Talking gut health with Lùcia Braz
BSc Honours Degree in Nutrition and Dietetic member of the Federation of Nutrition Therapy Practitioners (FNTP), British Dietetic Association (BDA)
The rate of obesity and chronic diseases are rising faster than ever. According to NHS statistics, 1 in every 4 adults are obese and The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that over the next 10 years almost 5 million people will die from a chronic disease in the UK.
Following these concerning statistics, there has been more on more research on how our gut communicates with our general body, its role in our metabolic regulation and the gut's vital function within our overall wellbeing.
Our gut is the home of 10 trillion cells of bacteria that represent in total more than all cells in our entire human body. These bacteria work in symbiosis with our human cells and play an important role in food digestion, immune regulation and production of vital vitamins.
Every human has it's own unique microbial signature, that is responsible for numerous individual biological functions and one of them is regulating our metabolic activity through the production of important signals that regulate our immune system and stimulate the regeneration of gut cells. We are now starting to understand how much the microbiome influences us and our behaviour.
If they are in a good “shape” these microbes are extremely cooperative with your brain function and work as important regulators for your immune system and specially being a line of filtration between the outside part and inside part of your gut.
Evidence has been showing that what we eat modulates the composition of our gut microbiome and its functions significantly, thereby affecting host metabolism, memory, mood and disease risk or development. Fibre consumption has been associated with lowering the risk of inflammatory diseases and cancer while emulsifiers, a type of food additive added to processed foods to enrich the texture and extend shelf-time, making them very attractive commercially hypothesised that promote chronic diseases and modifying our gut microbiome. So, if we know this interaction between our gut health and diet, we should be focusing in maximizing the ingestion of foods that will be feeding our bacteria and maintain a generally healthy lifestyle.
Lucia Braz has extensive experience as a dietitian covering a variety of health conditions. Lucia has obtained this experience after having achieved a BSc Honours Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and becoming a member of the Federation of Nutrition Therapy Practitioners (FNTP), British Dietetic Association (BDA) in the UK. Lucia has experience working in large hospitals, treating patients with several metabolic diseases.
Such experience has brought her into contact with patients from the private sector, specialized weight loss clinics, and health clubs. During her career, she has developed an interest in sports nutrition, supplementation, metabolism, appetite regulation and weight loss. In 2014, Lucia started working as a Research Associate at Imperial College London in the Department of Metabolic Medicine. This experience has allowed her to research the effect of different diets on appetite regulation and weight management in controlled clinical trials, bringing great insight into human metabolism. In 2017 she started her PhD at Imperial College London, focusing on Gut Health and microbiota. She now does research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBD) and several other gut disturbing conditions.She is confident and ambitious in providing private nutritional counselling to promote general wellness and in treating a wide range of nutritional-related diseases
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