Monthly Archives: April 2016

Sharon Peck, Centre for Nutrition Education & Lifestyle Management (CNELM)

recent meAs a young adult, my diet was mainly based around cheese on toast and pasta.  Indeed, I considered cheese, bread and chocolate to be the culinary holy trinity and felt immensely sorry for friends that couldn’t tolerate lactose so missed out on the delights of cheese.

This happy ignorance was shattered after being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition (multiple sclerosis) 9 years ago.  I quickly realised there was no magic pill, but heard that people were using food as medicine.  My journey of nutritional discovery had begun.

I cut out gluten, legumes and dairy to start with.  So no cheese on toast, what would I eat!  Refining my diet involved a lot of nutritional research and self-experimentation.  There was so much confusing information available. I discovered the work of Dr. Terry Wahls, an MS patient that had eaten her way out of a wheelchair.  She advocated a paleo diet with lots of vegetables.

I wanted to understand the science behind what worked and why so I could decipher the research.  Then work out how it could apply to me, as a individual, rather than relying on the generalised interpretation of others.  I was in the consciously incompetent phase of learning and I wanted to learn more.

My career as a software consultant began to seem boring against my new found passion for nutrition.  So, I took steps towards a career as a nutritional therapist.  I did a science access course prior to starting the Nutritional Science degree.

So, 10 years on from the height of my cheese on toast days and I’ve learnt the healing power of food.  My plate is always piled high with vegetables.  As an occasional treat, I’ll make vegan, paleo cauliflower bread and have it with some coconut cheese.  Student food ;-)

Sharon Peck is a 2nd year student on the Nutritional Science BSc at CNELM. She is also a BANT Student Member and volunteers on the BANT Student Network Team, working on social media. If you would like to write a story for the Student Spotlight or become a part of our team, we would love to hear from you, please email us at [email protected]

The Power of Nutrition – Promoting Health and Wellbeing… A New Regional Branch event in Edinburgh on 14th May

A CPD opportunity bringing BANT members and the public together to explore the cutting edge topic ‘Nutrigenomics’ and the various tests available. We will also be hearing about nutrition and healthy ageing from the Chair of Council for BANT Miguel Toribio-Mateas, as well as some new and exciting information regarding his supplement range. Monica Wilde – Director of Napier’s in Edinburgh and expert on seaweed will be telling us all about its use in supporting thyroid health. Thank you to the event sponsor, Cytoplan. The Power of Nutrition – Promoting Health and Wellbeing – Exploring Nutrigenomics, Healthy Ageing, Supplementation and the Health Benefits of Seaweed/Sea-greens for the Thyroid Gland. Click here to book your place – free for BANT members.

Student News Bulletin

This week, we look at three new pieces of research. The University of Lincoln finds the final piece in the puzzle for Diabetes 1, a long-term study on ageing sheds some light on the connection between healthy ageing and genetics and could dark chocolate enhance sports performance?

New Diabetes 1 research
New research published in the journal Diabetes, gives a complete picture of areas that the immune system is attacking in cases of Type 1 Diabetes. The condition is characterised by the destruction of beta cells by the immune system. Beta cells produce insulin, a hormone which keeps blood sugar levels under control.

Areas targeted by the immune system are:

  • Insulin
  • Glutamate decarboxylase
  • IA-2
  • Zinc transporter-8
  • And the final piece of the puzzle, tetraspanin-7

Dr Michael Christie, who led the research at the University of Lincoln, said: “With this new discovery, we have now finished identifying what the immune system is targeting – we have the complete picture.” Read more

New gene study sheds light on the key to healthy ageing
Reseachers running long-term study named ‘Wellderly’, which was launched in the US in 2007, have published their findings in the journal Cell. The study applied whole genome sequencing to the DNA of more than 1,400 healthy individuals from the US aged 80-105 years. Comparing the results to 1507 individuals representative of the general population, they found that the Wellderly group had a lower genetic risk for Alzheimer’s and coronary heart disease. Read more.

Does dark chocolate increase sports performance?
Interesting news for any budding sports nutritionists out there, research published in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, indicates that chocolate may enhance sports performance. Elite athletes already use beetroot for the same effect. Nitrites in the beetroot convert to nitric oxide causing blood vessels to dilate and reducing oxygen consumption. Similarly, one of the flavanols in dark chocolate, epicatechin, also increases nitric oxide levels in the blood. Read more.

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BANT April News Goes Live

Welcome to April’s Enews. This month we provide a summary of our successful AGM, a featured article on the topical subject of the Microbiome and Obesity, we introduce our new CPD listing and Sarah Green describes the role she plays within BANT in Director’s Corner. The BANT Enews aims to provide you our members with useful information that can be practically used in your day to day practice. Access the BANT news here.


Welcome to April’s Enews. This month we provide a summary of our successful AGM, a featured article on the topical subject of the Microbiome and Obesity, we introduce our new CPD listing and Sarah Green describes the role she plays within BANT in Director’s Corner. The BANT Enews aims to provide you our members with useful information that can be practically used in your day to day practice.

View the BANT News


Student News Bulletin

This week it’s all about food labelling. Mars announces its new product guidelines for customers and the Royal Society for Public Health proposes that exercise equivalents should be printed on food packaging. Also, find out more and buy your discounted tickets for the next CAM Conference, looking at the microbiome.

A new approach by Mars
Mars Food the company behind Uncle Ben’s, Dolmio and many other food brands, announced this week that they will be differentiating their foods into ‘everyday’ and ‘occasional’. Daniel O’Shaughnessy, Director of Communications at BANT commented, This could be good for the consumer depending on the selection criteria chosen by Mars”. Read the full press release from BANT in response to the announcement from Mars.

Should food packaging display the activity equivalent?
It was proposed by the Royal Society for Public Health via the British Medical Journal recently, that food should be labelled with the exercise needed to expend its calories. For an alternative opinion, which delves more into the psychological factors involved, read this article by Caroline Jones, who doesn’t believe that printing exercise equivalents on food packaging will solve the obesity problem.

Feeding the gut: health through microbiome modulation, CAM Conference, 21st May 2016
The next CAM Conference is set to be a fascinating one, with Ben Brown talking about personalised approaches to restoring the microbiome, Kiran Krishnan sharing strategies on probiotic therapy ‘re-seeding vs re-conditioning’ and finally, Dr Tom O’Bryan discussing the dangers as well as the benefits of a gluten-free diet. Students get a 10% discount, but even better, BANT Student Members get a 15% discount. Book your place.

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Press Release – BANT’s Response to Mars’ Announcement That They Will Differentiate Their Foods into ‘Every Day’ and ‘Occasional’

BANT provides a response to Mars’ announcement that they will differentiate their foods into ‘every day’ and ‘occasional’.This could be good for the consumer depending on the selection criteria chosen by Mars” commented Daniel O’Shaughnessy, Director of Communications.  Click here to access the full press release.

Student News Bulletin

In this week’s student news, WHO marks World Health Day by releasing a new report on diabetes, the BANT Student Network Team looks for new members and we look at how Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is perceived by the medical industry…

World Health Organization publishes new report on diabetes
The 7th April was World Health Day and this was marked by a call for action on diabetes in a newly published report from the World Health Organization. Cochrane UK have also published a blogpost on preventing diabetes, which focuses on eating, exercise and the evidence.

Would you like to join the BANT Student Network Team?
There are some great opportunities right now for students to become involved in BANT’s work. Our Student Network Team is looking for a new Team Lead as well as new team members to be involved in student liaison, social media, events, administration and training provider liaison. To find out more, visit our Volunteering Opportunities page and scroll down to view job descriptions for the ‘Student Network Team Lead’ and ‘Student Liaison opportunities’. We are also looking for Student College Representatives, to help us stay in tune with what students need from BANT.

To find out more about any of the above roles, please contact our Volunteer Manager, Michelle Chester at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

The changing face of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
An article published by the Guardian this week highlights how attitudes towards Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) may be changing. The article discusses the stigma which has been attached to CFS within the medical industry over the past 30 years, and how this has discouraged some researchers from working on the topic. As an increasing amount of research looks at the possible root causes of CFS, bodies such as the Institute of Medicine in the US are showing recognition. Last year the Institute of Medicine published a report describing CFS as “serious, chronic, complex and systemic disease”.

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