Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Corporate Speaking Testimonials


Peter Dingle has got to be one of the best speakers on health and wellbeing in Australia. Not only qualified. Entertaining and fluent as a speaker, he ‘walks the walk’ which gives his presentation that extra credibility. My clients and staff loved him; heaps of practical points to take away and comments like ‘what a great guy, I was inspired!’

John Fitzgerald. CEO Custodian Wealth Builders
Peter has an energy and enthusiasm that few presenters possess. His knowledge and presentation style, which is laced with humour, endeared himself to our audience and had them engrossed. Almost without exception the audience wished his presentation did not have to end. Darren Mickan. General Manager nb&a events
Thank you very much for your presentation on the 5 C's which gave us great insight on how to embrace change from both an individual and team perspective. Your passionate and enthusiastic presentation had a very positive impact on our team. Garry Moore. National Manager Risk States, CGU Workers Compensation.State manager WA.
As a follow up to your request for feedback on your presentation at the IT Vision User Group Conference held on 10 February 2010 firstly could I thank you for the time that you were able to spend with the delegates. Based on the conference evaluation of 4.8 (out of 5.0) the presentation was very much appreciated and very well received by all present. The people that attended the conference I feel sure will be more inspired and better informed about taking control of their life and meeting the challenges they face especially those delegates that may be impacted by the Local Government Reform process. Bruce Wittber. BHW Consulting
Wow! As usual the Plenary Session was an event not to be missed as Peter Dingle, our home-grown health and environment guru told the audience about the “Dingle DEAL”. His presentation was enthusiastic and inspirational, entwined with memorable stories and spiced with lots of laughter. Dr Pete was very motivating. He took complex scientific information and converted it so that it was dynamic, easy to understand and informative. The “Dingle DEAL” is a structured way for each of us to avoid ill-health.
Diet: encouraging the listener to eat well and abandon processed foods that have little nutritional value,
Environment: energising the audience to quit the use of chemical products in the homes,
Attitude: enlivening those listening to choose to think positively.
Lifestyle: inspiring the audience to look towards food health by exercising, avoiding busyness and taking time to reflect on our journey.
Conference participants came away from the final session of the weekend on a high note encouraged to make a difference to their lives, their families and the children we educate. Dr Peter Dingle left us animated and enthusiastic to use the DEAL.
Carol Moelands The Western Australian Association of Teacher Assistants Inc - Sept 2009
Dr Dingle... probably the most energising, directly challenging and immediatley rewarding presentation we have ever had at a leadership forum; certainly the most talked about afterwards.. Thanks Peter for rallying us to action.. Donald Clarke, Program Coordinator, Southern Region Leadership Forum
Just quickly Peter some great feedback. Our delegates loved your presentation and although we are all now eating oats and fruit only, which we hold you personally responsible for, we very much enjoyed your presentation. Kind regards. Evan G Hammond CA
Your workshop was the buzz of the office for several weeks and is still referred to at various times even 3/4 months after the event. The group hypnotism was very effective and people were amazed that it actually worked on them. I have noticed your books on various desks in the office with people referring to them or suggesting others borrow and have a read.We would love to get you back for another conference in the near future.
PS ... We are still waiting for the day when we all start barking and looking for our left leg. Regards . Vickie Douglas Head of Direct and Alliance Banking AMP Banking.
I just wanted to touch base one last time to thank you for your fantastic presentation to our group last Thursday morning. There were many motivated people leaving the room, and I honestly think you made a difference to each attendees' life in some way or other! I wanted to share with you the presenter ratings we collected, out of 5: and the results for your breakfast presentation were knowledge 4.9, presentation 4.8 and content 4.9. That is a fantastic result, so thank you again. I wish you all the best with your future endeavours, and maybe we will get you back to speak to another group some time in the future! Erin Hasleby. CPA Australia WA Member Events Coordinator
I’d just like to thank you on behalf of the sales force at Steel Blue, I have never seen our guys as fired up as they have been since your session. It really was inspiring. Peter Dingle was fantastic, I can’t rave enough about him. His tips on Taking Charge of your Life have struck a chord with all our sales force. It really was life changing and inspiring stuff. Thanks so much for you help. Ebony Fitzgerald. Sales and Promotions Representative Footwear Industries Pty Ltd Makers of Steel Blue Premium Industrial Footwear
Peter Dingle gave a series presentations to the Institute of Chartered Accountants Business Forum 2007. His energy and his magic livened up the conference. His presentations were extremely well received as was his presence and interaction
throughout the whole day, which was an added bonus and energised the conference staff. Brian Martin. Training & Development Manager – WA. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
Thank you Peter for a wonderful presentation, we have had a great amount of positive feedback from all who attended. We do appreciate your efforts and expect to see some positive results within our team that have been influenced by your presentation. Best Wishes, and we will be in contact soon with the possibility of another presentation opportunity for you. Maria Gutta. Brentnalls
Dr Dingle made us sit up, take notice of the world around us and truly
believe that we could and should be doing things differently, in our
work and in our lives. He deftly motivated us for the rest of the day
when we went out and did volunteer activities in natural areas around
Perth." Colleen Henry. Strategic and Corporate Planner. Tourism Western Australia
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your talk at the NAPSA conference last week. I'd heard the goss, heard of the Dr D legend, now I've seen it for myself. Well done! Peter Quayle. Promotions & Special Projects Coordinator. Prospective Students & Admissions Centre Division of Enterprise & International. Murdoch University.
We all enjoyed your presentation - lots of smiling faces around the
workshop .... still. The health message was simple and compelling and
you made it fun. Ron Zatella. A/Manager Fleet Services. Fire & Emergency Services Authority
Many thanks for your wonderful presentation to ChallengerTafe's CAPS
forum last Thursday. You have inspired us all to reflect on our lifestyle, health, and environment and work towards making changes to our "busy " lives.
Once again many thanks for a wonderful day, Julie Manning Program Manager Visage Training Centre for Hair, Fashion and Beauty Challenger TAFE
just wanted to send you a quick note to inform you of the overwhelming amount of positive feedback I have received for the presentation that you conducted for FESA last Wednesday, it would appear that people are still talking about it . Your work was extremely well received, many people have reassessed their lifestyles and I believe a few of them have even been out to your healthy eating cafe in Fremantle. ………….Your presentation was entertaining, informative but in particular highly motivational………. I know that most people would not leave one of your talks without taking away something of value so in the interest of improving the health, happiness and overall wellbeing of FESA . On behalf of myself and FESA thankyou again for your valuable time and quality performance. Janine Blacklow A/Safety Advisor FESA
Our district administrators were in awe of Dr Dingle as his inspirational style and obvious commitment to Health and Well Being were displayed. The "Dingle Deal" will be a foundation on which school administrators will be able to build a Health and Well Being program for their staffs. A highly motivational presentation from an exemplary speaker.... Well done and thankyou Dr D." Paul Mather Manager District Operation Esperance District Education Office
Thank You Peter! Really, your presentation was a sublime blend of humour, interesting facts and a compelling lesson to all in attendance of the importance of health and lifestyle. Almost affording “rock star” status, it was wonderful to see the REIWA staffers flocking around keen to secure you for their state awards night! The members have thanked me for asking you along and I am most grateful for the time and energy you put into your talk. My office staff went and bought Omega 3 capsules on the way to the office! Thanks again, it was a pleasure meeting you. Hayden Groves. dethridgeGROVES
Dr Peter Dingles presentation to our Family Day Care team on Nutrition and Lifestyle was both informative and entertaining. Family Day Care staff and providers walked away with the determination to change their lives and importantly the lives of the children in their care by simply making more informed choices when it comes to providing meals for children and for their own families. We are all in the process of reconditioning ourselves. Eddie Powell, Co-ordinator Children’s Services. Communicare Inc
Dr Peter Dingle was an excellent speaker. He held the audiences attention, was very entertaining and had so much information to share. He contacted us well before the event and was very organized. He was flexible with his arrangements and tailored his presentation so that it had greater meaning for the audience. Jason Hughston. LJ Hooker.
G’day Peter, and thank you for your presentation last Friday. It was certainly very well receive by many of the delegates. Here is what some of them said.
Peter Dingle was inspiring and motivating (I write it down!!)
More Dingle stuff next year.
Peter Dingle presentation fantastic
Dr Peter Dingle was top class.
Peter Dingle was so engaging and informative and entertaining. A great way to end the day.
Thanks. Don Phillips. Administrators' Project Officer
