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Why the “Fat Gene” Really Does Not Matter

The gene called FTO and it is found in chromosome number 16. If you inherited it, you are bound to be overweight or so the recently-written stories go. A closer look tells a new story.

University of North Carolina researchers reviewed over 50 genetic studies of nearly a quarter million people. They studied various factors involving the FTO gene and found some interesting information out along the way.

For starters, do you exercise regularly? Great! You just offset the effects of this gene by at least 30%.

Secondly, researchers noted that being born with FTO does not guarantee a life of obesity (as was reported). In fact, those who have this gene only carry about 6 1/2 pounds extra versus those who do not.

Best of all, experts in the field say that genetic factors contribute to only about five percent of all cases of obesity. Maybe even less.

Doc’s Thoughts: Every single diet or healthy way of eating has 5 characteristics:

  1. Drink more water.
  2. Eat more green leafy veggies or greens in general.
  3. Eat more foods that contain healthy fats.
  4. Avoid sugar.
  5. Exercise regularly and live with passion. (I know. Technically this is not under the category of “eating” but fits here nevertheless.)

It is RARE that those who do not follow this have obesity issues. As this and other research is showing, genetics play a much lesser role as compared to behavior.

5 Supplements to Avoid

When you think of hype and “over the top” promotion, usually pharmaceuticals come to mind. However, supplements are not immune. While there are some that I do not recommend because quite frankly, they do not work or work well, those listed below can be dangerous.

Here are 5 that despite the press, should be avoided.

  1. Colloidal silver has been suggested as an alternative to antibiotics and a cancer preventive. Its origins are from the days when royalty would drink from silver cups and was said to be healthier, the reasons have more to do with sanitation and quality of food versus silver. The short and sweet of it is is that the human body. Short-term use can cause skin discoloration and long-term use can produce neurological problems, kidney damage and fatigue.
  2. Yohimbe. Having taken it once, I thought I was having a heart attack. It is a horrible substance. Yohime comes from the bark of an African tree and is claimed to be used for fat loss, increased energy and was the original “viagra.” In my experience with patients and the aforementioned incident, it does not do anything for fat loss or energy. Plus the side effects are just not worth it.
  3. Aconite is the coldest and one of the most poisonous plants in the entire Materia Medica. It is used to treat arthritis, inflammation and migraine headaches. Again, with the potential side effects AND the fact there are much healthier and safer alternatives, it is just not worth it.
  4. Country Mallow. Sounds like a harmless herb you would find in the south. However, it contains ephedrine, a potentially dangerous stimulant banned by the FDA. Same story here — safer, better alternative make this herb useless.
  5. Germanium. In the 90s, this substance was the “rising, new star” for immune problems. It is a trace element used to make devices. It was claimed to be the end of cancer. No more comments needed here.

As you can see, there is a specific theme with the aforementioned. There are safer and more effective treatments for all of the above.

See advice before even considering substance such as these and others. Order a Virtual Doc Wellness Visit. For a small fee, this can save a great deal of pain, time and money in the long run.

Is Marijuana Really Helpful?

This post is not about discussing the legal or potentially legalization of marijuana. Nor will it have anything to do with the moral aspect. It is about whether or not marijuana has the medicinal value that some are claiming.

The health benefits of marijuana are controversial. Proponents state that it can help alleviate the effects of glaucoma, can possibly decrease the severity of some seizures, may decrease anxiety and may even stop the spread of some cancers. These claims are interesting but most are in their infancy in terms of actual proof.

On the flip side, there is strong evidence that this “harmless” drug may, in fact, be quite problematic. Here are some facts:

  1. The smoke from marijuana (cigarettes) is 3-4 times stronger compared to tobacco. Thus, it may have the same problems — emphysema and other lung diseases, weakened immunity and cancer – that is associated with tobacco.
  2. The residue from smoked marijuana has a tendency to accumulate on brain cells. They form a “sticky” substance akin to molasses making it very difficult for brain cells to both send and receive various neurotransmitters. It is similar to trying to put a key into the keyhole that is filled with taffy.  Also, scientists have stated that one marijuana cigarette takes as long as one full year to be completely removed from the system.
  3. A new study from the American College of Cardiology states that marijuana can be problematic in terms of heart health. Factors include a 26% in strokes and heart failure. According to prior studies, heart muscle cells have “cannabis receptors” which impact the muscle‘s ability to contract.
  4. Perhaps the strongest reason to avoid the use of marijuana to treat medical disorders is that marijuana may cause the acceleration or aggravation of the very disorders it is being used to treat. Smoking marijuana regularly – defined as 1 joint a day –  damages the cells in the bronchial passages which protect the body against inhaled microorganisms and decrease the ability of the immune cells in the lungs to fight off fungi, bacteria, and tumor cells.
  5. According to research from Harvard Medical School, “Marijuana has long been known to trigger attacks of mental illness, such as bipolar (manic-depressive) psychosis and schizophrenia.”

