Lemon Water: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

What are the benefits and Negatives of Drinking Lemon Water daily?

 

 

Research suggests that the average female needs 91 oz of water while the average male needs 125oz of water daily,  But it’s so bland. So how do you get it in? What about flavored water or water with something added to it? 

 

The most common fruit placed in water is Lemon, and with good reason. The question is, is it for your betterment or does it cause harm. Well, just like anything, too much of a good thing is too much. Use best Judgement and guidance from multiple providers, including your dentist. 

 

So what is Lemon Water Used For? 

Ayurvedic medicine has long stated that lemon in the water plays a role in detoxification, hydration, weight loss, digestion, improved skin quality, prevention of kidney stones, and it’s a good source of Vitamin-C.  But which of those hold water?

Turmeric powder,Turmeric in Mortar Grinder drugs and ingredient herbs on wooden background

It turns out that most of it is correct. In a study published in 2016, they looked at the benefits of using lemon water with honey in it to decrease lipid profiles. 50 people participated and the results were conclusive. The Fat weight of the person decreased, Triglyceride levels went down and Free Fatty Mass decreased. The questions for the researchers that I have is in part around the fasting and in part around subject numbers. Intermittent fasting is also shown to improve Free Fat Mass and triglycerides, so is it a side effect of just that, or is it actually the lemon in the water? 

 

If i was not convinced that it had to do with the lemon in the water, a 1014 study with 100 participants showed similar results. They added daily walking for 20 minutes as a component of their study though, and took out fasting. 

 

The most conclusive results that I could find were in a 2019 study looking at changes in the gut microbiome and longevity. That study showed that microbial activity of bacteria that help the body break down and digest food was increased by 10% -30% depending on the individual’s microbiome at the start of the study. They showed that the persons had more energy and then they also were looked at over a period of ten years. They tested at younger ages via blood work, mental cognitive tests and agility than same aged peers. 

 

So why do some think it is harmful to drink lemon water? The answers might surprise you. 

Most of the time, we don’t think about washing fruits that we peel, but they can be a significant host for things like e.coli, staph and MRSA. One study of 20 restaurants across the US showed that almost all of the oranges and lemons contained at minimum E. Coli on the skin. You don’t want to stick that in your water (or beer).When it comes to restaurant lemons and oranges, Squeeze them into the drink, but leave the fruit on the plate please. 

 

Lemons are acidic in nature, so they can irritate the skin, gums and cold sores or canker sores. The American Dental association recommends that you stay away from them in those instances. Also, if you have weak tooth enamel or start to notice your teeth feel rough when you run your tongue over them, re-consider your flavor of water. That acidity may also play a role in GERD. While some people get a benefit for their heartburn from lemon water, others can suffer because the pH balance in the stomach is upset by trying to balance out the acidity of the lemons. 

The last thing you may want to consider is about migraines. If you are unsure of your triggers, check citrus fruits specifically when you know you have some down time. Getting a migraine at work because you drink lemon water is not a good plan.

 

That’s all for now, Check back later for more health news!

 

Effects of Lifelong Intake of Leon Polyphenols on aging and intestinal microbiome; Shimizu et al. sci rep. (2019)9;3671
Effects on 8P of Daily Lemon intake and Walking. Y.Kato et al. J. Nutr. Metab. (2014)2014:912684
Does Short Term Lemon Honey Fasting Have Effect on Lipid Profile and Body composition. J. Ayurveda Integ Med (2016)Mar; 7(11-13).

The Rise of Alternative Medicine

Restorative Health: Being More Connected To Our Body and Mind

“While there is evidence to support that the natural environment leads to improvements in health markers, More evidence is needed to show what disease may benefit and why.” Bowler et.al. (2010)1

As a Person living in the 21st century, I am often confused by the significant lack of health I am surrounded by. It seems that people are less connected to the environment and people around them than they are to the devices they have available. We have stopped relying on our true person to person connections and moved to a world where we could go a full day without uttering a word to another human. If you type in a search for the effects of electronic devices on Health, the results are kind of scary. This chapter will focus on Restorative health and how we can get back to the last time our Body Agreed that it could do what we asked of it. Restorative health is very Individualized and takes a commitment from the Person and the Provider. It makes sure that both parties are invested to obtain the best outcomes for all involved.

For the last decade, I have been looking for ways to restore my health back to the way it was pre-kids. The things I am looking for are: Sleep, Workout Recovery, Feeling Comfortable in my Body, Less Seasonal Allergies, Less pain. I sought out the help of a physician in 2012 and was directed through a medical model that wanted to drug away my symptoms and maybe (definitely) cause some other symptoms. It was not the root cause of what was happening, It was a band aid approach. Cover Ups don’t work. They simply push the problem to a higher level while partially masking it. What I discovered was that I had a bunch of food allergies that had come back full force while pregnant that were wreaking havoc on my body. You see, true Health starts from within and from the environment around you.

