Breaking News
November 21, 2018 - FDA Alert: Gilenya (fingolimod): Drug Safety Communication
November 21, 2018 - Uric Acid Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 21, 2018 - Researchers use genetics to predict response to antipsychotic medications
November 21, 2018 - Proposal to include the price of drugs in television ads is flawed, Stanford scholar writes
November 21, 2018 - Disrupting reproduction strategy of disease-causing parasites could help fight malaria
November 20, 2018 - ACAAI: Almost 2 Percent of Children Have Milk Allergy
November 20, 2018 - Congenital anomalies of kidney and urinary tract – Genetics Home Reference
November 20, 2018 - Can video games improve the health of older adults with schizophrenia?
November 20, 2018 - Can flicking a molecular switch restore the aging immune system’s competence?
November 20, 2018 - Restek launches new Oregon cannabis pesticide standards
November 20, 2018 - Health sector coalition urges Government to safeguard patients in future UK-EU relationship
November 20, 2018 - Study evaluates second-hand marijuana smoke exposure among children
November 20, 2018 - Scientists identify three genes responsible for recurrent molar pregnancies
November 20, 2018 - Researchers identify multisystem disorder caused by bi-allelic variants in CCDC47 gene
November 20, 2018 - Dining Out With Allergies Is Tough, But These Steps Can Help
November 20, 2018 - Breastfeeding protects infants from antibiotic-resistant bacteria
November 20, 2018 - AI matched, outperformed radiologists in screening X-rays for certain diseases | News Center
November 20, 2018 - Adolescents increasingly choose marijuana over cigarettes, alcohol
November 20, 2018 - World’s first medical imaging scanner produces diagnostic scan of the whole human body
November 20, 2018 - Cytocybernetics receives NIMH award to move into neuronal drug development
November 20, 2018 - ‘Unknown’ enzyme may be key to new treatment for inflammatory diseases
November 20, 2018 - Recreational drug may help people regain trust in others
November 20, 2018 - Researchers identify gene vital for post-stroke recovery
November 20, 2018 - Scientists identify novel target for neuron regeneration, functional recovery in spinal cord injury
November 20, 2018 - Potential new therapeutic approach developed for synovial sarcoma
November 20, 2018 - Skeletal imitation reveals how bones grow atom-by-atom
November 20, 2018 - Autism behaviors show unique brain network fingerprints in infants
November 20, 2018 - Location matters for inflammation clearance
November 20, 2018 - Towards finding a druggable cancer target
November 20, 2018 - Ultragenyx Announces Intent to Submit New Drug Application to U.S. FDA for UX007 for the Treatment of Long-chain Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders in Mid-2019
November 20, 2018 - Cooling ‘brains on fire’ to treat Parkinson’s
November 20, 2018 - Less pollution could increase the average lifespan of Copenhageners by an entire year in 2040
November 20, 2018 - Abramson Cancer Center becomes the 28th member institution of National Comprehensive Cancer Network
November 20, 2018 - The plug and play time-resolved spectrometer from PicoQuant
November 20, 2018 - Breakthrough technology offers new hope to people with glaucoma, retinitis and macular degeneration
November 20, 2018 - New report highlights key focus areas to help cancer screening realize its full potential
November 20, 2018 - International experts to discuss strategies to maintain spatial orientation in old age
November 20, 2018 - Low-protein, high-carb diet may promote healthy brain ageing
November 20, 2018 - Scientists discover new inhibitor that decreases lung inflammation
November 20, 2018 - Participation project calls for relaxing research ban on germline interventions
November 20, 2018 - Karyopharm’s Selinexor Receives Fast Track Designation from FDA for the Treatment of Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma
November 20, 2018 - Arthritis by the Numbers: Book of Trusted Facts & Figures
November 20, 2018 - Drug homing method helps rethink Parkinson’s
November 20, 2018 - AHF commends the passage of global AIDS funding in the House, calls for swift approval
November 20, 2018 - The search for new psychiatric disorder treatments
November 20, 2018 - New research offers hope for simpler way to diagnose and treat cancer
November 20, 2018 - Study sheds light on the infection mechanism of influenza virus
November 20, 2018 - Storage failures of eggs and embryos gain a new perspective
November 20, 2018 - Buyers of short-term health plans: Wise or shortsighted?
November 20, 2018 - Study indicates that frogs in virus-exposed groups breed at young age
November 20, 2018 - FDA Alerts Health Care Professionals and Patients Not To Use Sterile Drug Products from Pharm D Solutions
November 20, 2018 - Asthma may contribute to childhood obesity epidemic
November 20, 2018 - Live probiotics can change existing gut flora and alter immune response
November 20, 2018 - Researchers to explore the enigmatic role of unstructured protein in regulating circadian function
November 20, 2018 - Many patients with adenomas do not receive colonoscopy within recommended time frame
November 20, 2018 - Drug used to treat PTSD does not reduce suicidal thinking, may worsen nightmares and insomnia
November 20, 2018 - In-person social contact may offer protection against depression and PTSD symptoms
November 20, 2018 - Routine HCV testing in correctional facilities can best identify and treat disease, say researchers
November 20, 2018 - Molecular DNA analysis could facilitate more accurate prognosis, treatment of aggressive brain tumors
November 20, 2018 - Breast Cancer Recurrence Rate Not Up With Autologous Fat Transfer
November 20, 2018 - Beta 2 Microglobulin (B2M) Tumor Marker Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 20, 2018 - Could bariatric surgery make men more virile?
November 20, 2018 - Urine test to check if patients take their medications will save the NHS money, say researchers
November 20, 2018 - Study reveals impact of residual inflammatory risk on clinical outcomes after PCI
November 20, 2018 - RNAi therapy shown to alleviate preeclampsia
November 20, 2018 - Replacement of dysfunctional microglia has therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases
November 20, 2018 - Forming 3D Neuronal Models of the Brain
November 20, 2018 - Shoulder ultrasounds could be used to predict diabetes
November 20, 2018 - SGLT2 Inhibitors for Diabetes Linked to Increased Risk for Amputation
November 20, 2018 - Stem cell transplant cements Arizona men’s father-son bond
November 20, 2018 - Scientists try to develop portable systems that can quickly produce biologics on demand
November 20, 2018 - Automating Data Capture and Image Analysis in Continuous Experiments
November 20, 2018 - New drug shows promise for treating people with peanut allergy
November 20, 2018 - Researchers develop novel mouse model to study immunomodulatory therapies
November 20, 2018 - “Britain must not go backward on antibiotic controls to appease US trade deals” – Jim Moseley, CEO of Red Tractor
November 20, 2018 - Widespread errors in ‘proofreading’ cause inherited blindness
November 20, 2018 - Reaping the benefits of living longer
November 20, 2018 - New Program Hopes to Make Early Detection and Treatment of ALS a Reality
November 19, 2018 - Artificial bone-like substance mimics the way real bone grows at atomic level
November 19, 2018 - FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation To RGX-181 Gene Therapy For The Treatment Of CLN2 Form Of Batten Disease
Dietary fiber may delay memory loss, brain inflammation during old age

