Whole grain-rich diet reduces body weight and systemic low-grade inflammation without inducing major changes of the gut microbiome: a randomised cross-over trial.
Plain language summary
Whole grain consumption has been linked with decreased risk of lifestyle-related diseases. While animal studies have shown the gut microbiome to be a mediator of metabolic health, human studies examining the effect of whole grain intake of the gut remain inconclusive. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a whole grain diet on the gut microbiome, gut functionality and biomarkers of metabolic health. In this randomised, controlled, crossover study, 50 participants completed two 8-week dietary intervention periods comprising of a whole grain diet and a refined grain diet with a 6-week washout period. Examinations were done at the beginning and end of each intervention period to assess anthropometry and various plasma and gut markers. This study found that a whole grain diet as compared with a refined grain diet reduced energy intake and body weight as well as circulating markers of inflammation. Contrary to the hypothesis, these benefits were all observed independent of changes in the gut microbiome. Based on these results, the authors conclude higher intake of whole grains should be recommended to those at risk of inflammation-related disease.
OBJECTIVE To investigate whether a whole grain diet alters the gut microbiome and insulin sensitivity, as well as biomarkers of metabolic health and gut functionality. DESIGN 60 Danish adults at risk of developing metabolic syndrome were included in a randomised cross-over trial with two 8-week dietary intervention periods comprising whole grain diet and refined grain diet, separated by a washout period of ≥6 weeks. The response to the interventions on the gut microbiome composition and insulin sensitivity as well on measures of glucose and lipid metabolism, gut functionality, inflammatory markers, anthropometry and urine metabolomics were assessed. RESULTS 50 participants completed both periods with a whole grain intake of 179±50 g/day and 13±10 g/day in the whole grain and refined grain period, respectively. Compliance was confirmed by a difference in plasma alkylresorcinols (p<0.0001). Compared with refined grain, whole grain did not significantly alter glucose homeostasis and did not induce major changes in the faecal microbiome. Also, breath hydrogen levels, plasma short-chain fatty acids, intestinal integrity and intestinal transit time were not affected. The whole grain diet did, however, compared with the refined grain diet, decrease body weight (p<0.0001), serum inflammatory markers, interleukin (IL)-6 (p=0.009) and C-reactive protein (p=0.003). The reduction in body weight was consistent with a reduction in energy intake, and IL-6 reduction was associated with the amount of whole grain consumed, in particular with intake of rye. CONCLUSION Compared with refined grain diet, whole grain diet did not alter insulin sensitivity and gut microbiome but reduced body weight and systemic low-grade inflammation. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER NCT01731366; Results.
Effects of Mediterranean Diet and Physical Activity on Pulmonary Function: A Cross-Sectional Analysis in the ILERVAS Project.
Plain language summary
The Mediterranean diet is characterised by an abundant consumption of extra-virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, a moderate consumption of fish and seafood, poultry, fermented dairy products, and red wine with meals, and low intakes of sweetened beverages, red meat and ready meals. The aim of the study was to evaluate the association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and physical activity on pulmonary function in a large middle-aged population at low-to-moderate cardiovascular risk. The study is an ongoing study that between 2015 and 2017 enrolled a total of 3020 subjects – women aged between 50 to 70 years and men aged between 45 to 65 years – with the presence of at least one cardiovascular risk factor. Results indicate that a low adherence to the Mediterranean diet was linked with impaired breathing patterns and higher prevalence of abnormal lung function when compared to participants with a higher adherence to this dietary pattern. Additionally, vigorous physical activity was accompanied by better results in lung function than that observed in inactive subjects. The study provides initial clinical evidence about the independent and deleterious effect of both low adherence to the Mediterranean diet and low physical activity practice on lung function in participants without known pulmonary disease.
