May Research News

8 May 2024 by Leanne Scott

May Research News

Latest Health Research News

Here is your round up of the latest health research news from around the world.  Our monthly research round ups are compiled by Lead Instructor and Program Director Leanne Scott, FNTP

Just one daily drink raises breast cancer risk by 7-10%

“Breast cancer stands as a leading cause of death among women worldwide, with over two million new cases diagnosed each year.

Shockingly, a new study reveals that alcohol, often considered a social indulgence, contributes to half of the tumors leading to breast cancer. Keep in mind, alcohol is a drug that fosters the growth of mammary tumors through ethanol metabolism.

Altogether, alcohol consumption is implicated in three million annual deaths globally, accounting for slightly over 5% of total fatalities. Moreover, it is a significant risk factor for various health issues, including nutritional deficiencies, perinatal complications, maternal health problems, and infectious diseases.

Even more concerning is that consuming as little as 10 to 15 grams of alcohol daily increases the risk of breast cancer. In European women alone, an estimated 80,000 cancer deaths annually can be attributed to alcohol consumption.

The situation is deteriorating yearly, evident in the surge of alcohol-related breast cancer cases, which multiplied by a factor of 1.7 between 1990 and 2017. During this period, breast cancer deaths linked to alcohol consumption climbed from 44,200 to 56,800.”

The Dangerous Side Effects of Medications

A new released study has estimated the number of visits from 2017 through 2019 to emergency departments (EDs) in the United States that were due to adverse reactions to medications.

The estimate was based on visits to 60 EDs participating in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance Project. Adverse reactions were based on clinicians’ diagnoses and supporting data documented in the medical record. Based on 96,925 ED visits for adverse reactions to medication, there were an estimated 6.1 such visits per 1,000 population per year, and 38.6% of these visits resulted in hospitalization.

Rates of ED visits were higher for patients aged 65 years or older than for those younger than 65 (12.1 vs 5.0 per 1,000 population per year). An estimated 69.1% of ED visits for adverse reactions to medication involved therapeutic use of the medication (defined as “use as directed or unintentional errors by adults or adolescents”). Among ED visits involving therapeutic use of medications, the proportion of visits due to certain drug classes were as follows: anticoagulants (21.5%), diabetes agents (13.7%), antibiotics (12.8%), antiplatelet drugs (7.8%), analgesics (6.6%), renin/angiotensin system inhibitors (3.8%), sedative/hypnotic agents (2.4%), beta-blockers (1.6%), and other cardiovascular agents (excluding renin/angiotensin system inhibitors and beta-blockers (3.9%).

Commentary by Dr Alan Gaby: This study demonstrates that around 2 million Americans visit an ED every year because of adverse effects of medications. That is a shockingly high number, especially considering that the medical profession purports to live by the adage, “Above all do no harm.” No treatment is entirely safe, and it is inevitable that some patients will be injured by treatments that are designed to help them. However, practitioners can dramatically decrease the risk of harming their patients by emphasizing safer treatments such as dietary modifications, exercise, stress reduction, and appropriate use of nutritional supplements, botanicals, and other natural substances. Many papers have been written about how dangerous conventional medical therapies can be. I store these papers in a filing cabinet in a file labeled “Iatrogenesis.” This file has gotten rather thick over the years. Fortunately, more and more practitioners are offering approaches that can decrease the need for dangerous medications, and more and more patients are embracing that approach.

Source: Budnitz DS, et al. US emergency department visits attributed to medication harms, 2017-2019. JAMA. 2021;326:1299-1309.
Gaby, Alan. Is Zinc Effective Against Molluscum Constagiosum? Published 2024, Townsend Letter

Leaky gut linked to accelerated aging

There was a time that “leaky gut” was ridiculed as quackery and considered to be a made-up diagnosis that only existed in the minds of alternative health practitioners. Today, a search for “intestinal hyper-permeability” (the scientific name for leaky gut) on Pubmed reveals over 25,000 articles.

Leaky gut has been linked to everything from type 2 diabetes to autoimmunity, dementia, depression, and now—accelerated aging.

A new study has found that intestinal permeability leads to more rapid biological aging, as measured by telomere length analysis and DNA methylation patterns.

It isn’t Aging…it’s Total Body Burden

Most of think declining health as we get older is a product of aging but it isn’t. It’s a product of Total Body Burden.  Environmental and lifestyle factors that increase inflammation and damage the body on a cellular level accelerate aging and disease progression. (See above Leaky Gut study).

This is not only something we’ve known in our work with clients and Functional Nutritional Therapy, it’s also what many scientists in the longevity field believe.  Now we have some pretty compelling evidence to support it.

In this recent clinical trial, researchers were able to reverse biological age by three years in just eight weeks by implementing changes to diet, sleep, exercise, and relaxation and adding supplemental probiotics and phytonutrients.

Despite the participants' genetic predisposition, those who received the intervention enjoyed statistically significant improvements in biomarkers related to aging and disease - In just 60 days.  While all of the participants in this trial were male, a follow-up study by the same research team found consistent improvements in biological aging with a similar intervention for women. 

What is the key to healthy aging in the research?

A few things stand out:

👉 A low-glycemic diet rich in vibrantly colored vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and organ meats
👉 A 12-14 hour fasting window overnight
👉 Consistent moderate-intensity exercise
👉 7-8 hours of restorative sleep at night
👉 Stress management and relaxation
👉 Targeted supplementation

We think of those who enjoy a long healthspan as abnormal because it seems so far-fetched to be able to live without chronic disease or cognitive decline so far into life. 

But what if this isn’t the case? What if living for 100 years (or maybe longer) in a fully functional body is supposed to be normal?

Study Nutrition

Leanne Scott

Leanne is a Board Certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Integrative Health Coach and Director of NTA Australia/NewZealand. She hopes to transform the health of future generations through loving support and self empowerment. Find Leanne at