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Chemical pollution: A growing peril and potential catastrophic risk to humanity

Posted on January 19, 2022 at 3:55 AM Comments comments (0)

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106616

 




Highlights

The global picture of chemical pollution in the environment is often fragmented.

 

This perspective highlights global picture of pollution regarding catastrophic risk.

 

Exposure related impact on fertility, cognition and food safety are discussed.

 

Prioritised strategies for curbing chemical dispersal are recommended.



 

 

Abstract



Synthetic chemical pollution has the potential to pose one of the largest environmental threats to humanity, but global understanding of the issue remains fragmented. This article presents a comprehensive perspective of the threat of chemical pollution to humanity, emphasising male fertility, cognitive health and food security. There are serious gaps in our understanding of the scale of the threat and the risks posed by the dispersal, mixture and recombination of chemicals in the wider environment. Although some pollution control measures exist they are often not being adopted at the rate needed to avoid chronic and acute effects on human health now and in coming decades. There is an urgent need for enhanced global awareness and scientific scrutiny of the overall scale of risk posed by chemical usage, dispersal and disposal........


Indexed for Science Direct/Elsevier by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 


https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412021002415


Large-scale yoga meditation genomic study reveals robust activation of immune system. This core transcriptional profile is dysfunctional in multiple sclerosis and severe COVID-19 infection

Posted on January 18, 2022 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)



Significance

Several studies on the impact of yoga and meditation on mental and physical health have demonstrated beneficial effects. However, the potential molecular mechanisms and critical genes involved in this beneficial outcome have yet to be comprehensively elucidated. This study identified and characterized the transcriptional program associated with advanced meditation practice, and we bioinformatically integrated various networks to identify meditation-specific core network. This core network links several immune signaling pathways, and we showed that this core transcriptional profile is dysfunctional in multiple sclerosis and severe COVID-19 infection. Very importantly, we demonstrated that the meditative practice enhanced immune function without activating inflammatory signals. Together, these results make meditation an effective behavioral intervention for treating various conditions associated with a weakened immune system.

Abstract


The positive impact of meditation on human well-being is well documented, yet its molecular mechanisms are incompletely understood. We applied a comprehensive systems biology approach starting with whole-blood gene expression profiling combined with multilevel bioinformatic analyses to characterize the coexpression, transcriptional, and protein–protein interaction networks to identify a meditation-specific core network after an advanced 8-d Inner Engineering retreat program. We found the response to oxidative stress, detoxification, and cell cycle regulation pathways were down-regulated after meditation. Strikingly, 220 genes directly associated with immune response, including 68 genes related to interferon signaling, were up-regulated, with no significant expression changes in the inflammatory genes. This robust meditation-specific immune response network is significantly dysregulated in multiple sclerosis and severe COVID-19 patients.....

Indexed for PNAS by Dragonfly Kingdom Library


High fat diet influences T cell homeostasis and macrophage phenotype to maintain chronic inflammation

Posted on January 18, 2022 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

High fat diet influences T cell homeostasis and macrophage phenotype to maintain chronic inflammation



Udai P Singh, Pegah Mehrpooya, Bam Marpe, Narendra P Singh, E. Angela Murphy, Manoj K Mishra, Bob L Price, Mitzi Nagarkatti and Prakash S Nagarkatti

J Immunol May 1, 2016, 196 (1 Supplement) 197.15;



Abstract



Over the past 20 years obesity has become a global health problem affecting the life expectancy of people at epidemic proportions. Obesity is characterized as a state of low-grade chronic inflammation that influences the development and progression of many chronic diseases. A unique role of T cells in adipose tissue has been shown in the initiation and regulation of the inflammatory cascade. However, the mechanisms responsible for the obesity-associated inflammation are not known. We investigated how high fat diet may influence homeostatic expansion of T cells, macrophage behavior and inflammation. High fat diet consumption alters the body weight, fat mass, and lean mass of mice when compared with those on a normal diet. The high fat diet increases the frequency of CD44+ and TCR αβ+T cells in the epididymal adipose tissues as compared with a normal diet. In mice consuming a high fat diet, we also found a significant increase in the frequency of CXCR3+ activated CD8T cells, CD8+KLRG1 cells and pro-inflammatory cytokines in mucosal and epididymal adipose tissues. High fat diet consumption resulted in greater than 2 fold changes in 85 gene and 142 miRs in epididymal adipose immune cells. Among these, ten inflammatory, obesity miRNAs and genes were validated by RT-PCR analysis. Pathway analysis also validated that differentially regulated miRNAs and gene target mRNAs are associated with T cell homeostatic expansion and macrophage function. Taken together, these results indicate that high fat diet modulates T cell homeostatic proliferation, macrophage phenotype, inflammatory miRNAs and genes to sustain inflammation. This study supports a key role of T cell homeostasis and macrophages to induce inflammation during high fat diet-induced obesity.



 

Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc


It is well-established that the nutritional deficiency or inadequacy can impair immune functions

Posted on January 18, 2022 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)
Nutritional Modulation of Immune Function: Analysis of Evidence, Mechanisms, and Clinical Relevance




Dayong Wu, Erin D. Lewis and Simin Nikbin Meydani



Abstract


It is well-established that the nutritional deficiency or inadequacy can impair immune functions. Growing evidence suggests that for certain nutrients increased intake above currently recommended levels may help optimize immune functions including improving defense function and thus resistance to infection, while maintaining tolerance.







This review will examine the data representing the research on prominent intervention agents n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), micronutrients (zinc, vitamins D and E), and functional foods including probiotics and tea components for their immunological effects, working mechanisms, and clinical relevance.









Many of these nutritive and non-nutritive food components are related in their functions to maintain or improve immune function including inhibition of pro-inflammatory mediators, promotion of anti-inflammatory functions, modulation of cell-mediated immunity, alteration of antigen-presenting cell functions, and communication between the innate and adaptive immune systems.





Both animal and human studies present promising findings suggesting a clinical benefit of vitamin D, n-3 PUFA, and green tea catechin EGCG in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, and vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, and probiotics in reduction of infection. However, many studies report divergent and discrepant results/conclusions due to various factors. Chief among them, and thus call for attention, includes more standardized trial designs, better characterized populations, greater consideration for the intervention doses used, and more meaningful outcome measurements chosen.

 




Keywords: immune system, vitamin D, vitamin E, n-3 PUFA, probiotics, green EGCG, zinc





Introduction


The main functions of body's immune system are to protect the host against infection from pathological microorganisms, to clear damaged tissues, and to provide constant surveillance of malignant cells that grow within the body. Additionally, the immune system develops appropriate tolerance to avoid unwanted response to healthy tissues of self or harmless foreign substances. There is considerable heterogeneity among individuals in the vigor of their immunological function, largely owing to factors such as genetics, environment, lifestyle, nutrition, and the interaction of these factors. Nutrition as a modifiable factor in impacting immune function has been studied for several decades, and the research in this field has developed into a distinguished study subject called nutritional immunology. As with other bodily systems, the immune system depends on adequate nutrients to function properly. It is well-documented that nutritional status is closely associated with immunity and host resistance to infection. There is little argument that deficiency in both macronutrients and micronutrients causes immune function impairment, which can be reversed by nutrient repletion. Nutritional deficiencies are still prevalent in less developed regions and are a main contributor to a high incidence of morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases. Even in developed countries where general nutritional deficiencies are rare, nutrition issues such as specific nutrient deficiencies, less ideal diet composition, and excess calorie consumption are still a challenging reality......


Indexed for NIH by Dragonfly Kingdom Library


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6340979/


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Posted on January 15, 2022 at 4:45 AM Comments comments (0)

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Effects of yoga on functional capacity and well being

Posted on January 15, 2022 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (0)



Abstract

Yoga has proven beneficial effects on various health domains including musculoskeletal conditions, cardiopulmonary conditions through the practice of asana and pranayamas as well as on mental health, as it is known to enhance the body-and mind coordination. There is paucity of data on the effect of yoga on functional capacity in literature using 6 min walk test. The present study aims to look at the effect of yoga on 6-min walked distance, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), recovery time following the walk and state of well being. This is a hospital-based longitudinal study where 30 physiotherapy students of the age group 18 - 22 years of either sex were enrolled.


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Subjects having musculoskeletal problems, cardio respiratory disease and those who were not willing to volunteer were excluded They received Yoga intervention in form of Yogic practices which included a combination of asanas, pranayamas and omkar chanting for 1 h for 30 sessions. A baseline 6-min walk test was conducted on subjects and the 6-min walked distance, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) on modified Borg's scale were recorded. The baseline state of well-being was noted using the Warwick- Edinburgh mental well-being scale and similar recording was done post intervention after 30 sessions.


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Of the 30 subjects, there were no drop outs as these were committed college students. Of them, 24 were females and 6 were males with a mean age of 21.5 years SD 2.38. Statistically significant improvements were observed in 6-min walk distance (P value = 0.000), RPE (P value < 0.000), recovery time (P value < 0.000) and sense of well being score (P value < 0.000). Yoga practices are beneficial in improving the functional capacity in young healthy adults.



Yoga can very well be incorporated in medical practice for increasing the patient's functional capacity, for those who have limitations in performing aerobic training due to various health reasons. The improved state of well being motivates the patients to adhere to yogic practices.


Indexed for NIH Pubmed by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 


https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23439856/


Physical Activity to Improve Erectile Function: A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies

Posted on January 15, 2022 at 4:25 AM Comments comments (0)


Abstract


Introduction

The leading cause of erectile dysfunction (ED) is arterial dysfunction, with cardiovascular disease as the most common comorbidity. Therefore, ED is typically linked to a web of closely interrelated cardiovascular risk factors such as physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome. Physical activity (PA) has proved to be a protective factor against erectile problems, and it has been shown to improve erectile function for men affected by vascular ED. This systematic review estimated the levels of PA needed to decrease ED for men with physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and/or manifest cardiovascular diseases.





Aim

To provide recommendations of levels of PA needed to decrease ED for men with physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and/or cardiovascular diseases.

Methods

In accord with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a systematic review was performed of research articles specifically investigating PA as a possible treatment of ED. The review included research on ED from physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and/or cardiovascular diseases. All available studies from 2006 through 2016 were checked for the predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria to analyze the levels of PA needed to decrease ED.




Results

10 articles met the inclusion criteria, all suggesting various levels of PA needed to decrease ED for men with relevant risk factors for ED. The results of the review provided sufficient research evidence for conclusions regarding the levels of PA necessary to decrease ED.

Conclusion

Recommendations of PA to decrease ED should include supervised training consisting of 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity 4 times per week. Overall, weekly exercise of 160 minutes for 6 months contributes to decreasing erectile problems in men with ED caused by physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and/or cardiovascular diseases.

Gerbild H, Larsen CM, Graugaard C, Areskoug Josefsson K. Physical Activity to Improve Erectile Function: A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies. Sex Med 2018;6:75–89.

Combination exercise gave greater benefits for weight loss, fat loss and cardio-respiratory fitness

Posted on January 15, 2022 at 4:15 AM Comments comments (0)




Abstract


Background
Evidence suggests that exercise training improves CVD risk factors. However, it is unclear whether health benefits are limited to aerobic training or if other exercise modalities such as resistance training or a combination are as effective or more effective in the overweight and obese. The aim of this study is to investigate whether 12 weeks of moderate-intensity aerobic, resistance, or combined exercise training would induce and sustain improvements in cardiovascular risk profile, weight and fat loss in overweight and obese adults compared to no exercise.




Methods
Twelve-week randomized parallel design examining the effects of different exercise regimes on fasting measures of lipids, glucose and insulin and changes in body weight, fat mass and dietary intake. Participants were randomized to either: Group 1 (Control, n = 16); Group 2 (Aerobic, n = 15); Group 3 (Resistance, n = 16); Group 4 (Combination, n = 17). Data was analysed using General Linear Model to assess the effects of the groups after adjusting for baseline values. Within-group data was analyzed with the paired t-test and between-group effects using post hoc comparisons.

Results
Significant improvements in body weight (−1.6%, p = 0.044) for the Combination group compared to Control and Resistance groups and total body fat compared to Control (−4.4%, p = 0.003) and Resistance (−3%, p = 0.041). Significant improvements in body fat percentage (−2.6%, p = 0.008), abdominal fat percentage (−2.8%, p = 0.034) and cardio-respiratory fitness (13.3%, p = 0.006) were seen in the Combination group compared to Control. Levels of ApoB48 were 32% lower in the Resistance group compared to Control (p = 0.04).

