Digestive Health News

Secret to a healthy gut — 30 different plants a week

If you want the ultimate goal for your gut health, you need to be eating 30 types of plant-based foods every week.

Diversity is king because every fruit and vegetable, however superficially similar (say, yellow and red peppers), contains slightly different fibres and chemicals that appeal to slightly different bacteria in your gut.

“We know that people with a more diverse range of bacteria in their gut have better long-term health, with lower risk of diabetes and heart disease,” Rossi says.

“We need to feed as many different gut bacteria as we can because they all have different skills. Our new knowledge about gut health has revolutionised what it means to be human because we now know that our bodies contain more bacteria than they do human cells.”  read more

Meat Free Week : Are you up for the challenge?

 Did you know that the average Australian now consumes 27.9kg of pork per year, more than double the 11.7kg in 1975.

Aussies also eat around 27.9kg of beef per person, per year.

The World Health Organisation has classified red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

WHO found an even stronger link between processed meat – such as salami and hotdogs, and bowel cancer.

Studies show bowel cancer risk increases by 12% per 100g of red meat consumed per day and that bowel cancer risk increases by 16% per 50g of processed meat consumed per day.

Time Restricted Eating: Eating earlier in the day aids weight loss

 New research confirms that shifting mealtimes to a smaller window, earlier in the day can aid weight loss.

It also reveals that weight loss from this type of meal schedule is likely due to appetite and hunger hormone reduction, rather than calorie burning.

read more

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program awareness

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) invites people starting at age 50 – 74 years (without symptoms) to screen for bowel cancer using a free, simple test at home.

If you’re aged 50-74years old you’ll be sent a free, easy to do bowel cancer screening kit.

Bowel cancer is preventable.

Don’t underestimate the power of your poo;

Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world.

The NBCSP aims to continue to reduce deaths from bowel cancer through early detection of the disease.

Don’t throw away the chance to save your life!

read more

Bowel cancer advertising blitz planned by government

The National Government will invest $10 million in an advertising blitz to boost participation in the free and life-saving Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

This is the largest single investment in a national cancer-specific mass media campaign, reflecting the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program’s extraordinary capacity to save lives.

Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in Australia with 17,000 people diagnosed each year. From age 50, the risk of bowel cancer increases, with one in 11 men, and one in 15 women, developing bowel cancer before the age of 85.  read more

Meet your microbes at Melbourne Museum!

Gut Feelings: Your Mind, Your Microbes, is a new exhibition developed by Melbourne Museum delving into gut health.

Microbes have gone mainstream. Gut health is having a zeitgeist moment. Kombucha and kimchi are currently gracing every café menu worth its weight in smashed avocado. Mental health is on our collective minds and we are getting better at talking about it every day. But whilst we all know that swigging kefir and eating our greens is “good for us”, new science shows that our gut and mental health are linked in ways researchers are only just discovering. read more

Exciting developments at The Digestive Health Centre 

We are thrilled to announce the addition of 2 new directors, Dr Jacqui Dobson and Dr Shara Ket who join our existing director’s Dr David Rubinstein, Dr Wayne Friedman and Dr Malcolm Barnes.

Together, the medical team continue to provide the best possible digestive health care to all visiting patients.

Everyone at Digestive Health is excited to have both Jacqui and Shara onboard and are looking forward to the journey ahead.

When is Gastro-Oesophageal reflux considered abnormal in kids?

Gastro-oesophageal reflux affects about 50% of healthy babies born at term. Usually it is considered to be a normal physiological process. It is extremely common in the first twelve months of life.

Typically reflux resolves completely between 12-18 months but often improves within the first year of age.

If there are negative consequences associated with these episodes, such as respiratory symptoms, evolving oral aversion, slow weight gain or oesophagitis, then the term ‘gastro-oesophageal reflux disease’ (GORD) is used. Read more

Stan ‘The Man’ Longinidis urges men to conquer their ego and get regular health checks

Stan ‘The Man’ Longinidis was champion of the world.Australia’s greatest kickboxer, he racked up 88 wins in a 101-fight career and was an eight-time world champion, the first from the martial arts field to be inducted into the Australian sport hall of fame.

