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GUT Health

GUT health

A healthy gut is linked to a strong immune system, a positive attitude (GUT-Brain Connection) and glowing skin.

The gastro intestinal tract (GUT) is where we digest and absorb nutrients, house our gut microbes (also known as gut bacteria), and regulate the immune system and synthesis (produce) neurotransmitters (brain chemicals).

Keeping a good balance between the gut micro-flora and the immune system play an important role in keeping the body healthy and your brain functioning.

However, medications, poor dietary choices, stress, lifestyle and inadequate nutrient levels can all have a detrimental effect on your immune system and your mood, as the GUT is the body’s first line of defense against disease-causing pathogens.

It’s important to understand how to improve your gut health for overall health and a healthy state of mind.

Food and GUT Health (Just to name a few)

Apple-cider vinegar or lemon juice – with warm water stimulates digestion, assist the absorption of nutrients and ward off unwanted bacteria and parasites.

Broth – Bone broth is a great source of (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur) to help our immune systems function optimally. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and glutamine, arginine, glycine and proline make up the phenomenal product, gelatin, which are released in the cooking process. These amino acids in gelatin are responsible for many health benefits such as  immune system function, repairing leaky gut, reducing inflammation and healing joints.

Prebiotic foods (including good quality yoghurts, kefir, sauerkraut, oats and indigestible plant fibres such as Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens, chicory root, garlic and onions) promote a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut to aid digestion, absorb nutrients and boost the immune function.

Fermented vegetables (such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and tempeh) and fermented beverages (such as kefir, […]

By |May 18th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on GUT Health

Methylation & Your Health

What is Methylation?


Methylation is involved in a number of important biochemical processes in the body, including gene expression, DNA and RNA synthesis, immune cell differentiation, neurotransmitter synthesis, histamine clearance, detoxification, hormones, mitochondrial metabolism, phospholipid synthesis and myelination, and neural tube development. It occurs in almost all cells in the body.

It is a dynamic process that requires balance. Many health issues are associated with fluctuations in the process. Some include;

Chemical sensitivities
Chronic fatigue
Fertility issues
Neural tube defects

Nutrients and environmental factors involved in methylation?

Its status can be impacted by nutrient availability including folate, vitamin B12, choline and vitamin B6. However many other factors can also impact overall status. These can include;

Gut health and the microbiome
Genetic defect (MTHFR)
Inflammation and oxidative stress
Poor sleep


The importance of healthy methylation support – Folate.

The key nutrient for supporting methylation, and the folate and methionine cycles, is folate, also known as vitamin B9.

Supplemental folate is available in three main forms – folic acid, folinic acid and 5-MTHF – and their use is determined by an individual’s health status and functional enzyme capacity.

Like any biochemical pathway in the body, methylation requires a synergistic group of nutrients to support each step in the interconnected folate and methionine cycles. In addition to folate, the body requires vitamins B2, B6, B12, choline and serine, which act as cofactors or methyl donors.

By |May 11th, 2017|Brain/Gut Connection|Comments Off on Methylation & Your Health

The Complete GUT Clean : GUT-SKIN-BRAIN AXIS

The Complete Gut Clean:
Gut – Brain – Skin – Axis
Most of my clients with food intolerance, skin conditions and mood disorders are most likely to have some digestive incompetence as a causative factor. Optimal digestion and gut wall stability protects the body against the entry of large food particles into the bloodstream and the subsequent development undesirable health outcomes.  When a healthy diet is just not enough, a ‘Complete Gut Clean’ may be the answer.
Neurotransmitters are chemical substances that send nerve impulses. These nerve impulses send chemical messengers to your brain which affect mood and behavior. All the neurotransmitters found in the brain have also been found in the digestive system.
One particular neurotransmitter serotonin, also known as our ‘happy’ chemical, plays a role in mood, migraines, concentration, memory, insomnia and appetite.

While it plays such a vital role in our brain chemistry, approximately 95% of serotonin is actually found in the gastrointestinal system, our GUT! This might explain why you can get a nervous belly.


Reasons for digestive incompetence

Leaky gut
SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth)
Inadequate upper digestive secretions

Why do a ‘complete gut clean’?

Brain fog
Poor sleep/insomnia

By |February 2nd, 2017|Brain/Gut Connection, Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Complete GUT Clean : GUT-SKIN-BRAIN AXIS

What is a ‘Leaky Gut?’ And what can cause it?

Leaky Gut?
What is a leaky gut?
The proper (scientific) term is ‘intestinal permeability’. Cells in your gastrointestinal system (GIT) are held together tightly. They a considered a gatekeeper, a border/barrier that protects you from food particles, bacteria and gut-generated toxins from entering the blood stream (systemic circulation). When this border (cells) separate or come apart, a mass of bacteria, viruses, parasites, foreign proteins and allergens escape triggering an inflammatory response, causing an array of health issues.
Some causes may include;

Some medication
Excessive alcohol consumption
Pathogenic bacteria/parasites/yeast overgrowth


More reading:

By |November 17th, 2016|Anxiety, Brain/Gut Connection|Comments Off on What is a ‘Leaky Gut?’ And what can cause it?

Homocysteine – How is it affecting your health?

Homocysteine and methylation:

Homocysteine is a part of the body’s methylation process, produced from the amino acid methionine.

