Have you had your broccoli today? Hopefully you’ve got some growing in your organic veg garden by now too? In last month’s newsletter I promised more info on this vegetable powerhouse. Hey, I remembered! Been very good about taking my omega-3s daily.
More broccoli please!
As you know, broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable. It contains high levels of a protective phytochemical called sulforaphane. Most of the evidence coming out of research points towards broccoli or broccoli sprouts being able to prevent cancer in humans. I wrote in my Spring 2008 (wow time flies!) newsletter about broccoli keeping prostate cancer at bay and the research on this is ongoing and positive. So ladies please feed your men broccoli – 10 spears a week is all that is needed. But eat lots of it yourselves too because the latest research bears good news for us womenfolk.
In research conducted at the University of Michigan sulforaphane was demonstrated to target cancer stem cells in cell cultures and in mice. Cancer stem cells, which are not destroyed by chemotherapy, are believed to be the reason breast cancer can recur, grow and spread. Researchers injected varying concentrations of sulforaphane derived from broccoli extract into mice implanted with breast tumours. This resulted in a substantial reduction in cancer stem cells in these tumours. Additionally, cancer cells derived from animals that received sulforaphane that were reimplanted into other mice failed to form tumours. Tests in cultured human breast cancer cells showed a similar reduction in cancer stem cells. This is great news and shows the potential of sulforaphane or broccoli extract to prevent or treat cancer by targeting the critical cancer stem cells.
But warding off cancer is not all that broccoli is good for. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have found that eating just a few ounces of broccoli each day may significantly reduce a person's risk of ulcers and stomach cancer. 50 people in Japan were assigned to eat either 2.5 ounces of broccoli sprouts or 2.5 ounces of alfalfa sprouts each day for two months. Alfalfa is not a cruciferous vegetable and contains no sulforaphane.
You may have heard of the Heliobacter pylori bacterium. H. pylori causes chronic inflammation of the stomach lining, significantly increasing the risk of stomach cancer and duodenal or stomach ulcers. Apparently in Japan nearly 90% of the population carries the bacteria in their stomachs, although most show no symptoms of the infection. A reliable marker of infection is a chemical called HpSA found in the stool. Anyway, the researchers found that among those who ate broccoli sprouts, HpSA levels decreased 40 percent by the end of the experiment. Participants were then told to stop eating broccoli sprouts. After another two months, HpSA levels had returned to pre-study levels. This implies we need to eat broccoli and keep on eating it! Oh and by the way, consumption of alfalfa sprouts had no effect on HpSA levels. The researchers also found that inflammation levels of the stomach were reduced in those eating broccoli and hence broccoli raw and cooked can be included in the diet of ulcer and gastritis sufferers to prevent inflammation of the stomach lining progressing into serious illness.
It’s also AVO season!
Another nutrient powerhouse is also in season at the moment and they’re tasting very morish! Don’t miss out just because you think they are high in fat and calories. Although there are 22grams of fat in an avo, 17g of these are the heart-healthy unsaturated fats. 25-35% of your daily calories should come from healthy fats. Eating an avo a day is a healthy way of achieving this. With this you have the added benefit of 20 different nutrients and phytochemicals including vitamins K, C, E, B6 and folate. Avos also have a high mineral content of potassium, magnesium, manganese and copper and they’re also rich in fibre. But avos are high in calories, so you can’t pig out on them…sorry! Oh yes, and add some cold pressed olive oil to your avo to derive the benefits of this amazing health-giving mono-unsaturated fat as well.
Vitamin D – are you getting enough?
"I have never seen any medical diagnosis as widespread and so profoundly affecting peoples' health and well-being as the current epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency." — Dr. Soram Khalsa, M.D. (in his book 'The Vitamin D Revolution')
I mentioned in my November 2011 newsletter that at the seminar held for the Association for Nutritional Therapy we learned that most South Africans, even those who do spend plenty of time outdoors under our powerful sub-tropical sun, are vitamin D deficient. I decided I had to put this incredible statement to the test. Being a sun worshipper who spends a lot of time in my garden, if I proved to have low vitamin D levels, then I would have to believe that most South Africans have.
