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Milk Thistle- More Than A Liver Herb

Silymarin is the active component of the herbal plant known as milk Thistle.  It has been used for centuries for various diseases to include liver disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, digestion, and has also been indicated for the treatment of different organs such as prostate, lungs, CNS, kidneys, pancreas, and skin1. Silymarin can suppress inflammation of cells in the body similar to ways that exercise can help coordinate the response of stressors.  The results of the anti-inflammatory pathways that silymarin can signal leads to cellular repair and maintenance.  Dr. John Phelts sees many patient who have benefited from Milk Thistle Supplementation. 

Properties of Silymarin include:
-Reduces inflammation
-Acts as an antioxidant reducing free radicals
-Stimulates the production of new liver cells
-Reduce the toxic effects of chemical exposures

Silymarin has been used to treat a range of disorders and is considered safe and well-tolerated. The most common use of silymarin is for the liver.  If the liver if functioning poorly, so is almost everything else in the body. 

Hepatitis Studies

1.  Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver.  It can be temporary and resolve on its own or can become long term and progress to a serious disorder or even cancer.  Hepatitis can have no symptoms or can cause discoloration of the skin, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and more.  The results of a clinical trial published in a study indicates that 82% of the patients with acute hepatitis who received 140mg of silymarin three times a day for at least 3 weeks showed improved levels of AST (SGOT) liver blood test.  The bilirubin blood test also improved in 40% of these patients3.  The conclusion of these trials indicated that therapy with silymarin reduces complications, reduces the duration of hospital stay and promotes recovery3.  In more advanced cases of liver inflammation where studies were done on patients who had a positive biopsy for cirrhosis, patients who took silymarin had improved survival rate after 4 years4. 

2.  In another study, patients with alcohol related liver disease were treated with silymarin at a dosage of 420 mg per day for 4 weeks.  At the end of the study, the liver blood test AST went down by 30.1% and ALT dropped by 40.8%5.  In the same study, the liver enzymes increased when patients that did not take the silymarin.

3.  The anti-oxidant anti-inflammatory properties of Silymarin have been widely studied.  Use of silymarin can be beneficial to detoxify the liver, improve fatty liver caused by alcohol use, protect the liver from viruses and use of drugs or medications. 

Diabetes and cholesterol

Excessive amounts of LDL Cholesterol can increase your risk of developing atherosclerosis, or plaque build-up in the arteries.  In a diseased state, inflammation occurs at a cellular level causing reactions that accelerate injury to the arterial wall increasing your risk for cardiovascular disease.  Foods known to accelerate this are:

-High-fructose corn syrup
-Fortified white flour
-Corn, soy and safflower oil
-Margarine and shortening
-Hydrogenated fats

Milk thistle and its antioxidant properties from silymarin, has been a promising herb to show benefits on the cardiovascular system and reducing inflammation.  Researchers have shown that a milk thistle extract can prevent cholesterol oxidation by over 85 percent.  Be sure to keep in mind that, along with taking beneficial antioxidants and vitamins, a healthy diet and exercise are all a part of preventing cardiovascular disease and other metabolic disorders.  

Studies have been done to determine to the effects of silymarin on patients that have Type II Diabetes.  Silymarin is known to have antioxidant properties on the glycemic profile in diabetic patients.  One study found significant reductions in Hemoglobin A1C levels, fasting blood glucose, insulin, liver enzymes SGOT and SGPT, and LDL Cholesterol of patients with Type II Diabetes after taking silymarin at a dose of 200 mg three times a day.

Protection against cancer

Along with other potent antioxidants like Vitamin E and Vitamin C, silymarin can help fight cellular damage and prevent against disease progression by increasing the functioning of the immune system.  Silymarin can help counteract the effects of chemical exposures, pollutants and heavy metals we are exposed to on a daily basis.  There is strong preclinical evidence for silymarin's protective properties for the liver and anticarcinogenic effects, including inhibition of cancer cell growth in human prostate, skin, breast, and cervical cells.

While much more research is needed in the field regarding silymarin benefits on patients with cancer, many laboratory studies that have already been done are promising.  One study showed that the effects of silymarin on breast cancer cells inhibits the cells’ growth and induces their death. The study concluded that silymarin might be “an effective adjuvant drug to produce a better preventive response for the cancer therapy.”

Another published study done by the Univerisity of Colorado Cancer Center focused more on prostate cancer growth and metastasis.  Researchers found that the compounds derived from milk can restrict the tumors’ ability to grow new blood vessels they need for survival10.  Without the ability to grow new blood vessels, a tumor cannot grow. 

