CNM pioneers online natural health diploma courses

Responding to the current worldwide health challenges, the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM) is now offering online its internationally recognised diploma and short courses to overwhelming positive response from the public.

CNM graduates and students know:

  • that a healthy and robust body can resist infections better and return to health faster
  • that a strong immune system is important
  • how to boost the immune system naturally

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A popular choice to support Autumn immunity

The global pandemic has meant that more people have turned to nutritional supplements to help support their wellbeing during these extraordinary times. This year the health industry has seen an incredible surge in sales of vitamin C supplements to such an extent that a global shortage of vitamin C supplements was experienced for short periods of time. Now, many households are choosing to stock up on their favourite vitamin C supplement to ensure they have a plentiful supply across the upcoming Autumn and Winter months.

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Homeworkers urged to get on their feet

Researchers have discovered a link between premature death and prolonged sitting and are consequently urging homeworkers to move more to improve their health.

The researchers from the University of Leicester carried out a survey during lockdown which revealed that working from home had led to an increase in sitting time, less time standing and an increase in musculoskeletal issues. The results also showed that the likelihood of dying early increases gradually when spending 7.5 to 9 hours per day sitting, with the threat increasing more steeply after 9.5 hours of sitting per day. Those spending 12 hours per day sitting down had nearly three times the chance of dying early when compared to those who spend 7.5 hours per day or less sitting down.

As a result of their findings, the researchers have developed a free programme to help employees sit less and move more throughout the working day. The SMART Work programme includes an interactive online education session on the consequences of sitting too much, gives individuals tools to estimate their sitting time and prompts people to get out of their chair more regularly.

Dr Charlotte Edwardson, a leading researcher on sedentary behaviour at the University of Leicester, said that people who sit a lot need between 30 and 75 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day to mitigate the risk of high sitting time.

She said: “We know that many people cannot fit this level of physical activity into their daily lives, but what we can do is break up long bouts of sitting with light activity. It is critical that we educate as many people as we can to try and break our bad habit of prolonged sitting.”

Study sheds light on UK’s eating habits

A new survey from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has shed light on the eating habits of both children and adults throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey reveals that 50 per cent of primary school children and 26 per cent of secondary school students said that they feel better or healthier now that they are back at school, while 27 per cent of adults said they feel more healthy since lockdown restrictions were eased (July) compared with during the lockdown that started in March this year.

The survey also indicates the extent to which adults and secondary school children have turned to comfort foods and drinks throughout the pandemic. Nearly half (46 per cent) of adults and 43 per cent of secondary school students said that they have consumed more chocolate when feeling tired, stressed, bored or anxious throughout the Covid-19 outbreak. The most popular comfort foods also included cakes, biscuits, crisps and sugary drinks.

The survey explored consumption of fruit and vegetables among the different age groups and found that children reported eating more fruit than adults, while adults reported consuming more vegetables. One in 10 primary school children and 7 per cent of secondary school students said that, if they could, they would eat no vegetables at all.

Primary school children who took part in the survey were asked to name their three favourite vegetables. The clear winner was carrots, followed by beetroot, cauliflower and cucumber. Parsnips, swede and pak choi were joint last in the list.

Fatty acids may benefit mental performance

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), a form of dietary fat, could boost the mental performance of sports people and could also offer hope for dementia patients, according to new research.

For years those engaged with sport have used carbohydrate-heavy glucose gels to provide energy to fatigued muscles. Now a different type of sachet gel rich in ‘Decanoic’ fatty acid, or ‘C10’, a type of MCT, has been analysed by experts at Liverpool Hope University.

Lead researcher Jake Ashton notes ‘significant improvements to cognitive performance’ among test subjects after just two weeks of taking the Nuroco gels. Ashton says the results could make a difference to sports people who need to concentrate and think quickly under pressure. He adds that the study could have implications for both dementia and diabetes patients, too, as they could also see a ‘clear benefit’.

While the research has not yet been published, writing about his preliminary results Ashton concludes: “The present study aimed to determine if MCTs with a ratio favouring C10 improved cognition in healthy individuals, and if so, quantify the ideal dose and time frame to elicit these improvements. Our data suggests that these MCTs do appear to improve cognitive performance in healthy individuals after a minimum of two to three weeks, with minimal difference seen between ingesting 12g and 18g of MCTs per day. MCTs have a clear benefit in diseased and/or healthy populations by either slowing down or masking precludes cognitive decline. This study has shown this positive intervention can also be spread to healthy, young individuals.”

Study highlights importance of exercise before menopause

Exercising before the menopause is important for women in order to develop muscle strength, new research has shown. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen discovered that post-menopausal women lose the ability to grow the small blood vessels in muscles (capillaries), which are necessary for building muscle. The researchers attributed this to the drop in oestrogen levels which occurs during the menopause, as oestrogen has a protective effect on the heart and blood vessels.

The study involved a group of older women (over 60 years old) and younger women (around 25 years old). The women underwent a series of physical tests, and the researchers obtained muscle biopsies to isolate the blood vessel cells and muscle cells for analysis. The older women then completed eight weeks of regular cycling training at moderate to high intensity. The women were tested for fitness and several other parameters before and after the training. After the training period, muscle samples were again obtained and analysed.

Ageing is known to lead to a loss of capillaries in the muscle, an effect which, in men, has been shown to be counteracted by a physically active lifestyle. However, this new study suggests that women do not attain capillary growth as readily and that an underlying cause may be a flaw in the cells that make up capillaries. It is important to underline that both men and women have a vast benefit from being physically active throughout life, regardless of age, but the current study supports the idea that women may benefit from being physically active before menopause, while they still have oestrogen, so that they have a good physical starting point as they get older. The research was published in The Journal of Physiology.

Women’s health affected more by lockdown

The UK lockdown has had an unequal impact on the nation’s health and wellbeing, with women being most likely to suffer. The study, commissioned by wearable tech company Garmin, showed that less than half of men have felt energy slumps since lockdown, while women feel consistently more drained. Some 65 per cent of women have experienced a lack of energy, leading to them feeling tired, unproductive and sometimes depressed.

Young people are also taking the brunt of the impact, with 74 per cent having less energy under current conditions, compared to 67 per cent in 2019.

While lockdown has been a positive experience for some, the findings highlight the longer-term impact the extended restrictions are having on the health and wellbeing of many across the UK. Sleep, on the other hand, has seen an improvement, with people saying they’ve been getting more shut-eye during lockdown compared to last year.

While in 2019, nearly 60 per cent of people blamed a lack of sleep for their low energy, lockdown saw this figure drop nearly 10 per cent. One in five people even said they were getting a good night’s sleep every single night during lockdown, double the number who were doing so in 2019. That number goes up even higher for men, with a quarter saying they constantly enjoyed a good night’s sleep, compared to 16 per cent of women.

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