Dr Dingle burst forth with a hard hitting and entertaining 30 minute presentation which captured the attention of the audience. Given the diversity of people present this was no mean feat. You can tell that Dr Dingle’s message had got across to the target audience because they continued to quote him for days afterwards. Stuart Jardine, CEO Gosnells City Council.
Just a short note to congratulate you on your presentation at the MEA
Conference. The feedback that I received from those who attended over the course of the two days was exceptional. Thank you for your efforts. GUY ALESSANDRO. Director of Sales Rendezvous Observation City Hotel
Your presentation was fantastic , full of energy and humour. I was only in there for a short time as I was producing the video highlights. I ended up buying your book as we are expecting a little one in august I need all the help I can get for to fit into this “dad” role. Anthony Vallario CSEP, AMIAA. Producer/Director. ZOOM Photography & Video Productions
Peter Dingle was great! He blended 5 "C's" into his talk on the night, which fitted in with our "C" theme and his magic and sleight of hand amazes and amused everyone. Annie Payne. Membership, Marketing and Events Co-ordinator RACP
Dr Peter Dingle presented a one hour session at our staff conference this week. His presentation covered his four “C’s” of taking control of your life. Peter presentation was full of little ‘gems’ of information as well as being very entertaining. Feedback from staff has been very positive with many comments stating that Peter was very motivational and highly entertaining speaker. Marisa Leccese. WA Marketing Manager. CRS Australia
"Inspiring!!" - Karina Hawkins, Woodside Engery Ltd
"Upbeat and humorous but with some serious messages about being healthy" - Tony Flynn, Woodside Energy Ltd
"I found Peter interesting and a great deal of his information was a big REMINDER for me" - Linda Davies, Woodside Energy Ltd
"I thought that it was really interesting, very energized & also amusing at the same time! A good balance. Thanks" - Alison Nannup, Woodside Energy Ltd.
"Very high energy, some good content...got some good tips out of it...." - Emma Dowd, Woodside Energy Ltd.
"I thought he was great. Very motivating and hugely energetic. He definitely got me thinking about a number of aspects of my life.
I think it's really beneficial to have sessions like that and a facilitator with Peter's personality makes all the difference" - Jodie Lancaster, Woodside Energy Ltd.
Dr Dr D I enjoyed your talk/ presentation/ aerobics/ juggling/ etc yesterday morning
at E Central - think I was inspired by what you said except it took me a
while to get focused for I can not remember the last time I was
'confronted' by such enthusiasm. Thanks for the 'shot in the arm' to get motivated!
Mary Anne Baljic. Head of Department. Technology & Enterprise. Perth Modern School
Peter, thanks very much for an informative and entertaining session. The talk brought together all of the the aspects of healthy living: including diet, exercise, stress management, attitude, fulfilling work and fun... it was well received by our Business Unit and reminded our busy people of the most important aspects of staying fit and healthy to be able to enjoy life and be productive in the best sense. Vivienne Sommerville, HR Manager, ABU, Woodside.
Again, thanks for your inspiring presentation on 'Taking Control'. I've already had great feedback, from the volunteers and staff present, and incidentally, the 'non-smiler' in the crowd (if you recall, bearded, grumpy looking) told me you were the best speaker he's ever heard! Kellie Bennett. Cochburn Council.
Hi Dr D. My father has taken me to so many goal setting seminars in my life and pushed me to read so many goal setting books, and I never got anywhere with them. However after your seminar, I have written my goals, they are up on my wall, and I am well on the way to achieving them mentally and then actually ! I felt like both you and Ralph were speaking to only me, like there was no one else in the room. I spoke to a few others who said they felt the same thing. That is amazing, that you can hit the hearts of so many people at the one time. Thank you for your passion for your job, which passes on as passion to us.
p.s. have also started to read The D.E.A.L. cant wait for the new book to come out so I can read that too. Ali Binskin. Enjo Consultant
Peter Dingle was a fantastic addition to our conference program. A delegation of 500 farmers is not an easy group to sell a story on “life balance” – but they hung on to his every word and in the post conference surveys rated Peter’s presentation among the very best in what was a high calibre speaking line up. Peter is a consummate professional and just great to deal with. We’d certainly recommend you do a “Dingle deal”. Esther Price. Director. Esther Price Promotions. Communication, marketing and event management
On behalf of the NAGCAS Conference steering committee, I would like to extend our appreciation for the magnificent keynote presentation which you delivered on the opening day of our national conference. Your message on the 5 C's for controlling one's life opened the minds of many delegates and gave them insights and tools which they can effectively pass on to their clients and just as importantly, to themselves. Comments ranged from "awesome and entertaining" to "inspirational and doable". There were many other informative presentations throughout the conference pertaining to career development matters, but yours stood out because of your passion, humour, integrity, the message and its magic.
And thanks again for stepping in so swiftly. You really are a star.Alexandra Semmens NAGCAS, Conference Steering Committee
‘…your contribution during the summit and at the dinner were a delight. Not only were they lively and pertinent but later, also fun.” Robin Williams ABC Science Show
Peter's "DEAL" message mixed in with magic and expertise had members and guests of the Secret Harbour Surf Club's 10 Year Gala Dinner glued to their seats. Many were relieved that they were on the right track and others had some take home messages to help improve their lives and their children's with some simple rules of thumb, all relating back to the Diet.. Environment...Attitude and Lifestyle... Peter's interactive speaking style involves the audience and makes listening to his message an enjoyable experience. Jane Le Grove Director Of House Secret Harbour SLSC.
We would very much like to extend our appreciation for your brilliant, informative, entertaining, and energetic talk last month. Mary Paul President OSWA.
‘The session was well received. It is still being talked about today (3 weeks later).’ Daniel Parry. Deakin Financial Services.
Dr D is a most infectious and emotive speaker who involves his audience and well deserves the description of a charismatic academic” Peter Hicks. Health -Mor Industries.
Peter's gift of interaction and people skills is a marvellous thing to watch. He drew people out at the Conference and he received an enormousamount of feedback in the 2 hours he was with us. His ability to bring thebest out in people turned a simple presentation into an enjoyable activityfor all staff. At all times Peter approached his presentation with vigour and dedicationand his friendly manner and willingness to participate, coupled with hisindustry experience meant that Peter was a valuable contribution to ourAustraland conference.
It is important to keep all staff focussed and a "healthy and motivatedemployee is a happy employee", so I would highly recommend Peter for anysimilar presentation for which Australand is already beginning to benefit.Should any prospective Company wish to discuss the contents of thisreference I would be pleased to do so. Matthew James Joyce Executive General Manager - Land & Housing – Australand
'Peter gave a presentation of such energy that it completely revitalised the audience and sent them away contemplating the changes they would make.The Deal is a great topic and would have relevance to the lives of anyone listening - something to make you really stand back and think. Wendy Wardell
Boy what a great presentation you did, you got a mention at the closing from the Director General saying what a great presentation. Well done. Diana
'Peter has communication skills of the highest order and an ability to convey technical information in terms appropriate to the existing knowledge level of the audience...reflected in the high ratings received in student post-course evaluations.' Trades and labour Council.
“enjoyed peter enthusiastic presentation 10,10,10” for presentation, quality and content” Evelyn Vojtisek Fashion Carpet House.
“Charismatic enthusiasm 9,10, 9” for presentation, quality and content” Adrian Lengkeek. JBA Carpet Court.
“You certainly have hidden talents! Can I compliment you on the sensitive way you turned an event that dealt with a dreadful disease into a tasteful and humorous evening, perfectly suited to the mood of the audience.” Bob Kuchera MLA. Minister for Health. WA
“he has carried out these tasks with a sense of energy, flair and enthusiasm, acting always in a very professional manner.” Barry Mac Kinnon Ex leader of the WA liberal party.
“Your delivery was excellent and clearly held the attention of the group. The juggling trick had the desired impact because, like the ‘D.E.A.L’, it was topical for the business/life jugglers and, of course, it was clever and skilful. The speed of delivery was appropriate to the audience and your time keeping was just about perfect.” Andrew Robertson. BHP Steel.
“The feedback I got was that your presentation was excellent! Thank you very much. Paul Holmes. Environmental Consultant.
“I thought your speel at the coast to coast conference was the highlight. Finally someone speaking the truth rather than saying everything was hunky dory and no need to change anything” Evan Broaman Environment Resource Officer. Local Government Association of Tasmania.
"Peter Dingle gave our Kordel's Vitamin Launch presentations in Adelaide
and Perth an additional dimension. Peters presentational style lends an up-beat tone
to the topic." Peter Kemp Healthcare Manufacturing Group
first off I would like to thank you for all of your fantastic information and enthusiasm at the Small Business Development Corporation staff development day. I got a lot out of it and also loved your book. I am very much a DEAL believer . I am so grateful to benefit from
your dedication and sensibility. It's all so easy really - I think that was something that you really conveyed at the seminar - back to basics - keep it simple and logical - and you're right our grandparents did some funny old things for a damn good reason. Jane Gardiner. Small Business Development Corporation

