraut-uncooked-prevents-cancer/

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Spirituality is important for the health—and healthy skin—says New York dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer. Here, simple everyday tips for spiritual enlightenment.

It's the smallest things in our life that have the biggest impact on our health and happiness.

Whenever my patients come into my office, I offer them much more than just skincare advice. I talk to them about their lives, too, and as a result, they tell me they leave feeling better about themselves. I’m a big believer that confidence and happiness in one’s life—along with strong self-esteem—contributes to great skin and a healthy body as well.

Here’s the key: what I’ve found is that it’s often the simplest gestures every day that can make us feel better, boost our mood, and calm us—reducing stress and boosting health, including the health of our skin. I call this everyday spiritual enlightenment. Here are a few of the simple reminders that I give to my patients; these are good bits of advice for everyone!

√ Go out and enjoy life; don’t wait for the right moment. How many of us wait for enough money or the exact right time to take a vacation or do something that we love. (So many unused vacation days go to waste for so many Americans.) Don’t wait: schedule that time off or visit to that place you’ve always wanted to see. I’ve always had believed that this is important for health—so it wasn’t a surprise to me when one study from the University of California-Berkeley found a link between positive emotions— especially the awe we feel when touched by the beauty of nature, art and spirituality—with lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. (Sustained high levels of cytokines are associated with poorer health and disorders such as Type II diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s.)

√ Don't just evaluate situations with your mind, pay attention to how you feel (your gut response or intuition), too. Your mind can lie but your feelings/emotions won't. I liken the gut to our own inner GPS!

√ Live in the now, not in the yesterday or tomorrow. Enjoy and feel the power of the moment. Be there totally. Life is now. Feel your presence. I love this from the Dalai Lama, which speaks to just this:

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate this health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the  present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

√ Find something to be thankful for every day. Be thankful to be alive, for family, friends, health, for a good deed from a stranger.

√ Learn how to forgive. Letting go of bitterness and grudges helps free up that energy that you’re devoting to the negativity. Forgiveness, research has shown, is also good for your health, bettering your sleep quality, your blood pressure, your heart rate (and your heart health), your anxiety levels, rates of depression, stress, and even cholesterol levels. So do your health a favor: add more peace to your life and forgive!

√ Don’t only focus on your outer purpose or goal (career, riches) but also on each step of the way and how we build our inner purpose/consciousness. Our journey in life has both an outer purpose (to reach a goal or accomplish something) and an inner purpose (this is the journey into yourself)—and they’re both intricately entwined and both essential to your overall health. In fact, one fascinating study[ii] actually found that having a purpose in life motivates a person to optimize their health, which means they’re more likely to take care of themselves.

This follows the philosophy: "Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside." 

√ Avoid repetitive negative thoughts, such as judgment, criticism, hatred, or anger. Try to focus on the positive.

√ Be selective of those in your inner circle. If someone is always negative, complaining, and criticizing others, it will also affect you. Like mom always used to say, be careful of the friends you choose. Limit your time in bad relationships.

√ Show kindness and compassion to others. It's contagious and just feels good!

Stay positive, enjoy life & be well,

 

 

RESOURCES

“Positive Affect and Markers of Inflammation: Discrete Positive Emotions Predict Lower Levels of Inflammatory Cytokines”, Jennifer E. Stellar, Neha John-Henderson, Craig L. Anderson, et al., Emotion, Jan. 19, 2015; http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/emo0000033

[ii] “Forgive to Live: New Research Shows Forgiveness is Good for the Heart,” Amy Westervelt, Good, August 25, 2012; http://magazine.good.is/articles/forgive-to-live-new-research-shows-forgiveness-is-good-for-the-heart

[iii] “’Purpose in Life’ Can Help Reduce Medical Costs,” Karen Kaplan, The Seattle Times, November 3, 2014; http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2024946289_healthpurposexml.html

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New York Dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer explains why happiness plays such an important role in the health of our skin, our bodies, and our minds.

Babies and children are so full of natural happiness and joy. Getting back to this in our own lives, as adults, will help us live longer—and healthier.

We underestimate the value of happiness in our lives. But the truth is that by following our hearts—in our lives—and taking time to truly enjoy every moment of every day, we can make a huge impact on our happiness and on our health.

One way to do this is to take positive steps to happiness through friends and family: studies have shown that healthy relationships are good for us emotionally and physically. People with happy relationships—and an overall positive view of life—are less stressed overall and have a better immune system, decreased health issues (like heart disease), decreased levels of stress, and increased longevity[ii].

