After you read this, you will be a polyphenol fanatic (if you’re not already)


The Takeaway First

Polyphenols, a kind of antioxidant found in countless fruits and vegetables, hold “great promise” for the future prevention of prostate cancer, according to a review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. These widely available micronutrients work by fine-tuning the existing machinery of our bodies and even altering our gene expression. “Wait…what?!” Read more below.

Know Your Polyphenols

Before we start, know that polyphenols come in four varieties: phenolic acids, stilbenes, curcuminoids, and flavonoids. Phenolic acids and flavonoids make up about 90 percent of all of our dietary polyphenols.

Anacardic acid, a phenolic acid found in the Cuachalalate plant (native to Mexico and commercially available), has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-oxidative and anti-microbial properties. It keeps tumors from growing new blood vessels and also regulates gene expression (Tan et al., 2012).

Caffeic acid, another phenolic acid found in coffee, has anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties in vitro and promote heart health (Greenwald, 2004).

Ellagic acid makes up half of the antioxidant content in pomegranates and has anti-carcinogenic and anti-fibrosis properties (Thresiamma & Kuttan, 1996; Bell & Hawthorne, 2008).

Gallic acid, found in several fruits, wines, nuts and other plant products, has been found to have chemopreventive properties in mice with prostate cancer (Wolfe, Wu & Liu, 2003; Agarwal, Tyagi & Agarwal, 2006).

Three stilbenes called picetannol, pterostilbene and resveratrol are all found in grapes and grape skins. They all have chemopreventive strength by virtue of their ability to alter signaling pathways in CaP cells.

Epigallocathechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a classic flavonoid found in green tea that has anti-mutagenic, anti-bacterial, hypocholesterolemic, anti-oxidant, anti-tumor and cancer preventive properties.

Proanthocyanidins are found in apple peel, red kidney beans, pinto beans, cacao beans, cocoa, grape seeds, blueberries, several nuts (peanuts, hazelnuts, etc.), sorghum, and cinnamon, and they also have been found to modulate (Ishida, Takeshita & Kataoka, 2014).

Fisetin, which is a specific type of flavonoid called a flavonol (all these technical names, geez), can be found in onions and cucumbers. It throws a wrench into several prostate cancer lines (Khan et al., 2008).

My Take on Polyphenols

Believe it or not, that list above was incomplete. That’s how abundantly helpful polyphenols are in the fight against disease. The point of all this is that countless polyphenols have a strong foundation in the literature that supports their potential for not only cancer prevention but for the prevention of other diseases as well. No, you don’t have to know all of them, but you do have to eat all of them. (So, knowing would help.)

The foods you want to load up on are berries (organic if you can), green tea (about 6 cups a day), beans (great in salads), grapes, pomegranates, onions, cucumbers and pineapples. Basically, eat a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables, plus coffee or green tea.

Be well!


Agarwal, C., Tyagi, A., & Agarwal, R. (2006). Gallic acid causes inactivating phosphorylation of cdc25A/cdc25C-cdc2 via ATM-Chk2 activation, leading to cell cycle arrest, and induces apoptosis in human prostate carcinoma DU145 cells. Molecular cancer therapeutics5(12), 3294-3302.

Bell, C., & Hawthorne, S. (2008). Ellagic acid, pomegranate and prostate cancer—a mini review. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology60(2), 139-144.

Greenwald, P. (2004). Clinical trials in cancer prevention: current results and perspectives for the future. The Journal of nutrition134(12), 3507S-3512S.

Ishida, Y. I., Takeshita, M., & Kataoka, H. (2014). Functional foods effective for hepatitis C: Identification of oligomeric proanthocyanidin and its action mechanism. World journal of hepatology6(12), 870.

Khan, N., Afaq, F., Syed, D. N., & Mukhtar, H. (2008). Fisetin, a novel dietary flavonoid, causes apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in human prostate cancer LNCaP cells. Carcinogenesis29(5), 1049-1056.

Lall, R. K., Syed, D. N., Adhami, V. M., Khan, M. I., & Mukhtar, H. (2015). Dietary polyphenols in prevention and treatment of prostate cancer. International journal of molecular sciences16(2), 3350-3376.

Tan, J., Chen, B., He, L., Tang, Y., Jiang, Z., Yin, G., … & Jiang, X. (2012). Anacardic acid (6-pentadecylsalicylic acid) induces apoptosis of prostate cancer cells through inhibition of androgen receptor and activation of p53 signaling. Chinese Journal of Cancer Research24(4), 275-283.

Thresiamma, K. C., & Kuttan, R. (1996). Inhibition of liver fibrosis by ellagic acid. Indian journal of physiology and pharmacology40(4), 363-366.

Wolfe, K., Wu, X., & Liu, R. H. (2003). Antioxidant activity of apple peels.Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry51(3), 609-614.


Diet & Dairy Promote Prostate Cancer – new study


Diet & Dairy Promote Prostate Cancer – new study

Takeaway First

Two research articles from the Physicians’ Health Study revealed that the Western diet, which is high in saturated fat, dairy, red meat, and , significantly increases the risk of death from prostate cancer and all-cause mortality (death from any cause). A plant-based, low-dairy diet can help men increase their life expectancy despite a prostate cancer diagnosis.

Study Details

These authors all studied the same group of 926 men, all of whom were members of the Physicians’ Health Study and had been diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer. They completed regular diet questionnaires over a span of 10 years.

The first paper examined the link between diet, prostate cancer, and all-cause mortality.

The authors looked at two kinds of diet:

Prudent pattern: higher intake of vegetables, fruits, fish, legumes, and whole grains

Western pattern: higher intake of processed and red meats, high-fat dairy and refined grains.

The Western pattern significantly increased the risk of prostate-cancerspecific and all-cause mortality.

The second paper looked at just dairy connection with prostate cancer and all cause mortality. The authors found that men consuming three or more servings per day of dairy products had a 76% higher risk of total mortality and a 141% higher risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality compared to men who consumed less than one dairy product per day.

The association between high-fat dairy and mortality risk appeared to be stronger than that of low-fat dairy, but the difference between them was not statistically significant.

My Take on Diet, Dairy, and Prostate Cancer

I work with dietary lifestyle and prostate cancer virtually everyday of my life, so this news is not surprising. It just confirms my belief that, when working with patients to improve their longevity and quality-of-life, nutrition is real medicine. It’s exactly what Hippocrates said two thousand years ago: “let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.”

Why do we forget this? One reason is because medical schools are lacking in nutrition classes. The other reason is financial. In our current medical system, physicians actually lose money when they talk to any patient for more than 12 minutes. Medical reimbursements are only substantial when performing procedures, prostate biopsies, cystoscopy, coronary stents, etc.

This is not a critique of physicians as much as one on the medical system which fails to promote discussions of lifestyle and dietary choices between doctors and their patients.

What Should You do?

Eating well all the time is hard, I know. I live in this world, too, and it’s not any easier for me. My fifteen years of research on lifestyle and prostate cancer tells me that eating well to prevent or survive prostate cancer is not an all-or-nothing scenario.

In other words, the harm is in the amount. Scientists call this a “dose-response relationship.”

Notice the dairy research observed a higher mortality rate in those men who consumed more than 3 servings for dairy. 

One serving of dairy equals 8 ounces of milk or about 2 ounces of cheese.

That means that a little milk in your coffee in the morning isn’t a problem, unless you’re pouring in a whole glass.

Besides, if you are aware of the specific amount at which it becomes “too much,” you’re more likely to stick to the plan, no?

The real issue here is that most people “can’t have just one.”

You know yourself. If you can’t keep yourself from eating excessive low-level foods, then consider abstaining from low-level cancer-causing foods altogether. And yes, you can do it.

These “low-level foods are those on the lower end of the CaPLESS 1 to 5 scale:

A very brief summary

12 foods: all refined carbohydrates, fruit juices (not fruits), well-done meats, non-grass-fed meats.

45 foods: all vegetables, especially broccoli, cauliflower, almost all fruits whole, natural grains. Dirty dozen foods are only in this category when they’re organic.


