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PrintThe idea that bacteria in the gut may have many twists in their skill set to enhance human health has been around for a while. That they may have the capability of inducing a cytoprotective enzyme called Nrf2 in local tissues, which in turn promotes the production of glutathione, detoxification and numerous other health supportive elements has until recently been less well understood.[1]

Nrf2 activation upregulates a regulon of genes including those involved in xenobiotic and reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification, as well as pro-restitutive function. This pathway has attracted considerable attention because small molecule inducers of Nrf2 have cytoprotective effects against oxidant and electrophilic environmental stressors.[2],[3]

BJNThe British Journal of Nutrition published a review paper in July 2015, exploring the relationship between inflammation, diet and health. Whilst this is neither new nor novel, the momentum is becoming clear. There is a steady awareness in research that the consumption of certain foods and the absence of others contributes to a provocative change in defence molecules with the result that many of the non-communicable diseases that blight western health care can develop and thrive.

This open access article is well worth saving for those refresh reads.[1]

The importance of chronic low-grade inflammation in the pathology of numerous age-related chronic conditions is now clear. An unresolved inflammatory response is likely to be involved from the early stages of disease development.

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F1.mediumIn conjunction with the release of the JBS3 calculator the journal Heart published an open access paper looking as some of the established approaches to reducing cardiovascular risk.[1]

Whilst there are a great number of conventional strategies summarised in this review, it does not explore some of the more integrative approaches that are being increasingly developed to try to meet and manage the problems with CVD – however, it does provide a comprehensive range of lifestyle and medical interventions.

On that basis this is a useful base document that is related to the JBS3 calculator and current medical recommendations.

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N of 1 Trials

Thursday, 13 August 2015 by

cover_natureIt is recognised that in large, the drive for what is being called ‘precision medicine’ (a medical model that proposes the customization of healthcare, with medical decisions, practices, and/or products being tailored to the individual patient) is the lamentable failure of medications to meet the needs of the majority of people who take them. What I mean by this, is that many of the best selling drugs in the world only have a rate of benefit for the people taking them of between 1 in 3 to 1 in 24 – and it may be larger. Statins for example, regularly touted as a solution to raised cholesterol – and as a result sciences answer to an increasingly disputed marker of cardiovascular risk (Just lowering cholesterol with drugs without sorting out the dietary and lifestyle factors that actually cause heart disease is nonsensical)[1], are a highly questionable treatment when viewing the numbers needed to be treated to see a benefit.[2]

cov200hUnless you have been living in a far flung part of the world where access to data is limited most people are aware that sugar has finally been determined to be a far more problematic part of human health decline and disease risk that the much trumpeted but now derided role of fats. Recently poularised opinions, driven by scientists such as Robert Lustig and communicated via films such as Fed Up have in the minds of many made sugar the new tobacco.

PR-cover-v78_n2.inddFor some time now there has been a growing body of supportive evidence that the relationship between the bacteria in our digestive tract and our central nervous system may not be as tenuous as some may like to think. In a recent study published in Pediatric Research[1] a retrospective review of data in a small but informative group of children, indicates there may be a positive relationship between the use of a well studied probiotic and reduced risk of developing neuropsychiatric illness.

Vitamin A Recap

Thursday, 16 July 2015 by

journal-nutrition-imageA vitamin is a substance that makes you ill if you don’t eat it.” (Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1937).

Vitamins are natural components of foods and are organic compounds distinct from fat, carbohydrates and proteins. Vitamin A is the generic descriptor for compounds with the qualitative biological activity of retinol. Unlike beta-carotene, vitamin A is not an antioxidant and its benefit is related to its intimate relationship with immune reactions.

The effect of vitamin A on immune function is wide-reaching and its deficiency appears to affect immunity in several ways. Both the innate and adaptive immune responses are affected by lack of vitamin A.

indexThe growing knowledge in research communities concerning the symbiotic relationship we have with our bacterial organism population is increasingly reflecting that which we have been discussing for many years – namely the use of antibiotics (and many of our current lifestyle habits) is not a benign event in terms of microbiome outcomes. It seems that even short pulses of widely used antibiotics (amoxicillin and tylosin in this paper) can lead to long-term development changes in mouse pups, including increased body mass and bone growth and changes to the gut microbiota, according to a study published in Nature Communications.[1]

home_coverA group studied the effects of apples in a mouse model to determine if there was a positive consequence in the changes related to bacterial communities and inflammation markers.[1]

Apples are rich in polyphenols, which provide antioxidant properties, mediation of cellular processes such as inflammation, and modulation of gut microbiota. In this study we compared genetically engineered apples with increased flavonoids [myeloblastis transcription factor 10 (MYB10)] with nontransformed apples from the same genotype, “Royal Gala” (RG), and a control diet with no apple.

Vit D and IBD

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 by

3.coverA research paper published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal showed that if you are experiencing a period of remission with Cohn’s disease that Vitamin D confers additional benefit in restoring/maintaining appropriate gut permeability.[1]

In this small study – some 27 people were involved, all of whom were determined to be in remission at the time of the oral supplementation with either 2000 iu of vitamin D or a placebo for 90 days. They found, that patients treated with the supplementation were more likely to maintain their intestinal permeability, whereas this deteriorated in the placebo group. Increased intestinal permeability is considered a measure of gut leakiness, which is shown to predict and precede clinical relapse in CD. In addition, patients with the highest blood levels of vitamin D had signs of reduced inflammation (measured by C-reactive protein and antimicrobial peptides), and these patients also reported better quality of life.

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