Archive for the ‘hormonal issues’ Category

Soy: Safety issues – fact or fiction!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

A Note from Madonna:
Great article from Metagenics on Soy…

I’m in the unique position to have been doing kinesiology for over 20 years…  I always joke I’m lucky to have done my naturopathy first as kinesiology was so much fun.
I’ve got a 15 step process to find allergies/intolerances/substance issues with people:

  • we have Nutripath food testing to find if people have allergies to substances
  • we use the Food Detective blood test in-house to find if people have intolerances
  • I’ve found generally over the years that organic soy is fine!  (Generally, of course!)
  • Georgia and Madonna use kinesiology to target specific substances and see if your body is able to utilise them…
    • if dairy is an issue, is it the casein, the lactose, a DPP4 enzyme deficiency, lectins, hormones?  Is Organic OK?
    • if grains are an issues, is it a FODMAP problem, lectins, gluten, gliadins, DPP4 enzyme deficiency, pesticides, GMO?  Is Organic OK?
  • Enjoy!!!

    Madonna Guy
    You Tube:  New Leaf Health Team
    07 3348 6098
    healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au

All the Noise About Soy

The world we live in is a melting pot of mixed cultures which has resulted in the spread of many ingredients and cuisines. One such example is the soybean, finding its way onto the plates of many individuals, and offering a blend of protein, fibre, fats and phytonutrients (e.g. isoflavones). Despite a long traditional use in Asia and the scientifically proven benefits of soy consumption, vocal soy critics have cast concern over this eminent legume, confusing many people about whether soy is safe or not. Whilst some objections against soy for reasons such as overt allergy are well-founded, anti-soy arguments based on misinterpreted data have tainted the perceived safety of soy; leaving many individuals hesitant on whether to enjoy or avoid it. However, research offers remedies to several soy myths, enabling them to be busted – read on for details:

Myth #1: Soy is a goitrogen.

Fact: Goitrogens are substances that disrupt the production of thyroid hormone by interfering with the uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland. Soy has previously been classified as a goitrogen; however, this was based primarily on observations yielded from in vitro and animal studies,1 which in this instance offer limited relevance to humans due to differing metabolism between human and animals with regards to soy.2 That said, in situations of inadequate dietary iodine intakes, thyroid symptoms caused by this lack may be amplified by simultaneously high intakes of soy.3 Nevertheless, a comprehensive review of 14 human clinical studies provided little evidence that soy exerts anti-thyroid effects in healthy subjects,4 which is further supported by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).5

In summary, human evidence supports the safe consumption of dietary soy6,7 alongside adequate iodine intake.8

Myth #2: All soy is genetically modified.

Fact: In the past decade, there has been a surge in the production of genetically modified (GM) crops, with soy representing one of those most commonly affected. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are those whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques designed to produce specific traits. It is true that without sufficient data we can’t predict the effects of modified proteins, so selecting non-GMO soy products avoids unknown risks. As such, non-GMO sources of soy are available, and consuming it in this natural and unadulterated wholefood form is always advised for maximal health benefits.

The Humble Soybean Manifests in Many Dietary Ways.

Myth #3: You should only eat soy if it’s fermented.

Fact: In early China, soy was traditionally cooked like a grain. Processing of this legume then evolved across different regions of Asia to become a variety of modes like those illustrated in Figure 1. This included fermenting (to create tempeh, miso and natto), sprouting, grinding to make a ‘milk,’ and the pressing of unfermented bean curd to create tofu. Fermentation is especially favored in Korea and Japan for producing strong flavours, however doing so is not the golden rule for soy consumption. Similar to other legumes, simply softening soybeans with moisture and heat (e.g. boiling) causes the hardy components within the bean to denature. This allows the nutrients to then become bioavailable and absorbable, and therefore allow us to attain the benefits from consuming them.

In summary, soy has not always traditionally been fermented, and it is perfectly safe and appropriate to consume it in its unfermented form.

Myth #4: Soy is a phytoestrogen.

Fact: The term phytoestrogen describes the ability of certain compounds (found in foods and medicinal herbs) to act similarly to the actions of the hormone oestrogen. However, incorrect interpretations of the term phytoestrogen have raised some concern.

As it pertains to soy, experts have corrected the term phytoestrogen, defining the bean instead as a selective oestrogen receptor modulator or ‘SERM’.

Being a SERM, soy communicates with the body similarly to oestrogen as it can bind to what’s known as oestrogen ‘receptors’, which then modulates their activity (the ‘output’). For example, soy isoflavones have been shown to down-regulate oestrogen receptor alpha (ER-?) activity. Given that ER-? is associated with negative events such as tumour growth, SERM compounds (like the isoflavones found in soy) are viewed as beneficial, as they can favourably influence the state of play. What’s more, soy isoflavones also bind to the beneficial oestrogen receptor beta (ER- ?), whose activity is associated with protective health benefits in both men and women.9 In summary, a SERM such as soy does not increase oestrogen levels, but balances oestrogen receptor activity, which can lead to more optimal body function.

The Balance of Soy

It’s important to keep in mind that the health benefits of soy, like many wholefoods, are broad. The soybean is much more than just soy isoflavones – it provides additional health-promoting nutrients including protein, fibre, minerals and B vitamins, all nourishing your body in more ways than one. To enjoy some soy as part of a balanced, check out the healthy Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry recipe below. You too can reap the benefits of this highly versatile legume.

 

 

Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry 

Makes 1 serve.

Ingredients:

• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 200 g tofu
• 50 g broccoli
• 50 g cauliflower
• 1 clove garlic (cut into small pieces)
• 1 tablespoon of diced chives
• 1/3 cup water

Method:

• Heat oil with garlic until garlic is lightly cooked.
• Add cauliflower, tofu and broccoli and stir through very quickly.
• Add water and continue stirring.
• Cook on high heat for approximately four minutes and continue stirring.
• Add a little more water if required to prevent sticking.
• Add chives.
• Turn out and serve.