Dietary fiber may delay memory loss, brain inflammation during old age

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

As mammals age, immune cells in the brain known as microglia become chronically inflamed. In this state, they produce chemicals known to impair cognitive and motor function. That’s one explanation for why memory fades and other brain functions decline during old age. But, according to a new study from the University of Illinois, there may be a remedy to delay the inevitable: dietary fiber.

Dietary fiber promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut. When these bacteria digest fiber, they produce short-chain-fatty-acids (SCFAs), including butyrate, as byproducts.

“Butyrate is of interest because it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties on microglia and improve memory in mice when administered pharmacologically,” says Rodney Johnson, professor and head of the Department of Animal Sciences at U of I, and corresponding author on the Frontiers in Immunology study.

Although positive outcomes of sodium butyrate – the drug form – were seen in previous studies, the mechanism wasn’t clear. The new study reveals, in old mice, that butyrate inhibits production of damaging chemicals by inflamed microglia. One of those chemicals is interleukin-1β, which has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

Understanding how sodium butyrate works is a step forward, but the researchers were more interested in knowing whether the same effects could be obtained simply by feeding the mice more fiber.

“People are not likely to consume sodium butyrate directly, due to its noxious odor,” Johnson says. “A practical way to get elevated butyrate is to consume a diet high in soluble fiber.”

The concept takes advantage of the fact that gut bacteria convert fiber into butyrate naturally.

“We know that diet has a major influence on the composition and function of microbes in the gut and that diets high in fiber benefit good microbes, while diets high in fat and protein can have a negative influence on microbial composition and function. Diet, through altering gut microbes, is one way in which it affects disease,” says Jeff Woods, professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at U of I, and co-author on the study.

Butyrate derived from dietary fiber should have the same benefits in the brain as the drug form, but no one had tested it before. The researchers fed low- and high-fiber diets to groups of young and old mice, then measured the levels of butyrate and other SCFAs in the blood, as well as inflammatory chemicals in the intestine.

“The high-fiber diet elevated butyrate and other SCFAs in the blood both for young and old mice. But only the old mice showed intestinal inflammation on the low-fiber diet,” Johnson says. “It’s interesting that young adults didn’t have that inflammatory response on the same diet. It clearly highlights the vulnerability of being old.”

On the other hand, when old mice consumed the high-fiber diet, their intestinal inflammation was reduced dramatically, showing no difference between the age groups. Johnson concludes, “Dietary fiber can really manipulate the inflammatory environment in the gut.”

The next step was looking at signs of inflammation in the brain. The researchers examined about 50 unique genes in microglia and found the high-fiber diet reduced the inflammatory profile in aged animals.

The researchers did not examine the effects of the diets on cognition and behavior or the precise mechanisms in the gut-brain axis, but they plan to tackle that work in the future as part of a new, almost-$2 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Although the study was conducted in mice, Johnson is comfortable extending his findings to humans, if only in a general sense. “What you eat matters. We know that older adults consume 40 percent less dietary fiber than is recommended. Not getting enough fiber could have negative consequences for things you don’t even think about, such as connections to brain health and inflammation in general.”

The article, “Butyrate and dietary soluble fiber improve neuroinflammation associated with aging in mice,”

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles