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Maria Augustyn

(Naturopath)

Maria Augustyn - BLOG

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The amazing human brain

Posted on August 19, 2020 at 3:43 AM Comments comments ()
The Amazing Human Brain 

If you are ever feeling uninspired, take a moment to consider the amazing marvel between your ears – your brain!

Did you know that although your brain makes up only 2% of your total body weight, it consumes approximately 20% of your energy? Or, did you know that the brain is composed of 100 billion cells that make a million connections every second of our lives? 

Do we really have to end up "over the hill"? Up until recently, we have understood that all the growth and development of the brain occurs early on in life. We were previously taught that the brain reaches its maximum weight around 20 to 25 years of age, and after that it's all downhill as the brain loses about 10% of its weight over a lifetime. 

However, advances in neuroscience now reveal that early brain development sets the stage for ongoing development throughout adulthood, and into old age. We now know that the brain can continue to grow neural pathways and to forge new connections – all it takes is repetitive use of these neural pathways. In accordance with the health of the whole body, subtle changes occur in the chemistry and structure of the brain throughout midlife in most people. 

It appears that neurons can readjust to various degrees of damage and degeneration, as long as the neuronal cell body remains intact, where nearby surviving neurons can compensate, in part, by growing new dendrites and synaptic connections. Neuroplasticity – Not a plastic brain, but an evolving one! 

This capacity of the brain to reconfigure its wiring is called neuroplasticity, a process whereby neural pathways are laid down to develop our unique individuality. Neuroplasticity was previously thought to be relevant only in utero and in children and adolescents; however, it has now been demonstrated that our brain continues to grow well into adulthood. This discovery holds revolutionary hope for a wide range of applications, from protecting against degenerative age-related change, to greater levels of recovery in those who have suffered brain injury, to strengthening and optimising healthy brains well into the later stages of life. It also holds that we can literally "change our minds" by deliberate concentrated thought processes and deliberate practice of new skills to build and strengthen new neural pathways. Of course, this ability to change may be positive or negative, as we also have the power of choice. 

Give the brain smart nutrition... 
So how do we support and nourish this marvelous organ and encourage positive neuroplastic growth? We may have overlooked the health of the brain in the past whilst we managed the health of the body, but in reality we need to support the cellular health of every organ. It's true that if things go "wrong" with the brain, from injury or trauma through to depression or psychosis, it is very frightening. 

We do need to rely on the skills of neurosurgeons and psychiatrists for specialist assessment, diagnosis and treatment for life-saving strategies, but don't underestimate the profound, supportive role that Natural Health Practitioners can offer in supporting those with brain dysfunction, stress and mood disorders, substance abuse or age-related neural degeneration. 

We can offer unique, complementary nutritional, herbal, dietary and lifestyle support for patients and work in harmony with the multiple modalities that are often required for holistic management of brain dysfunction and stress and mood disorders. 

Wellness for the brain CELL The maxim "prevention is better than cure", couldn't be more true when it comes to the brain. Targeting nutritional strategies at optimum brain health, and consequently mental function, is essential to enhance every

Annual check-ups can uncover some serious risk factors

Posted on March 4, 2014 at 1:29 AM Comments comments ()
Annual Check-Ups 
Can Uncover Some Serious Risk Factors


Introduction
I would like to share this story with you to inspire you to take charge of your own health today.

A 41 year old male was referred by his Doctor as a recent medical checkup had revealed an abnormal blood profile. The Medical Practitioner told the patient that if he could not normalize his cholesterol levels in four months, the patient would have to start taking medications to lower his cholesterol. His total cholesterol was 6.6 mmol/L and LDL 5.0 mmol/L; and he had mildly elevated hsCRP. The patient weighed 95.5 k and was carrying excess fat, particularly around his waist. This combination of signs and symptoms clearly marked him as being in a very high risk category for cardiovascular disease. He also had a family history of cardiovascular disease and was under significant stress at work. At the time he was taking a multivitamin but no pharmaceutical drugs or other supplementation.

Prescription for Better Health
To reduce cardiovascular risk and improve long-term health, the holistic treatment plan included a high fibre, low glycaemic load, calorie-controlled diet, as well as aerobic and strength training exercise. The exercise regimen was prescribed to increase muscle mass, promote fat loss and support healthy cardiovascular function. The supplements listed below were also prescribed. The patient was highly motivated and was fully committed to his supplement regimen, nutritional plan and exercise routine.
  • Therapeutic doses of high quality clean fish oil (no mercury or pesticides) 
  • Bio Q10
  • Antioxidants
  • Natural-cholesterol-reducing tablets

Reducing Risk Factors in Just 10 Weeks…
In just ten weeks, this holistic treatment protocol yielded impressive clinical results. The patient's Medical Practitioner had never seen such significant results in such a short time-frame, which negated the need for cholesterol-lowering medications.

