Are there heavy metals in your green juice?

September 29th, 2019
heavy metals

In recent years, green juices have become the poster child for the wellness movement. From casual health-conscious consumers to fitness buffs, everyone seems to be jumping on the green juice bandwagon. If you’re a green juice fan, your recipe probably includes a combination of green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and grasses, among other ingredients. Those who prefer speed and convenience can find a diverse array of green powders to mix into water or other liquids. So you might be thinking — these are all healthy ingredients, so green juice must be healthy, right? Well, not necessarily. Some of the star superfoods in green drinks, like kale and broccoli, maybe hiding a dangerous secret: high levels of heavy metals, particularly thallium. 

What is Thallium?

Thallium is a soft, malleable heavy metal discovered by Sir William Crookes in 1861. It is colourless, tasteless, and water-soluble; thus, it was once a favoured homicidal poison.

Historically, thallium was once commonly used as a rodent or ant killer, but its use has been banned in the United States and many other countries due to accidental poisoning. Small amounts of thallium are still used industrially, for purposes such as:

  • Optical lenses
  • Green-colored fireworks
  • Semiconductors
  • Low-temperature thermometers
  • Imitation jewelry

Thallium can also be found naturally in the environment, although usually at low concentrations. 

However, emissions from natural or human causes can lead to increased levels of the heavy metal in the environment, where it can eventually pose a major threat to terrestrial, aerial, and aquatic systems. 

High concentrations of thallium in soil poses a unique threat due to possible uptake and storage by plants. As a result, thallium can enter the food chain and accumulate in our bodies, causing severe health problems and even death. Of particular concern is that high thallium concentrations have been found in drinking water and many green vegetables, some of which include those we’ve come to know as “superfoods,” such as:

  • Green cabbage1
  • Kale2
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mustard
  • Collard greens
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Turnip (greens and roots)

The average human diet contains approximately 2 ppb thallium3, most of which is secreted in urine and feces. However, eating and juicing massive amount of kale day in and day out could contribute to thallium toxicity. This means that if you drink the same green juice or smoothie daily, you may want to reconsider your habit. 

Symptoms of Thallium Poisoning

Needless to say, thallium is highly toxic. Its toxicity is known to be even higher than mercury, cadmium, and lead. Unfortunately, victims of thallium poisoning usually are not aware that they have consumed or have been exposed to the heavy metal. Furthermore, thallium poisoning is rare and published data is limited, which means it is often misdiagnosed until it is confirmed by urinary and blood tests, resulting in delay of treatment.4

What we do know is that thallium is quickly and almost completely absorbed via several pathways, including eyes, ingestion, inhalation, and skin exposure. Upon absorption, thallium spreads widely to multiple organs in a distribution pattern similar to that of potassium ions. Therefore, thallium deposition occurs in all tissues and is most highly concentrated in neuronal, heart, liver, kidney, and dermal tissues.5 

Due to multiorgan involvement, the symptoms of thallium intoxication are nonspecific and variable, depending on the dose and route of exposure. Thallium poisoning commonly occurs in three stages. 

Gastrointestinal phase:

Thallium and its salts are corrosive to the gastrointestinal mucosa, leading to the following symptoms:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea, followed by constipation

This gastrointestinal phase may begin immediately after ingesting a large dose of thallium or 24 to 48 hours after smaller ingestions. These symptoms can last for 12 to 96 hours, and diarrhea is usually followed by several days of constipation. In some cases of chronic thallium poisoning, patients may experience few or no gastrointestinal symptoms. 

Neurological phase:

This phase is characterized by painful, rapidly ascending sensory neuropathy. It may be accompanied by motor neuropathy. Patients commonly complain of the following:

  • Severe pain
  • Burning feet
  • Difficulty walking
  • Skeletal muscle cramps
  • “Stocking-glove” numbness and tingling
  • Vision changes due to dysfunction of cranial nerves
  • Nystagmus (involuntary eye movement in which the eyes move rapidly from side to side, causing reduced vision and depth perception)
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Tremor
  • Ataxia (impaired coordination)
  • Altered mental status
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Short-term memory and cognitive deficits

The neurological phase may begin 2 to 5 days after ingestion, although it may occur sooner after a massive exposure. 

Alopecia phase:

Alopecia, or hair loss, is a hallmark of thallium poisoning and can occur 2 to 3 weeks after the other symptoms begin. Complete hair loss can occur within a month of exposure. 

Other Symptoms of Thallium Poisoning

While alopecia and neuropathy may be the only symptoms present in some patients, others may also experience the following:

  • Pneumonitis
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Respiratory depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry and crusty scaling of skin
  • Inflammation of the mouth, lips, and gums

Severe cases of thallium poisoning can cause death in 5 to 7 days following exposure. The lethal dose of thallium in humans is reported to be 10 to 15 mg/kg, but deaths have been known to occur in adults with doses as low as 8 mg/kg.6,7

5 Ways to Minimize Thallium Exposure

  • Diversify your diet: The fact is, there is no “magic bullet” that prevents diseases and/or aging. Instead of sticking to just 2 or 3 vegetables, try to add some variety to your vegetable consumption. 
  • Switch to stems and roots: The highest levels of thallium are found in plant leaves and seeds, while stems and roots have shown much lower levels. Switch out your kale and cabbage for radishes and wasabi (root) to minimize your thallium exposure.
  • Use soil rich in potassium: Heavy metals and nutrient minerals compete with one another for absorption. Therefore, if you grow your own vegetables, adding potassium to the soil can suppress uptake of thallium.8
  • Prioritize soil ecology: Potassium must first be solubilized before it can be taken up by plants, i.e., no amount of potassium supplementation will increase the uptake of the mineral without help. Potassium solubilizing microorganisms (KSMs) can help convert insoluble potassium to its soluble version. 
  • Supplement your diet: Potassium supplementation has been shown to mobilize thallium from tissues in cases of severe thallium intoxication.9 If you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of thallium intoxication, talk to your doctor about adding a dietary potassium supplement. Selenium has also been shown to counteract the toxicity of heavy metals like thallium.10

Should You Stop Drinking Green Juice?

With that being said, should you stop drinking green juice? Green juices may not be as healthy as we may have believed, and I would not recommend anyone rely on them as the primary source of vegetables. Still, I think the bigger concern here is that too many Americans still don’t eat enough green leafy vegetables. Rotate and diversify your green superfoods, and you’ll be able to continue enjoying their health benefits.  

Now it’s time to hear from you. Have you experienced any odd symptoms after consuming green juices or smoothies? Are you surprised by the presence of heavy metals in kale and other superfoods? Share your stories or thoughts in the comments below! 



Fish – friend or foe!?

August 30th, 2019

I found this great article by Dr Jill Carnahan regarding our health – and fish! Enjoy!

In the last few weeks, various news sources published story after story of people who contracted a flesh-eating bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus. This bacteria isn’t just a problem for swimmers — it can also infect people who eat raw and undercooked shellfish, especially oysters. And although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are only about 205 cases of V. vulnificus infections in the United States each year, some scientists are already saying that the number could rise due to warming waters from climate change.1

If you’re a seafood lover, these headlines along with the already well-known risks of parasites, heavy metals, and chemicals may have you thinking twice before going to a sushi restaurant for date night. So should you stop eating seafood? The simple answer is no, but read on to find out why the benefits of seafood greatly outweigh the risks, and the steps you can take to continue enjoying seafood this summer. 

Mercury in Seafood

Let’s talk about mercury. 

Yes, it’s true that mercury — in its organic form, methylmercury (MeHg) — accumulates in fish and other seafood. And, as we all know, methylmercury can be highly dangerous. 

At high levels of MeHg exposure, you may experience symptoms of neurotoxicity. A few examples of acute methylmercury poisoning include:

  • Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
  • Difficulty walking or lack of coordination
  • Impairment of peripheral vision, tunnel vision
  • Slurred speech and hearing
  • Vision changes
  • Muscle weakness

While many people are familiar with symptoms of acute exposure to methylmercury, the symptoms of chronic, lower level methylmercury exposure are less well known. The following are symptoms of chronic methylmercury exposure:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Hypertension
  • Heart rate disturbance
  • Stomach upset
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Hair thinning
  • Impaired coordination

Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and young children are at the greatest risk of experiencing the neurotoxic effects of methylmercury. However, this does not mean that anyone, including those in the “at risk” groups, should eliminate seafood from their diet. In fact, avoiding seafood during pregnancy could backfire due to the deprivation of important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. 

