Evidence-based Information Fest

| December 31, 2013 | 0 Comments


Supplements and herbs are the topic of many health discussions.

Supplements and herbs are the topic of many health discussions.

It is January and, just in time to help with New Year’s Resolutions about being healthier, Scripps Healthcare is holding their 11th Annual Evidence –based Update on Natural Supplements. I look forward to the event every year with great anticipation. This internationally famous conference is the perfect antidote for the claim that there is “no science to prove effectiveness” of herbs and nutrition as an approach to health.

Every year, there seems to be a theme of breaking news about a particular supplement or herb and the many ways that it can be applied as a treatment. One year it was turmeric, another year it was vitamin D and there have been conferences where everyone seemed to be talking about metabolic syndrome or inflammation. This year’s brochure is showing a predominance of workshops addressing valid research methods, clearing up confusion and myths about supplements and herbs, and trends in in the herbal industry. In and around those are intriguing opportunities to learn about the medicinal value of chocolate, tea and wine or integrative cancer care and the latest on treating diabetes with lifestyle.

It starts off with the event that I am involved in each year: the Herb Identification Walk at San Diego Botanic Gardens in Encinitas. I am privileged to join some truly world class herbal healers in introducing conference attendees to a “scratch and sniff” experience with medicinal plants. They get to see where the supplements are coming from and getting to know them from the ground up. Mark Blumenthal, the executive director of the American Botanical Council will be there, along with Dr. David Keifer MD from Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, herbal author Amanda McQuade Crawford, director of Self Heal School of Herbal Healing John Finch and our two member of the local chapter of the American Herbalist Guild, me (your herbal columnist at large) and Robbie Rantala, health researcher.

On the opening evening, January 31st, the key note speaker, Michael Moss, author of “Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the food Giants Hooked Us,” will be talking about his research and findings, as well as signing copies of his book. Professional Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits are offered to provide continuing education for physicians. If you want more information you can find it at www.scripps.org/NaturalSupplements. The fun starts as early as Wednesday, January 29, depending on whether you want to do the pre-conference events, and lasts until Saturday afternoon on February 1. It will take place at the Hilton on Mission Bay.

To prepare for this marathon of great information, I am tuning up my brain and practicing some self-hypnosis to put myself into a “learning trance” so that I can better absorb, understand and retain what is offered. This is especially necessary when one of my favorite speakers, Dr. Jeffrey Bland of Metagenics and Personalized Medicine Institute, takes the podium. He is famous for speed-talking through complex slides showing diagrams of biological interactions in the body. He slips in little jokes and then has fun waiting for the audience to finally catch up enough to laugh. Whenever I hear him speak, I am inspired to continue on the path of good diet, exercise, sleep and low stress. What he explains makes it clear why those things are important, not just for me, but also for society as a whole. And, he does so in exquisite, evidence-based detail that is always a fresh viewpoint coming back to the main message. I come away renewed. Hope to see you there.

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Category: Events, Health & Fitness

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