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total wellness

a ucla student welfare commission publication

tea time

enjoy the benefits of nature’s healthful drink


best (and green!) sunscreens

tanning health risks

mini-vacationing in la

shape up your summer snacking! summer 10 | vol 10 | issue 5

total wellness

editor’s note one of the things I appreciate the most about running this health

and wellness publication is the thirst for knowledge of our writers that has become an integral part of the Total Wellness culture. As we close the 2009-2010 school year with this edition and I begin to reflect on the tremendous changes Total Wellness has experienced in this year alone, I find that it’s actually this spirit of inquiry and constancy of purpose that underlies our growth. In fact, our progress this year could not be attributed to anything but.

Total Wellness, perhaps to your surprise, comes from humble beginnings: at the end of the 2008-2009 school year, we were actually a 16-page publication produced by a small but no less dedicated staff of 9. One year later, Total Wellness became home to over 30 writers and designers from all over North and South campus, all converging on a single, solitary mission: to spread awareness, share knowledge, and empower those in touch with our publication to take charge of their health and make conscious lifestyle choices. We here at Total Wellness are very excited to bring you our final edition of the school year. A culmination of an entire year’s worth of not only tried and true experience, but also trials and tribulations, this edition is our way of finishing with a bang. It stands as what, really, Total Wellness is about: that is, understanding health and wellness from the ground up. We don’t merely repeat conventional knowledge – in fact, we altogether reassess it by carefully culling sources and working closely with UCLA doctors, health professionals, and professors to deliver a synergy of up-to-date knowledge and professional advice. We aim to probe deep in seeking to truly educate our audience, largely because, well, we’re just as curious. Just ask staff writer Angelina Huang (or you can read her article on page 8). In her search for the best sunscreens to suggest to our readers, she uncovered not only a mess of those that are actually of questionable safety and efficacy, but also smart ways to navigate through the snafus. Flip to page 5 and you’ll see that this edition also features a newly installed “Q&A” column, so you can start asking your own questions too. In the spirit of what we believe in, we don’t necessarily always tell our readers what to do for their health. That’s simply because our first and foremost priority is the delivery of knowledge. As long as we’ve got that covered, we’re sure that everything else will come together on its own.

Director & Editor-in-Chief Assistant Director Research Editor Finance Director Food & Nutrition Editor Webmaster

Elizabeth Wang Grace Lee Leigh Goodrich Stephan Chiu Anna Wong Anh Tran

Advisory Jill DeJager, MPH, RD Rena Orenstein, MPH Art Director

Karin Yuen

Senior Staff Senior Staff Writer Morgan Kendall Senior Staff Writer/Designer Trang TJ Nguyen Senior Staff Writer Anna Wong Senior Staff Writer Lillian Zhang Staff Writers Yessenia Chaiu, Jennifer Danesh, Angelina Huang, Nicole Lew, Jenna Pacelli, Jennifer Wilson, Karin Yuen Design Stephan Chiu, Angelina Huang, Grace Lee, Trang TJ Nguyen, Anh Tran, Elizabeth Wang Karin Yuen General Staff Fritz Batiller, Elaine Hsia New Staff (Recruited for 2010-2011) Chloe Booher, Sara Captain, Joy Cuerten, Nicole Hall, Jenny Hong, Julia Horie, Amorette Jeng, Cindy La, Melody Lavian, Kristine Miller, Shamim Nafea, Katrina Sadowski, Ryan Tong, Danna Zhang

Cheers to your health,


total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Total Wellness is a division of the Student Welfare Commission that is dedicated to spreading awareness of and sharing knowledge on issues of student health and health care. By providing an understanding of health and lifestyle issues, elucidating health concepts, providing recommendations for physical, mental, and social well-being, and making visible and accessible various health resources, programs, and events occurring at UCLA, Total Wellness seeks to empower students with up-to-date and accurate knowledge on the appropriate management of their health.

Total Wellness is a free, student-run, biquarterly publication published 7 times a year and is supported by advertisers, the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, the On Campus Housing Council (OCHC), the Student Welfare Commission (SWC), and the Undergraduate Students Association (USAC). Contact 308 Westwood Blvd., Kerckhoff Hall 308 Los Angeles, CA 90024 Phone 310.825.7586, Fax 310.267.4732 Subscription, back issues, and advertising rates available on request Volume 10, Issue 5 © 2010 by Total Wellness Magazine. All rights reserved. Parts of this magazine may be reproduced only with written permission from the editor. Although every precaution has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the published material, Total Wellness cannot be held responsible for the opinions expressed or facts supplied by authors. We do not necessarily endorse products and services advertised. The information in Total Wellness is not intended as medical advice and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult a health care provider for clarification.


cover photo: elena elisseeva/istockphoto; right: lilyana vynogradova; left: jessica lo

Elizabeth Wang

summer 2010

contents IN EVERY ISSUE 2 4 5 34

Editor’s Note In the News Q&A Food Pick

6 The Shady Truth About Tanning 8 Sunscreen Fever 10 Oh, the Places You’ll Go 12 Common Beachside Sense 14 Student Health Insurance 17 Tea: Nature’s Summer Drink



Bruin Resources 22 YouCPD: How You Can Stay Safe at

tea time

enjoy the benefits of nature’s healthful drink


Eat Right 24 How To: Shape Up Your Summer


total wellness â–Ş summer 2010








Get Active 26 The In-Dorm Workout Mind Matters 28 Relaxing with Aromatherapy 30 Your Daily Dose of Do, Re, Mi Body in Focus 32 Five Nutrients That Aid Vision

best (and green!) sunscreens

tanning health risks

mini-vacationing in la

shape up your summer snacking!     

ON THE COVER 17 6 8 10 24

Tea Time Tanning Health Risks Sunscreen Guide Mini-Vacations in LA Summer Snacking


in the news

what’s happening in


news - updates - discoveries

// by leigh goodrich | design by elizabeth wang RESEARCH & NEW FINDINGS

Binge Eating Recognized As A Psychiatric Condition

A group of medical experts has recommended that binge eating be included in the fifth edition of the official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, to be released in 2013. Binge eating is characterized by eating rapidly until uncomfortably full, eating even without feeling hungry, and feeling guilty after overeating. Although the experts recommend this categorization, they did not recommend that obesity be included in the manual.

Sitting Too Much Could Shorten Your Life A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who sit less live longer than people who spend more time sitting, regardless of how much they exercise. The researchers reason that sitting may decrease life expectancy if it leads to consumption of more calories. Other possible explanations include the suppression of the immune system during prolonged sitting, lack of blood circulation, and effects on the metabolism.

New research on resveratrol, a plant compound present in red wine, found that it is a viable possibility for a weight loss treatment. The study was published in BMC Physiology and conducted on six lemurs, measuring changes in metabolism and weight after eating a diet supplemented with the compound. Researchers found a decrease in average energy intake by 13% and an increase in average metabolism of 29%.

Starting School Later Improves Student Well-Being

A new study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that delaying school start time by just 30 minutes, from 8 to 8:30, led to measurable improvements in student functioning and health. The study was conducted in a private high school that changed class schedules by making minor adjustments throughout the school day to accommodate the late start time. Students ended up going to bed an average of 18 minutes earlier and sleeping for an average of 45 more minutes every night. Measures of well being also rose, with fewer cases of depression, falling asleep in class, and trips to the nurse’s office for fatigue-related complaints.



Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, authors of No More Dirty Looks, share their compelling findings in their new book concerning the health risks of many ingredients found in commonly used cosmetics. Included in some of their findings: hair products laden with sulfates and parabens – known hormone disrupters – and mascaras formulated with mercury and coal tar. Interestingly, Whole Foods market recently decided to crack down on the labeling of health and beauty products, forcing manufacturers using labels of “organic” to get certified by either the Agriculture Department’s National Organic Program or NSF International.

Even though the pollutant particles around a typical Los Angeles freeway are extremely small – about as wide as one-thousandth of a human hair – they can have detrimental effects on the respiratory system. A study performed at UCLA and published in the American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology showed that ultrafine particles polluting the air from vehicle emissions exacerbate asthma flare-ups. The particles release free oxygen radicals that lead to the allergic inflammatory response common in asthma sufferers. Researchers found that exposure to ultrafine particles for just a few hours daily for five days actually changed the genes expressed in the immune system and made the inflammatory response worse. t w



Percent of the total daily calories consumed in beverages by Americans over 2 years old



Particles in Pollution May Cause Asthma Flare-Ups

Percent of adults >18 years of age who reported no vigorous activity lasting >10 minutes per session a week in a 2008 national survey


Unit of time in seconds that passes before another American experiences a coronary event


top doodle: faye brown/istockphoto; cosmetics: tonic torono; wine: carloszk/; sitting: dan wilton/istockphoto; right page: pawel worytko/istockphoto

New Book Raises Awareness of Toxins in Cosmetic Products

total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Compound in Red Wine Could Help Weight Loss


What does


“gluten-free” mean? “Gluten-free” diets have been on the rise. According to 2008 survey results published in U.S. News and World Report, 15 to 20% of consumers search for gluten-free products. “Gluten-free” almost sends the same message as “fat-free”: healthy, good for managing weight, and a wise choice when having to choose amongst many similar products. But is this necessarily true? Here’s some information to help answer this question: What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein, composed of two other proteins called gliadin and glutenin, found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. It is not a complete protein – meaning it does not contain all nine essential amino acids – but it nonetheless is still a protein. Gluten is what gives bread and other baked goods their shape and texture.

Why all the attention?

Gluten has gained increasing attention due to the 1% of the U.S. population that has celiac disease. Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that is triggered by an autoimmune response to gluten. It damages the small intestine, affecting the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. The only treatment for this disease is a gluten-free diet. Others may suffer from gluten sensitivities, resulting in rashes or other irritating symptoms.

What are the effects of gluten-free? Unless you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, a gluten-free diet is most likely unnecessary. In fact, in a 2010 study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, those who were on gluten-free diets without suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance had high sugar intake and low fiber and mineral intake. This is because adopting a gluten-free diet may result in cutting out major food groups and consequently result in insufficient nutrition.

