Want to avoid a stroke? Avoid these two foods.

6a00e55255b4628834019b00502860970c-200wiA number of recent reports show a dramatic rise in strokes in young and middle aged Americans. That included one report of a 51% rise in strokes in males 14- 34 years old (K Doheney Health Day). Causes were not found in the study, but explanations offered included increased obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, salt consumption, and recreational drug use.

I suggest that anything that increases fibrin formation and clotting within the blood vessels, is a possible culprit. Increased high temperature cooked foods, sugar, and other substances which lead to the process known as “glycation” may be factors in this change.

If you want to lower your risk for having a stroke, avoid eating sugary and fried foods. (Oh, and this may help clear acne naturally, too.)

To your health,

-Dr. Dattner

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine

4 Ways to Stop Varicose Veins

6a00e55255b4628834017d4321224b970c-200wiVaricose veins are caused by pressure from the blood in the veins.  When there is prolonged pressure from standing upright, hormonal changes, and weakening of the elements of the vessels, the valves begin to break down, causing the veins to appear on the surface of the legs.

There are several ways to relieve the pressure. Putting your legs up in the air on a desk or doing a shoulder stand and other upside down Yoga poses throughout the day are also very helpful, if you are careful about your spine.

Eating a diet rich in bioflavinoids, and taking bioflavinoid supplements, helps prevent and improve disorders of the veins, blood vessels, and capillaries.   

When prolonged standing cannot be avoided, be sure to wear comfortable shoes with good arch support. Some walking or movement of the legs periodically will help the pumping action to return blood. Your stockings should not bind anywhere. Any signs of pain or tenderness in the veins should immediately be reported to a physician, because of the possibility of venous thrombosis, with a clot that could break loose and block blood flow in vital organs like the lungs, heart or brain.

Top Four Tips for Healthy Veins from the Holistic Dermatologist:

  1. Wear good, supportive shoes, elevate your legs above the heart regularly throughout the day, and/or wear compression stockings at a pressure suggested by your doctor.
  2. Take horse chestnut extract standardized to contain 50-90 mg of aescin, 2- 3 times per day. Avoid with pregnancy, kidney or liver disease.
  3. Eat a diet rich in vitamin C and bioflavioids, or supplement them, in order to strengthen the blood vessels.
  4. Seek medical care if veins become hot, tender or rashy.

To your health,

-Dr. Alan M Dattner, MD
Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

Grape Seed Extract Protects Against Skin Cancer

6a00e55255b4628834017eea94be8d970d-200wiI just read a study evaluating the use of various vitamins and supplements and likelihood of getting skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma of the skin) and wanted to let you know the exciting news about the results. The study was performed at the Kaiser Permenente Hospitals in San Francisco (where else?)

Here’s the scientific part: four hundred fifteen patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) were age-matched with an equal number without cancer. They were questioned about their use of Vitamins A, C, D, and E, and grape seed extract. Grape seed extract (not to be confused with grapefruit seed extract) contains powerful anti-oxidants including “proanthocyanidins”.  These neutralize “free radicals” generated by sunlight, and help prevent sun damage to the DNA that leads to cancer.

What it means for you: The study showed that there was a significant association between use of grape seed extract and reduced development of skin cancer. Multivitamin use was associated with a borderline significant reduction in SCC’s. Vitamins A, C, E, and D were not associated with any change in likelihood of developing SCC. The only unsettling variable in the study was the increased prevalence of blond and red hair in the SCC group (unsettling because this means that people with lighter complexions seemed to have more incidence of cancer.)

Although there were some potential faults in the study design, it does point to the potential protective effects of powerful antioxidants like grape seed extract in protecting against squamous cell cancer of the skin. It does not remove the need for sun protection, but may offer protective additional protection.

To your health,

-Dr. Dattner

Holistic Dermatology, New York