Glutamine Supplementation & Gut Health

Glutamine Supplementation & Gut Health

GI Disorders
Glutamine plays an integral role in gut health. Around 30% of the glutamine that the body produces goes to maintaining and fuelling processes in the gut. What is Glutamine? Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the human body. It is often considered conditionally essential, meaning that our bodies can make it endogenously. Although, there may be times where we must get it from food. Intracellular concentrations of glutamine can be depleted when the body is under a significant amount of stress such trauma or sepsis.  During these times, the body may not be able to produce enough glutamine to keep up with the increased requirements by intestinal, renal, and immune cells. When usage of glutamine exceeds the endogenous glutamine production, it is then considered an essential nutrient. Glutamine…
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Is Mock Meat Healthier Than Real Meat?

Is Mock Meat Healthier Than Real Meat?

Health
With the rise in veganism and people turning to plant-based eating, the market for mock meat has been booming. When I first went vegan, almost a decade ago now, you would be hard up finding a decent block of tofu in major supermarkets in Australia. Now in 2021, there is a whole section dedicated to plant based meat alternatives. Plant based beef-style burgers, “chicken” nuggets, sausages, pepperoni, bacon and ham are all readily accessible in Coles & Woolworths.  Going out to eat as a vegan is also a lot easier these days. With everyone from major food chains like Dominos, Nandos, and Hungry Jacks to fine dining restaurants offering mock meat options.  But are these faux meat products any better for your health than the real thing? Reducing Meat Consumption…
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Glycerol: A Dietitian’s Guide

Glycerol: A Dietitian’s Guide

Sports
Glycerol is a substance that allows for more effective hydration. Typically used before events, glycerol improves the body’s retention of water by reducing urinary output after consuming fluids. As a supplement it has not received a lot of attention by competitive athletes and their coaches as it was previously banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). However, that changed in 2018 when WADA removed it from its banned substances list.  What is Glycerol? Glycerol is a 3-carbon sugar alcohol which forms the backbone of triglycerides.  This fact is actually really relevant to why it was removed from the WADA banned substances list. Endurance athletes that exercise for long periods of time such as Ironman triathletes and ultra endurance runners use fat as a fuel source.  During this type of exercise,…
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Getting Omega-3 On A Plant-Based Diet

Getting Omega-3 On A Plant-Based Diet

Health
Omega-3 has been a nutrient of interest for general health and well-being for a long time.  A diet rich in omega-3 is important for maintaining cell membranes, regulating metabolism, and reducing inflammation.  Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids likely protect against heart disease due to their impact on cholesterol and blood pressure.  Omega-3 fatty acids are also particularly important during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Furthermore, there is evidence from studies in athletic populations to support high omega-3 intake and supplementation for performance and recovery. Whilst evidence is mixed, omega-3 in the form of EPA and DHA may: Facilitate muscle growth during resistance training Help preserve muscle mass when calories are restricted or during immobilizationContribute to increased muscle mass and strengthImprove endurance capacity by reducing the oxygen cost of exerciseReduce oxygen consumption, heart…
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Pickle Juice: Good For Cramps?

Pickle Juice: Good For Cramps?

Sports
Cramps. The bane of existence for many athletes and weekend warriors. Despite the many products claiming to reduce cramping, the efficacy of all the different “cures” to cramps is mostly lacking substantial evidence.  However, there is a small amount of research to suggest that pickle juice may actually assist with reducing the duration and intensity of cramps. And may even prevent them! But not for the reasons you might initially think. What Are Cramps & Why Do They Occur? Exercise-induced muscle cramps (EAMC) typically occur in single, multijoint muscles (eg, triceps surae, quadriceps, hamstrings) when contracting in a shortened state. Although some cramps do not affect athletic performance, other times, they can be completely debilitating. With cramps being so common in exercise and having the potential to completely stop an athlete…
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The Gut Microbiome & Low FODMAP Diet

The Gut Microbiome & Low FODMAP Diet

Other
The low FODMAP diet, created in Melbourne Australia, is one of the best, evidence-based ways to manage irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, it is also a very restrictive diet that limits a whole host of healthy foods that would otherwise nurture and improve our gut health. If you are on this diet for a long period of time to investigate your IBS triggers, it is a good idea to take extra steps to ensure that your gut microbiome is nurtured and not neglected.  What Is The Low FODMAP Diet? FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates that are not well digested by the body. Instead of being broken down completely, they ferment in the gut.  Which is actually part of the reason they are beneficial for gut health.  But for people suffering from…
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Low FODMAP Bread Options in Australia

Low FODMAP Bread Options in Australia

GI Disorders
In most households, bread is an absolute staple. However, bread made of wheat flour is typically high in fructans which are a type of short-chain carbohydrate that is resistant to digestion. If you are on a low FODMAP diet or find fructans to be a particular issue for you, you may be looking for a good alternative. Luckily, the variety of low FODMAP bread has boomed over recent years and is now fairly accessible. In many cases, people can consume fructans without any symptoms at all and these fermentable carbohydrates can even contribute to good gut health. But for those who suffer from a sensitive tummy or IBS, there may be a limited threshold for fructans and they may experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and/or abdominal pain when consumed.  But…
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Are Food Sensitivity Tests Accurate?

Are Food Sensitivity Tests Accurate?

Health
Food intolerance or food sensitivity tests have been around for a little while now, with many companies charging hundreds of dollars to tell you what foods are giving you grief. But how accurate are these tests? And are they really worth the money? Unfortunately, they are about as accurate and helpful as an online “Which character from Friends are you?” quiz. So whilst they may be a bit of fun, the result doesn't really mean anything. And they definitely should not inform any dietary or lifestyle changes. If anything, having these results tell you that you are intolerant to lots of different foods may even have a negative impact on your health. You may unnecessarily cut out food groups from your diet resulting in nutrient deficiencies or it may cause anxiety…
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Coeliac Disease: A Dietitian’s Guide

Coeliac Disease: A Dietitian’s Guide

Health
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to react abnormally to gluten consumption. Even very minuet amounts can cause a reaction. Gluten is found predominantly in wheat, rye, triticale, and barely. Although there are small amounts in oats (which is a complicated topic) and ingredients made from the above grains such as malted barley, wheat starch and maltodextrin. Unlike IBS where foods that cause a reaction can be consumed with no long-term damage occurring. Gluten consumption with coeliac disease does cause damage to the small intestine even when no symptoms are present. The small intestine is where most nutrients are absorbed when passing through the digestive tract. So significant damage to the small intestine can reduce the absorption of nutrients and result in deficiencies. The lining of…
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6 Tests You Should Get if You Are Vegan

6 Tests You Should Get if You Are Vegan

Health
Blood and urine tests can tell you a lot about your general health, including if you are getting adequate micronutrients through your diet. This is particularly useful as a vegan since many vitamins and minerals are more difficult to consume in sufficient amounts. However, these types of test can be done for every single nutrient. For example, testing calcium concentration in your blood does not tell you anything about how much calcium is provided through your diet. This is because calcium in the blood is tightly controlled. If your dietary intake is inadequate, additional calcium is simply taken from your bones. Zinc is another good example. Dietary intake for zinc is an issue for some vegans, particularly men who have very high requirements. But zinc levels from blood tests do…
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