Thank you once again for an extremely interesting day. I learnt a huge amount and feel very motivated to attend further sessions. I felt reassured that I'm also heading in the right direction with many of the things I am doing. Thank you, Lesley Harmsen
'The information you gave was stimulating and interesting.....We truly appreciate the support you have given us.' Hospital Environmental Awareness Link.
I was fortunate enough to attend your lecture at Macquarie University last Wednesday evening. Thank you so much, it was what I’d been waiting for since reading your books 2 years ago. I certainly came away with even more than I expected, hoping that you could reach millions more Australians through your unique style! Caroline Nelson. Enjo Consultant
We were very sorry to have missed you when you visited the East Coast but await with baited breath for your return. Those who were privileged enough to catch you said it was something not to be missed. However, we have been listening to the CDs. Tracey McWhinnie. ENJO Consultant
firstly, thanks for your fantastic presentation you did at Macquarie University for Enjo, I was one of the consultants in the audience. I have read your book and found it absolutely fanscinating - well done. So many myths, so much deception by the food industry.
I love your advice, and your simple, easy to read format, and am adopting, slowly but surely your suggestions for diet, have already changed to fibre based cleaning, obviously, and am referring back to the book for further advice on changes I can make for the good of my family. Thank you for taking the time and determination to inform us, it is appreciated and I am spreading the word as much as I possibly can so that others can know the truth, Kathy Grime. Enjo Team Manager
Never have I had the 3 D's before!! Thank you for your great, invigorating talk this morning. Robyn Forshaw. Conference Steering Committee
that was an absolutely brilliant presentation last night!! I wish I had that
much passion when I talk! Fiona Tremlett. Melaleuca
As we all arrived at the Esplanade Hotel Freo on the Friday afternoon after a few buzy days at workshops in the office, we where keen for a few pre-dinner drinks and then dinner, then for a few of us, kicked on a little in Freo, and where a little worse for wear at the 09.00am start, but as the Dingle "DEAL" was so enlightening all where captured by his enthusiasm, wit and humour. We all enjoyed the "DEAL" and are still talking about it, we also purchased a few of his books for the home and the office. The rest of the weekend we where very aware. Thanks &Regards. Ian Radford Marubeni-Itochu Tubulars Oceania Pty Ltd
“Very good, very good, very good, Excellent coverage of some very important life skills which should be taught at high school. Saf Deakin Finances
“Excellent I will commit to all the principles outlined on all the presentations. I feel empowered now.” Jenny. Deakin Finances
“Brilliant, everyone knows they should set goals but by doing it in a interesting way really opens your mind to setting your goals and achieving them…Overall fantastic” Ben. Deakin Finances
“Well done, was excellent” Fabian. Deakin Finances
I am a mother of four beautiful very healthy children, Manager with ENJO and was a Midwife for 17 years. I attended your presentation for ENJO Consultants this morning at City West and just had to write and say thank you so much. I didn't want it to end it was so informative and inspiring. I love selling ENJO and training consultants to do the same but I love it even more now knowing just how much we are doing, in our own small way, to help improve people's lives. The five girls in my Team who were all there also thoroughly enjoyed it and I know will now approach the Demos they do with more knowlege and confidence. Thank you once again and I can't wait to read your book. Odette Askew
I was very much looking forward to hearing him in person, having read quite a bit of his work, and because I was a nurse before I started my ENJO career.
I found Dr Dingle's words very inspiring and incredibly interesting - and three of my customers also attended the Seminar and found him very informative and vibrant. Dr Dingle speaks so well. He maintained everyone's interest the whole time and managed to give out the information in such a way that everyone retained the knowledge without realising how much they had taken in.
Our health is our most important asset, without good health we have nothing, and prevention is must better than cure. Dr Dingle gave all of us many ways of preventing illness by just doing simple tasks like opening windows, airing bed linen and taking regular exercise - the DINGLE DEAL is an inspiration to us all. Melian Tomsett, Manager
Thank you for your great lecture at Deakin University. I was one of the 555 Principals sitting in the audience. You certainly know how to deliver an excellent presentation on a vital topic. I will be making some changes to my life- the first is to do some weight training as I am 58 - retired at 55 for a week and came back ???
Please keep up the good work and I will be purchasing some of your books
Well done 10/10 and a Black Elephant Stamp !!!!
Trevor Smithson. Silvan PS. Melbourne Victoria
My husband attended a Training and Development Association meeting about 2 years or so ago at which you spoke. Within about a month he had given up smoking and joined Perth Pirates dragon boat club. Over that time he has regained much of his enthusiasm and strength, which was badly depleted over the previous 20 yrs, and depression, partly through work stress and losing our daughter in 1990 through MV trauma, had been an ongoing problem. Our vege garden is now flourishing (a direct reflection of his state of mind). He will be paddling/sweeping in the Bridge to Bridge event next Sunday, a 12km Narrows Bridge to Fremantle Left Bank--event. I had mentioned to him previously over the fifteen years since we have been living down the road from the Dragon Boat club, that he might be interested...all to no avail, so you must have hit the spot and said somthing that gelled. I also had given up on his ever stopping smoking.
So I thought I would say thank-you and let you know you made a difference.
Lesla Soulsby

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chemicals, Kids and Cancer: Why kids are more vulnerable

There is little doubt that our kids have a greater susceptibility to toxic chemicals,. Everyday we expose our children to hundreds of different chemicals in an array of household products and yet remain puzzled as to why they get sick and why the rates of childhood asthma, allergies and cancer are higher than ever.

