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The microbiota and the heartThe department of Immunology from the University of Toronto have recently completed research into the origins and causes behind inflammation of the heart (#myocarditis). Whilst many other studies have been conducted, resulting in a variety of theories, there has not yet been a conclusive definition of how risk factors and environmental exposures intersect. The Toronto team have shown in their results that genetic predisposition, production of a commensal #gut #microbial #autoantigen, and systemic #inflammation combine to trigger the generation of autoreactive CD4+ T cells that cause autoimmune myocarditis and #cardiac dysfunction.

Microbiota and the Social Brain

Thursday, 21 November 2019 by

Microbiota and the social brainMany theories have been developed to explain why animals exhibit certain social behaviours, the impact of the #microbiota, however, has rarely been considered.  In a review published in Science Mag this month, scientists have examined several pre-clinical and clinical trials investigating the effect of the microbiota on the social brain. It has been discovered that through a diverse set of pathways the gastrointestinal microbiota is able to send signals to the brain, this is known as the #microbiota-gut-brain axis. The microbiota plays a key role in neurodevelopment from early life into adulthood influencing processes such as #neurotransmission and #neuroinflammation as well as behaviour throughout lifespan. With animals having evolved in a microbial world, these signals may have influenced the animal brain throughout evolution.

nm.3625-F1By Nathan S. Bryan, PhD, on Nitric Oxide, the Peroxynitrite Issue, and Nutritional Tools That May Help Improve Nitric Oxide Production

 Nathan S. Bryan, PhD, is an international leader in molecular medicine and nitric oxide biochemistry. Specifically, Dr. Bryan was the first to describe nitrite and nitrate as indispensable nutrients required for optimal cardiovascular health. He was the first to demonstrate and discover an endocrine function of nitric oxide via the formation of S-nitrosoglutathione and inorganic nitrite.

Dr. Bryan has been involved in nitric oxide research for the past 18 years, and he has made many seminal discoveries in the field. Many of these discoveries and findings have transformed the development of new therapeutic agents for the treatment and prevention of human disease.

Dr. Bryan has published a number of highly cited papers and authored or edited five books. More about his work can be found at www.drnathansbryan.com.

Anti-Inflammatories and Depression

Monday, 18 November 2019 by

Anti-Inflammatories and DepressionExperts from the University of Science and technology in Wuhan, China, have reviewed 26 studies, compiling data from 1610 participants, all investigating the efficacy of anti-inflammatory agents on major depressive disorders. The #anti-inflammatories included in the studies were non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (#NSAIDs) such as #ibuprofen and #aspirin, #omega 3 fatty acids, #cytokine inhibitors, #steroids, #statins, #antibiotics, #modafinil and #N-acetyl cysteine.

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Healthy Choices, Healthy Planet

Thursday, 14 November 2019 by

Healthy Food Choices Make for a Healthy PlanetThe evidence for the health benefits of a varied, nutrient dense diet are vast, but new evidence has shown that by making healthy choices for our bodies we could also have a positive effect on the environment. Michael Clark from the University of Oxford led a study looking into both the health and environmental impacts of 15 different types of food groups, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy, eggs, red meat, fish, olive oil, legumes and sugar-sweetened beverages. The scientists examined the food-dependent linkages between and among five diet-dependent health outcomes in adults- type II #diabetes, #stroke, #coronary heart disease, #colorectal cancer and mortality- and 5 different environmental impacts of producing the foods.

Coffee Controversy and Potential Benefits of by-productsThere are two main arguments to be considered when drinking #coffee, firstly its high #antioxidant status and secondly the potential risk factors associated with the #stimulant #caffeine. There have been various studies and articles written about coffee including how it can lengthen your lifespan by lowering the risk of death from several conditions including heart disease, its ability to improve memory, mood, energy and cognitive function, or how it may help the breakdown of body fat. On the other side of the argument there are reports of people suffering from dizziness, tremors and insomnia. High doses of caffeine can be linked with anxiety, digestive issues, high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate.  A new study from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has caused headlines this week claiming that the occasional coffee can cause miscarriage for #pregnant women.

Choline and Alzheimer’s

Monday, 04 November 2019 by

cholineEarlier this year researchers from Arizona State University set out to investigate the effects of #choline on #Alzheimer’s disease (#AD). Their study focused on mice bred to display AD symptoms who were given high doses of choline in their diets. As a result of the supplementation their offspring showed improvements in spatial memory compared to those who received a normal amount of choline in the womb.  The benefits of the extra supplementation proved to be transgenerational, protecting not just the mice taking the supplement through gestation and lactation but also their future offspring. As a result of this study the same scientists began new research focusing just on female mice to see whether supplementing throughout life would reduce AD pathology and even rescue memory deficits of mice already bred to contain AD transgenes.

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Nutrient composition of fish around the worldScientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef studies at James Cook University (Coral CoE at JCU), have found that 50% of coastal countries- mainly in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific- have moderate to severe nutrient deficiency. They are now part of an international team of researchers to have found that children in these areas could have substantial health improvements if they were able to consume just a small proportion of the fish caught nearby.

Financial Benefits of Probiotics

Thursday, 24 October 2019 by

 

Financial-Benefits-of-ProbioticsOver the past month millions of children will have gone back to school, as well as bringing back enriched minds they may also be starting to bring various bugs and germs into the household. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common colds are the main reason that children miss school and adults miss work. Absenteeism has a huge financial impact on businesses as well as vital educational hours missed for children. There is also a substantial strain on our health care system to care for those with acute respiratory tract infections (#RTIs). In recent years there has been a growing interest in the role #probiotics play on health outcomes. The University of California have recently published a study showing how probiotic use can lead to large economic and health savings.

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Key Foods to Boost the Immune System

Saturday, 19 October 2019 by

iStock-1079616718Biotics Research published this short article on the potential role of foods and food concentrates on the immune system, its a useful piece to read at any time of the year, but even more so when the seasons are changing.

The immune system provides a robust anatomical barrier that serves as a host defense mechanism. One of these anatomical barriers is the gastrointestinal tract, inside which there are many defense mechanisms such as peristalsis, gastric acid, bile acids, digestive enzymes, flushing, thiocyanate, defensins and gut flora. The gut flora (microbiota) is a key focus for many immunologists, however, all of these essential defense mechanisms rely heavily on the entire gastrointestinal tract functioning efficiently.

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