GI Tract Health Guru Discusses #1 Gut Dysfunction

gi tract

Here we will discuss the first of five most common gut dysfunctions that people often face when it comes to the health of their gi tract; digestion and absorption. The full list which I will go into depth with in future articles includes:

  1. Digestion and absorption
  2. Intestinal permeability
  3. Gut microbiota and dysbiosis
  4. Inflammation and immunity
  5. The nervous system

The amount of energy that we harvest from the food we eat is largely determined by the bugs in our gut. It’s important to note that the bugs rely on fibre. Therefore without fibre they will starve. Thus, a diversity of food is needed in order to keep our microbiome healthy in your gi tract. In other words, the wider the variety of foods we eat, the more strains of bacteria we will find in our gut.

Unfortunately, when the gut is not working optimally, a wide array of symptoms can occur. These symptoms include:

  • Gas, cramping and bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Food Cravings
  • Depression or poor mood
  • Frequent infections
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Insomnia

So, let’s get started and dive into the first issue affecting the health of our gi tract.

1. DIGESTION AND ABSORPTION

First, on a mechanical level improper breakdown of food can happen through:

  • Mastication (chewing)
  • Lack of bile, enzymes and acids

This may be a cause of malabsorption and poor nutrient assimilation. So, as insignificant as this step may sound;

“Chewing your food properly actually plays a vital role in easing the rest of the digestive process.”

Therefore, it is important to avoid eating when in a rush or stressed.  Take time and chew methodically to ensure proper breakdown of food can occur in your gi tract.

Next, adequate levels of stomach acid and enzymes are required for optimal food breakdown. The stomach needs to be acidic to break down protein. Therefore, an optimal pH of 1.5-3 is needed in order to do it’s work and activate pepsin (among other enzymes).

If our stomachs aren’t sufficiently acidic, we can’t digest protein properly. As such, we won’t be able to access many of the minerals in our food and properly trigger vitally important functions during later stages of the digestive process.

The Role Of HCL

The secretion of hydrochloric acid (HCL) is an absolutely essential part of the digestive puzzle. Furthermore, this highly acidic environment is our body’s first line of defense against foodborne pathogens.

As hard as it is to believe with the heavy promotion of antacids and acid-blockers, most people with heartburn often have low acidity (hypo-chlorhydric), not too much acidity (hyper-chlorhydric).

Bottom line, if you have any kind of digestive dysfunction, the level of HCL needs to be addressed or you won’t get anywhere with your gut healing.

Signs You Have Low Stomach Acid (And What That Means) with Dr. Lori Arnold

Signs And Symptoms Of Hypochlorhydria

  • Bloating or belching right after a meal
  • Sense of fullness after eating
  • Feeling like food sits in the stomach
  • Itching around the rectum
  • Weak, peeling or cracked fingernails
  • Acne
  • Undigested food in stool
  • Dilated blood vessels in face (rosacea)
  • Iron deficiency
  • Chronic intestinal infections
  • Food allergies or sensitivities

If some of these symptoms sound familiar, there is a good chance that you are not producing optimal levels of stomach acids.

Causes Of Hypochlorhydria

  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Consuming too little calories
  • Usage of PPI medication (proton pump inhibitors)
  • H2 blockers (also called H2 antagonists)
  • Antacids used for acid reflux and ulcers
  • H. Pylori bacterial infection

Antacids have also been shown to inhibit the absorption of many essential nutrients. This can include:

  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • B12
  • Iron

Intrinsic factor (which is a glycoprotein produced by the stomach cells) is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12. However, the body can develop antibodies to the intrinsic factor which can lead to the diagnosis of pernicious anemia. So be sure to follow up with a health care practitioner if you are concerned.

Hypochlorhydria Consequences

  • B12 deficiencies
  • Dysbiosis (lack of good gut bacteria)
  • Chronic Candida Infections
  • Mineral deficiencies (like calcium, zinc, manganese)
  • Small Intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Increased risk for asthma, celiac disease, diabetes, eczema, gallbladder disease, osteoporosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid dysregulation

Do You Have Acid Reflux or GERD?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach, creating a reflux of stomach acids into the esophagus. Also causing a burning sensation.

Did you Know?

20% of adults in the U.S. experience symptoms of heartburn weekly. 60% of the population experience it annually.

Although, it is quite common during pregnancy, in most cases it is related to dietary choices. In fact, studies also show that obesity plays a role in the onset of its symptoms. Therefore, in most cases, GERD can be relieved through diet and lifestyle changes.

Relief Tips For GERD

  1. Avoid wine, chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes and peppermint. Also avoid onion, garlic, high fat meals and carbonations.
  2. Eating smaller portions.
  3. Weight loss.
  4. Quit smoking.
  5. Elevate your head in bed.
  6. Sleeping on left side (this can prevent stomach content being pushed into the esophagus).
  7. Not eating 3 hours prior to bed.
  8. Follow a low carb diet.
  9. Supplement with GABA, melatonin and licorice root extract. Also try aloe vera, slippery elm, and zinc-l-carnosine.
pancreatic enzymes

Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency

The pancreas is most commonly known for its role in blood sugar regulation through its secretion of insulin. But the pancreas also secretes specific enzymes to break down fats, protein and carbohydrates which included:

  1. LIPASE – Lipase works with bile from the liver to break down fat molecules so they can be absorbed and used by the body.
  2. PROTEASE – Proteases break down proteins. They help keep the intestine free of parasites such as bacteria, yeast and protozoa.
  3. AMYLASE – Amylase breaks down carbohydrates (starch) into sugars which are more easily absorbed by the body. This enzyme is also found in saliva.

