May 27, 2016

The leading online resource for evidence-based wellness information, is a collaboration between the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, and a national team of writers and editors. It features articles from the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter as well as original content and updates.

What is "Wellness"?

Wellness is much more than simply the absence of sickness. It is optimal physical, mental and emotional well-being, a preventive way of living that reduces—sometimes even eliminates—the need for remedies. It emphasizes personal responsibility for making the lifestyle choices and self-care decisions that will improve the quality of your life.

Wellness is a positive, day-to-day approach to a long, healthful, active life. It includes both highly scientific and practical medicine—from the latest research and most advanced tests to reliable home remedies and common sense.

About the Wellness Letter and

Since its first issue in 1984, the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter has been read by millions of subscribers. A monthly print newsletter, it has been rated No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report, the Baltimore Sun, Money Magazine, and the Washington Post, for its “brisk,” “reasoned” coverage of health issues.

In February 2013, was launched, bringing the wealth of the newsletter's editorial content to the web. The site relies on the expertise of the School of Public Health and other researchers at UC Berkeley, as well as other top scientists from around the world. It translates this leading-edge research into practical advice for daily living—at home, at work, while exercising and in the market or health-food store. Rather than simply reporting quick health stories of the day, puts the news in perspective and evaluates it.

Our editors constantly review the latest research to give you the edge in your quest to live the best life you can. In particular, we clarify the often conflicting and superficial health information presented by the popular media. We don't promote faddish diets or other anecdote-based regimens. Nor do we simply repeat conventional medical advice from mainstream health organizations or pharmaceutical companies.

Our Editorial Board

CHAIR: John Edward Swartzberg, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Clinical Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
An internist with 26 years of clinical experience and a specialist in infectious disease, Dr. Swartzberg has been Chair of the Editorial Board of the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter since 2001. He is Clinical Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health and at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. He was the coauthor of the Complete Home Wellness Handbook (2001).

ASSOCIATE CHAIR: Joyce C. Lashof, M.D.
Professor Emerita of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
Prior to her retirement, Dr. Lashof served as Dean and Professor of Public Health at the School of Public Health. Her career has combined government service and academic medicine. She has served as the Director of the Department of Public Health for the State of Illinois, as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Programs and Population Affairs, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and as Assistant Director of the Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress. She has held faculty appointments at the University of Chicago, University of Illinois and Rush Medical College. Dr. Lashof is a member of the Institute of Medicine and past President of the American Public Health Association. From 1995 to 1997 she served as Chair of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veteran’s Illnesses.

ASSOCIATE CHAIR: William A. Pereira, M.D., M.P.H.
Occupational Medicine, University Health Services, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Pereira did his residency training in preventive medicine at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health, is board-certified in occupational and environmental medicine, and has more than 30 years of clinical experience in occupational, preventive, primary care, physical, and emergency medicine.A member of the Editorial Board since 1994, Dr. Pereira is also on the staff at the Occupational Health Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley.

Edward Blonz, M.S., Ph.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Blonz has more than 25 years of experience in health and nutrition. Dr. Blonz also specializes in forensic nutrition, serving as an expert on the claims, uses, and effects of foods, dietary supplements, and related health products. He is a member of the FDA Dietary Supplement Advisory Subcommittee, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and the Health Fraud Task Force of California. Since 1990, his syndicated weekly column, “On Nutrition,” has been appeared in newspapers around the country and internationally.

Lily Chaput, M.D., M.P.H.
California Department of Health Services
Dr. Chaput entered the UC Berkeley/UC San Francisco Preventive Medicine Residency Program in 1997. Currently, she is a UC San Francisco Clinical Research Fellow. Her research projects include topics related to the prevention of cardiovascular disease in women. She received her medical degree from Northwestern University in 1991 and her residency training in Internal Medicine from the UC Davis Medical Center. She received a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley in 1998.

Tei-wei Hu, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Health Economics, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Hu is an expert on health economics, health care reform, and tobacco control, with a special interest in health issues in China and Taiwan. Dr. Hu has published extensively in the field of tobacco control economics, and is considered an expert on the effects that various control policies, such as taxation, have on global tobacco markets.

Steven Jacobsohn, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology, Dr. Jacobsohn was part of a gastroenterology practice in Berkeley, California, for 32 years. In 2006, he joined the faculty at UCSF Medical Center where he now teaches and is in charge of gastrointestinal clinics at San Francisco General Hospital, where he created a clinic and to treat patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Ronald M. Krauss, M.D.
Adjunct Professor of Nutritional Sciences, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Krauss is Senior Scientist and Director of Atherosclerosis Research at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute and Guest Senior Scientist in the Genome Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is board-certified in internal medicine, endocrinology, and metabolism. His research involves studies of genetic, dietary, and pharmacologic effects on coronary artery disease risk. He has been a Senior Advisor to the National Cholesterol Education Program, and is actively involved with the American Heart Association (AHA), having served as Chairman of the Nutrition Committee. He has published more than 300 research articles and reviews and is currently Principal Investigator of two large research programs: “Institute for Genetics and Nutrition” and “Pharmacogenetics and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease”.

Guy Micco, M.D.
Clinical Professor, University of California, Berkeley
An internist by training (UCSF), Dr. Micco has focused on aging as well as the interface of the humanities and medicine. He is director of the UC Berkeley Resource Center on Aging and co-director of the Program for the Medical Humanities. He has combined medical practice and teaching in Berkeley since leaving UCSF in 1981, and has a part-time practice in hospice and palliative care.

James P. Seward, M.D., M.P.P., M.M.M.
Clinical Professor of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Seward is Co-Director of the UCSF-UCB Joint Residency in Preventive Medicine and Medical Director for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, as well as a Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF and Clinical Professor of Public Health at UC Berkeley. He also teaches Occupational Medicine and Preventive Medicine at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and serves as Chair of the UCSF Occupational Medicine Residency Advisory Committee. He is the Occupational Medicine Regent for the American College of Preventive Medicine and President of the Western Occupational and Environmental Medical Association.

Stephen M. Shortell, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Dean, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Shortell is the Blue Cross of California Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management and Professor of Organization Behavior at the School of Public Health and Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. A leading health care scholar, he has received many awards, including the Baxter-Allegiance Prize for his contributions to health services research, and serves on numerous boards and advisory groups. He is currently conducting research on the evaluation of quality improvement initiatives and on the implementation of evidence-based medicine practices in physician organizations.

Kirk R. Smith, Ph.D.
Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Smith is Associate Director for International Programs at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health of UC Berkeley, Davis, and San Francisco. He is also Chair of UCB Division of Environmental Health Sciences and Director of the Program in Health, Environment, and Development, as well as Director of the WHO Collaborating Center on Studies of Environmental Risk and Development. Since 1985, he has served as Senior Fellow at the Program on Environment, East-West Center (EWC), Honolulu. Dr. Smith conducts research on the environmental and health effects of air pollution, both indoor and outdoor.

Laura E. Stachel, M.D., M.P.H.
Instructor, University of California, Berkeley and University of California, San Francisco Joint Medical Program
The co-founder and medical director of WE CARE Solar, Dr. Stachel is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with 14 years of clinical experience. She is the Associate Director of Emergency Obstetric Research in West Africa for the Bixby Center for Population Health and Sustainability. She collaborates with Population Reproductive Health Partnership, was a co-investigator for a collaborative Population Council study aiming to improving the standard of maternity care in Nigerian state hospitals, and co-chairs an international working group on Energy and Health for the UN Foundation.

S. Leonard Syme, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley
For most of his 30 years at UC Berkeley, Dr. Syme has done research on risk factors for heart disease, with a major focus on psychosocial risk factors such as job stress, social support, and poverty. In doing this research, he has studied San Francisco bus drivers; Japanese people living Hawaii, California, and Japan; British civil servants; and people living in Alameda County. Since his retirement in 1993, Dr. Syme has devoted most of his time to the development of interventions to prevent disease and promote health.

About UC Berkeley & the School of Public Health

Behind the Wellness Letter stands one of the most respected educational institutions in the world. For over a century, the University of California, Berkeley has built an extraordinary record of achievement. Its faculty has produced 22 Nobel laureates, 5 Pulitzer Prize winners, 128 appointees to the National Academy of Sciences, and 30 winners of the National Medal of Science. For 60 years, the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley has helped promote and protect the health of Americans. It is one of the nation’s leading research and teaching institutions in this field. Its internationally renowned faculty includes physicians, educators, psychologists, nutrition experts, epidemiologists, and public health professionals. Among its areas of research are: the control of cancer, the relationship between diet and disease prevention, occupational health, the link between social support and good health, and environmental health. You can visit the UC Berkeley School of Public Health website.