Human Clinical Trial Shows That Tocotrienol-Incorporated Oats Can Benefit People With Metabolic Syndrome (Mets)

This pioneering clinical trial, led by Dr Lee Lai Kuan from Universiti Sains Malaysia, involved 81 MetS patients that consumed two sachets (equivalent of 60 g) of Bioley Toco Oats daily for up to 12 weeks.

RESULTS
Improved Key MetS Parameters
√ 5.5% reduction in fasting blood sugar.
√ 4.3% reduction in diastolic blood pressure.
√ 23% increase in HDL (good) cholesterol.
√ 11.8% reduction in blood triglycerides.

Enhanced Antioxidant Levels
√ Significantly elevated total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels.
√ Reduced protein carbonyl concentration, a marker of oxidative stress.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Lowered concentrations of multiple inflammatory biomarkers such as tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), histidine-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3). Tolerance Participants did not show any gastrointestinal side effects after prolonged consumption of Bioley Toco Oats.

Tolerance
Participants did not show any gastrointestinal side effects after prolonged consumption of Bioley Toco Oats.

CONCLUSION
The clinical trial findings demonstrate the potential of Bioley Toco Oats in improving metabolic parameters, enhancing antioxidant capacity, and reducing inflammation in individuals with metabolic syndrome.

IMPORTANT NOTE
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary. A balanced diet and regular exercise are essential for good health. This product should not replace conventional treatments or consultations with qualified healthcare professionals for any medical condition.
Always seek proper medical advice for diagnosis and treatment.

 


This is an educational article brought to you by


References:

1.    Tan, D. T., Khor, H. T., Low, W. H., Ali, A., & Gapor, A. (1991). Effect of a palm-oil-vitamin E concentrate on the serum and lipoprotein lipids in humans. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 53(4 Suppl), 1027S–1030S.
https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/53.4.1027S
2.    Ajuluchukwu, J. N., Okubadejo, N. U., Mabayoje, M., Ojini, F. I., Okwudiafor, R. N., Mbakwem, A. C., Fasanmade, O. A., & Oke, D. A. (2007). Comparative study of the effect of tocotrienols and -tocopherol on fasting serum lipid profiles in patients with mild hypercholesterolaemia: a preliminary report. The Nigerian postgraduate medical journal, 14(1), 30–33.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17356586/
3.    Mottram, P., Shige, H., & Nestel, P. (1999). Vitamin E improves arterial compliance in middle-aged men and women. Atherosclerosis, 145(2), 399–404. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0021-9150(99)00073-8
4.    Khanna, S., Roy, S., Parinandi, N. L., Maurer, M., & Sen, C. K. (2006). Characterization of the potent neuroprotective properties of the natural vitamin E alpha-tocotrienol. Journal of neurochemistry, 98(5), 1474–1486.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-4159.2006.04000.x
5.    Mangialasche, F., Kivipelto, M., Mecocci, P., Rizzuto, D., Palmer, K., Winblad, B., & Fratiglioni, L. (2010). High plasma levels of vitamin E forms and reduced Alzheimer’s disease risk in advanced age. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD, 20(4), 1029–1037.
https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-2010-091450

Students from the UTAR Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FAS) Brings the Love Canteen to Ipoh and Kampar

WORDS LIM TECK CHOON

Food insufficiency, also known as food scarcity and food insecurity, describes a lack of adequate food and nutrition to meet dietary needs.

It’s a global crisis affecting millions, with adverse impacts on health, productivity, and human potential.

According to a paper published in 2021, the prevalence of household food insecurity in Malaysia was “unexpectedly high”. Chief affected demographics are the Orang Asli, low-income household or welfare-recipient households, university students, and the elderly.

UTAR STUDENTS PLAY THEIR PART IN HELPING OUT PEOPLE EXPERIENCING FOOD INSUFFICIENCY

To raise awareness about food insufficiency in underprivileged communities, 16 students from the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FAS) brought the Love Canteen campaign in Ipoh and Kampar.

These are final-year Bachelor of Communication (Honours) Public Relations students that have previously successfully conducted two food distribution activities under the Love Canteen campaign.



DESTINATION: IPOH

In late February, the team effectively distributed 1,000 food packs throughout the city of Ipoh to individuals in need, including the elderly and those facing financial hardships. This was made possible with close collaboration with Pertubuhan Amal Ai Xin Fan Tong.

The volunteers were divided into two teams that, between them, diligently worked to prepare a large quantity of ingredients while ensuring that the nutritional values in these food packs were able to help meet the recipient’s recommended nutritional intake.

According to student volunteer Tay Yong Qi, “This programme taught me that some people can’t access food easily. It made me realize how important it is to appreciate the food we have.”

Kuan Chu Yie, the treasurer of the Love Canteen campaign, added: “It was heart-wrenching to see elderly people living alone, especially in homes falling apart.”

Pertubuhan Amal Ai Xin Fan Tong Coordinator Assistant Adele Siew Li Me praised the effort. “The onset of a substantial number of individuals facing financial distress due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) has prompted us to extend our support during this challenging period,” she says.

She elaborates further: “Consequently, Pertubuhan Amal Ai Xin Fan Tong initiated a comprehensive aid programme, which encompasses not only distributing freshly prepared meals but also delivering essential goods and vegetables to low-income communities. This effort aims to alleviate their financial strain and uphold the mission of ensuring ‘A full stomach for all’.”

DESTINATION: KAMPAR

During early March, the Love Canteen campaign headed over to Kampar, where approximately 100 elderly individuals were able to enjoy meals provided by Pertubuhan Amal Ai Xin Fan Tong.

Following this, the group devoted the remaining half of the day to distributing food to various other charity organizations, including Beautiful Gate for the Disabled Foundation, I Care Center, Pusat Jagaan Kasih Sayang Kampar and Rumah Orang Tua Gopeng.

A PROGRAMME TO RAISE AWARENESS ON FOOD SCARCITY

Leong Kah Ding, Secretary II of the Love Canteen campaign, expressed his belief that the Love Canteen volunteering programme and the upcoming on-campus exhibition would help raise awareness among university students and the public regarding the importance of achieving food sufficiency.

To achieve this aim, the Love Canteen project also hosted an exhibition on 26 and 27 March 2024 to showcase their journey and knowledge, with the aim of educating the public on achieving food sufficiency. The exhibition was held in the foyer of Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, Kampar.

To find out more about Love Canteen, please visit www.linktr.ee/lovecanteenutar (link opens in a new tab).

Reference: Sulaiman, N., Yeatman, H., Russell, J., & Law, L. S. (2021). A food insecurity systematic review: Experience from Malaysia. Nutrients, 13(3), 945. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030945

 

Is Mycoprotein the Sustainable Protein Solution We’ve Been Searching for?

WORDS ALFRED C CHEUNG

FEATURED EXPERT
ALFRED C CHEUNG
Certified Food Scientist
Co-Founder of Ultimeat
SUSTAINABLE, ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS FOR PROTEIN ARE SOARING IN POPULARITY

In fact, according to the strategic consulting firm EY-Parthenon, the alternative protein market is projected to reach US$17.4 billion in 2027!

Locally, leading data and analytics company GlobalData reports that the Malaysian meat substitutes market is set to expand at a value compound annual growth rate or CAGR of 7.4% throughout 2023 to 2027.

BUT WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR ALTERNATIVE PROTEIN IN THE MALAYSIAN MARKET?

Typically, the average Malaysian supermarket will carry a range of plant-based proteins like soy-based tofu or wheat-based seitan, and many of these products are great choices. Not only do they have a lower environmental impact in comparison to animal agriculture, but they also make up an essential part of vegetarian and vegan diets, with the necessary amino acids for building and repairing tissues in the body.

However, Malaysians love trying new and interesting foods—and there is a lesser known and potentially more suitable alternative protein out there!

Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of mycoprotein, a fungi-derived product, and how it’s an underrated, viable, and eco-friendly alternative to traditional animal proteins.

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FUNGI

Mycoprotein is created through a process known as biomass fermentation.

Basically, this process utilizes the high-protein content and rapid growth of fungi to efficiently make large amounts of protein-rich food.

Since fermentation is a natural process, this has the added benefit of being much cheaper than other methods of creating alternative protein products.

Take extrusion, for example, which uses moisture, high heat and mechanical energy to produce meat substitutes in a matter of seconds. While the extrusion process is quicker, it is significantly more expensive. In contrast, fermentation uses less energy and utilizes carbon and nitrogen sources, which as a bonus is better for the environment!

RESEMBLES TRADITIONAL MEAT IN TASTE & TEXTURE

The use of fungi to produce mycoproteins also allows for a closer approximation of taste and texture in comparison to meat.

In fact, the mycelium, the network of threads throughout fungi, branches and develops in a surprisingly similar pattern to real meat muscles during the fermentation process.

This elevates the authenticity of mycoprotein as well as give mycoprotein a closer resemblance to traditional meat in terms of texture and taste. This distinguishes it from other plant-based proteins that often lack such genuine resemblance.

THE NUTRITIONAL MERITS OF MYCOPROTEIN

Mycoprotein provides high levels of protein and fibre while containing low fat, low sodium, and zero cholesterol.

Additionally, its protein quality surpasses that of some conventional meats. When mycoprotein-based products are cultivated from mushrooms specifically, they can boast high levels of glutamic acid, an amino acid that helps with metabolism, brain, and cardiac functions.

FROM FUNGI TO FEAST

At the heart of it all, choosing mycoprotein doesn’t just offer a sustainable and nutritious option but a cost-effective solution, as well.

In this sense, mycoprotein products provide Malaysians with a high-quality alternative protein at a reasonable price, paving a path towards a meat-free future.

Strengthen Your Defence Against Illnesses with a Hidden Ally

WORDS ANAS ALMASWARY & PROFESSOR DR SUZANA SHAHAR

FEATURED EXPERTS

ANAS ALMASWARY
Master’s Student in Clinical Nutrition
Faculty of Health Sciences
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
PROFESSOR DR SUZANA SHAHAR
Dietetic Program
Centre for Healthy Aging and Wellness
Faculty of Health Sciences
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)

When we feel a scratchy throat or struggle to breathe, our first thought is usually hospitals. But what if I told
you there’s a simple remedy in your kitchen?

Let’s explore how the anti-inflammatory diet can actually boost our immune system, especially when it comes to respiratory health.

THE TROUBLE WITH PRO-INFLAMMATORY DIETS

Our body’s immune system is like a superhero that fights off infections and heals injuries, and inflammation is its natural power.

But here’s the twist: if not kept in check, inflammation can turn into a villain that causes chronic diseases. Hence, the foods we consume can either be a superhero sidekick or a troublemaker!

A pro-inflammatory diet influences our immune system’s balance in bad way, increasing the inflammation in our body.

Such a diet, measured by the Adapted Dietary Inflammatory Index (ADII), is associated with systemic inflammation and reduced kidney function in older adults. Chronic low-grade inflammation is believed to be one possible pathway linking this dietary pattern to kidney dysfunction.

EXAMPLES TO PRO-INFLAMMATORY FOODS

  • Red and processed meats
  • Refined sugars
  • Fried foods
  • Margarine or shortening
  • Alcohol
  • Sodas

Researchers found that a higher ADII is related to higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, and lower estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFR), an indicator of kidney function.

Hence, a proinflammatory diet can lead to both systemic inflammation and reduced kidney function.

THE BENEFITS OF AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET

Generally, an anti-inflammatory diet should include sources of low-fat protein, colourful no- starchy carbohydrates, healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, supplementation of omega 3 fatty acids, and foods rich in polyphenols.

An anti-inflammatory diet keeps insulin levels stable and cuts down on omega 6-fatty acids, which is crucial for beating silent inflammation.

Found in vibrant non-starchy veggies and fruits, polyphenols included in this diet put the brakes on inflammation by targeting a key player called nuclear factor (NF-κB). These polyphenols activate AMP kinase, a central switch controlling metabolism, including blood sugar levels.

The anti-inflammatory diet goes the extra mile by reducing chronic inflammation at the cellular level and tweaking gene expression. The result is lower risk of chronic diseases like obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

NUTRIENTS EXAMPLES OF FOODS TIPS
Lean sources of proteins Chicken, fish, or protein-rich vegetarian sources like tofu
or legumes.
Consume approximately the size and thickness of the palm of your
hand.
Colourful carbohydrates Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, carrots, bell peppers; fruits like guava and dragon fruits. Fill two-thirds of your plate with
non-starchy vegetables and
substantial amounts of fruits
These foods will help maintain a
low glycemic load and provide adequate levels of polyphenols.
Healthy fats Vegetable oils. Use in cooking or drizzle over salads and vegetables.
Omega-3 fatty acids Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. Avoid deep frying; omega-3 fatty acids will be lost if you do this.

References:

  1. Bikman, B. (2020). Why we get sick: The hidden epidemic at the root of most chronic disease–and how to fight it. BenBella Books.
  2. Eleazu C. O. (2016). The concept of low glycemic index and glycemic load foods as panacea for type 2 diabetes mellitus; prospects, challenges and solutions. African health sciences, 16(2), 468–479. https://doi.org/10.4314/ahs.v16i2.15
  3. Estruch R. (2010). Anti-inflammatory effects of the Mediterranean diet: The experience of the PREDIMED study. The proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 69(3), 333–340. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0029665110001539
  4. Galland L. (2010). Diet and inflammation. Nutrition in clinical practice : official publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 25(6), 634–640. https://doi.org/10.1177/0884533610385703
  5. Grimes, K. (2011). The everything anti-inflammation diet book: The easy-to-follow, scientifically-proven plan to reverse and prevent disease lose weight and increase energy slow signs of aging live pain-free. Simon and Schuster.
  6. Lyons, C. L., & Roche, H. M. (2018). Nutritional Modulation of AMPK-Impact upon Metabolic-Inflammation. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(10), 3092. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19103092
  7. O’Neil, A., Shivappa, N., Jacka, F. N., Kotowicz, M. A., Kibbey, K., Hebert, J. R., & Pasco, J. A. (2015). Pro-inflammatory dietary intake as a risk factor for CVD in men: A 5-year longitudinal study. The British journal of nutrition, 114(12), 2074–2082. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114515003815
  8. Oprea, E. (2021). The power plate diet: Discover the ultimate anti-inflammatory meals to fat-proof your body and restore your health. Rodale Books.
  9. Rudnicka, E., Suchta, K., Grymowicz, M., Calik-Ksepka, A., Smolarczyk, K., Duszewska, A. M., Smolarczyk, R., & Meczekalski, B. (2021). Chronic low grade inflammation in pathogenesis of PCOS. International journal of molecular sciences, 22(7), 3789. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073789
  10. Sears B. (2015). Anti-inflammatory diets. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 34 Suppl 1, 14–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2015.1080105
  11. Shivappa, N., Bonaccio, M., Hebert, J. R., Di Castelnuovo, A., Costanzo, S., Ruggiero, E., Pounis, G., Donati, M. B., de Gaetano, G., Iacoviello, L., & Moli-sani study Investigators (2018). Association of proinflammatory diet with low-grade inflammation: results from the Moli-sani study. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 54, 182–188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2018.04.004
  12. Xu, H., Sjögren, P., Ärnlöv, J., Banerjee, T., Cederholm, T., Risérus, U., Lindholm, B., Lind, L., & Carrero, J. J. (2015). A proinflammatory diet is associated with systemic inflammation and reduced kidney function in elderly adults. The journal of nutrition, 145(4), 729–735. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.114.205187

Mealtime Strategies to Transform the Lives of People with Type 2 Diabetes

WORDS LIYANA TAN ABDULLAH, DR HARVINDER KAUR GILCHARAN SINGH & DR KANIMOLLI ARASU

FEATURED EXPERTS

LIYANA TAN ABDULLAH
BSc Applied Chemistry UM
Student of Master Clinical Nutrition
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
DR HARVINDER KAUR GILCHARAN SINGH
Senior Lecturer
Centre for Community Health Studies (ReaCH) Faculty of Health Sciences
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
DR KANIMOLLI ARASU
Dietitian and Senior Lecturer
IMU Division of Nutrition & Dietetics
International Medical University (IMU)

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) poses a significant public health challenge in Malaysia, mirroring a global trend of increasing prevalence.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), there are almost 463 million people suffering from T2DM worldwide. In Malaysia, this chronic condition is on the rise, with approximately 1 in 5 adults living with diabetes according to 2019 National Health and Morbidity Survey.

THE COST OF TREATING T2DM IN MALAYSIA IS INCREASING DAY BY DAY

Globally, total annual cost for treating diabetes in 2022 was estimated to be USD412.9 billion, which include USD306.6 billion for direct medical costs and $106.3 billion for indirect costs attributable to diabetes.

T2DM has a huge socioeconomic implication with an estimated cost of RM 4.38 billion in 2017 to treat T2DM and its complications, according to a report published by the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Additionally, people with T2DM suffer from complications such as heart disease, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage, vision and/or hearing problems, and mental health issues when the disease is poorly managed. Consequently, it leads to poor quality of life among Malaysians living with T2DM.

There is a need for public awareness and caution when managing T2DM. This article aims to provide comprehensive insights of the risk factors associated with T2DM and lifestyle strategies for effective diabetes management.

WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES?

T2DM is a chronic health condition characterized by increased sugar (glucose) levels in the blood.


An overview of T2DM. Click on the image for a larger and clearer version.


Following a meal, our body processes the ingested food, generating sugar, specifically glucose molecules. Glucose molecules are then released into the blood stream.

Concurrently, the pancreas secretes insulin hormone to control and maintain our blood glucose level. Insulin helps our cells to utilize sugars as a source of energy for the body.

In people with T2DM, their body cannot produce sufficient insulin or there is a problem in the effective utilization of insulin. Thus, blood glucose level remains high, causing multiple complications.

RISK FACTORS OF T2DM

Various risk factors, including overweight and obesity, have been identified in association with T2DM.

Overweight and obesity

The mechanisms that link obesity with insulin resistance are still uncertain. However, some studies suggest that people with obesity have fewer insulin receptors, especially in the skeletal muscle, liver and adipose tissue, than lean people.

Excessive weight gain is posited as a potential factor contributing to the impairment of insulin function, possibly linked to the detrimental effects of fat accumulation in tissues such as the muscles and liver.

Other risk factors

Besides obesity, other risk factors for T2DM includes combination of environmental and genetic risk factors. Even though strong correlation between genetic risk factors and T2DM are found in many studies, environmental risk factors remain as crucial in the development of T2DM.

Therefore, specific strategies such as promotion of physical activity, healthy lifestyle and healthy dietary patterns combined with interventions to reduce the rate of obesity could reduce increasing number of T2DM incidences in near future.

MEALTIME STRATEGIES FOR PEOPLE WITH T2DM

Here are some important strategies recommended by Ministry of Health Malaysia.

Portion control is crucial.

People with T2DM are recommended to have:

  • 2 servings of carbohydrates for breakfast.
  • 2 to 3 servings for lunch and dinner, respectively.
  • 1 to 2 servings of snack.

You can use your hand as a visual guide to determine portion sizes of your foods.

NUTRIENTS EXAMPLES SIZE OF 1 PORTION
Carbohydrates Rice The size of your fist.
Protein Tenggiri fish The size of your palm.
Fats Butter The size of the tip of your thumb.
Dietary fibre Green vegetables 2 hands full.

Additionally, you can also adhere to their specific recommended portions by following the Malaysian healthy plate such as the quarter, quarter half concept.


  1. Pick a dinner plate of 9-inch or 23-cm diameter.
  2. Fill half the plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as salad, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, or carrot.
  3. Fill one quarter with a lean protein, such as chicken, fish, turkey, beans, tempeh, tofu, or eggs.
  4. Fill the remaining quarter with carbohydrate-rich foods such as rice, pasta, noodles, corn, or other wholegrains. Note that a cup of milk counts as carbohydrate.
  5. Choose water or a low-calorie drink such as unsweetened fruit juice or tea to go with your meal.
  6. You can also add 2 serving of fruits per day as part of your diet.

Consume high-fibre food such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Foods containing high amounts of soluble fibres such as apples, citrus fruits, barley, and beans help to prevent sugar spikes as they slow down the digestion process.

However, these foods also contain carbohydrates and thus, you need to watch the portion sizes.

Choose wholegrains instead of simple carbohydrates.
EXAMPLES OF SIMPLE CARBS EXAMPLES OF COMPLEX CARBS
  • White bread
  • White pasta
  • White rice
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Ice cream
  • Non-diet sodas
  • Sugar cereals
  • Sweetened drinks
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Brown rice
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chia seeds
Avoid or limit intake of foods high in sodium as these foods may lead to high blood pressure.

Examples of high sodium foods include salty snacks, fast food, pickles, and gravies.

Low sodium foods include whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, unsalted foods or snacks, herbs and spices.

Consume healthy fats such as foods rich in unsaturated fatty acids.

Examples of fgood sources of unsaturated fatty acids include fish, nuts and seeds.

Avoid or limit intake foods high in saturated fats such as processed meat, cheese, and fatty meat.

Avoid or limit sugar sweetened beverages such as canned drinks or carbonated drinks.

These beverages add to your total calorie intake and lead to increased blood glucose levels.

People with T2DM can opt for unsweetened coffee or tea.

Avoid or limit alcohol drinks and cigarettes smoking.
Lead an active lifestyle by doing exercises.

Perform moderate-intensity exercises such as cycling less than 20km/hour, water aerobics, mowing the lawn, actively playing with children for 150 minutes per week.

Perform for at least 90 minutes per week vigorous exercise such as race walking, hiking uphill, aerobics, swimming, and cycling uphill.

Additionally, aim for at least 2 sessions per week of muscle strengthening exercises such as push-ups, squats and abdominal crunches.

Consult a healthcare professional on the appropriate types and frequency of exercise. as some individuals may need personalized exercise regime—especially the older adults, elderly and those with chronic conditions.

It is also recommended to check blood glucose levels before engaging in vigorous exercise regimes.

Consume adequate fluids to maintain good hydration status during exercise.

OTHER USEFUL TIPS
Monitoring carbohydrates intake is essential.

A dietitian can provide guidance on estimating carbohydrates intake through techniques such as carbohydrates counting or maintaining a food diary. These approaches enable people with T2DM to understand how different foods impact their blood sugar levels. It is important to pair carbohydrates counting with the blood glucose levels and medication intake.

Always monitor at home the blood sugar level for those who are at risk of hypo- or hyperglycaemia, using a blood glucose meter.

Self-monitoring of blood glucose level is important to ensure blood glucose stays within the recommended levels and it helps to prevent hypo- or hypoglycemia.

It can be done in a fasting state before and/or 2 hours after a meal.

People with T2DM should adhere to anti-diabetic medications dosage intake and insulin injection regimen to help improve blood glucose control.

Always seek guidance from healthcare professionals to manage your diabetes effectively.

Keeping a close watch on overall carbohydrates and sugar consumption remains a fundamental strategy for achieving optimal blood sugar control in people with T2DM.

Besides, people with T2DM should possess awareness and understanding of all the recommendations and guidelines provided by their healthcare professionals.


References:

  1. CPG Secretariat, Health Technology Assessment Section. (2020). Clinical practice guidelines: Management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (6th ed.). Ministry of Health Malaysia. https://www2.moh.gov.my/moh/resources/Penerbitan/CPG/Endocrine/CPG_T2DM_6th_Edition_2020_13042021.pdf
  2. Nasir, B.M., Abd. Aziz A., Abdullah, M.R., & Mohd Noor, N. (2012). Waist height ratio compared to body mass index and waist circumference in relation to glycemic control in Malay type 2 diabetes mellitus patients, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia. International journal of collaborative research on internal medicine & public health (IJCRIMPH), 4, 406. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281629114_Waist_height_ratio_compared_to_body_mass_index_and_waist_circumference_in_relation_to_glycemic_control_in_Malay_type_2_diabetes_mellitus_patients_Hospital_Universiti_Sains_Malaysia
  3. Bener, A., Zirie, M., & Al-Rikabi, A. (2005). Genetics, obesity, and environmental risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes. Croatian medical journal, 46(2), 302–307.
  4. Ganasegeran, K., Hor, C. P., Jamil, M. F. A., Loh, H. C., Noor, J. M., Hamid, N. A., Suppiah, P. D., Abdul Manaf, M. R., Ch’ng, A. S. H., & Looi, I. (2020). A systematic review of the economic burden of type 2 diabetes in Malaysia. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(16), 5723. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165723
  5. Gardner, C. D., Trepanowski, J. F., Del Gobbo, L. C., Hauser, M. E., Rigdon, J., Ioannidis, J. P. A., Desai, M., & King, A. C. (2018). Effect of low-fat vs low-carbohydrate diet on 12-month weight loss in overweight adults and the association with genotype pattern or insulin secretion: The DIETFITS randomized clinical trial. JAMA, 319(7), 667–679. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2018.0245
  6. Kojta, I., Chacińska, M., & Błachnio-Zabielska, A. (2020). Obesity, bioactive lipids, and adipose tissue inflammation in insulin resistance. Nutrients, 12(5), 1305. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051305
  7. Feisul, I. M., Azmi, S., Mohd Rizal, A. M., Zanariah, H., Nik Mahir, N. J., Fatanah, I., Aizuddin, A. N., & Goh, A. (2017). What are the direct medical costs of managing type 2 diabetes mellitus in Malaysia?. The medical journal of Malaysia, 72(5), 271–277.
  8. Shafie, A., & Ng, C.H. (2020). Estimating the costs of managing complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Malaysia. Malaysian journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 18, 15-32. 10.21315/mjps2020.18.2.2
  9. Goossens G. H. (2008). The role of adipose tissue dysfunction in the pathogenesis of obesity-related insulin resistance. Physiology & behavior, 94(2), 206–218. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.10.010
  10. Parker, E. D., Lin, J., Mahoney, T., Ume, N., Yang, G., Gabbay, R. A., ElSayed, N. A., & Bannuru, R. R. (2024). Economic costs of diabetes in the U.S. in 2022. Diabetes care, 47(1), 26–43. https://doi.org/10.2337/dci23-0085

Tame the IBS Beast: Your Guide to a Happy Gut

WORDS MARAM T.M. BESAISO & DR SHANTHI KRISHNASAMY

FEATURED EXPERTS

MARAM T.M. BESAISO
Master’s Student in Clinical Nutrition
Faculty of Health Sciences
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
DR SHANTHI KRISHNASAMY
Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of the Master of Clinical Nutrition Dietetics Programme
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Have you ever woken up feeling like your stomach was about to explode? Or experienced that nagging discomfort after eating certain foods? If so, you’re not alone.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common gastrointestinal disorder, affects 1 in 10 people worldwide.

UNMASKING IBS: A PERSONAL JOURNEY

My teenage years, already burdened by academic pressure, took a painful turn when I developed IBS.

The unpredictable digestive woes—rumbling stomachs, embarrassing episodes, and constant discomfort—cast a shadow over my social life and amplified my anxieties.

Shame and isolation became my unwelcome companions.

Seeking medical help finally brought the diagnosis: IBS.

While the condition persisted, understanding it became the first step towards managing it.

Now, on the flip side of this journey, I offer my story not for pity, but for hope. To anyone wrestling with IBS, know this: you’re not alone. Let’s navigate this together, sharing strategies, finding support, and reclaiming control. Together, we can turn the tables on IBS and discover a life brimming with delicious possibilities and digestive joys.



An overview of IBS. Click on the image for a larger, clearer version.


NAVIGATING THE COMPLEXITIES OF IBS

This can be a daunting task, as this common gastrointestinal disorder can significantly impact your quality of life.

While not life-threatening, IBS can manifest in a range of distressing symptoms. It is a common condition characterized by frequent tummy troubles, bloating, cramps, and bathroom emergencies.

It not only affects the gut but also causes social anxiety, worry about finding a bathroom, and a decline in productivity due to doctor visits, tests, and medications.

GUT OFFENDERS

Living with IBS means your gut can flip its lid over certain foods. Here are some of my worst offenders.

  • Spicy foods: capsaicin in chili peppers lights up pain receptors in your sensitive gut, leading to gut pain, bloating, and diarrhoea.
  • Caffeine revs up your gut, potentially worsening diarrhoea and anxiety. Plus, it acts like a sneaky thief, steals fluids (causing dehydration) and makes constipation worse.
  • Alcohol, research suggests alcohol disrupts gut barrier integrity, which can worsen IBS symptoms. Also, alcohol disrupts digestion, which may slow down bowel movements and contribute to constipation. It irritates gut, triggering inflammation and worsening discomfort.
LIFESTYLE HACKS TO EMPOWER YOUR LIFE IN SPITE OF IBS

IBS can rumble your confidence and hijack your life. Fear not! Conquer IBS and reclaim your freedom with simple dietary tweaks and lifestyle hacks.

Regularity and consistency are key. To ease your IBS symptoms, eat slowly and regularly in a relaxing environment, and be mindful of how your food affects your gut.

Small and frequent wins. Smaller portions, more often, can be your gastrointestinal allies, embrace bite-sized snacks throughout the day to keep your digestion humming smoothly.

Small changes as a starter. To avoid losing motivation, make gradual changes and observe their effects. This will help you maintain consistency and find what works best for you.

Start recording. Keep a diary of your foods and symptoms as you are making changes, so that you can see what have helped (and haven’t).

Hydration is your hero. Water is your gut’s best friend! Aim for 8 glasses daily.

Caffeine and fizz, the troublemakers. Limit yourself to 3 cups of coffee and/or tea a day and keep the fizzy drinks at bay – your gut will thank you!

Alcohol? Not the best buddy. Moderation is key, so if you do imbibe, choose wisely and drink plenty of water alongside.

Fibre matters but choose wisely. If your IBS involves frequent trips to the loo, steer clear of whole grains, brown rice, bran, and fruit and veggie peels. However, don’t ditch fibre altogether!

To conquer constipation: embrace soluble fibres in moderation. Apples, pears, bananas, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and oats can be your constipation-busting friend.

Sorbitol, the sweet deceiver. If diarrhoea is your IBS partner, avoid the artificial sweetener sorbitol found in sugar‑free sweets, including chewing gum, and drinks, and in some diabetic and slimming products.

Trigger foods. Fatty foods and spices might be it’s not your best choice.

Stress, the IBS enemy. Exercise, meditation, and yoga are your stress-busting maestros, helping your gut find its happy rhythm again.

Sleep. Aim for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. A well-rested you translates to a well-rested gut, ready to face the day with digestive harmony.

Probiotics: The gut’s new best buds. Consult your doctor about incorporating these into your routine. They’re friendly bacteria, keeping your gut’s ecosystem in balance and preventing IBS from crashing your day

Seek expert guidance. Consult your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized advice and support.

Remember, IBS is yours to manage, and with these empowering strategies, you can reclaim control, say goodbye to gut chaos, and embrace a life brimming with delicious possibilities and happy digestion!


References:

  1. UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). (2008, February 23). Irritable bowel syndrome in adults: diagnosis and management. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg61
  2. Werlang, M. E., Palmer, W. C., & Lacy, B. E. (2019). Irritable bowel syndrome and dietary interventions. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 15(1), 16–26.
  3. Koochakpoor, G., Salari-Moghaddam, A., Keshteli, A. H., Esmaillzadeh, A., & Adibi, P. (2021). Association of coffee and caffeine intake with irritable bowel syndrome in adults. Frontiers in nutrition, 8, 632469. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2021.632469

Can Parkinson’s Disease Be Prevented with the Mediterranean Diet?

WORDS OH YAN TING, DR MUNIRAH ISMAIL & PROFESSOR DATO’ DR ROSLEE RAJIKAN

FEATURED EXPERTS

OH YAN TING
Dietitian and Student of MHSc in Clinical Nutrition
Faculty of Health Sciences
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
DR MUNIRAH ISMAIL (PhD)
Lecturer and Dietitian
Dietetics Program
Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE)
Faculty of Health Sciences
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
PROFESSOR DATO’ DR ROSLEE RAJIKAN
Professor in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics
Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE)
Faculty of Health Sciences
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder affecting movement.

It occurs when there is damage to brain cells that results in a reduction of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that controls movement, mood, concentration, and others. A lack of dopamine will result in the brain’s nerves being unable to effectively regulate the activities as mentioned earlier.

Individuals with Parkinson’s disease usually experience motor symptoms such as tremors, slower body movements, limb stiffness, postural instability, and uncoordinated body movements. In addition, they may also suffer from depression, behavioural changes, sleep disorders, constipation as well as smell disorders.

PARKINSON’S DISEASE IN MALAYSIA

To date, approximately 15,000 to 20,000 Malaysians have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and this number is expected to increase by five times in the year 2040.

CAUSES & CURE

Various factors can contribute to the development of this disease, including genetic predisposition and environmental factors such as diet and physical activity as well as exposure to toxic agents such as heavy metals and pesticides.

Although the cause of Parkinson’s disease is not fully understood, there is evidence to suggest a link between oxidative damage, chronic neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction, which can result in the development of this disease.

Currently, there isn’t a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, preventive measures must be implemented to reduce one’s risk of developing this disease.

NUTRITION & PARKINSON’S DISEASE

Nutrition is one of the environmental factors found to influence one’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

A high intake of vegetables as well as fish and legumes are moderately associated to a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Meanwhile, high consumption of meat, processed meat, sugary foods, and carbonated drinks is associated to an increased risk.

THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET

The Mediterranean diet is practiced widely in Greece, Spain, and Italy.

Many previous studies found that this diet confers benefits for health and longevity.

It is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

In addition, the Mediterranean diet is also widely recognized for its role in reducing oxidation and inflammation in the body. Since the onset and progression of Parkinson’s disease involve neuroinflammation and oxidative stress, the Mediterranean diet can therefore play an important role in the prevention of this disease.

Two large cohort studies have shown that a high level of adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. Whereas a lower level of adherence to this diet is associated with an earlier onset of Parkinson’s disease.

In addition, short-term adherence to the Mediterranean diet has also been found to reduce constipation, which is one of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Characteristics of the Mediterranean diet.

This diet emphasizes the following 4 components:

High intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains. According to the Greek Dietary Guidelines 1999, it recommends the following:

  • Vegetables: 6 servings a day.
  • Fruits: 3 servings a day.
  • Whole grains: 8 servings a day.

These foods contain high dietary fibre, vitamins, and polyphenols. Vitamins A, C, and E and polyphenols contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are likely to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. In addition, the high dietary fibre content can also help to reduce occurrences of constipation.

Consistent use of olive oil. This oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols that can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.

Consumption of milk, dairy products, potatoes, chicken eggs, fish, nuts, legumes, seeds and red wine in moderation.

  • Milk and dairy products: 2 servings a day.
  • Nuts and legumes: 3 to 4 servings a week.
  • Fish or seafood: 5 to 6 servings a week.
  • Chicken or duck: 4 servings a week.
  • Eggs: 3 servings a week.
  • Red wine: no more than 2 glasses a day for men and 1 glass a day for women.

Foods such as nuts, legumes, fish, chicken, and eggs are important sources of protein for building and repairing body cells and tissues.

For fish, go for deep-sea fish that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can maintain brain function and reduce inflammation and oxidation.

As for red wine, it contains high amounts of polyphenols.

Low intake of red meat, sweet foods, and saturated fat.

  • Red meat: 4 servings a month.
  • Sweet foods: 3 servings a week.

High intake of red meat has been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. There are several possibilities that contribute to this. The high haem content in red meat can act as a toxin when this substance is not digested properly. Secondly, the high content of saturated fat in red meat is associated with increased oxidative stress.

RECONCILING THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET WITH OUR MALAYSIAN DIET

Although this diet is practiced by the people in Mediterranean countries that have a different dietary culture from Malaysians, it is possible to include their recommendations into our Malaysian diet.

In fact, there is a high similarity between the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid and the Malaysian Food Pyramid.


Image 1 shows the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid while Image 2 shows the latest Malaysian Food Pyramid. Click on these images for larger, clearer versions.


  • Both the Mediterranean diet and the Malaysian Food Pyramid encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables, followed by the consumption of various grain products, especially whole grains.
  • In line with the recommendations of the Mediterranean diet, the Malaysian Food Pyramid also recommends the selection of lean meat and the incorporation of plant protein sources such as legumes in a simple daily diet.
  • Both of these pyramids also emphasize limiting the intake of fat, oil, sugar, and salt.

However, a slight difference is that the Mediterranean diet emphasizes the consistent use of olive oil.

The Mediterranean diet also encourages moderate wine consumption, but individuals may make decisions on whether to include this into their diet, based on their own personal religion and beliefs.

HOW TO USE THE MALAYSIAN FOOD PYRAMID AS A FOUNDATION TO INCORPORATE MEDITERRANEAN DIET IN OUR LIVES

One simple way is to follow the Malaysian Healthy Plate concept.


The Malaysian Healthy Plate concept. Click on the image for a larger, clearer version.


  • The first quarter of the plate is allocated for carbohydrate food sources such as rice, bread, grains, and others.
  • The second quarter is allocated for protein sources such as legumes, fish, chicken, and meat.
  • The remaining half is allocated for fresh vegetables and fruits.

The “Suku Suku Separuh” (“Quarter Quarter Half”) concept emphasizes portion control and balanced meals. Following it allows us to adhere to the recommendations of the Malaysian Food Pyramid.

Additionally, the cooking methods used in meal preparation also play a key role in enabling the incorporation of the Mediterranean diet into our Malaysian diet. We can use olive oil in the grilling, baking, and roasting of meat, fish, and vegetables. It can also be used as drizzle for our salads and ulams.


References:

  1. Chu, C., Yu, L., Chen, W., Tian, F., & Zhai, Q. (2021). Dietary patterns affect Parkinson’s disease via the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Trends in food science and technology, 116, 90–101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2021.07.004
  2. Bexci, M.S. & Subramani, R. (2018). Decoding Parkinson’s associated health messages in social media pages by Malaysian service administrators. Malaysian journal of medical research (MJMR), 2(4), 64-72.
    3. Torti, M., Fossati, C., Casali, M., De Pandis, M. F., Grassini, P., Radicati, F. G., Stirpe, P., Vacca, L., Iavicoli, I., Leso, V., Ceppi, M., Bruzzone, M., Bonassi, S., & Stocchi, F. (2020). Effect of family history, occupation and diet on the risk of Parkinson disease: A case-control study. PLoS one, 15(12), e0243612. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0243612
  3. Molsberry, S., Bjornevik, K., Hughes, K. C., Healy, B., Schwarzschild, M., & Ascherio, A. (2020). Diet pattern and prodromal features of Parkinson disease. Neurology, 95(15), e2095–e2108. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010523
  4. Georgiou, A., Demetriou, C. A., Christou, Y. P., Heraclides, A., Leonidou, E., Loukaides, P., Yiasoumi, E., Pantziaris, M., Kleopa, K. A., Papacostas, S. S., Loizidou, M. A., Hadjisavvas, A., & Zamba-Papanicolaou, E. (2019). Genetic and environmental factors contributing to Parkinson’s disease: A case-control study in the Cypriot population. Frontiers in neurology, 10, 1047. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.01047
  5. Gao, X., Chen, H., Fung, T. T., Logroscino, G., Schwarzschild, M. A., Hu, F. B., & Ascherio, A. (2007). Prospective study of dietary pattern and risk of Parkinson disease. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 86(5), 1486–1494. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/86.5.1486
  6. Yin, W., Löf, M., Pedersen, N. L., Sandin, S., & Fang, F. (2021). Mediterranean dietary pattern at middle age and risk of Parkinson’s disease: A Swedish cohort study. Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society, 36(1), 255–260. https://doi.org/10.1002/mds.28314
  7. Alcalay, R. N., Gu, Y., Mejia-Santana, H., Cote, L., Marder, K. S., & Scarmeas, N. (2012). The association between Mediterranean diet adherence and Parkinson’s disease. Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society, 27(6), 771–774. https://doi.org/10.1002/mds.24918
  8. Rusch, C., Beke, M., Tucciarone, L., Dixon, K., Nieves, C., Jr, Mai, V., Stiep, T., Tholanikunnel, T., Ramirez-Zamora, A., Hess, C. W., & Langkamp-Henken, B. (2021). Effect of a Mediterranean diet intervention on gastrointestinal function in Parkinson’s disease (the MEDI-PD study): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMJ open, 11(9), e053336. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-053336
  9. Rusch, C., Beke, M., Tucciarone, L., Nieves, C., Jr, Ukhanova, M., Tagliamonte, M. S., Mai, V., Suh, J. H., Wang, Y., Chiu, S., Patel, B., Ramirez-Zamora, A., & Langkamp-Henken, B. (2021). Mediterranean diet adherence in people with Parkinson’s disease reduces constipation symptoms and changes fecal microbiota after a 5-week single-arm pilot study. Frontiers in neurology, 12, 794640. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.794640
  10. Calder P. C. (2006). n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, inflammation, and inflammatory diseases. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 83(6 Suppl), 1505S–1519S. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/83.6.1505S
  11. The Hellenic Health Foundation. (n.d.). Dietary guidelines for adults in Greece. https://www.hhf-greece.gr/hydria-nhns.gr/adultdietarytext_eng.html
  12. Bisaglia, M. (2022). Mediterranean diet and Parkinson’s disease. International journal of molecular sciences, 24(1), 42. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24010042
  13. Lange, K. W., Nakamura, Y., Chen, N., Guo, J., Kanaya, S., Lange, K., & Li, S. (2019). Diet and medical foods in Parkinson’s disease. Food science and human wellness, 8(2), 83–95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fshw.2019.03.006
  14. Foo Chung, C., Pazim, K., & Mansur, K. (2020). Ageing population: Policies and programmes for older people in Malaysia. Asian journal of research in education and social sciences, 2(2), 92-96.  https://myjms.mohe.gov.my/index.php/ajress/article/view/10227

Georgen Thye Explains the Differences between Various Milks in the Market

WORDS GEORGEN THYE

FEATURED EXPERT
GEORGEN THYE
Consultant Dietitian and Coach
Founder of Georgen Cooking
Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | YouTube | Linkedin

Milk comes in various forms, and it’s important to know the differences, including how they’re processed in the factory, and their nutrition content. Let’s break down the variations:

UHT MILK

Ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk is heat-treated to extend shelf life.

It undergoes pasteurization at an ultra-high temperature, a process to kill harmful bacteria, and is packed in a sterile environment.

It’s convenient and doesn’t require refrigeration until opened.

However, some nutrients may be reduced during the manufacturing process.

FULL CREAM MILK

This milk contains the highest fat content, approximately 3.25–3.5% fat, giving it a rich, creamy flavour.

It also goes through pasteurization and is homogenized to ensure an even distribution of fat.

LOW FAT MILK

Low fat milk first undergoes pasteurization, similar to full cream milk.

Then, it undergoes a skimming process to remove much of the fat, reducing its overall fat content to around 1–2%.

It’s still homogenized, ensuring a consistent texture while providing essential nutrients with reduced fat.

FRESH MILK

Straight from the farm to your fridge, fresh milk is minimally processed to preserve its natural flavour and nutrients.

It typically undergoes pasteurization but minimal homogenization, keeping it close to its farm-fresh state and containing around 3.25–3.5% fat.

FLAVOURED MILK

Whether it’s chocolate or strawberry, flavoured milk adds a tasty spin to regular milk.

However, be cautious of added sugars, which can increase calorie levels.

Choose options with lower sugar content and enjoy in moderation.

Note that despite its sweetness, flavored milk still provides essential nutrients like calcium and protein.

WHICH MILK IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Your milk choice depends on your goals and taste.

Low-fat is great for reducing fat and sugar.

Fresh milk is minimally processed and ideal for those who love its natural taste.

Enjoy flavoured milk in moderation, choosing lower-sugar options.

Regardless of your pick, milk is rich in vital nutrients like calcium and protein for good health so enjoy!

A Dietitian Exposes 3 Common Misconceptions about Detox Diets & Products

WORDS GEORGEN THYE

FEATURED EXPERT
GEORGEN THYE
Consultant Dietitian and Coach
Founder of Georgen Cooking
Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | YouTube | Linkedin

It’s a common belief that detox diets and products can cleanse your body of toxins, but let’s unravel the truth.

MYTH 1: DETOXING CLEARS YOUR TOXINS

Fact: Your body has its own built-in detox system. Your liver, kidneys, and digestive system work around the clock to eliminate waste and toxins.



An overview of the detox system of our body. Click on the image for a larger, clearer version.


MYTH 2: DETOX DIETS ARE EFFECTIVE

Fact: Most detox diets are restrictive and low in essential nutrients. They may lead to temporary weight loss, but it’s mostly water weight, not toxins.

MYTH 3: DETOX PRODUCTS WORK MIRACLES

Fact: Detox teas, supplements, and wraps often lack scientific evidence and can have side effects. They’re not a magic solution.

SO, HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT YOUR BODY’S NATURAL DETOX PROCESSES?

Eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep. Your body has the detox game covered!

LOOKING FOR AUTHENTIC DIETARY FACTS & ADVICE?

Visit Georgen’s social media, links above, for more fun educational advice, facts, and more.

Drop him a note if you are interested in his services:

  • Corporate Wellness Programme
  • Health Talks
  • Cooking Workshop
  • Virtual Diet Consultations

IMU Opens the First Free Student-Led Dietetics & Wellness Clinic in Malaysia

WORDS LIM TECK CHOON

The International Medical University (IMU) recently opened the doors of the IMU Student Dietetics and Wellness Clinic. It had its official launch on 19 September 2023.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LAUNCH

HealthToday had the opportunity to meet the staff of the clinic as well as Professor Dr Winnie Chee, the Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic of IMU, to find out more about the clinic.

We are greatly indebted to them for their time and their willingness to provide answers to the following questions!

WHAT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE CLINIC?

It offers many services comparable to other dietetics clinics. However, the clinic offers these services free of charge.

Individualized Meal Planning

It can be challenging to navigate through various foods to plan the right meals for one’s optimal health and maintenance of one’s ideal body weight.

 The staff of this clinic can meet with an individual and their loved ones to help design personalized daily meals based on the individual’s health status, their food preferences, and other factors.

Given that a healthy, balanced diet is key to good management of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and more, this service will be especially helpful to those with these conditions.

YOU MAY FIND INIVIDUALIZED MEAL PLANNING HELPFUL IF YOU HAVE THE FOLLOWING:
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Gout
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Anaemia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Chronic or long-term gastritis
Body Composition Analyzer

This is a series of non-invasive tests to measure a person’s fat mass and muscle mass.

These tests are also a good way to find out whether the person is at risk of not getting enough nutrients to maintain good health and proper functioning of the body (malnutrition).

A student dietitian can advise the individual accordingly based on the test results.

To register for your free session, click here. The link opens in a new tab.

Public Talks and Workshops

Members of the public can attend educational talks, cooking demonstrations, and more—free, of course!

They can follow the social media of the clinic (see below) to stay updated on upcoming talks and other public events.

WHERE IS THIS CLINIC?

It’s located at the International Medical University building at the following address:

Student Dietetics & Wellness Clinic
Level LG at the International Medical University
126 Jalan Jalil Perkasa
57000 Bukit Jalil
Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm during the final year dietetics practicum semesters.
Check the social media of the clinic (see below) for the latest updates.

Find the clinic on Google Maps

Do I Have to Travel to the Clinic Personally to Obtain Its Services?

Since the clinic has just opened its doors, for the time being only face-to-face consultation is available.

There are plans for telehealth services in the future, however. Interested parties can follow the social media of this clinic (see below) for future updates.

SO, IT’S A CLINIC STAFFED BY STUDENTS?

Yes, it’s a student-led diet clinic is a clinic managed and run by final year dietetics students.

These students are supervised by registered dietitians that are part of the IMU staff and they work in close collaboration with the public and communities in the surrounding area in Bukit Jalil and beyond.

Professor Dr Winnie Chee proudly tells us that while the clinic was conceptualized by the IMU School of Health Sciences, the enthusiastic students were responsible for all the planning, resources, programmes, and marketing of the services, as well as quality monitoring and management of the day-to-day operations of the clinic.

Wait, So Are These Students ‘Real’ Dietitians?

Don’t worry, these are final year dietetic students under the Bachelor of Science (Hons) Dietetics with Nutrition programme under the School of Health Sciences at IMU.

Therefore, they possess the necessary knowledge to help their clients.

What they lack is real world experience, which will be provided by this clinic. It will give these students training and experience on how to set up and manage a dietetics clinic as well as to instill in them an entrepreneurial mindset—thus making them more well-rounded dietitians when they graduate!

Throughout it all, every session will be supervised by a clinical educator, who is a registered dietitian.

If a medical emergency were to occur, the person will be directed to relevant healthcare professionals at IMU Health that are just nearby.

Hence, you don’t have to worry about receiving ‘inferior’ advice and help from this clinic!

HOW DO I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

Just fill in the online form found on their Facebook page.

HOW LONG IS EACH SESSION?

It can vary on a case-by-case basis.

Typically, the first session may take up to 1 hour. During this session, you may be asked to go through some simple, non-invasive tests and be asked about your medical history, current dietary preferences, etc.

Subsequent sessions—also free—may take about 30 minutes. The clinic will follow-up with you during these sessions to monitor your progress. If you’re having difficulties following your new meal plan, the staff will offer advice and help to get you back on track.

STAY CONNECTED WITH THE CLINIC
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