Dr.Karol, MD

The doctor with alternative solutions

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Digestive Health and Overeating

The Gastro Intestinal or GI tract performs the following functions:

  1. Breakdown of large food particles in the stomach (mainly by mechanical movement and acid)
  2. Digestion and absorption of food in the small intestine
  3. Absorption of fluids and vitamins in the large intestine
  4. Expulsion of waste material and toxins
  5. Immunological surveillance by the large number of lymph nodes surrounding the GI tract

The GI tract also includes the following:

Liver (mainly involved in metabolizing food and neutralizing toxins)

Pancreas (release of digestive enzymes and hormones that control sugar metabolism)

Gall bladder (involved in the production of bile for digestion of fats)

Starting with the stomach, the most common problems are:

  • Irritability
  • Pain
  • Ulcers
  • Heartburn (regurgitation of food and acid back into the esophagus)
  • Irritability, pain and ulcers are usually due to too much acid and too little protective mucous in the stomach

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Sleep, Anxiety and Magnesium the Savior




It’s cute to watch babies sleep a lot and be worry free. When we see this it’s hard for some of us to remember that we were also once babies in this mega relaxed state of mind. The fact of life is that a large proportion of adults between 30 and 60 rarely have the luxury of good quality sleep. We all enjoy good sleep as it makes us feel rejuvenated, rested and energetic in the morning. On the other hand, poor sleep causes agitation, lack of clarity of thought, anxiety and an overall feeling of low energy. Such a perpetual state leads to stress, over-eating, and for some of us smoking and drinking to calm the nerves. The main reason for this lack of sleep and consequential anxiety is the hectic, fast-paced and stressful life style of our modern society. It’s the price we pay for advancing our selves. However, another reason, and one that can be easily eliminated, is that most people do not get adequate magnesium from their diets. Continue reading

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Discussing Sexual Health

Many men suffer from erectile dysfunction, lack of libido, (i.e., sex drive), and premature ejaculation due to over-excitement or sexually related anxiety. In the absence of sexual partners, this may be seen as a blessing. But for those of you forming intimate relationships, it can be a serious burden. Many turn to prescription medication to help this condition. But there are natural alternatives too.

The sexually enhancing properties of certain plants have been backed by well-conducted human clinical trials. These plants go by the name of Eurycoma longifolia, Tribulus terrestris, Maca, and the plants of the ginseng family.

The prescription route

So why search for natural, plant-based remedies when we have prescription medications such as Viagra and Cialis? Well, for one, these are prescription medications and they involve the hassle of going to a doctor and discussing intimate issues, which many men are reluctant to do. While doctors are well-versed in discussing sexual health issues, many men feel insecure or embarrassed when it comes to this topic.

Those who opt for the more anonymous online route should know that ordering these medications without a prescription poses serious health risks. Usually “black market” medications are shipped from Asia or India where there are no stringent regulatory standards in place to ensure that the drug produced is safe for human consumption and that it actually lives up to its claims. These medicines may be contaminated with harmful compounds or manufactured in a manner that produces a toxic byproduct.

Finally, Viagra and Cialis may have some potentially serious side effects. One of the more serious ones is a drastic drop in blood pressure, (which can cause loss of consciousness as well as heart attacks and strokes), when taken with nitrates. Nitrates are medications taken by patients with specific heart conditions such as coronary artery disease. Viagra and Cialis, (as well as other medicines in the same group), may also cause prolonged erections, which can cause excruciating pain and even permanent damage to the penis.

Going natural

Natural plant-based medicines seldom cause side effects and generally speaking, any side effects are usually much weaker in intensity than those from prescription medications. Furthermore, plant-based medications that are considered dietary supplements or health products are available without a prescription. This eliminates the bother and potential embarrassment that may be associated with a visit to the doctor.

The Canada-US Factor

There is a flip side to the story, however. Most plant-based medicines that are commonly used for enhancing sexual performance have very limited research data from human clinical trials behind them. There are over 30 such ingredients in the US market today. In Canada, only two plant-based extracts boast approved sexually-related claims: Tribulus terrestris and Maca. In my professional opinion, the number of ingredients in the US and their sexual health claims are unsubstantiated exaggerations.