 

References

1. Messina M, Redmond G. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: A review of the relevant literature. Thyroid. 2006 Mar;16(3):249-258. doi: 10.1089/thy.2006.16.249.

2. Soukup ST, Helppi J, Müller DR, Zierau O, Watzl B, Vollmer G, et al. Phase II metabolism of the soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein in humans, rats and mice: a cross-species and sex comparison. Arch Toxicol. 2016 Jun;90(6):1335-1347. doi: 10.1007/s00204-016-1663-5.

3. Messina M. Soy and health update: evaluation of the clinical and epidemiologic literature. Nutrients. 2016 Nov;8(12):1-42. Doi: 10.3390/nu8120754.

4. Messina M, Redmond G. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: A review of the relevant literature. Thyroid. 2006 Mar;16(3):249-258. doi: 10.1089/thy.2006.16.249.

5. EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS). Risk assessment for peri?and post?menopausal women taking food supplements containing isolated isoflavones. EFSA Journal. 2015 Oct;13(10):4246. doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4246.

6. Rizzo G, Baroni L. Soy, soy foods and their role in vegetarian diets. Nutrients. 2018 Jan 5;10(1):43. doi:10.3390/nu10010043.

7 EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS). Risk assessment for peri?and post?menopausal women taking food supplements containing isolated isoflavones. EFSA Journal. 2015 Oct;13(10):4246. doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4246.

8. Rizzo G, Baroni L. Soy, soy foods and their role in vegetarian diets. Nutrients. 2018 Jan 5;10(1):43. doi:10.3390/nu10010043.

9. Kuiper GG, Lemmen JG, Carlsson B, Corton JC, Safe SH, van der Saag PT, et al. Interaction of estrogenic chemicals and phytoestrogens with estrogen receptor beta. Endocrinology. 1998 Oct;139(10):4252-4263.

Side effects of Statins/Synthetic hormones/ Bisphosphonates / Proton Pump Inhibitors!

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Great article by Dr Christine Northrup about drugs she wouldn’t take.  I pretty much read through this and agree with every word!

Call us on 3348 6098 if you’d like support for side-effects with your medications…

 

In Western Medicine, drugs are created to treat symptoms as opposed to the root cause of the condition. If you only suppress your symptoms, instead of also addressing the cause, your body will often protest by developing so-called “side effects” to medication—or even by developing another dis-ease. This is how our bodies talk to us.

But, there is nothing “side” about these effects—they are the direct result of the drugs.

Many of the most popular drugs being prescribed for millions have significant side effects that just don’t outweigh the risks. There are three four drugs, which are frequently prescribed to women, that fall into this category—and which I personally would not take.

Statins for Heart Health

Statin drugs are prescribed to lower cholesterol. And the myth is that lowering cholesterol is the key to preventing heart disease. But the latest research has shown that things are far more complex than that. The truth is that statins deplete the body’s CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10)—a vital nutrient for producing energy in the cells.Of all the organs, the heart requires the most energy and CoQ10 to function properly. So why take a medication for heart health that depletes a vital nutrient shown to support the heart—as well as every cell in your body?

Low levels of CoQ10 have also been linked to depression and dementia, as well as muscle weakness, fatigue, pain, and nerve damage—all of which are also known side effects of statins.And because your body makes less CoQ10 as you age, taking any medication that lowers CoQ10 is not advisable. Further, fat—and fat in the form of cholesterol—has been vilified as the enemy of a health heart. Actually, sugar is the real culprit, not fat, because sugar causes inflammation. And this inflammation taxes the cardiovascular system and the entire body.

If you want to protect your heart, start by reducing inflammation. This means a healthy diet and supplements that are high in antioxidants. Taking vitamin E has been shown to keep blood platelets slippery (so fewer blood clots) and reduce inflammation.3

Heart health also has an emotional component. If you want to truly heal your heart—or protect it at midlife—you need courage to look closely at any source of emotional pain, and then heal this brokenness with compassion, faith in the Divine, and emotional release. You were meant to have an open heart—to give and receive love, and to live joyfully.

Bisphosphonates for Bone Loss

Your body is constantly renewing itself. Older or damaged cells are eliminated by the body, so that newer, healthier cells can take their place. Your bones go through this cycle, too. If you have decreased bone mass, that means that your body is breaking down bone faster than it is creating new bone.

The most popular treatment for lower bone density is a biphosphonate, such as Actonel, Boniva, or Fosomax. These medications prevent bone breakdown and therefore bone loss. Although this sounds like a good idea, these drugs interfere with the natural cycle of breakdown and restoration.4 The result is older, porous, brittle bone—and brittle bone means an increased likelihood of fractures.5

Bisphosphonates have significant side effects, too, including back pain, joint pain, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and constipation.6 And some women have suffered osteonecrosis of the jaw—death of bone tissue—a condition that is not treatable7 We’re also seeing atypical fractures of the femur that don’t heal! All because of dense bone that doesn’t remodel and allow in a good blood supply. Many dentists are also seeing an increasing need for root canal surgery because of these drugs.

About 50 percent of women prescribed a biphosphonate will stop treatment because of these side effects.

Even with these side effects, bisphosphonates may offer some benefit for women over 70 who already have osteoporosis. But I want you to protect your bones much earlier than that! And that means promoting bone health naturally.

Be sure to get plenty of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. (Studies suggest that to keep your vitamin D levels in the optimal range requires 5,000 IU/day!)

I also suggest eating an alkaline diet, getting plenty of weight-bearing exercise, and considering bioidentical hormones or plant hormones (phytoestrogens) that have estrogenic effects.

Premarin, Prempro, and All Other Synthetic Hormones

I’ve been talking about bioidentical hormones for nearly three decades. And it still surprises me when women — and doctors — don’t know the difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic ones.

Bioidentical hormones are created to be an exact match in molecular structure to a woman’s body. That is what makes them “bioidentical.”