And I would argue—from what I see in my own busy practice—happiness plays a huge part in radiant, healthy skin, too. The happier you are with your life, the better your outlook, and the more likely you are to take positive steps to care for your body, your skin, your hair, and your overall health.

Just feeling positive—and looking at life from a glass-half-full perspective—can do wonders for your health. Friends and family are a huge part of this, but the other part is making the choice to be happy and to not let the bad things in life get you down. Compelling research continues to show that these positive, happy emotions and an overall enjoyment of life contribute to better health and a longer lifespan[iii]. (One Dutch study found that just cheerfulness helped older people live almost 7.5 years longer.[iv])

In fact, in research conducted by University of Illinois, this happiness/health/longevity link is stronger than the data linking obesity to reduced longevity[v]. One possible reason for this link between happiness and health: researchers have found that being happy increases our antibodies—critical proteins utilized by the immune system to fight off viruses, bacteria, and more—by a whopping 50 percent[vi]!

So if you do one thing this month, do this: go out and embrace your friends, family, and loved ones. You'll be healthier...and a whole lot happier.

Stay happy!

 

 

RESOURCES

“Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry,” Suzanne C. Segerstrom and Gregory E. Miller, Psychological Bulletin, July 2004, 130(4), 601-630; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361287/

[ii] “Happy People Live Longer: Subjective Well-Being Contributes to Health and Longevity,” Ed Diener and Micaela Y. Chan, Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, March 2011, 3(1), 1-43; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1758-0854.2010.01045.x/full

[iii] “Happiness and Health,” Sara Rimer, Harvard School of Public Health News, Winter 2011; http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/happiness-stress-heart-disease/; “How Happiness Affects Your Health,” March 27, 2013; http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/03/27/how-happiness-affects-your-health/

[iv] “Dispositional Optimism and All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality in a Prospective Cohort of Elderly Dutch Men and Women,” Erik J. Giltay, Johanna M. Geleijnse, Frans G. Zitman, et al., JAMA Psychiatry, November 2004, 61(11), 1126-1135; http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=482087

[v]  “Study: Happiness Improves Health and Lengthens Life,” Diana Yates, Illinois News Bureau, March 1, 2011; http://news.illinois.edu/NEWS/11/0301happy_EdDiener.html

[vi] “Study Probes How Emotions Affect the Immune System,” Jane Collingwood, PsychCentral, May 22, 2014; http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/05/22/study-probes-how-emotions-affect-immune-system/70192.html

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New York dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer highlights the research showing how meditation can benefit both the body and the mind.

Just 5 to 7 minutes of meditation daily can reap big health benefits.

We’ve all heard about meditation—and chances are, some of you probably practice it already, but I wanted to start with a brief description.

Meditation is the practice by which you can clear your mind by training it to concentrate and cut out all distractions. The more you practice meditation, the more in control your mind will be—not wandering off in all different thought directions (as we’re all prone to doing—thanks to our super-busy lives). The result: the greater awareness you’ll have of your body and the world around you (hence, a more relaxed you).

There are many different types of meditation but all involve directing awareness inward by focusing on an object in the mind’s eye, your breath, or a phrase or word (mantra) silently repeated. You can also focus on the heart area while inhaling and exhaling—a technique called heart-centered meditation that’s used to help release fears and sadness, essentially “healing” the heart.

You can practice meditation by sitting in a chair or on the floor, lying down, or even by walking slowly and mindfully. 

Many meditation proponents believe that meditation stimulates transformative power in the brain and provides you with great conviction and strength to change the course of your life.

"There is so much incredible research proving the benefits of mediation."

√ It can protect against mental illness: One University of Oregon study showed, in fact, that meditation can physically change the brain[ii]—and could even have protective effects against mental illness. The researchers found that after two weeks of practicing meditation, study participants had an increase in the number of signaling connections in the brain, called axonal density. And after a month of practicing regular meditation (about 11 hours of meditation overall), there were even more increases in signaling connections as well as an increase in the protective tissue (called myelin). Study participants also reported better moods overall.

√ It can boost memory...and more: Meditation is good for the brain: it can help improve memory, empathy, stress, and sense of self, according to one study from the Massachusetts General Hospital[iii].

