The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment.
Green tea ingredient may ameliorate memory impairment, brain insulin resistance, and obesity
Northwest A&F University (China), July 28, 2020
A study published online in The FASEB Journal, involving mice, suggests that EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the most abundant catechin and biologically active component in green tea, could alleviate high-fat and high-fructose (HFFD)-induced insulin resistance and cognitive impairment. Previous research pointed to the potential of EGCG to treat a variety of human diseases, yet until now, EGCG’s impact on insulin resistance and cognitive deficits triggered in the brain by a Western diet remained unclear.
“Green tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, and is grown in at least 30 countries,” said Xuebo Liu, Ph.D., a researcher at the College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest A&F University, in Yangling, China. “The ancient habit of drinking green tea may be a more acceptable alternative to medicine when it comes to combatting obesity, insulin resistance, and memory impairment.”
Liu and colleagues divided 3-month-old male C57BL/6J mice into three groups based on diet: 1) a control group fed with a standard diet, 2) a group fed with an HFFD diet, and 3) a group fed with an HFFD diet and 2 grams of EGCG per liter of drinking water. For 16 weeks, researchers monitored the mice and found that those fed with HFFD had a higher final body weight than the control mice, and a significantly higher final body weight than the HFFD+EGCG mice. In performing a Morris water maze test, researchers found that mice in the HFFD group took longer to find the platform compared to mice in the control group. The HFFD+EGCG group had a significantly lower escape latency and escape distance than the HFFD group on each test day. When the hidden platform was removed to perform a probe trial, HFFD-treated mice spent less time in the target quadrant when compared with control mice, with fewer platform crossings. The HFFD+EGCG group exhibited a significant increase in the average time spent in the target quadrant and had greater numbers of platform crossings, showing that EGCG could improve HFFD-induced memory impairment.
“Many reports, anecdotal and to some extent research-based, are now greatly strengthened by this more penetrating study,” said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal.
Medieval medicine remedy could provide new treatment for modern day infections
University of Warwick UK, July 28, 2020
Antibiotic resistance is an increasing battle for scientists to overcome, as more antimicrobials are urgently needed to treat biofilm-associated infections. However scientists from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick say research into natural antimicrobials could provide candidates to fill the antibiotic discovery gap.
Bacteria can live in two ways, as individual planktonic cells or as a multicellular biofilm. Biofilm helps protect bacteria from antibiotics, making them much harder to treat, one such biofilm that is particularly hard to treat is those that infect diabetic foot ulcers.
Researchers at the University of Warwick, Dr Freya Harrison, Jessica Furner-Pardoe, and Dr Blessing Anonye, have looked at natural remedies for the gap in the antibiotic market, and in the paper, ‘Anti-biofilm efficacy of a medieval treatment for bacterial infection requires the combination of multiple ingredients’ published in the journal Scientific Reports today the 28 July, researchers say medieval methods using natural antimicrobials from every day ingredients could help find new answers.
The Ancientbiotics research team was established in 2015 and is an interdisciplinary group of researchers including microbiologists, chemists, pharmacists, data analysts and medievalists at Warwick, Nottingham and in the United States.
Building on previous research done by the University of Nottingham on using medieval remedies to treat MRSA, the researchers from the School of Life Sciences at University of Warwick reconstructed a 1,000-year-old medieval remedy containing onion, garlic, wine, and bile salts, which is known as ‘Bald’s eyesalve’, and showed it to have promising antibacterial activity. The team also showed that the mixture caused low levels of damage to human cells.
They found the Bald’s eyesalve remedy was effective against a range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive wound pathogens in planktonic culture. This activity is maintained against the following pathogens grown as biofilms:
1. Acinetobacter baumanii– commonly associated with infected wounds in combat troops returning from conflict zones.
2. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia– commonly associated with respiratory infections in humans
3. Staphylococcus aureus– a common cause of skin infections including abscesses, respiratory infections such as sinusitis, and food poisoning.
4. Staphylococcus epidermidis– a common cause of infections involving indwelling foreign devices such as a catheter, surgical wound infections, and bacteremia in immunocompromised patients.
