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Too Many Antibiotics? Bacterial Ecology That Lives On Humans Has Changed in Last 100 Years

Cecil M. Lewis Jr., professor of anthropology in the OU College of Arts and Sciences and director of the OU Molecular Anthropology Laboratory, and Raul Tito, OU Research Associate, led the research study that analyzed microbiome data from ancient human fecal samples collected from three different archaeological sites in the Americas, each dating to over 1000 years ago. In addition, the team provided a new analysis of published data from two samples that reflect rare and extraordinary preservation: Otzi the Iceman and a soldier frozen for 93 years on a glacier.

"The results support the hypothesis that ancient human gut microbiomes are more similar to those of non-human primates and rural non-western communities than to those of people living a modern lifestyle in the United States," says Lewis. "From these data, the team concluded that the last 100 years has been a time of major change to the human gut microbiome in cosmopolitan areas."

"Dietary changes, as well as the widespread adoption of various aseptic and antibiotic practices have largely benefited modern humans, but many studies suggest there has been a cost, such as a recent increase in autoimmune related risks and other health states," states Lewis.

"We wish to reveal how this co-evolutionary relationship between humans and bacteria has changed, while providing the foundation for interventions to reconstruct what has been lost. One way to do this is to study remote communities and non-human primates. An alternative path is to look at ancient samples and see what they tell us," Lewis says.

"An argument can be made that remote traditional communities are not truly removed from modern human ecologies. They may receive milk or other food sources from the government, which could alter the microbial ecology of the community. Our evolutionary cousins, non-human primates are important to consider. However, the human-chimp common ancestor was over six million years ago, which is a lot of time for microbiomes to evolve distinct, human signatures."

Retrieving ancient human microbiome data is complementary to these studies. However, studying ancient microbiomes is not without problems. Assuming DNA preserves, there is also a problem with contamination and modification of ancient samples, both from the soil deposition, and from other sources, including the laboratory itself.

"In addition to laboratory controls in our study, we use an exciting new quantitative approach called source tracking developed by Dan Knights from Rob Knight's Laboratory at the University of Colorado in Boulder, which can estimate how much of the ancient microbiome data is consistent with the human gut, rather than other sources, such as soil," explains Lewis.

"We discovered that certain samples have excellent gut microbiome signatures, opening the door for deeper analyses of the ancient human gut, including a better understanding of the ancient humans themselves, such as learning more about their disease burdens, but also learning more about what has changed in our gut today."

Science Daily

Compiled by :Maysa Wassouf

 

 

Oranges,prevent cancer

Oranges have many health benefits. They are rich in Vitamins C and A, flavonoids, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber etc. Oranges have more than 60 flavonoids and 170 phytonutrients that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and anti-oxidant properties.

Here are some of the health benefits for oranges:

- Relieves Constipation

The dietary fiber in orange helps in stimulating digestive juices and relieves constipation.

- Regulates High Blood Pressure

Hesperidin, a flavonoid in oranges helps to regulate high blood pressure. Magnesium in oranges helps to maintain the blood pressure.

- Prevents Cancer

The high amount of vitamin C protects the cells from damages by free radicals. Liminoid, a compound in oranges helps to prevent cancers like oral, skin, lung, breast and colon.

- Protects Against Heart Diseases

The high amount of vitamin C and flavonoids protects against heart diseases.

- Fights Against Viral Infections

Studies show that the abundance of polyphenols protects against viral infections.

- Purifies Blood

The iron and Vitamin B6 in oranges help in the production of hemoglobin and increase the oxygen carrying capacity. They also purify the blood.

- Protects Against Skin Diseases

Beta-carotene, the powerful antioxidant protects the cells from being damage. It also protects the skin from free radicals and prevents the signs of aging.

- Keeps Bones and Teeth Strong

The calcium in oranges helps to keep your bones and teeth strong.

- Prevents Kidney Diseases

The regular intake of orange juice prevents kidney diseases. It also reduces the risk of forming calcium oxalate stones in the kidney. But take the juice in moderate amounts. Otherwise it can cause the decay of bones and teeth.

Compiled by: Raghda Sawas

How Can Diet Affect Depression?

Trying to find a diet to ease depression? Unfortunately, there's no specific diet that works for depression. No studies have been done that indicate a particular eating plan can ease symptoms of clinical depression.

while certain diets or foods may not ease depression (or put you instantly in a better mood), a healthy diet may help as part of an overall treatment for depression.

How Can Diet Affect Depression?

Here are the following  tips for eating if you or a loved one is recovering from clinical depression.

1- Eat a Diet High in Nutrients

Nutrients in foods support the body's repair, growth, and wellness. Nutrients we all need include vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and even a small amount of fat. A deficiency in any of these nutrients lead to our bodies not working at full capacity -- and can even cause illness.

2- Fill Your Plate With Essential Antioxidants

Damaging molecules called free radicals are produced in our bodies during normal body functions -- and these free radicals contribute to aging and dysfunction. Antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E combat the effects of free radicals. Antioxidants have been shown to tie up these free radicals and take away their destructive power.

Studies show that the brain is particularly at risk for free radical damage. Although there's no way to stop free radicals completely, we can reduce their destructive effect on the body by eating foods rich in antioxidants as part of a healthy diet, including:

    Sources of beta-carotene: apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collards, peaches, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato.

    Sources of vitamin C: blueberries, broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, tomato.

    Sources of vitamin E: margarine, nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, wheat germ.

 

3-Eat "Smart" Carbs for a Calming Effect

The connection between carbohydrates and mood is linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical, serotonin. Carbohydrate craving may be related to decreased serotonin activity, although experts are not sure if there is a link.