Given the legalization in a few states, the future trend is in this direction for more states to follow. Hopefully, both sides of the argument will be reviewed so a person can make the most informed choice.

Why So Much Mistrust and Anger

In the past several years, there has been a mounting ocean of anger, frustration, and overall mistrust. People are irritated about . . . .well. . . .name the topic and you will find someone, somewhere, furious about something. It is akin to an “emotional virus.”

From politics to economics to entertainment, the past several years have lead to an overflow of emotion. These days worldwide, it has only gotten worse.


You can make a list that will cover several pages and be 99% accurate. But this is the surface, the branch. What is the root cause?

My answer may surprise you. It is this: technology.

I am not an anti-technology person by any means. My business would not exist in its current form without technology. My life in some ways is more comfortable because of said technology.

The problem is that technology has replaced inter-personal communication and skills. In other words, somewhere along the computerized road, we stopped genuinely talking to each other.

Stop by a coffee shop or take a walk in downtown Disney (or anywhere for that matter) and look at how many are fiddling on the smartphone and how few are sitting across from one another, without distractions, talking. Yes, genuinely talking.


In other words, somewhere along the computerized road, we stopped genuinely talking to each other.


The art of conversation has become a dying craft. It has been replaced by texting, tweeting and emailing. Proper English (of whatever language(s) you speak) has been replaced by series of growing abbreviations. Emojis have replaced pure emotional expression. In short, real is not real anymore.

Take it a step further. Agree with what you just read? Then it must be true. Disagree. Then it has to be “fake news.” If there is disagreement, just hide behind the keyboard and be as rude and crass as your vocabulary will allow. After all, we dare not speak to one another’s face.

What if it really is “fake news?” So what. There is no accountability, just collusion.  When was the last time a network both admitted an error and made restitution for it?!

End Result

All of this has had an unhealthy effect on the liver. Emotions have a tendency to gather here and the end result is a lack of energetic and emotional flow. Things get stuck and when they get stuck, they eventually explode. Hence, what we are seeing now.

Eyes and eye health correlate with the liver and staring incessantly at one screen or another creates disharmony with this organ (not to mention unhealthy for the eyes). More gasoline on the fire.

The Cure

Want to cure obesity in the youth? Restrict computer/smartphone/gaming time. Sitting is the “new smoking;” that is, the deleterious effects that smoking causes are disturbingly similar to the deleterious effects that lack of movement (re: sitting) has as well.

Want to cure obesity in adults? Restrict computer/smartphone/TV time. Go find a friend. Go make a friend. Have a conversation. A real, uninterrupted, all-phones-off conversation.

Want to cure virtually everything? Befriend someone and carry on a conversation. Let someone know that at least one person on this planet cares about them. They don’t give a damn which smartphone they are using and if they are on snapchat. They care about what is happening in their life.

(Re-) learn to speak and express in a genuine fashion, not through the distraction of a computer. Unplug from the harshness. Don’t just walk away from an argument, refuse to initiate or ever engage in one to begin with, certainly not one where you can hide behind a keyboard and be a fake hero.

Communication leads to community. It is a cure for virtually everything. In a world that is increasingly surreal and plastic, your ability to communicate with another will be the most real thing you will ever do.


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Top 3 Foods to Stabilize Blood Sugar

Keeping the blood sugar in a healthy range is one of the major keys for overall health and wellness and THE key for losing weight. Due to the overconsumption of processed foods and sugar, along with a lack of exercise, blood sugar problems have increased to disturbing levels.

Here are the top 3 foods that when consumed regularly, can health keep the blood sugars in the healthy range:


  1. Dark Green, leafy vegetables. They may not be everyone’s favorite, but the benefits are simply outstanding. Examples include broccoli, spinach, and arugula. They are also good sources of fiber plus are high in vitamin C. Plus. Studies have shown that eating vegetables can help prevent diabetes
  2. Beans and legumes. Name the variety of beans and legumes and the answer is the same – they are healthy! Beans and legumes are rich in folic acid, magnesium, potassium and soluble fiber, the latter which can go a long way to help with diabetes “treament.”
  3. Cabbage. You may not have thought of this one but cabbage is high in fiber and low in calories – the ideal combination. Cabbage is one of the best substances for stabilizing blood-sugar levels because it converts to sugar at a slow rate within the body.

Slowly but surely, work these substances into your diet. You need not eat huge amounts, particularly if you are not fans of the taste but the effort you make will go a long way to finding your ideal wellness state.

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