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diabetes post 3With the vast amount of current research on the gut microbiome and its role in health and disease, more and more chronic illnesses are being linked to disruptions in this vital ecosystem.

Studies have shown a link between imbalances in gut microbes and such illnesses as depression, anxiety, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Now, a team of Canadian researchers have found not only a connection between gut microbe composition and Type 1 diabetes, but they also discovered that long-term use and overuse of antibiotics can actually speed up this disease by altering the microbial makeup of the gut.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition often appearing in childhood in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, which is needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter the cells to produce energy.

University of British Columbia assistant professor and senior author of the study, Deanna Gibson, reported, “The incidence of Type 1 diabetes has doubled in the last few years in Western countries, and this is most obvious in children aged 1 to 5. This suggests that early life events are critical to health. Our research pinpoints the significant role of bacteria and how antibiotic use can alter their normal development in the gut which then can alter the health of these individuals.”

In the study, Gibson and her team compared the gut microbes of healthy mice versus non-obese diabetic mice and learned that the diabetic mice had more harmful and less beneficial bacteria than the healthy group.

Her team then transplanted fecal matter from the diabetic mice to the healthy mice and discovered that this procedure caused an immune response in the healthy mice, leading to the destruction of insulin-producing cells.

Gibson and her team also learned that with the prolonged administration of antibiotics, the onset of diabetes in the mice actually sped up.

They concluded that certain harmful microbes are associated with diabetes and that the early childhood administration of antibiotics can create gut imbalances in favour of these troublesome microbes, thereby increasing one’s risk of getting this disease.

These findings again stress how important it is to use antibiotics only when absolutely necessary – especially when it comes to our children and the future of their health.

Studies such as these should serve as a reminder of the powerful impact that our gut microbiome has on our overall health and how vital it is to support its balance and diversity.

Sources:

“Prolonged antibiotic treatment induces a diabetogenic intestinal microbiome that accelerates diabetes in NOD mice.” The ISME Journal 10, 321-332 (February 2016) | doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.114

“Prolonged antibiotic use can accelerate diabetes, UBC study shows.” Medical newstoday.com. April 29, 2016.

 

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Stress carries an emotional toll, but as many people know, it can also be very damaging to your health.

Chronic stress, in particular, has been linked to anxiety, depression, heart disease, digestive problems, sleep disturbances, memory and concentration impairment, and weight gain.

Now, a recent study published in The Journal of Neuroscience gives us a better understanding of why chronic stress has such an impact on our health – by highlighting its link to inflammation.

In the study, researchers explored the impact of chronic stress on mice. They placed the mice in a maze and gave them plenty of time to memorize an escape hole. When not under stress, the mice easily found the hole time and time again.

Yet, after repeated visits by a larger, more aggressive mouse, the mice were no longer able to recall the location of the escape hole. Other mice that were not exposed to the threat had no problem continuing to remember the location of the exit.

The mice also displayed depressive-like behavior (social avoidance) that lasted over 4 weeks and had a trouble forming new neurons even 28 days after the repeated stress had ended.

The researchers learned that the mice had measurable signs of inflammation in their brains following their repeated exposure to an alpha mouse – immune cells that appear when the body’s immune system is exposed to an outside pressure.

Knowing that prolonged stress can create inflammation in the body is important for those who are interested in disease-prevention, but especially for those who want to reverse and stop their own chronic disease symptoms.

With inflammation underlying most chronic diseases, we need to focus on reducing and preventing inflammation in the body.

That is why it is so important for those who suffer from chronic disease to manage their stress levels effectively.

If you currently struggle with keeping your stress levels in check, these strategies can help:

  1. Get Active – Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress.
  2. Get it Done – Avoid Procrastination. When you complete your work in advance, the pressure of that looming deadline won’t make you sweat.
  3. Eat a Healthy Diet consisting of whole, real foods – Avoid processed carbohydrates and sugars as they feed silent infection in the body and increase inflammation. Further compounding this problem: the inflammation that results from a poor diet can increase feelings of anxiety & depression, making stress levels soar, leading to even further inflammation in the body.
  4. Cut out the Caffeine – caffeine increases anxiety and stress because it increases heart & breathing rates and can interfere with a healthy sleep routine.
  5. Confront the Elephant in the Room – whether it be an unhealthy relationship, unresolved anger, frustrations and past hurts – you must address the big stressors in your life or they will increase your risk for disease.
  6. Simplify Your Life – Do you find that you are always busy and often drowning in commitments? Are there any activities or commitments in your life that need revising, could be shared or need to be removed entirely? Freeing up time for oneself can be very challenging, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to reduce your stress levels.
  7. Embrace Nurturing Activities – listen to music, go for a walk, take a bath, plant a garden, laugh with friends, take a nap, meditate.
  8. Get Enough Rest – Be sure to get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Impaired sleep can greatly increase stress levels.
  9. Become Active in Your Community – join a club, community or religious group. Pitch in and help out. Connect with others of similar interests. These will help to boost your feelings of wellness & community and reduce stress in your life.
  10. Connect with Nature – Studies have shown that regularly spending time in nature greatly reduces stress levels and increases feelings of well-being.

Sources

“Long Term Stress Erodes Memory.” www.sciencedaily.com. March 1, 2016.

“Neuroinflammatory Dynamics Underlie Memory Impairments after Repeated Social Defeat.” The Journal of Neuroscience, 2 March 2016, 36(9): 2590-2604; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2394-15.2016

“Stress Management – Chronic Stress Puts Your Health at Risk.” http://www.mayoclinic.org/

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Chicken-Fajita-Salad fbI LOVE salads. They are a huge staple in my diet, yet I rarely tire of them – probably because they are so versatile and can take on so many different flavours and colors.

Since salads frequent my kitchen table so often, I am always on the lookout for fresh new recipes that I can modify to suit my healthy eating plan and add to my go-to collection.

I particularly love the complex flavours, colors and fragrances of Mexican cuisine, so when I came upon the following salad recipe from cafedelites.com, I was sold.

I hope that you enjoy it!

**Please note – My modifications are in bold.

 

Grilled Chilli Lime Chicken Fajita Salad

Author: Karina – Cafe Delites
Serves: 4

 

INGREDIENTS
Marinade/Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons heat stable oil such as avocado oil
  • Karina, the author, suggests 100ml (just over 1/3 cup) freshly squeezed lime juice, but I would adjust it to taste since I would leave out the brown sugar (see below). 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro/coriander
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Karina suggests adding brown sugar, but I would omit this entirely as sugar feeds silent infection.
  • ¾ teaspoon red chilli flakes (adjust to your preference of spice)
  • ½ teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Salad:
  • 4 chicken thigh fillets, skin removed (no bone)
  • ½ yellow capsicum/bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • ½ red capsicum/bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • ½ an onion, sliced
  • 5 cups cos lettuce leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Extra coriander leaves to garnish
  • The author suggests adding sour cream, but I would omit this as dairy, too, can feed silent infection.
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Whisk marinade ingredients together to combine. Pour half the marinade into a shallow dish to marinade the chicken fillets for two hours if time allows. Refrigerate the reserved untouched marinade to use as a dressing.
  2. Heat about one teaspoon of oil in a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat and grill chicken fillets on each side until golden, crispy and cooked through. (Grill in batches to prevent excess water being released.) Once chicken is cooked, set aside and allow to rest.
  3. Wipe pan over with paper towel; drizzle with another teaspoon of oil and grill/fry capsicum/pepper and onion strips until cooked to your liking.
  4. Slice chicken into strips and prepare salad with leaves, avocado slices, capsicum/pepper and onion strips and chicken. Drizzle with remaining marinade/dressing and serve with (optional) extra coriander leaves.

Original Source

Cell and cordless phones, computers, tablets, TVs, gaming systems, smart meters, baby monitors… These are just a few of the many technologies that make our lives easier and often more enjoyable. Unfortunately for us, we are constantly being bombarded by the harmful Electromagnetic Field (EMF) radiation that they emit.

EMF exposure has been linked to neurological and behavioral changes, an inability to sleep, mood swings, headaches, altered cell growth, cell mutations, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and even cancer.

Many of our current technologies have become a necessity in our day to day lives. So how do we protect ourselves and our loved ones from this dark side of technology?

Silicon-valley engineer turned technology health advocate, Jeromy Johnson, learned from personal experience just how damaging EMF radiation can be. In his informative Ted Talks presentation below, he shares what you can do today to reduce your exposure and the exposure of your families to EMF radiation.

Additional Source:
“EMF Exposure: Worse than Cigarettes? The Silent Enemy Harming Your Health Today…” mercola.com. July 9, 2011.

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