John Montague DC

Lack of Sleep May Increase Obesity Risk

Inadequate sleep during teen years increases risk of obesity

Teenagers who don’t get enough sleep may wake up to worse consequences than nodding off during chemistry class. According to new research, risk of being obese by age 21 was 20 percent higher among 16-year-olds who got less than six hours of sleep a night, compared with their peers who slumbered more than eight hours. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends nine to ten hours of sleep for teenagers.) Researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health are the first to examine the effect of sleeplessness on obesity in teenagers over time, providing the strongest evidence yet that lack of sleep raises risk for an elevated BMI. Results appear in Journal of Pediatrics.

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The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

What are the health benefits of sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes pack a powerful nutritional punch. They have got over 400% of your daily needs for vitamin A in one medium spud, as well as loads of fiber and potassium. They have got more grams of natural sugars than regular potato but more overall nutrients with fewer calories. Despite the terms sweet potato and yam often being used interchangeably, they are actually not even botanically related. Yams are almost exclusively grown in Africa and are more dry and starchy compared to a sweet potato. So how did these two vegetables become so intertwined? There are two different varieties of sweet potatoes, firm and soft. When soft sweet potatoes were being cultivated in the Americas, African slaves began calling them yams because of their resemblance to their familiar native vegetable. The name caught on as a way to distinguish between the two types of sweet potatoes. Today, you are unlikely to find a true yam in the grocery store unless you are shopping in an international market.

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Is Gluten Bad for You?

Should You Dump Gluten? How Going Gluten Free Can Unlock Weight Loss, Energy & Longevity

Besides being fast-food chains, they’re among many large companies that have rolled out gluten-free food options in the last few years. You’re probably used to seeing the “special diet” section in Whole Foods, or even your local chain grocery store, but when corporate giants start paying attention to specific dietary trends, you can bet they are more than just a passing fad. It seems that gluten-free products are everywhere these days, and like many of your health-conscious, smoothie-sipping, label-reading friends, you may be wondering if a gluten-free diet is right for you. And in a culture where pastries, pizza, and pasta dominate the standard diet, you might also want to know why wheat is suddenly getting such a bad rap.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Prevent Some Depression

Some forms of depression may be prevented by omega-3 fatty acids

Patients with increased inflammation, including those receiving cytokines for medical treatment, have a greatly increased risk of depression. For example, a 6-month treatment course of interferon-alpha therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus infection causes depression in approximately 30% of patients. Omega-3 fatty acids, more commonly known as fish oil, have a long list of health benefits, including lowering the risk of heart disease and reducing triglyceride levels. These nutritional compounds are also known to have anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory properties. Despite some recent negative findings, as their tendency to increase the risk for prostate cancer was proven and some of the putative health benefits were not replicated in large trials, omega-3′s remain of high interest to the depression field, where several studies have suggested benefits for depression and other psychiatric disorders.

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Grapefruit Juice Against the Effects of a High-Fat Diet

Could grapefruit juice curb the effects of a high-fat diet?

The research team, led by Joseph Napoli and Andreas Stahl, both of the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at the university, publish their findings in the journal PLOS ONE. Grapefruit has been hailed for its weight-loss effects since the 1930s, forming a part of the famous Hollywood Diet. Studies claimed that grapefruit consists of a fat-burning enzyme that promotes rapid weight loss. But Napoli and Stahl say the validity of such studies can be questioned. “Relatively few human studies have examined the effects of grapefruit or grapefruit juice consumption per se on metabolism in well-controlled experiments, and these have produced intriguing but contradictory results,” they note.

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The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

What are the health benefits of coconut oil?

Previously shunned by the health and wellness community for high saturated fat content, coconut oil has experienced a huge increase in sales and taken the media by storm in recent years. Coconut oil can be found not only in specialty health food stores, but at most local grocers as well. Formerly unheard of, coconut oil is becoming more of a staple cooking oil in many households. Manufacturers are using coconut oil in favor of other oils in packaged products, and there are claims that coconut oil can do everything from supporting weight loss to slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Nevertheless, many organizations such as the American Heart Association and the USDA continue to caution consumers against all tropical oils, including coconut oil.

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Low Carb Diet to Improve Quality of Life in Diabetics

Low-carbohydrate diet improved quality of life in diabetes type 2 patients

Low-carbohydrate diet has a good effect not only on blood glucose, but also on physical functions, bodily pain and general health, according to a diet study including patients with type 2 diabetes. The results of a two-year clinical trial in patients with type 2 diabetes, led by Dr Hans Guldbrand, general practitioner, and Fredrik Nystrom, professor of internal medicine at Linköping University, has previously been published in the journal Diabetologia. The trial studied the effects on blood glucose and blood lipids of a low-carbohydrate diet compared to a low-fat diet. The 61 enrolled patients were randomly divided into two groups – one for each diet type and were expected to adhere to the respective diet throughout the study period. It was found that both diet-groups reduced weight equally but the effect on blood glucose was better in the low-carbohydrate group.

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Priobiotic Against the Risk of Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Probiotic decreases the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis

A team of UC Davis and University of Arizona researchers discovered that adding the bacteria Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis (B. infantis) to formula fed to newborn rats reduced the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis, an often deadly intestinal infection. The findings were published as a cover story in Pediatric Research, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group, and is available online. The discovery sets the stage for clinical trials in human premature newborns. “The discovery in an experimental model that this organism can dramatically reduce the risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis is very encouraging,” said Mark Underwood, lead author of the study and chief of the division of Pediatric Neonatology at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. “It potentially offers another important strategy for prevention of this very difficult-to-treat disease.”

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IBS May be Driving you Crazy

Link discovered between depression and abnormal brain response to visceral pain in patients with IBS


pain in lower bellyThe article above from Medical News Today discusses recent researching showing higher rates of anxiety and depression in patients with irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In fact IBS patients had a depression rate of 38% and a rate of anxiety of 32%.

Of course some doctors have blamed IBS as a manifestation of depression; however this study shows a clear connection between the gut and the brain.

What the researchers found was that patients with IBS process pain signals from the gut abnormally. People with IBS are not able to suppress pain signals form the gut.

Another study, A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of a probiotic in emotional symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, found that probiotics are related to depression symptoms. I hope this will lead to research for a probiotic treatment of IBS.



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Save Health Care Dollars with Dietary Supplements

Daily use of certain supplements can decrease health-care expenditures

Soft Gel vitamins


It makes sense when you think of it. Taking care of yourself should result in decreased health care costs. This article from Medical News Today, discusses the Christopher Shanahan and Robert Lorimiers article in Journal of Dietary Supplements on how the use of omega-3’s and vitamin B can result in cost saving for patients with Coronary Heart Disease.

Coronary Heart Disease cost us 64 billion dollars in 2012. The authors conclude that if every adult over 55 took omega-3s that would result in a 2.1 billion dollar savings. If the same group took vitamin B there would be a 1.5 billion dollar savings.

The total savings would be 3.6 billion dollar or a 5.6% savings a year.


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