June 20, 2017

Alzheimer’s Disease and Food: What’s the connection?

Why eat organic? It’s a question many people ask, and perhaps a reasonable one when presented with significant cost differences between seemingly identical food items. A recent study points to a concerning link between neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Motor Neurone Diseases, and a protein called TDP-43. What’s the catch? It’s commonly found in our food. Although there is certainly no single causal factor that leads to neurodegenerative diseases, at least not one that research has clearly identified at this time, evidence is starting to point to more possible contributors. Among the main offenders are genetics, environmental stress, and […]
May 2, 2017

An Apple a Day Keeps the Nephrologist Away.

Food is medicine. Genius, right? Well, in line with this old adage, a new study has some news for us: three or four servings of vegetables daily can have an incredible effect on kidney health. In fact, “Kidney disease patients who eat three to four more servings of fruits and vegetables every day could lower their blood pressure and their medication costs,” the research suggests [1]. The study, presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s Annual Kidney Week [2], looked at 108 patients with high blood pressure. All participants in the study were taking similar doses of blood pressure drugs, […]
April 26, 2017

Fasting can trigger stem cell, immune regeneration

Short term fasting seems to have made a resurgence into popularity in recent years, with intermittent fasting re-gaining fame for more than just weight loss benefits. So what happens when we move beyond the intermittent to prolonged fasting a couple of times a week? There is research revealing that fasting twice a week could significantly lower the risk of developing both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease [1]. But new research has revealed another benefit of fasting or diets that mimic it. It appears that it can trigger stem cell regeneration to help reboot damaged immune systems. The research revealed that “fasting […]
April 11, 2017

Big Decision To Make? Eat First

We know not to do the grocery shopping when we are hungry, as such timing is likely to ensure a whole lot of junk food makes it into the trolley. But research shows that it isn’t just food related choices that could suffer when we are peckish. It turns out we are best to avoid making decisions on an empty stomach. This fascinating little titbit of wisdom all comes down to the actions of a hormone called Ghrelin. It is produced in the stomach, released before meals and known to increase appetite [1]. The only problem is that in a […]
March 7, 2017

Gluten Sensitivity – The New Coeliacs?

Gluten free is everywhere these days. You can’t stop for a coffee in your local café without seeing half a dozen gluten free (GF) muffins or friands. Fancy the GF pasta or pizza? Or how about being alerted to the fact your spicy prawns are GF too? Menus everywhere are touting GF options galore. So what’s going on? Have we all just jumped on the gluten free bandwagon or is this a real issue that requires a genuine diagnosis and intervention? “Avoidance of wheat and gluten containing products is a worldwide phenomenon,” states the study published in the United European […]
January 26, 2017

An Apple A Day May Make Your Baby Smarter

We’ve all heard the saying about apples but there may be more truth in the expression than first suspected. Women who eat fruit during their pregnancy have been shown to have smarter kids. Who knew by scoffing back a few extra bananas you could have such a positive affect? The study recently published in the journal EbioMedicine has found that mothers who eat more fruit give birth to children who perform better on developmental testing at one years old. Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Alberta, Piush Mandhane, found the link by reviewing the data from the Canadian […]
January 24, 2017
Coffee

Addicted to Coffee?  New Study Shows It May Be In Your Genes.

Coffee, why is it that some people can take it or leave it? And others couldn’t imagine the start of their day without it? That ubiquitous, espresso brew has people world over obsessed with it. As it turns out, it may not simply be a love affair of the heart; it may be in your genes. Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Trieste, from the Burlo Garofolo Paediatric Institute in Italy1 have made an interesting discovery. It’s called the PDSS2 gene. People with a DNA variation in this gene tend to drink fewer cups of coffee. The researchers looked […]
January 19, 2017

Crushed Garlic, Good For Your Heart

Garlic, love it or hate it, has been around since the dawn of time. People have been using it in varying capacities, from warding off Vampires to adding it to Nona’s spaghetti sauce.  First found in the Egyptian Pyramids and later Greek Temples, garlic has been a source of both medicinal and culinary use. In terms of scientific research however, garlic has long been known for it’s anti-oxidant properties. That is its ability to provide protection against free radical damage in the body. In a study1, a team of researchers from the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the University of Connecticut […]
January 5, 2017

Neuroscientists Ask Does Your Dog Love Praise or Food More?

