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Welcome! My blog now contains over 200 articles and recipes. To help you find them more easily I’ve given the front page a bit of a refresh and created some attractive topic archive pages which you can access from the ‘By Topic’ menu in the black bar above or by clicking on the icons above. Have fun exploring!
LATEST ARTICLES
In_the_News_November November News Round-Up (3/Dec/16) - Parkinson's may start in the gut. Your calf muscle may stop you losing weight (!) Plus coffee, aspartame, vitamin D, high-fat running and the importance of cooking. Continue reading
Bounty2 Keto Bounty Bars (28/Nov/16) - Coconut filled chocolate sweet-meats that are suitable for ketogenic diets. Continue reading
graylingwell-hospital WSHOMS Nov 5th 2016 (19/Nov/16) - 1) How Graylingwell Hospital near Chichester West Sussex served war wounded during WW1 2) Why Malta was known as the 'Hospital Island' Continue reading
IN THE NEWS
In_the_News_November November News Round-Up - Parkinson's may start in the gut. Your calf muscle may stop you losing weight (!) Plus coffee, aspartame, vitamin D, high-fat running and the importance of cooking. Continue reading
In_the_News_Oct October News Round-Up - Lots of interesting items that are in the news this month inc 8 on vitamin D! Continue reading
give-bass-a-break-featured Hold fire on the Sea Bass recipe! (Retraction and Apology) - Breaking news: Scientists say Wild Sea Bass stocks are dangerously low. DO NOT EAT SEA BASS - use one of these sustainable alternatives Continue reading
NUTRITION & HEALTH
supermarket-ancestral-nutrition-featured 5 everyday ancestral foods with proven health benefits (25/Oct/16) - Our ancestors developed complex methods for turning inedible seeds, leaves and fruit into nutritional powerhouses. Five of them made it into modern life. Continue reading
sperm-fish Male fertility ~ a fishy business (14/Sep/16) - The 20th century saw a huge decline in male fertility, and a huge increase in omega 6 oil consumption. Are the two connected? We fish out the latest research on seafood for semen. Continue reading
Food-Prog-Microbiome-Featured The Microbiome on BBC Radio 4 (2/Jul/16) - Listen again to these two excellent radio broadcasts from BBC Food Programme on the micobiome. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Continue reading
MOST POPULAR POSTS
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EVOLUTION & DIET
waterside-ape The Waterside Ape on BBC Radio 4 - Listen Again: an excellent introduction into controversial theory that humans evolved in riverside / shoreline environments. Continue reading
Miki_Ben_Dor GUEST POST from Miki Ben-Dor: “Big brains needed carbs” (???) - Miki Ben-Dor from Tel Aviv University brings his expertise of paleo-anthropology to bear on the question of whether cooked starches drove human evolution. Continue reading
Featured_Root_Veg Did cooked tubers drive human evolution? - Recent claims that starchy tubers drove human brain evolution are put under the microscope. Studies of the Hadza suggest otherwise. Continue reading
UNDERSTANDING GLUTEN
THE ENVIRONMENT AND FOOD PRODUCTION
dairy-ows-featured Study: dairy, not plant based diets is the best way to feed the planet - New Zealand farm analysis finds that mixed dairy/cropping systems feed the greatest number of people. Protein considerations prove pivotal. Continue reading
featured_garden_veg Why home-grown food is up to ten times better than arable crops - Study shows that UK allotments and gardens are more productive and fertile than farmland. Continue reading
featured_Knepp_safari Safari in deepest Sussex – now you can experience the Knepp re-wilding project for yourself! - From glamping in a sepherd's hut to night safaris led by bat experts - Knepp estate now offers many ways to experience the UK's top re-wilding success story. Continue reading
Featured videos: the environmental argument for pasture raised meat
HERBAL MEDICINE
Clinic_featured A quick tour of my clinic - I have just finished giving my consulting room a make-over. May I show you around?. Continue reading
featured_mistletoe_cancer Mistletoe in Cancer - This legendary herb of the druids has been shown to have anti-cancer properties in multiple studies. Continue reading
featured_echinacea Echinacea - Study shows that Echinacea reduces common cold frequency and symptom severity. Continue reading
LATEST RECIPES
Bounty2 Keto Bounty Bars - Coconut filled chocolate sweet-meats that are suitable for ketogenic diets. Continue reading
orange-almond-cake1 Orange & almond cake - This delicious sponge is light, moist and very tasty, made with whole whizzed boiled oranges. Citrus pizzazz! Continue reading
stuffed-bass-featured Stuffed (Farmed) Sea Bass - A delicious baked dish using wholesome ingredients that bring out the best in this fish. Continue reading
Nut-selection Spiced-up nuts, four ways to make your own super-snacks - Four ideas to jazz up your nuts: Cashews with lemon and black pepper, Tamari 5-spiced mixed nuts, Curried macadamias & Balsamic pecans Continue reading
Crispy-kale Curly kale crisps - Kale. Yes. I know. It's got a little halo, but it's... well, dull. DON'T DESPAIR! This recipe actually makes it worth eating. Continue reading
More Recipes
Related post: Eating well needn’t cost a fortune
PHOTOTHERAPY: LIGHT AND HEALTH
stonehenge-featured Red light phototherapy (3/3): Hair regrowth, Pain reduction, Wound healing and Practical applications - In part 3 we look at NASAs original work on red light and pain reduction, recent discoveries about wound healing, and finish with a range of simple things you can do to benefit from red-light at home. Continue reading
Red Light Pt2 Muscle-Eyes-Hair Featured Red light phototherapy (2/3): Brain, Muscles and Eyes - Red light stimulates mitochondrial function. We look at the accumulating evidence that phototherapy can improve brain function in Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and Parkinson's. Plus red light enhances muscle endurance and a has major role in eye health. Continue reading
Red Light Pt1 Skin Featured Red light phototherapy (1/3): The Skin - Research is uncovering a huge range of beneficial effects of red light. In part 1 I look at the remarkable protective effects of red light on the skin. Continue reading
WEST SUSSEX HISTORY OF MEDICINE SOCIETY LECTURES
Afifah Is the official blogger for WSHoMSoc which meets in the Autumn at St Richard’s Hospital Chichester
graylingwell-hospital WSHOMS Nov 5th 2016 - 1) How Graylingwell Hospital near Chichester West Sussex served war wounded during WW1 2) Why Malta was known as the 'Hospital Island' Continue reading
cosmetic-surgery-in-ancient-india WSHOMS Dec 5th 2015 - (1) The incredible history of plastic and cosmetic surgery that was initially mastered in ancient India (2) Toulouse Lautrec and his Muse, Jane Avril Continue reading
FEATURED VIDEO FROM OUR SEMINAR
RECOMMENDED POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVE
featured_vitamin_A_from_animal_sources Vitamin A from animal sources – more good news - Studies show vitamin A may prevent obesity, diabetes, and protect the heart - but Beta-carotene may counteract vitamin A health benefits. Continue reading
featured_low_carb_normal Is Low-Carb really Normo-Carb? - Looking at the effects of high and low-carb diets on glucose, insulin and free fatty acids suggests low carb diets are normal. Continue reading
featured_Weston_A_Price_vindicated New study vindicates Weston A Price - Scientists identify Price's 'Displacing Foods of Commerce' as ideal for inducing full-blown metabolic syndrome in rats. Continue reading
featured_calorie_counting_v_meal_timing Calorie Counting vs Meal Timing - Why a high protein breakfast might work better than calorie counting. Continue reading
featured_keto_pancakes Keto Pancakes - One of our most popular recipes. Makes low-carb breakfasts a doddle. Continue reading