Therefore, the question is not whether we should eat or not eat seafood. Rather, it is about which type and species of seafood we should eat and the quantities we should consume. 

For the “at risk” population, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend a limit of 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week from the following list which are lower in methylmercury (less than 0.1 ppm). The asterisk (*) indicates seafood that are higher in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA:

  • Salmon (*)
  • Herring (*)
  • Sardines (*)
  • Anchovies (*)
  • Trout (*)
  • Canned light tuna
  • Shrimp
  • Pollock
  • Catfish
  • Atlantic mackerel (*)
  • Tilapia
  • Mussels (*)

The highest methylmercury levels are found in large, long-lived fish. Therefore, pregnant or breastfeeding women and young children should not consume the following:

  • King mackerel
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • Bluefin tuna

You can find a list of various fish, their omega-3 content, their average mercury levels, and other contaminants in the article Fish Intake, Contaminants, and Human Health: Evaluating the Risks and the Benefits.2 The FDA also keeps a database of the average mercury concentration in various fish and shellfish species here.3

4 Health Benefits of Seafood

Certainly, the most obvious way to avoid the risks from eating seafood is to simply avoid it completely. But is that the wisest choice? 

The fact is, seafood is packed with many important nutrients that many people are lacking in their diet, such as:

  • High-quality protein
  • Minerals
  • Essential trace elements
  • Fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin D)
  • Essential fatty acids (particularly of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA))

Let’s look at how some of these nutrients may benefit your health. 

1. Seafood and Cardiovascular Disease

Although many of the above-mentioned nutrients can be obtained from other foods, seafood is the main source of LC-PUFAs. You may be more familiar with the two major classes of LC-PUFAs — omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. 

Both types of essential fatty acids (EFAs) are thought to play important roles in the body. However, while omega-6s can be readily obtained from plant sources, the dietary supply of omega-3 is more limited, except when it comes to seafood. 

One of the most well-known benefits of omega-3s is their association with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Specifically, two types of omega-3s, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been shown to be incorporated into blood vessel tissue, where they influence cell membrane fluidity. Numerous studies have suggested that such anti-arrhythmic effects could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease2 and sudden cardiac death. 

2. Seafood and Infant Health and Neurodevelopment

Let’s talk about mercury. Yes, it’s true that mercury — in its organic form, methylmercury (MeHg) — accumulates in fish and other seafood. And acute mercury poisoning can cause neurological problems, particularly in fetuses and children. 

However, this does not mean that anyone, including pregnant women, should eliminate seafood from their diet. In fact, avoiding seafood during pregnancy could backfire. 

Numerous studies have suggested that maternal seafood and omega-3 intakes can have positive effects on various infant health and development outcomes, such as:

  • Birth weight
  • Length of gestation
  • Visual development
  • Cognitive development

One study indicated that maternal consumption of at least 8 ounces per week of seafood during pregnancy and breastfeeding was associated with improved visual motor skills in their children.3

Other controlled trials have demonstrated independent beneficial relationships of seafood consumption during pregnancy with language comprehension, higher IQ, visual recognition memory, etc. Such effects are likely due to the incorporation of DHA into the rapidly developing brain of infants during the last trimester of pregnancy as well as during the baby’s first two years. 

Additionally, most species of seafood contains several other brain-selective nutrients that are essential for human brain development. At a minimum, they include the following:

  • Iodine 
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Copper
  • Zinc

Still, the methylmercury content does mean that young children and pregnant or breastfeeding women should practice discrimination in their choice of seafood. Because methylmercury concentrations increase as you go up the food chain, certain fish species should be avoided. A list of fish that should be avoided is included in the “Special Considerations” section below. 

3. Seafood and Cancer Prevention

The omega-3 content of seafood has some scientists thinking that they may help prevent certain types of cancer. Omega-3s are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and laboratory studies have shown that they can also increase the sensitivity of tumor cells to conventional therapies and induce apoptotic cell death.4 These LC-PUFAs also appear to have selective cytotoxicity against cancer cells, which means that they can target cancer cells without damaging or killing healthy cells.5678

However, it may be a bit too early to get excited about the prospects of omega-3s in cancer prevention. While some observational studies have shown that higher intakes and/or blood levels of omega-3s are associated with lower risk of certain cancers like breast9 and colorectal cancers,10 others have found no such relationships. Some have even indicated that omega-3s may increase the risk of certain cancers. 

Overall, the data from existing studies show an inconsistent relationship between omega-3s and cancer risk. We will need to wait for results from additional clinical trials to help clarify this relationship.  

4. Seafood and Vitamin D

Vitamin D, better known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is actually a steroid hormone that is produced by the kidneys and is required to control blood calcium levels. It is important for a number of reasons, a few of which include: 

  • Mineralization of bone, which keeps bones strong and healthy
  • Helps regulate adrenaline, norepinephrine, and dopamine production in the brain
  • Mood regulation
  • Regulation of insulin levels, diabetes management
  • Support for the immune, cardiovascular, and nervous systems

Unfortunately, an estimated 41.6% of the U.S. population has vitamin D deficiency,11 which has been linked to several chronic conditions like hypertension and type 1 diabetes. 

But can’t you just spend some time in the sun to get your vitamin D?

That’s somewhat true. Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D3, a variants of vitamin D. And many people may meet some of their vitamin D requirements this way. However, increased melanin absorbs and scatters ultraviolet rays, which results in reduced conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to previtamin D3.12 For this reason, vitamin D deficiency is more common in darker-skinned individuals. 

Thankfully, sunlight isn’t the only source of vitamin D. Fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, and sardines are great dietary sources of vitamin D. Experts recommend 600 IU of vitamin D daily for most adults, an amount easily fulfilled by 3 ounces of salmon or swordfish.13

8 Tips to Enjoy Seafood Safely

The conclusion is obvious. Seafood should be a part of your diet. But what can you do to make sure you and your family don’t get sick? Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take. 

1. Buying Seafood Right

Fresh Fish and Shrimp

When buying fresh fish and shrimp, the FDA recommends that you should only buy them from reputable sources (i.e., supermarkets, seafood market, etc.). Be sure to look at the origin label — the more information, the better. 

I recommend buying wild-caught seafood whenever possible, but if that’s not an option for you, try to look for the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)14 logo. BAP is a third-party aquaculture certification program that encompasses the entire seafood production chain, starting from the feed mill to your plate. By having the BAP logo, you can be ensured that the seafood was produced in a way that is:

  • Considerate of the health of the animal and the consumer
  • Socially responsible toward the people and communities farming and processing the seafood
  • Respective and protective of the surrounding environment

Some packaging may have temperature indicators to show that they have been properly stored at a temperature below 40°F. If there is no such indicator, look for fish and shrimp that are refrigerated or displayed on a thick bed of ice (preferably encased or covered). Color alone is not a good indicator of freshness. 

The following tips can help you make the best choice:

  • Flesh should be shiny and firm, and gills should be red. 
  • Fresh fillets should have firm flesh and red blood lines. They should also have no discoloration or drying around the edges. 
  • The odor should be fresh and mild. Overly fishy smell indicates the fish is not fresh. 
  • Fish eyes should be clear and shiny.
  • Shrimp, scallops, and lobster should have clear flesh and little to no odor.
  • Do not purchase cooked seafood or smoked fish if it is displayed in the same case as raw fish. They are at risk of cross-contamination. 
  • Keep seafood separated from other foods in your cart and bags. It is best to pick up seafood last and store it in your refrigerator within 2 hours of purchase (1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90°F). 


The FDA issued these guidelines for safely selecting shellfish:

  • Look for a label on containers of live shellfish or shucked shellfish. These tags contain information about the product, including the processor’s certification number. This means that the harvest and processing of these shellfish were done in accordance with national shellfish safety controls.
  • Discard any cracked or broken clams, oysters, and mussels.
  • Live shellfish will close if the shell is tapped. If they don’t, do not select them.
  • Live crabs and lobsters should have some leg movement. Since they spoil rapidly after death, do not select them if you don’t see leg movement. 

Frozen Seafood

  • Ice crystals indicate that the product has been stored for a long time, or thawed and refrozen. Avoid any product with them.
  • Check that packages are tightly sealed and that they are free of dents and tears. 
  • The flesh of frozen fish should be hard and not bendable. 
  • Although seafood frozen at or below 0°F should be safe indefinitely, check the expiration date to ensure the highest quality. 

2. Storing Seafood Properly


Put fresh seafood on ice or in the refrigerator or freezer within 1 to 2 hours after purchase. The refrigerator temperature should be 40°F or below to prevent spoilage. Also, keep raw seafood away from other foods to prevent possible contamination from drips. If the seafood will not be consumed within 2 days of purchase, it is best to wrap it in plastic, foil, or moisture-proof paper or container, and store it in the freezer.

Live shellfish should be stored in the refrigerator. Place them in well-ventilated containers covered with a damp cloth or paper towel. 


Frozen seafood should be stored immediately in 0°F or below until ready for use. Do not remove them from their original moisture-proof packages. 

3. Prepping Seafood Safely


To thaw frozen seafood, place it on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. If in a hurry, place the product in a plastic bag and immerse it in cold water before cooking it right afterward. It may also be microwaved on the “defrost” setting.


Seafood should be cooked at an internal temperature of 145°F, which will significantly reduce the chance of foodborne illness. For fish, cook until the flesh is opaque and separates easily from the bone with a fork. Crabs, lobsters, and shrimp should also be cooked until the flesh is firm and opaque. Shells of clams, mussels, and oysters should open as they cook. Discard the ones that don’t open. 

Spoiled seafood can have a sour, ranci, or fishy smell that intensify after cooking. If you notice any of these unusual odors, do not eat it. Any seafood that produces an ammonia odor should also be discarded. 

4. Serving Seafood 

Now that the prep work is done, it’s time to enjoy your seafood! To ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone, seafood should never be left out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours (or for more than 1 hour when the temperature outside is above 90°F. Keep hot seafood hot and cold seafood cold. For example, if you’re serving cold seafood (ex: shrimp salad), keep it in the refrigerator or in a cooler if you’re at a picnic. 

The FDA also recommends that consumers keep hot seafood under a heat source if it will be out for longer than 2 hours or discard it after 2 hours. 

5.  Cleaning Up 

Ready to clean up?  Be sure to wash hands, utensils, cutting boards, and plates thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water after handling any raw seafood. Kitchen sanitizers may be used on cutting boards and countertops for additional protection. 

6. Special Considerations When Eating Seafood

As we’ve discussed in the benefits section, seafood consumption is more beneficial than not for pregnant or breastfeeding women and for children. For these individuals as well as older adults and persons with weakened immune systems, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends the following guidelines. 

  • Eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week from the following list which are higher in EPA and DHA and lower in methylmercury:
  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Canned light tuna
  • Shrimp
  • Pollock
  • Catfish

You can find a list of various fish, their omega-3 content, their average mercury levels, and other contaminants in the article Fish Intake, Contaminants, and Human Health: Evaluating the Risks and the Benefits.15

  • The highest methylmercury levels are found in large, long-lived fish. Therefore, Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not consume the following:
  • King mackerel
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • Fish caught in local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas may have mercury or other contaminants. Check local fish advisories. If there is no advice available, you may eat up to 6 ounces (or 1 serving) per week of fish from local waters. You should avoid consuming any other fish that week. 
  • Raw or undercooked fish and shellfish (including sashimi) should be avoided. 
  • Refrigerated types of smoked seafood should also be avoided. These are usually labeled as “nova-style,’ “lox,” “kippered,” “smoked,” or “jerky.” The FDA guidelines state that canned or shelf-stable smoked seafood is acceptable. 

7. When in Doubt, Throw it Out

If you are unsure of how long your seafood had been stored prior to cooking, it is always better to throw it away than to risk potentially serious foodborne illness. 

8. Reconsider Raw Seafood

You may have heard of the old rule of thumb: Don’t eat shellfish in months that don’t have the letter R. In other words, you should avoid shellfish in the very months when they’re the most popular — May, June, July, and August.

Unfortunately, abiding by this rule will not guarantee that you won’t get sick. Neither will alcohol, lemon or lime juice, or hot sauce, contrary to popular belief. The only way to kill Vibrio vulnificus and other bacteria in seafood is to cook them thoroughly.  

Eating Seafood is Safer Than Not Eating Seafood

With all the terrible news out there regarding contaminated seafood, it’s understandable that many people are becoming more wary of the potential harm. From flesh-eating bacteria to toxic chemicals that cause neurological problems, you may think that it’s best to avoid seafood completely. 

However, as we’ve discussed in this article, the benefits of seafood consumption far outweigh the risks. Seafood contains many important nutrients, and as long as simple precautions are taken, there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy seafood as a part of a healthy, balanced diet. 

If you’re searching for the world’s finest wild-caught salmon, look no further than Vital Choice. By cleaning and flash-freezing their salmon within hours of harvest, Vital Choice is able to capture that fresh-caught taste and quality that all salmon lovers admire. Check out Vital Choice salmon here!



Shelby mid-week specials! Plus Plan Bonuses with Madonna!

May 14th, 2019

Mid-week massage offers with Shelby!*

  • Hot Stone Massage
  • Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Massage for fertility, gut issues, constipation, stress, anxiety, panic attacks
  • Lymphatic Drainage for fluid retention, tight joints, swelling, side-effects of medications
  • Remedial Massage / Relaxation Massage
  • Cupping

May Specials:  Tuesday and Thursdays only!

Initial 1 hour kids massage (under 18) only $49

Initial 1.5 hour kids massage (under 18) only $69

Initial Pensioner 1 hour massage only $59

Initial Pensioner 1.5 hour massage only $79

Initial Pensioner 1.5 hour hot stone massage only $89

Regular price:  1 hour combo $69

Regular price:  1.5 hours combo $99

Regular price:  1.5 hours Hot Stone Massage / combo $109


Join a 9 month plan for $69/1 hour or $99/1.5 hours and get 30% off treatments with Madonna (kinesiology, microcurrent, naturopathy:  normally $191 – on a plan with Shelby?  Only $133.70! 

*Fully qualified therapist.  No health fund rebates available.

Let’s chat MTHFR

April 10th, 2019

What is MTHFR?

You may have seen the abbreviation “MTHFR” pop up in recent health news. It might look like a curse word at first glance, but it actually has to do with a relatively common genetic mutation.

MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. It’s getting attention due to a genetic mutation that may lead to high levels of homocysteine in the blood and low levels of folate and other vitamins.

There’s been concern that certain health issues are associated with MTHFR mutations, so testing has become more mainstream over the years.

Variants of the MTHFR mutation

People can have either one or two mutations (or neither) on the MTHFR gene. These mutations are often called variants. A variant is a part of the DNA of a gene that is commonly different (or varies) from person to person.

Having one variant (heterozygous) is unlikely to contribute to health issues. Some people believe having two mutations (homozygous) may lead to more serious problems. There are two variants (forms) of mutations that can occur on the MTHFR gene.

Specific variants are:

  • C677T. Guestimates of up to 30% p of the Australian population may have a mutation at gene position C677T. About 10-15% of Caucasian people have this mutation.
  • A1298C. Around 20% of the Australian population may have a homozygous mutation at gene position A1298C.
  • It’s also possible to acquire both C677T and A1298C mutations (one copy of each).

Gene mutations are inherited, which means you acquire them from your parents. At conception, you receive one copy of the MTHFR gene from each parent. If both have mutations, your risk is higher of having a homozygous mutation.

Symptoms of a MTHFR mutation

Symptoms vary from person to person and from variant to variant. If you do a quick internet search, you’ll likely find many websites claiming MTHFR directly causes a number of conditions.

Keep in mind that research around MTHFR and its effects is still evolving. Evidence linking most of these health conditions to MTHFR  is currently lacking or has been disproven and should be taken with a grain of salt.

More than likely, unless you have problems or have testing done, you’ll never become aware of your MTHFR mutation status.

Conditions that have been proposed to be associated with MTHFR include:

  • cardiovascular and thromboembolic diseases (specifically blood clots, stroke, embolism, and heart attacks)
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • bipolar disorder
  • schizophrenia
  • colon cancer
  • acute leukaemia
  • chronic pain and fatigue
  • nerve pain
  • migraines
  • recurrent miscarriages in women of child-bearing age
  • pregnancies with neural tube defects, like spina bifida and anencephaly

The risk is possibly increased if a person has two gene variants or is homozygous for the MTHFR mutation.

Some at-home genetic testing kits offer screening for MTHFR as well.

  • 23andMe is a popular choice that provides genetic ancestry and health information. It’s also relatively inexpensive (up to $260). To perform this test, you deposit saliva into a tube and send it via mail to a lab. Results take six to eight weeks.
  • My Home MTHFR (up to $225) is another option that specifically focuses on the mutation. The test is performed by collecting DNA from the inside of your cheek with swabs. After shipping the specimen, results take one to two weeks.

Treatment for related health concerns

Having an MTHFR variant doesn’t mean you need medical treatment, it could just mean you need to take a supplemental vitamin B. Treatment may be indicated when a person has very high homocysteine levels, almost always above the level attributed to most MTHFR variants. Doctors should rule out other possible causes of increased homocysteine, which can occur with or without MTHFR variants.

Other causes of high homocysteine include:

  • hypothyroidism
  • conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure
  • obesity and inactivity
  • certain medications, such as atorvastatin, fenofibrate, methotrexate, and nicotinic acid

From there, the treatment will depend on the cause and doesn’t necessarily take into account MTHFR. The exception is when you have all of the following together:

  • high homocysteine levels
  • a confirmed MTHFR mutation
  • vitamin deficiencies in folate, choline, or vitamins B-12, B-6, or riboflavin

In these cases, doctors may suggest supplementation to address deficiencies along with medications or treatments to address the specific health condition.

People with MTHFR mutations may also wish to take preventative measures by changing certain lifestyle choices that can elevate homocysteine levels. Things like stopping smoking, getting enough exercise, and eating a healthy, balanced diet may help without the use of medications.

Complications in pregnancy

Recurrent miscarriages and neural tube defects are potentially associated with MTHFR. The Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center says studies suggest that women who have two C677T variants are at an increased risk of having a child with a neural tube defect.

A 2006 study looked at women with a history of recurrent miscarriages. It found that 59 percent of them had multiple homozygous gene mutations, including MTHFR, associated with blood clotting, versus only 10 percent of women in the control category.

Speak with your naturopath or doctor about testing if you’ve experienced several unexplained miscarriages, have had a child with a neural tube defect, or if you know you have the MTHFR mutation and become pregnant.

Though there is little evidence to support it, some doctors suggest blood clotting medications. Extra folate supplementation may also be recommended.powered by Rubicon Project

Potential supplementation

The MTHFR gene mutation inhibits the way the body processes folic acid and other important B vitamins. Changing up supplementation of this nutrient is a potential focus in countering its effects.

Folic acid is actually a man-made version of folate, a naturally occurring nutrient found in foods. Taking the bioavailable form of folate — methylated folate — may help your body absorb it more readily.

Most people are encouraged to take a multivitamin that contains at least 0.4 milligrams of folate or folic acid each day. Pregnant women are not encouraged to switch prenatal vitamins or care based on their MTHFR status alone. This means taking the standard dose of 0.6 milligrams of folate daily.

Women with a history of neural tube defects should speak with their doctor for specific recommendations.

Diet considerations

Eating foods rich in folate may help naturally support your levels of this important vitamin. Supplementation may still be necessary, however.

Good food choices include:

  • proteins like cooked beans, peas, and lentils
  • veggies like spinach, asparagus, lettuce, beets, broccoli, corn, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy
  • fruits like cantaloupe, honeydew, banana, raspberries, grapefruit, and strawberries
  • juices like orange, canned pineapple, grapefruit, tomato, or other vegetable juice
  • peanut butter
  • sunflower seeds

People with MTHFR mutations may want to avoid foods that contain the synthetic form of folate, folic acid — though the evidence is not clear that is necessary or beneficial. Be sure to check labels, as this vitamin is added to many enriched grains, like pasta, cereals, breads, and commercially produced flours.

The takeaway

Your MTHFR status may or may not be impacting your health. More research is needed to assess the true implications, if any, associated with the variants.

Again, many respected health organizations don’t recommend testing for this mutation, especially without other medical indications. Speak with your doctor about the benefits and risks of testing, as well as any other concerns you may have.

Continue to eat well, exercise, and practice other healthy lifestyle habits to support your overall well-being.

 9 sources

BrocShots: Available from New Leaf Natural Therapies!

April 9th, 2019


Sulforaphane, ready to activate, drink and enjoy.

Sulforaphane was discovered in 1992 at John Hopkins University School Of Medicine. When Glucoraphanin and Myrosinase enzyme are present, once chewed or swallowed they convert to Sulforaphane. 

Sulforaphane is molecule that is easily absorbed into our bloodstream and genes/cells.

Switching on over 200 genes at the same time to help the body detoxify the pollutants in the air and our food, to help slow ageing process, to improve cognitive function and many many more amazing health benefits.

Sulforaphane is currently one of the most studied natural substances on the planet by all the major universities. 

Sulforaphane builds up in our body and is enzyme active.  Once the BrocShots Cap is activated, the enzymes have a matter of minutes before dying due to instability of Sulforaphane once activated in water or saliva.


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Chi Nei Tsang: Emotional benefits; improves blood, nerve lymph supply to a dozen major organs!

March 30th, 2019

We all feel great after having a massage, especially those of us who are tending to the mind-body connection through doing a regular yoga practice. Some people report feelings of bliss after a massage, but is this type of healing or therapy really sustainable? Can it actually make a lasting impact and truly heal the body? Can yoga truly heal the body, or do we need to go a bit deeper and look at the core issues which cause us to experience pain in the first place?

Many people who are beginning their yoga or meditation journeys, may start out wanting to do yoga for flexibility or for overall health reasons. When a practitioner goes deeper than Yoga (and therefore deeper into the awareness of what the body and mind is trying to tell us), an awareness of needing to get to the emotional “root” of the pain, injury, or illness will occur.


In addition to yoga, a surge of interest has occurred in relation to a massage technique done only on the organs in the stomach in order to get to the emotional causes of deep rooted dis-ease. This kind of detoxifying massage comes from China, and is known as Chi Nei Tsang.

Also taught in Northern Thailand, Chi Nei Tsang is an ancient Taoist practice which gently (yet deeply) works the organs on all levels–physically, emotionally and spiritually–in order to make them work more efficiently and to heal unprocessed negative emotions that the person has repressed throughout their life.

Chi Nei Tsang literally means working the energy of the internal organs. In a systematic manner, the abdomen is warmed with oil prepared with palming massage strokes, and then worked from the right side to the left side. They finish by grounding the person with other massage techniques on the legs, arms and face. Organs and arteries are worked on deeply and sometimes painfully. When there is pain or transference of sensation, there may also be toxins that show up as a yellowing on the practitioner’s gloves. You will feel some areas of both hardness and softness, and may experience an inability to breathe followed by a deeper ability to digest life and all its nutrients upon completion of a session.

When a person’s abdomen is blocked, large, or hardened, multiple sessions are recommended. It is much easier to give a session to a yogi who has also done deep internal work on themselves, such as emotional release therapies.

All of the body’s systems–digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, endocrine, urinary, and reproductive –are addressed in a session. All emotion experienced needs to be processed on a physical level, and this is where discomfort can occur. In between intense times (such as the kidney point, for example), the the receiver may find themselves falling asleep.

It is important to emphasise that the Chi Nei Tsang practitioner neither treats symptoms, nor attempts to cure illness. Chi Nei Tsang addresses the whole person and can be of particular benefit to contemporary problems caused by stress such as sleep disorders; digestive disorders involving the liver, gallbladder or kidneys; nervous disorders such as anxiety and depression; and autoimmune disorders such as Lupus and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Additionally, Chi Nei Tsang can help to speed healing from injury or trauma and is known for its healing and almost mystical work with endometriosis and fertility, or sexual issues for women and men.

In the Tao system, each organ is known to hold different negative emotions. For example: the liver holds anger, the kidneys hold fear and the stomach holds worry. When massaged intentionally, these lower emotions can be eliminated in the body, and a shift can come (at anytime) for the person who has received a treatment.

It is a system designed to precipitate change by bringing awareness to the internal organs. It also makes you more aware on the emotional level of the body, thus inducing the body to heal itself. Regardless of if your condition is physical or emotionally manifested, there is no condition that is not addressed. It seems to have a mystical quality of healing that many are seeking for optimal health and as an addition to a physical yoga practice.

Giving it a try, or learning how to share it with someone else, can definitely give you the experience or change in bodywork that you may be looking for. Its greatest benefits occur for people fasting or doing a detox. Be sure not to eat anything at least three hours before a session.

Shelby is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at New Leaf Natural therapies.
3 Meltemi Street, Manly West 4179

Madonna Guy
New Leaf Natural Therapies

0417 643 849
YouTube:  New Leaf Health Team
Facebook: New Leaf Health Team (pages & groups – check them out!)

Fabulous Article from Dr Mercola about magnesium!

January 22nd, 2019

Fabulous Article from Dr Mercola about magnesium!


The fact that magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes in the body highlights how critical this mineral is for supporting and maintaining health. It also makes it easy to understand that magnesium can have a role in relieving many different types of pain.

Interest in the ability of magnesium to resolve pain, both acute and chronic, has been growing for years, as has the research into this phenomenon. Experts believe the reason magnesium can relieve pain is the fact that it is “a physiological antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor ion channel, and that the NMDA receptor plays a key role in central sensitisation,” which is the main way magnesium kills pain by blocking the NMDA receptor in the spinal cord.

Here are some of the discoveries experts have made about the ability of magnesium to help manage different types of pain.

Arthritis. Magnesium helps strengthen bone, maintain joint cartilage, and assists with muscle function. Without enough magnesium, these essential processes cannot function optimally, which can contribute to and cause pain. Therefore, as noted by the Arthritis Foundation, it’s important to get enough magnesium (RDA is 320 mg for women and 420 mg for men), as many studies have reported that eating foods rich in magnesium and potassium improves bone density.

Read about do you need a magnesium supplement

Fibromyalgia. Managing fibromyalgia pain is especially challenging, and having access to an effective natural remedy is most welcome for many patients. Numerous studies have identified magnesium as one such treatment option. In a study conducted by experts at Mayo Clinic, for example, 24 women applied a transdermal magnesium chloride solution in spray form to each limb twice daily for four weeks. All of the women completed a questionnaire and survey about their experiences with the spray. Generally, use of the magnesium resulted in a significant improvement in pain after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment.

Among people with fibromyalgia, it seems that magnesium inhibits the nerve receptors that are associated with the pain trigger points. In a studyfrom Turkey, for example, the authors noted that magnesium citrate supplementation (300 mg/d) resulted in a significant reduction in tender points, fibromyalgia impact questionnaire scores, and depression scores.

Menstrual cramps. A study appearing in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews noted that taking magnesium supplements can relieve painful menstrual cramps. Subsequent research also pointed out how important magnesium can be for relieving not only menstrual cramps but other symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome and post-menopause.

Read about are these foods high enough in magnesium?

Migraine and tension headache. Many people who suffer with migraine have a magnesium deficiency. Research has indicated that supplementing with 400 mg daily of chelated magnesium or magnesium oxide can reduce the frequency of migraine as well as lower the severity of pain. For individuals with tension headache, magnesium can help relieve muscle tension associated with the head pain.

Neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is believed to be associated with peripheral nerve issues, such as neuropathy associated with spinal stenosis, spinal cord injuries, and diabetes. Numerous studies have revealed the ability of magnesium to help reduce and manage neuropathic pain. For example, a report published in Current Medicinal Chemistry in 2016 noted that magnesium “has been shown to exert an analgesic effect on humans in conditions presenting…chronic (neuropathic) pain.”

Postoperative pain. The amount and level of pain experienced by people following surgery can be overwhelming and challenging to treat. Research suggests administering magnesium can significantly reduce pain and pain intensity. For example, 44 individuals who underwent bilateral total knee arthroplasty were given either magnesium sulphate or isotonic saline (22 patients each) during surgery. A comparison between the two groups of levels of postoperative pain and the amount of patient-controlled analgesia (fentanyl) and rescue analgesia (ketoprofen) used during the first 48 hours revealed that those in the magnesium group used significantly fewer rescue analgesics and fentanyl during the first 48 hours postoperatively.

[Editor’s Note: Natural Vitality Natural Calm and Pure Essence Labs Ionic Fizz are our favorite ways to supplement magnesium.]

Arthritis Foundation. Magnesium
Bagis S et al. Is magnesium citrate treatment effective on pain, clinical parameters and functional status in patients with fibromyalgia? Rheumatology International 2013 Jan; 33(1): 167-72
Chiu HY et al. Effects of intravenous and oral magnesium on reducing migraine: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pain Physician 2016 Jan; 19(1): E97-112
Engen DJ et al. Effects of transdermal magnesium chloride on quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia: a feasibility study. Journal of Integrative Medicine 2015 Sep; 13(5): 306-13
Parazzini F et al. Magnesium in the gynecological practice: a literature review. Magnesium Research2017 Feb 1; 30(1): 1-7
Proctor ML, Murphy PA. Herbal and dietary therapies for primary and secondary dysmenorrhea. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews 2001; (3):CD002124
Shin HJ et al. Magnesium sulphate attenuates acute postoperative pain and increased pain intensity after surgical injury in staged bilateral total knee arthroplasty: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. British Journal of Anaesthesiology 2016 Oct; 117(4): 497-503
Smith HS, MD. How can magnesium help relieve pain?
Srebro D et al. Magnesium in pain research: state of the art. Current Medicinal Chemistry 2016 Dec 12
WebMD. Magnesium

Why is bio-impedance screening important!?

October 16th, 2018

The key to longevity is not so much living long, as it is living well.

The chronic degenerative diseases of ageing are now known to be partly due to genetic inheritance, but mostly due to lifestyle


Exciting new evidence has demonstrated that the body’s decline is not due to the passing of years but rather to the combined effects of inactivity, poor nutrition and illness.

Generally most of us would consider health simply the absence of discomfort and a functioning we are familiar with. Actually true health is a state where the functioning of the body is the best it can be. Similar to feeling fantastic. (Homoeostasis is a balanced state of the  functioning of the body which is naturally maintained by the body’s internal processes. At any point in time the body is working to maintain that balance. For instance the body needs to be at a certain temperature and there is a cold breeze; as a response our hairs stand up we get goose bumps and our blood vessels contract to conserve body heat.)

What we are saying here is that the balanced working of the body requires that the building-up and repair processes of the body need to be equal or exceed the processes which cause harm. For instance when we eat the action of food passing through the digestive system wears the lining of the digestive system (catabolic influence). So therefore the body needs to be able to repair that constantly. In another example if we experience prolonged periods of stress (a catabolic influence) and we do not have proper rest and adequate nutrients to support the body it will eventually start to run down.

Many factors influence a person’s state of health. Some have positive influences and other negative ones. We want you to consider which of these factors can be adjusted to favourably influence your wellbeing. Your state of health is in direct proportion to the body’s ability to match repair to ware.

Each of us has our own unique needs. This can be seen in all areas of our lives and it is the same with our diet. But generally we can say that people living in the western countries do not eat sufficient protein in their diets. This is promoted by the whole range of cereal products available for easy eating. From corn flakes to pasta we find our diet is deficient in the essential building blocks for building and repair of our bodies, protein.

Why is exercise important; well, if you don’t use it you loose it, the saying goes, and it is the same with our muscles, bones and aerobic capacity. (See Biomarkers)

Research conducted by Evens and Rosenburg from the Human Nutrition Research Centre at Tuffs University lead to the identification of ten key biomarkers which can be used to chart the progression or regression of sarcopenia, (the disease of ageing).

Biomarkers are the key physiological factors which are associated with the prolongation of youth and vitality

These studies demonstrated that by adopting a particular pattern of activity and eating, it was possible for virtually anyone to slow down the ageing process and maintain functional capacity and vitality for the longest period of time.

Clients are monitored at their visit and at each subsequent visit. This allows us to see firstly where they are in relation to cellular health and secondly it show how effective their treatment program is.

Biomarkers of ageing

Biomarker #1            Body Cell Mass (especially muscle mass)

 Typically, lean body cell mass declines with age. From young adulthood to middle age, the average person losses 3 kg of lean body mass per decade. This rate of loss accelerates after age 45.