Take home message:

// by anna wong | design by elizabeth wang

total wellness ▪ summer 2010

According to the New York Times, celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Victoria Beckman have reported going on a gluten-free diet, influencing the popularity of this diet. However, UCLA Registered Dietician, Jill DeJager, advises students to “not get sucked into gluten-free diets unless necessary and to spend more time and energy on other nutrition issues like eating more fruits and vegetables.” t w

got a question? We love curious readers. Send your question to and the answer may appear in a future issue.


feature Getting a “healthy glow” is not quite what it seems. In fact, the hidden health risks of tanning make it anything but.

the shady truth about

tanning // by leigh goodrich |design by elizabeth wang

total wellness ▪ summer 2010 6


Going outdoors during the summertime is by no means a death sentence, but sun exposure should be moderate in nature. Indeed, there are health benefits associated with some exposure to sunlight. According to Psychology Today (2009), sunshine has been proven to be a mood booster – people tend to tip more generously and answer survey questions more readily on sunny days than dark days. A more measurable benefit of sunshine is vitamin D, a necessary hormone for promoting bone health and preventing disease. According to a 2009 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, three-quarters of American teens and adults are vitamin D deficient. Some dermatologists are beginning to advocate using sunscreen on your face, neck and hands, but letting arms and legs soak up some rays. Getting just 15 minutes of exposure a day, plus incorporating vitamin D-rich foods or supplements into your diet, such as mushrooms and salmon, are enough to reach recommended levels. While it’s easy to obtain the health benefits of sunlight, it is also easy to overexpose yourself and cause harm. Though a bad sunburn might be excruciating in the short term, the long term risks of overexposure to UV rays can be much worse. Ultraviolet radiation is composed of both UVA and UVB rays, with the shorter wavelength UVB type causing sunburns and the longer wavelength UVA type penetrating deeper. Both types of radiation cause damage to DNA and contribute to cancer. Despite this fact, a recent survey released by the American Academy of Dermatology found that 65 percent of people don’t realize that all UV rays are harmful.

top and right: christian wheatley/istockphoto


aybe it’s the bronzed models on magazine covers, or the tanned athletes strutting their stuff down Bruin Walk, but for some reason, come summer, students frequently feel the need to get that healthy glow. The problem is, tanning is anything but healthy. If bikiniclad girls laying out at Sunset Rec knew that every minute in the sun was damaging their skin, they might think twice about going two shades darker. Maybe if students knew the health risks of too much sun exposure or tanning beds, getting “swimsuit season ready” would simply involve buying safe and effective sunscreen. A look into how “soaking up the sun” is not what you think:

According to the World Health Organization, excessive UV light exposure can lead to life-threatening malignant melanomas and various other skin cancers. Overexposure also causes rapid aging of the skin, resulting in wrinkles, scarring, and a loss of skin elasticity. Sunlight can damage your eyesight as well, causing cataracts and eventual blindness. Interestingly, the WHO also cites diminished immune system capacity as a risk of excessive tanning. Young people often disregard health information because the consequences of certain behaviors may not present themselves for many years. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, however, melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults from ages 25 to 29. It is the second most common cancer in people aged 15 to 29. The AAD adds that overexposure to UV radiation is the most crucial preventable cause of all skin cancers.


Because many students are often familiar with potential health risks of traditional tanning, some may opt for tanning beds under the misguided notion that they are choosing a safer option. According to Dr. Jenny Kim, MD, a UCLA dermatologist, tanning booths often entice consumers by claiming they are “safe” because the sunlamps do not emit UVB rays. Although it is true that UVA rays are not responsible for sunburns, they are no less dangerous in terms of contributing to cancer and skin damage. “Any tanning booth gives you some kind of UV radiation and whether it’s UVA or UVB, it’s dangerous to your health,” says Dr. Kim. Tanning beds are extremely dangerous, especially for young people. According to the WHO, using sunbeds before age 35 is linked with a 75 percent risk increase for developing melanoma. Tanning beds present additional risks if consumers are misinformed or misled. While they may think that they are receiving less radiation, they are often receiving much more concentrated UV light to make the process more efficient. According to the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit consumer advocacy and protection agency, the amount of UV radiation in tanning parlors can be up to 15 times that of natural sun. On top of that, consumers may spend more time in a tanning bed than they would outdoors, either because they believe it is safer, or because they do not overheat as quickly. Frequenting tanning booths can also become a habit or routine, where students progressively increase their exposure to harmful radiation. In a 2010 study published in the Archives of Dermatology, researchers studied the behavior of 421 college students and found that, among those who had used tanning beds, 31 to 39 percent could be considered addicted. A stunning 78 percent of the most frequent tanner cohort reported trying to decrease their indoor tanning but finding themselves unable to stop.

sun-safe advice from an expert Staying out the sun completely is neither realistic nor necessary. According to Dr. Jenny Kim, a UCLA dermatologist and associate professor of clinical medicine, there are several steps that students can take to limit sun exposure and stay healthy:


Students should try to avoid direct sun exposure at the highest UV index times, between 10 am and 4 pm.

For outdoor activities, students should jog or play tennis either in the morning or late afternoon.



Make use of sun protective clothing, hats, sunglasses with UV protection, and sun umbrellas.

Sunscreens should be at least 30 SPF and protect against both UVA and UVB rays. For best and worst sunscreens see page 8.


Cover Up: Play it safe by seeking shade. Protective clothing, hats, and sun umbrellas are your safest bets against the blazing Los Angeles sun.


total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Spray tan products, whether applied at a sunless tanning salon or at home, work differently than actual tanning because there is no UV radiation exposure. According to Dr. Kim, sunless tanning products cause a chemical reaction that makes the skin look darker, usually containing DHA, a color additive, as an active ingredient. This chemical creates a darker pigment on the outermost layer of skin cells, making the result temporary. While sunless tanning products do not expose the sun to radiation, they have certainly raised other health concerns. DHA, for example, is not approved by the FDA as a cosmetic product to be used around the eyes and, according to the Environmental Working Group, is linked to cancer. The EWG independently assesses the safety of cosmetic products and rates hundreds of sunless tanning products as serious health hazards. Ingredients in sunless tanning products, according to the EWG, have been linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity, and more. Fortunately, there are some all-natural products, like Caribbean Sol natural self-tanner and Coastal Classic Creations bronzer, with extremely low health hazard scores. t w





// by angie huang |design by angie huang

a guide to sorting through common sunscreen misconceptions Students may think that applying a handful of sunscreen gives them a free pass to lay out in the heat all day or play sports under the intense sun. Especially in Los Angeles, staying safe in the sun should be a top priority, and sunscreen alone simply doesn’t cut it. That’s not to say that sunscreen is useless – it certainly helps to block UV rays and prevent burning. The important thing to note is that there are varying degrees to which different sunscreens are effective, and consumers should be well-informed of how to maximize sunscreen power, which products to avoid, and how to decipher the long ingredients list on the back of the bottle. What sunscreen should you use? The answer is actually much more complicated than simply walking into a store and randomly taking a bottle off the shelf. In a study of over 1,400 SPF products published this year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a consumer advocacy and protection research agency, only 8% met the EWG’s standards for safety and effectiveness. Out of the three most popular sunscreen manufacturers – Coppertone, Banana Boat, and Neutrogena – only one of over a hundred products from Neutrogena and Banana Boat made the cut (with none from Coppertone). This begs the question – why are the most highly used products also the ones that raise the most health concerns?

So how do I choose?

❯❯ SPF 100 blocks 99 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks 96.7 percent. ❯❯ A person who burns after 20 minutes without sunscreen will be protected up to 15 times longer with adequate coverage (1 ounce) of an SPF 15 sunscreen. ❯❯ Applying only a half-ounce (rather a full 1 ounce) of an SPF 70 will give you the protection of an SPF 8.4 (the square root of 70).

total wellness ▪ summer 2010

❯❯ Ironically, there has been increasing evidence of a link between sunscreen use and cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer stresses that sunscreen should not be the first choice for skin cancer prevention. ❯❯ Sunscreen is no substitute for common sense, hats, sunglasses, sleeves and shade.


There are three main factors to consider when picking a sunscreen: how well it blocks both UVA and UVB rays, whether or not its active ingredients break down over time, and, as with all personal care products, whether it contains chemicals that are potentially hazardous to your health.

➺ SPF is the traditional standard for gauging a sunscreen’s effectiveness by the

amount of UVB rays blocked, but that doesn’t mean you should choose a sunblock simply for its high SPF. According to the FDA, claims of SPF 50+ not only are unreliable, but also tend to lull consumers into a false sense of security. Under-applying sunblock reduces a sunscreen’s protection to a square root of its actual SPF, which means that the SPF 70 that you have been dabbing on each morning barely works as well as a religiously slathered on SPF 8. Furthermore, the FDA does not require that sunscreens protect against UVA rays, even though UVA rays penetrate deeper than UVB rays and can contribute to cancer. It is up to the consumer to make sure that sunscreens are labeled either “Broad-Spectrum,” or “UVA and UVB Protection.”

➺ DEGRADATION of a sunscreen’s active ingredients is another factor that consumers need to take into account when selecting a sunscreen. After all, what good is a product that loses its effectiveness while in use? Although most sunscreens nowadays are made with photostabilizers to help slow down or prevent the breakdown of their active ingredients, sunblocks will inevitably lose effectiveness if they are not stored and cared for properly. Make sure that your sunscreen is always stored in a cool place, and replace it at least once every three years. ➺ OXYBENZONE & RETINYL PALMITATE (a form of vitamin A) , two

common ingredients found in sunscreens, are two examples of chemicals that, while FDA approved, may not be completely safe. The first is a nanoparticle that penetrates the skin in large amounts, potentially disrupting hormones and causing allergic reactions; the latter may be a carcinogen. Unfortunately, these are just a few of many potentially harmful chemicals commonly included in sunscreen formulas. When purchasing a sunscreen, double check its ingredient list. Most natural sunscreens use titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as the active ingredients. While these compounds are not completely innocuous, they are considered relatively low-risk by the EWG. t w

left: nadiya kravchenko/istockphoto; right:


the guide ❯❯ summer-ready sunscreens Yearly, the Environmental Working Group conducts a study of almost 2,000 SPF products, testing them for properties such as photostability, health hazards, and protection against UVA and UVB rays. The EWG then rates each product based on how well they rank in each of those categories. Use the following product comparison chart to learn more about a few of the more environmentallyfriendly and alternative sunscreens on the market. Keep in mind though, that simply choosing a healthier sunscreen

won’t prevent you from being burned. To maximize protection, wear enough sunscreen: the FDA recommends approximately one ounce, or a shotglass full, to cover all exposed skin. Slather it on 15-30 minutes before you leave the house and reapply every 2 hours thereafter. Still yet, perhaps the most useful message to take away is that sunscreen is ultimately no substitute for protective clothing and some good old common sense. ➺ EWG score key: 0-2 recommended | 3-6 caution | 7-10 avoid




EWG rating

UV Natural Sunscreen Sport, SPF 30+

Contains green tea, and lavender oils. Waterproof for 3 hours.

Very thick and greasy, does not absorb very well. $31.99 per 4.4oz tube

UVA: Excellent UVB: Good Stability: Excellent Health: Low Hazard

Soleo Organics All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+

Formulated for sensitive skin. Waterproof for 3 hours. Organic inactive ingredients.

Can be greasy and difficult to apply. Oil and cream components tend to separate in tube. $19.00 per 2.8oz tube

UVA: Excellent UVB: Good Stability: Excellent Health: Low Hazard

Badger Sunscreen for Face and Body, UVA/UVB Protection, SPF 30

Organic inactive ingredients. Great for sensitive skin. Waterproof for 40 minutes.

Has a slight whitening effect. $15.39 per 2.9oz tube

UVA: Excellent UVB: Good Stability: Excellent Health: Low Hazard

Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas: Chemical Free Sunblock, SPF 30+

Contains soothing aloe leaf juice, green tea, and chamomile and marigold extracts.

Thick texture, slight whitening effect, may be difficult to apply. $11.37 per 4.0oz tube

UVA: Moderate UVB: Good Stability: Excellent Health: Moderate (irritants in inactive ingredients)

La Roche-Posay Ant 0helios 40, SPF 40

Contains Mexoryl SX, a sun filter that is claimed to protect against even shorter UV rays.

Difficult to apply. Contains parabens, which are linked to reproductive toxicity. $27.47 per 1.7oz tube

UVA: Excellent UVB: Excellent Stability: Excellent Health: Moderate (irritants in inactive ingredients)

Banana Boat Ultra Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 50

Non-greasy and lightweight. Spreads well and blends easily.

Contains oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate, as well as other irritants and immunotoxins. $9.99 per 8.0oz tube

UVA: Moderate UVB: Excellent Stability: Excellent Health: High Hazard (oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate)

1 1 1 2 2 7


total wellness ▪ summer 2010



Need to unwind? A look into some mini-vacation ideas that are sure to bring a bit of positive energy into your summer schedule


you’ll go

// by jennifer danesh | design by anh tran & elizabeth wang

liv friis-larsen/istockphoto

total wellness â–Ş summer 2010

oh, the places

With busy schedules full of class,

work, or internships, many students probably feel like summer vacation isn’t quite the relaxing break it used to be. While students may not have the time to take a long vacation, it is important to realize the value of relieving stress. Many studies have found that a short vacation or trip out alleviates the perception of work stressors and increases measures of life satisfaction among employees. All work and no play not only feels like a punishment, but actually takes a toll on mental and physical well-being as well. So what can students do to take a small escape?

shop melrose Melrose Avenue

Melrose is one of LA’s most popular pedestrian neighborhoods that contains not only exclusive boutiques and restaurants, but also its own fun, hip environment. Visiting Melrose is not just any old shopping or dining experience – to fully enjoy the quirky personality of the area, visitors stroll on foot and soak up the vibe. Besides the trendy shops, Melrose has comedy clubs, record stores, antique shops, and some of the most popular restaurants such as Chianti, Ago, and Emilio’s. To get the full experience, visitors should plan a trip on a Saturday afternoon. Directions: Starting from Ackerman Terminal, take Westwood Plaza down to Wilshire, where you will make a left. Continue on Wilshire until you have reached Santa Monica Blvd, where you will make a slight left. Remain on Santa Monica until you have hit San Vicente Blvd, where you’ll make a right. Turn left on Melrose Avenue. Continue until you see shops and restaurants.

water sports

by the beach

Kayak Marina Del Rey

Venice Beach Boardwalk

Marina Del Rey Boat Rentals offers affordable fees for renting a variety of equipment, as low as $15 per hour. These include single and double kayaks, electric boats, sailboats, and stand-up paddleboards, which all can be conveniently enjoyed right at the waterfront. Water sports are not only a great form of exercise, but can also be refreshing when the weather is hot. The famous Santa Monica Pier is also just a short trip out of the marina. Directions: Starting from Ackerman Terminal, head down Westwood Plaza towards Wilshire, where you will make a right. Get on the 405 South, and then take exit 50B to merge onto CA-90W/ Marina Freeway. Turn left at Lincoln Blvd and right at Fiji Way. You will see Marina Boat Rentals on the right (13719 Fiji Way).

If you love both shopping and a view of the beach, the Venice Beach Boardwalk is a perfect place to spend your time for a few hours. The pedestrian walkway is lined with many vendors selling souvenirs, gifts, clothing, and jewelry for bargain prices. While walking down the boardwalk you will see entertainers doing impressive and dangerous stunts and performers wowing the crowds. Aside from this, you can also rollerblade and/or bike ride while enjoying the serene view of the beach.

runyon beginner hike

temescal day hike

Runyon Canyon This is a relatively easy hike, without too many slopes and rocks. It is a total of three miles long, which should take you just over an hour to complete. The paths are clean with clearly marked trails. There are also benches along the route to sit and relax above a breathtaking view. Make sure to take water and stay hydrated.

Temescal Gateway Park Nestled just east of the Pacific Palisades coastline, this location attracts many hikers due to its rich wilderness and unparalleled natural beauty. The Temescal Canyon Loop is only 1 mile from the ocean, so you can run in the mountains and on the beach on the same visit. Make sure to take food and water for a picnic stop.

Directions: Starting from Ackerman Terminal, head down Westwood Plaza towards Wilshire, where you will make a left. Make a slight left at Santa Monica Blvd and turn left at La Cienega Blvd. Take the 2nd right onto Fountain Ave, then left onto N Fairfax Ave. Take the 3rd right onto Hollywood Blvd and finally left at Fuller Ave (2000 N Fuller Ave).

Directions: Starting from Ackerman Terminal, head down Westwood Plaza towards Strathmore, where you will make a right. Take the 2nd right onto Gayley Ave, then turn right onto Veteran Ave. Turn left at W Sunset Blvd and continue for 6.7 miles. Temescal Gateway State Park will be on the right (15601 Sunset Blvd). You can park in the parking lot for a fee, or opt for street parking.

Runyon Canyon Contact: (323) 666-5046

Temescal Gateway Park Contact: (310) 454-1395



total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Marina del Rey Boat Rentals Contact: (310) 574-2822

Directions: Starting from Ackerman Terminal, head down Westwood Plaza towards Wilshire, where you will make a right. Get on the 405 South and take exit 53 for Santa Monica toward I-10 East. Merge onto I-10 West; take exit 1A for 4th St, where you will make a left. Turn right onto Pico Blvd, left onto Neilson Way, right onto Paloma Ct. and finally left onto Speedway.


Common Seaside S How to stay safe

1 Always set up near lifeguard towers. Lifeguards can explain surf conditions and rules of the beach. More importantly, they provide an immediate response if something goes wrong and can coordinate resources for help faster than you can on your cell phone.

2 Cover up with plenty of sun protection. Depending on the UV index, it sometimes only takes fifteen minutes before you start to burn. If you plan on going swimming and can’t cover up exposed skin with sleeves, hats, and other forms of protective clothing, be sure to apply a generous amount (at least a shot glass worth) of sunscreen to all exposed skin (see pages 6 to 9 for sunscreen advice). Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure and every two hours after. 3 Rip currents are strong narrow channels of water that strongly pull from the shore out to sea. Although rip currents are not easily identifiable to the average beachgoer, it is important to be aware and learn how to spot this major surf zone hazard. One way to do so is to look for murky water drifting out towards sea. Another indicator is an area of extreme calm amidst crashing waves or a break in the incoming wave pattern. If you find yourself caught in a rip current, do not try to swim against it, as this will lead to exhaustion and possibly drowning. Think of it as a treadmill that cannot be turned off, of which you need to step to the side. The key is to not panic and figure out which way the current is moving (right or left) so that you can swim parallel to shore in that direction.

3 4


total wellness ▪ summer 2010

// by jenna pacelli and elizabeth wang If the health of the ocean reflects the health of the planet, then Mother Earth is seriously ill: According to a study from UCSB’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, over 40% of the world’s oceans are heavily impacted by human activity, with few areas left untouched by anthropogenic factors. A look into how to be more earth and ocean-friendly, and then some: • Minimize your personal use of resources. According to the American Water Works Association, the American household on average uses about 69.3 gallons of water a day, with toilets occupying roughly 26.7% of total daily use, clothes washers taking second with 21.7%, and showers totaling 16.8%. The AWWA recommends installing more efficient water fixtures and checking for leaks. Although this advice is less applicable to those in the dorms, another way to minimize water waste is to combine laundry loads and shorten your showers by a minute or two, which can save up to


150 gallons a month. Recycle as much as you can. Recycling bins can be found all over campus, making the deed entirely effortless. On the list of items most people forget they can recycle: microwave food trays, pie tins, aluminum foil, printer cartridges (at specific drop-off locations), and compact fluorescent bulbs (take them to your local IKEA!). Dispose of motor oil properly. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that improperly disposed of oil resulting from a single 1-gallon oil change can spoil the taste of a million gallons of drinking water. According to the LA County Department of Public Works, poor disposal of used motor oil, which itself can contain toxins and known carcinogens such as benzene, lead, zinc, and cadmium, accounts for more than 40% of the oil pollution of harbors and waterways. Used motor oil can be safely disposed of at county collection centers – find them at Reuse plastic and avoid polystyrene take-out containers. In 2008, food containers and packaging added up to roughly 77

original illustration by trang tj nguyen

4 Long shore currents are ocean currents that move parallel to shore and are most evident when waves hit the shore at an angle. While longshore currents are usually less hazardous than rip currents (because they move along the shore, not away from it), they can still knock children and even adults off their feet. More importantly, long shore currents can increase the power of rip currents, but because of their lateral movement, they also can guide a swimmer out of a rip current. To avoid being taken out by either types of current, stay where your feet can touch the bottom or wear a pair of swim fins.


When is it healthy and safe to swim in the ocean? A summer-ready guide to ocean swimming and our effect on the environment.

// by jenna pacelli | design by t.j. nguyen Avoid swimming three days after a rain or storm.


Pollutants, litter, trash, and chemicals can easily get washed into the ocean from all over Los Angeles.

Stay away from swimming near the pier. There are storm

drains there and the water is far from clean. Swim in areas more north or south of the pier.

1 2

2 Visit for beach report cards. This is key to finding out what beaches and bodies of water along the California coast are safe to swim in. Beaches are continuously graded according to cleanliness with grades of A through F. Look for beaches that consistently earn As and Bs and stick to those. Luckily for us, the Santa Monica Bay is actually cleaner than many assume, earning good grades on a regular basis.


These signs are a step in the right direction but be wary.



Never swim near a storm drain. Waters adjacent to Los

Angeles County receive untreated urban runoff from a series of storm drains all year round. When surveying places to swim, avoid storm drains, especially after rainfall. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, significant rainfall can dramatically raise bacteria levels in the water for up to 3 days after a storm. These effects are most pronounced near storm drains, creeks, and rivers, so take note of your surroundings and the recent weather when taking a dip.


cleanups and restorations to education and outreach. Students can join with hundreds at over 70 cleanup sites to help restore and preserve the health of our local beaches, or sign up with Stream Team’s water chemistry crew to test the water quality of the Malibu Creek watershed. Visit to find out more. t w


total wellness ▪ summer 2010

million tons, or 31% of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. Although single-use plastic bags and polystyrene take-out boxes have been targeted for bans by coastal communites in California, they nonetheless persist as significant environmental and health hazards, comprising a dominant portion of litter and beach debris. Ocean litter has been shown to affect over 267 species worldwide, the impacts of which include animal fatalities ranging from ingestion and starvation to entanglement and drowning. Playing your part includes not only disposing of your trash properly, but also seeking safer alternatives to single-use plastics and polystyrene food containers, such as bringing your own shopping bags and food storageware. Volunteer. Heal the Bay is a non-profit organization dedicated to the safety, health, and cleanliness of the Santa Monica Bay and surrounding Southern California coastal waters, and offers numerous volunteer opportunities, from

Los Angeles posts 30 day grades, from A to F, for all of the county’s beaches on their public health website. These grades reflect the latest testing results for bacteria, which may be up to a week old. Warning signs are posted when testing of beaches does not meet standards, but beachgoers should be aware that signs and testing are not updated as frequently as one might hope.


Student Health Insurance

healthcare and how you pay for it

How much do you know, as a UCLA student, about health insurance? Even if you’re pretty clueless, you should have noticed the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) charge at the beginning of each quarter, which some of us are able to waive provided that we are enrolled under our parents’ health coverage plan. Be it SHIP or a family plan, many college students remain somewhat oblivious as to how the whole thing works. So what happens when the time comes (and the time is near!) for you to pay for your own medical expenses? Good news and bad news. On the downside, if you are currently on SHIP, you will need to find your own health plan soon after graduation from UCLA . On the upside, Obama’s Health Care Reform signed March 23 of 2010 will allow young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance policy until age 26.

total ess ▪▪ summer total well wellnness summer 2010

Need new contact lenses? Sprained your ankle? What about antibiotics for that infection? Don’t be misled by your relative youth and seemingly good health. Not everyone has access to care for sickness or injury, and the earlier you realize the value in maintaining access, the more prepared you’ll be in whatever situation comes your way.

// by grace lee | design by grace lee Healthcare Reform what obama’s new healthcare bill means for you

❯❯  Companies must offer health benefits for all employee dependents until age 26. [2010]

❯❯  New coverage plans must offer prevention and wellness benefits.

Your health plan cannot charge any out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles and copayments, for these services. [2010]

❯❯  An individual mandate will be implemented in 2014, meaning that

you—with help from newly implemented government programs— must be able to find access to an affordable plan, as health insurance will be mandatory for all US citizens. [2014]

❯❯  No more recissions. Health insurers cannot rescind, taking ill patients off insurance plans. [2014]

❯❯  Employers (with more than 50 employees) will be required to offer

medical coverage for employees. This means that most of us won’t have to worry about finding access to health insurance by the time we are in the working field. [2014]

❯❯  Medicaid eligibility will be extended to all citizens with incomes less

Lingo to Know Co-pay: A fixed out-of-pocket payment to utilize certain medical services, such as office visits, x-rays, and emergency room fees. Students under SHIP are subject to different co-payment amounts than UCLA students without SHIP (for example, the Ashe Center Well Exam is pre-paid without co-pay for students with SHIP, and $12 for students without). 14

Deductible: The amount of expenses that you must pay out-of-pocket each year before the insurer provides any benefits. For SHIP, the deductible is $400 (in-network) and $800 (out of network) for the 2010-11 academic year.

than 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL), including adults without dependent children. The government will provide subsidies for lowincome families (up to 400% FPL). [2014]

Premium: The

monthly or quarterly payment for health insurance. USHIP Basic for UCLA undergraduates is around $362 per quarter for 2010-11.

Co-Insurance: Once you

have met your deductible, the percentage of the cost of treatment you pay for all covered medical expenses. For example, after meeting the deductible, a student on SHIP pays 20% of the $65 for a physical therapy session while the insurance company covers the rest of the 80%.

left page: michelle morales/; zts/istockphoto; littleman/; right page: visualfield/istockphoto

“What’s that SHIP fee billed to my BAR account all about?!”

Types of Medical Insurance medical coverage is no simple matter

All UCLA students are required to have health insurance. This explains everyone’s automatic enrollment in SHIP, which can be waived with proof of enrollment under a qualified family plan. The American healthcare system, which your family plan works under, is not so much one organized structure, but rather a broad array of different types of health insurance operated by individual systems. When it comes to health coverage, students have quite a few options. These are some of the most common:

Staying on Your Parents’ Health Insurance

Most large employers provide health care plans and benefits to employees and their families. For the most part, companies contract with one of two types of health insurance: a health maintenance organization (HMO) or preferred provider organization (PPO). Whether your plan is an HMO or a PPO affects which doctors will be covered and what fraction of medical expenses will be paid for. Under an HMO plan, you… - usually pay a deductible and a small co-payment when using services - must use hospitals, doctors, and other health providers in the HMO network - are assigned to a primary care provider (PCP), who must refer you in order to see a specialist Under a PPO plan, you… - usually pay a higher deductible and copayment than the HMO - have more freedom in choosing a doctor or hospital - can see a specialist without first being referred by a primary care provider For more info, visit

Many undergraduates get hit over the head with an unexpected burden when they graduate college, and realize they don’t have health insurance. It is something they can avoid if they prepare for it.

School Health Insurance (SHIP)

SHIP is the UCLA student health insurance plan which works with United Healthcare/Student Resources insurance company and the UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center. This provides routine and urgent non-emergency medical care from vaccines to physicals to eye exams. SHIP also provides coverage for emergency services. The Ashe Center provides services available to all registered UCLA students, not just those enrolled with SHIP. The difference is that students with SHIP pay less for the same services as non-enrolled students. The Ashe Center also serves as the primary provider for SHIP students, meaning that these students go through Ashe to obtain referrals to other, more specialized providers. Scholastic Emergency Services (SES) is a global benefit available for UCLA SHIP students, should you require medical care while traveling 100 miles or more from campus.

Medicaid (Medi-Cal)

Students from low-income working families qualify for the governmentally-provided Medicaid (known as Medi-Cal in California). Qualified families receive free Medi-Cal benefits covering many medical procedures and other health-related expenses. For more info, visit

—Dr. Mark Litwin, Health Services Professor Other Options

Individual Health Insurance: Students can also purchase a health insurance policy through an insurance broker, although this alternative tends to be much more expensive.

Arthur Ashe Center 221 Westwood Plaza, across from Bruin Bear Main Number: (310) 825-4073 Nurseline: (866) 704-9660 UCLA Emergency: (310) 825-2111 t w


total wellness ▪ summer 2010

COBRA: If you or your parents left a job which provided group health insurance, the federal law COBRA allows you to remain covered for at least an extra 18 months, as long as you pay the full premiums.

tw total wellness

healthy living,

made simple Pick up a copy!

total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Ashe Center Blood & Platelet John Wooden On the Hill Bruin Resource Center ASUCLA stands Kerckhoff Hall SWC Office

find us online:


E3: Ecology, Economy, Equity is UCLA’s premiere student-run sustainability group Thursdays 4-5 PM Ackerman 2408 Check us out on orgsync too!


total wellness ❯❯ on the cover

green tea

white tea

black tea

tea time

oolong tea

chamomile tea

jasmine tea

matcha green tea

total wellness ▪ summer 2010

left: juan facundo mora soria/istockphoto; right to left, top to bottom:; lilyana vynogradova/istockphoto; magdalena kucova/istockphoto; row 2: katarzyna krawiec/istockphoto; natallia yaumenenka/istockphoto; sze fei wong/istockphoto; row 3:;; ingrid heczko/istockphoto

brown rice green tea

“Tea tempers the spirit and harmonizes the mind; dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness.” – Lu Yu, “the Sage of Tea” & 8th century chinese poet

// by elizabeth wang & stephan chiu | design by elizabeth wang 17



nature’s summer drink

total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Looking for hydration? Brew a cup of tea. The second most popular drink in the world (surpassed only by water), tea has long been considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. And that’s certainly no surprise: this popular beverage of choice boasts impressive concentrations of antioxidant micronutrients known as polyphenols, surpassing even fruits and vegetables by up to 10 times their amount. So, this summer, get brewing. Here, Total Wellness presents a sampler to get you started and help you find your perfect cup of tea.


black tea about | Although black tea has between 30 to 70% less

caffeine than coffee per cup, it takes the lead in the company of other teas also made from leaves of the Camellia sinensis tea plant, such as green, white, and oolong. While researchers have yet to establish the unique health benefits of each of these tea variants, studies show that all teas from the tea plant are brimming with polyphenols – antioxidant micronutrients that protect cells from free radical damage. However, because black tea is fully oxidized and undergoes more processing, it is said to contain the least amount of simple polyphenols such as EGCG. Instead black tea is full of polymers of polyphenols, which contribute to its health benefits.

taste | Because it is fully fermented (unlike green and white

tea, which aren’t at all), black tea is usually richer in color and more penetrating in taste. If the lingering bitterness bothers you, try adding a tablespoon of honey after the tea has cooled, as high temperatures may denature some of honey’s helpful enzymes. Steeping for longer than 5 minutes will result in a stronger tasting tea.

buy | Black tea, dating back to China 5,000 years ago, not only

has a long tradition but also is extremely ubiquitous. While you can easily find an eclectic stock at your local dining hall or grocery store, those seeking something a little more adventurous than your traditional Bigelow may be interested in creative yet fragrant blends from Lupicia (Caramel Macchiato Flavored Black Tea, for example, for java junkies), or Chado Tea.

❧ chamomile tea about | This tea is brewed from the dried flowers of the

chamomile plant, which has been traditionally used as a medicinal herb for a broad range of conditions. Although studies seeking to substantiate its widely touted health benefits are still in progress, chamomile is a popular at-home treatment for mild ailments ranging from sleep disorders and anxiety to stomach and menstrual cramps. Because it is an herbal infusion and not made from the camellia tea plant, it is more correctly called a “tisane.”

taste | The tea is a pale herbal brew with a fresh taste,

reminiscent of apples. Consistent with its soothing properties, it has a gentle floral flavor that is sure to please, and can be a cooling thirst quencher on a hot summer’s day.

buy | Of the two major types of chamomile used for tea – Roman

and German chamomile – you’re more likely to find the latter variety on supermarket shelves, as the former is mainly sold in Europe. For the insomniac looking to capitalize on chamomile’s tranquilizing properties, check out Trader Joe’s Bedtime Tea. Alternatively, try Mighty Leaf’s Chamomile Citrus Tea for an afternoon refresher.

Chamomile Tea: This caffeine-free herbal infusion pairs well with honey and citrus fruits.

3-Step Chamomile Tea + 1 cup water + 1 tsp dried chamomile flowers + 1 tsp honey + lemon juice (to taste)

Step 1. Boil water. Step 2. Add flowers. Boil for a minute. Step 3. Pour tea into a cup and add honey and lemon juice after it has cooled.


total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Recipe Tip:


white tea about | Although it is also derived from the Camellia sinensis

plant, white tea, unlike black tea, undergoes very little processing and no fermentation, giving rise to a noticeable difference in taste. With only about 15 mg of caffeine per cup, it has the least amount of caffeine compared to green and black tea, but because white tea is brewed from young tea leaves or buds, it boasts the highest amount of catechins – flavonoid compounds with cancer-fighting, antioxidant properties.

