Wednesday, December 3, 2008

NFC December Newsletter

Don’t Take a Deep Breath.....

In 2005 the American Lung Association gave Maricopa County the lowest possible grade for air quality. Our air received this poor grade because it was determined that 79% of Maricopa County residents are at high risk for respiratory complications due to air quality.

We’ve all seen the “Brown Cloud” that enshrouds our city. On weekday mornings the smell of exhaust in central Phoenix can be nauseating. There are even times when it’s impossible to see the buildings of downtown from atop South Mountain.

Our air has turned it’s current shade of brown due to the presence of tiny particles of carbon and from nitrogen dioxide gas. This stuff comes from burning fossil fuels- cars, generators, lawn mowers. There has even been speculation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that large-scale animal farms, like those in the SW part of the valley, may be significant contributors to air pollution.

So what can we do about it? Well, at this point we all still need to drive our cars. However, we should consider buying cars cleaner burning engines the next time we’re in the market, and walking or biking instead of driving when we need to make a trip to the corner store.There are also simple solutions to improving the quality of the air inside of your home. First, and air filter is a great idea. At NFC we have several Austin Air Health Mate Plus filters, and we have been really pleased with their performance. These machines filter both gasses and particulate matter from the air, which is an important thing to look for in any good air filter.

Also, growing indoor plants can help to clean the air of gasses and chemicals. According to NFC doctor Marianne Marchese, ND- our environmental medicine specialist- there are some types of plants which are particularly effective for this purpose. Through researching studies completed by NASA, Dr. Marchese recommends the following plants to clean your air:

Mass cane (Dracaena massangeana)
Pot mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
Gerbera daily (Gerbera jamesonii)
Warnecki (Dracaena deremensis “Warneckei”)
Ficus (Ficus benjamina)

Adding just one or two small plants probably won’t make a huge difference in your indoor air quality, but a few larger plants may. It’s a known fact that the bedrooms are often the most polluted rooms in a home, and they are also where we spend the most time. So, adding an air filter and putting some greenery in your bedroom is a great idea.

Interestingly, what you eat may effect how your body deals with toxic effects of the Brown Cloud. At a recent presentation at the AACR cancer prevention research conference it was suggested that smokers could drastically reduce their risk of developing cancer by eating more broccoli. By eating 4.5 servings of cruciferous vegetables PER MONTH the chances of developing lung cancer were reduced by 22-50%. Wow.

So, because we’re all inhaling noxious gasses everyday as a result of being Maricopa County residents, eating more broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and kale is a wise idea. These vegetables have some pretty powerful effects, from helping the liver to metabolize and excrete toxins, to converting potentially harmful hormones into their least active forms- think estrogen and breast cancer.

Of course maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a sure fire way to decrease the chance of getting any of the most prevalent chronic diseases plaguing society today. In fact, of that 79% of us (over 2.6 million) that are in danger of experiencing respiratory problems due to our air pollution, those with the highest risk are people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and bronchitis. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are both preventable diseases. Exercising, eating right, and reducing stress are all scientifically proven to both prevent and treat these conditions.

The NFC Health Challenge

If you’re new to healthy living, looking for a way to assess your health, or curious about how to prepare tasty and healthy foods then this month’s NFC Health Challenge is for you. On Saturday, December 6th we will be hosting our monthly meeting where participants will receive cholesterol, blood sugar, bio-impedance analysis (BIA), and blood pressure screenings, a full explanation of the meaning of their results, and a customized diet and exercise plan. Additionally this month we will be joined by chef Rachel Albert-Matesz. Chef Rachel has taught more than 800 whole foods cooking classes and had more than 200 articles published in national magazines. She’s the author of The Ice Dream Cookbook: Dairy-Free Ice Cream Alternatives with Gluten-Free Cookies, Compotes & Sauces and co-author of The Garden of Eating A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook. She developed 130 recipes for two cookbooks by best-selling author Barry Sears, including Zone Meals in Seconds. As we're discussing everyone's lab values Chef Rachel will be making and passing around healthy foods for us to enjoy.

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about healthy living and healthy cooking. Call the office now for more information about this special event as space is limited. Here's the number 602-493-2273

Prince of the Prostates

Our very own Prince of the Prostate, Dr. Phranq Tamburri, ND has recently published his second article article for Naturopathic Doctor News and Review. Dr. Tamburri's article, titled "The Revolution in Prostate Cancer Management," has been extremely well received, and has further solidified his position as one of the top ND urologists in the country.

Dr. Tamburri uses a doppler ultrasound to evaluate prostate. This technique allows Dr. Tamburri to get accurate data about the size of the gland, the size and location of any suspicious tissue, and the blood flow in and around the prostate. This information is of great importance to men with prostate issues. This is especially true as the reliability of standard PSA testing has recently come into question. For more info on Dr. Tamburri please see his biography on the main NFC webpage.

Have a great day,

Jake Psenka, ND

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