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Health & Wellness > > NOVEMBER 02 > 2010


No one fights cancer alone. East Jefferson General Hospital’s Regional Cancer Center provides an unmatched array of resources designed to help our patients and their families prevent, fight, and survive cancer. As our region’s only MD Anderson affiliate hospital, credentialed EJGH physicians are using the same treatment pathways that have been developed by the nation’s leading cancer fighter, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. That means that more cancer patients in our region can remain close to their homes, families and friends while undergoing treatment. We think that’s important. Because no one fights cancer alone.

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NtENts N OVE m b E R 201 0


HEALtH FEAtURE What’s really in a flu shot?


A healthy meal fit for a champ



Dr. Randolph M. Howes on antioxidant supplements

WELLspRiNg Health news in brief

EXpERt ADViCE The right way to give CPR

Health & Wellness > > NOVEMBER 02 > 2010

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Do more. Be more. Touro Orthopaedic & Spine Center Normally, nothing slows you down. But when chronic joint or back pain becomes unbearable, life can feel like one big roadblock. Fortunately, the Orthopaedic and Spine Center at Touro is here to help. From minimally-invasive surgery to specially-trained rehab therapists — we have all the services you need to get back on track.

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Health & Wellness > > NOVEMBER 02 > 2010

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vailable in just about every drug store, flu vaccines seem like cheap, welcome silver bullets against the flu’s fever, headaches, chills and nausea. However, relatively few people understand the ins-and-outs of flu vaccines: Which portions of the population need them, how they are made, what ingredients they contain and what risks are associated with them? “People need to be educated,” says Dr. Lydia Wheaton, a naturopathic physician with NOLA Natural Health. “It’s the doctor’s role to fully explain the risks and benefits of the vaccine, and (the patient) should utilize this education to make a decision in their best interests.” Last year, the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic created a renewed sense of urgency regarding flu shots. “We saw a lot of illness and hospitalization of people with that particular virus. This year we’re predicting that H1N1 will still be circulating,” says Dr. Katherine Baumgarten, medical director of infection control and employee health for Ochsner Medical Center. “H1N1 is a type of seasonal flu. It’s a strain of type A that previously wasn’t covered by vaccines.” This year’s flu shot protects against several strains of swine flu (type A H1N1 and H3N2 and type B), says Dr. Lisa A. Casey, a family medicine physician with East Jefferson General Hospital. Although younger patients, pregnant women and asthma patients were hit hardest by last year’s wave of H1N1, Baumgarten and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise everyone over the age of 6 months to get inoculated. “This year we have no restrictions or shortages, so everybody should be getting the flu vaccine. The more people that we can get vaccinated, the better off our whole community will be in preventing flu from causing harm to anybody,” Baumgarten says. Casey encourages people with certain health risks to get a flu shot. “It’s especially important that people suffering from chronic illnesses (such as heart, lung and kidney disorders), the elderly, pregnant women, health care workers and infants receive the vaccine,” she says. New vaccines are developed each year because strains of flu change from season to season. “Experts in the field attempt to find viruses circulating in other areas of the world and then figure out what strains they think will have the potential to spread throughout our community,” Baumgarten says. “They pick the strains they think they’ll be able to prevent, and then those strains are used to develop the vaccine.” Vaccines are usually composed of three strains, which change from season to season and are chosen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC. Though many different manufacturers produce vaccines, all vaccines contain the same three virus strains, Baumgarten says. Since the viruses are incubated in chicken eggs while the flu vaccine is in development, people allergic to eggs should not receive it. Flu vaccines can be administered via injection or nasal spray. Injections con-

