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Archives for May, 2015

Persistent infection? Revisit an old friend: Garlic

Posted May 23, 2015

By Dr. Michelle Cali
National Scientific Advisor

We all are familiar with garlic as a multi-purpose anti-infective agent. With one of the longest histories as a medicinal food and, now, with a plethora of empirical evidence, garlic is reputed for its powerful ability to resolve even the most hostile of infections. This can be critically important in a time where new resistant strains of bacteria are emerging. New research has proven this natural agent’s effectiveness against the most feared, MRSA.

How does it work? Let’s review. Garlic’s active ingredient, allicin, is recognizable by its distinctive pungent odour. This oxygenated sulphur compound is created upon crushing or chewing raw garlic when its stable precursor, alliin comes into contact with allinase. Supplemental garlic can offer a concentrated form of this bioactive ingredient but are they all created equal? One hurdle companies have in dealing with garlic is the fact that allicin and its metabolites are quick acting and extremely unstable. Thus, making it difficult to capture in supplemental form. Cyto-Matrix’s Garlic Active Principles uses CO2 Supercritical Extraction to encapsulate allicin’s allyl sulfides and vinyldithiins in highly concentrated form.

So, is this the agent to use in unpretentious nagging infections? One of the most common chronic viral infections I see in practice is the common wart – an HPV infection causing skin growths that can last from months to years. Although not a dangerous infection, these lesions can be unsightly and can multiply over surfaces of hands, feet among other areas. They also may indicate an underlying need for immune support.

These are the cases in which I know I can rely on a trusted friend, garlic. But I have come to understand that potency and product matters. With its concentrated form of garlic’s bioactive components, Cyto-Matrix’s Garlic Active Principles works hard against HPV with minimal dosing. Depending on the severity of the lesions, I usually dose 2 capsules a day along with the basic immune support of 2 ACES+Zn and simple dietary considerations. This combination has shown powerful action against warts with patients revealing significant reduction in lesions in approximately 3 weeks and full resolution in 5-8 weeks (within 2 follow-up visits). In two severe cases, I initiated this treatment with a homeopathic anti-viral combination but found resolution time to be about the same. After complete resolution we discontinue the garlic supplementation and continue immune support if needed.

Although I turn to garlic supplements for many infection related issues, it is these simple cases that highlight its effectiveness for persistent infections and immune support.

8 Ways to Master Stress as a Naturopathic Student

Posted May 22, 2015

By Emily Elliot
Student Representative, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine

You have heard it all before, everything in balance. In fact, as a student of naturopathic medicine you preach it to friends and family. Yin cannot steal too much from yang or it depletes. Light must draw from dark to expand. Soy can have positive estrogen modulating effects, only in certain amounts. Get your cardio, but don’t take too much impact on your knees. Although we teach balance as one of the primary pillars of Naturopathic Medicine, it sometimes feel like an extraordinary task. After writing over 113 exams at CCNM and finishing over 107 assignments, here are my tips for managing stress as a naturopathic student.

1. Create space

Take time at the start of every semester, every week and every day to lay out your priorities. Waking up each day with priorities in mind will make sure that they never slip through the ‘to do list’. By taking the time to indulge in those things that ignite you and those people that love you, you can better attack your school work – more focused, more inspired, more efficient. If everything seems to be just a little too much, sometimes we just need to change our perspective. Where is your place of perspective – the park, the climbing gym, on the open trails? Change your vantage point daily and watch how your perspective changes too.

2. Call a friend

In days past, we were more connected. Ironically, as we have become more ‘plugged in’ in a vast sense, we’ve lost touch with our small, local communities. Not only can studying in a small group speed along studying, it offers us a sense of belonging. (Believe it or not, someone else was courageous enough to sign up for 18 exams a semester too.)

3. Let loose in your studying

Did you know that lots of musical bands have a creative process that they use to write and memorize music? They will throw jars of magenta, turquoise and yellow onto a white wall in order to ‘see their music’. Studying is also an art. Let your logistical side escape you and let loose in your studying. Take turns acting out homeopathic traits (you won’t believe how well this works!) Record yourself speaking in Chinese and play it back to yourself. Turn your physical medicine assessments into a dance, (who knew that ‘speeds test’ is the second move in the macarena?) Studying isn’t a sentence, it’s a word.

