Friday February 28, 2020

Know About the Health Benefits of Walnuts

Eat walnuts daily for better gut, heart health

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Walnuts
Walnuts could lead to better heart health. Pixabay

Walnuts may not just be a tasty snack, they may also promote good-for-your-gut bacteria, say researchers, adding that these ‘good’ bacteria could lead to better heart health.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, suggests walnut as a part of healthy diet may be a heart- and gut-healthy nut.

Additionally, those changes in gut bacteria were associated with improvements in some risk factors for heart disease.

“Substantial evidence shows that small improvements in diet greatly benefit health. Eating two to three ounces of walnuts a day as part of a healthy diet could be a good way to improve gut health and reduce the risk of heart disease,” said study researcher Kristina Petersen from Penn State University in the US.

Walnuts
Walnuts as a part of healthy diet may be a heart- and gut-healthy nut. Pixabay

According to the researchers, another research has found that changes to the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract — also known as the gut microbiome — may help explain the cardiovascular benefits of walnuts.

For the study, the researchers recruited 42 participants with overweight or obesity who were between the ages of 30 and 65.

Before the study began, participants were placed on an average American diet for two weeks.

After this “run-in” diet, the participants were randomly assigned to one of three study diets, all of which included less saturated fat than the run-in diet.

 

Walnuts
Researchers found that after consuming walnuts, there were significant associations between changes in gut bacteria and risk factors for heart disease. Pixabay

The diets included one that incorporated whole walnuts, one that included the same amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids without walnuts, and one that partially substituted oleic acid (another fatty acid) for the same amount of ALA found in walnuts, without any walnuts.

In all three diets, walnut or vegetable oils replaced saturated fat, and all participants followed each diet for six weeks with a break between diet periods.

 

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The researchers also found that after the walnut diet, there were significant associations between changes in gut bacteria and risk factors for heart disease.

According to the study, Eubacterium eligens was inversely associated with changes in several different measures of blood pressure, suggesting that greater numbers of Eubacterium eligens was associated with greater reductions in those risk factors. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Vaping Can Make You More Prone To Inflammation and Infection

The predominance of these periodontal pathogens in the mouths of e-cigarette users and traditional smokers is a reflection of compromised periodontal health

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Vaping
While vaping has quickly grown in popularity in recent years, a growing number of people are falling ill or dying from vaping-related illnesses, the study said. Pixabay

Using e-cigarettes alters the mouth’s microbiome — the community of bacteria and other microorganisms — and makes users more prone to inflammation and infection, researchers have found.

While vaping has quickly grown in popularity in recent years, a growing number of people are falling ill or dying from vaping-related illnesses, the study said.

“Our study suggests that vaping electronic cigarettes causes shifts in the oral environment and highly influences the colonisation of complex microbial biofilms, which raises the risk for oral inflammation and infection,” said Indian-origin researcher and study co-author Deepak Saxena from the New York University in the US.

“Given the popularity of vaping, it is critical that we learn more about the effects of e-cigarette aerosols on the oral microbiome and host inflammatory responses in order to better understand the impact of vaping on human health,” said co-senior author Xin Li. For the study, published in the journal iScience, the research team examined e-cigarette vapour and its influence on the oral microbiome and immune health.

“The oral microbiome is of interest to us because research shows that changes in its microbial community as a result of environmental and host factors contribute to a range of health issues, including cavities, gum disease, halitosis, and medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancers,” Saxena said. They also evaluated how vaping influences infection efficiency of oral pathogens in cell lines using a novel e-cigarette aerosol generating machine and measured pro-inflammatory immune mediators.

Through oral exams and saliva samples, the researchers studied the oral microbiome of 119 human participants from three groups: e-cigarette users, regular cigarette smokers, and those who had never smoked. Gum disease or infection was significantly higher among cigarette smokers (72.5 per cent), followed by e-cigarette users (42.5 per cent) and non-smokers (28.2 per cent).

Using 16S rRNA high throughput sequencing, a technique used to profile microbial communities, the researchers observed different microorganisms in the saliva of e-cigarette users, cigarette smokers, and non-smokers. For instance, e-cigarette users had an abundance of Porphyromonas bacteria, while an increase in Veillonella bacteria was found in both e-cigarette and cigarette users.

Vaping
Using e-cigarettes alters the mouth’s microbiome — the community of bacteria and other microorganisms — and makes users more prone to inflammation and infection, researchers have found. Pixabay

“The predominance of these periodontal pathogens in the mouths of e-cigarette users and traditional smokers is a reflection of compromised periodontal health,” said Li.

The researchers also found that the altered microbiome in e-cigarette users influenced the local host immune environment compared to non-smokers and cigarette smokers. IL-6 and IL1ß — cytokines involved in inflammatory responses — were highly elevated in e-cigarette users. Cell studies also showed upregulation of IL-6 after exposure to e-cigarette aerosols, resulting in an elevated inflammatory response.

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Moreover, e-cigarette aerosols made cells prone to bacterial infection, which points to a greater risk for infection in e-cigarette users, the study said. (IANS)