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216 CNO Report 18 OCT 2015

216CNO18OCT2015

clip_image002CNO Report 216

Release Date 18 OCT 2015

Draft Report Compiled by

Ralph Turchiano

http://www.clinicalnews.org

 

In This Issue:

High-fructose diet slows recovery from brain injury

Gut bacteria population, diversity linked to anorexia nervosa

‘Beeting’ high altitude symptoms with beet juice

Natural antioxidants show promise for use in preservation of meat and meat products

Exotic berry skin and pulp found to have high antioxidants levels

Sniffing and gasping can prevent fainting

 

Public Release: 2-Oct-2015

High-fructose diet slows recovery from brain injury

UCLA study finds diet may predict ability to recover from mental deficits after head trauma

University of California – Los Angeles Health Sciences

 

A diet high in processed fructose sabotages rat brains’ ability to heal after head trauma, UCLA neuroscientists report.

Revealing a link between nutrition and brain health, the finding offers implications for the 5.3 million Americans living with a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.7 million people suffer a TBI each year, resulting in 52,000 annual deaths.

“Americans consume most of their fructose from processed foods sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup,” said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery and integrative biology and physiology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. “We found that processed fructose inflicts surprisingly harmful effects on the brain’s ability to repair itself after a head trauma.”

Fructose also occurs naturally in fruit, which contains antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients that prevent the same damage.

In the UCLA study, published today in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, laboratory rats were fed standard rat chow and trained for five days to solve a maze. Then they were randomly assigned to a group that was fed plain water or a group that was fed fructose-infused water for six weeks. The fructose was crystallized from corn in a dose simulating a human diet high in foods and drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.

A week later, the rats were anesthetized and underwent a brief pulse of fluid to the head to reproduce aspects of human traumatic brain injury. After an additional six weeks, the researchers retested all the rats’ ability to recall the route and escape the maze.

The scientists discovered that the animals on the fructose diet took 30 percent longer to find the exit compared to those who drank plain water.

The UCLA team also found that fructose altered a wealth of biological processes in the animals’ brains after trauma. The sweetener interfered with the ability of neurons to communicate with each other, rewire connections after injury, record memories and produce enough energy to fuel basic functions.

“Our findings suggest that fructose disrupts plasticity — the creation of fresh pathways between brain cells that occurs when we learn or experience something new,” said Gomez-Pinilla, a member of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center. “That’s a huge obstacle for anyone to overcome — but especially for a TBI patient, who is often struggling to relearn daily routines and how to care for himself or herself.”

Earlier research has revealed how fructose harms the body through its role in contributing to cancer, diabetes, obesity and fatty liver. Gomez-Pinilla’s study is the latest in a UCLA body of work uncovering the effects of fructose on brain function. His team previously was the first to identify the negative impact fructose has on learning and memory.

“Our take-home message can be boiled down to this: reduce fructose in your diet if you want to protect your brain,” Gomez-Pinilla stressed.

Sources of fructose in the western diet include honey, cane sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup, an inexpensive liquid sweetener. Made from cornstarch, the liquid syrup is widely added as a sweetener and preservative to processed foods, including soft drinks, condiments, applesauce and baby food.

The average American consumed roughly 27 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup in 2014 — or just shy of eight teaspoons per day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s a drop from a decade ago, when Americans consumed more than 36 pounds of the syrup per year.

Nonetheless, the USDA’s Economic Research Service identifies the United States as the world’s largest consumer of sweeteners, including high-fructose corn syrup. Though one of the largest global sugar producers, the United States is also among the largest sugar importers.

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Gomez-Pinilla’s coauthors included Rahul Agrawal, Emily Noble, Laurent Vergnes, Zhe Ying and Karen Reue, all from UCLA.

The work was funded by grants from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS050465) and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR S10RR026744).

Public Release: 5-Oct-2015

Gut bacteria population, diversity linked to anorexia nervosa

Studying the ‘gut-brain axis,’ UNC researchers find evidence of an association between the gut microbiota and the eating disorder

University of North Carolina Health Care

 

October 5, 2015 CHAPEL HILL, NC – Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine found that people with anorexia nervosa have very different microbial communities residing inside their guts compared to healthy individuals and that this bacterial imbalance is associated with some of the psychological symptoms related to the eating disorder.

The findings, published today in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, provide more evidence that the abundance and diversity of the gut microbiota – the trillions of bacteria that affect digestive health and immunity – could also affect the so-called “gut-brain axis.” This research suggests that gut bacteria could play a prominent role in the debilitating symptoms of anorexia nervosa, a serious eating disorder that affects more than 3 million Americans and has the highest mortality rate of any psychological disorder.

“Other studies have linked gut bacteria to weight regulation and behavior,” said Ian Carroll, PhD, senior author of the paper and assistant professor of medicine in the UNC Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease. “Since people with anorexia nervosa exhibit extreme weight dysregulation, we decided to study this relationship further.”

Carroll added, “We’re not able to say a gut bacterial imbalance causes the symptoms of anorexia nervosa, including associated symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. But the severe limitation of nutritional intake at the center of anorexia nervosa could change the composition of the gut microbial community. These changes could contribute to the anxiety, depression, and further weight loss of people with the disorder. It’s a vicious cycle, and we want to see if we can help patients avoid or reverse that phenomenon. We want to know if altering their gut microbiota could help them with weight maintenance and mood stabilization over time.”

For this study, Carroll’s team collected fecal samples from 16 women with anorexia nervosa after they were first admitted into the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders and then again after their weight was restored – when they were discharged from UNC. Then Susan Kleiman, a graduate student in Carroll’s lab and first author of the paper, characterized the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota in each sample.

Kleiman found significant changes in the gut bacteria populations between admission and discharge. The samples taken at clinic admission had fewer different types of bacteria, making the intestinal communities much less diverse. Microbial diversity is a sign of better overall health. Upon hospital discharge, the microbial diversity had increased, but was still significantly less diverse than that of 12 healthy individuals, whose gut microbiotas were analyzed for this study.

As the microbial communities in patients with anorexia improved during clinical care and weight gain, the moods of patients also improved. Thus, the researchers noted an association between the gut microbiota and a central symptom of people with anorexia nervosa.

The question remains whether improving microbial abundance and diversity could help relieve symptoms related to the eating disorder. To find out, Carroll formed a team of researchers including Cynthia Bulik, PhD, director of the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders; John Cryan, PhD, professor at University College Cork; Lisa Tarantino, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill; Anthony Fodor, PhD, a bioinformatics expert at UNC-Charlotte, and Hunna Watson, PhD, a psychologist and biostatistician at UNC-Chapel Hill.

This month, they received a five-year, $2.5-million grant from the National Institutes of Mental Health to further study the relationship between the gut microbiota and anorexia nervosa.

“Over the past 10 years, prominent researchers have learned that when you take gut microbial communities of an obese person and put it in germ-free mice — which are maintained in sterile conditions and lack intestinal microbiota – the mice gain more weight than germ-free mice that have been colonized with a gut microbiota from a lean individual,” Carroll said. “This suggests that gut microbes mediate weight gain or loss.”

Other animal studies showed that adding gut bacteria to previously germ-free mice altered their behavior, especially in relation to anxiety and stress.

“We’re not saying that altering gut bacteria will be the magic bullet for people with anorexia nervosa,” Carroll said. “Other important factors are at play, obviously. But the gut microbiota is clearly important for a variety of health and brain-related issues in humans. And it could be important for people with anorexia nervosa.”

As part of the new NIH grant, his team will characterize the microbiotas of a large number of people with anorexia nervosa as they enter UNC’s clinic and when they are discharged, which typically happens when they reach about 85 percent of their ideal body weight. Then his team will put those gut bacteria in germ-free mice. This will help Carroll learn how the microbiota from anorexia nervosa patients affects the biology and behavior of the mice.

If Carroll’s team learns that the bacteria has a detrimental effect on the mice, then this might suggest that cultivating a healthy microbiota could serve as a therapeutic route to help people with anorexia nervosa.

“Currently available treatments for anorexia nervosa are suboptimal,” Bulik said. “In addition, the process of weight gain and renourishment can be extremely uncomfortable for patients. Often, patients are discharged from the hospital, and within months and sometimes weeks they find themselves losing weight again and facing readmission. If specific alterations in their microbiota could make renourishment less uncomfortable, help patients regulate their weight, and positively affect behavior, then we might see fewer readmissions and more cures.”

Public Release: 12-Oct-2015

‘Beeting’ high altitude symptoms with beet juice

The human body isn’t made to operate at high altitude, but drinking beet juice may help the body acclimatize.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

 

Ever since human beings first began climbing the world’s tallest mountains, they have struggled with a basic problem: altitude sickness, caused by lower air pressures which affect the ability of our bodies to take up oxygen.

Or, as actor Jason Clarke says in his role as the climbing guide Rob Hall in the recently released movie, Everest, “Human beings simply aren’t built to function at the cruising altitude of a 747.”

How well humans tolerate high altitudes is highly variable, but the best way to minimize the risk of developing acute mountain sickness (AMS) is acclimatization, or simply spending enough time up high to allow the body to make adjustments to lower oxygen levels.

But what if you could help your body acclimatize more quickly and thoroughly with the help of a natural substance – like beet juice? A team of Norwegian and Swedish researchers decided to see how nitrate-rich beet juice might affect acclimatization on a 39-day expedition to Kathmandu and at 3700 metres in the Rolwaling Valley, Nepal.

Nitric oxide key

One aspect of successful acclimatization is that the blood vessels are able to deliver enough oxygen throughout the body. But normal blood vessel function depends on the body’s ability to naturally produce a compound called nitric oxide (NO).

In healthy people at sea level, production of adequate amounts of NO is not a problem, but with the reduced oxygen availability at high altitude it is a challenge, simply because natural NO production requires oxygen.

But the body has a “back-up system” for NO production at altitude, and it is here that beet juice can help. The secret ingredient in beet juice is high levels of nitrate, which the body can then convert to NO.

Blood vessels work better

Previous research has shown that blood vessels tend to contract at high altitude, so researchers decided to see if they could improve blood vessel function at high altitude simply by having test subjects drink beet juice. They measured blood vessel function with a standard test of arterial endothelial function, a flow-mediated dilatation test (FMD) that uses ultrasound.

In a study recently published in Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry, the researchers showed that consumption of organic nitrate-rich beet juice restored reduced blood vessel function at high altitude.

The researchers behind the study are from the K.G. Jebsen Center for Exercise in Medicine – Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the Environmental Physiology Group at Mid-Sweden University in Ă–stersund, Sweden.

First-ever study

The researchers’ project is the first time anyone has studied if consumption of a nitrate-rich juice could have positive effects on blood vessel function at high altitude.

Both men and women were studied with ultrasound to check their blood vessel function, before and during the high altitude expedition. As expected, high altitude made blood vessels contract.

To test if beet juice could make the blood vessels relax again, the test subjects were investigated after drinking two types of beet juice with a 24-hour break between tests.

One of the juices contained high amounts of nitrate while the other type had no nitrate in it (placebo). Neither the study participants nor the researchers knew what type of beet juice each person drank before blood vessel function was measured, and the juices (nitrate-rich versus placebo) were given in a random order.

The study showed that beet juice with high amounts of nitrate made the blood vessels relax and return to normal function, while beet juice with no nitrate (the placebo) did not have any effect.

“Next time you plan a trip at high altitude, maybe it is worth carrying a bottle of beet juice in your backpack,” said the study’s corresponding author, Svein Erik Gaustad, from NTNU’s CERG. “It may be the extra boost your body needs to deliver enough oxygen to your tired muscles and keep you healthy when you are climbing a high mountain.”

Public Release: 15-Oct-2015

Natural antioxidants show promise for use in preservation of meat and meat products

Institute of Food Technologists

CHICAGO- Antioxidants are often added to fresh and processed meat and meat products to prevent lipid oxidation (decomposition), stop the development of off-flavors, and improve color stability. Recently food manufacturers have moved towards using natural antioxidants such as plant extracts, herbs, spices and essential oils, instead of synthetic ones in order to meet consumer demand for more natural products. In a new review article in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), authors from authors from Punjab Agricultural University in India looked at numerous studies to identify 27 natural ingredients that can be used as antioxidants in meat and meat products.

Following is a chart that shows 10 of the more well-known natural ingredients and the type of meat they can be used to preserve.

Natural Ingredient; Meat/Meat Products

Mustard Leaf Kimchi Extract; Refrigerated Raw Ground Pork Meat

Oregano Essential Oils; Raw and Cooked Cow Meat

Sage Essential Oils; Raw and Cooked Cow Meat

Curry; Raw and Cooked Cow Meat

Carrot Juice; Irradiated Beef Sausage

Pomegranate Juice Extract; Cooked Chicken Patties

Kimichi Extracts; Cooked Ground Pork

Grape Antioxidant Fiber; Raw and Cooked Chicken Burger

Green Tea Extract; Dry Spicy Sausage

Oregano Extract; Irradiated Beef Burgers

See the complete chart and read the article in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1541-4337.12156/abstract

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Public Release: 15-Oct-2015

Exotic berry skin and pulp found to have high antioxidants levels

Institute of Food Technologists

 

CHICAGO–The exotic Ceylon gooseberry fruit is an attractive purple berry that is produced in the southwest tropics of Brazil and is often used in jams and drinks and also sold as a fresh fruit. The authors of a recent study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), discovered that gooseberry skin and pulp contained higher antioxidant activity than other berries such as blueberries and cranberries.

Gooseberries contains high levels of phytochemicals, which have been reported in several studies to prevent oxidative stress that can cause cancer and heart disease. Gooseberry skin could potentially be a source of natural colorants and antioxidants for use in food manufacturing.

The researchers from the department of food science, food engineering school, Campinas State University in Brazil were the first to study the nutritional composition and antioxidant capacity of the gooseberry fruit.

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Read the Journal of Food Science abstract here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1750-3841.12978/abstract

About IFT

Founded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is committed to advancing the science of food. Our non-profit scientific society–more than 17,000 members from more than 95 countries–brings together food scientists, technologists and related professionals from academia, government and industry. For more information, please visit ift.org.

Public Release: 17-Oct-2015

Sniffing and gasping can prevent fainting

European Society of Cardiology

 

Dr Bavolarova said: “Recurrent syncope (fainting) has serious effects on quality of life. Patients are often injured when they fall, which reduces their mobility and ability to look after themselves. Depression is common in these patients.”

The current study focused on the most common type of fainting, called vasovagal syncope, which can be caused by prolonged standing or standing up quickly. It leads to drops in blood pressure and heart rate, and a brief loss of consciousness.

Vasovagal syncope is an abnormality in the reflex actions controlled by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems together create the ANS. They have opposite effects on the cardiovascular system – sympathetic actions increase heart rate and blood pressure while parasympathetic actions (which are mediated by the vagal nerve) lower them.

Dr Bavolarova’s research explores the impact of respiratory reflexes on the cardiovascular system. The current study investigated whether sniffing and gasping could prevent fainting by interrupting the falls in blood pressure and heart rate.

The study included two women aged 56 and 62 years with a history of vasovagal syncope. The head up tilt test was performed on each patient. For the test, patients lie on a table which is rapidly tilted to a 60 degree angle to mimic standing up. The table has built in monitors for blood pressure and heart rate (using ECG).

At the moment blood pressure began to drop, patients were asked to sniff or gasp twice with their mouths closed and then breathe out. The researchers found that blood pressure and heart rate did not drop and syncope was avoided.

Dr Bavolarova said: “Our test, which is like standing up quickly, previously led to falls in blood pressure and heart rate and subsequent syncope in these patients. But strong and forced inhalation by sniffing or gasping seemed to prevent these drops and they did not faint.”

“We believe that sniffing and gasping have a strong sympathetic effect that inhibits the abnormal parasympathetic activity in these patients,” said Dr Bavolarova. “This stops fainting at the highest level.”

She concluded: “Patients with recurrent fainting are advised to avoid standing up quickly and standing for long periods of time. Those who have prodromal symptoms like weakness, sweating or visual disturbances are advised to do counterpressure manoeuvres like leg crossing and hand grips to increase their heart rate and blood pressure.2 We now also tell patients that they can sniff or gasp to prevent themselves from fainting. This was a small preliminary study and we will confirm our findings in a larger number of patients.”

 

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