Gluten-free diets do not help intestines of non-celiac people

People who avoid foods containing gluten by choice, therefore not for reasons related to allergies or particular sensitivities, do not receive any benefit from this dietary restriction according to a new study published in Gastroenterology and carried out by researchers from the University of Reading, that of Sheffield and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The researchers made use of experiments carried out on healthy volunteers who had no history of celiac disease or particular sensitivity to gluten. The participants were divided into two groups: the first received organic gluten, the second a missing gluten mixture in the form of flour sachets to add to their dishes twice a day. Patients in the group taking gluten had no adverse effects compared to the group of patients who did not take it.

According to Paola Tosi, a researcher at the University of Reading and one of the authors of the study, nowadays gluten is increasingly referred to as a negative element of our diet but cereals that contain it, especially when taken as a whole, are instead a very source important of essential nutrients such as proteins, fibers and micronutrients.

David Sanders, a professor of gastroenterology in Sheffield and another author of the study, believes that carrying on gluten-free diets, in the belief that gluten itself is intrinsically “bad” in particular for the intestine, does not lead to particular health benefits. Gluten does not cause particular stomach problems in those subjects who do not have a particular sensitivity towards it.

As a result of these incorrect beliefs, more and more people, in fact, are carrying out restrictive gluten-free diets or buying food, taking them from supermarket shelves, making sure that there is no gluten inside.

Women have more difficulty quitting smoking according to study

Women find it more difficult to stop smoking according to a new study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (CCC) of 2019. Carolina Gonzaga Carvalho, a researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, one of the authors of the study, has indeed discovered, through a retrospective analysis of 233 patients, that women showed a greater prevalence of anxiety or depression than humans (a prevalence of 41% against 21%) which then went on to disturb attempts to quit smoking.

According to the researcher, hormonal or social factors would also play a role, but in any case it is an observational study that cannot search for the causes. The researcher used data on 233 patients attending a hospital clinic where she works to stop smoking. The data date back to the period between 2008 and 2018. Several of them, if necessary, were prescribed drugs such as those related to nicotine replacement therapy or bupropion and varenicline, based on various cases.

35% of patients were female and the average age was 56 years.

“Our study highlights the need for specific interventions on sex and the financial coverage of smoking cessation drugs,” says the researcher in the press release accompanying the study.

Poor sleep is related to diversity of the intestinal microbiome, according to a new study

In case you haven’t already noticed it, sleeping well is connected to a better level of health and if you still don’t believe us, also consult a new study published on PLoS ONE, according to which poor sleep affects or is in any case also connected to the intestinal microbiome, the set of all bacteria and microorganisms present in the various tracts of the intestine.

Just the intestinal microbiome, over the last few years, is taking on an increasingly important role as far as the overall health of the entire body is concerned and there is a great deal of research that underlines how much it can affect health, even that of the brain. In this new study, researchers at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) concluded that poor sleep adversely affects the diversity of microorganisms in the intestine, and quite strongly.

The very diversity and distribution of microorganisms in the various parts of the intestine can be considered as the key to various pathologies and conditions. Researchers carried out experiments on various subjects evaluating their sleep quality using specific wrist devices. Then relating the quality of sleep of these subjects with their intestinal microbiomes, they concluded that those who slept better also had a more varied and therefore better microbiome.

The lack of microbiome diversity has been associated by various studies with various health problems, such as autoimmune diseases or Parkinson’s disease, as well as psychological health conditions such as depression or anxiety. In general, even if it is not a law, the more the microbiome is diversified, the better the general health is.

This is a pioneering study in some ways and in any case there is still much to learn about the relationship between intestinal microbiome and sleep quality, as specified by Robert Smith, researcher at the NSU Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography and one of the authors of the study, however, one can already think of ways to manipulate the intestinal microbiome to obtain beneficial effects on sleep.

Consciousness: new thermodynamically inspired theory tries to explain what it is

What does consciousness depend on and how does it originate? This is one of the most fascinating questions but also one of the most inexplicable of all science also because studying conscience itself often poses problems related to the sector from which to start in order to lay the foundations for a study. New research, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, tries to answer this question referring to what can be considered a new theory inspired by thermodynamics.

If in the past it has been hypothesized that consciousness can derive from a highly coordinated activity between neurons, the researchers behind this study believe instead that the key to awareness is an energy flow and reflux: when neurons connect to each other for processing the information, the patterns of these activities tune in like ocean waves.

According to the authors of the study, this would be a process intrinsically related to that of thermodynamic principles.

The latter would be at the base of the same neural connections and therefore of consciousness. Furthermore, interruptions of this process of energy flow and reflux would lead to the interruption of communication between neural networks and would give rise to the most common neurological disorders we know, such as epilepsy, autism, schizophrenia.

This is a study that, as reported in the article on Medium presenting the study (see the link below), combines classical physics (essentially the laws of thermodynamics) with everything we know about neural activity today: it follows a general framework in which changes in free energy help to temporarily synchronize activity in neural networks.

The study was produced by researcher Jose L. Perez Velazquez affiliated with the Ronin Institute of Montclair who worked together with colleagues Diego M. Mateos and Ramon Guevara Erra.

Medium article:

Sweetened beverages can damage teeth lining and accelerate wear

Sweetened alcoholic drinks are the most common link between obesity and tooth wear, according to a new study published in Clinical Oral Investigations.

The research, carried out by researchers at King’s College London, has in fact focused on the relationship between overweight or obesity and tooth wear. Analyzing a data database of 3541 patients from the United States, data dating back to the years 2003 and 2004, the researchers found that the increase in consumption of sugary drinks is one of the main causes, if not the main one, with regard to erosion of the enamel of teeth and dentin in obese people.

Data regarding the consumption of acidic sugary drinks had been taken during a survey conducted through two interviews in which the participants were asked to provide details regarding the consumption of drinks and food. According to Saoirse O’Toole, one of the researchers working on the study, it is the acid nature of many carbonated and sugary drinks, including fruit juices, that accelerates tooth wear.

This last condition is classified as the third most important dental condition after tooth decay and gum disease. Premature tooth wear is a condition that characterizes up to 30% of adults in Europe and is characterized by slow dissolution of the external enamel of the teeth. This dissolution can then lead to a greater sensitivity of the teeth themselves, especially when taking food or cold drinks.

This is an important discovery for all those obese subjects who continue to consume sugary drinks. As so many other researches have shown, these drinks can lead to many health problems or accelerate the course of various conditions, primarily obesity, and now this research shows that they can also damage the lining of teeth.

Breastmilk sharing is becoming increasingly widespread despite risks to the baby

More and more often, women who are unable to produce enough breast milk for their children resort to the practice of sharing breast milk, also known as “milk sharing,” a practice that even sees the sale of milk online from the same mothers.

Using milk donated by other mothers on an informal basis is a practice that is not universally considered safe and is discouraged by the pediatric medical community, as reported by a press release presenting a new study presented in turn at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) conference.

According to Nikita Sood, a researcher at Cohen Children’s Medical Center – Northwell Health in New York and author of the study, sharing breast milk is becoming increasingly widespread and popular and it is therefore important that the same doctors are aware of this level of diffusion and deepen the risks associated with this practice.

The study made use of the answers provided by 650 mothers, more than half of whom declared that they had no problems regarding this practice, carried out informally and not, for example, through “official” milk berries. Almost 80% of the mothers interviewed did not give their breast milk donors a medical examination because they “trusted them.” However, there is a fairly high risk of the potential spread of disease or exposure to substances such as drugs, alcohol, drugs or other types of contaminants when supplying the baby with milk from another mother’s breast.

According to the AAP’s own recommendation, those women who are unable to produce breast milk can supplement diets in other ways, such as with artificial milk or with breast milk stored in formal milk banks. More than half of the people interviewed stated that they did not use “official” milk banks as they were mostly concerned with the cost or, to a lesser extent, with the quality or ability to obtain a prescription.