Posts tagged ‘natural medicine’

August 5, 2013

Fish oil and prostate cancer risk

Recently a study was published suggesting that intake of fish oil supplements could increased prostate cancer risk. The majority of my male patients take a fish oil supplement and so I have certainly been fielding a lot of questions on this subject. Below is a response published by Thorne Research, which is a nutritional supplement company. I just thought I’d share another perspective on this hotly debated subject.

Presently, I am recommending that any male who is taking fish oil should personally discuss the risk with his doctor. For most of my patients, I believe the clinical benefit from a high-quality fish oil supplement is too critical to consider eliminating because of one retrospective study that found a correlation.

Here are some thoughts in more “sciency” terms for those of you who like that!

As you may be aware, an article published in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests there is an association between elevated plasma omega-3 fatty acid levels and a heightened risk of prostate cancer.

This study must be interpreted with a significant degree of caution for a variety of reasons:

The data came from what is referred to as a retrospective, nested, case-control study. The data was extracted from another, much larger, previously conducted trial that was not originally intended to examine the relationship between omega-3 fatty acid levels and prostate cancer. In other words, the original s tudy was not designed to determine any of the conclusions reached in the analysis contained in the article.
The study’s results conflict with the results from other studies that do suggest that omega-3 fatty acids offer a protective benefit against prostate cancer; and these other studies were, in fact, designed to analyze that very outcome. (See link)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3629172/
Identifying one particular physiologic marker in a group of individuals with a given condition – in this case, an elevated omega-3 level in men with prostate cancer – does not prove causation, especially when that marker can be influenced by diet or behavior and is only measured at a single point in time.
It is also hugely important to realize that the authors of this study did not assess any of the participants’ dietary intake of fatty fish or omega-3 nutritional supplements – the study’s conclusions are based wholly on the results of a single blood test.
The omega-3 index, which measures both EPA and DHA within red blood cells, is a much more accurate indicator of long-term omega-3 intake and tissue status than is the plasma omega-3 level, which is subject to significant day-to-day variability.
A number of confounding risk factors might have influenced the purported outcomes in the study, despite attempts by the investigators to account for them:
53 percent of the subjects with prostate cancer were smokers.
64 percent of the cancer subjects regularly consumed alcohol.
30 percent of the cancer subjects had at least one first-degree relative with prostate cancer.
80 percent of the cancer subjects were overweight or obese.
Considering the extensive body of literature that supports the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids, there is no credible biological mechanism, nor is one suggested in the article, that would explain why these essential fatty acids might increase tumorigenesis.
Summary: Given the inconsistent data attributable to omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer, and acknowledging the broad range of health benefits that are almost universally accorded to omega-3 fatty acid consumption, it would be premature to stop eating fish or to discontinue taking omega-3 nutritional supplements on the basis of this study.

In Health,

Robert Rountree, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Thorne Research, Inc.

Advertisements
November 9, 2011

Welcome fall!

As the leaves are turning such brilliant golden shades, and the air is getting crisp, I am enjoying more time cozied-up inside with a blanket and warm cup of tea reading in my favorite comfy chair.

In Chinese medicine, fall is a season of beginning to rebuild, to store-up and to prepare for the winter season. Fall is a good season for you to examine new ways to be caring for yourself. Eating hearty soups with lots of root vegetables, lentils and grains will nourish your body. Taking the time to get plenty of rest and not engaging in overly stressful activities is also important in this season.

In my times of restoration I have been doing a lot of reading and have found a number of interesting articles online and I thought I would share a small sampling with you all… let me know what you think!

Be Well,
Dr. Rachelle

Natural news updates….

Naturopath and family run cross-country to promote health awareness

Vitamin D deficiency a bigger concern in obese teens

Joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis may be linked to exposure to air pollution

Dr. Mercola’s “cancer in a can” warning

October 24, 2011

hydration better than “five hour energy?!”

Living in the city means we are constantly bombarded by toxins in our environment – not to mention, all the toxins we may be consuming in our food, absorbing from products we put on our skin or that we drink from unfiltered water.

Note: In our discussion on water, I am always advocating that the source of water be from a clean reliable source – I personally prefer to drink water that has been filtered through reverse osmosis. If you do not have access to this, the next best is to invest in a charcoal filter for your water (ie. “Brita” filters). Bottled water is okay if you confirm its source, but obviously contributes to more landfill issues and is rarely cost-effective.

