Birke Baehr – “What’s Wrong With Our Food System”

Posted February 28th, 2011 in Organic Food by Rebecca Lane


I just finished watching this incredible 11 year old boy Birke Baehr explain what’s wrong with our food system. Totally inspiring, moving and lots of food for thought! Tell me what you think?

Interesting article at What Doctors Don’t Tell You

Posted February 24th, 2011 in Great reading, Nutrition Articles by Rebecca Lane

Interesting article at WDDTY http://ow.ly/42GHO – the UK government is cracking down on herbal remedies and withdrawing them from shelves.

Vitamin D linked to colon cancer prevention

Posted February 24th, 2011 in Vitamins by Rebecca Lane

Nutra Ingredients USA – Study at http://ow.ly/42FNv – Vitamin D linked to colon cancer protection

Bromine Toxicity and Hyperthyroidism

Posted February 14th, 2011 in Breast Cancer, Bromine, Hormone Disrupting Chemicals HDCs, Vitamins by Rebecca Lane

Dr. David Brownstein – whose blogs I follow – posted this information today. I’ve just added in some nutritional information for your health!

Recently, the U.S. EPA reported that common chemicals (polybrominated diphenyl ethers– PBDE’s) found in nearly all our homes are contributing to a rash of thyroid problems. This class of chemicals is mainly used as a fire-retardant. PBDE’s are also found in a variety of household items including computers, televisions, carpeting, furniture and mattresses. PBDE’s are made from bromine. Bromine is also used to keep swimming pools and hot tubs clean. It is used as a pesticide, as well as in brominated vegetable oil which is used as an emulsifier in many citrus flavoured soft-drinks. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromine)

Bromine is from the family of halides. This chemical family contains iodine, fluoride and chlorine as well. The reason we are seeing such a high prevalence of iodine deficiency and thyroid disorders in humans is due, in large part, to the excess exposure of bromine from our modern conveniences. Bromine exposure causes our bodies to excrete iodine. If we don’t supplement with extra iodine, bromine will bind to receptors in the body that are supposed to be binding with iodine. In effect, bromine will replace iodine throughout the body.

What are the consequences of excess bromine levels?
The consequences are severe; increased rate of cancer of the breast, thyroid, ovaries, uterus and prostate are due, in part, to bromine toxicity. Also, we are seeing dramatically increased rates of autoimmune illnesses including autoimmune thyroid disorders. People with a serious illness have markedly elevated bromine levels.

So, what can you do?
The main treatment for excess bromine is to avoid bromine exposure.  Eat foods that do not contain bromine such as organic fruits and vegetables. Avoid bread, pasta and cereal that contain brominated flour and citrus-flavoured soft drinks like Mountain Dew. Next, supplement with enough iodine to allow your body to detox from bromine – excellent food sources of iodine include sea vegetables (sea vegetables like dulse, kombu, kelp can be added to your cooking water, and soups and stews, and you can sprinkle it on top of food to replace salt – for more recipes, visit http://www.whfoods.com).

Finally, supplement with antioxidants like Beta Carotene, vitamins C and E, selenium and zinc that help your detoxification system function optimally.  It’s easy to recognize foods rich in antioxidants because they have the brightest colours. Enjoying a spectrum of different coloured foods will allow you to enjoy the benefits of a spectrum of antioxidants.

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Dr. William Li – Antiangiogenic Foods

Posted February 8th, 2011 in Angiogenesis, Breast Cancer by Rebecca Lane


Recently (September 2010), Dr. Oz interviewed Dr. William Li about his antiangiogenic research. Angiogenesis is the term used to describe the body’s ability to create new blood vessels and capillaries to heal damage to the body. While this is important to maintain homeostasis, there is another time when angiogenesis occurs – and thats when cancer tumors send out angiogenic enzymes and new capillaries are formed to feed the tumor. Not good – because this allows cancer cells to grow and divide at a much faster rate.Dr. William Li has developed several antiangiogenic drug therapies to stop angiogenesis to cancer tumors, but while doing his research he discovered that there are several foods that inhibit angiogenesis.How You Can Eat (and Drink) to Defeat Cancer Eating to defeat cancer can be accomplished simply by adding a few anti-angiogenic foods to your meals each day. Our diet is all about making choices. Since we all eat every day, why not choose foods that can reduce your risk of disease? Listed below are some food facts, supported by scientific research, to help you get the most cancer fighting benefits from your diet. 

