This blog is also featured on the CanPrev blog site
With spring just around the corner, you may feel inspired to clean and organize your house inside and out, but this is also a very good time to clean up your body on the inside with a cleanse or detox.
Your body is continually undergoing natural detoxification methods as part of general maintenance. But many times, the detox organs (ie. liver, kidneys, skin, lungs and intestines), need nutritional and herbal power to ensure that they are working effectively and efficiently. An overloaded and unsupported system can respond in the following ways: digestive complaints, fatigue, hives, skin conditions, low grade infections, achy joints, brain fog, and frequent headaches.
The liver is one of the main organs of elimination that cleanses the blood. Blood detoxification is one of the most important functions of the liver, but it needs to be provided with the nutrients it requires in order to do its job effectively.
There are 2 phases to this very important job and both require certain nutrients to complement these phases. The first phase of detoxification is to convert toxins into less toxic versions while waiting for the second step of detoxification to occur. This is where the liver will chemically alter the toxic by-product making it water soluble and easier to excrete by the intestines.
Can Prev’s Detox Pro is a 15 day cleanse that is jammed packed with the healthful blend of antioxidants, herbs and other nutrients to provide the liver with the tools to allow phase 1 and 2 of detoxification happen and get those toxins out of the body.
Powerful antioxidants such as n-acetylcysteine (NAC) which is a precursor to a powerful antioxidant called glutathione and vitamins A, C and E all help to neutralize the free radicals from phase 1 waiting to enter phase 2.
The vitamin B family such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folate and B12, provide energy productions and helping in phase 2 detoxification. Choline helps to metabolize fat, copper and zinc help make an antioxidant called superoxide dimutase work, but also supports a healthy metabolism. Trace minerals such as molybdenum, manganese, and selenium enable other vitamins or enzymes in the detoxification process to function.
Some pretty amazing herbal medicines are also in this formula. Artichoke extract has a strong antioxidant property, protects the liver and prevents depletion of glutathione. Turmeric is an amazing antioxidant that works in both fat and water soluble tissues and helps to protect the liver. Dandelion extract helps to stimulate the digestive glands in the liver. Green tea extract contains compounds called polyphenols that help to support Phase 1 and 2. Milk thistle extract’s active ingredient is silymarin, which has the amazing capacity to regenerate liver tissue. Rosemary extract is an antioxidant and inhibits some cancer causing effects from carcinogens. Lastly, slippery elm forms a gel like substance when mixed with water to protect the mucous membranes.
Fiber and probiotics are important additions to any detox. Can Prev's Fiber Flow is a combination of 3 herbal components that provide soluble fiber. Unique to this formula is the glucomannan that helps both constipation and diarrhea. A unique form of fiber extracted from New Zealand kiwi fruit, but also provides enzymes, prebiotics and antioxidants. Lastly the pectin from apples is another soluble source of fiber the helps with satiation, binds cholesterol helps maintain healthy glucose levels. The fiber allows binding of certain metabolic by products and directs it to the bowels to be eliminated and the probiotics helps to ensure the elimination occurs.
Can Prev’s Pro-Biotik 15B has five strains that ensure proper colonization of bacteria occur in the correct places. Three different lactobacillis strains colonize the small intestine and vaginal tissue and two strains of Bifidobacterium bacteria colonize the large intestine to help prevent and control constipation and diarrhea.
Also found on the CanPrev website:
Your mind is one of the most valuable assets that you have. It is extremely complex, it can keep changing and literally make new neuronal connections every day and there are still many aspects of this fascinating organ that are unknown.
In order to keep this organ healthy and functioning optimally, it must be provided with the nutrients it requires and it can also be given a boost with medicinal herbs to help healing, improve physiology, manage heart conditions and get back on track from previous heart problems.
Can Prev’s Mind Pro is a fantastic formula at improving your brain health and contains the following nutrients:
Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid help keep levels of homocysteine low, which reduce the irritation and clot formation to occur inside the vessels. This will ensure proper vascular flow to the brain which is crucial, because it will bring nutrients, oxygen and glucose to the brain and remove carbon dioxide and other metabolic wastes.
DL-Alpha lipoic acid converts glucose into a form of usable energy for the brain.
Phosphatidylserine (PS), found in soy lecithin, is critical for ensuring the cell membranes are able to release neurotransmitters, which is how cells communicate with each other.
