Thursday, January 31, 2013

Does a gluten-free diet promote weight loss?

According to a study in the December issue of  Journal of Nutrition Biochemistry, the effects of gluten-free diets on obesity and its mechanisms of action have not been studied. Thus, the researchers objective was to assess whether gluten exclusion can prevent adipose tissue expansion and its consequences. Their data supports the beneficial effects of gluten-free diets in reducing adiposity gain, inflammation and insulin resistance. Their findings suggest that diet gluten exclusion should be tested as a new dietary approach to prevent the development of obesity and metabolic disorders.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Alternative menopause treatments

Herbal and complementary medicines could be recommended as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for treating postmenopausal symptoms says a new study in the January 11th issue of The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist (TOG).

Due to the risks of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), other treatment options may be equally effective, such as behavior modification and herbal and complimentary medicines.

The study states that as many as 50 to 75 percent of postmenopausal women use herbal options to treat hot flushes, and of the complimentary therapies, soy, red clover and black cohosh have been the most investigated.

The author of the study recommends these herbal treatments as there are no significant adverse side effects associated with them, as long as they are used in women who do not have a personal history of breast cancer, are not at high risk for breast cancer, and are not taking tamoxifen.

Parents want complementary info from their doctors

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is common among pediatric specialty outpatients. The most commonly used CAM products were vitamins/minerals (85.0%), herbal remedies (15.6%), and homeopathics (11.5%). The most commonly used CAM practices were massage (39.1%), faith healing (27.1%), chiropractic (20.3%), aromatherapy (16.1%), and relaxation (16.1%).

Most parents assessed CAM as being helpful and reported only a few or minor adverse effects. The survey identified 80 adverse events, and parents reported 55 (68.8%) of these events as minor. Adverse events were reported in all specialty clinics: cardiology (13/176 respondents), gastrointestinal (29/214 respondents), neurology (22/205 respondents), oncology (7/129 respondents), and respiratory (9/202 respondents).

The authors found that use of natural health products is far more common than seeing an actual CAM provider.

Although most parents feel comfortable discussing CAM in their pediatric clinic, the survey revealed that that 19.4% of parents who use CAM with traditional medicine do not discuss their CAM use with physicians or pharmacists.

Pediatrics. Published January 14, 2013.

Exercise safely if you have asthma or allergies

    Not only can new workout routines be difficult for those with asthma, but several allergens can be found lurking in health clubs making this healthy activity bothersome for the more than 40 million Americans that suffer from allergies. By understanding what triggers symptoms, those with allergies and asthma will be able to feel good and remain active. 

    Here are five of the most common allergy and asthma exercise ailments: 
    1. Don't Overdo It - If you're experiencing shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and unusual fatigue you might have exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). Breathing through your nose, rather than your mouth, can also help. 
    2. Think Before you Eat - Whether you've signed up for a dieting meal plan or are opting for foods with less calories, be sure to always read nutrition labels before you consume new items. Many products contain hidden food allergens. Energy bars can also be loaded with allergens.
    3. Choose Equipment Wisely - While most exercise machines won't cause you to sneeze or wheeze, rubber mats, medicine balls and some rubber coated free weights might. Latex can often be found in these items, causing those with latex allergies to develop a rash or hives. Also beware of disinfectant wipes and sprays used to clean gym equipment. They can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can spur an asthma attack or cause skin irritation.
    4. Explore the Great Indoors - If you're allergic to pollen, grass and other environmental factors, hit the ground running indoors. Not a fan of treadmills and indoor tracks? Take your allergy medication and avoid running outdoors during mid-day and afternoon hours when pollen counts may be highest. Be sure to change your clothes and shower immediately after finishing your workout to remove any particles that might have fallen onto your clothes and hair. 
    5. Comfort over Fashion - If your workout leaves you itchy and you've ruled out other gym culprits, your clothing might be the setback. Synthetic materials used in everything from shirts to socks could be irritating your skin. ACAAI recommends checking clothing labels and opting for Lycra (spandex) which is higher quality and less likely to irritate your skin. Garments made of natural products can also help. If you have a latex allergy, be wary of athletic shoes and elastic waistbands.

    Study Suggest Low GI Diet Keeps Cancer Away.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    Report Questions RD Group's Sponsor Ties

    Bonnie: Government and media have taken doctors to task for their financial ties to Big Pharma. How is the relationship between Registered Dietitians and Big Food any different?

    Michele Simon's full report can be found here:

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    Best position to sleep in?

    Berries wonderful for women's hearts,0,1923421.story

    Fructose or Glucose?

    In a study examining possible factors regarding the associations between fructose consumption and weight gain, brain magnetic resonance imaging of study participants indicated that ingestion of glucose but not fructose reduced cerebral blood flow and activity in brain regions that regulate appetite, and ingestion of glucose but not fructose produced increased ratings of satiety and fullness, according to a preliminary study published in the January 2 issue of JAMA.

    The researchers found that there was a significantly greater reduction in hypothalamic brain function after glucose vs. fructose ingestion. "Glucose but not fructose ingestion reduced the activation of the hypothalamus, insula, and striatum -- brain regions that regulate appetite, motivation, and reward processing; glucose ingestion also increased functional connections between the hypothalamic-striatal network and increased satiety."

    Vitamin deficiency contributes to alcohol dependance

    Reduced blood levels of thiamine (vitamin B1) in people who are alcohol dependent, compared with those with no history of alcohol abuse, are likely to be because of the poor diet. According to research in this month's Alcohol and Alcoholism, consumption of vitamin supplements appears to bring thiamine levels closer to those seen in control participants. Supplementation of dietary intake of thiamine in people who are alcohol dependent remains an important measure for the prevention of Wernicke–Korsakoff's syndrome in this population

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Extreme weather may cause produce to be less nutritious

    Levels of protein as well as iron, copper and zinc in food may have been affected by extreme weather. According to Professor Mike Gooding, head of agricultural policy and development at Reading University in the U.K., says high rainfall could cause loss of nutrients in soil while lack of sunshine could hamper the development of sugars in produce, causing the nutrients available to the plant to be reduced. 

    Rainfall, for example, will often cause leaching and loss of nutrients from the soil, and at certain times that will certainly reduce the amount of protein that ends up in the produce.

    However, in some instances where the poor weather has resulted in a dramatically-reduced number of crops being produced, a reverse effect might take place for those that have survived. If yield goes down more than the nutrition and the nutrients, the concentration will actually go up.

    Synthetic stool? For what?

    A synthetic "poop" developed at the University of Guelph can cure nasty gastrointestinal infections caused by Clostridium difficile, a toxin-producing bacterium. A study on the artificial stool was published January 8 in the inaugural issue of Microbiome, a new peer-reviewed science journal.

    The stool -- a "super-probiotic" called RePOOPulate -- was created to replace human fecal matter used in stool transplants, a known treatment for C. difficile. The super-probiotic from purified intestinal bacterial cultures grown in "Robo-gut" equipment in a Guelph laboratory that mimics the environment of the large intestine.

    Besides offering an effective therapy against the deadly superbug, the artificial poop is safer, more stable and adaptable, and less "icky" than treatments for C. difficile infection such as fecal bacteriotherapy.

    Steve: I think they have to consider renaming the product if they want it to be taken seriously :)

    Caffeinated and decaffeinated beverages on type 2 diabetes risk

    Consumption of caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The objective of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study was to examine the association of caffeinated compared with caffeine-free beverages, including coffee, tea, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), and carbonated artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs), with T2D risk.

    74,749 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 39,059 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who were free of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer at baseline were examined.

    Irrespective of the caffeine content, SSB and caffeine-free ASB intake were associated with a higher risk of T2D, and both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, as well as caffeinated tea intake were associated with a lower risk of T2D.

    Here's why breast milk is best.

    Spanish researchers have traced the bacterial microbiota map in breast milk, which is often the main source of nourishment for newborns. The study has revealed a larger microbial diversity than originally thought: more than 700 species.

    The breast milk received from the mother is one of the factors determining how the bacterial flora will develop in the newborn baby. A group of Spanish scientists have now used a technique based on massive DNA sequencing to identify the set of bacteria contained within breast milk called microbiome. Thanks to their study, pre- and postnatal variables influencing the micriobial richness of milk can now be determined.

    Colostrum is the first secretion of the mammary glands after giving birth. In some of the samples taken of this liquid, more than 700 species of these microorganisms were found, which is more than originally expected by experts. The results have been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    The study also reveals that the milk of overweight mothers or those who put on more weight than recommended during pregnancy contains a lesser diversity of species. The type of labor also affects the microbiome within the breast milk: that of mothers who underwent a planned caesarean is different and not as rich in microorganisms as that of mothers who had a vaginal birth. However, when the caesarean is unplanned (intrapartum), milk composition is very similar to that of mothers who have a vaginal birth.

    These results suggest that the hormonal state of the mother at the time of labor also plays a role.

    Bonnie: As we already know, formula feeding from the beginning puts infant guts at a disadvantage. This is just another example of why nature is so brilliant.

    Soy supplements a no go for menopause

    Menopausal women who took soy supplements during a two-year trial reported no differences in quality of life compared to their counterparts taking placebo pills. In the new report, published in Menopause, researchers looked not just at specific symptoms but overall quality of life measures among healthy women, mostly in their 50s and six years or more into menopause on average.

    Several hundred women were asked to take supplement pills three times a day for two years. Among them, 126 took a fake supplement that contained no soy extract, while 135 women took tablets containing a total of 80 milligrams a day of soy protein and another 123 women took 120 mg each day.

    At the start of the study and again one and two years into it, the women filled out a quality of life survey that asked about mental, physical and sexual health as well as about hot flashes. In each of the surveys, the women in all three groups scored similarly on the main measures in the questionnaire.

    Bonnie: We never recommend soy supplements. That is not to say, however, that soy products do not help menopausal symptoms. Fermented soy foods, such as tofu and tempeh, can be helpful if consumed in moderation and only if organic.

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Soft drinks, juice drinks linked to depression

    Steve: pay special attention to the highlight in bold.

    A new study found that those who drink a fair amount of sweetened sodas and fruit drinks – whether diet or regular – have an increased risk of depression. Coffee drinkers, on the other hand, have a slightly lower risk. The study was presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting this week.

    Previous studies have found that drinking sweetened beverages was associated with a higher prevalence of depression, suicidal thoughts and other mental distress. But this study followed people over a number of years.

    From 1995 to 1996, consumption of drinks such as soda, tea, fruit punch and coffee was evaluated in 263,925 adults. About 10 years later, researchers asked the participants whether they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000. A total of 11,311 people said yes.

    Here’s what they found:

    • People who drank more than four cans or cups of soda per day were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda.

    • Those who drank four cans of fruit punch per day were about 38 percent more likely to develop depression than those who did not drink sweetened drinks.

    The risk of depression was greater for those who drank diet soda rather than regular soda, diet fruit drinks instead of sugar-sweetened fruit drinks and diet rather than regular iced tea.

    The study also found that coffee drinkers seemed to be slightly protected from depression. People who drank four cups of coffee per day were about 10 percent less likely to develop depression than those who drank no coffee.

    Miracle ball method and pregnancy

    For a few years I have been recommending the Miracle Ball Method for patients to use at home in between adjustments. This method lengthens the spine and the muscles of the body, helping to reduce pain, enhance flexibility and improve posture. One can use the small, cushiony balls very simply by placing them on either side of the spine and laying on each area for a few minutes or one can go in depth and use this very gentle exercise method to create lots of change in their body. I use them regularly at night before sleeping to help realign my body from my days work. I love them and my patients tell me they love them too.

    I found them at my local Barnes and Noble and noticed a few months back that the same company made a kit for Pregnant Women (the kit comes with a booklet and 2 balls). This kit is similar to the Miracle Ball Method but the booklet has more specific information for pregnant women. The booklet explains how the method can help with pregnancy related pain, reduce labor discomfort, improve post partum recovery and help with the discomforts associated with breastfeeding. I began recommending the kit to my pregnant women to use in between adjustments and moms have said their backs are staying looser in between visits. One mom said she could understand how they would be very helpful to use after her baby was born.

    The woman who invented this method is Elaine Petrone and I think you will enjoy this 2-minute video of her explaining and demonstrating the Pregnancy balls. Here is Ms. Petrone’s video:

    Dr. Liselotte Schuster
    Family Practice for Pregnant Women, Babies, Kids, Teens and Adults.

    Most popular snack is the country is?,0,4680731.story

    Wednesday, January 09, 2013

    Gadget Sucks Food Directly Out of Your Stomach

    Is this where we have come to as a society? I guess the message in the movie WALL-E is coming to fruition.

    Tuesday, January 08, 2013

    What to do about HDL?

    Whether you read the article or not (we agree with some of it), make sure you read the comments by Eduardo Siguel, cholesterol researcher. Very telling!

    Supplements found in 2000 year-old shipwreck

    Friday, January 04, 2013

    Advergames the new persuasvie marketing for kids

    Previous studies have focused on the effects of television advertising on the energy intake of children. However, the rapidly changing food-marketing landscape requires research to measure the effects of nontraditional forms of marketing on the health-related behaviors of children. The main aim of a December American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study was to examine the effect of advergames that promote energy-dense snacks (i.e. junk food) or fruit on children's snack and fruit consumption and to examine whether this consumption differed according to brand and product type. The second aim was to examine whether advergames can stimulate fruit intake. 

    The main finding was that playing an advergame containing food cues increased the general energy intake, regardless of the advertised brand or product type, and this activity particularly increased the intake of energy-dense snack foods (junk food). Children who played the fruit version of the advergame did not eat significantly more fruit than did those in the other groups. The findings suggest that playing advergames that promote food, including either high energy-dense snacks or fruit, increases the energy intake in children.

    Steve: This is going to be the next major issue between public health advocates and Big Food.

    Don't fear expired food

    Multivitamin enhances mood and energy

    While many randomized controlled trials have been conducted on multivitamins, to our knowledge no qualitative research exploring the subjective experience of taking a multivitamin during a clinical trial has been reported. Of the participants enrolled in a study that appears in the December issue of Nutrition Journal, analysis revealed significant effects in favor of the multivitamin over placebo for participants experiencing increased energy levels and enhanced mood. The beneficial effect on energy levels was particularly evident among female participants. A trend was found for participants reporting better sleep in the multivitamin over placebo.