Alcohol and MS?  

MSALchDrinking alcohol appears to have a protective effect on the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis.

(MS),Two studies, published in JAMA Neurology were conducted by a group led by Anna Karin Hedstrom, MD, from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, who conclude that their findings give no support to advising patients with NMS to completely refrain from alcohol consumption.

“We didn’t look at patients who already had MS, so I can’t make firm recommendations on this, but previous research has shown an anti-inflammatory effect of moderate alcohol intake,” Dr. Hedstrom said.  “I would say that if an MS patient wants to drink alcohol that is absolutely fine.”

She added: “MS patients often ask what their children can do to reduce their risk of developing their disease.  Whilst we wouldn’t recommend them drinking large quantities of alcohol because of other negative consequences, we can probably say that alcohol in moderation will not increase risk and may reduce it somewhat.  So I wouldn’t advise people to start drinking alcohol specifically to reduce their risk of developing MS, but I would say that you don’t need to avoid alcohol or stop drinking alcohol.”

Dose-Dependent Association

Three previous small studies looking at the association of alcohol and MS have had inconclusive results, Dr. Hedstrom noted.  “The current case-control studies are the largest to look at this association.  We wanted to study this as experimental studies and clinical observations have suggested that alcohol has an effect on the immune system and may have anti-inflammatory actions mediated by induction of interleukin-10.   As MS is an inflammatory condition, we thought alcohol may have a protective effect,” she explained.MSPub

The 2 current studies were the Epidemiological Investigation of Multiple Sclerosis (EIMS), which included 745 patients with NS (cases) and 1761 controls recruited between 2005 and 2011, and the Genes and Environment in Multiple Sclerosis (GEMS) study, with 5874 cases and 5246 controls recruited between 2009 and 2011.

Patients with MS were found from participatingcenters and from MS registries, and controls were randomly selected from the national population register, matched by age, sex, and residential area at the time of disease onset.

The 2 studies were set up to examine the effect of many different environmental and genetic factors on the development of MS.  Previous findings from these studies on the effect of smoking have already been published, showing that smoking appears to increase the risk of developing MS, especially in those who also have genetic risk factors for MS. Dr. Hedstrom reported.

The current results showed a dose-dependent inverse association between alcohol consumption and risk of developing MS that was statistically significant in both sexes.

“In the current analyses, if we compare drinkers with nondrinkers there is a small increase in risk of developing MS in the nondrinkers, but there was a clear dose response, and those with the highest alcohol consumption had reduction in risk of developing MS of about 50%.  This was similar in both studies.  We also saw a reduction in risk in the low and moderate drinkers but this was not so pronounced,” Dr. Hedstrom said.

 Alcohol Intake vs Never Drinkers

The protective effect of alcohol was greater in smokers.  “We saw quite a dramatic effect in smokers.  Alcohol seems to take away some, but not all, of the negative effects of smoking on the risk of MS,” Dr. Hedstrom commented.

Superdrink“I do believe this is a real effect that we are seeing,” she added. “There were similar results in both studies, and we took many different confounding factors into account.  The greatest limitation with studies like this is that individuals are asked to recall their alcohol intake from several years previously.  While this is obviously difficult to estimate completely accurately, people can generally remember whether they were light, moderate, or heavy drinkers as there were quite large differences between the 3 groups.”

For these studies, low consumption was defined as less than 50 g/wk for women and 100 g/wk for men; moderate consumption was 50 to 112 g/wk for women and 100 to 168 g/wk for m en; and high consumption was more than 112 g/wk for women and 168 g/wk for men.  Dr. Hedstrom estimated that a glass of wine contains about 12 g of alcohol.

In the paper the researchers point out that alcohol may also have a protective effect on developing cardiovascular disease and possibly also some other autoimmune conditions, such as hypothyroidism, systemic lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Well folks, in my quest to keep you informed perhaps this doesn’t affect you today, but you could know smeone who needs this information, so share, share, share this and all my blogs and online radio shows.  We can’t depend on drugs to heal anyone – they only cover up symptoms, but with knowledge and the right natural help – all is possible – just look at me if you need a small sampling, ha.

Don’t take your health for granted – it’s what’s going on in your cells that let’s you know where you really are when it comes to –

Planning for Tomorrow’s Good Health – TODAY!

Dr. Rhonda




Office:                   702-269-8120


B Vitamins Prevent Macular Degeneration:CVD2

More good news in the B Vitamin department:  Data from the Women’s Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Study (WAFAC), involving more than 5,400 women with cardiovascular disease or risk factors, showed that supplementation with a combination of folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 reduced the 7-year incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by one-third.

