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Health Conditions

Living for a Healthy Cholesterol Level

Linked not only to a healthy heart, but also to better overall health in general, cholesterol is an extremely important part of our internal makeup and understanding how to manage both “good” and “bad” cholesterol levels can lead to a longer, healthier life. As we age, managing cholesterol becomes not only more important but also more difficult. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that men with less than optimal aerobic fitness are at a greater risk of developing high cholesterol in their early 30s, while men with higher aerobic fitness are likely to

The Epigenetics of BRCA

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The HPA-axis and Hormone Balance

Contextualizing the neuroendocrine system is no easy feat, as there are hundreds of signals and factors that enable each organ to communicate sending positive and negative feedback signals. Imagine if you will, each organ is centered on a teeter-totter in the middle of many scattered across a playground, with strings connecting them all. The tension in the strings is constantly changing as each organ needs to stay balanced. When lifestyle, and environmental factors push any organ in one direction, the strings help the other organs compensate releasing more or less of a hormone- while we have developed impressive resilience to

How Inflammation May Play a Role in Autism Spectrum Disorder

While researchers do not yet know why, they doknow that the rate of autism is increasing. According to the 2018 Report of the National Autism Spectrum Disorder Surveillance System, an estimated 1 in 66 children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).[i] ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder and refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech, and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences.[ii] There is not one form of autism but rather many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.[iii] Currently, physicians diagnose the neurodevelopmental

How to Reduce Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer in 2020

Cancer stories are powerful. They start off with some shock and disbelief, then the fighting for life comes and in some cases, the story has a fairly happy ending of remission. In a lot more cases, however, the story does not end well. These latter stories are full of reminiscing about life before illness and living well while dying from cancer. The incidence of cancer worldwide is on a continuous rise, with approximately 17 million new cancer cases in 2018 and an estimated 27.5 million new cancer cases each year, by 2040. Cancer research is trying to keep up with

Protecting your Heart and Blood Vessels with Antioxidants

February is heart health month so of course we start to see more posts on heart-healthy recipes and natural ingredients. One thing you might notice is that many of these natural compounds fall into the category of antioxidants. This is a broad term that includes any substance that that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are produced in our bodies as results of normal cell energy production or from external damaging influences (i.e. UV radiation, chemicals etc.). The cardio-vascular system is especially sensitive to the effects of free radicals.

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

Support a Healthy Liver, Not a Fatty Liver

We’re all looking for ways to optimize our health, keeping us happy and moving. What we don’t want, however, is a fatty liver. Keeping our livers healthy and functioning properly is paramount, as this powerhouse organ, our body’s second-largest organ, is one that works 24 hours a day. Our livers are responsible for over 500 biological functions such as detoxification, energy storage and creation, and processing nutrients, processes all we put into our body, helps fight infections, cleanses our blood, and converts carbohydrates, proteins and fats into the energy we need on a daily basis. Speaking of fats, there are

A Complex Relationship: The Thyroid and the Immune System

The thyroid is the butterfly-shaped gland in our throat that is an essential regulator in our body. It produces thyroid hormone (TH), which affects virtually every one of our cells and is a contributor to metabolism and keeping us energetic and active. When it is producing TH in appropriate quantities, it holds many organs and systems in equilibrium. We know that there is close communication between the endocrine and immune systems and that alteration in levels of TH can affect the function of the immune system. Thyroid hormones also have a role in inflammation, autoimmunity and clearing pathogens from the

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

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

Part 2: Could Fructose and Uric Acid be Driving Diabetes?

The ability of fructose to raise uric acid levels sheds some light on possible mechanisms in the development of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. This may be a new area where early interventions can be used. In animal and human trials, lowering uric acid improved a number of features of metabolic syndrome, which include renal damage, insulin resistance, high triglycerides and hypertension (Nakagawa et al 2006). It seems that fructose induced damage via uric acid may be a key initiating factor in the cascade of progression in metabolic syndrome since it drives may underlying processes. The harmful effects of fructose make

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