Probiotics – What Is Your Gut Telling You?

rawpixel-550991-unsplash.jpg

By Amie Richmond - Senior Nutritionist at Body Fabulous

When I opened my nutritional health clinic, Body Fabulous in 2014 I already had a good understanding of gut health and the importance of our microbiome but as the range of health complaints I started to see in clinic increased, I realised so many of these patients had one thing in common – their gut.

Suggesting probiotics and probiotic rich foods to patients who were taking or had recently taken antibiotics was already widespread practice in our clinic and the results never failed to amaze me.

Antibiotics can sometimes wipe out the protective gut bacteria, resulting in diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal issues but could these probiotics do more? I was keen to find out and began some research of my own.

Antibiotics are medicines (such as penicillin or its derivatives) that inhibit the growth of or destroy microorganisms. Improving a patient’s gut health after antibiotics is one thing but I subsequently found that treating other illnesses and conditions with these good bacteria has proved to be massively beneficial.

So what is a probiotic? Simply put it is substance which stimulates the growth of microorganisms, especially those with beneficial properties (such as those of the intestinal flora). So antibiotics destroy microorganisims and probiotics stimulate their growth. There is a time and a place for antibiotics and they save many lives but over use of them in our society has caused massive issues. Antibiotics kill off the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ microorganisims leading to a host of other health complaints in some patients.

My initial research into probiotics involved me understanding the different strains of these bacteria.  With well over 500 strains of probiotics, it would be impossible for a supplement to contain them all so which one’s are the best?

The most important aspect of understanding probiotics is to identify the main species required to treat a patient and then the correct strain of that species. I identified 4 major species to research in clinic and looked closely at supporting evidence to their effectiveness;

  • The predominant and most important bacteria that reside in the small intestine are the Lactobacillus species. There are over 180 strains in this species including L. acidophilus, L. fermentum, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius, L. paracasei, L. gasseri and  L. reuteri. The Lactobacillius species is used in clinic for overall digestion, nutrient absorption, relief from occasional cramping, gas and diarrhoea, immune health, urinary and vaginal health, detoxification, oral health and liver health.

  • The Bifidobacterium species are another majorly important group of probiotics found in the walls of the large intestine. Like the Lactobacillus strain, Bifidobacterium produce lactic acid, which provides up to 70 percent of the energy required by cells that line the intestinal wall. Bifidobacterium also produce B-complex vitamins and vitamin K. This species also helps with digestion, immunity, detoxification and diarrhoea but I most commonly use them for nutrient absorption issues and relief from bloating and constipation. There are over 40 strains in this species but the commonly applied bifidobacterial probiotics on the market include B. longum, B. bifidum and B. infantis.

  • The Bacillus species are spore-bearing bacteria that are highly resistant to heat, moisture and light, making them highly resistant to stomach acid. Mainly found in the small intestine, Bacillus also resides in the body longer than other bacteria and is excreted slowly. There are over 200 strains of the Bacillius species and in clinic we use it for treating certain digestive issues, for relief from occasional constipation and for vaginal health.

  • Streptoccocus Species is found in the oral cavity’s mucus membranes and is known for its ability to produce BLIS (bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances), which inhibit the ability of other undesirable bacteria to grow. Great for overall oral health and immunity there are over 50 strains in this species including S. Salivarius K12 and S. Salivarius M18.

In years gone by we would be exposed to far more of these bacteria naturally but as our daily lives have become so sanitised it is clear that we are ALL deficient in some strains of good bacteria.

My first research patient was a young boy with attention deficit disorder (ADD). At 12 years old the child presented with acute behavioural issues resulting in difficulties at school and in friendship groups. His mother brought him in to see me and after research into his gut health I discovered some classic irritable bowel syndrome issues otherwise known as IBS.

Countless strong medications had been prescribed to the child from his GP to help calm his outbursts and temper issues but his difficulty in concentrating and sitting still was very evident on meeting him. Whilst medications were helping in some respects the child’s bowel health had not been treated.

The boy had regular diarrhoea which started after a 30 day course of antibiotics for a previous infection unrelated to his ADD. In researching his condition further I was struck to find this quote on the NHS website;

“Preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD)

There's fairly good evidence that taking high doses of some probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Saccharomyces boulardii) while taking antibiotics can help prevent children getting AAD.

Without probiotics, antibiotics can sometimes wipe out the protective gut bacteria, resulting in diarrhoea. 

Probiotics given with antibiotics may also reduce the risk of developing a Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection.”

I subsequently suggested to the patient’s mother that a course of probiotics that included the strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Saccharomyces boulardii could be tried to treat the diarrhoea.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is one of the most widely used probiotic strains. Various health effects are well documented including the prevention and treatment of gastro-intestinal infections and diarrhoea and stimulation of immune responses. Saccharomyces boulardii, or S. boulardii, is actually not a type of bacteria. It's a yeast that happens to function like a probiotic in the body. 

Within 2 weeks of taking this combination of bacteria and yeast the child’s diarrhoea had completely gone but the unexpected results included a marked improvement in behaviour. Whilst there is no scientific evidence to support this theory that the balance of bacteria had improved his ADD condition, it was certainly a welcome side effect and a great relief to his mother!

You can get probiotics from supplements, as well as foods that are prepared by bacterial fermentation such as some yogurts, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh and kimchi.

The gut flora actually performs many functions that are important for health. It manufactures vitamins, including vitamin K and some of the B vitamins. Most of the gut flora is found in the colon, or large intestine, the last part of the digestive tract.

To help me understand if these probiotics could help with other conditions I looked at patients suffering with obesity.

Mary aged 51 presented with a well balanced food diary with no obvious signs that her portion sizes were excessive. After years suffering with obesity and obesity related illnesses, Mary was desperate for help and advice.

I started studying nutrition after losing 65kg myself so I was well aware of the emotional and physical problems related to obesity but Mary’s well balanced diet and exercise regime was puzzling me. Mary presented with very slender arms and legs but significant weight around her waist area.

My research took me to the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Their most impressive study on this was published in 2013. It was a study of 210 individuals with central obesity (fat around the middle).

In this study, taking the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri caused people to lose 8.5% of their belly fat mass over a period of 12 weeks.

Lactobacillus gasseri is a species in the genus Lactobacillus, which is a type of bacteria naturally present in the human digestive, urinary, and genital systems.

Mary decided to start taking a probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus gasseri and was delighted to find that after 14 weeks she had lost over 5 inches from her waist.

Again further studies must be undertaken to prove that this strain is effective at treating weigh loss but initial research is promising. The NHS themselves declare ‘it does seem that for most people probiotics appear to be safe. If you wish to try them – and you have a healthy immune system – they shouldn't cause any unpleasant side effects.’

My next patient case came several months later with a gentleman in his 40s suffering with severe lactose intolerance diagnosed using our igG testing. The patient complained of stomach cramps, flatulence and diarrhoea after consuming even the tiniest amounts of lactose and was finding it hard to avoid all sources in his diet.

We were able to identify hidden sources of lactose in his crisps and gravy powder but we also decided to trial Lactobacillus acidophilus to see if it would help.

A 2016 double-blind placebo* control trial assessed the effect of Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 on alleviating lactose intolerance symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting, flatulence and abdominal cramps. The study involved 38 participants with lactose intolerance and they all got a chance to take the placebo and the probiotic supplement containing 10 billion CFUs of Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 as it was a 2-arm crossover study. They found a statistically significant improvement in diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and overall symptom scores compared to the placebo group.

This time after just 7 days of taking the probiotic Lactobacillius Acidophilus, the patient was able to consume very small amounts of lactose with no uncomfortable side effects, allowing him to enjoy some of his favourite treats again! Whilst by no means a cure for lactose intolerance again the results indicate a marked improvement in tolerance levels.

Aware that a growing number of my patients were being offered prescription medication for anxiety or depression, I then set about researching the ‘brain gut axis’ and the links between low mood and a poor diversity of bacteria in the gut.

B. Longum is one of the species researched for the role of probiotics in the gut brain axis. A report from University College Cork found in a study of healthy men that supplementing with B. Longum 1714 caused stress levels to decrease and memory to improve.

In the study, healthy men took a daily capsule of a billion probiotic bacteria for a month, and then switched over to a placebo for a month, or vice versa. None of the men knew which pill they were getting. At the start and after the first and second months, their stress levels and memories were tested, along with brain activity via an EEG machine and results showed a marked improvement.

“When they were given these bacteria they were less anxious and their capacity to memorise material seemed to be enhanced.” The findings were released at the Society for Neuroscience.

David 34, had been on antidepressants for over 6 years and came to our clinic to see if there was any way he could improve his mood naturally. I started him on B. Longum powder and in conjunction with his GP he slowly reduced his medication, eventually stopping all medication after just 6 months of starting his probiotics.

David and his supportive GP where delighted with the results, however It is fair to say that this strain has not been effective for all my patients therefore more research needs to be done in this area.

Over 300 researchers, physicians, dietitians and other healthcare professionals gathered in Rome last March, for the 7th edition of the Gut Microbiota for Health World Summit 2018. They discussed the latest developments in the field of gut microbiota and their application to clinical practice. There conclusions found that although more research and clinical studies are required, the gut microbiota is key in diagnosing, managing and treating disease.

In conclusion I feel that probiotics could be an exciting new field of treatment for those suffering with a range of health complaints and our research work at The Body Fabulous Health Clinic will continue to investigate and research new findings.

 

Bibliography References;

www.nhs.uk

www.dictionary.com

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

www.optibacprobiotics.co.uk

www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com

US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

*M. N. Pakdaman, J. K. Udani, P. M. Jhanna and S. Michael , “The effects of the DDS-1 strain of lactobacillus on symptomatic relief for lactose intolerance - a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical trial,” Nutrition Journal, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 1-11, 2016

Nutrition For Mental Health

food-and-mental-health-banner.png

We caught up with Salisbury Health Hero Amie Richmond from Body Fabulous to talk about the impact nutrition has on our mental health.

Balance Is Key - Nutrition For Mental Health

With 1 out of 7 of us suffering from depression symptoms at some point in our lives, mental health is fast becoming a pressing health concern. The World Health Organisation predicts that depression will become the second most prevalent disease worldwide by the year 2020.

Antidepressants however are not the only option, as we increasingly look to diet and supplements for a more natural solution.

"1 out of 7 of us will suffer from depression symptoms at some point in our lives"

My Top Tips For Improving Mental Health With Holistic Nutrition

What to Include -

This may sound obvious but restricting certain nutrients can massively affect our mood. It is important to make sure you have all your macro nutrients so ensure lean proteins, carbohydrates and good fats are all incorporated into your diet. Eat foods that support your neurotransmitters, which are the brain’s messengers that control your mood and energy levels. These include Omega-3 rich foods such as wild salmon, mackerel or herring as well as nuts & seeds and eggs. Don’t fancy any of these foods? Don’t panic you can take a supplement instead!

A diet high in fruits and vegetables increases your intake of vital nutrients that support your mood. Fruits and veggies high in folate, promote the brain’s metabolic processes so you should include foods like spinach, asparagus, avocado, beetroot and broccoli. Eating probiotic foods is also a great step forward as they increase energy levels, support cognitive function and promote mental wellness. Some of the top probiotic foods include kefir, yogurt, kombucha, miso, kimchi and sauerkraut.

And finally, don’t forget your vitamins! Research has shown great mental health benefits from taking Vitamins B12 & D3.

"Stick to real, whole foods that are in their natural forms"

"Try not to consume more than 30g of sugar per day"

What to avoid

Refined carbohydrates and sugars such as those found in crisps and chocolate, trigger a release of serotonin which does improve your mood….but only for the moment. The side effect to these foods are weight gain, issues with sleep and low energy levels, therefore making your depression symptoms worse in the long run.

Diets that are high in refined sugars are actually harmful to your brain because they promote inflammation and oxidative stress.

To reduce depressive symptoms, avoid eating packaged and processed foods that are made with refined carbohydrates and sugars. Stick to real, whole foods that are in their natural forms. Try not to consume more than 30g of sugar per day, check out the ‘Change 4 Life’ app to help you track how much sugar you are consuming https://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/food-scanner-app.aspx

By Amie Richmond, Senior Nutritionist at Body Fabulous

https://www.hhacademyuk.com/mental-health/blogging-from-your-live-site-mobile

Healing from Stress & Anxiety

2c8b8f93ed16162b82d6d18524d71f77.png

Article by Andrea Burton, Nutritionist at http://www.mybodyfabulous.co.uk

Today I’m going to talk stress! I know, I know… it’s one of those subjects that brings out emotions and lots of “I’m not THAT stressed” comments but now, more than ever, we live in an age of high stress and I firmly believe that the right nutrition can have a dramatic impact on your ability to cope with it. So I put together my top 5 nutrients that may help your body to have a balanced response to stress, helping you to feel calmer and more relaxed.

Magnesium and calcium
Magnesium can help to relax muscles and reduce anxiety, while also playing an essential role in hormone and energy production. Nuts - particularly Brazil nuts - are high in magnesium, as are beans and lentils, wholegrains and leafy greens. A lack of either calcium or magnesium can make you more nervous, irritable and aggressive. Research into stress and diet shows that calcium may be able to help reduce certain symptoms, such as muscle tension and anxiety. So include plenty of calcium rich foods in your diet such as cooked spinach, basil, kale, rosemary, romaine lettuce, celery, sesame seeds, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus.

B Vitamins
B vitamins are essential for helping to cope with stress in a balanced way and can be found in bananas, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, meat, fish and dairy products. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) in particular is found in high concentrations in the adrenal glands (the part of the body that manages the stress response).

Vitamin C
The largest store of vitamin C is in the adrenal glands, so keep these glands healthy by eating plenty of vitamin C rich foods such as oranges, tomatoes, peppers, leafy greens and broccoli. This nutrient is rapidly depleted during chemical, emotional, psychological or physiological stress and it is particularly important to supply high quantities during these times to cope with increased demand.

Theanine
L-theanine is a relaxing, health-promoting amino acid found in tea. Studies have shown that when theanine is absorbed by the body, it can help to bring about an alert, yet totally relaxed state of mind. L-theanine may help to support balance and improve the quality of sleep.

For more help and support on dealing with stress naturally check out our next event Saturday April 21st - http://www.mybodyfabulous.co.uk/events/2018/1/29/recovering-from-stress-anxiety-seminar

January Reset!

6246ffe6dd56dcc0a5f1bf3c4e202367--christmas-humor-christmas-time.jpg

On average a whopping 7000 calories are consumed on Christmas Day - add to that all the other lovely excesses of December - many of us are feeling sluggish and bloated, our bodies more of a skip than a temple.

Rather than panic and start skipping meals (and therefore vital nutrients) here are my top tips to get back on track!

1. Re-alkalise

Post-Christmas, our bodies are usually very acidic thanks to all the extra sugar we have consumed. This leaves our immune system depressed and less able to deal with colds and flu.

To re-alkalise your system try adding in a supergreen powder to your morning routine which you can purchase at any health food shop.

These supergreens are a mixture of plant algaes, which help your body detoxify quickly and safely and have the added bonus of increasing your energy levels.

Start your day with hot water and add fresh lemon and ginger to flush your system then get those supergreens in you to fight the fatigue.

2. Drink to your success

There is no magic pill to lose weight but increasing your water intake is definitely a step in the right direction!

Excess sugar in the body leads to dehydration, so try having one pint of water every time you feel hungry.

If you are still hungry afterwards then it's time to eat.

Make sure you are consuming at least two litres of water per day to help flush the toxins from your body and rehydrate your cells.

Not only will you feel healthier and more energetic, but it should also improve your skin and hair.

3. Start Moving

You don’t have to be a gym bunny to move. If the gym is not your thing then purchase a pedometer and try to hit a target of 10,000 steps a day.

Not only will you burn through those Christmas calories faster, but you will also increase your muscle mass and metabolic rate, leaving you feeling fitter, healthier, and stronger.

If you are short on time then try out some an online workout you can do at home or try a quick HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout, which is effective in a short amount of time.

4. Clean out your cupboards

If you have flooded your body with alcohol, sugar and fatty foods, your body will be full of toxins. Give your liver a rest from dealing with these toxins by laying off the alcohol and putting some colour back in your fridge.

Bin all 'beige' leftovers including anything breaded, fried, battered or pastry encrusted and replace with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, eggs, seeds, pulses, and fish.

Reduce your complex carbohydrates like pasta and rice and try something new like lentil, chickpea pasta or quinoa which have higher protein content and will help you feel full for longer.

5. Set realistic goals

Rome wasn't built in a day, so don't expect the indulgences of a month to fall off instantly.

According to the British Dietetic Association the average person will gain up to 5lbs over the Christmas period, the good news is that with a balanced calorie controlled diet your body can return to it's 'pre-Christmas' shape in just a few weeks.

Set a weight loss goal of 2lbs a week and weigh yourself once a week to check you are on track.

Best of luck with your New Years goals - if you need any additional help or advice please do not hesitate to contact the nutrition team here at Body Fabulous for a personalised plan. For more information on keeping your immunity high post Christmas check out this article from probiotic experts Optibac - click here

What Are The Best Supplements For Depression

supplements-for-depression-min.jpg

My top 7 natural supplements for depression: 

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  New research has confirmed the positive effects of EPA on mood, even more so than DHA, as it provides a natural balance to omega-6 arachidonic acid. Lamberts or Eskimo are my favourite brands.

2. Probiotics. It is crucial to keep your bowels in good shape because your brain is only as healthy as your gut. The nerve cells in our gut manufacture 80 to 90% of our body’s serotonin, the neurotransmitter we need to balance mood. That’s more than our brain makes. The gut is in constant communication with the brain, sending it information that most definitely affects your mood. Good brands include Optibac and Bio-Kult.

3. Vitamin B-12. Bestselling author Mark Hyman, MD, calls Folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 the “mighty methylators for mental health.” He mentions a remarkable study in the American Journal of Psychiatry that found that 27% of severely depressed women over the age of 65 were deficient in B-12. I recommend professional strength B Complex from Lamberts

4. Turmeric (Curcuma longa).  Used for thousands of years in Chinese and Indian medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Turmeric is your brain’s best friend because of its ability to produce antioxidants and reduce inflammation, which then protect our precious mitochondria, the tiny organelles in our cells that generate chemical energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Again I prefer the Lamberts professional range.

5. Vitamin D. A deficiency in vitamin D will feel very much like depression. Lots of studies have found a close association between depression and vitamin D deficiencies. And as many as three-quarters of UK teens and adults are deficient. This one is so important that again, I suggest the professional dose of 4000IU from Lamberts.

6. Magnesium. Up to half of the UK today don’t get enough of magnesium because stress, caffeine, sugar and alcohol all deplete it. Unless you eat lots of seaweed and green beans, it’s wise to bulk up on magnesium because it is considered to be the most powerful relaxation mineral that exists. Solgar do an excellent magnesium supplement.

7. Melatonin. Anyone who has ever experienced insomnia knows about melatonin. It helps us get to sleep and regulates the sleep-wake cycle naturally without the use of sleeping pills. Unfortunately you need a prescription for this in the UK so speak to your GP about prescribing Pharma Nord to you.

Can Food Help Shift Anxiety?

the-best-anti-anxiety-foods-fb.jpg

Anxiety symptoms can make you feel very unwell and run down. Coping with anxiety can be a challenge not just for you but also for your family. Anxiety can leave you feeling powerless but by making some lifestyle changes you can get your power back! There aren't any diet changes that can cure anxiety, but watching what you eat may help.

Here are my top tips

1. Eating protein at breakfast can help you feel fuller longer and help keep your blood sugar steady so that you have more energy as you start your day. Eggs, Greek yoghurt, nuts and seeds are great options. Protein helps stimulate the production of the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, which, like serotonin, are neurotransmitters and carry impulses between nerve cells.

2. Carbohydrates are thought to increase the amount of serotonin in your brain, which has a calming effect. Eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as oats, quinoa, whole-grain breads and whole-grain cereals.

3. Try and eat a healthy, whole foods diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. It is especially important to include foods that are rich in the B vitamins, such as beef, pork, chicken, leafy greens, legumes, oranges and other citrus fruits, rice, nuts, eggs, whole grains, nuts and fish. A deficiency in B vitamins such as folic acid and B12 can trigger depression in some people. Vitamin B supplements can be very useful to add to your diet if you feel you are not eating enough vitamin B rich food.

4. Increase omega 3 in your diet. Evidence continues to mount that consuming omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines, can be uplifting and enhance your mood.

5. Tryptophan can have a positive effect on stress because this amino acid helps your brain produce feel-good chemicals. You will find tryptophan in a variety of foods such as turkey, chicken, bananas, milk, oats, cheese, nuts, peanut butter, and sesame seeds.

6. Pay attention to food sensitivities. In some people, certain foods or food additives can cause unpleasant physical reactions. In certain people, these physical reactions may lead to shifts in mood, including irritability or anxiety. If in doubt contact us to arrange a food intolerance blood test.

7. Could processed foods such as hot dogs, sausage rolls, pork pies and cakes cause anxiety or other mental health issues? Researchers in London found that eating a diet of processed and fatty foods increases the risk for depression. In the study, people who mainly ate fried food, processed meat, high-fat dairy products and sweetened desserts had a 58% higher risk of depression than those who ate "whole" foods such as fish and vegetables.To help lift mood and calm anxiety, keep away from processed foods and eat more natural products.

8. Although drinking alcohol seems to have a calming effect short term, it dehydrates the body and can actually end up acting as a depressant. Alcohol can also interfere with sleep so moderate it in your diet.

9. Sugar is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. The absorption causes an initial high or surge of energy. But that surge wears off as the body increases its insulin production to remove the sugar from your bloodstream. The result: You're left feeling tired and low. Avoid fizzy drinks loaded with sugar, instead drink plenty of water, to stay hydrated.

10. Reduce caffeine in your diet as this can make you feel jittery and nervous and can interfere with sleep. The problem is that caffeine has been shown to inhibit levels of serotonin in the brain, and when serotonin levels are suppressed, you can become depressed and feel irritable.

Try these 10 top tips and always remember - feelings by there very nature come and go. This too shall pass.

Coffee - Good or Bad?

Coffee swings from being beneficial to harmful in the nutrition world so what is the truth about our morning pick me up?

The Down Side to Coffee.

A cup of coffee contains up to 200 mg of caffeine, a cup of tea up to 80 mg and coca cola around 55 mg of caffeine. Due to it’s high caffeine content excessive quantities of coffee can cause unpleasant side effects such as restlessness, anxiety, sleep disturbances tremors and problems with blood pressure.

If you are a regular coffee drinker, you likely are aware that the caffeine in coffee is also highly addictive. Coffee is so addictive that even individuals who consume just one cup per day can go through severe withdrawals symptoms if they eliminate their daily cup. Who remembers my whinging when I did the juice fast sans coffee?!

The ultimate pick me up?

On the plus side coffee is packed full of antioxidants which studies show help protect against free radical damage and therefore diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Caffeine can also help improve your memory and mood. When you drink a cup of coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the brain. Once in the brain the caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine, which in turn allows an increase in your alertness and memory. 

According to studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, drinking coffee on a daily basis also lowers your chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes by 7%.

However, it's important to remember we are all different, meaning some people are slower caffeine metabolisers than others. Caffeine is metabolised in the liver through an enzyme called cytochrome P4501A2 (CYP1A2). This enzyme is responsible for 95 percent of the metabolism process for caffeine and differences in our genetic makeup decide how much of this enzyme we have. If you don’t happen to know your genetic predisposition to this enzyme then my advice is to stick to one good quality organic coffee per day. 

Food Intolerances

Food intolerance, unliketrue food allergy can have a number of different causes.

A food intolerance is difficulty digesting certain foods and having an unpleasant physical reaction to them. It is much more common than food allergy and is not caused by the immune system. The onset of symptoms is usually slower, and may be delayed by many hours after eating the offending food. The symptoms may also last for several hours, even into the next day and sometimes longer. Intolerance to several foods or a group of foods is not uncommon.

With food intolerance, some people can tolerate a reasonable amount of the food, but if they eat too much (or too often) they get symptoms because their body cannot tolerate unlimited amounts.

The symptoms caused by food intolerance are varied. They usually cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel and can include skin rashes and sometimes fatigue, joint pains, dark circles under the eyes, night sweats and other chronic conditions.

The number of people who believe they have a food intolerance has risen dramatically over recent years, but it's hard to know how many people are truly affected. If you feel you may be suffering with a food intolerance contact Amie Richmond to arrange a blood test amie@mybodyfabulous.co.uk

 

The Dangers of Tap Water

Water_drop_impact_on_a_water-surface.jpg

Unfortunately, water quality issues are not a recent development. Industrial dumping, pesticide runoff, leaky storage tanks, and government mandates have created big problems. Don't panic though, there is no need for bottled just purchase a water filer jug. Although tap water in the UK is considered ‘safe’ to drink it does still contain a lot of chemicals. Key scientists are now providing evidence that long-term ingestion of small amounts of chemicals like these could be the cause of some major health problems.

Here is a list of just a few of the chemicals routinely added to our water supply:

  • Liquified chlorine
  • Fluorosilicic acid
  • Aluminium sulphate
  • Calcium hydroxide
  • Sodium silicofluoride

Even if the water leaves the source in a relatively clean state, don't forget that your water travels through pipes, which may have been underground since Victorian times. It is almost impossible for the water not to become contaminated by something undesirable. Tap water is treated with a large number of chemicals in order to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. In addition, it may contain other undesirable contaminants like toxic metal salts, hormones and pesticides, or it may become contaminated by chemicals or microbes within pipes (e.g. lead, bacteria, protozoa).

Typical Tap Water Content:

  • Chlorine
  • Fluorine compounds
  • Trihalomethanes (THMs)
  • Salts of:
    • arsenic
    • radium
    • aluminium
    • copper
    • lead
    • mercury
    • cadmium
    • barium
  • Hormones
  • Nitrates
  • Pesticides