We’ve all secretly wondered if Rover loved us for the patting and the praise or if he was just after that juicy bone we keep in the fridge. Since Pavlov first started tinkering around in the canine brain there’s been a group of neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who have pretty much been hell bent on working out what goes on behind their furry craniums. The question du jour is do dogs prefer praise or a hot dinner? A new study recently published in Oxford University Press1 is one of the first to combine brain-imaging data with behavioural […]
December 13, 2016

Fermented Food – The Probiotic Powerhouse

Probiotics are linked to improved microbia in the gut. These microbia are directly linked to the physical, mental and emotional health of your body. Fermented foods are a natural powerhouse of various strains of probiotics that are essential to good gut health. But what are fermented foods? And what’s so darn good about them?
November 10, 2016
Fasting

Fasting After 5pm – Research Shows Why It’s So Good For You

Fasting has been referred to throughout history. The Bible refers to Jesus fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. Muslims fast during Ramadan. And in Buddhism fasting is considered an ascetic practice, one used to invigorate and shake things up! Now whilst we may chose to put fasting into a spiritual context, the science behind fasting is that it is incredibly beneficial for the human body. New research1 suggests it may not only help us live longer, but it reduces age related diseases, increases neurogenesis in the hippocampus (cognitive brain function skills) and reduces cancer incidences. Dr Valter Longo from the University of […]
November 1, 2016

Are Microwaves Bad For Your Health? (Part 2 of 2)

Story at a Glance. BPA, a toxic chemical found in plastic is leached from some plastic containers during the microwaving process. The backlash towards BPA has pushed producers to make plastic without BPAs. Scientific American reported in their article, BPA-Free Plastic Containers May Be Just as Hazardous. BPS a common replacement for BPAs have just as many problems. In fact many of the BPA replacements are a significant concern to our health. In our last article we covered how the molecular nature of food is changed through the microwaving process. But it’s not just the food you put in your […]
October 27, 2016

Sugar Addiction linked to Alcoholism.

Story at a Glance. There is an astounding correlation between sugar and other drugs of addiction. Cocaine addicted rats picked sugar-water over cocaine in one study. It’s exactly the same dopamine receptors in alcoholic brains that light up when we consume sugar. It’s the same D2 dopamine receptor that identifies alcoholics and addicts that we see in sugar addicts. It’s a dirty five letter word. Sugar. We hear the ubiquitous stern warnings about this white manufactured evil every day. There’s books on how to give up sugar. Books on how to make desserts without it. Books written by celebrities on […]
October 25, 2016

Are Microwaves Bad For Your Health? (Part 1 of 2)

Story at a Glance. Microwaving your food has been shown in several studies to denature the vitamin and molecular structure of the food. The agitating affect on the water molecules chemically alters the food at the same time. Studies show that microwaving vegetables such as broccoli and asparagus, as well as heating up breast milk, significantly alters the nutritional value of the product. It’s such a staple in our kitchens these days. And it probably ranks right up there with the kettle and the toaster for getting the most workout during the day. But is our drive for convenience and […]
October 18, 2016

Is Leptin The Reason We’re Fat? (Part 3 of 3)

Story at a Glance. Leptin is transported across the blood brain barrier (BBB). Animals who are in a state of starvation display elevated triglycerides that block the transfer of leptin across the BBB. Interestingly, obese people also present with the same elevated levels of triglycerides. This tricks the brain into believing it is starving and therefore inhibits the transport of leptin across the BBB. Studies injecting mice brains with leptin directly into their hypothalamus showed considerable weight loss. In our two previous articles we covered the nature of leptin, a hormone that is secreted from your fat cells. It is […]
October 11, 2016

Is Leptin The Reason We’re Fat? (Part 2 of 3)

Story at a Glance. Obese individuals have high levels of the hormone leptin but the brain is unable to recognise the hormone. High levels of leptin, unrecognised by the brain, is referred to as ‘leptin resistance.’ Insulin levels have become increasingly high in our society, which could be responsible for blocking leptin and its correlating actions on the brain – reduction of appetite and expenditure of calories. As we discussed in the previous article, leptin is the hormone that signals that we are not hungry. Mice genetically engineered(1) to halt leptin production rapidly became obese. Therefore low or zero levels […]
October 6, 2016

Is Leptin The Reason We’re Fat? (Part 1 of 3)

Story at a Glance. Leptin is a hormone that is secreted from your fat cells. It is often referred to as the ‘satiety hormone’ because it tells you that you’re full and no longer hungry. Mice genetically engineered to remove leptin rapidly became obese. Low leptin or zero leptin causes obesity. However obese humans produce leptin but it’s not recognised by the brain, which is why obese people continue to eat and become fatter. Their brains simply don’t recognise that they are full. You know the feeling. It’s nine o’clock in the evening. You’ve had dinner. Technically you should be […]
September 28, 2016

Mum’s Gut Influences Her Unborn Baby.

Story at a Glance. Scientists have studied mice to observe if the maternal microbiome affected their offspring’s immune system during gestation. Offspring born to the infected mothers had increased numbers of innate lymphoid and mononuclear cells in their intestines and different patterns of gene expression in their guts. The study concluded that maternal microbiota shapes the immune system of her offspring. We used to call it gut flora but now it’s referred to by the very scientific name of microbiota. We’ve been researching the role of microbiota and its connection with our immune system since the late 1990’s. If the […]