Archive for August, 2013

How often should I take probiotics?

I often get asked how often should I take probiotics?  The straight answer is that we should be eating probiotic foods (foods containing beneficial bacteria) daily, and if you are not doing this then you should be taking a broad spectrum probiotic supplement daily.  Before I explain why let me share with you some of the things that can occur if your bacterial levels are not ideal…

Beneficial bacteria are at the core of your health.  The beneficial bacterial levels directly effect your immune system and it’s responses, in fact technically the beneficial bacterial ARE your first line of defense against pathogens.  They have been shown to have an influence on fat storage, a direct effect on neurotransmitters in your brain – effecting how you think and feel.  They make some of your B vitamins which we then absorb, they make specific fatty acids that keep your colon healthy, make specific sugars that keep your heart pumping and increases your energy and they help chelate metals such as iron and zinc to increase absorption.  Plus they keep your digestive system healthy to name a few things….  And seeing that your digestive system is the key to your health and weight loss they really are at the core of your health!


It starts in your digestive system… We have 2 lbs of bacteria within our body’s, in fact ten times the number of cells within our body’s are bacterial compared to human cells.  To maintain optimal health at least 85% of these bacteria should be beneficial.  These bacterial levels in our body’s are totally integrated with our immune systems, so much so that our body is constantly testing the bacterial levels and types of bacteria and regulating the immune system based on these results. There are many things that can disturb this natural bacterial balance, but predominately it’s what we eat.  You see every time you eat you are choosing which bacteria you are feeding and which ones you are killing, eat a lot of sugar and you’re going to be feeding the bad guys and you might even get an overgrowth of a fungus like Candida.


We have traditionally eaten many fermented foods or sources of beneficial bacteria daily.  Traditionally all dairy products would have been raw and a great source of beneficial bacteria.  There was no commercial yeasts and so all breads and grains would have been made using sourdough (from natural background fungi and bacteria).  With no refrigeration, vegetables were kept using lactic fermentation techniques such as used when making Saurkraut and traditional sausages and salamis were cured using lactic acid fermentation.  Plus, any alcohol would have been unpasteurized and a good source of beneficial bacteria!  So on a daily level traditional diets would have included at least ten sources of beneficial bacteria.  Compare that to today where most people are getting none, it’s very easy to see why people are facing many of the health issues they face today!

And that’s why I believe that most people should be taking a probiotic everyday (and the one I recommend because it has 14 strains of beneficial bacteria, survives the stomach acid and doesn’t need refridgeration is Biokult, click here to learn more.)


Click here to learn the 5 easiest ways to get beneficial bacteria into your diet…


In health and happiness

Ben Warren


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Top five probiotic foods

I want to share with you the top 5 easiest foods for getting probiotics (beneficial bacteria) into your body.


Let me start by talking about probably the easiest, change you can make that will have one of the biggest benefits of making a change in your diet.  That is switching from pasteurized milk to raw milk!  Click here to learn more about the benefits of raw milk…


Another source of beneficial bacteria is sauerkraut.  Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage and is incredibly easy to make… Click here to watch a video on how to make it… There are actually many types of fermented vegetables that will provide beneficial bacteria.



Home made ginger beer is a great way to get beneficial bacteria (just watch the sugar levels for those of you who want to lose weight or have blood sugar issues).  Kombutcha (fermented tea drink) is even better but you need to get a mother (starter) from someone who has it in order to make it.  Anyway click here to see a great recipe for ginger beer….


Live yoghurt or, even better, Kefir is another great source of beneficial bacteria.  However, with Kefir you need a starter, but then you can keep it going forever.. Click here to learn more about Kefir….



Another good source of beneficial bacteria is miso and fermented soy products like tempeh and real (fermented) soy sauce…


Like I’ve said in another blog, you really should be consuming some beneficial bacteria everyday.  Plus support the bacterial levels you do have, through ‘no sugar’ food choices.  Now, if you are not consuming beneficial bacteria everyday you should look at taking a high quality multi strain probiotic such as Biokult.


In health and happiness

Ben Warren

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Do I get everything I need from my diet?

