In the news – health and nutrition research

In this week’s article we provide a roundup of some of the most recent health and nutrition related articles in the news, five items comprising:

    • Children on trendy vegan diets are 1.2 inches SHORTER on average, with smaller and weaker bones, study warns
    • Deep sleep may help clear the brain of Alzheimer’s-related toxins
    • Fish oil supplements could combat antibiotic resistance
    • Plant-based diets, pescatarian diets and COVID-19 severity: a population-based case-control study in six countries
    • Is sleep a ‘magic pill’ for teen wellness in a mental health crisis?

Children on trendy vegan diets are 1.2 inches SHORTER on average, with smaller and weaker bones, study warns

A study carried out by University College London’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health found that children aged five to ten who eat plant-based diets are on average three centimetres shorter than those who eat meat.  Their bones were also smaller and less strong, putting the children at risk of fractures or osteoporosis in later life.  The authors said parents must be aware of the risks of vegan diets and advise that vegan children should be given vitamin B12 and vitamin D supplements to reduce potentially long-term health consequences of being raised on plants only.  However, the study also found that the vegan children had 25% lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and lower levels of body fat.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blog:

The increase in popularity of vegan diets

Deep sleep may help clear the brain of Alzheimer’s-related toxins

Alzheimer’s disease develops in line with increased levels of the proteins amyloid-β (Aβ) and tau in the brain. Extensive research implicates these substances as major contributors to cognitive deterioration.   Experts believe that cerebrospinal fluid carries such waste products away from the brain through the glymphatic system, which is a system of channels in the central nervous system. According to a 2021 review, impairments in glymphatic draining might lead to an extracellular buildup of waste products in the brain.

Research published in PLOS Biology suggests that global brain activity during deep sleep decreases Alzheimer’s-related toxin buildup.  It upholds previous findings indicating that low frequency brain waves produced during the non-rapid eye movement sleep phase can play a vital role in clearing brain waste.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blog:

The impact of poor sleep

Fish oil supplements could combat antibiotic resistance

The World Health Organisation has called antibiotic resistance “one of the biggest threats to human health”. Infections that are currently considered to be almost harmless may one day be incurable.  Scientists from Flinders University in Adelaide have now found that taking fish oil fatty acids alongside antibiotics may help to ward off resistance.  The research team explains how fish oil supplements have antimicrobial properties, offering a safe and easily-accessible solution to drug resistance.  The research showed that fish oil fatty acids become part of the bacteria membrane, and thus make the invading bacteria membrane more permeable and susceptible to the antibiotics being used to attack it.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blog:

Supporting the gut during and after antibiotics

Plant-based diets, pescatarian diets and COVID-19 severity: a population-based case-control study in six countries

Several studies have hypothesised that dietary habits may play an important role in COVID-19 infection, severity of symptoms, and duration of illness. However, no previous studies have investigated the association between dietary patterns and COVID-19.  In this study, healthcare workers from six countries with substantial exposure to COVID-19 patients completed a web-based survey from 17th July to 25th September 2020. Participants provided information on demographic characteristics, dietary information, and COVID-19 outcomes.  The study concluded that in six countries, plant-based diets or pescatarian diets were associated with lower odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19. These dietary patterns may be considered for protection against severe COVID-19.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blog:

Long COVID – what is it and what can we do about it?

Is sleep a ‘magic pill’ for teen wellness in a mental health crisis?

Concerns for youth depression, anxiety and suicide have risen amid a deadly pandemic that disrupted schools and isolated teens from their friends.  In 2020, 10,000 high school students were surveyed on their well-being and academic engagement throughout the pandemic. The researchers found that high school students were getting an average of 6.7 hours of sleep a night – well below the recommended 9-hour benchmark, which only 7% of students were hitting. The research team also found that 5% of students regularly slept under four hours per night and 43% of high school students reported that they were sleeping less since the pandemic struck.  Susanne Button, a clinical psychologist stated “Adolescents who don’t have enough sleep tend to actually engage in more high-risk behavior when they don’t feel mentally calm or happy.  Adolescents who get enough sleep tend to make better decisions and be less impulsive around risk-taking when they’re feeling stressed or distressed.”

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blog:

Supporting your mental health beyond lockdown


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