Phone: (09) 282 3588
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Liver health in Spring

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the seasons are each associated with a particular organ system, and the Liver is the organ of Spring.  We tend to feel quieter and less active during the winter months but with the arrival of spring we should begin to feel re-energised and more alive.

Healthy liver energy is strong, decisive and free-flowing - the type of energy you need to set goals and motivate yourself to achieve them.  If your liver is unbalanced or sluggish you will feel irritable, depressed and lack motivation.

Poor liver function symptoms

Some other common signs your liver energy is out of balance:

If you are suffering from any of these springtime patterns your body is crying out for a course of rebalancing treatments from your acupuncturist!

What we can do for your liver health

Visit Katherine Barley at Holden HealthCare; she will assess your liver health using Traditional Chinese Medicine methods, and offer a programme of acupuncture and lifestyle routines to put you back on track.

By David Holden, Naturopath & BioChemist

Yes its that time of year when Christmas and the New Year is a distant memory and when we look down – oops! Its time to set the wheels in motion to do a weight loss plan that will not only get rid of excess fat round your middle, and the upper thighs, but also a time to look at how we can make some permanent changes that will help us keep the weight off once we have got down to where we want to be.

In my 30 years of full time clinical practice I have used 3 main weight loss programs and all of them had issues, either expense, time consuming or just plain difficult. With the advent of Dr Michael Mosley’s “The 5:2 Fast Diet” all these issues go out the window! His plan is good, it works because it is based on science. As a science nerd I like that, as it is quantifiable, and we can prove it works with the VLA testing that I do as a part of my new 2018 Weight Loss Plan package.

Importance of the Thyroid in weight loss especially in Women

This plan includes a copy of the book FREE as well as 3 sessions spaced out 2 weeks apart so over 6 weeks you see me 3 times – first session to do baseline Antioxidant testing and Thyroid testing to make sure this is OK. If it isn’t then we need to help restore your Thyroid back to normal correct physiological functioning.

In my experience over many years most GP’s completely miss low thyroids especially in women, as they depend on a simple blood test which doesn’t give all the info needed to accurately assess thyroid function. The thyroid is extra important in helping relay chemical messenger info from the pituitary gland deep in the brain to the ovaries. If the thyroid isn’t functioning properly, ideally at optimum, it will sabotage all efforts to lose weight. It is rather like a car wheel spinning in mud, lots of noise but no motion. Balancing the thyroid isn’t that hard when you know what you are doing, but it can take a few months to get it right. This is an extra cost (mainly the supplements & herbs) that is not included in the special price offer we are giving you today. But as thyroid is SO important it is vital we tick that box or you won't lose the weight you want to. If you suffer from tiredness in the mornings, mood swings tending to depression, hard to lose weight and irritable and out of sorts that time of the month for the ladies then suspect thyroid and you will be correct almost all of the time.

So once we get the thyroid regulated then we put you on the Fast Diet where you limit your calories to 500 per day for just 2 days a week for Women and 600 per day for Men. These 2 low cal days as we call them need to be at least 2 days apart. This does 3 things; it trains your brain to accept smaller meals as a norm; it shrinks the stomach so you are satisfied with less on your normal eating days AND it sets you up for getting used to feeling lighter and less full. All of these help re-program your brain into accepting less calories on a regular basis which makes sticking to a healthier diet that much easier after you have finished the diet when you have reached your goal weight.

Age need not be a barrier to weight loss, my elderly mother (bless her she is no longer with us) went on the 5:2 Fast Diet when she was 85 and lost 8 kg in 8 weeks! So if she can do it anyone can. I have used this plan myself and with at least 50 patients in the last year with GREAT results! So I know it works which is why I am offering a money back guarantee!

During the second and third sessions I recheck the Thyroid scores, Antioxidant Scan to make sure you are eating the right foods and getting all your needed nutrients and I redo the VLA test. This accurately tells us exactly how much fat you have lost to 2 decimal places and it breaks down the numbers to fat and ATM muscle. ATM is one thing you don’t want to lose if you can avoid it as this is what keeps your fitness up and improves immunity. I talk you thru it so you get what is the best diet for you, your body type and your age and ethnicity as all of these need to be factored in. So as you can see it is not a one size fits all type plan. This is one reason why it is so successful, so much so that I am offering a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!! If you pass a simple AK test that tells me if you have stuck to the plan and not cheated and in the unlikely event haven’t lost at least 5 kg then I will refund your money no further questions, but we will ask for the book back!

So what are you waiting for? Call or email Jax and book your first weight loss session today before we sell out of the books or the offer expires (31.03.2018) at the end of this month. info@hhc.nz or call 09 282 3588 . . .

What is it?

Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland, a walnut sized gland surrounding the urethra (the duct through which urine is passed) just below the bladder.

The numbers bit - prostate cancer incidence in New Zealand

Prostate cancer is most common in men over the age of 40, and is rare in younger men. By age 60, one man in 9 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Australia and New Zealand have the highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world (but, fortunately, not the highest mortality rates).

In New Zealand, over 3000 men per year are registered with prostate cancer and 600 men die from it (Ministry of Health New Zealand).

The suspicious symptoms that may indicate prostate abnormality

Risk factors for prostate cancer

prostate sizes

How prostate cancer is diagnosed

First step is a Prostatic Specific Antigen test (a blood test) and the physical exam, known as the Digital Rectal Exam (DRE). The DRE is performed by a doctor while the patient lies down on their side or on their stomach; the doctor slips on a pair of disposable gloves and examines the size and hardness of the prostate by inserting a finger into the rectum. The prostate can be felt through the rectal wall. It is important to have the DRE, however reluctant you may be, because a man may have a normal PSA but still have aggressive cancer nodules.

If the findings are cause for concern, ie the PSA is above 3 (for a man aged in his 50’s) and the prostate feels hard and enlarged, the GP will refer you to a specialist for further investigations.

If you have results that may indicate prostate cancer, consult the specialist the GP refers you to.

How complementary medicine can help

Complementary medicine can produce some promising results, either alone or in conjunction with the conventional medicine pathway, depending on the person and on the cancer itself.

Either way, treating the person and the environment in which the cancer lies is of utmost importance for the best outcome. This will include lifestyle, exercise, diet and selected supplements.

What to expect from a consultation with a naturopath or medical herbalist

Goals may include management of insulin sensitivity, detoxification, low body fat and increased muscle mass. This will be delivered by dietary and lifestyle advice.

Exercise six days a week – this will be a combination of walking/aerobic exercise and weight or resistance training.

Meditation / mindfulness or positive thinking. There is a lot of research which shows that managing stress, whether conscious or sub-conscious stress, is effective in reducing cancer markers. This is because stress fosters inflammation in the body, and inflammation is one of the triggers for cancer.

Diet: reducing or avoiding red meat, sugar, alcohol, cigarettes and increasing chemoprotective foods and spices such as tomato, turmeric, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli will be discussed. Your practitioner will cover this in depth with you.

Supplements that may be helpful for prostate cancer

Vitamin D, folic acid and sulphurophane are among the supplements that may be relevant. Some herbal medicine may also be appropriate and effective, and may be prescribed for you, depending on your own individual needs and other medications taken.

We can help

Your naturopaths at Holden Healthcare are well-qualified and experienced practitioners who practise compassionate healthcare and can offer you a health plan going forward from diagnosis.

We look forward to being included in your healthcare team!

Marion Stobie
Senior Naturopath, Medical Herbalist & Nutritionist

Prostate image creative commons licensed from Wikimedia.

By David Holden, Senior Naturopath & BioChemist

specialising in Naturopathic Oncology

That’s the stats and it needs to change, and the reality is you are the only one that can make your own stats change. Lifestyle Medicine is the science behind lifestyle and how it affects your health and the impact it makes on it. Diet, exercise, relaxation, mindfulness, meditation, attitude all make an enormous difference on gene expression and whether you will get what your parents had. These are all areas your GP has had little training in as a rule. Naturopaths & Health Coaches do extensive training in all these areas and know well their impact on health stats and outcomes.

This Blue September for Prostate Cancer awareness do something about your risk and get tested via a simple PSA blood test and prostate exam if you are over 50 and especially if you have a family history of a father or grandfather or uncle who had or has prostate cancer. If you have a partner with a risk profile in the immediate family then ask him to get tested, it could save his life!

In the early stages BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy) or swelling of the prostate gland can be helped a lot with Lifestyle Medicine. Usual symptoms are the dribbles when peeing, having to get up at night to pee urgently, reduced urinary flow and /or pain or discomfort in the prostate area & sexual issues. This condition isn’t life threatening but it is a bloody nuisance and can make many Men’s lives a misery, especially at night and can play havoc with their sex lives.

Here at HHC we use advanced testing and scientific analysis to accurately assess your lifestyle and its impact on your health & wellness. If you show elevated risk we can teach you how to reduce it significantly. It really is a case of getting things early and acting sooner than later to get the best results with your health short, medium & longer term. Think of your health as your best investment. Without it, saving for retirement is, frankly, futile if you won’t live long enough or aren’t well enough to enjoy it. You spend money on your vehicle and toys so spend on you and reap the benefits.

Book you or your male partners Prostate Month Blue September Wellness Check-up this month and save over $125! It may be the best investment in your health you ever made!

BOOK NOW call 09 282 3588 or email us

By Dr. Deven P Sharma, MD, MD (AM), FCMA, FRSPH, FCLM.

A new study by researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine has found regular moderate exercise also has anti-inflammatory benefits. They have found that a 20-minute session of moderate exercise can stimulate the immune system which then produces anti-inflammatory cellular response. This has encouraging implications for chronic diseases like arthritis, fibromyalgia and more pervasive conditions such as obesity.

