Educating Future Physicians in Nutritional Science and Practice: The Time is Now
A newly published study surrounding the critical need for improving nutrition education for future physicians has been published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Given that most forms of chronic disease—including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and more—are caused by food, and can be prevented & mitigated by proper nutrition, the need to educate and train clinicians and future physicians about nutrition and wellness “has become increasingly apparent in the past decade.” Based on a conducted review, only 8% of students arrived to medical school with any exposure to nutrition education; notwithstanding this, almost 85% of those surveyed recognize that this training is necessary in patient care.
Combatting Depression Without Medication
While antidepressants and pharmaceuticals can sometimes help relieve and control symptoms of depression, an article from Harvard Health
and a growing body of research have outlined alternative approaches: including nondrug options such as physical activity. Dr. Darshan Mehta, medical director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, strongly advocates any kind of regular exercise as one of the best antidepressants, as it combats depression by enhancing endorphins—in addition to lowering symptoms of anxiety, improving sleep quality, and boosting energy levels. A meta-analysis published online by Depression and Anxiety
in October 2018 additionally found that people with major depression who engaged in aerobic exercise experienced a greater antidepressant effect compared with those who did minimal exercise.
Positive Psychological Wellbeing & Overall Heart Health
A review paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology
indicates how psychological wellbeing is consistently related with a reduced risk of heart disease. Professor of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the review’s lead author Darwin R. Labarthe, MD, MPH, PhD found that psychological wellbeing influenced heart health not only through biological processes, but also through health behaviors and psychosocial resources. Dr. Labarthe and his colleagues noted that “Optimists persevere by using problem-solving and planning strategies to manage stressors; if others are faced with factors out of their control, they begin to…use potentially maladaptive coping strategies, which would…result in raising inflammation levels and less favorable overall heart health.” In maintaining positive thoughts and feelings—specifically through intervention programs—patients can potentially achieve better overall outcomes when it comes to their cardiovascular health.
Patients Seek Additional Information Surrounding Medicines
In the first major study of long-term medicine use, findings conclude that many patients want increased information regarding the medications that they are prescribed—in addition to ‘greater say’ in the brands they use. Researchers at the University of Kent’s Medway School of Pharmacy developed a new questionnaire, known as the Living with Medicines Questionnaire, to measure medicine burden and assess various aspects of medication use. One of the lead researchers has stated: “The drive to implement clinical guidelines is contributing to increasing medicines use across the country, but the impact of this among patients is not always considered. Our study suggests that it’s time for this to change.”