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International Blog Spotlight-Thailand

Dietary Fat Guidelines: Thinking Outside the Box
Patana Teng-umnuay MD PhD

While most of us crave and enjoy fatty foods, we simultaneously know that high fat diets are primary causes of obesity and cardiovascular disease. Yet recent studies have demonstrated that eliminating all fat from our diets will not improve blood cholesterol, reduce cardiovascular disease, or prevent obesity: our body can create its own fat from carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates such as sugar and white rice will raise blood glucose and stimulate insulin secretion; the insulin hormone turns sugar into fat. Hence, one of the principal reasons that people are overweight is due to the consumption of too many carbohydrates. Yet because fat is high in calories, if we overeat, we will ultimately gain weight.

Because studies have indicated that the levels of serum LDL-cholesterol is associated with coronary heart disease, people often try to avoid having high cholesterol diets. In 2015, however, the American Nutritional Society announced that high cholesterol diets do not increase the risk of elevated cholesterol or heart disease. The body is able to synthesize cholesterol from acetyl CoA, which is derived from an oxidation reaction of fat and carbohydrate. Therefore, consuming too many carbohydrates and saturated fats can increase cholesterol synthesis—and the risk of cardiovascular disease—while cholesterol in diet inhibits cholesterol production.

In order to choose the ‘right’ type of dietary fat, people must be educated surrounding the various types of fatty acid. Saturated fat is a type of fat that primarily comes from red meat, poultry, and dairy products—yet this fat contains many toxins, and can be considered to raise the risk of cancers. Plant-based saturated fats, such as coconut oil and palm oil, are enriched with medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs), which can passively diffuse from the GI tract to the portal system, and can convert more rapidly into energy than animal fats. Therefore, consuming moderate amounts of coconut milk will not raise blood LDL-cholesterol.

Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been chemically processed into solid fat, such as margarine. During the past few decades, trans fats have been used as a replacements for animal fats, because of the falsely propagated idea that they are healthier. Yet numerous studies and research indicate that consuming large quantities of trans fats will increase the ratio of LDL-C to HDL-C, and raise the risk of coronary heart disease—more than saturated fats. Trans fats have been banned in the United States since 2015, and recent studies show that there have been declining statistics stroke and myocardial infarction.

In terms of vegetable oil, it is critical to understand its components. The omega-6 fatty acid is the source of atherogenic and inflammatory eicosanoids—an underlying cause of most chronic diseases including diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis. Dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil and omega-9 fatty acids in olive oil displace omega-6 fatty acids in the plasma membrane, which results in the production of less atherogenic and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids. Both types of these fatty acids are linked with a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease, dementia, and cancers.

Dr. Teng-umnuay received his medical degree with first class honors from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand in 1986, with board board certification in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. He then earned his PhD at the University of Florida in Molecular Cell Biology in 1998. Dr. Teng-umnuay is a well-known lecturer on nutraceutical supplements, stem cell biology, and Anti-Aging medicine. He is a faculty member of the Anti-aging and Regenerative program of Dhurakij Pundit University, and also serves as a consulting physician for S Medical Clinic and Phyathai 2 Hospital in Thailand.Dr. Teng-umnuay is currently the vice-president of the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine, Thailand.

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ATTN: Pharmacists

The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy is proposing changes to the ways in which prescriptions for controlled substances are written, hoping to impose ICD-1O codes. ICD-10 codes are based upon the International Classification of Diseases, published by the World Health Organization, which uses unique alphanumeric codes to identify diseases and other health problems. These records are used by healthcare professionals for storage assistance, and retrieval of diagnostic information; ICD records are also used in the compilation and publication of national mortality / morbidity statistics.

For those pharmacists who use e-prescribing, software updates would likely be implemented; for those who use paper prescriptions, ICD-10 codes would require additional fields. For pharmacists who do not currently include ICD-10 codes in their prescribing software or electronic medical records, they would be required to locate the accurate ICD-10 code prior to filling prescriptions. These changes would likely add to the administrative burdens of pharmacists, as they would be compelled to obtain information from prescribers or prescribers’ agents prior to prescription dispensations. Further concerns focus on privacy, whether e-prescribing systems will be able to accommodate these changes, and–perhaps most importantly–concerns that these requirements would take away significant time from patient care.

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Physician of the Month: Shaily Shah, DO, FAARM, ABAARM

A4M valued member Shaily Shah, DO, FAARM, ABAARM shares insight from her professional experience in this Physician of the Month feature.

Dr. Shaily Shah is an integrative medicine physician committed to the health and longevity of her patients. Prior to discovering A4M, she practiced internal medicine in a large multi-specialty group. She realized there were additional ways to help her patients beyond traditional medicine, and at the encouragement of a colleague, she entered into the fellowship program through A4M. After becoming board-certified, she opened her own practice, where she incorporates both traditional and anti-aging techniques in the management of her patients.

Q: Before joining A4M, what was your medical background?

I was in my first year of practice as an internal medicine physician in St. Louis, MO. Prior to that I was in internal medicine residency at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, NY.

Q: What anti-aging techniques have you incorporated into your practice? How did you so?

As an internist it was quite simple to incorporate anti-aging techniques in my practice. I was already treating a wide variety of diseases, and I found anti-aging techniques blended in seamlessly. They allowed me to offer an alternative form of treatment, as well as a complementary form of treatment to traditional practices. I currently utilize BHRT, vitamin/nutrient optimization, gut healing, detoxification, weight management and, of course, functional management of chronic disease (hypertension, diabetes, major depression, etc.).

Q: What are the benefits of practicing anti-aging medicine–both as a professional, and for your practice?

I get to spend more time with my patients. This time is critical in establishing the patient-physician relationship and in formulating their treatment plan. I also get to utilize advance medical technologies.

Q: What are the changes you see in your patients?

My patients are healthier and happier than the ones I saw in my traditional medicine practice. They are able to cut back or eliminate their medications, and they have a better quality of life.

Q: Why would you recommend Anti-Aging Medicine to your peers?

Anti-aging medicine is the future of medicine. It provides a benefit to patients’ overall health that they are not currently getting from traditional medicine. It focuses on the root cause of disease as opposed to masking it with multiple medications.

Q: Where do you see the future of Anti-Aging medicine 20 years from now?

Anti-aging medicine will be more widespread. I believe it will be taught in medical schools, and incorporated in various specialties. It will have a wider range of acceptance because this type of medicine truly works.


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