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Although it himagesas already been known for some time that the brain does not remain rigid in its structure even in adulthood, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences made a surprising discovery: The brain is not only able to adapt to changing conditions in long-term processes, but it can do so every month. The researchers observed that in women, in parallel to the rhythm of the level of oestrogen across their menstrual cycle, the structures of the Hippocampus vary — a brain area that is crucial for memories, mood and emotions.

Review of Migraines

Wednesday, 31 August 2016 by

HeadacheAntony Haynes BA, RNT explores the nutritional links with Migraines. The recent heat wave in England in July 2016 with blue, cloudless skies & over 30 degree temperatures has been welcomed by most. However, some people suffer migraines in the bright sunshine, and this is what prompted me to focus on this subject matter, because I used to suffer from completely debilitating migraines myself after playing tennis in the bright sunshine. You may listen to the podcast of this piece here.

This is a review of the subject of migraines and of research into the possible role of key nutrients in the resolution of this disabling condition. You can read this document on the screen, and that gives you the opportunity of viewing the many references provided at the end. The review will take a brief look at the definition and description of migraine, then the incidence of it throughout the world, and then and of most interest, at the possible nutritional interventions that may bring some relief to sufferers.

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imagesAntony Haynes BA(Hons) RNT undertakes a review of NeuroBiogenic Amines from a nutritional perspective. If you would like to listen rather than read, do visit the associated podcast here

This is a brief review of NeuroBiogenic Amines (NBA). The aim is to introduce you the names of the most important NBAs and describe briefly the functions that they have.

Next, the intention is to share with you information about a new lab test for them and lastly, & of utmost relevance to Nutritional Therapists, it will be described how one might then use nutritional intervention to support a balance of these all important brain chemicals and thereby have a significant impact on a person’s health & well-being.

Although the death rate from stroke is declining (mostly), it is rising for other neurologic diseases such as Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease (PD). As opposed to Alzheimers we can pinpoint the abnormality in the brain that leads to PD, which involves a substantial destruction of the dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra. By the time an individual has lost 50%-70% of the dopamine-producing neurons in this region, the symptoms of PD, such as tremor, slowness of movement, rigidity, and impaired balance and coordination, are already apparent.

You might think that simply giving dopamine ( as is currently the primary therapy) would resolve the symptoms, but any of the initial benefits of dopamine soon erode, leaving the patient trapped in a body that is increasingly less responsive. We also know that PD is associated with neuroinflammation and energy system dysfuntion (these two events are interlinked). Therefore, we need a therapy that assists both to offer a greater opportunity of clinical success.[1]

A recent article in Medscape (Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2013;9(8):735-747.) looked at the role of foods in the management of IBD. The author Lynette Ferguson summarised some of the key areas, and this summary is a synopsis of her paper.

Inflammatory bowel disease includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which are both inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Both types of inflammatory bowel disease have a complex aetiology, resulting from a genetically determined susceptibility interacting with environmental factors, including the diet and gut microbiota. Genome Wide Association Studies have implicated more than 160 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in disease susceptibility. Consideration of the different pathways suggested to be involved implies that specific dietary interventions are likely to be appropriate, dependent upon the nature of the genes involved. Epigenetics and the gut microbiota are also responsive to dietary interventions. Nutrigenetics may lead to personalized nutrition for disease prevention and treatment, while nutrigenomics may help to understand the nature of the disease and individual response to nutrients.

At the International Liver Congress 2013: 48th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). An abstract was presented exploring the role of probiotics in the reduction of risk for development of hepatic encephalopathy Abstract 78. Presented April 26, 2013.

When a patient or client presents with thyroid challenges, it is worth remembering that the thyroid is a dynamically affected tissue which means that it may spontaneously revert to normal. The natural history of sub-clinical hypothyroidism is variable; thyroid function normalises spontaneously in some subjects, whereas it progresses to overt hypothyroidism in others[1],[2]

The clinical evidence is clear that prior to offering thyroid replacement, identifying underlying triggers for thyroid dysfunction is a must.

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The fact we are not ill more often is due to the remarkable capacity our bodies have to revert to a state of ‘homeostasis’ – a somewhat dull word provided by Walter Cannon in the early 20th century to summarise the work of the physiologist Claude Bernard who was based in Paris in the 1850s. It has dominated biology, physiology and medicine ever since. Homeostasis is regularly used to describe the exquisite intrinsic ability we possess to respond to, counteract and adapt to external and internal sources of damage and disturbance to maintain health/function in us and other living organisms.

A more contemporary – albeit controversial term to describe this is: ‘Homeodynamics’.[1] This is the concept that we are not static but constantly adapting. Homeodynamics, accounts for the fact that the internal milieu of complex biological systems is not permanently fixed, is not at equilibrium, and is subject to dynamic regulation and interaction among various levels of organisation. Aging, senescence and death are the final manifestations of unsuccessful homeodynamics and in utero exposure represents the first opportunity and experience  for remodelling and constant adaptation.

Most Nutritional Therapists are comfortable in the concept and application of concentrated essential fatty acids especially fish oils as a means of altering abnormal inflammatory pathways in the body. Some EFA’s are perceived to be anti-inflammatory and others pro-inflammatory. Whilst the simplistic dichotomy of interpretation (Omega 3 Anti/Omega 6 Pro) has kept many a student content that they have mastered the art of complex fatty acid biochemistry – the reality is that cell membranes operate in a state of competitive inhibition with fatty acids of all carbon chain lengths and their role is highly sophisticated and complementary.

So…the paper out in the journal Cell this month (Sept 2010) from the lab of Prof. Olefsky at the University of California is a really exciting addition to the extensive research available – in that it elegantly describes a key anti-inflammatory mechanism using a G-protein coupled receptor.[1]

Inside our gastrointestinal tract live a family of specialised cells, co-dependent on bacteria and nutrients to send a calming message to the mucosal tissues. They have a number of variations in their make up but they are vital in their role as diplomats, passing sensitive information across the borders to provide a long term peaceful mission and maintain oral tolerance. Essentially they induce either protective immunity to infectious agents or tolerance to innocuous antigens, including food and commensal bacteria. This recent article out in the Journal of Clinical Investigation explores the current understanding of how these cells contribute to health and illness.[1]

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