Newtons Medical News – March

In the news this month:

 

In Profile – COVID-19

– The single story dominating the news
– Coping with COVID-19
– Keeping positive and avoiding worry

Health news

– An egg a day
– Is full fat milk bad for children?
– Sugar or sweeteners?

Newton’s News

– Product availability

 

A single story dominating the news

There is, of course, only one major medical news story in the world at the moment and that is the global COVID-19 pandemic.

With the virus affecting so many countries and the resulting changes to daily life, we are all doing our best to adapt to the ongoing situation.

 

Adapting to the Coronavirus

 

Coping with COVID19

This is a highly worrying time for people, so it is important to keep up to date with the latest advice. The UK government has an online resource for the public which is regularly updated.

 

Worrying about the virus

This is clearly a time of high anxiety and it is entirely normal to be worried, but what can we do if this feeling becomes overwhelming?

 

Worry can be debilitating

 

The NHS has published some useful advice which is aimed at helping people to manage their mental health at this difficult time:

 

1.Try and stick to the facts

Use trusted sources for your news such as the NHS or the government advice above.

Many of us rely on social media for news these days but bear in mind that not everything posted online has been checked for accuracy and there are lots of rumours and erroneous information circulating.

If you find the news a bit much – then try to limit your exposure by only checking updates once or twice a day.

2.Connect with others

It is important to observe social distancing rules but make sure you keep-up regular interactions with family and friends by phone or online, so you remain connected.

 

Keep in touch with others

3.Talk to someone

It can help to air your worries with a friend or family member.  If you don’t have anyone available to you, then there are helplines you can contact

4.Help others

Offering support to others is a distraction and can provide a positive boost to your own wellbeing.

5.Make a plan

Think about and write down how you are going to manage your personal situation. This helps to focus the mind away from random worries.

6.Take care of your physical health

Eating well, getting some exercise and avoiding drinking too much alcohol will make your body feel better. This usually has a positive impact on your mind as well.

 

Doing some exercise can make us feel more positive

7.Manage your feelings

This can be difficult but try to focus on the things that you can control, rather than those you can’t.

The NHS has audio guides which can help

8.Try to do things you enjoy

Simple activities like reading a book or learning something new can help you to relax.

Relax with a book

 

9.Think about the present

Concentrate on the here and now and don’t look to the future. Trying to anticipate what happens next can cause more worry.

10.Manage your sleep

Make sure you stick to healthy and positive sleep routines.

 

Good sleep is good for us

 

Health news

 

Nutrition update

Although almost all of the medical news at the moment is focused on COVID-19, there are some other snippets that we have come across which are worth investigating.

In the past we have looked at some fascinating stories about the impact of nutrition on our health, so we were interested to read three recent research updates on food and nutrition.

As we have already mentioned in this blog, doing our best to eat well at the moment is particularly important for our general health and wellbeing.

 

Eating a healthy diet is good for our wellbeing

 

Are eggs bad for your health?

Remember the old advertising slogan – go to work on an egg?

Well, research has recently shown that eating eggs every day does not have a negative impact on health. Scientists know that eggs are highly nutritious but they also contain a high level of cholesterol so could this be bad for us.

 

Eggs are highly nutritious but do they contain too much cholesterol?

 

A thirty year study lead by Harvard University in the US has now reached a conclusion that eating one egg every day is NOT associated with an increased risk of heart disease or stroke. The research was based on existing medical information from healthcare professionals and looked at 215,618 generally healthy people who ate 1-5 eggs per week over a period of 32 years.

Scientists also concluded that eggs are a good and affordable source of protein, iron and unsaturated fatty acids, but they cautioned that the results needed to be seen in context i.e. consumption of eggs is not detrimental to health but this needs to be as part of a generally good and cardiovascular-protective diet.

 

Eggs should be eaten as part of a generally healthy diet

 

The findings were published by the BMJ and covered by a story in the Mail online.

Good news for everyone who enjoys their daily egg!

 

Should children be drinking full fat dairy milk?

Many parents have children at home at the moment so are likely to be focused on keeping their diets as healthy as possible.

Another piece of interesting research highlighted by the NHS has looked at whether full fat milk could be detrimental to children’s health. It involved researchers looking at 29 different nutrition studies related to children aged 2 to 18 years.

 

Full fat milk vs lower fat alternatives

The research concluded that no studies directly linked drinking full fat milk with children being a higher weight OR that drinking lower fat versions resulted in weight loss.

Although this is not conclusive proof that full fat dairy milk ‘will not’ cause children to be overweight, it does give credence to the view that drinking this sort of milk alone will not lead to weight gain.

 

Many children like drinking milk

 

The conclusion was that more research is required to look closely at this and other associated medical issues including cholesterol levels and high blood pressure (where the results were not entirely discernible from this study alone).

So, for the time being – continue to drink your full fat milk if you enjoy it BUT everything in moderation!

 

Sugar vs sweeteners

It can be tempting in current difficult times to take solace in a large box of chocolates, but most of us understand that too much sugar is bad for our health so we often use sweeteners instead.

 

Humans like the taste of sweet things

 

A recent article in the New Scientist investigates how our digestive systems react to sugar and sweeteners and the fact that our guts can tell them apart.

Research carried out in the 1950s established that mice still respond to sweet food rewards, even when they bypass their mouths and are put directly into their stomachs. And two years ago the researcher Diego Bohorquez at Duke University in North Carolina discovered ‘neuropod cells’, unique cells in the gut which can sense different nutrients.

 

Our brains receive message about nutrients direct from our guts

 

This research established that both real sugar and sweeteners send alerts to the brain when they are sensed by the digestive system, BUT each uses a different method. Real sugar releases a compound called glutamate and sweeteners release a different type called ATP.

Scientists concluded that the human body has evolved to differentiate because it is vitally important to quickly recognise those foods which actually contain energy versus those that don’t.

Researchers believe that over time we can use this knowledge to assist people who have eating disorders. It is also helpful to understand how our guts interact with our brains – an area of research which is of increasing interest to scientists.

 

Newtons news

Product availability

Many medical products are in high demand at the moment so we are doing our best to restock from our suppliers as fast as we can. Please bear with us under current circumstances.

If you have a query about any of our products, please use our contact form to email us and we will get back to you as soon as we can

We would like to extend our wholehearted gratitude to all of the dedicated and exceptional people who work in our NHS at this very challenging time. We cannot thank you enough.

 

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