The research stated that the anti-inflammatory benefits of exercise have been known to researchers, but finding out how that process happens is key to safely maximising those benefits. Inflammation is an important part of the body’s immune response to injuries, foreign invaders and damaged tissue; however chronic inflammation can lead to serious health issues related to diabetes, celiac disease, obesity and other conditions. The study shows that exercise does not need to be intense to have anti-inflammatory effects  - just 20 minutes of moderate exercise including fast-paced walking appears to be sufficient.

This is an important new finding, as feeling like a workout needs to be particularly intense or a long duration may have been off-putting for those who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases, who particularly benefit from exercise. However, it should be noted that patients with chronic inflammatory disease should always consult with their physician concerning their treatment plan. But knowing that exercise can provide these benefits is an important consideration. Needless to say a very cheap form of natural anti-inflammatories!

For a tailored natural programme to help with chronic inflammation, book an appointment to visit Dr. Deven by calling (09) 282 3588.

Reference : Perspectives in Public HealthMay 2017-Vol 137-No3 ; Royal Society for Public Health, London E1 8AN , England.

With the warmer weather starting to come through, many of us are starting to dust off the exercise gear and training shoes to get fitter for the summer.
Sometimes we can get put off from exercising because of the aches and pains that can follow. This can be offset by proactive self-care strategies.

Firstly, we need to ensure that we are adequately hydrated before, during and after exercise. Filtered water is the best, however those of us who exercise intensely or in the hot sun and sweat heavily may be wise to replace lost electrolytes as well. Adding ⅛ teaspoon of Himalayan or Real Salt to a litre bottle of water is effective; ½ teaspoon of maple syrup together with a squeeze of half a lime (or small lemon) can help the taste as well as replacing some glucose.

A sachet of Lypospheric Vitamin C or other good quality vitamin C, such as Naturopath’s Own Daily C at 1000mg dose per day, is effective as an antioxidant and to help repair micro-tears in sore muscles.

Turmeric is a spice native to the Spice Islands and has long been used in Asian cuisine and medicine. The same part of the plant, the rhizome, has been used in Western herbal medicine since the Middle Ages and has enjoyed a revival in recent times. By its stimulating action on general circulation and also its anti-inflammatory properties, it is of value in bringing symptomatic relief to musculoskeletal aches and pains, with particular focus on joint mobility. It’s valuable not only to those with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis for this reason, but also for those of us with an active lifestyle.

Turmeric has become well-known as a liver and gallbladder tonic and as such it is well regarded as supportive in those undergoing radiation therapy and there are clinical trials demonstrating turmeric’s potential benefit in cancer patients. It is useful in treating skin conditions where they are associated with impure or coagulated blood, especially in radiation dermatitis.

Therapeutically, the bioavailability of Turmeric has been questioned, and research has shown that it is much better absorbed in the human body when
taken with some form of fat. This is why Ayurvedic (Indian) use of Turmeric combines it with milk or yogurt. Recipes for these are available at the clinic.
Of course, as a food the concentration is limited for therapeutic uses, although it is fine for maintenance levels. For more focused therapy, 1 -2 tablets per day of Turmeric, containing not less than 90mg of the active curcumin and phospholipids for absorption per tablet, is the best way of delivering an effective dose.

If you would like to follow this up, please contact me at Holden Healthcare to discuss if this is right for you. Turmeric is contraindicated for pregnant women and at high doses for people who are taking blood-thinners and some anti-inflammatory medications.

Marianne Stobie, Senior Naturopath at Holden Healthcare.

This week, Columbia University announced a “breakthrough” in our understanding of how gluten relates to health issues. Their findings, published in the journal Gut, revealed that the complaints gluten-sensitive people (those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity) experience are a consequence of a disruption of the gut lining – what has come to be called “leaky gut.”

As the authors concluded:

These findings reveal a state of systemic immune activation in conjunction with a compromised intestinal epithelium affecting a subset of individuals who experience sensitivity to wheat in the absence of celiac disease.

Co-author of the study, Dr. Umberto Volta, professor of internal medicine at the University of Bologna, summarised as follows
These results shift the paradigm in our recognition and understanding of non-celiac wheat sensitivity and will likely have important implications for diagnosis and treatment… Considering the large number of people affected by the condition and its significant negative health impact on patients, this is an important area of research that deserves much more attention and funding.

I am pleased to see reports like this making their way into the conversation. But to be fair, the idea that a breakdown of the intestinal lining plays a pivotal role in the various complaints of those suffering from non-celiac gluten sensitivity isn’t a new discovery. In fact, this exact mechanism is the central theme of Grain Brain!

What is newsworthy is the recent finding that the breakdown in the gut lining as a response to gluten exposure is, according to Harvard researchers, an event that occurs in all humans. That means that there is immune activation occurring in all of us when we consume gluten, whether we think we are having issues, or not.

When we understand the powerful relationship between this mechanism of immune activation and diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, coronary artery disease, and even obesity, it makes opting for a gluten-free diet the clear choice if you want to do everything you can to protect your health.
Dr. Perlmutter is a pioneer in medicine. His approach to brain health offers us the opportunity to get to the underlying cause of some of the most challenging diseases. Dr. Perlmutter offers a holistic approach to neurology, treating the whole person body, mind and spirit. His approach is evidenced-based and cutting edge providing options and hope to individuals with significant neurologic challenges.

Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC
Founder and Founding Director, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
His approach to brain health offers us the opportunity to get to the underlying cause of some of the most challenging diseases. Dr. Perlmutter offers a holistic approach to neurology, treating the whole person body, mind and spirit. His approach is evidenced-based and cutting edge providing options and hope to individuals with significant neurologic challenges. - See more at: http://www.drperlmutter.com/top-researchers-reveal-gluten-threatens-health/#sthash.ZYK9Iqob.dpuf

On my return from a two week trip to China (a bucket list must!) there was a definite change of season in New Zealand, with fallen linden tree leaves covering my street and with a nip in the air in the mornings. A beautiful time of year!

Rapid temperature changes, whether from cold to hot, but more predominantly from hot to cold, are stressful to the human body as we adapt to maintain balance. Add exposure to upper respiratory viruses to this and our immune systems are challenged to fight these bugs off, especially if we already have a health condition to manage to start with.

It is a good idea to continue exercise, particularly when the heart rate is raised and sweating occurs, as the higher temperature helps to kill off the unwanted viruses. Take care, however, not to chill down too quickly afterwards, again because of the stress of changes of temperature.

Remembering to throw a jacket into the car when going to work to allow for temperature fluctuations and to keep warm when the temperature drops in the early evening.

Eating properly is always a foundation stone for good health, and especially when the weather changes from warm to cool. Now is the time to reintegrate hot dinners, soups and casseroles. Using warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and curry powders are beneficial at this time – for instance, Thai pumpkin soup is nutritious and comforting! Ingredients include red curry paste, pumpkin and coconut cream - see www.taste.com.au/recipes/21007/thai-pumpkin-soup/181/ for the base recipe, and add Asian fish sauce, onion, garlic, and seasoning to taste.

On the subject of garlic, use it liberally in your diet or if that is not practical in your household, buy some garlic capsules. Garlic has antioxidant and antimicrobial activity, and is anti-inflammatory and anti-viral too. Its immune-stimulating actions earn it a place in our toolkit to combat winter chills and ills. Of course it also has a lot of evidence-based research for its cardiovascular benefits too. The main caution is if you are taking blood-thinning medication, in which case moderate dietary use of garlic is fine, but it is wiser to stay away from garlic supplements.

Vitamin C is well-known in doses between 500mg – 2000mg per day is a must for its immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory actions.

Herbal medicine is also very effective for immune support. Many people know about Echinacea, but here I want to mention Astragalus.

Astragalus root is originally a Chinese plant, but has been widely adopted by Western medical herbalists as a tonic and treatment for colds, ‘flu and other chronic viral infections, either on its own or together with other herbs such as Echinacea and Licorice. Research has shown that Astragalus activates and stimulates the proliferation of various immune cells. Traditionally, Astragalus is not used in the active phase of an infection (the first 2 days of a cold, for instance) but comes into its own straight after the end of the active phase, when it significantly helps to speed recovery and shorten the duration of symptoms.

If you would like a liquid herbal immune support formula tailor-made for you, or herbal advice, do give Holden Healthcare a call to book an appointment to see me and I can make something up to suit your own individual needs.

Soup photo credit: Pumpkin soup via photopin (license)

By David Holden, ND, MS - Naturopath & BioChemist

Yes, you can do it! The Wellness Approach to winter is to boost your system with specific foods, herbs, exercises & Lifestyle Medicine so bugs done get a look in! As an ex-Microbiologist of 5 years before I became a Naturopath, I studied all bugs known to mankind at the time of my training. Interestingly we are discovering new bugs all the time due to advances in microscopes and detection technologies as well as better scientific understandings of how the immune system works.

I personally haven’t had a major flu or cold in winter for nearly a decade now! And it isn’t rocket science folks, it is actually very simple, but it takes time to do it, so if you wish to avoid all the office worker colds and flus going around (dirty air con is a major contributor) or to boost your kids immune system from all those nasty school bugs before the colder weather you need to start NOW! It takes on average 3 months to build immunity if it is really low in a healthy adult, about 2 months for kids unless either has a diagnosed disease in which case it will probably take longer. So this article was written in March, so if you start now by June you have a good chance of boosting YOUR immune system by at least 25%, in some cases 50% and this can be tested with our equipment at HHC to prove it.

The key principles that Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know is:

1.     Specific Vitamins & Minerals DO WORK and can significantly protect you BETTER than the flu vaccine and are much safer! The main Vitamins are C & D3 and the main Minerals are Zinc & Selenium.