Summer Fresh: Make your own herbal tea by brewing dried flowers in boiling water. On the list of popular floral infusions: chamomile, marigold, mint, lavender, and chrysanthemum.

taste | The tea is made from buds coated by silver fuzz and young

leaves that are either sun-dried or steamed. The result? A light tea with a delicate and subtle flavor, available in varieties such as the mellow White Peony or the mildly flavored Silver Needle.

buy | Because of the meticulous harvesting process, white teas carry a rather hefty price tag and can be up to three times more expensive than green tea. Many white teas available at supermarkets are sold as herbal or fruit-flavored blends, so those looking for top-quality classics, loose-leaf teas, or more exquisite white tea variants may be interested in trying Teavana or Adagio Teas.

❧ jasmine tea about | A blend of jasmine flowers and usually a green or oolong

tea base, this highly aromatic tea originates in the Fujian Province in China, where the flowers are usually harvested. Research on jasmine tea suggests that, in addition to the widely appreciated health benefits of the Camellia sinensis tea base, its fragrant odor may present aromatherapeutic perks by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is primarily aroused during rest and relaxation.

taste | A faint green-yellow tea, Jasmine is usually subtle and

buy | Trader Joe’s Jasmine Green Tea is a good option if you’re

looking for only a moderate amount of jasmine flavor in your cup of tea. Alternatively, those looking to try authentic Fujian Jasmine Tea on a college student’s budget may opt for the Jasmine Petal Tea offered by Two Leaves and A Bud.

❧ brown rice green tea

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about | Also known as “Genmaicha”, this green tea and brown rice

fusion originated in rural Japan, where poor peasants who could not afford pure tea leaves would extend their tea supply by roasting it with rice. Often during the roasting process, some of the brown rice grains pop, giving it the nickname, “Popcorn Tea.” Nowadays, it is enjoyed and consumed by people regardless of class and culture.

taste | Brown rice green tea has a light yellow hue, due to its

combination of ingredients. It owes its full, satisfying aroma and flavor to the smooth grassy tones of green tea and toasty zest of popped rice, which together provide an intriguing yet delectable blend of flavors.

buy | For full roasty flavor, try Adagio Tea’s Genmai Cha, which has actual popcorn added to the mix for a sweet, nutty taste. Another possibility: with green tea and brown rice, you can try to brew the tea yourself!


green tea about | Brewed from more mature, withered leaves of the Camellia

sinensis tea plant prior to steaming or drying, green tea is one of the most well known superfoods, touted to not only keep off weight, but also prevent coronary artery disease and various cancers. While the volume and extent of green tea research, especially in relation to cancer, have certainly been impressive, more clinical studies are needed to better qualify its use as a means of disease prevention. Even though the catechin EGCG is more widely associated with green tea, both green and white teas boast equally impressive concentrations of the antioxidant compound.

taste | Green tea owes its “grassy” flavor to the harvesting process

– unlike white tea which is brewed from immature, fuzz-coated buds, green tea is dried to the point where the tea will be darker in color and stronger in taste. Although less subtle than white tea, green tea will leave a clean and sweet aftertaste, provided you do not oversteep it.

buy | As with all teas and no less with this one, green tea is

extremely easy to find. The question becomes not so much where to buy it, but rather how to choose it. Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, integrative medicine pioneer and author of several anti-aging health books, suggests: “When buying fresh organic green tea, the first quality to look for is color - the tea leaves should be a dark, rich green. The scent the leaves give off when you hold a small amount in your hand is your best clue to freshness and flavor.” He recommends Ito En, a leading purveyor of green tea.

previous page: elena elisseeva; left: inna fetjukova/istockphoto; right: magdalena kucova/istockphoto

light, unless it is strongly brewed with black tea (though this variety is certainly harder to find). It is delicately sweet and reminiscent of gardenias, owing its floral tones to, of course, the jasmine flower blossoms with which the tea is infused.

oolong tea

spotlight | what studies show

about | You may not know oolong tea by its name, but rather by its

taste: it’s one of the most popular teas served at Chinese restaurants, often as a jasmine-oolong blend. Meaning “black dragon” in Chinese, this tea is popular throughout China, Taiwan, and Japan. It comes from camellia tea leaves that are partially fermented when harvested, giving it a greenish-black color. Recent research on oolong tea specifically has spurred an interest in its potential ability to improve fat metabolism.

taste | Because it is semi-oxidized, oolong tea is often said to be

halfway between green and black tea not only in color but also in taste: it combines the best of both worlds into a mellow, sweet synergy, losing the bitterness of black tea and grassy tones of green (though, certainly, many are partial to green tea for this very flavor). Chinese and Taiwanese preparations of oolong tea will yield differences in taste.

Teas in general are rumored to have all sorts of health

benefits, ranging from the plausible to the incredible. In the face of all sorts of wild claims, it is important to sort out fact from fiction. “There are so many publications and studies investigating the health benefits of tea,” says Dr. Susanne Henning, PhD, director of the Nutritional Biomarker Core Laboratory at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. Dr. Henning, herself one of the first to study the effects of green and black tea polyphenols in human tissue, has uncovered evidence supporting both teas as promising dietary supplements useful for preventing prostate cancer. But what else have scientists found? A peek into some of their findings:

about | A variation of your everyday green tea, Matcha consists of a

For cancer prevention: It is well known that teas are brimming with antioxidants, which function by neutralizing the activity of free radicals – rogue, reactive molecules that have been implicated in cancer development, heart disease, and aging. In a study published this year in Cancer Prevention Research, researchers found that EGCG, the most abundant polyphenol in green tea, may be able to suppress lung cancer cell growth. Additionally, a 2009 meta-analysis published in Lung Cancer determined that those who drank at least 2 cups of green tea a day had an 18% lower risk of developing lung cancer. However, a 2006 metaanalysis from Carcinogenesis reports that, despite strong evidence in support of green and black tea as chemopreventive agents in colorectal cancer, there is insufficient data on whether either teas actually has such a protective effect.

taste | Matcha comes in two forms and their differences are key:

For osteoporosis: A 2010 publication in Osteoporosis International found that green tea polyphenol supplementation in rats attenuated the deterioration of bone microarchitecture while improving bone integrity. Published in 2007, a clinical study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that regular consumption of tea can confer benefits on bone density in those approaching old age.

buy | Although canned oolong tea is commonplace nowadays, the

most famous oolong variant is Wuyi Oolong. Named after the Wuyi Mountains in China where it is grown and harvested, this tea can only be bought online or in specialty shops and can fetch a sizeable sum.

❧ matcha green tea rich, green powder made of finely ground green tea leaves. The powder comes from leaves that are grown in cooler environments than normal tea leaves, making them darker and sweeter. Prized in Japan since the 12th century, Matcha is the tea prepared and used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

Usucha, or thin tea, is lightly textured and mild in taste, while Koicha, or thick tea, is more densely textured and packs a fuller flavor. Either is prepared by mixing with a proportionate amount of hot water, which can be adjusted to the drinker’s preference. Because you actually drink the leaves, unlike other teas that come in teabags, Matcha is more strongly flavored and caffeinated than bagged green tea.

buy | Matcha is available for purchase at specialty tea shops in

various blends, which are usually endowed with a poetic name, or “chamei,” by the producing plantation, shop, or creator. A more high-end commodity, matcha powder is typically made from premium tea leaves, though the grade of the matcha powder itself will still vary, based on factors such as the quality of the tea leaves and the type of processing. Fun fact: anything “green tea flavored” is usually produced with the help of matcha.

For cardiovascular health: A 2008 meta-analysis report published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed 133 trials related to the effects of flavonoids on cardiovascular disease risk factors and uncovered convincing evidence that green tea can lower levels of lowdensity lipoprotein (LDL). LDL is a type of blood cholesterol commonly called “bad” cholesterol because it tends to accumulate in artery walls, which in turn leads to an increased risk of heart disease. A 2009 metaanalysis report, led by UCLA investigator Dr. Lenore Arab, also found that green or black tea consumption of about 3 cups a day could prevent the onset of ischemic stroke. For mental health: Oxford researchers working in conjunction with colleagues from the University of Oslo published a study in 2009 in The Journal of Nutrition, which determined that polyphenols in tea can improve cognitive performance and alter brain aging processes. Tea may also alleviate age-associated oxidative damage, according to a 2008 study from The International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience. For bad breath: A 2003 study done at the University of Illinois at Chicago showed that tea polyphenols help inhibit bacterial growth in the mouth, preventing bad breath. Halitosis no more! t w


total wellness ▪ summer 2010

All Natural: Brew your own tea instead of purchasing ready-made, sugary tea beverages. According to Dr. Susanne Henning, “Since polyphenols are not very stable, most of these readymade beverages contain very small amounts or no tea polyphenols at the time of purchase.”

For the immune system: Tea may also be involved in helping the body fight off infection by enhancing the function of the immune system. In a 2007 study from The Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers determined that tea can help prevent cold symptoms by enhancing the secretion of gamma delta T cells by 26%. Gamma delta T cells are part of the body’s immune system weaponry and may represent a first line of defense against invading pathogens. These researchers report that tea-drinkers from the study had 32.1% fewer symptoms than non-tea drinkers.

bruin resources

YouCPD: how you can stay safe at UCLA // by lillian zhang | design by grace lee & elizabeth wang Campus safety at UCLA is no accident. As a public university, UCLA is accessible 24 hours a day to students, staff, and faculty, as well as the general public. With over 419 acres and approximately 80,500 people walking through campus every day, UCLA is equivalent to a mediumsized city. Consequently, regardless of where you may be on campus or what time of day it is, it is important to be alert and aware, and to know what to do in the event of an emergency. Crime prevention officer from the UCLA University of California Police Department (UCPD), Luis De Vivero, shared with us some tips on how to take advantage of the many resources UCLA offers to ensure personal safety.

Safety Resources offered by UCLA and UCPD

total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Campus Safety Listserv and Bruin Alert • Sign up on the UCPD website to receive e-mail notifications free of charge. Notifications will include any helpful information or anything that is of importance to your safety. • Bruin Alert, while not officially affiliated with UCPD, offers a similar service, through which students, staff, and faculty who are signed up for the service will receive text message notifications of any campus emergencies. Crime Prevention Presentations UCPD crime prevention officers will speak on any safety related topics and will customize their presentations to the needs of the group. A variety of officers will be present, depending on the needs of the group, and will give a presentation and then hold a Q & A session afterwards. Site Security Surveys Feel like your building is unsafe? Want to check out the safety of an apartment building before deciding to rent it? UCPD can conduct site security surveys to examine lighting, landscaping, and any security features. They will analyze what is in place and give any recommendations as to what could be added to make it safer. Site security surveys can be requested through UCPD.


Numbers to store in your cell phone: Direct number to UCPD: Escort Service: UCLA Evening Van Service: Emergency Info Hotline:

(310) 825 - 1491 (310) 794 - WALK (310) 825 - 9800
 (800) 900 - UCLA
or (310) 825 - 1234 (off campus)

UCPD 601 Westwood Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90095-1364 Open Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm

When calling 911...

