So it’s that time of year again, almost everyone I know is going to start his or her January detox. In the process they are going to post untold amounts of pictures of their nasty tasting green juices and plates of food that resemble eating dinner with Rodger Rabbit, or even better they are going to squirt water up there backside claiming to be cleansing their digestive system.
In recent months I have been asked my opinion on the role that nutrition and natural medicine can have on cancer treatment. As nutritionists we often find ourselves in a position of trying to help prevent disease, but on occasions disease can occur. This then begs the question, what roles can nutrition and natural medicine play in the treatment of diseases such as cancer, and can they be used alongside more conventional treatments to enhance the recovery or final outcome?
Confirmed low levels of vitamin D may require supplementation, yet before supplementing with vitamins you should consider the following nutrient relationships:
Minerals are inorganic substances that provide physical structure to the body in the bones and also combine with other chemical regulators such as enzymes to shape biochemical processes. They divide in to two groups – the major and the trace minerals.
Salicylates are chemicals that are naturally found in plants. They act like natural pesticides to help protect the plant against insects and disease. In some individuals, salicylate sensitivity is possible, and the symptoms are pretty obscure such as headaches, IBS, irritability etc, making it hard to diagnose.
Another major role of salicylates is their potential role in improving blood flow. The best known medication for thinning the blood, aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid and was originally extracted from willow bark. Adverse reactions to aspirin may be an indicator of salicylate sensitivity. Knowing that salicylates have the potential to improve blood flow we can then use this to our advantage in certain health conditions and also the recovery and repair of certain injuries.
For such a common method of cooking there has been a surprisingly sparse amount of research completed on the positives or negatives of microwave cooking on our food and our health. Most of the articles / blogs online are either hugely in favour or hugely against the use of microwaves.
There is an increasing awareness with regards to organic foods vs non organic foods, with many people choosing to buy organic for a variety of reasons, with the most predominant reasons being reducing toxin exposure and increasing nutrient intake.
There is not a week that goes by without a contradictory article telling us exactly how many vegetables we must eat to stay healthy. But is there an amount that’s right for everyone? Should we be aiming for a certain amount and what are the benefits of a high intake of vegetables and potential side effects of lots of vegetables?
As I have already pointed out in previous articles, IBS is a blanket term used to diagnose someone with a particular set of symptoms. Unfortunately being diagnosed with IBS gets you no closer to understanding why you are experiencing these IBS symptoms. In case you missed it, read my article: What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Unfortunately we have many exposures to mercury these days and some level of management is required to help prevent the poisonous effects of mercury exposure.
As I was explaining in my article titled ‘What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?’, one of the major causes of IBS is the presence of something in the digestive system that should not be there, such as unwanted invaders or overgrowths in our system like certain bacteria, parasites and yeast or fungi. I personally experienced the effects of having these unwanted invaders in my gut, and felt the effects throughout my body (read my story).
Probably one of the most common diagnoses when attending your doctor with digestive symptoms is that of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS in short. But what exactly is IBS?
Your cephalic response occurs when we see, smell, think or taste food. It is a primal response that stimulates the limbic system in the brain before it then stimulates the vagus nerve that goes on to stimulate the production of gastric juices.
The small intestine is roughly 20 feet long and spread flat could cover the size of a tennis court. It is at this crucial point that digestion is completed and much of the absorption takes place.
Our stomach mostly plays a role in terms of digestion; very little absorption takes place here, other than certain medications, some water, certain salts and alcohol.
As you would have seen from my previous article digestion actually begins in the brain and I gave some simple steps that might allow you to improve this starting point of digestion.
There are many considerations when it comes to optimising digestion, but first of all we must understand the journey that our food takes to get broken down into its simply molecular form such as amino acids, fatty acids and glucose.
Athlete populations seem to be more prone to zinc deficiency, so those that train on a regular basis would fit into that same population. Red blood cell zinc is a much more effective measurement than serum zinc levels and test should be carried out before any high dose supplementation as high dose zinc can cause copper insufficiency, stomach upset and even stress liver and kidney function.
There are vitamin D receptors located on sperm cells and vitamin D also appears to play a direct role in the production of steroid hormones. Similar to Zinc and Magnesium those found with low levels, and given supplementation to increase their status, also experienced increases in testosterone levels.
Low magnesium levels are associated with lowered testosterone, thus magnesium supplementation has been shown to increase testosterone to normal ranges.