What is vitamin K?
Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins, with the two primary forms being vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K is responsible for blood clotting. This may sound like a bad thing, but without vitamin K we would bleed out excessively, even from a small cut. Vitamin K also plays a role in bone and heart health.
In terms of bone health, vitamin K helps to activate the protein required for bone growth and development. This can be beneficial for young children or for those with osteoporosis. Studies have shown a decrease in fracture rates, specifically of hip fractures.
Vitamin K also has a positive effect on heart health, as it can prevent calcium from depositing plaque in the arteries. Reducing the build-up of plaque is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Vitamin K1 is generally found in green leafy vegetables, like kale, spinach, broccoli and brussels sprouts. It makes up approximately...
Hemochromatosis describes a condition where iron and ferritin levels are too high in the body. With hemochromatosis, too much iron gets absorbed from the food we eat, which elevates iron to dangerously high levels. Chronic elevation of iron can have severe consequences, which include:
Hemochromatosis is a hereditary condition associated with an HFE gene mutation. Put simply, the mutation causes excessive amounts of iron absorption. If you inherit two abnormal genes, you may develop hemochromatosis. However, if you only inherit one abnormal gene, you are unlikely to develop...
PCOS describes an imbalance of sex hormones, particularly of male sex hormones like testosterone. It leads to many cysts forming on the ovaries, that rarely produce fertilisable eggs. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown; however, family history, genetics, hormones, and lifestyle are thought to play a part.
Although not curable, PCOS can be managed effectively. However, it does require support from a range of health professionals, including dietitians.
There are five significant impacts PCOS can have on your health. These include:
PCOS is regarded as an insulin-resistant condition, affecting 80% of women. Insulin...
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you might be at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Today we will explore the role of vitamin B12, as well as therapeutic pathways to correct an existing deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin found in animal products, like eggs, milk and meat. It is involved in red blood cell production, energy production, the development of memory and nerve insulation.
Our vitamin B12 stores can last for three-six years, meaning they do not run out quickly. Although, following a period of five-ten years adverse symptoms may begin to show. Even though this is a slow process, we still need to be mindful about our...
Artificial sweeteners are generally used as a sugar alternative. Sugar is a significant component of many of the foods we eat and acts as a sweetener, preservative and bulking agent. Generally, it is found in highly processed foods like biscuits, cakes, muesli bars, yoghurts, soft drinks, and juices.
When eaten in excess, these foods can contribute to weight gain and elevated blood glucose levels. Replacing sugar with an artificial sweetener can help to reduce kilojoule intake and support better blood glucose control. This is important to note because sugar-free alternatives are a great tool for weight loss and better management of chronic...
More often than not, alcohol is involved. But what impact is this having on our health? Is it major, or are we free to keep on sippin’? Today we’ll go through how alcohol is absorbed, the pros and cons and general recommendations.
Alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and has a high kilojoule content per gram (27kJ/g). Drinking alcohol, including straight spirits, will contribute to your overall energy intake. To absorb alcohol, our bodies need a lot of the essential B vitamin, thiamine. Without enough thiamine, we can have unpleasant complications which are outlined below.
Once absorbed, alcohol is broken down into a product known as acetaldehyde. If alcohol is consumed in excess, acetaldehyde can inflame and scar the liver.
Excessive alcohol consumption can...
Many people are aware that intermittent fasting is a popular diet to lose weight. But, is it all that it’s cracked up to be? Today, we’ll decipher the science to help YOU better understand the mechanisms behind intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting was first established to better manage breast cancer and dementia. Results highlighted favourable outcomes, one of those being weight loss. From here, the intermittent fasting diet was picked up by health gurus and commercialised for all.
Simply put, intermittent fasting generally leads to a kilojoule restriction. A kilojoule deficit is created, by limiting the period of time you can eat and drink across the day. Inevitably, this results in weight loss. Other benefits to intermittent fasting include:
We don't often think about our gallbladder. But this useful organ has a critical part to play in our body. A healthy gallbladder has three primary responsibilities. Aiding digestion, storing bile and breaking down fat. When we eat a fatty meal, bile squirts into our small intestine. The bile then acts as a detergent, to breakdown the fat and help with nutrient absorption.
When we have too much cholesterol in the gallbladder, issues can arise. Cholesterol stones begin to form, leading to the development of gallstones. Gallstones are painful and generally require surgical intervention, either the removal of the gallstones or the entire gallbladder.
When people lose weight, fat stores break down. This leads to an increase in triglycerides and cholesterol and can result in an increased risk of gallstone formation.
After having weight loss surgery, it's not...
What can often be an uncomfortable topic is affecting many of us on the daily. In fact, one in seven people report symptoms of constipation.
Constipation describes an inability to completely empty one’s bowels on a regular basis. It’s important to note that what’s ‘regular’ differs depending on the person. Some people can go three times a day, whereas others can go three times a week. Signs of constipation may include stools that are hard, dry, and smell pellet-shaped, as well as stomach discomfort, fatigue, and nausea.
Soluble fibre acts like a sponge. It will help form the stool by pulling water into the bowel. Insoluble fibre is like a big broom. It helps to push the stool through the bowel and out of the body. Both fibres (particularly soluble fibre) need a lot of water to prevent the stool from drying and getting stuck in the bowel.
Factors mentioned above are not the sole causes of...
Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) describes a condition involving the burning of the oesophagus. The condition is commonly referred to as ‘heartburn’ or ‘reflux.’ The stomach contains acid, like battery acid, which helps to breakdown food. It is the only part of the body that can tolerate this level of acidity. Pain arises when the stomach acids leak into the oesophagus, which can be quite uncomfortable, even painful!