Causes For Enzyme Deficiencies

  • Stress
  • Toxicity
  • Nutritional insufficiency
  • Damaged gut microvilli
  • Free radical oxidation
  • PH imbalance

This can result in:

  • Indigestion/fullness 2-4 hours after meal
  • Bloating or flatulence 2-4 hours after meal
  • Undigested food in the stool
  • Fatty stool
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies
  • Slow transit time (no your bus is not late, it means the time it takes for your food to go from entrance to exit)
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Increased risk for chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, celiac disease and gastric ulcers. Also, autoimmune conditions, Crohn’s disease, anemia, bone loss and even neurological problems

Today, there are several natural alternatives that stimulate enzyme functions. Therefore, do your research when looking to restore proper enzyme levels before resorting to medication.

Effective Digestive Spices And Herbs Aids

Also, if you decide to take a natural supplement, look for ones that have lipase, protease and amylase. Vegetarian formulas are now available for you gi tract.

bile acids and salts

Bile Acids And Salts In Your GI Tract

Bile is a fluid produced by the liver and concentrated in the gallbladder. It serves to digest lipids in food and increases the absorption of fats and fat- soluble vitamins. Bile salts are made up of sodium salts of different acids manufactured in the liver. These are derived from cholesterol.

Therefore, in order to understand what scientists mean when they refer to bile salts, it is necessary to know a little chemistry.

An Explanation Of Acids, Bases And PH

I know, you thought you were done with biochemistry! But bare with me. When a base encounter an acid, a neutralizing reaction occurs. This reaction produces water and a chemical salt. It is this reaction that produced bile salts in the liver.

When bile salts are secreted into the lumen of the intestine, fecal bacteria and probiotics metabolize:

  • Primary bile acids
  • Cholic acid (CA)
  • Chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA)

Into secondary bile acids:

  • Deoxycholic acid (DCA)
  • Lithocholic (LCA)

Fiber plays an important role in getting rid of harmful toxins, cholesterol and fat as it forms a tight bond with the bile in the intestine. Soluble fibers cannot be absorbed by the intestinal wall, nor can the bile attach to it.

This fiber-bound bile ultimately leaves the body in a bowel movement with its load of toxins, cholesterol and fat in tow. Those who had their gallbladder removed can face bile salt insufficiency. Thus, may benefit from taking a bile salt supplement or a digestive enzyme supplement containing bile salts.

Signs And Symptoms Of Bile Salt Insufficiency

  • Sour or bitter metallic taste in the mouth, especially in the morning.
  • Incomplete digestion and absorption of fats.
  • Chronic diarrhea, which can be caused by obstruction (stones), liver toxicity, gallbladder disease and cholecystokinin (CCK) deficiency. Also, bacterial overgrowth and certain medications can cause this result.

Major risk factors for the development of gallstones are broken down into the 4-F’s:

  1. Fair
  2. Female
  3. Fat
  4. Fertile

Foods And Supplements That Stimulate Bile Production

  • Radishes
  • Dandelion
  • Bitter greens
  • Artichoke
  • Taurine supplement
  • Limonene

What’s Coming Up!

Make sure to stay tuned for my next article on Intestinal permeability. AKA ‘leaky gut‘ syndrome.

Did you know leaky gut can manifest as many different ailments? This makes the diagnosis a challenge for health care practitioners. As such, many doctors don’t seek the root cause of illness but simply treat the symptoms. Learn why you need to take a different approach and what you need to do when searching for a solution.

Alzheimer Society of Canada

Alzheimer Society of Canada

Today you’ll discover the support system provided by the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Alzheimer’s Association in the United States. You will also learn how important it is to seek Alzheimer’s help, especially if you’re a caregiver for someone suffering with Alzheimer’s.

This is the 5th and final article in a series where you have now discovered:

  • How prevalent the risk of Alzheimer’s is to everyone
  • What a deadly disease it is
  • How completely ineffective medicine is at dealing with it
  • The role of both genetics and epigenetics in both early onset Alzheimer’s and late onset Alzheimer’s
  • The link between Alzheimer’s and aluminum
Alzheimer Canada

Alzheimer Society

In my first 4 articles you’ve discovered just how important it is to take a new and proactive approach when it comes to preventing the nightmare of Alzheimer’s from ever occurring in the first place.

Currently, over 5 million people suffer with Alzheimer’s in the United States who desperately need support that goes well beyond what any doctor or hospital can provide. This is where true angels can be found in the incredible efforts put forth by Alzheimer’s societies, caregivers and support workers.

Alzheimer Society Of Canada

The Alzheimer Society of Canada is located at:

20 Eglinton Avenue West, 16th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tel: 416-488-8772 or Toll-free: 1-800-616-8816

Although there are also chapters across Canada in many major cities.

Its functions are many including to:

  1. Represent Alzheimer’s patients and their rights
  2. Provide support groups
  3. Provide education and information
  4. Encourage research and financial donations
  5. Provide support to caregivers and family members

The Alzheimer Society of Canada has gone so far as to have developed the first-ever Canadian Charter of Rights for People with Dementia.

“The landmark Charter is the culmination of over a year’s work by the Society’s Advisory Group of people with dementia, whose members represent different walks of life from across the country. The Charter defines seven explicit rights to empower Canadians living with dementia to self-advocate, while also ensuring that the people and organizations that support them know and protect their rights.”

They have also taken the position that “Canada needs a fully-funded national dementia strategy”.

