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"Acupuncture Actually Works for Neck Pain"

"Acupuncture Actually Works for Neck Pain" is the title of an article I saw on Time.com.  The patients who I've treated with acupuncture do not need this study to believe.  But it's good to have science back me up these days so we can explain the mechanics of how it works.  Acupuncture can loosen tight muscles and release pain-relieving endorphins.  It works for conditions other than neck pain as well.  You can read the time article here:

http://time.com/4097083/acupuncture-neck-pain/

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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"The care you want, the health you need."
The supplement industry is still the wild west.  You can't always be confident in what you're getting in a bottle.  Check out this NY Times piece about some brands found in some well known stores and you'll be shocked at what they find or don't find.

This can often be the reason why some patients will tell me "I've tried that herb or supplement but it doesn't work."  It just might be that they haven't really been using the correct product &/or the correct dosage/concentration.  I've had patients tell me that the  D-Mannose they received from me works better than the ones they've bought from the store or that their probiotics don't seem to have the same effect as the ones they got from me.  It could be the quality or just that the strains of probiotics they've been taking aren't appropriate for their specific health concerns.  Science has found that there are specific strains that help for specific conditions, be it gastrointestinal conditions to urinary tract infections to even prevention of colds & flu.  Be sure that you have the right strains for your concern.

Again, read the NY Times article to get an idea of what I'm talking about.  Clearly the quality of your products matter.
 
Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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"The care you want, the health you need."    

A medical doctor's view of naturopathic medicine!

Dr. Katz, the president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and director of the Yale Prevention and Research Center explains naturopathic medicine and why he thinks naturopathic doctors are an integral part of the health care system.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-katz-md/the-nature-of-medicine-an_b_5965160.html

The times, they are a changing and many of my patients find that their own medical doctors are starting to observe the results I have been able to achieve with my patients.  Some are even taking notes as my patients tell them what they've been doing.

It helps everyone when we can all work together to the benefit of the patient.

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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www.NaturopathicEssentials.com
"The care you want, the health you need."   


Detoxes and Fasting? Is it bunk?

You've probably heard from many nutritionists/dieticians/MDs or other experts that fasting and detoxes is unproven and can probably harm you.  But in many cultures or religions, it's done regularly w/ no real harm.

But now, scientists at the University of Southern California are actually advocating fasting.  They've demonstrated that fasting for 3 days resets your immune system and reboots the body.  In fact, they are saying that it may be beneficial for cancer patients or those who have undergone chemotherapy.

‘There is no evidence at all that fasting would be dangerous while there is strong evidence that it is beneficial.’

Quite a drastic change in opinion by scientists.  A lot of naturopathic doctors (NDs) have been taught that there can be some therapeutic advantages to fasting.  It's good to see the science catching up to things I was taught long time ago.

Over the years, I've seen science validate many things that NDs do (ie. acupuncture) and advice to select patients to 'avoid gluten.'  For some reason, naturopathic doctors and other medical solutions passed down through the generations don't get the credit it deserves.  Sometimes things work and we have to wait for science to validate what we already know.  And believe me, I'm as scientific of a naturopath as you will find.

Take a look at this National Post article regarding Fasting! 

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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"The care you want, the health you need."  

The Science of Happiness

This is a great infographic showing everything you need to know about happiness.  Enjoy!

http://my.happify.com/hd/science-of-happiness-infographic/


Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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www.NaturopathicEssentials.com
"The care you want, the health you need."  

7+ servings of Fruits & Veggies per day Saves Lives

As some of you may know, I usually tell my patients to get at least 8-10+ servings of mostly veggies and a bit of fruit every day even though the guidelines have always been five to six servings.

Here's a study out of England today from 65,226 men and women showing the benefits of what I've been saying all along. 

Read this BBC article, it's a quick read.  I highly recommend it.
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-26818377

But to summarize:
"Fresh vegetables had the strongest protective effect, followed by salad and then fruit. Fruit juice conferred no benefit, while canned fruit appeared to increase the risk of death."

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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www.NaturopathicEssentials.com
"The care you want, the health you need."  

Nutrient Deficiencies and your Kids

Generally in Canada and other Western countries, we don't pay too much attention to nutrient deficiencies.  Most people slough it off because food is so abundant here.  Scurvy and other maladies of pure deficiencies are rare.

But what about the concept of optimal states.  Optimal amounts of vitamin d has been shown to reduce diabetes risks by 50%, breast cancer by 75%, pre-eclampsia, pre-term labour and other complications of pregnancy by 50%.  This is something that isn't talked about much.

A new study out of Oxford University in the UK is making headlines because of the potential impact on kids.  Some of you may have run this test here at the clinic looking at the level of omega 3 fatty acids in the blood and found that you didn't consume enough fish. I've mostly run this test on adults since there is a correlation between the levels of omega 3 in the blood and cardiovascular disease.  This study found that levels of omega 3 fatty acids in the blood significantly predicted a child's behaviour and ability to learn and concentrate.  In my opinion, it sounds like kids with a diagnosis of ADHD and ADD should be doing this kind of testing before going on prescription medication, non?

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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"The care you want, the health you need." 

Birth Control Pills - What you should know!

It's one of the most widely used medications out there.  There are a number of reasons why many young ladies take them including to prevent pregnancies, to manage painful cramps and to avoid having a period altogether.

While many people know about these positives, few know about the possible side effects, the worst of which are blood clots that have lead to a number of deaths as reported by CBC news.  The statistics show that approximately 1 in 10,000 women taking any form of birth control experience some form of blood clot, but Yaz and Yasmin have higher incidences.

Usually side effects such as mood based changes (ie. depression) are noticed by the women taking the drugs, but few know about the slow creeping effects of the pills.  Over time, birth control pills can leach nutrients from your body, the way other medications such as steroids and reflux medications can.  Take a look at this article from a registered pharmacist describing what vitamins and minerals are leached from chronic use of these meds.

http://metronews.ca/health/709891/taking-a-birth-control-pill-it-might-be-leaching-nutrients-from-your-body/

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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"The care you want, the health you need." 

Statins - Should you really be on it?

Statin are one of the most widely prescribed medications out there.  They are used to lower high cholesterol levels.  If you are on it, you should take a look at this CBC article and video.  Researchers are starting to question its risks and benefits for cardiovascular disease prevention.  It seems to help those who have had a heart attack, but not so much for those who have yet to have any health problems.  After about 5 yrs of use, it seems to reduce risk by about one percent.  But one also has to weigh that against the possible side effects such as kidney disease, muscle pain, type 2 diabetes, etc.

Luckily, if you read my previous blog post about how effective naturopathic medicine is for cardiovascular disease, you will find that there are much more effective treatment strategies out there.

FYI:
Speaking of statins, make sure that you're not mixing it with any macrolide antibiotics.  These are common antibiotics such as clarithromycin & erythromycin.  It could lead to a number of nasty side effects, namely kidney and muscle damage.  See the article below for more information.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/06/17/statin-antibiotic-interaction.html

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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www.NaturopathicEssentials.com
"The care you want, the health you need."

Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease using Naturopathic Therapies vs. Conventional Treatment

I didn't think this would happen for at least a decade more, but it did.  The Canadian Medical Association's Journal (CMAJ) published a journal study comparing the treatment of Canada Post workers in Edmonton, Toronto & Vancouver using conventional treatment of cardiovascular disease versus naturopathic treatment.

And lo and behold, naturopathic treatment was more successful in reducing the 10 year risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality risk.  In addition, the patients who were treated by a naturopathic doctor reduced costs to the health care system and the employer (Canada Post) by a whopping $1025 in the first year alone.

The study also analyzed naturopathic care vs. statins.  Statins are a class of medication used to lower cholesterol and have been shown to decrease mortality risks.  Naturopathic care resulted in a 2 fold improvement in benefit + a 2 fold reduction in cost.  Therefore, that means naturopathic care was 4x more cost effective.

Dr. Brian Goldman, MD who hosts a show on CBC radio and is an emergency room doctor at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto discusses this study and naturopathic medicine in this interview.  Take some time to listen to it and you'll be surprised at how positive he is regarding naturopathic medicine's role in Ontario and Canada's health care system.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Saskatchewan/ID/2382402569/

Yours in Health,
Ian Koo, ND

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www.NaturopathicEssentials.com
"The care you want, the health you need."