Do supplements take away belly fat?

Researchers are skeptical about the legality and veracity of claims made by dietary supplement manufacturers promising to reduce belly fat.

According to one report, these claims have been subject to legal enforcement action by the FDA and FTC:

everal supplement companies offer seemingly easy solutions to help burn belly fat. One of the most popular is Relacore. It claims to work by decreasing the body's level of cortisol. That's the stress hormone

Dr. Daniel Monti, director of Jefferson University Hospital's Integrative Medicine, says the ingredients in many of these supplements, such as magnolia bark extract, may in fact induce a calming effect, but whether they really decrease cortisol and whether that leads to weight loss has never been proven.

"It's an incorrect presumption to think that a supplement is going to be the answer," Monti said.

In fact, one of Relacore's former competitors Cortislim agreed to pay a fine to settle a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit in 2007 accusing the company of "making unlawful claims regarding weight loss benefits."

Cortislim was marketed as a "cortisol control weight loss formula."

So if that's not the answer, what is the best way to banish belly fat?

Fitness instructor Ed TenEyck of Philadelphia Sports Clubs says crunches and other ab-work will help tone muscles and strengthen your core, but won't burn belly fat. You see, you can't target where you lose weight; you have work the whole body for any results.

"Nutrition, cardio, weight training and then you will be attacking weight loss from all three angles,"TenEyck said.

An Australian physician turns to CAM therapies for self-help:

Kerryn Phelps recalls her near-death experience to explain partly how she came to challenge norms of conventional medicine and arouse scepticism among many of her fellow doctors.

In April 2003, when president of the Australian Medical Association, Phelps fell desperately ill with clots on the lung.

In convalescence, her treating doctor sat at the end of the hospital bed and issued a caution to the otherwise fit 45-year-old patient: when she reached menopause she should not take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) unless she also took the blood thinning drug warfarin.

The brush with drug-linked illness, she says, fuelled her inclination to adopt a holistic approach and question some mainstream therapies. ''Certain medicines I simply cannot touch again.''

As it happens, in the years since emerging evidence of a cancer link prompted a worldwide plunge in the use of HRT, a trend now associated with a striking fall in certain types of breast cancer.

To those critics who disparage her espousal of herbal medicine, Phelps, the one-time leader of mainstream medicine, now flings backs the HRT debacle as an example of how orthodox medicines can go awry at huge cost in death and disease.

She points to burgeoning evidence challenging other routinely prescribed treatments such as antidepressants for moderate depression and of common drug-based approaches, including use of Ritalin for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.

Expect to hear more from Phelps. She is now back on the public stage as the recently elected president of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association and this week went to Canberra to push for more support and recognition.

Its supporters describe integrative medicine as the blending of conventional and natural or complementary medicines and therapies along with lifestyle interventions and a holistic approach. This takes into account the physical, psychological, social and spiritual wellbeing of the person - with the aim of using the most appropriate, safe and evidence-supported treatments available.

When is your time to quit:

May 31, 2010 marks World No Tobacco Day (WNTD); an initiative of The World Health Organization. This year, WNTD will "draw particular attention to the harmful effects of tobacco marketing towards women" and will emphasize "the importance of controlling the epidemic of tobacco" among this population." Women account for approximately 20 percent of the world's 1 billion smokers and 17.4 percent of adult women in the U.S. smoke.

Cigarette smoking kills more than 173,000 women in the United States each year. In addition to the risks both men and women face from smoking, women are at risk for a unique set of complications, including certain cancers and problems with fertility and pregnancy.

A cycle of addiction
Even with all these risks, many women continue to smoke cigarettes. This may be because cigarettes contain a very addictive chemical called nicotine.

"Nicotine is highly addictive, and smoking should be treated as a chronic, relapsing medical condition," explains Carol Southard, RN, MSN, and tobacco treatment specialist with the Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group at the Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness.

