Could Some Iron Supplements Raise Your Risk of Colon Cancer?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nathalie Scheers PhD Asst. Professor Chalmers University of Technology Dept of Biology and Biological Engineering Food and Nutrition Science Göteborg, Sweden 

Dr. Scheers

Nathalie Scheers PhD
Asst. Professor
Chalmers University of Technology
Dept of Biology and Biological Engineering
Food and Nutrition Science
Göteborg, Sweden 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Many different forms of iron supplements are used to treat iron deficiency symptoms or as phosphate binders in patients with renal disease. two of these iron supplements, the chelates ferric citrate and ferric EDTA have been observed to drive colon cancer in mice. In the newly published study in Oncotarget, we are reporting our work on how these iron compounds differ compared to the simple salt ferrous sulphate, which is another common iron supplement.

The main finding of this study was that ferric citrate and ferric EDTA promoted the cancer biomarker amphiregulin which in turn activated the MAP kinase ERK in gut epithelial cancer cells. There were no such effects in ferrous sulphate-treated cells.  Continue reading

Middle Eastern Diet Linked To Improved Microbiome in Liver Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

“Turkish Food” by Garry Knight is licensed under CC BY 2.0Jasmohan S. Bajaj, M.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology
Virginia Commonwealth University 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Altered gut microbiota composition can occur due to diseases and due to changes in the dietary practices. The interaction between these two and their linkage with clinical outcomes in liver diseases, such as cirrhosis is not clear from an international standpoint.

In this study we enrolled healthy subjects, and patients with cirrhosis who were either early or advanced in their process from USA and Turkey. We found that the Turkish subjects, who followed a Middle-eastern diet rich in vegetables and fermented milk products, had high microbial diversity, which was in turn associated with lower hospitalizations over 3 months. There was also an additional beneficial effect of coffee and tea intake. This protection persisted even when the clinical factors were accounted for. Continue reading

Small Intestinal Microbiome Adjusts To Dietary Fats and Sugar

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Eugene B. Chang, MD Martin Boyer Professor of Medicine Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery University of Chicago Chicago, IL  60637

Dr. Chang

Eugene B. Chang, MD
Martin Boyer Professor of Medicine
Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL  60637 and

Kristina Martinez-Guryn, Ph.D., R.D. Assistant Professor  Biomedical Sciences Program Midwestern University Downers Grove, IL.

Dr. Martinez-Guryn

Kristina Martinez-Guryn, Ph.D., R.D.
Assistant Professor 
Biomedical Sciences Program
Midwestern University
Downers Grove IL

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Martinez-Guryn: The original goal of this study was to understand why mice devoid of all microorganisms (germ free mice) are protected from diet-induced obesity. We demonstrate that these mice display severely impaired lipid absorption even when fed a high fat diet.

Dr. Chang: We found that many of the processes of dietary lipid digestion and absorption are dependent on and modulated by the gut microbiome which itself responds to dietary cues to adjust the small intestine’s ability and capacity to handle dietary lipids appropriately. This interplay is important for general health, but the findings are also relevant to conditions of overnutrition (obesity, metabolic syndrome) and undernutrition (starvation, environmental enteropathy).  In conditions of overnutrition, high fat, simple sugar, low fiber foods typical of western diets promote small intestinal microbes (which have been largely neglected by the scientific community) that promote fat digestion and absorption. This increases our capacity to assimilate dietary fats which can contribute to the overnutrition problem.  In conditions of undernutrition, these types of gut microbes are lost or minimally represented.  Thus, when nutritional repletion is started, the gut’s ability to upregulate its capacity for dietary lipid digestion and absorption is compromised.

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For Older Men, Dairy Food Intake Linked To Better Bone Health

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“bought a passive-aggressive amount of milk” by Paul Downey is licensed under CC BY 2.0Shivani Sahni, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Director, Nutrition Program
Associate Scientist, Musculoskeletal Research
Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife,
Boston  MA  02131-1097

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Previous studies have shown that higher milk intake is associated with higher bone mineral density. In one of our previous studies, we reported that higher dairy food intake was protective against bone loss especially among older adults who used vitamin D supplements. Older adults are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency because recommended intakes are difficult to achieve without fortified foods (such as dairy) or supplements. Vitamin D stimulates calcium absorption, which is beneficial for building bones. However, it is unclear if the effect of vitamin D on calcium absorption is substantial enough to translate into beneficial effects on bone.

Therefore, the current study determined the association of dairy food intake with bone health. We further examined whether these associations would be modified by vitamin D status.

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Sugar-Sweetened Beverages During Adolescence Linked To Dental Cavities

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Caries” by COM SALUD Agencia de comunicación is licensed under CC BY 2.0Teresa A. Marshall, PhD
Professor in the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry
University of Iowa College of Dentistry
Iowa City

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Dental caries is a process during which oral bacteria ferment carbohydrates to produce acid. The acid demineralizes enamel and/or dentin at the tooth surface leading to white spots and eventually cavitation in the tooth. Added sugars – those not naturally present in foods or beverages, but rather added during processing – are the primary type of carbohydrate associated with caries. Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs; beverages with added sugars) are the food/beverage category most associated with dental caries.

Historically, fluoride has protected against caries through remineralization of the enamel. However, there has been some question as to whether fluoride’s ability to protect against caries is overwhelmed by the quantity of added sugars currently consumed.

Oral hygiene behaviors – brushing and flossing – are thought protect against caries by disrupting the oral bacteria on the tooth.

Most studies have investigated dietary factors and caries during early childhood, with less attention paid to caries during adolescence.

Our objective was to identify associations between longitudinal beverage intakes and adolescent caries experience, while also considering fluoride intake and tooth brushing behaviors.

We followed a group of children from birth through age 17 years; during this time period, we looked at their beverage intakes, fluoride intakes and brushing behaviors every 3-6 months. We calculated their average milk, 100% juice, SSB, water/water-based beverage and fluoride intakes from 6 months through 17 years, and daily tooth brushing from 1 through 17 years.

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Dietary Fiber Promotes Beneficial Bacteria, Improving Glucose Control in Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Liping Zhao PhD, Professor Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Rutgers University-New Brunswick NJ

Dr. Zhao

Liping Zhao PhD, Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Rutgers University-New Brunswick NJ

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Microbes in the human gut (collectively known as the gut microbiota) provide many functions that are important for human health. A notable example is that some gut bacteria are able to ferment non-digestible carbohydrates in our diet, e.g. dietary fibers, to produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These SCFAs nourish our gut epithelial cells, reduce inflammation, and play a role in appetite control. Deficiency of SCFAs has been associated with many diseases including type 2 diabetes. Many gut bacteria have the genes (and therefore the capacity) to produce SCFAs from carbohydrate fermentation. However, we know little about how these bacteria, as individual strains and as a group, actually respond to an increased supply of carbohydrates. This is key to improve clinical efficacy of dietary fiber interventions to improve human health. Continue reading

Can Probiotics and Fish Oil Supplements During Pregnancy Reduce Childhood Allergies?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Robert Boyle, 
Reader in Paediatric Allergy
Department of Medicine
Imperial College London

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Diet in early life may influence whether or not an infant develops allergies or autoimmune disease. We undertook a project for the UK Food Standards Agency to evaluate the evidence for this.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 

Response: We found that a probiotic supplement during the last 2-4 weeks of pregnancy and during breastfeeding may reduce an infant’s chances of developing eczema; and that omega-3 fatty acid supplements taken from the middle of pregnancy (20 weeks gestation) through the first few months of breastfeeding may reduce an infant’s chances of developing food allergy. We also found links between longer duration of breastfeeding and improved infant health, but for most other variations in diet during pregnancy or infancy we did not find evidence for a link with allergies or autoimmune disease.

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Does Caffeine Really Affect Your Sleep?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Coffee being poured Coffee pot pouring cup of coffee. copyright American Heart AssociationJulia F. van den Berg, PhD

Leiden University, Department of Clinical Psychology
Leiden, The Netherlands 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Caffeine is the most used psychoactive substance worldwide, mostly consumed via coffee, energy drinks, tea and chocolate. Experimental studies have shown that caffeine can negatively affect sleep quality. The timing of caffeine consumption may play a role; the closer to bedtime, the more caffeine consumption is  likely to have a negative effect on sleep. We also wondered if chronotype, being a morning or evening person, would make a difference in the effect of caffeine on sleep.

We sent out questionnaires on sleep quality, chronotype, and a detailed questionnaire on type and timing of caffeine use to 880 secondary education students (mean age 21.3 years). We found that for the entire group, the amount of caffeine per week was not associated with sleep quality, regardless of chronotype. However, when we divided the group into subgroups of students who did, and students who did not usually consume caffeine in the evening (after 6PM), we found something interesting. Only for students who did not consume caffeine in the evening (20% of the total sample), a higher total caffeine consumption per week was associated with poorer sleep, in spite of the fact that these students consumed a lot less  caffeine per week than the group who did consume caffeine in the evening.

This suggests a self-regulatory mechanism: students who know they are sensitive to caffeine do not drink it in the evening, nevertheless, the caffeinated beverages they drink during the day do affect their sleep.

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Both Vegetarian and Mediterranean Diets Beneficial for Weight Loss and Heart Health

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Vegetarian dan dan noodles” by Andrea Nguyen is licensed under CC BY 2.0Francesco Sofi, MD PhD
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine
University of Florence, Florence, Italy; Clinical Nutrition Unit, Careggi University Hospital
Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation Italy, Onlus IRCCS
Florence, Italy 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Mediterranean and Vegetarian diets are two of the most beneficial dietary patterns for prevention of chronic degenerative diseases.

No studies have been conducted in the same group of subjects, by comparing these two dietary profiles.

Main results are that both diets have been found to be beneficial for cardiovascular prevention, in the same group of subjects at low risk of cardiovascular disease.

In particular, vegetarian diet determined a reduction of total and LDL-cholesterol, whereas Mediterranean diet resulted in lower levels of triglycerides and some inflammatory parameters

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Wine Might Be Good For Dental Health

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Wine” by Uncalno Tekno is licensed under CC BY 2.0
M.Victoria Moreno-Arribas
Spanish National Research Council | CSIC 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Recent discoveries indicate polyphenols might also promote health by actively interacting with bacteria in the gut. Also, the intake of specific polyphenol-rich beverages and foods helps the maintenance of digestive health and prevention of disease status. However, the knowledge of the effects of polyphenols in relation to the prevention of dental diseases is still at an early stage.

The use of antiseptics and/or antibiotics in the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases can lead to unwanted effects. Therefore, there is a need to develop novel antimicrobial strategies useful for the prevention and management of these diseases. Oral epithelial cells normally constitute a physical barrier that prevents infections, but bacterial adhesion to host tissues constitutes a first key step in the infectious process.

With the final goal to elucidate the health properties of wine polyphenols at oral level, we studied their properties as an anti-adhesive therapy for periodontal and cariogenic prevention, as well as the combined action between wine polyphenols and oral probiotic strains in the management of microbial-derived oral diseases. In particular, we checked out the effect of two red wine polyphenols, as well as commercially available grape seed and red wine extracts, on bacteria that stick to teeth and gums and cause dental plaque, cavities and periodontal disease. Also, oral metabolism of polyphenols, including both oral microbiota and human mucosa cells, was investigated.  Continue reading