Thursday, February 26, 2009


Last week, I was in New York City attending a Stem Cell Summit. Also attending were over 50 Stem Cell Company CEO’s from all over the world as well as a number of venture capitalists, investors, researchers, and medical practitioners. The conference, itself, was a fascinating look into what is in store for us in the future from the world of Stem Cell Therapy. In my last post, I wrote about some of the potential for Stem Cells. What is on the horizon is truly mind-boggling.

In particular, there are major developments in the areas of Orthopedics such as regenerating joint cartilage, shortening recovery time for fractures by two-thirds, and options for herniated vertebral disc sufferers. There is a tremendous amount of work also being done for Diabetes, many forms of Cancer, congestive heart failure as well as for heart attack and stroke victims. I even heard from Veterinarians who are already using stem cells for racehorses and pets with great success.

The future potential for many more health benefits is vast. All of the CEO’s present admitted that we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what stem cells may be able to accomplish. One area I found particularly fascinating was in the regeneration of bone and cartilage in degenerated joints and fractures. Stem cells are already being used to avoid amputations in diabetics with severe peripheral vascular disease. The stem cell procedure actually helps them to grow new blood vessels, which supply blood to extremities threatened by lack of oxygen. All of the presentations focused on the thrilling work of finding cures for conditions that are currently incurable. Still, no one is even talking yet about my interest in the potential of stem cells with respect to prevention, anti-aging and life extension.

I have been working with a company called Neostem, which is a stem cell collection service. We collect stem cells from healthy, relatively young people, and then store them in a cryobank for future use. The beauty of this unique approach is that the stem cells are available on an as-needed basis. Stem cells are generally only given to the person who donated them. This is the other reason that our approach is so powerful. These stem cells are in better shape than the individual recipient because they were collected when the person was younger.

In other words, they are not used like blood donations. So, there is no risk of rejection, and since the individual will only receive his own cells, there is also no risk of transmissible disease. In a way, it is a form of “Bio-Insurance”. You can imagine that the process can provide a great sense of security when an individual knows that his stem cells are safely stored away in a cryobank if needed at some future date.

I should know. I have already put mine away and it makes me feel really good. What we are now discussing is the possibility of re-infusing them back into the donor every year or so, as a way to help maintain the equivalent, youthful age as when the cells were originally collected. I have also spoken to researchers about using them to treat women after menopause. In theory, we would inject them into the ovaries to “wake them up” as a way to start producing female hormones again. No one knows if this is possible. But, can you imagine what kind of breakthrough it represents if the procedure works?!

Monday, February 16, 2009


The future of Medicine is here now. Stem cell research and stem cell therapy is real. There are now over 2000 clinical trials in this country alone on stem cell therapy. There are even more around the world.

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells in the body that have the ability to develop into any cell. They are called “multi-potential". Stem cells are derived from multiple sources including fat, peripheral blood, and bone marrow. The big distinction is between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Current research involves both.

There are moral and ethical issues surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells because they are often derived from aborted fetuses. These cells are more versatile as they can be used in any individual without issues about possible rejection. Concerns have also been raised that women will intentionally get pregnant to abort and sell their embryos for stem cell harvesting.

Adult stem cells are less versatile as they can only be used in the individual who donated them, and may not be as adaptable to generating new tissue as embryonic cells. There is ongoing research to develop other cell lines that approaches the frontier of cloning. Theoretically, if cells have the ability to become any cell in the body, then it is not too far fetched to create cells that can become “all” cells in the body and therefore, become an entirely new individual.

The February 9, 2009 cover story in TIME magazine reported on the FDA’s approval of stem cell therapy for the treatment of traumatic spinal cord injuries. This is an exciting breakthrough in an emerging, dynamic field of medicine that is going to create an entirely new realm of miraculous cures for previously considered untreatable conditions.

I am now at an exciting conference on Stem Cells in New York and look forward to telling you all about it in my next posting.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I’ve read some pretty ridiculous health claims, but this one takes the cake. I saw an article recently in the US publication, The Week, about a study done in the UK that reported a link between increased frequency of sex and masturbation and their role in causing a higher risk of prostate cancer. Now, I’ve heard old wives tales about masturbation causing mental illness, blindness—and even warts on the hands—but never that masturbation causes prostate cancer. Even worse than that, the study claims that men in their 20’s and 30’s who masturbate—or God Forbid—have sex at least 4 or 5 times per week, must have higher hormone levels.

The study then jumps to the conclusion that these highly sexed men are more prone to get prostate cancer due to their unusually high hormone levels. I think this study is ludicrous. First of all, there is no evidence anywhere that men with high hormone levels are more sexual. Secondly, there is a mountain of evidence that men with LOW testosterone are at significantly increased risk of prostate disease and cancer. Testosterone has been shown unequivocally to be health promoting in men, and in particular, lowering the incidence of prostate cancer.

Furthermore, I have never found a correlation between testosterone levels and libido. Over the years, I’ve seen many men with high testosterone levels and low libidos—and vice versa. There are, in fact, a preponderant number of studies showing that the prostate is much healthier and has reduced risk of cancer with increased frequency of ejaculations. I don’t know who did this study, but they must have had a prudish approach to health. My advice is to have as much sex as you can and masturbate as much as you want. Your prostate, among others, will thank you.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Sugar is a hidden toxin in foods and as a result, we eat way more sugar than nature ever intended for us. Sugar is actually “rated” in foods according to what is known as the Glycemic Index. In fact, all foods have been scored according to this Index. If you are interested in tracking a particular food, you can look it up on numerous web sites which feature the Glycemic Index.

Foods are ranked according to their sugar content by whether they are low, medium or high glycemic. High glycemic foods should definitely be avoided. As I mentioned in my last posting, humans evolved genetically during Paleolithic times. Foods were very low in sugars during that time. Farming, milling, and baking of wheat didn’t exist. We are, therefore, not genetically designed to eat wheat products.

In addition, they are the highest glycemic foods. The beauty of avoiding bread, cereal, grains, and rice is that—not only do we help ourselves by avoiding foods that are difficult for us to assimilate—but such a regimen also avoids a dense carbohydrate food group that contributes significantly to obesity and diabetes, two of the largest and fastest growing health problems in America.

The closer we can eat to a Paleolithic type diet, the healthier we will be. So, when you are making your food choices, just imagine if it existed in Paleolithic times. If not, best to skip it. We need to be conscious that our diets and environment have changed dramatically over the past several thousand years. The single most important thing we can do to avoid disease is to avoid sugar and high glycemic food.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I have been moving further away from traditional medicine and rarely take out my prescription pad anymore except to write a prescription for bioidentical hormones. The closer we can adapt our diets and lifestyles to how we lived when our genes were evolving, the healthier we will be. A lot of people still don’t recognize that we live in a toxic environment. We were not designed to process so many toxins. That is why a good detoxification program two or three times per year is essential for optimal health.

Sugar is the most toxic substance we can ingest. We are literally bombarded with sugar daily. Sugar causes inflammation in the body and inflammation is responsible for virtually all diseases. So, if you wanted to do one thing that is greater than anything else to enhance your health, Stop Eating Sugar!

The single most important factor relating to disease is nutrition and sugar is one of the most toxic food substances we can ingest. When our genes developed in Paleolithic times, concentrated sugar didn't exist. As we have evolved, our environment has changed radically, but our genes are still the same as they were 65,000 years ago. Today, even an apple is about ten times sweeter and bigger than in Paleolithic times. Sugar stimulates our pancreas to secrete insulin. Insulin is actually very inflammatory. Inflammation is responsible for every disease from cancer and arthritis to high blood pressure and heart disease. Again, if you want to do one thing to improve your health—avoid sugar. It’s hard to avoid because it has become so pervasive in prepared foods and food products. Look out for sugar in a wide variety of forms such as bakery items, bread, ketchup, and salad dressing as well as in almost all bottled drinks except water. Try using sugar substitutes instead such as xylitol, stevia or agave nectar.

Monday, February 2, 2009


I never had an epiphany that I wanted to be a doctor. As long as I can remember, it has always been a noble profession to me. I had great reverence for our family physician as a kid growing up on the US East Coast. I still recall him even driving through heavy snowstorms to make house calls just to give us penicillin shots when we had strep throat. So, as I matured, it just seemed like the natural profession for me to aspire to. At this point, I’ve probably seen “one of everything” since I began practicing Medicine in 1974.

I started out in Internal Medicine, then spent 20 years as an Emergency Doc. I worked at Pritikin in Nutrition and Natural medicine, and have been a Director of weight loss programs and fitness programs, a professional sports team Doctor, served on many medical advisory boards and now am Medical Director of an Integrated Alternative Medical center. After all these years and different hats I’ve worn, one thing stands out as a core belief—the human body works best when treated naturally.

The Natural Medicine approach that I use encompasses many disciplines. Nutrition is at the foundation of Functional Medicine. Functional Medicine is the technology that seeks to understand the underlying cause of an illness rather than merely treating its superficial symptoms, regardless of how severe they may seem. Sometimes, a symptom may be as simple as a food allergy. At other times, it can be a hormone imbalance.

The advent of natural bioidentical hormone replacement for men and women has served a tremendous need in terms of slowing the ageing process. An entire discipline of medicine called Anti Ageing Medicine is now evolving. Combining this powerful tool with Natural Medicine, Functional Medicine, acupuncture, nutrients, herbs , diet and a sound fitness program, I believe can correct almost any imbalance in the body—unless there has already been too much damage sustained. After 35 years in medicine, I am convinced that the more natural the approach to the human body, the better the outcome. I look forward to using my blog as a forum to discuss my perspective on health and wellness, and want to thank everyone for reading and posting. Please email me at to let me know if you have any questions or ideas about issues that I should cover in the future. Welcome!