Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vitamin B12 Crying Babies & Pregnancy

Crybabies may lack vitamin B12 mothers advised
The meat manufacturing, production, processing and industry is now clutching at straws following the UK Government's announcement that we should eat no more than the equivalent of a small lamb chop and restrict our meat consumption to the bare minimum to avoid increased risks of cancer.

Once again ignoring the facts that there are safer plant based sources of all of the handful of nutrients that are found in meat, and that meat is not only missing most anti-oxidants, fibre and many other essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals but is also implicated in thwarting our ability to attain a healthy synergistic balance of these nutrients.

Once again it's the essential vitamin B12 that meat industry lobbyists have got their blood stained mitts on.

Acording to FIGO The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics almost 3,000 pregnant women took part in the study, in which researchers in the Netherlands measured the levels of vitamin B12 in the bloodstream of the mothers-to-be.

The Dutch researchers found the women with the least amount of the vitamin B12 nutrient in their blood had babies who were eight times more prone to crying.

Leading UK Nutritionist, London Yvonne Bishop-Weston explains the implications of the new findings.

The new study (reference) has shown a link between the level of vitamin B12 in the mother and excessive infant crying (more than 3 hours a day for more than 3 days a week for more than 3 weeks). The reasons for this are not fully understood but it could be due to the fact that a lack of vitamin B12 and folic acid hinder the foetal development of the nervous system before birth and also that in the first 6 months after birth lack of these vitamins can affect the development of the protective myelin which surrounds the nerve cells and helps them communicate.

Excessive infant crying is also called infant colic and may also be due to B12 deficiency. Excessive infant crying was found to be stronger when the mother experienced high levels of psychological problems so could affect the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm of the body controls the sleep/wake cycle, the development of which starts in the womb.It also takes about 3 months after birth to settle into a rhythm. As lack of B12 has been seen in people with sleep disorders it is suggested that lack of B12 may the infant circadian rhythm interfere with serotonin melatonin and trigger gut cramps and crying.

The developing baby relies on the mother to provide B12 and if it is deficient in her diet and her stores are too low the baby is likely to be deficient too. B12 is made by bacteria in the gut and meat, fish and eggs the usual source recommended by NHS dietitians.
Plantarians and Vegans maintain there are healthier, safer, more sustainable sources of vitamin B12  that come without the extra calories and detrimental effects of saturated animal fat and natural hormones but with essential fats and a range of useful vitamins, minerals,  anti oxidants and fibre.

Yvonne seems to agree;
I would be cautious in recommending women eat more animal foods as meat and dairy comes along with saturated fats which can hinder the body's use of essential fats which are needed for the baby's brain and nervous system development. Due to the potential levels of toxicity in fish no more than 2 portions a week should be eaten in pregnancy and egg consumption tends to be lower in pregnancy as they can only be eaten fully cooked. If anything this study is a strong argument for basic nutrient testing at the start of women's pregnancies and addressing any deficiencies as well as of course more promotion of either better, more nutritious diets or the need for effective, easily absorbable prenatal supplements.
Vitamin B12 is made by mimicing the human digestive system's ability to produce B12 from yeasts and bacteria in the gut and is then added to a number of foods from breafast cereals and plant milks to fruit juice.

Unfortunately, most natural plant sources of vitamin B12 have been proven to contain biologically inactive vitamin B12 analogues (non absorbable pseudo-vitamin B12) , inadequate for human supplementation.

Algae seems to be the most reliable plant based source of true Vitamin B12 so far. Following a research study in France in 1978 (Greiko et al) scientists in Finland (Rauma et al ) and  Japan (Watanabe et al)  have found true vitamin B12 in Nori and Chlorella (but only non-absorbable pseudo-vitamin B12 in Spirulina) whilst Italian researchers say a strain of Klamath blue green algae appears to be, in a preliminary study, an adequate and reliable source of vitamin B12 in humans (L Baroni et al , published in The International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research 2009)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Men: Five Nutrients Short of a Picnic

Men: Five nutrients you're not getting enough of -The Independent:

According to a report in The Independent ripped from health and fitness magazine Men's Health 77 per cent of men aren't getting enough magnesium, are vitamin D deficient, and perhaps even short on vitamin B12.

What all those big steak eating macho hunks forget is that most of the vitamins and minerals we need are in plant foods - fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds - burgers, fried chicken, pizza and chicken curry just doesn't deliver guys.

Guys, next time you are throwing stones and ridiculing a Plantarian, vegetarian or vegan just be aware you could be in a nutritionally deficient greenhouse.

Here's what you need to know about what may be missing in your diet says the Independent

1. Vitamin D - Great for bone health but it's so much more: A study in Circulation found that people deficient in D were up to 80 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. Ask your doctor to test your blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. "You need to be above 30 nanograms per milliliter," said Michael Holick, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at Boston University, in the report. If you come up short, Holick recommends taking 1,400 IU of vitamin D daily from a supplement and a multivitamin.

Nutritionist London Yvonne Bishop-Weston "Vitamin D is now considered more important than Vitamin C for a healthy immune system scientists are now finding it in plants but Sunshine is your best source, your body then makes it."

2. Magnesium - Surveys reveal that men are lacking in this mineral, consuming only about 80 percent of the recommended 400 milligrams per day. Fortify your diet with magnesium-rich foods, such as halibut and navy beans. Or supplement with a 250 mg supplement, but look for magnesium citrate, which is best absorbed by the body, states Men's Health.

Yvonne says "Magnesium is important for women too - find it in hazelnuts, good for relaxing muscles"

3. Vitamin B12 - While most men do consume their daily dose of 2.4 micrograms, some medications, such as acid-blocking drugs and diabetes medications, can interfere with the vitamin's absorption in the body. Try eating lamb, salmon or fortified cereals to be sure you're covered.

Yvonne says "many of the men I see in clinic are B12 deficient even though they eat meat, one reason may be that due to modern farming methods meat no longer contains as much B12. There is some evidence that true vitamin B12 can be found in algae such as Chlorella as well as added to various food such as Dairy free milk and cereals. We recommend a good regular multivitamin and mineral complex with B12 as health insurance as B12 is so important for heart health and Brain health"

4. Potassium - Nutrition surveys report men are eating just 60 to 70 percent of the recommended 4,700 mg a day. Fix the problem by eating half an avocado (contains about 500 mg potassium) or a banana (about 400 mg). One large russet potato contains 1,600 mg of potassium.

"Please note that's potatoes not McDonalds french fries guys!" says Yvonne "Avocado is also a good source of good fats"

5. Iodine - Think table salt is the answer? When researchers tested 88 samples of iodized table salt, they found that half contained less than the recommended amount of iodine. Try getting more iodine not from salty foods but from milk. Or eat at least one serving of eggs or yogurt a day.

"Seaweed is the best source of iodine - try some miso soup or sushi!" says Yvonne "milk has saturated animal fat in it as well as natural hormones that you probably don't need more of unless you are a calf!"

Read more here: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/five-essential-nutrients/

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fight Cancer With Chocolate Mousse | NBC Dallas-Fort Worth

Fight Cancer With Chocolate Mousse | NBC Dallas-Fort Worth:

Free cooking classes promote nutrition to prevent and fight cancer

At 27 years old, Katherine Lawrence was an Iraq war veteran, but it was the battle she was facing at home that would prove to be the toughest.

"I started to have really bad pain in my abdomen, and I found out I had severe endometriosis and uterine cysts and ovarian cysts," said Lawrence.

"My doctor wanted to put me into early menopause, and then schedule me for a hysterectomy," said Lawrence.

Desperate to avoid that, she started eating a low-fat, vegan diet and in just five weeks her health problems were virtually gone.

"My doctor was amazed," said Lawrence.

Now, she teaches cooking classes to help prevent and battle cancer in conjunction with a non-profit group called The Food for Life Alliance working with the charity The Cancer Project that was set up by PCRM.

Late 2010 Katherine came over to the UK to teach 14 students and train them to deliver Cancer and Diabetes fighting Cookery workshops.

To find out more see One World Day and Saladmaster