Why Healthy Teeth are Essential for a Healthy Life


Did your parents nag you to brush your teeth when you were a child? Did you fight them at every turn when they did? Well, if you’re an adult reading this blog post, I’m guessing (and seriously hoping) that your opinion of oral health care has improved since those days. And if it hasn’t, let me try to convince you that brushing and flossing isn’t just great for your oral health, but visiting a Raleigh dentist is great for your body’s overall health too! Here are 3 great reasons to take care of your teeth — starting today.

1: you’ll be less crazy and have better breath.

And that means fewer nasty bacteria running amok in your mouth! Studies are now finding links between dementia and poor oral health. Could this be because unchecked bacteria are flourishing between those un-brushed teeth? Nasty.

2: you’ll be less likely to get diabetes.

There’s a well-known relationship between periodontitis (serious inflammation in your gums) and diabetes. Taking care of your mouth means no inflammation, which means you won’t have to suffer the horrors of diabetes.

3: you get to keep your teeth.

Forgive me for slipping in a bit of vanity here, but unless you’re an octogenarian, you’ll look more attractive with a full set of chompers in your mouth.

Four Simple Ways to Improve Your Overall Health


Mahatma Gandhi once said that what constitutes real wealth is health and not pieces of gold and silver. I think Mahatma Gandhi knew exactly why he said this. I find it heartbreaking that a lot of people I know fail miserably at keeping their health in optimal condition believing that they are invincible — especially the young ones.

They have this YOLO attitude that they can live a hundred years despite their lack of concern for their health; drinking all night, staying up late, eating microwavable junk and the list goes on. These people do not realize that they are cutting their life short.

The effects of their perpetually detrimental lifestyle will eventually catch up with them sooner or later and let me just say that it’s not all smooth sailing and there’s going to be a lot of pain and suffering because who else is going to take the beating and the repercussions of your poor health choices? Yes, you guessed it right, none other than yourself.

There is no better day than today to rectify the wrong. If you are looking for ways to improve your health here are four simple and doable ways to change your life for the better. A good life starts with a healthy body and mind and you need this more than anything. Follow these tips and your health will significantly improve for the better.


Start with changing your eating habits. If you’ve always been used to ordering greasy takeouts, cut the habit right away and replace it with lots of healthy food.

Give your fridge a makeover and get rid of all the junk you’ve been stacking for the past months.

Funny fridge magnets.

image from themetapicture.com

If it’s still far from its expiration dates, give them away or if you are truly concerned about the health of other people then might as well ditch it in the trash.

It’s better to lose some cash than to lose hours from your life. Go with fruits and vegetables.


Exercise has a lot of health benefits and perhaps one of the most famous health benefit of exercise is it keeps cardiovascular diseases at bay. Exercise helps you get your ideal weight by doing so it helps fights off obesity and diabetes.


If you’re a fan of binge drinking then might as well binge on water and completely skip the booze. Generally, health specialists recommend that we take around eight to ten glasses of water per day. Drinking this much water aids in digestion, skin hydration, detoxification and nutrient absorption among others.


Getting six to eight hours of sleep on average improves your cardiovascular health and it significantly reduces stress levels. People who have enough sleep also have better control over their blood pressure.

Moreover, getting eight hours of sleep is said to help lower cholesterol levels.
If you are looking for ways to improve your overall health these four basic lifestyle changes will do. Once you make it a habit to eat healthy, exercise, load up on water and get good sleep you’ll feel refreshed, revitalized and re-energized like never before.

3 Ways That Hospitals Can Save Money And Reduce Costs

A dollar bill being cut by scissors.

image from forbes.com

Each year, America’s hospitals waste hundreds of billions of dollars in their health care systems. In fact, according to an Institute of Medicine report released in 2012, more than $750 billion was spent on unnecessary health services in 2009 alone.

To say that health care system and hospital operating margins are different today than they were ten years ago may be an understatement. Numerous factors have created a situation where many hospitals, especially smaller hospitals, are simply content with a break–even balance sheet. While 2015 may appear to be a bleak year for hospitals to cut their costs and keep their finances positive, there are things they can do to go beyond simply maintaining solvency.

Americans spend one out of every five dollars on health care. This is according to the CMS, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In 2014, for instance, the cost of health care amounted to $3 trillion. Of that, about $765 billion was wasted due to errors, inefficiency, over-utilization, redundancy, and unnecessary differences in clinical practices.

In addition to this, hospitals also have to deal with the issue of payments that are not rising as fast as hospital expenses. In fact, most payments are actually declining. Consequently, 30% of hospitals currently have a negative operating margin.

Due to these worrying developments, it is no wonder that cost reduction ranks as the top overall strategic concern for hospital management. However, reducing cost is a difficult undertaking in any industry. In the health care industry, the difficulty is further compounded by the need to maintain and/or improve patient satisfaction, quality of care, and health outcomes.

Given the complexity and difficulty of saving money and reducing costs, it is also not surprising that hospital leadership often hire expensive consultants for feasible solutions, only to end up with the same one size fits all answers that are often unsustainable and unattainable. According to a 2014 survey conducted by Strata Decision Technology, 88% of hospitals surveyed claimed to have cost-saving measures in place. Of these, only 17% were able to meet their targets, while 70% achieved some cost savings, but were unable to meet their financial targets.

Most hospitals cited that their cost reduction measures often fell short due to the fact that they were too data intensive and time-consuming. Furthermore, while some health care organizations were able to identify potential savings opportunities, they often found that the actual cost savings were smaller than they hoped for because strategies could not be put into practice due to a lack of accountability for results. They also claimed that accurately tracking cost savings was too difficult and time consuming.

3 Ways for Hospitals to Cut Costs

1. Implementing an e-signature to replace pen and paper forms

As the traditional pen and paper-based world gives way to e-business, forms and documents often require signatures from people, such as customers, external partners, and employees. To address this issue, many organizations are turning to innovative solutions that allow them to get rid of paper altogether. While many organizations are already using digital systems to manage their documents, the final step of having those documents signed often breaks the otherwise fully digitized workflow by requiring users to print out the documents and sign with a pen. This prevents organizations from enjoying the full benefits of automation and adds unnecessary expenses and delays to what can be a completely automated process.

Electronic signatures, or paperless signatures, are legally valid to execute documents that need written signatures. Unfortunately, many hospitals continue to make errors when implementing paperless signature protocols. Such basic errors can result in material liability if a dispute arises. Therefore, when implementing and modifying electronic signature protocols, healthcare providers should follow eight rules:

• Clearly display the relevant terms to the party issuing the signature
• Clearly demonstrate patient consent
• Keep a record of the time, date, document version, and user identification
• Provide an option to receive an emailed or printed copy of the terms
• Avoid unilateral updates to agreements
• Verify that the person signing is the person identified on the electronic document
• Observe the in writing requirements
• Consult with legal counsel to ensure that the paperless signature protocols comply with applicable law.

What health care providers need to solve the problem of escalating costs are easy-to-use tools for electronically signing and authenticating forms and documents. These tools must be able to transform the hospital’s paper–based processes to digital ones by doing the following:

• Reducing or eliminating some paper-related costs, such as scanning, printing, and couriering
• Allowing everyone outside and inside the hospital to sign anytime from any device
• Ensuring prompt turnaround by speeding up all signature–related processes
• Offering a low cost of ownership and a rapid return on investment
• Providing the same level of trust and security that exists with traditional documents
• Guaranteeing non–repudiation by providing solid protection against forgery

Some of the top electronic signature providers include Signority.com, silanis.com, CoSign, and formfast.com.

2. Focusing on the continuum of care

The full-scale shift away from volume–based and fee-for-service measures towards quality-based measures and accountable care organizations is one of the biggest changes taking place in health care. Therefore, hospitals need to focus on the continuum of care if they want to stay profitable. Essentially, hospitals need to look at the admission process, the quality of service provided to enable the most efficient process for a quick discharge, and follow–ups with that discharge.

Health care providers can take it a step further by cultivating mutually beneficial and stronger relationships with physicians. In addition to value–based and quality principles, health care improvement is also centered on managing chronic illnesses, preventive care, and keeping people healthy before a trip to the hospital is required. To accomplish all this while staying profitable, hospitals must actively engage with primary care providers and focus on physician alignment. In a sense, primary care providers are the air traffic controllers for patients.

3. Come up with ways to reduce re-admissions

When a hospital realigns its goals towards the continuum of care, it can then focus on one of the most important cost reduction measures: reducing re-admissions. Hospital re-admissions negatively impact a hospital’s bottom line in a number of ways, including:

• Scrutiny from patients and private health insurers
• High costs associated with re-admissions

Fortunately, hospitals can successfully reduce their re-admissions by providing resources to patients to ensure that they are following the right post-discharge steps and ensuring patients attend post-discharge office visits routinely. Most of the responsibilities, however, fall on a hospital’s preventive care staff and case management, who will need proper training to ensure readmission rates go down.

