Infographic: Life Is Better with Clean Hands

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Source: CDC

Steak with Cashew Nam Jim

Ingredients

1-1/2 lb thick-cut beef rump steak
1 tbsp olive oil
11 oz gai lan
8-1/2 oz baby bok choy, trimmed, quartered
3 oz snow peas
4 green onions, sliced thinly
1/4 cup unsalted roasted cashews, chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro sprigs

Canhew Nam Jim

2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic
3 fresh long green chillies, seeded, chopped coarsely
2 fresh cilantro roots, chopped coarsely
1/2 tea finely finely grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp grated dark palm sugar
1/3 cup unsalted roasted cashews
1/3 cup lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce

Method

  1. Make cashew nam jim. Blend shallots, garlic, chilli, coriander root, ginger, sugar and nuts (or pound with a mortar and pestle) until mixture forms a paste. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in juice and fish sauce to taste.
  2. Trim fat from steak; rub with oil, season. Cook steak on a heated grill plate (or grill or barbecue) on medium-high heat for 4 minutes each side for medium or until done as desired. Remove steak from heat; cover with foil, rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Trim gai lan stalks; cut stalks from leaves. Steam stalks, in a single layer, in a large steamer over a wok or large saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute.
  4. Place bok choy on top of gai lan. Steam for a further 2 minutes.

  5. Add snow peas and gai lan leaves. Seam for a further 2 minutes or until vegetables are just tender.
  6. Place vegetables on a platter in layers, top with thickly sliced steak. Drizzle with any steak juices, then top with cashew nam jim. Sprinkle with onion, nuts and coriander before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Everyday Powerfoods

In Pictures: The Food of Shengyongxing Roast Duck Restaurant in Beijing, China

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The Restaurant

New Treatment May Reverse Celiac Disease

Marla Paul wrote . . . . . . . . .

Results of a new phase 2 clinical trial using technology developed at Northwestern Medicine show it is possible to induce immune tolerance to gluten in individuals with celiac disease. The findings may pave the way for treated celiac patients to eventually tolerate gluten in their diet.

After treatment with the technology, the patients were able to eat gluten with a substantial reduction in inflammation. The results also show a trend toward protecting patients’ small intestine from gluten exposure.

The findings will be presented as a late-breaking presentation Oct. 22 at theEuropean Gastroenterology Week conference in Barcelona, Spain.

The technology is a biodegradable nanoparticle containing gluten that teaches the immune system the antigen (allergen) is safe. The nanoparticle acts like a Trojan horse, hiding the allergen in a friendly shell, to convince the immune system not to attack it.

Beyond celiac disease, the finding sets the stage for the technology — a nanoparticle containing the antigen triggering the allergy or autoimmune disease — to treat a host of other diseases and allergies including multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, peanut allergy, asthma and more.

The technology was developed in the lab of Stephen Miller, professor of microbiology and immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who has spent decades refining the technology.

“This is the first demonstration the technology works in patients,” said Miller, the Judy Gugenheim Research Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. “We have also shown that we can encapsulate myelin into the nanoparticle to induce tolerance to that substance in multiple sclerosis models, or put a protein from pancreatic beta cells to induce tolerance to insulin in type 1 diabetes models.”

When the allergen-loaded nanoparticle is injected into the bloodstream, the immune system isn’t concerned with it, because it sees the particle as innocuous debris. Then the nanoparticle and its hidden cargo are consumed by a macrophage, essentially a vacuum-cleaner cell that clears cellular debris and pathogens from the body.

“The vacuum-cleaner cell presents the allergen or antigen to the immune system in a way that says, ‘No worries, this belongs here,’” Miller said. “The immune system then shuts down its attack on the allergen, and the immune system is reset to normal.”

In the celiac disease trial, the nanoparticle was loaded with gliadin, the major component of dietary gluten, found in cereal grains such as wheat. A week after treatment, the patients were fed gluten for 14 days. Without treatment, celiac patients eating gluten developed marked immune responses to gliadin and damage in their small intestine. Celiac patients treated with the COUR nanoparticle, CNP-101, showed 90% less immune inflammation response than untreated patients. By stopping the inflammatory response, CNP-101 showed the capacity to protect the intestines from gluten related injury.

