How many of you watch your beloved dog chronically scratch, bite, gnaw and lick all day? It’s heart breaking. How many take our beloved to the vet for cortisone shots, tablet, antibiotics or all of the above, only to find it is a temporary fix and the problem is getting worse? Deep down we know the use of cortisone and antibiotics is not a great idea for our pets, but most feel there isn’t any other option. Luckily there are many other options and they don’t require expensive allergy tests or allergies shots. Firstly we need to understand the allergy. Allergies can be air borne or food related. What many don’t realize is it can also be what your pets sleep, play or walk on. I have seen every type of allergy come through my clinic. Finding out which is the problem is the trick. What happens when you do find the offending allergen and your dog keeps itching? Is there another allergy? Have we discovered the correct allergen? Was an allergen the problem in the first place? Is stress involved? Treating an itchy dog isn’t an easy task as no two dogs are the same. When a dog has suffered with allergy symptoms for a long period of time and has had multiple courses of antibiotics and cortisone, other complications can begin to arise. The first step to treating a dog with itchy skin is to have a close look at their diet. I very rarely have dogs on natural diets come in with skin problems. 99% of my itchy patients are on processed dog food. A natural diet does not consist of packaged food with the word natural or holistic on it. This includes Supercoats “natural” food, Nature’s Gift and Eagle Pack amongst a few. If it doesn’t look like real food, than it isn’t. A true natural diet consists of real “raw” meat and “blended” raw or semi cooked fruit and vegetables. Always avoid beef and lamb as these meats can cause further irritation. Meats I recommend are kangaroo, chicken, pork (must be frozen for 2 weeks before eating) and turkey. Vegetables: Beans, silver beet, carrots, snow peas, cauliflower, celery, broccoli, cucumber, asparagus, pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini, bean sprouts, capsicum, spinach and sweet potato *All green vegetables *No tomato, onion, leeks, white potatoes. Fruit: Banana, apple, pear and seasonal fruits *No citrus. AND NO RICE OR PASTA! Dogs require only 5% carbohydrate in their diets. They obtain their energy requirements from animal fat (which should be raw). Rice, pasta and processed dog foods are too high in carbohydrates. These foods not only cause obesity and metabolic disorders but contribute to skin diseases. For a natural diet to be successful, it is important to add the correct nutrients. Omega 3, 6, & 9 is of extreme importance. Most will say I’ve tried fish oil capsules and flax oil but it didn’t work. Omega oils must be fed for 4 weeks before it begins to absorb in the body at full capacity. Animals with any form of illness must take Omega Oil in therapeutic doses. This means larger than the standard dose advised on the packaging. Most over the counter Omega oils have very low potencies and some even at large doses may not be enough. We must choose the correct Omega Oil blend for our dogs and feed the correct doses. I will prescribe approximately 1 tablespoon per 10 kilo’s of body weight of Natural Animal Solutions Omega 3, 6 & 9 for Dogs. I then recommend adding a complete multivitamin and multi-mineral. I use DigestaVite Plus. My final recommendation is to add a high potency Vitamin C with antioxidants. A good vitamin C works as a natural antihistamine. Dogs suffering with allergies will benefit significantly from Vitamin C as it will reduce their excessive histamine levels, reducing their itching. From experience most itchy dogs and cats will significantly improve on a natural diet and the correct supplementation. More serious cases will need further assistance and guidance from an animal naturopath that is able to prescribe naturopathic medications. Further assistance and information for your dog is available at Natural Animal Solutions.

SAN DIEGO, CA. April 8, 2008–A new study presented today at the Experimental Biology 2008 Annual Meeting, by researchers from the University of California, San Diego, revealed a protective effect of OptiMSM upon the development of osteoarthritis of the knee in an animal model. OptiMSM is an ultra high purity form of the naturally occurring dietary ingredient, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). Several published clinical trials, with MSM alone or in combination with other natural dietary ingredients, have shown a positive effect upon supporting joint function among persons living with osteoarthritis. In the current study, cartilage biologist and Professor David Amiel, of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California San Diego, La Jolla, and colleagues used a research-validated model mimicking the development of osteoarthritis of the knee. Five weeks after the surgery that induced progressive osteoarthritis, the animals had a mini pump implanted in their thighs, to deliver OptiMSM or a placebo solution, for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks the animals receiving OptiMSM showed significantly lower expression of the pro-inflammatory mediator, TNF-alpha, in both cartilage and synovial tissues. The synovium is the tissue that lines the cartilage-free surfaces of the joints. Additionally, the Outerbridge score, a validated classification to grade the degree of cartilage damage, indicated a preservation of the cartilage matrix and joint surface smoothness relative to the placebo group. “The anti-inflammatory effects of MSM in this animal model of osteoarthritis were notable,” offered Dr. Amiel. “We used a small number of animals in this pilot study but the results suggest that MSM could delay the progression of osteoarthritis, perhaps through an anti-inflammatory effect. These results also align with our in vitro study performed on human knee joints, published last December in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage Journal. Collectively, they offer a mechanistic insight that may partly explain the efficacy seen with MSM in placebo-controlled clinical trials,” he added. “We are pleased with these findings, which reinforce our commitment to sponsoring both pre-clinical and clinical research,” said Tony Keller, President of Bergstrom Nutrition, the manufacturers and marketers of OptiMSM and the sponsor of the study. Our clinical research program for 2008-2009 will expand upon the work of Dr. Amiel’s laboratory, and prior clinical trials we have sponsored. We will also be exploring innovative directions that will illuminate new uses for OptiMSM,” he concluded. Natural Animal Solutions has a purified MSM in our Joint & Ligament Support formula. This is the best quality MSM available.


