A very important oral hearing will take place this week.
You can view the agenda items and how you can participate at the hearing here.
I am going to talk on Thursday morning and express my great concerns as shown here.
A very interesting publication on the effects of a "greener" MedDiet to CV health.
Background A Mediterranean diet is favourable for cardiometabolic risk.
Objective To examine the residual effect of a green Mediterranean diet, further enriched with green plant-based foods and lower meat intake, on cardiometabolic risk.
Methods For the DIRECT-PLUS parallel, randomised clinical trial we assigned individuals with abdominal obesity/dyslipidaemia 1:1:1 into three diet groups: healthy dietary guidance (HDG), Mediterranean and green Mediterranean diet, all combined with physical activity. The Mediterranean diets were equally energy restricted and included 28 g/day walnuts. The green Mediterranean diet further included green tea (3–4 cups/day) and a Wolffia globosa (Mankai strain; 100 g/day frozen cubes) plant-based protein shake, which partially substituted animal protein. We examined the effect of the 6-month dietary induction weight loss phase on cardiometabolic state.
Results Participants (n=294; age 51 years; body mass index 31.3 kg/m2; waist circumference 109.7 cm; 88% men; 10 year Framingham risk score 4.7%) had a 6-month retention rate of 98.3%. Both Mediterranean diets achieved similar weight loss ((green Mediterranean −6.2 kg; Mediterranean −5.4 kg) vs the HDG group −1.5 kg; p<0.001), but the green Mediterranean group had a greater reduction in waist circumference (−8.6 cm) than the Mediterranean (−6.8 cm; p=0.033) and HDG (−4.3 cm; p<0.001) groups. Stratification by gender showed that these differences were significant only among men. Within 6 months the green Mediterranean group achieved greater decrease in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C; green Mediterranean −6.1 mg/dL (−3.7%), −2.3 (-0.8%), HDG −0.2 mg/dL (+1.8%); p=0.012 between extreme groups), diastolic blood pressure (green Mediterranean −7.2 mm Hg, Mediterranean −5.2 mm Hg, HDG −3.4 mm Hg; p=0.005 between extreme groups), and homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (green Mediterranean −0.77, Mediterranean −0.46, HDG −0.27; p=0.020 between extreme groups). The LDL-C/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio decline was greater in the green Mediterranean group (−0.38) than in the Mediterranean (−0.21; p=0.021) and HDG (−0.14; p<0.001) groups. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein reduction was greater in the green Mediterranean group (−0.52 mg/L) than in the Mediterranean (−0.24 mg/L; p=0.023) and HDG (−0.15 mg/L; p=0.044) groups. The green Mediterranean group achieved a better improvement (−3.7% absolute risk reduction) in the 10-year Framingham Risk Score (Mediterranean−2.3%; p=0.073, HDG−1.4%; p<0.001).
Conclusions The green MED diet, supplemented with walnuts, green tea and Mankai and lower in meat/poultry, may amplify the beneficial cardiometabolic effects of Mediterranean diet.
= = =
Flow chart of the DIRECT-PLUS trial. HDG, healthy dietary guidance; MED, Mediterranean.
MED: In addition to guidance for physical activity, participants were also guided to follow a calorie-restricted traditional MED diet, low in simple carbohydrates, as described in our previous trials.1 2 The MED diet assigned was rich in vegetables, with poultry and fish replacing beef and lamb. The diet included 28 g/day of walnuts.
Green-MED: In addition to the physical activity intervention and the 28 g/day walnuts, the dieters following the green MED were guided to avoid red/processed meat consumption. The green MED diet was richer in plants and polyphenols, as the participants were encouraged further to consume the following items: 3–4 cups/day of green tea and 100 g of Wolffia globosa (Mankai strain; a newly developed duckweed grown under highly supervised conditions) frozen cubes, as a green plant-based protein shake, replacing animal protein at dinner. The green tea and Mankai shake were included in the daily calorie count.
Adherence to dietary intervention by food group changes a, b and c labels denote statistical difference (p<0.05) between intervention groups, as groups with the same labelling were statistically similar and groups with different labelling were statistically different. The total change score for each nutritional pattern was summarised according to participant answers to the food change questionnaire as follows: increased consumption = +1, decreased consumption = −1, same consumption=0. The totals obtained were then divided by the number of participants in each intervention group, so each score represents the percentage of change. Data are presented as the percentage of all participant answers (within each group) to the food frequency change questionnaire. HDG, healthy dietary guidance; MED, Mediterranean.
