Dr.Karol, MD

The doctor with alternative solutions

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Digestive Health and Overeating

The Gastro Intestinal or GI tract performs the following functions:

  1. Breakdown of large food particles in the stomach (mainly by mechanical movement and acid)
  2. Digestion and absorption of food in the small intestine
  3. Absorption of fluids and vitamins in the large intestine
  4. Expulsion of waste material and toxins
  5. Immunological surveillance by the large number of lymph nodes surrounding the GI tract

The GI tract also includes the following:

Liver (mainly involved in metabolizing food and neutralizing toxins)

Pancreas (release of digestive enzymes and hormones that control sugar metabolism)

Gall bladder (involved in the production of bile for digestion of fats)

Starting with the stomach, the most common problems are:

  • Irritability
  • Pain
  • Ulcers
  • Heartburn (regurgitation of food and acid back into the esophagus)
  • Irritability, pain and ulcers are usually due to too much acid and too little protective mucous in the stomach

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You are what you eat: Kids & Multivitamins

In the absence of a strict, healthy eating regime from the very beginning, many children resort to junk food, processed foods, foods laden with animal fats, processed sugars, sugar-packed candy & processed drinks, artificial coloring and other garbage. They will especially resort to such diets when their authority figures are not watching. This can begin as early as Grade 1, when they start experiencing more freedom.

Such undisciplined gorging paves the way to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory pain conditions, indigestion and —later in life— hypertension and strokes.

Nutrition begins at home

The best way to teach proper eating habits is to not allow the above listed “foods” in the home environment, and to lead by example. If these “foods” are eliminated and not allowed at home, their consumption will drop by up to 80%, because children won’t have time to access them elsewhere. They may have an opportunity at lunch or right after school when no one is watching, but not all day long. With such an approach, the worst-case scenario is a nutritious breakfast, (such as organic eggs, fresh tomatoes, a glass of organic milk, and a small piece of multigrain bread with organic jam), and a healthy dinner. Let’s also remember that the diet plans in most schools lack proper nutritional value. Their meals are usually very simple in composition and they are vitamin and mineral deficient.

The Biology of Food

Even when an effort is made at home, kids still may not get enough nutrients. Kids are growing (even beyond the age of 18) and they need more nutrients, vitamins and essential minerals in order for their biology to advance, promoting optimal physical development, mental development, mental balance as well as sufficient energy levels. These essential nutrients also detoxify their bodies of environmental pollutants as well as from the nasty stuff they eat when we are not watching. When these nutrients become deficient, they can lead to mood swings, depression, inattention, aggressive behavior, lack of energy, decreased learning & memory and a general feeling of lethargy.

Supplements: Going Beyond the Pantry

There is a simple way to prevent this. Have them take one large size multivitamin/multimineral tablet each day with a meal. Supplement with an additional fish oil capsule for mental health and optimal learning. Fish oil with omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to help prevent the development of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This disorder is very common — although also commonly over diagnosed— in children.

And please remember: Try to make them eat at home more often and less often away from home. This will minimize their consumption of junk foods. Make the home meals nutritious with lots of protein, greens, vegetables and healthy oils such as olive oil and flaxseed oil. Also, try to keep it low in carbohydrates. This includes breads, dough, chips, French fries, and pop. Good luck! (No cynicism intended.) If you take my words as a gospel, your kids will thank you when they grow up.

Until next time,
Dr. Karol