Inflammation is often visible and painful. Red, angry swellings make their presence felt. Yet sometimes inflammation is invisible and painless; you would never know it was there. When inflammation flares in the brain, it does so silently. Chronic, low-grade inflammation in the brain is a factor in the development of many neurodegenerative diseases, including depression and dementia. It is also seen in Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease.Read more
It is a curious fact that antidepressants are a common treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. But why give Prozac to someone with abdominal pain? Antidepressants work because the gut and brain are inextricably linked. What happens in the gut does not stay in the gut — it travels to the brain. More than half of all patients with IBS are affected by a mood disorder.Read more
Exercise, as you know, has many positive benefits. Aside from raising your buff rating, it improves all aspects of health, from pulmonary and musculoskeletal fitness, from immunity to metabolism. It is celebrated for its heart health benefits, and because cardiovascular fitness is considered a predictor of long-term health exercise can extend your life expectancy.
However, there’s another area of exercise research that is proving to be just as positive, and that’s brain health. It’s becoming clear that the right kind of exercise can help prevent the onset of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.Read more
It takes a natural disaster to realize that food does not actually come from shops, that borders are figments of our imaginations, and that everything that we construct to shield ourselves from the natural world is an illusion that can be swept away in seconds by a flood, an earthquake, a hurricane, a wildfire. A virus.Read more
For those of us who are residents of the Northern Hemisphere, now’s the time to go outside and make some much-needed vitamin D. Except, of course, we can’t. Most of us are in lockdown, and that leaves a big, vitamin D-shaped hole in our lives. Liver stores of this hormone-like vitamin ran out long ago — we can only make vitamin D in spring and summer. Fortunately, backup is available.Read more
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Tired all the time, wiped out, exhausted, fatigued… my clients all had different ways of saying it, but the problem was essentially the same. As a nutrition consultant, I encountered the same health issues time and again. Top of that list, by a mile, was low energy, or however you prefer to put it. If that sounds like you, it’s worth considering possible dietary causes of your fatigue, especially if you’ve tried everything else and been given the all-clear by your doctor.Read more
High homocysteine (Hcy) is an indication of low vitamin B12 status. It is also a risk factor for other serious diseases too, especially cardiovascular disease and stroke, as it can damage the walls of blood vessels. Hcy can easily be lowered. For some people, awareness of this fact could be life changing.Read more
Everyone’s a nutrition expert these days. Wherever you turn, you’ll find a legion of pundits lining up to tell you what to eat, from your co-worker to your latest Internet guru. Then there are the official experts. They have all got something to say — and it’s all different.Read more
To know what optimal mental and physical health feels like, you have to first experience the alternative. There’s no light without shade, after all. And that is the first principle of junk food therapy. Ignore all the media drivel about the New Year bringing in the New You. This isn’t the new you, it’s the real you, the one who’s been there all along, but standing in the dark.Read more