How Exercise Changes Your Genes

Exercise does much more than make you feel good and/or relaxed; exercise changes your genes. More specifically, it changes the activity level of your genes, even reversing the stress-related damage to your genes. In addition, it reduces the activity level of your inherited genes that place you at greater risk for certain diseases; and it helps repair genes that have already been damaged by stress, thereby reducing your risk for additional diseases.


The exercises that change and repair your genes are not limited to just walking or running. Any exercise or habit that activates the mind-body connection is more than sufficient, especially when done on a regular basis. Yoga, qigong, tai chi, and even breathing exercises (like meditation): they can all reduce your “bad” gene activity and/or repair stress-related damage your genes. Equally importantly, they can reduce the inflammation in your body – the cause of many of your physical ailments.


Red DicePreviously, there was the belief that exercise had to be done on a daily basis. Kenneth Cooper recommended 10,000 steps per day. But new research debunks that old belief. Weekend warriors can improve their health – and […]

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Rising Rates of Colon Cancer and Rectal Cancer

A recent study just revealed a rise in the rate of colon and rectal cancer in those people under the age of 55. That includes Generation X and Millennials. Anyone born in the 1990s has twice the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer as someone born in 1950s. Since screening for colon cancer is not typically recommended until someone turns 50, many of these cancers are being detected in advanced states, making them much harder to treat.

At this point, the researchers claim that they cannot determine the cause of the rising rate of these colon and rectal cancers in this younger population. Doctors worry that too many of these people are ignoring the early signs of colon cancer, including consistent bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, blood in the stools, or weight loss. They are also concerned that too many people are ignorant of the medical conditions that are associated with a higher risk for these cancers.

The human gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) is an organ system responsible for consuming and digesting foodstuffs, absorbing nutrients, and expelling waste.

People with GI disorders are individuals with increased […]

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Sick and Tired of Our Post-Election Stress?

Since the election, there has been a constant, almost daily, stream of unexpected decisions, enormous conflict, multiple marches protests/ demonstrations, and subsequent chaos. For many people, it has reached a point of overload. They go to bed with their heads still spinning from the daily events, the evening news, or the cable talking heads. They yearn for a bit of relief, a few moments of peace, and a reduction in their own emotional turmoil.


I’ve always viewed life as shaped like an ice cream cone. You stand at the very bottom of the cone. Right above you, there is your family and closest friends. Above them, there are your classmates or your work cohorts. Above that larger group, there is your neighborhood and your community, all expanding outward. At the top of the cone, as you progress upward, there is our national and global world. Today, the top of the cone tasty like ice cream; it looks more and more like the ocean – with us caught in the perfect storm.


Cone icon. Simple illustration of cone vector icon for web

Each one of us can choose where we want […]

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Our Food Supply? Sorry, There Is No Quick Fix

Everyone seems to want that quick fix. Commercials, which seem to share equal time with any TV show, pitch the quick fix. But the truth? The quick fix does not seem to work. Take diets, for example. People purchase more diet books than any other type of books. Do any of the short-term diets work? No. Studies show that over 98% of every pound lost is eventually gained back. That is why I preach a lifelong shift in your eating style, not some new diet. Each of us should employ long-term thinking, combined with lifelong behavioral changes, to change our eating style and our food supply.


bigstock-Blank-Cans-723589So, if there is no quick fix, what can we do about our contaminated food supply? We have to fight one small battle at a time, looking for small changes.  In California, over this last year, there was a ballot initiative to require labeling of GMO foods in the grocery stores. Monsanto poured in millions and millions of dollars and convinced the public to defeat the measure. Their most effective argument? Our food prices would rise because of the extra cost of labeling. Who […]

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Are You Kidding Me? A Poop Transplant?

In my last blog on 8/26/13, I highlighted our need to improve our physical and mental health by decreasing our use of medications. I also highlighted the work of Donna Gates and Dr. James Greenblatt and applauded how they have focused on the importance of the ecosystem in your “gut” and how the bacteria in your intestines play a huge role in the production of the neurochemicals that determine the quality of your immune system, the quality of your cognition, and even the quality of your mood. In short, I encouraged you to learn what you should eat to improve the health of your intestines, as the health of your “gut” will determine your overall health and even your longevity.

bigstock-Stickers-Of-Toilet-Symbols-46696972Do you need a little more incentive? Well, would any of you volunteer for a poop transplant? Sound like something from a science fiction horror film? Sorry, but they are already running experiments on poop transplants with good results. Place the poop, taken from someone who does not have diabetes, into the lower intestines of someone who has severe diabetes, and behold (don’t look too closely) … the person with […]

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You did this to me!

“You’ve got to be kidding! Have you met Geordy?!” My wife and I looked at each other and laughed. We picked Geordy up from the vet this afternoon after he had been neutered. (I know – I get a sympathetic twinge whenever I think about it) The vet was giving us aftercare instructions, and we were staring at her in disbelief. “No running, jumping, or wrestling for 10 days.” That’s what she said – I had her repeat it twice. dog timeoutFor those of you who have read some of my earlier posts, you know that Geordy is our 7 month old standard poodle puppy. My wife and I refer to him as “devil dog”, “knucklehead”, and “that dog” or “your dog”. Often heard around our house, “Do you know what your dog did today?!” Geordy is also very well known at doggy day care. I think he holds the record for “time outs”. He will play and roughhouse for 6 hours straight without any sign of slowing down. At home he runs laps from the family room to the kitchen to the living room to the backyard. He likes to […]

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My Personal Healthcare Nightmare

On July 24 I addressed the disgrace of our national health care system. It is currently ranked as the worst of any industrial country. We are ranked 37th in the world, even below Columbia! But that is only part of our health care challenge. The other problem is our health insurance coverage. Yesterday, I read a national article reporting that more and more physicians are refusing to treat Medicare patients because of the low cost of re-imbursement and the huge overload of paperwork. (Read it here.) So, for baby boomers, our health care system may be growing larger, but our access to care is growing smaller – and much more difficult.

Medicare Word Cloud ConceptAt the same time, our problems with our health insurance coverage are growing worse, not better. I know that first hand. In April of this year I turned 65 and started Medicare. Registering and starting Medicare? That alone is a time consuming hassle. In my case, when I started Medicare, I notified my Orange County (California) Health Benefits insurance office. Of course, because I had been switched to Medicare, […]

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Was Our Health Care System Always This Bad?

While scanning the Internet today, I came across an article / video of a lab-coated physician blasting the use of high dose vitamins and their potential disastrous consequences (watch here). So, what did I do? I promptly posted a comment: “As a physician, I am aware of only a dozen deaths by vitamin overdose in the last 20 years. However, in our country the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer, is physician error, including adverse medication reactions. Hmmm … I wonder which area should concern me more?”

After the post, I had to ask myself: Was I always this cynical? Was I always this skeptical of our health care system? My honest opinion? Nope, I was not always this bad. Our health care system was not always this bad. But it is now. Let’s not fool ourselves. Our health care system is a national disgrace. Forget what the politicians tell you. Our health care system is the worst of any industrial country. Heck, as for the quality of our health care system, we rank below Columbia, Chile, and Costa Rica. Are you kidding me? Below Columbia? […]

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