Real Clinical Results Come from Real Commitments to Change
This patient achieved substantial improvements in his cardiovascular and metabolic health parameters in just ten weeks, thanks to some simple recommendations and his great attitude, motivation and hard work. He was able to improve his cholesterol levels and reduce his cardiovascular risk profile significantly, without resorting to pharmaceutical interventions. It is common in clinical practice to see patients who have been given a relatively short period of time to normalize their cholesterol levels through non-pharmaceutical methods. Case studies such as this demonstrate that correct Nutrition and Natural Medicine can achieve great results even within these short time frames, helping reduce cardiovascular risk. This case study proves how appropriate Natural Medicine, together with diet and lifestyle choices, have the power to significantly change physiology and reduce the risk of chronic disease in patients.

 "Don't Wait to Get Sick 
to Get Better"
Maria Augustyn ND, BHSc, RMT

 

Autism could be prevented

Posted on February 13, 2014 at 6:51 AM Comments comments ()
Bacteria in our gut and our brain's health

Many of you have completed or are undergoing a Detoxification Program.

The Integrated Detoxification Program is the most effective way of giving your body a thorough 'spring clean' and get you feeling fantastic again.
It helps you to remove toxin exposure through dietary and lifestyle changes; remove bad bacteria and waste from your digestive system; renew your digestive lining and the healthy bacteria that improves your digestive function; and releasing your body's toxins so they can be eliminated.
In general, by having a healthy microbiota in our intestine, we are more likely to have a more responsive and alert immune system that will protect us from many forms of nasty diseases.

The relationship between our gut flora and our mental health is becoming more obvious and is being promoted by many health authorities as the basic causation of many mental disorders…
 
…including autism.
 
It is very dramatic and disturbing learning that we could prevent autism and we are not doing it. It is possible to test and make sure that little infants are healthy in their gut. If they have an established gut flora, they are protected in order to receive the insult of vaccination.

By doing a simple urine test and sometimes a stool analysis test, we can determine if a baby has a well established intestinal microbiota.
 
It would be a urine test like the one you had after your first step in the Detoxification Program.  
Bad bacteria produce residues that show in our urine.
 
Have you had a Detoxification Program?

Does your baby have a healthy microbiota?

To ensure the health of your baby, please make sure that 
  • both parents are healthy before conception.
  • breast feed your baby.
  • the mother should have a good diet that includes fermented foods, and if possible to have a probiotic supplement.

Please share the news:
                            AUTISM...could be prevented!

   Maria Augustyn ND, BHSc, RMT
    04 1607 3366

 

Multiple Sclerosis Management

Posted on September 17, 2013 at 6:52 AM Comments comments ()
How Holistic Treatment Can Help Manage Multiple Sclerosis
Multiplesclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). MS affects the myelin sheath that surrounds CNSneurons, causing gradual demyelination of neuronal axons throughout the brainand spinal cord. This demyelination results in impairment of motor, sensory andcognitive functions. There is no known cure for MS, but dietary andlifestyle changes, along with natural medicine, can help slow progression ofthe disease and ease symptoms, as this case demonstrates.
Figure One. Liveblood screening at baseline.
Treatmentplan
With all this information in hand, the following was recommended:
  • Dietary changes: Reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption, and follow the principles outlined in the Wellness and Healthy Ageing Program.
  • Lifestyle: The patient used alcohol to help her relax and sleep; to help change this pattern of behaviour, the patient was given some information on sleep hygiene and was advised to include relaxation exercises into her daily routine.
  • Supplements: The patient was prescribed the supplementation regimen outlined below:
Lipids and Tocotrienols for the Healthy of Cell Membranes and Cognition, Bacopa and Ginkgo, High Bioavailability Magnesium, High Potency B Complex, Liquid Zinc.
 
Clinical outcomes
Within six weeksof treatment, the patient's pain levels, memory and concentration had started to improve. Her pain had reduced which allowed her to start exercising regularly. She was also following the dietary principles outlined in the Wellness and Healthy Ageing Program and had reduced her caffeine and alcohol consumption.
After 12 weeks of treatment the patient was experiencing significantly less pain, fewer cramps, more energy and greatly improved cognitive function. Her sleep had also improved. Reassessment showed her zinc levels had improved and her live bloodscreening showed a marked reduction in inflammatory parameters (see FigureTwo).
 
Figure Two. Live blood screening after 12 weeks of treatment.
Casediscussion
MS most commonlyaffects young females living in temperate regions of the world. The condition appears to be multifactorial in origin, with genetic susceptibility, virali nfection and low vitamin D levels all implicated in the pathogenesis.The symptoms of MS are varied and unpredictable, depending on which part of the CNS is affected, and to what degree; new symptoms may occur as part of discrete“attacks” or may slowly accrue over time. Between attacks, symptoms may resolvecompletely, however permanent neurological problems often persist.The degree of impairment and the speed of disease progression may vary greatly between patients.
Currently,orthodox treatment of MS involves immune suppression and management of presenting symptoms. Natural medicines can be used alongside these orthodox treatments to help manage symptoms, address some of the underlying drivers of the condition and mitigate any side effects from medications, as was demonstrated in this case. Scientific and anecdotal evidence indicates that holistic nutritional, dietary and lifestyle interventions, such as those utilised here, may help slow the progression of this disease and help manage symptoms, helping to improve patients' quality of life.
What are you doing today to improve your health?
Make an appointment and start your journey into Wellbeing.
 
