Vitamin Profile: Vitamin B7

Vitamin Profile: Vitamin B7 | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Vitamin B7 goes by a few other names, such as biotin and vitamin H.

This vitamin is famous for what it can do for your hair and skin, which is why so many cosmetics and beauty products contain this ingredient.

As you will read in this article, though, biotin must be consumed daily to be effective, it cannot be manufactured by the body, and it also can’t be absorbed through the hair or skin.

Last time in this series, we talked about vitamin B6. Now, let’s talk about Vitamin B7.

What Is Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7 is a coenzyme that helps your body to process glucose as well as metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

Your body requires vitamin B7 to convert these macronutrients, and to use them to keep your body and brain working optimally.

Vitamin B7 Deficiency

Vitamin B7 is one of those vitamins that the human body can’t make itself – so you must get your daily recommended dose through the food you consume.

Your body also cannot store reserves of vitamin B7, due to its water-solubility; despite this fact, biotin deficiency is not a common occurrence.

However, drug interactions could cause deficiency; common symptoms include seizures, ataxia, dermatitis and hair loss.

As well, risk factors for a vitamin B7 deficiency include:
• Pregnancy
• Smoking
• Excessive alcohol use
• Large amounts of raw egg whites
• Disorders such as Crohn’s disease, celiac or leaky gut syndrome

Benefits Of Vitamin B7

There are many benefits associated with vitamin B7, five of which we’ll cover below.

Other than these, the most famous benefit of vitamin B7 is how good it is for your skin – helping protect against acne, rashes, severe dryness, cracking, and even fungal infections.

1. Plays A Role In Managing Diabetes

Vitamin B7 helps create insulin, an important hormone needed to balance blood sugar levels.

When combined with chromium, vitamin B7 has been shown to help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.

By better controlling the insulin response, it reduces the fluctuations which can lead to pre-diabetes, type-2 diabetes, weight gain, and other forms of metabolic syndrome.

types of food that cause food allergies and intolerances | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

2. Nail And Hair Strength

If you find your nails are brittle and frequently crack, it could be a sign of a vitamin B7 deficiency.

However, a very high dose over time will treat brittle nails and make them stronger and even shinier.

Some people swear by their biotin in helping their hair grow faster and more luxuriously, but vitamin B7 must be ingested through your diet to be truly helpful in helping improve issues such as weak hair.

3. Supports Endocrine Function

The endocrine system produces and secretes hormones that help regulate the body’s growth, metabolism and sexual functions.

Vitamin B7 has a role in this because it is critical in the process that converts food to the energy your body uses – in other words, your metabolism.

As well, it helps defend your thyroid against adrenal fatigue – master glands that are responsible for helping you protect against overall fatigue, weight gain, sleeping issues, and mood imbalances.

4. Aids Brain Function

B vitamins in general are known to help memory and help protect against age-related cognitive impairment, and B7 is no different.

Specifically, vitamin B7 improves neurotransmitter activity and nerve signaling.

Another benefit of B vitamins is that they can improve your mood and increase concentration because they help synthesize hormones that assist in mood regulation

5. Helps Rebuild Tissue

Vitamin B7, along with other B vitamins, is a key part of the process that can repair and help rebuild strength in tissue or muscle that has broken down.

One of the reasons it’s important for pregnant women to ensure their levels are adequate is because vitamin B7 deficiency in fetuses or infants can lead to stunted growth or improper development.

Common Sources Of Vitamin B7

Luckily, vitamin B7 is found in quite a wide variety of food, so if you eat a varied diet, you’ll likely never worry about a deficiency.

To try to increase your intake, focus on foods such as
• Eggs
• Avocados
• Cauliflower
• Mushrooms
• Legumes
• Berries
• Bananas
• Cheese
• Fish
• Organ meats

Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic

Sometimes we discover that an unexpected combination of issues can stem from one single vitamin deficiency, rather than from different sources.

If you’ve read this article and realized that your complaints all fall in the list above, then perhaps you should consider having your vitamin B7 levels checked.

Call now and book a consultation with The Mindful Healing Clinic and we’ll help you get and keep your vitamin levels optimal, whether through diet or supplements.

The post Vitamin Profile: Vitamin B7 appeared first on Mindful Healing.

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The Difference Between A Food Allergy Vs. Intolerance Part 2: Food Intolerance

The Difference Between A Food Allergy Vs. Intolerance Part 2: Food Intolerance | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

In our last article, we took a look at food allergies, what they are and what causes them.

Today we will have a closer look at food intolerances, the annoying cousin of food allergies.

Although they are often mistaken for each other, they have some important differences.

A naturopathic doctor can help you manage your food intolerance symptoms.

What Is A Food Intolerance?

Food intolerances are difficulties with digesting certain foods which do not trigger a response of the immune system.

This means although there may be symptoms such as digestive issues, there is no histamine released by the body in these cases.

Causes of food intolerance include:

● The absence of an enzyme required for proper digestion
● Chemical causes – certain chemicals in food and drink can lead to food intolerances, including chemicals in some cheeses, as well as caffeine.
● Naturally occurring toxins in foods such as undercooked beans
● Histamine which occurs naturally in some foods
● Salicylates, occuring naturally in plants

What’s The Difference Between A Food Allergy Vs. Food Intolerance?

The difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance is all in how the body responds to the food trigger.

Allergies elicit an immune response, causing the release of histamine which is what causes symptoms which we associate with allergies, such as coughing, hives, and wheezing.

Food intolerances often are often confused with food allergies – an intolerance is the response of the digestive system to certain foods.

For example, lactose intolerance, which results in uncomfortable symptoms when one drinks cow’s milk is due to an inability of the body to digest lactose. However, no histamines are released.

Common Symptoms Of Food Intolerance

Many of the symptoms of food Intolerance overlap with those of food allergies, such as:

● Bloating
● Migraines and headaches
● Cold symptoms such as a cough or runny nose
● Digestive issues such as a stomach ache or irritable bowel
● Hives

For this reason, it is not uncommon for food intolerances to be confused with food allergies.

Common Food Intolerance Triggers

Many of the same foods which cause food allergies can be triggers for food Intolerance.

These include:

● Lactose
● Wheat and gluten
● Caffeine
● Artificial sweeteners, colours, and flavours

Naturopathic Treatments For Food Intolerance

There are a number of ways in which food allergies and intolerances can be treated using natural means.

Let’s have a look at some of these now.

Avoid Your Intolerance Triggers

If you have identified that you have an issue with eating or digesting a particular food, the best thing to do is to avoid it altogether.

Consuming foods which trigger an adverse response in your body only puts stress on your system and does not give you time to heal properly.

Avoidance of trigger foods gives your body the opportunity to calm down and begin to heal itself from the damage that has been done.

Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you’re lactose intolerant, for example, you’ll find dairy in places you wouldn’t expect, including most baked goods and packaged foods.

Address Any Gastrointestinal Issues

If you have been experiencing gastrointestinal issues, there are supplements which can help to address them.

Digestive enzymes which aid the digestive system in breaking down particles may be taken to help your body fully break down food particles.

Probiotic supplements can help the immune system deal with food, and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) supplements can help to improve immune function and decrease inflammation.

Vitamin B5 is a vitamin which can help to maintain the health of the digestive tract, and L-glutamine can help repair leaky gut.

Eat A Gut-Healing Diet

There are many foods which can help to nourish and heal gut health issues.

Prebiotic foods such as kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut can help restore balance in the gut.

Polysaccharides are foods which can help to rebuild your gut flora, and include “slimy” foods such as onions, okra, eggplant, and aloe gel.

You can also take probiotic supplements, but these should be done only under the direction of a naturopathic doctor.

Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are you concerned with the toll food intolerances are having on your body?

Do you need help identifying your food triggers, or managing the ones you already know about?

The Mindful Healing Clinic can help – contact us today to set up a consultation.

The post The Difference Between A Food Allergy Vs. Intolerance Part 2: Food Intolerance appeared first on Mindful Healing.

