Parasites, Plants and Nobel Prizes

External Use

The use of plants to eradicate or control parasites is deeply embedded in all cultures. Even monkeys have been observed to self-medicate with herbs when they suffer from intestinal parasites.1 Hence it follows that the use of antiparasitic plants will be of veterinary as well as human relevance. 2 This has been borne out by a recent study on wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and dog ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus). The brown dog tick is found worldwide, but more commonly in warmer climates. Although it feeds on a wide variety of mammals, dogs are the preferred host and it is frequently associated with kennels. As it is one of the most important vectors of diseases in dogs, this tick has importance in the transmission of diseases to humans. The objective of the study was to evaluate the in vitro efficacy of different concentrations of extract from the aerial parts of wormwood in comparison to amitraz on adults, eggs and larvae of the dog tick. This was assessed using the adult immersion test (AIT), egg hatchability test (EHT) and the larval packet test (LPT). Five concentrations of the extract (1.25, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20%) were used in all the bioassays. A control group was established (water + dimethylsulfoxide) together with a positive control group (amitraz). In AIT, the mortality rates were 0.0, 13.3, 16.7, 33.3 and 93.3% for the concentrations of 1.25, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20%, respectively, and the variation with increasing concentration was significant (p = 0.015). Egg production was reduced by 6.6, 6.6, 18.3, 42.5 and 85.1% in the concentrations of 1.25, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20%, respectively, and was again statistically significant (p = 0.027). In EHT, hatching was inhibited, with 5, 10 and 20% displaying 100% ovicidal action, while at the concentrations of 1.25 and 2.5% inhibition rates were 20 and 60%, respectively. In LPT, the extract caused 100% mortality of larvae in the concentrations of 5, 10 and 20% after 24 hours, while for 1.25 and 2.5% mortality rates were 54.3 and 96.7%, respectively.

Study Suggests

This study suggests that the topical use of wormwood (possibly as the tincture and perhaps combined with other acaricidal plants) could be an effective strategy for controlling ticks in dogs. A clinical trial would be the next step.
The use of plants for improving animal health is also being applied to control diseases in organic livestock. This topic was recently the subject of a systematic review that found a total of 590 plant species were used for animal treatment in Europe.3 Most of the research was from France, Italy and Turkey. Again the use of wormwood, in this instance to treat parasites in cattle, featured strongly.
A different antiparasitic wormwood species, sweet wormwood or qing hao (Artemisia annua) made world headlines late in 2015 when Tu Youyou deservedly shared the Nobel Prize for medicine for her discovery of the potent and novel anti-malarial compound artemisinin. This has clearly demonstrated to the world the value of ethnomedicine-based discovery and the relatively untapped potential of medicinal plants. It was a landmark event for herbal clinicians and puts paid to the nonsense that “anything worthwhile in medicinal herbs has already been discovered decades ago”.
More than the usual obstacles had to be overcome by the tenacious and dedicated natural product scientist. To quote from a recent article from the Lancet stable:4 “Extraction and characterisation of Artemisia alkaloids took years of rigorous work under the supervision of experienced scientists including Youyou Tu, but the pressure of the Cultural Revolution in the early 1970s forced the investigators to a rather unusual “phase 1 trial” of the phytochemical artemisinin: testing it on themselves as a necessary step to ensure the successful development of Artemisia as antimalarial drug. After surviving the pressure of the Chinese political elite, the death of Mao in 1976, and the dismissal of Project 523, Artemisia still had to face its hardest battle: becoming an accepted therapy outside of China. Cold war tactics permeated the publication of the early clinical experience within the Chinese medical literature, with the western scientific community remaining mostly sceptical to the antimalarial properties of Artemisia. It remained a relatively unattractive form of Chinese whisper until the early 2000s, when, after a careful appraisal of the literature in absence of political pressures, the first artemisininbased combination therapy became part of the WHO pharmacopoeia for the treatment of malaria.”

References 1 Kenemans P. Maturitas 2004; 48(Suppl 1): S1-S3 2 Xi S, Liske E, Wang S et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2014; 2014: 717686 3 Fritz H, Seely D, McGowan J et al. Integr Cancer Ther 2014; 13(1): 12-29 4 Wu CT, Lai JN, Tsai YT. PLoS One 2014; 9(12): e113887
5 Davis VL, Jayo MJ, Ho A et al. Cancer Res 2008; 68(20): 8377-8883

References 1 Huffman MA. Proc Nutr Soc 2003; 62(2): 371-381 2 Godara R, Parveen S, Katoch R et al. Parasitol Res 2014; 113(2): 747-754 3 Mayer M, Vogl CR, Amorena M et al. Forsch Komplementmed 2014; 21(6): 375-386 4 Pinato DJ, Stebbing J. Lancet Oncol 2015; 16(7): 759-760

Reversing Time with Resveratrol

InFocus
New Research, Events + Product Specials
AUGUST 2011 ISSUE

Reversing Time with Resveratrol
By Belinda Fay, BSc, ND.

As we get older our skin is probably the first organ to show signs of ageing – wrinkles and atypical pigmentation.

With age, the number of elastin fibres decrease, as does collagen, resulting in sagging and reduced elasticity of the skin. However, antioxidants are proving to be effective in preventing the signs of photo-induced ageing of the skin.

One antioxidant phytonutrient that has been in the spotlight on the anti-ageing stage is resveratrol. As an antioxidant, it quenches free radicals which are known to play a crucial role in tissue damage and ageing.

Reservatrol also mimics some molecular and functional effects of dietary restriction which, when not associated with malnutrition, has been shown to slow ageing-related diseases.

To summarise the age-defying actions of resveratrol, its protection of mitochondria is likely to contribute to its anti-ageing action. Similar mitochondria is likely to contribute to its anti-ageing action. Similar mitochondrial protection can be achieved by a calorie-restricted diet which also induces pathways activated by resveratrol and attenuates mitochondrial free radical production.

References

  1. Rossetti D, Kielmancwicz MG, Vigodman S, et al, Int J Cosmet Sci 2011;33(1):62-9.
  2. Masaki H. J Dermatol Sci 2010;58(2)85-90.
  3. Rizzo AM, Berselli P, Zava S, et al. Adv Exp Med Biol 2011;698:52-67.
  4. Ungvari Z, Sonntag WE, de Cabo R, et al. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 2011;39(3):128-32.

The Gut and the Joint (Petra Hunter, BHSc(Nat), ND)

Over a lifetime, the CIT has to process many tonnes of food. Unfortunately, this also provides exposure to a large range of toxic compounds, dietary antigens, micro-organisms. and bacterial products. To prevent these substances being absorbed, a very sophisticated physiological barrier is formed by the mucous layer (glycocalyx), the epithelial cells, tight junctions, and the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT).

WHEN THINGS GO WRONG

Under normal circumstances, the epithelial lining is reasonably leak-proof. Increased permeability, also known as “leaky gut”, has been identified in numerous local and systemic conditions, including acute gastroenteritis, ankylosing spondylitis, arthritis, asthma, coeliac disease, eczema, food allergy, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and rheumatoid arthritis.

Many factors can stress, irritate and inflame the intestinal lining to cause increased permeability, as summarised in Table 1.

Increased intestinal permeability (IP) can lead to diffusion of antigenic food materials and translocation of bacteria from the gut to extra-intestinal sites. When large molecules gain systemic entry, the immune system may respond by producing antibodies that cause a reaction against what would otherwise be a harmless compound.

GUT-JOINT RELATIONSHIP

It has been clearly established that IP occurs in various types of arthritis.

For a long time use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) was thought to initiate Ip in arthritic patients, but recently, research has demonstrated that a pre-existing increase in IP is involved in disease pathogenesis.5 NSAID use may still be an exacerbating factor.

HEALING THE GUT

  1. To effectively treat abnormal Ip and its associated conditions, three primary areas must be addressed:
  2. Healing the inflamed intestinal mucosa – Nutritional support should include glutamine, n-acetyl-glucosamine, and soluble fibre.
  3. Preventing further damage – Avoid exposure to toxins and irritants. Quercetin may help prevent further damage.
  4. Correcting dysbiosis – Re-establish healthy intestinal flora using probiotics containing lactobacilli and bifidobacteria species.

GLUTAMINE

Glutamine is the primary fuel source for enterocytes and aids in their proliferation and repair. Adequate levels are essential to maintain intestinal barrier function and regulation of tight junctions.6 Glutamine supplementation increases the height of intestinal villi, stimulates gut mucosal cellular proliferation, and maintains mucosal integrity.T Glutamine is presently the best-known compound for reducing IP.

Glutamine also increases the synthesis of sIgA (secretory immunoglobulin A). SIgA is vital to the function of the intestinal immune system and the prevention of bacterial translocation.

N-ACETYL-G LUCOSAM IN E (NAG)

The intestinal glycocalyx is the most superficial layer of the gut mucosa and serves to protect the underlying tissues against enzyme exposure/ gastric acid, and bacterial onslaught. NAG is an integral component of the glycocalyx and therefore plays an important role in the maintenance and repair of the intestinal mucous membranes. NAG is also an effective promoter of bifidobacteria.

Oral supplementation with NAG has shown promise in the treatment of chronic IBD in children.

SOLUBLE FIBR/ MUCILAGE

Fibre encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria and suppresses the growth of harmful pathogens. When fermented by colonic bacteria, soluble fibre produces short-chain fatty acids – another primary fuel used in the colon.

Slippery elm is frequently used as a source of soluble fibre. It also contains large amounts of mucilage, which forms a gel-like, soothing film over inflamed mucous membranes and stimulates healing.

Another popular mucilage containing plant that may be used in gastrointestinal disorders is aloe vera. Its anti-inflammatory properties may provide welcome relief in IBD.

QUERCETIN

Quercetin is beneficial in most inflammatory conditions. The anti-inflammatory activity of quercetin lies largely in its antioxidant properties as well as its inhibitory effects on pro-inflammatory enzymes (cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase) and the subsequent inhibition of inflammatory mediators, including leukotrienes and prostaglandins. Excessive leukotriene production has been linked to IBD.

