Guest: Dr. Joe Kosterich
Presenter: Patrick Reyes
Guest Bio: Doctor, speaker, author of three books, media presenter and health industry consultant, Dr Joe Kosterich wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life. He is a regular on Channel 9 and radio, writes for medical and mainstream publications, as well as maintaining a website and blog providing health information. Dr Joe gives practical motivational health talks for the general public and organizations.
Previously Dr Joe held senior positions in the Australian Medical Association and sat on numerous industry and government boards. He has extensive corporate experience in the setting up and management of medical centres and in helping businesses maintain a healthy workforce.
Segment overview: In this segment, we welcome Dr. Joe Kosterich here to talk share his knowledge on topic of health and wellness. He will be discussing the most common vitamin deficiencies he sees amongst his patients and also the benefits of taking supplements from natural ingredients to help us maintain our overall wellbeing. To find out more please visit http://www.eaglenaturalhealth.com.au/health-wellness
Patrick Reyes: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio, my name is Patrick Reyes and on today’s show we have Dr. Joe Kosterich. He is a doctor, speaker, author of three books, a media presenter and health industry consultant. He is a regular on Channel 9 and radio, writes for medical and mainstream publications as well as maintaining a website and blog providing health information. Welcome to the show Joe.
Dr. Joe Kosterich: Thank you Patrick, a pleasure to be with you.
P: Thank you. Though I did give you such an introduction, but can you please tell the listeners what it is that you do?
K: You pretty much described it there Patrick. I’m a GP, a doctor by profession but over the years of being fortunate that I get to be involved in a few other things such as the media and writing of these medical publications, for a couple of news websites, previously for a newspaper as well because I think it’s very important to try and get the messages out there. What you find in a general practice setting is that often you’re saying the same thing to lots of people one at the time and often it’s about things to do with diet, with exercise, with weight loss, with managing their stress and if you can talk to a lot of people and send the message once through media then that is often the good way to go because a lot of people are struggling with similar issues in society.
P: You do see a lot of patients every day and our topic today would be about vitamins and minerals, diets and such. What are the 5 most common vitamin deficiencies that you see amongst your patients?
K: You would seem to be in the 21st century Australians wouldn’t really see a lot of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. But we see a lot of low iron and it’s particularly in women of reproductive years because they can be losing blood obviously each month. People who are vegetarian and vegan may not be getting a lot of iron either – that’s probably the commonest one. Amazingly, there’s a lot of vitamin D deficiency and some figures suggest that that can as much as the 40% of the population. A lot of statistics, there will be arguments around those numbers but some smart message which is the useful one we don’t want to get an assumption to get burned because that’s a factor of skin cancer. But if we avoid the sun completely and we can become vitamin D deficient, so that’s quite common. Folate which is the important vitamin, there’s a lot of roles in the body in which see a deficiency of that. In a slightly lesser degree we can find there are calcium deficiencies in a lot of older people again depending upon their diet may need calcium. The other one is Vitamin B12, which a little bit like the iron comes mainly from animal rather than vegetables sources. Sometimes we find people on a vegan or on the vegetarian diet maybe deficient in Vitamin B12. A lot of older Australians unfortunately, their nutrition is sometimes not as good as it could be, typically people who are living by themselves and may not always be cooking nutritious meals and this is not at any way a criticism, it is an observation we know it happens. They can often have multiple deficiencies of vitamins and nutrients. Patrick, literally I was made aware of this, not anybody that I saw but I was made aware of just a couple of weeks ago a case of Scurvy which is a vitamin c deficiency in a teenager in Australia. Unfortunately, that’s very, very rare but the fact you get a case at all is quite remarkable and it’s just shows you that unfortunately, not everybody is getting as much nutrition from their diet as we’d like them to be able to get.
P: How to diets and modern food production impact our vitamin and mineral consumption?
K: Up until fairly recently in human history, people really tend to eat real food and by real food for instance fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, chicken, nuts, seeds, berries. We didn’t eat foods that came out of packets or manufactured that has lots of claims on them about what’s been added. Modern food production, as soon as food is processed will be taking some of the good out of it. When the more processed food are the less goodness that’s left in them because it’s just a natural part of the processing. We often find that people are eating food that have got a lot of calories as well is the problems with obesity and increasingly type 2 diabetes, but not a lot of goodness. It’s because of the amount of processed foods that we do eat and particularly our refined carbohydrate. Lot of food, or the most food can have boxes and packages that a lot of carbohydrate but not a lot of nutrition and even if it says added iron or added foliate or added something, you got to ask a of question of ‘Why they needed to add it?’ Food production does out the goodness, we have moved across to sort of placing convenience about goodness. We all live in a busy lives, we can understand how this has happened. But I think what people are now finding is that there is a bit of price to pay and we sort of thought we can have our proverbial cake and eat it too where you can have all the convenience of processed foods and it will be alright, it won’t be a problem. What we found out in the last 30-35 years of that experiment is that people are saying “We actually really do want to go back to eating decent real food because we’re not just getting the goodness from the processed food.” If you eat stuff out of the box from time to time it’s not a problem, it’s not a religion but if we’re reliant on processed foods, package foods, take away food and often these are the sort of people who will need some form of supplement because they are just not getting the goodness from their diet.
P: I see. Which do you believe in more, prevention is better than treatment or vice versa?
K: Absolutely Patrick, prevention is better than cure. For a number of reasons the obvious one being, I think most people don’t want to get sick. Obviously when you say that, but if we cannot have a heart attack, or not have a stroke or not develop cancer, people are going to say “I will prefer that option.” There are force fields, there are no guarantees in life that we can’t get ill from any cause. Obviously we are all going to die one day. There’s a lot that what we can do that make it less likely that you’re going to be ill. The other really important thing is health systems around the world are struggling to cope with demand, and there’s a lot of talk about aging population and increased demand for the medical services. In this country, they’ve got a massive budget problem, there’s going to be a certain amount of money that’s available to health, it’s not a bottomless pit. The analogy that I think is a useful one is it costs a lot less to service you out periodically, to put the right petrol in, to pump the tires, to do very simple things everyday to make it less likely that your car breaks down. If the car breaks down it’s going to cost quite lot to fix it. If you look out to your health on a daily basis you do some regular exercise, you eat sensitively, if you get enough sleep, if you maybe take a supplement when necessary – that’s going to be a lot easier. It’s going to be a lot cheaper for you, than finding the one that you are quite ill and maybe you’re in hospital for a week or two or you’re needing to take numerous medications. Both from a human perspective and from an economic perspective, we really want to be focusing on prevention.
P: What are the benefits of practitioner-only supplements?
K: There is so many supplements on the market and if you go to the chemist store, the health food shop – it’s often confusing as to which one I should take. Rightly or wrongly sometimes, if you’re talking to a sales assistant who really doesn’t have any medical health practitioner training. In talking to a practitioner about what supplement you might need they’re going to be able to better guide you to what’s going to be useful for you. Spend a little bit of time inquiring about is there any symptoms you had, also whether you has need for any blood test or other test to determine what deficiencies there might be. They can find out how you’re feeling, there’s a whole range of things that a practitioner can do. I suppose that’s about diagnosing what the problem or deficiency might be or even if it’s not a deficiency, maybe you a need some additional nutritional support. So a practitioner whose trying really sort of getting to what the problem is or what the issue is, is going to be better able to guide you and say ‘This is what is going to give some benefits to you.’ You’re certainly going to spend some money and invest in your health which is good things to do and purchase some supplements. Get the one thing you need rather than just something that you can buy because it’s available.
P: Before we go ahead and end our segment, what is a common misconception that your patients have had about maybe vitamin and mineral consumption?
K: There are quite a few Patrick. I think the commonest one is that if I get a relatively inexpensive multivitamins that got everything from A-Z, that’s going to be good for me. Unfortunately, a lot of the ones that you can get in supermarkets and in chemists’ shops, they got a lot of different components but they got so little of each one that you’re probably not getting a lot of value from it. It’s about extent in taking a multivitamin, if you had chat with the practitioner, they can generally can use one that are going to have enough of the nutrients in it that you’re going to require. I think that misconception that if you purchase something that’s going to be helpful. Something is not always better than nothing and if you’re investing in your health, you want to be investing wisely and talking with a practitioner who can direct you and give you some useful advice. It’s going to be a very, very good investment as well.
P: It’s been a pleasure talking with your today Joe.
K: You’re very welcome Patrick.
P: Thank you. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio I’m your host Patrick Reyes and we’ve been in conversation with Dr. Joe Kosterich. If you’ve missed our conversation or if you would like to listen to this interview again, transcript and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm. You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.