Covid-19 Jeopardy – Green Tea, Two Varieties of Muscadine Grapes, Cacao Powder and Dark Chocolate

Chemical compounds in foods or beverages like green tea, muscadine grapes and dark chocolate can bind to and block the function of a particular enzyme, or protease, in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a new study by plant biologists at North Carolina State University.

North Carolina State University. “Chemical compounds in foods can inhibit a key SARS-CoV-2 enzyme, study finds.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201130131445.htm (accessed November 30, 2020).

Journal Reference:

  1. Yue Zhu, De-Yu Xie. Docking Characterization and in vitro Inhibitory Activity of Flavan-3-ols and Dimeric Proanthocyanidins Against the Main Protease Activity of SARS-Cov-2. Frontiers in Plant Science, 2020; 11 DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2020.601316

I don’t think this is a game changer but it is interesting nonetheless.

Vegan Diet and Fracture Risk (I’m confused too)

If you’ve been anywhere near the internet I’m sure the headlines caught your eye. But a 43% higher risk of fractures just seemed really high to me with a meat free diet as the cause. I found the following article online. Since most people nowadays can’t get past the headlines you’ll find the second paragraph completely ignored by the media.

Compared with people who ate meat, vegans with lower calcium and protein intakes on average, had a 43% higher risk of fractures anywhere in the body (total fractures), as well as higher risks of site-specific fractures of the hips, legs and vertebrae, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Medicine. Vegetarians and people who ate fish but not meat had a higher risk of hip fractures, compared to people who ate meat. However, the risk of fractures was partly reduced once body mass index (BMI), dietary calcium and dietary protein intake were taken into account.

The authors caution that they were unable to differentiate between fractures that were caused by poorer bone health (such as fractures due to a fall from standing height or less) and those that were caused by accidents because data on the causes of the fractures were not available. No data were available on differences in calcium supplement use between the different diet groups, and as in all dietary studies the estimates of nutrients such as dietary calcium or dietary protein are subject to measurement error. As the study predominantly included white European participants, generalisability to other populations or ethnicities may be limited, which could be important considering previously observed differences in bone mineral density and fracture risks by ethnicity, according to the authors.

Vegans, vegetarians and pescetarians may be at higher risk of bone fractures — https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-11/bc-vva111820.php

As I was gathering my thoughts the algorithms started doing what they do and this popped up in YouTube.

Let’s discuss the latest paper from the EPIC database. Excuse me eating while working. Not enough hours in day. Short version: this is a database from 90’s. Average fiber intake is 20 gm so not healthiest plant based eaters. Meat eaters got more vitamin D. Also (forgot to mention in video) used hormone replacement therapy up to 50% more. Both associated with stronger bones. Other studies have shown that plant based eaters have great bone health BUT you have to be healthy. Get dark greens. Drink or eat soy (studies show as good dairy for bones). Exercise and use resistance training. And take supplements if needed. I like multivitamins that have K2 as that may be a nutrient vegans are deficient in unless you eat natto 🤮. Definitely vitamin D if deficient. The EPIC Oxford cohort are not the healthiest vegans and vegetarians BUT have less ischemic stroke, weight less, generally better heart and less of certain cancers despite poor supplementation and diet habits.

Dr. Garth Davis YouTube post 11.23.20

I love it when someone else does the work for me. If you have eleven minutes listen to Dr. Davis’ analysis. I am now less confused.

Lower fracture risk with higher BMI because you have more padding when you fall!

Diets Don’t Work so Why Are More Teens Dieting?

Well, my first thought was Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) — https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/body-dysmorphic-disorder-bdd. But this is merely an educated guess from an insurance guy who has lost 200 pounds and not a trained licensed practicing clinical psychiatrist.

In 2015, 42% of 14-year-old girls and boys said they currently were trying to lose weight, compared to 30% in 2005.

Lead author Dr Francesca Solmi (UCL Psychiatry) said: “Our findings show how the way we talk about weight, health and appearance can have profound impacts on young people’s mental health, and efforts to tackle rising obesity rates may have unintended consequences.

“An increase in dieting among young people is concerning because experimental studies have found that dieting is generally ineffective in the long term at reducing body weight in adolescents, but can instead have greater impacts on mental health. We know, for instance, that dieting is a strong risk factor in the development of eating disorders.”

University College London. “Dieting and weight worries on rise in teens.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201116112855.htm (accessed November 21, 2020). — https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201116112855.htm

And in case you made it this far on this blog post my estimated BMI at age 20 was 53.1. My current BMI is 25.1.

Nutrition Matters

By many measures, the population of the United States is the unhealthiest of any high-income country despite spending much more money, as a share of the economy, on health care. The incidence of chronic disease is higher and life expectancy is lower.

Many chronic conditions plaguing Americans, such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, are avoidable with a prudent diet and lifestyle. Today, more than 42% of American adults have obesity, as do 19.3% of children of age 19 and under. The U.S. has the world’s 12th-highest obesity rate, after Kuwait. (The top 10 are all small Pacific island nations.)

Diet makes a difference. Nearly half of all deaths in the U.S. from heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes are associated with diet, such as the over-consumption of processed meats and sugar-sweetened beverages and insufficient intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Make America healthy again by paying more attention to nutrition — https://www.statnews.com/2020/11/04/nutrition-make-america-healthy-again/?utm_campaign=rss

Presented without the usual snarky comment from yours truly. Read the full article. You’ll find more links for your reading pleasure.

Cost effectiveness of dietetic intervention in management of type 2 diabetes — Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics Notes

Siopsis et al., JHND Early View Background The management of diabetes costs in excess of $1.3 trillion per annum worldwide. Diet is central to the management of type 2 diabetes. It is not known whether dietetic intervention is cost effective. This scoping review aimed to map the existing literature concerning the cost effectiveness of medical […]

Cost effectiveness of dietetic intervention in management of type 2 diabetes — Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics Notes

Of 2387 abstracts assessed for eligibility, four studies combining 22 765 adults with type 2 diabetes were included. Dietetic intervention was shown to be cost‐effective in terms of diabetes‐related healthcare costs and hospital charges, at the same time as also reducing the risk of cumulative days at work lost to less than half and the risk of disability ‘sick’ days at work to less than one‐seventh.

Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of advocacy for medical nutrition therapy for people with type 2 diabetes, with respect to alleviating the great global economic burden from this condition. Further studies are warranted to elucidate the factors that mediate and moderate cost effectiveness and to allow for the generalisation of the findings.

First published: 14 October 2020
https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12821

NAFLD – Why are Life Insurers Taking This Risk at Standard Rates?

Conclusion All NAFLD histological stages were associated with significantly increased overall mortality, and this risk increased progressively with worsening NAFLD histology. Most of this excess mortality was from extrahepatic cancer and cirrhosis, while in contrast, the contributions of cardiovascular disease and HCC were modest.

Mortality in biopsy-confirmed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: results from a nationwide cohort — https://gut.bmj.com/content/early/2020/10/09/gutjnl-2020-322786?rss=1

Diet. That’s it. That’s my post.

COVID-19 and Diabetes, Sub-types of DM2, B Vitamins in Diabetes Incidence and more

This article provides an overview of the clinical evidence on the poorer clinical outcomes of COVID-19 infection in patients with diabetes versus patients without diabetes, including in specific patient populations, such as children, pregnant women, and racial and ethnic minorities.

COVID-19 and Diabetes: A Collision and Collusion of Two Diseases — Diabetes 2020 Oct; dbi200032. https://doi.org/10.2337/dbi20-0032

In the article above the researchers reviewed nearly 90 studies.

Novel diabetes subtype characteristics. Overview of distribution and characteristics of subtypes generated by clustering based on clinical parameters in the Swedish ANDIS cohort.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is defined by a single metabolite, glucose, but is increasingly recognized as a highly heterogeneous disease, including individuals with varying clinical characteristics, disease progression, drug response, and risk of complications. Identification of subtypes with differing risk profiles and disease etiologies at diagnosis could open up avenues for personalized medicine and allow clinical resources to be focused to the patients who would be most likely to develop diabetic complications, thereby both improving patient health and reducing costs for the health sector. More homogeneous populations also offer increased power in experimental, genetic, and clinical studies. Clinical parameters are easily available and reflect relevant disease pathways, including the effects of both genetic and environmental exposures. We used six clinical parameters (GAD autoantibodies, age at diabetes onset, HbA1c, BMI, and measures of insulin resistance and insulin secretion) to cluster adult-onset diabetes patients into five subtypes. These subtypes have been robustly reproduced in several populations and associated with different risks of complications, comorbidities, genetics, and response to treatment. Importantly, the group with severe insulin-deficient diabetes (SIDD) had increased risk of retinopathy and neuropathy, whereas the severe insulin-resistant diabetes (SIRD) group had the highest risk for diabetic kidney disease (DKD) and fatty liver, emphasizing the importance of insulin resistance for DKD and hepatosteatosis in T2D. In conclusion, we believe that subclassification using these highly relevant parameters could provide a framework for personalized medicine in diabetes.

Subtypes of Type 2 Diabetes Determined From Clinical Parameters — Diabetes 2020 Oct; 69(10): 2086-2093. https://doi.org/10.2337/dbi20-0001

Not just potential for personalized medicine in the treatment of diabetes but perhaps a framework for better risk stratification and selection in life insurance.

