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DyoDelta
Supporting people's health
Supporting people's health
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DIABETES, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, STROKE AND HEART ATTACK

The therapeutic effect of olive oil in cardiovascular diseases is the most studied.
It is apparent that its effect is not only due the monounsaturated fatty acids, primarily oleic acid, but also due to the many bioactive components present in small amounts. But actually, pharmaceuticals are given also is very small amounts.

A well designed prospective study in 3232 people for 6 years in Europe which results were published in 2012 in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases showed that the Mediterranean diet had a beneficial effect on Metabolic Syndrome, a medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity that carries greater risk of heart disease, stroke and other similar conditions.

In 2013, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that in 7447 people enrolled with high cardiovascular risk, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil reduced the incidence of heart attack, stroke and death from other cardiovascular causes. The trial was a multi-centre, randomised parallel one, so well designed and followed the people over 5 years. The recommended olive oil intake was over 4 tablespoons a day.

A large multicenter, randomized trial conducted in Spain in more than 3500 men and women (between 55 to 80 years) at high cardiovascular risk, compared one group taking Mediterranean diet with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, another group taking Mediterranean diet with nuts and another group, taking a low-fat diet. The three groups were not asked to lose weight, or do physical exercise. The trial started in 2003 and lasted until 2010. The findings were supportive of the therapeutic effect of Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The group that was taking Mediterranean diet with Extra Virgin Olive Oil had the least cases of diabetes developing, followed by the group that was taking Mediterranean diet with nuts and the group with the highest incidence of diabetes was the taking a low-fat diet. The study was published in 2014 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a well-known medical journal from the American College of Physicians.

A recent publication in 2015 in the Journal of Nutrition, showed that only olive oil that is high in antioxidants has a therapeutic effect. The study was a randomized, cross-over controlled trial in 25 healthy European men who took low-polyphenol-content olive oil or high-polyphenol-content olive oil. The results showed that the olive oil high in antioxidants decreased LDL, but the one low in antioxidants increased it ! Furthermore, it showed that the olive oil high in antioxidants actually altered gene expression of the antibody production that combats LDL. The olive oil low in antioxidants did not.

In 2016, a publication in The Journal of Nutrition summarised the current scientific evidence from epidemiologic studies and clinical trials on the relation between the Mediterranean Diet and Type 2 diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome and showed a positive effect.

Many studies have been published in prestigious medical journals. A good review was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, analysing the results of 50 Studies and 534,906 people and showed a protective role of the Mediterranean diet on waist circumference, cholesterol triglycerides, blood pressure and blood sugar.
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What are Health Foods ?

Health food is food considered beneficial to health in ways that go beyond a normal healthy diet required for human nutrition. Because there is no precise, authoritative definition from regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, different dietary practices can be considered healthy depending on context.

Foods marketed as "healthy" may be natural foods, organic foods, whole foods, and sometimes vegetarian or dietary supplements. Such products are sold in health food stores or in the health/organic sections of supermarkets.

While there is no precise definition for "health food", the United States Food and Drug Administration has warned food manufacturers against labeling foods as being "healthy" when they have a high sugar, salt, or fat content.

Some examples of health foods are broccoli, tomatoes, nuts, eggplants, herbal teas, yoghurt, some oils and especially olive oil and fish oil.
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What are superfoods ?

There is no official definition of a "superfood" and the EU has banned health claims on packaging unless supported by scientific evidence.

The superfood trend exploits the fact that healthy lifestyle choices, including diet, can reduce our risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke and cancer.

'Superfood' or 'super diet'?

Dietitians avoid the term "superfood" and prefer to talk of "super diets", where the emphasis is on a healthy balanced diet. The food industry wants to persuade us that eating some foods can slow down the ageing process, lift depression, boost our physical ability, and even our intelligence.

Many of us want to believe that eating a single fruit or vegetable containing a certain antioxidant will zap a diseased cell.

The problem is that most research on superfoods tests chemicals and extracts in concentrations not found in the food in its natural state.

Garlic, for example, contains a nutrient alleged to help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. But you'd have to eat up to 28 cloves a day to match the doses used in the lab – something no researcher has yet been brave enough to try.

Foods that have been elevated to superfood status in recent years include those rich in antioxidants (such as beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, E, flavanoids and selenium) and omega-3 fatty acids.

Antioxidants are chemicals thought to protect against the harmful effects of free radicals, which are chemicals naturally produced in every living cell and known to cause cell damage.

However, evidence about this and other health benefits of antioxidants is inconclusive. In a review of the scientific evidence in 2011 (PDF, 188kb), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found no evidence that the antioxidant action on free radicals observed in the lab was of any benefit to human health.

On the other hand, some research suggests that certain antioxidant supplements may be harmful (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007176.pub2/pdf).

While the concept of a "miracle food" remains a fantasy, it's pretty well-established that obesity and alcohol are the two most common causes of major long-term illness and increased risk of premature death.

A 'superfood' as "a food that is considered to be very good for your health and that may even help some medical conditions." The Oxford Dictionary definition states a superfood is “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being."

The European Food Information Council stated it was impractical for consumers to have a diet based only on presumed superfoods when nutrients are provided readily from a diet using diverse foods, especially including fruits and vegetables.

As of 2007, the marketing of products as "superfoods" is prohibited in the European Union unless accompanied by a specific authorised health claim supported by credible scientific research. The ruling was issued to guide marketing by manufacturers to assure proof of scientific evidence for why a particular food would be labelled as healthy or classified as a superfood.
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What are functional foods ?

Functional foods are foods that provide given an additional function, such as preventing disease and/or treating certain conditions.

The Functional Food Center (FFC) in the U.S. has adopted a new definition of functional food, defining functional food as "natural or processed foods that contain known or unknown biologically-active compounds; the foods, in defined, effective, and non-toxic amounts, provided a clinically proven and documented health benefits for the prevention, management, or treatment of chronic diseases".

According to the United States Department of Agriculture- Agricultural Research Service (USDA –ARS), functional foods are "designed to have physiological benefits and/or reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond basic nutritional functions, and may be similar in appearance to conventional food and consumed as part of a regular diet"
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Why antioxidants are important

Free radicals are molecules produced in the body under normal metabolism but in higher amounts in certain conditions like inflammation, infection, radiation, and smoking. Free radicals are reactive molecules and create damage to lipids, DNA and proteins. This is a complicated biochemical process: free radicals react with fatty acids which then also become free radicals, like a chain reaction, leading to our LDL (Low Density Liporpotein - often referred to as “bad cholesterol”) being able to enter the cells of our arteries and create the plaque that gives us high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and other rather serious problems. When free radicals attack DNA, they cause mutations and breaks, which are both steps in the process of cancer. Oxidative stress produced by free radicals has been linked to the development of several diseases such as cardiovascular, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, and also with the process of ageing.
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A natural diet treatment for inflammation

A study published in Nature in 2005 with the title “Ibuprofen-like activity in extra-virgin olive oil” outlined that newly pressed extra-virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal - a compound with similar pharmacological activity, as a natural anti-inflammatory compound with the potency and profile strikingly similar to that of ibuprofen (both molecules inhibit cyclooxygenase which is involved in inflammation). These findings offer a possible explanation for some of the various health benefits attributed to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil; the authors, based on a daily consumption of approximately 10 mg of oleocanthal, suggested that the cardiovascular-protective effects of the Mediterranean diet may be expected from the regular intake of this. As low dose of aspirin long-term is used for heart protection because of aspirin’s anti-inflammatory effects, much in the same way, oleocanthal in olive oil may exert its effect by reducing chronic inflammation. However, as aspirin and ibuprofen are synthetic, long-term use is associated with ulcers in the stomach and intestine, whereas olive oil is safe to take forever.
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The Mediterranean diet


The Mediterranean diet is characterised by high consumption of olive oil, fruits, vegetables, legumes, unrefined cereals and fish with low consumption of dairy, meat and meat products. Interestingly, wine consumption is moderate.