√ It can make you more relaxed: Then there are the studies involving the brainwaves of meditating monks; they show that the actual brain circuitry in long-time meditators is different from that of non-meditators[iv]. When you’re upset, anxious, or depressed, the portion of the brain called the amygdala and the right prefrontal cortex become active. When you’re in a positive mood, these areas quiet down and the left prefrontal cortex—an area associated with happiness—becomes more active. Meditating monks appear to have high activity in this “quiet” area—definitely not a random coincidence!

√ It can reduce your risk of disease—and even mitigate symptoms: Other studies have shown that meditation can decrease heart and respiratory rates and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke[v], increase blood flow to the brain[vi], and decrease chronic pain[vii]. It’s also been shown to treat anxiety disorders[viii], fibromyalgia[ix], irritable bowel syndrome[x], and PMS[xi].  

√ It can reduce depression: Additional research has shown that people who previously were depressed who regularly practice mindfulness-based stress reduction are 50% less likely than others to have their depression return[xii]. Mindfulness meditation teaches us to alter our response to stress, influencing serotonin production-which regulates mood, sleep and appetite. Reducing stress also impacts the skin —giving you glowing skin that seems to radiate health from the inside out.

I, myself, practice meditation and find it to be relaxing and mind clearing. I even believe it has helped me get over colds faster.

So if you don’t meditate yet, this might be the time to start. Most experts recommend starting for just 5 to 7 minutes; there are plenty of apps (like Headspace) that can help you learn to mediate.

Be peaceful & focus inward,

 

RESOURCES:

“Mechanisms of White Matter Changes Induced By Meditation,” Yi-Yuan Tang, Qilin Lu, Ming Fan, et al., PNAS, May 9, 2012, 109(26), 10570-10574; http://www.pnas.org/content/109/26/10570.abstract

[ii]  “Meditation Gives Brain a Charge, Study Finds,” Marc Kaufman, The Washington Post, January 3, 2005, A05; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43006-2005Jan2.html

[iii] “Mindfulness Practice Leads to Increases in Regional Brain Gray Matter Density,” Britta K. Höizel, James Carmody, Mark Vangel, et al., Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging, Jan. 30, 2011, 191(1), 36-43; http://www.psyn-journal.com/article/S0925-4927(10)00288-X/abstract

[iv]  “Studies of Advanced Stages of Meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist and Vedic Traditions. I: A Comparison of General Changes,” Alex Hankey, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, December 2006, 3(4), 513-521; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1697747/

[v] “Meditation May Reduce Death, Heart Attack, and Stroke in Heart Patients,” American Heart Association Newsroom, November 13, 2012; http://newsroom.heart.org/news/meditation-may-reduce-death-heart-240647

[vi] “Meditation Effects on Cognitive Function and Cerebral Blood flow in Subjects with Memory Loss: a Preliminary Study,” A.B. Newberg, N. Wintering, D.S. Khalsa, et al., Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2010, 20(2), 517-526; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20164557#

[vii] “The Clinical Use of Mindfulness Meditation for the Self-Regulation of Chronic Pain,” J. Kabat-Zinn, L. Lipworth, R. Burney, Journal of Behavioral Medicine, June 1985, 8(2), 163-90; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3897551

[viii]  “Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness Meditation for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Effects on Anxiety and Stress Reactivity,” Elizabeth A. Hoge, Eric Bui, Luana Marques, et al., Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, August 2013, 74(8), 786-792; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3772979/

[ix] “The Effects of Meditation-Based Interventions on the Treatment of Fibromyalgia,” E.H. Kozasa, L.H. Tanaka, C. Monson, et al., Current Pain and Headache Reports, October 2012, 16(5), 383-7; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22717699

[x] “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: a Randomized Wait-List Controlled Trial,” K.A. Zernicke, T.S. Campbell, P.K. Blustein, et al., International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, September 2013, 20(3), 385-96; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22618308

[xi] “The Science of Meditation for Mind & Body Health,” McLean Meditation Institute; http://www.sedonameditation.com/meditation-research.html; “Meditation Balances the Body’s Systems,” Jeanie Lerche Davis, WedMD; http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/transcendental-meditation

[xii] “Study: Meditation’s Effects Similar to Pills for Depression,” Brian Krans, HealthlineNews, January 6, 2014; http://www.healthline.com/health-news/mental-meditation-as-effective-as-medication-for-depression-010614; “Meditation Effective in Treating Anxiety, Depression, Hopkins Research Suggests,” HUB: Johns Hopkins News Network, January 8, 2014; http://hub.jhu.edu/2014/01/08/meditate-to-reduce-depression

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0 comment(s) | Beauty from the Inside Out, | Healthy Skin

New York dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer discusses exactly why stress triggers skin problems like acne, eczema, and rashes.

