The holiday season is all about celebrating, togetherness, and indulging—but doing so in moderation. We’re heading into the holiday months starting with Halloween through New Year’s. That’s nearly twelve weeks of parties full of hors d’oeuvres, treats, and alcohol. Those calories add up fast, and it’s not always so easy to burn them off again.

1 – Health Goals

Plan your weekly food intake and allow some treats into that plan. Create a tradeoff: for example, allow yourself two cookies at every holiday party but avoid the alcohol. Focus on specific attainable goals and follow through rather than a potentially harmful mindset of dropping two sizes by Valentine’s Day. 

2 – Routine

Create and stick to a regular routine of exercise and sleep as part of your health goals. Getting enough sleep has also been associated with less weight gain. Practice good sleep hygiene, like turning off electronics in the bedroom and avoiding bingeing at night. It can be tempting to cozy up and hibernate the entire time you are off from work during the holidays, and, but stick to your routines as mentioned in No. 1, and continue to exercise every day. Making exercise a daily habit won’t even feel like a chore any longer, but rather a built-in part of your day. Wearable fitness trackers are a great way to get motivated.

3 – Alcohol

So many choices: wassail, martinis, wine, rumchata, spiked eggnog … they all sound delicious, but they have little to no nutritional value and contribute to excess weight gain. Instead, try having a club soda with a lime twist to help cut calories and remain well hydrated.

4 – Portion Control

Eat a small, healthy meal before party time to help you from unconsciously snacking all night. Something full of fiber or protein are solid options that will keep you fuller for longer and help maintain a healthy weight because high protein diets are associated with greater satiety. Great options include: roasted chicken or turkey, hummus with vegetables, quinoa, lentils, or beans.

5 – Careful Indulgence

Allow yourself a small portion of something you’re craving can prevent overindulging later. But if you find you’re still craving a few more bites of your favorites, daydreaming about pleasant activities or distracting yourself with just about any activity can reduce the intensity of food cravings.

Choose the smaller salad plate instead of a tray-like one f you want to try out the scintillating mac and cheese or other rich holiday dish. Using smaller plates can actually make us feel fuller with less food, because the brain associates a big white space on the plate with less food.

6 – Don’t Stress

Trying not to overstress during the holidays can feel like exercise on its own. Unfortunately, a lot of stress can trigger increased eating and cravings, especially for sugary carbohydrates. Try to avoid emotional eating. Instead, nix the stress and allow yourself to be more present in your daily life through yoga, deep breathing, massage therapy, and meditation. Stay focused during the holidays and stick to your daily routines so that you don’t lose track of your health goals.

7 – Positive Outlook

Do what you can to remain positive. Just get back on track the next day if a bad one comes along. Don’t punish yourself for indulging or demonize certain foods or punish yourself for indulgences. Remind yourself that you can control your eating by making healthy choices and that you’re proud of achieving your goals for the day. This can reframe your relationship with food—positive expectations are associated with weight loss. While it may feel silly at times, try telling yourself at least one positive affirmation per day. A healthy mind leads to other healthy habits.

Colds and flu can stop you in your tracks. When body aches, fever, chills, and nasal congestion combine, you’ll find yourself spending hours or days in bed. You want to feel better and get back to your routine quickly, and many natural cold and flu remedies can alleviate your symptoms.

Complications arising from the flu can become serious—so if you still have symptoms after 7-10 days, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor. If any of your symptoms include difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, you feel faint, or experience other severe symptoms like a high fever, seek immediate medical assistance.

Vitamin C

Some studies have indicated that Vitamin C can shorten the lifespan of a cold and boosts your immune system. The best way to get it is through your diet: the fresher the food, the better. For example, eat whole oranges, instead of drinking orange juice. Vitamin C plays an important role in your body and has many health benefits. Along with limes, lemons, grapefruits, leafy greens, and bell peppers are all good sources of vitamin C. Be careful with supplements since they can lead to upset stomach and kidney stones.

Honey

Honey has natural antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Drinking honey in tea with lemon can ease sore throat pain. Research suggests that honey is an effective cough suppressant, too. Honey often contains Clostridium bacteria, so never give honey to a child younger than 1-year-old because infants’ immune systems aren’t able to fight them off.

