Nova Health Naturopathic Centre Blog

True Health and Well Being

Coffee or Tea Drinker? July 26, 2013

Filed under: cancer,heart health,research,tea,weight loss — novahealthnaturopathic @ 11:29 am


What do you think is better for your health? Is Green Tea really the most superior?tumblr_md271pZF0k1r04kdao1_500

After some research Tea still seems to come out on top in terms of health benefits.

Green tea has amazing benefits, no argument there, but perhaps more people should look at White Tea as it has 3x more anti-oxidants.

For those of you who need a caffeine kick but want the health benefits might consider Oolong Tea instead of the typical Black Tea.

Need an anti-oxidant rich tea without Caffeine but lots of flavour? Rooibos Tea is for you!

Coffee still has been shown to reduce certain diseases as well but has more risks from over consumption than Tea.

And when it comes to Tea or Coffee, organic is best as it has not been sprayed with Pesticides..ewww.

You decide! Or just have a variety of coffee and different teas daily to cover your butt.

Sources:  The Pros and Cons of Coffee Consumption
Tea Research by Numbers
A Proper Cuppa
Medicinal Teas




Sunshine, Sunscreen and Vitamin D June 13, 2013

Filed under: cancer,environment — novahealthnaturopathic @ 2:26 pm
Tags: , ,

suntaningFor any of you who are trying to figure out if the sun really is healthy for us or not,  Loren Cordain’s book The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young (2012) gives some great insight into the benefits of sunshine and the dangers of sunscreen. He believes that the universal application of sunscreen lotions may actually produce adverse health effects. Do sunscreens really prevent cancer or do they just protect against sunburn? There is no evidence to suggest sunscreen actually protects you against major types of skin cancer but rather increases your risk due to its ability to allow you longer sun exposure without burning. Not to mention the amount of chemicals found in Sunscreen! While that is a whole other blog post, Dr. Oxbro believes you should be informed. Click here to educate yourself on safe sunscreens and alternatives: Natural News. The more naturally you live, the healthier you will be.

As we all know UV radiation causes damage to our skin. What you may not know is UV is divided into two categories, UVA and UVB. UVB is responsible for the Lobster look we get after too much time in the sun and most sunscreens employ one or more ingredients to block UVB. Until recently very few blocked UVA which is now believed to be the main cause of melanoma.  So then, wouldn’t the best sunscreen contain ingredients that block sunboth UVA and UVB? Would seem logical and it is, but research shows that using sunscreen every time were in the sun actually increases our risk for certain types of cancer. Truth is sunlight is both good and bad depending on how you are exposing yourself to the sun. According to Loren Cordain, PhD., chronic, long term exposure such as what outdoor workers experience is protective from skin cancers whereas the occasional intense burn with little regular sun exposure may promote melanoma and other types of cancer.

What about Vitamin D?

We all know we need vitamin D and getting it from the sun is a great way to supercharge yourself naturally. If you are using sunscreen that blocks UVB you are blocking out your body’s natural response to UVB which is to produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a powerful anti-cancer substance that we desperately need for health, well-being and survival. In the last 20 years evidence reveals that low vitamin D increases the risk for 16 different types of cancers as well as autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, mental illness, osteoporosis and susceptibility to infectious diseases.  Who wants that?!

 Safe Sun Exposure

So then, how do we enjoy the suns healthy vitamin D benefits without burning? Dr. Loren Cordain suggests applying a more natural sunscreen containing both UVA and UVB protection (SPF 8-15) for the first few times you will be out in the sun, especially for people with fair complexions.  After you have a healthy tan, or some sun tolerance, begin to lower the amount of sunscreen and the SPF value during sun exposure. After that, you hardly need to worry about it. A healthy diet can also protect your skin from the sun’s harmful effects. You can read more about that here: 6 Food Groups that will Protect you from the Sun. The key is common sense and moderation. We have all heard it before, wear light clothing, hats and sit in the shade when it gets too hot. What we want is regular sunlight exposure, (15-30 mins daily) not excessive. Regular sunlight increases our blood levels of vitamin D which in turn decreases our risk of developing many illnesses and diseases.

How much Sunlight and what about Supplements?

article_vitamindWe each need different amounts of sunlight depending on skin colour. Very dark skinned people need twice the amount of sun to achieve similar blood concentrations of vitamin D as light skinned people.  In the summertime daily sunlight exposure for 15-30 minutes should rapidly boost your levels of Vitamin D. While a good diet rich in fish, veggies, free range eggs and other natural sources provides us with some Vitamin D, it is not nearly enough. Not to mention what the winter season means for soaking in vitamin D goodness through sunlight…nearly impossible!

Here at Nova Health Naturopathic Centre, Dr. Oxbro recommends taking a natural Vitamin D supplement of up to 3000 IU. This may vary from person to person and their amount of sun exposure on a daily basis. Your best way of knowing how much Vitamin D you need personally is to have blood work done. This way the doctor can read your levels and determine what is best for you!

References: Cordain, Loren.(2012) The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young. Pages 207-211


Weekend Round Up May 27, 2011

Filed under: cancer,herbs,research,round up,weight loss — novahealthnaturopathic @ 7:25 pm

Hey everyone! Hope you’ve had a fantastic week. Here are some of the health stories that caught our eye this month. Let us know what you think of them. We love feedback!

Tara Parker-Pope wrote in the NY Times about how diet and (lack of) exercise aren’t the only contributors to weight gain. The move to a more sedentary work life, a shift away from factories and toward office jobs, has corresponded with a steady population-wide weight gain. Here are some tips for combating desk-job related fatigue and weight gain. Have any of you tried these? Anyone use or know someone who uses a standing work station?

This article on the rising rate of childhood cancer hits it on the nose. It’s tragic and unfortunate that so many young people are getting sick. As an ND, it’s important to take age into consideration when treating patients. The young ones definitely have special needs (psychological and physiological) that must be addressed by the physician, but they are also often the most hopeful and inspiring patients of all.

This article on the health benefits of common herbs is making us consider planting an herb garden here at the clinic. Who knew sage was such an antioxidant?!

For those interested in osteoporosis, it’s always interesting when a research conflict like this emerges! I guess only time (and a lot of research dollars) will tell who was right.

That’s all for now! Hope to here some of your insights. Have a fun, healthy and productive weekend!


Ten Reasons to Drink Yerba Mate March 3, 2011

Filed under: cancer,sleep,tea,Uncategorized,weight loss — novahealthnaturopathic @ 8:29 pm

Yerba Mate is a South American herb from the holly shrub of the South American rain forest. It grows wild in Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Brazil, but is most abundantly in Paraguay where it is also cultivated. Drinking Mate is a longtime traditional social activity in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay — family or friends pass around a “gourd” (fist-sized, round wooden ball-like cup) of the brew (just hot water and Mate leaves & stems), sipped through a “bombilla” (which translates to “little pump” or “straw”), often made of silver or bamboo.

In South America, Yerba Mate has been revered for centuries as the “drink of the gods” and is still drunk daily for health, sustained energy and mental clarity by millions. The leaves of the rainforest Mate tree naturally contain vitamins and minerals, amino acids and are rich in antioxidants — with reported ORAC antioxidant levels even higher than many brewed green teas.

Reason #1: There are 196 active chemical compounds found in the Yerba Mate plant. Of those, 144 are also found in green tea. Yerba Mate contains 11 polyphenols. Polyphenols are a group of phytochemicals, a group of recently-discovered compounds that act as powerful antioxidants and are considered to exhibit anti-cancer effects in mammals by strengthening an organism’s natural defenses and protecting it against cellular destruction.

Reason #2:  Each infusion of Mate contains:

Vitamins: A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5, B Complex

Minerals: Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus

Additional Compounds: Fatty Acids, Chlorophyll, Flavonols, Polyphenols, Trace Minerals, Antioxidants, Pantothenic Acid and 15 Amino Acids.

Source: Arch Latinoam Nutr. 1991 Sep;41(3):441-54.

Reason #3: In addition to polyphenols, Yerba Mate leaves contain saponins. Saponins are phytochemicals that have been found to specifically stimulate the immune system and aid the body in protecting against disease. They possess significant anti-inflammatory properties. Source: Adv Exp Med Biol. 1996;405:47-56.

Reason #4: With about one-third the caffeine of coffee, plus the presence of natural calming tryptophan and other elements, many also report the lack of jitters, shakes and anxiety that can accompany coffee drinking, resulting in all of the “good buzz” of coffee without the bad. And perhaps most significant is the reported lack of “coffee crash”. Source: Phytochemistry. 2000 Dec;55(7):853-7.

Reason #5: Because of its low caffeine levels, it does not interfere with sleep cycles.  In fact, it has a tendency to balance the cycles, inducing more REM sleep when necessary, or increases the amount of time spent in delta states.  Many people say they require less sleep when using yerba mate because they experience a deeper, more relaxing sleep.

Reason #6: For many years now, physicians in Europe have been incorporating yerba mate in treatments for obesity. In 2000, a research team studying obesity at the Charlottenlund Medical Center in Denmark tested an herbal preparation of Yerba Matefor gastric emptying and subsequent weight loss. They concluded that the herbal preparation, yerba mate capsules, significantly delayed gastric emptying, reduced the time to perceived gastric fullness and induced significant weight loss over 45 days in overweight patients treated in a primary health care context. In addition, maintenance treatment given in an uncontrolled context resulted in no further weight loss, nor weight regain in the group as a whole. Sources: J Hum Nutr Diet. 2001 Jun;14(3):243-50; Phytomedicine. 1999 Oct;6(4):231-8.

Reason #7: Yerba mate has significant antioxidant activity. In a study published in 1995 by Biochemicaland Molecular Biology International, researchers concluded that water extracts of yerba mate “were more potent antioxidants than either ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or butylated hydroxytoluene.” In a more recent study, published in the November 2001 issue of Fitoterapia, researchers took a look at seven different plant species in South America. They found that yerba mate “contained a higher content of flavonoids and caffeoyl derivatives than any other assayed species.” Sources:  Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Mar 16;269(2):357-60; Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 May;957:279-83.

Reason #8: Polyphenols found in tea and yerba mate have been shown to prevent both the growth of bacteria responsible for bad breath and the bacteria’s production of odorous compounds.

Reason #9: Consumption of yerba mate improves serum lipid parameters in healthy dyslipidemic subjects and provides an additional LDL-cholesterol reduction in individuals on statin therapy. Source: J. Agric Food Chem. 2009 Sep 23;57(18):8316-24.

Reason #10:  In vivo and in vitro studies are showing yerba mate to exhibit significant cancer-fighting activity. Researchers at the University of Illinois (2005) found yerba mate to be “rich in phenolic constituents” and to “inhibit oral cancer cell proliferation” while it promoted proliferation of oral cancer cell lines at certain concentrations. Source: J. Agric. Food Chem., 2005, 53 (6), pp 1966–1973.


Intravenous Vitamin C for Cancer February 7, 2011

Filed under: cancer — novahealthnaturopathic @ 3:48 pm

Intravenous vitamin C is an effective and well-established cancer therapy that has demonstrated effectiveness in treating cancer for decades, despite being dismissed by some medical experts.  As indicated by many studies, this therapy prolongs survival, improves quality of life, and reduces adverse effects of conventional cancer treatment (Integrative Cancer Therapies, 2004; 3:294-300).

Of the studies looking at the anti-cancer effects of intravenous vitamin C, the most well-known is a paper published in the Canadian Medical Association. The study examined cases of advanced terminal cancer and found that high-dose intravenous vitamin C resulted in unexpectedly long term remission rates.  For example, one of the case studies showed that a patient with advance kidney cancer that had spread throughout her body, was cancer-free at a one year follow-up assessment.  Using conventional treatment options, such results only occur in 1% of cases (CMAJ. 2006;174:937-42). These findings of this study support the use of high-dose intravenous vitamin C therapy in cancer treatment.

How does vitamin work to fight cancer? Part of the answer to thisquestion involves the amounts of the vitamin used. At a large dose (achieved only intravenously) vitamin C can induce oxidative damage and spontaneous death to the cancer cells. Very high concentrations of vitamin C (intravenous doses of 14 000 μM/l vs 220 μM/l – achieved orally) are selectively toxic to cancer cells, but do not harm normal cells (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2005, 102:13604-9). This selective toxicity occurs because this high dose of vitamin C increases levels of hydrogen peroxide (a chemical that destroys cancer cells). Cancer cells are vulnerable to this chemical whereas normal cells are not (Histol Histopathol, 1997, 12:525-35). This means cancer cells are destroyed while healthy cells remain unharmed.

Some oncologists postulate that vitamin C decreases the effectiveness of chemotherapy.  There has been no clinical evidence that shows patients given vitamin C and chemotherapy together fare worse than those not receiving the vitamin.  In fact the complete opposite is true as demonstrated by all clinical studies.  A paper that reviewed 71 scientific studies found that antioxidants actually enhance the effects of chemotherapeutic agents (J. of Oncol. 1999; 31:1201-1078).

The evidence of the anti-cancer effects of intravenous vitamin C needs to be re-examined. Seek out your options with a health care practitioner knowledgeable in complementary cancer treatments with scientific research and clinical trials to verify its effectiveness.


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