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                           News You Can Use                           

Check that chicken! What?


chicken and fluAccording to a recent study by Consumer Reports, 97% of the chicken breasts they test harbored bacteria that could make you sick.

Analyzing more than 300 chicken breasts purchased across the US, the scientists found potentially harmful bacteria in almost all of them, including organic brands.  More than 50% of the breasts contained fecal contamination.  Around half of them contained at least one bacteria that was resistant to 3 commonly used antibiotics.  This resistance to antibiotics is becoming a major public health threat according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). They are linked to at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths per year here in the US. 

chicken and fluWhat are these bacteria and how can they harm us?  The chief culprit is salmonella.  Salmonella come in many strains, the most dangerous of which is the Heidelberg variety, the culprit in the recent Foster Farms salmonella outbreak that drew a public health alert from the Dept. of Agriculture (USDA).  Christopher Braden, MD, of the CDC, reports that the Heidelberg salmonella produced these symptoms, common in most salmonella poisonings: 

nausea, vomiting, severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and a low-grade fever

About 20 percent of people with salmonella end up hospitalized; almost 40 percent of those sickened by the Foster Farms-¬produced chicken did, Braden says.

So, how do we protect ourselves?

  • Keep your kitchen very clean
  • Cook the chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees (use a good meat thermometer)
  • Prevent cross contamination: Often when you take the chicken out of the package, you get bacteria on your hands, then touch the handle of your faucet, trash bin, or kitchen cabinet. Once they have bacteria on them, these dangerous bacteria can live on those surfaces for hours and sometimes days

safe chicken handling

Want to learn more about this public health hazard?  Click on the link in the above article.  Let’s all stay healthy


Transfats – what are they exactly and why do we need to avoid them?


trans Fats

Mark Hyman, MD, leading Functional Medicine clinician and teacher, explains:

The FDA issued a ban on all trans fats, deeming them unsafe for human consumption, and it's about time!  For more than 20 years, the science has shown these fats to be hazardous to our health.  Trans fat is an oddly shaped fat that:

  • Slows your metabolism
  • Increases inflammation
  • Lowers your good cholesterol
  • Raises your bad cholesterol
  • Causes diabetes, obesity, heart attacks, strokes, dementia, cancer, and inflammation

So, you really don’t want to eat anything made with trans or hydrogenated fats.  The purpose of trans fat is to prolong the shelf life of the food.  It never goes rancid. It is hidden in almost all convenience food and fried foods.  Food manufacturers ONLY have to notify consumers that their product contains trans fat if it is greater than half a gram per serving.  If something says zero trans fat, it can still have lots of trans fats.

Look on the label for the word hydrogenated, and make sure it doesn’t have that on it.

  • heart-healthThe Mayo Clinic explains that trans fats both raises your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your "good" (HDL) cholesterol – increasing your risk of heart disease. Look for the words "partially hydrogenated" vegetable oil. That's another term for trans fat. Other health issues: trans fats increase your level of triglycerides which can lead to hardening of the arteries, increasing the risk of stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. They increase inflammation which plays a key role in the formation of fatty blockages in your arteries.
So what foods may contain these troublesome trans fats?

Cookies….Crackers…..Cakes …. Muffins….Pie Crusts……Pizza Dough…. Margarine…Vegetable shortening…. Cake Mixes… Pancake mixes....

....Chocolate Drink Mixes… Donuts…French Fries….Potato Chips… Candy… Packaged Popcorn…Frozen Dinners.

Fried Foods

So, here is to a healthier diet for all of us.  Read those labels!

Want to learn more?  Click on the links above…



Wintertime: time for immune support! How can we do that?


Woman with FluA robust immune system is our best defense against all illness.  More than half of our immune systems are located in the small intestine!  The proper function of this part of our immune system depends upon a healthy balance of the proper bacteria there.  


Joseph Mercola, MD, explains that “Beneficial bacteria have a lifelong, powerful effect on your gut’s immune system and your systemic immune system as well. The bacteria play a crucial role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract. They also aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens.”  So, how do we support this colony of good bacteria?

Take a good probiotic:

  • whenever you are on antibiotics (they can kill off the good bacteria right along with the disease bacteria)
  • if you are traveling to foreign lands
  • if you are eating high amounts of sugary foods
  • if you are highly stressed
  • if you are eating lots of processed foods

Mark Hyman, MD, also explains approaches to supporting our immune systems. 

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Avoid simple sugars as much as possible! Studies have shown that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after ingested.
  • Have protein with each meal. Proteins are the building blocks of the body. This includes your immune and detoxification systems. 
  • Add garlic, onions, ginger, and lots of spices (oregano, turmeric) to your meals
  • superfoods3Eat multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C, A, and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Choose more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes, and squashes. 
  • Get sufficient sleep! We all know sleep restores and heals the body. Without adequate sleep, optimal immune function is next to impossible
  • Get regular exercise. Mild to moderate exercise (for approximately 30-45 minutes) helps boost the immune system. 
  • Supplements for Adult Immune Support

Here is an overview of the vitamins, minerals, and herbs Dr. Hyman recommends and why they are important:

  • Multivitamin/Mineral: This is the foundation for any health support regimen. Look for a high-quality, broad-spectrum multivitamin and mineral.
  • Vitamin D3: Adequate vitamin D status is critical for optimal immune function and this cannot be achieved without supplementation during the winter months. It is best to get your levels of 25 OH vitamin D checked for accurate dosing. Blood levels should be above 30 ng/dl. However, optimal levels are probably closer to 50 ng/dl for most. Many need 5,000 IU or more of vitamin D3 a day in the winter. Start with 2,000 IU for adults, 1,000 IU for children.
  • Buffered Vitamin C: The role of vitamin C in supporting the immune system has long been known. Take 500-1,000 mg throughout the day with meals and snacks.
  • Zinc citrate: You can take an additional supplement or consume more foods high in this powerful immune supporting nutrient. Seafood—especially oysters—red meat, and pumpkin seeds are the best food sources. Take 30 mg per day.
  • Fish Oil (Artic Cod Liver Oil): This old time remedy for good health and robust immunity still stands true! In addition to the good fats, cod liver oil contains additional vitamin A and D for added immune protection.


You can click on the links above to learn more…

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RN Patient Advocates, PLLC

3400 West Goret Road
Tucson, AZ 85754
Phone: 520-743-7008

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