Support and services for people with dementia and carers: The dementia guide

Alzheimer Association

In the United States it is the Alzheimer Association that plays this same role. One of their goals is to educate the public on the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s. According to them they are:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  2.  Challenges in planning or solving problems
  3.  Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  4. Confusion with time or place
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  6.  New problems with words in speaking or writing
  7.  Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  8. Decreased or poor judgment
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  10. Changes in mood and personality
The Science of Brain Health – The Simple 7 Step Solution to Prevent the Nightmare of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer Help and Alzheimer Caregivers

My book “The Science of Brain Health – The Simple 7 Step Solution to Prevent the Nightmare of Alzheimer’s”, would seem to refer to the nightmare experienced by the person with Alzheimer’s. However, it also applies to the nightmare experienced by the caregiver.

The non-stop daily toll that is both physically and emotionally exhausting for caregivers, often family members, is heart-breaking. It can be 24/7 for 365 days of the year and go on for years. As such, it is essential that caregivers reach out and get support whenever possible. I have seen this personally and tell many of these stories in my book.

Is Alzheimer’s Communicable?

I know what you’re thinking. Alzheimer’s is not caused by a virus or bacteria so of course it’s not communicable. However, I and many other experts would disagree.

Alzheimer’s is not communicable in the sense that you’ll catch it from someone if they sneeze on you; rather, if you’re a caregiver it’s the endless stress, lack of sleep and emotional distress that do in fact play a major role in contributing to many of the 6 major causes of Alzheimer’s.

As such, the health of the caregiver (or any family member) dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient must be a priority in order for the caregiver to prevent Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer Society

What Needs To Change

As you’ve read, I can’t say enough good about the Herculean efforts put forth by these societies and especially caregivers. But here’s what has to change.

Firstly, it’s great that the Alzheimer Society of Canada has taken the position that “Canada needs a fully-funded national dementia strategy” but what strategy?

Will it be the same drug approach that is looking to reduce plaque? Even their most proactive doctors believe that their drugs failed only because they weren’t given to the patient early enough.

Or, will they continue to collect donations that go towards the same failed approach?

Furthermore, will the Alzheimer Society in the United States continue to promote the 10 warning signs that are typically way too late?  As these are not early warning signs; rather, they are indicative of someone who is already likely in stage 3 Alzheimer’s.

Therefore, if we are truly ever going to prevent this dreaded disease, we need to understand what health and prevention really mean and we must take a new approach.

Alzheimer's Disease

So What’s Next?

If you’ve got to this point in my 5 article series, likely you’re:

  1. Concerned about early warning signs that you’re personally experiencing, that a loved one is experiencing (that you may be caring for)
  2. You’re proactive enough to appreciate that you must take action to both optimize brain function and prevent the nightmare of Alzheimer’s from ever occurring in the first place.

We need to understand the true definition of health and prevention and we need a new approach. I invite you to share these articles with your friends and loved ones. Also, I invite you to discover what true health really is and a new approach to preventing Alzheimer’s by reading my book,

“The Science of Brain Health – The Simple 7 Step Solution to Prevent the Nightmare of Alzheimer’s”

Also, for those who wish to work with me, watch my masterclass “Brain Health for Life – The New Science-based Approach to Maintain Razor Sharp Memory, Laser Focused Learning and Prevent Brain Decline without Drugs Even if Your Genetics and Age Say Otherwise”.

How To Get More Deep Sleep In Just 5 Simple Steps

How To Get More Deep Sleep

As night falls, some of us are really excited to crawl into bed to have a good quality sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.  Unfortunately, for a lot of people it’s not often the case.  Bedtime can be a frustrating time for some, tossing and turning with the inability to sleep.  With sleep being so valuable and so many of us lacking it, here’s how to get more deep sleep in just five simple steps.

sleep schedule

How To Get More Deep Sleep

#1 – Stick To A Sleep Schedule

Choose a bedtime and awake time that works best for your lifestyle and stick to it!  Even on weekends and holidays.  A sleep schedule will help regulate your bodies clock and keep you on a routine.

#2 – Honor Your Circadian Rhythm

When you honor your bodies clock, you also honor your body’s hormonal regulation system.  The hormone melatonin is released from your brain when you are in darkness.  Melatonin is a hormone that tells our body to slow down and sleep.  Melatonin is not released as readily when we’re out in the sunlight or around bright lights.  Honoring your circadian rhythm means creating a dark space to sleep and staying away from screens for at least one hour before bed.  It’s time to turn off the TV, computer and phone.  Create a dark space for yourself before bed.

When you wake up in the morning, spend time in a bright or well-lit area.  Open your blinds and let the sunshine in!  Start to eat breakfast by a window or out on the deck if weather permits.  Begin your day with a morning walk or outdoor time.  The exposure to sunlight and well-lit areas will signal your brain to decrease melatonin release and help increase your energy throughout the day.

bedtime ritual

#3 – Create A Bedtime Ritual

Creating a routine that divides your day may be helpful in falling asleep and staying asleep.  There are times during the day that we may experience anxiety, stress or excitement.  For some us it’s when we are at the gym, at work or playing with the kids.  Creating a bedtime ritual separates the high excitement state from the low energy and relaxed state you want to be in before bed.  The ritual allows you to shift to a state of calm and relaxation.

For some people the ritual may be an epson salt bath before bed, meditation listening to relaxing music in a calm quiet area of your house, sitting and chatting with your partner or reading an easy book.  Creating that bedtime ritual is also going to help you fall asleep and get you in that relaxed state.  Want to put a little Namaste in your life?  Click here to learn more!

#4 – Evaluate Your Room

Look around your room and determine if there are any factors that can affect your sleep. Sources of light like alarm clocks, night lights and windows can be contributing to your poor quality or lack of sleep.  Assess your room and evaluate if it is dark.  If you have a clock and it’s shining or flashing, turn it away from you or even remove it from your room.  Move electronics away from your bed and out of your bedroom.  Put the nightlight in the hallway and close your door.  You can even use a mask to help keep things dark.  Make sure that your sleep space is a quiet area.  If you find that there are noises that are waking you up
try to move them or use earplugs at night.  Avoid any sleep disturbances.