Poor gut function leads to ‘disease’
Many natural health practitioners initially assess the gastrointestinal function of their patients at their first consultation due to the belief that poor gut health is at the root of many frequent presentations. The intestines, the small intestines in particular are the primary sites of nutrient absorption and thus any condition affecting the function or structure of this area may ultimately contribute to the development of a malabsorption process and consequently nutritional deficiency. As integrative nutritional practitioners, we understand that long term deficiencies in essential nutrients will have devastating impacts upon optimal health and lead to further complications in other body systems. This is why first and foremost, we must treat the cause of the ‘dis-ease’ as opposed to merely the symptoms alone in order to reach optimal health or homeostasis.

What is leaky gut?
The small intestine has the paradoxical twofold function of being the major digestive/absorptive organ as well as a protective mucosal barrier to bacteria, endotoxins and other toxic metabolites. Numerous studies have demonstrated that an inflamed gut is more permeable to partially digested foods, endotoxins and bacterial fragments. For example lipid polysaccharides from bacterial breakdown, induce the excessive production of nitric oxide (NO) which then contributes to a reduction of ATP synthesis in the gut and enhanced peroxidation of cell membranes. Consequently, this increase in permeability ultimately results in an inflammatory cascade in various tissues and toxic insult to the liver. Depending on the individual and their ability to detoxify these hazardous metabolites, a number of symptoms may arise such as mood changes, memory loss, irritable bowel, cancer, fatigue, reduced immunity, malnutrition and arthritis to name but a few.

The epithelial cells of the mucosa are held together by tight junctions and the mucous layer of glycosaminoglycans which make up a protective intestinal barrier. The gut is also involved in providing immune support through secretory IgA which offers protection from bacterial pathogens. When the integrity of these protective mechanisms is compromised; permeability of the mucosal membrane may increase. This allows pathogens, antigens, proteins and toxins to pass through the intestinal wall and migrate to other parts of the body with detrimental effects.

There are numerous factors which may play a role in increasing the permeability of the gut such as;

Dysbiotic pathogens disrupting the structure and function of tight junctions,
Drugs such as some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may lead to uncoupling of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation thereby disrupting the integrity of the intestinal wall. Long term use will also lead to inflammation of the intestine.
Chronic or persistent inflammation will eventually disrupt the integrity of the intestinal mucosal lining. Pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interferon gamma, TNF-alpha and interleukin 1-beta have been identified as causing NO-dependant and NO-independent changes in the expression and localization of several tight junction proteins. 2
There is increasing evidence that damage to the intestinal wall plays a role in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, ankylosing spondylitis, Behcet’s syndrome, type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.3-6 In a response to the infiltration of particles through the intestinal wall, an immune response is initiated and the body manufactures specific antibodies to these antigens. In some people, their own tissues are mistaken to be an exogenous antigen and the tissue is attacked. Prolonged autoimmune activity against the gut wall has been identified as damaging the gut wall and hence the intestinal barrier leading to increased permeability.
Increased, prolonged exposure to stress may lead to brain-gut interactions which may affect mucosal protective factors. High levels of norepinephrine are associated with stress and have also been associated with significantly low IgA concentrations. 7
Gastrointestinal surgery may also lead to increased intestinal permeability. One 2004 study demonstrated that urinary lactulose/mannitol ratio (pathology test to assess gut permeability) significantly increases in patients post operatively. It was found that a decreased lactulose/mannitol ratio was observed in the group supplemented with glutamine for seven days prior to surgery.8 Glutamine is a semi-essential amino acid and is important for the maintenance of gastrointestinal mucosal integrity.
Clinical conditions associated with increased intestinal permeability
A large amount of research has found a close link with many other commonly presented conditions and the degree of permeability of the intestinal lining and that by repairing this tissue, improvements in the presenting condition have been observed. Some of these conditions are listed below.

Inflammatory bowel disease
Malnutrition / malabsorption
Inflammatory joint disease
Food allergy
Intestinal infection and dysbiosis
Some autoimmune disorders
Post gastrointestinal surgery
NSAID enteropathy
Dermatological disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and acne etc
Mood disorders
Fixing the holes in the boat
Often greater than expected improvements and more expedient results will be noted if the health of the digestive tract and permeability of the gut are addressed as part of the overall treatment program rather than just treating the various diseases or symptoms that result from the injured gut. Specific supplements, taken together, can deliver critical building blocks for daily repair of the GI tract and also help reduce inflammation, heal the mucosal lining and soothe the irritation that arises from innate colonic function.

Glutamine Glutamine is a precursor for nucleotide synthesis, serves as a substrate for hepatic gluconeogenesis, and is an important nutrient for the renal handling of ammonia. It is also a vital fuel source for cells that rapidly turn over, including GI epithelia, lymphocytes, fibroblasts and reticulocytes. 9 As such it is the most abundant free amino acid in the body and the GIT has the largest demand. 10, 11 Though it is classified as a non-essential amino acid, glutamine is absolutely essential for maintaining intestinal structure. Insufficient glutamine can present with atrophy, ulceration, and necrosis of the colon lining. 12

DGL Most of the research on deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) has been focused on upper gut health, including ulcer healing. The health of the lower intestinal tract is directly dependent upon the proper functioning of the entire gastrointestinal system. DGL utility is not limited to upper GI health, in the clinical setting it has demonstrated great utility in lessening intestinal irritation and related symptoms.

