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Healthy gut, healthy mood?

It is that all-too-familiar gut feeling we have all experienced or the infamous butterflies we get in our stomachs that come when we experience strong emotions or stress.

Although we may not give much thought to these common expressions, there actually may be more to them than you think!

Research is starting to draw the bridge between our emotions and mood, and the health of our gut. Studies are showing two major connections to anxiety, depression and other psychiatric illnesses — the bacterial balance in our intestines and the foods we eat.

The gut is often called our second brain because it contains a dense network of more than 100 million nerves around it, outnumbering those found in the spinal cord. This second brain is equipped with its own senses and reflexes, and can control our digestion outside of communicating with the brain.

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Men, protect your testosterone!

It should come as no surprise that men have statistically been shown to die from the top 10 causes of death at higher rates than women.

These include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic liver disease, accidents and suicide.

There is an epidemic being seen in men’s health that may explain part of this stat: low testosterone levels!

A recent research study showed that men in poor health had testosterone levels 10 to 15 per cent lower than those in good health. Additionally, low testosterone levels are being found at higher rates in much younger men than ever before.

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Hope for the Future

I heard dozen times that the “youths are the hope of the future and the Fatherland...”

The youths are the ones to continue the past and present generations.

In a smallest unit of the society—a family—the children are the hope of the family’s generation.

They are the ones carrying the names, cultures, traditions and treasures of the family.

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Multivitamins — useful or useless?

Multivitamins come in all shapes, forms, sizes and colours. Some are chewable, some are liquid. Some promise to give you a longer lifespan while others guarantee they will help to ward off heart disease.

With so much advertising around the use of multivitamins, it may come as no surprise that most people presume they should be consuming a daily supplement.

However, is it really worth your time, research and investment?

Taking a multivitamin is a popular practice and many of our new patients coming into the clinic are already on a multivitamin supplement. Most people have one of two beliefs about multivitamins; either that they have all of their daily nutritional intake covered by taking one, or that multivitamins make “expensive urine” and have little benefit.

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Making it all add up

Whenever the education experts (including media pundits), government bureaucrats and parents would all line up to bemoan the latest international test scores of Alberta students — and then proceed to blame the teachers for them — I would always tell myself how glad I was that my kids were safely out of school.

And then I started having grandchildren. Does this mean I have to be invested in the next round of the “new math” debate, all over again? I guess so.

Here’s a question from an international Grade 8 level math test: Find 1/3 minus 1/4.

Four possible answers below the question are presented to test whether the student knows the method to finding the answer, which is 4 minus 3 over 3 times 4 (that’s 1/12 in the old math I was taught).

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