Conclusion
A 12-week training program comprising of resistance or combination exercise, at moderate-intensity for 30 min, five days/week resulted in improvements in the cardiovascular risk profile in overweight and obese participants compared to no exercise. From our observations, combination exercise gave greater benefits for weight loss, fat loss and cardio-respiratory fitness than aerobic and resistance training modalities. Therefore, combination exercise training should be recommended for overweight and obese adults in National Physical Activity Guidelines.




This clinical trial was registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR), registration number: ACTRN12609000684224

Indexed for Biomed Central by Dragonfly Kingdom Library

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Posted on January 5, 2022 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

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Combined Metabolic Activators Accelerates Recovery in Mild-to-Moderate COVID-19

Posted on January 2, 2022 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)


Abstract



COVID-19 is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic abnormalities, including the deficiencies in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and glutathione metabolism. Here it is investigated if administration of a mixture of combined metabolic activators (CMAs) consisting of glutathione and NAD+ precursors can restore metabolic function and thus aid the recovery of COVID-19 patients. CMAs include l-serine, N-acetyl-l-cysteine, nicotinamide riboside, and l-carnitine tartrate, salt form of l-carnitine. Placebo-controlled, open-label phase 2 study and double-blinded phase 3 clinical trials are conducted to investigate the time of symptom-free recovery on ambulatory patients using CMAs. The results of both studies show that the time to complete recovery is significantly shorter in the CMA group (6.6 vs 9.3 d) in phase 2 and (5.7 vs 9.2 d) in phase 3 trials compared to placebo group. A comprehensive analysis of the plasma metabolome and proteome reveals major metabolic changes. Plasma levels of proteins and metabolites associated with inflammation and antioxidant metabolism are significantly improved in patients treated with CMAs as compared to placebo. The results show that treating patients infected with COVID-19 with CMAs lead to a more rapid symptom-free recovery, suggesting a role for such a therapeutic regime in the treatment of infections leading to respiratory problems........


Indexed for Wiley Library by Dragonfly Kingdom Library


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/advs.202101222


Echinacea purpurea for the Long-term Prevention of Viral Respiratory Tract Infections during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Randomized, Open, Controlled, Exploratory Clinical Study

Posted on December 27, 2021 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (0)



Abstract


Introduction SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is effective in preventing severe COVID-19, but efficacy in reducing viral load and transmission wanes over time. In addition, the emergence of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants increases the threat of uncontrolled dissemination and additional antiviral therapies are urgently needed for effective containment. In previous in vitro studies Echinacea purpurea demonstrated strong antiviral activity against enveloped viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we examined the potential of Echinacea purpurea in preventing and treating respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and in particular, SARS-CoV-2 infections.

 

Methods 120 healthy volunteers (m,f, 18 – 75 years) were randomly assigned to Echinacea prevention or control group without any intervention. After a run-in week, participants went through 3 prevention cycles of 2, 2 and 1 months with daily 2’400mg Echinacea purpurea extract (Echinaforce®, EF). The prevention cycles were interrupted by breaks of 1 week. Acute respiratory symptoms were treated with 4’000 mg EF for up to 10 days, and their severity assessed via a diary. Naso/oropharyngeal swabs and venous blood samples were routinely collected every month and during acute illnesses for detection and identification of respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 via RT-qPCR and serology.

 

Results Summarized over all phases of prevention, 21 and 29 samples tested positive for any virus in the EF and control group, of which 5 and 14 samples tested SARS-CoV-2 positive (RR=0.37, Chi-square test, p=0.03). Overall, 10 and 14 symptomatic episodes occurred, of which 5 and 8 were COVID-19 (RR=0.70, Chi-square test, p>0.05). EF treatment when applied during acute episodes significantly reduced the overall virus load by at least 2.12 log10 or approx. 99% (t-test, p<0.05), the time to virus clearance by 8.0 days for all viruses (Wilcoxon test, p=0.02) and by 4.8 days for SARS-CoV-2 (p>0.05) in comparison to control. Finally, EF treatment significantly reduced fever days (1 day vs 11 days, Chi-square test, p=0.003) but not the overall symptom severity. There were fewer COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the EF treatment group (N=0 vs N=2).

 

Discussion/Conclusion EF exhibited antiviral effects and reduced the risk of viral RTIs, including SARS-CoV-2. By substantially reducing virus loads in infected subjects, EF offers a supportive addition to existing mandated treatments like vaccinations. Future confirmatory studies are warranted.


Indexed for CSH BMJ YALE  by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.10.21267582v1




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