Category: Food as medicine

In Cystic Fibrosis Patients, Vitamin D Supplements Might Not Prevent Deficiencies. Study found low vitamin levels in young patients despite recommended supplements

A new study entitled “Vitamin D and Chronic Lung Colonization in Pediatric and Young Adult Cystic Fibrosis Patients” published in the Spanish-language journal Nutrición Hospitalaria, investigated vitamin D levels in the body and its association with chronic lung colonization. The study showed that vitamin D supplements did not improve the vitamin’s insufficiency in young cystic fibrosis patients.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a frequently inherited genetic disorder in the Western world, and most CF patients develop respiratory failure due to chronic pulmonary infection. Several factors, including environmental, nutritional, and socioeconomic, may affect the clinical manifestations of cystic fibrosis. Low levels of vitamin D are highly prevalent in CF patients, likely due to the combination of inadequate nutrient absorption, impaired metabolism, and lack of sun exposure. Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with high incidence of bone disease or osteoporosis in CF patients.

Food-with-Vitamin-DIn this study, researchers evaluated vitamin D levels in serum samples from 377 cystic fibrosis patients whose ages ranged from 2 months to 20 years. The patients, from several university hospitals in Spain, were evaluated over the course of two years. The researchers found that younger patients had lower levels of vitamin D as well as a higher number of pathogen colonizations. They showed that despite CF patients receiving vitamin D supplements — which are currently recommended for the disease — a high percentage showed insufficient levels of the vitamin. Moreover, they found that age, pancreatic function, type of diagnosis, and lung colonization modulate the levels of serum vitamin D in these patients. Regardless of age, diagnosis by screening or pancreatic status, chronic colonization by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in children and adolescents and by Staphylococcus aureus in infants and preschoolers increased their risk of developing vitamin D deficiency.

The authors, however, are aware of the limitations of their study.  The longitudinal nature of the study makes impossible to know whether vitamin D levels are the cause or consequence of chronic lung colonization in these patients. The multicenter nature of the study, while necessary to obtain a sample size sufficient in low-prevalence diseases as CF, could introduce biases when analyzing the dose and vitamin D levels due to lack of vitamin supplement standardization protocol among the centers. However, all patients received vitamin D doses as expected. The clinical centers were from different latitudes, but the sera vitamin D were collected during the same time period (fall-winter), decreasing but not eliminating the modifying effect of sun exposure on vitamin D levels.

These findings could encourage additional studies into the interplay of vitamin D, cystic fibrosis, and bacterial infections. New discoveries might help physicians develop new best practices for supplements that could better optimize vitamin D levels in CF patients.

What can you do?

How about ensuring you and your family have 2 serves of oily fish a week – try baked salmon or a tuna sushi roll?

How about serving eggs a couple of times a week – try an egg & cheese wrap for brekky or sneaking an egg into their mash at dinnertime?

 

You can see the original article here CFRI

Could Maple syrup enhance the effect of our antibiotics? researchers think so

Maple syrup may help fight disease-causing bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains that often grow in health-care settings, says a study published online in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Concentrated extracts of maple syrup combined with antibiotics significantly reduced the growth of four common bacterial strains and bacterial communities called biofilms, the study found.

Bacterial biofilms accumulate on medical surfaces and devices, such as catheters and artificial joints, and are responsible for many antibiotic-resistant hospital infections, research has shown.

The maple-syrup extracts appeared to damage the outer membrane of bacterial cells, increasing their susceptibility to antibiotics, and to disable cellular mechanisms called efflux pumps associated with antibiotic resistance, the researchers said. The extracts also reduced the activity of genes in the bacteria linked to antibiotic resistance.

Maple syrup contains plant-based compounds called phenols that have exhibited antioxidant and anti-cancer properties in previous studies, according to researchers. Maple syrup may reduce the dose of antibiotics needed to kill biofilms, they said.

The study, at McGill University in Montreal, used concentrated maple-syrup extracts developed from syrup purchased at local markets in August 2013. The extracts and four phenols isolated from maple syrup were tested separately and in various combinations, with and without the antibiotic ciprofloaxin, against Escherichia coli, or E.coli; Proteus mirabilis, a common cause of urinary-tract infections; and two strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, associated with hospital-acquired infections.

Maple-syrup extract alone suppressed the growth of biofilms for all four strains. But pairing the extract with ciprofloaxin reduced E. coli and P. mirabilis biofilm formation by about 70% and the two P. aeruginosa strains by 83% and 54%, compared with control cultures treated with just ciprofloaxin.

Of the phenols tested, only catechol, when combined with ciprofloaxin, significantly reduced the growth of all four bacterial strains. Catechol may be responsible for maple syrup’s antimicrobial properties, the study suggests.

Caveat: Maple-syrup extracts combined with antibiotics haven’t been tested in human trials.

Now that print is dead, maple syrup may officially be the greatest thing made by trees.

Title: Polyphenolic Extract from Maple Syrup Potentiates Antibiotic Susceptibility and Reduces Biofilm Formation of Pathogenic Bacteria

This nutritional inspiration comes from Kylie one of our resident CF parents who is passionate about using natural therapies to supplement mainstream treatments.  For many of us these 5%ers are among a bunch of things that we try and incorporate into our diets and routines. If it can’t hurt and it’s received well by our children, why not try it? After all, life’s too short to wait until everything is proven. So if that sounds like you, here are a couple of little snack ideas using maple syrup to get you started… (‘grams of fat’ count in brackets as gf)

7-recipe_maple-milkshake_600x935Maple Syrup Milkshake | What you’ll need

¼ cup pure maple syrup, plus more for serving (optional)

2 cup whole fat milk (4.4gf)

1 tsp. vanilla extract  & 1 tbsp Chia seeds (4.7gf)

2 scoops Conoisseur vanilla ice cream  (19.6gf)

Half a banana

Puree ingredients until smooth; pour into serving glasses and drizzle with more syrup, if you like.

Total Fat count | approx 30 grams fat

Continue reading “Could Maple syrup enhance the effect of our antibiotics? researchers think so”