Keratosis Pilaris

Are you worried about small, rough bumps often described as chicken skin, chicken bumps or goose bumps. Here is the best answer: ‘Keratosis Pilaris’.

Though no clear cause has been identified, the condition often runs in families and is commonly associated with dry skin conditions such as Ichthyosis, Atopic Dermatitis, Xerosis, etc – mainly seen in children and adolescents.

General measures such as mild soap, cleansers and moisturizers work only in mild cases, however, dermatologists usually prescribe corticosteroid cream to get rid of inflammation and salicylic acid/urea preparations to improve the rough texture. If the problem persists after these approaches have been utilized, you can schedule a visit at our clinic for micro-dermabrasion which extracts the keratotic plugs (bumps) or receive treatment using our laser hair removal technology which removes trapped coiled hairs.

For further inquires, ask about a free consultation.


Dr. Padmaja Gorantla

Grocery List Makeover

My colleague, Dr. Merritt and I were putting together some information for the Open House at the clinic on Friday, December 4th and decided it would be really great to “make over” a typical family’s grocery list.

We asked around and made a list of the most common things found in fridges and cupboards and listed easily found, healthy alternatives to them. Here are our top 7 healthy swaps…

1. Packaged or boxed pasta: Substitute this out for zucchini pasta, which has fewer preservatives and carbohydrates and is loaded with fibre and doesn’t need to be cooked!

2. Low-fat fruit based yogurt: Switch this out for 2% plain Greek yogurt, which has no added sugar and the natural fat content yogurt should have. It also has more protein, keeping you full longer. If you are craving something sweet, add a tsp of honey and your own fruit.

3. Peanut Butter: Most types of peanut butter (unless they are natural) have quite a bit of added sugar and peanuts themselves tend to be prone to mould growth on their shells. Swap this out for Natural Almond Butter. Check the labels and choose brands that contain 1 ingredient, almonds!

4. Ground beef: Ground meats can be a very quick, versatile way to get some protein into your diet. Replace this withLean Ground Turkey or Chicken, which have few calories and less fat per ounce but a similar protein profile.

5. Soda/Pop: Pop is loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners, and although they may taste good, they aren’t an efficient way of hydrating the body. They are also a major source of calories in your diet, especially if you are having multiple. Swap this out for Carbonated Water (or regular water) and add in a few slices of citrus (like lime, lemon, or grapefruit) for some flavour.

6. Cream cheese or cheez-whiz: Swap these out for Goat Cheese! When compared to cream cheese, goat cheese is lower in fat, calories and carbohydrates. Goat cheese tends to be lower in lactose, and is generally tolerated quite well if you experience digestive symptoms when you eat dairy. I’m sure we’ve all heard that cheez-whiz is just a few molecules off from being plastic, so goat cheese is definitely a good swap here!

7. Ranch Dip: Ranch dips and dressings are a popular choice for dipping veggie sticks in, but they tend to be very high in sodium and basically just fat. While an alternative would be Hummus or Guacamole, and although they are also high in fat, they are sources of good fats and give some protein as well.

For more information on making healthy food “swaps” or if you want to see our extensive made over grocery list and recipes call us as (902)406.4424 or stop by the clinic!


Warm Regards,

Dr. Anna D’Intino

Naturopathic Approachs to Prostate Movember

With November just around the corner, many of the men in our lives are beginning to plan their annual facial hair transformations. Yes, I’m talking about….MOVEMBER. As wonderful as this campaign is in raising Prostate Cancer Awareness and funds for cancer research, it seems to miss its mark on general prostate awareness. It is not just about Prostate Cancer Awareness, but more importantly, it’s about understanding prostate health. Your prostate gland is something to be aware of and the more you understand about it the better placed you are to avoid potentially life threatening problems with it.

