Saturday, August 27, 2016

Only one in four Australian pregnant women adhere to folic acid and iodine guidelines

Only one-in-four Australian pregnant women adhere to folic acid and iodine guidelines. This article goes on to state that “in Australia the recommended nutrients for supplementation are folic acid and iodine!”

But my questions are … what about the other trace elements? Are those other trace elements less important? What happens when you supplement with iodine alone? Does it compromise the status of other essential minerals? What about folic acid as a single supplement? Despite it’s proven ability to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects, folic acid is part of the B-complex group of vitamins. It never occurs alone in Nature and should always be given with its supporting fellows which all work together. But there’s more, in the general population, 34 variations of the MTHFR (methylene-tetrahydrofolate-reductase) gene have been identified - these individuals cannot metabolise synthetic folic acid! 

I raise these questions because the studies that take one nutrient and show how important it is during pregnancy are completely meaningless. The reality is ... all the trace elements, vitamins, essential fatty acids, amino acids and various co-factors are important! In addition, ensuring you and your partner enjoy optimal nutritional status (that’s nutrition obtained from whole foods grown on healthy soil, supported by robust, comprehensive supplements that take into account specific metabolic anomalies), before you conceive and maintaining that status during pregnancy and during breastfeeding will do more for your baby’s intelligence, birthweight and everything else, than supplementing with single nutrients in isolation!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

How much Vitamin D for babies?

While there’s no question that breastmilk is the perfect food and drink, it’s long been recognised that it provides insufficient Vitamin D for the baby. When you consider that a significant number of pregnant women are deficient in Vitamin D, it’s a completely logical finding. So if you’re a breastfeeding mum you’ll be interested in this study confirming the high doses of Vitamin D supplementation required to ensure your infant gets a minimum of 400IU/daily.  Unfortunately the recommendation of a short daily “sun bath” for babies has gone the way of a good deal of other grandmotherly wisdom. This recommendation, which I know my own mother heeded (probably beginning my life-long love affair with the sun) was firmly put to bed with the scare campaign about the damage of sun exposure and the risk of skin cancer. If you feel uncomfortable about exposing your baby’s delicate skin to the sun, here’s the recommendations for either your own regular sun exposure and/or supplementation while breastfeeding. If you’re planning a baby or already pregnant, I’ve included the recommendations for Vitamin D supplementation for you too. You might be surprised by the doses required - very significantly higher than many commonly available supplements! Here’s the word from researchers at GrassRootsHealth, whose work now spans more than three decades, on the required dosages and for a continuing appropriate relationship between your skin and the sun. These apply to Australian latitudes. In colder climates (higher latitudes) supplementation is the only way to achieve appropriate status.
Minimize UVA while allowing UVB
10-15 minutes exposure/day between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm during daylight saving)
Expose 40 percent of skin area
Ensure it’s a clear day without pollution
If this isn’t possible, use oral D3 supplements to achieve 40-60ng/ml (100-150nMols/L)

Vitamin D Recommendations Update for Preconception, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Dose for adults: 1 drop (I,000IU) 1 to 2 times daily. 
Dose for preconception: 2 drops (2,000 IU) daily.
Dose for pregnancy: 4 drops (4,000 IU) daily
Dose for breastfeeding: 6,400IU daily
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. Product soon available in store.
flurishh - Ensure Vitamin D - 30ml Drops
Provides 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol in one convenient drop.
900 drops per bottle 
1,800,000 IU per bottle.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sweet But Deadly Poison

Eighty years ago, my Scottish grandmother was advised by a naturopath to avoid refined sugar if she wanted to live a long and healthy life. In his view, it was a sweet but deadly poison. My own mother, as a consequence was raised on a whole, mostly raw food diet. Mum, Dad my sister and I ate the same, so I grew up with a solid understanding that sugar was bad for me. 
About the same time that my grandmother was consulting her naturopath, Dr. Weston Price, a dentist studied communities around the world, linking declining physical and mental health to a change from their traditional whole food diets to Western-influenced ones, which were high in white flour and refined sugar. His seminal volume “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” is still a bible for clinical nutritionists. It’s almost thirty five years since I finished my own studies in Clinical Nutrition - sugar as the bad guy was never in any doubt and for thirty years I’ve been advising preconception couples to get rid of sugar-containing products from their diet!

Yet despite a mass of sugar-related studies and practical wisdom, in recent decades sugar as the bad guy has been overlooked or forgotten. Perhaps, more insidiously, those revealing studies have been sidelined by vested interests. Concurrently, the flawed recommendations that fat is actually the bad guy have been front and centre, eclipsing sugar’s bad reputation. 
Now with the nonsense surrounding fat and heart disease exposed as just that, the pendulum will finally swing back towards consumption of healthy fats. So it’s also time to explore exactly how sugar exerts its damaging effects. While the knowledge of those effects is not new to many, the mode of action is now becoming clear. Rather than neurons in the brain passively taking up sugar (which has long been the understanding) scientists say the glial cells, which make up ninety percent of the brain, but which have also been misunderstood as mere support cells, actively seek out sugar molecules for take-up!

A better understanding of how this works, of why we get hungry, of why we crave sweet foods, of how sugar affects our mood and much more, could change everything! It certainly highlights the vitally important recommendations to get rid of sugar from your diet if you want to lose weight, improve physical and mental performance and reduce the likelihood of chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes!

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.