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A change of advice for those having trouble conceiving!

I've seen some couples who are having trouble conceiving and are thus doing IVF or other assisted reproductive techniques. The advice from the fertility specialist has always been to try to abstain from sex in the hopes of elevating sperm counts. Makes sense! But we know that there are other factors at play in addition to the total sperm count, such as the quality of the sperm.

In a recent study by Australian researchers, it was found that men with lower quality sperm could help increase the quality of their sperm by having sex every day for one week. The lead author, Dr. David Greening states that frequent ejaculation improved the quality of sperm by reducing the length of time they were exposed to damaging free radicals in the testicular duct.

Happy Canada Day folks!

Yours in health,

Ian Koo, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Essentials Health Centre
"The care you want, the health you need"

Summer Protection: Keeping cool & Sunscreens

In this edition of our newsletter, Dr. Koo, ND gives you some advice on how to stay cool for the summer and facts you need to know about your sunscreen.

Download a complimentary copy of our Naturopathic Newsletter in the News & Resources section of our website or you can get it here.

Yours in health,

Ian Koo, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Essentials Health Centre
"The care you want, the health you need"

Pandemic Alert (H1N1): Peel Region & Toronto statistics & more Naturopathic Advice

It's official, the World Health Organization has officially declared the H1N1 to be a pandemic. Here's some current information for those of you in my home province of Ontario, Canada:

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, states that 484 cases of H1N1 flu virus have been confirmed since Friday, bringing the total number of cases in Ontario to 1,562.

Almost all of the cases reported to date are considered mild. The vast majority of the individuals concerned have recovered.

To date, two people, who had the H1N1 virus and chronic medical conditions, have died. Ten people who have the H1N1 flu virus were in hospital as of June 9, a number of whom have underlying medical conditions.

The Ontario cases involve 808 males and 750 females (the gender of four cases is unknown) with an age range of 1 to 97. The average age of the individuals is 21.

Here's the breakdown of the cases in the surrounding regions of the GTA:

Health Unit

New Confirmed Cases

Total Confirmed Cases




Peel Region



York Region






Durham Region






According to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, symptoms of H1N1 are similar to seasonal influenza (flu) including headache, chills and cough followed by fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches and fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and throat irritation. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may occur in adults as well as in children. In more severe cases, or in people with chronic conditions, complications such as pneumonia may develop.

If you are experiencing these symptoms you should immediately contact your health care provider, including your Naturopathic Doctor (ND), or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. Do not leave your home if possible until you have spoken to your health care provider or a Telehealth nurse. People should only go to Emergency Rooms if they have severe symptoms.

Naturopathic Perspective:

A strong immune system not only reduces the risk of getting sick, but may also reduce the severity of illness if you do get sick.

Although viruses such as influenza don’t respond to antibiotics, there are anti-viral therapies your Naturopathic Doctor can suggest to you to support your immune systems ability to fight viruses and therefore lessen the severity of many illnesses caused by viruses.

Supporting your immune system

The human body has a natural ability to respond to viruses that attack it. These defense mechanisms can sometimes be weakened and require additional support to effectively respond when you are exposed to viruses. A weakened immune system is a particular concern when new viruses like the H1N1 Swine Flu emerge. Your Naturopathic Doctor can work with you to assess the current status of your health, and support your immune system using advanced natural therapies.

You can do simple things to help your body avoid the flu or other viruses. Here are some basics:

Be proactive Book a prevention appointment with your health care provider so he/she can advise you what to keep on hand and how to use alternatives to pharmaceuticals to stimulate and support your immune system. Everyone is different and there are many ways to support the immune system naturally - find an individualized treatment plan that works for you, thus helping you to achieve the best results.

You are what you eat Food is fuel for your body and all its work. Eating a diet high in complete protein, essential fatty acids (EFAs), complex carbohydrates, and plenty of fruits and vegetables is important to support a strong immune system. It is particularly important to avoid processed or sugary foods.

Hands off Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly is one of the simplest ways to keep germs at bay. Proper hand washing involves at least 20 seconds of scrubbing with soap and hot water. Avoid touching your face since germs often enter the body through the nose, eyes and mouth. Use a tissue or your sleeve for sneezing and coughing—avoid using your hands to cover your mouth or nose.

Keeping the barrier intact Mucous membranes (such as the lining of your nose) must be moist to act as an effective barrier to bacteria and viruses. Using a humidifier in your home or office, or even taking a hot shower helps to keep membranes moist. Staying hydrated on the inside is also extremely important. Make sure you are drinking a minimum of 2 litres of water per day.

Both feet on the ground We all lead busy and stressful lives, and while it’s not possible to avoid all stress, it is important to find a way to achieve balance and reduce stress. Get a full night’s sleep, have an outlet for stress, and make your health and happiness a priority.

Yours in health,

Ian Koo, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Essentials Health Centre
"The care you want, the health you need"