Month: March 2014

Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention event

I had a break from studying earlier this week, when a friend invited me to a charity fundraising event at her daughters school.

🔹The Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Healthy Lifestyle Evening’, was fascinating and right up my street.

The lecture was delivered by Professor Tony Howell, Professor of Oncology at the University of Manchester and Dr Michelle Harvie, award-winning research dietician, both based at the Genesis Prevention Centre.

They explained how their primary research has helped to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer, and heart disease, along with maintaining a healthy body weight and lifestyle, through the internationally best selling, clinically proven Genesis book, ‘The 2-Day Diet’. For more information about the book check out:http://<

🔹We discovered that this research was the basis for the Michael Mosley Horizon programme ‘Eat, fast and Live Longer’ that caused a stir last year, when it examined the powerful science behind the ancient idea of fasting.

🔹We were introduced to the work of the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention which is the only UK charity that is entirely dedicated to the prediction and prevention of breast cancer. It exists to fund preventative breast cancer research into various factors such as genetics, family history and health and lifestyle.

Here are some facts about breast cancer! More information is available via the following link:

🔹1 in 10 women in the UK will develop breast cancer at some time during their life.

🔹Breast cancer is the biggest cause of death for women between 35 and 55 years of age.

🔹50,000 women develop breast cancer every year in the UK – one of the highest rates in the world.

🔹Although breast cancer death rates in the UK are decreasing, the incidence of breast cancer is still increasing.

🔹Only 2% of UK cancer research funds are currently spent on prevention.

A question you may be asking is how does this impact younger women. To answer that question we need to consider the life course perspective on health, which is a concept based on the theory that events that happen in earlier life stages have a direct influence on later stages. So in plain English: having a poor diet, drinking too much alcohol, being overweight or obese at a young age can have health implications later on.

🔹The Professor outlined that being overweight can increase a women’s chance of developing breast cancer, but losing some or all of that weight will have a positive impact, and can reduce the chances of developing the disease. This is where the 2 day diet, comes in.

I really enjoyed the event and it was great to be able to ask the authors questions. It also stressed the importance of primary research to help test out and develop new theories.


Hydration, hydration, hydration!

It’s only just over a month to the London Marathon and training is going really well.  I’ve had a couple of sports massages and completed a 20 mile run in 3 hours 47 minutes, so feel like I’m on track.  I’m planning to run 22 miles this weekend so need to make sure I’m well hydrated, especially if the weather stays unusually warm for this time of year.


Although water is not a nutrient as such, the maintenance of fluid balance is an important factor in physiological homeostasis. On average we get almost two thirds of our water from drinks and the remaining third from food. We lose water though skin, sweat, urine and faeces. Also our lungs must maintain a moist lining and so exhaled air always contains lots of water vapour.  Exercise makes us sweat which is our body’s way of trying to regulate and maintain a steady temperature and this can lead to dehydration.

My biology books say that a part of the brain (hypothalamus) contains receptor cells that are sensitive to the solute concentration of the blood.  When the concentration rises indicating that water loss is greater than intake, the hypothalamus responds in 2 ways:

  • It stimulates the thirst centre in the brain.
  • It stimulates the pituitary gland to produce anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), which acts on the kidneys to reduce the volume of urine.

That’s only part of the story, but that’s why we feel thirsty and the colour of our urine changes – fascinating!

Marathon training experts say that  during a long run an isotonic drink will help replace electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, which are minerals that are necessary for the body to function properly. These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of body fluids constant. So, many sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them. You can also make your own using unsweetened fruit juice, water and a little pinch of salt.

I’ll be making sure I keep hydrated during my 22 mile run and over the next few days will be drinking a variety of herbal teas, water and fruit and vegetable juices, to keep my fluid levels topped up.

I made some delicious rainbow juice from beetroot, blueberries, spinach, celery, cucumber, carrot and orange. They are easy to make and kids love them. Just make three different coloured juices and poor them slowly over the back of a spoon.

Runners World has a really good article on hydration. This can be accessed via the following link: