A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health demonstrated how healthy food diet, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors for chronic disease contribute to deaths in the USA. Although these are statistics from the USA they will correlate to how healthy food diet, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors for chronic disease contribute to deaths in the UK.
The numbers of preventable and premature deaths each year in the USA are due to the following causes:
Apart from stopping smoking, the rest of the risk factors can be reduced through making changes to your diet, eating more healthy food and lifestyle. Find out how you can reduce your blood pressure, lose weight, reduce your blood sugar and cholesterol and increase your omega 3 intake through a nutritional therapy consultation with Steve Hines.
The Nurses Health Study carried out by Harvard Medical School is a study that has followed over 150,000 nurses over the last 30 years looking at their healthy food diet and what diseases they suffer from. There are a number of surprising findings that have been established from this research.
Most importantly this research established that adopting eating healthy foods and five simple behaviours could reduce the risk of heart disease by 83% in women.
The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study that began in 1986 aimed to evaluate the impact of healthy food nutrition and lifestyle factors on men’s health. This all-male study was designed to complement the all-female Nurses' Health Study. Over 51,000 men have been surveyed every two years on topics like smoking, physical activity, and medications taken and how they relate to serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and other vascular diseases.
Here are some of the results:
Lyon Diet Heart Study tested the effectiveness of the Mediterranean healthy food diet in people that had previously suffered a heart attack. After 4 years those that followed the Mediterranean diet had between 50-70% decreased risk of another heart attack, angina, stroke and death even though cholesterol levels did not change.
Perhaps it can. In 2003 doctors thought up a pill to reduce heart disease. This pill contained 6 compounds that were known to help reduce heart disease: 3 blood pressure medications, a statin, aspirin and folic acid. This “poly pill” was projected to reduce heart disease by 80%. However the costs and potential “cocktail” effects of the drugs used in such pills might not be a viable option for most people.
Another group of researchers came up with a tastier, healthy food and cheaper concept - the polymeal. By simply eating a meal that contained the seven top heart healthy foods together on a daily basis could reduce heart disease by a further 75%. This equated to an extra 7 years of life for men and 5 years for women.
Winter Season Supplements
If you live north of 40-degree latitude (i.e. anywhere in the UK) the suns ultraviolet light is not strong enough to synthesise vitamin D in the skin during the winter. As people tend to get more colds and flu in the winter months there may be a correlation with vitamin D deficiency. The Canadian government are now looking at vitamin D as protection against swine flu. A 25(OH)D test costs about £40 and is a cheap functional marker of immune health. If you have low levels of vitamin D supplement with vitamin D. E-mail me to find out the best way to boost your vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D is also extremely important for bone health, neurological health weight loss and autoimmune disorders. Unless you get a lot of exposure to sunlight or eat lots of oily fish chances are you are vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin C has anti-microbial and viracidal effects and has been shown to increase natural killer cell (immune cell) function by up to 200-400%.Take 1-4 gram of vitamin C a day.
Glutamine is the amino acid of the immune system and it is well known that blood levels of glutamine drop with infections. Take 1 scoop (10g) of glutamine every 1-2 hours in a glass of water if you feel yourself coming down with a cold.
Friendly bacteria in the gut set up a relationship with and boost the immune system. For example, a study from Pediatrics, July 2009, showed daily dietary probiotic supplementation for 6 months was a safe effective way to reduce incidence and duration of fever, rhinorrhea, cough and antibiotic use in children. If you have to take antibiotics this winter which kill bacteria – good or bad – take at least a 1 week course of high strength probiotics to re-establish friendly bacteria levels.
Research has shown the use of echinacea reduced the duration of colds by a day-and-a-half. Echinacea taken alongside vitamin C reduced getting a cold by 86%. When echinacea was used alone it reduced getting a cold by 65%. Take a good quality echinacea supplement. E-mail me to find out a good quality brand.
Steve Hines Nutritional Therapy consultant.