The People's Pharmacy Radio Program Everything from home remedies to the latest breakthrough drugs are discussed on The People's Pharmacy. Pharmacologist Joe Graedon and medical anthropologist Terry Graedon talk to leading experts to discuss issues relating to drugs, herbs, home remedies, vitamins and related health topics.
The People's Pharmacy Radio Program

The People's Pharmacy Radio Program

From North Carolina Public Radio

Everything from home remedies to the latest breakthrough drugs are discussed on The People's Pharmacy. Pharmacologist Joe Graedon and medical anthropologist Terry Graedon talk to leading experts to discuss issues relating to drugs, herbs, home remedies, vitamins and related health topics.More from The People's Pharmacy Radio Program »

    The People's Pharmacy Radio Program

Most Recent Episodes

Show 1126: Can You Find Your Best Diet?

People get excited about their favorite diets. Maybe you do, too. Are you a low-carb champion or a low-fat fan? Which one really is your best diet? The DIETFITS Study: A big study from the Stanford Prevention Research Center assigned 600 people to either a healthy low-fat diet or a healthy low-carb diet. (No junk food allowed in either one.) People followed their assigned diets for a year and then the scientists compared the amount of weight lost by each group. Average weight loss was astonishingly close. Altogether, people in the study lost a total of 6500 pounds. That might have been expected, since previous studies have shown a wide range of weight loss results within each type of diet plan and not much difference between them. The DIETFITS study (standing for Diet Intervention Examining The Factors Interacting with Treatment Success) planned to see if they could figure out which is the best diet for specific individuals. They looked at a metabolic marker, insulin secretion, and at a set of three genes that have previously been linked to weight. However, neither of these markers predicted who would do better on a low-fat regime and who would thrive on a low-carb approach. More Work to Do: Consequently, scientists have a lot more work to do before they can identify your best diet. But they did discover that emotional and psychological factors are important. People who were very successful at losing weight told the researchers that the study helped them change their relationship to food. Many found that becoming more mindful about their meals made a big difference. Find out more about the study and what we know about healthy eating. This Week's Guest: Christopher Gardner, PhD, holds the Rehnborg Farquhar endowed chair of medicine at Stanford University and is director of nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. The DIETFITS study he led was published in JAMA on February 20, 2018. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD or use the dropdown menu to download the MP3.

Show 1125: How Can You Find Your Sleep Solution?

You may have read or heard that adequate sleep is a pillar of good health, like exercise and a healthy diet. Sleep affects blood pressure and heart disease, metabolism and obesity, the immune system, cognitive function and mood. But if you can't get enough sleep, that information is more frustrating than helpful. What is interfering with your sleep, and how can you find the best sleep solution? How Much Sleep Do You Really Need? Babies sleep a lot, and sometimes the very elderly do, too. How do sleep needs differ at various ages? How can you tell if you are really getting enough? Certain medications can make it difficult for people to fall asleep or stay asleep. Others may disrupt the normal stages of sleep. Which are the most common culprits, and what can be done about them? Sleeping Pills: People who frequently toss and turn at night may look to sleeping pills like eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata) and zolpidem (Ambien) as a sleep solution. What should you know about the benefits and risks of these medications? Other commonly used drugs such as trazodone and Seroquel have never even been approved for sleep problems. Over-the-counter sleep aids also have pros and cons. People who can't turn off their thoughts might want to consider a device called a MUSE that can help practice meditation and quieting brain activity. What Is Good Sleep Hygiene? When experts recommend "good sleep hygiene," what the heck do they mean? How much does it help to exercise early and take a hot bath an hour before bedtime? Find out about non-drug approaches to restless legs and other sleep problems. This Week's Guest: Dr. Chris Winter is a board certified sleep medicine specialist and neurologist. He has worked with professional sports organizations including the Cleveland Indians, The New York Rangers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Since 2008 Dr Winter has served as the Men's Health magazine sleep advisor and he blogs for the Huffington Post. Dr. Winter owns Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine Clinic and CNSM consulting in Charlottesville VA. Dr. Winter is the author of The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It His website: http://www.cvilleneuroandsleep.com/ Photo credit – Jen Fariello Photography Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD Download the mp3

Show 1124: Should You Be Taking Vitamin Supplements?

What is the value of vitamin supplements? There is no consensus on whether most people would benefit. Much of the research on multivitamins does not show a strong effect in preventing cardiovascular disease or cancer. Consequently, doctors often conclude that vitamin supplements are unnecessary. What Is a Well-Balanced Diet? Instead, they suggest that everyone follow a well-balanced diet. That is certainly good advice, but it doesn't seem to be practical for all Americans. For one thing, not all experts agree on exactly what constitutes the healthiest eating patterns. How do you define a well-balanced diet? Do you think you meet the criteria most of the time? The Experts Evaluate Vitamin Supplements: We talk with two outstanding physicians in this arena, with very different perspectives on whether vitamin supplements can be helpful. Dr. JoAnn Manson is heading two large studies on supplements, but she believes that most people don't need them. Dr. Tieraona Low Dog is one of the country's leading experts on supplements; on the contrary, she says, too many Americans don't eat properly and could benefit from multivitamins as nutrition insurance. Both agree that people taking certain medications such as acid-suppressing drugs really benefit from targeted supplementation such as vitamin B12 and magnesium. Call Us: Listen to our experts explain their approaches and think about whether or not you would benefit from a multivitamin or other supplement. Ask Joe and Terry about whether your medications create special nutritional needs and tell us about your experience with supplements. 888-472-3366 on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 7 to 8 am EDT or email radio@peoplespharmacy.com This Week's Guests: Tieraona Low Dog, MD, is the founder of Medicine Lodge Ranch: A Natural Medicine Academy. She is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of integrative medicine, dietary supplements, herbal medicine and women's health. Dr. Low Dog is a founding member of the American Board of Physician Specialties, American Board of Integrative Medicine and the Academy of Women's Health. She was elected Chair of the US Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplements/Botanicals Expert Committee and was appointed to the Scientific Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Her books include Healthy at Home: Get Well and Stay Well Without Prescriptions and Fortify Your Life: Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and More. The photo is of Dr. Low Dog. Her website is drlowdog.com JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH, is chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She is a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health at Harvard Medical School. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99 Buy the CD

Show 1123: What Are the Unexpected Dangers of Medical Devices?

Medical devices are far more common than you might imagine. One American in ten has an implanted defibrillator, pacemaker, artificial hip or knee joint, surgical mesh or other device. How rigorously are such devices tested before they can be used? How Does the FDA Regulate Medical Devices? You would imagine that the Food and Drug Administration would be even more careful in its oversight of devices than it is with drugs. However, that would be a false assumption. The FDA does not require the same level of testing for medical devices. Scandals about joint replacements, surgical mesh and birth control devices such as the Essure have not captured public concern. That's largely because patients are told that the latest and greatest equipment is better and safer. Unfortunately, we often lack the research data to support that claim. The Dangers of Medical Devices: Learn how the FDA has stumbled on its approval of devices that we wear or carry within our bodies. What should we know about the danger within us? This Week's Guests: Jeanne Lenzer is an award-winning medical investigative journalist and former Knight Science Journalism fellow. She is a longtime contributor to the The BMJ (formerly, the British Medical Journal), and her articles, reviews and commentary have appeared in the New York Times, Smithsonian, the Atlantic, The New Republic, Discover, Slate, Mother Jones and many other outlets. She is the author of The Danger Within Us: America's Untested, Unregulated Medical Device Industry and One Man's Battle to Survive It. The photograph of Ms. Lenzer is by A. M. La Hanko. Diana Zuckerman, PhD, is
 President of the National Center for Health Research. Websites are: www.center4research.org and www.stopcancerfund.org Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD Download the mp3

Show 1122: Can You Keep Fast Food from Killing You?

