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One Blood Test You Definitely Want

As a Functional Medicine Practitioner great attention needs to be focused on the blood work of our patients! One specific blood test which will give us a wealth of information and measure the degree of hidden inflammation in the body is C-Reactive Protein (CRP). When I do blood work on my patients I always order this test.

Much evidence underscores the critical role that inflammation plays in the development and continuation of diabetes. One study in JAMA: The Journal of the Medical Association1 found people with a high C-reactive protein blood level have a 1,700 percent increased probability of developing diabetes.

Besides obesity and type 2 diabetes, inflammation contributes to almost every modern disease including cancer, heart disease, dementia, arthritis, allergies, autoimmune disease and digestive disorders.

There are 2 types of Inflammation: Acute vs. Chronic
Acute inflammation is your body’s appropriate response to infection or trauma.  You’ve experienced a sore throat, rash, hives, or a sprained ankle.
But inflammation should do its job and then leave. With allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease, or asthma, an overactive immune response and chronic inflammation can slowly wreak havoc, eventually leading to illness and rapid aging.

Your CRP levels should be less than one. Anything higher provides a huge warning sign that you have hidden inflammation.

Inflammatory Culprits
Especially with high CRP levels, you want to do everything possible to reduce inflammation. Even if your results come back within normal range, you’ll want to target inflammatory culprits, including:

  • A high-sugar, processed foods diet
  • Inflammatory fats (omega 6 fats like processed vegetable oils and trans fats)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • Food allergies and sensitivities
  • Hidden or chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts or parasites
  • Mold and other environmental allergens
  • Toxicity from an overload of environmental toxins

8 Strategies to Reduce Chronic Inflammation
Our Standard American Diet (SAD)– with its abundance of vegetable oils, trans fats, and sugar –  combined with high stress levels and crappy sleep, equals a surefire recipe for chronic inflammation.

Reversing inflammation can reduce your risk for disease, help you lose weight, and leave you feeling and looking better no matter what your age. When my patients have high CRP levels or otherwise experience chronic inflammation, I use these eight strategies to normalize inflammatory levels:

  1. Eat real food. Too many sugary foods, including wheat flour, raise insulin, eventually paving the path for insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. A vicious cycle results as insulin resistance creates even more chronic inflammation. Eat an anti-inflammatory high fiber, plant-based, whole foods diet.
  1. Make an oil change. Besides sugar, omega-6 rich soybean, corn, and other vegetable oils fuel your inflammatory fire. Eat healthy fats from olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocados and omega 3 fats from small fish like sardines, herring, sable, and wild salmon. If you don’t eat wild-caught fish at least three or four times each week, consider a high quality fish oil supplement.
  1. Exercise regularly. One study in the Journal of Applied Physiology 2found exercise protected against chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.  If you’re just starting out, incorporate core training and aerobic exercise 30 minutes, five times a week. If you want to step things up a few notches, try interval training and weight resistance.
  1. Actively relax. Learn to actively relax to engage your vagus nerve, the powerful nerve that relaxes your whole body and lowers inflammation, by doing meditation, deep breathing, or even taking a hot bath. One study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine3 found yoga could reduce inflammation and stress, and “regular practice could have substantial health benefits.”
  1. Address food allergies and sensitivities. One study in the journal Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes4 compared obese kids to normal-weight kids and found obese children had a threefold higher level of CRP and 2.5 higher level of IgG antibodies for the 277 foods tested.  Food sensitivities, weight gain, and insulin resistance are intricately connected. Eliminating common highly reactive foods, including soy, gluten, and dairy can dramatically reduce inflammation.
  1. Take probiotics. Studies show5 among their benefits, a probiotic supplement can help reduce intestinal inflammation. These healthy gut flora also improve digestion, further reducing inflammation.  Look for a high quality probiotic supplement that contains 10 billion CFU of Bifidobacteria species and Lactobacillus species.
  1. Address nutrient deficiencies. Look at a high quality multivitamin multi-mineral as your best insurance policy that covers any gaps you might not get in a whole foods diet. One study in The American Journal of Medicine 6 found a multivitamin could lower C-reactive protein levels.

   8.  Spice it up.  Turmeric is one of my favorite spices to help reduce inflammation. Others include ginger, rosemary and garlic.

Remember #HealthIsAChoice   Your health is our priority and we are here to help!

1Pradhan AD, Manson JE, Rifai N, Buring JE, Ridker PM. C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, and risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. JAMA: The Journal of the Medical Association 2001 Jul 18;286(3):327-34.
2Petersen AM1, Pedersen BK. The anti-inflammatory effect of exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Apr;98(4):1154-62.
3Kiecolt-Glaser JK1, Christian L, Preston H, Houts CR, Malarkey WB, Emery CF, Glaser R. Stress, inflammation, and yoga practice. Psychosom Med. 2010 Feb;72(2):113-21. doi:
10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181cb9377. Epub 2010 Jan 11
4Wilders-Truschnig M1, Mangge H, Lieners C, Gruber H, Mayer C, März W. IgG antibodies against food antigens are correlated with inflammation and intima media thickness in obese juveniles.  Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2008 Apr;116(4):241-5. Epub 2007 Dec 10.
5Mengheri E. Health, probiotics, and inflammation. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2008 Sep;42 Suppl 3 Pt 2:S177-8. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31817eedc4.
6Church TS1, Earnest CP, Wood KA, Kampert JB. Reduction of C-reactive protein levels through use of a multivitamin. Am J Med. 2003 Dec 15;115(9):702-7.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To Your Good Health,

Dr Elena M Morreale

For More Information: Call Dr Elena Morreale (Alternative Cancer and Health Therapies, Tampa, FL)  813-968-5404  .

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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The Crucial Role Of Estrogen In Breast Cancer

“Breast cancer is strongly linked to an individual’s life-time exposure to estrogen!”