4. Reinvent the wheel

They say not to reinvent the wheel, but why not? A demanding program shouldn’t squash us but rather, it should call on our creativity. Were you in the routine of trekking 45 minutes to the gym and 45 minutes back? Did Professor. Surprise just announce that next week’s final is actually cumulative? Try youtubing ‘shoulder workouts’ or ‘squats in 5 minutes’. You will be amazed at how sore you can feel after a youtube workout. Don’t mistake quantity of workout for quality. Not motivated to do workouts at home? Post a challenge above your desk and encourage yourself to study for 45 minutes and then move for 15 minutes every hour for four hours. Reward yourself for your discipline. (One more episode of Game of Thrones?)

5. Power up

Isn’t it ironic that just as we need the most energy and nourishment we decide that we don’t have time to plan it, make it or eat it? Try cooking in batches and freezing nutrient-dense soups and stews. Ensure adequate protein by adding a scoop of Cyto-Matrix’s Provitalex Pure Whey into your morning smoothies. As exams come around and we start to give into Tim Horton’s herb and garlic bagels, our protein intake can be the first thing to go. A daily dose of Provitalex will ensure at least 22g of protein daily. Last but not least, pack small snacks to stabilize blood sugar. Almonds, carrots, hummus and apples are some easy go-tos.

6. Don’t sacrifice sleep

At the time it makes so much sense, if you don’t go to bed you have 8 more hours to get through 2 more lectures. You should definitely not go to sleep! Then the night progresses, ‘avena sativa’ sounds like a spell from Harry Potter, you have checked your Instagram 22 times and you know you’ve read the same slide over and over, but it is just not sinking in. Tried, tested and true, it is almost guaranteed that you will learn faster and smarter by sleeping, for at least a while. Give those brain waves a chance on exam day and catch some ZZZs. While zero sleep during exams is not the way to go, a little less sleep is inevitable. Try Cyto-Matrix’s Rhodiola for periods of stress and increased exertion. Not only will it improve concentration and focus but it will improve your overall energy and exam stamina

7. Get in the zone

Naturopathic medicine attracts a lot of type A personalities. Naturally, a type A personality desires to know everything there is to know about every single topic. Not only will this detriment how much you really know, it can also lead to burn out and a loss of passion in the field. Early in the game, take time to map out what you love the most. What is that topic you actively seek out and read up on? Is it hormones? Physical medicine? Adjunctive cancer care? Attracting patients into your future practice will depend on your passion and knowledge, your ability to become a sought after expert. Why not start early? Pay particular attention to what special topic feels like the easiest to learn and start honing your knowledge and skills.

8. Above all, faith

You have confirmed with all of your friends, parents friends, people at the dog park etc. that you are in fact, not going to school to become a homeopath. You have spent time in the shower perfecting your explanation of what it means to be a Naturopathic Doctor. You have silently celebrated when your grandma says, “I can’t believe it, you were right about the gout in my right toe.” Let’s face it, it is a lot of work to defend your profession. Although it is hard work, remind yourself that you have handpicked one of the greatest professions on the planet. You will change people’s lives, shape the future of healthcare and feel the honor that comes with hearing someone say ‘I feel well’. Faith is what called you here and faith is what will carry you forward into a future of fulfillment and abundance. Keep chugging along, the greatest days in your career have yet to come.

Welcome to our new and improved website!

Posted May 3, 2015

By Loretta Masaro, BSc, MBA
CEO, Cyto-Matrix

On behalf of the Cyto-Matrix management team, we are very excited to launch our new and improved website! Our goal is to meet the needs of our customers and we truly hope the new website will mirror the feedback we have received from many of you. We aimed for a site that is easy to navigate, informative yet not overwhelming and cluttered, and one that is accessible whether you are on your home computer, tablet or phone screen. The addition of the blog components will allow management and scientific staff to post just-in-time information on the latest news and/or clinical applications in natural health care.

Cyto-Matrix was founded 12 years ago with a mission to becoming the most trusted professional natural health products brand in Canada.  To date, we have thousands of naturopathic doctors, medical doctors and specialty pharmacies across every province in Canada loyally prescribing our brand to even their most sensitive patients. Cyto-Matrix is one of the most respected professional brands in both of the Canadian accredited naturopathic colleges (BINM, CCNM). We value all the feedback we receive from our doctors and strive to deliver products which meet the needs of their patients in terms of efficacy, safety and delivery formats.  This feedback combined with best available evidence and strict adherence to Health Canada’s Natural and Non-Prescription Products Directorate’s guidelines enables us to design products that Canadians can trust for positive health outcomes.

