Electroceuticals

To follow up A top-down view of biological goal-directed mechanisms, 2020 and 2021 presentations by Dr. Michael Levin of Tufts University:

“We want to able to design a living form at the level of anatomy, and have the system compile it down into a set of low level instructions that you would have to give to the cellular collective to make it do this. What we would like to do is to offload all that complexity onto cells, and control this  whole thing with inputs, experiences, or stimuli.

What evolution does is to exploit bioelectricity to implement networks that store these patterns, patterns that serve as memories and goal states.”


electroceuticals


Appreciate Dr. Levin sticking with his findings for three decades now. Credit my son for refreshing my memory.

Eat mushrooms for a longer life?

Two papers, starting with a 2021 meta-analysis of mushroom intake:

“Mushroom consumption was associated with a lower risk of total mortality in this nationally representative sample of US adults.

median mushroom intake

15,546 participants were included, mean age 44.3 years. During a mean follow-up duration of 19.5 years, a total of 5,826 deaths were documented.

Participants who reported consuming mushrooms had lower risk of all-cause mortality compared with those without mushroom intake after adjusting for demographic, major lifestyle factors, overall diet quality, and other dietary factors including total energy.”

https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-021-00691-8 “Association of mushroom consumption with all-cause and cause-specific mortality among American adults: prospective cohort study findings from NHANES III”


A 2019 review with two of the same coauthors:

“Mushrooms are inherently, or can easily be made to be, excellent dietary sources of 4 important bioactive compounds that decrease in humans as they age:

  • Selenium;
  • Vitamin D2;
  • Glutathione; and
  • Ergothioneine (Ergo).

All of these except for Ergo can be found in significant amounts in other foods, and mushrooms are by far the best human dietary source.

Humans produce a highly specific transport protein for Ergo that makes it highly bioavailable and avidly retained. Such specific transporters are rarely present for nonnutrient bioactive compounds.

mushroom ergothioneine glutathione

Mushrooms are a valuable source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, phenolic compounds, potassium, and β-glucans. An Ergo increase of 3 mg/d can be accomplished by consumption of about 100 g of fresh button mushrooms per day, or around 25 g of fresh specialty mushrooms such as shiitake, oyster, or maitake mushrooms.

One potential way to add fresh button mushrooms to the diet would be to embrace the meat-blend approach in which about 30% to 40% ground, fresh button mushrooms are blended with 60% to 70% ground beef to replace pure ground beef in burgers or other common commonly consumed dishes. Another approach could be to use small amounts of Ergo-rich specialty mushroom dried powder as a new food ingredient into current or new food products.”

https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/Abstract/2019/01000/Micronutrients_and_Bioactive_Compounds_in.5.aspx# “Micronutrients and Bioactive Compounds in Mushrooms: A Recipe for Healthy Aging?” (not freely available)


I doubt that mushroom intake was a cause of more than a third of this meta-analysis’ participants dying before they reached age 64. The first study of The amino acid ergothioneine had better methodological approaches that related mushroom intake to mortality.

I’ve eaten more than triple the first graphic’s 72 grams for over a year, not because I knew of health effects, but because I like mushrooms. The second graphic is nice to know, but probably won’t go out of my way for ergothioneine content.

Brown your white fat cells with broccoli sprouts

A 2021 rodent study and a blog post with 51 references investigated fat cells:

“Sulforaphane (SFN) is a potent indirect antioxidant and a promising agent for controlling metabolic disorder disease. We evaluated efficacy of SFN against high fat diet (HFD)-induced-obesity mice, and investigated potential mechanisms.

SFN:

  • Suppressed HFD-induced body weight gain;
  • Reduced fat cell [adipocyte] size;
  • Suppressed expression of key genes in adipogenesis;
  • Inhibited lipid accumulation in C3H10T1/2 [pre-adipocyte] cells;
  • Increased expression of brown adipocyte-specific markers and mitochondrial biogenesis in vivo and in vitro; and
  • Decreased cellular and mitochondrial oxidative stress.

sulforaphane influences fat cells

Gene expression profile of C3H10T1/2 cells after SFN treatment showed that SFN inhibited expression of core adipogenesis genes (Ppar-γ, Fas, Cebpβ and Scd1) and enhanced expression of browning genes (Chop, Temem 26, Ucp1, Pgc-1α, and Prdm16) in adipocyte differentiation and trans-differentiation. This result suggested possible conversion of white adipocytes into beige cells.