In contrast, non-bioidentical (synthetic) estrogen, such as the estrogen in Premarin, is bioidentical only if your native food is hay. That’s because it is made from the urine of pregnant horses. Hence the name Pre (pregnant) Mar (mares) in (urine).

Progestin is a synthetic form of progesterone that is derived from bioidentical progesterone. The reason for this is that you can’t patent a bioidentical hormone that naturally occurs in nature. And so—to make progesterone marketable—it was changed into a compound not native to the female human body.

For about two decades, Premarin (just estrogen) and Prempro (Premarin plus Provera, a synthetic form of progesterone) were the gold standard for many doctors. And the one-pill-fits-all-women approach was the only option women were given. Then, in 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative Studies showed that women who supplemented with synthetic estrogen or Progestin had more incidences of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, and blood clots than those who were given a placebo. Once thought to confer heart health and other benefits, women suddenly became wary of these drugs. 9

The best approach for hormone therapy is one that is unique to you. Women can have their levels of estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, and other hormones tested. Or simply pay attention to how you feel — which I find is a far more accurate way to assess hormone balance than testing your levels. The results (and how you feel) allow you and your doctor to customize a treatment plan that is right for you.

Start with the lowest dose possible and see how you do.

Better yet, change your diet to a low sugar, organic food approach. Add a natural herbal remedy such as Pueraria mirifica, maca, black cohosh, ground golden flaxseed, or chasteberry. And if that doesn’t work, then try the bioidenticals.

Remember that hormone therapy can take a few trials and errors. It’s a work in progress — just like you are at menopause.

You aren’t destined to wind up on various preventative medications. My mom is in her late 80s and she isn’t on any medication! Neither is my doctor friend Gladys who likes to say “93 and prescription free.” Before you take any medications regularly, make sure you are informed about all the risks and benefits. Does the drug cause nutritional deficiencies? Are you increasing your risk of cancer or heart disease? If so, seek out some alternatives that won’t put your health at risk.

One More Drug I Won’t Take — Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid

It is estimated that over 15 million Americans use proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, to treat heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or peptic ulcers. PPIs, including Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, are often prescribed as a first line of treatment because they reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces.

PPIs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world – and some of the most dangerous because most people have no idea how many vital roles stomach acid plays in our bodies. And the Catch-22 of these drugs is that when you stop taking them, the amount of acid your stomach releases surges, causing your symptoms to worsen.

Here’s why I won’t take PPIs:

  1. Increases Your Risk of Bacterial Overgrowth. Your stomach acid is what keeps harmful bacteria, such as H Pylori and many others, in check.
  2. Impairs Your Ability to Absorb Nutrients. You need stomach acid to absorb nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin B12, from food.
  3. Causes Magnesium Deficiency. With a calcium imbalance, some people experience magnesium deficiency along with leg cramps, and muscle weakness.
  4. Puts You at Risk for Osteoporosis. Some studies show that long-term PPI use can put you at risk for osteoporosis.
  5. Weakens Your Immune System. Your bowel wall contains nearly two-thirds of your body’s immune defenses. You need a healthy bowel with enough acid to keep harmful microorganism and toxins from reaching other organs in your body. If you constantly take PPIs, you are changing the ecology of your gut. This can ultimately affect your immunity, putting you at risk for diseases such as cancer and dementia.

My Tips for Eliminating Heartburn, GERD and Other Acid-related Problems

Making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, and eliminating food triggers, can go a long way towards healing acid-related problems.

Here are my 5 tips:

  1. Try an Elimination diet. Food triggers – such as gluten, corn, soy and others –may be the cause of your discomfort. Try eliminating suspected food triggers, as well as alcohol and caffeine, for 30 days.  Be sure to eliminate all forms of sugar! Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and high-quality protein sources. Also be sure to drink lots of fresh water. Add foods back one at a time to determine if a suspected food is the cause of your problem.
  2. Take a Hydrochloric Acid Supplement. Most acid-related symptoms are caused by too little acid, not too much. Try adding a hydrochloric acid (HCL) supplement. You can get these in health food stores. You can also try digestive enzymes. Look for a ph-balanced full spectrum formula such as Wobenzym. Finally, try adding a good-quality sea salt.
  3. Add a Probiotic. Probiotics can help restore your gut if you have been taking PPIs. Once your gut is restored, it will be able to destroy harmful bacteria, such as H Pylori.
  4. Get Off the Antacids: I also do not recommend long term use of antacids such as TUMS, Mylanta or Pepto–Bismol or H2 receptor blockers, such as Zantac, Pepcid, and Tagamet! If you need to take one, make sure it does not contain aluminium as these can cause constipation, and may reduce phosphate levels, which can result in fatigue and loss of appetite (not to mention that aluminium consumption may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.) Some antacids contain magnesium hydroxide, which can cause diarrhoea. Antacids made from calcium carbonate (like Tums) can cause acid rebound over time and may also contribute to kidney problems.
  5. Listen to Your Gut. Your gut health and your emotions so closely linked. Listen and learn what your gut is trying to tell you. Butterflies or nausea are often your inner wisdom speaking to you. Keep a journal of your symptoms to help you determine what factors may be associated with your symptoms. And remember, while no drug is 100 percent safe, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take one if you need it. But you should continually weigh the risks and benefits.

So, at New Leaf we can help with all this and more!

3348 6098

Do Genes Rule Your Life? Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer & Angelina Jolie

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Below is the article from Huffington Post about Angelina Jolie’s most recent preventative surgery, removing her ovaries and fallopian tubes and putting her into early menopause.  This was after her controversial decision to remove her breasts a few years ago.  Every woman needs to make decisions in their life about how to treat their hormones, how to look after themselves if conditions arise.  I know that I would avoid surgery, chemo, radiation at all costs.  Each time we have medical intervention (scans, biopsies, surgeries, mammograms), research indicates we may be increasing our risk of cancer.  Particularly in relation to preventing female hormonal cancers, always have intervention in the second half of your cycle (from ovulation through to your period) to reduce the risk of activating oestrogen-dominant cancers.