Give your name, location, and phone number. Clearly describe what happened. Do not hang up until asked to do so. yessenia chaiu

Crime Prevention Programs and Workshops • Personal Safety: What you can do to make yourself less vulnerable to crime • Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention: How you can make yourself less vulnerable to sexual assault • Hate Crimes: What are hate crimes and how do you report them? • Drug & Alcohol Awareness: Awareness and prevention of drug and alcohol use and abuse. Information available at (310) 825-1491. • Call (310) 825-6111 for more information or visit


36 sexual offenses 20 aggravated assaults 162 burglaries DATA FROM: UCLA UCPD

Student misconceptions about campus safety We are lucky to live in a relatively safe area, but because of this, people tend to get into the invincibility mentality, thinking that nothing can happen to them — that they are immune to all the “evil” in the world. However, we must all remember that we cannot predict everything that will happen to us. The most important things to remember are to always be aware of your environment and to know how to call the police. Check your doors to make sure they’re locked at night and after you leave, don’t walk by yourself late at night — always let someone know where you’re going, and don’t be afraid to call in to report any suspicious behavior or anything out of the ordinary.

kaseo to Lead & Learn in LA

tutoring & mentoring our inner-city youth

Info Meeting: Week 1 Wednesday Ackerman 3516 6 pm

Most of this seems like common sense — advice that we have heard over and over from many different sources. But it works.

Students should be more aware of... Community Service Officer (CSO) Escort Services The CSOs are available 365 days a year from dusk until 1a.m. to escort UCLA students, employees, and visitors to and from campus, local living areas, and Westwood. Although the CSO escort service is completely free, according to UCPD, it is highly underutilized. CSOs are always available and there is no waiting period. To use this buddy system, call (310) 794-WALK.

total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Put the UCPD number into your cell phone! By having the direct number programmed into your cell phone, you will be able to directly reach UCPD who will be able to act more quickly to locate and help you: (310) 825 - 1491 The biggest thing to be aware of? Being aware! Being aware means paying attention to your surrounding environment and not talking on your cell phone, listening to music, or texting while walking. Pay attention while crossing streets and keep your head up constantly so that you can see danger coming and react more quickly in case of an emergency. Know how to reach the police department! Situational awareness is key to preventing any potentially dangerous situations you might put yourself in. t w


eat right

HOW TO: shape up your

summer snacking HAMBURGER


serving size: 1 each calories: 254

serving size: 1 each calories: 303

CHOCOLATE serving size: 1 bar calories: 235


serving size: 1 each calories: 215




total ess ▪▪ summer total well wellnness summer 2010

While living at school, you might opt for an apple instead of a candy bar for a snack. While at a theme park or summer fair, however, you might be wondering why a caramel candied apple looks like the healthiest choice. Junk-food hotspots like beach boardwalks and water parks can be a challenge for any health-minded individual. Ideally, students should try to bring their own food and snacks, which will not only be much healthier, but also much less expensive. Easy things to bring in a backpack could include fresh fruit, carrot or celery sticks, nuts, and granola bars. A convenient lunch could be peanut butter sandwiches, which would not spoil in the heat. Unfortunately, many attractions prohibit people from bringing food in. With these tips, you can navigate your way through any fried food stand and find the best choice that’s still a treat.

// by leigh goodrich | design by angie huang & 24

stephan chiu

burger: aleksander trankov/istockphoto; chips: bjorn heller/istockphoto; apple: james trice/istockphoto; chocolate: nkzs/istockphoto; right, from top to bottom: cecile long, v. holland, meghan merchant

serving size: 1 oz calories: 158

beach or Boardwalk avoid funnel cake • popcorn • nachos enjoy soft pretzel • tortilla chips with salsa • corn on the cob

avoid pizza • hot dogs • burgers enjoy grilled chicken • sandwiches

avoid caramel apples • shaved ice enjoy frozen yogurt • fruit popsicle • frozen fruit

road trip avoid fast food stops • potato chips •

cheesy snacks • donuts

enjoy fruit • baked chips • rice cakes •

granola bars • string cheese • nuts

ball park deep fried foods • Cracker Jacks • hot dogs

enjoy sandwich wraps • baked potato • peanuts • fruit cups

For a main meal, lean meats like chicken or turkey sandwiches are probably your best bet. Hot dogs and hamburgers at many beachside stands have poor quality meat packed with preservatives and chemical additives. While some places may certainly be better than others, it’s safest to assume that greasy pizza and burgers are not the healthiest.

Don’t be fooled by the fruit in the middle of a caramel apple – these classic treats are full of sugar and saturated fat. One candied apple can pack up to 400 calories, especially when topped with heaps of candy or caramelized sugar. And shaved ice is much more than just frozen water – the artificially colored syrup adds empty calories of pure sugar. Instead, opt for a portion of frozen yogurt or a frozen fruit bar if you have a craving for something sweet. These lower-fat options are more likely to offer some kind of nutritional benefit, like a serving of fruit, fiber, or calcium, instead of mere sugar.

Road trips are perfect opportunities to plan ahead and pack healthful snacks. Unfortunately, many travelers stop at the drive-thru window of fast food chains, while others fall into the convenience store trap while filling up on gas. At the gas station, avoid the typical potato chips and cheesy snacks, as these can be exceptionally high in artery-clogging saturated fat. Instead, try baked or popped chips and rice cakes. If you couldn’t pack snacks ahead of time, you can usually find granola bars, raisins, and plain nuts for sale. On an especially hot trip, Slurpies may not seem so criminal, but a medium-sized drink has 400 calories and a ridiculous 95 grams of sugar. Water is a much more sensible choice, and even lemonade or iced tea would be better. It’s no secret that Twinkies and cinnamon buns are unhealthy, but they are often impulse buys for tired drivers – all the more reason to be prepared with dried or fresh fruit and other energy-sustaining snacks.

Many baseball fans consider greasy garlic fries and enormous hot dogs an integral part of the ballpark experience. Those who are more concerned about their arteries, however, should stay away from meat sandwiches smothered in barbeque sauce and hot dogs and fries covered in chili cheese sauce. A single order of chili cheese fries can have over 1,000 calories and over 70 grams of fat. Many ballparks offer healthier options like fruit cups, wraps, and vegetarian choices. A baked potato can be a filling snack as long as it’s not topped with heaps of sour cream, butter and cheese. And even though the song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” says to buy peanuts and Cracker Jacks, the latter should really be avoided. While peanuts are an all-natural option containing healthy fats, the first and second ingredients of Cracker Jacks are sugar and corn syrup. A single bag contains 420 calories and over 50 grams of sugar. Maybe the song needs tw modification. tw


total wellness ▪ summer

avoid bbq sauce meats • chili cheese fries •

If you’re in the mood for a starchy snack, avoid funnel cake at all costs. The description says it all – batter poured into hot oil and deep fried, then topped in sugar. One treat can have over 800 calories and 45 grams of fat. Then there is popcorn, which is not unhealthy by itself, but the massive amounts of butter that most vendors add can make this snack quite fattening. Similarly, nachos can be turned into a decent option by avoiding all the sauces and flavorings often loaded with unhealthy fats and salts, and just ordering tortilla chips with salsa. Soft pretzels can also be a good choice, as long as you don’t add any cheese sauce.

get active

the in-dorm


5 exercises for an in-dorm workout routine


total wellness ▪ summer 2010

long day, the late hours of the night, or even poor weather (though rather rare here in sunny LA) are all valid excuses to stay inside. Even though we know that exercise is important for both physical and mental health, we all have those days when making the trek outside or to the gym is simply not appealing. For those days when you would rather stay inside, save some time, or burn calories right in the comfort of your own home (or room), here are five exercises to try as part of an in-dorm workout regimen.


Your workout, even when taking place inside your dorm room or apartment, should have 3 main components – cardio, strength training (the following 5 exercises), and stretching. Always remember to warmup before any workout and to stretch before and after exercising! For cardio exercises, try running up and down the dorm stairwells, jumping rope, or kickboxing.


// by nicole lew |design by elizabeth wang


Desk Chair Tricep Dips Strengthens: triceps

Place hands shoulder width apart while sitting tall on a sturdy chair. Move your body in front of the chair with legs extended and heels on the floor. Slowly bend elbows and lower upper body towards the floor until arms are at a 90 degree angle. Push up using your arms, returning to starting position. For an easier exercise, place your feet flat on the ground with your knees bent.

➺ Recommended Reps: 3 sets of 10

top: shapecharge/istockphoto; original illustrations by trang tj nguyen


Elevated Push-ups Strengthens: chest and triceps

Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart while elevating feet on a sturdy chair. Bend your elbows and lower body until elbows are about 90 degrees. (Be sure to keep your body in a straight line.) Push up to starting position. For an easier exercise, remove the chair and lower your knees so that they rest on the floor.

➺ Recommended Reps: 2 sets of 10


Water Bottle Static Lunge

Strengthens: quadriceps and gluteal muscles Hold one water bottle in each hand with arms extended at sides. Stand in a split stance with one foot forward and the other back. With a straight torso, bend both knees, lowering the body until the back knee is almost touching the ground. Return to starting position by pushing back up. You can also try this exercise while moving down the hallway.

➺ Recommended Reps: 3 sets of 8 per leg (switching legs in between each set)


Kneeling Leg Lift

Strengthens: gluteal and abdominal muscles Kneel with your hands on the floor directly beneath your shoulders and knees bent beneath the hips. With knee bent, lift your thigh (contracting glutes) until it is parallel to the floor. Hold for a few seconds and then lower to the floor. For more of a challenge, place a small weight behind the knee of the leg you are lifting.

➺ Recommended Reps: 3 sets of 10 per leg (switching legs in between each set)

Textbook Crunches Strengthens: abdominal muscles

Lie down on the floor with your legs at a 90 degree angle. Cross your arms over a textbook, holding it at your chest. Bring your shoulder blades off the floor, keeping your neck straight and chin up. Slowly lower yourself back down, but do not relax all the way.

➺ Recommended Reps: 2 sets of 30

Many myths circulate about the best time of day to maximize the productivity of exercise. Students may set their alarms for 5 in the morning, or wait until late at night to work out, thinking that this selective timing will add some extra benefits. However, according to Dr. Christian Roberts, a professor in the School of Nursing, selective timing makes no difference. “Many people think that there is an answer, but the fact of the matter is that there is not,” Roberts said. “People should exercise at a time of day which they feel works best for them. Variations in the best exercise times are the result of individual differences, related to circadian rhythms.” Circadian rhythms are our bodies’ natural physical, mental, and behavioral changes during a 24-hour period. The effect of circadian rhythms on alertness and physical productivity differs among people, and causes individuals to perform differently during specific times of the day. This is clearly evident on campus – some students sleep in late and are more productive at night, while others are early risers. Though there is no evidence supporting a universal best time of day for exercise, a study performed at the University of Basse-Normandie in France suggests that training during a specific, constant time of day can increase a person’s physical performance at that particular time of day. The study compared two groups, with one group consistently exercising in the morning and the other in the evening. After a 6-week course of regular training, it appeared that the circadian rhythms of the individuals adjusted to the exercise regimen. The muscular performance of people tended to peak when they were scheduled to work out during the course – either in the morning or in the evening. Overall, unless you are training to run in a marathon at the crack of dawn, the most productive time of day for exercise depends only on your personal peak energy level and what time fits into your schedule. After all, consistent exercise is beneficial regardless of the time of day. t w


total wellness ▪ summer 2010


Is there an ideal time of day to exercise?

mind matters

relaxing with

aromatherapy // by karin yuen | design by karin yuen

It’s no secret that scents influence one’s mood. Walking past a garbage truck, for example, is sure to dampen your spirits much more than a rose garden. As it turns out, however, this is more important in principle than we originally thought, providing a basis for understanding the popular therapeutic modality we know today as aromatherapy. Its soothing properties have helped ground aromatherapy as a major complementary therapy enlisted by clinicians and holistic practitioners in the U.S. and around the world today – engendering not only increasing demand, but also research and scientific inquiry. Yet whether you are experimenting with aromatherapy for its potential therapeutic qualities or seeking creative ways to manage stress, you’ll likely find yourself pleasantly surprised by its effects.