Choline is another substance in this formulation that allows for the production of acetylcholine which easily used in the brain to help with memory and also recovery from degenerative or vascular dementia.
Bacopa is an herb that increases the communication between neurons; to make sure they are signalling thus, allowing information to flow between each neuron to help improve long term memory.
Ginkgo is another medicinal herb that dilates the blood vessels and decreases clot formation, to ensure smooth blood flow.
The complex cells in the brain, neurons, need to be protected from free radical damage that can be caused by chemicals, smoking, alcohol, fried foods, pesticides and toxins in the environment.
Maintaining the integrity of the blood vessels with antioxidants is important to reduce plaque build up. This allows smooth blood flow and stimulates the production of neurotransmitters that are important for a healthy brain. It is easy to obtain a powerful dose of daily antioxidants through use of Can Prev’s Antioxidant Network.
It contains coenzyme Q10, n-acetyl cysteine, zinc, selenium, dl- alpha lipoic acid, vitamin E and green tea extract. This combination provides an army full of substances that give one of their electrons over to these free radical molecules to make them stable. When they are stable, they are not damaging cells, trying to steal their electrons or continuing the cascade of instability. Overall, cell membranes are protected, blood vessels flow normally and inflammation is reduced.
Of course there are other aspects of health that play a role in keeping your mind sharp. A big one is mutli-tasking; which does not really exist like we think it does. Your mind cannot be doing multiple things at one single moment.
You are actually switching very quickly among multiple tasks. And studies have shown that this can decrease overall productivity, increase mistakes and reduces long term memory and creativity.
Distractions are another factor that wreak havoc on our minds. This increasingly is a concern as our smartphones, become our handheld portable internet, email, social media and texting alert hotspots. The more interruptions, the more productivity and long term memory decline.
Turning notifications off, mute, or a different setting can reduce this constant source of interrupting that can make you feel like you are being pulled in too many different directions, stressed, anxious, and feel like your memory is failing.
This blog is also found on the Canadian Natural Supplement Company - CanPrev here
Every Valentine’s Day season is filled with an abundance of red and pink heart shaped everything. So maybe this should be a kind reminder to ourselves to take a look at our own heart health and begin to show it some love. Whether you have a strong family history of heart disease or not, you should be striving to take care of this very important organ.
Certain nutrients are very important for a properly functioning heart. One of these major nutrients are essential fatty acids, specifically omega 3s.
Now, they are called essential fatty acids not, because we think it’s an important idea, but because the body is incapable of making them on its own, so it is essential that they are obtained them from the diet.
The typical North American diet going to provides plenty of omega 6 essential fatty acids, which come from fried foods, crackers, cookies and other snacks. These type of foods leave us in an inflammatory state, so we need to balance this effect with the anti-inflammatory action of omega 3 fatty acids.
Now, we do receive small amounts of omega 3’s from our diet, in foods such as nuts and seeds and fatty tissues of cold water fish, but usually not in the amounts needed to balance the omega 6’s.
Taking Can Prev’s Omega Pro provides an easy way to receive the correct daily amount of essential fatty acids. It is formulated with two types of omega 3’s; eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and vitamin E is added to prevent degradation of the fish oil.
Another beneficial effect of Omega 3’s is their ability to reduce the viscosity of the blood, similarly to the blood thinning effect of certain medications but without the side effect of disrupting the stomach lining. It can also have a positive effect on a healthy blood lipid profile (eg. cholesterol, LDL and HDL) by reducing plaque build up and allowing for properly flowing blood in the vessels.
There are specific nutrients that are aimed to heal and provide the heart to work optimally. Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) is a powerful antioxidant, gives energy to the heart muscle cells and helps to lower blood pressure and maintain healthy cholesterol. Infact, pharmaceutical treatments like statins (cholesterol lowering medication) actually lower the level of Coenzyme Q10, leaving a serious deficiency of this important nutrient that is important for the whole body, not just the heart.
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant which will relax the blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure as a result. Vitamin B12 and folate are also important for certain enzymes in the body that remove homocysteine, an inflammatory marker, from the blood.High levels of homocysteine contributes to plaque build up causing atherosclerosis.
Many studies show that certains herbs are extremely beneficial in improving and maintaining heart health. Garlic extract helps to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels by slowing the platelet aggregation which helps to prevent heart attacks.
Grape seed extract is an extremely rich antioxidant which overall protects the integrity of the inner lining of the blood vessels.