The Difference Between A Food Allergy Vs. Intolerance Part 1: Food Allergies

The Difference Between A Food Allergy Vs. Intolerance Part 1: Food Allergies | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

“Oh, I can’t eat that”

“I have a gluten sensitivity”

“I’m allergic to dairy”

These are all phrases you have probably heard at some point or another – maybe you’ve even used them yourself.

But what does it all mean? An allergy, vs an intolerance.

At our Streetsville naturopathic clinic, we can help you sort out the differences between food allergies and intolerances, and look at what you can do about it if you have one.

What Is A Food Allergy?

Food allergies trigger an immune system response, which can have effects on many different organs.

In the most severe cases, food allergies can have life threatening results, and even a tiny amount of the food can trigger symptoms.

With an intolerance, on the other hand, symptoms are less severe, and you may even be able to eat small amounts of foods you are intolerant to, with minimal consequences.

Although food allergies and intolerances are often confused, allergies are far more serious.

Food Allergy Symptoms

An allergic reaction may show responses such as:

● Itchiness or tingling in or around the mouth
● Hives
● Swollen lips, face, tongue, or throat
● Difficulty breathing
● Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting
● Lightheadedness and fainting

The most severe food allergies can result in an anaphylactic response.

This is a life-threatening response, which causes swelling in the throat and a constriction of the airways, which makes breathing difficult or impossible.

Other symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

● Shock
● Severe drop in blood pressure
● Rapid pulse
● Loss of consciousness

If you suspect someone is suffering from anaphylactic shock, emergency medical intervention is critical – call 9-1-1 immediately.

People with serious known allergies may also carry an EpiPen- this provides a shot of epinephrine, which can temporarily help open airways. Check them for an EpiPen, or ask somebody with them if they know where it is.

Common Food Allergens

Although allergies can develop to literally anything, there are certain foods which seem to be more commonly the cause of allergic reactions.

Some common food allergens include:

● Fish, including shellfish
● Peanuts and tree nuts
● Eggs
● Wheat
● Soy
● Cow’s milk

What Causes Food Allergies?

Food allergies occur because your immune system mistakes specific foods or substances as being harmful.

This causes the immune system to respond by releasing the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE) in an attempt to neutralize the substance it deems harmful.

On subsequent exposures to the offending food or substance, IgE antibodies send signals to your immune system to release histamine into your bloodstream, which causes allergy symptoms.

Naturopathic Treatments For Food Allergies

There are a number of ways to treat food allergies naturally.

These treatments and supplements can help to boost the immune system, enhance the gut microbiome and reduce the development of food allergies and symptoms.

Again, we should note if someone is experiencing anaphylactic shock, emergency medical intervention is required, and use of an EpiPen if available.

With that in mind, let’s look at some natural ways to deal with food allergies.

Avoid Your Allergens

This one is probably obvious, however depending on what your allergies are, may be easier said than done.

An allergy to eggs, for example, is more complicated than simply opting for pancakes instead of an eggs benedict. Eggs are an ingredient in many of the foods we eat on a day-to-day basis, so it’s important to be vigilant.

Avoid Other Common Allergens

Although you may not be allergic to everything, avoiding other common allergens can be a smart order if you already have issues with allergies.

Foods such as gluten, eggs, cow’s milk, soy, wheat, and peanuts can increase inflammation, weaken the immune system, and cause digestive issues.

Eat More Leafy Greens

While some of the foods listed above are more likely to cause allergic reactions, on the other end of the spectrum are foods which are very unlikely to cause a reaction, and can actually help to boost your immune system.

Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens, and arugula are among these.

These veggies are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Keeping these foods as a regular part of your diet will help to boost your immune system and can help to increase antibody response.

Eat More Probiotics

Probiotics are great for supporting the immune system and can help to repair damage to the intestinal lining.

Fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut may help to reduce your sensitivity to triggers which lead to allergy symptoms.

Try An Elimination Diet

A 2013 study in the journal Nutrition Research and Practice showed that an elimination diet can help to treat eczema; however, when restricting food it is important to be aware of nutrients.

Elimination diets involve removing possible allergens from your diet, and then gradually re-introducing them over a period of time, to determine which ones are the cause of your allergies.