Although aromatherapy has shown promise in alleviating health problems ranging from sleep disorders to dementia, there is certainly a great need for more conclusive evidence before such a modality can become a more mainstream practice. Nevertheless, researchers have been able to both qualify and quantify its potentials as a therapeutic agent: one 2009 study published in Psychogeriatrics determined aromatherapy to be effective as a non-pharmacological therapy for dementia, improving cognitive function especially in Alzheimer’s patients. For more everyday uses, aromatherapy has demonstrated promise in stress management, according to a 2010 study from Natural Products Communications and a 2009 study from the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Researchers attribute its calming effects to a shift in the autonomic nervous system balance towards the parasympathetic division, the branch that serves to decrease heart rate and promote a “rest and digest” response.

total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Beware of Fakes!

Not sure what brand to buy? As aromatherapy is a largely unregulated field, it may be tricky to figure out what brand to choose. Companies may cut the pricey oils with potentially hazardous, odorless solvents. For this reason, the NAHA strongly recommends thorough research before purchasing a product. Play it safe and spend the extra bucks for a good brand. Cedar Martyn, a certified holistic massage therapist based in Los Angeles, recommends the Young Living Essential Oils brand, a company that has over 200 medical professionals as distributors, including nationally recognized


figures as Ronald Lawrence, MD, PhD, and Robert Delmonteque, ND, medical editor of Muscle & Fitness and the Journal of Longevity.

Safety First

❯❯ Note how you respond to the scent.

Smell can be very subjective, so a person who doesn’t like the smell of lavender or has negative associations with the smell will not experience the calming effects.

❯❯ Pay attention to concentrations. While some oils can be safely used undiluted, others may be too concentrated to use undiluted. Dilute oils properly before use as instructed.

❯❯ Test the oil on your skin before applying topically, especially if you have sensitive skin. Apply ­a drop of oil on a small patch of skin. Let it stay for a couple hours and check for any reactions. If no reaction occurs, it should be safe for topical use. ❯❯ Do not apply citrus essential oils topically and expose to the sun. This will irritate your skin and cause a burning sensation.

❯❯ Avoid using in excess, as it has been

associated with nausea and headache. Using it too frequently or excessively may also lead to desensitization to the aroma, rendering it ineffective.

❯❯ Be careful using essential oils if you are diabetic, pregnant, or breast feeding. Many components of essential oils may enter the blood stream. Medical professionals are concerned about the possible toxicity effects of essential oils and some oils’ hormone-like behavior due to their molecular structure.

❯❯ Thoroughly research before implementing

any product or methods. Make sure you can find credible sources giving you detailed information about the product or technique you are interested in.

what are essential oils? According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), “Essential oils are highly concentrated aromatic extracts which are distilled from a variety of aromatic plant material including grasses, leaves, flowers, needles & twigs, peel of fruit, wood and roots.” They may be purchased in small bottles at health food stores, and can be inhaled, applied topically or consumed.



left page: ugurhan betin/istockphoto; right page: monika adamczyk/istockphoto; robyn mackenzie/istockphoto;; monika adamczyk/istockphoto;

Does it work?


v Indigestion: Adding one drop of peppermint essential oil into a glass of water can help aid in digestion. This may help with removing gas, low appetite, bad breath, motion sickness and upset stomach. v Respiratory Problems: Use cold rubs with peppermint on your chest to help alleviate symptoms of nasal congestion, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, cold and cough. v Headache: Rub a drop of essential oil on the temples of your forehead. Its cooling and refreshing effect can help with headache, nausea, stress, anxiety, restlessness and mental exhaustion. Rubbing it topically may also help with pain relief and reducing fever.


v Mental Exhaustion: Sniff some eucalyptus for

stimulation. Its invigorating smell can help people suffering from exhaustion, stress, and sluggishness. v Respiratory Problems: Eucalyptus essential oil proved effective in fighting non-bacterial sinusitis according to a study published in the medical journal, The Laryngoscope. Gargle a mixture of a few drops of eucalyptus oil and warm water. v Muscle Pain: Massage eucalyptus oil in circular motions on the skin to relieve pain, muscle tension, stiff muscles, and aches.


v Balance: Geranium acts as a tonic for the kidney, helping to release body fluids and balance water levels in the body.

v Anti-depressant: Smelling the sweet aroma of geranium can relieve anxiety and depression, and lift spirits.

v Beauty: Its astringent and cicatrisant ability means the oil will pull skin tighter and help reduce the appearance of spots and scars. Be sure to mix a few drops well with a carrier vegetable oil or lotion before applying.


v Relax: Undiluted lavender oil is generally considered safe to use, but

you can dilute in a carrier oil or lotion and use in a back massage. Its soothing and cooling effect will provide relief from pain such as sore and tense muscles, muscular aches, backache, and sprains. v Insomnia: Place a sprig of lavender or a few drops of essential oil on your pillow or sheets to help calm yourself to sleep. v Anxiety: Place a few drops in a hot bath or diffuser to refresh the mind, calm nerves, and alleviate headaches, anxiety, depression, migraines, and emotional stress.

total wellness â–Ş summer

ylang ylang

v Anti-depressant: Add a few drops into a bath to fight

anxiety and depression. Ylang ylang relaxes the body and mind, creating an uplifting sense of well-being. v Sedative: The sweet scent of ylang ylang calms stress, anger, and anxiety. Its ability to reduce muscle tension may help with insomnia. t w


The juxtaposition of

Do Re Mi music

total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Greek mythology interconnects the two in the form of Apollo, god of healing and music. Ancient Egyptian text Ebers Papyrus refers to the use of rhythmic incantations to cure the ill. Even the Bible makes multiple references to David and his ability to heal others through harp-playing. Defined by the American Music Therapy Association as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals”, music therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral medicine, often questioned by advocates of more conventional medicinal practices. An interpersonal process between patients and credentialed professionals, this relatively novel form of therapy employs a holistic approach to health, helping patients suffering from anxiety and depression to cancer and memory loss improve their


medicine is nothing new.

physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and mental wellbeing with music. Through interactive music listening, music performance, and music improvisation, musicallytreated patients in various scientific studies of music therapy have been proven to fare better than patients not undergoing music therapy. We met up with the founder of the Children’s Music Fund (CMF), Dr. Raffi Tachdjian, MD, MPH, to address commonly asked questions and concerns about music therapy. A UCLA alumnus and Professor of Allergy and Immunology, Dr. Tachdjian is a part of UCLA’s Pediatric Pain Program and currently works in private practice in Santa Monica. The Children’s Music Fund is a non-profit organization that aims to support music therapy research and provide musical instruments and therapy to younger patients experiencing life-altering illnesses.

original illustration by trang tj nguyen

ily a d your of e dos

// by t.j. nguyen | design by t.j. nguyen

mind matters

ttw w : We understand you are a pediatric and adult physician specializing in allergies and clinical immunology. What got you into music therapy? RT: I was inspired by my 15-year-old patient Justin who was a virtuoso guitarist. We couldn’t find any musical instruments in the hospital for him to play, so I was determined to raise funds to purchase instruments for the patients and eventually provide music therapy. It has the ability to empower kids to go through pain and anxiety-provoking experiences in a way that minimizes a negative environment.

Who does music therapy benefit?

Music therapy benefits a wide spectrum of patients, healthy, sick, young, or old. This includes – but is not limited to – patients with learning disabilities, brain injuries, physical disabilities, social phobias, insomnia, or emotional illnesses like melancholia. Music therapy is also utilized by healthy patients as an everyday source of relaxation or stress relief.


Where is music therapy used and how does it work?

ttw w : What are some of the Children’s Music Fund’s

current research projects? RT: One current research project entails the differences in the musical intake of autistic children versus a control group. We are studying perception and frequency discrimination in patients with autism.

ttw w : Many people have doubts that music therapy actually works because there is relatively little scientific evidence to bolster its health effects. What do you have to say to them? RT: Ten years ago, acupuncture was thought to be hocus pocus but is now a prevalent method of care for Western doctors. The same can be applied to music therapy: if it’s harmless, why not give it a chance? The magnitude of proof for music therapy is not great yet but it’s steadily growing. Yes, there are some misconceptions about music therapy; take, for example, the Mozart Effect. Mozart’s music doesn’t have the same calming effect on everyone. It depends on individual preferences, which is what makes music therapy work.


Music therapy is used in an array of facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and psychiatric facilities. For instance, the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center utilizes music therapy in its pediatrics department. Music therapy techniques include song composition, lyric discussion, music improvisation, and individual and group music reception.

What is the science behind music therapy?


ttw w : With that said, how does music therapy work on a scientific basis? RT: Music therapy has the ability to normalize vital signs, such as heart rate and breathing. It can also enable changes in immune response within the entire body. In terms of pain control, music therapy permits good memories to be made during adverse events by affecting brain circuitry. Think about it, how did you learn the ABC’s? Through song. Clearly, something good and permanent is happening in the brain.

ttw w : Do you see music therapy as a viable method of healthcare? What do you hope will be accomplished regarding music therapy in the near future? RT: I envision music therapy to be a standard offering at any health center or institution, used as one of the first resorts to pills and medication.

Neurological enhancement:

Rhythmic activities, whether playing an instrument or listening to repetitive beats, can facilitate fine motor coordination in patients with neurological damage. In a study done by the Colorado State University Center for Biomedical Research in Music, in which participants were subject to neurologic music therapy (NMT) tests of memory and emotional adjustment, musically-treated participants displayed overall improvement in memory and neural executive function and emotional management compared to participants not treated with music.

Sleep enhancement:

In a study conducted Semmelweis University, Institute of Behavioral Sciences, classical music was found to have a healing effect on sleeping disorders via muscle relaxation and distraction from thoughts. According to cognitive neuropsychologist Dr. Mythily Thirulamarchi, the vibratory pulses from soothing rhythms and beats are registered and absorbed by the brain, distracting it from restless thoughts that may cause sleeping disorders such as insomnia.

