May 2018 News Round-Up

Low-Carb, Seafood and Paleo Power

New to eating this way? Check out these primers:

Paleo Diet: WebMD (May 2nd)
Keto Diet: PopSugar (May 28th)

Menopause: Sky News (May 1st): A four-year study of 14,000 British women found that those eating oily fish went through menopause on average three years later than average, whilst those eating refined carbs such as rice and pasta reached menopause 18 months earlier. Vegetarian diets were associated with a 1 year earlier onset. See also Independent, May 1st.

Type 1 diabetes: Medpage Today (May 7th) reports on a study that surveyed 316 Type 1 diabetics and found that those who followed a very low carb diet (less than 50g per day) achieved excellent blood sugar control. Overall, 97% of these participants achieved the recommended glycemic targets of the American Diabetes Association.

Autoimmune disease: Business Live (May 16th) covers Jordan and Mikhaila Peterson’s success at controlling their autoimmune conditions with a meat only diet, and introduces us to a growing number of researchers advocating a low carb meat based diet.

US surgeon, carnivore and elite athlete Dr Shawn Baker… sees patients putting diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s, psoriasis and depression into remission on low-carb, ketogenic and meat-only diets. Osteoarthritis commonly disappears while digestion improves.

Seafood for the Heart: MedPage Today, May 17th The American Heart Association now recommends eating oily fish twice per week. The advisory group points out that the heart benefits from seafood comes not just from omega-3.

“In sum, the current scientific evidence strongly supports the recommendation that seafood be an integral component of a heart-healthy dietary pattern,”

Seafood for Fertility: MedPage Today, May 25th Study: “Couples who ate seafood tended to have a shorter time to conception due to heightened sexual activity.”

Eggs for the Heart: Business Insider or BBC News, May 22nd A study covering more than half a million adults in china found that those who ate eggs once per day had 26% fewer major coronary events, such as stroke or heart attack, than those who ate eggs only rarely.

Ostrich eggs for Breakfast Anyone ? The Telegraph, May 31st.

Personal Story #1: Women’s Health, May 16th “My Husband And I Went Paleo—And We’ve Never Slept Better’ So. Worth. It.”

Personal Story #2: Health24, May 25th “I cut out dairy and gluten and it completely changed my life’. Take that, Hashimoto’s disease.”

Mixed Messages on High Protein Diets

This month two studies on high protein diets and heart health came to paradoxical conclusions: (1) The Telegraph, May 29th: High protein diets may cause heart failure (2) The Times, May 28th: High-protein diets increase survival in heart failure patients. A clear case of ‘more research is needed’ no?

In the first study men eating high protein diets had a 33% increased risk of developing heart failure, whereas in the second study patients suffering with heart failure were 46% more likely to die if they were in the low-protein diet bracket. Woah… try to combine those two statistics!

My thoughts?  Nutritional science is still in the dark ages, relying too heavily on observational studies which can’t determine causation. So… don’t panic.

Herbal Medicine

Respiratory Inflammation: Extracts from this pretty little lawn weed Germander speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys) has just entered phase 2 clinical trials for COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) as the herb has traditional use “to treat respiratory inflammatory diseases”. Lead researchers commented that “It is well tolerated with fewer side effects than conventional drugs” (MedPage Today, May 23rd)

Postmenopause Symptoms: Fennel seed, given in capsules, has been shown to significantly reduce postmenopausal symptoms. (Herbs Info, May 22nd)

Breast, Pancreatic and Ovarian Cancer: Spirulina, an algae usually thought of as a plant-based protein supplement, has recently been shown to inhibit breast, pancreatic and ovarian cancer cells in rats. (Herbs Info, May 22nd)

Osteoarthritis: Study finds that turmeric extract is more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs. (Herbs Info, May 22nd)

Doing You Harm

  • Welsh mother-of-one was left in agony following operation to treat bowel disorder (The Week, May 30th)
  • Doctor warns that Calpol is ‘The Heroin of Childhood’ (LADbible, May 22nd)
  • Daily aspirin dose ‘doubles risk of skin cancer in men’ (The Telegraph, May 5th)
  • A study has found that doctors are ignoring signs and symptoms that should trigger celiac testing in 95% of cases. (MedPage Today, May 18th)

“Celiac disease remains one of the most unrecognized disorders among physicians despite better awareness about the disease in the public.”

Alberto Rubio-Tapia, MD, Mayo Clinic  

NB – Not only is coeliac disease largely unrecognised by doctors, but even if they do get round to testing their standard coeliac tests are too low resolution, and miss a large proportion of actual coeliac cases. Many patients get a ‘false negative’ result from the GP/NHS test and are told they are not coeliac, when a better test, such as the one used in my clinic (via Cyrex Labs) often reveals positive coeliac markers enabling the right advice to be given to patients.

Bad for You

  • GLUTEN WARNING! String of trendy restaurants and cafes are caught out falsely labelling meals as ‘gluten-free’ – despite the fact they contain harmful levels of wheat (Daily Mail, May 28th)
  • Less than 6 hours sleep causes a measurable performance and memory hit, even if you feel rested. Daily Mail, May 21st
  • Ultra-clean homes could trigger childhood leukaemia, major review suggests. Telegraph, May 21st
  • Gluten – one of the triggers for autoimmune thyroiditis. SBS, May 3rd
  • Fruit juice with breakfast places children at higher risk of obesity. TheTimes, May 25th
  • Half of food adverts children see are for unhealthy food, despite junk food advertising ban. The Independent May 31st
  • Not All Calories are Equal New research concludes that what you eat is just as important, if not more so, than how much you eat. The paper, published in Obesity Reviews by 22 American scientists from different universities provides evidence that some foods promote obesity more than others, with sugar coming in for particular criticism. (Business Insider, May 18th). Which qualifies for the ‘We all knew that already’ award.

Vitamins

Vitamin D: low levels linked to increased miscarriage (The Independent, May 31st). Tripling infant Vitamin-D dose does not make their bones any stronger by age 2 (Medical Express, May 29th)

Vitamin B12: Spotting B12 deficiency (Everyday Health May 26th) 10 ways your body uses B12 (Reader’s Digest, May 11th)

BUT, unless prescribed, try to get your vitamins from food and sunshine as a recent study concluded that routine vitamin supplements don’t improve health (The Sun, May 29th), which goes hand in hand with the AHA recommending eating oily fish more often rather than taking omega-3 fish oil supplements as the benefits are greater.

Rewilding

Eighty years after they were hunted to extinction, the successful reintroduction of a herd of wild European bison on to the dunes of the Dutch coast is paving the way for their return across the continent. (The Guardian, May 28th)

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