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is one of the most well-known natural cold and flu remedies in the book. Hot liquids help reduce mucous buildup and keep you hydrated, and chicken soup, in particular, has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce a cold’s unpleasant side effects. It can also slow the movement of neutrophils (a common type of white blood cell) in your body—they stay more concentrated in the areas of your body that require the most healing when they move slowly. Keep some in the freezer or even canned for flu season. It’s quick to prepare that way and easy and soothing to eat.

Aromas

When you have congestion from the flu, applying camphor or menthol salve around your nose can help break up mucus. Aromatherapy oils, such as peppermint and eucalyptus, can have a similar effect. While the scent is strong, vapor rub can reduce cold symptoms, especially in children older than 2 years. It helps open air passages to combat congestion, reduce coughing, and improve sleep. It’s a good alternative to over-the-counter cold medicines in young children because of unwanted side effects.

Moisture

A great decongestant is a steamy shower or sauna—but if you are dizzy or weak from the flu, sit in a chair in your bathroom while you run a hot shower.

A warm sponge bath sometimes can reduce a child’s fever. Reduce body aches by adding Epsom salt and baking soda to the water. A soothing effect can be achieved by adding a few drops of essential oil, such as tea tree, juniper, rosemary, thyme, orange, lavender, or eucalyptus.

Dry environments are where flu thrives and spreads more easily. More humidity in your home may reduce your exposure to the flu virus. It may also reduce nasal inflammation, which makes it easier to breathe when sick. Adding a cool-mist humidifier to your bedroom may help you feel more comfortable especially true in winter when dry indoor heat worsens your symptoms.

Salt Water

Gargling with salt water reduces and loosens mucus, which contains bacteria and allergens. To try this natural cold and flu remedy at home, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a full glass of water. Swish it around your mouth and throat. Then spit it out.

Ginger

Ginger root’s health benefits have been touted for centuries. Soothe a cough or sore throat by boiling a few slices of raw ginger root in boiling water. It can also ward off the feelings of nausea that so often accompany the flu.

Garlic

The compound allicin is prevalent in garlic, which is shown to have antimicrobial properties. Adding a garlic supplement to your diet might reduce the severity of cold symptoms, and it might even help you avoid getting sick in the first place. Adding more garlic to your diet probably won’t hurt—and it’s a tasty way to add flavor to your food.

Echinacea

The herb and root of the echinacea plant have been used by Native Americans to treat infections for more than 400 years. Its active ingredients include flavonoids, which are chemicals that boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Taking echinacea may lower your risk of developing the common cold by more than 50 percent. It may also reduce the length of a cold. If you’re a healthy adult, consider taking 1 to 2 grams of echinacea root or herb as a tea, three times daily, for no longer than one week.

Probiotics

Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria and yeast that are found in your body, some foods, and supplements. They can help keep your gut and immune system healthy, and that probiotics may reduce your chance of getting sick with an upper respiratory infection.

For a delicious and nutritious source of helpful bacteria, include probiotic yogurt in your diet. Besides its potential benefits for your immune system, yogurt can a healthy snack that provides plenty of protein and calcium. Look for products that list live bacteria on the label. But watch out—many types of yogurt can contain a lot of sugar.

Remember, natural cold and flu remedies have their place, but if your symptoms persist beyond 7-10 days or you develop symptoms including difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or high fever, make an appointment with your doctor.

Related Reading

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Spring Cleaning: Time to Clean out the Toxins in Your Body

In the last several month, the famous neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks contributed three essays reflecting on his life. If you don’t know who he is, he was portrayed by Robin Williams in the movie Awakenings. He also wrote several best seller medical essays and books documenting some of the most fascinating cases he’s seen in his practice, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Musicophilia, and Uncle Tongsten.

His last writing to the New York Times was published just a few weeks before his death, titled “Sabbath.” In it, he describes his upbringing in the orthodox jewish family and the meaning of Sabbath in one’s life.

“I find my thoughts, increasingly, not on the supernatural or spiritual, but on what is meant by living a good and worthwhile life- achieving a sense of peace within oneself. I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath, the day of rest, the seventh day of the week, and perhaps the seventh day of one’s life as well, when one can feel that one’s work is done, and one may, in good conscience, rest.”
In this modern life, perhaps we never feel that our work is truly done, I certainly feel that way. I have not had a true day of rest and with the cell phone, work follows me everywhere I go. With my birthday approaching in a few month and very much a middle aged person, I find myself thinking of sabbath or a day of rest.