  • Be picky. Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples have twice as many cancer fighters as Fuji or Golden Delicious apples. The San Marzano tomato contains more cancer fighters than any other variety. Wine grapes grown in cooler climates have more cancer fighters than grapes grown in warmer climates.
  • Eat Your Sprouts. Broccoli sprouts can contain more cancer-fighting properties than regular broccoli.
  • Dunk Your Teabag. Dunking a green tea bag up and down releases more cancer-fighting molecules than letting the bag just sit in the cup.
  • Cook Your Tomatoes. Raw tomatoes are good, but cooking them in olive oil is better. Tomatoes contain the phytonutrient lycopene which, when combined with olive oil, has very strong antiangiogenic capabilities.
  • Chew Your Greens. Chewing leafy greens helps to release enzymes that activate cancer-fighting molecules embedded deep in the leaves.
  • Go Soy. Fermented soy, like the kind used in miso soup, and tempeh, contains four times more cancer fighters than regular soybeans.
  • Choose one cancer fighting food for each meal. We eat at least 3 meals each day, that adds up to more than a thousand of cancer fighting food opportunites each year.
  • Foods from the brassica family are antiangiogenic – brassicas include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, Brussels sprouts, rapini.
  • Berries, like raspberres and strawberries, contain ellagic acid in their seeds. Ellagic acid is both an antioxidant and antiangiogenic.
  • Omega 3 EFAs – found in white fish like flounder and flax seed oil – are antiangiogenic.

There’s lots more of Dr. William Li’s research available at http://www.angio.org/.  Also, there’s another video of his lecture at TED that’s very interesting and informative.

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Power up your Brain

Posted February 8th, 2011 in Psychology of Disease by Rebecca Lane


Hay House has just printed a new book entitled “Power up your Brain: Spirituality meets Neuroscience” in which neuroscientist David Perlmutter, Ph.D. , M.D. and medical anthropologist and Shaman Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D. discover commonalities among their specialties, making lasting change possible for all.Excerpt:

Neuroplasticity is the link between contemplative practices and enlightenment. You train your brain to open the portal to wisdom when you turn your attention away from the everyday world and gaze within. In the past, it was thought that this ability belonged only to a few enlightened individuals, a belief system perpetuated by priests and religious hierarchies who had a vested worldly interest in protecting their privileged status.In truth, every human being has the brain hardware needed to take this giant leap in consciousness. Our brains evolved to provide us with this equipment long ago. And if we look to the past, we can see the extraordinary feats of creativity and innovation that humankind has achieved by relying on the software that came preloaded in the prefrontal cortex.

Interesting partnership. Both authors have written several books in the past – so, guess what I’m going to be reading as soon as it arrives? Here’s where you can find out more information: http://www.powerupyourbrain.com/about.html

When in Gout!

Posted February 6th, 2011 in Arthritis, Gout arthritis by Rebecca Lane

I couldn’t resist – sorry!All joking aside, Gout arthritis can be an extremely painful and debilitating dis-ease characterised by acute intense joint pain, typically involving the first joint of the big toe. Gout is a common type of arthritis caused by an increased concentration of uric acid in biological fluids.What happens with gout is that uric acid crystals are deposited in joints, tendons, kidneys and other tissues where they cause considerable inflammation and damage.  This increase in the uric acid concentration has three possible causes:

  1. increased manufacture of uric acid (most common)
  2. reduced ability to excrete uric acid (less common – about 30%)
  3. overproduction and under excretion of uric acid (least common)

Further, secondary gout arthritis can be caused by kidney disease, diuretic therapy for high blood pressure and low-dose aspirin therapy which can cause decreased uric acid excretion. Several dietary factors are known to be causes of gout: consumption of alcohol, high purine content foods, fats and refined carbohydrates.Dietary treatment of gout focuses on reducing production of uric acid and enhancing urinary excretion:

  1. Eliminate alcohol consumption – alcohol is the primary trigger in many people as it increases uric acid production while decreasing uric acid excretion – a double whammy!
  2. Low-purine diet – foods containing high purine levels include anchovies, mackerel, mincemeat, goose, gravy, herring, organ meats (kidney, heart, liver, brains), sardines, scallops, yeast.
  3. Reduce weight – weight reduction significantly decreases blood levels of uric acid
  4. Limit protein intake – no more than 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight
  5. Cherry cleanse – 1/2 lb of fresh or canned cherries (unsweetened) per day and/or 1 cup of cherry juice concentrated – lowers uric acid levels
  6. Adequate fluid intake – very important step – keeps urine dilute and promotes uric acid excretion

Supplements – for an acute attack, diet modifications alone may not provide relief. Colchicine is the main pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drug used in treating gout, however it doesn’t affect uric acid concentrations and its long-term side effects can include liver damage, depression, and respiratory depression. It does offer immediate short-term relief, but with gastrointestinal side effects. Try the following supplements for long-term relief:

  1. Quercetin inhibits uric acid production – dosage 200-400 mg, 3 times per day, between meals
  2. Folic acid (one of the B vitamins) inhibits production of uric acid – dosage 10-40 mg per day – Caution: if taking pharmaceuticals, this dosage may interfere with some drugs.
  3. Bromelain – dosage 250-750 mg, 3 times per day, between meals – to reduce inflammation.

