When Captain Kirk said "beam me up" I always pictured the body disintegrating into a million particles and then miraculously being reconstituted on board the starship enterprise.
This is one feat that the scientists haven't been able to replicate… yet. Probably because the human body is such a complex organism and there's so much we don’t know about it.
That hasn’t stopped a series of mad scientists on our TV screens trying to recreate the human form; 'Frankensteins' that didn’t quite work out.
So what makes us think we understand the plant world any better? Yet scientists deconstruct plants in the lab, extracting all the parts they think are worth keeping and separating them into piles of vitamins and minerals, ready to be reassembled as the latest remedy to help lose weight or to improve your skin.
The long sunny days of summer may now be a distant memory but etched in my brain are two events from last Christmas Day.
Christmas Day is not usually a day for making any earth-shattering discoveries, let alone two.
We were staying with Tracey's parents in Kaiteriteri and preparing for the traditional feast prepared by Tracey's Mum and Dad. While they were preparing I was keeping well clear, pretending to be useless - which I seem to be very good at!
Tracey's parents celebrate 50 years of marriage next year so as you can imagine they are a well-oiled machine when it comes to perfecting the Christmas feast - which is lucky because it usually feeds us until nearly New Year.
Since Ryman I've been searching for a new mission, one that would be less taxing on my health and more importantly one that might actually slow down the progression of Parkinsons and improve my quality of life.
The advice I received from the specialist I saw in Oregon five years ago was still ringing in my ears - his advice was to eat super-healthy, to push yourself both physically and mentally, to keep up the social contact and to get good sleep. This was my big opportunity to take his advice.
I discovered Nutrient Rescue late last year. I was my usual sceptical self but I couldn’t argue with the evidence - after just a few weeks of taking the shots I felt way better. My teenage son Sam, took to them as well, which blew us away. Six months later he still takes them every day. The rest of his diet hasn’t improved any, but his school results have!
Tracey and I decided to invest.
Dinner battle lines are drawn. I’m barking out the orders.
“Less talking more eating”
“Use your fork”
“Stop playing with that, it’s dinner time not play time”.
The blonde haired angels sat either side of me apparently gleeful in their defiant retorts.
“I don’t like carrots” (non-sense!)
“I’m full. Can we have pudding” (not if you’re full)
“Have I eaten enough now” (you’ve barely eaten anything!)
My girls Aria and Sylvie are seven and five. They’re actually pretty good eaters, and not too fussy about what foods they will or won’t eat. They will eat broccoli, for example. But they won’t touch leafy greens, with the exception of kale when it is crispy baked.
by Dr Vanessa Ingraham
We all know that a diet rich in vegetables and fruit boosts our immune system and keeps us feeling our best, but will an apple a day really keep the doctor away this flu season? These days, apples are one of the least nutritious fruits we can consume. Not only are they prone to insect predation and doused with pesticides (1), modern apples have been selected for sweetness and most varieties do not contain much more than some dietary fibre and a little bit of vitamin C.
by Dr Vanessa Ingraham
Chronic inflammation is thought to be a significant factor for almost every disease associated with ageing. Conditions such as heart disease, cancer, autoimmunity, osteoporosis, diabetes and even skin wrinkling all have roots in chronic inflammation. In order to achieve vibrant health we need to understand how to allay chronic inflammation.
by Dr Vanessa Ingraham
Our modern lives are by definition highly inflammatory. The Annual Update of Key Results 2015/16, New Zealand Health Survey, found that one in three Kiwis is overweight. Visceral adipose, or what is affectionately known as belly fat, contains cells that act like little factories, churning out cell messengers that promote inflammation in our bodies. Chronic inflammation unhinges our ability to control blood sugar, and the ability of our liver and muscles to burn fat.
Obesity drives inflammation, and inflammation makes it harder to lose weight. An anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle changes can break this cycle and reduce our risk of chronic disease.
by Dr Vanessa Ingraham
What do heart attacks, Alzheimer's, diabetes and depression all have in common? The underlying mechanism by which they occur and progress may the same — chronic inflammation driven by poor diet and lifestyle choices, stressful lives and big bellies.
The word “inflammation” describes our body’s natural response to injury. The last time you got the flu, were bitten by a mosquito or sprained an ankle, you experienced inflammation. Appropriate inflammation is a protective mechanism and results in swelling, an increased immune system response, increased circulation to the damaged area and a host of complex cellular processes that together facilitate healing.
10 Mar 2017
Every parent knows that children love lollies, cookies and sweet drinks. But don’t be too hard on them; it’s all a delicious ploy by evolutionary biology to ensure survival of the youngest members of our species. Research shows kids are hardwired to have a stronger sugar preference than adults, and newborns will show a strong preference for sugar-sweetened solutions.
A child’s sensory world is very different from ours. They will salivate over treats far too salty or sweet for you and me, and are generally more sensitive to bitter flavours. One reason is simply that children need more sugar to support their rapid growth and development. A strong preference for sweet foods, which in nature were not always as ubiquitous as they are now, may have conferred a survival advantage.
Avoiding bitter foods makes sense too. In nature the bitter flavour often represents secondary plant compounds such as alkaloids and terpenes, which may be poisonous. By avoiding the flavour that may go with dangerous phytochemicals, again, children may have been using their taste buds to survive.
Sugar not only tastes extra good to little ones, it makes them feel extra good too. Doctors know this and so will use sugar-sweetened liquid as a natural pain reliever in infants too young for traditional analgesics.
There is good news though — at the age at which children stop growing, their preference for sugar shrinks as well. By age 15 or 16, most teenagers show about the same preference as adults for sweet foods and drinks. The age at which that preference changes can be predicted by measuring bone turnover — when bone stops growing, kids may stop raiding the lolly jar as well. One reason for this is that growing bones secrete hormones such as insulin and leptin that may stimulate the brain and and influence metabolism, taste and cravings.