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ARE MY THYROID GLANDS CAUSING MY WEIGHT TO FLUCTUATE?

Ever wondered if any of your internal organs could affect your weight? Maybe due to its overactive nature or underactive nature?

Well, it is actually possible for an organ to affect your metabolism, growth and weight patterns and that organ is the thyroid.

Globally, 1.6 billion people are currently at risk of developing thyroid related diseases.

In this write-up, we’re going to see how the thyroid affects weight, for those who want to gain weight or lose it, if your thyroids are mal-functional, then you might just experience some difficulties with your weight.

WHAT IS THE THYROID?
The thyroid gland looks like a butterfly and is  located at the front of the neck right below the voice box (larynx).

The thyroid is small, but functions and affects all other organs in the body. It is involved in the regulation of fat and carbohydrate metabolism, respiration, body temperature, brain development, cholesterol levels, the heart and nervous system, blood calcium levels, menstrual cycles, skin integrity, and more.

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE THYROIDS?
The thyroid controls almost every major metabolic function in the body.
The hormones present in the thyroid glands are responsible for the regulation of the metabolic rate of all cells, as well as the processes of growth of cells, tissue differentiation, and reproductive function.
These hormones are also necessary for (and promote) protein metabolism when enough carbohydrates and fats are available.

When the amount of thyroid hormones is excessive or when energy from food is deficient, thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) promote protein breakdown. This processes in turn totally affects weight management.

WHY AM I FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO LOSE/GAIN WEIGHT

HYPOTHYROIDISM
It would be difficult for you to lose weight if you have the condition called hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid.

Hypothyroidism is usually caused by an autoimmune response known as Hashimoto’s disease (a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid) or autoimmune thyroiditis (inflamed thyroids).

What happens in this disease is that your body mistakenly sees its own tissues as an invader and starts fighting against it. This process prevents the thyroid from releasing adequate hormones for the proper functioning of the body.

The lack of these hormones can slow down metabolism and cause weight gain, fatigue, dry skin and hair, and difficulty concentrating. Hypothyroidism affects women more than it affects men and is common in middle aged people. Also, women may also experience thyroid inflammation after pregnancy.

Some symptoms associated with hypothyroidism includes:
• tiredness, fatigue, lethargy
• depression and losing interest in normal activities
• forgetfulness
• dry hair and skin
• puffy face
• slow heart rate
• intolerance to cold
• constipation
• brittle nails
• muscle cramping
• changes in menstrual cycle

HYPERTHYROIDISM
A very common condition related with thyroid is hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism is caused by an autoimmune response of the body in the form of Graves’ disease.

In Graves’ disease, the body produces too much of thyroid hormones and makes it seems like your body is revving so fast in response to these hormones.

This could also lead to weight loss, high blood pressure, and a rapid heartbeat. Graves’ disease also disproportionately affects women and typically presents before the age of 40.
Hyperthyroidism as an autoimmune diseases and have strong genetic links which are also associated with other autoimmune diseases as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and celiac disease.

The most common symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism includes:
• racing heart and palpitations
• trouble sleeping
• tremor and nervousness
• weight loss
• hair loss
• muscle aches and weakness
• diarrhea and over-active digestive system
• sweating and trouble tolerating heat
• exophthalmos (bulging eyes)

A goitre is the most common and evident symptom of chronic hypothyroidism. Some might have it, but not all.
Also, chronic or severe disease can manifest with dull facial expression, drooping eyelids, hoarse speech, thinning or dry and brittle hair, dry skin, myxedema (swelling of the skin and soft tissues), menstrual disorders, constipation, depression, anemia.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY THYROID IS UNDERACTIVE/OVERACTIVE?
You can go for a thyroid function screening if you’re up to 40. A blood test is used to measure thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?
Gender. Majorly occur in women, especially those who had small weight at birth
Age.

Risk of hypothyroidism increases with age.
Genetics.
Psychological stress
Smoking
Iodine: excess dietary iodine intake and iodine-rich medication (amiodarone) may lead to hyperthyroidism.

IS HYPOTHYROIDISM/HYPERTHYROIDISM TREATABLE?
Yes it can’t! It can be treated medically by a hormone replacement therapy, administering oral thyroid hormones, and addressing iodine deficiency with potassium iodide.

CAN I STILL MANAGE MY WEIGHT WHILE WITH A DYSFUNCTIONAL THROID HORMONE?
Certainly you can! With the right approach, and evaluation of your hormones by specialists, also treating every imbalance, you can still lose or gain weight. Knowing the right type of dietary choices, the foods allowed and the foods to avoid makes it easy to lose weight.

A dietitian would help calculate your caloric needs and place you on a sustainable dietary pattern to help achieve your goals with your hormone therapy and exercise regimen.

Foods to avoid for hypothyroidism includes:
– refined carbohydrates and caffeine
– energy bars and genetically modified organisms (GMO) foods
– gluten-containing foods, such as wheat, rye and oats
– cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale.
– Soy and millet

Foods to include in hypothyroidism:

-vitamin B12 food sources like sardines, salmon, organ meats such as liver, muscle meat, and dairy

– foods rich in iodine like seaweed, iodized salt,
– Whole grains
– Legumes, eggs (especially egg white), nuts, nut butter
– Oily fish, flaxseeds, extra virgin olive oil and avocados will help balance your lipid

-brazil nuts, crabs and tuna fish which contain selenium
– incorporate healthy bacteria (probiotics) from pap, yoghurt. Kimchi and sauekrat

Foods to include in hyperthyroidism includes:
• non-iodized salt
• coffee or tea (without milk or dairy- or soy-based creamers)
• egg whites
• fresh or canned fruit
• unsalted nuts and nut butters
• homemade bread or breads made without salt, dairy, and eggs
• popcorn with non-iodized salt
• oats
• potatoes
• honey
• maple syrup
• Cuciferous vegetables might reduce how your body uses iodine and they include: bamboo shoots, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cassava, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, mustard, rutabaga

It is important to do away with the following seafood and seafood additives:
• fish
• seaweed
• prawns
• crabs
• lobster
• sushi
• carrageen
• agar-agar
• algae
• alginate
• nori
• kelp

Other foods that contain iodine includes:
• milk and dairy
• cheese
• egg yolks
• iodized salt
• iodized water
• some food colorings

Furthermore, foods that contain gluten, soy and caffeine should be avoided as they cause inflammation and can interfere with hyperthyroidism treatments.

It’s also important to note that, following a strict exercise regimen with your eating pattern is important. People with hypothyroidism would gain from lifting weights and dumb bells, and strength training.

DO I NEED TO GO ON A SPECIAL TYPE OF DIET?
One of the major concern in managing hashimoto’s disease is to look for a suitable type of diet to help manage and relieve symptoms. Hashimoto disease (hypothyroidism) is an auto-immune disease (ATD), so is gluten sensitivity and gluten intolerance. Research has shown the possibilities of using a gluten free diet in managing hashimoto’s disease as it helps to reduce the amount of thyroid antibodies.
A gluten diet involves the elimination of some certain types of foods that contain the protein gluten. Foods include wheat and its derivatives, bran and rye. This foods most times are re-introduced after symptoms has been optimally managed.

FOOD SUPPLEMENST AND INTERACTIONS
People with hashimoto’s are likely to de deficient in certain nutrients like vitamin B12 and vitamin D and would gain from supplementing with these nutrients.
Also, some anti-inflammatory supplements like selenium, fish oil, magnesium and zinc would also be beneficial to people with hashimoto’s as they help improve thyroid functions, reduce inflammation and improve overall health.
Remember that supplements are not meant to replace a nutrient dense and healthy diet.
For those on thyroid medications, it is important to note their interactions with some nutrients. Calcium supplements and chromium picolinate (used in weight loss and glucose control) both interfere with proper absorption of thyroid medications.
They should be both taken 4 hours apart from the time of administering thyroid medications as both can’ be stopped but are important in individuals with poor thyroid functions.

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
– Stay active
– Get rest when you’re tired. Don’t push it
– Stay hydrated always
– Stay away from caffeine and alcohol as much as you can
– Try yoga if you can
– Spend time outside
– Engage in stress reducing activities when you can.

SOURCES
1. Mahan LK & Escott-Stump S. Eds. Krause’s Food, Nutrition, & Diet Therapy. 11th ed. Saunders Publishing, Philadelphia, PA. 2004.
2. Beers MH, Berkow R eds. Merck Manual. 17th ed. Merck Research Laboratories. Whitehouse Station, NJ. 1999.
3. Teas J, et al. Seaweed and soy: companion foods in Asian cuisine and their effects on thyroid function in American women. J Med Food 2007;10:90-100.
4. Canaris GJ, Manowitz NR, Mayor G, Ridgway EC. The Colorado thyroid disease prevalence study. Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(4):526-534.
5. Graves’ Disease. Bethesda, MD: National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2008. NIH Publication No. 08-6217.
6. Biondi B, Klein I. Hypothyroidism as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Endocrine. 2004;24(1):1-13.
7. Duntas LH, Brenta G. The effect of thyroid disorders on lipid levels and metabolism. Med Clin North Am. 2012;96(2):269-281.
8. 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.
9.https://www.medicinenet.com/cancer_101_pictures_slideshow/article.htm
10.https://www.healthline.com/health/hyperthyroidism-diet#takeaway

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General Research

Are antibiotics making me fat?

Recently the FDA issued a report; which centered on the increasing use of antibiotics in pigs, chicken, cows and seafood between 2009 and 2013. Antibiotics are usually administered into the animals we eat and they are mostly given in low doses to promote faster growth or prevent diseases.

New research from New Zealand has found children given antibiotics in the first one to two years of their life may be at a greater risk of having a higher body-mass index (BMI) or becoming obese by the age of four or five.

Now, this action is a major concern for both the FDA and Centers for disease control and Prevention (CDC). They have claims that these constant use of antibiotics give rise to the multiplication of harmful bacteria due to bacteria resistant after long periods of abuse. But, apart from this concern, scientists are also searching to see if humans would also gain weight from the prolonged use of antibiotics as animals would.

HOW DO ANTIBIOTICS CHANGE A PERSON’S MICROBIOME?

Our intestinal microbiome is all the microorganisms in our digestive tract, and you have to look at it like a human organ, just as important as your heart, brain and lungs. Our digestive tract (gut) contains about over 100 trillion bacterial cells of many types. Usually, there is always an equilibrium of species; they help our bodies digest food and function well. Antibiotics change this gut flora, by creating a imbalance between good and bad bacteria.

How does this affect my weight?

Many types of bacteria in your gut affect how your body absorbs calories. Creating an imbalance of bacteria- especially the type that breaks food down into energy—you may be absorbing more calories from the same amount of food you eat than you would normally d because of this effect.
Research shows that obese people have a different mix of bacteria in their gut than lean people.
Most times though, it might not be direct contact with antibiotics but indirect contact from animals (food) that has been fed with antibiotics or even water treated with antibiotics.

Which foods have the most antibiotics in them?

Mostly animal products carry substantial amounts of antibiotics; and they are administered o them directly or added to their feeds if they would be commercialized.
Pigs have the most antibiotics in their meat, then chicken, then beef, according to research from the National Academy of Sciences. Also, farmed seafood like shrimp, fish (especially commercially farmed salmon) contain high levels of antibiotics because the drugs are needed to prevent disease in the farming pens. Even organic vegetables have antibiotics in them because about 75 percent of antibiotics fed to livestock are excreted out, and in the manure used to fertilize fields.

How can this be curbed?

The only real solution to this is if there is a strong rule stating that the use of antibiotics be stopped by farmers or food producers.

So, what can I do?

1. Reduce your intake of unprescribed antibiotics (that’s a good place to start at least).
2. Always look out for food labels stating about the use of antibiotics . visit supermarkets that sell whole foods and not processed or prepackaged foods.
3. Increase your intake of prebiotics and probiotics so your gut flora would be at equilibrium. Examples include yoghurt, kitchen, sauekrat,  fermented corn starch made into pudding (pap) etc.
4. Reduced intake of pork, farmed shrimps and sea foods.

Summary
Keep your gut healthy, do more of real foods and add as much sources of probiotics to your diet as you can. You should be in charge of your health.

Sources
1. https://www.google.com/search?q=gut+flora&rlz=1C1SQJL_enNG936NG936&oq=gut+flora&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i512l9.1898j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
2. http://a-healthy-body.com/are-antibiotics-making-us-fat/

3.https://www.google.com/amp/s/theconversation.com/amp/the-link-between-antibiotics-and-obesity-in-children-doesnt-mean-you-need-to-avoid-antibiotics-130392

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General Research

 

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood that affects the shape of red blood cells.

Normally, red blood cells assume a disc shape while flowing through blood vessels, but in sickle cell anemia, red blood cells assume a crescent like shape.
Devastating as the disease might be, no cure has been found yet.
Interestingly, through research and a bid to increase knowledge, it has been found out that nutritional problems are fundamental to the severity of the disease.  The need for increasing interests to promote dietary supplementation in order to help reduce morbidity and to help improve the quality of patient’s life.

METHODS OF TREATMENT 

Several methods of treatment and management have been in use for quite a while now and they include:
-Hydroxycarbamide (or hydroxyurea) This substance helps to reduce the number of painful episodes in Hbss patients.
-Blood transfusion: A number of observational and randomised controlled trials have established the pivotal role of transfusion therapy in the management of SCD, most notably in primary stroke prevention.
-Allogeneic HSCT and gene therapy: Allogeneic haemopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) is the only curative treatment for SCD and is successful in 85%–90% of patients. Transplantation offers disease-free survival and stabilisation of neurological lesions.
Features as growth retardation, impaired immune function, and delayed menarche do suggest a relationship between sickle cell disease and undernutrition.

IS NUTRITION RELATED?

A variety of micronutrient deficiency has been suggested in sickle cell disease.
– Several reports indicate that vitamin E levels are low in sickle erythrocytes. Since these abnormal red cells both generate excessive oxidation products and are more sensitive to oxidant stress, supplementation with vitamin E is advised in people with sickle cell anaemia.
– Complications of sickle cell disease as poor ulcer healing, growth retardation, delays in sexual development, immune deficiencies have been linked to zinc deficiency. It is also pertinent that zinc be supplemented in people with sickle cell.
– Deficiency of Vitamin D is common in sickle cell disease due to dark skin pigmentation, limited sun exposure, increased catabolism and decreased nutrient and energy intake. Vitamin D in it’s entirety is crucial for calcium homeostasis and essential for bone mineralization. Therefore, a high dose of 100,000 International units (IU) (equivalent to 3,333 IU/day) versus the standard treatment 12,000 IU (equivalent to 400 IU/day) of oral vitamin D3 supplements might just help in reducing risk of respiratory infections.
– Amino acids like arginine and glutamine also play important roles in the synthesis of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide makes it possible for easy blood flow by dilating the blood vessels properly. Increased deficiency of the duo might lead to metabolic stress, increased resting energy expenditure (REE), muscle wasting and decreased immune function. Supplementing with 600mg/kg/day of glutamine showed improved nutritional status of glutamine.

EMERGING INTERVENTIONS
Recently, derivatives from plants has been studied to show their effects in treating people with SCD. Some plants which contain peculiar antioxidants are being studied and there might just be hope to managing SCD.
Exploration of extracts from Moringa oleifera (Moringa), Cajanus cajan (pigeon pea) , Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides (artar root), and Carica papaya (paw paw) are all being studied to see their possible effects in treating oxidative stress in SCD patients.
With these ongoing experiments, it has been noticed that extracts from these plants could aid in the resistance of hemolysis and reduce the number of sickled red blood cells.
Also, it has been noticed that exercise might play an important role in SCD patients. Exercise helps in reducing oxidative stress and also in the release of nitric oxide which helps in the proper flow of blood through vessels.

CONCLUSION
The nutritional risks faced by SCD patients are usually high and mostly unnoticed. Its imperative to include nutrition as an adjuvant therapy for addressing chronic diseases related with SCD in order to aid effective management.

SOURCES: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3551592/
https://www.dovepress.com/nutrition-in-sickle-cell-disease-recent-insights-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-NDS
https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/sickle-cell-anemia-a-to-z
https://adc.bmj.com/content/100/1/48
https://www.todaysdietitian.com/news/042412_news.shtml

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LifeStyle

EMOTIONAL EATING: WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO NAVIGATE THROUGH IT

Sometimes we might just ask ourselves questions like:
How can I stop eating out of boredom?
“How do I resist the urge to snack all day especially when I’m stressed out?”
“How do I take control of my overeating when I feel depressed?”
“Why do I turn to food when I am happy, sad or stressed?”
If one of these questions is familiar with you, then this article is a must read for you.
This article enlightens you on emotional eating, its types and how you can understand and navigate through it.

WHAT IS EMOTIONAL EATING?
Inarguably, eating has emotions attached to it. Culturally, for kids especially, emotions depict they are hungry; if a child cries too much, it shows they’re hungry and they are fed immediately.
But, on a basic level though, ultimately, food is for nourishment, then maybe pleasure could come in, but also sometimes comfort to. The idea of using food to soothe emotions isn’t inherently a “bad thing”.
Turning to food when you’re hungry is your body saying there’s something that should be addressed, and that’s surely a coping tool.

SO WHY FOOD?
Negative emotions comes with a feeling of emptiness, and for some people, food could help them feel a sense of temporary wholeness.
Other factors might include:
• retreating from social support during times
of emotional need
• not engaging in activities that might otherwise
relieve stress, sadness, and so on
• not understanding the difference between physical and emotional
hunger
• using negative self-talking that’s related to bingeing
episodes. This can create a cycle of emotional eating
• changing cortisol levels in response to stress, leading to
cravings.

UNDERSTANDING TYPES OF EMOTIONAL EATING
There are four main avenues to emotional eating:
1) Breaking a food rule: this happens when you set a rule about some foods which you’re not supposed to eat but still find yourself eating those foods or one of them which could cause distress.
For example, you eat a cookie, feel bad about the act, but still go ahead to finish it and even more than expected.
2) Experiencing a strong emotion that reduces appetite: Like if you’re really anxious, you might feel a bit sick and not want to eat. So you eat less.
3) The backlash of restriction: happens when boredom, stress or loneliness causes you to start eating those foods you already termed “bad” in the past without control. According to research, it is more prevalent among dieters (obsessed with weight loss) than non-dieters.
4) Comfort eating: this happens when you find yourself eating to distract yourself from unpleasant or uncomfortable situations. This automatically leads to overfeeding.
The manner we were raised, either by societal values or individual perspectives affects our ability to cope effectively with what life throws at us. Your parents approach to frustration and disappointments, and how they trained you to coping with those situations matters a lot.

So what can you do to manage emotional eating?
To understand emotional eating, first you’d have to understand its roots, which could be as check lists:
1. Have you eaten enough?
The real reason behind emotional eating is still hunger. Most times, you don’t get to eat enough, so you term it ‘emotional eating’. If you don’t get enough food to eat during the day, there’ll surely be a drive to eat, and when you eat thereafter, you’re likely to eat beyond what feels comfortable. When this happens, they start out with compensatory behaviors like over-exercising and heavy restrictions which would later backfire.
What can you do? Fill your belly first! Hunger can present itself in mood, reduced energy levels, and lightheadedness.
A few tips for you to consider:
a. Eat at least 3 meals a day, and snack regularly with snacks and vegetables for easier satiety?
b. Have a balanced proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in each meal.
c. Increased your physical activity, be active!
2. Can you identify what you’re feeling?
This might seem futile for you especially if you’re used to bottling your emotions or suppressing them. You have to identify if you’re sad, depressed, if you fee self-pity, irritated etc.
3. Identify coping tools
For almost everyone, eating could be part of their coping tools, and removing it might cause a stir. So, its better to look for other coping tools to add to food.
Get a jotter and make lists as:
– people you can call when you feel emotional and want to vent or just talks (parent, friend, close pal etc.)
– Good options to relax like taking a stroll, taking a hot bath, read a book etc.
– places you go could go to calm down (e.g. your bed, outdoors, to the beach, a park etc).
– things you can say to yourself (“you’ve got this”, “this feeling will pass”).
– activities you can do to distract yourself (e.g. start a puzzle, watch a film etc).

Conclusion
Emotional eating isn’t inherently bad. Most times it’s a clue your body is giving you to respond to its urgent need, you just need to learn how to know what that need is.
If you’re looking to improve your relationship with food and manage emotional eating, you could always speak to a dietitian.

SOURCES
https://www.healthline.com/health/emotional-eating#What-causes-someone-to-eat-because-of-their-emotions?

How to Navigate Emotional Eating

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General Research

NUTRITION AND CANCER: IS THERE A LINK?

The link between cancer and your diet is as mysterious as the genesis of the disease and how it spreads. So many research work has pointed to how nutrients may help prevent or conversely, lead to cancer.
While there are many factors you can’t change that increase your cancer risk, such as genetics and environment, there are others you can control.
According to the statement above, we’ll discuss so risk factors and importance of nutrients and how they could prevent cancer or lead to it.

CALCIUM
Some evidence suggests higher calcium intake can lower the risk for cancer, especially colorectal cancer. Researchers believe calcium binds to bile acids and fatty acids in the gastrointestinal tract. This acts as a shield to protect cells from the damaging stomach acids.
However, other research has shown that extra calcium—2,000 milligrams (mg) or more per day—may be linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer.

EXCESS CONSUMPTION OF ENERGY (CALORIES)
Excess consumption of calories without matching amount of physical activity would lead to an overload of unused energy thereby leading to obesity.
It was estimated in a recent study, from a prospective cancer prevention cohort, that overweight and obesity accounted for 14 percent of all cancer deaths in men and 20 percent of those in women. Significant positive associations were found between obesity and higher death rates for the following cancers: esophagus, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney, stomach (in men), prostate, breast, uterus, cervix, and ovary.

GLUCOSE METABOLISM
Refined sugar which is a high energy, low nutrient density foods is commonly present in foods termed ‘junks’. This also has been associated with different types of cancers especially colo-rectal cancer.

LOW FIBRE
A diet void of unrefined plant foods would be low in fiber. This type of diet has been linked to high risks of rectal cancer.

ALCOHOL INTAKE
Alcohol is an antagonist of folate. Folate is a B vitamin which helps in DNA synthesis. Over consumption of alcohol leads to low levels of folate in both men and women and this could lead to colon cancer in men and cervical cancer in women.

ANTIOXIDANTS
These are available to help prevent free radicals that damage cells within the body. Its important to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables as they contain different types of antioxidants.

PROCESSED RED MEAT
Processed meat is any meat that has been smoked or fermented or includes added salt and nitrites to enhance flavor. The mechanism is not yet known but the connection between cancer and processed red meat is consistent.
The reaction between nitrites and heme-iron in red meat might just lead to cell mutations.

PROBIOTICS
Probiotics are friendly bacteria contained in foods like yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut etc. they are beneficial to their host and help balance the gut environment. Probiotics produce short chain fatty acids in the colon, which acidify the environment. Lower colon pH is associated with lower incidence of colon cancer.

VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is produced primarily from the exposure of the skin to sunshine. Even casual exposure of the face, hands, and arms in the summer generates a large amount of vitamin D.
The concentration of the active hormonal form of vitamin D is tightly regulated in the blood by the kidneys. This active hormonal form of vitamin D has the potent anti-cancer properties.

HIGH AMOUNTS OF SALTED FOODS
Eating large amounts of salted foods, such as salt preserved fish, is associated with an increased risk; this might be caused by the salt itself or by carcinogens derived from the nitrites in many preserved foods. Salted food might increase the risk of Helicobacter pylori infection (an established cause of stomach cancer.

SUMMARY
Your food choices and lifestyle could probably predispose you to the risk of developing various types of cancers, especially gut related cancers .
Lifestyle modification can’t really be over emphasized when it comes to healthy living.

SOURCES: https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m511
https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-3-19
https://www.health.harvard.edu/cancer/cancer-and-diet-whats-the-connection

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Diet Therapy of Diseases

Cholelithiasis: treatment options

Stones form in different organs in the body due the retention of excess types of minerals in the body that can easily crystallise if there is insufficient fluid around to dissolve them.
Cholelithiasis is one condition that affects the bile duct and gall bladder. In cholelithiasis, hard stones composed of cholesterol or bile pigments form in the gall bladder (choleccystolithiasis) or in the bile duct (choledocholithiasis). In the US alone, about 9% of women and 6% of men have gallstones, and most are asymptomatic. While in the south western region of Nigeria, Ibadan, the prevalence of cholelithiasis is 2.1%.
When the concentration of cholesterol rises to the point of supersaturation, crystallization occurs. In other parts where stones form, stones could be composed of calcium, oxalate, uric acid, struvite. But in this case, stones are composed of cholesterol. A sludge containing cholesterol, mucin, calcium salts, and bilirubin forms, and, ultimately, stones develop. This occur when the concentration of cholesterol rises so high to the point of supersaturation. Normally, in bile, cholesterol leves are at equilibrium with bile salts and phosphatidylcholine.
Although gallstones are typically asymptomatic (they show no symptoms), some cause biliary colic, in which stones intermittently obstruct the neck of the gallbladder and cause episodes of abdominal pain. Chronic obstruction may result in cholecystitis (infection and inflammation of the gallbladder) or cholangitis (infection and inflammation of the common bile duct). Both of which are very serious and, if untreated, may result in sepsis, shock, and death.

Presenting symptoms include episodic right-upper-quadrant or epigastric pain, which often occurs in the middle of the night after eating a large meal and may radiate to the back, right scapula, or right shoulder. Diaphoresis, nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, burping, and food intolerance (especially to fatty, greasy, or fried foods; meats; and cheeses) are common. More severe symptoms, including fever and jaundice, may signify cholecystitis or cholangitis.

What Are the Possible Risk Factors?
1. Family history: there is every tendency to develop gallstones if there is a family history. In short, it is twice as more in rates.

2. Increasing age: Gallstones are mostly very common in individuals above the age of 40.

3. Female sex: with the presence of the hormone estrogens in female, they are more likely to develop gall stones at all age groups. This increased risk is most notable in young women, who are affected 3-4 times more often than men of the same age.

4. Elevated estrogen and progesterone: During pregnancy, oral contraceptive use, or hormone replacement therapy, estrogen and progesterone induce changes in the bile duct that predispose one to gallstones.

5. Obesity: Due to the elevated secretion and production of cholesterol in obese individual, they are at high risk of developing gall stones.

6. Rapid weight loss: Bariatric surgery and very-low-calorie diets adopted for weight loss regimes can increase risk of gallstone formation, possibly due to increased concentrations of bile constituents.

7. Diabetes mellitus: Hepatic insulin resistance and high triglycerides may increase risk of gallstones.

8. Gallbladder stasis: When bile remains in the gallbladder for an extended period, supersaturation can occur. Gallbladder stasis is associated with diabetes mellitus, total parenteral nutrition (probably due to lack of enteral stimulation), vagotomy, rapid weight loss, celiac sprue, and spinal cord injury.

9. Cirrhosis: Cirrhosis i.e scarring of the liver tissues, increases the risk of developing gall stones 10 times more.

10. Medications: Drugs implicated in the development of cholelithiasis include clofibrate, octreotide, and ceftriaxone.

11. Physical inactivity: Exercise may reduce gallstone risk. Findings from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study suggested that the risk of symptomatic cholelithiasis could be reduced by 30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise. Young or middle-aged men (65 years or younger) who were the most physically active had half the risk for developing gallstones, compared with those who were least active. In older men, physical activity cut risk by 25%. Physical activity is also associated with reduced gallstone risk in women.

How can it be Diagnosed?
Laboratory tests include complete blood count (CBC), liver function tests, amylase, and lipase.

– Right-upper-quadrant (trans-abdominal) ultrasound will reveal the presence of gallstones and show evidence of cholecystitis, if present.

– Hydroxy iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan is sometimes indicated to rule out cystic duct obstruction and acute cholecystitis.

– Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) or magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) assesses the presence of gallstones within the bile ducts. ERCP can also be used to extract stones when they are found, preventing the need for surgery.

Are there Treatment options?
Asymptomatic gallstones are generally not treated. Cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gall bladder) is the treatment of choice for symptomatic disease.

Oral bile acids (e.g., ursodeoxycholic acid) can be used to dissolve small stones and stone fragments. However, they are not really efficient as the stones typically reoccur.

It is helpful to avoid large, fatty meals, as a large caloric load is the most likely trigger for biliary colic symptoms.

Long-term statin use has been associated with a reduced risk of gallstone development.

Nutritional Considerations
Gallstones are strongly related to high-fat, low-fibre diets. In areas like Asia and Africa populations which have plant-based diets as traditional diets. An abundance of high protein and high saturated fatty diets are risk factors to developing gallstones. Diets low in dietary fibre, especially the westernized diets play a major role in the development of gall stones. The following factors are associated with reduced risk of gallstones:

– Plant-based diets: Both animal fat and animal protein may contribute to the formation of gallstones. According to research, up to 90% of gallstones are cholesterol. This totally suggests that a change diet (e.g., reducing dietary saturated fat and cholesterol and increasing soluble fibre) may reduce the risk of gallstones.
“Vitamin C, which is found in plants and is absent from meat, affects the rate-limiting step in the catabolism of cholesterol to bile acids and is inversely related to the risk of gallstones in women”
In a 12-year prospective cohort study among US men, individuals consuming the most refined carbohydrates have a 60% greater risk for developing gallstones, compared with those who consumed the least. Conversely, in a 1998 cross-sectional study of men and women in Italy, individuals eating the most fiber (particularly insoluble fiber) have a 15% lower risk for gallstones compared with those eating the least.

– Avoidance of excess weight: staying within a healthy BMI results in reduced risks of developing gall stones as obesity is a huge factor to increased risk. Those with BMI above 30 kg/m2 should endeavour to shed some few extra pounds to reduce their risk.

– Weight cycling: simply meaning repeatedly intentionally losing and unintentionally regaining weight. This cycle increases the likelihood of cholelithiasis.

– Moderate alcohol intake: alcohol consumption, especially when it is too much, has always been linked to different types of ailments; gallstone formation isn’t left out.

SUMMARY
Adopting western diets totally puts you at risk of developing gall stones. A diet rich in antioxidants, fibre, anti-inflammatory substances keeps you at reduced risk rate.
Stones make life very unbearable, you should be very conscious about your diet and lifestyle.

SOURCES
Biddinger SB, Haas JT, Yu BB, et al. Hepatic insulin resistance directly promotes formation of cholesterol gallstones. Nat Med. 2008;14(7):778-82. [PMID:18587407]
Leitzmann MF, Giovannucci EL, Rimm EB, et al. The relation of physical activity to risk for symptomatic gallstone disease in men. Ann Intern Med. 1998;128(6):417-25. [PMID:9499324]
Leitzmann MF, Rimm EB, Willett WC, et al. Recreational physical activity and the risk of cholecystectomy in women. N Engl J Med. 1999;341(11):777-84. [PMID:10477775]
Erichsen R, Frøslev T, Lash TL, et al. Long-term statin use and the risk of gallstone disease: A population-based case-control study. Am J Epidemiol. 2011;173(2):162-70. [PMID:21084557]
Bodmer M, Brauchli YB, Krähenbühl S, et al. Statin use and risk of gallstone disease followed by cholecystectomy. JAMA. 2009;302(18):2001-7. [PMID:19903921]
Stinton LM, Shaffer EA. Epidemiology of gallbladder disease: cholelithiasis and cancer. Gut Liver. 2012;6(2):172-87. [PMID:22570746]
Ahmed A, Cheung RC, Keeffe EB. Management of gallstones and their complications. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(6):1673-80, 1687-8. [PMID:10750875]
Pixley F, Wilson D, McPherson K, Mann J. Effect of vegetarianism on development of gall stones in women. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) . 1985;291:11-12.
Tsai CJ, Leitzmann MF, Willett WC, et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of cholecystectomy in women. Am J Med. 2006;119(9):760-7. [PMID:16945611]
Simon JA, Hudes ES. Serum ascorbic acid and gallbladder disease prevalence among US adults: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(7):931-6. [PMID:10761957]

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Uncategorized

FERTILITY : DOES DIET PLAY A ROLE?

Generally, one major factor considered to affect fertility is age. As you grow older, your organs, hormones and system seem to deteriorate.

But apart from this, there are other external and non-modifiable lifestyle factors that also affects the fertility of a woman and they include smoking, elevated consumption of caffeine and alcohol, stress, agonist sports, chronic exposure to environmental pollutants and other nutritional related issues.

In addition to the aforementioned, other metabolic disorders like diabetes, obesity, and hyperlipidaemia which are associated to an intake of high caloric diet could also interfere with a woman’s fertility.

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse.
Infertility has really become a thing of concern in the modern society and its recurrence affects about 20-30% of the female population globally.

In Nigeria, about 10-30% of couples are saddled with the burden of infertility
The World Health Organization (WHO) reporting up to 80 million women world-wide having been affected by this disease to date, with a prevalence of ~50% of all women in developing countries.

There are possible gynaecological issues or systemic diseases that poses a threat female fertility, but asides these, unbalanced nutrition and unhealthy diet also interfere with reproduction processes in women.
Gradually, inadequate weight gain due abnormal energy supply, extreme restrictions, and inadequate intake of nutrients (both macro and micro), have a detrimental impact on the normal functioning of the ovaries.
Taking a proactive approach could help curb emotional stress and even cut financial costs attached to infertility problems.
Your odds at getting pregnant might just be improved by being intentional about your diet, effectively dealing with stress and being more active.

POSSIBLE LIFESTYLE FACTORS THAT AFFECTS FERTILITY
1. SMOKING: Smoking, be it first or second-hand smoke, can have a negative impact on the reproductive process for women. Cadmium and cotinine are two specific toxins found in tobacco smoke which can reduce egg production.
2. ALCOHOL: there are no safe levels for alcohol if you’re planning to conceive
3. BMI: for females wanting to conceive, body weight is of the essence and should not be overlooked. A BMI higher than 30 could impact hormonal imbalances and affect fertility processes.
4. RECREATIONAL DRUGS: use of some illicit drugs could have a great impact on fertility for women. Women who are expectant shouldn’t use heroin, ecstasy, marijuana and other illicit drugs.

WHAT ARE SOME POSSIBLE CAUSES OF INFERTILITY?
Unexplained Infertility: reason of infertility is unknown and can’t be linked to any external or internal factors. Most times, more than a year of trying to conceive.
Endocrine Disorders (PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome): these sort of disorders leads to an alteration of sex hormones in the female body thereby leading to elevated insulin levels and overproduction of testosterone (male hormone).
Anatomical Abnormalities & Anomalies (Endometriosis, Uterine Irregularities): conditions where similar tissues to the ones inside your uterus, grows outside of the uterus. These conditions subject the uterus to be shaped in abnormal ways; heart shaped, unicorn shaped etc. (fibroids and polyps also included)

HOW DOES DIET AFFECT FERTILIY?
A number of dietary considerations should be considered in order to curtail hormonal fluctuations in females. The adequacy of a diet totally influences the functionality of hormones in the female body, especially fertility related hormones,
Let’s see some dietary considerations that directly affects hormonal response in the female body.
1. WHOLE GRAINS: whole grains are lower in glycemic index (their ability to increase blood glucose per time), and help increase chances of reduced insulin resistance in females. Insulin resistance poses a huge threat of inflammatory disorders and weight gain which directly affects hormonal balances in the female body. Whole grains include oatmeal, millet, bulgur, corn etc.
2. PROTEINS: getting most of your proteins from plant sources could help women with ovulatory issues. Isoflavones contained in soy products have been shown to positively affect ovulation and also helps women undergoing ART (assisted reproductive technology). Also, a higher intake of dairy products has been linked to decreased risk of endometriosis. Successful incorporation of dairy products into the diet of females, would have a great impact on fertility.
3. HEALTY FATS: trans-fat negatively affects fertility, enhance inflammation, and also play a role in egg quality and implantation. It’s very important to know the types of fats which are healthy and take out the unhealthy ones. Fats from nuts, avocado, seeds and fatty fish are healthy fats.
Also, supplementation with omega-3 fatty (500-1000mg) acid may help reduce the amount of male hormones circulating in the system (testosterone), thereby reducing risks of developing PCOS and regulating menstrual cycle.
4. SUPPLEMENTATION: supplementing with vitamins like folate, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 has been shown to improve better embryo quality and reduce risks of ovulatory infertility. Antioxidants also has shown to support and provide the eggs with adequate nutrition. Other supplements of importance include glutathione and CoQ10.

SUMMARY
A correct balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins in the daily diet helps provide optimum female reproductive health and reduce risk of infertility possibly caused by inflammation and hormonal imbalances.

SOURCES:

Does diet really affect fertility? – A few useful tips from Fertifa’s nutrition expert


https://www.todaysdietitian.com/marketing/webinars/fertility/TDFinalRecorded.pdf
https://www.insider.com/how-healthy-and-unhealthy-diets-can-impact-fertility-2018-4

Nutrition and Fertility: 5 Things to Know


https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/050113p38.shtml

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LifeStyle

DIABETES AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: THE ULTIMATE DEATH COMBO

OVERVIEW
According to recent studies, it has been shown that 64% of people with type 2 diabetes also suffer from hypertension.
This companionship is actually an ungodly one but sadly, in most cases where adequate management is not adhered to, the combo is just inevitable.
Many underlying pathophysiological mechanisms are associated with the duo, with a few seemingly plausible ones like: sodium-fluid retention, insulin resistance in the nitric-oxide pathway and stiffening of arteries.
Diabetes and hypertension are strongly interrelated and always predisposes individuals to other cardiovascular complications like atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis.
In this article, we would throw light on both diseases, how to manage them, their symptoms and how to prevent one leading to the other.

IDENTIFYING DIABETES?
Diabetes is a complex condition that impairs the body’s ability to metabolize/use blood sugar in the body.
Globally, more than 422 million people are living with the disease. Currently, 1 out of every 17 adults are living with this disease in Nigeria.
Uncontrolled diabetes, either with medication or diet, or a combination of both therapies would lead to other disease complications like stroke and heart diseases.
There are three types of diabetes and they include: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

TYPE 1 DIABETES: this is referred to as juvenile diabetes; more common among younger people. It occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. Sadly, people living with this type of diabetes have to stay on insulin for the rest of their lives to stay alive.

TYPE 2 DIABETES: this is the most common type of diabetes. It affects how the body uses insulin. The cells in the body do not respond to insulin effectively as they would always do in time past before the onset of this type of diabetes.
Less common types of diabetes include monogenic diabetes and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.

HOW CAN I GET DIABETES?
The risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
• If you are overweight (when your BMI is above 25 kg/m2)
• If one of your parents or ancestors has diabetes
• having a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level lower than 40 mg/dL or 50 mg/dL
• If there is an occurrence of high blood pressure in your family lineage
• having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a child with a birth weight of more than 9 pounds
• a history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
• being of African-American, Native American, Latin American, or Asian-Pacific Islander descent
• being more than 45 years of age
• having a sedentary lifestyle

HOW WILL I KNOW THAT I HAVE DIABETES?
Type 2 diabetes always presents with symptoms and they include:
– excessive hunger
– excessive thirst
– excessive passing of urine; especially in the night time
– blurry vision
– you easily get tired
In some cases, symptoms might not be noticed on time.

Type 2 diabetes can be diagnosed also if an individual’s blood sugar levels are above 70-90 mg/dl. Normally, to test for diabetes, blood samples are needed. But recently, your tears could be used to test for blood glucose levels.

IDENTIFYING BLOOD PRESSURE
Hypertension is a common condition in which there is a long-term force of blood against your artery walls. This could also predispose the individual to other heart health problems.
Previous studies have recorded that hypertension (commonly called) is more prevalent in men than in women.

CAUSES OF HYPERTENSION
There are a number of risk factors which could lead to hypertension and they include:
• Age.
• Family history (hereditary)
• Ethnic background.
• Obesity and being overweight.
• Lack of physical exercise or activity.
• Smoking.
• Alcohol intake.
• Poor diet and high cholesterol.
There are no symptoms noticed with hypertension; reason why it is called the “silent killer”
People usually find out that they have hypertension when a doctor takes their reading with a sphygmomanometer.
An individual would be said to have hypertension if blood pressure levels are above 140/90 mmHg, in severe cases blood pressure levels might get to 180/120mmHg.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HYPERTENSION AND DIABETES
The duo often occurs together and might even share common causes which include:
– Obesity
– Inflammation
– Oxidative stress
– Insulin resistance
As blood glucose accumulates in the body, some vital organs that help to maintain fluid balance are affected. Organs like the kidneys are more affected because they play an important role in making sure there is no fluid retention which leads to high blood pressure.
There are three ways in which high glucose levels in the blood can increase blood pressure:
• The blood vessels lose their ability to stretch.
• The fluid in the body increases, especially if diabetes is already affecting the kidneys.
• Insulin resistance which may involve processes that increase the risk of hypertension.
It is important to note that the duo could pose huge health complications which includes:
1. heart attack or stroke
2. decreased kidney function, progressing to dialysis
3. problems with the blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision loss
4. peripheral vascular disease

CAN THIS BE PREVENTED?
Yes! Lifestyle factors are very crucial in the management of both diabetes and hypertension.
These lifestyle factors should be adhered to strictly in order to prevent the onset of the duo
1. A HEALTHY DIET: people who already live with diabetes or hypertension should seek advice from their dietitian to help manage their symptoms in order to avoid an escalating situation.
This advice would include:
– eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
– focusing on high-fiber foods, including whole grains
– limiting (not avoiding) the amount of added salt and sugar
– avoiding or limiting unhealthful fats, such as trans fats and
– avoiding the intake of refined carbs.
2. AVOID ALCOHOL AND SODA DRINKS: high alcohol intake increases the risks of developing these diseases. Surprisingly, people always have the mind-set that alcoholic drinks are healthier options when compared to soft drinks. Both are actually not recommended if these diseases are present.
3. STOP SMOKING: smoking tobacco increases the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Smoking could lead to poor blood flow and could damage the heart and lungs.
4. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT: losing weight is actually helpful in preventing the onset of diabetes and hypertension. Losing 3-5% of your weight can improve blood sugar readings.
5. BE ACTIVE: at least 150 minutes of intense exercise could help lower blood pressure levels and blood glucose levels as it helps in good blood circulation.
Note that only diet would not help in the management of diabetes and hypertension or the duo. Medications also are important factors in the management.
Also note that herbs, supplements and concoctions won’t help to eradicate this duo but might even pose greater health risks to the individual.

TAKE HOME
High blood pressure and type 2 diabetes often occur together and tend to share same risk factors.
It’s very important to pay attention to lifestyle modifications if you are living with both diseases or just one of them.
In the management, it’s important to have a doctor and dietitian co-manage your symptoms as diet and medication play a huge role in the management of these diseases.

  1. SOURCES: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317220#outlook
    https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/high-blood-pressure#:~:text=Diabetes%20damages%20arteries%20and%20makes,heart%20attack%2C%20and%20kidney%20failure.
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/20786204.2004.10873136

 

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General Research

FRUCTOSE: BAD GUY?

Fructose is a type of sugar known as a monosaccharide (single sugar), which is the building block of carbohydrates. All carbohydrates provide four calories per one gram, including fructose.

Fructose is commonly referred to as ‘fruit sugar’ because it primarily occurs naturally in fruits and other plants as sugar cane and vegetables. You can also get fructose from honey, sugar beets and sugar cane.
fructose is 1.2-1.8 times sweeter than the regular table sugar (sucrose). It is actually the sweetest naturally occurring carbohydrate.

During its breaking down process in the body, insulin is not required, and it tends to have a low impact on blood glucose.
It’s process of digestion differs from other types of carbohydrates.

Fructose and glucose are both single sugars and have been found to have the same chemical formula but different structures, making fructose sweeter than glucose.
Fructose occurs in plants and fruits but not alone, it always occurs with other types of sugars.

Where does fructose come from?


“Fruit sugar” as it is sometimes referred to, is a naturally occurring sugar found primarily in fruits (such as apples, dates, figs, pears and prunes), and also can be found occurring in vegetables (such as artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms, onions and red peppers), honey, sugar beets and sugar cane. “Pure fructose is produced commercially from corn or sucrose into a crystalline form for use as an ingredient in packaged foods and beverages”.
Although fructose is in high fructose corn syrup (a 55:45 mixture of the monosaccharides fructose and glucose), crystalline fructose should not be confused with high fructose corn syrup.

Is fructose a natural or added sugar?
Fructose can either be a natural sugar or an added sugar, it all lies solely on the source. It is considered a natural sugar when we consume it directly from whole plant foods or fruits, then, it is considered an added sugar when we consume from packaged foods, beverages which high fructose corn syrup has been added to during manufacturing.
While there is really no recommendation for fructose consumption, current dietary guidance recommends limiting the consumption of added sugars to less than 10% of total calories—in other words, i.e < 50 grams of added sugars if you consume 2,000 calories per day.

How is fructose digested?
Fructose has raised so much dust and debates among nutrition scientists because of the unique way the body handles it. It is somewhat digested in a different manner from other sugars, leading scientists to question its role in health. A 2016 review concluded that while fructose does not appear to have a unique impact on health, “fructose-containing sugars can lead to weight gain, increase in cardiometabolic risk factors and disease only if it provides the excess calories.”
No matter the source of the fructose, be it directly from plants or beverages, fructose when consumed is handled by the liver. The liver converts it to energy sources for bodily processes and doesn’t require insulin for this process. Unlike glucose which is released into the tissues by the help of insulin.
Some people have trouble absorbing fructose when eating it in large amounts and some are unable to absorb fructose at all. About one in 20,000–30,000 people are born with HFI each year. Because individuals with HFI (hereditary fructose intolerance) cannot metabolize fructose, foods and beverages containing fructose, sucrose or the sugar alcohol sorbitol must be avoided totally.

Are there health implications of fructose?
The rise in concern of added fructose to carbonated drinks and its direct link with obesity has led to a huge questioning on the impacts of fructose.
Although fructose might not really have adverse impact on blood sugar, it would have very detrimental effects on weight, LDL levels, triglyceride levels if taken in excess as added sugar from beverages and packaged foods.
According to recent research, fructose intake has been linked to uric acid levels, higher risks of gout development in men.
Due to the increase in use of fructose as sweetener, overconsumption is inevitable, thereby leading to detrimental health effects.

Why is fructose added to foods and beverages?
One major reason for adding sugar to packaged foods and beverages is its sweet taste. To sell, you have to make the product appealing to the taste buds yes?
The sweetness of fructose also has a fading ability, meaning that it doesn’t last for a long period after consumption.
Well, this doesn’t stop the fact that it still contains calories like other carbohydrates.
Other reason why fructose is added to beverages includes:
– Its hygroscopic nature which helps it absolve water, thereby improving texture.
– Fructose is also a good humectant; it can help retain moisture which could help improve and extend shelf life.

SUMMARY
Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar found in fruits and plants. It can be beneficial to health if consumed from natural sources than when it is an added sugar. Overconsumption of beverages and carbonated drinks would have very adverse effects on the health than give benefits. Its better to stick to natural sources of fructose.

SOIURCES: https://foodinsight.org/what-is-fructose/
https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/molecule-of-the-week/archive/f/fructose.html
https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-7075-7-82

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LifeStyle

GOUT

OVERVIEW
Ever felt a reddish and tender pain on your big toe or even both?
If yes, then you should go through this article.
Gout is a type of arthritis that forms as a result of formation of crystals in and around the joint.
It is actually the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. It affects one join at a time (especially the joint at the big toe).
Gout is actually an ancient disease; the Egyptians actually noticed it first.
Gout mostly occurs when there are excess amounts of uric acid deposited in the urine and kidneys.
There is no cure for gout, but it can be managed effectively with the right approaches.
It is most common in the big toe, and is also common in the mid foot, ankle, and knee

WHAT SYMPTOMS SHOULD I LOOK OUT FOR?
Acute gout flare mostly come as a rapid onset of pain at the site of the affected joint followed by warmth, swelling, reddish discoloration, and marked tenderness.
Sometimes most people, the pain is so intense that even if a paper touches it, you feel so much paper.
Symptoms in the affected joint(s) may include:
• Pain, usually intense
• Swelling
• Redness
• Heat

CAUSES
the accumulation of uric acid known usually as hyperuricemia is the cause of gout. When this happens, uric acid crystals are formed then they build up in joints, fluids and tissues.
What increases your chances for gout?
You’re more likely to develop gout If the following is present:
• Being male
• Being obese
• Having certain health conditions, including:
• Congestive heart failure
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Insulin resistance
• Metabolic syndrome
• Diabetes
• Poor kidney function
• Using certain medications, such as diuretics (water pills).
• Drinking alcohol. The risk of gout is greater as alcohol intake goes up.
• Eating or drinking food and drinks high in fructose (a type of sugar).
• Having a diet high in purines, which the body breaks down into uric acid. Purine-rich foods include red meat, organ meat, and some kinds of seafood, such as anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, and tuna.

ARE THERE POSSIBLE TRIGGERS?
Sometimes these crystals might not go into your joint cavities, and sometimes they might. Possible reasons why they would include:
• a knock or injury to the joint
• an illness that may make you feverish
• having an operation
• having an unusually large meal, especially a fatty meal
• drinking too much alcohol
• dehydration
• starting urate lowering therapy, especially at a high dose, or not taking your treatment regularly each day.

ARE THERE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Oh sure!
With self-management and medications, gout can be effectively treated. You can achieve this If you:
1. Manage the pain of a flare: Treatment for flares consists of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, steroids, and the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine
2. Get physically active: every minute of activity counts. It is at least better than doing nothing. It is recommended that you do at least 15 minutes of physical activities daily.
3. Eat a healthy diet: foods high in purines are most commonly the triggers for gout flares. Avoiding them could totally help to alleviate pains and soreness in gout. Foods that has high levels of purines includes red meat, seafood like shellfish, limit the intake of alcohol or totally give it up.
4. Protect your joints: low impact types of exercises which won’t lead to joint injuries are preferred. Swimming, bicycling and skipping are actually very good options for exercises.

SOURCES: https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/ss/slideshow-gout
https://www.hss.edu/conditions_gout-risk-factors-diagnosis-treatment.asp
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gout/
https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/gout/

 

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