Quercetin’s anti-inflammatory effects also extends to the inhibition of histamine release by mast cells and basophils (degranulation). Mast cell degranulation is believed to promote inflammatory responses and mucosal injury.

PROBIOTICS

Optimal function of the GIT depends on a balanced co-existence between more than 100 000 billion resident micro-organisms of different species. Such an environment promotes gut maturation and integrity enhances mucosal carrier function, stimulates mucosal production of molecules that downregulate inflammatory responses,
suppresses growth of pathogenic bacteria, blocks epithelial attachment by pathogens, and modulates host immune
responses.

Oral ingestion of these health-promoting microbes via probiotic supplementation also exerts extraintestinal
effects, including on the joints. Research has demonstrated a relationship believe the gastrointestinal
microbiota, mucosal and systemic immune responses and the development of arthritis. Lactic acid bacteria have been shown to significantly downregulate proinflammatory cytokines and in this way, relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

FISH OILS (OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS; EPA/DHA)

Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in the management of intestinal inflammation and increased IP by reducing the
production of pro-inflammatory mediators and cytokines.

Fish oil supplementation has been shown to modify inflammatory mediator profiles in patients with IBD, and
reduce the rate of relapse in patients with Crohn’s disease. In patients with ulcerative colitis, fish oil supplementation
resulted in clinical improvement as well as the reduction, and in some cases/elimination of anti-inflammatory
drug use.

The effectiveness of fish oil in the treatment of arthritis has been well documented, with one study showing
that omega-3 fatty acids are as effective as ibuprofen in reducing arthritic pain.

Causes of Intestinal Permeability

  • Nutritional Deficiencies, in particular glutamine
  • Emotional stress
  • Pharmaceutical drugs, especially antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Gastrointestinal parasites
  • Intestinal bacterial infections or overgrowth
  • Ingestion of junk food
  • Excessive consumption of sugary foods
  • Excessive consumption of sugary foods
  • Food allergies

“Take Home” Tips For the Patient with Gut-joint Problems

Many dietary and lifestyle factors can aggravate your condition, therefore:

Avoid:

Consumption of sugary foods and drinks

Junk food

Foods that cause you discomfort after eating

Alcohol

Excessive caffeine intake

Food additives, preservatives, pesticides and other food contaminants

High consumption of omega-6 fats (most vegetable oils)

When possible: pharmaceutical drugs, in particular, antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Prolonged stress

Sedentary lifestyle

Include more of:

Fresh, wholesome foods, eat a balanced diet

Fibre-rich foods

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (oily fish)

Spices that have an anti-inflammatory effect, such as turmeric, ginger and garlic

Drink plenty of water

Exercise (must be appropriate for your condition; discuss with your healthcare provider)

Also:

Try to keep your weight within the normal range; excess body weight places stress on the joints, especially weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips.

STRUCTURE and SUPPLEMENTS

Many chiropractors are now looking to address the cellular/chemical aspects of joint conditions through supplementation.

Katrina Huges, BScChiro, MChiro

With today’s society becoming progressively more sedentary, chiropractors are seeing in an increased prevalence of spinal and pelvic degenerative/inflammatory joint conditions such as arthritis. Potential explanations for this increase may be lifestyle factors including adverse workstation ergonomics, poor posture, a lack of physical activity, insufficient diet, and increased stress – just to name a few.

CAUSE & AFFECT 

Structures of joints most frequently affected in degenerative/inflammatory joint conditions are the articular cartilage, subchondral bone, joint capsule and the muscles adjacent to the affected joint. In most areas, the tendons that cross the joint are the most important stabilising factor. Surprisingly, the condition of the articular surface plays only a minimal role in joint stability. Commonly, problems of the joints present with pain and swelling around the affected area(s); are worse in the mornings and in colder months; and click grind and clunk with movement.

ENTER: THE CHIRO

As a chiropractor, not only is the affected joint(s) assessed – the joints above and below the area(s) are taken into
consideration as well as any potential contributing factors, such as trauma, family history, previous surgeries and lifestyle. A traditional chiropractic approach to typical joint degeneration is of a physical nature. It will seek to restore balance and symmetry to the spine and pelvis through the application of specific spinal and pelvic adjustments/mobilisations. The objective of this type of therapy is to reduce pressure, asymmetry and swelling
of the joints, ultimately reducing the pressure on the nervous system and preventing further degeneration o{ the
pelvis and spinal segments. Chiropractic philosophy tells us that through removal of interference to the nervous system the body can heal itself. Howeve4, the use of natural supplements can help rebuild and support affected structures and prevent future joint damage and degeneration.

SUPPLEMENTS

As the physical component of joint con&tions is only half of the picture, many chiropractors are now looking
to address the cellular/chemical aspects of these conditions through supplementation, rather than advising
commonly used pharmaceutical medications. The physical structure of joints is made from a combination of substances that become less abundant when a joint suffers any form of joint condition. For instance, cartilage matrix is comprised of: 65-80% water, giving the joint resilience and the ability to act as a shock absorber; collagen, which forms the structural framework; proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans, which trap water and act like a sponge; and chondrocytes which release destructive enzymes and manufacture new collagen and proteoglycans.Cartilage ground substance consists of large amounts of chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid and water; hence the importance of ensuring these essential substances are present in sufficient quantities through adequate supplementation.

