Researchers have uncovered a previously unknown biological process involving vitamin B12 and taurine that regulates the production of new bone cells. This pathway could be a potential new target for osteoporosis treatment.
In humans it is well known that vitamin deficiencies lead to stunted growth, but the underlying mechanisms have long been a mystery. In this study, the team was able to piece together the biological process that leads to the production of new bone by studying the offspring of mice lacking the Gastric Intrinsic Factor gene, which is active in the stomach and allows the gut to absorb vitamin B12.
“Bone cells aren’t solely studied in isolation in the lab as both local and systemic factors play an important role in their function, so it’s important to unpick the multitude of biological factors that can affect their proliferation,” says Dr Pablo Roman-Garcia, a first author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. “We were amazed to find a new system that controls bone mass through a protein expressed, of all the places, in the stomach.”
The researchers found that bone mass was severely reduced at eight weeks of age in the offspring of mice with vitamin B12 deficiency. Giving the mother a single injection of vitamin B12 during pregnancy was enough to prevent stunted growth and the onset of osteoporosis in the offspring. The team was surprised to find that B12-deficient mice had only one-third of the normal number of bone-creating osteoblast cells, but had no change in bone-degrading osteoclast cells.
Reducing vitamin B12 levels in bone cells in the laboratory did not affect the function of the bone-forming cells directly, while under the same conditions it affected liver cell functions profoundly. These findings suggested to researchers that the liver has an important role to play. This was confirmed when they showed that liver cells from the offspring of B12-deficient mothers were unable to produce taurine. When these mice were fed regular doses of taurine at three weeks of age, they recovered bone mass and grew normally.
“While the importance of taurine is yet to be fully understood, this research shows that vitamin B12 plays a role in regulating taurine production and that taurine plays an important role in bone formation,” Dr Vidya Velagapudi, Head of the Metabolomics Unit at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland. “To date we have focussed only on vitamin B12-deficient populations, but the next stages of this research will need to confirm the connection between vitamin B12, taurine and bone formation in general populations.”
While the focus of this study was the impact of maternal vitamin B12 deficiency on offspring in mouse models, there are promising parallels between these findings and data from human patients. Samples collected by Kocaeli University Hospital, Turkey from children born of nutritionally vitamin B12-deficient mothers also showed a significant decrease in levels of vitamin B12 and taurine. In addition, older patients with vitamin B12 deficiency from a study by the Institute for Molecular Medicine, Finland displayed a statistically positive correlation, suggesting that vitamin B12 plays a key role in regulating taurine synthesis and bone formation in humans of all ages.
“The discovery of this unanticipated pathway between gut, liver and bone would not have been possible without the use of mouse molecular genetics and studies in the clinic that allowed us to understand interactions between these organs,” says Dr Vijay K Yadav, a senior author from the Sanger Institute. “The fact that the vitamin B12-taurine-bone pathway affects only bone formation and appears to play the same role in mice and human beings raises the prospect that targeting this pathway through pharmacological means could be a novel approach toward an anabolic treatment of osteoporosis”.
WATCHUNG, N.J., June 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Just months after U.S. Congressman Bill Posey compared the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s vaccine safety studies to the SEC’s Bernie Madoff scandal, malfeasance in the CDC’s studies of thimerosal-containing vaccines has, for the first time, been documented in peer-reviewed scientific literature. While the CDC states on its website that “low doses of thimerosal in vaccines do not cause harm, and are only associated with minor local injection site reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site,” the journal BioMed Research International now provides direct evidence that the CDC’s safety assurances about the mercury-containing preservative are not fact-based, according to the article’s lead author, Brian Hooker, PhD.
The paper opens by citing over 165 studies that have found Thimerosal to be harmful, including 16 studies that had reported outcomes in human infants and children of death, acrodynia, poisoning, allergic reaction, malformations, auto-immune reaction, Well’s syndrome, developmental delay and neurodevelopmental disorders including tics, speech delay, language delay, ADHD and autism. These findings by multiple independent research groups over the past 75+ years have consistently found thimerosal to be harmful. “Substantial scientific evidence exists and has existed for many years that the vaccine ingredient thimerosal is a developmental neurotoxin” says George Lucier, former Associate Director of the National Toxicology Program.
What is Thimerosal? Immunize.org says one thing, Dr. Mercola says something different. How are consumers, most with little scientific or medical background supposed to make sense of this? Maybe now we have some evidence to help clear up some of the hype and misinformation.
Studies showing harm from thimerosal sharply contradict published outcomes of six CDC coauthored and sponsored papers – the very studies that CDC relies upon to declare that thimerosal is “safe” for use in infant and maternal vaccines.
Dr. Hooker, biochemist and vaccine industry watchdog, said of the six CDC studies, “Each of these papers is fatally flawed from a statistics standpoint and several of the papers represent issues of scientific malfeasance. For example, important data showing a relationship between thimerosal exposure and autism are withheld from three of the publications (Price et al. 2010, Verstraeten et al. 2003 and Madsen et al. 2003). This type of cherry-picking of data by the CDC in order to change the results of important research studies to support flawed and dangerous vaccination policies should not be tolerated.”
Dr. Boyd Haley, international expert in mercury toxicity and a co-author of the recently published paper said “There is no doubt that authorities in the CDC have initiated and participated in a cover-up of vaccine-induced damage from thimerosal to our children—-and this I consider criminal.” The paper, “Methodological Issues and Evidence of Malfeasance in Research Purporting to Show Thimerosal in Vaccines is Safe,” was published on June 6 and contains eight pages of evidence that the CDC has had knowledge of the vaccine preservative’s neurological risks, yet continues to cover them up.
The paper concludes, “five of the publications examined in this review were directly commissioned by the CDC, raising the possible issue of conflict of interests or research bias, since vaccine promotion is a central mission of the CDC. Conceivably, if serious neurological disorders are found to be related to Thimerosal in vaccines, such findings could possibly be viewed as damaging to the vaccine program.”
Dr. Hooker has submitted over 100 FOIA requests to the CDC over the past 10 years and has amassed thousands of pages of documents showing malfeasance in the CDC’s vaccine safety program. Hooker revealed that one CDC document quoted a top official instructing CDC employees to “Review all correspondences and documents to see if there is ‘foreseeable harm’ to the agency if they were released” so the documents could be redacted by CDC attorneys prior to release.
Barry Segal, founder of the Focus Autism Foundation and former entrepreneur whose company sales peaked near $2 billionsaid, “We are in the process of exposing what may be the biggest federal scandal ever with immense damage to our economy and our people, especially our children who are the future of our country. Their health has been compromised by mercury in vaccines. We need Congress to take action now. Thimerosal must be banned.”
A more effective vaccine preservative “2PE” has replaced thimerosal in many other vaccines and possesses a much better safety profile according to Dr. Hooker.
The Focus Autism Foundation is dedicated to providing information to the public that exposes the cause or causes of the autism epidemic and the rise of chronic illnesses – focusing specifically on the role of vaccinations. To learn more, visitFocusAutism.org. A Shot of Truth is an educational campaign sponsored by Focus Autism.
Media Contact: A Shot of Truth, A Shot of Truth, (844)367-2768, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE A Shot of Truth
By Steve French at Natural Products Insider
Women make the majority of purchases for the family. That includes health related products and services. Understanding the attitudes behind these purchases can result in more profitable sales for businesses and better health outcomes for all concerned.
While healthy living is an important topic for all Americans, a number of aspects of achieving good health and adopting a healthy lifestyle are gender based. Women have health issues that are unique to them, but some of the health issues that affect both men and women affect women differently. But women also approach their health in different ways than men.
Women hold strong attitudes about achieving health and adopting preventive strategies. Women are more involved in the care of their own health (as well as in the care of others) for numerous, differing reasons. The longer life expectancy of women may be a result of some of these behaviors, but the bottom line is women have a strong desire to take a proactive approach to their health and wellness. Understanding how and why women have such interest and approaching them with the information, products and services they want and need can resonate with this receptive audience.
Strong Motivations for Good Health
Research conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) in two key quantitative consumer studies shed some light on women’s health priorities. In December 2013, NMI conducted the 15th wave of its annual health and wellness study titled “The State of Health and Wellness in America™” among more than 3,000 U.S. adults. Additional insight is provided by NMI’s Trends in Healthy Aging™ research based on more than 3,600 U.S. adults adding to a nine-year compilation of trended data in this study. These studies reveal unmet needs, explore underlying female health-related behaviors and attitudes, and identify many marketplace opportunities.
Nearly three-quarters of all women believe it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. And they are active and involved in this endeavor. Seven in 10 stated they “will take whatever means necessary to control my own health” and most believe that taking personal responsibility for one’s health is the best way to stay healthy. Comparatively speaking, women hold significantly stronger opinions than men when it comes to their health.
Many stated they are achieving their goal of good health. More than eight in 10 rate their current health as excellent or very good. And most state they are about as healthy as they would have expected at this age; about one in four even consider themselves healthier than they would have imagined at their current age.
Women aim to maintain a healthy lifestyle for myriad reasons. Chief among these are lifestyle factors: wanting to have energy to remain active and enjoy life. Losing weight is another strong motivator, as most understand that maintaining a healthy weight has a significant impact on overall health and related disease avoidance. Family concerns are also strong; half want to be sure they are “around” for their spouse/family, and they do not want to be a burden on their loved ones should their health fail.
Disease and Health Conditions Currently Managed
Despite strong stated health status and intentions as mentioned earlier, women are currently managing a myriad of health issues. And regardless of whether they are actively treating these conditions, many women express concern about preventing them. Perhaps as a result of these health issues and concerns, most women report they “are very concerned about their health and are actively managing it.”
Methods to Achieve a Healthy Lifestyle
In the management of their health, many feel prevention is key, and more women lean toward “preventative wellness” than “managing illness.” There are wide and varied methods by which women go about achieving this goal.
Most believe it is important to make healthy lifestyle decisions, including managing sleep, mental attitude and stress levels. Food also plays a key role; beyond consuming nutritious and healthy foods, many specifically cite the importance of natural, fortified/functional and organic choices. Women also want more healthy ingredients in their foods, including calcium, fiber, vitamins/minerals, antioxidants and probiotics. And many are more likely to purchase foods and beverages that claim to offer benefits for specific health conditions, including losing/maintaining weight, reducing cholesterol, providing heart health, strengthening bones and reducing risk of high blood pressure/stroke, among others.
Many products and services are available to help women address their health concerns and live full and healthy lives. Nonetheless, two-thirds perceive a healthy lifestyle will become more difficult as they age. To that end, a majority are interested in new approaches to manage their health, and are always looking for new self-care methods to prolong their health and vitality. They are discerning consumers, however, and most want health -related products that have proven scientific or clinical proof. The health-related choices and changes women make have a significant impact on their life and longevity. Offering women options to assist them in achieving better and healthier lifestyle habits is a win-win for all involved.
Steve French (steve.french@NMIsoluions.com) is managing partner at the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI, nmisolutions.com), a strategic consulting, market research and business development firm specializing in the health, wellness and sustainability marketplace.
Find more on women’s health in INSIDER’s Women’s Health Content Library.
This from Healthy Holistic Living
It’s hard enough to know what food choices to make in order to restore, maintain or expand your optimal health.
Here are a thirteen lies that Tommy Flanagan might have told. Don’t be fooled.
Thirteen Nutrition Lies That Made The World Sick and Fat
01 June 2014 European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG)
New understanding of the genes involved in taste perception and food preferences can lead to personalised nutrition plans effective not just in weight loss but in avoiding diseases such as cancer, depression, and hypertension. The ability to devise diets based on individual genetic profiles can lead to significantly better results – for example, a weight loss 33% greater than with a control group who had a similar calorie count but a non-personalised diet plan, researchers say.
Milan, Italy: New understanding of the genes involved in taste perception and food preferences could lead to personalised nutrition plans effective not just in weight loss but in avoiding diseases such as cancer, depression, and hypertension, Italian researchers reported at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) Knowing why individuals prefer certain food tastes and being able to personalise health interventions based on them will help people age in a healthier way and greatly improve their quality of life, as well as engender considerable savings for health systems, they say.
