Soap and toothpaste ingredient may be linked to liver tumors and fibrosis Reply


Soap and toothpaste ingredient may be linked to liver tumors and fibrosis
Cleaning yourself to death?
-Triclosan, a common antimicrobial in personal hygiene products, causes liver fibrosis and cancer in mice
-Study suggests triclosan may do its damage by interfering with the constitutive androstane receptor, a protein responsible for detoxifying (clearing away) foreign chemicals in the body. To compensate for this stress, liver cells proliferate and turn fibrotic over time. Repeated triclosan exposure and continued liver fibrosis eventually promote tumor formation.
*Published Nov. 17 by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences More…

No gut bacteria, No healthy brain Reply


Gut microbiota influences blood-brain barrier permeability

“We showed that the presence of the maternal gut microbiota during late pregnancy blocked the passage of labeled antibodies from the circulation into the brain parenchyma of the growing fetus”, says first author Dr. Viorica Braniste at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology at Karolinska Institutet. “In contrast, in age-matched fetuses from germ-free mothers, these labeled antibodies easily crossed the blood-brain barrier and was detected within the brain parenchyma”.

*Published in the journal Science Translational Medicine Nov 2014 More…

No gut bacteria, No healthy brain Reply


Gut microbiota influences blood-brain barrier permeability

“We showed that the presence of the maternal gut microbiota during late pregnancy blocked the passage of labeled antibodies from the circulation into the brain parenchyma of the growing fetus”, says first author Dr. Viorica Braniste at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology at Karolinska Institutet. “In contrast, in age-matched fetuses from germ-free mothers, these labeled antibodies easily crossed the blood-brain barrier and was detected within the brain parenchyma”.

*Published in the journal Science Translational Medicine Nov 2014 More…

High fat diets not as dangerous as high carbohydrate 1

Study: Doubling saturated fat in the diet does not increase saturated fat in blood

New research links diabetes, heart disease risk to diet high in carbs, not fat

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Doubling or even nearly tripling saturated fat in the diet does not drive up total levels of saturated fat in the blood, according to a controlled diet study.

However, increasing levels of carbohydrates in the diet during the study promoted a steady increase in the blood of a fatty acid linked to an elevated risk for diabetes and heart disease.

The finding “challenges the conventional wisdom that has demonized saturated fat and extends our knowledge of why dietary saturated fat doesn’t correlate with disease,” said senior author Jeff Volek, a professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University.

In the study, participants were fed six three-week diets that progressively increased carbs while simultaneously reducing total fat and saturated fat, keeping calories and protein the same.

The researchers found that total saturated fat in the blood did not increase – and went down in most people – despite being increased in the diet when carbs were reduced. Palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid associated with unhealthy metabolism of carbohydrates that can promote disease, went down with low-carb intake and gradually increased as carbs were re-introduced to the study diet.

“It’s unusual for a marker to track so closely with carbohydrate intake, making this a unique and clinically significant finding. As you increase carbs, this marker predictably goes up,” Volek said.

When that marker increases, he said, it is a signal that an increasing proportion of carbs are being converted to fat instead of being burned as fuel. Reducing carbs and adding fat to the diet in a well-formulated way, on the other hand, ensures the body will promptly burn the saturated fat as fuel – so it won’t be stored. More…

Digoxin associated with a 71 percent higher risk of death and hospitalization Reply

Study found associations with adults with atrial fibrillation and no heart failure

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 21, 2014 — Digoxin, a drug commonly used to treat heart conditions, was associated with a 71 percent higher risk of death and a 63 percent higher risk of hospitalization among adults with diagnosed atrial fibrillation and no evidence of heart failure, according to a Kaiser Permanente study that appears in the current online issue of Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.

Digoxin is a drug derived from digitalis, which has been used for more than a century for heart-rate control in patients with atrial fibrillation, and it remains commonly used for this purpose worldwide. Current clinical practice guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation recommend the use of digoxin alone for resting heart-rate control in sedentary individuals.

“Our findings suggest that the use of digoxin should be re-evaluated for the treatment of atrial fibrillation in contemporary clinical practice,” said study co-author Anthony Steimle, MD, Chief of Cardiology at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center. “Given the other options available for heart-rate control, digoxin should be used with caution in the management of atrial fibrillation, especially in the absence of symptomatic systolic heart failure.”

The results of this study follow on the findings by many of the same investigators in a 2013 study that revealed digoxin was associated with a 72 percent higher rate of death among adults with newly diagnosed systolic heart failure. More…

Dietary supplements of nicotinamide riboside, a derivative of vitamin B3, prevent the development of liver tumors and induce tumor regression in mice Reply

A CNIO team discovers that a derivative of vitamin B3 prevents liver cancer in mice

Liver cancer is one of the most frequent cancers in the world, and with the worst prognosis; according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2012, 745,000 deaths were registered worldwide due to this cause, a figure only surpassed by lung cancer. The most aggressive and frequent form of liver cancer is hepato-cellular carcinoma (HCC); little is known about it and there are relatively few treatment options.

Researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), have produced the first mouse model that faithfully reproduces the steps of human HCC development, from the appearance of the first lesions in the liver to the development of metastasis. The results, published in the prestigious journal Cancer Cell, indicate that diets rich in nicotinamide riboside, a derivative of vitamin B3, protect these mice from developing HCC in its most initial stage, when genotoxic stress is damaging cellular DNA. They also show a curative effect of the diet in those mice that had previously developed the disease. More…

Researchers discover a “bonafide HIV killing pathway” Reply

New study reveals why some people may be immune to HIV-1

Natural genetic variation in a protective antiviral enzyme holds promise for new therapies

Doctors have long been mystified as to why HIV-1 rapidly sickens some individuals, while in others the virus has difficulties gaining a foothold. Now, a study of genetic variation in HIV-1 and in the cells it infects reported by University of Minnesota researchers in this week’s issue of PLOS Genetics has uncovered a chink in HIV-1′s armor that may, at least in part, explain the puzzling difference — and potentially open the door to new treatments.

HIV-1 harms people by invading immune system cells known as T lymphocytes, hijacking their molecular machinery to make more of themselves, then destroying the host cells — leaving the infected person more susceptible to other deadly diseases. T lymphocytes are not complete sitting ducks, however. Among their anti-virus defense mechanisms is a class of proteins known as APOBEC3s that have the ability to block the HIV-1′s ability to replicate. Not surprisingly, however, HIV-1 has a counter-defense mechanism — a protein called Vif that cons the T lymphocytes into destroying their own APOBEC3. More…

Running really can keep you young, says CU-Boulder-Humboldt State study Reply

Seniors who run regularly can walk as efficiently as 20-somethings

If you are an active senior who wants to stay younger, keep on running.

A new study involving the University of Colorado Boulder and Humboldt State University shows that senior citizens who run several times a week for exercise expend about the same amount of energy walking as a typical 20-year-old.

But older people who walk for exercise rather than jog expend about the same amount of energy walking as older, sedentary adults, and expend up to 22 percent more energy walking than the 20-something crowd. The study, led by Humboldt State Professor Justus Ortega, was published online Nov. 20 in the journal PLOS ONE.

“The bottom line is that running keeps you younger, at least in terms of energy efficiency,” said CU-Boulder Associate Professor Rodger Kram of the Department of Integrative Physiology, a co-author on the new study.

The PLOS ONE study involved 30 healthy older volunteer adults (15 males and 15 females) with an average age of 69 who either regularly ran or walked for exercise. The volunteers all had been either walking or running at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes per workout for at least six months. Boulder was an ideal place for the study, said Kram, in part because it has been an international running mecca since the 1970s and there are a relatively large number of senior runners. More…

Nutrient Deficiency Linked to Brain Wasting in Huntington’s Disease Reply

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

19-Nov-2014
In a serendipitous finding, Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Bindu Paul, Ph.D., connected the manufacture of an essential amino acid to Huntington’s disease, changing scientific understanding of the condition. Studying mice lacking the enzyme that makes cysteine, Paul, a researcher in the laboratory of Solomon Snyder, M.D., noticed the mice behaved like those used to study Huntington’s disease: They remained still and clasped their paws together when dangled by their tails. Intrigued, Paul checked the amount of the cysteine-making enzyme in the Huntington’s mice and found decreased levels in the disease-affected tissues. More experiments soon revealed that the mutant huntingtin protein, which causes the disease, gloms up the genetic machinery that generates the cysteine-making enzyme. Without the enzyme, much less cysteine is made. Paul fed the Huntington’s mice diets rich in cysteine, and they regained normal behavior, swinging and biting when dangled by their tails. These unexpected findings have led to clinical trials to see if treatment with cysteine can relieve symptoms in people with Huntington’s. More…

Gut microbiota influences blood-brain barrier permeability Reply

A new study in mice, conducted by researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet together with colleagues in Singapore and the United States, shows that our natural gut-residing microbes can influence the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain from harmful substances in the blood. According to the authors, the findings provide experimental evidence that our indigenous microbes contribute to the mechanism that closes the blood-brain barrier before birth. The results also support previous observations that gut microbiota can impact brain development and function.

The blood-brain barrier is a highly selective barrier that prevents unwanted molecules and cells from entering the brain from the bloodstream. In the current study, being published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the international interdisciplinary research team demonstrates that the transport of molecules across the blood-brain barrier can be modulated by gut microbes – which therefore play an important role in the protection of the brain.

The investigators reached this conclusion by comparing the integrity and development of the blood-brain barrier between two groups of mice: the first group was raised in an environment where they were exposed to normal bacteria, and the second (called germ-free mice) was kept in a sterile environment without any bacteria.

“We showed that the presence of the maternal gut microbiota during late pregnancy blocked the passage of labeled antibodies from the circulation into the brain parenchyma of the growing fetus”, says first author Dr. Viorica Braniste at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology at Karolinska Institutet. “In contrast, in age-matched fetuses from germ-free mothers, these labeled antibodies easily crossed the blood-brain barrier and was detected within the brain parenchyma”. More…

Suffering from constipation? Self-acupressure can help Reply

UCLA Center for East-West Medicine research shows how Eastern and Western medicine can blend to find solutions to this common problem

About 19 percent of North Americans suffer from constipation, with the digestive condition being more common among women, non-whites, people older than 60, those who are not physically active and the poor.

The costs are significant. Hospital costs to treat the condition were estimated at $4.25 billion in 2010 alone. Constipation can also lead to depression, lower quality of life and a drop in work productivity. Treatments include use of laxatives, increased intake of dietary fiber and fluid, and exercise.

But new research from the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine shows how Eastern and Western medicine can blend to find solutions to this common medical problem. In a randomized clinical trial, 72 percent of participants said that perineal self-acupressure, a simple technique involving the application of external pressure to the perineum — the area between the anus and genitals — helped them have a bowel movement.

The research suggests that all primary care and general internal physicians should consider this technique as a first line intervention together with conventional treatment, said Dr. Ryan Abbott, the study’s principal investigator and a visiting assistant professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. More…

Research provides new insight into gluten intolerance Reply

” gluten activates the body’s immune system so that it starts to attack the body itself  “

Celiac disease patients suffer from gluten intolerance and must adjust to a life without gluten from food sources like wheat, rye and barley. There is no treatment of the disease except lifelong gluten-free diet, but now a Danish/Norwegian research team publishes new research, that may lead to the development of a drug against the disease.

Gluten intolerance is often caused by celiac disease, which makes the human organism sensitive to gluten proteins from certain cereals. No known drug can cure the disease or make the patient able to eat gluten again, and therefore the patients have to completely refrain from eating gluten-containing foods.

Now a Danish/Norwegian research team from the University of Southern Denmark and the University of Oslo/Oslo University Hospital has managed to retrieve hitherto unknown details about what is happening in the body of a celiac patient who eats gluten.

“We’ve got a new fundamental understanding of the pathological mechanisms in celiac disease, and it opens the possibility to develop new drugs against this disease”, says head of research, associate professor and ph.d., Thomas J. D. Jørgensen, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark.

The research team published their results in the journal PNAS. More…

High-fructose diet in adolescence may exacerbate depressive-like behavior Reply

Animal study shows that diet alters important pathways associated with brain’s response to stress

The consumption of a diet high in fructose throughout adolescence can worsen depressive- and anxiety-like behavior and alter how the brain responds to stress, according to new animal research scheduled for presentation at Neuroscience 2014, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

“Our results offer new insights into the ways in which diet can alter brain health and may lead to important implications for adolescent nutrition and development,” said lead author Constance Harrell of Emory University in Atlanta.

Harrell is presenting her work Saturday, Nov. 15, Halls A-C, 3-4 pm and participating in an “Unhealthy diet, unhealthy mind”-themed press conference on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 12:30 pm.

Harrell is a graduate student working with Gretchen Neigh, PhD, assistant professor of physiology, psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. More…

New school meal requirements resulted in more sugar and processed carbs Reply

New school meal requirements: More harm than good?

Restrictions for saturated fat and calories, but no limits for added sugars, can mean more carbs for school meals

New federal regulations requiring school meals to contain more whole grains, less saturated fat and more fruits and vegetables, while perhaps improving some aspects of the food being served at schools across the United States, may also be perpetuating eating habits linked to obesity, diabetes and other diet-related diseases, an analysis by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers has found.

The reasons: Based on analysis of school meals and the new requirements, the whole grains served are mostly processed, which means they are converted into sugar when digested, and many of the required foods, like fruit and milk, contain added sugar because many schools opt to serve canned fruit, fruit juice, and flavored milk. The new requirements do not limit the amount of added sugar in school meals. The researchers are recommending that the requirements be expanded to limit added sugars and processed foods and to ensure carbohydrate quality.

The findings will be presented in a poster at the APHA Conference on Nov. 18.

School meals can account for more than 50 percent of a student’s daily caloric intake, and over 30 million children participate in school breakfast and lunch programs. Childhood and adolescent obesity rates have more than tripled since 1970. More…

Trans fat consumption is linked to diminished memory in working-aged adults 1

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

18-Nov-2014

American Heart Association Meeting Report Abstract 15572

High trans fat consumption is linked to worse memory among working-age men, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

In a recent study of approximately 1,000 healthy men, those who consumed the most trans fats showed notably worse performance on a word memory test. The strength of the association remained even after taking into consideration things like age, education, ethnicity and depression.

“Trans fats were most strongly linked to worse memory, in young and middle-aged men, during their working and career-building years,” said Beatrice A. Golomb, M.D., Ph.D., lead author and professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego. “From a health standpoint, trans fat consumption has been linked to higher body weight, more aggression and heart disease. As I tell patients, while trans fats increase the shelf life of foods, they reduce the shelf life of people.” More…

Nothing fishy about health benefits of plant-based omega-3 fatty acid 1

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

17-Nov-2014

Increasing the amount of omega-3s in your diet, whether from fish or flax, will likely decrease your risk of getting heart disease, according to Penn State nutritionists.

A substantial amount of evidence exists supporting the heart-health benefits of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA and DHA), marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids. However, much less evidence exists to demonstrate the positive effects of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.

“The benefits reported for EPA and DHA are stronger because supplements of EPA and DHA were tested, and EPA and DHA was the only difference between the treatment and control groups,” said Jennifer Fleming, instructor and clinical research coordinator in nutritional sciences. “In contrast, in the ALA studies, there were diet differences beyond ALA between the treatment and control groups.”

EPA and DHA can be found in seafood and fish oil, and are often consumed in the form of dietary supplements. ALA is found in flaxseed and its oil, vegetable oils, and some nuts, and is now available in supplement form. EPA and DHA have been available for much longer. Other sources of ALA, EPA and DHA are fortified foods such as orange juice, eggs, peanut butter, margarine and bread, among others. While there are many other omega-3 fortified foods in the market place, most are relatively low in omega-3 fatty acids. More…