Precision Based Medicine Offers a New Approach in Treating IBS-by Dr. Richard Firshein

As a physician, one of the greatest senses of accomplishments comes from our patient’s success.  It is a collaboration that takes hard work on both the part of the physician and of the patient. Judy was one such patient.

Judy and Her Rocky Road to Recovery….

Over the past 16 years, Judy had seen numerous specialists whom collectively, represented hundreds of years of medical experience. Yet they could not figure out what the causes of her underlying medical conditions were. In truth, they were looking in the wrong direction. She presented with numerous chronic symptoms which had worsened or progressed.

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Natural Compounds Help to Inhibit Prostate Tumor Growth- by Dr. Richard Firshein

Longevity is defined by the obstacles we must face as our bodies age. For men, one such obstacle is prostate cancer. It is estimated that one in five men will develop a tumor in their prostate. Second to skin cancer, it is the most common form of cancer in men. In cases with an early diagnosis, it may be a source of morbidity leading to impotence and other urologic complications.

In a recent post, I discussed the role of specific toxins and how they cause cancer. This was yet another emerging body of evidence, in regards to how cancer may die with prevention; particularly with foods and/or supplements.
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How to Prevent Environmental Toxins from Damaging Our DNA- by Dr. Richard Firshein

A new area of research targets molecules which are more prone to cause cancer, and natural ways we can help to prevent this. Recent scientific evidence has shown that specific toxins found in cigarette smoke, plastics, diesel, and ultra-violet radiation create damaging lesions within our DNA. The findings published in Chemical Research in Toxicology, provides new insight and understanding as to how environmental agents affect our DNA repair mechanisms; and why certain toxins are so damaging.

The answer at least partly, is due to certain chemicals which contain large difficult to remove molecules, that stick to our DNA.  Examples of these chemicals are those found in automobile exhaust and cigarette smoke ((also known as PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)) which possess the capability to attach to our DNA. Due to the size of their molecules, our bodies struggle to remove said compounds; unlike those of a smaller size which are easily removed.

Most individuals possess a specific repair mechanism-equivalent to a scissor- called NER (Nucleotide Excision Repair). NER is what allows our body to cut out/remove damaged DNA, and replace it with a new copied set of DNA fragments; without the damage or injuries caused by toxins. Conversely, there are some individual who lack the ability of creating such a repair.

One of the advantages of preventive DNA testing, is to understand which patients are at risk for certain cancers; along with which natural compounds are best suited to mitigate this problem. For example, in prostate related cancer it may be tomatoes; which contain both vitamin a and lycopene.

This is one of the various reasons why I incorporate DNA based testing and treatments for most of my patients. It is also the reason I recommend using specific antioxidants, which not only help with DNA repair; but can also halt the subsequent steps once cancer has been initiated.

The good news is, that with time, our bodies remove many of the compounds that damage our immune system at a genetic level. Understanding and determining which healthy compounds work best for individual patients, is where Precision Based Medicine distinguishes itself from traditional medicine; and allows us to provide tailored treatment to each individual patient

 

 

If You are Concerned about Alzheimer’s or have Noticed a Change in Memory, it May be Time to Ditch the Sugar and Opt for a Healthier Lifestyle- by Dr. Richard Firshein

A critical area of concern in the field of Anti-Aging Medicine is the prevention of Dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease. I have seen this medical condition wreak havoc on individuals and families. There has been little hope for prevention until now.

A new study shows that the death rate from Alzheimer’s has risen 55% in the last 15 years. This dramatic change also appears to be a significant new risk for increasing mortality rates. Globally, there are more than 50 million people affected by Alzheimer’s, and that is estimated to increase to 125 million by 2050.

Alzheimer’s mainly affects people over the age of 65 (some research suggests symptoms can occur as early as the early 40’s) and the most common symptom and effect is chronic disabling memory loss.  Other common symptoms/conditions associated with the disease are impaired language, difficulty in concentrating/ decision making, confusion and ultimately disorientation. It’s both emotionally and physically draining not only to the individuals, but their families as well. Read More

Exercising May Lead to a Longer Life- by Dr. Richard Firshein

I often recommend exercise to my patients. Determining the type of exercise and duration depends on the individual. We all know that exercise has been linked to better outcomes in heart disease, certain types of cancer and diabetes.

What we haven’t known are the exact mechanisms as to why. New DNA tests help to quantify the benefits. A new study out of Brigham Young University revealed that if you work out extensively, and are willing to sweat, you may be able to reduce one type of aging that happens inside your cells. Read More

Summer Detox: As Featured in DuJour Magazine

Detoxing Done Right

A doctor weighs in

The buzz about detoxifying teas, cold-pressed juices and other trendy products that promise to flush out toxins can truly be deafening. In an attempt to find the perfect plan for a pre-summer detox, DuJour turned to Dr. Richard Firshein of the Firshein Center for Integrative Medicine in New York City. He often recommends detoxes to his patients because of the many benefits of fasting, and says, “When you have all of those allergens and sensitivities, and you have all of these toxins and you eliminate them, you give the liver a chance to recover, and that’s the basic foundational principle of a detox.”

Dr. Richard Firshein

Despite universal benefits, there’s actually no universal way to detox. Each of Dr. Firshein’s patients receives an individualized plan of action based on extensive evaluation. “We use a lot of sophisticated testing—DNA testing, we look at toxins, there are biomes which look at gut flora, allergies, vitamin levels, levels of free radical activity, and with that information we’re able to put together a plan,” he explained. While no two patients—and therefore no two detoxes—are exactly alike, Dr. Firshein outlined some important basic rules to know before embarking on a detox.

Calorie count

Patients typically will ingest one third of the calories they normally would, and Dr. Firshein cautions that patients taking in under 1200 calories per day be medically supervised.

Detox-approved foods

“I use a gluten free, rice-based protein drink that has a number of detoxifying nutrients in it,” says Dr. Firshein. Foods often added on top of this include vegetable or bone broth, a serving of mustard seeds, a yogurt, or even four ounces of steamed salmon with asparagus or broccoli in some cases.

Juicing

Juice may be seen as the quintessential component of cleansing, but it doesn’t always make an appearance in Dr. Firshein’s plan. Sometimes he will add a green juice to the mix if a patient is sick and needs more nutrition than the typical detox provides, but he always proceeds with caution. “You want to be careful because a lot of commercial juices contain a lot of sugar,” he says. “You want to check the labels, make sure that they’re not getting more than seven or eight grams of sugar per serving. That’s still on the high end—about a teaspoon of sugar—but to make it palatable some people really need a little bit.” To put things in perspective, the popular BluePrint cleanse contains juices with up to 51 grams of sugar in a serving.

Detoxing vs. cleansing

These words are not interchangeable to Dr. Firshein. A detox is the process described above, cutting calories and eating only certain foods for a number of days in order to eliminate toxins. “In the cleanse I add in some things that really clean out the gut to clean out the colon, and that’s why we have things like flax seed, magnesium preparations, or natural supplements like cascara and senna. That really just clears out the gut because for a lot of people they’re toxic not just because of the things they eat and consume, but also because of the gut bacteria,” says Dr. Firshein.

When to detox

“I think a reasonable approach would be every two months,” says Dr. Firshein. “I think that if someone wanted to do it quarterly or twice a year, they’re still going to get enormous benefits from it. It will help them reset the way that their body is functioning and give them the optional nutrition.” It sounds difficult to cut calories so often, but the benefits can make the sacrifice worth it. “People go through a detox and then they suddenly realize—you know that epiphany—that they’re feeling so much better, they have so much more energy, they feel more vital, they think more clearly,” says Dr. Firshein.