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Karen Green Nutritionist

Heal your GUT, Heal your BODY

In the ”heal your gut, heal your body” online workshop you learn everything you need to know about healing your gut and gut microbiome. Your gut health is crucial to your overall physical and mental well-being. Gut health issues can lead to autoimmunity, mental health problems, skin issues and digestive problems including lack of appetite, diarrhea and or constipation. It may be that you even have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Hippocrates stated, “All disease begins in the gut” and natural health practitioners work closely to heal your gut issues as the start of disease. Even scientists are catching on to this as more research show this too be true!

In a series of videos, audios and handouts the ”heal your body, heal your body” workshop, helps you to dive easily into the world of healing your gastrointestinal system. Listen in the comfort of your home or perhaps the audio of your car. This workshop is for both the general public and practitioners. Handouts are provided to help you along the way!

gut healing

What’s covered:

  • How and what to do to heal your gut – Leaky gut (Intestinal Hyper-permeability), SIBO & parasites
  • What to do when parasites are present & understand if you really need to eradicate them
  • Holistic healing of your gut through the Microbiome Diet
  • The Microbiome Make-over Protocol
  • The benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
  • Easy tips & information on hpw to heal your gut
  • How antibiotics affect your gut
  • Testing options – CDSA, Lactulose/Mannitol, Zonulin, Parasites. 
Heal your gut

Have you had a gastrointestinal issue for a long time and don’t know what to do? The ”heal your gut, heal your body” workshop helps you on the road to better health. Whether you are a practitioner or have general interest in healing your gastrointestinal tract there is something for everyone in this workshop. Need a guiding light into your health or business?

About Karen’s Courses

Karen designs practical & insightful workshops for those who are starting out in clinic & for the general public who want to embrace all things ‘’natural’’. It can be difficult to wade through the vast amount of health information available today. Trust a fully trained health professional who will take the confusion out of it for you. Embrace learning how to make your own beauty products, setting up your clinic, histamine, rotational eating & much more…

Why not sign up today and at your leisure learn about your most important aspect of your health, your gut microbiome and YOU! New Launch Discount includes 20% OFF until end of December 2019. Click here to sign up.

Probiotics for gut health

For more on your gut health read &

Karen’s online courses are available here:

Call Karen today 0400836254 or email

Low Thyroid Function links to High Cholesterol!

Low Thyroid Function (or hypothyroidism as it is known), links to high cholesterol levels. Hypothyroidism is a common metabolic disorder in the general population. Surveys show a 4.6% prevalence of hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) in the general population (USA). 9.5% of the Colorado Prevalence Study participants had high levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). A naturopath looks at the optimal range being between 1-2 (TSH). Thyroid failure is more common in women with the prevalence rising with age.  Hypothyroid patients have increased levels of triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Hypothyroidism is seen as a common cause of secondary dyslipidaemia (high cholesterol levels). 

Low Thyroid Function & Cholesterol
Low Thyroid Function & High Cholesterol Links

Research shows that hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) can put you at a greater risk for high blood cholesterol, which can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Keeping your thyroid in balance helps to keep your cholesterol in check.

How Low Thyroid function impacts Cholesterol Increase

Decreased thyroid function is accompanied by reduced activity of the enzyme involved in making cholesterol, triglycerides (TG) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels which are increased in patients with hypothyroidism (due to lowered activity). Decreased LDL-receptor activity results in decreased clearance of LDL. This decrease in LPL activity is found in hypothyroidism, decreasing the clearance of triglyceride rich lipoproteins.

Low thyroid Function Cofactors
Low Thyroid Function Fixes

Why T3 is important?

Just remember thyroid hormones enhance the release of the enzyme involved in the first step of cholesterol synthesis and regulate cholesterol clearance. Too little thyroid hormones mean there is not enough cholesterol clearance and a build up of bad cholesterol (LDL) occurs. It is particularly important for T3, being the active thyroid hormone, as it upregulates and controls the LDL receptor gene activation. Low thyroid hormone may cause greater intestinal cholesterol absorption. The net effect is hyperlipidaemia (increased or high cholesterol levels).

High & Low Cholesterol
High Cholesterol impacts Thyroid Function

A team of scientists at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, examined data of 9,420 patients enrolled in the in the Rotterdam Study for nearly 9 years, looking at their levels of TSH, free thyroxine (fT4) and risk of heart disease or cerebrovascular disease.  What they discovered is that as fT4 increases, the risk of developing heart disease is doubled, and there is an 87% greater risk of suffering from an atherosclerosis-related event such as heart attack or stroke.

Abnormal Levels of Cholesterol

The higher abnormal cholesterol levels of both LDL and HDL have been linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease as cholesterol builds up on the arterial wall. Elevated levels of plasma cholesterol, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride levels, are mainly responsible for hypercholesterolemia, which can also lead to other diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

Low Thyroid Function Tests
Low Thyroid Function Tests

Basella alba, known as remayung, belongs to the family of Basellaceae and is a wild vegetable that was used for human health in ancient times. The leaves and stems of B. alba are used as an analgesic, antifungal, and antiulcer activities. This herb has been studied for its cholesterol lowering properties along with Bergamot. Further studies are still required.

Yes, this is all very complex, so what does it actually mean?

Your Thyroid Function

Maintaining proper thyroid function is crucial particularly in women as they age. Post-menopausal are particularly at high cardiovascular risk. This has been well documented however it is known your thyroid could definitely be playing a part.

Herbs that lower Cholesterol
Herbs to Lower Cholesterol

How do you improve Low Thyroid Function links Lower Cholesterol levels?

  • Maximise thyroid function through minimizing impacts from chemicals in the environment (chlorine and fluoride in particular) and reducing heavy metal exposure. You may need to be tested.
  • Support your body and make sure you have the thyroid function co-factors – Selenium, Iodine (checked first) and B-Vitamins) for optimal daily thyroid function.
  • If stressed, your thyroid will be affected. They come together! Fix your stress through gentle exercise and ensure good sleep.
  • Check your hormone levels. It’s important to know what is occurring not stabbing in the dark.
  • Fix your gut function. Optimal gut function is needed for proper absorption of all nutrients.
  • If you want to check if you have the APOE gene risk factor. Ensure your MTHFR is optimal through a whole body approach.
  • There are several phytochemicals (from plants) that have been studied over the years with promising effects.

See a qualified Naturopath Karen Green for your specific needs. Contact Karen on 0400836254 or, twitter @greeninghealth, Facebook: Read more on thyroid health here


Baskaran, G., Salvamani, S., Ahmad, S.A., Shaharuddin, N.A., Pattiram, P.D. & Shukor, M.Y. (2015), HMG-CoA reductase inhibitory activity and phytocomponent investigation of Basella alba leaf extract as a treatment for hypercholesterolemia, Vol.9, Pages 509—517, DOI

Lutz, J., Bano, A., & Pearce, E. (2019). Hypothyroid and Cholesterol: Too Little Thyroid Hormone, Too Much Cholesterol, Endocrineweb,

Rizos, C., Elisaf, M., and Liberopoulos, E. (2011). Effects of Thyroid Dysfunction on Lipid Profile, The Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal, Vol.5, p. 76-84,

Puppy Treats

Puppy Treats – Our puppies love treats just as much as we do! At least mine does. Here are some easy peasy healthy ones to make for your pooch. Erik loves this one!

Peanut Butter Cookies – Makes 12-16 

Peanut butter dog biscuits

1 cup rolled oats (if the chunky ones I did grind them a little)
100g peanut butter
¼ cup hemp seeds 
½ Tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced).
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl with a little water until biscuits come together. 
3. Shape dough into small bone shapes and place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
4. Bake for approximately 10 minutes and then turn over. Cook a further 10 minutes until light golden brown.
5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Puppy Love Hearts – Makes 30



  • 500g chicken mince                                             
  • 2 eggs whisked                                        
  • 50g chopped parsley
  • 1 carrot grated
  • ½ cup long grain rice


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced).
  2. Cook the rice as per packet instructions
  3. Place cooked rice, chicken mince. Grated carrot, parsley, and whisked eggs into a bowl and mix well.
  4. Spoon mixture into heart shaped silicon moulds and press in tight.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool, then remove from the mould.
  7. Can be kept in the fridge for 5 days

Salmon and Sweet Potato Slices – Makes 25



  • 3 eggs                                                                   
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric                                             
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 415g tin of pink salmon 
  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced).
  2. Gently boil the sweet potato in water until soft, drain and mash.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Mix remaining ingredients into the whisked eggs and let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper and press the mixture into the tray.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and leave to cool. Cut into 25 pieces (5 X 5).
  8. Can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days or stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Dog Meditation

Need more information on how to ”treat” your puppy, check out information here

Vitamin K for Health

Vitamin K for Health

Vitamin K is an important fat-soluble vitamin for health. It consists of two main subfamilies: vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinone).  Naturally occurring forms of phylloquinone (K1) are found in green plants and vitamin K2 is synthesized from bacteria with the intestine. Vitamin K1 has an important function in blood clotting and vitamin K2 moves calcium from soft tissue into bone.

Vitamin K is:

  • Essential calcium metabolism and maintenance of bone health
  • Assists normal healthy blood coagulation
  • Reduces bone mineral density loss in health post-menopausal women

Calcium, vitamin D & A, and estrogen are necessary to maintain bone health and even people with adequate calcium, sunlight and vitamins A & D can struggle to maintain bone health particularly in the latter years when estrogen is also lost. Vitamin D increases the need for vitamin K2 as well as increasing its benefits. Mega-dosing of vitamin D is not recommended as this can increase the risk of calcium deposits in soft tissues, another reason for more is not better! Quality of calcium and the correct nutrients is however important.

Vitamin K content in Foods

Evidence has emerged of the crucial role of vitamin K2 in maintaining health tissues. Vitamin K2 has been shown to assist calcium from blood vessels into bones and in doing so protects against cardiovascular disease whilst depositing calcium in bone and teeth. Vitamin K2 deficiency can occur within 7 days of a vitamin K2 deficient diet. Those that are considered at greater risk are those with:

  • Impaired gastrointestinal absorption
  • Chronically treated with antibiotics (minimising the ability of favourable gut bacteria to produce K2)
  • Newborns with immature gastrointestinal systems
  • Diets low in vitamin K
  • Fat malabsorption disorders
  • Intestinal bypass surgery
  • Liver disease and pancreatitis

Vitamin K2 and Bone Health

Vitamin K2 activates certain proteins (i.e. osteocalcin) which then allows them to bind to calcium. Vitamin D is dependent on vitamin K2, and together with vitamin A stimulate the production of osteocalcin (bone forming protein) and inhibits the production of osteoclast cells which break down bone tissue. Estrogen assists vitamin D to form bone and when estrogen levels drop in menopause this activity potentially increases bone loss. It is important to supplement with K2 along with vitamin D in menopause, in the prevention of osteoporosis, although it is equally important to check vitamin D levels (vitamin D 1,25-OH2-D3) before supplementing. Although unclear osteocalcin appears to be involved in bone remodelling or calcium mobilization. Even though vitamin A assists the production of osteocalcin, more is not better. Vitamin A and E excess has been shown to antagonise vitamin K uptake (i.e. prevent absorption and metabolism). It is always about a balance with nutrients!

Health Benefits of Vitamin K

As vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin it is best absorbed with dietary fat. People who have difficulty absorbing fat generally have difficulty absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.

Menaquinones are classified according to their side chains. The longer the side chain the longer it potentially resides in the body (i.e. MK-7), which determines the uptake within the intestine and its distribution throughout the body.

The menaquinones produced by bacteria are predominantly found in animal products such as meat, egg yolk, butter, cheeses and legumes. The most well-known MK-4 is a short chain structure predominantly found in eggs, meat and liver whilst MK-7 is found in higher concentrations within fermented cheeses and in the traditional Japanese food natto (produced by Bacillus subtilis from fermented soy beans.

Cardiovascular Disease and vitamin K2

As calcium is one of the causes of hardening of the arteries, a high arterial calcium score can be measured as a potential risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that adding vitamin K2 to the diet can reduce the arterial content and increase flexibility of the arterial wall.

Interestingly in the northern hemisphere calcification is highest in the Winter months and lowest in August (Summer), due to the animal sources of vitamin K. Grass fed however not grain fed animals have higher K2 in the fat of the animal.  Chickens must be fed inopen pasture to have K2 present int he yolk, conventional grain feed reduces vitamin K2 content. Processed (hydrogenated) margarine and other oils that contain cheaper versions of fats have synthetic forms of vitamin K (DHP) which studies have found contain lower amounts of K2.

Vitamin K in Food

Content of Vitamin K in selected Foods

Phylloquinone content ug/100g of food

<10 10-50 >100 >200
Milk Asparagus Cabbage Broccoli
Butter Celery Lettuce Kale
Eggs Green beans Brussel sprouts Swiss chard
Cheese Avocado Mustard greens Turnip
Red Meat Kiwi fruit   Watercress
Fish Peas   Collards
Corn Peanut butter   Spinach
Cauliflower Lentils   Salad greens
Grains Kidney beans    
Fruits (most) Soybeans    
Tea (brewed) Coffee (brewed)    

Cautions and Warnings

Pregnancy and lactation – all forms of vitamin K supplementation needs to be used with caution and under supervision only.

Using vitamin K in conjunction with anticoagulant medication ie. warfarin is not recommended and needs to be under supervision only.

See Karen Green your professional naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist for further support and guidance at and information here: Karen Green or information calcium read here


Gropper, S., Smith, J., and Groff, J. (2009). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 5th ed. . CA, USA. : Cengage Learning.

K2 for Bone Health. (2016). Australia:

Warming Winter Recipes

Warming Winter Recipes

Warming Winter Recipes are a great why to nourish, satisfy and warm your inner heart. Who doesn’t love hearty, unctuous and gently cooked meat, veggies and stock on the stove when the days are shorter and the nights are cooler.  Vitamin and mineral packed veggies, healing bones and gelatin (collagen) that help to heal your gut are particularly nourishing. Here’s a few easy healthy recipes that can help you embrace the season of Winter. Enjoy Winter warmers with friends and family beside a warming fire…

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Developing Resilience

Resilience thinkingDeveloping Resilience

Developing resilience in a busy hectic life is as important as balancing your microbiome! We all have busy times and how we respond in those busy times is the key to leading a less stressful life. How can we ensure that we respond in positive ways when things are hectic or going awry?

With current on-going social and climate change, we live in a world where aspects of daily life can change in an instant.  What was normal on one day can completely change the next. Fires have ravaged through Queensland this week and as I was heading to a conference on the Sunny Coast a semi-trailer ran off the road closing the M1 (the major highway) for hours and I was stuck in it.  We had diversions and detours for hours. It reminded me that things can change in an instant. If I responded with anger the remainder of my day is potentially affected for the worst. How I responded in that moment mattered! I decided to pass the time away calling my family for a chat, listening to my favourite podcasts and enjoying the beautiful scenery surrounding me as I passed through the Glass House Mountains.

I could have become completely flustered and frustrated however I chose to remain calm as I continued to move forward. I am not saying that I was completely oblivious to the added burden (the hours spent on a busy diversion) however as much as I could I chose to remain calm and centred.  Whilst driving I was reminded of the tremendous power of the Adaptogenic herbs I dispense.  In the herbal medicine world, we call these herbs adaptogens as they do just that: help us to adapt to the stress response, adapt to alleviating stress in positive ways such as: reducing fatigue, improving endurance and mental health.  More on the adaptogens below!

Without getting to technical developing “resilience” is being able to adapt in an ever-changing world.  The aim is to make better decisions under times of uncertainty. How do we do this?  My aim is to help people make better health choices, in other words become more resilient internally through health and well being. A stronger internal body means a stronger external life. Developing Resilience

Do one thing for yourself every day that sustains you! One simple thing that creates peace and serenity that helps toward developing strength through consistency. If this means making sure you eat healthily then do it, if it means walking every day for 24 mins then do it, if it means meditating for 24 mins then do it. If it’s complex, then it’s probably not it. Make this one simple thing, one action that you consistently attend to like watering a flower until it blooms!

Each day this means to me:  

I meditate or a walk on the beach with Erik (the wonder pup), ride my bike, go to the gym or do yoga. When I don’t do this something just doesn’t feel right. This practice helps me to be strong enabling me to handle the challenges of the day, developing my resilience so I can respond in a positive way in this ever-changing world.  Commit to yourself – you are the only person you have really!

Here’s a few tips on how to develop resilience:

  • Get enough sleep and exercise enabling you to better manage stress when it arrives
  • Practice thought awareness – focus on the positive and what you do have that is fantastic in your life
  • Practice cognitive restructuring to change the way that you think about negative situations and bad events. when they arrive say okay here you are and thank you. Now I choose something else.
  • Learn from your mistakes and failures (it’s okay to fail as that is how we learn)
  • Choose your response. I choose to be grateful and positive in my world.
  • Maintain perspective. It is not always perfect, there is no such thing.
  • Develop strong relationships with others (friends and family).  They are important and help you feel supported. It only takes one friend to be there.
  • Take Adaptogens! and B-Complex vitamins (you use more during times of stress).

Adaptogens – The modern day stress herbs.  A little bit of stress is a good thing for the body. It keeps us alert and enables us to move out of situations that may potentially hurt or put you in danger. It is when stress is chronic, on-going over a long period of time that the damage is done. It causes exhaustion, fatigue, high blood pressure and heart disease, obesity (as cortisol remains high sugar imbalance occurs), and mental health issues. High stress impacts immunity and impacts  your gut bacterial balance. In other words can cause leaky gut. Here are a few of my favourite adaptogenic herbs. Like all herbs they perform more than one action.

Rhodiola (Artic Root or Rose Root) grows in the Arctic cold regions of the world). It enhances physical work performance and improves endurance exercise and muscle strength. It calms and enhances learning, cognitive and memory performance, protects the nervous system from oxidative damage.

Please read more on how Schisandra, Rhodiola and Siberian Ginseng were used by the Russian Army here: Russians were studying herbs

AshwagandhaWithania (Ashwaganda or Indian Ginseng) is used to enhance longevity and when stress  abounds. It helps in times of both physical and emotional exhaustion and fatigue. It can be used as a tonic for the elderly.

Gotu Kola (commonly known as Centella or Indian Pennywort), supports adrenal exhaustion, fatigue and nervous breakdown. It supports healthy memory function, whereby studies have shown it improves speed and accuracy of working memory and the mood in the elderly. It provides relief of skin conditions, promotes healthy connective tissue, reduces swelling and provides support for vascular integrity. It helps wound healing.

RehmanniaRehmannia (Chinese Foxglove) is an excellent herb for autoimmune diseases as it suppresses antibody formation. It is a major adrenal tonic and anti-inflammatory. It helps to increase stamina and improve general well-being.

Siberian Ginseng helps to balance the ‘’on/off’’ switch when stress engages. It balances the hormone interplay. It restores vigour, improves health and in Chinese Medicine promotes a long life.

schisandraSchisandra known as Magnolia vine has bright berry fruits that are used to make the herbal medicine. This digestive herb enhances phase 1 & 2 detoxification, relieves chronic fatigue, physical stress and debility.  It improves physical and mental performance and concentration. It is considered a nerve and adaptogenic tonic.

Gynostemma (Southern ginseng) has been used as a rejuvenating elixir by the people in the mountainous regions of Southern China to increase endurance, strength and to relieve fatigue. It is known to the local people as ‘xiancao’ or the ‘Immortality Herb’’.

Book to see a professionally qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist & Herbalist from

Karen is a member of NHAA

Call today: Karen 0400836254 or email: for more information.

Copper Deficiency: Effects on Heart Disease

Copper Deficiency: Effects on Heart Disease

Copper is crucial for health, and its deficiency effects on heart disease are alarming. This story reminds the body needs balance! Interesting and crucial information adapted from David Watts, Ph.D., Director of Research Interclinical Laboratories).

Recently a popular news story warned that high, long term consumption of sweetened beverages such as soft drinks and soda may increase health risks. A study published in the journal Circulation (1) found that sugar sweetened beverages as well as artificially sweetened beverages were associated with mortality rates. The study consisted of over 37,000 men and over 80,000 women who were followed for over 20 years. Their conclusion found that consumption of the sugar sweetened beverage was associated primarily with cardiovascular mortality.
Heart Disease in Men and Women
Typically heart attacks occur more in men than women depending upon age. The average age for men having heart attacks is about 66 years compared to women whose average age is 70. Heart attacks can happen at any age and in either sex, but the rate is similar or equal in both men and women after 60 years of age. In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death in both sexes. The study published in ‘Circulation’ also found that women fifty years and older, who consumed diet drinks had a 29% increased risk for heart attack and 23% increased risk for stroke.
High Fructose and Heart Disease
It seems that high fructose intake is the underlying factor in contributing to many of these statistics. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2) reported that the consumption of beverages containing 10, 17.5 or 25% of fructose produced a linear dose response increase in factors contributing to cardiovascular mortality. Risk factors include, lipid and lipoprotein abnormalities, uric acid, triglycerides, cholesterol, and apolipoprotein.
The American Heart Association (AHA) published their recommendations for the reduction in the intake of added sugars found in soft drinks and processed foods.
They state in the journal Circulation that “High intakes of dietary sugars in the setting of a worldwide pandemic of obesity and cardiovascular disease has heightened concerns about the adverse effects of excessive consumption of sugars.” The mean intake for all persons was found to be over 22 teaspoons per day. However, it appears that in the age group between 14 to 18 years, consumption is about 34 teaspoons per day. High fructose corn syrup used in most sweetened beverages is playing a role in the epidemics of insulin resistance, obesity, dyslipidaemia and type 2 diabetes (3).

The Fructose Copper Connection

What is the connection between fructose and heart disease? The answer may lie in the fact that fructose is known to antagonize the mineral copper. It has been well documented that adding fructose to the diets of animals induces copper deficiency (4). Although the same has not been sufficiently studied in humans, the response of humans to a high fructose intake may be similar to response to copper deficiency caused by high intake of fructose in animals.

 Copper and Heart Health
Copper is a constituent of many important enzymes. It is involved in oxidoreductase activity, electron transport, free radical scavenging, neurotransmission as well as immunity. When it comes to heart disease copper deficiency greatly affects the functioning of the heart.  Detrimental health effects of copper deficiency include: high cholesterol, poor glucose tolerance, abnormal ECG activity, increased LDL, lowered HDL (happy lipids), and high triglycerides, increased susceptibility of lipoproteins and tissues to oxidative damage. Increased blood pressure, plasminogen activator inhibitor type I, early and advanced glycation end products, atherosclerosis, fatty liver degeneration, cardiac hypertrophy and cardiomyopathy, optic neuropathy, iron overload and connective tissue damage (5). High dietary fructose intake is associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver degeneration (NAFLD) in animal models and is thought to be due to poor copper status. Patients with NAFLD have been found to have low copper availability. Liver and serum copper levels are found inversely correlated with the severity of NAFLD (6).
Lee et al., (2018) reported their findings of low hair copper and its relationship to the risk of developing NAFLD. Individuals with lower hair copper concentrations were found to have higher blood pressure and increased body mass index and waist circumference and lower HDL. Those who had NAFLD were found to have significantly lower hair copper levels (7).
Factors Contributing to Copper Deficiency
Copper should be adequate and in proper balance with other nutritional minerals for normal copper related functions. However, an antagonistic relationship exists between copper and other nutrients that can lead to an imbalance or copper deficiency. Copper deficiency can also be caused by genetic predisposition and malabsorption conditions. Bariatric surgery can also be a major cause of acquired copper deficiency contributing to haematological and neurological symptoms (8).
Copper Deficiency and Cardiac Disease
A study by Kedzierska, et al, (2005), found that plasma copper concentration can significantly affect activity of the erythrocyte sodium transport system, and copper supplementation may have therapeutic benefits for hypertensive patients (9). In hair mineral testing analysis copper deficiency in patients with hypertension and metabolic syndrome can be found. Most patients with hypertension in fact show an elevated tissue of sodium and potassium concentration along with a low tissue calcium and magnesium. The benefits of copper supplementation results in an increase of copper activated free radical scavenging enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (S.O.D.) and increased availability of nitrogen oxide, along with calcium retention affects as well. An increase in tissue calcium would aid in the reduction of sodium retention and thereby reduce elevated blood pressure.
Heart Disease and Gender
The development of heart disease is known to differ between men and women.  However, copper imbalance may be a key factor in both. The fact that men tend to have a greater incidence of heart attacks at an earlier age than women may rest in metabolic types. Men tend to naturally be more sympathetic dominant with lower tissue copper concentrations while women tend to be more parasympathetic dominant with higher tissue copper. However, after menopause women develop heart attacks at a similar rate as men. This is due to the reduction in estrogen which often corresponds to a reduction in copper retention. Often mineral patterns of women before and after menopause show a shift in their mineral patterns from parasympathetic toward sympathetic dominance along with a lowering of copper and elevation of their zinc to copper ratio.
Hair Zinc and Copper Levels and Predisposition to Heart Disease
Zinc and copper concentrations were measured in the hair and urine of patients who were hospitalized for myocardial infarction (MI). Mineral concentrations were also determined in the patient’s descendants and compared to a control group who had no family history of MI. Zinc was found to be higher and copper lower in the descendants of patients with MI suggesting a consistent rise in zinc and lowering of copper reserves in genetically predisposed individuals. The study suggests that in MI patients, a genetic disorder of mineral imbalance at a younger age can be used in predicting susceptibility to heart disease in individuals prior to onset and diagnosis in asymptomatic patients (10).

