Coffee drinking is a norm across the globe, even among nations that are seen as traditionally being tea drinkers. Over 50% of American adults drink coffee daily despite the fact that coffee had been considered to be bad for your health for many decades. The fact is that coffee actually has health benefits and according to experts, these benefits outweigh the health risks. Many of the health risks associated with coffee are unfounded. However, as with any food or drink, too much of coffee can definitely have an adverse impact on your health. A cup or two of coffee daily is well within the safe limits and likely to offer you some of the health benefits associated with this popular drink.
Nutrition's Articles Archives
Many infectious diseases are spread through contaminated food and water. But it is not only contracted in restaurants and from street food vendors. Transmission of viruses, bacteria and its toxins as well as other parasites through food and water can occur in the home just as much as in commercial kitchens. The risk is significantly greater when traveling to countries where the hygiene standards are not the same as most developed countries. However, even in the most developed nation the risk of foodborne and waterborne illnesses are always present although to a significantly lesser degree.
So what can you do to ensure that you minimize the chances of feeding your family and yourself contaminated food and water? Just a few simple measures can make a big difference in the home and even prove to be lifesaving when traveling abroad.
Eating like a diabetic is often said to be the way that every person should eat, even non-diabetics. Certain foods affect glucose levels in different ways. But the body of a non-diabetic is able to intervene to prevent sudden spikes (sharp increases) in blood glucose levels. Diabetics cannot do so as efficiently. Therefore foods that can rapidly increase blood glucose levels have to be avoided. But these problem foods are not always as obvious as one would think. Refined sugar is a problem in diabetes but so are many other foods that may not have a sweet taste. Simply going by foods which taste sweeter than others is a careless way to control your diet if you are a diabetic.
Most of us just worry about the taste of the food we are eating. Is it well spiced? Does it have enough salt? But for people with allergies, every meal is a potential obstacle course of what to eat, not eat or sample with caution. Food allergies are not uncommon. It is often seen in children, many of whom outgrow it. But allergies can be just as much of a problem for adults and the dietary and even lifestyle changes that follow can be a bother. Remember that allergens are not only in foods. More commonly allergens are in the environment and when airborne, it can be inhaled and trigger an allergic reaction. However, food allergies are more likely to trigger a severe allergic reaction than airborne allergens.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is one of the many micronutrients that our body needs to stay healthy. In fact, vitamin C has a host of benefits that can also keep you living for longer. It is not just about taking mega doses of vitamin C when you have a cold or flu. Your body needs a constant supply of vitamin C on a daily basis. While vitamin C is abundant in a number of foods, the modern diet is at times lacking in vitamin C. But just how important is vitamin C? Does it really serve such an important function in the body? Or is vitamin C supplementation another hype on the part of the health product industry.
Every few months there is a new diet making waves in the media. For many people trying to lose weight, fad diets appear to offer new hope in achieving their weight loss goals. And for those who want to keep off the pounds and stay healthy, these diets may offer a better option than their current eating plan. But certain diets are not without its dangers and it may take several months before the medical experts clarify the potentially harmful effects of adopting these eating habits. Due to the diversity of diet plans, it is difficult to know differentiate those that are dangerous from those that are not. But there are some types of diets that can be a problem.
Remember that the main way to lose weight, should you not have any contributing medical condition(s), is to balance your calorie intake. In other words you should not be consuming more calories that you need. And you should try to increase your calorie output through physical activity if you are trying to lose weight. There are a host of other aspects in weight loss but the fundamentals still revolves around calorie input and output. Radical changes in diet may yield quick weight loss in some instance but it is often not lasting and can be dangerous. Some people may even gain more weight than they initially lost.
You may have heard it time and again, from your doctor, health organizations and the media – eat more fiber. But why is fiber so important these days? Actually fiber has always been an important component of the human diet. The only problem is that the modern diet, which is made up of heavily processed foods, is lower in fiber than that of our ancestors. Furthermore advances in medical science and a better understanding of the importance of good nutrition has highlighted the importance of fiber in disease prevention and management.
Celiac disease is a condition that is receiving much more attention these days. Up until 2003, there was still uncertainty as to whether it should be classified as a condition on its own. However, a better understanding about the condition and public awareness means that celiac disease is now getting the recognition particularly in the media. But celiac disease is more than just gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy. The range of foods that can be a problem to a person suffering with celiac disease can extend well beyond what is thought to be a trigger.
Ideally every person with celiac disease should consult with a registered dietitian or nutritionist for a comprehensive eating plan that is individually tailored to the patient’s personal and cultural taste preferences. Unfortunately this is not always possible and many patients are misled into believing that they can safely consume many foods that are actually not suitable.
Losing weight should be a priority for every person who is overweight or obese irrespective of their age. Similarly maintaining a healthy body weight is a constant undertaking. Both weight loss and weight management are due to the balance of calories – the calories consumed in foods and the calories burned through physical activity. There are various other factors that contribute to weight gain but in the end, being overweight or obese is primarily due to consuming more calories than required by the body on a daily basis.
There are new weight loss fads and slimming diets that are constantly emerging. Some are based on sound scientific principles while others are not. Similarly, some are very effective in assisting a person to lose weight. All too often though, there are fad diets that utilize extreme practices and may only help a person shed a few pounds for a short while but thereafter the pounds return and sometimes even a little more than the original weight. Poor decisions in terms of weight loss programs largely stems from misconceptions, myths and mistakes.
Beriberi is a condition that arises with deficiency of the vitamin known as thiamine, less frequently referred to as vitamin B1. It arises with consuming diets that are low or deficient in thiamine, conditions that affect absorption of thiamine or increased utilization or loss of thiamine. It is one of the commonly seen deficiencies among alcoholics and with extreme dieting. However, beriberi can occur in any person of any age. Thiamine deficiency affects the entire body with the nerves, heart and blood vessels being the most affected over time. Beriberi is easily treated with thiamine supplementation.
What is scurvy?
Scurvy is a condition that arises with a severe lack of vitamin C in the diet. The deficiency of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) impacts on various organs and tissues in the body since vitamin C is an important micronutrient for health. It is important to note that scurvy arises only with a severe and prolonged deficiency of vitamin C and in some cases it can be serious enough to cause death. However, a better understanding of the pathophysiology has made scurvy easy to treat with simple measures like dietary modification and supplementation. Within days to weeks the symptoms resolve and there may be no permanent complications.
What is riboflavin?
Riboflavin or vitamin B2 is an essential enzyme. It is involved in carbohydrate metabolism and facilitates many metabolic reactions in the body. This non-toxic enzyme is important for producing energy in cells, functioning of other enzymes, and normal production of amino acids and fatty acids. Riboflavin is also necessary for the production of glutathione, which is a very important anti-oxidant used by the body for blocking free radical damage.
Vitamin A Toxicity Definition
Vitamin A toxicity, also known as hypervitaminosis A, is a state arising from excessive vitamin A in the body. Normally, sufficient quantities of vitamin A can be acquired from a balanced diet. No additional supplementation is necessary. Consuming large amounts of foods containing vitamin A is a common cause of vitamin A toxicity. Overzealous use of vitamins, usually multi-vitamins, and drugs that are precursors of active vitamin A can lead to toxicity. This can lead to severe symptoms which may not cause any permanent damage if the source of high doses of vitamin A is discontinued. However, in pregnant women there is the risk of defects in fetal development which is permanent.
Vitamin A Functions and Absorption
Vitamins are vital nutrients required for proper growth, health, and development. Most of the vitamins are obtained from the diet. Taking too much of any vitamin can result in vitamin toxicity or hypervitaminosis. Vitamin A (retinol) is required for good vision and repair of the epithelial tissue that lines the cavities in the human body.
Most energy in the body is sourced from carbohydrates. Through digestion and metabolism, carbohydrates are broken down into simpler substances like glucose which can be used for energy production. Sometimes when there is insufficient carbohydrates, the body has to depend on proteins and fats for energy. These nutrients have to first be broken down into simpler substances and then converted into glucose by the action of certain enzymes.
Propionic Acidemia Definition
Propionic acidemia (PA) is a condition where there is an accumulation of propionic acid in the bloodstream. Propionic acid is an intermediate product when amino acids and fatty acids are being converted into glucose. The condition arises from abnormal activity of the propionyl coenzyme A carboxylase (PCC) enzyme which ultimately allows for propionic acid to accumulate in the blood. Propionic acidenmia is an inherent amino acid and fatty acid metabolic crisis that cam cause death in infants within first week of life itself. Although many cases go undocumented, PA affects an estimated, 1 out of every 35000 newborn every year.
Does stress cause weight gain?
There are several reasons for weight gain – some related to lifestyle factors (the most common causes), physiological responses like pregnancy and pathological factors like diseases of the thyroid or adrenal glands. Weight gain in most instances is a result of consuming more calories than is needed for energy production to maintain life processes and facilitate the daily physical activities. In other words, eating more than is needed for physical activities in a day will lead to a storage of the extra calories in the form of fat – the ultimate storage form of nutrients. One of the lesser known contributing factors is psychological stress that can lead to weight gain through various mechanisms.
Hormones in stress weight gain
Stress these days takes on a different meaning with modern life. Whereas in the wild stress means fighting or fleeing for survival, the human body has to now contend with intense psychological stress ranging such as emotional strain, career pressures and financial worries. The human body has several mechanisms to deal with stress which is largely regulated by the neuroendocrine system. Impulses in the brain stimulate the master gland of the body (pituitary) and hypothalamus to secrete a number of different hormones. This triggers the “fight or flight” response.
Fructose Problems in the Body
Fructose or fruit sugar is a simple sugar (monosaccharide) found in fruits, certain root vegetables, some flowers and honey. It can be directly absorbed into the bloodstream as is the case with glucose, another widely available simple sugar, without it having been broken down any further by digestive enzymes in the gut. Sometimes fructose is not well tolerated in the gut and therefore not absorbed. It can arise with various diseases of the gut where different types of nutrients may act as irritants.
With intolerance and malabsorption of other nutrients, it is often the deficiency or defect of the digestive enzymes that break it down which is the cause of the problem. The undigested nutrients cannot be absorbed. However, fructose does not need to be broken down further in the gut. Instead it is a problem with fructose transport and cleavage within the liver that is the main problem. Problem with the compound responsible for transporting fructose, known as GLUT-5, leads to fructose malabsorption. If the breakdown of fructose by the liver is impaired then it leads to fructose intolerance. Since it is a familial problem, it is more correctly known as hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI).
- ABCD – First Aid: Injuries, Poisoning
- Addiction: Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
- Blood and Immunity
- Bones, Joints, Muscles and Connective Tissue Diseases
- Children's Health
- Current Health Articles
- Diagnostic Procedures
- Ears, Nose and Throat
- Eyes and Vision
- Gastro-Intestinal Diseases
- Genetic Diseases
- Heart and Vessels
- Hormones and Metabolism
- Infections and Infestations
- Kidneys and Urinary Tract
- Liver and Gallbladder
- Medical Questions
- Medical Terminology
- Medication, Supplements
- Men's Health
- Mental Health
- Mouth and Teeth Diseases
- Neurological Diseases
- Skin, Hair, Nails
- Sleep Related Disorders
- Surgery and Other Procedures
- Upper and Lower Limb
- Women's Health and Pregnancy