A Forum for discussing emerging smart discoveries and emerging technologies with built-in intelligence or embedded smarts, as well as the new cognitive skills needed to succeed in the smart economy. The Smart Future is already here, just the last page hasn't been written yet! Every advance brings benefits as well as intrusions.
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I’m adding a link to a presentation I gave last week to a group of seniors at the Ukrainian Canadian Social Services –Toronto Branch on Aging Gracefully without Chronic Human Diseases. It’s designed for a non-technical, layperson audience. You can download it from the link below.
Scientists have made a significant leap in cancer research.
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
R. Buckminster Fuller
90% of all cancer deaths come from cancer spreading in the body from one organ to another, called metastasis. Stop metastasis, stop many unnecessary premature cancer deaths.
Belgium researches in 2014 determined that cancer metastasis can only occur if there are excess free radicals in the body. Specifically they conclude: “under certain conditions, the mitochondria produce more free radicals known as superoxide ions (O2.-). It is this overproduction of superoxide that leads to the formation of metastasis and, consequently, the growth of a tumor. “ See “A world first: Researchers identify a treatment that prevents tumor metastasis (Université catholique de Louvain)”http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-07/ucdl-awf072414.php
So, logically, if you can reduce excess oxidative stress and free radical levels in the body back to normal levels, theoretically, you should be able to prevent metastasis and reduce the risk of cancer growth and eliminate most cancer deaths.
This not only applies to cancer, but many other chronic human diseases, which appear to be triggered by excess free radicals too.
Just do a search on PUBMED using the term “oxidative stress” the name of any chronic human disease and you will see a connection/link to free radicals and most diseases. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
In fact, researcher in Ukraine have already reduced oxidative stress in cancer cases and many other chronic human diseases with a safe, natural, organic molecule, called Carbon  or specifically the water-soluble version, called Carbon 60 Hydrated Fullerenes, C60HYFNs. It was approved by the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in 2010, as a dietary supplement and antioxidant, after 20 years of preclinical and clinical studies. It’s the world’s highest antioxidant and free radical scavenger, neutralizing excess free radicals. It was discovered in 1985 and a Nobel prize in Chemistry was awarded for the discover in 1996. Two years before that, Ukrainian researched discovered how to make Carbon water-soluble, since most Carbon allotropes do not dissolve in water.
Most recently (Dec. 2014), Ukrainian researchers showed that C60HYFNs combined with traditional chemotherapy (Doxorubicin) , eliminates tumors in animal models without the toxic effects seen with traditional chemo. They showed that this combination: “resulted in tumor growth inhibition, prolongation of life, metastasis inhibition, and increased number of apoptotic tumor cells and was more effective than the corresponding course of Dox treatment alone.”
Carbon 60, a radiation protector, also reduces the negative effects of traditional radiation therapy. See Peculiarities of the antioxidant and radioprotective effects of hydrated C60 fullerene nanostuctures in vitro and in vivo.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19539750
Research has shown that C60 Hydrated Fullerenes (HYFNs) inhibit viral reverse transcriptase and blocks other receptor sites (RNA polymerase) needed for viral replication.
Example 1 of 3
Antibiot Khimioter. 2004;49(12):3-8.
[HIV reproduction inhibition by amino acid and dipeptide derivatives of fullerene C60].
[Article in Russian]
Miller GG, Romanova VS, Pokidysheva LN, Titova IV, Kaliberda EN, Rumsh LD, Andreeva OI, Rybalkin NP.