Emotional adjustment:

Because music processing takes place in the right hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for emotional and spatial memory, certain types of music have the power to evoke a spectrum of emotions from its listeners. A 2004 study conducted in Japan found that continuous exposure to music encourages the production of dopamine, activating addiction and pleasure centers in the brain, thus causing the desire to listen to “favorite songs” over and over again.

For more information about music therapy or the Children’s Music Fund, Dr. Tachdjian can be reached at Volunteer positions and internships are open for students who wish to be involved. More information about the CMF can be found at t w


total wellness ▪ summer 2010

ttw w : Music therapy is often regarded as a collaborative form of medicine, meaning it is employed as a supplement to other treatments, rather than an alternative form of medicine. Do you agree? RT: Not at all. If that were true, many of the cognitive behavioral therapeutic methods considered valid today would not be a primary source of healthcare. Music therapy represents the spectrum. It’s very multifaceted. How it is applied depends on the developmental ability of the patient; they can be treated through hypnotherapy or biofeedback. An artistic patient may be asked to create a song while a scientific patient may be asked to take note of the frequencies of a wind instrument.

While the neurobiological foundation of harmonious healing has yet to be substantially researched, an extensive number of scientific studies, found in the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives, and other sources, has proven the various health benefits of music. Here are a few:

body in focus

Looking for ways to improve your eyesight? Besides study breaks, try mineral, antioxidant, and vitamin-rich foods. The list includes much more than just carrots.

total wellness ▪ summer 2010

❯❯ that aid vision

// by jennifer wilson & leigh goodrich | design by karin yuen & elizabeth wang 32

left: erik reis/istockphoto; right (in order): redhelga/istockphoto; nikola bilic/istockphoto; only_fabrizio/istockphoto; kriss szkurlatowski/; suzannah skelton/istockphoto

five nutrients

FOODS FOR VISION Eat right to see right: foods to incorporate into your routine

02 | vitamin C (& anthocyanins)

Known as an immune system champion, vitamin C is also important for eye health, and is particularly crucial to maintain in the diet since it cannot be synthesized by our bodies. A water-soluble vitamin, ascorbic acid functions in the eye to maintain the collagen tissue in the cornea. The National Eye Institute has released results of their ongoing Age-Related Eye Disease Study, which in 2001 found that supplementing diets with beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc oxide worked to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. It is important to note that experts disagree as to the levels of antioxidants that should be consumed, as anything in excess usually has negative consequences. Of course, the patients in the study were given supplements, so a healthy intake of vitamin C rich foods like sweet bell peppers, blueberries, strawberries, and citrus fruits is completely safe.

04 | vitamin E

Carrots are probably the most common recommendation for good eye health, and with good reason. Carrots are among the many richly colored fruits and vegetables that promote healthy eyesight. Carotenoids are the plant pigments responsible for the rich colors of cantaloupe, carrots, squash, yams, tomatoes, and mangoes. Beta-carotene, a type of carotenoid, first converts to vitamin A and then to rhodopsin, a chemical in the retina that allows for night vision. Studies show that increasing levels of beta-carotene can help prevent eye diseases like cataracts, a condition marked by clouding of the crystalline lens. So don’t hesitate to pile up your plate with fresh summer squash that tastes great in a stirfry. Of course, you can also embrace the quintessential eye health food and enjoy baby carrots with hummus for a snack, or blend them up with fresh summer fruits into a smoothie.

03 | zinc

Found in high concentrations in the eye, zinc is a crucial mineral for protecting against eye problems. Zinc plays an especially important role in the health of the retina and macula. The effects of this mineral have usually been studied in conjunction with antioxidants, like the age-related eye disease study that found an approximately 25 percent decrease in the risk for developing advanced AMD with the addition of supplements. Studies have confirmed that zinc’s chief function is to aid in the absorption of antioxidants and help boost the immune system. Good sources of zinc include protein-packed meats like turkey, chicken, and beef. Good options for vegetarians include pumpkin seeds, legumes, wheat germ, and fortified breakfast cereals. While zinc has many health benefits, it is important to remember that an excess amount can actually be harmful. Make sure you do not exceed 100 milligrams daily.

05 | lutein

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids related to betacarotene that are found in many fruits and vegetables. Though you probably haven’t heard of these lesser-known antioxidants, they play an important role in the eye. Found in the lens and retina of the eye, lutein and zeaxanthin protect the eye from harmful free radicals. Increasing the amount of these antioxidants in the diet is thought to decrease the risk of macular degeneration. The National Eye Institute is currently conducting a study to conclusively test the health effects of adding lutein and zeaxanthin, in combination with omega-3 fatty acids. To incorporate these compounds into your diet, make sure to eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables – optimally five servings or more a day. Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, so try serving greens with olive oil and garlic. Eggs are also a good source of lutein, so try an egg-salad sandwich or top a salad with a hard-boiled egg for lunch. t w

macula: the area of the retina responsible for detailed central vision age-related macular degeneration (AMD): an eye disease that progressively destroys the macula retina: innermost area of the eye that receives light and transmits impulses to the brain to be interpreted as images


total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Like the other antioxidants studied by the National Eye Institute, vitamin E was found to help protect against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. The fat-soluble vitamin is also important for maintaining clear vision and preventing uveitis, marked by severe inflammation of the uvea layer of the eye that can lead to blindness. Foods that are rich in vitamin E also tend to have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats, found in fish like salmon and sardines, play a role in eye development for newborns. A 2007 study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology found that people who ate two or more servings of fish per week had a decreased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Omega-3 fatty acids also help to curb the effects and incidence of dry eye syndrome. To incorporate both vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, snack on sunflower seeds or nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, or walnuts. These are all great ingredients for trail mix, or as a topper for a yogurt parfait.

01 | β-carotene

food pick


setting the record straight

We would like to correct what was published in our Food Pick column from the previous issue concerning the statements about iron and vitamin B12 in bananas. According to Jill DeJager, MPH, RD, vitamin B12 is typically found only in animal products and bananas are actually not an ideal snack for someone who is anemic, as a banana’s iron content is less than 1mg and is non-heme, meaning that it is not readily absorbed by the body.

// by anna wong | design by elizabeth wang Generally when one thinks of eggs, one thinks of protein, which certainly is one of its most salient features: on average, one large egg contains a whopping 6 grams of protein. But there’s more to know about this nutritionpacked morning favorite. Here are some facts:

v Eggs have the most bioavailable protein — meaning that the body is able to utilize the protein to its full potential

from the cookbook eggnog 6 eggs 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 quart milk 1/3 pint heavy whipping cream 1 pinch ground nutmeg 1 pinch salt


Combine first 4 ingredients in bowl. Mix mayonnaise with salt and pepper and add to egg mixture. Toss lightly; chill

v About 1/3 of egg fat is saturated fat and 2/3 is unsaturated fat, the heart healthy fat

v Egg yolks are a great source of choline, an essential nutrient for healthy cell membranes and brain function. Choline also helps prevent cholesterol and fat build up in the liver

v Eggs have a fair amount of sulfur, which promote healthy hair and nails. Sulfur is also what gives eggs its unique odor v Eggs are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D

Beat eggs; mix in condensed milk, vanilla, quart of milk and salt. Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold in to egg and milk mixture and sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve chilled.

easy egg salad 6 hard boiled eggs 1/4 c. chopped green pepper 1/4 c. sliced green onions 3/4 c. chopped ripe olives 1/3 c. mayonnaise 1 tsp. salt Dash of pepper

v Eggs contain all nine essential (cannot be synthesized by the body) amino acids, making it a top protein quality food. These amino acids refuel and recycle the proteins in the body

v Making a fine powder out of the eggshell can make a great natural source of calcium, provided that you clean the egg shell first

v One jumbo egg has 18% DV of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which contributes to energy metabolism of all cells

v One jumbo egg has 14% DV of vitamin B12, which helps maintain the outer protection around your nerve cells

v One jumbo egg contains about 46.6 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function t w

Some people avoid egg yolks in fear of the cholesterol and fat content, but is this really necessary? Here’s some advice from Jill DeJager, a registered dietitian at UCLA: An egg has a little bit of everything. Eggs are very nutritious and students shouldn’t be afraid to eat them. Just watch your intake of yolks because one large egg contains 75% of the cholesterol suggested for the day. So when you choose an omelet or make scramble eggs, have just one yolk and maybe two whites. Also, cholesterol doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels as much as saturated and trans fats. Focus more on limiting your intake of saturated and trans fat.


yinyang/istockphoto; right: alexey avdeev/istockphoto

total wellness ▪ summer 2010




We would like to acknowledge the following people for their contributions to this edition. We would also like to make special mention of the following UCLA professors and faculty members who donated their time and expertise to ensuring the accuracy of content published in the following articles:

in the news Numbers Dr. R. James Barnard, PhD, UCLA Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology •


Jill DeJager, MPH, RD, Bruin Resource Center

the shady truth about tanning

Dr. Jenny Kim, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Department of Dermatology

sunscreen fever

Environmental Working Group (EWG) Additional reporting by Leigh Goodrich and Elizabeth Wang Layout restyled by Elizabeth Wang •

oh, the places you’ll go

campus safety

Introduction by Leigh Goodrich

common beachside sense

Dr. Richard Ambrose, PhD, UCLA Environmental Science and Engineering Travis Pirdy, Corona del Mar Lifeguard Illustrations by T.J. Nguyen •

Luis De Vivero, UCLA University of California Police Department (UCPD) Photo by Yessenia Chaiu

five nutrients that aid vision

how to: shape up your summer snacking

Jill DeJager, MPH, RD, Bruin Resource Center Layout restyled by Elizabeth Wang

tea: nature’s summer drink

Dr. Susanne Henning, PhD, RD, Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Nutritional Biomarker Core Laboratory Director Jenny Chu, Nutrition, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine (NCAM) President, NCAM Annual Tea Event Programmer

the in-dorm workout

food pick: eggs

Jill DeJager, MPH, RD, Bruin Resource Center

Dr. Christian K. Roberts, PhD, UCLA School of Nursing Illustrations by T.J. Nguyen


relaxing with aromatherapy

layout revisions

Leigh Goodrich and Elizabeth Wang

Cedar Martyn, Founder of Crystalline Healing Center, Los Angeles

Karin Yuen and Elizabeth Wang

your daily dose of do, re, mi

Compiled and designed by Elizabeth Wang

Dr. Raffi Tachdjian, MD, MPH, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Founder of the Children’s Music Fund

cover & table of contents


total wellness ▪ summer 2010

Dr. Mark S. Litwin, MD, MPH, Professor of Health Services, UCLA Department of Urology Evi Desser, RN, MN, FNP, Nurse Practitioner, UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center

student health insurance

Jill DeJager, MPH, RD, Bruin Resource Center Evi Desser, RN, MN, FNP, Nurse Practitioner, UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center Dr. Susanne Henning, PhD, RD, Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Nutritional Biomarker Core Laboratory Director

total wellness ▪ summer 2010

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Summer 2010. Issue 5, Volume 10. Produced by UCLA's Student Wellness Commission.