Letters to the Editor – September 2016

Obesity Linked to Gut Bacteria and Processed Foods

Dear Vitality,

[Re: “The Link Between Obesity and the Human Microbiome https://tinyurl.com/h3btalo]

I read with interest the article in your July/August 2016 edition, “You Are What You Host,” but couldn’t get beyond the first few paragraphs. The author states that 60% (!!) of adult Canadians are obese. I really can’t believe that statistic, I am afraid. There must be an error. I do love your magazine, but further along in the same issue there was a statement that 50% of Canadian pets are also obese! Another statistic I find incredible. I think that you need a better fact checker on your articles in the future or at least some documentation to substantiate such incredible statements.

Mary d’Eon, Toronto, Ont.

Helke Ferrie

Helke Ferrie Responds
It seems that not only God but opinions work in mysterious ways. It seems a bit extreme to stop reading an article that appears to provide information that is startling. After all, either the information is correct and may then perhaps lead to a revision of one’s understanding on a subject (of course one would have to read the article and then go to the internet version of it on the Vitality website and check the references provided there from the scientific literature); or it may be wrong, and then needs to be challenged and investigated as to what is wrong and why. So, Ms. d’Eon’s challenge is accepted here.

All the cited research is open access, so there is no need to pay online for reading and downloading the article. The source for this “60%” statistic comes from research published in 2015 by Lavalle University, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2015, vol. 12, pp. 167-175.
This is, however, only one of the sources. In order to understand how these stats are arrived at, the reader of my article would have to browse through the sources listed in the web extended version, specifically the first sub-section under the heading “Basic Current Facts on Obesity”. One of the facts frequently discussed has to do with the relationship between obesity and poverty (sources are listed under “Cost Issues and Obesity”).

Poverty imposes processed and poor-quality foods on people. Indeed, some time ago, the prevalence of obesity and diabetes was mapped in cities and found to correlate directly with access to foods from variety stores only. In other words, the less access to supermarkets with varieties of fresh foods, the greater the number of obese people and the greater the incidence of diabetes directly related to obesity, usually Type II diabetes.
Helke Ferrie

(Editor’s note: Further to the discussion on adult obesity rates in Canada, this news release came to us from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research: “Canada is suffering from an obesity crisis. In 2014, 62% of Canadian men and 46% of Canadian women were classified as being obese or overweight. Those who are obese or overweight have increased health risks, such as high blood pressure, reduced mobility and diabetes. CIHR-funded researchers Drs. Gillian Booth and Marisa Creatore conducted a study looking at the impact that walkable neighbourhoods have on our health. The study analyzed the rates of diabetes and obesity in thousands of neighbourhoods across Southern Ontario. To read more about the study, go to https://tinyurl.com/zfzcvtg)

Reader Seeks to Share Vitality With Family

Dear Vitality,

Re: Helke Ferrie commentary on the link between vaccines and autism: https://tinyurl.com/jbmnbfo

I have enjoyed your magazine for years and have benefitted from the excellent information on many occasions. I would like to request a digital copy to allow me greater flexibility to have access to each addition, particularly if I’m away from home. Can you kindly advise if you are able to forward the April 2016 back issue as well. I am keen on distributing information to my family regarding Helke Ferrie’s article on vaccination.

Tamara Manias

(Editor’s note: We started making Vitality magazine available in a digital format in May of 2015, so readers are welcome to request any back issue from that point onward. Here is the link to our April 2016 issue: https://tinyurl.com/ju36x7c)

Dr. Rona

Seeking B Vitamins to Repel Mosquitoes

Dear Vitality,

I have lots of troubles with mosquitoes; they like me a lot. I was recently in a health food store looking for B-complex 500 mg. The 500 mg is not available – do you suggest to take five pills of 100 mg daily or when going outdoors? The salesperson mentioned to me that this is a high dosage. Does one have to be concerned?

H. Yohanna, Stouffville, Ont.

Dr. Zoltan Rona Responds
Yes, you can take five capsules daily in divided doses. The highest available dosage of B-complex in Canada is 100 mg capsules. The dose of 500 mg is indeed high, but generally safe and effective. B vitamins are water soluble, so the body just excretes what it doesn’t need. The urine will turn a very deep yellow, but this is harmless and transient while you are on high doses. Mosquitoes will not like the way you smell while you are taking such high doses. Remember that they tend to be around looking to bite near dawn and after twilight time each night. Look for windy places, since they don’t like to fly around when there is lots of wind.

Reader Seeks ND for Leaky Gut Syndrome

Dear Vitality,

I read an article by Brittany Ford titled, “How I Cured My Leaky Gut” published in Vitality’s March 2015 issue (archived on the website at https://tinyurl.com/zny3flq). I was wondering if you could provide the name of the Naturopathic Doctor that she went to see. I have met with a few NDs but I haven’t seen the results that Ms. Ford has seen.

Agatha Ditta, Ottawa, Ont.

Brittany Ford Responds
In my article, I actually provided my email address, and as a result have received countless emails from Vitality readers all over the world over the past 18 months about different recommendations and feedback.It has been so surprising and great to be able to engage with people about something I love. And the health professionals I have recommended have been thankful because they’ve gained more patients due to that one article!

In terms of the naturopath I would recommend, it really depends on where a person is located. I often recommend Shannon Gregory, located in Oakville, who specializes in Live Blood Cell Analysis, but is not a naturopath. Above all else, working with her was the most health-altering, due to her ability to read blood. I also usually explain to the reader how beneficial it is to see your blood on a screen and be able to see physical results. For more information and recommendations, readers can send me an email.
Brittany Ford bford_14@hotmail.com

Reader Renews Vitality Magazine Subscription

Dear Vitality,

Previously, I was not able to renew my subscription to your print magazine, as I was in hospital for six months. Oh my, it’s good to be back. My ex-husband wrote the cheque (I gave him money) for me to get my subscription renewed, and boy, am I ever late. Please forgive me. I guess it will be the summer July/August magazine 2016 that I will start with, or whichever issue you think best. It is my most favourite magazine in the whole world. I am renewing for one year at $44. (Hopefully I will get it one day for life.)
Please rush if you can. Loving you, loving Toronto, loving your magazine.

S. Bhasin Toronto, Ont.

The Importance of Health News Briefs

Dear Vitality,

I see the News Briefs for the July/August 2016 issue in the print edition, but cannot find it online, either by using “Search” or looking through the various categories.
As this is the most important feature in the magazine, it is most useful to have it regularly posted online.

Alan Shar, Toronto

(Editor’s note: The News Briefs were posted on our website the day after receiving Mr. Shar’s email, and are usually posted a few days after the print edition hits the street. Here is a link to the July/August edition of News Briefs, now posted on our website at this link:  https://vitalitymagazine.com/article/news-briefs-july-august-2016/)

Readers: To have your say, email: letters@vitalitymagazine.com

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