Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research / 31.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50502" align="alignleft" width="151"] Dr. Dunn[/caption] Dr. Amy Dunn, PhD Kaczorowski lab The Jackson Laboratory  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Environmental factors, such as a poor diet, are known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. But the mechanisms are complex, and it is not known how such environmental perturbations interact with individual genetic variation to confer disease risk. Previous studies have not adequately addressed how the combination of genetic variant and environmental factors combine to alter cognitive response to a poor diet. To investigate gene-by-environment interactions, we fed either a normal diet or a high-fat diet to a genetically diverse Alzheimer’s disease mouse model population starting at six months of age and monitored metabolic and cognitive function. We observed accelerated working memory decline in the mice on the high-fat diet after eight weeks, with substantial gene-by diet effects on both cognitive and metabolic traits. Metabolic dysfunction was more closely related to cognitive function in mice carrying Alzheimer’s mutations than in those without. Interestingly, the high-fat diet affected metabolic function differently in female versus male mice. 
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 28.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dale Morrison, PhD School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The study was conducted using a model of overfeeding that is likely to be representative of a typical Western overeating diet, high in both carbohydrates and fats; as opposed to a predominantly high-fat diet model that is commonly used in the literature. Our purpose was to examine which tissues are impaired first in response to overeating with a normal dietary composition. We initially hypothesized, based on earlier studies, that the liver would be impaired first by short-term overeating and then skeletal muscle (which soaks up much of the glucose following a meal) would be impaired much later with chronic overeating. However, we didn’t find this. The study found that the body copes with short periods of overeating with additional carbohydrates and makes adjustments by shifting metabolism towards utilizing these excess carbohydrates. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Red Meat / 22.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48738" align="alignleft" width="158"]Marta Guasch-Ferre, PhD Research Scientist, Dept of Nutrition, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Instructor of Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02115 Dr. Guasch-Ferré[/caption] Marta Guasch-Ferre, PhD Research Scientist, Dept of Nutrition Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Instructor of Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicin Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02115   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Previous findings from randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of red meat on cardiovascular disease risk factors have been inconsistent. But our new study, which makes specific comparisons between diets high in red meat versus diets high in other types of foods, shows that substituting red meat with high-quality protein sources lead to more favorable changes in cardiovascular risk factors. That is, to properly understand the health effects of red meat, it’s important to pay attention to the comparison diet. People do not simply eat more or less meat – it will almost always be in substitution with other foods. 
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Red Meat / 16.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48626" align="alignleft" width="145"]Heli Virtanen, PhD StudentUniversity of Eastern Finland Heli Virtanen[/caption] Heli Virtanen, PhD Student University of Eastern Finland  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Optimal amount of protein in diet for supporting longevity is unclear. In addition, there have been indications that different protein sources have differential associations with mortality risk.  Thus, we investigated the associations of proteins and protein sources with mortality risk in the Finnish men of the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Geriatrics, Nutrition, Protein, Weight Research / 18.02.2019

[caption id="attachment_47536" align="alignleft" width="200"]Kristen M. Beavers Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Exercise Science Department of Biostatistical Sciences Wake Forest School of Medicine Winston-Salem, NC Dr. Beavers[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristen M. Beavers PhD, MPH, RD Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Exercise Science Department of Biostatistical Sciences Wake Forest School of Medicine Winston-Salem, NC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Weight loss recommendation for older adults with obesity is controversial, in part because overall weight loss is accompanied by loss of muscle and bone, which may exacerbate age-related risk of disability and fracture. Identification of interventions that can preserve muscle and bone while promoting fat loss should maximize cardiometabolic benefit, while minimizing potential harm to the musculoskeletal system. This randomized controlled trial was originally designed to test whether a higher protein, nutritionally complete meal plan could preserve lean mass and mobility in older adults undergoing a six month intentional weight loss program. Four publications have resulted from this study: * “Effect of an Energy-Restricted, Nutritionally Complete, Higher Protein Meal Plan on Body Composition and Mobility in Older Adults with Obesity,” Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, published online in advance of print June 21, 2018 * “Effect of a Hypocaloric, Nutritionally Complete, Higher-Protein Meal Plan on Bone Density and Quality in Older Adults With Obesity,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published online in advance of print Jan. 9, 2019 * “Effect of Intentional Weight Loss on Mortality Biomarkers in Older Adults With Obesity,” Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, published online in advance of print Aug. 20, 2018 * “Effects of a Hypocaloric, Nutritionally Complete, Higher Protein Meal Plan on Regional Body Fat and Cardiometabolic Biomarkers in Older Adults with Obesity,” Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, published online in advance of print Feb. 11, 2019 Across the four publications, we found that: * Participants lost about 18 pounds, most of it fat (87 percent), and preserved muscle mass. The control group lost about half a pound. * Even when participants lost weight, they maintained bone mass. In fact, trabecular bone score, a measure of bone quality which predicts fracture risk, seemed to improve. * Fat was lost in the stomach, hips, thighs and rear, which is important for preventing or controlling cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes and stroke. * Participants’ score on the Healthy Aging Index, which measures biomarkers that predict mortality and longevity, improved by 0.75 points.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Weight Research / 09.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Compare-the-Use-of-Carbohydrates-and-Lipids-in-Energy-Storage" by Zappys Technology Solutions is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kirsi-Marja Zitting, Ph.D. Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Departments of Medicine and Neurology Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA 02115 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study is a follow-up study to our previous study where we found that chronic insufficient sleep together with chronic jet lag is associated with adverse changes in metabolism, including increase in blood sugar levels (Buxton et al. Science Translational Medicine, 2012). The present study focuses on the influence of the time of day on metabolism, which has not been investigated in humans independent of the effects of sleep, physical activity and diet.
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, 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, JAMA, Weight Research / 24.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Diabetes Test” by Victor is licensed under CC BY 2.0Sharayah Carter PhD candidate|BNutDiet|BMedPharmSc (Hons)|APD School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences University of South Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Intermittent energy restriction is a new popular diet method with promising effects on metabolic function but limited research exists on its effects on improving glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. The findings of our research demonstrate that a diet with 2-days of severe energy restriction per week is comparable to a diet with daily moderate energy restriction for glycaemic control. 
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, Genetic Research, Weight Research / 21.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “In-N-Out meal #1” by Chris Makarsky is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Christina Holzapfel PhD Junior Research Group Leader at Institute for Nutritional Medicine Technical University of Munich MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A lot of articles about genetic factors and nutritional intake have been published in the last years. Findings are inconsistent and it is not clear, whether genetic variants, especially associated with body mass index, are associated with nutritional intake. Therefore we performed a systematic literature search in order to get an overview about the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms and total energy, carbohydrate and fat intakes. We identified about specific search terms and their combinations more than 10,000 articles. Of these, 39 articles were identified for a relationship between genetic factors and total energy, carbohydrate, or fat consumption. In all studies, we most frequently encountered the fat mass and obesity (FTO) associated gene as well as the melanocortin 4 receptor gene (MC4R). There are indications of a relationship between these two genes and total energy intake. However, the evaluation of the studies did not provide a uniform picture. There is only limited evidence for the relationship between the FTO gene and low energy intake as well as between the MC4R gene and increased energy intake.
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.
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, Nutrition / 09.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Eggs” by John Morgan is licensed under CC BY 2.0Nick Fuller PhD Charles Perkins Centre Research Program Director University of Sydney MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is a disparity in research findings between epidemiological studies and randomised controlled trials in those with type 2 diabetes mellitus. A lot of the research showing that a high egg consumption (6 or more eggs per week) is detrimental to a person’s health was conducted at a time when we were told to avoid eggs. People that were eating a high egg diet during that time were also likely to have other poor eating habits, such as one high in saturated fat and low in wholegrain carbohydrates. These studies did not control for such confounding factors. As a result of this disparity in findings between epidemiological and controlled studies this has resulted in differing guidelines for recommended egg intake between countries. To address a lack of randomised controlled trials in this field we conducted a large study over 12-months to assess the effect of a high egg consumption (12 eggs per week) on heart disease and diabetes risk factors in a group of people at high risk of cardiovascular heart disease – diagnosed with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes mellitus. 140 people were randomised to a high egg diet (12 eggs per week) or a low egg diet (less than 2 eggs per week) and advised on the principles of a healthy diet. For example, including plenty of wholegrain and low glycemic index carbohydrate sources and swapping sources of saturated fat (e.g. butter) for sources of poly and mono-unsaturated fat (e.g. avocado or olive oil). They followed their respective high or low egg diet for 12 months and over the time we measured a comprehensive list of risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Both the low and high egg groups had the same improvements in the health at the end of the 12 months and the high egg diet did not result in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Nutrition, Weight Research / 01.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_13525" align="alignleft" width="112"]Edward "Ted" Weiss, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Saint Louis University Saint Louis MO 63104 Dr. Weiss[/caption] Edward "Ted" Weiss, Ph.D. Professor Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Saint Louis University Saint Louis MO 63104 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Ketogenic diets are popular. They are very low in carbohydrate, with moderate protein and large amounts of fat. They are popular for weight loss but definitive studies of this are lacking. We tested the effects of a ketogenic diet on high-intensity exercise performance, such as sprinting. The result showed that the ketogenic diet was harmful to performance, reducing performance by 6 - 7% when compared to a high-carbohydrate diet.
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Microbiome, Nutrition, Weight Research / 13.04.2018

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.
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Nutrition, Sugar, Weight Research / 12.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41144" align="alignleft" width="175"]Eugene B. Chang, MD Martin Boyer Professor of Medicine Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery University of Chicago Chicago, IL  60637 Dr. Chang[/caption] Eugene B. Chang, MD Martin Boyer Professor of Medicine Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery University of Chicago Chicago, IL  60637 and [caption id="attachment_41147" align="alignleft" width="200"]Kristina Martinez-Guryn, Ph.D., R.D. Assistant Professor  Biomedical Sciences Program Midwestern University Downers Grove, IL. Dr. Martinez-Guryn[/caption] 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.
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 02.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_39805" align="alignleft" width="176"]Amy Gorin, Ph.D. Professor, Psychological Sciences Associate Director Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) University of Connecticut Storrs, CT   06269-1248 Dr. Gorin[/caption] Amy Gorin, Ph.D. Professor, Psychological Sciences Associate Director Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) University of Connecticut Storrs, CT   06269-1248 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  This study examined whether behavioral weight management programs have a ripple effect on untreated spouses.  That is, if one member of a couple participates in a weight loss program, does the other untreated spouse benefit?  Given that many spouses are of a similar weight status, if one spouse is overweight, the other spouse tends to be overweight as well — understanding how weight management programs impact both spouses has important public health implications. To examine this question, 130 spouses were randomly assigned to Weight Watchers or a self-guided control group. Spouses assigned to Weight Watchers group had only one member enrolled in a structured 6-month weight loss program (Weight Watchers) that provided in-person counseling and online tools to assist with weight loss. In the self-guided group, one member of the couple received a four-page handout with information on healthy eating, exercise, and weight control strategies (e.g., choosing a low-fat, low-calorie diet, portion control). The results indicate that nearly one-third (32%) of untreated spouses in both groups lost ≥3% of their initial body weight (weight loss based on obesity management guidelines) at the 6-month mark, and weight losses did not differ between untreated spouses of Weight Watchers and self-guided participants.
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Gout, Nutrition, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 19.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Blood Pressure” by Bernard Goldbach is licensed under CC BY 2.0Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Instructor of Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Recent evidence suggests that the DASH diet is associated with lower uric acid levels and lower risk of gout. Furthermore, a secondary analysis of the DASH trial showed that complete replacement of a typical American diet with the DASH diet lowered uric acid levels. However, it is unknown if partial replacement of a typical American diet with DASH foods might lower uric acid.
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Weight Research / 05.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Scale model” by brett jordan is licensed under CC BY 2.0William Barrington, PhD lead author on the study Recently graduated PhD student from the Threadgill lab David Threadgill, PhD Texas A&M College of Medicine and College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, senior author MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Obesity and diet-induced diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, have reached epidemic proportions. The United States has offered universal dietary recommendations for decades, but they have been largely unsuccessful in reducing diet-induced diseases. These recommendations are largely built upon population-level data, which examines a large number of individuals and determines the average response to a dietary intervention. However, if there is large variation in responses within a population, then population-level data may be inadequate to improve health across genetically diverse individuals. Our study used four genetically diverse types of mice to examine how one’s genetics interact with diet to influence obesity and risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. The study compared four popular human diets (American, Mediterranean, Japanese, and Maasai/ketogenic). While all mice suffered detrimental effects from the American diet, the severity of disease varied widely across the types of mice. In comparison, no single diet improved health across all strains, but there was one or more diets that improved health in each strain.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Nutrition / 14.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Fresh Food” by Sonny Side Up! is licensed under CC BY 2.0   Dr. Kyla M Lara Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai       MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This was the first study to evaluate whether dietary patterns of black and white adults living in the United States were associated with developing heart failure. We’re hearing a lot in the news about specific diets like low-fat, high protein, low carb, and other diets that decrease cardiovascular risk. We would love it, as physicians, if we could prescribe a specific diet to limit cardiovascular risk in our patients. I’m really excited about our study because instead of examining patterns of what we already know are healthy, we looked at foods people were regularly consuming in the United States and developed dietary patterns from this. This study is similar to other work we have done with stroke and heart attack. We used data from the NIH funded REGARDS study, also known as the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke. More than 30,000 white and African-American adults were recruited from 2003-2007. From this group, we studied over 18,000 adults who successfully completed a dietary assessment called the Food Frequency Questionnaire. This was a really great group to study because people who live in this particular geographic area of the Southeastern United States, also known as the stroke belt, suffer from a higher risk of death from stroke. It’s extremely important for us to better understand the major risk factors that contribute to this and also cardiovascular disease. We used statistical techniques to derive 5 dietary patterns based on the types of foods participants tended to eat. • Convenience - Mexican and Chinese food, mixed dishes (both meat and bean) • Sweets - added fats, bread, chocolate, desserts, sweet breakfast foods • Southern - added fats, fried food, organ and processed meat, fatty milk • Alcohol/Salads - beer, wine, liquor, green leafy vegetables, salad dressings, nuts and seeds, coffee • Plant Based- fruit, vegetables, fruit juice, cereal, fish, poultry Each participant received a score for each pattern that reflected how closely their diet resembled that dietary pattern. This approach reflects the real world and how people eat. Over the 3135 days (8.6 years) of median follow up, 594 participants were hospitalized for incident HF. Greatest adherence to the plant-based dietary pattern during the study period was associated with a 28% risk reduction of developing heart failure.
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JACC, Nutrition, Salt-Sodium / 13.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38145" align="alignleft" width="120"]Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Instructor of Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School Dr. Juraschek[/caption] Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Instructor of Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The DASH-Sodium trial demonstrated that both the DASH diet and sodium restriction, individually and combined, lowered blood pressure in adults with pre-hypertension or stage 1 hypertension. Whether these effects varied by level of blood pressure prior to starting these interventions was unknown. In a secondary analysis of the original DASH diet it had been observed that the effects from DASH were greater among adults with higher blood pressure (systolic greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg) at baseline with the appearance of even greater effects among people with baseline systolic blood pressures above 150 mm Hg. However, this has never been shown. Furthermore, it was unknown whether sodium reduction followed a similar linear trend of greater effects among adults with more severely uncontrolled systolic blood pressure. In our study, we found that effects were indeed greater in adults with a baseline systolic blood pressure of 150 mm Hg or greater. Furthermore, the combined systolic blood pressure-lowering effect from both interventions was as high was 20 mm Hg. This is a magnitude comparable if not greater than medications for lowering blood pressure.
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 20.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37059" align="alignleft" width="125"]Professor Nuala Byrne PhD Head of School | Health Sciences Faculty of Health University of Tasmania Prof. Byrne[/caption] Professor Nuala Byrne PhD Head of School | Health Sciences Faculty of Health University of Tasmania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Calorie restriction (or cutting back on the energy we are eating) triggers powerful compensatory responses by our body’s metabolism - we might think of it as a “Famine Reaction”. Our body weight is regulated by a series of nervous system and hormone networks that act together to make sure we have enough energy to sustain life. When we eat more energy than our body needs to meet our daily metabolic requirements (positive energy balance), we are designed to store that excess energy; and we are very good at storing. We store this energy in the fat cells (adipocytes) as an emergency reserve for when we hit hard-times when food availability is scarce. The problem in today’s society is that most of us have a constant availability of energy-dense food; making it more common to be in energy excess. When we have less calories being consumed than what we need to fuel all the body’s metabolic processes (negative energy balance), we convert the stored fat into usable energy, and consequently lose weight. While our body does sense the positive energy balance, it is designed to be more sensitive to gauging when we are in a negative energy balance. Our body senses the change in energy intake and the decreasing fat stores, and brings out the artillery to defend our energy stores - this is the Famine Reaction. Our body is constantly changing our physiology in response to challenges to the status quo; the body works constantly to keep the oxygen concentration in the blood at an optimal level, to keep a constant and optimal body temperature, and a constant and optimal amount of sugar in the blood. Our body’s regulatory systems also work hard to defend our energy stores if it senses we are continually in negative energy-balance (i.e., dieting). One major metabolic compensatory as part of the “Famine Reaction” is a decrease in the body’s resting metabolic rate (energy expended while at rest to maintain the basic functioning of our major organs). Given that resting metabolic rate is determined largely by body size and composition, it is expected to decrease with weight loss. However, during dieting, resting metabolic rate has been reported to decrease to a greater extent than that expected from changes in body composition, a phenomenon termed ‘adaptive thermogenesis’. This leads to markedly reduced efficiency of weight loss.
Author Interviews, Autism, Gastrointestinal Disease, Nutrition / 14.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35911" align="alignleft" width="200"]Bradley James Ferguson, PhD University of Missouri School of Medicine Dr. Ferguson[/caption] Bradley James Ferguson, PhD University of Missouri School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and abdominal pain, but the cause of these GI issues is not currently known. Previous research from our laboratory showed a significant positive relationship between cortisol levels and GI problems, especially for constipation. However, it is possible that other factors such as diet may affect GI functioning, especially since many children have altered diets. This study examined 32 different nutrients in the children’s diets, as assessed by a food frequency questionnaire that assessed the participant’s diet over the past month, and how each nutrient was related to upper and lower GI tract symptom scores over the past month created from the Questionnaire on Pediatric Gastrointestinal Symptoms – Rome III. The results showed no significant relationships between any of the nutrients and GI symptoms, suggesting that diet was not associated with GI symptoms in this sample.
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Nutrition, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 16.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35363" align="alignleft" width="200"]Kaixiong (Calvin) Ye, PhD Post-doctoral Associate Dept. of Biological Statistics & Computational Biology Cornell University thaca, NY Dr. Kaixong Ye[/caption] Kaixiong (Calvin) Ye, PhD Post-doctoral Associate Dept. of Biological Statistics & Computational Biology Cornell University thaca, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are critical for human brain development, cognitive function, immune response, and cardiovascular health. Physiologically active forms of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, such as AA, EPA, and DHA, are readily available in meat and seafood, but are absent in most plant-based foods (e.g. fruits and vegetables). Instead, plant-based foods contain two precursor fatty acids, LA and ALA, which could be metabolized in our body and converted into physiologically active forms. Fatty acid desaturase (FADS) genes encode key enzymes for this biosynthesis. We hypothesized that genetic variations in FADS genes that enhance the biosynthesis efficiency were adaptive to plant-based diets in traditional farming populations and thus became more frequent over time. Our study compiled a huge data set of genetic information (DNA) from both present-day and ancient individuals. For the first time, we examined the action of natural selection on humans for the past 30,000 years in Europe.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Nutrition, Stanford / 12.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35210" align="alignleft" width="140"]Bradley P. Turnwald Bradley Turnwald[/caption] Bradley P. Turnwald MS Stanford University, Department of Psychology Stanford, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study tested an intervention to encourage people to consume healthier foods. Encouraging healthy eating is difficult because many people think that healthy foods do not taste good, and most people prioritize taste over health when choosing what to eat. In fact, lab studies suggest that people rate foods as less tasty, less enjoyable, and less filling when they are labeled as healthy compared to when the same foods are not labeled as healthy. A recent study from the Stanford Mind & Body Lab published last month in Health Psychology showed that healthy foods are even described with less tasty, exciting, and indulgent descriptions compared to standard items on the menus of top-selling chain restaurants in America. This led us to ask the question, what if healthy foods were described with the tasty and indulgent descriptions that are typically reserved for the more classic, unhealthy foods?
Aging, Author Interviews, Nutrition / 14.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32022" align="alignleft" width="160"]John C. Price, Ph.D Asst. Professor Chemistry and Biochemistry Brigham Young University Provo, Utah Dr. John Price[/caption] John C. Price, Ph.D Asst. Professor Chemistry and Biochemistry Brigham Young University Provo, Utah MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since 1930 it has been known that the rate of biological aging could be modified by the diet.  In mice for example if you let them eat as much as they want they will live almost 3 years.  Providing essentially the same diet but controlling the number of total calories, there is an almost linear increase in lifespan as you restrict calories.  The studies in mice and rats have been repeated hundreds of times since that time.  There have been a lot of somewhat conflictive observations, like increased formation of new mitochondria, and increased autophagy which targets organelles for degradation, during stable reduced calorie intake. This expectation, that a restricted diet with fewer calories available to the animal could support increased protein synthesis and degradation and result in increased lifespan, is what got us interested in studying Calorie Restriction.  So we measured the relative synthesis rates for several hundred proteins in 18 month old calorie restricted mice which were experiencing the benefits of improved health and lifespan.  We found overwhelmingly that the calorie restricted mice had reduced synthesis rates down to as low as 25% of the age matched control group.  This observation has now been independently confirmed by multiple groups.
Author Interviews, NIH, Nutrition, Weight Research / 20.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31358" align="alignleft" width="144"]Janet M. de Jesus, M.S., R.D. Program Officer, Implementation Science Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Janet de Jesus[/caption] Janet M. de Jesus, M.S., R.D. Program Officer, Implementation Science Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the DASH diet? What are the main components? Response: The DASH eating plan was created for a clinical trial funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The goal of the original DASH trial was to test the eating plan compared to a typical American diet (at the time in the 1990s) on the effect of blood pressure. The DASH eating plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It includes low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils, and nuts; and limits intake of sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages and high-fat meats. The eating plan is a good source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The DASH eating plan was shown to reduce blood pressure and improve lipid profiles. A second DASH trial, “DASH-sodium,” showed that adding sodium reduction to the DASH eating plan reduced blood pressure even more.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Nutrition, PLoS, University of Michigan / 06.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with> Katarina Borer, Ph.D. Professor Po-Ju Lin,PhD School of Kinesiology The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was part of the doctoral dissertation of Po-Ju Lin, who is now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Rochester. With this study, we wanted to answer three questions: (1) Is daily carbohydrate load responsible for evening glucose intolerance and post-meal insulin resistance. (Evening glucose intolerance represents well-documented higher glucose and insulin responses in the evening than in the morning when the same quantity of glucose is eaten or infused intravenously) To answer this question we offered two daily meals containing about 800 Kcal and either 30% or 60% of carbohydrates. (2) Will exercise before the meals improve glucose tolerance (glucose clearance from the blood and insulin response) after eating? (Exercise is a well-known means of increasing glucose uptake by the muscle and of increasing muscle sensitivity to insulin action for a number of hours after exercise). To answer this question we had the subjects exercise for two hours walking on a treadmill at 45% of their maximal aerobic effort one hour before each meal. (3) Is the upper-intestinal hormone GIP involved in any effects associated with variation in dietary carbohydrate? (GIP or glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide, stimulates insulin secretion in advance of absorbed glucose).