Good Health Resources
Good sources of alternative medical information on the web, in books and elsewhere.

March 25th 2006 - Sources of Good Medical Information

1. Joseph Mercola does an excellent job of staying on top of cutting edge research on nutrition and medical issues and his web site is a treasure trove of information. I suggest subscribing to his newsletter and reading it regularly. He understands that people with different metabolic types may need different diets- one size does NOT fit all. He favors seriously reducing grains, eating mercury-free wild salmon and pasture-raised meat, keeping vegetables as the mainstay of the diet, juicing vegetables, consuming only raw grass-fed dairy and cooking with coconut oil. He finds sources for this information. If any of these ideas seem strange to you I suggest going on and reading the information on his site.

2. "Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats"
by Sally Fallon, Mary G. Enig A full-spectrum nutritional cookbook with a startling message--animal fats and cholesterol are vital factors in the human diet, necessary for reproduction and normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. Your body needs old-fashioned animal fats New-fangled polyunsaturated oils can be bad for you. Modern whole grain products can cause health problems. Traditional sauces promote digestion and assimilation. Modern food processing denatures our foods but ancient preservation methods actually increase nutrients in fruits, nuts vegetables, meats and milk products! She brings research tying together information from both the Atkins camp and the raw food movement, which shows quite a mastery of the data. Includes information on how to prepare grains, health benefits of gelatin-rich bone broths and enzyme-rich lacto-fermented foods.

3. "Know Your Fats : The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol" by Mary G. Enig is the first book written for the general public on fats by an actual lipids researcher. Her information is more accurate (although unfortunately less readable) than "Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill: The Complete Guide to Fats, Oils, Cholesterol and Human Health" by Udo Erasmus, which is a decent book despite its inaccuracies. Her information on coconut oil is quite important- the studies on it in the 60s used hydrogenated coconut oil “for consistency” and were funded by the Soybean Institute which was promoting soy oil. It wasn’t until AIDS patients started eating it for virus-shedding effects that people started reevaluating the oil. Readers of "Know Your Fats" should be prepared for some surprises. They'll learn about the health benefits of saturated fats, the importance of cholesterol, dangers of polyunsaturated, flaws in the lipid theory of heart disease, what's left out of nutrition labeling, errors in the official data bases (used in many research projects) and the dangerous substitute ingredients that have quietly permeated the American food supply.

4. is David Mendosa’s web site dealing with Diabetes and blood sugar issues. It is well worth reading even if you don’t have diabetes if you have any dietary issues and a family history of type 2 diabetes. A very rich site with information you will have trouble finding elsewhere

5. Mary Shomon’s thyroid website is an encyclopedic resource for anyone suffering with the many forms of thyroid disease. She keeps up on the latest information, including better standards for evaluating thyroid tests.

6. The Ploy of Soy. Soy is only consumed in small quantities in traditional Chinese and Japanese society, accompanied by sea vegetables and fish or meat. American vegetarians typically eat many times more soy than do Asians. In Asia soy is usually fermented to avoid the bone-destroying effects of soy’s phytic acid. Soy is high in estrogens and should not be used for infant formula. It is energetically cooling, which is why it works for hot flashes. But it can cause hypothyroid. Use it judiciously.

7. Heavy metal toxicity is implicated in everything from cancer to cardiovascular disease, lead poisoning to autism, allergies to liver disease, Lou Gherig’s disease to MS, ADD to Alzheimer’s. is an excellent site which discusses the role of heavy metal toxicity and provides a low cost treatment to reduce the load: magnetic clay and herbalbaths which are formulated to draw off specific toxins and Bio Chelate, an oral EDTA chelation blend. Good comparisons of various methods.

8. Paul Bergner’s books "The Healing Power of Minerals, Special Nutrients, and Trace Elements" and "The Healing Power of Echinacea and Goldenseal and Other Immune System Herbs" are excellent sources of information and are worth finding used. "The Healing Power of Minerals" documents the decline in nutrition within the food supply. Since 1975, many minerals have been reduced by a third or more and most published sources of nutritional information are outdated. He discusses the role of minerals in health, the relationship between different minerals. An apple a day in 1927 is worth 29 apples today so far as minerals are concerned. "The Healing Power of Echinacea" is not only about the herbs in their various forms (species, root, seedhead, etc.), but is a primer on the inland sea of the immune system. He describes mucous as a designer antibiotic paste, shows why echinacea and goldenseal should not be combined together. Excellent books by a practicing herbalist.

9. For nursing mothers, Hilary Jacobson’s book, "Mother Food for Breastfeeding Mothers" is an excellent resource giving much previously unavailable information on galactagogues (breastmilk-enhancing foods.). While many books tell breastfeeding mothers which foods or herbs they should avoid, Jacobson discusses the importance of good fats, the energetics of various galactagogues which indicate that a woman who tends to run hot should use different herbs than one who runs cold, and a discussion of allergies including how to identify them prenatally. Far better than "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" (La Leche League) on nutritional information. Disclosure- I was interviewed for the book.

10. For the science behind low carb dieting, see the research summaries at I have a notebook three inches thick with research summaries supporting low carbohydrate diets. While there are people whose metabolic type does better on low fat, high carb diets, they tend not to suffer from obesity or type 2 diabetes. also has listings of scientific articles supporting low carbohydrate dieting. Note that Atkins as described by the good doctor himself tends to be a high vegetable diet with meat and fats, not a hamburger and bacon diet.

11. For women dealing with incontinence especially after childbirth or menopause, see Dr. Anna Sassone has a physical retraining approach rather than relying upon surgery and pills. Most women do not realize that kegels need to be done with a long sucking up motion, or that bearing down while urinating is counterproductive and can eventually cause prolapse. Dr. Sassone is very good at re-educating patients to avoid surgical intervention or a life of pads and diapers.

12. If your gynecologist does not offer bio-identical hormones, consider consulting Dr. Erika Schwartz at She works on telephone consultations, directly with patients and with doctors to train in protocals for replacing hormones with their exact equivalents, as opposed to horse urine derivatives or progestin which are very different structurally from natural hormones and cause side effects that natural hormones do not.

13. While it is best to use blood and urine tests under the supervision of a doctor, not all people have access to affordable medical care. Blood tests, processed by regular laboratories can be accessed through and special interpretations beyond the included reference ranges can be purchased for an additional fee. While the fees are lower than having an office visit and blood work, it will not be covered by insurance. Do be aware that the labs can oversell the ability of blood tests to assess conditions and that reference ranges refer to normal, not optimal readings. While it is better to find a MD who can evaluate the implications of your bloodwork and keep running records on you, this is a relatively good way to get, say an updated Hemoglobin A1c test.

14. The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention, made possible by a generous gift from the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, in a partnership with North General Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering, will provide free or low cost screening for breast, prostate, colon, and cervical cancers. It also provides treatment, access to financial services and support services and takes Medicaid, Medicare and most insurance. The center is located at 1919 Madison Avenue at 124th Street. Telephone (212) 987-1777 for appointments for diagnostic tests.

15. When you need free or low cost health care and can't afford it, look at a clinic like Lower East Side Health Center. 92-94 Ludlow Street , NY Phone #: (212) 477-1120 They also do blood tests. A listing of other free or community clinics in all states can be found through:

16. If you have no insurance, lost it from a job, graduated from college and are no longer covered or are in some other similar category, there are options. It is not well known, but people bumped from a job or a parent's policy can continue coverage under Cobra. In New York, recent graduates may have a better option because they do not have to count their parents' income when applying for Healthy New York, the state's insurance program for low-income residents. To keep rates low, Healthy New York is stripped of some coverage that may come with a plan sponsored by an employer. It does not, for instance, include mental health or substance-abuse treatment. But it may be enough for a typical, healthy 22-year-old. The plan costs $141 to $208 a month, compared with $309 to $648 a month for a health maintenance organization in New York. Google it.

Contact Member:
Acupuncture and Herbs by Karen Vaughan, L.Ac in Park Slope and Manhattan.
118 East 37th Street, New York, NY 10016
Brooklyn, NY 11215