We, the public, are told to take responsibility for our own health – but do we have the information available to us to make an informed decision? In this digital age most people turn to the internet to obtain health-related information. Whilst some information on the internet is accurate, some may be skewed to prove the author’s point of view, and some make unproven/false claims in an effort to get hold of our money. It seems that every day we are told about the benefits of certain food items, diets, or activity. But what is the truth?
By trade the writers of LifeScienceReview are patient safety consultants and regularly review research articles which have been published in one of the 250,000+ scientific journal titles that appear either weekly, monthly or quarterly. In the blog we give you the findings of the latest published medical and scientific research which links food and lifestyle choices with medical conditions. All the research has been undertaken by healthcare professionals/scientists in medical departments and/or university research departments, and every article referred to in this blog has been published in peer reviewed medical and scientific journals. The journal reference of the published medical or scientific article has been included for those of you who want to read further.
Since starting the blog it seems to have taken on a mind of its own – to the extent that in late 2019 a massive revamp was undertaken. In the beginning the plan was not to include articles but then results of studies were being included which required research on our part and so articles in the form of further information started to appear, eg the “circadian rhythm”, “endocrine disrupting chemicals”, etc. There is also further information on gut bacteria (the “microbiome”) which may explain conflicting results in similar studies.
The first book review has also appeared. The book entitled “Pain and Prejudice” covers the gender bias that has existed in medical research. An example of gender bias cited is that in the early 60s it was observed that women tended to have lower rates of heart disease until their oestrogen levels dropped after the menopause. Research was carried out to see whether oestrogen supplementation was an effective preventive treatment.; however, the study enrolled 8,341 men and zero women. In recent years there has been a concerted effort for this gender bias to change and it is for this reason that only research published since 2017 has been included.
Despite this gender bias though scientific research has shown that:
- The progression of many chronic diseases such as cardiac disease and some cancers may potentially be reversed by making lifestyle modifications.
- Genetics is not always destiny and gene expression can be turned on or off by nutritional choices, levels of social support, stress reduction activities such as meditation, and exercise.
- Our environment influences our health—the environment outside our body rapidly becomes the environment inside the body.
“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food” is a quote attributed to Hippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine and it clearly establishes a link between diet and a person’s overall health and wellbeing. Although the quote was made over 2,400 years ago it is just as true today as it was way back then.
Please note, however, that we do not give advice. That is for your doctor to do so please talk to him/her before embarking on any diet or activity. He knows your medical history, we don’t.