There are many contributing factors that increase rates of childhood disease: these include very important considerations such as diet, lifestyle and attitude, but I wish to draw your attention to your child's immediate environment , as it is the environment you provide in your home that will contribute greatly to either your child's enjoyment of good health or their development of disease. Over the last 40 to 50 years we have increased the number of synthetic chemicals we use with virtually no extra thought as to how vulnerable children are to these chemicals or how little we know about their subtle and accumulative toxic effects. We assume that because these chemicals are so easily purchased off the supermarket shelf, they must be safe to use. Wrong! Many of these chemicals are known to be toxic and few of them are extensively studied before they are put on the shelf, freely available to the general public. Furthermore, certain assumptions are made in the process of allowing these products to be generally available - one of these assumptions is that kids are just smaller versions of adults. Scientific and medical studies show that this is not the case and that children are much more vulnerable to chemical toxins and environmental pollutants.

The World Health Organisation has emphasized that infants and young children have different structural and functional characteristics from those of older children and adults. These characteristics are simply stages of normal growth and development but affect a child's vulnerability when exposed to chemicals. In March of this year (2005), the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) reiterated again that children are more vulnerable to gene-damaging chemicals than are adults. Kids are not simply smaller versions of adults, but this is how they're seen when it comes to developing regulations and safety standards.

For the first time the US EPA have tried to put a figure on how much more susceptible children are. They reported children two years old and younger might be 10 times more vulnerable than adults to certain chemicals and that children between the ages of two and 16 might be three times more vulnerable to certain chemicals. This means we need to make a huge shift in the way we regulate chemicals and may mean in some cases that the chemicals kids are exposed to in the home may be up to 10 times too high in concentration. Oops! Our regulators have made yet another mistake and while they will say there are no problems with the existing system and will defend it, along with the manufacturing industry, it will eventually be changed - it will just take 10 or 20 years for it to happen. I have seen this many times. It was argued for many decades that low levels of lead were not problem but in just two or three years all the regulations were changed in the reluctant recognition that even low levels were a major health concern for kids. The scientific proof of this was available 20-30 years earlier with the US removing lead from petrol in 1972. Australian authorities sat on their hands until 1986.

Kids are more vulnerable to toxic chemicals because of certain behavioural and physiological characteristics that multiply not only their exposures to environmental toxins but also increase the effects of these chemicals on them. Physiological characteristics include rapid rates of growth, immature body systems and physiology, such as enzyme systems, as well as underdeveloped barriers which prevent toxins from being absorbed. Kids are particularly vulnerable to toxins during rapid periods of growth such as those which occur in-utero, in the first 12 months of life and at puberty. A typical human infant increases in weight by about 200% and in length by 50% in his or her first 12 months. On average, the infant's brain is just over 30% of the weight of an adult brain at birth, their maximum number of neurons will be reached by age two but the brain will not structurally mature until four - six years of age. Their nervous system will not be fully developed until adolescence. The spinal cord and the peripheral nerves are protected by a fatty sheath called myelin, and the process of neural myelination is not complete until adolescence. As a result a child's nervous systems is at higher risk of damage from common household insecticides, heavy metals and solvents typically found in household products.

A child's brain is also more vulnerable because of the immaturity of the blood-brain-barrier, which is designed to protect it from toxins. Even in adults this barrier cannot protect the brain from many heavy metals and synthetic chemicals such as solvents and pesticides. In infants it is almost totally ineffective against most modern day chemicals. This dramatically increases the risk of both temporary and permanent damage to the brain. It's possible that early exposure to some chemicals may permanently reduce the effectiveness of the blood brain barrier, allowing increased passage of toxins to the brain, and increasing the person's vulnerability to certain chemicals throughout their life.

Children are also susceptible in other areas of their physiology. The many enzyme pathways that metabolise foreign compounds in the body take several years to develop and a child is at increased risk until they are fully matured. For example, infants have lower levels of the neurotransmitter cholinesterase which helps to maintain the balance in the nervous system's communication channels. Many of pesticides and the nicotine in tobacco smoke inactivate cholinesterases, allowing the stimulating neurotransmitter acetylcholine to remain and increase in concentration, causing over stimulation of the nervous system. Depressed levels of cholinesterase can cause irreversible damage. Chronic effects include weakness and malaise, headache and light-headedness and symptoms can mimic those of ADHD. While the pesticides may not accumulate to any significant degree, repeated exposures with the resultant cholinesterase-inhibiting effect, can be a significant problem. Don't expose your children (or yourselves) to pesticides - any of them. Even if claims are made as to their safety, they are not safe! The aerosol spraying method for household insect killing chemicals enables the toxins to penetrate deep into the lungs. You wouldn't expose your kids to tobacco smoke would you, so why pesticides? They are much more toxic.

A child's immature enzyme systems can also affect their ability to eliminate the environmental toxins to which they are exposed. The metabolic pathways and enzyme detoxification systems of infants and young children have reduced capacity for dealing with toxins as compared to adults. The major excretory organs in the human body (the liver and kidney) take some years to develop and become fully and efficiently functional. For example, the Phase I and II enzyme detoxification systems (stimulated in all the liver detox diets) are immature at birth and only develop gradually as an infant. The immaturity of an infant's capacity for detoxification and elimination usually produces higher blood levels of toxins for longer periods in comparison to an adult, meaning the toxic chemical hangs around a lot longer in your kids' bodies, doing more damage.

In general tissue and membrane barriers are more permeable in the early years of life to help with the demands of rapid development and growth. However, this also increases their capacity to absorb toxins. For example, absorption rates of heavy metals from the gastrointestinal tract in humans and other mammals are significantly higher in infancy compared to other ages. Lead is a well-known poison, causing irreversible neurological damage to the young, including a reduced IQ. Studies have shown that infants and young children absorb lead more efficiently than adults via the gastrointestinal tract. 40 - 90% of an oral dose is absorbed by a child less than 8 years of age, compared with 10% by an adult. Studies have also shown that retention of the absorbed dose is higher. While adults retain 10% of an ingested dose, 18% is retained by children and 32% retained by children less than 5 years of age. Absorption through the skin is also higher in children. Their skin is more permeable and they have a greater surface area relative to body weight.

Kid's are also at increased risk from environmental carcinogens. In infants and children cells are dividing more rapidly. There is a greater probability of DNA mutation and cancerous growth being initiated. Studies show that one day old rats exposed to vinyl chloride developed a much higher incidence of cancers than rats which were exposed at eleven weeks of age. Early exposure to carcinogens also means there's more time for cancer to develop over the person's lifetime. Many cancers which develop in adults are a result of exposure to carcinogens in childhood. Reducing childhood exposure to these toxic chemicals will reduce the potential for cancers later in life.

Kids' Behaviour

Aside from the physiological and biochemical reasons behind children's increased susceptibility to toxins, there are behavioural, cultural and sociological reasons as to why they are more at risk.