They will typically last for three to six weeks, to give your body a chance to clear itself of the antibodies which react negatively to food, and to allow your body to heal.

Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic

Do you suspect you have food allergies, and want to know for sure?

Or do you know you have allergies and need help managing them?

Contact the Mindful Healing Clinic today, and we will help to create a plan to manage your allergies.

If you have reactions to certain foods, but suspect they are not full-blown allergies, keep your eyes on this space, when we will talk about food intolerances.

The post The Difference Between A Food Allergy Vs. Intolerance Part 1: Food Allergies appeared first on Mindful Healing.

Top 5 Illnesses All But Eradicated By Nutrition

Top 5 Illnesses All But Eradicated By Nutrition | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Getting proper nutrition is a very important part of living a full and healthy lifestyle.

Living in Canada, diseases brought-on by malnutrition are not something we need to think about too much; there was a time where a lack of understanding as to how these illnesses developed meant they were far more prevalent than we realized.

So while nowadays there are probably still some stress-relieving nutrients which some of us might not get enough of, let’s learn about some of the illnesses which have been nearly eradicated due to proper nutrition.

There’s Still Work To Do

Let’s be clear, although we generally don’t need to worry about these illnesses in Canada or the US, they are still common in the developing world, where there is a lack of access to clean water and proper nutrition.

Also, there is still a risk for young babies to develop some of these ailments, so ensuring all food and formula has a proper balance of nutrients is important.

Keep reading to learn more about illnesses that can be greatly impacted by your nutrition.

1. Rickets

Caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphates, rickets results in soft bones, and stunted growth.

Vitamin D plays an important role in helping your body absorb calcium from the intestines.

When you don’t get enough vitamin D and the body cannot maintain sufficient calcium levels, hormones are produced which cause calcium to be released from your bones, causing them to become weak and soft.

Risk factors for developing rickets include:

● Age: It is more common in children between six months and three years of age.
● Diet: Those who do not eat fish, eggs, or milk are at higher risk.
● Skin colour: darker skin produces less vitamin D.
● Location: Those who live in areas which don’t get a lot of sunlight are at higher risk.
● Genetics: Hereditary rickets prevents kidneys from absorbing phosphates.

Some symptoms of rickets include:

● Pain in the arms, legs, pelvis, or spine
● Stunted growth
● Muscle cramps
● Skeletal deformities
● Teeth deformities

If you have a child who you suspect is showing signs of rickets, early medical intervention is important for preventing long-term effects and deformities.

Rickets is diagnosed via a blood test and X-rays to check for deformities.

Treatment for rickets is focused on replenishing missing nutrients, such as vitamin D through diet and exposure to sunlight.

2. Scurvy

Scurvy results from a deficiency of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is important to a large number of bodily processes, including:

● Absorption of iron
● Healing wounds,
● Formation of collagen, which gives connective tissues stability
● Metabolizing protein and cholesterol
● Producing neurotransmitters

Symptoms of scurvy can begin to show up after four weeks of continual vitamin C deficiency.

Early Warning signs include:

● Feelings of exhaustion
● Weakness
● Low appetite
● Fever
● Irritability

Left untreated, scurvy may result in the following:

● Anemia (a condition where the blood lacks enough red blood cells to carry oxygen)
● Soft, tender gums and tooth decay
● Bruising
● Swollen joints
● Light sensitivity and blurred vision
● Headaches

The body cannot produce vitamin C naturally, it must be consumed through food or drink, or taking a supplement.

Although not generally a problem for us in North America, people in some developing countries who lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables can be at risk.

nutrition for prevention of diseases | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

3. Beriberi

Caused by a deficiency in vitamin B1, there are two types of beriberi – wet (which affects the heart and circulatory system), and dry (which damages nerves).

Although rare, this disease can be found in those with an alcohol use disorder, women who experience extreme nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, people who have AIDS, and after bariatric surgery.

Symptoms include:

Wet beriberi

● Shortness of breath during exercise, or upon waking up
● Rapid heart rate
● Swollen legs

Dry beriberi

● Lowered muscle function in the lower legs
● Tingling and loss of feeling in the feet and hands
● Pain
● Confusion
● Vomiting
● Paralysis

Beriberi is caused by a deficiency in thiamine, and is rare in regions with vitamin-enriched foods.