"Seeing your health care provider is an important first step and can be a good source of support to discuss options to help you stop smoking. There are seven FDA approved medications to help people quit smoking. Medications constitute an important cessation intervention, and it is recommended that clinicians should encourage every patient willing to make a quit attempt to use medication and counseling treatments. By using some of the medications, you may be able to at least double your chance of quitting," adds Southard.

Overcoming the urge
When smokers try to quit, they may experience withdrawal symptoms that cause them to slip up and have a cigarette.

People trying to quit can:

* Work with a health care provider to set up and stick to a quit plan. Discuss the option of using tobacco dependence counseling and medication treatments, which may be more effective than either alone.

* Ask friends and family to help them stay away from cigarettes and "triggers" that make them want to smoke.

It's never too late to try quitting
At any stage of life, smokers can decrease their health risks by quitting. Also, women who quit smoking before becoming pregnant or trying to become pregnant can reduce the risk of infertility, miscarriage, low birth weight and infant heart defects.

One study that examined female nurses between the ages of 30 and 55 across the U.S. from 1976 to 2004 shows that quitting smoking is beneficial to a woman's health. Some examples from this study of the potential impact of quitting on a smoker's health include:

* 20 years after quitting smoking, a woman's overall risk of dying may decrease to the level of a nonsmoker.

*Within five years of quitting smoking compared with continuing to smoke, a woman's risk of dying may decrease by 13 percent.

* Within five years of quitting smoking compared with continuing to smoke, the excess risk of death from coronary heart disease decreases 62 percent; death from cerebrovascular disease (stroke) decreases 42 percent and death from lung cancer decreases 21 percent.

* Within 10 years of quitting smoking compared with continuing to smoke, the risk of dying of respiratory disease decreases by 18 percent.

To learn more about quitting smoking, visit www.mytimetoquit.com for resources including a useful checklist to make it easier to talk to a doctor about quitting.

Long Beach has an Advanced Wellness Center:

The Advanced Wellness Center has become a staple of the Long Beach community over the years.  A center featuring all the most advanced and researched options in complementary and alternative medicine or (C.A.M.), was the brain child of Dr. Mark Dedubovay D.C. almost 20 years ago. In practice in Long Beach for over 25 years, first practicing in Italy and France and then in Long Beach, Dr. Dedubovay has helped thousands of individuals lead a more active and fulfilling life.  I sat down with him to get his views on health and wellness, and talk about his top three favorite health tips....


In the practice we’ve tried to bring all best that complementary alternative medicine stands to offer.  We have a team of Doctors of Chiropractic with different specialties and focuses, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine practitioners with different degrees and focuses, rehabilitation specializing doctors, nutrition specializing doctors, and a great group of massage therapists.  From the very beginning we made the goal of collaborating with mainstream medicine and within alternative medicine for the betterment of the patient, so we created the mission statement, “A healthcare team inspiring patients along their healing journey.”  Because the most important step in healing is empowering the patient to realize they have control over their health and healing.

So the teamwork expands outside the practice and the C.A.M world?

Yes we get a lot of referrals and refer out to several M.D’s, Dentists, D.O’s, Podiatrists, Orthopedists, and Psychotherapists, and many more in the area.  This has now been coined Integrative Medicine, and it’s exciting to see all parties respecting each other for their talents for the common good of the health of the patient.  It’s been so successful we are in the development of a Physician outreach program, where we plan to go out and meet with numerous doctors and bridge the gap, educating on the research and efficacy involved with C.A.M. and how we can work as a team in the community.

As well as a Chiropractor you are also a Certified Traditional Naturopath and Health Coach, what are these certifications?


That’s another specialty and passion that adds to the holistic care of my patients.  Chiropractic does a wonderful job of keeping them structurally strong and sound, and recovering from injuries.  But also the Naturopathic deals with organic disorders drawing upon the research available in nutrition and supplementation, and health coaching educates individuals on lifestyle changes they could make so that they can live long and healthy lives.  With only several changes in diet and lifestyle many individuals can return to abundant health.

