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Researchers studied 1598 patients with stage I-III colon or rectal cancers after surgery.

Nearly half of the patients had low levels of vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D were associated with higher risk of dying of colorectal cancer.

The study was conducted in Scotland where, like Tasmania, vitamin D deficiency is common.

Even if you went outside to expose your chest or back the sun, you will not be able to make any vitamin D in the depth of a Tasmanian winter.

In fact, you problably need to run around naked all summer to generate enough stored vitamin D to see you through winter.

This study clearly showed that cancer patients are often low in vitamin D and that being low is associated with a poor outcome.

Yet, this fact is completely ignored in the conventional care of cancer patients.

Reference: Zgaga L, Theodoratou E, Farrington SM, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2014 July 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Forget the GAPs diet, the FODMAP diet and all the other crazy or restrictive diets. 

Research again confirms that the Mediterranean diet is the best.

This time is has been shown that the Mediterranean is effective in reducing cardiovascular risk in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Goat’s rue has also been shown to help reduce high blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon is another great herb to improve diabetes.

And from the Ayurvedic herbal medicine tradition, we have gymnema and bitter melon.

Gymnea is a wonderful herb which not only helps lower blood sugar but may also help reduce body weight.

Gymnema has another incredible effect, if you chew a tiny piece of the leaf, or place a few drops of a tincture on your tongue, it will completely anaesthetise your sweet taste buds for several hours.

This can be used to reduce sweet cravings.

And for all your coffee drinkers out there, coffee has also been shown to be associated with a lower risk of diabetes.

Normal black tea has not been shown to reduce risk. I suspect that chai, rich is species including cinnamon, would lower risk.

If you are at low risk of heart disease, taking a statin will lower your cholesterol but your risk of dying are the same whether you take the statin or not.

Statins have been shown to lower the risk of future vascular events such as a stroke or heart attack when taken for five to ten years.

The absolute risk reduction is in the range of seven per 1000. That means you have to treat 140 patients with a statin (for five years) to prevent one event.

In other words for 99.3% of patients taking a statin, there is no benefit.

There is also general agreement that statins increase the risk of developing diabetes, especially in women.

Statins may also produce other side effects including muscle pain, cognitive issues, decreased energy, sexual problems, and kidney and liver injury, among others.

The first therapy for any chronic condition is lifestyle changes including exercise and eating a healthy diet. Statins have become the biggest cash cow for big pharma, and it is negative impact on our health budget is huge.

So it would make sense to compare statins to lifestyle interventions for the prevention of heart disease.

Surprise! No statin drug has ever been compared with lifestyle interventions for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

A new study has found that patients who take statins for high cholesterol consumed more calories and more fat than nonstatin users.

And, not surprisingly, this increase in calories paralleled an increase in BMI (body mass index) in statin users.

An analysis of a prospective cohort study of men revealed that physical-activity levels were "modestly" lower among statin users compared with nonusers independent of other cardiac medications and of medical history.

If statin users consume more calories, gain weight, and exercise less, it becomes easy to see why cardiovascular benefits are so small.

And statins don’t only block the enzyme involved in cholesterol

A statin drug, like so many drugs that block enzyme pathways far upstream in major cellular pathways, is going to have much more biologic action than just moving an easily measured cholesterol level.

And there is more:

Having reached the age of 72, Professor Klim McPherson was prepared to accept some deterioration in his physical capabilities. But when, earlier this year, he found he was struggling to bend over to tie up his shoelaces, he decided enough was enough.

 

And so it was that little more than a month ago, the Oxford don stopped taking the little orange tablets his doctor had prescribed him and which he had been swallowing before bedtime every night for the past three years.

 

To his great surprise, within seven days, the aches and pains that had so restricted his movements had almost entirely disappeared.

 

'I'd been finding it difficult getting down the stairs and had to negotiate them step by step,' says Professor McPherson, one of the country's most eminent public health experts.

 

'As for reaching my laces, that was painful and uncomfortable. But now I can once again do all the things I couldn't do before.'

The medication that Professor McPherson has chosen to go without is a statin called Simvastatin. 

 

Read the full Daily Mail article

 

Source:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/827675?nlid=60983_1842&src=wnl_edit_medp_wir&spon=17

Theheart.org on Medscape: Trials and Fibrillations with Dr John Mandrola Growing Doubt on Statin Drugs: The Problem of Drug-Lifestyle Interaction. Original blogpost: http://www.drjohnm.org/

 

The preparation and consumption of bone broth is being increasingly recommended to patients, for example as part of the gut and psychology syndrome (GAPS) diet for autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression and schizophrenia, and as part of the paleolithic diet.

