Health

November is Vitamin D Awareness Month

Make sure your Vitamin D score is between 100-150 nmol/L

» With Canadian vitamin D levels dropping year after year, the Vitamin D Society is kicking off its 8th Annual Vitamin D Awareness Month with Vitamin D Day on November 2nd to help spread the message across the country.

The Society is using the month to bring vitamin D deficiency to light for Canadians who may not understand the effects that a lack of vitamin D can have on the human body.

“Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a higher risk of serious diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and others,” says Dr. Gerry Schwalfenberg, scientific advisor for the Society and an assistant clinical professor at the University of Alberta. “The month of November is crucial for Canadians because it is the start of our vitamin D winter. The low angle of the sun means that sunlight no longer produces vitamin D in our skin, therefore, it’s important to examine your vitamin D levels to ensure your body isn’t at risk.”

Leave our prostates alone

Healthcare must engage in a wider discussion about preventive medicine

DRUG BUST
by Alan Cassels

• “Preventive medicine displays all three elements of arrogance…Aggressively assertive…Presumptuous…Overbearing.”

Dr. David Sackett wrote those words over a decade ago in a neat little column in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. He was, in this case, talking about hormone replacement therapy, after the publication of one of the world’s largest studies in preventive healthcare. The results of the Women’s Health Initiative showed that giving estrogen and progestin to healthy women going through menopause, on the assumption that this was vital preventive medicine, did not protect them from cardiovascular disease. In fact, it increased rates of some forms of cancer, heart attacks, blood clots and strokes. In trying to preserve and protect health, the recommended therapies were harming women. On a massive scale, I should add.

The carnitine controversy

photo of Vesanto Melina

NUTRISPEAK
by Vesanto Melina

• Carnitine is an amino acid, important for our body’s transportation of fatty acids to the area in the cells where the fatty acids can be burned for energy production. For this reason, carnitine has been marketed as a fat-burning support. A very small number of people – about one in 40,000 – have a genetic condition in which they cannot move carnitine to the areas where it is needed. One resulting symptom is muscle weakness, which may have led to the idea that carnitine can improve athletic performance, as carnitine has been marketed as a sports supplement. So far, research has not established its effectiveness.

When pain is invisble

photo of Gwen Randall-Young

UNIVERSE WITHIN
by Gwen Randall-Young

I have worked with many clients who suffer from chronic physical pain, as well as those who have post traumatic stress. For these people, physical or emotional pain can be constant, and from the outside they may look perfectly normal.

A person wearing a cast or recovering from surgery is treated with compassion and patience. Their pain is obvious. Those with invisible pain often do not get the same compassion. Those who have not suffered from invisible pain cannot know what that is like.

Natural health products are not drugs

Changing the way NHPs are regulated will have an impact on the products you will find on your store shelves. Providing the evidence required for drugs is vastly expensive, which is why the price for drugs is significantly higher compared to NHPs.

Tell Health Canada to leave our NHPs alone

 

by Helen Long

Health Canada has recently launched the Consulting Canadians on the Regulation of Self-Care Products in Canada document. Previously referred to as the Consumer Health Product Framework, this document has changed dramatically since its original inception, and proposes that, in the future, many natural health products (NHPs) be regulated using the same rules as drugs.

Health Canada expands power with the Wookey decision

The Ontario Court of Appeal found that a drug is any substance that modifies an organic function. That definition would lnclude water.

The noose tightens

by Shawn Buckley

The Ontario Court of Appeal found that a drug is any substance that modifies an organic function. That definition would lnclude water.

Many of the broad powers that created concern years ago with Bill C-51 are now law in the Food and Drugs Act. The only saving grace is they do not yet apply to natural health products because of the public backlash that readers like you created during the Bill C-51 fight. Eventually, I predict the broad powers we were all concerned about will apply to natural products. A story, or stories, about harm caused by natural products will circulate in the media, and calls for imposing the broad powers on natural products will be made. Armed with the public cry for protection, the government will dutifully comply and expand the powers to cover natural health products. At that point, anyone involved in natural health could be completely and totally destroyed financially and jailed for long periods for not complying with Health Canada demands, regardless of how unfounded they may be and regardless of whether complying will cause harm or death to others.

Extra pounds (EP) = atherosclerosis (A2)

by Dr. W. Gifford-Jones

• It’s been said Einstein’s E=mc2 (energy=mass x C speed of light squared) is the world’s most important scientific equation. Unfortunately it created the atomic bomb that killed thousands in World War II. But I believe my equation EP = a2 (extra pounds = atherosclerosis squared) is the world’s important medical equation. Regrettably, it’s killing millions of people every year, more than than E=mc2. Think again if you believe this is exaggerated.

Consider human obesity. Nothing, including the thousands of books on weight loss and diet, has been able to stop the epidemic of obesity, which gets worse worldwide every year.

Nor does anyone have the solution to the problem of increasing numbers of people developing type 2 diabetes. The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in 13 North Americans has diabetes. And one in four over the age of 65 suffer from this disease. Then there are an estimated 14 million people in North America who don’t even know they have diabetes. And millions more have prediabetes, just one step away from diabetes and its complications. All these figures increase every year.

Why Non-GMO labels don’t go far enough

GMOs and glyphosate

by Jeremy Caradonna and Thierry Vrain

spraying herbicides• The total sale of products with Non-GMO labels is now in the billions and the growth of this market is certainly to be applauded. However, the Non-GMO label inadvertently shields health-conscious consumers from one of the scarier realities of the modern food system – that glyphosate, which is the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, is also being applied to non-genetically modified crops.

The world now has 500 million acres of GMO crops: mainly soy and corn in North and South America; cotton in the US, China and India; and canola, sugar beet and alfalfa in the US and Canada. These crops are genetically modified to withstand the application of glyphosate, in the form of Roundup – hence the label “Roundup Ready” crops. Glyphosate is a synthetic amino acid, a glycine analogue that kills all plants except for the crop engineered with a bacterial gene that provides resistance to the herbicide.