Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What's the skinny on all this coffee news? A couple of perspectives.

Yet again a piece of new research is all over the news.  This time coffee and its supposed protective effects is getting all the press.   This is always a bit of a confusing situation since this news gets highlighted and emphasized but its hard to get through the hype to the actual meaning and implications of the study.  But here is a rare and complete piece of reporting by Kelly Crowe at CBC online news.  In her article "What's the fuss about coffee?"  she explains how information like this gets reported and why you have to look beyond the headlines to the actual information being published.  She dissects the study and very clearly points out why studies often only suggest possible relationships between A and long term effect B (here consuming 2+ cups of coffee daily may have possible positive effect on longevity).  And yet the news usually reports these relationships as definite connections.  All in all this is an excellent piece for those looking to have a more critical eye when reading breaking health news. (1,2)

And so what's my take on coffee? There are certainly other studies that suggest that coffee/tea consumption reduces the risk of certain cancers (ie. invasive prostate and breast) (3,4).  These studies do show statistically significant reductions, which means there is less of a possibility that the reduction was due to chance, but the reductions are low overall.  None of them have looked at why this relationship may occur and if there are any other factors involved, though some suggested the benefit was independent of caffeine content.  We do know that there are a lot of compounds in coffee and tea.  There are some like bioflavenoids and antioxidants that have been otherwise shown to have benefits for overall health and cancer risks.  Could that be why?  Of course!  Could it be something totally different?  Absolutely.  For example, is it possible that taking time in the morning to sit and drink your coffee or taking a coffee break in the day helps with stress reduction and that's the reason for the benefit?  Very possible, but right now, who knows?

So what do I say when someone asks me if I'm worried about their coffee intake? As always, I ask a tonne of questions like: how much do you drink, how much water are your drinking, why are you drinking it and how.  If people are sitting and enjoying their coffee ritual in the morning or drinking it while socializing with friends, my assessment is that its helping their quality of life and not to worry.  If its a compulsive or mindless experience (as in they just keep filling their cup with coffee and that's just what they drink) or if its needed for energy, maybe we need to address that need or make healthier substitutions.  But do I think coffee is an absolute poison?  No.  And do I think we all need to drink 2 cups to live longer? No, I don't think there is near enough information to make that recommendation. 

Today's prescription:  Sit and relax for a few.  Maybe enjoy a cup of coffee or tea or the flowers outside, but enjoy!

(1) Crowe, Kelly.  "What's the fuss about coffee?"  CBC news. May 17'12.
(2) Freedman ND, Park Y, Abnet CC, Hollenbeck AR, Sinha R. Association of coffee drinking with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J Med. 2012 May 17;366(20):1891-904.
(3) Wilson KM, Kasperzyk JL, Rider JR, Kenfield S, van Dam RM, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, Mucci LA.  Coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk and progression in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011 Jun 8;103(11):876-84. Epub 2011 May 17.
(4) Ganmaa D, Willett WC, Li TY, Feskanich D, van Dam RM, Lopez-Garcia E, Hunter DJ, Holmes MD

Monday, May 28, 2012

Newsletter Archives

Did you know that we have an archive of all our monthly newsletters? Click on our website and you can see past newsletters.  We'll keep this page updated and we love feedback or ideas for things you'd like to hear about.
~ Dr Kellie

Monday, May 14, 2012

Local Spring Fruit and Veggie Home Delivery

If you are thinking about eating a bit better you may have decided to eat more fresh fruits and veggies or to eat more local foods.  We've talked previously about getting a farm box delivered to your home and there is a new company in Victoria that does just that.  Have a look at Nature's Farmacy food bin delivery. 

With these guys, you can customize your boxes with various amounts of fruits and/or veggies and you can add extra products such as organic nuts, chicken or turkey.  They even have locally made gluten free bread, pizza dough and toppings.  As with the best delivery companies, you have the ability to provide a list of favorite and disliked foods and you can skip/modify or cancel deliveries when needed.  As a bonus, they will deliver your box bright and early in the morning and will make a donation to feed and treat kids orphaned by HIV in Uganda.

My first box is set to deliver next week and I'm looking forward to trying some of the local spring greens!  As always, I love to hear comments and questions from you. ~ Kellie

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Naturopathic Medicine Week

Every year, during May, Naturopathic Physicians and our associations take a week to celebrate our profession and to promote our medicine.  This year, during the week of May 7-13, 2012, naturopathic doctors all over the country will be conducting free events in local stores, community venues and in their own clinics.

On Friday May 11th, our Clinic will be hosting an open house from 4-6pm.  You'll have an opportunity to meet our practitioners, tour the clinic and sample lots of local gluten and casein free products. Our Registered Acupuncturist, Mark Bodnar will be offering free tongue and pulse diagnoses and Colleen Bruce, RMT will be doing some demonstrations.  Feel free to stop by and say hi!

For other events throughout the province have a look at the Naturopathic medicine week website or their facebook page.

The BCNA is the professional association for naturopathic physicians in BC. They act on behalf of and for the profession to promote the services provided by and the integrity and honour of the naturopathic profession. They act to advance the scientific, educational, professional and economic welfare of all members of the profession in BC. They we act as agent, trustee or otherwise for naturopathic physicians in BC in connection with collective bargaining, remuneration for services, insurance and other legislative matters.
Visit the BCNA website for more information, including a list of naturopathic doctors in BC.