Due to the positive feedback we’ve had from our B vitamin injection promotion this summer, we’ll be making the promotion available again for the month of November!
B Vitamin Injections – Package of 3 for $50
B12 is an essential nutrient for healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue. As B12 (cobalamin) is only available from animal sources, B12 deficiency is well known amongst vegetarians and vegans.
‘I eat animal products. Can I be B12 deficient?’
B12 deficiency is common in omnivores as well. Some studies suggest about 1 in 20 omnivores are B12 deficient. Why? Many conditions can contribute to B12 deficiency. Those with pernicious anemia (an autoimmune condition), low stomach acid and gut inflammation will have reduced capacity to absorb B12. Therefore even those eating meat regularly can be B12 deficient. Medications such as birth control pills, acid reflux medications and metformin also increase risk of B12 deficiency. Lastly, acute and chronic stress also quickly depletes B vitamins.
‘My lab tests didn’t show B12 deficiency…’
Serum B12 levels that are most commonly tested often have a wide ‘normal’ reference range (similar to ferritin). Therefore many B12 deficient patients are told they have “normal” B12 levels. I have also found that even in those with ‘high’ serum B12 levels often improve with B12 supplementation. This is likely due to the face that labs test total B12 levels not active B12 levels.
'What symptoms are related to B12 deficiency?'
Fatigue, lethargy, weakness, low mood and nerve problems are some symptoms of B12 deficiency. Long standing B12 deficiency can lead to anemia, irreversible nerve and brain damage
At Brio, vitamin B12 injections also include B-complex as all B vitamins are often depleted together in stress and long-term medication use. We also use the superior methyl form of B12 which studies support is better absorbed and more effective for neurological issues. B vitamin injections are safe, well-tolerated and the quickest way to replenish levels while determining the cause of deficiency for you.
Depending on the level of B12 deficiency, 2-3 injections may be necessary before noticeable improvements. Most often injections are done 1-2 weeks apart, then less frequently as symptoms improve.
We are so excited to announce all of the local companies that are participating in our Earth Day give-away this month. For the last several years, we have celebrated Earth day by raffling off doantions from local businesses. This year, we have generously received donations from Save on Foods, Heringers, Raintree Wellness Spa & Tea, ChocXO, Wellspring Health, Ironwood Cleaners, Santevia, Cabin + Cub.
This is a friendly reminder that Brio Integrative Health Centre will be closed this Saturday October 11. We will resume regular office hours on Tuesday October 14th. We hope you all have a great Thanksgiving weekend shared with friends and family.
Happy Healthy Tummy Tips for this Thanksgiving
Dr.Dhiman has some great tips for keeping your tummy happy and healthy for the Thanksgiving meal ahead of us.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) - a distressed stomach's best friend. One to two teaspoons in 1/2 a glass of water 15 minutes prior to meals. ACV will aid in digestion, decrease gastric reflux, decrease bloating and abdominal pain. Use as needed
2. Try to avoid Antacids - we have been programmed to think that symptoms of acid reflux is a result of too much stomach acid production, however, in our clinical observation, the problem is usually too little stomach acid production. Stomach acid production can decrease when the body is stressed. Overeating can absolutely be a stressor to the body. Again, ACV will normalize stomach acid levels.
3. Peppermint Tea - Peppermint (Mentha piperita) can calm a distressed tummy almost immediately. This can rid the body of symptoms of dyspepsia. If peppermint tea does not quite do the trick, Peppermint Oil Capsules are an excellent supplement as needed.
4. Fennel Seeds (Foeniculum vulgare) - Have you ever noticed at the end of a delicious Greek meal, you will often get a tiny bowl of fennel seed candy? This is not a random offering as fennel can ease abdominal pain, gas and bloating almost immediately. Simply chew on a small amount and swallow. The seeds can also be boiled in water to drink as a tea.
5. Try to avoid beverages with meals - Have you also noticed at most Asian restaurants you will not receive ice water with your meal unless it is requested? You will however, receive small cups of warm tea. Small amounts of warm tea aid digestion. Ice cold drinks place stress on the digestive system, dilute digestive enzymes and stomach acid levels. For optimal digestion, try to limit beverages to half an hour before or after meals. If you have a dog at home, watch how he/she has meals. Foods and liquids are always separate. This principle follows the laws of nature.
Join Dr.Carin Matsushita for this presentation to empower women looking for alternate solutions to support their health.
Location: Steveston Community Centre
Time: 6:30 pm
Date: Thursday November 6th *If you received our September Newsletter our day was incorrect, please note this has beeen updated.
Please call Steveston Community Centre to register.
In September, my wife and I will be traveling to Europe for a 3-week vacation to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary. We have been planning for this trip for several years and I can’t believe we are only a few days away! My patients have been truly excited for me, offering information, personal travel tips and links to useful websites. Others have asked: “What do you do (health-wise) to prepare for an extended vacation?” I thought I’d share my answers in this blog.