Step away from work this weekend, and find yourself a day of rest. Get a lot of sleep, hang out with love ones, go to the beach, and take a long walk with your dog. You do not need to wait until you are dying or feel that your work here is done.

A day of rest is a gift from God.

Stay in touch.

Dr. An.

Halloween candy is difficult to resist, and you might assume that sugar is the sole reason for that. Sugar can activate reward circuits in the brain that also respond to drugs like cocaine. It is possible to build up a tolerance to and dependence on sugar. Studies have shown that sweet or fatty foods can activate pathways in the brain associated with pleasure and reward, kicking off processes that can compete with or override signals that regulate normal hunger and satiety. This sometimes causes people to overeat out of pleasure, not hunger.

How your body handles sugar

While salt, sugar, and fat are all tasty on their own, food scientists have long known they become irresistible when they come together. It’s the convergence of sugar, fat, and salt—the specific combination in many candies, Halloween and otherwise—that really activates the for pleasure eating system. When you taste a sweet food, it releases dopamine into your system. Dopamine plays a major role in the motivational component of reward-motivated behavior—and the effect on your mood is very real.

This effect can occur because you have a memory of previously experienced pleasure. Humans have complex neurologic systems where learning, memory, and pleasure somewhat congeal. Any food can spur this effect, but when you link the nostalgia and positive memories attached to Halloween candy, it’s likely to trigger an intense reaction. It can be difficult to outsmart these bodily mechanisms, though some research suggests that consistently choosing healthful foods can eventually rewire your brain to prefer them.

Your body goes to work on ingesting all that sugar and syrup it as soon as it can. Your stomach breaks down the candy and absorbs it all immediately, which causes your blood glucose to spike. As is the case with salt, too much sugar can cause water retention. As water is absorbed into your blood, your body starts to think that it’s dehydrated. You’ll feel really thirsty as a result.

The hormonal effects of eating sugar

An overlooked organ, you might not know what your pancreas even does. The pancreas is responsible for releasing insulin, which regulates blood sugar. Repeatedly overloading your blood with glucose will overtax the release of insulin. This degradation of the natural response to sugar is a risk factor for diabetes. The spike in blood sugar wreaks havoc on all kinds of hormones, including cortisol and epinephrine. Both of these hormones can send your heart racing in response.

Those hormones do more than just speed up your heart rate. Spiking your blood sugar alters the ratio of estrogen to progesterone in the body. Progesterone calms you down, while estrogen has a tendency to increase the intensity of your emotions.

Digesting all of those simple sugars and chemicals at once wasn’t easy, and natural byproduct of digestion is gas but excess gas causes bloating. General discomfort, indigestion, and flatulence are also probable side effects.

The inevitable drop in your blood glucose is bound to make you feel hungry, despite how much you’ve already eaten. You might feel sluggish, lethargic, or irritable in the process — all of which, in turn, can make you crave more candy.

Normally, when you eat a large number of calories of nutritious food, your body acknowledges those extra calories and naturally consumes less later on. When you consume sugary foods your body is still hungry for those calories later. Your body will still want the protein, vitamins, and minerals it needs.

Conclusion

The worst kind of Halloween candy is any made of pure sugar, like Skittles, Pixy Stix, Airheads, and candy corn. You might think those are less damaging options, since many are marketed as fat free, but these concentrated sweets have a dramatic effect on raising blood sugar, which over time can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and diabetes.

When you do have to give into temptation and give yourself a treat, try dark chocolate candy with nuts. These options at least have minor amounts of protein and antioxidants. In general, you should choose candies that contain some actual food, like chocolate, nuts, and coconut.

It has been more than 20 years since Ms. Lynn Bertrand was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s the same type of condition the famed physicist Stephen Hawking suffered. Lynn had been bedridden much of the past 20 years barely able to walk more than a few feet. Her airway collapsed from her own body weight when she laid down and she had to sleep in upright position. Someone also had to watch her eat so she didn’t choke on food, and she had no use of her left arm. Her body was also in constant pain and she also had floaters in her vision. At one point, she was sent to hospice and her family was told to prepare for the worst. She was told her only hope was stem cell therapy and she and her husband weighed going to Mexico for a treatment, however, they were quoted a large amount of money that they simply could not afford. But Lynn is a fighter and she never gave up the hope of someday, something can help her. This hope and the loving care of her husband and sons kept her going.