Inflammation occurs when you take in foods that you have sensitivities and allergies to them. That inflammation starts in the mouth, continues to the esophagus, leads to the stomach and ends in the GUT through to the colon. There is another chapter in this book on the gut and microbiome. I would suggest a careful attention is paid to that chapter as well.

“All disease begins in the Gut” ~Hippocrates


The digestive tract is of utmost importance in our health because it is where 90% of the nutrients we take in each day are absorbed. Think of this area of your body similar to the skin, with a severe bug bite. That bug bite becomes inflamed, itches, swells more, you usually agitate it further and it perpetuates the problem. The same is true of the digestive system. If you have a sunburn, how healthy is your skin at the time when it is tight, dry and peeling? Does it absorb lotion well or just appear dry and irritated a few hours later again? If you are causing inflammation due to food sensitivities and allergies, What does the digestive tract look like and how does it feel? One of the problems we have as a society is if I can’t see it, it must not be real. I can ignore it and it will go away, or I can take something for it. This “Disease Mongering3” is part of the pharmaceutical industry push to sell drugs that should likely not be on the market, but also add to the symptoms you experience because they cover a Health Issue with a Band-Aid.

The Discipline to restore your health has to come from with-in, but I believe must also have support. That support can be a health coach, physician, family member, or trusted friends. The non-coach or physician should be someone willing to truly push you and not damage the relationship. The accountability from them must be true to your desire for health. It works best if they are trying to get back some measure of health as well. The typical start of restoring health happens through doing a series of blood work and allergy testing. The best thing about this is that a lot of allergies now can be tested via hair sample, blood work or mouth scraping and spit collection. The patch testing is still an option, but you can find cheaper, less invasive means through online labs. Once you find the things that are causing you inflammation on a daily basis, we tailor an elimination diet to those sensitivities. The Elimination Diet process is no less than 90 days. If you feel that you have extreme or severe food allergies and sensitivities, it may be recommended for six months. This is so the Digestive tract has a chance to heal. If it is still “sunburned” it can not absorb nutrients. The next step is to look at stool samples and find weaknesses in the microbiome and support them. Hormone testing may also be done to look at imbalances and supplements recommended for support.

With the Elimination diet, we focus a lot on the patterns of sleep. Sleep has been discussed a lot over the last decade as a major player in health. There is research to support the fact that lack of sleep causes your body to become insulin resistant, increasing your chances of diabetes. It can lead to stroke due to increased blood pressure, Adrenal fatigue, Thyroid dysfunction and Weight gain. Sleep is when your body truly restores itself. Most of the repair work done is during the time when you are sleeping. Your body goes through a significant amount of detoxification while sleeping. If you look through the Chinese Medicine Body Clock for organ detoxification, you can see that the detoxification of the liver and then the Gallbladder occur between 11pm and 1 am. Going to bed and sleep at a regular time also decreases the likelihood of insomnia and sleep disorders. There has been evidence to show that stopping device use, television and dimming lights in the areas of the house you will be in 30 minutes prior to bedtime will improve your ability to fall asleep quickly. We typically recommend both food and sleep journals. These journals should include what you ate, whether it was protein, carbohydrate or fruit and veggies; the time that you ate, and how much water you drink. It should also include any activity done in the day and your general feeling at the beginning and ending of each day based on mood and stress level. The sleep journal should include what time you went to bed, if you fell asleep easily; if you woke up what time was it; how you felt in the morning when waking up.

Restoring your health also includes periods of time outside, unconnected from the digital world. A four year longitudinal study in the UK showed that people who had access to green space had lower incidence of disease, particularly cardiovascular and Psychological. We encourage mindfulness during this time in the outside world. We ask for people to focus on how they currently feel, then change to how they want to feel that day or moment. We then ask them to say four positive affirmations on the type of feeling they want to have that day in relationship to work, home, Body Image, and Health overall. For Instance: “I enjoy working with each one of my clients. At home I am working well to encourage positive homework behaviors in my children. I am my perfect self every day and I am gaining control over my back pain each moment.”

Restoring Your health is a process that will likely take 18 months to three years, depending on the amount of damage that has occurred over time. We hope that your journey is fulfilling and guides you to a better place in your life. Schedule a Call with me

 

References:

1A systematic review of evidence for the added benefits to health of exposure to natural environments D.E. Bowler, LM Buyung-Ali, ™ Knight, AS Pullin. BMC Public Health 10:456 (2010)
2Article by Terry Hartig from the Lancet in 2018 reviewing a four year longitudinal study by R. Mitchell and F. Popham showed that people in England that had better access to Green Space in the day to day lives had less incidence of cardiovascular disease and Psychological disorders.
3Selling sickness: the pharmaceutical industry and disease mongering.Ray Moynihan, journalist,a Iona Heath, general practitioner,b and David Henry, professor of clinical pharmacologyc BMJ. 2002 Apr 13; 324(7342): 886–891.

Exercise is a Miracle Drug.

“Exercise is a miracle drug. I’m such a believer that it’s the key to health, wellness and longevity that I prescribe it to every patient I see. It’s the most powerful, readily available drug in the world, and it’s free.” Sports Medicine Physician Jordan Metzl expresses his support for physical activity as an intervention to mitigate the effects of almost any adverse health condition.

Many conditions that we as Physical Therapists treat could, if done correctly, be prevented by regular physical activity, as well. If a drug were invented that could do for human health everything that exercise can, people would fight to get their hands on it. It would be the most valuable pharmaceutical ever developed.

There are an unlimited number of benefits behind increased daily movement and PA that have been established in people of all ages, including:

  • Decreases risk of premature death due to coronary heart disease
  • Decreases risk of developing Type II Diabetes
  • Decreases risk of developing hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Reduces blood pressure of those who already have hypertension
  • Decreases risk of developing breast and colon cancer
  • Helps maintain healthy weight
  • Builds and maintains health bones, muscles and joints
  • Decreases number of falls in older adults
  • Reduces mortality rates compared to sedentary populations
  • Reduces arthritis symptoms and delay progression of Osteoarthritis
  • Increases self-esteem, promotes mental health, prevents depressive illness, and possible protective effect from cognitive decline
  • Possible increase in brain cell growth which enhances learning and memory (animal studies)
  • Possible link to increased capacity for learning and academic achievement in students
  • Reduces frequency of tobacco, drug and alcohol use among physically active
  • Reduces direct medical costs among Americans by $76.6 billion (regular moderate exercise)
  • Reduces workplace short-term sick leave by 6-32% and increase productivity by 2-52%

While many are aware of the physical and aesthetic benefits of exercise, not everyone realizes the significant positive impact on mental health. Physical activity has a role in management of severe mental illnesses in its ability to lessen symptoms and also potentially extend the life in these populations.

The European Psychiatric Association (EPA) has issued recommendations for supervised physical activity as a potentially effective intervention for individuals with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. According to researchers, those with severe mental illnesses face an increased risk of early mortality by as much as 10 to 20 years, with physical disorders accounting for as much as 70% of those early deaths.

In its latest edition of nationwide guidelines for physical activity (PA), the Department of Health and Human Services state “adults should move more and sit less throughout the day.” 80% of all Americans are not meeting current PA recommendations, a failure that is contributing to the prevalence of a host of chronic health conditions. Regular PA reduces your risk for many chronic diseases, including prostate and breast cancers, dementia and brain strokes, and is considered to be as effective as taking medication for many conditions.

The new guidelines emphasize the concept that some amount of PA is better than none in preventing disease and extending life, no matter an individual’s age. The revisions to the PA guidelines are the first in 10 years, and they do not significantly alter the goals for adults. Instead, the new guidelines further reinforce the benefit of PA at any level by removing the statement that activity must occur for at least 10 minutes to be effective. The Department of Health and Human Services recommendations for physical activity vary by age and are as follows:

Children and adolescents (6 to 17 years): 60 minutes or more per day of moderate-to-vigorous PA; with at least 3 days of muscle- and bone-strengthening PA per week

Adults: 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity PA, or 75 or more minutes per week of high-intensity PA is recommended for adults; at least 2 or more days per week should include muscle-strengthening activities.

Older adults: If possible, 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity PA, tempered by an individual’s “level of [PA] relative to their fitness,” and a clear understanding of how various chronic conditions can affect the ability to reach PA goals. No matter what PA level is achieved, activities should include balance training, aerobic, and muscle-strengthening activities.

A brisk walk, gardening, housework and cycling count toward the recommended 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week. If you are struggling to fit a gym routine into your schedule, yet you would like to begin incorporating more movement into your day, you can start with some of the following simple changes:

  1. Organize a walking group with coworkers during lunch or meet friends in the park. Bonus: fresh air and being social without food and drink.
  2. Get off one stop earlier on the bus or subway
  3. Choose one meal a day and walk for 10 minutes after it. Walking after eating regulates blood sugar and helps weight loss.
  4. Walk your dog rather than letting them out in the backyard
  5. Choose a parking spot in the back of the lot, further from the front entrance of your work or store
  6. Walk around the track or field while your kids play sports
  7. Walk to breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  8. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  9. Drink more water. This will ensure you take breaks often to use the restroom (great tactic for mental clarity) and also keep you hydrated!
  10. Return your missed calls while walking

I am sure you have heard the phrase, “physical activity as medicine” at least once before. After reading through some of the general benefits of increased physical activity and simple ways to fit more movement into your day, one must be convinced.

 

This information is for informational purposes and is not intended to be used in place of seeking individualized care from a healthcare professional.

 

 

References:

Sallis JF, McKenzie TL. Effects of health-related physical education on academic achievement: Project SPARK. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 70(2):391-5.

Physical Activity May Decrease Mortality Risk in Frail Older Adults, Says Researchers. PT in Motion News. October 30, 2018.

European Psychiatrists Recommend Physical Activity in the Treatment of Severe Mental Illness. PT in Motions News. November 9, 2018.

What You May Not Know About Cigarette Smoking and Your Health

Cigarette smoking negatively affects every organ of the body and is widely recognized as one the major causes of preventable disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), smoking causes more deaths each year than the following causes combined: HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, and firearm-related incidents.

Most people know that smoking is linked to heart and lung diseases, as well as several cancers. However, many people are not aware that smoking has a serious negative effect on other parts of the body, including bones, muscles and joints.

Cigarette smoking negatively impacts the rate and quality of healing from injuries, illnesses, and chronic conditions on multiple levels. Adverse effects of smoking on tissue oxygen levels have been demonstrated immediately after smoking just one cigarette, regardless of smoking history. On a microscopic level, chemicals found in cigarette smoke cause many changes to the way the body handles oxygen. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous by-product of cigarette smoke that has a 200 times greater affinity to bind with hemoglobin than oxygen. Hemoglobin is the molecule that carries oxygen throughout the body and, when exposed to cigarette smoke, it replaces oxygen with carbon monoxide to deliver to tissues. Cigarette smoking also increases the thickness of blood and narrows blood vessels, which both further contribute to impaired oxygen delivery.

When oxygen is not delivered to our tissues, cellular metabolism in the tissues is inhibited and healing is delayed or disrupted completely as a result. Furthermore, smoking increases chance of re-injury, as bones, tendons, and ligaments do not regain their full strength without adequate oxygen and nutrients.

Healing of injuries is a complex process. The air we breathe is filled with oxygen, which is needed for most functions in the body, including the repair process after an illness or injury. The healing trajectory can be interrupted at any stage by lack of oxygen to tissues.

Imagine a busy four-lane highway filled with big trucks hauling precious cargo necessary to survive in the same way that oxygen is required for human function. If this were the body, smoking would have the effect of shutting the highway down to two lanes, shrinking the trucks down to small cars with half the cargo, and pouring sticky tar on the road to delay the delivery. Much less cargo would arrive at its destination in a longer time. In the same way, areas of the body that need oxygen will go without, and will receive a toxic chemical instead of an essential nutrient.

In addition to poor healing and increased chance of re-injury, lack of oxygen to tissues has been found to increase infection risk and also results in reduced tolerance for exercise, frequent headaches, dry and inelastic skin with wrinkles and dull and grayish skin tone.

When you smoke, the number of white blood cells (the cells that defend your body from infections) remains high. Elevated white blood cell levels are a sign that the body is under constant stress as it is chronically fighting the inflammation and damage caused by smoking. With the immune system continuously trying to repair the damage done by smoking, the body’s ability to fight off any foreign pathogen, such as a virus or bacteria, is impaired. Chronic systemic inflammation also affects the way the body interprets pain signals. Many studies have found that smokers report more pain after surgery than non-smokers.

No matter your age or how long you have smoked, quitting can help. It is important to recognize that you are not alone in the struggle to stop smoking and there are many resources available to help you. By calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting www.smokefree.gov, you will be linked up with a professional “quit coach” free of charge to help you through this process.

Immediate benefits of quitting smoking within one day include decreased heart rate and blood pressure, and improved ability to breath. Within one month, quitting smoking will result in greater blood circulation, enhanced lung function and better sense of taste and smell. Within one year of quitting smoking, a person will have fewer colds and illnesses, decreased coughing, less shortness of breath and 50% decreased risk of heart disease.

It can be hard to quit because nicotine is addictive. Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal usually peak within 7-10 days and may include dizziness, depression, anxiety/irritability, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, headaches and increased appetite and weight gain.

To help get through this process and reduce withdrawal symptoms, you can take extra steps to manage the stress of quitting. Drink plenty of water, eat nutritious foods and get enough sleep. Avoid temptation to smoke by staying away from people and places that remind you of smoking. Keep substitutes ready when you are tempted to smoke, such as carrots, celery, pickles, apples, and sugar free gum. Utilize nicotine replacement therapy, such as gum, patches, inhalers and throat lozenges. Stay active by exercising, walking or cycling to help with restlessness and weight gain. People who exercise while quitting smoking have reported better success and fewer withdrawal symptoms. Finally, acknowledge that anger, frustration and worry are normal—you are worth the extra effort it takes to quit!

Article written by Dr. Jessica Khani, PT, DPT, CSCS

This information is for informational purposes and is not intended to be used in place of seeking individualized care from a healthcare professional.