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General Research

3 REASONS YOUR BLOOD SUGAR FLUCTUATES

Blood sugar readings can be fickle; and this is regardless of whether you were just diagnosed recently, or you’ve been diagnosed over a long period of time.

Apart from the fact of its fickleness, it is also very important that it is always in check and managed well

Proper blood glucose management can help to prevent you from potential diabetes complications like nerve damage, kidney disease, vision problems, heart diseases and stroke

Learning how different habits and factors can cause blood sugar to fluctuate can help you prepare for, and predict fluctuations

It is important to note that some of these factors are out of control; even though you stick to your medications and diet, your blood sugar will still tend to fluctuate.

But that doesn’t mean it cant be prepared to defend against those fluctuations. Keep reading to see factors that could affect blood sugar and what to do about them.

1. DEHYDRATION: sounds awkward right? Well, being dehydrated and having diabetes are co-related. When your body is short of enough fluid supply, the sugar in the cells tends to be high concentrated and this leads to hyperglycaemia.

To make things worse, high blood glucose leads to excessive urination, which can in turn increase dehydration.

So, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is in your interest to stay hydrated always, especially with water.

  • 2. SOME MEDICATIONS AFFECTS BLOOD SUGAR: apart from your oral drugs to help manage diabetes, some other over-the-counter drugs you’re on can alter glucose readings.

Drugs used to treat inflammatory conditions, autoimmune disorders, and asthma can cause a spike in blood glucose.

3. DAWN PHENOMENON: you might have experienced this one time or the other when your blood sugar levels spike at early mornings even if you did so well with your drugs and diet the previous night.

It might just be dawns phenomenon: your body releases cortisol during 2am-8am, and this hormone has a way of making your body less sensitive to insulin.

You should check with your doctor if this continues regularly.

Apart to inadequate management and abuse of oral glycaemic drugs, some other factors might be influencing your blood sugar readings

You have noticed that your crossed all your T’s and dotted all your I’s and still? Just maybe, these factors are involved.

 

SOURCES:
– https://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/symptoms/surprising-causes-of-blood-sugar-swings/
– https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/blood-sugar.html
– https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/expert-answers/dawn-effect/faq-20057937#:~:text=The%20dawn%20phenomenon%2C%20also%20called,a.m.%20%E2%80%94%20in%20people%20with%20diabetes.
– https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430893/

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Uncategorized

Gall stone vs kidney stone

It is normal to sometimes get things mixed up especially when they seem to share some similarities such as gall stone and kidney stone, chronic acid reflux and ulcer but we would be focusing on these most common two diseases, “gall stone and kidney stones”.

  1. So many people actually have gall stone but would mistake it for kidney stone. Well, worry less if you probably fall into this category. This article would help enlighten you more on the differences of both types of stones.

Gall stones or kidney stones are two conditions that could cause excruciating pains to any individual, but some people really don’t know they are both different preventive measures and treatment approaches. 

CHARACTERISTICS OF KIDNEY STONES AND GALLSTONES

  • Gall stones are cholesterol deposits that resemble pebbles, WHILE kidney stones are cement-like and are made of dissolved minerals in the urine 
  • Gallstones are found inside the gall bladder WHILE kidney stones develop in the urinary tract 

SIMILARITIES AND SYMPTOMS OF KIDNEY STONES AND GALLSTONES

  • Kidney stones are small as sand grains and grow larger causing pain when you try to urinate WHILE gall stones can be as small as sand grains too and can grow as big as a golf ball 
  • Kidney stones comes with symptoms like blood in the urine, painful urination, inability to urinate frequently WHILE gall stones come mostly with nausea, vomiting, fever and sweating.

      CAUSES KIDNEY STONES AND GALLSTONES

  • For kidney stones, foods that are high in sodium, animal protein can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Foods like processed meat, canned/ tinned foods etc
  • WHILE a diet high in fat and cholesterol can contribute to gallstone formation. 

 RISK FACTORS OF KIDNEY STONES AND GALL STONES 

  • People that have a family history of kidney stones and who are middle aged adults are at higher risks of developing kidney stones 
  • WHILE adults over 40, especially women and those who are overweight are at higher risks of developing gallstones

TREATMENT/MANAGEMENT OF KIDNEY STONES AND GALL STONES

  • Kidney stones can be treated by removing the stones or adhering to a diet that controls the intake of the type of stone formed 
    • Gallstones can be treated by removing the gall bladder unlike kidney stones also and a diet with controlled cholesterol and low fat. 

PREVENTION OF GALLSTONES AND KIDNEYSTONES 

  • To prevent gallstones, while trying to lose weight, make sure to do it slowly and correctly. Don’t skip meals and exercise regularly. 
  • Careful with the use of birth control pills to prevent gallstones
  • Kidney stones can be prevented in a very easy way: just drink lots of water and maintain a healthy fluid level every day 

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms mentioned above, it is very important you contact health care givers and professionals so they could help treat whichever stone it may be.

SOURCES:

Singh VK, Singh V, Rai AK, Thakur SN, Rai PK, Singh JP

Appl Opt. 2008 Nov 1; 47(31):G38-47.

[PubMed] [Ref list]

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LifeStyle

What happens when you remove carbs

You know, the idea behind weightloss for so many people is removing a particular food group from their diet

And that food group that has suffered a lot is carbs.

You know, the advent of the keto-diet, Atkins diet, and other “ low carb diets” can make you question the health benefits of carbs in our body and even label carbs as “bad”.

Lets do that same explanation on how carbs affect weightloss and why you get to lose weight easily when you take off carbs

So, what are Carbs?

Basically, carbs are one of the three macronutrients that form a major part of our diet. Other macronutrients are protein and fats. All these macronutrients provide the body with energy usually measured in calories.

There are basically 3 types of carbs found in food and they are:
1. Refined Carbs: these type of carbs have been processed, and during the processing, some vital nutrients especially fibre has been removed, leaving just sugars. It is very easy for these types of carbs to spike your blood sugar and lead to other complications Examples include some breakfast cereals, white flour, pastries, snacks, sodas.

2. Dietary Fibres: also a type of carbs which aids easy digestion and help reduce blood glucose spikes. Examples include leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, ugwu,tete etc.

3. Starch: also found in plants and slowly release energy to the body throughout the day. Examples include potatoes, yam, plantain, whole wheat or white bread, brown or white rice.

These foods also contain varying amounts of dietary fiber which could provide extra health benefits.

Can Carbs make you Fat?
Whatever food consumed in excess would definitely lead to fat gain over a long period of fat. Whether it is from carb, protein or fat source. Each of these macronutrients contain calories.

Why do I lose weight when I cut Carbs?

1. You shed water weight
so many times when people put off so much weight over a short period of time, what happens is that they just lost water weight.
Now that sounds weird, but let me explain.

The body stores arbs in the liver as glycogen, and each gram of glycogen is stored with 3g of carbs. So, when you continue to cut out carbs, what you are doing is cutting out the glycogen store with water, not necessarily fat. Ever noticed that the weight comes back when you add carbs back?

That is because the process is a reversible one.

2. You’re on a Calorie deficit diet
Cutting out carbs means cutting out a source of calorie to the body, that will obviously lead to weight loss. Ideally if 500kcal is removed daily from the diet, it will lead to 0.5-1kg loss in weight, so you’re on a calorie deficit, you must lose weight.

The bad thing here is that this might in turn lead to muscle mass loss.

What’s the best approach to Weight-loss?
Sustainability over a long period is very important when trying to shed some pounds or when adopting a “diet”.
The best approach is to adopt a lifestyle that suits you. Calorie deficits, exercise regimes, and lifestyle modifications all go hand in hand to help lead a healthy lifestyle.

The weight loss approach should not be ‘all or nothing’, strict, rigid, or a quick fix. It should be what you can live with over a very long period of time.

Summary
Losing weight isn’t a do or die affair, you don’t need to take out any food group to achieve that, we could always work together and attain your desired/ideal body weight.

Sources:
https://paleoleap.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-water-weight/
https://www.menshealth.com/health/a26361054/water-weight/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7332312/
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320603#ways-to-lose-water-weight
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/why-we-need-to-eat-carbs/#:~:text=In%20the%20absence%20of%20carbohydrates,%2C%20you’ll%20gain%20weight.

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LifeStyle

IS MY THYROID KEEPING ME FROM LOSING WEIGHT?

Identifying the actual reason why you’re not losing weight is the beginning of a successful weight loss/health journey

Weight loss might be the major complaint, but you might be at risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes if not placed on a healthy diet.
With this article, we’ll be looking at one major reason why you might not just be losing weight accordingly.

THE THYROID GLANDS
The thyroid glands are located just in front of your neck. They produce hormones that help regulate metabolic rate controlling the heart, muscles, and other important parts.
The thyroids get their information from the pituitary gland which helps to stimulate their hormone release to help in bodily functions
The thyroid glands could either overproduce hormones (hyperthyroidism) or it could underproduce (hypothyroidism). When it does either of these, it affects your weight entirely.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE THYROID GLANDS MALFUNCTION
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid glands are under-producing hormones. This comes with symptoms such as weight gain (finding it difficult to lose weight), slower heart rate, more frequent and stronger heart rate, dry skin, and hair.
With hypothyroidism, the way your body processes energy is quite slow, making it hard for you to put off extra weight. If not supervised, you might just get frustrated on the long run, see how your dietitian can help you out:

HOW YOUR DIETITIAN AN HELP YOU
– Your dietitians duty is to help you plan out adequate number of calories and merge it with exercises that would help enhance your metabolism
– Your dietitian aims to make sure you have the important nutrients that are depleted in you, especially if you have hypothyroidism. Nutrients like iodine, vitamin D, selenium, and B12 are mostly affected when the thyroids malfunction
– Also, he/she makes sure every goitrogen ( substances that interfere with how thyroid hormones are utilized) present in your diet is totally removed. Goitrogens include soy, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Furthermore, you can help support your thyroids by incorporating these into your diet

