March 2018 News Round Up

Last Updated on June 5, 2019 by Afifah Hamilton
Read Time: 5 min


As part of the festive season we have organised this News Round Up as an Easter egg hunt. It’s entirely digital, sugar-free and wholesome. In fact you will only improve your health whilst finding them. Oh look there’s one!…

Healthy Fats & Paleo

A rather odd study, which attempted to assess the world’s most nutritious foods placed pork fat in eighth place (!?!) just below Swiss chard and pumpkin seeds, but ahead of cod, pollock and watercress. (NowThisNews, Mar 14th or  BBC Jan 29th)

Here is a great article from a journalist who went Paleo for 2 months and got just the results she wanted (spoiler: weight loss) (Popsugar, Mar 16th)

Here is another personal experience from a writer who went on a bone broth diet for a week (Bonappetit, Mar 15th). Funny too.

What to do with Marrow Bones – recipes (LifeHacker, Mar 8th)

Meal timing

“Breakfast like a king, supper like a pauper” – the old saying has gained further support from a study which found that for patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes, shifting calories from the evening meal to breakfast promoted weight loss, improved diabetes and decreased the need for insulin (Science Daily, Mar 18th)

“Our body metabolism changes throughout the day. A slice of bread consumed at breakfast leads to a lower glucose response and is less fattening than an identical slice of bread consumed in the evening.”


Microbes that naturally live on the skin have been found to protect against skin cancer. “We have identified a strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis… that kills several types of cancer cells but does not appear to be toxic to normal cells.” (Science Daily, Mar 1st)

Individual differences in the microbiome can alter the efficacy of dietary interventions that aim to reduce blood pressure. (Science Daily, Mar 1st)


Coffee can help with weight loss by blocking cannabinoid receptors, inducing the reverse of the ‘munchies’. (Daily Mail, Mar 15th)

Three cups of coffee per day can help keep arteries clear by reducing calcification. (Telegraph, Mar 28th)

Proving that the legal profession does not make good science, a Californian judge has ruled that high street coffee chains need to display cancer warnings due to the roasted coffee bean’s high acrylamide content. Fox News (Mar 30th) explains why it’s all a storm in a tea coffee cup.


People with stage III colon cancer who regularly eat tree nuts (but not peanuts) – equivalent to 30 g twice per week – had improved outcomes, including disease-free survival, compared to those who did not eat nuts. (NewsMedical, Mar 1st)

Tiger Nuts (above) are not a true nut, but actually tubers from a sedge. They were grown by the ancient Egyptians and appear to have been gathered by Palaeolithic humans millennia before. Here is a great article about their nutritional and health properties: DoctorNDTV, Mar 27th

Vitamin D

Having the ‘right amount’ of Vitamin D significantly reduces death rate among people who have suffered cardiovascular disease. The study showed that it is favorable to have blood values around 42 to 100 nmol/l. If you have higher or lower values, you are at greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. (NewsMedical, Mar 1st)

Vitamin D in the body needs magnesium to be metabolised to the active form. Modern low-magnesium diets leave 50% of Americans with stored, but inactive, vitamin D. (NewsMedical Mar 5th)

It’s coming up to the time of year here in the UK when we can start making our own vitamin D from the sun. Find out how in our post: Why April 15th is D-Day in the south of England

Junk Food

Eating food from restaurants, cafeterias and fast-food outlets may boost body levels of hormone-disrupting phthalates. In a study, people who regularly use such food outlets had 35% more phthalates than those who ate mainly home cooked foods, rising to 55% among teens. (Science Daily, Mar 29th)

“This study suggests food prepared at home is less likely to contain high levels of phthalates, chemicals linked to fertility problems, pregnancy complications and other health issues,”

Low calorie sweeteners – or more specifically Sucralose which was used in this study – appear to promote fat accumulation, changing gene expression in fat cells. (Science Daily, Mar 18th)

Soy based formula milk is blamed for causing early sexual maturity in girls. (Daily Mail, Mar 2018)


Researchers have found that ANY amount of light in your bedroom increases risk of depression – from a tiny gap between curtains to the tiny glow from a standby light (Daily Mail, Mar 12th)

Exposing preschoolers to an hour of bright light before bedtime (such as from tablet screens) almost completely shuts down their production of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin and keeps it suppressed for at least 50 minutes after lights out (Science Daily, Mar 5th)

The eight sleep myths making you tired (Daily Mail, Mar 16th)

Fish, Seafood & Omega-3

Fish eating at least once per week has been linked to a lower incidence of Multiple Sclerosis. (Science Daily, Mar 1st)

A review of 22 studies looking into childhood omega-3 and certain omega-6 supplements found significant benefits for reading, spelling and attention. (Daily Mail, Mar 30th)

A study of late paleolithic skeletons from Sweden (10,500 to 7500 years old) has found they ate large amounts of fish (60%), some red meat and only 3% plants and mushrooms. (DailyMail, Mar 20th)

With Brexit providing the opportunity for Britain to take back control of its fishing waters, the Marine Conservation Society suggests we should switch our eating habits to North Sea dab, hake from Cornwall and herring from Irish Sea (The Daily Mail, Mar 15th)

However, UK Fishermen now feel betrayed with the UK government capitulating to Brussels’ demand for it to remain part of the common fisheries system until at least 2021 (The Guardian, Mar 21st)

Odds and Ends

A large population-based study has found that waist to hip ratio is better predictor for health than BMI, especially for women. (NewsMedical, Mar 1st)
Public Health England have got 21 major food manufacturers on board with a plan to cut calories in food by 20%. New Scientist (Mar 6th) explain why the ‘eat less, move more’ approach to obesity won’t work and has never worked.

A ‘massive’ study has found that being in a relationship helps couples put on the pounds (New Scientist, March 14th)

Easter egg hunt quiz

OK so lets see who was paying attention…

How many Easter eggs were in this post?
Seriously? Go back and count again!
Close! Count again.
Correct! So, you spotted the hidden one?

Health benefits of chocolate

Finally, (Mar 28th) has a little article to make you feel a bit better about eating some extra dark chocolate over Easter.

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