August 23, 2017

New study demonstrates fish oils improve heart function post heart attack

According to a new study just published 3 days ago in journal Circulation, high dose fish oil post heart attack improved heart function and reduced scarring.

The heart’s shape and function can be altered after a heart attack, which can lead to heart failure. There are limited things that can improve healing of the heart or prevent adverse remodeling. This study demonstrates the significant role of omega-3-fatty acids in the structure and tissue of the heart.

This study included 360 heart attack survivors. Researchers compared patients taking 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily for six months to those taking a placebo. There was a 5.8% reduction in left ventricular end-systolic volume index (predicts patient outcome and a 5.6% reduction in fibrosis formation in the non-damaged heart muscle of the fish oil group.

The treatment was safe and effective. Both groups received treatment based on guidelines issued by the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association. Blood tests were used to confirm that patients in the omega-3 fatty acids group were compliant to the treatment.

Fish oil supplementation is an essential for cardiovascular health. Some doctors recommend fish oils to improve LDL particle size, lower triglycerides, anti-inflammatory properties, and simply overall health since these fats are essential for normal function of all of our cells.

Heart failure is a major problem post heart attack. These results demonstrate that omega-3 fatty acids improve cardiac remodeling, which allows the heart to contract better and decreases fibrosis in the region that is not damaged.

Other nutrients are also essential for heart failure patients. These are individuals that have a disruption in their metabolic processes and as the heart muscle weakens it cannot meet metabolic demands. Energy nutrients include ribose, CoQ10, and l-carnitine.

Ribose is a key nutrient for quickly restoring cardiac energy stores. It is needed to synthesize adenine nucleotides, certain vitamins, and other important cellular compounds.
CoQ10 plays a central role in the production of ATP and required for muscle contraction and other cellular processes.

Carnitine supports the heart by the delivery of fat to the heart muscle, which is its main fuel source.

In addition, magnesium and potassium should be considered to support all cardiovascular conditions. These nutrients are often depleted in heart failure often by the use of diuretic medications.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Bobak Heydari, Shuaib Abdullah, James V. Pottala, Ravi Shah, Siddique Abbasi, Damien Mandry, Sanjeev A. Francis, Heidi Lumish, Brian B. Ghoshhajra, Udo Hoffmann, Evan Appelbaum, Jiazhuo H. Feng, Ron Blankstein, Michael Steigner, Joseph P. McConnell, William Harris, Elliott M. Antman, Michael Jerosch-Herold, Raymond Y. Kwong. Effect of Omega-3 Acid Ethyl Esters on Left Ventricular Remodeling After Acute Myocardial InfarctionClinical Perspective. Circulation, 2016; 134 (5): 378 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.019949

New study demonstrates the gut brain relationships with irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be debilitating condition consisting of cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. IBS can affect and one’s work, sleep and relationships.

The gastrointestinal tract is considered to be the body’s ‘second brain,’ it is made up of a self-contained, complex network of neurons, neurotransmitters, and proteins embedded in the lining of the GI system. It is responsible for all aspects of the digestive process, from the esophagus to the stomach and small and large intestines.

New research published last Friday in the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics demonstrated that there is a distinct brain-gut pathway (psychological symptoms begin first) as well as a separate gut-brain pathway (gut symptoms begin first). There are several studies that have been done that show this new gut to brain pathway.

In this study, higher levels of anxiety and depression were significant predictors of developing IBS within 1 year. In addition, individuals who did not have elevated levels of anxiety and depression at the start of the study but had documented IBS had significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression after 1 year.

The researchers determined that in 1/3 of patients, a mood disorder precedes IBS and in the other 2/3 of patients, the IBS precedes the mood disorder.

These results reveal how some patients with IBS have a gastrointestinal disorder that may not only explain their gut symptoms but also their psychological symptoms.

It is common knowledge that diet is the most effective means to returning balance within the gastrointestinal system. One may need a combination of botanicals, enzymes, and probiotics to optimize the gastrointestinal environment. Certain diagnostic tests may also be beneficial, including stool testing as well as food antibody testing.

According to a recent clinical trial published in Gastroenterology, researchers at University of Michigan’s Health System demonstrated that a low FODMAP diet significantly helped those with IBS. This study measured the degree of relief from a low FODMAP diet and demonstrated improvement in symptoms as well as an increased quality of life in patients with IBS.

There are other nutrients that can support patient with IBS. For example. Perilla frutescens is an herb native to Eastern Asia that demonstrates antispasmodic, prokinetic, and anti-inflammtory effects, which help normalize and promote health bowel function and provide relief from GI symptoms. In addition, there are some specific researched strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that have been shown to reduce digestive discomfort and abdominal pain in individuals with IBS. Also. 5-HTP is a dominant neurotransmitter in the enteric nervous system. It plays an important role in pain perception, sleep patterns, and is important for digestion. 5-HTP also has benefits on reduction of anxiety.

In addition, Saccharomyces boulardii is also great to use in combination for this. S. boulardii has been tested for clinical efficacy in numerous gastrointestinal conditions, including antibiotic-associated diarrhea, Clostridium difficile infection, acute diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, traveler’s diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Helicobacter pylori infections.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: N. A. Koloski, M. Jones, N. J. Talley. Evidence that independent gut-to-brain and brain-to-gut pathways operate in the irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia: a 1-year population-based prospective study. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2016; DOI:10.1111/apt.13738

Colon cancer mortality decreased from Omega-3 intake after diagnosis

According to a new study published 3 days ago in Gut, researchers concluded that a high dietary intake of omega 3 fatty acids may decrease mortality from patients with colon cancer.

Previous research has demonstrated that omega 3 fatty acids suppress tumor growth and decrease angiogenesis to malignant cells. For example, two months ago I have shared new study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, researchers demonstrate that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) helps reduce renal cell carcinoma invasiveness, growth rate, and blood vessel growth when combined with the anti-cancer therapy regorafenib. In addition, a study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, researchers at Washington State University found a mechanism by which omega-3 fatty acids inhibit the growth and spread of prostate cancer cells.

In this study, the results were based on two large long term studies including the Nurses’ Health Study of 121,700 US registered female nurses and the Health Professionals Follow Up Study of 51, 529 male health professionals. All participants completed a detailed health history and this was repeated every two years subsequently. The information included any diagnosis of bowel cancer as well as and other risk factors. In addition, a diet diary was collected and updated every four years using Food Frequency Questionnaires.

There were 1,659 participants who developed bowel cancer and as a result 561 died. One hundred and sixty nine of these deaths were a result of the disease during an average monitoring period of 10.5 years.

Participants who had been diagnosed with colon cancer and whose diets contained higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids had a mortality rate from the disease. There was an inverse relationship between omega 3 fatty acid intake and risk of death. The higher dose or intake of fish oil was associated with a lower risk of bowel cancer. This was also true after adjusting the intake prior to the diagnosis. Patients who consumed less omega 3 fatty acids daily had a 41% lower risk of dying from cancer once they increased their intake at the time of diagnosis. This reduced risk was associated to a combination of dietary sources as well as supplements.

The researchers determine that increasing their intake of 0.15 g daily after diagnosis was associated with a 70% reduction in mortality. On the other hand reducing daily essential fatty acid intake was associated with a 10% increased risk in mortality.

Other lifestyle and dietary habits such as exercise, increased dietary fiber and vitamin D are also associated with a decreased risk of colon cancer.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Mingyang Song, Xuehong Zhang, Jeffrey A Meyerhardt, Edward L Giovannucci, Shuji Ogino, Charles S Fuchs, Andrew T Chan. Marine ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis. Gut, 2016; gutjnl-2016-311990 DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2016-311990

New study demonstrates alterations of the gut microbiome in chronic fatigue syndrome

In a recent study published last month in Microbiome, Cornell researchers have identified biomarkers of chronic fatigue syndrome in gut bacteria as well as inflammatory microbial agents in the blood.

This is very interesting but should come as no surprise as many of these individuals commonly has gastrointestinal disturbances. The gut microbiome has been associated with many chronic health conditions from autoimmune disease to neurological disorders.

Doctors have often been puzzled by chronic fatigue syndrome. This is a condition with no known triggers and its diagnosis typically requires extensive testing. Patients often complain of fatigue, muscle and/or joint pain, sore throat, headaches, sleep disturbances, post-exertional malaise, and gastrointestinal symptoms.

In this study, the research team was able to correctly diagnose myalgic encephalomyeletis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in 83% of patients through stool samples and blood work. The study consisted of 48 individuals diagnosed with ME/CFS and 39 healthy controls to provide stool and blood samples. Overall, the diversity of gut bacteria was significantly reduced. In addition, there were fewer bacterial species known to have anti-inflammatory properties in ME/CFS patients, a similar observation seen patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Furthermore, researchers identified specific markers of inflammation in the blood, which are likely due to intestinal permeability. Bacteria in the blood will trigger an immune response which can exacerbate symptoms increasing the severity of the condition.

The question we must ask is the altered gut microbiome a cause or a result of the disease? This data demonstrates that the gut microbiome in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome is not normal. This further confirms that CFS is no of psychological origin.

When it comes to any gastrointestinal dysfunction, it is important to rule out viruses, fungi, and other pathogenic bacteria in the gut that may be causing or contributing to patient’s symptoms. Healthcare providers should consider a stool analysis for these individuals using molecular/PCR based techniques.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Ludovic Giloteaux, Julia K. Goodrich, William A. Walters, Susan M. Levine, Ruth E. Ley, Maureen R. Hanson. Reduced diversity and altered composition of the gut microbiome in individuals with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Microbiome, 2016; 4 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s40168-016-0171-4

Heavy exercise induced intestinal permeability: New study suggests gut support for athletes

There was an interesting article published last week in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on heavy exercise induced intestinal permeability in athletes. When one thinks of nutritional supplements in athletes, they usually think of nutrients that increase enhance energy and sports performance. However, athletes commonly suffer from gut issues that are often not identifies or addressed. ‘Leaky gut’ occurs from dysfunction in the intestinal barrier. This intestinal barrier in the gut is only one cell layer thick. It is essential for the absorption of nutrients and preventing large molecules and bacteria from getting into the blood stream.

It is a particular problem for those taking part in heavy exercise or who are active in hot conditions. It can lead to gut issues in athletes as well as more serious conditions like inflammatory bowel and autoimmune disorders.

In this study, researchers demonstrated that zinc carnosine and colostrum can have a significant value for athletes.

The study included 8 participants in a four-arm, double-blind placebo-controlled test. The participants were divided into groups receiving either the placebo, zinc carnosine, colostrum, or zinc carnosine and colostrum for 14 days prior to exercise. These nutrients were taken 2 and 14 days after starting treatment. They noted that during heavy exercise, athletes had a 2 degree increase in body temperature, which may have been a factor in inducing intestinal hyperpermeability. This significant stress on the body and central nervous system may also play a role.

The clinical trial was parallel to cell culture experiments to uncover the mechanisms of zinc carnosine and colostrum.

The results showed that zinc carnosine improved the function of the intestinal barrier which was further enhanced when colostrum was added. These findings demonstrate the importance of zinc carnosine and/or colostrum in preventing leaky gut associated with heavy exercise but also as an important nutrients to consider for athletes. When working with athletes, there is often a disconnect between fitness and health.

As a competitive powerlifter, I work with many of these athletes. Due to the stresses they put on their bodies and increased metabolic demands, many often have debilitating gut issues and inflammatory bowel diseases.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Glen Davison, Tania Marchbank, Daniel S March, Rhys Thatcher, and Raymond J Playford. Zinc carnosine works with bovine colostrum in truncating heavy exercise–induced increase in gut permeability in healthy volunteers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2016 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.116.134403

New study shows low commensal bacteria in multiple sclerosis patients

According to a new study published earlier this week in Scientific Reports, researchers are saying low amounts of beneficial bacteria or a dysbiosis in the gut microbiome may have a direct association to multiple sclerosis (MS). This is not new information, however, it is good to see more of this information in the medical research.

There is a study a reference a lot from Plos One in my presentations demonstrating this association. In a 2014 study, researchers at Lund University published research findings on the role of the intestinal barrier in MS. Scientists have previously shown that probiotics could provide a certain amount of protection against MS. However, they questioned whether the intestinal barrier was affected, which led to their examination of inflammatory cells and processes in the intestine. As a result, they saw structural changes in the gastrointestinal mucosa of the small intestine and an increase in inflammatory T-cells. In addition, they saw a reduction in regulatory T-cells (immunosuppressive cells). These changes are often linked to inflammatory bowel diseases. In summary, they concluded that future drugs to treat MS should not only focus on the central nervous system, but also on repairing and restoring the intestinal barrier.

The gastrointestinal tract is 80% of our immune system. Whenever you have inflammation present, the tight junctions and intestinal mucosa can become damaged compromising the lining of the GI tract. Then toxic byproducts in the digestive tract can be absorbed into the bloodstream forming immune complexes which eventually affect numerous systems throughout the body causing inflammation, food sensitivities and autoimmune disorders.
According to this new study in Scientific Reports, the research team confirmed that relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients do have a distinct microbiome different from healthy individuals with certain gut microbes showing decreased or increased abundance in RRMS patients compared to controls. The analysis of bacterial diversity showed no difference between total RRMS patients and healthy controls. With that being said, RRMS patients with active disease showed decreased abundance compared to patients in remission and controls. This decreased abundance in RRMS patients with active disease suggests an important role of the gut microbiota in disease exacerbation. This study further supports previous research indicating that MS patients have dysbiosis of gastrointestinal microbiome.

These two studies are a perfect examples between the big disconnect between medical research and the practice of traditional medicine when it comes to the management of chronic disorders.

Gut bacteria has been identified as an important environmental factor in overall health and all autoimmune disease. Patients may need anti-microbials, botanicals, enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics to optimize the gastrointestinal environment.

All practitioners treating patients with autoimmune disorders should consider a comprehensive digestive stool analysis for these individuals, which modern research supports. There are several other factors that play a role in autoimmunity such as, gluten intolerance, food sensitivities, gastrointestinal infections, hormone imbalances, heavy metal toxicity, and nutrient deficiencies (ie. vitamin D, magnesium, EFAs). These environmental influences filtered through genetic predisposition are fundamental factors in the expression of disease, and a successful treatment approach must include investigation into these factors.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Jun Chen, Nicholas Chia, Krishna R. Kalari, Janet Z. Yao, Martina Novotna, M. Mateo Paz Soldan, David H. Luckey, Eric V. Marietta, Patricio R. Jeraldo, Xianfeng Chen, Brian G. Weinshenker, Moses Rodriguez, Orhun H. Kantarci, Heidi Nelson, Joseph A. Murray, Ashutosh K. Mangalam. Multiple sclerosis patients have a distinct gut microbiota compared to healthy controls. Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 28484 DOI: 10.1038/srep28484

N-acetyl-cysteine may improve Parkinson’s disease according to new study

Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that affects more than one million Americans each year, a figure expected to rise due to aging populations. The main characteristic feature of Parkinson’s disease is the progressive destruction of dopamine-producing cells in the substantia nigra region of the brain where dopamine is made. This loss of dopamine production affects the communication between the brain and the body causing muscle rigidity and tremors.

Present treatments for Parkinson’s disease are limited to replacing dopamine in the brain as well as specific medications designed to slow the progression of the disease. Recently, researchers have demonstrated the role of oxidative stress and its impact on the brain in the Parkinson’s disease process. This oxidative stress lowers glutathione levels resulting in an increased demand for glutathione to help reduce the oxidative damage to the neurons.

According to a new study published last week in PLOS ONE, researchers from Thomas Jefferson University demonstrated a potential benefit of n-acetylcysteine (NAC) in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The study showed that patients receiving NAC improved both mental and physical abilities with brain imaging studies that tracked the levels of dopamine.

This demonstrates that NAC may have a unique physiological effect on the brain that alters the disease process and improves the function of dopamine neurons and offers a new approach for managing patients with Parkinson’s disease.

In this study, patients with Parkinson’s were divided into two groups. One group received a combination of oral and intravenous (IV) NAC for three month period. These patients received 50mg/kg NAC intravenously once per week and 600mg of oral NAC twice daily on the non-IV days. The other group received only their standard Parkinson’s treatment. Patients were evaluated by standard clinical measures including the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and a brain scan (DaTscan SPECT imaging), which measures the amount of dopamine transporter in the basal ganglia. The patients receiving NAC had improvements of 4-9% in dopamine transporter binding as well as 13% in their UPDRS score.

Glutathione is an important antioxidant which has been found to be depleted in the brain of Parkinson’s disease patients. In addition, the extent of glutathione depletion appears to mirror the severity of the disease and is the earliest known indicator of degeneration. The brain has difficulty handling significant amounts of oxidative stress due to the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low levels of antioxidants such as glutathione. In conclusion, providing antioxidant support with NAC or glutathione can provide a beneficial effect in Parkinson’s disease patients as well as other neurodegenerative disorders.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Daniel A. Monti, George Zabrecky, Daniel Kremens, Tsao-Wei Liang, Nancy A. Wintering, Jingli Cai, Xiatao Wei, Anthony J. Bazzan, Li Zhong, Brendan Bowen, Charles M. Intenzo, Lorraine Iacovitti, Andrew B. Newberg. N-Acetyl Cysteine May Support Dopamine Neurons in Parkinson’s Disease: Preliminary Clinical and Cell Line Data. PLOS ONE, 2016; 11 (6): e0157602 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157602

New study demonstrates success of low FODMAP diet in IBS sufferers

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be debilitating causing cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. IBS can affect and one’s work, sleep and relationships.

According to a recent clinical trial published in Gastroenterology, researchers at University of Michigan’s Health System demonstrated that a low FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols) significantly helped those with IBS. This study measured the degree of relief from a low FODMAP diet and demonstrated improvement in symptoms as well as an increased quality of life in patients with IBS. This diet excludes many compounds found in wheat, certain fruits and vegetables, garlic, onions and sugar substitutes.

Most treatments rely on medications which are usually ineffective and have numerous side effects. A Low-FODMAP diet is not a new treatment. Most integrative doctors already incorporate a low FODMAP diet for these patients, however, many of the dietary recommendations have not been backed by clinical trials. This just further reinforces these recommendations.

Over a 6 week period, dietitians educated and tracked the progress of over than 90 IBS patients. Approximately 50% of the participants followed a low FODMAP diet and the remainder were a control group consisting of portion control and eliminating commons irritants such as caffeine and alcohol.

As a result, over 50% of the patients on the low FODMAP diet had major improvement of their abdominal pain, compared with only 20% of the control group. There was also additional improvement of bloating, diarrhea and stool urgency.

It is common knowledge that diet is the most effective means to returning balance within the gastrointestinal system. One may need a combination of botanicals, enzymes, and probiotics to optimize the gastrointestinal environment. Certain diagnostic tests may also be beneficial, including stool testing as well as food antibody testing.

The gastrointestinal tract is considered to be the body’s ‘second brain,’ it is made up of a self-contained, complex network of neurons, neurotransmitters, and proteins embedded in the lining of the GI system. It is responsible for all aspects of the digestive process, from the esophagus to the stomach and small and large intestines and may be responsible for IBS symptoms.

There are other nutrients that can support patient with IBS. For example. Perilla frutescens is an herb native to Eastern Asia that demonstrates antispasmodic, prokinetic, and anti-inflammtory effects, which help normalize and promote health bowel function and provide relief from GI symptoms. In addition, there are some specific researched strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that have been shown to reduce digestive discomfort and abdominal pain in individuals with IBS.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Shanti L. Eswaran, William D. Chey, Kenya Jackson, Sivaram G. Pillai, Samuel W. Chey, Theresa Han-Markey. 821 A Low FODMAP Diet Improves Quality of Life, Reduces Activity Impairment, and Improves Sleep Quality in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Diarrhea: Results From a U.S. Randomized, Controlled Trial. Gastroenterology, 2016; 150 (4): S172 DOI: 10.1016/S0016-5085(16)30665-5

New study demonstrates how the gut bacteria causes obesity

According to a new study published in Nature, a research team from Yale has identified the mechanism in which gut dysbiosis leads to obesity. Previous research has demonstrated the association of the gut microbiome with metabolic markers and type II diabetes. Obesity is linked to changes in the gut bacteria, however, this mechanism was unclear.

In a previous study researchers discovered that one of the short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), acetate, stimulated the secretion of insulin in mice. When they compared acetate to other SCFAs, they discovered higher acetate levels in those that consumed a high fat diet. They also saw that acetate stimulated insulin secretion by beta cells in the pancreas, but this mechanism was not clear.

Interestingly, when acetate was then injected directly into the brain, it caused an increased release of insulin stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. As a result, the increased acetate stimulates the beta cells of the pancreas to secrete more insulin in response to glucose. This also stimulates the secretion of gastrin and ghrelin causing an increase in food intake.

To establish a causal relationship between the gut microbiota and increased insulin, the research team transferred fecal matter from one group of mice to another. As a result, they observed similar changes in the gut microbiota with acetate levels and insulin.

In summary, this research demonstrates an association of alterations in the gut microbiota as a result of dietary changes leading to an increased acetate production. Furthermore, the increased acetate leads to increased food intake causing metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and obesity.

The research team suggests this mechanism may have played a role in evolution by stimulating animals to fatten up in times of food scarcity.

I was also a probiotic workshop at Yale last March and I remember one of the presentations from Max Nueuwdrop, MD, PHD, an internist and endocrinologist, from Amsterdam. He went into detail on the microbiota and metabolism. He showed how butyrate, a SCFA, improved insulin resistance and brown fat activation. In general, low short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are associated with low diversity and abundance of the commensal bacteria. We typically want to see high levels of butyrate and not acetate. When patients introduce probotics and increase their dietary fiber intake by consuming fruits and vegetables, the beneficial bacteria butyrate, and SCFAs increase.

Probiotics help encourage microbial diversity, especially if the probiotic supplement is of mixed species. In ecological terms, it is more stable to have diverse populations in any ecosystem. The same is true for the gastrointestinal microbiome.

This also bring up the importance of stool testing in patients with metabolic syndrome and diabetes and just looking at facing glucose, insulin, A1c, and lipid profiles.

Other research has indicated that obesity has a microbial component that alters the caloric extraction from ingested food. For example, If you have more Bacteroidetes, the individual tends to be leaner. High Firmicutes:Bacteroidetes ratios have been known to increase the caloric extraction from food and these individuals tend to be more obese. This also ties together the importance of dietary fiber and weight loss.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Rachel J. Perry, Liang Peng, Natasha A. Barry, Gary W. Cline, Dongyan Zhang, Rebecca L. Cardone, Kitt Falk Petersen, Richard G. Kibbey, Andrew L. Goodman, Gerald I. Shulman. Acetate mediates a microbiome–brain–β-cell axis to promote metabolic syndrome.Nature, 2016; 534 (7606): 213 DOI: 10.1038/nature18309

A diet that mimics fasting reduces multiple sclerosis symptoms according to new study

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects an estimated 350,000 Americans. Symptoms can range from fatigue, weakness visual problems to paralysis. According to a new study published last Thursday in Cell Reports, research suggests a diet that mimics the effects of fasting may reduce the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Researchers discovered that a fasting-mimicking diet triggers the killing of autoimmune cells by the production of cortisone. As a result, this leads to the production of healthy new cells.

This new study included mice and human patients who have multiple sclerosis. For the first part of the study, results demonstrated that the fasting-mimicking diet reduced disease symptoms in all mice with all autoimmune disease with a complete recovery in 20% of the mice. As a result, increased levels of corticosterone, a reduction in the inflammatory cytokines, improvements in T cells as well regeneration of the myelin were seen.

Furthermore, researchers also checked the safety and efficacy of the diet on people who have multiple sclerosis through a pilot study including 60 participants with MS. Eighteen patients were put on the fasting-mimicking diet for a seven day cycle and then on a Mediterranean diet for the following six months. In addition, twelve patients were on a controlled diet, and the remaining 18 participants were instructed to follow a ketogenic diet.

Those who followed a fasting mimicking diet cycle followed by the Mediterranean diet and those on a ketogenic diet noted improvements in their quality of life and improvements in their overall health.

The results of this study look optimistic as part of an effective treatment for those suffering from MS and other autoimmune disorders.

I also shared last week several key nutrients such as curcumin, n-acetyl-glucosamine, and ParActin that have the synergistic ability to modulate cytokine and chemokine production as well as balance Th-1 and Th-2 responses.

In addition, as with all autoimmune disorders it is important to optimize vitamin D and address intestinal barrier dysfunction. There was a study published in September 2014 in Plos One in which researchers published new research findings on the role of the intestinal barrier in the autoimmune disease MS. The researchers stated, “they believe that future drugs to treat MS should not only focus on the central nervous system, but also on repairing and restoring the intestinal barrier. They hope for the development of a better treatment that looks at the intestinal barrier as a new therapeutic target.”

Dietary approaches provide the most effective means to returning balance and dysfunction with the gastrointestinal system. Patients may need antimicrobials, botanicals, enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, and glutamine to optimize the gastrointestinal environment. Integrative health care practitioners can offer hope to these patients. Diagnostic considerations include a comprehensive digestive stool analysis, organic acid testing, food antibody testing, as well as gluten sensitivity testing or elimination of gluten from the diet.

Vitamin D also plays a significant role in autoimmunity. Research has demonstrated that the highest levels of inflammatory inhibition occurs at 50 ng/ml. Optimal vitamin D levels are typically achieved anywhere from 4000 – 10,000 IU daily.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: In Young Choi et al. A Diet Mimicking Fasting Promotes Regeneration and Reduces Autoimmunity and Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms. Cell Reports, May 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.05.009