When she was wheeled into the clinic almost 2 years ago, I told them that we did not have any experience treating ALS and that I wasn’t even sure if this would help her or not. But certainly, if she were my mother, I would want her to try it. They had nothing else to try, they told me, yes they wanted to try it.

Lynn BertrandTwo days later, I was out of the office when a stunned staff member called me. “You are not going to believe it, Dr. An. Ms. Lynn walked into the office with a walker.” I rushed to the office and Lynn told me, immediately after the treatment, she felt a pleasant tingling sensation in her head. And by the time she got her car, the floaters in the vision were gone. She’s gotten a few more treatments since the first and the last treatment was more than 7 months ago but she continues to improve. She’s regained much of the function in her left arm. She has ditched the wheelchair and now mostly walks with a walker and sometimes, she “upgrades” it to a cane. Her 23 year old son had never seen his mother walking until now. She can sleep and eat without much trouble. She feels like her whole body is reversing, her hair started to grow out, and her skin feels different. And the most exciting recent news is that she started practicing driving again and she aims to get her driver’s license back. In her friend’s words, Lynn cannot contain herself from the freedom of body riddled with pain and disability.

Lynn is now the biggest advocate of umbilical cord stem cell therapy. She frequently talks to patients who are considering treatment. She serves as an inspiration for me to continue to do what I do. Too many peopler suffering without knowing that there are other options for their health problem. Drugs, steroid, and surgery provide only a temporarily relief and often have deadly consequences. Opioid addition kills 1000 people a week in this country!

Try something different, try chiropractic, PRP, amniotic tissue, umbilical stem cell. Until you do, I continue to spread the message of natural health care because there could be another Lynn whose life can be changed.

Until next time,
Dr. An

Busy physicians lack time, and sometimes training, to help complex pain problems. This can lead to frustrating encounters at the primary-care level, especially if your doctor is rushed. Most practices are forced to see a certain number of patients in a limited amount of time. Unfortunately, pain treatment is not as simple as five minutes, a few questions, and prescribing a pill. When pain is discussed, medications are often brought forth as the primary means of management. Because of its complexity, pain treatment has emerged as a separate, multidisciplinary specialty.

There is a source you can identify with a simple pain condition, such as banging your finger. There is also a clear course of action that resolves the pain. Pain experienced with long-term medical conditions is different and is not as easily resolved. To deal with the pain, the cause of the pain may not always be addressed, but rather the ways the body expresses the pain, such as inflammation.

Explain the way your pain impacts your life when you’re talking to your doctor. Don’t be intimidated. Stand your ground, calmly. Be persistent about your issues in a way that is constructive to get across to the physician that this is something real. Listen to what the doctor has to say first, but if you’re not satisfied, press harder. Remember you want to create a relationship with your doctor in which you’re a team, both looking for the best way to alleviate your pain. After he or she has assessed your needs, you can consider seeing a pain specialist.

Pain injections

There are various types of injections for pain treatment. Your doctor will decide which medicine is best. Injections deliver medicine directly where needed in your body. Local anesthetics numb the nerve or muscle. Steroids ease inflammation, which lowers pain. Steroids and local anesthetics are often used in conjunction.

  • Targeting the nerves along the spine that lead to pain in other areas, such as the arms or legs is what nerve blocks are used for.
  • Epidural steroid injections go in the outer part of your spinal column.
  • Trigger point injections focus on tight spots in muscles. These areas can be so tight they squeeze nerves and lead to pain in other places.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Radiofrequency ablation can relieve pain for 8 months to a year. Nerves send pain signals to your brain, and the RFA is used to inhibit this. A needle with a heated tip is placed very close to the nerve. The heat effects the nerve so that it can’t send the pain signal. This pain treatment assists with many types of pain, including arthritis and neuropathy. Research indicates RFA can also ease lower back and hip pain as well as pain in the knee and neck. And, research is being conducted to see if a cooling type of RFA would be more effective than the heated form.

