Michael van Straten is an Osteopath (retired), Naturopath, Acupuncturist and Nutritional Consultant

Your newsletter from Michael van Straten

Michael van StratenMichael van Straten is an osteopath (retired), naturopath, acupuncturist and nutritional consultant. He's also one of the UK's most respected medical authors, broadcasters and journalists and has written more than 40 books, which have sold over a million copies worldwide.

Here comes Christmas again, and are you ready? Not if your home is anything like mine. But at least Christmas is much less commercial here in France. The town Tree goes up with the lights and decorations in the last week of November and there is not a frenzy of shopping. If you see a trolley overflowing with booze in the supermarket, it is sure to a Brit!

There is always a Christmas Market in the square and lots of delicious things to buy, but also people selling homemade food and handy crafts for charity. One of the largest stalls is the Secours Catholique which sells donated items to raise money which they use to help people in difficulty.

In this Newsletter you will find a mixed bag of health advice and information, much of it to help you enjoy and survive the festivities. We start off with tips to avoid the inevitable bloat as we settle on the sofa to watch the Queen’s Speech. There has been an outbreak of salmonella in babies; why? See the answer and more health news items below.

You’ll find disturbing accounts of the way in which pesticides affect female fertility and polluted air that we all breathe reduces the quality of sperm. A women tells how she was allergic to the colouring in her prescribed pills and another great letter from a reader describing her treatment for PMT.

There is a doctor who thinks the wonderful Peppa Pig is driving parents to abuse their GPs and another with dire warnings about the risks of tattoo ink and cancer. But, there is good news for all you coffee drinkers and best of all, a doctor who believes that Man Flu is a genuine illness – see, I said I was ill!

Do you want a new you for 2018? I will tell you how to do it.

I wish you all a happy and peaceful holiday and send my good wishes for a healthy year to come in 2018.

Thanks for reading my Newsletter and you can look forward to more health stories in the New Year.


This Months News


Keep up to date with the latest from my research, find out when I'm broadcasting and download my latest healthy information:


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Seasonal alternatives


Lizard Mania and Salmonella
One worker in a UK food factory has already lost his job after he was infected by his pet lizards. If you or your children keep these reptiles as pets, always wash your hands thoroughly after handling them. Don’t allow the lizards near food, on kitchen work surfaces or to eat off your plate.

» Read more here

High Exposure To Pesticides Reduces Women’s Fertility
A new study has found a potentially harmful link between eating fruits and vegetables high in pesticides and having lower reproductive rates.

» Read more here

Colouring In Pills Can Cause AllergiesColouring In Pills Can Cause Allergies
When Kammy Eisenberg broke out in hives last December, she attributed it to stress. But the rash persisted, and she was covered in hives “from head to toe” for eight months.

She eventually consulted Dr. Robert Swerlick, an Emory University dermatologist known to take on difficult cases, who reviewed her medical record and suggested that since she was allergic to sulpha drugs, she might also be sensitive to dyes used to colour medications.

» Read more here

I Like Coffee, You Might Like Tea?
Moderate coffee drinking “more likely to benefit health than to harm it” says experts

» Read more here

Poor Quality Air Damages More Than Your Lungs
Air pollution linked to poorer quality sperm and might spell infertility for “significant number of couples,” say researchers.

» Read more here

Mercury Amalgam Fillings In Teeth Are Safe
A European Commission committee has concluded that amalgam fillings pose no systemic health risks to humans and that no justification exists for removing fillings that are functioning properly.

» Read more here

What You Should Know About The Risks Of Tattoo Inks
Tattoos are more popular than ever. To date, the most well-documented adverse effects are at the site of the tattoos. These include skin infections, granuloma formation, and allergic reactions. But now, concerns are being raised about the long-term toxic effects of the tattoo inks.

» Read more here

Chicken Out Of Antibiotics
As the Government launches yet another useless plan to reduce the number of prescribed antibiotics, we hear a scary story from the US. The John Hopkins School of Public Health has found that workers on intensive chicken farms are 32 times more likely to carry resistant bugs.

» Read more here

How To Beat The Bloat This Christmas

On average UK adults consume around 7,000 calories on Christmas Day alone! That’s four times the recommended daily amount for women and three times that for men.

High in saturated fat, salt and sugar the typical Christmas diet of chocolates, cheese, canapés, roast dinners and rich, sticky puddings means the turkey won’t be the only thing that gets stuffed over the holidays. As a nation, we gorge on an average of 7,000 calories over the course of Christmas day and a staggering 114.2g of fat. That is four times the recommended daily amount for women, and three times that for men.

