• Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO, focuses his blog on practice pearls, technology and new research in the nutrition arena. Dr. Anshel is the founder of Corporate Vision Consulting, president of the Ocular Nutrition Society and a member of the Primary Care Optometry News Editorial Board.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nutrition society to host spring symposium

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

The Ocular Nutrition Society will host a continuing education conference in conjunction with Vision Expo East in New York next week. The March 30 symposium will feature six nutrition experts and offer 6 COPE credits. Johanna Seddon, MD, director of the ophthalmic epidemiology and genetics service at New England Eye Center, will discuss the role of nutrition and gene expression in eye disease. Randy Hammond, PhD, a professor of brain and behavioral sciences at the University of Georgia, w...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

CRN weighs in on vitamin supplements and heart disease, cancer

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a final report at the end of February, Vitamin, Mineral and Multivitamin Supplements for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer, which concluded that evidence is insufficient to recommend the use of vitamin supplements as primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. This final report was a follow-up to a draft report issued in December 2013 that resulted in a flurry of media on the negative “results” on...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sweet is not so sweet

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

As today is Valentine’s Day, the thoughts of “sweet for my sweet” came rushing forth, as it does for everyone in love. However, for many years, I remember hearing that sugar is pro-inflammatory. That has been a mantra running through my head every time I ate something that was obviously loaded with sugar. And several months ago, I spoke with Robert Lustig, MD, (of “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”) when he discussed how sugar “feeds” cancer cells, which was al...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Watch out for palm fruit oil

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

The use of palm oil has skyrocketed in recent years and it is the most heavily utilized vegetable oil. It is used in about half of all packaged foods and personal care and cleaning products in developed markets.

Palm oil of any kind, whether it comes from the fruit or kernel, is not beneficial to human health. Palm fruit oil or palm kernel oils are not healthy, and most of the health risks are associated with the processing, of which very few have been informed.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's just 'natural'

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

I recently caught wind of a movement by the food industry’s lobbying arm that has petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to rule that food companies can officially label their genetically modified organism-contaminated products as "natural" or even "all natural." Just so you know, most food companies are already doing this. Even though the FDA says the word natural means "nothing artificial or synthetic . . . has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not norm...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Studies discounting multivitamins use questionable methods, supplements

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

A trio of studies published in Annals of Internal Medicine received much press by casting doubt on the value of vitamin supplements. In addition, an accompanying editorial concluded that they do not prevent chronic disease or death and not only is their use not justified, but they should be avoided. Why are pharmaceuticals not subjected to this type of scrutiny? Are any of them really proven to prevent chronic disease or death? By the way, this was not a “real” study, but a ...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Milk is dangerous for your health

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

Our current government guidelines recommend drinking three glasses of milk a day for every American older than 5 years. For kids younger than 5, Uncle Sam recommends chugging two glasses a day. But is milk a health food? Should we really be eating dairy? Is there any real science behind this, or is this just the result of the powerful National Dairy Council lobby? Got proof? A recent study showed a lack of evidence for the government’s recommendations (Ludwig et al.). Harvard scientists ...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Report shows supplements can save money with chronic disease

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

A recently released report has shown that the use of specific dietary supplements in populations with chronic disease has the potential to save billions of dollars by reducing the number of disease-associated medical events, according to a press release from the Council for Responsible Nutrition. The report, issued by Frost & Sullivan through a grant from the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) Foundation, examined the potential cost savings when U.S. adults 55 and older with chronic di...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ocular Nutrition Society symposium focuses on disease prevention

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

There is still time to register for the fall educational symposium sponsored by the Ocular Nutrition Society. The meeting will be held Oct. 22 in the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle, just 1 day prior to the American Academy of Optometry annual meeting. The theme for this symposium is “Lifestyle-related disease prevention.” Robert Lustig, MD, will address metabolic syndrome and why children are getting it. He was featured on “60 Minutes on CBS” la...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New research blames soda for behavioral problems in kids

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

A recent study caught my eye the other day. While I grew up like everyone else – sucking down any carbonated soda that was within reach – once I started looking to see what was contained in that drink, I had to reconsider. We’ve already heard that the popular sodas contain high levels of a chemical that's used to give cola its caramel coloring (4-methylimidazole) and that the chemical could raise a soda-drinkers' cancer risk, according to the Center for Science in the Public In...