Studies: Huntington, Crohn’s, Eggs, and Aging

Vol. 10

Eating Schedule and Huntington Disease

Huntington disease (HD) is an inherited progressive disease that can cause involuntary movements and psychological problems. Symptoms of HD appear in adulthood and worsen over time. Children with at least one parent with HD have a 50% chance of developing HD. As of now, HD is thought to be caused by the buildup of mutant huntingtin protein (mHTT) and there is no known cure. HD is linked to a problem with autophagy (cell death). The University of British Columbia (UBC) published research involving a mouse model of HD. Mice were restricted to a 6 hour eating windown, which prompted autophagy in the mice. There are practical applications for humans utilizing intermittent fasting, or a fasting mimetic diet.


Eggs and Infants

Eggs. They are good for you, this much is made more and more obvious every day. Recently though, the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, published research stating that eggs are beneficial for infants as well.

Starting at 6 months of age, infants were fed eggs (whole eggs) as part of their diet. The infants, aged 6-9 months, were fed 1 egg per day. Eggs, being high in choline precursors, DHA, vitamins A, B12, selenium and other fatty acids, are vital for brain development.


Artificial Sweeteners and Crohn’s

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University found artificial sweeteners (splenda, maltodextrin, and sucralose) worsened the symptoms of people with Crohn’s disease. Accorfding to the research, the artificial sweeteners increased the presence of proteobacteria and myeloperoxidase. Both of these are involved in inflammatory and autoimmune responses in people with Crohn’s. Researchers did not find the same reaction in people that do not suffer from Crohn’s.


Exercise Slows Aging

Yet another reason to regularly exercise. The University of Birmingham and Kings College, London conducted research regarding exercise and aging. The study consisted of 125 participants, aged 55-79, 84 males and 41 females. Excluded from the study were smokers, heavy drinkers, and those who had high blood pressure. A control group of 75 non-exercisers was measured as well. The treatment group, the exercisers, had no loss of muscle mass or strength, no increase in body fat or cholesterol and their testosterone levels remained stable. The immune systems of the exercisers was also comparable to a younger person. One reason for this, according to the researchers, was that exercise prevented the shrinking of the thymus, which normally begins around age 20.



How the gut influences neurologic disease

A study sheds new light on the connection between the gut and the brain, untangling the complex interplay that allows the byproducts of microorganisms living in the gut to influence the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

Source: How the gut influences neurologic disease: Researchers are identifying the key players involved in the gut-brain connection and their role in disease progression — ScienceDaily


Sirtuins are a class of proteins that possess either mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase or deacylase activity. Sirtuins regulate many important biological pathways in bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. There are many sirtuins, differentiated by numbers, 1-7.


Benefits of Sirtuins

Biology lesson aside, sirtuins provide many benefits. Different sirtuins have been shown to be:

  • Important in aging and apoptosis (programmed cell death)
  • Inflammation
  • DNA repair
  • Mitochondrial biogenesis (new mitochondria)
  • Vital along with NAD+, for the regulation of energy metabolism (aging and longevity)
  • Important for reducing oxidative stress (by inhibiting reactive oxygen species)
  • Helpful in improving endurance and muscle growth


How To Get Your Sirtuins

While the way they work and even what they are is a bit complicated, getting enough of them in your diet is not. Plenty of foods contain sirtuins. Make sure to get enough of the following in your diet:

  • Black currants
  • Green tea
  • Dark chocolate
  • Kale and/or borecole
  • Olives
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Parsley
  • Capers
  • Onions
  • Turmeric
  • Omega-3

Age affects how we predict and respond to stress at home

A recent study finds that older adults are better than younger adults at anticipating stressful events at home — but older adults are not as good at using those predictions to reduce the adverse impacts of the stress.

Source: Age affects how we predict and respond to stress at home — ScienceDaily

Fasting boosts stem cells’ regenerative capacity

Age-related declines in stem cell function can be reversed by a 24-hour fast, according to a new study. Biologists found fasting dramatically improves stem cells’ ability to regenerate, in both aged and young mice.

Source: Fasting boosts stem cells’ regenerative capacity: A drug treatment that mimics fasting can also provide the same benefit, study finds — ScienceDaily

Hidden secret of immortality enzyme telomerase: Can we stay young forever, or even recapture lost youth?

Research has recently uncovered a crucial step in the telomerase enzyme catalytic cycle. This catalytic cycle determines the ability of the human telomerase enzyme to synthesize DNA.

Source: Hidden secret of immortality enzyme telomerase: Can we stay young forever, or even recapture lost youth? — ScienceDaily

Supplement Focus: Multivitamin

Multivitamins are, for some reason, a bit controversial. Some people say you need them, others insist they do more harm than good. So, what are multivitamins, really? Do you need them? Should everyone be taking one? What constitutes a “good” multivitamin? Are they really dangerous?

What Is A Multivitamin

Most multivitamins are in either capsule or pill form, though some are sold as powders. A multi– vitamin will contain multiple vitamins, minerals, and other elements. Some vitamins for example, only have different B vitamins, alleging stress relief as a benefit. This would not be considered a multivitamin. The majority of multivitamins will contain:

  • Vitamin C
  • Several B vitamins (1,2,3,5,6,9,12)
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Potassium
  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron

And depending on the vitamin, more. The dosages will vary product to product as well.


Why Multivitamins Are “Bad For You”

The idea that multivitamins are bad for you, can lead to disease, and should be avoided is brought up frequently. Using weak science, incomplete data, and false assumptions people or organizations will try to scare people away from taking multivitamins. Some reasons commonly given for why multivitamins are terrible for your health are:

  • “Abundance” of research associating multivitamin use with increased rates of cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • No evidence that they increase lifespan
  • Little to no government regulation as a supplement
  • Vitamins/minerals less bioavailable than in food (somewhat true, as most vitamins and minerals require fat to be absorbed)


Why Multivitamins Are Good For You

There are plenty of things wrong with the reasons listed above as well as how those conclusions were arrived to. First, some simple and clean facts:

  • Studies show no increased rates of CVD in men or women
  • Decades of data regarding multivitamin use shows a decrease in all-cause mortality
  • Yes, it is preferable to get all the vitamins/minerals/elements from diet. It’s just not feasible. For financial, time, and practical reasons, diet alone is not enough

Now let’s look the vitamin deficiencies in American adults not using multivitamins:

  • Vitamin D: 96%
  • Vitamin C: 48%
  • Vitamin E: 96
  • Vitamin A: 58%

Those are large numbers.

Vitamin deficiencies in American adults using multivitamins:

  • Vitamin D: 25%
  • Vitamin C: 3%
  • Vitamin E: 5%
  • Vitamin A: 2%

Significantly less.


Methodological Problems

The science used to conclude multivitamins are bad for you is executed poorly, along with the omission of data in most published reports. Many of the claims against multivitamins are based off of research with no biochemical analysis done. In other words, no blood work is done in these studies; the research is relying on participants’ memory of what multivitamin(s) they took, how often, for how long, etc.

In the majority of this research the participants end up deficient in one or more vitamins/minerals/elements. This is true. What’s not published is that these participants began the study already deficient in those vitamins/minerals/elements. A similar problem occurs with disease states. Many of the participants begin the study in diseased states, so to say that multivitamin supplementation caused the diseased states observed at the conclusion of the study is disingenuous, at best.

The most egregious aspect of this is when these stories get sensationalized, the data supporting the use of multivitamins is omitted. When reading the actual research data, it’s obvious that overall, multivitamin use is beneficial to health in many aspects, but this is left out, seemingly, for the appeal of a shocking headline.