|Hippocrates says: "Let food be thy medicine!" And he was right. Tons of food contain substances that would make pharmacologist proud and filthy rich if he invented and patented them.|
If you subscribe to the old Greek's principle, you should also subscribe to the scientific journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research a journal "devoted to health, safety and all aspects of molecular nutrition such as nutritional biochemistry, nutrigenomics and metabolomics aiming to link the information arising from related disciplines" (from the journal homepage) - quite an interesting journal as you are about to see in a minute or two.
Why? Well, all the "food is medicine" news in today's installments of the short news come from the latest issue of said journal:
- The beneficial properties of marine polysaccharides in alleviation of allergic responses (Vo. 2014) - Recently, several marine polysaccharides such alginate, porphyran, fucoidan, and chitin and its derivatives have been evidenced as downregulators of allergic responses due to enhancement of innate immune system, alteration of Th1/Th2 balance forward to Th1 cells, inhibition of IgE production, and suppression of mast cell degranulation.
In their recent review, the scientist from the Pukyong National University in Korea thus focus on the antiallergic properties of marine polysaccharides and emphasizes their potential application as bioactive food ingredients as well as nutraceuticals for prevention of allergic disorders.
Table 1: Marine polysaccharides for downregulation of allergic responses (Vo .2014).
- Fiber consumption and all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortalities: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies (Liu. 2014) - Scientist from the Chinese PLA General Hospital conducted a meta-analysis aimed to investigate fiber consumption and all-cause mortality, and cause-specific mortality.
What they found, when they scanned MEDLINE and web of science database for cohort studies published from inception to August 2014 was a that, compared with those who consumed lowest fiber, for individuals who ate highest fiber,...
- mortality rate was lower by 23% (HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.72–0.81) for CVD,
- by 17% (HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.74–0.91) for cancer, and
- by 23% (HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.73–0.81) for all-cause mortality.
Figure 1: Reduction in mortality risks with every 10g of extra fiber you eat per day (Liu. 2014).
- The perspective on cholesterol lowering mechanisms of probiotics (Ishimwe. 2014) - The use of probiotics as food components combats not only cardiovascular diseases but also many gastrointestinal tract disorders.
Figure 2: Enterohepatic circulation of cholesterol and its regulation (Ishimwe. 2014).
Said mechanism involves the deconjugation of bile via bile salt hydrolase activity, binding of cholesterol to probiotic cellular surface and the incorporation into their cell membrane, as well as the production of SCFAs from oligosaccharides, coprecipitation of cholesterol with deconjugated bile, and cholesterol conversion to coprostanol (see Figure 2 | if you are not interested in how it works, check out Table 2 for what happens ;-).
Table 2: Interventional human trials of probiotics with effect on serum TC and LDL-C (Ishimwe. 2014).
|Overall changes in polyphenol content according to types of food processing in Phenol-Explorer (Rothwell. 2014).|
- Natural polyphenols binding to amyloid - Phenols as Anti-Alzheimer's drugs (Ngoungoure. 2014) - Polyphenols are a large group of phytonutrients found in herbal beverages and foods. They have manifold biological activities, including antioxidative, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Interestingly, some polyphenols bind to amyloid and substantially ameliorate amyloid diseases.
"Misfolding, aggregation, and accumulation of amyloid fibrils in tissues or organs leads to a group of disorders, called amyloidoses. Prominent diseases are Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease, but there are other, less well-known diseases wherein accumulation of misfolded protein is a prominent feature. Amyloidoses are a major burden to public health. In particular, Alzheimer's disease shows a strong increase in patient numbers. Accelerated development of effective therapies for amyloidoses is a necessity. A viable strategy can be the prevention or reduction of protein misfolding, thus reducing amyloid build-up by restoring the cellular aggretome" (Ngoungoure. 2014).Amyloid-binding polyphenols affect amyloid formation on various levels, e.g. by inhibiting fibril formation or steering oligomer formation into unstructured, nontoxic pathways. Consequently, preclinical studies demonstrate reduction of amyloid-formation by polyphenols - polypenols you all know very well, curcumin from tumeric, baicalein from the roots of Baikal skullcap, EGCG from green tea, ferulic acid from, among others, coffee, apple, artichoke, peanut, and oranges, and, last but not least, silibinin from milk thistle (see Table 3).
Table 3: Preclinicals studies with some amyloid-binding polyphenols (Ngoungoure. 2014).
- Breast cancer chemoprevention by dietary natural phenolic compounds (Pan. 2014) - The scientists summarized the misery with breast cancer so perfectly that I will just cite what Pan et al. wrote about breast cancer being "a systemic malignant disease that is a major cause of cancer-related death among women worldwide."
"Recently, multiple lines of evidence from epidemiologic studies have suggested that epigenetic and genetic changes are involved in breast cancer development. In breast cancer patients, hormone receptor status, breast cancer stem-like cell population, and tumor microenvironment are reflective of breast cancer progression, drug resistance, and tumor recurrence. Strong relationships between a phytochemical-rich diet and a reversal of epigenetic alterations and/or modulated signaling pathways of carcinogenesis (initiation, promotion, and progression) suggest a potential approach for preventing breast cancer" (Pan. 2014).Next to simply eating healthy and getting all those beneficial phenolic compounds from the diets, there is obviously the potential of supplementing which compounds containing phytoestrogen properties of which we suspect that they will have beneficial effects in breast cancer chemoprevention.
Figure 3: . Schematic representation of chemopreventive molecular targets and efficiency of dietary natural phenolic compounds during multiple stages of breast carcinogenesis (Pan. 2014).
The list they came up with is extensive and includes among others Apigenin from Parsley Celery, Luteolin Spinach Kale, Chrysin Passion flower Honeycomb, Flavonols from Sources, Quercetin from Apple Onion, Kaempferol from Broccoli Tea, Flavanones from Sources, Hesperetin from Orange peel, Naringenin from Orange peel, Flavan-3-ols from Sources, EGCG from Green tea, TF-1 & TF-2 from Black tea, Anthocyanidins from Sources, Delphinidin from Black currants Bilberries, Cyanidin from Cherries, Peonidin from Bilberries, Pelargonidin from Strawberries, Malvidin from Blueberries, Petunidin from Cowpeas, Isoflavones from Sources, Genistein from Soybeans Psoralea, Equol from Soybeans Stinky tofu, Biochanin A from Alfalfa sprouts, Formononetin from Red clover, and Calycosin from Radix Astragali, as well as the following non-flavenoid compounds: Coumestrol from Soy, Curcumin from Turmeric, Garcinol from Garcinia indica, Resveratrol from Grapes Red wine, Pterostilbene from Blueberries, and 6-Shogaol from Ginger.
Needless to say that you don't have to eat / supplement with all of them, but maybe you keep one of the other food source in mind and check how often you are eating (or drinking) it in the months to come ;-)
- Dietary stimulators of GLUT4 expression and translocation in skeletal muscle (Gannon. 2014) - As a SuppVersity reader you know that agents like alpha lipoic acid can increase the expression of glucose receptors (GLUT-4) and thus increase the transport of glucose from the blood into the cells.
In their latest review of the literature, researchers from the University of New Mexico compiled a list of these dietary chemicals of which the researchers say that they may serve "as potential adjuvant therapies in the maintenance of diabetes and insulin resistance" (Gannon. 2014).
- Ferulic acid
- Lipoic acid
- Nitric oxide and precursors
- Vanillic acid
- Angelica keiskei extract
- Chlorogenic acid
- Cinnamon and extracts
- Anacardium occidentale nut extract
- 10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid
- Clifton, Peter M., et al. "How do fruit and vegetables prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes?." Current opinion in lipidology 25.2 (2014): 155-156.
- Esatbeyoglu, Tuba, et al. "Betanin—A food colorant with biological activity." Molecular nutrition & food research (2014).
- Gannon, Nicholas P., Carole A. Conn, and Roger A. Vaughan. "Dietary stimulators of GLUT4 expression and translocation in skeletal muscle: A mini‐review." Molecular nutrition & food research (2014).
- Habermeyer, Michael, et al. "Nitrate and nitrite in the diet: How to assess their benefit and risk for human health." Molecular nutrition & food research (2014).
- Ishimwe, Nestor, et al. "The perspective on cholesterol lowering mechanisms of probiotics." Molecular nutrition & food research (2014).
- Kapil, Vikas, et al. "Dietary Nitrate Provides Sustained Blood Pressure Lowering in Hypertensive Patients A Randomized, Phase 2, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study." Hypertension (2014): HYPERTENSIONAHA-114.
- Liu, Lihua, Shan Wang, and Jianchao Liu. "Fiber consumption and all‐cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortalities: A systematic review and meta‐analysis of cohort studies." Molecular nutrition & food research (2014).
- Ngoungoure, Viviane L. Ndam, et al. "Natural polyphenols binding to amyloid: A broad class of compounds to treat different human amyloid diseases." Molecular nutrition & food research (2014).
- Pan, Min‐Hsiung, et al. "Breast cancer chemoprevention by dietary natural phenolic compounds: Specific epigenetic related molecular targets." Molecular nutrition & food research (2014).
- Rothwell, Joseph A., et al. "Effects of food processing on polyphenol contents: A systematic analysis using Phenol‐Explorer data." Molecular nutrition & food research (2014).
- Vo, Thanh‐Sang, et al. "The beneficial properties of marine polysaccharides in alleviation of allergic responses." Molecular nutrition & food research (2014).
- Zamani, Payman, et al. "The Effect of Inorganic Nitrate on Exercise Capacity in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction." Circulation (2014): CIRCULATIONAHA-114.