Yang, M., Kenfield, S. A., Van Blarigan, E. L., Batista, J. L., Sesso, H. D., Ma, J., . . . Chavarro, J. E. (2015). Dietary Patterns after Prostate Cancer Diagnosis in Relation to Disease-Specific and Total Mortality. Cancer Prevention Research, 8(6), 545-551. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.capr-14-0442

Yang, M., Kenfield, S. A., Van Blarigan, E. L., Wilson, K. M., Batista, J. L., Sesso, H. D., . . . Chavarro, J. E. (2015). Dairy intake after prostate cancer diagnosis in relation to disease-specific and total mortality. Int J Cancer. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29608


Growing Short: Little-Known Facts about Small Penises

Growing Short: Little-Known Facts about Small Penises


The Takeaway First

About half of men in the world have penises that are shorter than average (go figure!), but far fewer men have conditions that actually reduce their penile length. Length can be lost as a result of certain surgical procedures, Peyronie’s disease, and possibly erectile dysfunction. This is not the end of the world, however, as women report that girth is more important than length.

Study Details

As you know if you read my previous post, the average penile size is about 3.5 inches (9 cm) in the flaccid state, whereas the maximally stretched flaccid length, on average, is 5.2 inches (13 cm). Average erect penile length ranges from 5 to 5.7 inches (12.8 to 14.5 cm), and the average penile girth is about 4 inches (10.0-10.5 cm). What is the significance of these findings?

Penile shortening is a phenomenon that is associated with certain medical and surgical conditions. These conditions include prostate cancer patients treated with radical prostatectomy, Peyronie’s disease and congenital anomalies. There is also some evidence that erectile dysfunction may be an independent risk factor for shortening.

Results are mixed for penis shortening post-prostatectomy. In one study, 31 men were examined, and most of them demonstrated a significant penile shortening of up to one centimeter. (Not a huge difference in the end, in my opinion.) About half of them lost more than a centimeter. I said the results were mixed because some patients actually increased in girth after the procedure. Weird!

These data were confirmed by Halioglu et al. in 2006. This research team compared the penis lengths of men who had undergone androgen suppression and radiation therapy. Men who underwent both procedures lost significant length, but men who underwent radiation alone also lost some length.

My Take on This

Although 99% of the men I see who complain of a “small penis”, some do have something called congenital micropenis. By definition, a penis is “micro” when it is 2.7 inches or shorter and otherwise normally formed.

The biological causes stem largely from defects in the hypothalamus, specifically when an inadequate amount of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is released. This may be a primary hypothalamic or an anterior pituitary problem. Lastly, the micropenis can result from embryonic testis failure causing insufficient masculinization. Bladder exstrophy and epispadias also can result in penile shortening, thought to be related to a congenitally shortened anterior corporal length.

Although it is possible to have an abnormally small penis, preoccupation with the size of your Johnson can go to dangerous extremes. In Japan, some men are diagnosed with koro, a psychological condition in which a man fears that his penis is actually shrinking back into his body. This is imagined, and their penises stay the same length despite their fears. However, koro can be debilitating for a man’s confidence and disastrous for his sex life as a result. All this to say: don’t worry too much about it.

Another reason not to worry too much about length is this: studies have shown that, in terms of women’s pleasure during vaginal sex, girth is much more important than length. Fifty sexually active female undergraduate students were asked which felt better, penis width or length for their sexual satisfaction. Apparently, 45 reported that width felt better (Eisenmen 2001). Another study asked 375 women if size mattered and again, girth was more important than length (Francken et al. 2002). Why is this the case? My assumption is that penis width may be important because a penis that is thick at the base provides greater clitoral stimulation as the male thrusts into the female during sexual intercourse.

What should you do?

Besides high-risk surgical procedures and drugs that usually don’t work, there is not much you can do about your size. Remember that, when it comes to pleasing your partner, length is not as important as girth. If you happen to have neither length nor girth, that doesn’t mean you and your honey can’t get creative.

A new surgical procedure, known as the Modified Sliding Technique (MoST) is available for men with penile shortening after surgery or with Peyronie’s. One recent study on MoST looked at over 140 patients who underwent this procedure after a penile shortening from either disease or surgery increase in penile length by 3.1 cm (1.22 inches). (Egydio & Kuehhas, BJU int. 2015)

An excellent urologist surgeon (no bias although he is good friend), Dr. Robert Valenzuela is one of the leaders in the United States of this procedure for the very motivated.



Eisenman R.Penis size: Survey of female perceptions of sexual satisfaction. BMC Womens Health. 2001;1(1):1.

Francken AB, van de Wiel HB, van Driel MF, Weijmar Schultz WC. What importance do women attribute to the size of the penis? Eur Urol. 2002 Nov;42(5):426-31.

Egydio PH1, Kuehhas FE. Penile lengthening and widening without grafting according to a modified sliding technique. BJU Int. 2015 Jan 28.


Dietary supplements (DS) story is BS

Why the story on DS (Dietary Supplements) may be BS


This story came out about two weeks ago. I am chiming in a little late but the topic on dietary supplement manufacturing practices is still important. And you need to know about it.

According to the New York Times, GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart have been caught selling mislabeled dietary supplements. Investigators found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels.

The story claims that up to 80% of pills that allegedly contain medicinal herbs contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus, pulverized houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies.

Further, three out of six herbal products at Target — ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, and valerian root (a sleep aid) — tested negative for the herbs on their labels. But they did contain powdered rice, beans, peas and wild carrots. And at GNC, the agency said, pills contained unlisted ingredients used as fillers, like powdered legumes, the class of plants that includes peanuts and soybeans, a hazard for people with allergies.

Questioning the testing method – DNA bar coding

There are some problems with this report, though. It is worth noting that DNA barcoding has been criticized by botanical scientists who question whether this technology is an appropriate or validated test for determining the presence of herbal ingredients in finished botanical products.

DNA barcoding has strengths and limitations. DNA testing is rarely able to properly identify chemically complex herbal extracts as little or no DNA is extracted in many commercial extraction processes. Processing during manufacturing of botanical supplements can remove or damage DNA; therefore, while a DNA testing method can be useful in some cases, this method well may be the wrong test for these kinds of products.

Also, the DNA testing method does not provide information on the amounts of food contaminants found in the products. This is important because there are well-established legal thresholds that allow for trace amounts of some ingredients, say gluten, rice, pine, etc., which are not considered harmful or required on labels.

Alarming the public by saying that these substances could be dangerous to people with allergies is unnecessary; after all, there was no mention of whether DNA from these substances poses any allergic risk.

Being based on only one testing technology from only one laboratory, the NY AG results are preliminary and require further substantiation. Additional tests using microscopic analysis and validated chemical methods should be conducted to confirm the initial results upon which the AG is acting.

Questioning the tester – Professor James A. Schulte II

Of note, the AG’s office contracted with Prof. James A. Schulte II, PhD, of Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, who employed DNA barcode technology to test the supplements. Dr. Schulte has a background in evolutionary biology and reptilian zoology, but he is not considered an expert in botany, pharmacology, or natural product chemistry — three key scientific areas related to herb and medicinal plant research.

[click to continue…]

7 Easy Tips to Stay Healthy During the Super Bowl

7 Easy Tips for a Healthy Super Bowl Party


Odds are there will be a lot of crap for you to eat at the Super Bowl party this weekend. Six-foot long sandwiches, chips, salsa, and beer are the usual grub, right? Those are the “manly” things to eat after all, aren’t they? No. They’re not.

Now, here’s the deal. I know you want to have a good time without having to think much about ‘eating healthy.’ You just want to live the moment and enjoy the awesome super commercials, eat and be merry. I get it.

But eating an excessive amount of toxic foods during the Super Bowl is not worth it. It never is. I am not suggesting to be neurotic and fanatical, but only to be aware. You have one life. Live it right.

OK, I will step off my soapbox now and give you seven good tips that I personally will apply this weekend to enjoy the Super Bowl without paying the price.

