How Exercise Changes Your Brain and Your Mood

Beyond the runner’s high lies a biochemical process that is part of the brain’s growth and repair system. Central to that process is a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF protects existing brain cells from damage. It strengthens the synapses (a synapse is the structure between nerves, through which messages are transmitted), and helps form new synapses. BDNF is also involved in a process called neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells.

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Why Giving Up Sugar Is So Good For Your Mental Health

Sugar makes you fat, which is bad enough. But can it really make you depressed? Clinically depressed, even? The evidence is compelling, and it’s a journey that starts with a mild blood sugar imbalance and can end with serious mental illness. Each step of that journey is fuelled by sugar, or more specifically, glucose.

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How Stress Makes You Overeat — And How to Stop it

Stress is bad for your mental health. It’s not great for your heart or immune health, either. Furthermore — and just to rub salt into your wounds — it can also make you fat. But the consequences of stress are not inevitable: once you understand what’s going on, you can fight back.

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Covid-19 and Vitamin D: What to do While You Wait for the Vaccine

Vitamin D can’t stop you from getting infected, but it can mitigate the severity of symptoms, and help get you through the winter. Vitamin D is safe and inexpensive. For that reason, scientists now take the view that by taking it, there is nothing to lose, and potentially much to gain. There are some remarkable similarities between those who are most vulnerable to Covid-19 symptoms, and those most likely to experience vitamin D deficiency.

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Could Parasites be the Cause of Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you are familiar with the misery of abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhoea, and/or constipation. It just so happens that these are also common symptoms of a gut parasite infection. If your symptoms have not responded to standard IBS treatment, taking a simple test may be the first step on the road to recovery.

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The five best diet hacks to transform your mental health

There are many dietary factors that can affect brain function. Here I focus on the five that I encountered most frequently in clinic. The clue to identifying the right one(s) often lies in the accompanying physical symptoms. If you suffer from depression and anxiety, you too might spot the clues. Here’s a guide to nutritional sleuthing for mental well-being.

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How to Detox Your Brain

Sometimes described as “cellular housekeeping”, autophagy — meaning “self-eating” in Greek – is a process that takes place in all mammalian cells and tissues. It was in the 1960s that researchers first became aware that each cell can destroy its own components. These components include damaged proteins and organelles, considered to be “common features of neurodegenerative diseases”, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.

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