Gastrointestinal Health

The condition and function of our gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is essential to our well being. The GIT harbors a rich flora of more than 400 different bacterial species. Billions of these friendly bacteria build colonies in the small and large intestines and constitute the first line of defence against illness and disease. The health and survival of these friendly bacteria depends upon lifestyle and dietary factors.

Proper Digestion

We have all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Taken at face value, this statement can be somewhat misleading. A more accurate statement would be, “You are what you absorb.” Healthy food choices are very important, but those nutritious foods won’t do you much good at all if you are not digesting them properly. Even if nutrition is a high priority for you and you spend considerable time and effort (and money) eating fresh, organic, nutrient rich foods and taking daily vitamins, you may not be absorbing the nutrients that your body desperately needs to stay healthy. In fact, many people have dysfunctional digestive systems and don’t even know it.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate a protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley, and possibly oats. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. Specifically, tiny fingerlike protrusions, called villi, on the lining of the small intestine are lost. Nutrients from food are absorbed into the bloodstream through these villi. Without villi, a person becomes malnourished--regardless of the quantity of food eaten.

Adrenal Fatigue

On a basic level, adrenal fatigue (sometimes called adrenal insufficiency) is a condition that results when the adrenal glands cease to meet the demands placed upon them. It occurs following a period of excessive stress. Reduced energy, mental function, libido, hypoglycaemia, poor sleeping patterns and difficulty in losing weight are typical of those suffering from adrenal fatigue and, while there are no formal figures, it is estimated that adrenal fatigue affects one in 10 of our clients to varying degrees. So why haven't you heard of it?

ADD – ADHD A modern Epidemic

On a recent trip to England to lecture, I happened to catch a TV documentary on the topic of ADD and ADHD, which is now a huge problem in the UK. In this documentary (put out on BBC, I believe), a clinical psychologist was presented with identical twin boys about age six. The psychologist performed an evaluation on them, including tests of cognitive and behavioral function. The mother then put one of the twins on a food additive free diet for two weeks. The boys were brought back to the psychologist for re-evaluation (remember, the psychologist had no idea which one was on the diet). His evaluation accurately spotted the boy that had been on the additive free diet, and there was something along the lines of a 25 percent improvement in cognitive performance (you may want to contact the BBC to get exact details)!

Adrenal Glands

Looking to the adrenal glands to help us achieve better health for our client is something that is often forgotten. The adrenals play an integral role in an ones health, yet in today’s society, we disregard this and subsequently many of us suffer from the side effects of our lifestyle choices.

Metabolic Typing

Metabolic typing is the buzz across the industry at the moment. Read on to find out why the science is dominating the headlines and how it should be used if your clients are trying to lose weight or improve their health.

Protein and Exercise

For the longest time, protein was an afterthought, and carbohydrates and fat got all of the attention with respect to human health. However, advances in research have found that consuming adequate amounts of protein, especially that of high quality, can promote optimal wellness and vitality. Recent popularity of diets including Atkins and South Beach has propelled protein into the forefront. While there are a significant number of flaws in these dietary programs, they do serve one important purpose: getting people thinking about protein.

Why Our Health is Being Damaged by Our Food Supply

As exercise and health care professionals, we have tremendous potential to make significant improvements in the lives of our clients. Our clients seek us out for our expert advice and opinions. There is perhaps no other profession out there that can touch the lives of people in the manner that we can. We have a tremendous responsibility sitting on our shoulders to educate those who consult with us, and those who live around us as to major health issues that will affect them.

Nutrient Timing

You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While this is difficult to refute, pre- and post-workout nutrition are tied for a close second, with peri- nutrition just a nose behind. Refueling immediately post-workout is probably not a new concept. Working out depletes glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrate) and promotes protein breakdown (catabolism). Eating the proper nutrients soon after a workout will help replenish this glycogen and enhance protein building (anabolism). Always remember that working out is merely a stimulus needed to enhance muscle growth and recovery. However, it’s the actual time between workouts when your muscles grow.

Alpha-lipoic acid reduces triglycerides in animal model of obesity/diabetes

An article published online on February 20, 2009 in the journal Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics reported the benefits of the antioxidant compound alpha-lipoic acid in lowering triglycerides. High triglyceride levels often occur in obesity, and are a predictor of atherosclerosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and even premature mortality. Proper diet, exercise, and weight loss can help reduce triglycerides, but are not effective for everyone.

BPA may leach from polycarbonate bottles

BOSTON, May 22, 2009 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Those who drank for a week from polycarbonate bottles showed a two-thirds increase of the chemical bisphenol A in their urine, a U.S. researcher said.

Cognitive impairment linked to low vitamin D levels

In an article scheduled for publication in the Journal of Geriatric Psychology and Neurology, researchers from the Peninsula Medical School, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Michigan report an association between low levels of vitamin D and an increased risk of cognitive impairment in older men and women. Cognitive impairment has been shown to enhance the risk of developing dementia, a major cause of disability among older individuals.

Vitamin D insufficiency is a global issue

In a report published on June 19, 2009 in the journal Osteoporosis International, the International Osteoporosis Foundation's expert working group on nutrition revealed the global extent of vitamin D insufficiency. They found that suboptimal vitamin D levels are common in most areas of the world, and appear to be on the rise.

Zinc from supplements associated with reduced risk of advanced prostate cancer

The March, 2009 issue of Nutrition and Cancer published the finding of Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center of an association between long term consumption of zinc supplements and a reduced risk of advanced prostate cancer in men.

Walnuts and Fish Protect Against Heart Disease in Different Ways, According to Newly Published Loma Linda University Research

LOMA LINDA, Calif., April 13, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Loma Linda University research just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compares the effects of walnuts and fatty fish in the fight against heart disease, demonstrating that in healthy individuals, walnuts lower cholesterol more than fish, while fatty fish lower triglycerides. Both can reduce the overall risk of coronary heart disease.

Vitamin balance key to treating Schizophrenia

TORONTO, Mar 9, 2009 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Naturopaths urge dietary awareness as part of Schizophrenia treatment.

Studies: Vitamin D May Lower Heart Disease Risk

Medical researchers are discovering a greater relationship between heart disease and vitamin D -- a nutrient already linked to reducing certain cancers.

Greater omega-3 fatty acid intake associated with decreased risk of advanced prostate cancer

In an article published online on March 24, 2009 in the American Association for Cancer Research journal Clinical Cancer Research, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco report a protective effect of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids against advanced prostate cancer risk.

Greater vitamin C intake from food and supplements equals lower gout risk

Men who have a high intake of vitamin C may have a reduced risk of developing gout according to a report published in the March 9, 2009 issue of the American Medical Association journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

More good fat, less bad, reduces age-related macular degeneration risk

Two reports published in the May, 2009 issue of the American Medical Association journal Archives of Ophthalmology reveal a protective effect for omega-3 fatty acids, fish, nuts and olive oil, and an adverse effect for trans fatty acids, on the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss in older individuals.