Nutrition for Strong Bones & Soft Arteries (Nope, it’s not calcium supps!) This Week in Science for Holistic Health

This Week in Science for Holistic Health

Science for Holistic Health

Welcome to This Week in Science for Holistic Health!

I scour the science news for interesting and relevant research for a holistic approach to health to keep you up-to-date!

This issue:

  • Food & Eating – Energy expended meal-to-meal is trivial compared with total body energy reserves.

  • Supplements & Nutrients – Do we even know how much copper we actually need?

  • Disease Prevention – Nutritional strategy for strong bones and soft arteries (NOPE, it’s not calcium supplements).

  • Anatomy & Physiology – Gut microbiota; we’re learning a lot, but more research is needed.


Food & Eating

The 2015 Dutch food-based dietary guidelines

The objective of this study was to derive food-based dietary guidelines for the Dutch population.

There are 10 new guidelines on legumes, nuts, meat, dairy produce, cereal products, fats and oils, tea, coffee and sugar-containing beverages. Three guidelines on vegetables, fruits, fish and alcoholic beverages have been sharpened, and the 2006 guideline on salt stayed the same. A separate guideline has been formulated on nutrient supplements. Completely food-based dietary guidelines can be derived in a systematic and transparent way.

  • Vegetables and fruit: Eat at least 200g of vegetables and at least 200g of fruit daily.
  •  Protein-rich products: Limit the consumption of red meat, particularly processed meat.
  •  Dairy: Take a few portions of dairy produce daily, including milk or yogurt.
  • Eggs: Eggs are not only a source of protein but also a source of dietary cholesterol (200mg of cholesterol per egg). In the Dutch food pattern, other important sources of cholesterol are meat and milk products.45 In 2006, the Health Council decided not to formulate a guideline for eggs or dietary cholesterol,2 and the present committee concludes that more recent evidence does not warrant changing this. The available evidence shows that the intake of 100mg of cholesterol from eggs increased LDL-cholesterol by 0.05mmol/l.46, 47 These results are from controlled experiments in which the consumption of eggs was considerably larger than habitual. In cohort studies, there is no association between eggs and CHD risk.48, 49 It is plausible that the consumption of seven eggs per week and a high intake of dietary cholesterol are associated with a higher risk of diabetes.49 However, the intake of cholesterol-rich foods is still unaltered and low in the Dutch population.45 The 2006 guidelines stated that a more than average consumption of cholesterol-rich foods is not desirable.2 The committee subscribes this and recommends monitoring the consumption.
  • Legumes: Eat legumes weekly.
  • Nuts: Eat at least 15g of unsalted nuts daily.
  • Carbohydrate- and fibre-rich products: Eat at least 90g of brown bread, wholemeal bread or other whole-grain products daily. Replace refined cereal products by whole-grain products.
  • Fats and oils: Replace butter, hard margarines and cooking fats with soft margarines, liquid cooking fats and vegetable oils.
  • Fish and fish fatty acids: Eat one serving of fish, preferably oily fish weekly.
  • Tea: Drink three cups of tea daily.
  • Coffee: Replace unfiltered coffee by filtered coffee.
  • Sugar-containing beverages: Minimize the consumption of sugar-containing beverages.
  • Alcoholic beverages: Do not drink alcohol or do not drink more than one glass daily.
  • Salt: Limit salt intake to 6g daily.
  • Nutrient supplements: Nutrient supplements are not needed, except for specific groups for which supplementation applies— for example, groups that need extra vitamin D, folic acid or vitamin B12.
  • Dietary patterns: Follow a dietary pattern that involves eating more plant-based and less animal-based food, as recommended in the guidelines.
What do YOU think of the new Dutch food-based dietary guidelines? #food #guidelines #foodguide Click To Tweet

Appetite and energy balancing.


• Energy expended meal-to-meal is trivial compared with total body energy reserves.
• Meal patterns are adapted to avoid the performance-impairing effects of recent eating.
• ‘Hunger’ (appetite) is the absence of fullness and the anticipation of food reward.
• Energy dense foods are more rewarding partly because they are less filling kJ for kJ.
• Erroneous beliefs about ‘hunger’ and energy depletion undermine attempts to eat less.

The idea that food intake is motivated by (or in anticipation of) ‘hunger’ arising from energy depletion is apparent in both public and scientific discourse on eating behaviour. In contrast, our thesis is that eating is largely unrelated to short-term energy depletion. Energy requirements meal-to-meal are trivial compared with total body energy stores, so energy supply to the body’s tissues is maintained if a meal or even several meals are missed. Complex and exquisite metabolic machinery ensures that this happens, but metabolic regulation is only loosely coupled with the control of energy intake. Instead, food intake needs to be controlled because the limited capacity of the gut means that processing a meal presents a significant physiological challenge and potentially hinders other activities.

We illustrate the relationship between energy (food) intake and energy expenditure with a simple analogy in which: (1) water in a bathtub represents body energy content, (2) water in a saucepan represents food in the gut, and (3) the bathtub is filled via the saucepan. Furthermore, (4) it takes hours to process and pass the full energy (macronutrient) content of the saucepan to the bathtub, and (5) both the saucepan and bathtub resist overfilling, representing negative feedbacks on appetite (desire to eat). This model is consistent with the observations that appetite is reduced acutely by energy intake (a meal added to the limited capacity of the saucepan/gut), but not by an increase in acute energy expenditure (energy removed from the large store of energy in the bathtub/body).

The existence of a relatively weak but chronic negative feedback effect on appetite proportional to body fatness is supported by observations on the dynamics of energy intake and weight gain in rat dietary obesity. (We use the term ‘appetite’ here because ‘hunger’ implies energy depletion.) In our model, appetite is motivated by the accessibility of food and the anticipated and experienced pleasure of eating it. The latter, which is similar to food reward, is determined primarily by the state of the emptiness of the gut and food liking related to the food’s sensory qualities and macronutrient value and the individual’s dietary history. Importantly, energy density adds value because energy dense foods are less satiating kJ for kJ and satiation limits further intake. That is, energy dense foods promote energy intake by virtue (1) of being more attractive and (2) having low satiating capacity kJ for kJ, and (1) is partly a consequence of (2). Energy storage is adapted to feast and famine and that includes unevenness over time of the costs of obtaining and ingesting food compared with engaging in other activities. However, in very low-cost food environments with energy dense foods readily available, risk of obesity is high. This risk can be and is mitigated by dietary restraint, which in its simplest form could mean missing the occasional meal. Another strategy we discuss is the energy dilution achieved by replacing some sugar in the diet with low-calorie sweeteners. Perhaps as or more significant, though, is that belief in short-term energy balancing (the energy depletion model) may undermine attempts to eat less. Therefore, correcting narratives of eating to be consistent with biological reality could also assist with weight control.

Energy expended meal-to-meal is trivial compared with total body energy reserves. #appetite… Click To Tweet

Supplements and Nutrients

Dietary copper and human health: Current evidence and unresolved issues.

Although copper (Cu) is recognized as an essential trace element, uncertainties remain regarding Cu reference values for humans, as illustrated by discrepancies between recommendations issued by different national authorities. This review examines human studies published since 1990 on relationships between Cu intake, Cu balance, biomarkers of Cu status, and health. It points out several gaps and unresolved issues which make it difficult to assess Cu requirements. Results from balance studies suggest that daily intakes below 0.8mg/day lead to net Cu losses, while net gains are consistently observed above 2.4mg/day. However, because of an incomplete collection of losses in all studies, a precise estimation of Cu requirements cannot be derived from available data. Data regarding the relationship between Cu intake and potential biomarkers are either too preliminary or inconclusive because of low specificity or low sensitivity to change in dietary Cu over a wide range of intakes. Results from observation and intervention studies do not support a link between Cu and a risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, arthritis or cancer for intakes ranging from 0.6 to 3mg/day, and limited evidence exists for impaired immune function in healthy subjects with a very low (0.38mg/day) Cu intake. However, data from observation studies should be regarded with caution because of uncertainties regarding Cu concentration in various foods and water. Further studies that accurately evaluate Cu exposure based on reliable biomarkers of Cu status are needed.

Do we even know how much copper we really need? #copper #nutrient #supplement #dailyintake Click To Tweet

Health-Promoting Properties of Eucommia ulmoides: A Review.

Eucommia ulmoides (EU) (also known as “Du Zhong” in Chinese language) is a plant containing various kinds of chemical constituents such as lignans, iridoids, phenolics, steroids, flavonoids, and other compounds. These constituents of EU possess various medicinal properties and have been used in Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) as a folk drink and functional food for several thousand years. EU has several pharmacological properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antimicrobial, anticancer, antiaging, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective properties. Hence, it has been widely used solely or in combination with other compounds to treat cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, sexual dysfunction, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and neurological diseases. This review paper summarizes the various active ingredients contained in EU and their health-promoting properties, thus serving as a reference material for the application of EU.

