Reinforce your immune memory every day

Three papers on trained immunity, with the first a 2021 review:

“Trained immunity is realized by epigenetic reprogramming of cells, primarily monocytes/macrophages and natural killer cells, and is less specific than adaptive immunity. It may cross-protect against other infectious agents.

Various actions of trained innate immunity on precursor cells have a strong potential for therapeutic use, particularly in infected and myelosuppressed individuals. Improvements of effects of some vaccines offer other potential use of β-glucan as an inductor of trained immunity, suggesting novel uses of a traditional therapeutic.”

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/19/10684/htm “Trained Immunity as an Adaptive Branch of Innate Immunity”


Became tired of this review’s pedantic repetitions, that cells have a finite existence, as do cell attributes such as one-time trained immunity. Readers get it.

While belaboring the obvious, this paper missed two points:

  • As An environmental signaling paradigm of aging theorized, then demonstrated in A rejuvenation therapy and sulforaphane, and continues in current studies, cells take on phenotypes the body gives them. Focusing on cell attributes missed many signals elsewhere in cells’ environmental milieu, which make a difference in cell, organ, and body functioning.
  • Trained immunity protocol also matters. I’ve trained my immune system with yeast cell wall β-glucan every day for 17 years, recently taking nothing else an hour before or an hour after. That “no effects were found after 20 days” of only one in vitro dose isn’t relevant to my immune responses. I always have cells with one day of training, cells with (pick a number) days / weeks / months / years of training, and millions of primed cells in between.

This first paper cited a 2020 in vitro study:

“(1, 3)/(1, 6)-β-glucan can induce potent trained immunity, however, immunoregulatory activity of oat (1, 3)/(1, 4)-β-glucan has been neglected. Most studies have focused on its metabolic regulatory activity in diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

This study confirmed that β-glucan from oat dietary fiber can modulate responsiveness of innate immune cells through metabolic reprogramming. Proposed mechanism of oat β-glucan for trained immunity induction in monocytes/macrophages:

oat beta glucan trained immunity

This study showed that trained immunity induced by oat (1, 3)/(1, 4)-β-glucan was dependent on glycolysis or SDH/IRG axis in TCA cycle. These findings demonstrated that oat dietary fiber could strengthen and maintain long-term responsiveness of the innate immune system.”

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10753-020-01211-2 “Oat-Derived β-Glucans Induced Trained Immunity Through Metabolic Reprogramming” (not freely available)


A 2021 rodent study cited this second paper:

“Oat beta-glucans can stimulate secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines, and simultaneously inhibit secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The immunostimulatory effect of beta-glucan intake occurs due to its ability to activate intestinal mucosa immune cells, which results from binding of these polysaccharides to specific membrane TLR and/or Dectin-1 receptors.

We analyzed effects of oat beta-glucans at two time points, 3 and 7 days after TNBS administration:

  • High molecular mass beta-glucan forms a protective coating on the internal intestinal wall, which improves tissue recovery potential and reduces the risk of secondary microbial infection.
  • Low molar mass beta-glucan forms light solutions where short chains are well distributed and dispersed, and due to low viscosity, beta-glucan is accessible for receptors to be reached. Once reaching and complementing the receptor, bonded beta-glucan short polymeric chain induces transmission on metabolic pathways.

ijms-22-04485-g005-550

Consumption of oat beta-glucans reduced levels of inflammatory markers, and recovered signaling pathways and histological changes, with stronger effects of low molar mass beta-glucan after 7 days of colitis. Dietary oat beta-glucans can reduce colitis at the molecular and organ level, and accelerate Crohn’s disease remission.”

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/9/4485/htm “Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Oat Beta-Glucans in a Crohn’s Disease Model: Time- and Molar Mass-Dependent Effects”


I’d seen this second study’s abstract several times, but glossed over it. I curated another 2021 rodent study from the same institution as this third paper in Oat β-glucan effects on colitis.

None of these studies investigated gut microbiota. Pretty sure our hosted microorganisms had roles in their findings.

All papers called for human studies of their findings. But it would be difficult for drug companies to make money from a research area that’s cheap and readily accessible. Take responsibility for your own one precious life.

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Part 3 of Switch on your Nrf2 signaling pathway

To complement Parts 1 and 2, an informative and detailed video:

sulforaphane defense actions


My daily intake includes most of what’s mentioned in the video. For example, sulforaphane and other beneficial broccoli sprouts compounds, twice a day through 65.5 g of three-day-old broccoli / red cabbage / mustard sprouts microwaved to 60°C. And capers – a high source of quercetin (but see comparisons starting at 31:00, 80% vs. 4% bioavailability) – after soaking and rinsing them several times to reduce sodium content.

I arrived at this video via Dr. Houghton’s paper https://www.researchgate.net/publication/355201137_The_COVID_’Vaccine’_Dilemma_-_a_mechanistic_hypothesis “The COVID ‘Vaccine’ Dilemma – a mechanistic hypothesis” (registration required) posted yesterday.

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Broccoli sprouts and microRNAs

This 2021 in vitro study investigated microRNAs as potential causative factors for broccoli’s beneficial effects:

“A computational analysis was performed to explore processes and pathways associated with genes targeted either by:

  1. Host-expressed miRNAs (endogenous) modulated by bioactive compounds in broccoli; or
  2. miRNAs derived from broccoli (exogenous).

miRNAs are noncoding RNAs containing between 19 and 24 nucleotides, which act as regulators of gene expression both in plants and animals via degradation or inhibition of target mRNAs. miRNAs participate in several biological processes, such as apoptosis, cell growth, differentiation, proliferation, immune response, intercellular communication, RNA stability and processing, stress response, and others.

miRNAs reported in the literature as being upregulated or downregulated in response to broccoli bioactive compounds, with a significant change in expression of at least 2-fold, were selected and used to predict possible mechanisms exerted through miRNA-related actions.

pubmed vs scopus

Sixty-one genes were targeted by both exogenous and endogenous miRNAs, while 6143 and 87 target genes were unique to exogenous and endogenous miRNAs, respectively. Biological processes and molecular functions of genes targeted by both exogenous and endogenous miRNAs were also associated with chromatin, DNA, and RNA regulation.

Cooking, frying, microwaving [2 minutes in a 800W microwave on maximum power], steaming, and blanching were tested along with raw broccoli heads and sprouts and juice. Raw broccoli sprouts showed higher miRNA levels [in half of those tested]. Nearly all treatments did not significantly reduce miRNA levels compared to raw broccoli.

Samples of raw or boiled broccoli, juice, and broccoli sprouts were subjected to in vitro digestion, simulating GI conditions. miRNA survival levels dropped to percentages ranging approximately between 0.1 and 10% at the end of in vitro digestion, although complete elimination was not observed in any case.

Overall, bioinformatic results show that anticarcinogenic and cancer-preventive properties attributed to cruciferous vegetables might be mediated, at least in part, through miRNA-related mechanisms. Moreover, results show that broccoli-derived miRNAs can survive common food-processing conditions and GI digestion.”

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jafc.1c04087 “Connection between miRNA Mediation and the Bioactive Effects of Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica): Exogenous miRNA Resistance to Food Processing and GI Digestion” (not freely available)


I included part of this study’s methods to demonstrate the futility of a PubMed search on any topic. For example, a “caffeic acid and miRNA” search on Scopus returned 499 potential papers. In comparison, that search on PubMed returned 13 papers, or 2.6% of potentially relevant research.

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Eat isoflavones for your nerves

This 2021 rodent study investigated effects of dietary isoflavones and gut microbiota:

“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neuroinflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that results in sensory, motor, and/or cognitive dysfunction. This is due to complex interactions of genetic and environmental factors that trigger activation of autoreactive T cells, leading to subsequent immune cell infiltration into the CNS, neurodegeneration, and axonal damage.

Genetic influences on MS have been well characterized, such as the strong association of certain human leukocyte antigen haplotypes with disease. In contrast, environmental factors – which account for around 70% of disease risk – remain understudied.

In humans, certain gut bacteria digest phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that resemble estrogen. Isoflavones are a major class of phytoestrogens that are highly abundant in legumes such as soy. Humans do not have the necessary enzymes to break down isoflavones, and rely on gut microbiota to harvest these biologically active metabolites.

In the present study, we demonstrate that experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model for MS, is suppressed in mice fed a diet supplemented with isoflavones.

isoflavones eae

Adlercreutzia equolifaciens and Parabacteroides distasonis, which metabolize isoflavones, were more abundant in mice on an isoflavone diet. Both genera were enriched in healthy individuals but depleted in patients with MS. Conversely, Akkermansia muciniphila was found in greater abundance in mice on an isoflavone-free diet, and this genus is commonly enriched in patients with MS compared to healthy individuals.

isoflavones gut microbiota

We demonstrate that bacterial therapy with P. distasonis and A. equolifaciens results in markedly different clinical disease scores depending on diet of the host. In the absence of isoflavones, isoflavone-metabolizing bacteria may begin to metabolize host products, such as mucins, resulting in a proinflammatory state.

Considering the interplay between diet and gut bacteria is critical when developing dietary and gut microbiome-based therapies for MS and other diseases.”

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abd4595 “Isoflavone diet ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis through modulation of gut bacteria depleted in patients with multiple sclerosis”


Parabacteroides distasonis is my second most abundant gut microbiota species at 11.076%. Its main function is to metabolize carbohydrates, which are the bulk of my diet. Haven’t focused on isoflavones.

If you want to increase isoflavones with a soy product like tofu, try to eat it raw, steamed, or simmered in soup. Broiling, grilling, or sautéing tofu causes a dramatic rise in AGEs.

I came across this study by its citation in Dr. Paul Clayton’s rambling blog post Stranger together.

Feral broccoli, where Zeus’ sweat hit the ground

This 2021 study investigated evolutionary histories of Brassica oleracea:

“Cultivated Brassica oleracea has intrigued researchers for centuries due to its wide diversity in forms, which include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts. With such different vegetables produced from a single species, B. oleracea is a model organism for understanding the power of artificial selection.

Evidence from genome-scale, multilocus data along with archeology, literature, and environmental niche modeling best support a single Eastern Mediterranean domestication origin for B. oleracea, corroborating conclusions based on literary sources and linguistics Our analyses point to Aegean endemic B. cretica as the closest living relative of cultivated B. oleracea.

brassicae origins

We identify several feral lineages, suggesting that cultivated plants of this species can revert to a wild-like state with relative ease. Progenitor species would likely be good starting material for future research related to de novo domestication via selective breeding or gene editing. Feral populations may also provide additional avenues to explore evolutionary capacity for range expansion and phenotypic plasticity.

Crop wild relatives provide pools of allelic diversity that at one time were shared through a common ancestor with cultivated relatives. Since many of these wild species are very narrow endemics and are valuable for both crop improvement and for nature conservation, their identification and preservation are urgent.”

https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/38/10/4419/6304875 “The Evolutionary History of Wild, Domesticated, and Feral Brassica oleracea (Brassicaceae)”


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Trained immunity mechanisms

This 2021 cell study investigated how inflammatory memory is established, maintained, and recalled:

“Cells retain a memory of inflammation that equips them to react quickly and broadly to diverse secondary stimuli. Temporal, dynamic changes to chromatin accessibility, histone modifications, and transcription factor (TF) binding occur during inflammation, post-resolution, and in memory recall following injury.

Epigenetic records of inflammation have been found in innate immune cells, including macrophages, monocytes, and natural killer cells, as well as CD8+ and regulatory T cells, granulocyte-monocyte progenitors, and long-term hematopoietic stem cells. Inflammatory memory was recently extended to epithelial barrier tissues, which are the first line of defense against infectious pathogens and noxious agents.

Epigenetic memory of an inflammatory experience is rooted in chromatin of a cell via retention of chromatin accessibility, histone marks, and key TFs that endow it with heightened responsiveness to diverse secondary stimuli. AP-1 (activating protein-1) is a collective term referring to transcription factors composed of JUN, FOS, or ATF (activating transcription factor) subunits that bind to a common DNA site.

1-s2.0-S1934590921002861-fx1_lrg

We unearth an essential, unifying role for the general stress-responsive transcription factor FOS, which partners with JUN and cooperates with stimulus-specific STAT3 to establish memory. JUN then remains with other homeostatic factors on memory domains, facilitating rapid FOS re-recruitment and gene re-activation upon diverse secondary challenges.

We offer a comprehensive, potentially universal mechanism behind inflammatory memory and less discriminate recall phenomena with implications for tissue fitness in health and disease:

  1. Stimulus-specific STAT3 and broad stress factor AP1 co-establish memory domains;
  2. Stem cell factors access open memory domains and remain bound after inflammation;
  3. FOS activates open memory domains, enabling secondary responses to diverse stimuli; and
  4. AP1 mediates epigenetic inflammatory memory across cell types, stimuli, and species.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1934590921002861 “Establishment, maintenance, and recall of inflammatory memory” (not freely available)


Take responsibility for your own one precious life. Train your immune system every day with yeast cell wall β-glucan.

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Dementia blood factors

This 2021 human study performed blood metabolite analyses:

“Dementia is a collective term to describe various symptoms of cognitive impairment in a condition in which intelligence is irreversibly diminished due to acquired organic disorders of the brain, characterized by deterioration of memory, thinking, behavior, and the ability to perform daily activities.

In this study, we conducted nontargeted, comprehensive analysis of blood metabolites in dementia patients. Effort expended in this ‘no assumptions’ approach is often recompensed by identification of diagnostic compounds overlooked by targeted analysis.

The great variability of data in Figure 1 reflects genuine individual variation in metabolites, which were accurately detected by our metabolomic analysis. These data demonstrate that compounds having small to large individual variability are implicated in dementia.

dementia blood factors

7 group A compounds – plasma-enriched dementia factors – increased in dementia patients and might have a negative toxic impact on central nervous system (CNS) functions by themselves or their degradation products.

26 group B to E metabolites may be beneficial for the CNS, as their quantity all declined in dementia patients:

  • Red blood cell (RBC)-enriched group B metabolites all containing the trimethyl-ammonium ion may protect the CNS through their antioxidative and other activity.
  • Group C compounds, also RBC-enriched, have cellular functions implicated in energy, redox, and so forth, and may be important for maintaining CNS brain functions.
  • Group D’s 12 plasma compounds (amino acids, nucleosides, choline, and carnitine) – half of which had been reported as Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related markers – may underpin actions of other metabolites for supply and degradation. Consistency of group D plasma metabolites as dementia markers but not group B and C RBC metabolites validated the method of searching dementia markers that we employed in the present study.
  • Group E compounds, caffeine and and its derivative dimethyl-xanthine, declined greatly in dementia subjects. Caffeine is an antagonist of adenosine, consistent with the present finding that adenosine belongs to group A compounds.

Twelve [groups B + C] of these 33 compounds are RBC-enriched, which has been scarcely reported. The majority of metabolites enriched in RBCs were not identified in previous studies.

Nine compounds possessing trimethylated ammonium ions are amphipathic compounds (with both hydrophilic and lipophilic properties) and form the basis of lipid polymorphism. All of them showed a sharp decline in abundance in dementia subjects.

amphipathic compounds

These amphipathic compounds may have similar roles, forming a higher-ordered, assembled structure. They might act as major neuroprotectants or antioxidants in the brain, and their levels are sensitive to both antioxidants and ROS.

We speculate the 7 group A compounds pathologically enhance or lead to severe dementia such as AD. This presumed dementia deterioration by group A factors is opposed if group B to E metabolites are sufficiently supplied.

However, group A markers were not found in frail subjects. If the change in group A is causal for dementia, then a cognitive cause in frailty may be distinct from that of dementia.”

https://www.pnas.org/content/118/37/e2022857118 “Whole-blood metabolomics of dementia patients reveal classes of disease-linked metabolites”


Dementia subjects (ages 75-88) lived in an Okinawa hospital. Healthy elderly (ages 67-80) and young (ages 28-34) subjects lived in a neighboring village. Of the 24 subjects, 3 dementia and 1 healthy elderly were below a 18.5 to <25 BMI range, and none were above.

Get neuroprotectants working for you. Previous relevant curations included: