Future Pill: A tablet a day keeps obesity away…
The Daily Mail is not a newspaper I normally read. However many people had told me that the health section was rather good so I dutifully bought The Mail on Tuesday, the day they give a lot of inches to health issues.
To my surprise, I found the health section remarkably informative, helpful and pleasant to read. One of the articles was entitled ‘Magic’ pill to treat obesity. Ever thought it would be nice to lose weight without dieting or regular exercise. Apparently the men in white coats at Aston University in Birmingham, have discovered that there is a protein in the body called zinc alpha 2 glycoprotein (also known as ZAG). Now this protein promotes weight loss independent of your diet, exercise or lack thereof! ZAG can apparently also lower blood sugar levels which could make it a useful treatment in diabetes. Don’t rush to the chemist just yet though. The scientists still have to figure a way of putting ZAG into a pill; but they are apparently hard at work…
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Do we need more bacteria?
This extremely common condition which causes misery for hundreds of thousands of people by causing bloating, indigestion constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain is also known as IBS. (which is why IDS is such a funny acronym for Iain Duncan Smith ;-) Once again it’s Birmingham scientists that are at the forefront. According to The Mail, doctors at Selly Oak Hospital are using bacteria to treat IBS. This sounds like an interesting idea as the large bowel or colon needs to be colonised by healthy bacteria which form a stable community. This community of bacteria prevent newcomers in the form of unhealthy bacteria and fungi from settling it. The doctors also think that the new healthy bacteria may also reduce inflammation and even ‘boost the immune system’.
Interestingly this is why it’s not a great idea to take too many antibiotics. Most antibiotics wipe out the healthy bacteria all over the body, allowing opportunistic infections with unhealthy bacteria and fungi.
But Worms as medicine?
This week I watched a television programme on parasites. There is a doctor in the United States that gives his patients worms! Sounds crazy but there is method in the madness. The good doctor has been treating ulcerative colitis, a potentially very serious condition (and certainly not to be confused with IBS) that often needs to be treated with steroids and even surgery. Thus any new treatment for this debilitating condition is deserving of attention – even worms. Apparently the worms in the gut produce chemicals that reduce the inflammation produced by the disease. So far 125 patients have been treated but the results of the study have yet to be published. Until worms become an officially recognised treatment for ulcerative colitis, my advice to you is not to try this treatment at home.
Homeopathic Tip of the Week
Okay let’s stay with IBS as it’s such a common condition. In my experience there is much you can do with natural medicine for IBS. I recommend a three-pronged approach.
1. Stress Reduction: There is no doubt that IBS is a stress-related condition. Therefore regular deep relaxation, meditation and stress management can make a big difference.
2. Diet: Sometimes a new diet can make a big difference. Avoiding the combination of carbohydrates and proteins in the same meal can sometimes be highly effective
3. Homeopathy: Can be very useful. It’s best to have a remedy chosen for you by a professional homeopath. However if you have IBS, love sweets, are of a nervous disposition and tend to be rushed and stressed, you could try the homeopathic remedy Argentum nitricum 6 twice a day for a few weeks.