In acute conditions, an anti-inflammatory protocol is necessary to allow quick relief from any unpleasant symptoms. Supplements such as InflamEze Activ combine the anti-inflammatory properties of devil’s claw, cat’s claw and curcumin – all traditionally used in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions.

In more chronic cases, a continuing anti-inflammatory management plan is advised. Omega-3 EPA/DHA supplementation is the most common form of natural anti-inflammatory aids. Omega-3 EPA and DHA have been shown to downregulate the production of inflammatory mediators found in patients with joint conditions, but also helps prevent inflammatory infiltrate from further damaging the joint.

While addressing the anti-inflammatory aspects of joint conditions, supplementing with a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM complex is also highly recommended in most instances. Prolonged use of glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin has been shown to help slow the progression of joint degeneration due to their role in the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans that form the structural matrix of joints. Glucosamine is the major building block for structures such as tendons, ligaments, nails, skin, bones, eyes, heart valves, and synovial fluid in the joints. In its sulfated form, glucosamine provides cartilage with its structure, strength and shock-absorbing properties. Glucosamine levels directly influence the number of proteoglycans that are produced and thus how much water can be held within the joint.

In short, glucosamine sulfate provides the building blocks joints need to repair damage to their bone, cartilage and synovial fluid components. Chondroitin acts as a “liquid magnet” helping joint fluid retention and minimizing bone-on-bone friction. Chondroitin has also been found to stimulate the production of collagen and proteoglycans within the cartilage matrix. MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, a major constituent of collagen. It provides the sulfur the body needs to ensure that the connective tissue surrounding the joint is healthy, supportive and stable.

Less frequently used but nonetheless successful in supporting the treatment of joint conditions is vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for the production and maintenance of strong collagen. This is necessary to ensure proper strength and functioning of tendons, ligaments and cartilage. It is a natural destressor, detoxification agent and antioxidant, helping to rid the body of free radicals that cause jopint damage, such as the inflammatory inflitrate found in joint conditions.

Life Advice

In addition to the treatment and prevention of joint conditions through chiropractic and supplementation, lifestyle factors must also be dealt with. The following are advised to help prevent joint damage:

A diet high in omega-3s, ie more fish, nuts & seeds

Maintain an ideal body weight

Gentle regular exercise, such as swimming

Ensure proper recovery after injury

Optimise biomechanics to reduce stress on the joints, such as ensuring proper workstation ergonimics and good posture.

The successful treatment and prevention of degenerative/inflammatory joint conditions must take a multifaceted approach, with considerations for lifestyle, physical and chemical factors. educatiuon of patients is also vital for their long term joint health as the population continue to grow older, live longer, and become more sedentary and overweight – the latter of which, if addressed can.

References

references

 

 

 

Understanding Diabetic Complications

BY TENEILLE NEWTON GRAD DIP HPROM, BHSC (COMP MED), ADV DIP NAT, ND

Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are two of the biggest killers both in Australia and
around the world. Type 2 diabetes is the fastest growing health problem in Australia and a serious public
health issue which costs us all.

All of the complications that may occur in patients with diabetes are in part due to the out of control blood glucose causing protein glycation and cross-linking, as well as increased oxidative stress. Have you ever glazed pork, chicken or duck? The sugar glaze you brush on is what causes the delicious crispiness when you pull the
dish out of the oven. Imagine that crisping occurring to your blood vessels and other tissues! The process of glycation causes proliferation of the epithelial layer lining the blood vessels and subsequently impairs circulatory function. The most common complications include nephropathy, retinopathy, neuropathy and diabetic ulcerations.

Diabetic Complications are Serious and Common

A diabetics risk of dying from cardiovascular disease is increased at least two to three times that of non-diabetics After 10 years of living with diabetes, seven out of 10 people will have kidney damage in some form, progressing in some to kidney failure. Others will suffer from retinopathy, visual impairments
and eventually blindness. Fortunately, there are some natural solutions available to minimise the likelihood of developing these complications and also to manage them.

Diabetic Nephropathy

As previously mentioned, 70 percent of diabetics will have some form of kidney damage after 10 years. The odds are definitely not in your favour, so it is of vital importance to begin preventative strategies at the earliest time after diabetes diagnosis.

Diet alone may be able to significantly influence kidney health in diabetics. Ketogenic diets are often used in the management of both obesity and diabetes and it seems as though it has additional benefits for kidney health’ An animal study found that after two months of following a ketogenic diet, diabetic animals had completely reversed the diabetic nephropathy as indicated by stress-induced gene expression and albumin/creatinine ratios. ln addition, there was partial reversal of the histological kidney changes associated with diabetic nephropathy.

Chromium picolinate has also shown it may be beneficial for the diabetic kidney. Diabetic subjects receiving chromium picolinate reduced the excretion of albumin to approximately half that of the untreated diabetic subjects. Those receiving chromium also had reduced interleukin 6 and 17 and increased indolamine 2,3 dioxygenase. This indicates chromium is reducing the production of proinflammatorY cytokines.