sist of inactivated influenza. “In other words, the virus isn’t there anymore,” Casey says. “Any reaction to the injection itself is mild in comparison to contracting the actual disease. There may be a little bit of soreness by the vaccine site, accompanied by redness or swelling. However, that’s a normal reaction to the process of getting an injection,” Baumgarten says. Needle-phobes may prefer to receive the flu vaccine in nasal spray form, which is made of weakened virus. “The virus is manipulated so it can’t actually replicate in human nasal passages,” Baumgarten says. The disadvantage to this painless method of administration is that the spray can cause flu-like symptoms, such as a runny nose and headaches. However, symptoms should be gone within two days, Casey says. People with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, infants and people under age 2 or older than 79 cannot receive the nasal spray. The safety and necessity of flu vaccines has come under scrutiny by groups like, after Australia banned the 2010 flu vaccine because it caused convulsions, vomiting and fever in children. “Not all vaccines are created equal, but there is enough literature to question the ingredients,” Whea-ton says. “The (flu) vaccine may contain mercury, a known neurotoxin.” Preservatives are standard additions to all vaccines, and thimerosal, a mercury derivative, functions as a preservative in multi-dose vials of the flu vaccine. Thimerosal is 49.6 percent mercury by weight, according to the FDA’s website. However, Baumgarten says thimerosal has never been proved to cause harm. “There are only trace amounts of thimerosal (in the vials), and vaccines in individual syringes do not contain it,” she says. “The CDC has not yet found problems with that small amount of preservative.” Patients can request thimerosal-free vaccines. While the safety of vaccines has been a hot topic of debate for decades, there’s also a question of whether flu vaccines are necessary in the first place. Rather than looking to a flu shot for protection from the virus, Wheaton recommends supporting a strong immune system through a proper diet, vitamins and eight hours of sleep every night. “(Patients) can cure themselves that way,” she says. “You’re more vulnerable to the flu if you’re not serving your body well.” She adds that getting sick, while unpleasant, isn’t without benefits. “It’s better to have exposure (to the flu virus); it’s exercise for the immune system,” Wheaton says. “Illness can be a teacher. Besides, there are so many different flu viruses that you can’t get vaccinated for all of them.”

Health & Wellness > > NOVEMBER 02 > 2010


By Mary Cross


10/1/10 1:42 PM



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Health & Wellness > > NOVEMBER 02 > 2010


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Power Hits Football pro-turned-cheF delivers meals with a punch. By K andace Power Gr aves


sHrimP-stuFFed Bell PePPer, tilaPia and GuaCamole


Serves 1

stuffed bell pepper ingredients: 1 Bell PePPer, Cut in HalF and Cleaned oF seeds 1/4 lB. sHrimP, CHoPPed 1 CuP stale FrenCH Bread made into CrumBs 4 taBlesPoons CHoPPed onion 1 teasPoon minCed GarliC 1/2 teasPoon oF your Favorite seasoninG mix 1/2 CuP CHiCKen stoCK 1/8 teasPoon tHyme 1/8 teasPoon Basil 2 taBlesPoons Parmesan CHeese 1 taBlesPoon Canola oil 1 taBlesPoon Butter sPinaCH leaves (For GarnisH)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put butter and oil in a medium pan and bring to medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute for 3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until it turns pink, about 3 minutes. Add seasoning mix, thyme and basil, breadcrumbs and cheese (reserve some of the breadcrumbs and cheese to top the stuffed pepper). Stuff both halves of the bell pepper. Pour 1/4 cup water in a baking dish and place the stuffed pepper in the dish, stuffed side up. Top with breadcrumbs and cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Guacamole ingredients: 1 avoCado, Peeled and Coarsely CHoPPed 1 medium tomato, Peeled, deseeded and CHoPPed lime juiCe 2 taBlesPoons onion 1/8 teasPoon jalaPeno PePPer 1/2 teasPoon CHoPPed Cilantro salt and PePPer to taste

Squeeze lime juice onto avocado to avoid oxidation, which turns the avocado brown. Add onion, jalapeno and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste. Lightly toss all ingredients. Add more lime juice if needed. Cover and refrigerate. Pan-fried tilapia ingredients: 1 8-oz. Fillet oF FisH 1 taBlesPoon Canola oil 1 taBlesPoon Butter sPinaCH leaves

Clean fish and dry it. Lightly shake your favorite seasoning blend on the fillet. In a medium pan, heat canola oil and butter to medium-high. Place fish in the pan, top side down and cook for 3 minutes. Turn over the fillet and place in a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes. To serve, place a handful of spinach on a plate and top with stuffed pepper, fish fillet and 6 ounces of guacamole.


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ormer pro football corner back Kerry Parker turned in his pads for oven mitts and teaches others how to make healthy foods delicious. The New Orleans native played in the Canadian Football League for eight years after graduating from Grambling State University, and he spent two years in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills. He was the chef/owner of Parker’s restaurant in the Warehouse District in the 1990s, and now is a personal chef. His company No Small Affairs (430-2697) also caters parties large and small. Parker is working on a cookbook, scheduled for release next year, and will market a spice blend he developed several years ago after he acquires a patent. Teaching people how to eat healthy without foregoing taste is his goal. “I’m working to develop recipes for a few of my clients who have diabetes, one who is a stroke patient, and others who have high blood pressure,” Parker says. He also volunteers to work with youngsters in the community, combining his sports talents and knowledge about food and nutrition to make children aware of the importance of combining diet and exercise. “It’s about developing healthy eating habits and life skills,” Parker says. “I try to teach them a different way of eating the foods they like ... [how to prepare them] in a healthy way.” Part of the secret, he says, is getting children involved in making their favorite foods, discussing the economics of eating at home, how to shop and what to look for in the foods they buy. “If you find a way to make it fun, children will learn and enjoy it,” he says Here Parker shares his recipes for a balanced meal that includes a stuffed bell pepper, tilapia and guacamole.


CHeF Kerry ParKer’s


Dr. John


s m a r t ta lk o n h e a lt h

By missy Wilkinson


itamin A, C and E supplements are touted as a panacea for everything from crow’s feet to the common cold. However, Dr. Randolph M. Howes, who earned his doctorate in medicine and biochemistry from Tulane School of Medicine and serves as adjunct associate professor of plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, argues that synthetic antioxidant supplements do more harm than good. His book, Death In Small Doses?: Antioxidant Vitamins A, C & E in the 21st Century (Trafford Publishing), debunks the free radical theory.


Health & Wellness > > NOVEMBER 02 > 2010

In 2008, at age 68, Malcolm “Mac” Rebennack, better known as Dr. John, released City That Care Forgot, a musical masterwork of love for New Orleans and rage at a world that might disregard her unique magic. Earning the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album (his fifth Grammy), City That Care Forgot is a passionate demand for the world to focus attention on the Gulf South and to support and protect her precious resources.


Supported by a 50-year music career that began at age 15, Dr. John has earned the stature to command center stage. And he has developed the confidence to use that stage as a pulpit, capitalizing on his fame and credibility to shine a light on the issues he holds dear. As part of the collaborative Voice of the Wetlands, he supports funding and awareness for the Gulf coast. And in the months following Hurricane Katrina, incensed at destructive special interests and the inadequate response of government agencies, Dr. John went into action, organizing fund-raising concerts and releasing the benefit album Sippiana Hericane.

“I’m 70 going on 69, and I’m better than I used to be ‘cause the spirit takes me where it wants me to go.” – Dr. John –

On City That Care Forgot, Dr. John tapped some of the rich connections he established throughout his career, and assembled a diverse group of musicians (Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Ani DiFranco, Terrence Blanchard, Trombone Shorty and others) to contribute and share his voice. Drawing on his years of experience as an artist and New Orleans resident for City That Care Forgot, Dr. John unabashedly tackles controversial issues and gives voice to complex emotions that are rarely expressed. We don’t always know what’s in front of us when we’re young, but as we age our vision becomes clearer. And what Dr. John has discovered as he’s grown older is that it is much easier to ‘see’ what is truly important and worth fighting for. Dr. John… Peoples Health Champion. The Peoples Health Champions program demonstrates the excellence that comes through life experience by recognizing exceptional achievement after age 65. To learn more about Dr. John, visit

2010 Peoples Health Champions Selection Committee Joe Cook, WVUE-TV Fox 8 David Francis, The Times-Picayune Ben Hales, New Orleans Saints Angela Hill, WWL-TV Channel 4 Kip Holden, Baton Rouge Government Donna Klein, Peoples Health

David Manship, The Baton Rouge Advocate Karen Carter Peterson, LA State Senate Mark Singletary, New Orleans CityBusiness Carol Solomon, Peoples Health Jim Tucker, LA House of Representatives

What is the free radical theory? The free radical theory was proposed by Dr. Denham Harman in 1954. He concluded that oxygen free radicals were responsible for most of the diseases in man. So if oxygen free radicals were causing diseases like cancer, heart disease and stroke, then antioxidants would reverse, cure or prevent these diseases. This theory has been around for more than half a century, and it became accepted as being true.

Is the free radical theory a sound one? The free radical theory lacks predictability, ergo it fails to be validated by the scientific method. So many studies that show the nullification of the free radical theory have either been ignored or denied. One of the most accepted theories for aging is the oxygen free radical theory of aging, but these overexuberant claims for antioxidants have been wrong. Today, with the antioxidant vitamins, it is not about scientific evidence. It is about clever marketing.

Are synthetic vitamin A, C and E supplements good for you or even necessary? Unless you have a known deficiency of a vitamin, all you need is a well-balanced, nutritious diet. You need to consume nuts and five servings a day of fresh fruit and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables are

very complex biochemically, with tens of thousands of compounds in them. We can’t say what they are doing on their own or synergistically with all these other compounds. So taking a supplement is not even close to the same thing as eating a fruit or vegetable.

Can these antioxidant supplements hurt you? Everywhere from Johns Hopkins Hospital and Harvard (Medical School) to Tufts (University School of Medicine) found that antioxidants increase total mortality. They increase risks of prostate and lung cancer, the risk of various forms of heart disease, the rates of bone fracture, the risk of gestational (or pregnancy-induced) hypertension … the list goes on and on.

What should we do to stay healthy? If there is one thing that is consistent in medical literature, it is the fact that exercise decreases the risk of disease. When you exercise, you increase your oxygen consumption, and we want to increase our oxidative capacity. The second best way is with vitamin D3. A substance in the skin is converted into vitamin D3, a pro-oxidant, when exposed to sunlight. Fifteen minutes of sun a day is enough, but it is also available as a supplement, and it appears to be very effective in that form, unlike other supplements. And you need to consume fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts. Even fast food places are offering salads and fresh fruits, so it is a matter of choice.


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hiV prEVEntion funding     The Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention (CDC) has awarded Brotherhood Inc. and the Institute of Women &  Ethnic Studies (IWES) in New Orleans $3  million over five years to implement HIVprevention programs for those at highest  risk of contracting the disease. The money  will help the two community-based  organizations provide a variety of services  aimed at preventing HIV infection.      Brotherhood Inc. provides HIV testing  and risk counseling to minority gay men  and transgender black women. Its mission is to develop programs that diminish  health, social and economic disparities  within underserved communities. IWES  provides education about HIV prevention  to black youths from 12 to 18 years old,  as well as HIV testing referrals, sexual  health education, public health advocacy,  outreach programs and more.     For additional information, contact  Brotherhood Inc. at 566-7955, or IWES  at 484-0498.