Increased exposure of infants and kids occurs through both their food consumption and respiration. Kilogram for kilogram of body weight, children drink more fluids, eat more food and breathe more air than adults. Children aged one to five years for example, eat three to four times more food per kilogram than the average adult. The types of food they eat also increase their exposure. In the first five to seven years of life, a child's diet is very limited. One study in the US estimated that children between one and five years of age consumed six times the amount of fruit consumed by women aged 22 - 30, and 18 times more apple and apple products, including juices and purees. More recent estimates from studies in the US suggest that the intake of apples by infants expressed as a ratio of body weight may be up to 20 times higher than that for adults. These consumption rates mean that young children face a greater risk from residues such as pesticides and fungicides in fresh produce than do adults. This highlights the need to feed our kids as much organic and biodynamic produce as possible.

Young children's play behaviour can be a potential source of exposure to toxic substances. Mouthing, whereby hands and objects are put into the mouth (an exploratory behaviour of the young called PICA), has been shown to lead to significant ingestion of soil and dust. One study found average daily estimates of soil consumed by kids ranged from 25.3 to 81.3 mg/day, and reported that this was consistent with results from other studies. This dramatically increases their risk of exposure to heavy metals and pesticides in the soil. This doesn't mean that you stop your children from playing outside. It does mean you shouldn't use any pesticides or toxic chemicals in the garden.

Other behaviour such as crawling and playing close to the ground can also contribute to higher exposure to many chemical as this is where many of the chemicals actually accumulate. Children's tendency to play around cars while the engine is running really highlights this. More than 4000 chemicals spew from the exhaust pipes of cars. I often see kids playing around the car while parents are saying their farewells. For kids, who are closer to exhaust pipe height, it's a toxic game.

Kids also don't have the experience or know how to reduce their exposure. Unlike adults who can relate a chemical smell to making them sick or causing an allergic reaction, young children have too little experienced to make the connection and often lack the necessary verbal skills. So they will continue to expose themselves to more of the toxin. We, as adults and parents, must provide the protection of a safe environment. And children are easily influenced by the conditioning of media advertising to use toxic chemicals such as deodorant spray cans or perfumes. Or to consume more junk foods with toxic food additives in them.

Research is proving the toxicity of these chemicals. Many studies, including some of our own research and other Australian studies, show that the higher the use of chemicals in the home, including cleaning chemicals, the use of spray cans and pesticides, the higher the incidence of childhood disease, such as asthma and allergies. In a few years when the research is complete, it will also show an increase in children's and adult's cancer rates.

It is also worth noting that thousands of kids are poisoned by domestic chemicals every year. Some of them are permanently damaged. Some children die. The fewer toxic chemicals you bring into the home the safer it is for your children and you.

What can YOU do?

Set a goal to reduce the amount of synthetic chemicals you have and use in the home by 50% over the next month. When you achieved this, review your chemical use again, and see if you can reduce it further.

Use safer more environmentally friendly chemicals

Use high quality, genuine fibre technology for cleaning.

Don’t use spray cans - they are major air pollutants. Just read the warning on the back of the can to see how toxic they are.

Use non toxic baits and traps for pests instead of toxic pesticides.

Do not believe the pest control company when they tell you their product is safe. They are not and they are actually not allowed to say they are safe.

Don't paint the new baby's room.

Don’t put child care centres on busy roads.

Do not believe the advertisements on TV that tell you will be better off using synthetic chemicals. You won't be. But they will make a lot of money out of you.

Ban spray cans from your child's school.

Don't allow people to smoke around children. Visit my website for a lot more information and more action you can take to protect your kids.


Asthma, a different perspective

Asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases. In Australia, New Zealand, the UK, US, Canada, many European countries, and now in many Asian countries, asthma is on the increase and has reached proportions of one in four children and one in 10 adults. The asthma rates in these countries has doubled in the last two decades and fortunately they seem to be leveling off but as other countries become westernised the rates are quickly catching up to our levels.

Asthma is a potentially life threatening and debilitating respiratory disease. Not only do asthmatics have to face potentially fatal attacks, but they may also have to deal with headaches, depression, mood swings, hyperactivity, learning difficulties, chronic fatigue and allergy related afflictions such as allergic rhinitis and eczema.

It’s unlikely that the genetics of the population has had an influence in such a short period of time, but it is likely that a degree of genetic susceptibility is being triggered by a combination of modern factors, perhaps the epigenetics factor I wrote about a few months ago. The rise of modern, Western society has brought with it many changes. Many of these appear innocent when considered in isolation, but when contemplated in combination, they present a formidable threat to our health and the health of our children.

The most probable cause of asthma and many other modern child health problems is a combination of Diet, Environment, Attitude and Lifestyle (DEAL) factors. To wait for definitive scientific proof that may never come, is to put a growing number of kids at severe risk. Asthma is not just an inconvenience, it kills.

The ‘westernised’ diet seems to be a contributing factor. Because asthma involves an immune response to various trigger substances, decreases in the average weekly consumption of fresh fruit, green and mixed vegetables and an increase in the amount of processed foods has all been linked with increasing asthma rates. And nowhere is this more evident than in Asian countries where the diet is rapidly becoming westernised. The ‘new’ diet provides fewer antioxidants, fewer minerals such as magnesium, selenium and zinc, and fewer vitamins, including Vitamins A, B, C and E - all of which are considered to be necessary co-factors in the immune function. The modern diet is also very low in methyl donors such as folate and vitamin B6 which may be having an impact on how the genes for asthma are expressed.

A number of studies have shown decreased minerals such as selenium and zinc in subgroups of asthma sufferers. There is also evidence that people with reduced intake of fresh fruit and vegetables have lower ventilatory functions (they take in less air with each breath) and other studies which link diets low in fruit and vegetables with increased rates of asthma, and more severe symptoms. There’s growing evidence of the benefits of vitamin, mineral and antioxidant supplements on the severity of asthmatic symptoms. For example, the essential fatty acids (EFA’s), particularly an increase in omega 3 oils have been shown to reduce the incidence of asthma in children in some studies. In the old days parents used to feed their kids cod liver oil and kids would eat home grown vegetables and free range eggs, all of which are a source of EFAs.

A number of studies have also shown a relationship between asthma and the mother’s eating habits. Children born to women who supplement with omega 3 oils are less likely to develop asthma. Some studies have also found reduced symptoms and rates of asthma in children who were breast-fed for longer as infants. The precise reason for this is unknown, but is probably due to the protective effect of breast milk and the detrimental effects of cows’ milk. Apart from other essential nutrients in human milk, it’s a rich source of EFAs, choline and important immune factors. And there is growing evidence mounting over the use of cows milk and increasing allergies and food intolerances.

Some of the food colourings and other food additives that our kids consume in relatively large quantities are also linked with asthma attacks. Ones that are particularly relevant include the colours 102, 110, 127, the sulphur preservatives (220- 230, sulphur dioxide, sodium sulphite and bisulphite potassium bisulphite and sodium and potassium metabisulphite) and MSG (621).

Investigations throughout the world confirm a link between asthma and a person’s sensitisation to indoor allergens, such as dust mites, pet fur and feathers, insects and mould. Nevertheless, these allergens have probably always been present in houses although the quantities of allergens and degree of exposure may have increased in many homes.

