Tag Archives: seattle naturopathic doctor

Omega 3’s- why are they anti-inflammatory?

Omega-3’s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that the body derives from certain foods. They are considered essential because they are critical for good health and the body cannot make them on its own. There are two main types of omega-3 fatty acids: Long chain (EPA and DHA) and short-chain (ALA).

Although they have many vital effects on one’s health including anti-blood clotting effects, reducing blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol, they also play in important role in fighting inflammation and are considered anti-inflammatory.

Inflammation is a critical mechanism your body possesses to help protect you from pathogens, irritants, and heal injuries by sending proteins and white blood cells to the affected area. While inflammation is very essential process, uncontrolled regulation can result in consequential tissue damage and contribute to many disease formations including cardiovascular disease and even cancer. That is why consuming anti-inflammatory foods, like Omega-3 essential fatty acids, is so imperative.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in several foods. These foods include:

• Grass fed beef

• Fresh deep water fish

• Raw flaxseeds, hemp seeds,

• Soybeans

• Shrimp

• Cauliflower

• Brussel sprouts

As you can see, there aren’t many foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and it is difficult to obtain the amount of Omega-3 that your body needs. Most people require a supplement to get this essential amount. Many health conditions require additional Omega-3. There are many types of supplements that are abundant in Omega-3’s. The most common and beneficial are:

• Fish oil

• Krill oil

• Cod liver oil

• Flax oil

• Hemp oil

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are abundant in fish and shellfish, and short-chain omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) are typically found in plants, such as flax and hemp. It is possible for the body to synthesize DHA and EPA from ALA, but conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is extremely limited. Therefore, fish oils are usually the most efficient source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

If you are experiencing signs of inflammation or are interested in having an analysis of your Omega-3 intake, please contact Dr. Lee at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322.

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Filed under Allergies, Antiaging, Arthritis, Digestion, Eczema, fatigue, IBD, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome

What are pro-inflammatory foods? Who should avoid them?

Inflammation occurs in response to many different stimuli including injuries, irritants and pathogens. It is a process where your body’s immune system responds by sending proteins and white blood cells to the irritated area in order to repair the damaged tissue. Blood vessels also dilate allowing an increase in blood flow to the area. This causes the symptoms of inflammation we usually see including pain, redness and swelling. Too much inflammation or inflammation of healthy tissue however can be unhealthy and cause numerous different diseases. Lack of exercise, stress, and smoking can all play a part in chronic inflammation. But one of the most important causes of inflammation is diet.

Pro-inflammatory foods are defined as any type of food that tends to cause inflammation. In general, there are about seven different food ingredients that can cause inflammation.

Sugars- soda, candy, deserts

Saturated fats- cheese, red meat, pizza

Trans fat- fast food, deep-fried foods, cookies, donuts

Omega 6 fatty acids- vegetable, corn, soy and peanut oil, mayonnaise

Refined carbs- rice, noodles, pasta, white rice and white flour products

Artificial sweeteners- aspartame, MSG (aspartame)

Alcohol- liquor, beer and wine


Who should avoid pro-inflammatory foods?

Although everyone should consider limiting their intake of pro-inflammatory foods, there are some who should avoid them more than others. Arthritis, eczema, Alzheimer’s, and acne are all conditions which inflammation can worsen symptoms. People who have high blood pressure, are obese, get frequent headaches, or is an athlete could also benefit from avoiding pro-inflammatory foods in their diet.

If you’re interested in having your diet assessed, please contact Dr. Lee at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322

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Importance of vitamin D in the Pacific Northwest

Vitamin D is important for good overall health with its wide range of benefits. Its primary role is to increase the movement of calcium into the bloodstream by promoting the absorption of calcium from food. This is why it is essential in bone growt

h. Some other health benefits of having a healthy level of vitamin D are: decreased inflammation, decreased risk of cancer, decreased dental cavities, prevention and treatment of depression, and reduced risk of diseases like multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and heart disease.


What happens when vitamin D levels are low?

Seattle is at a latitude of 47° north of the equator, which sets up the population for widespread vitamin D insufficiency. Without vitamin D, bones become thin and brittle. Being vitamin D deficient also increases risk of cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Low blood levels of vitamin D also relate to cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Multiple Sclerosis, which causes progressive nerve damage, has been linked to low vitamin D levels. Washington State has one of the highest multiple sclerosis rates in the nation, and it has been theorized that the low levels of sunlight in the winter contribute to this statistic.

How can you get vitamin D?

Vitamin D is often called “the sunshine vitamin” because our bodies synthesize it naturally through direct exposure to sunlight. This is the most natural way to get vitamin D and can happen very quickly, especially in the summer. How much vitamin D is produced from sunlight depends on time of day and where you live. You can also get vitamin D by taking supplements. This is a good way to get vitamin D if you can’t get enough sunlight or don’t want to expose your skin.

There are very few foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Some of these foods include fish with high fat content such as salmon, catfish and tuna. Milk and some cereals are usually fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common especially in northern populations like the Pacific Northwest, where solar radiation in the autumn and winter is much too small to maintain healthy levels.

Your vitamin D level can be easily assessed with a simple blood test. Feel free to contact Seattle Naturopathic Center if you are interested in finding out your vitamin D level.

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Filed under Allergies, Antiaging, Arthritis, fatigue, Inflammation, Vitamin D

You are tired?

K. C. is a 43 year old female who came into the clinic with fatigue as well as recent clouded memory particularly poor name recollection. She was also interested in starting a series of vitamin B12 injections to help with her symptoms. The patient had no prior medical history to date; in fact, she is a yoga instructor who alternates between a pescatarian and vegetarian diet. The patient typically wakes up in the early morning but doesn’t eat breakfast for several hour. Her energy level is generally 3/10 with 10 being highest in energy. The first suggestion was to eat more protein and fiber in the early morning. She was recommended to increase fiber through ground flax and protein through eggs or beans, and to start to incorporate maca powder. Maca powder has a variety of health benefits including B12 and E vitamins, calcium, supplies iron and helps restore red blood cells, which in turn increase energy levels. In addition to dietary changes, blood tests were done to find out if the fatigue is from anemia or poor thyroid function. Also, although the patient lives and works in parts of the world with sun, a vitamin D test was run. The lab results showed that she fell in the normal ranges for the general blood testing, yet deficiencies in vitamin D and extremely low levels of ferritin. Ferritin is a protein found inside cells that stores iron so the body can use it later. In order to help with energy levels, she got a series of vitamin B12 shot, a direct injection of vitamin B12 which helps with energy and memory boosting if levels are too low in the blood. She also started taking 4000 IU of vitamin D3 daily with a fatty food such as avocado. For thyroid stability, she started increasing iodine through eating more iodine rich foods such as seaweed.  Lastly, increasing iron will restore red blood cells and increase energy so she started taking an iron support with extra vitamin C to help with iron absorption. She also started a series of iron injection.

Now, after 2 weeks of dietary changes along with weekly injections, her energy is 9/10.

For more information about naturopathic care with Dr. Lee, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322

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Filed under Antiaging, B 12 injection, fatigue, vitamin injection

What supplements do you REALLY need? Find out with Micronutrient testing!

Are you taking too many supplements? Not enough? Nutritional status is a vital foundation of health and performance.

You may be deficient in some vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and/or other essential micronutrients and not even not even know it.

University research has shown that 50% of people taking multivitamins are still nutritionally deficient.

It is important to know your nutrient status, because it has been shown that vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies can contribute to degenerative processes such as arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

 

Dr. Lee offers the MicroNutrient Test tests for 32 vitamins and minerals:

VITAMINS Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Biotin, Folate, Pantothenate
MINERALS Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper AMINO ACIDS Asparagine, Glutamine, Serine.
ANTIOXIDANTS Alpha Lipoic Acid, Coenzyme Q10, Cysteine, Glutathione, Selenium, Vitamin E, SPECTOX™ for total antioxidant function.
CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM Chromium, Fructose Sensitivity, Glucose-Insulin, Metabolism.
FATTY ACIDS Oleic Acid
METABOLITES Choline, Inositol, Carnitine.

 

The MicroNutrient Test measures your body’s ability to absorb 32 vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other essential nutrients within your white blood cells. This non-fasting blood test tells you if you have a vitamin deficiency and gives you a plan for how to correct it.

More importantly, the results information can help you reduce the risk of illness and disease related to such deficiencies.

Did you know that about 50% of people taking multivitamins are STILL deficient?

The MicroNutrient Test can tell you which supplement to focus on – thereby eliminating your deficiency and any unnecessary spending on costly supplements.

You also need it because scientific evidence confirms that vitamin deficiencies are associated with disease processes and the overall conditions of your health. The MicroNutrient Test is the only test that takes a nutritional assessment and creates a plan to correct any deficiency negatively influencing customer’s health. Vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies have been shown to suppress immune function and contribute to chronic degenerative processes such as arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

 

Micronutrient Test is More Advanced Than other Laboratory Tests

Before the introduction of the Micronutrient Test, many diagnosis and risk assessments were based on clinical observation and measurements of static levels of certain nutrients in serum. Static serum levels are not always representative indicators for assessing cell metabolism and utilization.

MicroNutrient Test offers a unique means to scientifically assess the intracellular requirements of micronutrients that play an important role in overall health and wellness. Micronutrient test measure the biochemical function of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants, providing a powerful clinical assessment tool. Our panels are designed to provide you with the most comprehensive nutritional analysis available.

 

What if I am deficient?

As the only lab that can offer a truly functional intracellular testing (Micronutrient Test), we also provide you with targeted nutrient repletion recommendations for those vitamins and minerals found to be deficient.

 

Why Nutritional Testing is Important?

1. Nutrient deficiencies are common, in fact 90% of people are deficient and 50% of those are already taking supplements

2. Vitamin deficiencies contribute to common degenerative disease like heart disease, stroke, cancer and Alzheimer’s.

3. Many prescription medications can cause nutrient depletions.

4. Having a strong antioxidant defense system protects you against heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions.

5. There can be too much of a “good thing” — too many antioxidants can be harmful. The only way to know what you need is to be tested.

6. Simply taking a multivitamin may not be enough to meet your nutritional needs.

7. You might be over supplementing with unnecessary vitamins, minerals or antioxidants. Too much can be harmful.

8. Aging can be caused by a lack of nutrients.

9. Heaving healthy cells promotes strong immune function and optimal health for a lifetime

If you have any questions regarding to micronutrient testing, please contact Dr. Lee at 206-319-5322 or visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center

 

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Filed under Antiaging, B 12 injection, fatigue, Inflammation, Vitamin D, vitamin injection

How food intolerances affect your health?

The relative frequency of food intolerance and food-related complaints in the general populations is very high. Many food intolerances produce minimal symptoms, yet the long-term consequences are astonishing including thyroid disease, neurological disorders, increased cancer risk and accelerated aging.

 

Food intolerance is caused by a food substance that triggers a toxic reaction on contact with our intestinal cells. Contact with susceptible cells produces inflammation that can result in intestinal damage. The inflammatory cells release chemicals that cause our immune system to release antibodies against the offending food.


Some misconception of food intolerance

 

Food intolerances are diseases of childhood. Intolerances are more likely to be symptomatic in children but are found in adults of all ages. Food intolerances are perpetrators of ongoing intestinal inflammation, which may eventually exhaust the body’s defenses.


Food intolerances are only present in symptomatic patients. Food intolerances can be subjectively silent in many individuals. Nonetheless, they continue to drain our defenses and weaken our intestinal immune system. Food intolerance occurrence is underestimated in our symptom-driven health care system.


Food intolerances are simply intestinal irritations. Food intolerances can be more than a local intestinal problem, and may increase the risk of autoimmune diseases and cancer as well as accelerated aging.

 

Manifestations of Food Intolerance

 

  • Diarrhea or soft to loose stools are the most common digestive tract symptom
  • Constipation
  • Acid reflux
  • Changes in intestinal wall integrity
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Skin: hives, rash, eczema
  • Respiratory: asthma, nasal congestion, sinusitis
  • Brain: headache, migraine, sleeplessness, irritability

 

For more information about food intolerance and/or food intolerance testing, please contact Dr. Lee’s office at 206-319-5322 or visit us: Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center

 

 

 

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Filed under Allergies, Antiaging, Arthritis, Digestion, Eczema, fatigue, Food allergy, IBD, IBS, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome

Food allergies may affect nearly 6 million children in U.S.

A study published in Pediatrics, 2011 suggests that food allergies affect a significant number of children in the US. This study, the largest of its kind, surveyed nearly 40,000 US households with one or more children less than 18 years of age.  Based on the data collected, the researchers found that food allergies affect 8.0% of US children or about 6 million. Of those children, 30.4% had multiple food allergies and 38.7% had a history of severe reactions. The most common allergies reported in the survey were peanut (25.2%), milk (21.1%) and shellfish (17.2%).

A well-known hallmark of food allergy is the production of IgE or IgG antibodies to a protein of the problem food. An allergy of this type develops when food-specific antibodies, bound to mast cells and basophils, present in the skin, gut and respiratory tract, come into contact with, and bind the circulating allergen. This binding activates these cells to release inflammatory mediators. This results in discomfort associated with allergy including stomach cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, hives, itching and swelling.

The prevalence of food allergies has shown a remarkable upswing over the past 10 to 20 years across all ages. There can be a genetic influence to developing allergies. Allergic parents are more likely to have allergic children. But certainly this cannot account wholly for the epidemic rise that we have seen over the decades. The manifestations of allergy are the result of the complex interaction between genetics, nutrition, immunity and environmental exposures such as tobacco smoke and pollutants that can increase the antigenic response.

Sound laboratory testing remains an essential clinical tool to identify food sensitivities, which may be the underlying causes of many conditions. For more information on food allergy testing, please contact Dr. Lee at 206-319-5322 or visit www.seattlenaturopathiccenter.com

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Filed under Arthritis, Digestion, Eczema, fatigue, Food allergy, IBD, IBS, Leaky gut syndrome, Skin Conditions

Food Safety – Don’t Eat These Seven Foods!

You have seen articles about food safety and food additives in the news lately.  I dug up an article from Prevention Magazine written by Liz Vaccariello entitled “Seven Foods Even Food Safety Experts Won’t Eat”.  Bon appetit!

  1. Canned Tomatoes – resin linings of tin cans can contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen.  Acidic contents (such as tomato sauces) cause BPA to leach into food.  Solution – choose fresh tomatoes or ones packaged in glass bottles or waxed boxes.
  2. Corn-Fed Beef – cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains.  According to a Clemson University study grass-fed beef, compared to corn-fed, is higher in beta-carotene, Vitamin E, conjugated linoleic acid, calcium, magnesium and potassium; lower in the inflammatory omega-6′s; and lower in saturated fats.  Solution – buy grass-fed beef.
  3. Microwave Popcorn – the problem is the chemicals in the lining of the bag.  Solution – pop it the old-fashion way in a skillet or pan.
  4. Potatoes (non-organic) – root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides during the growing season.  Because these chemicals are absorbed they cannot be washed off!  Solution – buy organic potatoes.
  5. Farmed Salmon – nature didn’t intend for salmon to be artificially fed in pens.  Farmed salmon tend to be lower in Vitamin D and higher in contaminants including carcinogens, PCB’s, and pesticides.  Solution – switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon.  If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed.  No commercial fisheries remain for wild Atlantic salmon.
  6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones – bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) is used to increase milk production but may have a deleterious effect on humans.  Solution – check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk.
  7. Conventional Apples – fall apples are sprayed with pesticides because, as individually grafted trees, apples don’t develop resistance to many pests.  Solution – buy organic apples or at least wash and peel them first.

As you can see, there are a few relatively easy and not very expensive ways to protect yourself from potentially harmful food products.

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Filed under Allergies, Digestion, Food allergy

Confused by the different types of vitamin B12?

Looking for a safe and effective way to reduce to optimize health? The answer would be to eat right and exercise. One can also consider vitamin B12 injections as it can give you positive results as well.

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin. It is a nutrient that is important for cell proliferation, nerve health, and carbohydrate metabolism. It is an essential nutrient needed to make red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body, the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve cells, and various proteins. It also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

As vitamin B12 injection is getting more popular, there is also the question of which type of B12 to get.

Hydroxocobalamin B12 is a natural and uniquely powerful form of vitamin B12. Clinical studies practice have shown it can help to improve cognitive function, fight fatigue, promote heart health and more. Studies have found that hydroxocoblamin raises B12 levels higher and lasts longer than cyanocobalamin (1,2). Hydroxocobalamin has a high affinity for cyanide. It pulls the cyanide out of the mitochondria of the cell and combines with it to form cyanocobalamin, which is then excreted in the urine. In 2006, hydroxocobalamin was approved by the FDA as an antidote for cyanide poisoning. Since cyanide is present in cigarette smoke  (and essentially reduces the cells’ ability to use oxygen), hydroxocobalamin would be a good option for smoker seeking a B12 supplement.

On the other hand, methylcobalamin may be help in preventing and treating chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathies, Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy and neurological aging.

The most common form of vitamin B12 is called cyanocobalamin. However, over the last ten years, a number of central peripheral neurological diseases have been linked to a deficiency of a very specific cobalamin, the methylcobalamin form, that is required to protect against neurological disease and aging. The liver converts a small amount of cyanocobalamin into methylcobalamin within the body, but larger amounts of methylcobalamin are necessary to correct neurological defects and protect against aging.

Few substances have been shown to regenerate nerves in humans with peripheral neruopathies. However, a study in the Journal of Neurological Science postulated that methylcobalamin could increase protein synthesis and help regenerate nerves. The scientists showed that very high doses of methylcobalamin produce nerve regeneration in laboratory rats. The scientists stated that ultra-high doses of methylcobalamin might be of clinical use for patients with peripheral neuropathies.

1. Hall CA, et al. “The availability of therapeutic hydroxocobalamin to cells.” Blood. 1984 Feb;63(2):335-41.
2. Glass GBJ, et al. “Hydroxocobalamin V. Prolonged maintenance of high vitamin B12 blood levels following a short course of hydrooxocobalamin injections.” Blood. 1966. Vol 27, No. 2 pp 234-241.

Interested in B12 injection. Visit  Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322.

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Filed under Allergies, B 12 injection, fatigue, Inflammation, vitamin injection, Weight Loss

The importance of probiotic use with antibiotic therapy

An antibiotic is a drug that treats infections caused by bacteria. There are many different types of antibiotics, some are bactericidal (kill bacteria), such as penicillin. Other antibiotics, such as bacteriostatic (stop bacteria from growing and multiplying). Over the years, antibiotics helped to bring under control many serious infectious diseases that were previously untreatable and frequently fatal.

With the widespread use of antibiotics, repeated or used incorrectly, there is a chance that the bacteria will become resistant. This means that the antibiotic becomes less effective against that type of bacterium. The bacteria survive exposure to an antibiotic and continue to multiply causing more harm. Some bacteria can be resistant to more than one antibiotic class and these are called multi-resistant.

Antibiotic therapy can lead to overgrowth of potentially antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria and fungi, such as Stahylococcus aureas, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. Probiotics are live beneficial microorganisms from the human gut which help to maintain protective gut microflora, reduce survival of pathogenic or bad bacteria. The most common probiotic bacteria are the Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.

A study carried out at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, UK, followed 30 patients requiring the same antibiotic therapy. The patients were divided into the two groups and supplemented with probiotic containing 25 billion live bacteria per daily dose or placebo capsule in conjunction with antibiotics. None of the participants knew if they were taking probiotic or placebo.

 

The results demonstrated that supplementation of probiotics with 25 billion live bacteria per dose daily helped maintained the balance of gut microflora during antibiotic therapy. The group without probiotic supplement resulted in double the amount of “bad” bacteria (total fecal number of coliforms, staph. aureas and enterocci) prior initiating antibiotic treatment. Overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as gas and bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and more.

Madden J.A.J et al. Effection of probiotics on preventing disruption of the intestinal microflora following antiobiotic therapy: A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Int immunophar 2005:5;1091-1097.

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Filed under Digestion, IBD, IBS, Leaky gut syndrome