Digestive Health In Early Life Linked To Allergies

dandelionAs a naturopathic physician, I’m always paying close attention to the connection between intestinal health and systemic complaints. Allergies in particular are something that our profession has recognized as having strong ties to the digestive tract. When people present to my office complaining of allergies, one of the first things I ask about is whether or not they’re having any digestive symptoms. I also want to know about their history of antibiotic use, their diet, if they were breastfed as an infant, and whether or not they were born via Caesarean section. So, what do these birth-related issues have to do with someone’s current allergy symptoms? Well, we know that allergies are symptoms that result from antibody responses to antigens (dust mites, pollens, mold, etc.) that our body recognizes as foreign. But what your doctors don’t often discuss is why this occurs in the first place. [Read more…]

Dairy Officially Deemed Unhealthy

Dairy, Nutrition, Diet, Digestive Health, Organic Food, Food Intolerance

The Harvard School of Public Health sent a strong message to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and nutrition experts everywhere with the recent release of its “Healthy Eating Plate” food guide.  The university was responding to the USDA’s new MyPlate guide for healthy eating, which replaced the outdated and misguided food pyramid.

Harvard’s nutrition experts did not pull punches, declaring that the university’s food guide was based on sound nutrition research. The greatest evidence of its research focus is the absence of dairy products from the “Healthy Eating Plate” based on Harvard’s assessment that “…high intake can increase the risk of prostate cancer and possibly ovarian cancer.”  The Harvard experts also referred to the high levels of saturated fat in most dairy products and suggested that collards, bok choy, fortified soy milk, and baked beans are safer choices than dairy for obtaining calcium, as are high quality supplements.

In my practice, I try to emphasize to people how “duped” we’ve been by the dairy industry, and that dairy products aren’t indeed the most nutritious source of calcium, as we’ve been brainwashed to believe in our society. Of course, this report doesn’t mean that you should avoid dairy entirely, especially when you can acquire local or non-commercial organic sources. Mainly, the take-away message here is that both past and present food recommendations from the government have emphasized dairy as a requirement, and this is clearly not the case!