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The connection between thyroid function and weight gain

By Dr. Sarah Zadek ND The inability to lose weight from diet and exercise alone can be extremely frustrating. There are many factors that affect weight management, and for those who struggle with this it may be worth investigating other causes of this “stubborn metabolism.” One such cause is the functioning of the thyroid gland and its respective hormones. Thyroid hormones play crucial roles in how the body uses energy and regulates appetite. Additionally, fat cells, also called adipose tissue, contains their own messengers and hormones that affect energy stores and usage. The interaction between these cells, their messengers and

Weight Loss is More than Just Cutting Calories

It is not uncommon to hear a friend or family member say that they are trying to lose weight. In fact, the vast majority of us spend our entire lives struggling to maintain a weight that is healthy or desirable. There are certainly many people that are over-eating or under-exercising for their caloric requirements. But what about the rest of us? For some individuals, it doesn’t matter how little we eat because the weigh scale doesn’t seem to budge! Weight loss can be quite complex with many contributing factors and the simple reality is that cutting calories is not a

What Age is Appropriate for Genetic Testing?

By: Dr. Robyn Murphy, ND Your genes are the same throughout life, so genetic testing could technically be done from the point of conception; however, this seems somewhat invasive. Joking aside, this question comes up frequently from savvy parents looking to make the best lifestyle and dietary choices for their kids for prevention as well as optimizing their potential. Some key information is available to parents using genetic testing. 1.Dietary restrictions Genetic testing is exceptionally helpful for parents who want to know if their child is at risk for Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. It is especially helpful if a

Your Genes are Not Your Destiny: How to Tap into Your Genetic Potential. Part II

By: Dr. Robyn Murphy, ND The verdict is in, your genes are not your destiny. Advances in genetics and epigenetics have evolved through observations that environmental factors influence genetic expression to directly impact an individual’s health. Epigenetic changes are reversible while effects of genetic variations are modifiable. 1,2 Today, in the midst of personalized medicine, understanding an individual’s genetic blueprint provides simple yet powerful strategies to significantly make a difference in one’s health. While science reveals how general lifestyle strategies in diet, exercise and stress reduction significantly impacts epigenetic modifications and thus gene expression and risk for disease; it is

Your Genes are Not Your Destiny: A Guide to Epigenetics. Part 1

By: Dr. Robyn Murphy, ND Are your genes your destiny? This common question is top of mind for most, especially for those who are considering genetic testing. Questioning whether or not you really want to know, in fear that nothing can be done. Well, the simple answer is, NO, your genes are not your destiny. While this may be due to a number of factors, such as the impact of the gene, the main topic of this article is discussing how epigenetics and particular lifestyle strategies can positively influence health, and that knowing your genes may just be the missing

Harnessing the Power of Broccoli and Sulforaphane to Enhance Nrf2

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Quench Inflammation with Curcumin, Boswellia and Ginger

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PCOS: Signs and Struggles of a Hormonal Syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem affecting one in ten women of childbearing age. PCOS is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones that creates problems in the ovaries. This imbalance can lead to infertility (in fact it is the most common cause of that condition), problems with the menstrual cycle and development of cysts in the ovaries. PCOS impacts women of childbearing years and can happen any time after puberty. It has been proven that PCOS can exist in women of any body type.  Since there is a genetic component, it’s a good idea to ask your

Nutrients for Evidence Based Detoxification

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Estrogen Balancing and Detoxification Without Using DIM or I3C

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The Male Immune Response System

As a male, have you ever wondered about your immune response system? Or is it not something that ever really crosses your mind? Let’s take a look at what exactly the male immune response system is, what does it mean to males, as well as point out some differences between females and males and sex hormones, ways to strengthen the immune system and why you should keep an eye on your immune system. Healthy Lifestyle One of your first lines of defence is to lead a healthy lifestyle filled with whole foods, fruits and vegetables, exercising (light or vigorous), regular

Five Integral Supplements for Optimal Men’s Health

Supplements are a natural way for people to boost their overall health and immune system, from protein powder (whey, vegan, casein) to vitamin D, supplementation helps us restore our bodies. For men, supplementing is an important way to stay on top of their health. While there are thousands of supplements on the market, having a diet high in whole foods, vitamins and nutrients is perhaps the best way to look after your health. Food provides vitamins in the most natural and biologically available form. Many people do not achieve the recommended amount of nutrients they need from food, which can

Red Yeast Rice and other Food-based treatments of Metabolic Syndrome By Dr. Sarah Zadek ND

Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular Disease Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of mortality worldwide, responsible for 17.3 million deaths each year. Metabolic syndrome refers to the “perfect storm” of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, abnormal blood sugar regulation, and the presence of intra-abdominal fat accumulation. This cluster of disorders affects about 30-40% of Americans and increases the risk of developing CVD and Type 2 diabetes. Dietary and lifestyle changes are obvious and effective measures of prevention and treatment, however, many individuals find these types of changes too difficult. Other times individuals may need extra support if areas such as

