I had forgotten how much time and energy one needs to raise a puppy. My computer has been virtually untouched in the past two weeks, but we are having a blast. I’ll try to download a picture of him to this email.

Next week I will learn how to put videos , etc on my website. I will then put some short workout videos of the short, high-intensity exercise routines that you may consider including in your workouts. I am really a firm believer in these 12-15 minute workouts. Some consist of 30 seconds of exercise followed by 15 seconds of rest. I also do some at a 20:10 second ratio; others at 45:15. The beauty is that you improve cardiac and lung function, increase muscle and strength, and DECREASE body fat!

Speaking of fat, a couple of recent reports on gastric bypass and lap-band procedures.

First, in a published online study in the Archives of Surgery, lap band procedures appear to produce “relatively poor long-term outcomes.” In this study, 151 patients who underwent the surgery between January 1, 1994, and December 31, 1997, were looked at. Eighty two of the patients were available for a full evaluation in late 2009. Of those 82, 22% experienced minor complications, and 39% major ones. 45% had their bands removed, and 17% were switched to gastric bypass. Nearly 30% experienced band erosion, nearly half needed to have their band removed, and 60% required some kind of reoperation. There has to be a better way to lose fat.

Roughly 30% of the American population is obese, and the rate is increasing, especially among adolescents. As a result, gastric bypass (GP) surgery is becoming more and more popular. Not so fast, says the American Heart Association (AHA). In a new scientific statement published online March 14, 2011, in Circulation, the obesity committee of the AHA is trying to get the message out that GPs is appropriate only for severely obese patients who have exhausted all other options to lose weight.

Current medical dogma suggests that GP improves metabolic profile, cardiac structure and function, diabetes, liver disease, and hypertension. However, proof is scarce, and virtually non-existent in adolescents. There are serious complications from the surgery, including pulmonary embolus, bleeding, anastomotic leaks, hernias, ulcers, and behavioral issues. Like I said before, there’s got to be a better way to get rid of fat.

Vitamin D levels are frequently low among patients with early Parkinson’s disease (PD), and it’s not the disease itself that is causing the vitamin D deficiency, but the other way around.

Vitamin D has been the focus of a lot a research recently, looking at the role it may play in certain cancers, MS, and diabetes. In 2007, a hypothesis article was published postulating that low vitamin D levels may have something to do with either the genesis or progression of PD. Currently, the recommended daily intake is 400-800 IU’s, depending on age. I know several health professionals who think that level is too low, and recommend 1000-2000 IU’s daily. I take 2000 IU’s.

The largest meta-analysis so far conducted examining potassium intake on cardiovascular outcomes has found that the higher dietary potassium intake correlated with a 20 % decreased risk for stroke and heart disease. Potassium from food is ideal-supplemental potassium is hard for the stomach to absorb.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.