HOW IMPORTANT IS OUR MICROBIOME?

We know the average human being has about 20,000 genes sitting on 23 pairs of chromosomes. They make us into the unique individuals that we are. Surprisingly, however, we also have many freeloaders – various bacteria, fungi and viruses – within our body that contain about 100 times more genes – at least 2,000,000 and …

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

THE FIRST COMPENDIUM OF GI VALUES OF NON-WESTERN FOODS  Evaluating the quality of carbohydrate in the diet could be considered more important than ever. Markers of quality such as wholegrains, fibre content and sugars are routinely included on food labels and in national food composition tables. But another marker of carbohydrate quality, the glycemic index …

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

RICE AND RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES Around the world, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to climb. The rate of increase is particularly high in countries such as China and India, the most populous nations on the planet. China and India are also similar in the sense that rice is their staple food. …

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NON-DIGESTIBLE COMPONENTS OF FOOD – SHOULD WE BE EATING MORE?  Once upon a time, the roughage in food, now called dietary fibre, was regarded as a nuisance, something that might slow the growth of children, just like it did in animals. But in the 1970s two British nutrition scientists, Dennis Burkett and Hugh Trowell, proposed …

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GLUCOSE LEVELS AND DEMENTIA Developing dementia as we age is one of our worst fears. We know people with diabetes are at greater risk (1), raising the question of whether high glucose levels are a driver of the abnormalities that are found in the brain of dementia patients. If true, it would mean glucose levels …

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MAPPING POSTPRANDIAL RESPONSES SETS THE SCENE FOR TARGETED DIETARY ADVICE  A new study finds that machine learning can predict differences between people in how they respond to meals If you are managing to stay lean in today’s obesogenic environment (lucky you!), you might suspect that it’s your good genes and/or disciplined adherence to a healthy …

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NUTRITION AND PREGNANCY There has been a tendency not to study the female body in science and medicine. Only since the 1990s, when it was made law in the US, have scientists been forced to include at least some women in their research (or show cause why not). It’s even worse for pregnancy…pregnant women are …

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FESTIVE EATING  April is an important month on the religious calendar for millions of people around the world, with the Passover commencing on the 8th, Easter on the 10th and Ramadan on the 23rd. Like many of life’s important occasions, feasting on certain foods and beverages and abstaining from others is an important feature of …

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PLANT WATERS MAKING A SPLASH  All that our forebears drank for thousands and thousands of years was plain water. It’s all that they had available (apart from breast milk as infants). It’s also absolutely essential to life. Our bodies need it to transport nutrients to our organs and oxygen to our cells; to remove waste; …

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SEAFOOD: GET HOOKED SUSTAINABLY  Dietitian Nicole Senior reports.  If any food could be considered a super food, it’s seafood (fish and shellfish). High in protein, and low in saturated fat, it’s a major source of healthy long-chain omega-3 fats and rich in nutrients such as iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, and vitamin D. And there is …