Kidney Stone Support

September 13th, 2017
  • I found this article today on Kidney Stones – funnily enough I sort of agree that generally home remedies are not enough to be beneficial short term, but clinically I’ve found the coke and asparagus treatment beneficial for clients over the past 10 years.  So I disagree that it doesn’t work.  I do however, recommend the general recommendations of apple cider vinegar (if not allergic/intolerant); lemon juice and olive oil in our diets; and herbal teas such as Stone Breaker tea are great – available at New Leaf (the lemon juice and olive oil cleanse is more for gall stones and only when appropriate).  It takes a long time to break down kidney stones and the coke and asparagus treatment (done on ONE day – not multiple days – so long term it won’t have an effect as long as we rehydrate!)
  • We also use supplements that support better kidney and bladder health and re-alkalise the body (a full cleanse often takes 2 years!  Not these quick few weeks – this will NOT help prevent kidney stones)
  • With regards to the coke and asparagus treatment – it’s VERY specific and sometimes needs to be done once per month over a series of months if the stones are large or there are multiple stones
  • We would recommend Looking at your Blood and performing an OligoScan – finding out where the mineral levels in your body are, and looking at toxicity.  Kidney issues are about toxicity of one form or another…
  • We would also look at acupuncture and kinesiology to improve kidney energy and functionality – and microcurrent treatments to support breaking down the stones – along with teas and supplements to start the process of breaking down the kidneys.
  • Keep in mind that the kidney is the FOURTH filter in the body – the first is the digestive tract, the second is the liver, the third is the lymphatic system and the FOURTH is the kidneys/urinary tract.  So you are less likely to have kidney issues if all of your other filters are working correctly…
  • If the body is too acidic and we are creating kidney stones – this is only one problem we have.  Acidity creates many other health issues other than kidney stones, and we really need to look at WHY the body is so acidic:  stress, diet, intolerances and allergies, drug and medication use, PTSD, hayfever, sinusitis, chronic infections, lack of purified water…

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
07 3348 6098
healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au

YouTube:  New Leaf Health Team channel

 

 

  • 4 Remedies to Dissolve Kidney Stones… But Only One Works

    You’re experiencing severe abdominal pain that’s radiating to your lower back. You also notice blood in your urine and a persistent need to urinate, even though you can only urinate small amounts at a time. You have a history of kidney stones and are pretty sure you are experiencing them again. Not wanting to use medications or surgery to treat your kidney stones, you start to look for successful home remedies that dissolve kidney stones naturally and fast. Four treatments look promising:

    1. Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
    2. Apple Cider Vinegar
    3. Coke and Asparagus
    4. Lab Grade Chanca Piedra

    Which ones work and which ones don’t? We’ve done the testing and leg work to sort out the success rates of each of these treatments.

    Why Do I Get Kidney Stones?

    Our kidneys are essential organs that filter out the waste in our bloodstream. The byproduct of this waste is our urine. Stones develop from buildup of mineral deposits in our urine that stick together in the kidneys. Typically, these stones develop because of a lack of water that dilutes the accumulation of these minerals on the lining of our kidneys. Certain medications, medical disorders (e.g., Crohn’s Disease), and a family history of kidney stones can also increase your chances of suffering from them.

    Because they are known to cause a great deal of pain, it is no surprise that those who suffer from kidney stones are will to try just about anything to prevent them and to stop them from coming back. Known medicinal treatments include the use of alpha-blockers such as Flomax that relax the lining of the ureter to help stones pass more easily, and medications that treat the associated pain. Additionally, surgical procedures and other non-intrusive means of surgical treatment may be prescribed to break up both calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones. These treatments include ureteroscopy and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).

    Preventative measures used to halt the formation of kidney stones to begin with include dietary changes and behavioral changes. These include things like decreasing sodium intake, drinking more water to stay properly hydrated, not working out excessively, not going into saunas (to prevent excessive sweating and dehydration), and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

    What are the Symptoms?

    Kidney stone sufferers may tell you that trying to pass a kidney stone is about the worst pain they have ever experienced in their lifetime. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of kidney stones include the following:

    • Sudden, severe pain that comes and goes in intensity. Common areas afflicted include the back, groin, abdomen, side, and genitals.
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Blood in the urine or abnormal urine colors
    • Frequent and painful urination

    Though kidney stones are not normally life-threatening situations, they are typically a truly uncomfortable situations. And it’s not unusual to experience so much pain that you make your way to the emergency room to find out what is going on.

    Alternate Remedies for Kidney Stones

    Increasingly more people are interested in following at-home treatments for kidney stones to prevent the use of medicines and surgeries. A number of alternative remedies have been acknowledged for the treatment of kidney stones. We will present these below and discuss their likelihood in success.

    1. Lemon Juice and Olive Oil

    2 star
    lemon-olive-oil

    Sounds awful, doesn’t it? People do claim success in mixing a concoction of lemon juice and olive oil to help dissolve kidney stones as a popular home remedy. Proponents of this method claim that at the first notice of symptoms, mix five ounces of olive oil with five ounces of lemon juice. Drink this combination straight and then drink a glass of water. You should blend this concoction and drink it straight first thing in the morning and again in the late afternoon. Be sure to drink plenty of water as well and extra lemon juice, if possible. Continue this treatment for several days until the stone passes. It is thought that the lemon juice could break down the kidney stones and the olive oil would aid in lubrication to pass the stone more easily. Extra-virgin olive oil is thought to be the best olive oil ingredient to use because it is the thickest and healthiest.

    Warning: Lemons are very acidic and can destroy tooth enamel and contribute to heartburn or ulcers.

    Our patient surveying indicates some success in a very limited number of kidney stone patients. We give it 2 out of 5 stars.


    2. Apple Cider Vinegar

    2 star
    acv-kidney-stones
    Makes your mouth pucker just thinking of it. Some home remedy enthusiasts swear by the use of apple cider vinegar to treat kidney stones. The theory behind it is that apple cider vinegar is made of citric acid that which could play a role in dissolving kidney stones, helping the body pass the stones more easily. In addition, it is believed that apple cider vinegar helps in the prevention of kidney stones to begin with by alkalizing the effect on blood and urine and promoting the production of hydrochloric acid in the body to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Proponents of this home remedy recommend mixing two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with six to eight ounces of water and drinking the mixture frequently throughout the day, and especially before meal times to help dissolve kidney stones. Drinking ample amounts of fresh water throughout the day is also suggested to help flush the kidneys. If the stones are passed, you are advised to continue drinking this solution one to two times a week to prevent future kidney stones from forming.

    Warning: Apple cider vinegar is very acidic and can erode esophagus tissue, destroy tooth enamel and may be dangerous when taken with blood pressure and diabetes medications.

    Surveys indicate sporadic success in some patients who have been waiting long periods of time for a stone to pass. We give it 2 out of 5 stars.


    3. Coke and Asparagus

    1 star
    Coke Asparagus Kidney Stones
    Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? A common home remedy for kidney stones involves drinking a large amount of Coke and following it up by consuming a half pound of steamed asparagus, pureed. Followers of this method suggest that the phosphoric acid found in Coke aids in dissolving the kidney stones. Asparagus is used as a diuretic. Coke alone will dehydrate you, which is not a good thing if you are suffering from kidney stones. It is the interaction with the diuretic asparagus and the phosphoric acid in the Coke that is the key to breaking down the kidney stone and allowing it to pass. In theory.

    We’ve seen no evidence that Coke or asparagus provides any help in the passage or dissolving of kidney stones. The University of Chicago characterized this home remedy as “useless” and went on to say:

    …the effect of the cola was a worsening of stone risk…

    We give this remedy 1 out of 5 stars.

    How Successful are These Treatments?

    In short. . .not very. There have been many reports of people using these natural methods, but the efficacy is unsubstantiated. Some people report success with these home remedies, but none of these treatments are based in scientific fact. For every anecdotal success story posted online, there are hundreds more stories of failures (and probably upset stomachs). So, what natural remedies DO work? Let’s get to it…


    4. Lab Grade Chanca Piedra

    5star
    Chanca Piedra
    Lab grade chanca piedra has shown high success rates in kidney stone treatment. This herbal remedy breaks down and prevents the development of new kidney stones. All-natural, Chanca Piedra has been shown to scientifically crush the kidney stones to dissolve them and allow easy passing of remnant stone materials. Studies have shown almost instantaneous pain alleviation following the consumption of Chanca Piedra. It first grabbed the attention of the scientific community in a 2002 study on rodents which demonstrated it slowed or halted kidney stone growth. Further studies indicated lab grade Chanca Piedra actually interferes with the process that would normally cause stones to form.


    Kidney Stone ResearchProf. Dr. Nestor Schor

    Professor Dr. Nestor Schor speaking about his research on lab grade Chanca Piedra:

    Treatment with Phyllanthus niruri strongly inhibited the growth of the stones and reduced the number of stones…

    These results show that Phyllanthus niruri has an inhibitory effect on crystal growth…

Mindfulness + Kinesiology

August 29th, 2017

Mindfulness + Kinesi

We’ve talked about mindfulness before. While there’s a lot of information available as to the benefits, how does it fit in with kinesiology? Why do they work so well together?

 

What is Mindfulness? Why is it so good?

Mindfulness (or meditation) is a practice to calm the mind. It has been shown by calming the mind we can calm the nervous system and our stress response to daily stimuli. By calming stress it basically means from a physiological point of view we are reducing the production of hormones and neurotransmitters such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, acetylcholine and glutamate. All of these up regulate the nervous system and therefore the body’s performance, increasing the demand on cells and therefore requirements for nutrients as building blocks for all the systems to function efficiently. When all of the systems’ requirements are upregulated it puts more strain on the whole and will impact parts of the system as well. When this continues this is where we often see the link between stress and dis-ease, illness or even injuries. Therefore, to downregulate the stress response is an advantage for the overall system which in turn means any practice that helps to reduce stress is advantageous especially in this modern lifestyle we all lead!

 

By practicing a form of mindfulness or meditation each day it is actually practicing how to focus on a feeling of calm rather than allowing the momentum of an unspecific distraction build which upregulates the stress systems. I believe it is this literal practice of letting go of the unspecific stresses, the busy mind that allows the body to reset to a place of wellbeing. It helps reduce down any fight, flight or freeze tendencies and helps the feel good hormones like serotonin, GABA and dopamine to kick in allowing us to feel good and comfortable. However, what if we are activated into fight or flight and we can’t turn it off? And why can’t we turn it off??

 

What is Kinesiology? Why is it so good?

Kinesiology (Kinesi) is a way of asking the body where stress is being held in the body. There are different types of kinesiology but the purposes of this article we will refer to kinesiology in general. By mapping where the stress is being held in the body and down regulating it (usually via balancing the meridians and brain/emotional triggers) this helps to reduce the physiological strain on the body thus improving the overall performance back to a place of wellbeing. A chance to reset the fight or flight stress, if you will.

 

 

The Fight or Flight response: what is it?

The fight or flight response refers to when our brain determines a perceived threat and switches off the parasympathetic nervous system and switches on the sympathetic nervous. This is to prepare the body to either fight the perceived threat or flight from it. I.e. if there was a sabertooth tiger standing at the front of our cave the brain will perceive it as a threat, switch the sympathetic nervous system on to prepare for the decision whether to stand and fight the tiger off or flight and run away. This in turn does a number of things physiologically.

