Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Olive Oil The Mediterranean Miracle

One of our favorite nutrients is olive oil. We have a ranch in northern California situated at 1800 feet near Yosemite Park.  The ranch is not a cattle ranch or a sheep ranch. Instead we have groves of Tuscan olive trees and we produce an extra virgin olive oil. We each take a tablespoon of the olive oil every morning, and it is not because we are the producer. It is good for you.

Homer called olive oil "liquid gold" and it has remained important to the Mediterranean people during the ensuing centuries where it remains as the corner stone of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is rich in monosaturated fats, especially oleic acid.  It has been demonstrated  that a higher proportion of monosaturated fat in te diet is linked to a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. The Food and Drug Administration reviewed extensive clinical data on olive oil and made a decision in November 2004 allowing the producers of olive oil to place a statement on the label of the bottle saying that eating 2 tablespoons on olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.

This health benefit is thought to primarily be due to the oleic acid (monosaturated fat) in the oil.  However, extra virgin olive oil is also rich in polyphenols that are potent antioxidants and have heart health benefits.

There are other health benefits of olive oil.
  1. Olive oil reduces the level of omega 6 fatty acids in the blood. The significance of omega 6 fatty acids was discussed in a previous blog.
  2. Olive oil lowers total cholesterol and LDL levels in the blood
  3. Olive oil lowers blood sugar levels
  4. Olive oil helps to lower blood pressure
  5. The antioxidants in olive oil reduce oxidative damage to DNA and RNA
For these reasons it is difficult to find a tablespoon of any medicine that would have as many health benefits as a tablespoon of olive oil.

Get more information in our book Live Longer Live Healthier

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Do You Need To Take Supplements? Part 2

In the first blog on this very important subject we  discussed why it it might be important to take supplements.  The first reason is that most Americans do not eat a balanced diet that includes all of the necessary food groups.  The second is that even you if you are a person who eats a balanced diet, you can not be certain that the food that you are eating is not nutritionally deprived. For these reasons we propose that everyone needs to do some supplementation.

We have found evidence to support the claim that many Americans are on the verge of serious vitamin deficiencies.

For example Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D Professor of Nutrition at Tufts University, summarized the percentage of older adults whose dietary intakes fall below the RDA. Remember that the RDA is the bare minimum of that vitamin necessary to prevent specific diseases. Here are some examples.

Vitamin A 41-65%; Vitamin D 63-74%; Vitamin E 69-80%; Vitamin B6 50-90%; Niacin 10-53%

An article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition came to similar conclusions stating that about 30% of all Americans are in general borderline deficient in essential nutrients.

We believe that it is our responsibility as physicians to present unbiased facts. Evaluate all of the evidence for and against taking supplements and make a decision about what is best for you. In the next posts we will begin the discussion of specific nutrients.

Get more information in our book Live Longer Live Healthier

or visit our website at