By: Dr. Manuel Schlipf
On: 8 July 2020

Babies are now legally obligated to consume omega-3 fatty acids

The European Union regulates many things, even including the food intake of our babies. Therefore, since February 2020, the omega- 3 fatty acid docosahexaenoicacid (DHA) has to be added to infant formulas (1) Babies need mother’s milk or an appropriate substitute (infant formulas) as an exclusive source of nutrition in the first months of life.  The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life with continued breastfeeding until the child’s age of 24 months (3). When breastfeeding is not possible, infant formulas are available as a substitute to provide all essential nutrients for adequate...

By: Dr. Karina Rosales Ortiz
On: 4 July 2020

Daily Consumption of Foods Rich in Omega 3 Can Benefit Your Mental Health

You may have heard many times that you should follow a Mediterranean diet to maintain good health. The reason behind this recommendation is because of its dietary pattern, which consists of eating each day the following group of anti-inflammatory foods: legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and lean meats such as chicken, turkey, eggs, and fish. Let me first explain what anti-inflammatory nutrients are and what they do. Anti-inflammatory nutrients are nutrients that, when eaten in the right amounts, can lead to a reduction of inflammation in our body. In previous posts, we have explained how inflammation can be bad for...

By: Yangwenshan Ou
On: 4 July 2020

How Do Kefirs Influence the Gut-Brain Axis?

Kefir, a traditional fermented food, originates from Caucasus mountains. Kefir is easily created by mixing milk with kefir grains. These are live microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) that start the fermentation process. Depending on the composition of the kefir grains, you can create many different kefirs. The word kefir is derived from the Turkish word Keyif, which means “good feeling”. Indeed, researchers have found that kefir drinks are related to numerous health benefits, including immunity modulation, cholesterol metabolism, and tumor suppression [1]. Furthermore, kefirs may ameliorate certain psychological issues by modifying the composition of your gut microbiome. Research has shown that...

By: Rebeca Fernández-Carrión
On: 2 July 2020

The Importance of Physical Activity During Lockdown

In the past months, many of us have had to stay home, work from home, and organize social events online, from home. This has led to a great reduction in physical activity, which has negative effects on both our physical and mental health. Moving less can result in gaining weight, and this is especially worrying for people who already have obesity. What’s worse, having obesity is a risk factor for being hospitalized after an infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 pandemic. It is therefore important that people keep exercising, in addition to following a healthy diet, in...

By: Laura Muller
On: 27 June 2020

Treating Food Intolerance and Allergies with the Elimination Diet

Food intolerances and allergies are a growing public health concern. In fact, it is estimated that between 2-20% of the people worldwide may suffer from food intolerances (2) and may be even more prevalent in Western countries, where food allergies affect up to 10 % of the population, especially younger children (3). If you ever experienced discomfort after ingestion of some foods, you may have come across the term ‘elimination diet’. But what is it and how could this be relevant for you? The elimination dietElimination diet describes a short-term diet that is used as a diagnostic or therapeutic instrument...

By: Urmeli Katus
On: 12 May 2020

How the FTO gene increases the risk of obesity

Did you know that in year 2015 more than 100 million children and 600 million adults had obesity? In fact, the prevalence of obesity has almost doubled since 1980 and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down (1). Factors like genetics, biology, individual behaviors such as diet and physical activity, and other influences from an individual’s environment and lifestyle, play a role in the development of obesity (2). Developments in the field of genetics have given us the opportunity to search through an individual’s whole genetic material (called the genome) for small genetic variations that occur more frequently in people...

By: Ekaterina Veniaminova
On: 10 May 2020

Diet Against Atherosclerosis: Focus on Food‐Derived Bioactive Peptides

Atherosclerosis: A Cause of Many DisordersAtherosclerosis, a chronic condition characterized by the accumulation of lipids and fibrous elements in the arteries, is the major cause of cardiovascular disease [1]. Given today’s epidemiological situation, it should be mentioned that people with pre-existing cardiovascular disease appear to be at a higher risk of developing complications of COVID-19 [2]. A healthy diet is one way to reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis. Specifically, research with mouse and rat models has shown that there might be a special advantage of bioactive peptides that can be found for instance in organ meats. Atherosclerosis develops progressively,...

By: Dr. Berit Skretting Solberg
On: 3 May 2020

Calculating your Genetic Risk for Disorders

Would you not like to know which disorder would hit you in your future? To know what to do, if possible, to prevent this disorder from developing? This future scenario is soon to be true, as an increasing number of advertisements of commercial genetic tests invite you to get to know the “truth” about your future health. Twin studies have demonstrated that many human traits and medical conditions are highly heritable. In contrast to some diseases that are caused by one or a few rare genetic variants, most common disorders are polygenic, which means that several common and rare gene...

By: Lin Li, Prof. Henrik Larsson
On: 3 May 2020

Is Maternal Excess Weight or Obesity Prior to Pregnancy a Risk Factor for ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is highly heritable. But in addition to this genetic aspect of ADHD, many environmental risk factors, and potential gene-environment interactions also increase the risk for the disorder [1]. One potential modifiable risk factor for ADHD is excess weight or obesity of the mother before pregnancy. More and more observational studies are investigating this at the moment. However, it is very difficult to determine from these studies whether prior to pregnancy excess weight or obesity really causes ADHD (in other words, to rule out that there is not another factor, called a confounder, that causes both the excess...

By: Dr. Jeanette Mostert
On: 23 April 2020

ADHD and Gut Bacteria: How Mice Can Help Us to Understand Their Link

Can gut bacteria cause ADHD? While there are some signs that the bacteria in our gut play a role in mental health, it is difficult to establish whether – and how – this relationship is causal. By studying mice, researchers have now found that gut bacteria from individuals with ADHD can change the behaviour and brain functioning of mice after they have been given a poo-transplantation from these individuals. This is a first hint that gut bacteria indeed may play a part in the development of ADHD and other mental health conditions. There are many factors that influence our mental...