 

Sympathetic Nervous System functions include:

  • Switches off the enteric system aka the digestion. As we don’t need to digest food if we’re fighting a tiger, right??
  • Upregulates the release of adrenaline, noradrenaline (adrenaline for the brain) and acetylcholine to keep the brain alert and focused on the tiger.
  • Switches the production of serotonin off. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that tells our brain we’re happy. If we have too much of this in our system the brain will not be perceiving the tiger as the danger that it is.
  • By switching the attention of the nervous system away from the digestion all the attention is on the extremities via the influx of adrenaline. Adrenaline in the blood makes our pupils dilate (allowing more light in and better vision), increases the heart rate (pumping more blood and faster to the muscles so they are ready to fight or flight), and dilates our lungs so we can get more air and oxygen in to get to the muscles for fuel.

 

Why do we turn on the Fight or Flight system?

This is a really good system when there is a threat. For example, if we’re crossing a road and we see a big truck hurtling towards us. In that split second of realizing it is there all attention is focused on the truck. The noradrenaline gives us a depth of field allowing us to discern how long we have to make a decision regarding if it is best to stand and fight the truck or whether it is best to flight (i.e. step off the road). The acetylcholine makes our brain very focused on the truck rather than being distracted on the cute puppy playing on the side of the road. This is a very effective system when it is required.

 

Can we switch off the Fight or Flight system?

Animals have a reset to the fight or flight response. But the problem is us humans can’t reset and down regulate it very well…. Or not at all. Furthermore how our brain has evolved along with our modern lifestyles means that many of our fight or flight triggers are not physical threats anymore, they are more mental and/or emotional based. Which means we are much more likely to be triggered into a fight or flight response and unlikely to be able to rest and reset.

 

Mindfulness and meditation helps to train the person how to reset. But it needs to be practiced regularly so when there is a significant stress all the practice comes into play and it is almost habit to turn down the sympathetic nervous system. This is what a lifetime of meditation earns you! Meanwhile for the rest of us who are only halfway through our lives, or  are just starting a meditation practice (say ten years in) or have no meditation practice at all… what do we do to reset? Try to sleep and hope for the best the next day??

 

 

What are the triggers?

Often the triggers are not what we think they are as the brain may perceive something that is happening in real time like something that happened years ago at band camp which wasn’t a pleasant ending and go into protection mode. Protection mode meaning stimulating the sympathetic nervous system and therefore Fight or Flight. It can happen instantly, from what may be an innocent comment (from someone elses point of view) or from something more significant like work, money or home life. And most people don’t even realise it’s happening o how wound up and stressed they are until something relatively small happens and they snap! Or it can be just the result of a really busy life as being busy will also upregulate all the same hormones and neurotransmitters and is translated the same way in the body. So many of us function from a mid to high level physiological stress, thinking and calling this normal. Often it is not until we really unwind that we notice the difference, many people feeling the mind just keep going with circular thoughts. For example, when the mind doesn’t switch off to go to sleep.

 

How do we know if we have Fight or Flight triggers?

Some key indications of Fight or Flight in every day lives are:

  • Constantly need to move and can’t keep still or relax.
  • Feel jumpy, startle at slight noises, touches or unexpected movements.
  • Constantly thinking, overthinking things, circular thoughts, over focused on a particular subject.
  • Can’t switch mind off to go to sleep and lay awake trying to sleep, restless sleep.
  • Faster heart beat, heart palpitations.
  • Extra sweating under arms, hands and feet or just generally.
  • Digestion either speeds up when stressed or slows down. That is faster bowel motions and more frequently or slower and further apart.
  • Butterflies in the stomach.
  • Loss of appetite, not wanting to eat or not needing as much to fill up.
  • Even loss of weight if it is prolonged.

 

 

How can we actually reset the Fight and Flight system??

This is where Kinesi comes in! Because Kinesi is a way of determining how the stress is affecting the body it is also a way of asking the body what it needs to rebalance and down regulate the stress responses like fight or flight. It is fascinating as to how much information can be gain from the body when using the kinetics (muscles). We can ascertain what the triggers are of the Fight or Flight system and how to downregulate it specifically for the individual.

 

How to maintain the resetting of the Fight or Flight system:

By resetting with a Kinesi balance the question is then: how do you maintain this balance?

As a naturopath this is where herbs and nutritionals can really help, depending what systems need support for you the individual. There are many herbs that can help support the nervous system and adrenals to help maintain the calm of the rest and digest phase of the parasympathetic nervous system. That is when the Fight or Flight is switched off!

 

And also adopting some frequent routine of mindfulness or meditation can really help. This might include a form of exercises that helps you get into that zone, some mindfulness moments in the mornings or some yogic breathing exercises. Whatever works for you can definitely assist in maintaining the Kinesi balance J

 

 

 

 

Photo cred: denmeditation.com

 

Katherine Lynn back at New Leaf Natural Therapies! Phone 3348 6098

July 20th, 2017

Musculoskeletal Therapist, Manual Therapies Lecturer, Kinesiologist, Yoga Teacher, Ayurvedic Practitioner in Training

Kat began her training in body therapies over 10 years ago and was a practitioner at New Leaf from 2009-2013.  She then taught for several years, developing her skills in training and teaching  (both manual therapies and kinesiology), supporting clients to take care of themselves for better health long-term:  body, mind and spirit.

Kat infuses her formal training in musculoskeletal therapy with kinesiology and yoga to help her clients feel a deeper sense of peace and wellbeing so they can truly be of service to others. Her treatments are focused on searching and finding the root cause of imbalances in mind, body or spirit.