It often surprises me that so few males know anything about their prostate. Some would say that the prostate and prostate cancer is the male equivalent of breast cancer for women. As women, we are very aware of the importance of regular examinations, screening and care. It comes down to the difference between life and death.
Unfortunately, many men seem unaware of prostate cancer and other prostate problems. I don’t know why men chose to ignore the subject. Is it embarrassment, or simply a lack of education/awareness? Regardless of the reason that men chose not to be interested in their prostate, it would be better for them if they did. Discussion of potential problems would encourage more men to get checked and would no doubt save many lives that might otherwise be lost.

Ignorance is no defense and that certainly applies to prostate health problems. Ignoring it will not make it all go away. Being unaware of possible symptoms only leaves you open to the chances of far greater health problems later. Learning about your prostate and discussing possible symptoms of prostate related health issues with your doctor can help you in overcoming those difficulties.

The prostate is not normally a problem for men until they reach middle age. Typically problems are most likely to appear once a man gets over fifty. The most common problem is that the prostate grows in size over time and this can lead to pressure on the parts of the body that are located next to it.

Trends in prostate cancer

Since 1980, the incidence rate for prostate cancer has generally increased. Part of the increase in incidence is likely due to the more widespread use of the PSA for the early detection of prostate cancer.

The death rate rose much more slowly during the same period and started to decline in the mid-1990s. Chances (probability) of developing or dying from prostate cancer
based on 2009 estimates, states that about 1 in 8 Canadian men is expected to develop prostate cancer during his lifetime and 1 in 8 will die from it.

For more information, click on the following link to Canadian Cancer Statistics .

Nutrition & Prostate Cancer

Nutrition plays a very important role in cancer treatment. Scientific evidence shows that nutrition and physical activity are the two most important modifiable risk factors to alter the course of cancer, prevent its occurrence, and stop its progression. Remember, you are what you eat and do not eliminate. Poor nutrition provides a favorable environment for cancer to grow and develop. Proper nutrition supports the immune system, starves cancer cells, and provides micro- and macronutrients.

• Avoid sugar (the preferred food of cancer), dairy products, refined foods, fried foods,
junk foods, caffeine, alcohol, nitrates, and food coloring. Limit high-fat (e.g., saturated and trans fats) foods, particularly red meat, which have been implicated in prostate cancer.
• Eliminate food sensitivities.
• Drink 50% of body weight in ounces of water daily (e.g., a 150 lb person would drink
75 oz of water). Drink spring or distilled water; avoid chlorine and fluoride.

Naturopathic Prostate Cancer Prevention

All men may benefit from:

• Foods rich in Vitamin E
• Foods rich in Selenium
• Ground Flaxseed
• A daily supplement of Vitamin D

The risk of developing prostate cancer may be lowered by consuming:

• Cooked tomatoes as found in pasta sauce, tomato juice, soup and tomato paste.
• Soy foods, such as soybeans, beverages and tofu

Lowering the Risk of Prostate Cancer Recurrence

The risk of prostate cancer progression may be lowered by:

• Lycopene rich diet such as vegetable juice (1 cup= 23.4 mgs), Tomato juice (1 cup=22.0 mgs), Tomato sauce ½ cup = 21.5 mgs)
• Ground flaxseed (1 Tbsp)
• Low fat vegan diet
• Daily supplement of Selenium (200 ugb). A ¼ cup of Brazil nuts will contain 544ug.
• Vitamin E (75 IU)- food sources such as almonds and sunflower seeds (1/4 cup= 10-12 IU)


Naturopathic Supplements & Prostate Cancer

Supplements are intended to provide nutritional support. Because a supplement or a recommended dose may not be appropriate for all persons, a physician (e.g., a licensed naturopathic physician or holistic MD or DO) should be consulted before using any product. Recommended doses follow:

• Curcumin – 400 mg 3 times daily.
Curcumin is a yellow pigment in Turmeric (Curcuma longa) with strong anti-inflammatory properties.
• Fractionated citrus pectin – 6grams, 2 times daily
Also called modified citrus pectin or MCP. MCP powder is usually dissolved in a small amount of water and then diluted juice. It interferes with cancer cells’ ability to aggregate and attach to healthy cells and inhibits cancer cell growth.
• Genistein – 200 mg daily.
An isoflavone that inhibits the growth of cancer cells and acts as an antioxidant. Soy nuts are high in genistein.
• Green tea – Drink at least 4 cups a day or take a standardized extract.
Inhibits cancer cell growth and induces apoptosis, or programmed cell death.
• Lycopene – 10 mg daily.
A carotenoid found primarily in tomatoes.
• Melatonin – 20 mg daily.
Inhibits cancer cell growth and potentiates the beneficial effects of chemotherapy and radiation while reducing their side effects.
• Selenium – 400–800 mcg daily.
A potent antioxidant.
• Vitamin D – .25–.50 mcg daily.
Inhibits cancer cell growth and may induce apoptosis.
• Vitamin E succinate – Inhibits cancer cell growth and promotes normal
cell division.
• Zinc – 1550 mg daily.
Supports immune function. As zinc competes with copper for absorption, it is important to supplement with copper. Look for Zinc supplements containing copper.

Herbal Medicine and Prostate Cancer

Herbal medicines rarely have significant side effects when used appropriately and at suggested doses. Occasionally, an herb at the prescribed dose causes stomach upset or headache. This may reflect the purity of the preparation or added ingredients, such as synthetic binders or fillers. For this reason, it is recommended that only high-quality products be used. As with all medications, more is not better and overdosing can lead to serious illness and death.

• Saw palmetto (Serenoarepens) – Recommended dose is 300 mg 3 times daily.
Inhibits 5-alpha reductase (which converts testosterone [T] to dihydrotestosterone [DHT], an androgen 5 times more potent than T, which drives the growth of prostate cancer cells). Do not use this herb if on triple hormone blockade.
• Milk thistle (Silybummarianum) – Protects the liver from drugs and toxins and builds liver health.


Yours in Health,

Dr. Joann Osbourne ND


American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, 2007
Giovannucci E et al. Intake of carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87:1767-76.
Yan L and Spitznagel EL. Soy consumption and prostate cancer risk in men: a revisit of a meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009; 894: 1155-1163.
Demark-Wahnefried W et al. Pilot study to explore effects of a low-fat, flax-supplemented diet on proliferation of benign prostatic epithelium and prostate-specific-antigen. Urology 2004; 63:900-904.
Demark-Wahnefried W, Robertson CN et al. Pilot study to explore effects of low-fat, flaxseed- supplemented diet on proliferation of benign prostatic epithelium and prostate-specific antigen. Urology 2004; 63(5):900-4.
Bejelakovic, G et al. Mortality in randomized trials of antioxidant supplements for primary and secondary prevention. Journal of the American Medical Association 2007; 297: 842-57.
Clark L et al. Effects of Selenium Supplementation for Cancer Prevention in Patients with Carcinoma of the skin.A Randomized Control Trial. Journal of The American Medical Association 1996; 276:1957-63.
Heart Protection Collaborative Group. MRC/BHF Heart Protection Study of antioxidant vitamin supplementation in 20536 high-risk individuals: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet 2002; 360:23-33.
Heinonen OP et al. Prostate cancer and supplementation with alpha-tocopherol and beta- carotene: incidence and mortality in a controlled trial. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1998; 90(6):440-6. (The ATBC Study)
Hennekens CH et al. Lack of effect of long-term supplementation with beta carotene on the incidence of malignant neoplasms and cardiovascular disease. New England Journal of Medicine 1996; 334:1145-1149. (The Physicians’ Health Study)
Lippman SM et al. Effect of selenium and vitamin E on risk of prostate cancer and other cancers. The Selenium and vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). Journal of The American Medical Association 2009; 301(1): 39-51
Lonn, E, et al. HOPE and HOPE II Trial Investigators. Effects of Long-term Vitamin E Supplementation on Cardiovascular Events and Cancer, A Randomized Control Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 2005; 293:1338-47.
Berkow SE et al. Diet and survival after prostate cancer diagnosis. Nutrition Reviews 2007; 65(9):391-403.
Demark-Wahnefried W and Moyad MM. Dietary intervention in the management of prostate cancer. Current Opinion in Urology 2007; 17:168-174.
Syed DN et al. Chemoprevention of prostate cancer through dietary agents: progress and promise. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 2007; 16(11): 2191-2203.
Van Patten CL et al. Diet and dietary supplement trials for the prevention of prostate cancer recurrence: a review of the randomized clinical trial evidence. Journal of Urology 2008; 180(6) 2314-22.

