Archive for the ‘Nutrition and Nutritional Supplements’ Category

Genetic Roulette Health Awareness

I would like to share some of the most important news that I have come across for disease prevention in both our animal friends and ourselves.  For most of my veterinary career I have been expounding the belief that we should feed our animal friends as naturally and organically as possible. I have seen so many diseases improve with simple dietary changes from allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, immune mediated diseases and cancer.  I have been well aware of doing my best to avoid genetically modified foods (GMO’s) in myself, my family and for my animal patients.  I just came across this new documentary, “Genetic Roulette” which is a free online movie that explains and summarizes all the potential hazardous effects of GMO’s on our food producing animals, our companion animals and humans.

Please watch this documentary, Genetic Roulette, and share it with as many people as you can.  We can all make this shift in awareness and improve the health of countless animals and people. I wish to keep this blog post brief, so you can spend your time watching this movie and spreading the word.  We can all help countless beings to quickly improve their health and happiness right now and that is what the Kindred Spirits Project is all about.  This is a key to preventive medicine for all beings.   Thank you for watching this and sharing it and spreading the word.  Let us create a healthier, happier world where compassion, health and happiness are more important than corporate greed and government corruption.

 

 

A Healthy Home for All Beings

A healthy home is an essential part of  preventive health care for us and our animal companions.  A friend and client suggested that I watch this video with Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Myron Wentz,  knowing that many of my foundational teachings and belief were encapsulated and visualized so well in this Health and Happiness summit.  I could not agree with him more after watching it.  These helpful suggestions are truly a foundation for our own preventive health care.  Certain cliche’s are cliche’s because they are so true.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is certainly one of these essential truths.  Many of the suggestions in this video pertain to our animal friends as well.   Though animals are not exposed to mercury in dental fillings, but they are exposed through thimerisol in vaccines.

As Dr. Wentz states regarding fluoride outgassing from frying pans, often times our animal friends are truly the canary in the cage.  This is quite evident more often than we might realize.  A relative of mine inquired about the sudden onset of asthma in her beloved cat.  Their veterinarian made the correct diagnosis and prescribed the correct medications.  However, too often, one does not question why the animal developed this condition suddenly in the first place.  My first question was what was different in the environment and had them review any changes in the house.  When I was visiting them and slept in the guestroom, I actually began to cough as I smelled something that was sickeningly sweet and toxic.  It was there new fabric fresheners that they put in the wash.  When discussing this with them, her husband actually said that he was coughing ever since that new freshener was used as well.  I suggested to stop using them and see how the cat and her husband were doing.  That solved the problem and they were able to stop using an inhaler medication and oral medication for the cat and her husband stopped coughing as well.  So often, we assume that many of these chemicals that permeate our environment are deemed healthy.  Often times, it is the exact opposite.  As my readers know, I am a huge proponent of the “Precautionary Principle”.  Science cannot possibly keep up with all the new chemicals we are exposed to.  Let us try to keep our environments as simple, back to basics and healthy as possible.  In the textbook I edited on Complementary and Alternative Medicine back in 1998, I had presented an environmental questionnaire developed by a human physician and one of the founders of the American College of Environmental Medicine  that I felt should be part of every veterinarians toolkit.  Instead of a life on hazardous pharmaceuticals, my relative’s cat is happy and free of asthma simply by figuring out the environmental cause of the asthma.  This is just one small example.

I was also thrilled to see that Dr. Wentz discussed electromagnetic pollution as I have written a number of blog posts about this ever increasing risk. I suggest that you read Dr. Wentz’s book and conduct an evaluation of your home and remove any toxins that can be hazardous to you and your animal companion’s health.  We will discuss more of the environmental triggers and potential health concerns in future blog posts.

May you and your kindred spirits live in a healthy, happy, toxin free environment.

 

Natural Cancer Therapies

Exposure to Toxins

Cancer has quickly become one of the top causes of death in our companion animals.  It is well accepted now that the primary cause of many diseases is inflammation, from heart disease, to allergies, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease to cancer.  Over the decades of pioneering holistic integrative veterinary care, I have witnessed a tremendous increase in the incidence of cancer.  I believe it is naive to believe that it is just because we have better diagnostics.  Certainly there is a genetic predisposition for certain types of cancer in certain dog breeds, yet, a large percentage is secondary to all the toxic environmental exposures stimulating a chronic inflammation as well as the build up of toxins in the body.   There is a great deal of debate as to what role overvaccination, poor quality pet foods, chronic exposure to pesticides, herbicides etc. have on the body often then manifesting as cancer.  Personally, I am of the belief there is a tipping point of a toxic overload that then can result in the development of cancer.  This article on the use of baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, as a possible treatment for cancer stimulated the writing of this post.

Throughout my career I have been studying, searching and evaluating various natural, nontoxic therapies for cancer.  I have found that a combination of appropriate dietary management, nutraceuticals, chinese herbal formula’s, medicinal mushrooms and vitamins can cause a significant improvement in cancer, sometimes leading to complete remission or at least improving the quality and length of an animal’s life.  Recently I came across this interesting article on the use of baking soda in the treatment of Cancer.  The study is actually being conducted at the University of Arizona Medical School.  I have been aware of this treatment approach, but have not used it extensively in animals.  After reviewing the article, I find that there is indeed some merit in exploring the use of sodium bicarbonate, baking soda in the treatment of cancer in animals.  I will be exploring this approach more and discuss possible studies in animals.  I will keep you posted.

As with many conditions, the ideal is prevention rather than treatment.  The more we can optimize an animals nutrition and minimize exposure to toxins, the better the odds that one will not develop cancer.  Unfortunately with the increased exposure to more and more toxins, pesticides, poor quality food, and the so called “elephant in the living room”, the exposure to the increased radiation from the Fukushima diseaster, we will have to deal with cancer in animals as well as humans more frequently.  I will continue my commitment to explore natural, nontoxic approaches to help all of us live longer, happier, healthier lives.

Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants and More: How Do I Choose?

One of the most frequent questions I hear in my small animal integrative medicine practice is “Which supplements should I give my animal friends?”  There are so many pet foods, supplements etc. on the market it can be quite challenging for the nutritionally aware animal caretaker to know which ones they need and which ones to choose.  As the pet nutraceutical, supplement and food industry continues to boom, more and more companies are producing supplements and foods of questionable quality.  It is challenging even for veterinarians keep abreast of all the different companies and to know which ones are best.  Being a pioneer in this field for over thirty years, I have seen many supplements come and go.  It is not uncommon for a client to bring in a basket full of supplements that they have purchased either from other veterinarians, the internet or a pet food store.  They would pour them out on my exam table and ask me to review them for me.  Sometimes they will have even forgotten why they purchased them.  Sometimes they were out of date.  Sometimes they would not even list the ingredients!  As much as I love the natural health movement, I must admit, I have become somewhat disillusioned over the years as to how it has been usurped by profiteers, scam marketers, questionable companies and all the challenges of the marketplace. Amidst the onslaught of new companies and products, in order to assist my readers and clients,  I am in the midst of reviewing the latest products available.  Fortunately there are some out there that are of superior quality.  I will review these with you over the next few months.

A few general comments are in order now though.  The classic statement, “buyer beware” is appropriate for the field of pet foods and supplements as well.  If a product just makes claims on the labels and does not even list the ingredients, consider that one to go into the proverbial trash basket.  Know your manufacturer.  Quality is essential. It is not uncommon for a product to simply be labeled natural, healthy, or with a common title such as probiotic or arthritis supplement and have poor quality ingredients in them that somehow vaguely fit under those labels.   It is sad to say that even some veterinarians who have not received any additional training in nutritional supplements are not aware of all the challenges in choosing appropriate ones.  I must humbly admit that before I became more educated, I fell into that category as well.  It is beneficial for animal lovers to become more educated as to the quality of the products they feed their animal friends.  It is funny to hear sometimes when clients will begin to read labels for their animals supplements, they chuckle and often say “wow, I did not even know what to look for for my own supplements”.   It is a continual learning process.  I too continue to learn as I discuss supplements with colleagues, human nutritional supplement experts and review the cutting edge articles on nutrition.  We are living in a more and more polluted, toxic world and good nutrition and supplements are becoming more essential to maintain our health and prevent disease.  As Hippocrates said “Let your food be your medicine”.  I may spend more on quality organic supplements and some may question that benefit, but I believe judicious awareness and choice of appropriate quality natural nutrition and supplements is some of the best preventive medicine available.  It is so much wiser than treating disease.  The old cliche “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is more true today than ever before.

The entire field of nutrigenomics is becoming more widespread in veterinary health care as well as human health care.  Essentially, this is evaluating and recommending nutrition based on one’s genetic predispositions.  For instance, if you have a breed of dog that is prone to arthritis, it may not be unreasonable for you to begin nutritional preventive supplements earlier in their life, hopefully to prevent future progression of degenerative joint disease.  This is just one simple example.

Over the next few months I will share my thoughts on specific approaches to integrative health care and which supplements I find to be beneficial. In the meantime, do your homework, and do the best you can to keep your animal friends and you as healthy and happy as possible!