Happy Mandela Day to you! I do hope you have a plan in mind to celebrate the birthday of this great icon today. We have! For the past month the clicking of knitting needles was audible in and around Somerset East as a number of us ladies have been churning out beanies and scarves to be distributed today to our less fortunate senior citizens. I'm sure they will be greatly appreciated as temperatures have plummeted since I wrote in my newsletter last month of mild winter temperatures..haha, the jokes on me for sure. Waking up to a white winterland covered in frost and stalactites of ice clinging to the fence lines has become a regular occurence, always a reminder of how fortunate we are to wake up in warm beds, wear warm clothes and live in cosy houses. The past two days the surrounding Boschberg mountains have been covered in snow and my grandchildren gleefully built a snowman. Snow melts to much-needed water, so we are grateful of course, however I secretly hope that yesterday's early morning temperature of -5 will be the lowest recorded this Winter in our area.
Are you SAD in Winter?
The arrival of Winter may be an exciting time for children hoping to build snowmen but it is not a happy event for everyone. In general terms, depression is defined as an intense feeling of sadness, usually out of proportion to the event that triggered it. A certain type of depression which follows a seasonal pattern each year is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, appropriately abbreviated to SAD. Not surprisingly, Winter depression is the most common type of SAD, which then abates in the spring time.
SAD is characterised by changes in mood, eating habits and sleeping patterns. It is a depression that presents with significant symptoms that are severe, persistent and recurrent, and impact the overall functioning of the affected. Depression is not something that you can simply tell yourself to snap out of, however there are a few steps that the afflicted may like to try:
Regular exercise is one of the secret weapons to overcoming depression. It works by helping to normalize your insulin levels while increasing your endorphin levels, your "feel good hormones”. Take a look at your friends who exercise and you will have to agree: Exercise is capable of changing ones entire mental outlook on life. However.... exercising is the last thing one feels like doing when you are depressed. So rather be sure to exercise when not feeling depressed as this will keep you fit both mentally and physically and may even help to ward off bouts of depression. I find taking our pooches for a walk is the best mood changer out!
Cut out sugar and refined grains completely from your diet. They play havoc with your blood sugar levels and this is a no-no for depression as it can send you on an emotional roller coaster ride. Eat frequent small meals to avoid dips and spikes in blood sugar levels and take a chromium supplement to help keep your sugar levels balanced.
We have all noticed how great we feel after spending time outdoors on a sunny day. This is because sun exposure, allows your body to produce vitamin D, a miracle mood enhancer. So take up your place in the sun for just 20 minutes daily, with arms and legs exposed and minus the sun block. If you are never able to get into the sun then consider taking a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement.
Getting adequate sleep is important. Aim for 7-9 hours of good quality sleep. If you are struggling to get to sleep take 5mg of Melatonin at least 20 minutes before bedtime and always before 10pm. Or you could take GABA or a magnesium supplement that will increase GABA in your body. All these should give you a more restful sleep. To increase serotonin and thereby improve mood, L-Tryptophan may not be easily available, but you can take 5-HTP which will convert to Tryptophan.
If you are on prescription drugs for depression you may be prone to constipation. Use psyllium husks, or flax or chia seeds and probiotics to alleviate this, as a toxic colon leads to toxic blood and a toxic brain.
“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow.”- Orison Swett Marden
This month's special
Let smokers know we're still doing all we can to help them, so once again we have a 10% off offer on See Yourself Well Vice Breaker, their partner in quitting smoking. The offer expires on 31 July, and anyone wanting to know more about how Vice Breaker works and how it has worked for so many smokers I have personally worked with, can visit www.quitsmokingnaturally.co.za.
Free shipping until 31 July!
There has to be some sort of good behaviour reward for the non-smokers too, so how about free shipping for the rest of this month, no matter how small your order? If that sounds fair to you then I look forward to hearing from you.
Testosterone replacement therapy - good or bad?
TRT is currently the buzzword among men hoping to bolster their masculinity. Although the symptoms of low testosterone or “low T”, such as fatigue, weight gain, loss of libido, loss of hair, loss of muscle mass and just general accelarated ageing, can be distressing, TRT has become increasingly popular among men who have no deficits in testosterone but simply wish to look and feel younger. As a result, in the past decade, sales of testosterone drugs have soared, with doctors writing prescriptions without even carrying out baseline hormonal testing.
So, are we looking at an epidemic of "low T" in men or is this another of those fads designed to sell more drugs? Whatever it is, sadly TRT comes with a very serious hidden cost – an increased risk of heart disease. A growing body of research shows that apart from thickening the blood, exogenous testosterone has also been found to increase blood pressure and reduce HDL cholesterol, three risk factors that play a role in cardiovascular events. For example, one study found that men 65 years and older had a twofold increase in risk of heart attack within 90 days of starting TRT.
Perhaps not surprisingly, it has been found that research conclusions vary within the medical literature based on the source of funding for the research. A comprehensive systematic review found that studies funded by pharmaceutical companies with a large stake in testosterone sales typically concluded that TRT is entirely safe or poses only minimal risk, while studies not funded by the industry almost unanimously determined that TRT increases the risk of cardiovascular events. Definitely no surprises there.
So it seems TRT drugs are out, but men, don’t despair. You still have Super Natural Boronwhich improves hormonal balance in men and is capable of raising testosterone levels by 50% in 60 days if needed – safely and naturally! Boron also optimizes vitamin D3 levels known to be intrinsically involved in male reproductive health. Sufficient levels of D3 in males prevents the conversion of testosterone into estrogens. So taking this boron supplement to improve your own testosterone production rather than taking TRT drugs is a no-brainer.
Athletes and anyone who aspires to healthy muscle tone, lean body mass and reduced body fat will love Super Natural Boron.
And the best news is that the ingredient in Super Natural Boron, namely calcium fructoborate, is not a banned substance, which is especially good to know in light of the latest findings regarding Biogen’s Testoforte. Labelled and sold as a herbal supplement with claims of stimulating testosterone and enhancing performance, Testoforte has recently been found by the SA Doping Control Laboratory at University of Free State to contain three anabolic steroids not declared on its label! So apart from health risks‚ athletes face the further risk of testing positive for these banned substances and getting banned from sport as well. What more proof do we need to keep it natural guys?
Colorectal cancer and antibiotics
In 2016 researchers at the Integrated Cancer Prevention Centre in Tel Aviv showed statistically that the more antibiotics you take, the greater your risk of colorectal cancer. Further confirmation came with a re-analysis of the Boston Nurses Study in 2017 at Harvard Medical School that showed that taking antibiotics for more than 15 days in one treatment raised the risk of pre-cancerous polyps by 36% in 20-39 year-old women, and overall colorectal cancer risk by 69% in women aged 40-59, and by 73% in all women.
There is no doubt that disturbance and damage by antibiotics to the microbiome will allow your pathogens and parasites to come out to play. Such bad guys may have been present in your gut for 20 years or more, but a healthy gut microbiome kept them in check. Then a simple dose of antibiotics for, say, a throat infection, sets them free.
Of course we don't even need to be swallowing antibiotic pills to be affected. Remember that more than 70% of antibiotics are destined for animal use and as such, they end up in our food chain. Then there are chemicals such as Triclosan (see November 2016 newsletter), commonly available in hand soaps and even some toothpastes and mouthwashes, that kill gut bacteria too.
So take care out there! It's a minefield!
Here are two links worth taking the time to investigate:
1. Those of you who have subscribed to my newsletter for a few years now, know my thoughts on cholesterol numbers and the pharmaceuticals used to control them. Lucky for you I'm not going to bore you with my opinion today but would love for you to find the time to read this article from Townsend Letter to Doctors: Beyond Cholesterol. Those of you who constantly concern yourselves with your "high" cholesterol (yes you know who you are..haha), please read this so you can be informed and when you next visit your doctor, ask him/her to order the blood tests that are more indicative of the health of your cardiovascular system than cholesterol alone. I rest my case.
The Healthy Child Summit starts 20 July. If you're a parent of small children or simply someone who is interested to know how to bring up healthy happy children REGISTER HERE asap.
The Immune Defense Summit starting 24 July should be good too. REGISTER HERE.
Right, your homework should keep you out of mischief until we chat again next month. Now I'm off to help clean up the streets of Somerset East, another Mandela Day project, this time requiring a little more physical exercise than knitting...haha.
Nutritional Therapist (BSc (Hons) HDE, Dip Clin Nutr) The Orchards Nutrition Centre - Somerset East Tel: 042 243 0339 Cell: 084 531 0786 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only and not to be construed as medical advice. It is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or in any way replace qualified medical supervision. For any medical conditions, consult with your healthcare provider before using any products. Abundant health to you all.