Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Obesity is Now a Problem for Unborn Babies PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:47

Obesity isn’t just an American problem; in Britain, doctors have begun administering the diabetes drug metformin to the unborn babies of morbidly obese mothers-to-be to reduce the fetuses’ weight.

The reason: dangerously overweight pregnant women create excessive amounts of insulin, which results in “sumo babies” weighing 11 pounds or more. These extra-large newborns have twice the chance of becoming obese adults, and their numbers have risen by 50 percent in the past four years. Obese pregnant women are at a higher risk of dying while pregnant, and their babies are more likely to be stillborn.

“I don’t know how many more signs we need in Western society before we really get serious about our health,” says Gordon Filepas, author of Lean And Healthy To 100 (, a guide for achieving optimal health based on studying cultures where long lives are the norm.

“Are we really treating unborn babies for obesity?”

In his research, Filepas found many common practices and characteristics in especially healthy cultures. They include:

• Calories: It’s not necessary to count calories; people in healthy cultures don’t! Once you give your body what it needs, you’ll naturally consume fewer calories. This puts significantly less stress on the digestive system and reduces the potential of ingesting toxins.

• Heavy on nutrients: Human beings evolved as hunters and gatherers who took every opportunity for caloric intake. In the process, a wide spectrum of nutrients became the norm, and that is what bodies still crave today.

• Focus on whole and unprocessed foods, fats, and oils: Examples include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and grains. Meat, which is usually the main dish in Western culture, is often treated as a side dish in the cultures Filepas studied.

• Limited toxins: This includes few, if any, pollutants from processed food, water and other beverages, medicine and air.

• A sense of purpose: Individuals from these cultures feel like they are making a difference beyond earning money, and tend to work long days, six days a week.

• Innate exercise: Virtually no additional form of exercise is needed beyond their daily activity.

• Alcohol: Every culture has alcohol. Healthy populations drink regularly, but in moderation. And, they take a greater sense of responsibility for their health.

• Traditional cooking methods: This means low-tech methods, absent of microwaves.

Finding a lifestyle that naturally promotes excellent health became an obsession for Filepas after the deaths of his father and brother in a three-month time span. He wanted to ensure he and his wife and three sons would be together for years to come.

“I tell my friends, family and anyone who will listen: Whatever you hear about health in America, do the exact opposite and you’ll be much healthier than the average American,” he says. “Americans are bombarded with confusion and misinformation about health; it’s a life-or-death situation.”

About Gordon Filepas

Gordon Filepas spent 20 years researching Lean And Healthy To 100, interviewing physicians, attending seminars, and reading medical journals and other health-related literature. He is the founder of TGM Partners, a consulting and investment firm. Filepas says he was motivated to learn more about the requirements for optimal health following the deaths of his father and brother within three months of each other. He hopes to ensure the good health of his family, including his wife of 25 years and three sons.

May is Lupus Awareness Month PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Susan B. Kroska   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:36

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system is unbalanced, causing inflammation and tissue damage to virtually any organ in the body. Lupus can be unpredictable and potentially fatal, yet no satisfactory treatment or cure exists. An estimated 1.5 million Americans and at least five million people worldwide have a form of lupus. Its health effects include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, miscarriages and organ failure.

New research has shown that most Americans, 59 percent, know little or nothing about lupus and its devastating impact.  This May for Lupus Awareness Month, the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), Iowa Chapter is urging residents of Iowa and across the nation to Band Together for Lupus Awareness™ to improve the understanding of lupus, an unpredictable and sometimes fatal disease.

(Des Moines, Iowa) New research has shown that most Americans, 59 percent, know little or nothing about lupus and its devastating impact. This May for Lupus Awareness Month, the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), Iowa Chapter is urging residents of Iowa and across the nation to Band Together for Lupus Awareness™ to improve the understanding of lupus, an
unpredictable and sometimes fatal disease that affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans, and support those who suffer from this terrible disease.

“A lack of awareness of the disease contributes to many people dismissing early warning signs of lupus, which can have serious health risks,” said Susan B. Kroska/Iowa Chapter Executive Director. “We are asking everyone to get involved and Band Together for Lupus Awareness, so together we can offer hope and improve the quality of lives of Iowa residents living with lupus.”

“When I tell people I have lupus, they typically don’t know what it is. And if they do know what it is, they tell me that I don’t look sick,” said Marie McNamara from Windsor Heights, Iowa. “It is hard to explain that while I may look totally fine on the outside, that I can be in so much pain or so sick on the inside. Awareness is very important so our family and friends understand what we’re going through and how they can support us.”

This year, the LFA is asking the public to Put On Purple for lupus awareness by wearing purple and telling people why they are showing their support for all people affected by this disease.  Put On Purple Day will take place on Friday, May 18, 2012.

Lupus Awareness Month activities, which include social media, online, and grassroots components, will empower individuals, organizations, and companies with a wide-ranging number of tools and resources so they can educate their communities about lupus. Tools range from fliers, to Web banner ads, to facts about lupus.


Iowa Company Balancing the Playing Field Against Allergy, Cold, and Flu Symptoms PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by David Clifton   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:19

Iowans know a thing or two about allergies. Every spring and fall, pollen from alfalfa, Burr oak, butternut trees, and corn reek havoc on people’s eyes, noses, ears, and sinuses. And like most Americans, Iowans rush to stores for any relief from the sneezing and itching.

Embria Health Sciences, an Ankeny-based company, has a different idea on how to combat allergy symptoms – as well as those for colds and flu. Experts there believe the power lies in balancing the human immune system.

What most people don’t know is the human body shouldn’t be bothered by allergens such as tree and grass pollens. Our immune systems react to these “invaders” in much the same way as it does cold and flu bugs – seek and destroy before they can do harm. In reality, our bodies should see substances that cause seasonal allergy symptoms as harmless.

Embria scientists created a proprietary dietary supplement called EpiCor that helps “educate” the human immune system to boost and suppress itself when needed. Several clinical studies show the nutrients in EpiCor may indeed help us achieve immune system balance.

Gov. Terry Branstad wants Iowa to become the healthiest state in the nation by 2016, and prevention is a key to making this happen. Balancing our immune systems can be a top preventive measure Iowans can take in helping reach this goal. EpiCor can play an important role in the “Blue Zone” program sponsored by Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Healthways.

I’d like to offer a story angle on how Embria Health Sciences is taking a unique approach to combating symptoms of allergies, colds, and flu for a healthier Iowa. There are several expert resources available for interviews or who can provide detailed information about immune balance versus passively treating symptoms with sprays and pills.

  • Paul Faganel, Embria Health Sciences president, can describe how EpiCor came from a serendipitous start more than a decade ago.
  • Larry Robinson, Ph.D., is Vice President of Scientific Affairs for Embria. He can discuss the science behind EpiCor and how that science shows the efficacy of the ingredient.
  • Dr. Mark A. Moyad, co-director of the University of Michigan men’s health program, can discuss the results of clinical studies on immune balance and EpiCor he’s personally led, and why such balance can have benefits beyond allergies, colds, and flu.

For more information about Embria Health Sciences, please visit For information and science about EpiCor, please visit

Progress Iowa, SEIU Local 199 Ask Iowans To Say ‘Thanks’ for Health Care Reform, Community Health Center Grants PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Matt Sinovic   
Thursday, 03 May 2012 13:40

‘Thank You’ campaign launches in recognition of Health Care Professionals Week, May 6-12


DES MOINES, IOWA -- Progress Iowa and SEIU Local 199 today launched a campaign to thank Senator Tom Harkin and Congressmen Dave Loebsack, Bruce Braley, and Leonard Boswell for their continued support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the recent announcement of $7.5 million in federal grants for community health centers in Iowa.


“As Iowans, we believe that health care is a right and not a privilege,” said Matt Sinovic, Executive Director of Progress Iowa. “We want to thank the members of the Iowa delegation who continue to fight for improved health care, and for their continued efforts to bring greater resources home for Iowa’s health care professionals.”


Cathy Glasson, President of SEIU Local 199, said, “Community health centers fill an important need in Iowa,” “The funding for people in places like Ottumwa and Sioux City to access much-needed basic health services is critical to keeping Iowans healthy and keeping costs down. Those millions of dollars from the Affordable Care Act ensure that our health care professionals can continue to provide the care to keep our communities healthy.”


River Hills Community Health Center in Ottumwa, Siouxland Community Health Center in Sioux City, Community Health Care, Inc. in Davenport, Crescent Community Health Center in Dubuque, Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa, Inc. in Leon, and Primary Health Care, Inc. in Urbandale are the local community health centers that were awarded $7.5 million in funding this week.


To conclude the “Thank You Campaign” and Health Care Professionals Week, Progress Iowa will participate in an event hosted by SEIU Local 199 on Friday, May 11 in Iowa City.


For more information about the Affordable Care Act and to say thank you for health care reform, visit






Community Health Centers receiving grants from the Building Capacity Program:


River Hills Community Health Center




Siouxland Community Health Center

Sioux City





Community Health Centers receiving grants from the Immediate Facility Improvement Program:


Community Health Care, Inc.




Crescent Community Health Center




Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa, Inc.




Primary Health Care, Inc.






