Diets high in fiber associated with less antibiotic resistance in gut bacteria
United States Department of Agriculture, May 10, 2022
Healthy adults who eat a diverse diet with at least 8-10 grams of soluble fiber a day have fewer antibiotic-resistant microbes in their guts, according to a study published by Agricultural Research Service scientists and their colleagues in mBio.
Microbes that have resistance to various commonly used antibiotics such as tetracycline and aminoglycoside are a significant source of risk for people worldwide, with the widely held expectation that the problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)—the term that refers to bacteria, viruses, and fungi that are resistant to antibiotics—is likely to worsen throughout the coming decades.
In this study, the researchers were looking for specific associations of the levels of antibiotic resistance genes in the microbes of the human gut with both fiber and animal protein in adult diets.
The researchers found regularly eating a diet with higher levels of fiber and lower levels of protein, especially from beef and pork, was significantly correlated with lower levels of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARG) among their gut microbes. Those with the lowest levels of ARG in their gut microbiomes also had a greater abundance of strict anaerobic microbes, which are bacteria that do not thrive when oxygen is present and are a hallmark of a healthy gut with low inflammation. Bacterial species in the family Clostridiaceae were the most numerous anaerobes found.
The strongest evidence was for the association of higher amounts of soluble fiber in the diet with lower levels of ARGs.
Soluble fiber, as its name suggests, dissolves in water and is the main type of fiber found in grains like barley and oats; legumes like beans, lentils and peas, seeds (like chia seeds) and nuts; and some fruits and vegetables like carrots, berries, artichokes, broccoli and winter squash.
Probiotics stop menopause-like bone loss in mice
Emory and Georgia State universities, May 6, 2022
Probiotic supplements protected female mice from the loss of bone density that occurs after having their ovaries removed, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine and Georgia State University have shown
The findings suggest that probiotic bacteria may have potential as an inexpensive treatment for post-menopausal osteoporosis. However, clinical evidence that probiotics can have a lasting effect on the mix of bacteria in the body is limited.
Emory and Georgia State researchers found that in mice, the loss of estrogen increases gut permeability, which allows bacterial products to activate immune cells in the intestine. In turn, immune cells release signals that break down bone. Probiotics both tighten up the permeability of the gut and dampen inflammatory signals that drive the immune cells, the team found.
Researchers led by Pacifici treated female mice twice a week with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), a type of bacteria found in some yogurts, or with a commercially available mix of eight strains of bacteria known as VSL#3.
Good nutrition positively affects social development, research shows
University of Pennsylvania, May 6, 2022
Proper nutrition during childhood can positively affect a child’s social behaviors and development. It’s a unique take on a field that often focuses on how poor diet negatively influences early childhood development.
For this study, the scientists analyzed a sample of 1,795 3-year-old children from Mauritius, an island off the eastern coast of Africa with a population of about 1.3 million people. They focused on four aspects of physical health related to nutrition and four indicators of social development.
Physical health factors included anemia expressed by low hemoglobin levels, reflecting iron deficiency; angular stomatitis revealed by cracked lips and a lack of vitamin B2 and niacin; and insufficient protein intake indicated by thin or sparse hair and hair discoloration. The researchers considered a child with just one of the quartet as “suffering from nutritional deficits.” However, children with more malnutrition indicators showed more impaired social behavior.
Social interactions studied included friendliness, extent of verbalization, active social play and exploratory behavior. Examining the relationship between these components after the fact, they teased out a neurocognitive link between nutrition and comprehensive social behavior. It’s a connection undiscovered to this point.
“The bigger message is give children good nutrition early on,” Liu said. “Not only will it enhance cognitive function but, importantly, promote good social behavior,” which is essential to brain development and intelligence. “In the same study,” Raine said, “we’ve shown that children with positive social behavior, eight years later, they have higher IQs.”
Diabetes almost doubles risk of death from COVID
University of Aberdeen, May 10, 2022
People with diabetes were almost twice as likely to die with COVID and almost three times as likely to be critically or severely ill compared to those without diabetes.
However, the study conducted by researchers from the University of Aberdeen, which reviewed data from hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, also found that good management of the condition can mitigate against the risks.
Specifically, the collaboration with King’s College, London, found that while diabetes presents a significant risk of severe illness and death with COVID, good control of blood sugar in these patients can significantly reduce this risk.
The researchers reviewed findings from 158 studies that included more that 270,000 participants from all over the world to determine how COVID affects people living with diabetes.
Eating nuts linked to lower risk of colon cancer
Seoul National University College of Medicine (Korea), May 6, 2022
Eating nuts has been linked to a number of health benefits, such as a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Now, new findings from South Korea suggest that a nut-rich diet may also reduce a person’s risk of colon cancer. The researchers found a reduction in this risk for both men and women.
Eating a serving of nuts three or more times a week appeared to have a big effect on risk. In the study, a serving of nuts was considered to be 15 grams (0.5 ounces). That’s a smaller amount than what’s considered a serving in the United States (A serving in the U.S. is 28 g, or 1 oz.)
Although the researchers included many types of nuts in their analysis, peanuts were the most widely consumed nuts among people in the study. This may be due to the availability of peanuts in South Korea, the researchers said.
The researchers found that men who reported eating three or more servings of nuts a week had a 69 percent lower risk of colon cancer than those who reported eating no nuts. Women who ate three or more servings had an 81 percent lower risk than those who ate no nuts, according to the study.
Nicotinamide riboside repairs features of Alzheimer’s disease
NIH’s National Institute on Aging, May 6, 2022
Researchers have found that an NAD+ precursor helped mice with features of Alzheimer’s disease perform better on learning and memory tests…
The brain’s usual DNA repair activity is impaired in Alzheimer’s disease, leading to inflammation and dysfunction. A compound that the brain needs to regulate DNA repair and other key signalling pathways is known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). Because NAD+ declines with age, scientists have wondered whether boosting the level of NAD+ could help ageing brain cells (neurons) to function better. One way to increase the cellular level is by giving an NAD+ precursor compound, such as nicotinamide riboside (NR). NR is a form of vitamin B3.
The team found that the NR-treated mice had less DNA damage, lower levels of neuron damage and death, increased production of new neurons, and lower brain inflammation than control mice. Mice who received NR had reduced tau in their brains, too, but amyloid-beta levels were unchanged. The NR-treated mice performed better than control mice on many learning and memory tests, such as a water maze. In addition, NR-treated mice had better muscle strength and endurance than controls.
The research team also tested human cells from people with and without Alzheimer’s disease. As in the mouse studies, NR decreased DNA damage in the cells from people with Alzheimer’s.
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