November has been an insanely busy month here and included my annual visit to Cape Town for the Association for Nutritional Therapy combined seminars and AGM. This is always a hugely stimulating and motivating excursion for me at which I am able to catch up on the latest buzz in health circles from the best nutrition experts. And because of one of the things I learned there I need to start this newsletter with a correction to something I told you in last month’s newsletter.
Safest times to get your vitamin D fix
Last month I stated “Find your place in the sun for 20 minutes every day before 10am or after 3pm…”. Well blow me down if this info isn’t outdated and has been completely reversed. And the new school of thought makes so much sense I cannot argue. To maximize your vitamin D production and minimize your risk of malignant melanoma, the middle of the day (roughly between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.) is the best and safest time. In other words when your shadow is the shortest! Now this amazing revelation comes from Michael Ash, renowned Nutritional Therapist from the UK, who is a lot more knowledgeable than I shall ever be, so I confidently pass it on.
The reasoning: UVB rays are needed for vitamin D production so are protective against diseases such as cancer. UVA rays however are the dangerous rays regarded as the melanoma culprits. The protective UVB rays are most intense at midday. As the sun rises or sets, the UVB is filtered out much more than the dangerous UVA. You also require less exposure time at these peak times: only 15 minutes is required for light skins and a bit longer for darker skins however just arms and legs exposed is also not enough. You need to expose as much of your body as possible, so bikinis and speedos here we come!
I was also amazed to learn from Mike that even in sunny South Africa, serum vitamin D levels are dropping to levels insufficient to protect us against cancer and other degenerative diseases. So from now on I shall be advising my patients to do something I would never have recommended to a South African before: Have your vitamin D levels checked by means of a simple blood test and if your levels are low and being in sunlight often enough is not an option for you, then it would be wise to take an oral vitamin D3 supplement. The type of vitamin D supplement is important, must be D3. See Natural Vibrance Vitamin D3 Organitabs on the product list. Of course vitamin D is so good for so many other things too. Do some research and be surprised. I just didn’t think we South Africans would ever have to supplement!
Prostate Cancer and Fish Oil
Fish oil does it again. An article published online on October 25, 2011 in the journal Cancer Prevention Research confirms the benefit of a low fat diet supplemented with fish oil in retarding the growth of prostate cancer. As we already know, fish oil is high in the omega-3 fatty acids that help combat inflammation and inflammation is a factor in many cancers.
The current trial enrolled prostate cancer patients scheduled for surgical removal of the prostate gland. Four to six weeks prior to surgery, the men were divided in two groups, one to receive a diet in which 15 percent of calories were provided by fat, supplemented with five grams of fish oil per day, and the other group a high-fat Western diet with no fish oil.
Men who received the fish oil capsules had higher cell membrane levels of omega-3 fatty acids and reduced omega-6 fatty acids at the end of the treatment period. Examination of the excised prostate glands found a reduced rate of cell proliferation in the fish oil-supplemented group. Additionally, blood drawn from the treatment group reduced the growth of prostate cancer cells in vitro in comparison with blood obtained from men who did not receive fish oil. The finding that the low-fat, fish oil diet reduced the number of rapidly dividing cells in the prostate cancer tissue is important because the rate at which the cells are dividing can be predictive of future cancer progression. The lower the rate of proliferation, the less the chances that the cancer will spread outside the prostate, where it is harder to treat.
Very important:Omega-3 from flax oil has been shown in a number of studies to do the opposite ie increase the rate of proliferation of cancer cells in the prostate! So ladies, until the jury is out on this, rather don’t feed your men vast amounts of flax oil.
While on the topic of prostate cancer, screening comes to mind. As you know by now I am not wildly in favour of annual routine screening for cancers. However I am not saying don’t ever screen. I just feel it is has been wildly oversold and due to aggressive over treatment can cause more harm than benefit in some cases. Prostate cancer is generally slow-growing and the majority of men will die with their cancer and not from it, but in order to save one person every man with a positive biopsy of prostate cancer is treated in the same way. In general the best advice is not to be rushed into any procedure, and get at least 3 opinions from specialists and only if they all agree should you seriously consider their advice. You know, if one is looking for something and looks long enough one will eventually find it. I prefer to use this to my advantage and look constantly for signs of my good health and live my life knowing I will be healthy until I decide to leave the planet. Just live and enjoy your life. Stop constantly being afraid of some disease or other and certainly stop looking for things that are wrong or not in most cases. This just adds stress to your life which is not good for you.
Preventing heart attacks
Many procedures like stents and by-passes are unneccessary (and costly!) and millions of people who are put onto statins may not only be harming their health, but according to latest studies, are not doing much to prevent heart attacks (unless they change their lifestyle).
75% of people who have heart attacks have healthy levels of cholesterol - so what does cause heart attacks? Certainly not cholesterol. Cholesterol is vital for body and brain health. Every cell in the body and brain has energy sources to fuel its activity, called mitochondria, without which, the cell cannot function and will die. However each mitochondria needs Co-enzymeQ10, produced by the liver, to function. Statins reduce the liver's production of it. Heart muscles have more mitchondria than others so no enzyme, no function, result heart attack.
If you are at all concerned about your heart health or feel that you suffer from fatigue more than is normal or if you’re taking statins, perhaps you need to supplement with Co-enzyme Q10. It acts like a generator for every organ in your body by increasing energy so that they function at their best. Every tissue in your body responds to CoQ10, so every disease or dysfunction responds well when it’s added to your diet.
The best natural source of CoQ10 is red meat, especially organ meat but even if you are dining on hearts and liver or a juicy steak a couple of times a week you may still be deficient. This is because your body needs vitamins to use CoQ10. If you’re missing vitamins B2, B3, B6, B12, vitamin C, folic acid, or pantothenic acid, you may be missing out. Also many drugs such as statins, diabetic medications, beta blockers rob your body of CoQ10 and so does excessive exercising. 50mg CoQ10 per day is sufficient as a baseline preventative but if you have health problems increase to 100-200mg per day.
Inflammation and oxidation are also causes of unhealthy arteries that may lead to heart attacks. Antioxidants and omega-3 fish oil will help here.
However fifty percent of heart attacks occur in people with normal coronary vessels, suggesting that stress plays a very big role. This is borne out by the fact that heart attacks are still the most common cause of death and are occurring more frequently in younger people: so looks more and more like a dysfunctional lifestyle problem. Make a decision today to avoid this problem by wise food choices, increasing exercise and stress management.
Diet-wise, recent research is showing that it is not saturated fats which are responsible for the epidemic of heart disease, but actually the over-consumption of carbohydrates. We have far too much refined carbohydrate in our Western diet, resulting in increased levels of insulin secretion required to control blood glucose, which in turn is converted to fat. This explains why our grandparents were able to consume so much fat without the high incidence of heart disease seen today. Eat a balanced diet of 20-25%protein and the rest complex carbohydrates with 10% of your plate comprising healthy fats.
Some truly amazing natural remedies
For nail fungus
If you have a fungal-related nail problem do not despair. Have a look at www.loosenails.co.za to understand what this solution called Fix-4-Nails can do. It is truly miraculous and can honestly fix nails as shown in this pic. However it is not a quick fix, especially for toenails which may take more than a year to repair. So be patient. You will find fix-4-nails on my product list but there are many stockists listed on the website, so you will easily find one nearest you.
For burning feet
A common problem but fortunately one which in most cases is easy to rectify. Sometimes vitamin B5 is all that is required but some may need to add MSM and alkalizing powders.
In diabetics this problem may be due to nerve damage in which case they could try 200 mg alpha lipoic acid three times a day. There are studies that have shown that alpha lipoic acid can actually reverse nerve damage in diabetics and I hope to write more about this some day. Certainly worth a try. See E33 R-ALA on the product list.
Did autism rates improve after mercury-laced vaccines were discontinued?
No they increased. Why?
Perhaps because they’re still in flu shots given to babies 6 – 23 months of age and pregnant women in their first trimester have been added to the list of those recommended to get flu shots. Also mercury has been replaced with aluminium and babies receive multiple doses of these aluminium-based vaccines. Babies following the recommended vaccine program may receive 5mg of aluminium by the age 18 months. Aluminium is neurotoxic even in minute doses and has a long history of well-documented hazards. That is why I find the following statement made by Dr John Clements, WHO Vaccine Advisor, to be a huge insult to our intelligence:
“Aluminium is not perceived, I believe, by the public to be a dangerous metal. Therefore we are in a much more comfortable wicket in terms of defending its presence in vaccines.”
So don’t play Russian Roulette with your babies. Insist on aluminium and mercury-free vaccines wherever possible.
Synthetic versus whole food vitamin supplements
Apparently 50% of our population is taking vitamin supplements and yet we’re still getting sicker than ever before. Perhaps part of the reason is that people are taking inferior vitamin supplements and don’t understand the difference between synthetic chemicals and whole food nutrients. Some also believe they can cover their nutritional and lifestyle sins by popping a handful of vitamin supplements. But supplements are exactly what the name implies and, as such, are meant to supplement a good diet not replace it.
We know that whole foods are far better for us than refined foods but we don’t seem to apply this rule to vitamins and other nutritional supplements. Whole food supplements are supplements made from concentrated whole foods. The vitamins found within these supplements are not isolated or synthetic. Rather they are highly complex structures that combine a variety of enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, trace elements, activators that work together synergistically, to enable this vitamin complex to do its job in your body.
Synthetic nutrients, on the other hand, are not natural, in that they are never found by themselves in nature. When you take these isolated nutrients regularly, especially at the ultra-high doses found in formulas today, they will not benefit you as much as high quality food and food-based supplements. And at worst, they may cause problems.
Nature does not produce any nutrient in an isolated form. For an isolated nutrient to work properly in the body, it needs all the other parts that are naturally present in the food too. If the parts are not all there from the start, they are taken from your body's stored supply and it’s possible that a deficiency in these extra nutrients can be created in your body. This is why isolated nutrients often work for a while, then seem to stop working and sometimes new problems arise.
I do believe that in this day with the adulterated foods available to us, supplementation is not an option but a necessity and can help compensate for some of the damage your body incurs through modern living. There are times when isolated nutrients can be quite useful to treat a specific need. However I normally do not recommend you take isolated supplements for more than 3 months. The exceptions are a high quality omega-3 from fish oil supplement, essential for nearly everyone and probiotics which influence the activity of hundreds of your genes. Otherwise a good quality whole food supplement such as Green Vibrance or Barley Life is a must for everyday supplementation of even what you would consider to be a good diet.
Although I will be here most of December and available to receive and send out your orders, many of the supplement companies that supply me, are closing as early as 9 December. So let me know well in time what you will need so that I can be sure I have enough stock on hand.
This is not goodbye for 2011 yet. I shall send out a short version of a newsletter in December. Till then enjoy the build up to the festive season and try to finalise your shopping soon to avoid the stressful Christmas rush. (Don't know about you, but as I get older I'm finding online shopping more and more attractive.)
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