Congratulations to Kate!

Congratulations Balloons - KateI’m very grateful to Kaz and the staff at Real Food Real Weightloss for tailoring a weight management plan specifically to accommodate my vegan diet.

Since starting the program I have lost 15 kg of stubborn weight that I have been carrying since having my youngest child 4 years ago. I’ve found that the meal plan is easy to stick to as I have had only the occasional hunger pang that has been easy to ignore when such great results are showing up on the scales day after day. I feel as though I will be able to keep my weight under control now as I have learned a lot about which particular foods I react negatively to and I truly have changed my attitude towards food.

Kate (37yo Burleigh Waters)

Whole-body vibration may be as effective as regular exercise

Source: The Endocrine Society

Mouse study is the first to show less strenuous alternative can benefit bone health.

hypervibe 2A less strenuous form of exercise known as whole-body vibration (WBV) can mimic the muscle and bone health benefits of regular exercise in mice, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology.

WBV consists of a person sitting, standing or lying on a machine with a vibrating platform. When the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to the body, and muscles contract and relax multiple times during each second.

Many people find it challenging to exercise regularly and that is contributing to the obesity and diabetes epidemics. These disorders can increase the risk of bone fractures. Physical activity can help to decrease this risk and reduce the negative metabolic effects of each condition.

“Our study is the first to show that whole-body vibration may be just as effective as exercise at combating some of the negative consequences of obesity and diabetes,” said the study’s first author, Meghan E. McGee-Lawrence, Ph.D., of Augusta University in Augusta, Ga. “While WBV did not fully address the defects in bone mass of the obese mice in our study, it did increase global bone formation, suggesting longer-term treatments could hold promise for preventing bone loss as well.”

To conduct the study, researchers examined two groups of 5-week-old male mice. One group consisted of normal mice, while the other group was genetically unresponsive to the hormone leptin, which promotes feelings of fullness after eating. Mice from each group were assigned to sedentary, WBV or treadmill exercise conditions.

After a week-long period to grow used to the exercise equipment, the groups of mice began a 12-week exercise program. The mice in the WBV group underwent 20 minutes of WBV at a frequency of 32 Hz with 0.5g acceleration each day. Mice in the treadmill group walked for 45 minutes daily at a slight incline. For comparison, the third group did not exercise. Mice were weighed weekly during the study.

The genetically obese and diabetic mice showed similar metabolic benefits from both WBV and exercising on the treadmill. Obese mice gained less weight after exercise or WBV than obese mice in the sedentary group, although they remained heavier than normal mice. Exercise and WBV also enhanced muscle mass and insulin sensitivity in the genetically obese mice. Although there were no significant effects in the young healthy mice, the low-intensity exercise and WBV protocols were designed for successful completion by obese mice. These findings suggest that WBV may be a useful supplemental therapy to combat metabolic dysfunction in individuals with morbid obesity.

Journal Reference:

  1. Meghan E. McGee-Lawrence Karl H. Wenger Sudipta Misra Catherine L. Davis Norman K. Pollock Mohammed Elsalanty Kehong Ding Carlos M. Isales Mark W. Hamrick Joanna R. Erion Marlena Wosiski-Kuhn Phonepasong Arounleut Mark P. Mattson Roy G. Cutler Jack C. Yu Alexis M. Stranahan. Whole-body Vibration Mimics the Metabolic Effects of Exercise in Male Leptin Receptor Deficient Mice

Genetic Profiling for Personalised Health

fitgenesIt’s true you can’t change your genes but you can affect their expression and influence with the right nutritional, exercise and lifestyle choices.

Fitgenes examines a number of genes in categories and their influence on:

  • Inflammation – our body’s natural defence mechanism. How our body protects itself from DNA damage.
  • Vitamin D Receptors – found in almost all cells, a key influence on bone health, immunity, skin and the nervous system.
  • Methylation and Homocysteine Metabolism – influences the processing of brain chemicals determining emotional wellbeing.
  • Cardiovascular Health – the effectiveness of the system delivering oxygen and nutrients to every cell.
  • Fat and Cholesterol Metabolism – influences healthy weight management, appetite control and satiety.

Genetic Profiling for Personalised Health

Fitgenes is founded on the science of nutrigenomics and an understanding that overall health and wellbeing is determined at a cellular level.

Personalised genetic profiling offers insight in to how our body responds to diet, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle. Knowing how to accurately interpret the results and turn them in to actionable, everyday health and wellbeing is where Fitgenes and our practitioners excel. Fitgenes is founded on the science of nutrigenomics and an understanding that overall health and wellbeing is determined at a cellular level. The DNA contained in our cells send ‘messages’, known as ‘gene expression’, that tells the body how to respond to external influences.

Gene expression

Gene expression is modifiable which means our genes are not our destiny, and DNA damage can be repaired. Through the right profile, interpretation and intervention planning, we can make the right nutritional, exercise and lifestyle choices for long-term health and wellbeing.

A Fitgenes practitioner’s careful interpretation of the genes included in our analysis can provide focused assistance with choosing the right exercise interventions, others on your nutritional interventions and others on your lifestyle choices.

The reports provided are comprehensive and provide a lot of information around the impact of gene expression and guidance around choosing better nutritional choices that match your genes. This is a very targeted and personalised approach to healthcare.

Discover the powerful interaction between genetics, diet and lifestyle to meet your personal health and performance goals.

Fitgenes Health and Wellbeing genetic profile report is an in-depth analysis of the genetic variations that can influence the way the body responds to what we eat, how we exercise and the way we live.

Personalised Genetic Profiling

Personalised genetic profiling offers profound insight into how your body responds to diet, exercise and lifestyle choices. Understanding how to interpret the results of your profile report and convert the information in to programs for actionable, everyday health and wellbeing, is where Fitgenes and our accredited practitioners can offer you the potential to be the best you can be.

Our approach is based on the science of nutrigenomics which looks at the interaction between your genes, nutrition and lifestyle choices, and how these influence the genes’ messages. These messages instruct your body on how it should respond to external influences such as diet and lifestyle choices.

The good news is expression of the genes analysed by Fitgenes is modifiable which means our genes are not our destiny.

Our comprehensive Health and Wellbeing Genetic Profile Report is interpreted by a Fitgenes Accredited Practitioner so they can design a personalised plan to meet individual health goals. Effectively, how your genes are reacting to external factors is analysed and reported on, and a plan to address any negative reactions prepared, based on your unique genetic profile and needs.

Fitgenes profile reports are unique and provide practitioners with a powerful resource to design health plans that are highly personalised. These are not one-size-fits-all plans modified to suit different people.

Carb Choice and Your AMY1 CNV

Fitgenes Australia is a world leader in offering the latest information on the role the AMY 1 gene plays in starch carbohydrate metabolism.  We have developed CarbChoice, a personalised genetic profile report of the AMY1 gene CNV, which determines how effectively you metabolise starch from carbohydrates.

Why should you care about your AMY1 gene?

Scientific studies have shown that variations in the human salivary amylase gene (AMY1) differ based on populations, which have traditionally eaten high starch diets, compared to those who have traditionally eaten low starch diets. Variations within the AMY1 gene influence how well your body can breakdown and process starch, meaning that some people can tolerate these carbohydrates better than others. Starch is the most common carbohydrate included in human diets – however, there is a considerable range of variation between cultures of dietary starch intake. Traditionally, “high starch” populations tended to be agricultural societies and arid region hunter-gathers, while “low starch” populations included rainforest and arctic hunter-gatherers and some pastoralists.

Importance of the AMY1 Gene,  AMY1 is a gene that produces the enzyme ‘amylase’.

What is Amylase?

Amylase is found in our saliva and plays a major role in the digestion of starch, which is a carbohydrate found in grains, legumes, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Amylase begins the process of carbohydrate metabolism in the mouth.

What will knowing my AMY1 gene copy number variation tell me?

A lower AMY1 copy number indicates:

Test your AMY 1 gene to help you understand:

  • How effectively do you metabolise and tolerate carbohydrates
  • How effectively do you metabolise and tolerate gluten
  • Do carbohydrates put you at an increased risk of being overweight
  • Do carbohydrates put you at an increased risk of having diabetes
  • How many grams of carbohydrates can you eat per day
  • What type of carbohydrates should you avoid
  • How effectively do you use your carbohydrates for energy

Who should test their AMY 1 Gene?

Anyone who wants to understand how their body metabolises and tolerates carbohydrates and make the best dietary choices for themselves.

  • Gluten intolerant or Coeliacs
  • Food sensitivities
  • Struggling to lose weight or maintain weight loss
  • Diabetic or insulin resistant
  • Gut dysbiosis under or over growth
  • Autoimmune issues
  • Persistent infections such as thrush or urinary tract infections
  • Have periodontal (gum) disease

For more information or to book your Fitgenes testing schedule a consultation with Manuela Boyle or Dr Amy Carmichael 07 5522 0505

Are you a Sugar Addict?

 By Deirdre Parkinson, Naturopath

There is often a reason for sugar cravings and it lies in the lining of your intestine. It is called “gut dysbiosis” and is caused by one or more factors…either food allergies, intestinal parasites (eek!) or a hormonal imbalance.

It is best to have yourself treated. The tests do not attract a Medicare rebate but are very specific to diagnosing the underlying causes of sugar cravings, abdominal bloating, unexplained tiredness, mood swings and even skin problems.

Another reason why sugar becomes addictive is that the body gets used to producing large amounts of insulin to remove it from the blood. Eventually the insulin isn’t effective anymore. The body begins to suffer from low energy, apathy, the shakes, and mood swings. These are due to hypoglycaemia episodes.

Did you know that a slice of bread on its own converts immediately to sugar once eaten?! Doughnuts of course are even worse!

In the meantime, try to opt for meals and snacks that have a higher protein ratio to carbs and sugars. Book in for a consultation with Deirdre to review diet, recipes, treatments and test, so as to create a whole “NEW YOU”!

Fatty Liver – A reversible and common problem

By Dr Karen Coates

Fatty Liver is a condition usually diagnosed after blood test show abnormally high levels of liver enzymes. According to the Gastroenterological Society of Australia this condition affects over 30% of adult Australians. Fatty liver is the accumulation of fat within the liver cells, a place where it is not meant to be stored.

Healthy liver cells are toxic waste recycling centres. The enzymes which do the work should be contained within these cells. When high levels of four measurable enzymes are detected in venous blood it implies that those liver cells have been damaged and enzymes ‘leaked’ out into the bloodstream. The amount of liver damage is directly proportional to the levels of these enzymes.

Ultrasound of the liver confirms the presence of unusual amounts of fat deposited around each liver cell.

As well as the medical problems which are thought to cause the problem, having a fatty liver increases the risk of cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer in a small number of sufferers.

Although sensible alcohol intake is an important part of treating the disease, recent studies show that the cause of the problem is overwhelmingly related to obesity and insulin resistance.

Many doctors believe that the condition is irreversible, but with treatment our Clinic regularly sees improvement in Liver Function Tests, often back to normal range. This involves a Holistic approach to the problem, involving lifestyle changes and herbal support for the liver.

Metabolism – What is it?

You hear it all the time – “metabolism”, but what is it? It’s the process of converting food to energy (movement and heat). Metabolism happens in your muscles and organs and the result of it is what we commonly refer to as “burning calories”. Metabolism is essentially the speed at which your body’s motor is running.

“Basal metabolism” is the metabolic rate or caloric expenditure needed to maintain basal body functions such as your heart beating, breathing, muscle tone, etc. It’s how fast your “motor” is running when you’re still in a reclined position or sleeping. Basal metabolism accounts for about 75% of the calories you expend on a daily basis!.

What Type Of Sugars Should We Eat?

Our food products tend to contain either natural sugars or added sugars. The nutrition label does not make it clear which sugars are natural and which have been added to the product. The best way to check for added sugars is to look at the ingredients list. If you see the terms fructose, lactose, sucrose, glucose, or maltose, these are sugars. Having foods with natural sugars is not a big issue so long as you are eating a balanced diet and consuming appropriate portion sizes.

Are You Eating Too Little Fat?

By Deirdre Parkinson

Many of my patients proudly describe their diet as being fat free. When I check their blood test levels of basic adrenal hormones, I see that they are very low. This is why they are suffering from fatigue, memory loss, and even menopausal symptoms. Fats are also needed for the absorption of vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for maintaining good strong bones and also to protect the body against infections and cancers. Fats are also needed for the absorption of 3 other major vitamins, these being vitamin K (blood clotting), vitamin E (the sex vitamin) and vitamin A (for night vision and prevention of lung infections).

And this is only touching on the importance of natural fats in the diet.

The picture of the iris below shows a lady with memory loss due to poor peripheral circulation to her brain. It was not due to having too much cholesterol, but due to eating foods that cause the fats she was eating to oxidise in her blood and therefore cause the cholesterol to thicken and narrow the arteries.

Myth 1. All saturated fat is bad

Sat fat is needed by the body for many synergistic and necessary physiological “jobs.”

It is only “bad” when it becomes oxidized, i.e. damaged as a result of high heat, lengthy air exposure, or food processing.

Eskimos who have a diet high in sat fat (whale blubber) have lowest incidence of heart disease on the planet!

Saturated fat means all the available spaces along the long carbon chain of the garden variety fat molecule is filled with 2 hydrogen atoms. This makes the fat solid at room temperature. It also makes this fat resistant to oxidation. Oxidated fats cause cell destruction, aging and illness. This is why the body prefers saturated fat.

There is always a percentage of sat fat in every oil (from about 6 to 18%) and it is naturally pure & undamaged, unless cooked at high temperatures or been exposed to air for a long period.

Myth 2. Unsaturated vegetable oil is good

“Unsaturated” means one or more pairs of electrons are missing. Mono-unsaturated fats are missing one double bond. Poly-unsaturated oils are missing 2 or more double bonds. The missing bonds create a liquid oil at room temp.

Mono-unsaturated oil (Omega-9) are a liquid at room temperature but start to solidify in the fridge. Nature grows these oils in the warmer climates so that they don’t solidify, eg Olive oil from the Mediterranean & Macadamia Nut oil from Hawaii.

Poly-unsaturated oils (Omega-6) will not solidify in the fridge only in the freezer. Nature grows these oils in the colder climates, e.g. with Soy & Canola from Canada & Russia.

Due to the misconception that saturated fats are bad, the myth is that all unsaturated fats are good for us. However it needs to understood that it is the oxidation (i.e. rancidity) of the oil that causes disease, not the oil itself. Processing of oils during their heat extraction also causes them to become oxidized. Processing involves refining the oil, bleaching it & then deodorizing it. By then the oil is extremely oxidised, creating a danger to health and increasing the risk of cancer. Mono-unsaturated oils have only one pair (mono) of missing hydrogen atoms (one DB) therefore they are more able to resist oxidation if cooked or exposed to air. The polyunsaturated oils e.g. canola, sunflower, peanut, will oxidise faster and therefore need to be refrigerated to prevent rancidity. Olive oil, which is mono-unsaturated is more resistant to oxidation and therefore the preferred oil for cooking.

Fish oil & krill oil (Omega-3) are poly oils. Arctic fish have more omega 3s than tropical fish due to Nature choosing the more poly-unsaturated oils to suit the colder climate.

Due to the processing of the food oils, they becomes rancid and oxidised, causing increased cancer risk and aging of the body’s cells. The medicinal food oils are not processed and therefore not oxidised and therefore safe. Common poly food-oils are Corn, Soy, Grape seed, Safflower, Sunflower, and  Cottonseed. Even though Canola has 54% Mono-oil, it is the processing (bleaching and deodorizing) of its 35% poly-oil that makes it as dangerous as the other poly oils.

The research for the for the above 2 myths about fats is credited to Alan Graham

Digestive Insufficiency – Part Two

By Carolina Rossi

Last newsletter I mentioned about the importance in improving digestion and suggested small changes such as chew your food until liquefied, avoid fluid with meals, don’t eat on the run or when stressed and control portions size.

If you have put in practice these basic principals but still experience some digestive discomfort it is time to have a look at what you are eating.


  • Cold foods and drinks
  • Raw foods. At the same time that raw foods is good for us those who have weak digestive system might experience bloating and discomfort when eating raw foods. It is important to improve digestion first then introduce raw foods gradually according to progress.
  • Dairy products including cheeses and yoghurt
  • Rich oily food
  • Excess sugar and sweet  food such as cakes, chocolate, lollies, biscuits, added sugar to drinks
  • Excess bread, cereal and pasta
  • Excess red meat especially fried
  • Yeast rich foods – bread and alcohol


  • Warm cooked meals: soups, casseroles, stir-frys, and roasts
  • Spices and herbs such as Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, basil, rosemary, nutmeg, cloves, sage, and turmeric
  • Onions, garlic, leek, chives, shallots
  • Warm teas between meals: fennel, ginger and peppermint
  • Vegetables: pumpkin, celery, lettuce, alfalfa, mushrooms and radish,
  • Legumes / beans and especially aduki
  • Lean meats – avoid frying
  • Brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, and millet

To book an appointment with Carolina phone the clinic on (07) 5522 0505.

Digestive Insufficiency – Part One

By Carolina Rossi, Dietitian

Digestive ability is the key to our physical health and is reliant on adequate enzymes and absorption. So to directly enhance our general well-being and heal many diseases (that are due to nutrient deficiencies) we must increase our digestive abilities.

A system low in digestive enzymes due to exposure to the wrong type of foods or too much food of the same foods leads to the poor or partial breakdown of food and build-up of excess mucous which accumulates toxins and adheres to the intestinal wall, from this nutrient absorption and assimilation is impaired and toxins start to leach into the body, accumulating in areas and causing disease.

Further complications can include irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, parasites, bacterial or viral infections, candida, food intolerances, allergies, sinus congestion/allergies, to mention more. As it is the foundation of our health digestive disturbances can lead to any disease.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as bloating, wind, heartburn, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea and/or stomach cramps your digestive system might not be functioning to its best potential.

Small changes can improve such symptoms and make a big difference to our health:

  • Chew your food slowly. The digestive process starts in our mouth.
  • Control portion size. Do not overeat.
  • Taking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in 3 teaspoon of water 10 minutes before each meal might help support stomach digestion and blood sugar regulation
  • Avoid having fluids with your meals. Wait 20 minutes before and after a meal before drinking.
  • Avoid eating on the run or eating when stressed or emotional – give yourself time before and after food to relax and don’t eat while working.

Look out next month for Part 2 – Foods to Avoid and Foods to include!

To book an appointment with Carolina please contact us on (07) 5522 0505!