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Cancer, Obesity

Obesity and Cancer

Strong Evidence for 11 Cancers and Obesity

An extremely comprehensive research article has been published in the British Medical Journal  with strong evidence for particular cancers and being obese.

An increase in body mass index (BMI) was associated with a higher risk of developing:

  • oesophageal adenocarcinoma;
  • colon and rectal cancer in men;
  • biliary tract system and pancreatic cancer;
  • endometrial cancer in premenopausal women;
  • kidney cancer; and multiple myeloma.
Weight gain and waist to hip circumference ratio were associated with:
  • higher risks of postmenopausal breast cancer in women who have never used hormone replacement therapy and endometrial cancer, respectively.
The risk of postmenopausal breast cancer among women who have never used HRT increased by 11% for each 5 kg of weight gain in adulthood, and the risk of endometrial cancer increased by 21% for each 0.1 increase in waist to hip ratio.

Five additional associations were supported by strong evidence when categorical measures of adiposity were included: weight gain with colorectal cancer; body mass index with gallbladder, gastric cardia, and ovarian cancer; and multiple myeloma mortality.

Immune

Lindy’s Top 5 Tips for Staying Well in Winter

By Naturopath Lindy Cook

The winter months are a time for conservation and cultivation of energy. As the weather cools and the days shorten, go to sleep earlier and get up later. Take the opportunity to slow down. Sleep in on weekends and nourish yourself with warm and wholesome foods. Winter is also the season of sniffles and lurgies! Most of us shudder at the idea of getting stuck in bed with the dreaded flu but there is plenty you can do to keep your immune system primed and strong.

Vitamin D
You might be surprised to know that most people have low vitamin D levels (especially in the winter). Chances are if you work in an office from 9 to 5 most days of the week, or just don’t manage to spend much time outdoors, your Vitamin D levels will be low.
Aside from supporting bone health, reducing your risk of many cancers and other auto-immune diseases a number of recent studies have shown that optimal Vitamin D levels can boost your immune system, reducing the likelihood of coming down with a cold or flu. One recent study found that people with lower levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to develop influenza, compared to people with high levels of vitamin D.
It’s best to get your vitamin D from the sun if you can. Of course that’s not always possible during winter (especially here in Melbourne!) If you suspect your levels are low during the cooler months, your best bet is to get a blood test before you start supplementing. This is the most accurate way to see if a supplement is really required and, if so, the dosage that’s needed.
While there is debate as to ideal concentrations, the following is a good guide:

  • vitamin D sufficiency > 75 nmol/L
  • sub-optimal levels 50-75 nmol/L
  • vitamin D insufficiency 25-50 nmol/L
  • vitamin D deficiency 15-25 nmol/L
  • severe vitamin D deficiency < 15 nmol/L

Your supplement should come from a natural form of vitamin D – either cod liver oil or an oil-based D3 supplement. The best food sources of natural vitamin D are egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, organ meats, and some portabello (highest), oyster and white mushrooms. However, keep in mind that it’s tough to get enough vitamin D in the winter from food sources alone.

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains two special active constituents, lauric and caprylic acid, both well known for their anti-fungal and ‘anti-candida’ action. What’s not so well know is that lauric acid is also anti-viral. The body converts it to monolaurin, an antiviral agent that fights of a number of viruses including influenza. If you’re looking to boost your immunity naturally, simply use a teaspoon of coconut oil a day. Add it to your smoothies, cooking, baking or just eat it straight from the jar!

Garlic
​Not only is garlic a wonderful herb that enhances your winter dishes with a rich and warming flavour, it has a long history as an immune booster. During the First World War raw garlic juice was used as an antiseptic for bathing wounds and helped save saved thousands of lives. The major active component found in garlic, allicin, is responsible for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Studies have shown that people including garlic supplements experienced fewer and less severe colds compared to those taking a placebo. Try adding some regularly to your diet throughout the colder months.There isn’t a recommended daily allowance for garlic, but German researchers recommend a dose of 1-4 cloves a day which provides around 4,000mcg of alliin. To cure a chesty cough crush three cloves of raw garlic, sprinkle one tablespoon of brown sugar and leave in a covered saucer for six hours. Sip the liquid throughout the day until the cough has gone. If you feel yourself coming down with a cold or flu chop a clove in four pieces (the allicin is more potent when exposed to air), then swallow it down whole, without chewing, as though it was a supplement. That way you can avoid the awful garlic breathe you would get from chewing it whole.

​Turmeric
I don’t know about you but all the on-trend cafes I walk in to these days are serving up turmeric ‘golden milk’ lattes. And quite frankly, I love ‘em! It’s the most delicious way to warm up from the inside out over the cool winter months and do your body some good at the same time. Without doubt turmeric is the latest spice to be crowned a superfood. High in antioxidants and considered a natural anti-inflammatory, people who consume it are less susceptible to colds, coughs and congestion.

Turmeric – especially curcumin its chemical compound – contains potent antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-cancer and anti-bacterial properties. Laboratory studies found that curcumin reduced viral replication of 90% and more of cells infected by influenza virus. It also displayed an ability to protect infection from spreading to other cells. This ability to halt replication of microbes and viruses means that turmeric could offer therapeutic benefits in treating flu.

​Turmeric is considered a natural antibiotic in Ayurvedic medicine. For those with respiratory tract infections – common flu symptoms – mix water, ½ tsp turmeric and little milk and gargle with this. A cup of warm coconut or almond milk with a teaspoon of turmeric powder can fight flu, colds and cough. I like to add in a little extra ginger, cinnamon and black pepper for that added kick and warmth, here’s my recipe . In fact, I think I might just go and make one right now….

Exercise
Even though it’s tempting to pull back the covers and snooze a little longer or go home straight after work and snuggle up on the couch on those grey, chilly winter days it’s vital you keep up your exercise regimen. A recent study showed that even a moderate level of regular exercise has a long-term cumulative effect on our immune system. It found that individuals who went for a brisk walk several times a week reduced the number of sick days they took by around 40%. Indeed, regular aerobic exercise, five or more days a week for more than 20 minutes a day, rises above all other lifestyle factors in lowering sick days during the winter cold season. The trick is to not go overboard as overly strenuous exercise releases the stress hormone, cortisol, which can weaken the immune system.

Probiotics
Probiotics are essentially ‘good bacteria’ found in naturally fermented foods and supplements that help keep your immune system strong and ward off infections. Around 70 to 80 per cent of your immune system resides in your gut so it’s critical you have a really good, balanced gut flora – your first line of defense against all those nasty winter bugs. Indeed, the latest research published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that New Zealand athletes had about 40% fewer colds and gastrointestinal infections when they took a probiotic compared to when they took a placebo.

When bacterial imbalance occurs in the gut, it can throw your system out of whack and leave you more susceptible to those lurking winter bugs. Foods like sugar, cake, biscuits – anything white and processed really – along with alcohol and certain drugs like antibiotics and the Pill have a detrimental impact on the gut flora. If you have really been over indulging or had to take a course of antibiotics it’s a good idea to take a good quality probiotic supplement. But, of course, my favourite thing to do is use ‘food as medicine’ to truly boost the power of your immune system and stay healthy and vital throughout the winter months. After all, it all starts with prevention.

Try to include a serve of at least one of these foods daily to promote ‘good’ bacteria and support immunity.

Kombucha tea is a fermented tea that has been around for more than 2,000 years with a rich anecdotal history of health benefits. Made from sweetened tea that’s been fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (a SCOBY, a.k.a. “mother” because of its ability to reproduce, or “mushroom” because of its appearance). It contains billions of friendly gut organisms.
Kefir is a cultured/fermented dairy drink that’s been used for thousands of years as a health elixir. It’s also the easiest form of dairy to digest, and it is generally 99 percent lactose free.
Natural yoghurt is my perfect, go-to snack food. It’s rich in protein and good fats to help keep you feeling full and your blood sugar levels balanced. I like to serve mine topped with chopped nuts, chia seeds and berries. You can also add it to your smoothies, scoop it onto your breakfast cereal, mix with unhulled tahini and parlsey as a dip or sauce for your vegies or have it for dessert instead of your usual sweet fare. Just make sure you choose a natural, sugar free yoghurt, preferably organic. That way, you know you will get optimal health benefits and ‘good bacteria’ to boost immune system functioning.
Sauerkraut
The range of delicious sauerkrauts available in health food shops now is, quite literally, mouth watering. I regularly find myself in quandary when deciding just which I want to accompany my lunch or dinner. Most recently I have been going with a smoked jalapeno and cabbage mix. A little bit on the side and everything tastes so damn good! The great news is it’s really simple to make your own a ‘food as medicine” sauerkraut and then start experimenting with different flavours.

Immune

Be a Wellness Warrior this Winter

By Naturopath Jade Signorino

It’s official…cold and flu season has officially arrived and is spreading its mucusy misery all over Melbourne!

Instead of suffering the wrath of winter this year, support the vitality of your body and boost your immune defences with my top Winter Wellness Tips.

Tip 1.
ENSURE YOUR GUT IS HAPPY
A happy gut = a healthy immune system as at least 80% of your immune system lives in your gut. The good bacteria of the intestinal microbiome “train” the immune system and help it to fight invaders , such as viruses and bacteria.

An optimally functioning digestive system also ensures that you digest and absorb vital nutrients from the food you eat such as iron, B vitamins, zinc all of which support a healthy immune system.

Nourish and feed your gut flora and fortify the immune system in your gut by including prebiotic sources such as Jerusalem artichokes, whole oats, garlic, flaxseeds, legumes and green leafy vegetables, and probiotic fermented organic yoghurt, kefir, miso, tempeh, kimchi and sauerkraut. A slow introduction of prebiotic fibres might be best for some people to avoid digestive discomfort.

A good quality immune enhancing probiotic might be beneficial also.

Warming, easily digestible bone broths are perfect during the colder months as they provide an abundance of nutrients to help support the health of your gut lining and immune system.

It’s also important to try and avoid foods that can damage your gut and disrupt the balance of healthy intestinal flora, allowing opportunistic bad bacteria to move in. The worst culprits include sugar, processed foods, excess alcohol, caffeine and grains. Sugar depletes your immune defences, displacing vitamin C out of white blood cells.

Tip. 2
EAT WELL, FEEL WELL
Aim for a wholefood diet, plentiful in a variety of seasonal, preferably organic plants, good quality proteins such as legumes, organic, pasture-raised, grass fed beef, and organic eggs, and healthy fats such as those found in nuts and seeds, avocados and oily cold water fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines and salmon.

These foods will arm you with antioxidant, immune stimulating nutrients such as Vitamin C, A, E, zinc, selenium, calcium, omega 3 essential fats and iron – vital for a robust immune system and maintain your energy and vitality.

Again, get stuck into fermented vegies as researchers at Cornell University found that that amount of available vitamin C in red cabbage skyrocketed when fermented into sauerkraut.

Keep the viruses (and vampires) away with garlic, onions and shallots as they contain, antimicrobial compounds. Fresh garlic has the strongest activity, however, keep in mind that most if its action is lost after 5 minutes of heating. Add the garlic in as late as possible when including it in your cooking, or alternatively, eat it raw, although be weary, it doesn’t agree with everyone.

TIP 3.
GET AS MUCH VITAMIN D AS POSSIBLE
One of the greatest challenges of winter is the decline in sunlight exposure and subsequent low levels of vitamin D.

Whilst we are certainly more inclined to hibernate indoors, it’s vital to get outside as much as possible as Vitamin D enhances the immune systems response to both viruses and bacteria and, can increase your immune function by up to 5 x.

