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Technological Advances in Urogenital Health

VAGINA, VAGINA, VAGINA!!! Everyone should be comfortable saying this word. Unfortunately, 77% of woman struggling with symptoms of urogenital atrophy (a.k.a. Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause) are reluctant to discuss their symptoms with their doctor because they think ‘it’ is a taboo topic.  Women are often embarrassed to report their experience to their doctor believing their symptoms will “clear up” on their own.  And, to make matters worse only 7% of healthcare practitioners are initiating the conversation about urogenital health. This reluctance to talk about ‘it’ is a major barrier that often prevents woman from accessing safe and effective treatments.  So,

Mastering Macros

Macro what?  I was reintroduced to the world of macronutrients last summer when I went to a socially distanced “covid birthday” at the park.  As I was walking to meet my group of friends, there was one person I didn’t recognize.  When I got closer, I realized that it was indeed a friend I knew, but a much leaner, more defined version of her.  I’m not typically the type of person that would comment on body changes, but this was quite drastic, and I needed to know what she was doing.  She told me that she had started working with

Allergies and Autoimmune Disease

At first glance, allergies and diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, may not seem like they have much in common. On one hand, our body is flagging harmless environmental allergens as dangerous and then going on the offense mode. While on the other hand, our immune system is “attacking” our own tissues. However, both are responses generated by the immune system, and that is where their similarities begin. Allergies Allergies involve an abnormal or hypersensitive reaction of the immune system when it encounters certain substances (e.g., pollens, certain foods, dust mites, etc.). The variety of symptoms produced

Preventing Infant and Childhood Allergic Diseases: The Maternal and Infant Microbiomes

The importance of the gut microbiome on multiple areas of our health is well-established. The gut microbiome, its diversity and the presence of specific species, has been linked to immune function (including inflammation), mental health, digestive health, nutrient status, and overall metabolic function. A mother’s gut microbiome plays a huge role during pregnancy as it greatly influences her baby’s immune system development and reactions. In doing so, it affects the incidence of atopic diseases in childhood such as asthma, eczema and allergies.1 Some of the earliest evidence of the link between bacteria exposure and the development of allergic diseases came

Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerances: What’s the Difference?

There is a lot of confusion about the differences between allergies, sensitivities and intolerances. Often these three words are used interchangeably, however they are the result of very different processes within the body. Food Intolerances When you have a food intolerance, the reaction is triggered by the digestive system. Often it is because the body cannot produce enough of one or many enzymes critical to the breakdown and absorption of a certain nutrient. Though intolerances can result in discomfort and many unpleasant symptoms, they are not life threatening and can be managed with supplementation in many cases. A well-known example

Probiotic-3: More than what meets the eye

This is my rebuttal to the article written October 3, 2018 by by Mr. John Brisson, at FixYourGut – his original article can be found here: https://www.fixyourgut.com/why-i-do-not-recommend-aor-probiotic-3-a-review/ Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion, however this article highlights some of the misinformation regarding the pathogenic potential of strains in AOR’s Probiotic-3. First, let us start with the definition of probiotics – according to the World Health Organization and The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, the internationally endorsed definition of probiotics are as “live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”.

PEA vs. CBD

The battle for supremacy for hearts, minds, knees, joints, skin and much more! Canadians are looking enviously across the border and wondering when they might get access to CBD, this “magic” cannabinoid molecule touted as a cure-all for so many health ailments. Yet there is already a molecule that has been available to many Canadians (for nearly three years!) which has a far better clinical and safety track-record, and without any of the negative stigma associated with cannabis from which CBD is derived. Let us compare and contract both molecules: CBD PEA Derived from cannabis/ hemp Sunflower lecithin Little research

Postbiotics, the New Microbiome Hero

Interest in gut health has become popular as more and more studies underline the significance of the gut in health and in whole host of diseases. There are many pieces in this puzzle including, the microbiome, probiotics, and postbiotics. First, let us get definitions and nomenclature out of the way. The microbiota is the total number of microbes that are present in out entire gastrointestinal tract. These include, bacteria both “good” and “bad”, viruses, fungi, parasites, archaea protozoa, and many other players. Many factors influence the number and diversity of these “guests” including what we inherit from our mother at birth,

Insomnia – Natural approaches

Insomnia is the most prevalent sleep disorder and affects a large proportion of the population on a situational, recurrent or chronic basis.[i] An estimated one third of a general population presents at least one form of insomnia and 6% to 10% meet criteria for an insomnia disorder.[ii] Prescription ‘sleeping pills’ (or sedative hypnotics) are associated with numerous side effects and according to available evidence, the risks of chronic hypnotic use outweigh the benefits.[iii] Thankfully, various natural alternatives are available. Lifestyle and diet There are several aspects of our lifestyle and diet that can be modified to improve sleep quality. For

PEA: Unique topical health benefits

The skin is one of the largest organs in the body and has a variety of cells including: keratinocytes, sebaceous glands, fibroblasts, melanocytes, adipocytes (fat cells) and so on. These cells in turn have a large range of receptors among others, endocannabinoid and related receptors like CB1, CB2, TRPV1, PPAR, COX, opioid, TLR, GRP55, GPR119 etc. Observational reports from the 1990s showed that when cannabis, hashish and other variants of cannabis were abused, there was accompanied skin disorders like hair loss, acne, ageing, dermatitis, dry skin etc. These observations indicated that cannabinoids may modulate these receptors and that using the

Curcumin Ultra: New clinical findings

Three new studies provide further evidence of the effectiveness of the unique molecule-curcumagalactomannoside complex (CGC) which is one of the key ingredients used in AOR’s Curcumin Ultra softgels. Building on the already impressive body of work, the first study compared once a day 400 mg of CGC containing 130 mg of curcumin against the standard combination of 500 mg of glucosamine and 415 mg of chondroitin sulphate taken twice daily dose (total daily dose of 1000 mg glucosamine and 830 mg chondroitin sulphate) in terms of effectiveness in patients with osteoarthritis. This was a six-week, 72 patient study. In the

Lactoferrin, A Powerful Allay in Health and Disease

Lactoferrin (Lf) is a small molecule, as far as proteins go, with a bunch of glucose side chains, and is properly called a glycoprotein. Its structure is like a spring that coils onto itself which allows it to trap and hold minerals within its many folds. Lactoferrin is found abundantly in mothers’ milk, especially the first milk or colostrum that helps protect the newborn but is also present in other bodily fluids like tears, saliva, sweat, urine etc. signifying its importance as an important defence molecule. Lactoferrin plays an important role in a wide range of diseases which briefly can

Men’s Mental Health

This year, “Movember” felt a little different, with all those glorious ‘stashes hidden behind a necessary mask. The constraints of the ongoing pandemic; loss of sport and gym time, along with changes in social structure and interaction can be significant disruptors. It is important that men talk about the elephant in the room and strategies to overcome disruptions to mood and mental health.  There is a lot to be positive about and much to consider when looking at ways to improve wellbeing. Vitamin D and living in the great white north The change in season in Canada can be beautiful,

Shut Eye: A Deeper Meaning

Why is it that sleep dysfunction seems to be so ubiquitous in North Americans of all ages? To answer that we must first understand why we sleep, why we need to power down and how our fast-paced modern lifestyle may not be conducive to getting the best sleep. The Circadian Rhythm Let’s start by going back to the biology of our natural on/off buttons, the creation of a diurnal (or daily active and inactive) rhythm known as our circadian clock. There is an internal rhythm related to an organism’s adaptation to light-dark or day-night cycles of the planet. “Chronobiology” is

Supporting Aging Eyes

As we age many systems and senses begin changing. Often the changes in these senses result in some very significant alterations and decreases in quality of life. It is estimated that approximately half a million Canadians are living with significant vision loss that impacts their quality of life. Ocular aging relates to structural, mechanical, and functional impairments in any of the structures of the eye from the cornea, the covering of the outer eye that offers both protection and light refraction, to the macula, the center of the retina in which age-related degeneration occurs. Conditions that are attributed to aging

Butyrate: a New Health Biomarker

How to increase butyrate levels and achieve health effects beyond the gut! Our gut or the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is a fascinating microcosm, busy generating a complex and diverse set of chemicals that greatly impact our overall health and wellness. Besides the common duties of elimination and absorption, our GIT also helps metabolize or break down and change existing molecules whilst generating new ones, which can be both friend and foe. Whilst the small intestine is largely responsible for digestion and absorption, the large intestine or the colon, is the epicenter of generating these chemicals. This is because the colon

The Journey to Ironman – Part 3

Here I was, walking into the running store, feeling a little apprehensive about asking questions. I could not have been more surprised. The staff were amazing, so helpful. I have always simply picked a pair of shoes that were the latest style, or that I simply liked the look of, however; these people took “shoe shopping” to a totally different level. They looked at my current shoes, how I landed, my stride length and suggested custom orthotics based on the wear pattern. My lower back has always given me some issues, however with the kilometres I had been doing, it

Building Your Body – Considerations for Optimal Composition

Choosing the right strategy to improve body composition is a hot topic, with many different exercise and dietary strategies suggested to be successful for weight loss, reducing body fat, and preserving lean muscle mass. It is important to select the right approach that fits your individual needs. It is particularly encouraging that many studies show success in improving body composition with as little as three, thirty-minute workouts per week, provided they are combined with a diet regimen that is calorically neutral or hypocaloric[i]. These small studies have not only looked at exercise type but have included a variety of individuals

Reducing Stress for Men

Stress is unavoidable. Every year, sometimes every day there seems to be new things to be stressed about. Finances, health, loved ones, job security, politics, the future… the list goes on and on. Life has a way of throwing one curveball after another and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. This can be particularly difficult for men as there is more societal pressure for them to seem like they “have it all under control”. Gender stereotypes depict men as always being strong, not showing emotion and not talking about their feelings. Asking for help is sometimes seen as a weakness, which

What is the Importance of Free-curcumin?

Curcumin is a well-studied herb, and as such there are thousands of different products on retailer’s shelves. Moreover, there are dozens of different brands with serious marketing dollars towards differentiating their brands and, touting their effectiveness. Curcumin belongs to a group called curcuminoids comprising three slightly different molecules that are extracted from the root or rhizomes of the Curcuma plant. Curcumin comprises over 80% of this group and is the most researched molecule, and therefore, everyone refers to curcumin when they really mean the curcuminoid group. Virtually all the products on the market consist of this curcuminoid group, and not

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