Friday, January 29, 2010

Gotta love the world wide web

I just checked the web stats for the website of The Asian Diet. Over the past four months, we have been visited by people from 87 countries, including: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Malaysia, Brazil, France, Mexico, Spain, Singapore, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, New Zealand, Netherlands, Sweden, Argentina, Denmark, Italy, Chile, United Arab Emirates, Norway, Hungary, Hong Kong,  Pakistan, Turkey, Belgium, Indonesia, Colombia, Malta, Finland, Ireland, Romania, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Peru, Swizerland, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Portugal, Cyprus, Costa Rica, Greece, Bulgaria, Egypt, Vietnam, Ecuador, Czech Republic, Qatar, Kenya, Taiwan, Serbia, Thailand, Austria, Slovenia, Jamaica, Estonia, Libya, Tonga, Iraq, Haiti, Honduras, Guam, Domincan Republic, Cambodia, Netherlands Antilles, Uruguay, Botswana, Nigeria, Israel, Iceland, Mozambique, Baharain, Man Marino, China, Nepal, Russia, Bangladesh, Namibia, Grenada, Lebanon, Senegal, and Jordan. 

Pretty cool. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

If you're in Hawaii this Saturday, tune in to 690 AM

Corrected Date:  On 1/30/2010 I am being interviewed about my book, "The Asian Diet: Simple secrets for eating right, losing weight, and being well" on Doctor's Health Radio, KHNR 690 AM, with David Snow at 9:15am local time (1:15 pm Central time).  It's a 45 minute interview.  Listen live at
Apparently they have been running promos every day, several times a day, announcing my appearance. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Respected medical professionals warning about Fluoride

Dr. Arvid Carlsson, co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2000, "I would advice against fluoridation...Side effects cannot be excluded...In Sweden, the emphasis nowadays is to keep the environment as clean as possible with regard to pharmacologically active,and , thus, potentially toxic substances."

Dr. Flanagan, Assistant Director of Environmental Health, American Medical Association, "The American Medical Association is NOT prepared to state that no harm will be done to any person by water fluoridation.  The AMA has not carried out any research work, either long-term or short-term, regarding the possibility of any side-effects."

Dr. Charles Gordon Heyd, Past President of the American Medical Association, "I am appalled at the prospect of using water as a vehicle for drugs.  Fluoride is a corrosive poison wthat will produce serious effects on a long-range basis.  Any attempt to use water this way is deplorable."

Dr. William Marcus, Senior Toxicologist at the Environmental Protection Association, "The EPA should act immediately to protect the public, not just on the cancer data, but on the evidence of bone fractures, arthritis, mutagenicity, and other effects."

Dr. F. A. Bull, State Dental Director of Wisconsis, "Water contains a number of substances that are undesirable, and fluorides are just on of them."

The above information was printed in Newsweek and was given to me by Paul Pitchford, author of Healing with Whole Foods

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's better to pay the grocer than the doctor

From Michael Pollan's new Food Rules
"It's better to pay the grocer than the doctor".

Most of us pay much more attention to the preventative maintainence of our cars than our bodies.  Buying good food and cooking does take time yes, but so do angioplasty's, chemotherapy, and all the other medical procedures that can be prevented (or at least made less likely) through proper care of our bodies.  If you were going to build a house, you'd probably want to get the best-quality lumber you could find.  You will be in your body a lot longer than any external structure, so it's important to give yourself good-quality raw materials with which to construct.  The tissues made from your food will stay in the body for weeks or months.  What kind of house do you want to build today?   

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Nonstick chemicals linked to infertility

Nonstick chemicals linked to infertility Published in the Science News, copied from
Web edition : Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
A provocative new study finds that women who have trouble getting pregnant are more likely to have high concentrations of certain nonstick-chemical pollutants circulating in their blood than are those who become pregnant within the first month of trying. The suspect compounds — generally known as PFOA and PFOS — are the original primary constituents of Teflon and Scotchguard products.
Since the potential toxicity of certain perfluorinated chemicals began to emerge about a decade ago, formulations of both commercial nonstick-product lines have been reengineered to avoid reliance on PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate). Nonetheless, plenty of both compounds still can be found in air, water and the bodies of people throughout the developed world. Indeed, babies are usually born carrying traces of both compounds — and their chemical kin — supplied by their moms’ blood.
Over the past two years, Chunyuan Fei of the University of California, Los Angeles, and her colleagues have linked elevated concentrations of both PFOA and PFOS in mom with a decreased likelihood that her baby or toddler would meet early developmental milestones — such as being able to sit or walk without support or to retrieve something (such as a toy or book) when asked.
In the new study, Fei’s team probes a Danish database of more than 43,000 new moms. From this database they selected 1,240 women who gave birth to a child who was both healthy and “planned” (i.e. not an accident). Then the researchers asked each mom how long she had tried to become pregnant. The number of months it took were then correlated with concentrations of PFOA and PFOS in samples of that woman’s blood during pregnancy.
In an upcoming issue of Human Reproduction, released online January 28, Fei and her coworkers report that “higher maternal PFOA and PFOS levels measured in early pregnancy were found to be associated with longer time to pregnancy.” Indeed, the proportion of women defined as experiencing infertility — meaning it took them more than a year of trying to become pregnant — rose from about 10 percent among women having the lowest concentrations of either perfluorinated pollutant in their blood to roughly twice that rate for moms with the most contaminated blood.
This trend proved true even after accounting for other factors that can affect a woman’s fertility, such as her age, her spouse’s age, sperm quality, and the frequency and timing of sex.
“As far as we know, this is the first study to assess the associations between PFOA and PFOS levels in [blood] plasma and time to pregnancy in humans,” notes team leader Jørn Olsen, who chairs epidemiology at UCLA’s School of Public Health. Concentrations of PFOS ranged from 6.4 to 106.7 nanograms per milliliter of plasma. PFOA levels were lower: from nondetectable to 41.5 ng/ml.
Nor was time to pregnancy the only sign of reproductive perturbation in these women. Notes Fei: “Our data showed that higher proportions of women reported irregular menstrual periods in the upper three quartiles [i.e. 75 percent] of PFOA and PFOS compared with the lowest.”
“These findings are quite alarming,” charges Olga Naidenko, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C. “The UCLA team’s findings provide important new evidence that drastic declines in fertility rates in both the U.S. and Europe in recent decades may be linked to exposure to toxic chemicals, including PFOA.”
She further argues that the new findings “reinforce the need for strict regulation of PFOA and related chemicals.”
Naidenko is an environmental activist whose organization has been chronicling the emerging toxicology of these largely unregulated perfluorinated compounds in commerce today.
The real travesty is that despite a steady stream of anything-but-reassuring toxicity data on perfluorinated chemicals in recent years, our government still doesn’t know how they’re entering the environment. And Uncle Sam is not doing studies to probe their source, nor is our government aggressively soliciting outside researchers to do that. So how are cautious individuals to gauge ways to avoid these pollutants?
Keep in mind that PFOA and PFOS are not like most other industrial pollutants. They don’t break down. Once released, they just persist. And they’ve been accumulating in the environment — and us — since the 1950s, when these chemicals first started to enter the marketplace in large quantities.
Today, the chemicals are present on nonstick pans and in carpeting, upholstery and clothing that has been treated with stain-guard chemicals. They’ve also been used for years to treat popcorn bags and other packaging that might make contact with grease. Yet tests of these products show minimal release of PFOA and PFOS. Meanwhile, these compounds are showing up in the water entering municipal treatment plants long distances from manufacturing facilities — not to mention in animals and people around the globe.
Let’s not just monitor the accumulating presence of these compounds. Let’s find their sources and limit their continued, apparently uncontrolled releases.
The new study was supported by the International Epidemiology Institute, which received funding from 3M, the maker of Scotchguard. Fei and her colleagues claim 3M had “no control over the design, data analysis and interpretation or writing of this study.”

Friday, January 15, 2010

Help chart the course for humanity

Everybody gets one vote to decide how humanity will be.  Will we be nice people who take care of and help each other, or will be be selfish, greedy, A-holes, who take advantage of their fellow people.  How do you wish to cast your vote?

Sign up for the Fertility Boot Camp

Difficulty conceiving in Chicago? Come to the Fertility Boot Camp, Jan 30th, 2010, at the Tiffani Kim Institue, 310 W. Superior in Chicago.  My wife, Jeanie Bussell, is the top fertility acupuncturists in the Midwest; and she has put together this great event (back by popular demand).   This is a one-day retreat for women to educate, support and empower themselves to maximize their fertility. Expert panel includes leaders in the fields of Acupuncture, Reproductive Endocrinology, Nutrition, Fittness, Spirituality and Psychology.  Fertility-friendly lunch and snacks will be provided. The last event time this event was held, it sold out.  So sign up today.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Green Tea Strengthens Bones

 Everyone should have at least one cup a day.  It's on of the easiest and best ways to improve your health

New Evidence That Green Tea May Help Improve Bone Health

ScienceDaily (Sep. 18, 2009) — Researchers in Hong Kong are reporting new evidence that green tea — one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide and now available as a dietary supplement — may help improve bone health. They found that the tea contains a group of chemicals that can stimulate bone formation and help slow its breakdown.
The beverage has the potential to help in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and other bone diseases that affect million worldwide, the researchers suggest.
In the new study, Ping Chung Leung and colleagues note that many scientific studies have linked tea to beneficial effects in preventing cancer, heart disease, and other conditions. Recent studies in humans and cell cultures suggest that tea may also benefit bone health. But few scientific studies have explored the exact chemicals in tea that might be responsible for this effect.
The scientists exposed a group of cultured bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) to three major green tea components — epigallocatechin (EGC), gallocatechin (GC), and gallocatechin gallate (GCG) — for several days. They found that one in particular, EGC, boosted the activity of a key enzyme that promotes bone growth by up to 79 percent. EGC also significantly boosted levels of bone mineralization in the cells, which strengthens bones. The scientists also showed that high concentrations of ECG blocked the activity of a type of cell (osteoclast) that breaks down or weakens bones. The green tea components did not cause any toxic effects to the bone cells, they note.

To view source article click

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Difficulty conceiving in Chicago?

Difficulty conceiving in Chicago? Come to the Fertility Boot Camp, Jan 30th, 2010, at the Tiffani Kim Institue, 310 W. Superior in Chicago.  A one-day retreat for women to educate, support and empower themselves to maximize their fertility. Expert panel includes leaders in the fields of Acupuncture, Reproductive Endocrinology, Nutrition, Fittness, Spirituality and Psychology. Fertility-friendly lunch and snacks will be provided. The last event time this event was held, it sold out.  So sign up today.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Book signing for "The Asian Diet: Simple secrets for eating right, losing weight, and being well

Posted by the Skokie Library in Illinois

The Asian Diet

There are many differing opinions about what constitutes healthy eating. Local Author and acupuncturist Jason Bussell will address suggestions for health as refined by the cultures of Asia. Surprising topics will include calories don't matter, white rice is better than brown, cooked vegetables are better than salad, dairy is not good for adults, there are no superfoods, you should not need supplements, and more. Tea will be served. Registration is required. Sign up online or call 847.673.3733.
Wednesday, January 13 at 7:00pm in the Mary Radmacher Meeting Room

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Studies show vitamins don't help, may actually hurt

This is something I have been arguing for years.  We did not evolve by eating vitamins, carbs, protein, anti-oxidants, etc.  We evolved by eating food.  There are hundreds to thousands of compounds in naturally-occurring foods.  The complex way that they interact with our complex physiology is grossly under-estimated in the creation and marketing of supplements.  Read my book, The Asian Diet, and Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food and then start eating a wide variety of fresh, organic, local plants (mostly cooked).  A little bit organic, untainted meat is good too.  The following article is from   

The Vita MythDo supplements really do any good?

By Emily AnthesPosted Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010, at 12:31 PM ETVitamins. Click image to expand.Deciding what to eat for dinner can be mind-bending. How do we keep track of the ever-evolving recommendations for what to put on, and leave off, the plate? Red meat might cause cancer! But don't replace it with tofu—soy concoctions might be carcinogenic, too! Don't even try to figure out where carbs stand this week. And the verdict on coffee, chocolate, and alcohol changes faster than you can order a mocha martini.

Vitamins—with their promise to bridge the gap between the nutrients our bodies need and those they get—have always seemed reassuringly simple: Just pop a multivitamin and let your body soak in those extra nutrients. But not any longer. During the past few years, study after study has raised doubts about what, if any, good vitamins actually do a body. They could even pose some real medical risks.
Half of all American adults take some sort of nutritional supplement. But research on a wide variety of patient populations and medical conditions has failed to find much evidence that multivitamins, the most commonly used of the lot, prevent major chronic diseases in healthy people. The most recent knock came this spring, when a study of more than 160,000 post-menopausal women, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that the all-in-one pills did not prevent cancer, heart attacks, or strokes and did not reduce overall mortality.

Individual vitamins and minerals haven't fared much better under scientific scrutiny, with research debunking some of the reputed benefits of vitamin B6, calcium, niacin, and others. In 2006, the National Institutes of Health convened an independent panel of experts to evaluate the evidence that vitamins could prevent chronic disease. The scientists ultimately issued a report stating that studies "do not provide strong evidence for beneficial health-related effects of supplements taken singly, in pairs, or in combinations."
The news on antioxidants, the darlings of the vitamin menagerie, is even more troubling. These compounds, which include vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, beta carotene, and folate, fight free radicals, unstable compounds thought to damage cells and contribute to aging. But not only do antioxidant supplements fail to protect against heart disease, stroke, and cancer; they actually increase the risk of death, according to a 2007 analysis of research on more than 232,000 people, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, as well as other studies.

Exactly why they might increase mortality is unclear, but doctors at prominent research institutions—including New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center—have highlighted some unsettling connections between supplemental antioxidants and an increased risk of a variety of cancers. Popping certain kinds of antioxidant pills can feed latent cancers growing in the body, for instance, and reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy. These observations make a certain intuitive sense, since vitamins and minerals play an important role in the replication of healthy cells—why shouldn't they be doing the same for cancerous cells? (Feeding mice a diet poor in antioxidants, on the other hand, can actually help shrink their brain tumors.) Scientists are also beginning to suspect that the body may actually need free radicals—which help kill cancer cells, ensure optimal immune function, and regulate blood sugar, among other things—so we shouldn't necessarily be mopping them all up.

The list of worrisome findings goes on, but it doesn't seem to have put a dent in the $25 billion supplement industry. Sales are not only robust but rising in the United States. Doctors still recommend multivitamins as part of basic preventative care. Despite the demonstrated risk, as many as 80 percent of cancer survivors swallow a daily dose, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2008.

Vitamins have a powerful psychological hold over us. As precautionary health measures go, supplements are easy. Compare the two seconds required to swallow a pill with the constant vigilance necessary to exercise and eat right. And the fact that vitamins are available without a prescription makes them seem safe—even though it probably makes them less so, since they're not regulated by the FDA and manufacturers are not required to prove that they're effective at treating disease.

But the risk-benefit calculus has changed. We know more about the risks, and it's clear that there's also less potential benefit. During the early 20th century, diseases like scurvy and rickets were common until researchers began to isolate compounds in food—which became known as vitamins—that could altogether cure these ailments. It must have been remarkable to see devastating diseases alleviated with common foodstuffs.

During an era when many people legitimately had nutritional deficiencies, placing your bets on a multi might have been reasonable. But today, of course, actual deficiencies are much less common. Our salt, milk, flour, juice, cereal, and more are all fortified with extra nutrients, and a 2009 study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine suggests that most of the kids who end up taking vitamins in the United States today don't actually need them.

If vitamins are useful for anything, it's probably for tapping into our old friend the placebo effect. In a 2008 survey, 38 percent of doctors confessed to recommending vitamins because they believed the pills could promote health purely through the power of positive expectations. Consider a famous 1975 study designed to probe whether vitamin C supplements alleviated colds better than a placebo, an inert lactose tablet. It turned out that it didn't matter much which pill the subjects were actually taking. What mattered was what they thought they were getting: Those who believed they were taking vitamin C had fewer and milder cases of the sniffles than those who believed they were just swallowing lactose. That would be reason enough to pop a supplement—there are worse things than deceiving yourself into better health—if it weren't for the emerging evidence that the pills might be capable of causing real harm.

That's not to say that vitamins aren't important. Vitamins are critical to all sorts of bodily functions, and we have to get them through diet because our bodies can't make them on their own. The Office of Dietary Supplements at the NIH recommends that we get certain levels of a variety of kinds of vitamins, and that recommendation is sound. But encouraging us to get a complete suite of vitamins is not the same as suggesting that we get them by popping a pill.

In fact, the reports littering the ODS site seem to converge upon the same point: There is some good news for supplements, but it's extremely limited. The 2006 NIH panel, for instance, concluded that postmenopausal women should probably take calcium and vitamin D to safeguard their bones; that pregnant women should keep taking folate; and that adults with age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease, should take a combination of antioxidants and zinc. But beyond that, the panel's strongest recommendation was that scientists conduct further research on the risks and benefits of vitamins. For every study that turns up disconcerting vitamin side effects, there seem to be two more that conclude that we simply don't know enough yet about supplements to make evidence-based recommendations.

Until we do, we should stop treating supplements like health candy and more like prescription meds, to be used only when there's a demonstrated need. Doctors should create individualized regimes, tailored to a particular patient's deficiencies. As for the rest of us, we can put the pills back on the shelf and save our cash for one of those martinis.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New review of my book posted on Amazon

This was written by DermDoc from Minnesota. 

I have read the book "The Tao of Healthy Eating," and lost about >30 lbs gradually over the past year following principles of the Asian diet. I am of Asian descent, so it wasn't very difficult. When an assistant at work wanted to know about my diet, I looked for a book that was easy to read and understand for someone who didn't grow up with the Asian diet, and didn't already understand the concepts of hot/cooling foods, damp, qi, etc. I found this book and read it myself before recommending it to her and my patients. I found this book a quick and easy read. It serves as a very nice intro to Asian dietary therapy. I'd suggest reading "The Tao of Healthy Eating" and "Healing with Whole Foods" for more detail.

problems with 5 popular diets

This article explains the dangers of following 5 of the latest fad diets.
Don't chase fads. Trust culture.

Monday, January 4, 2010

disgusted with inability to progress

I am disgusted with our inability to progress. We can't have renewable energy because it'll hurt the coal industry. We can't have reasonably-priced healthcare in insurance because that'll hurt hospitals and insurance companies. We can't have a secure banking system because wall street and the big banks need all their (translated - our) money. I swear, if the stagecoach industry had spent more money lobbying, we would not have cars today.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ways acupuncture can help with fertility

My wife, Jeanie Bussell, is one of the top fertility acupuncturist in the Midwest.  At our offices in Wilmette and Chicago we see hundreds of couples every year for  fertility issues.  Fertility issues are nothing new.  In ancient China, the ability to have a child (particularly a son) was of utmost importance.  If the Emperor was unable to sire an heir, this was a national crisis.  For this reason, Fertility, Obstetrics, and Gynecology were among the first and most highly-developed specialties in Chinese medicine.   

Acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herbs can do a great many things to increase the chances of achieving pregnancy.  It can:
  • Regulate the Menses.  Controlling irregular menstruation can enable couples to better predict the time of ovulation.  It is important for a woman to ovulate at the optimal time so that the body is prepared to transport the egg and receive the embryo.

  • Increase the Uterine Lining.  Acupuncture can increase the blood flow to the uterus, resulting in a thicker uterine lining, creating a more hospitable environment for an embryo to implant.

  • Improve Sperm.  Separate studies have shown that acupuncture can increase sperm count, sperm motility, and the percentage of sperm that are normal within a given sample. 

  • Prevent Miscarriage.  Certain herbal formulae and acupuncture points are known to help secure a fetus and prevent a miscarriage.

In conjunction with In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), acupuncture may help:
·       Regulate the hormones.   This is important because a woman’s hormone levels must fall within a desired range in order to continue with treatment.
·       Increase the number of follicles and improve the quality of eggs produced.   Obtaining enough good-quality eggs is the most important factor in determining whether or not IVF will be successful.
·       Increase the likelihood of implantation.  A study conducted in Germany found that women who underwent the traditional IVF protocol became pregnant at a rate of 26%.   Women who also received acupuncture in addition to the traditional treatment had a 43% rate of success.  These benefits were obtained using a uniform acupuncture treatment and only two treatments.  Some experts estimate that customized, consistent treatment coupled with herbal therapies could improve success rates to 75%.
·      Moderate the side effects of hormone therapy.  The medications given during ART are very powerful and can cause unwanted side effects such as hot flashes, irritability, labile mood, and insomnia.  Patients who have undergone ART without, and then with, acupuncture report that the side effects were either minimized or eliminated with the use of acupuncture.
·       Relieve stress.  IVF can be a very stressful course of events.  Acupuncture has been shown to increase the level of Beta-Endorphins (the body’s natural feel-good chemical) in the blood. 

Once a woman is pregnant, acupuncture can help:
·       Prevent miscarriage
·       Relieve morning sickness.  Anti-emetic (anti-nausea) medication can be sedating and can impair a woman’s ability to function and enjoy the highest quality of life possible.  Many women are reluctant to use harsh drugs when they are carrying a child.  Acupuncture and herbal teas can relieve morning sickness in the first trimester.  If the sickness continues past the 13th week, women should consult their physician.
·       Correct malposition of the fetus (Breech presentation).  When a baby is not aligned properly, it can cause the mother great discomfort.  Acupuncture and moxibustion can help to turn a breech presentation and correct a malpositioned fetus.  Note:  This should only be done under the supervision of a physician and with the use of ultrasound to ensure the umbilical chord does not get tangled.
·       Induce labor.  There are points that are forbidden to needle during pregnancy because of their known ability to induce labor.  Once a baby is full term, these points can be used to stimulate uterine contractions and induce labor without subjecting the mother and baby to drugs.
·       Provide anesthesia during labor.  Studies have shown that women who had acupuncture for anesthesia during delivery required significantly less pain medication and fewer epidurals.
·       Relieve post-partum pain and depression.  Help to get back to your old self. 
·       Promote lactation.  For instances where there is insufficient lactation

To learn more about how to enhance your fertility, read Fully Fertile: A holistic 12-week program to optimal fertility, co-authored by Jeanie Bussell

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Common chemical in plastic emasculates young boys

This is not the first, but is probably the best study showing the hormone-disrupting effects of fetal exposure to plastics. This study looked at the levels of BCP in the mother when the babies were still in the third trimester.   The males with the highest exposures had the least masculine behaviors.  The study concluded that exposure did not affect the girls, but if the exposure is estrogenic, it certainly could mess them up with menstruation or with fertility.   We should cook and drink with natural materials: glass, ceramic, cast-iron, stainless steel, enamel-coats, paper., wood, bone.  Avoid plastic cookware.  Microwaving is bad, but certainly don't microwave in a plastic container if you can at all help it.