A new holistic health center opens in Akron:

Drs. Lynn Klimo, M.D., and Jodie Skillicorn, D.O., both integrative psychiatrists, are co-founding the Center for Integrative Psychiatry and Wellness, a new health care facility set to open in the Jefferson Park Office Suites in June.

While treating patients for various mental health disorders, Klimo said she was awestruck at how much more quickly her patients improved when she integrated holistic wellness services into the treatment plan.

“Certain patients would return over and over again, and the medication alone did not seem to help,” Klimo said. “Once we incorporated the complementary modalities into their treatment, we often got to the real root of the problem. They could then work through it and improved dramatically.”

Integrative psychiatry is the practice of combining conventional mental health care with wellness services that enhance the healing process. While traditional western medicine focuses on treating symptoms and managing disease, the focus of integrative medicine and psychiatry is prevention and wellness, according to Klimo and Skillicorn. The practice facilitates growth and healing by concentrating on the unique biological, emotional, environmental and spiritual needs of the individual. The intent is to shift away from just managing a disease and reducing symptoms to a state of wellness and wholeness.

“We help patients to make lifestyle adjustments and to not just change behaviors, but also the thoughts, feelings and limiting beliefs behind the behavior,” Skillicorn said.

Klimo and Skillicorn practiced for several years within Summa Health System before opening their private practice, which will offer conventional adult psychotherapy, couples and family counseling, EMDR and an addiction outpatient program. Complementary modalities at the center include acupuncture, bio-identical hormone balancing, cranial-sacral therapy, EFT and energy medicine, functional medicine, iridology, massage and body work, meditation, nonopiate treatment of chronic pain, nutritional coaching, polarity, psychodrama, reflexology, reiki and yoga. 

Klimo and her team are currently seeing patients in temporary suites within Jefferson Park. The permanent space address will be within the same office complex at 3610 W. Market St.

For more information, visit www.healingpsychiatry.com or call 330-441-4569.

Of furniture, inspiration, and wellness:

National Office Furniture, a brand unit of Kimball International, Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!kbal.b/quotes/nls/kbalb (KBALB 7.03, 0.00, 0.00%) , has announced that the winner of its $25,000 Gift of Inspiration for Healthcare Environments is the University of Wisconsin Hospital, located in Madison, Wisconsin. Specifically, the $25,000 was awarded to UW Hospital's Health and Healing Committee, which plans to use the funds for both new and on-going projects such as noise reduction, air quality, healing gardens, family caregiver support, quiet spaces, living landscapes, music to medicine and updated mapping for awareness of walking paths and gardens to encourage outdoor activity.

National understands the current economy makes it more difficult than ever to raise the necessary funds to offer the best in care and healthy environments for both patients and providers. Therefore, National introduced the $25,000 Gift of Inspiration to benefit healthcare organizations by supporting the needs in areas such as technology, the patient experience, staff morale, training and enrichment programs, or facility enhancements.

"True healing comes in part from a comfort level or peace of mind knowing that you have the caring and support of UW Hospital to overcome the challenges you face. A soothing, conscious healing environment plays a vital role in recovery and a lifetime of well being," said Ardis Hutchins, Interior Architect, UW Hospital.

"This gift from National Office Furniture recognizes the importance of a healing environment. We're grateful for their support and what it will enable us to do for patients and families," stated Joel Wish, Health Psychologist, UW Hospital, Co-Chair, Health and Healing Committee.

"Often times, what matters most cannot be found only in blood work and CT scans. In trying to understand how complex systems heal, we need to listen to the patient's unique story and their emotions to connect to their hope, meaning and purpose. These are the most powerful healing mechanisms and where we will focus the Gift of Inspiration donation," stated David Rakel, MD, Director, University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine.

"At National, our people have cultivated a culture of caring for our business partners, the environment and our neighbors. So, we're pleased to offer the $25,000 Gift of Inspiration as our way to give back to the healthcare community for the extraordinary efforts made by healing professionals such as UW Hospital, that enrich the lives of so many people," said Kevin McCoy, Vice President, General Manager, National Office Furniture. "Congratulations to UW Hospital. We're proud to know that the gift will be put towards a program that will inspire healing and healthier communities."

National received over 1,000 registrants from healthcare organizations nationwide for the $25,000 Gift of Inspiration. Healthcare organizations could automatically register to win simply by visiting National's website; no purchase was necessary or required.

This is National Office Furniture's second Gift of Inspiration recipient. In October 2009, Southwest Middle School in Savannah, Georgia won the Gift of Inspiration for Education Environments, using the funds to start an after-school life mentoring program for at-risk students. National is currently running its third Gift of Inspiration, again for Education Environments, which ends on August 31, 2010.

For additional information, contact:

Nick Blessinger, Marketing Communication Manager, National Office Furniture

Direct Phone: 812.481.6589 Email: Nick.Blessinger@NationalOfficeFurniture.com

About National Office Furniture:

National Office Furniture (Furniture with Personality (R)), a brand unit of Kimball International, is a Jasper, Indiana-based manufacturer of high-quality office furnishings. Since 1980, National has built a reputation for excellence with stylish furniture of exceptional value; a dedication to personalized service; product designs that reflect a passion for the user's comfort and productivity; and a commitment to environmental responsibility.

For more information about National and its products, visit: www.NationalOfficeFurniture.com

About Kimball International:

Recognized with a reputation for excellence, Kimball International is committed to a high performance culture that values personal and organizational commitment to quality, reliability, value, speed, and ethical behavior. Kimball employees know they are part of a corporate culture that builds success for Customers while enabling employees to share in the Company's success through personal, professional and financial growth.

Kimball International, Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!kbal.b/quotes/nls/kbalb (KBALB 7.03, 0.00, 0.00%) provides a variety of products from its two business segments: the Electronic Manufacturing Services segment and the Furniture segment. The Electronic Manufacturing Services segment provides engineering and manufacturing services which utilize common production and support capabilities to a variety of industries globally. The Furniture segment provides furniture for the office and hospitality industries, sold under the Company's family of brand names.

A new book is out on Integrative Medicine for Children:

Whether you initiate alternative therapies for children, or simply need to respond when asked for information or advice, it's crucial to have the most current, evidence-based information so that you can safely and effectively integrate CAM therapies with conventional treatment. This innovative and reliable reference is the ideal resource to have at hand. With its focus on integrating conventional medicine with the best complementary therapies for children, it familiarizes you with the scientific evidence and rationales for various CAM therapies, and clearly describes how to use them, in conjunction with conventional medicine. You'll find the information you need to distinguish among those therapies with good evidence, those that are safe but not yet proven to be effective, and those contraindicated for certain conditions.

  • Covers a wide range of complementary and alternative therapies, focusing on those most often utilized with children: mind-body approaches (hypnosis, mind/body, probiotics, spirituality); manual therapies (chiropractic, massage, osteopathy, psychological); lifestyle approaches (nutrition, Qigong); alternative systems (homeopathy, naturopathy); energy medicine (acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal, laser, magnets); and biological agents (Chinese and Western herbs and probiotics).
  • 57 of the most common pediatric conditions are comprehensively discussed, first with a focus on conventional diagnostic and treatment information, then with authoritative information on the most effective and evidence-based CAM therapies available for treatment of the condition.
  • Presents an integrative approach, combining conventional and alternative therapies.
  • Helps you answer questions relevant to today's patients, such as giving echinacea for a cold, the use of acupuncture to treat ADHD, and which alternative therapies may be used to avoid side effects of conventional medication.

Apparently there's a program of doctoral education in integrative medicine:

Doctors in integrative medicine generally use alternative and natural forms of remedies and healing when working with sick or injured patients. Students in a Ph.D. program in integrative medicine gain a background in how the human body works by studying anatomy, immunology, biology and pathology. They then learn how various herbs, botanical remedies and naturopathic medicines can affect the human body and work to treat various conditions. Some programs offer additional training in aroma therapies, homeopathy, vibrational medication, reflexology, Feng Shui, acupressure, Shamanistic healing and more.

