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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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