Flavour of the Week


  • Location, location, location! Looks like gut microbes have a global pattern – those living in Northern latitudes have more obesity-linked Firmicutes bacteria, and fewer Bacteroidetes, which are generally associated with healthier weight. Not surprisingly, this bacterial finding mirrors geographic obesity rates – overweight and obesity increase with latitude. Which came first? The Firmicutes or the excess body weight? More research is needed!
  • TGIFAn orange a day to keep the stroke away? When blood vitamin C levels of hemorrhagic stroke survivors were compared with healthy individuals, those who’d had a stroke were more likely to show depleted levels of the vitamin. Aside from citrus, other great sources of vitamin C include red bell peppers, broccoli, melons and berries.
    Aside from citrus, other great sources of vitamin C include red bell peppers, broccoli, melons and berries….
  • People who work shifts have higher pro-inflammatory diets, which may account for higher rates of chronic disease and poorer health among those doing shiftwork. Researchers used the “Dietary Inflammatory Index” to assess diet quality, which effectively scores foods based on their effect on inflammatory markers in the body. Diets rich in vegetables and fruit, omega-3s and fibre score lower (i.e., less inflammatory) than pro-inflammatory diets loaded with sugar and saturated fats.
  • Easy access spells big trouble for those living close to fast food. New research from the UK has shown that children living closest to fast food restaurants are more likely to be overweight or obese than those living farther away from burgers, pizza and candy shops.  The relationship was strongest for older children and teenagers.
  • Multi-generational effect of diet during pregnancy? Data from the Philippines suggests what you eat while pregnant may impact the birthweight of your daughter’s future children! In a study of 3,000 women, a women’s infancy nutrition and her mother’s diet during pregnancy both predicted birth weight in her children. Phew! Catch that all?

    How is this happening? While still a new research area, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance suggests that the environment women are exposed to while in their mother’s uterus may effect their own developing eggs and the health of their subsequent children – everything ranging from obesity, disease risk and behaviour. Still controversial, but interesting nonetheless!

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