Fast food is taking over the American diet, and the effects are deadly. Processed meats, such as pepperoni or bologna, could be considered carcinogenic. Moreover, highly processed foods and fried foods set us up for heart disease and dementia. All the foods in bags and boxes with white flour and synthetic ingredients are a major source of calories but provide very little in the way of crucial micronutrients. What can we do about this problem? Is Junk Food Addictive? People who eat highly processed treats with lots of sugar, salt and industrial fats may find it challenging to give them up. Yet the food industry may be aware that these foods affect the reward center of the brain in much the same way as certain drugs. Calories that hit the bloodstream quickly may stimulate the dopamine-fueled reward centers of the brain. How can we avoid junk food addiction and adopt healthier eating habits? Feeding Our Children: Kids may like fast food and sweets, but such a diet is terrible for their developing brains. What should we be feeding our children to promote their lifelong health? Can we learn to retrain our taste buds so that we prefer foods that are good for us? Dr. Fuhrman believes that unhealthy eating has a negative impact on emotional health and that nutritional excellence is therapeutically powerful. What Should We Eat Instead of Fast Food? Dr. Fuhrman recommends we focus on the quality of what we are eating. He offers the memnomic GBOMBS: greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds. All of these foods are rich in nutrients and absorbed slowly. Recipes such as fudgy black bean brownies use no white flour or sugar and fit well into a whole-food plant-based diet. The recipe can be found on Dr. Fuhrman's website, as well as below. This Week's Guest: Joel Fuhrman MD is a board-certified family physician, nutritional researcher, six-time New York Times bestselling author, and President of the Nutritional Research Foundation. Dr. Fuhrman is on a mission to wipe out heart disease, diabetes and cancer with his best-selling books and PBS television shows which detail how you can reverse chronic illnesses nutritionally and naturally. His newest book, (with Robert Phillips) is Fast Food Genocide: How Processed Food is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It. His website is https://www.drfuhrman.com/ The photo of Dr. Fuhrman is by Sandra Nissen. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99 Buy the CD Download the mp3 Fudgy Black Bean Brownies Makes 16 Squares INGREDIENTS 2 cups cooked black beans or canned, no-salt-added or low-sodium black beans, drained 1 1/4 cups dates, pitted 2 tablespoons raw almond butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup natural, non-alkalized cocoa powder 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 200°F. Combine the black beans, dates, almond butter, and vanilla in a food processor or high-powered blender. Blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again. Pour into a very lightly oiled 8×8-inch baking pan. Bake for 90 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into small squares. NOTE: These brownies can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week. For an added treat, serve with a dollop of Avocado Chocolate Pudding (page 296) on top. PER SERVING: CALORIES 94; PROTEIN 3g; CARBOHYDRATES 19g; TOTAL FAT 1.9g; SATURATED FAT 0.4g; SODIUM 1mg; FIBER 4.2g; BETA-CAROTENE 13ug; CALCIUM 30mg; IRON 1.1mg; FOLATE 37ug; MAGNESIUM 43mg; ZINC 0.6mg; SELENIUM 0.6ug From EAT TO LIVE COOKBOOK: 200 Delicious Nutrient-Rich Recipes for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Reversing Disease, and Lifelong Health. Copyright © 2013 by Joel Fuhrman, MD. Reprinted with permission by HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.

Show 1121: How Can We Protect Children from Environmental Poisons?

Since the middle of the last century, more than 85,000 chemicals have been developed and used. In many cases, they persist in the environment long after their immediate utility has vanished. The World Health Organization attributes more than one-third of childhood mortality to environmental causes. Are environmental poisons contributing to the troublesome rise in childhood diseases such as asthma, attention difficulties or autism? What environmental exposures should pregnant women try to avoid? Children and Environmental Poisons: Because they are still developing, young children are more vulnerable to chemicals that may interfere with growth. How does early, low-dose exposure to compounds such as lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other toxins harm the developing brain? Rates of asthma have tripled since the 1970s. Are environmental toxins to blame? An Epidemic of Lead Exposure: The terrible situation in Flint, Michigan, grabbed headlines, and rightly so. But Flint is not the only community where children may be unknowingly exposed to lead. And there is no level of lead exposure considered safe for youngsters. Where is lead coming from, what does it do to children, and how can we protect them? Doing so may require political will. The result could be healthier, smarter kids. Pesticides and Herbicides: Pesticides (such as chlorpyrifos) and herbicides (such as glyphosate) may be hard to avoid. What are the hazards? Certain foods, such as peaches, pears, raspberries and strawberries, are more likely to contain toxic residues. Learn how to minimize your family's exposure to these compounds and to others that may disrupt hormonal balance. Find out why the long-term consequences of early exposure make a compelling case for protecting the most vulnerable. The websites Dr. Landrigan mentioned include EWG.org for information on pesticide contamination. To learn more about mercury in fish, check out the websites EWG.org, NRDC.org (Natural Resources Defense Council) or the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch site and app. This Week's Guest: Dr. Philip J. Landrigan is a pediatrician, epidemiologist and Dean for Global Health at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His recent book, co-authored with Mary Landrigan, is Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know. His website is http://icahn.mssm.edu/profiles/philip-j-landrigan Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99 Buy the CD Download the mp3

Show 1120: How Can You Save Money on Medicines?

Prescription drugs cost more in the US than in any other country. Prices have been rising far more quickly than the cost of living, and the proportion people must pay out of pocket has also been increasing. As a result, many patients are finding it difficult to afford their medicines. Are you among them? Is there a way you could save money on medicines? Save Money on Medicines: Consumer Reports (May 2018) has just run a cover story on how to pay less for your medicines. We speak with the author, Lisa Gill, about some smart ways to lower drug costs. You might not know that many pharmacists must abide by a gag clause that prevents them from volunteering information on how you could get a better price. She describes how it works and how you can get around it. She also recommends checking out prescription drug coupons from two sites: GoodRx.com and BlinkHealth.com. Call Us: After you listen to Lisa Gill explain recommendations from the Consumer Reports special issue on how you can save money on medicines, call in to share your story. Were you hit with an unexpectedly large pharmacy bill? Do you need a cancer medicine that your insurance doesn't cover? Tell us how you have managed to save money on medicines. Share your tactics with others and pick up tips from them. Call 888-472-3366 between 7:15 and 7:55 EDT on Saturday, May 5, 2018. Or reach us by email: radio@peoplespharmacy.com This Week's Guest: Lisa Gill is Deputy Editor at Consumer Reports for Special Projects. The cover story, Pay Less for Your Meds, is in the May 2018 issue of Consumer Reports. Lisa's article on the gag clause is here: https://www.consumerreports.org/drug-prices/gag-clauses-stop-you-from-getting-lowest-prescription-drug-prices/ Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD Download the mp3

Show 1119: What Can You Do to Facilitate Fertility?

Chances are you know someone who has had difficulty conceiving a child, though you may not be aware of their struggle. Endocrine disruptors are widespread in our environment, and may be affecting sperm counts or female fertility. Modern medicine has a lot to offer couples who are having trouble with fertility. Men with low sperm counts and women with endometriosis can often be treated successfully. Both intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization are tools that can be used to help a couple conceive. The Fertility Doctor: Dr. Rebecca Flyckt has focused her practice on fertility preservation. She explains the conditions that can interfere with conception and how they can be addressed. Hormonal imbalances may be corrected, and fibroids may need to be removed. What role does polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) play? How about lowered sperm counts? The Heartbreak of Infertility: Cathy Quillet is a marriage and family therapist who has worked with couples facing infertility. She has personal experience with the emotional toll infertility can take on both partners and on their relationship. Sometimes well-meaning friends and family members can make very hurtful comments to people in this situation. What can you say or do that will be helpful rather than harmful? This Week's Guests: Rebecca Flyckt, MD, FACOG is a board-certified OB/GYN with subspecialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She earned her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California. She then returned to her native city of Cleveland to complete residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Hospitals of Cleveland followed by fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Flyckt is Director of the Fertility Preservation and Cancer Program at the Cleveland Clinic. The photo of Dr. Flyckt is courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic. Cathie Quillet, LMFT, has been working with couples for years as an independent marriage and family therapist. Unable to have children, Quillet is familiar with all of the complexities of the infertile journey. Not Pregnant: A Companion for the Emotional Journey of Infertility is a compilation of tough lessons she learned and what no one warns you about when standing face-to-face with infertility. In addition, Quillet collaborated with her ob-gyn, Dr. Shannon Sutherland, to further explain the medical side of infertility. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD Download the mp3

Show 1118: What You Should Know About Lithium

Lithium rich water from hot springs such as those at Lithia Springs, GA, have long been sought after for their healing properties. This element was used for decades to treat some forms of mental illness, but high doses can be dangerous. As a result, this treatment fell out of favor although it can be effective for problems such as bipolar disorder. Low-Dose Lithium: Some psychiatrists are resurrecting the use of lithium to treat mental illness. They are prescribing low-dose lithium for depression and attention disorders as well as for bipolar disorder. What kind of results do they get? How does lithium compare to newer medications? Find out what a patient should know before agreeing to use low-dose lithium. Pros and Cons of Lithium: Jaime Lowe has intimate experience with lithium. She developed bipolar disorder as an adolescent. Lithium at standard doses was the medication that helped stabilize her life, but it also wrecked her kidneys. She became fascinated with the compound and dug deep into its story. She even traveled to a famous place in Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni, where it is mined. Find out what it feels like to experience a bipolar episode and how lithium helped Ms. Lowe. Learn More: You can read what we have written previously about this medication here. The New York Times article is here. Recent scientific articles have been published in Neuropsychopharmacology, April 2018; Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism & Toxicology, Nov. 2017; Bipolar Disorders, Nov. 2017; and Bipolar Disorders, Nov. 2017 for the study on drinking water. This Week's Guests: Nassir Ghaemi, MD, MPH, is an academic psychiatrist specializing in mood disorders, depression and bipolar illness. He is editor of a monthly newsletter, The Psychiatry Letter (www.psychiatryletter.org). Dr. Ghaemi is professor of psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he directs the Mood Disorders Program. He is also a Clinical Lecturer at Harvard Medical School and teaches at the Cambridge Health Alliance. The photograph of Dr. Ghaemi was taken by Martha Stewart. His website is http://www.nassirghaemi.com. Jaime Lowe is a writer living in Brooklyn and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times magazine. She has also written for New York magazine, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Maxim, Gawker, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and ESPN.com. Lowe is the author of two books: Digging for Dirt: The Life and Death of ODB, a biography of Ol' Dirty Bastard, a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, and most recently Mental: Lithium, Love and Losing My Mind. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD Download the mp3

Show 1117: What Can Chinese Centenarians Teach You About Long Life?

More Americans are living to old ages, but frequently their later years are plagued with chronic diseases. Is there a way to stay healthy into the ninth and tenth decade of life? To find out, we take a virtual trip to visit centenarians in a remote village in southern China. Visit to Longevity Village: Dr. John Day, an interventional cardiologist fluent in Mandarin, became concerned about his own health prospects in his mid-40s. At the same time, he began learning about a village in rural China where centenarians were unusually common and exceptionally healthy. What was going on there to explain this? He and his wife Jane set out with their family to find out. Lessons of Longevity: Once the Day family got to Bapan (no mean feat), they were amazed by the vitality of the elders there. These centenarians were happy to teach them their secrets of a long healthy life: good food, a positive mind-set, staying in motion, connecting with community, following your own rhythm and living with purpose. How can Americans incorporate this wisdom into their own lives? The Days tell us how we can benefit from what they have learned. This Week's Guests: John Day, MD, is a cardiologist and medical director of Heart Rhythm Services at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. He earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins University and completed his cardiology training at Stanford University. Dr. Day is a former president of the Heart Rhythm Society and is currently president of the Utah Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. His website is DrJohnDay.com. He and his wife Jane are co-authors, with Matthew LaPlante, of The Longevity Plan: Seven Life-Transforming Lessons from Ancient China. Jane Day has master's degrees from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has a passion for international living and business strategy. Ms. Day is also enthusiastic about healthy comfort foods and hiking in the mountains with her family and dog. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD Download the mp3

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