Wake Up to Wellness: Issue #13

Health Newsletter

What’s new in the world of health and wellness this week?

We’ve got you covered:

  • A new mobile app for Type 2 diabetes treatment
  • Is a common preservative making you tired?
  • What’s the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance?
  • One quick lifestyle change that may help prevent dementia
  • How blood vessels grown in a lab can help treat diabetes

Mobile App to Help Those With Type 2 Diabetes Approved by the NHS

Exciting news for those living with diabetes! The UK National Health Service (NHS) approved a mobile app featuring a low-carb diet for managing Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is on the rise worldwide, and the NHS is taking big steps to help combat the disease. The app will give those with Type 2 diabetes online tools that help them track their weight and blood glucose levels, with a focus on healthy eating and how the reduction of carbohydrates can reverse the effects of diabetes.

Read the full story here.

A Common Preservative That Can Lead to Extreme Fatigue

According to a new study, researchers think a popular food preservative can lead to extreme fatigue. The research pinpoints inorganic phosphate, a food additive that is found in up to 70 percent of foods in the U.S.

The study looked at mice that had a high phosphate diet and measured their intake of oxygen while exercising. It showed they had reduced capacity for movement and that they weren’t able to produce sufficient fatty acids to fuel their muscles.

An additional study was conducted on people who were part of the Dallas Heart Study.

While the mice were being observed for a 12-week period, the researchers wanted to draw a comparison to humans, so they looked at the data of people who were enrolled in the Dallas Heart Study. They experienced the same effects as the mice.

Lead researcher Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin, professor of internal medicine and director of the Hypertension Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center, said, “Study in humans provides support for the animal studies by showing that people with high phosphate in the blood tend to spend less time in working out and more time in sedentary activity.”

Inorganic phosphates are found in processed foods and drinks. Dana Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, a senior dietitian at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center, said, “The average consumer would not know to be aware of this commercial food additive. It is commonly used to prolong the shelf life of many foods, and also may enhance the flavor of some others. It is likely a very inexpensive ingredient/additive which would explain its nearly ubiquitous usage.”

To reduce your consumption of potentially harmful phosphates, lower your consumption of processed foods and drinks and stick to a healthy diet.

Read the full story here.

Do You Have a Food Allergy or Food Intolerance Issue?

A new study says that it’s common for food allergies to make themselves known in adults, but many incorrectly misdiagnose themselves, mistaking food allergies with food intolerance. In the U.S., 10.8 percent of adults self-report having a food allergy.

Interestingly, 19 percent of those adults who think they have a food allergy don’t have one. The study surveyed 40,443 adults via phone for nearly a year. Thirty-eight percent of participants said they had had an emergency involving a food allergy during their lifetime.

Dr. Ruchi S. Gupta, MPH, a professor of pediatrics and medicine at Northwestern Medicine, said, “A lot surprised me about the findings of our survey. The prevalence of 1 in 10 really having a convincing food allergy is a lot. That in itself was a bit of a surprise, even though it did support some of the past research that had been done.”

The participants that did have an actual food allergy were allergic to shellfish, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, or fish. The bottom line? It’s important to seek the advice of a certified medical professional if you think you have a dangerous food allergy. Googling it and self-diagnosing can be dangerous.

Read the full story here.

One Simple Lifestyle Change May Help Prevent Dementia

Rush University Medical Center researchers concluded a 20-year study that shows a link between living a sedentary lifestyle and dementia and memory loss. They studied 454 elderly adults and found that simple physical tasks such as going on walks and doing chores around the home improved memory and cognitive function.

Of the study participants, 191 were diagnosed with dementia. In late life, each participant wore an accelerometer that measured their physical activity. The researchers found that movement had a “protective effect on the brain.”

Study co-author Dr. Aron Buchman said, “We found movement may essentially provide a reserve to help maintain thinking and memory skills when there are signs of dementia present in the brain. It may also be possible that as people lose memory and thinking skills, they reduce their physical activity. More studies are needed to determine if moving more is truly beneficial to the brain.”

Read the full story here.

Lab-Grown Blood Vessels May Change the Face of Diabetes

More big news for those living with diabetes. Soon, they might be able to replace blood vessels instead of going on a new drug with potentially unpleasant or harmful side effects.

For the first time, blood vessels have successfully been grown in a lab. A person with diabetes often has blood vessels with abnormal thickening, which reduces the ability for oxygen and nutrients to get to cells and organs, resulting in an array of health issues such as kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.

A new study showed that researchers were able to get stem cells to grow into human blood vessels called “organoids.” They put the vessels in a petri dish that simulated a diabetic environment, which thickened the same way an organic blood vessel would in a diabetic patient.

They then looked for a chemical compound that could prevent the thickening in the vessels grown in the lab. Study results suggest that inhibiting the compound γ-secretase in diabetic patients could help their treatment.

Researcher Josef Penninger said, “Being able to build human blood vessels as organoids from stem cells is a game changer. Every single organ in our body is linked with the circulatory system.”

Read the full story here.

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