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Jenny Hadley
Naturopathic Nutrition Advisor
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Blog

Putting out the rubbish

Following on from my last blog about the role the liver plays in your skin health, I wanted to talk some more about the liver.

The liver plays such an integral role in metabolic processes, especially being the organ leader in detoxification. The hundreds of functions it completes day in day out is endless including processing bacteria, drugs and toxins, managing the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbs and setting your energy levels. Although it does its own daily ‘spring’ clean, it doesn’t come with a lifetime warranty to fix its daily abuse. We all get burn out now and then and so can your liver.

The liver needs a range of essential nutrients in order to give it the fuel to carry out these functions. We wouldn’t expect our cars to run without the right fuel or our tvs to work without the right input. Its the same for the liver. The liver needs a broad range of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to drive these processes. The daily ritual of to-do’s in our life often have nutrition at the bottom of the list, giving way to refined junk foods or restrictive fad diets.

Early signs of an uncared for liver include fatigue, headaches, gastric discomfort or heartburn, bloating, nausea, heat and sweating, weight gain and blotchy skin.

My top tips to show your liver daily love include:

* Eating un-processed foods - a range of good quality complete proteins, and a diverse range of fruits and vegetables. Think chicken stir fry with brown rice and broccoli.

* Proper hydration avoiding diuretics - drink water and herbal teas

* Avoid junk foods

* Plan your weekly nutrition!

Poor liver function underlies most serious health problems but by modifying your lifestyle and bumping nutrition up the to-do list could prevent disease for you and your family.

 

No chemistry degree needed for my consumables!

My skin is my biggest organ. As a Naturopathic Nutrition Advisor I am always eating to promote the best possible health I can achieve but I’m still a woman who wants to indulge in luscious products and feel pampered.

The thought of smothering myself in normal high street skin ‘care’ products often laden with chemicals just does not buy into my better health mission. The skincare market, worth an estimated £17billion in the UK, is smeared all over UK magazines focussing on products with alien ingredient lists. These include lotions, creams and serums, treatments like chemical peels, cortisone injections, botox and laser therapy, partnered with a vision of a heavily airbrushed woman who is meant to optimise beauty as a result of these products.

I don’t buy into it.

We are constantly being exposed to unnatural things that our bodies have to manage. Pesticides, dioxins, PCB’s, vehicle pollution, chemicals in air conditioning, fragrant sprays in public bathrooms and our homes, electromagnetic fields, free radicals and thats just the things we don’t actively consume. The liver, amazing as it is, has to process everything that comes in as well as fats, sugars and alcohol.

With this in mind I do try to reduce my exposure to unnecessary harmful substances. Having experienced liver failure through illness I can tell you that a poorly under-functioning liver is awful and I will be forever grateful to the NHS for saving my life. I cannot protect myself from many of the things on the list above but one thing I can control is what I put on my skin.

I was introduced to a brand a couple of years ago that I do buy into. Its line is Pure Honest Effective. With an ingredients list that I can identify and understand I know exactly what is going on my skin and that it will not harm me or cause extra stress on my liver.

The brand is Tropic. Handmade in the UK with responsibly sourced natural ingredients. You don’t need a chemistry degree to understand the ingredients list as many of them are already in your kitchen! They are not tested on animals, the products are vegan and loaded with organic plant extracts. Not just caring for the skin, they also care about the environment and try to reduce their carbon footprint wherever they can. Most importantly they are free from harsh chemicals, artificial perfumes and synthetic materials. No hidden nasties. Some of the ingredients in many popular commercial products are the same ingredients used in things such as industrial antifreeze and engine degreasers. Mineral oil and petroleum may suffocate the skin by forming an oil film. Ingredients such as glycerine draws moisture from inside the skin and holds it on the surface for a better feel but ultimately it dries the skin from the inside out. No thank you.

For my hair there is another brand that I love that I get from The Cutting Crew Organic, Norwich. They are an organic hairdressing salon and their conscientious business ethic is outstanding. Not only do they create great styles but the products they use are all British made, organic and the best available that are kind to your body. I love their shampoo and special treatments. They don’t strip my hair of colour or natural oils so I am able to use less products to manage my wild curly hair (there is even an organic product for that!).

So my recommendations for the care of your biggest organ is this:

* Sip water which will boost blood flow throughout the body and skin and flush out toxins.

* Get enough sleep to reduce your stress levels. Stress increases glucocorticoid levels which can cause issues in the skin structure.

* Exercise, again to help reduce stress but also to increase your blood circulation.

* Assess your diet and eat as cleanly as possible, consuming skin nourishing Essential Fatty Acids from avocados and oily fish.

* Assess your products. Think Pure Honest and Effective.

I love the products I use and so does my liver!

For more information on Tropic Skincare contact:

https://www.facebook.com/jodiestropic/?fref=t

For more information on The Cutting Crew Organic Norwich

http://www.cuttingcrew-organic.co.uk

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“One of these days you will have a real illness to complain about!”

1 in 5 people in the UK develop Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) at some stage in their lives. Standard symptoms can include constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, bloating and abdominal pain. By definition IBS is just a group of symptoms affecting the digestive tract that haven’t been explained.

Palmed off with prescriptions that often do very little or trigger other side effects, individuals can feel despondent about their future health and made to feel that they have little to complain about - like its a fake illness or as commonly heard ‘just stress!’.

Given that we are only able to talk to our GP’s about one complaint, the fact that IBS has more than one cause and could be presenting as several non digestive symptoms the true cause of their ‘one complaint’ is easily missed. Some of course are sent for gastro intestinal testing to rule out anything serious.

Don’t get me wrong here, I do not mean to slate GP’s, it is the system that is letting GP’s and patients down. I strongly believe that GP’s are in this profession because they want to help patients but red tape often prevents them fulfilling the simple mission that inspired them to medically train.

So what is my simple mission?

To look at the whole of the individual and piece together a link in their symptoms to find root cause suspects.

Its a misconception that IBS is only caused by one thing. The digestive tract is complicated so there may be more than one cause at any one time. There could be a food allergy, it could be bacterial or microbial issues it could be all of the above, but if you don’t treat all of the conditions your IBS probably won’t be revolved. Gastro intestinal tests are looking for evidence of inflammation, ulcers, polyps and bleeding but would probably miss the aforementioned symptoms.

If IBS is so often called ‘just stress’ how is it that we are able to resolve issues for many people through nutrition? Most clients mention that they were not stressed but since having IBS have heightened anxiety related to their disorder. That is not to say that stress can’t make IBS worse. Stress can affect the immune system and that can impact IBS symptoms, but stress is rarely the underlying cause of the symptoms.

I do think that IBS is a real illness and one to be taken seriously. Why should you have to live with it? I would love to try and help you.

“after years of life being restricted by my gut, its no longer the first thing I think of when I wake up - in fact I only now think of it in hindsight!’ Clare T, Age 32, 3 years clear of IBS.

 

 

Can nature's pantry help with allergies?

Following on from my blog two days ago about allergies and intolerances I wanted to touch on the fact that often individuals experience a group of allergic problems together, namely asthma, eczema and hay fever. One in 3 children suffers with allergies with genetics playing a part on who may develop them, however the incidence is drastically increased with deficiency in nutrition and environmental factors.

Fortunately research has shown that nutrition has a crucial role to play in reducing the incidence and severity of these conditions. This includes eliminating trigger foods that can sometimes lead to the presence of symptoms (actually quite a long list!).

Specific nutrients, especially consumed in combination with other specific nutrients has shown significant improvements in asthma symptoms, lung function and markers of inflammation with the lungs. Individual nutrients will always have benefits but the effects are much greater when consumed together. The same applies for skin conditions including acne and eczema.

My clients often say that they can’t bear the thought of a life time of steroids and other medications to manage their conditions. Nutrition is not an over night fix but working together we have been finding the right individual combinations and been able to make a significant difference to symptoms and medications. (NB Clients always consult with their GP before reducing/coming off medication).

Would you be willing to try natures pantry to see if you can improve your health and live a life allergy free?

 

Are you an intolerant sceptic?

Many healthy people are sceptical about the volume of allergies that seem to be flying about. I have had someone say to me ‘oh you’re a nutritionist you think everyone has an allergy!’ A clients Doctor dismissed my thoughts on her having food intolerances - however, we discovered she is gluten and soy intolerant and is finally living a healthier happier life having identified this.

The fact is they are on the rise and there are few genetic reasons why someone has an intolerance or allergy. Several generations back rarely had these problems but they consumed a seasonal, mostly unprocessed diet. They didn’t pop pills, use antibacterial sprays, soaps or hand sanitizers. They also didn’t have as many vaccinations as we get given these days. There were less pesticides, PCBs and dioxins and less exposure to electromagnetic fields let alone WiFi!

Intolerance can present in many different ways in individuals such as migraines, joint problems, eczema, wheezing and digestive issues.

There is also a snow ball effect with intolerances and allergies in that one discovery can lead to another such as an allergy to melon may also lead to an allergy to banana or avocado, an allergy to pollen may lead on to an allergy to apples and peaches.

So unfortunately intolerances and allergies are a reality and it is likely that more and more people will be born with or develop them. The more awareness and empathy the better. I am delighted to have been able to help some clients who have suffered for years to finally discover if intolerance is the answer behind their health issues.

 

Vitamin B12 - what do you know about it?

I read an interesting study today on vitamin B12 (VB12) and how vegetarians are often deficient in this nutrient. Here’s a little summery that I hope will help my vegetarian clients.

The usual dietary source of VB12 is derived from animal products such as meat, milk, fish and eggs leaving vegetarians high risk to VB12 deficiency. Signs of deficiency can include anemia, deteriorating coordination, confusion, agitation, fatigue, sore tongue, tingling and numbness of the limbs and nerve and spinal cord degeneration.

VB12 is important in the production of red blood cells and in maintaining a healthy nervous system. VB12 also helps release energy from our foods.

However, VB12 deficiency may go undetected in vegetarians because their diet is often rich in folic acid which may mask deficiency, with effects only showing in the occurrence of severe health problems or in the elderly. Another point to make is the relationship of VB12 with other nutrients in particular folic acid and VB6. A deficiency in any of these 3 can impair the activity of the others.

Did you know that the following factors can deplete the body of VB12 and other nutrients:

Birth control pills

Anti biotics

Intoxicants (alcohol, smoking, coffee etc.)

Stress especially from injury or surgery

Liver diseases and chronic illness

Many vegetarians I know do consume milk products and eggs (lacto-ovo vegetarianism) and although eggs do have a VB12 content, most of which is in the yolk, the average bioavailability of VB12 from cooked eggs is only 4-9%. Milk is also a low source with losses of VB12 occurring during the processing of the milk.

For non vegetarians VB12 intake is rarely a problem, The recommended daily intake (RDI) for an average adult is 2.4micrograms. Just one serving of any of the following would give you 100% of the RDI: cod, tuna, sardines, mackerel, scallops or lamb. You will receive around 50% of the RDI by consuming shrimp or beef, about a third from a portion of yoghurt and between 10-15% from one serving of cheese, chicken, turkey or cows milk.

In contrast, one of the best sources of vegetarian B12 is mushrooms with one portion providing only 3% of the RDI. This raises the importance of vegetarians to make sure they know what nutrients their bodies need, the amounts and how they can get them. This is why many vegetarians have to resort to either supplementation or fortified foods.

Good sources to increase your intake of VB12 in include:

VB12 fortified cereals.

fermented vegetables (bacterial development during fermentation increases VB12)

other fermented foods (tempeh, Miso, soy source, pickles, sourdough bread)

dried shiitake mushrooms (also high Iron and D2)

Nori (also high vitamin A and iron, nutrients often low in vegetarians)

VB12 fortified yeast extracts

soya milks

spirulina

Please note there is contradicting information on-line about the VB12 content in quinoa grains. I have researched this with a credible source (USDA) and confirm that there is no VB12 in quinoa. This is the same result for lentils.

 

The Gluten Epidemic

Gluten is a protein molecule that gives shape to grains such as wheat, rye and barley. It has been a staple supporting human life for thousands of years, yet now its a hot topic with many people going gluten free. Lets not get confused here with people that suffer from very real medical conditions such as coeliac disease which causes peoples immune systems to attack their intestines whenever they eat gluten. If you suffer severe problems then you should get an investigation with your GP.

It might not actually be gluten that is the problem here as wheat contains other potentially problematic substances that in large amounts can upset a sensitive digestive system.

The fact is that we eat more wheat/gluten now than ever with many westerners eating toast or cereals for breakfast, a sandwich or crackers for lunch and pasta for dinner. Its even in gravy, sauces, some sweets and beer. This volume seems to be giving people a mild sensitivity to gluten. There is more science to it than that of course such as the fact that genetically engineered wheat contains far more gluten than when our grandparents ate it. I describe to my clients that if you put flour in your hands and added water you get a gloopy sticky substance and thats more or less what happens to it in your intestines making it hard for your guts to process and preventing nutrients from other foods to get absorbed. It doesn’t have to be a major IBS type symptom to realise that wheat/gluten could be causing you problems, take my mother for example, she had swollen ankles and achy joints from her mid forties. Water tablets didn’t work and she was left to live with it. Once we tried eliminating gluten (after I trained in nutrition) she called me ‘Jen, I can see the bones in my ankles, I’ve not seen them for 20 years!’. Wow. She now eats gluten free most of the time just knowing the consequences of if she does have some. Her ankles can puff up by bed time if she has some at lunch.

So I am not saying that you need to all cut gluten but perhaps consider if it could be the cause of a health symptom such as malaise, depression, joint pain or bloating and just cutting down the volume you consume could prevent a problem developing. Just reducing it in your diet could mean that it never becomes a problem for you. There are a lot of important nutrients in grains like iron, zinc and vitamin B so if you do decide to reduce or cut it get support. Don’t just head to the ‘free-from’ aisle where you will find expensive high calorie foods with saturated fats and sugars. I help my clients identify if wheat or gluten may be a problem for them, which foods are hiding gluten, which foods they need to increase to ensure maintaining nutrients, ensuring you get adequate fibre alternatives and how they can continue eating their favourite meals with delicious gluten free options.

So don’t make yourself another victim of the gluten epidemic. Make sensible choices by planning your meals and hopefully you can continue enjoying bread, pasta and gravy.......in moderation!

 

How to fall asleep in 1 minute - Is it possible?

I read a really interesting article this morning by a Dr Weil. The title being ‘How to fall asleep in under 1 minute’. I have always been a good sleeper, in fact I love sleep and often mumble about how I can’t wait to get back into bed. Unfortunately, I have lots of clients that tick the symptom box of trouble sleeping. I have several responses on how to help them which can go into details about how to stimulate the hormone melatonin which helps control your sleep and wake cycles and about the effects of various stimulants that can disrupt sleep and foods eaten at certain times that can aid sleep pattens.

This article struck me about its simplistic solution to sleep. It made total sense and I thought I would share the basic details.

The solution - The 4-7-8 breathing trick! You simply breath in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. Apparently the studied combination of numbers has a chemical-like effect on the brain, slows the heart rate and will soothe you off to sleep.

It is well known that even small levels of stress or anxiety can raise the heart rate. This is because stress and anxiety stimulates adrenaline which increases the heart rate and consequentially your breathing becomes shallower and quicker. People have been using breathing and meditating techniques for years to reduce stress so why not use it at bed time? By slowing your breathing and maximising your lung capacity you will cause your heart and central nervous system to slow down, take more oxygen into your blood stream and exhale more carbon dioxide.

Expanding lung capacity is something I do with my Hydrotherm Massage clients at the beginning of each massage to help relax them and it is so effective in helping them instantly relax.

The beauty of this is that its easy, free and you can use it again if you wake in the night but also practice it during other anxious moments such as before a flight or exam.

So please let me know if you try it and if it works and I can put all my other sleep aid techniques to bed! (full article can be found at http://www.byrdie.com/how-to-fall-asleep-fast)

 

Hydrotherm and Rheumatism

It is without doubt that one thing all my clients feel when they lie on my large hot water bottles is the overall calming effect and feeling of well being they have over their entire bodies. For my clients with pain and discomfort such as those with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Fibromyalgia this relief is even more rewarding.

Regular massage of muscles and joints can be especially beneficial for those with arthritis. The effect it has on symptoms reducing pain, stiffness, increasing the range of motion, strength, circulation and overall function of the joints is invaluable to the client. Overall it can have a positive psychological effect with the reduction of anxiety that often comes with managing these conditions.

Unsurprisingly, studies have found that massage can help to alleviate and prolong the deteriorating effects of the disease.

I had one of these clients today and having had a longer break between appointments due to Christmas she was feeling the effects on her joints. Combined with the cold weather she felt instant relief and anxiety drift away on laying on the warmth of the bottles.

That kind of feedback is why I practice Hydrotherm massage. The results speak for themselves.

 

Mediterraneans do it better!

BBC News Health has this morning highlighted the subject of weight and the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. It is not new news – you would have be living under a rock to have missed this snippet of health advice.

Despite all the evidence, however, many Brits still have not adopted a Mediterranean diet.

So what is a Mediterranean diet?

Well, it’s not a diet at all. It’s not about a ‘quick fix’, restrictions or ridiculous amounts of a superfood. Rather, it is a simple formula for healthy day-to-day eating over the long term. Simple and sustainable.

The article criticises the weight-loss industry for focusing on calorie restriction rather than good nutrition, something I agree with.

I know someone who is genetically pre-disposed to be ‘above average’ in size and as long as I can remember they have been on calorie-restrictive diets with very little success. He resorted to a gastric band, but continuing on his restrictive calorie counting diet he still did not lose weight. Three years later he had the band removed.

He is from a generation that believes in diets. These diets just do not look at the bigger picture of health. He also has a long list of health issues, not to mention a fairly unhealthy list of prescription drugs which I can’t help wondering is a result of 25 years of restrictive eating. I will never know for sure of course. I have seen little success in his continued miserable diets, and his GP guidance was for either diet pills or surgery.

It’s hard to stand by and watch, especially when I worked with a relative of this man and found his ideal weight and he is fit and healthy.

This man, and many others I have worked with, shows clear evidence to me that restriction is not a sustainable answer. When I work with my clients I look at all areas of their health, not just their current diet to see what could be triggering weight and health issues.

There could be a host of underlying concerns such as water retention, leptin resistance, visceral fat, thyroid issues and metabolism problems, to name but a few.

Giving the body the right nutrients, something the Mediterranean way of eating provides, can help eradicate these problems, sometimes very quickly.

I welcome this BBC article and the fact that it is reminding the UK that a Mediterranean way of eating could be the answer to many people’s weight and health issues. So ditch the processed foods and maximise your intake of vegetables, beans, fruits and wholegrains. Swap red meat for fish. Use olive oil and rapeseed oil and drink lots of water.

Let’s go back to basics instead of restriction, calorie-counting and other boring, unhealthy attempts to maintain weight. And let’s keep that old way of thinking under that rock.

ref: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29929403

Why you should wash your food

This seems an obvious thing but many people don’t wash their food or don’t know that some food needs washing at all. This was highlighted on ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’ recently where they discussed how rice can do you more harm than good because of its naturally occurring levels of arsenic (a chemical element present in the environment and associated with long term health effects).

Most crops don’t readily take up much arsenic from the ground however rice does. The FDA recommends that consumers rinse rice well before cooking and rinse again with fresh hot water after cooking which will significantly reduce the risk of consuming arsenic.(fda.gov)

Another food to wash is quinoa, the latest fashion food. This is a seed which has a coating called saponin to protect it in its natural environment to be able to propagate. However, saponin can be damaging to the gut potentially causing a condition called leaky gut syndrome. It’s simple to avoid by rinsing the grain well with hot water, before and after cooking.

Soil can sometimes carry bacteria, along with chemicals used and processing exposure most of our foods could be carrying something undesirable to the human body. Simply washing could reduce or eliminate that exposure. As always the best advise from experts is to vary your diet as much as possible and eat fresh and from sources close to home when possible.

Managing joint pain through nutrition

With the cold creeping in I have had a few people mention they are experiencing joint pain. I have to confess, I have been feeling it in a past injury. Joint pain can make physical activity and general mobility decrease and it can be miserable.

Chronic use of anti-inflammatory medications may be effective in reducing inflammation but should not be used long term as they can cause gastrointestinal complications, stress on the liver and quite frankly will not solve the problem.

Many people, including my mum, have found that inflammation is due to food intolerances. My mum discovered her ankles again after nearly 30 years of swelling and pain. Supplements would never be enough to prevent her problem.

For most of us there are lots of things that we can do to help in the prevention of joint problems including making lifestyle assessments; how do you sit on the sofa, night after night? occupational stresses on our bodies? too much weight? are you in general poor health? What are you eating? Assess and make changes.

Some basic nutritional things that can help in the prevention on joint breakdown include:
Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Omega 3’s
Foods worth including in your diet to help get these nutrients include:
flax seed, soy and canola oils
nuts and seeds
oily fish
juices of orange, grapefruit, cranberry and pineappleUnknown1
all citrus fruits
mixed berries
vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli, green peppers, garlic
mixed beans and pulses
calcium fortified juices or cereals
eggs
green tea
lots of water!

As important is what you exclude:
smoking
salt, saturated fats, refined grains, sugar, food additives
cured meats containing nitrates
saturated and trans fats
diuretic drinks

My biggest tip is to include turmeric into your daily consumption. It is a more effective anti nflammatory than Ibuprofen!

These are just tips but if you need help managing your joint pain and prevention of further problems,
or need help discovering if you have a food intolerance then please get in touch. jennifer@nutritionnorfolk.co.uk

I am only human too!

This week I have found myself with a rotten cold. My head hurts, I am congested in my chest and as for my nose.....I won’t revolt you with a description.

But, why do I feel like I’m not allowed to get ill?
Doing what I do, nutrition advice, helping others when they are unwell, someone who eats well and I try and treat my body a bit like a temple.
I have found myself coming out with all sorts of excuses; we have ScreenShot20140702at142415builders in, damp in the house, dust everywhere, no kitchen so my consumption has not been so good, weather is hot then cold. It’s all rubbish at the end of the day.
The fact is the human body can never build up resistance to all the viruses that can cause a common cold. I do believe my immune system is a lot stronger since I changed my nutrition, I used to get ill with everything going and seemed to get it for longer than everyone else. I think that stems back to getting glandular fever as a teenager when my immune system was totally ripped to shreds. I don’t believe it recovered until I started eating well.

Its also a lesson learned for me. I know what I spout out to others with a cold; juice some turnip and watercress, homemade chicken broth, berries, cod liver oil, ascorbic acid lots of water and lemon etc. The fact is I have found it hard to muster the strength to take care of myself. I need to remember this feeling with my future advice to others.
So I am sorry if I don’t look the picture of health but I won’t apologise or excuse the fact that I am ill. I am only human after all.
July 2014

 

Health and the media

I often get asked to comment on reports in the tabloid health pages and on TV programmes.
Surely, if it's in the media, it must be true and the answers we are all looking for?
With the media giving us a continuous flow of the latest so-called ‘change your life’ remedies, it is hard to determine what is worth trying, what is advertising tosh and what may actually do us harm. Spectacular breakthroughs, based on scientific evidence, are rare - so the information we receive, heralded with massive media attention, gives a false impression.
Basic research findings often show promise for a future therapeutic hope but somewhere along the line, the vast majority of the research produces unclear or conflicting results. Such problems have been experienced in many research trials for nutrition and supplementation.
Randomised controlled trials are the key methods to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new treatments. Treatments are called experimental until they are evidently proven to be viable. However, perhaps the viability of these trials is questionable and it is important to mention that a large number of trials for drugs and beauty products are funded by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies who are developing the product being tested. Natural resources, such as the basics of a balanced diet, can often be a small voice in an industry where these powerful corporate giants use public relations experts to manage public perception.
Natural resources and therapies that should be considered valid in the treatment of disorder and disease have very little research and scientific evidence in comparison. There is little funding available for carrying out trials since there is little financial reward in return. According to the Oxford quality scoring system (Jadad) alternative/herbal remedy clinical trials had similar Jadad scores to pharmaceutical scores but the trials were significantly smaller and of shorter duration. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies quash natural agent/alternative therapy research, by finding systematic errors in the conduct, analysis and reporting of the clinical trial. Natural treatments will always be called into question by those who would be financially affected if a natural health revolution took off. They will find a loop-hole to disregard the evidence found and the agent or therapy under trial is effectively written off. Arguably, if every ‘body’ is individual, can scientific research ever be really accurate? There are different factors in people, such as the severity of disease or disorder, other unknown diseases or disorders, lifestyle, diet and if the patient followed their trial instructions correctly. It may be worth mentioning genetic factors may also differ between people, for example in the metabolism and transport of dietary components in the body. Perhaps other factors like bias on patient selection should be taken into account. In addition, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) will always say that anything from nature is unproven because it can be variable, therefore, it is unlikely that adequate studies into natural medicine will be abundant.

Food intake and nutritional research trials are difficult to control and many studies are too small. The pros and cons of supplementation debate should not detract us from the needs for a good healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables. The benefits of natural nutrition are becoming more well known but we still have a long way to go. We have known for years that poor diet has an impact on long term health because our food, particularly fruits and vegetables, contain antioxidants that help protect the body. It seems logical that eating foods rich in antioxidants has to be a good thing.

People should all learn fundamental life skills about managing a balanced diet, and - given today's economy - about the financial planning for such a diet. Many of the clients I see wish they had known the things that I have taught them about nutrition from childhood. Many believe that if they had eaten the way they do now, they probably wouldn’t have developed their health issues in the first place. My thoughts on the education of diet and home economics will need a whole new chapter!

What we discover in the media is not always a wasted resource but articles should be interpreted with caution unless they have been proven reliable by peer groups and journals. I, or another health advisor, may have a better understanding of claims, how to check their viability and how they will personally affect you. So always check before you jump in and turn yourself into a guinea pig!
November 2013

 

Aspartame

Also known as Nutrasweet, AminoSweet, Equal, Spoonful, Equal-measure, Canderel and in the EU, E951.
It's a hot topic with everyone having an opinion. My education has taught me to look at the research and the facts and check the sources are credible. From a scientific point of view the facts really scare me and having read the history of it I was not surprised to find a story of political corruption and money that would make a good movie. Aspartame has been under attack by scientists, doctors, chemists and consumers about its safety and neurotoxic properties. Research studies have linked it to over 90 serious health problems. When digested, aspartame is eventually converted into methanol and then formaldehyde, which can cause severe damage to the nervous and immune systems.
Most of the studies are linked to heavy use of this artificial sweetener, however with an estimated 4000 products sweetened with it, potentially our daily exposure is huge. I personally do not want to consume it and I certainly won’t expose my children to it.
I highly recommend being aware and trying to reduce the amount you consume.
If you would like to know more about aspartame and its reported negative side effects then please contact me.

October 2013

 jennifer@nutritionnorfolk.co.uk