Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Truth About Cancer

When I watched the first two episodes of The Truth About Cancer I detected a swing by those with a cancer diagnosis to question the status quo. I was particularly moved by the story of the 13 year old girl with a brainstem tumor who decided that chemotherapy was not for her! Multiple interviews in subsequent episodes revealed her attitude was not uncommon, especially if someone had initial, conventional cancer treatments and opted for a different path second time around. 

I’m familiar with people questioning the orthodox dogma. It’s now more than thirty years since I embarked on the campaign trail to educate prospective parents about natural ways to improve fertility, why a normal, vaginal birth and prolonged breastfeeding are worth their weight in gold, and much more. For many couples this advice has been both welcomed and empowering. 

But other couples still opt for IVF, Caesarean delivery and infant formula … at least for their first baby. But what excites me after thirty years, six books, six ebooks, three mini-ebooks and hundreds of presentations and interviews, is parents’ increasing enthusiasm for taking responsibility for their own reproductive health and for the future physical and mental health of their children.

There is no doubt that The Truth About Cancer 9-part series taps into a similar vein. There’s also no doubt that this will be confronting viewing for many, particularly for those who have received the current so-called gold-standard of cancer treatments - surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. But the series, in a host of excellent interviews with well-credentialled practitioners of all persuasions (and their patients), challenges orthodox cancer treatments and reveals the extent of the suppression of proven natural therapies. But for those looking beyond mainstream medical prescriptions, it provides hope and a positive message that cancer is not a death sentence. I urge you to watch it with a completely open mind, then make your own decisions about what mix of cancer treatments might be right for you.

if you miss the window for free viewing, you can purchase the DVD series. Absolutely worthwhile investment.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Sugar Conspiracy

Anyone watching the SBS program The Sugar Conspiracy last night should be left in no doubt. I actually thought it was common knowledge that sugar was bad for us, after all back in the 1930s Dr. Weston Price’s much published and quoted research linked the change from traditional diets to sugar-containing Western-style ones to “physical degeneration”, which was worse with each succeeding generation. There’s been heaps of research since, see my blog post of March 19 2013 which follows...

Sugar consumption levels may have a ‘direct and independent’ link to the risk of developing diabetes, according to new research.

Well I thought this fact was already a given - seemingly not so in the eyes of the scientists. But I clearly remember reading a recommended text, right back at the beginning of my studies in nutritional and environmental medicine ... and that was 30 years ago. Pure, White and Deadly by John Yudkin was actually published in 1972 but from 1957, Yudkin demonstrated that consumption of sugar and refined sweeteners was linked to the development of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The studies he conducted on sugars indicated that they raised blood triglycerides and insulin levels. 

Through the years, the focus has shifted to obesity and over-consumption of calories from any source as the culprits in the diabetes epidemic. In fact, Professor Sanjay Basu, from Stanford University School of Medicine, who led the research team identifying sugar as an independent risk factor said “it was quite a surprise!”

Yudkin died in 1995, but Wikipedia mentions that in 2013, Yudkin’s arguments and evidence for the dangers of sugars were the focus of several articles in the British Medical Journal. Well I guess if you are prepared to wait long enough, your work will eventually see the light of day and maybe even impact the public consciousness. Pity no-one was listening back in the 1950s - we might have saved a lot of lives and a lot of healthcare dollars! Let’s just hope someone’s paying attention now!

If you haven’t seen the program, watch it. Start with getting rid of sugar from your tea and coffee, then read labels - sugar is hidden in almost every sort of packaged and processed food - and choose wisely!  

Thursday, August 6, 2015

So…parents can expect more improvement in literacy and numeracy?

“Australia's curriculum authority has said parents have the right to expect more improvement than what is being shown in the nation's annual numeracy and literacy skills report.

NAPLAN test results that were released this morning (August 05 2015) showed that in the seven years since the tests were introduced in primary and high schools, most measurements show no major improvement.”

I’m not a big fan of testing kids’ literacy and numeracy nor am I a fan of putting the whole responsibility for these aspects of learning in the schools’ courts, instead here’s another idea.

If parents can indeed expect more improvement in literacy and numeracy, they might consider the very significant steps that they can take.

Let's start with the time before conception … most effective place to ensure optimal mental health in the offspring. Sure, this needs some foresight, planning and commitment on the part of two prospective parents, but the payoff is huge! Most important outcome as far as this subject goes is a truly healthy, bright child. 

Then, once the optimal physical and mental health of the child is assured, parents can get rid of some popular parenting practices (e.g. controlled crying, separate sleeping quarters and formula feeding) and embrace responsive, attached, nurturing practices that also nurture optimal mental development. 

