Diabetes, Mitochondria & Cancer

Type 2 Diabetes is a known precursor for many different cancers.

Type 2 Diabetes also appears to confer a significantly greater risk in women than men for cancers of the mouth, stomach, kidney and for leukaemia.

With the knowledge that chronic inflammation fuels complications of Type 2 Diabetes, including cardiovascular and kidney issues, determining the underlying causes of inflammation in Type 2 Diabetes is very important for the development of treatments.  The prevailing assumption has held glucose to be the main determinant.

However, new research from scientists at the University of Kentucky has shown that changes to mitochondria drive chronic inflammation from cells exposed to certain types of fats.  This new finding does not disprove glucose as a mechanism for inflammation but it does shed light on the puzzling situation of people with tight glucose control still seeing disease progression.

What Are Mitochondria?

Mitochondria are organelles found in every human cell except for red blood cells. The more energy a cell needs the more mitochondria it will have.  Mitochondria take in nutrients, break them down and create energy for a vast number of cellular functions.

Improving Mitochondrial Health

With the results of this study in mind, improving the health mitochondria is a logical piece of the puzzle for cancer prevention.

Let’s look at some ways to do this.

Exercise

Mitochondria are essential providers of energy for cellular survival.  They are also key to the function of apoptosis, or programmed cellular death.  Exercise is key to increasing mitochondrial health and biogenesis.

Intermittent Fasting

 Intermittent fasting has been shown to remove damaged mitochondria from the body through a process known as mitophagy. It also improves mitochondria homeostasis leading to more optimal functioning.

As well, by avoiding over consumption you reduce the amount of fuel that your mitochondria is required to burn.  This serves to limit free radicals, a by-product of mitochondrial function.

Toxins

The deleterious effects of environmental toxins on mitochondrial function has been studied extensively in humans.  Doing your best to avoid environmental toxins, improving the environmental health of your home and workplace and supporting your natural detoxification pathways to aid your system in the elimination of acquired toxins are vital for supporting your mitochondrial health.

Diet

Poor diet can lead to excessive free radicals and inflammation.  Your mitochondria also produce free radicals.  Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables provides needed antioxidants to counteract harmful effects of these free radicals.

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References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890380/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-018-4664-5

https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(19)30377-8?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1550413119303778%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31674658

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19448716

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6078194/

 

 

 

 

 

White Noise is My Colour of Choice

In my blog entitled Health Care Trends I Am Watching in the New Decade from my February 2020 Newsletter, I mentioned that I believe that one of the greatest health trends to continue in to this new decade will be the ongoing study of both the quality and quantity of sleep and its impact on our overall health.

To reiterate from earlier writings, beneficial habits to incorporate when working towards good sleep hygiene include:

  • Maintaining a consistent bedtime routine
  • Turning all electronics off 1 hour before bedtime
  • Not eating 3 hours before bedtime
  • Sleeping in a cool room
  • Sleeping in darkness
  • Removing electronics from your bedroom, or at the very least, keeping them 2 feet away from your bed
  • Trying to get to be around 10pm

 

Something New!

I wanted to let you in on another tool that I have added to my arsenal of sleep strategies.

White noise.

Let’s set the stage here of my reality.

My hearing seems to be the only one of my senses that continues to increase in sensitivity as time goes by.

I wake to children roaming, doors closing and dogs snoring.  Darkness, coolness and time of retiring to my room just don’t stand up to the sound challenges that I face nightly.

I needed another bullet so I gave listening to white noise a try and it works like a charm.

What is white noise you ask?

White noise is a fuzzy sound. It’s like all of possible the sounds that you could hear melding in to one peaceful sssssss.  To be a bit more scientific though, white noise is a combination of all of the different frequencies of sound.

And this beautiful consistent noise masks other sounds that cause me anxiety at night.

 

Different Colour Noises  

White noise isn’t the only ‘colour’ noise.

There is pink noise, brown noise, blue noise and green noise just to name a few.

Basically each differs in frequencies.

Additional Benefits of White Noise

Using white noise for achieving better sleep is only one of the many benefits that people like me have noted by listening to it.

Other benefits reported include:

  1. Better concentration
  2. Better meditation
  3. Lessening of anxiety
  4. Reducing tinnitus
  5. Better sleep for babies

White noise has been a godsend for me.

“Alexa play white noise” is my new night time mantra.

 

 

 

 

 

Apps to Help Lessen Anxiety and Stress

I have witnessed countless acts of kindness throughout this difficult time including wonderful trainers and gyms offering ways for us to keep physically active and motivated while staying home.

But along with taking care of our physical needs we must also nourish our mental self.

There are many strategies that we can employ.  One arena to play in are the many apps that have been developed for just this purpose.

There really are so many terrific apps available to help us strengthen and maintain our mental health but I want to highlight 3 that I use personally.

𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗦𝗵𝗶𝗳𝘁

Developed by Anxiety Canada, Mind Shift is an app that is designed to help you cope with mild to moderate anxiety aiming to change how you think about anxiety.

It is based on proven scientific strategies helping you to engage in healthy thinking. You check in each day to track your anxiety and work with tools in the app.

This is a free app.

𝗖𝗮𝗹𝗺

In 2017 Calm was named iPhone App of the Year. Calm is a wonderful app for everyone including those experiencing stress and anxiety.  The App offers daily Calm sessions and guides you through meditations, sleep stories and breathing programs.

