The birth of a ‘new medicine’ to heal ourselves

In the wake of the recent Health Optimisation Summit in London, author and health journalist, Jerome Burne, likens the movement to the birth of a ‘new medicine’. His latest article illustrates the key themes of the summit: preventing disease and optimising health. But not the anaemic ‘healthy balanced diet ‘version put out by official bodies for years, this is dynamic DIY health with bells on! Burne’s article references ANH’s work and founder, Rob Verkerk PhD’s Summit presentation, illustrating how the principles of ecology can be used to assess the function in our internal and external webs that make up our individual ecological systems. The notion of one’s terrain or health domains was echoed throughout a Summit made unique by the melding of the evolutionarily natural with what’s new in digital tech. If you missed the event, then Jerome Burne’s article, "It’s the ecology stupid! What public health can learn from the battle to save the planet", gives you a flavour of what this ‘new medicine’ looks like.

Poor diet, biggest killer

Giving a keynote speech at the Growing a Healthy Society – The role of Food event, organised by the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS), Professor of Population Health and Nutrition, Nita Forouhi emphasised the role better diets have to play in improving public health and reducing the burden on health systems. Referring to the EATLancet report, she described the relationship between diet, environmental sustainability and health as a ‘trilemma’ that can only be resolved by farmers, scientists, regulators and Big Food working together. Commenting as part of a panel of experts, Professor Alice Stanton said the risks of poor diet to health had, “taken over from cigarette smoking as the biggest killer”. ANH’s Food4Health guidelines are there to help you cut through the confusion and set you on a path to health optimisation and away from disease management.

Risks to human and environmental health from gene-edited animals

A new report from Friends of the Earth warns of the risks to human health and the environment posed by genetically edited animals. The report comes hot on the heels of news revealing cattle edited to remove their horns also have antibiotic resistant genes, despite scientists claims that there were no off-target consequences of the editing. The report recommends the development of sustainable and ecological animal agriculture systems, rather than focusing on the creation of genetically modified animals, which are only likely to increase the damage and ravages of intensive livestock farming and food production.

Clean Label Webinar

More and more consumers want food labels that don’t contain a laundry list of ingredients. ANH-Intl founder, Rob Verkerk PhD participated in Food Navigator’s recent Clean Label Webinar discussing the trend for food labels containing fewer ingredients that are recognisable to consumers. The webinar is now available to watch on demand until 24 December 2019.

US philanthropist to finance attempt to ban flavoured e-cigarettes

Philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg is reported to be financing an initiative to ban flavoured e-cigarettes in the US. Well-known for his work in combatting traditional cigarette use, this is his first foray into the world of vaping. The news comes as numbers of vaping related lung injuries in the US have jumped dramatically in recent weeks with 530 cases reported to date, along with seven deaths. No specific cause has yet been found that links all the cases. As concerns grow, a US subcommittee is holding a hearing to scrutinise the dangers of e-cigarettes to public health. Despite such concerns, public health authorities continue to extol vaping as a safe alternative to smoking. How many more people will be injured before authorities realise that new-to-nature chemicals have great potential to harm health?

C-section babies have different gut microbiomes

We already know that the method of delivery can profoundly impact a baby’s microbiome and future health. Now, the largest ever study into the microbiome of newborns offers the strongest evidence to date that babies born by C-section lack the diversity of bacterial colonisation that occurs during a vaginal birth and are more likely to be colonised instead by common hospital microbes. Although the microbiomes of C-section babies and those born vaginally can became similar as they grow, researchers found a marked reduction in Bacteroides levels. These bacteria support the developing immune system by training it to recognise self from non-self, a skill essential for resilient, robust, long-term health.