In addition to the cost cutting measures outlined above, hospitals can also save money and reduce costs by controlling labor costs, reducing supply costs by working with physicians and vendors, improving deficiencies in the OR and ER, ensuring proper maintenance of medical equipment, and outsourcing some services. In addition, going green can also have a positive impact on a hospital’s bottom line.

As the federal government continues to cut Medicare reimbursements to hospitals, reduce funding from the NIH, and reduce Medicare reimbursement s to hospitals with unusually high readmission rates, many hospitals are looking for ways to strengthen their bottom lines. When it comes to cutting costs and saving money, hospital executives should examine overlooked areas where costs can be trimmed and find smarter ways to pay for operational costs.

How to reduce your cholesterol naturally

A pile of healthy nuts and legumes.High cholesterol levels can cause serious health risks. So it is important to maintain low LDL cholesterol levels. Consider the following tips to help you reduce your cholesterol naturally without opting for high doses of statins:

1. Lower your intake of foods high in trans fats, saturated fats, and dietary cholesterol.

Foods containing high amounts of saturated fat include red meat, butter, low-fat dairy products, full fat, coconut oil, and palm oil. If you notice partially hydrogenated fat among the ingredients of any food label, know that the food contains trans fats. On the other hand, foods rich in dietary cholesterol include shellfish, organ meats, and egg yolks. But a type of fat, omega-3 fatty acids, has proven to protect the body against heart disease. Other great sources include cold-water fish such as mackerel, salmon, halibut, herring, sardines, and trout. Source: Harvard School of Public Health.

Below are key guidelines to help you translate the above tips into practical daily food planning:

2. Pick non-fat dairy products only, two servings a day.
Also do limit your daily intake of poultry, fish and meat to no more than 4 ounces. Select the food choices listed below (in order of importance or from best to worst). Always try to select from the top and, if possible, pick omega-3 rich fish at least twice or thrice a week.

– Omega-3-rich fish. Top/Best choice
– Mollusks (oysters, scallops, clams, and mussels)
– Crustaceans (crabs, shrimps, crayfish, and lobster)
– Poultry (turkey and chicken – white meat)
– Game meat (ostrich, elk, venison, and bison)
– Red Meat (beef, lamb, pork, and veal). Least/ Worst choice

Typically, red meats should not be considered unless there isn’t any other option. They are the least desirable, as they not only contain the highest amounts of saturated fats, but also has high amounts of heme iron, which is more likely to raise the risk of Colo-rectal cancer and type 2 diabetes. They also change the gut’s microbiome, possibly raising the risk of cardiovascular disease.

3. Consume more fiber-rich foods (soluble fiber from beans, barley, oats, vegetables, and fruits).

Soluble fiber-rich foods, such as oats, oat bran, sweet potatoes, barley, yams, and peas, are known to lower cholesterol. Other sources include legumes (pinto beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans). Vegetables that are soluble fiber-rich include eggplant, carrots, beets, and okra. Berries are good fruit sources.

4. Always choose protein-rich plants over meat

Protein-rich food plants like legumes (beans, lentils, and beans) are nutritionally rich, healthy food choice, and an alternative to meat. They not only lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, but also keep blood sugar, insulin levels, and cancer risk low.
Nuts and seeds are known to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, helping you avoid high blood pressure. If you want to avoid blood-pressure-raising salt, always choose raw/ dry roasted, unsalted alternatives.

5. Lose excess weight

The numerous benefits attributed to weight loss include improving cholesterol profile and preventing diseases common in industrialized societies, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, gout, heart attack, and various types of cancer. Remember to limit fat intake of “good fats” like olive oil, as all fats are calorie-rich and heavy consumption may lead to weight gain.
Note that the above-named food groups contain cholesterol-lowering properties.

6. Consider plant sterol supplements

Plants contain naturally occurring substances called sterols. A gram of plant sterol from supplements such as CholestOff could greatly lower LDL cholesterol levels, as they do not contain the trans fats, sugar, calories, and salt found in many plant-sterol-enriched foods.

7. Take psyllium (for instance Metamucil)

Typical psyllium husk seed grains are sold either as a soluble fiber supplement, a laxative, or both. Metamucil, for instance, is the best-known brand. However, psyllium can also be found in less expensive store brands. According to studies, taking 9 to 10 grams of psyllium on a daily basis could result in reduced LDL levels. This is the equivalent of 3 teaspoons of Sugar-Free Metamucil. To benefit from the cholesterol-lowering properties, take one teaspoon together with water 15 -30 minutes before your meals.

