Dr. Laura: Is it aging or low B12?

B12 deficiency has been estimated to affect about 40% of people over 60 years of age, and about 40% of the general population are on the lower end of normal.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can look like the signs and symptoms of diseases that are commonly associated with aging such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, cognitive disorders, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and other neurological problems; depression and anxiety; cardiovascular disease; cancer; and low libido. If someone you love has these symptoms, best to get there B12 levels checked and supplement if help reduce the symptoms.

Supplementing with an active form of B12 can help reduce inflammation, which has improved symptoms of arthritis and eczema.

Vitamin B12 works with folate to make DNA, red blood cells and the insulating sheath around the nerves to help with nerve signalling. This is why when I inject B12, I always include folate with it.

Causes/Risks of B12 deficiency

  • Vegan/vegetarianism
  • Intestinal malabsorption due to low stomach acid
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Pernicious anemia (an autoimmune condition affecting our ability to absorb B12)
  •  Atrophic gastritis (usually H. pylori infection in the elderly)
  • Long term use of Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI’s)
  • People on Metformin therapy

If someone you know or love fall into any of these categories, best they get tested even if they don’t have symptoms, as deficiency can start before the symptoms show up.

Symptoms of B12 Deficiency

  • not much if  it’s mild
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • strange sensations
  • numbness, or tingling in hands, legs, or feet
  • difficulty walking such as staggering or balance problems
  • anemia
  • a swollen, inflamed tongue
  • yellow skin
  • jaundice
  • difficulty thinking and reasoning
  • memory loss
  • paranoia or hallucinations

Testing for B12

It is easy to run a B12 test, however there are other blood and urine markers that can provide a more complete picture, such as methylmalonic acid (MMA) and homocysteine. Homocysteine may be more sensitive and accurate for detecting the early stages of B12 deficiency. When I run tests, I look at things from a functional medicine perspective and this may involve the more complete profile.

If there is an absorption issue suspected, we need to identify and correct that, if possible. Further testing and treatment may be required to do that.

The results of the tests are also interpreted differently when you come to see me. I look at things from a functional range – your optimum level of performance- not the point at which you have disease. The conventional medical system in North America regard a low B12 to be below 200 pg/mL. This is the point where irreversible neurological damage can happen. I prefer to go at the guidelines set out by Europe and Japan – somewhere over 550 pg/mL.

Supplementing

Best to get B12 from animal based sources – strongest providers are the organ meats (liver, kidney) and seafood like oysters and clams. To get ahead quickly or to supplement a vegan or vegetarian diet, you will need activated B12, so hydroxy or methyl based cobalamin are the best. If there is intestinal absorption issues, then you’ll need a pill to dissolve under the tongue or an injection to provide the boost. What I carry in the clinic is an activated form of B12/B complex so it absorbs easily and we see good results on the before and after blood work, or we can go for the injection – usually weekly for a month and then once a month for a few months. Then we re-test.

 

Dr. Laura M. Brown ND is a Naturopathic Doctor with a Functional Medicine approach. She is a Certified Gluten Practitioner, A HeartMath Certified Practitioner and is engaged in ongoing education with the Kresser Institute of Functional Medicine.

Help Dr. Phil Fight Cancer in 2017

Hi Friends,

It seems that we all know a friend or loved one, or personally struggle or have been taken from us with cancer.

I’ve felt like I couldn’t do enough over my years in practice. Until now.

I’m not a scientist and can’t find a cure on my own, but I can and will be participating with Team Kortright in an event called The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top 5 cancer research hospitals in the world. Through this event, I can help prevent other’s from having to struggle with this disease.

The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer is a 2-day bike ride, over 200 kilometres (124miles), from Toronto to Niagara Falls, riding 100kilometres (62 miles) two days in a row, with thousands of other people.

As you can imagine, riding that far is not going to be a simple feat.   I’ll have to train and get in shape. But I’m excited that I can finally do something this big in the fight against cancer.
I know you understand why this is so important to me, and know why I’m asking for your financial support. My goal is to raise at least $2500 and I really hope you’ll help me get there or hey, even beat it.

It’s hard asking my family and friends for money, but this cause and this event are very important to me. I hope that you can donate at least $50.

The proceeds benefit The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Canada’s leading institution dedicated to cancer research.

Click the link at the bottom of this email to donate to me online. You’ll also find a printed donation form on my webpage, if you prefer that. Thank you for your support and concern over the last incredibly difficult year, and thank you for your support in my participation in this cycling event.

Donate Here:

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Sincerely,

Dr. Phil McAllister

What’s so Bad About Process Foods?

 Why do processed foods get such a bad wrap? 

Find out why eating at restaurants, choosing fast food or buying from the pre-packaged section increases your risk of diabetes type 2, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

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 AGES

  • Advanced Glycated End (AGES) products are byproducts of food processing.
  • Stimulate chronic low-grade inflammation
  • Promote oxidative stress
  • Affect the pancreatic beta cell function leading to the development of insulin resistance.
  • When AGE diets are stopped in animal models, the development of type 2 diabetes is stopped.

Fats: not all are created equal!

  • Processed foods use transfats to prolong shelf life
  • Processed foods use saturated fats because they are cheap and tasty
  • Transfat, saturated fat (including *peanuts/peanut butter*)
    • Cause body wide inflammation
    • Increased risk for plaques in the vascular system
    • Increase cholesterol
    • Increase blood pressure

Dyes

  • The processed food industry uses food dyes to add colour to colourless foods, to enhance colour and to avoid colour loss due to environmental elements and to preserve consistency when there are variations in the colour of food.
  • Food dyes are linked to inattention, hyperactivity, irritability, temper tantrums and troubles sleeping. Chronic insomnia is a risk factor for heart disease, increased inflammation and cancer.

Sugar & High Fructose Corn Syrups

The 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, German Otto Warburg, Ph.D., first discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells. The crux of his Nobel thesis was that malignant tumors frequently exhibit an increase in anaerobic glycolysis – – a process whereby glucose is used as a fuel by cancer cells with lactic acid as an anaerobic byproduct – –  basically meaning cancer craves sugar.

  • Most processed foods have some sugar added including soda pop, breads, cereals, yogurts, processed meats, soups and condiments.
  • High-sugar diets may make a significant contribution to cardiometabolic risk. High fructose corn syrup, when digested by the body produces reactive carbonyls, which create tissue damage.
  • Countries using high-fructose corn syrup had rates of diabetes that were about 20% higher than countries that didn’t mix the sweetener into foods, even when total sugar and total calories remain the same.
  • Cardiometabolic dysfunction and diabetes type II is on the continuum of ill-health and puts the body at increased risk for cancer.
  • Fructose, in particular, affects a metabolic process (or pathway) called 12-LOX. It helps cells metastasize, or spread.
  • High sugar diet can elevate IGF-1 which, like in radiation, can dull the effect of chemotherapy

Salt

  • Processed foods use salt to help preserve it and for added flavour.
  • The amount of salt in restaurant and packaged foods are the main culprits in the Western diet, not the salt added to home-prepared whole foods.
  • Research shows that the average North American consumes 4000mg sodium per 2000kcal diet. This is almost twice as much as the 2300mg/day recommend by some health experts. If the amount is reduced even to 2700mg/day, a 5mmHg smaller rise in systolic blood pressure would be noted in those 25-55 years of age. This results in an estimated 150,000 lives saved from death due to cardiovascular events.
  • High salt intake is a risk factor for gastric cancer.

White Flour

  • When the grain casing is stripped from the kernel, most of the nutrients are lost.
  • This is why we have “fortified” flours – to try to put back in the vitamins and minerals that are lost in processing. Whole grains are the best and most natural way to obtain the nutrients and fibre.
  • Without the fibre, white flour easily breaks down into simple carbohydrates which is essentially sugar to the body.  The fast breakdown quickly elevates blood sugar, induces insulin release and after the energy is stored in the cells, the blood sugar drops quickly and causes cravings for more sugar to restore blood sugar levels. (see sugars above)

From the heart, mind and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

Rebalance Your Sleep Rhythms

Bothered by tosses and turns through the night, snores, troubles falling or staying asleep or would like alternatives to prescription sleep medication?

On Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 at GoodnessMe! Guelph location 6:30-8pm join  Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND to learn

  • what you may do to get a good night’s rest
  • the importance of sleep for healing and disease prevention.

Stimulate your life with the healing power of sleep.

sleeping zoie

Five Health Benefits of Standing Desks

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister

Spending more of your day standing could reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer

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There was a time when standing desks were a curiosity—used by eccentrics like Hemingway, Dickens and Kierkegaard, but seldom seen inside a regular office setting.

That’s changed, in large part due to research showing that the cumulative impact of sitting all day for years is associated with a range of health problems, from obesity to diabetes to cancer. Because the average office worker spends 5 hours and 41 minutes sitting each day at his or her desk, some describe the problem with a pithy new phrase that’s undeniably catchy, if somewhat exaggerated: “Sitting is the new smoking.”