We report that SFN induces browning of mature C3H10T1/2 adipocytes based on promotion of mitochondrial biogenesis by means of upregulation of the AMPK and NRF2 signaling pathways, and enhancement of mitochondrial function. Our further research revealed that SFN can prevent HFD-induced obesity in C57BL/6N mice by inducing browning of white adipose tissue.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.665894/full “The Protective Effects of Sulforaphane on High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity in Mice Through Browning of White Fat”


Dr. Paul Clayton had a nuanced view of body fat and its browning:

“You can divide adipose tissue into three cell types:

  • White adipocytes account for 95% of all adipocytes and have a primarily storage function;
  • The primary function of brown adipocytes, which range from 1-5% depending on cold exposure and very specific types of chemo-stimulation i.e. β3-adrenergic, is generation of heat via mitochondrial uncoupling.
  • Beige adipocytes are intermediate. They aren’t interspersed in depots of white adipose tissue and can transform into brown-like adipocytes following cold exposure or adrenergic stimulation.

Bone marrow adipose tissue plays an important role in haematopoiesis and bone metabolism in more than one form:

  • One is located in distal bones (forearm and lower leg) and is pretty much stable;
  • The other form is in spine and proximal limb bones, and is inducible by environmental factors such as cold exposure, fasting, and anaemia.

White adipose tissue can be divided into visceral and sub-cutaneous deposits, and these tissues have different behaviours and functions, too.

From a clinical perspective, it’s important to know that adipocyte-related inflammatory effects can be neutralised with omega 3 fatty acids, which return fat cells to a ‘healthy’ configuration. Their inflammatory effects can also be inhibited by various polyphenols which, among other things, block release of pro-inflammatory microRNAs.

In my experience, combining omega 3s with lipophile polyphenols and AMPK-activators such as dammarane saponins and metformin, provide supra-additive benefits.”

https://drpaulclayton.eu/blog/turn-fat-into-muscle/ “Turn Fat into Muscle”


Still no mention of sulforaphane on the doctor’s blog, although it’s:

I came across this first study through a “PPAR sulforaphane” search. Discarding a supplement as a result, because I’m already doing enough!

PXL_20210606_095305180

The amino acid ergothioneine

A trio of papers on ergothioneine starts with a 2019 human study. 3,236 people without cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus ages 57.4±6.0 were measured for 112 metabolites, then followed-up after 20+ years:

“We identified that higher ergothioneine was an independent marker of lower risk of cardiometabolic disease and mortality, which potentially can be induced by a specific healthy dietary intake.

overall mortality and ergothioneine

Ergothioneine exists in many dietary sources and has especially high levels in mushrooms, tempeh, and garlic. Ergothioneine has previously been associated with a higher intake of vegetables, seafood and with a lower intake of solid fats and added sugar as well as associated with healthy food patterns.”

https://heart.bmj.com/content/106/9/691 “Ergothioneine is associated with reduced mortality and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease”


I came across this study by its citation in a 2021 review:

“The body has evolved to rely on highly abundant low molecular weight thiols such as glutathione to maintain redox homeostasis but also play other important roles including xenobiotic detoxification and signalling. Some of these thiols may also be derived from diet, such as the trimethyl-betaine derivative of histidine, ergothioneine (ET).

image description

ET can be found in most (if not all) tissues, with differential rates of accumulation, owing to differing expression of the transporter. High expression of the transporter, and hence high levels of ET, is observed in certain cells (e.g. blood cells, bone marrow, ocular tissues, brain) that are likely predisposed to oxidative stress, although other tissues can accumulate high levels of ET with sustained administration. This has been suggested to be an adaptive physiological response to elevate ET in the damaged tissue and thereby limit further injury.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213231721000161 “Ergothioneine, recent developments”


The coauthors of this review were also coauthors of a 2018 review:

“Ergothioneine is avidly taken up from the diet by humans and other animals through a transporter, OCTN1. Ergothioneine is not rapidly metabolised, or excreted in urine, and has powerful antioxidant and cytoprotective properties.