Lean muscle is a very important functional tissue. The following functions of muscle demonstrate why it is vital for optimum function.

  1. Glucose Disposal

Our ability to control our blood glucose level is dependent on muscle mass, because 80% of circulating glucose is typically stored m muscle as glycogen. With low muscle mass blood glucose clearance is delayed, resulting in dysglycaemia and an exaggerated insulin response. (see Biomarker 7.)

  1. Organ Reserve

Muscle is a major body reservoir of body glutamine. This glutamine store is called upon to repair and fuel many other tissues. The immune system is dependent on adequate glutamine reserves for optimal function. The integrity of the gastrointestinal mucosa (the lining of the digestive system) relies heavily on glutamine availability. Low muscle mass, therefore, leads to a reduction in organ reserve and limited function under stressful circumstances.

  1. Metabolic Rate

Muscle is the key determinant of metabolic rate. A higher metabolic rate will typically result m more kilojoules consumed per day and greater control over body fat mass. To achieve long term weight control muscle mass must be adequate. A progressive reduction in basal metabolic rate is a recognised characteristic of the ageing process and diminishing muscle mass may be largely responsible.

  1. Mobility

The ability to exercise, to maintain basic physical activity and to avoid frequent falls is an important consideration in the ageing process. Adequate muscle mass and function are required for normal daily activities and to maintain balance and required strength.

The two primary factors which influence this that we can readily engage and improve are:

i)Our level of physical activity

  1. ii) Our nutrition.


What we do not use, we lose. Muscles used properly and stimulated regularly strengthen and do not atrophy. This is true for people of all ages.


To maintain and maximise muscle function and health we must also have a supportive nutrition plan. One which favours anabolic hormone, balance.

Biomarker #2            Strength/Musculoskeletal Fitness

Building muscle tissue and regaining and/or maintaining strength obviously go hand in hand. The muscles which attach to and move your skeleton are referred to as your skeletal muscles. Your skeletal muscles receive direction from the motor nerves, which run from your central nervous system via the spinal cord and its branches, which exit from your spinal column. Sets of motor nerves and the muscle fibres that they supply are known as “motor units”.

As we age we typically lose motor units, approximately twenty percent over the 40 years between age 30 and 70.

There are two primary kinds of muscle fibres: the red slow twitch and the white fast twitch fibres.

  • The red slow twitch fibres are focused on low force, endurance

related activities (e.g. posture and walking).

  • The white fast twitch fibres are for shorter, high intensity

activities (e.g. lifting heavy objects and sprinting).

Studies show that we lose fast twitch fibres more rapidly with age and that we typically lose approximately thirty percent of our muscle cells between age 20 and 70.

This gradual muscle loss appears to be the catalyst for a number of other age related changes in our bodies.

These include:

  • A decreased blood sugar tolerance
  • A declining metabolism
  • An increase in body fat
  • A reduced aerobic capacity
  • A loss of bone mineral density

The remarkably good news is that human studies have proven that with the right exercise program, those in their 60th, 70th, 80th and even 90th decade of life can expect improvements in strength and muscle cell size similar to those of young people doing the same amount of exercise!

Skeletal muscles can be considered the engine of your body and your skeleton the chassis. The more efficient your engine, the farther you will go. Which leads us to our next biomarker.

Biomarker #3 `           Phase Angle/Expected Phase Angle

The phase angle is a measure of the amount of muscle mass and the function of cellular membranes and is a mathematical relationship between the resistance and reactance readings.

Phase angle is related to the integrity of the Phospholipid membrane. The membrane of each cell is made of two rows of fat molecules. Research has shown that the consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids such as those found in Salmon, Tuna and Sardines is beneficial. All cellular functions are dependent on the membrane of the cell.

The phase angle is one of the best indicators of cellular health and function available. It is computed from the resistance and reactance values, and is an indicator of the amount of electrical charge the cell membrane can hold. This is dependent on the total cell membrane mass (including the mass of the active tissue mass) and the efficiency of protein and electrolyte channel functions. The larger the phase angle, the better the cellular membrane integrity and, therefore, cell function.


The change the cell can hold is also dependent on the intracellular volume, so the phase angle is also an indicator of tissue cell volume. When patients are dehydrated, the extracellular volume (extracellular water) becomes depressed and a falsely elevated phase angle may be read.

The greater the phase angle, the better cellular health the patient has. This is one of the most important readings to gauge the integrity of your cellular membranes. Females (and small framed individuals) have reduced phase angle readings (generally lower by half to one point), which is due to the lower amount of active tissue (muscle).

This number will generally decline as you age. However, it can be reversed. Strength training, quality protein and essential fatty acids are considered important for improving the phase angle.

Expected Phase Angle

The phase angle will increase with an increase in muscle mass and cell function. By allowing for the muscle mass, the % expected phase angle gives the practitioner information on the cellular function and general energy levels. The % expected phase angle is often low in individuals with chronic fatigue. A normal range is from 75?85%. If low, there is a need to detoxify and support mitochondrial function.

Biomarker #4            Body Fat Percentage

Unlike the first 3 biomarkers which typically decline with age, our body fat usually increases with age, even if our weight does not.

Here again, human studies have demonstrated unfavourable changes in body composition with advancing age. The sedentary man or women at 65 has approximately twice the body fat they had as young people!


Proportion of lean-body mass versus fat in young and older women

These two magnetic resonance images make a dramatic point about the loss of lean-body mass and the accumulation of fat as we age. Both show a cross-sectional view of a women’s thigh. The left photo is of a 20 year-old athlete and the right of a 64 year-old sedentary women. The younger women has a body mass index (BMI) of 22.6, and the older women a BMI of 30.7.

A body fat mass above ideal has numerous ageing effects that strongly disrupt metabolic control and contribute to most of the common conditions seen in modem clinical practice.

These include:

  1. Insulin Resistance

A high body fat mass invariably results in high circulating serum free fatty acids. These fatty acids have a well?recognised effect to inhibit insulin signalling resulting in insulin resistance. The resulting elevations in insulin and (later) blood glucose, are potent age promoting factors causing increased blood pressure, tri-gylcerides and inflammatory response. (see Biomarker 7.)

Insulin resistance leading to hyperinsulinaemia also reduces fat release from adipose stores, thereby further promoting obesity. The insulin resistant state also disrupts hormonal/neurotransmitter control causing gonadal dysfunction and neurological difficulties.

  1. Inflammation

Obese individuals are now recognised to be producing elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines resulting in high levels of inflammatory markers including C?reactive protein. This proinflammatory state of obesity is due to elevated production of inflammatory chemicals like TNF?a and interleukin?6. These create immune dysfunction and heighten any inflammatory response.

  1. Hormone Imbalance

Fat tissue is a producer of weak oestrogen (oestrone).  Oestrone can block more potent oestrogens like oestradiol, thereby inhibiting normal cyclical oestrogen surges resulting in oestrogen/progesterone ratio imbalance with subsequent menstrual disturbance and infertility.

  1. Cardiovascular Disease

The insulin resistant state promotes arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, whilst obesity may do this directly by increasing inflammation and directly increasing circulating lipids.

It is important to note that where your body fat is stored may be as important to your health and how much of it you have.

Biomarker #5             Fluid Index

The fluid index is simply the % extracellular water, divided by the % intracellular water. This result will give you a quick reference number for the ratios between the intra/extracellular water. What causes the fluid index to rise is oedematous conditions, and a high body fat %. The lower the number, the better the patient’s composition health. Women, due to their naturally high levels of body fat, would be expected to have a higher fluid index.

To improve fluid index, the extra and intracellular water levels must thus be considered independently.

Intracellular Water

Intracellular water (ICW) is the potassium?rich fluid volume found within the cell. Intracellular water is a sensitive indicator of cellular function. An increase in ICW is associated with anabolic metabolism (cellular health) whilst a loss of ICW is associated with catabolism.

Maintenance of intracellular water is dependent on cellular membrane integrity, mitochondrial energy levels and the regulation of electrolytes.

Possible causes of reduced intracellular water are:

  1. Electrolytes are ineffective at maintaining an osmotic gradient that holds water within the cell. Magnesium is the key mineral responsible for regulating electrolyte pumping into and out of the cell. Low magnesium levels result in sodium accumulation within cells and the failure of potassium to be pumped through the cell membrane into the cell.
  2. For effective cellular function, the cell membrane requires its constituents to be able to move about efficiently. Adequate levels of essential fatty acids ensure membrane fluidity and the efficient passage of nutrients and factors passing into and out of the cell.