There’s more to it than just milk thistle

Dr. Phelts combines laboratory blood and urine analysis with kinesiology testing to assess your nutrtional needs.  If you think you or someone you know would benefit from using silymarin, then there is a very high probability that there is more to look at.  Taking silymarin can increase the effects and side effects of some medications.  It is important to seek guidance by an experienced nutritionist to get tested properly.  Dr John Phelts orders and analyzes a comprehensive blood analysis and hair tissue test to determine the exact needs of your body.  It is important to note that dietary recommendations and supplement guidelines based on testing results will vary from person to person.  The research mentioned above is to give you an idea what the benefits are of just taking one supplement.  Imagine if you were to discover all deficiencies and/or toxicities that you have and were able to determine what other vitamins and minerals you needed.  The road towards optimal health is right in front of you.  Don’t wait, get started today!  Call us for a consultation at 212-286-2012.

Words Cited

1.  Gazak R, Walterova D, Kren V. Silybin and silymarin - New and emerging applications in medicine. Curr Med Chem. 2007;14:315–338.

2.  Natural Medicine Journal December 2012 Vol. 4 Issue 12

3. Flora K, Hahn M, Rosen H, et al. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) for the therapy of liver disease. Am J Gastroenterol 1998; 93: 139-43

4.  Ferenci P, Dragosics B, Dittrich H, et al. Randomized controlled trial of silymarin treatment in patients with cirrhosis of the liver. J Hepatol 1989; 9: 105-13

5.  Salmi HA, Sarna S. Effect of silymarin on chemical, functional, and morphological alterations of the liver. Scand J Gastroenterol 1981; 17: 517-21

6.  Huseini, H F, et al. “The Efficacy of Silybum Marianum (L.) Gaertn. (Silymarin) in the Treatment of Type II Diabetes: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled,      Clinical Trial.” Phytotherapy Research: PTR., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec.            2006,

7.  Wallace, Sunny, et al.  “Milk Thistle Extracts Inhibit the Oxidation of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and Subsequent Scavenger Receptor-Dependent Monocyte Adhesion”J. Agric.      Food Chem., 2008, 56 (11), pp 3966–3972

8.  Post-White, J. et al. “Advances in the use of milk thistle (Silybum marianum).” Integr Cancer Ther. 2007 Jun;6(2):104-9.

9. Bien, Monica. “Milk Thistle and Breast Cancer: What You Should Know.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 14 Jan. 2016, cancer#2.



Health Benefits of Pineapple

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is here!  It begins in March and remains through June.  If you love pineapple (and who doesn’t), then now is the time to hit the produce department to purchase this juicy and delicious fruit.  I know taste is reason enough to eat this fruit, but I want to give you healthy reasons for choosing the fruit.

Pineapple contains the proteolytic enzymes pancreatin and bromelain.  They help reduce levels of circulating immune complexes (CICs) in the body.  CICs are elevated in individuals with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Pineapple is also abundant in vitamin C.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant that reduces the risk of cancer and supports the immune system. 

Purchasing tip:  choose pineapples that smell sweet at the stem end.  Also avoid bruised pineapples.  Once purchased, cut it within two days.  You can store the freshly sliced pineapple for up to one week in the refrigerator without losing any nutrients.  

Dr Phelts educates his patients about which foods to eat for their best health at his midtown Manhattan office.  Give us a call at 212-286-2012 to learn about how we can help you and your family can adopt a healthy lifestyle.

REFERENCES: "Pineapple"

"Tropical fruits see strong demand." The Packer (posted April 2014) "8 Anti-inflammation Foods for Mutltiple Sclerosis." Post written by Mikel Theobald; Medical Review by Niya Jones, MD. Accessed 15 Jan 2018:



AMA Recommends Chiropractic Before Surgery

Although some people are still skeptical about chiropractic care, even the American Medical Association (AMA) recommends that adjustments should be tried prior to surgery--the one option that should be a last resort.

Dr. Phelts has seen many back pain patients in our New York, NY office who have been suffering for years and who are worried that they might need an operation for their back pain. Dr. Phelts has had great success in helping patients recover and avoid risky back surgery, and the science backs up our experience.

Research Supports Chiropractic Helps You Avoid Risky Surgery

Recently, in one study carried out on almost 2,000 Washington State employees who suffered from a back injury while at work, more than 42% who saw a surgeon first following their injury found themselves having back surgery within three years. That compares to just 1.5% of the individuals who first sought treatment with chiropractic care, proving that this non-invasive approach is extremely effective at keeping you off the operating table.

Dr. Phelts Can Help Patients Find Comfort From Back Pain Without Surgery

There are options to risky medical procedures. Chiropractic is a proven effective and safe way to improve the function of your spine, which is the root cause of back pain. Dr. Phelts has helped many patients in Manhattan recover. Give our office a call today at (212) 286-2012 for an appointment.


Goodman DM, Burke AE, Livingston. Low Back Pain. The Journal of the American Medical Association 2013;309(16);1738.

Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, et al. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.



If you are wating in line at your local salad bar looking at all the different choices for your salad, consider adding arugula.  Arugula aka rocket is a cruciferous vegetable that has a mild peppery flavor.  Just like other cruciferous vegetables, it has many health benefits.

Vitamin K- is important for blood clotting, which help you body to stop bleeding if you cut or injure yourself.  It is also necessary for healthy bones and helps prevent the development of osteoporosis.

Vitamins A & C-  are antioxidants, which combat the aging process and reduce the risk of developing cancer. 

Folic Acid (Folate)- helps your body make red blood cells which carry oxygen to your cells.  A deficiency of folate is a type of anemia known as megaloblastic.  It is also necessary for you body to metabolize estrogens efficiently. 

Calcium- is necessary for proper muscle contraction and tone.  It also contributes to maintaining healthy bones and teeth.

Potassium- is an electrolyte that promotes healthy heart and nervous system function.

Other nutrients include protein, riboflavin, thiamin, zinc, vitamin B6, copper and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)

Other Benefits: anti-inflammation properties, promote normal blood pressure levels, improve blood flow and blood vessel function.

If any of these benefits appeal to you, ask for arugula the next time you are at a salad bar.

At Phelts Chirpractic PC, Dr. Phelts makes nutrtional reccomendations based on your most recent laboratory blood work.  Give us a call at 212-286-2012 if you would like your blood work evaluated.  We are located in midtown Manhattan near the 10016. 10017, and 10018 zip codes

Sources "What You Should Know About Arugula." Accessed 21 Nov 2018:, post by Ware, M., "Everything You Need to Know About Arugula." posted 2 Nov 2017. Accessed 21 Nov 2018:



Dr. John W. Phelts, D.C. sees many people who want to lose weight in his midtown Manhattan location.  A key factor in weight loss that needs to be addressed is the fear of being or getting “fat”.   

Many people are afraid of fat.  Afraid of becoming “Fat” and afraid of consuming fat.  Because we call overweight people “fat”, we think that consuming fat will make us fat.  In addition, being “fat” is frowned upon in society.  This makes us even more fearful of fat, because who wants to be looked down upon.  Remember, there is no fear in love, so if you are reacting to fear, you are not operating in love.  Out of a lack of love people body shame overweight people and feel sorry (which is not love) for someone anorexic.  However, we need to realize that, it is a fear of fat that influenced that person to become anorexic.  As a society, we must walk in love towards everyone instead of looking down on anyone for any reason.  As it stands, this society has a fear of fat.  The truth is that you shouldn’t fear anything.  Fear is not healthy mentally, physically, or chemically.  We only make negative choices when they are based on fear.  These choices are not good for yourself or anyone around you.  Fat is necessary for optimal health.  By avoiding fat, you deprive yourself of its benefits.

Excess weight that you see on people is not fat, it is adipose tissue.  Adipose tissue is a group of cells called adipocytes.  Adipose tissue has several functions in our bodies, which include physically protecting organs from trauma, insulating the body, storing excess energy, stores nutrients, producing hormones.  It produces hormones that regulate blood pressure, influence blood clotting, metabolize sex hormones, and improve insulin sensitivity.  Adipose tissue only multiplies if you consume more calories than you use.  Any excess calorie, whether from fat (healthy or bad), carbohydrate, of protein will eventually be converted to fat and stored in adipose tissue.  Any calorie that is not in excess, whether fat, carbohydrate, or protein will be used for energy and not stored in adipose tissue. 

Good fats come from nuts and seeds and marine life.  They come in the form of omega 3s and omega 6s.  Omega 3 fats come from nuts and marine life.  Good omega 6 fats come from evening primrose oil, borage oil, or currant seed oil.  These good fats are actually used to help us burn fat and decrease inflammation in our bodies.  There are bad omega 6 fats and these come from hydrogenated vegetable oils. 