Under the Affordable Care Act, Iowa families have received the following benefits:


●      42,015 Iowans on Medicare saved an average of $616 on prescription drugs, for a total savings of $25,876,475.

●      18,012 Iowans under the age of 26 gained coverage under the health care law.

●      388,676 people with Medicare in Iowa received free preventive services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor.

●      1,187,000 Iowans, including 433,000 women and 311,000 children, are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage.

●      Insurance companies are required to spend 80% of premium dollars on health care instead of overhead.



Progress Iowa is a multi-issue progressive advocacy organization. Year-round, we promote progressive ideas and causes with creative earned media strategies, targeted email campaigns, and cutting-edge new media. With our allies, we work to significantly improve the communications effort of the entire progressive community in Iowa.


With 2.1 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, and nearly 6,000 in Iowa, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.

Diabetes On-The-Go PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 12:23
Growing Industry Helps Diabetics Maintain Active Lifestyles

A whole industry has grown up around freeing diabetics to lead less restricted lives. New on the market, or on the verge of being introduced, are three “firsts”: tubeless insulin pumps, a needleless blood-glucose monitoring system, and diabetic-friendly frozen foods.

With the number of diabetics growing worldwide – 246 million at last count, according to the World Health Organization – businesses are motivated. In 2011, diabetes therapeutic products were a $23.7 billion dollar industry feeding a growing population that’s starving for a better quality of life, says Chef Robert Lewis, “The Happy Diabetic,” author of two cookbooks for people with the metabolic disorder.

“It wasn’t long ago that Type 1 diabetics had to be sure they packed ample sterile syringes and insulin, whether they were going to work for the day or on a road trip,” he says. “Monitoring blood sugar levels, which is crucial to keeping vital organs healthy, was painful, primitive and hit-or-miss.

“And food? That’s been the hardest. A diabetes diagnosis can feel like a life sentence of bland eating.”

Among the “firsts” Lewis says diabetics can look forward to:

• The first tubeless insulin pump. Thirty years ago, people with insulin-dependent diabetes had to give themselves shots around the clock to control their blood sugar levels. In some cases, diabetics were hospitalized to ensure they got the insulin necessary to prevent ketoacidosis, a condition that can lead to coma and death. In 1983, the insulin pump was introduced. It attaches to the body and provides continuous insulin injections. But while it was a major breakthrough, it can be bulky and awkward, with a dangling catheter. The most recent innovation is a streamlined version called the OmniPad. It has no tubes, it’s smaller and it attaches anywhere on the body with adhesive. It also has a built-in glucose-monitoring system.

• The first needleless glucometer. The Symphony tCGM System uses ultrasound to monitor blood-sugar levels, which will free people from the painful pricks needed to get a small blood sample for testing multiple times a day. The device, which attaches with adhesive to the body, continuously tracks glucose levels day and night and can send the readings to your smart phone. Under development for more than a decade, Symphony is undergoing the studies necessary to win regulatory approval.

• The first diabetic-friendly frozen meals. Meals-in-a-Bun ( will arrive in Northeast U.S. grocery stores beginning in July and roll out across the country through the end of the year. They’re low on the glycemic index, low in sugar and carbs, high in soluble fiber, low in trans fat, high in lean protein and low in sodium, Lewis says. “And the best thing is, they are delicious.”  The five varieties – two vegan and three vegetarian – include selections like Thai Satay, mushrooms, broccoli and tofu in whole-wheat flax bun. “This is particularly exciting because, while there have been advances in equipment that makes life easier for diabetics, there haven’t been for convenient, packaged foods.”

Diabetics who do not watch what they eat may wind up suffering kidney damage, stomach problems, heart disease, pneumonia, gum disease, blindness, stroke, nerve damage, complications during pregnancy, loss of limb and other health problems, according to the CDC.

But many Americans are trending toward healthier diets, eating less meat, gluten, salt and sugar, Lewis says. Tasty foods developed for diabetics will be excellent choices for them, too.

“What’s good for diabetics is good for everyone,” he says. “And you don’t have to give up one teaspoon of flavor.

“There’s a reason why I am called ‘The Happy Diabetic’; I have discovered the joy of nutrition-rich food.”

About Lifestyle Chefs

Lifestyle Chefs is a Santa Clara, Calif., company specializing in creating meals inspired by world cuisines and using only natural, healthy and nutritious ingredients. Lifestyle Chefs’ products are all vegetarian and diabetic-friendly, perfect for families who want fast, convenient meals that are low in calories, high in nutrition and robust in flavor. Chef Robert Lewis, “The Happy Diabetic,” was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1998. He specializes in flavorful recipes that won’t spike a diabetic’s blood sugar.

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