Intakes of Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 in Relation to Diabetes Incidence Among American Young Adults: A 30-Year Follow-up Study

RESULTS During 30 years (mean 20.5 ± 8.9) of follow-up, 655 incident cases of diabetes occurred. Intake of folate, but not vitamin B6 or vitamin B12, was inversely associated with diabetes incidence after adjustment for potential confounders. Compared with the lowest quintile of total folate intake, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (95% CI) in quintiles 2–5 were 0.85 (0.67–1.08), 0.78 (0.60–1.02), 0.82 (0.62–1.09), and 0.70 (0.51–0.97; Ptrend = 0.02). Higher folate intake was also associated with lower plasma homocysteine (Ptrend < 0.01) and insulin (Ptrend < 0.01). Among supplement users, folate intake was inversely associated with serum C-reactive protein levels (Ptrend < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS Intake of folate in young adulthood was inversely associated with diabetes incidence in midlife among Americans. The observed association may be partially explained by mechanisms related to homocysteine level, insulin sensitivity, and systemic inflammation.

Intakes of Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 in Relation to Diabetes Incidence Among American Young Adults: A 30-Year Follow-up Study — Diabetes Care 2020 Oct; 43(10): 2426-2434. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc20-0828

Folate is a B vitamin that occurs naturally in foods such as green leafy vegetables, citrus fruit, and beans. So eat your greens and beans. Taking a supplement can’t hurt either. My multivitamin has plenty of folate.

Nearly 39,000 Meat Packers Have COVID-19

As of Sept. 18, there have been at least 39,000 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities in at least 419 plants in 40 states, and at least 185 reported worker deaths in at least 51 plants in 27 states.

Tracking Covid-19’s impact on meatpacking workers and industry — https://investigatemidwest.org/2020/04/16/tracking-covid-19s-impact-on-meatpacking-workers-and-industry/

And in case you missed this interesting hypothesis…

Our laboratory work has shown that SARS-CoV-2 can survive the time and temperatures associated with transportation and storage conditions associated with international food trade. When adding SARS-CoV-2 to chicken, salmon and pork pieces there was no decline in infectious virus after 21 days at 4°C (standard refrigeration) and –20°C (standard freezing).

Seeding of outbreaks of COVID-19 by contaminated fresh and frozen food — https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.17.255166 (This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review) — https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.08.17.255166v1.full#disqus_thread

I will keep an eye open for other studies that either confirm or dismiss the findings of this study.

Eat More Broccoli

Published in the British Journal of Nutrition the research has found higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, is associated with less extensive blood vessel disease in older women.

Using data from a cohort of 684 older Western Australian women recruited in 1998, researchers from ECU’s School of Medical and Health Sciences and The University of Western Australia found those with a diet comprising more cruciferous vegetables had a lower chance of having extensive build-up of calcium on their aorta, a key marker for structural blood vessel disease.

Dr Blekkenhorst said women in this study who consumed more than 45g of cruciferous vegetables every day (e.g. ¼ cup of steamed broccoli or ½ cup of raw cabbage) were 46 percent less likely to have extensive build-up of calcium on their aorta in comparison to those consuming little to no cruciferous vegetables every day.

Edith Cowan University. “Broccoli and Brussels sprouts a cut above for blood vessel health.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200820102434.htm (accessed August 20, 2020).

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200820102434.htm

Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com

COVID Isolation and Anxiety Reinforce Eating Disorders

In March and April, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) saw a 78% increase in messages sent to its helpline compared with the same period last year.

Dr. John Morton, medical director of bariatric surgery for Yale New Haven Health System, says he’s seeing patients via telehealth who have gained up to 30 pounds recently. He says it can happen within months.

In addition to a confidential and toll-free helpline, NEDA has created a list of free or low-cost resources related to eating disorders: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/covid-19-resources-page.

COVID Isolation, Anxiety ‘Really Reinforce’ Eating Disorders

Georgia Health News © 2020

Citation: Judi Kanne. COVID Isolation, Anxiety ‘Really Reinforce’ Eating Disorders – Medscape – Aug 13, 2020.

The article focuses mainly on anorexia and bulemia but the quote from Dr. Morton caught my eye.  A 30 pound weight gain in a few months is pretty substantial.  I start to panic after a pound or two.  But if you lose 200 pounds and keep it off you tend to overreact  if the scale shows your weight creeping up.

My pandemic weight journey (so far) has been about taking a few of those stubborn pounds off.  I started the year at 192.  This morning I was 179.  There has to be more happy weight loss stories out there.  The article also didn’t mention anything on Orthorexia Nervosa.  I worry about those people too.