5.28.2008

Lights Out


'Lights out' is the best approach to a good night's sleep. Darkness stimulates the body's natural production of a hormone called 'melatonin' which is important for sleep promotion. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland (a tiny pea-sized gland located in the center of the brain) and governs the sleep/ wake cycle. It is the absence of light at night that causes biochemical changes to take place in our bodies that lead to a significant increase in melatonin levels. It is in part, this elevation of melatonin that causes us to feel sleepy and enjoy a good nights' sleep. Granted, living in a city with glaring flourescent lights 24/7 can make it difficult to experience true darkness, but there are 'blackout' curtain and shade options available. Creating nighttime darkness is a worthwhile endeavour as science suggests the importance of melatonin extends beyond a good night's sleep, it is also believed to be protective against breast cancer and alzheimers disease, as well as an important factor in memory and cognitive function.

-un

Turning the lights out at night is not only good for us humans, but also the birds. www.toronto.ca/lightsout

5.20.2008

The Nose for Asparagus


The fresh new shoots of asparagus are helping to herald in Spring. Despite the unseasonably chilly weather we're experiencing, a trip to the market this weekend serves up the garden's first offering of Spring - asparagus. For some, a meal of asparagus is accompanied by a very specific urine 'odour'. Do you know what I'm talking about? If so.... don't worry , it's perfectly normal. You are amongst a subset of the population that has a 'nose' for it. A 'specific smell hypersensitivity' as science calls it. Yes, it's actually been studied and scientifically validated. It was originally speculated that a small subset of the population was responsible for the odorous urinary output, owing to a unique and genetically determined metabolic pathway. However, it is now realized that the characteristic urine smell following asparagus intake is 'in the nose of the beholder'. That in fact, everyone has stinky pee after they eat asparagus, but that only a smaller subset of the popultation can detect it.
(Read more here by clicking here)

-un

5.19.2008

You Are What You Blog

"You're a Naturo.... What?"
A Naturopath. A Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. A Naturopathic Doctor. I am a health care provider that works with you to address your health concerns and helps you to achieve your health goals. Using natural treatment options that include clinical nutrition, supplementation, acupuncture, botanical medicine, physical medicine, diet & lifestyle counselling as well as homeopathy and bach flower remedies, I essentially, help you feel better - Whatever that means for you. There is a great deal Naturopathic Medicine can offer in the way of health assessment, treatment, and support, but there is not a single vitamin in the world that can act as substitute for conscious healthy living. It is the idealistic goal that we each must strive for on a daily basis with the individual choices that we make. I understand that it is not that easy when we are overwhelmed with infinite options for some things like caffineated beverages branded by the double-tailed siren, and yet left with too few options for things like effective chemical-free deoderants. But it's about making the best choices with the information we have. In a time when stress, too little time, and too much to do is part of what unites us... maybe we can help each other. This is my first posting for which I aim to be my shared experience in the quest for health-conscious balanced living in my crazy, busy city - home 'town' Toronto.

-un