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indexEncapsulating relevant, informative information into a humorous and well structured presentation is a real art. In this unusual Clinical Education team recommendation I have selected the work of comedian Simon Evans, who on the 29th July 2015 (radio 4) gave a half hour or so summary on the consequences of eating too much sugar, how that happened and why it is so difficult to stop, despite its miserable health consequences. His witty, articulate and informative summary is one of the best I have heard and suggest that you pod cast it, or save it for a car journey or activity, where you have chance to enjoy and share the experience.

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cov200hUnless you have been living in a far flung part of the world where access to data is limited most people are aware that sugar has finally been determined to be a far more problematic part of human health decline and disease risk that the much trumpeted but now derided role of fats. Recently poularised opinions, driven by scientists such as Robert Lustig and communicated via films such as Fed Up have in the minds of many made sugar the new tobacco.

PR-cover-v78_n2.inddFor some time now there has been a growing body of supportive evidence that the relationship between the bacteria in our digestive tract and our central nervous system may not be as tenuous as some may like to think. In a recent study published in Pediatric Research[1] a retrospective review of data in a small but informative group of children, indicates there may be a positive relationship between the use of a well studied probiotic and reduced risk of developing neuropsychiatric illness.

SmallLogoThe simple observation that associated mental health with food choice, ingestion and availability were apparent to the earliest of clinicians and for many people the use of foods and food concentrates have been both a help and a hindrance in managing mood and more complex neurological challenges.

Nutritional Therapists familiar with the work of Dr Abram Hoffer will be aware that some of the early work looking for bio-markers linked to nutrient need and supra dose supplementation has produced remarkable improvements in some people. However the pharmaceutical industry drove the attention of relevant clinicians towards pharmaceutical intervention, and whilst some surgical approaches have long been abandoned, talking therapies and drug therapy remain the primary point of intervention.

Vitamin A Recap

Thursday, 16 July 2015 by

journal-nutrition-imageA vitamin is a substance that makes you ill if you don’t eat it.” (Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1937).

Vitamins are natural components of foods and are organic compounds distinct from fat, carbohydrates and proteins. Vitamin A is the generic descriptor for compounds with the qualitative biological activity of retinol. Unlike beta-carotene, vitamin A is not an antioxidant and its benefit is related to its intimate relationship with immune reactions.

The effect of vitamin A on immune function is wide-reaching and its deficiency appears to affect immunity in several ways. Both the innate and adaptive immune responses are affected by lack of vitamin A.

indexThe growing knowledge in research communities concerning the symbiotic relationship we have with our bacterial organism population is increasingly reflecting that which we have been discussing for many years – namely the use of antibiotics (and many of our current lifestyle habits) is not a benign event in terms of microbiome outcomes. It seems that even short pulses of widely used antibiotics (amoxicillin and tylosin in this paper) can lead to long-term development changes in mouse pups, including increased body mass and bone growth and changes to the gut microbiota, according to a study published in Nature Communications.[1]

home_coverA group studied the effects of apples in a mouse model to determine if there was a positive consequence in the changes related to bacterial communities and inflammation markers.[1]

Apples are rich in polyphenols, which provide antioxidant properties, mediation of cellular processes such as inflammation, and modulation of gut microbiota. In this study we compared genetically engineered apples with increased flavonoids [myeloblastis transcription factor 10 (MYB10)] with nontransformed apples from the same genotype, “Royal Gala” (RG), and a control diet with no apple.

Vit D and IBD

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 by

3.coverA research paper published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal showed that if you are experiencing a period of remission with Cohn’s disease that Vitamin D confers additional benefit in restoring/maintaining appropriate gut permeability.[1]

In this small study – some 27 people were involved, all of whom were determined to be in remission at the time of the oral supplementation with either 2000 iu of vitamin D or a placebo for 90 days. They found, that patients treated with the supplementation were more likely to maintain their intestinal permeability, whereas this deteriorated in the placebo group. Increased intestinal permeability is considered a measure of gut leakiness, which is shown to predict and precede clinical relapse in CD. In addition, patients with the highest blood levels of vitamin D had signs of reduced inflammation (measured by C-reactive protein and antimicrobial peptides), and these patients also reported better quality of life.

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journal_logoThe use of Saccharomyces Boulardii as a therapeutic intervention in people with alterations in their microbiota and local immune responses has been explored for over 50 years. The multiple points of action this simple yeast initiates in terms of mucosal barrier function and immune competence has made it an attractive and safe product for many clinicians. This study published in Jun 2014 in the American Society for Microbiology explores its role in a mouse model, but opens some interesting prospects for human health.[1]

nutrients-logoThere is now considerable scientific evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can improve human health and protect against chronic diseases. However, it is not clear whether different fruits and vegetables have distinct beneficial effects. A paper in Nutrients published in May 2015 helps to tease apart some of the key mechanisms involved related to the consumption of apples.[1]

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