Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Healthy body, healthy mind: a double payoff for exercise

The mental health benefits of exercise are well documented, and even moderate sadness and feelings of anxiety can be improved

By Dr. Paul Latimer
Troy Media
KELOWNA, B.C. / Troy Media/ - Not only is exercise good for our bodies, it's also good for our minds.
Most people with a regular exercise routine will tell you that it makes you feel good physically and is a helpful way of reducing stress, improving confidence and self-esteem, and increasing energy. It adds to a general sense of well-being.
Although most fitness research in the past focused on physical and health benefits, growing evidence shows that exercise also improves and promotes mental health. Beyond simple stress relief, exercise can help reduce depression and anxiety, this new research shows.
Exercise increases endorphin levels in the brain. These chemicals act as the body's pain killers and cause increased feelings of happiness.
An American university study examined people suffering from depression over a four-month period. It found that 60 per cent of those who exercised for at least 30 minutes three times a week overcame their depression without medication. This is the same success rate as for those who only used medication to treat their depression.
These are promising results - and they aren't the only ones available on the subject. Several other studies have consistently shown that exercise can lead to a significant reduction in depression. Research also shows that these benefits can begin as early as the first exercise session and may last after the exercise is finished.
Other studies examined the relationship between exercise and anxiety. Analysis of many studies conducted over the past several decades found that more than 80 per cent concluded that physical activity and fitness are related to the reduction of anxiety. Aerobic exercise such as running, swimming or cycling seems to be the most effective.
Of course, you don't have to have a clinically significant amount of depression or anxiety to receive the mental health benefits of exercise. Even moderate sadness and feelings of anxiety can be improved with exercise.
The relationship between mental health and exercise can also work in reverse. A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health examined teenagers. It found that those with low levels of physical activity and more sedentary behaviour had a much higher likelihood of developing depression after one year. The study concluded that this lack of activity constituted a risk factor for depression.
Mental ability can also improve with exercise. Some research shows that regular exercise improves cognitive function. One study at a university in Japan looked at a group of volunteers who began a jogging regimen. Their memory and mental ability increased throughout the study. When the exercise stopped, the benefits reduced, showing the importance of regular and maintained exercise.
All of this is promising for those suffering from these psychiatric conditions, but simple exercise is not be a cure-all. Not everyone will get better without more formal treatment from a doctor. If you are depressed or anxious, it is still wise to speak with your doctor about it.
Don't be discouraged if jumping on the treadmill doesn't make you feel completely better. Other help is also available.
On the other hand, exercise will not make you worse and everyone can benefit to some degree.
These benefits can be felt even with moderate exercise. You don't necessarily have to spend hours and hours a week at the gym.
The important thing is just to get out there and get moving - for your physical and mental well-being.
Dr. Paul Latimer is president of Okanagan Clinical Trials and a Kelowna psychiatrist. Paul is included in Troy Media's Unlimited Access subscription plan.
© 2016 Distributed by Troy Media

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What exactly IS botox and is it really safe?

Some turn to cosmetic surgery while others consider botox injections to rid them of their visible ageing signs.

But many fear the injections could cause damage to the rest of the body after research found the toxic chemical - which freezes cells in the face - can spread across the body.  
But don't worry, now a dermatologist says it is completely safe and you can stop at any time without any lasting effects.

Read more:
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Monday, November 28, 2016


Plastic surgery has improved the lives of millions. There are those, however, who expect more from plastic surgery than it can possibly give them.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Health system ignores frail Canadians when they need help most

It's time we improved the quality and quantity of care for frail Canadians - and improved the health system for everyone in the process

By John Muscedere
and Fred Horne
KINGSTON, Ont., EDMONTON, Alta. / Troy Media/ - Canada's health system too often fails to deliver the complex care that frail patients need between urgent health events.
When a frail older patient has an acute health crisis in Canada, the system usually delivers excellent service.
John Muscedere
Click image for Hi-Res
But health - like quality care - is determined by more than just response to medical emergencies.
The truth is, we rarely deliver quality chronic care, comprehensive home care or continuous care, and in particular, poorly handle transitions between care settings and providers.
We also often neglect more cost-effective interventions with proven health and quality of life benefits, such as social supports that can help people age in place.
Our overemphasis on acute care needs, and the consequent neglect of other aspects of the health system, have serious consequences - especially for those who are frail. These consequences include worsened health outcomes and increased health costs.
Fred Horne
Click image for Hi-Res
The burden of 'frailty' in Canada is steadily growing. Today, approximately 25 per cent of those over age 65 and 50 per cent of those over 85 - more than one million Canadians - are medically frail. In 10 years, well over two million Canadians may be living with frailty.
Frailty is defined as a state of increased vulnerability, with reduced reserve and loss of function across multiple body systems. Frailty reduces the ability to cope with normal or minor stresses, such as infections, which can cause rapid and dramatic changes in health.
Frail people are at higher risk for worsened health outcomes and death than we would expect based on age alone.
The risk of becoming frail increases with age, but the two are not the same.
Frail Canadians are the major consumers of health care in all settings. Of the $220 billion spent on health care annually in Canada (11 per cent of gross domestic product), 45 per cent is spent on those over 65 years old, although they only represent 15 per cent of the population.
In spite of higher utilization of health care resources for those who are frail, many therapies haven't been evaluated in this population and we don't know if they are beneficial, cause harm, are cost-effective or waste resources.
Are we overtreating some frailty with ineffective therapies and tests, yet not providing adequate social and medical supports in other areas?
The answer is almost certainly yes.
It's time we improved the quality and quantity of care for frail Canadians - and improved the health system for everyone in the process. Here's how:
We need to break down silos of care based on single diseases, single organ failure, settings of care or clinical disciplines. Addressing frailty requires a co-ordinated, multidisciplinary approach. Instead of having multiple specialist appointments and replicating tests across different facilities, we could have one-stop shops that cater to the needs of patients, not providers.
We need to address the needs of frail elderly in a more equitable health system across the country. As we outlined in our brief to the Finance Committee 2017 pre-budget consultations, we could establish funding based on age and frailty instead of the current per capita model.
Funding enhancements should be directed towards strengthening primary health care, along with social and economic supports. Most frail adults live in the community; strengthening primary care and community supports are crucial to help them age in their preferred settings.
We need to provide patients, clinicians and decision-makers with high-quality evidence on the effectiveness of treatments for the frail. Most research excludes the very sick and the elderly. Without evidence, aggressive and expensive therapies are often overused without improvement in outcomes, resulting in poor quality of life and wasted resources.
We need to improve the recognition and assessment of frailty to aid in implementing more appropriate care and planning.
Identifying the most vulnerable of our aging population will allow us to institute appropriate care plans and improve supports - so we can improve outcomes, quality of life and the use of resources.
John Muscedere is the scientific director and CEO of the Canadian Frailty Network (CFN), a not-for-profit organization funded by the government of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence program. CFN's mandate is to improve the care for frail elderly Canadians and their families within the health care system. Fred Horne is a health policy consultant and adjunct professor with the University of Alberta's School of Public Health. He was Alberta minister of Health from 2011 to 2014 and served as chair of the Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health. He is a member of the CFN Board of Directors.
© 2016 Distributed by Troy Media

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

UK Advises Vitamin D Supplements for Everyone – Should Canada Follow?

TORONTO – A recently released report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) in the United Kingdom is urging all Brits to take vitamin D supplements, which according to the Vitamin D Society of Canada, should give Canadians a reason to start looking at their own vitamin D intake levels.

Much like the UK, Canada shares the same sunshine limitations, which means because of the northern latitude of both countries, vitamin D producing sunlight can only be captured by our skin between the months of May and October. This leaves Canadians and Brits in the cold and with declining vitamin D levels in the fall and winter.

The downside of low vitamin D levels means that bones can become thin and brittle because vitamin D plays an important role in regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body - making it essential for bone health and more.

“Without having a recommended intake in the UK it was not possible to evaluate vitamin D status or vitamin D intakes there, but now with the decision of SACN to finally put these forward, we can see in the UK, intakes are low and status is one of the poorest,” says Dr. Susan Whiting, Scientific Advisor for the Vitamin D Society and professor at the University of Saskatchewan. “Both countries share similar latitudes, similar dietary habits and distribution of people of European and non-European ancestry. Modest fortification with vitamin D in Canada has prevented us from having so much severe vitamin D deficiency as is the situation in the UK right now. But diet alone in neither country can allow us to achieve optimal vitamin D status especially in winter months.”

Statistics Canada reports that up to 12 million Canadians — 35% of us — do not meet vitamin D blood level requirements. That number rises to more than 40% in the winter.

The summer sun allows most Canadians and Brits to naturally generate adequate levels of vitamin D, but according to the Vitamin D Society, come winter, that won’t be possible. The northern latitude of our countries physically prevents vitamin D generating sunlight to reach us. The solution to keeping levels normal in the winter, however, is from vitamin D supplements or artificial UVB exposure.

“While vitamin D supplements will help provide benefits in the winter months, fortified foods, which are sometimes relied upon to provide vitamin D, do not actually provide enough vitamin D in the winter.” says Dr. Whiting “For now, the best way to get ready for winter is to enjoy the sun safely and get the summer sunlight while it’s here. But for those who remain indoors or are otherwise prevented from sun exposure in summer, a supplement all year long might be the answer.”

The Vitamin D Society encourages Canadians to use their time in the midday summer sun wisely to stock up on the sunshine vitamin but to remember to use common sense and not let skin burn.

To learn more about vitamin D, please visit

About the Vitamin D Society:
The Vitamin D Society is a Canadian non-profit group organized to increase awareness of the many health conditions strongly linked to vitamin D deficiency; encourage people to be proactive in protecting their health and have their vitamin D levels tested annually; and help fund valuable vitamin D research. The Vitamin D Society recommends people achieve and maintain optimal 25(OH)D blood levels between 100 – 150 nmol/L (Can) or 40-60 ng/ml (USA).

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Misinformation fuels opposition to health-care reform in Canada

The reality is that for-profit provision of health-care services is commonplace among industrialized countries with universal health care

By Bacchus Barua
and Jason Clemens
The Fraser Institute
VANCOUVER, B.C. / Troy Media/ - For almost two decades, fear of a U.S.-style system has fuelled opposition to genuine reform of Canadian health care. Many of those same opposition voices are now protesting the constitutional challenge to Canada's health regulations by the former head of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Brian Day.
In reality, our health-care system is expensive, delivers poor-to-modest results, and fails to achieve many of its laudable aspirations. The solution to fixing and maintaining our universal health-care system is to recognize the successful approaches used in other universal-health care countries, such as the use of for-profit companies to deliver health-care services.
The Dr. Day case, which will likely end up in the Supreme Court of Canada, focuses on two aspects of British Columbia's health regulations: (1) prohibition against doctors working in both the public and private health-care systems, and (2) the disallowance of purchasing private insurance for core medical services.
Legal arguments aside, the context of the case is worth noting. Canada is one of the highest spenders, on both a per person basis and as a share of the economy, on health care among industrialized countries that provide universal health coverage. Yet Canadians endure some of the longest wait times for medically necessary procedures. For example, in 2015 Canadians waited 18.3 weeks between referral by a GP and actual treatment. Canadian patients also suffer from comparatively poor access to doctors and medical technologies such as MRIs.
But if the voices of opposition at the Dr. Day trial are to be believed, there's an incompatibility between medical care delivered by private, for-profit companies and universal health care.
The reality, however, doesn't match this rhetoric. A recent study looked at for-profit insurers and hospitals in six industrialized countries (Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland) that all maintain universal health care.
For-profit hospitals are found in all six countries. In Germany, France and Switzerland, for instance, universally accessible hospital care is delivered by both non-profit and for-profit hospitals. In Australia and Sweden, governments contract with for-profit hospitals for universally accessible services.
For-profit health insurers are also found in all six countries. Notably, for-profit companies compete to offer the primary health-care insurance in the Netherlands, offer a private substitute for public health-care insurance in Germany, and offer a private option alongside the public system for patients in Australia and Sweden.
Remember, all six of these countries maintain universal health care.
But Canadians need not look beyond our own borders to see the benefits of private, for-profit provision of health services. Saskatchewan's Surgical Initiative (SSI) was introduced in 2010 with the express goal of reducing what were the country's longest wait times for medical treatment.
Under the SSI, select day surgeries were contracted out to private, for-profit clinics. A recent study by the former NDP finance minister of Saskatchewan, Prof. Janice MacKinnon, provided evidence that on average, private clinics delivered procedures at 26 per cent lower costs than public-sector equivalents. For example, in 2012, Regina Surgical Centres Inc. provided cataract surgeries at $618 per procedure compared to $1,273 in public hospitals in the Regina Qu'Appelle regional health authority.
The results in Saskatchewan have been stunning. The province has gone from having some of the longest wait times, on average, for medical treatment to having the shortest. The government's own wait time data indicates a decline of 75 per cent in the number of patients waiting three months or longer for surgery.
The reality is that for-profit provision of health-care services is commonplace among industrialized countries with universal health care. Canada is actually the oddity in limiting - and in some cases, actually prohibiting - such activities. Hopefully the Dr. Day case, if nothing else, will bring these important reform lessons to light for Canadians.
Bacchus Barua and Jason Clemens are economists at the Fraser Institute.
© 2016 Distributed by Troy Media


Monday, September 12, 2016

Parabens Are Worse Than Previously Thought

A study from the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark discovered that butylparaben, commonly used in cosmetics and skincare products to stop bacterial growth, has more adverse effects on the reproductive system than previously believed. Researchers observed endocrine disrupting effects on the development of the reproductive system in rats that were exposed to butylparaben prenatally. They observed reduced sperm quality as well as changes in the prostate, testicles, ovaries, and breast development. "Overall, our results suggest that butylparaben has more negative effects on reproductive health than previously thought," says Julie Boberg, senior researcher from the National Food Institute.
In male rats, researchers observed changes in the prostate as well as the testicle’s ability to produce hormones. Sperm count was significantly reduced in all doses of the substance male rats were exposed to. In female rats, they observed a decrease in ovary weight and an increase in mammary gland outgrowth. The study shows, however, that some effects were only observed at high doses of the substance. It is also important to note that humans are not exposed to paraben doses as high as the rats were in the study. "We need more knowledge about what it means for humans to be exposed to parabens from skin lotions and cosmetics for example,” says Boberg. “It is especially important to take account of cocktail effects because people are exposed to many types of endocrine disruptors at the same time over the course of a normal day.”—Isabela Palmieri

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sleep-induced wrinkles resist treatment

People who sleep on their side or stomach exert compression, shear and stress force factors on their faces that result in distortion and, ultimately, wrinkles, according to a study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal. Fillers and neuromodulators are ineffective or short-lived in sleep-induced wrinkles, says study leader and plastic surgeon Goesel Anson, but radiofrequency and ultrasound devices or microneedling might be options, according to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery President Daniel Mills.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Ailesbury SMART® Hair Transplant technique Dr. Patrick J. Treacy, Medical Director of Ailesbury Clinics

