Vitamin D for chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (CIRD)?

by Biotics Research

Researchers studied a cross-section from the baseline visit of the CARMA (cardiovascular in rheumatology) project, a 10 year prospective study evaluating the risk of cardiovascular events in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients, and non-CIRD patients who attended rheumatology outpatient clinics from 67 hospitals in Spain. 2,234 patients were assessed. Non-CIRD group was frequency matched by age with the joint distribution of the three CIRD groups included in the study. The aim was to evaluate the association between vitamin D status (25(OH)D) and the clinical characteristics of patients with CIRD. Deficiency was defined as 25(OH)D levels <20 ng/ml. Patients with CIRD had lower 25(OH)D levels than those form the non-CIRD controls. Globally, vitamin D deficiency was detected in 40.5% of patients with RA, 39.7 % of patients with AS, 40.9 % of patients with PsA, and 26.7% of those with non-CIRD. Overall, researchers found that RA patients have a high risk of vitamin D deficiency, in spite of presenting low-to-moderate disease activity. They concluded that clinicians must monitor the levels of vitamin D at baseline and during follow-up and supplement vitamin D if any deficiency is detected.

A. Urruticoechea-Arana, et al. Vitamin D deficiency in chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases: results of the cardiovascular in rheumatology [CARMA] study. Arthritis Research & Therapy Aug 15, 2015

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Vitamin D for Reduced Breast Density in Premenopausal Women!

by Biotics Research

High breast density has been identified as a strong risk factor for breast cancer. Researchers tested the association between vitamin D intake, but not circulating vitamin D levels, and mammographic breast density among women. They conducted a cross-sectional study of 165 screening mammography patients at Nashville General Hospital’s Breast Health Center. Dietary and total (dietary plus supplementation) vitamin D, and calcium intakes were estimated by the AFFQ and blood samples were analyzed for 25(OH)D3. Average percent breast density for the left and right beast combined was estimated from digitized films. After statistical adjustment for age, race and body mass index, the result revealed there were significant trends of decreasing breast density with increasing vitamin D and calcium intake among premenopausal (but not postmenopausal) women.

AM Fair, et al. Increased vitamin D and calcium intake associated with reduced mammographic breast density among premenopausal women. Nutrition Research. Published online July 31, 2015

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Melatonin for GERD?

by Biotics Research

Melatonin is a hormone produce by the pineal gland and enterochromaffin cells which control sleep and gastrointestinal motility. Low melatonin levels lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Most patients with GERD have a sleep disorder, and low melatonin levels are a main cause of insomnia. It has an inhibitory action on gastric acid secretion and seems to control the lower esophageal sphincter.(1) Additionally, melatonin has been found to protect the gastrointestinal mucosa from oxidative damage caused by reactive oxygen species in different experimental ulcer models, where is has been shown to prevent acute ethanol-induced gastric injury from ethanol-induced via its antioxidant activity.(2) Another clinical study showed oral melatonin has a role in the prevention of GERD, and is effective in relieving epigastric pain and heartburn.(3)

1) J Dulce, et al. Which is the best choice for gastroesophageal disorders: Melatonin or proton pump inhibitors. World J Gastrointest Pharmcol Ther. 2010 Oct 6, 1(5): 102-106
2) D.Bilici, et al. Melatonin Prevents Ethanol-Induced Gastric Mucosal Damage Possibly Due to Its Antioxidant Effect. Digestive Diseases and Sciences. Apr 2002, Vol. 47, Issue 4. Pp 856-861.
3) TS Kandil, et al. The potential therapeutic effect of melatonin in Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease. BMC Gastroenterol. 2010 Jan 18;10:7. doi: 10.1186/1471-230X-10-7.

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Vitamin D for gut microbiome and GI function?

by Biotics Research

Vitamin D is known for its effects on bone mineralization, inflammatory processes and immunomodulatory properties, which positively influences human health, but in-vivo data on its effects on human gut microbiome are missing. Researchers conducted an open-label, interventional pilot study to investigate the effects of oral vitamin D3 on the human mucosa-associated and stool microbiome as well as CD8+ T cells in healthy volunteers. Sixteen participants were endoscopically examined to access a total of 7 sites, and researchers sampled stomach, small bowel, colon, and stools before and after 8 weeks of vitamin D3 supplementation. Weeks 1-4 participants took a weekly dose representing 140 IU/Kg body weight per day up to a max of 68,600 IU/week (9,800 IU/day). The following 4 weeks they took half the amount (70 IU/Kg body weight per day up to 34,300 IU/week (4,900 IU/day). Supplementation changed the gut microbiome in the upper GI tract (gastric corpus, antrum and duodenum). Researchers found a decreased relative abundance of Gammaproteobacteria including Pseudomonas spp., Escherichia/Shigella spp. and increased bacterial richness. No major changes occurred in the terminal ileum, appendiceal orifice, ascending colon, and sigmoid colon or in stool, but the CD8+ T cell fraction was significantly increased in the terminal ileum. They concluded that vitamin D3 modulates the gut microbiome of the upper GI tract which might explain its positive influence on GI diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease or bacterial infections. Local effects demonstrate pronounce regional differences in the response of the GI microbiome to external factors.

M Bashir, et al. Effects of high doses of vitamin D3 on mucosa-associated gut microbiome vary between regions of the human gastrointestinal tract. Eur J Nutr. 2015 Jul 1. [Epub ahead of print]

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Consume More Potassium to Reduce Blood Pressure?

by Biotics Research

In order to evaluate the efficacy of daily potassium intake on decreasing blood pressure in non-medicated normotensive or hypertensive patients, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 15 randomized controlled trials. A total of 917 patients without antihypertensive medication were seleIn order to evaluate the efficacy of daily potassium intake on decreasing blood pressure in non-medicated normotensive or hypertensive patients, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 15 randomized controlled trials. A total of 917 patients without antihypertensive medication were selected for the meta-analysis. Potassium supplementation resulted in the reduction of systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) across the board, though the effect was found to be greater in hypertensive patients. Meta-regression analysis showed that both increased daily potassium excretion and decreased sodium-to-potassium ratio were associated with blood pressure reduction. Researchers concluded that potassium supplementation is associated with reduction of blood pressure in patients who are not on antihypertensive medication, and the effect is significant in hypertensive patients.cted for the meta-analysis. Potassium supplementation resulted in the reduction of systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) across the board, though the effect was found to be greater in hypertensive patients. Meta-regression analysis showed that both increased daily potassium excretion and decreased sodium-to-potassium ratio were associated with blood pressure reduction. Researchers concluded that potassium supplementation is associated with reduction of blood pressure in patients who are not on antihypertensive medication, and the effect is significant in hypertensive patients.

Binia A, Jaeger J, Ju Y, Singh A, Zimmermann D. Daily potassium intake and sodium-to-potassium ratio in the reduction of blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Hypertens. 2015 Aug;33(8): 1509-20. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000000611.

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Resveratrol for Hepatic Metaflammation and NLRP3 activation!

by Biotics Research

It is known that resveratrol regulates NAD bioavailability and sirtuin-related metabolism which relates to aging, metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic liver disease. Recent studies have demonstrated that resveratrol inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome activation and ameliorates hepatic metaflammation. Aberrant activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome often causes inflammatory diseases including gout. Resveratrol has been shown to inhibit the accumulation of acetylated α-tubulin-mediated spatial arrangement of mitochondria and their subsequent contact with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In a rodent model of progressive IgA nephropathy, resveratrol mitigated glomerular proliferation, glomerular sclerosis, and glomerular inflammation. These findings were associated with decreased renal mononuclear leukocyte infiltration, reduced superoxide anion levels, and inhibited renal NLRP3 inflammasome activation. In another rodent study, researchers investigated the effects of resveratrol on hepatic metaflammation in a model of high-fat (HF) diet-induced obesity. The HF diet resulted in aggravated hepatic inflammation, impaired glucose control, and increased serum and liver TG levels. Administration of resveratrol significantly improved glucose control, serum and liver TC contents, and reduced the levels of the pro-inflammatory markers. These improvements were accompanied by alterations in sirtuin pathway and NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

T Misawa, et al. Resveratrol inhibits the acetylated α-tubulin-mediated assembly of the NLRP3-inflammasome. Int Immunol. 2015 Apr 7 online.
YP Chang, et al. Resveratrol inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome activation by preserving mitochondrial integrity and augmenting autophagy. J Cell Physiol. 2015 Jul;230(7): 1567-79. Doi: 10.1002/jcp.24903.
SJ Yang, Y Lim. Resveratrol ameliorates hepatic metaflammation and inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Metabolism Clinical and Experimental 2014 May Vol. 63. Issue 5, pg 693-701.

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Green Tea Catechin (EGCG) for Cognition?

by Biotics Research

It is know that stress induces reactive oxygen species (ROS) and causes alterations in brain cytoarchitecture and cognition. The green tea catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) possesses significant antioxidative properties able to protect against oxidative damage. Using a rodent model, investigators studied the impact of stress on locomotor activity, learning and memory. Results indicated that locomotor activity was decreased, and learning and memory were impaired in stressed rats (SRs). EGCG treatment was able to prevent decreased locomotor activity, and improve learning and memory in SRs. EGCG treatment was also able to reduce the increased oxidative status in SRs hippocampi. Results suggest a positive therapeutic effect of EGCG in treating stress-induced impairment of learning and memory.

Soung HS, et al. (-)Epigallocatechin-3-gallate decreases the stress-induced impairment of learning and memory in rats. Neurosci Lett. 2015 Jun 27. Pii: S0304-3940(15)00478-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2015.06.035. [Epub ahead of print]

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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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