Zinc, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin E also show promise in maintaining kidney health in diabetics Type 2 diabetics received 2OOmg magnesium and 30mg zinc (group MgZn), 2O0mg vitamin C anO ldOtU vitamin E (group VitCE), a combination of MgZn and VitCE or placebo for 3 months. ln the VitCE and combination groups there was a significant decrease in urinary albumin secretion and the combination group also had decreased blood pressure, decreased fasting serum glucose and increased HDL cholesterol.3 These results indicate an improvement in glomerular
function in type 2 diabetic patients.

Zinc has also demonstrated ability to partially prevent pathological changes to the kidney in diabetic animals 4 Zinc supplementation reouJeo renal inflammation, oxidative damage and up-regulation of growth factors.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness. At least 28 percent of diabetics over 40 have diabetic retinopathy and almost 5 percent have the vision-threatening form. Excessive blood glucose and the associated increase in oxidative stress inhibit the maturation of pro-nerve growth factor to nerve growth factor which is involved in the protection of the nerves of the retina’ This results in impaired neuronal function in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy can also be considered a marker of systemic microvascular problems as a result of diabetes.

A component of Green Tea and well known antioxidant is epicatechin. It has been shown to inhibit a downstream receptor involved in neuronal cell death signalling which is activated by pro-nerve growth factor. Green Tea may be beneficial to protect the integrity of the retinal nerve in diabetic people. Another antioxidant compound, Resveratrol may also be useful due to its ability to prevent the formation of new blood vessels and facilitates the
removal of abnormal vessels.

A multi-faceted approach to protect cardiovascular health of the cardiovascular system caused by chronic elevated blood diabetes is essential for diabetics, as the deterioration glucose is the key factor of complications.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a painful condition affecting up to 30 percent of those living with diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy is not often reported to healthcare practitioners and it is estimated that at least two out of every five cases are not being treated.. Neuropathy is also not as simple as just some nerve pain. lt can be debilitating
affecting sleep, overall quality of life and also emotional and mental health. Generally, neuropathy starts from the ground up, affecting the feet first, then travelling up the legs. Interestingly, being taller makes you more likely to suffer from neuropathies.

Recent research suggests that there may be mitochondrial involvement in the development of neuropathies. It is already established that diabetes is a condition of mitochondrial dysfunction and this may be a factor in diabetic neuropathy. The mitochondria present in nerve cells have a significantly longer life than those in other cells of the body and are therefore at greater risk of dysfunction quite simply due to their age. It has been theorised that supporting mitochondrial function may reduce pain and improve the function of nerve cells.

Alpha-lipoic acid may be of particular benefit to patients with diabetic neuropathies as it has shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of pain, parathaesia, numbness and the burning sensation associated with diabetic neuropathy.600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid administered orally for five weeks significantly reduced the symptoms of neuropathic pain in people with diabetic neuropathy.ll Other studies have found additional benefits of alpha-lipoic acid such as increased insulin receptor sensitivity and function and increased cellular uptake of glucose by adipocytes and myocytes.l2i3 A placebo controlled clinical trial using 600 mg daily of alpha-lipoic acid improved insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics by 25 percent after four weeks.

The management of diabetic neuropathy benefits from additional nutritional supplementation. A combination of 20 mg zinc, 250 mg magnesium, 200 mg of vitamin C and 100 mg of vitamin E were given to people with diabetic neuropathy either with or without additional vitamin B complex or placebo. After four months of treatment, both nutrient groups experienced significantly greater symptomatic relief from their neuropathies than those receiving placebo.

There is also evidence for the efficacy of vitamin E, zinc, and chromium supplemented individually to reduce the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. In addition to its direct cardiovascular benefits, omega 3 fatty acids decrease the symptoms and signs of diabetic neuropathy.1800 mg of EPA daily for a period of 48 weeks improved measured arterial circulation, blood lipid profiles as well as decreased the feelings of numbness and coldness in affected limbs.

Diabelic CVD

Diabetics are at significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiomyopathy which involves inflammation and deterioration of cardiac muscle.

As impaired cardiovascular function and increased oxidative stress are both underlying factors involved in the aforementioned diabetic complications, by improving cardiovascular function the additional complications also improve.

To support cardiovascular health we can use all of our tried and trusted treatments, including Omega 3 fish oils, coenzyme Q10, magnesium, vitamin C with bioflavonoids and garlic io name but a few.

ln diabetics, coenzyme Q10 with mixed tocopherols and beta-carotene improved the function of the left ventricle and decreased the activity of lactate.dehydrogenase.20 ln addition, this antioxidant combination also decreased plasma lipid peroxide levels, indicating reduced oxidative stress.

A multi{aceted approach to protect cardiovascular health is essential for diabetics, as it is the deterioration of the cardiovascular system caused by chronic elevated blood glucose that is the key underlying factor of diabetic complications. This may serve to protect against damage to the nerves, kidneys and eyes.

Summary of Treatments in Diabetic Complications

table

For the management and prevention of diabetic complications there are key nutritional and herbal treatments to include. Of course blood sugar metabolism must be improved as this is the root cause of these complications. Then the focus must be on the inclusion of potent antioxidants to protect cells, the cardiovascular and nervous systems from damage. A combination of Resveratrol, Grapeseed, Green Tea, Turmeric, vitamins A, C, E, zinc and alpha-lipoic acid will provide a full spectrum of antioxidant defence Additional coenzyme Q10 and Omega 3 fish oil concentrates will provide protect cellular integrity and function.

References

Please call for references.

Kidney Disease in Cats – Renal Failure

Chronic kidney disease is one of the main causes of death in cats and is often caused by the food we feed. Lets take a trip back to the past. Before the introduction of commercial pet food cats were fed scrap meat, liver, heart and bones. In this time it was virtually unheard of for cats to die from kidney disease or kidney failure. With the introduction of commercial pet foods kidney disease is now one of the biggest killers of all cat breeds. The disease doesn’t target age, breed or sex. It targets those on commercial food, both wet and dry.

Why does commercial food cause kidney failure?

Cats have a very different digestive system to both humans and dogs. They survive and require larger percentages of meat than dogs. They require their meat to be very fresh, whereas most dogs are happy to eat 10 day old meat. Why is this the case? Cats have evolved to survive in some of the most extreme conditions. Similar to rabbits they can survive in arid and extremely dry regions with very little water and indeed thrive. Unlike dogs, in the same arid environment, would suffer exhaustion and dehydration in a short time and with lack of available water would perish. Cats, like

Cats, like rabbits have the ability to absorb water from their food. In fact cats can absorb 80% of their water needs from fresh meat. This is why those that feed their cats a natural diet will seldom see their cats drink from their water bowels. This is very normal. Those that feed commercial diets will need to top their cats water bowels up regularly. This is not normal. So what does this mean and how does the food we feed cause kidney failure? The cats system has evolved to absorb a large portion of its water via its food. When we feed processed commercial food, dry and wet our cats requirement for water increases and they must get it from another source. They must begin to drink larger portions then what they are used to drinking. The kidney’s are forced to work twice as hard as they were naturally evolved to work. Even with the uptake of extra water, cats are still chronically dehydrated. By doing this eventually the kidney’s will become tired and diseased at an unusually young age. Commonly seen from ages 7 and up. N a tural Animal Soluti o n s Kidney Disease in Cats – Renal Failure Chronic kidney disease is one of the main causes of death in cats and is often caused by the food we feed. Lets take a trip back to the past. Before the introduction of commercial pet food cats were fed scrap meat, liver, heart and bones. In this time it was virtually unheard of for cats to die from kidney disease or kidney failure. With the introduction of commercial pet foods kidney disease is now one of the biggest killers of all cat breeds. The disease doesn’t target age, breed or sex. It targets those on commercial food, both wet and dry.

Research has also linked dry cat food with urinary problems. Veterinarian and Pet Nutritionist Lisa Pierson says: ‘Chronic kidney disease is one of the main causes of death in cats and is often caused because they are chronically dehydrated by just eating dried food. Even if they drink water, often it is not enough to ensure optimum urinary health.’ Not convinced? Then consider that while cat and dog food sales have soared by 85 per cent over the past decade, research by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association shows that one in three household pets is now overweight – and chronic conditions in our pets, such as diabetes, kidney and liver disease, heart disease and dental problems (all related to diet) are increasing at the same rate. The link is very evident.

So why does our vet recommend commercial food for our cat, even when they have kidney disease?

Research into pet food is carried out by the pet food companies and more surprisingly, the training of vets at many universities is also funded by pet food manufacturers. Universities in Australia and other western countries are sponsored and trained by leading Vet brand pet food. Crucially, lectures on nutrition at a number of vet schools, and for vet nurses, are also often paid for and even taught by these huge corporations, giving them the ideal platform to promote their products, rather than pet health. One could argue that given this information, it’s hardly in vets’ interests to promote a more natural diet for pets.

Crucially, lectures on nutrition at a number of vet schools, and for vet nurses, are also often paid for and even taught by these huge corporations, giving them the ideal platform to promote their products, rather than pet health. One could argue that given this information, it’s hardly in vets’ interests to promote a more natural diet for pets.

Treatment for Kidney Disease

Treatment for cats with kidney disease comprises of diuretics and a range of drugs. Because many cats are diagnosed with kidney disease at a young age they will need to be on these medications for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately when on these medications I often see the secondary illness caused by being on medications long term. Most often liver failure, from long term drug use. I have also seen patients die from liver failure caused from the drugs used for kidney disease. It is a terrible cycle and once you are on it, it very often ends poorly for the cat. Alternative treatment is very beneficial and under a trained naturopath can give your cat great results. Homoeopathic treatment and Chinese medicine is also very beneficial.

What you can do at home to help. Supplement your cat with

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Bioflavanoids
  • Vitamin B-complex, especially B6
  • Vitamin E

To make it easy, use DigestaVite plus as this will provide you with Vitamins A, C, all your B vitamins and Vitamin E. In higher dosages DigestaVite Plus will also protect your cats liver when on on kidney failure medication.

How do we prevent our cats from getting kidney disease?

Prevention is simple! No medicine is required. Purely feeding a natural diet of raw meat, organ, meat, small bones and a supplement like DigestaVite Plus to provide the vegetable needs and extra nutrition is all that is required to prevent your cat dying from Kidney Disease. Kidney disease is a painful and diffi cult disease to treat. Once your cat has it is can’t be cured of it. Saying this kidney disease is the easiest disease to prevent. It all comes down to what you feed. A natural diet means no kidney disease for your cat.

 

Use and Abuse of Antibiotics on our pets

In the Western world the wonderful discovery of antibiotics created a whole new way of curing disease for the medical industry. Not only for human beings but for our pets.

But at what cost to the health of our pets? We are becoming very self-aware that the overuse of antibiotics is bad for us for many reasons. They decrease our resistance to bacteria, reduce the strength our immune system and over time they have created stronger and more resistant super bugs to name only a few. These issues affect our pets also. Looking at it simply, antibiotics kill bacteria. They cannot differentiate the good bacteria from the bad, so they kill all targeted bacteria. In order for our pets to live long healthy lives it is important they have a balance of good bacteria in the body. Let’s use the bowel for example. In the bowel our pets have hundreds of different beneficial bacteria. Without it they can suffer from many diseases like , irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), skin allergies, bowel ulceration and even constipation. When antibiotics are used in times of illness it will kill the bad bacteria that is making your pet ill, but it will also kill the good bacteria that keeps your pet healthy. Over time the bowel will try and replenish the bacteria and if the bowel is healthy the bacteria will continue to multiply. But, what happens when antibiotics are continuously used? When does the good bacteria have the opportunity to replenish? Without them the bowel can become very unhealthy. Good bacteria finds it difficult to replenish and multiply in an unhealthy bowel. This is where we may see the beginnings of chronic disease in our pets. Here is an example of antibiotic abuse This dog had a Staphylococci infection on and in her nose, confirmed via a skin biopsy. The top right corner is dry and cracked and she wept black discharge from her nostril. She had significant weight loss and her owner could not get her to put any weight on. She developed this problem after 9 months of antibiotic treatment for a mouth infection from a stuck bone. The vet tried for months to treat the nose with stronger and stronger antibiotics as well as antibiotic creams. The problem would begin to clear but always returned. The abuse of antibiotics has created an antibiotic resistant bacteria. After visiting me I stopped all antibiotics immediately. I put her on a natural diet and supplements and she immediately began to put on weight, get a shiny coat and appeared far more healthier. I treated her nose with a range of herbs, immune stimulants, antibacterials and homoeopathics. It took many months and over time the Staphylococci infection has cleared from her nose.

Before                                    After

Use and Abuse 1         Use and Abuse 2

If you have to put your pet on antibiotics it is advisable to put them on a good quality pro biotic to counteract the side effects. It is important to remember that good bacteria will not survive in an unhealthy bowel. Use a probiotic like DigestaVite Plus in conjunction with a probiotic. This will ensure that you didn’t waste your money on an expensive probiotic, only to send it to its death.

ProBiotics

Like any medication, there are good quality pro biotics and there are average products on the market. In this instance you really do get what you pay for.

What to look for?

A multistrain probiotic. The more bacteria and more strains you have in your probiotic the better your results will be.

Different strains of good bacteria can perform different functions. A multistrain probiotic with the below strains can assist the following

1. digestive health and function

2. immune health and function

3. urogenital health and function

4. management of medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

5. temporary relief of diarrhoea.

Below is a chart of good bacteria and the conditions they can assist. The bacteria names are long and confusing even to say. This chart isn’t for you to memorise but to give you an understanding of how probiotics work and how different strains will effect different functions in the body. By killing off these types of good bacteria with antibiotics, you can see what functions may be affected by disease.

Use and Abuse 4

Another example is this young dog who had     Use and Abuse 3 been diagnosed with skin allergies. He had been treated repeatedly with antibiotics and anti inflammatories. These pictures are the end result of antibiotic abuse. After two weeks of natural treatment his itching began to subside. After a further six weeks his red, irritated skin began to return to a normal colour, without inflammation and the itching ceased. In the next few months his coat will begin to grow back to normal.

Scratch Scratch. Bite Bite. Gnaw Gnaw. Lick Lick.

