Articles and Q&A's

January 2013

Healthy Habits for a Healthy Year

If you're like us, it's been a holiday season filled with lots of good food! Despite our best efforts to try not to over-indulge, most of us will have put on a few extra pounds. Instead of going along the "knee-jerk" path of going on a diet, this is the perfect time to develop healthy habits that can prepare us for those times when we want to have a little fun. In particular, we'd like to focus on the digestive system.
December 2012

Q&A with Dr. Cheng - Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Q: Are there supplements that may help my IBS? I have abdominal cramps, diarrhea alternating with constipation, and a lot of gas. A: Peppermint oil is known for its ability to relax intestinal smooth muscles.
December 2012

Haemorrhoids: A Natural Approach

Humans stand on two legs and assume an upright posture as compared to the horizontal position in 4-legged animals. They pay a price for this. Due to the accumulated hydrostatic pressure in the lower parts of the body, humans develop dilated veins in their lower legs and in the lower bowel. Dilated veins in the legs are called varicose veins. Those in the rectum are Haemorrhoids. An individual would be more prone to haemorrhoids if the wall of their veins loses its normal supporting connective tissues and elasticity and whenever there is increase in abdominal pressure as in obesity, pregnancy, straining during weight lifting or constipation. There is also a familial predisposition.
November 2012

Gluten Intolerance & Coeliac Disease

Coeliac Disease is a disease of the small intestine caused by extreme sensitivity to a group of proteins collectively called gluten that is found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. The sensitivity reaction causes atrophy of the villi (tiny projections on the mucus membrane required for efficient absorption). The normal absorption ability of the gut and intestinal motility are affected, resulting in weakness, anaemia, loose and greasy stool (steatorrhoea), weight loss, constipation, chronic diarrhoea, bloating, flatulence, and abdominal pain. Some of these patients are being labelled as having IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and many turned out to have gluten sensitivity. It is estimated that one in 133 Canadians has gluten sensitivity. The first step in management is to completely exclude gluten in the diet. Coeliac patients usually develop secondary lactose intolerance. Hence they have to exclude dairy products from their diet as well. Take special caution that there may be hidden gluten derivatives in soy sauce, food starch, ice cream, soups, beer, wines, Vodka, Whisky, malt, etc.
November 2012

Vitamin K for bones

Q: I have a family history of osteoporosis so I am taking calcium and vitamin D to help build up my bones; is there anything else I can do to help make my bones stronger? Christine: In addition to any supplementation, it is always important to maintain a healthy diet that can provide the trace minerals & adequate protein for healthy bone synthesis.
November 2012

Beyond Milk for Building Strong Bones

"Drink your milk up or you don’t get to play today!" That is something many of us have heard repeatedly in our early years... Well, guess what? The statement is still valid today, regardless of your age. If you do not try your best to maintain strong bones through nutrition and exercise, you will not have a strong and healthy skeleton to carry you through life and allow you to "play" well into advanced age. Many people focus on their joints, since a painful joint is easily detectable. However, without strong bones to form a healthy skeleton, painless joints would be useless. In fact, fracture due to weak bones is one of the leading causes of hospitalizations for the elderly, often with poor outcomes. Therefore, we should make an effort to take good care of our bones first.
October 2012

Don't Let The Flu Bug You This Winter

As we age, the ability of our immune systems to combat infection weakens. This means that seniors are more susceptible to getting the flu and this is nothing to shrug off, given that 90% of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people over the age of 65. A flu infection could also lead to more serious illnesses such as pneumonia, which may be fatal. There is absolutely no doubt that the best defence against the flu is an annual flu shot. The local flu vaccine consists of remnants of the flu virus that can trigger your immunity to make biochemical troops in preparation for exposure to an actual flu viral attack. This way, the body can respond much more quickly upon exposure and thus halt the flu in its tracks ASAP.
October 2012


Q: What are the differences between the use of L-Carnitine and Actyl-L-Carnitine? Dr. Cheng: Basically they are interchangeable. However, most studies on L-Carnitine were on ischaemic heart disease, angina, post-infarct recovery, and benefits on exercise endurance.
September 2012

The "Mouse Arm"

"Mouse Arm" is a newly coined term designating a group of musculo-skeletal problems of the forearm and hand resulting from computer use. Excessive and repetitive typing, clicking the "mouse", and abnormal posture all result in tendon and ligament strains. The resulting muscle spasm may affect nerve conduction and sensations giving rise to more pains. Computers have revolutionised all walks of life. It is estimated that two thirds of employees in the city uses a computer on a daily basis. This includes those who work at the cash register, punching and scanning for a few hours a day. I guarantee at least 10% of my readers have some form of the conditions that I am going to describe.
August 2012

Plant Iron

Q: I am tired in the afternoon and I am a bit anaemic. My memory is poor and my hair brittle. My doctor advised me to take an iron pill. I had tried several brands and they all bothered my stomach as well as causing constipation. What else can I take? A: Floradix is a herbal iron vitamin preparation in liquid form. It is well absorbed and side effects are rare. Flora is a reputable company that uses only organic herbs.
August 2012

Summer Fun

Now that summer weather is in full swing, we all want to head outside and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Keep the following points in mind to help you enjoy these gorgeous, sunny summer days: Keep It Cool: As we age, the body’s ability to maintain its internal thermostat decreases. Thankfully, there are many ways to stay cool during the summer. You can install fans or air-conditioning in your home, or spend more time in public places that are air-conditioned (such as public libraries or shopping malls). This is particularly important when you are exercising because your body will heat up faster in hotter weather. Stay Hydrated: Our body’s main method for helping to keep us cool is to sweat. In order to keep up with the body’s sweating, it is important to stay well-hydrated. You must have heard that we should drink 8 glasses of water a day. This is based on the fact that it takes about 1mL of water to burn 1 calorie. Thus, a person consuming 2000 calories in a day should take in about 2000mL (2 litres!) or eight 250mL glasses of fluids.
August 2012

Naked Natural Beauty

Many people are becoming more aware of the presence of certain ingredients in their health and beauty aid products because of the possible effects on their health, especially with long-term exposure. We often see claims on beauty aid products such as “All Natural!”, “Organic Ingredients!”, “Paraben-free!”, “No Sulfates!”, “ No Lauryl sulfate!”, etc. Let’s take a quick look at a few of these controversial ingredients.