Foods high in sugar, saturated fats and dairy, not to mention too much alcohol are the perfect recipe for digestive discomfort. Plus hard-to-digest foods and alcohol both take their toll on the liver.

Although Christmas is the time of year when we can relax, socialise and yes, over-indulge a little, consuming a hefty 46,000 calories over the 12-day period can leave you feeling not only festively plump but also a little uncomfortable. Common symptoms include indigestion, upset stomach, nausea, bloating and wind.

» Read more here

Thisilyn® Artichoke can help you enjoy your festivities to the full – see my hangover cure further down - alleviating pain and discomfort, caused by over-indulgence of rich food and drink - so you can look forward to the New Year exercise regime!

What's more, research shows that artichoke leaf extract can improve liver enzyme profile as well as reduce cholesterol levels.

So there are benefits to taking Thisilyn® Artichoke all year round for its protective effects - and not just over the Christmas period.

Thisilyn Artichoke helps to maintain normal digestion and contributes to intestinal comfort. Each tablet 320 mg of dried artichoke leaf extract which is equivalent to 1280-1920 mg of artichoke leaf.


Thislyn Artichoke.jpg - MHRA registered herbal medicine from Schwabe Pharma


Hangover Cure Or Mission Impossible?

Nature’s ancient remedies really can help you beat the Self-inflicted horrors of a great night out

Let’s start by setting the record straight – the best cure for a hangover is prevention. But even though I'm a natural health practitioner, I'm also a realist and I know that with the party season about to go into overdrive there are going to be many of our readers waking up more than once and wishing they hadn’t. That is, hadn’t abused their brains and livers to quite such an extent the night before.

You set off with the best of intentions and after the last time you’ve promised yourself it will never happen again. But one thing leads to another, a half of shandy becomes three gin and tonics, a few Baileys and vodka, then you work your way through the cocktail list! Well it’s your liver!

At least if you’re hell bent on self-destruction, give your body a fighting chance and follow my simple but highly effective Hangover Survival Plan.

» Read more here

At Last Someone Is On Our Side Chaps - ‘Man flu’ may be real

Are men wimps or do we just have weaker immune systems?

The much-debated phenomenon of “man flu” may have some basis in fact, suggests an article published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

A Canadian academic investigated the claim of man flu, meaning a cold or similar minor ailment experienced by a man who is thought to be exaggerating the severity of the symptoms.

Despite the universally high incidence and prevalence of viral respiratory illnesses, no scientific review has examined whether the term man flu is appropriate or accurate.

So Dr Kyle Sue, a clinical assistant professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, set out to determine whether men really experience worse symptoms than women and whether this could have any evolutionary basis.


Kaloba Syrup- MHRA registered herbal medicine from Schwabe Pharma


Two herbal supplements from the World renowned company Schwabe Pharma will certainly ease the symptoms and speed your recovery.

The ancient remedy of Echinacea brought scientifically up to date as EchinaCold and the extract of the African pelargonium as a syrup or tablets, Kaloba good for the chesty symptoms.

EchinaCold contains pure Echinacea, well known for its power to boost the immune system and helps prevent and relieve the symptoms of flu and colds for adults.

All the above available from www.schwabepharma.co.uk

French Take The Biscuit

This blast from the past shows just how unscrupulous the tobacco industry has been in the promotion of the deadly fags!

French biscuit eaters and manufacturers are not to be trifled with. A recent advertising campaign by Philip Morris, cigarette manufacturers, claims that eating one biscuit a day creates more risk of heart and circulatory disease than inhaling somebody else’s tobacco smoke. The enraged biscuit makers took Philip Morris to court and the judge ordered Philip Morris to end the campaign, threatening them with a fine of £125,000 for every advertisement that appeared after the court order.

The advertisements also compared the risks of passive smoking to those of drinking milk, chlorinated water, using too much pepper or frying your food in rapeseed oil - what will they think of next?

An Elbow In Your Ear

Some things lose their flavour and texture, and though many are protected by low temperature, others can be nutritionally degraded.

Last week, on my Radio Europe show, a caller asked me if it was OK to remove his earwax by using a cotton bud. NO, NO. A medical adage says you should never put anything smaller than an elbow into anyone’s ear. No hairpins, matches or bent paper clips.

Earwax is a normal part of your body’s own defences as it’s there to protect your ear canal. But too much can reduce hearing and cause pain. Try putting a few drops of olive oil into your ear morning and evening for three days. This can help soften the wax, making it easier to remove. Then, use a dropper with a rubber bulb and GENTLY squirt warm water into the ear, which should help flush out the softened wax.

If you’ve had problems with your ears before, or this doesn’t work, you must see your doctor. Cotton buds will only push wax further in. But then, another caller phoned to ask if ear candles are the answer to getting rid of ear wax.


» Read more here

How Great To Get This Letter From A Newsletter Reader

25 year old Lori is a freelance PA and In the last four years she’s had ever worsening symptoms of PMS and the most difficult to cope with has been the depression. Lori was surprised but very happy when her doctor suggested a natural herbal medicine instead of the usual drugs and the result has been spectacular

“I was a very healthy child and became a veggie when I was nine. Although my parents were both vegetarians they gave me the choice and mum was happy to cook meat and fish for me when I was younger, but it was an easy decision to follow in the family footsteps. Out of the blue when I was 17 I started getting stomach aches and all sorts of digestive and bowel problems which gradually got worse and worse. Eventually I was sent for tests and told I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome. After making changes to my diet this problem settled down and then for the first time ever I experienced some uncomfortable problems with my periods.

» Read more here



KarmaMood - MHRA registered herbal medicine from Schwabe Pharma

To give you a lift if you are down in the slumps, use KarmaMood, the registered extract of St John's Wort, a long standing traditional herbal medicine for the relief of low mood and anxiety.

St. John’s Wort is proved to be an extremely effective treatment for mild to moderate depression and to be virtually free of side effects. Anyone taking blood thinning drugs should speak to their doctor before using St. John’s Wort as it may be necessary to adjust the dose of medication.

For more information on these natural medicines go to www.schwabepharma.co.uk


Doctor Takes Beloved Peppa Pig To Task In The BMJ

Peppa PigPeppa Pig may encourage inappropriate use of primary care services

Exposure to the children’s television series Peppa Pig may be contributing to unrealistic expectations of primary care and encouraging inappropriate use of services, suggests a doctor in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Dr Catherine Bell, a general practitioner based in Sheffield, has often wondered why some patients immediately attempt to consult their GP about minor ailments of short duration. As the mother of a toddler and frequent witness to Peppa Pig, she thinks she might have discovered the answer.

» Read more here

My granddaughter is a great fan of this delightful show, so I have seen a few episodes. Methinks the Doctor doth protest too much. Of course the article is tongue in cheek, but in reality I recognise my old country GP from my childhood in Dr Brown Bear. He was a great doctor, a formidable man who was always kind but firm, quick to act when needed, but reassuring when all was well.

Is Dr Bell assuaging her guilt for the appalling service rendered by many of today’s GPs?


A New You For 2018

Peppa PigHow to feel good, look great and be fitter, sexier, healthier and more energetic next year than you have ever been before!

Glowing health is every woman’s birth right throughout a life full of energy together with a positive outlook, peace of mind and spirit. You deserve the health that brings you a clear skin, bright eyes, shining hair, and freedom from menstrual and menopausal problems, as well as avoiding osteoporosis, PMS, infertility, difficult pregnancies and chronic fatigue.

During each era of life there are specific nutritional needs but these are in addition to the essential Vitality Eating Plan which is a woman’s passport to good health. No amount of sensible eating is a guarantee of a problem-free life but it certainly stacks the odds heavily in your favour. But don’t make the mistake of becoming a fanatic – there’s nothing worse than the friend who brings a paper bag of mung beans and grated organic carrots when they’re invited to your house for a meal.

Healthy eating means what you do most of the time, so never forget that ‘a little of what you fancy’ is nearly always good for the soul.

» Read more here

A Few Snippets to Finish

Winter Scene

Here are a few things I found interesting this month:

  • E-Male - the way to a healthy heart
  • Backache? You’re better off with an osteopath than your GP
  • Food for Thought
  • Hernias - Men Only?
  • Fancy that .... On your bike?

» Read more here


Thanks for reading my Newsletter and you can look forward to more health stories in the New Year.  Eat well - live longer.


Michael van Straten - Osteopath (retired), Naturopath and Acupuncturist D.O., M.R.N., M.B.Ac.A.

Copyright 2016 Michael van Straten ~ all rights reserved

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