Eucommia ulmoides (EU), Du Zhong has health-promoting properties #TCM #herb #supplement… Click To Tweet

Mistletoe Extracts (PDQ®): Health Professional Version.

This PDQ cancer information summary for health professionals provides comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information about the use of mistletoe extracts in the treatment of people with cancer. It is intended as a resource to inform and assist clinicians who care for cancer patients. It does not provide formal guidelines or recommendations for making health care decisions.

This summary contains the following key information:

  • Mistletoe is a semiparasitic plant that has been used for centuries to treat numerous human ailments.
  • Mistletoe is used commonly in Europe, where a variety of different extracts are manufactured and marketed as injectable prescription drugs. These injectable drugs are not available commercially in the United States and are not approved as a treatment for people with cancer.
  • Mistletoe is one of the most widely studied CAM therapies for cancer. In certain European countries, the preparations made from European mistletoe (Viscum album, Loranthaceae) are among the most prescribed drugs offered to cancer patients.
  • Although mistletoe plants and berries are considered poisonous to humans, few serious side effects have been associated with mistletoe extract use.
  • The use of mistletoe as a treatment for people with cancer has been investigated in clinical studies. Reports of improved survival and/or quality of life have been common, but nearly all of the studies had major weaknesses that raise doubts about the reliability of the findings.
  • At present, the use of mistletoe cannot be recommended outside the context of well-designed clinical trials. Such trials will be valuable to determine more clearly whether mistletoe can be useful in the treatment of specific subsets of cancer patients.

Arsenic – Poison or medicine?

Arsenic (As) is commonly known as a poison. Only a few people know that As has also been widely used in medicine. In the past years As and its compounds were used as a medicine for the treatment of such diseases as diabetes, psoriasis, syphilis, skin ulcers and joint diseases. Nowadays As is also used especially in the treatment of patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has recognized arsenic as an element with carcinogenic effect evidenced by epidemiological studies, but as previously mentioned it is also used in the treatment of neoplastic diseases. This underlines the specificity of the arsenic effects. Arsenic occurs widely in the natural environment, for example, it is present in soil and water, which contributes to its migration to food products. Long exposure to this element may lead to liver damages and also to changes in myocardium. Bearing in mind that such serious health problems can occur, monitoring of the As presence in the environmental media plays a very important role. In addition, the occupational risk of As exposure in the workplace should be identified and checked. Also the standards for As presence in food should be established. This paper presents a review of the 2015 publications based on the Medical database like PubMed and Polish Medical Bibliography. It includes the most important information about arsenic in both forms, poison and medicine

Arsenic - poison or medicine? #arsenic #toxin #toxicant #medicine #science Click To Tweet

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Diseases/Conditions and Prevention/Treatments

Impact of low-carbohydrate diet on body composition: meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies.

The effect of low-carbohydrate diet (LCD) on body composition, especially fat mass, in obese individuals remains to be elucidated. We performed a meta-analysis to provide quantitative summary estimates of the mean change of body weight (kg) and fat mass (kg) in LCD comparing to those in control diet. Literature searches were performed using EMBASE, MEDLINE and Cochrane Library until Dec 2014. Fourteen randomized controlled studies were included in this meta-analysis. Eight studies including very LCD (50 g carbohydrate or 10% calorie from carbohydrate) and seven studies including mild LCD (about 40% calorie from carbohydrate). Meta-analysis carried out on data of 1416 obese individuals, showed that LCD was associated with decrease in body weight (-0.70 kg [95% CI -1.07/-0.33]) or fat mass (-0.77 kg [-1.55/-0.32]). Subgroup meta-analysis of studies in over 12 months suggested that LCD was not associated with decrease in body weight (-0.44 kg [-0.94/0.07]), but LCD was associated with decrease in fat mass (-0.57 kg [-1.05/-0.09]). In addition, very LCD was associated with decrease in fat mass (-0.97 kg [-1.50/-0.44]), but mild LCD was not associated with decrease in fat mass (-0.43 kg [-1.15/0.33]). LCD, especially very LCD, might be effective for decrease in fat mass in obese individuals.

