Osteoarthritis is a progressive and degenerative joint disease. It causes a great deal of pain and disability for millions of people. It commonly affects older people and we used to think it was caused by wear and tear. But, scientists now think there might be other causes. One such cause involves a link between gut health and osteoarthritis. I will explain how. [Read more…] about The role of ageing in gut health and osteoarthritis
The number of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is expected to rise at an alarming rate. Currently the World Health Organisation (WHO) believes there are 50 million people around the world with dementia. But this number is expected to triple in the next thirty years.
Yet scientists believe that we can reduce our risk of developing cognitive decline and dementia, and the WHO began a Global Action Plan in 2017, gathering the evidence needed. The WHO published new guidelines this week intended to provide the knowledge needed by healthcare providers and others, to help people reduce their risk of cognitive decline and dementia. It may not come as a surprise that these guidelines favour dietary and lifestyle changes over supplements such as multivitamins. Though vitamins of course have their uses, there is a much wider range of nutrients in wholefoods. [Read more…] about Can eating mushrooms reduce dementia risk and save your brain?
A recent study published in the European Heart Journal suggests a significant association between antibiotic use and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. As the authors point out, previous studies have reported similar results. However, this particular study added some new details as it focussed on antibiotic use by women only and participants were assessed by duration of antibiotic use, as well as by their age group.
The researchers say that antibiotic use in mid-life and older adulthood, but not by young women, was significantly linked with the development of cardiovascular disease in later life. They also suggest that cumulative use of antibiotics in different stages of life might be associated with the incidence of cardiovascular disease in elderly women. [Read more…] about Antibiotics and heart health
Scientists have discovered that one of the earliest symptoms related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease is a problem with the sense of smell.
The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, is increasing rapidly. It is one of the most dreaded of diseases and yet modern medicine seems capable of only slowing progression not reversing it.
With the sheer numbers of cases we are likely to see as worldwide life expectancy rises, this disease is a tragedy in the making. With a huge potential burden both personally and globally. [Read more…] about Sniffing out Alzheimer’s disease
How a healthy immune system works
A healthy immune system protects us in several ways. We have barriers that keep out dangerous substances. For those substances that get through, we have specialised cells that can tackle them in other ways.
Being able to recognise substances is an important part of this process. More importantly, being able to recognise the difference between self and non-self. In autoimmune disease, the immune system recognises self-tissues as foreign and destroys them.
We know that genetics can play an important role in the risk of developing certain forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Well, we can’t do anything about our genes. But, are there other modifiable factors that might help us avoid this life changing disease? Or, even reverse the mild cognitive impairment that precedes such a diagnosis? While scientists believe that healthy nutrition such as the Mediterranean diet may be an important piece of the puzzle, there is evidence that our daily activities can also have an effect. This recent study looked at the lifestyle activities of people with mild cognitive impairment and found that some activities were more likely to be associated with a potential to reverse cognitive decline. [Read more…] about Can gardening reverse cognitive decline?
Modern life is inherently stressful. The funny thing is that we don’t all respond to stress in the same way. Of course there are situations that we all might struggle to cope with, like the death of a loved one. But in the day to day hurdles of life, it is often the case that what might distress us, someone else may see as a challenge or opportunity.
This is why stress management techniques can sometimes really help. And I’ve talked about these before. It’s not that deep breathing exercises or doing yoga daily is going to make everything easy, but it can certainly help to change your perception. And it is often the case that how we perceive our stress that affects our body’s response to a stressor.
Make no mistake, stress can be very tough on the body. Especially when the stress goes on and on. Chronic stress can cause inflammation in the body, and inflammation is at the root of almost every chronic disease. [Read more…] about An intro on adaptogens for stress
As I have discussed before scientific studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet is the healthiest way to eat. There are hundreds if not thousands of studies that support the use of this way of eating for improving health as well as reducing the risk of developing a chronic disease, potentially reversing chronic disease and for increasing life expectancy.
The Mediterranean diet should really be viewed as a concept based on a collection of traditional dietary habits that might have been followed by people in the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, before the mid 1960s.
But do we know exactly what to eat on the Mediterranean diet? For instance, does this suggest that eating pizza or pasta with a cheese sauce are healthy food choices? In fact, pizza is not a traditional Mediterranean food. [Read more…] about What to eat on the Mediterranean diet
In the news last week we saw many articles similar to this one from the BBC website. These articles relate to a World Health Organisation (WHO) funded review in the Lancet that looked at the amount of dietary fibre people eat and how it relates to their health and risk of disease.
The general impression of the WHO review suggests that we all need to eat at least 25g of fibre per day to lower our risk of disease. And, that whole grains can form a substantial portion of this amount.
I have been talking about the benefits of eating a diet rich in fibre for years. And I’m sure that many people are aware that eating more dietary fibre is good for their health. [Read more…] about Should you eat more whole grains?
If you look for a definition of a toxin in a dictionary you might see something similar to this:
– a toxin is a poisonous organic compound, meaning a substance of plant or animal origin, that can harm the human body.
While this definition covers those toxins we produce in our bodies all the time, as well as naturally occurring toxins in foods, and even alcohol, in fact, there are many other toxic substances that might make their way into your body.
Perhaps in any discussion of toxins in the body we should also include the environmental toxins like heavy metals, such as mercury and lead. As well as man made chemicals and pollutants such as pesticides, flame retardants and even pharmaceutical drugs. Many of these can accumulate in the body and affect our health. [Read more…] about What is a toxin?