(Source: Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Murray, pp. 489-496)

Kombucha – detoxifying drink

Posted February 5th, 2011 in Drinks, Vitamins by Rebecca Lane

Kombucha

Kombucha - The Healing Tea

Last weekend I met a woman while taking a Muscle Testing class in Richmond Hill. Over lunch we talked, and she told me about the wonders of the drink Kombucha. By the end of lunch, she offered me a ‘Scoby’.What on earth is a Scoby? I had no idea. But I knew it had something to do with fermentation. And I’m really interested in fermentation and the health benefits of eating and drinking naturally fermented foods like yogurt and kefir. The Weston A. Price Foundation offers lots of information about the health benefits of eating naturally fermented foods.Scoby stands for ‘ symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. It’s a large, mushroom-like culture that is placed in sweetened black or green tea and turns a bowl full of sweet tea into a bowl full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and health-giving organic acids.As the Kombucha culture digests the sugar it produces a range of organic acids like glucuronic acid, gluconic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, malic acid and usnic acid; vitamins, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C; as well as amino acids, enzymes. And of course there are all the benefits of the probiotic microorganisms themselves. The Kombucha culture is a biochemical powerhouse in your kitchen.Many health claims are made for kombucha but there is less research on the benefits of kombucha than there is on fermented milk products. It has certainly been shown to have similar antibiotic, antiviral and anti fungal properties in lab tests. In rats it’s been shown to protect against stress and improve liver function. There is a lot of experiential evidence from people who have been using kombucha over many years. Many of the benefits reported include improvements in energy levels, metabolic disorders, allergies, cancer, digestive problems, candidiasis, hypertension, HIV, chronic fatigue and arthritis. It’s also used externally for skin problems and as a hair wash among other things.My first batch will be ready on February 16th, so I’ll let you know how it tastes!For more information about Kombucha, here’s a good link.

Beauty surrounds us

Posted February 5th, 2011 in Psychology of Disease by Rebecca Lane

Beauty surrounds us

Beauty surrounds us

I love orchids. Whenever I see an orchid where the blooms have been cut off in a hair salon or workplace, I’m fairly confident that it’s only one step away from being composted – so I bring it home.Needless to say that I have many orchids – and they live in my shower upstairs during the winter (so that I can shower them weekly) and on my back deck in the summer.In the winter, they bloom. And I am wondrous at their beauty. They require so few ‘things’ to be happy – light, not too much; water, not too much; nutrients, minimal.What a lesson!  Teachers of Divine wisdom are everywhere – all we are required to do is seek.

Breast Cancer – Intro and Stats

Posted February 3rd, 2011 in Breast Cancer by Rebecca Lane

Our entire body is composed of cells which contain their own DNA (genetic blueprint). In a healthy body, cells divide at a controlled rate and are used for growth and tissue repair and replacement.

If cells keep multiplying when new ones are not needed, a mass of tissue cells develops causing a growth or tumour. These tumours can form anywhere in the body and can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

A malignant tumour that forms in breast tissue is called breast cancer. Malignant tumours grow uncontrollably and interfere with normal organ and metabolic functioning and have the ability to metastasize (spread to other parts of the body) and invade other organs or tissues. Breast cancer spreads principally through the lymph system and metastases are frequently found in the lungs, liver, brain and bone.

There are several different types of breast cancers, depending on where the tumours develop, with different doubling times and levels of metastases. Most often cancer cells start within the ducts (ductal carcinoma) or within the glands (lobular carcinoma). Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer. (Canadian Cancer Society)

While a diagnosis of cancer can be frightening, the tumour itself is a symptom of a systemic underlying problem or combination of issues. When the immune system is healthy, it can kill off cells that have mutated and are not working properly. So the tumour is a symptom of an impaired immune system. There are many factors causing abnormal cell growth (more on this to follow), including damage from free radicals and imbalanced hormones.

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women, with more than one million cases occurring worldwide annually and is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.  The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer for Canadian women is one in nine. In 2010, it is estimated that 23,200 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer (only 180 men) and 5,300 will die from it (50 men). The 5-year survival rate is about 87 percent for women (84% for men). (Canadian Cancer Society)