Obesity reflecting anthropometric changes across intervention groups over 6 months. Data are presented as mean±SE of mean (SEM) Ψ, p<0.05 within group. HDG, healthy dietary guidance; MED, Mediterranean.
After 6 months, the 10-year Framingham Risk Score significantly decreased in all study groups (HDG 13.3% to 11.2%, p=0.001; MED 11.5% to 9.5%, p<0.001; green MED 13.7% to 10.4%, p<0.001). Both MED and green MED groups had a greater reduction in the 10-year Framingham Risk Score than the HDG group (p=0.038 and p<0.001, respectively). The green MED group had a numerically greater reduction in the score than the MED group (p=0.073). There was a declining trend in the 10-year Framingham Risk Score across interventions (p=0.004).
This study’s results suggest that while calorie restricted MED diets promote weight loss and benefit metabolic state, the green MED diet, lower in meat/poultry and richer in green plants food sources, provides a greater WC regression and significant improvement in cardiovascular risk, with a decrease of ~4% in LDL-C and ~20% in hsCRP within 6 months.
Several limitations of this study should be considered. Our study population consisted mainly of men as a result of the gender profile of the workplace where our study was conducted. Thus, the value of extrapolating our results to women might be limited and presents a considerable constraint in reaching a conclusion about the effects of the explored interventions in this population. However, the randomisation process was stratified by gender, thereby maintaining a similar number of women in each intervention group. A sensitivity analysis limited to men yielded similar findings. Although we monitored gym use, the physical activity intervention was monitored solely by self-report and not by objective direct measures. Also, although we assessed the participants’ compliance with their assigned diet using a validated food-frequency-questionnaire14 and food-changes-questionnaire,15 we were unable to isolate the specific factors in the green MED diet responsible for the positive effects observed. Thus, the partial reduction in meat/poultry consumption was based on self-report and not obtained using an objective measurement based on biochemical bodily fluid analyses. It should also be noted that we did not match caloric restriction individually, but rather by an estimated gender-based range, as demonstrated in our previous studies.1 2 Finally, this report is exclusive to the dietary induction induced weight loss phase, and its results do not necessarily reflect long-term effects. However, previous studies have shown that changes achieved during the dietary induction phase are highly reflective of longlasting metabolic and cardiovascular effects.11 12 16 The strengths of the study include the closed workplace setting, which enabled monitoring of the free provided lunch, and the presence of an onsite clinic, intense dietary guidance and group meetings with multidisciplinary teams of physicians, dietitians and physical trainers. The sample size was relatively large and high adherence was maintained.
The larger reduction in WC in the green MED group suggests a facilitated reduction in visceral adiposity, which may be explained by findings from previous reports, where supplementation with green tea was found to increase 24-hour energy expenditure and fat oxidation17 and to suppress fatty acid synthase.18 The apparent enhanced reduction in visceral adiposity may explain the improved sensitivity to insulin, decrease in BP, improved lipid profile and decreased hsCRP. The beneficial hsCRP dynamics may also be explained by the direct systemic antioxidative influence of dietary polyphenols.19 The reductions in transaminases and alkaline phosphatase can be explained by weight reduction and might reflect the regression of obesity-related steatohepatitis.20
Both MED dietary regimens were accompanied by similar improvements in triglycerides and HDL-C levels, as in previous studies.1 2 However, only the green MED diet resulted in significant reductions in LDL-C levels (~7 mg/dL, roughly −4%), similar to those previously reported in lacto-ovo vegetarian diet.21 The additive effect of the green MED diet beyond that of the MED diet on LDL-C levels might result from the lower intake of meat and poultry, reducing dietary cholesterol and intake of saturated fatty acids,22 or alterations in cholesterol efflux mediated by dietary polyphenols.23 24 Specifically, the high phytosterol content of the Mankai shake might have led to the extent of the diet induced reduction in LDL-C.
