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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Two Research Papers I've come across Lately

The first is interesting in that it further demonstrates that researchers are looking beyond symptoms into actual causes...and our old friend inflammation is rightly getting the blame it deserves.  What's more, there is a trend of identifying inflammation as causative of mental dysfunction.

As I am many others have said, the evidence is there that chronic inflammation causes all the pathologies of modern humans.  I just like to celebrate when it gets the attention it needs. Here's the substance of their conclusion: 

"Our findings contribute to a growing body of evidence that immune system dysfunction, including inflammation, may be involved in the pathophysiology of major psychiatric disorders...

"A new analysis of existing studies strongly supports the idea that there are increased levels of chemicals, called cytokines, in the body and brain that promote inflammation in individuals who are contemplating or have attempted suicide, even when compared to patients being treated for the same psychiatric disorders who are not suicidal.

"These cytokines are known to be involved in problems in other body organs, such as the joints (arthritis), the coronary arteries (atherosclerosis) and the lungs (asthma). Studies have long suggested that cytokines are released under conditions of psychological stress and that inflammation in the brain contributes to depression. Thus, the current study suggests that suicide emerges in the context of a relatively greater activation of the immune system than typical stress or depression."
And in another study, the headlines is this:
"Fat, sugar cause bacterial changes that may relate to loss of cognitive function"

Fat gets first billing even though the gist of the study indicates that the high sugar diet cause the most gut biome disruption.  Too many are still stuck on FAT being a culprit.  But the actual study is more interesting.  I sent for that actual paper that is going to be published.  Here are the breakdowns that don't appear in the headline.

The percentage of macronutrients are:
high fat (42% fat, 43% carbohydrate (CHO),
high sucrose (12% fat, 70% CHO (primarily sucrose)
normal chow (13% kcal fat, 62% CHO) diets 
I'm not sure what one can conclude from a high fat diet that is still 43% carbohydrate.  Isn't that still a high CHO diet?  And normal mouse chow is even higher...who says mice do best on this diet?  OK, I have lots of unanswered questions.  I'm inclined to think more than are answered...but their conclusions are actually more about the high sugar diet with just minor changes in cognitive function from what they are calling high fat.  Their Highlights are: (sucrose being table sugar and Bacterioides being the gut bacteria that are implicated in staying thin)

*High sucrose diet altered more gut bacterial orders and genera than high fat.
*High sucrose diet impaired spatial memory and cognitive flexibility.
*Increased gut Clostridiales was associated with decreased cognitive flexibility.
*Decreased gut Bacteroidales was associated with decreased cognitive flexibility.

I think the take away from this is low sugar, for sure, for healthier gut and brain but I think the info about high fat is suspect..

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