2.     The key herbs are Astralagus and Garlic.

3.     The key exercises are Cardio Vascular HIIT & Yoga / Qi Gung & Tai Chi.

4.     The key Lifestyle Medicine tips are to be relaxed and stress free as much as possible, to do this Mediation and Creative Visualization are the main methods used as they help reduce Immune System stresses.

Let’s look at these in more detail:

Vitamin C is well known as an Immune System stimulant. The research dates back well over 60 years mainly by Dr Linus Pauling, PhD who was one of only 2 people in World history to win 2 Noble prizes in Medicine. (The other one, Dr Otto Warburg, MD discovered Medical Ozone, one of 5 known Naturopathic cures for many types - but not all - of Cancer and other diseases).

Dr Pauling’s work concluded that Vitamin C protects the cell wall from viral & bacterial infiltration by strengthening it and making it impermeable to them; thus protecting and ‘rate limiting’ the spread of viruses & bacteria when they try and multiply rapidly making the person very sick and contagious quickly.

The Master key with Vitamin C is

to hit it hard on the first sign

of any cold or flu symptoms.


As viruses, and to some lesser extent bacteria, spread rapidly – viruses can multiple 1,000 x within a few hours, bacteria 100 x so if you don’t hammer them quickly they will take over and you will get sick very fast, within 24-48 hours, as anyone knows who has contracted a real flu.

Dose is weight dependant, basically 1 gram Vit C per 10kg body weight is the MINIMUM dose to hammer rapidly growing viruses.

You can double or even treble this suggested minimum dose to bowel tolerance if you want to get even better & faster results.


Bowel tolerance is where you take as much oral Vitamin C until you get loose bowels then back off the dose by 10-20% until the loose bowel firms up. This is the ONLY major uncomfortable side effect of high dose Vitamin C – diarrhoea. If you take the new fat soluble forms of Vitamin C like Lypospheric, Nano or Micro Particle Vitamin C you can take much higher doses without loose bowels. Intravenous Vitamin C (IVC) is by far the best way of getting huge doses of Vitamin C into your system quickly but it is very expensive compared with oral Vit C, but dose have this distinct advantage over oral dosing – it won’t cause loose bowels. So the average dose for a 60-80kg adult is between 2-3grams daily as a preventer, much more, 5-15grams daily if you actually have a full blown infection. At these levels you need to be taking the new fat soluble Lypo C’s to reduce the incidents of diarrhoea. IVC is the only way to go if you gte a life threatening infection like Swine Flu or Bird Flu, here really high doses can actually cure the infection completely as has been show so well in the much publicised case of Alan XXXXXXX in 20XX in Auckland.

Vitamin D3 is not so well known publicly, but has been the focus of a lot of attention in recent decades with people like Dr Joseph Mercola, DO et al, who wrote some major articles on Vitamin D3 in the late 1990’s and throughout the OO’s (noughties). Vitamin D3 is at the core of immune system function and unlike the old medical model that says Vitamin D3 is only good for strengthen bones, we now know so much more about Vit D3 and how it works and how vital it is in immune system function and support. It is estimated scientifically that if everyone on the planet was dosed on Vitamin D3 regularly then the incidence of Cancer would drop nearly 50% within 3 months as it takes time to build it up in your body stores. Unlike Vitamin C which is water soluble, Vitamin D3 is fat soluble so it is stored for longer in the body tissues, not washed out by fluids like Vitamin C is. But it takes at least 3 months to get your levels up to the recommended, over 100d/l which is much higher than the medical RDA levels of between 40-80d/l. I prefer patients to have levels above 120, especially if there is a cancer family or personal history.

Vitamin D3 is just as, if not MORE important than Vitamin C in combating colds and flus. As it is stored in the human body for much longer than Vit C, it is more helpful but it does take time, weeks to months if you are very low, to build the levels up unlike Vit C which is absorbed rapidly within a few minutes or hours.

I specify Vitamin D3 as D2 is toxic in higher doses and doesn’t have the same immune building effects of D3. The best dose is actually much higher than is given medically over time. An average adult should be on 5-15,000iu Vit D3 daily if their levels are low or if they have a compromised immune response like a herpes or other longer term viral infection like HIV or various Cancers. The Medical range is 40-80 d/l the Naturopathic range is over 100, ideally 120+. Most people can go up to 200 d/l with no toxic side effects. However, some people are more sensitive and can get skin rashes and in severe cases kidney stones if they take very high doses of Vit D3 for extended periods of time without medical blood testing which I recommend at least 2 x annually.

While there is no substitute for having elevated levels of C & D3 you also need to boost minerals to get more complete protection.

Of all the Minerals Zinc is by far the most important,

with Selenium a close second for boosting immunity.