GAPS and lead contamination

Bones are known to sequester the heavy metal lead, contamination with which is widespread throughout the modern environment. Such sequestered lead can then be mobilised from the bones. 

Bone broth might carry a risk of being contaminated with lead.

A small, blinded, controlled study of lead concentrations in three different types of organic chicken broth showed that such broths do indeed contain several times the lead concentration of the water with which the broth is made.

In particular, broth made from skin and cartilage taken off the bone once the chicken had been cooked with the bones in situ, and chicken-bone broth, were both found to have markedly high lead concentrations, of 9.5 and 7.01 μg L(-1), respectively (compared with a control value for tap water treated in the same way of 0.89 μg L(-1)).

In view of the dangers of lead consumption to the human body, we recommend that doctors and nutritionists take the risk of lead contamination into consideration when advising patients about bone broth diets.

In addition, bone marrow is also very high in saturated fat.

Monro JA, Leon R, Puri BK. Med Hypotheses. 2013 Apr;80(4):389-90. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2012.12.026. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

The preparation and consumption of bone broth is being increasingly recommended to patients, for example as part of the gut and psychology syndrome (GAPS) diet for autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression and schizophrenia, and as part of the paleolithic diet.

Scientific Evidence

From the blog post of Harriet Hall: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/gaps-diet/

As the Wikipedia article succinctly and politely puts it, “Science is not known as yet to support…GAPS theories, or claims of psychological benefits.”

The author, Campbell-McBride, is not a researcher and has not published anything on the GAPS diet. She might at least have written up a formal case report on her own son and his apparent cure so we could try to understand what actually happened.

Instead, all she has given us is testimonials from grateful patients.

Other Questionable Claims

She says a lot of other things that are odd, questionable, or even demonstrably wrong.

Some examples:

  • If you listen to your desires for food, you will be able to digest that food and it will only do you good because you ate it at the right time, when your body asked for it.
  • Avoid perfumes and scented products because they destroy your sense of smell.
  • Processed foods alter your sense of taste. Brush your teeth with olive oil instead of toothpaste: this Ayurvedic procedure detoxifies the mouth. (No fluoride?)
  • Avoid processed salt and use natural unprocessed salt such as Himalayan or Celtic salt that contains more than 90 minerals. (How much of each? Surely not enough to matter.)
  • The autonomic nervous system shifts back and forth from sympathetic to parasympathetic dominance, which require different foods. One likes meat and fat, the other needs more plant foods. Your body will tell you which you need more of.
  • There are daily and seasonal cleansing cycles and building cycles, each requiring different nutrients: animal foods build, plant foods cleanse.
  • Our needs depend on our heredity. If your ancestors were Vikings or Eskimos, you will need to eat lots of fish.
  • Avoid vegetable and cooking oils. Polyunsaturated fats are bad because they are chemically mutilated. 50% of the fat in our diet should be saturated.
  • Don’t test your blood cholesterol. Testing is pointless and potentially harmful. Old people with high cholesterol are healthier and live longer.
  • Eating cholesterol-rich foods is essential to produce enough vitamin D.
  • Vitamin D deficiency causes cancer, diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, autoimmune illness, obesity, bone and muscle disease, high blood pressure, chronic pain, poor immunity and susceptibility to infections.
  • Instead of cholesterol, test CRP and insulin levels.
  • Our soils are worn out. We would have to eat 2 kilos of apples today to provide the nutrition one apple used to give us.
  • Using volcanic rock dust in organic gardening improves nutrition, and if used on a global scale, it would enable the soil to absorb enough excess atmospheric carbon to stabilize global climate change.
  • The alarming growth of degenerative disease in our modern populations to a large degree is due to relentlessly decreasing levels of minerals in our food.
  • Black elderberry is one of the most powerful anti-viral remedies known to man.
  • Meat, fish, nuts, oily seeds are easier to digest than other foods.

GAPS diet and lead contamination

Bones are known to sequester the heavy metal lead, contamination with which is widespread throughout the modern environment.

Such sequestered lead can then be mobilised from the bones.

Researchers therefore hypothesised that bone broth might carry a risk of being contaminated with lead.

A small, blinded, controlled study of lead concentrations in three different types of organic chicken broth showed that such broths do indeed contain several times the lead concentration of the water with which the broth is made. In particular, broth made from skin and cartilage taken off the bone once the chicken had been cooked with the bones in situ, and chicken-bone broth, were both found to have markedly high lead concentrations, of 9.5 and 7.01 μg L(-1), respectively (compared with a control value for tap water treated in the same way of 0.89 μg L(-1)).

