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:

  • Gut bacteria has big impact on diet-related changes to blood pressure
  • Could beetroot juice slow key step in Alzheimer’s progression?
  • Tai Chi recommended to fight fibromyalgia
  • We learn nothing about nutrition, claim medical students
  • Why nutritional psychiatry is the future of mental health treatment

Gut bacteria has big impact on diet-related changes to blood pressure

Our gut microbiome environment could impact the effectiveness of dietary changes on blood pressure, say researchers who believe new approaches to reducing blood pressure should consider a person’s microbiological background.

The team from the University of Kent in the UK found participants following three healthy diets resulted in reduced blood pressure readings, however the team revealed that a select few people responded well to the regimen.

An inspection of bacterial metabolites in the urine found individual differences in gut bacteria.

Variation in metabolic phenotypes in response to specific healthy diets… points to the potential importance of the gut microbiome in accounting for differences in dietary response and the subsequent impact on BP,” said the team, led by Dr Ruey Leng Loo, senior lecturer at the Medway School of Pharmacy based at the University of Kent.

The workflow presented here provides a framework to develop tailored dietary interventions designed to reduce blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.”

Read the full article via this link.

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Could beetroot juice slow key step in Alzheimer’s progression?

Betanin, the pigment that gives beetroot juice its red colour, could reduce the rate of misfolding beta-amyloid protein – thought to be a critical step in the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

Although the exact mechanism of AD progression has not been confirmed, one key process suspected to be involved is the misfolding of beta-amyloid protein fragments, including the formation of clumps or plaques, which in turn promotes inflammations and oxidation. Misfolding is thought to occur when beta-amyloid binds itself to metals. Copper is just one of the metals thought to be implicated in the oxidative process; although iron, zinc and others may also have a role, suggested the researchers.

Using visible spectrophotometry, the researchers from the University of South Florida, USA, measured the degree of oxidation using a chemical marker 3,5 di-tert-butylcatechol (DTBC).

Little or no oxidation of DTBC occurred solely with beta-amyloid, the scientists found. However, when bound to copper, beta-amyloid caused significant DTBC oxidation. Subsequently, oxidation levels fell by around 90% when betanin was added to the copper-bound beta-amyloid mixture. Lower oxidation rates, may mean a reduced amount of misfolding, the researchers suggested.

Read the full article via this link.

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Tai Chi recommended to fight fibromyalgia

Tai Chi is as good as – or even better than – aerobic exercise for aiding people with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, a study has suggested.

The US trial of 226 adults with the condition showed that those who practised the martial art improved significantly more than those doing aerobic exercise over a 24-week period.

Its low-impact movements mean people of any age or fitness level can take part.

Aerobic exercise is currently a standard treatment for the condition but some patients find it hard to do because their symptoms keep changing.

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body and can also lead to increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue, muscle stiffness, memory problems and sleeping difficulties.

Aerobic exercises such as walking, cycling and swimming, together with resistance and strengthening exercise, like lifting weights, are recommended to help people who have been diagnosed.

Read the full article via this link.

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We learn nothing about nutrition, claim medical students

Medical students say they currently learn almost nothing about the way diet and lifestyle affect health – and they should be taught more.

They say what they are taught is not practical or relevant to most of the medical problems they see in GP surgeries, clinics and hospitals.

A leading GP estimated that up to 80% of his patients had conditions linked to lifestyle and diet. These included obesity, type 2 diabetes and depression.

Why does this lack of training matter?

This year the NHS will spend more than £11bn on diabetes alone – social care costs, time off work etc., will almost double that bill.

Read the full article via this link.

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Why nutritional psychiatry is the future of mental health treatment 

A lack of essential nutrients is known to contribute to the onset of poor mental health in people suffering from anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and ADHD. Nutritional psychiatry is a growing discipline that focuses on the use of food and supplements to provide these essential nutrients as part of an integrated or alternative treatment for mental health disorders.

But nutritional  approaches for these debilitating conditions are not widely accepted by mainstream medicine. Treatment options tend to be limited to official National Institute for Care Excellence guidelines which recommend talking therapies and antidepressants.

Antidepressant use has more than doubled in recent years. In England 64.7 million prescriptions were issued for antidepressants in 2016 at a cost of £266.6m. This is an increase of 3.7 million on the number of items prescribed in 2015 and more than double the 31 million issues in 2006.

Read the full article via this link.

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The link between diet and depression

The link between stress and brain health

If you have any questions regarding the topics that have been raised, or any other health matters please do contact me (Clare) by phone or email at any time., 01684 310099

Clare Daley and the Cytoplan Editorial Team

Last updated on 28th March 2018 by cytoffice


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