We all have between 500-1000 ‘dodgy genes’ such as the ones linked to breast cancer, that BRAC 1 and BRAC 2 genes,

What can we do to prevent breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer??

1. Maintain optimal weight – talk to us about how to start your journey of regaining your health and body.

2. Look at hormonal imbalances and work to correct them – cysts, fibroids, PCOS, endometriosis, pelvic inflammation:  there are many natural therapies that can help these conditions:  reflexology, microcurrent, kinesiology, herbal and nutritional supplements, oestrogen dominance reversal

3. Look at inflammatory processes in your body and start to quench the inflammation:  headaches & migraines, aches and pains, structural imbalances, acid/alkaline balance etc

4. Look at diet.  Know your allergies and intolerances and avoid where necessary.  Eat plenty of health greens, healthy colourful fruit and vegies, lots of organic food, lots of filtered water. Avoid excessive sugar, grains, bad fats, starchy carbs, alcohol, sweets.  Keep insulin resistance low (we can test for this), as some research is indicating if female cancers are not oestrogen dependent, they are often insulin dependent.

5. Lifestyle.  Enjoy life.  Relax.  Yoga.  Meditation.  Walk.  Swim.  Live!

6. Boost your immunity.  Know what’s going on inside your body (looking at your blood in real time, urinalysis, bio-impedance screenings).

Call us to see if we can help you (I know we can!)

 

 

3348 6098

Angelina Jolie has revealed that she underwent preventative surgery to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed last week after tests found inflammatory markers that could be an indication of cancer.

Jolie, who had a preventive double mastectomy in 2013 when genetic tests showed an 87 percent risk of breast cancer, wrote in a New York Times op-ed that the same BRCA1 gene gives her a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.

As a result, the 39-year-old filmmaker, actress, UN envoy and mother of six had been planning to undergo the procedure for some time.

It is a less complex surgery than the mastectomy, but its effects are more severe. It puts a woman into forced menopause,” Jolie wrote. “So I was readying myself physically and emotionally, discussing options with doctors, researching alternative medicine, and mapping my hormones for estrogen or progesterone replacement. But I felt I still had months to make the date.”

When she learned two weeks ago that tests revealed higher inflammation levels, Jolie and her doctors decided it was time. Her husband, actor Brad Pitt, who was in France at the time, flew to be with her during the procedure, a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

Jolie wrote that doctors found a small benign tumor on one ovary, but no signs of cancer in any of the tissues.

As a result of the surgery, she is now in menopause.

After her double mastectomy, Jolie revealed to People magazine that she was planning to have her ovaries removed. She also told Entertainment Weekly that she was preparing to have another surgery to prevent cancer.

In her latest op-ed, Jolie emphasised that her decisions are specific to her, and that a family history of the disease played a role in her decision. She lost her mother, grandmother and aunt to cancer.

Jolie said other women may have different options, writing:

“I did not do this solely because I carry the BRCA1 gene mutation, and I want other women to hear this. A positive BRCA test does not mean a leap to surgery. I have spoken to many doctors, surgeons and naturopaths. There are other options. Some women take birth control pills or rely on alternative medicines combined with frequent checks. There is more than one way to deal with any health issue. The most important thing is to learn about the options and choose what is right for you personally.”

She added that younger women may have the option to remove the fallopian tubes but keep their ovaries so they do not go into menopause and can still have children.

“It is not easy to make these decisions,” Jolie wrote. “But it is possible to take control and tackle head-on any health issue. You can seek advice, learn about the options and make choices that are right for you. Knowledge is power.”

Madonna on 4BC Health Talk…

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Tonight we’re chatting about a couple of topics we’ve seen lots of in the clinic lately:

Topic # 1 – Vitamin D deficiency and winter depression. I’ve taken the following article from Dr Mercola.com Vitamin D is incredible – it affects all of our hormonal and immune functions, is involved in mental health and leaky gut. It improves our genes and is something to definitiely take into consideration for cancer prevention – all cancers!

Vitamin D deficiency is one of those things that many Aussies have and is becoming more prevalent worldwide.

Vitamin D influences over 10 percent of your genes. Vitamin D deficiency is epidemic across the world and could be contributing to hundreds of common health problems. There are 33,800 medical papers on vitamin D, and this veritable mountain of research shows that vitamin D has far-reaching benefits to your physical and mental health.

Recent research found significant interaction between vitamin D levels and inflammatory bowel disease
Vitamin D supplementation has also been found to reduce both depression and pain in diabetic women
Studies show that vitamin D has tremendous protective effects against a variety of different cancers, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, breast, prostate, and skin cancers

Vitamin D Might Be Able to Slash Your Breast Cancer Risk by 90 Percent

Vitamin D research continues to impress upon us the importance of appropriate sun exposure as the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D levels.

Winter limits sun exposure for many up to six months of the year. Even in states such as Queensland there is a massive vitamin D deficiency.

It has become abundantly clear that vitamin D deficiency is a growing epidemic across the world and could be contributing to hundreds of common health problems. In fact, correcting your vitamin D deficiency may cut your risk of dying from any cause by 50 percent, according to one analysis.

If this sounds too incredible to be true, consider that vitamin D influences nearly 3,000 of your 24,000 genes. This occurs via vitamin D receptors, which can be found throughout your body, and should come as no great surprise given that humans evolved in the sun.

Vitamin D Beneficially Affects Gene Activity

Just one example of an important gene that vitamin D up-regulates is your ability to fight infections and chronic inflammation. It also produces over 200 anti-microbial peptides, the most important of which is cathelicidin, a naturally-occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic.

This is one of the explanations for why vitamin D is so effective against colds and influenza.

According to a January 2013 press release by Orthomolecular Medicine, there are now 33,800 medical papers with vitamin D in the title or abstract, and this veritable mountain of research shows that vitamin D has far-reaching benefits to your physical and mental health. Such research has shown that vitamin D can improve:

•Pregnancy outcomes (reduced risk of Cesarean section and pre-eclampsia)
•Type 1 and 2 diabetes
•Heart disease and stroke
•Autism, Alzheimer’s, and other brain dysfunction
•Bacterial and viral infections

Some of the most recently published studies, which I’ll review here, demonstrate how boosting your vitamin D levels can improve depression and pain in diabetics, Crohn’s disease, and breast cancer.

Relevance of Vitamin D in Crohn’s Disease

While previous research has associated low vitamin D levels with an increased risk of Crohn’s disease and shown that correcting your vitamin D deficiency can improve symptoms of the disease, one of the most recent studies found a “significant interaction between vitamin D levels and Crohn’s disease susceptibility, as well as a significant association between vitamin D levels and genotype.”

Serum vitamin D levels were found to be significantly lower in patients with Crohn’s disease. Of the seven DNA sequence variations examined for effects, two variants showed a significant association with vitamin D levels in those with Crohn’s, and four variants were associated with vitamin D levels among controls.

In short, it shows that vitamin D can affect genetic expression associated with Crohn’s disease, and make matters either better or worse, depending on whether you have enough of it or not.

Vitamin D May Reduce Depression and Pain

In related news, vitamin D supplementation has been found to reduce both depression and pain in diabetic women. As reported by PsychCentral:

“The investigators set out to determine how vitamin D supplementation might affect women with type 2 diabetes who were also suffering from depression.

At the beginning of the study, 61 percent of women reported neuropathic pain, such as shooting or burning pain in their legs and feet, and 74 percent had sensory pain, such as numbness and tingling in their hands, fingers and legs.

During the course of the study, the participants took a 50,000 IU vitamin D2 supplement every week for 6 months (7,000 iu daily). By the end of the study, the women’s depression levels had significantly improved following the supplementation.

Furthermore, participants who suffered from neuropathic and/or sensory pain at the beginning of the study reported that these symptoms decreased at 3 and 6 months following vitamin D2 supplementation.”

Additional support for the theory that vitamin D can be beneficial in the fight against type 2 diabetes was published in last year. Here, the researchers found “a strong additive interaction between abdominal obesity and insufficient 25(OH)D in regard to insulin resistance.” They also claim 47 percent of the increased odds of insulin resistance can be explained by the interaction between insufficient vitamin D levels and a high body mass index (BMI).

Yet another study published in Diabetes Care also suggests vitamin D supplements may help prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus in people with pre-diabetes. While the study is only an observational one and cannot establish causality, the researchers report that the participants who had the highest vitamin D levels were 30 percent less likely to develop diabetes during the three-year evaluation period, compared to those with the lowest levels.

Cut Your Breast Cancer Risk with Vitamin D, Cancer Surgeon Suggests

Meanwhile, a recent Science World Report highlighted the recommendation by British breast cancer surgeon, Professor Kefah Mokbel, who urges women to take daily vitamin D supplements to cut their risk of breast cancer. According to the featured article:

“Prof. Mokbel has also requested Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, to make [vitamin D] pills freely available as this would result in saving about a 1,000 lives annually. ‘I am calling for all women from the age of 20 to be given free vitamin D supplements on the NHS because it is effective in protecting against breast cancer,’ Prof. Mokbel said.

Vitamin D Is Critical for Cancer Prevention

Indeed, an ever growing number of studies show that vitamin D has tremendous protective effects against a variety of different cancers, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, breast, prostate, and skin cancers. Theories linking vitamin D deficiency to cancer have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory trials.

For example, a 2007 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded that a serum 25(OH)D level of more than 33 ng/mL was associated with a 50 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer. And research published in the International Journal of Cancer two years ago found that a mere 10 ng/ml increase in serum vitamin D levels was associated with a 15 percent reduction in colorectal cancer incidence and 11 percent reduction in breast cancer incidence.

Another 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that after four years of follow up, cancer-free survival was 77 percent higher in women who received 1,100 IU vitamin D and 1,450 mg calcium per day, compared to those who received either a placebo or calcium by itself. According to Carole Baggerly, founder of GrassrootsHealth, as much as 90 percent of ordinary breast cancer may in fact be related to vitamin D deficiency. Breast cancer has even been described as a “vitamin D deficiency syndrome,” much like the commoncold and seasonal flu.

Most Important—Maintaining Optimal Vitamin D Serum Levels

Of utmost importance is the maintenance of a therapeutically beneficial serum level year-round. Here, studies indicate that the bare minimum for cancer prevention is around 40 ng/ml. Research suggests an ideal level might be around 60-80 ng/ml. A 2009 review article15 titled: “Vitamin D for Cancer Prevention: Global Perspective,” published in Annals of Epidemiology states that:

“Higher serum levels of the main circulating form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), are associated with substantially lower incidence rates of colon, breast, ovarian, renal, pancreatic, aggressive prostate and other cancers. Epidemiological findings combined with newly discovered mechanisms suggest a new model of cancer etiology that accounts for these actions of 25(OH)D and calcium. Its seven phases are disjunction, initiation, natural selection, overgrowth, metastasis, involution, and transition (abbreviated DINOMIT). Vitamin D metabolites prevent disjunction of cells and are beneficial in other phases.

It is projected that raising the minimum year-around serum 25(OH)D level to 40 to 60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L) would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, and three fourths of deaths from these diseases in the United States and Canada, based on observational studies combined with a randomized trial.

Such intakes also are expected to reduce case-fatality rates of patients who have breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer by half… The time has arrived for nationally coordinated action to substantially increase intake of vitamin D and calcium.” [Emphasis mine]

Buy PROVEN vitamin D which is cleansed, which works, which doesn’t add toxins to your body. Call us on 3348 6098 to discuss your nutritional needs.

