The Growing Appreciation of Probiotics

While we are far from reaching firm consensus about the effectiveness of probiotics, there is a sense in 2017 that more and more people are starting to recognise and appreciate the benefits of so-called good bacteria.

Thus far the focus has been on probiotics for human health, though just the other day an American biotech company received federal funding to launch a new range of probiotics for animals. Clearly interest in the microbiome is growing, and influenced by a number of positive clinical trials, people are waking up to the idea that gut microbes regulate many aspects of health. Books such as Dr. David Perlmutter’s Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life have also contributed to this dawning awareness.

What are Probiotics?

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Magnesium and Your Hormones

Magnesium is an essential element which plays a key role in more than 300 biochemical processes in the human body. Unfortunately, due to soil depletion, it is estimated that up to 95% of the population is magnesium deficient.

It’s no secret that most of us are over extended and stressed out, and in addition to many other adverse affects, stress depletes your magnesium levels. Magnesium deficiency leads to a host of problems ranging from insomnia, anxiety, irritability, high blood pressure, fatigue, headaches, muscle spasms and cramps, restless leg syndrome, depression, ADHD symptoms, and memory issues to name a few.

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Eczema – Looking Beyond the Skin

Eczema is a name for a group of skin conditions – of which atopic eczema, (also known as ‘atopic dermatitis’) is the most common. This condition often occurs in people who are prone to other common allergies. It can run in families and often develops alongside other conditions such as asthma and hay fever.

The NHS provides the following summary of those most affected by eczema:

About one in five children in the UK has atopic eczema. In 8 out of 10 cases, the condition develops before a child reaches the age of five. Many children develop it before their first birthday. Read more »

What are helminths?

In the industrialized world, through our advanced hygiene practices and lifestyles, we have severely depleted our biomes (the living organisms of our body’s ecosystem).  Many people are now aware that changes to our microbiome (the single-celled organisms of our gut) have led to negative health changes, but what many do not know is that all mammals on the planet also evolved with a macrobiome – native animal life. The primary class of native macrobiotic organisms is called helminths, better known as intestinal worms.  Just like there are pathogenic and beneficial bacteria, there are pathogenic and beneficial helminths. Read more »

Hyper-sensitized Industrial Nations

In the industrialized world, nations such as the UK, the USA and those of Northern Europe are experiencing an epidemic of chronic inflammation-related disease that include allergies, autoimmunity, digestive diseases, and neuropsychiatric disorders. The incidence of conditions such as allergies (atopy), asthma, autism as well as autoimmune or chronic inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, diabetes (Type 1) and multiple sclerosis has increased almost exponentially over the past several decades. [1,2,3,4]

One of the hallmarks of all these conditions, and possibly a shared mechanistic similarity, is hypersensitivity or over-responsiveness by our immune system. Harmless things such as pollen, cat dander, or even our own tissues, are greeted by an inappropriate immune reaction leading to chronic inflammation and damage to our tissues and organs. [4,5]

The last few decades have seen an increasing level of research trying to discover why we are seeing this epidemic of atopic and chronic inflammatory disorders.
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Hypothyroidism – A bigger problem than we think?

Currently 5-10% of the population is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, however some experts estimate that between 25-40% of the adult population has suboptimal thyroid function.

Thyroid hormones regulate the activity of mitochondria, the energy powerhouses, in every single cell in the body, therefore they have an effect on virtually all of our bodily functions. So when we have a deficiency of thyroid hormones, symptoms can be wide-ranging and non-specific having a detrimental effect on overall health and often being mistakenly diagnosed for something else.

Sub-optimal thyroid function could therefore be a factor in many more conditions than is currently realised, and should be considered particularly in patients who do not respond well to interventions for other conditions.

Symptoms of low thyroid function include but are not limited to: Read more »