We have made our buildings more airtight through changes in design, weatherproofing and the use of air conditioning. This traps allergens and chemicals inside buildings, whereas in older homes there is greater airflow. The constant temperature and humidity also produce ideal conditions for dust mite and fungal growth. These conditions are further exacerbated by the fact that many people keep all their doors and window closed and that we spend 90% of our time indoors.
A number of studies have found a strong relationship between house dampness, fungal growth and respiratory illness. This is not only from obvious dampness such as condensation on windowpanes but also the amount of time spent in the shower and bath. Mould and mould spores are a major problem for asthmatics. Mould can usually be controlled by increasing the ventilation in bathrooms and other wet areas. Fibre cleaning is very effective in contolling mould and doesn’t involve the use of toxic chemicals.

Allergen avoidance, particularly for mould, dust mite allergens and pollen, has been shown to reduce both the onset of asthma and asthmatic symptoms. This avoidance appears to be especially important during the first twelve months of life, when the immune system is maturing. Some research also suggests the avoidance of substances that may cause reactions, even though not related to immune function . This includes some biologically active chemicals and some medications such as aspirin, sulphur dioxide, metabisulphate, coal tar dyes and flavour enhancers, such as MSG.

By contrast, while many pets produce problematic allergens, there’s increasing evidence to show that having a pet may offer some protective effect. In fact living on a farm and close to animals generally confirs some protection against asthma
Probably of greater importance is that we have dramatically increased our use of synthetic chemicals, which at higher doses are linked with asthma and respiratory disease. More and more studies are showing this link with even lower levels of exposure to chemicals, such as those found in new or renovated homes. Cleaning chemicals, spray cans, deodorants and perfumes are all increasingly being linked with contributing to the cause of asthma and potential asthma attacks. The evidence is also mounting that these chemicals may be influencing our genetic expression through epigenetics. The overuse of these chemicals may also be contributing to what is called the “hygeine hypothesis” which is that we are not being exposed to enough microorganisms and therefore not stimulating the immune system at the right stages of growth.

Unflued gas heaters (the ones that don’t have a flue or chimney) and other appliances are linked with increased respiratory illness. Many countries and some states in Australia have banned these appliances. There are now dozens of studies showing associated health problems.

There is little doubt about the effect of direct smoking and passive smoking on asthma and a litany of other diseases. While more and more people go outside to smoke, there are others who still expose their children to this cocktail of very toxic substances. Many of the thousands of chemicals found in tobacco smoke are toxic. Even worse, parents who smoke are showing their kids through their actions that smoking is okay. If you smoke you are teaching your kids to do the same, despite what you might say to them. As the old adage says, “Actions speak louder than words”.

Attitude is important because not only is it likely to reduce the risk of illnesses, but determines what an individual will do to prevent or reduce illness. Attitude is closely linked with education, the willingness to learn more and the desire to look after yourself. This does not mean ignoring the medical system. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. It means working with your doctor and asking lots of questions. Remember asthma can be a life threatening illness, so you need to understand it and take it seriously.

Our lifestyle has changed enormously over the last four decades. The structure of the family unit and how families interact, our level of physical activity and our dependence upon the car, television and computers have brought different pressures and demands. Many of these factors have negative impacts on our health and our ability to deal with asthma. Physical activity, breath control and stress management are essential for an asthmatic’s development of a healthy lifestyle. I have seen many instances where implementation of these has not only improved how a person deals with asthma but also reduced the severity and frequency of symptoms. For a small number of asthmatics strenuous physical activity can initiate an asthma attack. Be active but also understand your limits.

Unfortunately, despite the growing scientific evidence, the medical paradigm tends to prevail in our society that we can’t do anything about asthma because we don’t have the definitive proof yet of the causes. Science on the other hand shows a different perspective, that there are probably many contributing factors that need to be addressed and all can help just a little. Apart from this also being a common sense approach it also helps with many other health issues not just asthma, so isn’t it worth trying?

Author of "The DEAL for Happier Healthier Kids, a Parents Guide to 21st Century Health"

Milk, the poison

In my other blog on milk I explained why milk is not a great source of calcium for humans. Now it is time to look at the health problems associated with milk.

Evidence has been steadily mounting during the past few decades of the potential negative effects of dairy on human health from colic and gut disorders to cancer. Milk is associated with many digestive disorders, poor gut health, food intolerances and allergies. Many children develop food intolerances to milk which, at the very least, cause overproduction of mucous and lots of phlegm and runny noses. Worse, these intolerances can cause severe allergic symptoms. This is often related to the negative impact dairy products have on the gut. Associated with this I have seen colic clear up in many infants once they are taken off dairy.

Lactose intolerance is a “condition” in which the body cannot digest the sugar efficiently (or at all), leading to poor gut health and excess mucous, acid and gas production and varying degrees of abdominal discomfort 1. People with lactose intolerance also experience reduced absorption in the gastrointestinal system 2. Approximately 75% of the world’s population (particularly in Eastern countries such as China, India, Africa and in minority populations such as Australian Aboriginals and Native Americans) has a level of lactose intolerance 1, and it is now generally accepted that this “condition” is actually the norm for the human species. It is more prevalent in Asians (about 85%) and African Americans (about 50%) than Caucasians (about 10%). It should be highlighted that the inability to digest lactose is exacerbated by pasteurisation destroying all the enzymes naturally found in milk that would normally help with digestion of the milk.

A food allergy is an abnormal immunological response due to a sensitisation to a food or food component. It represents an important health problem, especially in industrialised countries where it has been estimated to affect about 1% to 2% of the adult population and up to 8% of children below the age of three 3. As far as statistics go, cow’s milk allergy can be considered one of the most common food allergies, especially in early childhood with an incidence of 2% to 3% in the first years of life 4.

If an allergic reaction develops it is not always due to the dietary habits of the infant. A baby can be exposed to the proteins that cause an allergic response. Breast milk from mothers who have consumed products containing cow’s milk might be another threat for the development of cow’s milk allergy due to the absorption of cow proteins, their passage through the gut mucosa and their release in human milk 4. Antibody reactivity to bovine casein as well as to casein and lactoglobulin is detectable only in bottle-fed infants and not in infants who are exclusively breast-fed5.

Hormones and growth factors

Many of the bioactive components of milk contain hormones and growth factors. Milk contains more than 50 hormones and growth factors 6. The consumption of cow’s milk can result in significant hormonal changes and disrupt the balance of insulin, growth hormones and insulin-like growth factors (IGF) 7. Insulin Growth Factor One (IGF-1) is intended to assist suckling calves to grow and produce new tissue through the prolific reproduction of cells 8. However, when this hormone is introduced to the adult human body, which is no longer growing, cells may be encouraged to reproduce at the wrong time or place, providing the basis for cancerous growth 9. Cow’s milk and human’s milk share the same amino acid sequence of IGF and therefore the cow form is capable of binding to human IGF 10. Numerous studies have shown a link between these hormone levels and levels of IGF in prepubertal boys and girls 11 and as a result such levels have been positively correlated with increased height 12,13. The levels of IGF-1 in dairy milk may have increased significantly with the increase in milk production per cow since the beginning of the agricultural revolution. This problem is compounded in the US where they can add IGFs to milking cows to increase milk production. There is some scientific debate whether homogenisation allows the hormone to be digested and consequently reach the bloodstream 14.

Cancer

Insulin Growth Factor One (IGF-1) has been linked with numerous types of cancer, including prostate and breast cancer 15,16 and cow’s milk consumption has been strongly associated with an increase in hormone-dependent cancers 17. A large study, a meta-analysis, found that high intake of dairy products and calcium was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Researchers found men with the highest intake of dairy products were more likely to develop prostate cancer than men with the lowest intake 18. Dose-response analyses suggested that dairy product and calcium intakes were each positively associated with the risk of prostate cancer. That is, the more dairy consumed, the higher the rates of prostate cancer 19,20,21. One study found a 5.1 times higher risk of advanced stage prostate cancer 22 while another found that milk consumption was most strongly associated with mortality rates of prostate cancer 19. A strong link has also been found between dairy consumption and testicular cancer 24,25,26.

