Claudette's Specialties: Female and Male Hormonal Imbalances, PMS, Period Pain, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovaries/Syndrome, Endometriosis, Menopause, Prostate Problems, Low Libido, Natural Fertility Management: Contraception, Overcoming Infertility Problems (females and males), Preconception Care, Sex Selection, IVF support, Pregnancy Care: Pregnancy nutrition and remedies, Miscarriage support, Birth preparation, Doula: Childbirth support, Post-natal care for mother and child.

Father's Day Prostate Health

For many years, men’s health problems have received less attention than the health concerns of women, and men are traditionally less likely to use health services, even though they are at greater risk of many health problems than women. With Father's Day on Sunday, it is a reminder for all men to prioritise their health and improve their diet and lifestyle.

At a time when the evidence supporting the health benefits of fish oils and omega-3 fatty acids is at an all time high, it certainly comes as a surprise to some to be confronted with a new study that suggests fish oils increase prostate cancer risk. A recent study that gained widespread media attention "Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial" published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute cast doubt on Omega 3 consumption ( fish oils) in men, suggesting that it increased the risk of prostate cancer. However this trial has since been denounced due to a number of methodological flaws and has mislead the public.

Firstly, the study was not devised to test Omega 3 intake, so there was no record of dietry fish intake or fish oil supplementation in the study group. There were a number of sampling errors including measurement of phospholipids levels in plasma samples rather than red blood cell samples which is not an accurate measure of Omega 3 consumption. Finally, researchers based their conclusion on insignificant differences. As noted by the Global Organisation for EPA and DHA Omega 3 (GOED), " If the findings were true, then prostate cancer would be rampant in any country with high seafood consumption. ( Scandinavia, Japan, etc.) This is not the case." Males in Japan, while having some of the highest levels of Omega 3 in the world, also have some of the lowest rates of prostate cancer. Omega 3 fish oil is among the most well researched nutritional supplements with over 10 000 studies showing that it is beneficial for health. I regularly see the benefits of fish oil consumption in my patients' health, although it is essential to take a good quality supplement that has been screened for heavy metal contamination.

Some easy steps you can take to improve your diet and health include:
  • Reduce alcohol consumption. Beer contains oestrogen-like and prolactin-like molecules from the herb, hops, from which it is made. Hence, the irony of men thinking they are being very masculine by drinking beer, whereas they are actually becoming more feminine! 
  • Increase antioxidant foods such as blueberries, spinach, beetroot, pomegranate. All colourful fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that protect the prostate from damage and swelling. Make sure you eat a salad of dark green leafy and colourful vegetables every day. 
  • Eat lots of anti-inflammatory foods such as sardines, trout, blue-eyed cod, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and ground flaxseeds.
  • A fat-soluble antioxidant specifically found in the prostate is lycopene which is highly concentrated in tomatoes. Tomatoes yield more lycopene if cooked and are best eaten with oil to help absorb this fat-soluble antioxidant. Examples of such foods are tomato soup, grilled tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and basil, or tomato paste.
  • Try a healthy drink of freshly squeezed carrot and beetroot juice, green tea or a whole juiced orange daily.
  • Regular moderate exercise with stretching or yoga is essential to increase the circulation through the pelvis and for stress management. 
  • The joy of sex. Excessive ejaculation causes a deficiency of zinc due to loss via the sperm, while a total lack of ejaculation causes accumulation of testosterone in the prostate. It is all about moderation!
  • For smokers, quit smoking because the cadmium in cigarettes displaces zinc, causing zinc deficiency which is implicated in prostate cancer. Smoking is also toxic not only to the lungs, but has been shown to contribute to prostate enlargement ( BPH) and prostate cancer. 
  • Avoid radiation from mobile phones by not wearing one on the hip or belt, right at the level of the prostate/testes. Mobile phone radiation has been found to specifically affect the hormonal glands.
There are many herbal and nutritional treatments for the prostate including Saw palmetto, zinc and selenium that are frequently prescribed by urologists in France and Germany. I urge all men to come in for a health check up and keep their prostate in good nick!

By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 and Sydney CBD 02 9268 9000

Fertility Hot Spot

Easter is about new beginnings and new life. Conceiving a child is a very special, though often unconscious, event. For others, it may be problematic. Fertility is a complex issue that involves both prospective parents. I have been consulting women and couples for the last 12 years which I am very passionate about because there is so much potential for improvement as well as opportunity for parents to educate themselves. Taking control of one’s own fertility, and having an active role in treatment, can be an important and empowering factor for many prospective parents.

Recently I attended a 3 day conference at The Hilton Hotel Sydney to update on the latest scientific research of natural methods, medical testing and assisted reproductive technology such as IVF. Whether you are trying to conceive naturally or using IVF, there are many changes that you can make to profoundly improve your chances of a healthy, successful conception, pregnancy, birth and baby. IVF doctors say increasing numbers of prospective parents unrealistically see IVF as the "silver bullet" after eating, drinking and smoking themselves into poor fertility health.

Poor nutrition, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, environmental pollution, lack of exercise, stress, oral contraceptives, genito-urinary infections, and other infections eg Candida, allergies, child bearing at an older age and stress are all important factors which deplete the quality of sperm, eggs, health of the male and female reproductive organs and in turn, impair fertility. A recent study in the UK showed IVF success rates more than doubled when preceded by a period of preconception health care. I consult many couples who are undergoing IVF treatment where nutritional support and stress management are vital. No supplement that has a hormonal effect is given to interfere with the drug regime.

IVF specialists also say it is not enough for just the woman to get into health - the male partner's weight, diet, cigarette and alcohol consumption significantly impact fertility and sperm quality. The combined effort by both parents ensures better health of the new baby as fertility issues may come from either the female or the male with 50% DNA from each. If only one partner is involved, it is still worth doing but will not necessarily be as effective.

Many couples say they already have a healthy diet but unfortunately nowadays this may be inadequate as the nutrient content of food is affected by farming methods, modern processing and refinement of foods, lifestyle issues, tobacco, alcohol, being on the oral contraceptive pill and other drugs that rob the body of vital nutrients. This was demonstrated by a CSIRO study that found 67% of Australian women received less than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of zinc in their diets. Stress increases the demand of a variety of nutrients. Older couples may require an increase in nutrients compared to a younger couple because their nutrient stores may be depleted as they have been exposed to lifestyle and environmental factors for a longer period of time. Nutritional needs are also increased by 15-20% in pregnancy. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January 2007 found that eating trans fats, eg. margarine, deep fried oils, processed foods, increased the risk of fertility problems by 70% or more.

Getting healthy before trying to conceive is not a new idea. Many traditional societies practiced preconception health care, such as the Ancient Greeks and Romans whose conceiving couples abstained from alcohol prior to and during pregnancy due to its damaging effects on the foetus. Veterinarians, stock breeders and farmers all feed special diets to their animals prior to breeding as well.

This Easter begin a new chapter in your life, starting with your health.


Igniting The Creative Fire

Whether you are celebrating Valentine's Day this Thursday or trying to ignore it, it is really a reminder to celebrate the greatest love of all - loving yourself. When we give ourselves time each week to do something that we love or we're passionate about, it is a way of giving back to ourselves as well as letting go of the daily stressors and putting the zest and passion back into our lives. Even if it's only for an hour on a weekend, it allows you to let go of your tension and the mundane and gives us a sense of empowerment, bringing the joy and fun back in. Last week I started dancing classes again which I haven't done for 6 years. Of course I was rather clunky and uncoordinated at first but by the end of the class I had the biggest smile on my face and was dancing on air.

The one thing scientifically proven to make 2013 your best year yet? Boost your creativity. As quoted by Red Day Coaching researchers sent 56 subjects out on a four day wilderness hiking trip without access to electronic devices or mobile phones. Upon their return, the hikers took tests to measure their creativity. The control group that hadn't been in the bush, scored 4.14 out of 10. The hiking group scored 6.08, a staggering 50% more creativity! The researchers said that this creativity boost was probably due to being in nature as well as taking a break from the stressors of work and technology. Next time you get stuck on a problem or can't concentrate, turn your mobile off and take a walk in nature or get lost in your own creative juices - leaving all technology behind!

