The low-carb revolution

Jerome Burne has written an eye opening article for HealthInsightUK this week entitled, “Low carb revolt: start of a brave new medical future?”. With the UK starting to see a shift in the way nutrition and pharmaceuticals are relied upon, Jerome described a recent Times article as “an opening shot in a revolution”. The Times article speaks of cutting back carbohydrate intake instead of reducing fat consumption. When it comes to the wide scale recommendation by doctors of using diet to replace pharmaceuticals in treating illness Jerome states, “It may not split the profession as [Martin] Luther’s divided the church but it does have the potential to dramatically change the way medicine is practiced”. Read the full blog.

Ritalin causes arrhythmia

Methylphenidate, commonly known as Ritalin, is a central nervous system stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy in children. However, new research suggests it is associated with a slight increased risk of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) soon after the start of treatment. Although the risk is likely to be low, the benefits of methylphenidate “should be carefully weighed against the potential cardiovascular risks of these drugs in children and adolescents”, say researchers. Arrhythmia is not the only dangerous side effect of Ritalin. The drug is associated with a laundry list of side effects, including brain structural changes, dependence, insomnia and poor appetite.

Will the US ban Atrazine?

A new report by the Environmental Protection Agency has found the amount of the herbicide Atrazine released into the environment in the United States is harming “most species of plants and animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles”. Atrazine is the second-most widely used pesticide in the United States. The chemical, which is already banned across Europe, is a known hormone disruptor and has been linked to birth defects and cancer. Sustainable Pulse report, The EPA assessment of atrazine will lead to tighter regulatory limits on the product, manufactured by Swiss-based Syngenta AG, which will ultimately prevent farmers from being able to use it to control weeds in the U.S.”.

Raw milk approved in Australia

A Sydney company, Made by Cow, has gained approval from the NSW Food Authority to sell cold-pressed raw milk in Australia. The milk will undergo “high pressure processing” to remove any harmful micro-organisms, which unlike heat pasteurisation does not damage any vital nutrients.

Post birth high dose vitamin D supplementation

According to a new Indian research trial, “A once-per-month high dose supplement of vitamin D for mothers after giving birth could help improve the health of both mum and baby”. The trial found that, “monthly maternal or daily infant supplementation with vitamin D, along with sun exposure, was superior to sun exposure alone in maintaining normal infant levels of vitamin D - and provided protection from elevated alkaline phosphatase and infection at nine months.”

New nutritional science partnership

Nestle and Imperial College London has joined hands in a “new nutritional science partnership”. Over €9m are to be invested over five years in joint projects, “to gain a greater understanding of the microbiome and how gut bacteria influence physical and mental health”. They are kicking off their new partnership with a study of fibre consumption in seniors, looking at how it may improve metabolic health. It has already been shown that a sufficient understanding of our microbiome can play a key role in our journey to health and wellbeing.

Peru’s Mercury induced state of emergency

The government of Peru has declared a two-month state of emergency due to mercury contamination caused by widespread illegal gold mining. The chemical is use by miners to extract gold from rivers. Studies have detected high levels of mercury in the country’s citizens, fish and waterways. Ecowatch reports that, “The toxic chemical can affect vital functions of the nervous, digestive and immune systems, and on lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes”. The government is sending hospital boats to help treat people living in the affected area.