By: Prokopis Konstanti
On: 12 May 2019

The bacteria in your gut affect blood insulin levels and may influence your chances of developing type 2 diabetes

Developing type 2 diabetes is for a large part influenced by your diet but also genes. However, a recent study has now shown that your gut microorganisms might also play an important role in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D). The article published in Nature Genetics entitled “Causal relationships among the gut microbiome, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA’s) and metabolic diseases”, claims evidence that bacterial metabolites such as SCFA’s are able to influence insulin levels and increase the risk of getting T2D. Various studies have suggested that increased SCFA production benefits the host by exerting anti-obesity and antidiabetic effects,...

By: Dr. Margus Kanarik
On: 6 May 2019

What makes us crave (junk)food?

Why do some people have a higher craving for carbohydrate-rich and junk-food than others? Why are weight-loss programs more effective in some individuals than others? And why are some people more physically active? The dopamine system in the brain plays an important role in regulating how much you eat and whether or not you gain weight. When this system does not function optimally, people have a higher craving for junk-food, lower physical activity and unsuccessful body weight control. There are, by large, two mechanisms that determine food-related behaviour. The more direct, homeostatic, mechanism constantly surveys the body’s energetic needs and...

By: Hannah Kurtz
On: 2 May 2019

Does yoga help with psychological complaints?

The popularity of yoga practice has risen sharply in recent years. In 2006, already 2.6 million people in Germany practiced yoga regularly (1). The arguments for yoga are widely spread in the population, for example the energy and immune function are increased and back pain, arthritis and stress are relieved (2). For others, the practice of yoga is an important factor in doing something good for themselves, while for others the discipline and control of the body is more in focus. But, where does yoga come from?The yoga tradition originates from India, the religion of Buddhism, and has a philosophical...

By: Dr. Lizanne Schweren
On: 29 April 2019

Why do we eat what we eat? The role of genetics

We, human beings in Western society, make over 200 food choices each day (1). That’s a lot! Fortunately (or, according to others, unfortunately), we don’t actually have to think about each and every one of them, or at least not consciously. If our food choices are not so much a conscious decision, then how do we make them? A lot has been written about external factors influencing our food choices, for instance alluring displays in supermarkets or the availability of unhealthy foods in our day-by-day environment. In this blog, I will address the potential role of genetics on food choices:...

By: Dr. Lizanne Schweren
On: 11 April 2019

How does ADHD medication change your appetite?

Loss of appetite is among the most common side effects of stimulant for ADHD. Across studies, approximately 20% of patients with ADHD who were treated with stimulants reported a loss of appetite [1,2]. Weight loss is also quite common, as are digestive problems [3]. Together, such side effects are often referred to as “gastro-intestinal adverse events”. But why do stimulants change the way we go about eating? And what could this tell us about ADHD itself? Appetite can arise in response to physical cues, such as an empty stomach or low blood sugar. Psychological cues can also influence our appetite;...

By: Joanna Szopinska-Tokov
On: 9 April 2019

A 3-minute pitch on gut bacteria and ADHD

Recently, I participated in the Radboud Talks 2019, a scientific pitch competition, where I was lucky to be one of the eight finalists. Why Radboud Talks? It is a perfect opportunity to share my work/ideas with the world and to gain more experience regarding presentation skills. They organized two workshops beforehand, where I had the opportunity to learn presentation techniques from professionals (actors and science communication advisors). We also got a lot of feedback, so I really learned a lot about how to present my scientific work to a general audience. Below you can find the video from the preliminaries...

By: Prof. Liv Grimstvedt Kvalvik
On: 26 March 2019

Can smoking cessation increase mental well-being?

Cigarette smoking may give immediate pleasure, but is dangerous for your health.  Smoking may be seen as a way to deal with feelings like anxiety and stress and may be viewed as a way of coping with everyday life. Smoking a cigarette may also be used as a reward, and as part of celebration of big and small victories. But what happens to your mental well-being if you quit smoking? Smoke cessation is one of the best things, if not the best, you can do for your health! Smoking is ranked as the second leading cause of death by a...

By: Lin Li
On: 19 March 2019

Investigating the shared genetic effects between ADHD and unhealthy dietary intake

We have discussed the association between ADHD and obesity in our first blog (newbrainnutrition.com/adhd-and-obesity-does-one-cause-the-other/), briefly summarized, evidence from various study designs suggested that shared etiological factors might contribute to the above association. Recently, a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) on risk genes for ADHD reported a significant genetic correlation between ADHD and higher risk of overweight and obesity, increased BMI, and higher waist-to-hip ratio, which further supported that there could be genetic overlap between obesity and ADHD (1).   Considering the previously described occurrence of unhealthy dietary intake in children and adolescents with ADHD in our second blog (newbrainnutrition.com/how-does-adhd-relate-to-unhealthy-dietary-habits-the-role-of-food-addiction/), along...

By: Gara Arteaga-Henríquez
On: 6 March 2019

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and gut microbiota

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with an estimated prevalence rate of 5.3% among children and of about 2.5% among adults. It is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity, being associated with significant impairment of social, academic, and occupational functioning across the lifespan. However, despite many efforts, the exact etiology of ADHD still remains unknown and data about modificable risk and protective factors are largely lacking. Recent evidence has suggested an association between inflammation, immunological disturbances and ADHD. Supporting this idea, an increased incidence of immune-mediated disorders (e.g. asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, allergic conjunctivitis, psoriasis,...

By: Dr. Inga Villa, Urmeli Katus
On: 25 February 2019

Insulin resistance at a young age predicts metabolic problems later in life

The food choices we make, how much we exercise and the amount of body fat we have affects our health already at a young age. Although seemingly healthy, our metabolism might tell a different story. This can already be seen at a young age. The Estonian Children Personality Behaviour and Health Study (ECPBHS) started 20 years ago in 1998 and has since measured the participants’ body composition and assessed their metabolic abnormalities, such as insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, at ages 15, 18, 25 and 33 years. Insulin resistance is a state in which the body does not respond to...