What happened to B12 Happy Hour?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Orna @ 4:57 pm

sunflower1As many of you may know, for the past several years Celilo Natural Health Center has run a popular B12 Happy Hour on Wednesdays from 4-6pm. We even got a nod from Portland Monthly in their December 2014 issue. And as of Jan. 1, 2015, we’ve stopped offering it.


What gives?


You may recall that in 2012, a meningitis outbreak was traced back to a medication formulated at a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy. The FDA correctly took action against the pharmacy, which had not followed basic protocols to keep patients safe.


But, of course, the matter didn’t end there.


The upshot is that reputable compounding pharmacies and the doctors they supply now must jump through more hoops — and at greater expense. Here at Celilo Health, we have always used preservative-free methylcobalamin, believing it to be the best form to serve our patients. Although our cost went up 700 percent in early 2014, we continued the service at the same price. But under still newer regulations, not only did our cost rise another 900 percent, but we can only offer this form of the vitamin by prescription to established patients. We could use a different form, which does work for many people, but at this point we are reluctant to do so. Instead, we’ve decided to discontinue the B12 Happy Hour.


The professional organization of compounding pharmacists who provide the preservative-free methylcobalamin is working with the FDA to ease some of the onerous new requirements. Which means we may again have access to the best B12 at a reasonable cost. If that happens, we will consider reinstating the popular program.


What can you do in the meantime?


We still offer free 15-minute consults to introduce you to Dr. Izakson and naturopathic medicine. We welcome new patients and do our best to be accessible through most insurance plans. And we continue to update our website with information you can use to keep yourself and your family healthy.


We thank you for your interest, deeply regret the inconvenience, and wish you the best for your health.





sugar raises heart-disease risk — a lot

Filed under: heart disease,Uncategorized — Tags: , — Orna @ 11:09 am

We all know that refined sugar is best as a rare treat rather than a dietary staple. The staggering prevalence of obesity in the US — as high as one third the population in many areas — offers a regular reminder.


Refined sugar significantly raises heart-disease risk.

Refined sugar raises heart-disease risk.

What’s less known is how sugar consumption affects heart disease — the leading cause of death in the U.S. —  and a new report shows it doesn’t take much to double your risk. (more…)

new year’s resolutions: biotransformation in 2014

December 31, 2013


Wishing you joy, laughter, freedom and light in 2014.

‘Tis the season to make resolutions. A time to reevaluate our choices, to envision a hopeful future in which we move forward into more perfect lives.


Although it hasn’t always been this way, as the Atlantic magazine explains in a Dec. 31 article, many of us make resolutions around our health. If you follow any blogs, Facebook pages or tweets on the subject, this is the time of year when you’ll be overwhelmed with possibilities for a New Year’s cleanse or detox program. You’ll lose weight! You’ll have more energy! That brain fog? Gone!


My friend and colleague Dr. Mahalia Freed wrote about this phenomenon on Facebook this time last year. Paraphrased (she said it so much better than I): You are not dirty, you don’t need to cleanse.


To which I said — and say again — hallelujah.


Health is not about fitting into your high-school prom dress. It’s not about just not being sick. We all have our definitions, but mine, today, is this: Health is enjoying our minds and our bodies, connecting with individuals and community and place, and fully living a life animated with meaning and purpose. (more…)

Navigating CoverOregon and Obamacare

December 11, 2013

Filed under: blogs,clinic updates,in the news,Uncategorized — Orna @ 10:02 pm


So many options. Which is the best fit for you?

Like so many Americans, I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to figure out my personal medical-insurance options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare). My priorities: Overall coverage, a broad network and access to naturopaths, chiropractors and acupuncturists. (Every single option saves me $200 to $300 over my existing insurance.) 


From a professional perspective, the ACA had great promise for people looking for naturopathic care. (more…)

garlic busts high blood pressure — as well as meds

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Orna @ 8:25 am

Why I love garlic, reason number zillion


Herbalists generally moan when asked “what’s your favorite herbal medicine?” But I think most of us secretly enjoy the game of choosing the top three, five or 10 plant medicines we’d want with us on a desert island.


Eating garlic (Allium sativum or ophioscorodon) regularly helps combat hypertension naturally — and tastes great.

Regardless of how tightly I’m supposed to narrow the list, garlic always ends up in a top spot. (Unless I’m supposed to pick just one. Then I just refuse to play.)


Here’s the latest reason to include garlic among my must-have medicinals: (more…)

statin risks and benefits

I swear I don’t mean to pick on statins. There’s just so much about them in the news right now. A colleague of mine pointed me to an excellent website that puts findings on prescription drugs into perspective, and I think it’s important information to share.


Most studies showing benefits of drugs (or other substances), tout the results showing that taking the drug (or other substance) changes something more than would be expected from chance alone. For example, a positive study would be one showing that taking statins lowers cholesterol more than taking a placebo pill would do. In this case, the idea is that lowering cholesterol reduces heart-disease risk, and that statins therefore help prevent heart disease.


What the drug studies often don’t advertise, however, is how many people need to take the drug to see any positive or negative effect on the larger diseases the treatment is intended to address. This is called the “numbers needed to treat,” and can be very telling. The website my colleague recommended looks at numbers needed to treat for different classes of drugs.


Do statins help prevent heart disease? The numbers are not encouraging: (more…)

sing, sing a song

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Orna @ 1:41 pm

As baby boomers age, and Alzheimer’s and dementia become more common, there’s a growing body of research focusing on strategies to maintain memories and cognitive function. Doing regular crossword puzzles helps. Having command of at least two languages makes a difference. And now there’s a new strategy, one that will be dear to the heart of aging Gleeks everywhere: Belting out show tunes helps you keep your memories. Researchers spent four months working with residents in an elder-care facility and found it was singing, not listening, that made the greatest difference. Included in the repertoire were songs from The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz and Oklahoma!. The singing even helped folks in advanced stages of dementia. So sing, out loud, out strong. (Via NY Daily News.)


statins raise heart-disease risks

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Orna @ 6:58 am

How’s this for a catch 22: Statin drugs are prescribed to lower cholesterol levels in the body in an effort to reduce risks from heart disease, but end up raising risks for the very condition they’re intended to prevent. New research finds the drugs speed up calcification of the coronary and aortic arteries — basically like building bone around blood vessels that need to flex as your heart beats. That increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. The effect is more pronounced in people with Type II diabetes — and statins increase the risk of developing diabetes. What to do? If you have high cholesterol, talk with a professional about supplements and dietary changes that can help you get back into balance naturally. Some of the solutions may surprise you! (Via




garlic lowers lung-cancer risk

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Orna @ 1:33 pm

Garlic fights cancer, part … what number are we up to now?


This summer, I got a note from one of my writer friends. A new study on garlic and lung cancer was out, would I be willing to comment for her article? 


Hardneck garlics (Allium ophioscorodon) send up curling flower stalks in the spring. Known as garlic whistles, the flower stalks make a seasonal culinary treat.


all about olive, part 1

As some of you may know, I am slowly — glacially, even — working on a book about gardening with medicinal plants. Looking out at the frost-covered garden this morning for inspiration for any  hint of green, I decided to start working on my olive (Olea europa) monograph. 


Arbequina olive (Olea europea) in flower.

Before my breakfast (which includes copious quantities of olive oil — yum!), I went looking through my physical library for something beyond olive oil. Because, really, I’m unlikely to actually press the olives from my tree. And besides, like so many other garden medicines, there’s healing value in other parts.


In olive’s case, the leaves are powerhouses of phytochemicals (more…)

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