Curcumin – a natural therapeutic agent

Curcumin, an active constituent of the root of the perennial herb turmeric (also known as Curcuma longa) and a member of the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family, has been used in India and the Far East for thousands of years as a culinary spice and a medicinal herb.

In the last couple of decades, there has been an explosion in scientific interest and research around curcumin’s potential as a natural therapeutic agent for a wide range of chronic inflammatory health conditions. A search on PubMed for curcumin in the title/abstract gives nearly 12,000 search results – much of this research is in vitro or using animal models to demonstrate mechanisms and pathways.
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The truth behind artificial sweeteners

The sugar tax, introduced in the UK earlier this year, has resulted in many brands reducing the sugar content of their products and replacing some of it with artificial sweeteners. Obesity and related conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease are on the increase and eating sugary foods is a significant contributor to these conditions. Thus the use of artificial sweeteners may seem like the perfect solution in the fight against obesity – a sweet taste with little or no calories – and artificial sweeteners are advocated by many organisations including the American Dietetic Association.1

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The impact of antibiotics on the microbiome

In the UK, one of the highest rates of antibiotic prescriptions in the outpatient population comes from dentists and oral surgeons.(1, 2)

Systemic antibiotics are commonly prescribed before removal of the third molar (wisdom tooth), periodontal therapy, placement of dental implants, or other surgery in the oral cavity. Although the clinical benefits of these measures are highly debated, they still form a common practice.(3-5)

In this week’s blog practising dental surgeon and registered nutritional therapist, Keeley Nicholas, discusses prescribing antibiotics, the effect they have on our gut and how to protect our microbiome.

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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:

  • Making sure you get the right type of calorie
  • How can you get enough iron from your diet?
  • Eating food with low nutritional quality ratings linked to cancer risk in large European cohort
  • Air pollution linked to much greater risk of dementia
  • Mediterranean diet can help to beat depression

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