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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Nutrient Deficiencies and your Kids

Generally in Canada and other Western countries, we don't pay too much attention to nutrient deficiencies.  Most people slough it off because food is so abundant here.  Scurvy and other maladies of pure deficiencies are rare.

But what about the concept of optimal states.  Optimal amounts of vitamin d has been shown to reduce diabetes risks by 50%, breast cancer by 75%, pre-eclampsia, pre-term labour and other complications of pregnancy by 50%.  This is something that isn't talked about much.

A new study out of Oxford University in the UK is making headlines because of the potential impact on kids.  Some of you may have run this test here at the clinic looking at the level of omega 3 fatty acids in the blood and found that you didn't consume enough fish. I've mostly run this test on adults since there is a correlation between the levels of omega 3 in the blood and cardiovascular disease.  This study found that levels of omega 3 fatty acids in the blood significantly predicted a child's behaviour and ability to learn and concentrate.  In my opinion, it sounds like kids with a diagnosis of ADHD and ADD should be doing this kind of testing before going on prescription medication, non?

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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www.NaturopathicEssentials.com
"The care you want, the health you need." 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Birth Control Pills - What you should know!

It's one of the most widely used medications out there.  There are a number of reasons why many young ladies take them including to prevent pregnancies, to manage painful cramps and to avoid having a period altogether.

While many people know about these positives, few know about the possible side effects, the worst of which are blood clots that have lead to a number of deaths as reported by CBC news.  The statistics show that approximately 1 in 10,000 women taking any form of birth control experience some form of blood clot, but Yaz and Yasmin have higher incidences.

Usually side effects such as mood based changes (ie. depression) are noticed by the women taking the drugs, but few know about the slow creeping effects of the pills.  Over time, birth control pills can leach nutrients from your body, the way other medications such as steroids and reflux medications can.  Take a look at this article from a registered pharmacist describing what vitamins and minerals are leached from chronic use of these meds.

http://metronews.ca/health/709891/taking-a-birth-control-pill-it-might-be-leaching-nutrients-from-your-body/

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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www.NaturopathicEssentials.com
"The care you want, the health you need." 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Statins - Should you really be on it?

Statin are one of the most widely prescribed medications out there.  They are used to lower high cholesterol levels.  If you are on it, you should take a look at this CBC article and video.  Researchers are starting to question its risks and benefits for cardiovascular disease prevention.  It seems to help those who have had a heart attack, but not so much for those who have yet to have any health problems.  After about 5 yrs of use, it seems to reduce risk by about one percent.  But one also has to weigh that against the possible side effects such as kidney disease, muscle pain, type 2 diabetes, etc.

Luckily, if you read my previous blog post about how effective naturopathic medicine is for cardiovascular disease, you will find that there are much more effective treatment strategies out there.

FYI:
Speaking of statins, make sure that you're not mixing it with any macrolide antibiotics.  These are common antibiotics such as clarithromycin & erythromycin.  It could lead to a number of nasty side effects, namely kidney and muscle damage.  See the article below for more information.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/06/17/statin-antibiotic-interaction.html

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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www.NaturopathicEssentials.com
"The care you want, the health you need."

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease using Naturopathic Therapies vs. Conventional Treatment

I didn't think this would happen for at least a decade more, but it did.  The Canadian Medical Association's Journal (CMAJ) published a journal study comparing the treatment of Canada Post workers in Edmonton, Toronto & Vancouver using conventional treatment of cardiovascular disease versus naturopathic treatment.

And lo and behold, naturopathic treatment was more successful in reducing the 10 year risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality risk.  In addition, the patients who were treated by a naturopathic doctor reduced costs to the health care system and the employer (Canada Post) by a whopping $1025 in the first year alone.

The study also analyzed naturopathic care vs. statins.  Statins are a class of medication used to lower cholesterol and have been shown to decrease mortality risks.  Naturopathic care resulted in a 2 fold improvement in benefit + a 2 fold reduction in cost.  Therefore, that means naturopathic care was 4x more cost effective.

Dr. Brian Goldman, MD who hosts a show on CBC radio and is an emergency room doctor at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto discusses this study and naturopathic medicine in this interview.  Take some time to listen to it and you'll be surprised at how positive he is regarding naturopathic medicine's role in Ontario and Canada's health care system.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Saskatchewan/ID/2382402569/

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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www.NaturopathicEssentials.com
"The care you want, the health you need."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Is a chocolate bar worth 3000 sit-ups? That's what it'll take to burn it off.

I find that most people these days are unaware of what 100 calories or even 1000 calories really means.  It seems like it's just a number.  One is bigger than the other and we know that too many calories can be bad for you - that's what we've been told.

However there are ways to get through to patients and it's to re-phrase calories to number of minutes or hours needed of exercise to burn those calories.  All of a sudden, when I tell patients that they may need to walk for one to two hours to burn off that bag of chips, the chips don't look as appetizing any more.

Here's a fabulous slide showing different fast food options and the number of hours or number of reps of a particular exercise needed to burn it off the meal.

It even makes me think twice about eating that bag of chips even though that's my weakness.

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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www.NaturopathicEssentials.com
"The care you want, the health you need."

Friday, April 19, 2013

BPA and lead found in the urine and blood of Canadians

I remember a number of years ago hearing that polar bears in Canada's arctic region had been found to have traces of toxic chemicals in them.  If bears in remote regions of Canada are toxic, what about us humans?

A new report released by Health Canada shows that children as young as three years old have traces of lead in their blood and bisphenol A (BPA) in their urine.  The concentrations of lead have decreased slightly from when we last tested the Canadian population in 1978-1979.  This is a positive sign, but lead in any amounts have been shown to be detrimental to humans, especially growing children.


The levels of BPA are still high despite despite being added to Canada's toxic substances list in Oct. 2010.  BPA was detected in a whopping 95% of Canadians ages 3 to 79.  BPA found in the urine is an indication of RECENT exposure.

Making some lifestyle changes can have a meaningful impact on the levels of such toxins in your system.  Few patients or even other health care practitioners know or realize how these toxins impact your health.  Patients with multiple chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, etc. can all benefit from this.  Here in my practice, we've tested the levels of toxic chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, benzene, etc. in patients' urine (environmental pollutants profile) and have instituted changes accordingly for each patient, kind of like an episode of Dateline I recently saw.

Please watch this Dateline episode about "detoxing" or going "chemical free" and the difference it makes to the reporter's urine samples and that of her young children.  Quite eye-opening.


Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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www.NaturopathicEssentials.com
"The care you want, the health you need."