We thank you for your loyalty to our brand and for continuing to provide feedback to help us improve year after year.

Spring forward with a healthy cleansing program

Posted May 2, 2015

By Dr. Elias Markou, ND
Medical Director, Cyto-Matrix

As spring roles around we are all either preparing our selves for a good deep cleanse or preparing a total detox program for our patients to complete. My experience over the years has been patients are looking for something new or the next best thing when they come to you looking for a detox or cleanse. If you are giving them the same old cleanse every year, you probably won’t retain that patient for long. So take a few minutes to reflect on what your patients want to see and do in a cleanse.

Our Cytomatrix Detoxification Program is a great way to package everything your patients needs for a quick and easy detox. Our Bio-B6, DT-Matrix, Mito-Matrix and the Provitalex Pure Whey are all you need for this biologically powerful detox. The Liver and the kidneys are the two most important organs in this program, our product formulations and selections make for a complete cleanse.

Every cleanse should have a vitamin B6 formulation. The Bio-B6 is a nice formulations made up of pyridoxal 5′-phosphate and pyridoxine hydrochloride (the active forms of vitamin B6) often depleted by many toxic substances. A vitamin B6 deficiency makes it difficult for the liver to detoxify.

Our DT-Matrix is an intelligent formulation that supports both the liver and kidney functions during the detoxification process. The key ingredient Milk Thistle is a favourite liver detoxifying herb among naturopathic doctors. You can find mounds of academic research online about milk thistle. This formulation is a winner.

A detoxification program is not complete with out a powerful synergistic free radical quencher. Our Mito-Matix formulation, targets the root of all cellular metabolism, the mitochondria. The N-Acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, N-Acetyl-L-cysteine and the coenzyme Q10 all support deep cellular detoxification.

And finally every detox program should have an amino acid profile that can drive phase two of liver function. The Provitalex Pure Whey is packed with significant amounts of glycine, glutamine, taurine, methionine and cysteine that can power any toxin out of the body.

Choose Cyto-Matrix products and save your patients the time and energy by giving them a new cleanse every year, you will see them come back happy and detoxified.

Why does Iron typically cause constipation?

Posted May 1, 2015

By Dr. Andrew Krause, ND CSCS CISSN

You probably know someone that has taken an iron supplement in their lifetime; you may have even taken one yourself. And what is the most common complaint?

Constipation.

It can get so bad that patients would rather not take an iron product at all rather than feel the effects of some products, which is one of the worst outcomes a healthcare practitioner can have as they are trying to help someone. It’s extremely frustrating to have picked the right ingredient at the right dose, only to have compliance be the limiting factor.

Thankfully, a new formulation of iron was developed that is able to virtually eliminate the side effect potential of taking an iron supplement, while reliably raising ferritin levels.

Iron Polysaccharide Complex is a non-ionic form of iron that is available as a liquid in Bio-Ferra™. It provides 100% elemental iron, which is a significantly higher percentage relative to other forms of iron on the market. (1)

Non-ionic iron is an important distinction to look for when choosing an iron, because the splitting into ions in the stomach is the main reason that patients will experience an upset stomach and constipation when taking typical iron supplements.

When there is an increase in the number of ions in the stomach, more water is drawn to the stomach (through ADH secretion) to dilute this elevated concentration of ions. In order to do this, water is pulled away from the lower gastrointestinal system, making stools harder, and more difficult to pass. (2)

By limiting this process altogether, constipation is virtually eliminated with BioFerra™. Bio-Ferra™ delivers the highest dose of elemental iron in a liquid product (20mg/teaspoon) in a palatable green apple flavour that makes compliance effortless, especially for children and the elderly.

References

1. Manoguerra AS, Erdman AR, Booze LL, Christianson G, Wax PM, Scharman EJ, et al. Iron ingestion: an evidence-based consensus guideline for out-of-hospital management. Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2005;43:553-70.

2. Oh MS. Evaluation of renal function, water, electrolytes, and acid-base balance. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 14.