Methylation and demethylation is the addition or removal of a single carbon and three hydrogen atoms (called a methyl group) to another molecule. This methylation process is like a light switch turning on and off body processes such as your stress response, energy production and your detoxification ability. If this methylation process is disrupted, many natural bodily functions that keep you fit and healthy can become dysfunctional. Some include;

Stress and the natural fight-flight response
Mitochondrial function (energy production
The production and recycling of glutathione — the body’s master antioxidant
The detoxification of hormones, chemicals and heavy metals and the fight against free radical damage
Genetic expression and the repair of DNA
Neurotransmitters and the balancing of brain chemistry

This methylation process is highly dependent on co-factors such as B12, folate, and B6.  One of the reason homocysteine can accumulate in the body and cause many health problems is the lack of one or more of these nutrients.

The most common deficiency is folate due to the common genetic mutation that affects folate metabolism (MTHFR) ( More details in next post)

Other factors that may raise homocysteine levels may be due to;

Poor diet
Poor lifestyle choices (i.e. smoking and alcohol intake)
Some medications
Other health conditions (i.e. diabetes, poor thyroid function)

By |September 22nd, 2016|Nutritional Genetic Interplay|Comments Off on Homocysteine – How is it affecting your health?

MTHFR Gene Mutation – Is it your missing link to your health condition?

MTHFR, the most common inborn error of folate metabolism with close to half the population having this gene mutation.  Is it you?

Is the MTHFR gene mutation your missing link to your health condition?

The ‘Methylation Cycle’ is one major biochemical pathway in our body effecting mood, cardiovascular health, foetal development and detoxification, just to name a few.

When in combination of two MTHFR polymorphisms (gene mutations) this can result in the enzyme with 70% reduced activity.  Other combinations produce enzymes with different levels of enzyme efficiency.

The body has a big need for certain nutrients which can play out a couple of different ways;

We need but don’t get enough of (inadequate diet)
We need but can’t absorb them properly (Poor GUT health)
We need but they have to activated and converted by the body (i.e. folate)

Individuals with particular combinations of these gene variants have higher requirement for vitamin B9 commonly referred to as folate, folic acid or folinic acid. Folate is required for numerous body functions including DNA synthesis and repair, cell division, and cell growth. A deficiency of folate can lead to anaemia in adults, and slower development in children. For pregnant woman, folate is especially important for proper foetal development.

Health conditions associated with MTHFR mutation;

Increased level of homocysteine (More info in previous post)
Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
Adverse pregnancy outcomes – miscarriages, neural tube, still birth, pre-esclampsia
Mental Health



By |September 14th, 2016|Nutritional Genetic Interplay|Comments Off on MTHFR Gene Mutation – Is it your missing link to your health condition?

Gene Testing – Understand your DNA

Both Genes and our environment such as diet and lifestyle influence our overall health.

‘Nutrigenomics’ uses a person’s unique genetic information to understand their risk of developing certain diseases. As a result, it can be used to create individualised diet plans and nutritional prescriptions that help lower disease risk and improve overall health.

By |July 14th, 2016|Nutritional Genetic Interplay, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Gene Testing – Understand your DNA

Classic Bone Broth

Gut Repairing – Immune Boosting – Collagen Forming


By |July 7th, 2016|Brain/Gut Connection, Healthy Skin Support, Liver Function/Detoxification|Comments Off on Classic Bone Broth

Stuffed Egg Plant with Millet and Vegetables

By |July 7th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Stuffed Egg Plant with Millet and Vegetables

Nutritional status in mood and behavior: Iron

Iron deficiency is still one nutrient deficiency prevalent in developed societies, including Australia.

While one of the well-known functions includes carrying oxygen throughout the blood and muscles, iron takes on many other important roles.

Iron’s role in neurotransmitter production (our brain chemicals) makes it a valuable asset in controlling our mood and thoughts. Changes, imbalances or a deficiency affect the level of neurotransmitters in the brain which can alter brain chemistry and functioning of brain nerves influencing mood and behaviour.

One particular neurotransmitter ‘serotonin’, also known as our ‘happy’ chemical, plays a role in mood, migraines, concentration, memory, sleep and appetite. Serotonin is synthesised (made by) the amino acid tryptophan and its supporting nutrients, one of these nutrients being iron.

Think about these supporting nutrients as being the nuts and bolts of a cabinet you are trying to assemble and the cabinet the end result (serotonin). Without these nuts and bolts (nutrients), your cabinet (serotonin) cannot be assembled (produced) 100%, and problems can arise.
Some common signs/symptoms of low iron:

Irregular menstrual cycle
Poor concentration
Sleep disturbances

How can I improve iron status?
There are two types of dietary iron; haem iron (the well absorbed form) which is found in animal based sources  and non-haem iron (less absorbed form) which is found in plant based sources;

Haem iron (animal foods) – Turkey, eggs, beef, pork, fish, chicken

Non-haem (plant foods) – nuts, grains, green leafy vegetables, molasses

I eat these foods but still don’t feel 100%?

Poor absorption – low stomach acid, inflammation, nutrient imbalances, gut flora imbalance
Other nutrient deficiencies (may not be iron)
Food intolerance
Life style – excess alcohol, smoking, drugs etc.

Iron supplementation:

It is important to only go on iron supplements if truly necessary […]

By |April 13th, 2016|Brain/Gut Connection|Comments Off on Nutritional status in mood and behavior: Iron