L-Carnitine for Fat Loss – Useful or No?

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Can l-carnitine supplementation be useful for people trying to lose body fat? The verdict is still out according to one literature review published in 2017. L-carnitine is an amino acid derivative that is both consumed through food and synthesized by the body.  L-carnitine helps in the disposal of glucose during periods of hyperinsulinemia, assists with …

Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes

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Mitochondria, the “powerhouse” of cells, produce ATP in the cell, and they are a primary producer of energy (ATP) for the body. If mitochondria are not functioning correctly, obesity, insulin resistance, and the development of T2DM are likely to occur. Damaged mitochondria in pancreatic b-cells contribute to the development of T2DM because they contribute to …

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – What is it, what causes it, and how to address it?

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When we eat foods, our bodies break them down into smaller parts through the digestive process.  Carbohydrate foods (and in some extreme cases, protein foods), are digested and broken down into glucose, the body’s preferred source of fuel. In order for glucose to be used by the body, it needs to be allowed to enter …

The Impact of a Gluten-Free Diet on IBS & NCGS

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Does a gluten-free diet (GFD) help people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) & non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)? Or is it only effective for people with NCGS? NCGS is a type of gluten intolerance, characterized by symptoms including bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, or unusual gas upon eating gluten-containing foods.  However, people with NCGS do not …

Do Digestive Enzymes Help?

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Digestive enzymes (DEs) break down macronutrients to be digested and absorbed by the body. The digestive system produces them. In some cases of gastrointestinal illness or malfunction, DEs are recommended by practitioners to improve digestive function (Stovens, Murray, & Marietta, 2012). But do they actually benefit digestion? If so, do they benefit digestion in the …

Type 2 Diabetes in Children

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The increase in the number of children with type 2 diabetes has been a hot topic in the field of nutrition in the last decade.  My personal interest in this topic stems from having a large number of family members who have died or are currently suffering from the disease.  I had an aunt who …

Gut Health & the Athlete

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Does intensephysical exercise modify microbiota density and composition?

Why do people with IBS do well on the low FODMAP diet?

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FODMAPs (an acronym for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) are short-chain carbohydrates.   They are difficult for the small intestines to absorb, so they are fermented by the microbiota in the large intestines of those with IBS.  As this occurs, gas is produced by the microbiota, causing the person to feel gassy, bloated, and perhaps …

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – An Overview

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PCOS – polycystic ovarian syndrome – is a disease that affects a woman’s fertility.  In America, approximately 7% of women have been diagnosed with this disease (Ndefo et.al., 2013) although many more women may have it and not know.  Symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, facial hair growth, acne, unusual abdominal weight gain, thinning hair, …

Is There Really a Such Thing as “Leaky Gut?”

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Is there such a thing as increased intestinal permeability as a pathophysiological state (aka “leaky gut”)? Based on my research, I must conclude that there is indeed such a thing as intestinal permeability, otherwise known as leaky gut.  According to the Current Opinion in Gastroenterology peer-reviewed journal (2016), intestinal permeability does indeed exist.   Intestinal permeability …