January Research News

10 January 2024 by Leanne Scott

January Research News

Latest Health Research News

Here is your January 2024 round up of the latest in health related research.

1. Excess Fluoride linked to impaired cognitive development in kids

A study out of Tulane University conducted in rural Ethiopia found that kids who drank water with elevated fluoride levels had lower scores on cognitive function tests. The World Health Organization recommends fluoride levels below 1.5 mg/L, but over 200 million people worldwide are estimated to be exposed to higher fluoride levels in their drinking water.

If you haven’t discovered the healing power of clean filtered water check out FNTP Jill Cooper's article on our most common nutrient deficiency here.

2. Intermittent fasting more effective than calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes

A new study in JAMA found that intermittent fasting (aka time-restricted eating) was more effective for weight loss control than calorie restriction in a group of people with type 2 diabetes. The study participants were split into 2 groups. One group compressed their food intake into an 8-hour window, between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. The other group restricted their calorie intake by 25%. The intermittent fasting group experienced greater weight loss and compliance with the program than the calorie restriction group.  Read the full study here.

However there are important considerations one needs to take into account before one embarks on intermittent fasting, our FNTP Fionna Bacon, highlights a few important starting points in her fasting guide for beginners.

Check out this video by FNTP Jess Wilson about what every women needs to know before considering intermittent fasting.

3. Probiotics and Depression

Recent studies published in JAMA Psychiatry, the Journal of Clinical Medicine and in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, have demonstrated that that probiotic supplementation appears to significantly improve symptoms of depression.

Further evidence in the following study outlined how a disrupted Microbiome contributes to depression citing: 

“Major depressive disorder (MDD) is linked to disruptions in energy and lipid metabolism, possibly caused by the interplay of the gut microbiome and blood metabolome, new research suggests. Investigators found that MDD had specific metabolic 'signatures' consisting of 124 metabolites that spanned energy and lipid pathways, with some involving the tricarboxylic acid cycle in particular. These changes in metabolites were consistent with differences in composition of several gut microbiota.

’The researchers found that fatty acids and intermediate and very large lipoproteins changed in association with the depressive disease process. However, high-density lipoproteins and metabolites in the tricarboxylic acid cycle did not.

’As we wait to establish causal influences through clinical trials, clinicians should advise patients suffering from mood disorders to modify their diet by increasing the intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as these provide the required fuel/fiber to the gut microbiota for their enrichment, and more short-chain fatty acids are produced for the optimal functioning of the body," said study investigator Najaf Amin, PhD, DSc, senior researcher, Nuffield Department of Population Health, Oxford University, United Kingdom, told Medscape Medical News.'

’At the same time, patients should be advised to minimize the intake of sugars and processed foods, which are known to have an inverse impact on the gut microbiome and are associated with higher inflammation.'

Diet has such a huge impact on our mental and emotional wellness. Looking for some better meal ideas?  
Check out FNTP Jacqui Edgerly's website Nettles Nutrition for a wealth of nourishing meal strategies.

Study Nutrition

Leanne Scott

Leanne is a certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Integrative Health Coach and Lead Instructor for NTA Australia/NewZealand. She hopes to change the health of future generations through loving support and knowledge. Find Leanne at