Did you know that in 1911 Crisco was bought by Proctor and Gamble?  Shortly after Crisco was selling in the supermarkets, Proctor and Gamble made a donation to the American heart association (AHA) in the amount of $1.75 million, which was a lot of money at that time.  Now, even today when we know that processed omega 6 fat are harmful to our bodies and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, the AHA still recommends consuming 5-10% of our calories in the form of processed omega 6 fats.  Makes you scratch your head, doesn’t it?


Let’s thank God, the creator, that we can do something about it, by avoiding any oils that are hydrogenated and consuming good fats from nuts, seeds, and wild caught fish.

Our patients at Phelts Chiropractic PC we order a foundational blood panel to find out if there are any nutritional deficiencies, cardiovascular risks, immune system challenges, or hormone imbalances.  We may also order a Cleveland hear lab test, which looks at your levels of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats.  We also do Applied Kinesiology / AK testing.  We then make nutritional recommendations according to our findings.  Give us a call to set up a consultation at 212-286-2012.  We serve the 10016, 10017, and 10018 zip codes.


Headache and Car Crashes

If you suffer from headache after a car accident, you're not alone. Dr. Phelts sees this type of condition very often in our New York office. Chiropractic can be very helpful for headache symptoms after a crash. Let's see what causes headache and why chiropractic works.

There are many different kinds of headache. Headache that's triggered by a car crash, though, usually starts as tension or strain in the muscles of the cervical spine. In a collision, the neck muscles can be torn, which results in inflammation and soreness. These kinds of headache can be felt in different places, including the back of the head or even the forehead.

Another common cause of pain after a collision that we see in our New York office is cervicogenic headache, or headaches that originate in injured ligaments of the neck. Ligament injury is quite common after a crash, and it's important to get therapy for this type of problem to avoid the creation of scar tissue.

Chiropractic is an excellent way to treat headaches, including those brought about by car crashes. Your chiropractor will help reduce the swelling and tension in your neck, which will help ease the headache pain.

Dr. Phelts is here in New York to help you recover from headache. We've been helping patients since 2003 and we can probably help you, too. First, we'll do a careful assessment to determine the root cause of your problem, and then decide how to restore your body's natural functioning. Ready to make an appointment? Give us a call at (212) 286-2012 and we'll get you back on the road to health.  We are near the 10016, 10017, and 10018 zip codes


Chiropractic Effective for Tension Headaches

New York Headache Treatment by Dr. PheltsMany people experience headache pain, and tension headaches are a frequent problem in our busy world. Postural problems and stress are common sources of tension headaches, and ones that Dr. Phelts and the team here in our New York chiropractic office have a lot of experience in treating.

Research Proves Chiropractic Eases Tension Headaches

The scientific literature confirms our results: A 2016 study from Spain treated a group of 76 patients with chronic tension headaches. The participants were divided into four treatment groups: 19 patients were treated with suboccipital inhibition (the therapist presses on the tight tissues at the top of the spine); 19 with chiropractic adjustments; 19 with both adjustments and suboccipital inhibition; and 19 received no treatment.

The authors found that the spinal adjustments were helpful at relieving pain, and that the best results were found when adjustments were mixed with the suboccipital inhibition.

When we get stressed, the nerves and tissues in the neck can be disrupted, causing pain. Chiropractic works by removing these strains and restoring the normal nerve function to the area.

We're Here to Help Patients Find Comfort From Tension Headaches

If you live in New York and are struggling with any kind of headache, we're here to help you get relief. Call Dr. Phelts today at (212) 286-2012 for an appointment or more information.


Espi-Lopez GV, Rodriguez-Blanco C, Oliva-Pascual-Vaca A, et al. Do manual therapy techniques have a positive effect on quality of life in people with tension-type headache? A randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Physical Rehabilitation Medicine 2016; February 29.


Proteolytic Enzymes Are Effective For Improving Atherosclerosis

At our Manhattan, NY clinic in Murray Hill, Dr. John W Phelts, DC sees many people who have cardiovascular conditions.  He often recommends proteolytic enzymes, because research shows that they benefit the cardiovascular system by decreasing inflammation, blood viscosity, artery plaquing, scar tissue, cholesterol, and triglycerides.  They also decrease blood pressureangina, and stroke risk. 