Recent Posts

November News Round-Up

In_the_News_November

  • Fizzy drinks can’t claim to be part of a balanced diet
  • Aged cheese and longevity?
  • Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut (VIDEO)
  • How your calf muscle affects weight loss (!)
  • High-fat diet fuels long distance runner
  • Coffee reduces risk of dementia
  • Aspartame may be to blame for weight gain from sugar-free drinks
  • Vitamin D – do supplements work?
  • How cooking made us human

Read time: 6 minutes (1200 words)

Fizzy drinks cannot be part of a balanced diet

UK children sugar consumption

One of the tricks of purveyors of manufactured foods is to claim that their products can be consumed as ‘part of a balanced diet’, whilst failing to define the word ‘balanced’.

However, The Telegraph (15th November) tells us that researchers are now calling into question the validity of such claims after testing 169 types of fizzy drinks sold by major supermarkets in 2014 and finding that over 55% of exceeded the recommended limit of 30g of sugar per day (based on 330ml can serving size). One of the things that jumped out at me from this article is that of the 1.3 million employees in the NHS, 700,000 are overweight or obese! Yup, I think that’s about right, and yet I remember at some point in my childhood being struck by how slender nurses were and how their belts accentuated their waists. Not any more I fear! And we all know that there is a correlation between being a lower IQ and waist circumference. Just sayin’…

‘Eating cheese could be the key to a longer life’

…So went the headline of an article in that most highbrow of journals The Metro (15th November), who in their typically classy style go on to inform us “That’s right. Cheese is what you need to live forever.”

Behind the silly headline is a very interesting research paper which found that increasing intake of spermidine – a compound originally isolated from sperm, but present in all cells and found in high doses in foods including aged cheeses – extended the lifespan of mice. Please ignore the nonsense towards the end of this short article that crashes into the debunked theory about fat. Clearly cheese, fat content and all, made a positive difference in the study cited, so the fat cannot possibly be doing harm. The article did not consider the presence of vitamin K2 in cheese, but that glorious subject is for another time…

Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut

Read the article here: New Scientist (30 Nov) and remember, the gut has been called ‘the second brain’ for many years. It now looks more and more appropriate to call the gut ‘the first brain’. In other words, mess with your gut at your peril.

Astonishing new insights into what one of your leg muscles does (which will blow your socks off!)

soleus-muscleThe Mail online (25th Nov), has a fascinating article looking at how dieting reduces resting metabolic activity via – get this -the soleus muscles of the calves. (That’s it in the diagram opposite).

Apparently, these muscles are referred to as our ‘secondary hearts’ as they are responsible for pumping fluid back to the heart. ‘Sol‘ means sun, and the solar plexus is where the heart resides, and the sun is the source of life here on earth, so there seems to be a sun/life origin to these organs, recognised by the names the anatomists, in their wisdom, gave them, unless I am mistaken.

Dieting reduces their efficiency, reducing heart output and thus resting metabolic energy expenditure. This must be part of the explanation for the all round positive effects of walking (as opposed to running, which has all sorts of drawbacks).

The author emphasises the importance of keeping these muscles fit through long duration low intensity exercise. Well done Mail Online health reporters for finding this gem!

High-fat diet fuels long distance runner

The Business Insider UK (29th Nov) has a nice personal story “Why a guy who runs 100-mile races eats a high fat diet while training”

Anyone still doubtful of the work of Volek and Phinney, or Prof Tim Noakes, or even good old Robert Atkins, or any of the others who have been demonstrating the superiority of fuelling the body with fat, rather than carbohydrates, will appreciate this article.

Coffee reduces risk of dementia

The Express (30th Nov) reports on a study indicating that regularly drinking three cups of coffee per day reduces the relative risk of dementia by 27%.

“Moderate coffee consumption could play a significant role in reducing cognitive decline which would impact health outcomes and healthcare spending across Europe.“

The findings were presented at the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society’s 2016 Congress in Lisbon.

Aspartame may be to blame for weight gain from sugar-free drinks

New Scientist (24th Nov) reports on studies indicating that the artificial sweetener aspartame can lead to higher blood sugar levels and weight gain in mice by changing gut microbe composition and suppressing intestinal alkaline phosphatase which works by neutralising lipopolysaccharides, bacterial toxins that can irritate the gut lining.

Note in this article the voices of those in the soft drinks industry. Not too good on the actual science huh; more weighted to the emotional argument eh? Typical.

Vitamin D – do supplements work?

Low levels of vitamin D have now been associated with hundreds of different diseases. This month, for example, Science Daily reports on a study that found low levels of vitamin D in newborns is linked to a higher risk of multiple sclerosis later in life. What is not clear in many such associations is whether vitamin D plays a causative or contributory role, or whether is is just a marker for some other factor.

Trials using supplements have many times failed to show benefits, leading many to question the value of vitamin D supplementation. A headline in The Express (24th Nov) says it all: “Are YOU taking Vitamin D? It’s a waste of time and doesn’t prevent disease, scientists say”. If you are interested in the research behind this headline I would recommend NHS choices (24th Nov) who bring some clarity to the story!

There are however, many examples of where vitamin D supplementation has shown benefit, including reduction in asthma severity (see our October News roundup last month) and this month News Medical (21st Nov) report on a trial that found improvement of autism symptoms.

“Autism symptoms—such as hyperactivity, social withdrawal, and others—improved significantly following vitamin D3 supplementation but not after receiving placebo,” said Dr. Khaled Saad, lead author of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry study.

 

Vitamin D blood levels are largely a marker of sun exposure, rising in the summer and falling in winter. A recent paper looking at the benefits of sunlight shows that these extend well beyond vitamin D production, News Medical (21 November) reports: “Vitamin D supplements have not been shown to be an adequate substitute for sun exposure. Risks of insufficient sun exposure include increased risk of many types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease/dementia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, myopia and macular degeneration.”

The importance of cooking in human evolution

New Scientist (2nd Nov) – A really nice article about the importance of cooking in human evolution and it’s health implications. I am sure you will enjoy reading it.

 

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