A Review Of Nutritional Interventions For Schizophrenia Treatment

SuperfoodsSchizophrenia is a chronic condition that significantly impacts  the individual and the family. The disorder also has wider consequences for society in terms of significant costs to the economy. This highly prevalent condition affects approximately 1% of the worldwide population, yet there are few therapeutic options.

The predominant treatment strategy for schizophrenia is anti-psychotic medication (with or without additional talking therapy) even though this approach lacks efficacy in managing the negative symptoms of the condition, is not effective in one-third of the patient group and the side effects of the medication can be severe and debilitating.

In recent years, a number of pathophysiological processes have been identified in groups of people with schizophrenia including oxidative stress, one-carbon metabolism and immune-mediated responses. A number of studies have shown that these altered physiological mechanisms can be ameliorated by nutritional interventions in some individuals with schizophrenia.

This review published in Nutrition Journal by Megan Anne Arroll1*, Lorraine Wilder2 and James Neil2 briefly describes the aforementioned processes and outlines research that has investigated the utility of nutritional approaches as an adjunct to anti-psychotic medication which includes:

  • Antioxidant and vitamin B supplementation,
  • Neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory nutrients and
  • Exclusion diets as an adjunct to anti-psychotic medication
  • Oxidative stress and the benefits of supplementation
  • N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
  • Alpha lipoic acid (ALA)
  • Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine)
  • Vitamins C and E
  • Essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)
  • L-Theanine
  • One carbon metabolism and B vitamins
  • Folate and B vitamin supplementation
  • Immune-mediated responses and the therapeutic benefits of casein- and gluten-free diets
  • Vitamin D as a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia

While none of these interventions provides a ‘one-size-fits-all’ therapeutic solution, the authors suggest that a personalized approach warrants research attention as there is growing agreement that schizophrenia is a spectrum disorder that develops from the interplay between environmental and genetic factors.

Healthy Aspirations and the Disconnect From Health Actions

CONSUMER| 08-14-2014

Health and wellness is trending. At the start of year, U.S. consumers listed health among their top five concerns for 2014. Concurrently, the popularity of fitness bands, smartphone apps that track health and fresh food saleshave all risen dramatically.

Despite the recent explosion of the health and wellness industry, however, one-third of American adults remain clinically obese.* According to findings in the Nielsen/NMI Health and Wellness in America report, we literally want to have our cake and carrot juice—and eat them, too. For example, while 75 percent of us say we feel we can manage health issues through proper nutrition, a whole 91 percent of us admit to snacking all day on candy, ice cream and chips. So why is there a disconnect between our what we know is healthy and what we actually do? What are the perceptions around “health foods” that prevent us from making better choices? And how can retailers help bridge the gap?

American consumers overwhelmingly aspire to lead healthy lives. For example, 89 percent say taking personal responsibility for one’s health is the best way to stay healthy, 75 percent say they feel they can manage health issues through nutrition, and 64 percent say they will take whatever means necessary to control their own health. However, when it comes down to putting those thoughts into action, only 70 percent say they’re actually “actively trying to be healthier,” 50 percent say it’s a challenge to eat healthy, and 66 percent say they don’t exercise enough.

When it comes to healthy habits, life appears to get in consumers’ way. Along with health, food prices were among consumers’ top five concerns for 2014. More than half of consumers cite “rising food prices” as a barrier to healthy eating§, and 54 percent of consumers agree that “healthy foods are too expensive to eat regularly.”† As a result, shoppers aren’t buying healthier options even when they’re available. In a Nielsen Global Survey, half of U.S. consumers said the availability of organic or nutritionally-enhanced products at grocery had no or next-to-no impact on their grocery purchases in the last year.

Beyond the practicalities of price, however, taste also influences consumers’ food shopping decisions. Half of consumers agreed that “…healthy food should taste good, and I am not willing to give up taste for health.” Given concerns with price and taste, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that when consumers are spending more—such as when dining out—their healthy habits are kicked to the curb. More than 50 percent of consumers say they “splurge” when dining out and give in to cravings.

Of course, another reason for this gap could be the broad nature of health and wellness. Consumers today face a wide range of concerns, problems and diseases—and not every person focuses on every issue. To help consumers balance their desires for healthier lives with their not-so-healthy lifestyles, retailers should consider introducing solutions designed to address specific conditions.

For example, two areas that all ages, but especially Baby Boomers and Matures, cite as the most important wellness aspirations are weight maintenance and heart health. These health-aware population segments recognize that achieving these goals requires taking personal responsibility for managing health through proper nutrition. This finding suggests that advertising and promotional campaigns emphasizing the personal responsibility angle of health and wellness could be highly effective with these groups, especially as satisfaction with America’s healthcare system continues to wane.

The message is clear—Americans are well intentioned when it comes to their health and wellness goals, but their aspirations are not yet reality. We want to be healthier, to eat better, to exercise, we know what we need to do to lead healthier lives, yet our busy lifestyles get in the way. We are looking for solutions, and manufacturers and retailers face a real opportunity to help bridge the gap. By understanding the need of consumers and the obstacles getting in the way of their healthy aspirations, the industry can solve for consumers’ needs and have a positive effect on their health and wellness.

*“Adult Obesity Facts,” Fact Sheet, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 28, 2014. http://www.cdc. gov/obesity/data/adult.html
§Nielsen Global Online Survey—Q1 2012
†Natural Marketing Institute 2013 Health & Wellness Trends Database

Is Your Friday Night Glass Of Wine Contaminated With This Chemical Compound?

glass of wine with lipstick imprintWhy alcohol may be even more damaging to your health then you first thought

We all know what risks our favourite wines and spirits pose to our health but now scientists reveal that the packaging of these drinks may be just as damaging. Is it time to leave that extra bottle of red on the supermarket shelf?

Phthalate compounds are extremely widespread in our environment and are present in many plastics. Though the subject of much debate, the toxicity of phthalates varies depending on their chemical composition and some compounds are fairly unanimously considered to have a major potential as hormone disruptors.

59% of the wines analysed contained significant quantities of one particular form of phthalate, dibutyl phthalate

The use of phthalates is regulated on an international level and includes those likely to come into contact with food and drink packaging. A study published in Food Additives and Contaminants: Part Aanalysed phthalate concentrations in a variety of French wines and spirits.

The research reveals that 59% of the wines analysed contained significant quantities of one particular form of phthalate, dibutyl phthalate, and only 17% did not contain any detectable quantity of at least one of the reprotoxic phthalates. Perhaps a more worrying statistic the research brings to light is that 11% of the wines analysed did not comply with EU specific migration limits (SML) for materials in contact with food.

The study also analysed a variety of materials frequently present in wineries and found that a large number of polymers often contained high quantities of phthalates. Indeed, some containers that are coated in epoxy resin proved to be a major source of contamination. The authors of the paper, P. Chatonnet, S. Boutou and A. Plana, advise ending the use of such containers.

Read the full article, free of charge, online at:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19440049.2014.941947

Gut Bacteria Disruption In Early Life Linked To Obesity In Adulthood

Happy Face Stomach PaintingIt appears that the developing gut bacteria in newborns is even more important than previously thought. Antibiotics and other chemical toxins destroy gut bacteria. As the microbiome develops in humans it also determines how our metabolism gets established and our digestive patterns for life are formed according to a NYU research team and published in Cell.

Acquisition of the intestinal microbiota begins at birth, and a stable microbial community develops from a succession of key organisms. Disruption of the microbiota during maturation by low-dose antibiotic exposure can alter host metabolism and adiposity.

We now show that low-dose penicillin (LDP), delivered from birth, induces metabolic alterations and affects ileal expression of genes involved in immunity. LDP that is limited to early life transiently perturbs the microbiota, which is sufficient to induce sustained effects on body composition, indicating that microbiota interactions in infancy may be critical determinants of long-term host metabolic effects.

In addition, LDP enhances the effect of high-fat diet induced obesity. The growth promotion phenotype is transferrable to germ-free hosts by LDP-selected microbiota, showing that the altered microbiota, not antibiotics per se, play a causal role. These studies characterize important variables in early-life microbe-host metabolic interaction and identify several taxa consistently linked with metabolic alterations.

For further reading:

Altering the Intestinal Microbiota during a Critical Developmental Window Has Lasting Metabolic Consequences
Cox, Laura M; Yamanishi, Shingo; Sohn, Jiho; Alekseyenko, Alexander V; Leung, Jacqueline M; Cho, Ilseung; Kim, Sungheon G; Li, Huilin; Gao, Zhan; Mahana, Douglas; Zarate Rodriguez, Jorge G; Rogers, Arlin B; Robine, Nicolas; Loke, P’ng; Blaser, Martin J
2014 Aug;158(4):705-721, Cell
— id: 1132022, year: 2014, vol: 158, page: 705, stat: Journal Article,

2 Out Of Every 5 Americans Expected To Develop Type 2 Diabetes During Their Lifetime

 

Bad Blood

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology:

Close to half (40%) of the adult population of the USA is expected to develop type 2 diabetes at some point during their lifetime, suggests a major study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. The future looks even worse for some ethnic minority groups, with one in two (> 50%) Hispanic men and women and non-Hispanic black women predicted to develop the disease.

A team of US researchers combined data from nationally representative US population interviews and death certificates for about 600 000 adults to estimate trends in the lifetime risk of diabetes and years of life lost to diabetes in the USA between 1985 and 2011.

Over the 26 years of study, the lifetime risk of developing type 2 diabetes for the average American 20-year-old rose from 20% for men and 27% for women in 1985–1989, to 40% for men and 39% for women in 2000–2011. The largest increases were in Hispanic men and women, and non-Hispanic black women, for whom lifetime risk now exceeds 50%.

Dr Edward Gregg, study leader and Chief of the Epidemiology and Statistics Branch, Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “Soaring rates of diabetes since the late 1980s and longer overall life expectancy in the general population have been the main drivers of the striking increase in the lifetime risk of diabetes over the last 26 years. At the same time, a large reduction in death rates in the US population with diabetes has reduced the average number of years lost to the disease. However, the overwhelming increase in diabetes prevalence has resulted in an almost 50% increase in the cumulative number of years of life lost to diabetes for the population as a whole: years spent living with diabetes have increased by 156% in men and 70% in women.”*

thumb_blood_sugar_blues_coverjpg1He concludes, “As the number of diabetes cases continue to increase and patients live longer there will be a growing demand for health services and extensive costs. More effective lifestyle interventions are urgently needed to reduce the number of new cases in the USA and other developed nations.”*

Writing in a linked Comment, Dr Lorraine Lipscombe from Women’s College Hospital and the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada says, “The trends reported by Gregg and colleagues are probably similar across the developed world, where large increases in diabetes prevalence in the past two decades have been reported…Primary  prevention  strategies  are urgently  needed. Excellent evidence has shown that diabetes can be prevented with lifestyle changes. However, provision of these interventions on an individual basis might not be sustainable. Only a population-based approach to prevention can address a problem of this magnitude. Prevention strategies should include optimisation of urban planning, food-marketing policies, and work and school environments that enable individuals to make healthier lifestyle choices. With an increased  focus on interventions aimed at children and their families, there might still be time to change the fate of our future generations by lowering their risk of type 2 diabetes.”

*Quotes direct from author and cannot be found in text of Article.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(14)70161-5/abstract

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