 
Please visit www.food2live.org
 

Can I eat Bacon and be healthy?

Posted on August 17, 2013 at 5:00 AM Comments comments ()
I found this interesting article and would like to share it with you.
Please note the emphasis given to a balance diet, low in simple carbohydrates, rich in vegetables and wholesome unprocessed foods.
Healthy food should be delicious and interesting. Sometimes it may include a little bacon.
Enjoy the reading.
 
Having protein in your breakfast together with vegetables, may start you on a very energetic day.The TRUTH About Bacon
 
When people today think of bacon, they think of clogged arteries, love handles,and sin. They also think of Homer Simpson.

That’s right: eating bacon means that you’re destined for heart disease, a fatbelly, and a lifetime in Satan’s dungeon-Doh!
 
But, thinking this way is aterrible misconception. In truth, bacon is a very good addition to your diet,and should be something enjoyed more often than you endulge in pancakes andsyrup or crepes with brown sugar.

Pancakes and syrup may look good to some people, but it is not good for you atall…

Bacon is not an unhealthy food when chosen correctly. By reading this article,you’re going to learn why and how to properly add bacon to your diet, andyou’re going to start doing it now.
 
What IsBacon?
 
Bacon is a cured meat (a naturalway to prevent the meat from spoiling by way of salt, and often nitrites) thattraditionally comes from a pig. It consists of both the meat of the pig, plusthe fat (known as lard).
 
Bacon usually comes from eitherthe belly of the pig, the back, or the sides. The amount of fat (lard) in bacondepends on how fat the pig is, with the belly usually being fattier than theback, especially in America.

Today, you can also find bacon made from turkey. But if you actually spent timereading the label of turkey bacon, you’d see it contains a laundry list ofingredients, many of which are not good for you such as hydrolyzed corn gluten,soy protein, wheat gluten, disodium inosinate, silicon dioxide and nitrites.
 
EuropeansHave It Right
 
All over Germany, pork reignssupreme. From bacon to sausage to lard, no parts of the pig are left unused.And, if you take a good look at traditional Germans, you will notice that theyare not as overweight as Americans, nor suffer the same incidences of chronicdisease.

Unlike modern-day Americans, Europeans use lard for most of their baking andcooking. Previously in the US, we also used to incorporate a lot of lard intoour daily diets, but with the notion (from our government) that pig fat is too“saturated” and unhealthy, we shifted to the use of hydrogenated plant oils(aka., vegetable shortening ) which actually made us sicker, fatter, and morediseased.
 
Why Baconis Better
 
To understand why bacon, and thefat it's rich in (lard), is a healthy choice for us to use in our diets alongwith other beneficial fats and proteins, let’s look at the nutritional scienceof this food.
 
If we take 1 tablespoon of purelard, we see that is consists of an even balance of saturated andmonounsaturated fatty acids, with some polyunsaturates and cholesterol (allanimal fats contain cholesterol), but no trans fats. Specifically, itcontains*:
 
• 5.9 grams of saturated fattyacids
• 6.4 grams monounsaturated fatty acids
• 2 grams polyunsaturated fatty acids (mostly omega-6)
• 14 mg cholesterol
*analysis from Mass Spectrometry at University of Alberta, 2003

If you compare lard to vegetable shortening, you get**:
 
• 3.8 grams saturated fatty acids
• 6.7 grams monounsaturated fatty acids
• 3.9 grams polyunsaturated fatty acids (mostly omega-6)
• 2 grams trans fatty acids (man-made)
• 0 mg cholesterol
**analysis from ESHA Food Processor

What’s most frightening is the trans fats found in this man-made, fake lardsubstitute – trans fats have now been linked directly to heart diseasemorbidity and mortality, and there is a strong move to rid our shelves of thisdangerous fat as soon as possible.
 
SaturatedFat is Not Bad
 
Some people still think saturatedfats are evil, and as a result have banned bacon from their homes. However,fatty acid experts today emphasize that saturated fat from natural sources likemeats, dairy, and tropical oils (coconut, palm) are not detrimental for ourhealth, but instead much better than the polyunsaturated and hydrogenatedsubstitutes we’ve been recently using.

Sure, maybe it’s confusing to try and tell yourself that saturated fat isn’tbad like we once thought. However, it’s important that you realize that we werefed lies and deception that only made us fatter, sicker, and unhealthier. Weneed to change this way of thinking.
 
The bottom line is that saturatedfats, like that found in bacon, CAN and SHOULD fit into a healthy diet – a dietlow in sugar, processed carbohydrates, and synthetic chemicals, but high infresh low-pesticide vegetables, organic meats and fish, and nuts and seeds.

Essential Omega-6 and Omega-3 Balance
 
What about the omega-6 fats inbacon? Some people feel that bacon and other foods containing omega-6polyunsaturated fats should be minimized, and a focus placed on omega-3 fatssuch as fish, flax, and certain nuts - which is both true and untrue.
 
It is correct that we should tryto keep a fairly close balance between the omega-6 fats (found in most meatsand some nuts and seeds) and the omega-3 fats, but we can’t completelyeliminate omega-6s in favour of omega-3s.
 
Not only is it almost impossible,unless you eat completely fat-free meats and avoid all nuts and oils, but yourbody needs omega-6s because they are ESSENTIAL – meaning necessary for propermetabolic and physiologic function.
It’s more important to maintain a healthy ratio of omega-6 fats found in foodslike bacon, with omega-3 fats found in DHA-enriched eggs and omega-3 rich fish.
 
For example, a great breakfastcombination would be a few slices of bacon with omega-3 DHA eggs topped withorganic salsa and avocado. Delicious and nutritious!

The Science of Bacon Fat
 
In 2003, I conducted a researchstudy at the University of Alberta looking at the effects of a high bacon fatdiet compared to a high palm oil diet on the cholesterol synthesis andinflammation profiles of ten healthy men.
 
I cooked all the food for theseguys every day, so all they ate was what I gave them. They ate things like:
 
• (BLLTs) Bacon, Lettuce, Lardand Tomato sandwiches
• Hash Browns cooked in lard
• Bacon and Egg Omelets cooked in lard
 
(To say I smelled like bacon all thetime was a compliment…)
 
After 6 weeks on each diet, theirblood was analysed for cholesterol synthesis rates, cholesterol, andtriglyceride concentrations, and markers of inflammation.
 
What was found was that the highlard diet compared to the high palm oil diet produced significantly lower totalcholesterol, and total-cholesterol/HDL cholesterol levels, with slightly lowerLDL-cholesterol and inflammatory marker levels.
 
What this means is that fat fromlard may be less cholesterolemic and inflammatory than fat from palm oil. Thisdoes not mean that palm oil is a bad fat, but instead suggests that lard may bebetter when consumed often.
 
ChoosingHealthy Bacon
 
Now that you know that the fat inbacon is not bad for you, or harmful for your health, don’t immediately go outand purchase bacon and eat it everyday.
 
First, you need to look for baconthat is nitrite-free.

Nitrite (sodium nitrite) is a preservative used in bacon to not only preventspoilage, but also keep bacon a nice red colour.
 
However, nitrite is also a knowncarcinogen and is related to increased risk and incidences of cancer.
 
So, if you do decide to choosebacon to help you either stick to a lower carbohydrate diet, or just eatinstead of toast and jam, make sure you choose wisely – natural nitrite freebacon is the best.
 
With bacon, you don’t have toworry about the pig being full of artificial or natural hormones, because theseare not allowed to be used on pigs.
 
Eat aBetter Breakfast
 
A healthy breakfast can include colourful vegetables. Now you know that bacon is a goodbreakfast food, but it can also be used to enhance the taste of your favouritesalads for lunch, or as a side dish at dinner.

No matter what you choose to do with your diet, bacon or not, remember thatbacon is not bad for you, and will not ruin your health. Also, when eaten in thecontext of a low-sugar, vegetable-rich-unprocessed diet, it will not make yourbelly look like a pig’s.

Enjoy!
 
By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD
 
 

Alzheimer's vaccine

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 6:15 AM Comments comments ()
 
Alzheimer’s vaccine
Spanish scientists’ trial  work
 
On September the 21 World Alzheimer’s day was aiming to raise awareness about the most common form of dementia.
Around 36 million people are affected by the disease worldwide, a number which is expected to rise to more than 115 million by 2050.
For now there is no cure but Spanish scientists, who have been working on a vaccine, say they could soon start clinical trials on humans.
Researcher, Javier Jorba said: “Our system reacts and generates what we call antibodies that pick up the beta-amynoid protein, which causes the illness, and destroys them.”
“We decided to take the step when we had something solid on the table.That’s the stage we’re at right now, but we don’t want to raise any false expectations”
While any kind of cure or prevention might be some way away, Alzheimer’s associations are hoping that the dedicated day will help to remove some of the stigma that surrounds the disease.
 euronews
 
Building a better brain.
Would you like to optimise your memory and cognitive function? Would you like to support your brain function?
 
Maintaining a healthy mind and active brain throughout our entire life is something we all want. Fortunately, it is something that we can all achieve.
 
Many people’s greatest fear is not death, but losing their mind.
 
Many of us fear losing our memory and our mental function. Tragically, a large number of us will experience this personally or through a close relative or partner. The incidence of dementia in the elderly is increasing rapidly due to a combination of increased stress, increased oxidative exposure and nutrient insufficiencies.
 