CVD3The women were randomized to placebo or a combination of folic acid (2.5 mg/day), vitamin B6 (50 mg/day) and vitamin B12 (1 mg/day), as part of a cardiovascular risk reduction intervention.  All of the patients were over age 40, and two-thirds of them had histories of cardiovascular disease.  The remainder had three or more CVD risk factors.

In a sub-analysis to determine whether B vitamins lowered the incidence, the researchers found that with an average follow-up of 7 years, the incidence of AMD was 3% in the placebo group versus 2% in the B vitamin group.  Forty-four of the placebo-treated women developed “visually significant” AMD versus only 26 of those taking B vitamins.

We know that elevated levels are associated with increased risk for AMD and B vitamins lower homocysteine.  The current study suggests that supplementation with these 3 B vitamins can lower the risk for AMD, although it’s not clear if this benefit is directly related to homocysteine-lowing or is attributable to some other mechanism(s).

In this writer’s opinion it is always best to start with a complete B vitamin complex, you are still low or very-low in any vitamin after a couple of months then, and only then should you increase.

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Walk or Pay…

walk3If you were paid to exercise, would you engage in more healthy physical activity?  When a health insurance company tried out that kind of program, the results were pretty striking.

Obese people enrolled in Blue Cross in Michigan were given a choice.  Do more walking (measured with pedometers that tracked their steps) or pay 20% more for health insurance.  Some people were unhappy with the program, but 87% of the people complied and took an average of 5,000 steps a day.

“There are ethical debates around the idea of forcing someone to be personally responsible for health care costs related to not exercising, but we expect to see more of these approaches to financially motivate healthier behaviors,” says researcher Caroline R. Richardson.  “Our evaluation of Blue Care’s incentivized program showed a surprisingly high rate of people who enrolled in the Internet-mediated walking program and stuck with it-even among those who were initially hostile to the idea.  Wellness interventions like this clearly hold significant promise for encouraging physical activity among adults who are obese.”

Many people in the program saved about $2,000 a year

So, let me ask my readers – what do you think of this approach?  I sincerely want you to drop me a line and let me know how you feel about this controversial approach to helping the obese (and remember, as an ex-311 pounder) – The leading causes of illness, disease and ultimately early death is the food we put in our mouths – then we as a society pay.  Now it’s your turn!

dog-walkingAnd that’s why with every blog, I try to remind you of how important you should be to you, and that’s why I close with: Plan for Tomorrow’s Good Health – TODAY!

Dr. Rhonda

Temporary website:    

Email inquiries:           

Las Vegas Office:                  702-269-8120 for appointments, or…


JFoodA plethora of previous studies suggest deleterious effects of routine consumption of fat-or sugar-laden foods.

Margaret J. Morris, from the University of New South Wales (Australia), and colleagues studies the impact on a diet high in fat and sugar on laboratory rats.

Mitchell 07.10.12

The researchers observed that such foods results in memory impairment, after just 1-week.

eating ignorance

Specifically, the cognitive impairment was related to place recognition – where the animals showed poor ability to notice when an object has been moved to a new location.

The animals also had inflammation of the hippocampal region of the brain, which is associated with spatial memory.

Study authors report that: “These results show that relatively short exposures to diets rich in both fat and sugar or rich in sugar, impair … memory … and suggest a role for oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in this impairment.”Junk-Food

So, I think it’s time we think this or that condition is going to happen to someone else, when in reality – if you don’t change some of your ways – you will be unable to live a healthy, happy, long life, and that would be a real shame.

Dr. Rhonda

Temporary website:

Email inquiries:       

Las Vegas Office:              702-269-8120

Replace Canola Oil

bad canolaMost people thought canola oil should be healthy, but in fact canola oil is one of the worst foods available.

When you buy any alkaline cookbooks, you’ll never see canola oil in the ingredient list.  And there is a pretty good reason behind it.

The main reason why canola oil is not healthy is because the canola oil found in supermarkets has been heavily processed.  From the website of a canola oil manufacturer,, they indicated that “The refining process involves degumming, neutralization, drying, bleaching, and deodorization.”  How tasty is this information?  Not!

And this is what really makes it unhealthy.canola-oil

This applies to the rest of the vegetable oils (sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, flaxseed oil).