Much of this research has been spurred by James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic. “The way we live now is to sit all day, occasionally punctuated by a walk from the parking lot to the office,” he recently said during a phone interview, speaking as he strolled around his living room. “The default has become to sit. We need the default to be standing.”

All this might sound suspiciously like the latest health fad, and nothing more. But a growing body of research—conducted both by Levine and other scientists—confirms that a sedentary lifestyle appears to be detrimental in the long-term.

The solution, they say, isn’t to sit for six hours at work and then head to the gym afterward, because evidence suggests that the negative effects of extended sitting can’t be countered by brief bouts of strenous exercise. The answer is incorporating standing, pacing and other forms of activity into your normal day—and standing at your desk for part of it is the easiest way of doing so. Here’s a list of some of the benefits scientists have found so far.

Reduced Risk of Obesity

Levine’s research began as an investigation into an age-old health question: why some people gain weight and others don’t. He and colleagues recruited a group of office workers who engaged in little routine exercise, put them all on an identical diet that contained about 1000 more calories than they’d been consuming previously and forbid them from changing their exercise habits. But despite the standardized diet and exercise regimens, some participants gained weight, while others stayed slim.

Eventually, using underwear stitched with sensors that measure every subtle movement, the researchers discovered the secret: the participants who weren’t gaining weight were up and walking around, on average, 2.25 more hours per day, even though all of them worked at (sitting) desks, and no one was going to the gym. “During all of our days, there are opportunities to move around substantially more,” Levine says, mentioning things as mundane as walking to a colleague’s office rather than emailing them, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Failing to take advantage of these constant movement opportunities, it turns out, is closely associated with obesity. And research suggests that our conventional exercise strategy—sitting all day at work, then hitting the gym or going for a run—”makes scarcely more sense than the notion that you could counter a pack-a-day smoking habit by jogging,” as James Vlashos puts it in the New York Times. The key to reducing the risk of obesity is consistent, moderate levels of movement throughout the day.

Scientists are still investigating why this might be the case. The reduced amount of calories burned while sitting (a 2013 study found that standers burn, on average, 50 more calories per hour) is clearly involved, but there may also be metabolic changes at play, such as the body’s cells becoming less responsive to insulin, or sedentary muscles releasing lower levels of the enzyme lipoprotein lipase.

Of course, all this specifically points to danger of sitting too much, not exactly the same as the benefit of standing. But Levine believes the two are closely intertwined.

“Step one is get up. Step two is learn to get up more often. Step three is, once you’re up, move,” he says. “And what we’ve discovered is that once you’re up, you do tend to move.” Steps one and two, then, are the most important parts—and a desk that encourages you to stand at least some of the time is one of the most convenient means of doing so.

Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Other Metabolic Problems

The detrimental health impacts of sitting—and the benefits of standing—appear to go beyond simple obesity. Some of the same studies by Levine and others have found that sitting for extended periods of time is correlated with reduced effectiveness in regulating levels of glucose in the bloodstream, part of a condition known as metabolic syndrome that dramatically increases the chance of type 2 diabetes.

A 2008 study, for instance, found that people who sat for longer periods during their day had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose, indicating their their cells became less responsive to insulin, with the hormone failing to trigger the absorption of glucose from the blood. A 2013 study [PDF] came to similar findings, and arrived at the conclusion that for people already at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the amount of time spent sitting could be a more important risk factor than the amount of time spent vigorously exercising.

Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Scientific evidence that sitting is bad for the cardiovascular system goes all the way back to the 1950s, when British researchers compared rates of heart disease in London bus drivers (who sit) and bus conductors (who stand) and found that the former group experienced far more heart attacks and other problems than the latter.

Since, scientists have found that adults who spend two more hours per day sitting have a 125 percent increased risk of health problems related to cardiovascular disease, including chest pain and heart attacks. Other work has found that men who spend more than five hours per day sitting outside of work and get limited exercise were at twice the risk of heart failure as those who exercise often and sit fewer than two hours daily outside of the office. Even when the researchers controlled for the amount of exercise, excessive sitters were still 34 percent more likely to develop heart failure than those who were standing or moving.

Reduced Risk of Cancer

A handful of studies have suggested that extended periods of sitting can be linked with a higher risk of many forms of cancer. Breast and colon cancer appear to be most influenced by physical activity (or lack thereof): a 2011 study found that prolonged sitting could be responsible for as much as 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer annually in the U.S. But the same research found that significant amounts of lung cancer (37,200 cases), prostate cancer (30,600 cases), endometrial cancer (12,000 cases) and ovarian cancer (1,800 cases) could also be related to excessive sitting.