5. Streptococcus pyogenes – causes numerous infections in humans including pharyngitis, tonsillitis, scarlet fever, cellulitis, rheumatic fever and post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis.
All of these bacteria can be found in the biofilms that infect diabetic foot ulcers and which can be resistant to antibiotic treatment. These debilitating infections can lead to amputation to avoid the risk of the bacteria spreading to the blood to cause lethal bacteremia.
The Bald’s eyesalve mixtures use of garlic, which contains allicin, can explain activity against planktonic cultures, however garlic alone has no activity against biofilms, and therefore the anti-biofilm activity of Bald’s eyesalve cannot be attributed to a single ingredient and requires the combination of all ingredients to achieve full activity.
Dr Freya Harrison, from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick comments:
“We have shown that a medieval remedy made from onion, garlic, wine, and bile can kill a range of problematic bacteria grown both planktonically and as biofilms. Because the mixture did not cause much damage to human cells in the lab, or to mice, we could potentially develop a safe and effective antibacterial treatment from the remedy.
“Most antibiotics that we use today are derived from natural compounds, but our work highlights the need to explore not only single compounds but mixtures of natural products for treating biofilm infections. We think that future discovery of antibiotics from natural products could be enhanced by studying combinations of ingredients, rather than single plants or compounds. In this first instance, we think this combination could suggest new treatments for infected wounds, such as diabetic foot and leg ulcers. ”
Jessica Furner-Pardoe, from the Medical School at the University of Warwick comments:
“Our work demonstrates just how important it is to use realistic models in the lab when looking for new antibiotics from plants. Although a single component is enough to kill planktonic cultures, it fails against more realistic infection models, where the full remedy succeeds.”
In previous research Christina Lee, from the School of English at the University of Nottingham, had examined the Bald’s Leechbook, an Old English leatherbound volume in the British Library, to see if it really works as an antibacterial remedy. The Leechbook is widely thought of as one of the earliest known medical textbooks and contains Anglo-Saxon medical advice and recipes for medicines, salves and treatments. Christina adds: “Bald’s eyesalve underlines the significance of medical treatment throughout the ages. It shows that people in Early Medieval England had at least some effective remedies. The collaboration which has informed this project shows the importance of the arts in interdisciplinary research.”
First clinical trial of its kind studies whether cannabidiol could help treat cannabis use disorder, compared to placebo
University of Bath (UK), July 28, 2020
Prescription medication of cannabis extract cannabidiol, or CBD, is safe for daily use in treating cannabis use disorder, and could help people to cut down on cannabis use, according to an initial randomised controlled trial published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.
The study is the first to report that daily prescribed medical-use CBD use can cause reduction in cannabis use among people with cannabis use disorder, but the four-week study was not designed to provide robust estimates of the magnitude or duration of efficacy and further studies are needed.
Researchers found an optimal daily dose of between 400mg and 800mg of CBD, which is considerably higher than concentrations found in CBD products that are available without prescription (which typically contain around 25mg CBD). They warn that such products should not be used for medicinal purposes.
The authors say that these findings are important in light of major policy changes surrounding the production and sale of cannabis products, increases in the number of people entering treatment for cannabis use disorders worldwide, and the current absence of recommended treatments for cannabis use disorder.
Dr Tom Freeman, the study’s lead author and Director of the Addiction and Mental Health Group at the University of Bath, UK, said: “Our study provides the first causal evidence to support cannabidiol, or CBD, as a treatment for cannabis use disorders. This is encouraging, as there are currently no drug treatments for cannabis addiction. CBD products are widely available in many countries but we would not advise people to self-medicate with these products. People with concerns about their cannabis use should always speak to a healthcare professional in the first instance.” 
Cannabis addiction affects an estimated 22 million people worldwide – similar to the prevalence of opioid use disorders – and the proportion of people seeking help for cannabis use disorders has risen in all world regions apart from Africa. However, there are currently no medications recommended for the treatment of cannabis use disorders.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of more than 80 chemicals present in cannabis. By itself, CBD has been reported to induce feelings of relaxation and calm, but it does not cause the “high” associated with cannabis use, which is caused by a different chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. As a result, CBD is sold legally in many countries in oils, capsules, creams, tea and other products.
Previous studies have suggested that taking CBD products could help to reduce withdrawal symptoms in people who are actively trying to quit cannabis use. However, it hasn’t been possible to determine whether these effects were due to CBD, because the studies either used an open-label design (where the participants knew what medications they were taking and so the results could have been biased), or CBD was given together with THC so it wasn’t possible to say to which chemical the effects were attributable.
In this latest study, researchers carried out the first randomised clinical trial of cannabidiol for the treatment of cannabis addiction. All 82 people who took part in the study had been diagnosed with a cannabis use disorder of at least moderate severity, which means they experienced at least four out of 11 possible symptoms of addiction. They had all expressed a desire to quit within the next month, and had tried to quit on at least one occasion before.
Participants were randomly assigned to treatment groups and asked to take two capsules of CBD twice daily for four weeks. The placebo group were given sham capsules containing no CBD, while the others received a daily dose of either 200mg, 400mg or 800mg CBD. All of the participants received six counselling sessions designed to help them quit using cannabis, which took place before and during the study period.
Weekly urine samples were tested for levels of THC to assess how much cannabis had been consumed in the past week. Participants were also asked to report how many days they had abstained from using cannabis that week.
The trial used an adaptive design to identify which doses of CBD were effective or ineffective compared to placebo. In the first stage of the trial, 12 people per group were assigned to either placebo, 200mg, 400mg or 800mg CBD (48 total). After the first phase of the study, the 200mg dose was found to be ineffective and these participants were removed from the trial. A further 34 people were recruited to the second stage of the study and randomly assigned to receive daily doses of either the placebo (11 people), 400mg CBD (12 people) or 800mg CBD (11 people).
Daily CBD doses of 400mg and 800mg were both found to reduce participants’ cannabis intake (reducing THC levels in the urine by -94.21ng/mL and -72.02ng/mL, respectively). In addition, abstinence from cannabis use increased by an average of 0.5 days per week in the group who received the 400mg daily dose of CBD and 0.3 days per week in the group who received 800mg CBD daily.
The researchers observed no difference in side effects experienced by the placebo group and those receiving any dose of CBD. 77 of 82 participants completed the treatment and those who dropped out did so because of missing study visits, being lost to follow up, not taking the study medication, or taking additional medications, and not because of the CBD treatment. There were no serious adverse events during the study, suggesting that CBD is safe and well tolerated at the doses tested.
Professor Valerie Curran, senior author and Director of the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit at University College London, UK, said: “Our findings indicate that CBD doses ranging from 400mg to 800mg daily have the potential to reduce cannabis use in clinical settings, but higher doses are unlikely to bring any additional benefit. Larger studies are needed to determine the magnitude of the benefits of daily CBD for reducing cannabis use.” 
The study was carried out over a four week treatment period with follow up extending to six months. The researchers say additional research is needed to investigate the extent to which their findings translate to different durations of treatment. Studies are also needed to investigate whether CBD directly reduces cannabis use or if it reduces other mental health symptoms which might indirectly affect cannabis use, such as anxiety.
Pessimistic outlook on life linked to life expectancy
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (Australia). July 28, 2020
A new QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute study has found people who are strongly pessimistic about the future are at greater risk of dying earlier than those who are not pessimists.
The researchers also found, however, that being an optimist did not extend life expectancy.
The lead researcher, Dr. John Whitfield from QIMR Berghofer’s Genetic Epidemiology group, said study participants who scored higher on pessimism in a questionnaire were likely to die on average two years earlier than those with low scores.
“We found people who were strongly pessimistic about the future were more likely to die earlier from cardiovascular diseases and other causes of death, but not from cancer,” Dr. Whitfield said.
“Optimism scores on the other hand did not show a significant relationship with death, either positive or negative.
“Less than nine percent of respondents identified as being strongly pessimistic. There were no significant differences in optimism or pessimism between men and women. On average, an individual’s level of either optimism or pessimism increased with age.
“We also found depression did not appear to account for the association between pessimism and mortality.”
The researchers used data collected from almost 3,000 participants who completed the Life Orientation Test as part of a broader questionnaire that looked at the health of Australians aged over 50 between 1993 and 1995.
The participants were invited to agree or disagree with a number of statements including positive statements such as, ‘I’m always optimistic about my future’ or negative statements such as, ‘If something can go wrong for me, it will’.
The participants’ details were then cross checked with the Australian National Death Index in October 2017 to find out how many people had died and their cause of death. (More than 1,000 participants had died.)
Previous studies have shown a correlation between optimism and pessimism and specific diseases such as cardiovascular disease or stroke, but most previous studies also put optimism and pessimism on one scale.
This resulted in people who received low scores on the pessimism questions being classed as optimists, but Dr. Whitfield said that was not always an accurate reflection of people’s outlooks.
“Optimism and pessimism are not direct opposites,” Dr. Whitfield said.
“The key feature of our results is that we used two separate scales to measure pessimism and optimism and their association with all causes of death.
“That is how we discovered that while strong pessimism was linked with earlier death, those who scored highly on the optimism scale did not have a greater than average life expectancy.
“We think it’s unlikely that the disease caused the pessimism because we did not find that people who died from cancer had registered a strong pessimism score in their tests. If illness was leading to higher pessimism scores, it should have applied to cancers as well as to cardiovascular disease.”
Dr. Whitfield said the research findings raised questions about the practical health benefits of training people out of pessimism.
“Understanding that our long term health can be influenced by whether we’re a cup-half-full or cup-half-empty kind of person might be the prompt we need to try to change the way we face the world, and try to reduce negativity, even in really difficult circumstances.”
The study findings have been published this week in the journal Scientific Reports.
Wealthier men are more likely to develop high blood pressure
Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine (Japan), 26 July 2020:
Working men with higher incomes are more likely to develop high blood pressure, reports a study presented at the 84th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Circulation Society (JCS 2020).
JCS 2020 takes place online from 27 July to 2 August in conjunction with the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology Congress 2020 (APSC 2020). Joint scientific sessions are being held by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and JCS as part of the ESC Global Activities programme.1
“Men with higher incomes need to improve their lifestyles to prevent high blood pressure,” said study author Dr. Shingo Yanagiya of the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan. “Steps include eating healthily, exercising, and controlling weight. Alcohol should be kept to moderate levels and binge drinking avoided.”
More than one billion people have high blood pressure worldwide.2 Around 30-45% of adults are affected, rising to more than 60% of people over 60 years of age. High blood pressure is the leading global cause of premature death, accounting for almost 10 million deaths in 2015. Of those, 4.9 million were due to ischaemic heart disease and 3.5 million were due to stroke.
Japan alone has more than 10 million people with high blood pressure, and the number continues to rise. Dr. Yanagiya said: “High blood pressure is a lifestyle-related disease. As a physician seeing these patients I wanted to know if risk varies with socioeconomic class, to help us focus our prevention efforts.”
This analysis of the J-HOPE3 study examined the relationship between household income and high blood pressure in Japanese employees. A total of 4,314 staff (3,153 men and 1,161 women) with daytime jobs and normal blood pressure were enrolled in 2012 from 12 workplaces.
Workers were divided into four groups according to annual household income: less than 5 million, 5 to 7.9 million, 8 to 9.9 million, and 10 million or more Japanese yen per year. The researchers investigated the association between income and developing high blood pressure over a two-year period.
Compared to men in the lowest income category, men in the highest income group were nearly twice as likely to develop high blood pressure. Men in the 5 to 7.9 million and 8 to 9.9 million groups had a 50% higher risk of developing high blood pressure compared to men with the lowest incomes, although the positive association did not reach statistical significance in the 8 to 9.9 million group.
The findings were consistent regardless of age, and were independent of baseline blood pressure, worksite, occupation, number of family members, and smoking. The relationships were slightly weakened after accounting for alcohol consumption and body mass index (BMI; kg/m2), both of which were higher for men in the higher income groups.
In women, there was no significant link between income and blood pressure. However, women with higher household income tended to have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure.
“Some previous Japanese surveys have reported that higher household income is associated with more undesirable lifestyles in men, but not in women,” said Dr. Yanagiya. “Our study supports this: men, but not women, with higher household incomes were more likely to be obese and drink alcohol every day. Both behaviours are major risk factors for hypertension.”
He concluded: “Men with high-paying daytime jobs are at particular risk of high blood pressure. This applies to men of all ages, who can greatly decrease their chance of a heart attack or stroke by improving their health behaviours.”
Dr. Yusuke Yoshikawa, public relations coordinator for JCS 2020, said: “Hypertension is one of the most important risk factors of cardiovascular disease in Japan, because the average daily salt intake in Japan (approx. 10 g/day) is much higher than desired. As the current guidelines2 strongly recommend healthy lifestyle to control high blood pressure, this study suggests a potential key to successful intervention for those who are at risk of heart disease and stroke.”
Professor Michel Komajda, a Past President of the ESC and course director of the ESC programme at JCS 2020, said: “The ESC is delighted to be part of JCS 2020 in Kyoto. We value our special partnership with JCS and the high quality of Japanese research. Japan is among the top submitters of abstracts to ESC Congress.”
Acute exercise has beneficial effects on the immune system during prostate cancer
Victoria University (Australia), July 28, 2020
New research published this week in Experimental Physiology found that in prostate cancer survivors, a moderate bout of exercise kept the cell count of certain type of immune cells at a normal level, suggesting the exercise is safe for prostate cancer survivors. After 24 hours after a moderate bout of cycling, the immune cell count of natural killer (NK) cells, part of the body’s first line of defence, had returned to resting levels.
Prostate cancer treatments, including androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), have numerous adverse effects that reduce physical function and quality of life. Exercise is recommended for cancer survivors to reduce the side effects of treatment and has shown to have many benefits.
However, the effects of prostate cancer treatment and acute exercise on the immune system have only been briefly examined. Exercise oncology guidelines were initially based on the responses seen in healthy, older adults. But individuals with cancer have different physiological responses to exercise, many of which we are only just beginning to understand.
Exercise helps the immune system mobilise by causing NK cells to move into the blood and be transported them to areas of need, such as sites of infection or tumours. At the tissues, these cells move out of circulation and in cancer patients they can the infiltrate the tumour and potentially slow the tumour’s rate of growth. This has been shown very elegantly in animal models but the exercise and immune response in cancer survivors is limited, with only a few studies in prostate cancer.
The researchers, based at Victoria University in Australia, had volunteers (11 cancer survivors currently receiving ADT treatment, and 14 men with prostate cancer not on ADT, and 8 healthy controls) completed a cycling task to determine their maximal aerobic fitness.
The researchers chose to use a moderate intensity exercise session that was consistent with current exercise oncology guidelines but was also a bout that would be practical for prostate cancer survivors to perform on their own.
To ensure that the exercise bout used to stimulate the immune system was the same degree of difficulty for everyone, they standardised based on their maximal effort.
To determine immune function, they obtained blood samples before exercise, immediately after and 2h after they finished cycling. The participants then came back the next day (24h) after exercise, and immune function was assessed again after one night of recovery. They also measured several key hormone levels, including adrenaline and noradrenaline, as they play a role in activating and mobilising the NK immune cells.
The researchers found that 24 hours after a moderate bout of cycling, the immune cell count of natural killer (NK) cells, part of the body’s first line of defence, had returned to resting levels.
They also showed that the immune cell mobilisation with exercise does not appear to be significantly altered during prostate cancer treatment, which provides direct evidence that acute exercise that falls within current oncology guidelines also appears to be beneficial for the immune system.
A limitation of the study is the modest sample size, and also that they examined cytokines and proteins that are related to NK cell function but did not directly assess the killing capacity of the NK cells.
Erik D Hanson, first author on the study said,
“One of the most enjoyable aspects of working with these men is how willing these men are to help their fellow prostate cancer survivors. Many of them realise that these studies are not likely to benefit them directly. However, they do not hesitate to volunteer and are willing to do just about whatever is asked of them for the collective good.”
Study shows mango consumption has positive impact on inflammatory bowel disease
Texas A&M University, July 29, 2020
Initial results of a study by researchers in the department of nutrition and food science at Texas A&M University in College Station show mango consumption has a positive impact on people with inflammatory bowel disease.
Dr. Susanne Talcott, Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist, and others recently investigated the use of fresh mangoes as an adjuvant to conventional therapy in mild to moderate inflammatory bowel disease.
“Inflammatory bowel disease presents a major risk factor for colon cancer with the most common forms of this disorder being Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,” Talcott said. “Previous studies indicate that IBD affects about 1.5 million individuals in the U.S., about 2.2 million in Europe and many more in other countries.”
“Colorectal cancer can develop from precursor lesions that can be caused by inflammatory bowel disease over periods of 10 to 15 years, which provides an extended time for preventive measures,” she said.
Talcott said multiple studies have demonstrated the health benefits of secondary plant compounds in fruits and vegetables including pomegranate, citrus and curcuminoids, and polyphenolics have been found to reduce inflammatory processes in chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases.
“However, few human clinical studies using polyphenolics in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease have been conducted,” she said.
Mangos are rich in gallotannins, a group of large molecular polyphenols that can be broken down to small, absorbable, bioactive molecules by certain intestinal bacteria.
To investigate the impact of mango polyphenolics on humans, Talcott’s team, which included husband Dr. Stephen Alcott, also an AgriLife Research scientist, designed a clinical trial conducted at Texas A&M. Trial subjects were recruited in the College Station area and at the Ertan Digestive Disease Center at the Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston under the direction of Dr. Andrew Dupont, MD.
The study was designed as a controlled clinical pilot trial in subjects with mild-to-moderate active Crohn’s disease or mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis. Subjects ate mango as an adjunct to their common drug treatment for mild-to-moderate IBD.
Male and female individuals from 18 to 79 years old with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis were enrolled in the study. Those included were individuals undergoing current or previous IBD drug treatment within the past six months and those on a stable drug regimen for at least three weeks before the start of the treatment phase of the study.
Excluded from the study were those with chronic health conditions or recurrent hospitalizations, as well as those who smoked more than one pack of cigarettes per week, had a current liver or renal dysfunction, were pregnant or lactating or had a known lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Also excluded were those with planned or scheduled IBD-related surgery, current IBD-related intestinal stricture, current infection with C. difficile or a previous bowel resection.
Medical personnel evaluated more than 300 subjects for the study based on medical records or surveys. Twenty subjects participated in some aspect of the study, including the screening, with 14 completing the study.
Subjects were provided with and asked to include 200-400 grams of commercially available frozen mangos of the Keitt variety in their daily diet. They were asked to increase their mango consumption slowly over the first week.
“Since the tolerability of large amounts of fiber-rich fruit varies between subjects and for each patient over time, this study allowed subjects to consume mango within a range rather than a fixed amount,” Talcott said. “This range was from 200 grams twice daily to 400 grams three times a day.”
She said subjects could skip their mango consumption or reduce it to accommodate any possible digestive issues, but were required to document their daily mango intake. Subjects who underwent an endoscopy before the beginning of this study were asked to wait at least one week before the study treatment could be started. The treatment phase of the study was eight weeks.
“Despite a relatively small subject number, this study yielded significant findings and several biomarkers would have been significantly reduced with a higher number of subjects,” Talcott said.
She said symptoms of ulcerative colitis were significantly reduced in the test subjects and several biomarkers associated with inflammation were decreased after eight weeks of mango consumption. Additionally, the presence of GRO, a molecule associated with colon cancer growth, was significantly reduced.
“Intestinal Lactobacilli and other beneficial probiotic bacteria were significantly increased after the consumption of mango as were certain short-chain fatty acids essential for a healthy intact intestinal tract,” she said.
Talcott said high endotoxin levels are not only associated with intestinal inflammation but also with other chronic inflammatory diseases, but after eight weeks of mango consumption, high endotoxin levels in blood plasma were significantly decreased.
“Taken together, our results indicate mango intake exerted beneficial effects in the progression and severity of the IBD after eight weeks of nutritional intervention,” she said.
She noted mango consumption might also mitigate inflammation in part by improving the composition of the intestinal microbiota and decreasing the serum endotoxin level.
“All subjects who completed the study stated they would continue to consume mangoes regularly and will recommend this to others who suffer from IBD and also tell their physicians,” Talcott said.
She said if mango or any other polyphenolic-rich food can be identified as helpful in shortening or reducing severity of episodes of inflammatory bowel disease, the addition of mango polyphenolics to conventional IBD drug treatment could have a significant positive impact on public health.
Meta-analysis supports potential of omega-3s for ADHD
Kings College London, July 28, 2020
Omega-3s fatty acid supplements may improve symptoms and cognitive performance in children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a meta-analysis of gold standard clinical trials.
Data from seven clinical trials involving over 500 children and adolescents indicated that omega-3s were associated with improvements in clinical symptoms of ADHD, while data from three clinical trials involving over 200 children and adolescents indicated a positive impact on cognitive measures associated with attention.
“[W]e provide strong evidence supporting a role for n3-PUFAs deficiency in ADHD, and for advocating n-3 PUFAs supplementation as a clinically relevant intervention in this group, especially if guided by a biomarker-based personalization approach,” wrote the authors, led by Jane Pei-Chen Chang from King’s College London, in Neuropsychopharmacology .
Boosting EPA/DHA intakes
Commenting independently on the meta-analysis, Harry Rice, PhD, VP of regulatory & scientific affairs for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED): “In the past, I’ve been lukewarm on whether or not increasing EPA/DHA intake benefits children with ADHD. Results from this meta-analysis put me a little closer to believing.
“Minimally, given the low side effect profile of omega-3s versus the drugs of choice to treat ADHD, I would highly recommend first increasing intake of EPA/DHA. This is particularly true if a child doesn’t eat at least two servings of fatty fish a week or doesn’t take an omega-3 supplement on a regular basis.”
The new meta-analysis was performed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines and used established scientific literature databases to identify appropriate studies for inclusion.
Data from seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with 534 young people indicated that that omega-s3 supplementation significantly improved inattention and hyperactivity symptoms, according to parental reports.
Additional analysis revealed that the improvements in hyperactivity were only observed when doses of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) of 500 mg/day or more were used.
Interesting, the researchers did not find improvements in hyperactivity and inattention when they looked at teacher’s reports, unlike what was reported by parents.
Omega-3 supplements were associated with improvements in select measures of cognitive performance, said the researchers.
“N-3 PUFAs are crucial for optimal neurotransmitter function: for example, incorporating more EPA and DHA in the cell membrane can increase cholesterol efflux, modulate lipid raft clustering and disruption, and affect the function of the dopamine transporter (DAT), which in turn may affect attention and executive function by regulating synaptic dopamine levels,” wrote the researchers.
Data from case-control studies were also collected to assess if omega-3 levels were also associated with ADHD, with results indicating that children and adolescents with ADHD had lower levels of EPA, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid),and total omega-3s.
“In the context of ‘personalised medicine’, it is tempting to speculate that a subpopulation of youth with ADHD and with low levels of n-3 PUFAs may respond better to n-3 PUFAs supplementation, but there are no studies to date attempting this stratification approach,” wrote the researchers. “However, we have [previously] shown that individuals at genetic risk of developing depression in the context of the immune challenge, interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha), have lower levels of RBCs n3-PUFAs, and that n-3 PUFAs supplementation prevents the onset of IFN-alpha-induced depression, arguably by replenishing the endogenously low anti-inflammatory PUFAs in the ‘at risk’ individuals.”