In the news – health and nutrition research

In this week’s article we provide a roundup of some of the most recent health and nutrition related articles to be in the news, four items comprising:

  • Gene that affects cell power supply may hold key to bowel disease
  • Eczema cure a step closer as scientists discover what triggers painful skin condition
  • Complex link between vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation
  • Parkinson’s disease and diet: Nutritional interventions reveals ‘clear therapeutic benefits’


Gene that affects cell power supply may hold key to bowel disease

A key gene that helps to explain an underlying cause of incurable bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease has been identified by scientists.

Blocking the gene harms vital parts of the cell and leads to bowel disease, while targeting these vital cell parts with drugs can reverse damage, the study shows.

The findings aid understanding of the cause of these lifelong conditions and could lead to new treatments, scientists say.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease includes Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and affects around 300,000 people in the UK. The causes of these disorders are unknown and there is currently no cure.

The gene – known as MDR1 – governs an important extractor system for toxins in the gut, removing damaging substances from intestinal cells.

A research team – led by the University of Edinburgh – showed that MDR1 function was lower in colonic biopsies from people with inflamed IBD compared with those without inflammation.

To demonstrate how MDR1 dysfunction leads to bowel damage, the scientists then showed that mice lacking MDR1 had faulty mitochondria – parts of the cell often referred to as ‘batteries’. These play a vital role in energy generation and cell health.

This mitochondrial dysfunction resulted in colitis – inflammation in the inner lining of the bowel that is a defining feature of IBD.

Scientists further implicated the role of mitochondria by linking IBD to a large number of genes involved in regulating these cell batteries. The researchers analysed genetic data from 90,000 people – 40,000 of whom had IBD.

You can read the full article via this link.

Related Cytoplan blogs

Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) – is it contributing to your IBS?

Nutritional support for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Eczema cure a step closer as scientists discover what triggers painful skin condition

Scientists have come a step closer to developing a cure for eczema after discovering how a deficiency in the skin’s natural barrier can trigger the painful condition.

Eczema, which causes the skin to become dry, red and itchy, affects one in five children and one in 12 adults in the UK, according to the National Eczema Society.

Flare-ups can be treated with creams and steroids, but there is currently no cure for the disorder.

Several years ago, researchers at the University of Dundee found the lack of a skin protein called filaggrin caused an inherited skin condition related to eczema, called ichthyosis vulgaris.

Genetic mutations can cause filaggrin, which plays an important role in protecting the skin from irritants, to stop working correctly.

Now scientists have built on this knowledge to better understand why some people develop atopic eczema, dry skin which often appears on the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp in children.

“We have shown for the first time that loss of the filaggrin protein alone is sufficient to alter key proteins and pathways involved in triggering eczema,” said Nick Reynolds, a dermatology professor at Newcastle University.

You can read the full article via this link.

Related Cytoplan blogs

Eczema – Looking Beyond the Skin


Complex link between vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation

A new study may shed light on the differences in uptake of vitamin D variants, while also revealing absorption is higher in women than men, and two-weekly dose regiments are the most effective.

The randomised controlled trial, by researchers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, enlisted 269 subjects between 18 and 60, 41% males and 59% females, who were not taking vitamin D supplements, consuming more than one serving of milk per day or getting more than 10 hours per week of exposure to the sun.

The researchers split the participants into a number of different supplementation protocols, providing them vitamin D2 daily, vitamin D3 daily, a daily D2/D3 combination, D2 or D3 fortnightly, D2 or D3 every four weeks, or a daily placebo, for 140 days, all in the form of standardized oral capsules.

All participants except those in the placebo group received a total vitamin D dose of 250,000 IU over the 140 day study period, not counting any missed doses. Doses ranged from 2,000 IU for daily protocols to 50,000 IU for four-weekly protocols.

Researchers drew blood before the start, every day for the first four days, then at day seven, day 14, and every two weeks after that.

While all the active supplementation regimens raised blood serum 25 (OH)D levels, the study found the two-weekly D3 protocol, followed by the 4-weekly D3 protocol and the daily D2, were the best at raising blood serum levels across the full length of the study period.

You can read the full article via this link.

Related Cytoplan blogs

Vitamin D back in the news – could ‘The Sunshine Vitamin’ prevent colds and flu?

Vitamin D – New government guidelines

Vitamin D “reduces the risk of falling” – The Mechanisms Unfolded


Parkinson’s disease and diet: Nutritional interventions reveals ‘clear therapeutic benefits’

A new study has demonstrated how dietary interventions with omega 3, prebiotics and other nutrients can help improve motor functions and cognition after the onset of Parkinson’s disease in mice.

Academics previously reported the benefits of a diet rich in uridine and DHA in mice when consumed before Parkinson’s disease was induced.

But now they also appear to have shown benefits when taken four weeks after the onset of the disease.

“In the present study we examine the therapeutic potential of the same dietary intervention in the intrastriatal rotenone mouse model of Parkinson’s disease given after the development of full motor symptoms, i.e, 4 weeks after rotenone injection, to elucidate if the diet has neurorestorative properties”, they wrote in the journal of Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

For the study, mice were fed the standard animal food for laboratory rodents, with the Diet 1 group also given Uridine monophosphate and fish oil, providing DHA and EPA.

Those given Diet 2 received the same as Diet 1, along with choline, phospholipids, selenium, folic acid, and vitamins B6, B12, C, D, and E. The fish oil in Diet 2 provided DHA and EPA. They also received prebiotic fibres.

The researchers found that Diet 1 provided a number of benefits to mice induced with Parkinson’s.

“Diet 1, given after the occurrence of motor problems, was able to reduce motor dysfunction, grip strength loss, cognitive deficits, delayed intestinal transit, colonic inflammation, and alpha-synuclein accumulation,” researchers wrote.

You can read the full article via this link.

Related Cytoplan blogs

Omega 3 Fatty Acids – DHA, EPA & ALA

Omega 3 Supplements – Fish, Krill or Algae?


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

clare@cytoplan.co.uk, 01684 310099

The Cytoplan editorial team: Clare Daley and Joseph Forsyth.


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2 thoughts on “In the news – health and nutrition research

  1. Can you recommend any supplement for huntingtons disease? My father in law has just been diagnosed as you can imagine we are devastated as it is inherited. Any help on the matter would be very much appreciated. Thankyou. Lisa x

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for your question on our blog, I am sorry to hear of your devastating news. You may have heard of Professor Bredesen who has been working with Alzheimer’s patients in the USA using a diet and lifestyle approach. He has mentioned that a similar approach may be useful for patients with Huntingdon’s. The approach considers nutrition, gut health, stress, sleep and exercise. We have written a booklet on it; please email me if you would like a copy. Also we do offer a free health questionnaire service – if your father-in-law completes a health questionnaire we will send some written diet and supplement suggestions. Obviously any supplement protocol is best individualised according to the patient.

      In the meantime, you could suggest that he start taking a multivitamin / mineral with good levels of B vitamins – the one I would suggest is our CoQ10 Multi. Plus an omega-3 fatty acid supplement – we have a number of different ones eg R-Omega which is particularly high in DHA important for brain health (if he is taking blood thinning medications then this should be limited to one per day.

      All the best,
      Clare

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