- The Truth About Ivermectin: A new short documentary by Filmmaker Mikki Willis – 13:42
- Neil Oliver: This supposed utopia we’re having rammed down our throats isn’t working – 9:58
- New Rule: Cancel Culture is Over Party | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) – 6:45
Antioxidants protect against cartilage damage
Skeletal Biology and Engineering Research Center (Belgium), September 12 20228.
An article appearing in Science Translational Medicine adds evidence to the role of antioxidants in protecting the body’s cartilage from the damage that contributes to osteoarthritis.
Acting on the finding that the protein ANP32A, which is involved in a number of processes in the body, was downregulated in osteoarthritic cartilage in mice and humans, Frederique Cornelis of the Skeletal Biology and Engineering Research Center in Belgium and colleagues discovered that ANP32A protects against oxidative damage in the joints, thereby helping to prevent the development of osteoarthritis and its progression. It was determined that ANP32A increases levels of the enzyme ATM, a regulator of the cellular oxidative defense, in response to oxidative stress in joint cartilage.
The discovery suggests that antioxidant therapies could help protect against further damage in patients with osteoarthritis, as well as providing a benefit in other disorders. Administration of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to the drinking water of mice that were deficient in ANP32A was shown to decrease cartilage damage and arthritis symptoms. It was additionally revealed that ANP32A deficiency was associated with osteopenia and a neurologic disease known as cerebellar ataxia in mice and that NAC helped with these conditions.
“Aging, a key risk factor for the development of osteoarthritis, is associated with elevated oxidative damage of DNA, proteins, and lipids, and accumulating evidence indicates that oxidative stress is a major physiological inducer of aging,” the authors write. “We observed reduced expression of ANP32A in aged mouse cartilage and in human cartilage from patients with osteoarthritis, and we showed that Anp32a-deficient mice develop spontaneous osteoarthritis upon aging. Thus, ANP32A can be considered as a key coordinator of oxidative stress and aging in joints.”
“Our findings indicate that modulating ANP32A signaling could help manage oxidative stress in cartilage, brain, and bone with therapeutic implications for osteoarthritis, neurological disease, and osteoporosis,” they conclude.
Consuming Soy Peptide May Reduce Colon Cancer Metastasis
University of Illinois, September 18, 2022
After a recent University of Illinois study showed that injection of the soy peptide lunasin dramatically reduced colon cancer metastasis in mice, the researchers were eager to see how making lunasin part of the animals’ daily diet would affect the spread of the disease.
“In this new study, we find that giving lunasin orally at 20 mg/kg of body weight reduced the number of metastatic tumors by 94 percent — we went from 18 tumors to only one. And that was done using lunasin alone; no other type of therapy was used,” said Elvira de Mejia, a U of I professor of food chemistry and food toxicology.
“We learned in that study that lunasin can penetrate the cancer cell, cause cell death, and interact with at least one type of receptor in a cell that is ready to metastasize,” said Vermont Dia, a postdoctoral associate in the de Mejia laboratory.
Using mice that had been injected with human colon cancer cells, the scientists began by feeding the animals 8 mg/kg of lunasin daily, which reduced the number of new tumors in the liver by 55 percent. They increased the dose five times, at last achieving a 94 percent reduction in tumors at 20 mg/kg of lunasin.
“We were very impressed by the reduction, but the results were short of statistical significance from the control group. More animals are needed to strengthen the power of the analysis. It’s a small study but very promising,” de Mejia said.
The scientists said that consuming the equivalent of 20 to 30 mg/kg of lunasin in soy foods would be daunting in terms of number of servings per day. “But it would certainly be possible if food companies began to offer lunasin-enriched soy milk or yogurt,” she said, noting that lunasin-enriched flour is already on the market.
Globally, diets are not much healthier today than they were thirty years ago
Tufts University, September 19, 2022
On a scale from 0 to 100 of how well people stick to recommended diets, with 0 being a poor diet (think heavy consumption of sugar and processed meats), and 100 representing the recommended balance of fruits, vegetables, legumes/nuts and whole grains, most countries would earn a score around 40.3. Globally, this represents a small, but meaningful, 1.5-point gain between 1990 and 2018, researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University report today in the journal Nature Food.
The study, one of the most comprehensive estimates yet of global dietary quality—and the first to include findings among children as well as adults—highlights the challenges worldwide to encourage healthy eating. Although global gains were modest, there was notable variation by country, with nutritious options becoming more popular in the United States, Vietnam, China, and Iran, and less so in Tanzania, Nigeria, and Japan.
“Intake of legumes/nuts and non-starchy vegetables increased over time, but overall improvements in dietary quality were offset by increased intake of unhealthy components such as red/processed meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, and sodium,” says lead author Victoria Miller, a visiting scientist from McMaster University in Canada who started this study as a postdoctoral scholar with Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean for Policy and Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School, and senior author on the paper.
Miller and colleagues addressed this gap by measuring global, regional, and national eating patterns among adults and children across 185 countries based on data from over 1,100 surveys from the Global Dietary Database, a large, collaborative compilation of data on food and nutrient consumption levels worldwide. The researchers’ primary outcome was the 0 to 100 scale known as the Alternative Healthy Eating Index, a validated measure of diet quality.