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
3348 6098
94 Edith Street, Wynnum 4179

Healing Hormones

Friday, June 20th, 2014

A lot of clients having been coming in lately with menstrual and hormonal imbalances. Clinically, things often tend to come in waves, but the more women I treat the more I realise how timeless and important it is that we care for our hormonal health.  A woman experiences on average, 300 to 400 menstrual cycles in her lifetime, so from that perceptive, it makes sense to make menstrual and hormonal wellness a priority if we are seeking a balanced, healthy life, whatever your health goal may be.

Ovulation and menstruation are processes in the body that connect in with our emotional life, our stress, and how we feed our bodies. It’s important that we listen to signs and symptoms, as they can be extremely useful pointers to things that are out of balance, either physically or emotionally.

The traditional medical answer to menstrual issues and contraception is synthetic hormones. Tolerability to these does vary considerably between women, depending on genetics, and often on detoxification ability.  It’s astonishing the number of women who are taking some form of synthetic hormone medication, very often from a young age, to manage (suppress) symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Sometimes coming off hormone medications (including the oral contraceptive, IUDs, or implants) can be a hard road. And it can be long.

Fortunately, there is an enormous amount of natural support available for correcting hormonal imbalances and relieving related symptoms. Herbal medicine is abundant in herbs that support women’s health. Naturopathically we also use specific nutrients for supporting hormones, and Kinesiology to reduce stress, create inner balance and get to the heart of emotional issues fuelling hormone imbalances. We also offer Chi Nei Tsang, a healing abdominal massage to relieve congestion and blockages, with which we have excellent results with menstrual pain.

The keys to treating hormone issues successfully, naturally, are;

–          Get the right prescription from an experienced practitioner. Hormone issues are complex. There are a myriad of herbs and supplements with different actions, so it is essential the right ones are chosen for your unique health picture. At New Leaf we combine decades of study with muscle testing, matching our experience and knowledge with what your body is saying.

–          Stay on track. Take your supplements and herbs, and do your best to stick to a healthy plan. It’s all worth it. It all makes a difference.

–          Trust and Patience. As Hormone issues are often long-standing, it is important to be patient with your body, and trust it is continually striving towards balance. Your body’s natural urge is towards healing. When we identify any blockages to healing, we can remove them, and your body does the rest. It can take time, but it does happen.

–          Develop inner attention. Often when symptoms come up, we immediately want to move away from them, resist them, shut them down.  If we pause for a moment, listen to our symptoms, we can create the space to ask ourselves, ‘what is it my body really needs, right now?’ The answer often comes to us. So often, it is in some way, a call for rest or self-nurture. There is no condition in the body that is not improved by increased rest and stress reduction.

Other things you can do at home:

Actually, what you do day to day can make a huge difference to your menstrual wellbeing;

–          Go on a water diet – meaning, in addition to the food you eat, drink only pure water, and plenty of it. Avoid all other drinks except for herbal teas and green tea. Within a week you can notice changes in your skin tone and hydration, energy, digestion, and concentration. Always drink water at room temperature and away from meals.  

–          Sleep in total darkness. For hormones to balance well, we need to create a natural, healthy balance of light when we are sleeping. Avoid LCD screens or TV late at night, and ensure your bedroom is dark. The exception to this is during full moon, where allowing moonlight into your room if possible is recommended, or alternatively putting on a small nightlight to mimic moonlight.

–          Eat regularly – our hormones are greatly affected by fluctuations in blood sugar. Eating healthily is one thing – we also need to eat regularly to reduce stress on the body caused by big fluctuations in our blood sugar. For many of us, this means breakfast, lunch, a small snack, and dinner. Make dinner a light meal if possible.

–          Quit sugar – Sugar can aggravate hormonal symptoms, particularly skin breakouts, PMS and general irritability. It also has a huge impact on ovarian issues such as PCOS.

–          Take space – Classic author Virginia Woolf wrote that ‘every woman needs a room of her own’. Very wise words indeed. An important part of anyone’s life is having the physical and emotional space to just ‘be’. We all need time out on a regular basis. If there isn’t a spare room to call your own in your house, alternatives could be talking a walk outside, or transforming the bathroom in the evenings with candles, music, essential oils and an Epsom salts bath.    

–          Journal – writing and reflecting can be extremely therapeutic and also quite revealing. Taking time to write down thoughts and feelings can help reveal recurrent patterns over the course of the month. Often we write off intense emotions as simply part of PMS, but often there are deeper and very real issues that then remain unaddressed. Journaling can help identify these so that they can be processed.

–          Practice Yoga – Yoga is enormously beneficial for hormonal health. By increasing circulation and calming the mind, yoga can help to reduce pain, bloating, PMS and improve energy and overall sense of wellbeing.

We are here to help!

Call us for an assessment, consultation and personalised treatment plan.

Why is Sugar, particularly Fructose, so bad for our Health?

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Sugar is driving every metabolic disorder that is killing humans:  heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, dementia.

In the 70’s when heart disease and diabetes was on the rise, we were told that fat was the villain.  Companies, governments, medical researchers all around the world jumped on this bandwagon and now ‘low fat’ products – muesli bars, yoghurts, milks, drinks, chips – were better for you – with the idea that if a food didn’t have fat in it, it couldn’t make you fat!

However, take the fat out of food and it tastes awful, so they had to replace it with something – sugar!  Eventually sugar became the essential additive.  Foods then became low in fats, high in sugar which is so much worse for our health.

Imagine these ‘health foods’:

  • 98% fat free yoghurt – you might as well is eat lollies or ice-cream!
  • Real egg mayonnaise – the low fat variety – has 6 x the sugar that the regular one has
  • low fat muesli bars – often contain 20-40% sugar
  • The Heart Society actually recommended (in the 80’s) that high fat foods be replaced by:  hard candy, gumdrops, sugar, syrup, honey, jam, jelly, marmalade – in order to ‘control the amount and kind of fat, saturated fatty acids and dietary cholesterol you eat’.  Even now, the tick of approval, seems to have nothing to do with health.

So, in the 70’s and 80’s sugar was recommended, instead of fat, to keep up healthy!

