This week I am attending a 5 day ‘Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice’ seminar in London run by the Institute of Functional Medicine in the US. I can’t wait as it’s going to be a packed 5 days with lots of new information, clinical pearls and useful tools to use in practice. Functional Medicine is really making an impact in America where there are sky high rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and auto-immune disease. Functional Medicine practitioners seek to identify underlying imbalances in any health conditions (ie functional changes in the body) to help correct disease rather than treating symptoms.

Breakfast cereal with more sugar than 7 chocolate fingers

Another article in today’s Daily Mail newspaper revealing how high sugar levels are in popular foods, expect many more as sugar is now increasingly being recognised as ‘the big baddy’ in our diets and many food manufacturers are ignoring advice to cut levels in their products.  Some breakfast cereals contain as much sugar as 7.5 chocolate fingers per portion and levels have gone up over the past few years. Campaign group ‘Action on Sugar’ found 14 out of 50 cereals were at least a third sugar – 33.3g per 100g or a whopping 8 teaspoons in each serving.  The worst offender was Aldi’s Harvest Morn Choco Rice at 39g per 100g which is equivalent to 10 teaspoons.   Morrisons Honey & Nut Corn Flakes and Sainsbury’s Honey Nut Corn Flakes came in at 36.3g per 100g. The amount in Kellog’s Frosties was 37g per 100g and Crunchy Nut was 25g per 100g. As well as contributing to weight gain too much sugar is linked with increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Start reading those food labels and be prepared to be quite shocked – 4g of sugar is equal to 1 teaspoon!

Sugary drinks can bring on girl’s periods earlier

According to a study reported in today’s press, girls who drink more than one sugary drink a day are likely to start their periods earlier. Those who drank more than 1.5 sugar sweetened beverages every day had their first period on average 2.7 months earlier than those who had no more than 2 a week. This discovery is significant as the risk of breast cancer later in life increases among those who start their periods earlier.  This study was done in the US following 5,583 adolescent girls and the effect was found to be independent of body mass index. The study found no link with fruit juices or diet drinks with added sweeteners although as a nutritional therapist I would not recommend diet drinks as most artificial sweeteners have adverse effects in the body.

Functional Medicine Conference

I recently attended Nutri’s annual 2 day Functional Medicine conference in London which was excellent.  Top FM doctors from America delivered first class presentations covering using Functional Medicine in clinics, toxicity, dyslipidaemia, diabetes and metabolic syndrome and much more. Great to meet other practitioners and the Nutri team.

Auto Immune Conference

I’ve just attended a fascinating seminar on Auto Immune diseases which are rapidly increasing in western countries.  It is estimated that 10% of the population has an auto immune disease and this will get worse.  The underlying factor in many cases is food sensitivities with Gluten (the protein in wheat) being one of the prime suspects.  One of the best presentations was by Natasha Campbell McBride who is a nutritional doctor specialising in Autism and she has great results. Brilliant stuff!