The above is a statement that few dispute, regardless of their chosen approach to the treatment of breast cancer.  Put differently, the more you are exposed to estrogen during your life-time, the greater your risk is of developing breast cancer, or relapsing after treatment. In fact it is for this reason that Tamoxifen (an estrogen-blocking drug) has become the most prescribed medication in the conventional treatment approach of breast cancer patients.

However, in spite of the unquestionable influence which estrogen has in the development and progression of breast cancer, we need to remind ourselves that estrogen was designed by, and for the body, and women have of course always produced estrogen. The question that must follow then is, why would a hormone that was meant to help the body (not harm it!) be contributing to breast cancer, and why has this become progressively more prevalent in recent years?

It is a question that deserves some pondering.  Not only because the answers bring into question our modern approach and its failure to recognize and address the causes of our increased exposure to estrogen, but also because the answers give us an awareness that enables us to make more conscious daily choices to reduce our exposure to estrogen thereby allowing us to exercise our own significant powers to prevent (and treat) breast cancer.

First, let’s begin by reminding ourselves what estrogen is:

Estrogen is a hormone (or chemical messenger) that is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands and which is crucial in regulating the organs involved in reproduction; namely the ovaries themselves, the uterus and breasts. Estrogen production starts at puberty and is released in a cyclical fashion (controlling menstruation) until menopause when the ovaries cease to produce estrogen. After reaching menopause smaller amounts of estrogen continue to be produced predominantly by the fat tissue. Estrogen also plays a role in bone density and heart health. It is for this reason that so many women are recommended by their doctors to take HRT (hormone replacement therapy which contains estrogen) when they reach menopause.

Lets talk about the reasons why the presence of high levels of estrogen are likely to increase the incidence of breast cancer……
Cancer develops when the cellular terrain in the body has become toxic and acidic and therefore oxygen-deprived. Breast cancer develops for the same reasons. However the breast tissue is unique in that it is comprised of glandular tissue (responsible for milk secretion) surrounded by a cushion of fat cells. The glandular tissue is highly responsive to hormones particularly estrogen, while the fat cells serve as a depot for toxins. The close proximity of these tissues is very relevant when we consider the part estrogen plays in increasing the risks for developing breast cancer.

When the cells of the glandular tissue in the breast are struggling in an oxygen-deprived terrain brought on by accumulating toxins, they mutate to cancer cells which allows them to continue to survive by fermenting glucose for energy (instead of using oxygen). It is a short-term survival attempt while you (hopefully) address the causes that lead to cancer being necessary to develop!

The fact that the glandular tissue of the breast is in close proximity to a source of toxins – the surrounding fat tissue- increases its exposure to the toxic burden that causes a reduction in oxygen and nutrient supply to the cells. These conditions allow for cancer to develop and is further exacerbated by the influence of estrogen on these cells because estrogen acts by increasing the rate of replication of cells, which includes the cancerous cells.
In addition to this anatomical reason for promoting cancer, excess estrogen also has the effect of reducing the protective protein carrying capacity of iron in the blood and tissues. As a result, the amount of iron in the free form increases in the blood which is highly damaging to the tissues and causes a lot of free radical damage. This adds to the toxic load that our immune system has to deal with, and in time compromises oxygen delivery to the cells because of it, which also creates favorable conditions for cancer to develop.

However, as I mentioned earlier, women (and men to a lesser degree) have always produced estrogen to perform several vital roles in the body, so one is left wondering why the negative effects of estrogen are being witnessed to a greater degree as it would appear from the rising breast cancer statistics.

The short answer is that our exposure to estrogen is significantly more than it used to be! In our modern world we are exposed to increasing amounts of estrogenic compounds (chemicals that act like estrogens) and therefore over the years, our cumulative exposure to estrogen in various forms increases our susceptibility to breast cancer.

The reasons for this increased exposure to estrogen are numerous and yet hugely important for any woman wishing to avoid (or heal from) breast cancer, to become aware of. The following is a list of these reasons:

1. Girls are reaching puberty at a progressively earlier age, thus producing estrogen from a younger age
2. Women are reaching menopause at a later age, thus producing estrogen into later life (the combination of 1 and 2 lengthens the life-span of estrogen exposure further)
3. We are ingesting foods that contain phyto-estrogens that have estrogen-mimicking effects, such as our modern soy foods.
4. We are ingesting estrogen-mimicking chemicals inadvertently when we eat food that has been contaminated with estrogenic compounds (such as in meat and dairy products)
5. Many of the refined foods we eat contain preservatives that act as estrogens.
6. Plastics and canned packaging leach harmful chemicals into the food and water they are made to hold, some of which mimic estrogens (eg BPA)
7. Fat cells also produce estrogen, therefore if one has more fat cells it increases the production of estrogen
8. We are choosing to take in pharmacological estrogens (medical drugs containing estrogens) in the form of oral contraceptives and HRT
9. Many pharmacological drugs are preserved with chemicals with known estrogen-mimicking effects (eg parabens).
10. We apply cosmetics to our bodies that contain chemicals with estrogen-like functions in the form of creams, anti-perspirants, sun-tan lotions etc

The above is not an exhaustive list, however it gives you some idea of the multitude of diverse reasons/sources of estrogen we are being exposed to on a daily basis. It is the accumulation of estrogens from a variety of different sources that can ultimately contribute to a terrain that is ‘ripe’ for breast cancer. The good news however, is that most of these sources of estrogen, through increased awareness can, and should be, avoided.

In conclusion, while estrogen is not the only factor involved in causing (or exacerbating) breast cancer, the role it plays is an important and undeniable one, and it is up to anyone who wishes to reduce their risk to breast cancer (while enhancing their health) to take full heed of the factors that increase their life-time exposure to estrogen! Empower your self today!

Remember #HealthIsAChoice.  We are here to help. YOUR health is OUR priority!
Now I’d like to hear from you…

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To Your Good Health,

Dr Elena M Morreale

For More Information: Call Dr Elena Morreale (Alternative Cancer and Health Therapies, Tampa, FL)    813-968-5404      .

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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DITI- The Safer Alternative

While mammograms have been the widely accepted (and strongly promoted) method of screening for breast cancer since the 1950?s, the evidence now points strongly towards mammograms not only being unreliable in their role of screening, but in fact being responsible for posing real dangers to those women who have them! (see my previous article, ‘Mammograms ~ what your doctor won’t tell you!’)

The good news? There’s a safe and non-invasive alternative, and it’s called Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI). Approved for clinical use in 1982, this quick and easy procedure that is not only pain-free and side-effect free, but most importantly radiation-free, is now widely available! This device makes use of an infra-red imaging camera that is used to detect subtle changes in skin temperatures that can indicate inflammation of the tissues which precedes cancer development.

DITI is a highly sensitive screening method that can pick up what would otherwise be imperceptible changes. It works by detecting physiological changes in the tissues (rather than looking for lumps as in mammography) and as a result,abnormal changes in the breast can be detected 10 years prior to that of a mammogram!
It is a very safe monitoring device for women of all ages, even for those very young women where mammography is especially contraindicated. It is often used for full-body imaging (not just the breast tissue) and is highly sensitive to pathology of the muscles, blood vessels, nerve and bone tissues throughout the body potentially revealing other problem areas.

So why then, if DITI is such a safe alternative to mammography, has it not been promoted as such by the various cancer groups? A conflict of interest is the reason! Take the ACS (American Cancer Society) for example, which has strong ties with the mammography industry. Five of their recent presidents have been radiologists, ensuring the ongoing support of the mammography industry who in turn conduct research for the ACS and donate considerable funds to it. In addition, the ACS supports several of the large manufacturers of mammogram equipment and film, who in turn, back ACS. It is a gigantic racket that prevents people from hearing the truth! As a result, safe and viable alternatives that pose a threat to mammography, are ignored or attacked. It’s all about the almighty dollar and not your health!

In summary, those women who wish to avoid the risks of radiation that regular mammograms pose (including increasing the risk and spread of breast cancer), should consider DITI instead as an annual screening test, as well as using it at times when potential problems are identified. This can be combined with the use of CBE (clinical breast examination) and monthly BSE (breast self examination) as a safe and effective method of identifying and monitoring all breast pathology.
It’s your body and your priority.  Choose the safest most effective benefits for long term health and don’t be bullied by the money making racketeers.  Empower yourself!

Remember #HealthIsAChoice.  We are here to help. YOUR health is OUR priority!
Now I’d like to hear from you…

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To Your Good Health,

Dr Elena M Morreale

For More Information: Call Dr Elena Morreale (Alternative Cancer and Health Therapies, Tampa, FL)             813-968-5404      .

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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Mammograms-What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You!

If you want to do everything possible to prevent (or heal yourself from) breast cancer you may want to consider avoiding mammograms!

Yes, you read that right.

Radiation, in the form of mammograms, is used as the primary method in conventional medicine to detect (and monitor) the progress of breast cancer .  However, this practice continues in spite of the fact that it has been conclusively proven that radiation causes cancer, and in spite of the fact that safe and more accurate methods exist for detection and screening.

But let’s begin at looking at some of the facts about mammograms as shared by numerous doctors and studies conducted on the subject (excerpts taken from ‘Cancer is not a Disease’ by Andreas Moritz)

  1. Dr Charles Simone, a former clinical associate in immunology and pharmacology at the National Cancer Institute said, “Mammograms increase the risk for developing breast cancer and raise the risk of spreading or metastasizing an existing growth”

 2.  Each x-ray you are exposed to increases your risk of abnormal cell growth. One standard mammography test results in approx 1 rad (radiation absorbed dose)              exposure, which is about 1000 times greater than that from a chest x-ray

3.  The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports that among women under 35, mammography could cause 75 cases of breast cancer for every 15 it identifies

4.  Dr Samuel Epstein of the Cancer Prevention Coalition claims, “Screening mammography poses significant and cumulative risks of breast cancer for pre-                      menopausal women”

5.  A Canadian study found a 52% increase in breast cancer mortality in young women who received annual mammograms.

      6.  Since mammogram screening was introduced, the incidence of the form of breast cancer called ‘ductal carcinoma in situ’ (DCIS) has increased 328%

       7.  Each year, thousands of women unnecessarily undergo mastectomies, chemotherapy and radiation after receiving false positives on a mammogram

8.  Research has identified a gene, called the oncogene AC which is extremely sensitive to even small doses of radiation. A significant percentage of women in the             US (and elsewhere) have this gene. An estimated 10,000 AC carriers in the US will die of breast cancer each year due to receiving mammograms

9.   In July 1995, ‘The Lancet’ wrote about mammograms, saying “The benefit is marginal, the harm caused is substantial and the costs incurred are                                      enormous……”

While the conducting of mammograms has been hailed as a crucial screening program for the early detection of breast cancer by various cancer establishments, and the trusting public have come to accept this almost unquestioningly; the truth is somewhat different. Mammography is NOT a technique for early diagnosis of breast cancer. In fact cancer in the breast usually has to be present for 8 years before a mammogram can detect it!  Cancer is a 12 year disease with tumors forming in year 8.

Added to this, there is substantial room for error in the interpretation of mammograms leading to frequent incorrect results:

Fast negative results: It is common for cancers to be missed in pre-menopausal women due to the dense and highly glandular nature of the breasts at this stage of life. It is also easily missed in post-menopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy because of the breast densities that can develop making radiological interpretation difficult.

False positives: It is also common in both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy to receive a falsely positive result of breast cancer leading to these women having to experience unnecessary anxiety, biopsies and more mammograms.

Over-diagnosis: in addition to falsely positive results, over-diagnosis and over-treatment is a major hazard of mammography. As a direct result of mammogram screening there has been a significant increase in the diagnosis of DCIS (see the figures noted above). However DCIS is a pre-invasive form of breast cancer and 80% of these cases never go on to form the invasive form of cancer even if left untreated! In addition to this, the mortality rate from DCIS is 1% regardless of whether these women are diagnosed and treated early or are only diagnosed later following the development of the invasive form!

Since the treatment for DCIS generally involves lumpectomy and radiation or even mastectomy and chemotherapy with the dire side-effects that go with them, this over-diagnosis and resultant over-treatment that results from mammography is a monumental disservice to women!

So the question then is why, in view of the above facts, does the practice of regular use of mammograms persist?  In short; mammography is big business and the industries that promote it will do anything to keep the mammogram ‘bandwagon’ going!

So if having regular mammograms is filled with increasing our risks of breast cancer, is there a viable alternative?

Absolutely!  In fact the existence of a side-effect free, relatively inexpensive alternative that is far more accurate than mammography makes the persistent use of mammograms all the more inconceivable.  The safer alternative is called Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI).  It works by measuring the infrared heat radiating from your body and translates this into anatomical images. The breasts (and the entire body) can be scanned using this method, and abnormal growths will stand out clearly as a ‘hot spot’.

While the industries who have much to gain from the gigantic profits generated by mammography are quick to deny the above facts, the individual who chooses to inform them self of the safer alternatives available can exercise their right in making their own safer choices!

In summary therefore, the screening for breast cancer using mammograms is a profit-driven technology that offers poor reliability of results while posing considerable risks to the women who have them, while safe and viable alternatives exist!

Remember #HealthIsAChoice.  We are here to help. YOUR health is OUR priority!

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To Your Good Health,

Dr Elena M Morreale

For More Information: Call Dr Elena Morreale (Alternative Cancer and Health Therapies, Tampa, FL)  813-968-5404      .


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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SBE Could Save Your Life!

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s talk about what we should start to do on a monthly basis to insure our proper health!

Breast self examinations, or BSE as its generally referred to, has been credited with being responsible for the detection of 90% of breast cancer cases in women. It costs nothing, it’s easy to do once you know how, and its safe.

The following is a 4 step process which you can do in the comfort of your own home. It is normal for your breasts to change slightly during the month as their exposure to the hormones in your body changes, and for this reason it is best to do your self-examination at roughly the same time every month, that being 2-3 days post menstruation, so that you are comparing like with like. Here it is…..

Step 1: Begin by standing in front of a mirror and with your shoulders square and hands on your hips. While it can be normal for the breasts not to be identical in shape, you want to be looking for any abnormalities, especially changes that weren’t previously there, such as……

  • puckering or dimpling of the skin
  • changes in color (such as redness) or areas of greater warmth (may be an indication of inflammation)
  • changes in size or distortion, such as a raised or firmer area
  • changes in the nipples such as a changed shape or direction or even an inverted nipple (pushing inwards)
  • any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples
  • unusual discomfort

Step 2: Raise both your arms straight above your head, and look for the same changes as above in Step 1.

Step 3: Lie comfortably flat on your back and then using your left hand to examine your right breast (and vice versa) examine both breasts using 3-4 fingers placed close together and keeping them flat against your breast (rather than using the finger tips). Move your fingers in small circular movements, being firm, but gentle; this is not supposed to hurt!
Using your hand in this manner, systematically feel your entire breast in a way that works best for you: either from the nipple working outwards in a circular fashion until you reach the outermost parts or instead you may wish to work your fingers up and down from the inside to outside (or outside to inside) also covering your entire breast in this manner. Repeat with the other breast. You will find that you use slight pressure for the most superficial parts of the breast, and apply increasingly more pressure to feel the deeper parts especially those against your chest/rib cage. Once again, this should not be hurting you!

Step 4: Complete your exam finally by sitting up and doing the same examination while raising the arm which is on the same side as the breast being examined, above your head as you examine once again with the opposite hand. (some women find this easier in the bath or shower when their skin is wet and slippery)
The entire procedure should only take a few minutes for each breast. If you do detect any of these changes as listed above, it would be advisable to have it further evaluated with Digital Infared Thermal Imaging (DITI).

At this point, I would like to add an important caveat…..
Having interviewed many women with breast cancer, and having asked them about doing BSE’s, the response is often one of not enjoying doing this self-screening procedure. In spite of being told that it is a good and necessary procedure, many women invariably begin to experience an uneasiness that stems from a nervousness of what they might find. It is important that we are not dismissive of this detail revealed by many women on questioning.
As with any screening method, when we do a BSE with an energy of expectation or fear of finding breast cancer, we can inadvertently in time bring on the very thing we wish to avoid! It is one of the oldest laws of the Universe; “what we expect, we experience”It is crucial to understand and appreciate this critical factor!
Few people will mention this, and yet this energy of expectation coupled with the inordinate fear of breast cancer which so many women possess, is not helping the ‘epidemic’ of breast cancer in our modern times!

In summary then; if you use BSE as a method of screening, it is important that you use it with a mindset of simple observation and with the intention of creating peace of mind. In this manner, it is a very helpful and important screening tool!
However, for those who cannot do this examination without feeling nervous and expectant of finding breast cancer, then you need to know that you may be doing more harm than good! If it feels easier for you to have a clinical breast examination (CBE) by an experienced professional or a DITI, then have this done instead. It is your body and ultimately your choice. Do what feels right for you!

In addition, I recommend that all women learn to listen to their body, learn to know their body and importantly begin to understand what cancer really is! This will make you less fearful of breast cancer, while raising your awareness of your body and how powerful you are in preventing breast cancer. You can then actively begin to take those steps necessary to avoid cancer (rather than looking for it and anticipating it) especially if you are one of those who can’t help being fearful and expectant of breast cancer.
Our ultimate goal as we move forward to squash the ‘plague’ of breast cancer, we must begin to focus on learning what cancer really is (which is currently known by very few, including the medical industry) and then begin taking steps to prevent it, rather than focusing primarily on detecting the symptoms as is currently done.By simply devoting all our energy to detecting the symptoms (ie screening for breast cancer) we are left feeling like helpless victims waiting for cancer to strike.

In contrast, when we understand what cancer really is and how powerful we as individuals are in preventing it, then we do not need to live in fear of it, and we can live our lives in a way that will prevent cancer ever developing. This mindset and this way of living leaves us feeling empowered!
Empower yourself daily!

Remember #HealthIsAChoice.  We are here to help. YOUR health is OUR priority!

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To Your Good Health,

Dr Elena M Morreale

For More Information: Call Dr Elena Morreale (Alternative Cancer and Health Therapies, Tampa, FL)             813-968-5404      .

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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Trying To Lose Weight But You Hit A Plateau?

So, you’ve decided it is time to lose some weight. You know where you’re at, and you know where you want to be; your goals are set.

You’ve already made some changes. You’ve switched your diet and most importantly, you’re likely feeling better. But you’ve hit a weight loss plateau. Now, maybe you’re ready to kick it into high gear.

Maybe you’re focused, doing well, not letting minor setbacks set you back, nor are you obsessing over perfection, but you really want to maximize what you’re doing to see some results. After all, there is no better weight loss motivation than seeing that what you’re doing is working. There are a couple strategies and supplements you can include in your regimen.

5 Strategies for Maximizing Weight Loss and Avoiding A Weight Loss Plateau

1. Exercise on an empty stomach.
Some people fuel up before a workout. But instead, perhaps, try exercising on an empty stomach. This may help your body burn excess fat as fuel. Quickly follow up your workout with a high protein meal to help replenish your muscles.

2. Eat one table spoon of healthy fat 20-30 minutes before your workout.
Even though this isn’t enough calories to count as a meal, this strategy certainly strikes against strategy number one. However, taking just one tablespoon of something like olive oil or coconut oil can help get your metabolism going before a workout.

3. Try the supplements L-Carnitine, Chromium Picolinate  and Conjugated Linoleic Acid.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid; try taking it 30 minutes before a workout. It helps move fat molecules into the mitochondria of cells to process as fuel. It simply helps your body process fat the way it naturally would. Chromium Picolinate helps control blood sugar and may help you resist cravings for foods not on your diet. CLA is a great nutrient that aids in burning fat––particularly belly fat. It is a fatty acid present in grass fed beef, but also available in supplement form.

4. Try the “6 small meals instead of 3 big meals” strategy.
This is a favorite of a lot of folks in training, and the thought is that a steady supply of food instead of large gaps in between meals is better for metabolism function. It takes some planning, but if you have your diet down and want to maximize your weight loss, this strategy may be worth the effort.

5. Find an exercise that feels more like fun that exercise.
When you were young, exercise wasn’t called exercise; it was called football. Or riding your bike. Or having fun. Find something enjoyable, not something you dread or that feels like a chore. This is better for your overall well being, and you’ll be more likely to continue doing it.

Remember #HealthIsAChoice

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To Your Good Health,

Dr Elena M Morreale

For More Information: Call Dr Elena Morreale (Alternative Cancer and Health Therapies, Tampa, FL)  813-968-5404   .

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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Macrobiotic Diet: Good or Bad

Have you noticed how many different diets, philosophies about diet, diet strategies, dietitians claiming to have found the last diet you’ll ever need, etc., that the task of even figuring out what your diet should consist of has become quite the challenge. Often, advices are conflicting, philosophies confusing and rules extremely restricting. One thing is certain: judging from the volume of answers to the question of “What should I eat?” There must be a number of people asking that question. And if that many people are asking the question, there must be something seriously wrong with the way we feed ourselves.

This is nothing new, though. As obesity rates rise – and the subsequent diseases associated with obesity – many people have risen to the occasion with their own take on how to solve the problem. What has resulted has been a slew of diet plans – there is the raw food diet, the vegan diet, the no carb diet,  and the list goes on, virtually forever. But in addition to the the raw food diet, the vegan diet, the no carb diet and the seemingly endless list, there is one diet that has become fairly popular lately that has been touted for its health-promoting benefits.

The macrobiotic eating plan has been making waves of late in health circles. But just what is a macrobiotic diet? What is a macrobiotic diet good for? This particular diet consists primarily of cereal grains. Vegetables and beans are also encouraged. Recommended semi-regularly are nuts and seeds, seasonal fruits and, occasionally, seafood. Meat, dairy, and eggs are discouraged, or recommended to be enjoyed perhaps once a month. Obviously, this plan focuses on vegetarian and seasonal eating and includes quite a bit of phytonutrients.

Many claim that the macrobiotic diet is good for people diagnosed with and undergoing treatment for cancer, but many people in mainstream medicine reject this idea, citing the fact that cancer patients often suffer from unwanted weight loss.

The macrobiotic diet stands in stark contrast to the diet I promote, which basically turns the proportions of this diet upside down. What macrobiotic enthusiasts may fail to take into account is the fact that grains are often contaminated with mycotoxins – fungal poisons – which can be detrimental to your health. Many have even been linked to cancer, a disease the diet is supposed to protect against. Furthermore, a diet rich in carbs might actually feed a pathogenic fungal infection, diabetes, celiac disease, cancer, etc. which may at once be unknown to the sufferer, but the source of many symptoms he or she experiences.

So as far as macrobiotic diets go: I agree with the limited low glycemic (un-sweet) fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. I would totally exclude grains for the above listed reasons. Be smart about animal protein (grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic free, wild caught and not farm raised fishes)

For more help and guidance with your dietary needs contact our office today 813-968-5404.

Remember #HealthIsAChoice.  We are here to help, your health is our priority!

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To Your Good Health,

Dr Elena M Morreale

For More Information: Call Dr Elena Morreale (Alternative Cancer and Health Therapies, Tampa, FL)  813-968-5404 .

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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Why depression is so common today

The World Health Organization reports that 121 million people worldwide are clinically depressed. This number includes a shocking one in ten Americans.
Alarmingly, depression is increasing at a rate of 20% annually.
Why has depression become such an issue? Here are eight reasons that are backed by scientific evidence.

1. Toxic food: Poisoning your brain so it cannot function properly

Processed junk food is scientifically connected to depression. A University College London team researched the relationship between depression and diet.
They discovered that people who regularly eat foods such as sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products are 58% more likely to be clinically depressed.
Conversely, those who eat a diet rich in whole foods – fruit, vegetables and lean protein – are 26% less likely to be depressed.
A diet high in processed food is sorely lacking in key nutrition that allows your mind and body to function. Vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, trace minerals…you don’t find these in a pop tart.

2. Heavy metal toxicity: The silent risk

Conventional medicine does not consider the risk of heavy metal exposure. The truth is, there is no safe level of heavy metal exposure. If it is in your system, it is doing damage.
Heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium are known to interfere with cognitive function, causing depression and other neuro-psychiatric symptoms. These metals accumulate in the body over time, so it doesn’t take a major exposure to do long-term damage.
This is an area that demands more research by the scientific community, although the evidence is mounting.
We offer several heavy metal detox protocols if you think this applies to you.

Common sources of heavy metals: mercury fillings, vaccines, lead-based paint (in homes built prior to 1978, cigarettes, contaminated fish, living near a landfill, working in a dentist’s office.

3. Lack of nature: Avoiding what grounds your body

The UK based mental health charity Mind has discovered the 90% of people report significant emotional benefits from eco-therapy. Eco-therapy involves simple outdoor activities such as walking in nature and gardening.
A separate report released from UK charity Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support found that as little as two and half hours of walking or gardening per week can save lives by lowering stress levels and keep you healthier and happier.
Another study done by the University of Colorado at Boulder suggests that camping in nature for a week resets your biological clock, brings out positive hormonal change and makes you more mentally alert.
We are disconnected from nature. Our bare skin rarely touches the earth, rarely soaks up sunshine. We live indoors attached to electronic devices and it is affecting our mind and moods.

4. Psychological attachments: Unwittingly seeking old, familiar misery again and again

Psychological attachments occur when feeling miserable is more familiar (and therefore more pleasurable) than feeling good.
If you were raised in an emotionally dysfunctional family, then you were forced to internalize the negative messages you received. These were painful messages, to be sure.
As a child, what did you do with the constant onslaught of emotional pain? You did the only thing you could: you learned to tolerate it. In other words, you developed a tolerance for emotional anguish, even though you hated it. This was your only choice at the time.
Now, emotional anguish is the norm in your life. Your tolerance for it, coupled with a lack of familiarity for feeling wonderful, encourages you to make choices that keep in the realm of familiar misery.
In fact, because of attachments, many people simply cannot tolerate happiness. It makes them feel strange and scared.
Psychological attachments are the most overlooked mental health phenomenon of our day. Because of them, we unwittingly set ourselves up for misery, even though we are unhappy doing it!

5. Consumerism: Desiring stuff that makes you feel empty

Mass consumerism is a modern phenomenon created on purpose by Edward Bernays, the father of public relations. Bernays and his corporate clients had one goal in mind – to program people to desire things that they didn’t need.
Bernays and crew called the quest, “the creation of happiness machines.” If they associated consumer goods with happiness, status, wealth and power, then people would automatically begin to seek these products like little robots.
It worked. Welcome to America.
Of course, it has made us miserable. Science has proven that consumerism – seeking happiness in stuff that cannot provide happiness, then seeking more stuff to fill the ever-widening void – leads to chronic depression.
Research conducted at Northwestern University shows that people who place a high value on wealth, status, and material goods are more depressed, anxious and less sociable than those who do not.
Materialism is not just a personal problem. It’s also environmental. “We found that irrespective of personality, in situations that activate a consumer mindset, people show the same sorts of problematic patterns in well being, including negative affect and social disengagement,” says Northwestern University psychologist Galen V. Bodenhausen.

6. Lack of exercise: Willingness to feel lethargic

According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise reduces and prevents anxiety and depression. Moving your body releases feel good endorphins, helps with detoxification, and increases body temperature, which has calming effects.
Harvard University has done a study that reviews scientific literature back to 1981. They have concluded that regular exercise is beneficial for mild to moderate depression. It is easy to see how not exercising at all could lead you straight into its jaws.
Sadly 80% of Americans do not exercise regularly, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

7. Ignorance about feelings: Trapping negative emotions in your body

Feelings like sadness, hurt and grief are meant to be expressed. Unless you block them, they will originate in your torso, then begin to flow upward through your chest, throat, face and out of your mouth and eyes. The natural flow of emotions cleanses the feelings from your body and allows you to recover.
If for some reason you were taught that this natural process was bad, then you learned to block the emotional energy by tightening your stomach, chest, throat, shoulders and face. This effectively prevents the feelings from surfacing.
In other words, clenching and tightening traps the emotions in your body.
As more painful experiences occur, the damming of emotions continues. This requires and tremendous amount of energy. It creates chronic muscle tension. It’s exhausting.
Of course, you end up feeling trapped, hopeless, isolated, and ungrounded.

