ifm2016aiclandingbannerv5--webAntony Haynes BA, RNT explores some of the material presented at the 2016 annual conference. Please listen to the linked podcast whilst standing up or moving around. The reasons will become clear in just a minute. Listen here.

From 12th to 14th May 2016, the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM) hosted its 25th annual conference, in San Diego, California[i]. This year the conference title was “Modifiable Lifestyle Factors: Innovative Movement & Restorative Strategies to Optimise Patient Outcomes.”

cti_cimageMay 2016 saw the publication of an open access article, that beautifully captures the zeitgeist of how the food we eat, the microbiome we possess, the genes we express and the metabolomics information we produce coalesce into a risk benefit model.[1]

1-s2.0-C20090377144-cov150hAntony Haynes, BA, RNT explores two key questions realted to supplementation with B12 and Folic acid. Want to listen to a pod cast? click me

  1. Should we fortify foods with folic acid to help reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs)? &
  2. Are there really dangers of ingesting too much folic acid, particularly with regard to neurological conditions?

Some countries such as the United States, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, South Africa and others have implemented fortification policies with a risk reduction of between 20 and 50%, on average about a third.

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5.coverThe Journal of Nutrition published a review paper looking at whether the long term use of a multivitamin increased or decreased risk of a cardiovascular incident in men.[1] In summary the longer men ingested multivitamins – greater than 20 years being the time frame the authors highlight, the better their chance of avoiding a major CVD event.

Although multivitamins are widely used by US adults, few prospective studies have investigated their association with the long- and short-term risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

riskDr Carrie Decker ND explores the relative risk of generating an adverse response to sugars and the environmentally related triggers.

Associated with the recent World Health Day of 8th April 2016 the first “Global Report on Diabetes” was published by the World Health Organization (WHO). The statistics on diabetes highlighted in this publication are alarming: diabetes has almost quadrupled since 1980 from 108 million to an estimated 422 million adults; diabetes is the number one cause of death, with 1.5 million people directly dying associated with diabetes in 2012.  More than 43% of these deaths occurred in individuals under the age of 70 years old. The increase in type-2 diabetes (T2DM) has been observed to mirror the increasing prevalence in individuals who are overweight and obese. These numbers are also concerningly high, with 1 in 3 adults over the age of 18 being overweight and 1 in 10 being obese.[1]  

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imagesDr Todd Born ND explores the existence of thyroid abnormalities.


Albeit, somewhat controversial in terms of  whether or not subclinical hypothyroidism exists, it may be technically defined Subclinical thyroid disease (SCTD). This  is defined as serum free T(4) and free T(3) levels within their respective reference ranges in the presence of abnormal serum TSH levels.[1]


Depending on the source, the prevalence ranges from 4 to 15 percent.[2]  From 1988 to 1994 (I could not locate more up to date data), in the US National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES III), excluding known thyroid disease, 4.3 percent of 16,533 people had subclinical hypothyroidism.  As we age prevalence increases.  It is present more often in females than males, and lower in blacks than in whites.[3]

Dare-13-what_do_i_really_want_via_tThis post originally appeared on Follow @iammarkmanson on Twitter.

Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room.

Everyone would like that—it’s easy to like that.

If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything.

A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

mBio150pxwide-11Now there will be those tempted to see this as a pitch for drinking more red wine….but let’s try and keep this in perspective, you see a this research looked at a compound found in red wine, resveratrol.  It found that it reduces the risk of heart disease by changing the gut microbiome, according to a new study by researchers from China. The study is published in mBio, an open-access journal published by the American Society for Microbiology.[1]

The authors are recorded as stating:

“Our results offer new insights into the mechanisms responsible for resveratrol’s anti-atherosclerosis effects and indicate that gut microbiota may become an interesting target for pharmacological or dietary interventions to decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases,”

Focus May 2016What you can’t digest may make you stronger—at least in the case of prebiotics—those unique plant fibres that nourish the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics, called oligosaccharides because they are actually long-chain, natural ‘sugars,’ profoundly benefit health and well-being. First identified twenty years ago by Marcel Roberfroid of the University of Louvain in Belgium1, prebiotics have already attracted and stimulated wide-ranging research in nutrition and medicine. New developments in molecular microbiology are allowing scientists to accurately measure the impact of prebiotics on our health, and have led to novel insights about how to protect and nourish a healthy gut.2 As Roberfroid wrote in 2010: “A large number of human intervention studies have…demonstrated that dietary consumption of certain food products can result in statistically significant changes in the composition of the gut microbiota…The prebiotic effect is now a well-established scientific fact.”3 He is echoed by cardiologist Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD, of the Cleveland Clinic, who studies gut microbes and their metabolites in mice. “If I had to choose and guess,” Hazen told Nature Medicine in July of 2015, “I would say that a prebiotic is going to be more potent than a probiotic, actually, in terms of shifting the microbial composition.”4



The relationship between the gut and the nervous system—which includes the brain, peripheral, immune and enteric nervous systems—has become a hot area of research over the last 20 years. There is a proposed ‘axis of emotion’ that is subject to a constant reciprocal exchange of information using neural, immune, endocrine, metabolic and emotional pathways.

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