Dieters receiving a MED diet, and specifically those receiving a green MED diet, had significant improvement in insulin sensitivity. The improvement in insulin sensitivity and lipid profile with a MED diet are in line with findings from a recent report25 comparing calorie-restricted and non-calorie-restricted MED diets. These findings match a previous meta-analysis, in which regular consumption of epigallocatechin gallate, derived from green tea, was associated with lower fasting plasma glucose.26 Another study that assessed the effects of olive-leaf extracted polyphenols for 14 weeks reported beneficial effects on fasting insulin levels, consistent with our results. This finding could be explained by the increased fibre content in the green MED diet,27 probably derived from Mankai. The reduction in insulin resistance demonstrated here also corresponds with our recent report about the beneficial acute glycaemic response to Mankai compared with yoghurt shake28 and might suggest that regular consumption of Mankai improves short-term glucose tolerance, and also promotes long-term improvement in sensitivity to insulin. The beneficial effects of green MED intervention on systolic and diastolic BPs might be mediated by the increase in green leaf derived fibre content27 or higher levels of bioavailable nitric oxide that accompany consumption of vegetables.29
Previous evidence supports the superiority of the MED diet in preventing cardiovascular events.3 Compared with MED diet, the green MED dietary pattern was associated with regression of central obesity and improved insulin sensitivity, and also with greater reduction in blood pressure and atherogenic lipoprotein levels. These beneficial effects ultimately resulted in a nearly twofold 10-year Framingham Risk Score reduction among those receiving a green MED diet. Moreover, the green MED diet substantially reduced systemic inflammation, estimated by hsCRP levels, which is a pivotal player in advancement of atherosclerosis.13 Thus, education and encouragement to follow a green MED dietary pattern in conjunction with physical activity has the potential to be a major contributor to public health as it may improve balancing of cardiovascular risk factors, eventually preventing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
In conclusion, our findings suggest that additional restriction of meat intake with a parallel increase in plant-based, protein-rich foods may further benefit the cardiometabolic state and reduce cardiovascular risk, beyond the known beneficial effects of the traditional Mediterranean diet.
Should we worry about covid-19 mutations?
two different stories are presented here.
On 22 November, UK scientists revealed that they were monitoring 4,000 mutations of Covid-19, with some concern that the new strains may resist vaccines.
Are mutated viruses more dangerous?
Mutations don’t tend to add any changes that will lead to a virus being more harmful. However, the changes within the virus may affect how easily it is transmitted from person to person, which is why new strains of Covid-19 are often dubbed ‘more infectious.’
Dr Pitt explains, “When the virus is inside you, the factors of what lead you to become seriously ill are the same, regardless if it's a mutant form or not.
“This isn’t to say that there isn’t the capability of a new dangerous mutation appearing, but there is no evidence so far that any of the mutations are more harmful in creating a worse illness.”
None of the mutations currently documented in the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear to increase its transmissibility in humans, according to a study led by University College London researchers.
The analysis of virus genomes from over 46,000 people with COVID-19 from 99 countries is published today (November 25, 2020) in Nature Communications.
First and corresponding author Dr. Lucy van Dorp (UCL Genetics Institute) said: “The number of SARS-CoV-2 genomes being generated for scientific research is staggering. We realized early on in the pandemic that we needed new approaches to analyze enormous amounts of data in close to real time to flag new mutations in the virus that could affect its transmission or symptom severity.
“Fortunately, we found that none of these mutations are making COVID-19 spread more rapidly, but we need to remain vigilant and continue monitoring new mutations, particularly as vaccines get rolled out.”
Coronaviruses like SARS-CoV-2 are a type of RNA virus, which can all develop mutations in three different ways: by mistake from copying errors during viral replication, through interactions with other viruses infecting the same cell (recombination or reassortment), or they can be induced by host RNA modification systems which are part of host immunity (e.g. a person’s own immune system).
Most mutations are neutral, while others can be advantageous or detrimental to the virus. Both neutral and advantageous mutations can become more common as they get passed down to descendant viruses.
The research team from UCL, Cirad and the Université de la Réunion, and the University of Oxford, analyzed a global dataset of virus genomes from 46,723 people with COVID-19, collected up until the end of July 2020.
The researchers have so far identified 12,706 mutations in SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. For 398 of the mutations, there is strong evidence that they have occurred repeatedly and independently. Of those, the researchers honed in on 185 mutations which have occurred at least three times independently during the course of the pandemic.
To test if the mutations increase transmission of the virus, the researchers modeled the virus’s evolutionary tree, and analyzed whether a particular mutation was becoming increasingly common within a given branch of the evolutionary tree — that is, testing whether, after a mutation first develops in a virus, descendants of that virus outperform closely-related SARS-CoV-2 viruses without that particular mutation.The researchers found no evidence that any of the common mutations are increasing the virus’s transmissibility. Instead, they found most common mutations are neutral for the virus.