NZ & Australian soils are very low in both minerals, especially Selenium. In the 1990’s the World Health Organisation (WHO) linked low Selenium (Se) levels in soil to elevated Cancer rates from the results of World Wide scientific research studies. The evidence is very clear, countries that have low Selenium levels have high Cancer death rates, end of story, just like Australia & NZ. If it’s not in the soil, then it won’t get into our foods so we need to supplement. Selenium is best derived from Brazil nuts, aim for between 3-6 daily for a couple of months and that will tip the scales in the right direction, again a simple cheap blood test is useful to find out exactly where your levels are. Be aware that you can OD on Se levels! If you levels get above 2.5 you can get some liver toxicity, it is reversible, but best not to go that high. In NZ the standard medical levels are low normal range is 0.5-1.5, but in the USA where I trained it is over 1.4-2.2. So I ignore the medical range here in NZ as it is deliberately low, which is bizarre and reflects the lack of knowledge of this vital immune boosting mineral to human health.

Zinc is involved in over 60 different enzyme systems in the human body so is a vital mineral for immune recovery after illness, as well as helping to heal all skin diseases and mucous membrane conditions. Food sources are unreliable at best, especially if the food is grown in Aussie or NZ as the soils are low in it. So supplementation is the best and most cost effective options for most people I see. I recommend the Metagenics Meta Zinc product as its well absorbed, just 1 daily with breakfast is enough to bring most people up to good levels within 2-6 months depending on the person’s lifestyle. I always add Zinc testing to my new patient blood reports so we know exactly where it is early on especially with Cancer and other serious illnesses. Tell this to your average TGA or Medsafe bureaucrat who want to restrict what dose you can take and get access to. It’s easy to see why conspiracy theorists get their nickers in a twist as the levels of these 2 key vital immune nutrients, D3 & Se are restricted publicly and it is hard to get the really big doses endorsed by scientific research because Governmental agencies are treating Supplements like Drugs when they are not. It certainly isn’t backed up by the hard scientific research. We need a separate category for Nutrients that are used in mega-doses to heal medical conditions.

I suggest that the restrictions we have seen in recent years on Vit D3 and Se doses is fuelled by vested commercial Big Pharma(ceutial) interests rather than science! Big Pharma doesn’t want you to be well! There is no money in that, they want you to remain sick so you will see your GP more often and get prescribed useless antibiotics, that do diddly squat for viral infections. In-fact the recent research shows routine antibiotic prescribing for flus actually makes them last longer!! Taking probiotics would be far more useful in reality. But tell that to some Medical Doctors, they seem to have their heads in the sand when it comes to Vitamin & Mineral prescribing, and the reason is they are not taught enough in mainstream Medical Universities about the healing effects of nutrients. Big Pharma dictates to a high degree what is taught at Medical schools around the Western (and now Eastern) World, but happily this is starting to change as nutrients are taking their rightful place alongside restricted medicines as therapeutic agents, but they need a different category to be regulated under as their levels of safety are orders of magnitude safer as a general rule than Pharmaceuticals. Because Nutrients work differently to drugs by correcting nutrient deficiencies they are generally a quantum level safer than drugs. No one died of a Prozac or Asprin deficiency, but people do die of B & C vitamin deficiency (Beriberi and Scurvy).  The main reason Nutrients are safer than Drugs as a rule rather than exception is because they are made from mostly nature derived products, not something synthesized in a lab. The better supplement companies have strict quality controls so they rule out contamination from external sources like heavy metals and solvents used in lower quality extractions. But not all supplements are equal, many cheaper products often made in Asia are contaminated by pesticides and heavy metals as we have seen in recent years so there is a case of regulation, albeit muted compared with Drugs.

So that covers the basics on Vitamin & Mineral boosting of the Immune System function especially before winter. If you start taking these nutrients in early to mid-Autumn (March – April) you should get sufficient momentum up to significantly boost your immune system before all the winter colds and flus do the rounds.

Herbal Medicines that add to this list are Astralagus and Garlic. Both herbs are supreme at boosting immunity but in different ways. Astralagus has a distinct immune boosting function as it increases White Blood Cell (WBC) count quite quickly in lower level individuals. The exceptions are those on Chemotherapy – these need special attention as their system is drug side effect lowered so more work is needed to get the levels back up to where they belong. But for normal folks not on Chemo Astralagus hits the mark most times with little else other than the Vitamins and Minerals mentioned above.

Garlic has traditional been used to kill bacteria and viruses for centuries and is as safe as houses. I prefer to eat the Elephant Ear strains of garlic with the big bulbs as they contain more of the active ingredients in them so you are getting a more useful dose. 2 cloves daily in cooking (not eaten raw) is best for most 60-80 kg adults, half this dose for kids under 16.

With Lifestyle Medicine you need to be exercising at least every second day, daily is best to stimulate your lymphatic system and get things moving generally in your immune system. Any form of exercise is better than none! I prefer HIIT / Yoga / Weights as the best forms – see my article on “Smart Exercise: for much more detail on this vital subject to help immunity. It has been said by the World famous Nutritionalist, Dr Paavo Airola, ND, PhD who was well recognised last century as an authority on Naturopathic Medicine and as a PhD in Applied Nutrition that he would “… rather treat a patient that ate rubbish and exercised every day, than someone who ate the best organic foods on the planet but didn’t do any exercise . . . “. And he is right.