GERD and Hypochlorhydria

Many of my patients come to me with GERD and Hypochlorhydria. They also bring with them their list of medications. More often than not, on that list is a proton pump inhibitor. Their history will tell me that they often presented with the symptoms of heartburn (sometimes interpreted as chest pain), regurgitation, and nausea. Years of gas, bloating, and IBS led to the initial diagnosis but unfortunately, because the symptoms may come and go, there is often no further investigation and they are then given a prescription. This is a perfect example where many times we treat the symptoms but not the underlying condition.

The main reason people finally end up in my office, is because they simply can’t lose weight. They have tried everything -even just water -and they swear they still gain weight. Obviously, there is an underlying problem. Proper diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are keys to a healthier weight but at the same time let’s try to solve the root cause of the weight gain.

The Problem

GERD is the incompetence of the lower esophageal sphincter, which allows reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus, causing burning pain. Diagnosis is clinical, sometimes with endoscopy, with or without acid testing. Treatment involves lifestyle modification, acid suppression using proton pump inhibitors and sometimes surgical repair.
Hypochlorhydria arises when the stomach is unable to produce hydrochloric acid (stomach acid). The stomach requires an acid environment for several reasons:
• First, acid is required for the digestion of protein.
• Second, acid is required for the stomach to empty correctly, and failure to do so results in gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). These are the same symptoms as seen above, hence one of the main reason why we see a misdiagnosed and inappropriate treatment. Symptoms may subside temporarily but not for long.
• Acid is required to sterilize the stomach and kill bacteria and yeast that may be ingested.
• And an acid environment is required for the absorption of certain micronutrients, in particular divalent and trivalent cat-ions such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, boron and so on.
As we age, our ability to produce stomach acid declines, but some people are simply not very good at producing stomach acid; sometimes because of pathology in the stomach (such as an allergic gastritis secondary to food intolerance), but sometimes for reasons unknown.

Symptoms of Hypochlorhydria

When any of the above problems go wrong, it can result in the following symptoms.

1. Wind, gas and bloating as foods are fermented instead of being digested. i.e. irritable bowel syndrome
2. Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
3. A tendency to develop Candida
4. Iron deficiency or Anemia
5. B12 deficiency
6. A tendency to allergies. The reason for this is that if foods are poorly digested, then large antigenic molecules get into the lower gut, where if the immune system reacts against them, that can switch on an allergy.
7. Accelerated aging because of mal-absorptionof key nutrients and minerals in the gut.

Sound like anything you may be experiencing?


Possible Problems with Low Stomach Acid or Hypochlorhydria

There are many possible problems that could arise from hypochlorhydria

Failure to digest foods properly.

This will result in a general malabsorption of proteins. Indeed hypochlorhydria – as induced by antacids and H2 blockers and protein pump inhibitors – substantially increases one’s risk of osteoporosis because the body simply does not have the raw material to replace bone. Many degenerative conditions will be associated therefore with hypochlorhydria.

Failure to absorb trace elements.

Trace elements are essential for normal body functioning, if these are not present then the biochemistry of the body will go slow, organs will go slow, and this will accelerate the ageing process. Therefore, one would expect to see people getting diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and neuro-degenerative conditions before their time.

Failure to sterilize the stomach contents.

This will make individuals more susceptible to gut infections such as gastro-enteritis and possibly enteroviruses such as Epstein-Barr virus, Coxsackie virus, Echovirus, and so on.

Gastric acid is an essential part of normal defenses against disease. Gastric acid is also essential for getting rid of undesirable bacteria and yeast that appear in the diet. Particularly virulent strains, may also cause simple food poisoning. However, if there is an overgrowth of bacteria and yeast in the stomach, then foods will get fermented instead of being digested. This produces wind and gas resulting in bloating and alcohols which may or may not be useful to the body.

Increased risk of stomach cancer.

Having the wrong bacteria and yeast in the stomach will irritate the lining of the stomach and increase one’s risk of stomach cancer.

Mal-absorption of B12.

It is well known that the stomach must be acid in order to absorb B12. Indeed, using a proton pump inhibitor such as omeprazole [a drug used to reduce stomach acid production – trade names LosecR and PrilosecR – often prescribed for patients with heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD)] will reduce absorption of vitamin B12 to less than 1% of expected. Many people already suffer from borderline B12 deficiency – this is a difficult vitamin for the body to assimilate, but essential for normal biochemistry.

So before you take that little piece of paper, please investigate and allow the problem to be rectified and correct the root cause, not mask the symptoms.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Joann Osbourne

1. Berenson A. “Where Has All the Prilosec Gone?” The New York Times, March 2, 2005.
2. Stiefel U, Jump RL, Donskey CJ. Suppression of gastric acid production by proton pump inhibitor treatment facilities colonization of the large intestine by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus and Klebsiellapneumoniae in clindamycin-treated mice (Abstract B-1123). 46thInterscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. San Francisco, Sept. 27-30, 2006.
3. Dial S, Delaney JA, Barkun AN, Suissa S. Use of gastric acid-suppressive agents and the risk of community-acquired Clostridium difficile-associated disease. JAMA, Dec. 21, 2005;294(23):2989-95.
4. Laheij RJ, et al. Risk of community-acquired pneumonia and use of gastric acid-suppressive drugs. JAMA, Oct 27, 2004;292:1955-1960.
5. Yang Y, Metz DC, et al. Long-term proton pump inhibitor therapy and risk of hip fracture. JAMA, Dec. 27 2006;296:2947-2953.
6. Ruscin JM, Page RL, Valuck RJ. Vitamin B(12) deficiency associated with histamine(2)-receptor antagonists and a proton-pump inhibitor. Ann Pharmacother, May 2002;36(5):812-6.
7. Valuck RJ, Ruscin JM. A case-control study on adverse effects: H2 blocker or proton pump inhibitor use and risk of vitamin B12 deficiency in older adults. J ClinEpidemiol, April 2004;57(4):422-8.
8. Wolters M, Strohle A, Hahn A. Cobalamin: a critical vitamin in the elderly. Prev Med, Dec. 2004;29(6):1256-66.
9. Zavros Y, Merchant JL, et al. Chronic gastritis in the hypocholorhydric gastrin-deficient mouse progress to adenocarcinoma. Oncogene, March 31;24:2354-2366.

Every parent wants good things for their children: a positive outlook on life, a healthy respect for authority, a strong sense of self, a disease-free body…a healthy body weight. Despite our best intentions, a recent report suggests that for the first time in two centuries, the current generation of children may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. With all the advances in medicine, how could this possibly be true? The blame falls squarely on today’s toxic food environment. In short, your kids are eating too much junk. And who can blame them? Junk food tastes great.

The good news is that healthy food also tastes great. Take these simple tips and transform your child’s diet into one that is packed with good health.

1) Add Color
Adding bright and colorful fruits and veggies to your child’s plate will get their diet on the fast track to health. Fresh fruits and veggies are filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals that are essential to good health. 

If your kids are resistant then make it fun. Serve veggies with salad dressing as a dip. Cut fresh fruit in the colors of the rainbow and place them on a skewer. Serve a color themed meal – all green, all red or all orange. Use your imagination and you’ll come up with an endless number of ways to make fruits and veggies fun to eat.

2) Think Whole Foods
Processed foods are the biggest problem with our modern diet. Packaged and refined food products are devitalized and filled with empty calories that quickly lead to weight gain. Unfortunately, processed foods make up a large portion of the diet of many children. Train your kids to opt for whole foods, rather than packaged ones. Whole foods are foods that are in their natural state. An apple. A piece of sprouted grain bread spread with natural nut butter. A piece of hormone-free chicken. I ask my nieces and nephews : Does it grow in nature? Can they pick it off a tree? Can they  read (or even pronounce) the ingredients list, then they can have it, otherwise NO!

