Nutritional  Hormones
Cardiovascular Genetics 

In This Issue….                                                              

  • Can this B vitamin deficiency actually cause anorexia?
  • Glutamine supplementation alters gut flora to promote weight loss
  • Biotin reduces chemotherapy-induced skin rashes
  • Low vitamin D may increase heart disease risk by altering the expression of inflammatory genes
  • Is this substance the new brain super-nutrient?

CLINICAL UPDATE – Can this B vitamin deficiency actually cause anorexia?

It is well documented that anorexia often causes vitamin and mineral deficiencies but this recent research illustrates how a deficiency in thiamine (vitamin B1) actually induced anorexia in mice. The researchers show that B1 deficiency inhibits appetite regulating activity in the hypothalamus region of the brain. Further, when the vitamin B1 levels were repleted, appetite was fully restored leading to a total recovery in body weight. Researchers concluded that via enzyme activity specifically in the hypothalamus, “thiamine levels in the body may affect food intake and body weight.”
(Neuroscience, May 2014)
(Pediatric Neurology, July 2014)

LINK to ABSTRACTThiamine deficiency induces anorexia by inhibiting hypothalamic AMPK.
LINK to ABSTRACT: CASE STUDY Thiamine deficiency secondary to anorexia nervosa: an uncommon cause of peripheral neuropathy and Wernicke encephalopathy in adolescence. 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Glutamine supplementation alters gut flora to promote weight loss

Thirty-three overweight or obese adults were given either 30g glutamine or 30g alanine (control group) for two weeks. In addition, two major types of gut flora were measured: bacteria in the Firmicutes group which tend to promote weight gain and gut bacteria in the Bacteriodetes group which tend to promote weight loss. Researchers found that the ratio of obesity-linked bacteria (Firmicutes) to healthy weight-linked bacteria (Bacteriodetes) was significantly reduced in the glutamine supplemented group only, leading the authors to conclude that “oral supplementation with glutamine, for a short time, altered the composition of gut microbiota in overweight humans.”
(Nutrition, June 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Oral supplementation with l-glutamine alters gut microbiota of obese and overweight adults: A pilot study.

LINK to FLYER on MICRONUTRIENTS & WEIGHT LOSS

CLINICAL UPDATE – Biotin reduces chemotherapy-induced skin rashes

This case study includes four patients who were undergoing chemotherapy with the potent chemotherapeutic growth inhibitor, gefitinib or erlotinib, which is used patients with certain types of cancer, especially lung cancer. One of the most well-documented side effects of these drugs is severe skin rashes. In fact, two of the patients had to discontinue chemotherapy because the severity of the skin rash. After the vitamin biotin – known for its ability to treat dermatitis – was administered to each of the patients, the skin rash was reduced in all four patients. In the two patients who had to discontinue chemotherapy, administration of biotin allowed for long-term chemotherapy treatment.
(Cancer and Chemotherapy, April 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Prospective study of biotin treatment in patients with erythema due to gefitinib or erlotinib. 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Low vitamin D may increase heart disease risk by altering the expression of inflammatory genes

In a study on 375 patients undergoing coronary angiography for heart disease, “vitamin D was the most significant predictor for coronary artery disease” according to the authors of the study. In another study published in the same journal, low vitamin D levels caused a down regulation of the gene that works to make vitamin D bioactive, essentially creating a ‘double-whammy’ – low vitamin D stores and less incentive for the body to convert what vitamin D it has to its bioactive form. In addition, low vitamin D levels increased the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, etc), thus exacerbating the coronary artery disease further.
(Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease, March 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Epicardial adipose tissue inflammation is related to vitamin D deficiency in patients affected by coronary artery disease.
LINK to ABSTRACT
Circulating vitamin D levels are associated with the presence and severity of coronary artery disease but not peripheral arterial disease in patients undergoing coronary angiography. 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Is this substance the new brain super-nutrient?

In this review, 127 medical publications on phosphatidylserine and brain function were included. Although the role of this amino acid in brain health is well established, the authors specifically mention how exogenous oral supplementation of phosphatidylserine at levels of 300-800mg per day is well absorbed, crosses the blood-brain barrier and can even “reverse biochemical alterations and structural deterioration of nerve cells,” which is widely regarded as a major mechanism behind declines in mental capabilities as we age.
(Nutrition, June 2015)

LINK to ABSTRACT Phosphatidylserine and the human brain.