Stress, inflammation and oxidant stress are associated with cellular catabolism, decreased mitochondrial energy production and loss of intracellular electrolytes necessary to regulate ICW.

Extracellular Water

Extracellular water (ECW) is the sodium?rich fluid volume found outside the cells. These fluids include plasma, interstitial and transcellular (normal and pathologic) fluids. The plasma represents the major proportion and the most labile of the extracellular fluids. Any oedematous condition (such as PMT) increases ECW.

Fluids can be held outside the cell in the extracellular space by various toxins. Toxic chemicals, metabolic wastes, infections and other foreign antigens (foods etc.) can initiate inflammatory and catabolic reactions associated with increasing ECW. High extracellular water may be due to a reduced ability to maintain normal intracellular water volume. Typically, high extracellular water will be seen with low intracellular water.

The toxic cause of high extracellular water can be addressed with Bowel and Gut/Liver Detoxification.

A depleted ECW (dehydrated) is often due to dietary indiscretion, inadequate water intake or malabsorption.

There is increasing evidence that people who accumulate fat around their waist (apple?shapes), have a significantly higher risk for developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes, than people who store fat around their hips (pear?shapes). Monitoring waist?to?hip ratios can be a valuable indicator of health and aging status.

Biomarker #6               Aerobic Capacity

This refers to your body’s ability to take in and properly utilise oxygen. It requires healthy lungs, a strong heart and an efficient circulatory system (vascular network). Aerobic capacity typically declines with age: men peak at approximately 20 years of age and women at around 30 years of age. By age 65 oxygen utilisation has typically declined by thirty to forty percent. The key word here is “typically”.

As with each of the previously discussed biomarkers, proper exercise and nutrition can markedly improve your aerobic capacity, commonly referred to as your V02max. (the maximum volume of oxygen you can utilise over a given period of time). The older you are however, the longer it takes, exercising regularly, to achieve the V02max. of young people.

The healthy changes in oxygen utilization or V02max. that we see in those who exercise properly, are primarily due to adaptations in the skeletal muscles, far more so than changes in heart function.

Biomarker #7             Blood?Sugar Tolerance

For most, ageing is synonymous with increasing blood?sugar (glucose) levels. This compromised ability to regulate and utilise glucose is quite insidious, with the first sign of trouble for many being a diagnosis of diabetes.

The inability to efficiently regulate and utilise glucose is due to reduced insulin signalling effectiveness ? insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to higher insulin secretion in an attempt to maintain control. Eventually, control cannot be maintained and glucose levels begin to rise. This is noncompensated insulin resistance and is characterised by high insulin and glucose levels. Both of these can be damaging chemicals.


High levels of insulin promote Syndrome X and its associated pathologies: hypertension, dyslipidaemia and obesity.

Each of these conditions is becoming an epidemic and is associated with significant mortality and morbidity.


Glucose becomes a toxic chemical at high doses and causes the considerable damage in diabetic complications. Glucose can glycate biomolecules, rendering them ineffective and potentially pathogenic.

High glucose levels are associated with microangiopathy, cataracts, retinopathy and peripheral neuralgia.

Poor glucose control is a strong promoter of the ageing process and is clearly environmentally mediated.


The most useful test available to diagnose glucose intolerance or hyperinsulinaemia is the two?hour glucose tolerance test, which measures glucose and insulin levels after a glucose challenge. No other test is capable of measuring abnormalities in insulin secretion, the major determinant of blood sugar abnormalities.

Biomarker #8               Cholesterol/HDL Ratio

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is a necessary component of your body chemistry. It plays an essential role on the health of your cell membranes and in sex hormone metabolism. Under certain conditions, it can accumulate in artery walls and form fatty plaques, restricting blood flow and leading to arteriosclerosis, a form of heart and circulatory disease.

Cholesterol metabolism is one of the most misunderstood areas in healthcare today. Cholesterol is not an essential nutrient, as your body manufactures it in your liver whenever necessary. It circulates in your blood stream as “lipoproteins”. These are combinations of fat bound to proteins. Some of these cholesterol?containing lipoproteins have been found to actually protect us from heart disease, these are called high density lipoproteins or HDL’s. The other lipoproteins, low density or LDL’s, and very low density VLDL’s are the types associated with the arteriosclerosis mentioned earlier.

Studies have shown that when the ratio of total cholesterol over HDL cholesterol is 4.5 or lower, there is a reduced risk to heart and circulatory disease. Unfortunately it is typical for cholesterol 1 HDL ratios to increase or worsen with age, increasing your risk to disability and premature death.

Here again, the key to reducing LDL’s (the most harmful form of cholesterol) and raising HDL’s (the beneficial form), is better dietary management, proper supplementation and a proper exercise program. More specifically, diet changes can lower LDL’s, but it takes both exercise and a reduction in body fat to raise HDL’s.

The paradox here, is that for some people to reduce body fat, they must actually increase their intake of the “healthy” fats and oils, while decreasing their intake of the “cholesterol?free” carbohydrates.

Is it any wonder that so many people today find themselves feeling confused and bewildered about what and how to best meet their nutrition needs.

Ibis area of fats and health, further exemplifies the need for individual assessment and targeted recommendations with respect to ones nutritional needs.

Biomarker #9               Blood Pressure

Although there are cultures around the world who show no increases in blood pressure with age, the United States and Canada are not among them. Hypertension, often referred to as “the silent killer”, affects 65 million North Americans, increasing their risk to heart attacks, stroke and other serious diseases with seldom any warning symptoms.

Your blood pressure has two components:

  1. i) Your systolic pressure (read first) which reflects the

pressure on your arteries when your heart contracts.

  1. Your diastolic pressure (read second) which represents

the pressure in your arteries between heart beats when

your heart is at rest.

Normal blood pressure is less than 140 systolic (with 120 considered ideal) and less than 85 diastolic. Even though some people are genetically predisposed to hypertension, the proper nutrition and exercise program will restore normal healthy pressures in most cases.

You can also have blood pressures which are too low. The symptoms of which are very similar to those of low blood sugar levels. These include: episodes of weakness and light?headedness especially on sudden changes of posture.

In more acute cases, such as hypotension, can be related to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. For example, following heavy exercise in very warm weather or after protracted vomiting or diarrhoea.

With more chronic cases the hypotension, especially if it is posture­ related can be a sign of adrenal insufficiency as the result of prolonged distress. If this. is suspected further tests on adrenal function should be conducted. Conducting blood pressure tests in several different postures, can be a valuable screening tool here.

Biomarker #10                      Bone Mineral Density

There is typically an age?related decline in bone mineral density that leaves older people with weakened bones and at risk to disability and life threatening complications. The later stages of this bone mineral loss is called “osteoporosis”. Contrary to popular belief, it affects men and women. Although it is accelerated in menopausal women it is not a problem which is exclusive to them.

Studies show a typical decline in bone mineral density if one percent per year after peak bone density is reached at between ages 28 to 35 years in men and women. After menopause, typical bone loss increases to three percent per year and for some it can be as high as fifteen percent.

What may shock you is that your rate of bone loss increases 50?fold during prolonged bed rest. Research shows, that two weeks of bed rest can cause as much calcium loss as one full year of ageing! Needless to say, the very best prescription for the prevention and treatment of bone loss is proper exercise and proper nutrition. The nutrition component must include adequate levels of calcium and associated bone building nutrients.

As with each of our biomarkers, there is a simple test that can be conducted to assess whether you are losing significant bone density or not. It involves analysis of your urine to assess the levels of several by?products of bone breakdown, which when elevated signals an accelerated loss of bone. Corrective measures can then be initiated and a re?test done several weeks later to ensure resolution of the condition.

BIA offers a unique window in to the body. It is simple non-invasive and there are no contra-indication to its use. Linked with computing programs it is able to give us a snap shot of the body at that time.



Typical lifeline Ideal lifeline

Old age in our society is linked with declining mobility and increasing morbidity. Typically in our 40th or 50th decade we begin to experience a decline in our health as can be seen in the illustration of typical lifeline. Unfortunately without any corrective measures this progresses to poor health and then progressive disability. Fortunately with the knowledge available today this need not be the picture of our life. The ideal lifeline shows that with correct intervention our wellbeing can be extended well beyond the norm giving us a fruitful old age.