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    The National Institutes of Health  awarded the LSU Health Sciences Center  (LSUHSC) a five-year $12 million grant to  study a variety of cancers and infectious  diseases including leukemia, dengue  fever, prostate and gastric cancers, lymphoma, herpes, tuberculosis and more.  The grant also will be used to develop  facilities and support for academic  researchers at the Louisiana Cancer  Research Center being built at LSUHSC’s  New Orleans campus.      The grant will fund a number of research projects seeking to better understand how cancers and diseases develop  as well as new therapies to fight them.

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pubLic hEaLth gEnEticist     Dr. John P. Doucet, head of the Department of Biological Sciences at Nicholls  State University in Thibodaux, became  Louisiana’s first certified public health  geneticist after completing a certification program at Sarah Lawrence College  in Bronxville, N.Y. Certified public health  geneticists study populations for genetic  trends in diseases such as cancer, diabetes and asthma, and try to determine  whether higher rates are caused by  heredity or other factors.

grant to LEssEn physician shortagE     The U.S. Department of Health and  Human Services has awarded a $3.12  million grant to the LSU Health Sciences  Center (LSUHSC) to train more primary  care physicians. The five-year grant will  be used to double the number of primary 

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W LL spring care doctors trained through the Rural Family Medicine Residency program at LSU’s Bogalusa Medical Center. LSU will use the grant to ameliorate the anticipated gap between available primary care physicians and communities who need them. Dr. Steve Nelson, dean of LSUHSC’s medical school, says 97 percent of Louisiana suffers from a shortage of primary care physicians, and the problem is expected to get worse as more people become eligible for health insurance in 2014 under President Barack Obama’s new health care program. In addition, 25 percent of primary care doctors in Louisiana are 60 or older, making expected shortages more severe as these health care providers retire, according to Dr. Kim Edward LeBlanc, chairman of LSUHSC’s Department of Family Medicine.

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t h E r E a L 411

11 Natural Remedies for Colds and Flu


Echinacea increases levels of properdin, a chemical that activates the immune system to fight viruses and bacteria. Take before the onset of a cold or flu to speed recovery.


Garlic contains allicin, a potent antibiotic, and other compounds that boost the immune system and help fight infection. It works well with echinacea.


Onion has antiviral chemicals and properties similar to garlic.


Ginger comprises about a dozen antiviral compounds as well as antioxidants. It is an antiseptic, relieves pain, reduces inflammation of mucus membranes, lowers fever and has a mild sedative effect.


Goldenseal contains berberine, an antiseptic that activates special white blood cells in the spleen that are responsible for killing bacteria, fungi, viruses and tumor cells.


Licorice contains interferon, which causes the body to release antivirals. It also is an expectorant, which helps coughs, and an anti-inflammatory, which soothes sore throats and lung infections. (If you take a lot of it, it acts as a laxative.)


Sage has antiseptic and antibacterial properties and is used for soothing sore throats and hoarseness as well as cooling high fever.


Peppermint reduces fever by making the body sweat. It is an expectorant and a decongestant and can be inhaled to clear sinuses. It also can reduce the pain of headaches and some migraines.


Lemon balm tea makes you sweat so you can eliminate toxins.


Catnip is a muscle relaxer and mild sedative that induces sleep.


Vitamin C helps relieve cold symptoms and fights infection.

WatErWorks Two proteins in the brain are responsible for regulating a hormone that determines water retention in the body — and they could be key in treating diseases like high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver. Results of the research conducted at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) were published in the Nov. 1 issue of Endocrinology. According to Daniel Kapusta and Richard Wainford, researchers in the pharmacology department at LSUHSC, the brain proteins Gaq and Gaz act as on and off valves for the hormone vasopressin, produced by the hypothalamus. The hormone plays a role in preventing the kidnesys from expelling excessive amounts of water, which can cause dehydration. In some individuals, mechanisms that control how much vasopressin is secreted don’t turn off when the body has a high water content. Understanding the interactions of the brain proteins and vasopressin secretions could help physicians develop more effective therapies for diseases associated with fluid retention, including saltsensitive hypertension.

