The gut microbiota is the community of bugs, including bacteria, that live in our intestine. It has been called the body’s “forgotten organ” because of the important role it plays beyond digestion and metabolism.
Aspirin is, like ibuprofen and Voltaren (diclofenac), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain and reduce fever.
A compound derived from the leaves of the neem plant could significantly suppress the development of prostate cancer, according to new research with mice.
Three in five Australian adults get sucked in by promotions and specials on junk food and sugary drinks at the supermarket, research released today shows.
Metformin is the most widely used drug to treat type 2 diabetes globally. In Australia, approximately two-thirds of patients with type 2 diabetes are prescribed metformin, either alone or in combination with other pills, or with insulin injections.
Food scientists argue that near-infrared spectroscopy would work better than other methods to detect food fraud.
There’s a lot of hype around edible insects. Insects are being championed as a healthy and sustainable alternative to conventional protein sources in Europe and the US, and “ento-prising” new products are appearing almost every week.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer. That’s because it has no symptoms. Having high blood pressure (hypertension) increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure and kidney disease.
We all understand how important breastfeeding is for baby’s health. Breastfeeding mothers often receive a variety of well-intentioned advice about what and what not to eat during this period. But what does the science say?
Opponents and proponents of genetically modified food have invoked science in their arguments, but science has no definitive answer.
Defective imports from China, from pet food that kills pets, to toys containing lead, have grabbed headlines in United States for years. Regulations in China are lax, and the communist regime regularly attempts to cover up domestic food scandals.
An increasing number of food-poisoning outbreaks in Britain are being caused by undercooked chicken livers.
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a synthetic chemical made from a substance found in a fungus that grows on rye and other grains, called ergot.
A friend reckons he has it good. His partner cooks a bacon-hash-brown-fry-up for breakfast every day. “Are you sure?” I said. “Cause that’s exactly what I would feed my partner if I wanted to bump him off!”
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” says the proverb—but maybe not in China. Due to a lack of regulation and enforcement, farmers in China regularly add dangerous amounts of fertilizers, preservatives, pesticides, and other chemicals
A hotel in Reykjavík has on display a McDonald’s burger and fries, seemingly undecomposed after 2,512 days – and counting. It was bought on October 30, 2009, the day that the last McDonald’s in Iceland closed.
In a squalid fish farm in Yangjiang, Guangdong, farmers fed tilapia fish with the feces of pigs and geese to lower the cost of production.
In one of television’s more bizarre recent offerings, the History Channel show “Appalachian Outlaws” follows a band of West Virginians as they hunt rugged forests for American ginseng, a medicinal root worth hundreds of dollars per pound.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for keeping us in good health. While eating a varied diet should give us all the nutrients we need
After numerous food scares in China, the Chinese have become disillusioned with the communist regime’s ability to properly regulate the food industry. And the contaminated food does not just stay in China. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regularly refuses shipments from China...
A new study complicates the “five-second rule,” the widely accepted idea that it’s okay to scoop up fallen food and eat it if you’re quick enough.
Low levels of vitamin D are linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline and impairment in elderly Chinese people.
Scientists have predicted that by 2050 there will be 9.6 billion humans living on Earth. With the rise of the middle class, we are expected to increase our consumption of animal products by up to 70% using the same limited resources that we have today.
If you’ve ever have the misfortune of a heart attack or are considered at risk of heart disease or stroke, your doctor will probably prescribe a statin drug, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), to lower your blood cholesterol levels.
Named after the Greek word kreas, meaning flesh, creatine is an amino acid derivative found in all cells in the body, but is stored primarily in muscle.
When it comes to fruit and vegetables, the most common battleground (for parents and public health experts alike) is getting people to eat them.
It is a hotly debated, highly researched subject: which fats are good for us and which aren’t?
The use of food supplements and herbal medicinal products by the public, including athletes, is common practice – but it is not well regulated.
It’s easier than you think to experience the beauty and healing properties of lavender by growing and using your own fresh lavender for use in food, body care, bathing, and other purposes. It can easily be done indoors in pots or outside in your garden.
Foraging, or wandering in search of food and plants, isn’t relegated to remote forests and idyllic fields. Edible and usable weeds are abundant in urban environments too.
We all know the score: current trends predict there will be 9.7 billion mouths to feed by 2050. Producing enough food without using more land, exacerbating climate change or putting more pressure on water, soil and energy reserves will be challenging.
We can all relate to scarfing down a burrito in the car during rush-hour traffic or gobbling down a snack bar. Nowadays, it is easy to neglect the sacredness of our food. One vital way to tap into intuitive eating is to simply...
Commonly touted as “good cholesterol” for helping reduce risk of stroke and heart attack, both high and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol may increase a risk of premature death, a new study suggests.
Researchers have discovered how three fungal diseases have evolved into a lethal threat to the world’s bananas.
Food, nutrition and human health institutes around the world have been fighting to reduce the risks associated with consuming detrimental fatty acids that are linked to cardiovascular diseases.
If you’re offered a plate of blackened barbecue food this summer, you might think twice about eating it. It’s commonly thought that food that has been burnt could cause cancer.
We’ve all been there, you buy some potatoes, pop them in the cupboard, and then promptly forget about them. Then the next time you open up the cupboard, you discover said potatoes have started sprouting and now resemble an alien lifeform.
A rapid heating and cooling of milk significantly reduces the amount of harmful bacteria, extending its shelf life by several weeks.
When I am asked by friends what I do for living, I tend to raise eyebrows because my job is somewhat odd to many city people. That’s because I’m a poultry nutritionist.
The opium poppy is arguably the oldest painkiller known to man, with its use being described by the ancient civilizations. Opium mimics the body’s home-made painkillers
When we say “salt”, we usually mean the stuff we sprinkle on our chips, which is sodium chloride (NaCl). But, technically speaking, this is just one example of a salt.
It is an open secret: while athletes dope their bodies, regular office workers dope their brains. They buy prescription drugs such as Ritalin or Provigil on the internet’s flourishing black market to boost their cognitive performance.
Superfoods are everywhere these days. Once found only in niche health food shops, displays of “exotic” superfoods like açai from the Brazilian Amazon and maca from the Peruvian Andes now appear in supermarket chains, chemists, and convenience stores.
In a study of over 25,000 adults with detailed information about their eating habits, people with a greater diversity of foods in their diet showed a 30% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes over a ten-year period.
Ordering lunch at least an hour before you eat could help you cut calories and avoid unhealthy impulse choices.
Many of us have experienced intense cravings for dishes our moms or dads used to cook. Indeed, it would make sense that our parents' cooking forever shapes our food preferences.
For those of us that partake, drinking alcohol is often seen as a balancing act that weighs up the pleasures of drinking against the pains. Government regulation is often seen the same way, weighing the benefits of pleasure and freedom of the individual on one hand against the cost of crime and health harms on the other
A recent article in The Guardian said coffee stunting kids' growth is just a myth promoted by 19th-century manufacturers of a coffee substitute. So does this mean the long-thought wisdom that coffee is bad for kids is a lie?
Most of us know eating fruit daily is a great way to try to stay healthy, with the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating encouraging us to eat two serves a day.
A study of 12,000 people found that those who started eating more fruits and vegetables felt much happier.
It is one of the distinct sounds of summer: the noise of people tapping the tops of their cans of fizzy drink before opening them. But does this widespread ritual really stop a can of beer or pop from gushing over?
If you’ve ever tasted a really hot chilli you’ll know just how potent the effects can be. The burning heat sensation on the lips, on the tongue – and if you are not careful, on other more sensitive areas, such as the eyes – can be severe and last for a painfully long time.
Scientists are accusing Greenpeace of ignoring facts, misrepresenting risks and benefits, failing to recognise the authority of science and relying on emotion and dogma. But Greenpeace argues that there are cheaper and more effective alternatives...
When thinking about our health, most of us will only consider our weight and fitness level, but our lives are made up of so much more. When you understand what is actually going on in your life, you may develop clues as to why you eat and live the way you do.
Moms who eat high-fat, high-sugar diets may be putting future generations at risk for metabolic problems, even when their offspring eat healthy diets, a new study with mice suggests.
Potent doses of broccoli sprout extract activate a “detoxification” gene and may help prevent cancer recurrence in survivors of head and neck cancer, according to new research that confirms preliminary results released last year.
No one wants to serve spoiled food to their families. Conversely, consumers don’t want to throw food away unnecessarily – but we certainly do.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid narcotic about 100 times as potent as morphine, continues to be in the news, as deaths from fentanyl overdose continue to rise and even more potent nonpharmaceutical forms become available on the street.
It’s easy to explain the appeal of drugs like heroin and cocaine, which directly stimulate the brain’s reward centres. What’s less easy to explain is the appeal of psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin that produce altered states of consciousness.
Foods high in fat, especially saturated fat, are bad for you. A high-fat diet is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease as well as metabolic disorders like obesity and type 2 diabetes. So why does saturated fat have these effects on the body? What’s going on in your body when you eat a fatty meal?
Since the 1980s biologists have used genetic engineering to express novel traits in crop plants. Over the last 20 years, these crops have been grown on more than one billion acres in the United States and globally. Despite their rapid adoption by farmers, genetically engineered (GE) crops remain controversial among many consumers, who have sometimes found it hard to obtain accurate information.
A revolution in how we think about preventing cavities in children is upon us. Evidence shows that cavity formation has less to do with genetics, candy habits or poor brushing, and more to do with the types of snack foods we give children. Counter-intuitively, dark chocolate is better for teeth than pretzels or crackers.
Have you ever wondered how freshly baked bread gets its a golden brown crust and why it smells so good? Or how nondescript green berries turn into beautiful brown coffee beans with a rich alluring aroma?
A golden era of antibiotics shifted the leading causes of death away from infection to cancer and cardiovascular disease. At the moment, we can still treat most infections as only a few are resistant to what is currently the last line of antibiotics – the colistins.
Last week, the National Obesity Forum caused a furore by claiming that eating fat, including saturated fat, will help cut rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Public Health England hit back, calling NOF’s advice “irresponsible”.
In the past week you’ve probably eaten crops that wouldn’t exist in nature, or that have evolved extra genes to reach freakish sizes. You’ve probably eaten “cloned” food and you may have even eaten plants whose ancestors were once deliberately blasted with radiation. And you could have bought all this without leaving the “organic” section of your local supermarket.
Many people believe eating healthily is expensive – and more costly than buying junk food. But our new research, published in the journal BMC Public Health, shows this isn’t the case.
It only takes a single fly to alight on your picnic lunch to make you uneasy about what germs may have landed with it. But what harm can come from a fly landing on your food? Should you throw it away?
Consuming too much energy – whether from fat or carbohydrates, including sugar – will make you gain weight. If left unchecked, this excess weight increases your risk of lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
Have you ever wondered why you have so many different types of flour in your pantry? You might have cornflour and arrowroot, self-raising, and plain flour. And if you like to bake bread, possibly strong bakers’ flour.
"These findings provide us with a much better understanding of how this class of drugs may act upon the brain in ways that might raise the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia," says Shannon Risacher. "Physicians might want to consider alternatives to anticholinergic medications if available when working with their older patients."
Eating fast foods like hamburgers, sausages, and pizza, as well as commercial baked goods such as muffins, doughnuts, and croissants has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of depression.
Chicken noodle soup is regarded as a therapeutic dish in several cultures, including Jewish-American and Chinese communities where traditional medicine is practised.
The drugs are sold under the brand names Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium, and Protonix, among others. More than 15 million Americans have prescriptions for PPIs, although the number of people taking PPIs is likely higher because the figure does not include PPIs bought over-the-counter without prescriptions.
“I’m vegetarian.” “I’m vegan.” These statements typically will be met with a range of reactions, varying from bafflement to praise. But what makes people adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet?
Drinking cherry concentrate can lower systolic blood pressure for up to three hours, our latest study found. If tart Montmorency cherry concentrate was a drug, it would probably get FDA approval.
Anybody suffering from a food allergy will know what a huge cause of anxiety it can be. From forensically examining information on food packaging to having to repeatedly ask restaurant staff detailed questions about their ingredients, it can take up a lot of time and energy. And, even then, there are still uncertainties to deal with.
Historically called the disease of kings, gout was common among wealthy gents who could afford to eat and drink to excess. These days it doesn’t just affect the rich: rates of gout have been increasing globally since the 1960s. It now affects around 70,000 Australians a year and is more common in men aged over 70.
People who ate 100 grams of chocolate a day—basically one bar—had reduced insulin resistance and improved liver enzymes. Insulin sensitivity is a well-established risk factor to cardiovascular disease.
Children who had vitamin D stores above the threshold recommended by the Canadian Pediatric Society averaged around 450 grams (or about one pound) less body fat at 3 years of age.
In case you’ve forgotten the section on the food web from high school biology, here’s a quick refresher. Plants make up the base of every food chain of the food web (also called the food cycle).
"The principal interest of this piece of work is that it provides direct evidence for early dairying at high altitude in the Alps," says Kevin Walsh.
The food and drink young children are consuming could be putting their health at risk. In a new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, we report that toddlers are consuming too much protein and too many calories for their age, putting them at risk of obesity in later life. We also found that
One British title chose to focus on a rather different story. “Walnuts prevent heart disease,” declared the Daily Express in a huge, front-page headline. It might have had retirees rushing to buy them by the sackful.
"It looks like acetaminophen makes it harder to recognize an error, which may have implications for cognitive control in daily life," says Dan Randles.
Can Long Lost Data Put Heart Healthy Oils To Rest?Randomized controlled trials—considered the gold standard for medical research—have never shown that linoleic acid-based dietary interventions reduce the risk of heart attacks or deaths.
Our study is the first to connect an insertion allele with vegetarian diets, and the deletion allele with a marine diet,. A genetic variation has evolved in populations that have eaten a plant-based diet over hundreds of generations, such as in India, Africa, and parts of East Asia.
A large portion of the seafood consumed in North America is farmed. But the food those fish eat increasingly includes more crop-based ingredients, like corn, soy, and wheat.
As a young child I recall my grandmother giving me the largest spoonfuls of cod liver oil, coaxing me with the promise of an equally large spoonful of golden syrup. It was probably a throwback to her own childhood when the post-war government sought to provide infants with a cod liver oil supplement.
Nutritional guidelines and recommendations are constantly changing in the light of new research. It can be difficult to keep up with which foods are healthy and which aren’t. Here we look at five foods that have gone through the cycle of being the villains of nutritional science but are now, based on some old and some new science, apparently okay to eat again.
So much for the decades in which fats and oils were public enemy number one on our dinner plates. There is more and more evidence that sugar – or more precisely, carbohydrate – is behind our increasing rates of obesity and heart disease.
The main aim of the UK’s new tax on sugary soft drinks is to reduce obesity in children. But, apart from causing child – and adult – obesity, too much sugar also increases the risk of many serious diseases, from cancer to heart disease. And sugar’s calories provide only part of the explanation.
Last month, the UK health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, called childhood obesity “a national emergency”, but the government has once again delayed publishing its strategy aimed at combating it. Obesity is much more common in people with less money and education and this socioeconomic gap is getting larger.
Good news. Taking a break from your diet every so often will help you lose weight in the long term.How many times have you attempted to lose weight only to fall short and fail? For many people it is extremely challenging to stick to a strict dietary and exercise program for more than a few weeks.
Food craving is an intense desire to consume a particular food that is difficult to resist. This is different from hunger, as consumption of any number of foods satisfies hunger. Food craving is an intense desire to consume a particular food that is difficult to resist. This is different from hunger, as consumption of any number of foods satisfies hunger.
Many types of red meat and red meat products are available, from farmers' markets, to supermarkets, to restaurants. The impacts of their production and consumption on human health, animal welfare and the environment are complex.
Obesity is a major breast cancer risk factor in postmenopausal women, and scientists believe increased inflammation is an important underlying cause.
Everyone loves a study that turns one of our favourite vices into a health benefit. This week, the news headlines tell us “eating chocolate improves brain function” and that it “could help protect against normal age-related decline”.