Due to heavy processing and refining, it creates a high level of instability in the previously beneficial fatty acids.  These molecules become extremely fragile, causing some of these vegetable oils to go rancid very easily, especially when exposed to heat.

what-are-free-radicalsAnd it’s not just when used for cooking that they’re exposed to heat.  When consumed, high temperatures inside the body are enough to cause fatty acids to oxidize, producing free radicals.

Try leaving canola oil out in the open for a week and you’ll notice that it turns rancid.

Having discuss all the bad things about canola oil, you still can use canola oil when it’s unprocessed.  Look for the organic or “cold pressed” canola oil when you do your shopping.

When the oil is cold pressed, it means that the oil is obtained through pressing and grinding fruit seeds with the use of heavy granite millstones or modern stainless steel presses, which are found in large commercial operations.

Otherwise it’s better to use other cooking oils.  So what should you use?antioxidants-and-free-radicals


    *      Extra virgin olive oil –

I don’t recommend cooking with this oil as it has low smoke point.  But it’s suitable as a salad dressing that will make your salad delicious.

   *       Coconut oil –

In my opinion, this is my favourite oil for cooking.  It has higher smoke point than olive oil and it tastes good too.  Besides cooking, it has plenty of other uses as well.

Hey we all like to eat, especially me, but just try to make a few changes, one a week or even a month will start to pay of sooner than you could imagine.  I know you’re worth it!  Do YOU??

Dr. Rhonda

Like anything else, you have to –

Plan for Tomorrow’s Good Health – TODAY!


Temporary website:

Email inquiries:       

Las Vegas Office:              702-269-8120

Trans Fats:

Going, going, but not gone!


It has been 6 years since the FDA began requiring packaged foods to list trans fats on the label.  Though animal foods like butter contain tiny amounts of natural trans fats, most trans fats in our food supply are synthetic, created when unsaturated vegetable oils are partially hydrogenated.

This gives the oils a semi-solid consistency that’s more suitable for many processed foods.  Synthetic trans fats raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and have other adverse effects that increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

In response to the labeling law, many manufacturers voluntarily reduced or eliminated partially hydrogenated oils – and thus trans fats – from their margarines, baked goods, snacks, and other foods.  Sone fast-food restaurants got rid of trans fats in French fries, while California and New York city banned artificial trans fats in restaurants altogether. cigs

Reassuringly, a 2010 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that most reformulated foods do not contain higher levels of saturated fats, as feared.  Instead, food makers and restaurants have largely replaced partially hydrogenated oils with healthy unsaturated oils.


These government and industry steps seem to be paying off now.  According to a large study from the CDC in the Journal of the American Medical Association in February, blood levels of trans fats decreased nearly 60% between 2000 and 2009, thanks to the removal of trans fats from processed foods.  Such a dramatic drop in blood trans fats “should help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Hubert Vesper, the study’s lead author.

That’s good news, but don’t let down your guard.  Some supermarkets and restaurant foods still contain trans fats, sometimes at very high levels.  Here are some examples, cited by the Center for Science in the Public Interest:

*       Jolly Time Microwave Popcorn (some flavors) has 4 grams of trans fat per serving.

*       Marie Callender’s Lattice Apple Pie, 5 grams

*       Long John Silver’s Clam Strips, 7 grams

*       White Castle donuts, as much as 9 grams

Other companies cites include:

Celeste Pizza – Jimmy Dean – Pepperidge Farm – Giant – DiGiorno, and Betty Crocker.trans fat pie_chart

The American Heart Association advises that trans fats provide no more than 1% of your total daily calories (that’s less than 2 grams a day for someone eating 2,000 calories a day.)

Bottom Line:


Check nutrition labels for trans fats, but you have to read between the lines.  Because of a labeling loophole, manufacturers can say their products have 0 grams of trans fat if they contain less than 0.5 grams per serving.  That may not sound like a lot, but the numbers add up if you eat several servings.

trans fat labelTo avoid synthetic trans fats in packaged foods, make sure that partially hydrogenated oil is not in the ingredients list.  If you use margarine, soft (tub) margarines are much less likely to contain trans fats, or at least much less of then, than hard margarines.  Keep in mind that products that contain trans fats tend to be junk foods anyway, often high in calories, fat, and sodium.  Life becomes much easier when you eat organic.


I have been asked over and over about taking aspirin to avoid a heart attack or stroke.  I have never been an advocate for just everyone who thinks they should take it, go ahead, it’s not really a drug.  Really~   So, I went to a preventive cardiologist to give you the facts, as I hope you will digest and assimilate for your own good!