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Cpr guidelines revised By K at ie K idder Cro sBie


AHA President Dr. Ralph Sacco said in an Oct. 18 news release. “Despite our success, the research behind the guidelines is telling us that more people need to do CPR to treat victims of sudden cardiac arrest, and that the quality of CPR matters, whether it’s given by a professional or nonprofessional rescuer.” Other highlights of the new guidelines for lay rescuers include: • Rescuers should perform at least 100 chest compressions per minute. • Chest compressions should be about 2 inches for adults and 1.5 inches for children. • Rescuers should allow the chest to return to its normal position completely between each compression. • Keep interruptions in chest compressions to a minimum. • Rescuers should avoid excessive ventilation (breathing). • The compression-to-ventilation ratio remains the same at 30 compressions to two mouth-to-mouth procedures. The AHA’s 2010 recommendations for health care providers include: • Training dispatchers to identify seizure-like symptoms or gasps as signs of cardiac arrest to help bystanders recognize the condition. • Having dispatchers talk untrained rescuers through the hands-only CPR approach. • Healthcare providers should spend a maximum of 10 seconds checking for a pulse before beginning CPR and using a defibrillator. • Health care providers should measure carbon dioxide output after inserting a tracheal tube to confirm intubation and monitor CPR quality. • A therapeutic cooling system should be used after a patient is resuscitated. High-quality CPR and immediate response can be vital in an emergency situation, but cardiac arrest victims often don’t receive treatment from bystanders. The AHA hopes its new guidelines will improve responses by lay rescuers and professionals. “I can’t overemphasize how important it is to start chest compressions as soon as cardiac arrest is suspected,” Guillot says. “Performing CPR before [Emergency Medical Services] arrives can help to prevent permanent damage and even death. The revised format, Compression-AirwayBreathing, can add valuable seconds to that process.”

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GLENN SCHMIDT, D.D.S., M.S. GENERAL DENTISTRY UPTOWN 8025 Maple Street @ Carrollton · 504.861.9044

Health & Wellness > > NOVEMBER 02 > 2010

ver the last 40 years, the American Heart Association (AHA) has promoted the ABCs (Airway-Breathing-Chest Compressions) of CPR. 2010 guidelines released in October, however, reordered the sequence to CAB (Chest Compressions-Airway-Breathing) for adults, children and infants (but not newborns). The standard procedure for assisting a cardiac arrest victim has been to open a victim’s airways, followed by breathing into the mouth and finally performing chest compressions. Now the AHA recommends performing chest compressions first to get blood pumping back into the heart and brain as soon as possible. Because oxygen remains in the lungs and bloodstream for a few minutes after a victim collapses, it is safe to delay the airway-breathing procedures. Rescuers who began CPR by clearing the airways took 30 seconds longer to begin chest compressions than those who started with compressions, the AHA says. In a situation where every moment counts, 30 seconds can be a lifetime. The new guidelines also may help shave off valuable seconds lost when hesitant rescuers are unsure how to proceed or are squeamish about performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Mike Guillot, director of Emergency Medical Services at East Jefferson General Hospital feels the AHA’s recommendations will result in better and faster care for cardiac arrest victims. “Clearing someone’s airway or performing mouth-to-mouth can be daunting for someone who has limited experience with CPR,” he says. “The new guidelines make it easier for a lay rescuer to begin reviving a victim with confidence.” Since 2008, the AHA has recommended “hands-only” CPR for all rescuers who are not certified in CPR. The hands-only procedure is to call 911 and immediately begin chest compressions, continuing quick pushes on the center of the chest until professionals arrive. This technique eliminates the breathing step completely. “Sudden cardiac arrest claims hundreds of thousands of lives every year in the United States, and the American Heart Association’s guidelines have been used to train millions of people in lifesaving techniques,”

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10/22/10 1:54:18 PM

Gambit's Health & Wellness - November 2,2010  

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