A few studies showed that both adherence to Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and physical activity practice have a positive impact on pulmonary function in subjects with lung disease. These associations are not well studied in subjects free from lung disease. In a cross-sectional study conducted in 3020 middle-aged subjects free of lung disease, adherence to the MedDiet using the Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener, and physical activity practice using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire short form were recorded. Respiratory function was assessed using forced spirometry and the results were evaluated according to the Global initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. Logistic regression models were used to analyze the associations between adherence to the MedDiet and physical activity practice with the presence of ventilatory defects. Participants with a high adherence to MedDiet, in comparison to those with low adherence, had both higher forced vital capacity (FVC; 100 (87⁻109) vs. 94 (82⁻105) % of predicted, p = 0.003) and forced expired volume in the first second (FEV1; 100 (89⁻112) vs. 93 (80⁻107) % of predicted, p < 0.001). According to their degree of physical activity, those subjects with a high adherence also had both higher FVC (100 (88⁻107) vs. 94 (83⁻105) % of predicted, p = 0.027) and FEV1 (100 (89⁻110) vs. 95 (84⁻108) % of predicted, p = 0.047) in comparison with those with low adherence. The multivariable logistic regression models showed a significant and independent association between both low adherence to MedDiet and low physical activity practice, and the presence of altered pulmonary patterns, with differences between men and women. However, no joint effect between adherence to MedDiet and physical activity practice on respiratory function values was observed. Low adherence to MedDiet and low physical activity practice were independently associated with pulmonary impairment. Therefore, the lung mechanics seem to benefit from heart-healthy lifestyle behaviors.
Brain fogginess, gas and bloating: a link between SIBO, probiotics and metabolic acidosis.
Clinical and translational gastroenterology. 2018;9(6):162
Plain language summary
D-lactic acid is produced by intestinal bacteria and a rise in levels can lead to D-lactic acidosis, causing neurological changes such as slurred speech and gait disturbances. This is frequently observed in short bowel syndrome. This small, observational study aimed to determine if brain fogginess (mental confusion, impaired judgement, poor short-term memory and difficulty concentrating) and intestinal gas and bloating is associated with D-lactic acidosis and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). 38 patients presenting with gas and bloating in the absence of short bowel syndrome, and with or without brain fog were assessed. All patients with brain fog were consuming probiotics, with a higher proportion of them diagnosed with SIBO and D-lactic acidosis, when compared to the non-brain fog group. The researchers stopped probiotics in all patients and administered antibiotics, observing a significant reduction in brain fog and gastrointestinal symptoms. Whilst this is a small, observational study, nutrition practitioners may wish to assess the likelihood of SIBO and D-lactic acidosis before recommending probiotics, especially in the presence of brain fog.
BACKGROUND D-lactic acidosis is characterized by brain fogginess (BF) and elevated D-lactate and occurs in short bowel syndrome. Whether it occurs in patients with an intact gut and unexplained gas and bloating is unknown. We aimed to determine if BF, gas and bloating is associated with D-lactic acidosis and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). METHODS Patients with gas, bloating, BF, intact gut, and negative endoscopic and radiological tests, and those without BF were evaluated. SIBO was assessed with glucose breath test (GBT) and duodenal aspiration/culture. Metabolic assessments included urinary D-lactic acid and blood L-lactic acid, and ammonia levels. Bowel symptoms, and gastrointestinal transit were assessed. RESULTS Thirty patients with BF and 8 without BF were evaluated. Abdominal bloating, pain, distension and gas were the most severe symptoms and their prevalence was similar between groups. In BF group, all consumed probiotics. SIBO was more prevalent in BF than non-BF group (68 vs. 28%, p = 0.05). D-lactic acidosis was more prevalent in BF compared to non-BF group (77 vs. 25%, p = 0.006). BF was reproduced in 20/30 (66%) patients. Gastrointestinal transit was slow in 10/30 (33%) patients with BF and 2/8 (25%) without. Other metabolic tests were unremarkable. After discontinuation of probiotics and a course of antibiotics, BF resolved and gastrointestinal symptoms improved significantly (p = 0.005) in 23/30 (77%). CONCLUSIONS We describe a syndrome of BF, gas and bloating, possibly related to probiotic use, SIBO, and D-lactic acidosis in a cohort without short bowel. Patients with BF exhibited higher prevalence of SIBO and D-lactic acidosis. Symptoms improved with antibiotics and stopping probiotics. Clinicians should recognize and treat this condition.