Areas of experience include stress resolution, spiritual revolution, structural alignment, child development/support, breaking patterns, fulfilling relationships, releasing emotional trauma and finding your highest potential by helping the life energy within you to resume its inner work of healing.

What is Kinesiology?

Kinesiology is the use of therapeutic muscle monitoring to support growth & change physically, mentally and spiritually.

What is Musculoskeletal Therapy?

A manual therapies modality that focusses on the treatment and management of pain and dysfunction in the musculoskeletal system. Musculoskeletal therapy involves extensive physical assessment and a variety of treatment techniques to return musculature, joints and nerves to a balanced state.

Specialties:

A treatment session could include; remedial massage, lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, positional release, muscle energy technique, passive joint mobilisation, pregnancy massage, cupping, acupressure point therapy, ligament/sprain therapy, corrective and rehabilitative exercise prescription, meridian massage, chakra balancing, emotional, mental and spiritual development, past life balancing, flower essence therapy, liquid crystal therapy, neural organisation technique, survival pattern deactivation, holistic mineral/vitamin/amino acid/essential fatty acid deficiency testing, allergy/intolerance balancing, holistic heavy metal toxicity balancing, hydration therapy, immune balances and cranial kinesiology.

Private health fund rebates available.

Email us on healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au or phone 07 3348 6098 / 0417 643 849

Types of Fat Cells – Making Fat Cells Healthy!

July 20th, 2017

I found this article by Dr Deanna Minich – a beautiful explanation of current thinking of fat in our bodies!  I hadn’t heard this term of ‘beiging’ our fat cells before – interesting concept and article!!!  Of course we have supplements available at New Leaf with the following healthy nutrients, which make our fat cells healthier!

Beiging: Making Your Fat Cells Healthier with Nutrients

Although excess body fat might contribute to the development of certain diseases, it is important to not simply think of fat as bad or unhealthy. You have different types of fat, or adipose tissue, in your body, each one serving a distinct and important function.  One is designed to store energy for when your body requires additional food, such as when you fast, and the other is ready to burn energy to make heat when you are cold.  Adipocytes, or fat cells, also play a key role in the regulation of appetite, glucose, and energy balance through secreting adipokines, or messengers, such as leptin and adiponectin (Adiponectin is a protein which in humans is encoded by the ADIPOQ gene. It is involved in regulating glucose levels as well as fatty acid breakdown.)

Some adipose tissue is also protective against obesity and metabolic diseases, so it is thought of as the healthier fat. New research is demonstrating that there might be a way to switch the type of fat you have to this healthier type, so it works for your health, not against it, through a process known as beiging.

Types of Adipose Tissue

For decades, it was presumed that there were two main categories of adipose tissue: white adipose tissue and brown adipose tissue. In very general terms, brown adipose tissue is healthier, as this is the one involved in thermogenesis, or the burning of calories to make heat. It is protective against obesity and contains a higher number of mitochondria. White adipose tissue stores excess calories and generally exists in the stomach area and subcutaneously. It is the one associated with disease, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

However, recent research has discovered a third type of adipose tissue: beige. As its name implies, it is a blending of the two types of adipose tissues, although it has a distinct gene expression. Beige adipose tissue has the low basal expression of white fat cells but still will respond to the cyclic AMP stimulation as needed. This feature suggests that the cells have the capacity to switch between storage and creating energy depending on the needs of the body.

Beige adipose tissue arises when brown-like cells accumulate in white adipose tissue, which happens more often in subcutaneous adipose tissue than visceral fat tissue. The addition of the brown cells increases the capacity to burn calories through thermogenesis. There are certain components of these cells that provide them with the special characteristics, including PR domain containing 16 (PRDM16), which is like a switch that differentiates brown adipose tissue. The cells also express the genes for uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), which typically are reserved for brown adipocytes and are associated with mitochondrial cells, which is where energy production occurs. In general terms, the more mitochondria in a cell, the more energy it can burn.

There are ways to boost the beiging to combat obesity and obesity-related diseases. As an added bonus, many of the recommendations have multiple health-boosting benefits beyond converting your adipose tissue.

Exercise 

Exercise provides many health benefits, including reducing stress, facilitating weight loss, and increasing strength. One way it might provide its benefits, especially in terms of weight loss, is through instigating beiging. In a study on mice, exercise on wheels for just 11 days led to a significant increase in the UCP1 expression. This suggests that physical activity increases the number of mitochondria and the expression of the marker for UCP1, which is typically associated with brown adipocytes. As more mitochondria enter the white tissue, more beige cells arise.

Another reason exercise promotes the development of beige adipose tissue is due to an increase of irisin. Irisin is a hormone that increases fat loss, glucose tolerance, and energy expenditure. Irisin levels are directly related to muscle mass. In a study using murine cells, differentiated cells were incubated with irisin alongside a control group that was not. Irisin led to upregulations of the markers for brown adipose tissue in the white adipose tissue, including UCP-1 and PCG-1A. The researchers also performed the study on live mice and found similar results. These studies suggest that exercise fights obesity not just by reducing the number and size of fat cells but also through switching at least some of the white adipose tissue to the healthier beige variety.

Environment

Another way to stimulate the production of beige adipose tissue is through your environment, including your social activities. One study on rats found that enriched living conditions simulated the upregulation of PRDM16 and UCP1 levels, suggesting beiging. This study defined enriched living as social interactions, increased physical activity, and new experiences. Although physical activity played a role in the environment, it was not the sole reason for the beiging effect.

The researchers looked at several groups, including those with an enriched living situation that did not have as extensive of an exercise regimen. That group still lost weight, although those who did have access to an exercise wheel had a more effective browning. This suggests that social interactions, learning new information, and trying new hobbies could also help boost the beiging effect, even if your lifestyle changes do not include physical activity.

Capsaicin

Capsaicin has a reputation for assisting in weight loss, and this might be due to its ability to facilitate thermogenesis and beiging. In terms of the beiging properties of food ingredients, capsaicin is one of the best studied, and the one that has advanced into human studies. Capsaicin is the component of hot red peppers that give them their spicy properties. A closely related particle is capsinoids, which are found in the less-spicy red peppers. Both have demonstrated the capacity to enhance fat oxidation and increase energy expenditure to aid in weight loss. One way they do this is through brown adipose tissue. In one study, the group with positive markers of brown adipose tissue had a 3-fold increase in their energy expenditure compared with those who did not after consuming capsaicin. Another study found that consuming 9 mg per day of capsinoids in a capsule form for a period of six weeks led to increased activity in brown adipose tissue, even in the group with low activity levels, when exposed to cold temperatures. Similar thermogenic effects in connection with capsaicin have been demonstrated in beige adipose tissue as well. One study demonstrated that capsaicin inhibited adipogenesis and increased the expression of browning-specific genes in white adipose tissue, especially at higher doses.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids 

You have probably heard time and time again to get your omega-3 fatty acids to gain from their anti-inflammatory and other health-promoting properties. Another reason to do this is to boost the conversion of your white adipose tissue into beige or brown. Specifically, you want to consume eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid. One study found that after treating fully differentiated human white adipose subcutaneous tissue cells of women who were overweight with 100 – 200mg of EPA for 24 hours, there were alterations in the mRNA expressions of the genes suggestive of beiging. There was an increase in the number of mitochondria and the gene expressions for fatty acid oxidation, which burns fat as energy. There was also an induction of specific genes of beige, including PRDM16 and UCP1, as well as expression of specific markers for beige cells.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin whose metabolites, such as retinoic acid and other retinoids, play a key role in differentiation of tissues and cells around the body. The body stores excess vitamin A and its metabolites in the liver and adipose tissue, and it might do more than simply sit in the adipose tissue. A certain metabolite, all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), has been shown to stimulate beiging. In one study, cells treated with ATRA had an increased number of mitochondria and UCP1 expression. The study also looked at the effects of ATRA on mice.

A group of mice consumed feed with 5 IU of vitamin A per kilocalorie and six of the mice received subcutaneous amounts of ATRA at levels of 50 mg/kg of body weight per day (this would be equivalent to .375 grams in a 165-pound person, which is quite high). Despite not reaching statistical significance, there was a definite increase in mitochondrial gene expression in the treated mice white adipose tissue. This study looked at a specific metabolite of vitamin A, rather than vitamin A. However, it does suggest that beiging could be another possible benefit of consuming sufficient vitamin A in your diet, although more research needs to be done to confirm the exact dose.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Alpha-lipoic acid is an important antioxidant naturally produced by the body, which supports mitochondrial health. It demonstrates anti-obesity properties, and this might be due to its beiging effect on the body.  A study looked at the effects of subcutaneous adipocytes treated with ALA at doses of 100 and 250 uM over a period of 24 hours. After treatment, the cells had increased mitochondria numbers and markers of brown adipocytes.

Resveratrol

As with many of the above, consuming resveratrol increased the markers of brown adipocytes, including UCP1 and PRDM16, in white adipose tissue. In a study on female mice consuming a high-fat diet, researchers gave one group 0.1 percent resveratrol in their feed and the control group did not have any resveratrol. The researchers also performed a similar experiment on cultured cells. Their findings pointed to the beiging of the white adipose tissues based on the increased markers.

Curcumin 

Curcumin has numerous health benefits, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and other health-promoting properties. Additionally, it has the power to induce the beiging of adipose tissue. In one study, curcumin was found to increase the number of mitochondria in the white adipose tissue. It also increased the ability of the cells to perform beta-oxidation and augment lipolysis. Additionally, there was increased expression of UCP1 and other specific makers of brown adipose tissue. This finding suggests it converts the white adipose tissue into the more fat-burning and healthier beige or brown adipose tissue. Curcumins fat-fighting benefits do not stop simply at converting white brown tissue to beige or brown; it also has the potential to inhibit the genesis of adipose tissue as another way to help combat obesity.

Berberine

The herb berberine has many health benefits, including helping prevent and treat diabetes. One reason for its efficacy in weight regulation and diabetes prevention might stem from its effects on beiging white adipocytes. A study on db/db mice, which are a variety that has impaired glucose tolerance and marked obesity, treated one group of mice with berberine. This group lost weight despite no significant difference in caloric intake. The berberine reduced the size of the white adipose cells, and it activated AMPK, which increases the energy production of adipocytes. There was also an increased number of mitochondria, suggesting beiging.

There are other ways to stimulate the production of brown or beige fat cells, including cold temperatures, conjugated linoleic acid, and green tea. Many of the studies on beiging thus far are still in the in vitro and animal trial phase. However, there are promising results demonstrating that there are ways in which you might be able to increase the number of brown and beige fat cells in your body, especially in your subcutaneous white adipose tissue.

PSYCHOSOMATIC DISORDERS: the mind-body connection!

July 7th, 2017

Doctors to whom I speak to are more aware now of the mind-body connection and are noticing people who attend their clinics with physical symptoms driven from psychological issues rather than medical ones.

Did you know that nearly 50% of heart tissue is made up of brain neurons?  Now we know why we FEEL with our hearts

They are recognising how phantom symptoms which are real for the sufferer are not showing up as organic diseases measured in blood tests, hormonal in-balances or the presence of a primary disease. What we know is that brain through its thinking mechanisms, and our bodies via emotions and feelings, are able to produce other effects and symptoms of what may mimic a known disease or disorder. The problem is that when you investigate or use a conventional treatment on the assumed problem it does not resolve the issue. We know the types of conditions include seizures, paralysis, blindness, deafness, headaches, severe pain and many other bodily symptoms such as sweating, stomach cramps, palpitations and bloating.

It is a hard diagnosis to convey that is all in your head or psychologically linked but yet true. This does not diminish or negate the issue but simply switches the approach and emphasis of how to look at where the treatment approach should focus and work from. The issue is real and is treated as such by body centric psychotherapy and it is an area where success has been obtained by considering such a cause may exist where conventional medicine cannot achieve healing of whatever condition exists.

So, how can we help with psychosomatic symptoms?

At New Leaf we do lots of techniques to help you find and work through psychosomatic illnesses….

Kinesiology – helps to find old patterns, beliefs, disconnections that are not allowing us to live our best life.  Kinesiology also helps us target the source of the problem and work out supplements which are most effective for you

Quantum Consciousness healings – Rob helps clients find their way, heal the past through a talk-therapy-visualisation process that helps to look at the root causes of addictions, stress and pain

LEAP – helps to integrate pathways of the brain which aren’t working – and are stopping logical and creative thinking in order to find solutions

Flower Essence Combinations – we design flower essences specifically for you and the emotional issues you need to work through!

Call us on 3348 6098 or email on healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au to chat about what appointment will be best for you.

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies

 

 

Biofilms and their potential to cause Chronic Infections

May 31st, 2017

We’ve been working with biofilms in our clients at New Leaf for around 4 years now.  Medically it takes at least 9 months of very strong anti-biotics (imagine the damage!) to break down the biofilms enough to release the old and hidden infections that are creating low level inflammation in the body…  Herbs, nutrients, kinesiology, acupuncture, Chi Nei Tsang abdominal massage – working together – work so much faster than damaging anti-biotics…

Biofilms form when bacteria adhere to surfaces in aqueous environments and begin to excrete a slimy, glue-like substance that can anchor them to all kinds of material. In a healthy gut that is filled with beneficial microflora, the biofilm that they create is thin mucus. This healthy gut biofilm is moistening, lubricating and anti-inflammatory and allows the passage of nutrients through the intestinal wall. Conversely, an unhealthy gut biofilm will promote inflammation and protect bacteria, parasites and yeast from the immune system and even the strongest medications (both herbal and pharmaceutical-grade).

In general, bacteria have two life forms during growth and proliferation. In one form, the bacteria exist as single, independent cells (planktonic bacteria) whereas in the other form, bacteria are organised into a biofilm aggregate. Acute infections are assumed to involve planktonic bacteria, which are generally treatable. However, where the bacteria succeed in forming a biofilm within the human host, the infection often turns out to be hard to treat and often develops into a chronic state. The important hallmarks of chronic biofilm-based infections are extreme resistance to antibiotics and many other antimicrobial agents, and an extreme capacity for evading the host defences.

Biofilms have the potential to cause a tremendous array of infections and diseases, and there is little doubt that biofilms are part of the ‘pathogenic mix’ that cause most or all chronic “autoimmune” and inflammatory diseases.
Biofilm are held together by a protective exopolysaccharide (EPS) matrix. This matrix protects the bacteria from oxidative damage caused by antimicrobial agents and increases their resistance. One of the most effective ways to eliminate biofilm is to dissolve the EPS matrix with enzymes. The EPS matrix consists of proteins, nucleotides and saccharides. Specialized enzymes can break those components down, reducing them which weakens the matrix. For example, proteases can be used to break down the proteins that compose the EPS matrix. Glucoamylase, pectinase, cellulase and beta-glucanse can break down saccharides. Enzymes have the capacity to dissolve both bacterial and yeast biofilms.

 

If you suspect biofilms are part of your health challenges, call us on 3348 6098

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
3348 6098
healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au

The Reason for the Season: Why do we get more colds in winter!??

May 31st, 2017

Colds appear more prevalent when it is cold out. However, in terms of infectious illnesses, it is the germs that make us sick, not cold weather itself. We have to come in contact with rhinoviruses to catch a cold and we need to be infected with influenza viruses to contract the flu. Rhinoviruses peak in spring and autumn, and influenza viruses peak in the winter.

There are many reasons why we are more likely to get sick in the winter months:

Cold Temperatures

Cold weather may help some germs prosper. Research from the National Institute of Health suggests that in cold temperatures, flu viruses are more stable; the outer shell of flu virus particles get tougher and more hardy so they survive longer. Low humidity also helps the virus particles remain in the air because the viruses float in the air in small respiratory droplets. When the air is humid, those droplets pick up water, grow larger and fall to the ground.

The cold air also makes it harder for the hairs and mucus in our noses to protect us from germs. The dryness can thicken the mucus and clog the cilia that sweep mucus from our nasal cavity into the back of the throat.

Some research suggests that both the cold air from outdoors as well as the dry air from indoors may play a role in protecting the aerosol droplets we sneeze and cough into the air, allowing them to spread more easily from one sick person to another. Add to that the confined spaces with air heating systems that recirculate the air from those who have the virus which causes the cold and it’s a perfect recipe.

Gene Activity

Researchers have found the seasons affect gene activity. A recent study found that up to a quarter of our DNA actually changes with the seasons; during the Winter months our bodies increase the levels of many of the genes linked with inflammation, triggering the signs of swelling and discomfort that our bodies use to protect us from colds and the flu.

Similar seasonal changes occur in various components of the immune system. A further study found gene expression in red blood cells shifted with the seasons.

In the summer, a different set of genes are more highly expressed, including some that help regulate our blood sugar, potentially curbing cravings and helping us burn off excess fat. Researchers looking at 1,000 people from six different countries studied people’s genes and how they changed over time according to their location and exposure to sunlight. They found that in Europe, the expression of inflammatory genes got ramped up during the Winter months. But in Gambia, where there is virtually no Winter, these inflammatory genes were amplified in the rainy months, when mosquito populations are at their peak and the risk of malaria is the highest.