Exercise stimulates your lymphatic system, the bodies waste disposal system that connects to the bowels and kidneys, to dump more wastes out quickly and easily. This is what it was designed to do and it will not function properly without good daily exercise as long as you don’t overdo it, which many people do these days! Unfortunately, it is far too common for people to not exercise at all. Reaching over for the TV remotes and ‘weight lifting’ junk foods into their mouths is many people’s idea of exercise especially in the US and other industrialised Western (and now Eastern) countries. This is why we are seeing such epidemic waves of obesity hitting our shores. And not just mildly overweight either, but both morbidly and fatally obesity. This is well publicised so I won’t dwell on it here, suffice to say if you are more than 20% above your normal body weight you are going to start having health issues eventually, so bets get the weight down before it gets too out of control. This is a HUGE area (pun intended) and if it affects you please read my article on balancing the Thyroid to enable people to maintain a healthy body weight and BMI.



1.     “The Vitamin Bible” by Earl Mindel, PhD available world-wide

2.     “How to Get Well” by Dr Paavo Airola, ND, PhD available world-wide

3.     “Healing with Foods & Nutrients” by Dr Bernard Jensen, DC, ND, PhD available world-wide

4.     “Prescription for Nutritional Healing”, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements Paperback – October 5, 2010 by Phyllis A. Balch CNC (Author)
5.     Various research studies on Vitamin C spanning 40 years by Dr Linus Pauling, MD, PhD, twin Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry 1954 and Peace in 1962. The only person in history to receive two unshared Nobel Prizes

6.     Numerous articles on www.mercola.com by Dr Joseph Mercola, DO, USA; http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/04/why-this-vitamin-is-better-than-any-vaccine-and-improves-your-immune-system-by-35-times.aspx

7.     Numerous articles on www.credence.org and most all of the books by Phillip Day, investigative journalist UK; Vitamin D Round Up Sept 7th, 2012: http://credence.org/ECpages/?page_id=993

8.     “The importance of selenium to human health”; The Lancet; Volume 356, Issue 9225, 15 July 2000, Pages 233–241; http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673600024909

9.     “Zinc in Human Health: Effect of Zinc on Immune Cells” by Ananda S Prasad; Wayne State University School of Medicine, E-mail: prasada@karmanos.org. printed April 3, 2008. Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, United States of America; http://iranbiology.ir/news/files/public/1345625885_1_FT0_zinc_in_human_health__effect_of_zinc_on__-_wendy.pdf.

10.   “Vitamin C and immune function” (Article in German) by Ströhle A1, Hahn A: Med Monatsschr Pharm. 2009 Feb;32(2):49-54; quiz 55-6.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19263912

David Holden is a qualified and registered Naturopath and BioChemist practising Naturopathic Medicine and Nutritional BioChemistry in Takapuna Auckland. He has a detailed Scientific training and has been in full time clinical practice for 30+ years with a wealth of experience helping people get and stay well. He can be contacted for consultations one on one or group talks by calling his office staff on 09 282 3588 or emailing info@hhc.nz . You can sign up for his regular monthly newsletters by visiting either of his websites with heaps of free health information and resources for people that want to get and stay well on: www.davidholden.co.nz or www.HoldenHealthCare.com

by Kim Knight, Kim Knight Health.com

For many people, experiencing adrenal fatigue - a puzzling condition which can include an array of symptoms – they are often unaware of what is going on inside their body, although they may have felt significantly 'out of sorts' for some time.

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome can include:

Clients are often told by their doctor ‘it’s all in your head, just go home and get a good night's sleep’ but nothing could be less useful or further from the truth.

Let's look a little deeper at what's going on...

What is adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome - a term first brought to the world by naturopathic doctor James Wilson - is a very real 'syndrome' involving a complex group of symptoms which all track back to severe exhaustion and depletion of the adrenal glands. These two glands sit on top of the kidneys, playing a key role in the endocrine system for maintaining chemical homeostasis in the body.

The adrenals are mostly known for creating two vital hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, which are necessary for managing stress.

Initially, in the first stage of adrenal fatigue, the adrenals will over-produce stress hormones, but if the life stressors (which can be many and various) continue, eventually the adrenals will become ‘exhausted’ and under-produce hormones, which in turn can be a precursor to a host of other conditions such as metabolic syndrome, under- or overactive thyroid, Addison’s Disease, Hashimotos and more.

The point to understand here is that a variety of more serious chronic conditions often rest on a bedrock of severe adrenal depletion. And unless we do something to replete and regenerate these glands, trying to address these other conditions can be a like trying to fill up a bucket with water with holes in it.

Stress and the Adrenals

In the 1930’s, Hans Selye was the first doctor to delve deeply into the effects of stress when he put forward his ‘General Adaptive Syndrome’ (GAS) theory delineating 3 main stages of stress:

Stage 1 - the stress / alarm ‘in crisis’ phase

Stage 2 - the adaptation ‘keeping going - pushing through’ phase

Stage 3 - the exhaustion ‘final collapse’ phase.

