A widely used weedkiller has been found in the urine of 80% of people who were tested as part of a national survey in the United States, including children as young as six. Of the 2,310 people whose urine was tested for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1,885 samples were found to contain glyphosate, one of the most popular weedkillers used around the world and the main active ingredient in the Roundup brand, owned by German pharmaceutical company Bayer. Almost a third of samples came from minors. The survey forms part of a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program. "Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the country, yet until now we had very little data on exposure," Alexis Temkin, a toxicologist at the Environmental Working Group, said in a statement. "Children in the United States are regularly exposed to this cancer-causing weedkiller through the food they eat virtually every day." Despite insisting that glyphosate is safe, Bayer is currently facing thousands of lawsuits which claim the chemical causes cancer. Bayer previously won four separate trials of a similar nature. In 202, the Environmental Protection Agency stated that glyphosate poses no serious health risk to humans and is “not likely” to cause cancer. *Image by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says nearly half of American adults are living with high blood pressure (hypertension). Left untreated, this hypertension can lead to serious cardiovascular conditions, such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Individuals with hypertension are often advised to reduce their salt intake, as doing so can help reduce blood pressure levels. Now, a group of researchers from Pennsylvania State University has decided to investigate the health effects of herbs and spices, particularly whether they can benefit people with hypertension. The researchers conducted a randomized, controlled trial to look at the effect of longer-term consumption of herbs and spices on risk factors for cardiovascular disease. They found that a higher level of herbs and spices in food reduced 24-hour blood pressure readings. The findings appear in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Speaking to Medical News Today, Prof. Penny Kris-Etherton, one of the lead authors of the study, said: “Indeed, the blood pressure-lowering effects of herbs and spices in an average Western diet were surprising to me. “We [already know] about the effects of many lifestyle factors, especially dietary factors, that can increase blood pressure — such as sodium, alcohol, and caffeine — and others that can decrease blood pressure, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium, […] weight loss, physical activity, and some vitamins, including folate and vitamin D when intake is low, but the blood pressure-lowering effects of herbs and spices are new!” *Image by monicore from Pixabay
The Mediterranean diet, which features plenty of vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains, has long been lauded for its heart health benefits. But now a new study shows that it could also improve brain function in elderly people, even when only eaten for a year. According to the research published in the BMJ, following a Mediterranean diet for just 12 months can inhibit production of inflammatory chemicals in elderly individuals that can lead to loss of cognitive function, as well as prevent the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and atherosclerosis. For the study, 612 elderly people from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom has their gut microbiome analysed. Then, 323 of them were put on a special diet, based on Mediterranean principles, for one year, while the rest were asked to eat as they normally would. After 12 months, all of the study participants had their gut microbiome re-analysed. Those who had followed the Mediterranean diet saw beneficial changes to the microbiome in their digestive system. The rate at which bacterial diversity was lost slowed and the production of potentially harmful inflammatory markers was reduced. Furthermore, there was also a growth of beneficial bacteria linked to improved memory and brain function. So-called “keystone” species, critical for a stable “gut ecosystem”, were also boosted, helping to slow signs of frailty, such as walking speed and hand grip strength. “Our findings support the feasibility of changing the habitual diet to modulate the gut microbiota which in turn has the potential to promote healthier aging,” the study authors said.
Protein is made from amino acids, which are also known as the building blocks of muscle. Therefore, the importance of protein in our diets is huge. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to build, repair or even maintain our muscles. Furthermore, following surgery, many patients often need to eat protein to help with their recoveries. It aids the healing process and boosts the reparation of muscles. But with more and more people trying to limit the amount of meat they consume and with eggs – particularly in the US – becoming increasingly expensive, obtaining protein from other sources has become very significant; especially for breakfast, as a protein hit in the morning can really set you up for the day. With that in mind, here are five protein-packed alternatives to a meaty or eggy breakfast: Spicy Bean Burrito Grab a tortilla (preferably wholegrain) and stuff it with half a cup of black beans, a quarter of a cup of diced avocado, salsa and grated cheddar cheese (optional). Approx. 15g protein. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Combine half a cup of cooked oats with one cup of dairy or soy milk. Then add two tablespoons (the big ones) of peanut butter. Approx. 21g protein. Chickpea Scramble Mash up about one cup of chickpeas and then cook them on a skillet with spinach and other seasonal vegetables you fancy, ‘scrambling’ it throughout. Approx. 15g protein. Fruit & Nut Quinoa Bowl Throw one cup of cooked quinoa into a saucepan with half a cup of dairy or soy milk and heat. Then add two tablespoons of chopped nuts, sliced banana or berries. Approx. 15g protein. White Bean & Avocado on Toast Put a quarter of a cup of avocado and half a cup of white beans into a bowl and mash. Lightly toast a slice of wholegrain bread and spread the mixture over the top. Add herbs to garnish. Approx. 14g protein. Photo credit: Blisstree
Weight loss has long been advised for women who are struggling to conceive, but now new research shows that obese men who lose weight are more likely to get their partners pregnant. The research – which was recently presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society – was conducted by a team from the University of Sherbrooke in Canada. It is thought to be the first study of its kind and experts say that it represents an interesting alternative to IVF and opened up “real possibilities” for men. The study focussed on 65 couples who had been referred to a fertility clinic. For one year, the men attended weekly group sessions about nutrition and physical activity. It was then discovered that the men who had lost the most weight were the ones who conceived. "This is the first prospective study suggesting that male partners who improve their weight also increase the odds for the couple to conceive,” said Dr Jean-Patrice Baillargeon. He believes that obesity not only affects a man’s sperm count, but also the quality of his sperm. The findings of the study mean that going forward the advice for both men and women who are trying for a baby could be to lose weight in the first instance. France Surgery can help facilitate a number of weight loss procedures here in France. Contact us today to find out more.