Health Notes

November's Health Genie: Coconut Oil

Note:This article is not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Hello Health Genie,

I know this is a common complaint, but nothing I’ve tried seems to really help.  I typically have pretty dry skin, but with the colder drier weather approaching, I just can’t seem to keep my skin hydrated.  I’ve heard that coconut oil can be effective, but I’ve never used it outside of the kitchen.  Can you tell me more about its medicinal properties?

Thank you,

Debbie Dry

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Warming Foods for Winter

Note: This article is not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

By Robert Luby, MD

Advances in agriculture, transportation, and the food industry have made it possible for Vermonters to consume nearly any food from any part of the world year-round. But is this optimal for our health? While conventional western nutritional sciences concern themselves primarily with nutrient quantities and ratios, the principles of non-western medical paradigms, most notably Chinese medicine, place a high priority on eating optimally for the season.

Food and Mood

By Robert Luby, MD

Note:This article is not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Interested in more information on how inflammatory foods may contribute to depression? To learn more about the subject, sign up for our Depression... An Inflammatory Condition? class on Thursday, January 24 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Food can play a significant role in initiating, perpetuating, exacerbating, and treating depression.  In order to understand how this may be possible, it is necessary to understand the role of inflammation with regards to depression.

Inflammation is the normal transient response manifested by the immune system in the presence of microbial infection, tissue trauma, psychosocial stress, and inappropriate foods.  In the short term, inflammation is a necessary and beneficial response to each of these adverse environmental encounters.  Inflammation mediates the natural healing processes of the body to facilitate recovery.

A problem arises however, if the environmental “encounter” becomes a “sustained exposure”.  One such sustained exposure is the regular ingestion of foods which are “pro-inflammatory”.  This type of eating pattern has the potential to create a sustained and prolonged inflammatory response of the immune system.  Unlike the beneficial outcome of a transient inflammatory response, a sustained inflammatory response can have devastating effects, especially upon the brain and the “neurotransmitters” which mediate the state of our mood.

January's Health Genie: Vitamin D

Note:This article is not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Dear Health Genie,

For the last several years, we have been hearing about the benefits of vitamin D. My husband and I are active, healthy and eat a varied diet, so we don’t take many supplements. Can you tell us a little bit about vitamin D and whether it might hold some benefits for us as we age? 

Thank you,
Dee Winter

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