Insulin Resistance - NED Infobite
Insulin resistance is when cells in the body become less sensitive to the actions of insulin, the hormone that controls blood glucose levels. This BANT Infobite brings the latest science on the impacts of exercise, microbiome manipulation and dietary interventions on insulin sensitivity and resistance.
Vegan Diet Health Benefits in Metabolic Syndrome.
Plain language summary
Plant-based diets (PBD) have grown in popularity in recent years and have been associated with better health outcomes especially with heart disease, however poorly planned PBD’s can result in nutrient deficiencies like vitamin B12. This review aimed to summarise the health benefits of PBD’s, especially vegan diets, compared to omnivorous diets when looking at risk factors associated with heart disease. The authors started by summarising three PBD’s obvious in the literature; vegan diet with no animal products, lacto-ovo-vegetarian (LOV) with dairy products and eggs, and fish-vegetarian including fish and seafoods. The study then highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the vegan diet, highlighting that although the vegan diet represents a healthy way of eating rich in carbohydrates, omega-6 fats, fibre, vitamin C, vitamin E and magnesium it can be low in protein, omega-3 fats, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc and iodine if not properly planned. Heart disease incidence was reported to be lower in individuals on a PBD, especially vegans, when compared to omnivorous diets possibly due to their improvement on risk factors associated with the disease. Metabolic syndrome, blood pressure, fat production, and blood sugar balance were all shown to be improved and reasons such as their high fibre content reducing energy intake and causing feelings of satiety and their low saturated fat content impacting cholesterol production were listed as possible mechanisms behind the improvements. It was concluded that a nutritionist led, vegan diet can improve risk factors for heart disease resulting in better health outcomes. This study could be used by healthcare practitioners to understand where vegan diets may lack certain nutrients and the Importance of a well-planned vegan diet in the prevention of heart disease in those at an increased risk.
Plant-based diets (PBDs) are increasingly consumed by the Italian population and around the world. In particular, among PBDs, the vegan diet is a food pattern characterized by the exclusion of all animal-origin foods. What drives people to adopt this model are mainly ethical, health and environmental reasons. A vegan diet, if well-balanced and varied, can help in achieving and maintaining an optimal state of health. However, this nutritional approach, if not well-balanced, can cause deficiencies in proteins, ω-3 fatty acids, iron, vitamin D and calcium, zinc, iodine and, above all, vitamin B12. Oral food supplements especially fortified foods are recommended in these cases to restore the nutritional deficiencies. A vegan diet generally reduces the risk of developing chronic non-communicable degenerative diseases, such as metabolic syndrome (MetS) and, in addition, requires fewer natural resources for food production than an omnivorous diet. The aim of this review is to analyze the possible impact of the vegan diet on MetS onset and its treatment.
'Long COVID': persistent COVID-19 symptoms in survivors managed in Lagos State, Nigeria.
BMC infectious diseases. 2021;21(1):304
Plain language summary
The spectrum of clinical presentation of COVID-19 ranges from the asymptomatic, to symptomatic with varying levels of severity depending on age, comorbid conditions, and basal metabolic index. The aim of this study was to highlight associations between socio-demographic characteristics and comorbidities with persistent symptoms in COVID-19 survivors. This study is a retrospective study using de-identified data of 274 COVID-19 survivors. A thorough clinical history and physical assessment was conducted for all patients. Results indicate that: - the most common symptom manifested by survivors was easy fatigability. - neurologic symptoms were found in 39.1% of the COVID-19 survivors. Symptoms included headaches, insomnia, and attention deficits. - there was no significant association between demographic factors and comorbidities such as hypertension or diabetes and the presence of persistent symptoms in COVID-19 survivors. Authors conclude these findings, together with evidence from other studies, can guide policies and interventions aimed at improving the quality of life of survivors and return to usual health.
BACKGROUND Coronavirus disease once thought to be a respiratory infection is now recognised as a multi-system disease affecting the respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, immune, and hematopoietic systems. An emerging body of evidence suggests the persistence of COVID-19 symptoms of varying patterns among some survivors. This study aimed to describe persistent symptoms in COVID-19 survivors and investigate possible risk factors for these persistent symptoms. METHODS The study used a retrospective study design. The study population comprised of discharged COVID-19 patients. Demographic information, days since discharge, comorbidities, and persistent COVID-19 like symptoms were assessed in patients attending the COVID-19 outpatient clinic in Lagos State. Statistical analysis was done using STATA 15.0 software (StataCorp Texas) with significance placed at p-value < 0.05. RESULTS A total of 274 patients were enrolled in the study. A majority were within the age group > 35 to ≤49 years (38.3%), and male (66.1%). More than one-third (40.9%) had persistent COVID-19 symptoms after discharge, and 19.7% had more than three persistent COVID-like symptoms. The most persistent COVID-like symptoms experienced were easy fatigability (12.8%), headaches (12.8%), and chest pain (9.8%). Symptomatic COVID-19 disease with moderate severity compared to mild severity was a predictor of persistent COVID-like symptoms after discharge (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION Findings from this study suggests that patients who recovered from COVID-19 disease may still experience COVID-19 like symptoms, particularly fatigue and headaches. Therefore, careful monitoring should be in place after discharge to help mitigate the effects of these symptoms and improve the quality of life of COVID-19 survivors.