N-Acetyl-Glucosamine N-acetyl glucosamine is the acetylated derivative of the amino sugar glucosamine. In inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), N-acetylation of glucosamine is relatively deficient, possibly reducing the synthesis of the gastric and intestinal mucosa’s protective glycoprotein cover. 13

Slippery Elm The inner bark of slippery elm contains mucilage constituents that are demulcent and emollient. When used internally, slippery elm preparations trigger gentle stimulation of nerve endings in the GI tract, leading to mucous secretion which coats and protects the delicate lining of the intestines from ulcers, excess acidity, ingested irritants and toxins. 14, 15 Probiotics Probiotics represent the quintessential functional food and have been used for centuries for their health-promoting effects. Probiotics are defined as live micro-organisms in fermented foods or supplements that promote good health through establishing an improved balance in intestinal microflora. 16 The principal purported health-promoting effect of probiotics is their enhancement of mucosal immune defences. In addition, general mechanisms for probiotics have been ascribed to their protective effects against pathologic microbial colonization and translocation. These mechanisms include competition for receptor sites on the intestinal surface, production of antibiotic substances, enhancement of host immune defences (adjuvant effect, increased polymeric IgA production and cytokine stimulus), competition with pathogens for intraluminal nutrients and strengthening intestinal tight junctions.

Maintaining healthy gut function is foundational to all other health pursuits. Even those fortunate enough not to suffer from dysfunction of the GIT should take steps to protect healthy functioning of this important system as it is critical for sustained healthy ageing. Clinical practice and testing clearly demonstrate it is the rare individual who has a totally pristine gastrointestinal tract. Optimal absorption of nutrients from foods and supplements consumed depend upon optimal gastrointestinal health. Use of specific nutrients to protect, soothe and support the colon is the first step toward health optimization for the entire body.


After my recent trips to China I witnessed many forms of calcium on the market. Different prices and different types. To the untrained eye all calcium supplements look the same and most of us would purchase based on price. This could be a very detrimental decision for your dog or cat. Not all calcium supplements are the same and many are not good for your pets health at all. In this article I’m going to explain the difference in calcium supplements and which are the best for your pets and why. Calcium is one of the most essential and important minerals in our body. It is also the most abundant, 99% is located in our bones and teeth. Calcium is used by almost every cell in the body including the heart and nerves and is necessary for muscle contraction and for the development and maintenance of bone structure. Calcium is an important component of a healthy diet. Although we imagine bones are permanent, they are actually being constantly renewed throughout your pets life and replaced with new bone tissue. If our pets do not consume enough calcium in their diet, their body takes the necessary calcium from their bones to use for other essential functions. This can result in brittle or porous bones, broken bones, low bone density, weakness – especially in later life and arthritis. To ensure they maintain excellent bone health, it is essential they receive sufficient quantities of calcium every day. It is even more important to ensure that the body can utilise and absorb the calcium it is given. Natural food-complexed calcium is the most suitable form of calcium for long-term use. Usually good sources of minerals are obtained from natural plant and vegetable foods however calcium content is high in only a select number of foods. The different forms of Calcium Calcium Form Actually Is Calcium Hydroxyapatite Processed, degreased, crushed cow bone meal Calcium Citrate Limestone or chalk processed with lactic acid and citric acid Calcium Carbonate Limestone or precipitated chalk Calcium Gluconate Limestone or chalk processed with gluconic acid Coral Calcium Dead calcium The above forms of calcium are either heavily processed or indigestible for your pets digestive tract. These forms of calcium have to be fed in large amounts to get a reasonable amount of calcium and most pets hate large quantities of powdered additives in their food. Even in these larger doses these calcium’s won’t provide your pets with the right balance of calcium to phosphorus ratio. Nor do these calcium supplements provide you with the trace vitamins and minerals required to absorb, utilize and metabolize calcium properly. As an Animal Naturopath I wouldn’t recommend the use of any of these types of calcium supplements. They are a waste of money and not good for your pets health long term. Many of these calcium products, when used excessively, can in fact cause bone abnormalities in young animals. Feeding high calcium diets with excess calcium is often blamed for contributing to bone problems in young, rapidly growing dogs. There does appear to be a link between the incidence of hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD), osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) and hip dysplasia, and the overfeeding of calcium. In recent studies, researchers fed dogs calcium at a much higher than recommended amount, and compared the incidence of disease in dogs that were fed normal or less than normal calcium levels. As would be expected, the animals that were overfed calcium showed increased incidence of skeletal problems including hip dysplasia. Before you purchase your calcium supplement, look at the ingredients. Then have a look at the required dosage. A medium dog up to 30 kilos should not require more than ½ a teaspoon. Any more than this and the products are of very low quality. The best type of calcium supplement is a natural vegetable form. Natural Animal Solutions manufactures natural calcium from Certified Organic Sea Vegetable harvested from the pristine waters of the Atlantic Ocean in Iceland. This form of calcium is easily absorbed by your pets digestive tract, has a balanced ration of calcium to magnesium and trace minerals Silica, Copper, Selenium, Zinc, Boron, Manganese, Phosphorus and lots more. This is a natural form of calcium and only requires very small dosages for your pets. It is easily and safely digested. Always remember, more isn’t better! Stick to the recommended dosage. I specifically will mention the use of Nature’s Organic Calcium as Natural Animal Solutions has conducted studies on this natural Sea Vegetable and have “proven” benefits. Other calcium’s listed above have not been proven to benefit animals in the same way. The most important aspect when taking calcium is the bioavailability of the calcium. Calcium digestibility, solubilisation, absorption and organ uptake and release are important metabolic events when considering calcium bioavailability (body’s ability to absorb and utilize). Nature’s Organic Calcium has a unique porous ‘honeycomb-like’ structure which reacts well in the digestive system and gives it high absorption properties. A Nature’s Calcium molecule has a very large surface area. This allows faster solubilisation and rapid ionisation of the calcium. Nature’s Calcium also contains other important minerals necessary for the absorption of calcium including magnesium, boron, selenium, zinc, copper and iodine. Nature’s Organic Calcium can improve Bone Health by • Reducing bone breakdown associated with ageing • Optimizing skeletal integrity • Optimizing bone strength Nature’s Organic Calcium can improve Joint Mobility by • Relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis • Increasing joint mobility • Increasing movement Who can benefit from using Nature’s Organic Calcium? Beneficial for Puppies growing puppy bones supplementing calcium for healthy bone growth safe for puppies because it is a natural calcium supplement (other calcium supplements can cause issues for large, fast growing puppy breeds eg. Golden retriever Adults maintaining the muscular skeletal system and assisting active adult dogs preventing skeletal diseases eg osteoarthritis providing calcium for healthy regeneration of bone Elderly the prevention of bone deterioration in older dogs those with skeletal disease eg. osteoarthritis Whelping and lactating bitches providing extra calcium required whilst feeding providing quality calcium to pups from mothers milk As an Animal Naturopath, my recommendation for supplementing your pet with Calcium is to simply feed raw bones. It is simply the safest way to feed calcium and has the perfect ration of calcium and minerals. It is the easiest way for your pet to digest and utilize calcium as well as the best way to keep your dog away from the dentist. A raw bone is the best dog or cat tooth brush! Never feed cooked bones as once cooked the molecular structure of the bone has changed and makes it indigestible. It will also splinter into sharp edges and then has the potential to tear or damage the bowel. For those that don’t feed bones then a natural plant source of calcium like Nature’s Calcium is your best and safest option. An alternative option is a high quality Goat Milk. It is high in calcium, easily absorbed and a yummy treat for your pets.


