Food allergies, and a specific skin condition called eczema, are rapidly increasing in the youth population. Now, in what may be the largest study of its kind ever performed, researchers are studying a woman’s diet during pregnancy, as well as duration of breast-feeding post-birth, to assess a child’s susceptibility to allergies, as well as risk for conditions like eczema and autoimmune disorders. British investigators, evaluating over 1.5 million people, have come up with some very compelling information.
The research is what’s called a meta-analysis, meaning that it is review of previous studies (over 400 in this case) involving over 1.5 million people, and dating as far back as 1946. The researchers discovered that there was a weak, but nonetheless demonstrable, relationship between breast-feeding and reduced risk of eczema during infancy, as well as reduced risk for type I diabetes. In addition, probiotics seemed to reduce the risk of allergic reactions to cow’s milk.
The data, however, was much more supportive of the relationship between taking a probiotic supplement while 36 – 38 weeks pregnant, and during the first 3 to 6 months of breast-feeding, and risk for childhood eczema. In fact, in those women taking probiotics, risk for eczema in their child was reduced by 22%. The scientist noted that most of the probiotics contained a bacterium called Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Continue reading
In Brain Maker, we looked at the relationship between the health of the gut and that of the brain, particularly as it relates to how the gut is the origin of inflammation, a cause of Alzheimer’s disease, an inflammatory disorder. With that in mind, shouldn’t we be able to improve our gut health as a way to treat Alzheimer’s? Well, the latest science has something to say about that. Continue reading
It seems like at this stage we’ve all come to an agreement that it’s essential to have a diet that’s rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3s. The problem is, when it comes to supplementation, there seems to be much confusion on which form is best. Among those people consider: krill, algae, and fish. In today’s video, I’ll explain why I suggest fish oil as the optimal choice.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a quarter billion courses of antibiotics are dispensed to outpatients in America each year. That means that five out of every six people, on average, are getting a prescription for an antibiotic. The CDC tells us:
At least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in the outpatient setting are unnecessary, meaning that no antibiotic was needed at all.
There are many reasons for concern as it relates to the overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics. Creating antibiotic-resistant organisms is a major global issue. In addition, new research indicates that antibiotic exposure may significantly increase the risk for obesity, as well as type II diabetes. Continue reading
Stomach acid is a wonderful thing. It enhances the breakdown of our food, turns on digestive enzymes, allows us to absorb vitamin B12, and helps control pH levels for the entirety of the digestive system.
And yet, drugs called proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), which act to reduce stomach acid, are among the most popular medications prescribed, as well as over-the-counter drugs sold and used in America today. Continue reading
According to the World Health Organization, chronic degenerative conditions now represent the number one health threat globally. That means that, likely for the first time in history, more humans are losing their lives to chronic, and largely preventable, conditions than to trauma, infectious diseases, and even war.
Yet, chronic degenerative conditions are largely preventable as they are powerfully linked to lifestyle choices. Diets higher in sugar and carbohydrates coupled with lack of physical activity are strongly related to increased risk for some of the most common degenerative conditions, like type 2 diabetes, obesity, coronary artery disease. Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. Continue reading
I’d like to talk about magnesium. We all recognize the importance of magnesium these days – it’s a critical micronutrient that plays a role in allowing more than 300 enzymes in the body to work correct, it’s fundamentally important for how we make DNA, and essential for using fuels to make energy within the body. One area that I see getting interest as of late is the role of magnesium in terms of insulin sensitivity. Let’s discuss further in today’s video.
More than half of men and two thirds of women who experience sudden death from cardiac causes do not present any clinically recognized heart disease before they die. That means they hadn’t been diagnosed with angina, or narrowing of the coronary arteries. Basically, assessments by their doctors, if indeed these assessments were carried out, did not raise any concern that these folks were destined to die from a sudden cardiac event.
Clearly, what these statistics indicate is that something else is going on that increases the risk for some people to basically have their heart stop beating. This was the subject of research carried out at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Continue reading
If you are like most Americans, your dietary consumption of magnesium is suboptimal. Recent statistics reveal that close to 75% of Americans are consuming less than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium (see table below). New research is making it clear that this is absolutely cause for concern. Continue reading
Migraine headaches represent a serious health issue in America today, and the statistics are staggering. As many as 13% of adults experience migraine headaches, and as many as 5 million experience at least one migraine attack each month. In fact, more than 90% of people who have a migraine headache are completely unable to function normally during such an episode. They experience symptoms far worse than those associated with the common migraine headache, such as pain, light sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting.
Genetic and environmental factors both play an important role in the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. For instance, migraines are more common in women, and more than 70% of migraine patients have a family history of the disorder. A full 25% of patients with migraine headaches have one or more migraines each week! The standard approach of many healthcare practitioners to migraine headaches is typically two-pronged: drugs are prescribed to reduce migraine frequency and to provide immediate relief during an episode. But before prescription drugs are utilized, I think it’s useful to take a step back and ask an important question: what could be increasing the risk that any particular person would suffer from these debilitating headaches?