3) Use Wholesome Sweeteners
Refined sugar and corn syrup are packed into many of the foods that your kids love. But wait, there are more wholesome sweeteners available – sweeteners that add vitamins and minerals rather than empty calories. Use the following rather than white sugar or corn syrup:

  • Sucanat: This pure, dried sugar can retain its molasses content. Use it to replace white sugar in baking.
  • Pure Maple Syrup: Forget the “fake” syrups containing corn syrup. Pure maple syrup contains potassium, calcium and some amino acids.
  • Brown Rice Syrup: Use this dark syrupy sweetener instead of corn syrup. It takes longer to digest and won’t spike your blood sugar like refined sugar.
  • Dates: Throw a few seedless dates into your blender to sweeten your smoothie rather than adding white sugar.

4) Make Smart Substitutions
Kids love pizza and pasta and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and that’s not going to change any time soon. Rather than fight your kids on their favorites, try making smart substitutions to make their favorites more nutritious.

  • Pizza: Up the nutritional content of your pizza by opting for wheat crust or brown rice wraps over white, adding veggies to the toppings and sticking with lean meat toppings.
  • Pasta: Use sprouted grain or whole grain pasta rather than traditional white pasta. Add veggies to your pasta sauce. Stick with red sauce, since white sauce is so high in fat.
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly: A PB&J, made with white bread using sugar-filled peanut butter and corn syrup-filled jelly, is fairly void of any real nutritional value. Try the PB&J Makeover recipe below instead for a sandwich that will provide real wholesome fuel for your child’s day.

5) Ban Sugary Drinks
One of the best things that you can do for your child’s good health is to instill in them a love for water rather than sugary drinks. Soda pop and juices are filled with empty calories that encourage weight gain. The easiest way to do this is to stock your house with lots of pure, filtered water. Don’t have fruit drinks or soda pop readily available so that they grow accustom to drinking only water.

6) Pay Attention:
When you are eating, pay attention.Sounds simple, but how often do you snack in front of the T.V. or eat your dinner while in rush hour traffic? Paying attention means eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. It means never eating just to eat, but rather because your body needs it.
While I presented these tips as improvements to be made to your child’s diets, these tips will also do wonders for your diet. Try these 5 tips out for 30 days and I guarantee you’ll look and feel better. Parents all want good things for their children. Now how about doing something good for yourself as well? You are your child’s biggest role model on how to live, for better or worse. Treat yourself right by calling or emailing today to get started on an exercise program that will change your life for the best.

PB&J Makeover

Peanut Butter Sandwich Makeover

Not all PB&J sandwiches were created nutritionally equal. It all depends on the quality of the ingredients that you use. 

If you use white bread, corn syrup-filled peanut butter and refined sugar-filled jelly, the result would be a sandwich that will skyrocket your blood sugar, promotes fat storage and leaves you feeling hungry a short time later. 

However, if you make this recipe, with sprouted grain bread, true peanut butter made from one ingredient: peanuts, and fruit preserves that are naturally sweetened with fruit juice rather than sugar, then the result would be a nutritionally dense food that would promote stable blood sugar levels and provide you with hours of sustained energy. And…your kids will love the fun twist of having their sandwich stuffed with banana slices and grilled!

Servings: 1

Here’s what you need:
• Sprouted grain bread (Ezekiel Bread)
• 1 Tablespoon pure peanut butter or other nut butters (no added sugar or corn syrup)
• 1 Tablespoon natural fruit spread (no added sugar or corn syrup)
• 1/2 of a banana, sliced

1. Spread one piece of bread with peanut butter and the other with fruit spread. Line one side with the sliced bananas and sandwich it.
2. In a grill pan over medium heat, grill each side until grill marks appear and the sandwich is warmed.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 380 calories, 8.7g fat, 53g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, and 13.2g protein.


Yours in Health,

Dr. Joann Osbourne