Olive oil is a key part of the Mediterranean diet and has been consumed by humans for thousands of years before the advent and the wide use of cheaper and less healthy, often dangerous, oils of various origins that are used frequently in processed foods. The extraction of oil from olives was first evidenced 8000 years ago, even though humans must have been feeding on olives long before that.

The Mediterranean diet has been proven in numerous scientific studies published to have significant protective effects against many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. The therapeutic effects are partly thanks to the high olive oil consumption.
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The new paradigm in medicine ?
Our gut bacteria play a role in health and disease

Through millions of years of living on earth with each other, different organisms evolved needing each other. In humans, our bodies have endless numbers of bacteria. They live on our skin, in our nose, in our mouth, in our lungs and most of course, in our gut. The human gut (scientifically called the gastro-intestinal tract) is 9 meters long (30 feet) !

The food we eat passes through and on the way, we absorb many compounds we need. But many of the compounds produced in digestion are only available because of the role of the bacteria inside us. Around 400 different species of bacteria and based on scientific literature, around 100,000,000,000,000 of them in each person. In fact, scientific literature has recently calculated that we have more bacterial cells than human cells.

It may seem strange because humans tend to have a dislike of the word “bacteria” because they are often associated with infections. And of course, we use words like “good bacteria” and “bad bacteria”. Of course they’re not good and bad – they’re all bacteria but some are beneficial to us and some are dangerous.

This is one of the newest fields in medicine and despite that throughout human history, people knew the importance of the gut in health and disease, only in the last 1-2 decades science and medicine paid a lot of attention and the field is becoming full of excitement as we have discovered the possible origin of many diseases, or at least mechanisms that seem to be implicated. Possibly the new paradigm in medicine ?

Thankfully, also a “natural” way of treating or preventing many diseases.
The bacteria in our gut interact with each other. Through endless mutations over millions of years, some species manage to control others. That means that if some species decrease, others increase. But our resident bacteria also interact with our immune system and contribute to health and disease.

There are many terms we use to describe all the bacteria in our gut: the two best ones are “gut flora” and “human microbiota”. There is another term frequently used which is “human microbiome”, but the human microbiome is not the same as the Human Microbiota, but refers to their total genes. Not surprisingly, the total genes number of our resident bacteria is much larger than that of our human cell genes. In pharmaceutical research, trying to come up with new synthetic drugs, this was not taken into account.

The gut flora has many functions which we know about, for example synthesis of some vitamins such as K and B12, breaking down plant fibres and fatty acids, controlling inflammation and interacting with the immune system. Clearly, it must have many functions we don’t know yet !

The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) started in 2008 in the United States by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (https://commonfund.nih.gov/hmp/overview). In parallel and since then, many serious initiatives have started around the world.
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Understanding evolution's role in our health

Life on earth seems to have begun more than 3.5 billion years ago. Numerous different types of life existed and exist. What is for sure is that life on earth shares the genetic code – the DNA. For example, the grape DNA is 25% similar to human. The mouse DNA is 90% similar to us. It may seem strange, but a mouse (and most animals actualy), have a head, two eyes, two ears, one nose, two lungs, a stomach, intestine, a heart, a brain etc.

Humans apparently have been on earth for about 6 million years. Very slowly, but over a very long period (6 million years is hard to imagine), our bodies adapted to what we ate. One can imagine through trial and error, the early humans must have been trying to eat anything around us. Some things were good to eat, some bad. And some things were deadly. Until recently, there was no internet. Before the internet there were some books; before some books there were some other types pf scripts, but human civilisation is only a few thousand years old, so people must have been just using their experience passed from generation to generation to tell each other what to eat and what not eat.

The point about what we have been feeding on is that our bodies have built the mechanisms over millions of years to survive. The human body (like the animal body) has so many mechanisms that many depend on each other, so many types of proteins and other molecules that interact.

It is not logical to assume that all diseases begin because of nutrition, but many have already been linked to it. The issue with processed foods is that we put in our bodies substances which we are not used to metabolising. Not having the appropriate nutritional habits, together with genetic and environmental reasons, leads to many diseases.
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