A single blinded, randomised trial has shown Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) to be approximately 87% more potent in raising and maintaining serum vitamin D concentrations compared to vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Vitamin D3 also produces 2 – 3 fold greater storage of vitamin D than does eqimolar vitamin D2. The study supports vitamin D3 as the preferred choice for correcting vitamin D deficiency.


There is high – level evidence and biological plausibility to support the benefits of fish oil for the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms. Fish oil has been shown to reduce joint tenderness and decrease the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in long standing RA. Additionally, fish oil has an NASAID sparing effect and confers benefits to the cardiovascular system which is often compromised in RA patients.

Despite fish oil ticking all the boxes for RA symptom management, it is not routinely prescribed in RA patients by their medical practitioners. The authors of this review as the question “Why?” and conclude that not enough pharmaceutical marketing exposure is placed on this promising RA therapy compared to other more commonly prescribed therapies.


When it comes to your pet’s health, do you want to follow facts or fears? We have all heard “Garlic is bad for your dogs!” “You should never feed garlic to your pets!” So why have we been told this? This would be due to garlic being a close cousin of the onion. Onion contains high concentrations of thiosulphate which will trigger haemolytic or “Heinz factor” anaemia, where circulating red blood cells burst.

Garlic does contain thiosulphate but NOT in the same concentrations. Thiosulphate is barely traceable. These amounts cannot cause “Heinz factor” anaemia. Over the centuries, as long as humans have been using herbs, garlic has been a commonly used remedy. Over this period of time people have also been feeding it to their animal companions. Its properties have proven far reaching, easy on the body and safe to use. The use of garlic is beneficial for many conditions and comes highly recommended as a disease pregarlicventative. In my many years of garlic use with my own pets and patients, I have never encountered negative side effects, except the inherited strong smell!

At this point, garlic has truly not been proven to have negative effects on our pets. Follow hundreds of years of proven use rather than recent suspicions in regards to this miracle herb, as garlic is known to be.

As with any herb, always use correct and safe doses. Always contact your herbal practitioner when in doubt.
Jacqueline Rudan
Animal Naturopath
Veterinary Naturopathic Solutions



Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are two of the biggest killers both in Australia and around the world. Type 2 diabetes is the fastest growing health problem in Australia and a serious public health issue which costs us all.

All of the complications that may occur in patients with diabetes are in part due to the out of control blood glucose causing protein glycation and cross-linking, as well as increased oxidative stress. Have you ever glazed pork, chicken or duck? The sugar glaze you brush on is what causes the delicious crispiness when you pull the dish out of the oven. Imagine that crisping occurring to your blood vessels and other tissues! The process of glycation causes proliferation of the epithelial layer lining the blood vessels and subsequently impairs circulatory function. The most common complications include nephropathy, retinopathy, neuropathy and diabetic ulcerations.

Diabetic Complications are Serious and Common

A diabetics risk of dying from cardiovascular disease is increased at least two to three times that of non-diabetics After 10 years of living with diabetes, seven out of 10 people will have kidney damage in some form, progressing in some to kidney failure. Others will suffer from retinopathy, visual impairments and eventually blindness. Fortunately, there are some natural solutions available to minimise the likelihood of developing these complications and also to manage them.

