Articles and Q&A's

November 2012

Beyond Milk for Building Strong Bones

"Drink your milk up or you don’t get to play today!" That is something many of us have heard repeatedly in our early years... Well, guess what? The statement is still valid today, regardless of your age. If you do not try your best to maintain strong bones through nutrition and exercise, you will not have a strong and healthy skeleton to carry you through life and allow you to "play" well into advanced age. Many people focus on their joints, since a painful joint is easily detectable. However, without strong bones to form a healthy skeleton, painless joints would be useless. In fact, fracture due to weak bones is one of the leading causes of hospitalizations for the elderly, often with poor outcomes. Therefore, we should make an effort to take good care of our bones first.
October 2012

Don't Let The Flu Bug You This Winter

As we age, the ability of our immune systems to combat infection weakens. This means that seniors are more susceptible to getting the flu and this is nothing to shrug off, given that 90% of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people over the age of 65. A flu infection could also lead to more serious illnesses such as pneumonia, which may be fatal. There is absolutely no doubt that the best defence against the flu is an annual flu shot. The local flu vaccine consists of remnants of the flu virus that can trigger your immunity to make biochemical troops in preparation for exposure to an actual flu viral attack. This way, the body can respond much more quickly upon exposure and thus halt the flu in its tracks ASAP.
October 2012


Q: What are the differences between the use of L-Carnitine and Actyl-L-Carnitine? Dr. Cheng: Basically they are interchangeable. However, most studies on L-Carnitine were on ischaemic heart disease, angina, post-infarct recovery, and benefits on exercise endurance.
September 2012

The "Mouse Arm"

"Mouse Arm" is a newly coined term designating a group of musculo-skeletal problems of the forearm and hand resulting from computer use. Excessive and repetitive typing, clicking the "mouse", and abnormal posture all result in tendon and ligament strains. The resulting muscle spasm may affect nerve conduction and sensations giving rise to more pains. Computers have revolutionised all walks of life. It is estimated that two thirds of employees in the city uses a computer on a daily basis. This includes those who work at the cash register, punching and scanning for a few hours a day. I guarantee at least 10% of my readers have some form of the conditions that I am going to describe.
August 2012

Plant Iron

Q: I am tired in the afternoon and I am a bit anaemic. My memory is poor and my hair brittle. My doctor advised me to take an iron pill. I had tried several brands and they all bothered my stomach as well as causing constipation. What else can I take? A: Floradix is a herbal iron vitamin preparation in liquid form. It is well absorbed and side effects are rare. Flora is a reputable company that uses only organic herbs.
August 2012

Summer Fun

Now that summer weather is in full swing, we all want to head outside and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Keep the following points in mind to help you enjoy these gorgeous, sunny summer days: Keep It Cool: As we age, the body’s ability to maintain its internal thermostat decreases. Thankfully, there are many ways to stay cool during the summer. You can install fans or air-conditioning in your home, or spend more time in public places that are air-conditioned (such as public libraries or shopping malls). This is particularly important when you are exercising because your body will heat up faster in hotter weather. Stay Hydrated: Our body’s main method for helping to keep us cool is to sweat. In order to keep up with the body’s sweating, it is important to stay well-hydrated. You must have heard that we should drink 8 glasses of water a day. This is based on the fact that it takes about 1mL of water to burn 1 calorie. Thus, a person consuming 2000 calories in a day should take in about 2000mL (2 litres!) or eight 250mL glasses of fluids.
August 2012

Naked Natural Beauty

Many people are becoming more aware of the presence of certain ingredients in their health and beauty aid products because of the possible effects on their health, especially with long-term exposure. We often see claims on beauty aid products such as “All Natural!”, “Organic Ingredients!”, “Paraben-free!”, “No Sulfates!”, “ No Lauryl sulfate!”, etc. Let’s take a quick look at a few of these controversial ingredients.
July 2012


Q: I heard that L-Carnitine has been approved for sale in Canada. What is it good for? Dr. Cheng: L-Carnitine is essential in the process of energy production by the mitochondria. Hence its presence is crucial wherever energy production is involved and that means it's most important for heart and muscle functions.
July 2012

L-Carnitine: the engineer of cell power

A recent scheduling amendment from Health Canada has lifted a long time ban on the non-prescription sale of L-Carnitine supplements, so it is appropriate for us to write a brief account on this potentially very useful supplement. L-Carnitine is a biochemical substance naturally synthesised by the brain, liver and kidneys and stored in the heart, skeletal muscles, the brain, and sperm. The main food sources of L-Carnitine are red meats especially lamb, and dairy products. It is also found in small quantities in legumes, asparagus, avocado, nuts, fish, poultry, wheat, and grains.
July 2012

Don't Let Your Heart Skip A Beat

Your heart will beat, on average, 3 billion times by the time you are 75-years-old. Three billion! That is a lot of work demanded of the little muscle which is the size of your fist. Naturally, heart health and maintenance should be of utmost concern regardless of age. Of course, a heart-healthy diet and sound cardiovascular exercise program, accompanied by regular check-ups at your doctor will keep things running in tip-top shape. In addition, there is a lot of interest in the popular media regarding several supplements touted to benefit heart conditions such as congestive heart failure (CHF), heart-valve issues, angina and heart-attacks, and arrhythmias. Currently, three of the most-discussed are coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), L-carnitine and magnesium (Mg). All three of these non-prescription supplements may ultimately benefit heart-muscle health, but are they legit?
June 2012

Natural Approach to Neuropathies

Our nervous system is divided into the “central” nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord, and the “peripheral” nervous system consisting of nerves that run all over our bodies and limbs. Central neuropathy happens in dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsonism, etc. Peripheral nerve neuropathy may result from poorly controlled diabetes, drugs, alcoholism, vitamin deficiencies including B1, B12 and Folates, chemical or heavy metal poisoning, nerve entrapment or injury, infections including herpes, auto-immune diseases, etc.
June 2012


Q: I have knee and hip pain from osteoarthritis. What is the best natural remedy? A: Try Maori Miracle® which contains ingredients for both healing and pain control. GlycoMarine® is an extract from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel. It contains 9 different glycosaminoglycans that serve as raw materials for joint healing. It also has Cox-2 inhibitory properties and is chondroprotective.