Is fasting a free health fix – or is it just a fad? | Life and style | The Guardian

Restricting the amount you eat is said to fight disease, extend lifespan and improve wellbeing. As well as dieters, people with diabetes and MS could benefit

Source: Is fasting a free health fix – or is it just a fad? | Life and style | The Guardian

Cheap vitamin D ‘would boost health’

Vitamin-DGreater access to cheap vitamin D supplements would improve the health of at-risk groups, experts say.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) says up to 25% of UK children are vitamin D deficient, leading to a rise in rickets cases.

In the BBC’s Scrubbing Up column, the college’s Prof Mitch Blair called for concerted action to tackle the problem.

The government said those with the greatest need already received free supplements.

The RCPCH said other options to increase vitamin D levels, such as fortifying a wider range of foods, should be considered.

Half of the UK’s white population, and up to 90% of the black and Asian people in the country are thought to be affected by vitamin D deficiency.

The first signs of deficiency include muscle and bone pain as well as swelling around the wrists and ribs.

A lack of the nutrient is linked to a higher incidence of diabetes, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis as well as rickets – a disease that causes bones to become soft and deformed.

The number of cases of rickets has been rising, from 183 in 1996 to 762 in 2011. Continue reading Cheap vitamin D ‘would boost health’

Breast feeding develops Babies gut flora

A new University of Illinois study shows that human milk oligosaccharides, or HMO, produce short-chain fatty acids that feed a beneficial microbial population in the infant gut. Not only that, the bacterial composition adjusts as the baby grows older and its needs change.

Even though HMO are a major component of human milk, present in higher concentration than protein, many of their actions in the infant are not well understood. Furthermore, they’re virtually absent from infant formula. The scientists wanted to find out what formula-fed babies were missing.

“We refer to HMO as the fibre of human milk because we don’t have the enzymes to break down these compounds. They pass into the large intestine where the bacteria digest them. Continue reading Breast feeding develops Babies gut flora