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Monday, October 15, 2012

Juicing - What you should know about what you're missing!

Many patients ask me if it's ok if they drink their fruits and vegetables. Generally, science says that juicing is a good way to get some vitamins and nutrients, but the lack of fiber and the high glycemic (ie. high sugar) content may be an issue.

But I've always had a nagging suspicious that there was something else that we might be missing in this story and now I have proof.  Research out of The University of Queensland in Australia has found that "fibre binds up to 80 per cent of cancer-inhibiting antioxidant polyphenols in fruit and vegetables, thereby protecting the antioxidants from early digestion in the stomach and small intestine."

So what this means is that if you don't eat the fiber part, less of the antioxidants will reach your colon or large intestine.  Last time I checked, colorectal cancers were listed as fourth on the list of most diagnosed cancers.

Maybe next time you drink your orange juice, try to include the pulp.

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Acupuncture Works - Proof in largest study to date

The largest study of acupuncture for chronic pain compares real acupuncture vs placebo vs. other treatments for pain relief and what they find is that acupuncture's effectiveness rate is 50%, placebo is 43% and other treatments is 30%.

So naturally the headlines are that acupuncture is only marginally more effective than placebo, which makes me wonder how people interpret information.

First of all, there is no such thing as "sham acupuncture" as far as I'm concerned. All of these supposed placebo treatments such as using a laser on acupuncture points or misplacing a needle by a couple of millimeters is NOT placebo. Lasers treatments are already used for pain relief and not hitting the exact acupuncture point still produces an effect on the body. So yes, these "placebo treatments" do have a physiological effect! Also, one has to wonder why placebo works 13% better than the other treatments group? Why doesn't anybody talk about that point?

The headlines from CNN and other news agencies should just read: Acupuncture works! To quote the lead author of the study Andrew J. Vickers, who works at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York "Most clinicians and patients would say a 50% success rate versus a 30% success rate for something like intractable chronic pain is actually pretty good".

I agree!

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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"The care you want, the health you need."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Organic foods: Are they healthier?

So I've been hearing a lot about this new study , a meta-analysis by Stanford researchers concluding that organic foods are not really healthier than non-organic ones. Basically, they analyzed nutrient contents from the two and found that they were similar. And from that, they conclude that there's no difference and that's what the media is running with. Headlines everywhere are saying how organic foods aren't more nutritious and that it's all a scam.

I've never told patients that organic foods are more nutritious because frankly, all are grown from the same soil. But I think people are missing a point here.

The researchers did find that there were less pesticides in organic foods and that organic meats produce less antibiotic resistant bacteria. Both of these ARE good things people! I'm not saying that everyone should only eat organic because that could get expensive, but it just baffles me how people interpret studies, even the researchers themselves.


Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Alkaline Diets - A quick summary

Alkaline diets seem to be all the rage these days in the U.S. The concept is pretty simple and as old as time. Pretty much, eat lots of veggies and fruits which are alkaline. Decrease consumption of large amounts of meats and processed foods which are acidic.

Some patients have asked about alkalinizing waters machines and such and I always give the same answer: There are no short cuts, you need to eat a healthy diet! I have no idea what long term consumption of alkaline water will do, but I do know that there are only positives to eating fruits and veggies.

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Food Allergy, Food Sensitivity or Food Intolerance Testing

UPDATE (Feb 1, 2012):

Here's another article from the Toronto Star about this issue. For people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD - ulcerative colitis or crohn's disease) or even irritable bowel disease (IBS), this test may be useful. IBS can cover the gamut from people who have lots of gas and bloating to people with constipation or diarrhea or even pain in the gastrointestinal tract.

Click on our website link below for more information.

Previous Article:
Some of my patients are already aware and have done laboratory tests for food allergies or for food intolerance/sensitivity. Sometimes, there have been dramatic results in health and well being because of the tests.

This type of testing is not well known and is not covered by OHIP, but it would seem that even doctors at Sunnybrook Hospital are beginning to see value in such tests. A patient of mine showed me an article from the newspaper 24 Hours, which I will attach to this post for all to read.

IgG and IgE food testing has been around for quite some time, but not all patients need to get this test. As discussed in this article, there are other less expensive ways to do so which some patients opt for. However, you should check with your insurance to see if you are covered for this laboratory test. If you're lucky, you will be and the test can be done for a much lower price than that quoted in the article depending on which laboratory provider is being used.

There are many lab tests that can be done to find possible problems or to track if treatments are working. Did you know that there are even urine tests to see if your osteoporosis treatments are working? This can be done sooner than waiting for a bone density scan, although bone density scans are considered the gold standard in medicine today.

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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"The care you want, the health you need."