How To Find The Right Pillow

#5 – Get Good Quality Pillows & Mattress

The average good quality bed typically has a life span of 10 years.  If your mattress is old and expired, than switch it out or invest in a new one.  I say invest because it truly is a solid investment.  The average person spends eight hours a day in their bed (sleeping or trying to sleep).  You use your bed every single day for years.  Therefore, a quality mattress is key to quality sleep!

If you’re sleeping on your side use one good quality pillow rather than a stack of pillows.  If you are sleeping on your back, use a small thin pillow.  Click here to take the pillow test.

Also, avoid sleeping on your stomach!  Need help picking the perfect pillow for you?  Click here to learn about all things pillows from the pillow doctor himself!

I hope you now know how to get more deep sleep and that these simple tips help you  improve your quality of sleep.  Of course, there’s many more things that you can do to help improve your quality of but this is a perfect place to start.

Also, something to consider if you have symptoms of exhaustion, anxiety and sleep disturbances is adrenal fatigue.  Click here to find out if you have adrenal fatigue and ways you can fight back naturally!

Have a wonderful night sleep tonight and sweet dreams!

Stroke And Heart Attack Linked To Drinking This!

stroke and heart attack

The power of the brain and nervous system amazes me.  A system that controls literally every process and function in the body.  Therefore, I’m always interested in good research affecting the health and function of the nervous system.  Recently, I received an e-mail from a friend of mine in the US who is a practicing neurosurgeon.  The subject of the e-mail floored me. 

“Drinking two or more diet sodas a day linked to high risk of stroke and heart attack.” (1)

I needed to learn more.  So, I clicked on the link and pulled up the research studies they were referring to.  Why?  Because the media is NOTORIOUS for misrepresenting research and misleading the public just to increase viewership.  

stroke and heart attack

Are We Surprised?

Let me state that for many health professionals, the findings of this study aren’t a surprise.  I would even argue that the majority of us with an interest in nutrition are well aware of the dangers of consuming artificially sweetened beverages on a regular basis.  We know that previous research has already shown soft drinks (both diet and regular) to be associated with a number of health risks.  Stroke and dementia (2), diabetes (3), obesity (4), and metabolic syndrome (5) which is a precursor to heart disease are just a few. 

Click here to read more about how drinking diet soda increases your risk of stroke 3-fold.

What Did The Data Reveal?

Drinking two or more of any kind of soft drink increased the risk of stroke and heart attacks.  Early death in women over 50 years of age was also reported.  The study sample included over 81,000 people.  However, Only 5% of them actually consumed two or more diet soda beverages.  What is interesting about this study is that these findings were reported after they accounted for age, ethnicity, Body Mass Index, and blood pressure.  These women didn’t have a history of stroke, heart disease, or diabetes.  All confounding variables that lead to heart attacks and strokes. 

Also, they found that physical activity and diet were the same between people who drank two or more diet soft drinks and those who didn’t.  After controlling for all these factors, the study found the following;

  • Women who consumed 2+ diet drinks a day were 31% more likely to have a clot-based stroke
  • 29% more likely to have heart disease
  • 16% more likely to die from any cause than the women who either drank less or none at all

Whose Risks Were The Highest?

  1. Women aged 50-79.
  2. If you were African-American.
  3. If you had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30+.

Stroke and Dementia Risk, Linked to Artificial Sweeteners

What Do The Results Tell Us?

For one, switching to diet sodas and juices with artificial sweeteners is not necessarily a “healthier” option.  They are both bad.  These studies don’t tell us outright that consuming soft drinks causes strokes.  However, it is safe to say the results of these long-term studies definitely raise some alarms.  

Also, it tells us that in people with no previous diseases that predispose us to heart attacks and strokes, result the exact same.  It would be interesting to look at a study that shows how long people would need to drink diet sodas before their risks start to increase.

But what is it about artificial sweeteners that increases our risk?  I am unaware if a scientific consensus exists that demonstrates causality.  Likely more research needs to be conducted before we can establish a direct causal relationship.  One explanation for the increased risk associated with artificial sweeteners may be that they alter the bacteria in the gut.  It could disrupts the body’s ability to control glucose.  If the body can’t control glucose than this can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and even stroke. (6)

Click here for my TV segment discussing the important role our gut plays in the regulation of our immune system.  Also, for helpful ways to avoid sugar, click here to read Sugar – Are you singing the sugar blues?

I’m an advocate for people breaking lifestyle habits that are unlikely to contribute to their well-being.  We are learning by way of repeated studies demonstrating similar results.  Consuming high amounts of sugar or diet sodas is ultimately going to lead to poorer health.  So next time you’re faced with a choice for a drink, maybe opt for water with lemon instead.

References:

1. CNN – Drinking two or more diet sodas a day linked to high risk of stroke heart attacks

2. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

3. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

4. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – nutrition

5. 4. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – nutrients

6. TIME – Diet Sodas and Juices Are Linked to Higher Stroke Risk, Study Says

Lawsuit Filed Against Canadian Government Officials for ‘draconian and unjustifiable’ Response to the Pandemic

covid-19 lawsuit Canada

In Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic and the response by the Government has started a difficult conversation. Vaccine Choice Canada (VCC) is suing Trudeau’s liberal Government and the Government of Ontario. The lawsuit holds both governments accountable for declaring draconian measures in response to Covid-19.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL LAWSUIT STATEMENT OF CLAIM

In a press release statement by one of plaintiffs, the non-profit group said;

“We are living in unprecedented times. The indiscriminate containment of the people of Canada, the restricted access to parliament, medical and educational services. The destruction of local economies and the requirement to social distancing, along with the forced use of facial masks are measures that have never before been imposed on Canadian citizens. The impact of these aberrant measures on our physical, psychological, social, and economic well-being is destructive. And these actions are unsustainable, extreme, and unconstitutional.”

