Health News of Note: Salt Relation to Autoimmunity; Diet Helps Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk; Probiotics; Breakfast and CHD.

 

  • Excess salt content in diet a potential environmental risk factor for autoimmune diseases.

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Could latest research indicate that increased salt intake is the long-soughtafter environmental factor associated with the epidemic of autoimmune disease?

Apparently the data present makes for an attractive hypothesis, the direct causality of salt intake and incidence of autoimmune disease is yet to be demonstrated. According to researchers the data indicate that clinical trials with reduction of salt intake for individuals at risk for developing autoimmune disease are required. Additionally, excess salt content in diet should be investigated as a potential environmental risk factor for autoimmune diseases.

While researchers continue their research, I now have yet another reason to avoid high salt intake. Was my autoimmune disease caused by high salt intake? – I doubt it, as since I was a child I stayed on a moderate salt diet due to my kidney condition. Yet I have notice that when I do in fact consume a meal high in sodium, my body reacts and while I do see what is on the surface, I have to wonder what is happening on the inside.

 

  • Dietary Guidelines Aim to Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

The 7 Dietary Principles to Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk – The new guidelines were released few weeks ago at the International Conference on Nutrition and the Brain held in Washington, DC, sponsored jointly by PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) and George Washington University School of Medicine.

1. Minimize saturated fats and trans fats.
2. Vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), fruits, and whole grains should be the primary staples of the diet.
3. One ounce of nuts or seeds (one small handful) daily provides a healthful source of vitamin E.
4. A reliable source of vitamin B12, such as fortified foods or a supplement providing at least 2.4 μg per day for adults) should be part of the daily diet.
5. Choose multivitamins without iron and copper, and consume iron supplements only when directed by your physician.
6. Avoid the use of cookware, antacids, baking powder, or other products that contribute dietary aluminium.
7. Engage in aerobic exercise equivalent to 40 minutes of brisk walking 3 times per week.

Sounds like a wonderful set of guidelines to me! A plant based diet (does not mean vegan) with addition of exercise – would benefit anyone and is definitely a great place to start!

 

  • Probiotics: How Good Are These ‘Good’ Bacteria?

Some interesting research based information on Probiotics as well as Prebiotics. This beautiful slideshow covers some of the latest research and answers questions that I get asked all the time by my clients.

Depending on the condition, probiotics may provide some relief or prevent disease, such as with antibiotic-related diarrhea, eczema in infants, or allergic rhinitis. The effect of probiotics on brain activity may still show clinical benefits when further research is conducted. It appears that probiotic therapy can induce measureable changes in brain activity and may reduce the risk for hepatic encephalopathy in patients with cirrhosis; however, whether probiotics provide additional benefits to the brain has yet to be determined. Similarly, probiotics’ effects on lipid levels and infection rates after surgery also need more research. Most adverse effects with these agents are mild and occur rarely, according to the NCCAM, which suggests that probiotics may be a safe treatment option for many conditions. “However, the data on safety, particularly long-term safety, are limited, and the risk of serious side effects may be greater in people who have underlying health conditions,” the NCCAM notes.

The healthy body is an amazing mechanism and to mess with it too much could mean throwing it out of balance.  So I always tend to be cautious about any supplements especially if taken for a long period of time. Real whole foods are in my opinion still the ideal source to nurture, fuel and heal your body with.

  • Skipping Breakfast Ups Risk of CHD in Middle-Aged Men.

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CHD – Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States for men and women.

A large, prospective study supports the common wisdom that skipping breakfast is not a healthy way to start the day. Compared with men who ate breakfast, those who skipped breakfast had a 27% increased risk of MI (myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack) or death from CHD.

“It’s a pretty simple [overall] public health message, one that is cheap, [and involves habits that are] not hard to change compared with other diet and lifestyle factors,” Rimm said. Physicians should advise patients to “eat regularly, and specifically eat in the morning,” he advised. Dr Eric B Rimm (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA) is a Senior author of the study.

Previous studies based on data from the HPFS ( Health Professionals Follow-up Study) cohort showed that men who skipped breakfast were at increased risk of gaining substantial weight or developing type 2 diabetes.

People who skip breakfast have higher levels of fasting insulin, triglycerides, and LDL-cholesterol, in part, because the body is likely reacting to the fact that there’s no new calorie source for 12–14 hours, [which] may put extra [long-term] stress on the body,” Rimm said.

My husband wakes up at 5 am every morning (his first client is usually at 7 am) and while we all are asleep, he makes himself a nice healthy breakfast. Some days if he is not hungry, he will have a small bowl of raw oatmeal cereal from Whole Foods Market bulk section or a boiled egg, but he never leaves home without breakfast and he is the healthiest 51 year old I know!

To your health,

Elena

 

Sources:

http://erasems.org/media/uploads/Markus_Nature_Salt_2013.pdf http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/808417?nlid=32188_682&src=wnl_edit_medn_imed&uac=199688CG&spon=18 http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/probiotics?nlid=32093_454&src=wnl_edit_medp_peds&uac=199688CG&spon=9#11
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/808257?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=199688CG

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