January 2018 News Round-Up

Paleo diet for long term weight loss

Science Daily (18th Jan) reports on a study in which overweight women were placed on a paleolithic diet for two years, but without restrictions on the quantities they could eat. One of the authors said:

“The results are remarkable. Despite giving the women free reigns to an unlimited intake, the weight loss was stable after two years. A more significant fact than weight loss was the evident improvement in levels of fat in the blood, and signs of reduced inflammation,”

Mediterranean Diet

This month we had more articles on the Med Diet than you can shake an olive leaf at!:

Related: Dietary guidelines are a disaster heres ten principles to fix them

Fats and Cholesterol

Dr Michael Mosley of BBC’s Trust Me I’m a Doctor: surprised to find that coconut oil improves good cholesterol. (BBC News, Jan 9th)

The Independent (Jan 9th) report on a study that featured on the BBC’s Trust Me I’m a Doctor this month which found that unrefined coconut oil raised participants HDL cholesterol more than olive oil or butter, suggesting it is a healthier fat than expected given its high levels of saturated fat.

A study has found that full fat milk increases HDL cholesterol more than skimmed milk (Daily Mail, 31st Jan) – see also Diabetes.co.uk

Sleep Health

OK! Time to stop hibernating… the days are getting longer…

33% to 44% of adults do not sleep well enough or long enough and it has major impacts on their health. Daily Mail (Jan 23rd) details some of the problems – including how sleep patterns interact with diet and microbiome. HelloCare (Jan 19th) focuses on the effects of poor sleep on brain function, likening the effects to “low level brain damage”. Here’s another kicker from the article:

“After just one night of four to five hours of sleep, there is a 70 per cent reduction in critical anti-cancer-fighting immune cells called natural killer cells”

Meanwhile, Business Insider, (7th Jan) offers a number of science-based tips for improving your sleep habits. If you feel too busy to take more sleep read this article about ways to make your day more effective.

Related: Sleep & Health; Sleep’s central role

Cancer

From a nutritional perspective I am interested in cancer in a number of ways. One aspect is the ability of nutritional signalling pathways to turn off proliferation. We see this in the effects of bitter compounds and polyphenols. News about this aspect of cancer prevention appeared this month in the DailyMail (Jan 12th) which had an interesting article on research into “broccoli yogurt” (?!) which showed the potential to prevent and possibly treat bowel cancer.

Related: The bitter truth is sweeter than we thought

Another nutritional viewpoint comes from understanding cancer’s metabolic profile; Limitations in cancer cell metabolism may make them susceptible to nutritional intervention. So the following article – Starving cancer cells of sugar — does it work? – caught my attention (Science Daily (Jan 26th)

A few days later: Science Daily (Jan 29th) had an interesting article on a new anti-cancer drug that works by starving cancer cells of vitamin B2, effectively preventing mitochondrial respiration.

Lastly, the anti-cancer benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be more effective when they come from fish oils rather than flax seed (Science Daily, Jan 26th)

Related: Ketogenic Diet and Cancer

Symptoms of Magnesium deficiency

Add to that list: looking like a 20 year old model and many more people might want to be magnesium deficient. But seriously, modern processed diets are low in magnesium, so you might be interested in this DailyMail (Jan 9th) article.

Vitamin D and Sunshine

With levels of rickets skyrocketing among UK children, the DailyMail (Jan 9th) has asked a dermatologist about our vitamin D needs and how to balance sun exposure against skin damage risks. Meanwhile the editorially unrelated Hull Daily Mail (Jan 11th) explains why too much sunscreen could be bad for your health. We wonder whether anyone in Hull has ever needed sun screen!

Meanwhile, a breakthrough study is reported in Medical News Today (1st Feb) Researchers have discovered an important mechanism by which vitamin D maintains healthy arteries, suggesting that it may play an important preventative role in heart disease:

“There are not many, if any, known systems which can be used to restore cardiovascular endothelial cells which are already damaged, and vitamin D-3 can do it. This is a very inexpensive solution to repair the cardiovascular system. We don’t have to develop a new drug. We already have it.”

– Prof. Tadeusz Malinski

Science Daily (Jan 30th) reports on a study that questions the link between UV sunbeds and melanoma, concluding that there is very little evidence of a link.Their research suggests that skin damage needs to reach the level of sunburn to increase risk.

Related: Human photosynthesis; beyond vitamin D 

Pr-egg-nancy

Pregnant women who eat up to NINE eggs per day have babies with higher IQs, study suggests (DailyMail, Jan 5th)!

DailyMail Gets all spicy this month

Related: Mulled wine; packing a healthy punch 

Odds and Ends:

Five easy ways to get fermented foods into your life – a nice post over at NutritiousLife (Jan). And, wow! An article about clarified butter (Ghee). PaleoLeap (Jan 22nd)

January Recipes

Here is a great batch of Paleo dinners, from WRAL (Jan 23rd)

9 Easy Paleo Dinners You Can Throw Together In No Time

  1. One Pan Roasted Chicken With Vegetables
  2. Paleo Tuna Green Chile Zoodle Casserole
  3. Cauliflower Pizza Crust
  4. Slow-Cooker Chipotle Chicken
  5. Italian Sausage and Cabbage Soup
  6. Quick & Easy Crock-Pot Chili
  7. Chicken and Vegetable Soup
  8. Asparagus Beef Stir Fry
  9. Simple Herb-Crusted Salmon

10. And to round the recipes up to a nice fat number 10, here’s Sardine Bread (Yes, Sardine Bread!), Robbinn’s Recipes Jan 20th. I think I’ll give it a try!

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