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
Natural Health Products
Health Canada outlines daily dietary requirements for vitamins, minerals and macronutrients necessary for Canadians to be healthy. These values are determined according to scientific data to meet adequate nutrient levels for 97-98% of healthy individuals within a particular life stage and gender;1 however, a 2012 report by Health Canada shows that a large percentage of individuals fail to meet acceptable levels through diet alone, particularly for magnesium, calcium, vitamins D and A.2 In addition, values are meant as a general guideline for the healthy population to generally prevent deficiency and fail to provide guidelines for those that require additional amounts.
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
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
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
This week’s blog will focus on the subject of homocysteine. So what is it exactly and why is it important? Homocysteine is an amino acid formed by the removal of a methyl group from methionine. Unfortunately, it has been shown that homocysteine is toxic at high levels. It has been implicated in a number of inflammatory processes in the body including increasing risk of cardiovascular, diabetes, bone and neurocognitive diseases. A physician’s health study revealed that men with higher homocysteine levels had a threefold higher risk of coronary events. Levels of homocysteine can be measured via blood test. Optimal ranges
For my first post, I thought I’d take on a topic that has been in and out of the media for the past few years, vitamin E. Initially, vitamin E was thought to have a lot of potential for general health, from heart to prostate health. Smaller studies and in vitro work showed promise, but then some big studies over the last year had conclusions that were disappointing: “vitamin E did not affect the overall risk of HF[heart failure]”1 or scary: “Dietary supplementation with vitamin E significantly increased the risk of prostate cancer among healthy men”2 How did this happen?
Since the birth of herbal medicine, science has been the fundamental basis of determining the fate of potential herbal products. The early Egyptian, Greek, Indian and Chinese physicians utilized scientific principles for their guidance to develop natural therapies. This tradition was enhanced by the Arab and the Renaissance physicians and has continued to present day. Science is the universal language spoken and accepted by all interested parties in the development and use of natural remedies for which there is a consensus. That is not to say that there aren’t any problems with this model. After all, some randomized clinical trials