Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Nutrition / 23.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Sunday market in Paris: all organic food" by Richard Smith is licensed under CC BY 2.0Julia Baudry & Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot PhD Centre de Recherche Epidémiologie et Statistique Sorbonne Paris Cité, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) U1153, Institut National de la Recherche MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Among the environmental risk factors for cancer, there are concerns about exposure to different classes of pesticides, notably through occupational exposure. Organic foods are less likely to contain pesticide residues than conventional foods, and studies have showed that an organic diet reduces exposure to certain pesticides (Baudry et al 2018, Oates et al 2014, Curl et al 2015). In the general population, the primary route of exposure is diet, especially intake of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. However, few studies have examined the association of organic food consumption with cancer risk. In a population of 68 946 French adults from the NutriNet-Santé study, we found a reduction of 25% of cancer risk among consumers with a high frequency of organic foods compared to consumers with a low frequency, after accounting for many factors (such as lifestyle, diet and sociodemographic factors). Specifically a 34% and 76% decrease in risk was observed for post-menopausal breast cancer and all lymphomas, respectively, among frequent organic food consumers compared to consumers with a low organic food consumption frequency.
Author Interviews, Nutrition, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 19.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Tortillas di una miscela di mais azzurro tostato" by fugzu is licensed under CC BY 2.0Vijaya Kancherla, PhD Research Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Epidemiologist, Center for Spina Bifida Prevention Rollins School of Public Health Emory University Atlanta GA 30322 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: The scientific evidence since 1991 has shown that folic acid prevents from 35%-95% of neural tube birth defects that are caused due to low folic acid (also known as vitamin B9) in the mother’s diet prior to conception and during early pregnancy. Neural tube defects form in the embryo at 4th week of gestation when most women are unaware they are pregnant. Taking any amount of folic acid after the 4th week of pregnancy will not prevent neural tube defects. There is no cure for these birth defects. So, it matters for women to have enough folic acid prior to conception and in the first four weeks of pregnancy. If a woman is not taking prenatal vitamins that early, folic acid fortified foods come to rescue. Foods fortified with folic acid will prevent folate deficiency for everyone, and offer the benefit to mothers who were not planning their pregnancies or were not taking folic acid pills. If corn masa flour and tortillas were fortified with folic acid, that would help millions of reproductive aged women have healthy stores of folic acid in their bodies, to prepare them for their pregnancy, irrespective of their pregnancy plans. Prior to April 2016, folic acid (also known as vitamin B9) was not allowed to be added to corn masa flour (or products made from masa such as tortillas and tortilla chips) in the US. So, there was no expectation of having folic acid in these products. The March of Dimes, Spina Bifida Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatricians, Gruma Corporation and others filed a petition with the US FDA and succeeded in allowing millers to voluntarily add folic acid to corn masa flour and tortillas as a food additive. This regulation was implemented by the US FDA in April 2016. 
Author Interviews, Infections, MRSA, NIH, Probiotics / 12.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "staph aureus on blood agar" by Iqbal Osman is licensed under CC BY 2.0Pipat Piewngam Postdoctorol fellow Pathogen Molecular Genetics Section, Laboratory of Bacteriology, NIAID/NIH Bethesda, MD, USA 20892  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Our team at National Institutes of health, Mahidol University and Rajamangala University of Technology in Thailand has reported that the consumption of probiotic Bacillus bacteria comprehensively abolishes colonization with the dangerous pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus. We hypothesized that the composition of the human gut microbiota affects intestinal colonization with S. aureus. We collected fecal samples from 200 healthy individuals from rural populations in Thailand and analyzed the composition of the gut microbiome by 16S rRNA sequencing. Surprisingly, we did not detect significant differences in the composition of the microbiome between S. aureus carriers and non-carriers. We then sampled the same 200 people for S. aureus in the gut (25 positive) and nose (26 positive). Strikingly, we found no S. aureus in any of the samples where Bacillus were present. In mouse studies, we discovered S. aureus Agr quorum-sensing signaling system that must function for the bacteria to grow in the gut. Intriguingly, all of the more than 100 Bacillus isolates we had recovered from the human feces efficiently inhibited that system. Then, we discovered that the fengycin class of Bacillus lipopeptides achieves colonization resistance by inhibiting that system. To further validate their findings, we colonized the gut of mice with S. aureus and fed them B. subtilis spores to mimic probiotic intake. Probiotic Bacillus given every two days eliminated S. aureus in the guts of the mice. The same test using Bacillus where fengycin production had been removed had no effect, and S. aureus grew as expected. This is one of the first study that provide human evidence supporting the biological significance of probiotic bacterial interference and show that such interference can be achieved by blocking a pathogen’s signaling system.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Red Meat / 05.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "bacon&eggs" by ilaria is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Maryam Farvid, Ph.D., Research Scientist   Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prior prospective studies on red and processed meat consumption with risk of breast cancer have produced inconsistent results. Current meta-analysis of 15 prospective studies shows that women who eat a high amount of processed meat each day may have a higher risk of breast cancer than those who don't eat or have a low intake in their diet. 