It should also be noted that excess tissue copper can result in decreased zinc activated S.O.D. activity and thereby, may contribute to hypertension and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides as well. This biphasic effect emphasizes the need to assess individual needs and treat the patient accordingly, instead of merely treating symptoms. HTMA can be used as a screening tool for the assessment of copper status and more importantly, copper’s relationship to other nutrients. If you would like to obtain your hair mineral analysis to check your levels contain Gaining Health Naturally today on 0400836254 or


HTMA Newsletter – May-June 2019 Heart Disease, Soft Drinks and Copper

1. Malik, VS, et al. 2019

2. Stanhope, KL, et al, 101, 2015

3. Johnson, RK, et al. Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. Circ. June 2010

4. Klevay, LM. Adding Fructose to diets of animals can induce copper deficiency. J. Biomed and Pharmacol. 2018

5. DiNicolantonio, JJ, et al. Copper deficiency may be a leading cause of ischemic heart disease. Open Heart, B.M.J, 2018

6. Song, M, et al. Copper Fructose Interactions: A Novel Mechanism in the Pathogenesis of NALFD. Nutrents, 10,11, 2018

7. Lee, S, et al. Low hair copper concentration is related to a high risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in adults. J.Trace Elem. Med Biol 50, 2018

8. Yarandi, SS, et al. Optic neuropathy, myelopathy, anemia and neutropenia caused by acquired copper deficiency after gastric bypass surgery. J. Clin. Gastroent. 48, 2014

9. Kedzierska, K, et al. Copper Modifies the Activity of Sodium Transporting Systems in Erythrocyte Membrane in Patients with Essential Hypertension. Biol. Trace Elem.Res. 107, 2005

10. Taneja, SK, et al. Detection of Potentially Myocardial Infarction Susceptible Individuals in Indian Population: A Mathematical Model Based on Copper and Zinc Status. Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 75, 2000

Understanding Pyroluria

Understanding Pyroluria

What’s in a name?

The mauve factor (Malvaria), also known as hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL), kryptopyrrole and urinary pyrrole, was first reported in 1961. Pyroluria is a blood disorder that affects the synthesis and metabolism of the oxygen carrying component of red blood cells, haemoglobin.  All cells release and produce wastes as part of normal function.  The by-product of haemoglobin is the metabolite called hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL) also known as Pyrrole. In people with pyroluria, these by-products or HPL accumulate in the body and if they are not cleared they can bind to other essential nutrients causing deficiencies. HPL binds to vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), zinc reducing the levels of these vitamins in the body.

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The Quirky Nature of B12

The Quirky Nature of B12

Vitamin B12

The quirky nature of B12, requires you to check your levels regularly. If you have poor digestion, what naturopaths call leaky gut (hyperpermeability), low hydrochloric (HCI) stomach acid, poor uptake in the small intestines then you could have low B12. Hippocrates coined the phrase – “All disease begins in the gut’’, and this couldn’t be more true than for vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 Absorption

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin as it is known scientifically) is a power house nutrient obtained mostly from animal protein foods in the diet. It relies on gastric acid in the stomach to liberate (release) the proteins that bind to it, which help to protect it from being destroyed in the stomach, as it makes it way to the small intestine.  Once it reaches the small intestine, it is utilised through pancreatic enzymes which release it to intrinsic factor, the cells that help absorption. From here it is transported to cells where its functions are carried out and it ends up in the liver where it is stored.  Vitamin B12 absorption requires many processes, nutrients and enzymes along the way.  As you have probably gathered it can be a bit tricky to obtain in the body especially if your digestion is not optimal (ie often with chronic conditions).


What it does?

Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal functioning of all cells. It affects cell growth and replication, metabolism of carbohydrates (grains & cereals), fats and lipids (butter & oils), and protein (meats, fish & dairy). It is found in DNA (genetic material), and importantly is involved in making red blood cells (in bone marrow). It is involved in methylation processes, (conversion of homocysteine to methionine by methionine synthase), transferring a methyl group from methylfolate.

It helps to make myelin sheath and nerve cells with a deficiency possibly resulting in peripheral nerve damage and pain. B12 helps to regulate immunity and has antioxidant ability. It is important for healthy skin, mucous membranes, bones and blood vessels.

If you suffer from any of theses symptoms you may be low in B12

  • Low energy, fatigue or lethargy
  • Methylation issues
  • Anaemia and pernicious anaemia (an autoimmune condition)
  • Psychological disturbances including depression, irritability
  • Impaired memory, brain fog and dementia
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances such as loss of appetite, intermittent constipation and diarrhea, abdominal pain, atrophic gastritis
  • Folic acid supplementation can mask an underlying B12 deficiency

B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Vegetarians are at risk of low B12 due to it being found in animal sources of food only.  Plants do not process or make B12 because they have no cobalamin-dependent enzymes. Most microorganisms, including bacteria and algae, can make B12 which then makes its way into the food chain.

B12 Food sources

Vital Food Sources

  • Lamb’s liver
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Oysters
  • Egg yolk
  • Fish
  • Beef
  • Kidney
  • Cheese and milk


Serum B12 is usually tested through your GP. Red Blood Cell B12 is a sometimes recommended by Naturopaths.  An important point is that once you have been tested a certain way it is recommended to retest the same way enabling consistency to check changes in levels.


