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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CBD improves blood flow to the brain

A single dose of cannabidiol (CBD) was found to help increase blood flow to parts of the brain linked with memory and emotion, a new study has shown.

Researchers from University College London say the findings could be an important discovery for conditions which affect memory, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Lead author, Dr Michael Bloomfield (UCL Psychiatry) said: “Cannabidiol is one of the main constituents of cannabis and is gaining interest for its therapeutic potential.”

For the randomised controlled study, 15 healthy young adult participants, with little or no history of cannabis use were selected. On different occasions, separated by at least a week, each participant was given a 600mg of oral CBD or a placebo. The doses came in identical capsules, so participants didn’t know which one they were taking on which occasion. The researchers then used MRI scanning to measure blood flow to the brain.

The researchers found that CBD significantly increased blood flow in the hippocampus, an important area of the brain associated with memory and emotion. However, it did not cause significant differences in blood flow in other regions of the medial temporal lobe (MTL), of which the hippocampus is a significant component. In the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain used for planning and decision making, CBD caused a significant increase in blood flow in the orbitofrontal cortex.

Dr Bloomfield said: “To our knowledge, this is the first study to find that CBD increases blood flow to key regions involved in memory processing, particularly the hippocampus. If replicated, these results could lead to further research across a range of conditions characterised by changes in how the brain processes memories, including Alzheimer’s disease, where there are defects in the control of blood control flow, along with schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Research reveals UK’s healthy lifestyle goals

Eating more healthily, exercising at home and drinking less alcohol are the UK’s three main lifestyle goals, according to new research.

The study, which was commissioned by personal trainer matching app Fitain, examined what people’s health and fitness goals were since lockdown restrictions have eased. The top goal for more than a third of people was to eat more healthily, while over a quarter of respondents chose exercising at home, and drinking less alcohol was the aim for 15 per cent of people.

Outdoor exercise was the aim of the game for some, with 15 per cent saying they would start or continue cycling, and 12 per cent aiming to start or continue running. Despite gyms now being open, only one in 10 people vowed to join one, with some even saying they would rather build their own home gym.

Covid-19 worries have led to increased interest in alternative therapies

The global pandemic has led to an increased interest in alternative therapies and natural remedies among the UK public, according to a new study.

The research, carried out by YouGov for omega-3 supplement brand MINAMI®, revealed that nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of respondents claimed to be more open to alternative therapies since the outbreak of Covid-19. One of the main motivations for respondents researching natural remedies was a feeling of stress and anxiety.

The study of over 2,000 people found that the most popular alternative therapies and wellness practices included meditation and mindfulness (38 per cent), intermittent fasting (23 per cent) and CBD (20 per cent).

However, there still appears to be much confusion around the subject of CBD, with nearly 10 per cent of 18 to 24-year olds believing taking CBD gets you high and five per cent still believing that CBD is illegal in the UK.

Dr Julie Moltke, medical doctor and author of A Quick Guide to CBD said of the research: “It’s no surprise that the likes of CBD and meditation, both associated with relaxation and a reduction in stress and anxiety, come out on top at such a challenging time. Whilst it’s great that individuals are proactively exploring natural remedies and rituals, it’s important to ensure you’re using trusted resources and experts, particularly in the case of CBD, which many still find confusing.”

Pycnogenol may reduce frequency and severity of migraines

Daily supplementation with the French maritime pine bark extract, Pycnogenol, may help to decrease the frequency and severity of migraines, a new peer-reviewed pilot study has shown.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), migraines are one of the 10 most disabling medical conditions, with an estimated 6 million UK sufferers.

The study, which was published in the Panminerva Medica journal, tested 67 participants who suffered from migraine and moderate headache for eight weeks. Three groups were tested, including a control group following standard management of oral magnesium, riboflavin and lipoic acid; a test group that supplemented with 150mg of Pycnogenol daily along with standard management; and another test group prescribed with the generic migraine medication, topiramate.

Participants were asked to rank their migraine symptoms. The results showed that the Pycnogenol test group reported greater improvements of their migraine symptoms, including a 61 per cent decreased frequency of migraine attacks (compared to an eight per cent increase in attacks in the control group and a 33 per cent decrease in the topiramate group. The Pycnogenol group also reported a 39 per cent easing of migraine-induced discomfort (compared to 25 per cent in the control group and 37 per cent in the topiramate group).

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Vitamin C could help over-50s retain muscle mass

Vitamin C could be the key to better muscles in later life, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The study shows that older people who eat plenty of vitamin C – commonly found in citrus fruits, berries and vegetables – have the best skeletal muscle mass. This is important because people tend to lose skeletal muscle mass as they get older, leading to sarcopenia (a condition characterised by loss of skeletal muscle mass and function), frailty and reduced quality of life.

The research team studied data from more than 13,000 people aged between 42 and 82. They calculated their skeletal muscle mass and analysed their vitamin C intakes from a seven-day food diary. They also examined the amount of vitamin C in their blood.

Dr Richard Hayhoe, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “We studied a large sample of older Norfolk residents and found that people with the highest amounts of vitamin C in their diet or blood had the greatest estimated skeletal muscle mass, compared to those with the lowest amounts. We are very excited by our findings as they suggest that dietary vitamin C is important for muscle health in older men and women and may be useful for preventing age-related muscle loss. This is particularly significant as vitamin C is readily available in fruits and vegetables, or supplements, so improving intake of this vitamin is relatively straightforward.”

The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition.

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