How Stress Impacts Your Body

Most of us are aware that stress is one of the key drivers behind many of our modern health complaints. Stress is a risk factor for hormone imbalance, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer as well as mental illnesses like anxiety or depression and even brain-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Ever wondered how stress can have such a devastating impact on our body? The mind-body connection, or the stress-illness connection for purposes of this article, works in different ways. It’s useful to remember firstly that the stress response is meant to improve your chances of surviving a physical threat to your

How to Make Healthy Habits Fun for the Whole Family

Do you feel like eating healthily is a chore and enjoying food that is good for you is a challenge? If it is the case and you have children, you run the risk of passing this attitude on to them. Studies show that the children of parents with a high BMI often have similar issues. Therefore, genetics aside, it seems that kids do pick up their parent’s lifestyle habits. That is why it is important to try to build some fun into establishing healthy habits, for the benefit of the whole family.  Make It Kid-Friendly Making healthy meals fun can

Don’t Submit to Stress – Support Your Immunity

It’s Fall and everyone is “ramping up”. Whether you are a parent with a new school schedule to manage or an employee managing new projects at work, it seems that as the days get shorter, the To-Do lists get longer. Changes in schedule and workload can contribute to rising levels of stress. As a result, maybe you aren’t getting sufficient sleep, which can lead to even higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Both stress and insomnia can lead to a suppressed immune system, which can in turn lead to increased susceptibility to any colds and flu being passed around

When Vitamins and Supplements are Worth the Investment

We’ve all seen media claims that supplements can be a “waste of money” while other reports illustrate the dangers of “natural products”. So how valid are these claims? It’s all in the fine print. A catchy fear-inducing headline is sure to make waves, but it’s time to break down the science – and the actual text – of this information. When are supplements actually not worth it, and when can they actually make a difference in your health? What outcomes are we looking for? The first thing you need to ask yourself is “What am I looking to achieve?” There

The Mighty Molecule: The Role of PEA in the Endocannabinoid System

Definitions PEA (N-palmitoylethanolamide): An endogenous fatty acid amide synthesized and metabolized by cells that binds to cell receptors. It influences a multitude of physiological functions and has potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Endocannabinoid System: A lipid communication network that has critical physiological functions and serves a vital purpose for our health and well-being through signaling processes, homeostasis and hormone regulation. Lipids and the ECS In 1929, scientists George Oswald Burr and his wife, Mildred Burr, discovered that omega 6 fatty acids were essential for health. This kicked off science’s interest into lipids, and by the 1960s a new age of lipid

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS): What Is It, What Does It Do and Why Do I Need To Know?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is another level of security, a defence system that the body layers onto the existing security organization that is keeping us safe, whilst making sure checks and balances are in place. The ECS is a vast signalling network that communicates with other well-known systems including the nervous, immune, hormonal or the endocrine, and other networks, but also some that are rather more obscure, like the lymphatic or the enteric nervous system sometimes called the “second brain”. The ECS’s job is relaying important and timely information between these systems, but it also primes and prepares the body

Nattokinase: The Natural Cardiovascular Health Booster

When it comes to our cardiovascular health, many of us don’t have a high awareness of the prevalence and risks of cardiovascular disease – we tend not to focus on the problems that we can’t see. According to recent surveys, most of us aren’t aware, for example, that blood clots, aka thrombosis, are responsible for one in four deaths in Canada each year. The primary cause of cardiovascular disease is atherosclerosis, which happens when fatty plaques build up on the walls of an artery and eventually block it. Eventually, these plaques can rupture, and the resultant blood clot can deprive

Quench Chronic Inflammation and Pain With Natural Herbs and Nutrients

Pain is a fact of life. Everyone experiences it at some point or another. As people age, the biggest concern that affects activities of daily living is the ability to move and function without pain and discomfort. However, the latest research suggests that up to 50% of the population may be suffering from some kind of chronic pain, with back pain being the most common. In many cases the pain signal is the result of a viscous cycle of structural damage, tissue breakdown and inflammation. While most people are familiar with the concept of losing cartilage as we age (which

Spotlight on a Silent Epidemic: Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (and Five Ways to Prevent it)

While we usually associate fatty liver with excessive alcohol consumption, there is another form of liver disease known as Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease or NAFLD that develops in people who drink little to no alcohol. NAFLD can remain ‘silent’ for many years, with few signs or symptoms. The prevalence of NAFLD is increasing at an alarming rate. The risk of developing NAFLD in obese people is 75%. With almost 20 million obese Canadians, NAFLD is a growing health epidemic. Eating excess calories causes fat accumulation in the body. One of the locations fat is stored is in the liver. This

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