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Coffee Controversy and Potential Benefits of by-productsThere are two main arguments to be considered when drinking #coffee, firstly its high #antioxidant status and secondly the potential risk factors associated with the #stimulant #caffeine. There have been various studies and articles written about coffee including how it can lengthen your lifespan by lowering the risk of death from several conditions including heart disease, its ability to improve memory, mood, energy and cognitive function, or how it may help the breakdown of body fat. On the other side of the argument there are reports of people suffering from dizziness, tremors and insomnia. High doses of caffeine can be linked with anxiety, digestive issues, high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate.  A new study from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has caused headlines this week claiming that the occasional coffee can cause miscarriage for #pregnant women.

Choline and Alzheimer’s

Monday, 04 November 2019 by

cholineEarlier this year researchers from Arizona State University set out to investigate the effects of #choline on #Alzheimer’s disease (#AD). Their study focused on mice bred to display AD symptoms who were given high doses of choline in their diets. As a result of the supplementation their offspring showed improvements in spatial memory compared to those who received a normal amount of choline in the womb.  The benefits of the extra supplementation proved to be transgenerational, protecting not just the mice taking the supplement through gestation and lactation but also their future offspring. As a result of this study the same scientists began new research focusing just on female mice to see whether supplementing throughout life would reduce AD pathology and even rescue memory deficits of mice already bred to contain AD transgenes.

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Nutrient composition of fish around the worldScientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef studies at James Cook University (Coral CoE at JCU), have found that 50% of coastal countries- mainly in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific- have moderate to severe nutrient deficiency. They are now part of an international team of researchers to have found that children in these areas could have substantial health improvements if they were able to consume just a small proportion of the fish caught nearby.

Financial Benefits of Probiotics

Thursday, 24 October 2019 by

 

Financial-Benefits-of-ProbioticsOver the past month millions of children will have gone back to school, as well as bringing back enriched minds they may also be starting to bring various bugs and germs into the household. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common colds are the main reason that children miss school and adults miss work. Absenteeism has a huge financial impact on businesses as well as vital educational hours missed for children. There is also a substantial strain on our health care system to care for those with acute respiratory tract infections (#RTIs). In recent years there has been a growing interest in the role #probiotics play on health outcomes. The University of California have recently published a study showing how probiotic use can lead to large economic and health savings.

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Key Foods to Boost the Immune System

Saturday, 19 October 2019 by

iStock-1079616718Biotics Research published this short article on the potential role of foods and food concentrates on the immune system, its a useful piece to read at any time of the year, but even more so when the seasons are changing.

The immune system provides a robust anatomical barrier that serves as a host defense mechanism. One of these anatomical barriers is the gastrointestinal tract, inside which there are many defense mechanisms such as peristalsis, gastric acid, bile acids, digestive enzymes, flushing, thiocyanate, defensins and gut flora. The gut flora (microbiota) is a key focus for many immunologists, however, all of these essential defense mechanisms rely heavily on the entire gastrointestinal tract functioning efficiently.

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Raw vesrus cooked diet and the gutThere have been various studies investigating the impact on the #microbiome of different kinds of diets, such as vegetarian versus meat based, but as yet none to question whether the cooking process itself alters the composition of the microbial ecosystems in our guts. Cooking involves exposing food to heat which can change the foods chemical and physical properties. Researchers from the University of California and Harvard University have set out to answer whether these alterations change the microbial environment of the #gut.

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Gut-Alcohol-and-liver-diseaseScientists have discovered that some individuals harbour a #bacterium in their #gut that produces enough #alcohol to damage their #liver even without having drunk any alcohol. The link between the gut and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (#NAFLD) was established when Drs were treating a patient who presented with severe non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (#NASH) and auto-brewery syndrome (#ABS), where an individual can become #drunk after eating sugary foods. This was despite consuming an alcohol-free diet. The individual had an ultra-high blood alcohol concentration (#BAC) which was found to have happened as a result of bacteria. The patient did recover after dietary changes and antibiotic treatment.

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Vaginal Microbiome Transplants

Friday, 04 October 2019 by

Vaginal-Microbiome-TransplantsInspired by the success of Faecal microbiota transplantation (#FMT), two teams of scientists have been researching #vaginal #microbiome #transplantation. The belief is that by transplanting a whole microbial colony, rather than just one species (as happens with a #probiotic approach), we can help the beneficial microbes effectively gain control over the #pathogens. With faecal transplants becoming one of the most successful first-line treatments for Clostridium difficile and other gut infections, the hope is that vaginal microbiome transplants can offer the same hope for those with vaginal infections.

Cognitive Bias

Tuesday, 01 October 2019 by

Cognitive-bias-lightThe role of the #nutritional #therapist is to alleviate and prevent illness and disease in individuals through lifestyle and nutrition related changes. We do this using a #holistic approach and most importantly by listening to and also retelling their story. To remain rational and objective is key in both, but almost impossible to fully achieve. It can be very hard to interpret their journey to their current state of health simply relying on the narrative and evidence alone, rather than through our own #cognitive #bias. Cognitive bias is an important source of diagnostic and intervention error and to be aware of our own bias is half the battle.

Motivating Behaviour Changes

Friday, 27 September 2019 by

Using-Language-to-Motivate-Behaviour-ChangesOne of the greatest challenges for nutritional therapists is finding ways in which to help and encourage people to change their behaviours. The science behind a healthy lifestyle is clearly not enough, if it were as simple as making people aware of facts the current obesity crisis would be simple to solve. World Resources Institute’s Better Buying Lab have written an in depth article into how language and descriptors have been successfully used to motivate people to try a more plant based diet, much of what they have highlighted can be harnessed and used to aid us in nutritional therapy clinics.

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