Dr Nicola Pirastu and Dr Antonietta Robino, from the University of Trieste and the IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Institute for Maternal and Child Health, Trieste, Italy, set out to identify novel genes and pathways involved in taste perception and food preferences, and to investigate their implications in protecting against or predisposing to diet-related disorders such as overweight, obesity, and diabetes. “To date most studies have focused on specific taste receptors, especially bitter ones, and this has been partly successful in an attempt to understand the genetics behind the perception of specific compounds such as caffeine and quinine,” says Dr Robino. “Our work has expanded these studies to the whole genome, with the goal of clarifying which specific genes drive individual differences in taste perception and food preferences.”
The researchers undertook genome wide association studies (GWAS) to try to unravel the genetic basis for certain food preferences. 2311 Italian subjects participated in the discovery step, while 1755 from other European countries and from Central Asia were used in order to further verify the findings. They uncovered 17 independent genes related to liking for certain foods, including artichokes, bacon, coffee, chicory, dark chocolate, blue cheese, ice cream, liver, oil or butter on bread, orange juice, plain yogurt, white wine and mushrooms. Surprisingly, none of the genes thus identified belonged to the category of taste or smell receptors.
“There is still much that needs to be done to understand what are the characteristics of certain foods affected by the genetic make-up of an individual,” says Dr Pirastu. “For example, we found a strong correlation between the HLA-DOA gene and white wine liking, but we have no idea which of the characteristics of white wine this gene influences. Our studies will be important for understanding the interaction between the environment, lifestyles, and the genome in determining health outcomes. Although there has been a lot of work on food-related diseases such as obesity, this has rarely taken food preferences into account. This is a major limitation which our work attempts to remedy, and as yet we have only really scratched the surface of this issue.”
In a second study, the researchers amassed the response of around 900 healthy adults from North Eastern Italy to salt, and related this to a DNA sequence variation found on the KCNA5 gene, known to be related to taste pathways in mammals. Salt perception and the related genetic variation in taste receptors are important determinants of individual differences in salt intake, which in turn represents an important risk factor for the development of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. “Genetic variations for taste perception are well known for bitter, sweet, and umami taste, but until now we knew little about their role in salt perception and liking,” says Dr Robino. “Identifying the receptor associated with individual differences in the perception of salt could help us better understand how chemosensory differences can interact to influence and predict food choices and hence human nutritional behaviour. This could also play an important role in the development of salt substitutes, in which there is a growing commercial interest.”
Nutritional intervention could be greatly improved by tailoring it to the food preferences of each person, the researchers say. And food preferences are also much easier to collect and study; while it is almost impossible to remember much one has eaten in the past ten years, it is easy to remember food likes and dislikes.
“By uncovering the genetic bases of taste and food preferences, we will be able to increase not only the effectiveness of nutritional interventions, but also compliance with them. For example, we have recently carried out a study where we applied our knowledge of 19 different genes in order to personalise diets for 191 obese individuals for were trying to lose weight. They were divided into two groups, 87 in a test group and 104 controls,” says Dr Pirastu.
“We devised a standard weight-loss diet subtracting 600 calories from individual nutritional needs, and analysed DNA from the test group for 19 genes known to affect different metabolic areas and taste. We then modulated the diets according to individual genetic profiles – for example, people whose genetic profile showed that they had less efficient lipid metabolism were given fewer lipids in their diet – but kept the overall amount of calories the same for everyone.
“Although there were no significant differences in age, sex and BMI between the two groups at the beginning of the trial, we found that people in the group who had followed the gene-based diet lost 33% more weight than the controls over two years, and the percentage of lean body mass also increased more in this group,” he will say.
Food preferences are the first factor driving food choice, nutrition and ultimately diet-related diseases and as such are the key to understanding human nutrition and its relationship with health on a large scale, the researchers say. A recent study1 carried out on more than 40,000 people showed that people who prefer fat have a completely different eating pattern than people who dislike it. “So something as simple as measuring fat liking can provide us with a great deal of information. Understanding the genetics of these traits will open new possibilities for the development of personalised diets and of functional foods aimed at improving people’s health and therefore their quality of life,” Dr Pirastu will conclude.
Abstract nos. C14.3, P17.26-M, and P15.19-S
1. Association between intake of nutrients and food groups and liking for fat, Caroline Mèjean et al. Appetite, 2014