In the News – Health and Nutrition Research

In this week’s article we provide a review of recent health related stories that made the news with five items comprising:

  • “Call to punish GPs over antibiotics”
  • “Omega-3 could help support ‘friendly bacteria’ in the gut”
  • “Targeting glucose production in the liver may lead to new diabetes therapies”
  • “Mediterranean diet ‘as effective as statins’ in reducing heart attack risk”
  • “Getting closer to understanding how exercise keeps brains young”

Call to punish GP’s over antibiotics

“‘Soft-touch’ and ‘hazardous’ doctors should be disciplined for prescribing too many antibiotics, a leading NHS figure says.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s Prof Mark Baker said 10 million prescriptions a year in England were inappropriate.

He said regulators need to deal with over prescribing doctors who failed to change their ways.

The Royal College of GPs said the call was “counter-productive and unhelpful“.

There is universal consensus that the very basis of modern medicine is under threat due to rising numbers of infections that are resistant to drugs.

The “antibiotic apocalypse” not only means that long-forgotten infections could kill again, but jeopardises procedures including surgery and chemotherapy.

Using antibiotics inappropriately for sore throats and colds increases the risk of resistance. Yet the number of prescriptions continues to rise.”

If you are concerned about the increasing risks of antibiotic resistance then take a look at the ‘Antibiotic Guardian’ website  developed by Public Health England (PHE). This platform provides the “UK Support for European Antibiotic Awareness Day.

Full article:  Call to punish GPs over antibiotics

Relevant Cytoplan Blogs

Antibiotic Resistance – ‘The Ticking Time Bomb’

Antibiotics, Diarrhoea & Probiotics

Omega-3 could help support ‘friendly bacteria’ in the gut

“The omega-3 fatty acid EPA may help to support the growth and tolerance of probiotic bacterial strains in the human gut, according to new preliminary research.

The findings, which come from lab-based work on human gut cells, suggests there is an interaction between the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and colorectal cell response to a commensal bacterial strain.

Writing in Lipid Technology, the research team report on in vitro research assessing whether gut cells respond differently to a commensal bacterium (Lactobacillus gasseri) and two pathogenic bacteria (Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus) and also whether the responses could be altered with PUFAs.

“Our results indicate that L. gasseri could have a way of promoting its own survival in the gut by inducing tolerance towards itself, an effect which pathogenic bacteria do not have”, revealed the research team – who noted that the addition of EPA led to an even bigger increase in the immune signalling protein TGF- β1 (Transforming Growth Factor β1) which promotes tolerance commensal bacteria.

“This early research shows the potential of combining fish oil with probiotic bacteria to promote survival in the gut and/or dampening inflammatory responses”, wrote the team – led by Kerry Bentley-Hewit from the UK Institute of Food Research, and The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited”

Full article: Omega-3 could help support ‘friendly bacteria’ in the gut

Relevant Cytoplan Blogs

Omega 3 Supplements – Fish, Krill or Algae?

Essential Fatty Acids – Omega 3 & Conversion Efficiency Inhibitions

Targeting glucose production in the liver may lead to new diabetes therapies

“High blood sugar is a defining characteristic of Type 2 diabetes and the cause of many of the condition’s complications, including kidney failure, heart disease, and blindness. Most diabetes medications aim to maintain normal blood sugar (glucose) levels and prevent high blood sugar by controlling insulin.

A new University of Iowa study shows that another biological checkpoint, known as the Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier (MPC), is critical for controlling glucose production in the liver and could potentially be a new target for drugs to treat diabetes.

The study, led by Eric Taylor, PhD, UI assistant professor of biochemistry, and published Sept. 3 in the journal Cell Metabolism, shows that disabling MPC reduces blood sugar levels in mouse models of Type 2 diabetes.

Glucose is primarily made in the liver and requires the molecular building blocks to pass through specialized cellular compartments called mitochondria. Mitochondria use a small molecule called pyruvate as the starting point for synthesizing glucose, and the pyruvate is imported into the mitochondria through the MPC portal.

“Essentially, what we found is that disruption of the MPC makes the liver less efficient at making glucose and, as a result, the liver burns more fat for energy, makes less cholesterol, and makes less glucose in models of diabetes,” explains Taylor, who also is a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Centre at the UI. “This overall change in metabolism matches outcomes that would be therapeutically desirable for people with diabetes.”

Full article: Targeting glucose production in the liver may lead to new diabetes therapies

Relevant Cytoplan Blogs

Balancing Blood Glucose

Mediterranean diet ‘as effective as statins’ in reducing heart attack risk

“People at risk of a stroke or heart attack should reduce that risk by adopting the Mediterranean diet rather than necessarily taking statins, leading doctors are urging.

Eating more healthily, being more physically active and stopping smoking can be just as effective as starting to take the cholesterol-lowering drugs, they have said in a paper published on Monday.

Bodies such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), which advise doctors how to treat patients, should rely less on medication to cut cardiovascular risk.

The call, in an editorial in the healthcare journal Prescriber, has come from a trio of doctors, including the British cardiologist, Dr Aseem Malhotra, a prominent sceptic about the value of statins. They believe doctors should tell patients in detail about the risks and benefits of using statins or the alternative of making non-medical, lifestyle changes, and let them decide which approach they favour.

An estimated 7 million people in the UK are thought to be on statins and their numbers are set to rise because ‘Nice’ last year lowered their criteria for those it deems may benefit from the drugs. Anyone with a 10% chance of having a stroke or heart attack in the next 10 years is meant to be offered one, where previously the threshold was a 20% risk.”

Full article: Mediterranean diet ‘as effective as statins’ in reducing heart attack risk

Relevant Cytoplan Blogs

The Authentic Paleo Lifestyle

The Authentic Paleo Lifestyle – Part 2 – A Suitable Diet

The benefits of a ‘low-carb’ diet such as the ‘Paleo Diet’?

Detoxification & The Paleo Diet: Managing expectations

Why a Low Fat Diet and Statin’s May Cause Alzheimer’s

Getting closer to understanding how exercise keeps brains young

“Most of us have had firsthand experience with memory lapses. We find ourselves flustered trying to recall a name during a conversation. We forget where we parked the car. We can’t recall items on the short grocery list we left back at home.

While memory lapses can occur at any age, they happen more often as we get older.  And there is that fear they’re early signs of Alzheimer’s disease or some other type of dementia. But for the most part, our fleeting memory difficulties are from normal age-related changes in the brain. Our recall slows and it’s a bit harder to learn new things quickly.

Many studies have shown that staying physically active and exercising regularly in middle age and beyond can help delay and perhaps even prevent decline in brain function. Since most of these studies have been primarily observational, they can’t show associations and don’t prove cause and effect.

So there is no scientific proof that exercise itself is the direct reason for staying mentally sharp. At least not yet.”

New studies suggest how exercise helps the brain

“More recent studies show positive brain changes related to greater amounts of daily physical activity and higher fitness levels.

Last month, a small but interesting study looked at oxygen related changes and nerve processing in the brain. These features have been shown to correlate with better memory and brain function as people age.

The researchers identified 100 relatively healthy men and women ages 60 to 80 with varying levels of reported physical activity. For one week, the study participants wore an accelerometer to measure their amount of physical activity. Each of them also had their oxygen consumption measured during a maximal exercise test. Oxygen consumption during peak exercise is a standard way to assess cardiorespiratory fitness.

As expected, the people with higher fitness levels were the same ones that were more physically active during the week. They were also the same people who showed more positive oxygen related changes and MRI findings consistent with faster nerve processing in the brain. The study results were reported in PLOS One.”

Full article: Getting closer to understanding how exercise keeps brains young

Relevant Cytoplan Blogs

Alzheimer’s and Dementia – Time for ‘A Novel Therapeutic Programme’?

Nutrition for Cognition

Vitamins for the Brain?


If you have any questions regarding the health topics that have been raised, or any other health matters please do contact me (Amanda) by phone or email at any time., 01684 310099

Amanda Williams and the Cytoplan Editorial Team: Joseph Forsyth & Simon Holdcroft

Last updated on 10th September 2015 by cytoffice


We'd love your comments on this article
It's easy, just post your questions, comments or feedback below

Names will be displayed as entered. Your email address will not be published. Required *