Diagnosis is done through blood and urine tests which measure levels of thiamine in the body.

A neurological exam can test for loss of coordination and weak reflexes.

Treatment will generally involve thiamine supplements, via a shot or pill – in severe cases it may be administered via an IV.

4. Pellagra

Pellagra is caused by a deficiency of niacin, or vitamin B3.

Key symptoms, known as the “three Ds” are dementia, diarrhea, and dermatitis.

This illness is most common in countries which rely on corn as a primary source of food.

Corn contains a form of niacin that is not digestible by humans, called niacytin.

Other factors which may prevent someone from absorbing niacin include:

● Alcoholism
● Eating disorders
● Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal issues
● Some medications
● Cirrhosis of the liver

There is no specific test used to diagnose niacin deficiency because it has a range of symptoms – a doctor will generally test for symptoms related to the “three Ds” as well as looking at how the patient responds to niacin supplements.

5. Xerophthalmia

Xerophthalmia is an eye disease caused by a lack of vitamin A.

This can cause dryness, and potentially develop into night blindness or result in corneal damage if left untreated.

As xerophthalmia progresses, lesions form on the cornea, and corneal ulcers may appear.

The body does not produce vitamin A on its own – it must be obtained through diet or supplements.

Some dietary sources of vitamin A include:

● Poultry
● Fish liver
● Meat and eggs
● Green, leafy vegetables
● Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables

It should be noted that it is less efficient to get vitamin A from vegetables than from meat and animal products, as it needs to be converted from beta carotene.

Xerophthalmia is diagnosed by a physical examination and blood tests – a person experiencing night blindness may start vitamin A therapy before the results of the blood tests are known.

Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic

Are you worried about getting the right nutrients?

Perhaps you have a condition which limits how your body absorbs nutrients.

Or maybe you have dietary restrictions which make it difficult to get all the nutrients you need in your diet.

For this and other health concerns, the Mindful Healing Clinic can help.

Contact us today to book a consultation with Dr. Maria.

The post Top 5 Illnesses All But Eradicated By Nutrition appeared first on Mindful Healing.

Vitamin Profile: Vitamin B6

Vitamin Profile: Vitamin B6 | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

In my continuing review of the B vitamins and why they’re important for your health, I’ve put together some insights about B6, next.

This is the fifth in this series. If you’re wondering why it isn’t the sixth in the series – it’s because vitamin B4 doesn’t actually exist. To find out why that is, see our article on vitamin B5.

Back to vitamin B6, though; to learn more, keep reading below.

What Is Vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is one of eight B vitamins that help to produce red blood cells, metabolize fats and proteins, maintain good nerve function, and perhaps most importantly, it helps the body convert food into fuel.

It is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it’s quite safe to take as a supplement, and many people do, in order to boost both their mood and immunity.

Benefits Of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is very collaborative, working with many other vitamins and minerals to improve overall health; read on to learn some of the specific benefits you can rely on it for.

1. May Reduce Risk Of Cancer

There have been several studies that have explored how vitamin B6 is effective as an anti-tumour or anti-toxicity agent.

Vitamin B6 intake through a combination of diet and supplementation seems to also significantly decrease the risk of breast cancer.

Lastly, it seems to be particularly helpful in averting gastrointestinal tumors, as well as possibly being an indicator for other protective dietary micronutrients.

2. Helps Keep Your Blood Vessels Healthy

Vitamin B6 is used by the body to regulate homocysteine levels in the blood, which have been linked to inflammation and heart disease, contributors to cardio-pulmonary issues.

When you don’t have enough B6 in your body, homocysteine will build up and damage the lining of your blood vessels, encouraging plaque buildup that can be dangerous and that can lead to increased risk of stroke or heart attack.

3. Helps Alleviate Symptoms Of Autism

Vitamin B6 has been studied to learn why it’s so effective for alleviating symptoms of autism, although they suspect it is because B6 is crucial for the synthesis of neurotransmitters.