So I took myself off for a blood test for 25-hydroxyVitaminD (or 25(OH)D), the only reliable way to know what your levels are. Well blow me down! In the middle of our South African summer I only just made it into the range of 50-75 ng/ml recommended by the Vitamin D fundis. Now I understand why there is such a hoo-ha about vitamin D deficiency being at the root of a plethora of modern day degenerative diseases. Needless to say 2000IU per day Vitamin D3 has been added to my supplement regime. In 3 months time I shall retest and hope that the supplements are doing the trick. My personal aim is 60 ng/ml however this could take many months as vitamin D levels do not rise quickly with supplementation and we’re now into Winter where the sun is never overhead. Remember what I told you previously: the right time to expose your body, without sunscreen, to direct sunlight is when your shadow is shorter than your height. Well have you noticed this is never the case on a Winter’s day? So supplementing Vitamin D in Winter seems to be non-negotiable. I would have preferred to simply eat more Vitamin D rich foods however it is extremely unlikely one can get enough from one’s diet. Apparently two servings of fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines or mackerel would have to be consumed every day. Most of us would have to resort to canned fish which is definitely not ideal.
There is a ton of research which links higher levels of vitamin D (and/or increased sun exposure) with reduced risk of a range of conditions including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, several forms of cancer including skin cancer, heart disease and depression. Ha! and we thought vitamin D was only good for keeping healthy bones and teeth! But more about this next time.
Who can expect to have low vitamin D levels? The elderly, anyone who does not get enough sun exposure and people who have cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis or suffer from depression. Also if you are prone to chronic fatigue, memory loss or dementia, joint, muscle and back pain, muscle weakness, bone fracture and falling risks, it can do no harm to have your vitamin D levels checked. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are at considerable risk of being deficient, which puts the child at risk too of future health problems. For teenagers suffering from depression a simple vitamin D deficiency may be the cause. In a recent study vitamin D supplementation in depressed teenagers resulted in increased well-being, improvements in depressed feelings, irritability, tiredness, mood swings, sleep difficulties, weakness, concentration and pain.
If you decide to take the 25-hydroxyVitaminD blood test and don’t know what to do with the results please feel free to contact me for advice on the appropriate vitamin D dose to supplement for your particular circumstances. It all depends on your starting level, how much sun exposure you are able to get and your present health profile and diet. Most people will need more than the generally recommended 400IU daily intake. In fact many, especially those with cancer or other degenerative diseases, will need quite a few thousand IUs to optimize their vitamin D levels. Vitamin D supplementation is safe, however overdosing, although unlikely, can result in toxicity, so, if in doubt, rather seek advice.
If you really think about it, disease is much more likely to be due to a deficiency in some vitamin or mineral than in a deficiency of a drug. It makes no sense to prescribe a drug when vitamin D, or one of the other vitamins or minerals, is the deficiency?
Aspirin use and aging macula disorder.
Yip, she’s on about aspirin again… Recent evidence emerging from the European Eye Study conducted in the Netherlands is that long-term use of aspirin doubles the incidence of macular degeneration – that’s the loss of sight!! Rather a serious side-effect, wouldn’t you say, for the many people taking a “small” dose of aspirin every day to prevent heart attacks and strokes (even though there is scant evidence that it does).
It never ceases to amaze me how many people will reach for that bottle of Panado, Disprin or aspirin to provide quick relief of symptoms such as headache or other aches and pains. Even worse is how quickly they will administer these to their children without a second thought. I warned of the possible consequences of this in my April newsletter. As a further note on this: please never leave instructions with your child’s carer to medicate your sick child with drugs such as paracetomol when she is in charge. Just one overdose could cause damage to you child's liver.
Focussing on magnesium
Magnesium is a miracle mineral. I have seen so often how a simple daily dose of 400 mg of magnesium glycinate has solved a niggling problem in a patient. Examples of conditions this has alleviated: Restless leg syndrome, period pains, tension headaches, in fact any type of spasm or cramping virtually anywhere in the body including legs, neck, shoulders, back and the digestive tract. It is a known muscle relaxant. I have also used it successfully on myself when I’ve experienced bouts of insomnia.
Not surprising, therefore, that in a double-blind placebo-controlled study magnesium supplementation was found to be quite effective for relieving the symptoms of irritable bladder also known as ‘overactive bladder syndrome’. Symptoms of this can include the sensation of needing to pass urine urgently, frequent urination and the need to get up at night to pass water. In men, doctors are often so preoccupied with the prostate that they could easily overlook the fact that these symptoms may come from their bladders. In women the emphasis will be on their bladders and of course anti-spasmodic drugs and/or antibiotics are the order of the day. Sad when a simple nutrient deficiency such as magnesium could be causing the problem. Magnesium is essential for proper muscle function and what is the bladder if not a muscular bag?
