Here are the top medical news for the day:
Prunes consumption changes the gut microbiome in postmenopausal women, finds study
The fecal microbiome-the ecosystem of microorganisms found in one’s fecal matter-reflects an individual’s overall gut health.
New research published in the journal Food & Function indicates that daily prune consumption may improve the gut fecal microbiome of postmenopausal women. Results from the study showed notable enrichment in bacteria from the family Lachnospiraceae. This group of bacteria has been associated with an ability to decrease inflammatory markers in the body and help maintain the integrity of the gut barrier.
The goal of this study was to characterize the effect of prune supplementation on the gut microbiome of postmenopausal women. Menopause is marked by a decline in ovarian hormones, which may negatively impact the gut microbiome. In turn, these changes in the gut microbiome potentially contribute to health risks, including increased body fat, decreased metabolism, and insulin resistance.
Prune supplementation for 12 months alters the gut microbiome in postmenopausal women,Food & Function,doi 10.1039/d2fo02273g
Health claims on infant formula products mostly found to lack supporting evidence
Health and nutrition claims on infant formula products are controversial because they can enhance the perceived benefits of formula over breastfeeding and thereby undermine breastfeeding. Yet data on the frequency of claims and their scientific substantiation are limited.
Most health and nutrition claims on infant formula products seem to be backed by little or no high quality scientific evidence, finds an international survey published by The BMJ today.
Research: Health and nutrition claims for infant formula: international cross sectional survey doi: 10.1136/bmj-2022-071075, The BMJ
Japanese researchers find novel antioxidants in beef, chicken, and pork!
A research team, led by Professor Hideshi Ihara from the Osaka Metropolitan University Graduate School of Science, was the first to discover 2-oxo-imidazole-containing dipeptides (2-oxo-IDPs)-which have one more oxygen atom than normal Imidazole dipeptides (IDPs)-and found that they are the most common variety of IDPs derivatives in the body. The researchers also found that they have remarkably high antioxidant activity.
Imidazole dipeptides (IDPs), which are abundant in meat and fish, are substances produced in the bodies of various animals, including humans, and have been reported to be effective in relieving fatigue and preventing dementia. However, the physiological mechanism by which IDPs exhibit these activities had not been determined previously.
Quantitative Determination of 2-Oxo-Imidazole-Containing Dipeptides by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry,Antioxidants,doi 10.3390/antiox11122401
A disturbing discovery about commonly used contrast agent in MRI scans
In a new study published in Scientific Reports, a team led by Brent Wagner, MD, MS, associate professor in the UNM Department of Internal Medicine, describes the use of electron microscopy to detect tiny deposits of gadolinium in the kidneys of people who had been injected with contrast agents prior to their MRIs.
Physicians routinely prescribe an infusion containing gadolinium to enhance MRI scans, but there is evidence that nanoparticles of the toxic rare earth metal infiltrate kidney cells, sometimes triggering severe side effects, University of New Mexico researchers have found.
In the worst cases, gadolinium, an element that has no biologic function, can trigger nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, a painful disease that affects the skin and organs and is often fatal.
The onset of rare earth metallosis begins with renal gadolinium-rich nanoparticles from magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent exposure, Scientific Reports,doi 10.1038/s41598-023-28666-1