Legal Action Against Trudeau’s Government

On Monday, July 6, 2020 the legal action was filed against Trudeau’s Government and the Government of Ontario. The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of Ontario, includes many other parties including various public health officers, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Municipality of Toronto.

In the statement of claim by VCC, the group lists the following as defendants:

  • Justin Trudeau – Canadian Prime Minister
  • Doug Ford – Ontario Premier
  • Dr. Theresa Tam – Canada’s Chief Medical Officer
  • Dr. David Williams – Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer
  • Christine Elliot & Stephen Lecce – Ontario’s Health and Education Ministers
“VCC formally filed legal action in the Superior Court of Ontario to hold several defendants accountable for their actions concerning COVID-19 measures. The defendants include the Canadian Government, the Government of Ontario, the Municipality of Toronto, public health officers, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.”

The plaintiffs announced at an in-person event for accredited press only that the non-profit society is seeking payment of the lawsuit cost. It’s also seeking that the defendants no longer enforce the mandatory measures on Canada’s citizens. This is because the plaintiffs feel the measures violate the rights of citizens under the constitution of Canada and were not scientifically justified.

They are seeking a declaration that face masks should not be mandatory. The group also wants social distancing measures withdrawn as well as the closure of schools, playgrounds, and churches.

One of the plaintiffs said;

“During times of emergency, Constitutional rights do not stop being important. They become even more important.”

In the Statement of Claim, it’s noted that the plaintiffs are also seeking $10 million in punitive damages and $1 million in general damages from CBC. The group is suing CBC for spreading “false news” and “misinformation” about the pandemic.

In the news release, one of the plaintiff groups state;

“An over-rated (COVID-19) pandemic narrative is being used to create panic and justify the violation of rights, including Constitutional rights, the rule of law, democracy, sovereignty, and financial security.”

Both global and health research experts have criticized the Canadian Government for enacting unjustifiable measures in response to the pandemic. One of those experts is Emmet Macfarlane, a University of Waterloo political science professor. He said;

“It’s not surprising that non-profit groups are taking issues with some of the  measures set by the government. The longer the emergency situation continues, the more restrictions on personal liberties…”

VCC Opposes New Brunswick Bill

Recently, one of the plaintiffs [VCC] outwardly opposed the New Brunswick bill mandating the vaccination of kids attending public schools. The controversial bill would have removed philosophical and religious exemptions as reasons for forcing parents to vaccinate their kids.

The bill, introduced by Dominic Cardy, the New Brunswick’s Minister of Education, failed. In the free vote, the Bill 11, received 20 against 22 votes.

One of the voters who objected to the bill was Attorney General Andrea Anderson-Mason. In a statement to CBC, she said the reason for opposing the bill was the lack of “evidence” that there was an impact on immunizations as a result of the anti vaxx movement.

Ted Kuntz, President of VCC, told Lifesitenews.com that any form of forced vaccination, even the Covid-19, is unconstitutional. This is after the site inquired about the approval of Health Canada human trial testing of a COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine is from an aborted fetal cell line. He also said;

“The decision by Health Canada to approve human trial testing for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine should concern us all. Bypassing standard safety protocols and rushing a vaccine to market increases the risk of producing a product that will cause more harm than good. It has the potential of undermining the trust in our medical professionals, and health organizations.”

VCC news release states;

…warning bells are being rung about the consequences of the extreme and unwarranted actions that violate the freedoms and rights well established in the Canadian and international law.”

As a non-profit group founded by families who suffered from vaccine injuries and reactions, VCC (Vaccine Choice Canada) is and has been a vocal opponent of government responses. In the lawsuit, Rocco Galati, an attorney at a Toronto-based law firm, represents the group among other plaintiffs listed in the statement of claim available at the top of this page.

Ten Tricks To Get The Best Sleep EVER!

sleeping

Poor sleep quality is a very common complaint I hear from patients in my clinic.  It’s also a multi-faceted problem that doesn’t have one solution.  Often, I find myself offering various solutions for sleeping to try to create the ideal environment for a peaceful sleep. rest.

To understand just how much of a problem sleep is we can look at the results of a StatsCan study that found, “43% of men and 55% of women aged 18 to 64 reported trouble going to sleep or staying asleep “sometimes/most of the time/all of the time.”

Why Quality Of Sleep Matters

The Canadian Health Measures Survey showed that “Short sleeping duration’s and poor sleep quality are prevalent among Canadian adults.  About one-third sleep fewer hours per night than recommended for optimal physical and mental health.  This group also experiences poor sleep quality more frequently than do those who sleep the recommended number of hours.(1)

According to these statistics it is evident that there is a high percentage of people reporting sleeping problems.

Chronic sleep problems can have detrimental health consequences as well.  Poor sleep quality and duration is “…associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, injuries, death from all causes, depression, irritability and reduced well-being…” (2)

How Many Hours Of  A Peaceful Sleep Do You Need?

For adults aged 18 to 64 are recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.  While seniors aged 65 or older should get 7 to 8 hours. (3)

Dr. Nenos talks about how many hours of sleep you actually need on Hamilton Life

What Are The Best Sleeping Positions?