Remember the heart is also essentially a muscle, which means that a possible magnesium deficiency should be considered also in the case of coronary spasms.
Food sources of magnesium are nuts, legumes, leafy green vegetables including broccoli and Brussels sprouts, bananas, lemons, apples and blueberries. If you can’t get enough in your diet then supplement for 2 to 3 months till you get your serum magnesium to levels where symptoms are alleviated.
I tend to prescribe the more bio-available magnesium glycinate, a combination of an essential amino acid, glycine, and magnesium. I do not recommend magnesium oxide which is less absorbable and may cause digestive problems.
World No Tobacco Day is looming!
31st May is World No Tobacco Day!
We are celebrating by offering a 10% discount on the anti-smoking remedy, Vice-Breaker, for the entire month of May. Please pass this news on to smokers country-wide. We’re continuing to see fantastic results with smokers using Vice-Breaker to help them quit. The feedback we are getting is always positive: smokers’ coughs disappear, skin colour and condition improves, breathing becomes easier, bad breath is history, health and vitality is restored and energy levels improve. This one really works, safely and effectively with no side effects or withdrawal symptoms and the lung cleansing aspect of this little capsule is huge. Tell any smoker you know to visit www.quitsmokingnaturally.co.za and I will gladly work with them to help them kick the habit.
To date I have personally worked with 186 successful quitters and I hope to see this reach 200 by World No Tobacco Day! Yes I have been busy this past year but loved every minute of it! This is truly Mission Unstoppable!
Omega-3 Fish Oil Winter Promotion
While I’m giving things away why stop at Vice-Breaker? Take advantage of the promotion on the omega-3 fish oils that I import from Canada, before it ends 30 June.
See Yourself Well Omega-3
150 x 1000mg capsules:
1 bottle - R435 (normal price)
1 bottle now - R410 (save R25)
2 bottles now - R797 (save R73)
Introducing the new Family Size! Contains 300 capsules! 300 x 1000mg capsules:
1 bottle - R770 (normal price)
1 bottle now - R730 (save R40)
2 bottles now - R1400 (save R140)
Makes so much economic sense to buy in bulk!
Life Support Omega-3
150 x 1000mg capsules:
1 bottle R330 (normal price)
1 bottle now R305 (save R25)
2 bottles now R580 (save R80)
These prices exclude postage.
Postage for 1-2 bottles is an extra R25.
Postage for more than 2 bottles is an extra R40
To order you simply email me telling me what you want and I'll return an invoice and my bank details. On proof of payment I dispatch to the postal address you give me. Easy peasy.
Amazing Benefits of Fish Oil for Heart Health
Over 3,000 studies have been done on fish and fish oils and their role in the prevention or treatment of heart disease. A review in the British Medical Journal recommends fish or fish oil supplements to prevent heart attacks, particularly in people with vascular disease. How omega-3 fats reduce heart disease is not known, but they are known to lower blood triglycerides and blood pressure, prevent clotting, are anti-inflammatory and reduce abnormal heart rhythms. More about this next month.
Prominent cardiologist reveals some of the flaws in conventional cholesterol wisdom
You must be tired of reading what I have to say about cholesterol and statins. So please do visit this website, read the summary and watch the video too. Then I’ll rest my case.
Do you ever find that you have run around all day, a busy bee second to none, and yet at the end of the day, although exhausted, you feel you have achieved nothing? I leave you with this poem as affirmation that none of ours days need ever be wasted:
When I sit down at the set of sun, And count the things that I have done, And counting find one self-denying act, one word, That eased the heart of him that heard, One glance most kind that fell like sunshine where it went - Then I may count the day well spent. _(Unknown)
Keep warm and well till we chat again next month.
PS: The latest product list attached highlights the fish oil supplements that are on promotion however shows the normal price. You have the Winter promotion prices in this newsletter.
Nutritional Therapist (BSc (Hons) HDE, Dip Clin Nutr) The Orchards Nutrition Centre - Somerset East Tel: 042 243 0339 Cell: 084 531 0786 Email: email@example.com