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, JAMA, NIH, Nutrition, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Salt-Sodium / 03.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44967" align="alignleft" width="133"]Dr. George Howard DPH, for the research team Professor and Chair of Biostatistics University of Alabama at Birmingham Dr. Howard[/caption] Dr. George Howard DPH, for the research team Professor and Chair of Biostatistics University of Alabama at Birmingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Perhaps the most important distinction to draw for the readers is that this is not a paper about risk factors for hypertension, but rather a paper that looks for contributors to the black-white difference in the presence of hypertension.  This racial difference in hypertension is the single biggest contributor to the immense disparities in cardiovascular diseases (stroke, MI, etc.) that underpin the approximate 4-year difference in black-white life expectancy.  As such, this work is “going back upstream” to understand the causes that lead to blacks having a higher prevalence of hypertension than whites with hopes that changing this difference will lead to reductions in the black-white disparities in cardiovascular diseases and life expectancy.   This difference in the prevalence of hypertension is immense … in our national study of people over age 45, about 50% of whites have hypertension compared to about 70% of blacks … that is HUGE.   We think that changing this difference is (at least one of) the “holy grail” of disparities research. This study demonstrates that there are several “targets” where changes could be made to reduce the black-white difference in hypertension, and thereby the black-white difference in cardiovascular diseases and life expectancy; however, the most “potent” of these appears to be diet changes.   Even though we know what foods promote a heart healthy lifestyle, we still have major differences in terms of how that message is being adopted by various groups of Americans.  We can’t know from our data what about the Southern diet is driving these racial differences in hypertension but we can begin to design community based interventions that could possibly help to reduce these racial disparities through diet.  It is interested that diet more than being overweight was the biggest contributor to the racial disparities in hypertension.  This would suggest we might want to consider interventions to increase health foods in the diet while minimizing fried foods and processed meats. While this is not a clinical trial that “proves” that changes in diet will reduce the disparity in blood pressure, we consider the “message” of the paper to be good news, as the things that we found that contribute to this black-white difference are things that can be changed.   While it is always hard for individual people to change their diet, it can be done.   More importantly, over time we as a society have been changing what we eat … but we need to “double down” and try to change this faster.   Also, policy changes of play a role to gently make changes in these diet, where for example Great Britain has been making policy changes to slowly remove salt from the diet.   These changes are possible … and as such, we may see a day when the black-white differences in hypertension (and thereby CVD and death) may be reduced. 