Target-aimed synthesis of a new class of water soluble amino acid and dipeptide derivatives of fullurene (C60 - X) for inhibition of specific virus enzymes, i.e. protease and reverse transcriptase of HIV (P HIV and RT HIV) in cell culture lytic and chronic infections was performed. Out of 13 tested substances, 8 showed inhibitory activity and 5 were effective in pharmacological doses (ID50 varied within 0.46 to 1.0 mcm/ml with respect to the lytic infection and 5.0 to 12.5 mcm/ml with respect to the chronic infection). The activity of (1), (2), (6), (7) and (8) was comparable to that of azidothymidine, a nucleozide inhibitor of RT HIV in the cell culture lytic infection. The substances also showed marked virucidal action. The cytotoxicity (survival, antiproliferative effect) varied from low to very low with respect to the rapidly dividing cells MT4 and HTHIV27 (CD50 > 200-800) and was somewhat higher with respect to PBL (CD50 > 100). The selectivity index (SI = CD50/ID50) was equal to 165-2000 for various samples. The prototype derivatives (1) and (2) had a selective (competitive) inhibitory action on the recombinant protease of HIV with IC50 = 1.25-2.76 mcM, while derivatives (1), (la) and (2) had a noncompetitive inhibitory action on the recombinant reverse transcriptase of HIV (Ki = 7.9-12.1 mM). The pharmacokinetic study of the prototype derivative (1) on laboratory animals revealed no acute or chronic toxicity up to the terminal high concentrations. As for (1), its high interspecies (mice--rabbits) relative bioavailability equal to 110% was shown.
PMID: 16050493 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Example 2 of 3
Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2005 Feb 15;15(4):1107-9.
Human immunodeficiency virus-reverse transcriptase inhibition and hepatitis C virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibition activities of fullerene derivatives.
Mashino T1, Shimotohno K, Ikegami N, Nishikawa D, Okuda K, Takahashi K, Nakamura S, Mochizuki M.
Abstract We examined the human immunodeficiency virus-reverse transcriptase and hepatitis C virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibition activities of cationic, anionic, and amino acid-type fullerene derivatives. Among the fullerene derivatives, the amino acid-type fullerene derivative was the most efficient in human immunodeficiency virus-reverse transcriptase inhibition.
PMID: 15686922 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Example 3 of 3
Cytotoxic and antiviral properties of fullerene C60 in the culture of animal cells Zinaida Klestova, Dr., Ph.D.*, Yuriy Prylutskiy, Dr., Ph.D.,** Marina Marchenko Ph.D. Student *** *State Scientific-Control Institute of Biotechnology and Strains of Microorganisms (Donetskaya St, 30,Kyiv-151, Ukraine); **National Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Volodymyrska Str. 64, 01601 Kyiv, Ukraine ***The Institute of Veterinary Medicine of NAAS (Donetskaya St. 30, Kyiv-151, Ukraine)
One of the urgent problems of modern veterinary biotechnology is to solve the complex task that lies at the intersection of chemistry, physics, materials science, biology, veterinary medicine is focused design, synthesis and study of the functional properties of nanomaterials which characterized by high bioavailability and biocompatibility, low toxicity and high specific biological activity. In our studies, was used C60 fullerene - fullerene in water-soluble form. This compound molecule is nearly spherical, with a diameter of 0.72 nm , the surface of which consists of 60 carbon atoms connected by single or double chemical called " links. Considered that C60- fullerenes are potential pharmaceutical compounds. However, along with a broad perspective on the use of such substances for the prevention and treatment of diseases, there are certain precautions, particularly with regard to the possible toxic effects on biological objects, including on cell. Therefore, our research started with the determination of cytotoxic properties of C60 fullerene - on cell line BHK -21, which is continuous line origin from Syrian hamster and which is used in many medical and biological research. In experiments used at least ten holes in plates with cell culture for each drug dilution in culture medium. The plates with cell culture incubated at +37˚ C with 5% СО2 for 96 hours. Thus, we have found the maximum cytotoxic concentration of compound that was 0,0375 ±0,003 mg/ml (n=3,). Determined the antiviral activity of C60 - fullerene, using as a biological model coronovirus (virus of transmissible gastroenteritis of swine). Coronoviruses affect both animals and humans, leading in many cases to a high degree of mortality. Investigation of antiviral activity of fullerene on transmissible gastroenteritis virus of swine in the system in vitro, n = 5 (each concentration: 0,15 , 0,075, 0,0375, 0,019, 0,009, 0,005 was tested in 10 holes). We found that C60-fullerene reduced the infectious properties of the virus by 2.0 TCID 50/ml which is a significant result. Therefore, preliminary data suggest recommend this compound for further preclinical and clinical studies.
It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us – which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold – may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity.
In an article published this week in the journal BioEssays, researchers from UC San Francisco, Arizona State University and University of New Mexico concluded from a review of the recent scientific literature that microbes influence human eating behavior and dietary choices to favor consumption of the particular nutrients they grow best on, rather than simply passively living off whatever nutrients we choose to send their way.
