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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
Reading Time: 2 minutes

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.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Most basic research relies on the use of mice as the sacrificial animal. Many of these mouse are carefully engineered to have special gene abnormalities, or to be a consistent animal in order that different laboratories can limit variability by using the same strain/species. Without doubt millions of mice have been sacrificed in the name of science, and whilst there will be considerable polarisation on the validity of their use, they have contributed an enormous amount of information to human health.

But man is not a mouse, and indeed a mouse may be adversely affected by the choice of mouse chow given to it. A remarkably elegant study by Courtney Kozyul PhD demonstrated how by changing the diet of lab mice, significantly divergent results could be collected. A few years prior, there was an understanding from labs that the local environment would impact on outcomes, now the mice chow is the next item on their radar.

Reading Time: < 1 minute

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.

Expensive Urine or Effective Triage?

Friday, 19 February 2010 by | Comments: 1
Reading Time: 4 minutes

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Victor Herbert, the outspoken Harvard nutrition scientist, was quoted by the United States well read Time magazine in a famous 1992 cover story about nutrition as saying that vitamins just gave one “expensive urine.”

This one liner has acted as a simple rebuke to the consumption of additional nutrients as food supplements – or at least the water soluble ones. It is repeated by the medical community wedded to the model that food will supply all we require, and by the skeptics who seek an easy one liner to dismiss thousands of research papers that contradict this simplistic and invalid statement.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Eu GastroPatients with symptomatic functional dyspepsia (a disorder of digestive function characterised by discomfort or heartburn or nausea) are more likely than people free of this condition to exhibit increased somatisation (conversion of an emotional, mental, or psychosocial problem to a physical complaint), more stressful life events, less belief in religion, and drink less tea , suggests the article out in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

The lead researchers say that this pattern of findings support a less reductionist approach and favours the strategy that includes considering the patient from a holistic view point.

The findings of the study suggest the importance of adopting a more comprehensive holistic bio-psycho-socio-spiritual model when dealing with functional dyspepsia patients.

IBS Not Improved by St Johns Wort

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 by
Reading Time: 2 minutes

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St. John’s wort, an herb commonly used to treat mild-to-moderate depression, may not improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) say researchers in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.[1]

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterised by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. This team proposed that St. John’s wort may help improve IBS symptoms because antidepressant drugs are often used to treat the condition and have some level of success.

Adrenal Fatigue Makes News

Monday, 11 January 2010 by
Reading Time: 2 minutes

iStock_000002195003Small(2)The Daily Mail have today published a short article on the prevalence and potential management of Adrenal Fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue is any decrease in the ability of the adrenal glands to carry out their normal functions. This can happen when your body is overwhelmed, or when stress exceeds the capacity of your body to compensate and fully recover. As a result of the increased endocrine related demands the adrenal glands can become fatigued and are unable to continue responding adequately to further stress.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

cover-mediumMicronutrient deficiencies could provide a possible explanation for why an estimated 25% of the US population who consume the least fruit and vegetables have double the cancer rate.[1] The aim of our study was to investigate the association between major dietary minerals and vitamins and the risk of bladder cancer in a US population from a region with a high incidence rate.[2]

Objective: Although the effect of fruit and vegetables on the risk of bladder cancer has been widely studied, little is known about their micronutrient components. Our aim was to investigate associations between minerals and vitamins and bladder cancer.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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Like previous epidemic and pandemic diseases, 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) may pose an increased risk of severe illness in pregnant women. To see if there were clinical experiences that matched this assumption a Californian investigation by their Department of Health reviewed demographic and clinical data reported from April 23 through August 11, 2009, for all H1N1-infected, reproductive-age women who were hospitalised or died. These included non-pregnant women, pregnant women, and postpartum women (those who had delivered ≤2 weeks previously).[1]

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