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ajg_cimageA paper in the American Journal of Gastroenterology looks at various markers to see if it is possible to use them to differentiate between IBS and IBD.[1]

Objectives:

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is viewed as a diagnosis of exclusion by most providers. The aim of our study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the utility of C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), faecal calprotectin, and faecal lactoferrin to distinguish between patients with IBS and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and healthy controls (HCs).

cover_natureA study in Nature suggests that common food additives could be contributing to the development of chronic inflammatory diseases. Chassaing et al.[1] report that dietary emulsifiers induce low-grade inflammation in mice by disrupting the composition of their intestinal microbiota, thereby predisposing these animals to the development of metabolic syndrome and colitis. This builds on an earlier paper they published in the Journal of Toxicologic Pathology.[2]

To explore the effects of emulsifying agents on the intestinal mucosa, the authors administered carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) or polysorbate 80 (P80), which are emulsifiers commonly used in human foods, to mice in their drinking water. Compared with control mice, animals that received the emulsifiers showed reduced mucus thickness and increased gut permeability.

NEUThe relationships between magnesium deficiency and human health are extensive. Whilst this is an animal model the possibility that some of the benefits seen from magnesium supplementation may be mediated through its effects on the gut microbiota is an interesting twist.

The paper published in Acta Neuropsychiatry in Feb 2015 sheds some light on the possible mechanisms involved.[1]

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QRBResearchers and contemporary nutrition scientists, media and individuals have long debated how and what our ancestors ate. One of the early proposals by Charles Darwin hypothesised that the hunting of game animals was a defining feature of early hominids, linked with both upright walking and advanced tool use and that isolated these species from their closest relatives (such as ancestors of chimpanzees); contemporised versions of this hypothesis exist to this day. Other insist that while our ancestors’ diets did include meat, it was predominantly scavenged and not hunted. Still others argue that particular plant foods such as roots and tubers were of greater importance than meat in the diets of these species. You know the routine, depending on the veracity of the proponent, one or other tends to become contextualised and propagated as the correct, or at least the closest to correct as someone can be in the 21st century.

IBD and C Difficile Infection

Thursday, 12 February 2015 by

XLargeThumb.00054725-201502000-00000.CVMany patients with diarrhoea diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not routinely checked for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), researchers have found.[1]

This organism is well understood to have a correlative risk for increasing symptoms and reducing therapeutic intervention effectiveness and 5% of IBD patients are found with CDI.

hbprAre you a half full or half empty person, I ask because those that are half full may actually have a heart health advantage over their more dour partners. Optimism it seems is associated with better heart health than pessimism based on a recent study of 5,100 adults.

People who have upbeat outlooks on life have significantly better cardiovascular health, suggests a new study that examined associations between optimism and heart health in more than 5,100 adults. Via the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

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indexVitamin D supplements can reduce COPD lung disease flare-ups by over 40% in patients with a vitamin D deficiency – according to new research from Queen Mary University of London. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) includes conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and is thought to affect more than 3 million people in the UK.

The NIHR-funded randomised trial, published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine, included 240 patients with COPD in and around London. Half of the patients (122) received vitamin D supplements (6 x 2-monthly oral doses of 3mg) and the other half (118) received an equivalent placebo. The risk, severity and duration of flare-ups was then compared between the two groups.[1]

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s_cover_y1114For some time now, the idea that at least in part, depression is the manifestation of loss of control over defensive inflammation and that inappropriate induction of these historical  mechanisms, for a prolonged period will induce changes in behaviour and mood has been gaining ground

Whilst single intervention treatments aimed at reducing the binding of inflammation proteins and fats to key receptors or the induction and conversion of mediators are reductionist in thinking, they may also represent a primary point of care helping people recover some of their function and allowing them time to work on solving the cause.

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New research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests that these changes to the behaviour of the immune system are persistent and can continue even after your diet has improved.[1] It is fairly universally understood that improving your food behaviour and choice will most likely improve your health. However, less well understood or known is that the effects of poor eating habits persist long after dietary habits are improved. In a new report appearing in the November 2014 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, scientists use mice to show that even after successful treatment of atherosclerosis (including lowering of blood cholesterol and a change in dietary habits) the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle still impact upon the way the immune system functions. This change in function occurs largely because poor eating habits alter the way genes express themselves, including genes related to immunity which make up the largest collection of specific genes in the human structure. This change in gene expression (epigenetics) ultimately maintains the risk of cardiovascular disorders at a level far higher than it would be had there been no exposure to unhealthy foods in the first place.

In the decision making that we as consumers make when we select foods, it is rare that we also consider the mutual needs of our bacteria found in the gut. Yet we have co-evolved with those bacteria over millennia. As scientists continue to study the intricate signalling that takes place between that which we ingest and that which we bacterially metabolize, they turn up new evidence of significant beneficial partnerships.

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