Blood Sugar Dysregulation - NED Infobite
Blood sugar regulation is the process by which the levels of blood sugar, primarily glucose, are maintained by the body within an optimal biological range, called glucose homeostasis. Glucose comes from two major sources: externally from food and internally from liver (which both stores and makes glucose). Eating foods which are high in sugars on a regular basis can lead to a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The research suggests that nutrition advice that favours low GI and GL foods could produce significant cost savings for public healthcare.
SARS-CoV-2 and immune-microbiome interactions: Lessons from respiratory viral infections.
International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. 2021;105:540-550
Plain language summary
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an enveloped RNA beta-coronavirus. This virus caused the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The aim of this review was to investigate the relationship between microbiota, immunity, and COVID-19, with particular focus on how microbiome-associated immune crosstalk can shape outcome of COVID-19. The study included 118 articles which investigated or reviewed COVID-19 or coronavirus and the microbiome of the gut or respiratory tract. Findings indicate that: - an over-activated immune system leads to massive pulmonary damage in COVID-19 patients. - the effect of aging and comorbidities, and the use of antibiotics have an effect on the diversity of the microbiota. - the milieu of gut flora can exert influence on pulmonary immune responses. - a unique cross-talk exists between the pulmonary and gut microbial compartments. Authors conclude by highlighting the need of further studies that delineate the role of the microbiota and their products in the immune dysregulation observed in SARS-CoV-2 infections.
By the beginning of 2020, infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) had rapidly evolved into an emergent worldwide pandemic, an outbreak whose unprecedented consequences highlighted many existing flaws within public healthcare systems across the world. While coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is bestowed with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations, involving the vital organs, the respiratory system transpires as the main route of entry for SARS-CoV-2, with the lungs being its primary target. Of those infected, up to 20% require hospitalization on account of severity, while the majority of patients are either asymptomatic or exhibit mild symptoms. Exacerbation in the disease severity and complications of COVID-19 infection have been associated with multiple comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, and chronic lung disease. Interestingly, a recent body of evidence indicated the pulmonary and gut microbiomes as potential modulators for altering the course of COVID-19, potentially via the microbiome-immune system axis. While the relative concordance between microbes and immunity has yet to be fully elucidated with regards to COVID-19, we present an overview of our current understanding of COVID-19-microbiome-immune cross talk and discuss the potential contributions of microbiome-related immunity to SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and COVID-19 disease progression.
Blood Sugar and Nutrition - NED Infobite
The links between dietary intake and blood sugar are clear. This BANT Infobite highlights some of the latest science on different dietary interventions and ways of eating that have demonstrated the impact of food on blood sugar dysregulation.
Overweight and Obesity - NED Infobite
Obesity and its impact on the prevalence of diabetes and subsequent cardiovascular disease is one of the major health burdens in Western societies. Intensive lifestyle intervention programmes have been shown to be successful, even in individuals with pre-diabetes. Nutrition and lifestyle interventions targeting blood sugar regulation, fibre intake for microbiome health and healthy habits formed in childhood all have a role to play.
Intake and adequacy of the vegan diet. A systematic review of the evidence.
Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland). 2021;40(5):3503-3521
Plain language summary
This systematic review investigated vegan diets in the European populations and their adequacy of macro-and micronutrient intake, compared to the recommendations of the World Health Organization. Included were 48 studies and their outcomes regarding protein, carbohydrates, fats and micronutrients summarized. The overall results and their impact on health are discussed in the later sections of the paper. Adequate intake amongst vegans was seen with carbohydrates, fats, Vitamin A, B1, В6, C, E, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and folate. Sodium exceeded recommended intake, whilst protein, Vitamin B2, B3, B12, D, iodine, zinc, calcium, potassium, selenium was of low consumption in a vegan diet. The bioavailability of some nutrients was also acknowledged. In summary, following a vegan diet appears to have positive and negative aspects. A vegan diet profile can contribute to disease prevention with lower incidence rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Yet veganism appears to increase the risk for mental health conditions, bone fractures, immune system impairments, anaemias and deficiencies from low nutrient intake. This review yields a comprehensive overview of the positive and negative health consequences of a vegan diet. It may be a useful reference for those looking to support vegans or individuals considering adopting a vegan diet pattern.
Conflicts of interest:
Vegan diets have become increasingly popular in the last ten years. This systematic review of 48 studies investigated the adequacy of vegan diets in European populations. It compared their macro- and micronutrient intakes compared to World Health Organization recommendations. It found that vegan diets tend to be lower in protein and in essential amino acids (lysine, methionine and tryptophan). They
can also be lower in micronutrients especially vitamin B12, zinc, calcium and selenium. However, the lower intakes are not always associated with health impairments.
Implications for practice:
Practitioners should be aware of the potential deficiencies in a vegan diet.
Implications for research:
More research is needed to determine whether lower nutrient intakes in vegans correlated with poor health outcomes.
BACKGROUND Vegan diets, where animal- and all their by-products are excluded from the diet, have gained popularity, especially in the last decade. However, the evaluation of this type of diet has not been well addressed in the scientific literature. This study aimed to investigate the adequacy of vegan diets in European populations and of their macro- and micronutrient intakes compared to World Health Organization recommendations. METHODS A systematic search in PubMed, Web of Science, IBSS, Cochrane library and Google Scholar was conducted and 48 studies (12 cohorts and 36 cross-sectional) were included. RESULTS Regarding macronutrients, vegan diets are lower in protein intake compared with all other diet types. Veganism is also associated with low intake of vitamins B , Niacin (B ), B , D, iodine, zinc, calcium, potassium, selenium. Vitamin B intake among vegans is significantly lower (0.24-0.49 μg, recommendations are 2.4 μg) and calcium intake in the majority of vegans was below recommendations (750 mg/d). No significant differences in fat intake were observed. Vegan diets are not related to deficiencies in vitamins A, B , Β , C, E, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and folate and have a low glycemic load. CONCLUSIONS Following a vegan diet may result in deficiencies in micronutrients (vitamin B , zinc, calcium and selenium) which should not be disregarded. However, low micro- and macronutrient intakes are not always associated with health impairments. Individuals who consume a vegan diet should be aware of the risk of potential dietary deficiencies.
More Than 50 Long-Term Effects of COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
Research square. 2021
Plain language summary
Symptoms, signs, or abnormal clinical parameters persisting two or more weeks after COVID-19 onset that do not return to a healthy baseline can potentially be considered long-term effects of the disease. The aim of this study was to estimate the incidence of all the symptoms, signs, or abnormal laboratory parameters extending beyond the acute phase of COVID-19 reported to date. This study is a systematic review and meta-analysis of 15 peer-reviewed studies that reported symptoms, signs, or laboratory parameters of patients at a post-COVID-19 stage (assessed two weeks or more after initial symptoms) in cohorts of COVID-19 patients. Results indicate that 80% (95% CI 65–92) of individuals with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis continued to have at least one overall effect beyond two weeks following acute infection. In total, 55 effects, including symptoms, signs, and laboratory parameters, were identified, with fatigue, anosmia [partial or complete loss of the sense of smell], lung dysfunction, abnormal chest X-ray/CT scan, and neurological disorders being the most common. Authors conclude that physicians should be aware of the symptoms, signs, and biomarkers present in patients previously affected by COVID-19 to promptly assess, identify and halt long COVID-19 progression, minimize the risk of chronic effects and help re-establish pre-COVID-19 health.
undefined: COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, can involve sequelae and other medical complications that last weeks to months after initial recovery, which has come to be called Long-COVID or COVID long-haulers. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to identify studies assessing long-term effects of COVID-19 and estimates the prevalence of each symptom, sign, or laboratory parameter of patients at a post-COVID-19 stage. . LitCOVID (PubMed and Medline) and Embase were searched by two independent researchers. All articles with original data for detecting long-term COVID-19 published before 1 of January 2021 and with a minimum of 100 patients were included. For effects reported in two or more studies, meta-analyses using a random-effects model were performed using the MetaXL software to estimate the pooled prevalence with 95% CI. Heterogeneity was assessed using statistics. This systematic review followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviewers and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, although the study protocol was not registered. A total of 18,251 publications were identified, of which 15 met the inclusion criteria. The prevalence of 55 long-term effects was estimated, 21 meta-analyses were performed, and 47,910 patients were included. The follow-up time ranged from 14 to 110 days post-viral infection. The age of the study participants ranged between 17 and 87 years. It was estimated that 80% (95% CI 65-92) of the patients that were infected with SARS-CoV-2 developed one or more long-term symptoms. The five most common symptoms were fatigue (58%), headache (44%), attention disorder (27%), hair loss (25%), and dyspnea (24%). All meta-analyses showed medium (n=2) to high heterogeneity (n=13). . In order to have a better understanding, future studies need to stratify by sex, age, previous comorbidities, the severity of COVID-19 (ranging from asymptomatic to severe), and duration of each symptom. From the clinical perspective, multi-disciplinary teams are crucial to developing preventive measures, rehabilitation techniques, and clinical management strategies with whole-patient perspectives designed to address long COVID-19 care.
The Role of Inflammation - NED Infobite
Low-grade chronic inflammation contributes to the development of various chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus type 2 and cardiovascular diseases. This BANT Infobite highlights some of the latest research on diet and inflammation, including a study on the role of the gut microbiome.