Stomach Cancer Prevention

broccoli sprouts that can help fight h pylori and used for stomach cancer prevention

Sulforaphane and Stomach Cancer Prevention

Eating broccoli sprouts (specifically the sprouts) can help keep stomach cancer-causing bacteria at bay, research from Japan shows. This study supports the emerging evidence that broccoli sprouts may be able to prevent cancer in humans.

Broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain glucoraphanin, a substance the body metabolizes into the powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant sulforaphane, Dr. Akinori Yanaka of Tokyo University of Science and his colleagues note in their report.

Sulforaphane can kill Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium strongly associated with stomach cancer.

The researchers had 48 people infected with H. pylori eat 70 grams a day of broccoli sprouts or alfalfa sprouts, which don’t contain sulforaphane, for eight weeks. In the men and women eating broccoli sprouts, markers of gastric inflammation were significantly reduced. Markers indicating the amount of H. pylori in gastric tissue also fell, but neither changed in the people eating alfalfa sprouts.

Once the study participants stopped eating the sprouts, their markers of inflammation and H. pylori levels returned to pre-study levels. Researchers conclude: “The findings in this study strongly suggest that sulforaphane has promise both as an antibacterial agent directed against H. pylori and as a dietary preventive agent against the development of human gastric cancer.”

Dietary phytochemicals, like sulforaphane, have been demonstrated to reduce metastasis and proliferation and safely and effectively target cellular molecules and pathways implicated in malignancy. They particularly have a knack for interfering with cancer stem cell’s self-renewal process.

Our naturopathic doctors are the experts on diet, eradicating H pylori, stomach cancer prevention (and any other cancer prevention) and taking sulforaphane as a supplement.  Book an appointment to discuss your health concerns today.

Source: Akinori Yanaka, Jed W. Fahey, Atsushi Fukumoto, Mari Nakayama, Souta Inoue, Songhua Zhang, Masafumi Tauchi, Hideo Suzuki, Ichinosuke Hyodo, and Masayuki Yamamoto Dietary Sulforaphane-Rich Broccoli Sprouts Reduce Colonization and Attenuate Gastritis in Helicobacter pylori–Infected Mice and Humans Cancer Prev Res April 2009 2; 353 doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0192

Singh AK, Sharma N, Ghosh M, Park YH, Jeong DK. Emerging Importance of Dietary Phytochemicals in Fight against Cancer: Role in Targeting Cancer Stem Cells. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Feb 6:0. [Epub ahead of print]

The Benefits of Fermenting Food

jars of fermenting sauerkraut

Culturing, Fermenting, Pickling – What are the health benefits?

By Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND

Almost every culture cultures food – kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, kimchi, kvass, cheese and even wine. Why? Practically speaking it was a way of preserving food, but it turns out that fermenting foods makes nutrients in the foods more accessible and has positive effects on our digestive tracts due to their probiotic properties.

Kefir consistently shows increased levels of folic acid, B vitamins and biotin depending on the strains of bacteria used.

Vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains subjected to fermentation also see increases in their nutrient profiles. For example the bioavailability of amino acids like lysine and methionine increases with fermentation.

For grains, sprouting prior to souring can also increase the availability of protein. Fermented vegetables as in the case of sauerkraut and kimchi, often see an increase in the activity of vitamin C and vitamin A.

Sauerkraut is considered particularly healing to the gut due to the presence of l-glutamine and the probiotics used in the fermentation process.  Provided your sauerkraut isn’t pasteurized.  Here’s a recipe to make your own, healthy homemade sauerkraut:

Fermentation decreases the activity of phytates (or phytic acid) naturally present in grains. Phytates are anti-nutrients that bind to minerals preventing their proper absorption in the gut. People suffering from iron deficiency often do better if they decrease their intake of grains and therefore phytates. Since souring grains reduces the phytic acid content, fermentation enables your body to absorb more minerals than you would be able to otherwise. Research has also shown that fermentation reduces the gluten content of grains like wheat and the people with a gluten intolerance can sometimes tolerate sourdough bread.

Fermented extracts from both wheat bran and soy milk have been found to possess anti-cancer activity.


Anti-cancer effects of fermented wheat germ extract: Zhang JY, Xiao X, Dong Y, Wu J, Yao F, Zhou XH. Effect of fermented wheat germ extract with lactobacillus plantarum dy-1 on HT-29 cell proliferation and apoptosis. J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Mar 11;63(9):2449-57. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b00041. Epub 2015 Mar 2.

Anti-cancer effects of lactic acid fermented soy milk: Lai LR, Hsieh SC, Huang HY, Chou CC. Effect of lactic fermentation on the total phenolic, saponin and phytic acid contents as well as anti-colon cancer cell proliferation activity of soymilk. J Biosci Bioeng. 2013 May;115(5):552-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiosc.2012.11.022. Epub 2013 Jan 4.


Benefits of Bone Broth

cup of delicious, nutritious bone broth

Good Bone Broth Helps Joints, Bones and Skin

“Good broth will resurrect the dead,” says a South American proverb.

Bone broth contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down building materials for cartilage and tendons like chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine, which are sold as supplements for arthritis and joint pain. Broth and soup made with fish heads and carcasses provide iodine and thyroid-strengthening substances.

When broth is cooled, it congeals due to the presence of gelatin. Gelatin (or hydrolysed collagen) was found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, anti-aging, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

Gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids, so it facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut.

It’s also used as a plug to stop bleeding and leakage of cerebrospinal fluid after surgery.

Here’s an Immune Boosting Chicken Broth on our website: Immune Boosting Chicken Broth Recipe

References for Use of Gelatin in Healing:

Gelatin for diabetic foot ulcer: Teles Pinto NM. Case study in treatment of diabetic foot ulcer with alimentary gelatin. Br J Nurs. 2011 Mar 24-Apr 14;20(6):S4, S6, S8.

Use of hydrolysed gelatin for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis: Moskowitz RW. Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Oct;30(2):87-99.

Hydrolysed collagen and astaxanthin improve skin elasticity: Yoon HS, Cho HH, Cho S, Lee SR, Shin MH, Chung JH. Supplementating with dietary astaxanthin combined with collagen hydrolysate improves facial elasticity and decreases matrix metalloproteinase-1 and -12 expression: a comparative study with placebo. J Med Food. 2014 Jul;17(7):810-6. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.3060. Epub 2014 Jun 23.

Ma LT, Liu H, Gong Q, Li Tao, Ang Bei Y, Feng GJ. Prevention of postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage with absorbable hemostatic fluid gelatin. Zhongguo Gu Shang. 2015 Aug;28(8):717-21.




Food Addiction: Eatertainment

Woman overeating because of a food addiction

Food Addiction, it’s a Thing

Patients often tell me that they eat when they are either bored or lonely. They can be very structured and disciplined with their diet otherwise, but this emotional eating is their dietary undoing. It doesn’t help that food manufacturers strive to make foods as addictive as possible. There was an excellent book review on eating as entertainment and food addiction in the New Yorker several years ago. I’ve borrowed this excerpt from it because I couldn’t have written it better:

“David A. Kessler, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, says that it’s not that sweet and oily foods have become less expensive; it’s that they’ve been re-engineered while we weren’t looking.  Kessler spends a lot of time meeting with (often anonymous) consultants who describe how they are trying to fashion products that offer what has become known in the food industry as “eatertainment.” Fat, sugar, and salt turn out to be the crucial elements in this quest: different“eatertaining” items mix these ingredients in different but invariably highly caloric combinations. A food scientist for Frito-Lay relates how the company is seeking to create “a lot of fun in your mouth” with products like Nacho Cheese Doritos, which meld “three different cheese notes” with lots of salt and oil. Another product-development expert talks about how she is trying to “unlock the code of craveability,” and a third about the effort to “cram as much hedonism as you can in one dish.”

Kessler invents his own term—“conditioned hypereating”—to describe how people respond to these laboratory-designed concoctions. Foods like Cinnabons and Starbucks’ Strawberries & Crème Frappuccinos are, he maintains, like drugs: “Conditioned hypereating works the same way as other ‘stimulus response’ disorders in which reward is involved, such as compulsive gambling and substance abuse.” For Kessler, the analogy is not merely rhetorical: research on rats, he maintains, proves that the animals’ brains react to sweet, fatty foods the same way that addicts’ respond to cocaine.”

If you would like to read the whole article, which is excellent, here’s the

XXXL: Why are we so fat? By

If you are struggling with food addiction, get healthy eating advice from our naturopathic doctors. Book now.

Root Cause Medicine

boy seeking the root cause of health problems, always asking why

Naturopaths are Always Asking “But Why?”

This blog post comes to us courtesy of my son, when he was 3. At that time his favourite phrase was “but why?”.   This has me firmly convinced that he’ll make an excellent naturopathic doctor one day. You see, it’s an inherent part of the job that you must always be asking yourself the question “but why?” in order to get to the root cause of the problem.

You can insert your own health condition here but as an example I’ll use asthma.

Say you or your loved one has asthma.

The first question we have to ask is, but why?

Because your bronchi restrict in response to certain stimuli, like pet dander, dust, exercise or cold weather.

But why?

Because you have developed a hypersensitivity to those things.

But why?

Maybe because you had excessive stress and you became depleted in vitamin C and B6, or maybe you hate fish and you’re allergic to nuts so you are low in essential fatty acids, or maybe you took antibiotics that messed up your gut bacteria or your liver isn’t clearing toxins effectively and environmental toxicity has created excessive inflammation in your body.  Our naturopathic doctors, Dr. Frank and Dr. Vong will ask all kinds of questions of you to get to the bottom of these.