A Power Struggle Inside the Gut
Bacterial species vary in the nutrients they need. Some prefer fat, and others sugar, for instance. But they not only vie with each other for food and to retain a niche within their ecosystem – our digestive tracts – they also often have different aims than we do when it comes to our own actions, according to senior author Athena Aktipis, PhD, co-founder of the Center for Evolution and Cancer with the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF.
Are we at the mercy of our gut bacteria? The above image illustrates how microbes can "pull our strings," driving us to crave foods that give them the nutrients they need, including fat and sugar.
While it is unclear exactly how this occurs, the authors believe this diverse community of microbes, collectively known as the gut microbiome, may influence our decisions by releasing signaling molecules into our gut. Because the gut is linked to the immune system, the endocrine system and the nervous system, those signals could influence our physiologic and behavioral responses.
“Bacteria within the gut are manipulative,” said Carlo Maley, PhD, director of the UCSF Center for Evolution and Cancer and corresponding author on the paper. “There is a diversity of interests represented in the microbiome, some aligned with our own dietary goals, and others not.”
Fortunately, it’s a two-way street. We can influence the compatibility of these microscopic, single-celled houseguests by deliberating altering what we ingest, Maley said, with measurable changes in the microbiome within 24 hours of diet change.
“Our diets have a huge impact on microbial populations in the gut,” Maley said. “It’s a whole ecosystem, and it’s evolving on the time scale of minutes.”
There are even specialized bacteria that digest seaweed, found in humans in Japan, where seaweed is popular in the diet.
The Connection Between Digestive Tract and Brain
Research suggests that gut bacteria may be affecting our eating decisions in part by acting through the vagus nerve, which connects 100 million nerve cells from the digestive tract to the base of the brain.
Athena Aktipis, PhD
Carlo Maley, PhD
“Microbes have the capacity to manipulate behavior and mood through altering the neural signals in the vagus nerve, changing taste receptors, producing toxins to make us feel bad, and releasing chemical rewards to make us feel good,” said Aktipis, who is currently in the Arizona State University Department of Psychology.
In mice, certain strains of bacteria increase anxious behavior. In humans, one clinical trial found that drinking a probiotic containing Lactobacillus casei improved mood in those who were feeling the lowest.
Maley, Aktipis and first author Joe Alcock, MD, from the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of New Mexico, proposed further research to test the sway microbes hold over us. For example, would transplantation into the gut of the bacteria requiring a nutrient from seaweed lead the human host to eat more seaweed?
The speed with which the microbiome can change may be encouraging to those who seek to improve health by altering microbial populations. This may be accomplished through food and supplement choices, by ingesting specific bacterial species in the form of probiotics, or by killing targeted species with antibiotics. Optimizing the balance of power among bacterial species in our gut might allow us to lead less obese and healthier lives, according to the authors.
“Because microbiota are easily manipulatable by prebiotics, probiotics, antibiotics, fecal transplants, and dietary changes, altering our microbiota offers a tractable approach to otherwise intractable problems of obesity and unhealthy eating,” the authors wrote.
Implications for Obesity, Diabetes and even Cancer
The authors met and first discussed the ideas in the BioEssays paper at a summer school conference on evolutionary medicine two years ago.
Aktipis, who is an evolutionary biologist and a psychologist, was drawn to the opportunity to investigate the complex interaction of the different fitness interests of microbes and their hosts and how those play out in our daily lives. Maley, a computer scientist and evolutionary biologist, had established a career studying how tumor cells arise from normal cells and evolve over time through natural selection within the body as cancer progresses.
In fact, the evolution of tumors and of bacterial communities are linked, points out Aktipis, who said some of the bacteria that normally live within us cause stomach cancer and perhaps other cancers.
“Targeting the microbiome could open up possibilities for preventing a variety of disease from obesity and diabetes to cancers of the gastro-intestinal tract. We are only beginning to scratch the surface of the importance of the microbiome for human health,” she said.
The co-authors’ BioEssays study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the Bonnie D. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Study, in Berlin.
UC San Francisco (UCSF), now celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding, is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy, a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences, as well as a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco.
