Mixed Spices at Culinary Doses Have Prebiotic Effects in Healthy Adults: A Pilot Study.
Plain language summary
An increasing body of evidence suggests that the gut microbiota has a profound impact on human health. While the microbiome of a healthy individual is relatively stable, gut microbial dynamics can be influenced by host lifestyle and dietary choices. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of mixed spices (cinnamon, oregano, ginger, black pepper, and cayenne pepper) at culinary doses consumed over 2 weeks in a standardized 5g capsule on the production of gut microbiota and short-chain fatty acids The study is a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot study carried out with a total of 31 healthy women and men aged between 18 and 65. The subjects were randomly allocated to one of the two intervention groups. Results indicate that daily intake of 5g of mixed spices for 2 weeks in healthy subjects resulted in a significant reduction in the relative abundance of the phylum Firmicutes (bacteria), and a trend of increasing in phylum Bacteroidetes (bacteria) as compared with a matched control group. Authors conclude that a mixture of spices at culinary doses affects the composition of gut microbiota.
undefined: Spices were used as food preservatives prior to the advent of refrigeration, suggesting the possibility of effects on microbiota. Previous studies have shown prebiotic activities in animals and in vitro, but there has not been a demonstration of prebiotic or postbiotic effects at culinary doses in humans. In this randomized placebo-controlled study, we determined in twenty-nine healthy adults the effects on the gut microbiota of the consumption daily of capsules containing 5 g of mixed spices at culinary doses by comparison to a matched control group consuming a maltodextrin placebo capsule. The 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing data were used for microbial characterization. Spice consumption resulted in a significant reduction in Firmicutes abundance ( < 0.033) and a trend of enrichment in Bacteroidetes ( < 0.097) compared to placebo group. Twenty-six operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were different between the spice and placebo groups after intervention. Furthermore, there was a significant negative correlation between fecal short-chain fatty acid propionate concentration and Firmicutes abundance in spice intervention group ( < 0.04). The production of individual fecal short-chain fatty acid was not significantly changed by spice consumption in this study. Mixed spices consumption significantly modified gut microbiota, suggesting a prebiotic effect of spice consumption at culinary doses.
Phase II prospective randomized trial of weight loss prior to radical prostatectomy.
Prostate cancer and prostatic diseases. 2018;(2):212-220
BACKGROUND Obesity is associated with poorly differentiated and advanced prostate cancer and increased mortality. In preclinical models, caloric restriction delays prostate cancer progression and prolongs survival. We sought to determine if weight loss (WL) in men with prostate cancer prior to radical prostatectomy affects tumor apoptosis and proliferation, and if WL effects other metabolic biomarkers. METHODS In this Phase II prospective trial, overweight and obese men scheduled for radical prostatectomy were randomized to a 5-8 week WL program consisting of standard structured energy-restricted meal plans (1200-1500 Kcal/day) and physical activity or to a control group. The primary endpoint was apoptotic index in the radical prostatectomy malignant epithelium. Secondary endpoints were proliferation (Ki67) in the radical prostatectomy tissue, body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio, body composition, and serum PSA, insulin, triglyceride, cholesterol, testosterone, estradiol, leptin, adiponectin, interleukin 6, interleukin 8, insulin-like growth factor 1, and IGF binding protein 1. RESULTS In total 23 patients were randomized to the WL intervention and 21 patients to the control group. Subjects in the intervention group had significantly more weight loss (WL:-3.7 ± 0.5 kg; Control:-1.6 ± 0.5 kg; p = 0.007) than the control group and total fat mass was significantly reduced (WL:-2.1 ± 0.4; Control: 0.1 ± 0.3; p = 0.015). There was no significant difference in apoptotic or proliferation index between the groups. Among the other biomarkers, triglyceride, and insulin levels were significantly decreased in the WL compared with the control group. CONCLUSIONS In summary, this short-term WL program prior to radical prostatectomy resulted in significantly more WL in the intervention vs. the control group and was accompanied by significant reductions in body fat mass, circulating triglycerides, and insulin. However, no significant changes were observed in malignant epithelium apoptosis or proliferation. Future studies should consider a longer term or more intensive weight loss intervention.
Pistachio nuts reduce triglycerides and body weight by comparison to refined carbohydrate snack in obese subjects on a 12-week weight loss program.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2010;(3):198-203
OBJECTIVE There is a widely held view that, due to high fat content, snacking on nuts will lead to weight gain, ultimately causing unhealthy changes in lipid profiles. This study is designed to study the effects of pistachio snack consumption on body weight and lipid levels in obese participants under real-world conditions. METHODS Participants were randomly assigned to consume 1 of 2 isocaloric weight reduction diets for 12 weeks, with each providing 500 cal per day less than resting metabolic rate. Each diet included an afternoon snack of either 53 g (240 cal) of salted pistachios (n = 31) or 56 g of salted pretzels (220 cal; n = 28). RESULTS Both groups lost weight during the 12-week study (time trend, p < 0.001), but there were significant differences in the changes in body mass index between the pretzel and pistachio groups (pistachio, 30.1 ± 0.4 to 28.8 ± 0.4 vs. pretzel, 30.9 ± 0.4 to 30.3 ± 0.5). At 6 and 12 weeks, triglycerides were significantly lower in the pistachio group compared with the pretzel group (88.04 ± 9.80 mg/dL vs. 144.56 ± 18.86 mg/dL, p = 0.01 at 6 weeks and 88.10 ± 6.78 mg/dL vs. 132.15 ± 16.76 mg/dL, p = 0.02 at 12 weeks), and there was a time trend difference between the 2 groups over the 12 weeks (p < 0.01). There were no significant differences in total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, insulin, or glucose between the 2 groups. CONCLUSION Pistachios can be consumed as a portion-controlled snack for individuals restricting calories to lose weight without concern that pistachios will cause weight gain. By comparison to refined carbohydrate snacks such as pretzels, pistachios may have beneficial effects on triglycerides as well.