Most people fall into three general positions for sleeping, back, side, and stomach.  While there are numerous arguments to be made on which is best, it comes down to what allows your spine to maintain a neutral position that is as straight as possible with little to no tilts and bends. Ensuring you have the right pillow is also essential for a painfree and peaceful sleep. Click here to take the pillow test then watch this video on how to find the right pillow.

Proper sleeping positions - Dr. Nenos on Hamilton Life

In order to address the issue, it’s important to understand the cause.  This differs for many people, however, rather than diving into the complexity of the problem, I’d like to offer the reader the following possible solutions for a peaceful sleep based on my experience.

1. Limit Your Exposure To Artificial Light At Night

Light alerts the body that it is daytime so dimming or as I do in my house, shutting off all the lights in the house a few hours before bedtime, allows me to get sleepy and fall asleep faster.  Keeping your bedroom dark may also help, just make sure the area around your bed is safe from obstacles in case you do wake up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom.  This is especially important for seniors who are at risk of falls.

2. Create A Regular Sleeping Schedule

Stick to a regular schedule that has you going to bed at the same time every night as well as waking up at the same time in the morning (even on weekends).  A routine for sleeping may be the momentum you need to achieving good night’s rest.

3. Turn The TV Off A Few Hours Before Bedtime

Our brains are not programmed to process motion picture for extended periods of time. Quiet your brain by reducing TV exposure before heading to bed.

4. Limit Caffeine Intake

Caffeine is a stimulant and avoiding may decrease the likelihood of being alert while lying in bed.

5. No Naps Close To Bed Time

After travelling around Europe one summer I noticed some Europeans enjoy a nice “siesta” which is an afternoon rest or nap, especially one taken during the hottest hours of the day in a hot climate. However, these naps are taken early in the afternoon which allows you have ample time to fall asleep later in the evening. Be sure to avoid taking a nap late in the afternoon as it may cause you to either fall asleep much later than anticipated or worse, not sleep at all.

6. Keep The Bedroom Cooler Than Usual

Turn down the thermostat a few degrees at night to allow your body to fall into a state of hibernation. It works for bears so it’s worth a try.

7. Draw Up A Warm Bath

A warm bath or shower helps to soothe and relax the body and prepare it for bed.

Note: a cold shower has the complete opposite effect in case you feel drowsy and sleepy during the day.

8. Avoid Using Technology In Bed

There are several reasons for this. One being that the blue light emitted from our mobile devices strains our eyes and could cause sleep disturbances. Some tech companies have even incorporated a “night shift” mode to allow your eyes to adapt to warmer colours.

9. Keep Mobile Phones And Computers Away From Your Bed

Although the jury is still out on this factor, your cell phone and computer transmit signals even when you’re not using them. Avoid the problem of radio frequencies altogether by leaving your electronic devices in the living room, far away from where you sleep.

10. See A Chiropractor!

One of the most common responses I get from patients after starting Chiropractic care is that they report better sleep.  This may due to patients having sleep disturbances as a result of spinal related problems.  Since many find relief while addressing their back problems, it may explain why a significant number of those patients report better sleep as an unintended, but much appreciated, side benefit of being under Chiropractic care.

Be sure to check with your health practitioner first before attempting any of these suggestions.

Also, do you find that it’s a struggle to get the kids asleep or better yet stay asleep?Click here to read, Why Do We Make Young Children Sleep Alone?

Sweet dreams!

References:

1. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-003-x/2017009/article/54857-eng.htm
2. Institute of Medicine Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research. Colten HR, Altevogt BM, eds. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2006.
3. Hirshkowitz M, Whiton K, Albert SM, et al. National Sleep Foundation’s updated sleep duration recommendations: Final report. Sleep Health 2015; 1: 233-43.

DIY Sunscreen That Is Natural, Safe And Effective!

DIY sunscreen

This article will help you to determine which natural sunscreens are both safe AND effective but also what you NEED to avoid. I even include a natural DIY sunscreen that even helps to repel insects!

With the summer upon us, many of us are eager to soak up lots of sunshine. The sun is great for boosting mood and immunity but in excessive amounts the UV rays can also cause skin damage and an increased risk for skin cancer. This is why most of us know to reach for a sunscreen before heading out into the sun.

Unfortunately, many of these products that protect us from the sun’s UV rays, also get absorbed into our bodies and disrupt our hormones. Hormone disruption can cause issues with:

  • Mood regulation
  • Sleep quality
  • Energy
  • Fertility

Things we definitely want to avoid just as much as the skin damage we risk from the sun. This has led to an increase in the production of “natural” sunscreens as a safer alternative. This is great, however you must be cautious of clever marketing and false claims.

toxic chemicals in sunscreen

Look For The Active Ingredients

The first step in picking safer sunscreen is knowing the ingredients to avoid. These are the main chemicals we find in sunscreen that we know cause hormone disruption:

1. Oxybenzone
2. Octinoxate/Octyl methoxycinnamate

We also need to cover the natural products that claim to have sun protecting factors (SPF) but don’t have enough research to back them up.

I would recommend avoiding these if they are the ONLY active ingredient:

  • Carrot seed oil
  • Red raspberry seed oil

They are not harmful so you don’t need to avoid them but they cannot be relied on as your sole sun protection.

6 Common Chemical Sunscreen Ingredients Can Get Into the Bloodstream

Safer & Effective Active Ingredients

The best alternative active ingredients are mineral sunscreens which do not get absorbed. These ingredients are:

1. Zinc Oxide
2. Titanium Dioxide

These both have proven broad spectrum UV protection and have not been shown to interfere with our hormones.

There are also some natural products that do have evidence to support their sun protecting factors (SPF). The following natural ingredients all have around 5 SPF:

  • Coconut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Peppermint oil

These are all great additions to your sunscreen but should not be relied on solely as they do not provide enough protection.

how much spf do you need?

How Much SPF Do You Need?

SPF stands for sun protecting factor and it is a measure of how much it blocks UVB rays. The higher the number, the more protection it provides. However, the numbers are not equivalent to the amount of protection. For example, SPF 30 does not provide double the amount of protection as SPF 15.

SPF 15 blocks out 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks out 97%. SPF 50 then blocks out 98%. This means there really isn’t a significant benefit to getting sunscreen above SPF 50.

SPF also has nothing to do with the length of time spent in the sun but rather with the intensity of the sun. If you are out in the sun when UV rays are higher (i.e. mid-day), you need to limit your sun exposure in addition to applying sunscreen, instead of simply trying to apply higher SPF sunscreen.

Click here to read everything you need to know before having Fun in the Sun.

make your own sunscreen

Try Making Your Own Sun Screen

If you love DIY best for your natural products, you can also make your own sunscreen at home. I’ve adapted this recipe from Wellness Mama and added essential oils to provide some protection against insects as well.

DIY Sunscreen Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of almond oil
  • ¼ cup of coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp. beeswax
  • 1-2 tbsp. shea butter
  • 2-4 tbsp. non-nano zinc oxide
  • 20 drops of lavender augustifolia essential oil and/or peppermint essential oil

Instructions For DIY Sunscreen:

  1. Fill a big saucepan half full with water and put on medium heat
  2. Mix all your ingredients except the essential oils and zinc in a large mason jar and place in pan
  3. Stir your ingredient every few minutes until completely melted (wash the stirring instrument immediately when your done or you will be scrapping beeswax off)
  4. Remove the jar from the pan and slowly stir in each tbsp. of zinc.
  5. Add in the essential oils and stir them thoroughly
  6. Allow to cool on the counter. You may need to add more or less beeswax to get the right consistency.

This formulation gives about 20-30 SPF. The problem with homemade formulations is that you cannot guarantee their composition. This formulation is also not waterproof and should be applied every 3-4 hours.

In addition to sunscreen, always use safe sun practices. Wear hats and try to avoid prolonged sun exposure, particularly between 12-4 pm. Cover the skin where you can to reduce exposure to sun rays.

If you are looking for more direction on sunscreen products that are safer for your skin, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.

Top 5 Brain Exercises To Improve Seniors Health And Happiness

brain exercises for seniors

So, you may be wondering, why are these brain exercises that important? Well, traditionally we work for about 40-45 years of our lives to build up enough wealth so when we’re ready, we can enjoy the sweet bliss of retirement. However, by the time retirement is in full swing many retirees, now seniors are dealing with a host of health problems. Because of this, a large portion of their time is spent visiting different doctors trying to fix their ailments rather than enjoying their fruitful ‘golden years’.

This is why it is more important than ever to encourage seniors, and really anyone you love to stay mentally active. This can help to reduce the chances of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and even depression.

The following list of activities were complied to provide seniors with hobbies or activities that they can do to help their cognitive function abilities. So let’s get to it!  Here is my top 5 brain boosting activities to help maintain and even boost cognitive health.

music therapy

Brain Exercise #1 – Musical Therapy

Musical therapy has been extensively studied in all age groups and has been proven to have a wide range of health benefits which include:

  • Heightened IQ
  • Improved mood
  • Relaxation
  • Energy
  • Increased cognitive function

Listening to music can bring up past memories and be a great form of comfort and enjoyment for seniors.

arts and crafts for seniors

Brain Exercise #2 – Arts And Crafts

Maintaining dexterity and good hand eye coordination should also be an important goal as we age. Therefore consider a variety of arts and crafts which may include:

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Quilting

You can even suggest partaking in the latest trend of adult colouring.  These are all excellent inexpensive options to help preserve cognitive function. Also, it’s been shown that unleashing your creativity can reduce depression, which can be an issue for isolated seniors.

Click here to explore, Crafts for Seniors: 52 Fun and Simple Ideas That Inspire.

best physical activities for seniors

Brain Exercise #3 – Physical Activity

Remaining physically active allows seniors to be more independent to care for themselves and partake in activities outside of the home. Therefore, encourage activities such as:

These all provide an engaging form of exercise that helps to not only strengthen the body but also maintain posture and agility. Furthermore, regular physical activity has also been linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline.

Now, if mobility is already a concern, chair exercises and stretches can also be incorporated to minimize further loss of mobility.

Chair Exercises for Seniors - Senior Fitness - Exercises for the Elderly

Brain Exercise #4 – Learn A New Language

Learning a new language at any age is incredibility stimulating to the brain. In fact, when we learn a new language it stimulates the brain to multitask and can even improve memory. There have even been studies on using bilingualism as a strategy to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Click here for Oprah’s 11 Best Language Learning Apps for 2020.

brain games for seniors

Brain Exercise #5 – Puzzles And Brain Teasers

Try including brain teasers into your daily routine to help keep your mind sharp. These can include:

Even playing cards is a fantastic way to keep the mind sharp and active. Who new brain exercises could be so much fun!

brain health

Consider This

If you are still in the workforce, prevention during the working years is the key to a happy, healthy retirement.

Now, I understand for many this may be easier said than done! Several jobs are high pressure and high stress which over time negatively impacts our health. But remember, utilizing the brain exercises that were highlighted in this article is excellent for individuals of any age! So give it a try and begin reducing your stress and improving quality of life.