Autistic patients have brains with impaired neurotransmitter systems, and this is part of what causes the symptoms they experience.

When vitamin B6 is used as a treatment, almost half of autistic individuals experience an improvement in their behavioural problems, suggesting that B6 supplementation helps enhance their neurotransmitters.

4. Supports Cognitive Functions

The B vitamins as a whole are renowned for improving a wide array of cognitive functions, including mood, response to anxiety and stress, focus, memory and energy.

It helps by repairing the neurotransmitter system in your brain, while also boosting the production of happy hormones such as serotonin and norepinephrine.

5. Can Be An Effective Treatment For Anemia

Vitamin B6 helps create hemoglobin in the blood, which your red blood cells transport throughout your body to bring oxygen to all your tissues and cells.

When you are anemic, it’s because your body doesn’t make enough hemoglobin and red blood cells are not functioning properly; it can cause fatigue, weakness, aches and pains.Microcytic anemia could be caused directly by a vitamin B6 deficiency.

However, by increasing the foods rich in B vitamins, and by supplementing as needed, you can help give your body what it requires to produce more red blood cells, delaying or lessening the effects of anemia.

Vitamin Profile: Vitamin B6 | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Other benefits

Vitamin B6 can also reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, including severe pain, by suppressing inflammation and swelling.

As well, it is believed to help prevent the onset of certain eye diseases such as macular degeneration.

Women know vitamin B6 to be particularly helpful in reducing the severity of morning sickness during pregnancy, and others use it to help alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Dietary Sources Of Vitamin B6

You can find B6 in many food sources, but some of the best include:

• Bananas
• Chickpeas
• Poultry
• Fish
• Potatoes

If you find that you need to supplement further, B6 is available in capsule and tablet form, and is often taken as a B-complex supplement.

Symptoms Of Vitamin B6 Deficiency

It’s most often people whose small intestines don’t properly absorb nutrients that experience vitamin B6 deficiency, though kidney disease, genetic diseases or certain epilepsy medications can also be a factor.

Those with vitamin B6 deficiency will often be deficient in other B vitamins, such as B9 and B12.

Symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency include anemia, confusion, depression and a weak immune system.

Call The Mindful Healing Clinic

If one of the above conditions have cropped up in your medical history, or if you are affected by them currently, consider supplementing your treatment with naturopathy for fullest effect and best prognosis.

Call now to set up a consultation with me, Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, so we can discuss your challenges and the best way to combat them.

I can recommend a course of treatment for you and help you reach your health goals with a plan that leverages the body’s improved functioning to achieve the desired results.

The post Vitamin Profile: Vitamin B6 appeared first on Mindful Healing.

Health Benefits Of Ginkgo Biloba

Health Benefits Of Ginkgo Biloba | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

The ginkgo biloba tree, also known as maidenhair tree, is very recognizable for its fan-shaped leaves.

It has properties that I often use during my work with herbal and nutritional counselling in Mississauga.

As naturopathic doctors, we rely on the world around us to supply us with the medicines to heal our bodies, and ginkgo is an excellent example of that – for more information, read below.

What Is Ginkgo Biloba?

Gingko biloba is a plant that has been renowned for its medicinal properties for thousands of years.

The tree has unusually-shaped leaves, and produces a fruit in the fall that can be eaten for its nutritional value as well as used for its healing properties.

However, if you have a ginkgo biloba tree on your property, you may notice how awful the fruit smells as it’s rotting. That’s because it emits butyric acid as it rots, the same chemical that gives rancid butter its horrible smell. Some people describe the smell as similar to vomit.

Different parts of the tree are used in different treatment applications, some of which I prescribe to patients in my practice. And fortunately, the rest of it doesn’t smell anywhere near as bad.

Where To Find Ginkgo Biloba?

You can find ginkgo trees all over the GTA, though it’s actually native to China; it has been planted in cities all around the world because of its heartiness and tolerance to the pollution found in cities, and because it helps produce clean air for residents.

If you’re walking around Toronto Island, Trinity Bellwoods, or High Park, keep a keen eye out, and you might spot one of these trees.

Health Benefits Of Ginkgo Biloba

There are several potential benefits of ginkgo biloba, including more than just its well-known improvement of cognitive function:

1. May Reduce Inflammation

Excitingly, test results show that gingko extract reduces inflammation markers for humans who are in a variety of disease states such as arthritis, IBD, stroke, heart disease and cancer.

While further testing is required to substantiate these results, it’s excellent news for people who have any kind of chronic disease that triggers an inflammatory response.

Inflammation is usually the body’s natural response to injury or invasion, in which the immune system is activated to handle the situation.

The problem is, over time, excessive inflammation can cause permanent damage to your DNA or bodily tissues.

2. May Reduce Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s

While ginkgo biloba is known for its work in stimulating memory, scientists hoping to use it for cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s were curious as to how effective it was and whether there was any danger to its medicinal use for this purpose.

They reviewed 21 trials that included 2,608 patients, and concluded that ginkgo biloba,when used in combination with conventional medicines, results were better than with medicines alone.

While these results are promising, there were inconsistent findings compared with placebo, there was too small of a sample size to determine quality results, and there were associated mild adverse events with its use.

Since it is fairly well tolerated by most, though, supplementing with ginkgo biloba may not be a bad idea. It does, however, have blood thinning properties, which is important to note for elderly folks, as it may interfere with medications or other treatments.

ginkgo bilob leaf benefits for health | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

3. Contains Powerful Antioxidants

Antioxidants are the agents that fight and neutralize free radicals in your body; these can be damaging, and contribute to accelerated aging and disease progression.

They are produced by the body during metabolic functions such as detoxification or converting food to energy.

Ginkgo contains higher-than-average levels of terpenoids and flavonoids, two compounds that are renowned for being strong antioxidants, which may be the reason the tree is so revered in ancient medicine.

4. May Be Beneficial To Diabetics

With obesity frequency and severity on the rise, science is turning to naturopathic medicine – once again – for intervention as one of the primary underlying causes for diabetes type 2.

Ginkgo biloba extract has been studied for its role in improving insulin resistance, as well as reducing body weight in test rats; the extract showed significant results in reducing food intake and weight gain

In their conclusion, the researchers recommended that ginkgo extract be seriously investigated as a therapy for treating obesity-related metabolic diseases, especially where the subject is at risk for deviating from a nutritional education program set for them.

5. May Improve Circulation

Traditional Chinese medicine used ginkgo seeds to improve the energy channels for organs such as the kidneys, liver, brain and lungs, and we suspect it’s because of its ability to increase blood flow to these parts of the body and more.

Studies have shown that people suffering from heart disease who began to take ginkgo biloba supplements showed an immediate increase in blood flow; another study corroborated this by revealing similar effects in older adults treated with an extract form.

6. May Help With Anxiety And Depression

While the science of treating mental disorders has progressed, it has brought along with it pharmaceutical side effects that may exacerbate the underlying condition.

Some recent studies have looked backwards in time to ancient uses of plants and their extracts in order to unlock a medicine that is better suited and more efficient for helping those who suffer from illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

Scientists are looking at not just ginkgo’s efficacy, but how it works, what side effects are present, and whether there are any interactions with other drugs.

Early results show that ginkgo biloba is effective in improving patients’ cognitive abilities, and also reducing anxiety under certain conditions.

Call The Mindful Healing Clinic

If you’re curious and have questions about ginkgo biloba, or you’re concerned about one of the conditions listed in this article, then you should consider seeking the knowledge and advice of a naturopathic doctor, who is an expert in holistic medicine.

Call now to book your appointment at the Mindful Healing Clinic, and let us set you up with treatments that will promote your best health and vitality.

The post Health Benefits Of Ginkgo Biloba appeared first on Mindful Healing.

Natural Alternatives To Spring Seasonal Allergy Medication

Natural Alternatives To Spring Seasonal Allergy Medication | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

Many people suffer from seasonal allergies, but the side-effects of the medications they use to help them through may sometimes present its own issues.

If you dread dealing with spring seasonal allergies, you’re not alone, but you do have options beyond pharmaceuticals to help. Read on to find out what a few of them are.

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are the body’s reaction to a foreign substance or allergen.

Your body produces antibodies that attack the allergen, even though it’s not actually harmful to your body.

Symptoms of allergic reaction include inflamed skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system, and can also include anaphylaxis in severe cases.

Common Spring Seasonal Allergens

In the case of seasonal allergies, your body overreacts to the presence of pollens, grass, mold or ragweed.

In the spring, specifically, it’s usually because of tree pollen that is released into the air as trees sprout leaves, flowers and fruit; however, grasses and weeds are other common culprits.

Symptoms Of Spring Seasonal Allergies

When the pollen finds its way into your body, it triggers the release of chemicals called histamines into your bloodstream.

These histamines cause runny nose, itchy and/or watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, and possibly a rash or hives.

Natural Solutions For Spring Allergies

Anti-histamines are the over-the-counter medicine that prevent the histamine from triggering your symptoms, but they can cause dry mouth, drowsiness or dizziness, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, restlessness or moodiness, or trouble sleeping

Luckily, I have seen good results through treatments with a variety of natural remedies, which I have listed for you below.

1. Take Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has so many uses, but it is also amazing as a natural allergy remedy.

It functions by helping to reduce mucus production and by cleansing your lymphatic system.

If you can, take a tablespoon straight-up; if you find that too difficult, mix it in with a teaspoon of honey and a cup of hot water, and drink this every night.

2. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a frequently-prescribed treatment for many ailments – it has as many uses as you have meridians, pathways and points on your body, which total more than four hundred.

A 2015 paper by Xue Et Al outlines a study where participants were randomly given either acupuncture or sham acupuncture, which feels like real acupuncture to the person receiving it but doesn’t actually do anything. If you’re familiar with clinical trials, it’s the same idea as giving somebody a sugar pill to account for the placebo effect.

The study found that real acupuncture was significantly better than sham acupuncture in controlling the symptoms of allergic rhinitis (the medical term for hay fever) and that it significantly improved the quality of life of the study participants.

Acupuncture doesn’t cure your allergies, but instead it helps to significantly reduce the symptoms of your allergic reactions; for seasonal allergies, your naturopath will insert tiny needles around your sinuses and nasal area.

Acupuncture points can also be stimulated with electricity without having to use needles, and this method is more convenient for allergies.

3. Consider An Elimination Diet

Often people discover that other allergies – such as food allergies – can aggravate and increase the symptoms of their hay fever, so dealing with those before going into your allergy season can help reduce the overall impact from the pollens.

To implement this method, eat a very bland diet for a week, making sure to avoid all possible allergenic foods.

At the end of this time, start to reintroduce your most commonly-used foods one by one, carefully noticing your body’s reactions to them; if you notice itchiness or additional phlegm after adding a new food, it can indicate a food sensitivity.

natural allergy herbal solutions | Mindful Healing | Mississauga Naturopathic Doctor

4. Homeopathy

Homeopathy is the use of tiny amounts of natural substances (such as plants and minerals) to simulate the body’s natural healing process.

For seasonal allergies, a naturopath might recommend allium cepa, euphrasia, natrum muriaticum, nux vomica, or wyethia.

These can be combined or used to treat the various symptoms of seasonal allergies as they crop up.

5. Lifestyle Changes

During peak allergy season, and if you’re very susceptible, you may have to reduce your time spent outdoors – but that doesn’t mean you have to spend every moment inside.

Using a dust mask while you’re outdoors in the yard means you don’t have to worry about disturbing the allergens while you work.

You can also take advantage of your air conditioner while you’re in your home or car.

Fabrics can attract and collect pollen, so get rid of unnecessary carpets, stuffed toys, and be sure to wash bedding weekly with hot water; another option is to find allergen-proof covers for your bed and pillows.

Call The Mindful Healing Clinic

If you find yourself carrying around a box of tissues every spring, perhaps it’s time to give yourself a break by planning in advance to reduce the impact of your allergies.

Call now to book an appointment with me and let me help you figure out your triggers as well as the best plan for overcoming them.

I can recommend the right treatments for you so that you can enjoy your spring outdoors again.

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