01/18/15 7:00am
01/18/2015 7:00 AM

Sipping bone broth: good or bad for you?

One new trend popping up in some health circles is sipping broth made by boiling the bare bones of chicken and other types of meat.

A quick Google search of “bone broth” describes the elixir as an immune-boosting, digestion-improving, cellulite-busting remedy that will even leave you with a dewy, wrinkle-free complexion — though those benefits can change depending on who you ask. (more…)

08/31/14 2:00pm
08/31/2014 2:00 PM
The palcohol.com homepage.

The palcohol.com homepage.

An expanding selection of powdered products is opening up some dangerous doors, according to federal officials who are warning consumers not to get caught up in the novelty.

The Suffolk County health department, too, is urging buyers to stay away from one product in particular: powdered pure caffeine.

A single teaspoon of the powder is roughly equivalent to the amount of caffeine in 25 cups of coffee, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which issued a warning following the death of a teenager who used the product in July. (more…)

03/30/14 10:00am
03/30/2014 10:00 AM
Discarded cigarettes under a bench outside the entrance to the criminal courts building in Riverside. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Discarded cigarettes under a bench outside the entrance to the criminal courts building in Riverside. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Come 2015, like it or lump it,  young smokers in this area likely won‘t be able to buy a pack of smokes at local convenience stores until they turn 21, now that the Suffolk County Legislature has voted to increase the minimum age for legal purchases of tobacco products.  (more…)

03/23/14 11:00am
03/23/2014 11:00 AM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | (left to right) Town Councilman John Dunleavy, Maureen O'Connor, program director of the Cancer Services Program of Eastern Suffolk County at Peconic Bay Medical Center, Dr. Claire Bradley, board president of American Cancer Society Eastern Division, Dr. Brett Ruffo, colorectal and general surgeon at PBMC, Sherry Patterson, chair of PBMC Health foundation, Joseph Abbate, colorectal cancer survivor, Dennis McDermott, owner of The Riverhead Project, Legislator Al Krupski, Janine Nebons, general manager of Tanger Outlets, and town councilwoman Jodi Giglio.

(left to right) Town Councilman John Dunleavy; Maureen O’Connor, program director of the Cancer Services Program of Eastern Suffolk County at Peconic Bay Medical Center; Dr. Claire Bradley, board president of American Cancer Society Eastern Division; Dr. Brett Ruffo, colorectal and general surgeon at PBMC; Sherry Patterson, chair of PBMC Health foundation; Joseph Abbate, colorectal cancer survivor; Dennis McDermott, owner of The Riverhead Project; Legislator Al Krupski; Janine Nebons, general manager of Tanger Outlets and town councilwoman Jodi Giglio. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

What you put into your body must eventually go down and then come out, making a healthy colorectal tract indispensable.  (more…)

03/02/14 12:00pm
03/02/2014 12:00 PM
Carrie Miller

Carrie Miller

The winter season tends to keep people indoors, depriving them of the sun’s vitamin D-filled rays. And recent studies have linked defi ciencies in vitamin D to a wide range of conditions — among them an increase in severe asthma reactions.

More than 25 million people in the U.S. suffer from asthma and close to 7 million of them are children, according to the National Institutes of Health.

(more…)

07/05/13 5:00pm
07/05/2013 5:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Summertime at Iron Pier Beach in Northville.

It’s Fourth of July weekend and locals and visitors alike are touring grapevines and splashing in local waters – marking the official kickoff of summer on the North Fork.

Carrie Miller

Carrie Miller

While you’re out having fun in the sun, it’s important to remember to protect your skin.

“It is the largest organ of the body and the gateway into your internal system,” said Dr. Mitchell Meyerson, a dermatologist in Riverhead with 16 years’ experience.

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, accounting for almost half of all cancers in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. Most people have heard of melanoma, the most harmful type of skin cancer, but there are several other types that can develop, Dr. Meyerson said.

Damage is caused by the sun’s UVA rays, which cause wrinkling and sunspots, and UVB rays, which are what burn the skin, according to the American Cancer Society.

“It has been know that UVB are the very damaging rays. But in the last five to 10 years, it was found that cumulative exposure to UVA rays is supposedly just as bad,” Dr. Meyerson said.

One reason why, he said,  is that the more damaging UVB rays are blocked by glass, while UVA rays are not.

“And we see a lot more skin damage on the left side of the face or arm because of all those years of driving,” he said.

So whether you’re out for a joyride or digging your toes in the sand, sunscreen is a necessity.

When choosing sunscreen, look for one that offers protection from both types of rays.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has changed sunscreen labeling language from “UVA and UVB protection” to “broad spectrum,” but they mean about the same thing, Dr. Meyerson said.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing an SPF of at least 30, higher than its initial recommendation of SPF 15.

“When moving from SPF 15 to SPF 30, we think there is a significant increase in protection factor,” Dr. Meyerson said.

He noted that higher SPFs tend to be more costly, but don’t necessarily offer that much more protection.

While lotions, creams and sprays are all OK, the doctor cautioned that they need to be applied  properly.

“I think they are all good but there is a misconception about sprays. They are easier to put on but people don’t realize they still need to be rubbed in,” he said. “They spray little dots, and there are openings between those dots. You’re going to have areas that are missed.”

When swimming or sweating for more than 15 minutes, be sure to reapply, he cautioned.

The sun’s rays are not the only trigger for skin cancer, which can develop even on parts of the body that have not been exposed to the sun, he explained.

It’s also important to know your skin.

“Know your moles. Knows your growths,” Dr. Meyerson said. “You want to do self-exams. If you see anything changing in size, shape, or color or a new growth, you should  get it checked.

“Early detection is vital, especially in dermatology,” he said.

Got a health question or column idea? Email Carrie Miller at [email protected].

Follow her on twitter @carriemiller01.