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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Coffee: How much is too much? Is it even healthy?

The debate over health benefits of drinking coffee is seemingly never ending. As with most things in life, when it comes to how much is too much coffee there are a variety of factors to consider. Everybody metabolizes coffee and caffeine in different ways and at different rates. Thus, what is too much for one person may be just fine for another. Another factor to consider is the state of mind and body at any given time: Are you an anxiety-prone individual? If so, 5 cups of coffee in one day may be too much.  Are you super sleepy because of rainy weather? Then 3 cups may be just fine. Are you dehydrated and exhausted from a long trip? In that case, even one cup may be very unhealthy..

latte art



Coffee comes with both desirable and undesirable affects. The good is that it contains flavonoids that are also found in fruits and vegetables. These are anti-oxidants that protect our body from damage caused by pollutants and bad diet. However, coffee is not the richest source of flavonoids to say the least. It’s a similar story with red wine. Yes it contains resveratrol that protects the heart but to get that effect you must drink 5 to 10 glasses of wine a day and by doing so you are causing way more damage due to alcohol. The actual caffeine content also plays a major role. When in low amounts it increases wakefulness, mental acuity, better mood etc. But in higher amounts it causes lack of long term memory retention, anxiety, and increased blood pressure. Caffeine is also a diuretic. This can also be good or bad. In general it’s not a good thing because it depletes your body of fluid (including electrolytes). But on the other hand if you have excessive fluid retention in your body (such as after a long exhausting trip (usually causing retention in your legs due to compromised kidney function) then it may actually relieve the work load on the heart due to the excessive fluid.

coffee at the office

Another thing about coffee is that it irritates the lining of the stomach. This may cause cramps, acidity, and a general unpleasant feeling in the stomach. There is great variation among individuals with respect to this phenomenon. Some people don’t suffer this at all, while others have to stay away from caffeine entirely.

This brings us back to the original question: How many cups is too many? Like mentioned before it all depends on the individual and the state of body and mind she or he is in at the moment. However, generally speaking, 4 cups each day or more is more than enough before we develop long term rise in blood pressure, which is an extremely undesirable effect. Increased blood pressure can cause damage to all organs of the body and most notoriously the heart, the kidneys and the brain.

fresh coffee groundsFinally, always remember fresh ground, organic coffee is much healthier than instant. Instant coffee is typically exposed to various chemicals to make it an “instant” option (however, there are healthy instant coffee alternatives. It’s also typically much more irritating to the stomach. The best options are fresh, high-quality whole beans, or freshly ground beans coming from the purest sources.


See you next time.


Dr. Karol


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Holiday Digestive Health: The Natural Way

Thanksgiving is not only a time to celebrate with family and friends. It’s also a time when overeating abounds. Here are some tips for managing your digestive system in the face of all that food and drink:

  • Make a smooth and slippery coating in your GI track with psyliium husks so that food can pass easily without irritating the inner lining of our gut. This will prevent constipation as well as diarrhea.
  • Help the gall bladder and the pancreas with plant digestive enzymes like those found in the DigestMore
  • Probiotics (in capsule form or via kefir) ensure proper digestion in our large intestines and the prevention of the buildup of toxins. They also help treat Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis as well as irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Some great remedies for heartburn are licorice (a component of DigestMore listed above), aloe vera (it has that nice mucous texture that protects the stomach), as well as calcium and even baking soda. This last one is also very beneficial to our kidneys, something I have written about before.
  • The more we eat, the more the liver is taxed. Milk Thistle protects the liver from the effects of alcohol, something that can also come in handy around Thanksgiving.

That may be a lot to swallow, but it comes down to this: Take 2 DigestMore capsules per day with food, some probiotics, milk thistle and something for heartburn like calcium, which also benefits our bone health. Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Karol

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Radical Remedies: Royal Jelly

Bee Royal Jelly

Did you know that bees create Royal Jelly?

When worker bees are raising a new queen bee, they feed a few chosen larvae copious amounts of Royal Jelly, a honeybee secretion that stimulates morphological changes in the larvae to transform them into queens. The queen is much larger than the workers, it has a longer life span and unlike to the worker bees, it has ovaries that can produce eggs.


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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

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Parsley the Superfood




This month is a body cleansing month. Therefore my blog posts would not be complete without writing about Parsley. Most people use this herb just as favouring, sprinkled on food, but only a few people realize that this humble herb is actually a Superfood. What I mean by a Superfood is a food that is packed with health promoting nutrients. Parsley certainly falls in this category. I also became interested in Parsley because of my growing interest in kidney health. Why kidneys? It’s because of my growing interest in detox in general and especially detox as preventative medicine. What I mean by this is that my medical focus is more and more on preventative medicine and treatment with natural compounds found in supplements and healthy foods and not just symptomatic pharmaceutical treatment of many diseases that could have been prevented by a healthy lifestyle and especially healthy foods such as Parsley….Read more…..