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Science Gut Microbiota and LPI Spring Newsletter - Many nutrition discoveries in addition to ACJ N and J. Nutrition coming soon. Please enjoy new clues to reduce obesity, chronic disease, and mental maladies.

8 June 2012 Science has a special section "The Gut Microbiota", explaining great recent progress understanding how the bacteria in our intestines control our physical and mental health. SUMMARY: Functional studies have shown us that disruptions to the community caused by diet and medication can be detrimental to health. Disruptions caused by antibiotic therapy can be remedied using probiotics. From birth, the microbiota intimately shapes the development and function of the human immune system. Disruptions to this homeostasis can lead to severe diseases such as cancer and Crohn's disease. Zhao Liping fights the developing obesity epidemic in China with prebiotics. The next decade will see a revolution in understanding our microbial symbionts and how they can be manipulated for therapeutic benefits that will bring true inner world peace.
DETAILS: 1. You can change more than 99% of the genes in your body through diet - Your gut contains about 160 species of bacteria (out of 1,000 possibilities), with 3.3 million genes compared to only 20,000 in your human DNA. "Public enthusiasm for probiotics greatly outstrips current evidence, even if the potential is very high.” Says Proctor: However, “Unlike the human genome, the microbiome is changeable, and it is this changeability which holds real promise.”
2. Obesity - a link between obesity and gut microbiota ! He adopted a regimen involving Chinese yam and bitter melon—fermented prebiotic foods that are believed to change the growth of bacteria in the digestive system—and monitored not just his weight loss but also the microbes in his gut. When he combined these prebiotics with a diet based on whole grains, he lost 20 kilograms in 2 years. His blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol level came down. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii—a bacterium with anti-inflammatory properties—flourished, increasing from an undetectable percentage to 14.5% of his total gut bacteria. “As a scientist,” he says, “you should work on questions for which there is very little evidence but that you believe are important.” His e-mail signature reads: “EAT RIGHT, KEEP FIT, LIVE LONG, DIE QUICK.” The 93 participants who completed the trial showed a median weight loss of about 7 kilograms. In their guts, meanwhile, toxin-producing bacteria decreased and beneficial bacteria increased.
3. Newborn - Babies are born essentially sterile and acquire their microbiome from their surroundings. The postnatal assembly of the human microbiota plays an important role in infant health, providing resistance to pathogen invasion, immune stimulation, and other important developmental cues early in life (23). Acute and chronic disorders, such as necrotizing enterocolitis, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, malnutrition, inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma have been linked to inadequate, inappropriate, or disrupted postnatal microbiome acquisition and development (24). Rupture of membranes signals the moment when microbes, most likely of maternal vaginal origin, first gain access to the neonate. Vaginally delivered infants clearly receive a strong input of vaginal and possibly other urogenital or fecal microbiota as they pass through and exit the birth canal (27, 28). [This is why Caesarean birth should be avoided.]
4. Disease - Disruption of the gut microbiota (dysbiosis) can lead to a variety of different diseases, including (A) inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, and irritable bowel syndrome; (B) gastric ulcers, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and obesity and metabolic syndromes; (C) asthma, atopy, and hypertension; and (D) mood and behavior through hormone signaling (e.g., GLP-1). The gut microbiota is also important for drug metabolism and preventing the establishment of pathogenic microbes.
5. Immune system - Resident bacteria profoundly shape mammalian immunity.

You can read the entire LPI newsletter here. My summary:
1. 500 mg Vitamin C twice a day is healthful - Supplementation with 500 mg of vitamin C twice per day for 17 days in volunteers reduced levels of urinary LPO (harmful free radical) products by 20-30%... Vitamin C lowers levels of the HIF-1alpha subunit, high levels of which have been associated with aggressive cancer. Vitamin C accumulates in immune cells called neutrophils when they attack bacteria, presumably to protect the neutrophils from damage by the reactive oxygen species they produce to kill pathogens...vitamin C reacts with the lipid peroxidation product acrolein—a toxic and potentially carcinogenic substance primarily formed by heating food—assisting in its metabolic degradation and elimination. Vitamin C also exerts beneficial effects on blood pressure and vascular function by indirectly improving nitric oxide activity.
2. Vitamin E - There also seems to be a role for vitamin E in preserving proper immune function in elderly people. Vitamin E terminates the chain reaction of lipid peroxidation and is regenerated from its oxidized form by vitamin C. In some populations studied, such as elderly women, supplemental vitamin E decreased cardiovascular mortality, heart attacks, and strokes. While adequate vitamin E intake over a lifetime may help protect against chronic diseases, about 95% of Americans did not meet the Estimated Average Requirement.
3. Brain and heart health - Old adults who had high plasma levels of B vitamins and vitamins C, D, and E performed better on memory and learning tests and had less brain shrinkage than old adults with lower plasma levels of these vitamins. Eat a Mediterranean-type diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and vegetable oils. ...Also increased plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) promoted healthy brain aging. Low DHA status is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Old people with high levels of trans fats from highly processed foods, such as packaged, fried, or baked foods, were more likely to exhibit brain shrinkage and score lower on the cognitive function tests than old people with low plasma levels of trans fats. ..dietary patterns associated with poor or healthy brain aging are also associated with cardiovascular health. People who eat diets high in fruits and vegetables have about a 20% lower risk of suffering a heart attack and a 30% lower risk of a stroke, while high intake of trans fats is associated with about a 20% increase. Clinical trials have shown that fish oil supplements significantly lower the risk of heart attacks and sudden cardiac death in people with heart disease. These parallels between diet, brain and heart health suggest common causes, such as chronic inflammation or high blood pressure. Inflammation is counteracted by fish oils, and a diet rich in low-fat dairy products and fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamin C supplementation, have beneficial effects on blood pressure."
4. Cancer protection -
a. Colorectal cancer - "strict adherence to a low-fat (≤ 20% of energy intake), high-fiber (≥ 18 grams per 1,000 kcal of energy), high-fruit and -vegetable diet (≥ 3.5 servings per 1,000 kcal) was associated with a 35% and 56% decrease of any and advanced colorectal adenoma recurrence, respectively.
b. Cruciferous veggies - i. Sulforaphane—found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli—is an isothiocyanate whose metabolites act as HDAC inhibitors. Sulforaphane also induces Phase 2 enzymes that detoxify carcinogens, which is important in the early stage of carcinogenesis. About 74% of sulforaphane from broccoli extracts are absorbed in the intestine and have a biological half-life of about two hours. ii. The authors previously reported that indole-3-carbinol— a phytochemical in cruciferous vegetables—green tea, or caffeine fed to pregnant mice exposed to a carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon called dibenzo[a,l] pyrene (DBP) protected the offspring from mortality due to lymphomas and decreased the number of lung tumors per mouse. iii. zinc - the authors review the role of zinc deficiency in age-related immune dysfunction—leading to increased susceptibility to infections—and inflammation, which contributes to chronic diseases like heart disease and certain cancers. Over 40% of older Americans do not consume the daily Estimated Average Requirement for zinc (9.4 mg/d and 6.8 mg/d for men and women over 50, respectively).
c. Chronic inflammation has been implicated in prostate cancer, which is responsible for about 10% of cancer deaths in men. Inflammation, as indicated by activation of the transcription factor NF-κB, is associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia, which often precedes prostate cancer. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a catechin in green tea, attenuates NF-κB activity in vitro and inhibits carcinogen activation and tumor growth in mice. Isoflavones are found in soy and act as phytoestrogens. Consumption of soy in Asia is associated with a low incidence of prostate cancer, presumably due to its isoflavone content. Through cell-signaling effects, isoflavones, especially genistein, inhibit angiogenesis (blood vessel formation) needed to support tumor growth and cancer cell pro- liferation. High dietary intakes of soy also inversely correlate with testosterone levels in Japanese men, illustrating the hormone-like effects of soy. In the authors’ studies, only supplementation with both green tea and soy—but not with either alone—suppressed inflammation and inhibited prostatic hyperplasia in hormone-treated rats.
d. Lignans and proanthocyanidins are polyphenols that have attracted interest because of their anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Lignans are found in the fibrous portion of plants, especially whole grains and flax, and are metabolized by gut bacteria to compounds that have estrogenic activity. Primary dietary sources of proanthocyanidins are tea, chocolate, and apples.
5. Dietary change: "Personally, I increased my consumption of beans, fiber, fruit, and vegetables over the last few years. "
6. Vitamin D and the anti-microbial peptide pathway - vitamin D regulates the synthesis of antimicrobial peptides in the body, including cathelicidin and defensin, involved in innate immunity. Some phytochemicals and dietary fats, such as curcumin and polyunsaturated fatty acids, may also stimulate anti- microbial peptide activity by binding to the vitamin D receptor on cells.
7. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and acetyl-carnitine (ALCAR) - (I take Juvenon that contains ALA and ALCAR) - Both the oxidized and reduced forms of ALA scavenge reactive oxygen species and each selectively chelates reactive metals like copper, iron, lead, and mercury. ALA induces the synthesis of glutathione—an important endogenous antioxidant. ALA improves glucose handling, enhances vasodilation, lowers blood pressure, and has anti-inflammatory properties...The authors propose that age-related oxidative modifications of CPT1 may be reversed by ALCAR supplementation, leading to improved cardiac function in old animals.
8. What's Good About Chocolate? Chocolate contains flavonoids belonging to the subclass called flavanols. The specific flavanols present in chocolate are catechins and procyanidins. Catechins are also present in tea, grapes, and berries; procyanidins are also present in grapes, berries, and red wine. Flavanols in chocolate come from the cocoa. Even as little as 6.3 grams of dark chocolate (containing approximately 30 mg of flavanols) consumed daily for 18 weeks lowered blood pressure in healthy adults with above-optimal blood pressure.

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Roc Ordman for appointments or phoning pls email 24hrs ahead
Professor, Biochemistry, Beloit College out of office Thursdays

“EAT RIGHT, KEEP FIT, LIVE LONG, DIE QUICK.” Zhao Liping, see above

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