Nutrients to support thyroids:
Iodine: fish, cheese, milk, seaweed
Sodium: iodized salt
Potassium kiwi, potatoes, banana
Selenium: fish,
Tyrosine: eggs, plan cut beef
Zinc- liver, oyster

MEDICAL TREATMENT
Diet alone won’t help manage your underactive thyroids, because without medical treatment, dietary management won’t be effective
So, your doctor would most likely place you on an oral synthetic thyroid hormone (levothytoxine) that would help replace the amount of hormone your body is no longer producing.

The absorption of this might be tampered with if you take supplements that contain iron, or calcium, and even some antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide.

The thyroid gland is the major support system that determines how much energy is used up or stored in your body. When it malfunctions, it totally can affect your weight. It is important to speak to your doctor when you notice struggles with losing weight for a correct diagnosis.

Sources:
1.https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/070112p40.shtml
2. Biondi B, Klein I. Hypothyroidism as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Endocrine. 2004;24(1):1-13
3. Dean S. Medical nutrition therapy for thyroid and related disorders. In: Mahan KL, Escott-Stump S, eds. Krause’s Food, Nutrition, & Diet Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2008: 711-724
4. Rayman MP. Selenium and human health. Lancet. 2012;379(9822):1256-1268
5. Messina M, Redmond G. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: a review of the relevant literature. Thyroid. 2006;16(3):249-258

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LifeStyle

REASONS YOU ARE NOT GAINING WEIGHT

Normally, everyone is more concerned about losing weight, so more attention is given to them than those that wants to gain weight. And it also seems like those who wants to gain weight has been neglected by all.

So lets see some reasons why you might not be adding weight adequately and lets also see if there are implications with low weight.

1. WRONG CHOICE OF FOODS: for some people, high fatty foods would help them gain weight, so they jump on deep fried foods, ice creams, junks, chocolates etc. These foods might contain trans fats which might even be very detrimental to you health. So instead of making you add weight adequately, they might just get your stomach bulged.

Foods to include in your diet to help gain weight: nuts, milk, fatty fruits like avocado, energy dense fruits like banana, apples, coconut etc.

2. HYPERTHYROIDISM: this happens when your thyroids become so overactive. The thyroid glands are responsible for controlling metabolism (especially for weight gain and loss) in the body. When they are overactive, it means that energy from food is broken so fast, thereby making it hard for the body to utilize energy. You will need extra hands to achieve weight gain if you are on this table. A dietitians place cannot be overemphasized

3. TYPE 1 DIABETES: In type 1 diabetes, the cells that produce insulin are totally destroyed leading to a spike in blood glucose. Wen type 1 diabetes is left unmanaged for a long while, it could lead to excess glucose flowing in the blood; the body has to excrete this excess glucose through the urine. When this happens constantly, unintentional weight loss sets in

4. INFLAMMATORY DISEASES: This is the umbrella term for anything disorder that affects the small intestine especially. These disorders most times comes with diarrhea, and this automatically leads to unintentional weight loss

In all of this, it is important to work with a dietitian so they can address whatever underlying issue is the reason for your unintentional weight loss. Addressing them with drugs alone or just eating anything that comes your way wont give a reasonable result.

SOURCES:

– https://www.healthline.com/health/why-cant-i-gain-weight

https://www.healthline.com/health/hyperthyroidism

– https://thegeriatricdietitian.com/why-am-i-not-gaining-weight/

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General Research

High fiber linked to immunotherapy response among patients with melanoma

Cancer has been a threat globally and every professional has been on their toes to proffer a solution.
Immunotherapy, therefore, is one of the ways to help manage cancer patients
Immunotherapy involves stimulation of the immune system to help fight cancer. This method has shown tremendous improvements in the treatment of many tumors.

Even with this development, there are individual responses to the treatment. For some people, the tumors might shrink or disappear totally, and for some, no effects at all.

Further research has gone into this case, and it has been noticed that the gut microbiome might have a role to play in the efficacy of immunotherapy. So, therefore, modifying the gut bacterium may help improve tumor response to immunotherapy.

FIBER INTAKE AND MELANOMA RISK

According to a study, a higher intake of dietary fiber (responsible for the promotion of healthy gut) was associated with improved response to immunotherapy, and in preclinical models, dietary fiber manipulation impacted antitumor immunity. According to Jennifer McQuade, MD, assistant professor of melanoma medical oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, “The dietary pattern associated with response to immunotherapy is the same diet recommended by American Cancer Society and American Institute for Cancer Research, which includes a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes. This diet is also recommended for secondary cancer prevention and prevention of cardiovascular disease and health in general.”
Furthermore, research has it that every 5% increase in fiber intake resulted in a 30% reduced risk of cancer progression or death.

RATIONALE
Previous research has shown gut microbes may regulate response to drugs that block protein (T-cells) checkpoints. Extensive studies on the effect of diet and probiotic supplements on patients with melanoma using drugs that inhibit these proteins are needed.

METHODOLOGY
McQuade and colleagues conducted a randomized prospective clinical trial to assess how varying fiber intake affects the gut microbiome and immune response among 128 patients with advanced melanoma receiving treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Researchers examined fecal microbiota profiles, dietary habits, and commercially available probiotic supplement use, and performed parallel preclinical studies.

KEY FINDINGS
According to a randomized prospective clinical trial to assess how varying fiber intake affects the gut microbiome and immune response among 123 patients with advanced melanoma, Patients who reported higher consumption of dietary fiber intake from fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains experienced significantly longer PFS. Median PFS was not reached among the 37 patients with sufficient fiber intake, compared with median PFS of 13 months among the 91 patients with insufficient fiber intake.
After this, it was noticed that 82% of patients with both sufficient fiber intake and no probiotic use responded well to immunotherapy, compared with only 59% of patients who reported either insufficient fiber intake or probiotic use.
Probiotic supplement use alone did not appear associated with a significant difference, in short, data suggests it reduces chances of survival.

IMPLICATIONS
Based on these findings, oncologists, dietitians, and all others managing cancer patients, it is important to focus on how much fiber is consumed in their diet.
The aim is to test the hypothesis that dietary fiber will help modulate the gut environment and enhance immunity.
Further research is still going on to ascertain variations in fiber and their roles in helping patients with cancer (melanoma especially).

SOURCES:
1. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/fiber-diet-linked-cancer-immunotherapy-response
2. https://medicaldialogues.in/diet-nutrition/news/association-between-vitamin-d-and-type-2-diabetes-is-affected-by-magnesium-intake-study-finds-86270?infinitescroll=1
3. : Dietary fiber and probiotics influence the gut microbiome and melanoma immunotherapy response. Spencer CN, McQuade JL, Gopalakrishnan V, McCulloch JA, Vetizou M, Cogdill AP, Khan MAW, Zhang X, White MG, Peterson CB, Wong MC, Morad G, Rodgers T, Badger JH, Helmink BA, Andrews MC, Rodrigues RR, Morgun A, Kim YS, Roszik J, Hoffman KL, Zheng J, Zhou Y, Medik YB, Kahn LM, Johnson S, Hudgens CW, Wani K, Gaudreau PO, Harris AL, Jamal MA, Baruch EN, Perez-Guijarro E, Day CP, Merlino G, Pazdrak B, Lochmann BS, Szczepaniak-Sloane RA, Arora R, Anderson J, Zobniw CM, Posada E, Sirmans E, Simon J, Haydu LE, Burton EM, Wang L, Dang M, Clise-Dwyer K, Schneider S, Chapman T, Anang NAS, Duncan S, Toker J, Malke JC, Glitza IC, Amaria RN, Tawbi HA, Diab A, Wong MK, Patel SP, Woodman SE, Davies MA, Ross MI, Gershenwald JE, Lee JE, Hwu P, Jensen V, Samuels Y, Straussman R, Ajami NJ, Nelson KC, Nezi L, Petrosino JF, Futreal PA, Lazar AJ, Hu J, Jenq RR, Tetzlaff MT, Yan Y, Garrett WS, Huttenhower C, Sharma P, Watowich SS, Allison JP, Cohen L, Trinchieri G, Daniel CR, Wargo JA. Science. 2021 Dec 24;374(6575):1632-1640. doi: 10.1126/science.aaz7015. Epub 2021 Dec 23. PMID: 34941392.

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Women’s Health

ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES AND YOUR NUTRITIONAL STATUS

This year, you have decided to do everything in your power to stay healthy; you take more veggies and fruits, do more exercises, ditch sugar and other highly processed foods and even had to swap somethings for healthier alternative and that’s great. But, every other day, you still pop some birth control pills which may be depleting the amount of essential vitamins and nutrients in your body. This alone can potentially undo every effort you have been putting in to stay healthy. Sadly, for so many women, this is a reality as they must be on birth control pills.

The truth remains that even with various methods of contraception, oral contraceptives seems to be the most accessible, affordable and commonly used form of birth control.

Almost 17% of Nigerian women are on birth pills. Definitely every woman that uses these pills are aware of what they are capable of, but not all know that these birth control pills can alter how nutrients are used by the body, thereby leading to possible deficiencies.

Birth control don’t only increase the risk of vitamin deficiency, they also may be draining your body of essential nutrients needed for mood, cognition, and cardiovascular health.

HOW DOES BIRTH CONTROL PILLS AFFECT NUTRENT AVAILABILITY

There are 2 major ways in which OCPs result in nutrients depletion.

Firstly ,the work of OCPs is to introduce artifical hormones into your body, when this happens, there would be more hormones for your liver to deal with, meaning there would be need for more nutrients for your liver to carry out its functions

Secondly, OCPs has the tendency to distort your intestinal walls. When this occurs, less nutrients are absorbed and available for utilization

This is not to scare you, it’s just for awareness. You can still be on birth control pills, but be sure to supplement on prenatal vitamins (especially those ones that tends to be depleted ) as you’re on the “pills”

For a few important vitamins, lets discuss how birth control pills affect them:

– BIRTH CONTROL AND VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY

Vitamin D is important for maintaining the immune system and calcium levels and also serve as a hormone. As adequate calcium is essential for bone health, vitamin D is also essential for bone health.

According to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, birth pills with estrogen are seen to lower vitamin D levels. This can be adjusted by increasing exposure to sunlight which can improve vitamin D levels by 20% in women on oral contraceptives.

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressure and kidney and liver disorders. It also increases the risk of childhood disorders, such as type 1 diabetes and asthma.

It is important to supplement on vitamin D and also incorporate vitamin D rich food sources into the diet if you would continue with birth control pills. Examples of vitamin D rich foods include: Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon, Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals, Beef liver, Cheese, Egg yolks

BIRTH CONTROL AND VITAMIN B DEFICIENCY

Vitamins such as B6, B9, and B12, play an important role in maintaining normal functions of cells and nerves. Their importance in the body cannot be overemphasised as deficiency of any of these B vitamins can lead to depression, anemia, and poor cognitive functions.

Furthermore, B vitamins are also paramount for normal health and development of the fetus as well as neurological development too.

BIRTH CONTROL AND FOLATE DEFICIENCY

For example, research has proven a link between oral contraceptive pills and low blood folate levels.

Also, research also has it that oral contraceptive may increase the risk of cervical cancer, and a folic acid supplement may prevent or slow down this risk. So therefore, for women of child-bearing age who are on contraceptive pills, it is also important to supplement of folic acid.

BIRTH CONTROL AND VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in assuring healthy body cells and nerves. It also aids in the process of gene formation.

Studies have found, compared those that are not on contraceptives, women who take contraceptives are low on B12 and this might also lead to pernicious anemia. It is very important to also supplement on B12 if you are currently on contraceptives as this might be beneficial to your health.

BIRTH CONTROL AND IRON DEFICIENCY

Iron Is an essential nutrient because it helps red blood cells to carry oxygen from the air you breathe to the body cells.

Iron deficiency anemia is almost seen in 20% of the women. Surprisingly, according to research, women on birth control pills has improved iron-binding capacity thereby managing iron deficiency.

Women with heavy periods are at an increased risk of iron deficiency. Birth pills help improve hormonal levels and manage menstrual blood flow.

This doesn’t mean you should be dependent on birth control pills for adequate iron intake. Foods that can combat iron deficiency include pork, beef, raisins, apricots etc

BIRTH CONTROL AND ZINC DEFICIENCY

Zinc is present in many body cells and is important for supporting the body’s immunity.

While all studies do not report zinc deficiency in women on pills, most studies have shown that even a small dose of these pills negatively alters zinc levels.

In pregnancy, zinc deficiency may result in growth retardation, stillbirth, and preterm delivery. Zinc supplements should be recommended to support women on birth pills.

BIRTH CONTROL AND MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY

Magnesium supports the health of the immune system, heart, nerves and muscles functions. Surprisingly, magnesium supports about 300 chemical reactions in the body.

For women on the pills, it is important to note that that magnesium levels are depleted with these pills. Also, other factors like high-intensity exercise, high caffeine intake, poor sleep, and chronic stress can drain the body’s magnesium store.

Based on these findings, it is recommended that women on birth pills should take magnesium supplements along with magnesium-rich foods, such as pumpkin, cashews, and spinach

CONCLUSION

Micronutrients (needed in small amounts) are also very essential in our daily activities and can lead to severe deficiency symptoms if not easily gotten from our diet or supplements.

These nutrients are easily depleted with contraceptives, so it is important to note the nutrients listed and supplement on them while on those pills

Consider speaking with a dietitian once you want to go on birth control pills so as to help prevent depletion of these mentioned nutrients

SOURCES

– https://www.pocketpills.com/blog/birth-control/birth-control-and-vitamin-deficiency#:~:text=Birth%20control%20pills%20include%20progestin,%2C%20cognition%2C%20and%20cardiovascular%20health.

– https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160804135421.htm

– https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9883381/

– https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249321690_Oral_contraceptives_and_changes_in_nutritional_requirements

– Folic acid and the prevention of neural-tube defects.

Wald NJ

N Engl J Med. 2004 Jan 8; 350(2):101-3.

[PubMed] [Ref list]

– Serum folate and Vitamin B12 levels in women using modern oral contraceptives (OC) containing 20 microg ethinyl estradiol.

Sütterlin MW, Bussen SS, Rieger L, Dietl J, Steck T

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2003 Mar 26; 107(1):57-61.

[PubMed] [Ref list]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LifeStyle

IS INTERMITTENT FASTING THE NEW GO-TO DIET TRICK?

It seems like the trend now is fasting, we’ve come a long way in the nutrition space and there has been so many takes on how to lose weight or help with some chronic diseases.
So the question is: will fasting help me lose weight, manage diabetes and other chronic diseases?

Absolutely! It would, but is it sustainable and convenient?
Is it suitable for everyone? What are the merits and demerits of fasting?
These are the questions we’ll love to use this article to answer, but before then;

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Intermittent fasting, also known as intermittent energy restriction is any schedule for meals that involves a cycle between voluntary fasting and non-fasting periods. It can include an alternate day fasting, periodic fasting or daily time restricted fasting.

Apart from the religious type of fasting, there are 3 main types of intermittent fast:
5:2 Diet: this type of fasting involves that you fast for 2 days per week and you’ll be allowed to take 25% of your daily caloric needs, while you eat normally for 5 days.
Alternate day fasting: you have to skip a day and eat the other day. So, you eat on Monday and skip Tuesday, eat Wednesday and skip Thursday, and it goes om like that. You’re still allowed to just 25% of your normal daily calories per day In this type of regimen.
Time restricted fasting: this type involves fasting for 8-12 hours of the day and eating during the remaining time frame. For this, you are not restricted to having just 25% of your daily calories. Apart from the above mentioned, there is the warrior diet also.

IS INTERMITTENT FASTING REALLY EFFECTIVE?
A study found that participants consumed 35% fewer calories and lost an average of 7.7 pounds (3.5kg) after alternating between 36 hours of fasting and 12 hours of unlimited eating over 4 weeks. For some studies, there was not any significant weight loss between the fasting group and moderate calorie group
There are quite a number of side effects of intermittent fasting especially when it is abused and they include: extreme hunger pangs, lightheadedness, reduced concentration, fatigue and nausea. All these put together might just make the regimen to be effective only for a short time.
Furthermore, people might tend to eat more than required on days that they are free to eat would result to no weight loss.

CAN I TRY GOING ON AN INTERMITTENT FAST?
For some groups, intermittent fasting is advised at all, you can still achieve your health goal without having to do marathon fasts
If you have diabetes, on routine medication, pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not do intermittent fasting.
You really should not go on a long fast, or skip meals so you would lose weight or manage your blood sugar levels. The caveat is that when your body doesn’t take in any food, obviously calories would be depleted and other nutrients, thereby leading to a decrease in blood sugar, so it is not magical

You can stick to healthy and mindful eating and still achieve perfect glucose levels and still lose weight without any type of side effects, so why go on a regimen with side effects?

SOURCES

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5959807/

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General Research

CAN THE KETO DIET IMPROVE PCOS SYMPTOMS?

In all indications, diet changes and physical activity are lifestyle changes that are recommended for women with polycystic ovary syndrome, but some investigators have evaluated the effects of a ketogenic diet on some selected population of patients.
With this write up, we will see the outcome of the intervention.

 

According to a new study findings in the International

Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the ketogenic diet showed great promise as adjuvant treatment alongside pharmacological therapy in the treatment for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), especially for women classified as obese.

Some common comorbidities that comes with of PCOS includes insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and obesity. When these conditions are not managed effectively, they could increase the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome among women with the endocrine disorder.

In this study, seventeen women whose mean (SD) age was 28.5 (5.38) years (fertile age, according to the investigators) with PCOS and who were classified as obese (body mass index [BMI] > 25) were used; all were enrolled at the University Medical Service of Dietetic and Metabolic Diseases of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Foggia, in Italy.
The most therapeutic and suitable prescription with evidence for women who were obese and had PCOS was lifestyle correction according to this study. “This is the first study on the effects of the ketogenic diet on PCOS.” This type of diet adopted included one with increased fat intake, reduced carbohydrate intake, and adequate protein. For this study, daily intakes were set at 600 kcal for calories, 1.1 to 1.2 g of protein per kilogram body weight, 30 g for carbohydrates, and 30 g for fats.

“Following a 45-day dietary protocol, baseline/first visit findings were compared with 45-day/final visit results for gynecological evaluation of oligo/amenorrhea status, nutritional status, body composition, biochemical measurements, and diet administration.

The baseline overall average total body weight was 81.5 (13.56) kg and the baseline BMI, 31.84 (5.85) kg/m2”.

There were decreases in the following measures:
• Average weight: 9.4 kg (P < .0001)
• Average BMI: 3.6 kg/m2 (P < .001)
• Waist circumference: 9.4 cm (P < .001)
• Hip circumference: 8.1 cm (P < .001)
• Fat mass: 7.90 kg (P < .001)
• Free fat mass: 1.41 kg (P < .05)
• Muscle mass: 1.32 kg (P < .05)
• Total body water: 1.32 kg (P < .01)
• Basal metabolic rate: 67 kcal (P < .001)

There was improvements in several of the metabolic parameters (all P < .001) as shown below:
• Mean blood and urinary concentrations of ketones rose to 1.7 (0.58) mmol/L and 83 (54.34) mg/dL, respectively, from zero at baseline for both
• Mean blood glucose decreased 10.07 mg/dL
• Blood insulin dropped 12.90 mcU/mL
• C-peptide blood concentration decreased 0.87 ng/mL
• Triglycerides fell to 70 mg/dL
• Total cholesterol dropped to 40 mg/dL
• LDL cholesterol dropped to 35 mg/dL
• HDL cholesterol rose to 15 md/dL

Changes in endocrine parameters, were recorded as:
• Luteinizing hormone (LH) decreased to 4.6 mIU/mL (P < .001)
• Free and total testosterone decreased to 0.17 and 7.34 ng/dL, respectively (P < .001)
• LH/follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) ratio decreased to 1.32, from 2.72 at baseline (P < .01)
• FSH value increased to 1.46 mIU/mL (P < .05)
• Sex hormone binding globulins 12.43 nmol/L (P < .001)
• Positive correlations were seen between LH/FSH and weight, BMI, and fat mass
• Negative correlations were seen between LH/FSH and weight, BMI, and fat mass
• Positive correlations were seen between glycemia and LH and FSH
• Negative correlations were seen between LH/FSH and glycemia

For some patients, say about 5 of them, regular menstrual cycles reappeared “after years of amenorrhea,” while for the other 12 patients, there was restoration of regular menstruation—5 of whom when on to become pregnant naturally.

According to recorded results, using the ketogenic diet alongside medical intervention was effective in managing PCOS. So, by reducing the amount of carbohydrates and inducing therapeutic ketosis, PCOS patients can have a better life as the diseases is also influenced by lifestyle.

Even though this study came out positive, it is important to note that it is the first ever of its kind and further studies are needed to elucidate the effects of the ketogenic diet and its mechanism.

Reference
Cincione RI, Losavio F, Ciolli, et al. Effects of mixed of a ketogenic diet in overweight and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Int J Environ Res Public Health. Published online November 27, 2021. doi:10.3390/ijerph182312490

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NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS: ARE THEY FOR EVERYBODY?


For some age groups, nutrients gotten from mere diet might not be sufficient to keep the body running at a normal pace, hence the advent of nutritional supplements.

The sole reason for supplements is to help individuals achieve their daily nutrient intake and also help improve their health status as the case may be. Supplements are there to augment whatever lapses possible as diet alone might not be able to provide adequate amounts of a particular nutrient.

Nutritional supplements are consumables and the come either as capsules, pills or tablets. They are either the combination of a different nutrients (protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, fiber) and compounds or just one nutrient that is produced by the body.

A supplement is mostly needed to help balance a particular nutrient in the body especially if there is a condition that requires more amount of that nutrient than the body can produce or mere diet can provide. It is not intended to substitute a healthy diet.

Research has it that the global market for nutritional and dietary supplements recorded over US$104 billion sales as at 2013. These sales was cut across globally among geriatric populations, pregnant women and the rising urban population.

The major types of supplements used are multivitamins, calcium supplements, fatty acids or fish oils, and mineral supplements.

CLASSES OF SUPPLEMENTS
The National Agency of Medicines suggests that dietary supplements be grouped according to their intended uses:
1. Food supplements as products which supplements the usual diet
2. Food stuff for particular uses which due to their special composition are targeted at certain groups e.g for special people with disordered metabolism, for infants from 2-5 months, for special sets of people with special physiological condition
Supplements also, can be classified according to their origin, texture, or in the form in which they are available. They could also be grouped as follows
i. Vitamins and minerals; in a combination form as multivitamin or multiminerals.
ii. Protein supplements; in form of liquid or tablets and not combined with other macronutrients.
iii. Different compositions of amino acids
iv. Meal surrogates in form of wafers, biscuits or powder
v. Carbohydrate supplement with/without electrolytes
vi. Supplements with natural anabolic effects
vii. Activator supplements of growth and other hormones
viii. Herbs etc.

Class Example Contents
Activator Amino acids Growth hormones and other hormones
Carbohydrate Dextrose Some vitamins and electrolytes
Herbs Ginseng, saw palmetto Amino acid and other plant sources
Minerals Selenium, zinc, multimineral tablets Contains only minerals
Multivitamins and minerals Vitamin D, calcium supplement Contains a mixture of vitamins and minerals
Oil supplements Cod liver oil, primrose oil Oil base with vitamins and minerals
Vitamins B complex, vitamin C (high doses) Contains only vitamins

Examples of Botanical supplements and their uses

Common Name Uses
1. Gingko biloba -Memory improvement, lowering blood pressure
2. Ginseng -overall health, anti-stress
3. Saw palmetto- Treating of bening prostatic hypertrophy
4. St Johns wort- Antidepressant
5. Valerian- Reducing anxiety
6. Green tea extract-  Antioxidant

Dietary Reference Intakes for Nutrients
The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are developed to help define nutrient requirements for healthy populations. These references are derivatives from scientific studies and researches to provide ranges for optimum to maximum indicators for good health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases and even the outcome of excessive intake on the health status of individuals.

RDA (recommended dietary allowance) simply is the average amount of a nutrient for a particular age/gender group that is thought to be sufficient to meet their nutrient requirement and bodily functionality in a day to about (97%-98%).

For an individual to be deficient of a nutrient, it means he/she is getting an inadequate supply of a particular nutrient(s). this would normally happen as a result of impaired digestion, absorption, transport or metabolism of nutrients. When these occurs, illness or diseases arises; then comes in nutritional supplements to the rescue.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO SUPPLEMENT?

Consuming whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and fishes might not just be sufficient for particular groups. Certain amounts of extra nutrients are needed to ensure they have reduced risk of disease and mortality rates.
Most times, these supplements are more effective when used for as preventive measures.

Groups with increased requirements:

1. Pregnancy and breastfeeding
– folic acid: pregnant and breastfeeding women would require a folic acid supplement in order to help their infants brain and spinal cords develop adequately. Their bodily supply wont be enough to sustain both mother and child, so supplementation is key at this period. In addition to a diet of folate-rich food sources which include okro, liver, cabbage, spinach, beans etc, a pregnant woman should take at least 400mcg of folate every day.
– calcium: (intake from dietary sources like milk, yoghurt, cheese, leafy vegetables, almonds is recommended) 1300 mg/day for women of 18 years; 1000 mg/day for those of 19 years and above. This is to help babies build healthy bones and teeth.
– vitamin D: 600 units/day; consider 2000mg for women in very extreme weather conditions (especially northerners )
– iron: . Iron is important in pregnancy to help create red blood cells and prevent anemia for both mother and child.
Recommended dosage is 27 mg/day. To prevent gestational anemia in non-anemic women, monitored supplementation at 120mg weekly is adviced ; given at the 1st day of the week in 2 divided doses
2. Aged people
• people from 60 and above always struggle with poor oral health, depression, dementia and social isolation. This might deter the intake of nutrient by this group and so supplementation is needed. Especially for nutrients like Vitamin B12 to avoid malabsorption and deficiency.

Conditions with risk of malabsorption:

• People that has undergone bariatric surgery: vitamins A, D, K, B1, B12, vitamin C and folic acid; calcium, copper, iron, selenium and zinc. Patients require routine supplementation with vitamins and minerals for 2 years or more, with doses higher than those provided by nonprescription supplements

• People diagnosed with several types of gastrointestinal diseases known to cause malabsorption or maldigestion (e.g., lactose intolerance, gluten-sensitive enteropathy, food allergies): fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin B12, vitamin K, zinc, iron, calcium

• People who might have swallowing, chewing or dental problems.

ADVANTAGES AND LIMITATIONS
There are quite a number of advantages attached to supplements as provide large content of nutrients in small volumes, specialized sporting needs, absence of unnecessary accompanying substances as fats, cholesterol and purines.

But for some reasons, some individuals tend to abuse these supplements by increasing the dosage or frequency which could result in a drop in the effectiveness of supplements. When this occurs frequently, the human body is forced to work harder to eliminate excesses.

An overdose of these supplements could lead to organ failure, hypervitaminosis, and endocrine disorders.

There are factors that lead to the appearance of side effects due to the toxicity of dietary supplements and they include: (i) dosage (ii) duration of intake (iii)special chemical properties found in supplements and their interactions with other foods (iv) the individuals weight (v) individual capacity.

SAFETY AND RISK LEVELS
These supplements have active ingredients that might be harmful to the body if not taken as prescribed by a physician, you should look out for reactions on your body as soon as possible and report to a healthcare center.
Some supplements can increase bleeding time if taken before surgery, while some can alter your response to anesthesia. Supplements have a tendency of reacting with some drugs in very detrimental ways and they include:
• Vitamin K can reduce the ability of the blood thinner warfarin to prevent blood from clotting.
• St. John’s wort can speed the breakdown of many medicines and reduce their effectiveness (including some antidepressants, birth control pills, heart medications, anti-HIV medications, and transplant drugs).
• Antioxidant supplements, such as vitamins C and E, might reduce the effectiveness of some types of cancer chemotherapy.
Metformin used by diabetics can reduce the absorption of vitamin B12

SOURCES:

1. McCormick DB. Vitamin/mineral supplements: of questionable benefit for the general population. Nutr Rev 2010;68(4):207-13.
2. Maher LK, Escott-Stump S. Krause’s Food, Nutrition, and Diet Therapy. 11th ed. USA: Elsevier, 2004. Vitamins. In: Kleinman RE, editor. Pediatric Nutrition Handbook. 5th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2004.

3. Fraga CG (2009) Plant phenolics and human health: biochemistry, nutrition and pharmacology, vol 1. Wiley, Hoboken (more…)

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