A study of 3,300 cancer patients and 1,300 control subjects 27 comparing milk and dairy intake between the two groups found a significant association between the exclusive consumption of whole milk and increased risk of certain cancers (e.g., oral, stomach, rectum, lung, breast, etc.). Most of the subjects in the control group were drinkers of reduced fat milk or non-fat milk, linking the reduction in saturated fat to a reduction in oral and cervical cancers. A number of other studies have linked dairy consumption with breast cancer 28-32 as well as ovarian cancer 33.

Diabetes mellitus (type 1)

Cow’s milk-based infant formulas and cow’s milk consumption in childhood have been found to promote the development of type 1 diabetes mellitus and other immune-mediated or neurological diseases. The introduction of cow’s milk-based infant formula within the first three months of life is associated with increased risk of type 1 diabetes mellitus 34-38 and there are more than 100 studies linking early exposure to dairy milk to the onset of diabetes mellitus (type 1) in children who are genetically prone to the disease 37-43. The evidence for this association is overwhelming. Furthermore, in animal models of type 1 diabetes mellitus, cow’s milk proteins have been proven to lead to the development of diabetes.

In a study on newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes, researchers found that the children in the study had antibodies that were primed to attack cow’s milk proteins. These antibodies had apparently risen in response to cow proteins in their infant formula, but the antibodies were also capable of attacking the body’s insulin-producing cells. The antibodies that arose to destroy the cow’s milk protein ended up attacking the children’s insulin-producing cells. The infant’s immune system recognises these bovine proteins as foreign and forms antibodies to attack them. Unfortunately, these antibodies attack not only the cow proteins but also the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

There is so much concern about this that a worldwide study has begun in which children are being kept off all cow’s milk to see whether diabetes can be prevented 7.

Multiple sclerosis

Evidence dating back to 1976 44 shows that cow’s milk consumption is linked with the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) 45-48. One study of dairy consumption in 27 countries and 29 populations around the world found a strong correlation between liquid cow’s milk and MS prevalence; interestingly no such correlation was found with cream, butter or cheese 42.

A number of cow’s milk proteins have now been shown to be targeted by the immune cells of people with MS 7. Further, injecting the proteins into experimental animals has caused lesions to appear in the central nervous systems of the animals. Other researchers have demonstrated how certain proteins in cow’s milk mimic part of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, the part of myelin thought to initiate the autoimmune reaction in MS49.

Parkinson’s disease

Milk has also been linked to Parkinson’s disease (PD). Researchers found that among more than 130,000 U.S. adults followed for nine years, those who consumed the largest amount of dairy foods had an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease 50. Men with the highest levels of dairy consumption were 60% more likely to develop the disease than those who consumed the least amounts of dairy, particularly milk 50-54. This supports earlier findings about dairy intake and the development of PD: the same authors studied men with high dairy consumption and found that those men had an 80% higher risk. Women with moderate dairy intake were also found to be in the high-risk range for PD.

A study found that Japanese-American men in Honolulu, Hawaii who consumed more than 0.5 litres of milk per day had a 130% higher risk of PD than men who did not drink milk 52. In a study in which a total of 128 participants developed Parkinson’s disease, the risk of Parkinson’s disease increased as the amount of milk consumed each day rose. Heavy milk drinkers—those who consumed more than 16 ounces (454g) per day—were more than twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than non-milk drinkers 52.

Heart disease

Epidemiological evidence suggests that per capita consumption of milk proteins and milk is associated with national mortality rates from heart attack or stroke 55-58. Although it does not appear to be associated with the saturated fat consumption.

Acne

Milk consumption results in significantly elevated blood levels of IGF-1 in prepubertal and pubertal individuals as well as young adults which is associated with acne 59-62.

Not a great food

Cow’s milk is not a great food for humans. What I have presented here is just a small fraction of the scientific literature highlighting the problems with milk. Perhaps in the future we will see health warnings on milk containers. Unfortunately, we have been sold a deceptive message for more than 50 years so everyone believes that “milk does a body good.”

No other animal on this planet consumes milk beyond infancy or another animals milk. Despite this humans are the only animal that suffer form such high rates of chronic illness. To complicate this equation even further we destroy many of the healthful qualities of milk by pasteurisation including enzymes and antioxidants, we then mix the fat and liquid together through homeginastion and we still call it a natural food. What beneficial qualities milk might have in very small quantities, they no longer exist when we process them out. Then add sugar and chemical colours to make flavoured milk and I could not think of a more toxic compound.

References

1. Goldberg and Folta 2002
2. Smith et al. 1995).
3. Helm 2000
4. Monaci et al. 2006
5. Moetini et al. 2000
6. Michaelidoua and Steijns 2006
7. Jelenek 2010
8. Blum 2009
9. F├╝rstenberger and Senn 2002
10. Francis et al. 2008
11. Edwards et al. 2007
12. Wiley 2005
13. Berkley et al. 2009
14. Daniel 2007).
15. Key et al. 2003
16. Shaneyfelt et al. 2001
17. Ganmaa and Sato 2005
18. Gao et al. 2005
19. Ganmaa et al. 2002
20. Qina et al. 2004
21. Tominaga and Kuroishi 1997
22. Campbell and Campbell 2004
23. Ganmaa et al. 2002
24. Davies et al. 1996
25. Garner et al. 2003
26. Strang et al. 2006
27. Mettlin et al. (1990
28. Gaskill et al. 1979
29. Stocks 1970
30. La Vecchia 1993
31. Le et al. 1986
32. Ursinl et al. 1990
33. Larsson et al. 2004).
34. Harrison and Honeyman 1999
35. Scott 1990
36. Elliot and Laugesen 2003
37. Goldberg and Folta 2002
38. Laugesen and Elliot 2003
39. Wasmuth et al. 1999
40. Thorsdottir et al. 2000
41. Padberg et al. 1999
42. Elliot et al. 1998
43. Tailford et al. 2003
44. Butcher 1976
45. Malosse et al. 1992
46. Malosse et al. 1993
47. Winer et al. 2001
48. Stefferl et al. 2000
49. Guggenmos 2004
50. Chen et al. 2002
51. Norton 2007
52. Park et al. 2005
53. Chen et al. 2006
54. Chen et al. 2007
55. Venn et al. 2005
56. McLachlan 2000
57. Popham et al. 1983
58. Seely 1981).
59. Schmitz and Melnik 2009
60. Batya et al. 2010
61. Danby 2008
62. Adebamowo et al. 2008

Stress less live more

A typical day in the life of the twenty first century busy person begins like this - woken by the blaring alarm clock or even worse a raucous radio announcer, a bowl of overprocessed breakfast food, or nothing to eat at all, and a rush to get to get to work. Meetings, reports, deadlines, peer pressure - the list goes on. The body’s fight or flight mechanism is triggered but without the safety valve of physical activity to defuse it's state of red alert. The 'distress' caused by these events triggers adrenalin and cortisol to to flow into the bloodstream. And as the day or the week goes on, it doesn’t get much better for. Their stress results in increased irritability, anger, aggression, more arguments and depression while increasing the risk of dysfunction, disease or even disability. Trying to function with high stress levels also results in low productivity at work and at home.

The lifestyle of the twenty first century buy person is filled with stress - stress created by family, friends, work and themselves. It's a combination of psychological and physical 'stressors'. Much of the psychological stress we experience is a largely a product of how we think - our attitude. In the twenty first century, psychological distress often has more to do with our overreaction to situations than it does to the actual external pressures. It's not so much as what happens to us, as how we react or respond to the situation or event. Ten thousand years ago as fisher hunter-gatherers, our stress response to a bear, a snake or a fire heading towards us was critical for our survival. Now the threat posed by such physical stressors has largely been replaced by a new range of far more subtle and insidious psychological stressors. Much of this is the psychological pressure people feel as a result of something happening around them or to them. The pressure of too much work, deadlines or exams, complex relationships, arguments or being 'told off'. However, the difference between positive 'eustress' and negative 'distress' is how a person interprets these events and how many of them they're subjected to.

Fortunately there are many strategies we can use to take control of this stress which can easily be incorporated into our everyday activities. However, when you are stressed, you rarely have the skills to step back and identify the cause. Even if you do, it's difficult to take action if you have not been given the tools you need to take control of the situation or your reaction to it. Stress, and the negative thinking that goes with it, can become an addiction. Negative thinking becomes a habitual way of responding, and a downward spiral begins - down into more and more negative thinking and as a result more and more stress.

The new forms of physical stress add to our burden of psychological stress, but are often so subtle or such an integral part of our busy lives that we remain oblivious to them. These physical stressors produce a negative effect on our bodies no matter how or what we think about them. You may be surprised to learn that the main ones include your alarm clock, the modern media, low quality food, loud noises, short or poor quality sleep and late nights. As we become more psychologically stressed we actually have a tendency to expose ourselves to more of these particular physical stressors. For example, if you are not getting enough sleep, you have to rely more and more on your alarm clock, and if you oversleep and wake up already fatigued, you may not have time for breakfast or may feel you need to jerk yourself in wakefulness with a shot of caffeine. Because we feel pressured and fatigued we may resort to junk foods and energy boosters, such as sugar and fat laden foods to get through the day. Or you reach the weekend feeling as twisted as a pretzel, and a bit too much partying is needed to 'unwind'. So the stress spiral becomes tighter and tighter.

Much of what is aired on television is negative and shows scenes that our subconscious mind does not distinguish from reality, particularly scenes of violence and brutality. Our minds aren't designed to cope with seeing these events every night on the news. While our conscious mind can override these images to a large degree, even an adult will still experience some subtle negative influence in the brain.

The alarm clock blaring creates an instant state of stress which is aggravated by the grating voice of the radio announcer trying to sound as though they're awake. The body is propelled from deep sleep to a state of ready to fight off anything. Similarly, loud noises are also a stress which destroy concentration in the short term and hearing in the long term. Blaring iPods (and I have one but don't have it on too loud) are not only a major issue for hearing loss but also an increased number of waking accidents at road and railway crossings.

Poor food stresses the body as it depletes nutrients which are essential for its effective functioning. Top of the list are the highly processed foods with sugar, salt, fat and food additives. Don’t be mislead by the plethora of ridiculous attempts to make processed food look healthy. My guide is that if it is processed it has become a stressor on the body and is no longer a food. Eating quickly and overeating also places stresses on your digestive system. You can't absorb the nutrition in your food as effectively if you gulp your meal and overload your stomach by eating too much. Eating this way requires more effort from your digestive system, more blood is redirected to your gut, making you feel sluggish, fatigued and more stressed.

At last, the end of your busy day and time for well-earned sleep. But can you get to sleep, and when you do, do you get enough? Mostly, you just don’t seem to get enough. Poor sleep and going to bed late adds to the toll exacted by psychological stress. The average length of sleep has declined from around 9 hours a hundred years ago to seven hours today. And the depth of sleep has also declined, thanks to television, caffeine, increasing work pressures and Thomas Edison inventing the electric light. Welcome to the 24-hour stress cycle. Each little bit adding onto the next little bit and the result being more health problems and lower productivity.

Signs of stress and stress related health disorders include sleep problems, digestive and eating disorders, headaches, anxiety, depression, anger and hostility, drug abuse, overeating and eating disorders. These have all reached epidemic proportions in our busy society, even in kids. Too much stress reduces our capacity to function effectively. Stress can short circuit memory and brain function, causing decreased concentration, mental focus and memory, making it more difficult to think clearly, particularly during more stressful periods, such as exams. Stress limits your personal power and the more stress you have the greater are the limitations imposed on reaching your potential.

Another very significant effect of distress is the gradual depletion of the immune system. As early as 1977 studies showed immunosuppression amongst people under stress, as well as students during stressful periods, such as exams. More recent studies have found people with higher levels of psychological stress show a greater susceptibility to infectious disease. Subjects with higher rates of stress were significantly more likely to contract respiratory infections than those who lead comparatively ‘stress free’ lives.

Lesser-known effects of distress include increased cortisol output, resulting in increased appetite and weight gain and depletion of certain nutrients in the body. Current research suggests that stress may play a significant role in increasing the body’s requirement for a range on nutrients, such as C, E, A and B-complex vitamins, minerals such as magnesium, zinc and calcium and omega 3 fatty acids. Fortunately, some animal studies have also shown the effects of stress-induced oxidative damage (free radicals) can be reduced through a diet high in antioxidants.

The good news is stress can be managed and even made into something positive. There are many studies that demonstrate the use of various techniques, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapies such as goal setting and cognitive restructuring, relaxation, meditation, physical activity and dietary changes. Any of these approaches used alone or in combination (and research shows that a combined approach is more effective) can dramatically reduce negative stress. Making time to manage your stress can result in significant improvements in your productivity, and your health. Use as many of the techniques and strategies listed below as you can.

Diet

Eat less processed food.

Eat as much wholesome and nourishing food as you can, particularly green vegetables, fruit, nuts and beans as they are 'super foods'.

Avoid artificial food colours (102-150).

Have a fresh vegetable juice instead of a soft drink. Don't you know they're called soft drinks because they make your thinking mushy?

The latest research shows 3-4 juices a week dramatically reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Environment

Find a nice place to relax, to be able to just get away.

Open the windows for some fresh air.

Play some Baroque music

Attitude

Set your goals.

Learn some simple techniques to control those busy voices in your head. Yes, of course you have voices. Take control of them. Rather than letting them control you, write down all the dramas you have in a jouornal. Get them out of your head and put them in perspective.

Realise that we often stress over small and relatively unimportant things. They may seem important now but they won't be in a few weeks and you'll wonder what all the fuss was about if you remember them at all.

Lifestyle

Develop the skills to relax. Take some slow, deep breaths – the more the better.

Learn to meditate. Even 10 minutes a day is a great start, or take up yoga to stretch your body and mind.

Get more exercise. Exercise is one of the best ways to de-stress, as it breaks down the stress hormones in your body. Just a quick five minute walk can do wonders. I tell my students to go for a brisk 10 minute walk before exams as it lowers stress and increases the blood flow to the brain. Which is just what you want to improve your thinking.

What’s great about all these strategies is that they also improve the overall health of the individual and reduce susceptibility to most of our twenty first century chronic diseases. They'll also improve your thinking and consequently your results at work.

And my final message: wake up to the effects of stress on you now. If you seem to think you don't need to manage your stress better, then you probably really DO need to. One of the primary symptoms of suffering from too much stress is thinking that you're coping just fine. Implementing some simple strategies now can enhance health and well being for life.

Author of "Take Control and Realise Your Potential" a book on how to manage your stress