Low-carb diets may be effective to decrease fat mass in obese individuals #lowcarb #obesity… Click To Tweet

Traditional Chinese medicine valuably augments therapeutic options in the treatment of climacteric syndrome (menopausal symptoms).

Climacteric syndrome refers to recurring symptoms such as hot flashes, chills, headache, irritability and depression. This is usually experienced by menopausal women and can be related to a hormonal reorganization in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, originating 1000s of years ago, above-mentioned symptoms can be interpreted on the basis of the philosophic diagnostic concepts, such as the imbalance of Yin and Yang, the Zang-Fu and Basic substances (e.g. Qi, Blood and Essence). These concepts postulate balance and harmonization as the principle aim of a treatment. In this context, it is not astounding that one of the most prominent ancient textbooks dating back to 500-200 BC, Huang di Neijing: The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine gives already first instructions for diagnosis and therapy of climacteric symptoms. For therapy, traditional Chinese medicine comprises five treatment principles: Chinese herbal medicine, TuiNa (a Chinese form of manual therapy), nutrition, activity (e.g. QiGong) and acupuncture (being the most widespread form of treatment used in Europe). This review provides an easy access to the concepts of traditional Chinese medicine particularly regarding to climacteric syndrome and also focuses on current scientific evidence.

TCM for menopause #TCM #menopause #hotflashes #chills #headache #irritability #depression… Click To Tweet

Nutrition and Inflammation in Older Individuals: Focus on Vitamin D, n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Whey Proteins.

Chronic activation of the inflammatory response, defined as inflammaging, is the key physio-pathological substrate for anabolic resistance, sarcopenia and frailty in older individuals. Nutrients can theoretically modulate this phenomenon. The underlying molecular mechanisms reducing the synthesis of pro-inflammatory mediators have been elucidated, particularly for vitamin D, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and whey proteins. In this paper, we review the current evidence emerging from observational and intervention studies, performed in older individuals, either community-dwelling or hospitalized with acute disease, and evaluating the effects of intake of vitamin D, n-3 PUFA and whey proteins on inflammatory markers, such as C-Reactive Protein (CRP), interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). After the analysis, we conclude that there is sufficient evidence for an anti-inflammatory effect in aging only for n-3 PUFA intake, while the few existing intervention studies do not support a similar activity for vitamin D and whey supplements. There is need in the future of large, high-quality studies testing the effects of combined dietary interventions including the above mentioned nutrients on inflammation and health-related outcomes.

Omega-3s help reduce inflammaging #omega3 #inflammation #antiinflammatory #aging #vitD #whey Click To Tweet

Recent insights into the molecular pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease: a review of emerging therapeutic targets.

Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are a subject of great interest in gastroenterology, due to a pathological mechanism that is difficult to explain and an optimal therapeutic approach still undiscovered. Crohn’s disease (CD) is one of the main entities in IBD, characterized by clinical polymorphism and great variability in the treatment response. Modern theories on the pathogenesis of CD have proven that gut microbiome and environmental factors lead to an abnormal immune response in a genetically predisposed patient. Genome-wide association studies in patients with CD worldwide revealed several genetic mutations that increase the risk of IBD and that predispose to a more severe course of disease. Gut microbiota is considered a compulsory and an essential part in the pathogenesis of CD. Intestinal dysmicrobism with excessive amounts of different bacterial strains can be found in all patients with IBD. The discovery of Escherichia coli entero-invasive on resection pieces in patients with CD now increases the likelihood of antimicrobial or vaccine-type treatments. Recent studies targeting intestinal immunology and its molecular activation pathways provide new possibilities for therapeutics. In addition to antitumor necrosis factor molecules, which were a breakthrough in IBD, improving mucosal healing and resection-free survival rate, other classes of therapeutic agents come to focus. Leukocyte adhesion inhibitors block the leukocyte homing mechanism and prevent cellular immune response. In addition to anti-integrin antibodies, chemokine receptor antagonists and SMAD7 antisense oligonucleotides have shown encouraging results in clinical trials. Micro-RNAs have demonstrated their role as disease biomarkers but it could also become useful for the treatment of IBD. Moreover, cellular therapy is another therapeutic approach under development, aimed for severe refractory CD. Other experimental treatments include intravenous immunoglobulins, exclusive enteral nutrition, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factors.

What actually causes Crohn's? #IBD #crohn's #crohns #GI #gut #gutmicrobiota #treatment Click To Tweet

Childhood obesity: prevention is better than cure.

Obesity and its associated comorbidities have emerged as a major health problem garnering interests from both public health agencies and mainstream media consumers. With increasing awareness on its impact on health, finances, and community at large, it has come to the forefront for scientific research and development of health plans. The need for better strategies and novel interventions to manage obesity is now being recognized by the entire health care system. Obesity and overweight is now the fifth leading global risk factor for mortality. Strategic investment is thus urgently needed to implement population-based childhood obesity prevention programmes which are effective and also culturally appropriate. Population-based prevention is crucial to stem this rising tide of childhood obesity which is fast reaching epidemic proportions. Obesity has its onset very early in life; therefore, children constitute a major group of this disease. It is thus imperative to lay utmost importance on prevention of obesity in children and herald its progress, if present already. Furthermore, treatment is still in preliminary stage, so early prevention holds better than treatment at later stages. This article is an attempt to lay emphasis on childhood obesity as a problem that needs to be recognized early and measures for its prevention.

Preventing childhood obesity is better than treating it #obesity #child #prevention #healthrisk Click To Tweet

Nutrition, aging and cancer: lessons from dietary intervention studies.

There is convincing epidemiological and clinical evidence that, independent of aging, lifestyle and, notably, nutrition are associated with development or progression of major human cancers, including breast, prostate, colorectal tumors, and an increasingly large collection of diet-related cancers. Mechanisms underlying this association are mostly related to the distinct epigenetic effects of different dietary patterns. In this context, Mediterranean diet has been reported to significantly reduce mortality rates for various chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Although many observational studies have supported this evidence, dietary intervention studies using a Mediterranean dietary pattern or its selected food components are still limited and affected by a rather large variability in characteristics of study subjects, type and length of intervention, selected end-points and statistical analysis. Here we review data of two of our intervention studies, the MeDiet study and the DiMeSa project, aimed at assessing the effects of traditional Mediterranean diet and/or its component(s) on a large panel of both plasma and urine biomarkers. Both published and unpublished results are presented and discussed.

Mediterranean diet for CVD, neurological diseases and cancer #moreresearchneeded #mediterranean… Click To Tweet

Nutritional strategies for skeletal and cardiovascular health: hard bones, soft arteries, rather than vice versa.

What is already known about this subject?

  • The lifetime risk of osteoporosis is approximately 50%. Most people do not consume the Recommended Daily Allowance of calcium. Traditional mononutrient calcium supplements may not be ideal for promoting long-term cardiovascular and skeletal health.

What does this study add?

  • Calcium is ideally obtained from dietary sources. The form of calcium in bones and bone meal is calcium-hydroxyapatite, which may be particularly effective for building bone.

How might this impact on clinical practice?

  • Increased consumption of calcium-rich foods such as bones, fermented dairy products (e.g. yogurt, kefir, cheese), leafy greens, almonds, and chia seeds may be effective for improving both skeletal and cardiovascular health.

The focus of this paper is to explore better strategies for optimising bone strength and reducing risk of fracture, while at the same time decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease. The majority of Americans do not consume the current recommended dietary allowance for calcium, and the lifetime risk of osteoporosis is about 50%. However, traditional mononutrient calcium supplements may not be ideal. We comprehensively and systematically reviewed the scientific literature in order to determine the optimal dietary strategies and nutritional supplements for long-term skeletal health and cardiovascular health.

To summarise, the following steps may be helpful for building strong bones while maintaining soft and supple arteries:

  • (1) calcium is best obtained from dietary sources rather than supplements;
  • (2) ensure that adequate animal protein intake is coupled with calcium intake of 1000 mg/day;
  • (3) maintain vitamin D levels in the normal range;
  • (4) increase intake of fruits and vegetables to alkalinise the system and promote bone health;
  • (5) concomitantly increase potassium consumption while reducing sodium intake;
  • (6) consider increasing the intake of foods rich in vitamins K1 and K2;
  • (7) consider including bones in the diet; they are a rich source of calcium-hydroxyapatite and many other nutrients needed for building bone.
How to build strong bones, while maintaining supple arteries #bones #heart #calcium #protein… Click To Tweet

Functional food red yeast rice (RYR) for metabolic syndrome amelioration: a review on pros and cons.

Red yeast rice (RYR), the fermentation product of mold Monascus purpureus has been an integral part of Oriental food and traditional Chinese medicine, long before the discovery of their medicinal roles. With the identification of bioactive components as polyketide pigments (statins), and unsaturated fatty acids, RYR has gained a nutraceutical status. Hypercholesterolemic effect of this fermented compound has been validated and monacolin K has been recognized as the pivotal component in cholesterol alleviation. Functional similarity with commercial drug lovastatin sans the side effects has catapulted its popularity in other parts of the world as well. Apart from the hypotensive role, ameliorative benefits of RYR as anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anticancer and osteogenic agent have emerged, fueling intense research on it. Mechanistic studies have revealed their interaction with functional agents like coenzyme Q10, astaxanthin, vitamin D, folic acid, policosanol, and berberine. On the other hand, concurrence of mycotoxin citrinin and variable content of statin has marred its integration in mainstream medication. In this disputable scenario, evaluation of the scopes and lacunae to overcome seems to contribute to an eminent area of healthcare. Red yeast rice (RYR), the rice-based fermentation product of mold Monascus purpureus is a functional food. Its bioactive component monacolin K acts like synthetic drug lovastatin, without the severe side effects of the latter. RYR has been validated to lower cholesterol, control high blood pressure; confer anti-flammation, hypoglycaemic, anticancer and osteogenic properties. However, dose inconsistency and co-occurrence of toxin citrinin hampers its dietary supplementation prospect. Further research might facilitate development of RYR as a nutraceutical.

Red Yeast Rice - the pros & cons #redyeastrice #cholesterol #heartdisease #inflammation… Click To Tweet

The Role of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) in the Control of Obesity and Metabolic Derangements in Breast Cancer.

Obesity represents a major under-recognized preventable risk factor for cancer development and recurrence, including breast cancer (BC). Healthy diet and correct lifestyle play crucial role for the treatment of obesity and for the prevention of BC. Obesity is significantly prevalent in western countries and it contributes to almost 50% of BC in older women. Mechanisms underlying obesity, such as inflammation and insulin resistance, are also involved in BC development. Fatty acids are among the most extensively studied dietary factors, whose changes appear to be closely related with BC risk. Alterations of specific ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly low basal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels, appear to be important in increasing cancer risk and its relapse, influencing its progression and prognosis and affecting the response to treatments. On the other hand, DHA supplementation increases the response to anticancer therapies and reduces the undesired side effects of anticancer therapies. Experimental and clinical evidence shows that higher fish consumption or intake of DHA reduces BC cell growth and its relapse risk. Controversy exists on the potential anticancer effects of marine ω-3 PUFAs and especially DHA, and larger clinical trials appear mandatory to clarify these aspects. The present review article is aimed at exploring the capacity of DHA in controlling obesity-related inflammation and in reducing insulin resistance in BC development, progression, and response to therapies.

DHA for obesity and breast cancer #omega3 #DHA #inflammation #insulin #breastcancer Click To Tweet

Probiotics in Helicobacter pylori-induced peptic ulcer disease.

The ideal treatment regimen for the eradication Helicobacter pylori infection has yet to be identified. Probiotics, particularly Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Saccharomyces, have been suggested as adjuncts to antibiotics for the treatment of H. pylori. There is in vitro evidence that probiotics dampen the Th1 response triggered by H. pylori, attenuate H. pylori associated hypochlorhydria and secrete bacteriocidal metabolites. Probiotics interact with the innate host immune system through adherence to the gastric epithelium and secretion of bacterial adhesins. In prospective human studies, probiotic monotherapy effectively decrease H. pylori density (expired (13)CO2) by 2.0%-64.0%. Probiotic monotherapy has also been shown to eradicate H. pylori in up to 32.5%, although subsequent recrudescence is likely. Eleven meta-analyses have evaluated the efficacy of probiotics as adjuvants to antibiotics for the eradication of H. pylori. The addition of a probiotic increased treatment efficacy, OR 1.12-2.07. This benefit is probably strain-specific and may only be significant with relatively ineffective antibiotic regimens. The pooled prevalence of adverse effects was 12.9%-31.5% among subjects receiving adjuvant probiotics, compared with 24.3%-45.9% among controls. Diarrhea in particular was significantly reduced in subjects receiving adjuvant probiotics, compared with controls (OR 0.16-0.47). A reduction in adverse events other than diarrhea is variable. Despite the apparent benefit on efficacy and side effects conferred by probiotics, the optimal probiotic species, dose and treatment duration has yet to be determined. Further studies are needed to identify the probiotic, antibiotic and patient factors which might predict benefit from probiotic supplementation.

Several benefits of probiotics alongside antibiotics for H Pylori #probiotics #HPylori… Click To Tweet

Topics in Complementary and Alternative Therapies (PDQ®): Health Professional Version.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) covers a wide variety of therapies and botanicals. Integrative therapy combines standard care with CAM practices. The 2007 National Health Interview Survey reports about four out of ten adults use a CAM therapy, with the most commonly used treatments being natural products and deep breathing exercises.[1] One large survey of cancer survivors reported on the use of complementary therapies.[2] The therapies used most often were prayer and spiritual practice (61%), relaxation (44%), faith and spiritual healing (42%), and nutritional supplements and vitamins (40%). CAM therapies are used by 31% to 84% of children with cancer, both in and outside of clinical trials.[3,4] CAM therapies have been used in the management of side effects caused by cancer or cancer treatment.

This cancer information summary provides a brief description and a link to integrative, alternative, and complementary therapies found in PDQ summaries or NCI Fact Sheets. The links will take you to the specific PDQ summary, NCI Fact Sheet, or other PDQ summary section, providing more information and references on the topic. Refer to NCI’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine website for links to other resources.

Complementary and alternative cancer therapies - The science #CAM #holistic #cancer #science Click To Tweet


Anatomy & Physiology

The Intestinal Microbiota in Metabolic Disease.

Gut bacteria exert beneficial and harmful effects in metabolic diseases as deduced from the comparison of germfree and conventional mice and from fecal transplantation studies. Compositional microbial changes in diseased subjects have been linked to adiposity, type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia. Promotion of an increased expression of intestinal nutrient transporters or a modified lipid and bile acid metabolism by the intestinal microbiota could result in an increased nutrient absorption by the host. The degradation of dietary fiber and the subsequent fermentation of monosaccharides to short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) is one of the most controversially discussed mechanisms of how gut bacteria impact host physiology. Fibers reduce the energy density of the diet, and the resulting SCFA promote intestinal gluconeogenesis, incretin formation and subsequently satiety. However, SCFA also deliver energy to the host and support liponeogenesis. Thus far, there is little knowledge on bacterial species that promote or prevent metabolic disease. Clostridium ramosum and Enterococcus cloacae were demonstrated to promote obesity in gnotobiotic mouse models, whereas bifidobacteria and Akkermansia muciniphila were associated with favorable phenotypes in conventional mice, especially when oligofructose was fed. How diet modulates the gut microbiota towards a beneficial or harmful composition needs further research. Gnotobiotic animals are a valuable tool to elucidate mechanisms underlying diet-host-microbe interactions.

Gut microbiota for health - More research needed #GI #gut #gutmicrobiota #microbiome… Click To Tweet


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Inclusion Criteria for This Week in Science for Holistic Health posts:

  • Studies must be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal or highly credible website (e.g. within the last few weeks,
  • Articles must be relevant to a holistic approach to health (specifically nutrition & lifestyle factors),
  • Studies were done on people unless noted otherwise (animal and tissue studies have unknown relevance to people),
  • I also include new science-based books that look interesting (’cause I LOVE reading!).
  • None of the above applies if it’s a response to something in the media. 😉
  • P.S. – The titles are hyperlinked to the actual studies, so feel free to “geek out”. 🙂

Enjoy! 🙂

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What Leesa is reading now:

I love the site, it’s definitely one of my “go-to’s” when it comes to nutrition and health information
How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger, MD
Part 1 includes chapters for “How not to die from:” heart/lung/brain, etc. diseases with almost 3,000 scientific references; Part 2 has Dr. Greger’s favourite recipes, kitchen gadgets, brands, etc.. I’m looking forward to reading this!

Watch the trailer here:

Buy the book here:

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Leesa Klich is a science-based holistic nutritionist living at the intersection of science and holistic health (it’s really, really interesting here!) 🙂 At NutritionInteractions she helps holistic-minded people taking medications maximize the benefits of good nutrition. She also helps holistic health professionals find and understand science-based health information. She has a MSc in Toxicology and Nutrition, over a decade experience in drug/supplement safety, and is also a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. For a list of free health resources, click here.

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(1) Compound Interest – Rough Guide to Types of Scientific Evidence



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