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Good health starts from the gut

Professor Gwee Kok Ann shares some useful insights on caring for the gut and tips on choosing the right probiotics supplement.

Q1. What are the symptoms of poor gut health? How does one maintain a healthy gut?
Symptoms of poor gut health typically include crampy abdominal pain or varying intensities, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, belching and changes in bowel habits.

Poor gut health can be caused by reaction to certain food, anxiety and stress, gastrointestinal infection and use of antibiotics. This can arise after food poisoning with severe diarrhoea potentially washing out protective bacteria, causing mild but long-lasting inflammation. With antibiotic treatment, the reduction in protective bacteria could potentially outweigh the clearance of the harmful bacteria.

To ensure a balanced gut environment, one can increase the intake of fermented food such as yogurt and cultured milk. Probiotic supplements, as well, will help to restore the gut environment by delivering beneficial bacteria.

Q2. Is stool frequency an indication of good gut health? Is there an optimal frequency?
Stool frequency is not a very good indicator of good gut health as it is highly dependent on individuals. Some people naturally have a bowel movement everyday while others go just a few times a week. As such, there is no optimal frequency. I think that optimal frequency is that which allows a person to feel comfortable. Only when there is a drastic change in normal bowel movement that one needs to be concerned about gut health.

Q3. There has been increasing emphasis on gut health. Why do you think gut health is important in relation to general wellbeing?
There is now better appreciation that the gut is not just an organ for digestion of food and nutrition, but that what we eat and how we eat have an impact on our overall well-being. This is not a new idea; many of the traditional Asian concepts of health emphasize the philosophy that ‘we are what we eat’. It’s just that the Western model of health with its strong emphasis on cholesterol, fats, salt and calories focused on a limited aspect of health in relation to the heart. This ignored how important it is that we also pay attention to the role that the gut plays in metabolism, a balanced immune system and even happiness. For example, state of the art research shows that how we feed our gut can influence our mood, i.e. our happiness.

In fact, 70-80% of the immune system resides in the intestine. Therefore, maintaining a good gut health will not only help with gastrointestinal problems but also help to promote vitality and stronger immunity.

Q4. Can probiotics promote good gut health? What are the important things to take note of when fermenting or purchasing fermented food off the shelf?
Probiotics are ‘good’ bacteria that modify and balance out gut microbiota. They can inhibit the growth of disease-causing bacteria, enhance the immune system, help fight inflammation, reduce gas production and gut sensitivity while improving mental health.

Although LAB (lactic acid bacteria) in fermented food have displayed anti-inflammatory qualities and act as an antioxidant in intestines, further studies are required to prove that the LAB in fermented foods are relevant and adequate to be incorporated into national dietary guidelines.

It is important to note that fermented foods are not the same as probiotics. Not all fermented foods contain live organisms. Beer and wine, for example, undergo steps that remove the organisms whereas other fermented products are often heat-treated to prolong shelf-life, resulting in the organisms being inactivated

Moreover, live organisms are present in fermented products to perform the fermentation (i.e., convert milk into yogurt or cheese, or cabbage into kimchi). These cultures do not necessarily have any probiotic functions. Cultures are not probiotic unless they have clinical evidence of conferring a health benefit.

Woman giving her daughter piggyback on the beach

Fermented foods can be incorporated as part of a balanced, healthy diet, although it should be recognised that some, such as kimchi, can have a high salt content. Those wanting to ferment at home also need to ensure that food hygiene practices are followed and that the correct ingredients, conditions and storage practices for the particular ferment are used.

In short, above all else, it is important to be aware that only probiotic products with scientific evidence can be safely accepted to manage one’s gut health.

Q5. What are the criteria consumers should be reviewing when choosing a probiotics supplement? Is looking at the cfu enough?
Colony-forming unit (C.F.U) is a unit of measurement used to quantify the number of actively dividing bacteria cells. A higher C.F.U does not equate to better outcome. Some analysis suggest that sometimes when the concentration is very high, the amount of bacteria packed into a capsule could become too dense for it to be released in the intestine. Thus, the probiotic capsule would essentially be useless.

The recommended range for daily probiotic consumption is between 1-10 billion CFUs. Nonetheless, some CFU claims may be unreliable as health supplements are usually not monitored. Random tests in Italy and USA have found that on top of misrepresentation of strain types, there was a large drop in bacterial count within one year of manufacturing date.

Hence, it is advisable to choose products with scientifically proven heat-protecting technology or heat-stable strains that do not require refrigeration. Technology such as dual coated technology is also important to improve the stability of bacteria and ensure their survival against gastric acid and bile acid until they reach the large intestine and perform the necessary functions.

Moreover, multi-strain probiotics also appear to show greater efficacy than single strains but choosing the right strains is equally important. This is because research has shown that some strains seem to be more effective than others for treating certain conditions.

In Singapore’s context, probiotics ideally should be lactose free as most of the Asian population is lactose intolerance to certain extent.

Those with IBS symptoms may also consider gluten free probiotics as gluten is considered a high FODMAP diet which can worsen the condition.

This interview is provided by DUOLAC probiotics.

About Adjunct Professor Gwee Kok Ann
Doctor Gwee Kok Ann is Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the National University of Singapore and practices at Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore. He obtained his medical degree from the National University of Singapore and his PhD in 1998 from the University of Sheffield. His thesis on post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome is one of the early works in this field.

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Article source: https://scandasia.com/good-health-starts-from-the-gut/

Business Awards: Firm in good health after 10 years – Stoke-on

Occupational health specialist Hobson Health is preparing to mark a decade in business next year – and what a 10 years it’s been.

The company as it is known today was started by John Hobson in 2009 who took over the struggling company before rebranding it.

The business specialises in occupational health services – including absence management, fitness to work, health surveillance and stress management.

And in the last 10 years the company has grown its turnover year-on-year and has acquired two other businesses along the way.

Now Hobson Health, which is based at Waters Edge Business Park in Stoke, boasts a 50-strong team of staff and has additional sites in Northwich and Bury St Edmunds.

Managing director Geoff Lloyd said: “We have offices in three locations which means we have been able to expand our services across the country.

“And this year has been an important year for us as we have won a number of national contracts which will help us expand even further and allow us to build on our aim of becoming a national business.”

The Hobson Health team (L-R) Kate Boundy, commercial manager, medical director Dr Rachel Sharp, managing director Geoff Lloyd and James Hobson, business development manager.

The Hobson Health team (L-R) Kate Boundy, commercial manager, medical director Dr Rachel Sharp, managing director Geoff Lloyd and James Hobson, business development manager.

Commercial manager Kate Boundy said: “We have grown organically and we punch above our weight but sometimes we think things are beyond us, so winning big contracts with some big organisations is a big step for us and proves that we are growing.”

Hobson Health works with some of Staffordshire’s leading businesses and organisations – including Hanley engineering business Goodwin plc, Staffordshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue.

The company offers a full range of occupational health services to private and public sector clients, which can be tailored to meet the individual needs of the client.

Now Hobson Health is entering The Sentinel Business Awards in the Small Business of the Year category, sponsored by Beswicks Legal.

Kate added: “Over the years we have had to expand the services we offer due to things like legislation changes and customer demand. For example, a growing area of the business today is employee health and wellbeing, there has been a real focus on mental health over the last few years, so we have to be flexible.”

“We have also had to introduce new ways to carry out our services because not every client we work with has a clean, quiet environment available to them. So we have introduced a screening van which we can take directly to our customers.”

Geoff said: “We are a family-owned business and we have remained that way despite our growth. If you told me 10 years ago that we would have acquired two other companies and managed to increase turnover every year, I would have said not a chance so being able to reflect on that makes me really proud.”

Article source: https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/business/business-awards-firm-good-health-2098114

Meghan Markle Is 12 Weeks Pregnant and in Good Health

Meghan Markle is pregnant and is expecting a baby in the spring, as announced by Kensington Palace on Monday morning, hours after Meghan and Prince Harry touched down in Sydney for the start of their very first overseas tour.

Aides have told Vanity Fair that there will be no changes to the couple’s tour program, and Meghan is still due to travel to Fiji and Tonga, where there have been some reported outbreaks of the Zika virus. It is thought the duchess is 12 weeks pregnant and has had her first doctor’s scan. Royal sources say she is feeling well and in good health.

Despite fervent speculation about a royal baby bump thanks to Meghan’s public appearances in loose-fitting clothes, the couple was keen to hold off making an announcement until after their three-month scan. They also didn’t want to upstage Harry’s cousin Eugenie’s wedding on Friday, where Meghan wore a loose blue coatdress that only heightened speculation.

Senior members of the family including the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and William and Kate have all been informed of the happy news. According to a spokesman, “the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted for the couple and were able to congratulate them on Friday at the wedding in person. Ms. Doria Ragland is very happy about the lovely news and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild.”

The Palace announced the news at 9:39 A.M. local time, just hours after the couple touched down in Australia for the first leg of their overseas tour the @KensingtonRoyal twitter feed announced the news as well:

The couple will be carrying out 76 engagements over the coming two weeks.

Meghan Markle wears a black dress on a solo outing in London.At the Coach Core Awards, September 24.Meghan Markle in a blue coatMeghan Markle wears a blue dressIn Widnes, England, June 14At Trooping the Colour, June 9At Buckingham Palace, May 22

At the Royal Academy of Arts, September 25

At the Royal Academy of Arts, September 25

At the Coach Core Awards, September 24.

At the Coach Core Awards, September 24.

At the launch of her cookbook, September 20

At the launch of her cookbook, September 20

At the 100 Days of Peace concert, September 6

At the 100 Days of Peace concert, September 6

At the WellChild awards in London, September 4

At the WellChild awards in London, September 4

At a performance of emHamilton/em, August 29th

At a performance of Hamilton, August 29th

At the wedding of Charlie van Straubenzee and Daisy Jenks, August 4

At the wedding of Charlie van Straubenzee and Daisy Jenks, August 4

At the Sentebale Polo Match, July 26

At the Sentebale Polo Match, July 26

At the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition, July 17

At the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition, July 17

At Wimbledon, July 14

At Wimbledon, July 14

Meeting Irish president Michael Higgins, July 111

Meeting Irish president Michael Higgins, July 111

In Dublin, July 11

In Dublin, July 11

At a garden party in Dublin, July 10

At a garden party in Dublin, July 10

Arriving in Dublin, July 10

Arriving in Dublin, July 10

At a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, July 10

At a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, July 10

At Prince Louis’s Christening, July 9

At Prince Louis’s Christening, July 9

At the Your Commonwealth Youth Challenge reception, July 5

At the Your Commonwealth Youth Challenge reception, July 5

At the Young Leaders Awards Ceremony, June 26

At the Young Leaders Awards Ceremony, June 26

At the Royal Ascot, June 19

At the Royal Ascot, June 19

At the wedding of Celia McCorquodale and George Woodhouse, June 16

At the wedding of Celia McCorquodale and George Woodhouse, June 16

In Widnes, England, June 14

In Widnes, England, June 14

At Trooping the Colour, June 9

At Trooping the Colour, June 9

At Buckingham Palace, May 22

At Buckingham Palace, May 22

Article source: https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2018/10/meghan-markle-pregnant

HEALTHY LIVING: 5 things to know about the parks department’s full-body workout program at the Meriden Green – Meriden Record

MERIDEN — The parks and recreation department has started a full-body workout program that is held bi-weekly at the Meriden Green.

The Record-Journal caught up with Kathy Matula, recreation coordinator for parks and recreation, and personal trainer John Zvonek at a session of “Get Going On The Green.”

Here are five things to know about the program.

Get Involved

The “Get Going On The Green” program runs for five weeks, on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Twenty-five spaces are available in the program, and participants can register at the parks and recreation office at City Hall or online. 

Classes meet at the Meriden Green amphitheater.

Health benefits

Exercising outdoors provides fresh air and natural light. Zvonek said working with, and at times against, the elements can be a fun challenge.

“We want to use the park and show them what is possible to do here,” he said.

For new mother and city resident Jessy Hart, a first-time participant, the weekly workouts are a way to try a new activity.

“I’m trying to get more fit and trying to keep up the weight loss that I had postpartum,” she said.

The low-impact workout consists of continuous all-body movements. It can be modified to suit any level and any age, from 18 to 100 years old.

“They can make it as hard or as easy as they want it to be and they can work at whatever ability level they’re at,” Zvonek said.

Calorie burning and muscle toning are among the benefits of the program. Interested participants should consult their physician before starting a new workout regimen.

The workout

The class starts with a warm-up and moves to a variety of low impact exercises, including high knees, planks, jogging, step-ups, bob and weaves, walking and air punches or jabs. 

There are small water breaks in between the 45-minute class. 

Zvonek said the workout keeps everyone moving and using different muscles. 

The steps in the amphitheater are used for planks and step-ups depending on individual’s ability.

The Green

Open to the public in 2016, the 14-acre Meriden Green has walking trails and an amphitheater for events.

“We picked this lunch break hour, there’s always people moving around here,” Matula said.

The recreation department is looking to expand programming on the green to include other seasonal activities.

Options

Matula said the goal of the parks and recreation department is to provide healthy programming in the city’s more than 20 parks.

Besides the workout program, the recreation department will also hold a free pilates class on the green from 10 a.m., to 11 a.m., on Saturday.

Other park programs a hiking group on Thursdays through November from 4 to 6 p.m.

More information can be found by calling 203-630-4259

akus@record-journal.com
203-317-2448
Twitter: @KusReporter

Article source: http://www.myrecordjournal.com/News/Lifestyle/Features/Healthy-Living/5-things-to-know-about-new-workout-program-on-Meriden-Green.html

Healthy Living: Millennials Turn to Prenups

Up to half of all marriages in the U.S. will end in divorce.

These grim numbers have caused many millennials to consider prenups.

In Healthy Living, see why being prepared might be a young person’s best defense for a failed marriage. 

Getting a prenup isn’t cheap. In fact, legal representation can cost $2,500 or more per person.

Some sites, such as RocketLawyer, Avvo, and LegalZoom, offer discounts for consultations and document reviews.

Experts say the important thing to remember is you both need lawyers and not the same one!

 


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Article source: https://www.9and10news.com/2018/10/15/healthy-living-millennials-turn-to-prenups/

Healthy Living: Katamine vs. Parkinson’s

Levodopa is the best-known treatment for Parkinson’s, but it can cause some other debilitating side effects.

Now, researchers at the University of Arizona are testing an old drug, in addition to levodopa, to see if it brings relief.

We find out in Healthy Living. 

Ketamine can raise blood pressure and cause feelings of dissociation in higher doses.

Researchers expect the dosage needed to control dyskinesia will be much lower than that.


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Article source: https://www.9and10news.com/2018/10/15/healthy-living-katamine-vs-parkinsons/

Top tips to fight back against the flu

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Article source: https://tylerpaper.com/lifestyle/health/top-tips-to-fight-back-against-the-flu/article_ece5fae0-3ac3-5d29-aef0-16794946b485.html

As flu season arrives, local health expert offers tips – WBBJ

JACKSON, Tenn. — Health officials say flu season starts in October, meaning this month is the best time to get your annual shot to prevent getting sick.

“Usually one time of year is pretty good protection as long as you get it the right time,” epidemiologist Shanna Shearon said. “Usually we say October is a good starting point for that.”

Shearon tracks trends and disease patterns for Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department. She says this time of year is also a chance to clear up myths about the flu shot.

“Just because you haven’t got it in the past doesn’t mean you won’t come in contact with either a different strain this year or one that’s stronger that you haven’t been exposed to before,” Shearon said.

The flu can be dangerous for certain age groups, particularly infants, young children and people 65 years of age or older.

“Usually younger, six months and up, children you know, they’re little germ factories,” Shearon said. “So, and they share everything, it’s best to get it in those, the younger population and also people who have immunocompromising conditions.”

Eleven children and one pregnant woman died in Tennessee from flu-related complications last flu season, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

“The last few years, unfortunately, we’ve had quite a few in Tennessee that have died from the flu,” Shearon said. “We don’t see any indicators that this year will be any different unfortunately, so that’s why we’re trying to protect everybody we can.”

While there are other preventative measures you can do to help avoid the spreading of the flu, make sure to avoid people who are infected. Whenever you cough or sneeze, make sure you do that within a tissue, and that way you can avoid spreading anymore of that flu or sickness around you. Of course, whenever you do, make sure you wash your hands with plenty of soap and water.

“If you get the flu, you don’t know who you’re exposing before you even know you’re sick,” Shearon said.

The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department will have after-hours flu clinics starting Tuesday, Oct. 23. For more information on the flu shot or the after-hours clinic, visit the Seen on 7 section of our website.

Article source: https://www.wbbjtv.com/2018/10/15/as-flu-season-arrives-local-health-expert-offers-tips/

A medicine cabinet makeover and cool weather health tips on Coast Live

HAMPTON ROADS, Va - Dr. Yael Varnado, known as “Dr. V,” shows us why it’s needed and where to start a medicine cabinet makeover.  She also has recommendations for some lifestyle changes to avoid getting sick this fall.  For more information, visit www.TipsOnTV.com.

Article source: https://wtkr.com/2018/10/15/a-medicine-cabinet-makeover-and-cool-weather-health-tips-on-coast-live/

Kanye West’s TimesTalks on mental health with Charlamagne tha God canceled

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Kanye West gives a 10-minute monologue in the White House Oval Office during his visit with President Donald Trump and NFL legend Jim Brown.
USA TODAY

Kanye West continues to face backlash from his bizarre week. 

“Breakfast Club” radio host Charlamagne tha God canceled his upcoming TimesTalks with the controversial rapper, saying it wouldn’t be ”productive.” The two were set to chat Wednesday in New York City about the negative stigma surrounding mental health within the black community.

“Normalizing being mentally healthy is a conversation that I really wanted to have with Kanye because he’s been so vocal about his own mental health struggles,” Charlamagne wrote on an Instagram post Monday. His message was attached with an event flyer reading ”CANCELLED.”

The radio host continued: “Unfortunately I think to have that conversation with him right now would not be productive and a total distraction from the point of the convo which is to eradicate the stigma of mental health especially in the black community.”

Related: Kanye West returns to Twitter with a ‘mind control’ rant after one-week hiatus

The New York Times, which sponsors the show, reflected the change of plans on its website: “Charlamagne tha God and Kanye West have cancelled their appearance for a TimesTalks scheduled for October 17.”

The cancellation come less than a week after West’s highly publicized meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, a spontaneous trip to Uganda and the rapper’s return to Twitter to with a rant about “mind control.” 

Although Charlamagne did not list specific reasons on how the TimesTalks “would not be productive,” the state of West’s mental health has been called into question  by some social media users following his odd behavior. 

Related: Kanye West gifts Uganda’s president a pair of sneakers during visit

During a bizarre monologue in the Oval Office last week, Kanye announced that he had been misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was actually merely sleep deprived. 

He doubled down on this claim during an equally peculiar rant on Twitter Saturday, adding he isn’t crazy like the media is portraying him to be: “It’s all part of a system to control your mind. To control my mind. To make me look like I’m crazy to you. I am not crazy. I can ramp up if I suffer from sleep deprivation.”

West’s continued antics have been met with backlash by the black community, including rapper T.I., who said he was “ashamed to have ever been associated with you.”

Related:T.I. slams Kanye West over Trump meeting: ‘I’m ashamed to have ever been associated with you’

This wouldn’t have been the first time West and Charlamagne have talked mental health. In May, the rapper revealed to Charlamagne that the robbery his wife, Kim Kardashian West, endured contributed to his downward spiral in 2016 – which resulted in hospitalization – and shed light on his relationship with Jay-Z and admiration for President Trump.

More: Kanye West: I was ‘drugged out’ on opioids leading up to 2016 hospitalization


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Article source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2018/10/15/kanye-west-timestalks-mental-health-charlamagne-tha-god-axed/1651774002/