Small amounts of vitamin D are found in fatty fish such as herring, salmon, sardines, beef and liver, butter and eggs. If you’re really keen, the best dietary source of Vitamin D (and A) is actually cod liver oil. Of course, a good quality supplement is always a good idea if your levels are really low. Always speak to your practitioner about what dose is right for you.

TIP 4.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Conditions such as stress, anxiety and insomnia change the balance of your gut flora and, that chronic exposure to stress hormones such as cortisol may predispose you to lowered immunity and repeated infections.

There is no better time to nurture your mind and body with mindfulness practices such as yoga and meditation. If you do catch ‘something’, give yourself permission to slow down, rest and recover properly. A healthier mind and body recuperates quicker.

TIP 5.
TAP INTO THE POWER OF HERBAL MEDICINE
Finally, indulge the herb nerd in me and consider the many beautiful and effective herbal medicines that help to modulate your immune system and strengthen your immune defences, whilst also supporting your vital energy or Qi. My favourites include Astragalus, Andrographis and Echinacea.
Stay Warm!

Naturopath Jade

Uncategorized

Naturopath Lindy

I’m Lindy Cook and a qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. I offer a holistic, evidence based approach to health care, emphasizing prevention, education and the use of natural medicine to support the body’s ability to restore health. My core belief is ‘Let Food Be Your Medicine and Medicine Be Your Food’ and helping you plan and create a balanced, healthy eating plan is a key component of any appointment with me.

SERVICES OFFERED

Weight Loss 
It may seem hard to believe but Australia is now officially the fattest nation in the world, with 72% of middle aged men and 58% of middle aged females being overweight or obese! An individual weight loss program is designed for your needs and is focused on low G.I, high protein foods that switch on fat burning. You will be supported and monitored every step of the way.  More importantly you will be educated to understand what foods work for your body so you can take away a life long understanding of what healthy eating means to you and maintain good food choices. The very latest testing is available to uncover  any underlying issues that may make weight loss  difficult for you including state of the art genetic screening.

Digestive Health
People with IBS  and other digestive problems such as fructose malabsorption suffer constipation, diarrhea (sometimes one alternating with the other), abdominal aches, spasm and pains, abdominal bloating and flatulence on a day to day basis, restricting their food intake, quality of life and overall health and vitality.
Research has indentified that subtle and complex etiologies all play a large role in the progression of this common disorder. These can include neurological stress, food allergies/ sensitivities, fructose malabsorption, bile malabsorption, hormone imbalance and dysbiosis. I have achieved amazing results treating these common digestive disorders. Appropriate pathology testing gives specific information  regarding underlying problems. Treatment programs include individually prescribed herbs, nutrients and dietary changes that allow for natural repair and rebuilding of your digestive system.

Hormonal Issues, Preconception/Pregnancy and IVF Support 
Women move through distinctly different stages of health needs.  Lindy is familiar with every step of the journey and can offer support to your wellbeing at every turn.  From hormonal irregularities such as PCOS, endometriosis to menopause, pre-conception, fertility & pregnancy support to teenage skin problems.

Detox Programs
Feeling sluggish or just not quite right?  A detox is one of the most effective tools for rapidly improving the state of your health.  Kick start renewed vitality and improved health with a common sense approach to cleansing your body with a safe and simple to follow program.

Preconception, Fertility & Pregnancy
There is no doubt that deciding to conceive and becoming pregnant is one of the most exciting, joyous times of your life. It is also probably one of the most critical times in your child’s life regarding their future health. There is overwhelming evidence now that optimizing you and your partner’s well being and addressing health issues before becoming pregnant can be seen as the ultimate form of preventative medicine. Lindy can help you on your journey to not only create life but give your child the best health outlook possible. Appropriate pathology and heavy metal testing are all available that give more insight into the state of your own health preconception

Immune & Allergy Issues
Sneezing, eyes watering, feeling tired and run down?  Sound familiar?  It could be spring time in Melbourne has hit and your body is reacting to the pollens in the air.  Or you have just been around too much dust, animal hair and grasses.  Either way supplements work to reduce your allergic response with natural antihistamine actions.  Reduce your dependence on those cortisone nasal sprays and get through Spring without the red eyes and that tired, run down feeling.

Stress & Insomnia 
Finding it difficult getting to sleep at night?  Or are you waking in the very small hours, tossing and turning and only getting to sleep again just as the alarm goes off?  Sleep is one of the few essentials your body can’t do without yet approximately 1 in 3 people suffers some form of insomnia to varying degrees of severity and frequency.  A recent U.S. Army study concluded that sleep deprivation and insomnia reduces emotional intelligence and constructive thinking skills, not to mention its effects in compounding daytime fatigue. Studies suggest that in the long term, sleep loss weakens willpower, causing individuals to skip the gym and eat more. Ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, is increased due to sleep deprivation, while mental alertness, judgement and reflexes all diminish. Fatigue and insomnia are a vicious cycle leading to serious health risks such as hypertension, depression and obesity.

Natural supplements can help regulate your sleep/wake cycle and get you sleeping through the night once again.  Even better, along with a good healthy eating plan and appropriate lifestyle changes, they can pick up your flagging energy during the day, ensuring you are strong, focused and calm ready to take on what the world has on offer.

Menopause
Most Australian women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 years, with variation on either side. While not all women experience menopausal symptoms of those who do, about 70% will experience hot flushes and 40% will suffer from depression.  Other symptoms include sweating, fatigue, irregular menstruation, bladder irritability and insomnia will occur in 20 to 40% of perimenopausal women-all thanks to the drop in the hormone oestrogen!.  Holistic menopausal treatment, including dietary, lifestyle, herbal and nutritional support can offer symptomatic relief to the effects of oestrogen withdrawal that can cause some much despair for women during this transitional stage. Menopause may be part of a number of adjustments that women experience at midlife. At the same time a woman is beginning to experience signs and symptoms of menopause; she is usually approaching her fifties. Natural therapies allow women to find some balance and sanity amidst all the changes they may be experiencing.
I offer up-to-date information on the treatment management of peri-menopausal symptoms to post menopause and holistic strategies to treat the vast array of symptoms that trouble women and compromise her quality of life during these years of hormonal change and help you enjoy a health, happy menopausal journey.

Dietary Planning 
Lindy is passionate about healthy eating and her goal is to educate you with simple to implement, life-long healthy eating plans including low allergy, wheat free/gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan programs. Let Lindy  help you select foods specifically suited to your individual health program and inspire you with the very latest nutritional and superfood news.

ADHD, children

OMEGAS IMPROVE READING IN CHILDREN

A new study has found the effects of EPA, DHA and gamma-linolenic acid can improve reading in children aged 9 to 10 years, both with and without attention problems.5 A randomised controlled trial published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that three months of omega-3/6 treatment improved reading abilities of mainstream school children compared to placebo, with particular significance in boys. Furthermore, children with ADHD symptoms displayed greater improvements in visual analysis and reading speed. Increasing intake of specific fatty acids reveals “oils well that ends well” for children’s brain health and cognition.

Learn more about Naturopath Lindy Cook and how she can help your child’s health. 

Longevity

BOOKWORMS LIVE LONGER

Those who enjoy reading books can likely enjoy a longer life in which to read them. A cohort study recently combined the data of 3,635 people to assess the impact of various reading patterns on longevity. Engaging the mind in book reading was shown to maintain cognitive status and increase longevity by 23 months, compared with non-book readers. This novel finding was independent of gender, education, health or wealth and showed that any amount of book reading increased survival.

Read more about the research in ScienceDirect.com

 

Gluten, Wheat

Could wheat be contributing to chronic health conditions?

Could wheat be contributing to chronic health conditions even if you are not a coeliac?

Scientists have discovered that a different family of proteins in wheat than gluten, called amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs), can lead to the development of inflammation in tissue beyond the gut and could be negatively affecting those with asthma, fatty liver, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions.
Read the article published by medical express here.