The research is clear on both counts! For almost forty years, Foresight Association UK, renowned epidemiologist Professor David Barker from Southhampton University and many others have proposed that two optimally healthy prospective parents will give their child the best chance of a lifetime of optimal physical and mental health. Furthermore, the findings of interdisciplinary studies at University of Notre Dame are clear. “Breast-feeding infants, responsiveness to crying, almost constant touch and having multiple adult caregivers are some of the nurturing ancestral parenting practices that are shown to positively impact the developing brain, which not only shapes personality, but also helps physical health and moral development.”

Yep, there’s no doubt. If all parents were to fully embrace these opportunities for more enlightened parenting practices, they’d be rewarded with a great deal more than kids who do better on their NAPLAN tests.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Breastfeeding your baby? Take Vitamin D3 every day or get daily sun exposure.

Until recently scientists haven’t appreciated the fact that breastfeeding mothers need daily Vitamin D3. Nursing mums could have 50-60 ng/ml of measurable 25(OH)D (a metabolite of Vitamin D3) in their blood but no measurable Vitamin D3 in their breast milk. Why? After Vitamin D3 has been turned to 25(OH)D it cannot enter the breast milk. Vitamin D3 has a half life in the autocrine system of roughly 24 hours, so in order for it to have a meaningful impact on cellular functions, you need a new supply of it every day. The only way to get Vitamin D3 in breast milk is by dosing daily - either by sun, diet or supplementation. The latest research of Grassrootshealth and Dr. Bruce Hollis, Professor of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina indicates that 6,400 IU/day is necessary for breast feeding mothers to attain sufficient vitamin D (to the value of 400 IU/day for the infant) in their breast milk. More on appropriate daily sun exposure in Healthy Parents, Healthy Baby and Healthy Parents, Healthy Toddler.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Big Pharma has a grip on EU legislation

Looks like Big Pharma’s grip on EU Legislators tightens! After three years before the courts the plea from the UK Health Food Manufacturer’s Association (HFMA) and their Dutch counterpart (NPN) to annul the current health claims list has been rejected. This means that the restrictive list of health claims (which do not accept 'tradition of use' for supplements and botanicals - rather looking for pharmaceutical-type trials) remains. The current list outlaws hundreds of well-established health claims on all foodstuffs including drinks, food supplements and foods. 

Just one example of hundreds of such claims is the failure to authorise the claim “dietary fibre helps maintain a healthy digestive system.” 

Looks like they’ll be wrangling over this for years to come. Meanwhile consumers and manufacturers of natural medicines, supplements, nutraceuticals, functional foods - the products that informed consumers are turning to in preference to pharmaceuticals - are losing out. The official statement from HFMA says “this was never about the right to make claims that could not be substantiated, but was always about the freedom of consumers to access responsible information that is supported by robust scientific evidence appropriate for nutritional products rather than pharmaceutical drugs.” No prizes for guessing who might drive this sort of decision …

Friday, May 22, 2015

Our bacteria affect our brain function

Been bleating about importance of the gut microbiome for ages, but here’s a new connection that should give seniors cause for pause - our bacteria affect our brain function.

Of course, this is not exactly related to Better Babies, but if you’re worried about those increasingly frequent senior moments - a forgotten word or phrase, a face you can’t put a name to, no recollection of what you did yesterday - listen up!

If you want the Better Babies version of the microbiome story - the infant gut and skin are inoculated with good bacteria during the baby’s journey down the birth canal, and with exclusive breastfeeding until at least six months. Then an organic whole food diet, purified water, probiotic supplementation and no antibiotics, are other factors needed to ensure an optimally healthy microbiome in the child, which should be well-established by the age of two or three.

Lots more details in both my books

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Getting iron levels up to speed ... before pregnancy

Yet another one of those hugely frustrating studies that leaves me wondering how many more years must pass before the importance of preconception care is shouted from every rooftop and promoted by every health care professional worldwide! 

For thirty years I’ve been promoting serum ferritin levels as the test of choice for iron status and of establishment of optimal iron levels well before conception. It’s simple, if the mother begins her pregnancy in an iron-depleted state, no amount of supplementation can make up for the deficit. End of story! Oh actually, not quite …

When supplementing to restore iron status, iron must be in an organic form (not the cheap and ever-popular ferrous sulphate) and must be accompanied by all the other trace minerals and co-factors such as vitamin C. While the authors are talking about the need for personalised nutrition, I hope they recognise and promote the vital importance of an all-organic, whole food diet. Much more in my easy to read mini ebooks.