Vitamin C For Healthy Skin

Portrait of teenage girl holding lemonVitamin C is essential for maintaining healthy and resilient skin.  As we age, we naturally lose this nutrient; other factors such as exposure to pollutants, UV light and cigarette smoke can also cause a loss of vitamin C.

Vitamin C plays an important role in the formation of collagen, a protein that gives your skin its elasticity.  Optimizing your skin’s level of vitamin C can help to counteract wrinkle formation by increasing collagen production amounts.

Another common skin concern that can be corrected with vitamin C is age spots caused by sun damage.  Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant; it can reduce the amount of sunburned cells and reduce age-related damage to cells.  Although vitamin C does not replace sunscreen, it may protect against further sun damage and repair discoloration and fine lines.

Topical vitamin C is the best formulation (rather than supplement or food sources) to target signs of aging.  When purchasing vitamin C, look for products that contain between 3%-10% of the active ingredient ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid.  Apply topical vitamin C once a day, ideally after exfoliation in the morning.  You can expect to see a noticeable difference in your skin within 4-8 weeks of beginning topical vitamin C.  Maximum benefits are achieved with 6 months of use.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, offers full aesthetic services and numerous skin care treatment regimens to her patients.  Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

Do I Need Iodine Supplementation?

Closeup of sea salt on rustic wooden backgroundIodine is a naturally occurring mineral that until the 1940’s was routinely used for a number of health concerns/conditions.  In the 1920’s iodine was added to table salt to reduce the incidence of goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).  Your thyroid gland requires iodine to function normally.  Iodine deficiency typically results in low circulating thyroid hormones or hypothyroidism.

Iodine deficiency can also lead to autoimmune disease of the thyroid and may increase the risk of developing certain cancers (thyroid, prostate, breast, endometrial and ovarian cancers).  Iodine deficiency is a common world health problem.  The most recognized form of deficiency is the goiter.  Iodine deficiency is also thought to be the most preventable cause of mental retardation.

Foods rich in iodine include sea vegetables (kelp), shrimp, scallops, eggs, and yogurt.  Adults require 150mcg of iodine daily for optimal health.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, offers comprehensive nutritional counseling and vitamin testing to her patients.  Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.   Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

Do I Have Adrenal Fatigue?

adrenal fatigue1The adrenal glands produce a number of hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol is our stress (“fight or flight”) hormone. Adrenal fatigue occurs when the body is under chronic stress and the adrenals are unable to keep pace with the demands of a constant fight- or- flight state of arousal. Thus, the adrenals do not function at their optimal state – they are unable to produce enough of the hormones you need to feel your best.

Signs of adrenal fatigue include: difficulty arising in the morning, continued fatigue, lack of energy, craving salty foods, decreased libido, difficulty coping with stress, increased PMS symptoms, difficulty focusing (brain fog), and decreased productivity.

To heal adrenal fatigue, it is crucial to decrease stress levels and optimize your health. This can be achieved by eating a whole food diet, avoiding processed foods, and keeping a regular sleep schedule – preferably 8 hours. The following supplements are also beneficial: B complex, vitamin D, vitamin C, adrenal support or licorice root, and omega 3 fatty acids.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Dr. Hermann offers patient care for adrenal fatigue as well as acupuncture, comprehensive vitamin testing and food sensitivity testing. Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedual an appointment.

Can Eating More Fruits and Vegetables Help Me Lose Weight?

Planning of a dietIt is commonly thought that increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables is beneficial while attempting to lose weight. However, a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that increased fruit and vegetable consumption does not reduce body weight. Interestingly, the study results also showed that increased servings do not increase weight either, but can in fact add essential vitamins and fiber to one’s diet.

In essence, energy reduction seems to be the most essential mechanism to weight loss; to reduce weight, you must reduce caloric intake. There are approximately 3,500 calories in a pound of stored body fat. Thus, in order to lose one pound of body weight, you must create a 3,500 calorie deficit. This is best achieved through diet and exercise. Sustained weight loss is difficult or impossible without increased regular exercise. For body fat loss, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 1200 calories a day for women and 1800 calories a day for men. However, check with your physician prior to starting any weight loss program.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, is also a physician nutrition specialist. Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the office at 813-902-9559.

Fermented Wheat Germ Extract for Oncology Nutrition

wheat germFermented wheat germ extract was developed in Hungry in the 1990’s.  Numerous clinical trials and studies have proven many health benefits of use including:  anticancer, antimetastatic, and immunomodulatory effects.  Cell metabolic regulation is supported, immune system modulation is promoted, and immune balance is maintained.   The active components of wheat germ extracts are benzoquinone compounds.   This product is frequently recommended as an important component of oncology nutrition and health optimization.  Before starting any supplementation, check with your doctor or health care professional.

Animal studies have also suggested that wheat germ extract can reduce cardiovascular symptoms due to obesity, diabetes and hypertension and that it may also mitigate symptoms from certain auto-immune disorders.  It has also been shown to enhance the effects of  some chemotherapy regimens.  However, patients with hormone-sensitive cancers should use wheat germ extract with caution as it can potentiate estrogen receptor activity.  Adverse reactions include mild diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, constipation and dizziness.  Wheat germ extract should be taken at least 2 hours before or after vitamin C consumption.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

 

How Can Chia Seeds Improve My Health?

chia seeds and wordChia seed has been used as a nutritious dietary staple in Mexico and Central America since ancient times.  Chia seed oil contains 60% alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that promotes cardiovascular health.  It is also an excellent source of iron and fiber.

Recent research has also studied how chia seeds may be utilized as a weight-modifying food.  Patients within the studies who consumed foods containing chia seeds rated their satiety (fullness) levels higher and had reductions in both body weight and waist circumference.  Also of note, participants receiving chia seed products in the studies had decreases in their serum triglycerides (cholesterol) and glucose (blood sugar) levels.

Chia seeds are available in a variety of forms including whole seeds, oil, chia meal, and “chia snacks”.  There is no standardized recommended dose, but a typical serving of seeds (whole or ground) is a quarter-cup.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Dr. Hermann is also board- certified in nutrition and offers a number of weight loss and dietary counseling services to her patients.  For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact the office at 813-902-9559.

 

Qsymia- A New Medication For Weight Loss Management

qsymiaQsymia is an FDA approved combination medication of phentermine and topiramate (Topamax) indicated for chronic weight management. Although the precise mechanisms of action are not known, multiple mechanisms regulate hunger. Qsymia works on multiple pathways to help achieve and maintain weight loss. According to the CDC nearly 40% of adults in America are obese or extremely obese.

Qsymia is indicated as an adjunct to increased physical activity and reduced caloric intake in obese and overweight individuals.  Eligible patients should have a  body mass index (BMI) of 32 or greater (obese) or a BMI of 27 or greater (overweight) with a weight -related comorbidity – such as high cholesterol, hypertension or type 2 diabetes.  Qsymia is prescribed for once daily dosing in the morning.  Physician follow-up is usually monthly.

Dr. Anne Hermann is double board certified in internal medicine and nutrition.  She offers many weight loss and nutritional treatment options to her patients, including Qsymia.  Office locations are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

 

 

Can Zinc Help Alleviate Common Cold Symptoms?

zincOral zinc therapy initiated within 24 hours of common cold symptom onset, may reduce duration of the common cold in healthy people.    The common cold is caused by human rhinoviruses that attach to the inside of the nasal passages.  Zinc ion blocks this attachment.  Thus, an antiviral effect is elicited.

In one recent multi-country study, zinc was associated with shorter duration of cold symptoms but not severity.  Zinc formulations included in the study were syrup and lozenges.  Prophylactic zinc use in children resulted in reduced cold incidence; prophylactic use was not studied in adults.  The study was unable to quantify a recommended dosage of zinc as release of the zinc ion varies across formulations (syrup and lozenges).  Side effects were minimal, study participants reported bad taste and nausea with zinc lozenges use.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Could I Have Celiac Disease?

celiac word in letterpress typeCeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder that interferes with the body’s ability to digest gluten.   Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley and rye.   It is an abnormal immune reaction to gluten and a disease of malabsorption.  Currently 3 million Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease.  However, there are estimates that an additional 2.5 million more are affected but have not yet received a diagnosis.

Symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly amongst individuals.  Digestive symptoms are more common in young children and may include chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain and bloating and weight loss.  In adults, the following symptoms are more likely:  iron deficiency anemia, fatigue, bone or joint pain, depression, anxiety, dermatitis herpetiformis and canker sores.   Some patients with celiac disease have no symptoms.  Even if no symptoms are present, long-term complications include liver disease, malnutrition and cancers of the intestine.  Treatment for celiac disease involves eliminating all gluten from the diet.  This is a lifetime requirement.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, offers celiac and food sensitivity testing to her patients.   Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.


 

Sublingual Immunotherapy Now FDA Approved For Grass And Ragweed Allergies

iStock_000040681136SmallSublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) uses rapidly dissolving oral tablets or oral solution placed under the tongue to treat allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma, offering convenience to the patient. It has been approved in Europe for many years, and is now available in the United States. The sublingual drops take the place of subcutaneous immunotherapy injections which have, until now, been the mainstay of allergy therapy.

SLIT for grass allergy is approved for patients aged 5-65, SLIT for ragweed allergy is approved for patients aged 18-65. Like conventional subcutaneous injections, SLIT prevents new sensitization and progression to asthma. It is a disease- modifying therapy. The optimal duration of SLIT is 3—4 years. Most patients will need retreatment in 7-8 years. Side effects of therapy are minimal and include itching of the mouth and throat and a sensation of swelling in the mouth.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, offers comprehensive allergy treatments including sublingual immunotherapy to her patients. Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.