Regionally, averages ranged from as low as 30.3 in Latin America and the Caribbean to as high as 45.7 in South Asia. The average score of all 185 countries included in the study was 40.3. Only 10 countries, representing less than 1 percent of the world’s population, had scores over 50. The world’s highest scoring countries were Vietnam, Iran, Indonesia and India, and the lowest scoring were Brazil, Mexico, the United States and Egypt.
Globally, among adults, women were more likely to eat recommended diets than men, and older adults more so than younger adults.
Yogic breathing shows promise in reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
University of Wisconsin-Madison September 11, 2022
One of the greatest casualties of war is its lasting effect on the minds of soldiers. This presents a daunting public health problem: More than 20 percent of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a report by RAND Corp.
A new study from the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers hope for those suffering from the disorder. Researchers there have shown that a breathing-based meditation practice called Sudarshan Kriya Yoga can be an effective treatment for PTSD.
Standard treatment interventions for PTSD offer mixed results. Some individuals are prescribed antidepressants and do well while others do not; others are treated with psychotherapy and still experience residual affects of the disorder.
Sudarshan Kriya Yoga is a practice of controlled breathing that directly affects the autonomic nervous system. While the practice has proven effective in balancing the autonomic nervous system and reducing symptoms of PTSD in tsunami survivors, it has not been well studied until now.
The CIHM team was interested in Sudarshan Yoga because of its focus on manipulating the breath, and how that in turn may have consequences for the autonomic nervous system and specifically, hyperarousal. Theirs is the first randomized, controlled, longitudinal study to show that the practice of controlled breathing can benefit people with PTSD.
The CIHM study included 21 soldiers: an active group of 11 and a control group of 10. Those who received the one-week training in yogic breathing showed lower anxiety, reduced respiration rates and fewer PTSD symptoms.
Cognition May Decline With Old Age, But Well-Being Actually Improves
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, September 19, 2022
Children and adolescents usually want to grow up as soon as possible, but most older adults will say they want nothing more than to turn back the clock. Research out of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine gives both the old and the young reason to envy each other. Scientists say that while older adults usually see a decline in thinking skills, well-being typically increases as we grow older.
More specifically, scientists report that healthy older adults display greater mental well-being than younger adults, but also score lower on cognitive performances. The UCSD team is hopeful that the underlying neural mechanisms identified during this project contributing may inspire new interventions to promote healthy brain function in the future.
Researchers sampled a total of 62 healthy younger adults in their 20s, and 54 healthy older adults over 60. Each subject’s mental health was measured via a survey asking about symptoms including anxiety, depression, loneliness, and overall mental wellbeing. Participants also took part in a series of cognitively demanding tasks, all while their brain activity was measured using electroencephalography (EEG).
Results show that young adults experience far more anxiety, depression, and loneliness than older adults. On the other hand, older individuals show higher levels of well-being. Regarding cognition, older adults, unsurprisingly, were much weaker. The EEG recordings provided further insight, detailing greater activity in the anterior portions of the brain’s default mode network among older adults. This brain area is active when we ruminate, daydream, etc., and is usually suppressed during goal-oriented tasks.
Notably, several other brain regions appeared to improve cognition. Strong cognitive scores among young adults were associated with more activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is part of the brain’s executive control system. For older adults, though, those with strong cognitive scores actually displayed greater activity in their inferior frontal cortex, a brain region known to help guide attention and avoid distractions.
The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is known to break down as the body ages. Consequently, researchers theorize that the increased inferior frontal cortex activity among cognitively strong older individuals may be an avenue for older minds to compensate during mentally tougher tasks.
Drinking plenty of tea may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, finds study in over a million adults
Wuhan University of Science and Technology (China), September 17, 2022
A systematic review and meta-analysis of 19 cohort studies involving more than 1 million adults from eight countries finds that moderate consumption of black, green or Oolong tea is linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The findings, being presented at this year’s European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden suggest that drinking at least four cups of tea a day is associated with a 17% lower risk of T2D over an average period of 10 years.
While it’s long been known that regularly drinking tea may be beneficial for health because of the various antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic compounds tea contains, less clear has been the relationship between tea drinking and the risk of T2D. So far, published cohort studies and meta-analyses have reported inconsistent findings.
Overall, the meta-analysis found a linear association between tea drinking and T2D risk, with each cup of tea consumed per day reducing the risk of developing T2D by around 1%.
When compared with adults who didn’t drink tea, those who drank 1-3 cups daily lowered their risk of T2D by 4%, while those who consumed at least 4 cups every day reduced their risk by 17%.
The associations were observed regardless of the type of tea participants drank, whether they were male or female, or where they lived, suggesting that it may be the amount of tea consumed, rather than any other factor, that plays a major role.
“While more research needs to be done to determine the exact dosage and mechanisms behind these observations, our findings suggest that drinking tea is beneficial in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, but only at high doses (at least 4 cups a day)”, says Li.
She adds, “It is possible that particular components in tea, such as polyphenols, may reduce blood glucose levels, but a sufficient amount of these bioactive compounds may be needed to be effective. It may also explain why we did not find an association between tea drinking and type 2 diabetes in our cohort study, because we did not look at higher tea consumption.”