In view of the dangers of lead consumption to the human body, we recommend that doctors and nutritionists take the risk of lead contamination into consideration when advising patients about bone broth diets.

In addition, bone marrow is also very high in saturated fat.

Monro JA, Leon R, Puri BK. Med Hypotheses. 2013 Apr;80(4):389-90. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2012.12.026. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

By Felice Jacka, Deakin University

Over the last half century, the global food industry has profoundly changed the way we eat. While we understand how these dietary changes have impacted physical health, their effect on mental well-being is only now being realised.

Big business has successfully developed and marketed food products that appeal to our evolutionary preferences and have addictive properties.

Highly-processed snack and takeaway food products, rich in tasty fat and sugar, have now displaced much of the fruit, vegetables and other nutritious, unprocessed foods in our diets.

Largely as a result of these changes, there has been a staggering increase in the proportion of overweight and obese people across many countries. Common non-infectious illnesses, many driven by poor diets, are now the leading cause of death worldwide.

And we’re now realising that unhealthy diets may also be contributing to poor mental health.

Diet and mental health

In Australia, as elsewhere, nearly half of the population will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. This means even people who are not personally affected are likely to know someone who has experienced such an illness.

Research now suggests that depression and dementia are affected by the quality of our diets across the life course.

Indeed, studies from countries as diverse as Norway, Spain, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia show people whose diets are healthier are less likely to experience depression.

Research also shows that people who eat more unhealthy and junk foods are at increased risk of depression. This seems to also be the case in adolescents.

The most recent evidence points to the importance of mothers' diets for the physical and mental health of their children.

Although both diet and depression are influenced by a wide range of factors including income and education, these variables don’t seem to fully explain the relationships.

And even though depression tends to change people’s appetites and dietary choices at the time of illness, this doesn’t appear to explain the long-term relationships between diet and depression either.

Diet and dementia risk

We now know that high cholesterol, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, elevated blood sugar and high BMI are all risk factors for dementia. And these are clearly influenced by dietary habits.

On the other hand, healthy dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet, seem to protect against dementia and cognitive decline. Indeed, a recent European randomised trial showed people who adopted a Mediterranean-style diet as part of the study experienced better cognition than those in the control condition.

And although the study wasn’t designed to assess depression risk, there was also a suggestion it was reduced for people who adopted the Mediterranean diet.

Taken together, this evidence suggests changes in global dietary habits may be influencing rates of depression and dementia. Importantly, given detrimental changes to diet are particularly obvious in younger people, the impact on the burden of these mental disorders may not yet be fully manifest.

It’s becoming clear that common physical and mental illnesses co-occur and are likely mutually reinforcing. Obesity increases the risk for depression and dementia, while depression prompts obesity.

Heart disease is associated with depression, while worse outcomes face those with heart disease if they’re also depressed. Risk factors for heart disease are also risk factors for dementia.

In this sense, the mind-body dichotomy that has informed much of psychiatric practice throughout history is beginning to appear artificial and redundant.

What all this means for general well-being is that measures to improve physical health should have positive benefits for the prevention and treatment of mental disorders. It also reinforces the need for governments and policy makers to urgently address our “obesogenic” food environment, which encourages people to eat bad food and remain sedentary.

And that means tackling the activities and predominance of the food industry.

The Conversation

Felice Jacka has received Grant/Research support from the Brain and Behaviour Research Institute, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australian Rotary Health, the Ian Potter Foundation, Eli Lilly, the Australian Meat and Livestock Board and The University of Melbourne, and has been a paid speaker for Sanofi-Synthelabo, Janssen Cilag, Servier, Pfizer, Health Ed, Network Nutrition, Angelini Farmaceutica, and Eli Lilly. She is president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR) and the Alliance for the Prevention of Mental Disorders (APMD).

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

By Tim Crowe, Deakin University

If you believe cancer is a disease that strikes from nowhere with little in your control to prevent it, you’d be mistaken on both counts. Most cases of cancer are considered preventable by positive nutrition and lifestyle choices.

Six new nutrition cancer prevention guidelines published today in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reinforce some sound advice, but also include a surprise or two.

Cancer is a big killer of Australians, and is responsible for 30% of all deaths each year. The “big five” in order of incidence are prostate, bowel, breast, melanoma and lung cancer. Our love of the sun and smoking mostly explain the last two, but it is food, exercise and other lifestyle choices that explain much of a person’s risk of cancer.

