Ask Dr. Kim - January 2017

Active Family out for a bike ride

Dear Dr.Kim

Do you have some suggestions to help me lose weight? I have been tracking my calories and try to be active including hiking on the weekend.

B.N, Victoria

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Dear B.N.

Each New Year brings an opportunity to reflect on your habits and refresh your plan. If you are headed in a direction that is not pleasing to you, then it is important to make changes to help steer a different course.

One very exciting area of research has turned to investigating the balance of digestive bugs - the microbiota - and their link to developing obesity and metabolic diseases. Science is beginning to see that, in a chicken and egg phenomenon, the balance (or imbalance) of digestive bugs can negatively impact systemic health and links are being made between an individual’s microbiota and conditions such as those of cholesterol, blood sugar, mood disorders, and the cardiovascular system. There are trillions of gut bugs being hosted along the human digestive tract and while an individual’s mix is unique, the population is dynamic. Lifestyle habits and the foods you eat alter the inhabitants of the digestive tract then imbalances can heighten inflammation and shift health markers. Microbes have their own energy demands and metabolic waste so these ‘bugs’ can be robbing you (further) of nourishment and adding a burden of waste. One group of researchers found that when they implanting ‘less healthy’ bugs from “conventionally-raised” mice into “germ-free” mice it caused a 60% increase in body fat and insulin resistance - in 2 weeks!! - despite the fact that the mice were subjected to an increased activity level and a lower calorie diet. While mainstream healthcare has evolved to be reductionistic and separate systems, this research is fascinating as it helps shape a new vantage point -that recognizes the ecology within!!

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Take a good quality probiotic and change the type and strains from time to time
  • Pay attention to digestive symptoms –and where appropriate, consider taking antimicrobial herbs or nutrients such as grapefruit seed extract, black walnut, and Berberis … followed by more probiotics
  • When you eat animal-sourced foods choose grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free … to support a healthy intestinal microbial environment
  • “Health from the inside out.”

    Dr. Kim McQueen, ND

    Dr. Kimberly McQueen BSc, ND is a Naturopathic Physician in Victoria, BC. In addition to her clinic work she has been a consultant to the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, Camosun College, Rugby Canada and Rowing Canada. P:778.433.4935 and www.kimmcqueen.com . Kim McQueen is one of the Co-founders of the nourishing Supershake, Rumble. See www.drinkrumble.com