Boost your health during these colder months

  • Wash hands — The number one way to stop the spread of germs. Experts recommend washing hands every few hours and in particular after using the toilet, before meals and after using the keyboard at work etc.
  • Keep exercising – Research has shown that regular exercise strengthens our immune system so it can fight off bacterial and viral infections. When our blood is pumping, immune cells circulate through our body more quickly helping to seek and destroy infections. This boost only lasts for a few hours, so exercise needs to be regular for long-term effects.
  • Eat well – Various foods, herbs and spices help to reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system e.g. turmeric, garlic and omega-3 fatty acids. Dark leafy greens and red and yellow vegetables are all high in antioxidants too.
    Supplements
    Vitamin A – Essential for mucous membrane health. Cod liver oil is a good source of vitamin A.
    Vitamin C – Important for supporting the health of innate immune cells such as phagocytes.
    Zinc – Is involved in immune cell recruitment and function, systemic inflammation, is an antioxidant, and may have antiviral properties with respect to the common cold.
  • Stay hydrated – Adequate water will also help make mucous membranes, including those in your sinuses, more resistant to bacteria.
  • Clean up winter mould – Mould can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, respiratory infections and worsen asthma and allergic conditions. Spring cleaning in Autumn may help your health.

Increase in natural killer (NK) cell activity with Andrographis and Super Mushroom combinations. NK cells are part of the body’s innate, or first-line, immune response. They respond more quickly than the adaptive immune system comprised of B cells and T cells. Once activated, natural killer cell activity peaks in as quickly as several hours, providing rapid support and wide-range immune defence.

Call us at New Leaf for Immune support:

  • Kinesiology immune and inflammation balancing
  • Acupuncture immune protocols for better sinuses, lung activity and bronchitis
  • Infrared saunas
  • Chi Nei Tsang abdominal massage – breaks down biofilm and releases old infections so your immune system can deal with them!

3348 6098

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au

Sugar Cravings; Sugars in foods; Why we crave sugar!!

May 26th, 2017
Good morning! Challenges with maintaining our weight throughout life are going to be constant and inevitable. Sugar is constantly in the news lately – yes, manufacturers of our food deliberately add the exact amount which makes us addicted! No wonder it’s so challenging.
Diabetes in Australia is increasing at such a rapid rate that it’s estimated that 50% of us will have dementia by the age of 50within 25years – and diabetes is a major cause.  This is ridiculous!  We’ve modified our food, DNA and genes so much these days our cells become primed to develop chronic illness such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease so much earlier in our bodies than even 30 years ago.
May favourite 3 products for sugar cravings are:
1. Bactrex and Ultra Flora SB Dysbiosis – for underlying candida, fungus, bacterial infections that make us want to eat sweets (they love a sweet, acidic environment!) 3-6 daily depending on the severity and combination of the infections.
2. Gymnema tablets – known as ‘the sugar killer’ in Indian – it’s a herb which over a period of time makes our tongue need less sweet. Long-term (2 year) studies have shown pancreatic cells regnerating with gymnema use. 4-6 daily when sugar cravings are bad.
3. Resist X – definitely a favourite – contains herbs and nutrients which reduce insulin resistance (pre-diabetes); increase cellular energy and work on eating away our tummy fat. 2-6 daily depending on energy levels, tummy fat stubborness, sugar cravings.
Get your health under control today!
3348 6098

What are Lectins?

May 15th, 2017

What are Lectins?

Do you suffer from symptoms after eating? Such as digestive symptoms, foggy brain, sinus congestion or aches and pains. Do you notice it after gluten containing foods or just can’t track what’s causing it? Chances are you’re body is reacting to components in plants called lectins.

What are lectins? So happy you asked!

Lectins are the plants natural compounds to ward off pests, fungal and bacterial attack. That is, the plants natural immune system. When plants are under attack they raise their lectin numbers to fend off the attacking pests. This is the system by which pesticides work. However, pests are gaining tolerance resulting in needing an increase of pesticide to be applied to the plant and thus a further increase of the plants lectins.

Modern wheat strains vs old style grains

Our modern wheat strains have been modified to produce more lectins to be highly pest resistant. This very clever genetically engineering won Norman Borlaug a Nobel peace prize in 1970 and changed the industry inexplicably. However, years later we are discovering the health consequences of our daily foods containing such an immense amount of lectins.

Let me explain:

The modern wheat (Triticum aestivum) is a genetically engineered species containing three distinct sets of chromosomes. These chromosomes can produce over 23,000 unique proteins. Thus this modern species contains high protein and gluten levels plus wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). WGA is a lectin which provides wheat with its resistance to insect pests, yeasts and bacteria.  Interestingly WGA binds to N-acetyl D glucosamine in the chitin of the insects, disrupting their cell structures and killing them.

Why are lectins so bad?

It is this WGA (lectins)  which can also directly damage tissues of the human body wherever N-acetyl glucosamine is present, even if the individual doesn’t have any genetic predispositions or susceptibilities to immune mediated mechanisms. For example, the auto-immune conditions or inflammatory reactions. However, the presence of lectins can and do exacerbate inflammation for auto-immune conditions such as Coeliac’s Disease, making symptoms worse. This can explain why chronic inflammatory and degenerative conditions are gaining prevalence in wheat-consuming populations.  It destroys the villi in your intestines, leading to malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies and infections!

Tissues within the human body that contain N-acetyl D glucosamine are:

  • All mucosal membranes throughout the digestive system, respiratory system, etc.
  • Connective tissues in joints
  • Brain cells and organs
  • Skin
  • Arterial bifurcations, including around the heart.

It is proposed that it is the increased lectin content that are causing major health problems for people rather than gluten. For example, many Australians experience health problems after eating products made from Australian grown wheat. Where as if they travel to other countries and consume wheat based products from there they do not, i.e. France or Italy. Such countries grew different strains of wheat which were largely unmodified like our Australian grains. Hence, the end product (croissants, baguettes, pasta, pizza bases) had less lectin resulting in fewer reactions after eating. Of course this has now changed as the high yield strains are now more global.

Is it just grains which we get lectins from?

Furthermore, when livestock are fed grains high in WGA lectins this then passes through their system to the products we consume. For example, dairy milk. Therefore, if you’re experiencing symptoms after consuming dairy it may not be lactose or actual dairy protein but the lectins passed through the dairy cow to their milk. Likewise with meats, hence the advantage of consuming grass fed meats only.

There have been some notable improvements when individuals have ceased dairy and gluten products, possibly due to the decrease of consumed lectins. Some of these conditions include:

  • (Gut mucosa) – Irritable bowel syndrome:  bloating, burping, wind, flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation
  • (Joints) – arthritis, fibromyalgia
  • (Hippocampal cells) – mental and behavioural conditions
  • (Lung mucosa) – asthma
  • (Beta pancreatic cells) – diabetes
  • (Coronary artery cells) – Cardiovascular disease
  • (Skin) – psoriasis and eczema
  • Autism & Aspergers, non-verbal children and adults

How can lectin intake be reduced in diet?

As it is impossible to maintain a healthy diet and avoid lectins if you are experiencing symptoms pertaining to lectins the key is reduce intake and increase tolerance.

Firstly, even organic and spray free fresh fruit and vegetables contain lectins, but if they’re not engineered they should contain less. Grass-fed meats and dairy is the best way forward for proteins to reduce lectin intake.

How can tolerance to lectins be improved?

There is no definitive answer to improving the individual’s lectin tolerance, however there is some key things you can do. Have good healthy nutrient intake particularly zinc. The herb ginger is particularly high in zinc and is very good at reducing inflammation and calming and supporting function all along the digestive track. Having said that, if there is any history of stomach ulcers please consult your local herbalist or naturopath for advice.

And then there’s Kinesiology 🙂

How can Kinesiology help improve tolerance to lectins?

Kinesiology is a way to ask your body what is stressing it by what we call indicator muscles. It is largely based on Traditional Chinese Medicine meridian system and acupuncture points which are like reference points. Via assessing where the stress is the body can also indicate how to relieve the stress, thus reducing the symptoms one is experiencing. Therefore kinesiology balancing is a remarkable way to reduce symptoms.

What about Acupuncture and Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Massage?

Also great ways to increase the energy to the gut, reduce stress and increase energy.  Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Massage is nearly an hour on your gut – it helps to break down the scar tissue that has built up around the abdomen due to years of food-abuse that’s destroyed the villi –  let the healing begin!!!

Call us on 3348 6098 to book an apt with our Naturopaths…

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
07 3348 6098
healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au

You Tube:  New Leaf Health Team channel 🙂

 

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Body Composition and Weight Loss! Why It’s So Important!

April 27th, 2017
We’ve specialised in weight loss processes at New Leaf for over 10 years – using several types of weight loss processes including the HCG Rapid Weight Loss programme, Shake It, Keto, Paleo… and I TRULY BELIEVE that weight loss without regular (weekly is optimal!) VLA BioImpedance Screenings is dangerous!
A few years ago I had two people in a short space of time that had both lost muscle mass and muscle quality on HCG.  This confused me until I realised that they had both decided to continue the HCG diet BEYOND the allowed 42 days maximum.  Both had done an extra 2 weeks instead of going back onto consolidation as the protocol requires.  It was really interesting to see because it highlighted that the HCG rules are really important.  Many of my clients say they could do HCG or Steak Days or Apple Days forever!
I had another client who (with another naturopath) had done 6 weeks of juice fasting and her inflammation was through the roof, her muscle mass and muscle quality was a joke.  It was scary the damage that had been done to her body.  She said ‘but I feel great’!  I said, ‘well, that’s because your body is running on sugar all day every day!’.  We had a lot of work to do to repair her body.  If juice fasting is to be done to prevent or help health problems (such as cancer) increasing inflammation during the process is not the way to go….
Another client (this was who I call my mars bar lady!) on the Shake It weight loss programme, who was continually losing about 1/2 kilo per week and had done incredibly well, turned up for her apt and said ‘I’ve been a bit naughty, I don’t expect to lose weight this week’.  We did her VLA and found:
  • weight about the same as previously
  • 2 kilos LOSS of muscle mass
  • 30% decrease in muscle quality
  • 2 kilos of combination extra fat and fluid.
  • she’d eaten 3 mars bars (on special at a service station – don’t do it!!) at a servo 2 days earlier.
  • it took 3 weeks to regain her muscle mass and muscle quality and bring her fat mass down to ‘before’ the mars bar day!
One of my ladies in yesterday had only lost 200g this week (had missed 4 doses of HCG and hadn’t had optimal diet over weekend)… but overall there had still been good changes:
  • 450g reduced normal fat
  • 500g reduced tummy fat
  • less hydrated in muscles
  • more fluid outside cells
 So  don’t allow your body to fall apart while losing weight.  Talk to us about maintaining or losing weight healthily!!
New Leaf Natural Therapies
0417 643 849
3348 6098
healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au
In other words, there had been a kilo shift for the better, a kilo of inflammatory fluid (which needs releasing – yes!) but she wouldn’t have known without weekly VLA BioImpedance Screenings….