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Posts Tagged ‘research’

Starchy vegetables put on the pounds

Posted on: 11th July 2016

Can they contribute to weight gain?

Eating starchy vegetables, such as peas and corn, can put on the weight, but sticking to high-fibre and low glycaemic fruits and vegetables will help you shed the pounds.

What should I be eating?

vegetablesA diet that’s rich in berries, apples and cauliflower can help stabilise weight and also achieve manageable weight loss, say researchers. Other weight losing foods include green, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables.


Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health looked at the weight and diets of 133,468 men and women in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Those who ate fruits and non-starchy vegetables reported a half pound (0.53lb) weight loss over four years for a daily serving of each fruit or vegetable.

But those who regularly ate starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, peas and corn, put on up to 2 pounds (lbs) over the four years.

High-fibre and low glycaemic fruits and vegetables also helped prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes, the researchers said.

Source – PLOS Medicine, 2015

Light exercise reduces risk of asthma attack

Posted on: 22nd June 2016

Research into asthma and exercise

Thirty minutes of exercise a day could keep asthma attacks away.

New research has discovered that asthmatics who do daily gentle exercise, such as walking, riding a bike or yoga, are nearly three times less likely to have an attack than a sedentary sufferer.

New research has found that exercise doesn’t cause an attack provided the sufferer takes medication beforehand and cools down afterwards.

Source: BMJ Open Respiratory Research, 2015: 2: e000083


bike ride HI

Gluten sensitivity

Posted on: 14th January 2016

Is it a fad?

Not eating wheat is all the rage, and some sceptics regard it as a fashionable fad – but scientists have discovered the gluten sensitivity is a very real problem, and they’ve also figured out the biological mechanism behind it.


Eating wheat products such as bread or pasta releases molecules that can pass through the gut lining. The molecules include exorphins, which have been found in the spinal fluid of people with schizophrenia and autism. They could also have an opioid-drug effect, which would explain the light-headedness that seems to affect some sufferers.


Researchers from Milan University have discovered that eating gluten releases these proteins and molecules, but say that more research is needed to find out what biological effect they may be having.

Source – Food Research International ,2015; 72:208


bread gluten

How to diet properly

Posted on: 6th January 2016

What diet works?

Well it’s all to do with how you think about food. Research recently highlighted by the BBC, would suggest that before you choose how to diet, you need to know what food type you are.

What type am I?

Research suggests that there are broadly three types of people, feaster, cravers and emotional eaters.

Feasters generally don’t know when to stop eating, A hormone, in the gut, that indicates when we are full, is depleted in this group, so the brain keeps thinking it needs to eat.

Cravers are genetically predisposed to feeling hungry and thinking about food 24/7. Leptin levels that measure fat in the body fall as we lose weight, and in cravers the brain indicates that fat levels need to rise, making us feel hungry.

Emotional eaters, as the name implies seek food to comfort eat, to compensate for emotional and behavioural issues. Stress plays a key role as our nervous systems are over stimulated with the inevitable loss of energy, unless we replenish by eating.

What diet suits me?

Feasters, well it’s all about boosting those gut hormones. That means a high protein, low carbohydrate diet; the best carbohydrates are those slow release ones with a low glycaemic index. Good examples are pasta, lentils, not potatoes and ordinary breads.

Cravers fall neatly into the 5:2 diet, that’s two days eating 800/600 calories if you’re a man/woman, preferably consecutive days.

Emotional eaters, because you are trying to change behavioural habits, group help is actually important. Slimming World and similar organisations are a good way to set yourself a target, and with peer support achieve your goals.

Tips to think about

Because it is about maintaining our metabolic rate, as we lose weight it actually falls, so eat slowly and don’t rush your food.

By avoiding those bad carbohydrates you are more likely to burn fat and reduce the production of glucose.

Exercise – lead a healthy life, it’s easy. Shop with a basket – 40 calories, stand making phone calls – 60 calories, 6-7 minute walk – 110 calories, climb stairs – 60 calories, that’s 270 calories equal to thirty minutes on a bike.

Finally, if you get a day wrong get back onto the diet ASAP! Good luck.


weight loss

Family history of cancer isn’t a death sentence

Posted on: 4th December 2015

Is breast cancer hereditary?

Family history isn’t such an important factor after all when it comes to breast cancer. You’re as likely to survive it as women who have no cancer in their family, new research suggests.

Hereditary factors are reckoned to be responsible for a quarter of all cases of breast cancer – but they don’t make any difference to the prognosis, say researchers from the University of Southampton.

Research conclusion

Women with a family history have the same chances of surviving the disease as those who don’t, a study of 2,850 breast cancer patients discovered.   The women were all under the age of 41, and some had a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. But there was no difference in the rate of cancer recurrence after treatment, said lead researcher Prof Diana Eccles.

Source – British Journal of Surgery, 2015


Posted on: 27th November 2015

How to reduce the risks

If you are already experiencing problems with gallstones, or are at risk, then a low carbohydrate diet is recommended.

How to help yourself

According to research if your diet is high in refined sugar then your risks of developing gallstones is increased by 35%!

Cut out those nasty sugars!

Source – Lifespan 2015Gallstones HI

Fish oils to help improve children’s behaviour

Posted on: 20th November 2015

Can aggression and anti-social behaviour in children be helped by omega 3 fish oils?

It’s already known that the fish oils can help adults with criminal or aggressive behaviour but the University of Pennsylvania wanted to find out if the supplements could do the same for children who were aggressive or anti-social.

What did the research involve?

The researchers gave 50 children, aged from eight to sixteen, a drink containing one gram of omega 3 every day for six months and another 50 the same drink but without the fish oils.


After six months, both groups reported less aggressive and anti-social behaviour, but only the omega 3 group continued to show an improvement in their behaviour after twelve months: there was a 42% reduction in ‘external’ behaviour problems, such as aggression, and a 62% drop in ‘internal’ behavioural problems, such as depression, anxiety and withdrawal.

 Research indicates that children who had poor nutritional status at the age of three were more anti-social and aggressive by the time they were eight years old.

Source – Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 2015; 56 (5): 509

Knee problems and keyhole surgery

Posted on: 14th October 2015

Should keyhole surgery for knee problems be stopped?

The procedure, known as arthroscopy, increases the risk for deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism (a blockage of the main artery of the lung), infection and even death.

What research found

The benefits of surgery seemed to disappear within one to two years, researchers from the University of Southern Denmark discovered. As such, arthroscopy is not suitable for middle-aged and older patients with knee pain, whether or not they have osteoarthritis, they concluded. They based their findings on a review of nine studies, involving 1,270 patients aged between 48 and 63 years.

Source – BMJ, 2015; 350: h2747

Heart failure linked to fructose

Posted on: 30th September 2015

Can fructose in drinks and ready-meals lead to heart failure?

Fructose – often used as a ‘healthier’ alternative sweetener in fruit juices and drinks – can trigger uncontrolled growth of the heart, leading to heart failure, new research has found.

What has research found?

The discovery adds to earlier research that found the liver converts fructose very efficiently into fat, and people who drink large quantities of fructose-sweetened drinks are more likely to put on weight, develop high blood pressure and become insulin resistant, a range of conditions collectively known as metabolic syndrome.

Now Wilhelm Krek from ETH Zurich’s Institute for Molecular Health Sciences has discovered that fructose can also cause the heart to grow uncontrollably.

Fructose seems to be involved in a fatal chain reaction that is more commonly seen in people with high blood pressure (HBP). In HBP patients, the heart grows in order to pump the blood around; however, as it runs out of its usual energy supply of fatty acids, it seeks out sugars, including fructose.

How can I help myself?

The key, as with most things, is moderation. Consuming fruit, which naturally contains fructose, and a fruit juice a day isn’t going to do you any harm, say Krek. But drinking sweet soft juices, often with added sugar, together with ready meals and other foods that contain artificial fructose sweetener can produce a surplus in the body that triggers the mechanisms which can lead to heart failure.

Source – Nature, 2015; doi: 10.1038/nature14508


Omega 3s and B vitamins work together in the brain

Posted on: 24th September 2015

What the study involved

A new study from Oxford scientists suggests that combining omega 3 fish oils and with B vitamins might slow the progression of brain shrinkage in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

As part of this new study, researchers divided 168 people over the age of 70 years with mild cognitive impairment into two groups, one of which took high-dose B vitamins (folic acid 0.8mg, vitamin B6 20mg, vitamin B12, 0.5mg) while the other took inactive placebo for two years.

What has research shown?

In those taking the B vitamins, the rate of brain atrophy slowed by 40 per cent compared with those on placebo but only if they had high blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids.


This is the first evidence to suggest that Alzheimer’s-related brain shrinkage might be slowed through dietary intervention, and has been hailed by experts as a major breakthrough in dementia prevention.

Source – Lifespan 2015