Category Blog

The Evolution of Integrative Medical Education: the Influence of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

AW and VM 2 001For more than twenty years The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine has been leading the field of Integrative Medical Education. I was delighted that the Journal of Integrative Medicine published a new article written by Center directors Drs. Victoria Maizes, Randy Horwitz, Hilary McClafferty, Patricia Lebensohn, Jim Dalen, and Andrew Weil entitled: The Evolution of Integrative Medical Education: the Influence of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in their November 2015 issue.

In 1994, the University of Arizona College of Medicine embarked on an experiment in medical education. The Dean of the College of Medicine, Dr. James Dalen, authorized Dr. Andrew Weil to establish a Program in Integrative Medicine (IM) within the College of Medicine...

Read More

Practical Actions for a Healthier Pregnancy

Recent articles have raised concerns about whether taking antidepressants may increase the risk of having a baby with autism. While frightening, these reports help raise awareness of the value of a careful self-assessment before you become pregnant. I recommend that you ask yourself these 10 questions before attempting to conceive:

1. Do you take prescribed medications? Find out if your medicine is safe during pregnancy by talking to your physician or pharmacist or look it up on this NIH website

2. Are you taking a prenatal multivitamin multi-mineral with folic acid, iron, and iodine? These multis are associated with easier conception, fewer miscarriages, fewer birth defects in your baby, and a reduced risk of autism in your child...

Read More

Skin Deep App Makes Safer Product Search Easy

I am not really an app person.
Friends laugh when they see how few I have downloaded onto my smart phone. Still, I have to sing the virtues of the new, free Skin Deep app by the environmental working group. For many years I have instructed my patients to go to and look up their products on the Skin Deep website. Truth be told, it was slow going and cumbersome; but I promised patients and friends alike that once the effort had been made, they could shop with confidence for safer products.
More challenging was when a favorite product rated poorly; to find a better product required scanning through dozens of pages attempting to find a recognizable brand and a locally-sold product.Well, the new Skin Deep app has changed all of that...
Read More

Dietary Supplements Demystified

What do you think about dietary supplements?  Do you use them? Do you find them helpful? Are you confused about choosing a high quality product?

On Friday, November 8th I was interviewed by Science Friday on the topic Navigating Dietary Supplements.  There were many excellent questions raised about the quality of products, the need for further regulation by the FDA, the evidence for herbs and the need for further research.    (If you would like to learn more about the challenges of bar coding as a method for assessing dietary supplements you can read this excellent article.)  I answered many of these questions on the segment; here I’d like to make available some of the resources that I find most useful.

One of the resources that people can use to find safer, better products is cons...

Read More

Organic Matters

What a deceptive and misleading article Henry Miller has written in about organic food!

Even so, in his opening paragraph he acknowledges that non-organic fruits and vegetables have greater pesticide residue.  He then counters, “that more than 99 percent of the time the levels are below the permissible, very conservative safety limits set by regulators – limits that are established by the Environmental Protection Agency and enforced by the Food and Drug Administration…”

Many environmental scientists do not believe that these levels are safe.  While parts per billion sounds like an infinitesimally small number, recall that that is the very same dosage we use for many drugs, which we all agree effect human health...

Read More