WELLNESS--There are close to 9 billion people on the planet and that means 9 billion unique and specific diets. We are constantly getting flooded with fad diet books and food systems claiming to be the holy grail of health. We’re told to add just 1 specific nutrient to change our entire lives. Narrow reductive studies are put out regularly “proving” that this new food or that new vitamin will change our lives over night. 

Some studies tell us that an alcoholic drink a day is good for us. After all they drink in Europe and they supposedly live forever and are all skinny, right? The next day we see a study claiming that alcohol, even in small amounts, is dangerous for our health and especially our livers. We see these “studies” repeated with coffee and chocolate. They are healthy one day and the next they are not. 

There are of course some general dietary guidelines that work for us a whole. Things like less saturated fats, more whole grains, low sugar and no processed foods are simple rules to follow, but when it comes to specifics like do I eat meat or not, and are certain vegetables better for your body than others, people get confused. What about things like fruit? Some people notice certain fruits agree more with their body types than other fruits. Others report things like melon or pineapple actually making their mouths sore or swollen and they wonder if they are allergic. Then there is dairy. Many say avoid it all together but some day the vitamin D we get from it is healthy. I can go on an on. 

It’s no surprise that people are confused about good health. The truth is, our bodies are the labs and we are the scientists. We need to choose foods carefully and pay attention to how that food makes the body feel. General rules like eat plenty of vegetables and fiber and steer clear of simple sugars are helpful reminders. So is using low to no alcohol and staying away from saturated fats and greasy foods is also a safe bet. 

Outside of these basics, the rest needs to be determined by each individual.

Paying close attention to digestion and elimination is imperative as they are the best indicators to how good a food is for our bodies. The two other big indicators as to whether a food is good for us or not is to notice our energy levels throughout the day especially after eating meals. Also taking note of how well the immunity is working over all. Then we have the ever so famous Gluten. Many people have jumped on the gluten intolerance bandwagon. While it is true that some people are gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive, the percentage of those people is very low compared to the number of people avoiding gluten. 

Regarding vegetables, there are so many different types, and certain ones can cause inflammation in some people. Nightshade vegetables for example can be very inflammatory for people with inflammatory diseases like crones and colitis and need to be avoided all together by them. Books like Eat Right for Your Blood Type and Nutrition textbooks like Eat Drink and be Healthy are also great places to start if you are in the process of turning your diet around. 

No matter how much you read or how many people give you advice about diet and nutrition, the most crucial data you receive is free and coming to you every day from your own body. Take time to notice and be honest about how your body is working or not working. Notice your energy levels or if you get an afternoon slump after lunch. If so, what choices are you making and how can you make better choices? Are you supported towards good health at home, or is your partner bringing junk food into the home? Good health is easier to attain if you feel supported by the people around you. Ask them to help you, and if they are willing to help ask them to join you!


(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR)


WELLNESS-The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notified the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) in January about a somewhat alarming rate of Elizbethkingia Anophelus. Elizbethkingia itself isn’t that rare or unusual, but this new strain is different because it is killing people. So far 20 of the 59 cases in Wisconsin ended in death and it seems to have spread to neighboring Illinois and Michigan. There are normally about 5 cases of infection a year reported in each state nationwide making this an unusually large outbreak.

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WELLNESS--Cloud seeding has been around for decades, but the general public has not known about it until recently. In 1946 it was discovered by a General Electrics lab that Silver Iodide could be used to make already existing clouds put out more rain. It was the 1950’s that this technology started to be used en force to battle drought. Since that time it is used as needed all over the world depending on the drought levels, and with the increasing water shortages worldwide, cloud seeding is becoming more and more common.  

In order for cloud seeding to work, there has to be rain clouds already present. By filling the cloud with silver iodide, they can increase the rainfall by 5 to 30 percent depending on where they clouds are located. It’s easier to make more rain from a cloud near the coast as opposed to inland.

Today, companies like the North American Weather Consultants, Inc create and set up cloud seeding stations that are portable and easy to transport so they can get them where they are needed most. In Los Angeles there are currently 10 towers set up between Sylmar and Pacoima.

These portable generators shoot Silver Iodide into the already existing clouds, which bind to the water molecules creating an instant freezing of the water particles. The now heavy frozen water vapor falls from the sky as rain.

The concern over silver iodide in our water and air supply is a real one. While the studies are still being conducted around this topic, what we do know is that silver iodide is highly susceptible and when it drop and falls into our atmosphere it quickly breaks down. The US Public Health Service claims there is a negligible environmental impact by cloud seeding. That said, silver iodide when studied in labs is a different story all together and is indeed toxic and dangerous.

There are other studies showing that silver iodide is toxic especially to fish and wildlife. This particular study is quoted as stating that “repeated exposure of animals to silver might produce anemia, cardiac enlargement, growth retardation, and degenerative changes in the liver.” (Seiler, H.G., H. Sigel and A. Sigel (eds.). Handbook on the Toxicity of Inorganic Compounds. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1988. 622)

This same study says that silver is not known to be carcinogenic to humans. From what most of the studies show, the one known risk humans take by being exposed to silver is called Argyria which is a grayish blue discoloration of the skin. If you look at the pesticide info website you will see that silver iodide is not shown to be toxic for humans but it does show an accumulation in fish.

Most of the government sites say that this chemical can only cause skin discoloration, but it proves challenging to find any other information regarding silver iodide and it’s possible toxic effects on humans.

In spite of claims that the long-term effects of this procedure are said to be harmless, it still feels like we are something of test subjects in the area of cloud seeding.


(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR)


WELLNESS--Proton Pump Inhibitors, also knows as antacids are used by an estimated 15 million Americans and they rake in roughly $13 Billion in sales a year. These drugs are commonly used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, and peptic ulcers. While there is any number of PPI’s out there, the most commonly used are omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix), and esomeprazole (Nexium). PPIs help reduce the amount of stomach acid made by glands in the lining of the stomach. 

While there are times this medication is called for, these drugs are often taken casually and as an adjunct to offset a poor diet. Up until recently, side effects of PPI’s have not involved the mind, but in a recent study published in the Journal of American Medicine, an association between Antacids and dementia has arisen. 

The study included 75,000 adults aged 75 and older. In order to qualify to be in the study, the participants needed to be free of dementia, and their use of PPI’s needed to be considered chronic which meant filling a prescription every 3 months for each 18 month period. After an 8-year follow up, the chronic PPI users had a 44% increased risk of dementia compared with those who did not take any medication. Woman had an overall lower risk of dementia than men, and the occasional PPI user had a much lower risk over all. 

It’s important to note that this study does not prove that taking PPI’s causes dementia, but rather that there is an association between long term PPI use and dementia. There may be other factors involved such as people that tend to need PPI’s may have a generally unhealthy diet which could also contribute to dementia. This study did not include what other drugs these elderly people were on, and with more thorough research they may have discovered other links and associations with drugs and dementia. 

It is important to go through all of the medications you are taking at least once a year and talk to your doctor to see if you still need to be on said drugs, or if the dosage could be reduced. Too many people, especially the elderly get used to taking their meds and don’t think to ask their doctors if they can stop or cut back. Of course, never stop taking a medication until you consult your doctor. No one will be more concerned about your health and well being than you, so take responsibility for your health and be your own primary care provider.

(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR)



WELLNESS--Pro means for or in favor of, and biotic means bacteria. Probiotic is a favorable bacterium for your gut. Most people think they are only great for your digestion and elimination, but more and more studies are indicating that probiotics are an important component in order to help many of our health functions. 

Bones are one example of the wide array of probiotic health benefits. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 54 million Americans are currently living with or at risk of developing Osteoporosis. The NOF estimates that 1 in 2 woman over 50 and 1 in 4 men will break a bone due to osteoporosis. By the year 2020 it is estimated that 50% of Americans will have low bone density. 