Heart attack“Many of my cardiology patients ask about the value of taking daily aspirin to prevent heart attack and stroke.

Recent research has shed new light on this.  Indeed mounting evidence reported in a number of leading medical journals now suggests that if you’re healthy and not at significant risk for a heart attack, you should not be taking aspirin preventively.

That’s because the studies show that aspirin doesn’t reduce the risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke in healthy people.  Furthermore, the potential risk of a cerebral hemorrhage, gastrointestinal bleeding, and ulcers outweighs any heart benefits the aspirin might provide.

However, if you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke, or if you have been found by your doctor to be at high or moderate risk for heart attack or stroke, the benefits of taking aspirin can trump the risks.  That’s because aspirin acts as an anti-inflammatory and an inhibitor of blood clotting.

For those at risk, aspirin is one of the drugs in our arsenal (along with statins, ACE inhibitors, and beta blockers) that can help keep a coronary event from occurring in the first place or recurring.

As far as what dosage works best in people for whom aspirin is recommended, I suggest you consult your own doctor.  Based on the new research, I no longer recommend aspirin (not even 81mg low-dose, or baby, aspirin) for any of my healthy


patients, because the risk of bleeding is 2 to 4 times greater than if yo aren’t taking aspirin at all.  I do, however, continue to recommend 162 milligrams daily (2 low-dose aspirin) to patients who already have coronary heart disease,, have already had a heart attack or stroke, or who are at high or moderate risk for one and not at risk for gastrointestinal bleeding.

Remember, if you do take aspirin regularly, you should NOT drink alcohol because it can also irritate the stomach lining.  In addition, because aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), it should not be taken with other NSAIDs, such as ibup0rofen or naproxen.  And because it can thin the blood, avoid taking aspirin with anti-clotting medications, such as Coumadin (warfarin) or Plavix (clopidogrel), unless advised to do so by your doctor.

In addition, I now follow the recently revised American Diabetes Association guidelines for aspirin use in people with diabetes.  Whereas the ADA used to recommend low-dose aspirin for every diabetic patient over the age of 40, their new guidelines suggest aspirin as a prevention strategy only in those with diabetes whose cardiovascular risk is above average.  This includes  men over 50 or women over age 60 with at least one additional major risk factor.  In other words, according the  ADA, younger diabetic patients without associated cardiovascular risk factors appear not to benefit from taking aspirin.

The bottom line here is that if you’re healthy you shouldn’t take aspirin without a cardiovascular risk assessment by your doctor.  If you’re not sure about your risk of heart disease, get tested.  Today there are many advanced tests (such as a heart scan for coronary calcium), beyond the basic lipid profile, that can help you and your doctor determine where you stand.

I sure hoping you’re sharing my blogs with your family, friends and social media gang – I’m trying hard to keep you up-to-date with these and my weekly online radio shows which are archived on my temporary website:  – would love to hear from you with comments or suggestions.

Remember, yesterday is gone – but this is a new day to start –

Planning for Tomorrow’s Good Health – TODAY!

Dr. Rhonda

Email inquiries:

Las Vegas Office:      702-269-8120

The FDA – A Sad Scenario:

In 2010, the FDA put tight curbs on the use of the type 2 diabetes drug Avandia.  Essentially they made it a drug of very last resort.


That was a good call.  They had plenty of evidence (and it was mounting) that the drug could increase heart attack and stroke risk.avandia-heart-attacks


But leave it to the FDA to put this dangerous drug back on the market at full force.


When the agency put the brakes on Avandia, they told GlaxoSmithKline (the drug producer) that they could “convene an independent group of scientists to re-adjudicate” a 2009 study that was just one piece of the evidence against the drug.


Judge-with-GavelRe-adjudicate?  That’s a fancy, bureaucratic way of saying, “Take a do-over” – like kindergartners on a playground.  And so the agency put GSK in charge of it!  (there own company)


At least the fox had to actually get into the hen house.  The FDA basically tore down all 4 walls.


And then GSK’s hand-picked panel decided that the study did NOT show increased risk of heart attacks.   (I wonder how much that cost them?)


Poof!  Like magic!  The evidence was there before.  The agency recognized it and acted on it.  But then the GSK experts said, “mo.”  Like the evidence was never there.GSK


So FDA officials shrugged and said, “Okie dokie!”  They removed the curbs, and now Avandia can be prescribed normally again by those doctors who aren’t taking into consideration the legitimate research initially offered.


That’s a nice little system they’ve got there.  Runs like clockwork.  Except for one thing.  The study that was re-adjudicated is not by any means the only study that exposed Avandia dangers.  Other researches found clear links to heart attack, stroke, and heart failure risk.


But never mind all that.  Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, says, “Given these new results, our level of concern is considerably reduced.”


Really?  Considerably reduced?  Well I’d like to test Woodcock’s “level of concern and her bank account.”


I give credit to HSI research for being out there in the fire trying to get information out so that people like me can get it out to you and those you love.  Be aware and don’t just take whatever drug your prescribed without knowing about it – do you’re research before you pay for another prescription and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to check those that are going into your body daily.  Just a suggestion, because I really care!

Dr. Rhonda

Temporary website:

Email inquiries:       

Las Vegas Office:              702-269-8120


Retro TV CommercialTrans fats – great for shelf life and for boiling French fries but horrible for  Heart Health– will be banned by the Food and Drug Administration – Finally!

The unhealthy partially hydrogenated oils had been subject of labeling since 2006.  This act alone led to a significant decrease in consumption of trans fats as food manufacturers sought healthier options.  In 2003, the average American intake of trans fats was 4.6 grams per day, according to the FDA, and that number has fallen to about 1 gram per day in 2012.

But trans fats still exist in some processed foods, from baked goods to microwave popcorn, frozen pizza to ready-to-use frosting.  Trans fats also naturally occur in a few foods, such as some meats, and there they will remain.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that a further reduction of trans fat in the food supply can prevent an additional fat-label7,000 deaths from heart disease each year and up to 20,000 heart attacks each year.

Because the mere labeling of trans fats has led food makers to shy away from using it, the biotech industry has taken the hint and put up tens of millions of dollars to oppose labeling of GMO ingredients,.  That strategy has paid off as initiatives in California in 2012 and in Washington state this week both failed to win approval by voters.

The official regulatory death knell was made possible through the GRAS process – trans fats, the agency has declared, are no longer Generally Recognized As Safe.

Heart attack“FDA can act when it believes an ingredient is, in fact, not GRAS.  And that’s what the agency’s preliminary determination is doing now with partially hydrogenated oils,” the agency noted in its statement on Friday, November 8th, 2013.”  A Federal Register notice was published in Nov. 7, 2013, announcing the preliminary determination that PHOs (partially hydrogenated oils) are not GRAS, which includes the opening of a 60-day public comment period.

“If FDA makes a final determination that PHOs are not GRAS, the agency and food industry would have to figure out a way to phase out the use of PHOs over time.  To help address this concern in an appropriate manner, the Federal Register notice calls for comment on how long it would take the food industry to phase out its use of PHOs.”


Studies into the cholesterol-altering properties of trans fats began at the University of Maastricht in Netherlands in 1990.  In a series of studies until 2003, researchers discovered that coronary heart disease risk is reduced most effectively when trans fatty acids and saturated fatty acids are replaced with cis unsaturated fatty acids.  The largest reduction was seen with unhydrogenated oils, such as canola, soybean and olive oils.  These studies helped change the scientific and regulatory consensus on trans fats over the course of 2 decades.

nutrition-labelThe trans fats story has been a rare opportunity for food processors to develop and market nutritionally advanced oils.  The key to successful launches has been to maintain both hydrogenation’s ability to extend product shelf life by reducing oxidation as well as its superior structural functionality in finished baked goods.  At the same time, new oils had to eliminate trans fats’ untoward cardiovascular health effects.  As the cost for these oils is as much as double compared to hydrogenated trans fats, expense has also a consideration.

But food science marches on, and consumers have not even noticed the elimination of trans fats in the diet.

Label GMOs!


gmo-food-pesticidesWe’re at a tipping point in the fight to label GMOs and prevent the
overuse of their toxic herbicides. We need you to join us in the march
to victory!

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View and share our new video Demon
 It’s the story of glyphosate-resistant weeds, a GMO
herbicide, and the negative effects on the environment and human health.

cartoon_fda_gmoIt’s more important than ever for you to take action! Increased use
of GMO crops is causing the herbicide glyphosate (an ingredient in
Monsanto’s Roundup) to be used in massive amounts. ANH-USA’s newest
report shows that increased use of glyphosate can damage our
environment, our economy, the livelihood of American farmers,
and especially our health.


Rat-Tumor-Monsanto-GMO-Cancer-Study-3-WideYou deserve to know what’s in your food, and what kind of farming
practices your purchases support.

Take action now!

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