In a recent study compared nattokinase to Statin drugs for the treatment of atherosclerosis and hyperlipidemia.  82 patients were split into two groups and were given daily either 6000 FU of atherosclerosis or 20 mg of simvastatin The study occurred over a period of 26 weeks.  Both groups yielded a significant decreased in carotid artery thickness.  The nattokinase group had a 36.6% reduction in plaque size compared to only an 11.5% change in simvastatin.  Both groups experienced a significant decrease in total cholesterol, LDLs (low density lipoproteins), and triglycerides.  The authors concluded that “Our findings from this pioneer clinical study suggests that daily NK supplementation is an effective way to manage the progression of atherosclerosis and potentially may be a better alternative to statins which are commonly used to reduce atherosclerosis and further to prevent cardiovascular attack and stroke in patients. “ 

Dr. Phelts performs a simple test to see if proteolytic enzymes may help someone who has a cardiovascular condition.  For patients who have atherosclerosis, he may test additional substances, such as antioxidants, collagen, manganese, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) to see if they may help as well.  Dr. Phelts uses applied kinesiology in the treatment of various conditions to help his patients get better and stay better.   Call our office at 212-286-2012.  We are located in midtown Manhattan near the 10016, 10017, and 10018 zip codes. 



Proteolytic Enzymes May Improve Nasal Polyps and Asthma

Proteolytic enzymes help to breakdown proteins in our bodies.  This includes scar tissue, which is made up of the protein fibrin, and mucus, which is also a protein.  Some people may have impaired fibrinolysis (breakdown of fibrin / scar tissue) function, which allows for excessive buildup of scar tissue.  In the nasal cavity and sinuses, the scar tissue accumulates in the shape of polyps.  It is believed that deficient fibrinolysis is the cause of chronic rhinosinusitis (inflammation 1n the nasal cavity and sinuses) with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) and asthma. 

A recent study looked at the effects of a proteolytic enzyme called nattokinase on patients who suffer from CRSwNP and asthma.  They wanted to see if there would be reduced nasal polyps, mucus viscosity and/or nasal discharge.  They found that nattokinase did indeed shrink nasal polyps via fibrin degradation, as well as decrease the viscosity of sputum and nasal discharge.

Dr John W. Phelts, DC often recommends using proteolytic enzymes not only to improve asthma and nasal polyps, but also for its many other benefits which include:

Improving cystic fibrosis
Reducing angina
Reducing the risk of blood clot (thrombosis) formation
Reducing blood pressure
Reducing plaques in atherosclerosis
Improving muscle recovery and healing after intense exercise, which is important for enhancing lean muscle mass.  This also means less muscle soreness.
Improving chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Reducing postoperative scar tissue
Improving cervical syndrome symptoms
Reducing breast cysts
Improving gum disease

New York, NY chiropractor, Dr. John W Phelts sees people at his clinic who have nasal polyps and/or asthma.  He uses Applied Kinesiology (AK) treatments which may include acupressure, chiropractic adjustments, allergy clearance protocols, and nutritional/herbal supplementation.  You do not have to suffer.  Call our midtown Manhattan office, 212-286-2012, to schedule your consultation and examination today.  We serve the 10016, 10017, and 10018 zip codes and are located just two blocks away from Grand Central station.



Chiropractic: The Natural Approach to Back Pain

New York chiropractic back pain treatmentChiropractic is centered on the concept of aiding your body to heal naturally through spinal adjustments and lifestyle changes that promote wellness. For Dr. Phelts, this means working to restore your body's healthy functioning to avoid the need for medications or surgery. We find that most of our New York patients are relieved to find a natural approach for their health issues.

One benefit of chiropractic care is that it helps people minimize or eliminate the use of drugs. Medications are commonly issued to patients who have back problems. This is such a significant crisis that the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) issued a report stating that opioid (painkiller) risks outweigh the advantages when administered for back pain.

Some of the most popular narcotics, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin and Percocet), morphine, and codeine. Data presented by the AAN mention the fact that roughly half of the people taking these drugs for a period of three months are still dependent on them five years down the road. This can further complicate the difficulty of back pain and healing, particularly if an opiate dependency arises.

Compare that to chiropractic care which engages natural healing and the benefits are crystal clear. While a drug might be helpful at briefly relieving the symptoms of a health condition, it's not a long-term solution to the problem. Drugs don't fix your injured back; it will only conceal the pain.

Dr. Phelts will first examine you to get to the root of your back pain and then work with you to address the spinal interference -- without the need for risky drugs.

If you're ready for relief, naturally, give our New York office a call at (212) 286-2012 to make an appointment with Dr. Phelts. We are located in Midtown Manhattan on the east side just two blocks from grand central station.  We serve the 10016, 10017, and 10018 zip codes.


  • Risk of opioids outweigh benefits for headache, low back pain, other conditions. American Academy of Neurology;September 29, 2014.
  • What are opioids? National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved from