Author Interviews, Depression, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 19.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_22787" align="alignleft" width="106"]Dr. Roel JT Mocking Program for Mood Disorders Department of Psychiatry Academic Medical Center University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Dr. RJT Mocking[/caption] Dr. Roel JT Mocking Program for Mood Disorders Department of Psychiatry Academic Medical Center University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation (popularly referred to as fish oil) is being promoted as (add-on) treatment for depression. Thus far, many studies have been performed that tested the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in depression. In order to overcome differences between these results of individual studies, a meta-analysis can be performed. A meta-analysis pools the results of all individual studies, and thereby provides a more definitive conclusion regarding the effect of omega-3 fatty acids in depression. Moreover, using the differences between the individual studies, a meta-analysis can point to factors that are associated with a better effect of the supplementation, for example supplementation dose or duration. There have been meta-analyses performed previously, but they seemed to contain several inconsistencies. For example, they accidentally included the same study two or three times, which results in errors. In addition, these meta-analyses did not only include studies performed in patients with the psychiatric disorder "major depressive episode", but also subjects from the general population with less severe depressive complaints. This makes it more difficult to interpret the results. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis that included only studies performed in patients with major depressive disorder, and corrected errors from earlier meta-analyses.
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, FASEB / 05.07.2015

Milan Fiala, M.D. Research Professor, UCLA Department of Surgery Los Angeles, CAMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Milan Fiala, M.D. Research Professor, UCLA Department of Surgery Los Angeles, CA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Fiala: Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is well-known to public for its health benefits in cardiovascular diseases and putative benefits against “Minor Cognitive Impairment” reported in other studies . This study shows that omega-3 protected against oxidation and resveratrol improves the immune system against amyloid-beta in the brain,  probably by increasing its clearance from the brain by the immune system. Overall the patients taking the drink seemed to preserve their memory better for up to 2 years than expected based on previous studies. However, our study was small and not controlled by a placebo, which may present a bias.  
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Nutrition / 16.04.2015

Dr. Fredrik Jernerén PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Pharmacology University of Oxford Oxford, United KingdomMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Fredrik Jernerén PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Pharmacology University of Oxford Oxford, United Kingdom Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Jernerén: Development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is associated with an accelerated rate of brain shrinkage. Identifying ways to reduce the brain atrophy rate at an early stage may offer new strategies to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. In this study on elderly subjects diagnosed with Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), who are at increased risk of developing dementia, we investigated whether the effect of B vitamin supplementation on reducing the brain atrophy rate was influenced by circulating levels of omega-3 fatty acids. We have found that this indeed was the case. The higher the baseline concentration of the combined omega-3 fatty acids (DHA+EPA), the greater the protective effect of the B vitamin treatment. In subjects with high omega-3 concentrations who at the same time had elevated homocysteine levels (indicating a lack of B vitamins), B vitamin treatment reduced the brain atrophy rate by about 70% compared with the placebo group. 
Asthma, Author Interviews, CHEST, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 23.01.2015

John Brannan PhD Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St Joseph’s Healthcare & McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, CanadaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: John Brannan PhD Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St Joseph’s Healthcare & McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: The use of omega-3 acid supplements as treatments for allergic diseases including asthma is controversial. Studies by investigators from Indiana University in the USA have repeatedly demonstrated a beneficial effect of high dose omega-3 fatty acid supplements over 3 weeks in attenuating exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) similar or possibly better in potency to what may be expected with a regular inhaled corticosteroids. The study by Brannan et al. attempted to validate these findings by using inhaled mannitol, a bronchial provocation test that was derived from the understanding of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction and which has demonstrated experimentally to be a useful model for exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. All pharmacotherapies that modify exercise-induced bronchoconstriction can modify the airway sensitivity to inhaled mannitol in persons with asthma, thus it was of interest to see if an 'alternative' treatment that demonstrated efficacy in exercise-induced bronchoconstriction could too modify the airway response to mannitol. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: The main findings were, to our surprise, there was no benefit of high dose omega-3 fatty acid supplements on bronchial hyperresponsiveness to mannitol over 3 weeks. This was associated with no changes in airway inflammation (sputum eosinophils), lung function or asthma symptom control. We also found no benefit on resting urinary mast cell metabolites, in contrast to the findings in studies showing a benefit of omega-3 fatty acids on EIB. Our findings suggest that omega-3 supplements in tissues may not be able to penetrate tissue and/or modify the substrate flow of eicosanoids in tissue such as the airways of the asthmatic. We did observed the expected reductions in blood triglycerides which suggests that these doses of omega-3s can modify metabolism in the blood or to some extent tissues that are highly perfused.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 13.11.2014

James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD Associate Editor BMJ Open Heart Cardiovascular Research Scientist Saint Luke's Mid America Heart InstituteMedicalResearch.com Interview with: James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD Associate Editor BMJ Open Heart Cardiovascular Research Scientist Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. DiNicolantonio: Daily low-dose aspirin has been shown to decrease the risk for cancer in a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, which is likely attributable to its ability to modestly decrease the activity of cyclooxygenase-2 (cox-2), an enzyme which contributes importantly to the genesis and progression of adenocarcinomas. Adenocarcinomas are cancer of the glands, the most common type of breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma) is an adenocarcinoma, additionally many cancers of the lung, intestine, esophagus, colon are adenocarcinomas. We show that an ample dietary intake of long-chain omega-3 fats—the type prominent in fatty fish—would oppose cox-2 activity.  Additionally, we cite numerous evidence that a higher intake of long-chain omega-3 fats has been found to reduce the risk for numerous types of cancer - especially when looking at trials that excluded fried or preserved fish (or fish high in omega-6), excluded trials with a high background intake of omega-6, and included trials where the "high" intake group - actually ate 2 servings of fish or more per week. Additionally, basic science as well as randomized data showing that long-chain omega-3s can reduce the number and size of colon polyps supports this argument.
Alcohol, Author Interviews, PLoS / 26.07.2014

Michael A. Collins PhD Professor of Molecular Pharmacology Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Maywood IL 60153MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael A. Collins PhD Professor of Molecular Pharmacology Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Maywood IL 60153 Medical Research: What are the main findings of your study? Dr. Collins: There were several:
  • First, we found that a cadre of neuroinflammatory proteins which promote or are stimulated by increased oxidative stress were significantly altered in a brain neurodegeneration model involving high alcohol binges in adult (male) rats. Most surprising was that the alterations were selectively evident in the three brain regions that contain a lot of dying neurons, and not in regions lacking neurodamage.
  • Additionally, in an alcohol-binged adult rat brain cultures, the same neuroinflammatory protein alterations, along with the neuronal damage, were replicated.
  • We further observed that binging the cultures depleted a key omega-3 fatty acid, termed DHA, in brain membranes. When these binged brain cultures were then supplemented with DHA, the neuroinflammatory protein changes and the neurodegeneration were largely or completely inhibited.
  • The results link specific oxidative stress-associated neuroinflammatory routes to the brain neuronal demise arising from high binge alcohol exposures.
  • They also reveal that supplementation with an omega-3 fatty acid reported to be neuroprotective with respect to other insults may be effective as well in suppressing the brain-damaging effects of excessive alcohol binges.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, NIH, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 19.03.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Denise Bonds, MD, MPH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr.Bonds: We found no cardiovascular benefit to supplementation of the diet with either omega-3 fatty acids or with the macular xanthophyll’s lutein and zeaxanthin.