The start of any new year always encourages a mixture of reflection and forward views, some of which may include changing body mass and shape as well as adopting a healthier lifestyle. Of course, there are a multitude of propositions to aim for, many of which are short-lived.
But if you are wanting to modify visceral fat, control blood sugar and improve muscle-to -fat ratio and do it quickly then you will be comforted to learn of a successful trial published in the well-known Cell Metabolism Journal.
The randomised trial demonstrated that utilising the principles of time-restricted eating (TRE) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in combination is remarkably effective at reducing fat. The trial confirms that by following the strategy in as little as seven weeks, you will shift weight, lose body fat and belly fat, and shed inches from your waistline faster than with many diet regimens and at double the rate you would by employing either of these approaches alone.
The authors state in conclusion, that their findings suggest that combining TRE with HIIT can rapidly induce several health benefits and decrease metabolic disease risk in women with overweight/obesity.
The high rates of compliance and adherence highlight the potential of these diet-exercise protocols to be implemented in clinical practice for treatment and primary prevention of overweight/obesity.
Infectious Winter Challenges
The Covid-19 outbreak is officially three years old on 30th January 2023, which marks the moment in 2020 when the World Health Organization declared the respiratory disease a public health emergency of international concern. But this month’s anniversary offers little to celebrate in the wake of China’s recent chaotic and abrupt lurch from zero-Covid to full-Covid. The severity of the outbreak within China is obscured by spin, dubious statistics, and government opacity, but eventually, as with the rest of the world, it is hoped that the infection will become endemic.
Data indicate that the two commonest strains currently circulating in China are Omicron subvariants descended from BA5, the strain that plagued the US and Europe last year. Scientists, particularly those on WHO’s technical advisory group on Sars-Cov-2 evolution, are now on the lookout for ‘pi’, Omicron’s potential successor and new running mate with the seasonal flu and other respiratory viruses operating currently sequentially or concurrently infecting many in the UK.
An analysis by health analytics company Airfinity has estimated that hospitals in England could see more than 7500 people admitted to hospital every week in January 2023 with covid-19 or flu (under different scenarios, such as vaccination status). This surpasses the previous threshold of 4000 weekly admissions for covid-19 which triggered lockdown.
The term twindemic was coined by the New York Times and refers to a time when a severe flu epidemic coincides with a wave of COVID-19. A combination of infections that is currently impacting the ability of the NHS to manage all the related consequences.
As the risks related to both involve the efficacy of the immune response and the health of the host, the practical steps taken or recommended to be taken for feeding the immune system with relevant foods and concentrated nutrients remain valid. As does avoiding frequent co-mingling with infected people and reducing the risk of transmission, especially to the elderly and immune-compromised.
Evidence for Natural Antivirals
A recent review paper in the Journal Frontiers of Pharmacology examined the potential role of 130 natural compounds in the treatment of Sars Cov-2 and Influenza. Whilst various compounds demonstrated inhibitory effects, quercetin exhibited antiviral activities against influenza A, SARS-CoV-2, and COVID-19 and this seems to be a highly promising compound to keep in stock at home and to use as both preventative and treatment-orientated care.
The combination of a healthy lifestyle, great nutrition, reduced stress and regular sleep as well as the use of selected vitamins, minerals and fatty acids and bacteria are all vital in presenting the optimal resistance but even the best can be overcome – maybe quercetin will be the answer for you and your charges?
 Haganes KL, Silva CP, Eyjólfsdóttir SK, Steen S, Grindberg M, Lydersen S, Hawley JA, Moholdt T. Time-restricted eating and exercise training improve HbA1c and body composition in women with overweight/obesity: A randomized controlled trial. Cell Metab. 2022 Oct 4;34(10):1457-1471.e4.
 Airfinity. Covid + Flu ‘twindemic’ forecast. 29 September 2022. https://assets.ctfassets.net/poihmvxzgivq/27HxMldek8LQWUN0tjNsPY/a002241f833405e1a96b6c4f887a8803/Covid___Flu____twindemic____forecast_.pdf.
 Omrani M, Keshavarz M, Nejad Ebrahimi S, Mehrabi M, McGaw LJ, Ali Abdalla M and Mehrbod P (2021) Potential Natural Products Against Respiratory Viruses: A Perspective to Develop Anti-COVID-19 Medicines. Front. Phys. 11:586993.
 Imran M, Thabet HK, Alaqel SI, Alzahrani AR, Abida A, Alshammari MK, Kamal M, Diwan A, Asdaq SMB, Alshehri S. The Therapeutic and Prophylactic Potential of Quercetin against COVID-19: An Outlook on the Clinical Studies, Inventive Compositions, and Patent Literature. Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Apr 29;11(5):876.