The Gary Null Show – 08.24.20

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment.

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Pea protein-derived tripeptide shows bone-building potential

University of Alberta, August 21, 2020


According to news originating from Edmonton, Canada, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, “Osteoporosis is a bone disease affecting more than 2 million people comprising 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men in Canada. One possible approach to prevent this disease is to stimulate the activity of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) using food protein-derived bioactive peptides.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Alberta, “In our previous study, an ACE inhibitory tripeptide LRW (Leu-Arg-Trp) was identified from pea protein. This work aims to investigate the effect of tripeptide LRW on promoting osteoblastic activity. The tripeptide LRW treatment (50 mM) in MC3T3-E1 cells increased cell proliferation (4-fold increase) as indicated by BrdU incorporation assay. Moreover, we found that tripeptide LRW stimulated osteoblastic differentiation by increasing the levels of type 1 collagen (COL1A2; 3-fold increase), alkaline phosphatase (ALP; 4-fold increase), and runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2; 2-fold increase) and the activation of the protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathway. Furthermore, tripeptide LRW increased matrix mineralization as evidenced by Alizarin-S red staining and nodule formation, osteoprotegerin levels (OPG; 2-fold increase), and wound healing based on cell migration assay.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Overall, pea protein-derived bioactive peptide LRW can positively modulate the activity of osteoblasts probably via the Akt/Runx2 pathway, indicating its potential use for the prevention of osteoporosis.”


Yoga linked with improved symptoms in heart patients

SMS Hospital (India), August 24, 2020


Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder. One in four middle-aged adults in Europe and the US will develop the condition, which causes 20-30% of all strokes and increases the risk of death by 1.5-fold in men and 2-fold in women. Reduced quality of life is common, and 10-40% of patients are hospitalised each year.2

Symptoms of atrial fibrillation include palpitations, racing or irregular pulse, shortness of breath, tiredness, chest pain and dizziness.

“The symptoms of atrial fibrillation can be distressing. They come and go, causing many patients to feel anxious and limiting their ability to live a normal life,” said study author Dr. Naresh Sen of HG SMS Hospital, Jaipur, India.

This study investigated whether yoga could ease symptoms in patients with atrial fibrillation. The study enrolled 538 patients in 2012 to 2017. Patients served as their own controls. For 12 weeks they did no yoga, then for 16 weeks patients attended 30-minute yoga sessions every other day which included postures and breathing. During the yoga period, patients were also encouraged to practice the movements and breathing at home on a daily basis.

During both study periods, symptoms and episodes of atrial fibrillation were recorded in a diary. Some patients also wore a heart monitor to verify atrial fibrillation episodes. Patients completed an anxiety and depression survey3 and a questionnaire4 assessing their ability to do daily activities and socialise, energy levels and mood. Heart rate and blood pressure were also measured. The researchers then compared outcomes between the yoga and non-yoga periods.

During the 16-week yoga period, patients experienced significant improvements in all areas compared to the 12-week non-yoga period. For example, during the non-yoga period, patients experienced an average of 15 symptomatic episodes of atrial fibrillation compared to eight episodes during the yoga period. Average blood pressure was 11/6 mmHg lower after yoga training.

Dr. Sen said: “Our study suggests that yoga has wide-ranging physical and mental health benefits for patients with atrial fibrillation and could be added on top of usual therapies.”



Supplementing with fish oil can boost the benefits of resistance training for patients with sarcopenia

New Mexico State University, August 21, 2020


A study published in the journal Sports found that taking fish oil supplements can enhance the effects of resistance training among people with sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss.

Researchers found that resistance training can help with muscle loss. But when coupled with fish oil supplementation, blood pressure also dropped, boosting the benefits of the exercise.

These findings could help medical professionals develop intervention programs for adults with sarcopenia, as well as those with hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions.

“Overall, our findings would provide meaningful implications for future clinical research to develop effective intervention programs for enhancing functional independence as well as cardiovascular health in older populations,” the researchers wrote.

Fish oil supplements lower blood pressure levels

Muscle loss leads to reduced strength. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 2011–2012 estimated that about five percent of adults aged 60 and over had weak muscle strength. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention links muscle weakness to impaired mobility and mortality in older adults. Thus, it is important to prevent or slow down muscle loss.

In the study, the researchers examined the effects of daily fish oil supplementation during 12 weeks of programmed resistance training on physical function and blood pressure.

They sampled 28 healthy older adults with aged 66 years and above. Eighteen of the participants were female, while the rest were male. They were randomly assigned to either a group that had resistance training and fish oilsupplementation, a group that had resistance training and placebo capsules, or a group that had placebo capsules but no training.

The team conducted tests at baseline and 12 weeks later, which measured hand-grip strength, physical function, timed up and go, six-minute walk and blood pressure.

Results show that the two experimental groups displayed improvements in physical function while the control group performed poorer in time up and go and decreased their hand-grip strength. Meanwhile, only the group that had both resistance training and fish oil supplementation lowered their blood pressure levels, suggesting that the fish oil capsules have positive effects on blood pressure.

Given these findings, the researchers concluded that resistance training and fish oil could be used as a therapeutic intervention for boosting muscular and vascular health, respectively.

Harry Rice, vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s, said that the benefits of exercise on health have been known for years.

But he added, “What’s really exciting about the results from the current research is that they suggest the addition of fish oil can boost those benefits.” Rice was not part of the study.



A healthy lifestyle for cardiovascular health also promotes good eye health

Texas Tech University Health Sciences, August 20, 2020 


In a new study, investigators found that ideal cardiovascular health, which is indicative of a healthy lifestyle, was associated with lower odds for ocular diseases especially diabetic retinopathy. These findings appearing in the American Journal of Medicine, published by Elsevier, suggest that interventions to prevent cardiovascular diseases may also hold promise in preventing ocular diseases.

Globally, about 2.2 billion people suffer from ocular diseases leading to vision impairment or blindness. Approximately half of these cases could have been prevented. The leading causes of vision impairment or blindness are age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma.

“Earlier studies have observed associations between eye diseases and individual lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, or hypertension,” explained lead investigator Duke Appiah, PhD, MPH, Department of Public Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, USA. “It is known that these metrics of ideal cardiovascular health do not work alone and may interact additively to result in diseases. However, prior to our research, no other studies have comprehensively evaluated the association of all of the metrics of ideal cardiovascular health with ocular diseases.”

Most ocular diseases show few symptoms at early stages and many people may not seek medical care despite readily available treatments. A recent online nationwide survey consisting of all racial and ethnic groups in the United States conducted by the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine showed that 88 percent of the 2,044 respondents considered good vision to be vital to overall health with 47 percent of them rating losing their vision as the worst disease that could ever happen to them. Alarmingly, 25 percent did not have any knowledge about ocular diseases and their risk factors.

This research shows that following healthy lifestyle and behavior habits can all contribute to good cardiovascular health as assessed by adherence to the American Heart Association’s prescription for health metric known as Life’s Simple Seven (LS7). LS7 is based on the status of seven cardiovascular disease risk factors: not smoking, regular physical activity, healthy diet, maintaining normal weight, and controlling cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels.

Practicing these healthy lifestyles together was found to be associated with lower odds for age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma. Individuals with optimal cardiovascular health had 97 percent lower odds for diabetic retinopathy compared to individuals with inadequate cardiovascular health.

Investigators evaluated data from 6,118 adults aged 40 or more years old who took part in the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The average age of participants was 57 years old, 53 percent of whom were women. A one unit increase in LS7 scores was associated with reduced odds for age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.

“Overall, we believe that primary prevention and early detection approaches of ocular diseases are important, considering that over half of all deaths from ocular diseases and cardiovascular diseases are known to be preventable,” commented co-investigators Noah De La Cruz, MPH, and Obadeh Shabaneh, MPH, both from the Department of Public Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, USA.

Since there is a significant overlap of the risk factors for ocular diseases and cardiovascular disease, the investigators recommended that screening for ocular diseases be incorporated into existing clinical and population-based screenings for cardiovascular diseases.

“We hope that our study findings will encourage adherence to healthy lifestyles in order to prevent these age-related diseases while also leading to increased collaborations between cardiologists, optometrists, and ophthalmologists in order to better prevent cardiovascular and ocular diseases,” noted Dr. Appiah.


Influence of vitamin D supplementation on a baby’s gut microbiome

Vitamin D supplementation is associated with compositional changes in a baby’s microbiome at three months of age

University of Alberta, August 20, 2020


New research from the CHILD Cohort Study has shed light on the influence of vitamin D supplementation on a baby’s developing gut microbiome.

The study, published in the journal Gut Microbes, found that vitamin D supplementation is associated with compositional changes in a baby’s microbiome–notably a lower abundance of the bacteria Megamonas–at three months of age.

“Vitamin D plays an important role in early life, supporting bone metabolism and the healthy development of a baby’s immune system,” said senior author Anita Kozyrskyj, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta and a CHILD Cohort Study investigator. “Most infants in North America receive vitamin D, either as a supplement to breastfeeding or as an ingredient in commercial infant formulas, so we wanted to understand the association between vitamin D and the presence or abundance of key bacteria within a baby’s intestinal tract.”

The researchers examined fecal samples taken during home visits from 1,157 infants who are part of the CHILD Cohort Study–a national study that is following nearly 3,500 Canadian children from before birth to adolescence with the primary goal of discovering the root causes of allergies, asthma, obesity and other chronic diseases.

They found that direct vitamin D supplementation of infants with vitamin D drops was associated with a lower abundance of Megamonas, regardless of how a baby was fed (breastfed or formula fed). “While little is known about Megamonas in infancy, our previous research suggests there may be a link between this bacterium and asthma or respiratory viral infections, so vitamin D may offer additional benefits for childhood health that should be studied further,” added Kozyrskyj, also a member of the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute.

The researchers also assessed the association between infant and maternal vitamin D supplementation and the presence of Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) in a baby’s gut. “Some infants carry the diarrhea-causing bacterium C. difficile in their guts without any symptoms. However, when the levels of gut bacteria become imbalanced, this particular bacterium can multiply, causing illness and increasing the susceptibility to chronic disease later in childhood,” commented first author Kelsea Drall, an MSc graduate from the U of A and an AllerGen trainee.

The study found that nearly 30 per cent of the infants carried C. difficile, but there was a lower incidence of the bacterium among exclusively breastfed infants. However, neither infant supplementation with vitamin D drops nor maternal vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy or after delivery was associated with C. difficile colonization. “Interestingly, maternal consumption of vitamin D-fortified milk was the only factor that reduced the likelihood of C. difficile colonization in infants,” added Drall.

According to Kozyrskyj, an infant’s gut microbiota undergoes rapid change in early life. Therefore, it is critical to understand the factors associated with microbial communities populating the infant gut during this key developmental period.

“Low vitamin D levels have been associated with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)–a common lung infection among infants–and more recently, susceptibility to COVID-19 disease,” she pointed out. “In the CHILD Cohort Study, we have a unique opportunity to follow our study children as they get older to understand how microbial changes observed as a result of dietary interventions may be associated with later health outcomes such as asthma and viral infections.”



Ashwagandha linked to better quality sleep and less anxiety

Prakruti Hospital (India), August 19, 2020

Ashwagandha, a prominent herb in traditional Indian medicine Ayurveda, continues to gain support from the medical community as studies find how beneficial the herb is for overall wellbeing and health. Previous studies have found the herb helps reduce cortisol levels and boosts testosterone levels in humans, and now researchers have found evidence the herb is linked to better quality sleep and reduced anxiety.

One new trial, published in the journal Cureus, discovered that among aging women and men, taking Ashwagandha improved sleep, mental alertness and overall quality of life. For centuries, the herb has been used to promote longevity, health, and rejuvenation, and this new research backs up its traditional use.

Older adults enjoyed improved sleep, mental alertness, and overall quality of life

The trial involved aging adults between age 65 and 80, and half were give ashwagandha root extract twice a day and the rest were given a placebo. The trial lasted for 12 weeks, and sleep quality, mental alertness, daytime sleepiness, and quality of life were all evaluated before the trial, at four weeks, at eight weeks, and at the end of the 12-week period.

Aging adults that were taking the ashwagandha root extra saw significant improvements in physical, social, quality of life, psychological, and environmental aspects of their lives compared to the placebo group. Mental alertness and sleep quality improved in those taking the supplement, too. Those taking ashwagandha tolerated it well, and it was considered beneficial and safe.

According to researchers, the study showed improved sleep and a significant improvement in quality of life for elderly individuals taking the extract. They believe taking ashwagandha root extract could be an excellent supplement for aging adults to boost general well-being and improve age-related health problems



Study concludes that treatment of children with asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis should include vitamin D3

Bogomolets National Medical University (Ukraine), August 21, 2020


According to news reporting out of Kyiv, Ukraine, research stated, “The aim:Tostudythedynamicsof thelevelof 25(ON)D, IL-4, IL-10, and IgG in the bloodserum of children with allergicdiseasesandtostudytheclinicaleffectof vitamin D3 administration n different dosage in this category of patients. Materials andmethods: 153 children aged 3-16 with such allergicdiseasesasbronchialasthma, atopicdermatitisandallergicrhinitis havebeen examined.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Bogomolets National Medical University, “The level of 25(ON) D was determined using the electrochemiluminescence method, while the levels of IL-4, IL-10 and IgG were assessed using enzyme-linked immunoassay. In the contrasting of the initial level of 25(ON)D in the blood serum of patients after administration of 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 over 2 months, after summer and after treatment with cholecalciferol in higherdoses (4,000-5,000 IU) over 2 months, significant difference wasestablishedbetween the indicators by the Friedman criterion (l2=41.211; p<0.05). In thesimilar contrasting of IL-4 indicators, a significant difference between them was traced (p <0.05) in the period of acute disease as well as the downward tendency in the period of remission. In the similar contrasting of IL-10 indicators, a significant difference between them was traced (p <0.05) in the acute period and in the period of disease remission. In the similar contrasting of IgG indicators, adownward tendency was tracedin theperiodof acutedisease and significantdecrease (p <0.05) -in the period of disease remission. In thecontrasting of 25(ON)D and IL-4, IL-10 figuresastrongreversecorrelation relationship was traced. The therapeutic effect of the administration of vitamin D3 medication in different doses in children with allergic diseases was traced.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “The data obtained shows that in the treatment of children with bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis the complex therapy should include vitamin D3 medications in different doses within a long-term course of treatment.”


Cancer and its treatment may accelerate the aging process in young patients

University of North Carolina, August 24, 2020


A new study examines the effects of cancer and its treatment on the aging process. Investigators found that expression of a gene associated with aging is higher in young patients with cancer after treatment with chemotherapy and in young cancer survivors who are frail. The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Previous research has shown that a protein called p16INK4a, which slows cell division, is produced at higher levels by cells as a person ages. Using expression of the gene that codes for p16INK4a as a marker of age, Andrew Smitherman, MD, MSc, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and his colleagues examined immune cells circulating in the blood of young adult survivors of childhood cancers and of children and adolescents newly diagnosed with cancer.

The team first analyzed cells from 60 survivors and compared them with cells from 29 age-matched individuals without a history of cancer. Expression of the gene that codes for p16INK4a was higher in survivors than in controls, representing a 25-year age acceleration. Nine survivors were frail, and they had a higher level of expression compared with survivors who were not frail, representing a 35-year age acceleration.

The researchers also found that in the nine children and adolescents in the study who had a new diagnosis of cancer, expression was higher after treatment with chemotherapy than before treatment.

“Higher expression of p16INK4a in peripheral blood lymphocytes has been described in older adults following chemotherapy, but prior to this study, not in young adult survivors,” said Dr. Smitherman. “This study is important as we try to understand the biological mechanisms underlying the manifestations of early aging in this population.”

Dr. Smitherman noted that elevated p16INK4a expression as a marker of aging may help identify cancer survivors at risk for developing frailty and functional disability. “Additionally, expression of p16INK4a may prove useful as a measure to study treatments aimed at mitigating the early aging effects of cancer treatment,” he said.