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Month: July 2023

Cardiovascular disease: Vegetarian diet might reduce risk.

Cardiovascular disease: Vegetarian diet might reduce risk.

Researchers looked into how vegetarian diets affected people who had a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

They discovered that following a plant-based diet for six months reduced various indicators of cardiometabolic risk, including blood sugar and cholesterol.

Those with a high risk of cardiovascular diseases may benefit from eating a more plant-based diet.

19.9 million people died in 2019 from cardiovascular disease (CVD), which was the cause of 32% of fatalities worldwide. For 85% of these fatalities, a heart attack or stroke was to blame.

According to studies, lifestyle variables like food, smoking, and physical inactivity frequently contribute to CVD development. Thus, lowering the incidence of CVD requires practical measures that may enhance cardiometabolic risk profiles.

A growing body of evidence suggests that adopting a vegetarian diet may help reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD). But less is known about how these diets may impact people who already have a CVD or are at high risk for developing one.

Researchers from the University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and Brescia University in Italy and Australia recently looked into how main cardiometabolic risk variables are affected by vegetarian diets in individuals with or at high risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

They discovered that among people at high risk of CVD, eating a vegetarian diet for six months was associated with better measurements of cholesterol, blood sugar, and body weight.

Senior clinical dietician Dr. Dana Hunnes, who was not affiliated with the study and works at the UCLA Medical Centre in Los Angeles, said the following to us:

“Vegetarian diets are better for all of us because they reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and use less water and land than non-vegetarian diets do for CVD health alone.”

The effects of nutrition on health

The American Heart Association recommends a diet that emphasises minimally processed plant foods, fish, shellfish, and low-fat dairy products as part of a balanced eating pattern. The meta-analysis examined 20 randomised controlled studies that demonstrate the value of a vegetarian diet in the general population for preventing cardiovascular illnesses.

Using randomized clinical trials, this study attempts to examine the link between a plant-based diet and cardiometabolic risk factors, according to Jenna Litt, a registered dietitian at Northwell Lenox Hill Hospital who was not involved in the research. In contrast to earlier research, this one focuses on various vegetarian diets, such as veganism versus lacto-ovo vegetarianism.

Out of all the studies that were reviewed, the researchers were able to identify 20 papers, with average sample sizes ranging from 28 to 64 and average study durations between 2 and 24 months. The findings of this study demonstrated that eating a vegetarian diet was linked to a reduction in LDL-C, or “bad” cholesterol, within six months. Additionally, it resulted in lower body weight and better HbA1c blood sugar readings. It revealed a lack of significance in the association between systolic blood pressure and plant-based diets.

This indicates that adding vegetarian eating habits into one’s diet may be advantageous for someone who has a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

According to this study, there is a direct link between a plant-based diet and a lower risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic disease, said Litt. Therefore, trying a modified plant-based diet may be advantageous for people who are at higher cardiometabolic risk in the future.

Following a modified plant-based diet entails doing so once to twice per week to check on any changes in weight, HbA1c, or LDL cholesterol levels.

Diets high in vegetables may lower cholesterol.

The 1,878 participants in the study, who had cardiovascular disease (CVD) or were at high risk for developing it, were divided into 20 randomised controlled trials, with a mean age of 28 to 64 years. The number of participants varied depending on the study because not all the studies included the key measurements of LDL, weight, HbA1C, and systolic blood pressure. The majority of patients took medication to treat their cardiometabolic symptoms.

An average of six months was spent on each study. Nine included individuals who had at least two CVD risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and diabetes, while four targeted persons with CVD. Seven focused on diabetes. Different vegan and vegetarian diets were consumed by the participants.

Measures of blood glucose, systolic blood pressure, or the amount of pressure in the arteries while the heart pumps blood, and LDL levels were included in the patient data (19 studies, 1,661 participants). Body weight was added as a supplementary metric.

In the end, the researchers discovered that following a vegetarian diet for an average of 6 months was associated with modest but significant drops in blood glucose and LDL levels.

They also noted that those with type 2 diabetes had the largest drops in blood sugar levels and those with a high risk of CVD got the greatest drops in LDL.

Additionally, participants (1,395 in 16 studies) lost an average of 3.4 kilogrammes during the course of the research, while blood pressure data (955 participants in 14 studies) showed no significant changes.

Vegetarian diets may be used in conjunction with medication-based therapy to prevent and cure a variety of cardiometabolic diseases, according to the study.

Why can eating vegetarianism lower the risk of CVD?

Dr. Hunnes was interviewed by specialists regarding the potential benefits of vegetarian diets for people with cardiovascular disease (CVD) or at high risk for developing it.

She pointed out that due to their higher intake of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes as well as their lack of animal-based foods containing inflammatory saturated fats, vegetarian diets tend to be significantly richer in anti-inflammatory fibre and antioxidants.

This type of diet’s components tend to result in lower cholesterol levels, body weights, and inflammation. Together, [these variables] reduce [the risk of CVD],” she continued.

What are the research’s constraints?

According to the researchers, the results for cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar may have been masked by patients’ usage of drugs to control these conditions. If so, they pointed out that vegetarian diets may have a greater impact on these measurements than was initially thought.

We also discussed the study’s shortcomings with Dr. John P. Higgins of McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston (UTHealth), a sports cardiologist who was not involved in it.

The chance that a person’s commitment to a certain diet may decline with time, he said, limits the findings. Additionally, he emphasised that the Mediterranean diet and other diets known to promote heart health, such as vegetarian diets, were not contrasted in the study.

Dr. Zahir Rahman, a cardiologist at Staten Island University Hospital who was also unrelated to the study, was also the subject of a conversation with experts. He pointed out that the results are restricted because they are based on meta-analyses of studies with a small number of participants. However, he asserted that larger, higher-quality randomised studies would probably yield results that were comparable.

What kinds of vegetarian diets were mentioned in the paper?

The American Heart Association’s past president and Northwestern Medicine’s chief of cardiology, Dr. Clyde Yancy, who was not involved in the study, pointed out that it looked at a variety of vegetarian dietary patterns, including:

  • The Ornish diet mostly consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and soy, with only small amounts of nonfat dairy products,
  • The lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, which excludes meat but contains dairy and eggs,
  • The lacto-vegetarian diet, which excludes eggs but include dairy products and is free of meat.

He pointed out that the findings highlighted the fact that there is no one universal vegetarian diet. He added a word of warning, saying that not all vegan options are low-fat and some may potentially contain high levels of fat.

The main message, according to Dr. Yancy, is the advantages of a diet rich in [diversity] in plant-based foods.

Resulting effects on cardiovascular health

Board-certified cardiologist Dr. Robert Pilchik of Manhattan Cardiology, who was not engaged in the study, stated:

This meta-analysis suggests that a vegetarian diet reduces LDL, [blood sugar], and body weight in synergy with best medical therapy. All of these are elements that raise the possibility of getting cardiovascular disease.

However, without going vegetarian, it might also be able to enhance cardiometabolic health, said Dr. Clancy.

Anyone may put the Life’s Essential 8 plan into practise right now, according to the American Heart Association. No one has to become a vegan or vegetarian, but everyone should be aware of the advantages of eating more plants,” he said in his conclusion.


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Lower blood pressure: Isometric exercise vs. cardio.

Lower blood pressure: Isometric exercise vs. cardio.

The most effective exercise for decreasing blood pressure, according to a recent study of 270 trials, is static isometric exercise.

Although less so than isometric exercises like wall sits, all of the workout types examined in the investigation had advantages. The best overall health advantages, according to experts, are obtained from a variety of different types of exercise.

Better health is linked to exercise. And a recent study suggests that isometric workouts may be the most beneficial for those who have hypertension, or high blood pressure.

The authors of the study investigated the effects of several types of exercise on blood pressure, including aerobic, dynamic resistance, mixed, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and isometric training.

All of these different workout forms successfully lowered blood pressure, but one in particular stood out.

According to the results, isometric exercise training significantly lowered blood pressure.

Combined training, dynamic resistance training, aerobic exercise training, and HIIT came after isometric exercises.

270 randomized, controlled exercise trials were the subject of a thorough examination by the researchers to determine the best kind of exercise for controlling high blood pressure.

Exercise interventions lasting at least two weeks were a feature of every experiment taken into consideration in the review. The review comprised 15,827 individuals in all.

Isometric exercises sit lower blood pressure like the wall

By putting more strain on a muscle without moving the surrounding joints, isometric training.

This is accomplished by pushing against an immovable source of resistance, such as a wall, a person, or a machine, or by simply maintaining a position in which a muscle is kept taut, as in isometric weightlifting.

Wall sits, which are an isometric exercise, were shown to be the most successful for lowering resting blood pressure in the latest study, according to study co-author Dr. Jamie O’Driscoll, a registered clinical scientist in cardiology.

Wall sits entail slowly squatting down while pressing your back against a wall, keeping the position to exert tension on the relevant muscles, and then slowly rising back up.

Because there is no movement involved in isometric exercise just the application of pressure by the targeted muscle it is also known as “static” exercise.

Isometric exercises can also include:

  • Side planks and planks
  • Calves lift and hold
  • holding low squats
  • hanging holds
  • v-sits
  • thigh bridges

Experts were given the following explanation by Dr. Yu Ming Ni, a cardiologist of California Heart Associates in Fountain Valley, California, who was not engaged in the study:

Isometric exercise is supposed to increase muscular mass. It is intended to teach the blood arteries to have better basal dilation, in theory. It might help decrease blood pressure in that way.

Naturally, it’s a good idea to always speak with your doctor before starting a new workout routine.

Cardiovascular exercise vs isometric exercise

Even though she was not engaged in the study, Dr. Melody Ding, an associate professor at the Sydney School of Public Health, said she was persuaded by it.

The authors used a strong research design and the analysis was well-done,” said Dr. Ding.

On the other hand, Dr. Ni exercised caution. The research, according to him, “turns on its head the previous notion of what’s considered to be blood pressure-lowering exercise.”

I would have thought that dynamic exercise would be more significant, but this data seems to strongly imply the contrary. To do this, you are figuratively exerting more pressure on your body. The ideal mechanism for it, in my opinion, is not that one,” said cardiologist Dr. Yu Ming Ni.

Dr. Ni said that there was little correlation between blood pressure results and different exercise types.

Both the systolic and diastolic blood pressures do appear to be trending. So, I find it intriguing and it certainly stimulates my thinking,” said Dr. Ni.

Are there hazards of isometric exercise for hypertension?

According to Dr. O’Driscoll, “Our research has not shown any unique adverse effects when compared to other forms of exercise.”

Dr. Ni cautioned that patients with extremely high blood pressure should only be given isometric training or any exercise, for that matter.

For instance, according to Dr. Ni, he treats bodybuilders who also have high blood pressure. If their blood pressure rises, he wouldn’t advise these people to do weights.

For those patients, I would advise against doing this. For now, you can engage in dynamic exercise. We’ll check your salt and alcohol intake, start you on some meds, lower your blood pressure, and make sure you aren’t using anabolic steroids,” explains Dr. Ni.

Exercise that is isometric complements other types of exercise

Even though “the results of this work demonstrate the value of performing static exercise for managing blood pressure,” according to Dr. O’Driscoll, “it is important to consider isometric exercise as complementary to pre-existing exercise modes, providing participants with a range of exercise choices rather than limiting them.”

Asserting that “different types of exercise offer different health benefits,” Dr. Ding concurred. This study showed that not only did each of the exercise kinds evaluated significantly lower blood pressure, but they also each had their own particular advantages.

Dr. Ding specifically mentioned that muscle strengthening helps enhance and maintain musculature while HIIT and aerobic training help strengthen cardiovascular fitness.

Nevertheless, the majority of specialists concur that any amount of activity is preferable to none at all.

Stick to the exercise you enjoy — otherwise, it is hard to maintain the habit — and second, incorporate different types of exercise to improve various aspects of health and fitness,” Dr. Ding said in his conclusion.

The Summary

According to a recent study, static, isometric workouts may be superior than “traditional” aerobic exercise for lowering blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a major factor in heart disease, which continues to be the top cause of death in the United States.

High blood pressure puts people at danger and can harm their hearts.Diabetes, heart attacks, and stroke are just a few of the fatal disorders covered by this reliable source.

To reduce risk, doctors typically advise adopting healthy lifestyle habits like eating well and exercising.


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Constipation increases the chance of cognitive downfall.

Constipation increases the chance of cognitive downfall.

Researchers looked into the relationship between constipation and deteriorating cognitive function in several recent studies.

In addition to various alterations in the gut flora, they discovered that having one bowel movement every three days or less frequently is associated with increased rates of cognitive deterioration.

More research is required to determine how these results might influence cognitive decline prevention and treatment approaches.

Constipation affects approximately 16% of the world’s population. Low levels of physical activity, being a woman, living in an area with high rates of constipation, and certain medical diseases, such as depression, hemorrhoids, and several cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal problems are all risk factors for constipation.

When a person has fewer than one bowel movement every three days or more, they are said to be chronically constipated. It has been connected to several illnesses, including sadness and anxiety.

According to studies, constipation is a frequent consequence of neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease and is associated with a faster course of Alzheimer’s disease.

The development of treatments and preventative measures for cognitive decline and related disorders may be aided by knowing more about how constipation impacts the neurological system, and consequently, the brain and cognition.

The relationship between constipation and cognitive deterioration has recently been studied by experts. They discovered that a 73% higher likelihood of subjective cognitive deterioration was associated with having bowel movements every three days or less frequently.

Cognition and gut bacteria

Increases and decreases in specific gut flora have been associated with dementia and cognitive decline, according to several studies in this area.

According to Dr. Thomas Gut, an assistant professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell who was not involved in this study, “This research is a first step to investigating whether certain types of bacterial presence within our intestines protects our brains from certain types of cognitive diseases.”

Dr. Thomas Gut stated that although “this research does not even begin to address the question of whether promoting certain types of bacterial colonization could be protective of memory and brain function,” it does raise the issue and open up a new line of inquiry.”

Constipation linked to three additional years of age

The researchers analyzed information from 112,753 men and women for the study. the frequency of their bowel movements between 2012 and 2013, as well as self-reports of their cognitive function between 2014 and 2017.

Under the watchful eye of experts, a portion of 12,696 subjects also undertook neuropsychological testing. The participants also gave stool samples so that the amounts of various germs could be determined.

In the end, the researchers discovered that persons who had a bowel movement every three or more days had much lower cognition than those who had one each day, which is comparable to an additional three years of aging.

Additionally, they produced 73% less butyrate, a sign of good bacteria that aid in the digestion of dietary fibers, and had a lower overall risk of subjective cognitive decline.

The study’s findings also revealed that those who had more than two bowel movements each day had a somewhat higher risk of cognitive decline and tended to have more pro-inflammatory species in their microbiomes.

The study’s findings suggest that having fewer bowel movements is associated with poorer cognitive function and that this association may be explained by changes in the gut flora.

Certain gut bacteria linked to cognitive decline

Two more recent studies looked more closely at particular gut bacteria associated with an increased risk of dementia as well as those that may be neuroprotective.

In the initial investigation, data from 140 cognitively sound subjects with an average age of 56 years were analyzed. Data included measurements of the Alzheimer’s protein biomarkers amyloid and tau from PET brain scans as well as fecal samples.

They discovered that lower levels of the gut bacteria Butyricicoccus and Ruminococcus and higher levels of Cytophaga and Alistipes were associated with higher levels of amyloid and tau. They mentioned the possibility of neuroprotective benefits from Butyricicoccus and Ruminococcus.

According to a news statement from the researchers, the absence of some bacteria may increase gut permeability and the transport of some metabolites to the brain, which may in turn lead to an increase in amyloid-beta and tau protein formation.

They recommended testing if introducing, boosting, or decreasing particular gut microorganisms could advantageously alter levels of amyloid and tau. If so, this would be useful in locating potential novel Alzheimer’s treatment strategies.

In the second study, experts looked at fecal samples and the results of cognitive tests from 1,014 participants, with a mean age of 52. They divided the cohort into groups based on the results of their cognitive tests and contrasted those scoring in the bottom 20% with those scoring in the top 20%.

To learn more about the potential neuroprotective benefits of these bacteria, the researchers stressed that more study is required. They did, however, add that in the future, it might be able to control their abundance through food and prebiotics to maintain cognitive performance and brain health.

Uncertainty regarding causality

The National Institutes of Health’s Dr. J. Wes Ulm, a bioinformatic scientific resource analyzer and biological data specialist who was not involved in the study, was consulted by experts regarding its drawbacks.

The studies, he claimed, do not prove causation because of their early nature even though they reveal a link between constipation and cognitive deterioration.

It’s also unclear whether certain dietary habits, such consuming fibre or using probiotics or prebiotics, are related to the reported results, the author said.

Additionally, only a relatively small sample of the related patient population underwent objective testing using several methods to more reliably corroborate such a finding, making the majority of the findings of cognitive impairment in the patient group subjective.

Can overcoming constipation promote mental health?

Dr. Ulm highlighted that although the exact causes and processes of chronic constipation are still unknown, other research have demonstrated a connection between inflammation and neuropsychiatric disorders and factors that contribute to chronic constipation, such as inadequate fibre consumption, inadequate hydration intake, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Despite the fact that dietary guidelines regularly change in response to new scientific findings, he continued, strengthening general health practises may lower the risk of cognitive decline in the long run. Increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, fibre, and water, as well as more frequent exercise, are examples of such practises.

Dr. Ulm came to the conclusion that it would be interesting to observe the results of this research, from straightforward methods to ease constipation to focused adjustments to the gut microbiota, and how they can aid in preventing dementia and other forms of cognitive decline.


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Hearing loss: Can Omega-3 fatty acid prevent it?

Hearing loss: Can Omega-3 fatty acid prevent it?

Hearing declines with age; in the US, 50% of persons 75 and older have a debilitating hearing loss. There is presently no cure for hearing loss brought on by ageing.

Increased blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a reduction in age-related hearing problems have been found by researchers from Tufts University and the University of Guelph.

Some of our senses, such as vision, hearing, and taste can become less effective as we become older.

In fact, studies have shown that hearing loss occurs more frequently as people age. In the United States, about half of seniors 75 and older and around 25% of people in the 65 to 74 age range have hearing loss that is disabling.

Although there is currently no cure for age-related hearing loss, people can take precautions to protect their hearing, such as avoiding loud noises and wearing hearing protection in noisy environments.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, is associated with hearing health. Now, researchers from the University of Guelph and Tufts University/Fatty Acid Research Institute have discovered that middle-aged and older adults with higher levels of DHA were 8–20% less likely to report age-related hearing issues than those with lower DHA levels.

What are Omega-3 fatty acid?

The body requires omega-3 fatty acids as a sort of “good” fat for a number of purposes, making them “essential” fats.

Omega-3 fatty acids come in three primary categories:

  • ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)
  • EPA, or eicosapentaenoic acid
  • DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid

Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for the organism to:

  • construct and maintain healthy cell membranes
  • start the process of producing the hormones necessary for blood clotting and maintaining the function of the arterial walls.
  • help regulate genetic activity

The effects of omega-3 fatty acids on other aspects of bodily health, such as lowering inflammation, enhancing eye health, and preventing age-related neurodegeneration, have been the subject of extensive research over the past several years.

Additionally, prior research suggests omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for treating a variety of illnesses, including depression, autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and even some cancers.

The body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own, despite the fact that it needs them. It must instead rely on taking supplements and eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids to get them.

Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods include:

  • fatty, oily fish such as tuna, sardines, anchovies, salmon, and mackerel
  • walnuts
  • flaxseed
  • the chia seed
  • Algae and seaweed
  • edamame
  • a few oils, like soybean and canola

Is there a connection between Omega-3s and hearing loss?

The lead author of this study, Dr. Michael I. McBurney, a senior scientist with the Fatty Acid Research Institute and an adjunct professor in the Department of Human Health & Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, explained that they chose to investigate the impact of omega-3s on age-related hearing issues because they were intrigued by findings that hearing develops in offspring in animals.

Furthermore, he added, “omega-3s affected animal cochlear metabolism.” Finally, increased fish and omega-3 dietary intake was negatively correlated with age-related hearing loss in people.

So, Dr. McBurney continued, “we chose to investigate the association between plasma omega-3 levels and self-reported hearing loss in the UK Biobank cohort a very large cross-sectional study.”

DHA and age-related hearing loss research

More than 100,000 participants aged 40 to 69 from the UK Biobank’s self-reported hearing status and blood DHA levels were used in this study by Dr. McBurney and his team.

Following examination, scientists discovered that people with blood DHA levels in the highest quintile were 16% less likely to respond “yes” to the question “Do you have difficulty hearing?” compared to people with DHA levels in the bottom quintile.

Participants in the highest quintile were also 11% less likely to say “yes” in response to the question, “Do you find it difficult to follow conversations when there is background noise?” weighed against the bottom quintile.

Researchers discovered that middle-aged and older persons with greater DHA levels were between 8 and 20 percent less likely to report age-related hearing problems than those with lower DHA levels.

In relation to age- and sex-adjusted hearing loss, “we had hypothesised that there would be an inverse relationship between plasma omega-3 concentrations and hearing loss,” Dr. McBurney remarked. Even after further adjusting for socioeconomic deprivation (Townsend Deprivation Index), behavioural traits (BMI, smoking, and alcohol intake), and inflammation biomarkers (C-reactive protein, neutrophil: lymphocyte ratio), it was satisfying to find support for this theory.

Research on EPA, DHA, and omega-3 to move forward

According to Dr. McBurney, this study did not establish a link between poor omega-3 status and hearing loss.

This determination will require randomized, placebo-controlled, omega-3 intervention trials in humans,” he added. “However, there is strong evidence linking high omega-3 status low EPA+DHA concentrations to benefits for cardiovascular, brain, and visual health. Low omega-3 intake and status are linked to an increased risk of several chronic illnesses, preterm delivery, and all-cause death.”

“It is important to eat foods rich in EPA+DHA and/or use an omega-3 supplement,” Dr. McBurney continued. “I recommend measuring blood EPA+DHA levels, then following dietary advice and making changes as necessary to reach recommended EPA+DHA status.”

Further research on this subject is required, according to Dr. Eliott Kozin, a hearing loss specialist at Mass Eye and Ear who was not involved in this study.

He said, “The current study investigated whether there may be a relationship between blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and subjective hearing complaints.” Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce hearing loss, although the current study only demonstrates a probable link. The results may be explained by additional, untested causes. For instance, people with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids might be more health-conscious, and other factors might be directly related to hearing health.

Dr. Kozin continued, “Future high-prospective research is needed to better understand the effect diet has on our hearing health. This kind of excellent nutrition-focused research is supported by the current study.”

Findings on the benefits of omega-3

Dr. Courtney Voelker, a board-certified neurotologist and director of the Adult & Paediatric Cochlear Implant Programme at Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, California, was among the experts who discussed this study with him.

The research was encouraging to Dr. Voelker since omega-3 fatty acids “strike again.”

We know that omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have an effect on the heart, brain development in utero with babies, as well as when we get older with cognitive impairments,” she said. And currently, a connection with better hearing or at least halting hearing loss appears to exist.

Dr. Voelker continued, “The strength of this study is that it is a large population. The study’s flaws include the fact that participants only self-reported their hearing loss. Therefore, it is uncertain if there is a direct connection or not.”

Dr. Voelker claimed that increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids through diet is the best way to reap the potential health advantages of these fats.

Fish, such as mackerel or salmon, as well as other seafood, like oysters, are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids,” she explained. If you don’t eat a lot of seafood, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans are all excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Dr. Voelker continued, “There needs to be a randomised control trial utilising omega-3 fatty acids to look at long-term hearing loss in very large populations in order to identify if there is a strong link (between) omega-3 fatty acids and hearing loss.”


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A large study links vitamin D to the severity of psoriasis.

A large study links vitamin D to the severity of psoriasis.

An inflammatory skin condition called psoriasis is characterized by elevated, irritated, scaly areas of skin that can also be unpleasant and itchy.

From person to person, psoriasis severity varies widely. According to recent studies, having more severe psoriasis may be linked to having low vitamin D levels.

In the US, psoriasis is a disorder that affects more than 7.5 million people. Low vitamin D levels may be linked to more severe psoriasis, according to recent research from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Scientists believe that psoriasis is an autoimmune illness, which means that it results from the immune system mistakenly attacking your body instead of protecting it. The specific etiology of psoriasis is still unknown. In psoriasis, this immunological activity speeds up the production of new skin cells, which leads to the development of thick, scaly patches on the skin’s surface.

Psoriasis symptoms can range from minor to severe. The National Psoriasis Foundation reports:

  • Less than 3% of the body is affected with moderate psoriasis.
  • 3–10% of the body is affected by mild psoriasis.
  • More than 10% of the body is affected by severe psoriasis.

The connection between psoriasis and vitamin D

Experts enquired as to the biological relationship between vitamin D and psoriasis from Eunyoung Cho, ScD, research team head and associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown University.

Your skin’s keratinocytes, which are cells, have vitamin D receptors. Currently, topical vitamin D analogs are used to treat psoriasis because they bind to vitamin D receptors on keratinocytes and stop their proliferation. These analogs replicate the effects of vitamin D. Dr. Eunyoung Cho explained that this multiplication causes the thick plaques that are typical of psoriasis.

Italian, Brazilian, and Nepalese researchers found that psoriasis patients have significantly lower serum levels of vitamin D, and that these levels are correlated with the severity of the condition.

Dr. Cho and her associates wanted to determine whether this association would hold true in a sizable, nationally representative US population because the majority of earlier investigations have been carried out outside of the US.

Vitamin D deficiency associated with more severe psoriasis

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were utilised by Dr. Cho’s team to determine the number of psoriasis cases between 2003 and 2006 and between 2011 and 2014. Out of the 40,401 people that were evaluated, they discovered 491 cases, including 162 from 2003 to 2006 and 329 from 2011 to 2014.

The amount of vitamin D in the blood, the body surface area affected by psoriasis (a measurement of the severity of psoriasis on the body), and other details including age, gender, race, body mass index, and smoking habits were also recorded.

The researchers employed a mathematical technique known as “multivariate linear regression” to evaluate the connection between low vitamin D levels and the severity of psoriasis.

They discovered that the severity of psoriasis increased as blood levels of vitamin D declined. The mean serum vitamin D levels of those with the least amount of psoriasis-affected body surface area were highest (67 nmol/L), whereas those with the most amount of psoriasis-affected body surface area had the lowest levels (56 nmol/L).

When they separated the population into groups based on the body surface area affected by psoriasis and examined the proportion of individuals with vitamin D deficiency in each group, the researchers observed a similar trend. Vitamin D deficiency affected 39% of the group with the most severe psoriasis compared to 25% of the group with the least severe psoriasis.

The new study adds to our understanding of psoriasis.

Lim was reported in a press release as saying, “Only one prior study, published in 2013, used NHANES data to analyse the relationship between vitamin D and psoriasis.” Our results are more current and statistically significant than those obtained from previously accessible data because we were able to include more recent data, which more than tripled the number of psoriasis cases analysed.

The University of California, San Francisco’s Dr. Tina Bhutani, an associate professor of dermatology, co-director of the Psoriasis and Skin Treatment Centre, and head of the dermatology clinical research unit, noted that these findings are not new because “similar associations have been reported in the past.”

Nevertheless, “the advantage of NHANES is that it is likely to be more representative of the US population vs. other prior studies,” Dr. Bhutani noted.

The University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine’s James J. Leyden Professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology, Dr. Joel M. Gelfand, stated that the study “shows a modest association between vitamin D levels and psoriasis severity” but cautioned that it cannot be used to establish a causal relationship.

According to this study, “We cannot say whether slightly lower vitamin D levels cause more severe psoriasis or whether slightly higher vitamin D levels cause less severe psoriasis,” stated Dr. Gelfand.

What does this signify for those who have psoriasis?

Dr. Cho stated that even though “topical vitamin D analogs are already used to treat psoriasis, further research, such as large randomized clinical trials of oral vitamin D supplementation, is warranted before any firm medical recommendations are made on the use of oral vitamin D supplementation among psoriasis patients.”

Despite this, Dr. Cho advised that persons with psoriasis and vitamin D insufficiency “discuss this with their clinicians and treat the deficiency.”

Despite the correlation between vitamin D levels and the severity of psoriasis revealed by these data, Dr. Bhutani concurred that “we do not have enough information here to recommend the use of vitamin D supplementation in our psoriasis patients.”

Dr. Gelfand further stated that monitoring or augmenting vitamin D levels in psoriasis patients to treat or prevent psoriatic illness is not currently supported by sufficient levels or quality of data.

Drs. Bhutani and Gelfand both emphasised in their remarks that there have been conflicting outcomes from earlier research testing vitamin D supplementation for psoriasis.

According to Dr. Gelfand, a clinical trial that was conducted in 2022 “showed some evidence that vitamin D supplementation may marginally prevent the development of autoimmune diseases, with some evidence, though not statistically significant, that this includes prevention of psoriasis.”

However, a clinical trial that was released in 2023 revealed that vitamin D supplementation had no impact on the severity of psoriasis.

A cautionary tale is the experience of vitamin D and prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease – after many years of intense investigation, large RCTs involving >25,000 patients showed no benefit of Vitamin D supplementation for preventing these major health outcomes,” noted Dr. Gelfand.


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Could caffeine-concentrated beverages lower dementia risk?

Could caffeine-concentrated beverages lower dementia risk?

The question of whether espresso can help lower the incidence of dementia is being investigated in a recent study from the University of Verona in Italy.

An relationship between increased caffeine concentrations and the prevention of tau protein aggregates—a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia—was discovered in the preliminary research, which was carried out in vitro, in the laboratory.

Whether consuming coffee could genuinely delay dementia for a longer period is still unknown.

A study that was published in the ACS Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that consuming coffee with a high caffeine content, which some might associate with sipping an espresso, may help lower the risk of dementia.

Researchers discovered that espresso chemicals may prevent tau protein aggregation, a process thought to be responsible for the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent kind of dementia, in preliminary in vitro laboratory testing.

The advantages of coffee and tea

According to medical experts, coffee and tea have additional health advantages besides the obvious one with caffeine.

While caffeine is undoubtedly a significant common factor, Dr. Scott Kaiser, the director of Geriatric Cognitive Health for the Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Centre in Santa Monica, California, noted that both coffee and tea are derived from plants with a wide variety of potentially advantageous chemical compounds, including potent antioxidants.

According to Kaiser for Healthline, “a substantial and expanding body of research demonstrates the benefits of specific foods for brain health, particularly those rich in antioxidants and other “neuroprotective” compounds.” For instance, more flavonoid intake has been linked in multiple studies to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease development.

He said, “These phytonutrients, which are substances that plants make to maintain their health, can really reduce inflammation in our brains, protect brain cells from damage, boost learning and memory, and give other clear benefits for brain health. And coffee and tea are on the list of healthy sources of flavonoids.”

According to the study’s authors, compared to the general population, the UK Biobank represents a healthier sample of people, which may limit the ability to generalize the correlations between coffee and tea and their potential advantages.

Additionally, just a small portion of the sample had dementia or a stroke, which the authors acknowledge makes it challenging to extrapolate rates correctly to wider populations.

On the other hand, “our findings suggested that moderate consumption of coffee and tea, separately or in combination, were associated with lower risk of stroke and dementia,” they concluded.

Coffee may reduce the aggregation of harmful proteins.

First, the researchers extracted espresso shots from pre-purchased beans. After that, they described the chemical composition and picked a few compounds, including caffeine.

Molecular components as well as the entire extract were tested. They spent at least 40 hours incubating with a cut-down version of the tau protein.

Tau fibrils did not grow into larger sheets as the caffeine concentration rose, with the whole extract producing the most striking consequences. The fibrils were ultimately harmless to cells and did not serve as a seed for further aggregation.

This was an interesting study by a group of scientists in Verona, Italy, who are trying to help change the use of espresso coffee from a potential health risk to a health benefit,” said Clifford Segil, a board-certified neurologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Centre in Santa Monica, CA, who was not involved in the study.

What are the consequences of medicine?

According to Segil, “The researchers found that adding coffee to a protein called tau in test tubes prevented the tau protein from developing into something that has been demonstrated to be present in neurological illnesses that cause memory loss and trembling.”

Patients with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s dementia both have tau. In the current work, the tau protein’s ability to aggregate, condense, and seed activity was inhibited by adding coffee brew to a basic form of the protein. According to Clifford Segil, the objective is to develop a therapeutic for these disorders utilising a coffee brew extract base.

Segil added that it is uncertain whether the study’s results would result in a fresh approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases.

He said that rather than a buildup that leads to neurological disease, “many contemporary neuroscientists believe these tau proteins may be more akin to freckles, which are typically normal aging pigments.”

Clinical neurologists like me who treat patients with neurodegenerative disorders like the Alzheimer’s form of dementia or Parkinson’s disease should be aware that no treatment modifying tau structure has demonstrated any clinical advantages.

Antioxidants maybe able to prevent dementia

Because coffee contains antioxidants in the form of polyphenols, some researchers have hypothesized that it may have several positive health effects, such as reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Additionally, it might improve brain health.

That might be as a result of the fact that antioxidants from a person’s diet can assist prevent cellular ageing. Antioxidants, on their alone, are unlikely to provide complete immunity against any illness or medical condition.

According to Segil, “Antioxidant compounds that claim to be neuroprotective are abundant, and in theory, they may even be healthy. However, claims [that a] coffee brew is going to protect someone from getting a neurodegenerative disease is challenging to agree has scientific merit.”

However, the current study’s researchers assert that their initial in vitro results may open the door to discovering or creating additional bioactive chemicals against neurodegenerative illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Joel Salinas, a neurologist at NYU Langone Health who was not involved in the study, emphasised that this is extremely preliminary work and that other lines of inquiry are necessary.

He gave us an example, saying, “Causation has not yet been established, but other studies have linked coffee consumption to an increased risk of dementia.”

Dr. Salinas speculated that it would be necessary to draw boundaries between how much coffee is beneficial and how much is dangerous. Before designing or attempting to construct treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, these questions must be answered.

The function of tau in Parkinson’s and dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, tau helps maintain the internal skeleton of neurons in the brain.

Tau tangles, a defining feature of Alzheimer’s disease, are created when tau proteins stick to one another.

In certain types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s and frontotemporal dementia, this buildup of tau proteins can harm or kill brain cells. The internal skeleton is torn apart by the tangles, which impairs thinking and memory.

The National Institutes of Health state that tau proteins may contribute to disease in addition to Alzheimer’s disease in:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • frontotemporal dementia
  • Pick’s disease
  • progressive supranuclear palsy
  • corticobasal degeneration.

Researchers are still trying to find a mechanism to slow down or halt tau cells from harming good tissue.

Diagnoses of tau and Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis requires pricey imaging, which patients may not always have access to.

For this reason, researchers are trying to find a mechanism to spot Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages. The University of Pittsburgh developed a test to identify a biomarker known as “brain-derived tau.”

They claim that it performs better than the tests that are currently being used. It examines blood tau levels about the severity of amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain and is specifically for Alzheimer’s disease.

Large-scale clinical trials with people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds are planned by the researchers.


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Have researchers discovered the fountain of youth?

Have researchers discovered the fountain of youth?

The development of stem cell, embryonic development, and organoid research has been made possible by the discovery of methods to make stem cells pluripotent.

Pluripotency can be created, however it has proven more challenging to reverse ageing. A team of scientists claims to have found chemical concoctions that can stop cells from ageing.

Other researchers believe that the markers employed to measure this could represent a significant advance.

The discovery of how to cause stem cells to restore their pluripotency was one of the most significant developments in biology in the previous 20 years.

Because stem cells can differentiate into a wide variety of other cells, the body’s cells and tissues can replace dead cells or produce new cells as needed, including immune cells, in response to various situations.

Prof. Shinya Yamanaka and Sir John B. Gurdon were jointly given the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of how to produce pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from differentiated cells. This work was originally accomplished in 2006 and led to the creation of induced pluripotent stem cells.

Since then, developing embryo models has enabled us to investigate the very earliest phases of human development and generate organoids. This has been made possible by the knowledge of how to create induced pluripotent stem cells.

Can age be quantified accurately?

Restoring cells to a younger state has proven difficult, despite the capacity to induce individual cells to return to a more pluripotent state.

This is partially due to the complexity and interdependence of the idea of an organism’s biological age and how it affects on it at the cellular level.

Each time a cell splits, telomeres, a section of DNA at the end of each chromosome, are shorter, therefore the older an organism gets, the shorter the telomeres in its cells are.

DNA has a substance called a methyl group attached to it that affects how the cell’s machinery reads the DNA. Age can affect these molecules’ epigenetic conformation, which can alter.

Epigenetic clocks, like GrimAge, claim to be able to determine a human’s “biological” age, which is independent of their chronological age. It has been claimed that stress can quicken aging.

A group of scientists from the US and Russia recently created an “aging clock” using data on age-related gene expression variations that they had quantified from studies.

They employed their transcription-based ageing clock to show that cell reprogramming had taken place after aging-related genes were overexpressed and knocked off by genetic engineering. Preprint versions of their findings, which have not yet been subjected to peer review, are published.

Six chemical concoctions to stop the ageing process?

In a paper recently published in the journal Ageing, the research team, led by Prof. David Sinclair, a professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, used this same “transcriptomic ageing clock” to show that genes they had discovered to be associated with ageing were downregulated in cells that had been treated with one of six chemical cocktails.

This study also showed that as cells age, their nuclei become more leaky, indicating that the older the organism from which the cell originates, the more molecules that are typically contained in the nucleus are likely to be present throughout the cell.

The breakdown of the nuclear barrier was measured using a fluorescent marker to establish the age of the cell.

Psychiatry instructor at Yale’s Department of Psychiatry Dr. Zachary Harvanek, who has conducted research on how aging affects epigenetics but was not involved in this study, stated in an interview:

“I believe the technique for promptly testing these medications in cell culture is the largest advancement in this paper. In terms of discovering new medicines or pharmaceuticals that would be helpful, I believe it could be a very significant development.”

Rewinding time by three years is allegedly possible.

The authors of the latest study subjected skin cells to a mixture of chemicals that had previously been proven to have an impact on the transcription of genes related to aging. One of the substances was valproic acid, which is used to treat epilepsy as well as other neurological and mental disorders.

They assert that their findings show that, contrary to what has previously only been shown with more than a year of regenerative treatment in people in published trials, the age of cells exposed to the chemical cocktails was reversed by 3 years in just 4 days.

Nevertheless, these tests were conducted in a lab rather than on live subjects. These cells were from a progeria patient, a 94-year-old donor, and two donors who were 22 and older. The paper omitted information about the subjects’ sex and ancestry, which might have an impact on the results.

Can humanity benefit from these discoveries?

In an email, Dr. Xiaojing Yang, the director of the Yang Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who was not involved in the study but co-authored one with Prof. Sinclair earlier this year, stated: “This is a good initial study and something we will follow with interest, but concerning the claims about reversing aging by 3 years in 4 days, it’s crucial to interpret these results within the context they were generated.”

“This study used a cell culture model to screen for potential anti-aging compounds, which is a fundamental part of the drug development process,” the researcher said. That being said, it’s crucial to keep in mind that it takes time and uncertainty to go from promising in vitro results to viable therapy in people.

Thus, even while this finding represents a fascinating development in the study of ageing, it is only one component of a challenging jigsaw. Before these findings can be applied to real-world anti-aging therapies, more study and validation, particularly in whole organisms, is required, according to Dr. Yang.

In agreement with this statement, Dr. Harvanek continued, “I think the fact that this particular cocktail seems to reverse aging in cell culture is a very preliminary finding. There is now, in my opinion, no proof that this will make humans or other animals age more slowly.”

Therefore, he emphasized, “I think the biggest takeaway from this paper is the methods they use, not necessarily the subsequent findings.”


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These healthy habits may increase lifespan by several years

These healthy habits may increase lifespan by several years

According to research, those who start eight healthy living behaviours by the time they reach middle age may live significantly longer. These routines included practising good sleep hygiene and abstaining from smoking.

It is anticipated that men who adopt all eight behaviours by the age of 40 will live an average of 24 years longer than men who don’t.

The average life expectancy for women who developed all eight behaviours by the time they turned 40 was anticipated to be 23 years longer than for those who didn’t.

Eight lifestyle habits that, when adopted by midlife, may increase a person’s longevity were identified by a recent observational study.

The Veterans Affairs Million Veteran Programme MVP, a health research initiative centred on more than a million American veterans, provided data from medical records and questionnaires that were completed by 719,147 participants. The program’s goal is to aid in the study of the effects of genes, lifestyles, military experiences, and exposures on health and wellness.

The study was presented on Monday at Nutrition 2023, the premier annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition in Boston, Massachusetts, by Xuan-Mai T. Nguyen, a health science specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs and fourth-year medical student at Carle Illinois College of Medicine in Illinois.

The eight behaviours noted are:

  • being active physically
  • not a smoker
  • reducing tension
  • keeping a healthy diet
  • not regularly consuming large amounts of alcohol
  • observing proper sleeping habits
  • keeping healthy social connections
  • not becoming addicted to opioids

lifestyle choices associated with increased longevity

Xuan-Mai T. Nguyen and co-author Yanping Li used information from medical records and surveys completed by more than 719,147 United States military veterans who participated in the Veterans Affairs Million Veteran Programme between 2011 and 2019 to investigate the relationship between lifestyle choices and lifespan.

Adults from 40 to 99 years old participated in the study. During the follow-up, 33,375 fatalities were noted.

The three characteristics that had the biggest impact on the researchers’ findings were inactivity, opioid use, and smoking; these behaviours were associated with a 30% to 45% higher risk of death over the course of the study.

Stress, binge drinking, an unhealthy diet, and poor sleep hygiene all contributed to a 20% increase in risk. A 5% increase in risk was linked to a lack of supportive social connections.

The researchers saw a decrease in the mortality rate per 1,000 person-years when each preventive practise was incorporated into people’s lifestyles, with those who embraced all eight experiencing a 13% decrease in all-cause mortality. Although it did get smaller as they aged, this effect was still statistically significant.

According to a news statement from the researchers, these findings demonstrate how different lifestyle choices can affect the development of diseases that increase the risk of early mortality and disability.

They also show how making better decisions might increase a person’s number of healthy years. It is never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle, according to Nguyen.

He did point out that this kind of research cannot demonstrate that acquiring these practises can lengthen life. He said that these are in line with other comparable studies.

Why making these changes could lengthen life

A clinical and preventive cardiologist, Tariq Hafiz, M.D., FACC, ABIM, stated, “As a clinical and preventive cardiologist, I strongly believe that adopting these comprehensive lifestyle factors is the foundation of both the primary and secondary prevention of many chronic diseases, i.e., cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, etc.”

He added that the advantages are probably attained by avoiding oxidative stress and inflammation.

The primary causes of death, according to Hafiz’s explanation, are cancer and cardiovascular disease, the latter of which has well-established modifiable risk factors. According to him, these risk factors include sedentary lifestyles, bad diets, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cigarette use, mental stress, and visceral obesity.

Additionally, he noted that tobacco smoking is a significant risk factor for a number of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, lung, bladder, and esophageal cancer, as well as chronic lung disease and diabetes.

The majority of morbidity and death are linked to chronic diseases, which also account for a significant portion of the financial burden and cost of medical care.

Advice on how to practice the longevity practices

Trinna Cuellar, Ph.D., MBA, VP of Biology and Head of R&D at Tally’s Health, advised adopting lifestyle-appropriate practises in order to make lasting changes.

She used a new mother as an illustration of how to tailor your approach to fit your unique needs. Although she might not immediately be able to increase her sleep or lessen her stress, a new mother might still work on improving her nutrition and social happiness.

She continued, “Being realistic and intentional is of relevance since consistency is crucial to impacting lifespan.

She emphasised testing once again in order to get feedback on the effectiveness of lifestyle adjustments. “What you don’t know cannot be addressed.”

She suggested using a service like Tally Health, which offers individualised action plans and testing, as a means of achieving this. But you can also work with your own private doctor.

Wearables, mobile apps, and community support, according to Cuellar, can all be beneficial for forming new habits. To assist you stay on track with your objectives, you could, for instance, utilise activity trackers, applications that monitor your drinking patterns, or group fitness courses.

When I develop a plan to exercise with my friends or coaches, they hold me accountable, which frequently works best for me, she added. Because of this, I find it more tougher to skip my workouts when my days are extremely busy.

Preventing chronic illness to lengthen life

The major causes of death and disability in the US, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, are chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease.

According to Nguyen, non-communicable chronic diseases account for more than 80% of total healthcare spending.

It is expensive and burdensome for people and society as a whole to live with a chronic illness. According to studies, bad lifestyle choices are to blame for about 90% of diabetes, 80% of coronary heart disease, and 70% of cardiovascular mortality.

Chronic disease prevention is the emphasis of the specialty of lifestyle medicine.

Dr. Nguyen added that lifestyle medicine “provides a potential avenue for altering the course of ever-increasing [healthcare] costs resulting from prescription medicine and surgical procedures.” Because it is a rare chance to better understand and care for a particular demographic of people who have dedicated themselves to duty, “we chose to explore lifestyle factors among veterans participating in the Million Veteran Programme (MVP).”

A 2018 study by co-author Dr. Yanping Li, a research scientist in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that maintaining five healthy habits as adults—eating a healthy diet, exercising frequently, maintaining a healthy body weight, not drinking too much alcohol, and not smoking—may add more than ten years to life.

The data the MVP collects is so extensive that the researchers were able to add three more healthy behaviours to this study. According on the data that was available, Dr. Li remarked, “we expanded the previous five lifestyle factors into eight.”


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Resist age-related cognitive decline with daily probiotics.

Resist age-related cognitive decline with daily probiotics.

According to the outcomes of a scientific experiment, those with mild cognitive impairment who took a probiotic for 30 days performed better on cognitive tests.

After the trial, those who took probiotics had lower levels of a type of bacteria linked to cognitive impairment in their gut microbiomes.

According to the research, altering gut flora may be a promising strategy for treating chronic illnesses like cognitive impairment.

Probiotic therapy may help persons with moderate cognitive impairment (MCI) regain cognitive function, according to a clinical investigation.

There is an urgent need for more research,” declared Mashael R. Aljumaah, the primary study author and a doctorate candidate in microbiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in light of the global rise in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

People with cognitive impairment were given daily probiotics of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG during the double-blind randomised study. Also, after three months, their cognitive test results improved.

The researchers examined the participants’ stool samples and discovered significant quantities of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, or LGG, as well as a decrease in the quantity of Prevotella, a different family of bacteria frequently detected in individuals with cognitive deterioration.

These alterations imply a favourable change in the microbiota makeup of the subjects.

Numerous earlier animal investigations, which showed LGG’s beneficial effects on several physiological situations, led to its development as a possible therapeutic probiotic. As a probiotic, LGG is also well-known for its capacity to withstand acidity and stick to intestinal walls,” according to lead researcher Michael R. Aljumaah.

Probiotic’s effects on mild cognitive impairment

To conduct the study, researchers contrasted those who had minor cognitive impairment with those who did not.

They aimed to spot, comprehend, and try to sway the early phases of cognitive deterioration. Finding biomarkers that could indicate the onset of cognitive decline was a part of that endeavor.

The age range of the 169 participants in the clinical trial ranged from 52 to 75 years old. As a control group, those without cognitive disorders were assigned to one group. People with cognitive problems were assigned to another group.

For three months, either LGG or a placebo was given to both groups. There were no negative effects in either group.

Prevotella, one such biomarker, was discovered in adults with cognitive impairment by Aljumaah and her coworkers. The fact that receiving LGG seemed to lessen its presence points to a potential future for microbiome re-balancing.

Aljumaah added, “By developing microbiome-targeted therapies, we may be able to delay the onset of cognitive impairment.”

Prevotella bacteria and long-term illnesses

Aljumaah clarified that while the Prevotella family of bacteria is present in persons with cognitive loss, it is not totally evident that their effect is solely detrimental.

For instance, the bacteria Prevotella has been linked to autoimmune, inflammatory, and cognitive disorders. According to Aljumaah, it is frequently discovered in persons who have Crohn’s disease or inflammatory bowel disorders such rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Additionally, because it originates from plant-based diets, Prevotella bacteria may aid in the processing of fiber and is linked to metabolites that are crucial for maintaining gut health.

This raises the question of whether specific Prevotella species or strains may contribute to these illnesses, or whether a particular genetic characteristic or mechanism may be to blame, Aljumaah observed.

Greater research with LGG bacteria is required.

Board-certified neurologist Dr. Santosh Kesari, director of neuro-oncology at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, California, who was not involved in the study, told MNT that he considered the participants’ receiving cognitive advantages “intriguing.”

However, Dr. Kesari urged further investigations to confirm their findings and make sure that adding LGG bacteria doesn’t have any negative side effects.

He also raised concern that an attempt to treat a condition by adding a probiotic to the gut microbiome would upset the bacterial equilibrium, leading to negative effects.

Focusing on a positive effect on brain health could have a counterproductive effect in another organ system,” Dr. Kesari warned.

Health effects of the gut-brain relationship

It’s crucial to keep in mind that our knowledge of the precise pathways tying the gut microbiome to cognitive function is still in its infancy, according to Aljumaah.

According to Aljumaah, “more specifically, our understanding about which members of the gut [microbiome] are involved remains limited.”

Aljumaah also suggested a number of potential routes for communication between the two dispersed bodily regions, including the vagus nerve and the immune system.

Additionally, metabolites like short-chain fatty acids and even neurotransmitters made by the gut flora may be implicated.

Dr. Kesari proposed that the microbiome’s influence on brain function might be more indirect.

The microbiome is really the doorway for nutrition, nutrients, and how things are metabolized, according to Dr. Kesari, therefore it has a huge impact on overall body health, including brain function. “You are what you eat, as the saying goes, and this is really the scientific proof of that,” said Dr. Kesari.

Improving health outcomes by changing the microbiome

Undoubtedly, the microbiome is medicine’s most challenging and exciting frontier in terms of human health. Prevotella serves as an illustration of how the microbiome is likewise a challenging field of research.

Whether or not researchers can ever fully comprehend the microbiome to control or rebalance its residents, Dr. Kesari said, “I think it has to get there.”

We are aware that nutrition and obesity are the main causes of morbidities in the United States. Many of these conditions are preventable, and the microbiome plays a role in some of them. There is no chance that our eating patterns will change very soon. So, in my opinion, the only solution to lessen the cost pressures of healthcare is if we can obtain a probiotic that may help us stay healthier, said neurologist Dr. Santosh Kesari.


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Snacking quality is more beneficial than snacking quantity.

Snacking quality is more beneficial than snacking quantity.

Researchers examined the effects of snack quantity, quality, and timing on cardiometabolic health.

They discovered that greater cardiometabolic health was most strongly associated with higher quality snacks—not necessarily amount or timing. The results imply that a healthy diet may include high-quality snacking.

Over 90% of adults in the United States consume one or more snacks everyday, with the majority eating in between snacks. According to studies, snacking has become more common and more substantial over the past few decades.

Few studies have looked into the health impacts of snack quantity, quality, and timing, even though snacks make up around 20% of the energy consumed in the American diet. Dietary recommendations may be improved by learning more about the effects of snacking on health.

Researchers have recently looked into the connection between snacking behaviour and cardiometabolic health.

They discovered that the most significant relationship between snack quality and health outcomes was not necessarily timing or frequency. Better cardiometabolic health has been linked to higher-quality snacks.

The statistics highlight the critical role that food quality plays in maintaining good health. Diet is the foundation of good health, and there are numerous ways to get the nutrients we require. High-quality, nutritious mini meals’ may be a useful supplement to a well-balanced diet,” according to Dr. Elizabeth R. Raskin, surgical director of the Margolis Family IBD Programme at Hoag Hospital. She was not involved in the study.

Analysing the length and content of snacks

The researchers used data from 1,001 UK-based volunteers with an average age of 46 for the study. The average BMI of 73% of females was 25.6; this is considered to be somewhat overweight.

Self-reported snacking quantity, quality, and timing were included in the data. Also, with insulin levels and cardiometabolic indicators such as blood lipids and glucose.

The participants self-monitored for 2-4 days, defining higher-quality snacks as those with appreciable levels of nutrients in relation to calories.

The majority of the participants—roughly 95%—ate an average of 2.28 snacks per day or at least one per day. An average of 22% of daily calories were consumed as snacks.

In the end, the researchers discovered that stronger blood lipid and insulin responses were associated with higher-quality snacking. They also discovered that eating most snacks after 9 o’clock at night was associated with higher blood lipid and glucose levels.

However, they pointed out that there was no connection between the frequency of snacks, the number of calories ingested, or the amount of food with any of the indicators of cardiometabolic health.

After adjusting for age, sex, BMI, education, physical activity levels, and the size of the main meal, the results were still valid.

Constraints of the research

Limitations, according to Dr. Raskin, include relying on self-reports for information about snack consumption and composition, which can be subject to forgetting.

She continued by saying that the study participants’ metabolic needs were unknown. Also, there was insufficient data on the make-up and consumption of the participants’ normal meals.

Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., is a senior clinical dietician at the UCLA Medical Centre in Los Angeles. He was also not engaged in the study, was also the subject. She pointed out that 2-4 days is a condensed period for nutritional assessment and to observe results.

The study’s only non-participant, Dr. Jaclyn Albin, an associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Centre, also pointed out that the individuals were largely female, in their mid-40s, and with BMI-slightly overweight.

Thus, it is yet unclear how these findings would relate to other racial or ethnic groups, particularly those who have already received a metabolic disorder diagnosis.

Healthy snack suggestions

The owners of Focused Nutrition and Wellness, integrative brain health nutritionist Dani Felber, who was not participating in the study, were questioned by experts about what a nutritious snack might entail.

She mentioned the following as examples of balanced, healthful snacks:

  • vegetables with hummus
  • with guacamole, peppers
  • nut butter and sliced apples
  • Greek yoghurt and fruit
  • a few nuts or seeds that have been gently salted

As long as you select nutrient-dense snacks that are well-balanced with protein, fat, or fibre, you can have snacks whenever you feel hungry in between meals. These nutrients prevent a high blood sugar rise that can cause lethargy and sugar cravings, which is a particular issue for people who are prone to afternoon energy slumps and nighttime cravings, by slowing digestion and delaying glucose absorption.

Felber stated that late-night snacking is frequently associated with inferior food choices, such as high-fat snacks or sugary treats, which may contribute to fewer favourable health markers.

The negative consequences of late-night snacking, she added, may be lessened if you pay attention to the quality of your evening snacks and couple any carbohydrate-rich items with wholesome sources of protein, fat, or fibre.

Dr. Albin noted that another way to make snacking healthier is to pay attention to our bodies and only eat when we are truly hungry.

Many people may munch when they are bored or upset, and this habit might keep them from making the best decisions. According to Dr. Jaclyn Albin, the appropriate time to snack depends on each person’s appetite, activity level, timing of meals, and general health. Late-night snacking is generally to be avoided.

Snacking ought to be private.

Dr. Raskin emphasised the need of timing and eating snacks in accordance with one’s specific nutritional requirements.

For instance, a patient who needs to gain weight may need to concentrate on consuming more high-calorie snacks throughout the day. Similar to this, a diabetic patient may need to choose lower glycemic foods that yet provide them a surge of energy while assisting in the maintenance of stable insulin levels.

In general, it’s advised to avoid late-night munching if you’ve already reached your daily calorie target. A healthy food before night may be beneficial for someone with high metabolic needs, such as a high-performance athlete,” she added.


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