You’ve probably heard me say this before… But it’s important and so I’m going to say it again… Our body’s are made of 5-10 trillion cells and we are replacing 25 million cells a day, in fact, we completely replace our body’s every seven years from the food we eat, the air we breath, the water we drink and any other nutritional supplements we may take, We literally are what we eat!!  Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are critical for EVERY function in the body, that’s why there’s no surprise that one of the biggest study’s ever performed on diet (from the University of Alabama Medical School) found that the healthiest people were the ones who consumed the highest micronutrients.  So are you getting everything you need from your diet? Considering micronutrients really are the key to rebuilding a healthy body on a daily level!


Do I get everything I need from my diet?

A while back I entered what I eat on an average day into my nutrient software analysis programme for a bit of fun…  Wow was I surprised… As you know my diet is pretty darn good, if not great!  The foods I eat are specifically chosen because of there nutrient density.  I was NOT expecting what I found… My diet was below the RDA in two micronutrients.  Click here to see the video I posted on Youtube….By the way, it really makes you think about the general population’s malnourishment, if my diet didn’t hit all the RDA’s! Especially considering the RDA’s are the minimum and we really want to be hitting the SONA (Suggested Optimal Nutritional Allowance).


I then started looking at other peoples diets and was amazed at how deficient of the minimums everyone is… Click on the video below to see the results….

Modern lifestyle increases need for nutrition….

Traditional lifestyles were more relaxed than today, there’s no doubt they had there fair share of stress.  But a good friend of  mine who lived with different traditional tribes around the world for 2 years told me that in his experience they basically only work 4 hours a day, in the morning, and sit around under a shady tree all afternoon…sounds great to me!  The harder you push your body, the more stress you are under, the more vitamins and minerals your body uses.  In time of stress your body uses more B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc just to name a few.  I believe most of us in the western world are living beyond our nutritional limits, the evidence of stimulant use like caffeine and refined carbohydrates are good examples of the crutches people are using to deal with the day to day load of stressors.  The harder you push your mind and body the more nutrients you need!  It makes me wonder where people are getting these nutrients from considering their diets and lack of supplementation.

Modern farming increases need for minerals….

Many of the healthy traditional diets had access to mineral dense foods, whether that was seafood (the ocean is the biggest source of ionic minerals), even healthy inland cultures like the Hunza – had access to minerals, they irrigated their fields with mineral rich glacier water and carried the river bed soils up to their fields.  It is well established that modern agriculture is stripping the top soil of essential trace minerals, and nobody is paying the farmers enough to remineralise the soils.  Hence, the foods we are eating are becoming more and more deficient in minerals.   Minerals are key enzyme cofactors, I see mineral deficiencies as a common factor in many peoples health complaints, from fatigue to depression and sleep issues.

Modern food convenience means we get less nutrients…..

Traditional diets were based on eating fresh or fermented fruits and vegetables (since no refrigeration was available to them).  Fresh and fermented foods retain the highest amount of water soluble vitamins.  Water soluble vitamins in fruit and vegetables are very unstable. In fact, as soon as you’ve picked them or unplugged them from the ground they start deteriorating.  To the extent that after 4 days after being harvested up to 80% of the water soluble vitamins (B’s and C are lost).  With the average age of fruits and vegetables in the supermarket being 2 weeks old, it’s easy to see why people feel better when they take a B vitamin supplement – seeing that they are most likely deficient even when eating lots of fruit and vegetables.

Modern eating eliminates the most nutrient dense foods….

Traditional cultures went out of their way to get nutrient dense foods.  Eating organs, glands and special parts of animals, such as the eyes, to maximise nutritional intake.  One healthy isolated culture Dr. Price visited in Scotland ate fish heads stuffed with cod liver and oats for breakfast, a far cry from today’s breakfast choices.  Organs, particularly the liver, is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, unfortunately many people in the modern world simply cannot stomach eating such foods and are therefore missing out on the incredible nutritional benefits from doing so.  For example, eyes are known to be a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants vital to our own eye health due to the fact they protect the  eye from UVB radiation.  As most modern people are not eating these foods, they need to make sure they are getting these nutrients from other sources.

Environmental toxins increase need for micronutrients….

Traditional peoples lived in a relatively pristine environment. lets face it organic food didn’t exist, because that’s all there was!  We know that environmental toxins block enzyme function and increase the need for antioxidants, minerals and vitamins needed by the liver for detoxification of these toxins.  The modern world is full of environmental toxin exposure, from PCB’s and Dioxins from plastics to heavy metals mobilised in the soil by acidic fertilisers – they are simply everywhere, you cannot escape them!  All you can do is support your body’s system’s for dealing with them, which means more minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

Polymorphism of genes means we need more nutrients for enzymes to function optimally….

As our gene expression is diluted by poor nutrition by our parents, physical characteristics change (narrower jaw, nasal passages etc) and internal gene expression become less efficient.  For example, I have what is believed to be a genetic (or epigenetic) polymorphism in my liver enzymes meaning they don’t work as efficiently as they should.  Therefore, I need to take 40,000% the RDA of B12 to up regulate my enzymes to work at the optimal level to protect me from inflammation and heart disease.  This is potentially quite common, but most people simply do not know….


There’s no doubt that an ancestral diet to your own individual macronutrient needs should be the basis of your nutrition.  But on top of this, we need to the lay a foundation of broad spectrum supplementation to ensure our micronutrient needs are met. Hence, I recommend nutritional supplementation of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants something like what’s found in found in BePure ONE is perfect.  Even research published in the ultra conservative Journal of the American Medical Association recommend that adults should take a multi-vitamin, mineral supplement daily.

This is the best way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need to replace those 25 million cells everyday, helping you to maintain your 5-10 trillion cells to the best of your ability!


In health and happiness,

Ben Warren

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Is fluoridation a good thing?

There are many upcoming referendums in New Zealand on Fluoridation in the water supply (Including Hastings and Havelock North).  Which raises the question is fluoridation a good thing?  Fluoride first came on my radar when we found through clinical experience that people who were drinking fluoridated water found it harder to lose body fat and that’s what got me interested in the whole debate… So I thought I’d share with you some of the concerns and research surrounding the fluoride debate…


Some of the problems with Fluoridation.

  • Council uses hydroflurosilicic acid not natural Calcium Fluoride which is often a by product of the Phosphate fertiliser manufacturing industry

  • DHB statistics show very little improvement in teeth from Fluoride in the water – and some Health boards in NZ show’s it makes your teeth worse.

  • Fluoride makes you fat – being a halogen that displaces iodine in the body, and can potentially cause subclinical hypothyroidism

  • A safer way to use fluoride is in toothpaste and mouthwashes where it is not ingested

  • Ingestion of Fluoride has many risks including increased risk of heart disease, bone cancer and premature births


Council uses hydroflurosilicic acid not natural Calcium Fluoride which is often a byproduct of the Phosphate fertiliser manufacturing industry

Fluoride exists in nature most commonly as Calcium fluoride, and actually naturally high levels of calcium fluoride is how Fluoride’s effect on teeth was discovered.  Currently Council use hydrofluorosilicic acid, a waste product from the phosphate fertiliser industry, which is a corrosive acid and contains many heavy metals that are shown to decrease liver and cell function.   Confirmation of and explanations for elevated blood lead and other disorders in children exposed to water disinfection and fluoridation chemicals, Coplan MJ, Patch SC, Masters RD, Bachman MS.
Neurotoxicology. 2007 Sep;28(5):1032-42.


DHB statistics show very little improvement in teeth from Fluoride in the water – and some Health boards in NZ show’s it makes your teeth worse.

  • The DHB in Hawkes Bay has used statistics for 5 year olds to base their research on the effects of fluoridation.  However, the recommended age, for this research by the World Health Organisation is 12 year olds.  The reason being that fluoride delays the progress of teeth coming through, and therefore can skew statistics.  When 12 year olds are used for data collection the results of fluoridation actually look worse for teeth protection.
  • As fluoridated Wellington has a much higher socio-economic (SE) status than the unfluoridated parts of the area, we would expect to see less decay. Yet for 12 year olds, there is less decay in the unfluoridated areas. If SE status were corrected for, we would expect the unfluoridated areas to consistently have less decay than the fluoridated ones!

The Ministry of Health’s published[1] 2008 statistics for 12 year olds (the WHO recommended age for comparison) appear to show 31% benefit on raw data, not adjusted for the lower average socioeconomic (SE) status of children in unfluoridated communities.

But SE status (often expressed as decile level) is the main influence on tooth decay. (Armfield and Spencer, 2004). Auckland and Wellington have the highest average SE levels in NZ, and account for 37% of the statistics for 12 year old children.











High SE







Rest of NZ







So to compare apples with apples, separating Auckland and Wellington from the rest of NZ provides a rough control for SE status. When these two groups are analysed separately, neither group shows any benefit from fluoridation, as seen in the table below


Dental Association Study Proves Fluoridation is ineffective

Children’s cavity rates are similar whether water is fluoridated or not, according to data published in the July 2009 Journal of the American Dental Association by dentist J.V. Kumar of the New York State Health Department.

The data was from 30,000 children, first analysed in 1990. Kumar confirms the analysis of John Yiammouyanis, who showed then that there was no benefit from fluoridation. Errors in the official Government analysis at the time incorrectly claimed an 18% reduction in tooth decay from fluoridation; errors Yiammouyanis exposed.


Fluoride makes you fat – being a halogen that displaces iodine in the body, and can potentially cause subclinical hypothyroidism

  • As many of you know I have put over 1000 people through my ‘Life Changing’ nutrition program for weight loss and incredible health.  Last year we were running courses both in Havelock and Napier and we found the strangest phenomenon – participants in Napier were able to lose fat much quicker than participants in Havelock, although both were subject to the same program.  Upon investigation and consultation with one of the top environmental Doctors in Australasia we concluded the differences were caused by fluoride in the water.  This is because fluoride blocks iodine absorption into the thyroid gland, and it’s the thyroid gland that controls your body’s ability to burn fat as a energy source.  I will be pressing for the DHB to study differences in hypothyroidism between Napier and Hastings if they are to continue with fluoridation

A safer way to use fluoride is in toothpaste and mouthwashes where it is not ingested

  • The best and safest way to use fluoride is from topical application such as with toothpaste and mouthwash, rather than with ingestion as is the case with water according to the Centers for Disease Control.  Please supervise your children so they don’t swallow the toothpaste or mouthwash.
  • “Laboratory and epidemiologic research suggests that fluoride prevents dental caries predominately after eruption of the tooth into the mouth, and its actions primarily are topical for both adults and children” (CDC, 1999, MMWR 48: 933-940).

Ingestion of Fluoride has many risks including increased risk of heart disease, bone cancer and premature births

Fluoride causes increased levels of heart disease-related death

Ercan Varol et al, Science of the Total Environment, Volume 408, Issue 11, 1 May 2010, Pages 2295-2298

Ercan Varol et al, Biological Trace Element Research, Volume 133, Number 2 / February, 2010

This research shows fluoride affects the aorta (main artery) and heart in ways that lead to increased heart attacks.

This confirms findings from the earliest days of water fluoridation in the USA that deaths from heart attacks sky-rocketed in the fluoridated communities, compared with the non-fluoridated ones. This is shown by official US government data.

The heart beat rate slows, and heart rate abnormalities increase, in direct proportion to increasing fluoride levels. This occurred at the relatively low fluoride levels that cause symptoms mistaken for arthritis, in NZ as elsewhere according to WHO.

Fluoride – bone cancer link confirmed

Blood-fluoride levels are significantly higher in patients with osteosarcoma (bone cancer), according to research published in Biological Trace Element Research (April 2009). Osteosarcoma patients were compared with those with other types of bone tumours, and patients with musculo-skeletal pain. Those with osteosarcoma specifically showed increased blood-fluoride levels.

The researchers concluded “This report proves a link between raised fluoride levels in serum and osteosarcoma,” (our emphasis)

Increase in premature births

Fluoridation causes more premature births, one of the top causes of infant death in the USA. It poses the greatest risk to poor non-white mothers and babies. This is the finding State University of New York researchers from data spanning 1993 to 2002.

Research in Chile in the 1970s also showed fluoridation caused an increase in infant death rates. Chile stopped fluoridation as a result.

A baby born at least 3 weeks early is classified as premature – accounting for about 12 percent of US births.

To ensure fluoridation was the culprit, and not some other factor, the researchers recorded fluoridation residence status (under or over 1 ppm) and adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, neighborhood poverty level, hypertension and diabetes.

The data came from the NY Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System, which collects comprehensive information on patient characteristics and treatment history. The research was conducted within the university’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health.

[1]197468 Relationship between municipal water fluoridation and preterm birth in Upstate New York Rachel Hart, BA, MPH, et al. Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, NY


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