8. It’s a diagnosis: Promoting depression

Companies who sell drugs for depression are motivated. They want people to recognize symptoms of depression. They give it a name and package a remedy, then sell that remedy.
Labeling depression is a two-edged sword. For many, it is a relief to understand this the symptoms are something common and real. Others fall prey to the diagnosis. After offering their doctor a few examples of poor mood, the doc slaps on a label and prescribes, drugs. He is surely overlooking other options!
As more and more people are diagnosed, more and more people can fit their experiences into the depression box. Promoting the diagnosis may account for the rise in awareness of depression.
Knowing what you can do to feel better, but not doing it
The real crux of the matter with depression may be how clingy it can be. Many depressed folks can make a list of things they know they can do to feel a little better, yet they don’t do those things.
This speaks to psychological attachments, the reasons why we cling to pain as if it were our friend. We’ve learned to be comfortable inside depression as if it were an old, familiar shoe. So, we avoid doing what it takes to recover.
Severe cases of depression are dangerous, even life threatening. It’s not something that is necessarily easy to overcome, yet the causes seem clear. And there is much you can do to feel better.

Remember #HealthIsAChoice   Your Health Is Our Priority, We Our Here To Help.
Now I’d like to hear from you…

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To Your Good Health,

Dr Elena M Morreale

For More Information: Call Dr Elena Morreale (Alternative Cancer and Health Therapies, Tampa, FL)             813-968-5404      .

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The “Ice Bucket Challenge” has drawn so much attention via the news and the Internet recently. It’s so great that so many people have been motivated to try and help find a cure for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s ever greater that we are raising awareness of a disease that many know nothing about because together we can wipe out disease.
It is a big concern that most of that funding will go toward finding a pharmaceutical drug that will ATTEMPT to treat the disease. Which saddens me, because we already have natural remedies that can greatly REDUCE your risk of ALS without having to take a dangerous drug.
Let’s talk about this for a minute. One thing we could do right now to stop ALS is to stop statin drug prescriptions.

Did you know that there’s a connection between this cholesterol-lowering category of drugs and ALS?

First, a World Health Organization drug monitoring group in Sweden started getting a flood of reports that statins – HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors – were associated with a “disproportionally high reporting of upper motor neurone lesions.” The kind one gets with ALS.1
But no one paid attention to the reports.

Mainstream medicine even ignored the evidence from researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

They did a “Statin Effects Study” that also looked into reports of the horrible effects of statin drugs. They found that ALL 10 people they looked at had ALS-like symptoms when taking their statin drugs, and ALL of them had the symptoms go away when they stopped taking the drug.2
There are other completely natural ways to help your body REDUCE the risk of ALS that you can use starting right now:

1) Vitamin B12 is a good example.

We’ve known about its benefits for ALS patients for years. When you give people with ALS high doses of methylcobalamin, the most absorbable form of vitamin B12, they can move around much better and with less pain. They get a huge increase in muscle action potential amplitudes (CMAPs).3 That’s the measure they use to find how well and ALS sufferer can move around.
A normal dose of B12 won’t do the trick though. In the study, people who got .5 mg a day showed no improvement in movement. You need much more.

Liver, red meat, clams and other shellfish are the best natural sources. That’s because B12 is only produced in the gut of animals. You can’t get it from plants. They don’t need B12 so they don’t store it. But animals do.

You can also supplement, but be aware that as you get older you may have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12. So use the most absorbable form which is methylcobalamin. It’s the active form of B12 that’s ready for your body to use. In addition, it’s the only form that can cross the blood brain barrier, so you can get it where you need it most. For brain protection, take at least 2,000 mcg per day.

2) The second thing to do is make sure you get enough omega-3s.

I talk to you about these healthy fats often, and this is why. The mountain of evidence showing how omega-3s improve your health and protect you is staggering.
A new study out of Harvard I found when I was doing research on this – which hasn’t even been printed yet – looked at over 1 million people and their risk for ALS. It shows that high intake of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of ALS by 40-60%.4 Now that’s astounding! Show me a drug that does that.

A good source of omega-3s is to eat more small oily fish like sardines or herring. Sardines are at the bottom of the ocean’s food chain. They only feed on plankton so they don’t build up heavy metals and other contaminants in their flesh like larger fish do.
To really ramp up your levels of omega-3, I recommend supplementing with a combination of squid and kill oils. In one study, people taking krill oil had their omega-3s skyrocket by 178%.5 And squid oil has more DHA, the brain-protective omega-3, than any other source on earth. In fact, some squid oils can contain over 65% DHA.6
Make sure you get more than 3 grams of omega-3 a day for complete brain protection.

3.)  Take Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been shown to play a vital role. Coconut oil contains medium chain tri-glycerides (MCT) which are processed and metabolized in the liver into ketones.  Ketones penetrate the brain blood barrier and provide an alternative fuel source for the brain cells. Coconut oil is anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial and if the addition is not carefully managed it can result in extreme detoxification symptoms, which some people put down to being allergic to the oil. That is not the case, they need to just start a LOT more slowly, even 1 teaspoon a day with meals.

Remember #TogetherWeCanWipeOutDisease

For More help call our office today 813-968-5404.
1. Edwards I, Star K, Kiuru A. “Statins, neuromuscular degenerative disease and an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-like syndrome: an analysis of individual case safety reports from vigibase.” Drug Saf. 2007;30(6):515-25.
2. Golomb B, Kwon E, Koperski S, Evans M. “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-like conditions in possible association with cholesterol-lowering drugs: an analysis of patient reports to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Statin Effects Study.” Drug Saf. 2009;32(8):649-61.
3. Kaji R, Kodama M, Imamura A, Hashida T, Kohara N, Ishizu M, Inui K, Kimura J. “Effect of ultrahigh-dose methylcobalamin on compound muscle action potentials in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a double-blind controlled study.” Muscle Nerve. 1998;21(12):1775-8.
4. Fitzgerald K, O’Reilly E, Falcone G, McCullough M, Park Y, Kolonel L, Ascherio A. “Dietary ?-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Intake and Risk for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.” JAMA Neurol. 2014 Jul 14. Epub ahead of print.
5. Maki K, Reeves M, Farmer M, Griinari M, Berge K, Vik H, Hubacher R, Rains T. “Krill oil supplementation increases plasma concentrations of EPA and DHA in overweight and obese men and women.” Nutr Res. 2009;29(9):609-15.
6. Hwang L, Liang J. “Fractionation of urea-pretreated squid visceral oil ethyl esters.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists‘ Society 2001;Volume 78, Issue 5, pp 473-476.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To Your Good Health,

Dr Elena M Morreale

For More Information: Call Dr Elena Morreale (Alternative Cancer and Health Therapies, Tampa, FL)             813-968-5404      .