On the Canadian side, the number of ingredients represents an oversimplification and does not correctly reflect the number of plant-based medicines that have rigorous and well-performed clinical trials showing their positive effects on sexual function.

We actually see this time and again when comparing Canada to the US. The two countries frequently show exaggerated and polarized extremes in their approach to many important issues: The first is the difference between the accepted claims for many plant-based medicines. Another is the two countries’ contrasting approach to their respective health care systems.

But my intention here is not to discuss political differences. My objective is to present plant-based medicines’ sexual enhancing functions, which have been substantiated by first-rate human clinical trials.

Next week I will come back to discuss Eurycoma longifolia jack, Tribulus terrestris (a mouthful, I know), Maca, and plants of the ginseng family in the context of enhancing sexual function— as well as the human trials that have been performed using these interesting plants. See you soon.

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Surefire Weight Loss: My Ideal Method

There are a lot of diets out there. But if you really want to be successful, you need to leave all the fads behind. Here are my ideal recommendations for weight loss, covering what you should eat, when to eat it, how to eat it, what to drink, how to exercise and how to supplement.


What To Eat

The most important aspect for any weight loss program is a low carbohydrate diet, particularly simple carbohydrates like white bread and rolls, white pasta and white rice. Complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta and brown and black rice can be eaten in limited amounts. Both simple carbs and to a slightly lesser extent  complex carbs are bad for weight loss because they are easily digested into simple carbohydrates, i.e., glucose. This happens inside the small intestine before absorption into the bloodstream. The glucose gets absorbed quickly into the blood and the blood glucose levels rise sharply and quickly. This process triggers a fast and high insulin release from the pancreas, creating what are called insulin spikes, whereby blood insulin levels rise to a high level in a short amount of time. This process stimulates the absorption of blood glucose into fat tissue, which then converts the glucose into fat. Obviously, that’s not desirable.

Even though carbs are required for energy, it is the fibrous carbohydrates that are the best for this purpose. These come from either raw or slightly steamed vegetables. They are very slowly digested and absorbed, so they don’t cause insulin spikes. Rather, the insulin is released slowly, which causes a slow absorption of glucose into tissues. Instead of being absorbed into fat tissue, the glucose is absorbed mainly into the muscle and brain to fuel energy.

kaboompics.com_Spinach and Beetroot Salad


Another benefit of vegetables is that they provide antioxidants and fiber that protect you from developing many diseases and essential vitamins and minerals to convert the glucose in the muscle and the brain to energy. Other great sources of energy are lean proteins and healthy oils: fish, olive, grape seed, avocado oil, coconut, almonds and walnut. Healthy oils are slowly converted to energy and provide many health benefits, the most important of which is protecting from cardiovascular disease. Lean protein sources such as fish, poultry, and very importantly plant-based protein products are very slowly converted to glucose —providing energy without insulin spikes.

So eat lots of vegetables, healthy oil sources and lean protein for optimal weight loss. And forget about sweets, desserts, ice cream, fast food, chips, pizza and French fries. All of these are high sources of simple carbohydrates.

When to Eat

For optimal weight loss, you should eat larger meals when you are burning up the most energy. For most of us, this is before 2pm. In the morning we are usually on the move. Even at our desks, the brain burns food for energy. If you normally go to sleep between 10pm and 1am, anything that you eat past 7pm will linger in your stomach when you go to sleep. During this time, our metabolism (i.e., the burning of food for energy) is at its lowest point. Therefore, anything that we have eaten in the evening will be turned to fat instead of being burned for energy. This is especially true for foods high in simple carbs.


Take it slow. Eating slowly will prevent high amounts of food particles from being absorbed into the bloodstream in a short period of time — preventing insulin spikes and preventing glucose from being absorbed into fat tissue and turned into fat. It takes time for our stomachs to signal our brains that we are full. If we eat too fast, we overeat before we have a chance to feel full.