Often in our busy, modern world it is easy to forget to incorporate the creative juice into our lives as we are tuned 24/7 into our emails and Facebook, crippling our free time which we need to explore our imagination and let our spirits fly. We've forgotten what it is to ponder and daydream, imagine and create new possibilities but we need to remember that without creativity, there is no life. Fertility is the ultimate act of creativity and whether we are using it for this or not, it is still vital that we express our creative energy in other ways. There are many ways to express creativity such as art, singing, dancing, cooking, writing, woodwork, gardening, photography, graphic art, poetry, sex and sensuality. The other benefit is that it allows you to let go of all your worries and be present with what you love. You can't think about the past or the future while you are in the midst of your creative act.

For women, our creative expression is reflected in our hormones as the function of our hormones is to create life. According to Christiane Northrup reknowned gynaecologist in USA who wrote the book, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, hormonal imbalances are often reflected in whether a woman is honouring her own emotional needs and creative expression. So if your creative energy is stifled or you are having period problems, then there may be an area of your life which also feels blocked. Look at where you're not expressing and using your creative energy and power in your life.

Ask yourself the following questions:
- How am I expressing my creativity in my life? What does creativity mean to me?
- What brings me alive? What am I passionate about?
- As a child, what did I love doing that I may have now forgotten?
- What are my emotional needs and do I express these?
- Do I believe that I have the power to change the conditions of my life?
- What am I most grateful for in my life right now?

Creativity is about putting the fun and play back into life. It doesn't have to take loads of time or money to have fun. So let your creative fire ignite by celebrating what you love in your life.

Happy Valentine's Day!


New Bondi Junction Clinic 9389 3689

New Year, New Beginnings!

As of January 2013 I will be partnering with Better Health Clinic at 40 Grosvenor St Bondi Junction. This means a new number, better services and a fresh new look. You will enjoy the same excellent Naturopathic services at the same convenient location but simply next door. Better Health is a newly renovated clinic with full time reception services so it will make appointment bookings, ordering of products and supplement collection faster and easier. Better Health is a passionate group of health practitioners who offer osteopathic and massage services as well.  

Tuesday 8am - 6pn
Thursday 10am - 8pm

02 9389 3689

Over the past 12 years I've had the privilege of being involved in the key milestones of my clients and their family's lives. I wish 2013 to be a wonderful year of fulfillment and health for you and your family.


For The Men...Keeping Your Testosterone Pumping

Last week I attended a seminar on Andropause, or male menopause, testosterone deficiency and erectile dysfunction. All three are more common than most men would like to admit, with Andropause now medically recognised as a normal part of ageing, occurring between the ages of 40 to 55 with a significant drop in sex hormone levels. Signs of testosterone deficiency in men include loss of libido and physical agility, poor erection and low ejaculate volume, infertility, shrinkage or enlargement of the prostate, depression, anxiety, fat accumulation around the belly and hips, loss of muscle, high cholesterol and aged appearance. Studies show that this decline in testosterone can actually put one at risk for other health problems like heart disease and osteoporosis.

What Depletes Testosterone Levels?

  • Age
  • Intense endurance sports or exercise
  • Intense emotional stress 
  • Foods high in saturated fats e.g hot chips, deep fried oily foods, animal fats
  • Adrenal fatigue (chronic stress exhausts the body)
  • Medications: e.g Antidepressants (SSRI's)
Pharmaceutical DHEA or Testosterone
A number of recent studies have demonstrated that most of the DHEA or androstenedione gets converted into oestrogens rather than testosterone once in the body. These oestrogens stimulate the mammary tissue causing the common side effect of breast development in men. However, once the hormones are stopped, it is not reversible. 

Naturopathic Treatments
Protein foods increase testosterone production so a diet high in good quality, lean protein is essential. Omega 3 oils found in cold water oily fish such as sardines, salmon, trout, mackerel, flaxseed oil, nuts and seeds are another building block of hormone production and ensure healthy sperm and prostate function. Zinc, magnesium and selenium along with other minerals are also important for testosterone production and to counter stress.

There are a few key herbs that have been shown in studies to increase testosterone and DHEA-S production in the body such as Korean Ginseng, Rhodiola and Withania. It is important to see a qualified herbalist to assess the best combination of herbs and the correct dosage for you. 

Erectile Dysfunction
Only 5-10% of erectile dysfunction is caused by low testosterone. More common causes are heart disease, diabetes, nerve damage, stress, side effects of drugs, exhaustion, circulatory problems. Basically being in good health and being relaxed ensures a strong libido and great performance!

Spring Into Action - How to Set Your Libido on Fire!

Testosterone is the hormone that fuels our sexual desire. Although regarded predominantly as a male hormone, some testosterone is needed in women as well. Symptoms of deficiency can include low energy and a non-existent sex drive. However, low libido can be due to stress, over-work and exhaustion, dietary deficiencies, alcohol and drug use, self esteem issues, communication breakdown in relationship, hormonal imbalances, peri-menopause, or emotional or mental upset. I often remind patients that libido is a by-product of good health physically, emotionally and mentally.

Aphrodisiac Keys:

  • Zinc is crucial for sexual reproduction and hormonal production. A quick zinc taste test will show whether you are deficient and white specks on your fingernails is often a telltale sign. Zinc is obtained in pumpkin seeds (pepitas), meat and oysters as well as supplements if you are deficient.
  • Pump Iron - working out with weights increases your natural testosterone levels and libido in both men and women so start some resistance training. If you are underweight or overweight, this will negatively impact your sex drive and hormonal balance so aim for a healthy weight for your height and build.
  • Herbal Love Potions - Several herbs are renowned for boosting libido and testosterone, specifically Tribulus, Damiana, Withania and Saw palmetto. However, these should be prescribed by a qualified herbalist as they can cause hormonal imbalances if they are not appropriate for the individual.
  • Belly Laugh - Laughter reduces the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, and triggers the release of endorphins, our feel-good chemicals, which relieves muscular tension and stress, heals hurts and resentments and unites people. So to destress, reconnect and freshen up your relationship or simply put a smile on your face and that of your partner, try a double endorphin cocktail of shared laughter, fun and play together in and out of the bedroom!
  • Sex on the Mind - Your libido is in your most important sexual organ, the one between your ears (not your legs). The more you think about sex, read sexy books whether it be erotic stories, romance novels or sex articles, think sexy, dress up in sexy clothes that make you feel good, the more your brain becomes sexual and begins to want more.
  • Sensual Touch - the brain doesn't require orgasm as the most important factor to determine that sex feels good. Hormones such as oxytocin (called the "cuddle hormone") are released through sensual and sexual touch as well, not just through orgasm. If your partner is having trouble climaxing, the best way to enjoy sex is to take away the goal of orgasm. 
  • Healthy Diet - A healthy diet cannot be underestimated in sex drive and hormone production. Eat plenty of vegetables, salads, lean protein, omega 3 oils such as oily fish, avocado, walnuts, olive oil, nuts and seeds everyday. Avoid sugars, fried foods, fast food, caffeine and alcohol which deplete the body of vital nutrients. 

These natural health tips will get your mojo back into action but occasionally low libido can be a sign of other serious illnesses. If your libido is low for an extended period of time, or if you have other health concerns, see a health professional.

Remember you are the sex god or goddess!

Sperm Busters & Boosters

A Danish study concluded that between 1938 and 1990 sperm concentration has fallen from 113 million per milliliter (ml) to 66 million per ml—a decrease of almost 50 percent in fifty years. Based on these statistics, male infertility is on the rise. Why is this? What can you do about it so you don't end up shooting blanks?

Avoiding known factors that damage sperm while increasing those that boost and protect sperm is the key to high numbers of good quality sperm long term. Male factors represent approximately 40% of the reason some couples have difficulty conceiving so it's time to do some homework men!

Natural treatments with diet and lifestyle changes, herbal medicines and nutritional supplements can make a dramatic improvement in sperm parameters. However, you need at least 3 months of targeted treatments for the beneficial effects to follow through as it takes 100 days to produce and mature sperm.

Sperm Busters:
  • Plastics disrupt hormonal balance by exerting an oestrogenic effect. Avoid using squishy plastic containers No. 5 or plastic cling wrap, especially for hot foods. Use a water bottle which says on it BPA-free (you can buy from Kathmandu or camping shops) or use a stainless steel bottle.
  • Mobile phones snuggled up close to your privates is not a good idea. Sperm are particularly vulnerable to radiation damage so try carrying it in your top pocket instead, place it on the corner of the desk rather than on your body when you can, and switch it off at night so you get at least 8 hours when your body is not being radiated by the mobile constantly picking up a signal.
  • Phytoestrogen foods Excessive intake of foods that naturally contain plant oestrogens will not help your testosterone-driven sperm production! The main ones are beer and soy. Be aware soy is now an additive in many processed and packaged foods so eat natural whole foods - the basics: vegetables, protein, salads, fruit, grains.
  • Medications such as anti-depressants, steroids such as Prednisolone and anabolic steroids actually decrease fertility so seek alternatives or avoid.
  • Hot is not sexy Cotton boxer shorts are better than briefs, stop crossing your legs and avoid heated car seats. Squashing the testes for long periods can harm nerves and impede blood flow so long hours of cycling on narrow bike seats has been shown to reduce male fertility. If you love cycling, keep it short and fast instead and try mixing it up with some other sports.
  • Toxins We are surrounded by chemicals in our environment nowadays from cleaning products, pest control, building materials, paints to heavy metals so try to avoid wherever possible by asking or doing some investigation yourself into alternatives, wear protective clothing, masks or ventilation, especially in the workplace. 
  • Stress Chronic stress exhausts your adrenal glands, reduces testosterone and causes inflammation in the body which damages sperm as well as all other body cells. Find an outlet for your stress whether it be exercise, meditation, nature, creativity but more importantly, change your thoughts and perspective on your life. Life is wonderful and you are great!
Sperm Boosters:
  • Zinc is the number 1 male fertility mineral. It is essential for all aspects of fertility (both male and female) from testes and prostate development, sperm count, motility and morphology to DNA replication for genetic material. Highest food sources include beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
  • Healthy Diet The healthier your diet, the better your fertility. Keep it simple with lots of fresh, unprocessed meals of vegetables, salads, protein, fruit, Omega 3 oils which provide all your nutrients and antioxidants. Start cutting out junk food, cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine and sugar.
  • The Good Oils These are oils with anti-inflammatory properties that make up the cell membranes of sperm, keeping them supple and fluid for fertilisation to occur: oily fish such as salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, nuts and seeds.
  • Be Cool As mentioned above, keep it cool, wear breathable cotton and avoid daily saunas and hot spas. 
  • Pump Your Muscles When you build muscle, you boost your testosterone levels so include some weight training or resistance training, rather than all cardio exercise - mix it up for benefits all round.
  • Think Sexy Your thoughts and emotions have an enormous impact on your testosterone levels. One study tested men before and after watching a football match, showing a rise in testosterone level after the game. You are the star of your own life - get out there and embrace it!
Whether you envision being a father now, in 10 years' time or you already have children, everything you do accumulates in the body to create your health. Start making changes today - your own health, the legacy of your future and health of your prospective child will thank you for it!

Yoghurt Boosts Sexual Performance

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have made a surprising discovery that yoghurt boosts sexual performance of male mice and even increases the size of their testes! This was an unexpected result as they were actually studying the influence of probiotic diets on obesity. However, the yoghurt eating mice had 10x the active follicle density - giving them thicker, shiny hair, 5-15% heavier testes, faster insemination of their partners, and even developed a "male swagger" pointing their testes outwards. Females eating the yoghurt gave birth to larger litters and were more efficient at weaning their pups. Now researchers at Harvard University are studying the link between yoghurt intake and semen quality in humans with similar results. Source: The Week.

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