Tuesday November 13, 2018

Cut Down Chronic Inflammation Risk by Eating Yogurt

Relishing yogurt as an "appetizer" may help reduce chronic inflammation -- a key factor associated with bowel disease, arthritis and asthma as well as cardiometabolic diseases, finds a study.

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Curd provides calming effect to the body. Wikimedia
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Relishing yogurt as an “appetizer” may help reduce chronic inflammation — a key factor associated with bowel disease, arthritis and asthma as well as cardiometabolic diseases, finds a study.

The findings showed that yogurt may help reduce inflammation by improving the integrity of the intestinal lining, thus preventing endotoxins — pro-inflammatory molecules produced by gut microbes — from crossing into the blood stream.

“Eating eight ounces of low-fat yogurt before a meal is a feasible strategy to improve post-meal metabolism and thus may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases,” said Ruisong Pei, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.

For the new study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, the team enrolled 120 pre menopausal women, half obese and half non-obese. Half of the participants were assigned to eat 12 ounces of low-fat yogurt every day for nine weeks; a control group ate non-dairy pudding for nine weeks.

The participants were also involved in a high-calorie meal challenge at the beginning and end of their nine-week dietary intervention.

yogurt
representational image. pixabay

The challenge, meant to stress an individual’s metabolism, started with either a serving of yogurt or non-dairy pudding followed by a large high-fat, high-carb breakfast meal.

For both challenges, blood work showed that the yogurt “appetizer” helped improve some key biomarkers of endotoxin exposure and inflammation as participants digested the meal over the ensuing hours.

It also helped improve glucose metabolism in obese participants by speeding up the reduction of post-meal blood glucose levels.

Also Read: Study Shows That 3 Cups of Coffee or Tea Daily May Cut Risk of Stroke

The findings help expand the overall body of scientific knowledge about how foods impact inflammation, but “the goal is to identify the components and then get human evidence to support their mechanism of action in the body”, said Brad Bolling, Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Ultimately, we would like to see these components optimised in foods, particularly for medical situations where it’s important to inhibit inflammation through the diet. We think this is a promising approach.” (IANS)

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NASA to Send Organ-on-Chips To Test Human Tissue Health in Space

Called a micro-physiological system, a tissue chip needs three main properties

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NASA, tissue
NASA to send tissue chips to space to test human health, genetic changes. Flcikr

NASA is planning to send small devices containing human cells in a 3D matrix — known as tissue chips or organs-on-chips — to the International Space Station (ISS) to test how they respond to stress, drugs and genetic changes.

Made of flexible plastic, tissue chips have ports and channels to provide nutrients and oxygen to the cells inside them.

The “Tissue Chips in Space” initiative seeks to better understand the role of microgravity on human health and disease and to translate that understanding to improved human health on Earth, NASA said.

“Spaceflight causes many significant changes in the human body,” said Liz Warren, Associate Program Scientist at the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) in the US.

Kepler, NASA, tissue
This illustration made available by NASA shows the Kepler Space Telescope. As of October 2018, the planet-hunting spacecraft has been in space for nearly a decade. VOA

“We expect tissue chips in space to behave much like an astronaut’s body, experiencing the same kind of rapid change,” Warren said.

The US space agency is planning the investigations in collaboration with CASIS and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes for Health (NIH).

Many of the changes in the human body caused by microgravity resemble the onset and progression of diseases associated with ageing on Earth, such as bone and muscle loss. But the space-related changes occur much faster.

That means scientists may be able to use tissue chips in space to model changes that might take months or years to happen on Earth.

Parkinson's Disease, Kepler, NASA, tissue
A researcher takes a tissue sample from a human brain at the Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s UK Tissue Bank, VOA

This first phase of Tissue Chips in Space includes five investigations. An investigation of immune system ageing is planned for launch on the SpaceX CRS-16 flight, scheduled for this year.

The other four, scheduled to launch on SpaceX CRS-17 or subsequent flights, include lung host defense, the blood-brain barrier, musculoskeletal disease and kidney function.

In addition, four more projects are scheduled for launch in summer 2020, including two on engineered heart tissue to understand cardiovascular health, one on muscle wasting and another on gut inflammation.

Kepler, NASA, tissue
“Detecting life in an agnostic fashion means not using characteristics particular to Earth life,” said Heather Graham at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Pixabay

Also called a micro-physiological system, a tissue chip needs three main properties, according to Lucie Low, scientific programme manager at National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences in the US.

Also Read: NASA’s Ralph Will Explore Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids in 2021

“It has to be 3D, because humans are 3D,” she explained.

“It must have multiple, different types of cells, because an organ is made up of all kinds of tissue types. And it must have microfluidic channels, because every single tissue in your body has vasculature to bring in blood and nutrients and to take away detritus,” she added. (IANS)