Opioids

Opioids are substances, both natural and synthetic, that act on opioid receptors in the body. They are primarily used for pain relief, including for anesthesia. While effective for severe pain, they also have numerous side effects. Further complicating matters, it’s not clear if opioids are helpful after a few months. And the most dangerous issue with opioids is that addiction is common among people who take them long-term.

Alternative and Complementary Therapies

Even though there may not be any increase at a pain site, with chronic pain, nerves may fire continuously. If some of the pain messages are interrupted, or if the brain can actually send out different chemicals such as endorphins, you may feel less pain and interrupt the chronic pain cycle.

There are techniques for using your thoughts to have an impact on your body—and body therapies that target how the use of the body can have an impact on your emotions. Generally, you can learn these and then do them yourself. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Abdominal breathing is done by taking deep breaths, initiating from the abdominals, holding the breath for a moment, and then releasing. It’s calming, opens the lungs, and gets more oxygen into the body.
  • Relaxation training involves learning how to relax the muscles of the body by letting go of tension in the muscle groups of the body.
  • Guided imagery involves the process of mentally imaging a calming, relaxing experience which can include releasing pain from the body.
  • Self-hypnosis is giving yourself some kind of signal to release the pain, allowing your body to relax more.
  • Meditation was developed to deal with all kinds of pain: emotional pain, the pain of dealing with life, the need to find some kind of peace and calm. Physical pain is often connected to emotional pain. Many people find that meditation can help calm their mind in response to pain.
  • Biofeedback is done using equipment to give you feedback, that helps tell you what’s going on in your body. Relaxation techniques are then used to help the body relax.
  • Acupuncture involves placing tiny needles in the skin at certain points on the body. Many studies show it can ease low-back pain and may also help for arthritis joint pain.

If you try a therapy and it’s doesn’t work for you, that’s fine. It’s important to be patient and work on finding the combination that provides you with the greatest relief. Be sure to share with your physician the techniques you’ve tried and how effective they were for you—this may help him or her determine future treatments for you.

What is NAD+ infusion?

NAD is short for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). My staff calls it the “nad” infusion. I was introduced to NAD infusion by Dr. Craig Koniver (www.koniverwellness.com) who has been using nad infusion to various anti-aging purpose along with stem cell therapy.

What exactly is NAD? If you’ve taken any biology class in school, you may vaguely remember the Kreb cycle, which basically is how we make energy out of the food we eat. NAD is a part of the Kreb cycle, is a derivative of B3 vitamin, basically it is essential to energy production of the body.

Doctors initially discovered that NAD infusion had a great success with patients with schizophrenia but because it wasn’t a drug, as with many natural treatment, it never became mainstream treatment option. Then it made a resurgence when it was discovered that treatment with NAD infusion greatly reduced cravings for alcohol and opioid. There used to be few clinics in the US who offered this treatment and patients used to fly to Mexico to be treated.

NAD came into a new spot light again, thanks to Dr. Sinclair at Harvard University who discovered that NAD has potent anti-aging property and reversed aging. Read the famous “Sinclair NAD study” here

I had just finished 5 treatments of NAD infusions personally. The improvement I notice the most is my energy level. I feel great in the morning but I used to get so tired in the afternoon. Some of you know that I suffered from heart valve problem for years which was healed with stem cell therapy. But I always felt like I was never the same and could never build myself back up again regardless of how much I exercised. When the fatigue comes on in the afternoon, my resting heart rate would always be elevated by 10 to 15 beats. Since NAD treatment, my heart rate stays in the low 70s and there has been a marked increase in my energy level in the afternoon. 3 mile run on weekends at the Memorial park has also been not as painful and I can actually run most of the time vs. huffing and puffing 2/3 of the trail. I was even able to shorten my run time by 7 minutes!! I can see why this is being used for endurance athletics to give them the extra edge in their game.

Recently, I took care of a business man who had a mental break down due to high stress of handling a big project. The anxiety attack put him ER and he called me out of desperation. “I can’t stop thinking about the worse scenario that can happen, I have a constant headache, I can feel my whole neck and head pounding, I don’t know how to stop it.” After 3 treatments, he had much more calm composer, he cleaned around the house, and felt like a functioning normal person again. He also started eating again, his headache has gone away and he can think clearly now.