Meredith G. Dixon, MD1,2, Ilana J. Schafer, DVM1,2 (Author affiliations at end of text)
On March 21, 2014, the Guinea Ministry of Health reported the outbreak of an illness characterized by fever, severe diarrhea, vomiting, and a high case-fatality rate (59%) among 49 persons (1). Specimens from 15 of 20 persons tested at Institut Pasteur in Lyon, France, were positive for an Ebola virus by polymerase chain reaction (2). Viral sequencing identified Ebola virus (species Zaïre ebolavirus), one of five viruses in the genus Ebolavirus, as the cause (2). Cases of Ebola viral disease (EVD) were initially reported in three southeastern districts (Gueckedou, Macenta, and Kissidougou) of Guinea and in the capital city of Conakry. By March 30, cases had been reported in Foya district in neighboring Liberia (1), and in May, the first cases identified in Sierra Leone were reported. As of June 18, the outbreak was the largest EVD outbreak ever documented, with a combined total of 528 cases (including laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspected cases) and 337 deaths (case-fatality rate = 64%) reported in the three countries. The largest previous outbreak occurred in Uganda during 2000–2001, when 425 cases were reported with 224 deaths (case-fatality rate = 53%) (3). The current outbreak also represents the first outbreak of EVD in West Africa (a single case caused by Taï Forest virus was reported in Côte d'Ivoire in 1994 ) and marks the first time that Ebola virus transmission has been reported in a capital city.
Bats provide vital ecologic services that humans benefit from, such as seed dispersal and pest control, and are a food source for some human populations. However, bats also are reservoirs for a number of high-consequence zoonoses, including paramyxoviruses, filoviruses, and lyssaviruses. The variety of viruses that bats harbor might be related to their evolutionary diversity, ability to fly large distances, long lifespans, and gregarious roosting behaviors. Every year a festival takes place in Idanre, Nigeria, in which males of all ages enter designated caves to capture bats; persons are forbidden from entering the caves outside of these festivities. Festival participants use a variety of techniques to capture bats, but protective equipment rarely is used, placing hunters at risk for bat scratches and bites. Many captured bats are prepared as food, but some are transported to markets in other parts of the country for sale as bushmeat. Bats also are presented to dignitaries in elaborate rituals. The health consequences of contact with these bats are unknown, but a number of viruses have been previously identified among Nigerian bats, including lyssaviruses, pegiviruses, and coronaviruses. Furthermore, the caves are home to Rousettus aegyptiacus bats, which are reservoirs for Marburg virus in other parts of Africa.
Cytotoxic and antiviral properties of fullerene C60 in the culture of animal cells
*State Scientific-Control Institute of Biotechnology and Strains of Microorganisms (Donetskaya St, 30,Kyiv-151, Ukraine);
**National Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Volodymyrska Str. 64, 01601 Kyiv, Ukraine
***The Institute of Veterinary Medicine of NAAS (Donetskaya St. 30, Kyiv-151, Ukraine)
One of the urgent problems of modern veterinary biotechnology is to solve the complex task that lies at the intersection of chemistry, physics, materials science, biology, veterinary medicine is focused design, synthesis and study of the functional properties of nanomaterials which characterized by high bioavailability and biocompatibility, low toxicity and high specific biological activity.
In our studies, was used C60 fullerene - fullerene in water-soluble form. This compound molecule is nearly spherical, with a diameter of 0.72 nm , the surface of which consists of 60 carbon atoms connected by single or double chemical called " links. Considered that C60- fullerenes are potential pharmaceutical compounds. However, along with a broad perspective on the use of such substances for the prevention and treatment of diseases, there are certain precautions, particularly with regard to the possible toxic effects on biological objects, including on cell.
Therefore, our research started with the determination of cytotoxic properties of C60 fullerene - on cell line BHK -21, which is continuous line origin from Syrian hamster and which is used in many medical and biological research.
In experiments used at least ten holes in plates with cell culture for each drug dilution in culture medium. The plates with cell culture incubated at +37˚ C with 5% СО2 for 96 hours.
Thus, we have found the maximum cytotoxic concentration of compound that was 0,0375 ±0,003 mg/ml (n=3,).
