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Vitamin D Reduces Lung Disease Flare-ups by Over 40 Percent

indexVitamin D supplements can reduce COPD lung disease flare-ups by over 40% in patients with a vitamin D deficiency – according to new research from Queen Mary University of London. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) includes conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and is thought to affect more than 3 million people in the UK.

The NIHR-funded randomised trial, published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine, included 240 patients with COPD in and around London. Half of the patients (122) received vitamin D supplements (6 x 2-monthly oral doses of 3mg) and the other half (118) received an equivalent placebo. The risk, severity and duration of flare-ups was then compared between the two groups.[1]

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The Liver, Gut Bacteria and the Usefulness of LGG Probiotic.

coverThere are trillions of microorganisms in the human microbiome — they outnumber their host’s cells substantially — and their exact role in health and disease is only now starting to be explored. Studies have found that people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease have a different composition of bacteria in their gut from healthy individuals.[1],[2] However, it is as yet impossible to say why or what direct effect this has. Whatever the reason, changes in the microbiome are unlikely sufficient to cause disease. Instead, an emerging picture of liver disease and cancer sees their development as a process in which various factors — including a high-fat diet, alcoholism, genetic susceptibility and the microbiome — can each contribute to the progression from minor to severe liver damage, and from severe liver damage to cancer.

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Anti-Inflammatory Treatments for Depression – Do They have Merit?

s_cover_y1114For some time now, the idea that at least in part, depression is the manifestation of loss of control over defensive inflammation and that inappropriate induction of these historical  mechanisms, for a prolonged period will induce changes in behaviour and mood has been gaining ground

Whilst single intervention treatments aimed at reducing the binding of inflammation proteins and fats to key receptors or the induction and conversion of mediators are reductionist in thinking, they may also represent a primary point of care helping people recover some of their function and allowing them time to work on solving the cause.

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Perilla Targets Inflammation: Joins Traditional Gut Nutrients as Potent Anti-spasmodic and Anti-inflammatory

The remedies for gastrointestinal complaints are legion and stretch back far in human history. Ancient Chinese physicians prescribed anise for flatulence, while Dioscorides, chief physician for the Roman army, recommended garlic for parasites. Many are effective and stand the test of time, but contemporary scientific research on novel extracts offers up surprising new finds. The Asian plant, Perilla (Perilla frutescens) for example, offers valuable assistance in the management of functional gut problems.

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The Role of Probiotic Lactic Acid Bacteria and Bifidobacteria in the Prevention and Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Other Related Diseases: A Systematic Review of Randomized Human Clinical Trials

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is a chronic inflammation of the small intestine and colon caused by a dysregulated immune response to host intestinal microbiota in genetically susceptible subjects. A number of fermented dairy products contain lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria, some of which have been characterised as probiotics that can modify the gut microbiota and may be beneficial for the treatment and the prevention of IBD.

The objective of this review was to carry out a systematic search of LAB and bifidobacteria probiotics and IBD, using the PubMed and Scopus databases, defined by a specific equation using MeSH terms and limited to human clinical trials. The use of probiotics and/or synbiotics has positive effects in the treatment and maintenance of UC, whereas in CD clear effectiveness has only been shown for synbiotics.

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The Consequences of Poor Eating Habits Persist Even after Diet is Improved

New research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests that these changes to the behaviour of the immune system are persistent and can continue even after your diet has improved.[1] It is fairly universally understood that improving your food behaviour and choice will most likely improve your health. However, less well understood or known is that the effects of poor eating habits persist long after dietary habits are improved. In a new report appearing in the November 2014 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, scientists use mice to show that even after successful treatment of atherosclerosis (including lowering of blood cholesterol and a change in dietary habits) the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle still impact upon the way the immune system functions. This change in function occurs largely because poor eating habits alter the way genes express themselves, including genes related to immunity which make up the largest collection of specific genes in the human structure. This change in gene expression (epigenetics) ultimately maintains the risk of cardiovascular disorders at a level far higher than it would be had there been no exposure to unhealthy foods in the first place.

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You, Jet Lag, Microbiota and Fat Deposition

If you have ever travelled across time zones you will be familiar with the adverse effects on your physical function an loss of clarity and productivity – well it seems that the organisms present in your gut, share the same trip and to some extent the same consequences. Published in Cell researchers explored the consequences of this effect on adiposity and metabolic functionality. Whilst they are naturally cautious about translation from a mouse model to a human one, they noted some interesting observations, that may explain some peoples adverse physical consequences derived in part as a result of cross time zone travel.[1]

Organisms ranging from bacteria to humans have circadian clocks to help them synchronise their biological activities to the time of day. This paper now reveals that gut microbes in mice and humans have circadian rhythms that are controlled by the biological clock of the host in which they reside. Disruption of the circadian clock in the host alters the rhythms and composition of the microbial community, potentially leading to obesity and metabolic problems.

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Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program

The problem facing may people in the coming decades is that of loss of cognition, and for those already facing this reality it may be of some comfort to know that a lifestyle approach has generated very positive recovery of function using a simple set of interventions. Published in the journal Aging This report describes a novel, comprehensive, and personalised therapeutic program that is based on the underlying pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, and which involves multiple modalities designed to achieve metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration (MEND).[1]

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Seven Million Years of Evolution: Greens and Human Beings Together

In the decision making that we as consumers make when we select foods, it is rare that we also consider the mutual needs of our bacteria found in the gut. Yet we have co-evolved with those bacteria over millennia. As scientists continue to study the intricate signalling that takes place between that which we ingest and that which we bacterially metabolize, they turn up new evidence of significant beneficial partnerships.

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Hot, Confused and Cranky: A Novel Approach to Menopause

Thinning hair, painful joints,lost libido, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, crushing fatigue, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, itchy skin, incontinence…the list of symptoms during menopause is staggering. Staggering, but not surprising, since our cells are studded with receptors for hormones.

Vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats), vaginal dryness, and dyspareunia (painful intercourse) are the main reason that women seek medical treatment. Over three-quarters of women report hot flashes within the 2 years surrounding menopause. A quarter suffer these symptoms for over five years, while an unfortunate ten percent of women report that they suffer from these symptoms for over ten years.1

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