Soil Samples Contain Antibiotics Effective Against Resistant Bacteria

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New Family of Antibiotics That May One Day Be Used Against Drug-resistant Bacteria,

02/15/2018 http://smartbrief.com/branded/0CFA9D5B-9285-47DF-A018-5ED9E96C0C0B/E53E0A04-B1AE-463F-8EFC-B6FC6159D02F

The dirt under your soles might just hold the key to your immune defenses against bacteria resistant antibiotics. No wonder organic farmers spend so much time building their soil. Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned by paying attention to dirt.  .

Natural compounds in soil collected from around the US are a new family of antibiotics that may one day be used against drug-resistant bacteria, according to findings published in Nature Microbiology. The compounds are called malacidins, and the study says they’ve been shown to destroy drug-resistant infections, such as MRSA, in rats.

US scientists have discovered a new family of antibiotics in soil samples.

The natural compounds could be used to combat hard-to-treat infections, the team at Rockefeller University hopes.

Tests show the compounds, called malacidins, annihilate several bacterial diseases that have become resistant to most existing antibiotics, including the superbug MRSA.

Experts say the work, published in Nature Microbiology, offers fresh hope in the antibiotics arms race. Drug-resistant diseases are one of the biggest threats to global health. They kill around 700,000 people a year, and new treatments are urgently needed.

Drugs from dirt

Soil is teeming with millions of different micro-organisms that produce lots of potentially therapeutic compounds, including new antibiotics. Dr Sean Brady’s team at New York’s Rockefeller University has been busy unearthing them.

They used a gene sequencing technique to analyse more than 1,000 soil samples taken from across the US. When they discovered malacidins in many of the samples, they had a hunch it was an important find.

They tested the compound on rats that they had given MRSA and it eliminated the infection in skin wounds. The researchers are now working to improve the drug’s effectiveness in the hope that it can be developed into a real treatment for people.

Dr Brady said: “It is impossible to say when, or even if, an early stage antibiotic discovery like the malacidins will proceed to the clinic. “It is a long, arduous road from the initial discovery of an antibiotic to a clinically used entity.”

Prof Colin Garner, from Antibiotic Research UK, said finding new antibiotics to treat gram-positive infections like MRSA was good news, but would not address the most pressing need. “Our concern are the so called gram-negative bacteria which are difficult to treat and where resistance is on the increase,” he said.

“Gram-negative bacteria cause pneumonia, blood and urinary tract infections as skin infections. We need new antibiotics to treat this class.”

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Plant-Based Foods Could Save A Country Billions

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Plant-based eating is cost-effective, reduces economic costs, such as hospital admissions and doctors’ bills, as well as increasing the number of healthy years people live.

Billions of euro could be saved from a country’s annual health bill if more people can be persuaded to follow a plant-based diet, according to new research published in the Journal of Nutrition. Also society overall will benefit due to less absenteeism from work.

The study looked at the health and economic consequences of two plant-based eating patterns, a diet with a daily portion of soya foods and a Mediterranean-style diet.

The study suggests the British government could reduce its healthcare and societal costs over the next 20 years by £5.21 billion if just 10% of the UK population would emphasize plant-based foods in their diet. Cost savings could be as high as £7.54 billion if 10% of the UK population could be encouraged to incorporate soya products in their daily diet.

“Our research demonstrates that increasing plant-based eating is cost-effective, reduces economic costs, such as hospital admissions and doctors’ bills, as well as increasing the number of healthy years people live, and enabling them to continue having an active life,” said Lieven Annemans, professor of health economics at Ghent University, and the lead author of the paper. “Our study has the potential to contribute to the way healthy eating is promoted,” he added.

There are different approaches to plant-based eating, from Mediterranean-type diets through to vegetarian and veganism. Plant-based eating is in line with the latest government dietary guidelines, the Eatwell Guide. In other words, plant-based eating does not have to exclude all animal products, but places plant-based foods such as soya, fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils at the core of the diet.

The researchers carried out an extensive review of the scientific literature and concluded that both plant-based and soya eating patterns reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and certain cancers. Diets containing soya demonstrated the most favorable health effects from the two evaluated plant-based food patterns.

The researchers calculated the impact of these plant-based food patterns on ‘quality adjusted life years’ (QALYs), which estimate the number of expected years of good health. To calculate disease costs, a societal perspective was taken, including direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are those directly associated with the disease or related conditions including costs related to diagnosis and treatment. Indirect costs include employment related elements such as absenteeism, and productivity loss due to sickness.

For the UK, a diet containing soya is estimated to yield 159 QALYs and 100 QALYs per 1,000 women and men, respectively. Similarly, adherence to a plant-based Mediterranean-type diet also results in living longer in good health and cost-savings to society.

Professor Ian Rowland, professor in nutrition from Reading University, supported the findings of the new study and commented: “Emphasizing plant-based foods in your diet can help to improve nutrition and meet current dietary recommendations. More plant-based eating helps against a variety of diseases which many people are currently confronted with. In addition to the personal health benefits, it can also help reduce society’s healthcare costs.”

This study provides yet more reasons to eat more plant-based foods and is in line with the UK ‘Eatwell guide’ which champions plant-based foods for good health and sustainability. It follows a report published by the Sustainable Food Trust in November – The Hidden Cost Of UK Food – which found that poor diets add 37p of healthcare costs to every £1 spent on food.

Full bibliographic information

Nutrition, Volume 48, April 2018, Pages 24-32. Applied Nutritional Investigation
The potential health and economic effects of plant-based food patterns in Belgium and the United Kingdom
Janne Schepers M.Sc
Lieven Annemans Ph.DDepartment of Public Health, Interuniversity Centre for Health Economics Research (I-CHER), Ghent University, Ghent, BelgiumDepartment of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacologic Sciences, KU Leuven, Flanders, BelgiumReceived 8 August 2017, Revised 6 November 2017, Accepted 11 November 2017, Available online 15 December 2017.

 

Carb-Restricted Diet Battles Fatty Liver Disease

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The researchers found that the metabolism of dangerous hepatic lipids was “strongly linked” to rapid increases in B vitamins and the bacteria that produce folic acid.

New details about how a carbohydrate-restricted diet improves metabolism were revealed in a study published today. This could lead to improved treatments for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

15/02/2018 KTH The Royal Institute of Technology

A research team in Sweden examined  the effects of reduced carbohydrate consumption – without an accompanying reduction in calorie intake – by putting 10 subjects with obesity and high liver fat on a two-week diet. The study, which involved KTH Royal Institute of Technology’s SciLifeLab research center, combined clinical and big data analysis to determine the subsequent changes in metabolism and gut bacteria.

By doing so, they identified why the subjects showed “rapid and dramatic” reductions of liver fat and other cardiometabolic risk factors, along with marked decreases in synthesis of hepatic fat. Published today in Cell Metabolism, the work was authored by researchers from KTH, University of Gothenburg and other international collaborators.

Adil Mardinoglu, a systems biology researcher at KTH, says that the subjects were restricted to an isocaloric, low-carbohydrate diet with increased protein content. The researchers found that the metabolism of dangerous hepatic lipids was “strongly linked” to rapid increases in B vitamins and the bacteria that produce folic acid.

This benefit was coupled by a reduction in the expression of genes that are involved in fatty acid synthesis, and an increase in the expression of genes involved in folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism and fatty acid oxidation.

“A carbohydrate-restricted dietary intervention such as the one we used can be an efficient treatment strategy for a severe health problem, as medical science continues the development of new drugs,” Mardinoglu says.

The study relied upon a combination of systems medicine and advanced clinical studies, with close interaction between experts in systems medicine, basic scientists, nutritionists and clinicians. Combining forces enabled the team to apply a “multi-omics” approach, which means integrating multiple data sets from the body’s omes (genome, proteome, transcriptome, etc.) to identify biomarkers.

“We’ve moved from an era where scientists could work individually and command – in one laboratory – everything they needed, to a world that’s much more interactive,” Mardinoglu says.

Lead author Jan Boren, a professor at University of Gothenburg, says: “We found that the diet, independently of weight-loss, induced rapid and dramatic reductions of liver fat and other cardiometabolic risk factors, and revealed hitherto unknown underlying molecular mechanisms.

“It’s important, however, to clarify that diets are complicated and that one type of diet does not fit everyone. For example, subjects with hypercholesterolemia should be careful.”
Liver fat is the earliest abnormality in the pathogenesis of both NAFLD and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) due to metabolic risk factors associated with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in the presence or absence of alcohol consumption.

Therefore, the strategies the research team identified could be used also for the treatment of AFLD patients, Boren says.

Full bibliographic information

Mardinoglu et al.,

An Integrated Understanding of the Rapid Metabolic Benefits of a Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet on Hepatic Steatosis in Humans,

Cell Metabolism (2018)

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2018.01.005

Stem Cells Boost Immunity Against Candida albicans Infections

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the discovery of this new host/pathogen interaction mechanism and its consequences in the modulation of immune response may provide a new target for intervention in the fight against serious infections.

María Luisa Gil

Professor of microbiology , The University of Valencia

Coconut Oil To Kill Candida Fungus

Using stem cells to boost immunity against Candida albicans infections

26/10/2016 Asociación RUVID

Researchers from the Universitat de València (UV) and the Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have partnered to describe a biological mechanism that generates cells which are better equipped to fight off serious infections caused by the Candida albicansfungus.

The fungus, which is often found in innocuous form in the oral cavity, vagina and gastrointestinal tract, can cause superficial skin and mucus infections in healthy people. It can also cause serious internal or invasive infections in immunodepressed patients and is as such considered an opportunistic pathogenic fungus.

The research, published in Microbes and Infection, analyses the interaction betweenhematopoietic progenitor and stem cells with this fungus. María Luisa Gil, professor or microbiology at the University of Valencia, explains:

“When stem cells interact directly with the Candida albicans microorganism, this leads quickly to the conversion of these cells into mature mieloid cells -neutrophil, monocyte, macrophages and dendritic cells-, which are what fuel our natural immune system, our first defense against infections”.

The fact of stems cells interacting with the C. albicans microorganism is important because until now it was thought that only mature cells recognised and responded directly to microorganisms and derivatives. The study shows that this interaction can lead to the generation of cells that are functionally better prepared to face off an infection.

Indeed, the discovery of this new host/pathogen interaction mechanism and its consquences in the modulation of immune response may provide a new target for intevention in the fight against serious infections.

Research group and funding

The Immunology of Fungal Infections research group of the Infections) reports to both the department of Microbiology and Ecology, and the Interdisciplinary Research Structure for Biotechnology and Biomedicine (ERI-BIOTECMED) of the University of Valencia. Part of the experimental work was carried out at the University’s Central Service for Experimental Research (SCSIE), and in collaboration with researchers from Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The group has been researching immune response to the Candida albicans fungus for a number years. The incidence and seriousness of C. albicans infections has increased considerably over recent decades, due mainly to the increase in at-risk population. The work has received funding from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (ref. SAF2014-53823-P, co-funded by the ERDF).

Full bibliographic information

Javier Megías et al. TLR2, TLR4 and Dectin-1 signalling in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells determines the antifungal phenotype of the macrophages they produce. Microbes and Infection. Volume 18, Issue 5, May 2016, Pages 354–363. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micinf.2016.01.005

Creme de Papaya Recipe

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Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

A deliciously refreshing dessert, which is easy to make and a crowd favorite.

In honor of Brazil’s win in the 2018 World Cup, we’re happy to share this recipe courtesy of HLB Specialty Foods.

Crème de Papaya
This Brazilian dessert is an all-time favorite and can be found in most Brazilian restaurants, in the US and elsewhere.

Ingredients

  • 1 Golden Papaya (or 1/2 large Formosa Papaya)
    • Vanilla Ice Cream
    • Crème de Cassis Liquor
    • Mint Leaf (for decoration)

Directions

  1. Blend together 1 small papaya (or a ½ large papaya) with 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream.
    2. In each serving bowl, pour 2 teaspoons of Crème de Cassis liquor.
    3. Pour the papaya and ice cream mix into the bowl.
    4. Add a mint leaf as decoration.
    5. Enjoy the light and refreshing taste of Crème de Papaya.

Serves 2 

For more info and recipe ideas, please visit Papaya Desserts.

Papayas are considered one of the healthiest fruits in the world. With the sweet and mild flavor, they also taste great and compliment any dish wonderfully.

Papayas are fat-free and loaded with nutrients, including vitamin A, B, C, antioxidants, calcium, and papain, a super enzyme that breaks down protein and helps the digestion. Just one cup of papaya has our daily vitamin C requirement and is therefore a perfect food for adults and kids.

Several studies, including those by Rutgers University and University of Florida, have confirmed that papayas are one of the most nutrient dense fruits in the world, and can help prevent cancer, heart disease, and a variety of other maladies.

How to Choose The Right Papaya

Whether looking for a small Golden papaya or a large Tainung papaya variety, avoid bruised and very soft fruits that have dark, deep pits. If the papaya has a slight give and has at least two stripes of yellow, it is ready to be consumed. If still green on the outside, leave the fruit ripening on the kitchen counter for a few days or wrap it in paper to speed up ripening. The large Tainung papaya variety is ready to eat when still mostly green on the outside. It is more important that the fruit feels soft to the touch. The small Golden papaya variety is more flavorful when golden yellow on the outside and also soft to the touch.

For more information, please visit http://hlbspecialties.com/papaya-fruit-2/

 

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