There currently is no treatment for celiac disease.

“Doctors can only prescribe gluten avoidance, which is not always effective and carries a heavy social and economic toll for celiac patients,” Miller said.

About 1% of the population has celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disease in which the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine.

Autoimmune diseases generally can only be treated with immune suppressants that provide some relief, but undermine the immune system and lead to toxic side-effects. CNP-101 does not suppress the immune system but reverses the course of disease.

“Celiac disease is unlike many other autoimmune disorders because the offending antigen (environmental trigger) is well known — gluten in the diet,” said Dr. Ciaran Kelly, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “This makes celiac disease a perfect condition to address using this exciting nanoparticle induced immune tolerance approach.”

Kelly, who will be presenting the research abstract in Barcelona, has been working with Miller to apply the technology and define the therapeutic approach to treating celiac disease.

Source: Northwestern University

Study Shows Metformin Offers No Strength Training Benefits for Seniors

Allison Perry wrote . . . . . . . . .

A new clinical trial initiated by University of Kentucky researchers argues against the hypothesis that the diabetes drug metformin could help exercising seniors gain more muscle mass. The double-blind trial, conducted at the University of Kentucky and University of Alabama at Birmingham, found that older adults who took metformin while performing rigorous resistance exercise training had smaller gains in muscle mass than the placebo group. The results of the trial were published in Aging Cell, Sept. 26.

Research shows that progressive resistance training can help older adults retain or build muscle mass. Those gains are variable among individuals, however, and chronic inflammation in the muscle may be a contributing factor in whether or not an individual can build muscle.

“Because metformin has anti-inflammatory properties, we thought it would be a logical candidate to study,” said Charlotte Peterson, Ph.D., professor in the UK College of Health Sciences and director of the Center for Muscle Biology.

Peterson and her colleagues responded to a request for proposals from the National Institutes of Health on metformin’s effects on age-related conditions, outside of its well-known anti-diabetic properties, to determine if metformin would supplement resistance training response.

“In older adults (age 65 and up) who have lost significant muscle mass and function over prior decades, we thought metformin might combat muscle inflammation and thereby boost the muscle regrowth response to resistance training,” said Marcas Bamman, Ph.D., professor in the UAB Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology and director of the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. “Instead, metformin blunted the adaptations such that the placebo group experienced greater increases in muscle mass and muscle quality than the metformin group.”

The investigators randomized 109 healthy volunteers at UAB and UK with an average age of 69. Roughly half took 1700 mg of metformin per day, while the other half took placebo pills identical in appearance. Following baseline testing, both groups completed 14 weeks of resistance training. Before and after the exercise period, both groups underwent thigh CT scans, DXA measurement, strength testing and a thigh muscle biopsy.

“DXA and CT scans showed that the placebo group had greater gains in overall lean muscle mass and thigh muscle mass,” said Peterson. “CT scans and analysis of the biopsy also allowed us to determine that the quality of the muscle improved in the control group over the metformin group.”

The research team originally hypothesized that metformin would improve exercise response by targeting macrophages, immune cells present in muscle.

“The premise was that metformin would alter macrophage metabolism, converting them from an inflammatory to a reparative phenotype through activation of a kinase called AMPK,” said Dr. Philip Kern, director of the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences. “This should then enhance the effect of resistance training in older adults.”

“Although metformin activated AMPK, the increase in reparative macrophages with training was comparable between groups. However, AMPK is also known to inhibit another kinase in muscle fibers, mTORC1,” Peterson said. “mTORC1 is a key regulator of muscle growth. Metformin’s inhibition of that pathway is likely the reason that the metformin group did not see the same gains in muscle mass as the control group.”

“Progressive resistance exercise training remains the one intervention that we know will boost muscle gain in seniors, however, we also know that not all people respond to exercise to the same degree,” Bamman said. “For those low responders to resistance training, it might be beneficial to have an adjunct that would boost their response and enhance their gains. But clearly metformin isn’t the one.”

Source : University of Kentucky


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