There is a free version and a paid version.

𝗚𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗲 𝗛𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗝𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗮𝗹

Daily recording of gratitude has been shown to increase happiness and improve mood.

As the Gratitude Happiness Journal app description states:

the app was built out of a personal need to cope with anxiety & depression

This app offers unlimited journal entries and affirmations.

There is a Pro version but I have been using the free one and I love it!


RECIPE

Ashwagandha Milk Tea

(I have published this recipe before and have had many positive feedbacks from it)

Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) is an Ayurvedic adaptogenic herb.  An adaptogen helps to bring balance and stabiliziation. Ashwagandha is best known for its stress-lowering effects.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp Ashwagandha Powder
  • 1 date
  • 10 Goji Berries
  • 4-5 cardamom buds

Directions:

  1. Add milk, water, Ashwagandha powder, date and Goji Berries to a small saucepan and bring to a boil
  2. Once reduced to about half strain in to a teacup, add cardamon buds and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sustainable Travel Benefits All of Us

The world’s airlines carry over 3 billion passengers in a single year according to the Air Transport Action Group. The International Air Transport Association has the figure at 2.8 billion.  Bear in mind that this is only air travel.  A significant number of people travel by train and car.

With these figures in play it is easy to understand that the tourism industry has a substantial global impact on the economic, social and cultural areas being travelled to.

Wellness tourism and travelling sustainably go hand in hand for me.

Wellness Tourism is about a continuity of our health as we vacation and Sustainable Travel is about mindfully enjoying our experiences without harming the area’s natural and cultural environment.  Our travels should not have a negative impact on the areas we travel to.

The World Tourism Organization specifies sustainable travel as

the management of all resources in such a way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems.”

Sustainable travel melds the activities of tourists and travel companies into the local economy making an effort to enhance the local people, their businesses and their culture and traditions.

So as sustainable travellers we need to be aware of the foot print that we leave in the areas that we travel to.  Are we raising pollution levels? Are we leaving a positive impact on the local people, their businesses and their native cultures?

Tips for Sustainable Travel

  • When packing use reusable containers
  • Look for environmentally friendly hotels
  • Support locally run businesses including tour operators, restaurants and hotels including guesthouses, Bed &Breakfasts and Airbnbs
  • Look for businesses that give back to the community with local projects and fair pay
  • When you are looking for souvenirs, seek out local arts or craft makers

Amazing Apps for Sustainable Travel

Finally I want to give you 3 great apps that promote sustainable travel

  1. Eatwith connects travellers with local people for local unique food experiences
  2. Pack for a Purpose. “Small space. Little effort. Big impact. You go on the website and select a destination or initiative and it leads you in to a world of good things that you can pack to help out the locals of your destination
  3. FairTrip  The FairTrip app is a free collaborative guide that helps travellers to find and share local and authentic places while having a positive social and economic impact on the visited place.

    My Health Hub Podcast with Chris Gonzalez on The Rising Trend of Wellness Tourism

References:

https://www.reference.com/world-view/many-people-travel-year-e644f08d024ae72c https://www.verdemode.com/2012/09/what-is-sustainable-travel/

5 Ways to Support Your Body’s Detoxification Process

Detoxification is an essential process that our body needs to perform effectively for us to be in good health.

Detoxing rids our body of toxins that accumulate both as a by-product of our natural body processes and from external environmental assaults.

Detoxification improves our ability to absorb nutrients and to eliminate waste.  It also stabilizes and improves our energy.

Our body is designed to detoxify.  That’s why we have 7 channels of elimination; our skin, lungs, kidneys, colon, lymphatic system, liver and blood.

We are bombarded every day with so many toxins that our system can become overwhelmed so it really is a kind gesture to ourselves to lend a hand to the process.

5 Natural Strategies to Support Detoxification

 

Sweat it out!

Sweating helps to move toxins out through our skin and helps to get our blood circulating.  Exercising and saunas are 2 great ways to get that body hot!

Get Good Quality Sleep

Our body doesn’t rest when we go to sleep.  It uses this time to detoxify and repair.  This is our liver’s playtime.  So getting good quality sleep is key for successful detoxification.  Here are some tips for a good night’s repose:

  • sleep in total darkness
  • shut off all electronics
  • sleep in a cool room
  • go to bed at the same time each night
  • get 7-8 hours of sleep each night

Keep Well Hydrated

A river runs through us and it’s made of water.  In a nutshell water carries nutrients to our cells and waste from them.  And water is involved in many of the physiological process carried out each and every day within us.

6-8 glasses of good quality water each day is minimum.  You want to make sure that you flush out those nasty toxins and support your kidneys in the process.

 

Move it!

Exercise supports all channels of elimination in particular it helps to flush out our lungs, get our blood circulating and our lymphatic system moving.  And as just mentioned working up an exercise sweat is a great way to help detox.

Eat a Whole Foods Diet

Avoiding processed foods and eating a whole foods diet is the backbone of successful detoxification. A healthy diet supplies necessary nutrients for our body to carry out the detoxification process.

Here are some powerhouse foods that you can start with:

  • leafy greens
  • cruciferous vegetables
  • onions
  • garlic
  • lemon
  • turmeric
  • blueberries
  • chlorella

Be kind to you!