So what do these six new cancer prevention recommendations tell us? And how much notice should we take?

1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Unfortunately, there is no “cancer prevention superfood”; it is a combination of food variety that gives the greatest benefit.

 

A variety of fruits and vegetables is best. Alby Headrick/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

Why are fruit and vegetables so good? Take you pick from any and all of the following: antioxidants, fibre, phytochemicals and weight control.

One group of vegetables you may care to give a closer look at during your weekly shop, are the dark leafy greens. These include broccoli, spinach, leaf lettuce and kale – foods that are true nutrient powerhouses.

2. Limit or avoid alcohol

When it comes to alcohol, forget about justifying drinking because it is good for your heart. Alcohol is strongly linked to cancer of the mouth, oesophagus, breast, colon and liver; the more you drink, the greater the risk.

 

The more you drink, the greater your cancer risk. Wagner T. Cassimiro 'Aranha'/Flickr, CC BY

Alcohol through conversion to acetaldehyde can directly damage cellular DNA. It can also damage the liver, increase the solubility of other cancer-causing chemicals, increase the level of estrogen, and decrease the levels of some beneficial nutrients such as folate.

Risk, though, needs to be balanced with lifestyle and enjoyment. There are many other positive things you can do to reduce cancer risk without giving up your favourite drink altogether.

3+4. Avoid red and processed meat

The advice on avoiding processed meat is well supported by evidence. This agrees with the biggest voice in the cancer prevention business, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) which rates the link between red meat and colorectal cancer as “convincing” – the highest level of evidence possible.

 

Where possible, avoid processed meats. Alpha/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Meat lovers can take some solace though. The WCRF recommends keeping consumption of red meat to under 500 grams of cooked meat per week. Fish and chicken are good alternatives if the thought of missing a daily steak is too much for you.

Following on from the advice on limiting red meat, is a recommendation to avoid overcooking meat; especially from grilling and frying. When meat, chicken and fish is overcooked at high temperatures for a long time, natural reactions in the food can produce heterocyclic amines (HCAs).

HCAs are considered potent causes of breast, lung, colon, stomach and prostate cancer – at least in animal models.

5. Women: eat soy foods to reduce your risk of breast cancer

This is a surprising recommendation, more so that when groups such as the WCRF have looked at the evidence, it barely made it to the “limited” level of evidence.

 

The evidence on soy and cancer is patchy. Chloe Lim/Flickr, CC BY

Soy contains a class of phytochemicals called isoflavones which have chemical structures similar to estrogen. These isoflavones are thought to partly inhibit a woman’s own natural estrogen in stimulating cell growth. That’s the theory at least.

Soy foods are a staple of vegetarian diets and the recommendation advises choosing natural soy foods such as edamame, tempeh or tofu and to steer clear of protein concentrates often found in supplements.

Women who are being treated for estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer should avoid soy supplements because they contain high concentrations of isoflavones.

6. Men: limit or avoid dairy products to reduce your risk of prostate cancer

This certainly stands out as the most controversial recommendation and the one that could grab the headlines.

This recommendation is a good example of needing to balance risk when it comes to lifestyle choices in preventing cancer. While there is some limited evidence that dairy products can raise a man’s risk of prostate cancer, there is also a higher level of evidence (which the WCRF classifies as “probable”) that milk and calcium can lower the risk of colorectal cancer.

 

There’s no need to avoid dairy. jacqueline/Flickr, CC BY-NC

A diet high in calcium can lead to a decrease in vitamin D production. Vitamin D is an important regulator of cell growth and proliferation so less of it may lead to prostate cancer cells growing unchecked.

In the colon, though, it’s a different matter. Calcium can bind to potentially carcinogenic compounds in the intestine, making them insoluble and easily excreted. Calcium can also directly influence cell development, slowing down proliferation.

What’s a guy to do? If you enjoy dairy foods, there is no need to avoid them. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, you may want to have a bit less. If colon cancer runs in your family, a bit more could help.

Other ways to reduce your cancer risk

While not part of the nutrition recommendations, physical activity is now recognised as a potent “cancer-preventing” habit. Estimates link regular physical activity to a 20-40% lower risk of colon and breast cancer.

How much physical activity is enough? All physical activity is beneficial, but for cancer prevention up to one hour of moderate activity or 30 minutes of vigorous activity daily gives the greatest benefit.

Carrying too much weight, especially around the middle, is a known cancer risk, especially for breast and colon cancer risk. Men should aim for a waist circumference below 94cm. For women it’s below 80cm.

