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Impact of Dairy on Disease Risk & Health

In Sigma Statements by Alan Flanagan10 Comments

Estimated Reading Time = ~ 30 – 35 minutes Key Question: What is the impact of dairy on human health and risk of chronic disease? Context Recent years have seen an exponential increase in interest in exclusionary diets for ethical, moral, and/or environmental considerations. The dairy industry has come under particular scrutiny for both environmental reasons, and ethical/moral concerns related to industrialised or intensive farming practices. Within this important conversation, however, has been a tendency to conflate the the impact of dairy on health with these wider considerations. This results in a problematic discourse where the environmental and ethical considerations …

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Nutrition & Immune Function

In Sigma Statements by Danny LennonLeave a Comment

Estimated Reading Time = ~ 30 minutes Important: This article makes no claims about eating to prevent COVID-19 or to improve resistance to SARS-CoV-2. This article is for educational purposes to clarify the relationship between nutrition and immune function, so that the reader can more easily identify pseudoscientific claims that are circulating on this topic What is Immunity & Immune Function? Across the general population it is acknowledged that one’s immune system is important in order to keep us healthy, primarily by preventing or limiting infection. However, what is meant by immune function, and especially how that relates to diet …

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Red Meat & Human Health

In Sigma Statements by Alan FlanaganLeave a Comment

Estimated Reading Time = ~ 30 – 35 minutes Red meats are distinguished as ‘unprocessed’ or ‘processed’. The distinction between unprocessed and processed meats is an important aspect of evaluating the evidence related to health outcomes. Unprocessed meats includes mammalian muscle meats, from beef, lamb, mutton, veal, pork, goat, or game meats (venison, duck, etc.). Processed meats are defined by preservation or flavour-enhancing methods, including salting, curing, smoking, and industrial processing. Prevailing guidelines, including national health regulatory bodies and international organisations, recommend reducing red meat consumption, and limiting processed meat intake. The exact amounts may differ: Both US and Irish …

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How Sleep & Nutrition Interact

In Sigma Statements by Alan FlanaganLeave a Comment

Estimated Reading Time = ~ 20 minutes The relationship between nutrition and sleep may be considered in terms of a two-way interaction: This bi-directional relationship does not exist in a vacuum, and it is important to have a brief primer on the role of sleep and biological rhythms in human health. It is intrinsically obvious that sleep serves some vital functions for health, given that the state of sleep presents a significant evolutionary risk: i.e. we are unaware and unresponsive for one third of every 24 hour day. Our understanding of why this state is an evolutionary requirement has advanced …

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Probiotics: Common Indications and Current Evidence [S.S.]

In Sigma Statements by Alan FlanaganLeave a Comment

Estimated read time = ~ 14-16 minutes Probiotics can been defined as: “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” – International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics [ISAPP]  This criteria is strain-specific, encompassing specific species for which there is evidence from controlled interventions demonstrating an effect. To be classified as a probiotic, a product must: Note that this definition of probiotic does not include fermented foods.  It can be helpful to understand the organisation of living organisms, and how they are categorised, which is known as ’taxonomy’. The ecosystem of live bacteria …

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How Diet Influences Heart Disease Risk

In Sigma Statements by Alan FlanaganLeave a Comment

This Sigma Statement draws together the evidence from the previous two statements in the Diet and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Series (see part one and part two). It is not intended to revisit the salient elements of those respective Statements in detail, so for the purposes of this statement we will be proceeding with a number of premises from the conclusions of the two preceding parts of the series, namely: The role of diet, therefore, in influencing risk of CVD/CHD will be discussed in the context of these conclusions, and in particular in the context of replacement nutrients. First, however, let’s …

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The Impact of Diet on Blood Lipids

In Sigma Statements by Alan Flanagan3 Comments

This Sigma Statement will focus on the influence of diet on blood lipids. The evidence for causality between blood lipids per se and cardiovascular disease (CVD), will be discussed in the next Sigma Statement. You can join the email list to be notified when it is released. In examining the effects of diet on health outcomes, it is important to understand the substitution effects of different dietary constituents. In nutrition, substitution or replacement is a vital concept because the question of whether a nutrient has a positive or harmful influence on health is invariably faced with the response: “compared to …

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Cholesterol, Lipoproteins & Lipids: Understanding CVD Risk (Sigma Statement)

In Sigma Statements by Alan Flanagan3 Comments

This statement is the first of three statements which collectively make up our “Diet & CVD” series. The goal of this series is to examine the relationship between diet and cardiovascular disease (CVD), and specifically coronary heart disease (CHD). But before discussing the connection between diet and CVD outcomes, it is crucial to first examine: In this statement we will address point #1 above; i.e. answering the question: What are the roles of lipids, cholesterol and lipoproteins in atherosclerosis & CVD development? The next statement in this series deals with point #2 above, whilst the third statement will circle back …

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What Are Sigma Statements?

In Sigma Statements by Danny LennonLeave a Comment

I’m delighted to announce a new resource that we are making available to you: the Sigma Statements! A Sigma Statement will be written piece that gives a clear walk though and explanation of the current evidence on a specific nutritional science topic, with the aim of having you come away with a clearer and more nuanced understanding of some of the most important (and often hotly debated) topics in nutrition and health. Although they will discuss science, reseach and link to relevant studies, the statements are written with the aim of not being too difficult to read or engage with. …