Find ways (like yoga) to reduce stress and you'll notice healthier, more radiant skin.

All the holiday stress that everyone is under this time of the year can do a number on your skin. When the body encounters a perceived stressor — be it a crazy holiday season, a looming deadline, a fight with a spouse, or the death of a loved one — it gets ready for action. The hypothalamus (the part of the brain responsible for hormone production) sends triggers to the adrenal glands (situated above the kidneys) to pump out stress hormones like corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), glucocorticoids like cortisol, and epinephrine (adrenaline). These hormones, the most well known of which is cortisol, help get the body ready to react.

These hormones can also affect the skin, which is the largest organ in the body—and for good reason: the skin is the primary sensing organ for external stressors, including heat, cold, pain and tension[ix]. Researchers have found that the brain, in turn, responds to these signals, which can influence the stress response in the skin[x]. Increased perspiration, constriction of blood vessels, and decreased blood flow to the skin all occur when the body is under stress[xi].

When it comes to the skin, stress has been shown to have direct effects on the skin in the form of rashes, hives, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis. Researchers believe this may be a result of impaired skin barrier function (the skin’s barrier helps hold in water/moisture, keeping skin hydrated).[xii] Stress has also been linked to acne.

New research shows that inflammation (which can be triggered by anxiety) causes acne. Studies also suggest that patients with acne are under increased systemic and skin oxidative stress. They appear to consume antioxidants at a faster pace than their acne-free peers.

"Treating this inflammation with antioxidants, on the inside and on the skin (with products like my own Replere Acne Kit, shown below) can be a key solution for many acne sufferers."

Stress has also been associated with slower wound healing[xiii]—and increased susceptibility to infections[xiv]. It may also harm your hair; stress has been linked to the autoimmune condition called alopecia areata, which causes hair loss[xv].

Researchers have also found that long-term stress can also increase DNA damage to the skin—and interfere with DNA repair—both of which can trigger premature aging of the skin. Stress has also been shown to accelerate the growth and progression of skin cancer.[xvi]

Sleeplessness (a common side effect of stress) and loss of sleep overall is also a form of stress on the body and can impact the skin. One study found that poor sleepers have increased fine lines, uneven pigmentation, and reduced elasticity in their skin[xvii].

In a nutshell: stress causes us to age faster. So finding ways to manage and decrease stress will make you happier, healthier, and more beautiful—from the inside out.

Stay healthy & beautiful,

Sources:
“Stress Effects,” The American Institute of Stress; http://www.stress.org/stress-effects/
 
[ii] “Stress, Depression and Antidepressant Treatment Options in Patients Suffering from Multiple Sclerosis,” Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2012, 18(36), 5837-5845; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22681164
 
[iii] “Precipitating and Relieving Factors of Migraine Versus Tension Type Headache,” B. Haque, K. M. Rahman, A. Hoque, BMC Neurology, 2012, 12:82; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3503560/
 
[iv] “Emotional Stressors Trigger Cardiovascular Events,” B.G. Schwartz, W.J. French, G.S. Mayeda, et al., International Journal of Clinical Practice, July 2012, 66(7), 631-9; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22698415; “Stress and Cardiovascular Disease,” A. Steptoe, M. Kivimaki, Nature Reviews Cardiology, April 3, 2012, 9(6), 360-70; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22473079
 
[v] “Stress May Play a Key Role in the Development of Type II Diabetes in Obese Black Women, U.S. Researchers Say,” HealthDay News, March 5, 2009; http://bit.ly/1xTMbku
 
[vi] “The Influence of Perceived Stress on the Onset of Arthritis in Women: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health,” M. L. Harris, D. Loxton, D. W. Sibbritt, J. E. Byles, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 2013, 46(1), 9-18; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23436274
 
[vii] “Stress, Depression, and Parkinson’s Disease,” Ann M. Hemmerle, James P. Herman, Kim B. Seroogy, Experimental Neurology, Jan. 2012, 233(1), 79-86; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3268878/

[viii] “Psychological Stress and Disease,” S. Cohen, D. Janicki-Deverts, G.E. Miller, JAMA, October 10, 2007, 298(14), 1685-7; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17925521
 
[ix] “Brain-Skin Connection: Stress, Inflammation, and Skin Aging,” Ying Chen and John Lyga, Inflammation and Allergy Drug Targets, June 2014, 13(3), 177-190; http://www.eurekaselect.com/122325/article
 
[x] Ibid.
 
[xi] Ibid.

[xii] “Impaired Skin Barrier Function in Dermatologic Disease and Repair with Moisturization,” M. Lebwohl, L.G. Herrmann, Cutis, Dec. 2005, 76(6) (6 Suppl): 7-12; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16869176; “Impact of Stress of Marital Dissolution on Skin Barrier Recovery: Tape Stripping and Measurement of Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), N. Muizzuddin, M.S. Matsui, K.D. Marenus, et al., Skin Research and Technology, 2003, 9(1), 34-38, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12535282

[xiii] “The Impact of Psychological Stress on Wound Healing: Methods and Mechanisms,” Jean-Philippe Gouin and Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America, Feb. 2011, 31(1): 81-93; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3052954/
[xiv] “Brain-Skin Connection: Stress, Inflammation, and Skin Aging,” Ying Chen and John Lyga, Inflammation and Allergy Drug Targets, June 2014, 13(3), 177-190; http://www.eurekaselect.com/122325/article; “Neuroimmunology of Stress: Skin Takes Center Stage,” Petra C. Arck, Andrzej Slominski, Theoharis C. Theoharides, et al., Journal of Investigative Dermatology, August 2006, 126(8), 1697-1704; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2232898/

[xv] “What is Alopecia Areata? What Causes Alopecia Areata?” Medical News Today, August 19, 2014; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/70956.php
[xvi] “Chronic Stress Accelerates Ultraviolet-Induced Cutaneous Carcinogenesis,” J. Parker, S.L. Klein, M.K. McClintock, et al., Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dec. 2004, 51(6): 919-22, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15583583; “Chronic Stress and Susceptibility to Skin Cancer,” Alison N. Saul, Tatiana M. Oberyszyn, Christine Daugherty, et al., Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Dec. 7, 2005, 97(23), 1760-67; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3422720/

[xvii] “Effects of Sleep Quality on Skin Aging and Function,” P. Oyetakin-White, B. Koo, M. Matsui, et al., Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2013: S126–S126; http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v133/n1s/full/jid201399a.html
 
[xviii] “Metabolism: Does Stress Really Shorten Your Life?” National Institute on Aging, November 2011; http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/biology-aging/metabolism-does-stress-really-shorten-your-life
 
[xix] Ibid.
 
[xx] “Are Telomeres the Key to Aging and Cancer?” Learn.Genetics; http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/chromosomes/telomeres/
 
[xxi] Ibid.

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0 comment(s) | Beauty from the Inside Out

New York dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer explains why a healthy diet results in gorgeous, silky hair—and highlights the key foods that can "feed" your locks.

A healthy diet—rich in key nutrients—can result in radiant skin and healthy hair.

We’re bombarded with ads for the latest hair products—from shampoos to gravity-defying gels—designed to give you gorgeous, enviable locks. But the part of the great-hair-day story that is often left out is how what you eat affects how your hair looks.

Even though hair is technically “dead” (it’s made up of dead cells composed of keratin, a fibrous protein, and has no blood, nerves, or muscles), it’s actually the second fastest growing cell in your body (bone marrow is the first).

It all starts from the follicle: at the base of the follicle is the papilla—from which hair grows. Capillaries surrounding the follicles (each follicle has its own blood supply) nourish the cell production and growth of each individual strand. Why this is important: if you aren’t eating a healthy diet—with enough key nutrients and protein—your hair follicle won’t be nourished and your hair will look lackluster and might even fall out. (Hormonal fluctuations and stress—both emotional and physical—can also affect the density and shine of your locks.)

So then, what should you be eating for shiny, lustrous locks? Start with these basics:

√ Peanuts and almonds: You may have heard about the benefits of biotin for hair health in a shampoo ad, or read in a magazine that taking biotin supplements can make your hair grow faster (and your nails stronger). There is some truth to this. Biotin is a B vitamin essential for hair growth and overall scalp health. Our bodies make their own biotin in the intestines, and it's also found in many common foods. A biotin deficiency is therefore very rare, so supplements are usually unnecessary if you're eating a balanced diet that includes some high-biotin foods.