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 25.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44781" align="alignleft" width="133"]Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, MBA Director of Clinical Research Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Washington, DC 20016 Dr. Kahleova[/caption] Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, MBA Director of Clinical Research Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Washington, DC 20016  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The effects of carbohydrates on body weight and insulin sensitivity are controversial. In this 16-week randomized clinical trial, we tested the role of carbohydrate quantity and quality, as part of a plant-based diet, on body weight, body composition, and insulin resistance. We have demonstrated that carbohydrates and dietary fiber play important roles in the regulation of body weight, body composition, and insulin resistance in overweight individuals. Increased consumption of total carbohydrate was associated with a decrease in BMI and volume of visceral fat, even after adjustment for energy intake. Increased consumption of total and particularly insoluble fiber was associated with a decrease in BMI, fat mass, and volume of visceral fat.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Gluten, Lancet, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 21.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Knud Josefsen, senior researcher Bartholin Institute, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen K, Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In a large population of pregnant women, we found that the risk of the offspring being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before the age of 15.6 years (the follow up period) was doubled in the group of women ingesting the highest amounts of gluten (20-66 g/day) versus the group of women ingesting the lowest amounts of gluten (0-7 g/day). For every additional 10 grams of gluten ingested, the risk for type 1 diabetes in the child increased by a factor of 1.31. It the sense that it was a hypothesis that we specifically tested, we were not surprised. We had seen in animal experiments that a gluten-free diet during pregnancy protected the offspring from diabetes, and we wanted to see if we could prove the same pattern in humans. There could be many reasons why we would not be able to show the association, even if it was there (sample size, low quality data, covariates we could not correct for and so on), but we were off course pleasantly surprised that we found the association that we were looking for, in particular because it is quite robust
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Mediterranean Diet, Stroke / 20.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Vegetables” by Wagner T. Cassimiro "Aranha" is licensed under CC BY 2.0Professor Phyo Kyaw Myint MBBS MD FRCP(Edin) FRCP(Lond) Clinical Chair in Medicine of Old Age Academic Lead: Ageing Clinical & Experimental Research & Director of Clinical Academic Training Development The Lead Academic, Aberdeen Clinical Academic Training (ACAT) Programmes School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition College of Life Sciences & Medicine, University of Aberdeen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: While Mediterranean Diet has been linked to reduced stroke risk it remains unclear (1) its impact on populations within non-Mediterranean countries; (2) its specific impact on different gender; (3) the effect observed when using more robust dietary assessments; and (4) which specific components of the diet are most protective. We therefore studied more than 23 thousand men and women (mainly British Caucasian) aged 40 years or older in Norfolk, UK as part of EPIC-Norfolk study and we found that the greater adherence to Mediterranean dietary pattern is linked to a significant reduction in stroke risk in women but not in men. This benefit was seen across the whole middle and older age population (particularly for women) regardless of their existing risk factors such as high blood pressure.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 17.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44445" align="alignleft" width="146"]Sascha Verbruggen, MD, PhD Pediatric intensivist Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital Dr. Verbruggen[/caption] Sascha Verbruggen, MD, PhD Pediatric intensivist Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In critically ill children treated in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) are often difficult to feed. The subsequent macronutrient deficit was found to be associated with impaired outcomes in the PICU. Furthermore, being undernourished in the PICU has also been associated with poor outcome of critical illness in children. These associations formed the basis for guidelines recommending initiation of parenteral nutritional support early when enteral feeding is insufficient. However, the multicenter randomised controlled trial (RCT) 'Pediatric Early versus Late Parenteral Nutrition in Critical Illness' (PEPaNIC), including 1440 critically ill children, showed that withholding PN for one week (Late-PN) resulted in fewer new infections and reduced the duration of PICU stay as compared to initiating PN at day 1 (Early-PN). However, withholding PN for one week in critically ill children, who are already undernourished upon admission to the PICU, raised concerns among experts. Therefore we set out to investigate the impact of withholding supplemental PN in a subgroup of critically ill children who were acutely undernourished upon admission to the PICU. 
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 15.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “omega 3” by Khaldaa Photographer is licensed under CC BY 2.0Yutaka MATSUOKA, MD, PhD Division Chief of Health Care Research, Behavioral Sciences and Survivorship Research Group, Center for Public Health Sciences, National Cancer Center Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Anxiety is the most commonly experienced psychiatric symptom. We have now two major treatment options that include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and pharmacotherapy.  However, CBT is time-consuming, costly, and limited in availability. And there is concern over potential side effects in pharmacotherapy. Evidence-based and safer treatment options are required. Omega-3 fatty acids have potential preventive and therapeutic effects on depression and anxiety. Clinical and preclinical studies support the effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acids as a treatment for anxiety disorders. Despite the largely positive findings of these trials, the clinical application of the findings is unfortunately limited by their small sample size. Improvement in anxiety symptoms were associated with omega-3 fatty acids treatment compared with controls. The anxiolytic effects of omega-3 fatty acids were also stronger in patients with clinical conditions than in subclinical populations. 
Author Interviews, Coffee, Kidney Disease / 14.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37320" align="alignleft" width="200"]Coffee Wikipedia image Coffee
Wikipedia image[/caption] Miguel Bigotte Vieira  MD Nephrology and Renal Transplantation Department Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte Lisbon, Portugal MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: An inverse relationship between coffee consumption and mortality has been reported in the general population. However, the association between caffeine consumption and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains unclear. We examined the association between varying levels of caffeine consumption and mortality among 4863 patients with CKD in a prospective nationwide cohort, using the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2010. Our study showed a protective effect of caffeine consumption among patients with chronic kidney disease. The reduction in mortality was present even after considering other important factors such as age, gender, race, smoking, other diseases, and diet. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Supplements / 09.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44351" align="alignleft" width="146"]Pieter Cohen, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Cambridge Health Alliance Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Dr. Cohen[/caption] Pieter Cohen, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Cambridge Health Alliance Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dietary supplements lead to an estimated 23,000 emergency department visits each year in the United States (US), and weight loss and sports supplements contribute to a disproportionately large number of these emergency department visits. It is not known which ingredients in weight loss and sports supplements pose the greatest risk to consumers, but there are stimulants found in botanical remedies that might pose risks. In the current study, we investigated the presence and quantity of higenamine a stimulant found in botanicals and available in sports and weight loss supplements sold in the US.
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Pediatrics, Probiotics / 23.08.2018

[caption id="attachment_44109" align="alignleft" width="117"]Hariom Yadav, PhD Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center Center on Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism Redox Biology & Medicine Ctr Sticht Center on Aging Dr. Yadav[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hariom Yadav, PhD Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center Center on Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism Redox Biology & Medicine Ctr Sticht Center on Aging MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Currently, the use of probiotics is increasing for health benefits of consumers, however the source of probiotics available in the market remains scarcely known. According to scientific community and regulatory standpoint, human-origin probiotics are highly recommended. Hence, we isolated these probiotics from baby diapers, because infant microbiome carries large number of beneficial bacteria. In addition, we optimized our probiotics to produce higher amount of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs; beneficial metabolites produced by the gut microbiome), because the levels of SCFAs decreases in several human diseases like obesity, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory bowel diseases. Hence, our probiotics can be used to bring back SCFAs levels and may benefit people suffering from these diseases.
Author Interviews, Coffee, Weight Research / 23.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Coffee being poured Coffee pot pouring cup of coffee. copyright American Heart Association Leah Panek-Shirley, PhD Assistant Professor Buffalo State College Health, Nutrition, and Dietetics Houston Texas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The findings of existing previous research evaluating the effects of caffeine on appetite and eating are equivocal. This study evaluated the effects of no (0 mg/kg body weight, e.g. placebo), low (1 mg/kg body weight), and moderate (3 mg/kg body weight) doses of caffeine in juice on appetite and eating in the laboratory and under free-living conditions. While this study identified a small decrease (about 70 calories) in caloric intake after consuming the low (1 mg/kg) dose of caffeine in the laboratory at breakfast, this difference did not persist throughout the entire day.  In addition, there were no differences in hunger, fullness, thirst, or desire to eat as a result of caffeine.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Circadian Rhythm, Nutrition / 19.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Christmas Roast and Ham Dinner. Had Tamales for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. #Roast #Ham #ChristmasDinner #Christmas #Champagne #Dinner #Foodstagram” by Yvonne Esperanza is licensed under CC BY 2.0Manolis Kogevinas, MD, PhD Research Professor NCDs & Environment Group Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) - Campus MAR Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) (office 194) Barcelona, Spain MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We did the study for two main reasons. (i) breast and to a less extent prostate cancer are the cancers that have been associated with night shift work and resulting circadian disruption (disruption of the natural day-light cycle); (ii) experimental studies in animals indicate that timing of diet is important. For example, giving an hypercaloric diet to mice during the day results in obesity, while giving the same diet during the night does not. Mice are nocturnal animals and this means that there normal eating time is the night when they can metabolise what they eat. So, would something similar affect humans? When we eat in late hours at a time when “normally” (normally in the sense of evolution) we would be resting. In this study we show that adherence to a more diurnal eating pattern and specifically an early supper and a long interval between last meal and sleep are associated with a lower breast and prostate cancer risk. Specifically having super before 9pm and having an interval of 2 hours between the last big meal and sleep, were both associated with an approximately 20% prevention of breast and prostate cancer) compared to those who have supper after 10pm or those who eat and then sleep very close after supper. Also, the strongest protection was found in “morning types” as compared to “evening types”. Morning types are expected to function worse than evening types in late evening so late suppers may have more adverse effects on them.
Antioxidants, Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pulmonary Disease, Supplements / 18.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43251" align="alignleft" width="144"]Scott D Sagel MD PhD Professor of Pediatrics University of Colorado School of Medicine Aurora, Colorado Dr. Sagel[/caption] Scott D Sagel MD PhD Professor of Pediatrics University of Colorado School of Medicine Aurora, Colorado MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Inflammation is an important feature of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease and contributes to lung damage and lung function decline in CF. We need safe and effective anti-inflammatory treatments in CF. Anti-oxidant therapy has been an area of promise, but with mixed results in CF. This clinical trial, conducted at 15 CF centers affiliated with the cystic fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Development Network, enrolled 73 patients who were 10 years and older (average age 22 years), with pancreatic insufficiency, which causes malabsorption of antioxidants. Subjects were randomized to either a multivitamin containing multiple antioxidants including carotenoids such as beta(β)-carotene, tocopherols (vitamin E), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), and selenium or to a control multivitamin without antioxidant enrichment. The antioxidants used in the study were delivered in a capsule specifically designed for individuals with difficulties absorbing fats and proteins, including those with cystic fibrosis.
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 17.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Home-Grown Chilis” by barockschloss is licensed under CC BY 2.0Baskaran Thyagarajan, M. Pharm., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics and Neuroscience Molecular Signaling Laboratory University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy Laramie, Wyoming 82071  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The culinary benefit of chili peppers is known for decades. Previous research works have identified the benefits of chili peppers for treating pain and metabolic diseases.  Recently, we have discovered that CAPSAICIN, the chief ingredient in natural chili peppers, triggers the conversion of energy storing white adipocytes into energy expending brown like (Beige or brown in white, BRiTE, cells). This increases thermogenesis and counters  high fat diet-induced obesity without modifying energy intake (in other words, without causing appetite suppression). Our published research clearly demonstrates the expression of capsaicin receptor in the white and brown adipose tissues and activation of these receptors (TRPV1, transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily 1) by capsaicin underlies its anti-obesity effect. Since capsaicin is pungent, we have developed a polymer coated orally bioavailable formulation of capsaicin. This polymer coating decreases the burst release of capsaicin, which reduces its pungency. Also, the polymer coating sustains the release of capsaicin for longer period of time, which will enhance its (capsaicin’s) bioavailability in the body.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Nutrition, Stroke / 16.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Milk” by Mike Mozart is licensed under CC BY 2.0Marcia C. de Oliveira Otto, PhD, FAHA Assistant Professor Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences University of Texas Houston, TX 77030-3900 | MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our research adds to a growing body of evidence showing no harm in relation to heart disease or overall mortality associated with consumption of whole-fat dairy foods. The findings also indicate that one of three fatty acids present in dairy fat was linked to lower risk of stroke among older adults. To the best of our knowledge, ours was the first large study to use repeated measures of fatty acids over time and evaluate association with mortality in older adults, which allowed us to expand and contribute to this important debate regarding fat intake and health.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Nutrition, OBGYNE / 05.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_42888" align="alignleft" width="135"]Joshua L. Roffman, MD Department of Psychiatry Mass General Hospital Dr. Roffman[/caption] Joshua L. Roffman, MD Department of Psychiatry Mass General Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Autism, schizophrenia, and other serious mental illness affecting young people are chronic, debilitating, and incurable at present.  Recent public health studies have associated prenatal exposure to folic acid, a B-vitamin, with reduced subsequent risk of these illnesses.  However, until this point, biological evidence supporting a causal relationship between prenatal folic acid exposure and reduced psychiatric risk has remained elusive. We leveraged the rollout of government-mandated folic acid fortification of grain products in the U.S. from 1996-98 as a "natural experiment" to determine whether increased prenatal folic acid exposure influenced subsequent brain development.  This intervention, implemented to reduce risk of spina bifida and other disabling neural tube defects in infants, rapidly doubled blood folate levels among women of childbearing age in surveillance studies. Across two large, independent cohorts of youths age 8 to 18 who received MRI scans, we observed increased cortical thickness, and a delay in age-related cortical thinning, in brain regions associated with schizophrenia risk among individuals who were born during or after the fortification rollout, compared to those born just before it.  Further, delayed cortical thinning also predicted reduced risk of psychosis spectrum symptoms, a finding that suggests biological plausibility in light of previous work demonstrating early and accelerated cortical thinning among school-aged individuals with autism or psychosis.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Nutrition / 29.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_42874" align="alignleft" width="200"]Ulrich Pfeffer, PhD Head of the Functional Genomics lab IRCCS AOU San Martino - IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro Genova, Italy Dr. Pfeffer[/caption] Ulrich Pfeffer, PhD Head of the Functional Genomics lab IRCCS AOU San Martino - IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro Genova, Italy  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Curcumin is well known as a dietary integrator and in alternative medicine. Many previous studies showed its anti-cancer and many other beneficial activities. We and others had shown that these activities rely on its ability to reduce inflammation, which is an important factor in cancer development. This activity had also been described in much detail. It appears that curcumin inhibits the master regulator of the inflammatory program, the so called Nuclear factor kappa B, NFκB. In the present study, we asked whether Curcumin also affects tumor cell metabolism and if so, how. We show that curcumin inhibits a central enzyme of the cell metabolism, the ATP-Synthase, that stands at the end of the chain that burns sugar and produces energy. In tumor cells, this also leads to the production of reactive oxygen species, ROS, that kill the cancer cell.
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Nutrition, UCLA / 27.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_42781" align="alignleft" width="149"]Adam Ford, BS Research fellow with Dr. April Armstrong Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California Adam Ford[/caption] Adam Ford, BS Research fellow with Dr. April Armstrong Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our psoriasis patients have long asked us about the role of diet on psoriasis. Previously, there was a lack of evidence synthesis on the relationship between psoriasis and diet. As such, providers were mostly unable to address their patients questions on the role of diet on psoriasis. This pivotal effort from the National Psoriasis Foundation has been a few years in the making. We looked at the role of diet on psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis based on a careful synthesis of the scientific studies available to us currently.
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Salt-Sodium / 23.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Salt-SodiumDr. Feng J He PhD Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Studies have shown that there is a strong linear relationship between sodium intake and blood pressure and raised blood pressure is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. The current mean population sodium intake among adults in most countries is approximately 4,000 mg/d (10 g/d salt). The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended a 30% reduction in sodium intake by 2025 with an eventual target of less than 2,000 mg/d (5 g/d salt) for all countries. Several recent cohort studies have challenged the WHO’s recommendations, as these studies suggested that there was a J or U-shaped relationship between sodium and risk, i.e. lower and higher sodium intake both were associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and deaths. However, these studies have several severe methodological problems, one of which is the use of a biased or unreliable estimate of individual’s usual sodium intake, e.g. a single spot urine with the Kawasaki formula. Our study, for the first time, has compared the relationship of sodium intake and mortality, based on various methods to assess usual sodium intake, including estimates based on the Kawasaki formula (single and average of multiple days) and a single measured 24-hour urine, with the gold standard method, i.e. the average of multiple non-consecutive measured 24-h urines.
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, PLoS, Probiotics / 21.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_42623" align="alignleft" width="133"]Daniel Reis MA Graduate Student Clinical Psychology University of Kansas Daniel Reis[/caption] Daniel Reis MA Graduate Student Clinical Psychology University of Kansas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Probiotics have generated considerable interest as a possible treatment for numerous forms of physical and mental illness. Preliminary evidence from both preclinical and clinical studies suggest that probiotics may be able to reduce anxiety. Our goal was to comprehensively review and summarize existing preclinical and clinical studies. Overall, probiotic administration reduced anxiety-like behaviors in rodents, but only in those with some form of experimentally-induced disease (such as early-life stress or socieal defeat). Probiotics did not reduce anxiety in humans.
Amgen, Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Gluten / 07.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_42052" align="alignleft" width="135"]Markku Mäki, MD, PhD Professor (emeritus) at the University of Tampere and Presently research director at the Tampere University Hospital Tampere, Finland Prof. Mäki[/caption] Markku Mäki, MD, PhD Professor (emeritus) at the University of Tampere and Presently research director at the Tampere University Hospital Tampere, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The only treatment for this life-long gluten-induced autoimmune systemic disease is a strict avoidance of wheat, rye and barley, the food cereals which contain gluten, the environmental trigger and driving force in celiac disease.  Gluten causes intestinal inflammation, usually with (but sometimes without) gastrointestinal or nutritional symptoms or signs, and with frequent extra-intestinal diseases. However, it is impossible for celiac disease patients to avoid gluten entirely and indefinitely and a third of patients report symptoms on a strict gluten-free diet. Gut mucosal healing is not optimal in half of the patients, and inflammation and injury is detected for years after starting the diet, presumably due to contamination with gluten in the diet. This is why patients are requesting, and academia and industry are looking for novel adjunct therapies for celiac disease. Initially, these therapies are tested to prevent the consequences of hidden gluten; the ultimate goal being that also celiacs could one day eat safely wheat, barley and rye products. Some 20 novel experimental therapies are at present actively being investigated (modifying wheat or different drugs, devices and vaccines/immunotherapy). The present study investigated whether blocking interleukin 15, an important mediator of celiac disease, reduces or prevents gluten-driven ill health, both the inflammation and injury at the small intestinal mucosal level and gluten-induced symptoms. The experimental drug used was Amgen’s AMG 714, a human monoclonal antibody, used at a low and high dose, in the presence or absence of a high-dose gluten challenge.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Supplements / 31.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Pills Vitamins Macro April 22, 2012 4” by Steven Depolo is licensed under CC BY 2.0David J.A. Jenkins, MD, PhD, DSc Professor and Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism Department of Nutritional Sciences University of Toronto  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study was requested by the editor of JACC (Dr. Valentin Fuster) due to the widespread use of vitamin and mineral supplementation by the public and the requirement to know if there were any benefits or harms for cardiovascular disease. Our study was a follow-up to the US Preventive Services Task Force 2013 recommendations.
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Red Meat / 31.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “mmmm Meat” by Glen MacLarty is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Jyrki Virtanen, PhD Adjunct professor of nutritional epidemiology Heli Virtanen, MSc University of Eastern Finland Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition Kuopio, Finland  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies have found that animal sources of protein may have an adverse impact on the risk of cardiovascular diseases, like myocardial infarct, whereas plant sources of protein have had an opposite impact. In this study we investigated that how protein intake from different dietary sources is associated with developing heart failure in men during the study’s follow-up. During the mean follow-up time of about 22 years, 334 men developed heart failure. The main finding of the study was that higher protein intake was associated with a moderately higher risk of heart failure and the findings were similar with protein from most dietary sources, although the association was stronger with protein from animal sources. Only protein from fish and eggs were not associated with the risk in our study.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Vegetarians / 30.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Vegetarian Skewers” by Geoff Peters is licensed under CC BY 2.0Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D. Director of clinical research Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Washington, DC 20016  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: In this study, my research team and I reviewed multiple clinical trials and observational studies to determine the links between diet and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. We found that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of heart attack by more than 80 percent—something no drug has ever accomplished. We also found strong and consistent evidence that plant-based dietary patterns (with few or no animal products and rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes) can prevent and even reverse atherosclerosis and decrease other markers of CVD risk, including blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. We found that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by about 40 percent overall. 
Author Interviews, Autism, Environmental Risks, Fish, OBGYNE, Toxin Research / 23.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Fish” by Dhruvaraj S is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Caroline M Taylor Wellcome Trust Research Fellow Centre for Child and Adolescent Health Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol Oakfield House, Oakfield Grove, Bristol MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Mercury is a toxic metal that is widespread in the environment. In pregnancy, mercury in the mother’ bloodstream is transferred through the placenta to the fetus, where is can affect development of the nervous system. Mercury from vaccines has been the focus of attention particularly in regard to a link with autism in children. However, the amount of mercury used in the vaccines is small in comparison with mercury from the diet and atmospheric pollution, and in the EU at least, childhood vaccines no longer contain this preservative. The fear that mercury is linked to autism has persisted, despite increasing evidence that this is not the case. The aim of our study was to look at mercury from the diet rather than vaccines – specifically from fish – in pregnant women. We measured the women’s mercury levels in their blood and asked them about how much fish they ate. We then followed up their children for 9 years and recorded how many of them had autism diagnosed within that time. We also measured how many of them had autist traits by measuring their social and communication difficulties.  The data were part of the Children of the 90s study (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children – ALSPAC), which is based in Bristol, UK.