The treatment itself is not very comfortable. While the drip is going, it can give a very uneasy discomfort in the stomach. The discomfort can be controlled by the drip speed, and depending on the tolerance of the patient, the infusion can take anywhere from 1.5 hour to 4 hours. The very first infusion for me took 4 hours but now i can finish in less than 2 hours. Your body eventually get used to it. And, of course, my mother is about to start her first treatment this week.

There is a plethora of information on the benefits of NAD on the internet.
Here is another link to biohacker Ben greenfield’s on NAD.

Dr. An

What is Regenerative Medicine

A discipline of medicine focused on utilizing and optimizing these natural self-healing processes to improve our health, is the basic definition of regenerative medicine. It is inclusive of a range of procedures and therapies such as organ transplants whether real or artificial, the engineering of tissue, and cellular therapies.

Medical professionals have actually been using forms of it for years, though regenerative medicine strikes many as a new concept. In 1665 was when the first recorded successful blood transfusion happened. 1854 was when the first skin graft occurred, and 1950 saw the first successful kidney transplant. Procedures like autografts and organ transplants that seek to replace, rejuvenate, and regenerate the body, are all considered regenerative medicine.

Types of Regenerative Medicine

Medical Devices and Organ Transplants

There is a national transplant list in the USA for people who have failing or damaged organ in the hopes of receiving a donated organ. More than 119,000 people are on the U.S. transplant list and there currently aren’t enough available organs for those in need. Sadly, roughly two dozen people die each day waiting for a transplant. A transplant frequently requires immunosuppression drugs that can have a variety of adverse side effects, because even if a patient does get an organ in time, sometimes their body rejects the transplant—their immune system will attack the organ as the foreign body that it is.

By developing artificial devices that can replicate the function of organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys without being rejected, researchers and scientists are actively working to solve the organ shortage. To help patients survive while they wait for a donor, medical devices are also being developed to support damaged organs.

Engineering Tissue

To support cells as they work to repair and maintain organs and tissues, tissue engineering is a form of regenerative medicine that uses what’s called scaffolds—which are structures made from artificial or natural materials. To form healthy, functional tissue, biologically active molecules cause cells grow on the scaffolds. Artificial skin, cartilage, and lab-grown bone are the main functions of tissue engineering.

Cellular Therapies

One of the most commonly known is the transplantation of bone marrow. This allows patients with radiation damage or blood cancers a chance to make new, healthy blood cells using the donor’s bone marrow stem cells.

When a patient does not have a sufficient amount of undamaged skin for skin graft treatment, Cell therapy using a patient’s own cells is also used in cases of severe burn and scald injuries. In this procedure, skin cells are isolated from a small biopsy and expanded in a specialized laboratory. To shorten healing time, millions of cells can be grown in a relatively short time and transplanted onto the burn wound.

Many cellular therapies employ the use of stem cells to help regrow and repair tissue. Scientists are now working to harness these unique properties of stem cells to help regrow, repair, and heal organs and tissue. Every organ and tissue in your body started as a stem cell and they have the unique ability to transform into different types of cells—blood cells, skin cells, brain cells, and others.

Stem Cells

For scientists studying regenerative medicine, stem cell research is particularly promising. Studies have shown that the tissue or organ can regrow and heal, if these cells are inserted into damaged or diseased tissue under the right conditions. Scientists around the world are optimistic that stem cells could be used to help heal nearly any type of tissue in the body.

Conclusion

Most clinical treatments focus on alleviating symptoms, so regenerative medicine and cellular therapies could completely change how we treat illness and disease. Regenerative medicine using cellular therapies are designed to cure illnesses at the source. For example, someone with a damaged liver could have stem cells that were transformed into liver cells to be placed within their body. The new cells would replace the damaged ones or teach them to become healthy once again, using the body’s own natural healing process. Because the treatment cells were derived from the person’s own stem cells, the body’s immune system wouldn’t respond, and rejection wouldn’t occur. The process would drastically reduce the reliance on organ transplants.

It’s the question that I get asked everyday.
Is PRP approved by FDA? Is P-shot approved by FDA? Is O shot? Vampire facelift? What all these questions mean is, I don’t know what FDA does.