Peanuts are a great choice, as they're also high in B vitamins and folate, which contribute to healthy hair. Other biotin-rich foods are almonds, sweet potatoes, eggs, onions, and oats. Salmon has a small amount of biotin compared to these others, but is still a good option as it’s a key part of the Mediterranean diet.

"Biotin is a B vitamin essential for hair growth and overall scalp health."

√ Lentils: These legumes are especially high in both folate and iron, two powerful nutrients that nourish your mane. Folate is a B vitamin that aids the creation of red blood cells; iron helps those blood cells carry oxygen and nutrients to all body cells. With iron deficiency, a condition known as anemia, cells can't get enough oxygen to function properly. The result can be devastating to the whole body, causing weakness, fatigue, and in some cases, even hair loss. So load up on iron-rich lentils for sturdy tresses — and if you're a premenopausal woman, consider taking a multivitamin that contains iron to replace iron lost during menstruation. Other good non-red meat sources of iron include fish (sardines, halibut, haddock, perch, salmon, and tuna); beans (lima beans, red kidney beans, split peas); and pumpkin, sesame, or squash seeds.

√ Oranges and strawberries: Juicy citrus fruits often get the credit as the best vitamin C–packed fruit, but just eight strawberries deliver 100 percent of your daily needs (something most people don’t realize). Strawberries are a juicy, delicious source of vitamin C, which is largely responsible for the health of collagen. Hair follicles require collagen, a structural fiber, for optimal growth. Even minor vitamin C deficiencies can lead to dry, splitting hair that breaks easily, so eating vitamin C–rich foods like strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, kiwifruit, red and green bell peppers, kale, broccoli, papaya, and pineapple can all help you grow stronger, more resilient strands.

"Vitamin C is largely responsible for the health of collagen. Hair follicles require collagen, a structural fiber, for optimal growth."

√ Chicken: Protein is key to healthy hair—and skinless chicken breast is another healthy source of protein. It’s rich in B vitamins — folate, B6 and B12 — that maintain strong, silky locks. These vitamins play an important role in the creation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to all body cells, including those of the scalp, follicles and growing hair. When the body is deprived of B vitamins, the cells can starve, causing shedding, slow growth or weak strands that are prone to breaking.

In addition to providing zinc and folate (nutrients that promote hair health), chickpeas are a great vegetarian source of iron-rich protein, an important combination for hair growth and repair. Because hair gets its structure from hardened proteins called keratin, people who don't have enough protein in their diet experience slower growth and weaker strands. To increase the absorption of iron from chickpeas, couple with a vitamin C–rich food such as tomatoes, bell peppers, or citrus fruit.

This all goes to show that you really are what you eat—take in healthy foods like those followed in a Mediterranean diet—and your body will be better off. This holds true, too, when it comes to beauty—how your skin, your hair, and even your nails look: a nutrient-rich diet and a healthy lifestyle is where beauty begins.

Eat well & be healthy,

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0 comment(s) | Healthy Living, | Healthy Skin

Five reasons, from Dr. Debbie Palmer, that eating Mediterranean style can keep you healthy—from keeping your heart strong and your brain sharp to reducing your risk of cancer and diabetes.

Olive oil is a key staple of the Mediterranean diet. It contains very high levels of monounsaturated fats—and is chockfull of health-promoting and disease-busting antioxidants.

I believe 100% in eating a Mediterranean-style diet (which is followed by the 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece, Southern Italy, and Spain). I follow it when it comes to my family—and recommend it to my patients. The main reason: studies show that this way of eating reduces overall mortality by keeping you healthy. It also reduces your risk of major diseases that can take a toll on your body—and your skin. Take a look:

√ It keeps your heart healthy. There have been numerous studies showing the dramatic effects of a Mediterranean diet on heart health. In the landmark Lyon Heart Study, higher ALA (a type of omega-3 healthy fat found in fish, vegetables, and yogurt) consumption—a hallmark of the Mediterranean diet—dramatically reduced total and cardiovascular mortality as well as nonfatal myocardial infarctions by more than 70 percent[ii].

√ It keeps your brain sharp. Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center and Washington University reviewed brain MRI’s of 712 octogenarians and found[iii]that those who followed a diet rich in olive oil, whole grains, fish, vegetables, and fruit were up to 36% less likely to show brain damage from small strokes (associated with cognitive problems).

According to one study in the Journal of the American Medical Association—when combined with regular exercise, following a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 48 percent[iv].

