News

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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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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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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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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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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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

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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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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Study Suggests Cinnamon May Be Used To Halt Progression Of Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson disease (PD) is a common age associated neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system[1]that was first described in an essay entitled “An essay of the Shaking Palsy” by James Parkinson in 1817. Clinically PD is characterised by resting tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity and postural instability. Causes for the disease are not well known however environmental, genetic, and immunological factors have been associated with the onset of this disease.

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Being Gluten-Free Linked to Less ‘Brain Fog’ in Coeliac Study

In a paper published in Aliment Pharmacol in Jul 2014, the symptom of ‘Brain Fog’ in effect a loss of cognitive clarity was resolved after going gluten free.[1]

Irene T. Lichtwark, PhD student, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues examined the connection among a gluten-free diet, celiac symptoms, and cognitive function among 11 newly diagnosed patients with celiac disease (8 women and 3 men) aged 22 to 39 years.

The researchers tested patients for information-processing efficacy, memory, visuospatial ability, motor function, and attention before starting them on a gluten-free diet. The researchers tested patients again 12 weeks into the diet, and again after 1 year of adherence to the diet. The researchers conducted blood testing, intestinal permeability tests, and small bowel biopsies via gastroscopy at baseline, week 12, and week 52.

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