Month: May 2012

Is This Really a Good Idea?

I work predominantly with people who have a hormone problem – infertility, PMS, menopause, PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, hypothyroidism, acne, anxiety, cervical dysplasia, adenomyosis, painful periods, heavy periods, irregular periods etc.  Many of these people have been through the medical route either unsuccessfully or with too many unwanted side effects.  Frequently these hormonally imbalanced people have been put on hormones.  At best this approach is only masking an underlying imbalance that will return when the hormones are taken away.  At worst, putting hormones into someone whose body is not managing hormones correctly can be downright dangerous.  More than one patient of mine who has been put on hormone treatment has developed blood clots, these women are fortunate to be alive to tell their story.  My way of thinking is if someone’s hormones are imbalanced, does it really seem like a good idea to throw some more hormones into them?  Wouldn’t it be a better idea to assist their body by:

  1. Producing any hormones that appear to be inadequate by supporting the thyroid, the adrenal glands, the ovaries, the pituitary etc?
  2. Facilitating removal of any hormones that may be in excess through the liver?
  3. Facilitating removal of chemicals, pollutants, pesticides and herbicides that can act like hormones in your body? 
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New Research: Does diet really affect acne?

Observational studies reported that cow’s milk intake increased acne prevalence and severity, and a positive association between a high-glycemic-load diet, hormonal mediators, and acne risk. Based on these findings, there is convincing data supporting the role of dairy products and high-glycemic-index foods in influencing hormonal and inflammatory factors, which can increase acne prevalence and severity.

Source: Skin Therapy Letter, Volume 15, Issue 3, pages 1-2, 5, March 2010.

Research – Health Benefits of Love & Heart Health

  1. Hugs are good for your heart!  Frequent hugs between spouses/partners are associated with lower blood pressure and higher oxytocin levels in premenopausal women. Oxytocin helps strengthen the cardiovascular system. Source: Biol Psychol.2005 Apr;69(1):5-21. Epub 2004 Dec 29.
  2. Social factors such as a couple relationship sustain healthy brain functioning not only through social and cognitive stimulation.  Source: BMJ 2009;339:b2462
  3. Patients with known coronary heart disease should be recommended to consume n-3 fatty acid supplements at 1 g per day, without raising concerns for interactions with other medications or side effects. Source: J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2009 Nov;54(5):378-384.
  4. Dog ownership is associated with higher physical activity levels in adults. Children from dog-owning families spent more time in light or moderate to vigorous physical activity and recorded higher levels of activity counts per minute and steps per day than did children without dogs. Source: Am J Public Health. 2010 Sep;100(9):1669-71.

New Research: Long-term aerobic exercise and omega-3 supplementation modulate osteoporosis through inflammatory mechanisms in post-menopausal women: a randomized, repeated measures study

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of long-term aerobic exercise and omega-3 (N-3) supplementation on serum inflammatory markers, bone mineral density (BMD), and bone biomarkers in post-menopausal women. The study found that long-term aerobic exercise training plus N-3 supplementation together have a positive effect in reducing inflammation and augmenting BMD in post-menopausal osteoporosis.

Source: Nutrition and Metabolism, Volume 8, page 71, 2011.

Healthy Heart Tips

  1. CoEnzyme Q10– also known as ubiquinone, CoQ10 has been shown to help strengthen the heart muscle, help with infertility, breast cancer and diabetes.  It’s found in foods such as fish, organ meats, including liver, kidney and heart; and the germs of whole grains.
  2. Resveratrol – prevents aging-related decline in cardiovascular function including cholesterol level and inflammatory response.  It’s found in grapes, wine, grape juice, peanuts, and
    berries of Vaccinum species, including blueberries, bilberries, and cranberries
  3. Fish oils– Omega 3 fatty acids from eating fish or taking fish oil has anti-inflammatory effects, reduces blood pressure, and may also be anti-atherogenic.
  4. Get a dog!  Both adults and children who owned dogs reported greater levels of heart healthy physical activity and lower levels of stress than those without dogs.
  5. Reduce your stress.  Take up Yoga, Tai Chi, breathing exercises, meditation, a walking program, daily exercise, anything that helps you lower your stress hormones.
  6. Exercise every day.  Exercise flushes out the cardiovascular system, strengthens the heart muscle and helps all around because it reduces insulin, reduces stress and keeps blood sugar healthier.

New Research: Vitamins and minerals for women: recent programs and intervention trials

Adequate vitamin D and calcium nutrition throughout life may reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and calcium supplementation during pregnancy may reduce preeclampsia and low birth weight. Iron, iodine and zinc supplementation are widely needed for deficient women.

Source: Nutrition Research and Practice, Volume 5, Issue 1, pages 3-10, February 2011.

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

As the day of love approaches, I thought a quick blurb on the health benefits of love might be fitting. 

Studies have shown that a loving relationship leads to:

 

  1. Better Brain Health– married couples show lower cognitive decline with age.
  2. A Stronger Immune System– married people consult doctors less frequently, have shorter hospital stays, are less likely to be admitted to a nursing home, and have higher resistance to colds and flu.
  3. Greater Longevity– spouses look out for each other’s health.
  4. Healthier Kids – having a loving role model makes for kids who achieve a higher education and are at less risk of smoking and substance abuse.

New Research: Evening primrose oil.

Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis) is a commonly used alternative therapy and a rich source of omega-6 essential fatty acids. It is often used for several women’s health conditions, including menopausal and premenstrual symptoms. The current evidence suggests that oral evening primrose oil is likely ineffective for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome and the use of evening primrose oil during pregnancy is not supported in the literature and should be avoided.

Source: American Family Physician, Volume 80, Issue 12, pages 1405-1408, Decemeber 2009.

Research – Excess Folate, Vitamin K and Bone Density, Calcium Absorption

1. Some observations in animal and human studies demonstrate that an overly
abundant intake of folate among those who harbor existing foci of neoplasia
(tumors) might instead produce a paradoxical promotion of tumorigenesis (tumor
growth). Source: Biofactors. 2011 Jul;37(4):253-60. doi: 10.1002/biof.174.
2. Better vitamin K status was associated with increased bone mineral content
in young girls (age 3-16).  Source: Br J Nutr. 2007 Apr;97(4):661-6
3. Calcium is better absorbed from calcium citrate than calcium carbonate when
these salts are taken on an empty stomach in most women. Source: J Am Coll
Nutr. 1990 Dec;9(6):583-7