An Oct 2021 paper in BMJ Nutrition Prevention and Health explored the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and mental wellbeing in school children[i]. This timely research, bearing in mind the progressive increase in childhood mental health problems, highlighted the direct association between fruit and vegetables consumed over breakfast and lunch and their related impact on mental wellbeing. Read the rest of this entry »
A koan (a Zen Buddhist derived a paradoxical anecdote or riddle without a solution) for pandemic times:
‘If a microbe silently and inconsequentially copies itself in a tissue, and the body doesn’t notice, did it actually infect?’ Read the rest of this entry »
The obvious answer is NO, otherwise no one would suffer immune related illness and death.
The ability of your immune system to respond, repel and return to homeostasis after insult has many influencing factors. Yet our long history of survival as a species indicates that our immune response is adaptive and sustaining, subject to its challenges being manageable. This incredible plasticity involves ‘immunological trade-offs’ and shapes disease outcomes at individual and population scales. These ‘trade-offs’ mainly exist at a cellular level and impact the survivability of every organism. They may also be intentional behaviours that impact daily decisions or carefully mediated, innate behaviours. Read the rest of this entry »
As circumstances have demanded, the attention of our health-related recommendations over the last few months has been on the role of lifestyle and environmental impacts on immunity and the ability to resist or respond to viral infections, especially Sars-Cov-2.
The focus, prior to Covid-19 was on non-communicable diseases and the related slower, but equally damaging effects on human health and wellbeing. Whilst infectious risks have obviously been highlighted, at present, one of the most significant discussions among scientists worldwide is the interdependency of escalating environmental risk factors and the increasing rates of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Read the rest of this entry »
Feeling old? Consider the redwoods in the USA. Reaching heights of more than 350 feet, the world’s tallest trees have been on this planet since the days of the dinosaurs. A single specimen can live more than 2,000 years. That’s old enough to make it through from the Roman Empire to the British Empire and an assortment of presidents and prime ministers! Yet the mycelial population that connects all trees and arguably is the formative source of all life, is even older. Read the rest of this entry »
The understanding of what goes wrong in autoimmune disease, and why, is advancing on numerous fronts. One key question that remains, is what makes some people more likely to experience autoimmunity than others?
Gender appears to play a significant part, with autoimmune disease around three times more common in women than in men, with two primary reasons being hormones and chromosomal variations. Read the rest of this entry »
Faced as we are with an infectious and mutating agent of illness, the allied focus on nutritional needs has been to identify foods and nutritional concentrates that confer an immunological advantage. Covid-19 does not treat us equally. Undernourished people have weaker immune systems and may be at greater risk of severe illness due to the virus.
Because iron deficiency degrades non-specific immunity, your body’s first line of defence against pathogens, you are more vulnerable to infection and disease, and other health complications. In fact, frequent infections are a lesser-known symptom of iron deficiency. At the same time, poor metabolic health, including obesity and diabetes, is strongly linked to worse Covid-19 outcomes, including risk of hospitalisation and death. Read the rest of this entry »
Sars-Cov-2 hit at an inauspicious geo-political and geo-environmental moment.
An era of rising nationalism and populism made it frustratingly difficult to mount a collaborative response to a global pandemic. Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Xi Jinping of China, Narendra Modi of India, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, and Donald Trump of the United States stand out. All these leaders (and their executive teams) evinced some combination of parochialism and political insecurity or ideology, which caused them to initially downplay the crisis, ignore the science, or deny its viability, and reject essential international cooperation whilst favouring corporate interests. This ensured their slow and ineffective roll out of immediate viral strategic control. Leading to significant adverse consequences driven by internal political narratives (self or party-protectionism) rather than globally focussed health care. Read the rest of this entry »
As we in the UK move to a progressively relaxed series of social constraints, many are focussing on their proposed re-engagement with previous patterns of work and social life, others are seeking to hybridise their futures, and some have taken the opportunity to re-invent.
Many however, have experienced a change in circumstance and health status so profound, that they can see no easy way to reconnect with a life filled with potential or at least a life that they previously coped with. This appears to be especially true in the arena of mental health, social engagement, and the attainment of internal contentment. Read the rest of this entry »
The source of the Sars-Cov-2 virus has to date been suggested to have either ‘spilled’ over from wildlife to humans, i.e bat to human transmission (zoonotic), or to have emerged, without direct animal transfer from a virology research lab in Wuhan China. Other proposals of origination have yet to make their way into collective consciousness, but no doubt there are some lurking at the edge of plausibility! The research community already accepts that ‘natural spillovers’ occur, these have been recorded for many decades, and highlighted in books and journals that they can cause dangerous and transmissible outbreaks, so scientists do not need any further proof for this proposal. Read the rest of this entry »