The Mercereau Report...Advocacy News You Can Use
This is the first in a series of blogs written by patient advocacy pioneer and longtime educator, Karen Mercereau.
I am Karen Mercereau, RN, iRNPA, and I have been actively involved in the field of Patient Advocacy since 2002. I have watched this field expand at a very rapid rate and so am very aware of the need for more information to help Advocates develop and improve their practices. Our Patient Advocacy community is continuing to grow quickly and The Mercereau Report is being created to communicate the information that is pertinent to our expanding practices - scientific and practical articles. However, we also would invite you to submit topics that are Patient Advocacy oriented and we will do the data mining and provide articles on that topic you identify. Our Patient Advocacy community is one of the fastest-growing fields in the US at this time. Let’s stay connected and help one another!
Let’s begin the launch of The Mercereau Report with a short summary of why we should include dark chocolate in our diets!
Heart Health Supported with Chocolate
If you think steamed spinach is the most mouthwatering health food, you may want to reconsider. A candy bar's worth of dark chocolate, or 100 grams, has just as many antioxidants as 100 grams each of spinach, prunes, raisins, kale, and Brussels sprouts, combined. According to Jeff Hurst, PhD, principal scientist at The Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition, cacao, the plant responsible for dark chocolate's delights, contains more than 700 compounds, including 26 known anti-inflammatories, 14 antiseptics, 12 analgesics, and two anesthetics.
Dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation
New research shows there might be health benefits to eating certain types of dark chocolate. Findings from two studies being presented today at the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting in San Diego show that consuming dark chocolate that has a high concentration of cacao (minimally 70% cacao, 30% organic cane sugar) has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity. While it is well known that cacao is a major source of flavonoids, this is the first time the effect has been studied in human subjects to determine how it can support cognitive, endocrine and cardiovascular health.
I'd also like to provide some basic information about Epigenetics and how the science is often misunderstood:
Epigenetics, the Misunderstood Science That Could Shed New Light on Aging.
Epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence. Now, we move on to what will soon become mainstream. But I've been preaching the concept of integrative medicine for decades. (More information from The Guardian )
What IS Integrative Medicine actually and how can a deeper understanding of this treatment modality benefit our advocacy clients? Here is a link to a teaching video from the University of California that can answer that question for us. The more that we understand the advances in medical science, the more effective we can function as patient advocates. The Science and Art of Integrative Medicine.
Fast Facts and Links For Advocates
Covid-19 virus does not infect human brain cells, study suggests. If any of your advocacy clients suffer the loss of smell and taste, this information will be very helpful. LINK
If any of your advocacy clients are testing blood glucose levels several times a day, here is a technological advance that is far more effective. Reports can be printed out from this tool to give to physicians and other healthcare providers. See what you think
Thyroid function greatly affects our health in many ways. Low thyroid alters our metabolism as does hyperthyroid illness. Here is an interesting article from NIH that describes how our environment can affect our thyroid function: diet, temperature, environmental toxins and so forth. This information can be of great help to our advocacy clients with thyroid issues. LINK
The CDC has posted a warning about a particular aromatherapy oil sprays that contains a disease producing bacteria: Burkholderia pseudomallei, the bacteria that causes melioidosis. Here is the report that may reduce the risk of a serious illness in our clients. LINK
As you all probably have heard the news about a new drug for Covid, here is an interesting article from Pfizer to explain it from their point of view. Really new……..not yet approved.
Let’s close this Mercereau Report with a laugh. Yes! Let’s all learn about the incredible benefits of laughter - from increasing endorphin release (“happy hormone”), lowering blood pressure and boosting the immune system. Here is a dandy article for you about this. Drum roll…...your brain cannot distinguish between fake laughter and the real thing. Happy Laughing!
For another GNA blog about being an advovate, click here.
For another blog written by Karen Mercereau, click here
Karen Mercereau, RN,iRNPAFounder/Executive Director RN Patient Advocates, PLC