Now that 60-70% of Australia’s population are overweight and obese, it seems that the low-fat diet we’ve been following for 30 years hasn’t worked.  In naturopathic circles we’ve been working against this for decades, however that ‘tick of approval’ from the National Heart Foundation, is what so many people go by for their health.

  • Many cereals such as Cheerios & Milo Cereal have up to 30% sugar – endorsed by the National Heart Foundation
  • The National Heart Foundation claims that the tick is ‘simply to help consumers find healthier options’ – how is 30% sugar a healthier option?
  • In the U.S. there’s been a 7 x increase in sugar consumption in the past 40 years – tomato & barbeque sauces, processed foods, hamburger meats, hamburger buns  – just about anything with a ‘label’ has added sugar, or sugar alternatives such as aspartame, which are equally deadly to our health.

Since the agricultural revolution – when grains became a major part of our diet – our carbohydrate intake has slowly increased – but never more so than in the past 40 years.  This leads to a constantly high insulin levels, which messes with our metabolism, and allows us to lay down fat in our bodies.  In fact, insulin is the main hormone which causes fat deposition in the tissues.

The higher the insulin, the more likely you are to store fat.

Now, if it’s subcutaneous fat, the type that stores just in underneath the skin, that’s not so bad.  Visceral fat, however, is deposited around the gut, intestines, liver and other organs – is incredibly bad for us.  Visceral fat releases ‘pro-inflammatory hormones’ which cause inflammation elsewhere in the body:  causing diabetes and heart disease.  It is possible to be lean, and metabolically unhealthy.  Around 40% of ‘thin/normal weight’ people are metabolically unhealthy with abnormal levels of visceral fat and poor insulin metabolism.

Professor Michael Cowley, an Obesity Expert at Monash University says ‘you might as well eat sugar as many of the health foods’ available today.’

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate made of two molecules:  glucose and fructose.  This bond is cleaved in the gut, before it’s absorbed.  It’s been shown that glucose drives the fat storage just in underneath the skin, whereas fructose deposits fat around the organs, like the liver, causing fatty plaques.  When you have excess fat around the liver, it messes up fat and insulin metabolism and you end up with Insulin Resistance.  This is when the liver doesn’t work effectively, so the pancreas has to release excess insulin.

Insulin Resistance also causes hypertension, changes in the brain that might result in altered brain function, altered cognitive function and even dementia.  It can increase cell proliferation which can cause cancer, it can cause vascular smooth muscle proliferation which can cause heart disease.

Professor Robert Lustig, Paediatric Endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, says that Sugar can also accelerate ageing:  if you had your fruit juice this morning, you are ageing 7 times faster!

When you ‘paint’ your BBQ meat with BBQ sauce, it browns the meat.  This ‘browning’ is happening inside your body as well.  It’s known as the ‘browning reaction’ and it causes cellular ageing.  The reason manufacturers add fructose is because is browns better, faster, quicker.  It’s why it’s added to bread (to brown the toast), sauces (to brown the meats) – it browns your insides better too!  If you had a glass of fruit juice this morning, you’re ageing 7 x quicker!

Fructose is mainly found in fruit, that’s why they call it fruit sugar.  Now, you might be thinking ‘how can it be bad for me – it’s fruit!’.  But if you had to have the entire amount of fruit that we would have used to make the juice, you would be so full you couldn’t eat the meal.  Juicing removed the fibrous pulp portion of the fruit – so you can take in a whole lot more calories without feeling as full, and it’s the fibrous pulp which balances the sugar/fructose portion of the fruit!

If you’re going to eat fruit, eat the whole fruit – because it’s the fibre that tames your insulin response to sugar.

Chronically high levels of fructose is not only toxic to your liver, it messes with the hormones that control appetite.  There’s a hormone in your stomach called ghrelin which controls your appetite – it’s the hunger hormone.  When your stomach is empty, the ghrelin goes up, tells your brain it’s time to eat.  Then you eat, and ghrelin levels go down, the hunger goes away.  When you eat sugar, fructose does not get registered by the brain as you having eaten, you stay hungry!

If you need support in finding out what you should (and shouldn’t) be eating – call us on 3348 6098 to make an appointment.  We find that many of our clients have issues with Insulin Resistance, dealing with Fructose, releasing ghrelin and so much more!

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
3348 6098

 

HCG Weight Loss Linked with Better Hormonal Control, Less Stress, Less Depression and Less Anxiety!

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

HCG Helps with Hormonal Control!!  Lose 10-20 kilos in 40 days!

There’s a lot of interesting information out there about HCG.  We’ve been using it clinically for 2 years with VLA Bioimpedance Analysis Screenings & Insulin Resistance Testing and find it amazing.  It works correctly for long-term weight loss when the plan is followed correctly!  We also find that higher fat mass is linked with stress hormones so unexpected benefits include less anxiety, less depression and less stress!

There are many positive impact of HCG has on all of our hormones as our weight reduces.  When our BMI is over 30 our fat mass becomes the number one hormone producing tissue in our bodies – controlling so many things:

*  Supports fertility for both men and women – losing 6+ kilos can increase chances of falling pregnant by a whopping 40%.  IVF is only successful in around 5% of cases.  The combination of weight loss and IVF definitely improves outcomes for our clients.

*  feel good hormones – that’s why weight is directly linked with anxiety, depression, stress, frustration and irritability

*  Pain & Inflammation:  when our BMI is over 30 we are constantly releasing inflammatory hormones – our body then stores fluid to dilute these hormones.  Eventually it raises our BP and this can be the first indication of inflammation.

*  Weight is also linked to immune system issues.  When our feel good hormones are down and our stress levels are high (BMI over 30 does this) then our immune system takes its cue from the hormones and starts to shut down.  Like a petulant teenager, the immune system says ‘you don’t want to be here? me neither!’

*  Blood Sugar Balancing:  we’ve found pre-diabetic/diabetic clients can come off their medication (not Type 1) after HCG.  Because fat mass controls so many hormones in the body, insulin resistance is a huge problem upsetting sleep, energy, stress levels and other hormones.  HCG often takes people back into normal cholesterol levels as well as less insulin resistance!