FSM Frequency Specific Microcurrent: for pain, joints, stress, gut, brain!!

October 16th, 2018

We have used our Cellular Regeneration Therapy for just about everything…  It truly works!!!

New Leaf Natural Therapies:  94 Edith Street, Wynnum 4178

ph: 3348 6098  /  0417 643 849


  • Any Pain & Inflammatory conditions
  • Fibromyalgia / toxin release
  • Spinal cord/ spinal pain
  • Scar softening
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Toxin removal
  • Natural facelifts
  • Vaccine toxin removal
  • Fibrosis & adhesions
  • Anesthetic, drug & opiate removal (NSAID’s)
  • Shingles & nerve pain
  • Concussion /head injuries; learning problems/ memory issues
  • Skin care – acne; psoriasis; eczema
  • Bulging discs
  • Endometriosis; fibroids; polyps; uterine pain
  • Gut inflammation, IBS, diverticulitis
  • Neuropathy/nerve pain
  • Sinusitis, bronchitis etc
  • Thyroid / adrenal support
  • Stress, anxiety, depression
  • Gut, liver, bowel support
  • Detox after cancer treatments!

And much, much more!!!

These treatments are fabulous: pain free and simple!  All living tissue has a certain frequency – we can find which body organs and tissues are not functioning correctly and help them to heal – much faster than on their own or even with supplements!!!  If a cell is inflamed, congested, has scarring or adhesions, it simply can’t function properly.  This treatment simply and effectively removes these conditions from the cells and allows them to function normally, again!

The number of treatments depends on how ‘out of whack’ the particular tissue is, for example, it might take 3-22 treatments to dissolve calcifications in the body, excruciatingly painful conditions such as fibromyalgia may require up to 2 treatments per week initially, autism/aspergers/ADHD may require a similar protocol weekly or bi-weekly for a month or two to support all of the aggravating factors. There are many variables that come into play, so therefore it’s very difficult to estimate how many treatments it will take.  But, it works!!!

TGA Approved, it promotes healing of conditions which have not responded to other treatment. The speed of recovery is increased, the effect is long lasting, and there is a more complete healing of tissues than with other therapies. 1 session for pain is equivalent to around 5 hrs massage, which does not have the benefit of returning cells into balance.

During the 1900’s Dr Albert Abrams was the first to develop a calibrated instrument which was capable of detecting the radiations of living tissues. He became convinced that if he could match the frequencies involved, the tissue would be isolated and healed and would return to balance.

Every tissue within the body has its individual frequency or output and the practitioner is able to set the frequency of the device to match. This can be extremely helpful when there are a variety of conditions like trauma, inflammation, stress, or environmental influences. Several treatments may be required to enable complete recovery.

Because the output current from the device is low, it doesn’t stimulate sensory nerves, and therefore the client may only feel some warmth or slight coolness during the treatment. Frequencies are continually changed as it has been shown using a combination of frequencies directed toward the tissues will ease the pain and insure a faster, long lasting recovery.

Every person is an individual and the longevity and the severity of the condition will affect the number of treatments required. Approximately 60-80% of changes which occur within one treatment will last until the next treatment providing it is within an appropriate time frame of up to seven days and you’re HYDRATED!  By undergoing continual treatment the client is training his muscles to respond the way they are meant to, however until this becomes permanent the muscles will attempt to return to their old pathways which will lead to the return of the original condition.
The treatment may be used to alleviate both viral conditions and pain, and for skin toning.

There may be some side effects due to the release of toxins from the treatment; a patient may feel nauseated, fatigued, and slightly drowsy, have a slight increase in pain, or have flu like symptoms after the initial treatment. These symptoms are completely normal. The patient should drink water before and after the treatment as this helps the release of toxins and reduces the severity of effects. The client may also be advised to take supplements to aid the liver detoxification pathways to deal more quickly with the by-products which will prevent overload. These symptoms only last for a few hours after treatment, however if symptoms do continue, then the client should continue to drink water.

Follow Instructions!

It is very important clients follow the instructions as explained by the Cellular Regeneration practitioner due to the changes that will take place in the body as a result of the treatment. Cellular Regeneration therapy increases the cellular oxidation or ATP by 500% over 48 hours, thus increasing the uptake of oxygen and nutrients as well as cell regeneration and repair of tissue inflammation.

Where pain therapy has been undertaken using C.R., many clients experience a dramatic pain-free period after the first treatment, and opt out of follow-up therapy. However, it is wise to undergo the full series of treatments as advised by your practitioner to allow a full healing response.

In certain situations, the symptoms may return within a short period. This type of aggravation is common if the client does not rest sufficiently, or if the treatment stirs up tissue stagnation during the healing process.  It may be that the tissue is far removed from normal and may take some time to return to health.  Compliance with supplementation such as magnesium and EPA/DHA as recommended by the practitioner is important and increased dosages may be recommended during an aggravation.

Call us to book on 3348 6098 or email


Ross Walter Nutritionist & Naturopath can improve your health!

October 4th, 2018
My treatments are:



Consultations and treatments are personalised to you and your circumstances, because everyone is different! The causes of your health condition will be different to someone else with the same condition, so a tailored plan is needed.



A holistic treatment means analysing what is happening in your whole body, and providing a treatment plan which treats the whole body, on all aspects of your health.



Much of the treatment plan is about educating you on the right foods to eat, lifestyle advice, supplements and other treatments for your situation, to enable you to take control of your health.



Our advice and treatment plans are based on recent and proven scientific evidence from science and medical journals, research studies, textbooks, courses and ongoing Professional Education, as required by our professional associations.



Advice and treatments recommended will be natural and safe for you, including the best foods for your health (and which to avoid), lifestyle changes to improve health, education, and therapeutic strength practitioner-branded quality supplements if needed. Any recommendations will take into account your medications, allergies, lifestyle and other preferences.



Many health insurance funds understand the importance of having a healthy diet and lifestyle and these can reduce the risks of disease and even prevent disease. As such, these funds offer rebates on Naturopathy consultations. Contact us to see if your health fund covers you for this! We now have HiCAPS in the clinic, so you can get your health fund rebate back immediately!


An initial consultation will include the following:

  • 90 minutes of questions and advice – to get a full health and medical history, and to identify the causes of your health issues
  • Analysis of your weekly food intake, and a detailed report of what you are doing well, and what you can do to improve this
  • Naturopathic analysis of your pathology results, in a detailed report
  • Physical tests – blood pressure, blood glucose, oxygen saturation, physical signs and more
  • Lifestyle improvement advice, including how to improve sleep, reduce effects of stress, and environmental health
  • Detailed treatment plan, outlining the prioritised treatment details, personalised for you

That’s a lot of value for your investment in your long-term health!


Ross Walter Nutritionist & Naturopath can improve your health by helping you to:

  • lose weight
  • have more energy
  • sleep better
  • improve immune system
  • reduce pain
  • reduce the effects of stress
  • improve your diet and lifestyle

and generally feel better and look healthier!



Ross Walter Nutritionist & Naturopath is experienced in treating the following:

  • weight issues (see here for more information), and weight-related conditions
  • analysing your weekly diet, to see if you are meeting your nutrition requirements for your health and fitness goals
  • chronic or inflammatory disease conditions type 2 diabetes, arthritis, pain
  • skin conditions (acneeczema and psoriasis)
  • heart related conditions (blood pressure and cholesterol), heart disease
  • digestive conditions (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS, constipation or diarrhoea)
  • immune system conditions (colds/flu, autoimmune conditions, and chronic infections)
  • mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, Pyrrole Disorder, and similar
  • sleep issues (getting to sleep, interrupted sleep, or maintaining sleep)
  • allergies and intolerances or sensitivities to foods, chemicals or environmental substances
  • hormone conditions (thyroid, male and female hormones, PMS, PMDD, menopause)?
  • ?Men’s health (erectile or prostate conditions, low testosterone)
  • ?Women’s health (menstrual cycle issues, fertility, preconception and pregnancy care)
  • natural cancer support and adjunct treatments (see here for more information)
  • difficult and complex chronic (long-term) conditions for which you may not have an answer yet.