Unfortunately most people only become aware their adrenals are fatigued once they reach stage 3 although health may will most likely already be affected during the first two stages.

My experience of adrenal fatigue

My personal experience of the onset of adrenal fatigue began in my 30’s. Over a period of months I noticed I was getting more and more tired. ‘Having a good night’s sleep’ made no difference, and as my stress levels and intolerance increased, it was clear something was amiss.

Week after week I noticed I was getting more and more tired for no apparent reason. It didn't matter if I went to bed early, took it easy over the weekend or even went on holiday... the exhaustion remained.

Then one day I walked into work and simply quit on the spot. I just couldn't go on. I was completely exhausted and the thought of walking into that office one more day and coping with work was just too much.

Shortly after that I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, which I later recognized was a furtherance of adrenal fatigue. I found myself unable to work for the next 10 years.

For the next 15 years I hunted for the causes and solutions of chronic exhaustion conditions, finally bringing myself back to good health. Fortunately I can now short cut years of exhaustion to a few months of recovery for the clients I now help.

The 4 types of adrenal fatigue

According to Dr Wilson, in his book ‘Adrenal Fatigue – the 21st Century Stress Syndrome’ there are four main patterns in the development of adrenal fatigue, which correlate with different personality types:

  1. The type A ‘super woman / iron man’ who thrives on adrenaline and pushes themselves continually... until one day they simply crash (that was me).
  2. The sensitive person, often children and teens, who experiences a major life stress and never fully recovers, continuing to function sub-marginally.
  3. The over-caring ‘can’t say no’ mother or doting boyfriend who does everything for everyone except themselves, experiencing ongoing repeated stressors, never fully recovering proper adrenal function as their health declines
  4. The busy mother or solo business owner with too many responsibilities who just keeps going, gradually driving their adrenals into decline

Do you recognize yourself in any of these scenarios? Are some of these symptoms sounding familiar?

The road to recovery

Once the real cause of the problem is identified, the solutions usually become crystal clear. So it is essential that this first step of problem-identification is not missed!

In my experience, the real causes of the problem start years before any tiredness starts showing up. This is where things can get confusing for people, because these 'causes' have often been overlooked.

They include events such as childhood traumas, ongoing life stressors and unresolved emotional upsets, as well as unhealthy habits such as pushing ourselves too hard on an ongoing basis, putting up with unkind behaviour from others, and basically putting ourselves at the bottom of our 'to-do' list.

All these facets of life need to be addressed to effect proper recovery, and with the right guidance this can be much easier than you may think, and take a lot less time than trying to do it all by yourself.

Take the free adrenal fatigue test

So how can you tell if you have adrenal fatigue?

Here are a few starting tips:

  1. If you haven’t felt well for a while, but have only been half noticing it and pushing on, complete the statement “I haven’t been well since....” and take a reality check. In order to improve any unwanted situation we MUST start where we are and recognize the truth of how things are right now, and isolate and identify the cause. Then we can move on to solutions from there.
  2. Read the list of symptoms at the top of this article and see if any of them sound familiar
  3. Take the free adrenal fatigue self-assessment to see if your adrenals may be fatigued
  4. Read the book ‘Adrenal Fatigue – 21st century stress syndrome’ – it's not in bookstores but can be ordered directly from Kim
  5. Contact Kim for an in depth ‘Kiwi Health Detective session’ to determine the cause of your symptoms and plan your route back to health. This could be the most useful and life-changing 90 minutes you have spent in a long time.
  6. Check out Kim's online programs for recovery from adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, ME, post viral fatigue, glandular fever, fibromyalgia, IBS, anxiety, depression, insomnia and more.

The good news is, with understanding and commitment, full recovery IS possible, and it doesn't have to take years.

About Kim

Kim KnightKim is a multi-award nominated health and personal transformation coach specializing in helping people identify and resolve the root cause of long-term illness and chronic unhappiness. She also specialises in stress reduction and emotional healing. Her ability to pinpoint the cause of health problems has earned her the title of 'The Kiwi Health Detective'.

In 2012 her chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia recovery online series was nominated for the Waitakere Health Excellence Awards in New Zealand, following on from her nominaton for finalist in the Next New Zealand Woman of the Year Awards in 2011 for 'contribution and innovation in health and science'.

Kim lives and works in Auckland, offering private coaching, workshops and trainings in person and remotely online via the web.

To learn how Kim may be able to help you identify and resolve the cause of your stress, pain or fatigue contact Kim at kimknighthealth.com

If you would like to apply to work with Kim, the first step is to fill in this form here.

Legal Medical Disclaimer: Information and statements made on this website and all our associated literature are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. David Holden & Holden Health Care do not dispense medical advice, prescribe restricted medicines, or diagnose disease. If you have a medical condition, we recommend that you consult your physician of choice.
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