Diet diary : Non-celiac gluten intolerance — silent trouble

By : Ishi Khosla

GLUTEN — a protein in wheat, oats, barley and rye (European cereal) — is known to cause a condition called celiac disease. It is a condition in which gluten damages the intestines and reduces the ability of intestines to absorb food. The individuals with this condition can manifest typical or atypical symptoms or may have hardly any symptoms also called silent celiacs.

Typical symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhoea, gastrointestinal disturbances like abdominal distension, bloating, burping, reflux, flatulence, pain, constipation; nausea, vomiting; growth problems; stunting, weight loss; anaemia, lethargy, tiredness, but not everyone has these.

Absence of typical symptoms makes the diagnosis difficult and often leads to ill health and life threatening maladies. Celiac disease can creep up silently on just about anyone – across age, gender, class and race — and turn fatal if undiagnosed. Celiac disease is diagnosed through a simple blood test and confirmed through the gold standard intestinal biopsy, which shows damage to the intestinal lining (villi).

However, another form of sensitivity to wheat called non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) has been identified. The relatively new entity is now being recognized by healthcare practitioners and it is important to understand the difference between these conditions even though they may all respond to a gluten-free diet. You may develop it at any age even if you have been consuming gluten all your life.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity has been coined to describe those individuals who cannot tolerate gluten and experience symptoms similar to those with celiac disease but who lack the same antibodies and intestinal damage as seen in celiac disease. Research suggests that non-celiac gluten sensitivity is an innate immune response, as opposed to an autoimmune or allergic reaction. Individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may also have a high prevalence of extra-intestinal or non-gastro-intestinal symptoms such as headache, “foggy mind,” joint pain, and numbness in the legs, arms or fingers. Symptoms typically appear hours or days after gluten has been ingested.

Individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity would also not test positive for celiac disease based on blood testing, nor do they have the same type of intestinal damage found in individuals with celiac disease. Some individuals may experience minimal intestinal damage, and this goes away with a gluten-free diet.

The word of caution is to seek professional help, if in doubt. Self diagnosis and going off gluten can lead to a missed diagnosis of more serious celiac disease. Although gluten-free diets are gaining popularity and are warranted in celiac disease and non-celiac gluten intolerance, it must not become a fad.

Ishi Khosla is a former senior nutritionist at Escorts. She heads the Centre of Dietary Counselling and also runs a health food store. She feels that for complete well-being, one should integrate physical, mental and spiritual health. According to her: “To be healthy should be the ultimate goal for all.”

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Hookah as harmful as cigarette

 

That hookah is less harmful than cigarette is a popular misconception that may have serious ramifications for the youth, warns a new study.

Hookah or water pipe is the new ‘in’ thing among the youth, though the number of youth who smoke cigarettes is declining in Canada, found the study, published in Cancer Causes and Control.

“The idea that water pipes are somehow less harmful than cigarettes is a dangerous misperception,” said study author Leia Minaker from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

The study found that almost one in four high school seniors try smoking hookah. It estimates that more than 78,200 youth are current water pipe users.

“While we can celebrate a continued slow decline in cigarette use across the country, water pipes are bucking the trend,” said Minaker.

Water pipes work by bubbling tobacco smoke through water, leading many users to believe that they carry less risk than cigarettes.

“Since most water pipe smoking sessions last much longer than a cigarette, water pipe smokers may absorb higher concentrations of the same toxins as in cigarette smoke,” the researcher warned.

Water pipes join a growing number of products marketed to youth using flavoured tobacco.

The survey found that among the students who reported using water pipes, about half used flavoured products.

“The tobacco industry continues to add candy, fruit and other flavours to tobacco products to attract young people. Restricting flavours in tobacco products is an important part of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy,” Minaker said.

Many countries have banned indoor water pipe smoking, including Lebanon, Turkey, and parts of Saudi Arabia and India, where water pipe smoking is a cultural activity.

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Beware! High-fat diet can damage your brain

High-fat diet can affect brain health and promote changes in your behaviour, including increased anxiety, impaired memory, and repetitive behaviour, warns a new study.

The findings published in the journal Biological Psychiatry suggest that even those who are not obese should avoid fatty foods to stave of diet-induced psychiatric disorders.

High-fat diet produces changes in health and behaviour, in part, by changing the mix of bacteria in the gut, also known as the gut microbiome, the researchers noted.

“This paper suggests that high-fat diets impair brain health, in part, by disrupting the symbiotic relationship between humans and the microorganisms that occupy our gastrointestinal tracks,” commented John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry.

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The human microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms, many of which reside in the intestinal tract.

The researchers at the Louisiana State University in the US tested whether an obesity-related microbiome alters behaviour and cognition even in the absence of obesity.

Non-obese adult mice were conventionally housed and maintained on a normal diet, but received a transplant of gut microbiota from donor mice that had been fed either a high-fat diet or control diet.

The recipient mice were then evaluated for changes in behaviour and cognition.

The animals who received the microbiota shaped by a high-fat diet showed multiple disruptions in behaviour, including increased anxiety, impaired memory, and repetitive behaviours.

Further, they showed many detrimental effects in the body, including increased intestinal permeability and markers of inflammation.

Signs of inflammation in the brain were also evident and may have contributed to the behavioural changes, the researchers noted.

These findings provide evidence that diet-induced changes to the gut microbiome are sufficient to alter brain function even in the absence of obesity.

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Vitamin D deficiency can make you very sick, know all about the compound

The deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to serious health complications. If you mostly stay indoors, get your Vitamin D levels checked, for you might be prone to Diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and even cancer.

What is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is not just a vitamin, it is also a hormone

Vitamn D increases activation in more than 2000 genes. This allows the body to fight diseases.

How Vitamin D deficiency can make you sick
Vitamin D deficiency can cause diseases like cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, obesity and heart disease.

Vitamin D

The sad reality

More than 9 out of 10 people worldwide are not getting enough Vitamin D.

…and the misconceptions
Contrary to the popular belief, spending 10 minutes in the sun is not enough to get all the Vitamin D you require. You need to stay in the sun for 3 hours if you are standing up in a short sleeve shirt, 20 minutes if lying down in a bathing suit.

How do you know you are Vitamin D deficient
Self test for Vitamin D deficiency: Just press hard on each of your shin bones and then on your sternum – the bone in your chest between your lowest ribs.

Sore bones are an indication that you are probably very deficient.

If you have had recent surgery or illness, or you are pregnant; a breastfed infant would also be at risk.

heart diseases, vitamin d

How much Vitamin D do you need?
4000 iu daily is necessary to bring the average adult up to 40 nanograms and maintain this healthy level.

What too much Vitamin D does to you?
The main symptoms of vitamin D overdose are anorexia, nausea, vomiting, polydipsia, weakness, insomnia, nervousness, pruritus, and, ultimately, renal failure.

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Why drinking raw milk is not a good idea

Drinking raw milk, instead of pasteurised milk, can increase your risk of getting food-borne illness by over 100 times, warns a new study.

These food-borne illness that consumption of raw milk can cause include diarrhoea, vomiting, cramping, fevers, and sometimes more serious consequences such as kidney failure or death, said the study published in the journal AIDS Patient Care and STDs.

“The scientific literature showed that the risk of food-borne illness from raw milk is over 100 times greater than the risk of food-borne illness from pasteurised milk,” said the study’s lead author Benjamin Davis from Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF).

Raw milk has become more popular in recent years. Advocates believe that raw milk, which contains more natural antibodies, proteins and bacteria than pasteurised milk, is healthier, cleaner, tastes better and reduces lactose intolerance and allergies in certain people.

But the new study found that microbial contaminants commonly found in milk include infectious Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Listeria species along with the Escherichia coli type O157:H7.

These bacteria can cause foodborne illness in humans, especially among children, pregnant women and the elderly, the researchers warned.

For their study, the researchers screened approximately 1,000 articles and reviewed 81 published journal articles relevant to the health risks and benefits of consuming raw cow’s milk.

“The risks of consuming raw milk instead of pasteurised milk are well established in the scientific literature, and in some cases can have severe or even fatal consequences,” study co-author Cissy Li from CLF said.

“Based on our findings, we discourage the consumption of raw milk, especially among vulnerable populations such as the elderly, people with impaired immune systems, pregnant women, and children,” Li said.

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Practo healthcare app: Finding doctors made easy

By Meghna Malik

Looking for a good dentist or dermatologist in your area? Well, you could use Practo, a mobile app that aims to be the Zomato for the ailing.

The Practo app, available for Android and iOS devices, helps users find doctors in their city, and lets them book appointments instantly. With this app, users can find doctors who specialise in dental care, skin care, mental health, critical care medicine, integrated medicine, naturopathy,  speech therapy, surgical oncology and 250 other specialties.

This app also allows users to view details like clinic timings, consultation fees, the doctor’s qualifications and address before making an appointment. Plus Practo’s built-in navigation system pinpoints the exact location of the clinic.

The app’s simple user interface makes booking appointments, and tracking previous appointments a fairly easy task. The app also lists the most common specialties on the home screen, for convenience of the users.

Practo uses an extensive process of verifications and filtering, and provides its users with over 120,000+ verified doctors and clinic profiles. The app helps users in finding doctors in all major Indian cities including Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and others. Practo is also now available in Manila and Singapore also.

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Why artificial light at night is dangerous for your health

Over-exposure to artificial light at night has serious long-term health implications like tendency to breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, depression, and possibly other forms of cancer, says a new study.

“It’s a new analysis and synthesis of what we know up to now on the effect of lighting on our health,” said Richard Stevens University of Connecticut, Farmington (Uconn).

“We don’t know for certain, but there’s growing evidence that the long-term implications of this have ties to breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, depression, and possibly other form of cancers,” he said.

Inadequate exposure to natural light during the day and overexposure to artificial light at night is not conducive to the body’s natural sleep/wake cycle.

Stevens and co-author Yong Zhu from Yale University explained the known short-term and suspected long-term impacts of circadian disruption in an article published in the British journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

“It’s become clear that typical lighting is affecting our physiology,” said Stevens.

“But lighting can be improved. We’re learning that better lighting can reduce these physiological effects. By that we mean dimmer and longer wavelengths in the evening, and avoiding the bright blue of e-readers, tablets and smart phones,” he added.

Those devices emit enough blue light when used in the evening to suppress the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm, the biological mechanism that enables restful sleep.

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Low vitamin D can make young women depressed

A new study from the Oregon State University has suggested that there is a relationship between low levels of vitamin D and depression in healthy young women.

Young women with lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to have clinically significant depressive symptoms.

“Depression has multiple, powerful causes and if vitamin D is part of the picture, it is just a small part,” said David Kerr from the Oregon State University and lead author in a paper published in the journal Psychiatry Research.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for bone health and muscle function and its deficiency has been associated with impaired immune function, some forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

“I think people hear that vitamin D and depression can change with the seasons, so it is natural for them to assume the two are connected,” added Adrian Gombart, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics from the university.

For the study, researchers recruited 185 college students, all women aged 18-25.

Vitamin D levels were measured from blood samples and participants completed a depression symptom survey each week for five weeks.

More than a third of the participants reported clinically significant depressive symptoms each week over the course of the study.

“Vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and readily available. They certainly shouldn’t be considered as alternatives to the treatments known to be effective for depression, but they are good for overall health,” Kerr concluded.

Source Article from http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/low-vitamin-d-can-make-young-women-depressed/

Vitamin D may help treat age-related diseases

 

The sunshine vitamin can be of great help for people during their sunset years as it may play a vital role in the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with ageing, says a study.

The researchers reviewed evidence that suggests an association between Vitamin D deficiency and chronic diseases associated with aging such as cognitive decline, depression, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.

These findings were published in the Journal of Aging and Gerontology.

(Also read: Vitamin D deficiency can cause diabetes)

“Vitamin D deficiency is a common, serious medical condition that significantly affects the health and well-being of older adults,” said one of the authors Sue Penckofer, professor at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON).

When the sun shines on our skin, the skin produces Vitamin D. A diet rich in Vitamin D or the intake of Vitamin D supplements can also cover our need to some extent.

Older adults are at risk for Vitamin D deficiency due to diet, reduced time outdoors and poor skin absorption of the nutrient.

(Also read: Vitamin D deficiency in kids ups heart disease risk later)

“Better understanding the relationship between Vitamin D and chronic diseases in older adults and whether treatment of Vitamin D deficiency can prevent or treat these disorders is important given the increasing number of people at risk for these health issues,” researcher Meghan Meehan from MNSON said.

The Institute of Medicine generally recommends that adults up to 70 years of age take 600 IU of Vitamin D daily and adults over the age of 70 consume 800 IU of the nutrient daily.

As the older population continues to grow, universal guidelines for testing and treating Vitamin D deficiency are needed, the study authors concluded.

“Research to examine the proper dosing of Vitamin D supplements necessary to prevent the chronic diseases of aging also would have significant benefit for future generations,” they added.

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Watch your weight: Obese women more likely to get cancer

Obese women have around a 40 per cent increased risk of developing a weight-related cancer in their lifetime than women of a healthy weight, according to a new study.

Obesity can increase a woman’s risk of developing at least seven types of cancer – including bowel, post-menopausal breast, gallbladder, womb, kidney, pancreatic and oesophageal cancer, researchers said.

According to new statistics released by Cancer Research UK, obese women have around a one in four risk of developing a cancer linked to weight in their lifetime.

In a group of 1,000 obese women, 274 will be diagnosed with a bodyweight-linked cancer in their lifetime, compared to 194 women diagnosed in a group of 1,000 healthy weight women, researchers said.

“Losing weight isn’t easy, but you don’t have to join a gym and run miles every day or give up your favourite food forever. Just making small changes that you can maintain in the long term can have a real impact,” said Dr Julie Sharp, head of health information at Cancer Research UK.

“We know that our cancer risk depends on a combination of our genes, our environment and other aspects of our lives, many of which we can control – helping people understand how they can reduce their risk of developing cancer in the first place remains crucial in tackling the disease.

“Lifestyle changes – like not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and cutting back on alcohol -are the big opportunities for us all to personally reduce our cancer risk. Making these changes is not a guarantee against cancer, but it stacks the odds in our favour,” Sharp said.

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