B12 supplementation is usually taken orally (or as a lozenge to bypass the small intestine), and intravenously.


Check your vitamin B12 levels yearly to ensure no deficiency. Consult your clinical naturopath-nutritionist to ensure these levels are optimal. High B12 levels can indicate absorption and/or possible methylation issues. It is important to check with your health professional who understands optimal levels and your requirements.

Products available to support digestion through consultation with Karen in Nov 18

  • Digest Forte – 50% discount
  • Herbal Tincture – 30% discount
  • Sublingual B12 – 30% discount (all only available in consultation).

To book with Karen Green – email  or call 0400836254. Karen consults Wednesday, Thursdays and Fridays. Saturdays (on occasions). By appointment only. consultations available via phone, internet and in person.


The Year of the Earth Dog

Year of the DogThe Year of the Earth Dog Erik the viking

In the year of the Earth Dog, my gorgeous pooch, Erik, continually reminds me to practice letting go, being dedicated to a worthy cause, shows no fear, and seems to be able to do this so easily without a care. Always on the ball, he let’s go when he needs to.

On his walk each day he demonstrates a willingness to have a go, shows no fear when he jumps flying into the air from the beach front landing edge, always landing perfectly on his feet, running on in joy as if to say, “See I can do it, now you can to” and catch me if you can! He will play ball continuously for hours. I have never known such dedication!

He reminds me to trust and to be loyal. He continues (after 2.5 years), to follow me around the house, wherever I go he is not far behind me. He is generous, loyal and kind in spirit and as you can imagine I adore him. The other great thing is that he never answers back, well honestly, he does try sometimes!helping others

In this year of the Dog, we are reminded to be loyal, trustworthy & trusting, and to dedicate our services to others less fortunate.  In these times of continual change may be lending a hand to someone less fortunate may just make a difference to someone.

Apparently, this year is the Male Dog Earth year, the 4715th Chinese year. Brown is connected to the earth and therefore this year is known as the Brown Dog.  According to the Chinese Horoscope theory, Male Earth is connected to the mountains. Dogs contain the Male Earth energy with a little Metal and Fire. The sign of 2018 Male Earth Dog year is two mountains sitting side by side or another mountain beyond a mountain. This shows a strong Earth year. People will focus on real estate, agriculture, environment, territory boundaries or on religious, spiritual pursuits. 2018 is also considered the Mountain Dog year, with the mountain dog displaying characteristics of a wild dog, not to be alarmed! It implies that there may be obstacles on your path however you will find ways to execute your plan ie. find a way around the mountain, dig under it or walk over it. Wisdom is required to find the best way forward, consider your options carefully, investigate thoroughly and use strategies to move forward with ease.

If this year is anything like my puppy, I have nothing to be concerned about. He is full of life, completely dedicated to service, is loyal, trusting, kind, lovable, patient and at times impatient, and lets me know who is boss!

So instead of saying Happy New Year as it seems a bit late for that, I will say ‘Happy Year of the Dog’, and may you find your ability to let go and follow your path without fear, and trust as they do. Helping someone else may just help you!!Chinese Zodiac

In dedication to dogs of all kinds I ask you to give generously to your local dog rescue organisation!

To support and dedicate to their loyalty – A Special Offer for Jan and Feb 2018 – FREE Flower Essence for your pooch with every consultation.

Maybe he or she needs help with separation anxiety, being to bold and aggressive, maybe there are bonding issues (particularly if they are a rescue dog), depression or anxiety prevails. Flower essences are subtle energies that can assist with emotional change or calm the nervous system. They are completely harmless to animals as they consist of the vibrational energy (like homeopathics), and are made with water and preserved with vinegar.

Call or book on the front page of this site an appointment with Karen Green today to discuss the best flowers for your family pooch!

School’s Back, Need help to stay on Track?

School’s Back, Need help to stay on Track?

School’s Back, Need help to stay on Track? We all could use a little support and help in staying on track when it comes to packing those school time lunches. It’s hectic in the morning and you just want the routine to click in. Here are a few easy lunch ideas for you. A little over a month into the new school year and your children are getting into their new routine? You feel something is not quite right? Do they have a learning difficulty and you don’t know what to do? Could it be Pyrrole Disorder?

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Gaining Health Naturally Naturopathy Brisbane, Sunshine Coast Qld

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