 

 

Why drink water?  I know its cheesy but, I truly believe it…. The Solution to Pollution is Dilution!

Environmental toxins (air pollution (VOC), pesticide in foods, etc.) can decrease immune function: Toxins can eat up all your antioxidants needed to fight infections, white blood cells (your immune cells) need them to function properly, when your toxic burden is too high, you are prone to getting sick more often. In addition to reducing toxic burden in the body, hydration will increase fluidity of the blood so your white blood cells can move to the target area with ease.

Daily, you should make a goal to drink 1/2 your weight in pounds in fluid ounces. So if you weigh 120#/2=60 so drink 60oz. Add 8oz for every 1 hour of sweating and 8 oz cup of coffee or soda (carbonated sugar drinks).

Our total body is 70-85% water. We lose water through evaporation, and urination. So it may be obvious that hydration is important but many people forget to drink water. Hydration is important for cardiovascular health, energy level and weight issues.

5% of water loss can lead to 20% of energy loss and thirst is often mistaken for hunger – so next time you are feeling that afternoon lull in energy try reaching for a glass of water (or maybe two) because it is likely dehydration kicking-in… not a deficiency in an energy supplement! I had a patient ask – “you mean drinking water is better than five-hour energy?!”  ha ha, (of course) I said “yes!!!”

Your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. Water is essential for good health. You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You lose water even faster when the weather is extremely hot, when you exercise, or if you have a fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to rapid fluid loss. If you don’t replace the water you lose, you will become dehydrated.

What to do when you are dehydrated:

– Start drinking water – your body cannot absorb more than 8 oz in 20 minutes so do not exceed this rate.

– Avoid dehydrating beverages such as coffee, soda and alcohol.

– Help increase movement of water into the cells by adding electrolytes to your water: I like “EmergenC” packets although they do have some sugar. Coconut water is another good option and is naturally infused with electrolytes! Avoid “sports drinks” that are sweetened with artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup.

What to do to maintain good hydration:

– Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Consider carrying a reusable water bottle and filling it from a filtered tap rather than purchasing bottled water, which is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste.

– If plain water doesn’t interest you, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.

– If you’re going to be exercising, make sure you drink water before, during and after your workout.

– Start and end your day with a glass of water. If you have trouble waking in the night to urinate, do not drink water right before bed.

– When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight loss plan, as some research suggests drinking water will help you feel full.

– Drink on a schedule if you have trouble remembering to drink water. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the top of each hour.

– Drink water when you go to a restaurant. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it’s free! (Although, I do advise ensuring the water comes from a filtered source.)

…don’t you feel thirsty now?! ;o)

Be well,

Dr. Rachelle

October 5, 2011

Update on Classes…

Monday we held the Natural Healthcare for Families class at Northgate library where we discussed how parents and kids can get involved in promoting their health in practical ways… both grown-ups and little ones were in attendance and it was a lot of fun!  We even learned how to make a tasty snack with kale (I will share the recipe here sometime soon…)!!

Just a reminder, our series on the FIVE pillars of health is in full swing at the Meadowbrook Community Center, Saturdays 10-11am.  If you would like to attend just one class that is fine… or attend the final THREE!

Saturday, 10/8 – Nutrition

Saturday, 10/15 – Exercise

Saturday, 10/22 – Natural Supplements

Every week students go home with fun new facts and a healthy treat, so don’t miss out!!!

Questions? – post them, and I will reply!

 

Be well,

Dr. Rachelle

September 27, 2011

more classes!! a free class on natural healthcare for families…

Next Monday – October 3rd – I will be offering an exciting, interactive class for parents and kids to learn more about natural healthcare basics.  This class is the first in a series and will be an overview of all that’s to come.   If you know any homeschooling families, this could also be a great supplement to Health Classes!

Check it out, I hope to see you there!

Dr. Rachelle

 

Natural Healthcare Basics for Families

A FREE educational class for Parents and Kids!!!

At the Northgate Public Library

10548 Fifth Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98125

Monday, October 3rd 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Call 425-213-0003 or email dr.r.forsberg@gmail.com to reserve a spot!

Interested in caring for your family’s health from a natural perspective?  Come to this interactive class taught by Dr. Rachelle Forsberg, a local naturopath dedicated to helping families prevent and treat illness naturally!

In this class Dr. Forsberg will discuss the essentials of natural healthcare for parents and kids:

  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Exercise
  • Natural Supplements

Come get your “check-up” with Dr. Forsberg on the fundamentals of health, gaining new insights for healthier & happier living for you and your family.

Children of all ages welcome when accompanied by a parent!

September 23, 2011

Community classes – natural healthcare basics!

If you are in the Seattle area and are interested in learning more about how you can realistically implement healthier habits into your life… might I recommend:

Natural healthcare basics – the five pillars of health!

“This class will provide an easy and accessible overview of how to employ natural options in one’s healthcare from a naturopathic physician’s perspective.  Dr. Rachelle Forsberg, a board-certified Naturopathic Physician, will be facilitating a series of five classes each dedicated to one of the naturopathic pillars of health: Sleep, Hydration, Nutrition, Exercise and Natural Supplements.  These five simple areas of your life can have profound effects on your health – did you know that getting sleep from 10pm-12am can result in the production of nearly half of all the regenerative compounds your body needs for the day?!

Come discuss these ideas with Dr. Forsberg and get your “check-up” on the fundamentals of health and gain new insights for healthier and happier living.

Sleep: Saturday, 9/24, 10:00am – 11:30am
Hydration: Saturday, 10/1, 10:00am – 11:30am
Nutrition: Saturday, 10/8, 10:00am – 11:30am
Exercise: Saturday, 10/15, 10:00am – 11:30am
Natural Supplements: Saturday, 10/22, 10:00am – 11:30am

At Meadowbrook Community Center in Wedgwood

10517 35th Ave. NE ~ Seattle, WA 98125

You can attend all five and receive a certificate of completion or just attend the one’s you find most interesting… I look forward to seeing you there!!

Be Well,

Dr. Rachelle

May 31, 2011

A Naturopathic Perspective on Sleep

Whenever I see a patient for the first time, one of the biggest questions I have for them is “How’s your sleep?”  – the answer to this question can tell me so much about what is going on with them and where we need to direct our treatment.  Often times patients ask me why sleep is so vital for maintaining overall health.  Although entire books have been written and dedicated to the topic of sleep, this is just a brief overview on the subject with a few of my favorite clinical pearls. I hope these few thoughts might help you begin to get the most out of your sleep, and I’d love to hear your questions on the topic so we can chat about more specific in this HUGE subject!

One of the major reasons we know sleep is vital to our health is because much of the cellular repair and growth that occurs in your body happens while you sleep. Between 10pm and 12am your body is at its peak production for growth hormone and white blood cells — these are the building blocks for your ability to grow, heal and maintain vibrance and vitality! In addition, achieving deep sleep sufficiently helps to decreases mental and emotional stress by allowing the mind to utilize dreaming to process emotions felt during the day. Before the 1950’s American’s got an average of 11 hours of sleep per night — now that number is down to 6 or 7 hours a night! One of the biggest factors in this significant reduction in average sleep time is our access to television and internet 24 hours a day. Not only does this create an easy distraction keeping us awake far longer than our bodies prefer, but the blue light emitted from these devices interferes with the body’s secretion of sleep-inducing hormones (such as melatonin). Therefore, the number one thing you can do to improve your sleep is turn off all electronic devices – computers, smart phones, televisions… etc. at least 30 minutes before heading to bed so your body can begin preparing for sleep.

Other tips for getting great sleep:

– Plan your bed-time and wake -time in order to get 8-9 hours of sleep per night – for most individuals this will allow three REM cycles to take place.

– Stick to the same bed-time and wake-time every day.

– Avoid using the bedroom for work, TV…etc. this is your sleep sanctuary!

– Engage in a consistent “going to bed” routine (e.g. face wash, meditate, read…)

– Exercise at least 3-5 times per week.

– Avoid consuming caffeine after noon.

– Avoid naps during the day.

– Don’t use alcohol as a sleep aid.

– Take time to create a comfortable and soothing sleep environment for yourself.

– Address sources of mental and emotional stress during the day through journaling, counseling or talking with a trusted friend.

– Breathe – deep breathing in bed and throughout the day helps induce a state of relaxation throughout your entire body.

– Can’t stay asleep or fall asleep?  Try taking your focus to a new place – I like to tell patients to “put their brain in their lats” – I know it sounds odd, but next time you sense the clock ticking and can’t get to sleep, why not give it a try? (Your lats are the large muscles extending along the lateral mid to lower aspect of your back.)

I hope these tips help you find deeper, more rejuvenating sleep so you have all the energy and stamina during the day to do the things you love!

Sweet dreams,

Dr. R