√ It reduces your risk of cancer. Patients who followed a Mediterranean-type diet had reduced mortality from all causes, but also a decreased risk for cancer overall[v]. One study, in particular, found that eating this Mediterranean-style diet is associated with a significantly lower risk for stomach cancer[vi]. Other research, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that post-menopausal women who eat a Mediterranean-style diet had a reduced risk of breast cancer[vii].

It seems that this plant-based style of eating also protects against skin cancer; Mediterranean populations have very low rates of skin cancer—despite living in sunny climates. The incidence of melanomas (the deadliest form of skin cancer) in Mediterranean countries is lower than in Northern Europe and significantly lower in other warm-weather countries like New Zealand and Australia. Some experts theorize that the components of a Mediterranean diet (namely the antioxidants found in it) may provide protection against skin cancer[viii].

√ It reduces your risk of diabetes. Eating a plant-based diet can help reduce your risk of obesity (which is a top risk factor for type 2 diabetes), but replacing saturated fats (like coconut and palm oils, butter, and cheese) with monounsaturated fats—typical of the Mediterranean region, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and oil olive—has been found to improve insulin sensitivity, which may explain, say researchers, “the favorable effect of the Mediterranean diet on glucose and insulin levels”[ix]. Researchers also found that eating a diet with omega-3 fatty acids (found in the seeds, nuts, and fish that’s prevalent in a Mediterranean diet) also improves insulin sensitivity[x].

According to researchers[xi], 90% of Type 2 diabetes (as well as 80% of coronary heart disease and 70% of strokes) can be avoided by eating a Mediterranean-style diet, as well as getting regular physical activity and not smoking[xii].

This all goes to show that you really are what you eat: take in healthy foods—like those followed in a Mediterranean diet—and your body will be better off.

Eat well & be healthy,

 

Sources:

 “Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and Health Status: Meta-Analysis,” Sofi F, Cesari F, Abbate R, et al., British Medical Journal, 2008; 337:a1344-50; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18786971
 
[ii] “Optimal Diets for Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease,” F.B. Hu, W.C. Willett, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2002, 288, 2569-78.
 
[iii] Scheduled presentation, Nikolaos Scarmeas, M.D., Connie Diekman, R.D.; American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, Toronto, April 10-17, 2010.
 
[iv] “Physical Activity, Diet and Risk of Alzheimer Disease,” N. Scarmeas, J. Luchsinger, N. Schupf, et al., Journal of the American Medical Association, 2009, 302(6), 627-637.

[v] “Mediterranean Dietary Pattern in a Randomized Trial: Prolonged Survival and Possible Reduced Cancer Rate,” M. De Lorgeril, P. Salen, JL Martin, et al., Archives of Internal Medicine, 1998, 158; 1181-7;http://www.researchgate.net/publication/13659917_Mediterranean_dietary_pattern_in_a_randomized_trial_prolonged_survival_and_possible_reduced_cancer_rate

[vi] “Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet and Risk of Gastric Adenocarcinoma Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Cohort Study,” G. Buckland, A. Agudo, L. Luján, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Feb. 2010, 91(2), 3810-90; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20007304
 
[vii] “Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Risk and Dietary Patterns in the E3N-EPIC Prospective Cohort Study,” V. Cottet, M. Touvier, A. Fournier, et al., American Journal of Epidemiology, Nov. 15, 2009, 170(10), 1257-67;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19828509

[viii] "SPF on Your Plate: Researcher Connects the Mediterranean Diet with Skin Cancer Prevention," ScienceDaily, American Friends of Tel Aviv University, August, 17, 2010; www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816122206.htm.
 
[ix] “Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet,” I. Shai, D. Schwarzfuchs, Y. Henkin, et al., New England Journal of Medicine. 2008, 359(3), 229-41.

[x] "Specific Insulin Sensitivity and Leptin Responses to a Nutritional Treatment of Obesity via a Combination of Energy Restriction and Fatty Fish Intake," I. Abete, D. Parra, A.B. Crujeiras, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Sept. 2008, (21) 6, 591-600;http://www.researchgate.net/publication/23226269_Specific_insulin_sensitivity_and_leptin_responses_to_a_nutritional_treatment_of_obesity_via_a_combination_of_energy_restriction_and_fatty_fish_intake

[xi] “The Mediterranean Diet: Science and Practice,” WC Willett, Public Health Nutrition, 2006, 9 (1A), 105-10;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16512956

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