Author Archive

Insights into the Early Epidemic Spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone Provided by Viral Sequence Data

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa appears to be spiralling out of control. More than ever, local and global health authorities want to know how the epidemic will develop and, above all, how to prevent it from spreading further. Certain parameters help them to determine this, such as the reproductive number, which is the average number of infections caused by a single infected individual. The incubation and infectious periods are also highly relevant; i.e. the time from infection to the onset of symptoms and the time from onset of symptoms to the clearance of the pathogen.

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Apples, Inducers of Eubiosis Driven Weight Management

Apples; great for SCFA production, restoring bacterial eubiosis in a disrupted gut and likely able to assist with weight management, say scientists in the journal Food Chemistry.[1] Apples, in general, have shown to protect against human chronic diseases due to their content of fibre and phenolic compounds. These bioactive compounds have low availability and can potentially reach to colon, modulate the balance of bacterial populations in the gut, and influence the host physiology. The apple health benefits are, in part, due to the interaction of fibre and phenolics with gut microbiota that results in changes in phenolic bioavailability and activity, and the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) after fibre fermentation.

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Dr Alex Vasquez Interview with Mike Mutzel

Our esteemed colleague Dr Alex Vasquez was interviewed this week by Mike Mutzel, a functional medicine practitioner and the result is an interesting and informative presentation that explores numerous interconnecting health disruptor’s and focuses on the health or otherwise of mitochondria.  We suggest that this is one of those presentations worth setting aside an hour or so to really explore some of the practical interventions we can use and why the interpretation of mitochondrial involvement in medicine is changing so rapidly.

October 2014 Pod cast and video from Dr Vasquez. To view visit Interview and Podcast 2014 Dr Alex Vasquez DC, ND, DO, FACN

Artificial Sweeteners Attack Health Via the Microbiome

Oh Boy… the journal Nature has this week (9.10.14) identified the insidious effect of consuming ‘diet’ or non caloric sweeteners on the burgeoning mass of human adipocytes and they have really taken a good run at it.[1]

Non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) were introduced over a century ago as means for providing sweet taste to foods without the associated high energy content of caloric sugars. NAS consumption gained much popularity owing to their reduced costs, low caloric intake and perceived health benefits for weight reduction and normalization of blood sugar levels.[2] For these reasons, NAS are increasingly introduced into commonly consumed foods such as diet sodas, cereals and sugar-free desserts, and are being recommended for weight loss and for individuals suffering from glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Medicine’s Dirty Little Secret

No, this is not about the vagaries of drugs, nor the immense pressure brought to bear on governments by the pharmaceutical behemoths determined to medicate everyone. It is about something discussed a number of times in this educational web site – Faecal Transplant Therapy.

Numerous people have utilised this mechanism to resolve persistent and life threatening conditions, in effect re-seeding their colon with bacteria from a healthy and willing donor can have dramatic beneficial effects – even if the process is challenging.

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Psoriasis, Diet and Food Concentrates

It has been argued in many cases quite vehemently that diet has no role to play in many of the common dermatological conditions that trouble people. Yet as no surprise to those who use changes in diet to assist skin management a number of studies are now confirming that seen in empirical practice – your food choice and supplement choice influences for the better or worse skin health.[1],[2]

The two papers above are useful summaries of interventions that may add improvement to the skin damage or may mitigate associated disease risk or medication side effects. Clearly as food has multiple points of intervention in human physiology, even those conditions with a high genetic association are also going to be advantageously influenced by the correct management of body health via food and food concentrates.

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Ginger Vs Migraines Compared to Medication

The journal Phytotherapy Research published an interesting article exploring the use of ginger as a treatment for migraine and comparing it to the commonly prescribed medication sumatriptan – the results are encouraging for those seeking non drug based interventions.

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What You Eat And Not Just The Number Of Calories, Is A Significant Factor In Diabetes Risk

New research in The FASEB Journal suggests that the postprandial levels of circulating metabolites in the blood of identical twins tends to be similar after a fast food meal, independent of weight difference.

If you think losing weight is enough to prevent Type 2 diabetes, don’t get your hopes up. A new research report in September 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal, suggests that you don’t have to be overweight to develop Type 2 diabetes. [1] This study compared genetically identical twins-one heavier and one leaner-and found that after eating a fast-food meal, the circulating metabolites, including those related to Type 2 diabetes, were found in both individuals at the same levels. These findings suggest that the onset of this type of diabetes is largely influenced by genetic factors and/or the composition of gut microbiota.

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Efficacy of Vitamin C as an Adjunct to Fluoxetine Therapy in Paediatric Major Depressive Disorder

A paper out in the Journal of Nutrition raises an interesting notion that augmentation of Fluoextine in paediatric patients may well enhance the clinical outcomes. Putting aside for one moment the increasing challenges faced by anti-depressants to be validated as a worthwhile therapy in mild to moderate depression, plus their numerous side effect it raises an interesting possibility.[1] A safe oral supplement of ascorbates may either biochemically or circumstantially enhance recovery in young patients and that is something worth considering.[2]

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Acid Or Alkali – What Does Food Choice Have To Do With It?

Whilst it is generally recognised and understood that diet is able to markedly affect acid-base status and that manipulating this may have a positive effect on conditions such as osteoporosis and kidney health, there is a great deal of misunderstanding as to how this may be best achieved.[1],[2]

An established (and valid) method of estimating acid loads of foods or diets is by calculating the potential renal acid load (PRAL). PRAL provides an estimate of the production of endogenous acid that exceeds the level of alkali produced for given amounts of foods ingested daily.[3]

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