*  Energy Improvement:  because fat mass increases adrenalin and stress hormones, it tends to switch off/down our thyroid and energy production pathways.  As the fat mass reduces energy generally improves – especially when combined with detoxification supplements throughout the process.

Always find out what supplements will be most appropriate for you throughout the HCG process.  Phone consultations available at New Leaf.

HCG Specialists at New Leaf Natural Therapies Wynnum, Brisbane 3348 6098

 

Madonna Guy ND
Join us on Facebook:  New Leaf Natural Therapies  AND  HCG Weight Loss Support Group

Foundations of health – What and Why?

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

 

Foundations of Health is our Gold Standard health care plan. It’s a 9 month Naturopathic plan and addresses your health in a deep, systematic way. We focus on an in-depth cleansing process, starting with clearing the gut and boosting digestive function – vital to our overall health. We continue with the other major filtration systems in the body – the liver, immune system and kidneys. 9 months flies by, there is so much work to do!

Our aim is to lift you out of sub-optimal health and to keep you in excellent health for the long term. It’s ideal for long term health issues (with a medical diagnosis or not!), such as chronic fatigue, poor immunity, cancer, diabetes, allergies, digestive disorders, and many others.

Our Foundations of Health clients enjoy fantastic discount on all other services and Naturopathic testing – Live Blood, VLA, Insulin/Cholesterol, Kinesiology, Remedial massage, Infrared Sauna, Microcurrent, Raindrop Aromatherapy, Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal massage, and Facials.

Need a viality boost? Trying to lose weight? Crashing in the afternoons?

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Many of us still opt out of eating breakfast, or if it is eaten, its a rushed slice of toast that doesn’t sustain us past 10am.. Habits like this can lead to blood sugar crashes, weight gain (you eat less, but your metabolism winds way down and your body keeps all the calories it can when you do eat), fatigue, moodiness, and of course, nutrient deficiencies.  

Breakfast really is the most important meal – it can influence how we eat for the rest of the day! In general, breakfast eaters weigh less than those who skip it. Eating breakfast gets your metabolism going, helps to maintain a healthy body weight, helps you concentrate, have more energy throughout the day and deal better with stress. If you skip breakfast, you are very likely to end up compensating for it later in the day by overeating the wrong foods.

If you lack appetite in the morning, a smoothie is a great way to get an easy to digest, nutrition-packed breakfast. Try this recipe:

Breakfast smoothie

 1 cup almond or rice milk

1 serve of plain, undenatured whey, rice or pea protein powder

1 teaspoon of honey or to taste

1 /2 cup fresh or frozen fruit, such as berries, pear, banana or peaches

A dash of pure vanilla extract or almond extract

1 teaspoon of Spirulina powder or Greens powder

Grated  fresh nutmeg or organic cinnamon powder

 1-2 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients and enjoy. Cinnamon is great for blood sugar balance, Spirulina or greens powders boost energy and add an extra serve of all important greens to your breakfast. Protein supports blood sugar balance and cuts cravings for carbs or sweets later in the day. High quality protein powders are available from the New Leaf clinic dispensary.

For more on weight loss and boosting vitality, immunity and health, see us at the New Leaf clinic for a personalised plan.

The healing journey with New Leaf

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Embarking on a health journey is a brave move to make. It means looking at the issues you may have avoided for a while and facing them head on. It’s a process that is often scary yet can also be richly rewarding. When you are the best version of yourself you can be, you can really shine and be there for those close to you.

It can be said that it’s a means of coming back to your basic self  – seeing your body as a precious temple and paying attention to what you really need. It’s treating yourself gently and gaining a greater connection to the whole of you – body and mind. As one of my favourite authors Sarah Avant Stover puts it – the only way out is in and through. To go through our health issues rather than going around them is the only real way to back to balance and health.

At New Leaf, we are committed to your success in this process. We know it’s yours, to go through in your way. Offering a harmonious range of therapies, we seek to find the real cause of your health issues and guide you back to balance and health.

We see your journey to optimal health as a partnership between yourself and us. Thus, we have a few suggestions for you in order that you get the best results from your treatment with us:

  • Eat a fresh, wholefoods diet. When you eat fresh, vital food, you feel just that. Everything we eat nourishes our cells. If we consider that the body is really the only vessel we have to take us through this lifetime, it makes sense to nourish it with the best food possible.
  • Drink a minimum of 2 litres of pure filtered water daily. Besides hydration, there are countless benefits of drinking adequate pure water. Improved energy, detoxification, digestion, skin condition and weight loss are just a few.
  • Limit caffeine, or better still, cut it altogether. Caffeine creates extra work for your liver, and can place stress on the adrenal glands and nervous system. It also promotes dehydration and in the long term, fatigue. There are many delicious herbal teas and coffee alternatives available in supermarkets and health food stores.
  • Sleep 8 hours a night. While sleeping as little as possible in modern society is often considered admirable behaviour, the truth is, it promotes premature aging, weight gain, can increase stress and complicate many other health issues. It may require changing your usual routine a little, but getting 8 hours of quality sleep a night is an investment in your health.
  • Spend a few minutes a day alone, doing some quiet breath awareness in a comfortable seated position. All you need do is focus on your breath with your eyes closed. This can have wonderfully beneficial effects on your nervous system, improving mood, reducing stress and creating calm. A calm body heals well!
  • Increase body movement. This means different things to different people. Start with where you are at in terms of your current physical fitness, and do what feels right for you. Even if it just means adding incidental exercise by taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to a colleague’s desk rather than emailing, or taking a short walk before or after work. Start where you are at the moment and build gently from there.

These are simple steps you can take today to improve your body’s ability to balance and heal. You can do one at a time, a few, or all of them, whatever feels right and good for you. It’s up to you.

We look forward to supporting you in achieving a state of greater health.