Showing posts from 2009

Common Sense for the Common Cold: Keep your Immune System Strong and Kicking

By: Sonja N. Fung, ND

The immune system is a complex network in our body that works to fight off harmful substances and disease-causing microorganisms called pathogens. Our immune system includes the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and white blood cells.

There are two major parts of the immune system; innate immunity and adaptive immunity. We are born with our innate (natural) immunity. Our innate immune system is our first line of defense in our body and is programmed to recognize what is “self” and “foreign.” Anything in our body that is “foreign” triggers this part of our immune system to attack in general. Our adaptive immune system develops throughout our lifetime. It is the part of our system that creates specific “memory,” or antibodies, of all the different pathogens we encounter; such that the pathogen will be easily recognized the next time our body sees it.

When our immune system encounters a virus or bacteria, both these systems go into action to kill off and …

Pink Ribbon Month- Celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness and Support

By Sonja N. Fung, ND
Cancer. There is hardly another word that evokes such powerful emotions. One word can throw us into the depths of confusion or spur us to impact our lives and the lives of others in such a profound way. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women in the United States and the second leading cause of death. An estimated 200,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year and 40,000 will die from breast cancer. Another 60,000 will be diagnosed with pre-cancerous breast disease.

Cancer is complicated. Many factors contribute to a person developing cancer. Just by being a woman, our risk increases. Even though we know some of the factors that can lead to developing cancer, there is no definitive answer as to why breast cancer develops in some women and not others. Some risk factors we have no control over, such as getting older and family history. That being said, there are risk factors that we can control, such as maintaining a he…

The importance of Probiotics

Probiotic Effects on Cold and Influenza-Like Symptom Incidence and Duration in ChildrenGregory J. Leyer, PhDa, Shuguang Li, MSb, Mohamed E. Mubasher, PhDc, Cheryl Reifer, PhDd and Arthur C. Ouwehand, PhDea Department of Research and Development, Danisco, Madison, Wisconsin
b Department of Preventive Medicine, Medical College of Tongji University, Shanghai, China
c Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Texas at Houston, Dallas Regional Campus, Dallas, Texas
d Department of Scientific Affairs, SPRIM USA, Frisco, Texas
e Department of Research and Development, Danisco, Kantvik, Finland OBJECTIVE: Probiotic consumption effects on cold and influenza-likesymptom incidence and duration were evaluated in healthy childrenduring the winter season.METHODS: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 326eligible children (3–5 years of age) were assigned randomlyto receive placebo (N = 104), Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM(N = 110), or L acidophilus NCFM in combin…

Killing Me Sweetly- Diabetes and Sugar

Written By: Sonja N. Fung, ND In the United States, there are 23.6 million people diagnosed with diabetes. That is about 8% of our country’s population! Not only that, but over 2 million adolescents (1 in 6 children and young adults) are already pre-diabetic. In 2007, we spent over $174 billion of our health care dollars on diabetes care, with an additional growth of $8 billion each year. To think that 95% of diabetes is completely preventable with moderate diet and lifestyle changes! There are two main types of diabetes that we currently face today; Type I and Type II. Type I diabetes results from your body’s inability to produce insulin, the hormone needed for your body to absorb and utilize glucose from your blood stream. This type of diabetes is typically diagnosed during childhood and thus is formerly known as juvenile or insulin dependent diabetes. Only 5% of diabetes diagnosed is Type I. Type II diabetes comprises the majority of all diagnosed cases of diabetes and in…

Cases of celiac disease up dramatically: report

Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:09pm EDT By Nancy LapidNEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In the United States, celiac disease is four times more common now than it was in the 1950's, according to a study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.The Mayo Clinic study also found that people who didn't know they had celiac disease were nearly four times more likely than people without celiac disease to have died during the 45 years of follow-up."Some studies have suggested that for every person who has been diagnosed with celiac disease, there are likely 30 more who have it but are not diagnosed," senior author Dr. Joseph Murray noted in a statement from the Mayo Clinic."And given the nearly quadrupled mortality risk for silent celiac disease we have shown in our study, getting more patients and health professionals to consider the possibility of celiac disease is important," Murray added.Celiac disease, which is the intolerance of wheat protein (gluten), result…

Detoxification- Clean the Junk out of YOUR trunk

Written by Dr. Sonja Fung
Amazingly, 6-7 million chemicals are used in today’s industry and laboratories. Even more astounding is the 891 pesticides and herbicides used on the foods we eat. More than 80,000 chemicals can be found in home and personal care products we use every day. Inevitably, our bodies are constantly bombarded with toxins; externally and internally. The toxins we ingest come from the pesticides on our fruits and vegetables, antibiotics and growth hormones from our meats, and heavy metals from seafood and mercury fillings. We also are exposed to pollutants in the air we breathe and water we drink. Internally, our bodies work ceaselessly to quench toxins such as free radicals and oxidized fats and cholesterol. How are we able to survive and even thrive in such harsh conditions?
The body is amazing in what it does to keep us healthy and energized. Our body has a complex detoxification system that constantly works to process and clear out the plethora of tox…

Study Boosts Low-Glycemic Diet

TIME Magazine Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 Study Boosts Low-Glycemic DietBy Alice Park First it was fat, then it was carbs and, in recent years, the buzzword for the diet-conscious has become glycemic index. That's a measure of how quickly a food is broken down and absorbed by the body, and it's the driving principle behind such weight-loss plans as the Atkins and South Beach diets. But while scientific studies have documented the impact of too much dietary fat and carbohydrate on the body — making us heavier and increasing our risk of diabetes and heart disease — the evidence has not been as clear for high- or low-glycemic index foods. So, a new study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association adds welcome evidence in favor of keeping your glycemic load in check — particularly if you have diabetes.Dr. David Jenkins at the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital and his colleagues report that a low-glycemic-index diet — including foods such as fruit…