From the category archives:

nutrition

Multivitamins increase risk for fatal prostate cancer

by Ed

If you’ve read most of my posts, you have probably figured out that I am not a fan of taking vitamins. I think we should get our nutrients from whole food. Now researchers into fatal prostate cancer agree with me. It seems that men who take multivitamins more than 7 times per week nearly double their risk of fatal prostate cancer.

See the whole story in the BBC News.

To see more on my views about why we should not generally take vitamins see this post.

Here are some other interesting tidbits:

Increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables decreases your risk for prostate cancer.

Countries where people eat more beans have a lower death rates from breast, colon, and prostate cancer.

Anabolic steroids probably increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Eating fish decreases your risk of prostate cancer.

Those tidbits are from the book, Avoiding Cancer One Day at a Time, which I reviewed here.

Book Review: Healing Skin Disorders

by Ed

Last week, someone emailed me with a question about a skin problem. After replying with a few suggestions, I remembered a book I have on the bookshelf in my clinic. Healing Skin Disorders, by Andrew Gaeddert is a great book for healing your own skin condition. He talks about everything from acne to diaper rash to eczema to psoriasis to warts. Western and Chinese herbs that are good for the skin are covered, as are other natural forms of treatment. For each condition he gives symptoms and causes, self treatments, professional treatments, and case studies. He also talks about the importance of the digestive system in healing skin disorders. There is a digestive cleansing protocol at the end of the book. This is a great book for any lay person wanting to heal themselves, as well as for practitioners who want to improve their skill in treating skin disorders.

Andrew Gaeddert studied Chinese Medicine after his colitis was healed by Chinese Medicine. He has gone on to become one of the foremost herbal authorities in the West. He is the president of Health Concerns, a company that specializes in Chinese herbal formulas for health practitioners.

The following Anti-inflammatory Program from his book is useful for anyone with chronic inflammatory conditions, not just skin conditions.

  • Consume fish three or more times per week

  • Eat lean meats, poultry and game, and also use vegetables such as beans and nuts for protein.

  • Eliminate margarine, butter, and shortening.

  • Each day use 40 to 50 grams (3 to 4 tbsp) of polyunsaturated oils (avocado, hemp, flax, olive, walnut) as a dressing for salad or cooked vegetables

  • Supplement with 1 to 3 tsp of cod liver oil daily.

Buy in Canada: Healing Skin Disorders: Natural Treatments for Dermatological Conditions

The Five Keys to Optimal Health

by Ed

Key #1 Nutrition

After spending billions of dollars, over the past thirty years, the American Cancer Society has begun to realize that searching for a cure may not be the answer. Now they are focusing more on prevention. And what is the best way to prevent cancer? Fruits and vegetables.

There has been a lot of controversy lately over the best diet: High protein? High carbohydrate? paleolithic? Mediterranean?

But one thing the experts agree on is that we need more fruits and vegetables in our diet. Dr. Bruce Ames, a leading cancer scientist has said that if you aren’t eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables, you might as well be standing in front of a low level X-ray machine, all day.

You may have seen the American Cancer Society’s ad campaign: “5 A DAY”. Actually, they recommend 9 servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables, but they think five a day is easier to sell to
the American public.

The Framingham study looked at Stroke risks. They found a direct correlation between 3 servings a day and a 22% reduction in strokes. 6 servings a day; 44% reduction in stroke. 9 servings a day, 66% reduction in stroke. Now that’s pretty remarkable.

Let’s face it, most of us are not big fruit and vegetable eaters. But we should be. Fruits and vegetables are full of disease preventing phytochemicals, including the now famous antioxidants. We have
discovered hundreds, so far, but there are still many we don’t know about. And that’s one reason that taking vitamins is not the answer for a poor diet. I could go on for pages about other reasons. If you want more information on the research, let me know and I will send it to you.

Key #2: ExerciseEveryone knows we need more exercise. So, what’s your excuse?
Not enough time? Not enough energy? too boring?

In fact, once you get on a simple exercise program you create a spiral of success. More time, more energy, more joy in every area of your life

So how to start? Well, you need at least a little energy to get started. It may be that you need to improve your nutrition to get that energy. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less fat, especially saturated
and trans fat.

Ok, back to exercise: You should aim for an hour of exercise, almost every day. However, you can break it up into 6 ten minute chunks, throughout the day. During coffee break take a ten minute walk or
climb ten flights of stairs.

