Articles

From deconstructing diets, to myth busting, and everything in between, you will find it here in the articles archive. Make sure you join the newsletter to keep on top of the lates additions. 

Dietary Strategies to Lower Cholesterol

Uncategorized May 14, 2021

Cholesterol is one of the number one targets that people look at to determine the state of our metabolic health, and in some ways this can be true. It is one of the most common markers that your doctor will test for once you go past the age of 30. There is a multibillion industry around drugs that lower cholesterol. For many, lowering cholesterol is a notable health goal, and it isn’t my place to advise against this, but do be aware that it is a vital substance in the body. It is the precursor to all of our steroidal hormones - think oestrogen and testosterone. It is the building block to vitamin D when we are exposed to ultraviolet, and it is a vital component of cell membranes. With this in mind, should we just aim to lower it willy nilly, or should we understand it a little better and learn how to improve how it affects our body? I feel the latter, and there are a few key dietary tweaks that you can make to do just this. 

 

Important distinctions

It is important...

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Short Chain Fatty Acids - Digestive By Products With a Powerful Punch

Uncategorized Apr 15, 2021

In recent times the gut and our microbiome have become huge focal points for nutritional science, research, and indeed discussions of health within popular culture. The discoveries being made are staggering. We are seeing that there are direct and specific controls of immunological responses. We know the there is cross talk between the microbiome, gut, and brain. And there are localised and gut specific benefits given by the microbiome too. 

I could go into detail about every single role that the microbiome plays, but I have written about some of it before, particularly the immunological aspects, plus if I went into all of it, it would be a whole new book. So, I am going to focus on one thing, and something that I have been getting more and more intrigued by since having Dr Alan Desmond on my Podcast - Listen to the episode HERE!! On many occasions the discussion moved to short chain fatty acids!

You have heard me bang on and on about essential fatty acids like omega 3. These...

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Amino Acids in Mental Wellness

Uncategorized Apr 15, 2021

If you are like me, you will always be searching for new ways to give yourself an extra edge and make continued improvements to your health. I have tried a million and one hacks for more energy, to perform better in the gym, to maintain my waistline (an ever more challenging escapade at almost 44), increase my antioxidant intake, fatty acid intake, enhance the nutrient density of my diet. You name it. 

 The one thing I took for granted though was my mental wellness as generally, with the exception of becoming slightly more cantankerous with commuters and shoppers as I get older, my demeanour, outlook and mental state has always been bright. I have always been driven. Focused. Up beat and positive.
 
Then, the world went into perpetual lockdown. The first one, the sun was out, there was a sense of national unity and togetherness almost. No big deal. The second one in November, barely noticed it to be honest. Then…..the January one. This absolutely beat me into...
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4 Things to Know About Vitamin K

Uncategorized Apr 15, 2021

Vitamin K is probably one of the least talked about nutrients yet one of the most vital throughout life. Vitamin K is actually a group of fat soluble nutrients that can come for a variety of foods and can get stored in fatty tissues in the body.

Vitamin K1 also known as phylloquinone, is found abundantly in foods such as green leafy vegetables. When we consume this form it gets converted by the bacteria that lives in the gut into K2 or more accurately, a drop of compounds called menaquinones, which are variants of K2. Menaquinones, being bacterial in origin are also found in some animal products and fermented foods. So why is it so important and what does it do?

 

Regulates blood clotting

 Without vitamin K our body cannot produce prothrombin. This is a substance that is involved in regulating blood clotting, and also affects bone metabolism. Prothrombin is turned into thrombin which then turns fibrinogen into fibrin which, along with platelets makes a blood clot. 

...

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Vitamin D & COVID-19

Uncategorized Apr 15, 2021

In this current climate, it seems that everyone is searching for information regarding how to keep their immune systems healthy. Vitamin C supplements have become the new toilet paper this month with demand growing and stores completely selling out. Every other post on wellness social media accounts (mine included) is geared around supporting the immune system. In the last few days I have come across a staggeringly interesting paper trail of studies that may actually give a glimmer of hope in terms of self care at least, surrounding one of the most talked about nutrients of our time. Vitamin D!

Now, because I always have a moral code when it comes to giving information about nutrition, please note that in NO WAY am I saying this simple nutrient will make you more resistant to SARS-CoV-2, nor am I saying that it may offer protection against the development of COVID-19. I wish I could give that kind of statement, but not only is that inaccurate, it is irresponsible and I have been...

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Vitamin C and Immunity

Uncategorized Apr 15, 2021

Vitamin C is likely the most well known nutrient when it comes to supporting immunity and keeping the immune system healthy. Whilst clinical trials testing its efficacy as an intervention in an infection have yielded mixed results, we know that vitamin C certainly does have important roles to play within the immune system and many aspects of immunity. 

 

Accumulates in phagocytes

One thing that is certainly clear is that vitamin C can accumulate in phagocytic leukocytes (phagocytic means engulf pathogens, leukocytes are the technical term for white blood cells). Neutrophils and Monocytes accumulate vitamin C to notably high concentrations, 50 – 100 times higher than serum concentrations. There isn’t a complete understanding of why this accumulation occurs, but it is clear that there is a reason for this accumulation, nature doesn’t do these things without need or reason. 

 

Enhances neutrophil chemotaxis

Neutrophil chemotaxis is an important...

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Ketogenic Diet & Cognitive Function

Uncategorized Apr 15, 2021

The ketogenic diet has become one of the biggest dietary movements of our time, neck and neck almost to veganism. Now you all know that I am a huge proponent of plants being a dominant feature of our diet. But, that being said, whilst I do eat ungodly amounts of green vegetables, I do veer very close to the low carb high fat diet, and always do extremely well on it. Im not true kept, but not far off.

The true ketogenic diet will find 70% of its entire energy intake coming from fat. This son makes the body choose fat as a preferred fuel source. Whilst we have often been taught that glucose if the primary fuel source for Humans and that we need a healthy supply of glucose, that isn’t completely accurate as such. Glucose is an effective and EASILY utilised fuel source that our body can rapidly turn into ATP – the energy currency our body actually runs on, and is an energy source that can be stored in the form of glycogen. But, our body is adaptable. It has had to be through...

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Zinc a True Precious Metal

Uncategorized Apr 15, 2021

The role of zinc in health is one that is becoming more and more widely understood, and we now realise how important a nutrient it really is. The mineral zinc is vital for Human health, and it is needed daily.  Its roles are truly diverse and it has jobs to do in virtually every single body system. It has roles to play in the health of our immune system, in regulating hormones, influencing inflammation and much more. 

 

Zinc in Immunity

Most likely one of the more well known roles that zinc plays in the body is a role in immunity. You only need to look on the shelves in your local health food store and you will see an array of zinc based supplements and remedies to target the common cold. Zinc lozenges for example. Whilst vitamin C has often been rather hit and miss when it comes to its performance in clinical trials for treating or aiding the common cold, zinc has been far more consistent. Many trials have shown that zinc can be very effective at shorten the...

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Serotonin Myths & Mechanisms

Uncategorized Apr 15, 2021

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has become one of the most highly talked about substances in the body in decades. Most widely known as our body’s own in built antidepressant and feel good chemical, everyone is talking about it, and if you type it into social media…buckle up! Everyone wants to boost serotonin. Increase levels of serotonin. Get more serotonin, yet know very little about it.  It is a media darling right now, and with this has come profound misunderstanding and myths, one of which I am pretty sure you will be familiar with. So, with that in mind let's take a look at what serotonin is, what it does and most importantly where it does what, then look at the myths that abound around it.

 

What IS Serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, and a hormone, depending where it is found. A neurotransmitter  means that it is a substance that relays messages between nerve cells or a nerve cell and a target tissue such as a muscle or a gland. As you...

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Leaky Gut & Autoimmune Diseases

Uncategorized Apr 15, 2021

Leaky gut is a condition that for a long time was dismissed as non existent, yet now it is accepted and its development and aetiology is well understood, and leaky gut symptoms are commonly reported to clinicians. With this increased understanding of the condition, it has opened up possible links in the development of autoimmune conditions. Leaky gut really just refers to increased permeability of the gut wall. The gut is semi permeable, or should we say selectively permeable. Of course it has the ability to let things pass through it, but these are things that are of benefit to us. It also has the ability to keep things out. Therefore selectively permeable. 

 

The gut as a barrier

The epithelial lining of the gut, along with different secretions produced by it and microbial life forms a barrier that separates us from the external environment. It is a selective and secure border between the inner workings of the body and the outside world. This lining must be able to allow...

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