Friday, May 31, 2019

High uric acid directly inhibits insulin signaling and induces insulin resistance

Accumulating clinical evidence suggests that hyperuricemia is strongly associated with abnormal glucose metabolism and insulin resistance. However, how high uric acid (HUA) level causes insulin resistance remains unclear. We aimed to determine the direct role of HUA in insulin resistance in vitro and in vivo in mice.

An acute hyperuricemia mouse model was created by potassium oxonate treatment, and the impact of HUA level on insulin resistance was investigated by glucose tolerance test, insulin tolerance test and insulin signaling, including phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) and Akt. HepG2 cells were exposed to HUA treatment and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), reactive oxygen species scavenger; IRS1 and Akt phosphorylation was detected by Western blot analysis after insulin treatment.

Hyperuricemic mice showed impaired glucose tolerance with insulin resistance. Hyperuricemia inhibited phospho-Akt (Ser473) response to insulin and increased phosphor-IRS1 (Ser307) in liver, muscle and fat tissues. HUA induced oxidative stress, and the antioxidant NAC blocked HUA-induced IRS1 activation and Akt inhibition in HepG2 cells.

This study supplies the first evidence of HUA directly inducing insulin resistance in vivo and in vitro. Increased uric acid level may inhibit IRS1 and Akt insulin signalling and induce insulin resistance. The reactive oxygen species pathway plays a key role in HUA-induced insulin resistance.

Friday, May 24, 2019

'Clear Relationship' Between Appendectomy and Parkinson's

An analysis of the health system records of more than 62 million people in the United States has found a link between appendix removal and raised risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

The researchers compared data on people who had undergone an appendectomy, or appendix removal, to those who had not were more than three times more likely to develop
Parkinson's disease later on. The findings are further evidence of a connection between the gut and the brain in Parkinson's disease.

In a gastroenterology abstract about the study, the authors suggest that what is missing from the research on appendix removal and Parkinson's disease risk is "large-scale epidemiological data." Lead study author Dr. Mohammed Z. Sheriff, who works as a physician at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University, also in Cleveland, OH, is presenting the findings at the 2019 Digestive Disease Week meeting that takes place May 18–21 in San Diego, CA.

Parkinson's is a disease that gradually destroys cells in a part of the brain that helps control movement. The symptoms of Parkinson's include movement rigidity, tremor, slowness, and balance difficulties. Because it most often strikes older people, the number and proportion of individuals living with Parkinson's disease are rising in aging populations. As yet, there is no cure and no treatment that slows down Parkinson's disease. An avenue that scientists are pursuing concerns alpha-synuclein, which is a protein that features in the development of Parkinson's disease. Although it is not clear what function it serves in those without the disease, alpha-synuclein forms toxic clumps called Lewy bodies in the brains of people with Parkinson's disease. Dr. Sheriff says that more recent research has found clumps of alpha-synuclein in the digestive tract of people in the early stages of Parkinson's disease.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wisdom Wednesday: Detox Drinks

Some people claim that detox drinks help remove toxins from a person's body and promote weight loss. Typically, a person will include detox drinks as part of a detox diet. However, there is very little evidence that these types of drinks and diet have any detoxification effects. The use of the word detox is not always appropriate. Detox drinks may boost health, aid in weight loss, and support the body's natural detoxification processes, but this is different from medical detoxification.

An article in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics notes that some studies show that commercially available detox diets may improve the way a person's liver removes toxins from their body. However, the article also highlights that these studies had flawed methodologies and small sample sizes. A study in the journal Current Gastroenterology Reports found that a detox diet may help a person lose weight, but only because the diet is low in calories. Further, the authors note that diets that help a person lose weight by significantly reducing the number of calories they consume are unsustainable. Typically, people who undertake such calorie-restrictive diets put the weight back in the medium-to-long term.

The National Center for Integrative and Natural Health (NCINH) point out that as well as causing problems with a person's weight in the mid-to-long term, a person on a detox diet may not be getting the nutrition they require to keep their body healthy. Although they do not detox in the medical sense, detox drinks can be healthful.

Typically, people use a food processor to turn raw ingredients into a smoothie. As well as being a convenient way to consume fruits and vegetables, using fresh ingredients preserves the fiber in fruits and vegetables, which the juice alone lacks.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Wisdom Wednesday: Prescription Drug Use

During 2015-2016, about 46% of the US population used one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days, down slightly from 48% a decade ago, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For the 2015-2016 period, prescription drug use increased with age, from 18% among children younger than 12 years to 85% among adults 60 and older, Cynthia L. Ogden, PhD, and colleagues report in a data brief published online May 8.

Prescription drug use was lower among males (42%) than females (50%), although the pattern differed by age. Among children up to age 11, prescription drug use was higher among boys (22%) than girls (14%), while among adults aged 20 to 59, prescription drug use was lower among men (38%) than women (56%). There were no significant differences by gender among adolescents aged 12 to 19 or adults aged 60 or over.

Prescription drug use was highest among non-Hispanic whites (50%), followed by non-Hispanic blacks (45%), and lowest among non-Hispanic Asian (33%) and Hispanic individuals (37%).