Diabetic Nephropathy

As previously mentioned, 70 percent of diabetics will have some form of kidney damage after 10 years. The odds are definitely not in your favour, so it is of vital importance to begin preventative strategies at the earliest time after diabetes diagnosis. Diet alone may be able to significantly influence kidney health in diabetics. Ketogenic diets are often used in the management of both obesity and diabetes and it seems as though it has additional benefits for kidney health’ An animal study found that after two months of following a ketogenic diet, diabetic animals had completely reversed the diabetic nephropathy as indicated by stress-induced gene expression and albumin/creatinine ratios. ln addition, there was partial reversal of the histological kidney changes associated with diabetic nephropathy. Chromium picolinate has also shown it may be beneficial for the diabetic kidney. Diabetic subjects receiving chromium picolinate reduced the excretion of albumin to approximately half that of the untreated diabetic subjects. Those receiving chromium also had reduced interleukin 6 and 17 and increased indolamine 2,3 dioxygenase. This indicates chromium is reducing the production of proinflammatorY cytokines. Zinc, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin E also show promise in maintaining kidney health in diabetics Type 2 diabetics received 2OOmg magnesium and 30mg zinc (group MgZn), 2O0mg vitamin C anO ldOtU vitamin E (group VitCE), a combination of MgZn and VitCE or placebo for 3 months. ln the VitCE and combination groups there was a significant decrease in urinary albumin secretion and the combination group also had decreased blood pressure, decreased fasting serum glucose and increased HDL cholesterol.3 These results indicate an improvement in glomerular function in type 2 diabetic patients. Zinc has also demonstrated ability to partially prevent pathological changes to the kidney in diabetic animals 4 Zinc supplementation reouJeo renal inflammation, oxidative damage and up-regulation of growth factors.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness. At least 28 percent of diabetics over 40 have diabetic retinopathy and almost 5 percent have the vision-threatening form. Excessive blood glucose and the associated increase in oxidative stress inhibit the maturation of pro-nerve growth factor to nerve growth factor which is involved in the protection of the nerves of the retina’ This results in impaired neuronal function in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy can also be considered a marker of systemic microvascular problems as a result of diabetes. A component of Green Tea and well known antioxidant is epicatechin. It has been shown to inhibit a downstream receptor involved in neuronal cell death signalling which is activated by pro-nerve growth factor. Green Tea may be beneficial to protect the integrity of the retinal nerve in diabetic people. Another antioxidant compound, Resveratrol may also be useful due to its ability to prevent the formation of new blood vessels and facilitates the removal of abnormal vessels.

A multi-faceted approach to protect cardiovascular health of the cardiovascular system caused by chronic elevated blood diabetes is essential for diabetics, as the deterioration glucose is the key factor of complications.
Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a painful condition affecting up to 30 percent of those living with diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy is not often reported to healthcare practitioners and it is estimated that at least two out of every five cases are not being treated.. Neuropathy is also not as simple as just some nerve pain. lt can be debilitating affecting sleep, overall quality of life and also emotional and mental health. Generally, neuropathy starts from the ground up, affecting the feet first, then travelling up the legs. Interestingly, being taller makes you more likely to suffer from neuropathies. Recent research suggests that there may be mitochondrial involvement in the development of neuropathies. It is already established that diabetes is a condition of mitochondrial dysfunction and this may be a factor in diabetic neuropathy. The mitochondria present in nerve cells have a significantly longer life than those in other cells of the body and are therefore at greater risk of dysfunction quite simply due to their age. It has been theorised that supporting mitochondrial function may reduce pain and improve the function of nerve cells. Alpha-lipoic acid may be of particular benefit to patients with diabetic neuropathies as it has shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of pain, parathaesia, numbness and the burning sensation associated with diabetic neuropathy.600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid administered orally for five weeks significantly reduced the symptoms of neuropathic pain in people with diabetic neuropathy.ll Other studies have found additional benefits of alpha-lipoic acid such as increased insulin receptor sensitivity and function and increased cellular uptake of glucose by adipocytes and myocytes.l2i3 A placebo controlled clinical trial using 600 mg daily of alpha-lipoic acid improved insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics by 25 percent after four weeks. The management of diabetic neuropathy benefits from additional nutritional supplementation. A combination of 20 mg zinc, 250 mg magnesium, 200 mg of vitamin C and 100 mg of vitamin E were given to people with diabetic neuropathy either with or without additional vitamin B complex or placebo. After four months of treatment, both nutrient groups experienced significantly greater symptomatic relief from their neuropathies than those receiving placebo. There is also evidence for the efficacy of vitamin E, zinc, and chromium supplemented individually to reduce the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. In addition to its direct cardiovascular benefits, omega 3 fatty acids decrease the symptoms and signs of diabetic neuropathy.1800 mg of EPA daily for a period of 48 weeks improved measured arterial circulation, blood lipid profiles as well as decreased the feelings of numbness and coldness in affected limbs.

Diabelic CVD

Diabetics are at significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiomyopathy which involves inflammation and deterioration of cardiac muscle. As impaired cardiovascular function and increased oxidative stress are both underlying factors involved in the aforementioned diabetic complications, by improving cardiovascular function the additional complications also improve. To support cardiovascular health we can use all of our tried and trusted treatments, including Omega 3 fish oils, coenzyme Q10, magnesium, vitamin C with bioflavonoids and garlic io name but a few. ln diabetics, coenzyme Q10 with mixed tocopherols and beta-carotene improved the function of the left ventricle and decreased the activity of lactate.dehydrogenase.20 ln addition, this antioxidant combination also decreased plasma lipid peroxide levels, indicating reduced oxidative stress. A multi{aceted approach to protect cardiovascular health is essential for diabetics, as it is the deterioration of the cardiovascular system caused by chronic elevated blood glucose that is the key underlying factor of diabetic complications. This may serve to protect against damage to the nerves, kidneys and eyes.

Summary of Treatments in Diabetic Complications

For the management and prevention of diabetic complications there are key nutritional and herbal treatments to include. Of course blood sugar metabolism must be improved as this is the root cause of these complications. Then the focus must be on the inclusion of potent antioxidants to protect cells, the cardiovascular and nervous systems from damage. A combination of Resveratrol, Grapeseed, Green Tea, Turmeric, vitamins A, C, E, zinc and alpha-lipoic acid will provide a full spectrum of antioxidant defence Additional coenzyme Q10 and Omega 3 fish oil concentrates will provide protect cellular integrity and function.


Please call for references.

Over a lifetime, the CIT has to process many tonnes of food. Unfortunately, this also provides exposure to a large range of toxic compounds, dietary antigens, micro-organisms. and bacterial products. To prevent these substances being absorbed, a very sophisticated physiological barrier is formed by the mucous layer (glycocalyx), the epithelial cells, tight junctions, and the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT).


Under normal circumstances, the epithelial lining is reasonably leak-proof. Increased permeability, also known as “leaky gut”, has been identified in numerous local and systemic conditions, including acute gastroenteritis, ankylosing spondylitis, arthritis, asthma, coeliac disease, eczema, food allergy, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and rheumatoid arthritis. Many factors can stress, irritate and inflame the intestinal lining to cause increased permeability, as summarised in Table 1. Increased intestinal permeability (IP) can lead to diffusion of antigenic food materials and translocation of bacteria from the gut to extra-intestinal sites. When large molecules gain systemic entry, the immune system may respond by producing antibodies that cause a reaction against what would otherwise be a harmless compound.


It has been clearly established that IP occurs in various types of arthritis. For a long time use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) was thought to initiate Ip in arthritic patients, but recently, research has demonstrated that a pre-existing increase in IP is involved in disease pathogenesis.5 NSAID use may still be an exacerbating factor.


To effectively treat abnormal Ip and its associated conditions, three primary areas must be addressed:
Healing the inflamed intestinal mucosa – Nutritional support should include glutamine, n-acetyl-glucosamine, and soluble fibre.
Preventing further damage – Avoid exposure to toxins and irritants. Quercetin may help prevent further damage.
Correcting dysbiosis – Re-establish healthy intestinal flora using probiotics containing lactobacilli and bifidobacteria species.


Glutamine is the primary fuel source for enterocytes and aids in their proliferation and repair. Adequate levels are essential to maintain intestinal barrier function and regulation of tight junctions.6 Glutamine supplementation increases the height of intestinal villi, stimulates gut mucosal cellular proliferation, and maintains mucosal integrity.T Glutamine is presently the best-known compound for reducing IP. Glutamine also increases the synthesis of sIgA (secretory immunoglobulin A). SIgA is vital to the function of the intestinal immune system and the prevention of bacterial translocation.


The intestinal glycocalyx is the most superficial layer of the gut mucosa and serves to protect the underlying tissues against enzyme exposure/ gastric acid, and bacterial onslaught. NAG is an integral component of the glycocalyx and therefore plays an important role in the maintenance and repair of the intestinal mucous membranes. NAG is also an effective promoter of bifidobacteria. Oral supplementation with NAG has shown promise in the treatment of chronic IBD in children.


Fibre encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria and suppresses the growth of harmful pathogens. When fermented by colonic bacteria, soluble fibre produces short-chain fatty acids – another primary fuel used in the colon. Slippery elm is frequently used as a source of soluble fibre. It also contains large amounts of mucilage, which forms a gel-like, soothing film over inflamed mucous membranes and stimulates healing. Another popular mucilage containing plant that may be used in gastrointestinal disorders is aloe vera. Its anti-inflammatory properties may provide welcome relief in IBD.


Quercetin is beneficial in most inflammatory conditions. The anti-inflammatory activity of quercetin lies largely in its antioxidant properties as well as its inhibitory effects on pro-inflammatory enzymes (cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase) and the subsequent inhibition of inflammatory mediators, including leukotrienes and prostaglandins. Excessive leukotriene production has been linked to IBD. Quercetin’s anti-inflammatory effects also extends to the inhibition of histamine release by mast cells and basophils (degranulation). Mast cell degranulation is believed to promote inflammatory responses and mucosal injury.


Optimal function of the GIT depends on a balanced co-existence between more than 100 000 billion resident micro-organisms of different species. Such an environment promotes gut maturation and integrity enhances mucosal carrier function, stimulates mucosal production of molecules that downregulate inflammatory responses, suppresses growth of pathogenic bacteria, blocks epithelial attachment by pathogens, and modulates host immune responses. Oral ingestion of these health-promoting microbes via probiotic supplementation also exerts extraintestinal effects, including on the joints. Research has demonstrated a relationship believe the gastrointestinal microbiota, mucosal and systemic immune responses and the development of arthritis. Lactic acid bacteria have been shown to significantly downregulate proinflammatory cytokines and in this way, relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.


Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in the management of intestinal inflammation and increased IP by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory mediators and cytokines. Fish oil supplementation has been shown to modify inflammatory mediator profiles in patients with IBD, and reduce the rate of relapse in patients with Crohn’s disease. In patients with ulcerative colitis, fish oil supplementation resulted in clinical improvement as well as the reduction, and in some cases/elimination of anti-inflammatory drug use. The effectiveness of fish oil in the treatment of arthritis has been well documented, with one study showing that omega-3 fatty acids are as effective as ibuprofen in reducing arthritic pain. Causes of Intestinal Permeability
Nutritional Deficiencies, in particular glutamine
Emotional stress
Pharmaceutical drugs, especially antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Alcohol abuse
Gastrointestinal parasites
Intestinal bacterial infections or overgrowth
Ingestion of junk food
Excessive consumption of sugary foods
Excessive consumption of sugary foods
Food allergies
“Take Home” Tips For the Patient with Gut-joint Problems Many dietary and lifestyle factors can aggravate your condition, therefore: Avoid: Consumption of sugary foods and drinks Junk food Foods that cause you discomfort after eating Alcohol Excessive caffeine intake Food additives, preservatives, pesticides and other food contaminants High consumption of omega-6 fats (most vegetable oils) When possible: pharmaceutical drugs, in particular, antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs Prolonged stress Sedentary lifestyle Include more of: Fresh, wholesome foods, eat a balanced diet Fibre-rich foods Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (oily fish) Spices that have an anti-inflammatory effect, such as turmeric, ginger and garlic Drink plenty of water Exercise (must be appropriate for your condition; discuss with your healthcare provider) Also: Try to keep your weight within the normal range; excess body weight places stress on the joints, especially weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips.


Many chiropractors are now looking to address the cellular/chemical aspects of joint conditions through supplementation. Katrina Huges, BScChiro, MChiro With today’s society becoming progressively more sedentary, chiropractors are seeing in an increased prevalence of spinal and pelvic degenerative/inflammatory joint conditions such as arthritis. Potential explanations for this increase may be lifestyle factors including adverse workstation ergonomics, poor posture, a lack of physical activity, insufficient diet, and increased stress – just to name a few.


Structures of joints most frequently affected in degenerative/inflammatory joint conditions are the articular cartilage, subchondral bone, joint capsule and the muscles adjacent to the affected joint. In most areas, the tendons that cross the joint are the most important stabilising factor. Surprisingly, the condition of the articular surface plays only a minimal role in joint stability. Commonly, problems of the joints present with pain and swelling around the affected area(s); are worse in the mornings and in colder months; and click grind and clunk with movement.


As a chiropractor, not only is the affected joint(s) assessed – the joints above and below the area(s) are taken into consideration as well as any potential contributing factors, such as trauma, family history, previous surgeries and lifestyle. A traditional chiropractic approach to typical joint degeneration is of a physical nature. It will seek to restore balance and symmetry to the spine and pelvis through the application of specific spinal and pelvic adjustments/mobilisations. The objective of this type of therapy is to reduce pressure, asymmetry and swelling of the joints, ultimately reducing the pressure on the nervous system and preventing further degeneration o{ the pelvis and spinal segments. Chiropractic philosophy tells us that through removal of interference to the nervous system the body can heal itself. Howeve4, the use of natural supplements can help rebuild and support affected structures and prevent future joint damage and degeneration.


As the physical component of joint con&tions is only half of the picture, many chiropractors are now looking to address the cellular/chemical aspects of these conditions through supplementation, rather than advising commonly used pharmaceutical medications. The physical structure of joints is made from a combination of substances that become less abundant when a joint suffers any form of joint condition. For instance, cartilage matrix is comprised of: 65-80% water, giving the joint resilience and the ability to act as a shock absorber; collagen, which forms the structural framework; proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans, which trap water and act like a sponge; and chondrocytes which release destructive enzymes and manufacture new collagen and proteoglycans.Cartilage ground substance consists of large amounts of chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid and water; hence the importance of ensuring these essential substances are present in sufficient quantities through adequate supplementation. In acute conditions, an anti-inflammatory protocol is necessary to allow quick relief from any unpleasant symptoms. Supplements such as InflamEze Activ combine the anti-inflammatory properties of devil’s claw, cat’s claw and curcumin – all traditionally used in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions. In more chronic cases, a continuing anti-inflammatory management plan is advised. Omega-3 EPA/DHA supplementation is the most common form of natural anti-inflammatory aids. Omega-3 EPA and DHA have been shown to downregulate the production of inflammatory mediators found in patients with joint conditions, but also helps prevent inflammatory infiltrate from further damaging the joint. While addressing the anti-inflammatory aspects of joint conditions, supplementing with a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM complex is also highly recommended in most instances. Prolonged use of glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin has been shown to help slow the progression of joint degeneration due to their role in the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans that form the structural matrix of joints. Glucosamine is the major building block for structures such as tendons, ligaments, nails, skin, bones, eyes, heart valves, and synovial fluid in the joints. In its sulfated form, glucosamine provides cartilage with its structure, strength and shock-absorbing properties. Glucosamine levels directly influence the number of proteoglycans that are produced and thus how much water can be held within the joint. In short, glucosamine sulfate provides the building blocks joints need to repair damage to their bone, cartilage and synovial fluid components. Chondroitin acts as a “liquid magnet” helping joint fluid retention and minimizing bone-on-bone friction. Chondroitin has also been found to stimulate the production of collagen and proteoglycans within the cartilage matrix. MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, a major constituent of collagen. It provides the sulfur the body needs to ensure that the connective tissue surrounding the joint is healthy, supportive and stable. Less frequently used but nonetheless successful in supporting the treatment of joint conditions is vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for the production and maintenance of strong collagen. This is necessary to ensure proper strength and functioning of tendons, ligaments and cartilage. It is a natural destressor, detoxification agent and antioxidant, helping to rid the body of free radicals that cause jopint damage, such as the inflammatory inflitrate found in joint conditions.

Life Advice

In addition to the treatment and prevention of joint conditions through chiropractic and supplementation, lifestyle factors must also be dealt with. The following are advised to help prevent joint damage: A diet high in omega-3s, ie more fish, nuts & seeds Maintain an ideal body weight Gentle regular exercise, such as swimming Ensure proper recovery after injury Optimise biomechanics to reduce stress on the joints, such as ensuring proper workstation ergonimics and good posture. The successful treatment and prevention of degenerative/inflammatory joint conditions must take a multifaceted approach, with considerations for lifestyle, physical and chemical factors. educatiuon of patients is also vital for their long term joint health as the population continue to grow older, live longer, and become more sedentary and overweight – the latter of which, if addressed can.

Chronic kidney disease is one of the main causes of death in cats and is often caused by the food we feed. Lets take a trip back to the past. Before the introduction of commercial pet food cats were fed scrap meat, liver, heart and bones. In this time it was virtually unheard of for cats to die from kidney disease or kidney failure. With the introduction of commercial pet foods kidney disease is now one of the biggest killers of all cat breeds. The disease doesn’t target age, breed or sex. It targets those on commercial food, both wet and dry. Why does commercial food cause kidney failure? Cats have a very different digestive system to both humans and dogs. They survive and require larger percentages of meat than dogs. They require their meat to be very fresh, whereas most dogs are happy to eat 10 day old meat. Why is this the case? Cats have evolved to survive in some of the most extreme conditions. Similar to rabbits they can survive in arid and extremely dry regions with very little water and indeed thrive. Unlike dogs, in the same arid environment, would suffer exhaustion and dehydration in a short time and with lack of available water would perish. Cats, like Cats, like rabbits have the ability to absorb water from their food. In fact cats can absorb 80% of their water needs from fresh meat. This is why those that feed their cats a natural diet will seldom see their cats drink from their water bowels. This is very normal. Those that feed commercial diets will need to top their cats water bowels up regularly. This is not normal. So what does this mean and how does the food we feed cause kidney failure? The cats system has evolved to absorb a large portion of its water via its food. When we feed processed commercial food, dry and wet our cats requirement for water increases and they must get it from another source. They must begin to drink larger portions then what they are used to drinking. The kidney’s are forced to work twice as hard as they were naturally evolved to work. Even with the uptake of extra water, cats are still chronically dehydrated. By doing this eventually the kidney’s will become tired and diseased at an unusually young age. Commonly seen from ages 7 and up. N a tural Animal Soluti o n s Kidney Disease in Cats – Renal Failure Chronic kidney disease is one of the main causes of death in cats and is often caused by the food we feed. Lets take a trip back to the past. Before the introduction of commercial pet food cats were fed scrap meat, liver, heart and bones. In this time it was virtually unheard of for cats to die from kidney disease or kidney failure. With the introduction of commercial pet foods kidney disease is now one of the biggest killers of all cat breeds. The disease doesn’t target age, breed or sex. It targets those on commercial food, both wet and dry. Research has also linked dry cat food with urinary problems. Veterinarian and Pet Nutritionist Lisa Pierson says: ‘Chronic kidney disease is one of the main causes of death in cats and is often caused because they are chronically dehydrated by just eating dried food. Even if they drink water, often it is not enough to ensure optimum urinary health.’ Not convinced? Then consider that while cat and dog food sales have soared by 85 per cent over the past decade, research by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association shows that one in three household pets is now overweight – and chronic conditions in our pets, such as diabetes, kidney and liver disease, heart disease and dental problems (all related to diet) are increasing at the same rate. The link is very evident. So why does our vet recommend commercial food for our cat, even when they have kidney disease? Research into pet food is carried out by the pet food companies and more surprisingly, the training of vets at many universities is also funded by pet food manufacturers. Universities in Australia and other western countries are sponsored and trained by leading Vet brand pet food. Crucially, lectures on nutrition at a number of vet schools, and for vet nurses, are also often paid for and even taught by these huge corporations, giving them the ideal platform to promote their products, rather than pet health. One could argue that given this information, it’s hardly in vets’ interests to promote a more natural diet for pets. Crucially, lectures on nutrition at a number of vet schools, and for vet nurses, are also often paid for and even taught by these huge corporations, giving them the ideal platform to promote their products, rather than pet health. One could argue that given this information, it’s hardly in vets’ interests to promote a more natural diet for pets. Treatment for Kidney Disease Treatment for cats with kidney disease comprises of diuretics and a range of drugs. Because many cats are diagnosed with kidney disease at a young age they will need to be on these medications for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately when on these medications I often see the secondary illness caused by being on medications long term. Most often liver failure, from long term drug use. I have also seen patients die from liver failure caused from the drugs used for kidney disease. It is a terrible cycle and once you are on it, it very often ends poorly for the cat. Alternative treatment is very beneficial and under a trained naturopath can give your cat great results. Homoeopathic treatment and Chinese medicine is also very beneficial. What you can do at home to help. Supplement your cat with

Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Vitamin B-complex, especially B6
Vitamin E
To make it easy, use DigestaVite plus as this will provide you with Vitamins A, C, all your B vitamins and Vitamin E. In higher dosages DigestaVite Plus will also protect your cats liver when on on kidney failure medication. How do we prevent our cats from getting kidney disease? Prevention is simple! No medicine is required. Purely feeding a natural diet of raw meat, organ, meat, small bones and a supplement like DigestaVite Plus to provide the vegetable needs and extra nutrition is all that is required to prevent your cat dying from Kidney Disease. Kidney disease is a painful and diffi cult disease to treat. Once your cat has it is can’t be cured of it. Saying this kidney disease is the easiest disease to prevent. It all comes down to what you feed. A natural diet means no kidney disease for your cat.

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