In the news – health & 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:

  • Baby’s first stool can help predict risk of developing allergies
  • Is your diet keeping you up at night?
  • The ‘neuro-9’: nine foods you should eat to nourish a midlife brain
  • Why are food allergies on the rise?
  • Being vegetarian makes you less likely to develop cancer and heart disease, major study finds

Baby’s first stool can help predict risk of developing allergies

Researchers have shown that the composition of a baby’s first faeces – a thick, dark green substance known as meconium – is associated with whether or not a child will develop allergies within their first year of life. By analysing meconium samples from 100 infants, they show that the development of a healthy immune system and microbiota may start well before a child is born.

The analysis revealed that newborns who developed allergic sensitisation by one year of age had significantly less ‘rich’ meconium at birth, compared to those who didn’t develop allergic sensitisation.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs:

Probiotics for the first 1,000 days

The role of nutrition during preconception and pregnancy

Is your diet keeping you up at night?

If, like many, you’ve struggled with sleep during the pandemic, it’s worth considering the role food and drink choices play in your sleep patterns. Many things can affect your slumber, including routine, stress, exercise and daylight – and diet plays a part too. “Although there’s little evidence you can eat yourself to sleep, diet can certainly impact it negatively”, says sleep expert Professor Kevin Morgan.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs:

The impact of poor sleep

Could your hormones be causing a bad night’s sleep?

The ‘neuro-9’: nine foods you should eat to nourish a midlife brain

Our brain is the most active organ in our body, consuming 25% of our energy and at times up to 50% of our oxygen, even while we sleep. A balanced diet is crucial for helping it function at its highest capacity, yet all too often brain health is overlooked.

Dean Sherzai MD, PhD is a neurologist and the co-director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University, and alongside his wife Ayesha, who studied preventative medicine and neurology, he has devised a diet plan to boost brain health.

Alzheimer’s and dementia are typically problems that are addressed later in life, but the plan is targeted at people of all ages as it is never too early to start feeding your brain.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs:

Top foods for a resilient brain and healthy gut

Stress: what is it and how does it affect our brain health?

 Why are food allergies on the rise?

NHS figures reveal the number of people admitted to hospital as a result of allergies has more than doubled since 2013.  According to the Food Standards Agency, there are estimated to be over 2 million people living with a diagnosed food allergy in the UK.

The increase in numbers is not simply because we’re more aware of allergies or getting better at diagnosing them, says Dr Alexandra Santos, Consultant in Paediatric Allergy. There are a number of high-profile theories about what’s behind this rise, ranging from lack of sunlight to dietary changes affecting our gut bacteria. While there’s no clear single reason for the increase, the cause is “most likely related to environmental factors and our lifestyle” says Santos.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blog:

Food allergies – symptoms, mechanisms & nutritional interventions

Being vegetarian makes you less likely to develop cancer and heart disease, major study finds

Scientists at the University of Glasgow analysed more than 177,000 adults in the UK to find out whether their dietary choice affected the level of disease markers in their bodies.  They looked at 19 health indicators, known as biomarkers, in their blood and urine related to cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and kidney function, as well as liver, bone and joint health.

The study found that the 4,000 vegetarians in the group had significantly lower levels of 13 biomarkers when compared with meat eaters.  These included low-density lipoprotein; apolipoprotein A and B, which are linked to cardiovascular disease; and insulin-like growth factor, a hormone that encourages the growth and proliferation of cancer cells.

Even vegetarians who were obese, smokers or drinkers were found to have lower levels of these biomarkers, suggesting diet is an incredibly important influence on the risk of developing serious illnesses.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs:

Cardiovascular support

Cardiovascular health and phytonutrients


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