Submitting that: “We are facing a global metabolic health crisis provoked by an obesity epidemic,” Oluf Pedersen, from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and colleagues conducted DNA analysis on intestinal bacteria from 292 Danish patients, 169 of whom were obese and 123 who were not. The researchers found that among the obese subjects, 23% had low "bacterial richness," with an average of 380,000 microbial genes, compared with an average of 640,000 genes in those who had more diverse microbiomes. Subjects with less diverse gut bacteria also had greater adiposity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia and a more pronounced inflammatory phenotype than those with high bacterial richness. Those subjects also gained significantly more weight over the previous 9 years. The study authors submit that these correlations help to “identify subsets of individuals in the general white adult population who may be at increased risk of progressing to adiposity-associated co-morbidities.”
Emmanuelle Le Chatelier, Trine Nielsen, Junjie Qin, Edi Prifti, Falk Hildebrand, et al. “Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers.” Nature 500, 541-546; 28 August 2013.
Greater consumption of whole fruits – notably blueberries, grapes, and apples, may help to lower a person’s type-2 diabetes risk.
Nutritional intervention with oral dietary supplements may reduce the length of hospital stays by as much as 21%.
Statins protect against DNA shortening by telomerase activation, and may promote healthy aging.
People who do not have a rich array of healthy gut bacteria may be more prone to metabolic dysfunction and low-grade inflammation.
Harvard University (US) team provides evidence that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages promotes weight gain.
Treatment technique uses nanoparticles to reprogram immune cells so they are able to recognize and attack cancer.
Middle-aged men with high cholesterol levels may be at greater risk for a first heart attack, than similar-aged women are.
Mercury levels in Pacific fish are predicted to rise in the coming decades.
Sulforaphane, a compound found abundantly in cruciferous vegetables, may help to prevent or slow cartilage destruction.
Aging may not be determined not only by the accumulation of changes during our lifetime, but also by the genes we acquire from our mothers.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) selectively inhibit growth and induce cell death in early and late-stage oral and skin cancers.
Glucosamine and chondroitin may help to lower a person's risk of colorectal cancer.
Triterpenoids extracted from apple peel may influence expression of IP-10, a gene that is linked to inflammatory disorders including irritable bowel disease.
The nation’s (US) annual food safety report card shows that 2012 rates of infections from the pathogens Campylobacter and Vibrio have increased significantly.
Increased intakes of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6) associate with significant reductions in the risk of colorectal cancer, among women.
Consuming unhealthy snacks may associate with development of colorectal carcinoma, in patients genetically at-risk for the disease.
A symbol of Christmas, mistletoe has the potential to play a vital role as an alternative therapy for people affected by colon cancer.
Green tea may lower the risk of developing digestive system cancers by as much as 27%, among women who are long-term tea drinkers.
Increased magnesium in the diet may reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
Major changes to the profile of a person’s gut bacteria environment may associate with the development of type-2 diabetes.
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:
• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.
• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.
• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.