When I began my Ph.D. research comparing diet responses across varying genetic backgrounds, I ambitiously expected to identify the “best” dietary pattern for health. But, it was quickly apparent that the data did not match the story in my head. As highlighted in the journal Genetics, my study showed there is no “one-size-fits-all” diet for optimal health and personalized, or precision diets, should allow for better health outcomes. Continue reading
Eating three meals per day- breakfast, lunch, and dinner- has become engrained in many cultures. Many hold the notion that regular and frequent eating is vital for health. Yet, new research suggests that eating the same total amount of food, but increasing the duration of fasting between meals may yield better health outcomes. Continue reading
Rates of diabetes are soaring in the United States and around the world. Here, we investigate the medical literature to identify whether a ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrate, can improve symptoms of diabetes. Continue reading
It is known that dietary alterations can cause rapid shifts in weight, but few studies have examined how quickly diet can impact other physiological parameters, especially those related to cancer. A recent study in Nature Communications has identified that diet can have profound health effects in as little as two weeks. The researchers investigated the impact of dietary change on markers of colon health and correlated these changes with shifts in gut microbiome composition. Continue reading
Findings from the most recent review comparing the effects of fatty acids on heart disease do not agree with the current US nutritional recommendations. Current recommendations encourage replacing saturated fat intake with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to reduce heart disease risk. The meta-analysis, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, finds no association of saturated fat intake with heart disease. Continue reading
The low-fat diet has been widely popular for the past 50 years and for much of that time it was the default diet advocated by most health practitioners. For a time, the consensus was that a diet had to be low in fat to be healthy, especially for cardiovascular health. With the increasing number of studies, our understanding of the effects of dietary fat has shifted and the scientific consensus is beginning to change. Continue reading
A research article published in The New England Journal of Medicine on February 25, 2013 found that a traditional Mediterranean diet reduced risk of major cardiovascular events compared to a low-fat diet. The study suggested that a Mediterranean diet — rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables — is healthier than a typical western diet. The study also demonstrated the challenges of conducting clinical research trials on diet. Continue reading
Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that manifests a wide range of symptoms in response to gluten consumption in affected individuals. Although the disease can cause autoimmune responses in many organs, the main damage occurs in the small intestine via the body’s immune cells attacking normal human tissues[i].
The current treatment for celiac disease is strict adherence to a gluten-free diet, which includes elimination of wheat, barley and rye. However, a recent scientific breakthrough may allow celiac patients to consume these products without suffering autoimmune issues. Continue reading
In today’s post, I’ll review a recent study proposing a possible mechanism for the benefits of a ketogenic diet. This post builds on my previous post about epigenetics.
In the research paper “Suppression of Oxidative Stress by β-Hydroxybutyrate, an Endogenous Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor,” researchers investigate the role of β-Hydroxybutyrate (βOHB) in preventing damage by oxidative stress. βOHB is a product of fat oxidation and serves as the major source of energy during prolonged exercise, under fasting conditions, or when following a ketogenic diet. Continue reading
Diet is widely known to impact how we look and feel, but new research suggests that diet also affects brain function and memory. Continue reading