7 Health Tips to Enjoy the Super Bowl

  1. Don’t lose sight of the main goal, which is to share good times with family and friends. Talk a little smack and laugh. Food and beer is a small component of that.
  1. Have a great breakfast on Super Bowl Sunday. I’m talking high-octane proteins like a veggie omelet (no bread) or a power smoothie (tips here)
  1. Work out on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s what the football players are doing, after all. Act like you are playing in the super bowl and workout as such. I am half joking here, but if you get in the right state of mind your workout can feel awesome.
  1. Eat right before leaving your home or before everyone comes if you’re hosting. Again, eat a top notch meal. No junk! This will prevent the dangerous situation of starting the party in a hungry state. All bets are off if you start on empty.
  1. Be mindful. It is easy to overeat and over-drink when you get caught up in the moment and eat simply without thinking, so think about it!
  1. Have a veggie platter with hummus dip if you’re hosting. Bring one to the party if you are not. Don’t eat raw broccoli though, it is very hard to digest when it is not at least steamed. (Also, raw broccoli contains goitrogens which damages your thyroid – did you know that?) Carrots and celery are OK to eat raw. Easy on that white creamy dip though.
  1. Root for the Seahawks! Actually, I just want to see a good game. But I really like Russel Wilson. For a relatively short quarterback, that level of talent is an aberration. And I like aberrations. Plus, he is a Wisconin Badger, my favorite college football team. (Don’t discount the rest of my advice if you’re rooting for a different team.)

Who are you going for? Or do you not care? Share your thoughts on the comments section below.

Lastly, here is a sneak preview of this years Budweiser’s super bowl commercial.  It’s a bit of a tear jerker so grab your handkerchief.

Be safe.

Battle Of The Fitness Bands – are they worth it?

Battle of the Fitness Bands, are they worth it?




Fitness bands can be a massive motivational boost as well as a neat and convenient way to track your training progress.  I personally use a Nike Fuel Band, but I wanted to explore the Internet and find out what people were saying about other popular Fitness Bands.  That’s what I did, and here are the results, listed A to Z with some pros and cons for each.



  • It delivers the most detailed reports of all the Fitness Bands.
  • It automatically knows when you’re running, walking, biking, or sleeping.
  • It measures Heart Rate (HR), a big plus for me.


  • Expensive!
  • Some users report that it has trouble telling the difference between watching TV and sleeping.
  • Does not measure distance

Price: upwards of $149.99



  • Strong in activity monitoring, does all the basics (walking, biking, running, stair climbing)
  • Great battery life
  • Silent alarm feature
  • Sturdy
  • Sleep monitor


  • No heart rate monitor

Price: less than $100


  • This one records your steps, how many hours of sleep you get per night, and your caloric intake as well with the help of the smartphone app.
  • That app has an elegant user interface that makes it very easy to use.
  • It’s easy to put on.
  • It connects with social networking sites, if you’re into that!


  • The device itself has no interface.  It’s a band without a screen, so you’ll have to keep your Smartphone on hand.
  • It does not sync automatically with your Smartphone.

Price: $149.99



  • It’s a simple, non-flashy design with a friendly user interface.
  • It tracks your steps, your sleep, and your calories.
  • It’s pretty comfortable!
  • Nike Fuel is a neat imaginary point system.
  • It syncs wirelessly to your Smartphone.


  • Some say the calorie counter is a little bit inaccurate, and the sleep monitor doesn’t stand up to that of the other brands.
  • What is “Nike Fuel” anyway?

Price: $125.00+


  • It’s tiny, and therefore very portable and discrete.  You could stuff it in your shoe, keep it in your pocket, clip it to your tie, tape it to your bicep…if you want.
  • It’s 100% waterproof.
  • Its internal battery has a year-long life.
  • The Smartphone app gives specific and practical advice for reaching your goals.


  • It’s tiny, and therefore easy to lose.

Price: $119.95


  • A detailed display shows steps, distance traveled, and calories burned.
  • The calorie-counter takes hills into account, which is pretty cool!
  • It also displays your heart rate and blood oxygen level.  Great for those of us who are training for events.


  • The Smartphone app has a crowded user interface.
  • Not exactly waterproof, but it will survive a splash or two.

Price: $100.00-$200.00


My Fathers’ Day gift two years ago was the Nike Fuel Band.  As a guy who likes to quantify things, I embrace the idea of having this black rubbery band around my wrist all day, every day. After a while, it becomes part of your look. Even after the battery runs out (about every 4 to 5 days), I keep it on for another day or two.  It sort of becomes a part of you.

I have to say, the Fuel Band keeps you on your toes – literally.  You are probably goal oriented.  I am too.  The Nike Fuel Band, like the other trackers I listed above, allows you to set goals of how much daily “fuel” you would like to burn or how many steps to take.
What’s this “fuel” thing about?    The “fuel” measurement is unique to the Nike Fuel Band and it may seem arbitrary at first, but over time, you’ll notice your daily average, which then allows you to earn more fuel points.  It takes some getting used to, but it’s a workable system.

My own goals are moderate: use 3,000 fuel points per day and take 10,000 steps. 3,000 fuel points is what an average, active but not athletic person would use.  I admit, there are days I fall short, but I try to hover around those numbers. There are also many days when I hit over 4,000 points. What’s cool is that if I am 1,000 steps away from my goal or need 500 fuel points to get to 3,000, I tend to do a little extra something to get there, e.g., walk up the stairs, park as far from the supermarket as I can, or do a fifteen-minute workout.

There are a few downsides to the Fuel Band I didn’t list above.  For instance, if I’m not moving the arm with the band on it, I get no fuel points.  So when I take a Citi Bike here in New York for 2 miles or so, I get no love.

I am not a fitness-band expert as I have only tried the Nike Fuel Band, but I know that a band that measures heart rate is best for me.  If you’re looking for a more detailed review, I suggest going to the experts here!

The Bottom Line.

•    If you’re doing hardcore exercise daily and like to see the numbers, I would recommend the Pulse O2.
•    Looking for something light-weight and user-friendly?  Shine.
•    If you’re looking for an efficient, no-nonsense bargain, go for the Fitbit.  It seems to be the most popular!
•    If you’re a casual exerciser and want something you can quickly slap onto your wrist before you go, the Jawbone is for you.
•    The Basis, I would say, is for those of us who need to monitor our body states in detail, or just like to have all the data. Most expensive but also has a heart rate monitor.
•    The Nike Fuel band is nice but not my favorite since I only ‘get credit’ when I move the arm that has the band wrapped around the wrist. However, It’s simple, durable, and has just enough features to keep my on my toes.

I’m ready to move on to the next fitness tracker. Not sure which one yet.

But….. rumor has it the iWatch will be out soon! Starting price? $349

HERE’s a good review of the iWatch

HERE’s a fantastic XY wellness blog post on Fitness as a Lifestyle




The Mr. Happy Team Triumphs at the Spartan Race

The Mr. Happy Team Triumphs at the Spartan Race


The Spartan race this past weekend was a tremendous  (painful) experience.

It was a potpourri of emotions: grueling, dizzying, disheartening, camaraderie and exhilarating.

The Mr. Happy team: Austin, Gary, Geo and Brandon. Having a good time before going to Mountain Creek, NJ.




We arrive to the race. No pain yet,, just fun and laughter. Brandon (next to me)  is 17 years younger – and it showed. 😉 Very HOT and HUMID.




Good luck hugs all around as the Mr. Happy team gears up.


And here we go!



By now we have already gone through the barbed wire crawl: a low crawl through mud under barbed wire for about 50 yards in length where my head got nicked and scratched. After a walk through about 20 yards of water shown below,  we continue.


Austin and Brandon, clearly in great shape as they pause and laugh after mile 2 while they wait for me and Gary.


Spoke too soon…. Brandon cramps up. MAN DOWN!



