Monday, June 30, 2008


There are many benefits to eating a plant based diet. However, there are some special considerations that vegetarians need to be aware of in order to be proactive towards preventing long-term deficiency problems. The following articles are not an exhaustive list of the necessary considerations but indicate some important precautions (please see a Naturopathic Doctor or Registered Dietitian for information specific to you).

1. "Dietary Iron Intake and Iron Status of German Female Vegans: Results of the German Vegan Study." (2004)

Annika Waldmann, Jochen W. Koschizke, Claus Leitzmann, and Andreas Hahn

2. "Vitamin B-12 status, particularly holotranscobalamin II and methylmalonic acid concentrations, and hyperhomocysteinemia in vegetarians." (2003)

Authors: Wolfgang Herrmann, Heike Schorr, Rima Obeid, and Jürgen Geisel.

3. "Vegetarian diets : nutritional considerations for athletes."(2006)

Angela M ,Venderley and Wayne W. Campbell.

Child Birth

This subject is still very fresh in my mind with the birth of my son on February 6, 2008. At the time of our prenatal classes, my wife was one of only two women (out of thirteen) who were planning on at least trying a natural childbirth. At the end of the session, one other couple (after finding out that the epidural had an effect on the infant) thought that they might try a natural birth.

Now, new statistics show that cesarean section birth is the highest in history at almost one in four according to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (2008). Furthermore, a new documentary called, The Business of Being Born states that, "The United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world."

The technology to intervene in childbirth, when medically necessary, is undoubtedly of utmost importance to saving lives. However, when our interventions of convenience lead to harm, this presents a public health issue. For a contemporary naturopathic perspective on childbirth visit,

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Exceptional Products VI

Natural cleaning and body care products:

Green Beaver Company

The founder of this company gave a presentation at our school that really impressed me. Also, this company is Canadian. Read their story on

Seventh Generation

We use their laundry detergent, soap and the diapers. The website is very informative and shows practical ways that we can stop polluting the home of our children.

Diabetes Prevention

Here are 2 articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing the powerful effect of lifestyle modification towards preventing diabetes. Lifestyle modification had almost double the incidence reduction of diabetes over the most popular drug Metformin (which some sources report a side effect rate in 50% of patients - mainly diarrhea and GI upset).

The first article is called, "Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes with Lifestyle intervention or Metformin" (2002)

The authors are: William C. Knowler, M.D., Dr.P.H., Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, M.D., Sarah E. Fowler, Ph.D., Richard F. Hamman, M.D., Dr.P.H., John M. Lachin, Sc.D., Elizabeth A. Walker, D.N.Sc., and David M. Nathan, M.D.

**One thing of interest I noticed was that the fasting glucose was nearly identical between the lifestyle group and the pharmaceutical group (Figure 3). Yet, the lifestyle group had double the preventive effect. This highlights the idea that solely controlling a biomarker (blood glucose in this case) to what is considered a "healthy range" may not be entirely effective towards preventing a disease.

The second is called, "Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus by Changes in Lifestyle Among Subjects with Impaired Glucose Tollerance." (2001)

The authors are: Jaakko Tuomilehto, M.D., Ph.D., Jaana Lindstrom, M.S., Johan G. Eriksson, M.D., Ph.D., Timo T. Valle, M.D., Helena Hamalainen, M.D., Ph.D., Pirjo Ilanne-Parikka, M.D., Sirkka Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi, M.D., Ph.D., Mauri Laakso, M.D., Anne Louheranta, M.S., Merja Rastas, M.S., Virpi Salminen, M.S., Sirkka Aunola, Ph.D., Zygimantas Cepaitis, Dipl.Eng., Vladislav Moltchanov, Ph.D., Martti Hakumaki, M.D., Ph.D., Marjo Mannelin, M.S., Vesa Martikkala, M.S., Jouko Sundvall, M.S., Matti Uusitupa, M.D., Ph.D.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bill C-51

UPDATE ON BILL C-51 (September 7, 2008): As the Prime Minister announced that Canada will be having a federal election on October 14, Bill C-51 is dead. However, we need to watch for furhter Bills of the exact same nature in the future.

The proposed Bill C-51 has the potential to restrict the access of some natural health products (herbs etc.) to Naturopathic Doctors. These products will follow under the same category as some drugs which require a prescription. Since ND's do not have licensure to prescribe medications in any province in Canada (and are not asking for this privilege) restricting Naturopaths' access to these natural health products would be detrimental. Although the regulation of natural health products is needed to ensure quality and safety, this bill is extremely threatening to the practice of naturopathy and the health of citizens using natural medicine.

For more information on this bill, please visit: Click on "News and Events" Click on "Current Affairs"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Naturopathic Movies V

The 11th Hour

This movie is a fast paced documentary filled with profound sound bites of information from many experts of environmentalism (Produced and Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio). Remember to watch the special features as they are also interesting. This movie is so extremely pertinent to everyone of us. It is hard to be healthy in a sick planet.

Time is ticking...

Visit, The 11th Hour Official Website.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Exceptional Products V

Patagonia outdoor clothing and gear.

It may seem odd that I included a clothing/gear company, but we have tremendous power for change when we vote with our dollars by supporting companies with a good philosophy. This company makes top of the line expedition quality clothing that I have personally trusted in the wilderness. They are pioneers in the outdoor industry and were one of the first to make fleece, but more interesting was that they used recycled pop bottles to make it.

Patagonia is still very concerned with environmental endeavors and was also a pioneer in the use of products like organic cotton. Furthermore, check-out for tremedous amount of information on Environmentalism and be sure to view the "Footprint Chronicles" which tracks the distance a product travels as well as the effect each material and garment finish has on the environment.

Another company worthy of mention here is Mountain Hardware. Mountain Hardware makes possibly the most exceptional, highest quality outdoor gear in the world (the closest competition in North America would be from Arc'teyx) and is also involved in environmentalism. Take a look at Mountain Hardware Gives back on their website.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Naturopathic Movies IV

Shark Water

This documentary was not only visually stunning, and exciting to watch, I was shocked about how important the ocean life is to the survival of humans. This Canadian film was written by Rob Stewart who also takes some substantial risks to film the illegal practice of shark poaching.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Exceptional Products IV

6. Sambazon Açaí:

Although this product travels a fair distance to get to Canada, the philosophy of this company is extremely noble. Furthermore, the açaí berry is very nutritious and their fruit smoothies are exceptional!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Quote of the Month

"What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know,
it's what we know for sure that just ain't so."

Mark Twain