First let’s talk about what FDA stands for. Food and Drug administrations. (I am surprised at how many ppl think F stands for federal). They “approve” or disapprove, food, drug, and medical devices. Since umbilical cord tissue is not food, drug nor medical device, FDA does not approve or disapprove, but they regulate. These human tissue products are regulated as FDA 361 human tissue products and regulated to ensure that they are clean and safe. It also needs to meet a certain requirements such as minimal manipulation and homologous use. The tissue labs who process the tissue also have abide by the FDA rules and regulations and must be fully compliant with American Association of Tissue Banks.
Same thing goes for PRP and PRP procedures. The kits that produce PRP must be approved by the FDA however it is up to the doctor to decide how the PRP is used.

Be sure to seek these type of treatments with the doctors and clinics who does due diligence to ensure the tissue product is clean and safe. Recently, there was a FDA recall on a umbilical BLOOD stem cell product marketed by Livyon (manufactured by Genetech). Their tissue was found to contain e.coli and other bacteria, and the blood cells caused severe rejections in many patients. Personally I do not work with labs who doesn’t allow me to visit. There is just too much at a stake for me to just take a sales rep’s words. In February, I am re-visiting a few labs to meet with the science directors to learn what the latest technology is. I will also be attending Perinatal Stem Cell Society Conference. I will keep you guys updated on what I learn in the stem cell industry.

Until next time. Dr. An

Influenza (the flu) is caused by viruses that infect your nose, throat, and lungs. Flu is extremely contagious, able to spread from one person to another standing within 6 feet via droplets produced when coughing, sneezing, or talking or by touching contaminated surfaces. Other research demonstrated that one single contaminated doorknob or tabletop could spread a virus to 40 – 60 percent of workers and visitors within just 2 – 4 hours of contamination. But do you really need a flu shot?

About the Flu

The flu is linked to serious infections like pneumonia—and can make existing health problems like heart or lung disease worse. Seasonal flu is a mild illness for some people, but for others the flu can be serious where treatment requires hospitalization or in the most extreme cases it can be fatal.

The previous year’s vaccine may not protect you from this year’s viruses, because flu viruses evolve so quickly. To keep up with rapidly adapting flu viruses, new flu vaccines are developed and released every year. Building immunity after a flu shot can take up to two weeks. It’s usually best for people in the United States to get their flu vaccine by the end of October, but you can benefit from the vaccine even if you don’t get it until after the flu season starts.

There are many steps you can take to lower your risk of getting the virus, though the flu shot is your best line of defense. But what about those who can’t get a flu shot, or opt not to?

Noninjection Flu Medications

To date the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three flu antiviral drugs that are recommended by the CDC against the current circulating flu viruses:

  • oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
  • zanamivir (Relenza)
  • peramivir (Rapivab)

These medications may reduce symptoms and shorten the time that you are sick, if used within 2 days of flu symptoms starting. Antivirals may also prevent ear infections in children and hospitalizations and pneumonia in adults. Antivirals can also reduce the risk of death in individuals with flu severe enough to be admitted to the hospital, but some doctors approach them with caution in treating the flu. Antiviral drugs are not a substitute for the flu vaccine.

Protecting Against the Flu

Washing your hands your hands frequently and thoroughly is the most important thing you can do. While the flu virus is airborne in droplets of breath, the majority of it is probably passed by hand. People know it’s common for children to put their hands near or in their mouths—but a large number of adults do it too and are rarely aware they’re doing it. 

You need to wash your hands each and every time for a minimum of 15 seconds. Wash viruses down the drain with soap, warm water, and a period of vigorous rubbing. Do this every time you sneeze or cough and especially before meals. When you cannot manage a full washing, alcohol-based gel hand cleaners are also good to have around as a stop gap.

When you cough or sneeze, always cover your nose and mouth. Cough into your sleeve in the crook of your arm. Use a tissue, rather than a cloth handkerchief because the virus can survive in any collected mucous. Then wash your hands. 

You should avoid crowded public places and avoid close contact with other people if you believe you’ve contracted the virus. Stay at home or keep your child at home if you or anyone in your household is displaying symptoms. Do not go into work. Unless you have trouble breathing or a very high fever develops, don’t risk exposing others even run to the emergency room.  

Getting plenty of rest, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting plenty of exercise fills out the list of other recommendations.

Research has shown that moderate exercise brings about measurable changes in the immune system by sending white blood cells around the body to find intruders and kill them. The immune system returns to normal a few hours after you’ve finished your workout so it’s best to exercise regularly.