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Delayed reporting of concussions may lead to prolonged post-concussion symptoms

According to a study published in this month’s Journal of Athletic Training, athletes who wait to report a concussion may experience prolonged recovery times. Researchers determined that athletes who delay post-concussion treatment missed close to one more week of activity than those who received immediate treatment. Athletes who do not receive immediate treatment are at risk for further damage to the brain and will most likely take much longer to recover. Previous research has also supported...Read more

DHA helps improve kidney cancer therapy according to new study

According to a new study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, researchers demonstrate that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) helps reduce renal cell carcinoma invasiveness, growth rate, and blood vessel growth when combined with the anti-cancer therapy regorafenib.  Regorafenib is one of a new generation of anti-cancer therapies that attack tyrosine kinases. Unfortunately, kidney cancers mutate to resist these therapies. However, DHA metabolites called...Read more

Study demonstrates nutritional supplements improve efficacy of antidepressants

According to an evidence review published earlier this week in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers confirmed that certain nutritional supplements can increase the efficacy of antidepressants for individuals with clinical depression. Researchers at Harvard and the University of Melbourne examined 40 clinical trials along with a systematic review of the evidence for nutrient supplements that are used as adjuncts to help with clinical depression. As a result, fish oil, SAMe,...Read more

New study finds vitamin D improves heart function

According to a new study published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers demonstrated that vitamin D improves heart function in patients with chronic heart failure. Heart failure affects more than 23 million people worldwide. This statistic emphasizes the significance of this new study because it presents the first evidence that vitamin D supplementation can improve heart function of people with heart failure. The findings could make a meaningful difference in...Read more

New study shows higher doses of omega 3 fatty acids, specifically EPA, are beneficial for depression

Depression is a major cause of disease burden worldwide, affecting approximately 350 million people. For quite some time now, fish oil supplementation has been a recommended adjunct for helping with major depressive disorder (MDD). According to a new meta-analysis published two weeks ago in Translational Psychiatry, researchers have further confirmed the link between intake of omega-3 fatty acids and the reduction in major depressive disorder. This meta-analysis consisted of 13...Read more

New study reveals individuals with metabolic syndrome may require more vitamin E

New research published just two days ago in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that approximately one-third of Americans who have metabolic syndrome do not absorb dietary vitamin E as effectively as healthy individuals. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that is essential to overall health. It is estimated that 35% of Americans have metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by having at least three of the following traits: excess abdominal fat, elevated blood pressure, low...Read more

Chemical exposure may be linked to rising rates in diabetes and obesity

According to a statement issued three days ago by the Endocrine Society, their summary links endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure to two of our biggest public health risks, diabetes and obesity. This news builds upon the Endocrine Society’s 2009 report, which examined the scientific evidence on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the health risks associated with them. Since 2009, additional research has demonstrated that exposure to EDCs is associated with an increased risk of diabetes...Read more

Low vitamin D associated with age-related cognitive decline and dementia

In a new study published earlier this month in JAMA Neurology, researchers demonstrated a significant association between vitamin D insufficiency and cognitive decline that is specifically seen in Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The results reinforce the importance of identifying vitamin D insufficiency among the elderly. Here, low vitamin D levels were associated with significantly faster rates of decline in memory and executive function performance. This study included approximately...Read more

Resveratrol helps to stabilize Alzheimer's disease biomarker

A new study published last week in the journal Neurology demonstrated that long-term, high-dose resveratrol stabilized amyloid-beta40 (Abeta40) in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. This biomarker declines when the disease progresses. Even though this is a single, small study, it is the largest and longest nationwide human clinical trial of high-dose resveratrol to date. The clinical trial was a randomized, phase II, placebo-controlled, double blind study in patients with mild...Read more

New study finds high prevalence of pre-diabetes and diabetes in the U.S.

According to a new study published in JAMA just three days ago, the increasing prevalence of diabetes may be leveling off. That being said, in 2011 through 2012, the estimated prevalence of diabetes among U.S. adults was 14% and the prevalence of pre-diabetes was 38%, which means about half of the U.S. adult population has either diabetes or pre-diabetes. Diabetes is a major cause of illness and death and is still a significant problem in the U.S. The healthcare costs associated with diabetes...Read more

Vitamin D and its role in macular degeneration

Vitamin D has been extensively researched for its benefits in bone health, cancer, inflammation, and the immune system. A new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology last week found that vitamin D may be a critical player in eye health in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration, specifically among women who are genetically susceptible. This may have to do with its role in inflammation, which is believed to be involved in the development of macular degeneration. Macular...Read more

Are you allergic to the fruits and vegetables you eat? You may actually be reacting to the antibiotic residues in the food.

A recent article published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology discusses a case of a 10 year-old girl who had an anaphylactic reaction after eating blueberry pie. She had a history of asthma and seasonal allergies, and known allergies to penicillin and cow's milk, but she was not aware of being allergic to any of the ingredients in the pie. After much testing, it was discovered that the reaction was caused by streptomycin-contaminated blueberry. Streptomycin is a well-known antibiotic,...Read more

Green tea polyphenols protect spinal cord neurons against oxidative stress

Green tea polyphenols are a potential new aid for the recovery and regeneration of neurons after spinal cord injury. Several factors contribute to pathological changes secondary to spinal cord injury, with oxidative stress having a very important role. The formation of reaction oxygen species is the basic response to disease and trauma that contributes significantly to the injury. As a result, oxidative stress and inflammation cause the death of neurons and are the main processes leading to...Read more

Can probiotics help prevent obesity?

In a recent study, researchers at Vanderbilt tested a bacteria that can produce a “therapeutic compound” in the gut. The results showed that it stopped weight gain, insulin resistance and other health complications.  Past research has demonstrated that gut bacteria plays a role in the development of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  According to Sean Davis, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology at Vanderbilt, “The types of bacteria you have in your gut influence your...Read more

Is niacin safe?

There has been some recent negative news about niacin based on the HPS2-THRIVE study, and now we see it again, this time in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Let’s take a closer look at all of this.  First, in the recent HPS2-THRIVE study, which examined an investigational drug from Merck, the researchers state that niacin does not provide any benefits. The drug they looked at is a combination of extended-release niacin and laropiprant, a drug which partially blocks the flushing...Read more

Examining immune-related disorders and microbial balance

It has become increasingly clear that many diseases are triggered or influenced by changes in bacterial populations in the gut. The general view up until now has been that bacteria stimulate the immune system, which leads to inflammation or autoimmune diseases. In a recent study published in Immunity, researchers have painted a more complex picture. The immune system of the gastrointestinal tract not only prevents the invasion of pathogens, but it is more actively involved in the balance...Read more

The human gut has only a limited ability to convert folic acid to 5-MTHF.

There has been a lot of press on the link between MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) gene mutations and chronic disease. This has resulted in a great deal of concern with the particular form of folate that doctors are giving to their patients. As Director of Clinical and Product Support here at Designs for Health, I personally speak to approximately five doctors a day about this very topic. According to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the human gut appears...Read more

How our gut shifts throughout our lifetime

Posted on Fri, May 29, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

gutThe gut plays an essential role in our immune function as well as in the digestion and absorption of our food. The intestinal barrier provides an effective boundary from pathogenic bacteria as well as a healthy environment for beneficial bacteria. 

Our immune system has a tendency to decline with age, which makes us more susceptible to infections and increases our risk of various diseases. Researchers and clinicians in Italy have performed the first detailed study of how our gastrointestinal tract changes as we age and how this impacts our overall health. They compared samples from patients of different ages who had routine endoscopic exams and found that as we age the gut has an increase in interleukin 6 (IL-6), which causes the immune system to release IL-6 and trigger inflammation.

Further experiments have demonstrated that the increased levels of IL-6 directly lead to increased intestinal permeability with no physical differences seen in its structure. They also showed that there was a correlation between aging and a declining immune response to microbes, which may contribute to the increased susceptibility to infection often seen as we get older.

Whenever you have inflammation present, the tight junctions and intestinal mucosa can become damaged, causing gaps in the lining of the GI tract, also known as “leaky gut.” We have to remember that the GI lining is only one cell layer thick, with the immune system on the other side. Toxic byproducts in the digestive tract can be absorbed into the bloodstream. The molecules of food and toxins can make their way through the GI lining and then eventually affect other systems throughout the body. Controlling inflammation is vital in order to prevent inflammatory bowel diseases as well as many autoimmune disorders.

It is critical to address what triggers these changes in gut permeability and immune response (i.e., IL-6). Gut permeability can be affected by stress, gastrointestinal infections, NSAIDS, and alcohol. Nutrients such as L-glutamine and saccharomyces boulardii have many benefits on overall health, including their significant effects on intestinal barrier function. Glutamine is the main fuel of the colonocytes and saccharomyces boulardii has powerful effects protecting the intestinal epithelial cells, maintaining intestinal barrier function, and increasing sIgA secretion. This is significant since sIgA is the body’s primary immune response. In addition, vitamin D has an immunomodulatory effect on regulatory T cells.

Environmental triggers that can cause inflammation are gluten and other food sensitivities, as well as anything else present with the ingested food such as toxins or molds. In addition, it is essential to assess the nutrient status of the person. This can be antioxidant status, vitamins, essential fatty acids, vitamin D, etc. Antioxidants such as ubiquinone and essential fatty acids from fish oils can help to decrease IL-6.

The gastrointestinal microbiome changes as we age and it interacts with the gut lining as well as the immune system. There are specialty labs that can assess this microbiome by looking at the relative abundance and diversity of beneficial bacteria. In general, a high diversity of beneficial bacteria is associated with a positive health status, whereas a low diversity is associated with many chronic conditions. These labs also test digestion and absorption markers, inflammatory and immune status, and gastrointestinal infections and parasites.

Understanding and investigating these factors will help us find better ways to prevent chronic conditions. For example, if there is a dysbiosis, we can manipulate this through antimicrobials, proteolytic enzymes, probiotics, and other nutrients as a way to stay healthy as we get older.


Related DFH Products: L-Glutamine Powder, FloraMyces™, Hi-Po Emulsi-D3™, Q-Evail™, OmegAvail™, GI Microb-X™, Inflammatone™, & Probiotic Supreme™

For Related Information Listen to our Nutrient Roundtable:

Probiotics: Featuring Probiophage DF™ with Dr. Michael Jurgelewicz and also  featuring Andy Casagranda, CN and Dr. John Deaton, Ph.D. August 2014  


Source: Angela Man, Eugenio Bertelli, Silvia Rentini, Mari Regoli, Graham Briars, Mario Marini, Alastair Watson, Claudio Nicoletti. Age-associated modifications of intestinal permeability and innate immunity in human small intestine. Clinical Science, 2015; DOI:10.1042/CS20150046


Tags: Inflammation, microbiome, GI tract

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