So don't shun carbs -- just make smart choices. Limit sugary foods and opt for smart carbs, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which all contribute healthy carbs as well as fiber.

4- Eat Protein-Rich Foods to Boost Alertness

Foods rich in protein, like turkey, tuna, or chicken, are rich in an amino acid called tyrosine. Tyrosine may help boost levels of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. This boost helps you feel alert and makes it easier to concentrate. Try to include a protein source in your diet several times a day, especially when you need to clear your mind and boost your energy.

    Good sources of healthy proteins: beans and peas, lean beef, low-fat cheese, fish, milk, poultry, soy products, yogurt.

Compiled by:Raghda Sawas

 

 

Disease Prevention

 

As models for prevention research, infectious diseases have set a high standard. Thanks to the development and widespread distribution of vaccines and anti microbial drugs, we now live in a world free of smallpox, nearly free of polio, and with declining rates of malaria and AIDS. These victories (some still partial) have resulted in people living longer and acute infectious diseases being superseded in many countries as a public health priority by long-term noncommunicable diseases. Heart disease, metabolic disease, cancer, and respiratory disease together account for 60% of all deaths worldwide and 80% of deaths in low- and middle-income countries. Global projections for dementia are particularly alarming: By the year 2050, the disorder may affect more than 100 million people.

Logic dictates that preventing these diseases is a better approach than treating people after they have become ill. In many cases, the knowledge and tools needed for prevention appear to be in place. A number of these killer diseases share risk factors that can be modified by lifestyle changes—for example, by eliminating tobacco use, eating less processed food, and increasing physical activity. For certain cancers, screening tests are available that allow detection of the disease at an early stage. So why is prevention of these diseases so difficult when it seems like such a good idea on paper?

This special section of Science highlights many of the challenges facing researchers in noncommunicable disease prevention, a field characterized by impassioned debates on issues as fundamental as whether the benefits of cancer screening outweigh the risks, and which forms of prevention are the most cost-effective. The need for carefully designed clinical trials is a common theme in discussions of potential chemopreventive agents—among them aspirin, vitamin D, vaccines against chronic diseases, and β-amyloid–lowering drugs. The preventive strategies most likely to succeed on a population-wide scale are described, as are the best ways to integrate these efforts with infectious disease prevention, and the far-reaching effects (some adverse) that disease prevention efforts could have on a country's economy. And even as medical researchers seek new prevention drugs and strategies, we are reminded that lifelong health requires proper nutrition, especially during the first 1000 days of life, and that effective prevention will require an understanding of why people engage in health-harming behaviors.

One year ago this month, the United Nations convened a conference focused on the global reach of noncommunicable diseases, and it has since set a goal: to reduce the probability of premature mortality from these diseases by 25% by the year 2025. Although the specifics are still a work in progress, preventive strategies will probably play an important role. As if prevention researchers didn't already face enough challenges, they now find themselves working on a deadline.

Science Magazine

M.W

 

Cabbage could work miracles

The health benefits of cabbage include treatment of constipation, stomach ulcers, headache, excess weight, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, ageing, and Alzheimer's disease.

Did you know that the cheap, humble looking and so widely used cabbage could work miracles? Cabbage is a leafy vegetable of Brassica family, round or oval in shape, consisting of soft light green or whitish inner leaves covered with harder and dark green outer leaves. It is widely used throughout the world, eaten cooked or raw as salad and is a very popular vegetable.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Deficiency of Vitamin C: Scurvy, which is recognized by spongy and bleeding gums, cracked lip corners etc., very weak immune system, frequent infections and cold, ageing, depression etc.

Remedy: Cabbage is abundant is Vitamin C. You will be surprised to know that it is richer in vitamin C than the famous oranges. Vitamin C, being one of the best anti oxidant, reduces free radicals in your body which are the basic causes of ageing. It also helps repairing the wear and tears in the body. Thus it is very helpful in treating ulcers, certain cancers, depressions, for strengthening immune system and fighting against cough and cold, healing of wounds and damaged tissues, proper functioning of nervous system and thereby help curing Alzheimer’s disease etc.

Deficiency of Roughage: This is a very serious deficiency but most neglected. Lack of roughage in the food results in constipation, the root cause to innumerable other ailments and health hazards such as stomach ulcers, headache, intestinal cancer, indigestion and resultant loss of appetite, skin diseases, eczema, ageing and hundreds related problems.

Remedies: Cabbage is very rich in fiber. This helps retain water and forms the bulk of the food and the bowels. Thus it is a good cure for constipation and related problems.

Deficiency of Sulphur: Sulphur is a very useful nutrient as it fights infections. Its deficiency results in microbial infections and late healing of wounds.

Remedy: Again, cabbage is rich is sulphur. So, it helps fight infections in wounds and ulcers.

Detoxification by cabbage: Cabbage is a good detoxifier too, i.e. it purifies blood and removes toxins (primarily free radicals and uric acid which is major cause for rheumatism, gout, arthritis, renal calculi, skin diseases, eczema, hardening and de-colorization of skin etc.). This detoxifying effect of cabbage is due to the presence of vitamin C and sulphur.

 

Other benefits of Cabbage: Cabbage, being rich in iodine, helps in proper functioning of the brain and the nervous system, apart from keeping the endocrinal glands in proper condition. Thus, it is good for brain and treatment of neurotic disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The various other nutrients present in cabbage such as vitamin-E which keeps the skin, eye and hair healthy, calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc., are very useful for overall health. The cabbage can also be used for treatment of varicose veins, leg ulcers, peptic and duodenal ulcers etc.

So, now you know that the inevitable part of your Chinese dish could do you miracles. Add more and more cabbage in your daily diet, be it your soup or be it your salad, this is going to help you live a healthy and longer life.

Compiled by:Raghda Sawas