Chondroitin Sulfates for Osteoarthritis; the research says yes!

by Biotics Research

A group from the Cochrane Library set out to evaluate the benefit and harm of oral chondroitin for treating osteoarthritis compared with placebo, or a comparator oral medication including, but not limited to NSAIDs, analgesics, opioids, and glucosamine or other “herbal” medications. They conducted an intervention review of forty-three randomized controlled trials including 4,962 participants treated with chondroitin and 4,148 participants given placebo or another control. The majority of trials were for knee osteoarthritis (OA). Trial durations varied from 1 month to 3 years. Not only was the use of oral chondroitin safe, it had a lower risk of serious adverse events than controls. Those with OA who took chondroitin had less pain based on standard WOMAC measurements, scored better on Lequesne’s Index (a combination index of pain and physical function, indicating quality of life), and had less reduction in minimum joint space width than those who took placebo.

JA Singh, S Noorbalooch, R MacDonald, LJ Maxwell. Chondroitin for osteoarthritis. The Cochrane Library Published online: 28 Jan 2015

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High Sugar and Fat Changes the Gut Microbiome and Cognitive Flexibility!

by Biotics Research

There is growing evidence that altering the microbiome can influence the brain and behavior, and therefore Western diets which are high in fat, sugars and refined carbohydrates may influence behavior and gut microbiota. Researchers led by Kathy Magnusson at Oregon State University with the Linus Pauling Institute conducted a study to determine whether diet-induced changes in the gut microbiota could contribute to alterations in anxiety, memory or cognitive flexibility (the ability to immediately adapt to changes such as how to get home if the road you use is closed and you need to find a new way home). Two month old male mice were randomly assigned high-fat, high-sugar or normal chow diets. Testing for long and short term memory and cognitive flexibility was conducted during weeks 5-6 post-diet change. While some similarities in microbiome alterations were seen in both the high-fat and high sugar diets (>Clostridiales), the percentage decreases in Bacteroidales were greater in the high-sugar group. The high-sugar group was significantly impaired in early development of a spatial bias for long-term memory, short-term memory and reversal training. The higher percentages of Clostridiales and lower expression of Bacteroidales in high-energy diets were related to poorer cognitive flexibility in the reversal trials, suggesting that changes in the microbiome can contribute to cognitive changes associated with the Western diet.

Magnusson KR, et al. Relationships between diet-related changes in the gut microbiome and cognitive flexibility. Neuroscience.2015 May 14;300: 128-140.

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Glucosamine and Chondroitin for a longer life?

by Biotics Research

Glucosamine and chondroitin are primarily used for osteoarthritis and joint pain, with an estimated 7.4% of Americans (age 57-85) having used them in 2005-06. While studies of their efficacy have yielded inconsistent results, evidence from laboratory, animal, and a number of human studies suggest that glucosamine and chondroitin have anti-inflammatory properties which could reduce the risk of multiple diseases. Researchers evaluated whether use of glucosamine and chondroitin are associated with cause-specific and total mortality. The cohort study consisted of 77,510 participants, aged 50-76, who entered the cohort in 2000-2002. Participants were followed for mortality through 2008. They found that the current use of glucosamine, with or without chondroitin, was associated with a significant decreased risk of death from cancer, and with a large risk reduction for death from respiratory diseases. They concluded that use of glucosamine with or without chondroitin was associated with reduced total mortality, and with reductions of several broad causes of death.

AB Griffith, et al. Use of Glucosamine and Chondroitin in Relation to Mortality. Eur J Epidemiol. 2012 Aug; 27(8): 593-603.

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Sculacia® Supplement FAQ

by Biotics Research

Why you may need Sculacia®: In recent years, the safety of pharmaceutical joint pain formulas has been questioned and has resulted in doctors looking for effective, natural answers to support their patients’ needs. Sculacia® is such a product. Supplying a patented, proprietary, all-natural blend of Sculletaria baicalensis and Acacia catechu herbal extracts, Sculacia® inhibits the cascade of pro-inflammatory mediators. The efficacy of the Sculacia® formula was established in a clinical double blind study, where significant improvement was documented for joint comfort, stiffness and function, as compared to placebo.

Why your healthcare practitioner recommends Sculacia®: Sculacia® is yet another fine example of the leading-edge nutritional supplements that are available exclusively from Biotics Research Corporation. The beneficial effects from taking Sculacia® will be noted by the end of the first bottle, and frequently they can be noted within the first few doses, making this an excellent product to use for those suffering from joint discomfort. Effective as a stand-alone product, Sculacia® is also an excellent adjunct to use with chondroprotective products such as ChondroSamine Plus® and Purified Chondroitin Sulfates, allowing patients to achieve significant impact almost immediately, while they wait for the accumulative effect of the chondroprotectives to be established. Sculacia® carries a low suggested retail price, making it an effective and affordable alternative to costly pharmaceutical formulas. As always, you can count on Biotics Research Corporation to offer superior nutritional products supplying “The Best of Science and Nature”.

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For SIBO, specific botanical interventions are as good as or better than antibiotics!

by Biotics Research

Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) results in chronic intestinal and extraintestinal symptomatology, adversely affecting patients’ quality of life. In this study, approved by the Johns Hopkins University Internal Review Board, researchers looked at the remission rate of SIBO using rifaximin (the most widely recognized antibiotic for SIBO) at 1200 mg daily vs. herbals; among them Oregano Oil, Thymus vulgaris, Yarrow, Artemisia and others. Patients positively diagnosed with SIBO by lactulose breath testing (LBT) were offered either rifaximin or herbal therapy for 4 weeks with repeat LBT post-treatment. Of the patients receiving herbal therapy, 46% had a negative LBT follow-up compared to 34% for rifaximin users. Additionally, of 14 rifaximin non-responders who followed up with herbal therapy, 8 (57.1%) had a negative LBT after completing the rescue herbal therapy. Of an additional 10 rifaximin non-responders offered triple antibiotics, 6 (60%) responded. The researchers concluded that herbal therapies are at least as effective as rifaximin for resolution of SIBO and appear to be as effective as triple antibiotic therapy for SIBO rescue therapy for rifaximin non-responders.

V. Chedid et al. Herbal Therapy is Equivalent to Rifaximin for the Treatment of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Glob Adv Health Med. 2014 May; 3(3): 16-24.

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Our Brains Need Vitamin E!

by Biotics Research

Researchers from the Linus Pauling Science Center at Oregon State conducted a study using zebrafish to elucidate the molecular consequences of vitamin E deficiency on brain lipids. Zebrafish express the α-tocopherol transfer protein (α-TTP), which facilitates hepatic α-tocopherol secretion into the circulation in humans. The fish were fed defined diets for nine months; one group without vitamin E, and one group supplemented with α-tocopherol acetate. They discovered that low brain α-tocopherol concentrations are associated with a nearly 60% depletion of a total of 19 brain lysophospholipids (lysoPLs), suggesting the entire lysoPL populations are affected. DHA-containing lysoPLs were present at significantly lower levels in the vitamin E deficient brains. LysoPLs are required for PL remodeling during membrane synthesis, repair and replacement. Their findings suggest that increased lipid peroxidation due to inadequate α-tocopherol leads to the depletion of 1 hexadeconoyl-2-docosahexaenoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DHA-PC), as well as other PLs containing both DHA and oleic acid, and that inadequate α-tocopherol concentrations allow lipid peroxidation to deplete not only brain DHA-PC, but DHA throughout the body, thereby limiting DHA delivery to the brain. Their data clearly indicates that critical lipids are protected by α-tocopherol, and that α-tocopherol is needed as a vitamin.

J Choi, et al. Novel function of vitamin in in regulation of zebrafish (Danio rerio) brain lysophospholipids discovered using lipidomics. Journal of Lipid Research, doi: 10.1194/jlr.M058041

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Vitamin D for Diabetes and Clogged Arteries?

by Biotics Research

Because low vitamin D levels are associated with diabetes and heart disease, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine looked at the associations between vitamin D, immune function, and these two diseases, the combination of which are the most common cause of illness and death in Western populations. They found that in mice engineered to lack expression of the vitamin D receptor in monocytes and macrophages, the animals accumulated atherosclerotic plaques in the blood vessels and developed insulin resistance. Bone marrow transplantation of cells that expressed the vitamin D receptor into the mice improved their insulin sensitivity, suppressed atherosclerosis, and decreased the formation of fat-laden macrophages that accumulate along blood vessel walls. According to Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi, the lead investigator, “The finding that vitamin D helps regulate glucose metabolism may explain previous epidemiological studies identifying and increased risk of diabetes in patients with vitamin D deficiency.” This research was supported by NIH, the Children’s Discovery Institute, and the American Diabetes Association.

J. Oh, et al. Deletion of Macrophage Vitamin D Receptor Promotes Insulin Resistance and Monocyte Cholesterol Transport to Accelerate Atherosclerosis in Mice. Cell Reports, June 19, 2015

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