ergothioneine in foods

Effects of dietary ET supplementation on oxidative damage in young healthy adults found a trend to a decrease in oxidative damage, as detected in plasma and urine using several established biomarkers of oxidative damage, but no major decreases. This could arguably be a useful property of ET: not interfering with important roles of ROS/RNS in healthy tissues, but coming into play when oxidative damage becomes excessive due to tissue injury, toxin exposure or disease, and ET is then accumulated.”

https://febs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/1873-3468.13123 “Ergothioneine – a diet-derived antioxidant with therapeutic potential”


I’m upping a half-pound of mushrooms every day to 3/4 lb. (340 g). Don’t think I could eat more garlic than the current six cloves.

PXL_20210606_095517049

I came across this subject in today’s video:

Foods for your vision

This 2021 review by five ophthalmologists and two researchers characterized findings of food effects on human vision:

“The most challenging ocular disorders are uncorrected / under-corrected refractive errors, ocular surface dysfunction / dry eye disease, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy (DR), and age-related macular degeneration (AMD):

  • Severe visual impairment and blindness due to cataract or refractive error constitutes half of all global cases;
  • Glaucoma is the most common cause of irreversible blindness;
  • DR is the first cause of visual disability in working-age adults; and
  • AMD is the first cause of blindness in the elderly.

We identify directions for further research on:

  • The role of diet and nutrition in eyes and vision;
  • Potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects of natural food (broccoli, saffron, tigernuts and walnuts);
  • The Mediterranean Diet; and
  • Nutraceutic supplements that may supply a promising and highly affordable scenario for patients at risk of vision loss.

We improve understanding of natural food nutritional hallmarks, benefits of the MedDiet, and appropriate oral supplements with vitamins, carotenoids and PUFAs for better eye and vision care.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/10/6/1231/htm “Searching for the Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and Neuroprotective Potential of Natural Food and Nutritional Supplements for Ocular Health in the Mediterranean Population”


eyes

🙂

Are you prepared?

“There is one type of inflation that the Fed has never had control over – as covered in the previous analysis – inflation caused by shortages and supply side shocks. To fix that kind of inflation requires fixing the physical shortage problem. We’re seeing this right now with the 12 month increase in prices of imports going up by 10.6%.

This isn’t just theory. It is our collective history. Persistent and difficult to overcome inflation was what happened in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

It seems almost like lost knowledge for many today, who are focused on the easier to understand concept of inflation created by excess money creation. What happened in practice was a different source of rising prices. The last time this happened it took decades to fully break the inflationary cycle.”

http://danielamerman.com/va/ccc/H8CourtOrder.html “Climate Change & Court-Ordered Inflation”


german_hyperinflation_3
“A display of extremely high food prices during hyperinflation” from Rare Historical Photos.

Does sulforaphane treat autism?

A 2021 human study investigated sulforaphane treatments of autistic 3-to-12-year-olds:

“Sulforaphane (SF) led to non-statistically significant changes in the total and all subscale scores of the primary outcome measure. Several effects of SF on biomarkers correlated to clinical improvements. SF was very well tolerated and safe and effective based on our secondary clinical measures.

13229_2021_447_Fig1

Clinical response to SF was associated with changes in mitochondrial function, and large intrasubject variability in this study was linked to underlying biological responses. The increase in ATP [adenosine triphosphate]-Linked Respiration associated with improvement in ABC [Aberrant Behavior Checklist] scores suggests that those individuals who showed improvements in behavior also had improved mitochondrial capacity to produce ATP.

Individuals who showed an improvement in ABC scores also showed a decrease in Proton Leak Respiration, suggesting that their mitochondria were better able to regulate oxidative stress. It is also possible that the increase in ATP production was related to improvement in the ability of mitochondria to handle oxidative stress.

SF had significant positive effects on oxidative stress, cytoprotective markers and cytokines, as well as mitochondrial function. These were promising findings that require further investigation of both clinical effects and mechanisms of action of SF.”

https://molecularautism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13229-021-00447-5 “Randomized controlled trial of sulforaphane and metabolite discovery in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder”


Differences between this clinical trial and its pilot study curated in Autism biomarkers and sulforaphane included:

“HO-1 [heme oxygenase 1] functions to couple activation of mitochondrial biogenesis to anti-inflammatory cytokine expression. It was initially increased in the pilot study, then paradoxically decreased in the main study, on continued treatment for longer periods with SF.