While these 6 tips can help you reduce your cholesterol naturally, they do no guarantee low cholesterol levels. So after trying the tips and you still find that your LDL levels remain too high, talk to your medical practitioner about other cholesterol-lowering alternatives like statins. The key to reducing your cholesterol levels lies in eating the right diet, as this option has no adverse side effects.

Vitamin C therapy explained

A tipped-over bottle of vitamin C pills on a white surface.

image from koshervitaminsblog.com

When you hear about vitamin C therapy people are usually referring to the intake of vitamin C at higher doses than the daily recommended dietary intake of the vitamin. It’s a somewhat controversial therapy, but in this article we’re not taking any sides.

Let’s review some science and leave the conclusions aside.

Therapy dosage

A healthy adult is required to take at least 45 mg of the vitamin everyday while an infant has a lower recommended dietary intake of 25 to 30mg of the vitamin. In the case of vitamin C therapy, the daily intake of the vitamin is increased up to the upper tolerable limit of 2 grams. This upper limit is associated to the mild laxative effects that accompany the intake of the vitamin at higher than normal doses.

According to some studies, the reasons for taking vitamin C at higher than the recommended dietary intake are quite numerous. This includes the treatment of cancers and other immune-deficiency conditions. In order to under to fully grasp the potential benefits to be derived from high dose of the vitamin, it is important to first understand the role of vitamin C within the mammalian body. It is important to note that the mild laxative effect is the main negative side-effect of vitamin C therapy. This makes vitamin C therapy relatively safe since the body can easily get rid of excess levels of the vitamin through the liver and kidneys.

The role of vitamin C in the body

Vitamin C is used in the body primarily for the synthesis of collagen, the most abundant protein in mammals. Collagen is the main component in the various connective tissues found in the body of a mammal and is found in the ligaments, tendons, muscle fibers and in the skin. Other than collagen the vitamin also plays an important role in the production of some of body’s major bio-molecules which includes a host of body’s hormones and enzymes. Vitamin C is also crucial component in the activation and optimal functioning of some of the body’s principal enzymes.

The vitamin also functions as an anti-oxidant whose role is to alleviate the detrimental effects of free radicals on the body. Free radicals are unstable atoms that are produced as a by-product of some of the body’s metabolic processes. For example during the breakdown of sugars to release energy in the body during respiration, stable oxygen molecules are broken down to produce free unstable oxygen atoms. These atoms the tendency of attacking and gradually destroying cell membranes which degrades the body’s various tissues.

It is worth noting that the human body is incapable of synthesizing the vitamin as is the case with most other mammals. This is why human beings have to take the vitamin by consuming mostly fruits belonging to the citrus family which include lemons, oranges and tangerines. However taking dietary supplements of the vitamin remains the easiest way of ensuring the body gets the recommended dietary intake of the vitamin.

Benefits associated with Vitamin C therapy

Some of the more well-known benefits associated with the intake of vitamin C include relief from the symptoms from colds and flu and as the cure of scurvy, a condition marked by low-energy and a compromised immunity. Other conditions that improve with vitamin C therapy include pneumonia, diabetes, leukemia, herpes, arthritis, and hepatitis. However, the most outstanding benefits arising from vitamin C therapy are linked to cancer. Source: The New York Times.

Vitamin C & the other big “C”

image of Linus Carl Pauling

image from nobelprize.org

The study of vitamin C’s role in the treatment of cancer began in the 1970’s with clinical trials conducted by Dr. Linus Pauling. Various more recent clinical trials have shown that vitamin C does have a role in alleviating the symptoms of a wide range of cancers including prostate cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer and various skin cancers. It is worth noting that these findings have been observed where the vitamin has been combined with other cancer treatment options such as chemotherapy.

The observed benefits of combining vitamin C therapy with other cancer treatment therapies been attributed to the vitamin’s ability of ensuring cells retain their structural integrity. This prevents the corruption of the cell’s DNA by carcinogenic agents emanating from neighboring cancerous cells. This in effect slows down these spread of cancer cells within the body.

A number of studies conducted by Dr. Frederic R. Kleener in the 1940’s did suggest that vitamin C had a role in preventing the development of various forms of cancer in the body. This is attributed to the vitamin’s strong anti-oxiding ability which ensured that the DNA contained in the body’s cells remained intact.

Last updated: June 2nd 2015