Όπως ίσως καταλάβατε, το σημερινό μας θέμα είναι η γνωστή και μη εξαιρετέα, αλλά και άκρως επίκαιρη υπηρεσία διανομής φαγητού, ή αν προτιμάτε το delivery, ή ντελίβερι, με άκρως ελληνικούς χαρακτήρες. Το σημερινό αντικείμενο συζήτησης έχει άπειρες προεκτάσεις, κοινωνικές και οικονομικές, αλλά θα εστιάσουμε –όπως πάντα– σε πράγματα που θα μας κάνουν να χαμογελάσουμε. Ο προβληματισμός σαφώς και υπάρχει, αλλά θα φροντίσουμε να παραμείνουμε εκτός σκέψεων ειδικού βάρους…
Φυσικά και δεν θα μπορούσε να λείψει η συγκεκριμένη παράγραφος από το ραντεβού μας, καθώς ο διανομέας φαγητού εμπλέκεται πολλαπλώς στον ερωτικό τομέα.
Σύμφωνα με τους παγκόσμιους sex editors, η φαντασίωση συνεύρεσης με τον άνθρωπο που έφερε την πίτσα είναι στο top 10 των γυναικείων φαντασιώσεων. Άλλωστε υπάρχουν πολλές μαρτυρίες ανά τον πλανήτη, όπου η υποδοχή του φαγητού σε πακέτο γίνεται με νεγκλιζέ τρόπο, αδιαφορώντας για την κούραση που κουβαλά ο εργαζόμενος.
Πάλι σύμφωνα με τους ειδικούς sex editors, υπάρχει και ορολογία για την όρθια στάση συνεύρεσης ζεύγους, με την ονομασία «Stand and Deliver». Ο λόγος απλός… ο εργαζόμενος διανομέας, πέρα από την ώρα που περνάει στο δίκυκλο, εργάζεται όρθιος, ανεβοκατεβαίνοντας σκάλες ώστε να μη χαθεί η θερμοκρασία του φαγητού και φυσικά να τραφεί ο άμαχος πληθυσμός στην ώρα του.
Πολλά και διάφορα ακούγονται σε καθημερινή βάση για τα διαβολεμένα παπάκια που μπαίνουν ανάποδα σε κάθε δρόμο κ.λπ. κ.λπ…
Η κατανόηση και ο σεβασμός στον εργαζόμενο είναι βασικός κανόνας της ανθρώπινης συμπεριφοράς και φυσικά πολλοί λίγοι είναι αυτοί που θα μπορούσαν να προσφέρουν τις συγκεκριμένες υπηρεσίες, με κάθε κάθε κάθε καιρικό φαινόμενο!
Προσοχή, σεβασμός, κατανόηση… και κυρίως πάντα υπομονή, η οποία είναι μόνο αρετή!
Δικός σας… Σπύρος!
Despite the fact that cholesterol is not related to inflammation and the
onset of chronic diseases, the focus of scientists and practitioners is
still on cholesterol and medical ways to control it (statins). Over the
past few years a new school of thought is getting stronger: it's not
cholesterol but inflammation that causes chronic diseases. Therefore,
the key to reducing the incidence of chronic diseases is to control the
activities of Platelet Activating Factor (PAF) and other inflammatory
mediators via diet, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices. Polar
lipids present in foods can play a key role via their anti-thrombotic
and anti-inflammatory bioactivities. In this paper, we present our
latest data on polar lipids of dairy and marine origin against
inflammation and strategies for designing novel nutraceuticals and
functional foods against chronic diseases.
Does Covid-19 mutate and how fast?
Will the new vaccines be effective against the covid-19 mutants?
How fast do these mutations occur?
What is the N439K mutant?
Answers to all these questions are
given in this article
and in this research paper.
The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) disease (COVID-19) in China at the end of 2019 caused a major global pandemic and continues to be an unresolved global health crisis. The supportive care interventions for reducing the severity of symptoms along with participation in clinical trials of investigational treatments are the mainstay of COVID-19 management because there is no effective standard therapy for COVID-19. The comorbidity of COVID-19 rises in obese patients. Micronutrients may boost the host immunity against viral infections, including COVID-19. In this review, we discuss the clinical impact potential of supplemental nutrients as adjuncts of therapy in high-risk COVID-19 for obese patients.
the full article is available here.