TRENDING!👀We are definately here to stay.🤗

Spotted in Silicon Valley last week at the 21st Annual Top 10 Tech Trends debate—an event facilitated by Forbes magazine and attended by some of the brightest minds and innovators. FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE = TREND #1. Agree, agree, agree! It’s a tremendous pleasure to see your life’s work take center stage at a prestigious gathering. Many thanks to the attendee who snapped and shared the photo.
#functionalmedicine #fxmed #personalizedlifestylemedicine #healthcaretransformation #bigboldhealth #forbes #techtrends


Low energy, tiredness, constipation, weight gain and fatigue can affect all aspects of life and are also symptoms associated with a thyroid issues.😞😖

A Natural Healthcare Practitioner is best placed to determine the underlying factors that are interfering with your thyroid function and recommend a tailored treatment plan so that you can regain your zest for life!
Speak with me today to help you improve your thyroid function and achieve long term wellness.

Did you know?🤔👶🤗

A Monash University sleep study is looking for first-time mums with bubs aged 4-12 months to help try and improve THEIR OWN sleep and wellbeing. The study uses evidence-based, non-pharmaceutical treatments over a 10-week period. Mums can do the study from anywhere in Australia, from the comfort of their own home, and will receive a $50 voucher to say thanks at the end. If you think you might be interested in participating or know someone who might be interested, please get them to access this link for more information!

It’s that time of year again… Protect yourself against COLDS and FLUS!🤧😷

Childhood microbiome health: the secret to resisting illness.👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🤗

Sharing is caring – a delightful virtue when it comes to little humans; but when it is a plaguing cold or a nasty tummy bug, it can be nothing short of a family catastrophe! Whilst these kinds of experiences can help children build a robust immune system, evidence indicates that recurrent bouts of infection may be associated with a reduced presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut.[1]

The bacteria (and the trillions of other microorganisms) in the gut, are known collectively as the gut microbiome, the health of which is essential for immune resilience and resistance to infection. These beneficial organisms directly interact with the immune system (a large proportion of which is also housed in the gut), helping to boost the overall immune response against pathogens. In other words, a healthy microbiome helps to build immune function, whilst a compromised microbiome reduces immune resilience.

Cultivating the Microbiome

Babies inherit their microbiome initially from vaginal flora at birth, in addition to skin -to- skin contact via breastmilk. This exposes infants to a wide range of bacterial species and specific carbohydrates (from breastmilk) that feed these bacteria, helping to establish a healthy gut microbiome.

Babies inherit their microbiome initially from vaginal flora at birth, in addition to skin -to- skin contact via breastmilk. This exposes infants to a wide range of bacterial species and specific carbohydrates (from breastmilk) that feed these bacteria, helping to establish a healthy gut microbiome.

That said, not all babies share these microbiome-building experiences. For example, caesarean section, premature birth, limited amounts of breastmilk, and antibiotic use can all impact the diversity of the gut microbiome. This can have a flow-on effect, leading to reduced immune resilience and a greater chance of developing recurrent infections in childhood.

This is perhaps most obvious when kids face one of the greatest immune challenges, where there is no shortage of germ-sharing… daycare (or school). Additionally, kids that experience recurrent ear, chest and/or gut infections also tend to require a greater number of antibiotics; leading to a vicious cycle of poor microbiome health and impaired immune function. Fortunately, research reveals that probiotics may be the key to microbiome recovery; helping to improve digestive health and subsequent immune function.

Probiotics to the Rescue!

Probiotics are live bacteria, which offer beneficial effects on the microbiome and help to support childhood health in several ways including:

  1. Increasing the quantity and diversity of bacterial species in the gut;
  2. Enhancing immune activity; and

While several probiotics species have been shown to boost immunity, it is important to choose the specific probiotic strain for the condition you are looking to treat. To learn more about this and why it is an important consideration when purchasing probiotics, click here.

Probiotics species have been shown to boost immunity.

Building Better Immunity

When it comes to boosting microbiome health in children, the immune building and gut strengthening benefits of probiotics have been shown in multiple studies.[2],[3] Several specific strains have been shown to help childhood health at different stages of life as detailed in Table 1 below:

Table 1: Probiotics strains demonstrated to boost childhood immunity.

Age Probiotic bacteria combinations Effects in children
0-12 months Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®) Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (BB12®) Bifidobacterium breve (M-16v) Bifidobacterium longum (BB563) Helps reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhoea[4] Reduces the need for antibiotics[5] Reduces acute respiratory infections[6],[7] Reduces ear infections[8] Reduces the duration of sore throat symptoms[9] Supports microbiome diversity[10]
12 months – 12 years Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®) Bifidobacterium lactis (Bi-07) Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM®) Helps reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhoea[11] Reduces the need for antibiotics[12] Reduces acute respiratory infections[13] Supports microbiome diversity[14] Reduces gastrointestinal discomfort[15]

Less illness means more time for childhood

While the occasional cold or flu is a normal part of growing up, recurrent infections can be a sign that the immune system requires a little extra support. As discussed, resilience against infection draws greatly on the health of the microbiome, with probiotics offering a solution to help boost immunity and resistance to infection. To ensure you choose the right probiotic seek the advice of a qualified health care Practitioner who can prescribe the right probiotic for your child’s needs.

Why Everyone Needs Fish Oil!🐟🤗

Which nutrient helps alleviate the pain of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis,[1] supports brain and skin health and also reduces the risk of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease?[2] Not sure? Here’s a hint: it’s found in seafood and is particularly abundant in fish.

If you answered omega-3, you are correct! This essential nutrient provides a wide variety of health benefits as it is required for the healthy functioning of almost every cell in your body. Omega-3 cannot be produced by the body and must be consumed from the diet or through supplementation. Alarmingly, only 20% of adults meet the recommended daily intake (RDI) of this vital nutrient, with only 10% able to do so without taking a supplement.[3] It is for this reason, a good quality fish oil is recommended to ensure adequate intake of omega-3.

Alarmingly, only 20% of adults meet the recommended daily intake (RDI) of this vital nutrient, with only 10% able to do so without taking a supplement.

What fish oil can do for you

Omega-3 is important for all ages and stages of life, from unborn babies to the elderly. During pregnancy, omega-3 plays a pivotal role in foetal development[4] and also reduces the risk of premature birth.[5] It supports healthy brain and nervous system development throughout childhood,[6] and also benefits adult brains by reducing the risk of mood disorders such as depression.[7] In later adulthood, omega-3 reduces mild cognitive and memory impairment[8] and may assist in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.[9] It also reduces the risk of some major chronic diseases prevalent in Western society, such as cardiovascular disease and heart attack.[10] Additionally, it is beneficial for conditions characterised by pain and inflammation, such as arthritis.[11] Due to its diverse health benefits, it is important you choose a high-quality fish oil to ensure you get the most out of your supplementation.

Quality fish oil for best results

When looking for a fish oil supplement, you may be tempted to buy bulk quantities at a cheaper price. However, in the case of fish oil, you get what you pay for. Fish oil supplements that have not been sourced from a quality supplier or undergone rigorous quality testing often contain higher amounts of contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides, and/or higher levels of oxidation (rancidity). Oxidation causes an unpleasant fishy odour and taste, reduces fish oil’s effectiveness[12] and may even be harmful to your health. In the case of fish oil, you get what you pay for.

When looking for a fish oil supplement, you may be tempted to buy bulk quantities at a cheaper price. However, in the case of fish oil, you get what you pay for.

To get the full benefits of omega-3, I recommend choosing a high quality fish oil that meets the following criteria:

  • Sustainable: Look for products that are certified by Friends of the Sea so you know the fish are sourced via sustainable and eco-friendly fishing practices.
  • Clean: Choose a fish oil that is made from small, cold water, pelagic fish. These fish occupy positions lower in the marine food chain and therefore accumulate fewer contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides. Also, look for products that are further purified by molecular distillation to remove any remaining contaminants.
  • Concentrated: Dosage is critical to the results you experience, with a recent review finding fish oil to be ineffective at lower doses.[13] Ensure you chose a fish oil supplement that provides a therapeutic dose of EPA and DHA containing at least 500 mg and 200 mg per capsule, respectively.
  • Fresh: The fish oil you choose should be manufactured using processes that minimise exposure to environmental factors such as air, heat and light to minimise oxidation. For added protection, look for fish oils that are twice-nitrogen flushed – a process where nitrogen is used to remove oxygen within the bottle to reduce oxidation over time.
  • Tested: Fish oil should be tested at all stages of manufacture to ensure the final product is free from contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals and oxidation.

If this sounds a little too complicated, don’t worry, the easiest way to access a high-quality fish oil is to see a Natural Healthcare Practitioner, who can prescribe a Practitioner-only fish oil that meets all of the above criteria. Additionally, a I will be able to assess your health and omega-3 needs (via Omega-3 Testing or dietary assessment), allowing them to recommend the specific dose necessary for you.

For more information in finding the right fish oil supplement for you, please contact me.

What is the low FODMAP Diet?🥑🍅🍄🍞

By Kylie Matthews

There are so many different kinds of diets out there – keto, paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, 5:2 – promising all kinds of impressive health benefits.

Recently you might have heard of the low-FODMAP diet (sometimes referred to as LoFo). So what is it, who is it for and what are its benefits? It’s often recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But does it work?

What’s a ‘FODMAP’?

FODMAP is an acronym for a group of short-chain carbohydrates (sugars):

  • Fermentable Oligosaccharides (e.g. fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides)
  • Disaccharides (e.g. lactose)
  • Monosaccharides (e.g. excess fructose) and
  • Polyols (e.g. sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, xylitol and isomalt)

These sugars are fermented by the bacteria that live inside our intestines and are present in many of the foods we eat. Common high-FODMAP foods include garlic, onions, apples, milk, mushrooms, bread and chickpeas, among many others.

For 85% of the population, the fermentation of these sugars isn’t an issue, but for one in seven people, some high-FODMAP foods can trigger the uncomfortable and potentially debilitating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For these people, the low-FODMAP diet can be life-changing.

Who should try a low-FODMAP diet?

The low-FODMAP diet isn’t for everybody; you won’t lose weight on it, burn tummy fat or improve your general health.

In fact, without an IBS diagnosis from a doctor or dietitian, embarking on this highly restrictive diet has the real potential to cause unnecessary damage to the health of your gut microbiome.

But, if you do have IBS, the short-term Monash University Low-FODMAP diet™ is a diagnostic tool that can help you identify your trigger foods, and reduce and manage your IBS symptoms in the long term.

Can it cure people of IBS?

No, but it can help you manage symptoms.

There’s no known cure for IBS. It’s a chronic condition that needs to be managed long term, which is where the low-FODMAP diet comes in.

Recent studies have revealed the low-FODMAP diet reduces IBS symptoms for around 86% of people. In addition, symptoms can continue to improve with the reduction of triggering high-FODMAP foods for a long time, provided these foods are avoided or significantly limited.

For people with IBS, the low-FODMAP diet can be life-changing

“The idea is to settle the symptoms right down,” says Nicole Dynan, accredited practising dietitian and spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA).

“So, it might just be that you’ve been overloading yourself with that particular sugar group, and if we find your personal tolerance level then there’s no reason you can’t go on tolerating an amount of that particular group.”

What is a low-FODMAP diet?

Monash University’s Department of Gastroenterology launched a major study in 2005 to see if IBS could be managed through diet, and found four classes of short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that were poorly absorbed in the small intestine.

These sugars attract water into the bowel, and when they reach the large intestine they’re fermented by the resident gut bacteria and, in combination with a sensitive gut, can result in IBS symptoms such as bloating, distension, pain, constipation and diarrhoea.

It isn’t just another fad diet

Over the years the Monash University research team has shown in numerous studies that a diet low in high-FODMAP foods can help ease the symptoms of IBS.

Subsequently, the team developed the Monash University Low-FODMAP diet™, now considered frontline therapy for IBS around the world.

How does it work?

The first thing you should know about the low-FODMAP diet, says Associate Professor Jane Muir, Head of Translational Nutrition Science in the Department of Gastroenterology at Monash University, is that it isn’t just another fad diet.

“It is important to emphasise here that the low-FODMAP diet is a diet therapy for a medically diagnosed condition – IBS,” she says.

Muir describes the FODMAP diet as three-phased.

Step one: “Patients swap high-FODMAP foods for low-FODMAP alternatives, thus lowering their overall FODMAP intake, which they follow for around two to six weeks,” she explains.

“If they notice an improvement in their IBS symptoms in step one, they progress to step two.”

Step two: This should take between eight and 12 weeks and involves introducing high-FODMAP foods back into the diet, one at a time, and increasing the amount each day to determine which foods trigger IBS symptoms, and how much can be tolerated.

Step three: A ‘personalised’ low-FODMAP plan for the future is devised, which is minimally restrictive and intended to maintain an adequate level of symptom control.

“Well-tolerated foods and FODMAPs are included in the personalised FODMAP diet, while poorly tolerated FODMAPs are restricted, but only to a level that is necessary to maintain adequate symptom control,”  says Muir.

For short-term use only

The low-FODMAP diet is a diagnostic tool and isn’t recommended for long-term use.

“The effect of FODMAP restriction on the gut microbiota occurs because some FODMAPs (e.g. fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides) are a fuel source for good bacteria in our gut; that is, they’re ‘prebiotics’,” says Dr Jane Varney, research dietitian with the Department of Gastroenterology at Monash University.

“If poorly implemented, the diet can also restrict intake of some nutrients, such as calcium and fibre. This is one reason why we strongly recommend people only implement the diet short term – and under the guidance of a FODMAP-trained dietitian.”

How to start a low-FODMAP diet

The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already been diagnosed with IBS, is to go to your local GP and have tests done to rule out other medical conditions that present a range of similar symptoms, such as coeliac disease, gluten sensitivity, anxiety, depression and stomach or colon cancer.

Then, get a referral from your GP to a DAA-qualified dietitian who has expertise in food intolerances and the low-FODMAP diet.

Go to the DAA website and search for an Accredited Practising Dietitian in your area,” Dynan says.

Under the supervision of your dietitian, you’ll embark on stage one of the low-FODMAP diet and remove all high-FODMAP foods from your diet for a specified length of time.

Some of the more common high-FODMAP foods, along with their low-FODMAP alternatives, are as follows:

Dynan says she provides any IBS patients embarking on the low-FODMAP diet with resources from the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA).

“We look through lists of common foods they might be eating that are in the high-FODMAP lists and we highlight them,” she says.

“Then I show them a sample diet and what they’re able to actually eat in that first phase, swapping high-FODMAP foods for low-FODMAP foods.”

To ensure her patients maintain good nutritional balance throughout the process, she also recommends they download the Monash University low-FODMAP diet app (iOS, $12.99/Android, $9.50).

“It’s a traffic-light system for high- and low-FODMAP foods and it guides them so they’re able to implement the diet really effectively. The app also has recipes on there and things like that … it’s a great resource,” says Dynan

People may experience almost immediate relief from IBS symptoms during the initial phase of the diet, however, it’s important for gut health not to remain in this phase for an extended period of time.

Once high-FODMAP foods are recognised as the culprits, moving into the reintroduction phase works to determine which high-FODMAP foods trigger IBS symptoms, and how much of these foods the body can tolerate.

Medicare subsidies

Medicare provides Chronic Disease Management Plans for people with long-term chronic health conditions, which subsidises appointments with allied healthcare professionals – in this instance, a dietitian.

“It’s up to your GP to determine if your condition qualifies,” says Dynan. “If it does, for each of the subsidised consultations via Medicare you get a $52.95 rebate off the cost.”

CASE STUDY: “Within a couple of days, I felt normal for the first time in years”

CASE STUDY: “I noticed improvements to my symptoms within days”

Can I DIY the FODMAP diet?

It’s not advised. IBS symptoms mimic those of many other gastrointestinal disorders, such as coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and bowel cancer, so it’s important that these are ruled out and an IBS diagnosis is made by a medical doctor before embarking on the FODMAP diet, explains Muir.

“Individuals who are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms should consult their doctor, and once the diagnosis of IBS is made, the doctor can refer them to a qualified dietitian to explore the use of diet therapy to control the symptoms,” she says.

We strongly recommend people only implement the diet short term – and under the guidance of a FODMAP-trained dietitian

The low-FODMAP diet is a highly restrictive diet that, without the supervision of a dietitian,  may result in inadequate fibre, calcium and other essential nutrients. A dietitian ensures the diet is implemented properly to achieve the best diagnostic results, and that nutrient requirements are met.

The role of the dietitian

Dynan says a dietitian plays an essential role in the low-FODMAP diet.

“I had one chap come in, in his 40s. He’d been to every doctor, every specialist, had every scan, every test, every scope possible because he’d had chronic diarrhoea for two years and he couldn’t get resolution on it,” she says.

“[After doing the low-FODMAP diet] it came down to onion for him and he came back two weeks later and said to me, ‘I can’t believe I went to professors, all the gurus, and it’s the little dietitian who solved my problem’.”

The food industry is taking note

As more people learn about the impressive success for IBS sufferers on the low-FODMAP diet, canny food manufacturers are producing food products to cater to the growing number of FODMAP adherents. But are they worth the added cost?

“When I first started seeing FODMAP products on the supermarket shelves twelve or so months ago, I was actually quite shocked,” says Dynan.

“It’s a medical diet, not something that the public should really be embarking on on their own.

“Also, these products aren’t necessarily healthier. As with anything processed … you should look carefully at the nutrition label for things like salt, saturated fat and sugar content.”

Increased convenience

That said, these readily accessible products do offer increased convenience for consumers on a low-FODMAP diet.

“We’re all very time poor so it does give people who are on the diet easy choice, and there’s obviously a demand for them,” says Dynan.

[FODMAP products] aren’t necessarily healthier … you should look carefully at the nutrition label for things like salt, saturated fat and sugar content

Monash University’s food certification program stamps a wide range of foods in Australian supermarkets suitable for those following step one and step two of the low-FODMAP diet.

“All products included in the Monash University Low-FODMAP CertifiedTM program have been laboratory tested by the independent team at Monash University, using validated scientific methods to ensure they meet the low-FODMAP criteria,” Varney says.

FODMAP Friendly is another low-FODMAP certification stamp, which claims to be the “only registered certification trademark worldwide certifying FODMAP levels in food products that have been laboratory tested to be low in FODMAPs” and designed to enable people with IBS to “shop and eat with confidence”.

Increased cost

But these low-FODMAP certified products do come at a significantly increased cost compared with foods that are naturally low FODMAP. Varney says there are a number of reasons why this may be the case.

“Specialty products often include ingredients that are more expensive, production volumes may be lower (meaning there are more overheads to cover per unit of production) or there may have been significant investment in the development process to ensure that flavours and textures are optimal,” she says.

“There are also costs associated with certifying low-FODMAP products, and food labelling laws in Australia prohibit manufacturers from making claims about FODMAP content without inclusion in a certification program.”