Ailesbury SMART® Hair Transplant is an award-winning multi procedure hair restoration technique that combines PRP stem cell technology, motorised micropunch extraction, anabolic nutrition and LLLT red light phototherapy to shorten the time required for complete hair growth and increase follicular graft survival. It represents a major advance on methods of hair implant technology currently available by concentrating on a shortened recovery time, increased graft survival and reduced risk of complications. 
Ailesbury has been testing the use of platelet – rich plasma (PRP) in hair transplant surgery since 2009 when Carlos Uebel from Brazil and Joseph Greco from Florida  reported improved healing and graft survival with use of this method. Platelets, key players in the body’s wound healing mechanism are activated to release various hair growth factors that stimulate the healing process. These factors stimulate new blood vessels to form (angiogenesis) and collagen to be produced. Cells are stimulated to divide and go into action surrounding the wound. PRP reduces infection and offers a minimally invasive surgical procedure that benefits from a shortened recovery time, increased graft survival and reduced risk of complications. 
The AHI SMART® Hair Implant surgeon uses a small punch(a sort of a special needle) (0,72 mm diameter) with a motorised drill to remove individual follicular units, eliminating the need for excision of skin from the back of the head. Punch gauges can vary. Typical ranges are .75mm to 1.0mm. Small punches are great for minimizing scarring but are not really suitable for larger 2,3 and 4-hair grafts. Using a .75mm punch to extract a triple-hair graft could result in partial or full transection of the graft. Something like a .9mm gauge would be more suited. Respectively, using a larger gauge can preserve yield levels but also create scars larger than desired and damage surrounding follicles. One size does not fit all. 
Hair is made from nutrients in the body, and nutritional deficiencies can cause hair damage and hair loss. For example, biotin deficiencies have been linked to hair loss and skin disorders,and sufficient levels of the B vitamins are necessary for hair health and growth. Many Western diets are lacking in nutrients, and a poor diet may contribute to early onset of hair loss symptoms in people genetically prone to hair loss. Ailesbury Clinic uses Help Hair™ Shake which contains nutrients and herbs specifically selected for their positive effects on hair, including Niacin (vitamin B‐3), Folate, Vitamin B‐12, Biotin, Zinc, Manganese, Fo‐ti Root (Ho Shou Wu or Polygonum multiflorum) ‐ a popular Chinese herb traditionally used to darken pre‐mature gray hair, Kudzo Root ‐ Chinese herb, Pumpkin Seed to help regulate testosterone levels. PABA, Chlorophyll to remove sebum, which carries DHT. As part of an overall hair loss program, Ailesbury Clinics put patients on a low anabolic profile by telling them to consider eliminating or reducing certain supplements in their diet. This includes using the SHAPIRO Chart and montioring the use of anabolic steroids, creatine, Growth Hormone, Androstenedione, HCG diet or Whey Protein Isolate often found in body building additives. 
The technique uses wavelengths with red light therapy in the range of 630 to 670 nanometers (nm) immediately post FUE procedure. Visible red light is capable of being absorbed by the molecules of the hair follicle and can stimulate the growth or re-growth of the hair following a natural biological reaction. Red light is absorbed is because of an intracellular enzyme called cytochrome c, which is responsible for stimulating the hair follicle by sending it certain signals. Those signals promote gene activity and lower apoptosis (cell death regulated by the genes) as well as other reactions. This has been known since 1967 when it was accidentally discovered by a Hungarian scientist who noticed that exposed, shaved mice experience faster hair re-growth. 
Follicular Transfer is a modern hair restoration technique where hairs are transplanted in groups of 1-4 hairs - exactly as they grow in nature. It is a major advance over the older hair transplantation procedures that used larger grafts and often produced a pluggy, unnatural look. FT technique is actually a two-step procedure. where the aesthetic results mimic the way hair grows in nature and will be undetectable as a hair transplant.  During the first step, also called FUE (Follicullar Unit Extraction), direct extraction of selected individual follicular units from the patient's donor area is performed. allowing the surgeon to control the potential problem of visibly lower donor area density after the procedure. The Second part of the procedure is the Follicular Implantation where the surgeon implants the grafts with a  predetermined density, pattern and angle in a realistic hair pattern. 
Dr. Patrick Treacy is Chairman of the Irish Association of Cosmetic Doctors and is Irish Regional Representative of the British Association of Cosmetic and Honorary Board Member of the World Medical Trichologist Association. Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and the Royal Society of Arts. (London). Honorary Ambassador to the Michael Jackson Legacy Foundation and the Haiti Leadership Foundation, which opened orphanages in both Haiti and Liberia the past year.
Dr. Treacy holds Honors Degrees in Molecular Biology as well as Medicine. He is the recipient of the Norman Rae Gold medal from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. He has also received many national and international academic awards. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 articles in medical and scientific journals and published many peer-reviewed papers within these disciplines, including a sentinel study on the rising incidence of cutaneous malignant melanoma for the Mayo Clinic, Rochester in 1990. 
He pioneered facial implant techniques for HIV related facial lipodystrophy and early radiosurgery venous thermocoagulation. He is an advanced aesthetic trainer and has trained over 800 doctors and nurses from around the world.
He is a renowned international guest speaker and features regularly on national television and radio programmes. He has featured on the Today Show, Ireland AM, CNN, Dr. Drew, RTE, TV3, Sky News, BBC and Newsweek.
 Dr Patrick Treacy won the MyFaceMyBook innovation London award in 2013 for the Ailesbury SMART® Hair Transplant technique