Category Archives: Featured

H Pylori, stomach acid and gastric cancer

In a previous post I talked about the importance of stomach acid and how most stomach acid problems tend to be due to a lack of it rather than an excess (excess acid, it would appear, tends to be a rare thing). One of the causative factors of excess stomach access is the bacteria helicobacter pylori, but rather bizarrely H. pylori is also linked to low stomach acid, too. So, what exactly is going on? Before I get to that let’s take  closer look at the bacteria itself. In the first of two posts I’ll be taking a look at the bacteria, how it can cause stomach cancer and more importantly, to my mind, how it affects stomach acid and the dietary implications of this.

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Death by Food Pyramid by Denise Minger

Conventional nutrition guidance has taken a battering in recent years. Many of the ideas  that have been drummed into our psyches; the notion that saturated fat is bad, cholesterol is bad, vegetable oils and whole grains are healthy have been turned on their heads. Not though you would notice, as it seems to business as usual at many of the institutions the public look to for information.

The United States Department of Agriculture is one such institution that finds itself in the position of both promoting U.S. agriculture whilst providing advice about what constitutes a healthy diet. If those two things seem contradictory to you, it’s because you possess a functional brain, and what better way to engage that grey matter of yours than to read Death by Food Pyramid?

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Starting Strength 3rd Edition by Mark Rippetoe

Having seen only a few YouTube videos and maybe an article or two by him on the bodybuilding site T-Nation I know little of the man outside of seeing his name often bandied about the internet but his first chapter would certainly look at home in any number of paleo/primal exercise books. We are animals, products of evolution and our bodies are poorly adapted for modern life. Just as dogs need to walk, horses run and monkeys climb, we need…. Well, at least according to Rippetoe we need to stimulate our bodies sufficiently the way they expect to be after countless millennia of evolution.

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The Chemicals in Your Food

Do you worry about α-(5,6-dimethylbenzimidazolyl)cobamidcyanide and how much of it is in your food? What about (2S)-2-[(4-{[(2-amino-4-hydroxypteridin-6-yl)methyl]amino}phenyl)formamido]pentanedioic acid or even (3β,5Z,7E)-9,10-secocholesta-5,7,10(19)-trien-3-ol? It’s something that often crosses my mind. And if you’re living in Europe (and a few other countries) you have a whole raft of E numbers to deal with, too. What about E100 or the ubiquitous E300? Though, no doubt, each country comes with its own list of chemicals and additives.

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The Importance of Stomach Acid

The thought of stomach acid, for many, no doubt evokes memories of spicy meals or having eaten too much. Maybe the occasional episode of heart burn and for many the terms acid reflux and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) will come to mind. Another word that tends to crop up time and time again is ‘excess’. It’s easy to see why.  Walk into any pharmacy or supermarket and you can easily find scores of over-the-counter medicines and remedies to help soothe away or block excess stomach acid. TV commercials promoting such products are rife, so it’s little wonder that the assumption that digestive issues are all to do with excess acid is a commonly held belief. But what about low stomach acid? Never heard of it? You’re not alone.  Surprisingly, low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) is a common occurrence, much more common in fact than excess stomach acid. Indeed, it may be that the vast majority of people who believe they are suffering from ‘excess’ stomach acid are really actually suffering from the opposite. This, at first, might seem hard to swallow but let’s take a look at the evidence.
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GoPro: a new eye on conservation?

If you’ve heard of GoPro at all you’ll most likely think of extreme sports, base jumping, sky diving, motor cross etc. For me, I first became aware of the name through friends who spend the winter snowboarding in northern Japan. For the uninitiated, GoPro is variously described as a sports action camera, a high-definition personal camera or simply a wearable camera, and wearable they certainly are, as they are tiny, but more about that later.

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Binge Drinking – A single episode can adversely affect health

Once is all it takes. At least that’s what a new study from the University of Massachusetts Medical School on binge drinking suggests.

The study published online in PLOS ONE suggests that a single binge drinking event, where blood alcohol concentration rises to 0.08g/dL or above, can bring about an immune response that could potentially impact on the health of an otherwise healthy individual.

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The Stomach – A Quick Primer

The closest most people come to learning about the stomach and what it does is probably a hazy memory of school biology class and the idea that it breaks down food. Whilst that’s certainly true, there’s a whole lot more to it than that. Contrary to popular belief the stomach is not the be-all and end-all of digestion. As we have already seen, digestion begins in the mouth and later we’ll see how digestion is ‘completed’ in the small intestine. So, what exactly goes on in the stomach?

In the first instance, it acts as a temporary storage container or a kind of buffering chamber that holds food until it can be passed on for further processing, meaning that a large meal can be consumed fairly quickly and then held until it is ready to be digested. The food doesn’t just sit there, though, it undergoes both physical processing, as the stomach churns up the food through muscle contraction, and enzymatic breakdown, primarily denaturing and cleaving proteins.

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Digestion Digested

The human digestive system is a massively complex system that can fall afoul of any number of diseases and conditions. As if that wasn’t bad enough it also suffers from many misconceptions, false beliefs and myths. We rely on it every day of our lives and take great interest in what goes in one end, and sometimes what comes out the other, but what do we know about what goes on in between?

We all know that the main function of the digestive system is to break down food into its constituent nutrients; sugars, amino acids, fats etc so that they can be absorbed and used by our bodies as either energy or building materials, but how exactly does it go about doing this?

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Hormesis: Nature Steel Thyself

Ever wondered exactly why is exercise good for you? What does it do? How about green tea or garlic? Just why are they good for our health? Well, the answer may just turn out to be something called hormesis. Never heard of it? Don’t worry, you are not alone, but if the work being carried out by pioneers like Prof Ed Calabrese and his team bears out then everything from textbooks, to the practice of medicine, toxicology and the way we think about health may have to be rewritten. So, what exactly is hormesis?

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