Serious aggressive bowel cancer threatened to send the big man to the canvas for the count.

But whether it’s been his state of physical fitness, a powerful mindset or his unshakeable religious faith — Longinidis isn’t sure which — he’s been able to get back up off the mat. Read more

2018 Gluten Free Expo – Melbourne Exhibition Centre

What’s On?

If you have coeliac disease, gluten intolerance, or follow a gluten free diet for other reasons, Don’t miss the Coeliac Victoria and Tasmania Gluten Free Expo 2018!

* Taste and buy hundreds of gluten free products from over 70 exhibitors
* Free sample bags for the first 2,000 visitors each day
* Coles Cooking Stage
* Listen to our expert speakers
* Gluten free street food precinct
* Members of Coeliac Victoria and Tasmania receive one free ticket per family per day

More details regarding exhibitors and speakers schedule visit         https://www.glutenfreeexpo.com.au/melbourne

New Hepatitis C therapy achieves 97% cure

Over 225,000 Australians live with Hepatitis C virus.

Most people don’t clear the virus (75%) and, unless cured, have the illness for life.

Hep C can cause liver problems. Over a long period of time some people may develop cirrhosis (scarring of liver) or liver cancer.

2 new highly effective Hepatitis C medicines are available, achieving a 97% chance of cure in all genotypes (strains of Hepatitis C).

If you have Hepatitis C, speak to your GP about whether you are eligible to commence either MAVIRET OR EPCLUSA  treatment.

read more

Don’t wait for symptoms or it could be too late!

Don’t wait for symptoms or it could be too late!

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is an annual initiative of Bowel Cancer Australia running throughout the month of June (1 – 30 June each year). Colon cancer is Australia’s second deadliest cancer.

Bowel cancer claims the lives of over 80 Australians every week.

It is one of the top five causes of premature death among Australians aged 45-74 and is the seventh leading cause of death among those aged 25-44.

Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world; 1 in 13 Australians will develop the disease in their lifetime. Have you been screened with either a Colonoscopy or Faecal occult blood test (FOBT)? read more

Bowel cancers more likely to be diagnosed in later stages

Bowel cancer is often amongst the most advanced cancers when patients are diagnosed.

Less than 50% of patients with colon cancer are diagnosed at an early stage.

This is especially apparent when compared to 92% of melanomas which are diagnosed early, as well as 82% of prostate cancers, and 77% of female breast cancers.

But the data also showed bowel cancer was being detected early among people aged over 50 — suggesting the national bowel screening program had been effective.

“Participants in the bowel cancer screening program tended to have less advanced cancers,” said Cancer Australia chief executive Dr Helen Zorbas.

“I think there’s strong data that indicates the benefit of screening.”

Are you getting enough Lycopene in your diet?

Lycopene: A Powerful Antioxidant to Help Prevent Cancer & Keep Your Heart Healthy

Do you love tomatoes? If not, after hearing about the incredible antioxidant capabilities of lycopene, you will.

Lycopene is cancer-preventative phytonutrient — an antioxidant with a laundry list of amazing benefits.

Coeliac Disease and Early Diet – A link?

In early-life, post-weaning, diet can influence the likelihood that children will develop celiac disease, according to Dutch researchers.

Children whose diets were rich in vegetables, grains, and vegetable oils at age 1 — the so-called “prudent” diet — were at decreased risk of developing celiac disease autoimmunity by age 6y. read more

Liquid Biopsy accurately detected early bowel cancers

A blood test known as a “liquid biopsy” detected circulating tumor cells (CTCs) associated with colorectal cancer with overall accuracy approaching 90%, according to a recent study

The test is not yet available in Australia for screening for bowel cancer. It is currently still under investigation in clinical trials in patients already diagnosed with Colon cancer.

The test’s accuracy varied according to the stage of the disease, including 77% sensitivity for detection of precancerous lesions in the colon. The test had sensitivity exceeding 97%, reflecting a low probability of false-positive result read more

Parents Christmas wish comes true

Thanks to the Dr Rupert Hinds, Head of Paediatric Gastroenterology at Monash Medical Centre and Digestive Health Centre specialist,  and the team at MMC, young Kingston is discharged home for Christmas read more

PPI’s and Risk of Stomach Cancer – Controversy

Even though the long-term use of PPIs may be linked to a more than doubling of the risk of developing stomach cancer according to a recent Hong Kong study, we shouldn’t be alarmed.

Of course, as significant as the increased risk is, we should also bear in mind that the overall risk factor is still low.
This equates to about 4 additional cases of stomach cancer per 10,000 people per year, which is worth keeping in perspective. 
The recent Hong Kong data conflicts with several previous studies indicate no increased risk of stomach or other GI cancers with long term PPI use.
Recent Australian statistics reveal the risk to age 75y of being diagnosed with stomach cancer is only 1 in 172 or 0.6% which is 6 cases in 1000 people, with a risk to age 75y of dying from stomach cancer 1 in 397 or 0.25%… read more

Could our food choices influence our gut bacteria?…find out on ABC iview Catalyst

Could our food be making us sick – very sick?

Check out the 1st part of this 2 part specials 27min documentary on Catalyst

This program can be viewed either directly from your desktop or ABC iview app

Watch Catalyst “Gut Reaction” (Part 1) … Watch it now!

Could PPI’s protect AGAINST dementia – New Evidence in PPI dementia controversy

Our patients continue to express concern about media reports stating that proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) use might cause cognitive impairment or dementia. In this latest study, researchers took advantage of prospectively collected data on 10,500 patients (mean age, 73) with normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment who were followed at 33 Alzheimer disease research centers… read more

Konrad’s Farewell

Dr Rupert Hinds, Head of Paediatric Gastroenterology at Monash Medical Centre and Visiting specialist to the Digestive Health Centre discharges young Konrad after 9 month stay in hospital read more

A Low Carb Diet – Made Simple!

A low-carb diet is low in carbohydrates, like sugary foods, pasta and bread. Instead, you eat real foods including protein, natural fats and vegetables.

Studies show that low-carb diets result in weight loss and improved health markers, and just about everyone knows someone who has successfully tried it! read more

Meat Free Week 18th – 24th Sept 2017 – Are you up for the challenge?

Why go meat free for Meat Free Week?

Going meat free for one week creates a great opportunity to get Aussies thinking about how much meat they eat and the impact eating too much meat may have. Recent evidence suggests the following:

  • For every 50-g portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk for bowel cancer by about 18%.
  • For every 100-g portion of red meat eaten daily increases the risk for bowel cancer by about 18%.read more

The Digestive Health Centre from humble beginnings has the inside running

Dr David Rubinstein discusses changes in Gastroenterology and Endoscopy over 40 years, when interviewed by The Leader newspaper as part of the anniversary celebrations of our centre
….read more

Gabrielle Williams MP – State Member for Dandenong, visits The Digestive Health Centre

To commemorate Red Apple Day (as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Week), Gabrielle Williams MP visited The Digestive Health Centre.She commended us on being one ” the great services in our medical precinct” and congratulated us on recently celebrating our 40 year anniversary.

Photographed left to right:

Gabrielle Williams MP.

Kate Park Assistant Manager The Digestive Health Centre

Dr Malcolm Barnes Gastroenterologist / Co-Director The Digestive Health Centre

Chris Park, CEO The Digestive Health Centre ….read more

The Digestive Health Centre – Australia’s first independent day endoscopy centre celebrates 40 years 

On Saturday 27th May, the centre celebrated 40 years in Private Day Endoscopy in style at Mon Bijou at The Adelphi Hotel in Flinders lane.

It was a momentous occasion enjoyed by referring doctors, staff and members of the community involved with the centre.

….read more

The Gluten Free Diet Fad – Are you on it?

toastI think we can all agree that the Gluten free diet has become a bit of a fad.Many people are gluten free but don’t really know what gluten is or why they are avoiding it.

We will answer the important questions related to a Gluten Free Diet

  • Is Gluten toxic?
  • Is a Gluten Free Diet healthier for you? What are the risks of following a Gluten Free Diet?
  • Does a Gluten Free Diet help with weight loss?   ….read more

 8 things to know about a low FODMAP Diet

All-you-need-to-know-about-low-fodmap-diet-e1464173324845A low FODMAP diet is effective for managing functional gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), so it is of value to patients and GPs.

Now 12 years old, the diet is being used across the world as a first line dietary therapy for both adults and children. Significant reduction of symptoms are seen in more than half (usually ~70%) of patients with IBS, in both clinical trials and real-world experience.

A 4 week trial is recommended to assess whether the diet is useful in controlling bloating and other intestinal complaints of IBS. read more..

 Is bowel cancer in your genes?

 HNPCCLynch syndrome, also known as HNPCC (Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer) is an inherited genetic mutation which increases the risk of developing bowel cancer, in young patients, average age 45y. It is caused by a fault in a gene (known as the ‘mismatch repair’ gene) that normally functions to protect a person from getting cancer. 80,000 Australians are unaware that they carry the ‘faulty’ gene. Our Gastroenterologists can arrange a gene test for you. Do you have a family member with bowel cancer diagnosed under age 50y? Do you need to be tested?  read more..

5 Foods that may protect against bowel cancer

 wholegrainWe have seen a doubling in the rates of Bowel cancer in younger patients (Age <50y) in the last decade .

Approximately 1 in 7 currently diagnosed colon cancers are in people aged 30-50y.

Did you know that a healthy diet, physical activity and regular screening could lower your bowel cancer risk by up to 75%. read more…

Do Probiotics really work?

Michael MosleyGlobally, each year we spend more than $39 billion on probiotics.

But is popping pills and powders or eating yoghurt really going to help with weight control, mood and digestion, or treating your allergies?

All promise to help balance your gut health.

And just what are probiotics, anyway?   read more…

Long-term use of Proton Pump inhibitors did NOT adversely affect bone strength


PPIs as a class have had an excellent track record of safety and efficacy since their introduction in the mid and late 1980s.

However, the class has come under intense scrutiny (including in the lay press) in the last 10 years due to multiple retrospective studies showing an association of PPI use with adverse events.

In particular, PPIs have been associated with an increased risk of osteoporotic fractures (hip, wrist, and spine). What has NOT been shown, however, strong evidence showing causality for this effect are lacking to “prove” this association. [Read More]

New Hepatitis C drugs on PBS – Over 95% cure rate


Recent advances in antiviral treatment have led to the development of new medicines for treating hepatitis C, which have a cure rate of greater than 90 per cent.  These treatments are also shorter, less complex and much better tolerated than current therapy.  The first group of these new medicines to be listed on the PBS from 1 March 2016 will ensure treatments for all genotypes of the disease are available at the same time.

These medicines are: Daklinza® (daclatasvir);Harvoni® (ledipasvir with sofosbuvir);Sovaldi® (sofosbuvir); and Ibavyr® (ribavirin).

[Read More]

Is there an association between PPI medicine and Dementia?

PPI Use and dementia - weak associationThe current study is based on information from a pharmaceutical database rather than on medical records. It is a retrospective analysis rather than prospective and therefore cannot be blinded.  The German study used public health insurer database including information on diagnoses and drug prescriptions.

[Read More]

 Bowel cancer rate rising for under 50y olds!

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Kit

Bowel cancer screening measures need to be ramped up now for the sake of patients and the economy, according to the Gut Foundation. It says the federal government could save the Australian economy $2.6 billion by doing so. Published in the Medical Journal of Australia, the report notes that existing screening tools are “highly cost effective” and that more needs to be done to counter Australia’s heavy bowel cancer toll.

[Read More]

2014 Victorian Healthcare Awards – Nomination


Dr. Wayne Friedman (Gastroenterologist) and Mrs Chris Park (CEO) were proud to attend the 2014 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards ceremony at the Savoy Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Melbourne on 13th October 2014. Pictured below with the Minister for Health, The Hon David Davis, MP.  Digestive Health were entered into the Minister’s Awards – Private hospital Excellence category, and would like to extend their congratulations to the two winners of this category – Epworth and St John of God .