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General Research

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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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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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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General Research

AM I ADDICTED TO SUGAR?

When you hear the word “addiction”, I’m sure your mind goes straight to drugs, alcohol or some practices. But sugar addiction is real and some people might not just be aware of what it is and the fact that they’re victims.

In this write up, we would help explain what sugar addiction is, why you always crave sugar and some tips to help overcome the feeling.

Quitting sounds logical as that is the remedy for other types of addictions, but for sugar, it’s not as simple as that.

Firstly, what is addiction?

There are two categories of addiction, which are:

1. A substance addiction such as drugs, alcohol or tobacco

2. A non-substance behavioural addiction such as gambling.

So, the definition could be controversial if you view it with just one lens.

Some reports have suggested that sugar addiction is a thing and some people can be addicted to it as heroin and cocaine. Some people who might be addictive to other foods with “addictive agents” like fat and salt could also show same result as someone with drug addiction. Even with all these speculations, no actual study has been carried out on human subjects concerning drug addiction.

Sugar addiction – is it the same as being addicted to drugs?

Since we somewhat have agreed that sugar addiction is a thing, we need to check if it’s the same thing with substance addiction and probably has the same symptoms.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), it diagnoses a Substance Use Disorder (substances such as tobacco, alcohol, drugs) based on 11 symptoms. These can be grouped into four categories:

Impaired control: symptoms relating to failed attempt to stop drug use after noticing a strong desire and craving to use such drug.

Social issues: symptoms relating to a disruption of person’s work, home and social life.

Risky use: symptoms relating to continuous use of drug/substance even after being aware of the consequences.

Drug physiological effects: symptoms of tolerance (when the body requires more of the substance to have same effect) and withdrawal ( the body shows withdrawal symptoms when the drug is no longer in the body).

 

So, Are These Symptoms the same in Sugar Addiction? 

You might need to ask yourself if you’ve notice same symptoms as mentioned above before.

For example:

• Do I have cravings and a strong desire to eat sugary foods? Yes!

• Have I repeatedly attempted to cut back or “quit” sugar? Yes!

• Do I feel so “out of control” with food that I’m not in the mood to attend social events? Yes!

How is this Diagnosed? 

– For a substance use disorder diagnosis, the symptoms need to cause “significant impairment or distress” meaning that the distress should impair daily functioning of the individual.

This significant distress might most likely be linked to eating patterns and might even be more of an overall eating disorder.

– Secondly, a key part of diagnosis shows that the symptoms produce physiological effects. Drug taking can cause people to develop withdrawal and tolerance symptoms. No studies shows that sugar taking can lead to tolerance and withdrawal.

So am I addicted to sugar if I crave it all the time?

Reasons why you might be craving sugar every time might include:

1) Restriction

Recent articles supports that the root cause of overeating a particular food or feeling out of control around food is restriction and not addiction. This knowledge comes with evidence thaty if you restrict yourself from a particular food, you even want it more and would tend to consume more of it if given the chance. Restrictive food rules which recommends elimination of foods leads to the exacerbation of disordered eating.

For the animal studies that claims that sugar is addictive, these studies failed to emphasise that these animals were actually deprived of sugar for a long time, so they’ll obviously binge on it when re-introduced.

2) Food is pleasurable (which is not a bad thing!) and needed for survival

Food is for survival and the major basic fuel we need to stay alive. Sugar is needed for the functioning of our body, so how would one suggest that you can be addicted to it?

Now, when we mean sugar, I hope you’re aware that we are not talking about refined or processed sugar from pastries or soda drinks but from foods (carbs).

What’s the conclusion? 

Sugar can be found in starchy foods such as potatoes, breads, yam, rice, beans and pastas as well as in fruit, vegetables and dairy products. Things we usually eat in conjunction with many other things!

Now this doesn’t in any sort downplay the fact that some people might feel helpless or out of control when around some foods, but this cant be termed as addiction.

If you feel this is you, you can seek help from a registered dietitian or try intuitive eating. There are online articles on intuitive eating and so many dietitians around who could help you build a healthy relationship with food

That’s the actual thing that’s needed! A healthy relationship with food will go a long way in helping you appreciate food and its functions in the body, and also help you not to be “out-of-control’ around any particular food .

SOURCES:

– https://nudenutritionrd.com/am-i-addicted-to-sugar/

– https://jandonline.org/article/S0002-8223(96)00161-7/pdf

– https://www.mentalhelp.net/addiction/vs-behavioral-addictions/

-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5174153/pdf/394_2016_Article_1229.pdf

– https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm

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Diet Therapy of DiseasesGeneral Research

NUTRITION INTERVENTIONS IN SICKLE CELL ANAEMIA

 

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder where red blood cells that carry oxygen assume a totally different shape from the normal. 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, thereby increasing interests to promote dietary supplementation for decreasing morbidity and to help improve the quality of patient’s life.
Several methods of treatment and management have been in use for quite a while now and they include:

MANAGEMENT OPTIONS
-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. Also, 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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General Research

ALOPECIA

Almost 60% of all women experience hair loss when they approach age 60 and this could lead to low self-esteem, increased stress levels, and increased psychological distress.

Only about 50% of all women maintain a full hair through their life span. Hair loss in women total presents itself differently from men; women lose the volume of their hair due to thinning while men lose it due bald patches or receding hairline.

This article would help to investigate the possible the impacts of nutrition and lifestyle on acute and chronic hair loss in women.

So many factors put together or individually could actually lead to hair loss, and this most times makes it a very challenging situation. Age, weight loss, genetics, diet, stress, medications, illness, ethnicity, hair styles, and the use of hair styling tools and cosmetics all contribute to hair growth and equally loss.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, typical daily hair loss is between 50 to 100 strands. Any amount higher than this is clinically termed telogen effluvium. Sometimes, excessive hair shedding can be last for a short while (less than four months) following a state of stress or trauma, and might increase in its span, but might return to the normal hair growth cycle. Anagen effluvium is a totally different phenomenon which occurs when hair stops growing.

Hair loss is totally different than hair thinning when you consider their biological processes. Hair loss in women start initially from the middle part with an overall thinning of hair follicles. This phenomenon makes it hard to hide the loss.

Other factors also cumulatively affect the process of hair loss and they include weather conditions, humidity, ultraviolet rays and wind. These factors put together, can decrease hair density, growth, and texture. “White and Asian women are more susceptible to damage from weathering, while African Americans are more prone to damage from styling methods, chemical relaxers, and other products”

WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF HAIR GROWTH?
There are 3 stages of hair growth and each strand of hair has a particular timeline it follows. The stages are:
The anagen, or growth, cycle: lasts 2-8 years
-The catagen, or transition/regression, cycle: lasts 4-6 weeks and hair stops growing at this phase
-The telogen, or rest, cycle: hair falls out in this stage and it lasts 2-3 months
On average, 80% to 90% of hair is in the anagen phase at any given time, with 1% to 2% in the catagen phase, and the remaining 10% to 20% in the telogen phase.
The growth can be influenced by both chronologic aging (related to genetics and other fixed variables) and biologic aging, which is affected by diet quality and dietary patterns.

The type of hair loss experienced by any woman can be ascertained by cross-examining the dietary history, medical history, and performing a physical examination on the hair and scalp. To accomplish this, a team comprising a dietitian, primary care physician, and hair care specialist would be involved

CAN I INCREASE THE INTIAL STAGE (ANAGEN)?
How long the anagen stage lasts totally depends on how long your hair is and the ability for you’re the cells at the base of your follicle to multiply and become hair cells.
Research is still ongoing on ways to “switch on” the anagen stage, but until then, there are ways which can help promote healthy hair growth during the anagen stage.
Your hair is made of keratin and dead skin cells. Although there might not be any direct ways to help hair grow rapidly, your dietary choice can help it grow in a healthy way.
These ways would help to make your hair healthy and probably last longer:

1. DIET: an inadequate intake of nutrients affects hair loss. Your choices pertaining to diet can totally determine the strength, quality and health of your hair.
Paying attention to your diet would go a long way to ensuring healthy hair growth.
Vitamins like vitamin B5 and biotin, vitamin D and C, iron, zinc, omega 3 and 6 are important to maintain a healthy hair.
An adequate diet with a variety of proteins, vitamins, and minerals supports the metabolic functions necessary to support hair growth and prevents every possible deficiencies relate with loss or thinning

2. ESSENTIAL OILS: applying essential oils to the scalp could benefit hair growth. Studies show that pumpkin seed increases hair count for men with hair loss by 40 percent. Oils like jojoba oil, peppermint oil and rosemary oil also have their benefits.

3. TOPICAL OINTMENTS: this could be beneficial especially for people with alopecia. A list of ointments that could influence hair growth/loss includes:
– topical melatonin reduces hair loss and increases hair density
– topical minoxidil 5% slows hair loss
– Propecia
– ketoconazole shampoo

4. TRY KETATIN SUPPLEMENTS: there aren’t much studies to support this but One study looked at a product that had 500 milligrams of keratin and other vitamins and minerals. The group that took the supplement showed:
• 12.5 percent reduction in hair loss
• 5.9 percent improved in hair strength
• improved hair brightness and luster

5. USE PROTEINS: Protein helps with hair growth and could prtect the hair from environmental and chemical damage. Taking the right amounts of protein is paramount for any bodily growth process. Ensure to incorporate both from plant and animal sources.

6. CAFFEINATE YOUR HAIR: Studies are still new on the effects of caffeine on hair growth, but a cell studyTrusted Source found that caffeine may have growth-promoting effects on hair. Trying out products with caffeine might just help.

ARE THERE CONDITIONS RELATED TO HAIR LOSS?
oh surely, there are some conditions that supports rapid hair loss especially in women
Hair loss, especially alopecia, is linked to several disease states and endocrine disorders. This section examines hair loss’ relationship with metabolic syndrome, hypothyroidism, type 2 diabetes, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Dietary Implications
Either directly or indirectly, nutrition plays an important role in hair loss or growth. Some nutrients supports the very process involved in hair growth.Common nutrient deficiencies that affect hair growth include iron and vitamins A, B, and D.1 Zinc, selenium, and biotin also are associated with hair loss in patients with low serum values of these minerals.

Iron
The role iron plays in hair loss is totally complex and not fully understood, but one theory is that it regulates many of the genes present in hair follicles.
Iron can either be heme or non heme and could be found in a variety of foods ranging from vegetables, to beef and fortified foods. For better absorption by the body, ensure to take with vitamin c sources.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A is functions entails stimulating the growth of hair follicle stem cells. Commonly consumed sources of vitamin A include fortified cereals with skim milk, eggs, and dark green, orange, or yellow produce rich in beta-carotene.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is the primary nutrient involved in the growth phase of the hair follicle and affects the cells that form the outer root sheath.11 Rodent studies have indicated a potential link between rickets—a form of vitamin D deficiency—and hair loss, and these results were replicated in a study conducted involving women with either telogen effluvium or FPHL. Topical application of a solution containing vitamin D (calcipotriol) for three months resulted in full hair regrowth and no loss at six months in a 7-year-old boy with alopecia areata.

Zinc
Zinc deficiency has been linked to telogen effluvium and changes in hair structure, but a reversal is possible with adequate dietary consumption. Animal proteins, particularly oysters, red meat, and poultry, as well as a few plant foods such as fortified cereal and baked beans, are good to excellent sources of dietary

zinc.
In a study published in Annals of Dermatology, serum zinc was compared in four different hair loss patient groups: alopecia areata (44 men, 50 women); male pattern hair loss (84 men, 0 women); FPHL (0 men, 77 women); and telogen effluvium (11 men, 36 women). All four groups were compared with a control group of 32 healthy individuals not suffering from hair loss (14 men, 18 women). Mean serum zinc concentrations across all four hair loss groups was 84.33 ± 22.88 mcg/dL, while the control group exhibited a significantly higher zinc value of 97.94 ± 21.05 mcg/dL. When directly compared, the alopecia areata and telogen effluvium groups had the lowest zinc concentrations.

Selenium
Selenium helps in the formation of hair follicles and protection against damage; deficiency is not very common in healthy adults living in developed countries. More research is needed.

Fatty Acids
An absence of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the diet or an inadequate intake of them is associated with hair loss both from the scalp and eyebrows and lightening of hair color. Consumption of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids has been linked to hair growth due to proliferation of hair follicle cells and a mechanism similar to that of the FDA-approved drug finasteride, which is used to treat alopecia.

Role of the RD
The role of a dietitian is to help access nutrient deficiencies and combat them with dietary means. Since treatment approach to hair loss is a multidisciplinary way, dietitians should ensure that they manage every nutrient deficiencies noticed.
Hope Remains
A Brazilian study found that women had an equivalent fear of experiencing a heart attack and baldness, and Glamour magazine reports that more than 50% of women feel that a bad hair day can make them feel unattractive. For better results, women with possibilities of having hair loss should be encouraged by health professionals on adequate measures to take to curb the possible effects.

SOURCES:
https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/grow-hair-faster#hair-growth-tips
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24836650/
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/641723/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4606321/

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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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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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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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