What to Drink


Stay away from drinks with a high sugar content, i.e., 15 grams of sugar  (or more) per 250 ml of fluid. Most sport drinks and fruit juices contain even more — usually in the range of 25-30 grams of sugar per 250 ml. If you are really serious about losing weight, I recommend drinks that have no sugar at all, like water (regular or sparkling), black tea, green tea or coffee  — without sugar or honey. Stay away from unhealthy sugar-free sweeteners too. Sugar drinks cause insulin spikes that will cause the sugar to be quickly converted to fat. Regarding fruit juice, which most consider to be healthy: yes, they contain antioxidants, but they contain a very high sugar level – even those without added sugar.


How to Exercise

Neither weight training nor short, intense bursts of cardiovascular training are ideal for weight loss. The ideal is medium intensity, prolonged training. One of the best examples is incline treadmill walking for at least one half hour (that makes you sweat within 10 minutes of walking). You don’t want your heart racing like crazy, but you do want to feel your neck pulsating, your breath becoming heavy and frequent and some pain in your leg muscles from the incline walk. I am not going to get into calculations of what your ideal heartbeat should be; it depends on your age, and the calculation is complicated. Just remember that it has to make you sweat and it’s not like running. It’s somewhere in between. Walking up a treadmill or swimming are both ideal. Also great is any form of martial arts, especially wrestling or jujitsu. If you add some weight training to this, fantastic. Exercise for at least 30 minutes at least 4 times each week. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park your car further away from your destination. In other words avoid being too comfortable. Move as much as possible. That is one of the keys to losing weight.

-Dr. Karol M.D


Arthritis and Natural Solutions




My inspiration for today’s blog topic was something I experienced while running in this morning before work. It’s something that many of us are familiar with this time of year:  joint pain. Thankfully it’s probably nothing serious and it quickly went away with a little “lubrication” stimulated by the exercise. However, I realized that this is something that probably a lot of us are experience right now due to the ever changing weather conditions and the damp fall air. Why this happens is not entirely clear, and in many cases it is just a harmless and temporary occurrence while we adapt to the colder weather.

However, in many cases joint pain can be attributed to arthritis and this is a medical condition that needs more attention. Arthritic conditions actually encompass a whole separate specialty in medicine. There are four main types of arthritis. The most common one is Osteoarthritis (due to damage to the joint either by excessive usage, infection, or age). The other types are Autoimmune Arthritis (where the immune system makes a mistake and recognizes joint tissue as something foreign and therefore mounts an attack on the joint tissue), Septic Arthritis (which is due to an infection of the joint), and Gout (which is due to the deposition of Uric Acid and which in many cases can be prevented by a diet low in red meat and alcohol). Although they are all different, there are two things that are common to all of these types of arthritic conditions and these are inflammation and damage to joint tissue…Read more….

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Guayusa Tea




Ever wanted to drink something that was just as stimulating as coffee but even healthier than green tea? Look no further. Guayusa comes from the dried leaves of the ancient and revered Guayusa tree in the South American rainforest. And it’s a marvel in a cup.

I’m sure that a lot of you like the taste of coffee and its stimulating effect. I do too. But the fact is, coffee is irritating to the stomach’s inner lining. It’s also hard on the liver. Tea, on the other hand, and especially green tea, contains L-theanine, a compound that has stimulating properties similar to those of caffeine. But it’s not exactly like caffeine. Green tea is also great because of its antioxidative property. It’s healthy for the heart and the cardiovascular system. But Guayusa takes tea to the next level.

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Radical Remedy: Echinacea

Echinacea can be used for many more things than just the flu.

With increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics; the growing resistance of the influenza virus to vaccines, and the often ineffective prescription medications for the common cold, it is no wonder that many people are looking to natural alternatives to strengthen their immunity.

The body of evidence in favor of Echinacea to do just that is quite convincing. This amazing plant contains compounds called Cichoic Acid and Echinacoside. The first one has been shown to eliminate (by a process called phagocytosis) bacteria and viruses by immune cells called phagocytes. It also inhibits the ability of the HIV virus entering into and thus infecting immune cells. Echinacoside on the other hand provides antibiotic activity against Staphylococci and Streptococci; both very common bacteria that cause numerous infections.

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