The underlying mechanism by which sitting increases cancer risk is still unclear, but scientists have found a number of biomarkers, such as C-reactive protein, that are present in higher levels in people who sit for long periods of time. These may be tied to the development of cancer.

Lower Long-Term Mortality Risk

Because of the reduced chance of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, a number of studies have found strong correlations between the amount of time a person spends sitting and his or her chance of dying within a given period of time.

A 2010 Australian study, for instance, found that for each extra hour participants spent sitting daily, their overall risk of dying during the study period (seven years) increased by 11 percent. A 2012 study found that if the average American reduced his or her sitting time to three hours per day, life expectancy would climb by two years.

These projects control for other factors such as diet and exercise—indicating that sitting, in isolation, can lead to a variety of health problems and increase the overall risk of death, even if you try to get exercise while you’re not sitting and eat a healthy diet. And though there are many situations besides the office in which we sit for extended periods (driving and watching TV, for instance, are at the top of the list), spending some of your time at work at a standing desk is one of the most direct solutions.

If you’re going to start doing so, most experts recommend splitting your time between standing and sitting, because standing all day can lead to back, knee or foot problems. The easiest ways of accomplishing this are either using a desk that can be raised upward or a tall chair that you can pull up to your desk when you do need to sit. It’s also important to ease into it, they say, by standing for just a few hours a day at first while your body becomes used to the strain, and move around a bit, by shifting your position, pacing, or even dancing as you work.

 

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/five-health-benefits-standing-desks-180950259/#6jGIujw8jDL7ydxe.99

1 in 8 men in Guelph have Prostate Cancer

Are you  aware?

1 in 8 Canadian men, and that means Guelph! will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.

Below are the basic facts.

On September 23rd come and learn more about

  • prostate health surveillancetestosoterone-and-prostate-supplementation-funny-prostate-exam-video-163199
  • what the tests mean (and how effective they are)
  • new HIFU therapies
  • adjunctive support for radiation and chemo therapy.

Moving Forward Education Series

with Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND

Wednesday September 23, 2015

10:00-11:30am

Forward Health
951 Gordon St., Guelph
$10 for snacks & the facts

registernowRegister with drlaura@forwardhealth.ca

Prostate Cancer Facts

  • 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in Canada
  • The second most common diagnosed cancer in men.
  • 85% of all diagnosis of localized cancers are more often curable
  • Over 50% of prostate cancer death are in men diagnosed after the age of 75
  • PSA screening reduce death by approximately 30%

  Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

  • High fat diet
  • Elevated diet in omega-6 vs. omega-3 (high diet of fried or processed foods)
  • Trans fats found in baked goods and margarines
  • Red meat, processed meats, organ meats (liver, kidney- “gizzzards”)
  • Choline from egg yolk and chicken skin and far strongly stimulates inflammation and growth of prostate cancer , doubling risk of re-occurrence. Choline is used in place of glucose in prostate cell PET scans, as it is taken up more rapidly
  • High sugar and glycemic load, such as refined grains and soft drinks
  • Insulin Growth factor (IGF-1) affected by high glycemic and the hormones in milk and milk based products. IGF-1 is considered to be 4x greater stimulator of prostate cancer than testosterone.
  • Low intake of antioxidants (Vit A, C, E, Selenium & Zinc)
  • Exposure to estrogen and environmental estrogen promoters such as Xenobiotics found in pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers and plastics – wash vegetables and fruits well and buy organic wherever possible, avoid plastic containers for foods and drinks.
  • Low status of vitamin D
  • Handling batteries – cadmium exposure
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Poor sleep
  • Family history of prostate cancer
  • Inflammation as Cox-1 and Cox-2 create PGE2 which in turn stimulates aromatase

Risk Assessment

Keep in mind most prostate cancers are slow growing and may not cause any trouble, but current technology cannot tell the difference.

Personal risk of developing prostate cancer can include the following:

  • Average risk: Healthy men with no known risk factors (start testing at 50)
  • Increased risk: African American men or men who have a father or brother who was diagnosed before they were 65 (start testing at 45)
  • High risk: Men with more than one relative who was affected at an early age (start testing at 40)

Session on September 23 will expand on this and provide additional education and answer many common questions. Information provided does not constitute medical advice. Individualized treatments plans and personal medical advice available by appointment only.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND