Diet can Profoundly Change Colon Health in Two Weeks

DSC00476It 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

Another Study Questions US Nutritional Recommendations

ImageFindings 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: How it became so popular and where it stands today

ImageThe 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

Mediterranean Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk; Low-Fat Diet is Difficult to Study

ImageA 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

A New Oral Therapeutic for Celiac Patients?

ImageCeliac 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

Ketogenic Diets May Protect Against Oxidative Damage

mouse 1In 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