Newsletter #017: Improving Health through Probiotics and blood sugar control 🩸
Welcome to the Labor Day Weekend edition of the humanOS newsletter! 🏈 Here, as always, is where we share our own work as well as the various cool studies that grabbed our attention and found their way onto our social media channels.
This week on our blog, Greg examines recent evidence that associates higher protein intake to cancer. In the first part of this series (go back and check that out!), Greg explained the role of protein in various signaling pathways associated with the growth and regulation of muscle protein synthesis. That’s something that most of us want, of course, 💪🏻but this seems to come at a long-term cost - animal models have shown that restricting protein increases lifespan, and epidemiological research has linked dietary protein to greater cancer risk. So, as we get older, we seem to face a tradeoff between physical strength and longevity in our dietary choices. Or do we? Greg offers his perspective on this apparent dilemma.
Finally, just a quick reminder, our friends at Biohacker Summit have joined forces with our friends at SPARK and are putting on what is set to be a great event from the 14th to the 16th of October in Toronto. The talks will cover an array of juicy topics, including ketogenic diets, medicinal uses of psychedelics, meditation, and neurofeedback. Greg will be speaking about how diet affects circadian rhythms and why this is so important for health. Check it out here, and if you’d like to come along then you can use the code vip15 to get 15% off attendance!
This Week’s Research Highlights
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 70 older women (75-80 years old) with low bone mineral density were randomized to receive either Lactobacillus reuteri 6475 or placebo. After 12 months, the women who took the probiotics experienced 55% less bone loss, compared to the placebo group.
Researchers analyzed data from 322 older adults (60-66 years old at the start of the study) who had brain MRIs performed up to four times over a 12 year period, as well as blood sugar measured up to three times in the same timeframe. The researchers found that higher blood glucose was associated with faster yearly cortical thinning, not just in people with type 2 diabetes but also individuals with normal fasting blood glucose. Across groups, a 1 mmol/l increase in plasma glucose was associated with a 10–13% increase in annual cortical thinning.
Using a rodent model of inflammatory bowel disease, Chinese researchers divided mice into three groups and had them consume either a regular diet, a diet with 2.5% whole strawberry powder, or a diet with 5% whole strawberry powder. The researchers found that the whole strawberries led to significant suppression of gut symptoms, as well as diminished inflammatory responses in colonic tissue. Importantly, this was evident at a dose equivalent to less than a cup of strawberries for humans. Furthermore, whole strawberries remodeled the composition of the microbiome in the IBD mice, increasing the abundance of putatively anti-inflammatory taxa like Lactobacillus.
Researchers examined data from 7670 overweight or obese people who were attempting to lose or maintain weight, and calculated how different amounts of weight loss associated with reductions in risk of metabolic syndrome. Compared to those who maintained less than 5% weight loss for one year, individuals who lost 5-10% of their weight reduced their risk for metabolic syndrome by 22%. Those who lost 20% of their body mass cut their risk by 53%.
Videos We Loved This Week
- Joseph Takahashi: The clock in our genes and in every cell of your body. Via TEDx.
- Dale Bredesen: Reversing Alzheimer’s disease. Via the Silicon Valley Health Institute.
- James Levine: The dangers of sitting. Via the ACSM.
Products We Are Enjoying
Ginny says: I just started drinking yerba maté regularly a short time ago, after stumbling upon some research on it down the PubMed rabbit hole (this is often how I discover new stuff). Maté is rich in bioactive compounds - most notably the stimulants caffeine and theobromine - but is also a good source of antioxidants. Subjectively, I really like it - it feels different than my usual green tea, in a way that you have to experience to understand. Our friend on Twitter, Dave Fobare (@davefobare) recommended this particular brand to us. If you wanna try it yourself, I am told that the traditional method of infusing yerba mate involves a gourd and a metal straw; brewing it like any other tea seems to work all right though.
New humanOS Content
- Blog: Dietary Protein and Cancer: mTOR, IGF-1, and Tradeoffs (Part 2). By Greg Potter.
Media Featuring humanOS
- Dan Pardi (contributor): If your employees don’t get enough sleep, that’s on you. Via The Next Web.
- Greg Potter: The definitive guide to sleep. Via the Modern Wisdom podcast.