Leading a Healthcare Revolution in Isle of Man

ANH-Intl friend and healthcare revolutionary, Courtenay Heading, took part in TEDx Douglas this weekend to share his thoughts on ‘Being Well’. The current healthcare paradigm is broken and we can no longer rely on chemicals for our health. We need to become ‘truth tellers’. We should be taking on board all the difficult questions, not be afraid to have sensible conversations about controversial subjects and make sense of what’s really going on with the current healthcare model. The Isle of Man has an opportunity to become a world leader in beating chronic disease and Courtenay is at the forefront of the movement. You can listen to Courtenay’s 10-minute talk (scroll to 2:24 in the video), which calls on everyone to question and challenge established healthcare practices in order to find a better way to preserve our health.

Are liquid-only diets for Type 2 diabetes the answer?

Don’t eat real food, just drink your (very limited) calories and you too can put your type 2 diabetes into remission. As Type 2 diabetes (T2D) threatens to overwhelm healthcare systems globally, Diabetes UK has announced a ‘research breakthrough’ in its treatment. The DiRECT study used a liquid-only diet of just over 800 calories per day (provided by Cambridge Weight Plan) for 3-5 months, followed by a stepped food reintroduction (2-8 weeks) and structured support for long-term weight loss maintenance (provided by Counterweight), based on the UK Eatwell Guidelines. After a year, 68 out of 149 (46%) of the participants achieved remission and were no longer reliant on antidiabetic drugs. Whilst this successful outcome is a positive step in getting the mainstream to recognise and respect the role of dietary change in the treatment of T2D, the changes don’t always have to be so extreme. T2D can be both controlled and prevented with simple dietary changes that still involve real food, which feed us, as well as our microbiome. In 2014, British GP Dr David Unwin, published research on the use of a low-carb, real food diet to return blood glucose levels back to healthy norms in 17 out of 19 (89%) patients with T2D. This latest study may look like a magic bullet for those that slip off the wagon, but it does little to promote healthy behaviours that will not only deal with T2D, but also many other chronic diseases. The real winners here, are of course, Counterweight and the makers of the Cambridge Weight Plan, who must be rubbing their hands all the way to the bank!

Another nail in glyphosate’s coffin?

This new study should sound the death knell for the herbicide’s use across the board. But the powers that be seem intent on green-lighting it through regulation despite significant resistance from the public. Emerging evidence suggests that, as well as contributing to the rise of resistant weeds, herbicides may also be partly to blame for the development of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is already recognised as one of the biggest threats to global health. If nothing is done to curb the indiscriminate use of these chemicals, the damage to human health could be far worse than any previously predicted impact.

Use of the controversial herbicide is already under huge pressure in the EU, where more than a million EU citizens have signed a petition to ban its use. In the face of extreme public malcontent, Member States have recently voted to renew glyphosate’s license for another 5 years. Following the vote and its recommendation to make EU Commission risk assessments public, the Commission has formally recognised the Stop Glyphosate European Citizens Initiative. In its response, the Commission defended the recent decision saying there were no scientific or legal grounds for a ban and that national governments had voted to renew the license. The Commission has also committed to present proposals by March 2018, to allow for greater transparency of documents used in the safety assessments of pesticides. Moves to allow access to this data have previously been blocked, but given that Bayer are now allowing access to study data it may just happen. This has always been a ‘David and Goliath’ chess game and it’s David's move people. We have no doubt that People Power will win out in the end, we just need to maintain pressure.

Childhood obesity in UK continues to rise

The Millenium Cohort Study has found a stark increase in obesity rates for children in the UK. One in five children born in 2000/01 that the study is following, were overweight by age 14 - with a further 15% being obese. Being overweight this early in life puts them at significant risk of developing diabetes and other serious chronic diseases in later life. There is a stark need for better education on healthy diet and lifestyle behaviours with continual encouragement to comply. Being healthy and happy could be the aspirational state for every individual with the right messaging, yet all too often vested interests based on a disease model have their hands on the marketing tiller. The answer? Individual empowerment. See our Food4Health campaign for more dietary detail.

British dietitians trash keto and low-carb ‘diets’

Talking about scientifically supported diets, the British Dietetic Association (BDA) has published its annual list of celebrity diets to avoid. Included in the list are scientifically supported diets including ketogenic and low carb. The BDA state that, “… dietitians use the most up-to-date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease”. ANH-Intl are interested to see the research they are referring to. Having plumbed the vaults of nutrition research, our 80+ recent scientific references on the Food4Health guidelines bear out a very different picture. Compare the BDA’s ‘scientifically supported’ food facts with our evolutionarily-rational Food4Health guidelines to see the difference. There’s a reason why rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases are spiraling out of control – but it’s a great situation for Big Food and Big Pharma.