CPD_0.previewA research paper published in Jan 2017 (behind a paywall) in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design, asks an interesting question about cruciferous vegetables.[1] They go onto explore the relationship of the breakdown products from the digestive effects and microbial conversions and conclude that these have multiple points of beneficial intervention.

9-coverWhen asked, what is the best diet to follow, there is normally a wide range of options provided. These are mostly based on contemporary patterns, ethical, religious, geographical and preference. However, whilst all dietary practices have aspects that are lauded over, one style of eating consistently supports general benefit to the consumer. That is the traditional Mediterranean diet (MD), defined as: A nutritionally recommended dietary pattern characterised by high-level intake of fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and minimally processed cereals, moderately high consumption of fish, low intake of saturated fat, meat and dairy products and regular, but moderate, consumption of alcohol. Unesco has recognised the Mediterranean diet (MD) as an intangible cultural heritage.

imagesIn June 2016 Cell Reports a well-respected science journal published a fascinating paper on the connection between short chain fatty acids and associated nutrient and immune function that collectively reduced food allergy risk and response in their mice population.[1]

For over 20 years (at the time of writing this)  I have been describing the need for a ‘threshold therapy’ approach to the effective manipulation of the common mucosal immune system, in particular the recruitment of metabolic by products derived from food metabolism and microbiome functionality – as well as the specific replacement or supraphysiological supplementation of retinoids or their precursor families, vitamin D and enhancement of SigA are important aspects of this collective approach. Each of the interventions are modest in application and very low in risk, but the collective threshold crossing effect can assist the immune system in its effective maturation and maintainence of tolerance. This can be difficult to demonstrate in studies and as such much of the supportive data requires cross professional communication and data digging. This neat study helps to add credibility to the multiple point intervention through the manipulation of a subset of dendritic cells to favour a regulatory inducing phenotyope. I look forward to seeing how this approach is escalated into human trials in the coming years.

nutrients-logoThere is now considerable scientific evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can improve human health and protect against chronic diseases. However, it is not clear whether different fruits and vegetables have distinct beneficial effects. A paper in Nutrients published in May 2015 helps to tease apart some of the key mechanisms involved related to the consumption of apples.[1]

Butyrate Improves Bowel Transit

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 by | Comments: 3

Problems such as poor transit or constipation are common, and can produce significant misery for the individual compromised in this manner. Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid, manufactured in the gut by the anaerobic fermentation of dietary fibres by resident microbiota. It is proposed that apart from its already well understood properties that it has another remarkable effect – the ability to increase the neuronal concentration of the Enteric Nervous System.[1]

Butyrate-generating foods and supplements might become an effective and simple option to prevent or treat functional gut disorders via modulation of enteric neuroplasticity.

cover_natureWhilst to nutritionists and most people who understand the role of nutrients in health, the idea that the bacteria in our gut impacts on disease risk seems almost common knowledge, there is still a shortage of hard science to back this up. In the international journal Nature, periodic examples of how science is catching up appear. In the Oct 29th edition an article out of Australia really adds some substance to the role of food and bacteria in health and disease.