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Dr. Lamm's weekly review of relevant articles and research

There is an increasing amount of information available about the gut.  Here are a few informative articles you may find valuable.

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Taste Receptors and Obesity

Targeting taste receptors in the gut may help fight obesity
Public release date: 21-Dec-2012, Contact: Mary Beth O'Leary, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Cell Press

Despite more than 25 years of research on antiobesity drugs, few medications have shown long-term success. Now researchers reporting online on December 21 in the Cell Press journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism say that targeting taste sensors in the gut may be a promising new strategy.

The gut "tastes" what we eat—bitter, sweet, fat, and savory—in much the same way as the tongue and through the use of similar signaling mechanisms. The result is the release of hormones to control satiety and blood sugar levels when food reaches the gut. The sensors, or receptors, in the stomach respond to excess food intake, and their malfunction may play a role in the development of obesity, diabetes, and related metabolic conditions.

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Diet, Migraine, and IBS

Food Elimination Diet May Ease Migraine and IBS

Reuters Health Information, By Megan Brooks. Dec 13, 2012

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Dec 13 - For patients with migraine and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), an immunoglobulin G (IgG)-based food elimination diet may effectively reduce symptoms of both disorders, a small Turkish study suggests.

IgG antibodies against various food antigens have been linked to migraine; avoiding IgG-reactive foods has been shown to curb headache attacks. Dietary intolerance is also thought to be a significant contributor to IBS symptoms and there is some evidence that eliminating IgG-reactive foods may help calm IBS symptoms.

Because migraine and IBS often occur together, the Turkish team, led by Dr. Elif Ilgaz Aydinlar, from Acibaden University School of Medicine in Istanbul, evaluated the benefit of an IgG-based elimination diet in 21 patients with both migraine and uncomplicated IBS.

The double-blind, randomized, controlled, crossover study had three phases: baseline phase (usual diet, run-in); first diet phase (elimination or provocation diets, customized based on sensitivity results), and second diet phase (interchange of elimination or provocation diets).

In IgG antibody tests against 270 food allergens, the mean reaction count (abnormally high titer) was 23.1 mg/L. All values above 7.5 mg/L were considered as positive reaction to the corresponding food. Seeds and nuts and grains with gluten were the foods with the most frequent IgG positivity.

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Red Meat & Heart Health

New Culprits Found in Red Meat's Effect on Heart
By Chris Kaiser, Cardiology Editor, MedPage Today, Published: April 08, 2013

The carnitine in red meat -- and the action of gut bacteria on it -- may be more of a threat to heart health than the saturated fat and cholesterol, a combination human and preclinical study suggests.

In a cohort of 2,595 patients undergoing elective cardiac evaluation, there were significant "dose-dependent associations between carnitine concentration and risks of prevalent coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, and overall cardiovascular disease" (P<0.05 for all), according to Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD, chief of cellular and molecular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues.

The significance remained even after researchers adjusted for traditional cardiovascular disease risks (P<0.05), they reported online in Nature Medicine.

Hazen and colleagues noted that individuals with the highest plasma concentration of carnitine also had angiographic evidence of coronary disease, "regardless of the extent (for example, single- versus multivessel) of coronary artery disease, as revealed by diagnostic cardiac catheterization."

However, it is not necessarily the carnitine that is harmful but rather the enzyme TMAO, which is produced by gut bacteria from carnitine, they noted: In the multivariate adjusted analysis, the association of carnitine with cardiovascular risk was only evident among individuals with high plasma TMAO concentrations (P<0.001).

"Thus, although plasma concentrations of carnitine seem to be associated with both prevalent and incident cardiovascular risks, these results suggest that TMAO, rather than carnitine, is the primary driver of the association of carnitine with cardiovascular risks," researchers stated.

It appeared that the volume of red meat consumed was linked with the gut's ability to break down carnitine and produce TMAO.

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