Increased Colonic Permeability and Lifestyles as Contributing Factors to Obesity and Liver Steatosis.
Plain language summary
Intestinal permeability (IP) is dependent on the structure and function of the intestinal barrier. The gut barrier integrity is the result of ongoing equilibrium and crosstalk involving the microbiome, the mucus, the enterocytes [intestinal absorptive cells], the gut immune system, and the gut–vascular barrier. The main aim of this study was to explore the pan-enteric IP (stomach, small intestine, and colon) with respect to size and fat distribution, as well as the presence of liver steatosis. The study is a cohort study that examined 120 subjects (obese n = 45, overweight n=30, normal weight n = 45). Groups were gender-matched except for the prevalence of males in the overweight group. Results highlight the existence of an association between colonic (but not stomach and small intestinal) permeability, obesity, and liver steatosis. Findings show that: - liver steatosis was detected in 69 (57.5%) subjects, of which 36 (52%) were males. The prevalence of liver steatosis increased from 4% in normal weight subjects to 77%, and to 98% in overweight and obese subjects, respectively. - gastrointestinal permeability changed between age groups at every tract, whereas stomach and small intestine IP decreased with age. Furthermore, this finding also occurred in subjects aged over or equal to 65 years, with respect to colonic permeability. Authors conclude that further studies must evaluate the possibility of modulating colonic permeability to allow both primary prevention measures and new therapeutic strategies in metabolic and liver diseases.
Intestinal permeability (IP) is essential in maintaining gut-metabolic functions in health. An unequivocal evaluation of IP, as marker of intestinal barrier integrity, however, is missing in health and in several diseases. We aimed to assess IP in the whole gastrointestinal tract according to body mass index (BMI) and liver steatosis. In 120 patients (61F:59M; mean age 45 ± SEM 1.2 years, range: 18-75), IP was distinctively studied by urine recovery of orally administered sucrose (SO, stomach), lactulose/mannitol ratio (LA/MA, small intestine), and sucralose (SA, colon). By triple quadrupole mass-spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography, we measured urinary recovery of saccharide probes. Subjects were stratified according to BMI as normal weight, overweight, and obesity, and answered questionnaires regarding dietary habits and adherence to the Mediterranean Diet. Liver steatosis was assessed by ultrasonography. IP at every gastrointestinal tract was similar in both sexes and decreased with age. Stomach and small intestinal permeability did not differ according to BMI. Colonic permeability increased with BMI, waist, neck, and hip circumferences and was significantly higher in obese than in lean subjects. As determined by logistic regression, the odds ratio (OR) of BMI increment was significantly higher in subjects in the highest tertile of sucralose excretion, also after adjusting for age and consumption of junk food. The presence of liver steatosis was associated with increased colonic permeability. Patients with lower score of adherence to Mediterranean diet had a higher score of 'junk food'. Intestinal permeability tended to increase in subjects with a lower adherence to Mediterranean diet. In conclusion, colonic (but not stomach and small intestinal) permeability seems to be linked to obesity and liver steatosis independently from dietary habits, age, and physical activity. The exact role of these last factors, however, requires specific studies focusing on intestinal permeability. Results should pave the way to both primary prevention measures and new therapeutic strategies in metabolic and liver diseases.
Vitamin D for the Immune System in Cystic Fibrosis (DISC): a double-blind, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2019;109(3):544-553
Plain language summary
Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) have a mutation in a particular gene which results in derangements in chloride transport across epithelial surfaces, leading to abnormally thickened mucus on the surfaces of the lung, pancreas, intestines, and other organs. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of high-dose vitamin D3 administered to adults with CF during and after an acute pulmonary exacerbation. The study is a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Subjects were randomly assigned and stratified to one of the two groups: vitamin D (5 capsules of vitamin D3 containing 50,000 IU) or placebo (5 capsules that were identical in size, shape, and colour to the vitamin D3 capsule). Results demonstrated that high-dose vitamin D3 administration to adults with CF initiated at the time of a pulmonary exacerbation did not improve time to next pulmonary exacerbation or 1 year survival. Authors conclude that a high-dose vitamin D3 bolus, combined with maintenance therapy given to adults with CF during acute pulmonary exacerbation of CF did not improve 1 year survival or recovery of lung function.
BACKGROUND Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) have increased risk of vitamin D deficiency owing to fat malabsorption and other factors. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk of pulmonary exacerbations of CF. OBJECTIVES The primary objective of this study was to examine the impact of a single high-dose bolus of vitamin D3 followed by maintenance treatment given to adults with CF during an acute pulmonary exacerbation on future recurrence of pulmonary exacerbations. METHODS This was a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, intent-to-treat clinical trial. Subjects with CF were randomly assigned to oral vitamin D3 given as a single dose of 250,000 International Units (IU) or to placebo within 72 h of hospital admission for an acute pulmonary exacerbation, followed by 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 or an identically matched placebo pill taken orally every other week starting at 3 mo after random assignment. The primary outcome was the composite endpoint of the time to next pulmonary exacerbation or death within 1 y. The secondary outcomes included circulating concentrations of the antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin and recovery of lung function as assessed by the percentage of predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1%). RESULTS A total of 91 subjects were enrolled in the study. There were no differences between the vitamin D3 and placebo groups in time to next pulmonary exacerbation or death at 1 y. In addition, there were no differences in serial recovery of lung function after pulmonary exacerbation by FEV1% or in serial concentrations of plasma cathelicidin. CONCLUSIONS Vitamin D3 initially given at the time of pulmonary exacerbation of CF did not alter the time to the next pulmonary exacerbation, 12-mo mortality, serial lung function, or serial plasma cathelicidin concentrations. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01426256.
The microbiome of professional athletes differs from that of more sedentary subjects in composition and particularly at the functional metabolic level.
Plain language summary
The human gut microbiome is known to actively influence metabolism, immunity and development. It has been shown that increased physical activity and healthy diet is associated with positive changes in faecal microbial diversity and composition compared with sedentary individuals. The aim of this study was to assess the metabolic activity of the microbiota between extremely active and sedentary individuals. Metabolic and genetic factors of the gut microbiome were analysed in 40 professional rugby players and 46 sedentary controls. This study found significant differences in faecal microbiota between athletes and sedentary controls at the functional metabolic level, providing deeper insight into the link between sustained physical activity and metabolic health. Based on these results, the authors conclude exercise may be an effective way to manipulate the gut microbiome and suggest further controlled trials be done to better understand the relationship between diet, exercise and the gut microbiome.
OBJECTIVE It is evident that the gut microbiota and factors that influence its composition and activity effect human metabolic, immunological and developmental processes. We previously reported that extreme physical activity with associated dietary adaptations, such as that pursued by professional athletes, is associated with changes in faecal microbial diversity and composition relative to that of individuals with a more sedentary lifestyle. Here we address the impact of these factors on the functionality/metabolic activity of the microbiota which reveals even greater separation between exercise and a more sedentary state. DESIGN Metabolic phenotyping and functional metagenomic analysis of the gut microbiome of professional international rugby union players (n=40) and controls (n=46) was carried out and results were correlated with lifestyle parameters and clinical measurements (eg, dietary habit and serum creatine kinase, respectively). RESULTS Athletes had relative increases in pathways (eg, amino acid and antibiotic biosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism) and faecal metabolites (eg, microbial produced short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) acetate, propionate and butyrate) associated with enhanced muscle turnover (fitness) and overall health when compared with control groups. CONCLUSIONS Differences in faecal microbiota between athletes and sedentary controls show even greater separation at the metagenomic and metabolomic than at compositional levels and provide added insight into the diet-exercise-gut microbiota paradigm.