My aim with these Blogs is to pass on simple, easy, tips and hints for improved well-being. I avoid suggesting anything unpleasant or prohibitively expensive as I prefer the bang-for your-buck interventions; the ones that under-promise and over-deliver!
Good Health shouldn’t have to be an expensive or elusive quest. I don’t post too often either as excessive advice is just as annoying as not having enough information; there are only so many hours in a day to get everything done
Turmeric is, probably, the most clinically researched spice. Its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are very well documented, both as food and nutraceutical (supplement). Turmeric is certainly one of my go-to suggestions for the maximum number of health benefits from one source.
You are almost certainly familiar with turmeric as the bright yellow spice used in curries; and Indians are well- known for liking curry. What you may not know is that turmeric contains active components that have been shown to pass into the brain and assist breaking down beta-amyloids, proteins that are implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. It may just be a coincidence but Indians have a high rate of turmeric consumption and a low rate cognitive decline (what Alzheimer’s causes).
So the take – home message is that turmeric is protective for these age-related brain conditions; “it’s only The Brain, but probably still worth protecting!”
This remarkable spice does much more than ‘just’ help to protect your brain function.
Turmeric has been shown reduce inflammation just as effectively as prescription drugs, but without the myriad of side-effects from gut ulceration to increased cardiovascular risk.
Published research has indicated Turmeric delivers great value in the treatment / management of 6 keys areas;-
- Arthritis; as an Osteopath this is probably what got my attention first. Turmeric is well documented for reducing inflammation throughout the body, and this is really noticeable in its effects on painful joints such as osteoarthritis of the knees.
- Immunity i.e. helps strengthen immune function and fight infection.
- Cancer; has been shown to have positive effects on some cancer cells.
- Skin; in addition to the previously described benefits for skin it also helps resolve inflammatory skin issues.
- Detoxing; helps the liver in its vital role of breaking down harmful compounds.
- As mentioned earlier, Dementia.
I observe the clinical value of turmeric every day, in both acute and long-term pain/inflammation conditions. As turmeric can be as powerful as prescription anti-inflammatories I often prescribe it for patients who have contra-indications, or reluctance, to taking conventional pain-killers. The particular product I prescribe is Metagenics Inflavonoid Intensive Care. An example was a recent patient with a sprained ankle from tennis; middle-aged man who also was very prone to stomach ulcers and had compromised liver function. Having a history of ulceration tends to rule out conventional anti-inflammatories, and sub-optimal liver function means that paracetamol is not an ideal choice as it can be hard on the liver. All the side-effects of turmeric are pretty much positive so this was a safe and effective option.
I also encourage my patients with osteoarthritis, often very manifest in knees and hips, to incorporate the use of turmeric over the longer term. Once again the anti-inflammatory effects are well documented and, unlike pharmaceutical options, the side-effects are actually desirable!
But wait, there’s more!
A Queensland vet, Doug English, has a recipe called “Doug’s Golden Paste”. It’s a simple and very quick recipe combining turmeric, black pepper (enhances the effectiveness of turmeric dramatically) and, my old friend, coconut oil (see a previous blog of mine). I have seen the Golden Paste work wonders in treating animals with everything from skin conditions and arthritis to cancer. Humans can (should!) take it too.
I have attached a link to Dr. Doug’s website, Turmericlife, as it’s an excellent resource for information on this wonderful spice. http://turmericlife.com.au
‘til next time, yours in good health
Dr. Josh :)
The wear ‘n tear condition, Osteoarthritis (OA), is very prevalent in Australia – this is not a news flash to you I’m sure! Anti-inflammatory drugs such as over-the counter Nurofen, along with prescription ones like Mobic are big sellers for this reason. There is a growing body of evidence that deficiencies in the Trace Element – Boron, may well be related to the development of osteoarthritis. Apparently, in areas of the world where boron intake is 1mg or less per day the prevalence of OA ranges from 20-70%. However, in regions where the boron intake sits between 3-10mg a day the rates of OA are between marginal and 10 %!
Research has shown that folks with arthritis have significantly lower levels of boron in their bones and joint linings than those without arthritis. It has also been demonstrated that boron works on multiple pathways in the body to decrease inflammation and assist cartilage and bone renewal. It has also been found that boron enhances the effectiveness of the more well-known joint supplement combination, glucosamine/chondroitin. It has been suggested that if you’ve tried glucosamine for those aching knees but haven’t had results then it may be boron deficiency holding things back.
A trace element is a nutrient that we only need tiny amounts of; in this case boron is vital to the formation of bone and cartilage but only tiny amounts are required.
I first learnt about this connection between boron and OA from a very old and wise Veterinarian over 30 years ago. He could look at an animals bones and tell the farmer if it was deficient in boron by signs of wear and tear in the joints. The benefit to the farmer is this is a very cheap problem to rectify for healthier animals on market day! At the time I had no context for this piece of information so promptly forget it (!) until I recently started coming across research papers on osteoarthritis, especially in relation to the knees.
The results I see in my patients include very significant reduction in pain and inflammation, along with improved mobility. Boron actually helps joint repair whereas all the anti-inflammatories in the world do not. And talk about cheap; you couldn’t spend more than 20 cents per day on this if you wanted to!
All the capsules I’ve seen are 3mg, and the consensus seems to be a dose of between 3-10 mg daily; I split the difference and suggest 6mg/day.
All the best,
Dr. Joshua Brohier – Osteopath
The life you save through donating blood might be your own!
Research reveals an 88% reduction in risk of heart-attack for those who donate blood!
This statistic is based on a study in Finland of 2682 men who donated blood at least once a year. Other studies conducted in relation to cancer and blood donation have shown significant reduction in rates of various cancers including liver, lung, colon, and throat tumors. I came across another study the other day that also suggested blood donating may be of value in improving insulin sensitivity, thus helpful for folks with diabetes. So why all this goodness from donating blood, you might ask? The consensus is that giving blood reduces several risk factors:
- Firstly it thins the blood thus reducing its viscosity. This is important because thick, sludgy blood doesn’t flow so well and can lead to blockages in blood vessels i.e. a heart attack!
- Secondly blood donating removes excess iron from the body. Contrary to popular belief, it seems that too much iron is probably a more significant risk factor in the western diet than being deficient. Excess iron can apparently lead to oxidative damage of various tissues including blood vessels, thus arteries get corroded and blocked. The damaging action of too much iron is considered to be a risk factor in some cancers as well. And some studies suggest that iron can reduce insulin sensitivity, which is a major issue with diabetes.
- And there is also some calorie-burning thrown in; the usual 500ml donation burns about 600 calories!
This is not an exhaustive list of benefits, but it should be more than enough to get you donating; and let’s not forget it greatly helps others in need. It puzzles me as to why these benefits are not more widely touted, especially by organizations wishing to receive blood donations. If a drug caused such a dramatic reduction in cardiac risk with absolutely no side-effects I’m sure it would be promoted enthusiastically. I can only surmise that it’s because blood-letting as a medical intervention for illness, which has a 3000 year old history across numerous cultures, fell out of favor in the late 19th century and became a thing of medical mockery. I have been aware of the literature on blood-donating for a couple of years now but only got around to actually start giving blood this January. I am making it a regular habit once every three months as suggested by The Red Cross. Maybe that 3000 year old practice had something to offer after all!
Best wishes, good health
;Hi there! Stiff and Sore ..
Check out this five minute Youtube presentation by the very entertaining Dr Gill Hedley; its an excellent encouragement to maintain some sort of regular, life-long exercise habit.
Dr. Gill, an anatomist, graphically demonstrates the actual physical changes that take place in the body leading to stiffness and loss of mobility over time when we are sedentary. He also makes it clear how easy it to prevent the changes taking hold. The key lesson to be learnt - movement and stretching is imperative to maintain the sliding properties of tissues in the body.
This is importantk knowledge for you, me, our pets, everyone!
Not sure what stretches you should do for your body if you feel stiff and sore?
No drama ….. Sth Melbourne Osteopathic clinic can guide you in which stretches are appropriate for preventing and/or eliminating your ‘fuzz’.
good health and movement
BALANCE YOUR BODY WORKSHOP
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