There are many reasons Osteoporosis occurs. The causes range from low calcium, imbalanced hormones, inflammation, poor diet, and an unhealthy gut. Regarding gut health, there have been multiple studies as of late indicating the link between healthy probiotics and better bone health. The mechanisms by which this happens includes a decrease in gut inflammation in turn leading to an increase in bone density among other reasons.  

While there are some medications for osteoporosis, they have not proven very effective, and many people agree that the best way to avoid and often treat this disease is through nutrition and supplementation. It is important to start with healthy vitamin D levels along with Calcium and probiotics in order to prevent the initial thinning and weakening of bones in the first place. These days many doctors are checking vitamin D3 levels, which is crucial in maintaining many health and immune related functions in the body. 

There is a powerful link between bone weakness and cigarette smoking so adding bone health to the already long list of what people should not smoke cigarettes is fair. Exercise is another way to strengthen those bones. Lifting weights and even brisk walking is a great way to add strength to our bones. 

Adding probiotics will decrease inflammation and in turn help to prevent leaky gut. This occurs when the body is not absorbing nutrients because the mucosal lining of the gut is not fully healthy and in place. Probiotics also help to build the short chain fatty acids, which in turn help to strengthen the bones. 

Very often the probiotics in yogurt are not enough to reach the levels needed for optimum health. There are many options out there for probiotics and I like Mercola. His do not need to be refrigerated and they work very well in building the probiotics levels in the gut. Take your probiotics and keep active as a couple of ways to maintain bone health well into old age.


(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR)




WELLNESS--It was 1996 when the infamous Monsanto introduced a “drought resistant” crop, which is really just another way of saying GMO or Genetically Modified Organism. Ever since that, there has been a war going on regarding labeling our foods containing these organisms.  

There are over 64 countries worldwide that already enforce strict labeling laws in regards to GMO’s. Those countries include 28 nations of the European Union, Japan, Australia, Russia, and even China. While the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization continue to pander to greedy corporations like Monsanto and others that make these chemicals and GMO foods, the American people are becoming more and more outraged. 

In 2014 Vermont became the first state to make GMO labeling mandatory. Connecticut and Maine have also passed similar laws that will go into effect once their neighboring states also pass similar laws. Since these laws have come to pass, there are congress people that have introduced federal legislation developed by powerful food corporations with the intent of denying our right to know what we are eating by making it perfectly legal to not label GMO foods. 

Last week, that law was defeated and activists and other people nation-wide are pushing for a bill that would make labeling GMO foods mandatory. The bill is designed as a win-win even for small companies that labeling fees can hit hard in the pocket book.  

For now, in place of passing nation-wide laws, activists have been more successful taking on companies one by one to get them to label GMO foods. Not long ago Campbell’s Soup agreed to start labeling their GMO products and last week General Mills also bowed to the needs of consumers by announcing that they too will start labeling their GMO foods nation-wide. 

GMO’s should be labeled so people can at least know that the food they are eating contains GMO’s or not. The FDA and WHO may say they are safe, but we all know they have said the same thing about many drugs over the years that have done real damage to people’s health. Drugs like Accutane and Phen-fen to name a few. I for one prefer to know what I’m putting in my body, and I will continue to work to get the word out on the unknown potential dangers of GMO’s and the real need for labeling laws.   


(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.


WELLNESS--When I mention to friends and patients about the dangers of a specific food or cleaning agent they are using I often hear the comment that “everything causes Cancer.” This is simply not true and below I’m going to give you some pointers on how to take the purification of your home and body to the next level.

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WELLNESS--As tempting as that midnight snack might feel when we can’t sleep, late nights coupled with eating is the 1-2 punch your weight and wellness do not need. A study published in PubMed this month shows the link between obesity and sleep called Chronobesity. For a long time we thought that exercise and dietary shifts were enough to squelch obesity, but a growing body research shows otherwise.  

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WELLNESS--In today’s busy world, there never seems to be enough time for us. Add the stress of family on top of work and bills, and it makes getting out of town more challenging than ever. What people don’t realize is there is a clear link between over-working, not taking down time, and coronary heart disease. 

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