Dr. Geo to the rescue!! Dijon mustard, water and salt to help Brandon with his cramps. Yellow mustard is thought to relieve cramps do to turmeric, which is used to give yellow mustard its color. Turmeric has many anti-inflammatory properties which are believed to enable the immediate relief. Cramps can be caused by a deficiency in acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that stimulates muscles to work. Mustard contains acetic acid, which helps the body produce more acetylcholine. This approach has not been verified by scientific research but it seems to work.



The Horizontal Wall Traverse is uses upper body, lower body, and core strength with a good dose of coordination to cross and tap the bell at the end. Gary shows great team effort by staying by me in case I fall. If I fall, I’d have to do 30 burpees. I don’t want to do burpees.

SparGeoSliding wall

Rope climbing? Oh no.  Austin is up.  My arms are dead after the Horizontal Wall Traverse. Rope Climb:  A rope is hung over a body of water/mud with a bell placed at the very top. Participants must “ring the bell” before climbing down.


Let’s do it!  And up we go.


Team effort is what its all about. Let’s go Gary, get up!


SparGeohelping gary

The penalty for missing the spear throw was 30 burpees. I was pooped by this point. Spear throw: from a distance of 20 yards we threw a wooden spear into a target. If the spear does not stick (and my didn’t) we had to do a penalty of 30 burpees.


 Object carry:  Throughout the course we carried a tire, rock-filled bucket, boulder and sandbag. Now I am dizzy and my legs are numbed – I can barely feel them. God help me.


I lost my grip. My arms give out.  I don’t know if I could make it further. Crazy!


Whew! I made it. Barely. Gary now has a swollen ankle. Is it broken? Or just a sprain? I don’t know.


Where’s Gary? Looking for Gary who  decided to go through the rock/bucket challenge with a (I think) sprained leg. C’mon Brandon, let’s go get him.


Found him. Let’s Go Gary!!! You can do it brother!


YES!!! What grit! You did it brother!



Just when I  question my decision on doing this, I read this guys shirt. And that’s exactly the message  I need to read. Let’s GO!


After a few more wall climbs, one herculean hoist and a log jump, the Mr. Happy team made it to the finish line.

 Wall climb: as the name suggests, runners must climb over a wooden wall. Walls range from 4–8 feet and are often in sequence. This obstacle may be repeated throughout the course.

 Herculean Hoist: pulled a cement off the ground using a pulley system.

Log Jump: Logs are arranged in a zig-zag pattern at varying heights and participants have to hop on them without touching the ground. A true test of balance. Yup, I failed this one too but made it through Gary’s help.


8.5 miles and 28 obstacles later… We jumped over  fire and made it to the end. In pain. No energy to smile. The Mr. Happy Team Triumphs!


Will I do it again? I’m too sore to answer that right now. There were times where I felt like I was going to vomit. Some delirium also set in around mile 6. It was too hot and those obstacles were grueling.

We definitely pushed ourselves to the limit.

Mr. Happy Blog with more pics

4 things I learned by doing the  biggest physical challenge of my life:

1. The human spirit is able to do anything to survive

2. People are genuinely good and want to help each under  extreme circumstances

3. I need to lose 15 pounds.

4. I’m not in optimal spartan shape.

OK, so,,, who’s in for the next one?

If curious, see this 1 minute plus video on the spartan race.

Adulterated Herbal Supplements – what you need to know


Last week news took hold on the contamination and adulteration of herbal products.

According to this study, Canadian researchers looked at numerous bottles from 12 companies and found that what was on the label was different than what was about 30% of bottles tested. Many of the herbal products were adulterated with fillers such as wheat, rice and soybeans.

The study used a method called DNA barcoding to test the herbal products of interest. CLICK HERE for the BMC study and HERE for the New York Times article.

My Take On This

Unlike the popular belief, the dietary supplement industry is regulated by the FDA. In 1994 the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) and in 2006 by the Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection were developed to regulate the dietary supplement industry. The confusion is that dietary supplements are not regulated like drugs but regulated like food.

The rub is that there is no premarket approval for supplement production. Another words, there is an honor system in place that allows supplement manufacturers to produce products until proven unsafe.

How does DSHEA work?
DSHEA placed dietary supplements as a category of food and created a specific definition for dietary supplements. Further, DSHEA provided FDA with additional enforcement authority, including the ability to remove a dietary supplement from the market the agency considers unsafe.
It’s also the law for companies to abide by Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) rules enforce the following:
•    the design and construction of physical plants that facilitate maintenance, cleaning
•    proper manufacturing operations
•    quality control procedures
•    testing final product or incoming and in-process materials
•    handling consumer complaints, and
•    maintaining records.

More on FDA regulations with dietary supplements GO HERE to the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN)
Again, the FDA does not have the resources to closely oversee over 1000 manufacturing facilities to assure that GMP rules are followed. So there are some companies that intentionally or unintentionally do not follow the rules – and no one will know it until a dietary supplement  proves to be unsafe and then it’s tested.

So clearly this is a problem.

People are  buying dietary supplements and not always getting in the bottle what is written on the label.

DNA barcoding has been questioned by experts in the botanical medicine field as not being an accurate method of measuring adulteration in herbal supplements – CLICK HERE for more on this from the American Botanical Council (ABC).

What should you do?

If your healthcare practitioner is versed in the field (Naturopathic doctor or Integrative MD) no need to worry. Such doctors typically have access to the highest quality of dietary supplements.

For example the nutritional supplement companies I use for patients are from companies with very high manufacturing standards that go beyond what the FDA requires. 90% of dietary supplements I use are from Designs for Health (DFH) or Douglas Labs (DL).

How DFH does things

In addition to strictly following GMP laws, DFH seeks third party company , namely the National Sanitary Foundation (NSF) who frequently visit manufacturing facilities to assure the highest level of manufacturing practices.

Every DFH dietary supplement:

•    Is evaluated and monitored for potential contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, and microbiological organisms
•    Is analyzed to confirm the quantity of all dietary ingredients, thereby ensuring the consistency and accuracy of our label claims
•    Methods to test for yeast and mold counts and pathogen screens for e.coli, staph and salmonella
•    Complete analytical screening of all raw materials and finished goods
◦    Independent third party residual solvent screens
◦    Potency verifications and pesticides tested at the Designs for Health analytical lab via High Performance Liquid        Chromatography (HPLC) and Gas Chromatography (GC)
◦    Independent third party heavy metals analysis via Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)

DFH is the manufacturer of most dietary supplements in XY wellness, LLC including Mr. Happy™.

How DL does things

Douglas Laboratories  has similar manufacturing standards to DFH including ISO-9001 Certification and ISO-17025 Accreditation for in-house laboratories  as well as NSF Certification.  DL are FDA compliant and have rigid procedures and manufacturing practices that are designed to monitor and verify quality throughout every step of the production process.
Their in-house laboratories test and monitor for quality and safety from the raw materials as they enter our facility through to finished goods.  Materials are kept in quarantine until they have passed testing specifications. Materials and formulas are tested for potency, purity, disintegration/bioavailability and stability. Additionally, this year ConsumerLab.com rated DL #1 Rated Healthcare Practitioner Brand Based on Consumer Satisfaction.

DL is the manufacturer of ProstP10x™ and Cysto Renew™

Doggy Bag Message

The study by the BMC should not deter consumers from consuming beneficial botanicals that have minimal to no side effects and can be very effective. There are over 1000 dietary manufacturing supplement companies and for sure, not all have the same manufacturing practices mentioned above  – but most do – especially practitioner brands.  A fabulous resource for consumers , for about $36 a year, that randomly selects dietary supplements and independently test them for purity is ConsumerLab.com.

I hope this clears up most of the confusion.

Let me know if you have any questions

Bear with me – technical glitch.


You may have noticed  the site looking a little different and not as functional. In the last 36 hours we have had a technical glitch causing this setback. We are working on it and it should be up and running by later today.  Thank you for your patience.

Anyone interested in subscribing can safely and easily do so on the right.

Make it a fantastic day.

Dr. Geo


Do you suffer from Electile Dysfunction?

Just to change the focus away from health matters with a little humor – are you a man or a woman who suffers from electile dysfunction? If so, see this short video. (click here for to see the video on the post)