As with most doctoral degree programs in the medical field, Ph.D. programs in integrative medicine require students to complete hands-on clinical externships in addition to clinical research projects. Students should gain the training necessary to work one-on-one with human patients, but should also learn how to fully research a particular aspect of the integrative medical field.

Education Prerequisites

The prerequisites for entering into a Ph.D. program in integrative medicine vary greatly from school to school. Many require students to have some background in the medical field or at least a baccalaureate degree, while others do not. In order to graduate from the program and receive a Ph.D., students must typically finish a clinical externship experience.

Program Coursework

The courses in a Ph.D. program in integrative medicine vary greatly, but mostly focus on the basics of the human body and elements of various natural healing techniques. Some core classes might include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Human histology
  • Immunology
  • Pathology
  • Naturopathic practice
  • Physical examination and diagnosis
  • Toxicology
  • Herbal studies
  • Botanical medicine
  • Physiotherapeutic modalities

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a Ph.D. program in integrative medicine can go on to several different career paths in the alternative healing field. Some of these include:

  • Acupuncturist
  • Herbalist
  • Reflexologist
  • Naturopathic doctor
  • Holistic nutritionist
  • Holistic practitioner
  • Homeopathic healer

Siberian rhubarb helps with menopause:

A new botanical supplement on the U.S. market called Estrovera offers a potential alternative to women who suffer from hot flashes or night sweats but do not wish to take estrogen or other hormones.

The key ingredient in Estrovera is a phyto-estrogen from the Siberian rhubarb plant known as ERr 731. ERr 731 has been shown to:

—Reduce the number and severity of hot flashes and night sweats about as effectively as low-dose estrogen.

—Reduce other menopausal symptoms including sleep disruption, mood changes, vaginal dryness and musculoskeletal symptoms.

A random, placebo-controlled study published last year in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine looked at the effect of ERr 731 in 112 perimenopausal women with moderate to severe menopausal symptoms, 45 to 55 years old.

Half the women got one tablet of ERr 731 per day for 12 weeks, while the other half got a placebo pill.

Researchers measured how much the women's menopausal symptoms improved using the menopausal rating scale. The scale assesses multiple symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes, sleep and mood disturbances, anxiety, sexual problems, bladder symptoms, vaginal dryness, joint and muscle pain, and physical and mental exhaustion.

By the end of the 12 weeks, women taking the ERr 731 had seen a 50 percent reduction in their scores on the scale, while women getting the placebo continued to have significant symptoms.

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Our law office has attorneys with legal experience  in FDA matters, including guiding  clients involved in health care  delivery, group medical and private  medical practice, who are concerned  about issues at the interface of  federal and state law, concerned  about medical board discipline or  medical malpractice liability  issues.  We also review and draft informed  consent forms and guide  clients concerning a variety of health care law  issues.

If you have legal questions concerning self-referral, kickbacks and fee-splitting or patient brokering in New York, California, Massachusetts, Washington DC, and other states, contact  a lawyer who knows the rules.

Consult an experienced  health care law attorney who knows complementary medicine and integrative  medicine for legal advice pertaining to any project involving allied health or CAM     professionals.

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Healthcare & FDA attorney Michael H. Cohen is a thought leader in healthcare law & FDA law, pioneering legal strategies in healthcare. wellness, and lifestyle markets. As a corporate and transactional lawyer, FDA regulatory attorney who also handles healthcare litigation, healthcare mediation and healthcare arbitration, and international healthcare & wellness law speaker, Los Angeles / Bay Area healthcare & FDA lawyer Michael H. Cohen represents conscious business leaders in a transformational era. Clients seek healthcare & FDA attorney Michael H. Cohen's legal savvy on all aspects of business law, healthcare law, and FDA law, including:

Whether advising start-ups or established companies, Los Angeles / San Francisco / Bay Area healthcare & FDA attorney Michael H. Cohen brings his entrepreneurial spirit and caring insight to cutting-edge legal and regulatory challenges.  

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