But why?

Maybe because of an improper diet, or poor absorption of vitamins/minerals, or stress-related depletion of the nutrients you need to keep your immune system healthy or for your liver to do its job.

But why?

The Root Cause

You get the idea, at some point you’ve reached the end point of explanations and there’s where you need to start to treat the root cause of the problem. In a simplistic world we could give herbs to open up the bronchi, but that’s nowhere near the root cause of the problem. Without asking “but why?” we would only be masking the underlying cause rather than treating it.

The “but why?” philosophy can be applied to any life situation, not just health problems. In health and in life, I do think it’s important to keep asking the question to eventually get a satisfactory answer and a place to start finding solutions.

Our naturopathic doctors are experts at asking “but why” to get to the root cause of any health concern.  Book now.

By Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND

8 Harmful Food Additives

health risks of food additives like sugar, msg, BHT

Subtract These 8 Additives

Here’s a list of 8 food additives that are major health minuses and why:

  • Sodium nitrite – found in processed meats like bacon, deli style sandwich meats and ham.   Nitrite additives have been linked to cancer, specifically bladder and gastric cancer because they are converted into cancer causing nitrosamines in the body.
  • BHA & BHT – found in cereals, gum, chips and oils.  These have also been linked to promotion of lung cancer.
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)- is used as a meat tenderizer and flavour enhancer in many processed and packaged foods, and is notorious for being added to Chinese food. MSG has been linked to migraines and other neurological effects.
  • Trans fats – trans fats are found in prepared foods and are used to extend the shelf life of the product. Intake of trans fats has been linked to heart attack, stroke and kidney problems.
  • Aspartame and Acesulfame-K – These artificial sweeteners are found in many low calorie and/or diet products, like diet soda.  They have been linked to weight gain, insulin resistance and neurological effects.
  • Food colorings/dyes (Blue, Red, Green, Yellow) – Dyes are found as additives in a variety of prepared foods and candy and even in a prenatal multivitamin known as PregVit.  There are surprisingly few published studies on the safety of food dyes. Some food dyes have been banned because of the adverse effects, while others are still allowed. Studies have linked certain dyes to cancer and allergic reactions in animal models.
  • Potassium bromate – Potassium bromate is found as a food additive in flour and barley treatment. It induces oxidative stress and may promote cancer in the hormone producing (endocrine) glands.
  • White sugar – By now we all know how unhealthy sugar is.  You’ll find sugar as an additive in completely unrelated foods like canned peas, so read labels. We know sugar intake is linked to obesity, hormonal imbalances, diabetes, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

For the complete list of food additives allowed in Canada, click here.


Song P, Wu L, Guan W. Dietary Nitrates, Nitrites, and Nitrosamines Intake and the Risk of Gastric Cancer: A Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2015 Dec 1;7(12):9872-95. doi: 10.3390/nu7125505.

Vikis HG, Gelman AE, Franklin A, Stein L, Rymaszewski A, Zhu J, Liu P, Tichelaar JW, Krupnick AS, You M. Neutrophils are required for 3-methylcholanthrene-initiated, butylated hydroxytoluene-promoted lung carcinogenesis. Mol Carcinog. 2012 Dec;51(12):993-1002. doi: 10.1002/mc.20870. Epub 2011 Oct 17.

Holzhammer J, Wöber C. Alimentary trigger factors that provoke migraine and tension-type headache.  Schmerz. 2006 Apr;20(2):151-9.

Rubinstein A1, Elorriaga N1, Garay OU1, Poggio R1, Caporale J1, Matta MG1, Augustovski F1, Pichon-Riviere A1, Mozaffarian D2. Eliminating artificial trans fatty acids in Argentina: estimated effects on the burden of coronary heart disease and costs. Bull World Health Organ. 2015 Sep 1;93(9):614-22. doi: 10.2471/BLT.14.150516. Epub 2015 Jun 23.

Suez J, Korem T, Zeevi D, Zilberman-Schapira G, Thaiss CA, Maza O, Israeli D, Zmora N, Gilad S, Weinberger A, Kuperman Y, Harmelin A, Kolodkin-Gal I, Shapiro H, Halpern Z, Segal E, Elinav E. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 2014 Oct 9;514(7521):181-6. doi: 10.1038/nature13793. Epub 2014 Sep 17.

Carrots and Cancer

girl with veggies, carrots, tomatoes, celery, zucchini

Another Reason to Eat Your Carrots

A 2009 study showed that the more servings of carotenoid-rich vegetables pre-menopausal women eat every day, the lower their risk of developing breast cancer.

Eating at least two servings of vegetables high in vitamin A, beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin each day reduced the risk of breast cancer by 17 percent in pre-menopausal, but not post-menopausal women.

Carotenoids are powerful anti-oxidants or anti-oxidant precursors. Beta carotene, one of the carotenoids, is found in carrots, kale, and other dark green leafy vegetables.  Vitamin A is found in liver (blech!).  Fortunately, your liver can convert beta carotene into vitamin A, so you don’t necessarily need to eat liver to get it.  Alpha carotene, the little talked about sister to beta, is found in the same vegetables as beta.  Broccoli, kale, kiwi, squash and spinach are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin.  Lycopene is another carotenoid found in tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes like tomato sauce.

Carotenoids have been shown to interfere with estrogen signaling, moderating the effects of estrogen, which might explain why their cancer-preventing effects would be limited to pre-menopausal women who have higher levels of estrogen.

SOURCE: International Journal of Cancer, June 15, 2009.

To help you get more carotenoids in your diet, there’s a scrumptious carrot salad recipe on our website, here

The Importance of Play

kid playing, play outside

Play Time is for Grown-ups

By Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND

After an afternoon on the skating rink, I thought it might be worthwhile emphasizing the importance of playing. Playing teaches kids coordination, adult roles, social interaction, and basic problem-solving skills. But it’s not just for kids. Play is important no matter what
your age.

Play is good for your health. Outdoor play often involves exercise, relieves stress and releases a whole range of feel-good chemicals in your brain.  A few weeks back, my son and I had some spare time, so we headed out to the playground at his school.  He wanted to play hide and seek. I was all “I don’t want to, it’s for kids, I’m too big, I’m too old, blah, blah, blah…”  I had all the excuses not to, but he was persistent and so I acquiesced.  You know what?  I had a blast, we had fun, we laughed, we played and we bonded because of a game of hide and seek.  Best of all it involved NO electronic devices, no special equipment, no expensive membership or admission fees.

Playing is good for your brain, too. It creates a state of hyper-creativity that literally changes the way you see the world.

It unites your mind and body. In play, the gap between physical sensation and mental sensation is bridged.

Playing creates social bonds. It is a rock-solid foundation for social behaviour. Hence the adage, the family that plays together stays together!

Fortunately, there’s an easy, natural and proven effective remedy for play deprivation: go out and do it!

In this day and age, it’s easy to get caught up in being all adult, serious, busy, goal oriented, getting stuff done, work, work, work, emails etc.  It’s equally important to take some time off to play, have fun, be social and bond with those you are closest to.

The Health Benefits of Avocados


how to choose ripe avocados, avocado benefitsAvocado Health Benefits: Guacamole Anyone?

Definitely right up there with the best superfoods, avocados are bursting with health benefits, here are the top nine:

1. Prostate Cancer Inhibition

2. Oral Cancer Defense

Certain compounds in avocados seek out and destroy pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cells.

3. Breast Cancer Protection

Avocado is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.

4. Eye Health

Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.

5. Lower Cholesterol

Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for only one week.

6. Heart Health & Stroke Prevention

One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.

7. Better Nutrient Absorption

Research has found that certain nutrients like carotenoids are absorbed better when eaten with avocado.

8. Glutathione Source

Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.

9. Vitamin E Powerhouse

Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.

How to choose a ripe avocado:

You don’t want it to be too mushy, but on the other hand you don’t want it too hard.  It should be brownish all over rather than green, slightly soft to pressure but not mushy.

To help you get all these fantastic benefits deliciously there are recipes on our website for Asparagus and Avocado Salad and Spinach, Avocado and Mango Salad.

4 Ways to Get the Most from a Massage

registered massage therapy by a registered massage therapist or RMT

How to Get the Most from Massage Therapy

By Helen Bhavnani, Registered Massage Therapist

Massage therapy offers many health benefits.  Here are a few tips to help you make the most of a massage treatment.

  1. Do the stretches, or other self-care activities, that our awesome massage therapists (Helen, CJ, Sam or Lois) give you at the end of your treatment. We give these exercises to you because we want you to feel better longer!
  2. Ask questions. If you’re unclear about anything, please ask us to clarify.  If you think of something after you get home, call or email us especially if you are not sure about how often you should be coming for treatment.
  3. Come more often. Sometimes we can’t properly treat you in only one session. You will often feel better after one treatment, but find that soon afterward you go back to feeling aches and pains again. This means the underlying cause is not fully resolved. So like anything, give it a little more time. If massage is not helping your condition, we will always refer you to someone who we think will.
  4. Give us feedback. If you want us to change something about the way we do your
    treatment, if you’re not comfortable with something, or if you feel it would be more effective if we did something differently, please tell us. You know your body best. We want you to have the best experience possible, and it’s your treatment. We are there for you!
  5. Hydrate.  Before and after a treatment it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water to help the body flush out waste that has been mobilized by the massage.