How many of you watch your beloved dog chronically scratch, bite, gnaw and lick all day? It’s heart breaking.  How many take our beloved to the vet for cortisone shots, tablet, antibiotics or all of the above, only to find it is a temporary fix and the problem is getting worse?
Deep down we know the use of cortisone and antibiotics is not a great idea for our pets, but most feel there isn’t any other option.  Luckily there are many other options and they don’t require expensive allergy tests or allergies shots.
Firstly we need to understand the allergy.  Allergies can be air borne or food related.  What many don’t realize is it can also be what your pets sleep, play or walk on.  I have seen every type of allergy come through my clinic.  Finding out which is the problem is the trick.  What happens when you do find the offending allergen and your dog keeps itching?  Is there another allergy?  Have we discovered the correct allergen?  Was an allergen the problem in the first place?  Is stress involved?
Treating an itchy dog isn’t an easy task as no two dogs are the same.  When a dog has suffered with allergy symptoms for a long period of time and has had multiple courses of antibiotics and cortisone, other complications can begin to arise.
The first step to treating a dog with itchy skin is to have a close look at their diet.  I very rarely have dogs on natural diets come in with skin problems.  99% of my itchy patients are on processed dog food.  A natural diet does not consist of packaged food with the word natural or holistic on it.  This includes Supercoats “natural” food, Nature’s Gift and Eagle Pack amongst a few.  If it doesn’t look like real food, than it isn’t.
A true natural diet consists of real “raw” meat and “blended” raw or semi cooked fruit and vegetables.  Always avoid beef and lamb as these meats can cause further irritation.  Meats I recommend are kangaroo, chicken, pork (must be frozen for 2 weeks before eating) and turkey.  Vegetables: Beans, silver beet, carrots, snow peas, cauliflower, celery, broccoli, cucumber, asparagus, pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini, bean sprouts, capsicum, spinach and sweet potato *All green vegetables *No tomato, onion, leeks, white potatoes. Fruit: Banana, apple, pear and seasonal fruits *No citrus.

AND NO RICE OR PASTA! Dogs require only 5% carbohydrate in their diets. They obtain their energy requirements from animal fat (which should be raw). Rice, pasta and processed dog foods are too high in carbohydrates. These foods not only cause obesity and metabolic disorders but contribute to skin diseases.
For a natural diet to be successful, it is important to add the correct nutrients. Omega 3, 6, & 9 is of extreme importance. Most will say I’ve tried fish oil capsules and flax oil but it didn’t work. Omega oils must be fed for 4 weeks before it begins to absorb in the body at full capacity. Animals with any form of illness must take Omega Oil in therapeutic doses. This means larger than the standard dose advised on the packaging. Most over the counter Omega oils have very low potencies and some even at large doses may not be enough. We must choose the correct Omega Oil blend for our dogs and feed the correct doses. I will prescribe approximately 1 tablespoon per 10 kilo’s of body weight of Natural Animal Solutions Omega 3, 6 & 9 for Dogs.

I then recommend adding a complete multivitamin and multi-mineral. I use DigestaVite Plus.
My final recommendation is to add a high potency Vitamin C with antioxidants. A good vitamin C works as a natural antihistamine. Dogs suffering with allergies will benefit significantly from Vitamin C as it will reduce their excessive histamine levels, reducing their itching.
From experience most itchy dogs and cats will significantly improve on a natural diet and the correct supplementation. More serious cases will need further assistance and guidance from an animal naturopath that is able to prescribe naturopathic medications.
Further assistance and information for your dog is available at Natural Animal Solutions.

Omega range 720 1  DigestaVite Plus 720 High Potency Vitamin C 720

Garlic… the facts! When it comes to your pet’s health, do you want to follow facts or fears?

When it comes to your pet’s health, do you want to follow facts or fears?  We have all heard “Garlic is bad for your dogs!” “You should never feed garlic to your pets!”   So why have we been told this?  This would be due to garlic being a close cousin of the onion. Onion contains high concentrations of thiosulphate which will trigger haemolytic or “Heinz factor” anaemia, where circulating red blood cells burst.
Garlic does contain thiosulphate but NOT in the same concentrations.  Thiosulphate is barely traceable.  These amounts cannot cause “Heinz factor” anaemia.
Over the centuries, as long as humans have been using herbs, garlic has been a commonly used remedy. Over this period of time people have also been feeding it to their animal companions. Its properties have proven far reaching, easy on the body and safe to use.  The use of garlic is beneficial for many conditions and comes highly recommended as a disease preventative.  In my many years of garlic use with my own pets and patients, I have never encountered negative side effects, except the inherited strong smell!
At this point, garlic has truly not been proven to have negative effects on our pets. Follow hundreds of years of proven use rather than recent suspicions in regards to this miracle herb, as garlic is known to be.
As with any herb, always use correct and safe doses.  Always contact your herbal practitioner when in doubt.

garlic

Vitamin D3 more potent than Vitamin D2

A single blinded, randomised trial has shown Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) to be approximately 87% more potent in raising and maintaining serum vitamin D concentrations compared to vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Vitamin D3 also produces 2 – 3 fold greater storage of vitamin D than does eqimolar vitamin D2.
The study supports vitamin D3 as the preferred choice for correcting vitamin D deficiency.

Fish Oil under-rated for RA

There is high – level evidence and biological plausibility to support the benefits of fish oil for the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms. Fish oil has been shown to reduce joint tenderness and decrease the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in long standing RA. Additionally, fish oil has an NASAID sparing effect and confers benefits to the cardiovascular system which is often compromised in RA patients.
Despite fish oil ticking all the boxes for RA symptom management, it is not routinely prescribed in RA patients by their medical practitioners. The authors of this review as the question “Why?” and conclude that not enough pharmaceutical marketing exposure is placed on this promising RA therapy compared to other more commonly prescribed therapies.