Cardamonin shows promise for treating aggressive breast cancer
Florida A&M University, August 3, 2022
Cardamonin—a natural compound found in the spice cardamom and other plants—could have therapeutic potential for triple-negative breast cancer, according to a new study using human cancer cells. The findings also show that the compound targets a gene that helps cancer cells elude the immune system
About 10-15% of breast cancers are triple-negative, which means they don’t have receptors for estrogen or progesterone and don’t make excess amounts of a protein called HER2. These tumors are difficult to treat because they don’t respond to the hormone-based therapies used for other types of breast cancer. They also tend to be more aggressive and have a higher mortality rate than other breast cancers.
“The fact that cardamonin has been used for centuries as a spice and, more recently, as a supplement shows that its intake is safe and may bring health benefits,” said Mendonca. “Our research shows that cardamonin holds potential for improving cancer therapy without as many side effects as other chemotherapeutic agents.”
For the new study, the researchers investigated how cardamonin affected the expression of the programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) gene, which is found in tumor cells. PD-L1 is overexpressed during breast cancer progression and plays a critical role in helping breast cancer cells evade the body’s immune system.
They found that cardamonin treatment caused a dose-dependent decrease in cell viability in both cell lines. It also reduced PD-L1 expression in the Caucasian cell line but not the African American cell line, indicating that cells from different races may respond differently to cardamonin because of genetic variations among races.
Persistent Low Wages Linked to Faster Memory Decline in Later Life
Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, August 2 2022Sustained low wages are associated with significantly faster memory decline, according to a new study by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. While low-wage jobs have been associated with health outcomes such as depressive symptoms, obesity, and hypertension, which are risk factors for cognitive aging, until now no prior studies had examined the specific relationship between low wages during working years and later-life cognitive functioning. The findings are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.”Our research provides new evidence that sustained exposure to low wages during peak earning years is associated with accelerated memory decline later in life,” said Katrina Kezios, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and first author. “This association was observed in our primary sample as well as in a validation cohort.”The researchers found that, compared with workers never earning low wages, sustained low-wage earners experienced significantly faster memory decline in older age. They experienced approximately one excess year of cognitive aging per a 10-year period; in other words, the level of cognitive aging experienced over a 10-year period by sustained low-wage earners would be what those who never earned low wages experienced in 11 years.”Our findings suggest that social policies that enhance the financial well-being of low-wage workers may be especially beneficial for cognitive health,” said senior author Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School and the Columbia Butler Aging Center. “Future work should rigorously examine the number of dementia cases and excess years of cognitive aging that could be prevented under different hypothetical scenarios that would increase the minimum hourly wage.”Research links red meat intake, gut microbiome, and cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in older adultsTufts University, August 3, 2022Over the years, scientists have investigated the relationship between heart disease and saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, sodium, nitrites, and even high-temperature cooking, but evidence supporting many of these mechanisms has not been robust. Recent evidence suggests that the underlying culprits may include specialized metabolites created by our gut bacteria when we eat meat. A new study led by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute quantifies the risk of ASCVD associated with meat intake and identifies underlying biologic pathways that may help explain this risk. The study of almost 4,000 U.S. men and women over age 65 shows that higher meat consumption is linked to higher risk of ASCVD—22 percent higher risk for about every 1.1 serving per day—and that about 10 percent of this elevated risk is explained by increased levels of three metabolites produced by gut bacteria from nutrients abundant in meat. Higher risk and interlinkages with gut bacterial metabolites were found for red meat but not poultry, eggs, or fish. The study, published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB) on August 1, is the first to investigate the interrelationships between animal source foods and risk of ASCVD events, and the mediation of this risk by gut microbiota-generated compounds as well as by traditional ASCVD risk pathways such as blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Highlights In this community-based cohort of older U.S. men and women, higher intakes of unprocessed red meat, total meat (unprocessed red meat plus processed meat), and total animal source foods were prospectively associated with a higher incidence of ASCVD during a median follow-up of 12.5 years. The positive associations with ASCVD were partly mediated (8-11 percent of excess risk) by plasma levels of TMAO, gamma-butyrobetaine, and crotonobetaine. The higher risk of ASCVD associated with meat intake was also partly mediated by levels of blood glucose and insulin and, for processed meats, by systematic inflammation but not by blood pressure or blood cholesterol levels. Intakes of fish, poultry, and eggs were not significantly associated with ASCVD. The 3,931 study subjects were followed for a median of 12.5 years, and their average age at baseline was 73. The study adjusted for established risk factors such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, smoking, physical activity, other dietary habits, and many additional risk factors. Diets higher in calcium and potassium may help prevent recurrent symptomatic kidney stones, study findsMayo Clinic, August 2, 2022Kidney stones can cause not only excruciating pain but also are associated with chronic kidney disease, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. If you’ve experienced a kidney stone once, you have a 30% chance of having another kidney stone within five years.Changes in diet are often prescribed to prevent recurrent symptomatic kidney stones. However, little research is available regarding dietary changes for those who have one incident of kidney stone formation versus those who have recurrent incidents.Mayo Clinic findings show that enriching diets with foods high in calcium and potassium may prevent recurrent symptomatic kidney stones.The findings, which were published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, show that lower dietary calcium and potassium, as well as lower intake of fluids, caffeine and phytate, are associated with higher odds of experiencing a first-time symptomatic kidney stone.Of the patients who had first-time stone formation, 73 experienced recurrent stones within a median of 4.1 years of follow-up. Further analysis found that lower levels of dietary calcium and potassium predicted recurrence.Fluid intake of less than 3,400 milliliters per day, or about nine 12-ounce glasses, is associated with first-time stone formation, along with caffeine intake and phytate, the study finds. Daily fluid intake includes intake from foods such as fruits and vegetables. Low fluid and caffeine intake can result in low urine volume and increased urine concentration, contributing to stone formation. Phytate is an antioxidant compound found in whole grains, nuts and other foods that can lead to increased calcium absorption and urinary calcium excretion.Low dietary calcium and potassium was a more important predictor than fluid intake of recurrent kidney stone formation, says Api Chewcharat, M.D., the article’s first author. The study concludes that diets with daily intake of 1,200 milligrams of calcium may help prevent first-time and recurrent kidney stones.Dr. Chewcharat says the takeaway is that patients should add more fruits and vegetables that are high in calcium and potassium to their diets. Fruits that are high in potassium include bananas, oranges, grapefruits, cantaloupes, honeydew melons and apricots. Vegetables include potatoes, mushrooms, peas, cucumbers and zucchini.Could acupuncture help ward off diabetes?Edith Cowan University, August 2, 2022 A new study from Edith Cowan University has found acupuncture therapy may be a useful tool in avoiding type 2 diabetes. The research team investigated dozens of studies covering the effects of acupuncture on more than 3600 people with prediabetes, a condition which sees higher-than-normal blood glucose levels without being high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.The findings showed acupuncture therapy significantly improved key markers, such as fasting plasma glucose, two-hour plasma glucose, and glycated haemoglobin, plus a greater decline in the incidence of prediabetes.There were also no reports of adverse reactions among patients. Green tea helps support healthy glucose in metabolic syndrome patients Ohio State University, August 1 2022. Findings from a trial reported in the supplement of Current Developments in Nutrition revealed that consuming green tea extract improved glucose levels in adults with metabolic syndrome: a cluster of factors that increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Supplementation with green tea extract was also associated with improvement in intestinal health, including a reduction in leaky gut. The trial was a follow-up to a study published in 2019 that found protective effects for green tea against inflammation induced by nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in mice. In the current crossover trial, 21 individuals with metabolic syndrome and 19 healthy participants received 1 gram of green tea extract or a placebo for 28 days. This period was followed by another treatment period in which participants who previously received the extract were given a placebo and those who received a placebo received the extract. Fasting blood glucose, insulin and lipid levels were measured at the beginning of each treatment period and at days 14 and 28. Supplementation with green tea extract was associated with lower fasting glucose and markers of intestinal inflammation in comparison with the placebo. In separately published findings, green tea extract was associated with decreases in small intestinal permeability (leaky gut).