CoQ10 supplementation associated with improved trauma patient outcomes
Urmia University of Medical Sciences (Iran) July 23 2021.
The trial enrolled 40 men and women with traumatic injury and low plasma levels of CoQ10. Participants received a placebo or 400 milligrams CoQ10 daily for seven days. Blood samples collected at the beginning and end of the trial were analyzed for interleukin 6 (IL-6), which may be elevated during inflammation, and the oxidative stress markers malondialdehyde (MDA) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). Body composition was also assessed at these time points, as well secondary outcomes that included Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) and the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).
While interleukin-6 levels at the beginning of the study were similar between the CoQ10 and placebo groups at an average of 175.05 pg/mL and 177.82 pg/mL, they were reduced by 76.99 pg/mL in the CoQ10 group and 17.35 pg/mL in the placebo group. MDA values averaged 232.37 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL) and 239.96 pg/mL and were lowered by 88.84 pg/ml among participants who received CoQ10 and by 26.23 pg/mL among those who received a placebo. In comparison with the placebo group, fat free mass, skeletal muscle mass and body cell mass increased among those who received CoQ10. GCS and SOFA scores, and duration of hospital stay, ICU stay and ventilator use also improved among treated patients.
“To date, no randomized clinical trial study has been conducted to evaluate the effect of CoQ10 supplementation in traumatic mechanical ventilated patients and we hypothesized that CoQ10 administration in these patients could have beneficial effects on biochemical and clinical factors,” the authors wrote. “We have shown that CoQ10 could improve some of the clinical and anthropometric parameters in patients with a traumatic injury.”
Nigella sativa (black seed) prevents covid-induced vascular damage, scientists conclude
Oriental Institute of Science and Technology (India), July 27, 2021
New research published in the journal Vascular Pharmacology shows that Nigella sativa, also known as black seed or black cumin, binds to ACE2 in the lungs, effectively stopping the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) from inducing inflammation and vascular damage.
Researchers out of India investigated the effects of nigellidine, an indazole alkaloid of black seed, using molecular docking for binding to different angiotensin-binding proteins, as well as the Chinese Virus spike glycoprotein. They found that nigellidine “strongly binds” to the Chinese Virus spike protein at what is known as the hinge region or active site opening, which may in turn hamper its binding to the nCoV2-ACE2 surface.
“Nigellidine effectively binds in the Angiotensin-II binding site / entry pocket,” the study explains. “Nigellidine showed strong binding to mono / multi-meric ACE1.”
This process of ACE blocking could, the study goes on to suggest, restore angiotensin levels and restrict vasoturbulence in Chinese Virus patients, while the receptor blocking could help to stop resulting inflammation and vascular impairment.
“Nigellidine may slow down the vaso-fluctuations due to Angiotensin deregulations in Covid patients,” the paper further explains.
“Angiotensin II-ACE2 binding (ACE-value -294.81) is more favorable than nigellidine-ACE2. Conversely, nigellidine-ACE1 binding-energy / Ki is lower than nigellidine-ACE2 values indicating a balanced-state between constriction-dilatation.”
Nigellidine also binds to the viral spike proteins, which when taken by Chinese Virus patients, and especially those who fall in the elderly category, could greatly reduce their risk of suffering complications or death.
Nigellidine impairs SARS-CoV-2 infection, “cytokine storm” through numerous mechanisms
In a related study that was published last year in the journal Europe PMC, researchers learned that nigellidine inhibits the Chinese Virus infection in several other ways.
It was discovered early on in the “pandemic” that many of those who tested “positive” for the virus were suffering associated “cytokine storms,” in which their immune systems were over-responding and causing more damage, or even death.
Nigellidine was then studied and discovered to possess certain properties that inhibit cytokine storms, as well as impede the SARS CoV-2 virus from causing infection. It is also hepato- and reno-protective, meaning it protects against liver damage.
Beyond this, nigellidine was determined to possess unique immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory characteristics, as well as antioxidant potential strong enough to inhibit important proteins associated with the Chinese Virus.
In their quest to uncover possible “drug” candidates to protect patients against hyper-inflammation and other associated problems, the researchers learned that nigellidine – and more than likely other black seed constituents – helps tremendously with preventing negative side effects.
Along with nigellicine, nigellidine is found in the seed coat of Nigella sativa. Both of these constituents in their sulfated forms are extremely bioavailable, and along with thymoquinone and dithymoquinone, two other black seed components, they show strong antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects.
Black seed extracts have been shown in other experiments to decrease oxidative stress, effectively lowering the risk of inflammation-related diseases. We now know that this includes the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19).
Black seed is also recognized as a metabolic protector, helping to improve lipid and blood sugar levels.
“Most importantly, in SARS CoV-2 infection ACE-2 mediated impairment of aldosterone system may be repaired by,” the study further explains, providing relevant information to the current “pandemic.”
“Vasorelaxant and anti-hypertensive function of [black seed] helps in the modulation of renin angiotensin system (RAS) or the diuretic activity, which is one of the major targets of COVID. It might have great protective role during post infective secondary disorder of the peripheral vasculature namely cardiac and renal systems. In most of the instances patients die due to this organ dysfunction/failure in COVID-19 infection.”
By quelling inflammation, black seed could save lives from covid
Laboratory studies have found that intake of Nigella sativa significantly improves the parameters for hyperglycemia and diabetes control, as well as glycated hemoglobin and insulin resistance.
Based on this, experts believe that nigellidine specifically could play an important role in fighting the Chinese Virus by “docking” to the proteins and inflammatory molecules that can cause a cytokine storm – mainly TNF-? receptors such as TNFR1, TNFR2 and IL1R.
“In the experimental rat model the source of this drug Nigella sativa; black cumin seed extracts were tested for its role on antioxidant, hepatic and renal status,” the paper states. “This work will help in the urgent therapeutic intervention against COVID-19 global pandemic.”
“In the current study, we have decisively shown by molecular modeling that nigellidine can bind in the active sites of several important proteins of SARS CoV 2, several host receptors specific for SARS CoV-2 induced inflammatory markers IL1, IL6, TNF-?. Moreover, the extract from black cumin seed has been shown in experimental rat to be highly antioxidative, hepato- and reno-protective. Further studies are necessary to verify the potential effects of nigellidine in in vivo laboratory experimental animal model.”
Vitamin D supplementation improves recovery time of children with pneumonia at pediatric hospital
Cairo University (Egypt), July 20, 2021
According to news reporting originating from Cairo, Egypt, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, “Despite the well-recognized effect of vitamin D in metabolism and homeostasis, there is now growing interest in its probable association with pneumonia. This study aims to supply vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) (100,000 IU) to pneumonic children to minimize the duration of illness and improve their outcome.”
Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from Cairo University, “A double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in a Pediatric Cairo University affiliated hospital. An intervention arm (93 children) and a control arm (98 children), who had pneumonia with an insufficient or deficient level of vitamin D and whose parental permission was obtained, were enrolled in the trial. All children were treated with antibiotics according to WHO guidelines. Children were given a single injection of 1 mL of 100,000 IU of vitamin D3 or placebo. Clinical data were recorded every eight hours for all children. Outcomes were assessed 7 days after vitamin D injection. The primary outcome variable was the change in serum level of 25(OH)D, while the secondary outcomes were the medical state of the assigned cases (improvement or death) and duration between enrollment and hospital discharge for improved cases. In the supplementation group, the percentage of patients who suffered either deficient (38.7%) or insufficient levels (61.3%) of 25 (OH)D at day one had significantly decreased in the seventh day to (11.8%) and (52.7%), respectively. Kaplan–Meier plots highlighted that the median time to recover of the placebo group was significantly longer than that of the supplementation group (Log Rank P value < .001). VDD was detected in pediatric critical care children.”
According to the news editors, the research concluded: “In pneumonic children with high VDD, it is illustrated that Vitamin D supplementation is accompanied by lowered mortality risk and pSOFA scores, reduced time to recover, and improved PaO2/FiO(2).”
Physical activity could combat fatigue, cognitive decline in cancer survivors
University of Illinois, July 26, 2021
A new study indicates that cancer patients and survivors have a ready weapon against fatigue and “chemo brain”: a brisk walk.
Researchers at the University of Illinois, along with collaborators at Digital Artefacts in Iowa City, Iowa, and Northeastern University in Boston, looked at the association between physical activity, fatigue and performance on cognitive tasks in nearly 300 breast cancer survivors.
“The data suggest that being more physically active could reduce two of the more commonly reported symptoms in breast cancer survivors: fatigue and cognitive impairment,” said study leader Edward McAuley, a professor of kinesiology and community health at Illinois. “Most people think, ‘If I exercise, I’ll become tired.’ In our study, exercise actually was associated with reduced fatigue, which in turn was associated with better cognitive function.”
Cognitive impairment, such as memory problems or shortened attention spans, is a common complaint among cancer patients and survivors, and is thought to be similar to decline due to aging. Past Illinois research has explored the effect of physical fitness on age-related cognitive decline, so the researchers wondered whether cancer survivors would respond similarly to exercise.
“Other studies of cancer survivors have relied on small samples of cancer survivors, and used self-reporting measures of physical activity and cognitive function, which can be very biased,” said postdoctoral researcher Diane Ehlers, the first author of the study, which is published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. “What makes our study novel is that we had objective measures for both physical activity and cognitive performance, and a nationwide sample of breast cancer survivors.”
The researchers worked with Digital Artefacts — developer of the commercial neuroscience app BrainBaseline – to create an iPad app tailored to this study. The app included questionnaires and activities designed to measure attention, memory and multitasking skills. The researchers also sent each participant an accelerometer to track daily physical activity.
“We found that higher levels of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were associated with better performance on the cognitive tasks measuring attention, memory and multitasking,” Ehlers said. “What was notable was that physical activity’s effect on cognitive performance was mediated by fatigue. This provides evidence that physical activity interventions targeting fatigue in cancer patients and survivors might provide promising models for improving cognitive function as well.”
Next, the researchers plan to conduct further studies to establish causation and further explore the pathways of how physical exercise improves cognitive performance. They are working with Digital Artefacts to conduct an iPhone-based study and focusing on diverse populations of breast cancer survivors.
“The message for cancer patients and survivors is, get active!” Ehlers said. “Even if it’s 10-minute bouts of brisk walking. It’s not a magical cure-all, but we’ve seen many benefits of physical activity for cancer patients and survivors.”
Cannabidiol promotes oral ulcer healing by inactivating CMPK2-mediated NLRP3 inflammasome
Sichuan University (China), July 26, 2021
Xingying Qi, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, presented the oral session “Cannabidiol Promotes Oral Ulcer Healing by Inactivating CMPK2-Mediated NLRP3 Inflammasome” at the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), on July 21-24, 2021.
The oral ulcer is a common oral inflammatory lesion with severe pain but little effective treatment is currently available. Cannabidiol (CBD) is recently emerging as a therapeutic agent for inflammatory diseases. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully elucidated. Qi and colleagues sought to investigate whether and how CBD could play a therapeutic role in the oral ulcer. Oral ulcer models were performed in the tongue of C57BL/6 mice by acid etching or mechanical trauma, followed by CBD local administration. Samples were harvested for macroscopic and histological evaluation.
CBD oral spray on acid- or trauma-induced oral ulcers on mice tongues inhibited inflammation, relieved pain and accelerated lesions closure in a dose-dependent manner. The results show that CBD accelerates oral ulcer healing by inhibiting CMPK2-mediated NLRP3 inflammasome activation and pyroptosis, which is mediated mostly by PPARγ in nucleus and partially by CB1 in plasma membrane. This data may shed light on the development of new therapeutic strategies for oral ulcers.
Algal solution: Could Spirulina modify the microbiome to protect against age-related damage?
Louvain Drug Research Institute (Belgium), July 25 2021
Spirulina might help protect against age-related liver inflammation by modifying pathways in the microbiome, say researchers.
Consumption of spirulina could help protect against hepatic inflammation in the elderly, according to the new animal research published in Nutrients.
Belgian researchers carried out tests on mice, which suggest that the algae Spirulina has an impact on the gut microbiota, which in turn activates the immune system in the gut and improves inflammation in the liver that is associated with ageing.
Led by senior author Professor Nathalie Delzenne from the Louvain Drug Research Institute in Belgium, the team said oral feeding of Spirulina was found to modulates several immunological functions involving, among others, the TLR4 pathway in old mice.
“The fact that its oral consumption can influence both gut immunity and systemic sites, such as the liver, suggests that its immune action is not confined to the gut immune system,” wrote the team – who said the findings open the way to new therapeutic tools “in the management of immune alterations in aging, based on gut microbe-host interactions.”
Furthermore, they suggested that improvement of the homeostasis in the gut ecosystem ‘could be essential’ during the aging process, “and, in this perspective, dietary manipulation of the gut microbiota of the elderly with Spirulina, may represent a tool for preserving a healthy gastrointestinal microbial community in addition to its beneficial effects on immune function.”
Delzenne and colleagues noted that while the possible cardiovascular and immune support benefits of Spirulina have been fairly widely reported, the new study brings a fresh approach by testing whether the effects could be related to a modulation of gut micrbiota.
In the trial, young mice aged three months were fed a standard diet, while older mice aged 24 months were fed a standard diet either with or without 5% Spirulina for six weeks.
Upton supplementation with Spirulina, the team reported several changes to gut microbiota composition, including an increase in Roseburia and Lactobacillus populations.
“Interestingly, parameters related to the innate immunity are upregulated in the small intestine of Spirulina-treated mice,” said the team. “Furthermore, the supplementation with Spirulina reduces several hepatic inflammatory and oxidative stress markers that are upregulated in old mice versus young mice.”
Expression of several genetic and biochemical markers of inflammation and immunity were altered by supplementation with Spirulina, said the team.
In particular, the transcription factor Foxp3 – involved in the differentiation of T cells into regulatory T cells (Tregs) – and MCP1 were increased due to Spirulina supplementation in old mice.
Old mice that consumed Spirulina also showed activation of several immune parameters including Foxp3 in the ileum – suggesting an improvement of the gut immune function upon Spirulina treatment in this segment, said the Belgian researchers. Furthermore, Spirulina supplementation upregulated both TLR2 and TLR4 expression in the ileum of aged mice.
“In accordance with these results, a solution of Spirulina (5%) exhibited a TLR4 agonist activity similar to the one reached in old-SP mice, suggesting a direct effect of the Spirulina, itself, on the TLR4 pathway,” they added.
While the positive effect of Spirulina on the microbiome and liver inflammation is clear, the team noted that the mechanism by which the algae could change the composition of the intestinal microbiota remains unanswered.
One possible mechanism could be the presence of antimicrobial substances produced by Spirulina, they said.
“On the other hand, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) could be mediators of the nutritional modulation of the gut microbiota.”
“In the present study, RegIIIγ and Pla2g2 were increased by the supplementation with Spirulina, suggesting that the host contributes to the reduction and modification of the microbial community by modulating the production of specific AMPs,” they added.