First off, the most important thing is to have a consistent sleep routine. It is very tempting to stay up late to research all the exciting places that we will be visiting, but I have kept a strict bedtime. My body and mind work the best when I get about 7.5 hours of sleep. I cannot emphasize enough how important sleep is in the regulation of our immune and nervous systems and in the repairing of our bodies.
I recently watched an excellent documentary on CBC’s Nature of Things on the topic of sleep. In this episode, David Suzuki examines the importance of sleep and, more specifically, how artificial light affects our quality of sleep. The documentary is called Light’s Out, and you can find it through this link: (http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/The+Nature+of+Things/ID/2313199682/)
Boosting the Immune System
Traveling can put stress on the body and can expose you to pathogens from all around the world. As many of my patients know, I talk about the herb Astragalus all the time, especially around the fall season. Astragalus is an immune modulating herb that can strengthen a deficient immune system and regulate an overactive immune system. In preparation for my trip, I have been taking the formula Jade Windscreen on a regular basis. I will also be bringing this along on my travels. I have written several blogs in the past about this great herb. (link)
I love eating local foods when I travel. One of the ways I protect my digestive tract is by taking a high-quality probiotic (Pro = good, biotic = bacteria). Probiotics are healthy bacteria naturally found in our digestive systems. Healthy bacteria can protect you from traveler’s diarrhea and strengthen the immune system. My favourite probiotic for travel is HMF Intensive. I simply take 1 capsule a day and it comes in a convenient blister pack. I also take Phytogreens, a supplement that combines a variety of green vegetables (spinach, wheat grass, broccoli, etc.) with spirulina and chlorella. It is packed full of nutrients and enzymes.
Recently, I have been growing my own microgreens and sprouts, incorporating more of them into my diet. Microgreens are baby plants and have a high concentration of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. They also taste great! I’ll share more about microgreens in a future blog.
Bon voyage, Dr.Lee!
Please note: Dr.Lee will return to the office on Tuesday October 7th. Do not hesitate to contact the office for product refills, or appointments can be booked with Dr.Matsushita.
Images in order, credit of: http://global-conferences.eu/london/
Image credit of: http://blogs.adobe.com/echosign/adobe-echosign-at-salesforce1-tour-london-recap/
Image credit of: http://www.home-hunts.net/france/paris-property-for-sale-apartments-in-paris/paris-is-perfect-for-property-investment/
Images credit of: http://www.bjjee.com/competitions-tournaments/4-ibjjf-events-in-europe-in-2013-including-one-in-rome-italy/
After a long hard winter, Summer has absolutely arrived in Vancouver. It always amazes me how simply one day of Sun in Vancouver can vanish every trace memories of cold and rain from the season prior.
- require bending resulting in lower back strain
- they may result in dominant use of one side of the body more so than the other, creating an imbalance in the upper and lower back, and also the hamstrings
- can result in shoulder pain
- twisting and hip pain
- golfers elbow or repetitive strain on the wrists/forearms from twisting and pulling in the garden
- headaches and disrupted sleep
Live jazz music, speaking presentations including our very own Dr.Matsushita, and display booths on Health & Wellness with a focus on senior living!
Everyone is welcome!
Dr.Carin Matsushita will be talking from 3:30-4:00 pm on "Natural Solutions to Chronic Pain".
Come join us at Fraserview Care Lodge at 9580 Williams Road, Richmond BC on Thursday, June 26th, 2014 from 3-6pm. Ribbon cutting at 6-7pm!
Click HERE to read more about the event.
Dr. Lee: What about pesticides found in foods?
There are studies showing pesticide residues in children fed a conventional diet compared to an organic diet. Of these 84 papers in total, at least 80% of them show a POSITIVE association between pesticide exposure and various cancers.
Dr.Lee: What are Genetically Modified Crops grown in Canada?
A good website to know is www.cban.ca/gmfoods. Below you will see a chart taken from the cban website showing a list of GM crops grown in Canada and the GM foods imported to Canada.
Dr.Lee: Can you provide us with a list of hidden GM ingredients in our everyday foods?
Below is a very detailed list of invisible GM ingredients.
Dr.Jeff: Thank you so much for sharing your information with us. To learn more about Richmond Food Security, please visit
1. No independent research for safety
2. Increased use in herbicides and pesticides
3. Genetic contamination
4. Corporate control of seeds and food supply
5. Patenting of seeds
6. Our right to know has been denied
7. Economic impacts
8. Unsustainable farming methods
9. Bees and butterflies are disappearing from the use of glyphosate in RoundUp
• avoid processed foods with corn, soy, canola, cottonseed and sugar
• buy organic and/or non-GMO Verified products
• buy organic or grass-fed meat, eggs and dairy
• avoid sweet corn, Hawaiian papaya and some US zucchini and yellow crookneck squash (unless organic)
What can we do to stop GM foods?
• support our local farmers who oppose GM crops
• buy local, at farmer’s markets, supports CSAs
• grow your own food
• start a conversation on GMOs
• ask restaurants to provide non-GMO food
• write emails and letters to store managers and head offices asking them not to sell GMOs