Hawthorn extract is perhaps a little less known, but a powerhouse of an herb in its ability to interact with enzymes in the the heart to increase the pumping force of the heart and eliminate arrhythmias. It dilates the coronary arteries to improve circulation and oxygen levels and it can even improve LDL and HDL levels in the blood, thus decreasing plaque build up.
Can Prev’s Healthy Heart is formulated with all of the above nutrients in therapeutic dosages to help the heart with many complex health issues, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and valve disorders.
Another supplement that was formulated with heart health in mind was Can Prev’s Magnesium + Taurine, B6 and Zinc. Now, it was created for people looking for a magnesium supplement that also provided some cardiovascular support. Taurine acts as an antihypertensive, antiatherogenic and antioxidant to help treat coronary artery disease, ischemia, congestive heart failure and hypertension. Vitamin B6 was added to this formula because it used in the synthesis of taurine.
Besides supplementation, dietary factors are of course important!
An excellent way to start a heart healthy day is with oats. They naturally contain beta-glucan which is a type of fiber that helps reduce cholesterol and boosts the immunity!
Extra virgin olive oil in the amount of 2 tbsp per day can help to lower overall cholesterol and improve one’s overall blood lipid profile. But it is important to use it cold, or adding to food once it is cooked. Olive oil has a low smoking point, so frying, cooking or baking with it can burn this beneficial oil which decreases its phytochemical and antioxidant value.
Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cocao) and red wine have benefits too, mainly from their antioxidant properties. But moderation, of course, is key.
And even a consistent amount of exercise such as 20 minutes a day of moving your body, such as walking can help with improving your overall heart health
Also published on the Can Prev Blog
Vitamin K2 probably does not sound too familiar, it is not one of the more popularly wide known vitamins, like vitamin C or D. Vitamin K2 belongs to the Vitamin K family which is a fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin K1 is the natural vitamin found in nature, mainly in green leafy plants and is perhaps the more popular of the two as it helps with blood clotting.
Vitamin K2 is known chemically as menaquinone. It received recognition when research came out investigating calcium supplementation and osteoporosis. Many people who were taking calcium supplements had calcium build up in their arteries and kidneys, where it should not be, and this placed them at risk for heart attacks and kidney stones. It seemed like the body was absorbing the calcium from the supplements, but the calcium was not going to the bones where it was needed. Vitamin K2’s job is to help direct calcium to deposit into the bones and teeth and away from your other areas of your body.
Vitamin K2 is found naturally in the fat containing area of animals, such as butter, dairy and organ meats. So the fattier the meats, the more vitamin K2 there is. However, leaner meats and grass fed meats are going to contain lower levels of fat, thus lower levels of K2.
The food containing the highest amount of vitamin K2 is natto. This is a Japanese food that is made from fermenting soybeans but most typical North American diets are not likely going to be very high in natto, thus, including cheeses like gouda or brie, animal livers, egg yolks, and fish eggs are good ways to get vitamin K2 in the diet. But even those foods are not consumed on a regular basis making this a perfect vitamin to take in supplement form.
Most people would benefit from vitamin K2 supplementation. Children need bone building nutrients for their growing bones. Women, especially those nearing menopause, require vitamin K2 and D3, as a decrease in estrogen decreases bone density. Individuals at risk for osteoporosis or osteopenia and those who are currently taking calcium containing supplements (i.e most multivitamins and prenatal vitamins) would all benefit from a vitamin K2 supplement to direct calcium to bones and not to other tissues in the body.
Can Prev’s Vitamin D3 and K2 (menoquinone-7) provides an excellent source of these vitamins.
It comes in a base of medium chain triglycerides that allows for superior absorption in a liquid dropper form which is easy to ingest for adults and children. Or an organic coconut oil based soft gel is available if that is preferred over a liquid.
Simply put, vitamin D3 helps you absorb calcium and vitamin K2 puts that calcium into the right places. So make sure you check your supplements to see if they contain vitamin K2 and if not, pick one up and add it to your daily supplement regime.
(this blog is also featured on CanPrev's Blog)
Bone tissue is very dynamic because it is constantly being remodelled by dissolving and replacing minerals to keep the bones healthy. Osteoporosis is a disease where the bone is dissolving and losing minerals faster than it can be replaced making the bones hollow, porous and very susceptible to fractures.