Buy one of those six foot rubber bands designed for exercising. They are great for mini work outs. Buy several. Keep one in your desk, one in the car and one or more at home. Buy a brand that comes with a video so you can learn the exercises. Then buy some cheaper ones for different places. Any time you have five to ten minutes pull it out. Learn a few different short routines and alternate them. One for strengthening the arms and upper back, one for the abs and lower back, and one for the legs. Plus one or two good stretching routines.

Once you start feeling healthier, you can sleep thirty minutes less and use that extra thirty minutes for a good aerobic workout, three days a week. On the other four days, you can meditate or read a good book
or enjoy a sunrise.

Obesity is becoming an American epidemic. One that leads to hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. The only healthy way to maintain a healthy weight is sensible eating and exercise.

Exercise improves our mood, our immune system, our stamina, our bone mass, and our ability to assimilate the nutrients from our food. So get up and have some fun.

Play with your kids.
Join a team.
Walk your dog.
Have fun!

Key #3 OxygenAre you breathing? Many people seem to barely breathe when under stress, sitting at a computer, and other times. Some people seem to barely breathe, all the time. Abundant oxygen is vital to our wellbeing. It is even more important today, than it was 30 years ago. Besides all of the toxins in our water, food and air, and our stress levels, all of which require more oxygen to healthfully process, we have a lot less oxygen in the air we breathe. You have heard about greenhouse gases and global warming, by now. Did you ever stop to think what all those greenhouse gases are replacing? Oxygen. Oxygen levels are getting dangerously low, about three percent lower than they were a few decades ago. Levels are within a couple of percent of being unable to sustain our lives, especially in cities with high smog levels.

We need to be breathing more deeply just to maintain normal levels of oxygen, let alone levels necessary to help us combat pollution and stress. Get more aerobic exercise and take several deep breathing breaks, throughout your day.
Key #4 CleansingIn the 21st Century it is impossible to escape toxicity. Our air, food
and water are all polluted. Not to mention all of the toxic ingredients
they put in our personal care products and packaged foods.
Regular internal cleansing has become essential to maintain good
health.

The two main areas that require cleansing are the digestive tract
and the Liver/ Gall Bladder. For most people, I recommend an
intestinal cleanse and a Liver cleanse, as well as a Gall Bladder
flush, every Spring. Many people with allergies, for instance, find
that a regular Spring cleaning brings a lot of relief, through out the
year.

Because cleansing can release toxins into the body, it is important
to be careful. I always recommend a gentle cleansing. Eating lightly
with an even greater emphasis on fruits and vegetables
(I suggest 5 servings of each during non cleansing times),
is always a great way to reduce our toxic burden and begin a
cleanse.

It’s important to cleanse your digestive tract gently so as not to shock your system or release excess toxins into the body. An herbal fiber supplement makes a great colon cleanse because herbal fiber can work slowly to thoroughly sweep the colon clear of impacted waste and toxins without disrupting daily life. When combined with herbs to soothe and stimulate the digestive tract, a fiber supplement can make a great spring cleanse. 

Click here to see my other posts on cleansing.

Key #5 State of mindCheck out my many posts on the importance of our state of mind, particularly this one. Positive states of mind keep our immune systems robust, and help us ward of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. A positive state of mind makes it easier to maintain the other four keys. See this post for tips on staying happy.

Depression and Diabetes

by Ed

Two separate articles in the news, today, grabbed my attention. One links the balance of fats in our diet to depression, while the other links depression to diabetes.

So, it seems that eating the wrong balance of fats in your diet can lead to depression and depression can lead to diabetes. I have always been fascinated by the mind-body connection, and I enjoy reading about scientific research that proves the connection, because doctors seem very slow to accept it

In case you did not go to the article on fats, I’ll let you know what they are talking about. It has been known for some time that getting more omega 3 fatty acids and relatively less omega 6 fatty acids, is good for our hearts and keeps inflammation down. We get omega 6 fatty acids, primarily from the vegetable oils we use for salad dressing and cooking. We get omega 3 fatty acids primarily from fish. Increasing your fisch consumption and decreasing your use of vegetable oils will improve your health and, according to the latest research, your mood.

Chocolate for Blood Pressure?

by Ed

Recent studies have shown that eating dark chocolate can lower blood pressure. Drinking tea, on the other hand, has no effect on blood pressure.

Although the effect of dark chocolate (sorry milk chocolate and white chocolate lovers, it has to be dark, really dark), are almost as good as taking medication, the doctors warn that it is not advisable to replace your medicine with chocolate. Of course, the drug companies don’t want you to replace your drugs with anything, including a healthy life style. The doctors fear you’ll gain weight by eating all that chocolate. That may be true, but I am glad the establishment is starting to prove that things that are pleasurable can also be healthy. See this post for more on the benefits of chocolate.