Alimentary Canal Organs And Their Role In Digestion

Alimentary Canal Organs

So, I know what you might be thinking, why in the world do I need to know about alimentary canal organs and how my digestion works? Well, it is YOUR body! Shouldn’t you know what happens to the food you put in your mouth? Furthermore how it’s processed by your body?

The Digestive Process - University of Michigan Health System

Alimentary Canal Organs And The Digestive Process

The process of digestion starts in the mouth and buccal cavity. This is where large pieces of food are broken down mechanically by your teeth. Here, saliva is secreted by the salivary glands which are located on the lower jaw, between the tongue and teeth.

Saliva softens the food, making it easier for ingestion. It also helps break down starches to sugar. Once the swallowed food passes into the esophagus, the food is moved down the digestive tract by peristaltic muscular movements into the stomach.

Next, the food mixes mucus and stomach acids, secreted by the inner lining of the stomach. This step is responsible for killing bacteria in the food and breaking down proteins and carbs into simpler substances and usually takes an average of two hours.

The broken-down substance then continues through the digestive tract where it enters the small intestine.

function of small intestine

Function Of Small Intestine

Your small intestine are a highly coiled structure that stretches about 20 feet long and is divided in 3 parts:

As it receives food from the stomach, digestive enzymes, such as bile produced by the liver, breaks down fats. At the same time, pancreatic juices produced by the pancreas, break down proteins and carbohydrates.

The inner wall of the small intestine is covered by hair-like organisms (microvilli) that help food be absorbed which takes an average of 3 hours. Next, undigested food enters the large intestine.

Function Of Large Intestine

Spanning about 5 feet in length, the large intestine contains 3 parts:

Food generally spends around 19 hours in the large intestine—far longer than in the small intestines! There, the food mixes with mucus and bacteria that live in the large intestine to begin the formation of fecal matter.

function of the colon

Function Of The Colon

Another important step takes place in your colon as it absorbs most of the water and remaining vitamins and minerals. The 4 sections of your colon include:

  • Ascending
  • Transverse
  • Descending
  • Sigmoid

Furthermore, the bacteria present in your colon are responsible for producing some of the vitamin B’s and K which turn unabsorbed carbs into:

  • Methane gas
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Hydrogen

In addition, the large intestine flora is responsible to ferment soluble fibers. Producing approximately 20 to 30 grams per day of the short-chained fatty-acids (SCFA):

With a ratio of 3:1:1, 95% can be absorbed and the remaining 5% excreted. In fact, it is estimated that about 5% – 10% of total body energy comes from SCFA’s.

Lastly, the fecal matter reaches the rectum and triggers what is called, ‘the defecation reflex’. In other words, the urge to go the bathroom. It is here where the fecal matter exits by the anus and what we commonly refer to as a bowel movement.

So there we go, the complete role of alimentary canal organs and the digestive process, from top to bottom!

For more information be sure to click on the following links:

True Health – Why Most Of Us Get It Wrong

true health

I want to start this article with what could seem like a simple question, what is true health?

Most people living in western culture judge the state of their health based on how they feel and how they look.  It’s this mentality that is actually causing people to develop health problems and chronic pain.

Ask anyone that has survived a heart attack, “How did you feel 10 minutes before having your heart attack?”  Many will tell you that they felt fine, good or even terrific. Yet they were 10 minutes away from having a potentially fatal heart attack!

There’s a great chance this person looks like the ‘average Joe‘, like you or me.  They may have looked good and even felt good. However, they were NOT healthy!  This is why we need to change they way our minds work by asking this important question. What is true health?

Susan Lucci’s Heart Warning for Women: Listen to Your Bodies

Stop Looking And Start Listening!

How many people are walking around your town RIGHT NOW with diabetes or cancer but have no idea?  All because they still look and feel fine!  Conversely, just because you are experiencing symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t heal!

Remember we said, “symptoms can be a blessing”.  It’s actually your body doing a good thing (I know, bear with us!) letting you know there is a problem. Furthermore giving you the opportunity to fix it!

Your body giving you a symptom can be an example Of your body actually performing a proper function, so listen to your body!

how to listen to your body

Body Talk

Have you ever hurt your knee?  The pain can literally prevent you from:

  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Walking
  • Stairs
  • Crouching, or bending down

Sometimes even taking a few steps feels almost impossible.  However, what the pain is actually preventing you from doing is the things you shouldn’t be doing. Things that could actually make the actual problem worse.

Often, people will take a muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, or painkiller to help ease the symptom of the knee pain and allow you to get through your day with more ease.  However, what you are actually doing is fighting the body’s natural self-protection mechanism and overdoing it and making the problem worse.  Click here to learn more about why medications can be dangerous to your health.

definition of good health

The Definition Of Health

True health is not about how you feel or look.  The World Health Organization’s definition of health is when your body is in a state of “complete physical, mental and social well-being”. That’s true health.  Nowhere in their definition does it say being healthy is looking good or feeling fine!  It’s all about function and healing!

Your body is designed to function and heal optimally IF you give it the opportunity to by removing the cause or interference.  Put simply, this means removing or minimizing physical, chemical, emotional stress.

Click here to read more about the Effects Of Stress – Stress Can Be Good For You?!

final thoughts on good health

Final Thoughts

Make the important decision today to stop ignoring the symptoms (and signs!) and start looking for solutions.

It’s like getting a rust spot on your car.  Sure you can throw a little paint on it and make it look ok on the outside. But, eventually that rust will spread and deteriorate to the point where it’s no longer an easy fix.  Don’t treat your body with that same disregard.

Stop taking medication to mask the pain! Instead, start looking for solutions so you body can heal properly and even prevent problems from rising in the first place!

I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom:

“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

― Thomas A. Edison

Click here if you want to learn more about how to find the best diet for you.