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The connection between gut bacteria and obesity has gained some weight, with new findings demonstrating links in mice among immune-system malfunction, bacterial imbalance and increased appetite.[1]

Mice with altered immune systems developed metabolic disorders and were prone to overeating. When microbes from their stomachs were transplanted into other mice, they also become obese. These latest findings add weight to the growing appreciation about the role of the bacteria in and on our bodies.  We are all outnumbered in terms of human versus bacterial cells and the concept of human and bacteria symbiosis as a super-organism is gaining traction.

Already there have been strong associations between asthma, some cancers, autoimmune conditions and unwanted weight gain.

Gut Bacteria May Make You Fat

Friday, 05 March 2010 by | Comments: 2
Reading Time: 18 minutes

Obesity: A consequence of adverse inflammation & microbial disruption?

By Michael Ash BSc(Hons) DO, ND, FDipION

Published in CAM 2005

Overweight and obesity are serious, chronic medical condition associated with a wide range of debilitating and life threatening and economically burdensome conditions. The recent and extensive increases in obesity among Europeans are eroding many recent health gains.

Paradoxically the economically wealthier communities of the world continue to over consume food and food products, whilst other nation communities still suffer from food deprivation and starvation, due in the main to drought, floods, ‘acts of God’, corruption and conflict. Approximately 9.5% of the global burden of disease is currently attributable to being underweight,[1] whilst there are now hundreds of millions of people (>500) in developed and developing countries that are overweight or obese. This condition of excessive weight is now so common that it is rapidly replacing malnutrition and infectious diseases as the most significant cause of ill health[2]. An escalating global epidemic of overweight and obesity – “globesity” – is taking over many parts of the world.

Disease Incidence Prevention by Serum 25(OH)D Level

Wednesday, 03 March 2010 by | Comments: 1
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In the last few years a considerable consensus across the scientific community has begun to emerge concerning the fat soluble nutrient Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is unique – unlike ALL other vitamins very little comes from our food. Almost all of our Vitamin D is produced by the upper surface of our skin during direct exposure to UV radiation in strong sunlight. However in the UK and most of the USA the sun is too low in the sky from November until March to produce any Vitamin D from sunlight exposure. The fat soluble nutrient supplies are meant to rely on a summer exposure to increase our stores to supply what we need during the winter.

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There remains controversy in the medical fields about the value of antioxidants, or risk of antioxidants in patients with cancer. In the Journal of International Medical research a pilot trial followed 41 patients over a 9 year period who had been diagnosed with end stage cancer. During this time they were given a mix of antioxidants including; Coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, selenium, folic acid and betacarotene.

The treatments were well tolerated and produced a > 40% increase in survival  time with 76% of the patients surviving far longer than predicted. Whilst the study accounted for all participants and the disease course was well illustrated in all of the patients, there is a lack of retrospective design, matched controls and no blinding.

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Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis are understood to have a number of genetic related risks, but increasingly scientists are having to accept that our double helix does not predict our health risks except in a few single gene diseases such as cystic fibrosis, the haemoglobinopathies. In fact the enormous endeavours and resources spent pursuing this elucidation have produced surprisingly modest practical benefits.

Even when dozens of genes have been linked to a trait, both the individual and cumulative effects are surprisingly small and nowhere near enough to explain earlier estimates of heritability.[1]

The recent discovery by a New Zealand group that there are a number of childhood factors associated with the development of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, further supports the concept that environment – in this case during childhood plays an important role in modulating the risk for developing these conditions. The rising incidence of these diseases over the last 50 years also supports the role of environment, as genes take many hundreds of years to change.[2]

Obesity, Probiotics and Pregnancy

Saturday, 20 February 2010 by
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There are numerous reasons to lose weight but scientists continue to explore complex connections between weight and health risks. A new study in the journal FASEB using rats as a model found that those mothers overweight during pregnancy passed on cellular programming in utero that made their off spring predisposed to inflammation related diseases including Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Stroke, Heart Disease and others from the day they are born. Even more depressing was the discovery that it made no difference if the off spring maintained normal weight during their life.

To determine this link the scientists gave rats one of three diets; (low-fat, high-saturated fat, and high-trans fat) four weeks prior to mating and throughout pregnancy and lactation. The high-fat diets rendered the mice clinically obese. The science team analysed the brains of the newborn pups after challenge by inflammatory stimuli.

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Approaches to Curing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Gulf War Syndrome and Possibly Many Others by Martin L. Pall, PhD

From the Townsend Letter
February / March 2010

Abstract

The NO/ONOO− cycle is a biochemical vicious cycle that is thought to cause such diseases as chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), fibromyalgia (FM), and possibly a large number of other chronic inflammatory diseases. The chemistry/biochemistry of the cycle predicts that the primary mechanism is local such the depending on where it is localized in the body, it may cause a variety of different diseases. Previous studies have shown that agents that lower such cycle elements as oxidative stress, nitric oxide, inflammatory responses, mitochondrial dysfunction, tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) depletion and NMDA activity produce clinical improvements in CFS/ME and FM patients, consistent with the predictions of the cycle mechanism. Multiagent protocols lowering several aspects of the cycle appear to be the most promising approaches to therapy. These include an entirely over-the-counter nutritional support protocol developed by the author in conjunction with the Allergy Research Group. However, such

Vitamin D Vs Crohn’s (IBD) & Cancer

Wednesday, 10 February 2010 by
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Crohns disease is an inflammatory disease of the intestines that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from anus to mouth, causing a wide variety of symptoms. It primarily causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea (which may be bloody), vomiting, or weight loss, but may also cause complications outside of the gastrointestinal tract such as skin rashes, arthritis and inflammation of the eye.[1]

A new study has found that Vitamin D, readily available in supplements or cod liver oil, can counter the effects of Crohn’s disease.[2]

The data collated in this study suggests, for the first time, that Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to Crohn’s disease. Epidemiologically it had already been noted that people from northern countries, which receive less sunlight, necessary for the fabrication of Vitamin D by the human body, are particularly vulnerable to Crohn’s disease.[3]

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The Brain is a highly sensitive collection of tissues about which much is known. However a greater proportion of understanding is yet to be elucidated. One of the areas of interest, especially as the burden of psychological problems continues to grow is in the effects of exogenous toxins on the formation and function of the brain.

The WHO recognises that the burden of mental ill health will continue to grow and may become the second biggest health complaint by 2020. The increasing data sets supporting the role of nutrition and toxicity being either causes or aggravants means that we as nutritional therapists will see an increasing number of patients presenting hungry for specialist knowledge to reduce the burden of their mental ill health.

Chronic Fatigue Responds to Antioxidants

Monday, 08 February 2010 by | Comments: 9
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Many researchers have investigated effective treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), but Martin Pall, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University, and author of Explaining “Unexplained Illnesses”, is the first to suggest a plausible underlying cause and therapeutic method of treatment. Pall, who came down with a severe case of CFS in 1997 and fully recovered in 18 months, has dedicated the rest of his career to understanding and treating these illnesses.

Pall has discovered that abnormal levels of nitric oxide (NO), high levels of peroxynitrite (ONOO-) and superoxide activate the disabling and widely varying symptoms that characterise this entire group of unexplained illness. The fundamental approach: reducing NO-related free radical activity.

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