Saturday, June 16, 2012


--The inscription on my watch given to me by my parents for my college graduation.  “Have we told you lately how much we love you?” It is similar to the inscription found on items that my Dad’s father gave to him.  

To say he came from humble beginnings is an understatement.  Being the eldest of five children growing up in hard times, my father grew up fast.  He was a strong and steady role model for his brothers and sisters.  He worked his way through college and married a pretty girl from Louisville, with similarly modest upbringing.

A degree in journalism and Regional Sales Director for the Courier Journal, my Dad was forced to quit his job due to the paper’s relocation while my Mom was pregnant with my older brother.  Determined to provide for his family, my father set out with his best friend to begin a magazine.  Funny things happen to funny people and from a bogus ad to fill space in the magazine—“Homestead Homes. Cut Your Living Expenses in Half with a Duplex.”—a new company was forged. 

If you know my father you’d vouch that he is quite possibly the luckiest man in the world but I’ll have you know that “chance favors the prepared mind,” and my dad is smart in the ways of the world.  He now runs a successful construction company with a few outside investments and along with my mother has been able to provide my brothers and me with every opportunity under the sun.  

Although, it is impressive to see what my father has accomplished from the small duplex we lived in on Chinoe Road, he doesn’t see his success that way.  “I measure my success by the success of my children” –is a sentence that has run through my veins since a young age.   With guidance and support from my father I will be the first doctor in our family.  My younger brother graduated from the University of Florida with a Industrial and Systems Engineering degree and now at the ripe age of 25 is praised by this superiors at the Baxter Corporation in Chicago, IL for his creation and implementation of new streamlined business models.  My older brother has an undergraduate degree from Kelley School of Business, went on to work as an analyst for Bear Sterns in New York City and an associate for Blackstone in Atlanta, GA before he received his MBA from Darden School of Business where he graduated in the top 10% of his class and now holds the position of Assistant to the Chairman at Raymond James in Tampa, FL. Needless to say, my father is proud. 

But it’s not enough to say that my dad is successful and an inspiring role model.   It has to be noted that he is the most loved and adored man around.  His jovial and charismatic personality calls everyone into his presence.  Striving to always be happy, his humor and laughter are contagious. 

Probably my favorite thing about my dad is his unwavering love of his wife and family.  I remember when I was younger my dad swinging my mom around the kitchen singing to her just before he dipped her back and kissed her.  Even to this day my dad will ring the front door bell with flowers to take my mom on a date.  He has the biggest heart and loves his family with all of our faults. 

I am beyond blessed that the greatest man I have ever known loves me unconditionally with every breath he takes.   And although I can never repay him for the multitude of things he has done for me I only wish to show him how grateful I am for him everyday.  Daddio, I don’t know if I’ve told you lately but “I love you more than air.”

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Acne and Diet Revisited

Remember way back when I gave that spiel on how your diet can effect your skin, namely acne manifestations? As I said, those tips were based not on research but on my own experience and the advice of one internist. Since then I've done my homework. I did a comprehensive review of the literature on this topic and in August Dr. Silverberg (an esteemed Dermatologist in New York City) and I published that review (See attached journal article). Since most of you will never lay eyes on a Cutis Journal I'll provide the high points.

The literature shows that acne has clearly defined associations with consumption of Dairy (milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, etc.) and High glycemic index foods (refine sugars, simple carbohydrates). Here's why... Dairy products contain bovine hormones which increase your IGF-1 (a growth factor) which causes an increase in androgens (i.e. sex hormones like testosterone). Similarly, a rapid rise in blood sugar secondary to high glycemic index foods also increases IGF-1 and subsequently androgens. Androgens cause an increase in sebum production from the glands in your skin. This clogs your pores and allows for the acne bacteria to grow causing acne lesions. Many other foods have been studied in less detail.

Chocolate, or simply cocoa, has not shown to be associated with acne but perhaps the milk in milk chocolate or the sugar content could play a role in the activation of acne symptoms. Oily and fatty foods have not been studied in much detail and their role in acne is still uncertain.

So in summary, those who suffer from severe symptoms of acne should limit the intake of dairy, while supplementing with calcium and vitamin D, and refined sugars. Hope that helps! -B

Click here for Journal Article