Determined the antiviral activity of C60 - fullerene, using as a biological model coronovirus (virus of transmissible gastroenteritis of swine). Coronoviruses affect both animals and humans, leading in many cases to a high degree of mortality. Investigation of antiviral activity of fullerene on transmissible gastroenteritis virus of swine in the system in vitro, n = 5 (each concentration: 0,15 , 0,075, 0,0375, 0,019, 0,009, 0,005 was tested in 10 holes).
We found that C60-fullerene reduced the infectious properties of the virus by 2.0 TCID 50/ml which is a significant result.
Therefore, preliminary data suggest recommend this compound for further preclinical and clinical studies.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (June 25, 2014) — With the continuing need for very small devices in therapeutic applications, there is a growing demand for the development of nanoparticles that can transport and deliver drugs to target cells in the human body.
Recently, researchers created nanoparticles that under the right conditions, self-assemble – trapping complementary guest molecules within their structure. Like tiny submarines, these versatile nanocarriers can navigate in the watery environment surrounding cells and transport their guest molecules through the membrane of living cells to sequentially deliver their cargo.
Although the transport of molecules inside cells with nanoparticles has been previously achieved using various methods, researchers have developed nanoparticles capable of delivering and exchanging complementary molecules. For practical applications, these nanocarriers are highly desirable, explains Francisco Raymo, professor of chemistry in the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences and lead investigator of this project.
"The ability to deliver distinct species inside cells independently and force them to interact, exclusively in the intracellular environment, can evolve into a valuable strategy to activate drugs inside cells," Raymo says.
The new nanocarriers are15 nanometers in diameter. They are supramolecular constructs made up of building blocks called amphiphilic polymers. These nanocarriers hold the guest molecules within the confines of their water-insoluble interior and use their water-soluble exterior to travel through an aqueous environment. As a result, these nanovehicles are ideal for transferring molecules that would otherwise be insoluble in water, across a liquid environment.
IMAGE: The sequential transport of donors and acceptors across cell membranes with independent and dynamic nanocarriers enables energy transfer exclusively in the intracellular space with concomitant fluorescence activation.
"Once inside a living cell, the particles mix and exchange their cargo. This interaction enables the energy transfer between the internalized molecules," says Raymo, director of the UM laboratory for molecular photonics. "If the complementary energy donors and acceptors are loaded separately and sequentially, the transfer of energy between them occurs exclusively within the intracellular space," he says. "As the energy transfer takes place, the acceptors emit a fluorescent signal that can be observed with a microscope."
Essential to this mechanism are the noncovalent bonds that loosely hold the supramolecular constructs together. These weak bonds exist between molecules with complementary shapes and electronic properties. They are responsible for the ability of the supramolecules to assemble spontaneously in liquid environments. Under the right conditions, the reversibility of these weak noncovalent contacts allows the supramolecular constructs to exchange their components as well as their cargo.
The experiments were conducted with cell cultures. It is not yet known if the nanoparticles can actually travel through the bloodstream.
"That would be the dream, but we have no evidence that they can actually do so," Raymo says. "However, this is the direction we are heading."
The next phase of this investigation involves demonstrating that this method can be used to do chemical reactions inside cells, instead of energy transfers.
"The size of these nanoparticles, their dynamic character and the fact that the reactions take place under normal biological conditions (at ambient temperature and neutral environment) makes these nanoparticles an ideal vehicle for the controlled activation of therapeutics, directly inside the cells," Raymo says.
IMAGE: The sequential transport of donors and acceptors across cell membranes with independent and dynamic nanocarriers enables energy transfer exclusively in the intracellular space with concomitant fluorescence activation.
The current study is titled "Intracellular guest exchange between dynamic supramolecular hosts." It's published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Other authors are John F. Callan, co-corresponding author of the study, from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Ulster; Subramani Swaminathan and Janet Cusido from the UM's Laboratory for Molecular Photonics, Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Colin Fowley and Bridgeen McCuaghan, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Ulster.
The University of Miami's mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of our diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world.
A photo of the fungus Aspergillus versicolor. Credit: McMaster University
A fungus living in the soils of Nova Scotia could offer new hope in the pressing battle against drug-resistant germs that kill tens of thousands of people every year, including one considered a serious global threat.
A team of researchers led by McMaster University has discovered a fungus-derived molecule, known as AMA (Aspergillomarasmine A), which is able to disarm one of the most dangerous antibiotic-resistance genes: NDM-1 or New Delhi Metallo-beta-Lactamase-1, identified by the World Health Organization as a global public health threat.
"This is public enemy number one," explains Gerry Wright, director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research at McMaster University.
"It came out of nowhere, it has spread everywhere and has basically killed our last resource of antibiotics, the last pill on the shelf, used to treat serious infections," he says.
Discovering the properties of the fungus-derived molecule is critical because it can provide a means to target and rapidly block the drug-resistant pathogens that render carbapenem antibiotics—a class of drugs similar to penicillin—ineffective.
"Simply put, the molecule knocks out NDM-1 so the antibiotics can do their job," says Wright.
Seeking an answer to the riddle of resistance in the natural environment is a far more promising approach than trying to discover new antibiotics, a challenge which has perplexed scientists for decades. No new classes of antibiotics have been discovered since the late 1980s, leaving physicians with very few tools to fight life-threatening infections.
"Not only do we have the emergence of an antibiotic resistance gene that is targeting the last drug resource we have left, but it is carried by organisms that cause all sorts of challenging diseases and are multi-drug-resistant already. It has been found not only in clinics but in the environment—in contaminated water in South Asia—which has contributed to its spread over the globe," explains Wright. "Our thinking was that if we could find a molecule that blocks NDM-1 then these antibiotics would be useful again."
Wright and his team from McMaster, University of British Columbia and Cardiff University in Wales created a sophisticated screening method to take the NDM-1 gene, combine it with harmless E. coli bacteria and then isolate a molecule capable of stopping NDM-1 in its tracks.
CHICAGO, IL — People with Type 2 diabetes or obesity have changes in the composition of their intestinal micro-organisms—called the gut microbiota—that healthy people do not have, researchers from Turkey have found. They presented the results Sunday at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society: ICE/ENDO 2014 in Chicago.
The study lends support to other recent reports that have found an association between specific bacterial species in the human digestive system and obesity and diabetes, according to lead investigator Yalcin Basaran, MD, an endocrinologist from Gulhane Military Medical Academy School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.
"The gut microbiota may be used as an important marker to determine the risk of these metabolic diseases—obesity and diabetes—or it may become a therapeutic target to treat them," Basaran said.
The human digestive system contains an estimated 10 trillion to 100 trillion bacteria and other microscopic organisms, with each person housing at least 160 different species of organisms, according to Basaran. Some researchers now believe that this community of microbes in the human gut contributes to the onset of low-grade inflammation, which in turn may affect body weight and glucose (sugar) metabolism.
Basaran and his fellow researchers sought to identify the relationship between the gut microbe composition and obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Their study included 27 severely obese adults (20 men and seven women) whose body mass index, or BMI, exceeded 35 kg/m2, as well as 26 adults (18 men and eight women) with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes and 28 healthy control subjects (22 men and six women). All subjects were between 18 and 65 years of age, and all provided stool samples. None of the participants had taken antibiotics within the past three months, and none was currently taking medications, according to the investigators.
Fecal analysis using a molecular biology technique showed that several of the most common types of bacteria in the gut were present at considerably lower levels in the obese and diabetic groups, compared with healthy controls. These reductions ranged from 4.2 to 12.5 percent in the obese patients and 10 to 11.5 percent in the diabetic patients, Basaran reported.
In addition, statistical analysis found that bacterial counts related to certain metabolic variables. BMI, a measure of weight and height, and hemoglobin A1c, a measure of blood sugar control over the past three months, influenced levels of the most common gut bacterial species, Firmicutes. Waist circumference, a measure of abdominal fat, and hemoglobin A1c affected levels of another bacterial species: Bifidobacteria, a type of Actinobacteria. Finally, both weight and fasting blood glucose level influenced levels of a third species, Clostridium leptum.
"Further studies should be carried out to elucidate if the gut microbial changes are a cause or effect of metabolic diseases," Basaran said. "Manipulation of intestinal bacteria could offer a new approach to manage obesity and Type 2 diabetes."
Founded in 1916, the Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, the Endocrine Society's membership consists of over 17,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Washington, DC. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at http://www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/EndoMedia.
...Most botanical antioxidants/supplements are degraded /metabolized by gut bacteria and bacteria your saliva, therefore of little practical value. Carbon-60 or hydrated fullerenes –a natural product and the highest anti-oxidant in the world are not metabolized by bacteria. That's why in vivo tests(in the body) and in vitro (in the lab) tests may not produce the same results or often conflicting results with many botanical antioxidants--Walter Derzko
Some Health Benefits Of Berries May Not Make It Past Your Mouth
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Research has suggested that compounds that give colorful fruits their rich hues, especially berries, promote health and might even prevent cancer. But for the first time, scientists have exposed extracts from numerous berries high in those pigments to human saliva to see just what kinds of health-promoting substances are likely to survive and be produced in the mouth.
It’s too early to name the best berry for health promotion based on this initial work. But the researchers have discovered that two families of pigments that provide berries with their colors, called anthocyanins, are more susceptible to degradation in the mouth than are the other four classes of these pigments.
The Ohio State University study also showed that bacteria living in the mouth are responsible for most of the breakdown of these compounds that occurs in saliva. Researchers are investigating whether it’s the berry pigments themselves, or instead the products of their degradation, that actually promote health.
Scientists say that these early findings will contribute to the further development of confectionaries, gums and other delivery devices for the prevention and possibly the treatment of conditions such as periodontal disease and oral cancers.
The researchers exposed extracts of anthocyanin pigments from blueberries, chokeberries, black raspberries, red grapes and strawberries to the saliva collected from 14 people. Black raspberries, in particular, have been shown in numerous previous studies to have chemopreventive effects on tumors in the mouth, esophagus and colon, mostly in animal studies. Their high anthocyanin content has been linked to those benefits.
“All fruits are unique because their chemical composition, or fingerprint, varies,” said Mark Failla, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State and interim chair of the Department of Human Sciences. “There are many different edible berries. Some might be better for providing health-promoting effects within the oral cavity, whereas others may be more beneficial for colonic health. We simply do not know at this time.
“Increased intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with decreased risk of some chronic diseases. An understanding of the metabolism of these compounds, and the relative activities of the compounds in the consumed fruit and their metabolic products, is needed to make scientifically sound dietary recommendations and to develop effective delivery vehicles for the mouth,” Failla said.
The research is published in a recent issue of the journal Food Chemistry.
Failla and colleagues asked 14 healthy individuals between the ages of 21 and 55 years to collect saliva in the morning before they had eaten breakfast or brushed their teeth. Research participants later collected additional saliva samples before and after they had rinsed their mouths with an antibacterial liquid.
The five fruits selected for study allowed the scientists to test the six distinct families of the anthocyanin pigments. Researchers purified the anthocyanins from each berry type and added the extracts to saliva.
The extent of the pigment degradation in saliva was primarily a function of the chemical structure of a given anthocyanin, said Failla, also an investigator in Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and Food Innovation Center.
Two families of anthocyanins consistently degraded when exposed to saliva: delphinidin and petunidin. Four other families were more stable: cyanidin, pelargonidin, peonidin and malvidin.
“Our observations suggest that the bacteria within one’s oral cavity are a primary mediator of pigment metabolism. The bacteria are converting compounds that are present in the foods into metabolites,” Failla said. “One area of great interest is whether the health-promoting benefits associated with eating anthocyanin-rich fruits like berries are provided by the pigment itself, the natural combinations of the pigments in the fruit, or the metabolites produced by bacteria in the mouth and other regions of the gastrointestinal tract.”
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“There are many different edible berries. Some might be better for providing health-promoting effects within the oral cavity, whereas others may be more beneficial for colonic health.”
There is context for this study that further complicates the understanding of anthocyanins’ benefits. Multiple studies have led to the conclusion that anthocyanins themselves are very poorly absorbed by the body.
“If anthocyanins are the actual health-promoting compound, you would want to design food products, confectionaries and gels containing mixtures of anthocyanins that are stable in the mouth. If, on the other hand, the metabolites produced by the metabolism of anthocyanins are the actual health-promoting compounds, there will be greater interest in fruits that contain anthocyanins that are less stable in the oral cavity,” Failla said. “We lack such insights at this time.”
The extent to which the anthocyanins were degraded varied among the 14 people whose saliva was used in the study. However, two families of anthocyanins consistently degraded the most in all volunteers. Failla said the observed variation among individuals is likely related to differences in the microbial community that resides in each person’s mouth.
This research group is continuing the work, examining which bacteria are most involved in the metabolism of anthocyanins and testing the stability of the pigments in berry juices in the mouths of human volunteers rather than in test tubes containing their saliva.
This work was supported in part by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
Co-authors include Kom Kamonpatana of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Nutrition; Monica Giusti and Ken Riedl of the Department of Food Science and Technology; Chureeporn Chitchumroonchokchai of the Department of Human Nutrition; and Maria MorenoCruz and Purnima Kumar of the Department of Periodontology, all at Ohio State. All but MorenoCruz are also investigators in the Food Innovation Center.
Contact: Mark Failla, (614) 247-2412; Failla.firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Emily Caldwell, (614) 292-8310; Caldwell.email@example.com
Findings may settle scientific debate surrounding this chemical found in red wine and other foods
National Institutes of Health researchers and their colleagues have identified how resveratrol, a naturally occurring chemical found in red wine and other plant products, may confer its health benefits. The authors present evidence that resveratrol does not directly activate sirtuin 1, a protein associated with aging. Rather, the authors found that resveratrol inhibits certain types of proteins known as phosphodiesterases (PDEs), enzymes that help regulate cell energy.
These findings may help settle the debate regarding resveratrol's biochemistry and pave the way for resveratrol-based medicines. The chemical has received significant interest from pharmaceutical companies for its potential to combat diabetes, inflammation, and cancer. The study appears in the Feb. 3 issue of Cell.
"Resveratrol has potential as a therapy for diverse diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and heart disease," said lead study author Jay H. Chung, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Laboratory of Obesity and Aging Research at the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. "However, before researchers can transform resveratrol into a safe and effective medicine, they need to know exactly what it targets in cells."
Several previous studies suggested that resveratrol's primary target is sirtuin 1. Chung and colleagues suspected otherwise when they found that resveratrol activity required another protein called AMPK. This would not be the case if resveratrol directly interacted with sirtuin 1.
In this study, the researchers methodically traced out the metabolic activity in cells treated with resveratrol and identified PDE4 in the skeletal muscle as the principal target for the health benefits of resveratrol. By inhibiting PDE4, resveratrol triggers a series of events in a cell, one of which indirectly activates sirtuin 1.
To confirm that resveratrol attaches to and inhibits PDE proteins, Chung's group gave mice rolipram, a drug known to inhibit PDE4. Rolipram reproduced all of the biochemical effects and health benefits of resveratrol, such as preventing diet-induced obesity, improving glucose tolerance, and increasing physical endurance.
Chung noted that because resveratrol in its natural form interacts with many proteins, not just PDEs, it may cause not-yet-known toxicities as a medicine, particularly with long-term use. He added that the levels of resveratrol found in wine or foods are likely not high enough to produce significant health benefits or problems. Convincing clinical studies in humans have used about 1 gm of resveratrol per day, roughly equal to the amount found in 667 bottles of red wine.
The study results also suggest that inhibitors of PDE4 may offer the benefits of resveratrol without the potential toxicities arising from resveratrol's interactions with other proteins. One PDE4 inhibitor called roflumilast has already been approved by the FDA for the treatment of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
"This result underscores the need for careful, well-controlled studies to illuminate how these natural products operate," said Robert Balaban, Ph.D., director of the NHLBI Division of Intramural Research. "As Dr. Chung's work suggests, the effects of resveratrol seem to be more complicated than originally thought. However, this new insight into the phosphodiesterases might prove an interesting avenue to pursue."
In addition to Dr. Chung's lab at the NHLBI, other contributors to this study included collaborators in the Cardiovascular Pulmonary Branch of the NHLBI; the University of California, Davis; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China; University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands; and Emerald BioStructures, Bainbridge Island, Wash.
To schedule an interview with Dr. Chung or another NHLBI spokesperson, contact the NHLBI Office of Communications at 301-496-4236 or NHLBI_news@nhlbi.nih.gov.
Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The Institute also administers national health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online at www.nhlbi.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.