 

Regular physical activity reduces your risk of cancer. Don DeBold/Flickr, CC BY

Cancer prevention guidelines reflect the current state of scientific evidence, and change over time as evidence changes. The core of the guidelines though have changed little and can be summed up in single sentence. Eat mostly plant foods close to their natural state, keep active, drink responsibly, stay safe in the sun, and don’t smoke.

For some people, a complete lifestyle overhaul can be a difficult thing to manage in one go. Instead, focus on one change at a time like building more activity into your day and then following this up with eating five different types of vegetables and two of fruits each day with the emphasis on colour as your best guide to variety.

Prevention guidelines shouldn’t be seen as a prescription for restricting your life, but a series of small changes to how you eat and live now that will build the framework for a long, healthy and cancer-free life.

The Conversation

Tim Crowe does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Babies given prebiotics and probiotic supplements have a lower incidence of respiratory tract infections (RTIs), a study shows.

The Finnish research, published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology, found “a significantly lower incidence of RTIs” was detected in infants receiving prebiotics (rate ratio [RR], 0.24; 95% CI, 0.12-0.49; P < .001) or probiotics (RR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.28-0.90; P = .022) compared with those receiving placebo.  

Also, the incidence of rhinovirus-induced episodes, which comprised 80% of all RTI episodes, was found to be significantly lower in the prebiotic (RR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.14-0.66; P = .003) and probiotic (RR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.24-1.00; P = .051) groups compared with the placebo group.

“Gut microbiota modification with specific prebiotics and probiotics might offer a novel and cost-effective means to reduce the risk of rhinovirus infections,” the study authors concluded.

The prebiotics was a equal mixture of galacto-oligosaccharide and polydextrose and the probiotic was Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, ATCC 53103).

Just like oils ain't oils, probiotics ain't probiotics. It is very important to get the right strain, in this case GG ATCC 53103.  The probiotic is Lactobacillus acidophilus (Moro) Hansen and Mocquot and the strain is GG [Gorbach-Goldin]. Source: J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Feb;133(2):405-13.

Make an appointment using our online calendar system

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Zinc supplemenation is linked to a reduction in incidence of common colds in children, new research in JAMA shows.
The authors noted however, that “there is no association between oral zinc and symptom severity, and the prevalence of adverse effects with zinc lozenges, such as bad taste and nausea, is high”.

Hobart naturopath recommends a simple zinc supplement taken after meals to reduce risk of nausea. The recommended adult dose is 20 mg daily.

Herbal medicines including the Auyrvedic herb andrographis is also very helpful both in the reducing the risk of the common cold or flu, but also in reducing symptoms. It needs to be dosed high and frequent. We recommend MediHerb's Andrographis Complex available from Gould's Naturopathica on prescription by a naturopath.

For chronic immune problems such as being very prone to getting a cold or the flu, bronchitis, chronic sinusitis or other infection, a more throrough treatment plan is required.

Make an appointment using our online calendar system

Or contact reception by email or telephone 03 6223 4842

 

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Bioceuticals Direct Ordering

 Bioceuticals order

If you are a patient of the Hobart Naturopath, you can purchase your Bioceutical products directly from the Bioceuticals website.

Step1: Go to the Bioceuticals homepage
•    Simply click this link to the Bioceuticals homepage

Step 2: Setup an account
•    Your will now see the Bioceuticals homepage
•    Go to login in the upper right corner
•    You will need to set up an account as a “patient” and use the codeword southhobart

Step 3: Select your products.

 

Coriolus PSP

trametes versicolor turkey tailCoriolus PSP is a special extract of the spores from the fungus Turkey tail. It’s botanical name is Trametes Versicolor (also known as Coriolus versicolor, or Kawaratake in Japanes, or Yun-Zhi in Chinese). The medicinal plant part is the fruiting body.

The active compounds are known as polysaccharide peptide (PSP) and polysaccharide krestin (PSK).

PSP and PSK have been investigated as adjuvant medicines during chemotherapy and radiation. Studies have found that these immune enhancing polysaccharides enhance quality of life of cancer patients.

read more 

Testimonials

Audrey
24-10-2016
The start of my breast cancer journey could have been overwhelming. So much to learn, so many decisions to make. After my first consultation with Michael I felt empowered. He then travelled my journey with me, guiding me every step of the way. Two years later, I popped out the other side and now feel sensational. I cannot thank Michael enough.
Guest
14-03-2015
Thank you so much for walking part of our path with us. You have made a tremendous difference to our well-being. I am singing your praises. [wife of patient about cancer support provided by Michael Thomsen]
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14-03-2015
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