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Using Common Food Compounds to Manage the Gut MicrobiomeThe foods we eat commonly affect our #gut #microbiota by triggering the production of #bacteriophage, which are the viruses that infect and replicate inside #bacteria. The #microbiome is made up of hundreds of different bacteria and the #phages they host. Researchers from San Diego State University have discovered a new way to harness food as medicine by identifying common dietary compounds that can kill specific bacteria without affecting others.

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Healthy lifestyle in middle age linked to healthier life expectancyMore people are living longer thanks to the rise in life expectancy, unfortunately this also means that more people are living with diseases such as #diabetes, #cancer and #heart disease. Modifiable lifestyle factors including #smoking, #exercise, #alcohol consumption, #obesity and #diet quality can all affect both total life expectancy and the incidence of chronic disease. Many studies have shown that smoking, inactivity, heavy alcohol consumption and a poor-quality diet contribute towards a high percentage of premature deaths as well as a loss of years in life expectancy. A new study published in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal, includes data from more than 110,000 people and focuses on the effect of healthy lifestyle factors on a life expectancy free of cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

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Paleolithic diet perhaps not that paleoWhilst our ancestors’ diets would obviously have excluded highly refined foods, new research has been released to show that what they did include was starchy #carbohydrates, something that may cause disbelief amongst many ardent #paleo diet followers. During an excavation at the Border Cave in the Lebombo Mountains, scientists from the Wits Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, have discovered well preserved pieces of fibre rich, carb-heavy, #rhizomes, dated up to 170,000 years ago. This find is at least 50,000 years earlier than previous examples of cooked carbohydrates being eaten.

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‘Nutritional Dark Matter’

Monday, 20 January 2020 by
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Nutritional dark matter‘You are what you eat’, the maxim made memorable thanks to Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1826, is as important now as it was then. The vital role #diet plays in #health has been widely documented, but our understanding widely rests on the 150 #nutritional components tracked by national databases which only represent a small section of the 26,000 definable biochemicals in the food supply. This wide range of chemical diversity remains largely invisible both to us and to epidemiological studies, yet the number is only expected to rise as detection techniques improve, leading to a far greater understanding of the links between our diet and health.

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heart health benefits of a good good sleepPublished in the European Heart Journal, a pioneering new study from the Tulane University Obesity Research Center, has found that those people with a high genetic risk of #heart disease or #stroke could offset that risk with a healthy #sleep pattern. Scientists conducted a large-scale study with 385,292 participants from the UK Biobank, using them to create a genetic risk score to determine whether individuals were at high, intermediate or low risk of #cardiovascular problems. The participants were followed for 8 years, during this time they recorded 7,280 cases of heart attack or stroke. The lead researcher, Dr. Lu Qi, developed a series of health questions in order to develop a “sleep score” for the participants, considering #insomnia and #snoring, as well as hours spent asleep.

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Air pollution linked to depession and suicideThe negative effects of polluted air on our physical health is well documented and emerging evidence is now highlighting the damage it can also cause to our #mental health. University College London have conducted the first systematic review and meta-analysis of evidence connecting air #pollution to a range of mental health problems. The team of researchers reviewed data from 16 countries, looking in detail at 25 studies published up to late 2017, the results have been published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Underestimated Risks of BPA

Friday, 10 January 2020 by
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Underestimasted risks of bpa#BPA (#bisphenol A) is a chemical added to many commercial products, that when mixed with other compounds, produces strong and resilient plastics. BPA-containing plastics are commonly found in food containers, drinks bottles, hygiene products and are used to make epoxy resins that line canned foods. The health effects on the body of BPA products has proved a controversial subject. A new analysis, in the peer-reviewed Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Journal, suggests that BPA chemical levels in humans has been drastically underestimated based on a new method for evaluating exposure.

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eating all meals within 10 hours aids healthA new study published in Cell Metabolism, by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, California, offers evidence that limiting your daily eating window to 10 hours can be beneficial to our health, promoting #weight loss, improving #sleep and preventing #diabetes.  #Intermittent #fasting has been rapidly growing in popularity and encompasses everything from skipping one meal a day to fasting a few days a week, in contrast to this, #time-restricted eating  simply requires a person to consume all of their daily calories within a ten hour window.

Mitocellular Communication

Thursday, 19 December 2019 by
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Mitocellular communication#Mitochondria are the parts of cells that turn #sugars, #fats and #proteins into forms of chemical energy that the body can use to carry on living. They are #organelles that are found in the cells of every complex #organism and produce around 90% of the chemical energy required for cells to survive. They are the only organelles to retain their own genome and the communication abilities of transcription and translating in order to harvest energy. Their complex communication network allows them to stay in tune with #cellular needs and nuclear transcriptional programs and to alleviate mitochondrial dysfunction. Swiss cytologists have published a review of recent findings on the wide array of different mechanisms that contribute to these mitocellular communication networks.

Lavender and Anxiety

Thursday, 12 December 2019 by
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Lavender and anxietyWith #anxiety one of the most prevalent mental health conditions in the UK and more than 45 million working days a year being lost due to it, finding effective, safe treatments is a priority for practitioners.  Whilst psychological therapies can be incredibly effective for patients living with anxiety, they can be very hard to gain access to. The predominant treatments prescribed in general practice are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (#SSRIs), Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (#SNRIs), #pregabalin and #benzodiazepines. Whilst beneficial in alleviating symptoms in many, these drugs come with side effects. #Lavender has traditionally been used for its calming benefits, recent research led by Davide Donelli from Careggi University Hospital, Florence, aimed to assess its efficacy, in any form of administration, on anxiety and anxiety related conditions. 

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