Brain health throughout life.
 
The health of the brain determines much of our experience of life, influencing our moods, our intelligence and our overall quality of life. Maintaining brain health throughout life should therefore be a top priority for all of us. You need to consider the constant changing requirements of your brain in order to achieve a life time of healthy mental function. In order to address all the challenges and changes your brain experiences throughout life, it is important to incorporate good dietary choices, key natural medicines and both physical and mentalexercise. This will help to promote a healthy brain and mind.
 
Six keys to a healthy brain:
 
1. Exercise and challenge your brain.
 
2. Nourish your brain through good nutrition.
 
3. Enjoy physical activity.
 
4. Stress management.
 
5. Sleep well.
 
6. Take natural supplements.
 
1.Strain the brain to train the brain.
The more you think, the smarter you become. Your brain is just like your body, the more you exercise it the more powerful it becomes. You can train your brain by choosing appealing and challenging leisure activities (e.g. crosswords, puzzles, learning a new language, etc) and by challenging yourself at work.
 
2. Eat your way to a better brain.
Take a healthy approach to your diet and lifestyle by eating the following each day:
 
• Protein rich foods.
 
• A minimum of 3 cups of fresh vegetables.
• Two pieces of fresh fruit.
 
• A handful of nuts and seeds.
 
• Two tablespoons of good oils.
 
• Drinking at least 8 glasses of water.
 
• Enjoy regular exercise and fun.
 
By following a healthy diet and lifestyle program you can provide key nutrients for healthy brain function.
 
3.Exercise builds better brain health.
Sustained participation in physical exercise well into old age has been shown to:
 
• Enhance learning and memory.
 
• Reduce age and disease related mental decline.
 
• Protect against age-related degeneration of crucial areas of the brain associated with higher cognitive function.
Not only does exercisehelp to reduce the risk factors for cognitive decline, such as cardiovascular risk, inflammation and energy metabolism, it also helps to enhance learning and memory.
 
4. When life becomes stressful, what do you do?
Do you relax, meditate and strive towards a healthy balance between work and leisure? Or do you keep pushing yourself and not give your body and brain a break? Many people put work and stress before their own health and wellbeing.
 
Ensuring that you take time out to relax is extremely important for brain health, because excessive stress can impair memory and brain function.
 
5. Are you counting sheep in order to sleep?
The most common reason people have difficulty getting to sleep is that they are unable to shut off the anxieties and worries of the day and are preparing for tomorrow’s problems. Sleep is important for repair of both body and mind. If you are having trouble sleeping, make an appointment today and find out what natural options you have for better sleep.
 
6.Nutrients to nourish the brain.
A multivitamin and mineral supplement is the best way to provide vital nutrients for brain function. Vitamins and minerals improve energy, support metabolism and nervous system function and promote better brain function.
 
Omega 3 essential fatty acids from fish oil are also extremely important for your brain. Studies have shown that DHA, one of the major components of fish oil, improves cognitive function.
 
This component has alsobeen shown to be very effective for protection against age-related mental decline. It is very important to use a clean fish oil, free from pesticides and/or mercury and that is produced in a manner respectful of our planet.
 
Finally, brain tissue is extremely vulnerable to damage by free radicals. Replenishing the brain with antioxidants is therefore a great idea to help reduce the damaging effects of oxidative stress and aid in the prevention of age-associated memory impairment. Great antioxidants to help support healthy brain function include resveratrol, vitamin C and vitamin E.
 
Make an appointment today and start a program to protect your brain and the health of your entire body.
 
 
Please ring 0416 07 3366
 

Lead exposure may affect 100,000 children

Posted on November 4, 2012 at 7:54 PM Comments comments ()
 
Lead exposure may affect 100,000 children
 
As many as 100,000 Australian babies and preschoolers mayhave blood lead levels that put them at risk of impaired brain development andbehavioural problems, according to the authors of a new analysis who sayAustralia’s threshold value should be urgently revised to one tenth of thecurrent standard.
 
Environmental health specialists led by Mark Taylor fromMacquarie University made the calculation by extrapolating exposure rates in USchildren to the Australian population of those aged from birth to four years.
 
Professor Taylor said the current Australian recommendation that people be treated if they have morethan 10 micrograms per decilitre of lead in their blood was “obsolete”, and pointedto a finding of the US National Toxicology Program that detrimental effectswere possible even below 5 micrograms per decilitre – the current US thresholdfor treatment.
 
In a letter in the Medical Journal of Australia today,the specialists call for “legislation and standards ... to achieve blood leadlevels below 1 microgram per decilitre.”
The National Health & Medical Research Council isreviewing the effects of lead exposure and expects to issue advice later this year.
 
A spokesman said it would, "consider the [US] recommendations... on the health effects of lead, specifically at different levels ofexposure."
 
 How does lead get into a child's body?
 
Kids can take inlead by breathing or swallowing lead dust or by eating soil or paint chips thatcontain lead. Lead is not absorbed through the skin.
 
Drinking water(used to make formula and for cooking) is another source of lead, especially inolder homes. You can't see, smell, or taste the lead, and boiling the waterwon't eliminate it.
 
Even childrenwho aren't chewing on paint chips can get lead into their system if there'slead-based paint in or around their home or another building they spend timein.
 
Doors and windowframes covered with lead paint release tiny particles of lead dust into the airevery time they're opened or closed. Kids may breathe in this lead dust or pickit up on their hands when it settles on floors and furniture. Once the leaddust is on their hands, it's a quick trip to their mouth when they lick theirfingers or eat with their hands.
 
Pregnant women withelevated levels of lead in their blood can transfer lead to their unborn baby.
 
Where are children mostlikely to encounter lead?
 
Here are themost likely situations – and other sources of lead to watch out for. 
 
Living in anolder home: The age of yourhouse is an important factor. In general, the older your house is, the morelikely it is to have lead-based paint and the greater the amount of lead thepaint will have.
 
Older homes arealso more likely to have lead pipes, which can leach lead into water used fordrinking, making formula, and cooking. 
 
Spending timein or near any older building: Your child may also be at risk if he attends day-care or school in anolder building, plays in a yard near an older home that's being renovated, orfrequently visits a friend who lives in an older home.
 
Being near afreeway or industrial area:The lead that these sources have put into the air over time is likely to havecontaminated the soil nearby.
 
Carrying leadinto the house: People withcertain jobs and hobbies can inadvertently bring lead residue home on theirhands and clothing. If you work with stained glass or pottery, refinishfurniture, or visit indoor shooting ranges, be sure to change your clothes andwash your hands before returning home.
 
Other commonsources of lead:
 
·        Oldfurniture, playground equipment, and toys painted or varnished with alead-based product. (Repainting these items may not be enough to make them safe.The lead paint may have to be removed through a special process first or atleast be sealed in.)
 
·        Oldvinyl flooring
 
·        Oldplumbing – lead pipes, or copper pipes joined with lead solder
 
·        Olderor imported brass faucets
 
·        Brasskeys (Don't let your child play with any kind of keys.)
 
·        Leadcrystal glassware
 
·        Sometoy jewellery
 
·        Potterywith lead glaze (especially common in ceramics made in developing countries)
 
·        Importedfood in cans sealed with lead solder
 
·        Leadfishing weights
 
·        Oldbatteries
 
·        Somehobby materials (like stained glass supplies)
 
·        Someimported makeup (kohl, kajal, surma)
 
·        Factories(smelters, battery plants, foundries, incinerators)
 
Leadoccasionally pops up in unexpected places. Some candles have metal-cored wicksthat put unsafe amounts of lead into the air when you burn them, for example,so stick to candles with paper or cotton wicks.  
 
In 1996, the CDCdiscovered that some imported vinyl mini-blinds contained lead that had beenadded to stabilize the plastic. Government tests showed that some of theseblinds produced lead dust in dangerous amounts, and the blinds were withdrawnfrom the market. If your home contains non-glossy vinyl mini-blinds from 1996or earlier, you should think about replacing them
 
Should I have my child tested?
 
It might be a good idea,especially if you have concerns about his exposure – if you live in an olderhouse, for example, or a neighbour has been renovating an older house, or ifyour child attends day-care or school in an older building. The screening is a simpleblood test.
 
The American Academy of Paediatricsrecommends routine screening at age 1 and 2, unless you know for sure that yourchild hasn't been exposed. The CDC suggests that state and local healthofficials determine the appropriate screening criteria for their areas, so thatmore children who have been exposed to lead will be screened while children whoare less likely to have been exposed won't be screened unnecessarily.
 
Other groups – like theCoalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning and Healthy Child Healthy World –recommend testing annually beginning at age 1 until age 5 or 6.
 
The Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) recommends that children who are at risk for lead exposure betested at 6 months of age and then every six months until age 2 and thenannually until age 6.
 
Even if your child isn't atrisk, the EPA recommends testing at ages 1 and 2. After age 5 or 6, mostexperts don't recommend routine testing.
 
Talk with your child's doctorabout whether testing your child for lead is a good idea. If you have reason tosuspect that your child may have been exposed to lead, insist that he betested, regardless of his age.
 
What about acute lead poisoning?
 
Fortunately, acute leadpoisoning is rare. If you're aware of the sources of lead mentioned here andtake the appropriate precautions, the chances of your child developing aserious case of lead poisoning are quite low.
 
There are cases, however, inwhich a parent is unknowingly giving child doses of lead. Certain Hispanic andAsian folk remedies – like greta and azarcon, used to treat stomach upset, and pay-loo-ah, used for rash and fever – contain dangerous levels oflead, for example.
 
What are the symptoms of lead poisoning?
 
A child may have no symptoms,even if he has unsafe levels of lead in his body.
 
If there are symptoms, theycan include fatigue or hyperactivity, irritability, aggressive behaviour,reduced attention span, loss of previous developmental skills, difficultysleeping, anaemia, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, constipation,vomiting, headache, and problems with balance and motor control.
 
What's the treatment for lead poisoning in children?
 
A lead blood level greaterthan 10 micrograms/decilitre (mcg/dl) is unsafe. And a level higher than 45mcg/dl is considered very high.
 
If your child has an elevatedblood level, the doctor will take steps to help you identify and eliminatepossible sources of lead in his environment. Once your child's exposure isended, his body will slowly rid itself of lead.
 
The doctor may also recommenddietary changes to ensure that your child is getting adequate iron, calcium,and vitamin C, as well as foods that are low in fat. And your child will beretested periodically to make sure his lead levels are going down.
 
If the level of lead in yourchild's blood is very high, the doctor may recommend a treatment calledchelation therapy. Sometimes this therapy can be done orally, but it mayrequire hospitalization and IV medication.
 
  
How can I protect my child from lead?
 
Take these steps to protectyour child from lead poisoning:
 
·        Make sure he eatswell. If your child is well nourished, his body will be less likely to absorblead even if he's exposed to it. (Fried and fatty foods allow the body toabsorb lead faster.) It's particularly important to eat a diet that providesenough iron, calcium, protein, vitamin C, and zinc.
 
·        Keep your child'shands clean. Wash his hands – or teach him to wash his hands – several times aday, particularly when he comes in from playing outside and before eating ameal or snack (something you'll want to him to do anyway).
 
·        Keep your homeclean. Wipe up paint chips and dust with a disposable wet cloth and damp mopyour floors. If you're in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, consider onewith a HEPA filter. Not only will it trap lead dust particles, it'll clear theair of some possible allergens as well.
 
·        Make sure that yourchild's crib or bed, playpen, and toys don't have any peeling paint.
 
·        If your child is ababy or toddler, prevent him from chewing on painted surfaces, such aswindowsills, cribs, play yards, or furniture.
 
·        If your child goesto day-care or school, find out when the building was built and whether it hasbeen tested for the presence of lead. Do whatever's possible to provide himwith a lead-free day-care and school environment.
 
·        Test your tap waterand take steps to eliminate lead if necessary.
 
Food as medicine
 
Parsley and coriander(cilantro) are among the most famous of foods that chelate. Research shows thatparsley is extremely effective at removing mercury from the body as well asother toxic heavy metals. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and kalecontain antioxidants that increase the production of detoxifying enzymes in thebody. Garlic is also a great food for
oral chelation.
 
Make an appointment today to have an assessment done on your child's nutritional habits, and start to support his/her growing body and brain, in order to achieve their best development.
Ring:
(02) 96713867
0416073366
 
Sources:
6minutes
 
 
 

CANCER - The Fear Word

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 2:54 AM Comments comments ()
The FEAR Word...
Cancer is a life altering experience for the person involved, as wellas their close family and friends. However, it doesn’t occur over night. Inreality, cancer is the manifestation of chronic disease that has beendeveloping over time, with many factors contributing to its onset andprogression. The good news is that there is a multitude of supportive andpreventative measures available that can help you transform fear intounderstanding and empowerment, leading to a happier, healthier state of wellbeing.
 
The Seed and Soil of Cancer
As far back as 1889, an English surgeon, Stephen Paget proposedthe ‘seed and soil’ concept - that the spread of cancer depends on cancercells, “the seeds”, and the environment in the body, which he called “the soil”.It can take the body many years to produce the “soil” or environment that isjust right for cancer to flourish. Cancer may develop when changes occur insidethe cell and when coupled with the appropriate internal environment, the cancercell can proliferate in an uncontrolled manner.
More than 100 years later, the “seed and soil” concept still holdstrue; it is both the health of individual cells and the environment in the bodythat may determine whether a cancer may develop or not. By taking active stepsto improve our health, we have the potential to alter the environment in our bodies,reducing the risk of chronic disease and maintaining long-term health.
 
Prevention is Best Practice
You may be surprised to hear that genetics accounts for only
5-10% of cancers.1Research studies have shownthat healthy
diet and lifestyle factors have favourable effects in reducing
the incidence of many cancers, challenging us to modify our
diet and lifestyle for disease prevention.
The Protective Power of Herbal Medicine
The protective actions of particular herbs used in disease preventionare well documented. Key herbs can support the body’s resistance and resilienceto chronic disease such as cancer. They provide anti-inflammatory,anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant actions which are all beneficial insupporting the
health of our cells:
  • Green tea: Oxidative stress has been shown to damage the DNAin cells and can play a role in promoting cellular dysfunction implicated intumour development. EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is found in the leaves ofgreen tea and is a powerful antioxidant which can protect against degenerativediseases. It may also be beneficial in preventing the cellular changes seen incancer development.
  • Turmeric: Curcumin is the active constituent of turmeric. Thispowerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb has been widely researched forits anti-carcinogenic actions.
  • Resveratrol: Resveratrol is a phytochemical that is found in certainplants, in particular grapes. It has been shown to be an effectiveanti-inflammatory and inhibits the growth of a wide variety of tumour cells.
  • Yerba Maté: This herb has a long history of use as a tonic andstimulating drink in South America. It protects against oxidative damage, canpromote energy production and increases antioxidant defences.
 
Food Can Produce or Reduce Inflammation
The typical Western diet may actually promote inflammation; highamounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates break down quickly into glucose andhave been shown to induce inflammatory changes that are linked with manychronic diseases. In some susceptible people, foods such as dairy products andgluten-containing grains can trigger an inflammatory response.
 
Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Long-Term Health
The following diet and lifestyle recommendations can help keepyour cells and your body healthy for the long-term:
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is carcinogenic so make it apriority to quit smoking for disease prevention and anti-aging.
 
  • Minimise exposure to environmental toxins in thehousehold and workplace.
 
  • Make stress management a priority and ensure youare getting a good night’s sleep. Ask us about our Stress Less program forsupport during stressful periods.
 
  • Obesity and inactivity have been linked withcancer, so stay active and maintain a healthy weight.
 
  • Get moving! Just 30 minutes of movement andexercise enhances wellbeing and can help with disease prevention.
 
  • Cancer cells are said to be ‘addicted’ to sugar asthey are fuelled by glucose. Minimise your intake of processed, refined foodsto maintain healthy blood sugar balance.
 
  • Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables andcancer preventing antioxidants. Choose organic food where possible as it provideshigher levels of protective nutrients.
 
  • Drink pure, filtered water preferably from glass orBPA free bottles.
 
Empowered for Health
Consider cancer in a new light and accept the challenge to takeresponsibility for your health. Herbs and nutrients, together with a healthydiet and lifestyle may well be the ultimate tools for disease prevention.
Make anappointment soon and take charge and responsibility for your own health.
 
MariaAugustyn ND
 
Healt World Newsletter
 

Children's Language Impairment and Vitamin D

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 9:35 PM Comments comments ()
 
 
Maternal vitamin D supplements may help language
 
 
Vitamin D deficiency during early pregnancy is associated with an almost two-fold higher rate of language impairment in the offspring; a study from WA has shown.
 
In a long term follow up study of children born between 1989 and 1991, researchers found that maternal serum vitamin D levels at 18 weeks of pregnancy were related to language difficulties in the children at five and 10 years.
 
However, contrary to other studies, vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy was not linked to offspring behavioural or emotional  problems at any age, according to the findings published in Pediatrics (online Feb 13).
 
Researchers from the Telethon Institute for Child Health in Perth say one of the intriguing findings from their research was the suggestion of a threshold for serum vitamin D levels. Rather than a dose-response relationship, they found that there was a cut-off  level of 50nmol/L for circulating 25 (OH)-vitamin D levels, below which the language impairment was seen.
This threshold effect was similar to that seen for vitamin D levels and other health outcomes such as bone density and colorectal cancer risk, they note.
 
They say the developing fetus is completely reliant on maternal vitamin D stores, and vitamin D performs a number of physiological and endocrine roles fundamental to neurodevelopment.
 
“Maternal vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of developmental language difficulties among their children,” they conclude.
 
Michael Woodhead
6 minutes

Drink water for your headache!

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 4:33 AM Comments comments ()
 
You have a headache...just add water!
 
Patients with recurrent headaches should be advised to drink more water, a randomised trial concludes.
 
Although advice to drink an extra 1.5L per day did not cut actual numbers of headaches, it did significantly boost patients’ perceived quality of life and led many to feel their headaches improved.
And given the low risk associated with the approach, the researchers say all headache patients should try it, at least for a time.
 
The study involved 102 primary-care patients in the Netherlands who had experienced multiple headaches in the preceding month, and who were drinking less than 2.5L of fluid per day.
All were advised by their GP to reduce stress and sleep better, and directed to self-help materials if they wanted to know more.
Half of the participants were also advised to increase their daily water intake by 1.5L — ideally split into three portions of 0.5L, spread throughout the day.
 
After three months, patients in the water group were consuming an average of 842mL more water per day than before.
They also scored significantly higher on scales of quality of life and functioning — 47% met the study’s definition of “much improvement”, compared to just 25% of patients in the control group.
 
However there was no significant difference between groups in the number of days with moderate or severe headaches, or the number of days on which medications were used.
“Considering the observed positive subjective effects … we suspect that some headache patients do benefit from drinking more water,” said the researchers, whose study was published in Family Practice (online).
“However these findings need replication and better investigation in specific subpopulations.
“In the meantime, it seems reasonable to recommend headache patients to try this non-invasive intervention for a short period of time to see whether they experience improvement.”
Family Practice 2011
 
If your headaches persist, consider a Detoxification Program.
 
 

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