Should Doctors take food/dietary supplements?

With pressure on healthcare services at an all-time high, a new article published in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery suggests the use of dietary supplements could benefit healthcare workers to offset the mounting stresses they face. Previous studies have shown dietary supplements to be effective in supporting athletes and military personnels' cognition, mental well-being and physical performance. Although not studied in healthcare workers, the team suggest that supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B3, vitamin C (plus associated antioxidants), protein and vitamin D could positively support day to day performance and wellbeing. However, supplements may be concentrated sources of food, but their use should still be judicious and on an individualised basis – certainly not in place of a food-first approach.

It’s not just the nutrient, but the form!

A new study just published in the journal Oncotarget provides a savvy reminder that not all forms of nutrients function the same way in the body. The body has a clear requirement for iron, but the wrong form, or the wrong dose, may have undesirable effects. Many are familiar with the common symptoms of gastrointestinal upset associated with elemental or salt forms. But the new study throws up further concerns about the ability of some forms of iron – typically those prescribed by medical doctors – to promote colorectal cancer, the most common form of cancer that occurs in both women and men. Various iron supplements are widely prescribed by the medical profession as well as by nutritionists for anaemia. What the study has found, prompted by studies in mouse models that have shown a clear increase in the formation of tumours in mice fed some types of iron supplement, is that certain prescription forms, namely ferric citrate and ferric EDTA, may act to promote colon cancer tumours. The mechanism was shown to be the upregulation of a key prognostic factor or biomarker of colon cancer, amphiregulin. By contrast, ferrous sulphate, another common form that is prescribed by medical doctors, did not promote cancer in this way. It is obviously too early to tell whether these findings will translate through to patients who are administered ferric citrate or ferric EDTA, but the message is clear that nutrient form is crucial to both safety and effectiveness, an issue that we at ANH have been advocating for years, sometimes to deaf ears!

Ayurveda Centre of Excellence opens in UK

As part of his visit to the UK to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will unveil a new Ayurveda Centre of Excellence on the 18th April 2018, along with HRH Prince Charles, who has long supported the use of complementary therapies. Ayurveda is one of India's traditional systems of healthcare and one of the world’s earliest systems of medicine, health and wellbeing. It operates on the premise that every person is unique, that health and wellbeing involve an essential harmony of body and mind and that healthcare must be tailored to meet the needs of the individual rather than solely targeting the disease. Amarjeet S Bhamra of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Indian Traditional Sciences (ITS-APPG) said, “The Ayurvedic Centre of Excellence in London will contribute to growing a body of the highest quality of international research on Traditional Health Systems and how they can contribute to strengthening further the citizens health and health systems in the EU and nations around the globe.” It’s exactly this approach that we’re promoting as part of our push for health system sustainability in our newly launched position paper, ‘A Blueprint for Health System Sustainability in the UK’.

Levels of aluminium in vaccines unsafe!

A new study estimates that newborns are injected with 17 times the allowable level of aluminium in current vaccination schedules. In light of their findings, the researchers assert that there is currently a lack of scientific rigour required to properly determine toxicity and dosing. Rather than basing the amount of aluminium used in vaccines on bodyweight and safety data, it’s based on the number of antibodies produced. Furthermore, they identified important errors in the World Health Organization (WHO) Supplementary Material, which the researchers believe has led to an overestimation of safe exposure levels. The study authors go on to state errors have previously been made in establishing ‘safe’ levels of aluminium exposure in human studies. This potentially exposes infants to acute, repeated and possibly chronic levels of aluminium through vaccination. This is far from the first time that the use and levels of aluminium in vaccines has been questioned. A recent study linked the use of aluminium in vaccines with autism, whilst in Denmark Cochrane researchers at the Copenhagen Trial Unit are fund raising to enable further crucial research into the effects of aluminium adjuvants in vaccines. This only adds further weight to our petition calling on health authorities to stop claiming vaccines are implicitly ‘safe’. If you haven’t yet signed, please strongly consider doing so and share amongst your networks.

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