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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Do You Suffer From Night Time Binges?

Do you sometimes sneak a late-night snack, even after you’ve had a big dinner? Or worse, do you find yourself binging at night?
You are not alone! Are you hungry after a big meal? Do you continue eating late into the night? Millions suffer from this devastating problem that leads to obesity, diabetes, and depression!

So, if you eat late at night just before bed, you will gain weight and get pre-diabetes. Your body will store the extra calories as fat instead of processing and burning them.
So, how does this happen? Have you ever thought about why, even after a big meal, you crave more food, more sugar, and more junk, and you want to have chips or sweets or other unhealthy foods? What is the root cause of this, and how do we deal with it?

Balance your hormones
It’s not a character flaw or an emotional issue that you have to fix. It’s not some psychological trauma that you have to get over (although for some, night eating is triggered by stress). It’s simple biology. All you have to do is understand why these changes happen in your body to make you crave food late at night, and then, you can overcome them.
The underlying cause is an imbalance of the hormones that regulate your appetite. These are what I call the four hormones of the apocalypse. There are specific things that trigger each of them, and if you understand how to balance them, you won’t have cravings for sweets and other foods…and you won’t be eating late at night.
These four hormones are the following:

  • Insulin – A very important hormone that your body produces to process the sugar in your diet. When your insulin spikes then crashes after eating sugar and flour or junk, it makes you hungry. This can even happen after a large meal of “good food.”
  • Leptin – This is the brake on your appetite. Leptin says to your brain, “Oh, I’m full. I don’t need any more food.” When you eat a lot of sugar, processed foods, and flour, the leptin doesn’t work anymore. Your brain actually becomes leptin resistant.
  • Ghrelin – A “hungerhormone” produced in your stomach that helps regulate your appetite. Ghrelin sends the message, “You should eat – I’m hungry!”
  • Peptide YY – A hormone that is produced in your intestines, and it says, “Hey, I’m full! I’ve had enough to eat. I don’t need any more.”

There is also one other hormone we need to consider: cortisol, the stress hormone. When you’re stressed, your cortisol level goes up, and when that happens, you get hungrier and your blood sugar and insulin levels rise. This sets the stage for pre-diabetes or insulin resistance, and it’s a vicious cycle.
So, all these hormones have to be kept in balance. How do you get them in balance? It’s very simple.

8 steps to end night time eating
Here are the 8 steps you should take to balance your hormones, stop the cravings, and end the nighttime binges.

  • Eat breakfast: This is the key strategy to stop the nighttime cravings. Of course, if you are binging at night, you probably won’t want to eat breakfast, because when you wake up, you’re still full. So, you have to break that cycle, and you have to start with breakfast: a good, protein breakfast. There are two breakfasts that I love and use all the time. The first is eggs in any form you like: as an omelet, fried, or poached. Eggs are a great source of protein that helps balance your blood sugar. Be sure to eat WHOLE eggs, not egg whites. The second is a whole food protein shake that can be made quite simply. I keep all the ingredients I need in my cupboard, so it’s ‘goof-proof,’ and I don’t have to think about it. It’s all there. I put in hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almond butter, coconut butter, frozen cranberries, frozen wild blueberries, and a little unsweetened coconut milk. I put those ingredients in the blender, and it’s fantastic. If you have one of those for breakfast, it’ll keep your blood sugar even all morning and all day.
  • Don’t drink your calories: If you have sugary, liquid calories in the form of sodas, juices, lattes, sports drinks, or iced teas, it will spike your insulin and blood sugar and will cause cravings.
  • Make sure you eat regularly: Have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you want a snack in between, that’s fine, but make sure you eat at regular rhythms and regular times. Your body is a hormonal clock, and you have to eat in rhythm to keep it in balance.
  • Have protein and good-quality fat at every meal: Good fats are nuts and seeds, avocados, coconut, olive oil, or quality protein like chicken, fish, or grass-fed meat. Some combination of these (plus lots of vegetables) balances your blood sugar.
  • Find your pause button and soothe the stress: Stress makes you fat (and over eat); relaxing makes you thin. Learn to find your pause button and de-stress. Breathing, yoga, and exercise are some of my favorite ways to reduce stress, which helps reset the hormones, balance brain chemistry, and stop the cravings.
  • Prioritize sleep: If you don’t sleep, you will be hungry, especially for carbs and sugar. Why? Because when you deprive yourself of sleep, ghrelin, the hormone that drives hunger goes up and PYY, the hormone that makes you feel full, goes down. So, if you want to lose weight, sleep it off.
  • Find your food sensitivities: People don’t realize this, but you often crave the thing you’re allergic or sensitive to. And gluten and dairy are among the biggest triggers for food sensitivity. Try to get rid of these for a few weeks and see if your cravings stop.
  • Supplement to cut cravings: There are natural molecules that balance your blood sugar and your insulin and help stop the cravings.
    • Omega-3 fats,especially fish oil—a couple of capsules a day can really help.
    • Vitamin D also helps regulate hormones and balance insulin.
    •  Chromium, lipoic acid, N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) can also help cut cravings.

Remember #HealthIsAChoice

Your Health Is Our Priority, We are here to Help.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To Your Good Health,

Dr Elena M Morreale

For More Information: Call Dr Elena Morreale (Alternative Cancer and Health Therapies, Tampa, FL)             813-968-5404      .

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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