It is common knowledge that calcium and vitamin D3 are needed for increasing bone health, both of which are fairly prevalent in North American diets. Yet magnesium, boron, zinc, vitamin K1 and K2 are equally important in proper bone maintenance to make sure calcium is directed to the bones and not deposited elsewhere in the body such as the heart. Can Prev’s Osteo Prolong and Vitamin D3/K2 are formulated with these nutrients so they work together synergistically in absorbable forms to help maintain bone health but also muscles, teeth and skin.
The pH balance in the body is another factor important to bone health that is not usually addressed or well known. The reason this is important is that the blood needs to stay at the pH level of 7.0-7.4. This is a very tightly regulated system in the body so if the body is undergoing an acidic state (i.e. smoking, stress, nutrient poor diet, and pharmaceuticals etc), the body will draw from the bones to get the minerals needed that are alkaline in nature. The alkaline nutrients that are helping to buffer the blood are calcium, potassium and magnesium, the very nutrients we want to stay in our bones!
Can Prev’s pH Pro is a formula containing sodium bicarbonate, spirulina, magnesium bicarbonate and potassium, all nutrients that are alkaline to decrease acidity and keep those precious nutrients in the bones. In each bottle of CanPrev pH Pro there are pH test strips so you can check your pH using urine or saliva. If you tend to be acidic, then start increasing your alkalinity by taking 1 or 2 caps of this formula.
The prevention of osteoporosis actually begins in childhood and adolescence to gain as much bone density as possible by the age of 20 - 30 and then to maintain that density for the rest of adulthood. Having a youth’s diet full of healthful nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3, K1 and K2 and zinc from a varied diet are essential in providing the building blocks for the bones to grow and be maintained.
Beverages such as soft drinks and energy drinks are popular among youth should be limited. They contain both phopsphoric acid and caffeine which increase the amount of calcium lost from the bones. Caffeine causes about 6 mg of calcium to be lost for every 100mg of caffeine ingested. About 2 cups or a 16 oz of coffee contain 320 mg of caffeine which can leach about 20 mg of calcium from your body.
Processed foods are usually very high in salt, which is another substance that should be limited because every 2.3g of salt consumed about 40 mg of calcium is lost in the urine.
In adulthood multiple factors start to add up that can deplete bone minerals such physical inactivity, smoking, stress, alcohol, recreational drugs, increase of salt, caffeine and sugar, pharmaceutical drugs such as corticosteroids and proton pump inhibitors and hormonal changes in women.
Even pregnancy can leave the female depleted in many nutrients, as the requirement for calcium is very high due to the developing skeletal frame and formation of teeth, thus taking Can Prev’s Prenatal Multi ensures that the mother is receiving the therapeutic amounts of bioavailable calcium and vitamin D3 for the baby.
Taking Can Prev’s Osteo Prolong and Can Prev’s Vitamin D3/K2 are easy additions for those at risk for osteoporosis. Can Prev’s Adult Multi and Can Prev Core for Women or Can Prev Core for Men are also important to add in to help balance out the unfavourable bone loss health lifestyle factors that may be occuring.
(this blog is also published over on the CanPrev Blog, check it out!)
Holiday season is here, the days are filled with the hustle and bustle to get organized, presents purchased, house cleaned, food prepped, dinner parties to attend and orchestrating who will host dinner on Christmas Day. Do you feel your blood pressure rising thinking about this? Well, that’s the thing, you cannot feel your blood pressure rise which is why high blood pressure, or hypertension, is notoriously called the silent killer.
Hypertension is thought to affect more than 1 in 5 Canadians which means many people are on blood pressure medication. Sometimes, blood pressure is well controlled on these medications, other times it may need extra support for lowering and many want to prevent hypertension from occurring.
Luckily, there are many natural substances and therapies to lower your blood pressure naturally and also benefitting the body in numerous other ways than solely just lowering blood pressure.
Here are the top 5 natural therapies to lower blood pressure:
Magnesium is one of the best minerals to supplement with if you have high blood pressure and can quickly relax the blood vessels. It is a mineral that many of people are depleted in and is required for over 300 biochemical reactions. Can Prev’s Magnesium + Taurine, B6 and Zinc was specifically formulated to help with proper cardiovascular function.
Water is vital for any living organism, yet, so under utilized as a therapy for health concerns. It is one of the most cost effective natural therapies to help almost all of your physiological systems function optimally. Dehydration can cause the release of a hormone called vasopressin which is telling the body to release more water but this hormone will constrict the blood vessels thus increasing blood pressure.
Co enzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like component that is important for energy production in each cell’s mitochondria, which functions like the cell’s own engine. CoQ10 is found in organs that have large energy needs like the heart, so a deficiency in CoQ10 is going to affect the heart first. Now, statin drugs (cholesterol lowering medications) can inhibit CoQ10 to work properly and after the age of 30 your body is less able to metabolize coQ10 on it’s own. Therefore, taking Can Prev’s Ubiquinol; the active form of CoQ10, is superior for absorption and therapeutic benefits for cardiovascular health while reducing high blood pressure.
4.Exercise, Meditation and Relaxation Methods:
Similar to water, exercise, meditation or other relaxation methods are very under utilized but extremely effective therapies to help lower your blood pressure. As these activities help to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which dilates the blood vessels to release heat, slows heart rate down and induce that ‘rest and digest’ state that allow our bodies to switch into a restful and calm mode.
There are certains foods that you can incorporate daily to give your body the nutrients that helps specifically with lowering high blood pressure.
Okay, so it's Halloween. Besides all of the decorating, pumpkin carving and costume parties, there is a LOT of SUGAR that you and the kids will likely be ingesting. Which is fine. Enjoy it. Don't feel guilty about it. But what else can the increase of sugar do at this time cold and flu time of year??? Sugar suppresses the immune system temporarily, making it more likely for you and the kids to get SICK.
So follow the steps below to help boost your immune after a sugary filled night (or multiple nights!)
1. Take probiotics, vitamin C, Omega 3s, Vit D, Vitamin E
2. Drink lots of water (sugar dehydrates you)
3. Castor oil over the abdomen possibly with some essential oils to help reduce inflammation, bloating and pain
4. Drink immune boosting tea - look for herbs like ginger, echinancea, astragalus, peppermint etc.
5. Elderberry syrup and or Manuka Honey
6. Take your current multivitamin or herbal immune supplement if you are on one
7. Get lots of rest
8. Stop eating the sugar!
~Dr. Laura ND
It is almost autumn. One of my most favourite seasons. After a jammed packed summer, I welcome the fall to get back on track. I love routine and it kind of makes life a bit easier sometime when you just stay on track. But the summer is a time for a lot of us to let our guard down, indulge, drink, less sleep, less self care etc. etc. And it is easy to feel badly or guilty about the way we 'behaved' but you know what? Every day, every week, every season is about balancing and it is always a work in progress because our lives are in constant change. And how do we know we are in balance until we are out of alignment? When we realize how we FEEL when we are out of balance, we realized how nice it is to try to get back on track or at least make changes to get us to feel well again. So don't feel guilty, no mom guilt, don't feel guilty about anything, just acknowledge. Acknowledge why you felt the way you did and perhaps figure out some changes to do in the autumn to lessen those negative feelings and do something about them! Change is good. Change is easy. Change is not hard unless you keep telling yourself it is.
~Dr. Laura ND
As you can tell, in my posts, videos and in my treatment plans, Naturopathic Medicine is not just about eating healthy and taking herbs and supplements. It is also about living a cleaner life and it can be hard to do that in such a chemical laden world. So, that is why I like to try to find Natural and EFFECTIVE alternative to harsh chemicals that we use in our daily lives and in our home. And in the summer one of those things is dealing with bugs.. is one of them.
I have a recipe for natural bug repellent that I love and recommend all of the time and chat about it in the 1st video.
The 2nd video talks about what to do about once you do get bit by mosquitoes or stung by bees.
The 3rd video talks about Ticks.
Ants: - I have used cinnamon essential oil full strength dabbed around where they were entering into the house! This is the most effective thing I have used to date.
Here is aScientific American article about DEET, Essential oils and Insects that was a good informative read. I have used many products with deet in them and found that that I still got bit and I was absorbing deet's toxic chemicals. But I did love that the bug repellent I make is less toxic, I can use it on my children and dog and best of all it is really effective! (And everyone that I recommend it too also find it super beneficial too!).
Make sure to like my FB page so you don't miss out on my videos!
How do you deal naturally with pests? Leave your comment below!
Here is a 4 part video series on some tips about energy; clearing the mental clutter, optimizing your iron supplements, blood sugar regulation and much more!
Enjoy some of these tips and remember to TAKE ACTION on this info!
~Dr. Laura ND
Hi I am Dr. Laura: mum of 2, Naturopathic Doctor, Health and Wellness Expert, Educator, Speaker, & Entreprenuer