Increased HO-1 is consistent with decreases in proinflammatory cytokines we observed initially in IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α. Decreased levels of cytokines continued after HO-1 returned to baseline with longer duration of treatment and suggest a decreased inflammatory state.

These cytokines are usually elevated in children with ASD, but were decreased on treatment with SF: IL-6 and TNF-α at 15 (but not 30) weeks.”

This study made a good effort with autistic children. Its insignificant effects of sulforaphane treatments pointed toward an understanding that human experiences when we are fetuses can override many subsequent events, treatments, and life experiences.

All about the betaine

A trio of papers on betaine, the first being a 2021 series of thorough rodent experiments relating betaine and gut microbiota, and cause and effect:

“Compared with lean individuals, adipose tissues in obese individuals secrete high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, inducing:

  • Systemic inflammation;
  • Insulin resistance;
  • Large amounts of carcinogenic factors; and
  • Increasing risk of certain types of cancer such as melanoma, colon cancer, and liver cancer.

Prebiotics obtained from fruits and vegetables can regulate host lipid metabolism and glucose homeostasis by reversing gut dysbiosis in obese individuals.

kgmi_a_1862612_f0005_oc

Results of this study show that dietary betaine alleviated gut microbiota imbalance in obese mice, and reduced development of obesity and obesity-related complications. Regulation of the miR-378a-YY1 regulatory axis by gut microbial acetate and butyrate was a critical mechanism for modulating:

  • White adipose tissue browning;
  • Classical brown adipose tissue activation; and
  • Lipid and glucose homeostasis

in obese mice after betaine supplementation.

These findings offer novel insights into underlying mechanisms by which gut microbiota affect host metabolism and host immune system, and demonstrate that the betaine-gut microbiota-derived signal axis is a potential therapeutic target in obesity and metabolic syndrome.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19490976.2020.1862612 “Dietary betaine prevents obesity through gut microbiota-drived microRNA-378a family”


A second 2021 paper was a meta-analysis of effects on human cardiovascular biomarkers:

“Betaine supplementation had a significant effect on concentrations of:

  • Betaine;
  • Total cholesterol;
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL);
  • Homocysteine [negative effect]; and
  • Methionine.

Betaine supplementation did not affect serum concentrations of:

  • Triglycerides;
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL);
  • Fasting blood glucose;
  • C-reactive protein;
  • Liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT); and
  • Blood pressure.

Our meta-analysis supports the advantage of a lower dose of betaine supplementation (<4 g/d) on homocysteine concentrations without the lipid-augmenting effect observed with a higher dosage.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408398.2021.1902938 “Effects of betaine supplementation on cardiovascular markers: A systematic review and Meta-analysis” (not freely available)


A third paper was a 2014 cereal analysis of betaine and its precursor choline that found a 224% increase in betaine from 62 to 139 μg/g and a 31% increase in choline from microwaving oats:

“Betaine and its precursor choline are important components of one-carbon metabolism, remethylating homocysteine into methionine and providing methyl groups for DNA methylation. Cereals are the main source of betaine in diet.

During cooking processes which did not involve removal of water (in this case oat porridge microwaved using instant oats) appeared to lead to creation of betaine. Explanations for this phenomenon could be that betaine is synthesised during the process, or that heating with water liberates betaine from cereal matrix, enhancing efficiency of extraction.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814613012247 “Cereal foods are the major source of betaine in the Western diet – Analysis of betaine and free choline in cereal foods and updated assessments of betaine intake” (not freely available)


Another 2021 betaine (aka trimethyl glycine) study was curated in Ride the waves of gene expression with betaine for its role in preventing nerve disease. I take 1.5 grams of a betaine supplement every morning and evening when eating hulled Avena sativa 3-day-old oat sprouts.

I found the first two papers from their citing a 2016 human and rodent study Dietary Betaine Supplementation Increases Fgf21 Levels to Improve Glucose Homeostasis and Reduce Hepatic Lipid Accumulation in Mice, which was linked in a comment on this 2021 video: