We like to stay on top of the latest news in functional medicine and nutrition. If you do too, you’ll find our monthly, easy-to-digest compilation of research and news articles right here. Check back regularly to find updates, or follow us through our newsletters and social media to ensure you don’t miss any.
Consider EoE a Component of the Allergic March
The “allergic march” refers to the common childhood progression of allergic disease from eczema, to food allergy, hay fever, and then asthma, often within the first five years of life. A newly-recognized later-stage component of this progression is eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a painful inflammation of the esophagus, which is increasingly common in adults as well. Arresting the progression of the allergic march is key to preventing future allergic sensitizations including asthma and EoE; Functional Medicine has the optimal tools to do this by addressing the root cause—building back underlying resilience and reducing immune reactivity. I share my Top Tips for Laboratory Testing in Eosinophilic Esophagitis here.
Evidence for Time-Restricted Feeding
If you’re struggling with weight loss, consider time-restricted feeding as part of your intervention, limiting your food intake only to an 8-hour window each day. A recently-published study of 23 obese individuals showed that by keeping food intake to within the hours of 10 am and 6 pm participants ate an average of 350 fewer calories and lost 3 percent of their body weight over twelve weeks. It’s not compelling enough to make this the only intervention we use, but it does add an additional tool that most people find reasonable to implement.
Rising Fasting Insulin Triggers Weight Gain, Even as Glucose Levels are Normal
Unwanted weight gain? Insulin resistance has to be a piece of your investigation even if fasting glucose and HbA1c are normal. Running a fasting insulin test can prove very insightful (as it has done myriad times over in my practice). A recent study of NHANES data from 2011-14 showed that the weight-promoting effects of insulin (insulin is potently anabolic and estrogen-promoting) started at relatively low levels of insulin increases and during early insulin resistance. In fact, over a 10-year period, the bulk of the weight gain that occurred in those with higher insulin happened during early insulin rises and before glucose levels became elevated.
Juice is as Bad as Other Sugar Sweetened Beverages
Juice isn’t healthy, folks. Clever marketing campaigns have made juice seem like a good source of nutrients, but drinking fruit is not the same as eating whole fruit. One 12-ounce glass of orange juice contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar, roughly the same as a can of Coca Cola. One orange alone contains the equivalent of 2 teaspoons, meaning you’re downing the juice of 5 oranges in that 12-ounce glass. The fruit sugars in juices also lack the fiber found in whole fruits, which means they spike blood sugar even more quickly. Research shows that consuming apple juice before a meal actually makes you hungrier, compared with eating an apple that contains its own fiber. Juice consumption may therefore promote snacking habits in children. Want to know how to kick your sugar habit? Click here.
Regular Air Travel May be Linked With Cancer
Regular air travelers, and especially flight crews, are more likely to develop cancer, according to a new, rather depressing, observation study. While the study doesn’t confirm direct causation, there are increased exposures to known carcinogens including insecticides, flame retardants, jet fuel, and ionizing radiation. They also experience disrupted circadian rhythms. The take home for me is that flight travel requires some deliberate detoxing, especially if you work in the industry.