By: Yvonne Willemsen
On: 2 July 2020

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Globally, between 2013 and 2018, 43% of newborns were breastfed within one hour after birth, and 41% were exclusively breastfed up until six months of age (WHO & UNICEF, 2019). The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, and continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods for up to 2 years and beyond. Why is that? After birth, breast milk is often the first source of nutrition for an infant. Mother’s milk is fine-tuned to the needs of the developing infant. As such, breastfeeding plays an important role in early development and health. First, breastfeeding...

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: Elena Koch, Dr. Jeanette Mostert
On: 27 May 2020

How we measure behavior outside of the laboratory

Imagine that you are a researcher who wants to know if daily physical activity training can improve mood and mental health in individuals with ADHD. Ideally – from a research perspective – you would keep these individuals at your laboratory for a couple weeks, monitor everything they do, and ask them repeatedly how they feel. This setting is very controlled, and you are sure that your participants will do the exercise exactly as they are supposed to do. However, spending weeks in a laboratory would be very unpleasant for the research participants, and very unfeasible. The alternative is to make...

By: Lin Li
On: 20 May 2020

ADHD medication during pregnancy

For women who use medication, being pregnant can raise a lot of questions and concerns. “Should I discontinue stimulants when I am pregnant?” “Is it harmful to my developing baby if I take ADHD medications during my pregnancy?” “What are the risks both to me and my baby if my ADHD goes untreated?” “What is the best way to manage my ADHD during pregnancy?”. We recently investigated all currently published evidence about the safety of ADHD medication use while pregnant. Based on this information, we concluded that using ADHD medication during pregnancy does not seem to have any serious consequences...

By: Dr. Lizanne Schweren
On: 18 May 2020

The few-foods diet for the treatment of ADHD: yay or nay?

The Few-Foods Diet approach It has been suggested that for a subgroup of children and adolescents with ADHD, symptoms may be the result of hypersensitivity to certain foods (Pelsser et al. 2009). To define whether or not food is a trigger for ADHD, children can undergo an individualised few-foods diet procedure (also often called and ‘elimination diet‘). The procedure starts with a highly restrictive phase, in which the child eats only very few foods. If the child responds well (i.e., if ADHD symptoms subside or even disappear), foods are re-introduced one by one to find which foods are causing the...

By: Dr. Jeanette Mostert
On: 13 May 2020

Morning larks, night owls and mental health

Are you a morning or an evening person? Your chronotype is linked to your preference of when you go to sleep and when you are most productive during the day. “Larks” are generally 2-3 hours ahead, they feel and function better during the first half of the day and go to bed rather early. “Owls” prefer to work in the evenings and tend to go to bed and wake up later. The third chronotype is the in-between, balanced version of these two. Your chronotype is linked to your circadian rhythm which is your inner clock that regulates your sleep/wake cycle...

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: Prof. Bru Cormand
On: 11 May 2020

Some genes make us vulnerable to more than one psychiatric condition

The burden of chronic diseases on patients and society has overtaken the burden of infectious diseases, and psychiatric disorders are among the top ones, contributing to 23% of those years lived with disability over the lifespan. To make it even worse, mental conditions do not usually come alone, but they tend to co-occur in patients, and this greatly reduces life expectancy. But what is the reason for that? Certain behavioral traits or psychiatric conditions may facilitate the advent of other pathologies (for example, the impulsivity that is a characteristic of ADHD is a risk factor for substance use disorders), or...

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...