What is Pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes, also referred to as insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes is on the rise. Prediabetes, also known as borderline diabetes, is a metabolic condition and is characterised by blood glucose levels, which are higher than normal, but not high enough for a patient to be diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes.
In the UK, around 7 million people are thought to have prediabetes, and between 2003 and 2011, the prevalence of pre-diabetes in England alone more than tripled, with an alarming 35.3% of the adult population, or 1 in every 3 people having prediabetes.
Pre-diabetes is closely associated with obesity, and if undiagnosed or untreated, prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes.
What are the risk factors for prediabetes?
You should be tested for prediabetes if you:
Leaky gut is a condition that millions of people are struggling with and worryingly, they aren’t even aware they have it! Leaky gut affects the digestive system, but it may also be the reason you are experiencing joint pain, decreased energy, a slow metabolism, thyroid issues, food allergies and autoimmune diseases. Another problem with leaky gut is that it can cause malabsorption of important vitamins and minerals, such as: vitamin B12, iron and zinc.
Think of the lining of your digestive tract like a “mesh” with very small holes in it, which let certain specific substances to pass through. One of your digestive tract lining’s job is being a barrier, to make sure bigger particles that can damage your system ate kept out.
If you have a leaky gut (also known as increased intestinal permeability) the "mesh" in your digestive tract gets damaged, and this leads to even larger holes to develop in your “mesh”, so things which normally...
What is the Microbiome and why is it so important?
Our guts (gut microbiome) provide a valuable insight into our metabolism and nutritional requirements. Our microbiome is truly fascinating, and home to over 100 trillion microorganisms! These cells are ten times more than the cells in the human body, and these genes outnumber your human genes by an incredible 150:1. So really over 90% of your genetic make-up is not your own, but your gut bacteria’s.
It is also fascinating to realise that 70% of our immune cells are actually in our gut.
The microbiome is now known as an organ in its own right and incredibly, the activities of the microbiome are involved in most, if not all, of the human biological processes.
Many of these microbes make vital vitamins (the B vitamins and vitamin K) and important molecules, which are linked with numerous positive health benefits, such as regulating our appetites, reducing inflammation and optimising detoxification...
What is nutrigenomics?
Simply put, nutrigenomics is the study of how foods impact our genes, and how genetic variations influence the way we respond to nutrients. Nutrigenomics looks at how what we eat affects our genes’ activity, like what proteins they produce according to our DNA. It is an emerging science with potential to show how we may be able to prevent disease through nutrition. However, it will take time for scientists to determine what genes and gene expressions need to be concentrated on so that positive health outcomes can be achieved.
Also, within genetic subgroups, it is vital to trial whether personalised interventions result in the expected outcome. It is also imperative that this nutritional approach is integrated into the training of general practitioners, dieticians and nutritionists. There are ethical issues involved with nutrigenomics as well. Who should have access to nutrigenomics — should insurance companies cover testing,...
From international athletes to whole companies, such as Google, and even countries including China are backing the movement to consume more plant-based foods.
Plant-based eating may not be completely mainstream yet, but it is becoming adopted more and more every day. I have been asked a lot recently, about my thoughts on veganism, especially since it has been suggested by the media, that the newborn son of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, may be brought up as a vegan!
If you are thinking of going vegan yourself, have a look at some of those most FAQs, which I get asked surrounding veganism!
What are the main benefits of going vegan?
Research has shown that vegans, as well as vegetarians, are at a decreased risk of various health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and certain types of cancer. A diet high in plant-based foods is believed to reduce type 2 diabetes risk due to their high levels of antioxidants, fibre micronutrients, such...
Cessation of menstruation usually occurs, on average, around the age of 51 years old, and is thought to happen when there are no eggs left in the ovaries.
At birth, a female has approximately 1 million eggs, which drop to 300,000-400,000 at puberty – on average just 400 mature during the reproductive years.
Perimenopause is the period before menopause and during this time many women ovulate irregularly, indicating changes in the menstrual cycle, with or without other symptoms.
Symptoms can include:
Is there anything we can actually do to manage the menopause making it an easier transition?
Yes, there are lots of natural interventions which can make this often very difficult transition easier....
Fatty meat and full-fat dairy!
My genetic risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes is very high and I carry the highest risk in the PPARG gene and in several other genes, which are also associated with an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
This means I am very sensitive to the type and amount of fat in the diet, especially saturated fat.
So, it is really important I keep saturated fats (fatty meats and full-fat dairy) to less than 10% of my daily energy intake and increase my intake of mono-unsaturated fats, such as olive oil and avocados.
Foods I eat!
Fatty wild fish such as salmon, 70% dark chocolate and a diverse array of different coloured vegetables.
Additionally, I carry the high-risk result in both the IL6 and TNFA genes, and this predisposes me to a greater risk of inflammation, insulin resistance and raised blood pressure.
So again it is important I keep my intake of saturated fat to the minimum and make sure I have an adequate daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids...
The microbiome consists of approximately 100 trillion bacterial cells – ten times more than the human cells in the body. The highest concentration of bacteria is found in the gut.
There is an increasing amount of research looking at gut health and the gut microbiome now, but in 2005 when you searched on “gut microbiome” in PubMed (research papers database) there were only 55 studies, in 2010 there were 389 papers and just between Jan-July in 2015 this number had increased to 1,389. Today (March 2018) if you do the same search on “gut microbiome” there are 9437 papers and if we break it down to human studies and eliminate the animal studies there are still 5164.
Gut health affects so many aspects of health, and a healthy microbiome has been linked with a healthy immune system. Approximately 70% of immune cells are in gut.
In a 2014 review paper it was determined that:
“The composition of the microbiome and its activities are involved in most, if...
An incredible 70 million coffees are consumed in the UK every day and coffee is the world’s most popular drug.
Main people “need” a coffee to start their day, but to gain the benefits from caffeine and avoid its negative effects, it’s important to consume the correct amount of caffeine at the correct time.
However, this will be different for all of us, since we are all different and we metabolise caffeine differently.
Some people are fast caffeine metabolisers, meaning that they have a variant of the gene (CYP1A2), which breaks down caffeine particularly fast. In fact, some people have a version of the gene that can break caffeine down up to four times faster than others. If you’re a fast metaboliser you are able to obtain many of the benefits of caffeine such as a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s, heart attacks and strokes. But, if you are a slow metaboliser it stays in your body longer and can make you more susceptible to its negative effects such...
Bloating is very common these days, in fact it has been described as an “epidemic.” Many people have nutrient-poor diets, extreme levels of stress, constant exposure to toxins, and eat on the run. So, it is not a surprise that they are experiencing regular uncomfortable bloating!
Fortunately, there are some powerful nutrients and foods out there for beating the bloat, including: